Archives June, 2009

30 June
Chris Arends

I have mentioned some of the new technology that has entered the world of work and networking, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and how they have helped make things easier for those of us looking for work. These are wonderful tools but in the end all they are is tools. They can only help you reach out to those you have helped in your past.

As I was going through my email this morning I found myself being followed on Twitter by Tom Ziglar, son of Zig Ziglar, someone I have gotten a lot of wisdom from. When I followed his page it led to one of my favorite quotes from his Dad – ” You can have anything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” This is so true if you think about it. While I won’t go down the deep discussion of how and who you help. The fact is that if you are some one who has helped a lot of other people, they will be willing to help you, especially when you need it.

This has never been more true than now. As I am going through my job search and networking it occurs to me that people from my past must think that have helped some people along the way. I never thought of it that way. I always thought I was just doing the right thing. It now seems more than that. The ability to pick up the phone and have people answer and be willing to offer any kind of help they can is priceless. It is one more reason to help anyone you can.

Regardless of how much technology we use to find our next job, the thing that never changes is that people are the most important asset we have and that when you help someone you are really helping yourself. So my joy today is the graciousness of those who feel I have helped them either personally or professionally.

29 June
Chris Arends

Some people know what they want to do with their lives from early on in their career. I am not one of those people. It is also the first thing people ask you as you are networking.

I just started reading the book Strength Finder 2.0. The main theme is to focus on what you do well and enjoy to be successful. This kind of makes sense that if you hate doing something you are going to suck at it. This falls right in line with being more than half full. It is a better place to start instead of just looking for a paycheck. I’m not saying you don’t have to be able to pay the bills, which is why I am not going to start a new career as a sports photographer just because I love taking photos.

My focus is on what I do well because not only will it make me happy, but because I will do that job better. There are more than enough studies about people who do what they enjoy are better at what they do and typically make more money than if they were doing something they hate. The key thing for me right now is to focus in on the things I love to do like presenting, being involved with technology and making a difference in the world and I be successful.

So today’s joy isn’t that I have figured out what I want to do when I grow up but that I will make sure that I do something that plays to my strengths and that I enjoy doing.

26 June
Chris Arends

We are going to end this week on a light note which many of us need after the death of a co-worker which is much more important to me than the celebrities who passed this week.

One cool thing about not having a job is that once you have met your obligations to collect your unemployment you can take the rest of the week off. I am not saying you should just to the minimum but with any luck you will be working like a dog to make a good first impression and to get up to speed as fast as you can so take the time while you have it.

Plus you can take a four day weekend with out worrying about catching up on email or burning two days of vacation. Also now you have no one who will complain about covering for you while you are out.

Have a great weekend.

26 June
Chris Arends

I know this probably sounds like a strange thing to be joyful about but hear me out.

This isn’t the first time I have been here and with the way our business cycle works especially in the technology field it won’t be the last. The last time I was here I learned a lot of things to help me be better prepared.

The great thing is that there are new things to learn. New ways to connect, new ways to write resumes and how people network. Even more fun is the chance to share them with other people.

I have been meeting, learning from and teaching new and interesting people, most of which are talented people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course I wish the circumstances were different but sometimes you can’t pick how you learn.

25 June
Chris Arends

Today is a sad one as a former coworker lost her battle with cancer today. Today’s joy is short and sweet. Your job is not who you are. Don’t be defined by it. Your health and your family are your most valuable resources.

Love life and live it with joy.

23 June
Chris Arends

You might say this is a “make lemonade when life gives you lemons” post but here it goes anyway.

Hearing that you are not the one may be tough, the reflection of how to move on can be a joy. No, I will not go through the stages of grieving.

First there is the realization that while you were not the final selection you have skills that someone is interested in. Second that you have the network to be able to break through the 400 other resumes and 10 others who bothered to follow up to get to the next step. Third you have the opportunity to learn what you can do better next time. Finally you can look forward and see the things you liked about that job/company and where to find others that may be an even better fit.

I am not saying don’t be upset about not getting the job, especially if you were a great fit and you really wanted it. What I am saying is look for the lessons and move on. The quicker the better. Otherwise your disappointment will show up as lack of enthusiasm in your next interview or even your cover letter and possibly cost you another opportunity.

No one likes rejection but the more practice you get at dealing with it the faster you can be ready when the next opportunity presents its self.

23 June
Chris Arends

People who live in Texas will think that the heat has gone to my head when I say that the heat is a joy. Without the heat of summer we wouldn’t have the recharging activities that come with it. We also wouldn’t have an appreciation for hard work.

For most of us, sweating in the summer means sitting by the pool cleansing our selves of the stress of our day to day lives. My Grandpa Chester lived on a farm his entire life. When I think about how he spent his summers and how he sweat in the summer, putting up hay in the barn, cultivating crops, building fence, it makes me realize what a sense of accomplishment he must have felt at the end of each day. To be able to look back and see what he had accomplished that day.

Growing up on a farm until I went to college I can relate to some of what my Grandpa did but I really didn’t appreciate it until after he was gone. The joy of the heat today is a joy that reminds me that we need to have time to recharge but also time to work hard and accomplish something every day.

22 June
Chris Arends

Sorry for the gap in my posts. I was off at Webelos resident camp with my son and 5 other scouts. Had a blast getting them through the 95+ degree weather but now it is time to get back to work. I will be posting again this week as usual.

Also I am open to suggestions for No Job Joys. I am by no means the expert so any thoughts are welcome. Have a great week.

16 June
Chris Arends

One of the joys of being with out a job these days is that it introduces you to new ways to communicate especially those of us over 30. Between blogs, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Plaxo, twitter and others there are a lot of people saying a lot of stuff. The question is how much of it matters to any one but the person posting it?

Personally finding something important to say is really hard. For one thing there are so many “experts” out there saying what I am thinking so I have nothing really to add except to agree with them. This is compounded when you are unemployed because you feel like you aren’t really doing any thing important.

Twitter brings a new dynamic to communicating, forcing you to say what you want in 140 characters or less, which can be a real challenge for some. Others have no problem saying what they want in that space. The real question is should they say it at all. I don’t really care that any of my friends are doing laundry so why would I care that a total stranger is doing theirs?

So while new ways of communicating can be challenging, it can be fun to find out who is doing interesting things, connecting with them and learning more about the world and other people. For those who are watching paint dry and feel the need to tell the world about it good for you but don’t expect me to pay attention. Thanks to all of you who are interesting and relevant. You are my No job joy for today.

12 June
Chris Arends

Last week I posted about my Dad. In the spirit of equal time I will make this week about my Mom. My Mom is great. She has always supported my brothers and I in all of our endeavors. Whether it was attending almost all of our football, basketball, wrestling or track meets, supporting our choice of college, or even supporting my rugby habit, Mom was always behind us.

Today now that my brothers and I have all flown the coop, we can still count on our Mom for support. Today she shows her support in different ways. It could be keeping our Dad off of our case for choices or opinions and always asking what we are up to.

My favorite way is the the newspaper clipping. No matter what we are up to my Mom always sends us newspaper clippings about it. I will never forget the first clipping she sent me after I moved to Dallas “Local shot in Oak Cliff Red Lobster” with a little note on it saying stay away from this part of town. For those who don’t know Dallas, parts of Oak Cliff are not the safest place for a kid from Iowa and you didn’t have to be in Dallas long to figure that out.

So my joy today is that my Mom cares enough to send me clippings. If nothing else it is something in the mail besides bills.