October 16, 2011


 “Ensure that your resume is up-to-date and highlight your skills and experience as they pertain to the job posting.”    Susan R. Crone, Recruiter, Myron Business Gifts
“In your resume, emphasize the specific part of your experience that suits the job you are applying for.”      Wagdi Tadros P.Eng., President, Pyramids Engineering
“Being dressed professionally helps to start the interview off on the right foot. Make sure your pants are pressed, your shirt is ironed and your shoes are polished.”  Helen A. Kvasnytska, MIRHR Senior HR Generalist, Ferrero Canada LTD
“BELIEVE in yourself as the solution provider they need...because you’ve done your homework and know that what you offer matches what they require.” Howard Timms, Professor, George Brown College
 “When interviewing your main focus should be your skills and values that you are capable of bringing to the organization. That will leave behind a positive impression and enhance your chances for selection.”                Kamal Joshi, Compensation Consultant, Rogers Communication
“Since past performance is the best predictor of future behaviour, it helps to tell stories and give concrete examples by describing the situation, how you handled issues and discussing positive outcomes.”  Judy Miller, Human Resources Manager, URS Canada Inc
 “With every interview, relax and clear your mind. If it is a match, then you will successfully secure the job; if not then you just met someone new.” Wenni Sukardi, HR Manager, COMDA
“Always bring your references and resume to any interview; don’t assume they will have a copy.” Laura Grassia, Staffing Manager,OfficeTeam
 “Ask for a business card at the end of the interview so that you can send a thank you letter or email.” Angelina Brathwaite, Senior Client Partner, Brunel
“Ensure your resume has correct spelling and grammar so that you get the right message across.” Diana Blaikie, Sr. Recruitment Consultant, NEXJ Systems Inc
 “Over prepare. Treat the interview like a final exam. Browse the website, see the press releases, learn as much as you can and plan how to answer questions where you could prove to the interviewer that you have the potential to contribute.” Shashi Krishan, Director of Human Resources, The Kingbridge Centre
“You can’t underestimate the value of networking and affiliations. The traditional ‘I saw a job posting so I’m going to apply for it’ doesn’t work anymore. It’s really
about you knowing people and people knowing you.” Ellen Austin, HR Business Partner, Business Development Bank of Canada
 “Work on your English language skills, both  verbal and written.” Tim Otton, President,Napier-Reid
“Prior to the interview be sure to go online and research the organization you are applying to. During the interview you may be asked what you know about the organization. You don’t need to know everything but enough to demonstrate that
you took the initiative to learn a little about the organization where you hope to work.” Caroline Taylor, Senior Specialist, HR Policy & Governance, MTS Allstream Inc
 “Clarify your personal and career priorities and goals before you begin your search. If these two things are not in sync with each other you will set yourself up for a lifetime of job changes and dissatisfaction. Employers love to hire people who know where they are going and why.” Lisa Titian, Sr. IT Recruiter and Account Manager, I.T. CONNEX

“Building networks is extremely helpful.Network internally but also network outside of your community.” Zahir Kassam, President and CEO, Aero Plastics Inc
 “Be positive, knock on every door because you never know where your next break will come from.”
Ashraf Zaghloul, CEO, NTG Clarity Networks Inc
“Companies look for initiative.Thoroughly research the company before you apply in order to tailor your cover letter. Definitely know the company inside and out prior to an interview. You only get one shot.”  Gail Zome, Human Resources Manager, Tenova Goodfellow Inc
 “If someone’s giving you a business card, take the opportunity to make that callsooner rather than later. If someone has reached out to you, be sure to follow up because they want to help you.” Chandra Williams, Senior Manager, Human Resources, Corporate Diversity, TD Bank Group
“Include all relevant work and volunteer experience on your resume and explain in a cover letter how your skills are transferable to the position for which you have applied.” Miriam Marcello, Placement Specialist, Human Resources,TTC
 “Smiling, having confidence, possessing a positive outlook and a bit of technical skills can help you win over the interviewer.” Natasha Khanna (CHRP), HR Manager, UView Ultraviolet Systems Inc
“Network, network, network in all areas of your life and be ready to explain in two minutes what your resume says.” Dolare Seran, Manager, HumanResources – Toronto Region, HKMB HUB International
 “Be positive, be prepared and be yourself.” Angela Agostino, Director,Human Resources, Pitney Bowes Canada
“Sending out a targeted resume that has been edited for the position and/or firm instead of a generic resume is a great best practice.” Sigma, HR Manager, Frontline

                                                                                                                          Source: ACCESS Annual Report

September 26, 2011


Devon Benish, CPRW, SCRSP • You're a job seeker. You need to become an opportunity seeker. …figure out where there is no path and set out to leave a trail!
Juanita Mast • Make sure you are meeting new people and engaging them in conversations that give you an opportunity to discuss how you can add value or solve problems for organizations. Also circle back to folks you talked with 2 or 3 or more months ago. Things change, maybe something new has happened that will spark an interest in your work.
Helen Marriott • …do something to enhance your CV/résumés. It could be a course or some relevant volunteering.  In addition to enhancing the CV, it gives further learning opportunities, demonstrates commitment to both the community and personal development, keeps interpersonal skills sharp, expands their network, gets them out of the house and provides an answer to that interview question, "What have you been doing whilst unemployed?" It could also open up new employment opportunities.
Eugenia Kaneshige, MBA •  Find a professional coach who'll work with you one on one until you find a job. Too many people think they can do it themselves. Six months later, they're running out of money, hiring managers are starting to look at them as damaged merchandise, and they're starting to feel like Losers. None of this has to happen.
Jean Shaffer • …consider consulting or contract work. Use networking conversations to uncover needs, and say "I could help you with that!"
Maura Dolan • I ask people to look at how they structure their day. How many hours do they spend 'working' on their goal and what range of methodologies are they using.
Bobbie Twa, GCDF • Personally, I don't like the word "structure" rather....I make a list the night before what I need to do (if not the night before, sometimes during the week) and then check off what you were able to accomplish. If your goal is to contact 4 people directly and face-to-face every week, make a list of who they are. Most importantly....keep track of who you've talked to and networked with.....then during your down times when you aren't sure what to do next - follow up with them. Give them a call or drop them an email "I just wanted to stay in touch with you....."  Are you on LINKEDIN?" If not, make it a priority and join groups within your industry - establish yourself as an "expert" or someone who knows more than the average bear about your industry.
Patrick McFadden • The first step is really not to go back to the market place and start looking for something today. The first steps are to do other things. You need to be making deposits of success in other life areas because being out of work that long starts to play havoc with other areas of your life. Physically you start to go downhill, relationships start to get strained and socially you start to become isolated, introverted and all those things. So take those things that you can take control of immediately and do something to make you successful. Walk three miles, get on the treadmill, go to the YMCA, volunteer somewhere, get out there and stay in the game some way. So it’s not a matter of luck but it’s a matter of being out there in the game doing something, having activity, and being engaged that causes things to happen.
Colette Reilly • Make sure their life is still in balance, as Patrick says ensuring deposits of success are made in other areas. Know your big goal, your strengths and values - embrace opportunities in all shapes and unexpected doors will likely open.
Mohamed Ly, MBA • One word of advice (especially in these times): Entrepreneurship!
Hadley Steel • I would ask what kind of jobs they have been applying to, and why. So often I find that job seekers operate under the misconception that the more jobs they apply to the more likely they are to hear back.  People don't realize how important it is to take a realistic, critical inventory of the skills that have been developed in the most recent 6 to 8 years of work experience specifically. Once a job seeker has a true understanding of the value they bring to the table, they can make sure that every position that an application is submitted for matches not only their goals for their next job, but the skills they have cultivated throughout their recent relevant experience.
Rob Ware • When all else fails, rip up the plan and start again. Many of you have probably worked with very able people who have the right background for the jobs they apply for, have worked up a terrific CV, possess a good attitude and yet, they don't seem to cut it at the interview. There is no obvious explanation. To use a jazz metaphor, they have to play the same tune completely differently. Rip up the plans and start afresh. Start listening deeply to the other sounds around them. A moment where improvisation meets chaos; where the job opportunities are found in a place not previously considered. Sometimes you have to let go in order to move forward.
Naomi Tickle • Outline all of their natural attributes and talents and look for careers that match those abilities, even though they may have not worked in that area before. For example: Good with details - close set eyes - good with precision - outer corner of eye lower than inner corner. These features are often seen in accounting, teaching, engineers, editing, construction or any area where the main activity would benefit from that ability.   In other words, look outside the box.

Ann Reynolds • It's easy to get isolated and inward looking, so .... Go out and do something with other people. Ideally some of what you do with others will be some kind of "meaningful work". Not just to enhance your CV by doing something structured, currently, but also to keep your spirits up and feel a sense of belonging.

Some of what you do should also be physically active in some way, getting you away from the computer and the sitting position - even if it's just walking to the bus stop! I'll echo Helen and say that a good place to start if you need ideas is your local volunteer centre - there'll be a wide range of activities to choose from, so you are likely to find something to suit you.
Lucy Kenzina • I would recommend to delete the word "unemployed" from your vocabulary, especially if you are a professional - we are much more than the list of organizations we were working for. As soon as you get rid of your inner barriers, the world of opportunities is starting to open up... there are could be particular invisible ceilings to some particular careers based on your age, education, and many more other factors, however, there are a lot of other related careers that have no such ceilings or have not yet discovered, and you are going to be the first to explore - because you have the most important treasure on Earth - time! Time to think, to observe, to upgrade your skills, to re-organize your life in any possible way...
Sheryl Spanier, CMF • Years ago (when I worked in the "outplacement industry"), job search was referred to as a "campaign" and the metaphor was very apt since to be effective you need a strategy and a game plan, discipline, accurate, objective data about and positioning against the competition, a support system and advisers, just as you would for a military or political initiative. Attitude as well as action will guide a successful campaign. People who have a sustained and abiding interest in their field, who have an insight future trends and follow leaders in their industry or profession, and who think beyond getting a job to engaging in challenging and rewarding work generally do better particularly in difficult times. Protracted searches can be very discouraging. I generally recommend people stay fresh and active in their fields through doing projects (even unpaid ones), taking courses and staying or getting active in a meaningful volunteer effort that enables purpose and visibility, as well as providing interesting conversations.
Mary Hope • Lots of good advice here and I echo it, exploring their strategy, the tools they are using, their goals all help. But my question would be to ask about the desperation curve. Many people start out setting narrow goals and then get demoralized when they don't get them (same or better job in the same field) I encourage people to look at what they would be prepared to do when they are really desperate.. And then they can consider at what point on the curve they would need to be before going down that route.
Paula Summerhayes • I think my one piece of advice here would be that as working for nothing is potentially more rewarding than not working at all, follow your passion and look for an organization that would benefit from your skills and experience and offer to work for them for free (for now) - it will be good for the soul and who knows what opportunities may present while you are busy staying connected and positive. It's tough trying not to say more!
Steve Preston • Having been through the six month barrier myself and coached many clients over the last ten years who also have, my one piece of advice would be to consider that self-employment might be an alternative option and setting up a business yourself can bring about the spark that is needed to re-ignite your career! Not for everyone but amazing how many people at this stage come to the realization that maybe they should become their own boss instead of waiting on others to employ them!
Jayna Butler • Unemployed should be away from their vocabulary, I think it's time to get - creative! Entrepreneurship and consultancy can be a great way to keep your skills going, earn a little extra money and continue to have a mental outlook that is positive. You never know, going into your own business may turn out good for you after all!  I think sometimes we get knocked into a panic state rather than making a plan of "what can I do until that opportunity comes".
Peter Engler • Two pieces of advice: define your area of expertise carefully (Financial marketing professional with unique ability to develop profitable new products and services), and then target 10-15 companies within 30 miles of your home where "you are qualified and deserve to work". Target the right executives and board members at those firms, and begin the networking game with confidence, focus and continuity.
Jennifer Chandler CCDP • My advice would be: Surround yourself with 'A' team people; family members that provide personal support without judgment, friends who keep you connected to who you are and the fun side of life and one good career coach to guide you through the process of developing and maintaining a vibrant career.
Anneke Groet • In any communication and also when writing an application letter, focusing on the needs of the receiver rather than your own needs will make a great difference! 
Bobbie Twa, GCDF • Self-employment caveat - most businesses fail due to lack of business sense and knowledge. You still need to determine whether you are selling something tangible or intangible - 2 very different approaches. Selling something intangible is MUCH MORE difficult! Be sure to get guidance from a S.C.O.R.E. counselor before starting a business!
Kristi Enigl • I recommend staying busy! Start and maintain a "coffee calendar". Meet at least 2 people per week for coffee. They can be colleagues, hiring managers, old clients, or friends. This helps you keep your focus, hone your "pitch" and feel connected.  Also look at a hobby you have, perhaps playing chess or the guitar, and offer private lessons. It is super easy to set up a website for free, and it keeps you busy, engaged and you may pick up some extra cash. Also, sometimes, hobbies turn into full time jobs.
Christopher Crowne • …"take one action a day" to maintain positive mental attitude and career search momentum. The caveat is by 'action' I mean connecting with a real human being regarding their career search (big or small). Along this theme, I find I say: my focus as their coach is on the first action, anything else is just gravy; 10 actions one day and none the next does not keep the job search blues away; and if they feel stuck they should ask me to take the action for them (pss... they usually do it themselves anyway!)
Eugenia Kaneshige, MBA • A lot of the jobs that are advertised on job boards aren’t real. For an industry breakdown of exactly where the jobs are being filled, go to www.Jobbait.com. College grads have a huge advantage over the less well-educated in many respects, but rarely mentioned is this: It takes research to figure out where the opportunities are and how to land or create one for you. If you went to a good school, your research skills may be rusty and your techniques old, but you know how to do research, and you have the intellectual capacity to do real research.

Peter Ogu • I agree with all comments and Helen's in particular. There is no limit to self-improvement and relevant volunteering activities would definitely add to a CV. However, if an individual decides for a change of career, then the services of a Career Coach would be the best path to follow.

Romana Hafeez • I would say believe in yourself that you will find your dream career and then to go out and look for opportunities; in particular network with people to tell them you are open to new opportunities.
Chris Saffer • I would say, whatever you are doing now isn't working right now so tomorrow do something different. The definition of insanity comes to mind when you continue to do all the supposedly right things to do and continue to not get results. It's time to do something different and there are lots of options: Volunteer - Consult -Call an old friend -Make a video -Read a book
to name a few! Renew that passion for life!
Trish Pratt • Looking for a job when you've been out of work for a while can be one of the most difficult challenges in the span of a career. Staying positive, engaged and employing the best search strategies for YOU, are key components to search success. Working with a coach can keep you out of the "muck" of beliefs, perceptions, etc. that work against you, so that you stay connected to your strengths and confidence. When you realize the value of successfully achieving your goal, coaching usually looks like a bargain.
Dara Perreira, PHR • I think that seeking some objective assistance is important, whether it's a coach or another professional that can provide sound feedback on the basic tools of the job search and help the candidate identify improvement areas.
Even if one is unemployed, it doesn't mean that they need to stop bringing their gifts to the world. As a hiring manager, I've seen unemployed individuals put their time into volunteering and land jobs out of that experience, especially, when it's a non-profit with a board of directors or other volunteers that own businesses or work for great companies and have connections in the community. These people get to observe a candidate's gifts and how he/she works, the candidate gets to continue building skills and focus their energy into something worthwhile, and because the candidate is helping others these people will often times find a way to help the candidate.
Andrea Bonsey • I would be interested to explore activities that may need to be re-visited that provide energy and balance to stay motivated and well during this personal and professional transition.
 Charlie Anderson •  … I try to focus on a whole person approach rather than just one aspect of the job search.
Pamela Daley, Career/Business Coach • Don't be afraid to engage in a Career Coach. Even executives are hiring coaches to bounce ideas off each other. Looking for a job on your own can be depressing and reactive. Golfers have coaches; athletes have coaches, why not you??? You learn a process that can last you a lifetime.
Sharon Cooper, Exec-MBA • My focus for my company is to develop winning - high quality candidates through the use of resumes, cover letters, etc… Aside from developing a strong resume & CV, I work with candidates on building their confidence and interviewing skills; without which, I've learned that if a candidate can't sell his/herself in person, looking good on paper becomes pointless!
If the latter is determined, I develop business cards for candidates with bullet-points of their marketable skills then I coach candidates on perfecting their one-minute elevator speech. Once done, I find local events where the candidate can go and practice while meeting people and forming a new network of possibilities.
My candidates are trained on how to get people to talk about their best topic "Themselves". This helps candidates determined if that person needs to be on their radar. My motto "Don't leave without getting and giving cards".
Finding employment these days is like the dating game - you can't find the right one without making yourself seen! So, social media and social events are highly encouraged.
Sometimes all it takes is a little one-on-one; and like dating, it sometimes happen when you least expect it or from the least expected person! With that said, my advice - get up and get out!
Julia McNamara • I would convince the client to take a huge step back and figure out WHY he or she is still unemployed after 6 months. It could be many things. There is a big difference between not getting ANY interviews, getting down to the last round or ambivalence about the job search. 1. Strategy - What is your targeting and job search strategy? Retool it with either a coach or a friend. Colleges' Alumni relations departments and public libraries often are good resources for free or low-cost employment assistance. 2. Also, Interviewee, check your Attitude for resentment or depression. I know clients that have been laid off, and gone out on an interview the next week and resentment and hostility at their former employer showed through to the interviewer and ruined any future possibilities with their HR Director. On the flip side, others have gone out too soon after a layoff and their disappointment came across as "low energy" and "low motivated". Please make sure that you take time to heal. For some of my clients in their 50's who have been laid off after working for the company fo 25 years, I have sent some for a sort of grief counseling as losing a job is a huge loss and should be acknowledged as such. Make sure you're ready to get back out there.
3. Stay relevant - read as much industry news as possible. It could also highlight opportunities. 4. Leverage the Internet for your job search. Use tools such as Linked In to find opportunities and reach out to people, tell them you're looking. Be confident. Stay active. Good luck.
Greg Johnson • If they are relying on their resume to get their foot in the door, they are in for a long struggle. There are so many tools they can use to leverage their skills, experiences and passions. They also have to stop seeing themselves as job seekers, and position themselves as solutions to their target companies. Getting that next career position takes a lot of hard work. The bad news is that it is hard work. The good news is that because it is hard, many job seekers do not want to do it, so doing the hard work really differentiates from the rest of the market.
Valia Pavlidou • "Don't give up, no matter what!!!!!"
Peter Engler • Consider yourself an "expert" in your field, express that unique value in all your communications, target 10-15 companies where you are a true fit and "deserve" to work, reach out to specific executives including board members with whom your expertise should resonate and work until you meet them live to discuss "opportunities" that make sense for you. Keep the " hiring risk" (large salary, special demands, title, etc) to a minimum and make it easy for them to hire you to "get some work done".
Chris Newell • Look at it as a sabbatical - with time and space to reflect, regroup, and research - internally and externally. Don't make decisions out of reaction and fear, but think things through and take effective and purposeful action steps that align with your values. Find the 'right' people to support you. Find something you love to do every day, and do it....to keep you inspired and motivated and connected to your heart and to provide you with the energy it takes to become re-employed.
 Peter Bellingham • … clients need to believe in themselves as without displaying confidence (and enthusiasm) they will not get a job. Therefore they need a realistic achievable target - is there no market? Are the salary expectations sensible? They need to review what has (nearly) worked with a (different) coach and re-launch their campaign with revised CV/target etc. Some, possibly unpaid, consultancy or project work helps to answer the question - What have you been doing for the past 6 months? 2 weeks voluntary work fills the void! 
Paula Cohen • Join a support group of others who are between jobs -- the best are about 10 to 20 members strong, and may be comprised of laid-off colleagues from your former company, or a mix of companies -- to meet either once a week or once every two weeks and discuss progress, what's worked and what hasn't, share job leads, provide networking contacts, critique resumes and cover letters, share best practices, cheer members up after a near miss, celebrate with those who've landed, etc. The only hard-and-fast rule -  No kidney-punch criticism. These are SUPPORT groups, and members need to listen and to provide sympathy, humor, advice and useful experiences, to laugh -- and sometimes cry -- when appropriate.
Another strategy, for those who either can't or don't wish to join a group, or to augment the group experience, is to put together a smaller "kick-butt" partnership or trio. The idea here is to coordinate each day with the other person or persons...an early, one-hour breakfast meeting each morning at an inexpensive place, to review each person's planned job search activities for the day. Critical? You bet!! It gets job seekers up, dressed and out of the house, which can be a problem for those sinking into depression. Being out and about, interacting with other people, is the single best antidote to the isolation and depression that can come with being between jobs. And it can be a reassuring, supportive send-off for those going on to networking meetings, interviews, etc.
Jim Moore • When I see job searches extending beyond six months I start asking questions to uncover the following: Is who you are and what you want absolutely clear to you in specific terms? If no, then these things won't clear to anybody else. If yes, are these things apparent, substantiated, and relevant within your targeted job market? Is who you are and what you want clear in every email, cover letter and resume you send, and in every networking meeting and interview you have? Focus, clarity.

April 24, 2011


A growing number of those who desperately need to work fear they have already been shut out of the work force...

How to overcome these obstacles, when you over  50? 
Here are some good tips, given by the best career professionals from blogging discussions on this topic:
"For the over 50 demographic, it's important to do everything you can to show that you're still "young." For example, become computer proficient, including embracing social networking, online research, and more. Also, work on your physical appearance so you are fit, attractive, plus show up with a positive attitude. Learn how to interview with those who could be your children - treat all with respect. It is a tough job market where networking - online and in-person - rules the results of whether or not you get hired." Meg Montford, Executive Career Coach and President, Abilities Enhanced
"The solution for many of them is to become more entrepreneurial. If they can develop practice, become consultants, or move into an "of counsel" role with a law firm and build practice there, then they can often reboot their careers. If they are successful at marketing and practice development, that can create leverage for career development. The importance of marketing skills for this demographic is paramount. Coaching and counseling to bring out the inner entrepreneur can save a career."  Sheila Nielsen, President at Nielsen Career Consulting
"Many employees, regardless of age, are making more career/job changes on a frequent basis... long term commitment to an employer is decreasing. That all being said that is why it is ironic that employers are discriminating against older workers. The main items that employers think about when considering an older worker is: 1) can I afford this person and 2) do they exhibit the energy and passion to help the organization reach its goals. Individuals need to consider these items when engaging with potential employers (and relieve their concerns as soon as possible). In addition, individuals need to be mindful of the things they can control (such as resume presentation and personal brand/style as well as considering unique working models)".  Cristie Berger, Associate Director, Workplace Engagement at United Way of Metropolitan Nashville
  "I would like to add the importance of flexibility and positive mind-set as critical factors in career change, transition, search effectiveness. Many of us will need to expand our thinking beyond replacing a position lost to the many possibilities for gaining meaningful work outside of the traditional structures in which there are limitations, parameters and shrinking opportunities...
    In my view, work generation technique suffers when the focus is on job search. Many discouraged seekers limit themselves chasing opportunities or depending on leads. They lose their excitement and confidence about the work they do. They become isolated and humiliated about their length of unemployment. They often are applying for positions they don't even want.
    Alternatively, when people in transition begin to think about finding work that is meaningful and needed, regardless of whether it is a traditional job in a big (secure) organization, many alternatives become possible. When they get interested and excited about work that want to do rather than a job they can get alternative paths become evident. This translates into projects, consulting, entrepreneurship, advisement, part time, temporary or even volunteer assignments that re-introduce the out of work individual to the structure and stimulation of productivity, being needed, collaborating with colleagues, meeting challenges and opportunities to create something of interest. That beats waiting around for the phone to ring!" Sheryl Spanier, CMF, Executive Career Catalyst and Coach at Sheryl Spanier&Company
"I would just add that we all have our preconceived notions about people and it's important to get past the stereotypical assumptions about different generations: Ours as well as theirs! I spend time working on how to dispel those myths about older workers some of which have been mentioned here. I suggest that the seasoned professional needs to shift perceptions from "dated" to "contemporary"; from "biding time" to "commitment"; from "unproductive" to "productive"; from "cost" to "value" and from "peer mismatch" to "colleague". That said, I support Sheryl's comments on the importance of looking at the "work" we want to do versus the "job" we need to get. I often relate this to Covey's quadrants and when I ask workshop attendees to determine what is important, I encourage them to think bigger than a job and to vision the life they want to have going forward, what it contains, who is important, etc. because there is more than one way to get there".  Rita Carey, Career Consultant
And finally, the excerpts from an article of a personal finance journalist and commentator with an expertise in career transition and retirement issues Kerry Hannon (http://blogs.forbes.com/kerryhannon/2011/04/23/nonprofits-are-hiring-three-things-you-need-to-know/):
Nonprofit jobs have a certain cachet with boomers looking for a career shift.
I hear it all the time from job seekers, and I get it. It’s a time in life where you’ve made the bucks, climbed the ladder, and so on.
If you’re fortunate, an early retirement, or nice severance package has given you the flexibility to unsnap the velvet handcuffs and get to work doing something that really brings meaning to your life–and those whose lives you touch. You can put your lifetime of skills and tools to work making the world a better place...

The largest piece of that job growth is expected to be at mid-sized and large organizations and primarily in the area of direct services. In other words, jobs on the front lines that involve working directly with people who need assistance, such as counseling, tutoring and mentoring programs. Continued job growth in program management/support and fundraising/development is also expected.

Here are some steps to consider:
Find a nonprofit training program. There are a growing number of organizations in cities around the country designed to help experienced professionals do the nonprofit shuffle through a variety of training programs, fellowships and part-time assignments.
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get hired by the nonprofit you lend a hand to, it will provide some training, boots on the ground experience and a networking opportunity that can make it well worth your time. 
Check for board openings. Another good place to start is BoardnetUSA.org, a website for anyone looking for a nonprofit board. Once you’ve posted your information, you get a weekly e-mail with a list of organizations looking for people who fit your profile.
Volunteer. If you’re on the outside looking it, perhaps the best and easiest way to get noticed is by volunteering your way in the door. ... you can never go wrong by stopping in at a local charity whose mission you believe in and offering your time a few hours or more a week. You never know where it will lead and who you might meet there who can help you in your job quest. Importantly, your pro bono work can make a difference. It’s good karma any way you look at it. 
           “For it is in giving that we receive.”
St Francis of Assisi

February 11, 2011


I was thinking about the tendency of FORCED volunteering, which is happening every day for the three most vulnerable layers of our populations: foreign-trained professionals, middle-aged career changers and generation Y recent graduates of high or post-secondary schools. They have all been advised that starting volunteering is the gateway into their dream jobs, networking, getting desirable skills etc. In my opinion, this is a type of exploitation of people's desperate situations - to me it would be more honest to advocate for these people and create the type of contracts that permit them to stay in the company, after a particular "on-the-job training", for at least one or two years (similar to the existing wage-subsidy contracts). Working for less money (possibly), but in their own professional fields, they should have enough time to prove their talents and commitment to the profession. I am going to work on this idea for my clients - to me the whole volunteering idea is mixed up in this economy. I cannot imagine people working for free, when they do not have enough money to put food on the table for their family; we push them out of their comfort zone, creating an environment, where they're  desperate and vulnerable to all sorts of scams .

Do not get me wrong - I am a life-long volunteer myself - I also donate my money to the projects, which seem to improve the quality of people's life. However, I would never judge any unemployed guy or gal who prefers working double shifts on low-income jobs to volunteering for their favorite causes.
I would do everything to help my clients stay who they are and resolve this problem.I would talk openly about this "volunteering" tendency and negotiating better solutions with prospective employers on clients' behalf! I would make a proposal to our governments of all levels to stand behind those types of contracts and invest into or subsidize an existing talent pool. In turn, it will help balance the labour flow, will make us competitive on the world scale and will bring benefits to our society as a whole!

February 9, 2011


It is accepted by the new model of the world of work that the bulk of our current population is going to be constantly on the move between  jobs, or even careers. That means, in turn, we have to sacrifice our values for the stability and certainty of one's career path for the sake of knowledge oriented technologies and global re-orientation of the modern business collaborations. What do we gain instead?
Looking at the bright side:
  • life-long learning attitude, more democratic approach to education, including on-the-job training, virtual schools, community educational and training services, sponsored by governments and corporations;
  •  international business, cultural and global traveling opportunities; possibilities to participate in global scale projects; on the other hand, growing tendency for flexible workdays, including working and studying from home;
  • division of labour between countries - someone makes the best planes, someone  provides the best pilots...
  • nations on the move means an increased need for various type of transportation and  an  increased need for directions where to move, settlement, informational,  childminding services, you name it-  suddenly, an opportunity for the new set of jobs in Transportation,  Hospitality, Informational and Social services 
And many more, however, lets look on the other side of this coin:
  • every time, when we fall out of this system,  we have to make sure that we are competitive enough as our skills can get outdated within very short span of time - in 1-2 years and even shorter...Our grandparents will never be able to understand how could they make more money with less education, and their grandchildren with university degrees can not get a job better than an entry level position for the Home depot customer service, because during their 5 years of education the industry has disappeared from the Earth face. It would be funny, if would not be sad...
  • fierce competition creates the stress and disbalance between life and work; the more stressful is environment, the less healthy are relationships between people; and the less healthy are people themselves. How our forties and fifties are going to look like in this economy?
  • if people are constantly on the move, their life style has to be changed and all the real estate has to lose its value; we are going to, similar to tourists or gypsies,  follow  the available job market and keep all our staff as mobile as possible;  our "mobility" is going to dictate change for the houses' structure, and  for all other items of our every day living - it will need to fit in one suitcase. "Small space" concept seemed to be already attractive to the generation Y and to modern overpopulated cities and countries.
  • nations on the move means that people going to deal with real  issues such as decrease in commitment of any aspects, increase in exploitation for the same reason (think of the modern contracted jobs - who is responsible for your health or your relationships with your family or community). 
  • The most dangerous tendency is about decreasing of our natural tendency of sharing  - we are going to develop survival techniques so that employers would keep us longer on the job - we will keep our secret formula with us or try to sell it big to cover time between jobs.
We can go on and go on, but the question is - do we really need to sacrifice our values, is it worth it?