Job Search

Don’t take your gainful employment for granted - Maurice Johnson

No matter who you are; rich, poor, race, culture, creed, educated or not… this economy is effecting you.

Currently the unemployment rate is 9.1%. I was affected just around a year ago. Like many others I did everything that people say you should do. Get an education, stay well-networked, present yourself in the best way possible. Unfortunately, I had found myself in the unemployment line in August of 2009.

Sadly, I sometimes forget. I take my current position and livelihood for granted and at times need to be reminded. We all need reminders that at any moment, something could happen to put us in a position that we would rather not be in.

The story of Maurice Johnson, a 55-year-old down-on-his-luck Bostonian, reminded me how close we all are to an edge we don’t want to look down. His story also challenges the popular perception of homeless people by being an unemployed aerospace engineer with two Master’s degrees. If you can help a scientist-down-on-his-luck out… then please do so!

Ted Williams, unintended voice of second chances

There are stories that inspire

I am a sucker for inspiration for those who may have had tough times and somehow keep their attitude positive and outlook in the right direction. I was inspired on Tuesday while watching the story of Ted Williams, a homeless and past voice personality that battled with alcoholism and drugs. 2 years clean he was pan handling in Columbus, OH near an off ramp of interstate 71 when a Columbus Dispatch reporter did a story and it was soon posted on Tuesday. So inspired, I planned a post for my typical Wednesday Hump Day Humor and changed it to Hump Day Inspiration. The thing with Ted was not as much his powerful and crisp voice. It was more his attitude and sincere story. I was especially moved in his easy admission of his circumstances. Now I am sure you will see many post today about Ted. He is even surprised.

“This has been totally, totally amazing,” Williams said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, his voice choking with emotion. “I’m just so thankful. God has blessed me so deeply. I’m getting a second chance. Amazing.”

So humble when asked “what are you looking to get out of this?” His reply on a radio program Wednesday, “I would be happy with a job that pays 18,000 a year and my own place to cook meals…”

Simple needs. A short list of the jobs he has been offered:

  • 2 yr contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers with pay for his mortgage/living expenses.
  • Voice work with Inside Edition.
  • MTV. ESPN.
  • The National Football League.
  • West coast talent agents, voice coaches and syndicated talk shows.
  • A voiceover gig with Central Ohio Chapter of the Credit Union League of Ohio worth up to $10,000.

The 53-year-old Williams is scheduled to appear today, Thursday, on NBC’s “Today” show.

What makes Ted Williams second chance so different from anyone else?

With so many individuals having a tough time, what made Ted become such an overnight cause. To me there were four things that made his story so unique, inspiring and viral.

  1. It was, truly, unintended. While his place on the side of the interstate was no accident, the story from the Columbus Dispatch reporter was. No one expected this to take hold like it did. But it did!
  2. He has a story that grabs you. As soon as he started to talk about his situation growing up in New York, you could tell he was passionate about the work he was wanting to do. 
  3. He was sincere and honest about his situation.While no story is a pass to get a job or receive sympathy from everyone, you admire his honesty.
  4. He has the Talent. There is no doubt that once Ted Williams starts to speak that he can stop people in their tracks. A true voice for any brand or product. Regardless of what he has been through he still has talent.

Not everyone can be so lucky. There will be many that will also start to take advantage of his situation. I hope he can sustain. We can’t all think that we can hold a sign, a video will be taken and within 24 hours, success show itself on a golden platter. For Ted it was a 10 year battle to get to this moment of high demand. However, it goes to show that you never know how your attitude, your story or your reaction to people can either inspire or land you in the places you find yourself in.

So tell me, is your story inspiring?


Drinking the Kool-Aid. Job Security versus Engagement

ad Drinking the Kool Aid. Job Security versus EngagementSo I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.

Taking the whole pitcher to the head. Some of you know that I started a new job a while back. So far I am really enjoying it. They have actually been exactly what they said they would be. Not only in the function I perform, but also the autonomy and control I have in making stuff happen. I am working with some great people, downloading and sifting information from the current executives. So far, they seem to be open and ready for what programs I’m building. That does not mean there are no challenges.

Survival versus Sustainability

On that note, I also have a lot of responsibility to perform. In my 8+ month job search I thought a lot about exactly how long it would be before I would be forced to break down and just accept or go for “anything that came along.” It is a tough decision for anyone to make. In this market one that many have never experienced or quite know how to approach, the typical thought around “I will try and see what happens” just isn’t practical. This approach, as many of us have found, does not do a company justice nor does it do us any favors. But we search for hope. We do all this work to look attractive and get a position we believe will be great for us, without often thinking if it is good for all parties involved. These approaches cause us to be locked in a survival mode rather than sustaining mode. In my mind…

  • A Survival mode pushes us anywhere. Gets us to do anything in order to survive. It justifies any approach and or thinking that we are owed something. Often it can make us place blame. That blame being justified or not.
  • A Sustaining mode, I believe, makes us think more about the long term and how it affects those around us. It weighs our selfish needs against what is reality and often makes us think more about all parties involved (from our family and colleagues to even, in the job search, the company or agency we would like to represent). Sustaining mode is not easy. It forces us into the hard farming mentality versus hunting for the now.

For those in any mode there is always help. In the form of network groups, job search chats, support groups, etc. Yet many people don’t take advantage of them. It takes practice to build routine. It takes consistency. Many have practiced the same routine over and over. Now they need a change.

what does it mean 19746 1278251649 0 Drinking the Kool Aid. Job Security versus EngagementIt’s not all double rainbows

I was fortunate enough to obtain the role I have. The team is excited. My boss is excited which is what helps contribute to my own excitement and confidence. And I would tell you myself, I need a lot of confidence!

With everything going well in this still short time frame, we still have challenges. Changes, the industry, and current economic uncertainty keeps people on edge. I could be excited but at the same time my excitement can also be viewed as being smug or egotistical. In that I have to be careful and empathetic.

Also who knows what could happen. I could be back where I was. Looking once again. You hope but you plan as well. Right now I have Engagement but that is not the same thing as Job Security.

I think your ability to be polished and have the abilities to interview and not only look like a strong candidate but be a strong candidate is one benefit… the actual ability and capabilities to perform within a role you obtain is an entirely different story. I believe this is why I waited and didn’t just accept any role no matter how attractive or unattractive.

Not all of us can wait for the right role, but all of us can be patient about how we approach our direction.

So what about you. Are you engaged in your role (no matter how long you have been there)? What is keeping you from being patient?

and now our moment of zen:

httpv:// and Unemployment Benefits

Over the last week I have been hearing many stories regarding unemployment benefits. How these benefits affect our current short and long-term unemployed, the negatives and postives that this issue brings to the economy and current budget shortfall.

I wrote about this yesterday in a story at Very delighted to be included but I am even more apt to help people drive the conversation around issues of work and talent. In order to make wise choices you have to have information on both sides of the argument. Some opinion is helpful but the truth is what gets us closer to a solution. I offer a little of both. So feel free to check out the story:

TLNT: The Clock is Ticking: 99 Weeks of Unemployment are Almost Up

Let me know your thoughts.


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