Career & Coffee

Resume Writing, Job Search, Industry News and Erin’s weekly musings on all things career.

Guest Post–Karen D’Anna–Career Change February 28, 2007

Filed under: Career & Workplace,Job Search — erinkennedy @ 9:14 pm
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My name is Karen D’Anna and I have been collaborating with fellow writer Erin Kennedy, owner of Professional Resume Service for over a year. I first began contributing to Professional Resume Services when I realized the extraordinary standards and high-caliber services offered.

I myself have changed careers several times since leaving college. I realized that there was a process that I went through each time I was ready to move to another challenge. I thought I would share some interesting information about what triggers us to begin a new job search.

Is it time to make a career change?

Do you feel restless at work? Are your values being met by the job or the environment you are working in? Do you answer “yes” to any or all the following questions …..?

· Do you feel down on Sunday as Monday looms nearer?

· Has your work become routine and predictable?

· Are you drained of energy after a day at the office?

· Does work lack a sense of importance or purpose?

· Do you see little or no room for advancement?

· Do you think there is work you would be better suited for but you just don’t know what it is?

These are indicators that you are discontent in your career. It is inevitable that you will periodically re-evaluate your occupation. Your job is constantly evolving. Corporate politics, economic shifts, mergers and personnel upheavals can cause unexpected changes. At the same time the world is changing you are also experiencing shifts in your internal life. Your values, needs and life expectations develop as your life evolves.

You have goals that are not met, both personal and professional, your job has stalled and you feel the loss internally. You think to yourself, “there must be something better out there.” Fear of change often stops us from taking the step to start the job search process.

Many times you sit by passively thinking things will eventually get better but when they don’t you begin to explore the opportunities that exist with other organizations. Facing your fear of the unknown can result in a rewarding career change. Be pro-active and anticipatory and look at this as a new beginning.

It might be time to invest in your future and consult with a professional career coach. A career coach can give you necessary tools to access your current position and evaluate your future goals. Mapping out a game plan will allow you a positive approach to a job search and give you the ability to find the position that will meet your personal and professional goals.


Networking… the #1 way to get a job!

Filed under: Job Search,Networking — erinkennedy @ 9:07 pm
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A friend of mine recently asked me what was the hardest part of job search for most people. The answer? NETWORKING.

Networking can be as unnerving as standing up in front of an audience for some people. Of course you have others, like most of my sales cleints, who can get up in front of anyone and speak for any amount of time. But for most, just the thought of having to meet new people makes them wince.

Here are a few pointers to help ease your way into the networking circuit:

1) Tell everyone you know that you are job searching. You never know what doors may open for you. While in college, I told a client of mine (I was a Nail Technician!) that I was looking for an intership that would be accepted by my university AND be relevant to my degree. Guess what? As the Director of Human Resources at the time (now she is President/CEO) of an international non-profit organization, she had the federal funds to open a new career cneter and guess who was going to be interning there? All of my worrying about finding the right PAID internship, and it (she) was in front of me the whole time.

2) Get together with other professionals you know. Start your own networking “club” with friends/family/colleagues. Keep as current as possible on your own company’s job openings, too. It never fails, there is always someone who will let you know of a job opening a their place of employment.

3) Hit the job fairs. It may sound scary, meeting ACTUAL human resources people from the companies you admire, but remember, they are there to meet YOU. Their job is to take resumes and potential candidates back to the company for review becuase they NEED employees! So, dust off your best outfit, take clean copies of your resume, and head out the door to the nearest job fair.

4) Remember, you are qualified! If you are second guessing yourself as you are about the introduce yourself to a possible contact, remember that you ARE qualified for the position. Take a quick moment to remind yourself of all the RIGHT reasons that you shold be hired.

5) Visualize. This is one of my favorite tools for every area of my life. I’ve used it in job search, interviews, and presentations. Picture yourself having an interesting conversation with a contact. Picture them responsding to you in a favorable way, seemingly taken with whatever you are saying. Play our the scene in your head. What are you saying? What are they saying? How are you describing yourself, your abilities, your training/education, etc? Visualize them writing down your number or taking your card, later calling you in fo ran interview. Not only does thsi make you feel relaxed, but it helps you when you actually begin speaking with the person because you feel more prepared and not as tense when they ask you about yourself.

These simple steps will help reduce the panic and stress of meeting new people and networking. Good luck!– Erin Kennedy


Why Failure is Good February 2, 2007

Filed under: Career & Workplace,Work/Family Balance — erinkennedy @ 12:34 pm

I recently came across an interesting article about failure. I know how many times I’ve failed at something and thought, “why did I even try it to begin with?”. But the jewel of failure is that along the way, we usually end up discovering our hidden talents. Read below…


How do you view failure? Do you see it as something negative that you don’t want to be associated with or do you see it as something positive? Most people in the world don’t like failure. Fear of failure is the main reason why more than 80% of people in the world are not prepared to change their circumstances. Why do people fear failure so much? The reason for this is because people don’t understand the dynamics involved in success and failure.

Everything we do in life has either a right way of doing it and a wrong way of doing it. When we do it the right way we meet with success. Needless to say that when we do it the wrong way we are unsuccessful.

Understanding this is important because it puts failure in its proper perspective and removes the fear around it.

When someone who doesn’t understand this dynamic meets with temporary failure he gives up thinking that he is not good enough or that he will never make it. But is this really what it is? Does the fact that you didn’t make it the first time mean that you are not good enough?

Does it mean that you’ll never make it? Not at all! All it means is you have not found the correct method yet!

So what do you do next? You go back and try and find out where you went wrong. Then you try again this time employing a different method. When this doesn’t work you go back and look at everything you have done so far.

Talk to successful people who have made it in this area. Think of what you might have left out and try again. Why do you need to do this? Because, “Every failure, every adversity and every heartache, carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit”, says author and mentor to many great men, Napoleon Hill.

Failure contains the seed of victory and of success. Failure teaches you what works and what doesn’t. When you study the reasons for your failure and learn from it, you’ll find the key to your success. The great inventor Thomas Edison knew this truth more than anyone else. It took Edison 8000 trials to perfect the Edison battery? Afterwards he uttered this famous quote, “At least we know 8000 things that don’t work”.

Every successful person has had to overcome temporary defeat at one time or another. Know this! You haven’t really failed until you accept defeat. Do you envy those who got success easily? Don’t! Success earned in spite of earlier failure is so much sweeter than if you would get it otherwise. Those who earn success in this way know the road to success. They are not afraid of losing what they have because they have learned how to become successful.

Those that easily got success don’t know the road. They got there so quickly that they didn’t bother to look around. Let me use the following analogy to illustrate. Take two guys traveling to the same destination, with this difference. The one is going by airplane and the other by car, but the one arriving by car had a few breakdowns along the way.

If you take these two guys back to their original position and ask them to find their way to their destination, who do you think is going to remember the road better the next time? Surely the guy who had a few breakdowns and spend some time on the road, because he had the opportunity to look round.

Let temporary defeat no longer be an obstacle but an ally and you’ll be on your way. You have many hidden talents, so start working towards realizing your dreams. Don’t be put off by the fear of failure. Failure is an ally because it contains the seed of success. —-Written by Jimmy Roos

Until next time,