29 May 2017

Archives for June 2016

Working Out of My Home Office

Home Office

John Lloyd

Hello Dave,

Hope things are well!

Wanted to let you know I have landed a new job with Ametek. Working out of my home office which is different, but a welcome change from commuting.

Thank you for all your help and support. What you and the team do for JobSeekers is awesome. Glad Arlyn directed me to you and the group because I was little lost at the time.

It was a relief to be able to meet other folks and talk about ‘things’ that really matter with the Lord present and behind us all. Gave me much needed peace of mind which I wouldn’t have found elsewhere.

If there is anything I can do to help going forward please let me know.

Thank you again and God Bless.

– John Lloyd

No Meeting This Week

Declaration of Independence


4 July 1776

No meeting this week! See you at our next meeting on Friday 8 July.

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JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. Meetings are not held on the Fridays closest to Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

Click here for more information about the meetings and agenda.

See you on Friday!

– Dave O’Farrell
Corporate Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

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The Declaration of Dependence

Declaration of Dependence


Patrick Henry

As we celebrate the 240th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence this week, let’s also celebrate our declaration of dependence of God. As bad as some people say things are, or as bad as they may seem, this is still the best nation on earth to live in. For this we can thank the founders of this nation; they were not only brave patriots, they were devout Christians as well. Their source of strength was the Lord God Almighty. He is the rock this nation is built upon.

Yes, our forefathers declared independence from Britain; they also declared their dependence on God, not on a king or queen or anything else that is of this earth:

1. Thomas Paine. Paine published a booklet in January 1776 called Common Sense. The booklet inspired the colonists to work toward the formation of a new independent government. In one section Paine outlined the origin and development of monarchies using the Bible as his textbook. He made this comment in his essay: “Government by kings was first introduced into the world by the Heathens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry.” Paine did not want his country to be connected with the work of Satan. There was a biblical basis for his plea for independence.

Declaration of Dependence


Thomas Paine

2. Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson said, “God, who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? And that they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

3. Patrick Henry. Henry is best known for saying, “Give me liberty or give me death,” also said: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

As Americans, we thank God for the independence we enjoy today. We thank the brave men and women in our armed forces around the world – today and yesterday – for preserving the freedom that we often take for granted. God bless them all – living and dead – for putting their lives on the line so we can worship our Father in heaven.

Our Declaration of Dependence

As JobSeekers, it’s time for us to declare our independence from the things of this world and to declare our dependence on God Almighty. It’s time to stopping complaining about how big our storm is, and to start telling the storm how big our God is.

Declaration of Dependence


Common Sense

We are dependent on God. When we acknowledge this, he provides for our every need. When we forget, he humbles us just as he did the Hebrews in the wilderness: “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” – Deuteronomy 8:3

See you on Friday 10 July at JobSeekers, where we declare our dependence on God.

Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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Some of the content from this article is from “Faith of Our Fathers” by B. Jane Kulp, and found here »

A Bias for Action

bias for action


How much does your job search
cost you each day?

Our topic four weeks ago was “How to Make $13K Real Fast.” Some people who couldn’t make it wrote and asked me how to make $13K real fast. I’m shocked and surprised that all of you who couldn’t make it didn’t write to me! Some of you don’t have a bias for action.

The answer is: look for a job during the summer. Look for a job every day, all day during the summer. I arrived at this figure by using the figures you have reported to us when you came to your first meeting. The average member of JobSeekers of PTC earns about $180 per day, 365 days a year. Multiply that amount by the 73 days of summer in the Fayette County school system and you have $13,140.

If you had to write a $13K check in order to take the summer off, would you do it?

If you haven’t been working on your job search this week because you want to relax during your kids’ first month of summer, write a check for $5400. Yes, Memorial Day is a work day for a job seeker. Father’s Day is a work day for a job seeker. Every day is a work day (an opportunity) for a job seeker.

If you’ve taken the summer off so far, you are not showing a bias for action.

– – – – –

“If you could attempt anything in your job search today and you knew beforehand you were going to be successful at it, what would you do?”

Two or three times a year I ask the audience at JobSeekers this question. Most of the responses have to do with networking and using the phone. “I’d call the company I interviewed with three weeks ago and tell them I want the job.” “I’d call the VP of operations at such-and-such a company and ask for an informational meeting.”

If you knew you were going to be successful – and you actually did it – you’d have a bias for action.

What’s holding you back?

Next I ask what’s holding them back. Fear and pride come up every time. Other responses include not knowing anyone to call, not wanting to interrupt, and not having the necessary skills. “I just don’t know what I’m supposed to say.”

Many times a year (every week?) we emphasize that networking is by far the number one way people find jobs. Most people do it, but they do far too little of it. One time I took a survey at a JobSeeker meeting. The question was, “When was the last time you contacted someone you’d never spoken to before and asked for help with your job search?” The average was 7.21 days. Everyone knows networking is the best way to find a job, but they only talk to one new person per week!

When I think about this critical issue, these two bible verses pop into my head:

1. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

2. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Only six verses separate these two passages. They are both found in the fourth chapter of James. What’s the connection between these passages and someone seeking employment? I believe I am writing to a great many of you who need to hear this message – people who need to act decisively upon this advice.

Humility pays off.

The first passage about being humble is clear. I know from personal experience that it takes a great deal of humility to tell someone you are out of work and need some help. I did better at this in my own search in 2000 than I did in 1992. I know this is hard; I have tons of empathy for you.

One member of the Ship’s Crew saw a gentleman at church almost every week for eight months before the gentlemen mentioned that he was in career transition. Pride and inaction may have cost that job seeker tens of thousands of dollars.

Swallowing your pride and asking for help could shorten your search by months, which would increase your income substantially. For example, if you earn $72K per year and shorten your search by two months, your gross income increases by $12K. You may get back on a corporate medical plan two months sooner and won’t have to pay COBRA fees. So I urge you, brothers and sisters, to humble yourself before the Lord – and before your family, friends and neighbors – and they will lift you up!

We had several people in the past year that had been out of work for almost a year. They humbled themselves, asked us for help, invested in some training, and found great jobs as a result. They had a bias for action and it paid big dividends.

Action pays off.

In Search of ExcellenceThe second passage about “doing what you know you ought to do” is a verse I’ve struggled with. I’ve asked myself, “Is it a sin to spend 70% of your time on ‘Monster’ and other job boards when you know that the best way to find a job is through networking?” I’ll let you and God work that one out, but I do have an analogy for what I see many of you doing:

Think of a pilot trying to get a plane airborne: the plane has to achieve a certain speed in order to take off. In the worst case, it will crash into whatever is at the end of the runway, possibly killing all aboard.

I’ve met many of you who think you are going fast enough to get airborne. You’re burning lots of fuel and going 90 miles an hour, but you’re not going fast enough to get airborne. It breaks my heart and frustrates the heck out of me to see you plodding down the runway.

In their best selling business book, In Search of Excellence, Peters and Waterman say one of the eight principles of a well-run, focused company is “a bias for action.”

Friends, some of you are not in action! You think you are, but you aren’t. You’re working hard, but not smart. You’re on the internet when you should be on the phone. You’re out in left field when you should be out in the community.

You’re not letting me down; you’re letting yourself and your family down.

Friends, some of you are not in action! You don’t see the consequence of taking the afternoon, or the day, or the week, or the summer off. I mentioned financial consequences, but there are other possible consequences as well, like explaining why your job search is taking so long. Time is money. Behave as if you believe this.

What are you going to do?

By golly, if you know the good you ought to do, by all means, do it! I don’t know if it’s a sin – or evil – or not, but I do know that it is a disservice to you, to your family and to the Kingdom of God. Paul scolded the church members in Thessalonica (2 Thessalonians, chapter 3) for laziness in their work; now I am challenging you and your bias for action.

I am asking you to reflect on what you are doing – on what’s working and what you need to change. I’m sure that all of us – including our alumni, our network, and me – can find some area of our lives that we are not doing the things we know we ought to do. So I am challenging each and every one of you to take one decisive step to ramp up your job search, your career, or your business – to the glory of God.

Are you on board? What are you going to do?

See you Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we have a bias for action!

Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Secret Job Market

Secret Job Market

John Duncan

Dave,

I want you to know that I received a job offer from Robert Half Legal and I accepted it! Your help was invaluable, especially the focus on the secret job market. My new position was never posted but my persistence with networking got me in the door.

You and your team do amazing work, and I am confident that my time on Fridays was well spent. Thank you for everything! Praise God!

– John Duncan

The Divine Improvisation

Wynton Marsalis


Wynton Marsalis

God’s will is dynamic! We see examples of the divine improvisation all the time if we keep our eyes open to the gentle whisper of the Lord.

In the middle of recent meeting at JobSeekers, someone’s cell phone went off. The incident reminded me of a sermon I once heard; the key illustration was about Wynton Marsalis, arguably the greatest jazz musician of his generation – and one of the finest classical musicians as well. Marsalis has won Grammy awards in both categories.

The story took place on a Tuesday evening in late August 2001 in Greenwich Village at a jazz club called the Village Vanguard. This excerpt is from Faith Today:

Marsalis began an unaccompanied solo of the heartrending 1930′s ballad, “I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You.” Hajdu [a journalist covering the performance] records that the audience became rapt as Marsalis’s trumpet virtually wept in despair, almost gasping at times with the pain in the music.

Stretching the mood taut, Marsalis came to the final phrase, with each note coming slower and slower, with longer and longer pauses between each one: “I … don’t … stand … a … ghost … of … a … chance … ”

And then someone’s cell phone went off.

It began to chirp an absurd little tune. The audience broke up into titters, the man with the phone jumped up and fled into the hallway to take his call, and the spell was broken. “MAGIC – RUINED,” the journalist scratched into his notepad.

But then Marsalis played the cell phone melody note for note. He played it again, with different accents. He began to play with it, spinning out a rhapsody on the silly little tune, changing keys several times. The audience settled down, slowly realizing they were hearing something altogether extraordinary. Around and around Marsalis played for several minutes, weaving glory out of goofiness.

Finally, in a masterstroke, he wound his cadenza down seamlessly to the last two notes of his previous song: “… with … you.” The audience exploded with applause.

God was at work in that club. That same versatile, resourceful God is at work in your life and mine.

That same brilliantly adaptable God is at work throughout this sin-sick world, bringing beauty out of baseness, heroism out of holocaust, love out of loss – even salvation out of sacrifice. He calls us to believe, and then do the same.

In the sermon, Chuck Hodges (Senior Pastor at Athens First UMC) said God works for our good every day; His will is dynamic. Keith Moore (Senior Pastor at Dogwood Church) preaches the same thing; God’s dynamic will takes over when sin spoils His plan. In other words, we are subject to the consequences of our will and our decisions – as well as the will and decisions of others – and stuff happens. Like losing a job. Or coming in second on an interview. Or missing a mortgage payment. Or getting a divorce.

Let God do something amazing in your life. This adversity is an opportunity to experience what God can do – an opportunity to experience His grace. Submit to His will and trust him with all your heart. He can take whatever mess you are in right now and weave glory out of goofiness. He will divinely improvise to (re)create a joyful and abundant life for you. If there is never a burden, how will we discover what great things God can do?

Here are two versions of Proverbs 3:5-6:

1) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)

2) Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (The Message)

See you Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we experience God’s divine improvisations!

Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Zig Ziglar says, “Do a check up from the neck up”

Zig Ziglar says, "Do a check up from the neck up."


Zig Ziglar
(11/6/26 – 11/28/12)

Zig Ziglar used to say we need “a checkup from the neck up.” One time I spoke to an HR manager who was having a hard time filling a position; the position had been open for more than two months. I immediately recommended a member of JobSeekers; he was imminently qualified for the job. She said they had already interviewed him and decided not to hire him. Why?

She said he had a poor attitude.

Friends, sometimes the number one thing standing between you and a job is your attitude! Maybe you need to do “a check up from the neck up.”

I witnessed this at a job fair one time. As people approached the JobSeekers’ table I was hosting, I’d ask, “What do you do for a living?” They’d look at me and squint one eye and wrinkle their brow and say, “[Well duh], I’m unemployed!” While I was checking for attitude, they were checking to see if I had a brain.

If attitude is your problem, this is good news because it doesn’t take years to earn or learn a new attitude the way a college degree, a certain skill set, or specific industry experience would. Your attitude is a decision you make every day. I learned this bit of wisdom several years ago: “Before your feet hit the floor in the morning, you make a decision about what kind of day you’re going to have.” I challenge you to “decide” to have a good day today, tomorrow and every day during your job search.

In addition to job search, attitude plays a key role in how we deal with poor health, death, divorce, persecution and financial woes.

Here are five examples:

An old lady.

Once there was an old lady who lived in an assisted living facility. As her health deteriorated, it became necessary to move her into a nursing home. She was almost blind. When the day came, her son walked her into the nursing home and down the hall toward her new room. As they approached the door to her room she exclaimed, “Oh I love it! The furniture is so nice and the curtains are beautiful!” Her son said, “Mom, we’re still in the hallway.” She replied, “I know son, but I’ve already decided that I’m going to like it here.”

Bill Cosby.

In January 1997, Cosby’s only son, Ennis, was robbed and murdered on a Los Angeles highway after he stopped to fix a flat tire. On Dr. Richard Rahe’s well-known life change index, the death of your child is worst life change a person can experience. It must be even more bewildering if your child is the victim of a random murder. I wondered how Cosby would ever be able to make people laugh again. I was amazed when he was back at work and as funny as ever just a few months later. (Boy, has Cosby’s stock sunk since I first wrote this!)

Viktor Frankl.

Our chaplain, Howard Tisdale (1921-2012), quoted Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) often. Frankl survived the Holocaust, even though he was in four Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz, from 1942-45. His mother, father, brother and wife died in the camps – from the harsh conditions or the gas ovens. His entire family, except for his sister, died. In Man’s Search for Meaning, he wrote about choosing one’s attitude: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way … Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually.” (p. 104-105)

The apostle Paul.

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27) With this in mind, he wrote to the church in Philippi: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:10-12)

You.

These examples are great, but do you know who the best example is to those around you? It’s you! Not only has God given you the opportunity to grow and to draw closer to him; he’s calling you to be a powerful witness in his name. Don’t let God down. There are people watching you to see how you bear up under the difficult circumstances you are in right now. Decide right now that you will bear this burden with dignity, that you will overcome any obstacle, and that you will be joyful no matter what the circumstances. You will bless others by doing so, and as a result, you will bless yourself.

Rick Warren says, “Life is a series of problems: either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one or you’re getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ-likeness.”

I rejoice greatly that I know you. Along with the other members of the Ship’s Crew, we want you to find a job, but even more so, we want you to know the joy of the Lord.

See you on Friday at JobSeekers – where we’ll do a check up from the neck up!

Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved