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Distance March 31, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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When you are unemployed distance can mean many things. It is the measure of travel to get to that interview. It is the feeling you get from those around you. It is what you are told to do to negative people.

Well I can tell you that I have flown half way across the country for an interview. I have taken phone screens from the other side of the country.

I just recently distanced myself from a number of job hunt groups for being either ineffective or too negative.

The worse thing I feel that we have to go through is the distance we feel from those closest to us.

If you are familiar with Boston Harbor there is a lighthouse at the entrance  of the harbor. It is on a little pile of rocks they call the Graves.  It is close enough to barely be seen on a clear day and far enough away to be forgotten. Yet it shines it light to let you know it is there.

Most days I feel like graves light. Shining my light trying to get the attention of companies that could use someone useful like me. But I also know that I am a distance away from the other lighthouses and from the ships in port or coming to port that I am alone. Yet I shine on, I persevere through good days and the storms that try to abuse me. I stand alone.

I have time plenty of time to stand there trying to make sense of all this. But it seems that a fog has rolled in  and is clouding my ability to shine. To see clearly, to wonder if I am still needed in this age of GPS and other technology.

Yet still I stand and still I shine my light to give others safe passage into my harbor.

I normally try to have some underlying moral to my blogs or some bit of hope or a good piece of information. I am not sure what that is in this blog.  I guess the meta fore is the light and that I am reaching out to you so that you let me know that I am not alone and that my beacon is still needed.

Choices March 10, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching.
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Where do I start with choices that job seekers have? There are not many and they are all tough choices.

We are up against the worst  job market since probably the depression. It isn’t getting any better. The government is absolutely no help as they are controlled by finance and big business. Just look at AIG and Goldman Sachs, they bail them out only to have these companies go right back to business as usual and the government sits silent and does nothing.  Oh they put on an air pushing for reform but that was to appease the tax payers and then let it die in the media and congress.

Since things are so frustrating  job seekers are in a front line battle with HR and recruiters. This is one of those feuds that have been going on far too long like the Hatfield’s and the McCoys. At least in some groups the better recruiters are trying diligently to train job seekers and bad recruiters as to how it done properly.

It could be companies have agents to keep this feud going as it detracts from them who are the real problem here. Them! Yes they are the ones that can’t make a decision, they have no clue what they really need, and their attitude about unemployed need no apply.

Then there are there  job postings. What moron is writing these things up? They themselves couldn’t fill the position they are advertising  as they would be highly underqualified.

There are many merger and acquisitions going on which equates to more layoffs and then companies are still laying off anyway. AOL just laid off 200 in the US only. Thanks AOL for boosting the economy. I am glad I got away from them many years ago.

So what choices do we have with all this going against us.

The choices are these;

1.) Refuse to be intimidated by the situation and all the players in it.

2.) Resolve to stay positve and help others like yourself stay positive.

3.) Do not give up ever! Yes it is tough but you are a professional and do professionals throw in the towel? No! They find solutions. So find yours!

4.) Get out of the house, network, walk, get a cup of coffee or tea, visit a friend who is unemployed.

5.) Stick to your values and ethics.

6.) They cannot take away your knowledge, skills  and experience. But just because you are not working doen’t mean yu can’t use them to help you land that next job.

7.) Stop generating excuses and being a naysayer. Get positive and confident.

8.) Get into LinkedIn Job hunt groups and also recruiter groups so that you can have discussion and not assumptions. The good ones will help you.

9.) Help out around the house but wait until after dinner, your 9-5 is your job search job nothing else.

So it boils down to your choice is to let this defeat you or you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move forward.

News we could loose!(Humor title) January 6, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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I am being a little sarcastic with the headline. Why? Because it is news we do not really want to hear but must face.

The news we have been hearing through 2010 is continuing into 2011. I guess it boils down to who you want to listen to and who do you want to believe.  I mean it is confusing when the media you are reading has 2 articles on the same page that conflict each other.

US companies showing a rebound in stocks. Sounds great for the ole  U S of A gives you hope. Then 2 articles down they tell you that while US based companies are hiring like crazy off shore they continue to layoff here at home.

The industry that is hiring is the medical field so you should apply there. They do not tell you that you need school and more than that exact experience. A few articles down there is talk of drug companies having major layoffs as well as hospitals.

So you can see my point for the title and the sarcasm.

So with all the conflicting data and articles out there what is a seeker to do.

Stay focused, do your research, pick your target companies and stay on top of what they are doing. Set up google alerts on them to notify you when they get mentioned. Use this information when you are networking your way into the company.

Use LinkedIn to help you get noticed and stay up on the latest trends in your field. How? By groups and professional organization groups, read and engage in the discussions.  Check the company for jobs and for people who you may want to network with.

Loose the news and stay focused on what is important you landing!

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

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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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.

Sometimes we need a timeout! May 10, 2010

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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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!

Attitude while job hunting November 10, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1, Job Searching, Job Searching.
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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!