Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Money and Holiday Stress

I wanted to share some thought provoking information from Shawn Bakker at Pyschometrics Direct (a leading company for career and personality assessments).

The holiday season is fast approaching, and brings an extra level of busyness with school pageants, social gatherings, work parties and family get-togethers. Based on my own experience, and the stories that I hear from others, it is common to feel run off your feet.

Each year at this time we have presented a list of stress relieving activities. This year I have taken a slightly different tack, but believe it will take you to the same destination - a more enjoyable holiday experience. Below are two articles that discuss research about happiness; one is from the New York Times and the second is from Money Magazine. I found them interesting and insightful and I hope you do as well.

But Will It Make You Happy?

Can Money Buy Happiness?

And here are some wonderful tips on Holiday Stress Busters from Mercy College. Enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season...celebrating the blessings in your life.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lists, Lists...and More Lists!

I am such a big fan of researching companies of interest as a strategic approach to the job search. Rather than sitting at the computer hunting and pecking for relavent postings on job boards, why not go to the source. Reviewing the opportunities on the "Careers" page of company websites is the modern day equivalent of pounding the pavement with your resume in hand.

My coaching clients hear me sing the praises of the Atlanta Book of Lists (at your local library or alumi career services office). Check out the Lists of Top Companies at INC. and see who may have your next career position listed on their "Career's" page. The lists are organized by category, including Metro Atlanta.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

7 Surprising Reasons You Didn't Get a Call Back for that Job

I'm pleased to share some very powerful, common sense advice from Heather Huhman.

It’s natural to wonder why you didn’t get an interview – or perhaps make it to the second round – for a job you thought was a perfect fit. While I always feel it’s best to ask the hiring manager what went wrong, do a little self-analysis first. Perhaps you made one of the following mistakes:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Anyone Can Build a Career Network

In their article, "How to Build a Career Network", Bob Rossner and Sherrie Campbell offer an outstanding common sense approach to one of the top job search strategies. Here is an excerp:

Have you ever asked yourself why networking is important to your career? Studies show that the number one way to get a job is by career networking - and when it comes to starting or advancing a career, your career network should be the first place you look. So rather than asking why networking is important to your career, start with asking, "How do I network?"

I encourage you to read the full article (link below) to immediately start beefing up your networking strategy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Motivation Behind DRIVE

Daniel H. Pink, the author of the bestselling A Whole New Mind, offers a bold new perspective on what truly motivates us and how we can use this insight to work smarter and live better.

Here is an excerp from Dan Pink's website. "Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake", Daniel H. Pink says in, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, his provocative and persuasive new book. "The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Even Ben Stein Says "Follow your Heart!"

Some great commentary from Ben Stein on CBS Sunday Morning...

"A few days ago, I asked my shrink, a super-smart guy, how he would generally divide up the people who were happy in life from those who were not. He answered like a shot."

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Click to read the full story.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

INTROVERTS and the Job Search

From Psychology Today Blogs: The Shy Job Seeker - Can Introverts Succeed in this Job Market? A great perspective offered by Katharine Brooks, Ed.D., the Director of Liberal Arts Career Services at The University of Texas at Austin.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't Hold Back with A Job Search

Don't let flip-flops in the job market hold you back from pursuing a pro-active job search. I am constantly being asked "John, is this a good time to be looking for a new job?" And my answer today is the same as it was 3, 4, 5 years ago. You should look for a new job when you need one and when you want one! Don't allow the evening news to derail you from your search strategy. The top two ways of finding a job, decade after decade, remain networking with a very clear message and pro-actively reaching out to employers with a very clear focus on the value that you can bring to their organization).

The sun does seem to be poking through the clouds a bit. Check out this recent TIME article. More confident employers stepped up job creation in April, expanding payrolls by 290,000, the most in four years. The jobless rate rose to 9.9 percent as people streamed back into the market looking for work. Read more at TIME Magazine online: Jobs Up 290,000; Unemployment Up to 9.9%

Monday, April 19, 2010


How do most people approach a job search? Well is often goes like this…

As human beings we are subject to emotional reactions and our career can often trigger these reactions. At any given time, we may become frustrated, angry, disillusioned, bored, burned out, etc. with either our employer, our role in the organization, or both. In the “heat” of the moment, we jump on the Internet and resolve to find a new job! We dust off the old resume and start using Internet job boards to look for that new opportunity that will make us feel engaged and energized in our work once again.

If this sounds like you, then you’ve already made three crucial mistakes! First, you are searching for a new job based upon an emotional decision, rather than an informed, creative decision. Second, you've convinced yourself that with a few tweaks your resume will be in grest shape. And third, you jumped on the web to start looking for a job that looks and sounds very close to the job you had.

Your job search should be fueled by a mix of self assessment, information, strategic thinking, and creativity. Invest time, effort, and money if necessary, to develop a targeted, robust resume that clearly communicates the value (skills, strengths, credentials, accomplishments) you will bring to an organization. And I highly recommend that you search for a company, not a job. By seeking out organizations that represent a solid match with your work style, preferences, values, and the type of people you enjoy interacting with, you are setting the stage for a positive job change.

Use lists and directories to ignite and inform your job search. Consider the following resources: (a) web based databases of company information, (b) The Book of Lists for your area of the country, (c) directories from your area chamber of Commerce, plus (d) lists published in magazines such as INC., Fortune and Forbes of Top and Great places to work. When you uncover organizations that you believe are a nice fit, dig deeper. Learn all you can about their culture, how they treat their staff and what openings exist on the Careers page of their website – opportunities for you to add your strengths and expertise.

Get creative and move beyond your comfort zone when searching for the next opportunity. STOP looking for a job and start identifying the new home for your career.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Workforce: Where Will the New Jobs Come From?

TIME Magazine March 29, 2010: Coming out of the recession, employment will rebound differently across the U.S. Gain a stronger understanding of where the jobs will come from, based upon region, industry and sector.
The Workforce: Where Will the New Jobs Come From?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

YOU, 2010!

Remember that old definition of insanity: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Well it’s 2010, and there is no time like the present to push the boundaries of your comfort zone by infusing some creative energy into your daily routine. No need to make lofty New Year’s resolutions just because it seems like the thing to do in January. I’m suggesting that you reflect back upon 2009 or further if necessary and examine your patterns.

Which of your patterns of thought and behavior have resulted in momentum and success and which patterns have knocked the wind out of you and left you feeling disillusioned and defeated? Then delve deeper and ask yourself a few more questions: “What could I accomplish if I were to focus in on the personal strengths I employed to score past achievements?” and “What are the possibilities if I were to engage these strengths in unconventional and creative ways?” For example, if you have been recognized by employers for the quality of your project management skills, what if you were to use these same skills to embark on a part-time entrepreneurial venture or volunteer at a non-profit and offer support to planning or development initiatives?

Here are a few ideas on how you can shake things up a bit and encourage a more creative view of life:

  • Put on a smock and attend an art class or maybe grab your wooden spoon and join a cooking class.
  • Stroll through aisles at the book store that you normally shy away from and select something new for your nightstand.
  • Use a “buddy pass” and join a friend/co-worker for a work-out at their gym.
  • Attend a self improvement or motivational workshop.
  • “Get outta town!” Escape to the mountains or a beach for a long weekend…and leave your laptop at home.
  • Buy a journal and start a “My Amazing Ideas Book”.
  • Exercise your mind and grow! Sign up for a university course or certificate program.
  • Dust off an old hobby or pursue a new pastime and add some fun to the daily schedule.
  • Create a “Vision Board” and post pictures, cartoons, inspirational messages, action statements, etc. that reflect attainable goals.
  • Join a new professional association, or reactivate a dormant membership, and attend a breakfast meeting, lunch-n-learn session or networking event.
  • Invite a friend to lunch and encourage them to share what’s going on in their life.
  • Seek out materials (books, audio programs, assessments, etc.) for exploration and development.
  • Take a mid-week “mental health day” and tour a museum, attend a lecture, arrange some informational interviews.

Examine your comfort zone and challenge boundaries that may be contributing to outmoded, stale patterns in your life. Then commit to infusing some new stuff into the weekly routine. The key will be to reflect upon and assess the thought process, skills, energy, level of satisfaction, interests explored, etc. associated with each new activity. 2010 has arrived. What proactive steps can you take to make this your best year yet?

Some suggested resources for you:
Think Outside Your Blocks by Kevin Carroll
How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster