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Career Change – Can’t Be Happy Here? Maybe You Can Be Happy Somewhere Else

Here’s a familiar scenario. You get frustrated with your job (or maybe your whole career). You tell a few friends. They shake their heads and say, “If you can’t be happy here, you can’t be happy anywhere.”

There are two reasons this myth can be wrong.

Reason #1: You really landed in a miserable job that’s going nowhere.

Let’s face it: some jobs are pretty awful. They can be meaningless, frustrating or even degrading. They sap your strength. You begin to think they destroy your soul.

Some bosses are toxic. Some companies are toxic. Some signs that a company is toxic:

– A lot of people are sick a lot of the time.

– You are physically ill more than you used to be, typically with colds or headaches.

– You lose interest in things (on and off the job) that formerly got you excited.

– The place has high turnover, sometimes even during a recession.

– People seem to quit or get fired for no reason or for bizarre reasons.

– Your family and friends say, “You’ve changed…and not in a good way.”

Of course, sometimes you just don’t fit. There’s nothing wrong with the job but it’s not a good match for you. For example:

– The company places high value on conformity and you are a maverick.

– They dress up; you dress down (or vice versa).

– No one of your race, ethnicity, religion and/or gender has ever been taken seriously. Women who get taken seriously tend to look like models.

Reason #2: You’re totally in the wrong career.

You bounce around from company to company, thinking, “The next one will be a home run.”

You may like the job but just have no talent for it. Sometimes you can develop your talent over time. Sometimes you are under pressure to perform immediately so you will never know what might have happened.

The job may have requirements that clash with your own temperament and style. You like the work, but…

– The action starts at 7 AM and you are an evening person.

– You have to travel and your highest priority is home and family.

– Most of the jobs are in big cities and you have a rural soul.

You may be unsuited to a field even though you always wanted to be in that field and you invested huge amounts of time. Many lawyers want to leave the legal profession, even though they’re talented. I met a physician who trained as a surgeon for two years before realizing he hated the lifestyle: pressure, late nights, long hours. He is now a very happy anesthesiologist in a group practice, happily married and living the life he’s always wanted.

Are ready to change careers but don’t know where to start? Download a FREE 12-part ecourse, Midlife Career Strategy. Get instant access at

From Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., an author, career/business consultant, and speaker. Cathy has been recognized as an expert on mid-life career change and relocation. Her approach combines education, experience and a totally irreverent sense of humor.

Searching For a Job? Start by Looking For Former Colleagues

Are you looking for a job? If so, then you might be facing a large amount of competition. More than 10% of the United States’ population is currently unemployed. That disturbing figure makes the prospect of landing a new job look a little bleak.

During such difficult times we could all use some help, which is why this is the perfect time to reconnect with coworkers from your past. A former colleague may be able to provide a strong reference, good recommendation or even a positive referral that can help you get your foot in the door.

Most people work for several different companies throughout their professional career. When you think back on all the people you’ve worked with at each of your previous positions, you are likely to discover a large number of individuals who could be part of your current professional network.

One of the biggest concerns people express when debating whether or not to reach out to someone from their past is how that person will react. You may not have talked to former coworkers for many years, but relax, they haven’t contacted you either. People lose touch for a variety of reasons: new jobs, growing families, moves to different states and the hectic pace of life.

The good news is that most people are happy to hear from old friends and colleagues. They are likely to be just as happy to hear from you as you are from them – and to add you to their own professional network.

Before you start reaching out to people, take a little time to consider the feelings and possible reactions of others. If you are only asking for a favor, you may not get a very warm reception. Take a moment to talk with each person, explain your situation, ask for tips and suggestions, express your gratitude to those who offer help of any kind, and remember that networking works both ways… be willing to help others when you can.

If it’s been a long time since you’ve talked to the people you once worked with, you may need to start by finding them online. A good place to begin is with a Google search, but sometimes the number of results you get back can be overwhelming.

Another option for finding colleagues is to use a networking website such as Linked In. This site is used by millions of business professionals throughout the world. If you have your own profile, you can search for people you worked with directly or indirectly and invite them to join your professional network. Linked In also provides an option for people who once worked together to write recommendations for each other, which can be another useful resource for job seekers.

Of course not everyone has a profile on a business networking site, but you can also find former colleagues using a “People Search” website like This is a site that provides public records, and it can be used to obtain current addresses, phone numbers and other contact information.

Once you have found people from your past, spend a little time catching up, but also let them know your situation. Don’t expect anyone to have the perfect job just waiting for you, but you never know who may be able to help with a suggestion, insider tip or a good reference. The more people you add to your network, the better your chances become of hearing about a prospective job opening, and of being able to help others.

Whether you’ve lost your job, or are looking for a better career, there are several things you can do to improve your prospects. Review your resume and make sure it is geared towards the position you hope to land, practice your interview skills, reach out to friends and colleagues who can help each other along the way, and just keep trying. Things are tough economically, but there are still great jobs available.

By Nate Waymire. Good luck with your job search!

Finding the Right Job After 40 – How to Stay Current

In today’s economic environment, it seems like every unemployed age group is struggling for a job. While younger people certainly have their legitimate gripes with their lack of experience, older workers over 40 are finding that their years of job experience can be a yellow flag to some employers.

All official job forecasts for the immediate future indicate that a 10% unemployment rate will be with us for quite a while. There are simply not as many jobs in the U.S. as there used to be. While we can argue about why that is, it doesn’t help the over 40 person who’s looking for employment right now.

The fact is, the country is in a time of great transition from the traditional manufacturing society, to one that is increasingly automated and “do-it-yourself” oriented. This means that there’s less jobs which require human minds and bodies to manually do things.

Many service jobs have been shipped overseas and will never return. If you’re over 40, you may have started your work career in either a service or manufacturing job which no longer exists, or is really hard to find these days.

In this current economic environment, large employers are shedding workers and small employers are struggling to find money to expand and hire more workers. This all makes finding a job for people over 40 even harder.

Yet, giving up should never be an option. If you’re savvy and persistent, you can greatly increase your odds of landing a good position. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

What Are You Really Interested In Doing?

This is a really good question to ask yourself at this stage in your working life. By this time, you’ve spent many years doing specific job tasks. Now’s the time to figure out if you want to do the same type of work, or, is there something else you’d really like to do, but just never went for it?

If you’re interested in going in a new direction, find out what kind of skills and training you’ll need to have for that type of job. Because you’re unemployed, you have an opportunity to do some job training. There are websites that offer free and paid training. Or, visit your local job training center.

Your willingness to learn new things and to get training shows that you can easily adopt to a new type of position.

Get into Networking 2.0

If you’re not already on a social networking site, go ahead and open up an account and create your own space. Many positions these days aren’t found by traditional means, but by meeting people through social networking. If you’re clueless about how to sign up with one, there are several good books and websites that can walk you through the process.

This is no longer optional. Having a social networking page or a blog of your own, shows a potential employer that you’re keeping up to date with the latest technological trends. Plus, it’s a great way to meet people like yourself who are going through this tough unemployment phase.

Revitalize Your Look

Put on your interview clothes and take a look in the mirror and really scrutinize yourself. This is what a potential employer will see when you walk in the door looking to be hired.

You’re already at a disadvantage because you’re not an eager 20-something. So, what can you do to instantly convey that you’re just as eager to get to work as your younger counterpart?

A quick way is to overhaul your professional look. And, let me just say right now that people DO judge a book by it’s cover – even if we learn we’re not supposed to do that. An employer may take one look at you and see an “older” person, therefore triggering an instant bias.

Giving yourself a mini makeover will make you feel good, while appearing more youthful at the same time. So, if you’ve been wearing the same old, style of haircut forever, go to the salon and get something that looks fabulous on you. If you’ve got a little gray, consider getting your hair color treated. Remember, in this tough environment you need every little advantage you can get.

Buy a new interview outfit and make sure it’s tailored to fit properly. Get your teeth whitened and learn to walk with your shoulders up straight. Practice smiling in the mirror and greeting your interviewer. First impressions are everything.

These are small changes that can make a big difference in how you’re perceived before you even say one word.

By Brenda Ballentine who says get a college degree from home and boost your chances of landing a great job! Earn an AA, BA, BS or Masters degree at your own pace. More information here:

Top Ten Ways to Find a Job

When the economy is in bad shape, the job market is usually worse. Those with jobs are trying to stay employed and people without jobs are desperately trying to find a new job, both can be extremely stressful.

If you put in the time and effort into finding a new job you will be rewarded no matter how fierce the competition is. Stay motivated and persistent – finding a new job is your new job right now.

These are the top ten ways to find a new job:

1. Use the Internet Daily – It is so easy to get lost on the Internet wasting time on websites, job boards and social media sites with no real benefits. Make sure you are actively spending your time on the Internet looking for and applying to jobs and networking with those who may be able to help. There are a ton of useful job boards and career sites to help you focus your search. Check out Job Board Reviews to help find the most useful websites to your industry or profession. Do your best to stay focused on your job search for a few hours a day. Be sure to actively apply to jobs, don’t just upload your resume and wait for phone calls.

2. Perfect your resume – Your resume is often the first glimpse a potential employer gets of you and your skills, make sure it accurately details your skills and work history and how they can benefit your future employer. Make sure you have someone proof read it before sending it out and try to customize it for each job you are applying for.

3. Network – Let everyone you know that you are looking for a job. The more people you have out there on your team, with eyes open the more opportunities you will have. Tell everyone in your network what kind of a job you are looking for or any special skills you may have. You can forward your resume to people in your network and ask them if they know of anyone hiring or if they can check within their company for any open positions. Most people actually find and are hired through referrals from a friend or family member than any other source.

4. Go back to school – Now is the time to get the competitive edge over other job candidates. Many people are finding it hard to get to a traditional college or university and are opting for online schools and programs. Look into enrolling in an accredited online college for some online courses and upgrading your training. Increasing your education will improve your resume and get you one step closer to landing a job.

5. Target Local Companies – Get out and start knocking on some doors. If you are not having any luck online submitting your resume online, it’s time to get out and start meeting people face to face. Make a list of companies in your area that you would like to work for, call them directly to see if they have any openings that interest you. If that doesn’t work, put on some professional attire and stop by with your resume in hand.

6. Industry Mags and Social Niches – Sometimes the best positions that are the perfect fit are only being advertised in industry specific magazines and publications. Sign up for some Industry trade magazines, online groups, forums, and social networks. Reading up on the latest industry news is a great way to stay on top and find new open positions. It also will help with your industry specific networking.

7. Job Fairs – Can it get better than this. Job fairs are a giant room or convention center filled with companies who are looking to hire. Dress to impress, print out a bunch of copies on your resume and start talking to companies who are looking to hire. It’s such an easy way to meet people and get some help with your search.

8. Get some Professional Help – Recruiters, headhunters, and temp agencies are always looking for qualified candidates. Find some recruiters that specialize in your industry or position and get them your resume.

9. State and public resources – There are so many free resources offered by your state to help job seekers find a new job. Most states and counties offer everything from resume writing services, career counseling, and lots of sessions on all the skills you will need to find you new job. State and local resources are also often given lists of openings that aren’t posted or found in other locations. Pop on over and see what they can offer.

10. Consider Freelancing – If you are not finding the right full time position, consider taking a contract position or freelancing your services out. Many companies are not able to hire for full time positions but would be willing to give you a try on an as need basis.

Get on out there! Remember to Network, keep your head up and Don’t give up! There is someone out there waiting to hire you.

Tips For Protecting Your Executive Brand

It’s not easy to come up with ways to remain relevant as an executive who is in between jobs. Continuing to work on and update your brand is incredibly important, even more so when you’re between jobs.

While it’s not exactly easy to build and nurture your brand, it’s easy as pie to ruin it. With just a few misguided errors, the brand you’ve worked so hard to build could easily crumble, that is, unless you remember to do the following…

Always Plan Your Next Move

Instead of jumping on an exciting venture – with your name attached – that sounds too good to be true, take time to look over the situation, make sure it’s right for you and determine whether it should be your next move. Regardless of how long you’ve been an executive, if you’re trying to grow a brand, you’ve got to be extremely careful about where (and how) your name appears.

Showcase Your Resume

Your resume may come in the form of a CV, resume profile or LinkedIn page. However, you want to show it off to the world, make sure that you do so to allow people to see what it is that makes you such a great voice in your industry.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Yourself

Sometimes, as people begin to build their executive brand – especially on the Internet – they tend to fold under the pressure of others who have opinions of how they should think. Don’t think in this way, or you won’t stand a chance. If you appear indecisive or wishy-washy, employers in particular won’t see you as a steady force and someone who will be able to made solid, unfaltering decisions when the time comes.

Remember to Bring in Reinforcements When Necessary

Sometimes building your brand requires that you enlist others to help you get your name out there. You might be on friendly terms with a local reporter. Getting an article written about you can have a tremendous impact on your brand, and calling on your friend for help might be essential. Or if you have a friend who is a board member for a local charity, you may be able to organize an event where you will be the keynote speaker. Getting your name in front of others isn’t always easy, but it’s simpler when bringing in reinforcements.

Share What You Know

Probably one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others when building your brand is to offer advice to others. A good place to get this done is through a blog. You don’t have to pay a thing to get one started and can draw an audience that will come for your advice as often as you give it – a great way to show credibility.

There’s nothing greater than being able to build your brand to help you in your job search. You’ll also learn about yourself, and this might be one of the biggest benefits to building your brand; with the right approach, your next job will be right around the corner.

By Heather Eagar . Are you an Executive in need of a job? Be sure your resume is the best it can be. Choose a company that specializes in executive resume writing and that is best for you and your situation. Do it today at

Go beyond networking to get a job

The world has changed immensely since the last recession, and so have the rules of the job hunting game.

Sure, networking is still a no-brainer, but how do you make contact with a hiring manager when your resume first has to be screened and catch the attention of a computer?

How do you find jobs that aren’t posted? When jobs are posted, thousands of applicants might apply. What does it take to make a resume stand out?

Steve McMahan, president of a San Francisco company that helps place applicants in financial jobs, said job seekers have to be more pro-active than ever. Sending out resumes and waiting by the phone just won’t work, he, said, but persistence will pay off.

“Some people who didn’t have success finding a job last year will have a better chance this year,” said McMahan, who is based in the Tampa office of Accountants International.

With 1.1 million unemployed Floridians and a shrinking supply of jobs, what does it take to snag a full-time position?

The Tampa Tribune turned to McMahan and another expert, Donald Asher, a career coach and author, whose latest book is, How To Get Any Job.

Here are some of their tips.

Broaden your network pool

When you’re out of work, it’s easy to let depression and negative thoughts fill your head. The key to getting back to work is networking, both McMahan and Asher agree.

“You shouldn’t only be networking,” McMahan said. “But if you do only one thing, network.

“Think about every job you’ve ever had, every contact you’ve ever made,” McMahan said. “You’ll likely figure out you know a lot more people than you thought you did.”

McMahan recommends the unemployed get out of the house every day. Tell people you meet that you’re looking for work, keep resumes with you. Have coffee with old colleagues and others in your network.

Use social media. Reach out to contacts on sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn. If you don’t have these accounts, McMahan said, get them.

Don’t limit your search to posted openings

About 55 to 80 percent of the jobs available are in what Asher calls the “hidden market.” That means the openings are not posted. Asher advises clients to forget about posted jobs, he said, because by the time they’re posted there is fierce competition. He suggests instead trying to find out about jobs before they’re posted.

Target companies you want to work for and convince someone who already works there to believe in you.

E-mail people you know at the company and ask them to refer you for the job, Asher said. At the very least, ask that they personally hand your resume to the appropriate hiring manager.

“You don’t have to be someone important to get your resume bumped to the top,” Asher said. “About 25 percent of the management-level resumes have outright lies on them. This is why someone vouching for you means so much.”

Inquire about types of jobs, not openings. If a company knows about you, they may think of you the next time they have an opening – even if it’s not posted to the public.

“I worked with an accountant who was very shy and didn’t like to network,” Asher said. “We faxed his resume to dozens of offices over a weekend, and he landed a job quickly. It was a job he would not have even known about.”

If you do apply for a posted job, make the resume reflect the posting

Asher recommends including specific words from the job posting in your resume to increase your chances of being considered. Many companies have computers that screen resumes and sort the ones that best match the job posting.

There are some words that aren’t in the posting that the computer will be looking for, Asher said. For example, she said, the name of a competitor on your resume will likely catch the eye of the computer and then, hopefully, someone with the power to hire.

Once you’ve applied, make sure you’re not forgotten. Asher recommends stopping by every 10 days.

“I don’t think this is pestering,” he said. “And if it is, oh well. If they don’t hire you, it doesn’t matter what they think.”

Courtesy Tampa Bay Online – By Shannon Behnken who can be reached at (813) 259-7804.

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