Career E-News: February 2009 

Monthly E-Zine for People in Career Transition 

Written and Published by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin: The Career Success Coach 
In this issue:
News from "The Office"
Best Job Search Tips from A to Z
Coaching with Joellyn: Get Answers to Your Career Problem in One Session!
Quote of the Month: On "Imagination"
Applause - ClappingCareer Success
Story of the Month
Dear Joellyn,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all of your help.  I truly believe your wonderful efforts helped me to clinch the perfect job!
If you recall, I had experience in customer service with a computer reseller, but was anxiously looking to broaden my horizons if possible. Because of our work together, my résumé really made me stand out as "more than just an experienced Customer Service Representative." In fact, the company that finally hired me had me interview with FIVE different departments because they saw so many different abilities and qualifications.  They were very excited about my résumé and often commented on my "wonderful experience." Again, I have to credit your enhancements!
I am now working at a computer distributor of educational software technology. I was hired into the Merchandising Department as an Account Coordinator.  I'm involved in marketing, vendor management, and promotional-type work.  I love it!  I am very happy and plan to stay there for years to come.  It is a growing company, with lots of potential for me to move onward and upward!
Thank you very much, Joellyn.  Your great work helped me get the perfect job!
Susan S.
Quick Links...
Greetings!                           Joellyn Headshot 2009 
Happy February-- the month of Groundhog Day and Valentine's Day. I recently learned an interesting bit of trivia about Valentine's Day: the first commercial valentine was mass-produced in 1847, right here in Worcester!
Hope you like my new headshot and subtle change of  graphics to coordinate with my new lookMany thanks to my photographer and networking colleague, Jeff Baker (, for his time and patience to create this photo!
Finding and keeping a job in today's challenging labor market requires more effort than posting résumés on job boards, responding to classified ads -- and waiting for responses that may never come.  In my article: Best Job Search Tips from A to Z, I offer an alphabetized list of proactive things you can do and ways of thinking, to accelerate and maximize your efforts. (Side note: this article is newly-revised and updated.)
Whatever career problem you may be struggling with, I can give you answers in one session! 
Scroll down for details!  
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 information you'll find here to help you find greater career success...Enjoy!
Colorful Megaphone News from "The Office"
   "The Career Success Coach" mentioned in Joyce Lain Kennedy's Column: Careers Now
I'm excited to announce that my business was mentioned in Joyce Lain Kennedy's nationally-syndicated career column: Careers Now. The article is: "Two Successful ways to Jump-Start a Hiring Offer."  
Best Job Search Tips from A to Z     
by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin
 1. Access the Hidden Job Market: The hidden job market comprises 75% of the total jobs and perhaps 90% of the best jobs. These jobs materialize from the hiring decision maker communicating about their companies' "problems," "needs," "changes," or "opportunities," but has not advertised "openings" or "vacancies" to the general public. You'll learn about these opportunities from your networking contacts, instead of posting your résumé on job boards - and waiting for responses that may never come.  
 2. Build Your Networking Contact List: Since your best leads to the hidden job market will come from people, it's time to build your contact list. Start with "inner circle" of family, friends, and colleagues: people you already know, who are likely to give you referrals, to others, for additional advice, information, and suggestions; or people in a position to hire you. (See #18: Referral Meetings)
3. Clarify Your Ideal Job: Write about your ideal job or employment situation, whether it exists or not. Include details about your "dream" company (products; services; location; sales volume), your boss, coworkers, team members, salary and benefits. When you're clear about what you want, opportunities will magically appear. (see Law of Attraction, #12).
4. Diversify Your Employment Options. Try temping, contracting or part-time positions, which may lead to a full-time, permanent position. Otherwise, consider starting your own business or consulting practice. You never know where your business ideas may lead. For information on business start-up, contact the SBA or SCORE.
5. Eliminate the "Career Objective" from your Résumé: Replace with a "Professional Title" which describes your industry and professional level, such as Sales Manager, Elementary School Teacher or Senior Marketing Executive. Hiring managers will be impressed with seeing a pleasant alternative to the same, tired objective:  "Seeking a challenging position in a progressive organization." <yawn>
6. Focus on Opportunities in Small Businesses and Privately-held Companies. Large corporations are usually the first to have massive layoffs in troubled economic times. Smaller companies will allow you to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Tap into the INC 5000 list  or  ReferenceUSA in your local library, to find companies where you might want to work.
7. Gratitude:
Thank each person who introduced you to an important contact, passed on a job lead, provided you with a great reference, or convinced a hiring manager to interview you, even if the opportunity didn't work out as you hoped. When people know you appreciate their efforts, they will keep on helping you! Hand-written thank-you notes sent by  U.S. mail will make you more memorable than email messages. 
8. Handle Rejection Gracefully: Received a "thanks but no thanks letter" after an interview? Reach out to the hiring manager. Congratulate him or her on the new hire. Ask to be considered for another position in the company, which could be better match for your skills set and experience. 
9. Ignore Negative News about the Economy:
The media stays in business by selling headlines and TV ratings. Nothing sells best like bad news!  Even though "bad news" items may be factually correct, dwelling on them will only make you feel worse. According to Law of Attraction principles, focusing on unwanted situations will only attract more of them! Do your best to avoid TV news programs and read "happier" sections of the newspaper; or don't read it at all.  

10.  Join a Job Club: In today's economy, looking for a job can be difficult, discouraging, and lonely journey. Consider joining a job club, which is a small group of job seekers that offer each other advice, support and camaraderie during the process. Check out to find a job club in your area.  
11. Know Your Value: Document how you helped your employers save money, make money, save time, or solved a problem. Translate this into your return on investment (ROI)  for prospective employers. How will they get a 150% ROI for the salary they pay you? 
12.  Law of Attraction: Identify your "wants" and "don't wants" in an ideal career position, feel like you already have it -- and allow the Universe to bring it to you. When you get into the "feeling" place of having your ideal job and hold this feeling for 16 seconds, this is equivalent to 10 hours of work to find this job!  
13.  Motivation:
Motivation is an inside job. Jim Rohn says it best: "The best motivation is self-motivation. The guy says, 'I wish someone would come by and turn me on.'  What if they don't show up? You've got to have a better plan for your life." 
14.  Networking Do's and Don'ts: Networking is a lifelong process of building mutually beneficial relationships with others; it is not handing out or collecting business cards and schmoozing; or to be done reactively if you suddenly become jobless. (See #18 - Referral Meetings). Two excellent books on networking are Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow, and Keep Your Business Relationships (Thom Singer) and Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need. (Harvey Mackay.)  
15. Outcome Detachment: Talane Miedaner, author of Coach Yourself to Success explains: "The easiest way to detach from the outcome is to have something in reserve, an ace up your sleeve...This reduces your neediness and automatically increases your ability to attract what you want...If you really want one particular job, it helps to have offers at [many] other places too, so that you can increase your bargaining power."  
16. Prepare a Job Proposal:
Create your own position, by identifying a company's unmet need and proposing a solution. Prepare a brief business plan which shows exactly what you will do, for a specific salary to solve the company's problem. For a job proposal blueprint, look to the book Using Competitive Intelligence to Advance Your Career: A Step-By-Step Training Manual (Robert E. Pannone).
17.  Quiet Your Inner Critic: Stop scolding yourself over "what might have been" if you had done things differently in your career. Replace your inner dialogue of "what if" with "what did I learn from this experience" and "what can I do better next time."
18. Referral Meetings:
Arrange get-togethers with your contacts, to get their help with your career transition. Never ask for a job! Preface your request for meeting with: "I don't expect you to have or know of any positions in your company right now. All I'm asking for is advice, information, and referrals to others, to plan my next career move." If they do know someone who is hiring, this is icing on the cake!
19. Social Networking 101: Build a LinkedIn profile. Recruiters regularly search LinkedIn for qualified candidates. Use the content in your résumé to fill-in the employment sections. Be selective in asking others to join your network or accepting invitations. The quality of your connections -- who you know -- and who knows you -- is much more valuable than how many connections you have.  
20.  Targeted Direct Mailings:
Send targeted résumés and cover letters to 100 (or more) companies where you'd like to work, whether or not they are hiring. Customize each letter with the decision maker's name and title. Expect a 1% to 3% response rate. Your goal is to meet someone who will talk to you when there is no open position.  (See #6 for mailing list resources).
21. Upgrade Your Skills and Credentials: Finish your bachelor degree, MBA, or certification program, if you know these qualifications will help you move forward in your career. Don't rely on your employer to fund your educational programs. Figure out a way to pay for them yourself. If you are unemployed, you may be eligible for fr*ee or low-cost training through your local workforce development center
22.  Volunteer Your Way to Employment: Volunteering can lead to a better professional network and will expand your list of contacts. Many companies are involved in volunteering, and encourage employees to volunteer individually, or as a team on a specific project. You might even meet hiring managers from large, local companies through your volunteer work. Choose a volunteer program you are passionate about, to enjoy doing the work.    
23.  Wait to Discuss Salary until you have a job offer on the table. The first person to mention a salary figure is at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. Don't let this happen to you! Ask for a salary range, before stating your requirements. Research the market rate for your salary on or so you'll be in a better position to negotiate the best package for yourself. 
24.  X's and O's: Go through your career history and create a list of all the job tasks you've ever done. Put an "X" through your least enjoyable activities and put a circle (O) around the tasks you love to do. Congratulations!  You've identified some key elements of your dream job or ideal career position.   
25. You, Inc. Treat your job and career as though you are "self-employed" whether you file a 1099 or 1040 tax form. Think of your employer as your "client."   According to Brian Tracy: "The biggest mistake we could ever make in our lives is to think we work for anybody but ourselves."  
26.  Zigzag Your Way to Career Success! 
The path of a successful job search or career transition is rarely a straight line; it's a series of setbacks, followed by giant steps forward. Remember -- job search is a numbers game, like sales -- the more "no's' you get, the closer you will be to a job offer!  
© 2009 All Rights Reserved
CAPSessionCoaching with Joellyn: Get Answers to Your Career Problems in One Session! New Question Mark
Whatever career problem you may be struggling with -- a difficult workplace, changing careers, or getting better results from your job search -- I'll give you some helpful answers -- in one session! 
You're probably asking -- how can I do this for you in only one session?  Here's how:
First, I'll review your current situation in detail and learn what you've been doing to change it.
I'll have you take me on a "guided tour" of your career decision-making days from as far back as high school to the present. (Yes, this is very important!)
Third, I'll have enough information about you and your career --- the past, the present and a glimpse of the future --- to give you some candid feedback:  
  • What's working: a summary of your strengths (as I see them), as well as career decisions you've made which have served you well and energize you. 
  • What needs attention: patterns or blind spots (which you can't easily see) that are holding you back; likely the root cause of your problem.   
  • Next steps: strategies and suggestions (which may not have thought of) to help you reach your career goals more quickly and purposefully - without spinning your wheels!    

The cost: $165.00

You'll also get at no addtional charge:
  • A recording of your session, in MP3 Format
  • Written summary of your session
  • 40-page e-book: "The 12 Biggest Mistakes Job Hunters and Career Changers Make -- and How to Avoid Them."
  • 45-minute follow-up session

Please contact me to schedule this single session - or if you have any questions before proceeding! (Note: this session is conducted by telephone.)

Quote of the Month: on "Imagination"
New Q
  "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." -- Carl Sagan (Astronomer)
 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 March! 


Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin
"The Career Success Coach" 

© 2009 All rights reserved.