Joyce’s Blog

Sharpen your writing and speaking skills folks, because the lights are on and they’re shining on you. With every resume, cover letter, telephone call, networking meeting and interview, you’re presenting your skills and abilities in the two ways most of us have learned to communicate; you’re either writing or talking. You better be good at both. A worried reader comments that, “introverts like me don’t have a chance against extraverted competition.” Instead of focusing onRead More
This caller wanted to be sure that other job seekers didn’t make the same mistakes he did so he shared his story… “I’d been looking for work for several months, first staying local, then extending my search well beyond the Triad, all in an effort to snag something, anything that would work. I had just about run out of hope when I got a call, then another, one interview, two interviews, two companies then three!Read More
Today’s job market requires a great deal from employees: patience, drive, self-awareness, cultural sensitivity, business acumen, flexibility, adaptability, versatility, resiliency, and that’s just for starters. Today’s workforce has become increasingly aware of and responsive to what employers want and they do their best to deliver it. What many need and don’t have is a good, reliable Plan B. “It’s tough enough having Plan A, why do we need a Plan B?” Circumstances change, people change,Read More
Three employees are headed toward what’s next and appear to be having some trouble leaving behind what was. They’re stuck at a prickly juncture on route to an unfamiliar place. Each wants to even a score: “I was recently let go from my job and I’m still reeling from the experience. I feel like I was set up to fail. I want to write a letter to the plant manager letting him know just whatRead More
Earlier I answered questions from a frustrated job seeker who, despite stellar credentials and carpet-bombing the area with resumes, hadn’t landed his first interview. We spent some time together discussing his resume, and I provided the candid feedback he requested. It wasn’t pretty. His resume was too long, too wordy, and too hard on the eyes. It contained too much jargon, and was written in a format many interviewers reject outright. Yep, those last fiveRead More
You can repeat your mistakes or learn from them. That’s up to you. Life’s lessons are many and varied. Some are easier to understand than others. When it comes to interviewing it’s hard to know what comment, question, response, smile, frown, or explanation got in the way of your winning first prize. There are too many X’s and Y’s, too many unknowns, and too little opportunity to find out what worked and what didn’t. ToRead More
When it comes right down to it, you don’t know what you don’t know. When it comes to interviewing, you don’t know what you’re missing when you don’t get feedback about how you’re doing; your presentation, articulation, clarity of purpose, listening skills, and ability to respond to the ambiguity of open- ended questions in ways that make sense and advance your case. If you’re offered the job, you’re not apt to care about what didn’tRead More
It had been almost a year since my last interview and I had finally snagged one.  I was nervous as a cat all day. Which is ironic because my cat must have picked up on my anxiety. She had spent the day running up and down the stairs, around and through my legs, zipping over the furniture and across the floor. When I opened the door to leave she got out first and took offRead More
If you’re looking for work and your looking isn’t working, get back to basics.  For example… Get off your duff. That’s right, get off the couch, the recliner, or where ever else you choose to occupy too many hours of your job search day. What’s that? You’re working hard, looking for a job on the internet, cutting out ads, writing letters, organizing files, and bolstering your self confidence by reading self help books and motivationalRead More
Spring brings out the job seeker in people: the curious, the bored, the conflicted, the “anywhere but here” and the intentional. The curious: “I’m not really interested in looking, but if I were to run into something that’s too good to be true, I’d have to consider it.” The bored: “Since I don’t have anything to do and nobody’s watching, I’ll check job openings on-line. That should occupy me ‘til closing time.” The conflicted: “TheRead More
Tad was so busy managing up to his boss his subordinates fired him. “You’re kidding me! What happened?” Well, it’s the cautionary tale of a high-achieving, very focused fellow who knew the only place he wanted to go was up. With a combination of good grades, dazzling smile, and an ingratiating personality he easily gained acceptance to his first choice in undergraduate and graduate schools. He was first in his class and first of hisRead More

Ebook for Parents of Job Searchers

Posted by Joyce Richman on July 14, 2009
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Category : Announcements, Uncategorized
It doesn’t seem to matter whether your kid is 15 or 50, when they are looking for a job, parents worry. Getting Your Kid Out of the House and Into a Job is a 68-page ebook by Joyce Richman and Barbara Demarest. Over the years, I’ve focused on how to turn worry into support and stress into helpful contributions to the process.The ebook is filled with my case studies and exercises and my co-author’s expertiseRead More
If you’re looking for a job and don’t know why you lost your last one, pause. You have a chance to go back to square one. “I don’t want to go back to where I’ve been. I’d rather put the past behind me. If I keep thinking about why I got fired I won’t have the courage to get another job.” That makes sense. You don’t want to start second guessing yourself and as aRead More
I typically dedicate this column to active job seekers, providing strategies, techniques, and best practices to enable them to reach the kind of outcomes that will be personally and professionally satisfying. I got a call last week from Alex (not even close to his real name) who asked that I tell you his story. It’s not about how he’s looking for a job. It’s about why. Alex was fired four weeks ago. He wants toRead More
In life, little things can become big things. In job search, little things are the big things. Last week I described some big mistakes that job seekers make and asked you to compare them to the do’s and don’ts you’ve been practicing. Here are a few more, just to keep you thinking: What to wear: How to dress is a matter of concern to many interviewees who ask what they should wear if it’s casualRead More
You can see an extensive quote from me about job-hunting in a June 27, 2009 article in the Burlington, NC Times-News.  The article is called, Hire me! What people are doing to attract prospective employers in a tough economyRead More
What are the mistakes that job seekers make and how do they compare to the do’s and don’t you’ve been practicing? Check these out and you decide: Smile. For some, that big bright toothy smile comes naturally. These job applicants use their pearly whites to send the message that they’re genuinely happy to be in your presence and you in theirs. As an interviewer you are easily drawn to their warm and expressive nature becauseRead More
When all else fails, read the directions. Searching for a job is a big enough challenge without winging it. Rather than take a scattershot approach or sit at home and wait for the phone to ring, get out there and make something happen. Here’s how. Prepare your resume but don’t let the effort consume you. There are resources out there if you want them; libraries, bookstores, and internet sites just waiting to serve up theRead More
Many of you struggle with your job search because you don’t know the career direction that’s best for you. If you’d like to stop spinning and start mapping, pay attention to your interests and hobbies. Do you love music and hiking? You probably want jobs that enable you to work in harmonious places and open spaces. Do you like acknowledging others and organizing social events? You’re likely to enjoy coordinating projects and activities for theRead More
Here are two “role-play” responses to questions you’re asking… Q: “In one of your recent columns you said that we shouldn’t initiate networking calls to prospective employers on company time. When are we supposed to make them? After we get fired? We should be able to make calls on the clock as long as we don’t make a big deal about it. Please comment.” A: Rather than battle the pros and cons of the subject,Read More