20 August 2017

O’Farrell Misses the Boat

Networking is by far the number one way people find jobs. One client of mine compared networking to sowing seeds. Ken said, “I’m convinced that networking is like planting seeds. Some will germinate, but it may take a while. The seeds need ongoing attention to help them grow.”

Friends, listen to me: network even when it seems like networking is not working.

To illustrate the consequences of doing the right and wrong things, I think back to August 1985 and a scuba trip to West Palm Beach. Some friends and I dove on a Greek yacht named the Mizpah. It was a night dive in 85 feet of water, two miles off the coast. We were warned of the dangers of the Gulf Stream currents; they could sweep you miles away from the dive boat in the middle of the night.

My scuba buddy, Ron Bennett, and I were selected by the dive master to lead a group of 20 people down to the Mizpah. I wasn’t terrified of the pitch-black water. I wasn’t terrified of the nocturnal creatures that prowl the seas. I wasn’t terrified of being swept away by the Gulf Stream currents.

I was terrified of the wrath of the other 18 people if we missed the boat.

O’Farrell Misses the Boat

To understand my high anxiety, I will take you back three weeks prior. Ron and I and some of the same people were in Fort Lauderdale to dive on the Mercedes, a freighter that had been sunk in 97 feet of water one mile off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Ron had dived on the ship once before; I was in Atlanta for Independence Day. He said it had been a fantastic dive; they could see the freighter as soon as they jumped in the water.

On this particular dive we ignored the dive master’s navigation instructions and simply started swimming down; visibility was poor and we couldn’t see the ship. We swam against the current in what we thought was the right direction, but still no ship. When we reached a depth of 75 feet, we finally saw something. Sand. Nothing but sand.

We missed the boat.

Ron and I had an underwater argument about whether we should swim around on the bottom looking for a 195 foot long ship or go back to the surface and asking for help. We were rookie scuba divers and had been warned about doing a “pop up,” which is exactly what we were about to do.

The boat captain and the deck hand let us have it. They dragged us over to the drop site again while we hung on to the dive platform for dear life. We used up most of our air during this exhausting experience. We found the boat on the second try, but were only able to spend seven minutes exploring the Mercedes. The other divers teased unmercifully for the rest of the weekend (and for years to come).

So on this night Ron and I are on the platform about to jump into the dark and eerie waters while all these thoughts are racing through my head. Then I remembered our training; I remembered what the instructors had said about reaching our goal: “Swim hard, swim south and don’t take your eyes off your compass.” We swam due south, directly against the current. We did what we knew was right even though we couldn’t see the target. I looked up just before we hit the bow of the boat.

It was a wonderful dive. We went into one room and pushed our flashlights into the sand so they didn’t cast any light. It was cool to see hundreds of bio-luminescent creatures glowing in the darkness of the deep.

Listen to the Experts

Friends, listen to the experts. Do what we say works. Don’t take your eyes off your compass. Your target will be right ahead of you if you don’t let yourself get distracted, if you don’t wander off on one tangent after another. If you do, you could end up miles away from your target and looking at nothing but sand.

Network! Chances are as high as 80% that you will find your next job through a personal contact. Why not shorten the time by doing more networking? Bring up your job search in almost every conversation you have, especially with new people. You may not see your next job up ahead, but it’s out there. You have to do the right things to find it.

– Dave O’Farrell

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

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    Declaring Your Position Objective

    wave-of-the-sea-3Our topic this Friday is “Declaring Your Position Objective.” I like this quote from James: “Don’t be like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” This quote from Stephen Covey also applies: “begin with the end in mind.”

    Oftentimes when I do the diagnosis on why someone has been looking for a job for six months or more, the absence of this essential element is one of the top three reasons for the lack of success. With it, you see new possibilities and open doors every day. Without it, the seeker struggles to tread water in the hostile seas of unemployment.

    The Position Objective Statement (POS) is used in networking communications. For some, this is one of the most difficult things they have to do in their job search — decide what they want to do next. Without an objective you are like a wave of the sea — blown and tossed by the wind. With it, you have a sharp focus that helps you sift through all the clutter and work toward a specific goal.

    Come JS on Friday to develop and practice your POS.

    – – – – –

    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
    Corporate Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
    O’Farrell Career Management

    “South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

    # # #

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      Changing Careers

      Changing Careers


      Where are you headed?

      Has an employer ever told you, “We’re going to hire someone with more experience?” Our topic for this Friday is “Changing Careers: How to Break into a New Function or Industry.” I personally changed careers many years ago, and since then, have been blessed to help 1000+ other people change careers too. I will share the four secrets to making a successful career change.

      My informal polls reveal that two-thirds of all job seekers are thinking of changing fields or industries (or both). We will discuss strategies to be more effective in making the shift. It will be good advice for all job seekers, but particularly for those who are changing careers. To be better prepared for the meeting, do these three things:

      • Develop your story about why you have a burning desire to break into this new career.
      • Think of (or find) a person who is already in your target field and industry that can coach you on how to break into your new career.
      • Find at least one association that represents your projected function or industry.

      BTW, be sure to read Even Jesus Changed Careers.

      – – – – –

      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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        Feeling Stressed? Take Dr. Rahe’s Test


        Richard H. Rahe, M.D.

        Feeling stressed? Today you will have the opportunity to take Dr. Rahe’s test while you are in the midst of a life-changing event.

        You can estimate your risk of having a stress-related illness or accident using a calculator developed by Richard H. Rahe, M.D., a world-renowned expert on stress-related illness. The test assigns a measurement called a Life Change Unit (LCU) to events – positive and negative – that cause stress. The higher your LCU total, the greater your risk of a stress-related illness or accident within the coming year.

        Here are the top 10 (out of 55) life change events:

        1. Death of a child
        2. Death of a spouse
        3. Death of parent or sibling
        4. Divorce
        5. Separation from spouse due to marital difficulties or work
        6. Being held in jail
        7. Loss of your job
        8. An illness or injury that was very serious
        9. Death of a close friend
        10. Pregnancy

        Notice that four of the 10 have to do with the death of a loved one or friend; as difficult as they are, they don’t reflect on who you are as a person. One (pregnancy) is good news, and one (jail) probably hasn’t happened to most of the people who read this newsletter. Of the top 10 life change events, divorce and job loss represent the two biggest attacks on a person’s ego.

        In Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs tells the story of two friends who battled cancer and won. Both men soon found themselves unemployed. One said, “I was never depressed when dealing with cancer and possibly dying, but when I left my work, which was my identity, I went into a depression that was like nothing I had ever experienced before.” Are there things worse than job loss? Absolutely; but being unemployed is one of the toughest spiritual battles you will ever face.

        If you are looking for a job you may feel you’ve had your ego attacked by your former employer, by prospective employers who’ve chosen someone else over you, and by potential networking partners who’ve refused to help you. You may be experiencing financial difficulties, you may have lost contact with close friends you used to work with, you may have lost the structure in your day and your week and don’t know what to do, and you may be facing the prospect of moving to a distant city in order to find a meaningful position. Your LCU score may be very high.

        Who can relate to what I’m talking about here?

        You’ve gone through a lot. You may go through more. When it rains, it pours. Problems compound. It seems there is no hope. Now your health is on the decline. Doctors have long recognized that stress can trigger a range of illnesses, from backache and headache to gastrointestinal problems, a weak immune system and heart attacks.

        How much stress are you under? To access the test, click here. Go to “Products” and choose “A Recent Life Changes Stress Test.” They charge $5; it used to be $1. No joke. I can show you my credit card bill! If you just want to read more, click here for an article about a similar study that involved Rahe and another psychiatrist.

        Over a one-year period, a life change score of 450 or higher means not only that several life changes have occurred, but also that some of these changes had very high stress values. This high recent life change stress load is called a “life crisis.” Two out of three people experiencing a life crisis will develop one or more illnesses, or have an accident, during the following year.

        In January 2004, my score was 558. During the preceding six months I’d gotten divorced, bought a condo, lost my primary source of income, and started a business. You may have guessed that I also experienced financial difficulties. I also suffered a broken or dislocated rib when I slid head first into third base during a softball game; I got divorced in the morning (12 years ago last month) and broke my rib the same evening. Since I was more than 100 points above 450, Dr. Rahe would say that I had a 75% chance of illness or injury in 2004. Praise the Lord I made it through in one piece; I did have a bike wreck that December, but was unhurt. My current life change score is more than 500 points lower.

        By the way, life change events are not the only things that put stress on our minds, bodies and spirits. We need to take steps to guard our hearts from persistent, long-term stressors as well. I’ll address this topic in two weeks.

        You can learn three things from my experience:

        1. You are in temporary state.

        As it was for me, the good news is that most people do not remain in a life crisis for more than a year or two. That’s because subsequent illnesses and accidents demand your attention and you begin to cultivate important stress management and lifestyle coping capabilities. There is a purpose in your suffering. I am reminded of James’ words, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4

        2. You have choices; be proactive.

        To decrease the length and severity of your temporary state, you must do something! Get out of bed and come to JobSeekers; I did in 2004 – and I was the leader! I came to bless others, and I received a blessing myself. Being proactive gives you a sense of control. Even more important than JobSeekers is the decision you make about the spiritual perspective you will have on your job search and your journey through life. Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33

        3. You matter to God.

        No matter what happens to you in life, no matter what you do or what you’ve done in life, your heart matters to God. He loves you and he wants the best for you. He can take the shattered crystal and broken glass in your life and turn it into a beautiful stained glass window. God promises to work for the good of those who love him: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

        Later in the same chapter Paul says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39

        In a devotional at JobSeekers a few years ago, John Hobbs, Pastor of Care Counseling at Crossroads Church in Newnan, used Habakkuk 3:17-18: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

        Friends, God loves us even when the rain falls. God loves us even when the floods start rising. God loves us even when the storms come. In fact, we are washed by His cleansing water during the most difficult days of our lives. (Adapted from the lyrics of “Washed by the Water” by NEEDTOBREATHE.)

        How are you going to respond to God’s call during this significant life change event?

        See you Friday at JobSeekers, where we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!

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

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          What it Means to be World-Class

          I remember watching the 2012 Olympics in London and thinking about what it means to be world-class. Michael Phelps won the 19th medal of his Olympic career. It’s a staggering number. The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won their first gold medal since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. In an interview with NBC’s Bob Costas, all five women, who ranged in age from 15 to 17, said they decided they would compete in the Olympics during the 2004 Games in Athens. Kyla Ross was only seven at the time.

          They dedicated eight years of their lives to winning the gold. Yes, half their lifetime. One young lady, McKayla Maroney, had developed a special talent for the vault. Even among the world’s very best vaulters, she soared two feet higher than any other competitor. One night she was perfection and grace and beauty in motion – so much so that one judge’s mouth dropped wide open. The analysts were shocked when she did not receive a perfect score.

          My Peachtree Road Race experience.

          I never aspired to be a world-class athlete, but I thought I was a pretty fast runner. In fact, in my junior year of high school, I was the fastest cross country runner in a school with 2000+ students. In my first Peachtree Road Race I placed 193rd. If you are wondering how I did so well in the world’s largest 10 kilometer race, you should probably know there were only 1159 participants that year. Now there are 60,000.

          The next year I ran my best time, 39:40. That’s a six-and-a-half minute mile. Six of ‘em in a row.

          This was so long ago that the race finished in downtown Atlanta at Central City Park. I remember standing at the base of the Trust Company Bank building, hunched over, hands on knees, sucking air as fast as I could, and feeling elated about my excellent time. I looked up and saw Chase Van Valkenburg casually standing nearby with his hands on his hips. Chase was the fastest cross country runner in DeKalb County. In fact he holds some Georgia high school records to this day. By the way, can you be a runner and have a better name than “Chase Van Valkenburg?”

          “Hey Chase, Dave O’Farrell, Southwest DeKalb. How’d you do?” I ask while gasping for air.

          “Not so good. How’d you do?” He asks.

          “Fantastic; 39:40!” I say.

          “Oh, I ran 34:20.” He replies.

          Ouch. Crashed and burned. In a six-mile race, Van Valkenburg beat me by a mile. But the fastest guy in the state finished a mile behind Don Kardong, whose winning time was 29:14. Now that’s world class.

          Come to think of it, I lost that six-mile race by two miles. Can you say, “embarrassing?”

          The course record was established in Atlanta’s 1996 Olympic year, by Joseph Kimani of Kenya at 27:01. Amazing.

          Your job search experience.

          In job search, the number of competitors for a single job may be 1159 people. You don’t want to come in 193rd. This week one of our clients said he beat out 45 other candidates for a job. That’s pretty good. Even better when you consider this gentleman had a stroke about a year ago. Al beat the odds with his faith, his hard work, and his preparation. He didn’t have a pity party. He didn’t make excuses. He went all out and won the one job he needed to provide for his family. Congratulations Al!

          Be like Al. Have faith. Work hard. Prepare yourself. Beat the odds. Win the job.

          Gene Griessman interviewed some of the most successful people of the 20th century and recorded those conversations in his book, “The Achievement Factors.” He started his chapter on competence with Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus said, “I don’t think talent is as important as the work and dedication necessary to become competent. A lot of guys out there are more talented than I am, and through the years we’ve passed them all by.”

          Chase Van Valkenburg might have been more talented that I was, but I would have passed him by if he had not put in the hard work and dedication necessary to be the best in the county.

          I still enjoy running. In fact, I ran three miles before sitting down to write this article. I have chosen not to dedicate myself to being the best runner in my age group. In fact, when I go running with my best friend from high school and cross country teammate, Ted Wansley, these days, we start off nice and slow – and then we taper off from there.

          My passion now is helping people win jobs. I’ve dedicated the past 24 years to perfecting my craft. Nicklaus told Griessman that, even after winning multiple major championships, he was still trying to perfect his game. I look at résumés I wrote 10 years ago and say, “Who wrote this junk?” After all, I’d only been writing résumés for 14 years at the time.

          Think about all the seven-year-old gymnasts who decided in 2004 they are going to compete in the Olympics one day. How did Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber win the gold when tens of thousands of other girls didn’t even make it to the games?

          Do what they did: work at the craft of finding a job, perfect your skills, overcome your weaknesses and fears, play to your strengths – and then leave the results confidently to God.

          See you Friday at JobSeekers, where we are becoming world-class job seekers every week!

          Copyright © 2012-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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            Acing the Interview

            Acing the Interview


            Those who shoot from the hip usually
            shoot themselves in the foot.

            Our topic this week is, “Acing the Interview: How to put your best foot forward.” To be better prepared for the meeting, bring a “good fit” job lead and three copies of your resume with you. Hopefully, your lead will be for a job interview you have next week. If you don’t have an interview scheduled, bring a job lead and your preparation for a position you’d like to interview for.

            My concern is that we work hard to win interviews, and then don’t do the preparation it takes to capitalize on the opportunities when they finally come along. Tomorrow, we’ll get some practice in so you can “ace” your next interview.

            Two Quick Success Stories About Acing the Interview

            When we taught this topic in August 2009, Sandra Barnes volunteered to be the interviewee in a role play at table #12. She brought a job lead for her #1 job at her #1 target company. She landed the job days later.

            One example of “acing the interview” occurred several months ago after a client hired O’Farrell Career Management to do her résumé. Not too long after that she hired us again to help her with ace the interview. At JobSeekers she reported that the company reviewed “several hundred” applications. They phone-screened 110 candidates, interviewed 10 face-to-face, and made one offer. Very proud of Lisa for doing what it took to win the job.

            Come to JS this Friday for a rewarding and enriching experience.

            – – – – –

            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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              Winning Networking Appointments

              Winning Networking AppointmentsOur topic for Friday, “Winning Networking Appointments: How to overcome call reluctance and other campaign-stalling inertia,” is one you can’t miss!

              By now everyone knows that most salaried jobs (up to 80%) are found through networking. People tell me that they are reluctant to make networking calls – and they wouldn’t know what to say if they did make networking calls. This week we will address both of these issues. Come Friday and find out how and why.

              I will share at 2x2x3 matrix I’ve developed to teach the step-by-step process to drive the process of turning a contact or connection into an interview and job offer.

              By the way, last week I challenged you to raise your hippo score by 20 points. With God’s help, you can make it happen. What do you think? Are you up to the challenge?

              – – – – –

              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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                10 Things That Drive a Career Coach Crazy

                career coach


                Think he’s gonna hit it?

                We’ve seen some great successes lately. People who practice what I teach are finding jobs really fast. On the other hand, people who don’t practice what I teach are driving me crazy. I told one client last week to plan for a two or three-year job search. In this post I will share my list of 10 things that drive a career coach crazy.

                Don’t Swing at the High Pitches

                God created me for coaching; whether it’s baseball, consultative selling, communication skills, job search or career management, I love to coach. One of the most rewarding things for me as a coach is to see an immediate positive change in the performance of someone I’m coaching.

                About 10 years ago, for instance, we had a young man on our 10-and-under team named Darius who was a big, strong kid. He’s the one you hear about who has to have his birth certificate to prove his age. As the hitting coach, I noticed he wasn’t “bracing off,” which means he wasn’t locking his front leg at the moment of contact with the ball. If a hitter doesn’t brace off, his knee absorbs much of the force that should have been applied to the ball. After I taught Darius how to brace off, he showed immediate improvement. He almost hit a home run in the very next game (the ball hit the fence on the fly). We worked on bracing off again the following week. In practice the next night, he hit four home runs over a fence that was 200 feet away. I couldn’t be there that night, but Darius said to my son, “Austin, be sure and tell your dad about my home runs tonight.”

                Man, that’s a great feeling!

                During the early part of the season, we had an issue that every youth baseball coach faces: our players were swinging at pitches that were up around the bill of their cap. Two of our coaches consistently yelled at the kids when they swung at a high pitch.

                It occurred to me that every kid on our team, and any 10-year-old kid who has played baseball more than a week, knows not to swing at a pitch that is so high. So I began to wonder why in the world a kid would do such a foolish thing. One thing I knew for sure: yelling at them was not helping them hit better. The yelling by the other coaches was a classic case of, “The more the parents ‘coach,’ the worse the kids play.”

                In the dugout, I began to ask questions of the hitter whose turn was coming up in two spots. For you baseball aficionados, it’s called “in the hole.” You have the hitter at bat, then one “on-deck” and then one “in the hole.” I’d ask questions like, “Which way was the ball spinning?” and “What kind of pitch was that?” and “Without looking at the scoreboard, what’s the count? How many outs are there?” You can learn a lot – and teach more – by asking questions.

                I hit upon the solution to swinging at high pitches when we played a game I called “high, low, strike.” The player in the hole was supposed to say whether the pitch was going to be above, below or within the strike zone during the flight of the ball. (We couldn’t read the horizontal location from our vantage point in the dugout.) Some kids called the pitch right after the ball hit the catcher’s mitt. Whoops; too late. With a little practice, most kids made their call when the ball was about halfway to the plate.

                One kid, however, called “high” when the pitcher was still holding the ball. In fact, the ball was still behind the pitcher’s back! I said, “Tysen, I know what the problem is; you’re guessing where it’s going instead of reading the pitch. You need to wait until the ball is out of the pitcher’s hand before you know where it’s going.” Tysen’s pitch selection and batting average improved after that, and I am happy to report that, several weeks later, he hit the longest home run I will probably ever see a 10-year-old hit.

                Grown Ups Swing at High Pitches Too

                You may be wondering what all this has to do with job search.

                I’ll bet every person who has been to one JobSeekers meeting knows that he or she is supposed to be networking. Most people who haven’t been to a JobSeekers meeting also know that the best chance of finding a job is through personal contacts – not the Internet. For me to be saying, “You need to be networking more” is about as dumb as, “Don’t swing at the high pitches.”

                DAVE, H-E-L-L-O-O-O-! I ALREADY KNOW THAT!

                Now I try to assume that most of the people I deal with know what to do. If they are not doing it, we need to search for the root cause. Here is my list of 10 things that drive a career coach crazy:

                1. What is it that causes someone to look for jobs on the Internet for hours every day instead of making personal contacts and going to networking meetings?
                2. Why is it that when people are under stress their decision-making ability is so poor?
                3. What causes someone who is under severe financial stress to make decisions that cause even more financial woes?
                4. Why do people do something as important as looking for a job without the proper preparation and training?
                5. Why do some people (Ship’s Crew, current members, alumni, pastors and this writer) recommend JobSeekers to an unemployed person, and they never come?
                6. Why do some people who are looking for a job fail to check their email?
                7. Why is it that, when we ask new members of JobSeekers to send us their resume, they fail to do so?
                8. Why do people receive networking referrals and fail to follow up on them?
                9. Why do people who do follow up on the referrals fail to call the first person (the one who made the referral mentioned in #8) and let him or her know what happened?
                10. Why on God’s green earth would someone who’s been out of work for a year reject my advice? Whoops, my frustration is showing through; how about this instead: I wonder why some people who’ve been out of work for several months are not open to constructive feedback?

                I remember, for example, an employer who asked me to find a match for a PC support technician. I found two people who matched the criteria and might have been available. I emailed them both. One guy got back to me within two hours. He was calling from Georgia Tech, where he had been happily employed for five months. The other, whose last day at work was 11 months prior, never got back to me. Later I found out that he was still looking.

                By the way, notice that the person who had the job was the one with good follow up skills! The person with the poor follow up skills had never come to a JobSeekers meeting; how come? He, or someone else who didn’t send me a resume, missed a job opportunity that week.

                Even Paul Had Behavioral Issues

                All of us sinners can take comfort in the fact that guy who wrote about one-third of the New Testament also struggled with his behavior. Read the words of Paul in Romans 7:15-25:

                “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

                So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

                What’s Holding You Back? Find the Root Cause

                In youth baseball, it may be that the player is not reading the pitch correctly. There may be a fear that if he doesn’t swing, a good pitch is going to go by. Or it may be that he knows he’s going to get yelled at if he takes a third strike without swinging.

                Think about things you could be doing that would advance your campaign. What’s keeping you from doing them? Think about things you are doing that are holding your campaign back. Why do you continue to do them?

                Don’t beat yourself up for doing (or not doing) something. Being judgmental, even toward oneself, is seldom (if ever) beneficial. Just look at the root cause and work on that. We all have self-limiting issues; we are all in good company. If Paul struggled with his behavior, why wouldn’t we?

                See you Friday at JobSeekers, where we are changing our self-defeating behaviors into job-winning habits!

                Copyright © 2012-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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                  A Sharp Focus is Key

                  sharp focus


                  Keep a sharp focus.

                  Have you ever used a magnifying glass to set a leaf on fire? Looking for a job is a lot like catching a leaf on fire. In both, a sharp focus is key. I’ve noticed that some of you have a magnifying glass, but you don’t know which leaf you want to focus on. Others know which leaf you want, but you aren’t focusing the light properly. Still others focus the light, but you switch to another leaf just before the flame starts.

                  I looked up “focus” on BibleGateway.com and was surprised to find that the word does not appear even once in the NIV. The Message paraphrase Bible uses the word “focus” 29 times. I selected this one for you, Philippians 3:15:

                  “So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision – you’ll see it yet!”

                  When discussing focus with a group of my clients, one pointed out a verse from Proverbs that has to do with focus; here are two versions of Proverbs 17:24:

                  “A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” (NIV) and “Anyone with wisdom knows what makes good sense, but fools can never make up their minds.” (Contemporary English Version)

                  With this in mind, my message to you is this:

                  1. Make up you mind about what you want to do.

                  The leaves could represent different functions or industries. There may be several that would make sense for you to choose. In order for you to set the leaf on fire (win a job), you must choose one to focus your energy on. Someone sent me a resume a while back that said something like, “Seeking a management position in sales, marketing, operations, administration, human resources or finance.” Gee whiz, pick one to focus on or you won’t get hired!

                  2. Build a short list of target companies, organizations or agencies.

                  Now that you’ve chosen your leaf, decide exactly where you are going to focus the sun’s rays. Don’t swirl the light beam around thinking that you will start a bigger fire. You won’t. If someone woke you up from a deep sleep and asked what companies you’re targeting, you should be focused enough to say, “I’m targeting third-party logistics companies like Exel, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, and Eagle Global Logistics.”

                  3. Work tirelessly and single-mindedly to accomplish your goal.

                  At first, it will seem like nothing is happening. Be patient. Be steady and strong. Have faith. Remember your past success catching a leaf on fire, or listen to the wise counsel of others who have. Don’t let a failure or rejection deter you. Don’t let the contrary opinion of one or two people sway you. Don’t drop out of the race a few feet from the finish line.

                  Lewis Carroll, in his classic Alice in Wonderland, says Alice came to a fork in the road and saw the Cheshire Cat in a tree. “‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’”

                  In job search, it does matter!

                  If you are blown and tossed by the wind, you may not reach your full potential – and the job God has in store for you. It may be that you would have a longer job search, earn less income, perform a less desirable job, work in a hostile environment, make a long commute, or be forced to relocate. Get focused and get results.

                  Paul of Tarsus was the embodiment of focus. He knew exactly what he was called to do (preach the good news and start the Christian church). He knew exactly who his audience was (first the Jew, then the Gentile), and he was totally focused on his ministry and mission (and he wouldn’t let things like the emperor of Rome, the Jewish leaders, or persecutions stop him). Paul accomplished his mission. You can too.

                  See you on Friday at JobSeekers; the place where a sharp focus comes into view!

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

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                    Who’s on Your A-Team?

                    a-team

                    “I pity the fool who doesn’t have an A-Team”

                    Our topic this Friday is “Who’s on Your A-Team? How to knock down one obstacle at a time to achieve job search success.”

                    King Solomon, one of the wisest men ever, said, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” The more career coaching I do, the more important I see this as the cornerstone of an effective job campaign. People who have advisory teams get better results in less time. Come Friday and find out why.

                    “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice (Proverbs 13:10).”

                    BTW, the person with the highest hippo score on 11 January last year accepted a job the following week. The person with the second highest hippo score on 25 January accepted a job the following week. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

                    – – – – –

                    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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