Posts Tagged ‘job seekers’

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish

October 29th, 2010

Do you see your unemployment as an opportunity?

For most of us who are unemployed, one of the most difficult parts of our journey is what got us here.

We are unemployed, laid off, displaced, in transition (and who thought that one up anyway?) — we are unwanted.

It may have come in a phone call, an email, an interoffice memo, or a face to face meeting.  We were informed that we were no longer needed to perform the job that paid our bills, help put our kids through college, funded our family vacations, covered our medical expenses, made possible our planned retirement, and in many ways fulfilled our lives, nourished our minds, satisfied our souls.

So much of our identity is wrapped up in what now is our past job title or set of responsibilities — and in many ways I think that this is even more so for men who head families and may be the primary breadwinner.

Now that when we find ourselves out of a job we may not feel that we have an identity any longer.  We seem to float around in some odd state of limbo.

We spend a lot of time worrying — and rightly so — about finding the next job and returning to work.  Unfortunately, we don’t take the opportunity to celebrate the fact that not having a job is an opportunity to explore avenues previously closed off due to the obligations of a job.

Did you know that Steve Jobs was fired from Apple? In this video, Steve Jobs speaks about several things, but in particular, how his being fired from Apple offered him an opportunity to reinvent, change and grow.

I attended the CED‘s Start Something celebration last night at the American Tobacco Campus and toured the new American Underground.  The whole purpose of what is being done at American Underground is to create an environment that nurtures new ideas and innovation.

Jobs’ advice to the graduating class at Stanford doesn’t have to be only for the young eager students graduating from college. Each of us on our journey to the next point in our career can take his advice and move forward.

Perhaps your unemployment will allow you to be like Steve Jobs.

Perhaps we all should Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

What is this time in your life going to allow you to create, innovate, explore? What have you done foolish lately?


It’s “A” Little Thing

October 18th, 2010

I’ll pretty much answer to anything – Info Yenta, Data Diva, jw, Joanne.

I never really thought of my name as being that difficult, but the increase in being referred to as “Joanne” is having me rethinking this issue.

I’ve been called by the wrong name much of my life.  When I was in High School, I even had my name spelled three different ways incorrectly in a programme.  Perhaps this is my destiny.

My email address is my last name followed by my first name, and my name — along with my email address and twitter handle — accompanies each email I send out at the bottom in my signature file.  Come to think of it, my business cards pretty much have it spelled out clearly as well.

Just for the record, my name is Joanna Wolfe – that’s Joanna with an “a” and Wolfe with an “e” at the end of each.

You may be thinking, so what’s the big deal?  Why even bother to bring it up?

Well, in a job search, where you are trying to making an impression and make yourself memorable, the last thing you want to be is remembered for a name which is not yours.

Having lived with being called by the wrong name and having my named misspelled much of my life, I’m constantly challenged on how best to address the issue.

You want people to remember your name, not someone else’s name.

Think about it.  You would never want to address your potential new manager by the wrong name or spell it incorrectly in an email or thank you note.

But the if the tables are turned, how do you correct the interviewer, screener, or recruiter?

I struggle with the amount of people who call me Joanne, address me as Joanne in emails, and introduce me as Joanne – and these are people I’ve known for a fair amount of time, in some cases years.  I mean, it sounds pretty ungrateful for me to correct these people.  After all, they’ve taken the time to contact me and speak to me.  I don’t want to offend them or come across as difficult –  but I’d like to claim my name back.

William Blackmon, who teaches the LinkMeIn* course at Wake Tech, actually has a novel way of approaching this issue.  He suggests for names that are misspelled that you actually list the common misspellings of your name in the Summary statement in your Linked In profile.  That way if someone is searching for, say “Joanne Wolf”, they are presented, not only with the Joanne Wolf’s of the world, but (in this case) me as well.

Mike Komives, who runs the St. Thomas More Jobs Network, and teaches the workshop Networking and Job Search Strategies for the Mature Professional at Durham Tech**, suggests spelling out your name when introducing yourself or making an elevator speech.

Me, well, I’ll just keep introducing myself as Joanna, or as I have taken to when being introduced by others “Joann-NA“,  and hope people will remember the “a”.  After all, it is “a” little thing.

How do you approach problems you may encounter with your name?

* The next LinkMeIn course will be given on Friday, October 22nd at Wake Tech’s West Campus in Cary (Kildaire Farms Road between Penny and Ten Ten).  There are two sessions:  Basics 8:30am to 11:30  and then Next Steps & Advance 12:30pm to 3:30pm.  To register, send an email to  This course is free to folks who are unemployed.

** The next Networking and Job Search Strategies for the Mature Professional will be begin on Tuesday, October 19th at the  OCSDC Job Skills Center, 503 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.  The class runs 1:00 to 4:00 PM. No pre-registration required.  Attend one of the first two sessions to register.  Questions? Contact:


Go Hear Arik Abel Speak At CJS

September 19th, 2010

I have been trying to find the time to devote to writing a thorough post about the benefits of using Twitter as a job search tool.  But the best laid plans… My schedule really hasn’t allowed me to write everything that is buzzing around in my head — so I’m still trying to wordsmith for that blog entry.

However, Arik Abel will be at the Colonial Baptist JobSeekers group in Cary, on Monday, September 20, 2010 — sorry for the short notice, I just found out about this myself — speaking on topic of using Facebook and Twitter in your Job Search.

In the Chapel from 9:45-11:00 a.m., guest speaker, Arik Abel, will share how two popular social networks – Twitter and Facebook – can enhance your search.

Twitter, Facebook and the Job Search?

While most professionals in transition see the value and return of maintaining a LinkedIn presence for networking, many don’t realize that there are benefits and practical applications for using Twitter and Facebook for the job search. Arik Abel, a fellow jobseeker, marketing professional and emerging media enthusiast, will present an introductory look at how you can leverage these social networks to build relationships and open doors that will enhance your job search. Professionals from any industry should join this presentation to enjoy a high-level overview, best practices, and examples of successful tactics that you can act on today.

Arik Abel

I want to encourage folks to come out and hear Arik speak.  I’m sure he’s going to have a lot of good information.


Strange things are afoot at the Circle K… er, blog

August 17th, 2010

Well, perhaps not that strange…  I’m actively trying to make the website more useful, so there are a few changes here and there…

You may have noticed the changes in layout – the links for Job Boards and Aggregators is now an entire page found via the tabs up there at the top of the page.  I’ve expanded out the boards that I had previously listed based on a presentation I recently gave at Hope Community Church’s Job Seeker’s group.

I’ve started a page with resources for Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed folks.  It seems there are a lot of people who are thinking about going this route – whether it is starting their own business, contracting while searching for that right opportunity, or doing consulting as a bridge until the right job comes along.  Regardless, the resources listed may help you if you are trying to pull together a marketing plan, weigh your options on whether to be an S-Corp or an LLC, or understand what forms need to be filed with the IRS.  There is a lot of information and free resources out there, so this list will be expanding regularly.

You may have heard from a little birdie that has started to tweet on Twitter.  The truth is people have been asking me to mention their events, job openings, classes they are teaching, job groups out there and there just was too much to blog about — and most of it wasn’t new or exclusive to me.  So the easiest way for me to get the word out and for you to find it Twitter.  So sign up, sign on, and follow @jwjobblog – all the tweets the triangle has to offer in one place.

If you have any suggestions as to resources, job boards, or events I may have missed, things you’d like to see tweeted, or professional organizations you’d like to see listed, please email me at jw at jwjobblog dot com.  Or leave a comment below.

So on to what is new with you?  Anything strange going on with your job search?  What other roads are you traveling to expand your options for employment?  Leave us a comment.