29 May 2017

Archives for December 2016

Forget What’s Past, Strain Toward What’s Ahead

Forget-What-Hurt-You-In-The-Past-Facebook-CoverLet’s forget what’s past and strain toward what’s ahead – brighter days in the upcoming year. Let’s make it a great 2017!

I think it’s really fitting that Christmas and New Year’s Day are only a week apart. Both remind me of new life and new beginnings. Christmas reminds me that through Christ, we are all new creatures indeed. The New Year reminds me that our Lord wants us to strain toward what’s ahead instead of dwelling on the past. You can’t see the new horizons through your windshield if you’re concentrating on your rear view mirrors!

Paul shared with the believers in Philippi that he wanted to rise above his human nature, which was based on works and living according to the law, to faith-based righteousness, which comes from belief in Christ. He says, “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining on toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

Paraphrasing Paul, 2016 was a year many of us would like to put behind. We can learn from this verse and forget what’s behind and strain toward what’s ahead. When it comes to our careers, God wants us to learn from the past – to figure out what’s been working and what hasn’t, and to begin implementing change. Above all, He wants us to seek Him and His will for our lives and careers, and to work wholeheartedly as He leads us (see 2 Chronicles 31:21).

The upcoming year will be a good one. There are brighter days ahead. I feel blessed that every time I’ve changed jobs (and careers) I found something better. I hope, expect and pray that for those of you who are reading this and are in transition, you will find God at work in your career in 2013. When you read this newsletter a year from now, you will do so as a JobSeeker alumnus; and you will say, “That was a tough time, but thank God it happened, because look how well things have turned out.”

God bless all of you in the New Year!

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

No Meeting This Week!

christmas_tree_ornaments3x4croppedNo meeting this week, but totally stoked about how many people are landing jobs during the hiring season. I’ve also learned that many others are scheduled for interviews this week, next week, and the first week of January. We have actually scheduled about seven of these ourselves in our recruiting business, including three today.

Let me know if you’ve landed a job since 15 November.

Very proud of all these people. There is hope for us all. Trust in the Lord. Work wholeheartedly. Trust always.

Praise the Lord. God is good.

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Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Our next meeting is on Friday 6 January 2017. Our topic will be “Seven Search Strategies and Their Relative Effectiveness.”

In the meantime, be sure to read my Christmas blogs:

He Will Be Called Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace

Something Has Always Been

Christmas from a New Perspective

Are You Melancholy or Merry This Christmas?

Peace and joy,

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

“South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

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The Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace

UntoUsAChildIsBorn7For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

– Isaiah 9:6

I realize many of you are experiencing a sense of loss, or loneliness, or hurt, or fear, or frustration, or even desperation on this Christmas Eve.

When the prophet Isaiah wrote the verse above 2700 years ago, he was addressing the concerns of the troubled nation of Israel. Five verses prior he writes: “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.” He continues to write about those in the midst of darkness, death, burdens and oppression. Then he offers his message of hope.

Hope is available to all of us through the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Receive wisdom from the Wonderful Counselor. Tap into the power of the Mighty God. Lie in the arms of the Everlasting Father. Feel the love of the Prince of Peace.

I encourage you to attend a Christmas Eve service this year.

If you don’t have a church home, or if you wish to attend a service with a friend, call me on my cell phone: 770-823-2710. I’m a member of Peachtree City United Methodist at 225 Robinson Road. Our services are at 5:00, 7:00 and 9:00. I’m attending the 7:00 service, but I’ll meet you at any one of these services 20 minutes before it starts. Just call me on my cell and we’ll make arrangements.

May the love of the Holy Child of Bethlehem abide in your heart, and may the Prince of Peace fill you with hope and joy in this Christmas season. Amen.

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

Something Has Always Been

Click on the photos for more information.

I loved astronomy when I was a kid. When I was in fourth grade, my class took a field trip to Fernbank Science Center. Dr. Staal, the host of the planetarium show, told us to go outside that night and look straight up in the sky and we would see a golden-yellow star named Altair in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle. I did; I looked, and I was hooked. Soon I ordered a book called Know the Stars. I remember lying in bed with the lights out studying a list of the heavens’ 15 brightest stars by the light of a full moon. As I studied the moon and the stars, I was filled with wonder as I pondered the vastness of the heavens.

No wonder David, who had countless hours to ponder the heavens when he was a shepherd boy, wrote in Psalm 8:3-5: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” He also wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” – Psalm 19:1

The awesomeness of the universe.

During this time I learned about the speed of light. In a vacuum like space, light travels at more than 186,000 miles per second. To give you an idea of how fast that is, a beam of light could travel around the earth’s equator seven times in one second. Since our sun is an average of 93 million miles away, it takes eight-and-a-half minutes for light to make the trip from the sun to the earth.

Even our closest celestial neighbor is a great distance away. Alpha Centauri is 26.5 trillion miles away. Even though light travels at 670 million miles per hour, it still takes four-and-half years for a beam of light to arrive here on earth. Instead of “miles” we use “light years” to describe distances beyond the Solar System. Alpha Centauri is four-and-half light years away.

If you go outside tonight and look into the southeastern sky, you will see the constellation Orion, the Hunter. Orion is easy to spot because of the three equally bright, equally spaced stars that form his belt. The reddish star that forms his right shoulder is Betelgeuse (beetle-juice), which is 520 light years away. The light that you see from Betelgeuse left in 1496, four years after Christopher Columbus’ first voyage. It is 14,000 times brighter than our sun. If Betelgeuse were placed in the center of our Solar System, it would extend beyond the orbit of Jupiter. The brilliant white star that represents Orion’s left foot is Rigel, which is 900 light years away; William the Conqueror was busy establishing earldoms along the Anglo-Welsh borders when tonight’s light left Rigel.

The most distant object you will ever see with your naked eye is also in tonight’s sky. It’s the Andromeda galaxy (get an expert to help you find this one). It’s 2.5 million light years away. Mastodons roamed around North America when the light we see tonight left the Andromeda galaxy 2.5 million years ago.

Andromeda is one of the closer galaxies to the earth. Scientists estimate that there are tens of billions of galaxies. When I told my kids, Leigh and Austin, about the vastness of space for the first time (they were nine and 12), it blew their minds – just as it did mine when I was their age, and as it continues to do today. Then I told them that God is present in the most distant galaxy, and he is present in our hearts. Their responses were “wow” and “awesome.”

For a really cool affirmation of faith, click on the picture of “Earthrise” above. To view video of this event, click here.

Something has always been.

I became absolutely convinced of the existence of God at about the same time I became interested in astronomy. Our church was on its annual retreat to Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Georgia. Jane Purdue, the pastor’s wife, took my Sunday school class on a walk in the woods. She asked all of us to close our eyes and use our imaginations. When everyone settled down she asked us to think about who created the towering trees around us. Then she asked who created the majestic mountains, the vast oceans, and the ancient dinosaurs. In every case, of course, the answer was “God.”

Then she took us back to the creation of the earth, the moon, the sun, the stars and the Milky Way galaxy. Now she asked us to really stretch our minds, “Who created the universe and everything that is?” “God.” And then she asked, “And who created God?” She let that sink in for several seconds. We were speechless. Then she said, “Something has always been.”

The gospel of John describes the One who has always been: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” – John 1:1-5 and 14a

A mere 2000 years ago, Jesus – who has always been and always will be – became incarnate and lived among us: “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. He was with God in the beginning … Jesus became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The babe in the manger created the Star of Bethlehem all the stars in the heavens that shone above him.

Jesus came so that we might be reconciled to God, so that we can have an abundant life on earth and an eternal life in heaven. The Lord of All Creation took the form of a helpless baby – born to an unwed mother, into a poor family, in an unspectacular town, in an inhospitable time – to live and die as one of us, a perfect sacrifice for all mankind.

O come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Emanuel.

Our salvation is dependent solely on our faith in Jesus Christ. Charles C. Ryrie says that faith (or belief) is mentioned nearly 200 times in the New Testament as the single condition for salvation. Our faith must be placed in Christ as a substitute for, and savior from, our sins. Ryrie says it’s not easy to believe someone you’ve never seen about the most important decision you will ever make.

That’s where faith comes in. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

Christmas is about God’s tangible presence in our lives. Now you have seen him; now you know the way; now you decide. Choose Christ; choose eternal life.

The Lord of All Creation wants not only to be your savior, he also wants to be The Lord of Your Life. Put your sinful, selfish ways behind you and submit your will to the will of Christ. Make him the Lord of your life.

Friends, God loves you. He wants the best for you, and he wants to spend eternity with you. He wants you to have a career that uses your gifts and abilities in a way that is pleasing to him, good for your family, and rewarding for you. He desires you with all his heart, and he wants you to feel the same way toward him. He loves you so much that he came down from Heaven. Love came down from Heaven, for God is love.

During the Christmas season, I sing the fourth verse from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” over and over. I love it because it focuses not only on the beauty and mystery of a newborn child, but also on the eternal purpose of His incarnation:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray,
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels, their great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Emanuel.

May the love of the Holy Child of Bethlehem abide in your heart, and may the Prince of Peace fill you with hope and joy in this Christmas season. Amen.

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

Building Your Own Brand

This week’s topic about personal brandingpersonal branding, “Building Your Own Brand: How to put what you’re selling into one clear concise and powerful message,” is vitally important to every job seeker.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a brand? Yes, we all have our own personal brand whether we devote any thought or energy to it or not. As job seekers, we can scarcely ignore this important dimension of our campaigns.

There are many elements that make up a strong brand, and we teach these elements throughout the six-month curriculum. This week we will tie all this together as we create our own advertising slogan and business cards. You can use your new material as you are out and about during the holidays.

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JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. 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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Christmas from a New Perspective

If you are unemployed at Christmas for the first time this year – or for the first time in many years – I suppose you’re looking at Christmas from a new perspective. (If you’ve had any other major life events this past year, you’re looking at Christmas from a new perspective too.)

When your life and career are rockin’ and rollin’ along it’s easy to say something like, “Money is nice, but it’s not what makes me happy; I could live on a lot less.” Or maybe something more like this: “Being a manager in a well-known company and having over 20 years of service is nice, but it’s not what makes me happy; I would be content no matter what my circumstances.”

Now that you’ve hit an inevitable bump in your life and career, maybe those words don’t ring so true anymore. If they don’t, I encourage you to listen to the disquiet spirit within you to figure out what it’s saying. The message is important; it’s up to you whether you listen and take heed.

When I hit a rough spot in my life and career, my prideful gets self dashed against the rocks and pounded by the waves. I learn not only to look at Christmas from a new perspective, but at all of life from a new perspective. I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind. (Notice the present tense here; I have a long way to go.)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what’s God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

The pattern of this world is “success.” The world measures success in titles, degrees, income, houses, cars, toys, vacations, children and spouses. In Joy That Lasts, Gary Smalley describes how his life changed when he hit a rough spot: “For the first time I began to realize my major mistake: I was expecting to find fulfillment in people, places, possessions and position.”

The pattern of God’s kingdom is “significance.” Life is about moving from success to significance. It’s about moving from the sinful, human nature that is within all of us – toward a higher, Godlier nature. I wrote this a few years ago when I was struggling with this issue:

Christmas isn’t about the money we spend; it’s about the time we spend with God.
It’s not about the gifts we give; it’s about the love we give to one another.
It’s not about preparing our homes for guests; it’s about preparing our hearts for Christ.

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Arriving at Christmas without a job is one more mile on your journey of faith, one more step in your sanctification process, one more call from God asking you to allow him into your heart – or into the deeper recesses of your heart. In Ephesians 4:22-24 Paul said, “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Here are three quick points from Paul’s words above:

1. Put off your old self.

He lists deceitful desires elsewhere in his letters; they include: anger, greed (which he says is idolatry), selfish ambition, lust and envy. (These five desires are selected from Galatians 5:19-21 and Colossians 3:5.) Referring to these desires in his song, “The Change,” Steven Curtis Chapman sings, “I got this way of living that I have to die to every single day.” Chapman says that even though he’s a Christian, he still has to suppress his human nature every single day.

2. Adopt a new attitude.

Be less like Eeyore…

You may have to fake it ’til you make it, but put on the best attitude you possibly can (except with God and about three close confidants). Nobody wants to hire Eeyore, so stop acting like him and start acting a little more like Tigger. Follow Paul’s instruction in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

3. Put on the new self.

… and more like Tigger.

Here’s where the growth occurs. God speaks to us through our feelings. If we are experiencing negative feelings, he is showing us an area for growth. As we grow we become more like Christ, as Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” As we grow we are transformed in Christ’s likeness.

Christmas is about God’s presence in our lives. He sent his Son, born a lowly birth, to live and die as one of us, a perfect example for all mankind. Take the three steps above; you will begin to experience God’s peace and feel his presence in this Christmas season. Here are two final words for this week from Paul:

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” – Romans 8:5-8

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where life and joy and hope and peace and power abound.

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

Interviewing Skills: Resolving Objections

Resolving Objections


“You’re over qualified.”

Another interviewing skills topic this week: “Resolving Objections and Concerns About Your Candidacy.”

Have you been passed over for a position because you were too old or too inexperienced – or for something else? This week’s topic is one of the most important ones I teach. We will learn and practice skills to resolve concerns about age, experience and many other things. Before the meeting, think about concerns employers have had that have prevented you from getting a job. Think about what you will do differently the next time you find yourself in that situation.

Here are a few you may have heard:

  1. You’re over qualified.
  2. You don’t have enough [industry] experience.
  3. How long have you been out of work? / You’ve been out of work too long.
  4. The job pays 70% of what you used to make; is that an issue? / We don’t think you’ll stay.
  5. When did you get your degree?
  6. You don’t have a degree.
  7. You’re too old.

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JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. 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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