Joyce’s Blog

Q: I’m having a tough time looking for a job because I can’t settle on that one thing I want to do. I’ve been in this situation before: I interview great, get a job doing something I start out enjoying, then tire of, then can’t bear to do any more. I’m afraid that whatever direction I take the same thing is going to happen. I last about 6 months in a job then make sureRead More
Job seekers, you, like the rest of us, are human (that was never in doubt) and like the rest of us, you can make mistakes. Here are some of the avoidable mistakes I see you making that not only trip you up, they cause your job search to take longer than necessary. You don’t know what you’re looking for and expect the interviewer to figure it out for you. They don’t. They won’t. Hear thatRead More
Old habits can get in the way when you’re looking for work, especially if you’re used to people calling you instead of you calling them and when you’re expecting job offers to appear without doing the heavy lifting. Open-ended, ambiguous questions have a way of messing with your head if you prefer the kind with “yes” or “no” answers, and trusting yourself more than the wisdom of others can be a let down when theyRead More
It’s noon and you’re driving to a crosstown lunch meeting with a key client. You were late leaving the office and now you’re stuck in traffic. It’s hot, you’re frustrated and agitated and focused on one thing only: getting to the restaurant before you lose the client and the account. The car in front of you is barely moving so you lean on the horn and pull out to pass it and ka-bam! You’re hitRead More

Fresh Batch of Q&A

Posted by Joyce Richman on September 24, 2013
Category : Questions, Uncategorized
Here’s a fresh batch of questions that I’ve received from readers and I wanted to share them with you. Q: I consistently have great ideas, share them with my colleagues and no one shows any interest. Next thing I know, my manager sends out a memo praising the creativity of my co-worker and describes my idea! What can I do to start getting credit? A: You can have great ideas, fresh perspectives, and problem solvingRead More
Joe hadn’t received performance feedback in several years. When it finally came he wasn’t prepared and took it like a kick in the gut. “You have to be kidding! All this time, I don’t hear anything, and this is what you have to tell me? That people have a problem with me? A problem? They ought to be lovin’ me; they owe their jobs to me. This is the thanks I get? We’ll just seeRead More
If you don’t think that body language has power all its own, read this employer’s account of an interview he recently conducted: “The applicant’s resume described a real go-getter who had accomplished a great deal in a short period of time. His academic credentials were as impressive as his letters of recommendation. You can imagine my surprise and disappointment when he settled into the chair across from me. The live version of the paper heroRead More
If you’re among the  “organizationally challenged” you can understand the dilemma this job seeker finds himself: “I was excited. I had an interview. The first one I’d landed in over a month. I didn’t know how to find the company so I called their switchboard to get directions.  That was smart, right? Except my call somehow went through to the president of the company. He was very patient with me, even when I couldn’t findRead More
Sam Smiley went into sales because everyone told him he’d be a natural. He was affable, caring, beloved by old ladies and gents, wee babies and young nannies. Sam took to sales like a duck to water until business fell off and he had to sink or swim. No matter how much Sam sweet-talked his customers and asked about their children, he wasn’t able to meet his sales targets. Now he’s going to lose hisRead More

More Quick Q&A

Posted by Joyce Richman on August 20, 2013
Category : Questions, Uncategorized
Thanks to your calls and emails I’ve readied a quick sampling of the questions you’ve been asking: Q: Which of the following should I be sure to include on my resume: gender, marital status, age, race, health, height, weight, and religion? A: Stay away from all of them. Q: We have a family crest which I am very proud to include on my stationery. I’d like to include it on my resume. A “good friend”Read More
If you have a networking meeting or an important interview coming up, you want to be ready. And, there’s no time like the present to brush up on your preparation strategies. Go to the company’s web site; review their history and their mission statement. Learn their product mix, business locations, and if they’re global, where they are headquartered. Read profiles of their senior officers and if they publish an annual report, look it over. IfRead More

Interviewing Mistakes

Posted by Joyce Richman on July 30, 2013
Category : Interviewing, Uncategorized
In career coaching, there seems to be one topic that clients can’t get enough of — help preparing for an interview.  Interviewing, like public speaking, seems to raise fears of mythical proportions.  So, I thought I’d point out some common interviewing mistakes that you’d probably prefer not to repeat. I’ll tell you what they are and what you can do about them but fair warning, this might not be pretty: You’re getting there late andRead More
Dave Duckit lost his job because he wouldn’t fight to keep it. Hannah Highway lost her job because she valued being right more than she valued doing the right thing. Larry Leeway lost his job because he needed more room to maneuver than his company had space to give him. What are the stories behind the headlines? Dave Duckit: Dave acts laid back and appears to be a get along, go along person, but don’t letRead More
Why do so many employers wring their hands and pull their hair when it comes to giving feedback? You’d think they’d have figured out how to do it with all the workshops and websites out there, promoting the 10 best ways to crate up cranky people and the five best ways to defend against fussy folk. When you get down to it, employers aren’t worried about giving feedback; they’re worried about the reaction they getRead More
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 on yourRead More
Getting a job is half the battle. Keeping it is other half. When you’re an entry- level employee you’re evaluated on what you’re able to produce. If you’re accurate, effective, and efficient and demonstrate a proactive desire to achieve more, it’s likely you’ll be awarded more responsibility. As you advance it’s also likely that you’ll be expected to transition from being hands-on and tactical to becoming hands-off and strategic (a transition, that for some, isRead More


Posted by Joyce Richman on June 18, 2013
Category : Action Plan, Networking, Uncategorized
Bam. That’s the sound of your confidence hitting bottom.  The longer you’re out of work, the bigger the hit your confidence takes. Pretty soon you’ll have trouble remembering what you did well and why anyone was foolish enough to pay you for doing it. The good news is, you’re not alone. The bad news is, there’s no great comfort in having company. Is there real reason to be concerned? No, you are employable, you doRead More
Two people are stuck at a career intersection. Each wants more than he has and doesn’t know which way to turn. Sam is quick, spontaneous, and always in motion. He’s bright and loves a challenge, particularly if it combines mental and physical dexterity. He won’t stay with something long, so once he gets what he’s after, he moves on to whatever’s next. Sam is dutiful and respectful; absent minded and inattentive. He’s always apologizing forRead More
You are driving us to distraction. You are the people who over-promise and under-deliver. You fall short of our expectations because you created and inflated them. You disappoint, frustrate, and spend more emotional capital then you have, and then you’re surprised when there’s nothing left in the Bank of I Trusted You. You’re optimistic and well meaning, that’s for sure, and in your effort to please us, you agree to meet our demands and objectivesRead More
What works is what works. Enough of that ‘you’re broken, I’m not’ stuff. It’s de-motivating and it’s counter-productive. Employees and job seekers don’t want to hear what they should stop doing, they want to know what they should start doing. They want to be more self-aware; they want training and development; not detailed descriptions of their personal warts and professional deficits. When you perseverate on what’s gone wrong in your career, or the choices you’veRead More