Who Am I? – CSN Weekly Meeting

Being focused and clearly answering this question, “Who Am I?” will help you to be the most successful on your career transition journey.

Career Support Network meets from Noon to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesdays @ Maple Springs United Methodist Church, 2569 Reynolda Rd, Winston-Salem NC. (map)

The topic on 3/15/2017 will be Who Am I?


The most important question you need to answer during career transition is, “Who am I”. Without knowing the answer to this question you will not know what jobs you are interested in, what companies you want to work for or how to present yourself on your resume, on your LinkedIn Profile or in a conversation. The better you get at answering “Who Am I?” the more focused you can be on your career transition journey. Lets work on this question together during this session.

 For information call (336) 283-6121 or email NCWiseman@TeddyBurriss.com

Here is a link to some useful Career Transition Books.

Do you know of other books that have helped you in your career transition?

Desperation hurts

Desperation HurtsDesperation Hurts

“Desperation clouds the mind and causes it to do things that may not be in your best interest.” @NCWiseman

Loosing your job can be painful and cause you to become fearful and emotional. Fear and negative emotions are two catalysts that cause us to consider doing things that we shouldn’t do, i.e., become desperate.

Desperation during career transition can cause you to make mistakes, including taking the wrong job. Taking the wrong job can cause all kinds of problems; lower income, bad environment, stress, anguish, loosing the job again and even depression as you discover you’ve made a mistake.

There are many activities you need to do in order to not become desperate.  I can’t coach you on how to do it all in a short article, however, I can share 3 beneficial tips that can help avoid desperation.

Tip #1 – Don’t go it alone.

There are lots of resources available to help you with many aspects of career transition. Don’t misunderstand, there is no one waiting to give you a new job. However, there are lots of resources available to help you with various steps, tasks and access to information and ideas. Take advantage of all of the resources you can access and use.

Beyond career transition resources, you will also need to keep family and friends close. The people in your life who care for you and you care for will be important during this challenging time. Don’t hide the reality of your career transition from these folks. Share your concerns and fears with the people in your life who are willing to lend an ear and an idea when you need it.

Desperation happens to people who lean towards isolation.

Tip #2 – Maintain a positive attitude.

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” ~ John Wooden

The Power of Positive Thinking is not just a life changing book. It’s a mindset that can significantly alter the outcomes of your career transition.  Positive thoughts fuel positive actions. Positive actions lead you in a positive direction towards success.

Look at the people in your life who are successful in many different ways. How do they act, think, live. The majority of these successful folks are positive attitude and action folks.

One important step you can make towards living a positive attitude life is to look a the people you are hanging out with, during your career transition and beyond.

“You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.”
― Joel Osteen

Believing in yourself and praying are powerful tools towards always having a positive attitude during your career transition. A positive attitude will help you from doing desperate things. Remember, Desperation hurts

Tip #3 – Focus all of your time and energy on the best practices that create value.

Unless you have successfully  journeyed through career transitions before, you may not know the right activities that will create value and success. This means you have to ask people who have been through career transition and people who know the best practices of career transition. Learn from the right people and execute on what you learn.

Do not, I repeat, Do Not follow directions from people who are neither “successfully” experienced or appropriately trained to teach you how to do this work.

Learn these best practices and focus all of your time and efforts using them. Career transition is not a part time job. It’s also not a job to be taken haphazardly. Prepare every morning to go do your job.

Treat your career transition as your job, do the work required, focus on the right activities in a positive way and you won’t become desperate.

People do desperate things in life when they get frustrated, fail to plan and execute properly. Mix into this a heaping spoonful of negativity and you’ll do just about anything.

Desperation Hurts – avoid it

Do everything you can to keep from becoming desperate and making a career transition mistake.

Do your Social Media Profiles represent you?

social-mediaThree things are occurring with social media that are having an affect on your career transition.

# 1 – Social media is rapidly growing and an integral part of our society. This can not be disputed or ignored. Therefore, you need to learn how to use these tools during career transition.

#2 – Recruiters and business professionals use these tools every day. You can pretend that what you do on social media will not be used by businesses and recruiters, or you can embrace social media as career transition tools and take full advantage of them.

#3 – Social media applications rapidly change. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram make changes frequently. You need to stay aware of the changes and learn the new features.

Regardless of which social media sites you use you must manage them and learn how to use them properly. Here are a few tips that can help you create value during your career transition and beyond.

Tip # 1 – Adopt this edict: “Never do, say or engage on social media, in a way you don’t want to be seen, heard or perceived in life.” This applies to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube as well as LinkedIn. Ask this question each time you post anything, “How will this post, video, comment or share affect my chances of getting a job?” Since social media is used for all areas of life (family/friends, community, career/business) your social media activity will be very diverse. It needs to always be positive, friendly and social. Recruiters want to hire people they can like, trust and respect.

Tip # 2 – Assume that what you post on social media can be seen by everyone. Yes, there are privacy settings that can help you control who sees your post; however, unless you know the privacy settings of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Vine, etc, your online content could be accessible by recruiters. Embrace the potential of your content being viewed and take advantage of social media to present yourself as a “top shelf” candidate.

Tip # 3 – Because of the rapid changes in the social media applications you need to stay aware of the changes and take advantage of new features. Use the new features available in LinkedIn to make your profile more discoverable, connect with people who are relevant to you in many ways and share/engage on content that is relevant to your career or business. Learn how to do this from the many resources available.

Tip # 3 – Social media is not for airing your “dirty laundry.” Be positive, friendly and sociable online and increase the possibility that a recruiter will like, trust and respect you enough to move you forward in the hiring process. Enough said.

Tip # 4 – Make your social media activity public. Don’t hide anything. If you want to hide something you posted on social media, remove it or never post it. Going 100% public on social media can be a great benefit for your career transition and beyond.

Embrace social media as an integral part of society and use it to present, connect and engage for life, community, career and business. Learn to do this correctly and you’ll be far more successful.

How has your social media profile and content helped you in your career transition?

If you need help with this area of your career transition journey, let me help you with my Career Transition Program or my Quick Start Career Transition Program.

Job Searching is tough work

Job Searching is tough workJob Searching is tough work, but it’s important

I had the pleasure of working with 20 really good people today.

They are all unemployed and searching for what the future has in store for them.

They are all in different industries and across all levels of experience, education, skill sets and functional areas of business. A very diverse group of people, with the exception of one area.

For each of them, Job Searching is tough work.

During the introduction phase of the meeting it became very clear that to all of these folks they feel that

Job Searching is tough work

The scheduled topic today was “Managing the job search process,” however because it was clear that many of the attendees of this meeting were suffering from lack of motivation, not enough positive attitude or belief in themselves, we changed the subject.

We decided to talk about how to create and maintain a Positive attitude, how to stay motivated and how to deal with the stress that Job search causes.

Here are the bullet points of ideas that the group came up with and shared with each other in order to deal with Job Searching is tough work.

Getting Motivated:

What ideas do you have to stay the course. To be motivated enough to keep going despite all the problems,

  • Get some exercise – even a little is better than none at all
  • Look for and strive to achieve small victories. Anything that you can celebrate is good for motivation
  • Focus on others, volunteer, give, help, never focus on yourself
  • Take a break, there is no race; however be focused on the plan and get back to it soon
  • Believe in yourself. If you can’t figure out why and fix it. You have to believe in yourself
  • You have a Mind, Body & Soul. Exercise and nurture all three areas every day
  • Give yourself small treats for success and accomplishments. Nothing lavish, just a few simple trinkets, cookies or ice cream.
  • Find quiet time. In order for you to think, dream, ponder, imagine.

Work on being Positivity

Being positive can make the job search process more successful and enjoyable.

Here are some ideas the group brought up regarding how to stay positive.

  • Make something or bake something.
  • Hang out with positive people
  • RUN from those who are not positive
  • Read good books
  • Love or at least accept change
  • Look for stuff that is positive
  • Visualize yourself doing what you want to do or achieving your goals
  • Learn something new every day
  • Have a plan that includes daily goals
  • Share positive ideas, thoughts, quotes etc with others

The reason this is important is that you’ll need motivation and a positive attitude in order to achieve anything you are striving to achieve, especially when it’s tough to do.

Furthermore, when others see that you are motivated and that you have a positive attitude, they will want to join you and even help you.

Job Searching is tough work – strive to motivate yourself and have a positive attitude. It’ll help you achieve success.

Focus can help you find the right job

Focus can help you find the right jobThis is a guest post from a job seeker I met who wanted to share his story.

Focus can help you find the right job

From Robert:

I did not lose my job, I left it to save myself.

After working for over 2 years in a highly stressful operations management job that drained me of my energy, robbed me of my self respect and confidence, and strained my home life, I decided to spend the serious time deciding what I should be doing.

During the next 4 months I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next. My knee-jerk idea was to get back into an operations management position. My soul and worn out body kept telling me this would be a mistake.

I used LinkedIn to stay in touch with my connections, make new connections in the area and relevant industries of my past positions. I also worked hard to connect and network with various recruiters.

Thinking that a big shift in career would be a good idea, I took real estate classes. But, I knew deep inside that I did not really want to make this big shift. Taking the classes and learning the real estate business however kept me busy and led me to my soon to occur epiphany.

While studying I met a Keller-Williams Team leader who gave me a copy of the book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller (founder of Keller-Williams) and Jay Papasan. I highly recommend this book.  While reading this book, the words leaped at me and gave me clarity and became a significant epiphany in my life. The book spoke about channeling your energy on being good at one thing. Many people, myself included, try to wear too many hats and are not able to do this well. I knew hat I was good at operational management. I also know that I am good at Lean Manufacturing. I also knew that my previous role as an operations manager demanded far too much of my time, energy and life. 80+hrs/week is not a healthy life work balance for anyone, and expending that much energy in any job does not allow for consistent quality results.

Focus can help you find the right job

I decided that focusing on Lean Manufacturing would be a much better career choice for me. I enjoy this work and know that I am successful doing it.

Once I made this focused decision, responding to the recruiters who wanted to interview me for operational management positions became easier. I had received two good offers and two solid opportunities that I could pursue. The pay was great, and companies were good organizations. However, despite all of the potential, I declined these positions because they were contradictory to my new focus on a Lean Manufacturing position.

Up until I made this decision I had not received any leads or job opportunities in the Lean Manufacturing area. I decided that with my new focus I would start searching more deliberately in this area.

I had no idea of the importance of this statement until this happened – Focus can help you find the right job

I’m not sure how this happened, but soon I found a job on indeed.com with a local Greensboro NC company. I saw the posting the day before the posting was to close. I quickly prepared a good cover letter and relevant resume. With time running out, I posted my application before the closing time.

I received a phone call on 7:30AM the next morning. I did not expect this rapid of a response. I also had no idea that I would interview 7 different times via phone, Skype and in person. In less than a week I received a good offer.

Even though the income is less than what I was making, the job, working environment and the ability to implement Lean Manufacturing locally, in multiple states and internationally, is a professional challenge that I am excited about being apart of. I get to coach younger supervisors and managers as well as expand my Lean Manufacturing experiences in many different ways.

I have no idea where this job will lead. Maybe a long term engagement, maybe a spring board into a consulting business.

I would never be able to tell this story if I had not read “One Thing” and made the decision to focus and channel all of my energy on being an expert & great in one area of business.

Remember, Focus can help you find the right job

Thanks for letting me share this story.


You will get discouraged

This is part 13 of the 16 post series.

Being unemployed is tough. Not only do you lose your income, you also believe that you have lost your professional identity, friends and daily routine.

It’s easy to get discouraged spending day after day looking for a job with no success. YOu have to believe that success will come, if you are doing the right tasks. Here are a few ideas that can help you from getting discouraged:

  1. Accept that losing your job is something that will happen to far more than just you. It’s not personal.You’re not a bad person or a failure because you are unemployed. You likely were just at the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in an organizational change. Often it is a good thing to look back at what happened. Maybe there was some office politiics or sign that would have alerted you to the future. Most often when layoffs happen, there is a change in the environment, meeting schedules, data requests, etc. We dismiss them as just stuff going on and go back to doing our stuff. Paying attention to these changes can give you a heads up and makeSee what you can learn from it (pay more attention to office politics or to the signs that the company was headed for financial difficulties, etc.), and move on.

    It’s OK to go thru a short period of mourning when you lose your job. This is natural, it’s a part of the unemployment emotional roller coaster. Be fair to yourself and get thru this period quickly. Dump the anger and resentment and focus on the future. If you keep having bouts of anger, frustration, etc, write them down. Express them in stories and get them out quietly. Then move on.

  2. Recognize that it IS a tough job market right now.In 2012 unemployment is around 10% (real estimate, not factual info). Just because you are one of the unemployed, even for a long period of time, it does not mean you are worthless or unemployable. Believe in yourself and that one day the right opportunity, with the right company, doing the right kind of work will be uncovered, if you are searching in the right places. Accept that you do not have control over the job market, you are only doing what you can to find your next job.
  3. Don’t spend a lot of time focusing on or fixing what is wrong with yourself. Focus on improving your better skills and talents. This is what every successful professional does.Ask any professional athlete, they focus on improving not fixing or changing. If you are not an entrepreneur and don’t want to be one, then don’t try. If you are not a public speaker and have no passion to be one, then stop trying as well. Focus on improving the skills that you have and then finding a place to use them effectively. And, don’t keep thinking you are imperfect, you are not. You just have to focus on where you are great and grow yourself there.
  4. Don’t obsess about the bad job market news you hear or read.The press and people who call themselves your friends will always tell you how bad life is, especially now when you are unemployed. Ignore the bad press and news. Most of it is exaggerated and not relevant to you anyway.Stop focusing on the negative and instead, FOCUS on the positives. All of the motivational and inspirational speakers will tell you that you are what you think. Think Positive. When you have a positive mindset you are clearer and more focused. This helps you to find and then grab onto new opportunities.
  5. Don’t focus on the job boards. Network, meet & connect.Have you heard? In 2012 80%+ of all the job openings were not listed online. That leaves less than 20% of the jobs that can be found online. So, think about it. If 80%+ of the jobs are not listed on Monster, Careerbuilder, HotJobs, Ladders, newspaper sites, etc, etc, how much time should you be spending searching job boards?  My opinion – NONE.  Spend as much time as possible talking with people, meeting people and having good open conversations about business, systems, processes, ideas and how you could fit into the solution. Networking and meeting new people as often as possible is how you are going to discover that next great job opportunity. Setup search filters to send you a weekly email with any existing online job opportunities. Quickly review the email and then delete it before you run out to do more networking and talking with others. Never ask for a job, they don’t have one or know of any. Only ask, “Who else do you think I should meet?”Besides IRL (in real life) networking, use LinkedIn.com to connect with others. Search for people you know who may have career ideas and additional connection ideas for you to consider. Connect with friends, former colleagues, and any and all the people you find on LinkedIn that you know is some way or another. Join groups and share TRUHE (Transparent, Relevant, Useful, Honest & Engaging) content.
  6. Take care of your body & mind.Your new full time job is Job Searching. Don’t work yourself into a frazzle or over do it. Focus on taking care of yourself. Find time to relax, exercise, read, spend time with family & friends. Visit the library and go see a movie when you can. Have coffee, sweet tea or “soda-30” with good people and help them when you can. Despite what you may think, being unemployed is not the end of the world. It’s a phase in your life. Live your life.

Finally, if you need help getting over your discouragement, call someone. If you have my digits – call me.

You have no idea what job exists for you

This is part 6 of the 16 post series.

“For every job that goes away, another can be created, it will be different and unlike anything you ever imagined.” ~ @NCWiseman

I hear this all the time, “I have no idea what job I can do now.”

There are three reasons for this.

  1. You can’t think past your title and last job
  2. You don’t believe their skills, talents, passion, experience and/or education can be used anywhere else
  3. Biggest reason – you have never heard of your new job.

As the economy, technology, our culture and societal needs change, so do the jobs that are required to fulfill the needs.

We can teach you to think past your old title and job. We can help you believe in yourself.  We can even help you find jobs that you have never heard of.


Finding jobs that you can do, that you never heard of before happens when you do two things.

  1. Meet new & different people
    • I teach a course in Networking for Mutual Benefit and one of the sections is called, “Different is Good”. Simply said, “If the only people you meet and talk to are the same people you see day after day, then you will only experience the same old thing. However, if you meet people who are different, unlike you in every unimaginable way, then you are likely to see new perspectives, experience new activities, eat different food, sing different songs and hear about different types of jobs. Variety is not just the spice of life, but the fuel for new ideas, perspectives, friends and even career ideas.”
  2. Read new books and blogs
    • Knowledge and ideas can be generated from reading a good book. Blogs (or websites with articles) are another great place to find new ideas and perspectives. You don’t have to only read business books or self help books. A good fiction or auto-biography can generate interesting ideas as well.
    • Reading is essential for growth. Why, because the people who have all the ideas are not at your beckoning call. Besides, when you read an interesting and informative book, it not only gives you ideas of something new to do, but also creates more questions for you to get answered, either thru a good conversation with someone or by reading another book.
  3. Think Big, Bold & Creative
    • Be all that you can be, at all times. Don’t settle for status quo or something simple because it’s easy. Push yourself to think unique, exciting, different and futuristic.
    • There are no longer any jobs that offer stability or long term employment. Think past these unrealistic qualifiers.
    • Let your imagination go wild. You never know what it can conjure up and what ideas it can create for you to ponder and possibly make into something real for you.

In summary, discover jobs that you have never heard of before by talking, reading and dreaming.

You like being unemployed

This is part 5 of a 16 post series

I hear this often, “I’m not in a hurry to find a job. I have my severance and unemployment checks.”

I hear this almost as often, “I like this not working thing, it feels pretty good.”

However, unless you are independently wealthy, or ready to start drawing retirement and/or Social Security, you have to get over this short lived glee and get busy looking for that next job.

Yeah, it’s OK to take a little time off. Maybe spend some time with family and friends, however, make it short and sweet. Your best bet to find the right job for you, sooner, vs. later, would be to get busy looking now.

Yeah, looking for a job is work. It takes time, is not easy, requires that you think and get off the couch. Looking for a job means you have to spend time working on your resume and LinkedIn profile. You also have to call people, send emails to people, meet people and be willing to talk with people you either don’t know, or don’t normally talk with. You have to do research, study, practice interviewing and write well structured cover letters.

Like any other job, you’ll have time to volunteer, help others, spend time with the family and all the other things you normally do when you have a regular job, maybe a little more time if you schedule it properly. Don’t try to squeeze more of this leisure time in than you should.

Bottom line, it’s a job folks. And you better do this job with all the energy, focus and passion you can muster up. If you screw up the job of searching for a new job, you’re likely to not find the right job for you, take much longer to find it or choose the wrong job all together.

So, get past the comfort of the couch and life of Riley not going to work, and get to work.

20 Tips for a positive attitude while unemployed

I surveyed a group of unemployed folks today. We talked about the importance of positive attitude during their job search.

Here are the top 20 tips they suggested to help you stay positive while unemployed:

  1. Let off steam (do this in a safe place and only in short bursts)
  2. Exercise – Nothing hard or challenging, unless you want to
  3. Drink – Actually lots of water, not lots of alcohol
  4. Know who is in your support system and spend time with them when needed
  5. Have a pity party once every few months – then stop doing it and get back on track
  6. Pay attention to your attitude and fix it when you need to improve it
  7. Volunteer often and help others who need your help
  8. Remember that you don’t have it as bad as some others, despite what you think
  9. Do something stupid, then laugh at yourself and never do it again
  10. Accomplish something – there is always something you can accomplish
  11. Minimize your time around the stuff that is bringing you down
  12. Learn something new  in a seminar, webinar or from another person
  13. Read a book, (comedy, mystery, motivational or autobiography of a great person)
  14. Watch a movie (comedy, classics, motivational or documentary)
  15. Take a friend to coffee, sweet tea or “soda” and listen to them
  16. Join a professional group and participate in their activities
  17. Be around positive people, never around negative people
  18. Get involved in your faith. Reach your book of faith
  19. Have good spiritual conversations with good folks
  20. Go to a Fish Fry or a Party

These are only a few ideas.  What helps you to stay positive while looking for that next job?

Please share this with others and let’s get some other ideas

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