Posted on: August 30th, 2016 by
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Here’s some information I found useful in researching job opportunities with my clients in various states and cities. It came from a 24/7 Wall Street article in July, 2016, by Doug McIntyre. It focuses on the total number of unemployed + underemployed by state. Underemployed people are those that are looking for full time work who may be working part time. If you add in those who are no longer receiving unemployment benefits, the percentage number may be much higher than stated.

Unemployed + underemployed = People looking for full time work. The top 10 states, in ascending order of percent, are:

#10 – Illinois 11%

#9 – Connecticut 11.1%

#8 – Oregon 11.1%

#7 – Mississippi 11.2%

#6 – Arizona 11.3%

#5 – West Virginia 11.4%

#4 – California 11.7%

#3 – Alaska 11.9%

#2 – New Mexico 12.4%

#1 – Nevada 13.1%

What surprised me was the top 10 states are not clustered, but are spread out across the U. S. Also, the list represents both large and small states, with only one state from the East Coast.

What does it mean? There are a few insights to this information.

  1. The economy will continue to be affected downward until these numbers begin to reverse
  2. These states may be a drag on their economy. People can’t spend money until they have it
  3. The job market in these states is tight. Your chance to find the right job is limited
  4. Unless you have special skills or have a function in high demand, look elsewhere
  5. The entire East Coast appears to be making the job-opportunity-turn the quickest.

So what do you do?

  1. Research your state to find out where you best fit. (Google: Underemployed in [your state] )
  2. Then research your nearest mid to large city. That will tell you what your chances are and the level of your competition. (Google: Underemployed in [a nearby or targeted city] )
  3. Then research your functional area: Finance, logistics, human resources, marketing, etc.
  4. If you have a subspecialty, dig deeper, like auditing, distribution, recruiting, sales
  5. You should have a pretty good idea about the marketplace when you’re finished.


  1. Tailor your resume to best fit the opportunities that are lacking potential candidates
  2. Contact recruiters who specialize in your field to see who is hiring for what positions
  3. Ask fellow members of your trade or professional association about the marketplace. If you’re not a member, join one. It’s a direct target for recruiting talent.

The marketplace is vey receptive to new job opportunities. You just need to know where to look.

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Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by
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There’s a strong parallel between assessing a company’s competitor and guaging your individual competition in the marketplace for a higher level job. In both cases you’re looking to advance your position. Both will have a history of measureable results. Both want the rewards for outstanding performance. And both want to strive to be the best among equals.

So how do you assess your personal competitive advantages. Here are some fundamental questions that are essential to ask:

  • What are your core competencies that are unique compared to your competitors? Everyone has something that they can do better than most. That may be your competitive advantage.
  • What can competitors replicate that you do at an outstanding level? Some competencies are easily copied.   Other competencies can’t be easily replicated. Which ones are unique?
  • What can you replicate that your competitors do well, and do it better? Every function has core skills. Which of your skills or experience are at the ultimate level of performance?
  • What are your unique characteritics or results that competitors cannot replicate? This is a key question as it may be the differentiator for which hiring organizations are looking.
  • What your current internal customers say about you are probably what future customers are looking for in a candidate. Use the information wisely.
  • What do you do to produce a superior product, service or performance? How you achieve high performance results is critical. Can you achieve similar results somewhere else?
  • How many subordinates have you mentored to higher level positons? This tells the hiring manager a lot about your supervisory skills or even if your concerned about others.
  • Identify the three accomplishments that you are the most proud? This list should parallel what the hiring organization is looking for. Show that you can produce for them.

The next step is to ask yourself:

  • How do you optimize your unique characteristics?
  • How do you minimize a “negative” in your background or change it to a positive?
  • How do you best “market” your unique competencies in a way to leverage your candidacy?
  • How do you demonstrate leadership, management and team skills qualities?

You have four opportunities to impress a hiring organization: Your resume, interviews, references and your overall demeanor and style. You need a tailor designed strategy for each job for which you are applying, beginning with a resume that matches the key requirements on the position description. Each successful step in the process will lead to the next step, so preparation becomes the difference between you and your competitors for that position.

You can have the competitive advantage over all others if you understand your potential as a unique contributor to the needs of the hiring manager. Self-awareness, research and preparation are the keys to success in the marketplace.

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Posted on: August 16th, 2016 by
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How would you like to earn 276 times your current compensation? Simple. Just become a CEO at one of the largest 350 corporations (in sales) in America. That’s from the Washington, D.C. based Economic Policy Institute, released in July 2016. Here’s some additional information:

  • CEO’s of America’s largest companies earns 276 times more than the average worker
  • That’s an average of $15.5 million last year
  • However, that’s down from 2014, which was a ratio of 302-to-1, CEO to worker.

On the other hand, there are over 200,00 CEO’s in America

  • The average compensation of ALL CEO’s across America is $185,000 a year
  • Here is a set of numbers that will blow your mind:
  • From 1978 to 2015, inflation-adjusted CEO compensation increased 941%
  • That’s 73% faster than the stock market growth
  • and significantly faster than the growth in a typical worker’s compensation
Year CEO-to-worker compensation ratio


1973 22   times what the typical worker made
1989 59
1995 123
2000 376
2015 276


So what does all this information tell you about your future compensation?

  • Salaries for the average worker (adjusted for inflation) has not increased in about 10 years
  • Your purchasing power has deflated if you stayed in your current job over that time period
  • The stock market drop in 2008 impacted most retirement accounts, but is slowly coming back
  • Most employees don’t get bonuses, incentives, stock options or other deferred income
  • You’ll fall well behind your peer group unless you keep current technologically

The only way you will increase your income is to:

  • Get a second part-time job evenings or week-ends
  • Negotiate with your employer for more money based on results
  • Ask for more responsibilities for more pay
  • Get promoted to a higher paying level in your current organization
  • Leave your company for another higher paying job

Given the alternatives above (except for the finding a part-time job) a coach can help you achieve your goals. The techniques for advancing your career have changed dramatically over the years. Unless you’ve kept up with the marketplace, finding your next big salary increase or next position can be difficult.

Find out what you need to know to advance your marketability. Have your resume reviewed by an expert. Send it to:

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Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by
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Pass it On

Did you know that your next higher-level job might be waiting for you through the people you already know, three levels deep? Here’s what the marketplace tells us:

About 60% of the people looking for a higher-level job, find that new job through personal contacts already in the function or industry for which you are looking. However, you may have to dig into the reservoir of contacts three levels deep:

  1. Direct personal connections – People who know you best: Bosses, neighbors, friends, family, school chums, and so on. They have direct knowledge of your work and experiences to introduce you to the right people.
  2. One level removed – Secondary contacts who have heard about you through your direct personal connections and can expand your contacts by 200% to 300%
  3. Two levels removed – Your third level of connections that can indirectly help. They may only pass on your resume to others, but can ultimately get you in the door.

With100 contacts at level one, and each individual introduces you to three others, then add a minimum of other at level three, you’ll have over 700 people advocating for you.

About 20% of new jobs are found through indirect means: Groups with whom you have not had direct work or personal experience:

  1. Recruiters – They know where the jobs are by specializing in an industry or function. They may have positions for you now or later.
  2. Alumni/school associations – Do a search in your field for those who graduated about 10 years before you. They are the ones who are now hiring at your level.
  3. Professional associations – Hiring organization will contact members who have the professional skills or certifications needed. Some will post openings.

About 20% of new jobs are found through direct contact:

  1. Web-based job boards – Websites like Monster, LinkedIn, Indeed and more, list job openings each day. The problem of course, is multiple-thousands of people respond.
  2. Ads – Usually ads in local and national newspapers, professional publications, and trade magazines have information about open positions.

So how do you optimize each of these connections?

  1. Balance your time and energy proportionally to the greatest return on your effort
  2. Target the right people, industries, and organizations while focusing on your strengths
  3. Concentrate on targeted criteria:  Functions, geography, level, compensation, specialties, experiences, and so on. What industries are in need of your skill sets?
  4. Modeling:  Emphasize your greatest achievements, best results, highest education or certification, paralleling the requirements of the targeted positions
  5. Use key words to fit the model in the top half of the first page of your resume

The most direct link to a new higher-level job is a straight line between people who know and will refer you to the companies who need and want your expertise. Everything else is random.

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Posted on: August 2nd, 2016 by
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Successful people continually learn new things, get rid of old habits, advance their skills, and kill off those things that prevent them from moving forward. No one’s career remains motionless. Staying in the same place, doing the same thing while everything moves around you is a recipe for disaster.


Some forces of change are within your control while others are out of your control. Two of these forces you control are to “learn the new” and “unlearn the old”. Simply put, the learn/unlearn equilibrium in knowledge, skills, technology, approaches, experiences, positions and optimizing opportunities are all requirements to move your career to a new plateau. From this plateau you continue to grow and move to the next level.


However, the opposite force revolves around the concept of “unlearning” those things that will hold you back and prevent you from moving forward. They may be cultural, educational, attitudinal, emotional and so on. Such things as operating style, learning curve, dress, receptivity, autocratic methods versus engaging behavior, manners, ineffective versus effective communications and so on. All are a part of the “learning versus unlearning” equation.


So, what should you do to accelerate your career? Sort out what you need to learn and what you need to unlearn in order to move forward and upward. We all have access to information that has been created over the past 20,000 years, yet few have assessed the knowledge and skills to become a star performer. Why not? Because very few have looked at the “learn/unlearn” question related to the expectations that a new situation or organization has of you.


Example: When you accept a new assignment or enter a new company, how long does it take to get up to speed? If you’re in a typical situation, you sit through a history lesson of the organization, tour the facilities, learn about the policies and practices, meet with multiple groups and individuals, then return to your work station and are expected to be productive. What a waste of time and effort. How do you Google the knowledge you need to become an outstanding performer? You can’t. Most are a “sink or swim” situation.


What would happen if you had an on-line program that walked you through the steps that identified and previewed the skills, abilities and knowledge you needed for success, tested you on those items and gave you the resources to become a master performer in those areas where you fell short. You could collaborate and learn from co-workers, free up your creativity to apply new ideas, engage your curiosity to pursue alternatives, then ask all the questions you need in order to fully understand the expectations and knowledge necessary for high performance, rather than being bound in a bureaucratic web?


There are organizations that work that way. When you find one, bless your lucky stars.


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