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January 2011
My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

This month of January 2011 has found me struggling to write on any important topic. It seems I have run out of conventional career counseling and career coaching topics, which I have covered over the past ten years in my newsletters and also in my book, Career And Life Counseling From The Heart.

So, I take this opportunity to write this letter of encouragement to those of you who are struggling to land a job, through no fault of your own. The focus of the article below, from the heart, is that we need to keep our faith, and also constantly renew our positive and optimistic attitude which will govern our behavior and hopefully give us the desired result of capturing a job.

Your feedback is appreciated and I will always respond to it. Until we meet again through the magic of e-mail, greetings in the New Year 2011.

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach

  by Don Sutaria

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was a season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."

Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens

Screaming Headlines!
The New York Times
Saturday, January 8, 2011

        Slow Job Growth Dims Expectation of Early Revival


"The year 2010 ended on a disappointing note, as the economy added just 103,000 jobs in December, suggesting that economic deliverance will not arrive with a great pop in employment."

Signs still point to a long slog of a recovery, with the unemployment rate likely to remain above 8 percent—it sits at 9.4% after Friday's report—at least through the rest of the president's four-year term."

"We need collective patience," said William C. Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business. "You can't recover quickly from a disaster like we have been through."

Powell and Chan continue: "With local governments continuing to shed some jobs, all of December's gain came from private employers. In fact, private employment grew each month last year. The unemployment rate, which is based on a separate survey of households, fell from 9.8 percent in November, though a substantial part of that drop is caused by Americans leaving the work force."

Long-term unemployment, however, remains a malady without an easy cure. The percentage of the unemployed who have been without work 27 weeks or longer edged up last month to 44.3 percent, virtually unchanged from a year ago. Other indicators, such as the length of the workweek, remained stagnant."

The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, said Friday that he expected economic growth to be "moderately stronger" this year. He was less optimistic about employment, noting that the job market had "improved only modestly at best. It could take four to five more years for the job market to normalize fully."

Powell and Chan go on to say: "Left unsaid, however, was the fact that job growth was not enough to absorb people entering the work force in the United States, much less to shrink the unemployment rolls. The so-called real unemployment rate, which includes those workers who are discouraged or have given up looking for work, stands at 16.7 percent."

Read the full article at The New York Times web site  »

With these types of dire predictions, what is the average unemployed Dick and Jane supposed to do? Well, all I can say again and again is that tough times never last but tough people do!

This may sound like an empty positive bromide to the suffering, but I apologize in advance for it. Please stay with me and hear me out. My very impression is that you are a very intelligent and open-minded person, evidenced by the fact that you are reading this article. I will not let you down!

My clients who planned their job search according to new time-tested methodologies during recessions had a much higher success rate than those who did not.
As a career counselor and career coach I have experienced enough heartbreaks and griefs with dozens of my clients during the past two years. What do you say to competent people who are in the 40+ age category (and younger ones too!), who in spite of their best efforts have been struggling to find a job in their field after 1 or 2 years? Various reports tell us that there are at least 5 or 6 or 7 highly qualified people for every open job. It is no consolation to be a runner-up!

However, there are some bright spots too. A few minutes before starting to write this article, I opened an encouraging e-mail from a client who just landed a fabulous job with rich benefits at a leading university.
Not too long ago, another client also landed a six-figure job in the fashion industry. And another young man under age 30 landed a job in the financial industry, an even better one than he left behind.

What distinguishes these people who have successfully landed new jobs, instead of being "also ran?" They developed advanced and sophisticated job search skills, to be able to stand out from the conventional herd. I do not ever wish to disparage the folks who did not land a job yet by implying that they are failures; I would prefer to call them people who may have delayed successes!

So, what am I driving at?

My clients who planned their job search according to new time-tested methodologies during recessions had a much higher success rate than those who did not.

Many of you are aware that my inspirational guru in the field of career counseling and career coaching for more than three decades has been Richard Nelson Bolles, the author of a practical manual for job-hunters and career-changers, What Color Is Your Parachute? His sane and prophetic advice has appeared recently (12/01/2010) in a blog, CareerChatter, sponsored by Chicago Tribune. I agree with Dick Bolles wholeheartedly, because that is what I practice. You can read the complete unabridged article on the Chicago Now web site, however, I am delighted to give you some of the highlights below in a paraphrased version.

The Seven Forgotten Truths About Job-Hunting During Hard Times
by Richard Nelson Bolles

          If you are out of work and especially if you've been out of work for quite some time, you will be depressed by a continuous bombardment in the various media of bad news, half-truths, and an itemized list of all the odds you're up against. These are hard times as we struggle to recover from a really bad recession. There are an awful lot of people pontificating about just how bad it is who don't know what they're talking about. Their general theme is hopelessness. So let us rehearse seven truths that give you hope.

(1) Millions of people are out of work in this country, even during economic good times.

The true number of unemployed people is 7,799,000, not 14,800,000, since 7,001,000 are unemployed even during prosperous times.

(2) Millions of the unemployed are finding jobs each month, even during bad times.

Statistical record keeping of unemployment is a little skewed. You want to be 1 among the 4 million who found work this month.

(3)  Job-hunters are always competing against other job-hunters when a vacancy occurs.

This cannot be debated because the competition is always there in good times and bad times. You want to be the last person standing because of your experience, accomplishments, and excellent interviewing skills.

(4)  Minimum job-hunting skills will get you far when you're looking for work and times are good.

In bygone years, it was fairly simple to have a reasonable cover letter, resume and interviewing skills. The job-seeking candidate was usually in the driver's seat.

(5)  Minimum job-hunting skills will leave you unemployed for long periods of time when times are hard.

During hard times, you'll need to upgrade your job-hunting skills from "Minimum" or "Elementary" to "Advanced".

(6)  This involves hard work on your part, and this means putting in time on your job-hunt.

An example of recent college graduates spending one hour per week in their job search is depressing.

(Perhaps one needs to spend at least 40 hours per week if you are seriously looking for a job full-time, or 20 hours per week if you are partially or fully employed. You need to be able to research and find 200 potential jobs in at least 100 companies. You may get 49 Nos before you get one Yes! The trick is to get to yes before giving up. It is not easy! - Don Sutaria's comments.)

(7)  If you're not willing to do the hard work, then you're going to have to depend on luck; but there are some things you can do to improve your luck.

Get out more and network. Also, be observant.

Closing Comments (by Don Sutaria)

In the Good Book, apostle Paul tells young Timothy, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (NIV, 2 Timothy, 4:7). Paul also says from his prison in Rome, "....and after you have done everything, to stand." (NIV, Ephesians, 6:13). Dear Reader, I have no more words left to add to that! My thoughts, hopes and prayers go with you during your difficult period of job search. I will stand by to help you and do all that I can.

Don Sutaria, also known as "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).

Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
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