ALC Consulting

October 26, 2009

Who Hasn’t Been Treated This Way?

Filed under: Contracting — Anne Cloward @ 9:04 am

Home » Career Advice » Why Talented People Don’t Get Hired

Why Talented People Don’t Get Hired

Posted by Liz Ryan • October 21st, 2009 • Comments

Employers call me and wail, “So many job candidates, and no one to fill my job.” They say that the recent economic woes haven’t made it much easier for them to hire talent. “We get flooded with applications,” they tell me, “and most of them are dreck.”

Your applications are dreck? That’s a shock. Gee, all you’re doing is asking every single person who would throw his hat in the ring for a job in your company to:

  1. Waste 45 minutes filling out a cumbersome, 1999-vintage online application form;
  2. Recall and convey every hiring date (year AND month) and departure date (ditto) for every job a job-seeker has ever held; AND remember every salary and every supervisor’s name;
  3. Agree to an upfront background check, credit check, and reference check before the applicant has received so much as the courtesy of a return email message; and
  4. Send all this personal information into the void, on the off chance that the employer might stoop to respond with a phone call, an email message or an off-handed auto-responder that says “Don’t call us; we’ll call you – or else we won’t.”

Job application processes are insulting. And employers wonder why they can’t fill jobs?

What self-respecting person is willing to put up with this demeaning routine? If employers can’t show more respect to the talented people applying for work in their companies, why would any job seeker with other options sign up for this galley-slave treatment?

I tell job seekers that applying for jobs online at Monster and CareerBuilder is less reliable, outcome-wise, than playing the lottery. At least the state lottery is legally bound to give someone the prize. Corporations aren’t legally required to give someone the job. They aren’t even legally required to HAVE a job opening, when they run an ad online. They could be fishing to see who’s around and what they’d need to pay to find an Online Marketing Manager, an HRIS Specialist or a Business Analyst, if they should decide to hire one in the future.

There are talented people everywhere. Lots of them are consulting. They experienced one too many ‘three-interviews-gee-this-looks-promising-we’re-about-to-check-references’ scenarios followed by radio silence, the kind where your calls don’t get returned. Have corporate recruiting managers no shame? How do you sit down with a person three or four times, talk with his or her spouse on the phone, share stories and ideas together and then – poof! The door shuts.

I have half a dozen personal friends who are entrepreneurs, doing quite well. I ask them “Would you ever go back to the corporate world?” and they say, “Sure, if the right opportunity arose, and someone called me, and I didn’t have to go through that whole HR rigmarole—- No, I wouldn’t.”

HR people don’t see the problem, although it’s staring them in the face. They’re so used to the filthy water they’re swimming in that they can’t see the candidate-fish choking and dying all around them. In what other adult conversation would we dare to ask a person “What is your greatest weakness?” That’s an insulting, juvenile question on top of being nobody’s business. Yet this and other insulting, archaic artifacts of the 1950’s recruiting process linger on. (A good answer to the question, by the way, is “Chocolate.”)

Every day I hear of new, reprehensible bricks mortared onto the already-imposing wall between most employers and the talent population. “Hey Liz,” writes one reader, “I just saw a job ad that requires candidates to submit a four-page business plan along with their resume. It’s a business plan for the employer’s new product, of course. That’d take me a weekend to complete. You think I should spend a weekend on this unpaid project?” Hell no, was my reply. Why would you waste three seconds on these people, who show so little respect for your time? You’d lob that business plan over the wall, and most likely hear nothing from them – ever. You don’t need to trifle with people like that. Your information, your instincts, and your energy are too valuable. Save ‘em for an employer who will value them.

Smart job seekers are locating and contacting those employers who are most attuned to the value of their talents – very often, they’re startup organizations rather than large employers – and avoiding the corporate Black Hole altogether. Who can blame them? The more bricks we put in the wall, the more our Employer Brand will resemble this one:

Come and work with us at Acme Corp! We hire the most docile and doormat-ish employees on the planet. Why, if you can make it through three online personality tests, weeks of no communication, five in-person interviews and an exhaustive background check without getting your most basic questions answered or your phone calls returned, you may be just the right person for us! If you’re a lucky selected candidate, we’ll run you through the interview wringer at great personal inconvenience to you, you’ll hear nothing from us, and eleven weeks later you’ll receive our offer letter (with your name spelled wrong) in the mail! You’d better accept that offer on the spot, too, because if you don’t, there are six other doormats waiting in line behind you!

It’s no secret why employers are wailing and gnashing their teeth over talent shortages. Maybe our schools are failing us, they say. The schools aren’t failing them – they’re failing themselves. If you’re a corporate recruiting manager, you might take this opportunity to ’staple yourself to a resume’ and imagine the process by which you bring newcomers onto the payroll. If your firm is typical, the waiting time, unreturned calls, increasingly onerous recruiting demands and general disdain for candidates’ time and intelligence will be an eye-opener for you. The ability to recruit talent – not just bodies – is a competitive differentiator. Will your company grab it, and start pulling bricks out of the wall?

Guest Blogger Liz Ryan is a member of the Glassdoor Clearview Collection and a former Fortune 500 HR executive; she is the Workplace Expert for Business Week Online and the Networking Expert for Yahoo! Hot Jobs. Liz’s advice columns reach 50 million readers per month. Ryan leads the 25,000-member Ask Liz Ryan online community, where she shares business, career and life advice with members every day. She authored the book: “Happy About Online Networking: the virtual-ly simple way to build professional relationships” and is a sought-after keynote speaker. She has addressed a wide range of audiences including the United Nations, CEOs, HR leaders, and entrepreneurs.


October 24, 2009

Some Serious Self-Care Here

Filed under: LIfe Balance — Anne Cloward @ 9:27 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Many of us job seekers do our best to avoid medical bills, but there are some things we cannot skip. Women, please take care of yourselves.

I am calling today. How about you?

Free Mammogram Guide: Mammograms for Underserved Women


PJ Hamel is happy to be alive. As always.

Been Through It

Author, breast cancer survivor

Q. I don’t have health insurance, and I just can’t afford the cost of a mammogram. What can I do?

A. There are a number of resources you can access to receive a mammogram at no cost. Try any of these:

The American Cancer Society. Go to, find the blue box on the upper right (“Find ACS in Your Community”), enter your zip code, and it’ll direct you to your local ACS office. They can tell you what resources are available in your area. Or call the ACS toll-free: 1-800-ACS-2345.

The United States Government’s National Cancer Institute can direct you to a local resource for free mammograms. Call them toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). Be ready with your zip code.

The United States Center for Disease Control’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides access to critical breast and cervical cancer screening services for underserved women in the United States. Their Web site lets you click to your state to find a local health care facility that offers free mammograms for women meeting the income guidelines.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure provides information on free or low-cost mammograms and other sources of financial assistance. Call toll-free, 800-IM-AWARE (800-462-9273).

Breast Cancer Network of Strength offers peer support, educational programs, local resources, and advocacy initiatives in selected areas across the country. For more information and to take advantage of BCNS’s free-of-charge programs and services, call 1-800-221-2141.

The American Breast Cancer Foundation‘s Key to Life Breast Cancer Screening Assistance Program provides financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured women and men of all ages for breast cancer testing. Call their toll-free enrollment hotline, 877-Key-2-Life (877-539-2543).

Finally, try calling your local hospital. Ask to speak to a social worker. He or she will be the one who’ll know about the availability of free or low-cost cancer screening in your community.

Whatever you do, don’t give up! A regular mammogram is your best defense against breast cancer.

October 16, 2009

A Radical Suggestion

Filed under: LIfe Balance,Passions,vision — Anne Cloward @ 8:03 am
Tags: , , , ,

Several weeks ago, while teaching at the library, I made a radical suggestion to the job seekers. I am going to repeat it to my readers here now.

Remember when you were a little kid while watching TV on a sunny day and your mother would come in and turn off the set?

The conversation would go something like this:

“It’s a lovely day outside. Why are you sitting here watching TV?”

You would give all sorts of excuses, but the bottom line was that you were mesmerized watching the images dance across the screen.

Well, it’s many years later, and you are still sitting there watching the images on the screen. Now they are bigger, flashier and louder, but you are still sitting there passively. I am not going to debate the value of the programs you watch, but I am going to suggest that the activity of watching TV all day is harmful to your mental health. I even worked for one of the big three networks at one time, and learned that the industry was all about ratings and numbers of eyeballs that were watching. The more you watched, they more they could sell to you. Quality of programming was second to earning money for the network. They do not care about you as a person, only as a person who has a wallet with money in it.

Eleven years ago, I moved from one city to another and was only able to bring as many personal belongings with me as I could fit into a 8′ x12″ trailer (that’s all my car could safely carry). There was no room for a TV, and besides all of them in the house belonged to other people who lived with me. So I decided to see if I could live without it, and it was much easier than I thought it would be to give it up. When I moved from Minnesota to Oregon, I moved in with my son, who had also chosen to live without TV. Our household is really a lot more peaceful because of it.

What does that have to do with you and your job search? Right now all of the news coming across the ether is negative. Unemployment is up. This is a “jobless recovery,” foreclosures are up, and conditions are the worst they have been in years. It’s as though we are addicted to the next awful headline that comes down the pike and pretty soon we can be wallowing in it. We can throw ourselves and feel as though we can justify it, one big pity party. It won’t help you get a job, but you can enjoy your misery for a while and feel connected to everyone else who is out of work.

The challenge is to get out there in the sunshine and interact with the world, and not let all that negative energy engulf you. There is not much you can do about the national picture, or even the global one. Right now you are struggling to keep yourself going, to continue your job search in spite of all of the odds that you are told that are against your finding one.

So don’t listen to the news. You need to take a break and fill your environment with more pleasant thoughts. It is up to you to decide what you want to have occupy yourself instead. Whatever gets you going and keeps you finding joy is what I vote for. . For a while there will be an empty hole in you and you keep feeling something is missing. You start to wake up, and sometimes it takes getting used to.

How about trying to find creative ways to meet new people, market yourself, go out into the community and help others?

The national news is not about you, so don’t buy into the group think. Go out into the sunshine and discover the world. You just might find a whole new world to explore and enjoy.

October 9, 2009

There Should Be No Question Here

Filed under: LIfe Balance — Anne Cloward @ 6:18 am
Tags: , , ,


There is no question here for me. If you ask me to help you with your résumé, this is the policy I will follow. This is taken from a newsletter I receive weekly. Marc’s thinking aligns with mine, and I feel his advice is sound.

Here’s the dilemma: you’re proofreading your friend’s resume and it becomes pretty clear to you that he is taking more than a little bit of liberty with the truth – saying he conceived the idea rather than just implemented it, calling it a promotion rather than a lateral move, and glossing over that 13-month stint at that crazy start-up back in the boom.

What do you tell him? Remembering that competition is stiff out there – you know it’s the “Great Recession,” after all – and that he needs to stand out from the crowd.

So what do you tell him?

Well, Readers, I hope you’ll remind him that honesty is the best policy.

That struck me as I was reading this Vanity Fair profile on Harvard-educated lawyer-and-criminal Marc Dreier:

Dreier says he can’t remember the moment he actually began considering fraud. But he acknowledges the decision was made easier by a long track record of what he calls “cutting corners.” As he acknowledges, “Yeah, I took advantage of expense accounts, statements on tax returns, that kind of thing. You know, I discovered once you cross a gray line it’s much easier to cross a black line.”

And once you cross the gray line, it becomes much harder to get on the right side of the truth. The little fib that you inserted into your resume winds up on the website in your biography, so your next employer asks you about it at the interview. Then the press repeats it when you are speaking at a conference. Before long, you’re stuck.

And once you’re stuck, you will be discovered. As we found in this interview with Accu-Screen, even the simplest resume fibs will really come back to bite you.

Honesty is just the right thing to do, you should tell your friend. Not only will you not have to cover your tracks, but you’ll sleep better at night.

So I hope that if you ever come across a friend who is bending the truth a little bit, you’ll send them this 10-page .pdf that we put together on the topic: “To Tell The Truth.”

And finally, folks, while I was researching this topic this week, I came across this page of quotes on honesty and thought I’d share these eight favorites with you:

No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. ~Abraham Lincoln

A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb

Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind. ~Austin O’Malley

The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold. ~Aristotle

Who lies for you will lie against you. ~Bosnian Proverb

The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

With lies you may get ahead in the world – but you can never go back. ~Russian proverb

Always tell the truth. If you can’t always tell the truth, don’t lie. ~Author Unknown

Credit is due to Marc Cenedella ( who sent me this article. You might want to check out his website

Click on Career Advice.

October 8, 2009

From the Other Side of the Table

Written by a medical device recruiter, but the recommendations apply to any situation working with a recruiter.

For more information, go to:

Confessions of a Medical Device Recruiter (Posted for all my Recruiter Friends – do I hear an Amen?)

How to Get the Attention of Your Favorite Recruiter

I love the recruiting business. Nearly 25 years in the medical industry and I’m still like a junkie about the newest Gee-Whiz device or “inside scoop” into what’s going on in … your company…

But, in the past few months, with this oddly strong need for fearless and unflinching leaders in our Client companies, I find myself struggling to keep up with staying in communication with viable candidates I’ve known for years who are among the unfortunate thousands being laid off through no fault of their own.

My daily email drawer has swelled to 200 – 400 per day – not counting the Viagra and WOW ads nor the 1000 or so emails that go to our general mailbox or to one of my staff. It’s daunting to open up Outlook and see that 329 emails have come in since I left the office at 9pm the night before. Incoming phone calls have increased to a dizzying pace and I hear the urgency in the voicemails of many of the candidates.

To combat this, I’ve increased my average of 20-40 telephone appointments per day by decreasing the average time on each call and tacking on an extra hour or two to the day. My team is charged with reaching out to 80 people per day “live” on top of their other responsibilities which include research, staying current on industry news, email and writing up the final 2-5 candidates that they will submit for open positions.

I try to talk fast and listen faster and feel like I’m in “auctioneer training” half the time because the sheer velocity of the conversation.

Like most of you, I’m now working 70-80 hours routinely in the office despite having added two more employees to try to stay responsive to the candidates and clients that have built our company into such a player in the industry.

But I feel bad when I can’t get to you as quickly as either of us would like. Why? Because we really do try to help and there’s just not enough hours in the day. Most good recruiters – and all the great ones – want to create that “Perfect Storm” of matching executives to the right companies.

So here’s some tips to get your message out to your favorite recruiter(s):

1. Be succinct in communication. I do care. But if I can get a 16 second voicemail with your basic information and purpose of the call, I can get back with you faster. Name, most recent company, phone number (speak clearly and/or leave the number twice so I don’t have to replay) and purpose of the call are fine. Hopefully, you’ve checked my website and can give me the title or Job ID so we can get to the point quickly. And chances are, if you’ve been laid off, I probably already know the reason – and that it’s not a reflection on you. I understand.

1A. Be flexible. Please don’t leave a rambling 8 minute message and then tell me you’re available between 4 and 4:15pm next Tuesday. I do want to communicate with you, but like you, schedule my appointments a week or so in advance to be as productive as possible.

2. Email when possible. I can answer emails late at night even when I can’t phone you.

3. If possible, ALWAYS “apply” online on my website for a position you’re interested in rather than asking me to look over your resume and see what I have that may be a fit. When you express an interest in a position, it “flags” one of my recruiters and puts you at the top of the heap to be contacted – generally within a day or two. If I receive a general “please let me know what you think” query, I save it for the weekend and then assign it to one of our administrative staff – and currently – as of today there are 3291 resumes in queue for general processing. Actual number. And we can only process 100-200 per day per staff person. By applying online and telling us what you’re interested in – you’ll generally get a response (either phone or email) within a few days on most positions.

(Note to self: hire another recruiter).

4. Look at our forum
Medical Device Guru. There are nearly 5000 articles, resume tips, news stories and tons of ideas – that we update daily. You may also want to join the Linkedin Group of the same name or on Twitter .

5. On that same topic, make sure your resume is pristine – and descriptive, including not only your current/most recent company and a brief description- but the website as well – embedded in your resume. If you list your company as “Tyco” or “JNJ” rather than the division or SBU, I can’t as quickly assess where we might have a spot for you. By embedding the URL that best reflects your role, or describing the functional areas of responsibility you managed, my staff and I can have a greater understanding of your career relative to your total organization.

6. Link to your favorite headhunters – like me – on LinkedIN

7. Be generous in recommending other people to us if a position we present to you is not a fit. If it’s a confidential referral, we will honor that. Interestingly, you should know that the single biggest referral source I have for the most senior level positions that I typical work on – is YOUR BOSS. Of course, I can’t tell you this, but more often than not, if you’re talented, but have no room for promotion in your current organization, your boss will confidentially share your name. There’s a lot of good people in medical – and it’s such a small world, is it not?

8. Be patient with us – and any recruiter you work with. The medical device world is still hiring a strong pace. The New York Times reported on January 24, 2009 that white-collar unemployment is 4.6% as opposed to 11.3% for blue collar workers. This is little solace to the 4.6%, but I believe that medical device will continue to fare well in the near future. Even at our company,we’re fortunate to have more opportunities today than this time last year. But the bar is higher and candidates that are difficult, uncooperative and demanding are not getting in front of our clients. It’s human nature. There’s a great saying in my business… “People are hired for what they do – but fired for who they are.” In this environment, as everyone is trying to do more with less, your work-place demeanor and ability to work – and play well – with others is being assessed throughout the interview process. Right or wrong (though it doesn’t happen often) I’ve pulled candidates that were egregiously rude to my adminstrative assistant simply because they could be an HR nightmare to my clients. (Remember that the title of this blog is “Confessions of a Med Device Headhunter… I’m just telling the truth…)

9. It’s OK to “touch base” every week or so if you’re in active consideration for a position and haven’t heard anything. We’re not perfect and sometimes things DO fall through the cracks – especially when the hiring manager is taking a few weeks to set up interviews because he/she is working 70 hours+ per week and doing three jobs – or has lost admin help – or is travelling. We do try to communicate the process, but so much of it is out of our control. By the same token, give us a little breathing room. Noone want to place you more than WE do.

10. Do your homework once we have an interview scheduled for you. While we will do a verbal prep with you and send you materials on our client, you can increase your odds by doing your own homework on the company. We’ve created the Interview Prep Guide for Medical Device Careers as a help – it’s 24 pages packed with medical career interviewing ideas. And its free.

Finally, every day – many times a day – I get asked how the job market looks – quick answer – it’s very strong in many niches within medical device. The smaller companies seem hungry to add top talent and even some of our Fortune 500 clients are planning responsible additions in Q1. Frankly, no company is going to grow without smart, dedicated, and creative talent to weather the next few quarters. While Legacy MedSearch is but one executive search company (and there are alot of great companies like ours), we had a 40% growth last year and are already ahead of plan for 2009 as of May with a week left to go. My guess is that we’ll place 4 people again this month and at least as many in June

I really hope one of those people – is you.

Thanks for working with us. We really are trying our very best.

October 6, 2009

Any Way You Say It

Filed under: Passions — Anne Cloward @ 9:34 pm


I ushered at a Prairie Home Companion for six years. The stories I could tell you about the show!

Anyway, here is a ditty from the host, listing many of the ways you can get excited about something.


“Whatever Floats Your Boat” lyrics

I think the world of you

You know I wish you well

Whatever tightens your screw

Or rings your bell

Whatever floats your boat

Or greases your pan

And if solo guitar is what starts your car

Here comes the guitar man.




Well I don’t know

What lights up your eyes

What makes your ketchup flow

What makes your elevator rise

But whatever it is

It’s all right with me

And if solo bass can bring a smile to your face

He’ll play it basically.




Some people do the marathon, put their shorts and on, and take a run.

Some people go back to sleep and dream about sheep running by one by one


Whatever thickens your bisque

Or answers your prayer

Downloads your disc

Whatever loads your software

Whatever pulls your cork

Whatever ripens your cheese

And if solo piana peels your banana

He’ll tinkle the keys.




I hope your needs are met

Your desires fulfilled

Whatever fires your jets

Whatever lifts your kilt

Whatever grinds your beans

Whatever milks your cow

If a little drum break can bake your cake

Well, here’s one right now.




Some people go to parties, love the hubbub, the clamor, the roar

Some people sit and listen to the moths beating gently on the old screen door


Whatever gives you a thrill,

Whatever makes your light shine,

That is your free will,

It’s no business of mine.

Whatever chills your beer,

Or fills your cup.

And if a moment of silence puts your heart in the highlands,

We will shut up.




Whatever swabs your decks

Whatever fills your pies

Builds your pecs

Whatever shapes up your thighs

What magnetizes your strip

What smokes your salmon

And if B-3 makes you feel free

Then here’s the Hammond




Some people love Puccini, they could listen to his operas night

and day

Some people love hip hop and never stop with the sound turned up all the way

Whatever tunes your lute

Whatever upgrades your file

Whatever opens your chute

Whatever grouts your tile

Whatever tailors your suit

Whatever styles your hair

And if a radio show can make your garden grow

We’re on the air.

An Unabashed Plug for a Group

As you are looking for a job and getting beyond the applying online route and are actually talking to real people, you may find yourself panicking. You have to talk to real people and you do not know how to do it! How do you carry on a conversation? How do you gauge what kind of impression you make on others? How do you answer even basic questions about who you are?

There are several solutions besides the one of not doing anything. You can pay lots of money to a professional coach and take lots of public speaking classes.

But if you are on a tight budget and cannot afford any of these solutions, there is a rather inexpensive and fun way to develop your skills at speaking in front of and to others: The answer is (drum roll please) Toastmasters. They can be found at

Or, if you are local to Oregon, try this URL,

Why would joining an organization, which forces you to get up and speak before others be good for me, if the job I am searching after doesn’t require me to do a lot of speaking? Well, even in IT shops, where I have toiled for years, you have to present information to colleagues and bosses in an organized manner. You have to talk to people who do not share your background and expertise, and get them to understand what it is you are trying to do. You generally have to go through an interview in which you want to present your best self. What better place to learn all of these skills for a very small amount of money.

I speak from personal experience. Most Toastmaster clubs are filled with supportive people who help each other develop their abilities presenting their best selves in front of others. Even though I have spoken in public many times, and taught school for many years, there are still many valuable things I have learned from my club; how to run a meeting, how to be a better listener, how to think on my feet.

Besides that, Toastmasters can be a lot of fun. You get to meet interesting people and who knows, one of them might know of an opportunity for you. Ya never know.

October 4, 2009

Enjoying Life

Filed under: LIfe Balance,Passions,Professionalism — Anne Cloward @ 11:49 pm
Tags: , ,

My sons bought tickets several weeks ago to see an award winning flamenco guitarist named Jesse Cook. I had heard several of his albums before, but had never really listened to him. My mistake, for sure. I had no idea what an accomplished artist he is how enjoyable the evening would be.

Last night changed my mind. After struggling to find a parking spot (I declare that can be as difficult a task as it was in St Paul), and walking two blocks on bumpy sidewalks, we made it to the theater, which has seen better days. Inside, though, there was nothing but excitement. Ardent fans assured me I was in for a treat. As the band quickly entered, they picked up their instruments and began to play. Within 30 seconds, I knew something special was happening. Those in the know were already cheering. Jesse’s pictures all look like this, which is misleading, because most of the time he is performing, he is smiling and enjoying himself.

For the next two hours, they played to a most appreciative crowd. They were having fun, lots of it. We bought CDs, grateful they had them there for us. After the show was over, the band members started to pack up their gear, but they were stopped by ardent fans (including me and my son) who wanted to express appreciation and have them sign their CDs. Brief conversations followed, as they got ready to go on to their next stop. They are just regular guys with extraordinary talent doing what they do best, giving of their talents to an appreciative audience.

For more information on this remarkable artist, go to his website,

What has this to do with a job search?

  • Jesse knew at a young age what he wanted to do with his life. He got training and learning his craft. He still does. This tour is in support of his 7th album, which has just been released.
  • He surrounds himself with equally as talented and passionate artists who go out on stage and give all they have to their customers.
  • What do you do with such passion in your life? How can you create that kind of joy for yourself and others in your work?

September 29, 2009

What I Learned from My Grandchildren

Filed under: LIfe Balance — Anne Cloward @ 11:10 pm
Tags: ,

I have four grandchildren, three girls and one boy, and ranging in age from seven to almost 2. For their safety, I will not use their full names here.

But they have taught me lessons that can be applied to a job search. In no special order, here they are:

Go after things that you are passionate about

Granddaughter #1 puts her whole heart into everything she does. Do you bring that same enthusiasm to your search?

Support your family and friends when they are in need

If you are there for them, they will be there for you. This is a time when you need each other. It’s a time to strengthen relationships. (Granddaughter #1 and her brother).

Be true to yourself

Know who you are and what you want. If you don’t know, find out. (Granddaughter #2 who has known who she is from the beginning)

Begin each day with enthusiasm

Be open to opportunities, to help, to learn and to do things that you have not done before. Don’t use the fact that you have never done it, therefore it must not be good. (Granddaughter #3 is always ready to tackle the new day)

What can you learn from your children?

A Little Attitude Adjustment Needed

Filed under: LIfe Balance,vision — Anne Cloward @ 6:16 am

When the job search gets long and you get discouraged, perhaps it’s time to do a little adjusting to your attitude.

I came across this poem recently, by the Sufi poet, Rumi.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

What has this to do with your job search? As a friend of mine who has been laid off recently, said: “I realize what a gift I have been given,”

He went on to explain that he had been wondering for the last month or so if it was time for him to leave his present position and chase after a few of his dreams. He  prayed about it leaving the answer up to God. When he was laid off, he felt it was an answer to his prayer.

Not all of us can see it this way, but there are some wonderful advantages to being your own master of your fate at this time. Some excellent uses of your time might be:

  • Spending quality time with loved ones. My mother has been gone for 20 years now. We were close and I treasured the times we spent together. My grandchildren continue to delight me, now that I have time to listen.
  • Spending time to get to those things that we never seem to have time for, those you are always saying you will get “a round tuit” when you have nothing else on your plate.
  • Spending time on that exercise and diet regime that you need to.
  • Developing interests that have been calling passionately to you.

This does not mean I am advocating abandoning your job search. You are not your job. You are a person of value and you need to remember that.

For more ideas, go to

Until tomorrow, Namaste.

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