Career E-News: October 2008 

Monthly E-zine of Career and Job Search Coaching for Executives & Professionals

In this issue:
Thanks for Your Referrals!
Managing Your Career in Tough Times
Joellyn Recommends: (Company Culture Research Tool)
Career Action Planning Breakthrough Session
Quote of the Month: On "Change"
Applause - ClappingCareer Success
Story of the Month
Dear Joellyn,
We've worked together since October 2001 during my senior year of college. You've really helped me uncover my strengths, articulate my value, and showcase my accomplishments on my résumé.  
In February 2006, I promoted from Account Representative to Regional Sales Manager within my company. This resulted in higher levels of responsibility, being able to do more group and individual training with my sales team -- which I really enjoy -- as well as a substantial raise in salary.
Thanks for all your help!!!!

Kevin A. Ragan - Regional Sales Manager, Replacement Sales - Hertz Corporation
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Greetings!                           Joellyn in Black Suit 
According to the news media, our economy is making a slow ascent in recovering from the recent financial upheavals. In a article (dated Oct 15) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a speech before the Economic Club of New York, "he believes the steps taken by the Treasury Department, the Fed and Congress in recent weeks provide policymakers with the "tools" they need to fix the recent crisis in financial and credit markets."
Of course, national financial crises can cause people to feel uncertain about the future of their jobs and careers.
  What we do know for sure is this: aside from unemployment compensation, it is unlikely that government will bail us out, should our careers become derailed. Nevertheless, you can put a plan into place to recession-proof and control your career, with the goal of staying employed or being able to quickly bounce-back from job loss.  My brand new article: "Managing Your Career in Tough Times" will show you how.
Scoping out a company's workplace culture is critical, before you accept a new position.
There are many ways you can do this, from making observations during job interviews, to querying people on social networking sites.  Another fr*ee  tool you can use to research workplace culture is a website called Scroll down for details!        
Are you stuck, stalled or confused in your career? A Career Action Planning Breakthrough Session may be just what you need to move you forward. 
Here's to your Career Success!
:-) Joellyn
P.S.: A great big "Welcome!" to all the new readers who subscribed since last month! You're going to love the resources you'll find here to help you find greater career success...Enjoy!
question mark jpeg Thanks for Your Referrals!

Many thanks to those who have referred family, friends, colleagues, acquaintences, and resources to me, including:
  • Suzanne Somma
  • Alexandra Puzio
Managing Your Career in Tough Times 
by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin 
Today's labor market is shaky, with Applause - Clappingunemployment at 6.1% (as of September 2008) and turmoil from the financial markets, which could cause more layoffs and businesses to shut down. You wonder: "Will my company be next? If so, will I be one of those people who gets a pink slip?"  Or: "What will I do if my business fails? " Aside from unemployment compensation, It's doubtful that the government will bail you out, like it is doing with Wall Street.
Clearly, the world of work has changed. "Job security" as we know it is disappearing. Companies have to be leaner and meaner to be competitive globally; employees become casualties, when companies have to cut expenses. As a result, people change jobs more frequently than in previous years; it has become more the exception than the rule, to be employed at one company for life. With the rise in the temporary and contract employment industry, this also indicates a shift toward "free agents" vs. "direct hires."  
In today's tough times, the only one you can count on to take care of your career - is you!  In the words of Brian Tracy: "The biggest mistake we could ever make in our lives is to think we work for anybody but ourselves." That said, begin to treat your job and career as though you are "self-employed" whether you file a 1099 or 1040 tax form. So, it's time to take control of your career to help keep your job -- or bounce back quickly from job loss -- should the inevitable happen. Here's how:
1) Make yourself indispensable -- and visible -- to your employer, clients and customers.  As yourself why they should hire you -- or keep you on the payroll -- if you see that layoff may be on the horizon. How can you be more recognizable in your organization instead of hiding in your cubicle? How can you go the "extra mile" for a co-worker or client? Never say "it's not my job." Be the first one to raise your hand, to chair or help with a volunteer effort in your organization. Keep a "Career Accomplishments Portfolio" which should include: success stories where you've added to your company's bottom line;  proof of your educational and training credentials; awards or patents you've received; performance evaluations; letters of recommendation; client testimonials; press releases; pictures of products you've created; publications you've written; or copies of articles where you've been written up or quoted. This information will come in handy for résumé content, upcoming performance evaluations or if you have to re-interview for your existing job.    
2) Be sure your skills are current; invest in your own training and education. Get the necessary training now for your field, whether you need to complete a bachelors or master's  degree, take a course JavaScript, a seminar in Sarbanes-Oxley, or learn PowerPoint. Take advantage of tuition reimbursement, if your company offers it. However, if this is not an option for you, figure out how to finance the education or training yourself.  
3) Have an updated résumé ready-to-go. Update your résumé every 6-12 months, whether you're changing jobs or not. Add new responsibilities, achievements, training, awards, testimonials, and the like. Don't worry about having your résumé in perfect form. Just keep a basic working document on file, which you can customize for each employment opportunity, as they arise. You never know when a "hot" career opportunity will present itself and the decision-maker needs to see your résumé ASAP. If your résumé is critically out-of-date, you will be ill-prepared to hit the job market running, and you may be forced to put together a "quickie" résumé, which probably won't sell you to your best advantage. So, be proactive instead of falling victim to a crisis mode -- and update your résumé ahead of time, while you are gainfully employed or financially able to manage your life during a period of unemployment.
4) Accumulate an emergency cash reserve. Unemployment compensation is rarely enough to cover basic expenses. So, be prepared for the inevitable, should you become unemployed or if your business slows down. If you're a direct company employee, this reserve should be equivalent of 6 months' salary; if you're a small business owner or self-employed, have a 12-month reserve in the bank to cover your expenses.
5) Build a network before you need it. The biggest mistake some people make about networking is to only do it in a crisis, instead of making it a lifestyle. When they don't get job leads right away, they complain that networking doesn't work. They don't understand that networking is about building mutually-beneficial relationships with others over time. To maintain your network, stay active with your professional associations, clubs and house of worship. Keep in touch with friends and family regularly. Make random phone calls and send informal emails to people in your network, just to say "hi." Send holiday cards, birthday cards and thank you cards. When you really need help from people in your network, they'll be there for you, in a genuine way.
© 2008 
All Rights Reserved.
Joellyn Recommends:  
 (Workplace culture research tool) logo
Uncovering a company's culture is an important part of the job search process. Job seekers who research companies tend to do better in interviews and make better decisions about company fit and potential. allows you to browse employee reviews on companies and check out self-reported salary information. Anyone can look at partial reviews; to view full reviews you need to become a member (it's fr*ee) and either give a company review of your own or share your salary information.
(Source: Fast Track Career Research Newsletter, Fall 2008) 
CAPSessionCareer Action Planning Breakthrough Session

Applause - ClappingAre you stuck, stalled or confused in your career? Do you often say to yourself:  

"If I could just find a satisfying position with decent pay and benefits AND a reasonable expectation of job security -- but this seems so impossible in today's economy."

"My biggest problem is getting interviews. I know the Internet is not the best place to look for a job but my networking contacts never seem to know of any opportunities, either."

"I'm getting interviews but no offers - what am I doing wrong?"  

"Once again, I'm passed over for that promotion. Seems I'll never get ahead in my career."

"I want to change careers but have no idea how to identify my transferable skills - help!"

"The responses to my résumé are few and far between - extremely frustrating!! "

"I have a mixed bag of skills that are hard to sell to prospective employers, so I have to undersell myself to gain employment."

"I've been finding positions I am interested in, but have trouble convincing hiring managers that I have the relevant skills to do the job."
"I never seem to get the salary / compensation package I deserve, based on the years of experience in my field."
There is an underlying root cause about exactly why you find yourself stuck in these situations over and over again -- and it has nothing to do with the economy, your résumé, or "the powers that be."  
To find out more, contact me to schedule your 
"Career Action Planning Breakthrough Session" today!
Within 2 hours, we will get to the root cause of your career problem and come up with a plan to solve it - once and for all. 
To get started, complete the intake form on my website so I can learn more about your unique situation. Otherwise please call me at 508.459.2854 (Eastern  time zone).
I look forward to connecting with you! 
Quote of the Month: On "Change"
New Q
 "Change yourself and your work will seem different."   -- Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (Author: The Power of Positive Thinking)  
 I really appreciate having you as a subscriber and I hope the content in this newsletter will help you be successful in your career. 
See you in November! 


Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin
Certified Career Management Coach

© 2008 All rights reserved.