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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?

Do I go or do I stay? Part 1 June 13, 2011

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Upon typing the title I realized that it has two purposes one for job seekers and one for employed people thinking of jumping ship.

Part 1 will be for seekers and part 2 will be for employed.

As workers we do not have control over the markets or the shifts in markets. Sometimes the markets will shift geographically for economical reason for the company.

This creates situations that will instill fear into the hearts of brave men and women. The decision to stay or to go.

For the new graduates entering the work world your family is your security blanket your fall back plan until you have established yourself enough to be on your own. To be independent.

For the experienced worker. You have bought a house you have have a family you have friends….you are comfortable in your surroundings. Your family needs you to be close so that you can watch out over them. It is a tough world and you want the best  for your children and you want to see your grandchildren grow up.

When I was working in the electronics industry I knew that I had a limited choice of places to work. What I called the hot spots, Boston, Phoenix, California, Washington(state), New Mexico and Texas.  That changed in recent years and has seemed to dwindle down to Silicon Valley as being the last hot spot for electronics. Yes there are small scatterings of electronics throughout the country but it isn’t like the hubs of old when you could feel more secure about going to an area where there may be multiple opportunities.

So the choice boils down to this; do I stay and find a new field and struggle to work my way to the top or do I follow my passion and move to where the job is?

You  have a choice of moving the whole family or going out by yourself and just rent a room. You can come home once in awhile while you establish yourself and get comfortable enough to bring the rest of the family out.  This allows you time to find the right neighborhood with the right schools before bringing everyone out.

You always have a choice to stay find lower paying work and struggle or not find work because you are overqualified or not qualified for the new field and wind up homeless. Who have you served by doing this? Your family situation is not one of love peace and harmony. The stress is effecting everyone.  Your wife may have to go out and find work to make up the difference between what you used to make and what you are making now and in most cases that isn’t enough either. Then who will watch the grandchildren because their mother has to work to make ends meet.

Fear is what holds you place. Fear of the unknown, meeting new people making new friends, selling the old house and buying a new one in an unstable market.

The alternative is maintaining the job you are passionate about, the one you are qualified for, the one that may still have upward mobility opportunities with it.  The ability to still support your family.

Distance isn’t the enemy not in this age of text messages, video calls, Skype, Internet, and transportation.

I told my children 2 years ago I love you to death but I have to go where the jobs are even if is off-shore. They understood.

The easy decision isn’t always the right one and the tough ones are the hardest to make but usually are the best because they have been well thought out and planned.

So do you stay and everyone possibly suffers or do you go and embrace a new world and opportunity?

What are you going to do?

What has been your experience if you stayed?

What has been your experienced if you went?

A tuff row to hoe!! May 5, 2011

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Well I am sure that the latest news of unemployment jumping up have some of you pulling your hair out or becoming despaired.  It certainly isn’t making your life any easier especially if you are a 27+ weeker.

It may be time to face the reality that our nation is in deep trouble and the end doesn’t seem to be in sight. You may have to face the facts that the job you use to do is not going to be available for some time. The last I heard was 2018 to get back to prerecession numbers and that may not be that solid now.

I am not being negative here I am being realistic and it is time for you to do the same. What was your fall back plan your plan B? Did you have one?

It is time for some deep reflection and skill analysis and ask yourself what else can I do that would get me hired somewhere.

I myself am having a hard time having been a 27+weeker and took a job at Lowe’s working weekends and holidays. I work $20 hrs a week for about $11/hr. It isn’t as living but I can survive with the help of my oldest son.

My background was in electronics and management but I have come to the realization that those jobs are gone and that companies are no longer interested in what is being deemed servant leadership.

I have the business I started in 2010 just before my benefits ran out and it is a struggle in this economy to find work but yet I refuse to give in.

I will find a way to get back on my feet and be proud again. I am sure that you can do the same. It is time to re-invent yourself in order to survive.

We cannot rely on corporate America to fix themselves any time soon as they have learned to operate lean and mean and are going to stay that way. The mergers and acquisitions that are still going on will mean less jobs not more.

Until they realize they are killing themselves slowly corporations will continue to operate with their heads in the sand.

We cannot wait for them to get their heads out of their …..well lets not go there!

It is time for us to move on and forward!

The end is in sight!? April 22, 2011

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The purist will note my double punctuation but there is a reason for it.

Watching a news segment yesterday on the McJob Fair a employment specialist said at the rate of jobs being created we will be back to pre-recession rates by 2018. What she neglected to say is that the vast majority of people will go from unemployed to under employed which really will not be helping the economic recovery.

There are still mergers and acquisition’s going on which usually means more layoffs. Companies are now starting to try and shed their poor earners by offering them up for sale. Or like Cisco just shudder the doors as the company doesn’t fit in anymore.

So yes it may take another 7 years to get America to work but don’t expect the economy to be as robust that will take much longer.

On another note, I get much enjoyment reading conflicting reports on the same day in the same location from different sources. While on Yahoo I read that the new home market is up 11.7% which sounds good if there are people to buy these houses. Why do I say this? Because further down the page  was another article that stated people are shying away from home ownership. How can there be both?

I can understand people wanting to shy away from home ownership due to the loss of value in their home when the market collapsed. Also the people who bought high and then were forced to sell low. So the question to ask is the new home market is that based on speculation? More than likely!  Also the whole home mortgage fiasco with there being so much confusion on who really owns your mortgage or the parts of it. So there will be a long running fear that even though you have been sending your check in you could still loose your house. So why buy into this mess?

I know that I really don’t want to buy a home. I would rather be a full-time RVer. The cost are less for insurance, maintenance, taxes, etc are less than homeownership. If I need to go elsewhere for work I would be able to  just unplug and go. Do not have to worry about if I could sell my house, would I be able to make a profit, would I make enough on the sale to pay a bigger portion of the new mortgage?

Anyway the end is in sight you just may have to tough it out for 7 more years hopefully!

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.

 

Do you feel like Thomas Edison? I know I do! January 31, 2011

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Thomas Edison took 1,000 tries to invent the lightbulb.

When asked about his many failures Edison replied that he had not failed at all. But that he had learned 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.

There is a lesson in this.  We apply for jobs and then expect results. When none come we do the same thing over again. This is the definition of insanity.  We need to learn from our trials and tribulations during the process. Like Edison it may take you 1,000 tries to land that job.

Do you think Edison kept using the same materials over and over again expecting different results. NO!

He studied what he did and learned from it. If I use this wire it just heats up and breaks. Why did it do that? Oh I see the wire has to have these properties. Next wire.

As job seekers we have to do the same thing. We have to catalog everything we try and to learn from the lesson. We need to analyze it and take the parts that worked and figure out how to use them in a better lightbulb and then discard the ones that didn’t.  We need to know what didn’t work so we don’t repeat it and waste time.

Ah but we have the advantage that Edison did not we have others doing the same thing that we can meet with and find out what they have discovered.  Kind of like what  the Wright Brothers had experienced during the process of making their plane. There were others working on the same idea at the same time and they somewhat shared their ideas, I think more out of ego than collaboration.

So lets all be Like Thomas Edison and have the right attitude that we haven’t failed we just have discovered a number of ways that don’t work.