16 January 2018

Looking for Hippos

Hippos #3Been looking for hippos lately? If not, I recommend you come to JobSeekers on Friday. You’ll learn to look for hippos, and then to execute them.

Hippos are one of the key elements that determine how soon and how successful you are in your job search. Hippos are also critical to sales people, sales managers, executives and entrepreneurs. Come tomorrow and learn how to find and execute “hippos.”

Hippos, by the way, are “high payoff activities.” In 24 years in the career management business, I’ve met only of handful of people who truly live by the concepts I will teach on Friday.

– – – – –

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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    If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going

    Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego survive hell on earth

    Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery pit — who’s the fourth guy?

    “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
    – Sir Winston Churchill

    When I’ve gone through tough times in my life, I’ve found it helpful to remind myself that the difficulty I’m in is only temporary. I know many of you are going through some unimaginably tough times right now. When we find ourselves in a fiery pit, it may seem that we are bound to stay there for eternity. That’s not the case of course; oftentimes what determines how long we’re in the flames are the things we think, feel and do.

    Meet Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. 

    The ultimate example of being in the flames took place during the captivity of the Hebrews in Babylon. The story is told in the first three chapters of the book of Daniel. After Daniel had interpreted a dream of King Nebuchadnezzar’s, the King was so impressed he appointed Daniel governor of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar also gave important posts to Daniel’s three friends: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

    Later the King gave orders for a statue to be built; it was to be 90 feet high, nine feet wide, and made of solid gold. With great pomp and ceremony he commanded his officers, governors, captains and counselors to come and worship the statue as god. Only Daniel’s three friends refused.

    When King Nebuchadnezzar learned that his order had been defied, he flew into a rage and demanded that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be brought before him. “If you do not worship as I tell you, I will have you thrown into the furnace and burned to death!”

    They replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

    Nebuchadnezzar had the furnace heated to seven times its usual heat (How would they have measured it back then?). Then the men, fully clothed, were thrown into the flames. To his astonishment, Nebuchadnezzar saw not only that the men were unharmed, but also that there was a fourth man in there with them. When the king called them out from the flames, everyone saw that not a hair was singed, not a thread of clothing was burnt. Nebuchadnezzar decreed that he and his people would worship only their God.

    God delivers us while we are in the flames.

    Chuck Hodges, senior pastor at Athens First UMC, describes this as more than a divine encounter. He says that sometimes God delivers us from the furnace, but other times he delivers us while we are in the furnace. Our goal is to avoid the flames, but God is right here with us while we are in the flames. Many believe that the fourth person in those flames with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was the preincarnate Christ.

    Charles Lindsey, a former member of JobSeekers, wrote to me: “God is always able – but sometimes does not remove the circumstances – and that should not alter our commitment to faith in God. The three men had no assurance of a physical rescue, but were solid in their spiritual health. That has always seemed to strike much more of a chord with me than biblical heroes that heard directly from God with a future promise.”

    Never, never, never give up!

    I opened this message with Churchill, and I will close with Churchill. On 29 October 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited the Harrow School in Harrow, England to speak to the students. This became one of his most quoted speeches, due to distortions that evolved about what he said.

    The myth is that Churchill stood before the students and said, “Never, never, never, never give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.” The first time I heard the myth, it was only five words: “Never, never, never give up.” Then he sat down. (That would have been a great speech, by the way.)

    In reality, he made a complete speech that included words similar to what are often quoted. Here’s the excerpt: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

    Friends, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

    You are in the midst of the flames right now, and Jesus in right by your side – just as he was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. In spite of the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy, they claimed the ultimate power – the power of God almighty. The difference is in what you think, feel and do. Choose God, the ultimate source of encouragement and strength.

    See this Friday at JobSeekers, where we never give in and never give up!

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

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      Where David Found His Strength

      strengthAs we begin a new year, I want to share what I’ve learned about how, when and where David found his strength. The great warrior poet of the Old Testament had his ups and downs. If you don’t believe me, read the Psalms. The most difficult days of his life prepared him to lead a nation and to write psalms that still inspire us 3000 years later.

      I’m looking forward to 2018 with hope in my heart, optimism in my eyes, and faith in God that through Him, all things are possible! In recent weeks I’ve spoken to many of you who are feeling quite the opposite: you have lost hope, are feeling depressed, and don’t believe much of anything good is possible.

      Maybe we can learn from David.

      Spring always follows winter.

      Sometimes the seasons of our life aren’t always synched up with the seasons of the year. When many people are full of joy, you may be in the doldrums. Ecclesiastes says there’s a time and a season for everything. It may be winter in your life now, but spring is just around the corner.

      David had a rough winter in his life before he became King of Israel.

      John Ortberg tells the story of how David hid in caves to escape Saul in “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.” Although I’d read the story about hiding in caves before, I didn’t realize that David was on the run from Saul for about 10 years. In my mind he went from the youth who slew Goliath to King David in a short period of time.

      Here’s what really happened: after being a shepherd and slaying Goliath, he was a musician in King Saul’s court. From there he became a warrior and rose to become the most successful officer in the army. At that point Saul became jealous (see 1 Samuel 18: 7-9). He tried various ways of killing David, including using his daughter Michal as a snare. The trap didn’t work; in fact, David married Michal.

      As the story progresses, David loses his job (here’s our link), loses his wife (she was given to another man by her father), loses his best friend (Saul’s son Jonathan), loses his mentor (Samuel, who had anointed him when he was just a shepherd boy, and had continued to give David advice over the years – he died of old age), he lost his friend Ahimelech and 84 other priests who had sided with him (they were killed by Doeg the Edomite because they had protected David), and he had survived a few assassination attempts (Saul himself hurled a spear at him, 1 Samuel 20:33).

      Are you getting the picture here? Things weren’t going so well for David.

      David found strength in the Lord his God – in caves.

      David hid in caves; he was constantly on the run from Saul’s army, just like Saddam Hussein when he was hiding from the U.S. special forces. David found 600 loyal men and their families who stuck with him. Things got even worse when David and his men returned from some raids on nearby towns to find that their city, Ziklag, had been burned to the ground and all their wives, sons and daughters had been taken captive by the Amalakites. Now even his loyal men turned on him. Ortberg says what David did next was one of the great statements in scripture (1 Samuel 30:6): “David found strength in the Lord his God.”

      The story ends well. David and his men killed the Amalakites and got back their wives, children and all their possessions that had been taken as plunder. The Philistines killed Saul and his sons. David was anointed king, and he became the greatest king in the Bible, a man after God’s own heart. And he was the father (many generations removed) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      Ortberg says the cave is a wonderful place to find that you are loved by God. He says, “The cave is where God does some of his best work in molding and shaping human lives. Sometimes when all the props and crutches in your life get stripped away and you find you have only God, you discover that God is enough.” (p.139)

      How many of you reading this message today are in a cave right now? I’ve spent quite a bit of time in caves myself these past few years, and I am a better man for it. Use this cave time to allow God to mold and shape you. Use this time for good. It has a purpose. God has a purpose. Like David, there are indeed brighter days ahead for you. It’s God’s promise to all of us. As we begin a new year, listen to Jesus’ words to us, the sheep of his flock:

      “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

      Let’s all look forward to 2018 with hope in our hearts, optimism in our eyes, and faith in God that through Him, all things are possible! Amen!

      See you on Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we always find hope.

      Copyright © 2003-2018 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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        Seven Job Search Strategies

        job search strategies


        Where are you investing your time?

        Seven Job Search Strategies and Their Relative Effectiveness

        Delighted to report that several clients have landed jobs in the past couple of weeks! What I’m teaching at JobSeekers this Friday is fundamental to the process we use here at O’Farrell Career Management. It’s part of the process that these clients used to earn their offers.

        – – – – –

        Tired of beating your head against the wall? Our topic this week, “Seven Job Search Strategies and Their Relative Effectiveness” might help end your frustration and pain.

        The holiday season is over. School is gearing back up. It’s time to get off the sidelines and back in the game! It seems many people are experiencing some serious inertia this week. Come to JS this Friday and get your mojo back!

        I’ll teach you what works (and why) and what doesn’t (and why not). I will share something that I’ve never seen on another career website, or seen in another book, or heard from another career coach. If you embrace this concept, prepare yourself thoroughly, and maintain a positive attitude you can and will land a job.

        – – – – –

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

        Click here for more information about the meetings and agenda.

        See you on Friday!

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

        “Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

        # # #

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          Forget What’s Past, Strain Toward What’s Ahead

          Forget-What-Hurt-You-In-The-Past-Facebook-CoverLet’s forget what’s past and strain toward what’s ahead – brighter days in the upcoming year. Let’s make it a great 2018!

          I think it’s really fitting that Christmas and New Year’s Day are only a week apart. Both remind me of new life and new beginnings. Christmas reminds me that through Christ, we are all new creatures indeed. The New Year reminds me that our Lord wants us to strain toward what’s ahead instead of dwelling on the past. You can’t see the new horizons through your windshield if you’re concentrating on your rear view mirrors!

          Paul shared with the believers in Philippi that he wanted to rise above his human nature, which was based on works and living according to the law, to faith-based righteousness, which comes from belief in Christ. He says, “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining on toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

          Paraphrasing Paul, 2016 was a year many of us would like to put behind. We can learn from this verse and forget what’s behind and strain toward what’s ahead. When it comes to our careers, God wants us to learn from the past – to figure out what’s been working and what hasn’t, and to begin implementing change. Above all, He wants us to seek Him and His will for our lives and careers, and to work wholeheartedly as He leads us (see 2 Chronicles 31:21).

          The upcoming year will be a good one. There are brighter days ahead. I feel blessed that every time I’ve changed jobs (and careers) I found something better. I hope, expect and pray that for those of you who are reading this and are in transition, you will find God at work in your career in 2013. When you read this newsletter a year from now, you will do so as a JobSeeker alumnus; and you will say, “That was a tough time, but thank God it happened, because look how well things have turned out.”

          God bless all of you in the New Year!

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

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            No Meeting This Week!

            christmas_tree_ornaments3x4croppedNo meeting this week, but totally stoked about how many people are landing jobs during the hiring season. I’ve also learned that many others are scheduled for interviews this week, next week, and the first week of January. We have actually scheduled about seven of these ourselves in our recruiting business, including three today.

            Let me know if you’ve landed a job since 15 November.

            Very proud of all these people. There is hope for us all. Trust in the Lord. Work wholeheartedly. Trust always.

            Praise the Lord. God is good.

            – – – – –

            Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

            Our next meeting is on Friday 5 January 2018. Our topic will be “Seven Search Strategies and Their Relative Effectiveness.”

            In the meantime, be sure to read my Christmas blogs:

            He Will Be Called Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace

            Something Has Always Been

            Christmas from a New Perspective

            Are You Melancholy or Merry This Christmas?

            Peace and joy,

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

            “Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

            # # #

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              The Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace

              UntoUsAChildIsBorn7For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

              – Isaiah 9:6

              I realize many of you are experiencing a sense of loss, or loneliness, or hurt, or fear, or frustration, or even desperation on this Christmas Eve.

              When the prophet Isaiah wrote the verse above 2700 years ago, he was addressing the concerns of the troubled nation of Israel. Five verses prior he writes: “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.” He continues to write about those in the midst of darkness, death, burdens and oppression. Then he offers his message of hope.

              Hope is available to all of us through the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Receive wisdom from the Wonderful Counselor. Tap into the power of the Mighty God. Lie in the arms of the Everlasting Father. Feel the love of the Prince of Peace.

              I encourage you to attend a Christmas Eve service this year.

              May the love of the Holy Child of Bethlehem abide in your heart, and may the Prince of Peace fill you with hope and joy in this Christmas season. Amen.

              Copyright © 2003-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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                Something Has Always Been

                Click on the photos for more information.

                I loved astronomy when I was a kid. When I was in fourth grade, my class took a field trip to Fernbank Science Center. Dr. Staal, the host of the planetarium show, told us to go outside that night and look straight up in the sky and we would see a golden-yellow star named Altair in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle. I did; I looked, and I was hooked. Soon I ordered a book called Know the Stars. I remember lying in bed with the lights out studying a list of the heavens’ 15 brightest stars by the light of a full moon. As I studied the moon and the stars, I was filled with wonder as I pondered the vastness of the heavens.

                No wonder David, who had countless hours to ponder the heavens when he was a shepherd boy, wrote in Psalm 8:3-5: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” He also wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” – Psalm 19:1

                The awesomeness of the universe.

                During this time I learned about the speed of light. In a vacuum like space, light travels at more than 186,000 miles per second. To give you an idea of how fast that is, a beam of light could travel around the earth’s equator seven times in one second. Since our sun is an average of 93 million miles away, it takes eight-and-a-half minutes for light to make the trip from the sun to the earth.

                Even our closest celestial neighbor is a great distance away. Alpha Centauri is 26.5 trillion miles away. Even though light travels at 670 million miles per hour, it still takes four-and-half years for a beam of light to arrive here on earth. Instead of “miles” we use “light years” to describe distances beyond the Solar System. Alpha Centauri is four-and-half light years away.

                If you go outside tonight and look into the southeastern sky, you will see the constellation Orion, the Hunter. Orion is easy to spot because of the three equally bright, equally spaced stars that form his belt. The reddish star that forms his right shoulder is Betelgeuse (beetle-juice), which is 520 light years away. The light that you see from Betelgeuse left in 1497, five years after Christopher Columbus’ first voyage. It is 14,000 times brighter than our sun. If Betelgeuse were placed in the center of our Solar System, it would extend beyond the orbit of Jupiter. The brilliant white star that represents Orion’s left foot is Rigel, which is 900 light years away; William the Conqueror was busy establishing earldoms along the Anglo-Welsh borders when tonight’s light left Rigel.

                The most distant object you will ever see with your naked eye is also in tonight’s sky. It’s the Andromeda galaxy (get an expert to help you find this one). It’s 2.5 million light years away. Mastodons roamed around North America when the light we see tonight left the Andromeda galaxy 2.5 million years ago.

                Andromeda is one of the closer galaxies to the earth. Scientists estimate that there are tens of billions of galaxies. When I told my kids, Leigh and Austin, about the vastness of space for the first time (they were nine and 12), it blew their minds – just as it did mine when I was their age, and as it continues to do today. Then I told them that God is present in the most distant galaxy, and he is present in our hearts. Their responses were “wow” and “awesome.”

                For a really cool affirmation of faith, click on the picture of “Earthrise” above. To view video of this event, click here. And here’s the story behind the photo.

                Something has always been.

                I became absolutely convinced of the existence of God at about the same time I became interested in astronomy. Our church was on its annual retreat to Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Georgia. Jane Purdue, the pastor’s wife, took my Sunday school class on a walk in the woods. She asked all of us to close our eyes and use our imaginations. When everyone settled down she asked us to think about who created the towering trees around us. Then she asked who created the majestic mountains, the vast oceans, and the ancient dinosaurs. In every case, of course, the answer was “God.”

                Then she took us back to the creation of the earth, the moon, the sun, the stars and the Milky Way galaxy. Now she asked us to really stretch our minds, “Who created the universe and everything that is?” “God.” And then she asked, “And who created God?” She let that sink in for several seconds. We were speechless. Then she said, “Something has always been.”

                The gospel of John describes the One who has always been: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” – John 1:1-5 and 14a

                A mere 2000 years ago, Jesus – who has always been and always will be – became incarnate and lived among us: “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. He was with God in the beginning … Jesus became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The babe in the manger created the Star of Bethlehem all the stars in the heavens that shone above him.

                Jesus came so that we might be reconciled to God, so that we can have an abundant life on earth and an eternal life in heaven. The Lord of All Creation took the form of a helpless baby – born to an unwed mother, into a poor family, in an unspectacular town, in an inhospitable time – to live and die as one of us, a perfect sacrifice for all mankind.

                O come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Emanuel.

                Our salvation is dependent solely on our faith in Jesus Christ. Charles C. Ryrie says that faith (or belief) is mentioned nearly 200 times in the New Testament as the single condition for salvation. Our faith must be placed in Christ as a substitute for, and savior from, our sins. Ryrie says it’s not easy to believe someone you’ve never seen about the most important decision you will ever make.

                That’s where faith comes in. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

                Christmas is about God’s tangible presence in our lives. Now you have seen him; now you know the way; now you decide. Choose Christ; choose eternal life.

                The Lord of All Creation wants not only to be your savior, he also wants to be The Lord of Your Life. Put your sinful, selfish ways behind you and submit your will to the will of Christ. Make him the Lord of your life.

                Friends, God loves you. He wants the best for you, and he wants to spend eternity with you. He wants you to have a career that uses your gifts and abilities in a way that is pleasing to him, good for your family, and rewarding for you. He desires you with all his heart, and he wants you to feel the same way toward him. He loves you so much that he came down from Heaven. Love came down from Heaven, for God is love.

                During the Christmas season, I sing the fourth verse from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” over and over. I love it because it focuses not only on the beauty and mystery of a newborn child, but also on the eternal purpose of His incarnation:

                O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray,
                Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.
                We hear the Christmas angels, their great glad tidings tell,
                O come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Emanuel.

                May the love of the Holy Child of Bethlehem abide in your heart, and may the Prince of Peace fill you with hope and joy in this Christmas season. Amen.

                Copyright © 2005-2017 / 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
                  Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
                  O’Farrell Career Management

                  “Atlanta’s most effective 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

                    “Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

                    # # #

                     

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