Discrimination Against Unemployed: Fact or Fiction

Posted: May 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Transition Networking, Job Search Networking | Comments Off on Discrimination Against Unemployed: Fact or Fiction

I often pop on to Linked In to answer questions from job seekers and other professionals alike on a variety of career coaching, job search and networking topics. This week when I logged on to Linked In to answer questions I saw a response from a professional that prompted me to ask “Is there hiring discrimination against the unemployed?” The original question posted was “What’s the most interesting question you’ve been asked in an interview?”

Here’s the exact answer that I read on Linked In:

“How come you’ve been out of work so long?” upon seeing a four-month unemployment gap that straddled the Holiday season, when I was at my last job for over 14 years. I am working now, but I found out the hard way that the latest hiring trend in Corporate America is “Unemployed Need Not Apply”. – Joseph Koptik via Linked In

Unemployed Discrimination: The case for fiction

Joseph’s case does seem extreme. He was out of work a mere 4 months, and over the holidays which basically span 2 months, after 14 years of consistent employment. Then again, was he possibly too sensitive to a question that a hiring manager or internal recruiter was asking because they were either interested in the answer or simply doing their job? Is the unemployed need not apply a real phenomenon or is it a case of overly sensitive candidates?  Being unemployment definitely strikes at one’s confidence, and ego, so to be taken to task and asked specifically what you’ve been doing for the past 4, 6, or in some cases, 14 months is a tough question. Switch shoes though, if you were on the other side of the table, would you want to know what the candidate had been doing since he’d left Company XYZ 4 months ago – other than celebrating the holidays?

Unemployed Discrimination: The case for fact

Everyone knows there are two sides to each story and that’s certainly case here. In December I had coffee with an Executive Vice President of a Fortune 100 company that I have great respect for, both the company and this particular executive. During our coffee meeting, we spoke about the hiring trends and he had just had a meeting where several of his key manager had expressed their concerns about hiring unemployed professionals because of the adverse demeanor they were bringing to the organization. After the meeting, they made an “unofficial” decision on hiring unemployed people. They would forego hiring unemployed candidates based on the negative impacts to the organization’s culture and environment. While this was an “unofficial” decision made by the organization, I can understand it, and have to say this is a case when a few bad apples spoil the bunch for what are millions of great professionals.

But I’m Unemployed…What Can I Do?

Keep your spirits, confidence and chin up. Your attitude and demeanor will overcome even the organizations with this type of philosophy. How? In a job market where 80% of jobs are found through networking, landing a new job is going to happen through a focused job search strategy rather than applying online. Remember that people hire people. When you meet the right person that finds value in your skill set, they will champion your hiring in their organization and focus on your value and skills rather than a gap in employment. (Tip: Be ready to explain the gap without defensive language.)

Career Coaching Return On Investment: Does It Exist?

Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Career Transition Networking | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Career Coaching Return On Investment: Does It Exist?

As a professional career coach for over a decade, I make it my business to study the trends of the “employment” business. If that sounds odd to you, you’re not alone, in fact my parents are with you. Until I became a published author last year, my parents had such a hard time explaining what I did, much less understanding it, that my mom would regularly as  how my job search was going!  (Don’t tell them but I have a job…that I love, as a career coach.)

Career Coaching: Does It Work?
Yes. Did you expect me to tell you otherwise? On a serious note, it does work and in a variety of ways. According to a study conducted by Metrix Global , the ROI of executive career coaching exceeding 500%, excluding “significant intangible benefits”.  In other words, for every $1 you pay out, you receive (or save, which is the same thing) $5 in return for that investment.  If that sounds high to you, I thought so too which is why I did an investigation of my own.

Of the clients I’ve career coached specific to resume and Linked In essentials, here is the ROI they have experienced:

  • 81% have landed interviews and moved on to the second phase of the hiring process
  • 19% landed new jobs with an average increase in base salary of 14.5%
  • 8% landed new jobs with equal base salary compensation
  • 99% used the new market-focused job search tools created for their search to achieve these results

Intangible Benefits

Career Coaching ROIIf money was everything in life, I would never have become a career coach or published author. The intangible benefits are what get keep us happy, strong, committed and smiling on days when life seems bleak or when – as a struggling entrepreneur you’re eating the same dinner three times a week.  These are the intangibles. Study after study, from the Society of Human Resources Management to the International Coaching Federation and Metrix Global, prove that intangibles benefits rank higher to individuals than increased compensation. In two of these studies, survey’s respondents cited:

  • 52% increase in self-confidence
  • 60% increase in personal and work productivity
  • 53% increase in career satisfaction

Coaching ROI Exists, Now What?

Now that you know career coaching generates a 500% ROI for your financial investment, increases your self-confidence by 52% and career satisfaction by 53%, what’s next? That question is for you to answer. Are you ready for an executive career coaching? Do you want to change careers? Is it time to get inspired and engage a professional career coach?  Wherever you find yourself, know that the best results come by creating a clearly defined coachable goal and connecting with the right career coach from day one.


Hollywood’s Take on America’s Layoffs

Posted: January 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Career Transition Networking, Personal Branding | Comments Off on Hollywood’s Take on America’s Layoffs

The move “The Company Men” hit movie theaters across the country showing Americans what Hollywood directors think about how the layoffs across the country have impacted everyday people.  Unless you’re Ben Affleck or Tommy Lee Jones you might not exactly relate although the critics (who hate themselves for the most part) and average moviegoers (which I consider myself to be) both agree – it’s a “GO SEE” movie!

What’s the plot? Get this – guy has job. company is affected by economy. guy loses job. Sound familiar?  It’s a little more in-depth but it’s the story many of us here in America can relate to far to well.

The “official” movie description, courtesy of Fandango, is:

Go See The Company MenBobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands, and fathers. Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) which does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps the realization that there is more to life than chasing the bigger, better deal.

I’d love to be able to add a personal review to this post however, I’m busy writing a resume this morning so one of the real people affected by an actual layoff has the ability to land a new job. With a story line that hits close to my heart and along the line of what I live, eat, sleep and breathe, The Company Men is on my personal “must see” list this weekend and not just because I have a soft spot for  Kevin Costner’s oh-so-pretty eyes.

Starbucks – The Social Network

Posted: April 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Career Transition Networking, Job Search Networking, Networking Offline, Social Networking Offline, Starbucks Social Network | Comments Off on Starbucks – The Social Network

Every morning I have coffee with the same group of guys, and one other woman (hi Carol) and the same Starbucks here in my neighborhood. I like to refer to it as our real-life Social Network. Who needs Facebook or Twitter when we have Starbucks?

Around 7:30a.m. we all stroll in with our looks of “coffee, please” and chipper Chad, the store manager, says Good Morning in that “I’ve already drank 2 pots” sort of way. As we begin to fuel our minds with legally stimulated caffeine I observe the laptop lugging crowd that arrives around 9ish to begin their day.

Our local Starbucks is more than a mere coffee shop. It’s a social network and c’office all in one. The local c’office provides coffee for a merely $1.50 plus tax, 2 hours of free Wi-Fi (although it’s been known to stay live far longer than just 2 hours) and $0.50 refills until your heart’s content.

For just a few dollars you can get caffeinated, logged on and networked – plus do some really great people watching. In a highly populated city like Chicago (that’s where I live) this is a great deal if you’re job hunting! And, if you’re a regular – like many SBux locals are – you know that a rewards card gives you FREE refills. Bonus.

Spend a couple hours a day at your local coffee shop (Sbux for me and my addiction), log on for free and network with the people inside the shop. You never know who you might meet.

Real-life stories: I’ve met F.L., a man who built a health-care related company and sold it just over 2 yrs ago for $450+ Million. I’ve met A.K. who owns 3 companies and a variety of hotel properties, and whose friendship I cherish. I’ve met J.S. who is the C.E.O. of a national health care company growing at a rate of over 80% this year and who is now my better half.

C.E.O’s, Vice Presidents, Doctors, Attorneys and Career Coaches like me – you never know who you will meet that just might change the course of your job search and inspire or impact your career transition in a powerful way!

So, log off at home, lace up those shoes and get out to your local coffee shop!