16 November 2018

This is Hiring Season

Hiring season


Don’t sit on the sidelines during the hiring season.

This is hiring season. Every year I find out that many of you are less active – or not active at all – in your job search in November and December, especially between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. If I hear from you, it goes something like this, “Dave, I’ve been looking for a while and I’m kind of burned out on job search, so I need a break; besides, no one’s hiring around the holidays anyway.”

Have you had thoughts and feelings similar to this?

No one is hiring around the holidays? In the battlefield of the mind, the Father of Lies wants to you to think this way. Friends, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! On the contrary, many executive recruiters have a higher quota in December than in any other month.

If a company’s fiscal year is the same as the calendar year, budgets are formulated and approved in September and October. Imagine a plant manager finally getting approval in FY2019 for a much-needed new position – let’s say it’s a plant engineer. Candidates are screened, interviewed and offered jobs in November and December. They start their new jobs on the first business day of January.

Satan would love it if you put your search on hold for seven weeks!

Is your competition interviewing for jobs that you’re qualified for while you’re out spending money you don’t have? Will they be starting a new job on Wednesday 2 January 2019 because you were out shopping, or doing projects around the house, or unwinding because of all the stress of your job search?

Companies are hiring right now.

Every year several JobSeekers start new jobs in January because they didn’t sit on the sidelines in November and December. Get in the game now. Today is a workday. You have a full-time job right now – with deferred compensation!

In 2003, for instance, Dave Tripp went home to Kansas for Thanksgiving. He came back with a job offer. Andy Whitlock, leader of the job ministry in Newnan, interviewed for a job the week before Christmas and again on New Year’s Eve; he got the offer within a week. He said, “And I thought the holidays were going to be quiet.”

In 2004 Henry Gregorich went to a company Christmas party; he seized the opportunity to do some job networking and made a great impression on a gentleman who called a couple of weeks later to see if Henry was still looking. He was, and the gentleman offered him a job. Don Apking, Randy Coggin and Ken King also wrote to me late in December to inform me of their new position.

In 2005. Mark Foote, Cliff Barrett, Dennis Szczepanski, Patrick Bauer and Kelly Carroll accepted jobs in the last two weeks of December.

In 2006, Bobby Rose, Bruce Brzoska, Heidi Lesser, Alan Millsaps, Richard Rodriguez, George Smith and Chris Clark interviewed for and/or accepted a job between 13 December and the end of the year. If they had been sitting on the sidelines in December, they’d still be looking for a job in January.

In 2007, between 11/15/2007 and 1/17/2008 (64 days) I received 26 “I got a job” emails, plus some others verbally – one every other day. In fact, eight of the emails arrived between January 3rd and 7th. Wes Hill received three offers in one week. Mike Fowler received a job offer while we were at the Atlanta Bread Company; he’d been unemployed less than five weeks. Aaron Royster interviewed for a job on December 26th; yes, the day after Christmas! He started on January 14th. Don’t sit on the sidelines this season.

In 2008, we had 20 people get jobs in October. Phil Kelley landed a job on November 3rd. This was followed closely by John Thomas, Adrian Neeley, Don Menke, Cynthia Stallworth, Gordon Brown, Pete Wallace, Kelly Sigmon, Donald Augustus and Matt Dukes.

Matt wrote, “Staying in the hunt during the holiday season does pay off. I found this job through an evening newsletter that I get through The FENG (Financial Executive’s Networking Group). I happened to see the posting in the job leads section that appeared on the last newsletter that I would get for 2008. I applied to the position on Christmas Eve, had a phone interview on the 26th and an in-person interview on New Year’s Eve. Before I had left the office on the 31st, I was offered the position and, of course, gladly accepted. I started here on January 5th.”

In 2009, I received 17 emails from people who accepted jobs between 15 November and 15 January: Able Vega, Alan Sibley, Ann Cook, Beth Mulhern, Caitlin Hall-West, Chris Westberry, Dave Bayer, Dennis Szczepanski, Donna Cook, Doug Flatt, Ed Mackiewicz, Mary Reintz, Mike Murtaugh, Norma Manuel, Rolea Palomares, Rose Humphrey and Shelia Garza. One of these 17 people got a $20K raise – yes, back when the unemployment rate was 9.9%.

In 2010, we had our second-best year with 21 people: Jeff Boggs, Pat Behrens, Wade Massengill, Stephen Bachmann, Norm Van Horn, Rodger Purdy, Charmaine Barton, Terri Dull, Matt Iffland, Donna Anderson, Lisa Brown, Gary McDougal, Bert Jermain, Kevin Askew, Kevin Edwards, Dayanara Reyes, Mark Cuneo, Scott Armbrust, Forrest Simmons and David Long.

In 2011, 16 people emailed me during this 60-day period: Joe De Sieno, Cindy Van Wert, Bill Tucker, Travis Raitt, Hans Nielsen, John Bell, Bryan Bear, Paul Johnson, Pat Ebersole, Carl Bissantz, Don Shoaf, Jasmina Jovic, Jeff Liddy, Paul Dickinson, John Roland and Linda Mackey. Carl started his new job on 27 December. Jeff and Bryan had two offers each. I started working with Paul Dickinson as a client on 13 December. He started a new job 28 days later.

In 2012, 13 people emailed me with their good news: Carolina Segovia, Patrick James, Joycelyn Avila, Hollise Bello, Marie Griffies, Rich Braun, Lee Longe, Angela Tavarez, Mike Grimes, Rosie Dove, Carl Bissantz, Richard Hardin and Ken Roberts. The last two started on January 7. Two had a search of 40 days or less. Don’t sit on the sidelines during the hiring season.

In 2013, the final tally for the hiring season (64 days beginning 15 November) was 32. That was a new record, PTL. Congratulations to Alfreda, Andrew, Annette, Bo, Bobby, Bryan, Cheryl, Dan, Daniela, David, Ed, Elaine, Greg, Heather, Jeff, Joel, Kathy, Keith, Kenny, Michael, Mike, Muraya, Pamela, Patrick, Rick, Ruben, Scott, Scott, Tanesha, Tommy, Trevor, and Zaffar!

In 2014, the final tally was 39 another new world record: Janine Scott-Ford, Debora Nash, Darryl Mullins, Tom McCutchen, Tim Forse, Stacy York, Dave Tripp, Sonja Sleeper, Jessica Spain, Dean Dunton, Daniel Garcia, Jessica Palazzolo, Ed Mackiewicz, Jim Rudolph, Bryan Warren, Mike Knippel, Alan Burks, Brenden St. John, Darlene Crawley, Nicole Spangler, Eric Miller, Carrie Toth, Valerie Baldowski, Philip Vaughn, Dave Lowry, Emelyn East, Elaine Feinblum, Sharleen Oetting, Adrian Gillies, Jim Goodart, Bill Kendrick, Lecia Laswell, Donna Osbourn, John Chandler, Christian Garcia, Robert Kirby, Stacey Stoykewich, Andrea Brzoska, Charlie Jackson.

In 2015, the final tally was 28: Alex Rogers, Andi Shen, Bob Bennett, Chris Fedelem, Dan Tennet, Dana Chitwood, Daniel Boccella, Deborah Jackson, Diana Davis, Drew Spangler, Holly Rafford, Jim Gillespie, Joyce Webb, Karen Gomes, Kate Williams, Kevin Newman, Larry Beuerlein, Lindsay Quandt, Marilyn Robinson, Michael Henson, Paula Bartlett, Rachel Hess, Richard Scarlett, Rusty Ortkiese, Stephanie Taylor, Sydney Maxwell, Tim Robinson, Tom McCutchen.

The last two years, I didn’t track this. I was too darn busy. I won’t track it this year either. What I do notice from employers here in 2018 is a genuine surge in optimism. That means more j-o-b-s.

Don’t sit on the sidelines during the hiring season.

Let’s make this year the best year ever!

Are you equipped for hiring season?

One key concern I have is that you think you have good tools to fight this battle. No you don’t. I’ve seen your résumés. You’re good at what you do – but you’ve got lousy résumés. You’re going onto the battlefield with a butter knife. You think you have a B-1 bomber; you don’t even have a bazooka – or even a bayonet. If you’d like me to rate your résumé as a butter knife, bayonet, bazooka, or B-1 bomber, just email your résumé to me and I’ll offer my professional opinion.

More open positions, fewer active seekers.

And one more piece of good news: as the number of open positions increases during the holiday season, the number of job seekers who are actively looking decreases – because of the false assumption mentioned in the first paragraph above.

Yes, you can get a job if you use the strategy, tools and skills we teach – and top it off with a positive attitude. Is it tough out there in the battlefield? Yes, but with God’s help you can do it. All you need is ONE job. Don’t sit on the sidelines this season.

Here are three things I challenge you to do as the holidays approach:

1. Work on your search 24/7.

Work hard. Work smart. Always be on the lookout for networking opportunities. Don’t make a mistake that will cost you two months’ pay. What would God want you to do ? Sit on the sidelines or look for a job? Look again at Proverbs 3:5-6 from The Message: “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.” Notice the phrase, “in everything you do.” It implies action, not passivity.

2. Be joyful always, even when money it tight.

Don’t spend beyond your means. Set a good example for your kids and others. What better time to show that your happiness is not rooted in what you have or in what great (expensive) presents you can give? Your happiness comes from the spirit of the living God. I think of Paul’s words in Philippians 4:10-12: “I rejoice greatly in the Lord … I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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.”

3. Bring joy to others, especially those who are not connected to you.

God desires a sacrifice of our time, talents and treasure. When money is tight, you can still give of your time and talents. We are God’s hands and feet, so put them to work. Back to Paul’s words; this time in Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

I close with this blessing from Paul: “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 at JobSeekers on Friday, where we rejoice year-round – whether we are employed or not.

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

Holiday Networking / How to Earn $10K Real Fast

Holiday networking: Don't delay! Set your alarm now!


Don’t delay! Set your alarm now!

Our topic this week for Friday 16 November is holiday networking. It’s also about doing what’s best for you and for your family. This Friday you will learn strategies and practice skills that will help you leverage the contacts you make during this holiday season. I will also share the secret to earning thousands of dollars during the holiday season.

– – – – –

But here’s what I really want to say:

Hi friends, Billy Mays here for JobSeekers of Peachtree City! Come tomorrow to learn the amazing secrets of how to earn $10,000 in just seven weeks! Yes, you can have it all by using the strategy, tools and skills taught at the exciting, fun-filled, action-packed meetings held every Friday morning at First Baptist Church of Peachtree City!

Don’t delay! Set your alarm now! Don’t miss this holiday networking event! Yes, these methods work like magic when applied with a healthy dose of a positivity and the power of prayer!

And it’s all yours for only $1.00! A whopping $120 value, for only $1.00. Here’s how to order!

– – – – –

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 meeting day, time and location.

See you on Friday!

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

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

# # #

 

Stretch Zone? No Way, I’ll Surf the Net!

Stretch zone


“Are you on the right track?”

Have you been in the stretch zone today?

Will Rogers once said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Life is not about being comfortable. God doesn’t want us to be comfortable. He wants us to be learning and growing everyday. He doesn’t want us to be satisfied with the status quo. What if the apostle Paul had been satisfied with converting a few Jews in Judah? If you are sitting still, you are falling behind. Those of us who are satisfied with the status quo will become yesterday’s news. You have to leave your comfort zone every day to be successful.

Getting hit by a train may not be fatal, but it can put you or a Fortune 500 company in the ICU for years. When I had speaking engagements in the mid- to late-90’s I mentioned 18 companies listed in the iconic business classic, “In Search of Excellence.” I described what happened when they sat still. From the late 80’s to the mid-90’s IBM and Digital, two of the stars in the book, were having massive layoffs. They had gotten cocky when they were held up as paragons of perfection to the rest of the business world. You know the story; after laying off hundreds of thousands of employees, IBM heeded their wake-up call and did what they had to do to become a strong business again. Digital didn’t. Compaq gobbled them up, and then Compaq succumbed to HP. Hewlett Packard, by the way, was another company featured in the list. So was Delta Air Lines.

My stretch zone experience.

The farthest I was ever out of my comfort zone professionally was on the day of the 2000 presidential election – the day Bush and Gore tied. That was the day I auditioned to be a senior training consultant for Richardson, a sales training and consulting company based in Philadelphia. I had learned of the position by networking with a friend in ASTD, an association of professional trainers.

After I passed two telephone interviews, they sent their flagship book, “Stop Telling, Start Selling,” to me. They instructed me to become thoroughly familiar with the book before my interview. The interview would consist of a traditional interview with the COO, and then she would give me a training module I had never seen before. I’d have 45 minutes to learn the material, and then I would present the module to the COO and CEO.

I guarantee you I wanted to bail out as soon as I heard that. Wave after wave of self-doubt raced through my mind. My sleep was interrupted immediately. I pressed on, studying the material and rehearsing in my mind despite these visions of “freezing” during the audition.

They flew me to Philadelphia the day before Election Day. I hunkered down in my hotel room and tried to review the material. My mouth was so dry my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. I can tell you with certainty that I had the worst night of sleep in my life due to professional stress. I managed two hours of sleep during the six I was in bed. Thoughts of being so tired I’d be incoherent during the audition faded in and out of view. I wasn’t sure if I could hold my breakfast down the next morning.

“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’d like to tell you that I prayed my way through this; I simply don’t remember whether I did or not. It’s very likely that I repeated one of my affirmations, “I put everything in God’s hands. I ask for the ability to do my best, and I confidently leave the results to God.” I do know this: God was with me and I was at my best. I was encouraged when Linda, the CEO, remarked after looking at my resume and hearing my self-introduction, “If you don’t like all the travel that goes with this training and consulting job, we could put you on our sales team.”

Now it was time for the audition. Linda asked for me to pretend that she and Dorothy represented two-dozen managing directors from Goldman Sachs, which was one of their key customers. (GS is nowhere to be found on their website these days.) I presented the objection resolution module, which is a key differentiator for them. I knew that interaction was very important to them, so I engaged them as much as I could.

At one point Linda interrupted the action and gave me some feedback – both strengths and areas for improvement – and I immediately incorporated the concepts into my facilitation of the module. Before I knew it Linda interrupted again, gave me more feedback, said a hasty goodbye and left the room. My heart sank to the floor as the door to the conference room door closed behind her.

Dorothy, the COO, slapped her hand on the table and said, “Oh she loved you!” I said, “That was love?” Dorothy said they had interviewed a thousand potential trainers over the past 20 years and hired only three-dozen. Without consulting Linda, she offered me the job and began discussing my training schedule.

Would I go through that misery again? You bet. It was very rewarding to work for Richardson. I traveled as far as Hartford, the Florida Keys, San Diego and Seattle, and many points in between. I trained 2000 sales reps at Dell and over 1000 more at companies like KPMG Consulting, Bank of America, Sears, GlaxoSmithKline and Prudential Bank.

At Richardson, I developed skills and built self-confidence that I will use the rest of my life. Now that I’ve moved on, I use those experiences every day in my career coaching business. I left my comfort zone and reaped great rewards.

God wants you to get out of your comfort zone. He wants you to learn and grow. He wants you to try new things. Here are three steps to help you get yourself out of your comfort zone; if you do number one and two, number three is much easier:

1. Pray and read your Bible.

Vocalize your feelings to God. Ask Him for the strength and confidence to overcome those terrifying feelings of anxiety. Find scriptures that encourage you. Many of the great characters in the Bible (e.g. Moses and Jeremiah) didn’t want to answer God’s call. He persuaded them and look what happened. God didn’t give us a spirit of timidity – He gives us a spirit of power and love and self-discipline. God is calling you to greater things. Answer his call!

2. Use affirmations and visualization.

I believe in was baseball great Curt Schilling who said used visualization to improve his performance before he pitched in the 2004 World Series. Other athletes use affirmations to improve theirs. Picture success. Think positive. I created 20 biblically based affirmations several years ago and used them frequently in my job search. I mentioned one up above. To see the whole list, click here »

3. Just do it.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. Take small steps. Learn to walk before you run. Practice your skills at the JobSeekers meetings. Practice with a friend. Hire a coach. Then do it. I read somewhere that 85% of what we worry about never happens. Friends, when you leave your comfort zone good things happen!

What I want you to get out of this is that you reap what you sow. No risk = no reward. Small risk = small reward. Big risk = big reward. Stay in your comfort zone and use online job boards = long job search. Get in the stretch zone and go out and network = shorter job search. You choose.

Come to JobSeekers this Friday, where we get into the stretch zone every week.

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

 

How to Evaluate and Negotiate the Job Offer

negotiate the job offer


No deal, Howie!

Our topic this week is “Deal or No Deal: How to Evaluate and Negotiate the Job Offer.” I’ve helped many clients negotiate a better job offer; worked with one client on this topic last week. One time I helped a client get a $20K raise after he received the written offer. Come to JS on Friday and I will share my secrets with you.

The purpose of this session is to help you get what you’re worth when the offer finally comes in. We’ll help you avoid some potential quicksand along the way, we’ll give you a broader perspective on what a total compensation package is, and we’ll discuss having that delicate conversation about compensation and benefits.

– – – – –

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.”

# # #

The 2nd Most Important Thing Every Job Seeker Must Have

Many of you have heard me talk, and have seen articles I’ve written about, the #1 thing every job seeker must have. Your chances of finding a job without having the #1 thing are pretty slim – as in “slim and none (and slim’s on vacation!).” After working with thousands of people over the past 24 years I’ve concluded your chances aren’t a whole lot better unless you have the #2 thing too. The most important thing every job seeker must have is a positive attitude; the second most important thing is great follow-up and follow through.

For example, I’ll call or email a troubled job seeker (or O’Farrell client, ugh) to see how his or her search is going. When I don’t hear back, I call and leave a message that goes something like this: “Jill, this is Dave O’Farrell. I have some good news for you; give me a call.” When Jill calls to hear the good news, I say, “Jill, the good news is that I know what’s standing between you and a new job: YOU DON’T FOLLOW U-U-U-P-P-P-P-P!!!”

Here are some other examples of things I see from time to time:

  1. I hear through the grapevine that someone has missed an interview.
  2. One of my clients forgets an appointment with me.
  3. Someone has a hot lead for someone else at JobSeekers; the other person fails to follow through. In one specific instance that I know of, the fellow had been looking for a job for over a year.

Follow-up and follow through applied.

Follow-up and follow through are vitally important not just for success in search, but in most areas of our lives. JobSeekers’ advisory board member and management consultant JB Kirk says that poor follow-up and follow through behaviors are epidemic in the executive ranks throughout corporate America. The implications for the job seeker are obvious: demonstrate good behavior in this area, and you will certainly stand out.

My first indicator of good follow up behavior (and therefore, job search success) with a new member of JobSeekers is when he or she responds to the welcome message I send to each new person. I ask them to respond to three questions. I also ask them to email a résumé. People who honor these two requests honor themselves. Their response not only helps us to help them; it also indicates the behavior that will lead to success in search, on the new job, and in many other areas of life.

Another key indicator happens on Fridays. I’ll have some advice, information or a referral (AIR) that can help someone and I’ll ask him or her to send me an email with a reminder of what I promised. Guess how many people follow through? About one in five. Amazing.

» Only one person from last Friday!

Some indicators of good follow through behavior (and therefore, job search success) with one of my clients is whether or not he or she completes the exercises that I assign before, during and after the MRMT™ workshop. I assign a lot more work than can be accomplished on the first day of the workshop, so I give clients four days (Friday through Monday) in between the first and second day to follow through on their assignments. Many times clients come in with a list of excuses of why they couldn’t devote any time to completing their assignments over the weekend. I wonder, was that an aberration, or was that a fairly typical four days of job search at your house?

A few years ago a client wrote to tell me about her new job. Julie wrote: “I had four companies interested in me all at once: a couple of contract positions near closure and one permanent position here in Atlanta that I was just waiting on the offer. Then another offer came in. It started when I received a call from the CFO. We interviewed over the phone, and then I went in for an interview (five people in five hours!). Within 48 hours I sent all five people a thank you note that was unique to the interview we had. Within two weeks they had finalized the offer. The use of the materials we developed in your workshop were critical, Dave. When the CEO called to offer me the job, he said that I did an excellent job of follow-up.”

The #2 thing’s bottom line.

Hiring managers are busy; sometimes the job goes to the one who has the best follow-up – someone who is persistent without being a pest – someone who is finding a way to make it happen instead of finding a reason why it didn’t.

The bottom line is this: to improve your job search results, improve your follow-up and follow through behaviors. The solution is simple. Make a decision to follow-up and follow through. Manage your time. Set priorities and stick to them. Here are three relevant verses:

  1. Proverbs 13:18 – He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.
  2. Proverbs 24:32-33 – A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
  3. Titus 1:8 – Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

You’ve got to be disciplined. You’ve got to follow up on every networking or job lead just like a crime scene investigator does. You never know which clue may be the one that cracks the case.

If you have an anecdote about follow-up and follow though from your job search (either a good or bad), please send it to me. I’d love to hear it. Thanks.

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we learn and apply godly self-discipline.

Copyright © 2006-2018 / 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.

– – – – –
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.”

# # #

Commit to the Lord All You Do

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3

What a great promise! What a simple formula! This verse appears beneath my biography on the last page of my book, “Market-Ready in Minimum Time™.” When I think about this verse I sometimes substitute “all you do” for “whatever you do.” “All you do” seems more encompassing.

Today, I ask you to pray about your own situation. Have you committed “all you do” to the Lord? I’m speaking to those of you who have been in your search for several months; I’m also speaking to those of you who are early in your search. For those of you who are just getting started out, I implore you to save yourselves some time and heartache by examining your life and making the changes God wants you to make.

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.” – 2 Corinthians 13:5-6.

Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, which was the Las Vegas or New Orleans of his day. The Corinthians wanted to have it both ways; they wanted to be both secular and spiritual.

Commit to the Lord all you do – like these guys did.

For those of you who’ve been at this for a while, examine all that you do to see if it is pleasing to God. I often ask a client or JobSeeker, “What does God want you to learn from this?” When you get the answer to that question, you’ve taken a step in the right direction – the direction of His will.

A while back I met with two troubled JobSeekers on a Saturday morning. One said he had taken some giant strides in his spiritual journey. He was learning and growing in the Lord, but only after he’d been in the midst of his job search for many agonizing months. I asked him what he’d learned. He said, “I learned God loves us so much that he won’t let us move forward until we learn what He wants us to learn.” Soon after, Phil found a great job at a large Atlanta employer.

Another time, someone came to my office in a great mood, even though he’d been looking for a job for way too long. He told me he had a renewed relationship with the Lord and he’d recently learned, as Philippians 4:13 says, that he could do all things through Christ. Jim and his wife became active in church again and led a marriage enrichment group. Jim earned a Six Sigma Black Belt and eventually landed a good job that he held for the next nine years.

Do something selfish.

Friends, do something selfish. Commit your life to the Lord – every aspect of your life. I pray that things won’t get so bad for you and your family that you have nowhere else to turn but to God, but for some of us that is what it takes. God has an abundant life in store for you. He is full of grace and mercy. And he wants you to experience his peace, power and prosperity.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we commit ourselves and our job searches to the Lord!

Copyright © 2004-2018 / 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.

Several of our clients have gotten jobs specifically because they embraced the principles I will teach this week. I will mention a couple of them.

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
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

# # #

 

God is at Work in Our Careers

God is at work in our careers. This week I will share my testimony of how God was orchestrating a wonderful series of events that led to where I am today: running my own business and leading the JobSeekers ministry. Throughout it all, God was at work in my career.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Starting my search.

Someone quoted this scripture at my first JobSeekers meeting on 11 February 2000. I’d read it before, but when you have a good job, you tend to gloss over a passage like this. When your world gets turned upside down, it takes on a whole new meaning!

Actually, I missed an important word that Ward Hunter, the speaker, said. What I heard was, “For know the plans I have for you …” Notice that I missed the personal pronoun “I.” This was the key to the lesson I was to learn that year: God knew his plan for me and was at work in my career, even when I couldn’t see what he was doing.

I came to JobSeekers of PTC as a participant; two months later I moved into a leadership role. When Ernie Childs announced he had to step down, the other leaders turned their heads in unison and looked at me. For several months I held the dual role of participant and facilitator – just like the guy who runs The Hair Club for Men, “I’m not just the president, I’m also a client.” Later that year (November) I won a great contract assignment that allowed me to continue in the leadership role.

A season of disappointments.

Leading the group was a great experience, but I suffered many disappointments in my own job search along the way. The first one came a few days after the NASDAQ crashed on 10 March 2000. My former boss was looking to hire me into his new company; I was to be a key player in developing a new division of a dot-com. He called me on 13 March to say they were going to have to delay my written job offer. It never came, and by the end of the year he was forced to leave this once red-hot company.

The rest of the spring and summer brought many other disappointments. One gentleman, the managing director of the Atlanta office of a well-known training and consulting company, said I was the most polished and professional person he had ever interviewed, then he gave the job to someone else! It was one test of faith after another.

JobSeekers gave me the spiritual lift I needed to face another week. No matter how bad I felt, I could count on JobSeekers to pick me up. As the facilitator of the meetings, I admit that I feigned cheerfulness and enthusiasm more than once, but by the time the meeting was over, I never left JobSeekers feeling down.

After that first disappointment six weeks into my search, I spent the rest of the time looking for what I believed was right for me: another job selling training and consulting services to HR or sales executives. 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 asked for.

A gentle nudge.

In October (10/12/2000) I called a friend to do some networking. Debbie said they had a position with her company that was just what I was looking for. The only problem was that the person needed to be located in Portland or Seattle. I ditched that right away. After pausing for a few seconds, Debbie said I would be perfect for another position that was open: senior training consultant. I interviewed in Philadelphia on the day Bush and Gore tied. The interview included an “audition” for Linda Richardson, the CEO. It was, at that point, the most frightening experience of my life.

The key to Debbie recommending me for the position was the fact that she had seen me present many times at the local ASTD meetings – an association of trainers. The lesson here is to get involved in professional associations; but don’t just go – take on a leadership role!

God was at work in my career.

The key to me winning that job was the fact that I’d been leading the JobSeeker meetings for about six months. Each week, I had an audience of about 20 professionals, which happens to be the same size and level of group that Richardson works with. I didn’t realize it, but God was giving me a rehearsal each week in preparation for that audition. When Linda Richardson walked out of the conference room after my audition, the COO said, “Oh she loved you!” She went on to explain that Linda had interviewed thousands of trainers and only a handful had ever been hired. Upon reflection, I doubt I would have made it if I’d interviewed even six weeks sooner. As I led those JobSeeker meetings in the summer of 2000, God was at work in my career.

My time with Richardson made me a much stronger career coach and outplacement consultant; I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I’ve taught consultative selling skills at companies like Dell, Bank of America, Sears, GlaxoSmithKline and KPMG Consulting. I have incorporated what I learned at Richardson into my ministry and my business. As I traveled all over the country in 2001, 2002 and 2003, God was at work in my career.

The contract job was a stepping-stone to something better.

Little did I realize that working for Richardson was merely preparation for running my own business. I led a lot of role-plays at Richardson, and one thing that was sorely lacking at my previous outplacement company was rehearsals for networking and interviewing. The sales and communications skills I taught at Richardson are very easily transferred to job search. Turns out it was ideal training for me and my new business.

The job allowed me to be in town more Fridays than not. Without any effort on my part, I often found myself flying back to Atlanta on a Thursday night. The contract work also allowed me to do career coaching on an ad hoc basis. Nothing dangerous here; the majority of my income was coming from Richardson. But I was developing my own strategy, tools and skills to start my own business.

Five clear signals.

Five things happened in quick succession that proved to me beyond a reasonable doubt that God wanted me to take the plunge into my own full-time business.

  1. In the post 9/11 economy Richardson’s business changed; their instructor-led training business began to taper off. They had the class to call me and three dozen other consultants to let us know there was less work on the horizon than there was in the rear-view mirror.
  2. Dave Rottschafer, who leads the devotional at JobSeekers sometimes, asked me if I wanted to look for office space with him.
  3. My brother-in-law gave me a bunch of office furniture when his company upgraded.
  4. JB Kirk gave me the book, “Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance” by Bob Buford. The title says it all.
  5. Paul Fink gave me “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat” by John Ortberg. It’s about doing something bold; it’s about responding to the call that God places on our hearts.

With God orchestrating these five things, I had little choice but to do something bold. I rented an office and incorporated my business.

God was – and is – at work in my career. It has been the most difficult, and, by God’s grace, the most rewarding few years of my life. The reward comes when someone says I made a difference in their journey of faith, or when they say they found a job that is ideal for them, or simply that they have received hope and encouragement from the JobSeekers ministry, or when they call to say the résumé we created helped them beat the odds and land a job.

One time, for instance, a client called to tell me he had accepted a new job. Norman hired me in March 2012. We overhauled his résumé and LinkedIn profile, taught him how to purse his target companies, and developed his interviewing skills. By the way, after he got frustrated with the services of one of the world’s two largest career management firms, that’s when he decided to work with Atlanta’s most effective career management firm. 🙂 Soon after, he landed a good job at The Home Depot, and he worked there for more than a year. Later, he called to say that he’d landed a great job with Georgia-Pacific. He got a $20K raise. He laughed when he said he’d only had two interviews since he hired me; both resulted in offers.

That made me feel pretty awesome.

What a privilege it is to serve. I told some friends recently that I serve at God’s pleasure – and I hope he wants me to do this for a long time to come!

God is at work in your career.

Here are three lessons I’ve learned and want to share with you:

1. Trust God’s plan. Friends, I can assure you that God is at work in your career. He has a plan and a purpose for your life and career; plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a future with hope. I know that no matter where you are now, no matter where you think you are going, he can lead you to where he wants you to be. Whatever he has in mind for you is better than what you’ve asked for.

2. Discern God’s will. Pray for wisdom and discernment. God will speak to you through others, through assessments, during times of quite reflection, at dead ends and disappointments, or in the middle of a parade (this really happened to a member of JobSeekers in July 2004 at the PTC Independence Day parade).

3. Step out in faith. Work hard at what you believe God wants you to pursue. Ecclesiastes 9:10a says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” If you are on the wrong path, he will lead you where he wants you to go – as long as you seek him with all your heart.

See you Friday at JobSeekers – the place where we step out in faith and experience God’s abundant grace!

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

Articulating Past Achievements

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Be a STAR,
But think “RATS.”

Our topic this week, “Articulating Past Achievements: How to Create an Explosive Résumé” will help you to turn it up a notch in your next interview; it will also help you strengthen your résumé. You’ll learn why RATS are so important to a job seeker — in fact, you’ll learn to love RATS and will want them running around you all the time.

Bring your resume so you can immediately apply what you learn.

When I taught this topic in October 2003, one participant cited this as the turning point in his job search. Greg reworked résumé as a result of this topic. When I spoke to him on 2/4/2004, he was on his third day on his new job. “The phone started ringing when I took your advice and focused on results. The less you say in a résumé, the more interesting you sound. Use the bare essentials, no more than what you need.”

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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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