19 September 2017

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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                  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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                    It’s Not Who You Are, It’s Whose You Are

                     Father's Love Letter


                    Father’s Love Letter

                    Some of you have not only forgotten who you are, but whose you are.

                    A few years ago I was working with Debra, a recently departed quality technician from a local manufacturing company. We were working on her 45-second oral introduction (I am … My background includes … One accomplishment I’m proud of is …) when she said, “I’m not just a quality technician, so I don’t want to say that.” I explained that we are different things to different people. If you are stuck in a traffic jam on Highway 54 because of a 50-foot deep sinkhole, someone from 11-Alive might point a camera at you and stick a microphone in your car window and ask how long you’ve been sitting in the backup. When you see yourself on the news that night the caption on your picture might say, “Fred Flintstone, frustrated motorist.”

                    Some of you are defining yourself as, “Jerry JobSeeker, unemployed.”

                    Friends, don’t let a former employer define who you are. Don’t let a particular person at a former employer define who you are. Don’t let the last company who failed to hire you define who you are – or the overworked HR person who hasn’t called you on the expected date. Don’t let the unseen “monsters” in cyberspace define who you are. And don’t let 11-Alive define who you are either.

                    None of that matters!

                    With that in mind, I asked Debra to write down some other “I am” statements. I don’t remember them all, but it went something like this: “I am a … quality technician, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, VBS director, Sunday school teacher, college student, program director, office technology specialist, and, I am a child of God.” When she finished she said, “I guess I should have put ‘child of God’ first.”

                    Notice that she didn’t write, “I am unemployed.”

                    Sometimes we let our current circumstances dictate our self-image. Man, if you go into a job interview or networking meeting with a poor self-image, you self-image is likely to be worse when you finish because the company isn’t going to hire you and the friend isn’t going to recommend you to anyone else.

                    With God’s help, you can break the cycle! Here’s how:

                    1. Remember whose you are – you are a child of God.

                    First and foremost you are a child of God. You are made in God’s image. As a father loves his children, God loves you and wants to bless you. He wants you to find joy in your life – no matter what your circumstances. He doesn’t want you to be unemployed, at least not for long. He wants you to use the gifts and abilities he has given you to bless His kingdom and to support your family. He wants you to find joy in your career.

                    2. Remember the good times – look expectantly toward your new job.

                    Remember times in your career when you were in your sweet spot. Look expectantly toward being in your sweet spot again. When I was in my first job search in 1992, I noticed a huge difference in the way people reacted to me compared to other job seekers. My attitude was, “I’m energized because I am working every day toward a worthy goal, and when I get there, man, it’s going to be great!”

                    3. Slow down and listen for the gentle whisper of God.

                    Now that you’ve stepped out of the hectic corporate world for a time, slow down and recharge your mind, body and spirit. Arm yourself for battle by drawing near to God. Pray and read the Bible. Join a Bible study class. Vocalize your feelings to God. Ask Him for the strength and confidence to overcome those terrifying feelings of self-doubt. Find scriptures that encourage you. When you do this, you will begin to hear the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit.

                    After I read “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale a few years ago, I created 20 Biblically-based affirmations and used them frequently in my job search in 2000. These affirmations, along with the three points above, strengthened me for the battle I fought. The first affirmation is, “I picture success. I have formulated and stamped indelibly on my mind a picture of myself succeeding. I always picture success, now matter how badly things are going at the moment.” To see the whole list, click here.

                    Father’s Love Letter

                    I found this out in cyberspace; it’s called “Father’s Love Letter.” Maybe it will help to strengthen you. It is a compilation of bible verses from both the Old and New Testaments that are presented in the form of a love letter from God to the world. Here are the first seven lines:

                    You may not know me, but I know everything about you. – Psalm 139:1

                    I know when you sit down and when you rise up. – Psalm 139:2

                    I am familiar with all your ways. – Psalm 139:3

                    Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. – Matthew 10:29-31

                    For you were made in my image. – Genesis 1:27

                    In me you live and move and have your being. – Acts 17:28

                    For you are my offspring. – Acts 17:28

                    Click here to see and hear the entire letter.

                    BTW, I got the idea for the title from my very first JobSeekers meeting. I came as a participant on 11 February 2000. See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we remember whose we are, look expectantly to the brighter days ahead, and listen for the gentle voice of God.

                    * Excerpt from “Father’s Love Letter” used by permission, Father Heart Communications. Copyright 1999.

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

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