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Winning the Job Hunt - From the Trenches
"A man is great not because he hasn’t failed, but because failure hasn’t stopped him"... Confucius
Getting Your Career in Shape

This is the main time of year when we attempt to improve. Talk to any fitness center, stop-smoking clinic or career coach and they’ll all tell you how brisk business becomes once December ends.   We believe that when the clock strikes twelve, as it does 364 other evenings each year, everything changes and we become transformed into folks capable of immediate change.

I believe with good planning and reasonable expectations anyone can begin to shape up their careers. Here are some tips you can use this year to keep your career in shape:

  • Secure a new credential. This can be the year when you begin your MBA or other credential. Even if you have to take baby steps just to begin to add to your value, get started. The doldrums of winter disappear when we give purpose to improving our skills and knowledge. Don't be discouraged by the long road ahead in completing your program. Just getting and staying on that road will remind you that a destination of improvement is in your future.
  • Don't become a full time student. While many cannot afford to take a hiatus, those who can leave the job for a year or more tend not be as appealing when they return as those candidates with seamless employment records. While challenging, it’s far more admirable to prospective employers to secure an advanced degree while on the job. Remember this – another great job may not be as easy to retrieve at your convenience.
  •  Give yourself a promotion. Seek to learn a new skill with the employer you currently have. You don't need to change jobs to increase your value if you increase the functions you perform on the job. Am I suggesting that you take on even more work? Yes, if you can leverage it as an additional future offering. Always keep in mind those required specifications for that promotion of new job. Never miss an opportunity to gain future value.
  • Keep your business clean. Recently at a networking event I inquired about an individual no longer with a company and proceeded to get an earful about all the wrongdoing that allegedly caused what I learned was a termination. While the terminated executive's story was less than impressive, more revealing was the poor judgment of the messenger. Word spreads when individuals gossip and no one ever forgives a person who takes pleasure in the misfortune of others. Word spreads about toxic individuals and I have seen them rejected for hire.
Your Blue Book Value – Get Real
Last week Suzy got a job offer. For about 5 years she’d held a job she disliked. The stories she told me validated her misery. The management was unfair, she hated having to sell anything, the product was boring and she was lonely in her home office. Ok I bought it.

With her new résumé she got interviews and then ultimately a good job offer. She spoke very highly of the company, the opportunity and the job functions … she was to become an International Customer Service Representative rather than a Sales Representative, her current state of persecution. She was excited. But when the offer came there was one big problem. It was less than she expected…not less than she was worth and no less than she was making … but less that she expected. Suzy was disappointed. Oh she accepted the offer all right. Why did she expect more? Ummmm because. .. It was amazing how quickly she forgot how miserable she was with her current employer. It was all about unreasonable expectations for no substantive reason.

Marc however did turn down his job offer. His current job was in jeopardy because his company had been acquired by a bigger player so he began his search. He liked the new company that wanted to hire him; he was excited about the job (a step up) but because …his offer didn’t cover his wife’s temporary income loss of $40,000 during relocation, he sent a “thanks but no thanks letter.” He may never receive a better opportunity. She could have gotten another job once they relocated.

It’s captivating how candidates will forget both how much they hated their last jobs or their current employment insecurities and what great opportunities they now have due to one factor…… Money… When greed and ego set in logic is abandoned.

Remember, you have a Blue Book value and will be compensated accordingly. Of course compensation can be negotiated but based on justification and not on egotistical expectations or the need for YOUR household income. Beware of human nature!
High Performance Tips From Candidates Receiving Job Offers
Recently I became aware of a company in Columbus with 800 openings that had received over 8,000 resumes. Publicizing this issue on television brought me so many inquiries, that I was determined to secure specific tips from my most recent hires to focus on what distinguished them from other candidates. Not surprising was that fact that they were high-quality, well-qualified executives, managers and even a new college graduate; less surprising was the fact that they were no better than thousands of others. They simply out-performed. Here are their tips:

Ms. Executive Vice President – This candidate was creative and assertive without sacrificing her professional persona. She networked her way into various informational interviews through folks she met at the health club and beauty shop. She accepted an interview for a director-level position, one level below her previous status, however through negotiation and what I call “interview seduction,” was able to secure a job offer. She put her “I’d talk to anybody” strategy in practice and begins work Monday.

Mr. Information Technology Manager – This candidate, age 52, with an Associate’s degree (1970) approached each interview from a supreme position of strength not a defensive posture. While so many of my candidates apologize for their three decades of leadership, contribution and victory over marketplace hardships, the age issue never occurred to Mr. ITM. He was equally ignorant (and perhaps accurately) to his “lack” of education. Instead, his proud communication style spoke enthusiastically about his involvement with relevant, leading-edge technology and projects that would obviously be valuable to any employer. I was captivated by his love for his work and his enthusiasm for the future. So was the employer that offered him a $10,000 increase.

Daniel Degreed-Trainee – Nervously equipped with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, mediocre grades, a brief internship in banking and six years as a McDonald’s crew chief, Daniel secured the offer he’d wanted for four long years. How does one new college gradate distinguish himself from others with similar backgrounds? Daniel was taught the importance of keeping current on world and economic affairs; he was also taught to project any business into a global perspective. When asked how he felt the Middle East crisis would affect U.S. economic recovery, he expanded his impressive answer to include his prospective employer’s industry and long-term strategies. Appearing more enlightened than many executives won a coveted job offer for a once tentative Daniel. Knowledge is truly power.
5 Simple Factors for Interview Success
Factor 1. The First Impression.

There's a saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true in an interview. Most interviewers make their minds up in the first five seconds as to whether you are right for the company or not. If they don't like what they see, statistics show your chance of getting the job is less than 50%

Factor 2. A Smile.

Smile naturally at everyone you meet when you arrive at the office. Facial expression and eye contact really make a difference. Winners engage by responding with head-nods. There is little we can control in job search but we have total control of our image. Regarding wardrobe, wear age-appropriate clothes and stay away from wear showy jewelry, overpowering perfume or aftershave or anything else that distracts the interviewer from focusing on you.

Factor 3. Your Mindset.

The interview is part of an attempt to solve your potential employer's needs, wants and desires. At this moment you are not part of their solution. The only way to become part of their solution is to understand their needs or problems. To do this you need to ask questions related to how you can help solve the potential employer's problems.

For example, a great question that gets the focus heading in the right direction is "What do you want to make happen with this position?" Asking an employer what outcome or what they want to happen from this job completely turns the interview around and an interviewer or employer will start to tell you what they want. Now you can give them examples from your PAST (your resume) that demonstrate you can deliver the outcomes the employer is looking for. Now instead of talking about your past, you can now talk about your potential.

Factor 4. Understanding the Mind of the Employer.

Understand the purpose and reasoning behind questions and areas being discussed. To illustrate the power of this, let me give you a sticky interview question: "Why did you leave your last job?" It's a commonly asked question and it never fails to put interviewees off-balance. But once you understand the reasoning behind the question, it's suddenly a cinch to answer.

Why are they asking? Because they want to be sure you don't do the same thing to them a few weeks after they hire you. Once you understand this, the question becomes much easier to answer doesn't it? My all-time favorite answer to this question would have to be: "I didn't want to but I saw this position advertised and it's the job I've always wanted!"

Factor 5. Know What Interviewers Fear. Interviewers are human and as such fall victim to the FUD factor: "Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt." The sorts of things they are afraid of include:

* You won't be able to do the job
* What you said in your application may not be totally correct
* It will cost them a lot of money if they do hire the wrong person

Janice Worthington

Do Careers Have Resale Value?
Two important things occur when one turns 16 … the opportunity to get that first job and the strong desire to get one’s driver’s license. For years, we watch others shift the gears, accumulating in-depth knowledge regarding the rules of the road. However, never are we taught about choosing a place to work. We buy road maps for a vacation but never bother to map a route for the three, four or five decades that we will be earning a living.

To operate an automobile, we are required to complete a formal classroom course followed by a designated amount of hours on the road accompanied by an instructor. Finally, before we ever enter a vehicle and choose a direction, we have to pass a driving test. It is the law, and today we can pretty much assume that everyone on the highway has been trained, tested and licensed.

It is long past time to focus on the fact that candidates receive very little training in career planning. For decades, professionals have committed to job offers based on nothing more than the fact that their employers appeared in the help-wanted ads. Unfortunately the results of ill-defined priorities and non-existent strategies, critical to career planning and advancement in the toughest of job markets, has left many a candidate with no professional identity and thus no direction when forced to make a change.

The best foundational growth strategy to leverage career advancement is clearly defined as “seeking and accepting a job offer based on its ability to score future job offers.” It is a foolproof method meant not only to secure employment but also assure continued career growth in spite of a recessionary climate. It requires discipline, even in prosperity.

Savvy career planners can be college students or mid-life career changers. They set long-term goals and search for vehicles and paths with several stops to achieve those goals. More important than compensation, location or status, they know that adding a resale morsel gained from wise planning will someday open doors perhaps closed to others. This resale morsel can be a college degree, a certification, a new product environment or a job function never before performed.

It is never too early or late to configure your plan. In advance of your job search, make a list of those things critical to increasing your ultimate career resale value. The risk of making the wrong decision based on emotion will be reduced because you have created guidelines for yourself. Know why you are accepting a job offer. Look toward the future and be flexible with the knowledge that your value will continue to increase.
Interview Wardrobe Tips
If you attended Part 1 of "How to Get the Interview" you might have noticed how opinions began to differ when we began to discuss what to wear on an interview. While we are all different ages, sizes and types.. here are some basics regarding what to wear.

- Fragrance - Forget about it! Your employer might be allergic and if you happen to apply a bit too much you might distract the attention of the individual you are trying to impress, especially if your fragrance choice resembles a pesticide (in his opinion). Show chorus's never take the chance. No fragrance for anyone. I agree.

- Jewelry - Today's ladies jewelry is big, bold and makes a fashion statement. But unless you are in the fashion industry it is still a good idea to keep your look more quiet. We tell our clients to wear 4 pieces of jewelry. Two earrings, a watch and a wedding band and you're there! Most candidates aren't aware of this rule but it's a safe bet to keep conservative.

- Facial Hair - Although there might be exceptions, facial hair is not a good idea for men. If this idea threatens who you are, remember that you're a job seeker first. Once hired rules may very well relax on what you wear to work and that could very well include facial hair. If in doubt, play it safe!

- Ladies' Suits - While pant suits are fine make sure the length works in relation to the shoes you want to wear. Every size heel will not go with one pant length. Pay special attention to the sleeve length and how the jacket fits over the pants. Ladies need to watch the length of their skirts; without looking beyond their years, younger candidates shouldn't wear skirts too short. (I sound like my mother.) In this case image dictates that legs not be the focus of the impression.

- Men's Suits - The biggest issue for interview wardrobe with male candidates is that they wear age-appropriate, well-fitting clothes. Fashion is not necessarily the priority with many males so when interview time comes they may wear out-dated clothes. Additionally if you're 40 years' old, stay out of the Young Men's department. Watch your sleeve length and the trouser length. And whatever you do...make sure your jacket isn't too tight!
Run From These Traditional New Year's Resolutions!
Talk to any fitness center, stop-smoking clinic or job search coach and they’ll all tell you how brisk business becomes each January. No one begins a healthy eating plan on Thanksgiving Day anymore than they sign a one-year contract with the gym on Christmas Eve. But for some unknown reason each year we believe that when the clock strikes twelve, as it does 364 other evenings each year, everything changes and we become transformed into folks capable of immediately correcting those behaviors created by previous year’s imperfections.

Is it possible that all roads lead back to human nature? Are the traits that find us regretfully eating crème brulee on January 22 also causing us to adopt self-defeating behavior to the point that some of us, who possess stellar credentials, can’t get a job offer or even an interview? You bet! We creatures of habit, accustomed to going to work each morning at 8 AM and thriving in what we believe to be job security, become just as volatile and vulnerable when required to redirect our behavior into job search mode as those now wearing the stop-smoking patch. It’s actually a form of emotional withdrawal. Here are the symptoms:

Assuming Guilt for Unemployment – Despite the fact that more times than not he probably wasn’t terminated, today’s candidate, much like children in divorce, secretly blames himself for his circumstance. This allows him to maintain a sense of perceived control. His former employer may have shut the doors, putting thousands of associates on the streets, but the average job seeker, engulfed in his human nature, believes that if he had worked harder, sold more, saved more or negotiated better this wouldn’t have happened to him. His tunnel vision does not allow him to see beyond himself. This perceived blame challenges his self esteem, and will inevitably deplete his search and interview strengths.

Doubting One’s Abilities – Fear of the unknown severely rattles the candidate who traditionally depends on externals to validate his self-worth. If there’s no longer a quota to meet and no project deadline, a job search candidate may not be able to disassociate from his former employer and take personal responsibility for his past successes. Perhaps this consummate team player can’t distinguish his individual capabilities from that of his former associates because he was taught humility and was just, “doing his job.” Now with no self-perceived assets to his credit he may not believe in his talents. In a world where the strong, silent type, benevolent enough to allow others recognition has traditionally been admired, he may be working at a deficit.

It doesn’t take very long to believe that everyone has somewhere to go each morning but you. And applying for jobs behind a computer screen tends to be a tedious, lonely journey. Make no mistake; the battle to control our human nature is never-ending. Without exception those among us who are most successful have learned to minimize its effect. The answer to managing one’s human nature is to remember the good you've done and realize that no one can take it from you.

Janice Worthington

We All Really Do Belong Somewhere!
Probably the most interesting part of job search coaching for three decades has been witnessing outcomes. I am there from the beginning, middle and end of a job search. The outcome of a job search is really easy to predict. Candidates either get hired with quality or give up and settle. Everyone ends up working somewhere, but the one factor that defines how well the search ends has much to do with perseverance and self-esteem, i.e., how good they feel about themselves.

I’ll continue to spend my days on our blog warning that your résumé may well be killing your opportunities or that if your interview is off just a bit, the next candidate will take for himself what, perhaps, you felt was meant to be your opportunity. But way beyond these mechanical exercises, remember that he who wins is many times he who endured the battle the longest. Boxing comes to mind.

Job search can really challenge your sense of identity, shake your confidence and make you question whether or not those achievements in your past were even valid. Anyone who denies they have ever felt this way, no matter how great they may appear, is not forthcoming.

The most important point? You are who you are and you are just as valuable on your first day of job search as you were the day before your layoff! No one can ever take away your qualifications, achievements or sense of self. Never allow anyone to invalidate you!

I’m a big fan of authors like Rick Warren and Max Lucado because they reinforce things I may lose sight of on a cold December day when I don’t see the sun. Mr. Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life reminds me that I’m here on a specific mission. And in fewer but no less compelling words Max Lucado says,”

“You Were Knitted Together…..You Weren’t an Accident.
You Weren’t Mass Produced…..You Aren’t an Assembly Line Product,
“You Are a Wonderful One of a Kind …..”

May we all win our competitions in 2011 and may we all be here to encourage each other to accept the mission. I know I will! See ya in a few!
Networking ……An Old Tribal Ritual
Networking, although made to appear like a newly discovered tool with a mystique bordering on rocket science, fulfills a basic human need….to run with the tribe. We see it everywhere, beginning in the sandbox, advancing to the beauty shop and golf course, and continuing in the retirement home. We go to church, bowl in leagues, chat on soccer fields, join investment clubs, take night classes, play poker, and grill out with the neighbors. Of course, we also belong to professional associations, attend industry conventions, and work with clients, although these may not be the folks with whom we necessarily want to discuss our job search. However we all have our networks, whether we realize this fact or not.

During my certification process to become a Job & Career Transition Coach, I learned a valuable lesson from the facilitator. There were 35 of us from all over the US in the class, and one assignment involved selecting a vocation (I wanted to be a television evangelist), and networking ourselves into a contact by the end of class that day. We began by going around the room announcing our goals, and I had barely mentioned my chosen vocation when a Boston colleague said she had an Aunt in Lynchburg, Virginia whose neighbor’s daughter served as a Secretary for then-alive pastor Jerry Falwell. I immediately asked the Boston colleague for her Aunt’s name and phone number, and asked permission to reference the Boston colleague when making my call. I would eventually do the same with the neighbor and the neighbor’s daughter, who each day took shorthand for the pastor.

While I call this approach the “indirect hit,” I have used a variation when meeting folks, who strictly by coincidence, could, themselves, further one of my many causes. I merely asked a stranger, happening to be in a position of influence, who they knew that could provide assistance regarding my mission. I met the founder of the Drug Emporium chain in the laundry room of a Disney hotel in 1983. I was so captivated with a man doing his kids’ laundry that I told him so, having no clue who he was. I met one of’s first Marketing Managers in Cancun. She was on the next treadmill and I complemented her on her well-behaved children. At a food court in a California mall, I had a great conversation with the Executive Producer of the Judge Judy show. Oddly, she felt that I was a great networking contact since she had no lifeline to Small Claim’s Court cases in Columbus.

From the tales of clients who have been most successfully hired by effortless networking I offer the following: If it is compatible with your personality, integrate your after-hours talents into the community. Coach your son’s little league team; you will not believe how grateful Junior’s corporate executive parents may be when you call on them. Teach Sunday school, volunteer at the retirement center, join the local theatre group. Don’t wait until you need a network to try to develop one. Establish an on-going professional identity and work to enhance your visibility. Corporations consistently spend millions of marketing dollars on their products hoping to achieve the same effect….to enter your circle and gain your attention based on their message when the need presents itself. It works!

Janice Worthington

Job Seekers Need Answers to Get Hired
There's something about December that changes the job search mentality. Is it too late to get hired in 2010? What follows are questions almost all candidates still ask:

Does hiring slow down in the fourth quarter? - This year I believe some employers also slept on their hiring decisions in August and are now having to commit before year's-end. Job openings have been steady all year but decisions seemed to have been postponed toward Labor Day. This doesn't mean that job seekers should have ever stopped their searches. Those who continued to plant the seeds of community networking while cultivating social media connections to gain access to decision makers will realize greater returns as the year ends. In over three decades in career management, I have never been able to see seasonal consistencies in hiring. The jobs are there but companies are enjoying a fertile talent pool so it's the candidate's task to outperform.

How do I find job openings in my field? - If you're not bound by a non-compete contract don't allow sentimentality to keep you away from direct competitors. Systematize those companies who can immediately benefit from your history of achievements and approach them. Industry conferences and trade association meetings are excellent venues that tend to level the job search playing field. One strategy we find especially successful is offering one's history, proposing immediate productivity as opposed to inquiring about a job. Of course your conversation will reveal your desire for employment but approached from the vision of proposing a partnership with assets reminds the employer of what's in it for him. Related industries to your background should also be pursued. Don't hesitate to call on those who know you for assistance, and ask permission to use their names when approaching a new lead. Nothing in employment is stronger than a referral.

I've applied for 10 jobs online in two weeks. Why haven't I been contacted? - Did we really think the World Wide Web would conduct our job searches for us? Were we so intrigued with the TV blitz of ads to be convinced to merely apply for jobs and then sit back and wait for response? Go ahead and apply online, because when many employers direct you to their company websites you will have already completed this step. Establish a search pace and keep your numbers up. But be sure to go into the corporate community and show yourself to employers by attending meaningful events. Take a hint from the politicians who are all currently trying to keep their jobs. They scramble to make media interviews and personal appearances to assure that as many constituents as possible know who they are and in what they believe.

Circumstances are always volatile in hiring but never more than now. Your persistence and resistance to stopping even when it looks like there's nothing in your pipeline will ultimately get you hired.

If we took a survey we would see that those are resilient in November and forge ahead are those who will be negotiating offers in January!
Good News From Your Career Director Well Sort of! Case Studies
The recession is over! Well not totally and not that quickly, but the vast job market is looking much better! If candidates are willing to engage, they are finally securing more openings, more interviews, and quicker hires. As a career coach I am asked daily what candidates can do to capitalize should this really be an upturn and my counsel focuses on the successes during the worst of times. What worked during turmoil is certain to work in upturn.

Deanna, a Vice President, secured a job interview for a Director and they reclassified the position upward to Vice President after she dazzled them on the interview in November. Amanda, having heard that the prospective employer “works its employees to death” went on the interview anyway and loves her new job, which she began on September 15.

Deanna made 200 intro calls, registered with / worked the job boards and conducted an on-line resume distribution. But she always followed up! She networked with Women in Communications, joined a church networking group and began an employment bulletin board at her church, offering to serve as the “go-to” person for both candidates and employers. She accepted interviews from anyone who would speak to her. She received her job offer in 60 days; no relocation required.

Amanda did not listen to the negatives presented each time she became interested in a company. Despite her youth, Amanda knew that out of fear and lack of confidence candidates tend be negative thus, not only avoiding the unknown, but eliminating potential job offers. She would not allow excuses such as “the managers are really demanding,” “you work long hours” or “they don’t pay well” to deter her investigation. What the others deemed as hard work she saw as valuable opportunity and she genuinely liked a company that others had panned.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Shallow men believe in luck…Strong men believe in cause and effect.” Perhaps he was conducting a job search.

Janice Worthington

Political Candidates & Dancing with Stars
Soon it will be history. Somebody's going to get elected on Nov. 2 and within weeks we'll be concentrating on turkey, Santa and the New Year. But before we finish giving thanks for the end of all those political ads, phone calls and mailers, we need to look and remember what we saw as these candidates attempted to get hired.

As a news and political junkie, I know that candidates come to both media and debates stocked with handlers, coaches and public relations professionals to help them best deliver their messages. But in spite of a wealth of resources, I have heard one candidate declare she wasn't a witch and another discuss immigration with a tone bordering on racism. Their ratings immediately declined. I have seen candidates appear ignorant, uninformed and disingenuous as they proceeded to bad-mouth the other candidate who also wanted the same job. But amazingly enough many who deliver less than perfect messages do get elected.

The lesson? People who make a living persuading you to make your laws blow their interviews....daily!

Now let's consider Dancing with the Stars. We know that stars struggle and muddle through dance routines adorned with beautiful costumes and bright lights. They practice and practice, and when the season ends, one contender, evaluated for skill by three judges and by popularity when the entire country votes, prevails.

The lesson? Popularity and likability may just trump ability if left to human beings to decide. But that's who hires. Right?

Now let's consider the pros on Dancing with the Stars. Ever see them do a routine as a group without their partners? They have been tightly choreographed, and by the time you see them perform they have been extremely well-practiced. Unlike the candidates, these pros seldom make mistakes and it's a pleasure to watch their precision timing. But as talented and experienced as these semi-athlete dance pros are, one of them must still step up, structure and rehearse their routines.

The lesson? How do you prepare for your performance? There is no such thing as a professional interviewer and you don't have to be perfect...but you must formulate your presentation and practice! The days of schmoozing an interview are long gone. Remember this before you lose a great opportunity! They are precious these days!

Janice Worthington

Eight Signs That Predict You Aced the Interview
1. Round two
The easiest way to gauge short-term success is if the interviewer asks you to return for another round of interviews. If he wasn't interested, he would be evasive as whether or not you could expect to hear back from someone. The hiring manager does not want to waste any more time interviewing you if you are not a fit. Invitation to the next round is a win!

2. References please

Why would you be asked for references unless someone cared to learn more about you? A firm will not spend the time to do background checks and talk with references if you are out of the candidate pool, Provide specific, knowledgeable references and bring those to the interview.

3. Meet the team

It's a good sign when the hiring manager chooses to introduce you to the team on the spot, or mentions that there are some people she would like you to meet. If she wasn't interested, again, she wouldn't take the time in making acquaintances.

Leaders are protective of their team and will not risk introducing a candidate if they are not a potential fit to join the organization, Remember that the hiring manager may request feedback from the team on their first impressions of you, so be nice to anyone you meet.

4. What are the transition steps?

When a company is interested in you, you'll be asked things like the amount of time needed for a transition or what non-competes might be in place,. If the hiring manager is interested in moving forward with an offer, they will typically ask what steps need to be taken for your departure from your current organization so that you can assume the new role," he says.

5. Dollars and sense

Depending on what stage of the interview process you're in, it could be a good thing if you're asked about salary expectations. It demonstrates that the company might be willing to invest in you.

You can have the absolute best interview ever and be dead in the water if you answer this question incorrectly! The question comes in two forms: 'What are your salary expectations?' or 'What is your current compensation?' Arrive at any interview with current compensation details written down for your own reference -- if asked -- and have an idea of how you will answer this question."

6. Your turn

When the interviewer spends a lot of time answering your questions, it's a signal that the he wants to sell you on the business, the team and position rather than you continuing to pursue the role. In most interviews, the hiring manager will ask if you have any questions as standard procedure, but spend less time with questions and answers if the interview has not gone well in their mind."

7. Let's keep rolling

If hiring managers are uninterested, they typically look for ways to wrap up the interview. At times, interviews will go well beyond the allotted time as the hiring manager or interview team wants to know more about you, or share with you more about the organization and role. If they are not interested in your candidacy, they won't drag out the interview.

8. Cultural fit
The more a hiring manager talks about how you'll fit into the mold at a company, the better. Most leaders are looking for candidates that can easily fit into a team environment or operate well as an individual contributor. If the hiring manager is interested in your taking the position, they will share additional details about the culture and shift into 'sales' mode on the organization.

Again, none of these are surefire signals that you've gotten the job. Plus, even though you did everything right, there is always the chance that someone else did, too. But if you continually see a couple of the above signals you'll know you've at least got a shot.

Janice Worthington

Why these? Because they are so feared and so frequently asked!
Tell me about your understanding of the job you’re applying for - You were probably expecting to be asked why you wanted the job but this question actually puts you in a better strategic position. Rather than begin to fearfully hope you guess the job definition, you are better served to focus on what you know they need. To gain the favor of a hiring manager, rather than define the job, you should address the critical needs of the position and immediately connect your specific experience to meeting these needs. The interviewer really isn't interested in your definition of the job as he is in your proving you can do it.

Why have you been out of work for so long? - Be prepared for this sort of challenge to your self-worth and be big enough not to let it shake you. If you've had the luxury of taking your time, say so, especially if your last employment lasted for years. Indicate that your careful analysis to find the right fit mandates that you carefully survey the marketplace because once committed, you sustain. If you've taken some time to travel or to take classes you do not appear desperate. Employers like those who don't act out of need. Watch your body language; if you slump and look down even for a second when confronted with challenging questions you are telegraphing embarrassment.

Why are you leaving your current employer? - Be careful! The very question of your leaving someone could have tones of abandonment from the beginning. By now everyone should know that speaking negatively of your current employer will doom your standing in the competition for an offer. I always advise job seekers to focus on where they're going to not where they're coming from. I also advise that they speak highly of their current and former employers, grateful for the opportunity to have gained experience. In combination with offering your past to a company's future, no one is faulted because you want to move on. I can't plant your answers but here's a good example:

"I became aware of your need for a Director of Manufacturing with a strong quality background. My current employer has significantly gained from my long tenure performing the very tasks you now need. At this time in my career, I would like to offer these skills to you."

Janice Worthington

Do You Speak Chinese?
Do You Speak Chinese?
No you don't need to speak Chinese to get hired but you do have to network! No way out! Yes networking..using a phone and handshake are imperative to getting hired, and those of you who refuse are sitting home to read this blog! Networking involves several critical strategies. Here they are!

- Stop Relying on Email! Humans are receiving dozens or hundreds of emails per day, and you can't even be sure that your message will be delivered. Is it easier for me to write to you or talk to you? Where can the stronger impression be found? In a voice of course!

- If Our Eyes Meet, Be Sure to Smile and Say "hi!" - By making eye contact I have now let you in my space. Now you have to think of something to say. This can vary based on the venue and occasion. You might want to think of areas of commonality and actually practice before you go to an event. Ever met a member of the opposite sex in a social situation? It's much the same challenge!

- Get Involved in the Community! - Even if you've never volunteered before, it's easy to get a new circle of friends and connections if you begin to volunteer. In a recession, organizations need you and you can never tell who you'll meet. Volunteering also looks great on a résumé.

- Gravitate Toward Outreach! - Questioning your value because you're not working? Go to those who need you! Other than the obvious win-win, you will immediately feel better. Coming through for others empowers us and enables us, and when we feel better about who we are, we present better to a prospective employer!

- Be like the guy in the photo! That's Jason Worthington, my middle son. Barely 60 days in Taiwan and he made the paper! Arriving in August to teach English to elementary school children, he joined a church and, with new friends who don't smile enough, was photographed delivering supplies to those with less. My money says that in another 60 days there will be more smiles. Jason is contagious. And though he's giving it his best, he speaks no Chinese! Now that's networking!
Common Interview Errors
Does Not Prepare. We have seen professionals who would no more set foot into a department or board meeting without days of preparation…knowing most of the information will never be asked for…Yet, when it comes to an interview for a position, they simply do not prepare themselves.

Some believe they have an infinite amount of time to make the proper impression when, in fact they may have only 20 minutes to communicate their potential. Opinions by the interviewer begin forming the minute a candidate walks through the door. If the applicant stumbles through the interview, is not an articulate spokesman, and does not appear confident, most interviewers will mentally draw the interview to a close…the applicant may never be aware.

A job interview is like selling a product; you are the product You should thoroughly prepare and rehearse basic points you want to cover in the interview...It is your responsibility to cover key points that best sell your abilities, not the employer’s. It is essential to learn as much as possible about the company, its industry, its products or services, and its organization. This information is available from reference books, annual reports, friends and other sources. If you can also develop some knowledge about the interviewer ahead of time (i.e. intelligence) you will gain an advantage.

Can’t Talk the Talk or Assumes the Interviewer Knows the Jargon. Every profession has it’s own language. It is shorthand for rapidly reaching an understanding of a point. With am employer from the same background, professional language is a must. With anyone else, English is a good idea. Today’s corporations seek executives who can communicate technical information in understandable English.

Does Not Sell Self & Worth Enthusiastically. Regrettably, this problem appears time and time again during interviews, and lack of self-marketing strategies results in the immediate elimination of some of the most qualified folks. If you’re not enthusiastic about yourself, why should anyone else be? This doesn’t constitute bragging but does suggest an excitement for your work accomplishments and a hunger to offer them to a fortunate employer.

Believe His Credentials Carry The Interview. Recently a man in his early thirties walked into an interview with résumé in hand. Harvard MBA, Columbia MA in Journalism, Dartmouth BSBA, He shoved it across the employer’s desk, gave the interviewer a few minutes to read it, and then asked, “Are there any questions?” The employer had none. Ever.
Job Search Tune Up - 5 things to do now!
Did you ever notice how many people start diets on Mondays or how many begin new exercise patterns on January 1 of any year? Gyms, diet clinics, stop smoking clinics and employment services are all very busy on January 1, Mondays and at the beginning of each new season.

Actually September is a perfect month to get your job search in gear! Summer breaks are coming to an end (yours never should have began!) football season begins and in many areas the weather will significantly change. Yes the perception of change is felt every September!

Now is a perfect time to change your job search journey if it's not working! It's never too late to start over...even applying to companies you've pursued earlier isn't out of the question. Remember if you change nothing... nothing changes...

5 Things You Can Do Today!

1. Check Your Voicemail Message - And create one if you hear digital lady repeat your phone number or simply hear yourself state your name as though you've been arrested! Make it professional!

2. Sophisticate Your Email - will not get you hired. Try to use your name if it's available. I don't like underscores (you know those lines such as Janice_W).
If your name is taken and you have to have a number in your email, to me it's better than an underscore.

3. Your Email Signature Line - Be sure to include your name, email address, LinkedIn address, and phone number. Make it easy for people to get back to you once they've opened your email.

4. Practice Your Phone Interview! - Call yourself and leave a message. Use your elevator statement (have one?) The point is to learn to deliver your message with knowledge and confidence. Only you can hear you and there's no limit on practice time.

5. Visit CareerBoard often! And call me if you have a question! I charge a very small fee for consultation and 10 minutes with a coach can help you explain some real touchy issues on the interview. 1/877/9Resume.
Rewinding Your Perspective…Fast Forwarding Your Hire!
My clients are in the trenches. They send out their résumés, interview their hearts out, follow-up faithfully and play the waiting game. My clients are an interesting group. They are on their home turfs passing judgment in positions of authority on Monday and sitting in my office in positions of vulnerability by Friday.

I am the coach and they are the players. I teach job search to clients and they teach me lessons learned from their career lives. Sometimes my clients are too close to their lessons to receive critical messages but that’s where I come in. If they could do it over again here’s what some of my most prominent folks would do differently:

I Wish Would Have Taken That Lateral Offer: I would have had the opportunity to gain the experience, perhaps temporarily sacrificing income, that would have taken me from the specialized director I am today to the executive vice president of CEO level that I may never see. Today, because of the financial demands of older children, I can no longer afford the growth hiatus that I would now be able to leverage in the pinnacle of my career. Where did I learn that sideways was a wrong direction?

I Wish I Had Secured A Simple Letter of Reference
: I have been downsized and the company is gone but I am still a candidate out of a job, sometimes feeling that employers can’t help but question the nature of my job performance. If I had negotiated a written letter of reference from my direct supervisor showcasing my stellar contributions I could have avoid employer skepticism in advance. I wish I had gone to my colleagues and offered to reciprocate, doing the same for them.

I Wish I Would Have Kept Better Records of My Achievements: I was always taught that on résumés qualifications meant everything. I just figured that my degree, years of experience, positions held and functions performed would qualify me for the job. It should have occurred to me that others were also qualified but I used to see classified ads that seemed to have my name of them. They would require 5-10 years in the plastics industry, and R& D background and an MBA. But repeatedly I never got a call.

I Wish I Would Have Gone on That Interview: I didn’t because it was only Director –level with probably less than my current compensation as I had reached the Vice President level. I later read in Business First that one of my AMA pals, another EVP, was able to impress to the point that they re-classified the job to meet her requirements. If nothing else, my meeting could have been used for networking opportunities. But I pre-judged and didn’t want to waste my time. Sadder but wiser I would never repeat that behavior.

I Wish I Wouldn’t Have Told The Bossman to Take His Job & Shove It: I wish I hadn’t aired my grievances about Mr. Jones to my colleagues. My old employer is now in partnership with my current employer and it has put me in a potentially embarrassing position. I felt hurt and taken advantage of and maybe I was but I should have been more discreet. There’s an old song that says once spent, time, bad words or bullets you can’t take any of them back. Amen
When Interviews Don't Produce Job Offers

I get to the second or third interview in the hiring process but can't get a job offer. What could I be doing wrong? And how can I "close the sale?"

The fact that you're getting interviews is a good sign. It means that your letters and resume are working and that you're making a good first impression. There are at least eight reasons you could be failing:

You don't look the part.
Your clothing is out of style. Make sure your clothing, including eyewear and briefcase, is current. Make sure your wardrobe fits. Get fashion help if you need a second opinion.

You lack focus.
You come across as too much of a generalist, as someone who can "do it all"--jack of all trades and master of none. You haven't defined what you want or where you fit, and companies pick that up as lack of direction. Without sharp focus you appear scattered and may come across as a "loose cannon." To combat this, develop strong preferences and be clear about what you want and what you don't want.

You're overselling.
In an attempt to "make the sale" you're pushing too hard, or coming across as desperate. You may appear too eager or overanxious. Create a high-impact, accomplishment-oriented resume and let it do most of the selling. In general, listen 75% and talk 25% of the time.

Your references are shooting you down.
Who are you using to support your candidacy? Have you asked them what they'll say? Have you prepared guidelines for them? Do they have your resume? Do you brief them before they're called? Be sure to give employers references they can relate to. Engineers like to talk to other engineers, and attorneys prefer other attorneys. Last point: don't overuse your references.

You want too much money.
Don't gauge your present worth on your last salary. The market may have changed; people with your skills could be in oversupply. Do a quick salary survey to determine realistically what you should be earning. Ask what the company plans to pay for the position. Then be flexible. You can lose out by seeming to care more about salary and benefits than about making a big contribution.

You appear difficult.
In multiple interviews companies have time to uncover weaknesses, character flaws, and problem behaviors, such as being arrogant or losing patience. You must appear co-operative, collaborative, and easy to work with.

Someone on the team doesn't like you.
Many companies hire by consensus. That means nearly everyone has to like you. Technical people often feel their track record "speaks for itself," but that's seldom true. In today's team-oriented environment, you need to make a strong effort to be liked by everyone you meet, from entry-level workers to the CEO.

You're not the best qualified. There may be others who really do fit the job better.

Interviewing is a selling opportunity. It's a relatively short time frame and you're in the spotlight. Even in so-called casual interviews, you're watched and evaluated very closely. You're compared to others and graded. Everything you do, everything you wear, and everything you say is magnified, and either helps or hurts you. You can sell yourself into a job by using closing comments. This is one way to “close the sale!”

Outcompete Others…….Remember the Good Old Ways!!

So what’s the problem? How could the Internet possibly sabotage the job search candidate? More important, how could the candidate, with such an abundance of resources, sabotage himself?

The primary problem with the Internet is that it totally removes human communication and relational persuasion from the equation, the candidate’s most powerful ally in competing for the job offer. So we now have both the marketing/promotional creativity, formerly utilized in the paper resume presentation, and the face-to-face or at least voice-to-voice powers of persuasion removed from the candidate’s communication powers.

I don’t like the new rules that prevent my clients from winning an age-old game, and I personally refuse to solely allow a box surrounded by plastic and glass to do my communicating. If you send me an email, you’ll get a phone call in return; I change the playing field to my advantage. What concerns me about today’s candidates is the fact that they are so enthralled with web sites and email that they willingly allow their powers of communication and persuasion to be handicapped. We know better. When we coach our executive clients, we not only force them to be highly pro-active in their searches but we remind candidates never to forsake things that have worked for decades simply because of the “box” that sits on your desk.

I offer state of the art but also count on traditional methods based on a recent event that occurred while I was taking calls for a colleague who went to Hawaii for the month. One of her clients, a recently unemployed Research and Development Director from a very well-known technology firm in Silicon Valley called to request that she do another Internet search distribution for him. Not being in a position to initiate this transaction for another consultant’s client, I suggested that he make a list of 15 companies and simply call VPs and CEO-level folks to make them aware of his availability. He was a well-recognized entity in his neighborhood. Three weeks later he had accepted an offer resulting from a phone call, a great print resume during the interview process and savvy interviewing and negotiation techniques. Most intriguing was the fact that the company with which he affiliated had no openings when he first called!

The lesson here…To never be so captivated by new methodologies that we forsake what has worked for years. Use all approaches and remember employers also stare at plastic boxes all day! Phone calls are as unique as pay phones. Reach out and get hired!

Those Dreaded Interview Questions Because You Asked!

Join us on August 24 from noon to 1 PM EST for Part 2 of "Fielding Interview Curveballs"

What do the OSU/Michigan game, Super Bowl and World Series have in common? They are all scheduled events for which contenders will train right up to the coin toss. Teaming with strength coaches and trainers, every waking moment will be dedicated to winning their main events. By the big game, each finalist will know the competition and practice sessions will even include videos of the other’s last performance.

Unfortunately job search isn’t as user-friendly. It is the one competition in which candidates never have the advantage of a match scheduled in advance nor do they know the identities of their competitors. Job search is the only competitive event in which you’ll never see the competition perform and won’t even be told the winner, unless you are the winner!

So as you shadow-box your way to a job offer it should become apparent that you need to begin training immediately. There is no better technique to perfect than fielding those dreaded interview questions. We regularly conduct interview boot camps and during practices we see traditionally savvy professionals blossom from tongue-tied deer in the headlights into confident communicators. The process of learning to field questions in a smooth conversational manner requires much practice. It is not an exercise in memorization because canned answers do not impress. Neither will these!

-- Why Did You Get Demoted?

-- What Would You Take Such a Large Pay Cut to Work Here?

-- Why Have You Been Out of Work So Long?

There is no way that you can anticipate each interview question. But you should be aware of the various categories of questions so you can reach into your vault of experience for tales of when you dealt with difficult people, resolved difficult situations or performed in less than perfect circumstances. Learning to field interview questions requires as much training and rehearsal as winning the big game. Candidates will eventually be able to produce smooth responses as they develop quick recall while the question is being asked. You can’t fake it till you make it. An interview is no time for thinking only for performing.

You can develop an agile interview messaging style! Join us on August 24 and practice!

Illegal or Inappropriate Interview Questions

Welcome to the world of controversy. As if job seekers didn't have enough to worry about now comes the issue of inappropriate or illegal interview questions.

The most important fact to remember is that illegal is a term related to the use of a question that has been deemed unacceptable by law. Inappropriate is a totally different subject.

It is illegal not to hire candidates because of their race, color, sex, religion, national origin, birthplace, age, disability or marital/family status.

So for example while it is illegal to ask, "That's an unusual name; what does it mean?" It is acceptable to ask, "Are you eligible to work in the US?"

It is illegal to ask, "Are you planning to have children?" But it is acceptable to ask, Would you be able to work a 9:00AM to 6PM schedule?"

It is illegal to ask, "Do you attend church every week?" but acceptable to ask, "Can you work on weekends?" only if asked of all applicants and weekend work is a business necessity.

If asked an illegal question you have four options:

- Briefly answer the question anyway, if you are comfortable doing so.

- Respond to the intent of the question.

- Ignore the question and change the subject.

- Refuse to answer the question, telling the interviewer that the question is illegal and not relevant to the job.

To me inappropriate questions though legal are worse! They may involve personal questions that have more do with personal conversation on other activities that have no business in the workplace. I've always said that if anyone addressed me inappropriately, I'd just leave.

Remember some employers really might not know the legalities of asking on which continent you were educated, but they all know what they are harassing an individual who very badly needs to go back to work!

Resource - University of California at Berkley

Over-Qualified for the Job? …What Did They Really Mean?

At first glance being “over-qualified” should be a positive. Who wouldn’t want an over-qualified attorney or accountant? I would take great comfort knowing that my brain surgeon was over-qualified. Being over-qualified would almost assure performance competency in virtually any professional I retained.

So what’s up with the over-qualified job candidate? Why in this one arena is he rejected and excluded from the coveted job offer when in any other environment, he would be preferred? What is really going on? Surely we can’t blame McDonald’s for a bit of skepticism if, in response to their opening for a District Manager, the Burger King CEO responds with interest. However because of a tight employment market with millions of laid – off executives, candidates often successfully pursue job openings beneath their norm to secure a paycheck. The ones who are granted interviews are as likely to succeed and get hired as the candidates attempting a lateral move, providing they don’t all get labeled as over-qualified. An employer must believe that a candidate's joining a company is more important than at what level you initially begin

Assuming that employers know more about a candidate from their resume, how can they possibly not identify an overqualified candidate before the interview? The answer is they can but for their own protection in a litigious society actually stemming from the 1970’s, the over-qualified defense appears to be a great defense mechanism. They are incompatible with the company, the prospective new boss or the job description. Ask yourself the following:

Are you compatible with the image and tone of the company? – Remember the dot.coms and cool technology firms of the last decade? The image they projected was not merely one of chronological youth but one of excitement, enthusiasm and optimism. Companies are composites of the personalities they employ. Did you research the company’s personality and adjust your presentation style so that you would mirror and model accordingly? You shouldn’t have to become a different personality to get hired but do you have the versatility to fit in? And do you have the communication skill to show it?

Are you able to take ownership of the job? A Divisional Controller has differing responsibilities depending on a company’s structure. True compatibility involves knowing enough about a specific job to literally project yourself in the role while addressing your prospective employer. This may involve a bit of espionage in advance to assure a total understanding of where a position lies in the corporate structure. Talk about delivering a message! Knowledge is power and knowing which part of your expertise to display increases the odds of your appearing to be the natural candidate of choice.

Make no mistake! Employers may disguise the rejection of a candidate with any reason they wish. The candidate must still take responsibility for the fact that somehow his game was off, learn from the experience and show-up to win the double-header next time.

When It Happens to You!

Wait a minute! Bet you thought it could never happen to you! You’re the executive who initiated a new business channel, the project manager that led the company in client profits, and the CFO who, for 10 consecutive years, created vital cost savings initiatives.
Even those in leadership capacities will watch the rest of their comrades be displaced and then be unprepared when it ultimately happens to them. Here are some important specifics:

Be gracious. You’ve already heard that burning bridges is wrong but no one is expecting an executive to show gratitude for the opportunity to develop into a more qualified candidate when leaving than when first arriving. Too many respond to the harsh immediacy of layoffs, forgetting the victories and ignoring the camaraderie previously shared. I was once eliminated from an alliance following a take-over only to be rehired six months later. I had stayed in touch and volunteered to work a job fair without any compensation and at my expense. I wanted to sustain the relationship and though I didn’t know why I did know it would make for a healthier future.

Don’t sue anyone. Almost every downsized candidate sees some sort of discrimination or inequity and out of anger runs to an attorney. Feeling rejected and craving revenge, they dream of retrieving large awards for the victimization committed against them by their employers. Here sits the ultimate lose-lose. While wrongful discharge is extremely difficult to prove, the fact that you are pursuing a former employer in court is public record and just could make the next employer more than skeptical. Put the rear-view mirror away.

Stay above the radar. Lead an outreach, begin a community initiative or write a blog. While job networking groups are wonderful how long can we graze the pasture introducing ourselves to other job seekers? I am a big believer in planting myself in a totally different venue. As a job seeker I’d rather hang out with people who have jobs. The visibility of a persona in the community significantly increases his odds of referral strength. Everyone knows that our swimming coach, a sales manager, is on the market. Because we appreciate him he’s always above the radar as we encounter companies who might have an interest.

Have class as you network. Everyone runs from networking parasites. Just because someone has agreed to speak with you or meet you for coffee, don’t dominate the conversation asking too many questions or attempt to sell too hard. Don’t take up too much of anyone’s time on the phone or expect them to introduce you to anyone you desire. If there’s no connection it will reflect badly on them. Be available to meet with someone at their convenience; they are doing you a favor. Don’t over-ask for introductions on LinkedIn or intrude into someone’s Facebook. Sometimes panic can make us lose good judgment.

Inquiring Job Hunters Want to Know! - Part 2

How Do I Work With Executive Recruiters?

Because professionals are not often faced with the need change jobs they have misconceptions about job search resources. One of the biggest surprises that many a job seeker faces is the fact that an executive recruiter is not the individual to whom the candidate should be turning to secure employment. The big mistake lies in the term “executive search” because the candidate assumes that, much like a real estate agent, the search is being conducted on his behalf. However the recruiter is searching on behalf of the employer who has retained and will pay for the services of finding the best candidate. A job seeker will be awarded much attention if he is perceived as a good fit for the job order an executive recruiter is working but otherwise the job seeker is on his own. Should you notify a recruiter that you are on the market? Absolutely! Just remember that he serves at the behest of he who pays him.

Inquiring Job Hunters Want to Know! - Part 1

How do I Fight Age Discrimination?

Lately we are seeing much in print about candidates at both ends of the career path experiencing discrimination. Or so they believe. The younger candidates believe they are falling back from the more experienced candidate and the more mature workers believe they are being perceived as old and obsolete. When employers are interviewed regarding their preferences age is normally never mentioned and it’s not for defensive reasons. Companies, especially in this market, are looking for professionals to minimize the learning curve when entering a company and basically save the day. They don’t want to pay to teach; they pay for results. Each generation is faced with a different challenge when job hunting. The younger candidate needs to assure an employer that he is a proven performer as opposed to being an eternal student. The more mature worker needs to showcase the “been there-done that” of his wisdom and experience without telegraphing that he is coming from another era and heading toward the end of his career. My true opinion is that it is seldom age that eliminates a candidate. It’s lack of interview messaging or delivery of an incorrect perception.

Job Search/Interview Seminar - 3255 Brentwood Court; Powell, Ohio 43065
Sunday, July 28, 2019

Job Search/Interview Seminar - 3255 Brentwood Court; Powell, Ohio 43065
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Getting Your Career in Shape

This is the main time of year when we attempt to improve. Talk to any fitness center, stop-smoking clinic or career coach and they’ll all tell you how brisk business becomes once December ends.   We believe that when the clock strikes twelve, as it does 364 other evenings each year, everything changes and we become transformed into folks capable of immediate change.

I believe with good planning and reasonable expectations anyone can begin to shape up their careers. Here are some tips you can use this year to keep your career in shape:

  • Secure a new credential. This can be the year when you begin your MBA or other credential. Even if you have to take baby steps just to begin to add to your value, get started. The doldrums of winter disappear when we give purpose to improving our skills and knowledge. Don't be discouraged by the long road ahead in completing your program. Just getting and staying on that road will remind you that a destination of improvement is in your future.
  • Don't become a full time student. While many cannot afford to take a hiatus, those who can leave the job for a year or more tend not be as appealing when they return as those candidates with seamless employment records. While challenging, it’s far more admirable to prospective employers to secure an advanced degree while on the job. Remember this – another great job may not be as easy to retrieve at your convenience.
  •  Give yourself a promotion. Seek to learn a new skill with the employer you currently have. You don't need to change jobs to increase your value if you increase the functions you perform on the job. Am I suggesting that you take on even more work? Yes, if you can leverage it as an additional future offering. Always keep in mind those required specifications for that promotion of new job. Never miss an opportunity to gain future value.
  • Keep your business clean. Recently at a networking event I inquired about an individual no longer with a company and proceeded to get an earful about all the wrongdoing that allegedly caused what I learned was a termination. While the terminated executive's story was less than impressive, more revealing was the poor judgment of the messenger. Word spreads when individuals gossip and no one ever forgives a person who takes pleasure in the misfortune of others. Word spreads about toxic individuals and I have seen them rejected for hire.
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