Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The 4 Killer Job Search Mistakes - Mistake #4

Mistake #4 is a must read for all people - employed and unemployed.

This is a very tough job market. Many highly skilled, extremely professional job seekers are taking an unprecedented amount of time to find a job. There are, though, four killer mistakes that job seekers are making that turn a long job search into an even longer one. This multiple part series will cover these mistakes and give the job seeker (you) tools to overcome them.

In the first part of this series, we covered Mistake 1: conducting the search with a bad attitude. We learned the realities about the new job market so we can successfully navigate in it. We learned what it takes to process the loss, we have a way to deal with pressure points and we have chosen to look for the opportunity

In part two, we covered mistake 2: Not Knowing Your Product and Your Target Market. Job seekers must understand the product they are selling and the market they are targeting before they update their resume and begin their search.

Mistake 3 was searching the wrong way. The majority of job seekers apply for jobs on-line yet only 10% or less of job seekers get their jobs that way. The right way to search for a job is through networking.

Mistake 4: Stopping When You are Employed

Your next job is not your last; that is one of the realities of the new job market. You will be on the job market again. Don’t try to do the minimum to get this next job. In fact you should use this time to get good at the job search.

Some of the practices you have put into place and the pains you went through are lessons for what you should continue to do the rest of your life even and especially while you are employed.

Of course when you land that job you will want to notify your contacts but it doesn’t stop there with them. Maintain these contacts. Don’t let the only time you call Uncle Fred be when you are out of a job. We do have caller id and if you only call when you need something, he’ll know it is you calling again and be less likely to answer or at a minimum feel used.

Develop new contacts. As the title of Harvey MacKay’s book, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, illustrates, you want to develop your network before you need them. Develop contacts in your new department and in other departments in that company. Be intentional about continuing your participation in industry networking meetings and develop new contacts there.

Increase your marketability. If your company offers employee training, take it. If they don’t, take it anyway; invest in yourself by paying for your own training to keep your skills on the top of the market.

At a conference I attended in 2008, Jim Collins the author of Good to Great, gave the following as a word of advice to a recent graduate,” Do not spend 5 years getting 2 years worth of experience”. Baby Boomers and generations before thought they owed it to a company to work there as long as possible even if, as an employee, they were not growing new skills. With the reality of the new job market being that your next job is not your last, you need to continually grow your skills. After 2 years if you realize you are not still growing your skills, ask for new responsibilities that will develop new skills for you. If the current department can’t offer you that, look elsewhere in the company. If the company does not have a place for you to grow, then you need to go.

Maintain your marketing materials especially your accomplishment list, a list of training you have taken, and your list of new technical skills. Remember what it took to recall this information when you did your inventory. Make it easier for yourself by recording these as you go. You can even give your list of accomplishments to your manager before he has written your annual review stating that you are capturing this information for yourself but if it helps him at review time, great, if not, that’s okay too; you are doing it for yourself.

Keep up on the industry. If your industry is about to fold, get out. If your industry is getting into something new, be one of the first to learn it and then come back and offer to share that knowledge with your peers and managers. That will set you up as the Subject Matter Expert.

Save aside the equivalent of 8 to 12 months of salary for your next transition.

Assist others. Think back to the people you encountered during your job search. Some would not give you the time of day and others went out of their way to help. What reputation do you want?

Do not let your engine seize up by lack of use. Keep your job search engines warmed up to make the next transition shorter and easier.

Learn from your mistakes or that of other jobs seekers. When you have a positive attitude, when you know your product and target market, when you use the right search strategy, and when you do what you need to while employed to make that next transition easier, you will ace navigating this new job market.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sometimes the job doesn’t come until the eleventh hour

If you are unemployed, you want the job NOW! Christians have always heard that God’s timing is perfect. As humans we usually wish things happened in our time. When I was in a job search in 2002 I even bought a book titled “You’re Late Again Lord, the Impatient Woman’s Guide to God’s Timing” by Karon Goodman just because of the title. This humorous book, sadly out of print now but with copies still availability on Amazon, reemphasizes the point that God’s timing is perfect.

So why does God sometimes wait until the final hour, sometimes even the final minute and second (11:59:59)?

I have two stories of how God perfectly used the time before giving jobs to two women: one is me the other is a good friend.

My story is like so many others. I lost my job in the 4th round of company downsizing following the dot com bust, the resulting stock market “correction” and 9/11. Being in Information Technology (IT) I was like many other techies, I was used to falling into my next job due to the high demand for our skills.

At the beginning of the search I calculated how long I could last financially while I was looking for a job factoring in the severance package (which was small), unemployment, and savings. April. April was the deadline.

I didn’t know that the job market had changed so I was shocked three months into it that I had not been scooped up yet. I had a peace though that God had me where I was supposed to be. I had an amazing peace although I was still keeping my eye on the calendar.

In April I looked at my finances again and surprisingly could make it until August 1st. I had not had many bites and had even been refused registration for a job fair because I didn’t have five years of healthcare. A JOB FAIR! They were going to be sitting there anyway taking resumes but they would not let me attend.

I soon realized what God was doing. He was teaching me to walk in faith and strengthening my walk. If you have read any of my work or heard me speak you know I use a LOT of analogies. The comparison I use for this time is the time we taught my much younger baby sister how to walk. When we knew she was close to taking those first few independent steps, I propped her up against the coffee table and I stepped back a few inches and called her to me. She let go of the table and took one step toward me and then fell into my arms. After praising her I put her back against the table and I stepped back further so she had to walk further. I was stepping back further so she would walk further and get stronger at walking, although I was always right there.

That is what God was doing with me. He was stepping back but not away so I could learn to walk in faith. The happy ending is that not only did I network into and get hired by the company that would not allow me in their job fair, but within two weeks I was promoted to the manager position and a month later HR asked me to work the job fair; the very one that months earlier I was not allowed to attend. That was God reminding me too that through Him all things are possible. Since that time I have been volunteering with Crossroads Career network, sharing with other job seekers how the market has changed and what they have to do to be successful in it.

I continued in IT for the next 6 years but in 2008 I had the opportunity to take a severance package (not so small this time) or apply for another position within my company whose industry was hard hit by the recession and economic crisis. I chose to take the package and that is when I launched my own company as a career coach.

Speaking of walking in faith! I had never run a company before, less start one up, in a field that was not the one I worked in for oh so many years. I didn’t have capital to invest in the business. I was literally walking in faith. And once you take that first step, it is just like when we were teaching my sister to walk. There are longer stretches of road ahead that require faith. But just like on a highway, when we start to wonder if we missed a turn that we were supposed to take, God will give us a sign to assure us that we are on the right road. I now see clearly how God used my eight months of unemployment in 2002 and I am grateful for it; I needed that lesson for now.

Not always do we see the reason, at least in this life. However, there are other times, like mine when it is obvious. No example is as extreme as my friend’s story.

Terri (not her real name) had been in job searches before. Being in HR, she experienced the ups and downs of the market and mergers and acquisitions. A woman of faith, she knew God would provide. One of my favor quotes is attributed to Mother Theresa: “God does not give you more than you can handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much”. I’m sure Terri felt the same way.

Terri’s healthcare coverage (Cobra) was about to expire at the end of February of this year. A week before that Terri started experiencing chest pains. There are many things that can cause chest pains and the feeling of indigestion but since heart conditions run in her family, she went to get it checked out. The first doctor did a few tests and listened to her heart and dismissed it as anxiety (after all she is in a job search and her Cobra is about to expire) and suggested she take an antacid. Not finding any comfort with the antacid, and watching the calendar get ever closer to the end of the month, Terri scheduled another doctor’s appointment with a different doctor.

This doctor conducted more tests and still didn’t see anything of concern. At her urging, he scheduled her for a stress test on Friday. She was sure if there was anything to find, the stress test would do it since she had been experiencing exhaustion and pain especially when she was active.

Upon completing the stress test, the doctor told Terri in his most serious voice to get herself over to the hospital immediately. She had two 99.9% blockages and she needed to have surgery immediately. He said if they had dismissed her, she most likely would not make it through the week.

She had two stints put in that very day. Because of the new advances in surgery she was home the next day and even went on an interview that Monday. By the way she got the job.

But here is why His timing is so perfect for Terri. He knows Terri. He knows that if her Cobra had not been about to expire, she would have dismissed the signs and deferred her doctor appointments. After all she can’t afford the expense or the time from her job search. He also knows that if she had already started her job, she would have not taken time off for a doctor’s appointment; how would that have looked just having started a new job? God KNEW this was the only time He would have her full attention. Had she not gone to the doctor when she did, she would not be with us today.

How is God using this time with you? Is He trying to teach you something you will need in the future, like me? Is He trying to draw you closer to Him so you are seeking with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11-17)? Is He giving you time to take care of and spend time with a relative who is sick or dying? Or does He know you like He knew Terri and is trying to get your attention about something? Ask Him and then listen for His direction.

The 4 Killer Job Search Mistakes - Mistake #3

This is a very tough job market. Many highly skilled, extremely professional job seekers are taking an unprecedented amount of time to find a job. There are, though, four killer mistakes that job seekers are making that turn a long job search into an even longer one. This multiple part series will cover these mistakes and give the job seeker (you) tools to overcome them.

In the first part of this series, we covered Mistake 1: conducting the search with a bad attitude. We learned the realities about the new job market so we can successfully navigate in it. We learned what it takes to process the loss, we have a way to deal with pressure points and we have chosen to look for the opportunity.

In part two, we covered mistake 2: Not Knowing Your Product and Your Target Market. Job seekers must understand the product they are selling and the market they are targeting before they update their resume and begin their search.

Mistake 3: Searching the Wrong Way

The majority of job seekers apply for jobs on line. For far too many, that is their only job strategy. Yet only 10% or less of job seekers gets their jobs by applying on-line. Only 15% of all of the available jobs are even listed online. Is there any surprise then that this is a mistake?

The majority of jobs are secured by networking and it is through networking that you will find the hidden jobs.

Where Should You Network?

There are job groups around the country that have a networking component. Most of the people in attendance though are also unemployed. You want to network as well with employed people. Attend an industry related group where your future hiring manager and future peers network. Attend a special interest networking group. Your common passion, say for photography, will create a bond. Volunteer. You will be surprised who knows the person you are trying reach.

How do You Network?

Many job seekers do not like networking and are not good at it. Like any skill, it must be learned and developed. There are good books about networking; my favorites are: Susan RoAne’s How to Work a Room and Harvey MacKay’s Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. Networking is not you going up to people with the main goal of seeing how they can help you. Because of that I recommend another book for people to before networking: Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People .

Do not make mistake # 3 by limiting our job search to just applying on-line. Use the approach that reaps the best results: network!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The 4 Killer Job Search Mistakes - Mistake # 2

This is a very tough job market. Many highly skilled, extremely professional job seekers are taking an unprecedented amount of time to find a job. There are, though, four killer mistakes that job seekers are making that turn a long job search into an even longer one. This multiple part series will cover these mistakes and give the job seeker (you) tools to overcome them.

In the first part of this series, we covered Mistake 1: conducting the search with a bad attitude. We learned the realities about the new job market so we can successfully navigate in it. We learned what it takes to process the loss, we have a way to deal with pressure points and we have chosen to look for the opportunity.

Mistake 2: Not Knowing Your Product and Your Target Market

Updating your resume seems like it is one of the, if not the, first step of a job search. The truth is that you should not update your marketing materials (which your resume is just one part) until after step 3.

My next analogy: I can’t sell a computer without knowing how the computer works and what makes it better than the competition’s computer. I would not dream of walking into an office to sell the computer and not being able to answer the question “why should I buy your computer over another’s?” I surely wouldn’t dream of saying “because I need the sale”. I also wouldn’t dream of creating the computer’s marketing materials without knowing my computer’s advantages.
I also would miss the mark if I created the marketing material for this computer without knowing my target market. I need to understand who would buy this computer. Trying to sell a Windows machine to artists or film production companies would fail because these industries use mainly Apple technology. If my computer does not have high end graphics cards, I also would not be successful in selling to gamers. Before I can create my marketing materials for this computer I must know its advantages and the target market.

Sadly job seekers update their resumes and begin their search without identifying their competitive advantages. Too many go into interviews without having a good answer for why the company should hire them instead of one of the other candidates. Not wording the resume for the target market also reduces the chance of a sale.

Inventory YOU

To understand your product, you need to take an inventory. You need to discover and write down your :
 Accomplishments
 Abilities
 Interests
 Personality
 Values
 Passions
 Education / Certificates

How do you identify this information? First, ask others. There is something about you that is unique. It comes easy to you and because it does, you think it is no big deal. The rest of us would give our eye teeth for this ability but you don’t see it because it is easy. Yes – for you! You can’t see this unique ability that you have. Only someone who knows you and has seen you in action can help you see it. So ask someone who knows you.

Go through former performance reviews. If your boss was good, they documented your skills and accomplishments. Go through and pull these out and add them to your inventory.

Take assessments that help you understand you.

Accomplishments: As far as I know, you have not cured cancer or solved world peace. However, you have accomplished a lot in your life. Before you got there, the company was one way and was different after you left; your finger prints are all over those accomplishments. You need to document these accomplishment stories. I have always said: memory does not get better with age. Unless you have been documenting these accomplishments as you have gone along, you have already forgotten many of them. We are going to use some of these accomplishments in your resume. All of your accomplishments will be available for you to recall in the interview to add power to your responses. And reading your accomplishments from time to time will remind you how valuable you are; companies have paid for your skills before and they will again.

You should have over 50 accomplishments documented and they should be documented in the format of STAR: Situation or Task that you faced, the Actions you took, and the Results you have received.

Abilities: Rate yourself against a list of abilities and recall and document a time you excelled in using your highest ranked abilities.

Interests: what do you do or what would you do in your spare time? Let’s consider combining your interests and your job. I have had clients who never dreamed of doing that and are now living their dream.

Personality: We are each made a certain way. Some of us get energy by being around people and others of us (including yours truly) who, although we like people, get energy by being alone. Some people need organization and others like to wing it. You need to know how you are made. Understanding your personality will help you find the right work environment for you.

Values: There are companies you would not work for based on the products they sell or the values that they hold. On the other hand, there are companies you would give your eye teeth to work with because of the products that they sell or the values that they hold. Knowing your values will help you identify or eliminate companies to target.

Passions: Given two candidates with similar backgrounds and experiences, the one with the passion for the work or the company will get the job. Know what your passions are and consider pursuing them. When reviewing a list of companies in your area, which ones excite you and which ones leave you flat?

Education and certificate: You already include formal education and professional certificates on your resume. Go one step further and inventory all classes and extensive self study you have ever taken. Include webinars and seminars. These will not all make it onto the resume. The inventory though will help you recall everything you have studied and this information can be used in the interview to support knowledge of a topic. When asked about an area where you do not have experience, instead of saying what you don’t have, you can elaborate on the knowledge you have gained on that topic or a related one.

Target Market

Identify where you want to work and research who is hiring.

Be able to clearly answer why you would like to work in that industry, doing that job, for that company.

Know where to search for those opportunities (read Mistake 3).

You need to research who you know who knows someone who works for that company.

Identify the gaps in your skills or experience that are obstacles of you getting the job and address that gap. There are tons of free courses on-line and many companies even offer free 30 days demo software.

You cannot successfully sell a product unless you know the product and who would buy it. Know your product, YOU, and your target market. Now you can update your marketing materials.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Atlanta Business Chronicle Addressing ATL Unemployment

The Atlanta Business Chronicle (ABC) not only cares about the unemployment problem, they are doing something about it.

The word is getting out about the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s new hiring initiative, Hire One Atlanta. It has even received national attention. But if you haven’t heard about it you need to. The Hire One Atlanta initiative is the brainchild of Ed Baker, publisher of Atlanta Business Chronicle, who was looking for a way to stimulate the economy by getting companies to hire the unemployed.

The Challenge

In a public-private partnership to put Atlantans back to work -- Hire One Atlanta -- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta Business Chronicle are challenging employers to hire at least one new employee this year. In return, Atlanta Business Chronicle will spotlight all companies that hire a new employee in a special ad that will run every week in this year.

“We want to adjust the attitude in the marketplace,” Baker said. “We hope we can celebrate the companies that are doing the right thing.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed revealed in an interview on MSNBC Thursday that the Hire One Atlanta initiative has resulted in 546 new jobs by 109 companies, including Georgia-Pacific, Delta Air Lines Inc. and OfficeMax Inc.

The initiative is a metro-wide partnership that includes the Atlanta Business League, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the SHRM-Atlanta and the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc. All those organizations have agreed to work with their members, their communities and other organizations to encourage participation.

How the ABC Helps Every Job Seeker Every Day

Smart job seekers already know the importance of the ABC to the job search.

The Book of Lists is an invaluable resource for identifying target companies. Even though the retail price is $69, this book is so valuable that most, if not all, bookstores have placed it behind the cash wrap unit. Job seekers should read the Book of Lists cover to cover to understand what companies are in Metro Atlanta and identify which companies peak their interest for further research and possible targeting.

The new Book of Organizations, included as an insert in a May issue, lists many of the industry and special interest networking groups. These groups are where hiring managers and your future peers network. These are the places you want to go to network to find out about the hidden job market and into your future company.

And finally, the weekly ABC is packed with hot off the press information about what is happening in business in Atlanta. Even reading what company signed a real estate deal gives the job seeker a heads up on who will be hiring, enabling the job seeker to network into the company even before the positions are posted.

Job Seekers: Now It Is Our Turn

Job seekers: consider subscribing to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. My subscription guy is Thomas Sander and his number is 404-249-1744. Tell him Judi of RightChanges sent you and he will offer you a discount and even the discounted price can be split into three payments.

If, after talking with Thomas, you decide you absolutely cannot afford to subscribe at this time, go to your public library’s reference section to make use of their copy of the Book of Lists, go each weekend and read the ABC cover to cover, and support the businesses who hire through this initiative. Then, when you are employed, subscribe to the ABC. Remember your last job is not your last and you will want to be in the know about what is happening in business in Atlanta and network at the groups mentioned in the Book of Organizations.

One last thing you can do, join me in thanking Mr. Baker and Mayor Reed!

From this job search coach and former job seeker: Thank you Mr. Baker and Mayor Reed!

Judi Adams

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The 4 Killer Job Search Mistakes - Part 1

This series, written by Judi Adams, is being published on the Crossroads Career Network web site and then republished on this blog. Go to CrossroadsCareer.org for the next part of this four part series.

This is a very tough job market. Many highly skilled, extremely professional job seekers are taking an unprecedented amount of time to find a job. There are, though, four killer mistakes that job seekers are making that turn a long job search into an even longer one. This multiple part series will cover these mistakes and give the job seeker (you) tools to overcome them.

Mistake 1: A Bad Attitude

In the Crossroads Career Network Program, there are 6 steps to the job search.

1) Attitude
2) Aptitude
3) Altitude
4) Search
5) Sort
6) Select

Notice Attitude is the first step. In fact, it is the most important step.
When I am speaking to a group, I illustrate the importance that attitude has on the job search. I let them know I am about to say something and I challenge them to tell me if they believe me or not. Once I have their attention, I stick out my left hip with my left hand on it, shrug my shoulders as I turn my head up at an angle to the right and roll my eyes as I take a deep breath. As I’m exhaling I say “I’m thrilled to be here”. “No” is the response from the room. They don’t believe me. I ask them why they don’t believe me; I said I was thrilled to be here. Some will say my stance, others my tone or facial expression all which can be summed up as my body language. I verify that what they are saying then is that they believe my body language over the words I speak and they agree.
The same is true for you. You can NAIL all of the answers in an interview; you can give the best answers that have ever been given to the questions. If your body language is either lacking confidence, closed, or showing anger, your body is saying DO NOT HIRE ME and they will believe your body language over the words you speak.

No one ever claimed the job search is fun; that is because it’s not. There are a number of things that must be addressed in order to have a good attitude during a job search.

1) Understanding that the job market has changed and in what ways it has changed

2) Processing the loss

3) Dealing with pressure points

Understanding the New Job Market

You can’t navigate in the job market unless you know what it is. If you have heard me speak or read any of my articles, you know that I use a lot of analogies. Navigating in the market without understanding it is like navigating in a pitch black warehouse and being told you need to get to the other side of the room. It is so dark you can’t even see your hand in front of your face so you can’t see the other side of the room or the multitude of obstacles in the way. You can work as hard as you possibly can; there is just no way to see if you are making any progress. You will feel like a hamster on a hamster wheel.

Knowing how the job market has changed and what is now required to find a job is like turning on the lights in the warehouse. You can see where you need to go; you can see the obstacles in the way, how to get around them, and you can see that you are making progress. Is it a lovely place where we want to spend a lot of time? No! Yet with the lights on, we can navigate the job market and walk into the next job.

So let’s turn that light on and understand how the job market has changed.
I now turn to another analogy, the telephone.

Rotary Dial Phone

In your grandfather’s day or your great grandfather’s day, they had the large rotary dial phone. The phone weighed a ton and was hard wired into the wall. There was only one phone in the house and it was either in the kitchen (think back to the Lassie show) or at the bottom of the stairs (think Leave it To Beaver). That is like the job market of that day. They had only one or two jobs in a lifetime. My father was in the Navy and then joined Civil Service. My grandfather was a farmer. Think about the oystermen and shrimpers in the Gulf. That is the only job they have ever known and it’s the only job their fathers and their father’s fathers have ever know. Whether you worked in a glass factory or automotive plant, or served as a police officer or fireman, that was your only job.
• One job
• You retired at 65 with a gold watch, a pension, and benefits for life
• All of the services were done in house. No services were outsourced.
• Big companies meant stability. “As GM, so goes the nation”.
That is the job market of yester-year.

Modular Phone

Then the world moved to modular phones. In almost every room there is a modular plug. You plug a phone into the outlet and expect the phone to work well there and you unplug it and plug it in elsewhere and expect it to work just as well there. You still plugged into the wall though; you worked as an employee for an employer.
• People had up to 12 jobs and up to 4 different careers in a lifetime.
• The day of assuming you will receive a pension is gone and many companies now are cutting back on benefits and 401K company contributions.
• People are living longer healthier lives and don’t really think they will completely retire; they may just change what they do for a living.
• Smaller companies are more stable than huge companies because they are easier to turn around when the industry or technology changes.
This is the job market of yesterday.

Cell Phone

But how many of you don’t even have a home phone anymore; I don’t. For more and more people every day, the cell phone serves as the home phone as well. In the analogy, that means we will work with but not for companies. Another reality of today’s job market is that your next job is not your last. You will be on the job market again.

In this new job market, we are responsible for our own retirement plans and even healthcare. Even if a company offers a 401K match, you may not be there long enough to get vested. Recent graduates may consider purchasing a term life plan that goes from job to job with them than invest in a group plan that is worthless once they leave the company. Instead of going with group health plans, people may consider getting health insurance that continues regardless of the employment situation.
As more and more companies outsource work, we will not be employees but actually contract with companies.

In today’s job market, job stability is a personal responsibility. In this recession, there has not been an industry or professional that has not been touched by this latest recession. We can no longer look to companies to provide job stability. Our identities cannot come from the company we work for but instead from knowing the value we bring.

We may not like the new job market. We may long for the way it used to be. The reality is that the job market has changed and so must our approach to it in order to succeed.

Processing the Loss

We are all human and we were made to go through a certain process in order to heal from a loss. When we lose a family member, we give ourselves time and permission to grieve. The same should be true when we lose a job. Whether we left by choice or where invited to leave, it is a loss. We go through the same stages of grieving as we do when we lose a family member. We have to go through anger, denial, depression, bargaining, and then finally acceptance in order to heal and move on.

At one event where I was the guest speaker, the person introducing me wanted to make a comment to the group first. Part of his comment was advising job seekers not to have a pity party. I actually disagree. Have a pity party. I did in 2002 when I was out of work for so long. Get party hats and noise makers, cry, get angry, and feel bad. And then like any party, there is a quitting time. Set a quitting time on your pity party but while the party is on, do it right. Give yourself time to process the loss. If you don’t, that baggage will still be there as you are searching and can come out at the most inopportune time, like the middle of an interview.

Then, after you get to the last stage of grieving, which is acceptance, go one step further and accept the opportunity. There is a plan that will prosper you and not harm you, that will give you a hope and a future. God promises it in Jeremiah 29:11-17. How exciting! What could be behind that next door? I left a 20+ year career in IT and now I own my own company serving as a job search coach and I LOVE it! Trust me, starting a career as a job search coach after that many years in IT is a real left turn; it is not the normal career path for a techie. People can see though how much I love what I do. You can have a job you love too. What is the plan He has for you? I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Dealing with Pressure Points

As we have agreed, the job search process is not fun. In addition we need to keep the roof over the head, the car in the driveway, and food on the table. The job search is also stressful on relationships.
Let me ask you a question. Would you hesitate to call 911 if your house was on fire? So far I have not yet met a person who said they would. That’s because it would be absurd not to call 911 if the house was on fire. Even if we were trained firemen, it would be crazy not to call 911 if our house was on fire because we’d like to use the pump truck over our little garden hose and because we’d like the help of others.

So we agree there is no shame in asking for help, in fact it would be crazy not to ask when we need it.

We have 911 for first responders. We have 411 for information. We have 511 for the Department of Transportation (please do not dial it while driving). We also have 211. 211 is the nationwide number for the United Way.

If you think you may need help down the road or at least you want to know your options, call 211. The United Way is the coordinating agency between hundreds of organizations that offer all types of assistance or advice (free or on a sliding scale). Credit card counseling, rent assistance, the latest on mortgage programs, food banks, and emotional support and counseling are just a few of the services provided by the United Way organizations. Just dial 211 and they will ask you the type of advice / assistance you need and your zip code and they will then connect you with an organization nearest to you that provides the type of assistance you desire.

There is no shame in asking for help; it is actually crazy not to. When you get your next job (and you will, God promises it) just give to the United Way.

A bad attitude will sabotage your job search. Attitude is a choice. Accept that the job market has changed, process the loss, look forward to the opportunity, and get help for pressure points. Choose a positive attitude and begin the search.