Archive | March, 2010

Mental Health Day

29 Mar

Clearly, you need a break from your job search.  Where are you going to find it?  I am so glad you asked.  You know I am music fan.  I tend not to gravitate to the genre that engages the likes of Yanni and Zamfir – but that would seem to be a miniscule subset of the music arena, yet I do have an affinity to Andreas Vollenweider and Enya.  So..maybe..anything will do.

Here is today’s career advice – head down to your local electronics dealer and purchase an Ipod, or a Zune, and the really expensive BOSE headphones right now.  Today.  If you already have one, treat your self to a gift card for tunes, tunes and more tunes.

But I thought you said – Monster,  Careerbuilder,  or some niche job board?  Indeed… dot wrong!!  We are talking a mental health day, Jobseeker.   Remember those when you were employed?  A fun-filled melodic, frustration escaping, head banging or not so much, anti-jobsearch diversion-filled afternoon on the lawn at a Lilith Fair/Ozzfest direct from Itunes or the Zune Marketplace where you won’t find a career opporunity but you will find a well-deserved getaway. 

Why?  Because you and I occasionally need to grab hold of a big ol’ dose of Sublimation.  What?  Look – not only has this blog saved my life on occasion, I consider it my no cost Employee Assistance Program and… sublimation?  Well, sublimation is my personal therapist at a buck and some change per song.  Most therapists are by the hour, mine are like – by the mix tape.

I almost forgot to share the definition of the day –

Sublimation is the transformation of unwanted impulses into something less harmful. This can simply be a distracting release or may be a constructive and valuable piece of work.

When we are faced with the dissonance of uncomfortable thoughts, we create psychic energy. This has to go somewhere. Sublimation channels this energy away from destructive acts and into something that is socially acceptable and/or creatively effective.

How could you not want some significant milligrams of that?  Being self-employed – or unemployed with a business card and a website as I like to think of it, I have my share of frustrations and I need an outlet – for instance, a place to channel my urge to hang up the phone violently after leaving the nineteenth slightly, different worded positive voicemail about a great candidate in a salesy voice with a question inviting a call back that is coming at I time I wish I knew.  While waiting for the call, I simply dial up Linkin Park’s – In The End and find out “it doesn’t really matter.”

Perhaps I find solace in an oldie but a goodie by Limp Bizkit when I want to “Break Stuff” or simply try to answer everyone’s oft asked rhetorical question “Who’s Gonna Give Me Some Sugar Tonight?” with solid counsel from Kid Rock.  I don’t have to schedule an appointment and even though there is a CVS or Walgreen’s on every corner, or one currently under construction – this is over-the-counter laced musaceuticals and I am happy to participate in the clinical trial.

Whew – enough of my rant.  Seriously, step away from it for a few.  You need to disengage and realize this job seeking is tougher than job having.  We talk alot about personal branding  – just accept that right now.. you are more of a brand competing for a position than a person that holds one.  I know that is tough to soak in sometimes – it is just a reminder that your resume, your online profiles, your cover letters, your written communication and the interwoven touchpoints need fine tuning. 

While the selected tunes above are on the raucous side – on the lighter side, we look at a Paul McCartney and Wings song from back in the day and I offer a paraphrased, parody perspective – right now – you are a – Brand on The Run.  What direction are you heading?  Get your clarity from a mental health day or two and head that direction.  Maybe Paul wasn’t talking about your job search – but imagine he was – know that YOU will not be “stuck inside these four walls, sent inside  forever.”

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In A New York Minute

23 Mar

This networking thing is tough, isn’t it?  What if you just up and moved to a city where you knew no one?  Then it gets tougher.  I know I am always talking about my job search group but they are so worthy of being written about.  Why?  Because these people understand this job search is THEIR job, they have developed a process and all are on the cusp of a solution to their season of transition – a meaningful gig is within their grasp.  

I am going to try this again though – honestly, I realize these people do not control when they get an offer but they do control their daily plan.  They make their own success, they make their own luck.  One of the ladies in the group, recently relocated from Manhattan to the Indianapolis area.  Not as big of a move as Indy to New York City but a big move when you only know two people in town.  While Indy is no NYC, it is the 12th largest metro area in the country. 

She has been here 5 weeks.  She has been to every meeting.  She is slicing and dicing Indy’s north side and is a networking phenom.  She shows up, she contributes and most noteworthy and impressive, in my mind, is that she quickly got rid of her Yankee pride and said – I need some help. 

LEARNING – Job seekers – shed your pride.  Recently downsized – purge your bitterness.  This is an opportunity.  You control the process. 

I barely advertise this group because I want people to want to show up.  I set a time – they know to be there and we will discuss something.  Most of what we discuss is their search, their frustrations, their approach, and try to pull the answers out of them that they already possess. 

Back to, let’s call her…uh… Jill – I have seen Jill have some good days and bad days.  She has had some interviews, attends networking events, applies online and also utilizes some unconventional approaches to get herself in the door.  She is working it.  I reminded her, just this morning, to stop and reflect on what she has accomplished in the last 5 weeks.  Maybe it is that extra time she has saved commuting, but I swear she appears to have extra time in her days – plenty of time to reflect. 

I know this – Jill WILL prevail because as Rick Pitino (a famous New Yorker) said in his book – Success Is A Choice – “When you work hard, money and opportunity will find you” – and what YOU can learn from Jill’s starting over networking experience is:  

1.  You Need to Quickly Lose The Pride, People 

2.  Show Up Somewhere and Make a Contribution 

3.  You Will Have Good Days and Bad Days 

4.  Have A Process, Work Your Process, Refine Your Process 

5.  Reflect On Your Accomplishments (weekly) 

So for Jill,  a 710 mile move, 5 weeks in a new city where she now knows more than 2 people, a much larger living space, a simpler life, a car for the first time in years, free parking, a park but not a Central Park, new surroundings, new neighbors, new friends, no skyline, no Broadway, some panic, some perspective and no job YET –  but as the great philosopher Henley uttered, “In a New York minute, everything can change.”  This season will soon be a faint blip on Jill’s radar screen.

Your Sixth Sense

19 Mar

I was asked to write a foreword for a friend’s e-book recently.  I won’t share the exact title since it is not out yet but the book deals with secrets that recruiters won’t tell you.  The time he took to put this resource together is testimony to his professional credibility – the only thing a recruiter really has to offer you.  The only thing a recruiter has is credibility.

While writing the piece it dawned on me – sharing the secrets of the game with candidates is really what has differentiated my recruiting practice.  That is exactly what has allowed me to enjoy life as a generalist recruiter – I am the recruiter that will tell you what others won’t.

The misnomer of recruiting, Folks – is that, as a candidate, you think your recruiter exists to find you a job.  Most recruiters do genuinely enjoy helping people – but a recruiter is primarily looking to find their client the right person.  We do not broker people, we broker jobs.  Let me manage your expectations for a minute – you are two things to a recruiter – a human being and a commodity.  You need to understand that.  When a recruiter is talking with you, you are a human being.  When speaking with their client, you are a commodity.  A good recruiter knows how to treat you with respect even though you are a product.       

As a candidate, what I think you should expect, if not demand, is the truth – and I would suggest you always look for congruence in your recruiter’s words and actions – tempered with the understanding hiring authorities are often elusive moving targets. 

Are you getting facts or generalities?  You obviously need facts.  Ironically, what you need from the recruiter is what they need from you.  The best recruiter-candidate relationships are built on respect – like all good relationships – and clear communication. 

One last thought, probably the absolute key – once the process gets rolling, your sense of urgency needs to be amped up.  Amped up!  If your recruiter calls, you better call them back.  A strong sense of urgency indicates interest and ultimately offers reassurance to the employer that you are serious – you control the sense of urgency that controls the inference whether you are REALLY serious, which influences whether you get this gig or your slightly more amped up competition does.  Think.  Please.

Worklife Coaching

2 Mar

In the sidebar to the right, you will see a logo for Maestro – Worklife Coaching.  This is a free resource for you.

Sign up today – although the form asks for some additional information – all you need to enter is your email address

You will receive access to a variety of helps for workplace issues and many resources designed for you in career transition.  I hope you will take advantage of the program – just click on the Maestro widget and you are set.  Sign up NOW!

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