Job Search Resources

Dr. Barry Miller on Corporate Escape Artist Radio

April 7th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

Today on Corporate Escape Artist Radio, we welcomed career guru Barry Miller.  As the head of career programs for alumni at Pace University in New York City, Barry offers advice to students and graduates in transition on a daily basis.

This morning, he talked about his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, social media, and much more. Listen to Corporate Escape Artist Radio with Barry Miller  (Barry’s segment is the fourth one, starting at 11:30)

Now you can benefit from Dr. Miller’s expert advice without traipsing all the way to Lower Manhattan.

Hot 97 Street Soldiers

April 4th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

This Sunday (4/5/09) from 9AM until 10AM, you can hear me on Lisa Evers’ Street Soldiers show on Hot 97 FM. We’ll be talking about how to find a good job in this challenging economy.

We taped the show last week and had a great time in the studio. I was one of three career experts offering advice for Hot 97 listeners and for Rachel, a job hunter who joined us in the studio. One of my fellow guests is a business owner who is currently hiring for well-paying positions and can’t find the right candidates. He’ll talk about what he’s looking for, the employer’s point of view, and how to score an interview with his firm.

Our host Lisa Evers is a reporter for Fox 5 NEWS and a former Guardian Angel. She has been hosting Street Soldiers, a #1-rated public affairs radio show on one of New York’s hottest stations, since the 1990s.

We covered lots of topics during the one-hour show, focusing on practical advice and strategies. I love doing radio, especially with a great host who asks smart questions. Tune in and check it out if you’re in the NYC area this Sunday morning.

Notes from Re-Branding You

April 3rd, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

One of the highlights of my crazy week was the opportunity to participate in the first-ever Re-Branding You conference on Tuesday. The goal of the event was to provide tools and inspiration to help those who have been downsized learn how to re-brand and position themselves in today’s challenging job market. Dozens of scholarships were offered to allow those between gigs to attend for free.

We had an impressive line-up of speakers and coaches that led workshops on everything from resumes to entrepreneurship to health insurance. Futurist and brilliant speaker Watts Wacker started the day by inspiring attendees to re-think, re-boot, and re-claim their futures.

Throughout the day, free speed coaching sessions were offered in the Coaching Cafe. Attendees also got to pick up information and tips from sponsors including New York University, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, and Womensphere. .

For the day’s closing session, I moderated a panel featuring event organizers Ny Whitaker and Pat Aheasy and New York Enterprise Report founder and publisher Robert Levin. The New York Enterprise Report is THE publication to read for small-business owners in the New York tri-state area. Robert shared some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs — including lessons from his own entrepreneurial success story and tips from some of the legendary entrepreneurs that he has interviewed for his publication over the years. Ny and Pat shared their own career change and re-branding stories, demonstrating that any transition is possible if you’re committed (like making the leap from forensic psychologist to event planning diva).

Over the course of the day, I got to speak with many of the event attendees and other speakers and met some amazing people. As I mingled during the post-conference networking mixer (free wine and food for job searchers!), people told me that they felt re-energized and empowered. Learning more about personal branding strategies showed them that they have more power than they thought over their career transitions.

All in all, it was a great day. I am looking forward to the next Re-Branding You event (already in the works…more details to come soon).

Re-Branding You

March 30th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

On Tuesday, March 31st, I will be speaking at a great event in New York City called Re-Branding You. It’s a full day of educational and empowering seminars for job seekers and career changers in midtown Manhattan and co-sponsored by New York University and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

Topics covered will include networking, resumes, entrepreneurship, job search tips, and much more. You can also sign up for free 15-minute speed coaching sessions with certified career coaches.

Admission is $99, but they are also offering a limited number of scholarships so you may be able to attend for free.

Learn more about Re-Branding You

Apply for a scholarship and attend for free

Twitter Idea Party with Barbara Sher

March 12th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

I have been resisting Twitter for a while now.  I can see the addiction potential  and it scares me a little.

But I was finally inspired to spend a little more time exploring Twitter after reading about Barbra Sher’s ongoing Twitter idea party to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her landmark book Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want.

Barbara Sher is an amazing person — brilliant, funny, and incredibly generous with her ideas. She also is the inventor of the concept of the Idea Party, which she has now moved to Twitter. An Idea Party is just a gathering of smart, creative people who get together to brainstorm and share resources. Each guest presents a wish or a goal and what obstacles are holding them back. Then everyone else chimes in with ideas, connections, and resources that could help. You see, Barbara believes that isolation is the dream killer and that  every one of us knows somebody who knows a shortcut to our goal.

On Thursday, March 12 (that’s today) and on Tuesday, March 19, from noon to midnight, New York time, Barbara will be hosting a TWITTER IDEA PARTY that you can jump into whenever you want, for as long as you want, for free.  Here are instructions (including instructions for those who need to set up a Twitter account first — it takes two seconds).

Bring a wish and an obstacle that is standing in your way. Then sit back and watch as people start tweeting ideas and solutions. Barbara will personally be there to offer advice for all twelve hours on both days (with just brief breaks to walk the dog). Believe me, this is a unique opportunity to get advice and ideas from a master. I will also be joining the fun later this afternoon (I will blame Barbara if I develop a hopeless addiction to Twitter as a result).

And mark your calendar for March 24, the official 30th Anniversary of Wishcraft.  Barbara will be hosting a 24-hour GLOBAL IDEA PARTY, which can be listened to via internet radio, and responded to by instant messaging. People will be able to call and IM from all over the world. Here’s a description of the party.

See you on Twitter.

Free Resume Printing at FedEx on March 10, 2009

March 8th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

fedexofficeFedEx Office (formerly known as FedEx Kinko’s) is offering free resume printing at 1,600+ locations nationwide on March 10, 2009. Stop in and print up to 25 copies of your resume for free.

“We understand that the economy has affected many people in a very profound way, and we want to help,” said Brian Philips, president and CEO of FedEx Office. “Printing resumes is one small way we can use our resources to help those who need it.”

Here’s the fine print: This offer is good for 25 black-and-white resume copies per customer and is only valid for orders placed and picked up in-store. Customers may place orders by submitting their resume in printed format or as a digital file, and the copies will be printed single-sided on resume-quality paper.

So don’t miss this opportunity to save some cash. Start your week by taking some time to polish and perfect the latest version of your resume, then head out to FedEx and get some free copies made. Even if you’re not actively job hunting right now, it never hurts to have a supply of pretty printed resumes on hand in case opportunities arise.

Find your nearest FedEx Office location online or call 1-800-Go-FedEx (1-800-463-3339).

National Procrastination Week

March 6th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

procrastinatingdaydreamingDid you know that it’s National Procrastination Week? I received a press release on the subject last week, but have been putting off writing about it for days. :)

Even the people behind the press release (the National Association of Professional Organizers) weren’t 100% sure if we should be celebrating procrastination this week or working on eliminating it from our lives.

Either way, it’s a good time to think about why we procrastinate and whether we’re sabotaging ourselves by putting off important tasks. After all, procrastinating can lead to major stress, late nights, and missed opportunities.

Based on my own personal experience and what I’ve observed with my career coaching clients and workshop participants, the following are the main reasons behind our bad procrastination habits:

1) We put off unpleasant or difficult tasks. This one is pretty obvious. The solution here is to re-evaluate to see if you can delegate, get some help, or find a different approach that isn’t so off-putting. If that doesn’t work, try to focus on why you’re performing the task and not the tedium or pain of the task itself. Think about the bigger goal of a payday, a cleaner house, or a happy and grateful friend.

2) We procrastinate when we’re afraid. If you keep putting off a project that is important to you, it may be because you’re afraid of failure or equally terrified of success. Sometimes it helps to acknowledge what you’re afraid of and get clear about your worst-case scenarios and the alternative, which is to never even try.

3) We procrastinate when we’re swamped. This is an issue that comes up regularly for me. I get so busy reacting to other people’s immediate deadlines and expectations that I neglect longer-term and more important projects. Sometimes you have to say no or at least “not right now” to clients or friends. I try to build time into my schedule for important projects that require my attention but aren’t due tomorrow. Even taking an occasional 15 minutes to jot down ideas can help to keep you on track.

4) We procrastinate when we’re overwhelmed. Sometimes, we put off important projects because we just don’t know where or how to start or we’re overwhelmed by the number of options. Get serious about breaking your task down into small steps and do something (anything). Pick an approach and try it out. Don’t let yourself stay paralyzed.

5) We procrastinate when we’re focusing on the wrong things. At times, we procrastinate because we’re trying to force ourselves to do things that we don’t care about. We’re trying to live up to others’ expectations or present the right image, so we set goals that we have a hard time getting excited about. If you find yourself repeatedly procrastinating a task, ask yourself if it’s really something that will carry you forward or if it’s only on your list for reasons of ego or appearances.


Read some more advice on avoiding procrastination from people who are paid to be organized.

Will You Be My Mentor?

February 25th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

glennclosestalkerIf you’ve ever had a great mentor in your life, you know how valuable and rewarding a mentor/mentee relationship can be. But how do you find and “land” a great mentor?

Do you straight-up ask someone that you admire to be your mentor? That’s a bit like walking up to a supermodel in a bar and asking her (him) to be your fiancee.  You can come off as presumptuous and a bit stalker-y (“I will not be ignored, Dan”). After all, mentorship implies a long-term nurturing relationship. What if your potential mentor just isn’t that into you? Awwwwwkward.

However, I have had lots of great experiences with mentors and know that it’s worth the effort  to find a good one.  So when Jessica at UpMo.com asked me to answer some questions about the care and feeding of mentors, I had lots to talk about. Check out our Q&A on mentorship.

I wrote about my test drive of UpMo.com, a new online career and network management tool, a few weeks ago. It’s still in free beta if you want to try it out yourself.

Do you have advice to share on the subject? How did you find your most influential mentor? How have mentees approached you?

Career Lessons From The Oscars

February 23rd, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

Philippe PetitIf you stayed up late to watch Slumdog Millionaire win the Academy Award for Best Picture, you may be kicking yourself this morning  for wasting 3+ hours of your life on endless musical numbers and montages.

But I’m here to tell you that it was time well spent. You can learn some valuable career lessons from this year’s Oscar ceremony if you can look past Hugh’s pancake makeup, the ginormous rings sported by both Brad and Angie, Whoopi’s dress, SJP’s cleavage, Zac Effron’s hair, Bill Maher’s bitterness, and the cute little boy in the tuxedo.

Oscar Career Lesson #1: Anything is possible.
Don’t be afraid to dream big in a world in which Slumdog Millionaire, a low-budget (comparatively) film about the slums of Mumbai, can sweep the Academy Awards. Slumdog triumphed over all of the blockbuster Oscar-bait flicks with all-star casts. It just goes to show that talent, dedication, and the right collaborators can take you all the way from the slums to the Kodak Theatre.

Oscar Career Lesson #2: Follow your passion.
The Best Documentary winner, Man On Wire, is also a fantastic reminder that crazy and impossible dreams can come true when you follow your passion. In 1974, Philippe Petit walked across a high wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. This miraculous achievement took months of planning, practice, and stubborn dedication to an unrealistic goal. Passion also drove the Slumdog filmmakers to persevere with telling their story in the face of Hollywood rejection. Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black gave one of the most touching speeches of the evening when he talked about his passion for sharing Harvey Milk’s legacy with today’s gay teens. Find a career that taps into your passion and you may have a similar moment of triumph. You’ll certainly enjoy a more meaningful and fulfilling work life.

Oscar Career Lesson #3: Everybody loves a comeback story.
Mickey Rourke didn’t end up taking home the Best Actor statue, but his comeback story has been an inspiration to film fans across the country. Like John Travolta before him, Mickey is a media darling, praised for his unlikely return from obscurity. What can you learn from Mickey? Even if you’ve suffered career reversals and setbacks, don’t give up on your dreams. Overcoming obstacles only makes you stronger in the long run. Keep working, keep looking for opportunities. If crazy Mickey Rourke can make an inspiring comeback, so can you.

Oscar Career Lesson #4: Reputation is everything.
Let’s face it: nobody saw The Reader. Not even Hugh Jackman. But Kate Winslet still won the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a German woman accused of Holocaust crimes. By all reports, her performance was great (I haven’t seen it yet either). However, we all know that the great Kate didn’t earn her Oscar with The Reader alone. After years of consistently strong performances and Oscar nominations, the Academy decided it was Kate’s time. Her reputation and past work gave her the edge over strong competitors including Meryl Streep (already recognized repeatedly and deservedly) and Anne Hathaway (her time will come). So remember to work hard and put in your best effort with every project. You are building your reputation and your personal brand with everything that you do. Eventually, all of that effort will be recognized.

Oscar Career Lesson #5: Life is short.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the Kodak Theatre (or in my living room) when Heath Ledger’s family accepted his Best Supporting Actor award. The world lost a gifted young actor at the height of his powers and Heath’s family lost a beloved son, brother, and father. It must be some comfort to know that Heath Ledger left a legacy through his work, his spirit, and his lovely young daughter. However, the tragedy of his death reminds us that life is indeed short sometimes. We can’t count on living to the ripe old age of 82 like Jerry Lewis, who was honored with a humanitarian award last night. So don’t put off the things that really matter. Don’t wait to pursue that dream or spend time with the people that you care about.

Did you learn any other important lessons from the 2009 Oscars?

Career Fitness — Pump It Up

February 18th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

officetreadmillIn this job market, many factors are outside of our control. However, there is one thing that you can control: your career fitness. HR expert Peter Weddle wrote a great article on this subject for HigherEdJobs.com and his advice is relevant for those in any industry — whether currently employed or job seeking.

Jobs may come and go. Your company has all the power when it comes to your job security. However, you don’t need corporate approval to achieve career security, which Weddle defines as “your ability to find employment consistently and always in a job and with an organization that will enable you to express and experience your natural (and best) talent.”

You do this by building your expertise, expanding your network of contacts, increasing your versatility, and taking care of yourself. So if you’ve been spending all of your time applying for jobs and tearing your hair out over unresponsive hiring managers and bad employer decisions, it may be time to take a step back.

Looking for a job is hard work and requires persistence, thick skin, and patience. As a job seeker, you are not in control over most of the process. That can understandably be frustrating and exhausting. So it’s important that you make time for career fitness activities like taking classes, joining professional development organizations, and volunteering for pro bono projects. They will not only make you more marketable, but will help build your confidence as well.

A career fitness regimen is just as important for those that are currently employed — especially if you are staying in an unfulfilling job only because the market is currently so dismal. You want to be ready and qualified when a better opportunity comes along.

Achieving career fitness will not only help you land a better job now, it will position you for greater career security in the years to come.

As Weddle puts it: “The tide will come back in and, when it does, you can be ready to reset your course — you can be primed to reaccelerate your momentum in the workplace — if you are swimming with something on. If you have prepared yourself by building a fit career.”

I recommend reading the entire article for more advice on improving your career fitness.