Career E-News: September 2012 

Monthly Newsletter for Executives, Managers, and Professionals in Career Transition / Written and Published by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach

In this issue:
100 Conversations for Career Success
Build Your Confidence and Your Career Marketing Content
Coming soon: Beta Launch of Online Self-Study Coaching Program
Career Action Planning (CAP) Session
October Presentations
Quote of the Month: On "Perspective"
Client Landings Applause - Clapping 
Congratulations to George Kontopidis, a Senior Technology Executive, who will be starting his new position as Executive Vice President of Product Development at NovaSparks (based in Cambridge, MA) on October 1. Read George's insightful, content-rich blog post, where he chronicles his career transition experience, summarizes valuable lessons he learned, and provides useful tips that led to his successful landing.  
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Greetings!                              Joellyn Headshot 2009   


Hope you had a nice summer. Seems like it just flew by and the first day of autumn is right around the corner. The weather has cooled off quite a bit here in Worcester; it sure feels nice to finally open up the windows and let the fresh air come through.


Despite the mixed reviews about the U.S. labor market, I've found some encouraging statistics: a recent Associated Press article reported that August jobless claims fell by 12,000 and private employers expanded payrolls by 201,000. Let's hope the momentum continues! The most important thing to remember is that economic recovery is a series of setbacks...and strides forward!


I'm excited to announce that I'm a contributor to a newly-published book: 100 Conversations for Career Success: Learn to Network, Cold Call, and Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job, written by my colleagues Laura Labovich and Miriam Salpeter. Besides resumes, cover letters, and social networking profiles,  there are many other communications in between which lead to a happy landing. This book covers topics such as creating engaging elevator pitches, handling voicemail, networking effectively (both offline and through social media)... and much more!


My featured article for this month is: "Build Your Confidence and Your Career Marketing Content." This is the second in the articles series, introducing the upcoming beta launch of "Wake Up to a Job You Love " (online, self-study career coaching program). The first article focused on how your top transferable skill sets form a solid foundation for your career transition. When you back these skills with "Reality Stories" of how you've used each one at your highest level of effectiveness, you'll feel a surge of confidence and clarity about the exact content to use for resumes, networking conversations or interviews. To help you create this content, I've included a downloadable worksheet, which is one of many I'm developing for "Wake Up to a Job You Love ."      


Is your job search stuck and your career stalled? A Career Action Planning (CAP) Session will get to the root of your career problem and get you on the road to landing your dream job in record time!  Be sure to read the testimonial of one client who landed soon after his CAP Session.  

Enjoy this issue and I look forward to connecting soon! 


~ Joellyn


CIENTO100 Conversations for Career Success: Learn to Network, Cold Call, and Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job! (Authors: Laura Labovich and Miriam Salpeter)

100 Conversations for Career Success 

This newly-published book helps job seekers manage their day-to-day search and professional networking in-person and online. Job seekers who need this book know they should reach out to business contacts and connect on social media, but don't know how. Scripts and templates teach what to say when contacting people during job searches and showcase various approaches, including details about how to connect in person and via phone, email, and social media sites.  Order it from

BuildBuild Your Confidence and Your Career Marketing Content with "Reality Stories" Stories


You might know that I started my private practice as a resume writer. I expanded into career coaching when I noticed that some clients needed more help to determine their career direction, Building Blocks strongest skill sets, types of jobs they desired, target industries and employers, and what would bring them true career satisfaction. A new resume wouldn't necessarily fix their situation unless they reached clarity around these issues.


As a resume writer, I gave my clients detailed questionnaires, to help them produce value-driven content for their resumes. Some clients would get stuck on this exercise, because they were feeling very confused, overwhelmed, powerless and unconfident about their career transition. Some were despondent over a job loss. Others had become so accustomed to doing work they no longer enjoyed that this blocked them from moving forward.


When I transitioned into career coaching, I had more tools to help clients break out of this funk. The most amazing process I've discovered is Success Factor Analysis, an organic method where we analyze 10-15 of their proudest career achievements, then distill them down into 3-8 "Key Success Factors" (as highlighted in my July article: "Know Your Top Transferable Skill Sets, Then Plan Your Career Transition"). Success Factor Analysis has helped many clients get clear about skills they're naturally good at and passionate about, instead of trying to be all things to all people.


After clients nail down their Key Success Factors, the next step is to substantiate each one by writing two 40-60 word "Reality Stories" about how they used that specific skill at their highest level of effectiveness, and exactly how these contributions impacted present and past employers. This exercise helps clients gain insights about their unique career success patterns and helps them understand what they can offer future employers.


These "Reality Stories" become the core content that is used throughout clients' career transition campaigns in multiple ways: 1) tightened for resume bullets; 2) edited for LinkedIn profiles; 3) expanded for answers for interview questions or 4) woven into networking conversations. The possibilities are endless! Now, my clients no longer feel angst over resume questionnaires. All the career marketing content they'll ever need comes to them through Success Factor Analysis.


You may have already discovered what your top transferable skill sets are, perhaps through personal discovery or online assessments. For instance, if you're in sales, you're probably good at persuasion, negotiations and client relations. If you're a number-cruncher, most likely you excel at accounting, bookkeeping and creating complex spreadsheets. Whatever your skills are, consider backing them with your own Reality Stories. Follow this outline:


* Context ("While working at"):


* Challenge ("I was given the responsibility to"):


* Action ("So I"):


* Results: ("As a result of my efforts"):


<Download this worksheet with a Sample Reality Story and Reality Story Templates here>     


You might be wondering, "Why create Reality Stories before knowing an ideal career direction?" My answer is: people in career transition typically don't feel at their peak performance, despite how successful they've been in the past. I've discovered that when clients tap into these stories, it literally explodes their self-confidence and opens them up to new career possibilities. Plus, the stories can be slanted to "speak the language" of a variety of target industries or professions.


Reality Stories that showcase your expertise are essential elements of your career marketing campaign, built upon the foundation of your top transferable skill sets. Taking the time to do this exercise will help you reclaim your confidence - and build your career marketing content!


Like this article? Please post your comments on my blog.


Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach 2012 

BETABeta Launch of Online, Self-Study Career Coaching Program is Coming Soon! 


I've been planning a beta launch of an online, self-study version of my career coaching program, entitled: "Wake Up to a Job You Love." from the core materials I use with my private clients. This program may include monthly Q & A group calls and a forum for participants to post questions to me and have an opportunity interact with each other. Download the one-sheet description here:


This beta launch, which has been rescheduled for the first quarter of 2013, is designed for only 10 participants. It will also be priced at a fraction of the cost to work with me privately, as well as deeply discounted from the fully-launched version.


I expect this program to fill up quickly and consideration will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in taking advantage of this offer, please send an email to:, with "Beta Launch" in the memo and I'll send you an application. (Side note: if you've already expressed interest or submitted an application, I'll keep you posted as things progress with this program.)

CAPCareer Action Planning (CAP) Session 
  • question mark jpegDo you work hard on your job search but seem to get nowhere fast?
  • Are you burned out with your job, but don't know what other work might satisfy you?  
  • Do you have trouble understanding how your transferable skills can be used in other professions?
  • Do you apply for jobs online, only to get "thanks but no thanks" responses?
  • Does it seem like your network can't help you with your job search the way you'd like?
  • Do you get interviews--- but no offers?   

Is it time to take a risk -- a giant step forward -- to end the pain once and for all? You may surprised: the problem might not be what you think and simpler to overcome than you thought possible.


Regardless of the issues you face or what you may be frustrated or confused about, I can provide the clarity, creative thinking, objectivity, and perspective you need to get your career and job search moving in the right direction.  


Let's get started with a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session to help you figure out what's working, what needs attention, and what the next steps are to land the job of your dreams!  


LOUSkeptical? Here's what one client said about his experience. He got hired five months after his CAP Session!  


"I worked with Joellyn and went through her Career Action Planning session after months and months spinning my wheels trying to land a position. Her session and follow ups were a great jump start for me in redesigning my resume. She helped me focus on what my strengths were and was encouraging and genuine. She's extremely personable and is a great listener. I'd recommend her to anyone who is struggling finding their next steps in their career path."  -- Louis Miano, Sr. Software Developer 


 Go to my website for details and pricing:  

TALKUpcoming PresentationPublic Speakings in October


* Topic: "Law of Attraction: Five Principles to Make Your Career Dreams Come True" 

* Sponsor: Hopkinton Networking Group

* Date: Friday, October 5, 2012 /Time: 11 a.m. to Noon (Please note: The general meeting starts @ 10 a.m.)

* Location: St. John the Evangelist, 20 Church Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748

* Registration Contact: Gil Krispien:

* Topic: "The Job Loss Recovery Program" 

* Sponsor: Night Life Worcester 

* Dates: Wednesdays, October 10 & 17, 2012 /Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

* Location:  Forest Grove Middle School, 495 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01605

* Event Website:

* Registration Contact: Night Life Worcester Office: 508-799-3090

About "The Career Success Coach" 


Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin is a Certified Career Management Coach in private practice serving executives, managers and professionals in career transition. Since 1991, Joellyn has helped countless clients across multiple industry sectors find perfect career paths which are fun, fulfilling and financially-rewarding. Her  program starts with a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session to first determine where clients are getting stuck, stalled or confused in landing the job of their dreams.  


Joellyn will be happy to discuss your situation on a free call. Contact her at 508-459-2854, 

or visit

Quote of the Month: On "Perspective"


"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at...change."


   -- Dr. Wayne Dyer 

 2012 The Career Success Coach   All rights reserved.