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I lost my job and found one 6 weeks later

I thought it would never happen.  I thought I was resilient and could anticipate these things a mile away.  Well my ‘superman’ cape got stuck in the door in January and I was laid off from my job.

Being laid off is a very weird situation.  One minute you are on the inside of a company and the next minute you are not.  Your manager won’t talk with you except to toot the company line that “it’s not personal, it’s business”.  They look at you like they care but you know they can’t.  They might want to care for you and your family but the job of doing the company’s business is to keep their distance.

I also found out later other people had known about the impending layoffs but didn’t tell me.  Now these people were not my personal friends but they were people who I had spent some time with while working there.  They were in leadership positions so they knew their butts were on the line if they said anything.

That was weird too.  One guy, who let’s just call him Bruce, actually said goodbye to me on my final day.  When I ran into him in the hall before I was escorted out, he had that look in his eyes that said he knew this was going to happen.  He was one of those friends I mentioned.  I later found out after asking Bruce to lunch that he did know I was going to be let go.  He knew for over a month!  I guess I am more mad that I didn’t fully pick up on it.  He is still a good guy and I don’t fault him for it.  I would have probably had to do the same if he was on the list.

I left the building at about 9:30 in the morning, the day I was let go.  A week before I had been invited to a 9:00 meeting with others from my team.  It was a very dispersant bunch (not connected except for on the same team).  We worked on very different sides of the overall business.  I knew something was up but didn’t want to admit it to myself until I knew for sure.  I even emailed our department leader (the meeting leader) and asked what the meeting was about.  I got no response.

The reason I tell you this is because I had a feeling that day would be my last.  Because of that I brought my running clothes with me.  I like to run and especially when I have a lot of stress to get rid of.  I left my company, IHS, it was snowing.  It was about 30 degrees.  I was free.  I was a little nervous.  I knew I just needed to run.

Before I left and during the short meeting when I was told I was fired, I had sent a text to my wife telling her I was canned.  I had pre-warned her if this was going to happen I would let her know.  She got the text, said everything was going to be alright.  I called her after I left the building.  It was a good conversation filled with happiness, sadness and the great unknown.  We agreed to discuss all things about the situation over the next few days and she released me to go run.

I had one of the best runs in a long time.  I was free.  I was free from the stress I had felt working there.  I was free from the ‘what’s going to happen to me’ feeling I had over the past few months.  I was free to make a change in my life and head in a new direction.  I was FREE.  Freedom is a very cool thing.  The unknown can be daunting but the freedom makes the unknown pill seem a little easier to swallow.

So let’s fast forward to today…I was just hired.  Yay.  I am so excited.  The new company is not perfect but the opportunity is very exciting.  It is not permanent position but a contract one that will last until August.  I am most excited about it because it gives me the opportunity to explore another great company.  Is it the perfect job?  Nope.  Will it help me in my career?  Yep.  I am excited.

So here is how I did it.  Here is a quick overview of what I did and how I did it.  There is no magic to my job search success…only hard work and sticking with my plan.  Along the way I learned some new lessons which I plan to share with the world in a video course I am building on how to find a new job.  I have been running the JeffonJobs blog for many years now with limited success.  I am putting a stake in the ground today and letting the world (well my little world) know that I am here to help other job seekers find jobs quickly.  The video course will come out in a few months and I am looking forward to sharing it with you.

After my run on February 14, I came home, talked with the family and got started on my job search.  I made some adjustments to my resume and started creating my job search plan.  My goal was to find another job in 30 days.  I picked 30 days because that was all the severance I had gotten from IHS.  They did provide me with some assistance from a placement company called Right Management too which was nice.

With my plan in hand and my newly crafted resume I was ready to apply for jobs.  I started in the afternoon.  I remembered thinking to myself that it was pretty cool…I got fired and now I am looking for work again.  I felt like I jumped a few steps in my grieving process.  I was proud of myself.  Little did I know there would be some ups and downs along the way.

I bult a system of searching the job boards every morning, noon and night.  My goal was to be the first person who saw a new posting to send my resume and credentials to it.  I did this every day, even on the weekends.  My favorite job boards were Indeed, LinkedIn, Craigslist and then periodically Dice and SimplyHired.  Those were my goto job boards.  I NEVER posted my resume to any of those sites.  I did set up the automated job alerts but knew they would not help much since I was on them so much.

I felt like online portion of my job search plan was good enough to find and apply quickly to the new job postings.  I love the Indeed job board the most as they have great features that allowed me to filter my job searches very easily by location, timeframe (i.e. most recent) and job title.  The other job boards were good too but Indeed is my favorite.  I even created an eBook on how to use Indeed.  If you want a copy, let me know in the comments below.

Next I joined the outplacement group at Right Management and started attending various workshops and meetings to help keep me on my toes.  I found the most benefit from the weekly networking meeting.  It is not truly a networking meeting as everyone was unemployed.  What I did realize is it doesn’t matter if people you “network” with are employed or unemployed, they all know someone.  They helped me and I helped them.

The networking group was one part networking and one part a discussion about job search topics.  Everyone was given the opportunity to share any new things happening in their job search and then we would discuss the topic of the week.  Even though I never really felt like going there each time, I was ALWAYS glad I went afterwards.  I knew how to job search but I learned something new every time.

In addition to learning new things and sharing what was going on, I made connections with other people there.  I helped them with things and they helped me with things.  One of the guys and I got together outside of Right for coffee.  Most of the visit I gave him some advice on how his resume presented his qualifications and what I would suggest changing.  It was fun getting to know him.

After about two weeks I was starting to get my first interviews with recruiters.  There was one here and one there.  Then at about three weeks, I had to really juggle the recruiter interviews with the hiring manager interviews.  It was actually tough to job search and prepare for interviews.  Because I was getting interviews I felt like my online job search was going well.  It was feeding my opportunities.

The friend I met for coffee sent me a job posting for a contract position his ex-wife had forwarded to him.  After I read it I realized this position was a good one for me to consider.  I forwarded a resume to the hiring manager and within a few days got a call to set up a face to face interview.  That was the position I eventually got.  While that one was in the works I was also completing the final round of interviews with a large electronics company and a very small consulting firm.

Everything came to a head late in the fifth week.  I was offered the contract position.  I used that offer to obtain an offer from the electronics company.  I had two offers on the table and the negotiations began.  At the end of the day, I picked the consulting position for a number of great reasons.  I was thrilled and my family was thrilled.

Here are some stats:

Duration of job search:  6 weeks

Number of resumes sent out:  80

Number of interviews:  25

Number of companies:  11

Number of offers:  2

Landing a job in six weeks was excellent.  It wasn’t the 30 days I was hoping for but 45 days is pretty good too.  I know a lot of people take many months and sometimes a year or two to find a job.  I truly think if someone takes over nine or 10 months to find a job, there must be something wrong with their process or with their presentation.  My hope is to someday really help those people who have been struggling for too long.  If you are one of them, email me and let’s see what we can do together.

I am so thankful to all my family and friends who helped support me through this transition.  The position is a contract position and will end in August but that is ok.  I was able to find a job once and BELIEVE I can do it again. If you are struggling with your job search or know someone who is, stay strong.  Get some help.  You can and WILL find what you are looking for.



Are fun jobs a pipe dream?

If you are job searching right now, I am sure one of the things you would love to find is a fun job.  I am not saying you want to play all day or do something at a toy company.  No.  What I mean is you are looking for a job where you enjoy your work, enjoy the company you are working for and may even have a little fun while you are there.

Fun jobs are out there.  Also, there are many fun companies to work for.  I do believe it but it is going to take some work to find the right situation.  If you can define what fun is in your working life, I think that is a great place to start.

fun at work

Here are the top five questions you should ask yourself when assessing if your next job is going to be a fun one or not:

  1. How much freedom do they give you?
  2. Are you doing the kind of work every day that you enjoy doing?
  3. Are the people around you there to help build you up or break you down?
  4. Are you learning and growing in your career every day that you are there?
  5. Is your day job helping you with your goal of your dream job?

These five questions will really help you take a look at your current situation (for “fun-ness”and any situation you are considering.  If your answers don’t align with your hopes and dreams, you should start exploring a new direction.

I used these questions in one of my biggest transitions in life a short while ago.  Here were my answers:

  1. I had very little freedom in the manager job I had.  I worked in a cubicle (I hate cubicles), got into the office around 8am, left around 5pm and hung on for the ride every day.  I supported three different teams and the organization was a highly complicated one where there were many different departments you had to work with to get anything done.  I felt like I had some freedoms to make decisions but not the freedom I was looking for.
  2. I wasn’t doing the kind of work I like to do every day.  I felt like I was just a warm body looking for a paycheck.  There were some projects I enjoyed doing but the day-in-the-life work was not something I looked forward to doing every day.
  3. The people around me were in the same spinning vortex I was in and were too busy or too tired to help me get better.  Everyone took care of themselves and the managers were too busy justifying their very existence so there was little help in supporting my development.  It was similar to other companies where there were “development programs” but no real motivation to do them.
  4. I was learning new things every day including how to work with various people within the organization.  So there were parts I felt were helping me to grow.  The other parts I was learning about included how to work within the long-standing processes that were already set up and going.  There were places where I could make or suggest changes so the opportunity was there for me to take.
  5. My day job was helping me a little with my dream job because it was giving me another perspective on how to market and sell products and services in the world.  So I was receiving indirect help with my goals.  But it wasn’t preparing me to run my business or how to survive in a very complicated world.

In summary, there were things I took away from my job which helped me move forward in my career but there were many things that didn’t help me in my career.  I wasn’t very happy nor was it fun.  What it did was help me understand what it felt like when I wasn’t having fun in my job.  I realized that fun wasn’t playing tricks on people or being juvenile, instead fun to me meant that I should be enjoying my day-in-the-life at work and if I wasn’t for too long of a period of time, it was time for a change.

Think about your day-in-the-life…do you have more fun/enjoyable times or are they a burden.  If too many times they are a burden, start looking for something new.  Fun jobs are out there.  You deserve it.

Let’s Get Started!


Career Cliff

The Career Cliff

A life changing event is a terrible thing to waste.  Face your fear and get ready to take some risks in 2013.

Don’t Blame The Resume

So many times I hear job seekers say something like:  “If I only had a great resume, then…”  The … can be any number of things from “I would get the job”, “I would get noticed”, or “they would give me a call back”.  None of those statements are actually true.  Resumes don’t think, feel, talk or produce anything.  Resumes are just pieces of paper (wood or electronic) that many job seekers use as a crutch.  NEWS FLASH:  Resumes Don’t Get You A Job!

Blaming your resume is just an excuse to not finding a job.  You don’t need an excuse anymore.  What you need is a swift kick in the butt.  So what is a resume good for anyways?  Here are the top three things a resume can do for you:

1. Provide background information on your experience level AFTER you make initial contact.  This is one of the biggest things job seekers ignore.  A resume should be used after you speak with someone, after the initial call/discussion.  The reason it is used after is so it can support your conversation and support the goal you are trying to accomplish with that person.  If you are talking to a hiring manager about a particular job opportunity, you can tailor the resume for the requirements of the job.  This type of resume showcases your depth of experience in a particular area.  If you spoke with someone who is going to pass your resume along to a hiring manager at their company, you would need a more general resume to demonstrate your breath (wide/general) of experience.  The main reason is you don’t know what the hiring manager is looking for.

2. Resumes are good if there is no other way to introduce yourself.  Some online postings only allow you to submit a resume and there is no contact information.  This is a time to submit your resume that is very specific demonstrating your depth of experience based on (relevant to) the job description.  Never send a general resume to these postings otherwise you are wasting your time.  You might be wasting your time anyways because you should be out looking in-person or meeting people (networking) first.  Sending a general resume (the kind you always send) doesn’t get you noticed.  You need to demonstrate a reason for the person on the other end to contact you to talk.

3. Resumes are good for hiding behind if you are scared to get out and meet people.  Don’t ever use this excuse anymore.  I have called you out so you can stop hiding.  Go out and meet people doing things you like to do or want to learn.  Learn how to introduce yourself and ask good questions of other people.  Learn about what they have done to find a new job or their current one.  Ask what they like and hate about it.  Help them out if they need it.  Genuinely invest in other people and they will invest in you.

A resume is your experience packaged in a one or two page overview.  It is not what you are good at, what defines you or how you think and feel.  Resumes can only lay there and look pretty…you need more guts than that.

Stop blaming your resume on why you are not finding a job.  Go hunt for jobs with a big gun…your mouth.

Let’s Get Started!


Job Search Blunders

Ok…I interviewed a guy for an opportunity I had available on my team.  He claimed to be a specialist at his craft and may have been.  The problem I had is I could not get past the BS he was shoveling.  He had a business on the side (for the past 11 years) but had been full time at other companies during the same time.  Something was not right.  In addition, he seemed to job hop a little but not too bad.

So as I dove into his current work experience, I asked him about his clients in his business.  He said to me:  “I make $80k to $90k per year with them currently.”  That prompted me to ask him why he was looking for a full time position that paid much less than that.  His answer was not well thought out and included the phrase:  “I don’t really need to work.  I do it to have fun and gain new experiences.”  This floored me and I almost didn’t know what to say.  He was not the right guy for the job and it was obvious.

So what is the lesson…was he just being honest?  If so, I really should have appreciated it, right?  My gut was telling me he wasn’t though.  He seemed to be just trying to demonstrate he was successful in the craft I was interviewing him for.  But what he got was the person on the other end not being sure if he was telling the truth or not.  So the lesson is to always be honest with your answers BUT don’t paint yourself into a corner and not think ahead on how you will answer obvious questions an interviewer will have based on your background/resume.  You don’t want to be telling the truth but sound like you are lying.  That is a bad combination.

If a hiring authority sees you job hopped ever 18 months for the past six or seven years, of course they are going to wonder if you will just be around for a year or so.  During the interview, be confident and prepared to answer that type of “obvious” questioning so you don’t sound like you are stretching the truth too much.

In addition, if you have run your own business for a number of years, it is imperative you don’t treat an interviewer like someone who is a potential client.  You should instead demonstrate your personality as one who is willing to get in there and do the tough work to get the job YOU ARE INTERVIEWING FOR done.  That type of attitude is what hiring managers are looking for.  They don’t need friends, they need people on their team willing to work hard and provide value to the company.

There are so many more blunders to highlight in a post like this.  They include things like saying “I am a people-person” in a sales interview.  Hiring managers have heard it and it has now become a negative statement when seeking a sales position.  Other blunders include trying to hit-on the interviewer or disrespecting them.  Try to stand out from the other people who the hiring manager will see that day.  Don’t do what everyone else does…but don’t be weird.

Lastly, do your homework on the company you are interviewing at.  If you don’t prepare yourself ahead of time, it will show through in the interview.

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5 Job Searching Tips

The following 5 job searching tips are not your traditional tips.  They are intended to shake your core a little and get you moving.  If offensive, I apologize ahead of time.  But (there is always a but isn’t there?) remember sometimes the toughest thing to hear is what makes you change and succeed.

Job Searching Tip #1:  You are LAZY…stop being lazy.  Most job seekers I meet are really not that hungry for a new job.  They are searching online four, five and even six hours a day.  They say things like: “I sent out 500 resumes and haven’t heard a thing….no responses.  There are no jobs out there.  The economy sucks and …”  When you hear yourself say this or others, get mad and call yourself or them L-A-Z-Y because you are.  You are lazy because you spend so much time doing things that don’t get results and then you blame “outside forces” beyond your control so you don’t have to look at why you are not succeeding.  Get off your butt and get out there.  Your new job is searching for another one and you can’t do that by being lazy and making excuses.

Job Searching Tip #2:  You must put in overtime on this, your new job.  When it gets down to it, a job search can take anywhere from 150 to 500+ hours to complete.  When I had my consulting business, I actually job searched for individuals.  They paid me a fee to do the work for them because they were too busy (or just scared).  Why I could not make a lot of money at it was because of the time required to find leads, connect with the hiring manager and get an interview.  This took a lot of focused energy.  I calculated it took between 150 and 500+ hours to find what was needed to get interviews.  If you are not willing to put in 10 to 12 hour a day on your job search, it will take months and months to complete.  So you have to plan ahead of time to work 50 to 60 hours a week if you want to really find something fast.  It is not just putting in the time.  Instead it is taking the time to hit walls and figure out ways to get over them, put your own feelings on the back burner and do the right activities to find the right opportunities.  It is focused time in the right directions that produces results.

Job Searching Tip #3:  It is NOT a “numbers game”.  Those of you who think if I just send out enough resumes eventually one will work.  I am here to tell you that you should not look at job searching that way.  It really is not a numbers game with resumes.  Yes you might eventually find a job this way so it has a little merit.  However, a numbers game is what should be termed “a gamble”.  Do you really want to gamble with your job searching activities?  I am here to tell you shouldn’t.  It won’t get the job done and you are just fooling yourself.  Gambling is for those who have time and money on their side, not the beginners.

Job Searching Tip #4:  You are an immature baby, scared of your own shadow.  You really are.  You ignore good teaching on how to find a job because you won’t let your brain be open to ideas and things that make you nervous.  Just admit it, you are scared.  Yes you are…you are scared.  Don’t shy away from it.  Instead recognize you are scared and find ways to help smooth out your fears.  Most of us get nervous in interviews, in tense situations when everything is on the line and some people are just plain nervous in social situations.  Ok, I get that…now you need to get it too.  Know thyself first and find tools and techniques for you to get past Y-O-U.  So you are scared, big freakin’ deal.  Stop being a baby and running away from your fears.  We all have them.  Embrace, develop technique to minimize your nervousness and move forward.

Job Searching Tip #5 (my personal favorite) – STOP telling yourself you are not going to find a new job and other stupid things you say to yourself in the shower, dark of night, when you are driving, etc.  You are your own enemy when it comes to keeping your head in this job searching game.  You struggle between good thoughts and bad thoughts with the bad ones winning out most of the time.  They start in small ways but then they seep deeper and deeper into your head like a constant dripping.  Turn the faucet off.  You have very important skills, experience, drive, passion and heart.  You do…your really do.  Everyone has something to give in this world even you.  Stop bringing yourself down with your constant dripping of negative words and thoughts.  Changing this requires you to mechanically remind yourself of what you offer.  Putting motivating quotes up in the bathroom, listening to motivational audio products, watching motivating video products, and others activities like it are all ways to mechanically change your thinking.

These job searching tips are so crucial to being successful in your job search.  Stop whining and start working.

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Top 10 Tips On How To Find A Job 2012

Ok…here is my best shot at the most important tips on how to find a job in 2012:

1. Know Thyself – understand what you are looking for in your next job BEFORE you start searching.  You don’t have to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life.  Pick one direction, plan it out and stick with it.

2. Don’t get bogged down by social media stuff – I hear a lot of buzz around should I use Twitter or Facebook to find a job?  What is LinkedIn and how can I find a job with it?  If you don’t understand these tools don’t waste your time on them until you do.  Don’t let them be a distraction to your job search thinking they are the “magic bullet”.  They can help but they are not for everyone.  A successful job search means you connect with hiring managers and they want you.  Social media tools can help these interactions get started but I have also seen people spend so much time trying to make it work for them they miss great opportunities.  Don’t go down this “rabbit hole” if you get easily distracted.

3. Be genuine.  Be yourself – whether you are meeting someone to help you with your job search or a potential employer, don’t oversell yourself and your accomplishments.  You are who you are.  We like you as you are.  Don’t be someone or something you are not.  You have gifts and talents just like everyone else and you deserve what you are looking for.  Focus your efforts on who you are not who you want others to think you are.

4. Be a dream seeker - it is ok to be looking for the dream job or the right situation for your next job.  Dreaming and seeing those dreams become reality is such a wonderful experience, everyone should be striving for it.  I am a big proponent of you trying to find an opportunity that is over your head or out of your comfort zone.  “Stretch jobs” can be one of the most exciting times in your working life.  There are so many companies and so many types of hiring manager.  Look for the ones who believe in your and willing to give you a shot at your dream.  They are out there.  You just need to find one.

5. Your attitude is everything – I can’t tell you how important your attitude is.  Be happy, optimistic and positive no matter what is going on around you.  It will seep into your conversations and make your presentations most fruitful.  A bad attitude will do the same but sour your chances.

6. Don’t be too proud – being too proud is actually a form of fear.  Pride forces you to not let others into your life.  Pride puts up walls that might not be able to be seen by the other person but are felt at a deeper level.  Try “humbleness” on for size and see how it feels.  It is actually very comfortable and opens more doors.

7. Don’t give “canned” ANYTHING – no canned responses, no canned resumes, no canned cover letters, and no canned tuna (jk on the tuna).  If you look or act or sound like everyone else you are going to be perceived to be like everyone else…B-O-R-I-N-G.  Don’t be boring.  Instead be bold in order to stand out in someone’s mind.  Don’t be cocky but be bold and look for ways to make an impression.

8. The details will kill you – if you have never heard the old saying about the “devil in the details” you might want to think about this one.  Spending your time on making sure your resume doesn’t have errors or your “elevator pitch” sounds comfortable or whatever you are doing is done well, is very important.  Employers don’t want people who can churn out calls or data, they want people who take pride in their work (and maybe churn out the calls and data).  Make sure you are taking the necessary time to proof your work.

9. Slow down – if you are always feeling like you are rushing to get that resume to that lady or hurry up and push out that blog post or trying to hurry through coffee with a friend because your “schedule” is waiting, then slow down.  Slowing down allows you to focus on one project at a time and pour your whole self into it.  That means being a little flexible with your schedule and not putting so many deadlines on your time.  Have a plan but give it room to breath and take shape.

10. Have fun – now this one can be taken the wrong way if I am not careful.  I don’t want you to think of your job search as a party, necessarily.  I do want you to be excited about what direction your next job is going to take you in.  Thinking about the excitement for what is next in your working life can really get you pumped up.  Finding a job is no easy task most of the time, you might as well try to find ways to make it fun.  Adding a little fun to the work can make the work not seem so difficult.

I love the 10 tips here and hope you do too.

Let’s Get Started!


Job Search Skills Trainer – 5 Critical Areas

Being a trainer of job search skills has opened my eyes to a number of deficiencies in job seekers everywhere.  These deficiencies can be very subtle like shying away from a certain type of conversation or much more dramatic such as being scared to make a cold call or push one’s self to do something they have never done.

This post is going to focus on the top five areas of contention in my working with job seekers and how these areas can either propel or derail an effective job search and other things in life.

  1. Attitude:  You have heard it many times that what you pour into your head will impact how you feel every day.  Attitude is made up of three components (IMO): dreaming, wanting and needing.  It is a tug-of-war between them each and every day.  The “dreamer” can be pushed down so much it can start to build up resentment that eventually it can blow.  The “wanter” can be very busy seeing what everyone else has and wishing things were different.  The “needer” can be the driver of the bunch by reacting to whatever is going on in the present.  Managing all these three without getting caught in their struggles can wear you down which cause poor decisions.
  2. Drive:  The willingness or desire to change your state of affairs is where drive comes in.  Drive is very subjective to one’s own experiences.  Some people have been pushed early in life to drive hard while others are less aggressive.  The harder your drive the harder you work to get out of your current situation and into the one you want or have only dreamed of.  Having drive is a decision and not something you are born with.  Your drive comes based on your sense of urgency and can be turned on and off as you wish.
  3. Confidence: This area is really critical and is based on what you tell yourself throughout the day.  Others can help you build your confidence but most of those efforts are temporary.  You have to truly believe what they say otherwise your own personal thoughts will push it aside.  Managing confidence levels takes a retraining of your perception of yourself.  There are good characteristics and bad characteristics in everyone.  We have decided early in life which ones we want to embrace.  If you embrace the bad, you may be seeing how they have impacted your life.  This might require some training or a trainer (coach, -ologist) to help you change those thought patterns.  If you embrace the good ones, you probably are savvy at ignoring the things which undermine your confidence.
  4. Self Realization:  Understanding who you are and what you want to be is critical to determine what is next for you.  Most of us have a tough time really knowing what the future holds or what might be best for ourselves.  There are issues with this because of the pressure we place on ourselves to make a decision on a direction and stick with it.  Self realization is not a lightning bolt type of moment but more of an understanding that is revealed to us over time.  I am not sure you can ever be fully realized but being open to other people’s perception of you will help you see yourself in a better light.
  5. Risk Tolerance:  Everyone has a different tolerance for risk.  Sometimes that is because of the control they want to hold onto.  Other times it is because of the fear they live with.  Taking chances (and enjoying them) throughout your life can really open up your perspective, build your confidence and better understand yourself.  Those who tolerate risk are better prepared for the ever changing world we live in.  Instead of being fearful of changes or hiding from them, one should be more open to seeing what happens with a potential change.

As a skills trainer, I see people deal with these often.  There are so many moving parts to anyone’s skill or emotional level that perfecting this part of the science can be challenging.  Any change in this area comes from within your own head.  Making a decision to begin to work on this area of your life is the first step; the most important step.  Anyone can change.  Everyone can make changes.  Life has a way of opening up cracks in a person’s life which I call “teachable moments”.  Don’t give up on yourself or others too quickly.

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What Do You Need?

It is a new year for you and me.  I have been writing this blog for over four years now.  I just realized one very important thing.  I have never asked you what you need.  I have never asked you to let me know what interests you right now, where you are.

So this is not really a post but more of a question to find out what is the one thing you need right now in your job search?  Now maybe your first answer is:  “A job” which is a good one.  I think that one is obvious…hopefully.  Dig just a little deeper and tell me what you need right now in your job or your job search.  If you need help with your search, what specific help do you need?  If you need support in your search, what specific type of support do you need?  What one thing is dragging you down where you can’t figure out what to do next?

Think about it and let me know.  All job seekers are welcome.  You can comment here or send an email to me at:  jeffonjobs at gmail dot com.  I will respond (or not if you prefer) to each message I receive.  I want to hear from you.

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I Don’t Feel Like Job Searching

How many times do you find something else to do other than job search?  Do you tweak your resume one more time or check your email or Facebook account?  This type of p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n hits everyone at one time or another.  You just don’t feel like doing what you know you should be doing no matter how much it can help you.

Many times I don’t feel like doing things either.  Like now…right now.  I don’t really feel like writing this post.  I just had a small surgical procedure done yesterday and I have sit still to stop any swelling.  My computer is in my lap and I am feeling some pain.  I don’t feel like writing…I don’t feel like doing much of anything.  But I know my obligation is to you all and myself to keep writing posts so you can find a job…a great job. We don’t always feel like doing but it is important to make sure we keep doing what we know we are supposed to do.

I have learned three thing when the  “not feeling like it” seeps in.  If you don’t feel like job searching right now, see if any of these can help you get the pep back in your step:

1. Feelings come and go like the wind.  Because feelings are on the emotional level, they can feel really strong for a period of time.  The key is they are only there for a period of time.  When my mom died a few years ago, the feelings of loss and sadness stayed for many weeks.  Now it has been a few years and those feelings are still there but not quite so strongly.  Even strong feelings from a loss can come and go.

Because feelings come and go that means you can sort of manipulate them.  I don’t mean for your own sneaky needs but you can and should push through those type of feelings by doing.  Going ahead and doing something else can help you get your mind off the feeling and many times they quickly subside.  Those strong feelings go away pretty quickly when you get engrossed in what you are doing.  So do the actions first and the feelings will follow.

2. Feelings should always be a clue to you that something is going on.  When you are choosing to do that which you don’t want to do, then many times there is an underlying issue you have not dealt with.  Dealing with an “issue” when you spot it can be the most important thing you can do.  Issues have a way of cropping up in your life when you least want them AND they continue to pop their ugly heads up again and again until you deal with them.

For example, I hated public speaking about 14 years ago.  I hated, hated and hated it so bad I would hide when I had to do it.  I hated it in high school.  I hated it in college.  I hated it in my first job outside of college.  It was weird because it would pop up again and again in my life.  I knew I had to get a handle on myself or I would never deal with it and it would rule my life.  Eventually I stated doing small presentations to get myself comfortable with it.  Now, after all these year, I can honestly say I love public speaking.  It is a far cry from the guy who for years could not do it.  If I didn’t deal with that fear it would never have let me live in peace.

3. You feelings should be respected.  If you have a funny or bad feeling about a person or situation, you should trust that feeling.  Some people call it “instinct”.  I think of it more like a gut feeling that is created by your experience.  Respect that feeling and make sure you understand what you might be getting yourself into.

Now if you are just scared to do a certain job search technique, I don’t think you should respect it.  But if you are in a situation you know something is not right then you need to make the tough decision to get out.

Feelings can be both good and others can be destructive.  Learning to recognize them more clearly will really help you in your life on many different levels.  During a job search you will have a number of different feeling come and go from loss to frustration to even depression.  Recognizing what is going on in your head will help you uncover who you are and where you fit into this world.

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