The Event » Techweek® Chicago – June 27-29, 2013

Granted this is not for several months, but at least you can plan and research.


The Event » Techweek® Chicago – June 27-29, 2013.

Posted in Career | Leave a comment

What if you can’t pay your taxes? – Yahoo! Finance

What if you can’t pay your taxes? – Yahoo! Finance.

This is a great article about filing your Taxes this year.  If you decide not to pay your penalty could be near 25%.  However, it could be .5% a month for the unpaid tax at April 17th.

There is also a Hardship option:  “The IRS does offer a few hardship breaks for cash-poor filers. The big one in effect this year is called Fresh Start, and lets those who were unemployed request a six-month extension to pay this year’s tax bill without being charged any penalties..”

Take a good look at this article.

Posted in Family, Governmental | Tagged , | Leave a comment

7 Words To Help Gain Your Next Objective

hello balloonThe next time you talk to someone on the phone, or meet them in person, do you have a desired outcome for the call or meeting that is very clear?  A clear, thought out, intention is more likely to produce clear results.  If it is vague, unclear, uncertain, not to the point, there is a tendency to produce the results you do not want to happen.

These seven words will assist you on all aspects of your career.  “What’s my desired outcome for this meeting?”  The same goes for phone calls.

You need to keep this in mind before talking with anyone.  Having a well thought out plan beforehand will not only ensure you maintain control of the interaction, but you will be certain that you are not wasting the time of the other person during the interaction.

A few things you should do before any conversation.

  1. Review company website and or Linkedin company page.
  2. Check Linkedin profile of person you will be talking with.
  3. Google the name of company and person.
  4. Develop list of questions—both to assist you learn more about this contact, and getting this person to think in ways you desire.
  5. Have file handy of all information you gathered so you do not have to fumble around for materials later.

There will be times when someone will ask to either meet you, or talk right then and there.  Avoid this. You do not want to be thrown off-balance and not be ready for the conversation.  You will not have done your research or created your plan to assist you in gaining your desired outcome.  When you arrange to meet or call at a different time then the immediate you will be able to give the other person your full attention.  You will not be trying to think of things on the fly.  You will not miss bringing up important points, or asking effective value oriented questions.  Plan to succeed.  Succeed with planning.

Seven words that create a means to assist you in accomplishing the goals you set for yourself.  Seven words that will assist you and those you interact with have a more productive dialogue.

By David McDermit @dmcder

Posted in Call, Interview | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to get the most out of Networking events

McCarthy Meeting Room A

One effective method in improving your chances of finding a new career is by going to local events and networking.  The reason for this can be put into one word—People. The more people you meet the greater your opportunities of finding someone who either knows of a position, or better yet is the person doing the hiring.

Who is coming to the event

You can just show up at these events and wander around meeting people.  Eventually, you might meet a beneficial contact.  What would help increase your chances of finding and creating a successful relationship is the game plan you develop before going.

Most events, especially in this day of online registration, have a list of those attending the event.  Wow.  Now you have the names of people who will be there.  Take this list and do some research.


The first place to start your research is Linkedin.  This is a great place to find information about the people at this event.  Linkedin should help you discover what company they work for.  If you are lucky it could be the person you need to talk to that does the hiring, or at least a good connection into one of your target companies.  Even if none of the people on the list you have are from one of your target companies you do not know who they know.  Extending your circle of influence can not hurt. So, get on Linkedin and look over profiles.  You might find some commonalities, like the same college or Linkedin groups. There is a great deal of information that you can find on Linkedin.  What you find can help get conversations started.  Or, you might notice something that they posted in a group or on their status update that you can answer for them.  Doing it in person is a little more beneficial than only online.


Google the people on the list and see what you can find out about them.  Here you might be able to find things like news articles, or blogs they write.  Whatever you find is another item you can use to startup conversations.

Remember, people do like to talk about themselves.

Next Step

Now you have the first part of your game plan done.  The next step is what to do once you are there.

The event has a time limit.  You will not be able to meet all the people at the event.  Your research got you names.  Now add time management to the meet and greet.

Just as the event has a time limit, so do your conversations.  You need to determine how productive your conversations are going.  If it is not going anywhere move on.  If you feel that you will be better off staying longer with a particular person then stay.  Yes, talking to a number of people could build up your chances of meeting someone of influence, but meeting too many people to quickly could by-pass the opportunity to develop a stronger mutually beneficial relationship.

Confidence Factor

Handshake icon

When meeting new people, especially high level people, takes confidence. Taking the time to learn as much as you can, and having a good game plan before meeting them, the more confident you will be.  And, the more confident you are the more effective you will be.


One thing people tend to forget is to follow-up.  If you do not follow-up what is the point of doing that research and meeting new people.  Remember, one key point to following up is not to ask directly for them to help you.  The key to the follow-up is developing the relationship.  Try making the follow-up of value to them.  Perhaps while you were talking at the event you had to get more information from home (perhaps you mentioned a book but could not at the time remember the title or author).

Your follow-up could also come from a Google Alert.

There was a reason you picked someone to meet over all the other people at the event.  You saw them as a potential center of influence.  If you create a Google Alert for this person the next time they are mentioned on the Internet you will be notified. Now you have a unique opportunity to contact that person and become re-acquainted.

When creating your Google Alert put quotes around their name to make certain that you get that person and not several different people with the same first or last name.

That Google Alert might tell you that person just received an award, or were interviewed by the local news.  Send them a congratulatory message, or a link to the story.  Oh, if you do send a link also include a quote from it showing that you did read the article.

Remember, events can be more than just a place to get handouts or a free bite.  It is a tremendous opportunity to build-up your network.  And it is also a great place to assist others in developing their network.

By David McDermit @dmcder

Posted in Google, Internet, Linkedin, Networking, Networking Groups | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Tips for speaking effectively at an Interview

  1. Interview of a person by the Air Force Office ...

    Know your material – Research the company.  See if they have a blog, read press releases, Google the company, and do not forget to do the same if you know the name of  the person you will be interviewing with.  Not only will this give you questions to ask and bring up during the interview, but it will show the hiring manager you have a real interest in the company over just needing a job.

  2. Practice, Practice, Practice – And just in case I did not say it enough-Practice.  Do mock interviews.  See if a family member will ask you questions (there are tons of interview books to get these questions).  Use your computer and a webcam.  Go to group that works with the unemployed and see if they offer mock interviews.
  3. Visualize yourself at the interview – Imagine yourself at the interview.  See yourself relaxed and sitting comfortably, and talking in clear concise sentences.  Visualize you and the interviewer agreeing on points and just how well the interview is going.  Starting out positively is a great way to go into the interview.  Might as well practice this.
  4. Know the audience – Again this goes to the know you material and researching the company and person interviewing you.  Also, see if you can find out if this is going to be a group interview or not.
  5. Know the room – When you meet the person you are going to meet with look around the room.  If it is their office see if any personal items are there.  If there is anything there that you both have an interest in that can be a way to personalize the interview process.  If you are meeting outside of the place you will work.  Try and get there early and get a feel of the place, especially if it is going to be noisy.
  6. Relax – Before going into the building ease your tension by doing some breathing exercises.  The most basic is closing your eyes and do slow full deep breaths.
  7. Realize that you are both nervous – You might be nervous going into the interview.  The person giving the interview might also be nervous.  It is stressful on both parties during an interview process.  Remember, they are trying to locate a great fit for the organization and you want to show that you are just that person.
  8. Don’t apologize – If you are nervous or a problem.  Chances are they did not notice.
  9. Concentrate on the process – Listen to the interviewer and how they are behaving.  There will be clues to how things are going during the interview.  Are they asking you more questions?  Are they looking more at you or at some other place?  Do they ask you to elaborate on statements, or just keep asking questions?  Are you daydreaming?  Are you thinking more of how to answer a question then actually listening to the question being asked?
  10. Gain experience – As mentioned earlier, do mock interviews.  Setup informational interviews with people.  I also recommend joining a Toastmasters club.  It is a great place to get over any fears talking in front of people, but it is also a great way to learn how to answer questions you might not have prepared yourself for.
Posted in Career, Skills | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What makes you different?

Herd of pronghorns

Image via Wikipedia

I know when searching for work people struggle with how to stand out from the pack.  Typically this comes from the question: “What makes me different?”

A better question that you should be asking is: “What makes me relevant?”

To be able to answer this statement there is something else you need to ask yourself.  Do you have a succinct, confident, and clear way to express this?

If you are looking for work being able to present yourself as relevant can be that one thing that puts you over the top of other job searchers.  To do this you will need to set aside some time to answer these questions:

  1. Why you?
  2. Why now?
  3. What makes you relevant?

If you expect hiring managers to even consider you, especially in today’s market, then you have to answer these questions.

When you talk to anyone about your job search make sure you insert the answers to these questions in your conversations.  And, most importantly they need to be inserted during the interview process.  I would even be helpful to have a handout showing how you are relevant to job description they put out.  Use a table format of their key needs and how you fulfill those needs.

I know answering the above three questions is not an easy task.  I do have another post that can actually help.  It is my post—The Perfect Job  In this post is a worksheet and instructions (actual worksheet and instructions are in the app on the right side of this page) on how to find the perfect job.  It is a great keyword development tool, and should help in answering the relevancy questions above.

Another good item to help you with this is the book “What color is my parachute” by Richard Bolles.

Remember, how you talk about the work you do (related to relevance) will help others assist you in your job search, and help you get that job offer sooner.

Posted in Action Words, Career, Cover Letter, Handbill, Keywords, Resume, WOW Statement | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Want to reach your goals? Idea’s from the book Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer

I have found that having a varied reading habit has helped me with many different aspects of my life.  Presently, I am working again.  The job is in sales, and to help in this job I decided to read the above mentioned Jeffrey Gitomer book.  He presents a great deal of useful information for  someone in, or thinking of getting into sales.  However, the information he presents can be used for other uses.  This includes those looking for work.  The following is taken shamelessly, and with a little paraphrasing (and, I did get permission) from the book.

Do you want to find a better job?  Are you unemployed and looking for that “perfect” job?  These are goals you can reach, and the following tools can help you reach them.

To get started you will need these items:

A Post-it note is a piece of stationery with a...

Post-It Notes
Bedroom Mirror
Bathroom Mirror


  1. Write down big ones…On a 3×3 yellow Post-it Notes, write down your prime goals in short words (write WOW statement; Hired on; Make 3 new contacts)
  2. Write down small ones…Use three more notes and write down your secondary goals in short words (read about attitude 15 minutes a day; read book – Dale Carnegie; organize work space)
  3. Put them in front of your face…Post them on your bathroom mirror, where you are forced to look at them – and yourself – every morning and evening.
  4. Say them aloud each time you look at them…Look AND say doubles the affirmation.
  5. Keep looking and talking until you act…You will look at them until you are sick of looking at them and will begin to take action – achievement action – and accomplish them.
  6. Seeing the note there every day makes you think about acting on it every day.  Once you start acting, the note triggers a “What do I have to do today to keep the achievement on target?” The note forces you to act.  To achieve your goal.

By posting the goal in the bathroom, you are consciously reminded of your goals at least two times a day.  From there your subconscious gets into the act, gnawing away at your soul until you are driven to take positive action.  Achievement actions.

Oh, he does like to have a .5 for his points.  And number 6.5 is:

6.5    REVISIT YOUR SUCCESS EVERY DAY…Here comes the best part – after your goal is achieved, take the Post-It Note off the bathroom mirror and triumphantly post it on your bedroom mirror.  Now every day when you check out “how you look for the day,” you also get to see your success.

As I mentioned, this is a great technique for those who are working or looking for work.  Putting goals in writing is a great way to ensure you will work at them.  It is easy to say you will do something, but by having the Post-It note right there in front of your face you will find it hard to forget or put it off.

I do want to put a little more to steps 1 & 2.  If you set your “big” goal to high you can be setting yourself up for failure.  Do not put something like, “Be hired in 3 weeks.”  Granted it might be possible, but in today’s environment is it likely.  Now if you said “3 months” that would not be a bad “big” goal.  And, if you are going to put a hire date as a big goal use an exact date.  It is an actual reachable goal instead of the open 3 month period.

On the other hand, the “small” goals are great moral busters.  You can easily reach those goals, and being able to see attained goals helps you in reaching the bigger ones.

Start using this Achievement program.  After a while come back and let me know how it worked out for you.

Posted in Career | Tagged , | Leave a comment