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 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 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 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.

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