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

Fasten Your Seat Belts!

Perhaps you are not ready to hear this, especially if you are in the middle of an active job search in the current economy. Looking for a job is more than a full-time job! You may need to work at it for almost 50 hours a week. Perhaps you are thinking, "How can I fill those hours?" Anecdotal studies and my own experience have shown that you may need to investigate and apply for at least 200 jobs at 100 companies. For example, if you have worked in the food industry, you need to study and investigate jobs not just in the same industry, but also in allied industries like pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, brewing and beverage industries.

You may get initial interviews with 7 companies, and repeat interviews with at least three. With a little bit of luck, you may get 2 firm job offers. I know it is easier said than done, but this rough formula works! Try it!

In its simplest format, you need to:
  1. Know exactly what you want to do.
  2. Find the companies where you want to offer your services.
  3. Contact the person in that particular company who has the power to hire you.
Please keep your feedback coming as usual. We really appreciate it and we reply to each one of the writers individually.

Until we meet again through the magic of e-mail,

Peace! Love! Shalom!

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

  "Walk on the Child Side"  
Don Sutaria, Founder, President & Life-Work Coach of CareerQuest, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal by Sue Shellenbarger. Shellenbarger is a popular columnist for The Wall Street Journal. In her column, Work & Family Mailbox, she answers readers' questions. In order to preserve the full flavor and impact of the question and answer, we are quoting it here verbatim, since it illustrates the power of persistence during job search, even under difficult circumstances.

Q: I'm a 49-year-old dad who stepped out of the work force for several years to care for my son, who has Asperger's syndrome. I've relied on part-time consulting work. I'm now looking for a job, but I sense my resume is finding its way into the recycling bin due to my "walk on the child side." Any suggestions?

A: Your resume may not be presenting you in the best possible light, says Don Sutaria, president of CareerQuest, a Union, N.J., coaching concern. Consider redoing it, perhaps with input from a career coach, to emphasize your transferable skills and experience in a functional context, playing down the chronological dimension. Consider getting some business cards printed with a brief, bulleted list of your accomplishments, Mr. Sutaria suggests. "Feverish networking" should help; at your level, it's often the most effective tactic, he says. Also, line up at least two strong references among your clients. Your attention to your son's needs is laudable, but you don't need to dwell on it in job interviews. Be truthful, but provide information "in a controlled fashion," Mr. Sutaria recommends. There's seldom any way to predict how individual interviewers will regard the choices you've made. But think positive and be persistent, he advises. A growing number of men and women are returning to work after career breaks for family reasons. And moving back and forth between consulting and corporate jobs is increasingly common.

  How to Unleash the Incredible Power of Persistence in Job Hunting  
  by Don Sutaria
It Couldn't be Done

Somebody said it couldn't be done,
   But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
   Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
   On his face. If he worried, he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
   That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
   At least no one ever has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
   And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
   Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
   That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
   There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
   The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
   Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
   That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.

Edgar A. Guest

A little over four years ago, my wife Elizabeth and I saw the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), starring Will Smith and his five-year-old son in real life, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith. Both of us enjoyed it very much and were teary-eyed during the movie. I am no film critic, but as a career-motivator, my advice is, go see it!

Why did this movie grab me so much? It was powerful and uplifting, heartfelt and compelling. First of all, it was based on a true story of a real person named Chris Gardner. It also provides a role model for fatherhood, life-work balance, and highly-focused extreme career change. Even under extraneous circumstances of being homeless, Chris never once thought of abandoning his son. What a tribute to an enduring relationship between father and son! The last great movie in this area was Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) with Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep.

Another movie about persistence which enchanted us was Bend It Like Beckham (2002). It was a wonderful movie which wove into its cross-cultural plot the central idea that sometimes, to follow your dreams, you've got to bend the rules! It is a simple story like bubbling champagne, about a young girl in England who is torn between adhering to oriental family traditions, and attaining super-stardom on the soccer field.

Pursuit of Happyness movie poster     Kramer vs Kramer movie poster     Bend it Like Beckham movie poster

Much has been written on how to discover your passion and calling in the world of work, including my article in the December 2006 CareerQuest Newsletter. If you missed it, send me an e-mail and I will forward a copy to you. I promise you will not be disappointed. You can also find this essay in my book, Career and Life Counseling from the Heart (Your Career Is a Pathway to Your Soul!).

Oprah Winfrey asked Chris Gardner what was the most singularly important factor that contributed to his phenomenal success. Chris replied instantly without flinching or a second thought: I finally found the work I was meant to do. What an insight! He was good with numbers, he was good with people-relationships, and he had incredible persistence in spite of all odds!

Chris was an electronic technician selling bone-density scanners to doctors and hospitals with very little success, barely making $13,000 per year. Family finances were in a state of bankruptcy and his wife left him. He took custody of his son. In this all-American rags-to-riches story, Chris ultimately becomes a stock broker, finally owning his own firm that does $100MM plus deals.

Several months ago, I had the honor and privilege of giving a talk, How to Start a New Job on the Right Foot, to a large group of well-educated job seekers in Princeton, New Jersey. The amazing thing that evening was not my talk, but the fact that three professionals had landed new jobs, a true cause for celebration! The local ritual called for each of these three people to bring chocolate chip cookies for the whole group! We had chocolate chip cookies coming out of our ears! This had happened during the peak of high unemployment, which some of you may find hard to believe! What was the secret ingredient? Persistence! Persistence! Persistence! Some career counseling experts say that it may take 49 nos to get to 1 yes! Yes, I certainly contribute to that philosophy.

My point here is that there is no one right time during the year to get a job. Eternal vigilance throughout the year is the price of getting a new job, especially if you have been looking for a while. The present economic conditions demand it. If you snooze any time during the year, you will certainly lose. Remember how persistent you were when you were three years old and asking your mom for a candy bar when she took you shopping to the supermarket? What prevents you now from harnessing the same power of persistence in job hunting?

Even in my private practice, every week, even during the summer and holiday periods, I am coaching professionals in interviewing and salary negotiation techniques. They come from all walks of life, from information technology to investment banking, and from law to journalism.
My point here is that there is no one right time
during the year to get a job.
Why does this logic fly in the face of conventional wisdom? Based on my personal experiences and those of others I have coached, I can tell you confidently that holiday and slowdown periods are the most productive times for job hunting.

Why is that?

Just think of it as seeds being sown during the slow periods. Even if you don't reap the harvest immediately, you will be first in line to be hired when the hiring peak arrives, since you have kept the fires stoked! You are way ahead of the game. Executives in position and power to hire you are generally traveling less during these so-called slow periods and taking leisurely vacations with the family. This may place them in a better frame of mind than other times during the year.

Effective managers admire your persistence, may like your attitude, and be more willing to see you because they are relaxed and are spending more time in their offices. You have broken the paradigm of slowing down in your job hunt like your competitors have. Statistically, fewer people are actively in the job search mode, and that alone gives a boost to your job search effectiveness.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Calvin Coolidge
So, I hope I have convinced you that this is no time to waffle in your job search. If you still don't believe me, follow the dictum of the great international philosopher Nike, who said 10,000 years ago, "Just Do It Now"...or something to that effect...I just don't remember!

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you mustóbut don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slowó
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside outó
The silver tint of the clouds of doubtó
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hitó
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Author Unknown

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   
CareerQuest     2165 Morris Avenue; Suite 15     Union, NJ 07083     Satellite Office in New York, NY