29 May 2017

Archives for April 2017

Leading a Networking Meeting

Coffeeshop-meeting-3x4


Make it happen!

In the past couple of weeks I’ve heard of a few people whose campaigns have stalled. The root cause of the problem is pretty easy to diagnose: they haven’t had a single networking meeting. My firm belief is that everyone has plenty of reasons to “network.”

Networking meetings are the heart and soul of a successful job search. If you are having problems with networking, if you don’t know what to talk about, if your campaign has stalled, then you can’t miss this week’s meeting. We’ll show you how. And we’ll make it easy (easier).

In fact, we see great examples of preparation for networking meetings all the time. One time, for instance, we helped a client identify a potential boss at a top-five target company. He exclaimed to me and the two other participants, “I played high school football with this guy’s brother, and I’m going to see the brother this Friday night!”

Keith found a great new job; we’ll show you how on Friday.

– – – – –

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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Power in Jars of Clay

Clay-Jars-low-rezWhen I think about job seekers and the challenges we face during career transition, sometimes I think about potters and jars of clay. It’s mentioned in chapter four of Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King. My church uses handmade pottery to serve communion to small groups. I have a beautiful watercolor painting of a clay jar in my office that was created by former JobSeeker Lori Withner.

Clay in the Hands of the Potter

Both the Old and New Testament use clay as a metaphor. In the OT, we are described as clay in the hands of The Potter. Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” We are being transformed into the image of God and of his son Jesus. It is amazing what can be accomplished, and how we can be transformed, when we place ourselves in The Potter’s hands.

Here’s the same metaphor used in Jeremiah18:1-6: “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the LORD. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.’”

We get marred on this journey of life, and yet The Potter forms us into another pot. What new pot is the Lord shaping you into?

Jars of Clay

In the New Testament, we are described as jars of clay. First Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” It’s only we when go through the kiln of life that we become shiny and strong. Yet our earthy bodies are nothing compared to the extraordinary bodies we will have in heaven. Paul makes one thing known for sure: these earthly bodies, fragile though they are, can hold God’s treasure — his all-surpassing power.

As you experience your job search, and with this in mind, ask God these three questions:

1. Lord, what do you want me to learn as I go through my job search?

Oftentimes, we put lids on our jars that prevent us from hearing God’s gentle leading or from receiving His blessings. Open your eyes and ears, hearts and minds to the leading of His spirit. Respond to His call. For instance, here’s what a JobSeeker wrote one time:

“He’s TRULY A GOOD GOD, because even when I gave up on myself, He never gave up on me. There was one thing I especially learned through my journey: I had to give up on myself in order for Him to work on me. Please let everyone know that I am praying for all of them. God will move in our lives on His time, not ours.”

2. How do you want me to change?

Allow The Potter to mold you into the person he wants you to be. Einstein’s definition of insanity applies. To get a different result, we have to think differently, do things differently and become a different person. One fellow that I met with said “I am a spiritually changed man because of this 16-month job search.” Shortly after that he received an offer out of the blue (or from Heaven above?) on a position that was dead two months earlier. God is good.

3. Who do you want me to serve in your name?

This job search is not about you only; it’s about how you are going to use the talents God has given you to serve his purposes here on this earth. We receive blessings so that we may be a blessing to others. Whether it’s through your vocation, avocation – or just the selfless gift of your time and energy, serve others. Some of the best therapy I’ve ever experienced is when I’ve helped others. Ask God to fill your jar up so that you can pour his blessings on others.

If you do this — learn, change, serve — you will be ready to withstand the hardships associated with job search. Listen to the next two verses in 1 Corinthians 4:8-9: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” No matter how badly things are going at the moment, God will never leave you nor forsake you.

See you Friday at JobSeekers; the place where we fill our jars up!

Copyright © 2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Using Recommendations to Build Your Brand

build-your-brandOur topic this Friday is “Using Recommendations to Build Your Brand: How to Get Past the Platitudes and Really Leverage Your References.”

This week you will learn (or learn more about) how to use testimonials to build your brand. I’ve had several clients credit this specific process and the accompanying tool as the key to landing a new job. I will share these specific examples with you.

To be better prepared for the meeting, bring letters of recommendation, complementary emails from the past, performance evaluations with strong praise in them, and hand-written “thank you” notes that you have received.

Seven clients have gotten jobs because they embraced the principles I will teach this week.

Come Friday to learn the secrets of creating a truly powerful, brand-building set of references! Some of my clients say it is one of the most esteeming things they have ever done.

– – – – –

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 directions 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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Power, Love and Self-Discipline

Power, Love and Self-Discipline


Be bold like these guys. Stick your neck out.

One verse I associate closely with the process of finding a job is “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).” I quote this verse sometimes when I’m encouraging a client to pick up the phone and call someone, or to memorized and repeat before an interview. And this quote by James Conant reminds us all to stick our necks out sometimes.

Paul was writing to encourage a young preacher named Timothy, a young man whom Paul thought of as a son. On one of his missionary trips, Paul left Timothy behind to be in charge of developing churches in the city of Ephesus and the region of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). We think of Timothy as timid, but what he was doing required boldness of an extraordinary kind. For most of us, job search also requires boldness of an extraordinary kind.

One time four clients and I were talking about the positive and negative aspects of introversion and extroversion in job search. Introversion is beneficial only in the first two or three weeks of your campaign – while you are developing your plan, strategy and marketing collateral. Extroversion, of course, is necessary to make contact with the people who can help or hire you.

Our challenge occurs because we have to be our best extroverted self at a time in our life when our confidence has been shaken by the loss of our job, rejection by potential employers, uncertainty about who we are and what we have been designed to do, and a host of other ego-sapping messages. You may have received a message similar to this: “You’re not worth having around our company anymore; now put a smile on your face and tell the world what a valuable employee you are.” How can we be bold when the world is putting us down?

It’s easy to see why we end up in a state of timidity. It’s in our human and sinful nature. Timidity influences us to sit at the computer all day and search for job leads, a process that gets more depressing with each passing day. Timidity tells us that we are not valuable and not wanted. Timidity causes us to withdraw more and more until we are like a turtle sucked into his shell in the middle of a busy highway.

Satan gives us a spirit of timidity; God gives us a spirit of:

Power

Unlimited strength is at our disposal. The power that brought Christ back to life is available to all of us. “But he said to me [Paul], ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Love

Let love your your family motivate you. Love drives out fear as we see in the passage that says God is love. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:16-18)

Self-discipline

One of the toughest jobs in the world is looking for a job. It is hard to face uncertainty, rejection, financial stress, and much more. This passage teaches that God has given us a spirit of self-control or self-mastery. The people who find jobs the quickest are the ones who take a disciplined approach to their job search every day. The people who find jobs the quickest are the ones who take risks and leave their comfort zone. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:13)

The same power, love and self-discipline that were available to Timothy and Paul are available to all of us. All we have to do is claim it, believe it, and act on it.

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we are strengthened with power, love and self-discipline!

Copyright © 2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

The Worst Decision Ever

worst decision ever


Make the best decision ever.

Who made the worst decision ever? There’s a link between this week’s message and the community-wide Good Friday Service, which is held annually here in PTC.

Seven pastors and priests from our community will preach a 10-12 minute sermon on one of the seven last words (sentences actually) that Christ spoke while he hung on the cross.

The 36th annual service with be at Peachtree City United Methodist Church at 12 noon.

Here are the seven last words of Christ:

  1. “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
  2. “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
  3. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
  4. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
  5. Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
  6. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)
  7. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)

Friends, I urge you to make time to attend this meaningful service. This will be my 14th time attending – all since I left my “traditional” job. If you are reading this and are in transition, you won’t even have to take time off work!

– – – – – – –

This week’s message about the worst decision ever made has to do with the two criminals who were crucified on either side of Jesus; here’s the story as told in the 23rd chapter of Luke:

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The first criminal made the worst decision ever.

He had less than six hours to live. He knew it, and there was nothing he could do about it. He was hanging on a cross next to the Lord of all Creation and the Light of the World. Whether he decided yes or no, it was not going to change his circumstance or the length of his life here on earth one iota, but it would determine where he spent eternity. The man was about to die and he rejected Christ!

Here’s an excerpt from “Cries from the Cross” by Erwin W. Lutzer:

Both thieves had an equal opportunity. Both heard the words of Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them.’ Both knew that Jesus was ridiculed for claiming that He was King of the Jews. Both heard the witness of Jesus’ enemies, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One’ (Luke 23:35). And yet these thieves will be apart forever, each in his own separate destiny. Even as you read these words, one is in the presence of Jesus, the other in a place of isolation, grief and horror. What separated them was not the degree of their wickedness nor their distance from Christ; they are separated because one called on Christ for help and the other derided him.

Each of the robbers saw and heard the same things, but they made a different decision. Approximately 1984 years later they are experiencing the consequences of their decision. Ten thousand years from now they will still be experiencing those same consequences.

What struck me is that here in south metro Atlanta, we all have the same data (The Good News) and yet we have made different decisions about our relationship with Christ. Some have chosen Christ as their Savior and Lord – others have not, even though they attend church regularly. I’ve heard that only 20% of the members in a typical American congregation are truly Christians; that is, they have made Christ their Savior and Lord.

You can make the best decision ever.

My concern is that a typical JobSeekers meeting must be the same way. Most or all of us would say we are Christian, yet when judgment day comes, 80% of us may be headed in the wrong direction. Where are you in your relationship with Christ? If you haven’t made the commitment or you aren’t sure, I urge you to commit your heart and your life to Christ. If you are a believer, I urge you to pray that the Good News will convict others during this Holy Week.

Where you will spend eternity is not the only reason to choose Christ. I’ve found that having Christ’s presence in my life is the key to being joyful, no matter what my circumstance. Jesus said good and bad things happen to everyone: “He [God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).” We all face difficult times, why not have Christ there to lead you through them?

I admit that I had to look this up; here’s what you need to do:

A four-step salvation prayer.

  1. Acknowledge in your heart that Jesus is Lord.
  2. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.
  3. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised three days later.
  4. Repent of your sins and get baptized in the name of Jesus.

To learn more, click here.

Friends, one of the times in our lives that we are most receptive to the Good News of Christ is when we are looking for a job and feel we are running out of options. Don’t make Christ your last option; make him your first choice. Lutz cites his mentor Warren Wiersbe as saying that the thief didn’t accept Christ at his last opportunity, but more likely at his first opportunity because he probably had never encountered Jesus before. Whether it’s your first or last encounter – or somewhere in between – today is the day and now is the time to believe in Christ.

Lutz concludes the chapter with this: “The thief’s forgiveness reminds us that there is more grace in God’s heart than sin in our past. We, like he, can also receive a welcome in the life beyond if we transfer our trust to the One who holds the key to the gates of paradise.”

See you Friday at JobSeekers – where we rejoice in the Risen Christ.

Copyright © 2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

The #1 Thing Every Job Seeker Must Have

#1 thing


O’Farrell’s Pyramid of Success

What is the #1 thing every job seeker must have? This week I share secrets that will make your job search 40 times easier. One time when I was preparing for this topic, I had a phone call from executive who said that the second-place candidate for a certain position was lacking the #1 thing every job seeker must have. Second place pays about $330 per week in Georgia. If this gentleman had the #1 thing, he’d earn a couple of thousand dollars every week.

It’s time to step back and look at what’s really important in job search.

Part one on 7 April: The Learning Zones – The Key to Breakthrough Performance

Part two  on 14 April: O’Farrell’s Pyramid of Success – How to Land Your Dream Job

Not only teach will I teach what the most important thing is, I will quickly share #2-5 as well. I will challenge you to leave our comfort zone every day and do the things that are most likely to lead to job search success.

The bottom line is this: It’s time to stop telling God how big our storm is, and to start telling the storm how big our God is. Come for a blessing this week.

– – – – –

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 directions and agenda.

See you on Friday!

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

“South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

# # #

 

Don’t Lose Heart, Don’t Lose Hope

hope“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air… but only for one second without hope.” – Hal Lindsey

Every now and then I get a hint that the positive energy that is so evident at a JobSeekers meeting is a turn-off to some. Some people have a very difficult time embracing hope when life seems hopeless; seeing the new day dawning when they are in their darkest night; expecting a great outcome when all they can see is a train wreck in their rearview mirror. Hanging out with folks who are at odds with your present view of life can be a real downer!

Some members of JobSeekers who didn’t lose hope.

A few years ago we had a member named Paul who gave a very rousing testimony about the ups and downs of his job long search. I admired his transparency because all of us have felt the emotions he’s felt, we just wouldn’t describe them in detail to 30+ people! For instance, he said Friday was the only day of the workweek when he knew he’d have to get out of his pajamas and get dressed for work. Even when he was down Paul came to JobSeekers.

Paul also told us about a rejection letter he received; it said, “After prayerful consideration, we’ve decided to go in a different direction.” Paul really wanted that job; of course he was disappointed. Five minutes later, the phone rang and an offer from another company came in. He accepted. Paul didn’t lose heart, and he didn’t lose hope. He looked for a job even when he didn’t feel like it.

Another job seeker sent me an email right after she had accepted a new job. She said she had been working a “dead end” job for three months. She told me how discouraged she had been and wrote: “Don’t back down on your encouragement to others! When I would attend the meetings and hear encouraging words from others who had ‘been there,’ I was like, ‘yeah right, but I need a job!’”

As I reflected on her message, I thought of this verse from Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Folks, if you are down and out, come to JobSeekers. If you aren’t in the same place as many of the other folks, that’s okay! We want to meet you – and God wants to meet you – right where you are. If you are in a depressed state right now, remember that it is – or it can be – a temporary state, just as it was for these two people. Get the help you need to pull yourself out of the pit of despair. One good place to start is at JobSeekers of PTC on Friday morning. Don’t lose heart, and don’t lose hope. The LORD is close and he will save you. It starts when you turn to him and ask for help.

The lady who wrote the email found out that God was working for good all along, even though she couldn’t see or feel it. She finished by saying, “It has taken a lot of prayer and patience and a lot of dead-end interviews, but the miracle is that this firm was not advertising for someone, but somehow they found me! Tell me that wasn’t God’s hand in it!”

In May 2006 I spoke to fellow named Phil, a client and job seeker who’d been having a tough time – he had come close on several opportunities during his search, but couldn’t seem to get one across the finish line. His latest disappointment was that he’d not heard back from the hiring manager about a job he really wanted. We made plans to have lunch and a strategy session the next day. Monday night at 9:15 the manager called and offered him the job, so we celebrated instead. Since then Phil has changed jobs and careers and he’s never been happier.

Click here for one more example.

The Psalmist didn’t loose hope.

I show Psalm 42 to my clients sometimes. The Psalmist is in agony, lamenting the days of old when things were good: “My tears have been my food day and night.” But here’s what I point out: even though his spirit is crushed, he says he will continue to praise God: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” The Psalmist didn’t loose heart, and he didn’t loose hope.

With Christ, we always have hope, no matter how poorly things are going at the moment.

You never know how close you are to landing a job – but you’ve got to keep doing the things that lead to success. Come to JobSeekers this week. Keep the faith. Keep trying. Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Brighter days are ahead.

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, the place where God turns despair into hope!

Copyright © 2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved