Joyce’s Blog

How’s this for a cautionary tale? “He is so blatant in his demands it’s just breathtaking. That’s his style; impolite, self centered, arrogant, dismissive. I’m not alone in this opinion but I may be the only one willing to take what he dishes out. I’ve been working here ten years, the last five, for him. I’m one of the few still standing. He intimidates everyone, including our company’s President. We’ve had constant churn since heRead More
If the rapid rate of change in your organization is taking your breath away,  read the late Isaac Asimov’s take on the situation: “If the last 50,000 years of man’s existence were divided into lifetimes of approximately sixty-two years each, there have been about 800 such lifetimes. Of these 800, fully 650 were spent in caves. Only during the last seventy lifetimes has it been possible to communicate effectively from one lifetime to another –Read More
There’s a Job Fair coming to town and opportunity is coming along with it. Unlike most fairs, this one won’t cost you a dime. You’ll have a chance to meet company representatives from across the state who set up booths and organize materials with the express purpose of meeting people like you, hard-working, dedicated, skilled people who have the potential of making a difference in their organizations. If you want to maximize that opportunity it’sRead More
When getting a job is job one, presentation counts. If you’d like an example of how important that is, read what Linda Stanton, President of Selective Staffing, Inc. writes on the subject: “Ms. Richman, I am the owner of a local staffing service here in the city. I am amazed at the people who come to us seeking employment who do not see us as an employer. We are, in a lot of cases, theRead More
“When I give performance feedback to employees, I want them to listen to what I’m saying. If they argue, get defensive, or give me body language that indicates a bad attitude, I’m not going to waste any more of my time. If they mess up again, I’ll just fire them.” Is that the gospel according to Donald Trump or is it Simon Cowell sounding off on American Idol?  Neither. It’s your garden-variety supervisor, manager, orRead More
I bet you know him. He goes to work early and stays late. He’s known as a company man. He’s dedicated, loyal, with a work ethic that challenges the most diligent. His only fear is failing health even though he’s never taken a sick day. (He’s never had a day that he stayed out sick. He’s had several sick days.) He’s just been laid off and never saw it coming. He was starting to thinkRead More
Carolyn (not her real name) comes to work tied up in knots and goes home the same way. She’s worried that she won’t have enough time to get her job done. She’s worried that someone will ask her a question that she can’t answer. She’s worried that she’ll never be as smart as she needs to be. If Carolyn were the only victim of her angst, that would be difficult enough. But she isn’t. EveryoneRead More
You may have friends who changed careers when it didn’t look like they needed to. You may have wondered what gave them the courage to believe they could start over, doing something they’d never done before. You may have marveled at their immense pride in even modest success. “Could you do that?” You may have known others who walked away from seemingly comfortable careers and life styles to follow a dream. Their stories didn’t endRead More
The Roanoke Times has added Joyce Richman’s career advice columns to their Online Career Center which is part or www.roanoke.com, the online outlet for the Roanoke, Virginia newspaper. Joyce’s articles focus on getting, keeping and changing jobs.  The Roanoke Times has added online resources to help job seekers among their readership. To find Joyce’s articles, go to the Career Center at www.roanoke.com/job.Read More
A recent caller wanted to know if she could blame the economy for her inability to find work. I told her that if it made her feel better to do so, please, be my guest. She said that it didn’t. She wanted to somehow get past the fact that there were so few jobs and so many people looking for them. “I’m not a spendthrift,” she said. “I have bills to pay and no wayRead More
Like it or not, employed or not, you’re in the middle of the busiest business intersection you’re likely to experience. It’s hard to know whether to wait for traffic to clear, cross against it, or jump in and go with the flow. One thing’s for sure, you can’t stay in one place for long, so what do you do? Let’s look at the possibilities. Wait for traffic to clear: The last time the economy went southRead More
Most people consider themselves team players. Many of their team-mates disagree. Patrick Lencioni, in his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, does a deep dive into what produces highly functional teams as well as what creates dysfunction.  He lists behaviors that derail the best of intentions as 1. Absence of trust. 2. Fear of conflict. 3. Lack of commitment 4. Avoidance of accountability and 5. Inattention to results. In For Your Improvement, A GuideRead More
When Harvard University professor Robert Putnam authored the book “Bowling Alone” in 2000, he wrote that social capital (the collective value of all social networks) had seriously declined, that we weren’t visiting as much, joining as much, gathering as often at our churches, lodges, PTA’s and community socials. As a result, we weren’t as trusting, sharing, or cooperating. Several weeks ago his concerns were echoed in national surveys that sounded the same notes of concern:Read More
“It’s about time you got a job and earned your keep!” Now that’s a comment that will get the attention of your children, whether they are fifteen or fifty. And it’s easier said than done, particularly if your youngster of indeterminate age hasn’t had any experience getting a job, has had a bad experience trying to secure one, or hasn’t been able to keep one.  With that in mind, here are some tried and trueRead More
In your quest to find the right job you’ll need to maximize every interaction and leverage every opportunity. You can do that if you know who you are, what you want, and a good match when you see one. To know who you are requires an understanding what’s important to you and an inventory of your intrinsic beliefs and extrinsic rewards; what you do best (strengths); what you want to accomplish (potential); and how you’reRead More
If you like self-help articles that give you five ways to do this and five ways to do that, today’s column doubles your pleasure or diminishes your fun: Ten ways to get derailed and ten ways to stay on track. 1. If you expect your workmates to understand your bad moods, tolerate foul language, and ignore big blunders, you’re in for a bumpy ride: they can’t, they don’t and they won’t. Instead, clean up yourRead More
Whether you’re fifteen or fifty, the new recruit or a veteran of employee wars, you have needs as basic as they are essential: A sense of worth, physical security and productivity; a sense of relatedness and responsibility:  a need for challenge and affirmation. If your needs are met, you feel in balance; at one with yourself and the place where you work. If they aren’t met, with consistency, you fight burn out. To assess yourRead More
It’s competitive out there, the market is tight, and you want to be at your best when you interview. Attitude counts.  If you mentally argue with interviewers or imagine them as barriers to the job you want you’ll undermine whatever you say or do. Instead, think partnership. Think together you can make this happen, for the company and for your career. Put your best foot forward: Lead with your strengths. Match your strengths to opportunities.Read More
I’ve noticed that people seem to pay more attention to suggestions when they’re offered in a numerical format. With that in mind I thought you’d benefit from a little cardinal career search advice. Here’s a warm-up: you need to do three things before you leave for an interview:  1. Comb your hair. 2. Brush your teeth, and 3. Take your resume. OK so far? Good, now let’s get a little more complex. There are threeRead More
“It’s been more than three weeks since I sent my resume to a local company and I haven’t heard a peep out of them. The ad didn’t say whom I should call to follow up so I’ve tried several different departments and I haven’t heard anything.  By now I’ve called several more times and I’ve started leaving messages that indicate how irritated I am at their obvious indifference to my search. Give me a break!Read More