Career & Coffee

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

How to Fight Unemployment Blues March 30, 2009

Filed under: Work/Family Balance — erinkennedy @ 2:11 pm

It starts quietly.

You hear rumblings about it from colleagues; it’s all anyone can talk about. Company morale is low and people are getting panicky. Suddenly, they let go of 25 people in your department with more layoffs expected. 2 months later, you get your pink slip. You don’t have any prospects in sight, everyone you know is laid off, and your resume has been severely neglected.

What do you do now?

For starters, you need to release some emotion and frustration, so plan on going out with your friends and/or family the weekend after you are let go and HAVE FUN. Forget about the job for a day or two and just  try to relax. You can’t expect a response from anyone if you apply for a job on a weekend, so there is no sense in worrying.

Next, start contacting old friends, colleagues and relatives to let them know you are on the market. Start social networking– join LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo and/or all the other social networking sites available, set up your profile and let people know you are job searching.

Go to business lunches, job fairs, trade shows and join any associations in your field.  Keep your entire job search organized by using jibberjobber (one of my favorite sites for job search management–oh how I wish I had jibberjobber back when I was job searching… I was using folders, little pieces of paper that I would lose, notepads, ugggh).  Get your resume, cover letter and references in order so you aren’t in a panic if you see a job you really, really want.

Doing these things will make you feel productive and will keep the blues at bay. The busier you are, the better you will feel. I notice that clients of mine who are sitting around waiting for the right job have the hardest time. But it’s not only keeping busy with job search, but with other things as well. When was the last time you read a book? Painted? Played golf? Planted a garden? “Interim Time” as I call it (time in between jobs), is a great time to start a hobby you’ve always wanted to do. I read a great article by Brazen Careerist’s,  Penelope Trunk who put it perfectly, “5 Things to do when you are unemployed. Hint: it’s not job hunting”. I loved this because it makes sense. Penelope talks about starting a blog, or launching a company, or doing something you’ve always wanted to do.

Before I got the job at the career center, I had 6 months of job search. Yuck. But I took it as an opportunity to do something I had always wanted to do:  cross stitch. There is something about a beautiful work of cross stitch that always moved me. It looked so tedious, but at the same time, challenging. So, I went to the cross stitch store, bought a pattern, thread and canvas, and began my work of art. Talk about time consuming! It became my treat to myself , my reward, after sending out my resume, going on interviews, or making connections that day. It was tedious, hard on the eyes and tiresome, but I loved every minute of it. It also distracted me, which kept me from obsessing on the fact that I didn’t have a job.

Make small goals, keep yourself busy and then being unemployed won’t be so depressing. Besides, you’ll be working before you know it and then you’ll wish you were out doing some of the things you could be doing now!


Change January 21, 2009

Filed under: Work/Family Balance — erinkennedy @ 3:05 am
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Today the United States of America made history. We elected the first black President.

In the 1860’s, President Lincoln said it would take 100 years to undo the crimes of slavery and he was right. In the 1960’s Martin Luther King took our country down a new path, a path of change– promoting, no, demanding equal rights for all races. And now, today, 40+ years later, here we are. Our great country proved we could change and we could savor the taste of hope again. Despite our splits, despite our different views, today we made history. I am so very proud to say I live in the U.S. Especially now. Change is a good thing. Sometimes it is painful or uncomfortable, but it also helps us to grow.

What changes have you made in your life lately? Have you left your comfort zone, even a little? For me, it is this blog. It is painful to me to be anything but immensely private about my life, but I have realized that it is in sharing that you build relationships. I have always been very, very private, so believe me when I say that even blogging about this is pretty uncomfortable. This is one of my “Small Attainable Goals” for 2009– to get out of my comfort zone and open up a bit. I know I can grow from it. I know it will create deeper relationships with friends and clients.

Another thing I did, which is equally as big of a deal to me, is I cut my hair. OK, guys you may be groaning here, but for women, IT’S A BIG DEAL. I cut 8 inches off my hair. I’ve always had long hair, but this year felt different. Something was in the air and I kept hearing, “A New Year, A New YOU” in my head. So I did it. It was pretty scary, seeing 38 years of my life floating down, gently drifting toward the floor, but it was also a feeling of, “Ahhhh!”. Now, here is the new me… sassy and stylish. The best part is, I feel really good about it. I walk past a mirror, expecting to see my staticky hair down past the middle of my back, but WHOA! who is that fun-looking person? Oh yea, that’s me!

Think about something you would like to change. It could be as big as quitting smoking or as small as taking a new route to work. Change is good. It helps you grow and learn new things about yourself, “Hey, who knew I would get up my nerve to stand up in front of 22 students and teach a night course in Economics?” Great things can happen when you change. You will meet new people, experience new things, and take a different path perhaps leading you to something new and exciting.

What change would you like to make? I would love to know– and to know how you feel now that you DID IT (or at least made up your mind to do it). Talk to me…


Career and Stress August 8, 2007

Filed under: Career & Workplace,Work/Family Balance — erinkennedy @ 2:19 pm
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** Found this very interesting and true, here is an excerpt from an article called:


According to the Globe and Mail article, A career killer called stress by Wallace Immen, “Almost one in four Canadians believes stress has kept them from moving ahead at work, a study finds. A survey sponsored by Toronto-based Multi-Health Systems Inc., and conducted by Leger Marketing has found that one in four Canadians believes stress has kept them from moving ahead at work.

Quoted in the article, Dr. Steven Stein, stated, “People have longed talked about the effects of stress on our physical and emotional well-being, but the study shows it can not only make work difficult and less satisfying, it can also literally impede a career.”

Further, the poll found that almost one in four – 22 percent – of Canadians believes stress has kept them from moving ahead in their organization, 30 percent say it has prevented them from being recognized for their contribution at work.

Among the factors behind those numbers: 56 percent of the 1,729 office workers surveyed said they feel that stress regularly prevents them from being as productive as they would like; 52 percent said it negatively affects their relationships with co-workers; and 51 percent said it cuts down their decision-making ability. Over all, 82 percent of respondents said they experience stress in their work and home life, and 41 per cent said it is frequent.”

This leads to a wide range of career-dampening problems:

“Physical symptoms: Respondents blamed regular headaches, indigestion, constipation, fatigue and insomnia on stress.”

“Psychological problems: Anxiety, defensiveness, irritability or anger toward co-workers or family and feelings of being helpless were also blamed on stress.”

“Behavioral traits: Impatience, procrastination, temper, withdrawal or a reluctance to take on more responsibility came with the stress territory.”

However, all does not have to be lost to stress. Career experts say that if you get more in tune with your natural inclinations of style and approach to work, your job will naturally become less stressful for you – and that will clear a path for advancement.

You can read the full article at:


Balancing Family and Work August 5, 2007

Filed under: Career & Workplace,Work/Family Balance — erinkennedy @ 2:51 am
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How To Find Balance In Your Work At Home Career And Your Personal Life

Work at home moms face challenges that are very unique. The decision to work outside the home or stay with your children is difficult, with each option having advantages and disadvantages. If you stay home you may lose income and you will lose interaction with fellow employees, and if you work outside the home you live with separation from your children and pay caregiver expenses. Many women are choosing to work at home and finding the right opportunity is the first step in finding success as a work at home mom.

You could use the knowledge and skills you have and become a consultant, develop a career in design or writing, telecommute to a job, or start a home-based business. The opportunities are endless.

It can be difficult for a work at home mom to balance home, family, and career. Even if you are not a parent it is hard to find time for a personal life when you operate a home-based business. It is very easy to become consumed by your work when you work from home and it can be a challenge to find time for yourself and your family.

To successfully balance a home and career you must create a work schedule. Decide what hours will be set aside for work and try hard to stick to that time-frame. It very beneficial to create a boundary between work and home. Setting a work schedule will give you a routine to follow.

To give yourself the opportunity to socialize and meet new people, try getting involved with community or other volunteer activities. If you do not get out of the house regularly you may begin to resent your work and your family obligations.

During your workday, take short breaks to get up and move around. A simple stretching routine or a short walk will do wonders for your outlook. It will be necessary for you to deliberately schedule time for personal activities such as reading, picnics, or exercise. By adding these activities and free time to your schedule you will ensure that you get some much needed “mommy” time and that your family spends quality time together. You will find that if your leisure and family time suffer too much, your relationships will suffer as well. Make time for the fun things and times shared with children and family.

If you implement these ideas into your life as a work at home mom, you will be better able to achieve balance between work and your home life.

About the Author:

Aurelia Williams is the mom of four busy children, a Personal Life Coach and the owner of which is an informational site that also offers products, articles and a great newsletter. You can also hear Aurelia daily on the show, she is the Resident Life Coach.


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,