Career E-News: October 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:
Using Proposal Letters in Your Job Search
Discover Your Perfect Career Path Through Your Hardwired Preferences
Coming soon: Beta Launch of Online Self-Study Coaching Program
Career Action Planning (C.A.P.) Session
Quote of the Month: On "Taking Risks"
Vamsee Client Landings Applause - Clapping 
Congratulations to Vamsee Sistla who started his new position as Account Technology Strategist, at Microsoft in September. He claimed that the strategies we discussed during his Career Action Planning (C.A.P.) Session gave him an edge in his interview, which helped him get hired.   
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Greetings!                              Joellyn Headshot 2009   


Happy October...the month of apple-picking, autumn festivals, Halloween and more! My husband (Howard) and I went to Brookfield Apple Orchard earlier this month and got a nice assortment of Red Delicious and Jonathans. Last weekend, Howard made an scrumptious apple pancake, which tasted almost exactly like the original from Walker Brother's restaurants in the Chicago area. 


The saga of the U.S. labor market goes on, again with mixed reviews and some bright spots: a USA Today article reported that the Labor Department revised up estimated job gains for July and August by a total 86,000: July's total rose from 141,000 to 181,000, while August increased from 96,000 to 142,000. Besides this, 114,000 private sector jobs were added in September...but 2/3 of the September jobs are in the part-time category. Said Patrick O'Keefe, former deputy secretary of labor: "We have to look at it [this data] as a qualified [part-time work] can often lead to getting a permanent job."        


People you meet in networking situations may be able to help you access unadvertised jobs. Sending a proposal letter first, instead of a resume, can be a great strategy for opening a dialogue with hiring managers (or people close to them) to learn about their needs and how you might be a fit. Read more in the article: "This Sample Proposal Letter Can Replace Your Resume" where I was interviewed and quoted as an expert on this subject. (Side note: even though this article was written for nurses, the proposal letter strategy can be applied in just about any profession.)   


This month, my featured article is: "Discover Your Perfect Career Path Through Your Hardwired Preferences"-- the third 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 the foundation for your career transition; the second helped you back these skills with "Reality Stories"  to build your confidence and career marketing content. This third article describes how the John Holland Theory of Career Choice can help you understand how your inborn preferences can point to career paths which are the best fit for your top transferable skill sets.  


Is your job search stuck and your career stalled? A Career Action Planning (C.A.P.) 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 C.A.P. Session...and another client who had his C.A.P. Session in July and landed in September.  

Enjoy this issue and I look forward to connecting soon! 


~ Joellyn 
P.S. A great big "Welcome" to my new subscribers! 


Proposal Using Proposal Letters In Your Job Search: "This Proposal Letter Can Replace Your Resume" (Author: Terry Sheridan, Freelance Writer)

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Everyone knows the cynical old axiom "It's not what you know, but who you know" in career growth...both are important factors in job searches. Networking, serving on committees, attending conferences - that's all Job-Hunting 101, right? 


But other than outright interviews, which probably won't happen at a conference anyway, how can you apply all that confab experience to your job search?  If you meet the right people, you can follow up with proposal letters to them. Career coach Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin of Worcester, Mass., suggests a job-proposal letter first rather than a resume. Read the rest of the article here, containing the proposal letter sample:    

PATHDiscover Your Perfect Career Path Through Your Hardwired PreferencesStories 

Hard Wiring


Discovering your perfect career path is about identifying work where you can use skills you're good at and enjoy the most. In these jobs, you'll "fire at all cylinders" and perform to the best of your ability. By now, you may know what your top transferable skill sets are and may have written some reality stories showcasing these skills at your highest level of efficiency. 


Even so, you might still be stumped about how you can use these skills and in which industries. A good place to start is to recognize your natural preferences that have been hardwired into you since birth. One methodology I use with clients is the John Holland Theory of Career Choice, which has been widely-used by career practitioners for decades.


According to Holland's theory, peoples' career choices are determined by: 1) whether they prefer to work with people, things, data or a combination; 2) how they like to solve problems; and 3) what they value in work situations.

Holland groups career choices into six vocational themes: Realistic; Investigative; Artistic; Social; Enterprising; and Conventional. When you read each description, it's likely that you'll discover three that will resonate most for you: 


* Realistic: People with athletic or mechanical skills, who like hands-on activities such as working with objects, machines, tools, plants or animals. They solve problems by "doing." They value frankness, independent thinking and physical activity.


* Investigative: People who like to work with ideas, data or visible facts, to analyze, learn, watch and troubleshoot. They solve problems by thinking. They value caution, creative processes, intellectual freedom, logic, precision and science.


* Artistic: People with artistic, innovating or intuitive skills, who like working in unstructured situations, using their imagination or creativity. They solve problems by expressing feelings or ideas through creating visual art, designing, performing or writing. They value artistic freedom, nonconformity and originality. 


* Social: People who like to work with people, to cure, develop, enlighten, help, inform or train them. They solve problems by helpfully relating to others, verbally or through writing. They value genuineness, ethical awareness and a strong sense of community.


* Enterprising: People who like to work with people, by influencing, persuading, performing, or managing for business goals and economic gain. They solve problems by leading and taking risks. They value influencing others, making decisions and selling ideas. 


* Conventional: People who like working with data, using clerical or numerical skills and completing detailed work by following instructions. They solve problems by being organized. They value efficiency, prevailing societal values, and self-control. 


The Holland-based assessment I use with my clients is the Career Liftoff Interest Inventory, which scores you in all six themes (on a scale of 25-75 points each) to reveal what your top 3 are. You'll also get a list of careers (sorted into 5-9 clusters) matching your preference mix. <Side note: My top 3 are Artistic: 59, Social: 59, and Enterprising: 46. Here's my report to see what yours might look like.>


Another benefit of Holland assessments is their integration with the O*NET, linked to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, which provides timely statics about job details, training, salaries, etc. For example, if you've considered being an event planner and your top 3 themes are Enterprising, Conventional, and Social, you'll learn that this career can be a potential fit, as long you match the job requirements and the work appeals to you. 


Recognizing your inborn preferences plays a key role in choosing your ideal work. If you make your selections using the Holland philosophy, you'll know if you're completely off-course or confidently moving in the right direction.

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 (C.A.P.) 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 (C.A.P.) 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 C.A.P. 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:  

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 "Taking Risks"

 2012 The Career Success Coach   All rights reserved.