Category Archives: The Job Enthusiast

Sustaining Job Loss Injury & Healing From It

mental health art by Katie DiamondMental health experts say there is a grieving period from job loss that one must reconcile before being able to receive assistance seeking new work and become open to opportunities for a new job. Some folks can do both concurrently. For others, it seems they need “time out” to comprehend what happened to them and try to make sense of it, if they can. Although it may or may not have anything to do with their job performance, the ramifications and consequences are the same: Displacement, alienation, esteem erosion, anxiety and increased economic hardship.

Grief takes the form of a roller coaster of emotions. Employment specialists can throw tools at them and feed them information after information, all well-meaning and ultimately useful, but unless those grieving are ready, it is futile. There is so much information available, sometimes it feels like, water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink, which can increase anxiety.

“I don’t know where I fit in.” This refrain is echoed by the unemployed whether they are new college graduates or matured professionals because the business world has truly morphed into unrecognizable forms and shapes.

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Have You Really Researched That Company?

ctl alt delJobseekers know how important it is to research a prospective company. While networking is at the heart of job search, one of the other critical elements is learning about the prospective company.Doing research in as many sources as you can is just as important as a compelling cover letter, dynamic resume and solidly good interview. You want to get the best-rounded scope and bird’s eye view of what a particular company that you are targeting for possible affiliation is all about.

Research is priceless for interviews through personal introductions when you already have a leg up because of mutual acquaintance and for taking the initiative in ferreting out opportunities for yourself by constant investigating everything, leaving no stones unturned. But research can still bode you well even in traditional interviews begotten from advertisements when you are lucky enough to receive a callback from your application.

What many people don’t understand is that you begin impressing a prospective employer in the cover letter! If you’re lucky enough to meet the right person face-to-face at a chance encounter like a job fair or networking meeting where someone knows someone and facilitates your meeting, you can then tell that key individual in person! The cover letter is a forum to briefly choose one element you have learned about them and most importantly tie it into something you’ve done, a strength you possess, a talent, and what you can do for them. Pay attention to their corporate philosophy or social mission and align with it.

No one should be without at least a basic understanding of the company, agency, institution or organization for which they seek opportunities and offers. Knowing something about the company shows engagement and serious commitment on your part. Research is essential for a number of reasons…

Finish reading this article on The 405 Club: The Un-Employment Support Network in New York & Beyond! · Have You Really Researched That Company?.

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The Crooked Ways of Business: It Isn’t Always About You. In Fact, It Rarely Is.

birds of a featherPeople who are unemployed suffer enough abuse. Financially strapped, they are mercilessly teased and antagonized by unremitting dead-end leads over protracted period of time that feel like a bloodletting, treated anonymously, like a number, feeling like a non entity in cyberspace—and victimized further by insensitive interviewers and job search policies by companies that would turn the dead over in their graves.

I’ve entertained a number of complaints from jobseekers about recruiters and practices on employment applications regarding questioning both on paper and in the interview. I’ve heard on several occasions that recruiters will want to know the companies to which you have applied or interviewed. This seemed like a normal request. After all, they wanted to know what strategy they would use if they repeated your application the second time—through them—or would skip altogether if you had had an unpleasant outcome and applicants and placement counselors like myself thought nothing of it. It made perfect sense…right? But now I am also hearing that some recruiters are pumping their clients for names of human resource personnel at companies with whom these clients met—so the recruiters can use them as contacts for more of their ownbusiness. This conveys to their clients that they are not interested in placing them, only gathering information for business and potential corporate paying clients. Regrettably, I hear this more often than I care to.

It’s clear that staffing agency personnel are judicious in very specific, exacting ways to please what corporate business clients want and who they want to hire. They want to keep their accounts. I’m certain there is a mold or prototype to fit—and they want to please the paying employer-client—not you.

Maybe they want an orange or pear but you are an apple. Keep looking for the right orchard… 

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What Holds You Back? Examining the Wild Horses of the Job Search Apocalypse.

No doubt, unemployment wreaks havoc and plays with your head in damaging ways.

wild horsesOver time, as an employment specialist, I have observed that many who seek new work become trampled by the horses of the Job SearchApocalypse. I realize it’s not fair or accurate to judge and paint an entire unemployed population with the same brush, as there are mitigating circumstances surrounding the economy and the number of jobs lost. Current reports fluctuate and are enough to paralyze anybody who loses a job. But some of the self deprecating and self defeating characteristics emerge time after time that they could easily form a course entitled, “How to Lack Luster 101.”

Many people unwittingly or unknowingly sabotage their job searchsuccess in little ways. The same profile of hopelessness and apathy repeatedly seems to emerge. While reality dictates massive changes in the world of business, don’t give up trying to find work.

Please make sure that you develop the following healthy job search characteristics as it is your only hope to combat the demons of unemployment:

1.       Show Initiative. Do you feel like a sitting duck in a penny arcade? Are you stuck in the self pity mode? Do you feel unmotivated with no sense of urgency? It astounds me as to the huge amount of time that passes between meeting someone, providing them with tools, assisting them with ideas, and the time it takes for that personto get back to me. Often weeks go by and I have to first regroup to try and remember that person. People get used to being unemployed and it becomes a whole new culture, a way of life.

Work with me! I want to help you!

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How Big Business Can Grow a Heart: An Open Appeal for Social Consciousness-Raising to Help Us All Revive the American Dream Together

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how big businesses canredeem themselves and resurrect a work life for those millions who’ve lost jobs due to economic downturns, domino theories, corporate greed and just about every other reason people lose jobs. Here are my ideas I’d like to share, thirteen of them and counting:

1.      Companies should advertise when they have massive layoffs. They could place full page ads in major metropolitan dailies like The New York Times and dozens of others across the country saying they have good dedicated workers and categorize the areas or job titles which they fall under with an appeal to other companies to contact them if they need any of the services these about-to-be laid off employees (listed in ad by job title only) provide and that they are being laid off through no fault of their own.

2.      Companies should pay attention to the various incentives offered by the federal and state governments to get disadvantaged workers achieve independence, self sufficiency or get back on their feet—including ex offenders and welfare recipients. Incentives include Worker Opportunity Tax Credit offered to employers who hire those disadvantaged populations and something called bonding. That’s free insurance provided by the government for hiring ex offenders. If the new hiree commits a crime of theft, etc., the employer is guaranteed to be reimbursed.


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Were You Terminated Due to Personality Conflict, Destructive Politics or Other Negative Workplace Events?

One of the hardest things for job-seeking individuals to get passed is the pain of termination. You and the boss did not get along. So who goes? Why, you, of course! You’re fired!It’s bad enough if you lose your job through corporate downsizing, “restructuring,” company relocation or closure, but to lose your job because someone in power favored someone over you, sabotaged you or made a bad workplace situation worse or just didn’t see eye-to-eye with you — or was just plain abusive, is the hardest thing to dust yourself off, get up and start over again after feeling “poisoned” by a toxic work environment.

As an employment counselor, I see this all the time. It happens to the best of us and somewhere along the line, I am willing to wager, most people will have experienced it at least once in their working lifetime.

“The boss was a mental case. He’d curse and scream and throw things…” Or, “She was such a bitch.”(like the boss in Damages or The Devil Wears Prada).  Or I hear about how someone challenged some unfairness at work, or meant well on some issue but was misunderstood and before you know it, unspoken, implied bad vibes filled the air and settled like a pall over every workday. You can cut that tension, as the saying goes, with a knife in those situations…

Sadly, things can’t always be helped in cases of personality conflicts. Sometimes it’s just the way it is and nobody’s fault. It probably happens more often than not and not everyone is open to admitting it. It’s uncomfortable. You know it when it interferes with the performance of your work and you hate going in everyday. Better to get out and into a new job before being fired. People sometimes receive unemployment insurance due to firing or quitting. There is no hard and fast rule as the department of labor has appeals and grievance procedures and does hear the person out and judges on a case-to-case basis. However, there are no guarantees of receiving benefits. The hearings listen to employer as well as the employee challenging a refusal to issue benefits and this certainly is not a statement saying it’s OK to quit your job and expect to collect benefits. You are far better off slipping away into a new job before losing your current, unbearable one through being forced out and having to explain and hope the labor folks rule in your favor. It can go either way and you might be stuck holding the bag, complicating your grief, anger and bitterness. Even if you get unemployment benefits, you’ll still be bitter. That bitterness will destroy your job search efforts.

You must start over, no matter what!  


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What You Need to Know Before Enrolling in Vocational Training

art by The Design SurgeryYou lost your job. You’re tired of that field anyway, so now you’ve decided to go back to school for new skills and make a career change. It’s a wonderful idea to want to better oneself and a sound one that makes sense—in an ideal world. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to learn and advance in one’s education. But before you take out that hefty loan for a certificate program and have a debt hanging over your head with no job prospects, consider some valuable tips:

Make sure the school is accredited by your state education department and is on the Eligible Training Provider List of your state’s labor department website. This means that the school had to meet certain important criteria and be validated.

Don’t go by hearsay as to employment opportunities. National labor statistics tell you that certain fields are growing. It’s important to remember that these statements are overall projections for the entire country and often do not and cannot take into consideration wild fluctuations due to the economy at any given time. The local regional reality for your desired field may be much different from those reports. Talk to people employed in your desired field. They offer the best reality-check. While labor stats may say one thing about how the medical field is proliferating in opportunities, local hospitals are laying off all professional levels like crazy and closing their doors in some cases.

Finish reading this article: The 405 Club: The Un-Employment Support Network in New York & Beyond! · What You Need to Know Before Enrolling in Vocational Training.

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How Social Media Can Land You a Job — and Lose You One, Too!

There was a time one hundred years ago when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone that people were skeptical just as they were at any time in history when change was inevitable or a great new idea or invention materialized. It happened with Christopher Columbus’ designs on sailing to the New World and just about with everything else. People were afraid the telephone would ruin civilization, hurt relationships, break up families…Today it is no different with social media, the online places and sites where people are in constant communing with one another and simultaneously—potentially—millions. Amazingly, people are skittish and afraid. Eventually with time they will come around with social media. No doubt, it’s here to stay as a primary source of communication that will continue to evolve.

Facebook and are among the most used and widely known. But many companies fear the power of social media and how staff can hurt their image, give away their secrets and in general waste time and money by employees who veg out on these sites during working hours. Did you know that today, even some big-name bank corporations do not allow access to on their computers? Some agencies have closed out Facebook access from their IT systems? (Sounds a little like Egypt, doesn’t it?) Eventually, like everything else, the corporate world will not feel it necessary to “block” social media sites. In fact, it’s the wise business, big or small, that realizes the endless benefits to be gained by dipping into the keyboard and clicking a mouse on the screen. Change is a process, sometimes a lengthy one with ten steps backwards for every one step forward. Give it time. The social media concept is still very new on the timeline of civilization.

via The 405 Club: The Un-Employment Support Network in New York & Beyond! · How Social Media Can Land You a Job — and Lose You One, Too!.

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The Job Search as Played Out Through Sports!

Think of your job search as a new sport.  What, you say? Job loss and reemployment is serious stuff.

But the world of sports is a lot like looking for work. If we compare job search to games like baseball, soccer, bowling, wrestling and chess, we see the similarities and how we can dodge balls, improve our positioning, change moves or take corrective action—much like we do when meeting obstacles at bat, on the turf, in the lanes, at the board—or in the ring! So get your game head on, take a look and see how many plays you’ve made!

Warm Up

The time it takes to realize the work world has changed and one needs to accelerate one’s efforts and pull out all the stops to find work no matter the game field.


Curveball – You’ve been thrown one of these when you are laid off your job, suddenly asked to pack your things on a Friday afternoon and are escorted by a coworker or security down the elevator and out the front door.

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