26 March 2019

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 their lack of success. With it, you see new possibilities and open doors every day. Without it, you struggle 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
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective 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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      Even Jesus Had an A-Team

      the-a-team


      The A-Team aired from 1983 to 1987.

      Our topic at JobSeekers a couple of weeks ago was, “Who’s On Your A-Team?” The “A” stands for “advisory,” as in, “Who’s On Your Advisory Team?” I can’t think of a successful person who doesn’t have an advisory team. Even Jesus had an A-team.

      The president of the U.S. has a cabinet. The president of a company has a board of directors. The manager of a baseball team has a coaching staff. Lance Armstrong had a team of scientists, engineers, designers, mechanics, trainers, sponsors, cycling teammates — and, it turns out, doping specialists. 🙂 When he won the Tour de France for the seventh straight time, we didn’t say, “Lance Armstrong and his team won the race,” we said, “Lance Armstrong won.”

      Job search, and most any endeavor in life, requires the use of an effective team to achieve the best results. The pastor at your church has an A-team.

      Even Jesus had an A-team.

      After Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days in the wilderness, the first thing he did was go to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee and recruit some people to help him accomplish his mission here on earth. Jesus built an advisory team. Jesus’ first four recruits were two pairs of brothers, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, and James and John. In all, he recruited 12 disciples, who he also called apostles. In the meeting, I usually show a diagram and advise everyone to surround themselves with three particularly close advisors. Jesus did the same thing: Peter, James and John were his three closest advisors.

      The pastor at my church preached a sermon one time entitled, “Even Jesus was a Teammate.” His sermon could have been the lesson at JobSeekers one Friday. Chuck said, “Even the ultimate leader assembled a team because ‘great missions require great teams.'” If you are going to get the best possible result from your job search, surround yourself with savvy, supportive and spiritual people to help you along the way. Chuck pointed out that people who we think of for their great individual achievements had strong teams behind them; people like Daniel Boone, Charles Lindberg and Albert Einstein.

      I don’t think we fully realize what we lose when we leave a traditional job; it’s a lot more than income. Whether you are an entry-level employee, a salesperson in a remote territory, or a CEO, you lose the team that supports you. For instance, there is no one to give you an “orientation session” on your first day of unemployment. There’s no one to train you or to give you work to do; likewise, there’s no one to delegate work to. There’s no one to hold you accountable (BTW, A-Team could also stand for accountability team). There are no metrics. There’s no task force, no white boards, no brainstorming sessions. There is no one, that is, unless you make it happen – unless you build your own advisory team.

      This is one reason why companies retain the services of outplacement consultants. (Forgive me for moment while I put in a shameless plug for what I do for a living.) We add structure, expertise and accountability to an otherwise self-directed project that is of utmost importance. We help people protect their finances, their health, their relationships and their futures. However, I notice that clients who rely only on me tend to take longer to find a new job than clients who also build a team with several advisors.

      Here are three key points to keep in mind as you build and use your advisory team:

      1. Pray for God to place the right people in your life.

      Chances are He already has; if you ask, He will also place more people in your life to fill any gaps. Ask for discernment to choose the right people. In January 2005, for example, God placed Bob King in my life. Because he had been President and CEO of the Georgia Hospitality & Travel Association, and in leadership roles in other nonprofits, he was instrumental in helping JobSeekers achieve our tax-exempt nonprofit status. We couldn’t have done it without him. I met Bob less than 24 hours after JB Kirk (one of my three key advisors) said we needed someone to lead us through the process.

      2. Aim for an honest exchange of information.

      When you build your team, ask them to give you honest (but not brutal) feedback. Likewise, with your three closest advisors, disclose the unvarnished truth of your situation; threats to your finances, your health, your marriage or other relationships; pain from the loss of your job, fears that hold you back, and frustration about how difficult finding a job really is. Not too long ago I gave someone some honest feedback; I told him that he needed to discharge his anger before he moved forward in his job search.

      3. Meet with your A-team as a group.

      Your advisory team is more than just friends who give you a word of encouragement and a pat on the back. Friends may not ask you the penetrating questions or reveal great insights without your help. In order for this to be effective, you have to drive the process. You are responsible for creating the right environment and drawing them out.

      When possible, get three or four advisors together for a brainstorming session, you could accomplish more in one hour with three advisors than you could by meeting with each of them individually for one hour each. I see the power of a small team every time I do a workshop because I usually limit the size of the workshop to only three people. It’s so powerful that I prefer my clients to work in the small group setting in addition to the one-on-one time with me.

      Build your team.

      During the JobSeekers meeting I challenged you to recruit your advisory team, especially your three closest advisors. Build a balanced, multidisciplinary team. Team members may include: a career coach, another job seeker, a spiritual advisor, someone who knows your industry very well, someone who understands your profession, an association leader, someone with a knack for marketing and sales, a recruiter, an HR professional, an attorney, a CPA, and a financial advisor. Who’s on your A-team?

      As I wrap up for today, I leave you with three relevant quotes:

      “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.” – Woodrow Wilson

      “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12

      “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” – Proverbs 15.22

      Use all the brains you can borrow. Don’t let yourself be overpowered; weave a strong cord. Seek wise counsel, and you will succeed. My sincere prayer is that will not only hear, but that you will act upon this advice. May God bless you all!

      See you Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we hear and respond to God’s word!

      Copyright © 2006-2019 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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        Belichick Fired!

        fired

        Bill Belichick

        With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, I wondered how many of you know that Bill Belichick was fired after five seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Since then, he’s won five Super Bowls. He will undoubtedly be a first-ballot entry into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame.

        Sports reporters and analysts were ready to write Belichick’s obituary after the 1995 season. After five years as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, his record was a paltry 37-45; that’s a 45.1% winning ratio. In 1994, Belichick’s fourth season, the Browns were 11-5 and made the playoffs. When they stumbled to a 5-11 record in the following year, he was fired.

        Belichick didn’t give up; instead he went back to work under his tutor, Bill Parcels, under whom he’d previously coached for eight seasons with the New York Giants. Paul Katzeff wrote in Investor’s Business Daily, “Rather than mope about his lesser position, he worked to improve on past weaknesses. He studied successful coaches to glean their secrets. Then he broke down what he learned into concrete actions: He delegated. He emphasized character. He stretched his creativity.” He got a second chance, and earned a place in football history, after Robert Kraft hired him as head coach of the Patriots in 2000.

        ESPN has a “30 for 30” documentary about these to men called “The Two Bills.” For more info, click here.

        Since becoming head coach of the New England Patriots, Belichick has led the Patriots to 16 AFC East division titles, 13 appearances in the AFC Championship Game, and nine Super Bowl appearances (five wins, with the game this weekend pending). He was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year for the 2003, 2007, and 2010 seasons.

        Like him or not, Bill Belichick is now considered one of the greatest NFL coaches of all time.

        Persevere in the face of adversity.

        There’s an obvious connection between what happened to him, and how he resurrected his career, and what has happened to many of you reading who are reading this message. Just because you are let go by one company doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in the same role in another company.

        Friends, being let go by one organization can lead to much greater things – if you do the right things: seek God’s will, trust Him, keep a positive attitude, prepare for success, and work hard on high payoff activities. Like Belichick, no successful person has ever avoided rejection and setbacks; instead, he or she has persevered in the face of adversity. You can too.

        Jesus rejected at Nazareth.

        Jesus faced rejection far worse than Belichick. In fact, he faced rejection and even death from the earliest days of his public ministry. After John baptized him in the Jordan River, he went east into the desert where Satan tempted him for 40 days. According to Luke’s account, from there he headed home to Nazareth. He ticked off some folks at his hometown synagogue when he said he was the Messiah, and that they would reject him. He compared himself to Elijah and Elisha, who, after being rejected by the Israelites, ministered to Gentiles instead.

        Jesus’ friends were so angry about his “blasphemy” they took him to a nearby cliff, intending to throw him off and kill him. Jesus somehow managed to get away. The first attempt on Jesus’ life was made shortly after he started his public ministry. He faced rejection and prevailed. With his help, we can too.

        Here’s the story from Luke 4:14-30:

        Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

        He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

        Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

        All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

        Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.'”

        “I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed–only Naaman the Syrian.”

        All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

         Go prove ’em wrong.

        The rejection we face as job seekers, and Bill Belichick faced as a head coach in the NFL, is minor compared to what Jesus faced. When a company lets you go, when an organization turns you down, when the HR department refuses to call you back – remember that Christ has empathy for you because he was rejected too. My prayer is that you will feel his presence, and be empowered to move forward in your job campaign.

        Be like Bill Belichick; go prove ’em wrong.

        See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we prevail in the face of adversity, setbacks and rejection!

        Copyright © 2005-2019 / 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, a seeker named Sandra 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. She’s still there 10 years 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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              Five Principles of Job Search Success

              job search successA few years ago a client said, “I want to find a job so I don’t have to work so hard!” I applauded her for realizing a simple truth. She applied the five principles of job search success and found a new position in the minimum amount of time. As a result of her hard work, she accepted a great position here in Peachtree City three months after she left her last position. She’s done well in her career since then.

              One of my former colleagues liked to say, “Finding a job is a full-time job – with deferred compensation!” The project you are working on right now will have a payday at the end. How well you manage your project will determine your pay. Here’s the point: finding a job is hard work; make sure that the hard work you do is focused on results, not on activity. That means doing lots of networking (results) vs. responding to online ads (activity). Either one can tire you out. Use your energy to your best advantage.

              God expects you to work hard. You will earn your pay. Consider the words of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 9:10a, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”

              With all this in mind, I’ve been thinking of people I’ve spoken to recently who are working hard without success. I offer the following five recommendations to them and to all of you:

              1. Avoid insanity. I think all of us are familiar with Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. My question is: “If job boards aren’t working for you, why do you keep looking at them for hours and hours every day?” The same is true for your résumé, your cover letters, your position objective, your target companies, your interview responses, etc. If any of these aren’t working for you, if you’ve been looking without success, change your approach.
              2. Pray specifically. Try this: instead of praying, “Lord I need a job now. I pray that I’ll have one by the end of next week.” Pray something like this: “Lord put people and resources in my life to show me where I am and where you want me to be; and help me map out a strategy for getting there.” Imagine a farmer who prays on a spring morning, “Lord I need some corn now. I pray that when I go into the fields today the corn will be ripe for picking.” Then when he goes into the fields he exclaims, “Prayer isn’t working! I don’t see any corn!” If he were to pray specifically, what does he need to pray for? Think about this and apply it to your search.
              3. Heed wise counsel. As a career coach and leader of the JobSeekers ministry, nothing makes me crazier than people who hear the truth (what works) and do the opposite. I’ve dealt with extreme cases of people who knew where they were, knew where they wanted to be, knew how to get there (through networking) and yet they did not do what it took to achieve success. Friends, every book and every career coach in the U.S. will tell you that networking is the number one way salaried people find jobs. We can’t all be wrong.
              4. Work wholeheartedly. In Philippians 4:13 Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I use this well-known verse in the meeting several times a year. At the Atlanta Bread Company one time, someone said the key word in that phrase is “do.” In other words, it doesn’t say, “Christ will do all things for me.” Don’t pray to God and wait for the phone to ring. Discipline yourself; keep to a work schedule every day of the week; do the right things; work wholeheartedly.
              5. Trust wholeheartedly. Sometimes it’s a test of faith. Job search is tough on you, your ego, your relationships, your finances, and your health; it can even be tough on your relationship with God. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Remember that you are a child of God; as your loving parent he wants you to have the very best he has to offer. Learn everything you can from this experience and be ready, willing and able to move forward as he guides you. As rough as it is now, job search is a temporary state; there are brighter and better days ahead.

              The bottom line is that to be successful in search you have to work smart and work hard. Trust in the Lord and work wholeheartedly, and you will succeed. Do everything YOU can do to find a job, and leave to God what only HE can do.

              See you this Friday at JobSeekers, where we trust in the Lord – and work wholeheartedly!

              Copyright © 2005-2019 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

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                To Get Better Results, Be Your Authentic Self

                Celebrate-silhouetteOne of the themes in my teaching and writing in the past few years has been to “be your authentic self.” The more authentic you are, the better results you will get. I have experienced this myself, in both my personal and business life. If you are your authentic self, you will get better results too.

                Rick Warren writes about authenticity in his inspirational book, The Purpose Driven Life: “Of course, being authentic requires both courage and humility. It means facing our fear of exposure, rejection and being hurt again. Why would anyone take such a risk? Because it is the only way to grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy. The Bible says, ‘Make this your common practice: confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.’ We only grow by taking risks, and the most difficult risk of all is to be honest with ourselves and with others (p. 140, the scripture is James 5:16a from The Message).”

                Form Small Groups

                I have a vision of JobSeekers having small group meetings throughout the week; we’ve taken steps forward (and backward) in this direction. After the JobSeekers meeting on Friday mornings, many folks hang out for a while in several informal gatherings. I hear that many of you meet at other times during the week.

                My vision also includes support groups meeting at some of the local churches as well – not for a official, formal meeting, but instead for the heart-to-heart relationship building that takes place during some of the more difficult days of our lives.

                Here’s more from Warren’s book: “People wear masks, keep their guard up and act as if everything is rosy in their lives. These attitudes are the death of fellowship (p. 140).”

                If you want to see a textbook example of this, go to a little league baseball game and listen to the dads and coaches talk to one another. In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge calls these men ‘posers.’ He says, “Most of what you encounter when you meet a man is a façade, an elaborate fig leaf, a brilliant disguise (p. 52).” I’d rather sit by myself than witness their puffed-up pride and listen to their braggadocio.

                By the way, I am not immune to this; I’m trying to overcome my human condition every single day. I confess that I am guilty of ‘posing’ sometimes too.

                Be Your Authentic Self

                Friends, if you are out and about, put your game face on. Be positive and energetic. Smile. “Fake it ’til you make it.” But let me make this strong recommendation: don’t fake it with your close friends, with God, or with yourself. Yes, first be honest with yourself. Then be honest with God and with your closest advisers. They are there to help, or just to listen.

                One of the many reasons I enjoy what I do is that I get to meet with and help people when they are more in touch with their authentic selves. The loss of a job and the challenges that come with a career transition can remove several layers of pretense!

                I get frustrated with the few clients who keep secrets from me. How am I supposed to help them when they don’t lay all their cards on the table? They experience negative consequences like longer job searches, lower pay or less-than-satisfying jobs because they withheld information that I need to know in order to help them.

                Which cards are you holding back? What do you need to disclose to your three closest advisers? What secrets are you keeping from God? (You aren’t doing a very good job on that one, by the way!) Think about it. Pray about it. Then do something about it.

                See you this week at JobSeekers, the place where we can be our authentic selves!

                Copyright © 2005-2019 / 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 (Proverbs 15:22).” 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 in January last year accepted a job the following week. The person with the second highest hippo score 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 26 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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