Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Job-hunting success stories uncovered during lunch

It appears to be so easy for the coworkers in my department to eat their lunches at their desks. We work on a floor below most of the company, and I've made an effort recently to head upstairs to the break room to eat my lunch with other people.

I have also spent time asking some of my fellow employees about their work. This is probably made easier to do because these individuals were all recently hired. I like to ask about their work backgrounds, and how they found out about the job they have now.

I'm finding that people are so much more interesting as you get to know them than they initially appear on the surface. Isn't that so true?

Here are some recent examples how some of these people got that job:

  • J. worked for a worker's compensation managed care group that our company has used. Her boss knows our VP of Operations personally, since they regularly eat business lunches together, etc. When that company recently downsized, J. was left unemployed. That afternoon, her boss ate lunch with our VP of Operations, who also knew of her work, and, since we had a position to fill, hired her on the spot. So she was unemployed for 1 whole hour!
  • S. had worked for over 20 years for the LA Times circulation group before retiring in 2001. Needing to supplement her income, she worked as a temp for a payroll processing company in California. Friends in Ohio begged her to move here, and she did so last fall. Having heard about our company while at her previous job, she stopped by the office, having seen the sign from the highway. She went in and asked for a job, for which, the company indeed did have an opening.
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

You are a business unit

I've been reading David Schwartz's book The Magic of Thinking Big, and I'm currently going through a chapter about goals. We all should approach our lives the way businesses do when it comes to setting goals. Here's an excerpt from the chapter I'm reading:

Like the progressive corporation, plan ahead. You are in a sense a business unit. Your talent, skills, and abilities are your 'products.' You want to develop your products, so they command the highest possible price. Forward planning will do it.

Here are two steps which will help:
First, visualize your future in terms of three departments: work, home, and social. Dividing your life this way keeps you from becoming confused, prevents conflicts, helps you look at the whole picture.

Second, demand of yourself clear, precise answers to these questions:
  1. What do I want to accomplish with my life?
  2. What do I want to be?
  3. What does it take to satisfy me?
Just like in any business unit, there is sure to be integration among the departments, but this example really has me thinking about my own life. I have been reluctant to set goals in the past because I've had a low self-confidence. Now that it's gotten much better, I'm thinking BIG and ready to set goals.

How about you? What do you think of all this?

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ten ways to improve your job hunt

Jason just pointed me to Penelope Trunk's latest column, "Ten Ways to Improve Your Job Hunt". Now I'm pointing you there.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hear me talk about my job search!

I was recently interviewed on the Career Opportunities LIVE! podcast by Douglas Welch this past Friday.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Find Your Ideal Career

While driving home from work yesterday, I listened to the Buckeye Drive Time podcast, #122. If you're not familiar with the format, Tom Rockhold shares an Ohio moment, three podsafe songs - songs that independent music artists have permitted to be played on a podcast, and three podcast promos - audio commercials for other podcasts. It's designed to be a drive-time alternative to mainstream radio.

One of the promos I heard yesterday was for Find Your Ideal Career, which I found really intriguing. Michael Spremulli helps college students figure out what they want and discover their ideal career path, sometimes referred to as the "Simon Cowell of personality profiling". It looks like the podcast is brand new; I haven't listened to it myself yet.

I'd have to imagine that the show could be useful to anyone wanting some more advice on their own career assessment, whether you're in college or not. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

You Are the Star of Your Show!

Okay, I realize this might sound a bit weird...

Some of you may know that I host and produce the Journey Inside My Mind Podcast, which I have done for over a year now. At the end of the theme, before the opening monologue, I have an audio clip that I created that goes like this:

Man:What happens when a man goes through his own portal?

Woman:We'll see.

Announcer: Get ready... here's Dan Johnson!
(applause and sound of kids cheering)
I love having that clip because it gets me charged up and ready to move on with the show.

I recently have started using that same audio clip as the Start Windows sound for my computer. So now, as I boot up my machine and log in, I get introduced!

Like I said, it may sound a bit weird. Maybe even a little corny. I don't care. It charges me up for doing work.

What does this have to do with a job search? Well, in the same way, we all are the stars of our own show. Every day you get to live is a new palette for you to carve out a masterpiece. I think that how you approach it says a lot for your effectiveness. Sometimes we need something to inspire us to get started.

What inspires you to make it a great day?

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Office features to help you get a new job

Inside Office Online reports that they are featuring a package on everything Microsoft Office has to offer to help you get a new job. I have not checked it out myself, but I thought I'd share the news with you here.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Employee Rights on Findlaw

I was searching for legal information on employee agreements and came upon the Employee Rights Center at I must check this stuff out. It looks like they have resources available to the public related to all aspects of the job searching and employment process.

Speaking of employee agreements, and the reason why I did the search in the first place, I'm wondering what the legal ramifications of striking out certain items of an employee agreement are.

Anyone out there with knowledge in this area?

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Keeping the Career Manager Mindset While Employed

Here's a thought to consider, which I'm just throwing out here without a lot of proofreading or editing: you just got or have been working at a job working as a full-time employee. With benefits and a regular salary. How can you maintain the "consultant/independent contractor" mentality now that you've become part of such an organization? I'd like to know what ways work to stay in that "I'm my own career manager" mindset.

Feel free to comment.

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