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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.

Choices March 10, 2011

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Where do I start with choices that job seekers have? There are not many and they are all tough choices.

We are up against the worst  job market since probably the depression. It isn’t getting any better. The government is absolutely no help as they are controlled by finance and big business. Just look at AIG and Goldman Sachs, they bail them out only to have these companies go right back to business as usual and the government sits silent and does nothing.  Oh they put on an air pushing for reform but that was to appease the tax payers and then let it die in the media and congress.

Since things are so frustrating  job seekers are in a front line battle with HR and recruiters. This is one of those feuds that have been going on far too long like the Hatfield’s and the McCoys. At least in some groups the better recruiters are trying diligently to train job seekers and bad recruiters as to how it done properly.

It could be companies have agents to keep this feud going as it detracts from them who are the real problem here. Them! Yes they are the ones that can’t make a decision, they have no clue what they really need, and their attitude about unemployed need no apply.

Then there are there  job postings. What moron is writing these things up? They themselves couldn’t fill the position they are advertising  as they would be highly underqualified.

There are many merger and acquisitions going on which equates to more layoffs and then companies are still laying off anyway. AOL just laid off 200 in the US only. Thanks AOL for boosting the economy. I am glad I got away from them many years ago.

So what choices do we have with all this going against us.

The choices are these;

1.) Refuse to be intimidated by the situation and all the players in it.

2.) Resolve to stay positve and help others like yourself stay positive.

3.) Do not give up ever! Yes it is tough but you are a professional and do professionals throw in the towel? No! They find solutions. So find yours!

4.) Get out of the house, network, walk, get a cup of coffee or tea, visit a friend who is unemployed.

5.) Stick to your values and ethics.

6.) They cannot take away your knowledge, skills  and experience. But just because you are not working doen’t mean yu can’t use them to help you land that next job.

7.) Stop generating excuses and being a naysayer. Get positive and confident.

8.) Get into LinkedIn Job hunt groups and also recruiter groups so that you can have discussion and not assumptions. The good ones will help you.

9.) Help out around the house but wait until after dinner, your 9-5 is your job search job nothing else.

So it boils down to your choice is to let this defeat you or you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move forward.

Is it time to fight back? February 23, 2011

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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

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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?

 

News we could loose!(Humor title) January 6, 2011

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I am being a little sarcastic with the headline. Why? Because it is news we do not really want to hear but must face.

The news we have been hearing through 2010 is continuing into 2011. I guess it boils down to who you want to listen to and who do you want to believe.  I mean it is confusing when the media you are reading has 2 articles on the same page that conflict each other.

US companies showing a rebound in stocks. Sounds great for the ole  U S of A gives you hope. Then 2 articles down they tell you that while US based companies are hiring like crazy off shore they continue to layoff here at home.

The industry that is hiring is the medical field so you should apply there. They do not tell you that you need school and more than that exact experience. A few articles down there is talk of drug companies having major layoffs as well as hospitals.

So you can see my point for the title and the sarcasm.

So with all the conflicting data and articles out there what is a seeker to do.

Stay focused, do your research, pick your target companies and stay on top of what they are doing. Set up google alerts on them to notify you when they get mentioned. Use this information when you are networking your way into the company.

Use LinkedIn to help you get noticed and stay up on the latest trends in your field. How? By groups and professional organization groups, read and engage in the discussions.  Check the company for jobs and for people who you may want to network with.

Loose the news and stay focused on what is important you landing!

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.

New College Grads What are they to do? December 11, 2010

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We have been taught all our live that to get a good job you need a good education. So after we graduate high school we go right off to college. The jobs they have held during high school and college are not even related to what they are studying.  It is just the jobs they can get to make some cash.

Now they have hustled to earn that degree and graduate hopefully in the top of their class only to be told now that they need the experience to get the job.

Oh to be stuck in the Catch 22 syndrome I can’t get the experience without the job and I can’t get the job with out the experience.

I tell my clients and my children who are in college to get the summer internships to get the experience. I suggest that if the college or University has a coop program that they take that extra year to get the experience. This way they are in a better position than those that didn’t because they will have both the education and the experience.

I guess those that came up with this policy have forgotten what it was like when they started. I guess they have forgotten that they want the latest techniques and subject knowledge which you get from school. They forget that as they move people up they need the new people to train to become part of their succession program.  Or have they abandon that train of thought?

I guess that I am too logical and forward thinking to get a grasp on the idea of not hiring new grads because they lack experience. I guess in my head it comes across as ignorance and incompetence. A lack of ethics and morales. I feel that I should compel a list of these companies so I know where to tell my clients not to apply to because it would not be conducive to their future plans. That their future will more likely be stifled by the mind set controlling these companies and that their future will more than likely be in jeopardy.

To date I have not had one person who could provide a good rational or business explanation to this practice. Why is that? What does that tell you?

IT tell me that it is based on some irrational thought process and what does that tell me. Red Flags!