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September 2010

My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

Welcome back from the summer. It is hard to believe that we are already in the fall! I hope you had an enjoyable summer with your loved ones.

Recently I was involved in conducting a free Career Directions Workshop. It consisted of nine modular sessions of two hours each. The essence of this program can be found in my book, Career and Life Counseling From the Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!). About 100 people participated in it. As a career counselor and career coach it was a bit of a painful experience for me to see so many highly qualified people competing in a very rough employment market. Recent statistics continue to show that there are at least six highly qualified candidates for every open job position! I have never witnessed such a scenario in four decades of my working life.

Solo job hunting is a very lonely venture. You need a buddy or a self-help group to prevent you from falling into funk city! Around the nation there are many excellent self-help groups for job seekers. They are usually free or available at a modest cost. Many of them are sponsored by churches, synagogues and temples, without giving them any strong faith-based orientation. Typical examples are JobSeekers of Princeton, NJ and 40 Plus of New York. Many states and counties have sponsored similar groups, for example, Professional Services Group. I urge the serious job seeker to seek out one in your neighborhood and attend their weekly sessions regularly, usually evenings. It will also expand your network.

When all conventional methods have failed to yield results, the job seeker is at his/her's wits end to determine what more to do! This intriguing article, Innovative and Unorthodox Job Searches Revisited, is bound to generate some controversy. Please let us have your thoughts!

The New York Times of Thursday, August 26, 2010, has a great 8-page Special Section on Continuing Education. I recommend reading it because it gives many useful tips on career development.

Until we meet again through the magic of email, enjoy the balance of summer and keep your feedback coming.

Peace! Love! Shalom!

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

See Screaming Headlines Below!

Picture of a newspaper reading Extra! Extra!  


Despite Signs of Growth, Businesses Hesitate to Add Workers

This was a special article on the front page of The New York Times on Sunday, September 27, 2009. To quote Goodman:
"Despite signs that the economy has resumed growing, unemployed Americans now confront a job market that is bleaker than ever in the current recession, and employment prospects are still getting worse.

Job seekers now outnumber six to one, the worst ratio since the government began tracking open positions in 2000. According to the Labor Department's latest numbers, from July, only 2.4 million full-time permanent jobs were open, with 14.5 million people officially unemployed,

And even though the pace of layoffs is slowing, many companies remain anxious about growth prospects in the months ahead, making them reluctant to add to their payrolls."
The United States Department of Labor released its latest report on The Employment Situation for July 2010, on August 6, 2010:
"Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons also remained unchanged at 14.6 million. In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.6 million. These individuals made up 44.9 percent of unemployed persons.

There were 1.2 million discouraged workers (persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them) in July, up by 389,000 from a year earlier."
Overall, the economy has lost more than 8 million jobs during the recession.

Sounds so gloomy! Doesn't it?

Take courage. Let's just go back to the half-empty-half-full-glass philosophy.

Do you wish to be the one in six who captures the job or the five who are runners up? The competition is certainly stiff and it is going to be very difficult to achieve your goal. So, you will need innovative and unorthodox methods for your job search. Keep in mind that these unconventional methods have to be used with utmost care and professionalism, so that you can be remembered for the right reasons. You want to be able to stand out from the crowd. You will also need a certain degree of chutzpah to pull this off.

I want to say at the outset that all the two dozen methods shown below will not work for everyone, but will be worth a try. A lot depends on your personality as a job seeker and also on the corporate culture of the company you are interested in.
  1. An advertising executive had a sign on the front and back of his t-shirt, This Space Available!

  2. A copywriter set up shop on a sidewalk with a folding desk and cell phone as a contact number.

  3. A marketing candidate made a DVD with his achievements on it and distributed it free; cost: $1,500.

  4. A whole graduating MBA class called themselves Marketing All Stars, and instead of boring résumés, placed the synopsis of their experiences on baseball type trading cards.

  5. A creative marketer dropped his one-page résumé in leaflet form from a hot air balloon.

  6. An enterprising candidate in the field of arts rented a theater marquee, on which he placed brief statements of his achievements and his telephone number.

  7. A writer had inexpensive baseball caps made with the saying, I will not drop the ball!

  8. Photo of a billboard advertising a resume

  9. A bold candidate sent a prepaid breakfast to the interviewer's office before the interview.

  10. Over a weekend, a potential candidate left post-hypnotic suggestions to hire him, on the interviewer's voicemail.

  11. Another candidate stood on the street with a placard hanging around his neck, showing the highlights of his accomplishments.

  12. Many executives are commuters to a city, taking trains. Résumés were handed out by one job seeker at the main train stations.

  13. If you hang around careers section at Barnes & Noble, and strike up conversations with like-minded people in similar situations, you may be amazed at the number of live job leads you can gather. Of course, reciprocation is needed!

  14. Make follow-up telephone calls to hiring managers between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. when they are most likely to pick up their phone, before their administrative assistants arrive. Try again between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., a time slot when executives may be working late, but their assistants have left for the day. Leave pleasant and positive voicemail messages if necessary, and be persistent in your follow-ups, calling at least eight times.

  15. Self-help job-search groups meet at churches, synagogues and temples, at convenient times in the evenings. Join at least one, which will give you moral support as well as job leads through the networking process.

  16. Keep in mind that these unconventional methods have to be used with utmost care and professionalism, so that you can be remembered for the right reasons.
  17. At a networking meeting/mixer, one job seeker had his condensed résumé printed on cocktail napkins.

  18. A private duty registered nurse who was in career transition, printed a t-shirt with her web site and contact information and wore it all the time when she was running outside chores.

  19. A financial executive had his condensed résumé on the front of his shirt and a brief cover letter on the back.

  20. A job seeker sent a cake designed as a business card with his picture.

  21. One candidate gave out personalized coffee mugs.

  22. Another candidate handed out résumés at a stoplight near his intended place of work.

  23. One interviewee appeared in a bunny outfit because it was so close to Easter.

  24. One prospective candidate found out where the hiring manager went for a haircut and followed suit. The job seeker asked the barber to informally introduce him to the manager, which he did.

  25. A hiring director was jolted when he received a shoe from an advertising candidate, with a résumé in it, and a note saying, I would like to get my foot in your door!

  26. A determined candidate offered to wash cars for free in the company parking lot, to show that he was not too proud to do anything assigned to him.
Dear reader, if you have a success story involving any "outside-the-box" tactic of job hunting, please let us know. We will share it with all our readers, and of course, give you the due credit.

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