Sunday, March 4, 2012

Winter Ends, Spring Training is Here, Next?

No matter where you live, no matter how much snow you see outside your window and even if the temperature is near freezing...WINTER IS OVER. Why? You have to ask? No, not because March has arrived. Spring training is well under way! In fact, on my radio at this instant is a spring training baseball game.

But a special alert to all Chicagoans, you heard it here first: watch out for a nice blizzard in March and or April. This winter has been way too freakishly mild for this tough, 175 year old city. Why, happy 175th Birthday to beloved Chicago!!

During every job hunt, unemployment statistics never even enter my thoughts. Are they up? Are they down? It really means nothing - if you're out of work, then you're still out of work, no matter what the economic reports say. But in the last two months, phone calls and emails from recruiters are increasing. Even more telling: recruiters are actually returning my messages. Don't look now but, I think the job market is actually getting a bit better. Do you agree?

The 15 Second Rule. No, not the little kid's rule when you drop that perfect chocolate chip cookie on the floor. What are the 6 Ways to Get Your Resume Noticed in 15 Seconds? Click this link, learn from Phil Rosenberg's excellent site, ReCareered. Do you have other ideas? What do you think of his suggestions?

Each day my poor resume undergoes massive key word tweaking - think HR, think SEO, think ATS...wait, I hate acronyms. Instead, think about staying far away from that bottomless, scary, black hole piled up with resumes from all those online applications. These days, the constant tweaks can't be avoided. I do think the market is slowly opening up (hmmm, wait...might it be an election year?) What about you? Are you getting more bites? Are you hearing about more landings? These experiences are definitely worth sharing with the readers here.

Is it time for a Dirty Rotten Job Search? Can you imagine? I liked this article, also from Rosenberg's site, Recareered. Tell us your thoughts - have you tried any of these ideas with success?

Movies are the perfect escape from the grueling, ongoing job search (and life's) ups and downs. Well, the Academy Awards have come and gone. Did any films really get to you this year? Were there any special performances that stuck in your head? Streep? Clooney? Mara? Davis? Here's a fast quiz: do you remember when the Oscars used to be on the same night as the NCAA Final Four championship basketball game? Pretty difficult to deal with in the days before dvr's and vcr's. So does Elliott Gould's name ring a bell? Be sure to see the end of this post for an explanation.

Writing online for my friend's business has come to a break. It's been a couple years full of learning and on line communicating. I'll miss the great clients as well as the interesting work for
The Spitzer Internet Strategy Group. From high-end swimming pool service, design, and construction; insurance; to divorce mediation. Be sure to check out her site.
By running five marathons years ago, I was able to raise over $23,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Back then, the great, late singer/songwriter Steve Goodman was my closest brush with this horrible disease.

During each of these unwanted job searches, I've met people who have temporarily put the brakes on their job search or career, in order to care for very sick relatives. I've never quite understood how they do it. I wondered how they broached the subject of this unusual gap in their resumes during interviews.

Still very stunned by the awful diagnosis given earlier this year,
the disease has landed in my own family. It certainly puts the job search in a new perspective for me. But, always keeping it positive, thus far the patient has responded amazingly well to the first two rounds of treatment.

When some friend hits you up for a donation for a worthy cause for their race or walk, I highly recommend giving something, anything, to that cause. Even we job seekers can always spare something, anything. It's very true: you never know.

Now let's learn about some upcoming events that look very worthwhile:

Holy Cross Parish in Deerfield offers their Career Renewal on Sunday morning, March 18. They only meet once every other month and I can't recommend this group enough. You'll network, see a presentation, and most important: you will be assigned a mentor or advisor or coach, and it's free.

"What's That Noise"? A Linked In overview presented by JVS, Thursday, March 29, 4:30 - 7:30pm. This is always an excellent networking opportunity as well as a worthwhile presentation. JVS often has a few programs each month.

Save the date: Tuesday, May 8, BMA's: Windy City Biz Bash, more about that in a later post. They are still seeking volunteers for this event, another great way to meet other B2B marketers here in Chicago.

Ok, so what's this about Elliott Gould? Go back more than 30 years, it was the 1976 Academy Awards: It was Monday, March 29 and the undefeated Indiana University (32-0) destroyed the University of Michigan in the first ever inter-conference (Big 10) NCAA Championship basketball game. Presenting the Oscar for Best Film Editing, the envelope was torn open, and then Gould said "And the winners are....Indiana, 86-68". For some reason, I've never forgotten that scene.

Folks, I encourage you: comment, respond, argue, agree, let us know your thoughts, share.

thanks for reading!


  1. I can't stress enough the importance of volunteering. Personally it has helped me acquire new skills, expand my network and boost my social skills:} It helps keep my mind busy and increases self confidence.

    During a job search it can be mentally and physically exausting and learning to step away is important to maintain a healthy attitude. Last thing I would like to see as an HR person is interviewing a candidate who's demeanor is negative and unhappy.

    I see many job seekers who want to take the easy road and not get out of their comfort zone.
    Job search is NOT easy..Get up and out of bed! Attend meetings, learn some new skills in how to communicate with others (phone, networking,informational interviews, etc.) This is the new norm.. This helps boost your confidence and it will carry over in your interviews.. So get out there and be serious about it! M.

    1. "M",

      All great thoughts, thanks for taking the time, can't agree any more. Thanks for your comments!

  2. Yes - I am hearing from others that the job market is showing signs of improving, in the same way that finally Spring seems to be fully arriving in Chicago. Good luck!

  3. Thanks for the update – always great to read…wanted to share my immediate reaction…and ask a question.

    You have successfully delivered an articulate overview in blending the objectives and active implementations of pursuing (both) an active job-search, and an ongoing commitment to philanthropy. Both personal and sensitive topics, you have reminded me (and hopefully others) that the emotional dividends offered from these endeavors can provide an immense opportunity to balance each other out, ultimately providing a real net-gain while concurrently navigating the uncertainty inherent in a job search while doing what you can to help others...

    Recalling the amazing corporate brands on your resume, your skills and affable nature, and your immense networking initiatives, is there an opportunity to offer your professional services to several (more) non-profits you feel passionate about? In addition to giving back, we both know that this strategy can exponentially open doors by way of the people you meet (boards, volunteers, administrators), the projects you complete, abd the gratification shared on all levels.

    Speaking from experience, this strategy had an enormous impact on my professional life. Thanks for letting me post my2cents!


    1. JSM,

      Thanks for your comments, and yes, as expected, you've some great thoughts...I think that you and I must pow wow about this, and soon.

      Keep reading!
      thanks again sir

  4. Hey Larry, Great post! I too remember distinctly the Academy Awards & NCAA tie-in. By that time I had planned to attend IU and remember vividly that season, with the anticipation of being in Bloomington the following year! Go Hoosiers!


    1. Paul,

      I KNEW that you would remember that Hoosier moment from the Academy awards. Thanks for the comment, and hope you spread the blog to all that may find it interesting. (go terps!)

  5. Wow lots of things on your mind Larry. There is more then one blog post in here...

  6. James,

    Thanks for your comments. It's been an active two weeks for me too, very thrilled about that. Now, as far as spring in Chicago? Is it the end of May yet? Even with 70 degree temps this week, watch for big snow between now and the end of April. Thanks again sir!

  7. Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comment. True, a lot for one post, but, glad you made it to the end. Hope you'll give us your name next time, but thanks again for contributing!

  8. Larry,

    Very well done, as usual and thank you for mentioning The Spitzer Internet Strategy Group. That was a lovely surprise and very much appreciated! However, I do believe the snow is past!! Amy

  9. Larry--Great update. It certainly seems like the job market is improving. Students seem to be getting multiple job offers at Kellogg; that is certainly a good sign.


  10. Amy,

    Thanks for commenting. Happy and proud to mention Spitzer Internet Strategy Group. However, this is Chicago...snow before May, book it!

  11. Tim,

    Thanks for your comment. Great news about Kellogg grads, I'm loving all these positive signs.