23 June 2017

An Unholy Trinity

Job search is hard. When we reach a crisis point in our lives, the unholy trinity combines forces to make the battle even tougher. Job search isn’t just about finding a job; it’s part of a cosmic battle for our hearts. Along with divorce, job search is one of the toughest attacks on your ego that you will ever face. To be sure, there are things in life that are tougher, such as the death of a loved one, a life-threatening illness or injury, and maybe a prison sentence.

I’m constantly reminded of the fact that, in search, we are called upon to be at our professional best right after someone told us we weren’t worth having around anymore. That’s enough to get you down right there! But there may be other, more negative forces working on you than meets the eye.

John Eldredge writes in Wild at Heart, “Whatever specific terrain you are called to – at home, at work … you will always encounter three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. They make up sort of an unholy trinity.” Job search is one of the toughest spiritual battles you will every face. Here’s a glimpse into what’s going on:

1. The world attacks our hearts.

The world rejects us. Your former employer said, “Get lost.” Your target company said, “We don’t want you.” Your networking contact said, “I’m too busy.” All this rejection can wear us down.

The world tells us to change our attitude. “Friend, you’ve got to change your attitude. You’ve got to pull yourself up by the bootstraps.” Sometimes I think those of us with good intentions and good attitudes lay a guilt trip on those who don’t share our positive outlook on life. The person with the bad attitude often thinks, “What’s wrong with me that I can’t snap my fingers and suddenly be in a good mood?” To the encouragers of the world, including myself, I encourage you to help people pull themselves up when they are unable to do it themselves.

2. The flesh attacks our hearts.

The flesh betrays us. Did you notice on the previous point that part of it was about the world sending the seeker a message, but the response came from within the mind of the seeker? Our self-talk is one of the most destructive forces to our psyche. Everyone has negative thoughts; we handle those thoughts differently. One affirmation I use is: “I think positive. I deliberately voice a positive thought to cancel out any negative thought that comes to mind concerning my personal powers. I have formed the habit of positive thinking.”

Pride is another destructive force. I’ve seen a lot of people derail their job search because of pride. Friends, humble yourselves and ask for help. Ask friends for help. Listen to their counsel. Ask for professional help; it may pay dividends far beyond your job search. Ask God for help; he is standing at your door and knocking.

And speaking of the flesh, poor health – whether it’s a disease, illness or injury – can play a big role in a job search. Do everything you can to maintain good health, and if that isn’t enough – if your health is still a factor – use your advisory team to develop a realistic, achievable goal for your career.

3. The devil attacks our hearts.

The devil deceives us. Sometimes that self-doubt isn’t just from you. Jesus called the devil “the father of lies.” He was speaking to the Pharisees when he said, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

The father of lies may be speaking to you. Satan may be placing negative thoughts in your head and fear in your heart. He just loves it when we are at a crisis point in our lives because we are so vulnerable. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Eldredge writes in Captivating, “All the Enemy has to do to destroy people is to get them isolated, [like] a lamb separated from the flock.” Satan wants to separate you from your employer, your target companies, your network, your advisory team, your family – and, most of all – your spouse. Don’t let the enemy win! Fight back with the power of the Holy Trinity.

– – – – – – –

I used to work in an office that was right beside some railroad tracks. Every now and then I’d see a 100-car train loaded with coal start from a complete standstill. It took four engines working at maximum power to get it rolling. At first it moved very slowly, but before it was out of sight, it would be moving at 45 miles per hour.

Which way is your train headed?

Maybe those four engines – your negative attitude, combined with the world, the flesh and the devil – have you headed south. They’re building momentum, and you’re headed in the wrong direction. Stop the engines. Change your course. Pray for a willing spirit. Derail the forces of evil working against you. Hook up the powerful engines of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Get your train rolling toward True North.

See you Friday at JobSeekers, where we claim the power of the Holy Trinity.

Copyright © 2006-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

 

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    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.

    – – – – –

    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
    O’Farrell Career Management

    Executive Recruiting | Outplacement Consulting | Performance Coaching

    “Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

    # # #

     

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      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 is a work day 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.

      – – – – –

      “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 © 2004-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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        Jeff Sheehan on Social Selling and LinkedIn

        jeff-sheehan-picture

        Jeff Sheehan

        Come this Friday to learn from Jeff Sheehan, a widely-recognized expert on social selling and LinkedIn.

        Jeff Sheehan is an IBM Influencer / Futurist and writer who advises and writes on various trends involving customer engagement, predictive analytics, and IBM Watson. He is also the founder of Sheehan Marketing, a marketing and sales solution provider. His background includes 30+ years of global high technology marketing and sales working with some of the world’s largest companies including Intel, Apple, HP, IBM, AT&T, and Cisco , to name a few. During his corporate career, he and the teams he led were responsible for cumulative sales of over $500 million.

        Jeff is a well-known speaker nationally and in the Atlanta area on the use of Social Selling, LinkedIn, Personal Branding, Social Media, and Marketing. Jeff is also a Toastmaster (CC), and volunteers extensively for multiple charities.

        Additionally, he is the co-author of “HIRED! Paths to Employment in the Social Media Era,” a book that deals with an integrated approach to the entire job search process that was based on his work as the Volunteer Director of the Holy Spirit Career Ministry in Atlanta, as well as the numerous discussions with job seekers over the last 7+ years.

        With over 330,000 followers on Twitter, he has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top people to follow on Twitter in the world for social media, marketing, and sales. He is also among the Top 50 People Most Retweeted in the World by Mid-Size Marketers and has been honored as one of the Global Top 50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50.

        Jeff holds a BBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an MS in Finance from Bentley University, and an MS in Marketing from Georgia State University with additional training at Northwestern University and the University of Virginia.

        – – – – –

        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
        O’Farrell Career Management

        Executive Recruiting | Outplacement Consulting | Performance Coaching

        “Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

        # # #

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          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 © 2004-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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            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
            Corporate Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
            O’Farrell Career Management

            “South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

            # # #

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              Zig Ziglar says, “Do a checkup from the neck up.”

              Zig Ziglar says, "Do a check up from the neck up."


              Zig Ziglar
              (11/6/26 – 11/28/12)

              Zig Ziglar used to say we need “a checkup from the neck up.” One time I spoke to an HR manager who was having a hard time filling a position; the position had been open for more than two months. I immediately recommended a member of JobSeekers; he was imminently qualified for the job. She said they had already interviewed him and decided not to hire him. Why?

              She said he had a poor attitude.

              Friends, sometimes the number one thing standing between you and a job is your attitude! Maybe you need to do “a check up from the neck up.”

              I witnessed this at a job fair one time. As people approached the JobSeekers’ table I was hosting, I’d ask, “What do you do for a living?” They’d look at me and squint one eye and wrinkle their brow and say, “[Well duh], I’m unemployed!” While I was checking for attitude, they were checking to see if I had a brain.

              If attitude is your problem, this is good news because it doesn’t take years to earn or learn a new attitude the way a college degree, a certain skill set, or specific industry experience would. Your attitude is a decision you make every day. I learned this bit of wisdom several years ago: “Before your feet hit the floor in the morning, you make a decision about what kind of day you’re going to have.” I challenge you to “decide” to have a good day today, tomorrow and every day during your job search.

              In addition to job search, attitude plays a key role in how we deal with poor health, death, divorce, persecution and financial woes.

              Here are five examples:

              An old lady.

              Once there was an old lady who lived in an assisted living facility. As her health deteriorated, it became necessary to move her into a nursing home. She was almost blind. When the day came, her son walked her into the nursing home and down the hall toward her new room. As they approached the door to her room she exclaimed, “Oh I love it! The furniture is so nice and the curtains are beautiful!” Her son said, “Mom, we’re still in the hallway.” She replied, “I know son, but I’ve already decided that I’m going to like it here.”

              Bill Cosby.

              In January 1997, Cosby’s only son, Ennis, was robbed and murdered on a Los Angeles highway after he stopped to fix a flat tire. On Dr. Richard Rahe’s well-known life change index, the death of your child is worst life change a person can experience. It must be even more bewildering if your child is the victim of a random murder. I wondered how Cosby would ever be able to make people laugh again. I was amazed when he was back at work and as funny as ever just a few months later. (Boy, has Cosby’s stock sunk since I first wrote this!)

              Viktor Frankl.

              Our chaplain, Howard Tisdale (1921-2012), quoted Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) often. Frankl survived the Holocaust, even though he was in four Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz, from 1942-45. His mother, father, brother and wife died in the camps – from the harsh conditions or the gas ovens. His entire family, except for his sister, died. In Man’s Search for Meaning, he wrote about choosing one’s attitude: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way … Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually.” (p. 104-105)

              The apostle Paul.

              Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27) With this in mind, he wrote to the church in Philippi: “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.” (Philippians 4:10-12)

              You.

              These examples are great, but do you know who the best example is to those around you? It’s you! Not only has God given you the opportunity to grow and to draw closer to him; he’s calling you to be a powerful witness in his name. Don’t let God down. There are people watching you to see how you bear up under the difficult circumstances you are in right now. Decide right now that you will bear this burden with dignity, that you will overcome any obstacle, and that you will be joyful no matter what the circumstances. You will bless others by doing so, and as a result, you will bless yourself.

              Rick Warren says, “Life is a series of problems: either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one or you’re getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ-likeness.”

              I rejoice greatly that I know you. Along with the other members of the Ship’s Crew, we want you to find a job, but even more so, we want you to know the joy of the Lord.

              See you on Friday at JobSeekers – where we’ll do a check up from the neck up!

              Copyright © 2005-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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                Closing the Interview

                How to finish strong and land the job of your dreams.

                Many people leave the interview not knowing where they stand. Some ask, “Dave, I had a great interview three weeks ago and haven’t heard back. Should I contact them?” The three-step process I will teach on Friday is the remedy to prevent this quandary.

                You will learn two very powerful questions to move your candidacy forward to the next step in the process.

                You will also learn one powerful tie-down question that will save you a lot of heartache later on. This is a can’t-miss meeting.

                – – – – –

                JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

                Click here for more information about the meetings and agenda.

                See you on Friday!

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

                “South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

                # # #

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                  Interviewing Skills: Positioning Your Qualifications

                  Interviewing Skills


                  Cruise to Harmony

                  This week our topic is “Positioning Your Qualifications: How to Differentiate Yourself in Today’s Hyper-Competitive Job Market.” This topic on interviewing skills is one of my favorites as well as one of the most important I teach. Some of you are coming close to landing jobs but falling short and you don’t know why. I’ll tell you why if you come to JobSeekers.

                  The apostle Paul was a powerful and persuasive positioner. Paul thought about his audience and leveraged what he had in common with them. The skill of matching your qualifications and accomplishments with the specific needs of the hiring organization is called positioning.

                  I’ve had clients not only land jobs by using this skill, but completely shut down their competition. One client landed two out of three jobs. Interesting story. I will share this on Friday.

                  This poster was created a few years ago as part of the activity that accompanies this topic.

                  – – – – –

                  JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

                  Click here for more information about the meetings and agenda.

                  See you on Friday!

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

                  “South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

                  # # #

                   

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                    Resist the Temptations of Summer

                    Resist the temptations of summer.


                    How much time are you wasting?

                    Here we are in the early in the summer and I can see that Satan is winning some battles among us. We’ve got to resist the temptations of summer. I can tell many of you are not putting your full effort into your job search. Your absence at JS shows it; your lack of activity on LinkedIn proves it.

                    The topic last week was “How to earn $15K real fast.” Would you run eight $20 bills through the shredder every day? If you take the summer off, that’s the lost income for the average member of JobSeekers. Some of you are doing the equivalent of shredding money by your lack of effort!

                    During the meeting I asked, “If you were accused of looking for a job, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

                    For many of you, the answer is “no.”

                    Are the temptations of summer causing you to lose focus?

                    In this hyper-competitive job market, you’ve got to get your game face on. You’ve got to get your act together. You’ve got to get out there every day and put the pedal to the metal. Sitting on the sidelines waiting for the economy to improve in NOT an option.

                    If you want to change your results, come to JS and do what we teach.

                    If you really want to get back to work, do everything you can do to find a job – and leave to God what only He can do. We believe in a God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (See Ephesians 3:20.)

                    What are the implications of this?

                    When you succumb to the temptations of summer, your job search gets stretched out. These temptations are not sins as we typically think of sin; sin is doing (or not doing) something that prevents us from finding a job. See James 4:17, which says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” Here are three examples:

                    1. An employer called me looking for a payroll administrator with ADP experience. I searched my database of résumés and couldn’t find a single match. I was certain we’d had someone at JobSeekers within the past six months with that background. He or she failed to send a resume to me and he or she missed a job opportunity.
                    2. One time I was speaking to Pat Brannon, who has given hundreds of networking leads to JobSeekers over the years. He said he gets really upset with people who he invests time with, learns their needs, gives them leads, and then they fail to follow up on them. Both Pat and I can cite specific people who have failed to follow up on networking and/or job leads. Since 80% of all jobs are found through networking, it is a safe bet that someone has missed a job because they failed to follow up.
                    3. People tell me they are going to take it easy during the summer. If you earn $62,500 per year and succumb to temptation by taking the entire summer off, your summer vacation will cost you $13K. If you reduce your effort by 30% (how would we measure such a thing?), your summer slump will cost you $3,600. If you can afford to do that, great; but most people I talk to need a job now.

                    When we are out of work and money is tight, we are more vulnerable.

                    Resist the temptations of summer.

                    Friends, the devil may have been waiting since the last crisis point in your life – like the last time you looked for a job – for you to be as vulnerable as you are now! Whether or not the Evil One caused you to lose your job, I don’t know. But I know this for sure: he will do everything he can to take advantage of the situation.

                    In Waking the Dead, John Eldredge asks (p. 155, the text within the brackets are my additions), “If you are having trouble taking in all of this, let me ask you: Have you had this experience? Something bad happens [you lose your job], and you start telling yourself what a jerk [failure] you are. Do you really think the source of that is just you? Or God? Think about it this way: Who would take the most delight in it? … Start by simply entertaining the notion that the source might be something besides your ‘low self-esteem.’”

                    Your lack of confidence, self-doubt and low self-esteem may not come from within. Here’s another thing I am sure of: when you have a negative thought that causes you to lose momentum in your campaign, it is not coming from God. Furthermore, Eldredge says that other Christians, including and especially our families, deliver some of the worst blows to our heart (p. 116 and 154). These people don’t understand who is stirring them to say things to wound you. He sights Peter as an example. When Peter told Jesus he shouldn’t go to Jerusalem for Holy Week Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan” (Matthew 16:21-23).

                    Since reading this book about spiritual warfare I look at my life, my business and your job search in a different light. For example, Satan can use a televised baseball game to his advantage. Oftentimes I stay up late to watch a game that I don’t even care about. Then I sleep a little later the next day. Maybe I could have used the extra hour in the morning to help one more person find a job. When I let myself get distracted by low priority items, I can also see that they are preventing me from growing my business. If I don’t grow my business, I won’t be able to serve Christ as ably. And who would take delight in that?

                    In James 4:7 we are commanded to “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” And 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone [you, while you are unemployed] to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers [other JobSeekers] throughout the world are undergoing the same sort of sufferings.” Take hold of these promises from God.

                    Be aware that the assaults on your heart can be overt, or they can be very subtle. Added together though, all of them can have an impact with eternal consequences. Your heart is good. You matter to God. He wants you to have a job and an abundant life. Resist the devil and he will flee from you!

                    Action item: Write to me and share how you have been engaged in battle with the Enemy.

                    Brothers and sisters in Christ, I implore your to recognize the enemy, resist the devil, get into God’s word, claim the power of the Holy Spirit, be steadfast in prayer, fellowship with other Christians, and work harder and smarter on your job search during the summer than you did a month ago. God has many blessings in store for you. Now that’s something you can have faith in!

                    Come to JobSeekers on Friday to claim the abundant life God has in store for you!

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

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