29 May 2017

Using Recommendations to Build Your Brand

build-your-brandOur topic this Friday is “Using Recommendations to Build Your Brand: How to Get Past the Platitudes and Really Leverage Your References.”

This week you will learn (or learn more about) how to use testimonials to build your brand. I’ve had several clients credit this specific process and the accompanying tool as the key to landing a new job. I will share these specific examples with you.

To be better prepared for the meeting, bring letters of recommendation, complementary emails from the past, performance evaluations with strong praise in them, and hand-written “thank you” notes that you have received.

Seven clients have gotten jobs because they embraced the principles I will teach this week.

Come Friday to learn the secrets of creating a truly powerful, brand-building set of references! Some of my clients say it is one of the most esteeming things they have ever done.

– – – – –

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

Click here for directions and agenda.

See you on Friday!

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

“South Atlanta’s best career services firm.”

# # #

 

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    Power, Love and Self-Discipline

    Power, Love and Self-Discipline


    Be bold like these guys. Stick your neck out.

    One verse I associate closely with the process of finding a job is “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).” I quote this verse sometimes when I’m encouraging a client to pick up the phone and call someone, or to memorized and repeat before an interview. And this quote by James Conant reminds us all to stick our necks out sometimes.

    Paul was writing to encourage a young preacher named Timothy, a young man whom Paul thought of as a son. On one of his missionary trips, Paul left Timothy behind to be in charge of developing churches in the city of Ephesus and the region of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). We think of Timothy as timid, but what he was doing required boldness of an extraordinary kind. For most of us, job search also requires boldness of an extraordinary kind.

    One time four clients and I were talking about the positive and negative aspects of introversion and extroversion in job search. Introversion is beneficial only in the first two or three weeks of your campaign – while you are developing your plan, strategy and marketing collateral. Extroversion, of course, is necessary to make contact with the people who can help or hire you.

    Our challenge occurs because we have to be our best extroverted self at a time in our life when our confidence has been shaken by the loss of our job, rejection by potential employers, uncertainty about who we are and what we have been designed to do, and a host of other ego-sapping messages. You may have received a message similar to this: “You’re not worth having around our company anymore; now put a smile on your face and tell the world what a valuable employee you are.” How can we be bold when the world is putting us down?

    It’s easy to see why we end up in a state of timidity. It’s in our human and sinful nature. Timidity influences us to sit at the computer all day and search for job leads, a process that gets more depressing with each passing day. Timidity tells us that we are not valuable and not wanted. Timidity causes us to withdraw more and more until we are like a turtle sucked into his shell in the middle of a busy highway.

    Satan gives us a spirit of timidity; God gives us a spirit of:

    Power

    Unlimited strength is at our disposal. The power that brought Christ back to life is available to all of us. “But he said to me [Paul], ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

    Love

    Let love your your family motivate you. Love drives out fear as we see in the passage that says God is love. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:16-18)

    Self-discipline

    One of the toughest jobs in the world is looking for a job. It is hard to face uncertainty, rejection, financial stress, and much more. This passage teaches that God has given us a spirit of self-control or self-mastery. The people who find jobs the quickest are the ones who take a disciplined approach to their job search every day. The people who find jobs the quickest are the ones who take risks and leave their comfort zone. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:13)

    The same power, love and self-discipline that were available to Timothy and Paul are available to all of us. All we have to do is claim it, believe it, and act on it.

    See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we are strengthened with power, love and self-discipline!

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

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      The Worst Decision Ever

      worst decision ever


      Make the best decision ever.

      Who made the worst decision ever? There’s a link between this week’s message and the community-wide Good Friday Service, which is held annually here in PTC.

      Seven pastors and priests from our community will preach a 10-12 minute sermon on one of the seven last words (sentences actually) that Christ spoke while he hung on the cross.

      The 36th annual service with be at Peachtree City United Methodist Church at 12 noon.

      Here are the seven last words of Christ:

      1. “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
      2. “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
      3. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
      4. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
      5. Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
      6. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)
      7. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)

      Friends, I urge you to make time to attend this meaningful service. This will be my 14th time attending – all since I left my “traditional” job. If you are reading this and are in transition, you won’t even have to take time off work!

      – – – – – – –

      This week’s message about the worst decision ever made has to do with the two criminals who were crucified on either side of Jesus; here’s the story as told in the 23rd chapter of Luke:

      One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

      But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

      Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

      The first criminal made the worst decision ever.

      He had less than six hours to live. He knew it, and there was nothing he could do about it. He was hanging on a cross next to the Lord of all Creation and the Light of the World. Whether he decided yes or no, it was not going to change his circumstance or the length of his life here on earth one iota, but it would determine where he spent eternity. The man was about to die and he rejected Christ!

      Here’s an excerpt from “Cries from the Cross” by Erwin W. Lutzer:

      Both thieves had an equal opportunity. Both heard the words of Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them.’ Both knew that Jesus was ridiculed for claiming that He was King of the Jews. Both heard the witness of Jesus’ enemies, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One’ (Luke 23:35). And yet these thieves will be apart forever, each in his own separate destiny. Even as you read these words, one is in the presence of Jesus, the other in a place of isolation, grief and horror. What separated them was not the degree of their wickedness nor their distance from Christ; they are separated because one called on Christ for help and the other derided him.

      Each of the robbers saw and heard the same things, but they made a different decision. Approximately 1984 years later they are experiencing the consequences of their decision. Ten thousand years from now they will still be experiencing those same consequences.

      What struck me is that here in south metro Atlanta, we all have the same data (The Good News) and yet we have made different decisions about our relationship with Christ. Some have chosen Christ as their Savior and Lord – others have not, even though they attend church regularly. I’ve heard that only 20% of the members in a typical American congregation are truly Christians; that is, they have made Christ their Savior and Lord.

      You can make the best decision ever.

      My concern is that a typical JobSeekers meeting must be the same way. Most or all of us would say we are Christian, yet when judgment day comes, 80% of us may be headed in the wrong direction. Where are you in your relationship with Christ? If you haven’t made the commitment or you aren’t sure, I urge you to commit your heart and your life to Christ. If you are a believer, I urge you to pray that the Good News will convict others during this Holy Week.

      Where you will spend eternity is not the only reason to choose Christ. I’ve found that having Christ’s presence in my life is the key to being joyful, no matter what my circumstance. Jesus said good and bad things happen to everyone: “He [God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).” We all face difficult times, why not have Christ there to lead you through them?

      I admit that I had to look this up; here’s what you need to do:

      A four-step salvation prayer.

      1. Acknowledge in your heart that Jesus is Lord.
      2. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.
      3. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised three days later.
      4. Repent of your sins and get baptized in the name of Jesus.

      To learn more, click here.

      Friends, one of the times in our lives that we are most receptive to the Good News of Christ is when we are looking for a job and feel we are running out of options. Don’t make Christ your last option; make him your first choice. Lutz cites his mentor Warren Wiersbe as saying that the thief didn’t accept Christ at his last opportunity, but more likely at his first opportunity because he probably had never encountered Jesus before. Whether it’s your first or last encounter – or somewhere in between – today is the day and now is the time to believe in Christ.

      Lutz concludes the chapter with this: “The thief’s forgiveness reminds us that there is more grace in God’s heart than sin in our past. We, like he, can also receive a welcome in the life beyond if we transfer our trust to the One who holds the key to the gates of paradise.”

      See you Friday at JobSeekers – where we rejoice in the Risen Christ.

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

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        The #1 Thing Every Job Seeker Must Have

        #1 thing


        O’Farrell’s Pyramid of Success

        What is the #1 thing every job seeker must have? This week I share secrets that will make your job search 40 times easier. One time when I was preparing for this topic, I had a phone call from executive who said that the second-place candidate for a certain position was lacking the #1 thing every job seeker must have. Second place pays about $330 per week in Georgia. If this gentleman had the #1 thing, he’d earn a couple of thousand dollars every week.

        It’s time to step back and look at what’s really important in job search.

        Part one on 7 April: The Learning Zones – The Key to Breakthrough Performance

        Part two  on 14 April: O’Farrell’s Pyramid of Success – How to Land Your Dream Job

        Not only teach will I teach what the most important thing is, I will quickly share #2-5 as well. I will challenge you to leave our comfort zone every day and do the things that are most likely to lead to job search success.

        The bottom line is this: It’s time to stop telling God how big our storm is, and to start telling the storm how big our God is. Come for a blessing this week.

        – – – – –

        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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          Don’t Lose Heart, Don’t Lose Hope

          hope“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air… but only for one second without hope.” – Hal Lindsey

          Every now and then I get a hint that the positive energy that is so evident at a JobSeekers meeting is a turn-off to some. Some people have a very difficult time embracing hope when life seems hopeless; seeing the new day dawning when they are in their darkest night; expecting a great outcome when all they can see is a train wreck in their rearview mirror. Hanging out with folks who are at odds with your present view of life can be a real downer!

          Some members of JobSeekers who didn’t lose hope.

          A few years ago we had a member named Paul who gave a very rousing testimony about the ups and downs of his job long search. I admired his transparency because all of us have felt the emotions he’s felt, we just wouldn’t describe them in detail to 30+ people! For instance, he said Friday was the only day of the workweek when he knew he’d have to get out of his pajamas and get dressed for work. Even when he was down Paul came to JobSeekers.

          Paul also told us about a rejection letter he received; it said, “After prayerful consideration, we’ve decided to go in a different direction.” Paul really wanted that job; of course he was disappointed. Five minutes later, the phone rang and an offer from another company came in. He accepted. Paul didn’t lose heart, and he didn’t lose hope. He looked for a job even when he didn’t feel like it.

          Another job seeker sent me an email right after she had accepted a new job. She said she had been working a “dead end” job for three months. She told me how discouraged she had been and wrote: “Don’t back down on your encouragement to others! When I would attend the meetings and hear encouraging words from others who had ‘been there,’ I was like, ‘yeah right, but I need a job!’”

          As I reflected on her message, I thought of this verse from Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

          Folks, if you are down and out, come to JobSeekers. If you aren’t in the same place as many of the other folks, that’s okay! We want to meet you – and God wants to meet you – right where you are. If you are in a depressed state right now, remember that it is – or it can be – a temporary state, just as it was for these two people. Get the help you need to pull yourself out of the pit of despair. One good place to start is at JobSeekers of PTC on Friday morning. Don’t lose heart, and don’t lose hope. The LORD is close and he will save you. It starts when you turn to him and ask for help.

          The lady who wrote the email found out that God was working for good all along, even though she couldn’t see or feel it. She finished by saying, “It has taken a lot of prayer and patience and a lot of dead-end interviews, but the miracle is that this firm was not advertising for someone, but somehow they found me! Tell me that wasn’t God’s hand in it!”

          In May 2006 I spoke to fellow named Phil, a client and job seeker who’d been having a tough time – he had come close on several opportunities during his search, but couldn’t seem to get one across the finish line. His latest disappointment was that he’d not heard back from the hiring manager about a job he really wanted. We made plans to have lunch and a strategy session the next day. Monday night at 9:15 the manager called and offered him the job, so we celebrated instead. Since then Phil has changed jobs and careers and he’s never been happier.

          Click here for one more example.

          The Psalmist didn’t loose hope.

          I show Psalm 42 to my clients sometimes. The Psalmist is in agony, lamenting the days of old when things were good: “My tears have been my food day and night.” But here’s what I point out: even though his spirit is crushed, he says he will continue to praise God: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” The Psalmist didn’t loose heart, and he didn’t loose hope.

          With Christ, we always have hope, no matter how poorly things are going at the moment.

          You never know how close you are to landing a job – but you’ve got to keep doing the things that lead to success. Come to JobSeekers this week. Keep the faith. Keep trying. Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Brighter days are ahead.

          See you on Friday at JobSeekers, the place where God turns despair into hope!

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

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            When Someone Shatters Your Dreams

            When Someone Shatters Your Dreams


            Joseph’s coat of many colors.

            When someone shatters your dreams, make new ones. Joseph is a case in point. Things were going well for him. The favorite son of Jacob, he had his father’s favor far more than any of his 11 brothers. His dad loved him so much he gave him the well-known “coat of many colors.”

            Things were going well for him until he told his brothers about a couple of dreams he had. In one he dreamt that he and his brothers were sheaves of wheat and all the other sheaves bowed down to him. In the other the sun and moon and 11 stars were all bowing to him. His brothers were so angry that they threw him into a pit and left him to die. Right before they left Joseph, a group of Ishmaelites came by. Seizing the opportunity to make a buck, they sold him for 20 pieces of silver instead.

            Joseph’s brothers shattered his dreams, so he made new ones.

            We’ve all had times in our life when things were going well. Then our dreams were shattered. Maybe it was the loss of a job, a home, a loved one, a marriage, or other intimate relationship. For Joseph, it was the loss of his family, his security and his way of life. So he made new dreams.

            The Ishmaelites sold him into slavery in Egypt to serve one of Pharaoh’s officers, Potiphar, the captain of the guard. Joseph won favor there and received promotions to head of household. Things were going well again; Joseph had a good job and a comfortable life. Then his dreams were shattered again. Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph and tried to seduce him. After many unsuccessful attempts, she framed him for attempted rape. Joseph was thrown in jail.

            Potiphar’s wife shattered Joseph’s dreams, so he made new ones.

            He was in jail at least two years. Instead of whining and complaining, he won the favor of the jailer. During this time two other prisoners, who had also worked in Potiphar’s household, told Joseph about dreams they had. Joseph accurately predicted that within three days, Pharaoh would free one prisoner and hang the other.

            Some time later, Pharaoh had a dream. He called all the wise men and magicians he knew of and no one could interpret the dream. The prisoner who had been released told Pharaoh about Joseph. Joseph was called from jail and interpreted the dream to mean that Egypt would have seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh was so impressed he removed Joseph from jail and promoted him to ruler of all of Egypt, second in power only to himself.

            Joseph had a job again. He’d received what might have been two knockout blows in his life so far, and yet he picked himself up off the canvas and made the best of a bad situation. That’s what God wants us to do too; make the most of our bad situations. I’ve received two big blows in my career – in 1992 and 2000 – and in both cases things have turned out better in the new situation than the old. Things are going well for me again.

            Faith-based, God-inspired resilience is the key.

            I want to challenge all of you to make the most of your situation. Be resilient like Joseph. Faith-based, God-inspired resilience is the key. I want you to be able to look back one day and say you like your new job better than the previous one; or that you like your new life better than the old one.

            The story of Joseph concludes with some sweet revenge and a reunion with his family. The seven-year famine struck Israel too, and 10 of his brothers came to Egypt to buy grain. When they appeared before Joseph, they didn’t recognize him. He spoke through an interpreter to complete his disguise. He put them through all kinds of misery until all 11 brothers threw themselves on the ground before Joseph and begged for mercy. At that point Joseph revealed his true identity and the whole family, about 70 people in all, were reunited in Egypt and spared from the famine.

            That brings me to my last point. Joseph didn’t get even; he got ahead. He could have gotten even with his brothers by throwing them in jail and leaving them there; or he could have sold them into slavery as they had done to him. Instead he chose the high road. He taught them a lesson in humility and then used his power to make things better for everyone.

            So, instead of thinking about getting even with your former employer, and instead of dwelling on whatever bitterness, rage or anger you may have, look for a job or career that is pleasing to God, good for your family, and rewarding for you.

            “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
            – Ephesians 4:31 & 32

            See you on Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we make new dreams!

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

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              Opening the Interview

              James-Bond-Daniel-Craig


              Here’s someone who makes a great impression.

              Our topic for Friday 31 March is “Opening the Interview – How to make a great first and second impression.” I will explain how and why employers make their initial decision on your candidacy before your butt hits the seat in the interview room. No pressure, huh?

              Make a good impression, and the interviewers will spend the rest of the time affirming their good judgement. Make a poor impression, and you will spend the rest of the interview trying to change their minds. Which position would you rather be in?

              You will learn the three things you absolutely, positively must do to win them over before they start firing questions at you. We will also teach and practice the one true differentiator that will set you apart from your competition – and set the tone for the entire meeting.

              To be better prepared for the meeting on Friday, bring a job lead with you – hopefully for an upcoming interview, but at least for a specific job you’d love to land.

              – – – – –

              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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                Articulating Past Achievements

                Rat_Eating_Cheese_1


                Be a STAR,
                But think “RATS.”

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

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

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

                – – – – –

                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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                  How to Ride the Emotional Roller Coaster

                  One of my clients recently asked me about the emotional roller coaster of job search. I told him and my other two clients that when I got into the career management business 24 years ago, I was taught that job seekers would have good days and bad days. This has not been my experience. What I’ve learned when I’ve been in the midst of the most difficult times in my life is that I have good minutes and bad minutes; joy one moment and despair the next. They concurred.

                  When my kids and I rode eight roller coasters at Six Flags during Spring break a few years ago, I saw more clearly than ever why roller coasters are such a great metaphor for the ups and downs of job search (and for life in general). There are a lot of ups and downs, stops and starts, twists and turns, light and dark. Here are the eight roller coasters we rode:

                  1. Batman: The Ride – Soar like a bat out of Hades, through, above – and even underneath – Gotham City, suspended from the rails of one of the most innovative coasters of all time.
                  2. Superman: Ultimate Flight – Face down your fear – face first – as you fly above Georgia at super speed – just like the man of steel, Superman.
                  3. Georgia Cyclone – Fasten your seat belts. You’re in for some heavy turbulence aboard Georgia’s one-and-only Cyclone – a wooden coaster for riders with nerves of steel.
                  4. Mind Bender – Go on a thrill bender – let North America’s original three-loop coaster blow your mind.
                  5. Ninja – The thrills are awesome, but you won’t see them coming till it’s too late on Ninja –the black belt of all steel coasters.
                  6. The Georgia Scorcher – Put your feet to the fire on The Georgia Scorcher – one of the Southeast’s tallest and fastest stand-up roller coasters.
                  7. The Great American Scream Machine – There’s nothing like a wooden coaster for bone-jangling jitters and the Scream Machine is a living legend – once the tallest coaster in the world.
                  8. Goliath – It’s big, it’s mean, and it wants to take you for a ride. Meet Goliath—the gigantic steel coaster the other rides call “Sir.” Top speed: 70 miles per hour. Elevation: over 20 stories tall. [They didn’t publish the G-forces on this ride, but another (Ninja) hits four G’s, so I assume this one is greater.]

                  We went on Goliath first. I remember hitting the bottom of the first curve and realizing that my spine doesn’t enjoy the G-forces quite like it used to. Prior to that, I thought of roller coasters as more of an up-and-down event. Now I think of loop-the-loops, inversions and other disorienting experiences – sort of like job search.

                  On Superman, for instance, you are suspended face down looking at the ground to start. Click here to see what I’m talking about. (Warning: don’t get bogged down surfing this site, like I’m prone to do.) When the ride ended they had a mechanical problem, and we spent about 15 minutes staring at a red metal floor. It was uncomfortable and boring – sort of like job search sometimes.

                  Many years ago I learned about, and then taught, the grief cycle to my classes. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross found that people go through five stages of grief when they learn of their impending death. Job search and other life changes follow a similar pattern. They are:

                  1. Denial. “No, not me! I can’t believe this is happening to me!”
                  2. Anger. “Why me? How dare you do this to me!”
                  3. Bargaining. “If I do this good deed, maybe I’ll find a job within a week.”
                  4. Depression. “It really has happened. I can’t bear going through this.”
                  5. Acceptance. “I don’t want to fight this anymore. I’m ready to move on.”

                  M. Scott Peck says we go through similar stages every time we’re about to grow in psychological or spiritual maturity. So there’s the good news. James 1:2-4 says, “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.”

                  With all this in mind, here are some tips for riding the emotional roller coaster:

                  1. Train for the event. People with heart problems, bad backs and expectant mothers shouldn’t ride roller coasters. Since job search is more of a mental and emotional battle than a physical one; make sure you do the things that help you perform at your best. Diet, rest and exercise form the three-legged stool of good health and peak performance. I recommend “Body by God” by Dr. Ben Lerner. Lerner offers a comprehensive plan for getting in touch with our bodies in four areas: nutrition, exercise, stress management and time management.
                  2. Pull the safety device down. It’s going to be a wild ride; you can count on that. Ephesians 6:10-12 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Job search is one of the toughest spiritual battles you will ever face, so put on the full armor of God.
                  3. Keep your arms inside. Listen to the advice of experts. We know what works, and we know what can harm you. Don’t panic when several networking efforts appear to produce no fruit. If you don’t heed our advice and you surf the net for the majority of your day instead, you could lose an arm and a leg.
                  4. Don’t jump out. The worst thing you could do would be to jump off a speeding roller coaster. Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Giving up will only make the problem worse.
                  5. Scream. Scream if you have to. Better yet, write in a journal. It’s a way of communicating with God; it’s great therapy, and it’s free. Find a few people you can confide in. (I’m thankful for my advisors, they hear from me often.) Get professional help if necessary.
                  6. Breathe deeply. On my second time on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney MGM Studios, I tried to keep my heart rate as close to normal as possible. I did this by taking deep relaxing breaths throughout. This is what wellness instructors teach and what good athletes do. Find something that relaxes you. This not only smoothes out the bumps, it will improve your performance when it counts.
                  7. Enjoy some other attractions. Roller coasters may not by your thing. True, you are probably not on the roller coaster by choice. Find some attractions you do like. Ride them in between. Succeed at something; that way you can claim some victories along the way. For example, “I didn’t have much luck with my search this week, but the Adobe Illustrator class I completed will position me for some opportunities that I am really interested in.”

                  Here’s one more similarity between a real roller coaster and the emotional roller coaster of job search: the roller coaster will arrive safely in the end. And so will you, my friend.

                  Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s website used to have 12 tips for dealing with grief and bereavement. I couldn’t help but notice that the first tip is to attend support groups in your area.

                  Sometimes I speak to someone who is too discouraged to come to JobSeekers on Friday. All of us on the Ship’s Crew have had times in our lives when we were too discouraged to get out of bed, or to go somewhere we didn’t want to go, even though we knew it would do us some good. We can empathize. Get out of bed anyway. Come to JobSeekers anyway. Get that big stone, which is full of inertia, rolling again.

                  We look forward to seeing Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we hang on tight during this wild, wild ride!

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

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                    How St. Patrick Saved Ireland

                    St. Patrick


                    St. Patrick

                    St. Patrick’s day is a national holiday as far as I’m concerned! Here’s the story of how St. Patrick saved Ireland.

                    St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. He was the missionary to Ireland much the same as St. Paul was the missionary to the gentiles in the northern Mediterranean. He was fulfilling God’s mission for his life, just as God wants all of us to do. I noticed that he had a career change much the same we are experiencing. Listen to the Lord’s leading in your life, especially during this time of transition, just as St. Patrick did.

                    St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D.

                    One key event in his early life in Britain happened at the age of 16. Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. During this time, he worked as a shepherd (like David), outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, and became a devout Christian. It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.

                    After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice – which he believed to be God’s – spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo to the Irish coast.

                    After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation – an angel in a dream telling him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission – to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

                    Christianity did not become the national faith of Ireland in Patrick’s lifetime. He ministered there for 30 years. He is credited with founding hundreds of churches and converting thousands of people to our faith. Today 93% of the Republic of Ireland’s population is Catholic.

                    # # #

                    My dad has this well-known Irish blessing on the back of his business cards:

                    Irish Blessing

                    May the road rise to meet you.
                    May the wind be always at your back.
                    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
                    May the rain fall softly upon your fields.
                    And until we meet again,
                    May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

                    See you this week at JobSeekers – the place where we receive Irish blessings every week.

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

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