Archive for February, 2008

Interview coaching for young people

February 11, 2008

The great American entrepreneur Henry Ford once said,
You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.

I wish every young person, whether newly sprung from high school, college, or the military, would be taught this wisdom.
New workers tend to show up at interviews prepared to talk about why they want to work there. They may be in touch with their goals, particularly financial ones. They want money to establish their independence, buy cars, perhaps settle down with a special someone, finance further education, and just be adults. These are fine goals, not to be disputed.
But do they work? Does anyone get hired because of financial desire? I don’t think so. It is absolutely necessary to go into an interview prepared to discuss their experience – the past as well as the present.

  • Have you driven a relative to regular medical treatment? You have assumed responsibility.
  • Have you tutored neighborhood kids in math? Then you have kept records, motivated people to learn, earned glowing feedback from parents, and developed creative teaching techniques.
  • Have you earned badges in scouting? Then you have met requirements, overcome difficulties, persuaded others to help you, and used muscles/artistic talent/arranged music/networked/used social skills.
  • Have you participated in a political campaign? Then you have learned the issues that face the new school board, you have read environmental impact studies, helped facilitate a community hearing, written a letter to the newspaper.
  • Have you performed your community service work in an un usual or impressive area? Be prepared to tell the interviewer about it.

Please help the young people in your life review their activities. Remember their activities in school, religious institutions, summer camp, clubs, family reunions, and the neighborhood. There are gems of experiences to be unearthed and polished up for interviews.
If you know a young person who would benefit from some interview coaching, feel free to send them to my website ( for more information on career counseling.

Career Coaching/Counseling around ADD

February 8, 2008

You know who you are – creative, easily stimulated, gifted, possessing a vision of the possibilities. Also restless, disorganized, losing things, often frustrated. In school, you were considered a discipline problem except by a few insightful teachers who found you wonderful, even gifted.
Did you know there are special resources for you? One is Kim Collins, working out of Germantown, MD. You might check out her blog ( and her website: She brings her readers articles, strategies, and resources to maintain effectiveness in the workforce as well as in life. Kim is available to her clients for phone coaching.
Although media focus on ADD tends to involve children, it is astonishing how many adults are out there, undiagnosed and frustrated. If focus is hard for you to maintain, if you are told you would be a better employee if you stuck to the tasks you start, if you are physically restless and bored with routine earlier than your colleagues, you might think about it.

If you are an adult who is emerging from this challenging childhood and youth, you can benefit from coaching. Consider the following:

  • your resume should be focused specifically on the job you’re applying for,
  • interview preparation involves a disciplined selection of material you choose to discuss without extraneous anecdotes that “just occur to you”,
  • your correspondence (cover letter, thank-you letter) should be carefully written, formatted, and checked for errors.

Need help? Feel free to contact me at

Brief coaching is available for you.

When you can’t stand the job another day…

February 5, 2008

Are you at the breaking point? Do you feel unappreciated day after day, doing the work of several people, rarely getting to work in areas of your expertise?
Are you dreaming of saying what you really think or feel, walking out the door into happiness?
Stop! There are many things to consider before you leave, and one of them is to stay.
I don’t think everyone should stay in a miserable situation. But if there are financial reasons, and your retirement eligibility makes it worthwhile to stick it out another year or two, please stop and consider your options.
There are often ways to create some fun for yourself and maybe gain some recognition in the meantime. Take a small piece of your job and decide to do it differently and better. Learn a new skill while you are at it.
Asked to collect pledges for next year’s charity campaign? After you groan, stop and think. What could make this bearable? What could you use in this assignment that could make your job better? What can you do to amaze yourself and your co-workers?
While you are making yourself laugh, you can also reward yourself by getting some information about your future. You can consult with the benefits person about your pension. Sometimes understanding what awaits you can make the job seem more acceptable.
However, if you are determined to leave, you can use this time to begin the job search, carefully, discreetly, and with confidence. Don’t lose your temper, do detach from the people who are making you crazy (or trying to), and do accomplish one more thing on the job that you can discuss with pride. If you are too distraught to plan your escape with finesse, seek out some coaching on how to do it right. Please contact me through

Life’s To-Do List

February 2, 2008

Have you done it? Have you compiled a list of those things, large or small, silly or significant, that you’d like to experience? A significant birthday recently prompted me to go through this exercise, and I’m glad I did. From a week in Paris (done!) to having friends over more often (somewhat) to weeding out books that I don’t need (working on it), I have found this to be a valuable exercise in what is truly important to me.

Job seekers need to do this. If you write down all the things you’d like to do sooner or later, the list can be very helpful. You can assess your current job and see what goals it addresses. And just as importantly, you can use your list as a template to evaluate future job possibilities. If the position you’re interviewing for doesn’t address one or more of the items on your list, you need to either amend your list to include a few new job skills or re-think why you are even considering this humdrum job.

If travel is on your wish list, there are several ways to go about achieving that goal. You might look for an organization that has international offices or clientele, you might learn a second language and then look for ways to use it, or you might look for a place with generous leave possibilities and take a wonderful vacation.

I don’t think one often finds the perfect job that contains your heart’s desires, but I hope you find something that brings you closer to checking off an item or two from your list. Would you like to talk this over with a career counselor? Would you like to write a job objective that states one or more of your goals in professional terms? Please visit my website at for contact information. Your future is waiting!