21 March 2018

Archives for 2018

How St. Patrick Saved Ireland

St. Patrick

St. Patrick

St. Patrick’s day is a national holiday as far as I’m concerned! Here’s the story of how St. Patrick saved Ireland.

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. He was the missionary to Ireland much the same as St. Paul was the missionary to the gentiles in the northern Mediterranean. He was fulfilling God’s mission for his life, just as God wants all of us to do. I noticed that he had a career change much the same we are experiencing. Listen to the Lord’s leading in your life, especially during this time of transition, just as St. Patrick did.

St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D.

One key event in his early life in Britain happened at the age of 16. Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. During this time, he worked as a shepherd (like David), outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, and became a devout Christian. It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice – which he believed to be God’s – spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo to the Irish coast.

After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation – an angel in a dream telling him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission – to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

Christianity did not become the national faith of Ireland in Patrick’s lifetime. He ministered there for 30 years. He is credited with founding hundreds of churches and converting thousands of people to our faith. Today 93% of the Republic of Ireland’s population is Catholic.

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My dad has this well-known Irish blessing on the back of his business cards:

Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rain fall softly upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

See you this week at JobSeekers – the place where we receive Irish blessings every week.

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

Preparing for an Interview

InterviewHave you ever been called in the morning for a face-to-face interview in the same afternoon? Our topic tomorrow is “Preparing for an Interview.” The purpose of the session is to review and discuss some very important things you can do to get ready for an interview.

We’ve had terrific success lately at my office preparing clients for interviews. Two gentlemen and one lady have final interviews this week. One lady we trained last week received a job offer this week. Another gentleman has an interview next Monday. My all-time favorite story was with a gentleman who hired us to do a full-scale, three-hour role play with him. He landed a job as president of the U.S. division of a Dutch company.

Come this week for a taste of this successful strategy.

To be better prepared for the meeting, bring your preparation notes for an upcoming job interview. If you don’t have an interview scheduled, bring notes from an interview you’ve already been to, or, bring a job lead for a position at a target company.

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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 directions and agenda.

See you on Friday!

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

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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Employer Comes Seeking Job Seeker

Gary Royal

Great message from a man who loves our Lord. Gary has been an inspiration to me and to many, many others during his search because of his hope, faith and love. He never gave up and he never doubted. BTW, they company came seeking him, a former co-worker from Southwire heard about the challenges they were facing; he said they needed to hire Gary Royal.

Super-proud of you, Gary!

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It is with great joy that I can share with you how God has blessed me.

On Friday afternoon I accepted the offer from Magna Decostar to lead the HR function as their Senior Human Resources Manager. I start in two weeks. I will have responsibility for 1300 employees at their four sites in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Magna Decostar is a division of Magna International, North America’s largest automotive supplier.

I am very excited. I have already worked for North America’s largest electrical wire and cable company. And now God has opened this door for me with automotive supply industry leader.

Thank you for walking beside me and praying for me.

Our God has provided for me for the past 53 weeks. Financially, emotionally and spiritually.

I praise Him as God and thank Him for his special blessings.

Thank you for celebrating and praising God with me.

Love you guys,

– Gary Royal



Developing and Delivering Your Exit Statement

Exit-Strategy-300x225 (2)

Hey fish, why did you leave?

“Why did you leave your last job?”

This one question has prevented many of you from landing a job; I’ve seen it a couple of times very recently. To make matters worse, some of you don’t even know you are not receiving offers because of this one simple question. To be better prepared for the meeting, bring your answer to this question: Why did you leave your most recent position? The one before? And the one before that?

Our topic for this Friday is “Developing and Delivering Your Exit Statement.”

We will also cover four more difficult questions that may be causing you to crash and burn in the interview room.

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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 directions and agenda.

See you on Friday!

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

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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How to Make Your Own Luck


Want to know how to make your own luck? Yes, St. Patrick’s Day is almost here and I’m thinking about the luck of the Irish. In job search, luck has a lot less to do with happenstance, and a whole lot more to do with the choices you make.

Chuck Hodges, former baseball player and now pastor of Athens First United Methodist, shared one of his life’s lessons during a sermon a few years ago: “The will to prepare is more important than the will to win; because when the athletes step onto the field, everyone has the will to win.”

As I write this, in my mind’s eye I see Lynn Swann making that amazing catch in the 1980 Super Bowl, David Justice hitting a solo home run and scoring the game’s only run as the Braves won the 1995 World Series, Michael Jordan winning the 1998 NBA championship with his last shot in the last seconds of the last game of his career (we thought it was his last game; it was his last game as a Chicago Bull), and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Santonio Holmes making an amazing catch in the back corner of the end zone to win the Super Bowl following the 2008 season.

Every athlete in each of those games had approximately the same desire to win as every other athlete on the field or court. They didn’t make great plays simply because they wanted to make great plays. What set Swann, Justice and Jordan apart was not just their level of performance in the most critical moment of a championship game; what set them apart took place months or even years earlier. The best athletes in the world are the ones who combine their God-given talents with relentless practice and a laser-like focus. For example, Tiger Woods was the best golfer in the world – until he lost his focus and cut back on his practice time.

Mickey Mantle, by his own admission, was the antithesis of a Lynn Swan or a Tiger Woods. He had great God-given talents but a totally different work ethic. In an interview just before he died, he commented that he had done less with his God-given athletic talents than perhaps any other athlete of note. He said if he had worked and practiced, i.e. “prepared himself,” he might have been the greatest ball player of all time instead of just a really good ball player. He said his lack of preparation was the opposite of Ted Williams’ all consuming preparation. He went on to say he had let himself, his family, his fans and God down by not making better use of his talents. (Thanks to Kevin Cheney for this information.)

How to Make Your Own Luck

I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to be prepared before you go into an interview. Five things that come to mind:

  1. Plan what you are going to say in response to five very predictable interview questions.
  2. Practice giving those answers in a clear, concise and powerful way.
  3. Be prepared with several questions that you’ve developed specifically for them.
  4. Know the organization’s business; their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).
  5. Know who’s going to be interviewing you and speak to their needs and concerns.

I used to have one of my favorite quotes on the back of my business card: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” The quote is attributed to the Roman philosopher and historian Seneca, who was a contemporary of the apostle Paul. Maybe they met one another and talked about the great athletes of their day during Paul’s house arrest in Rome around A.D. 60.

Winning a job is not just a matter of desire; because all the candidates who enter the interview room have roughly the same will to win. The question is: “Are you thoroughly prepared to win the job you want?” Your competition is not using a homemade résumé and off-the-cuff responses; are you?

One of my clients sent this to me a while back:

If it seems a bit depressing that the most important thing you can do to improve performance is not fun, take consolation in this fact: It must be so. If the activities that lead to greatness were easy and fun, then everyone would do them and they would not distinguish the best from the rest. The reality that deliberate practice is hard can even be seen as good news. It means that most people won’t do it. So your willingness to do it will distinguish you from the rest.

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, p. 72

It’s not the best-qualified candidates who win the jobs; it’s the ones who are the best prepared. Get prepared. Win the job.

Some people tell me they don’t believe in luck; well I do. I believe we create our own luck by the choices we make. The best choice you can make in your life is to choose Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The best choice you can make in your job search is to get thoroughly prepared. You have a choice today; you can take your chances, or you can make your own luck. Be proactive. Make your own luck.

– Dave O’Farrell

Copyright © 2005-2018 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Changing Careers? Even Jesus Changed Careers


May you experience God’s grace in the midst of your brokenness.

Our topic at JobSeekers recently was “Changing Careers.” Even Jesus changed careers.

When I teach this topic, I ask members of the audience to raise their hands if they are thinking of making a change in their function or industry (or both) during this transition. One-half to two-thirds of the audience answer in the affirmative.

Jesus changed from being a carpenter to being a teacher, rabbi, healer, miracle-worker and Savior. After he changed careers he faced many challenges. Almost everywhere he went he was met with a warm reception only to be rejected by the establishment soon thereafter. Sometimes he was almost killed.

Jesus narrowly escapes death.

According to Luke 4:14-30, the first attempt on Jesus’ life was made very early in his public ministry. Verse 29 says, “They [the men in his hometown synagogue] got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.” Matthew and Mark also mention that Jesus was rejected in his hometown on another occasion (Matthew 13:53-58 and Mark 6:1-6).

John says there were three unsuccessful attempts on Jesus’ life. The Gospel of John mentions the first attempt in 5:18, “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” In verse 8:59 John says, “At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” And in 10:31-33 he says, “Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.'”

Jesus kept his wits to stay alive and fulfill his mission. Like William Wallace in Braveheart, he had to keep his wits about him just to stay alive. Yes, in the world’s eyes Jesus faced some serious challenges in his career, but he stayed focused on his goal. His mission here on earth was clear: to overthrow the corrupt power structure of the Jews, to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy, and to offer himself as a perfect sacrifice for all mankind so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.

Jesus has empathy for us because he faced death and many other rejections throughout his ministry.

Messy spirituality.

A while back I heard a devotional that brought this point home. The devotional centered on a story in “Messy Spirituality,” by Michael Yaconelli (p. 36). It’s about a young boy who talked his mom into giving him an advance on his allowance so he could buy a puppy he’d seen at a nearby pet store. Here’s the excerpt:

The little boy went back to the pet shop to buy his new puppy. After determining that the boy had enough money, the pet shop owner brought him to the front window to choose his puppy. The young boy said, “I’ll take the little one in the corner.”

“Oh no,” said the pet shop owner, “not that one; he’s crippled. Notice how he just sits there; something is wrong with one of his legs, so he can’t run and play like the rest of the puppies. Choose another one.”

Without saying a word, the boy reached down and lifted his pant leg to expose a chrome leg brace to the owner. “No,” he said firmly, “I’ll take the puppy in the corner.”

It’s amazing how few of us believe in the unqualified grace of God. Many of us believe that God loves us long as we’re free of sin and whole. But like the boy and the dog, what most qualifies us to be chosen by Jesus is our crippledness.

Like the boy and the dog, Christ has empathy for our situation because he has experienced rejection – and much worse. As the boy loved the dog, Jesus loves us because we are broken. God in his grace looks down on us and says, “That’s why you need me; I’ve sent hope and help and healing – and a support network to provide for your needs as you go through this transition in your career.”

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we experience God’s grace in the midst of our brokenness!

Copyright © 2004-2018 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

16 Ways to Make a Message Persuasive

PersuasiveOur topic this Friday is “16 Ways to Make a Message Persuasive.” Marketing and advertising professionals use many ways to make a message persuasive. So does your competition. If you aren’t, you are getting left behind. This week you will learn how to blow your competition away!

Bring your marketing hat this week; you are the product! We will learn and practice some techniques and skills to ensure that the hiring company remembers us in a very positive way. This week’s session will make you more effective in your networking and interviewing of course, but it will also make you more persuasive in all your communications – as a parent, spouse, salesperson or entrepreneur.

Bring an extra copy of your résumé for this week’s application activity.

Learn how to make your message persuasive at JobSeekers this week.

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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 directions and agenda.

See you on Friday!

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

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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Declaring Your Position Objective

wave-of-the-sea-3Our topic this Friday is “Declaring Your Position Objective.” I like this quote from James: “Don’t be like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” This quote from Stephen Covey also applies: “begin with the end in mind.”

Oftentimes when I do the diagnosis on why someone has been looking for a job for six months or more, the absence of this essential element is one of the top three reasons for their lack of success. With it, you see new possibilities and open doors every day. Without it, you struggle to tread water in the hostile seas of unemployment.

The Position Objective Statement (POS) is used in networking communications. For some, this is one of the most difficult things they have to do in their job search — decide what they want to do next. Without an objective you are like a wave of the sea — blown and tossed by the wind. With it, you have a sharp focus that helps you sift through all the clutter and work toward a specific goal.

Come JS on Friday to develop and practice your POS.

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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 directions and agenda.

See you on Friday!

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

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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The Only Bible Some People Will Ever Read

The only bible some people will ever read

Preach the gospel all the time. If necessary, use words.

Have you ever thought about the fact that your life is the only bible some people will ever read? Wow. I think my life-as-the-bible is missing a few books, chapters and pages!

Sometimes when I say the closing prayer at JobSeekers, I pray that we will be good examples of hope and faith in God. I acknowledge that job search is often harder on our families than it is on us. I ask God to surround our loved ones with His love and protection. I pray that “when they look into our eyes, they will see your face.”

What better witness can there be than to hold fast to hope, faith and love when we are going through a difficult time? I see it frequently when clients interact in my office. Last week I read two emails about faith in action. Click here to read another one. I see faith in action each week at JobSeekers and at O’Farrell Career Management.

The truth is that we never know when someone is watching us to see if we behave in a Christ-like manner. Here’s a great illustration:

Several years ago a preacher moved to a town near Houston. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change.

As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, “You better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.” Then he thought, “Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet.”

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, “Here, you gave me too much change.”

The driver, with a smile, replied, “Aren’t you the new preacher in town? I have been thinking lately about going to worship somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change.”

When the preacher stepped off the bus, he grabbed the nearest light pole, and held on, and said, “O God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.”

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.

Steve Dodson, pastor of Peachtree City UMC, uses a well-known quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel all the time, and, if necessary, use words.” It reminds me of the old saying, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear a sermon any day.”

We have a choice to make when we are in the midst of a storm. Make the right choice. Be a good sermon – and a powerful witness – today and every day.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” – James 4:8-10

See you this Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we draw near to God and lift one another up!

Copyright © 2004-2018 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Love and Respect for Valentine’s Day

Love and Respect

“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33

Job loss affects every marriage. On this Valentine’s Day, I hope and expect you will show some love and respect to your spouse. Sometimes job search is tougher on them than it is on the job seeker.

I’ve learned from personal experience, and from working with folks like you, that job search is very tough on marriages and other relationships. Sometimes job search causes problems in a relationship; usually it simply reveals problems that are already there.

For Valentine’s Day, I recommend you buy and begin reading Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. It’s the best book I’ve ever read on strengthening marriage relationships. Eggerichs says these principles will make a good marriage even better, and that they have brought many other marriages back from the brink of divorce. I wish I’d read it in 1993; the only problem is that it wasn’t published until 2003, the same year my divorce was finalized.

Eggerichs was the senior pastor at a church in Lansing, Michigan before devoting himself full-time to building healthy marriages. You may have already guessed that the key verse throughout the book is Ephesians 5:33, which says, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” To learn more, click here.

The subtitle is “The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs.” Part one is about the “Crazy Cycle,” in which says Eggerichs, “Without love, she reacts. Without respect, he reacts.” My perspective is that it is a crazy spiral – and a downward spiral at that. Eggerichs uses testimonials to show that the principles he teaches really work – just like we use testimonials to validate the principles we teach at JobSeekers. The book is full of people writing about their “ah ha” moments where someone was finally able to see why what he or she was doing was tearing the relationship apart seam by seam.

Emerson writes, “You may remember how the Beatles sang, ‘All you need is love.’ I absolutely disagree with that conclusion. Five out of 10 marriages today are ending in divorce because love alone is not enough. Yes, love is vital, especially for the wife, but what we have missed is the husband’s need for respect. This love and respect message is about how the wife can fulfill her need to be loved by giving her husband what he needs – respect. And the husband can fulfill his need to be respected by giving his wife what she needs – love. Does this always work? No. But if one is married to a person of good will, I would bet the farm that it would work!” (This is from the website.)

If you are reading this message and thinking your spouse needs to read the book first, there is plenty of blame to go around. No, you both need to read the book. Everyone needs to read it. A Christian bookstore chain agrees with me. Love & Respect was selected as the 2007 Book of the Year by Family Christian Stores.

I’ve recommended this book to some of you who’ve told me your marriage is struggling. Weeks later I’ve asked if you bought the book. Some of you have not. You don’t have to answer to me, but you do have to answer to your spouse and to a higher authority. What are you going to say to God when he asks you if you did everything you could to save your marriage?

And to the spouses of JobSeekers I say: lift up your spouse who is in transition. Praise him or her. Tell him you are proud of him. Tell her you believe in her. Offer to help in whatever way you can. Know your spouse’s position objective (job title and three to five target companies) and network for him or her.

Satan loves to attack us on multiple fronts at the same time. He wants to put you on opposite sides of the tennis net – each one trying to defeat the other. Get on the same side of the net. You’re playing doubles against a formidable foe, but you can serve aces with God on your side.

My prayer is that this time of transition will not only be a time of personal and spiritual growth, but also a time of healing and growth in your marriage.

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we heal and grow in the name of the Lord.

Copyright © 2007-2018 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved