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Windy Days and Stella Got Nothing on Us March 16, 2017

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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The last two weeks in Rochester have been quite interesting from a weather perspective to say the least. Last week we had the major wind storm with 80 mph gusts which knocked out power to over 100,000 people.  Then one week later we get a major winter storm which dumped more than two feet of snow on the area.  How much more can we take!

I bet you utter this phrase during your job search and networking activities as well. Sometimes it appears that no matter what we do we are faced with severe head winds or blinding snow that continues to pile up making it nearly impossible to get from point A to point B. It often seems we are not making any progress whatsoever.

This is when you need to step back take a breath and relax. As we learned over the last week, having an appropriate strategy and plan to recover from setbacks and obstacles and then implementing and monitoring that plan can help get you back on track much sooner than you’d expect.  Many people had power back in a few days, and after two days of our major highways being snow covered and treacherous today we experienced clear roads and a smooth commute thanks to the planning and constant monitoring by our public service officials.

How do you plan to recover from your next “Stella?”

Until Next Time….


Comeback Victory March 2, 2017

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I know it has been about one month since we witnessed a historic comeback and the first ever overtime game for the Super Bowl but the lessons learned from this and how you can apply them to the job search and networking are too powerful (in my opinion) to ignore.

We all know how the game started, Atlanta dominated the game, New England look completely lost and unable to mount a sustained drive as Atlanta shut them down while seemingly moving up field on offense at will. Frustration was beginning to set in with New England, you could see it on their faces; nothing they seemed to do was working.

Does this sound familiar? Do you sometimes feel like your networking activities are ineffective, no matter what you do?  You look at others and feel like they are dominating the room while you continue to struggle.  Do your resulting job search efforts suffer the same fate?  No matter what you do you can’t seem to get the interview or if you do go through multiple interviews you can’t seem to close the deal?  (Been there, done that myself.)

What’s been your next move when faced with these situations? Do you keep doing what you are doing and hope things will change?  Do you give up?  Take a break and collect your thoughts?

What you SHOULD do is take a page out of the New England Patriots playbook. They kept hammering away until they found an opportune time to take a break (halftime) and re assess their game plan.  You should do the same.  When you have time in your schedule (if you need to, block out time, stop your networking activity for a few days) and look at the “game film” from the first half.  Carefully examine what you have been doing and determine why it’s not working.  Ask a friend or relative to offer you some advice based upon their observations.  Then take the data you have gathered and formulate a revised plan to help break through whatever is holding you back allowing you to create your own comeback victory.

Even if you are not a fan of the Patriots you have to admire the adjustment they made at half time and more impressive, their never-say-die attitude. Adopting this same process and mind set in your networking and job search activities (and life in general) can go a long way to helping you reach the goals you have set.

Until next time….



Networking While Working January 26, 2017

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Networking (job search) while employed is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do well.  You work eight or more hours a day then come home to attend to other personal business and then try to find the time and energy to send out letters requesting a networking meeting and maybe leave enough time to relax with your family.

No time
By david.nikonvscanon

Maybe you are off to a networking event of some type right after work which of course will require some additional activities such as “thank you” or “nice to meet you” notes.

Then there is the question of actually meeting with people with whom you have secured appointments.  Your available time is limited to early morning meetings say before 7am which very few people are able to accommodate, lunch time or immediately after work.    Certainly you cannot line up a networking meeting every day of the week because of your other responsibilities so you are further limited to perhaps 2-3 days a week where you can really advance your networking activities.

What’s a person to do?

With the job market heating up and more opportunities to move on to the next big thing I am sure many of us may face this opportunity (dilemma).

So I ask, what is your suggestion?  How would you manage your networking activities to support a job search while gainfully employed?

I’m waiting for your answers, use the comments section below so we all can benefit from the wisdom of others.

Until next week….

It’s Been a While September 29, 2016

Posted by robewanow in Business Development, Job Search.
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Well I know it’s been a while since I published my last blog post but I had no idea it has been over two months! Admittedly, it was a very busy time for me, planning for our largest trade show of the year in Chicago (4,900 sf booth space) but I should still be able to get a post out there at least every-other-week.

However, this provided me with the fodder I need for today’s post.

In order to be successful with your job search, networking or customer prospecting efforts you need a consistent effort.  Going strong for a while then tailing off or worse yet taking and extended break do nothing but interrupt your progress, preventing you from gaining ground and ultimately achieving your goals.

This consistent effort can be challenging as the temptation to “take just a little break” can be strong and we rationalize it will help us come back stronger (this argument is also what we use when we skip our daily visit to the gym) however, in many cases this is not true.

The key is to achieving this consistent effort is to set goals and milestones along the way. For example in your networking activities it may be as simple as attending one live event each month with the goal of meeting two or three new people and reconnecting with two or three of those already in your network.  You could also target one or two “one-on one” meetings each month; perhaps coffee before you head into the office or a lunch meeting.  Granted, you may not achieve both each month but the key is you have a goal, something to aim for and something that helps hold you accountable.  This forces you to put in the work, to have a consistent effort.

Another way stay consistent is to create a schedule. This can be as detailed as you need and as your circumstances dictate. For example if you are unemployed and fully engaged in the job search your daily or weekly schedule should be more specific since you have more time to dedicate to your job search and it should be your number one priority.  If you are working and either looking to change jobs or simply keep your network strong then you can work with a little looser schedule; fit it around your work obligations.  Just remember even though you are working your networking activities should not stop. Yes it’s harder to do this and even more difficult to perform a quality job search but once again consistent effort will win the day.

This is of course easier said than done but if you keep yourself laser-focused on the end goal you will find yourself making significant steps towards that goal each time.

Now, I just need to follow my own advice.

Until next time….


Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Beers March 24, 2016

Posted by robewanow in Family, General, Job Search, Work.
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Here is one of my favorite posts.  I wanted to re-post this so you may either enjoy it again or enjoy it for the first time.

Until next time….

Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Beers

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a
day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front
of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and
empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then
asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar
He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between
the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They
agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar
was full. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the
entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between
the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends
and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they
remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and
your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all
your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the
things that are important to you.

‘Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend
time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with
grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to
dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and
fix the disposal. Take care of the golf ball first—the things that really
matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows
you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a
couple of Beers with a friend.’

Happy Chinese New Year – The Year of the Monkey February 11, 2016

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Monkey2016This week marks the celebration of the Chinese or Lunar New Year, this year is the year of the Monkey and is the ninth of 12 animals in the recurring Chinese zodiac cycle.  Additionally in Chinese astrology each year is also associated with one of five elements; for 2016 that element is fire, technically making 2016 the year of the Fire Monkey.  Interesting to note while the animal signs repeat every 12 months the animal-element combinations recur every 60 years.  People born in Fire Monkey Years tend to be optimistic, adventurous and positive this holds true for the year in general too.

How does this affect your job search?

Well in addition to the above characteristics, monkeys are considered inventive, creative and energetic – good traits for those in job search mode this year.

We all know your prospects can change from feast to famine and back again overnight.   If you are like a monkey this won’t derail your search because you have the ability to creatively adjust your tactics and the energy to keep pushing in the face of adversity.  In addition, the positive energy associated with this zodiac sign will give you the extra push you need and get you one step closer to your next opportunity.

So what’s holding you back?

Get out there and act like a monkey!

Until next time….




Stop Procrastinating January 28, 2016

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I admit it.  I am guilty at times of procrastination, in some way at some point I think we all are.  The trick, I believe, is to recognize it and put an end to it.

Procrastination can be especially prevalent in the job search.  Some days it’s way easier to say “I’ll get to that tomorrow, I’ve got plenty of time.” Before you know it it’s 2 days or a week later and you still have not completed that task.  Maybe you needed to update your resume or follow up and schedule a meeting with a contact someone gave you in a prior meeting. The truth is the longer you put off a task the more likely it never be completed and when we are talking job search that will severely hamper your chances of landing quickly in the job you want.

Check out this interesting article I found on The Ladders.  It discusses 6 Easy Steps to Stop Procrastinating.   I admit, while I never heard or thought of the very first suggestion, it does make sense when you think about it.

Until next time….

Job Search Gone Cold February 12, 2015

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cold-620x400Just like our winter weather this year your job search can get cold real fast. Unlike the weather however you can control what happens next.  What do you do?  How do you react?

You can throw your hands up in the air and scream “why is this happening!!” or you can sit back and objectively review the situation.

Here are four things to consider.

  1. Is my company target list correct and up-to-date?  Review the list and make sure the companies offer the type of opportunities you seek.  Sometimes the company you are trying to get into may only have a small presence here, for example they may only have a sales team.  If you are looing for an engineering job with this company you’ll need to determine where those positions reside.
  2. Are you connecting with the “right” people?  Make sure the people you are meeting with can help you get one step closer to your next gig. Sometimes you don’t figure this out until it is too late but after a few times you learn how to spot these people.  This doesn’t mean you should not offer to help others if they can’t help you, what I mean here is these people “take” more than give and after all you need to make progress toward your goal.
  3. Am I meeting with the “right” people frequently enough?  One meeting a week just won’t cut it.  You should be meeting with at least five people every week, ideally more.
  4. What do your supporting documents look like?  When was the last time you updated your resume or cover letter?  How about that networking profile you use at your daily meetings, when was the last time you revised this document?  Don’t have one, then get one.  Now.

I am sure you have other suggestions.  What did I miss?  Where will you look in case your job search goes cold.

Stay warm!

Until next time….

You Can be a Hero September 18, 2014

Posted by robewanow in General, Job Search.
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Back in February I mentioned I was reading Hero by Rhonda Byrne author of The Secret and The Power.

I finally finished the book the other day.  No it’s not that long of a book only a little over 200 pages but I found myself getting distracted with a number of other activities and then forgetting about it all together sometimes.  I ended up re-reading a good portion of it and will most likely read it again but this time in a shorter timeframe.  I found the core message of the book uplifting and inspiring.

The premise of the story is that we all have an inner hero, we all have powerful abilities inside us which enable us to achieve our dreams and overcome any obstacle in our way. However in order to fully realize these abilities, which frequently get pushed aside or buried deep within us and forgotten we need to take the Hero’s journey.

Through the use of real life stories from famous people like Pete Carrol (Seattle Seahawks Coach) to the lesser known like Liz Murray (a young lady born to drug addicted parents, was homeless and willed herself to attend and graduate from Harvard).

The book ends not with great glory for those who take the hero’s journey but instead from those who benefit from someone who did.  For by taking the journey it brings you to a greater realization in that we are here to help others benefit from our journey; no matter what that journey produced.  A successful business launch, accomplishing a sports goal or dream, graduating college or finding a new job after a layoff.  These are all a hero’s journey and we are all uniquely positioned to help others learn and achieve their dreams if we just take the time to share what we experienced and learned.

Give the book a read, I am sure you will find it as motivational as I did.

By the way, please let me know how I can help you whether it’s regarding a job search,  networking, starting a business or anything related to marketing.

Until next time….

Chaos At The Airport July 10, 2014

Posted by robewanow in General, Job Search.
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Last week we took a family vacation to Mexico.  It’s the first time my kids were there and the second time for my wife and myself (the last time being the mid nineties – Ugh long time ago).

We had a great time toured the ruins, learned about the Mayan people and culture, hiked the jungle and even got to swim with the dolphins. All in all a great family vacation.  Then…..it was time to come home, by far the hardest part of any family vacation.

We went through the regular ritual packed most of the stuff the night before, verified our pick up time, flight details etc.  Everything was in line.

Then we got to the airport. We walked into complete chaos.  Lines of people everywhere with no beginning or end in sight.  I could see the US Airways counter but had no idea how to get there.  Which line do I stand in, the one snaking back and forth across the entire width of the building with about 250 people in it or the one with only 50 people in it?  I had no idea I was directionless.  Then a moment of hope, an airport employee asked if I needed help.  “Yes!” I said.  He immediately ushered me over to the self service check in terminal for US Air which I would have never found because the see of humanity in the airport obscured it.   Boarding passes in hand we headed over to the check in counter where the line was a mere 20 people but plenty of agents working.  The check in process was smooth and uneventful and in the end we made it to our gate in plenty of time.

Does this sound familiar?  Think about the time you were laid off.  You experienced chaos at the airport.  Most likely you had no idea where to turn, what direction to go, how to get moving on your job search.  Then I’m betting somewhere along the line you ran into your own version of the airport employee I mentioned above, the one who offered to help point you in the right direction and get you started.

Remember how relieved you were to finally have a sense of direction?  Some hope that you will make it to your gate on time?  The next time you hear about someone losing their job or needing that piece of advice, take the initiative and be that airport employee.  Even the simplest advice or suggestion can go a long way in helping that person make their gate on time.

Until next time….