To solve unemployment, let’s start with how we present information

According to  Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, every two day society creates as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.

By simply typing in a few key words and clicking the mouse, you have access to targeted job postings on online job boards, resume templates, interview coaching videos, posted networking events and career fairs.

Using LinkedIn, you can more effectively network with the hiring manager, have instant access to job tweets on Twitter, or watch a video on YouTube about interviewing skills.

Indeed, the challenge is not one of scarcity, but information overload. And personally, I’d rather have the latter and not the former.

Schmidt continues saying,

The real issue is user-generated content,” Schmidt said. He noted that pictures, instant messages, and tweets all add to this.

That’s all good, right! I love UGC. It means topping command-and-control organizations that don’t get the “power of us”.

The Employment Center

As an Information Manager, my mind works a little different than some others.

I walk into my local employment center, see thousands of pieces of paper in the brochure rack organized by topic, but can’t find an easy-to-use ”one-stop shop” online for the job seeker.

One paper is titled “Employment Agencies” and has contact information for two dozen centers. That’s great…but not enough.

I want to know what is happening at each of these centers today. Are they sponsoring a career fair, providing resume assistance or holding a regularly networking meeting.

There are no links I can click on. No search box to us. Not even a Web site address is listed for each of those centers. They may have one, but they aren’t listed.

Yes, there are MANY sites giving advice, counsel, tips for the job seeker. But they exist for each agency, organization and group trying to solve unemployment.

We need a COMMUNITY. We need a “one-stop” shop where all of this information exists.

Forgive me if I sound a little bold. But this post is as much about our being accountable to change what we are doing as it is about how we present information.

It even means judging the effectiveness our employment center, challenging assumptions about presentation, and learning more about what the possibilities are.

Why be hard on this problem? Because unemployment may be the greatest national risk we have. It may be the greatest challenge for families today and our families of tomorrow.

We have to rethink how we help people in the job search, be successful in their careers – or at least find opportunities to bring home a dollar at the end of the day.

If this is a “jobless” recovery, how do we get people back to work?

That’s an important question when you consider that some are losing their homes, marriages are breaking up, and some are doing things even more drastic.

For that reason, I am going to be really hard on how we solve the information overload problem – or opportunity.

Because people’s lives are at stake. And in a Web 2.0 world, we are now all accountable. My job is now your job. And your job is my job. Collectively, we need to all own this problem.

So what is my thesis?

The possibilities to present, organize, share and use this information go way beyond paper. It is also at the heart of the unemployment problem.

I believe that as long as someone – anywhere – has need of another person’s labors or skills, then there is a market for the worker.

We just need to connect more effectively the employer and the job seeker, whether that is for full-time, part-time or contract labor. It doesn’t matter.

When I see reams of unorganized paper in the form of brochures, pamplets, etc. it’s somewhat offensive to me because the job seeker does not have the time to sort through all of this!

They deserve better, especially if they are paying for it in taxes, time and effort. The job seekers time is ticking faster than anyone else’s clock.

And so being efficient in organizing that content is paramount to him or her.

But wait…you might argue that the 65 year-old senior citizen needs a job and doesn’t use the Internet. Therefore, we need to provide it for them.

But do we? If Uncle Mark can’t retire even though he’s reached so-called retirement age, and has worked around computers, shouldn’t we help Mark create a Gmail account, show him how to search the web, and fill out an online application.

(Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking worker who may hardly know how to get online. But I also don’t want to leave Mark. And we are effectively doing that if we don’t give Mark the best user experience in his job search that he deserves).

To be fair, the employment center I am talking about is free to the public and does provide a free computer for the job seeker to use. The provide career workshops that are very good, and even offer regular, face-to-face networking meetings.

I myself would concede that even the best online experience will probably never replace the importance of face-to-face interactions, the need for networking,  etc. that ultimately gets the job seeker the job.

I’m not arguing against any of that.

I’m mostly observing that there is a LOT of paper in the center.

And it’s hard for the average person to assimilate and – forget the Internet! – you can feel overwhelmed looking at the mounds of paper hanging on the wall.

But I digress.

My beef is not with Mark, the employment center or even the need for paper. It is about creating the right user-experience – whether that is online or at their ”brick and mortar” place.

Paper is still something tangible and can be easily taken with you. But if we take Schmidt at his word, the paper titled “Helpful Websites” is now outdated as soon as it’s printed.

At the center, I glanced at another brochure entitled “Surviving Unemployment” and found it contained very  practical advice. But when I take it home, it likely be filed away somewhere or lost in the pile of coupons that came that day in the mail or I may even lose it somewhere in the bill folder.

So how does my online experience compare with my onsite experience?

With Google, I can search the magnificent Web on “how to survice unemployment” or type in “job websites” to get more links that I need or care to use.

And with gas prices at nearly $4/gallon, we need to demand a better user experience. Let’s take the paper on the shelves and get our information architect to create a social network for our customers. Best of all…they are almost all Free!

Once I register on many of these job sites online, I can create a target profile on a career job board and get notification of new jobs specific to my skills, experience and interests

I don’t have to go hunt it down.

That’s so old school.

I get that people some people can get even more lost online than they can in the center.

And so to be clear, I am not suggesting spamming the job seeker with even more information, but rather asking that we rethink how our best approach at presenting that information.

Fortunately, technology has outpaced our ability to keep up. And so we just need to solve the problem of how best to present it so that its useful.

The point is that we need to take a careful look at how we are going to manage, organize and search for this information so that it’s easily accessible when it is needed.

Google, iPADS, Facebook, RSS Feeds, Facebook Communities, Mobile Phones – social networks – are forcing us to ask these questions and are themselves providing the solutions.

These are smart phones because they provide targeted, personalize content that can filter out much of the undesired contant we are talking about.

I’m not naive enough not to know that this is already a big industry. Businesses like Adobe are already helping companies know about your browing history, preferences, etc.

It’s called Web analytics and “cookies” that gather this information are keeping track of your keystrokes right now so they can be analyzed and reported to marketers anxious to know all about you. 

To be clear, I am not suggesting we need to divulge more of our personal lives to businesses – or the government – to play in this information age.

But if we can balance these security concerns with providing instant, personalized content, then we have arrived at the sweet spot, I believe.

You information architects, user interface designers and social media strategists will have to show us a better way.

Oh wait…that’s what I am. All right, try this out for size. I created it this morning from all those pages I saw on the board!

I just wanted some practice. I think the secret lies in a Facebook-like approach to content sharing.

What do you think?

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Utah-Jobs/116729568403469

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

It may be time to rethink how you are looking for work

I read a very interesting article by Eve Tahmincioglu from MSNBC entitled “Looking for a job in 2011? Here’s how to stand out”

In summary, here’s what you need to know – now:

1. Full-time hiring will not pick up anytime soon.

“That means it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror and honestly assess what you can change about your job game plan to compete better.”

2. Change something if you are not getting interviews or job offers

Dan Finnigan, President and CEO of JobVite says, you need more things to help you stand out and so “…walking down the well-worn, beaten path of job seeking is not going to be enough. You have to do new things and more things to stand out.”

3. Get organized

Jean Baur, career counselor and autor of “Eliminated! Now what? Finding Your Way from Job-Loss Crisis to Career Resiliance” says,

“It’s hard to run a good search if your home office is a mess and you don’t have a system for keeping things straight,”

What do you do to get organized? A simple job searching spreadsheet can help. It can show the job ads you answered, resumes you’ve sent out, responses you got back and all pertinent dates. Be prepared to grab the color-coded folder of the company which calls back so you can be prepared to answer,”Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” 

4. Enhance the resume

Tailor your resume to a specific job opening. Here’s the secret: Take the job description and incorporate it into your resume so the computer screening your application will match you up with the job – or a least not kick you out of consideration.

Tip: Be clear, concise and accurate in the cover letter and resume. That means 1-page resumes instead of 5-pages resumes, no grammatical errors and incorporating feedback from friends, family and experts reviewing your resume.

5. Get in the Game

“Seek out those who can mentor you, colleague with whom you can exchange ideas, and former subordinates who have now gone on to new and higher roles,” she said.

Doing so allows you to hear about the hidden job market since the “early bird gets the worm.”

6. Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

If not, then why should I hire you? Your resume, application, lunch contact should all come away sensing your passion. Do you konw what that is?

7. Jack of all-trades

Those getting jobs are NOT marketing themselves as the jack-of-all trades.

“Companies hire specialists, not generalists,” said Kathryn Ullrich, Silicon Valley-based executive search consultant and author of “Getting to the Top: Strategies for Career Success”. “Still, most job hunters don’t get that.”

7. Does anyone know I’m here

So how do you get noticed? 

“Find a blog that is relevant to your career goal and become a frequent commenter on it,” said Laurence Shatkin, author of “2011 Career Plan.” “This assumes you have something worthwhile to contribute.”

I might add that could include commenting on social networking sites, including groups discussions specific to your industry. If you are IT Service Management (ITSM) trained and certified, look for an ITSM group, join it and share what you know with the community.

Shatkin says don’t go crazy,

“If you want to post your vacation photos or tweet about your kid’s birthday party, use a personal account.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 9,868 Comments

Overwhelmed by the Job Search? Start Here…

In this economy, even thinking about getting a job can feel overwhelming (not to mention actually landing one). 

It’s tough out there. I know. I’m “out there” still looking like you. 

So if you are still in bed recovering from the “bad news” you just brought home last week, then just know that too will pass. 

Fortunately, things aren’t always as bad as they seem. So if you are ready to spring out of bed, and jump back on your feet, I’ll try to help you get back in the game…

Your circumstance alone doesn’t have to dictate how you feel. Attitude can go a long way towards making you feel better.

And being upbeat might just give you the edge in beating out other candidates.

 Businesses are Hiring

Start by ignoring the news saying businesses aren’t hiring.

Sure, they may not be setting records, but businesses added 82,000 private sector jobs in November alone.

So why is it called an “Unemployment Report”? Even in a recession, you still have workers who are retiring, employees landing jobs with other companies and positions being opened up.

There may be fewer full-time openings, but think creatively about what you can do. If you have been out of work for a while, consider a temorary job.

Temp openings are up and that can help bridge the financial gap you need before you land your next full-time, permanent job. Ok, maybe not “permanent” :)

Next, you must believe you can land one of those jobs. Get the jobless number of 10% out of your head and realize that 90% of Americans are working. There is a good job waiting for you. You just need to find it and sell yourself the right way.

So stop the excuses. With some direction, honed skills and contagious optimism, you can get noticed, turn some heads and hear the words, “You’re hired!” again.

I’ll get to that in a minute…

Learn to Promote Your Brand  

Take an inventory of your skills. 

An employer can take away your job, but they can’t rob you of your skills, previous experience or take away your accomplishments. 

This is your arsenal to land your next job and makes it easier to forget the last one. 

So while you may now be at home out of work, you are indeed more skilled and experienced than you have ever been in your life. 

So keep your chin up, promote your personal brand, and start practicing tooting your horn. 

The job hunt is as much about marketing yourself as it is about networking or filling out the online job application. 

Branding yourself for the job search isn’t much different than what goes on in Madision Avenue. 

But instead of touting products, features and benefits on TV, you must learn to create a “Me in 30 Seconds”, speak in power statement, and promote yourself in person and on social media sites. 

But don’t put stupid thinks on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. 

In short, the job hunt is harder today. So the sooner you learn to identify your core skills, tout your accomplishments and market yourself, the quicker you will get back to work. 

Filling out resumes, job profiles and waiting for the recruiter to call won’t cut it. You have to be proactive, get used to rejections and network like crazy.  

It’s an employers market and you must tell them ”what’s in it for them” for them to hire you. 

This thing we call ”downsizing”, “rightsizing” or “layoffs” “ is not a perfect science. So don’t psychoanalyze it to death. 

Unfortunately, this is one downside of a free market economy where industries rise and decline and businesses adapt or fail. But the good far outways the bad, so don’t go there… 

It’s not Personal 

Losing a job feels personal, but don’t take it that way. Don’t read into it too much what you think it says about your work skills, ethic or character – unless you know differently. 

Talented people are out of work today, and many lazy ones still get a paycheck. It’s sometimes just the luck of the draw. 

Life isn’t always fair and so hang in there. 

Heck, I got laid off from a company after just six weeks of classroom and self-paced training at a business which developed and licensed survey software. 

I learned how to write proper survey questions, increase response rates and analzye the results. 

The company spent a lot of money and time promoting their value proposition which stated that engaged employees and customers directly correlate with a company’s success. 

At least that is what our marketing guys wrote in industry magazines to executive readers who signed the checks. 

As the new product manager, I soon received my first assignment to conduct market research, size up the competition, and help position our products. 

Measuring employee engagement is what we were all about, and I fit the profile of the “highly-engaged” employee.  

I was eager to learn, willing to listen and was full of feedback on ways to enhance our current products. (I even submitted over 100 enhancement requests to improve the products I was now using). 

To my shock, I was one day called into the office, and told I was being let go. 

After I pulled myself off the floor, I asked for an explanation and was basically only told that “it wasn’t a good fit.” 

I’ve since realize that some layoffs are not really anyone’s fault. At times, there has to be a match between the employer and employee. 

The business can have the right strategy, the employee can have the right skills, but they may have a different approach to work. 

That’s may have been what happened to me. 

Essentially, this company had survey tools allowing businesses to measure employee and customer feedback. 

My knoweldge management background led me to it was more important to enable feedback. I believe we needed to emphasize social media instead of survey software. 

I spoke up, challenged assumptions, and it may have cost me my job. That came with a heavy price, but I preserved my need to have a voice. Maybe you get that from the title of this blog :)  

But I digress. 

Define Yourself. Don’t let others Define You 

Your ability to be successful is more about your own attitude than whatever you believe someone’s perception of you are. 

Don’t take it personal. Leave on good terms. Don’t burn bridges. 

I tried to do that and so did my boss. 

At times, that means knowing when to go with the flow, stick to your guns or look for that “better fit”. 

So learn from your mistakes and those of others. Lower your expectations about work’s harsh realities. Rcognize that injustices happen in life, at home and in the workplace. 

That doesn’t mean you have to lay down, take verbal abuse or injusticies – especially if they cross the legal threshold. In the end, maintain your personal brand. 

And that includes not others define who you are, what you can achieve and where you want to go. We’re talking quiet confidence here, not stubborn opposition. 

And if it’s not a good fit, eventually realize that you must on, or one day expect your boss may come to the same conclusion.  Ask anyone who has been laid off, you kind of get that feeling in your gut. 

If you have been laid off, fired or downsized, you know that life can be downright miserable. 

Just don’t let a negative attitude, emotion or belief get in the way of you getting your next job. 

Look forward. Not backward. Don’t worry too much what your former employer or co-workers now think about you as one who was let go. 

And don’t bad mouth the company for doing so. 

Things which come around, go around. And a recruiter will pick up real quickly if you can poison the new prospects work environment by complaining about your old one. 

So realize this new opportunity for what it is. It’s a time to start fresh and with new faces and new people.  

If necessary, you have the power to make changes in your attitude, skills and career goals.  

But chances are, you just need to find that company that can best utilize your skills, appreciate your work and compete in the market. 

Focus on your next step. Evaluate if it may be a time to go back to school, get industry certifications or do temporary work. 

Individual circumstances call for unique approaches, and so I can’t speak specifically to your particular case. 

And even if this is still too ovewhelming to think about, know that there are people out there who care, love you and will help you get that next job. 

I know you have doubts about that, but I want to prove it to you. :)

Posted in Getting Started, The Unemployed | 11,948 Comments

Job Seeking by Objective

I recently read this post from a new site called “Values Parenting” by Linda and Richard Eyre (New York Times Bestselling authors).

“This site is not for parents who want a quick fix…or an oversimplified, easy answer…or a defensive, reactionary approach. Valuesparenting.com is for parents who are ready for a proactive family program…parents who want to go on the Offense rather than staying on the defense… parents who focus on the family…parents who are willing to set goals and create plans and mission statements and to practice “parenting by objective“-making the raising of their children their single highest priority.”

I believe that by swapping out a few nouns and verbs, the same is true for this site, Unemployed’s Voice-

This site is not for job seekers who want a quick fix…or an oversimplified, easy answer…Unemployed’s Voice is for job seekers who are ready for a proactive job seeking…unemployed people who want to go on the Offense rather than staying on the defense… job seekers who focus on their career family…job seekers who are willing to set goals and create plans and mission statements and to practice “job seeking by objective making their career their single highest priority.

The Eyres explain their concept of “parenting by objectives” this way-

“Years ago, Harvard-trained management consultant Richard Eyre taught his business clients to improve their company’s performance by practicing “management by objective.” People are always more effective when they have clear goals. The same principle and the same approach applies to the most important management challenge of all — the management of our families!”

And so why not the management of our careers?

The need to be proactive in any aspect of our lives makes sense to me, whether that be managing a business, parenting or taking control of your career.

If the key is setting goals, then what goals should the proactive job seeker pursue?

Let’s start simple.

Set a goal to set a goal.

That’s not so much a cutsie symantec as it reflects the reality that our biggest hindrance to achieving our goals is not getting started in the first place.

And with the new year springing on us, it’s not too early to think about the goals you need to set in order to jump start your career in 2011.

Help me identify the top goals the job seeker must set. 

I welcome your comments below.

Posted in Goals | 9,628 Comments

Oh Holy Night

Luke 2:1-21

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all athe world should be btaxed.

 2(And this ataxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called aBethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

 5To be taxed with Mary his aespoused wife, being great with child.

 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

 7And she brought forth her afirstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the binn.

 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the aglory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you agood tidings of great bjoy, which shall be to all people.

 11For unto you is aborn this day in the city of David a bSaviour, which is Christ the cLord.

 12And this shall be a asign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

 14aGlory to God in the highest, and on earth bpeace, good will toward men.

 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

 16And they came with ahaste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

 18And all they that heard it awondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

 19But Mary kept all these things, and apondered them in her heart.

 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

 21And when eight days were accomplished for the acircumcising of the child, his name was called bJesus, which was so cnamed of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11,204 Comments

“Where moth doth corrupt and thieves (creditors) break through and steal”

If you are out of work, you are probably worrying right now about Christmas morning when there will be few – if any – presents under the tree for your spouse, children or loved ones.

That worry may be a temptation to overspend. Don’t let it be that way. Do things different this Christmas.

Before you think I’m the Grinch, think who is really stealing away your livelihood this year!

Lack of money grips our attention, plays with our emotions, and may paralyze us into inaction.

Or, it may have the opposite effect as we scurry from store-to-store shopping for things we don’t need, and buying things we can’t afford.

And many are finding that sooner rather than later, mounting debt catches up with us.

Let’s admit we all already all know-

We allow ourselves to be taken in by noisy Christmas television ads, busy check-out lines, and crowded parking lots.

Deep down, we know we don’t have that money to spend, but we ignore those warnings because we’re sure this time will be different.

Christmas comes tomorrow. There is no question there is fun in the gift giving and receiving!

But we also have to be reminded how not fun borrowing is either. It comes with a heavy price.

The day after Christmas, we patronize the store’s return line with gifts that looked great the week before, even as we try to find a reasonable excuse for the associate who asks us what is wrong with the merchandise.

We then jump back in the car and race from store-to-store advertising post Christmas specials.

We convince ourselves that we we can’t miss out on that one favorite gift, even though we’re really not sure what it is, where to fin it, or what it will do for us.

Inevitably, we return home exhausted, more in debt, and disappointed with the realization that our new gifts are already losing their luster.

Even though we’ve been through this before, we still seem suprised again at how fast the new gets old.

The new shirt or dress in the closet is no longer fashionable and the constant worry about what you spent sets in and makes it more difficult to want to use the new exercise equipment.

As the months go on, the credit card statement shows up in the mail alongside the mortgage payment(s), utility bills and medical expenses.

Only this time, there isn’t the money to make the minimum payments. Tensions rise in the home, relationships suffer and despair sets in.

It’s time again for crucial conversations with your spouse. Each time the conversations get more heated and less hopeful as you realize there is no easy way out.

How do we makes ends meet? Who should get another job to pay the bills? Will we even have a job in six months with the way the economy is going?

There is fighting as to whose fault it is that we signed up for the credit card offering % 0 payment for six months, or if he or she decided that we could afford to drive the new car off the dealership’s lot.

But it felt good at the time and so we did it.

Again.

Soon, it will be time to visit the bank a second or third time. The lure of consolidating debt is not attractive in housing market whose values are plummeting. And even if we can qualify, we’re not really sure we can afford the second or third mortgage.

But the current goal is cash flow. We don’t see the long-term effects, but only if we can keep our head above water.

Debt mortgages our future. But, even worse, the bank might even take away same mortgage. The next step is bankrupcy, or short-selling the home.

Yes, enticing gifts, promises to pay later, and the desire to fill a void in our lives is all to blame. But they are really only symptomatic of something deeper.

Alcoholism, drug addiction and pornography are real addictions.

And so is spending. We might even debate which has the most crushing consequences.

If we strip it to the core, debt is simply a choice of trading our most basic needs of food, water and shelter for wants that do not satisfy.

The true meaning of Christmas doesn’t have to include scurrying from store-to-store, costly gift exchanges, or burdensome debt.

It means spending time together as a family, making sugar cookies with your kids to give to the neighbors, and turning on the fireplace while reading a heart-warming Christmas story.

It’s finding lasting peace and happiness in the simple things of life.

These are thing that do satisfy, bring lasting peace and family stability. It’s finding joy in those things which moth doth not corrupt, and the thieves (or creditors) do not break in and steal.

Yes, Christmas this year can be different, more meaningful and filled with heart-warming memories.

And you don’t need a credit card for any of that.

Posted in Debt | 12,145 Comments

Working? Here’s how to help someone who isn’t…

You go to work, grateful to have a job, and feel bad for those who don’t.

Unfortunately, compassion alone can’t help the job seeker.

The good news is that everyone can help someone out of work, and those who go to work each day can be especially helpful.

For 9 out of 10 people who are working, electronic communication activities may mean coordinating upcoming meetings, learning about an upcoming webinar, or preparing a project plan.

Daily, the unemployed also get emails, and the ones they anticipate the most can be the hardest to open-

- “Thanks for your interest in that <such-such> position, BUT…?”)
- “After careful consideration…we wanted to let you know we filled…:”

Talk about a hope killer. No wonder many have simply given up searching for work. Many times it’s rejection, after rejection, after rejection.

For the job seeker, the silence can be just as painful when they don’t hear back on the resume they submitted, or their former co-worker on LinkedIn doesn’t respond to an inquiry about job opportunities at their company.

But the employer and friend are not the only ones who appear not to notice the needs of the unemployed.

The mortgage company still sends out the statement. The utility company still wants their payment on time. And the car insurance agent says coverage will be cancelled at the end of the month if the bill is not paid.

There is a time warp between the lives of the worker and the unemployed. Every minute of every day, the unemployed’s clock ticks faster than all other clocks.

Recently, I read a post of a man who asked for help from eight people who worked at a company. He summarized the results this way:

Two did nothing.

Two gave excuses they didn’t know the hiring manager, wished himwell and said they would pray for him.

Two suggested ways he could make contact with HR or phone operators.

One spent time making calls, found out who the hiring manager was, and contacted the job seeker. But that is not all. He emailed the hiring manager asking for a “personal favor” – even though neither knew each other.

The result? His new acquaintance got the interview.

Clearly, I am not suggesting you put your neck on the line for every anonymous, out-of-work job seeker who wants a job.

But if you notice, this good samaritan didn’t appear to do that.

He simply got this man’s resume into the hands of someone who needed to feel a position, and by doing so, he benefited not only the job seeker – but the hiring manager as well.

The hiring manager can determine if the candidate is qualified or not.

How did the man in the story above describe his experience?

“Who really helped me? Out of eight, only one did. It is this lack of help that kills the human soul. It is the one that helped that makes one so humble and stand in awe”.

I believe that the unemployed man will never forget the person who went that extra mile – whether he gets the job or not.

After all, he offered him hope.

Posted in The Unemployed, The Worker | 14,388 Comments

Taking Steps into the Darkness

My name is Doug. I am married, have eight children, and am a Social Media Strategist.

And like you…I am out of work. Well, kind of…

I just have to worry about the here and now. That’s because my long-term future is bright. I hope you agree after reading “About Me“.

So instead of seeing my skills becoming obsolete in this new economy, I simply hope business catches us soon. Still, I am a realist and am diligently searching for full-time as well. Let me know if you see an opportunity, and I’ll do the same for you.

Afterall, social media is changing all aspects of our lives.

If you are looking for opportunities to reinvent yourself, I plan to talk about those here.  Yes, some businesses are downsizing and old industries are becoming obsolete.

But new ones are emerging each day. In that sense, it’s a great time to go into business if you are a creative, problem-solver and like to disrupt the status quo.

My suggestion is not to read the newspapers talking about the latest job’s report, or believe the naysayers who paint a picture of gloom and doom.

But neither should you count on whether unemployment benefits will be extended or not. You have the power to shape your life more than the Fed or Congress does.

Ok…Enough about me. How about you?

How are you?

In the book, “The Road Less Traveled”, Scott Peck said this,

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

Life can be especially difficult if you are out of work.

I know. Like you, “I’m there and doing that.”

So let’s help each other accept the fact that life is hard, even as we help each other not accept our unemployment.

In reality, I’m not really unemployed. As an independent consultant, I just need more clients right now. Many businesses are in the same boat.

The President says out economy is in the ditch. And it’s up to all of us to get it on track again.

So if you just got that pink slip yesterday, or you hear about upcoming layoffs, then tune in here.

What’s on your mind? Speak up? See if collectively we can help you.

Because we all need each other.

In future posts, I plan to share more of my story and hope you will as well.

As you know, it’s not fun to relive being called into the boss’ office who informs you that you no longer have a job, or tell your teenager that you can’t afford to pay for their ticket to the prom.

But there is a lot of good that can come from all this as well. And so even though misery may love company, hope can be passed along just as easily.

It’s been quite a journey, but I’m confident we can face this darkness together.

I’ve always believed that you have to step into the darkness before you can see the light.

Now I’m learning it just how bright that light can be…

Posted in Uncategorized | 13,579 Comments