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Managing Emotions During Career Change and Job Search, Part Two

Half the battle in successfully managing your emotions during a job search or career change process is in recognizing and naming what you?re feeling.  Most of us could barely brainstorm a dozen or so emotions, yet many, many more exist.

Resurrecting the Perfect Resume, Part One

Is your resume dead?  Don?t be so quick to say, ?No way!?  Of the hundreds of resumes I?ve seen written by job seekers of all backgrounds and educational levels, easily 95% qualify to be labelled as dead-but-not-yet-buried. 

Resurrecting the Perfect Resume, Part Two

Are you in denial about the lifelessness of your resume?  If you are reasonably qualified for the type of work you seek, yet your resume is consistently failing to win you interviews, then you need to face the reality that your beloved document is dead. 

The Musketeer Approach

Stories of intrigue, treachery, politics, lies, double crosses, and power struggles fill the history books, much like they fill today?s headlines. In the world of the 17th century musketeer, life depended on who you could trust. In the world of the 21st century employee, one?s livelihood may.   I?m not naïve to corporate politics, competition, or sabotage in the workplace. I?ve held my own in corporations where silos, turf wars and power brokers delivered indigestion, sleepless nights, and distrusting cultures. But I still don?t get it. When people are more focused on what?s happening in the cube next to them than on achieving corporate goals, everyone loses. When corporate politics fill emails with mixed direction stalling productivity, everyone loses. And when discretionary effort and new ideas are swallowed in pits of bureaucracy, guess what? Everyone loses. The way I see it, if the company fails, we all fail.   So, I believe the Three Musketeers got it right: ?All for one and one for all!" Each understood his fate as an individual was tied to their fate as a group. Trusting each other was unambiguous. One was in trouble, they all were in trouble. One needed help, they all provided help. One succeeded, they all succeeded. The fiction of Alexandre Dumas, set in the 17th century, seems a good prescription for the 21st century workplace.   I know it?s worked for me. Arriving at a new job, I discovered the boss who hired me was away, and no one expecting me. I found no office, no desk, and no information. The person I was hired to replace was in my job, and had no idea I was replacing her. Each week got worse. Information and requests flowed like water through a clogged pipe. I was out of the loop on important issues and viewed like the enemy. Turning to my boss for guidance was like stepping into a sink hole, as I discovered his credibility and the department?s lacking.   I realized if I was to survive, I had to find, win over, and/or develop a handful of people I could trust. It took a difficult year, but the payoff lasted an entire career. Gradually the group of trusted colleagues grew. We never thought of ourselves as musketeers, but by our actions, we became them. Unspoken rules of ethics and integrity prevailed. We looked beyond individual interests. We shared ideas, collaborated on projects, borrowed resources, and worked together easily and enthusiastically. We wanted the best for each other and the best for the company, each of us worrying about more than our own five acres.   Unspoken commitments prevailed. If I was in trouble or asked for help, help was given. I was called upon to step up and provide help too. We all knew our musketeer roles required reciprocity. The bottom line was that helping each other succeed, helped each of us succeed. I don?t know where I?d be today without the musketeer approach. My advice? Become a musketeer!   (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell.  All rights reserved.  

A Job is Not a Job

It only happened on Mondays. Sometimes I escaped the unpleasant ritual. But, more often than not, right before boarding I threw up in the ladies room of the train station. It wasn't the commute I hated. It was the job.   The reasons don't matter why a job I once enjoyed turned into a job I didn't. It happens. Bosses change, companies change, priorities change, budgets change, responsibilities change. Some changes bring personal growth and opportunity. Some don't.   What does matter was the lesson learned that stayed with me the rest of my career: a job is not just a job. That job I hated helped my checking account. But my confidence, creativity, health, energy for life and view of the world was not as fortunate. When the alarm clock sounded, my previous excitement to face a new day became cocoon-like behavior, both in and out of the covers, wanting protection from another day's battle.  It was safer for those I loved to refrain from sharing important issues or concerns with me, never knowing how I would react.   How you spend a significant part of your day rubs off on the rest of your day, and on those you share your life with. Over time, it rubs off on your life. I'm not talking about temporary potholes and work hiccups that come with change or periods of work intensity, or the interim choices to increase finances, or the normal setbacks and challenges that should be dealt with at work. I'm talking about the long term match between who you are and the job you have. When you're in a job that's good for you, you can feel it. And you can feel it when you're not. I agree with Barbara DeAngeles, "No job is a good job if it isn't good for you."   You see, you can't be winning at working if you don't like what you're doing, where you're doing it, or who you're doing it for. If what you do feels like work the majority of the time, you might want to think about why, and what you can do to change it. That doesn't necessarily mean you should change jobs or companies. Transferring to another team, volunteering for a new project, or asking your boss for new responsibilities may be all it takes.   But, whatever it takes, you won't be able to offer your best you at work and get rewarded with interesting work, personal growth and financial rewards, if you aren't in a good workplace environment and a good position match for who you are, what you want, and what you have to offer.   I've worked in jobs where I couldn't wait until Monday. That's when I'm so excited about the new project or the new idea or the next thing I'm working on that it's not work to me. It's a challenging, interesting, stimulating and fun way to spend my day. And, I'm a lot happier when that's the case.   (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell.  All rights reserved.  

Acceptance is the Answer to All Our Problems

Many people today have lost jobs after decades of service; many others suffer within jobs they can see no way out of. In order to survive a painful job loss ? indeed, any type of painful loss ? we must come to some acceptance. How does one find acceptance amidst the humiliation, shame, despair, fear, grief and uncertainty job loss can invoke?

Career Job Satisfaction - Get Off the Treadmill - Exit Your Rat Race!

Get Off the Treadmill - Exit Your Rat Race!

Networking is the Key to Star Performance in Everything You Do.

Many people's idea of networking relates to the 'size of their Christmas Card List, rather than the quality of their relationship with each person on that list. Similarly those people network, but few reap the rewards of zeroing in on their potential.  Here are some ideas to help fill the gap between where you are now and where you can be.

Networking Masterclass - Part 1 - Practicing Empathy

Practicing Empathy A vital part of your networking skills is your ability to build rapport quickly and effectively with others. To build rapport successfully with another individual you need to understand 'where' they are coming from and have 'empathy' with them.  People often think of empathy as a mystical commodity, a special, almost uncanny ability to experience the thoughts and feelings of someone else.  In fact 'empathy' is quite simply applied imagination and only requires a little exertion and discipline. The next time you are sitting in a room conversing with three or more people, try this very simple activity: Temporarily remove yourself from the conversation.  Be very quiet for a few moments.  Pay particular attention to the person doing the most talking.  Imagine the following things: Imagine the physical sensations the speaker is experiencing.  Mentally place yourself in that person's body, sitting or standing in a particular position, eating the same food, drinking the same drink.  Mentally become that person.  Do you feel energised? Tired? Irritated? Imagine what kind of day the speaker has had - using all your knowledge about the speakers' day. If you know little about the person, guess.  Continue to imagine yourself as that person.  How does your day colour and affect what you are saying? Imagine the person's relationship's to everyone in the room - including yourself. Continue to mentally be that person.  What kind of feelings are generated by the people around you? How do they affect the things you say? Now step back into yourself and rejoin the scene.  Does your own role in the conversation feel different?  Empathy, like memory is a creative act, not a mystical property and it requires imagination and practice.  It lies within the grasp of all of us.

Networking Masterclass - Part 2 Practicing Altruism

Practicing Altruism The 'Golden Rule' occurred in the Greek and Chinese cultures thousands of years before the Christian era: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  The spirit of the Golden Rule is one of generosity and altruism and is at the heart of any personal networking and 'right' living.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said 'To have a friend, you have to be one', and his words are as true today as they ever were.  You can test this out yourself by completing the following simple exercise: List ten people you know best: People You Know Best: H/N S/U1.      2.      3.      4.      5.      6.      7.      8.      9.      10.       After each name, write an 'H' if the person is happy, or an 'N' if the person is not happy. Then write an 'S' if the person is selfish or a 'U' for unselfish. Rimland in Psychological Reports (51); Brain/Mind Bulletin 1983 defines 'selfish' as "A stable tendency to devote one's time and resources to one's own interests and welfare - an unwillingness to inconvenience oneself for others."  In his experimental study the 2000 individuals who completed this exercise reported very few individuals who were both happy and selfish. The findings represent an interesting paradox. Selfish people are, by definition, those whose activities are devoted to bringing themselves happiness. Yet at least as judged by others, these selfish people are far less likely to be happy than those whose efforts are devoted to making others happy. So the Golden Rule in networking, as in life is if you think about the other person rather than yourself, not only is that going to increase your empathy/rapport skills but it will make you a much more attractive person to know and be a magnet for personal happiness.

Networking Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

'Fear of rejection' is the major reason why individuals looking for a career change hesitate to use networking as the most powerful weapon in their job search armoury.  This is even the case with senior people who you would have thought anybody would be delighted to receive a call from.  In 99.9% of cases this fear is unfounded - most professional people are pleased to receive calls from like-minded people and are a pleasure and delight to talk to.

What Your Guidance Counselor, Career Counselor, and Own Mother Probably Never Told You...

The alarm clock jars you awake at some insanely early hour. As you hit the snooze button you think, "there's gotta be a better way to make a living." As someone who rolled out of bed this morning at 8:30, I'm here to deliver the good news: there is.  A lot of people dream of escaping "Dilbert's world" and being their own boss. Perhaps the biggest reason these dreams get derailed is money. Or, more accurately, faulty thinking about what it means to "make a living." I'm no exception. For a long time I thought before I could take the leap to self-employment, I had to first figure out a venture that would generate the same amount of income as I was then earning.  Develop Multiple Profit Centers Not so, says Barbara Winter, self-bosser and author of Making a Living Without a Job Winter is an enthusiastic advocate of what she calls "multiple profit centers." Instead of thinking in terms of a single income, i.e. a "job," Winter recommends aspiring entrepreneurs develop several income sources.   Outdoor enthusiast and neighbor Bob Sadowski is living proof that you can have your cake and eat it too. Bob lives on 80 acres in rural Plainfield, MA where he's parlayed his life passions into his livelihood. When not running New England Bob's Snowmobile Tours of Quebec snowmobiling tours throughout Quebec (one covers nearly 1,100 miles) this vintage car enthusiast specializes in buying and selling antique car and truck parts out of his barn. Today my income comes from five sources: 1) I publish eBooks and other resources for other people looking to take the leap from having a job to having a life. 2) I do telephone consultations with people from literally all over world on how to turn what you love to do into income.  3) Drawing upon research I did in graduate school, I've established myself as an expert on the topic of women?s self-limiting patterns and philosophies. Now I'm asked to deliver my How to Feel As Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are for such diverse organizations as American Women in Radio and Television, Bristol Myers Squibb, and MIT. 4) I get paid to deliver other people's seminars. My biggest client for freelance training is my former employer, a company called Time/Design. Time/Design hires me to fly around the country to lead their one-day course called Time Management to Focus Management for such clients like Ruby Tuesdays, Georgio Armani, and the US Army. 5) I seek out other products Keep Your Day Job  Maybe you aren't interested in quitting your job but you like the idea of not having all your eggs in one basket. When traveling to San Francisco, I stay in an apartment in a lovely hilltop home in the Ashbury Heights section of the city. The owner is a Bay area native who, in addition to teaching reading to grade schoolers (which she absolutely loves), has set up several additional sources of income.   For one, she rents the in-law apartment to tourists through the local B&B association on per night basis earning considerably more than she would with a year-round tenant. For weekend and summer time income, she parlayed her knowledge and love of the city into a personal tour guide business with a steady stream of customers right in her own home. She even takes in a few extra bucks renting videos to her overnight guests.  Maybe you don't really like your job but can't afford to just up and quit. Say your long-range goal is to make $50,000. You don't need to be a math whiz to know there are different ways you can slice and dice this. For simplicity sake, though, let's say you decide to set up five income streams, each generating $10,000. Since you'll be building your multiple income streams while you're still gainfully employed, starting two side businesses simultaneously is probably about your max time-wise. What you now have is a monthly goal for each business of just over $800. That's $200 a week. If making $20,000 a year seemed daunting, Winter says, psychologically earning $200 is more feasible: "Knowing what your financial goal is makes it easier to determine what action you'll need to take to accomplish it."  So what are you waiting for? It's your life!

Want to Work for Yourself? Those Dream Jobs Dont Just Happen, Theyre Created

While traveling in northern California last October, I happened to tune into a local newscast. The newscaster was telling his co-anchor that the speaker at that morning's Rotary Club meeting had to cut his presentation short because he was being flown down to Disneyland to carve elaborate Halloween pumpkins for the park festivities. The newscaster wrapped up the story with the familiar quip, "Nice work if you can get it." He got the first part right. For a creative kid-at-heart, being a professional pumpkin carver is a dream come true. It was his serendipitous "if you can get it" thinking that missed the mark. The fact is, people rarely "get" great work; they create it! Despite all the emphasis on growth in the "job sector" I am continually amazed at just how many fascinating alternatives there are to the whole 9-to-5 schtick. And just as traditional job seekers can't wait around for "Mr. Job" to knock on the door, people who want to do satisfying work ? and call their own shots ? need to be proactive as well. Francis Bacon defined a wise man as one who "makes more opportunities than he finds." Here's a couple of other wise entrepreneurs who made it by going for it. Sports-lover Don Shoenewald was just 18 when he went to the Philadelphia Eagles management wearing a homemade Eagle costume and asking for a mascot job. They weren't interested. Undaunted, Shoenewald kept showing up at Eagles football games. Pretty soon the fans adopted him as the unofficial (meaning, "unpaid") mascot. Thirteen paid team mascot jobs, four mascot character creations (including ones for the New Jersey Devils and the San Jose Sharks), and 18 years later, Shoenewald started Mascot Mania, the only professional training school for mascots in the world. Despite what your high school guidance counselor might have told you, showing up invited in a bird costume isn't the only route to self-employment. For Dan Zawacki it all began when he was working as a sales rep for Honeywell and decided to give away 120 live lobsters as gifts to his customers. Dan was so bowled over by the response that he decided to open a small side business shipping live lobsters complete with pot, crackers, butter and bibs to crustacean-lovers from coast-to-coast. That is until his boss heard him pitching Lobster Gram, Inc. on a local radio station and promptly fired him. In the beginning, Dan worked out of his bedroom, storing his lobsters in a used tank in his father's garage. His first year he netted only $4,000. Ten years later, his company sells about 9,000 lobster packages a year for $99 plus shipping. All and all, not a bad tale. If you dream of making the transition from employee to self-bosser, the first thing you need to do is belief that you can. Then, the next time you see some entrepreneur doing what they love, try thinking: "Nice work ? now, all I have to do is get it!

Changing Careers? How to Get Around the Three Major Mental Roadblocks to Success

A part of you can't wait to dive into your new career -- but you're also smart enough to know that you can expect a few bumps along the road to success. By far, the biggest roadblocks exist between your own two ears!

Fascinating Ways to Make a Living Doing What You Love May Be Closer Than You Think...

You don?t have to look very far to find fascinating ways to make a living. Opportunities are literally everywhere? if you?re looking, that is. It seems I can?t turn on the television or radio or open a magazine or newspaper without seeing at least one good business idea. Maybe that?s why, as we were winding down a consulting session the other day, one of my clients said to me, ?Boy, you sure have a lot of information in your head.? I appreciated the compliment, but Julie was only half right. When you?ve been in the business of helping people change course for as long as I have, it?s only natural I?d know a lot about creative income streams. But most of them aren?t in my head ? they?re in my Opportunity File.What?s an Opportunity File? Basically anytime I happen upon an interesting story about someone who is making money doing what they love, I add it to a big file called Opportunities. If you don?t yet have an Opportunity File, I encourage you to set one up. It?s positively addicting!I thought it might be fun to just pull a couple of examples from the top of my Opportunity file and share them with you. Since they?re on top, that means I?ve come across them in just the last week or so. Collecting is all the rage these days. As I looked more closely at my top of the pile examples, I realized that in one way or another, they all have something to do with collecting. Read on and you?ll see what I mean.First there?s antique Christmas decorations collector, Gerald Nixon (aka Mr. Pink? I?ll explain in a moment). Gerald had so many antique Christmas decorations in his personal collection that he finally had to open a shop just so he could move about his apartment. Today he has over 10,000 ornaments as well as light reflectors, aluminum trees, rotating color wheels, rotating musical tree stands, vintage holiday cards, and wrapping paper. Okay, why is he called Mr. Pink? Well, it seems the guy owns a very fuzzy pink Santa suit that he happily dons every weekend in December. You can imagine how many tourists ask to have their picture taken with him! You can visit Gerald at his shop in Manhattan at 223 16th Street or online at  If you hurry, you may even catch him in his furry pink suit!And speaking of winter? after his grandfather died and left him his old wooden skis, Mark Miller began collecting vintage skis. Soon neighbors in his small hometown in New Hampshire started dropping off their old skis. Then Mark began buying skis at auctions. Before long, he had over 100 pairs!In 1994, he decided to turn his hobby into a business and moved himself and his collection to Park City, Utah, where he became a ski instructor. Today Mark has the largest collection of antique winter sports equipment in the world. Two warehouses hold his collection of 3,000 pairs of skis, 2,000 pairs of snowshoes, 500 vintage sleds, and 400 pairs of wooden skates.Increasingly, Mark?s collection comes from Europe where he managed to track down 500 pairs of American snow shoes used by the Army?s 10th Mountain Division in World War II. The shoes were just sitting in an old barn in Turkey. Mark does all the refinishing work himself before selling his vintage finds through his web site at and through home décor shops in four western states. The next opportunity I found in an article in FSB magazine about hot franchises. I?m not usually very interested in franchises. I?ve got nothing against them mind you? it?s just hard for me to picture someone who wakes up in the morning excited about opening their own Subway or Jiffy Lube shop. On the other hand, franchises can be the ideal solution for someone who basically wants to run his or her own business but doesn?t want to build something from scratch.Anyway, it was my keen interest in recycling that peaked my curiosity about Canadian Brian Scudamore?s franchise entirely geared around turning trash into cash. Brian got into the business of clearing out unwanted things from people?s basements, garages, attics and the like when he was 19 and still in college. He bought an old truck for $700, and in an attempt to make his business sound bigger than it was, he named it Rubbish Boys. (Even though Brian was the only rubbish boy he thought big). His business was so successful, he ended up dropping out of school to haul junk full time.The junk hauling business itself is nothing new. But over time Brian got the bright idea of modernizing the business with uniformed drivers driving fancy trucks who show up when they say they will. So he decide to start a company called Got-Junk (think UPS but with junk pick up). Today this 33-year-old?s Vancouver-based company is one of the fastest growing franchises in North America with 74 territories ? most in the U.S. Is there really that much money in junk? This year Got-Junk expects to post revenues system-wide of $12.6 million. To learn more, go to A lot of people skip over articles or entire publications if they don?t see an immediate application to their life. Not me. The more unrelated to my life, the more intrigued I am. Case in point was a supplement in my local paper that was dedicated to equestrians. I like horses and all, but am not even remotely connected to the horse world.While I scanned the articles, what I was really drawn to were the advertisements. Why? Ads reveal all kinds of interesting ways people with a particular interest have found a way to earn a living. Among the ads for such obvious businesses as tack shops and veterinarians was an ad for ?quality equine laundry.? Who knew?I quickly discovered that the company will ?clean, refurbish, and return each blanket spotless, repaired, and wrapped with tissue in a zippered plastic case.? They also promise to make Velcro stick again and to air-dry the blankets on a special rack to avoid shrinkage. This enterprising company will arrange for pick up anywhere in New England.   This last one is not so much about collecting things as it is about collecting and using experience. A headline in my local paper featured a guy who recently bought a local trophy and engraving shop. I don?t have a big need for trophies, but I know when it comes to entrepreneurs, there?s always more to a story than the headline. I was right. It seems the new shop keeper, 51-year-old Russell Wilkinson, has had a pretty varied background. According to the article, Russell has worked in construction, been an electrician, owned his own shoe repair shop, been a security chief at a local park, delivered packages for UPS, owned a local restaurant, and trained to be a scuba diving instructor in Key West. People often ask Russell why he doesn?t just get a regular job. His reply? ?If I?d done that, it would have been the biggest waste of the most expensive education a person can have.? Russell?s story serves as a good reminder that despite all the pressure to find that one thing you?re good at and then stick to it for the rest of your life, having a varied occupational life can make life a whole lot more interesting.It also reminds us that no experience is wasted. So many people went to school for things that have nothing to do with the work they do today? myself included. I never view past training, jobs, or even relationships as wasted time. All of our past experience adds up to who we are today.Do you want to work at something you truly love? Opportunities are all around you. Get a note pad and a file folder and start your own Opportunities File. Let it be a source of inspiration and ideas.

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