Monday, October 31, 2011

Searching for meaning?

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

A good friend came across a passage in Victor Frankl’s book, "Man's Search for Meaning,” which was a daily account about life in a Nazi concentration camp.

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity--even under the most difficult circumstances--to add a deeper meaning to his life. If there is a meaning to life there must be a meaning to suffering. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden."

These words are powerful and definitely something to use as a guide in our daily struggles.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Often Neglected Element of Job Searching

Posted by: Darlene Duncan. CWDP. JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

You’re sending out résumés, filling out applications on a regular basis, posting on Facebook and keeping your profile updated on LinkedIn. You’ve even attended some networking events. In your mind you’re doing everything you can to find a job.

What else could you possibly do?

There is an element you’re, very likely, not including in your search and it has many benefits. It keeps you out in the workforce where you’ll continue to use your current skills and pick up new ones. You’re presented with opportunities to meet people who may be able to supply you with job leads.

Have you guessed it yet? It’s volunteering. No! Don’t go away. I know you need a PAYING job. I also know that volunteering can be a vital part of your search for that paying job. More than once I’ve had people tell me that they got the job they have because they used to volunteer where they’re now working.

The worst thing that happens is you spend some time helping others. Is that such a bad thing? Of course not. The best thing that happens is someone where you’re volunteering gives you a lead that gets you a job or the organization you’re volunteering at offers you a paying position. No matter how you look at it, it’s a win-win situation.

(This is a repost from December 2010.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Can volunteering lead to a job offer?

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

In today’s tight job market, many former private-sector, for–profit employees may want to consider dipping their toes in the non-profit “pond.” Those of us who have worked in the non-profit world for any length of time know there is a real network among the varying local community agencies.

Executive directors and staff alike talk with frequency in an industry that demands collaboration at its finest to make every precious dollar stretch as far as it can. Although many industries are working with fewer resources and non-profit organizations seem to be hit the hardest and leaned on the most, some paid positions must continue to be filled.

As a former executive director of a local agency, I can tell you I received my best job candidate referrals from my network of colleagues (to include my friends at CBE, of course)! If I found a candidate with both for-profit and non-profit experience, I was very eager to get them in front of me to interview. The combination of private business experience with the understanding of how the non-profit world operates is phenomenal.

The bottom line is this. If you are out of work, seriously consider volunteering at a local non-profit organization. It very well may lead to a job offer at the agency or another one. Yes, the salary will most likely not be what you are accustomed to, but don’t box yourself in.

Who knows? Today, you may be a volunteer coordinator and two years from now, you may be the executive director. To quote one of my favorite songs, “Take your passion and make it happen!”

Check out this link for more tips:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Innovative thinking a desired quality

By Suzy Kridner
Career Specialist
Innovation is just one of the qualities that prospective employers are seeking in new hires. In today’s world, a company needs to stay one step – or many steps -- ahead of its competition.
The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs built his fortune on innovations. There is the digital music player, the iPod, and the most successful digital media service, iTunes. He introduced the first super-smartphone, the iPhone, and the only truly successful tablet computer, the iPad. And then there’s the chain of retail stores.
But for many of us, there are roadblocks to innovation, including assumptions we may have that may hold us back.
Mitch Ditkoff, co-founder and president of Idea Champions, writes that assumptions are invisible, insidious and habitual.
They stop us before we even start -- the default position for those of us too consumed by our past to consider the future the way it really is: pure potentiality, according to Ditkoff.
Steve Jobs recognized that potential and we have a better world for it.
Read more about the Sump of Assumptions in this excerpt from Mitch Ditkoff’s Creative Thinking Guildbooks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to Make a Potential Employer Love You

Posted by: Darlene Duncan. CWDP. JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

In my never ending quest to find material for this blog, I recently came across an article with some wonderful advice about how to make a potential employer fall in love with you (as a job candidate).

The workshops presented at the One-Stops in Volusia and Flagler counties follow a great deal of what the article recommends. The writer has reviewed hundreds of résumés and conducted many interviews, so this information comes from an individual with a lot of practical real world experience in the realm of hiring.

Click here to read the article.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Women and body image. Are you unknowingly holding yourself back in your job search?

By: Lori McMullin, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

“And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are…”

Trying to stay hip and with it (yeah, right), I recently heard a new song by Bruno Mars, “Just The Way You Are.” It really encapsulated how I, as a woman, want to be perceived by others.

Too often, we are our own worst critics. If we view ourselves in a negative light, it will most definitely show during a job interview.

I’ve struggled with body image since my teenage years. Some of that came from external sources such as images from Hollywood and magazines. Others came from people in my life. You know-- soul-crushing comments like, “If only you’d change “XYZ,” then you would look good.” However, the most damaging messages came and, sometimes, still come from negative self talk.

Of course, we should all strive to be as healthy and fit as we can be, but this also means learning to love ourselves. I found an interesting article on the subject on the CVS/Pharmacy Web site:

In any case, I hope Bruno Mars really means what he sings. If so, we should embrace our daughters, sisters, mothers, etc., and tell them they are beautiful just the way they are! Check out this awesome anthem of sorts that could change the way we think about ourselves and how we communicate to other women:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are You Thinking Outside the Box?

By Suzy Kridner
Career Specialist
How often do we hear "You need to think outside the box?"
And what exactly does that mean?
When I was laid off after a fulfilling career as a newspaper editor, I was often told I need to reinvent myself and think outside the box. I was resistant to change as I loved my career.
But with the Internet stealing our newspaper readers, I didn't have a choice but to think outside the box. What to do? . . . What to do?
I hung out at the Daytona One-Stop trying to find myself -- and find a job. The dedicated staff there helped me with my resume and interviewing skills. I also was active in their Pro-Net, a professional networking group that made me realize others were in the same situation.
I was fortunate to land a temporary position there as an administrative assistant for the Center for Business Excellence, which operates the One-Stops. It was perfect, working on special projects and even writing an occasional blog.
And when that job was about to end, I was offered a position in the One-Stop Center as a career specialist. Now I am helping others who are in the same situation I was not so long ago.
The Daytona One-Stop, as well as our offices in Flagler and DeLand, offer many services to help us in our job searches. They can be found on our website,
And the state of Florida's phenomenal website, lists hundreds of jobs in Volusia and Flagler counties, and throughout the state. Just register and you can build a resume, tailor a cover letter, and with the virtual recruiter even have jobs listings delivered to your email's inbox every day.
Sometimes a job may not be our ideal position but it often can lead to better things.
Read more in Mitch Ditkoff's blog on the "The Six Sides of the So-Called Box."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are You A Worry Wart?

Posted by: Darlene Duncan. CWDP. JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

What do you worry about?

Here’s a list of some of the most common things people worry about.

Keeping a job
Getting a job
Health issues
The economy

If these aren’t things you worry about, mentally add whatever it is you worry about to the list.

Now look over the entire list. Think about each item for a moment. Answer this question. Will my worry have a positive effect on the outcome of (fill in the blank with whatever you worry about)?

For example, is worrying about being laid off going to prevent it from happening? Probably not. There are those times when it doesn’t matter how good a job you do or how valuable you are to the company, they’re going to lay you off. Is worrying about it going to help? No. Instead, do something about it. What can you do?

There are a couple of things. One, find out if there’s any way you can stay with the company. Can you become more valuable by doing extra things? Maybe you know how to do your job and someone else’s too. Once you have exhausted the possibility of keeping your job and have learned that it’s just not going to happen, start looking for that new job now, while you still have a job. Because, believe it or not, it’s easier to find a job when you already have a job.

The reality is that the majority of the things we worry about never come to pass. With that in mind, I have a suggestion for you. Stop worrying about things you have no control over. Instead, use that worry energy to take action. It’s really very simple. I didn’t say it was easy, I said it was simple. How simple? Every time you catch yourself worrying about something you have no control over, STOP. We all do self-talk, whether you admit it or not. So ask yourself, what can I do that could have a positive effect on this issue? Once you have the answer to that question you can move forward by beginning to take action.

Less worry equals less stress; less stress is good for your health. The better you feel, the more energy you have and the better you present yourself to potential employers.

Bottom line, stop worrying about things you have no control over and get busy doing things to improve your situation.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Not sure where to turn? 2-1-1 may be the answer.

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

In this economy, most of us have either experienced an unmet need or know a friend or family member who has. Maybe, you are worried about your grandmother on a fixed income getting enough food. Perhaps, a relative falling on hard times needs shelter and your home is not a viable answer.

In any case, it’s hard to know where to begin to search for potential solutions. This can also include becoming more informed to follow up behind a loved one to ensure they did their homework or aren’t harboring false hope for assistance that simply isn’t available.

The 2-1-1 online resource is a good place to start. A partnership between One Voice for Volusia and The United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties, this Web site is your 24-hour source of information on over 1,000 local community services in Volusia and Flagler Counties. Here’s the link to the Web site:

If you can't find what you are looking for by searching this directory, just pick up your phone and dial 2-1-1 at any time for assistance. If your telephone service provider does not connect you when you dial '2-1-1', use (386)-253-0564.

Remember, just because a resource is listed online, doesn’t mean every need can be met. It’s critical to take the time as soon as possible to thoroughly research leads in order to get a better handle on the saturation at hand. Putting this task off can lead to additional stress and strain on the entire family. Good luck!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Signature Style Can Set You Apart

By Suzy Kridner
Career Specialist
Do you envy certain people who have style -- especially a signature style.
There was Jackie Kennedy, who was always stylish, even when grocery shopping.
And Johnnie Carson was a dapper dresser, as older folks would say.
Even younger celebrities make the best dressed list, like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and Gwen Stefani, who is among the many stars creating their own line of clothes.
There's no doubt that a signature style can help in the business world. Will an employer remember you for your experience and qualifications -- or for the way you looked?
Think about your own style. Ask a friend. It may help in the job search.

For ideas about creating your own style, read Jean Chatzey's blog.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cutting Expenses

Posted by: Darlene Duncan. CWDP. JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

If you’re looking for ways to cut your expenses you might want to consider cutting the cost of your cell phone.

Yes, I know you most likely have a contract with your current cell phone provider however; you have nothing to lose by finding out what it would cost you to get out of that contract. Do the math, in the long run it might be cheaper to buy your way out of the contract than to stay in it.

Be honest with yourself, do you really need the internet and texting on your phone? Before you answer remember there’s a difference between what you want and what you need.

There are a great many cell phone service providers that will provide you with service without a contract. Some of the basic plans start as low as $10 a month and some of the cell companies will provide you with a free phone.

If what you really need right now is an inexpensive reliable phone, simplifying your cell phone service is an option you should consider.

To read another article on this topic click here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Are you trying too hard?

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

So, you’ve been doing everything right to try to land a job. You’ve revamped your résumé, attended various job search workshops, networked all over town and assessed your skills to learn how to transfer what you’ve done in the past to a new career.

You also have set up the Virtual Recruiter tool in your Employ Florida Marketplace account as an additional extension of your thorough job search. The bases are covered.

On paper and, maybe, during a telephone interview, you receive positive vibes from potential employers. Yet, when you interview in person, it has yet to yield a job offer.

Maybe, you are putting so much pressure on yourself (completely understandable), you are sabotaging yourself. Maybe, just maybe, you are trying too hard.

At some point in our lives, most of us have done this. Here is an interesting link on the subject. I hope it proves helpful: