Joyce’s Blog

“I read your column and wonder if you get people like me out of a jam.” That prompted my curiosity and I asked her to describe, “people like me”. “People who are so lost they don’t know where to start. I’m a college graduate and I can’t believe I’m earning minimum wage in a dead-end job. I’m stuck, and I want to know if you can get me out of this mess.” Her tone wasRead More
Everyone has an attitude. How you project that attitude has enormous influence on how you are perceived. Those perceptions and interpretations by prospective employers make the difference between a winning interview, and one that doesn’t quite get it. Attitudes are influenced by events and your reactions to them. You may be a great communicator, a motivating team builder, and an all around wonderful catch, but if you’re stuck in a bad place, all those attributesRead More

The First Job

Posted by Joyce Richman on April 17, 2012
Category : Coachable Moments, Uncategorized
Wake up sleepy heads, today’s the first day of the rest of your young working lives, and you need to walk out the door with your best foot forward. Speaking of your best foot…fellas, if you’re working with the public, wear socks and serious shoes; big hairy toes or shoe-string draggin’ sneakers just don’t do it for employers or their customers. Gals, if your job requires heavy loading, lifting, cooking or cleaning, chances are youRead 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
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I think I have a great looking resume and impressive experience; that I’m reasonably attractive, smart, and have an outgoing personality. I’ve mailed hundreds of resumes and haven’t had one interview! I’m frustrated and losing confidence. I’m enclosing my resume for your review. I need help so don’t hold back. I’ve looked it over and here’s what I see that’s working in your favor: You have an impressiveRead More
Do you remember the story about the fellow whose cat led him to the right job?  It went like this… Apprehensive young man desperate for career and already late for interview has a runaway house cat. After frenzied search, skirmish and surrender, young man and reluctant cat arrive at company’s formidable front entrance. Young man opens resistant door by clamping resume between teeth and wedging cat between sandaled feet. In time it takes to yell,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
Last week I described a job seeker who’s currently employed and absolutely miserable. She blames her distress on her boss. She describes him as “arrogant, dismissive, rude, and insulting” and vows not to take it anymore. Her solution? “I’m leaving. I have no idea what I’m going to do next but whatever it is, it can’t be worse than what I have here.” Erin (not her real name) says she likes her work and isRead 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
I’ve noticed that you’re making some 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 and when you do, the game’s over. Here’s why: Interviewers expect you to be on your best behavior. If getting there late is the best you can do it’s not good enough. If you wantRead More
Smile. That’s right. Smile. Too many of you are walking into your interviews as though you’re ready to have a very long and involved conversation with the Grim Reaper. Rewind. An interview provides you an opportunity to learn about a job to which you may be well suited, and to present your credentials in order to secure the position. That’s reason enough to smile. Yes, the business of getting a job is serious business, butRead More
Up and at ‘em! It’s a few weeks past the honkin’ and hollerin’ dawn of the new year and I bet you haven’t made out your list of New Year’s Resolutions. Surely there are countless things you resolve to do differently this year; dozens of ways you want to be, think, and do that are new and improved over the not-so-hot ways you did them last year. So, get in gear, pencils sharp, paper ready.Read More


Posted by Joyce Richman on March 06, 2012
Category : The Job Search, Uncategorized
References. Applicants and interviewers worry about them, don’t know how to choose them, to use them, to check them, and as a result, lose out on opportunity, insight, and information both could benefit from receiving. Job hunters need references, good references, because bad ones or those casually chosen can sink an opportunity like a rock. References should be chosen from the pool of individuals who have directly or indirectly supervised their work, and are willingRead More
You’ve asked for more interviewing strategies and here they are: 1. Pay attention while walking around. If you have a chance to tour the facility where you’re interviewing, go for it. It’s a great way to get a read of the culture and a handle on your comfort within it. For example, if employees appear to move about in stony silence and the place is quiet as a tomb, the company might be a modelRead More
By request, I’ve prepared some interviewing tips for you. If you like these, you’ll get five more next week. Extraverts! Don’t talk too much! You’re so good with words you don’t seem to know when to stop using them and you’re talking your way in and out of great opportunities. Instead, stay on point and make your points calmly and succinctly. Don’t repeat yourself. And don’t interrupt. Sell yourself on track record and potential, notRead More
You’re barreling toward the next year, bent on doing it better, faster, smarter than … what? If you look back over the last several months, certain behavioral issues have already surfaced as leading contenders for top problems. What impact are they currently having on your business and what can you do to course correct before year-end? Visionaries are given a mandate to create a concept that moves the company ahead of the competition. Impulsive visionaries, exploding with new ideas, areRead More
Even the best of friends can drive each other to distraction. Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto, you get the drill. If friendship can’t transcend petty differences, what are co-workers, in recession rocked, pressure packed, deadline driven organizations to do? If you don’t have the energy to read what business gurus have to say on the subject, and want something a little more soothing, check out some Mother Goose. For example: Jack and Jill ran up theRead More
Thanks for sending me your questions about job search. Here’s just a sample of what you’re asking: “I’m a career changer having a tough time finding a job in my new field of interest. Do you think that a headhunter will be willing to work with me?” Headhunters (more politely known as recruiters) will not work with career changers. They will work with individuals who have a proven track record of success in a specificRead More
It wasn’t that long ago that business hired receptionists and clerical staff  to answer phones, set appointments, do some billing and, generally speaking, manage the public. They wanted these folks to be warm, friendly, helpful, and have a good work ethic. Now those jobs are called “front line” and they come with a warning: “be careful out there”. Companies still want their employees to meet, greet, and serve the public in ways that are invitingRead More
She’s intelligent, talented, and fired. This isn’t the first time and might not be the last unless she gets a handle on what’s not working and what is. What’s working? Plenty. Claire (whose name is fictitious and behavior is real) is independent, self reliant, and self -starting. She thinks fast and talks faster. She’s analytic, organized and a wizard at remembering the details; all of which enable her to nail a problem at 500 paces.Read More