17 June 2018

Archives for June 2018

A Bias for Action

bias for action


How much does your job search
cost you each day?

Our topic a few weeks ago was “How to Make $15K Real Fast.” Some people who couldn’t make it wrote and asked me how to make $15K 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 $15K 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 and Independence Day are work days 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.

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“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 © 2004-2018 / 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 summer and Independence Day holiday.

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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
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

 

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Great Job; Worth the Wait

Great job

Neal Nelson

Man, am I proud of Neal Nelson! He landed a great job. It was worth the wait. His resilience and optimism inspire me. He led the devo at JS on 4/20. About two weeks later, he received this offer. Congratulations!

– – – – –

Hey Dave,

I GOT A JOB! I accepted an offer from Sage Software for Field Sales Engineer. I will be providing software demonstrations and value messaging to customers as part of the pre-sales team that partner with Account Execs in their sales efforts. It’s a role suited to my background and also will be exposing me to the manufacturing side of ERP which is a new area for me.

I’m excited, nervous, and pumped about this new challenge! This opportunity came about because of networking just as you’ve told us most opportunities do. I had an internal champion at Sage who is a Sales Rep I worked with a number of years ago and he put my resume in front of the right people and provided insight along the way. It’s been in process since early January and has had several roadblocks and stops along the way but it finally came through!

Also, the base salary is higher that what I was previously making at Oracle – and I was convinced that any next job was going to be a pay cut for sure. Who said God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

There is more to this story that I will tell you in person. But for now, please know that I’m so very grateful for you and this ministry. It has sharpened me, encouraged me, and given me hope when I was at my lowest. Thank you for being obedient to the Lord and leading this ministry so faithfully. You are a blessing, my friend!

Overjoyed and still somewhat trying to process it all.

See you Friday morning!!!

– Neal Nelson

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 © 2004-2018 / 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
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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