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Out of Unemployment and savings What now? November 5, 2010

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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I was and still am trying to get my business going with zero budget. I have asked my friends to help spread the word but they have not done a good job.

I am trying to rely heavily on Social Media to get me noticed and get the word out. But I think most of the people are too self involved to help others.

I have two people who are trying to help me and one is someone who I am still getting to know better and one is someone I just met. But the people who are closest to me ….nothing.

I have helped a number of unemployed people in the WIND group and ask for them to help but again nothing.

I am sure there are those of you out there going through the same thing. You have helped others and now that you need help everyone has seemed to disappear from the radar and immediate vicinity.

Makes you wonder what this word has come to. Being unemployed gives you time to reflect on  what is important to you and who is important to you. To re-evaluate your relationships and friendships.

It is a struggle and you feel so alone.

However, it is not a time to give up. Failure is not an option in my book and you should think about it as your mantra also. I refuse to demean myself no matter how bad it gets because I know who I am and what I am capable of doing and I mean something damn it!

I just haven’t found the company that deserves my talents or the company that has taken the time to recognize them. In this fast pace, take the easiest route world we live in there are a number of highly qualified people that are being overlooked for the dumbest of reasons.

My neighbor came over yesterday with a small care package of food for me. It is nice to know there is still some charity left in the world. It renews my hope and faith in mankind.

I will succeed in my new venture somehow some way as I said failure is not an option for me.

We should ban together and figure out how to fight the fight together for there is safety in numbers as well as strength.

Thee is no weakness in asking for help only strength!

 

The end of year Holiday season and job hunting October 22, 2010

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Ah Fall in New England, the crisp air, the light breeze, the sunshine. Time to clean the shotgun, renew the permit and go out and hunt some jobs.

I do not recommend nor do I ever condone using the shotgun approach to job hunting no matter how desperate you are.

What I am alluding to is that it is fourth quarter for a number of companies and managers are busy burning through the rest of this years budget and developing next years.

What does that have to do with job hunting? Well it is the time they also have to look at future projects and manpower requirements. Which means they might have to hire some people. Some of that may be from attrition where someone retired or left for a better position.

So this is the time of year to kick your search up a couple of notches and get the networking skills honed to fine edge and land that position.

There should be little at home time this time of year. You should be at every career fair, trade show, professional organization meeting, networking meeting, holiday party, informational meetings you can go to.

If you are at home you should be on LinkedIn researching the company and the people you need to connect with. Making phone calls to set up meetings and providing an agenda for the meeting and sticking to it.

So why are you still reading this get going others are ahead of you on this.

Disclaimer:

No guns were fired or jobs injured during the writing of this post!

Do not forget to laugh and have fun.

Discouraged and despair are taking over? time to reflect! October 4, 2010

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This recession, I don’t care what they said on the news to us its still a recession, is lasting far too long. The end doesn’t seem to be in sight for a number of unemployed. More and more jobs and functions are being offshored.

That is the bad news so face it and get on with your life!

Really are you just going to give up?

NO !!!!

It is time to take a day off and clear your mind of all the baggage you have built up in the last year or two.

Start fresh by taking inventory again of all your skills and abilities.

Then get going on researching your industry and what is going on in it. Does it even still exist in your area. You may be chasing a ghost!

Next take a close reflection on your expectations knowing what is going on with companies. Are you being part of the problem with your search? Are your expectations too high or even too low?

Have you lost focus? Have you become so desperate that you can no longer think or see straight?

Are you depressed?

The best part of being an intelligent human being is that you have a brain and you can think logically strategically and calculate things.

SO take out the garbage in your head and get back to doing what you do best…..think!

You are a professional so act like one!

Develop a plan, write procedures that you will follow for every position, plot out a schedule. Reorganize and hit it hard!

Applying for a job is not just sending your resume. If that is all you are doing then there is no hope for you. It takes work and there are too many out there playing the whoa is me card. Well stop it!

There are plenty of resources out there for finding information on companies…use them. Use LinkedIn to search the company and find people to network with while you are waiting for your resume to miraculously bubble up to the to of the black hole.

If I sound harsh and rude it is for a reason. I hate to see talented people not using their talent when it counts the most.

Google the company to see what information comes up. If they are publicly traded then go to the SEC.gov website and read their 10K reports there is a vast sea of information there for you.

Research what companies are left in your area that could use your skills and talents and then target them. Set up an aggressive plan to network your way right to the decision maker. Develop your best this is what I can do for you speech. You r best this is how I can help the company do better speech.  Talk about it in business terms as well as solving problems. Tell how you can save or make time, save or make money and how you can solve problems that relate to the last two statements.

So remember you are a skilled and talented professional. Get focused and organized then write your plan, procedures and schedule, then execute it!

Have faith in your self get out of the house and network.  Ask for help and join a buddy group it will help you be accountable to others.

Career Fairs Great opportunities October 1, 2010

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We all know how Career fairs are run today.

Most of them have some flunky standing behind a table collecting resumes. Others have an low level HR person collecting them who can not tell you much about the company they work for or the position.

While others have hiring managers working the table but why is it they are not the ones that will be hiring you. Such is the realm of career fairs.

Oh one last pet peeve the fairs I have been to lately are great if you want to sell insurance, be a financial advisor, or sell Avon.

So with all this negativism why should go to a job fair?

Because it is a place of opportunity if you know how to work the floor!

The floor???? What are you talking about?

The most important people at the show in my opinion are the job seekers. Yes the job seekers!

These are people who have worked at companies that you may be interested in. These are people who may know someone that works at a company that you are interested in.

These are the people you should be talking to.

I started doing this awhile ago and it works great for a number of reasons.

One it builds your network and it gives you the opportunity to maybe help someone.

You may get the inside skinny on a company that you are interviewing with.

It gives you something to do instead of just standing in line looking at your feet.

It makes the time to get to the table to dump your resume go faster.

If there is by chance a hiring manager at the table you are more open to talking and asking the right questions because you just spent all that time talking to a bunch of strangers.

It makes the fair much more enjoyable.

So how do you do this?

While standing in line turn to the person behind you and say something like what do you do? My favorite ice breaker is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It usually gets a smile, a chuckle or a laugh but it breaks the barrier immediately.

So after a couple of minutes say excuse me and tap the person in front of you and get them engaged. Then the person behind the person behind you. Then the person in front of the person in front of you. You should know have a 5 person network meeting running.

Oh but you are not done because there are more people in the lines on either side of you so get them engaged in the network meeting also.

As the lines move and people drop out engage more people to keep your mini-networking meeting going.

I have found out some interesting information while conducting these meetings.  While at a Monster.com fair I had a woman who works for Monster come up and give me kudos for starting it.

So do not look at Career Fairs as boring and not worth the trip or effort go have fun and start your own networking event on the floor. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and practice your pitch.

Success can come from some strange places August 19, 2010

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I have a friend Nick Iandolo who is a screenwriter and fellow WIND member.  Nick is a high energy person who is fun to be around as it is contagious for one thing and to watch him shutter trying to release his pent up energy is just fun to watch.

So what does Nick have to do with the topic? Well the story goes like this. Nick wrote a book “Cut the crap and write that damn screen play” , great book go to Amazon and buy it it is worth the read. ANy way in the process of getting his book published he needed a cover.  The cover needed artwork or pictures. Nick gets the crazy idea to enlist his friends in role model playing. I played McKee a pretentious author of book on writing who has you do more writing about writing than actually doing the writing. I hope you followed that because I can’t do that twice.  So we set up outside B Goods at Legacy Place in Dedham, MA, Great burgers and thick strawberry shakes! Anyway we are outside using the patio furniture and I play McKee and Nick jumps in my face screaming the title of his book. The people sitting around us were either amused or in shock it was hard to tell.

Anyway cut to scene two:

Nick lands himself on Money Matters radio. This is cool he can push his book. Yes that is me on the back cover at the top! Anyway Nick promoted the hell out of being on the show.

I do not have an AM antenna on my stereo so I am forced to go online and watch the streaming video and audio.  I realize that they are only focusing on a niche market for the book …screenwriters. Wait! I have read the book and I am not a screenwriter the book is for everyone. So I do the right thing. I call into the show to tell them this!.

Nick the host and I have a good laugh when I reveal that it is I on the back of the book. I tell her that Nick’s book has inspired me, a business person, to write my first book. My book will be title LinkedIn screwdriver or power tool?

Scene Three:

I get invited to do a show, Ah! Networking at its finest! So I go and do my show and push my new business Evolution Career Business Leadership. I get a mention in of my branding statement; “You train dogs you coach athletes We develop people!” Denis Vaughan was a great host and made the show very fun.

Is that it???? You got your own time on the show. How melodramatic for this topic.

Ah but here is scene 4: Fade in!

They sent me the wrong audio files. So in trying to get the right files I receive an email from the station that the Program Manager liked my “On Air” presence and wants to talk to me about further shows.

I have an appointment Monday so I will have to add a comment as to the conclusion of this.

But if you look at the sequence of events you can see that you never know where your success will come from.

From a crazy friend having a crazy idea for a book cover to getting on radio.

Always keep your options open you never know where they may lead you.

My comment could be that I am just going to do a series of shows or it could be that I get my own show. Whatever the outcome it has been a wild ride getting there. I am enjoying the ride while it last.

What ride is coming your way or is starting to brew for you?

Reality check time! August 14, 2010

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The stock market was down again for the fourth day in row Wednesday. The great recession continues. National unemployment is still over 10% despite what the media quotes.

So what is the reality check your preaching to the choir!

Here is the check!

If you are still devoting a lot of time to job boards then you will be out of work for a longer period.

If you are not getting out of the house and networking you will be out of work for a longer time.

If you are not using social media (LinkedIn Twitter Facebook) effectively you will be out of work a long time.

If you have lost your focus and drive for what you want to do then you will be out of work along time.

If you are using the shot gun approach well good luck to you.

REALITY CHECK!

Learn what the hidden job market is! Research make a list of target companies and then form your strategy, your game plan to land a position there. It take work and determination.

If you want the job and you want to work there, then do the work. The pay off is better than sitting there reading this.

If you have or others around have convinced you that you will never get another job doing what you have been doing, then what?

What is your passion? Is there a market for it? Can you develop a business plan for it?  Well then just do it! You will probably be happier doing what you have a passion for and working for yourself. Then if it takes off you can hire other people to help you.

As Nike says Just Do it!

Sometimes we need a timeout! May 10, 2010

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Thursday mornings is my usual time to attend a meeting of other “professional detached” people, WIND Networking. I attended the meeting and we talked about the same old stuff. Elevator pitches given by all and suggestions flowed abundantly. I am not saying this is a bad thing it is a major part of the job search cycle.

This is about the meeting I had afterwards with a fellow WIND member who did not attend.

We met at a local Mall, got a bite to eat and sat down to have a discussion about everything and nothing. Just two people talking about what ever popped into our heads. It has to have been the best 4 hours I have spent in recent times.

I left the meeting feeling more relaxed more rejuvenated than I have in awhile.  We have agreed to have more such meetings as we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

So if you have been out of work for some time (both of us have been out longer than a year) set up a meeting with someone to talk about anything and nothing. The only rule is job hunting subjects are not allowed.

Oh as a side note I then spent a fabulous weekend with my youngest son. Where we talked about everything and nothing as well.

Sometimes we are so caught up with our job search we forget that the rest of the world exists. So it is good to just sit down with a friend or colleague and talk about everything and nothing. I strongly suggest that you try it and comment on how it worked for you. After all we need to maintain our sanity too!

How do you stay focused and positive after a year? March 24, 2010

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Well I have been unencumbered by employment  now for 1 1/2 years.  I have heard of people giving up, I have heard of people changing careers, I have heard of people loosing focus and taking anything, I have heard of people that have gone from focus to the shotgun approach.

They say desperate times call for desperate measures. Do they really? Or is that a cop out statement?

When they talk about people over 40 they always mention career transition like after 40 you have to seek a new career. What was wrong with the one I was in?  It is still around and I still like the work so why do I have to transition?

I might be an enigma. I have worked in the same industry for a number of years. I still have a lot I can contribute. I still have the time to do it also. I really like my industry because it is constantly changing and you get to learn new things all the time. I have worked with some great people and I have worked with some real pain the asses.

I have hired people and I have fired people. It was just part of the job.

They tell you in these times to surround yourself with positive people who will support you. People who have been out this long have a hard time staying focused and being positive.  I have my ups and downs but I try hard to have more ups than I do downs. When you start having a down day it can drag you down fast. You have to be aware and not let that happen.

How do you stay focused? I know  what I want to do. I know that I can do it very effectively. I know there is a position out there for me. I just have to find  it . So I keep looking for it and nothing else.

I know I have hurdles that I have to overcome. Knowing what these are gives me the advantage to address them in positive ways. This allows me to stay focused and up beat because I know that I can jump these hurdles with ease.

Staying positive is hard especially after all this time and then loosing my last 2 extensions because I worked a part time gig for a friend of mine.  I have stopped watching TV there was nothing worth watching anyway except maybe the DIY and NAT GEO channels. Not listening to bad news everyday helps you stay positive. I would get my information online in daily emails from the business journals and the tech wires. This allowed me to be selective on what I read especially if it related to my industry. I could see if my target companies received a contract or bought another company or merged with someone.  It kept me informed with what really mattered.

Getting into discussions and answering questions on LinkedIn helped a lot for me to stay positive because it provides a sense of worth. Especially when you get voted best answer or someone in a discussion gives you kudos for your part.

Writing this blog helps me stay positive as it has been my hope to help others who are job seeking. I have received good feedback from other seekers thanking me for it.

I guess what it really comes down to is the person character. Do they have the discipline to keep themselves focused and upbeat when the world is crumbling around them? Do they have that dogged determination required to go the distance to achieve what they desire or are they going to throw in the towel and take what ever and be miserable until something better comes along?

If you have been unemployed for a year or more please tell me here what you have done and what you do to keep focused and keep going. I would like to know and I am sure it may help others who read this blog.

Attitude while job hunting November 10, 2009

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The biggest problem facing some is their attitude towards or while job hunting. We have been programmed to think that as a person we are not whole if we do not have a job. We even relate to ourselves by the title we hold. We feel unworthy when we loose our jobs and it has a negative effect on our outlook and our attitude.

Even though some of us give an outward appearance of being up and having the right attitude in the back of our minds we still have that little flame of negativity. However we know it is there and wish to try hard to extinguish it.

The bad part about getting or being negative is that it doesn’t take a lot of our energy to become negative, but it takes a lot of our energy to overcome it.  That takes work and the work is hard but once you get positive you need to do all that you can to stay there.

Why do I need to be positive? Because when you get that interview your negativity will shine like a beacon on a dark moonless night. It will have an effect on the way and what you say on the answers you give. It will have an effect on the way you perform your job search.

Take the negativity that you hear in the media and turn it into a positive aspect. What are you nuts? Well yes I guess or I am extremely intelligent! I take that negativity about the jobless number and the economy and look at it as if someone just handed me a challenge. Don’t you like to be challenged? It makes things more exciting when we are challenged.  When the numbers get worse it is as if someone just added more difficulty to the challenge. You just have to say hey bring it on I am up for it!!!  I take a little time and rethink my strategy. I have to plan my course of attack in a more vigorous manner if I want to win.  We all want to win and get back to having a normal life.

How do I change my attitude from negative to positive? Start by surrounding yourself with positive people. Their positive energy will actually start to transfer over to you and it will help you change your attitude. Tell yourself that you  are better than the way you currently view yourself.  Don’t take a defeatist attitude take the attitude that you are intelligent, talented, have great skills to offer that you are an asset to any company that you work for.

There is a company out there that needs you. They just don’t know it yet. It is our job as seekers to convince these companies that they have been struggling without us. That they need highly talented people such as ourselves in order for them to realize greater profit margins.  We have the experience, talent and skills to save them time, make them money and solve problems.

That is the attitude that I take. That is what keeps me going and makes me positive. I know how good I am and what I have accomplished at every company that I have worked for. Now I have to convince a company that they need my talents.

It is too bad that someone doesn’t event a negativity repellent that we could use during these times to keep negativity away from us. However we are equipped with something more powerful than a spray. It is our minds and our intellect. We have the ability and the power to change our attitude. We have the power to make our lives what we want it to be. Our minds are the most powerful tool in our arsenal and we have the right and the ability to exercise it for the good of ourselves. But, since this tool is that powerful we also have the ability to destroy ourselves with the same tool if that is what we let it do. Our minds do not have a failsafe switch that says negativity detected shut the gates. Our minds cannot differentiate between positive and negative. It will react to either. Our bodies however are a feedback mechanism for our mind ( thankfully our bodies are a complex system of checks and balances if in proper working order). Our body will broadcast signals that something isn’t right. We are tired, run down, sleepy, bored, unsocial, no motivation, etc. These are signs that you are in negative mode. You should see these as red flags, flashing warning lights, sirens and it should be a call to action. Stop, think about what is going on with you. No one likes to be miserable, at least I hope not, take inventory of your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings. Make an action plan to reverse these and swing yourself back to the positive you.

If you find you are having trouble doing this on your own seek help. But make sure you seek help from positive people because the negative people will only worsen your condition.

You can land a job faster with a positive attitude and the right game plan!

I wish everyone a positive attitude and good fortune in your search!