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2011 Better year or more frustration?? December 30, 2010

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching.
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I don’t know about you but I am fed up with the conflicting articles about the economy and unemployment figures.

My take on the economy is that the people hyping the economy are paid by big business so as not to bite the hand that feeds them they will say things are looking great so that you will spend money to boost the economy that isn’t great. The economy as I see it is in shambles still and will remain that way for 5- 6 years at the minimum. The economy is in an oscillation and will remain that way due to all the false hope presented by the economist.

The other thing driving this false notion id the fact that US based companies are doing well offshore, they are hiring in other countries while continually laying off here at home. Their stocks are going up because they are being profitable on the books. This is great for the company but has no effect on our economy. It certainly isn’t producing jobs here.

What lesson can you learn from this? You can start broadening your job search to offshore or stay here and perish.

If you are still thinking about using job boards in 2011 then I pity you and hope that you can somehow manage to keep food on the table and a roof over your head in the coming year. I see job boards as becoming passe in 2011 as they are for companies and recruiters and really do not serve our interest as seekers.  The information they provide seekers is the same tripe I feel that is keeping you from landing that position.

That brings me to all the career expert, coaches and trainers that have been like the job boards been putting out the same BS and tripe all through 2010. I think they are desperate as they are loosing business because we seekers can no longer afford them or have found out it has been monies wasted.  I feel that we know our industry and markets far better than they do. We understand the hurdles and barriers to entry better than they do. We have also learned that job boards are ineffective for the most part when finding a new career.  I want to see or hear something new or innovative from these people in 2011 something that is truly useful to us seekers. It is time for the broken record of 2010 to end. Get on the fad wagon of industry and get innovative!

So that leads me to companies and the hiring practices of 2010.  Hey hiring managers get a clue will ya! Do you have any idea really of what you need for the present or the future? Do you remember or have you heard of manpower studies? This would help you tremendously in figuring it out.  I know from experience that it really works. But to let some of the burden off of you guys I know that your job is made more difficult by those above you who haven’t a clue or are afraid to make a decision for fear of looking like an idiot. Well I have news for them they look like an idiot either way so make a decision and stick to it.

And since I am on a roll here with my frustrations lets not forget the seekers for 2011.

I have been working with fellow professionals fro the last 2 years trying to help them make sense of all this and to get them to get their heads together and start thinking like a professional again. For some it has taken for others it is hopeless. I am trying hard to help one friend as she is fully aware and gets the whole picture and like me we just can’t seek to get our foot in the right door to present ourselves. A company that hires us will never regret it as the ROI is much higher than what are loaded labor costs would be. But for other seekers I am tired of providing information and suggestions to these people just to be ignored or they do not utilize the tools given to them. I am also tired of hearing that their industry has disappeared but they are still sitting here looking instead of looking where the industry might be hiring. The usual excuse is that “well I have family here”. Yes and it is called transportation for a reason. Last I knew, correct me if I am wrong here, phone and roads work both ways. What a revelation!!! You can travel by car, bus, train, or plane to visit. You have telephone. cell phone, Skype, Facebook and other means for staying in touch.  So the I have family here excuse is just that an excuse to take a risk and move on. It is out of fear of the unknown. Change your attitude and look at it as an adventure not a disaster waiting to happen. Look at it as a way to meet and make new friends to explore a new area to get back to enjoying work instead of being miserable at home. Do what I did. I say down with my children awhile ago and told them , look I love yo all dearly but I have to go where the work is and we can visit each other. Guess what they understood and accepted the fact that this is the new reality in this country. So for 2011 get rid of the excuses about family and schools and such and support your family by landing a good job where ever and start fresh. The alternative is to stay put and loose everything. The choice is yours think about it.

So if I have everyone mad at  me at this point I have accomplished my goal for the end of 2010 it was a bad year anyway. I am looking forward to a better and brighter new year. If you understood the points that I tried to make come join me if not I am leaving you on my dust try not to choke to death!

Hope and Faith the two strongest emotional allies we have. December 19, 2010

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Hope I feel is the strongest emotional ally we have in our arsenal for the unemployed.  It is what makes us wake up each morning to face a new day. It what makes up tolerate the rejections and the lack of any response to our resumes and cover letters.  It is the driving force that makes us keep going.

It is also the emotion that keeps us from crossing that threshold into the murk and mire of despair and insanity.

Hope! For some of us it is all that we have left. It is what makes us wish for a miracle each day. It is what makes us say today is the day I get an interview or an offer. Today is the day that somebody sees the value that I can bring their company. Yes Hope is the power ally that we cherish and guard.  It is more powerful than love and friendship which seems to allude us or escapes us the longer we are unemployed. Not from our doing but from those we thought we could depend on for support. Those that can no longer understand that it has nothing to do with us. This situation isn’t our doing. Yes Hope our ally that we use to hold our families together in these tumultuous times.

Hope the emotion we call upon to give understanding to those we want to support us but don not know how.

Along with hope is the second strongest emotion that is faith. I am not talking the faith in a deity of your choice. I have given up on that type of faith years ago. Call it the Catholic curse but there isn’t a theologian around who can convince me otherwise but that is me.  I am talking the faith we have in ourselves. The faith that we have the stamina, the perseverance, the courage to get through this. The faith that we are far better than the perception of the person reading our resume and cover letter.  The faith we have in ourselves to triumph over the evil that has cloaked the job market.

The faith that the total disrespect that is shown us will not diminish who we are our the value we are worth. The faith to hold our heads high because we know we are better than the treatment we get from every source, even those we thought would support us.

The faith that the knowledge and the skills we have acquired while working can not and will not be taken away from us. They are ours and ours alone and they hold value to those that want to rent them in the form of employment.

Yes Hope and Faith are the two strongest allies that we have they are the driving force that keeps us going. We will defend our right to have them and to use them to keep us who we are.

The rest of the world may shun us but our hope and our faith will make us rise above it like a Phoenix from the ashes. You can not keep us down, you cannot belittle us nor diminish us. We have two strong allies on our side Hope and Faith.

Shame on America! December 19, 2010

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I say shame on America and they way it treats the unemployed. The way they have duped the unemployed this recession to save money in the long run.

Shame on America for telling lies to lull the people into a false sense of improvement to get them to spend more so that Corporate America can keep raping the people.

The economy  is not getting better and unemployment is again on the the rise. If you are on unemployment do not fall for the dupe of working part time as it will come back to haunt you in the end. It is a ruse to get you to work part time so that at your annual they will look back at the money you made working part time and cut your benefits.  It will also effect your EB as it will make you ineligible for it.

Shame on America for having greater respect for a pre-owned quality BMW or Mercedes than for an unemployed American!.  Shame on Corporate America for their policy of unemployed need not apply! Shame on America for thinking that the unemployed are damaged goods or to treat us like we have the plague!.

You certainly needed us when we were using our skills and knowledge to make you a fortune just to have you cast us out like the daily trash. Shame on you!!!

There are two things that you can never take away from us and hear me closely! You cannot and never will be able to take away our knowledge and our skills they are ours and ours forever.  We will persevere and we will prevail some how as that is the American spirit and when we do look out because we also do not forget. We will boycott every company that participated in the unemployed need not apply. We will rally others to do the same. We will teach you the power of the people!  Through blogs such as this one and other avenues in social media will will  let the world know the immoral acts that you prevailed upon us.

The one thing that you corporate morons still have not learned yet is that it isn’t you at the top that makes the company and it isn’t the building , the location nor the machinery it is the people that are your best assets and that make or break a company.

So as I am sure many unemployed are totally feedup and frustrated with the attitude of corporate America and others . So again I say SHAME ON AMERICA!

New College Grads What are they to do? December 11, 2010

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We have been taught all our live that to get a good job you need a good education. So after we graduate high school we go right off to college. The jobs they have held during high school and college are not even related to what they are studying.  It is just the jobs they can get to make some cash.

Now they have hustled to earn that degree and graduate hopefully in the top of their class only to be told now that they need the experience to get the job.

Oh to be stuck in the Catch 22 syndrome I can’t get the experience without the job and I can’t get the job with out the experience.

I tell my clients and my children who are in college to get the summer internships to get the experience. I suggest that if the college or University has a coop program that they take that extra year to get the experience. This way they are in a better position than those that didn’t because they will have both the education and the experience.

I guess those that came up with this policy have forgotten what it was like when they started. I guess they have forgotten that they want the latest techniques and subject knowledge which you get from school. They forget that as they move people up they need the new people to train to become part of their succession program.  Or have they abandon that train of thought?

I guess that I am too logical and forward thinking to get a grasp on the idea of not hiring new grads because they lack experience. I guess in my head it comes across as ignorance and incompetence. A lack of ethics and morales. I feel that I should compel a list of these companies so I know where to tell my clients not to apply to because it would not be conducive to their future plans. That their future will more likely be stifled by the mind set controlling these companies and that their future will more than likely be in jeopardy.

To date I have not had one person who could provide a good rational or business explanation to this practice. Why is that? What does that tell you?

IT tell me that it is based on some irrational thought process and what does that tell me. Red Flags!

 

Got a new attitude! December 8, 2010

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I have come to the realization of why I have not landed a job in two years. Well there are the minor side issues credit score is so low I have my own number, I have been out of the industry for awhile because I can’t speak any Chinese dialect, They think that I am too old etc.

My realization is that I scare the hell out of them!!!!! Yes it is true I scare the hell out them. You ask why?

Why is because I have a high IQ and common sense which is a deadly combination. I have far superior leadership skills than they do. I can actual solve problems even outside my normal job.  I mean that if I was a hiring manager reading my resume and realized that I could outperform you in my sleep I would be quaking in my boots too.

So I have come to the realization that there are not any companies left in America with great leadership and common sense and intelligence that could use such a great talent as myself.

I mean here I am a guy who knows how to handle risk and to mitigate it so it doesn’t totally destroy us if it doesn’t work.  Risk now there is a term that needs to be Politically corrected so that we sugar coat to a point where it no longer sounds bad and frightening. Maybe then Corporate America will get their head out of their ass and move forward with some intelligence and common sense. But alas PC is the enemy of Common sense and intelligence. Alas there may be no hope for me to find a niche to work in.

But damn the ignorant masses I know who I am and what I am capable of. I know that I have great value to offer and what that value is worth. Trust me it is worth far more than the ROI the company will get that hires me. I have always out paced my loaded labor costs with the amount of profit realization that I have provided to companies.

However I find myself having to deal with inept HR Capital that have lost the ability to read into a resume the talent that is truly there. It has gone and replaced with the buzzword count to gauge the worthiness of a candidate. Gone are the days of embracing free thinking and innovative thought and being replaced with meek yes men and women who won’t rock the boat.

Yes alas there is no longer an atmosphere conducive for me to shine in. To make others look greater than they are. To make monies for a companies by attacking issues that others ignore or look over for lack of drive or initiative.

In finding a company where the CEO has not adopted the sports mentality of it is more about the money and the contract than the love of the game. I think it is time to renew my passport and see if I can find a country in Europe where my talents are appreciated as they are no longer appreciated here in America.

My new attitude is screw them they do not deserve me. Let them wallow in mediocrity. Let them continue to just get by until utter failure hits them in the face. They deserve it. My only regret is for the people it will effect because they do not deserve what they will get.

 

Here is a closing story my oldest son told me today. He works for the phone company. The detail officer told him that he just had to arrest a guy for beating on an HR person who told him that the company doesn’t hire the unemployed.

Now I am not sure that the HR person deserved it, It could of been a case of shooting the messenger but in a way they did because they are part of the problem not the solution. But the guy should have also the CEO and opened a can of whoop ass on him too. Maybe it would have been a wake up call. I mean think about it it would have shown that the guy was resourceful in finding him and takes  initiative by  kicking his ass. If I had a company I would hire that guy for those 2 reasons alone.

 

Let me know if you have a new attitude or what you think of the story.

Holiday Attitude feelings December 6, 2010

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I have one wish for the unemployed underemployed and soon to be unemployed this holiday season.

I wish you HOPE for the future for you, your families and for America which as lost its way.

While I have been trying very hard to keep my attitude in check. After 2 years of unemployment and my benefits having Oct 1st. I find my attitude has turned to one a bitterness. I am sure that I am not alone.  I am thankful and grateful for my oldest son who is paying my rent for Nov. and December. Then he is not going to be able to help after that as he has his own financial problems. I am applying for anything and everything but don’t seem to be getting any takes on any of it. Is it the fact that I have 2 degrees and that I am a professional that scares them off? IS it the fact that I am 59 years old? I still have plenty of good years to contribute as my view is that I am 2 twenty year olds. I have a vast array of experience and have performed very well in each, yet I cannot find a job anywhere. As my youngest would say WTF!

As I sit here trying to contemplate what my future will be after December, I can’t help feeling like I am stranded on the Island of Misfit Toys. I feel like I do not belong anywhere any more.  Like the toys on the Island all I have left is Hope that some hiring manager will like me and want to have me. Like the misfit toys I would be so grateful I that I would be the most exceptional employee they have.  But alas I have no Rudolph, Abominable, Yukon Jack or Cornelius to tell Santa to rescue me.  So I guess I remain on the Island with the rest of the Misfits. The only thing that is a real analogy here is that we Misfits know that we are not Misfits but are very good.

I wish you all the best holidays that you can muster up. Remember this, it is not about material things but about each other and the love and support that you can give each other. This my friends is worth more than all the gold in the world.

Peace Love and Hope!

 

The economy is getting better but unemployment is up 9.8% December 3, 2010

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This post is going to cover 2 topics; 1.) rise in unemployment and 2.) the uneducated statements of Cathrine Rampell of the New York Times.

We keep hearing that the economy is getting better yet despite that the unemployment figure is not declining at the same pace or is even rising despite the fact that some companies are claiming better numbers.

There are a number of ways companies can make it appear they are doing better while actually they are flat or in decline. Look at the news for Toll Brothers they claim a good 4th quarter but that is based on a tax write off.

An article the other day says that credit card use is down significantly. Then they go on to say that it is mainly due to banks cancelling cards or people being overdrawn on the cards they have. The only credit a few people in actually cutting up the cards or just not using them.

So if banks are not lending and credit card companies are not giving credit then how do they expect the economy to recover any time soon?

It appears that business has forgotten the basic economic rules of business.  What I see going on is not going to help matters either. Larger companies are buying up smaller companies they see as a future threat or a way to help build themselves up against the other competitors. While this is good for the business it usually means more unemployed as there is always a reduction due to eliminating redundancies in the two companies.

So pardon me for not believing the hype that the economy is improving based on some roller coaster numbers. I will stick to the reality of what is going on based on real economics not voodoo economics.

Second topic:

I read this on Yahoo this morning it is titled “Unemployed, and likely to stay that way” by Cathrine Rampell of the New York Times.

Here is a reporter that needs to get out of the office and talk to the 9.8% unemployed to get to the truth not just based on her conjecture.

She starts out by claiming that Europe has already come to grips with the long term unemployment situation while America is only just starting.  Well Cathrine you are dead wrong! We have come to grips along time ago. We saw the handwriting on the wall well over a year ago. Organizations like WIND Networking for Unemployed Professionals here in Massachusetts and a myriad of job hunt groups on LinkedIn have been all over that topic for well over a year.

The fact that you like many other uninformed employed workers look down on us is atrocious and perpetuates the misconceptions about us. Shame on you!

Yes in past recessions the layoffs were companies dumping their dead wood that I agree but this recession the major number of unemployed are highly qualified people, who have been deemed over qualified as an excuse not to hire them. Companies are looking to save cost by hiring younger cheaper labor. This of course costs more money in the short term as they have to pay for repeated mistakes that we already knew to avoid.

To infer that we just sit around waiting for the next job while doing nothing to improve ourselves is another perpetuation of a big business lie to not hire us. Now we are dealing with big business blatantly saying in post unemployed need not apply.

Cathrine the old saying goes if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.  I am sure business thanks you for perpetuating their myths about us so that they can sleep better at night.

As far as the people I represent, thanks for nothing. We do not think that highly of you either!

Survival or Take any job! December 2, 2010

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It amazes me that people with a comfortable job can tell someone who is struggling to keep a roof over their head, food on the table and their family in tact that they shouldn’t succumb to taking any job. I mean what world are these people living in? Place yourself in their shoes before you make such a thoughtless statement. You have a job and your dealing with inflation they do not have a job their benefits just got cut and they are dealing with a depression. So isn’t your world cozy!

Sorry but I am a realist. I am trying to live both sides. I am trying to get a company going so that I have a job and I am one of those who benefits have run out and I am trying to survive by talking anything. Most days my food intake is 1 hamburger patty no bun or condiments. I have lost about 30 lbs lately. So don’t try to tell me that I should stay focused on the career that I really want. Not when there are more and more companies out there getting away with unemployed need not apply.

My recommendation is to not give up on your dream job while you are also looking for anything that will allow you to survive. Put your dream job on simmer while you bring survival to a full boil.  Until Corporate America gets their head out of their rear end, it is what it is in the new America.

Remember the movie Soylent Green with Edward G. Robinson and Charelton Heston? It isn’t far off if things don’t change.

 

Stress for the holidays December 2, 2010

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Well Nov 30th came and went and there is no extension for the those who are still collecting.  Even if Congress votes an extension it does not help those who already ran out. So Happy Holidays?????

Here in Massachusetts the Governor is asking Washington to pass the extension as and estimated 2 million people will be running out shortly. This is certainly a bleak outcome as it is going to place a greater burden on the budget as these people will need assistance and will not be adding to the tax collection.

Maybe everyone will start to wake up and realize that the economy is still seriously broken.

I find it hard to believe any of the numbers or information coming from the street since we know that they are only motivated by greed and will lie through their teeth to get the masses to start spending again so they can make their large bonuses as usual.

Banks are doing there usual seesaw routine. There seem to be no middle ground with these people either. It is either give it away or hold it close to the chest.  Except BofA who thinks they are past of Wall Street.

Well all I can say is that there was a time in this country when the holidays were about family and being together and it didn’t include the capitalistic hype and the expensive presents. Most presents were hand made and better constructed than store bought. Maybe it is time to get back to those type of days and screw China and Wall street..

Reflections on 2 years of Unemployment & Lessons learned November 10, 2010

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I have been unemployed for 2 years now and I am still looking for that elusive career that I want.

What I have found out is that the so called experts and we know there are thousands out there are full of it. They have not had to look for a job in some time and are totally out f touch with finding one. There view point is one from the hiring side who has no idea what they want. Trying to find a job in this economy is like trying to hit a moving target. Every time you think you have it figured out they change the rules.  But the experts are still spouting the same thing. Then there is the social media side with all these experts. What they are experts at is filling the media with spam ads or the same information all day every day. Not so much in a passion to try and help you but to make a few dollars off of you. They tout free webinars which is a guise to sell there books or their programs. Like we have spare money to waste on such stuff.  Think about it if we followed everything they told us we would all be employed. Well I have listened and I have tried and I am still here after two years. I did it all right just they way they told us and no results. Ye sit has worked for some but then that is the Law of Averages I think more than what they said. The best hook is the “Hidden Job Market”, well let me clue you in it is so hidden they can’t find it but if it existed they can teach you how to find it. Well it exists and they can’t.

The Hidden job market is not advertised and not discussed. So how do you find it? Networking into your target companies and through the right person and the right questions you will find it. But what is it? It is three things;

Positions that are vacant and funded but not filled

Positions that were created but not funded and not filled

Position that you have to create and convince them they need you in that position.

Are they worth pursuing?  Yes if it is a place you want to work.

Please send me $20 for that advice. I might as well jump on the bandwagon too I need to money.

The most important thing I have learned is that those close to you are not your friends they are self centered and care about themselves. They do not listen to your dreams or passions. They could care less what you want they only care that you are working for their own selfish reasons.

Case in point:

I belong to an organization for unemployed professionals. I help out as much as I can as we are a community and I believe in Pay it Forward. My landlord and GF started pushing me to be a career coach because of all the help I was giving others. I was laser focused on an Engineering Manager position(My passion). I finally succumb to there bantering and started my business to help others with their careers their business and to develop leaders.

Foolish me thought that they would be willing to help promote my business and see me succeed at what they so vigorously pushed me into. Well like a couple of David Copperfields they vanished. I guess they figured well he is doing something that will make money our jobs are done. Thanks for nothing!!!!!

Ah but like David Copperfield they have reappeared to push me into taking anything to make any money. No concern for my mental state or attitude. No concern about helping me get the business going, no concern about what I want. Just as long as their selfish concerns are met they are happy. What about my happiness does it matter or count in all this?

Now I know why so many unemployed people feel they are going it alone. Now I know why we try to band together for support. We are the only ones who truly know what we are going through and we need each other to help each other. But even in these groups there are takers and do not see the need or feel the need to give back. This is baffling to me why someone would do that to a fellow human being when they understand what is at stake.  But I guess that is human nature and Karma will get them someday.

So I guess the lessons are:

Do not depend on friends and relatives to help you or have your best interest in mind when they tell you things you should be doing.

Stay laser focused on what you want

Take what the experts tell you with a grain of salt. Remember they make a living off of you.

Listen to what you fellow seekers have found that works. Learn as much about it and then figure out if it will  work for you and try it.

No matter how strong you think you are…. you are not to strong to be alone and cry once in awhile. It helps clear the mind and gets you recharged and focused. It give you a renewed determination. It also relieves stress.

Be your self! Especially in an interview. I have interviewed a number of people and yes we can tell when you have been “coached”. We want to see the real you. It counts against you if you’re not.

Treat interviews as a business meeting where you are selling a commodity and they need it. Tell them why your’s is the best.

Do not stop looking no matter how bad it seems. The day you stop is the day you missed the opportunity of a life time. It is just Murphy’s Law and the Law of Averages.

Smile and have a sense of humor it sucks being gloomy doomy all the time. Take the weekends off and have some fun. Go streak your kids soccer game. Well maybe not that. They do not have computers in holding cells (see the last point).

GTHOOTO!!!!! This is a great one from Tom Peters that he tells leaders. It stands for Get The Hell Out Of The Office. So get the hell out of the house. I do not know of nay door to door job offers or networkers. Plus it is good to be out and meet and talk to other people. You feel less like you have that  dreaded highly contagious unemployment disease. At least that is the way everyone treats you.

If you are reading this then vent in the comment section. Add your two cents! Get it off your chest or just add to it.

Positive attitudes win!

Focus and determination are key.

My attitude when I get rejected is; The jerks don’t know a good thing when it hits them in the face. Oh well their loss not mine. If a company cannot see the talent and skills you provide and what it means for them in a very positive way then they do not deserve someone as great as we are.