Archive for February, 2009

As I’ve mentioned several times, there are plenty of jobs out there; that’s not the big problem. The big problem is that there are millions more people chasing those jobs.

California has an unemployment rate over 9%, yet look at this story about a job fair that was recently held in San Francisco.

Hundreds Attend San Francisco Job Fair

San Francisco Job Fair Showcases 1700 Openings

San Francisco Job Fair Showcases 1700 Openings

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — With unemployment at 9 percent in California and Bay Area companies laying off workers daily, it seems unlikely that there would be job opportunities. But you would be wrong.

Hundreds of people lined up for a chance to apply for 1,700 job openings offered Tuesday at the HIREvent job fair at San Francisco’s Hotel Whitcomb.


Great news, 1700 job openings and employers giving interviews on site, or is it? Imagine being out of work and heading to a job fair to find something. The next thing you know, you find yourself in an interview you haven’t properly prepared for. I don’t know about you, but I’d be stressed.

Hopefully, you won’t end up being interviewed by this guy from BMC software, who gives candidates the “silent treatment” in order to get them to cough up confidential information!

Job Interviews and the Power of Silence

From COMPUTERWORLD by Jane Howze (February 10, 2009)

“Another technique Settle [the BMC interviewer] uses in job interviews is silence. In the 1980s, while working for gasoline company Arco, Settle learned to leverage the power of silence in job interviews. He had seen a training video on how to interview people for jobs and was shocked by how much time interviewers spent talking when the purpose of the interview was to get the job seeker talking. He realized that if he could hold his tongue and not fill breaks in the conversation with his own voice, the job seeker-uncomfortable with the silence-would fill in those pauses with more candid, unrehearsed information about themselves.


Unfortunately, stress is clearly on the uptick in America and that will make it even more difficult to perform on the job. And if you’re out of work, or your job is at risk, the stress can be parallelizing. Take a look at this 2-2-2009 Marilyn Elias story from USA Today.

As economic fears rise, families on verge of unraveling

“I’ve never seen this level of anxiety and depression in 22 years of practice,” says Nancy Molitor, a psychologist in Wilmette, Ill. “The mental health fallout has been far worse than after 9/11.”

Holding it together: Pam Salter sings to son Braddock, 2, in the family's 300-square-foot trailer in Tacoma, Wash. "Always there's this anxiety in the background," she says. "It's like you're constantly in a state of emergency."

Holding it together: Pam Salter sings to son Braddock, 2, in the family's 300-square-foot trailer in Tacoma, Wash. "Always there's this anxiety in the background," she says. "It's like you're constantly in a state of emergency."

There has been a sharp rise in mental trauma even among those who still have jobs: The demand for therapists surged 40% from June to December – driven largely by money-related fears – at ComPsych, which runs the nation’s largest employee-assistance mental-health program, says ComPsych chairman and CEO Richard Chaifetz. Nearly half of Americans said they were more stressed than a year ago, and about one-third rated their stress level as “extreme” in surveys out in September from the American Psychological Association. That was before the stock-market dive.

Meanwhile, financial advisers say they’re finding themselves in a new abnormal “normal.” John Jones, a financial planner at ComPsych, says he’s referring many more workers to counselors. “They start crying. They tell me they’re not eating or sleeping. One even said about his family, ‘They’d be better off without me,’ ” Jones says. Many colleagues around the USA are having the same experience, he adds.


So, how do you manage this heightened level of stress, particularly if you’re out of work and need to find a job to feed your family? That is the topic of The Career Mechanic show this week.


The Career Mechanic – Building Careers Under Stress

The economic meltdown is now well over 6 months old. The President tells us “help is on the way,” but you look around and nothing has changed. Every day brings news of deeper cutbacks and all you can do is worry; you worry about your job, worry about your bills, worry about your family. Do you fold and let the stress break you, or take control of your destiny and DEAL WITH IT? This week Dave Horne will be joined by Dr. Paul Powers, career author and psychologist. They’ll discuss techniques for thriving in a high pressure interview and coping with stress in today’s economy.


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Although people start new businesses all the time, it seems to me that the best stories all seem to be begin with a lay off in a bad job market. Well, today we have a bad job market and undoubtedly, there are people out there who are taking the big plunge and becoming first time entrepreneurs, or as I like to call them, Entrepreneurs Under Fire.

This week’s Career Mechanic Show, highlights three true stories from across the country that all have had happy endings – at least so far.

The Dog Dish, Tulsa Oklahomadog-dish

Bill Handy used to wear a suit. He was laid off from Williams at about the same time he and his wife opened this store. Seven years later, The Dog Dish is going strong. This seems like an obvious spot to get advice.

“First of all, catch your breath,” Bill says. “Because it’s emotionally devastating to be told you’re no longer wanted at that company. That’s how it feels. But, the reality of it is when they come through on the other side, they realize they’ve been successful at what they’ve done and the value of something new and being able to start over is huge. And, most of the time, they love their new careers.”


Axed In New York City

dog-walker Even as more and more large companies hand out pink slips, budding do-it-yourselfers are starting new businesses – some of them far different from the jobs they used to hold.

A former Wall Street executive now is walking dogs instead of making deals. A laid-off banker is offering soothing massages. Earlier this month, a former marketing executive – and mother – started a business that helps other moms find work.


Russian Chef Shares His Secret Saucerussian-chef

I came to the United States from Sochi, Russia, 14 years ago and was employed by a major Treasure Valley corporation. With the recent downturn in the economy, I took the opportunity to achieve a goal of starting my own business.

My wife, Svetlana, who is from Belarus and was employed at the same company, was an outstanding cook (and note that I said cook and not chef). We discussed several possible ventures but finally decided that we would open a restaurant specializing in Russian food.

Business plans were an alien concept for us. So were the myriad issues and decisions required to open a small business. In Russia, you pay some minister rubles and the next day you open your restaurant.


The Career Mechanic – Becoming An Entrepreneur Under Fire

Nothing shakes the soul like losing your job in a bad economy. Some people just lick their wounds and look for another job, but then there are others who silently scream – I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! They take the bold move to start their own business and thus become an Entrepreneur Under Fire. This week Dave Horne will be joined by Joan Koerber Walker, Founder and CEO of Core Purpose — a company focused on entrepreneur success. They’ll discuss the process of selecting your own business, franchises, and the road map for getting started.

CLICK HERE to listen to this week’s The Career Mechanic

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The Career Mechanic

My first radio talk show episode aired today.

The Career Mechanic – Finding A Job In A Down Economy      
Every day we hear about another massive lay-off. Who could possibly find a job in this horrible job market? Well you can, if you use the right technique. This week Dave Horne will be joined by John Davies, author of The $100,000+ Career. John will discuss his revolutionary strategy for “introduction based networking,” along with some valuable insights to one of the fastest growing job markets in 2009. Next Week: The Entrepreneurial Alternative with Joan Koerber Walker, CEO of the Opportunity through Entrepreneurship Foundation.

You can click here to listen.

The Career Mechanic

The Career Mechanic



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Unless you’re living in a cave, you know that every major company in the United States (and probably the world) has announced plans for massive lay-offs.

What you may not realize is that these lay-offs almost always create new job openings in the company that’s doing the slashing. When I first witnessed this, I was dumbfounded, but then I saw it happen over and over again and I realized it was not only true, but actually a pretty good idea.

Here’s what happens. A company figures it needs to cut 750 jobs to get its cost in line with decreased sales expectations. It also knows that the remaining employees will be demoralized and their productivity will wane as they gossip about further cuts and/or start looking for another job.

Most executives secretly believe that the bottom 10-15% of their employees are actually deadwood. In other words, the company would be better off without them. So instead of laying off 750 employees, they lay off 800 (or more) and then actually create 50+ new job openings.

This strategy enables them to reallocate headcount by “giving” the new job openings to top performing departments and perhaps ask underperforming units to take deeper cuts.

It also sends a couple of important messages to the remaining workforce. First, it says “this company is not dead, in fact we’re actually growing in a strategic way.” Second, the arrival of positive thinking new employees shakes up the whiners and gets them thinking about the future again. After all, if a smart new guy or gal is excited about joining your company, perhaps you should be grateful to have a job!

Of course, simply knowing that there are millions of secret job openings out there doesn’t do you much good if you can’t find them. To make matters worse, all of those people who were laid off are now flooding every company’s understaffed Personnel Department with resumes.

The trick is to find the coveted “back door” to these hidden job openings.

Enter Jobfox.com

I was doing some research to find job openings that appear during the recession and I found a great article detailing fields that they believe will grow as a result of President Obama’s stimulus package.

After reading the article, I “followed the food chain” to the author and discovered a new company called Job Fox that connects people with potential employers using a unique model. They call it the Mutual Suitability SystemTM and they actually have a patent pending on the design.

The company was founded by Rob McGovern  who also founded careerbuilder.com. He has a great background and that leads me to believe

Rob McGovern

Rob McGovern

that jobfox.com might actually work!

If you’re looking for a job and you want to hunt down some of those newly created hidden job opportunities, give jobfox.com a try.

Oh yeah, here’s the story on Obama driven jobs…

The Obama Effect: New Job Trends to Watch in 2009

Jobfox, the Internet’s fastest-growing job site, predicts the job sectors most likely to grow as a result of Obama administration’s economic initiatives.

McLean, Va. (December 17, 2008)- Jobfox, the Internet’s fastest-growing career site, predicts the top Obama-inspired new job trends to watch in 2009. The list includes the job sectors and key professions that are most likely to grow as a result of President-elect Barack Obama’s economic stimulus policies.

The Obama administration has said it will “hit the ground running” with what experts project to be a $700 billion job stimulus package. The new administration’s goals are to create or save 2.5 million jobs over the next two years.

According to Jobfox, the most wanted new jobs, listed by major Obama initiatives, will include:

Initiative: Construction of Roads, Bridges, Transit and Rural Broadband

Key Jobs:

  1. Construction managers
  2. Project managers
  3. Civil engineers
  4. Computer-aided drafting specialists
  5. Telecommunications engineers

Initiative: Greater Oversight of Financial Markets

Key Jobs:

  1. Compliance accountants
  2. Internal auditors
  3. Tax accountants
  4. Government regulators

Initiative: Energy Independence

Key Jobs:

  1. Electrical engineers
  2. Mechanical engineers
  3. Power grid managers
  4. Biofuels chemists
  5. Sales and marketing

Initiative: Healthcare Modernization

Key Jobs:

  1. Nurses
  2. Information technology specialists
  3. Bioinformatics specialists
  4. Information security specialists
  5. Software developers

Initiative: Volunteerism and Community Involvement

Key Jobs:

  1. Social workers
  2. Administrators
  3. Translators

“Epic changes are ahead throughout the professional landscape,” said Rob McGovern, CEO of Jobfox. “It’s just like 1991, when we didn’t know the Internet was coming. New job titles will emerge, many of which haven’t been invented yet. Savvy professionals will be prepared to take advantage of new opportunities.”

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