Joyce’s Blog

When it comes to references, you may be spending way too much time worrying about what you can’t control and too little time working on what you can. With that in mind, let’s put reference checks and checkers in perspective so you can put your energy where it counts. For starters, a company representative will likely check your references If you are one of the top candidates for a job opening. If you’re not inRead More
If your optimism has taken a few hits lately, don’t let it show when you’re networking and interviewing, on the phone or in person. Like it or not, you’re measured by what you say and how you say it. If you’re clear and concise, positive and proactive, your listener will be interested in hearing more about what you’ve done and how you’ve done it.  Your attitude will either help you overcome obstacles or will createRead More
I’m going as fast as I can and apparently that’s not good enough. What do you mean? I’m all about efficiency. I’m always looking for smarter, better, faster ways to get things done because we’re measured by our results. I can’t take time to check my employees’ temperature and ask,’ Are you happy? Do you like me? Are our customers nice to you’?  I don’t care how they feel, I just want them  to getRead More
I just got a great performance review but I am a little confused. My boss gave me very high marks on focus, drive, and results but said he was concerned for me. He said that although I have great potential, a strong desire to achieve, and he’d like to promote me, I was in danger of burning out. He told me I needed to get balance in my life if I wanted to be consideredRead More
I visited with an old friend the other day, someone I hadn’t seen in a long while. What struck me, aside from the joy of catching up, was how wonderful she looks, how upbeat she is, and how easily she laughs. Despite her share of personal and professional challenges she moves through life with spirit and grace. She’s not about yesterday, she’s about tomorrow. Her demeanor, sparkle, and interest in possibilities provide the inspiration forRead More
If you’ve been job searching for a while now and it’s getting old, you may have fallen into some bad habits. Rather than practice what doesn’t work, work on what does. Check your resume. If it’s grown from that neat one pager you started with, to a lengthy, wordy document you need a magnifying glass to read and patience to want to, streamline it. Go with a reverse chronological format because that’s what interviewers prefer.Read More
Body language has power of its own. The more aware you are of what that looks like, the better an interviewer and applicant you’ll be. Here are examples of the unintended consequences of body language. “The interviewer had no feedback. No smile, no frown, no affect, no small talk. I could have been a stack of books or a coat rack. It was discourteous and insensitive.  It turned me off to the job and theRead More
Are you tired of how you look? Do you look like how you feel?  If so, your job search might be as lethargic as you are. It’s one thing to know it; it’s another to do something about it. If you need a wake-up call to get yourself in gear, consider today’s post just that.  Wake up. It’s time to get your attitude, your resume, and your interviewing techniques in shape for the Spring jobRead More

Explain Your Termination

Posted by Joyce Richman on January 28, 2014
Category : Interviewing, Uncategorized
Q:  I was fired from my job because I refused to take the blame for what was their fault and not mine. How am I supposed to explain this on an interview? A: In explaining a termination it’s important to say what you learned from the experience and as a consequence, what you would do differently going forward. With this reframing you can approach your explanation in a variety of ways. For example, you  mightRead More

Easier to Tell the Truth

Posted by Joyce Richman on January 21, 2014
Category : Interviewing, Uncategorized
It takes all kinds… I definitely intimidate interviewers because I’m smarter, more sophisticated, more talented, and have more experience than they. No wonder they don’t want to hire me, they’re afraid I’ll take their jobs away from them. With that, the job seeker smiles and raises his hands as though it’s settled, as if there is no point attempting to look for a job, the deck is stacked and the house wins. The smartest guyRead More


Posted by Joyce Richman on January 14, 2014
Category : Managing Your Career, Uncategorized
If December is the time to be jolly, now is the time to be earnest.  With the start of the New Year comes the opportunity to set goals and plan strategies that turn aspirations into reality. If you’re ready to get serious, join me in resolving to make this year better than the last. With that in mind, here are a few of my thoughts that might stimulate a few of yours. Let go ofRead More
If you’re anything like callers I’ve heard from lately, you’re making too many mistakes when you’re sitting behind that computer, churning out emails. They’re going to unintended places. Here are a few examples of how certain folks are slipping up and finding themselves in a serious fix: “I was sitting in a big meeting, no one’s listening to the speaker, half the group is asleep and the other half is checking email and I’m onlineRead More
Scared stiff. That’s how the caller described himself. His wife had lost her job and he was afraid he’d lose his, too. “I’m out of control,” he said, trying not to sound like he was, while doing his best to control everything in sight. He kept a close eye on the books and parceled out payment to what demanded greatest attention. He and his wife had cut costs to the bone; they weren’t eating out,Read More
“I’m worried that…” Most callers begin the conversation with something they’re worried about. Some are worried about having been fired, or laid off, or how long they’ve been looking. Some are worried that they’re too old to have relevance , too young to have experience, too experienced to learn, too inexperienced to trust, too focused to be flexible, too flexible to be focused, too driven, too laid back, too little, too late. You name it,Read More

Good at Your Job

Posted by Joyce Richman on December 03, 2013
Category : Managing Your Career, Uncategorized
When you like what you do and you’re happy doing it, you’ll be pretty good at it and others will likely think so too. When the economy is strong and you’re good at what you do, have a positive attitude, and make a positive difference to the intended end user, you’ll keep your job and have a pretty decent chance of getting another one. When the economy is weak, your talent and tenacity, work ethicRead More
What does it take to advance in an interview? There are many personality attributes that impact the outcome of that first interview: Your energy, your self awareness, your level of preparation, your curiosity, and your sense of optimism. Those elements, if positive, in combination with being a reasonable match to the opportunity, should move you through to the next round. What does it take to improve your odds of keeping your job or getting another?Read More
Without intending, you might be making some big mistakes when looking for a job. Here’s a heads-up that can keep you out of serious trouble: Don’t bash your former company, boss, or co-workers, no matter how unfairly you feel you were treated. If you have a bona fide complaint, take it to the EEOC and let them sort it out. If you don’t have a case , but you’re angry and want everyone to knowRead More
Q: I’m frustrated. I graduated college in May, thinking that my degree would open doors of opportunity. Well, it hasn’t. If a door opens, it shuts immediately because I don’t have the experience the companies are looking for. How am I supposed to have experience if I’ve just finished college? A: Many new graduates are sharing that same frustration. How can you get experience when you can’t get hired because you don’t have any experience?Read More
Here are more of those mistakes people make on interviews; mistakes you can easily avoid: Lack of self-awareness: This happens when you’re sitting in the reception area, waiting to interview, and make or receive calls on your cell… speaking more loudly than you might realize (or worse, realizing how loudly you’re speaking and doing it anyway). It happens when you bring food and beverages into the reception area (or worse, when you cart them intoRead More
This story is  an example of many  I have heard from talented people  who, despite their many gifts, are adrift when trying to find a future as challenging as it is personally rewarding. I’m lost and I need help. I don’t know what I want to do and I don’t how to figure it out. I’m floundering, doing different jobs, hoping I’d find the right work, the right place and the right people, and nothing’sRead More