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Farewell my fellow seekers August 23, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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I have decided to devote my time to my passion which is leadership. My thoughts are to fix the top to make it better for those at the bottom and maybe in some round about way it will create more jobs for you my friends.

Therfore this will be my last post here.

I have also downsized my business to follow my passion as well so while the name Evolution Career Business Leadership wil remain for now my concentration will be on leadership only.

I wish you the best and much luck in your endeavor to fins that elusive position that you desire.

Thank you for following my posts.

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The beatings will commence….. July 15, 2011

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Remember that old joke we use to hear when we worked and morale was low?

“The beatings will commence and will continue until morale improves”

It seems that they have adopted that to the unemployed, the beating will commence and will continue until you are empployed.

Like the old joke it was as if it was your fault that morale was low and that it is your fault that you are unemployed.

As in either case the one truly responsible will never admit that it is really their fault.

Lets take a twist on a Harry Potter character One whose name shall not be mentioned and adopt it to the situation and call him/her the one who shall not be named.

It makes it that much harder on concentrating on finding a job when you feel that companies are beating you down for being in the situation your in like it is your fault.

A number of you are probably still asking yourself what did I do wrong to deserve this and maybe I am not as good as I thought I was. Stop  that type of thinking because it had nothing to do with you.

A company needs to cut X number of dollars out of the budget. They tell an accountant eliminate X number of dollars.

You are not Mary, Sam or Nancy you are a number a dollar figure to the accountant as they don’t know you just what it cost the company to have you there. They work their formulas and math until the X value is reached. If your number was in the equation then you are gone. It doesn’t matter how good you are you just happen to have the wrong number at the right time.

A company will get rid of deadwood and weight in the first round of layoffs. They will also get rid of what they consider pure overhead, HR and Quality are big hits for these.

So if you survived the first or second round before getting laid off it wasn’t that you did something wrong it is just you fit the equation.

Now the problem is that companies are doing a number of wrong things. Here is a list,

1.) Running too lean

2.) Hunkering down to wait out the storm

3.) Hording money

4.) Mergers and Acquisitions M&A (actually this is a good time for that it is what typically happens)

5.) not taking risk to continue to grow the company and business.

M&A is bad for the job seeker because it places even more talented people in the job pool which is already overcrowded as it is.

M&A is not helping the economy because there will be more people not spending because they need every penny to try and survive. Also the ones that still have jobs will not spend for fear that another round of cuts will be imminent.

Despite what the economist, business analyst and politicians say I do not think we have hit bottom yet and the ground we walk on is unstable at best.

I know that you don’t want to hear that but it helps to know the reality so we can better strategize how to move forward. This is war! Only the strong will survive!

Let me know what you think?

What is your story and how can we help?

Our worst adversaries! March 21, 2011

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I will say that most of you reading the headline will think I am going to talk about recruiters and HR.

While they are formidable opponents they are not our worse but any stretch of the imagination.

We are our own worse enemies! Our two biggest adversaries we need to be fighting every second of every day is negativity, desperation and depression.

These three evil forces work much the same way as cancer does. They start out small and unassuming. Then they start to grow and fester until the change who we really are.

They can turn the best professionals into the cranky whiners that you would not want to hire on your worst day.

We have to understand that these three adversaries carry with us everywhere we go we wear them like a well fitted suit. The problem is the well fitted suits has print on it that says warning warning stay away from this person.

It carries with us into every phone screen and every interview. It clouds our thinking and effects our body language and our attitudes.  They will turn the most intelligent person into the biggest dumbass in a matter of weeks.

These are also highly contagious especially in groups of like individuals. Yes misery loves company. But will take someone in the group who is positive and drag them down into the murky depths of despair and gloom.

As intelligent professionals we of all people should realize this and know full well what the ramifications of these adversaries are. We should know full well what it means to our chances of getting out of the situation we are in.

The answer is to maintain a daily regiment of positive thinking with a large dose of confidence and self reflection.

Not to dwell on what isn’t working but to learn and move forward. We are not in a position to have a reverse our only direction is forward.

We need to kill the three adversaries and replace them with good things so that we will prevail through these hard times.

I am looking for positive people to join me in my quest. My role will be from here forward to be positive to a point where it is contagious and to distance myself from the naysayers who have been too overwhelmed by these cancers. This is by no means an easy task but anything worthwhile comes at the end of hard work and effort.

So are you with me or against me. Excuses not allowed on solutions and results.

What are your comments?

Dumbing down resumes March 15, 2011

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If this subject isn’t like opening a can of worms!

Do I or don’t I?

I need a job and I keep hearing that I am over qualified so should I dumb down my resume?

There are pros and cons to doing it and it could get you fired right after you have started a job.

If you dumb down your resume to get hired then once you are in you will want to prove yourself right? Well not so fast there, remember you dumb down your resume so you are not suppose to be good at what you do much less that advanced in it. So that will throw red flags up and then they will start asking how you know so much.

You have just been nailed! Some companies feel that omissions on a resume is the same as lying on your resume and it is grounds for immediate dismissal. So goes your short lived job.

Now the other problem for you. You have to remember what you didn’t put on there so you don’t mess up and look smarter than your dumb resume. So this puts stress on you to remember what your dumb you is versus the smart you who wants to excel. So it is how long can you play the dumb game before the stress makes you go crazy.

ANOTHER VIEW

If you need to dumb down your resume to get a job, how happy will you be in a job where you know that your smarter than your boss and maybe even their boss. How happy will you be knowing that you had to degrade yourself to land a job.  You are going to be miserable and not very productive and this could effect your 90 day review.

The other part of that is you are proud of the work you have done and the skills you have acquired and you hate the fact that you have to dumb down to get a job.  So again you are miserable and the question is can you leave that misery at  work or are you going to wear it as your albatross??? Now your friends and/or family are miserable.

So what do you do?

Well that is up to you.  I know things are getting desperate and that money is tight and about to run out. So you think it is desperation time just dumb it down and get a job any job at this point.

Well if you are going that route don’t apply for a company your really want to work at because it could destroy your chances of working there the right way.  If you are going for survival work while you still look for your dream job I would say do what you think is best for you.

In closing let me just say keep track of who you sent the dumb resume to as you don’t want to show up at an interview and spring the smart resume on them. That would make the interview real short.

Is it time to fight back? February 23, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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I hear horror stories form job seekers on a daily basis. I find it at times hard to phathom how recruiters HR and companies can be so insensitive and unethical and especially unprofessional. How these people are totally clueless to the impact that their actions have on them, their industry, their field, and their business. The fact that the leadership nay the , because they lack leadership, allows this to happen and in some cases condones it. i.e. unemployeed need not apply!

We hear from all types of sources that we can not use abbreviations nor acronyms in our resumes, which by the way are industry specific and widely used in that industry. However when we view job postings they are laden with exactly what we are not allowed to use. This double standard has a negative reflection on HR and recruiters but then they don’t care. They are of the school of do as I say not as I do. Well I for one and I am sure there are many am fed up with the double standard. I probably will not get the job nor do I want to work for such companies anyway so I might as well enjoy the process my way.

We see it on job boards, God why is anyone still using them?, we see it on LinkedIn and other sites.

I have started a campaign to right this injustice.

When I see things like “I’m Hiring” I will not inquire if they are talking humans or animals. Which MLM or insurance company do they represent.

No I don’t want to buy or sell viagra and no I don’t want to hear your how to get rich scheme where the only one making millions is you off of desperate people.

I will point out that the ad is confusing between abbreviations and acronyms and if I am told that it is okay for the ad because it is industry standards I will put them in my resume with a bold note at the top informing them that all abbreviations and acronyms are industry standards.

I will also make it a habit to point out to them poor grammar and spelling errors. Then inform them that I could not work for a company with such poor work ethics.

Our time is valuable as we work much longer hours than they do trying to find work so that we may survive.  So I feel it is in our right to dish back to them the junk they throw at us all the time.

Maybe just maybe it may strike a chord in their small minds and bring to light how unprofessional and callous they have been.

I pointed out the one HR person yesterday as to how it wasted my time responding to his “Excellent oppotunity” ad just to find out it was for sales. Yes that is the exact spelling from the ad and I pointed that out as well.

I received an apology and a thanks for the feedback and a promise that he would be more respectful in the future.

So it is a start of my mission for us all.

 

Dear Corporate America I am not resting on my laurels Sincerely Jobseeker January 21, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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There has been much discussion these past year about how companies and others are looking at job seekers.

They call them lazy, unqualified, deadbeats, entitled and others.

I guess they easily forget tit was they who put a high number of highly qualified people on the streets in the name of profits ans shareholder equity. Now instead of being part of the solution to help the economy they have become a larger part of the problem.  They are also assisted by the recruiting industry.

Can you blame the qualified people who have been out of work for so long to give up hope on landing a position with the treatment they have received and unduly at that. Shame on you  people! Your attitude and actions should be considered unethical and immoral to say the least. But this seems to be the attitude that prevails in America today.

A vast number of qualified people to keep their skills up to date have taken on volunteer work, consulting, contract and short term employment. They do this to survive and even at that it is a struggle.

But now you are even using that as an excuse not to hire someone. The practice started at the end of 2010 that is you are not employed you need not apply was the most absurd shoot yourself in the foot move that I have ever seen. Then you have the audacity to state that you cannot find qualified candidates to fill your open positions while you treat your employees like slave labor.  You are your own worst enemy.

The economy is starting to turn and you will need to replace a number of positions that you vacated. It would serve you right to not be able to attract or retain top talent.  It would serve you right for the people working for you now to not increase their productivity one iota. This is what you are facing for your sins.

I know a number of highly qualified seekers who speak with me frequently on their frustrations and how they have been demoralized by you people. IS compassion dead in the business world? It sure appears that way.

I have to encourage these people to persevere and to stay focused in their endeavors. I have to try to make sense of what is going on in order to give them some gleam of hope. I myself am finding it harder to fathom these actions that I speak of and can only chalk it up to poor leadership, which also seem prevalent today. I understand in business when things start to turn down that is is a good time to get rid of deadwood in the first RIF. What I have a hard time fathoming is the actions being taken against people who are qualified that were parts of the preceding  RIF’s. I just can’t understand the reasoning behind this abomination.  Were you thinking that your company was the only one that suffered the recession in your industry? I wish someone would explain to me the valid reasoning behind these insane practices so that I might be better equipped to explain it to my clients.

SO what I would like Corporate America to understand that the qualified people are not sitting at home on their ass watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. They are out there volunteering, consulting, contracting and working temp in order to keep there skills fresh. They are patiently waiting for the opportunity to help your company recover and move forward.  You are over looking one of the hardest working forces waiting  for this energy to be unleashed by you.  And you have the audacity to look down on such a valuable asset. I question where you learned how to run a business and further questions your leadership skills.

This blog will invoke anger as it is intended to. But I wish you to carefully consider is that anger really at me as a scapegoat or yourself for the actions you have brought about on others. Do these unconscionable actions excuses to help you sleep better at night? To be able to get up in the morning and face yourself in the mirror knowing there are seekers and their families suffering, being torn to the brink of destruction, due your decisions and actions?

I am running out of excuses for your actions. I used up all the business reasons and they no longer fly. So what is your solution or are you going to continue being the problem?

 

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

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Hope I feel is the strongest emotional ally we have in our arsenal for the unemployed.  It is what makes us wake up each morning to face a new day. It what makes up tolerate the rejections and the lack of any response to our resumes and cover letters.  It is the driving force that makes us keep going.

It is also the emotion that keeps us from crossing that threshold into the murk and mire of despair and insanity.

Hope! For some of us it is all that we have left. It is what makes us wish for a miracle each day. It is what makes us say today is the day I get an interview or an offer. Today is the day that somebody sees the value that I can bring their company. Yes Hope is the power ally that we cherish and guard.  It is more powerful than love and friendship which seems to allude us or escapes us the longer we are unemployed. Not from our doing but from those we thought we could depend on for support. Those that can no longer understand that it has nothing to do with us. This situation isn’t our doing. Yes Hope our ally that we use to hold our families together in these tumultuous times.

Hope the emotion we call upon to give understanding to those we want to support us but don not know how.

Along with hope is the second strongest emotion that is faith. I am not talking the faith in a deity of your choice. I have given up on that type of faith years ago. Call it the Catholic curse but there isn’t a theologian around who can convince me otherwise but that is me.  I am talking the faith we have in ourselves. The faith that we have the stamina, the perseverance, the courage to get through this. The faith that we are far better than the perception of the person reading our resume and cover letter.  The faith we have in ourselves to triumph over the evil that has cloaked the job market.

The faith that the total disrespect that is shown us will not diminish who we are our the value we are worth. The faith to hold our heads high because we know we are better than the treatment we get from every source, even those we thought would support us.

The faith that the knowledge and the skills we have acquired while working can not and will not be taken away from us. They are ours and ours alone and they hold value to those that want to rent them in the form of employment.

Yes Hope and Faith are the two strongest allies that we have they are the driving force that keeps us going. We will defend our right to have them and to use them to keep us who we are.

The rest of the world may shun us but our hope and our faith will make us rise above it like a Phoenix from the ashes. You can not keep us down, you cannot belittle us nor diminish us. We have two strong allies on our side Hope and Faith.

Survival or Take any job! December 2, 2010

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It amazes me that people with a comfortable job can tell someone who is struggling to keep a roof over their head, food on the table and their family in tact that they shouldn’t succumb to taking any job. I mean what world are these people living in? Place yourself in their shoes before you make such a thoughtless statement. You have a job and your dealing with inflation they do not have a job their benefits just got cut and they are dealing with a depression. So isn’t your world cozy!

Sorry but I am a realist. I am trying to live both sides. I am trying to get a company going so that I have a job and I am one of those who benefits have run out and I am trying to survive by talking anything. Most days my food intake is 1 hamburger patty no bun or condiments. I have lost about 30 lbs lately. So don’t try to tell me that I should stay focused on the career that I really want. Not when there are more and more companies out there getting away with unemployed need not apply.

My recommendation is to not give up on your dream job while you are also looking for anything that will allow you to survive. Put your dream job on simmer while you bring survival to a full boil.  Until Corporate America gets their head out of their rear end, it is what it is in the new America.

Remember the movie Soylent Green with Edward G. Robinson and Charelton Heston? It isn’t far off if things don’t change.

 

Reflections on 2 years of Unemployment & Lessons learned November 10, 2010

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I have been unemployed for 2 years now and I am still looking for that elusive career that I want.

What I have found out is that the so called experts and we know there are thousands out there are full of it. They have not had to look for a job in some time and are totally out f touch with finding one. There view point is one from the hiring side who has no idea what they want. Trying to find a job in this economy is like trying to hit a moving target. Every time you think you have it figured out they change the rules.  But the experts are still spouting the same thing. Then there is the social media side with all these experts. What they are experts at is filling the media with spam ads or the same information all day every day. Not so much in a passion to try and help you but to make a few dollars off of you. They tout free webinars which is a guise to sell there books or their programs. Like we have spare money to waste on such stuff.  Think about it if we followed everything they told us we would all be employed. Well I have listened and I have tried and I am still here after two years. I did it all right just they way they told us and no results. Ye sit has worked for some but then that is the Law of Averages I think more than what they said. The best hook is the “Hidden Job Market”, well let me clue you in it is so hidden they can’t find it but if it existed they can teach you how to find it. Well it exists and they can’t.

The Hidden job market is not advertised and not discussed. So how do you find it? Networking into your target companies and through the right person and the right questions you will find it. But what is it? It is three things;

Positions that are vacant and funded but not filled

Positions that were created but not funded and not filled

Position that you have to create and convince them they need you in that position.

Are they worth pursuing?  Yes if it is a place you want to work.

Please send me $20 for that advice. I might as well jump on the bandwagon too I need to money.

The most important thing I have learned is that those close to you are not your friends they are self centered and care about themselves. They do not listen to your dreams or passions. They could care less what you want they only care that you are working for their own selfish reasons.

Case in point:

I belong to an organization for unemployed professionals. I help out as much as I can as we are a community and I believe in Pay it Forward. My landlord and GF started pushing me to be a career coach because of all the help I was giving others. I was laser focused on an Engineering Manager position(My passion). I finally succumb to there bantering and started my business to help others with their careers their business and to develop leaders.

Foolish me thought that they would be willing to help promote my business and see me succeed at what they so vigorously pushed me into. Well like a couple of David Copperfields they vanished. I guess they figured well he is doing something that will make money our jobs are done. Thanks for nothing!!!!!

Ah but like David Copperfield they have reappeared to push me into taking anything to make any money. No concern for my mental state or attitude. No concern about helping me get the business going, no concern about what I want. Just as long as their selfish concerns are met they are happy. What about my happiness does it matter or count in all this?

Now I know why so many unemployed people feel they are going it alone. Now I know why we try to band together for support. We are the only ones who truly know what we are going through and we need each other to help each other. But even in these groups there are takers and do not see the need or feel the need to give back. This is baffling to me why someone would do that to a fellow human being when they understand what is at stake.  But I guess that is human nature and Karma will get them someday.

So I guess the lessons are:

Do not depend on friends and relatives to help you or have your best interest in mind when they tell you things you should be doing.

Stay laser focused on what you want

Take what the experts tell you with a grain of salt. Remember they make a living off of you.

Listen to what you fellow seekers have found that works. Learn as much about it and then figure out if it will  work for you and try it.

No matter how strong you think you are…. you are not to strong to be alone and cry once in awhile. It helps clear the mind and gets you recharged and focused. It give you a renewed determination. It also relieves stress.

Be your self! Especially in an interview. I have interviewed a number of people and yes we can tell when you have been “coached”. We want to see the real you. It counts against you if you’re not.

Treat interviews as a business meeting where you are selling a commodity and they need it. Tell them why your’s is the best.

Do not stop looking no matter how bad it seems. The day you stop is the day you missed the opportunity of a life time. It is just Murphy’s Law and the Law of Averages.

Smile and have a sense of humor it sucks being gloomy doomy all the time. Take the weekends off and have some fun. Go streak your kids soccer game. Well maybe not that. They do not have computers in holding cells (see the last point).

GTHOOTO!!!!! This is a great one from Tom Peters that he tells leaders. It stands for Get The Hell Out Of The Office. So get the hell out of the house. I do not know of nay door to door job offers or networkers. Plus it is good to be out and meet and talk to other people. You feel less like you have that  dreaded highly contagious unemployment disease. At least that is the way everyone treats you.

If you are reading this then vent in the comment section. Add your two cents! Get it off your chest or just add to it.

Positive attitudes win!

Focus and determination are key.

My attitude when I get rejected is; The jerks don’t know a good thing when it hits them in the face. Oh well their loss not mine. If a company cannot see the talent and skills you provide and what it means for them in a very positive way then they do not deserve someone as great as we are.

Out of Unemployment and savings What now? November 5, 2010

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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I was and still am trying to get my business going with zero budget. I have asked my friends to help spread the word but they have not done a good job.

I am trying to rely heavily on Social Media to get me noticed and get the word out. But I think most of the people are too self involved to help others.

I have two people who are trying to help me and one is someone who I am still getting to know better and one is someone I just met. But the people who are closest to me ….nothing.

I have helped a number of unemployed people in the WIND group and ask for them to help but again nothing.

I am sure there are those of you out there going through the same thing. You have helped others and now that you need help everyone has seemed to disappear from the radar and immediate vicinity.

Makes you wonder what this word has come to. Being unemployed gives you time to reflect on  what is important to you and who is important to you. To re-evaluate your relationships and friendships.

It is a struggle and you feel so alone.

However, it is not a time to give up. Failure is not an option in my book and you should think about it as your mantra also. I refuse to demean myself no matter how bad it gets because I know who I am and what I am capable of doing and I mean something damn it!

I just haven’t found the company that deserves my talents or the company that has taken the time to recognize them. In this fast pace, take the easiest route world we live in there are a number of highly qualified people that are being overlooked for the dumbest of reasons.

My neighbor came over yesterday with a small care package of food for me. It is nice to know there is still some charity left in the world. It renews my hope and faith in mankind.

I will succeed in my new venture somehow some way as I said failure is not an option for me.

We should ban together and figure out how to fight the fight together for there is safety in numbers as well as strength.

Thee is no weakness in asking for help only strength!