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The Ocean – Jumping In

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In the summer months, the centers of continents heat up, drawing moist air from the cooler ocean leading to the most significant rainfall on the planet. In the spirit of the symbiotic relationship between the ocean and the jungle – this summer I am taking a huge leap (and hopefully a splash) into unfamiliar territory – television.

I know there is a truly interested audience out there for a show that can follow average and not-so-average Americans in their search for work. One of the hottest topics since 2008, resume building techniques and job searching tips are some of the most talked-about items in the news and on the internet.

Imagine a talk show that focuses on this very theme including: job search, negotiation skills, promotion techniques, improving communication issues in the workplace, and exposing corporate hiring practices to the world so that Joe/Jane Job Seeker can better understand what happens behind the scenes to get his or her resume to the right person and not in another incoming email pile. A potential one stop forum for people needing assistance with any and all workplace conflict resolution, career advice, interview preparation, resume writing…anything and everything relating to career development. A place where successful celebrities and business personalities from chefs, to creative entrepreneurs, to CEO’s could share their stories of success and maybe even uncover some of the things they might have done differently. A completely different category in the talk show world where you can learn how to get any job or move up in the one you have and access a personal career coach right on your computer or television.

On the heels of the release of my third book, TEN SECRETS TO GETTING PROMOTED, I put on my life jacket, fins and oxygen tank (no pun intended) and have entered the Oprah / Mark Burnett contest for my OWN show on her new network.  CAREER CONFIDENTIAL

If you share my vision, please, take time to vote…as many times as you can! …and share this link with your friends and family that could benefit from a show like this making it to a regular time slot. 

Come join me for a swim into the vast ocean of career development. YOU have the ability to help me help them (and you!), so please…link, listen, VOTE and SHARE!

Oceanic facts from:

Carolyn Thompson

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The Snake – Shedding Your Skin

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 4, 2009 in Career Path, Job Search, Self Improvement

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In my recent article for the American Library Association, I offered some tips for moving from one industry to another. Just as snakes shed their skin, professionals sometimes need to shed some of the work they’ve done in order to land a new job.

Snakes shed the outer layer of their skin as they outgrow the old one, and even those that are not growing shed; replacing their worn scales with new, healthy skin. Some snakes shed every few weeks, others shed only about once a year. A new layer continuously develops below the surface of the old skin preparing for use. The snake begins the shedding process by rubbing its nose against rocks or other hard objects to start the separation of the old layer from its lips, and then crawls out of its old skin. This is why the old skins are often found intact where they were abandoned.

Whether your need to shed your old skin comes from economic pressure or from a desire for new challenges, any professional seeking to change industries need to first consider these points:

1. Determine What You Like to Do Most

You’ll have more success selling yourself to others if it’s for work you love to do. Employers are looking for what you’ve done in the past five years, so you will have to create links to a new industry by drawing from your most recent employment first.

Within that recent experience, identify the transferable skills. Everyone has them, and employers are looking for them, so determine what measurable, comparable skills are your strengths. Is it Excel? Managing sales teams? Technical writing? Cataloging? Focus on the skills you like.

2. Ascertain Who Else Uses that Skill Set

Take your transferable skill set and look for similar keyword strings on the Internet. Remember to use synonyms. What is “budgeting” to one company may be “forecasting” to another.

3. Consider Your Geographic Mobility

Some areas of the country are hard hit by the economy; others are not. Consider moving to a new area where there is greater demand for the industry you are moving in to. Your chances of finding a job in a new city with lower unemployment are much higher.

While most companies do phone interviews to start, you may be asked to interview in person within a few days. Being in or near the city where you are looking for work is always easiest. Many of us have friends and relatives across the country willing to help out; there are lots of people looking for short-term roommates.

4. Make Yourself Relevant — and Accessible!

Write your resume with the future in mind. Use all the related keywords you’ve found to re-tool your job descriptions. E-mail address and cell phone are fine for contact information, and use a local address on your resume whenever possible.

Obtain interim employment wherever possible. You’ll meet people who need help immediately who can also help you network. Taking temporary employment shows that you have a good work ethic and are serious about learning a new industry.

Strategically network in your desired geographic areas and industries. Join LinkedIn groups and look for job fairs or conferences where you can meet people who work at your target companies. Eighty percent of jobs are obtained through personal networking, not ads or employment agencies.

Consider retooling your skill set by retraining — many state and local governments provide assistance in this area. Contact your unemployment office and your local library to find out about programs offered in your area.

5. Follow Up … then Follow the Golden Rule!

One hundred percent of people leave a first message, but fewer than 15 percent will call a third time. Don’t give up. Keep trying to reach people who may have information for you. (Give them a few days to call back between messages, though.)

Do Unto Others

When you do find a job, make yourself available to others who may need your help and would benefit from the story of your journey.

>>>Based on the overwhelming response to this article, I’ll be hosting 2 interactive webinars this month with a focus on CHANGE:


Learn how to specifically extract relevant experience from your background in order to change industries.  Please join me for a roundtable discussion of EXACTLY how to transform your resume into something that will translate from one industry to another.  The first 10 people to register will receive one on one telephone resume consultations prior to the webinar and have the option to participate as confidential “before” and “after” examples in the webinar.



We will layout unique executable strategies for people seeking to move their careers in a new way altogether.  Explore ideas to help you in choosing where you want to go and making an individual roadmap to get there.   Again, the first 10 people to register will receive a one on one telephone consultation prior to the webinar and have the option to participate as confidential “before” and “after” examples for other participants.

JOIN ME AND OTHERS FROM ACROSS NORTH AMERICA THAT WANT TO SHED THEIR SKIN!  The best way to get new ideas is to participate!

Carolyn Thompson

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The Turkey – Looking Around?

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Mar 17, 2009 in Job Search, Thinking Positive

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Let’s talk turkey here. The turkey is notable for its inflexible neck, which makes it unable to turn its head and see the diversity of a jungle. This leads me to draw the parallel from the turkey in the jungle to the recent unemployment figures released. We need to turn our necks and really evaluate what we are hearing. How does it affect us, personally?

Look at Omaha, NE as an example. I was in Omaha last week conducting a resume workshop and promoting my new books. The US Conference of Mayors and the Nebraska Workforce Coalition both showed Omaha ending 2008 at 4.1% unemployment, and have projected the rate will increase to 4.9% by the end of 2009. With an estimated workforce of 466,000, that works out to about 3,000 more people being unemployed at the end of this year as compared to last year. That’s just fewer than 300 people a month. In contrast, in the past 30 days, 1,670 jobs in Omaha were posted on Monster and Career Builder combined. 

This trend is true in a lot of cities I’ve been visiting. It was true in Las Vegas; it’s true in DC, even in Miami.  

Take this theory and apply it to the national unemployment numbers: The US Department of Labor estimates our national workforce to be 154 Million people; 12.5M of which they estimate are unemployed. Understand that it’s easy to monitor new claims filed at the unemployment offices around the country. The way the tracking works, though, creates a build in lag time as people roll off unemployment, so those numbers are not tracked as accurately, if at all. 
Those people who file for unemployment repeatedly are also falling into the new claimant statistics. This doesn’t necessarily get reported in the news lately. 

Let’s turn our necks again to jobs being advertised. On a national level, in the past 30 days, 240,000 jobs were posted on Career Builder, according to Emily Wysocki, DC area Career Builder representative. Several representatives of Monster were unwilling to participate in this survey, but my staff researched and estimates 155,000 jobs were posted in the US in the past 30 days on their job board.   

Overall, these numbers indicate the weekly availability of jobs being posted both online and on company websites in nearly every city we polled is outpacing the number of applicants filing for unemployment.

Yes, at the end of the day, more people are unemployed now than in the recent past, creating a more competitive marketplace than we’ve seen in most of our lifetimes.  But, we also have a larger workforce than we’ve ever had, so that’s not as surprising as it might seem. 

We are a service-based nation, and we are adaptable and innovative. Necessity is the mother of invention. Who’s to say that one of those unemployed people isn’t sitting in their garage as I type, having a few beers, discussing ideas with friends, and preparing them to possibly become the next Bill Gates? 

For a list of on demand webinars relating to job searching, interviewing, and resume writing visit:

Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on!

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The Bear – Hibernating In Hard Times?

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Mar 9, 2009 in Career Path, Thinking Positive

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Where have all the hardworking professionals gone?  Have they retreated to their caves (or Florida) for a long winter’s hibernation?  Are they snuggled in, hoping to emerge their sleepy heads in a few months when the promise of the new administration finally starts to pay off?   Are they waiting to complete that resume re-write until they can send it to 100 positions like they could a year or so ago instead of just one or two?  Are they waiting for the abundance of the good old days?

Well, in some professions, the good old days are still around.  Professionals looking for work should pay astute attention to what jobs are being advertised.  There are large pockets of professional areas that are still lacking talented people. 

Take the tax profession as example.  Not a generally exciting topic, but it’s a lucrative field.  Right now, if you were a Senior Tax Accountant in our area, there are over 100 positions available within 50 miles of DC. 

So, unemployed professionals take note…if you’re looking for a new career path, there are jobs out there!   Some training or re-training might be necessary, in some cases, the bill for that might be picked up by an employer.  Do your homework, it never hurts to ask! Don’t hibernate your days away! Wake up, get out there, and find your niche!

Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on!

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The Elephant In The Room – The Economy

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Feb 4, 2009 in Thinking Positive

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This week I am in Las Vegas, participating in the BULLHORN LIVE User’s Conference.  This has been one of the best events I’ve attended in the staffing and recruiting industry for the past couple of years.  The technical information has been excellent, but the positive enthusiasm shared by this diverse group of attendees and presenters has been the most refreshing part of this conference.  

Search industry guru Danny Cahill and President of Bullhorn Barry Hinckley both discussed a sentiment I firmly believe in; looking at the glass half full.  No doubt, a continually rising unemployment rate is troubling.  However, let’s not lose sight of the other side of that statistic; if an area has 7% unemployment, it also has 93% employment. 

In response to President Obama’s call to volunteer service, Bullhorn provided me a meeting space at the Red Rocks Resort to conduct a RESUME WORKSHOP which was free to the public here in Las Vegas yesterday evening.  NBC affiliate KVBC3 invited me to appear live on the noon news Monday to promote the event and I also had a great conversation with Barbara Kusak on KDWN Las Vegas Talk Radio yesterday. 

About 60 local job seekers attended the workshop where we discussed my book TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME as well as some specifics about job search and interviewing.  With 7.2% unemployment in the Las Vegas area and 10.1 % statewide, the attendees really wanted to know how to set themselves apart from other job seekers.  They all left with enthusiastic, positive, outlooks towards their job search, newly empowered with creative strategies, ideas and techniques to utilize in this competitive environment.   

As my second book TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB comes out next month, I look forward to continuing to share some positive job search strategies and ideas with people in other cities over the next few months.  Upcoming workshops are slated for Washington DC, Miami/Ft.Lauderdale, Baltimore, Omaha, and Denver over the next four months.  

Since none of us (including our elected officials) really know how to tame the ELEPHANT, we all need to adjust our thinking and find areas of positive change within the situation.  Everyone has something to contribute and there are jobs out there, it may just take a little more strength, internal fortitude, and personal willpower to move the ELEPHANT out of your room to find it.

Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…now available on!

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