Challenging Times at Work? Forget About Whether The Glass Is Half Empty Or Half Full & Focus On What You Can Do With The Water

As you navigate the modern workplace, you must always focus on your main goal: earning and growing your perpetual paycheck. This will not always be easy, since today’s work environment is objectively difficult and no one is immune from its hardships and heartaches. Every day I hear about employees facing challenging times. You may have been passed over for a promotion, or not received a job offer after a few rounds of interviews. Perhaps you were laid off through no fault of your own, were terminated for behavior you now regret, or find it challenging to regain your position after taking a leave of absence to tend to a personal matter. The good new is that regardless of your situation, more often than not, even the most difficult situations can become the launching pad for different types of successes. The business world is filled with examples of forward-thinking entrepreneurs who … Continue reading

Jumping into Your First Midcareer Job Search? Remember It’s Never Too Late To Take Your First Step

  Jumping into a job search the first time in a number of years? No need to worry: No matter what your age, or where you are in your career or job-search process, you can do this. It is never too soon or too late to modify your strategies to achieve the greatest amount of success. Consider the fact that financial advisors always emphasize the importance of starting to save for retirement at the earliest age possible. We all know that if you start saving in your twenties, you will increase the chances of achieving financial security during your retirement years. But, even if you never thought about saving for retirement until you were fifty-five or sixty-five, it is not as if the advisor will say, “Sorry, too late, there is nothing I can do for you.” More likely, the advisor will work with you so that you can make … Continue reading

A Dog, Cinderella, and Your Job Search

Have you heard the joke about the dog that walked down the street and saw this sign in the office window: HELP WANTED  MUST TYPE 70 WORDS A MINUTE MUST BE COMPUTER LITERATE MUST BE BILINGUAL EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER The dog applies for the position, but is quickly refused. “I can’t hire a dog,” says the office manager. The dog points to the line “equal opportunity employer.” The office manager sighs and asks if the dog can type. The dog walks over to a typewriter and flawlessly bangs out a letter. “Can you operate a computer?” asks the manager. The dog sits down at a terminal, writes a program and runs it perfectly. “Look, you have fine skills, but I still can’t hire a dog,” says the exasperated office manager. “I need someone who’s bilingual. It says so right in the ad.” The dog looks up at the manager and … Continue reading

Attention Job Seekers: Gray Hair is Just Gray Hair

Some positive news for older job seekers:  some of the most common job-search challenges you are facing have nothing to do with your actual age, but have to do with what your age represents. What do I mean by this? Let me give you an example: I had a childhood friend who turned gray prematurely. By the time we were juniors in high school, she had a full head of gray hair. She often talked about the time, money, and effort it took to regularly color her gray locks, until at one point she just decided to forgo those efforts. The bright side, she joked, was that she no longer had to fear the sight of a few gray strands. Sure, from time to time, someone would make a comment, but most of the time her gray locks were a non-issue and never interfered with anything she tried to do. … Continue reading

“Stranger Danger” & Your Job Search

From an early age we are taught not to talk to strangers. For that reason, by the time we’re adults many of us tend to avoid engaging strangers in conversation, even for just five minutes. This mindset likely infiltrates a number of components of our daily lives. We may first reach out to a babysitter we have known for years before we try out a new babysitter, even if the prospective new hire comes highly recommended. We may drive a bit out of our way to a gift store where we know the salesperson, even if we know there is another similar store in town. The fact is, it’s human nature to gravitate to people we know and to help those who help us. This is precisely what happens in the workplace. You work alongside your colleagues eight hours a day, five days a week. Why would you want to … Continue reading

Don’t Look a Job-Lead Gift Horse in the Mouth!

As the holiday season approaches, there is a lot of talk about the etiquette of gift-giving, and any lessons learned can actually have a powerful impact on your job search. To see the relevance, first consider this story that illustrates the old adage about not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Once when I was on the way to my college dining hall, I saw a man holding a sign saying that he was homeless, had not eaten in days, and was desperate to feed his wife and two children. An hour later, as I exited the dining hall, I packed three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, three apples, and three cookies into a lunch bag and delivered them to the man. When I handed him the bag, he asked what was inside. “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, and cookies,” I said. To my surprise, he said that … Continue reading

Be Careful When Regifting Job Search Advice!

As Thanksgiving approaches, this is an ideal time to remember the importance of thanks within the context of your job-search process. When someone provides you with job-related advice, or someone in your network puts you in touch with the recruiter leading the search for a position for which you applied, what you are receiving is, in fact, a gift. And because of this, traditional gift-giving rules apply. Job seekers should be sure to thank everyone who provides them with job search advice. This is not only the polite thing to do, but it is an important strategic move. Many successful companies recognize the power of a thank you and expend significant resources because they recognize its benefits. For example, eBay tells its top sellers that “sending your buyers a thank you note after a purchase can be a great way to strengthen your seller-buyer bond. But besides that, it can … Continue reading

Employers want to share in your gain, not your pain

Employers want to share in your gain, not your pain. As we embark on the holiday season, remember that this is a great time to focus on your job search since you will be meeting a lot of prospective employers at holiday gatherings. Remember when you are discussing potential employment opportunities, employers wants to share in your gain, not your pain. Consider the man who walks into a party with a beautiful woman on his arm. If you’re the woman, perhaps you engaged in grueling workouts during the six weeks leading up to the event and did a juice cleanse in order to squeeze into that dress. If you’re the man, while you may appreciate all the hard work your partner did to achieve that look, you probably don’t want to hear about it. You’d rather just bask in the moment (and watch the others gaze at you with envy) … Continue reading

Start of Holiday Season To-Do List: Go Public!

If you really really really want a job, you are going to have to pound the pavement and tell everyone about it.   I once attended a panel discussion for aspiring script writers. Near the end of the discussion, one of the attendees asked the moderator, an established script writer, how to 100-percent guarantee that no one in Hollywood would steal his script, which he was certain would eventually become the next blockbuster. The moderator asked if the script had been written and printed out. The answer was yes to both. “Perfect,” said the moderator. “When you get home, erase any digital copies, place the printed copy carefully under your bedroom mattress, and keep it there forever. This is your 100-percent guarantee your idea will not be stolen by anyone in Hollywood. Unfortunately, this is also the only 100-percent guarantee that your script will never be made into a movie.” … Continue reading