19 September 2018

Archives for September 2018

Hurricane Opal Strikes the Heart of a Job Seeker

100_0716Hurricane Opal: 4 October 1995

I’ve had people asking me about how to apply for jobs at Chick-fil-A since I worked on a big project at Delta Air Lines in 1994. In 1995, I was on a big outplacement project at UPS up in Sandy Springs.

I was working with a client named Rocky H. Rocky lived with his wife and two kids in Naples, Florida, but he was conducting his search up here in the Atlanta area. He stayed in the attic apartment of his brother’s house, which was located in the Morningside area of Decatur.

One day Rocky told me he wanted to work for Chick-fil-A. I told him he needed to read “It’s Easier to Succeed Than to Fail” first. It’s a book about Truett Cathy’s journey of faith as he and his brother started and grew Chick-fil-A. They opened their first restaurant in Hapeville in 1946.

In the first paragraph of the book Cathy says, “Not even God can change the past, but He can do a lot of wonderful things about the future if we’ll let Him. Each person’s destiny is not a matter of chance; it’s a matter of choice. It’s determined by what we say, what we do, and whom we trust.”

Rocky took the book home and began to read it that night.

Hurricane Opal had rocked the Florida panhandle between Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach the previous night – the night of October 4, 1995. As the storm passed through Atlanta, he sat in bed reading the book until the power went out. He said, “Dave, I couldn’t put the book down. I sat in the pitch dark, with the fury of the storm all around, reading by flashlight. At 2 AM, the batteries were so weak I could no longer see the words on the page. I fell asleep empowered by the testimony in the book. About an hour later I was awakened by noise and violence like I had never experienced before. A huge tree cut through the house like a giant axe and landed in my bed – along with the roof. I was stunned, but otherwise okay. I had a bruise on one leg and a small cut on the other.”

100_0719 -- water damageRocky told me that another tree landed on the other side of the house, but still everyone was okay. When daylight broke, they could not believe the damage. As Rocky looked at the bed where he slept, he was convinced that God’s hand had protected him. The tree, the roof and other debris covered the queen-size bed where he’d slept. Only a foot of clear space remained on one edge – which is exactly where he was when the tree hit. Even though rain had poured into the house all night, the book, which was on the nightstand, suffered only slight water damage to the glossy jacket. Come to JobSeekers on Friday to see it.

Rocky continued his story, “Dave I grew up in the church, but my family and I had drifted away over the years. Now that my life has been spared, I am dedicating my life to Christ and I will lead my family to the Lord as well.” He cited the slight damage to the book as a note from God that it was a miracle – not luck – that saved him.

Friends, don’t wait for a tree to land on you before you change your life. Choose Christ today. Your destiny is not a matter of chance; it’s a matter of choice. Seek the Lord with all your heart, work hard every day, and trust Him to direct your paths.

In the pictures above, you will see the 100′ tall tulip poplar that cut through the house like a hot knife through butter. You will see the bed where God spared Rocky’s life, and you will see the water-damaged book.

Truett Cathy: 14 March 1921 – 8 September 2014

We lost one of God’s great servants when Mr. Cathy passed away. Truett Cathy left a legacy in all of our hearts – some more than others. Many of whom he never met.

I met him three times. One time I had the chance to tell him the story above about Rocky Hartman.

I also met his son Dan, President of Chick-fil-A. He spoke at the Newnan FUMC Job Networking meeting a few years ago. Cathy said the key to success for Chick-fil-A is simple, “We don’t get our management philosophies from Jim Collins or Peter Drucker, we look first to the inspired word of God.”

And from the Bible, the inspired word of God, they learned about service. He gave some great examples of going the extra mile to provide great service. At one store in Virginia, for instance, they serve chicken nuggets that have passed their consumption time to their customer’s dogs. Cathy said there are a number of dogs in Virginia that bark and get very excited every time they pass a Chick-fil-A restaurant!

At the conclusion of his remarks, he showed a training video that was shot at the CFA in the Kedron shopping center in north Peachtree City. I recognized Alan Murray, who runs that restaurant. The video shows people entering, dining and ordering their meals. Beside each person is a message about something they are struggling with. In one, for instance, an elderly black woman sips coffee and reads a book. The word cloud says, “Husband of 49 years passed away last month; today would have been their 50th anniversary.” Another shows a seven-year-old girl, “Mother died during childbirth. Dad blames her.”

Let’s look at one another through Jesus’ eyes as best we can. I’m not as good at it as I would like to be, but I’m trying.

At the end Cathy took questions. One was about the company logo. In 1946 years ago his dad paid a fellow $75 to design the one they still use today. When it was my turn, I asked Cathy what advice he would give to all the job seekers who were in the room that night. He said to go on the website and apply. Talk about a straight-from-the-handbook answer! Ugh.

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See you on Friday at JobSeekers – the place where we all experience the miracles of God!

Copyright © 2004-2018 / 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 14 September: The Learning Zones – The Key to Breakthrough Performance

Part Two on 21 September: 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.

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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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God Blends Distasteful Experiences Together for Good

For most people, looking for a job is one of life’s most distasteful experiences.

I meet several JobSeekers each year who’ve been searching 12 months or more. Along with unemployment, there are usually other complicating factors involved. Things seem to go from bad to worse. There have been times in my life that have been pretty rough too. I have learned and witnessed that God can use all experiences for our good.

Rick Warren uses a great analogy in The Purpose Driven Life: “To bake a cake you must use flour, salt, raw eggs, sugar and oil. Eaten individually, each is pretty distasteful or even bitter. But bake them together and they become delicious. If you will give God all your distasteful, unpleasant experiences, he will blend them together for good.” Warren uses Romans 8:28 as his text: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

In the midst of job loss, financial hardship, stress and strain on relationships, health issues, waning self-esteem and other challenges, I encourage you to do these three things:

1. Do a checkup from the neck up.

This great piece of advice from Zig Ziglar is especially important for job seekers. On my list of the top 13 job search variables, attitude is number one. If you don’t project a positive attitude, your search will become much, much more difficult. Ziglar says, “Your attitude determines your altitude.”

Abraham Lincoln said, “People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Decide right now that you are going to have a positive, expectant attitude. Paul did. In Philippians 4:12b-13 he says, “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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” If you want to compare what you are going through to what Paul went through, click here: 2 Corinthians 11:16-33.

2. Ask God what he wants you to learn from all this.

In elementary school, kids aren’t supposed to get promoted to the next grade unless they meet certain standards. In life, we may not get promoted until we learn the lessons God wants us to learn. One of my clients taught me that God loves us so much that sometimes he won’t let us move forward in our careers until we learn (finally) what he wants us to learn. Let your defenses down, open your mind, listen to feedback, and yield your will to God’s will.

God is the Certified Master Chef; he may not want you to bake cakes until you have mastered making waffles from a box recipe. Do whatever is necessary to gain the necessary experience, and to develop the attitude, skills and knowledge you need to move on to cake baking. With God’s help, you will learn how to blend the ingredients of your life and bake them into a productive career.

3. Trust God that good things are happening.

This was true in my own transition in 2000. I got pretty frustrated when I came in second on several interviews. What I didn’t realize – and couldn’t see – was that God was working in the background all along. I teach folks to ask God for what they want, but to be willing to take what God gives them; it will be better than what they ask for. In 2000, I received something much better than what I asked for – at just the right moment in time.

Now that all the ingredients are mixed together, it’s time to go to the oven. It gets mighty hot in that oven! It appears that nothing is happening at first, but the cake is going to be warm and delicious in about an hour. Your life and career will be back in order soon, though it will likely take more than an hour!

View your present situation from the perspective of your future good condition, just as you would view the raw ingredients of a cake in their future state. God can use all of your experiences – good and bad – for his purposes. It takes a willing spirit on your part. Lay all your cares at the foot of the cross. Ask God what He wants you to learn as you go through this transition. Then pray for guidance. And the peace of God will be with you.

See you Friday at JobSeekers – God’s cake-baking school.

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

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 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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