Monday, September 5, 2011

Is That Company Closing - California Edition OR "Layoffs - Coming Soon to a Town Near You"

My friends, it has been a long time since I posted any new comments here. For the most part I have been working the odd-end job to support my family. Before I proceed with this blog, here is a quick re-hash of what has been going on. Moved out to sunny Southern California - San Diego County - back in May of this year. I obtained my first Cisco certification in July: CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician); and am preparing for my next cert, the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) for the end of this month. This past weekend was my first technical position in over 3 years. I relocated a large sporting goods manufacturer's data center. Man it felt good to work. Too bad it was a 1 day assignment; however, I was there for 24 hours straight. I didn't realize my legs could be so wobbly standing on a ladder at 5 in the morning when I arrived at 8 the previous day. Well, now on to the blog. 

Back in March 2009 I posted Is That Company Closing?, insights on how to find out if a company you are targeting, or currently working for, is going to be closing their doors in the next 6 months. You can click the link above for that post and the details. Since I am still in job seek mode, I am only going to post the links to California's edition of the WARN Notice. I would like to say that I found this on my own in my travels, but sadly, I was told about this site through my brother because he is getting laid off along with his entire division. No relocation or off-shoring; total shut down. On the California Employment Development Department's page you will find a link that will (eventually) lead you to this page. Or you can just clink this link WARN. Once there you can scroll down or click the List of Warning Notices link. From there choose what you want to search for. You can go back into previous years, but why waste your time and energy, unless you want to see if your former employer "really" knew ahead of time. 

This good thing about these warnings is that it opens a pdf file that has more information than New Jersey's did, listing positions that will be cut as well. *New Jersey might do the same thing now, but I have not checked in over 2 years. 

Did you know that Medtronic, in Northridge is laying off 209 staff? Talk about earth shaking news. 

And that a good portion of them are in Sales and Customer Service? 

Thanks and God Bless, Genesius

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Received a great gift for Christmas. But how did I find my new job?

My apologies that it has been a very, very long time since my last posting. With the job search and other personal matters in my life, I have not been inspired to write. But after receiving an early Christmas gift on December 22nd I felt I should let the faithful followers of my blog in on the great news.

There was a job lead posted on the Internet for a Training Coordinator at a local company. However, before sending my resume into the black hole of the Internet job search, I have been following the tried and tested job search methodology of the ETP Network. On Step 3, Identify Potential Advocates, I searched my professional and personal networks (LinkedIn) for people I knew who either worked for Allies, Inc. (my target company), or who knew someone who worked at Allies. Unfortunately, I was unable to find someone in my networks.

Next, I visited Manta to acquire the contact information for Allies. After finding the number, I phoned the recruiting coordinator. While it is always best to speak directly to people and not leave a message, after several attempts, I finally left a message mentioning the position, their job requirements and how my experience matched up to those requirements. I was pleasantly surprised when the recruiting coordinator returned my call the same day and asked me to send in my resume. I re-drafted a targeted resume for the position and emailed it to the recruiting coordinator.

I had recently started a temporary position, also in the area. On the second day, of my one month assignment, I received a call from the recruiting coordinator to schedule an interview. After informing my temp agency that I would be leaving early the next day, they informed me that if I did, my assignment would be ended immediately. So here I was between a short term gig (1 month promised - with a very good chance of extending to a year) and a first interview for a job that sounded interesting and worthwhile to me. What is the old adage about "a bird in the hand"? After much prayer and consulting with my family I made the choice to let go of the bird in my hand, watching it fly away, and pursue this new bird.

After we briefly introduced ourselves, the interview started by her asking me to tell her three things that I knew about Allies, Inc. I talked about AllHomes, All In One Basket and Through Our Eyes, giving reasons why each one had significance for me. Through Our Eyes means a lot to me because my name, Genesius, is the patron saint of actors and musicians. I had been involved in theater for most of my teen and early adult life, striving to become a professional actor and singer. However, when I met my wife, I knew it would be difficult trying to support a family waiting for "my big break". Through Our Eyes "is a special needs awareness program for schools, businesses, social organizations and religious made up of humorous and moving stories of how people with special needs see the world and are viewed by others...(the cast) help tell the important and entertaining story about acceptance and understanding."

I also shared that the Allies Commitment Statement represented the values of company that I would enjoy working for. "We, the employees of Allies will not allow the people we serve to remain in a house we would not choose ourselves, work at a job we would not choose for ourselves, or live a life we would not be willing to lead ourselves. If it is not good enough for us, then it is not good enough for the people we serve. This is our pledge to the people and the families we serve." I told her that throughout my professional career, as a manager and a leader, I have never given any of my team members a task that I had not done previously myself, or was not willing to assist them with side-by-side.

As the interview progressed I had several questions that I wanted to ask about Allies and the position. "What do you like about working here?" My interviewer shared more of the values I was looking for in an employer with the tail end of her answer giving me good chills. "...when I saw your resume, I knew I had to interview you. Not only do we live in the same town, but you have experience working in the shipping container industry (over a dozen years). One of our founders has had a dream about recycling old shipping containers into materials to build homes for the families we serve."

Needless to say, it was a very good interview, and I prayed there would be a second interview.

At my second interview I met the other members of the training team. This interview went very well, and again, there was the give and take with both sides asking and answering questions; discussing what they needed and how I could fulfill those needs. Later that day, I received a call offering me the training coordinator position. I was overjoyed; and am still dancing.

So "why the long story", you may ask? I want to illustrate some important points I used in my job search that you might want to use in yours.
  1. Networking. It is very important to join different networking groups. Both to receive from and give support to other professionals, employed or in transition. Networking is a two-way street. Personally, the ETP Network (Empowering Today's Professionals) is a great network because of their methodology and their ethics.
  2. KSA. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities as the government says. Perform an analysis on yourself. Know what you can do and what you want to do. Apply for positions where you are a 80% match or better to the requirements.
  3. Avoid the Black Hole. Before submitting your resume online (black hole), find someone who works in the company, or knows someone within the company. Check for connections (advocates) in your professional and personal networks who are willing to vouch for your professional abilities and your personal character.
  4. Contact. Whether or not you find advocates, you need to know where the company is located and their contact information. Go to (or Hoovers, or any other company directory/database - there are many at your local library) to find contact information about the target company: contact name(s); phone number(s); email address(es).
  5. Pick Up the Phone. Phone the company and speak to someone involved in the hiring process. Don't ask for the job, but rather share what they are looking for and how you fill those requirements. Then ask, "What should I do next?"
  6. TARGETED RESUME! Ask yourself, "Would I hire a landscaper whose brochure only had examples of 30-room mansions on 50,000 acre properties, if I live in a small ranch-style home nestled on a 50' by 75' lot?"
  7. Take a risk. The "bird hand rule" is usually the safe way to go. However, sometimes you have to take a risk, going into your prayer closet, asking for advice from those you trust, doing a gut check. "Get good advice and you will succeed; don't go charging into battle without a plan." Proverbs 20:18 GNB.
  8. Homework. Research the company you are going to interview with. Be able to intelligently converse about what services they provide and who their customers are. Know what they do and what they want to do. Also know how you can help them achieve their goals.
  9. Questions. Compose a list of questions to ask during the interview. I'm not talking about, "How much time off do I receive?"; "What are the benefits like?"; or "What is the dress code?" Ask questions that show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in working for them. You can't ask those types of questions unless you ARE genuinely interested in working for them.
Thanks for understanding my LONG absence from my blog; as well as the length of this posting.

Thanks and God Bless,
Genesius - "I have a passion for helping others to learn."

"No one heals himself by wounding another." St. Ambrose 340-397 AD

Saturday, August 29, 2009

MerNet Event - 9/1/09

This Tuesday, September 1st, from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm, is the next MerNet event being held at the Lawrenceville Library in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

“The purpose of MerNet is to provide a friendly, yet professional environment where people can meet other professionals and grow their networks.”

To find out more and to register, be visit

Prepare a 60 second commercial to introduce yourself to the group. The MerNet format is:
•    Your name. (and tagline if have one)
•    What town do you reside in?
•    What is your Core Business and Core Competency
•    Company you work for, or position you are seeking.
                   If you are seeking – name 3-5 target companies
•    How can you best help the group?
•    Name

Also bring plenty of business cards for networking.

Thanks and God Bless,
Genesius - "I have a passion for helping others to learn."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Do You Feed Your Network Table Scraps?

I know it has been over a month since my last blog, but with job search and trying to find a good certificate program to gain web/e-learning skills, time is a precious commodity.

With this blog I would like your opinion. Are You Possessive with Your Job Leads?

I will be the first to admit that I don't forward every job lead that comes across my ears, my eyes, my screen, or my snail mailbox. Partly out of not enough time or laziness. Partly out of not having a legitimate connection within the target company that I can pass on along with the lead.

Anyone can pass on leads blindly to the various Yahoo, LinkedIn and other networking groups. We see this happening everyday on the Internet, within Twitter, Facebook, etc. Don't get me wrong. It is a benefit to everyone on the hunt, including me, that job leads are passing through the Internet. How many of us can view every single job posting site? Its impossible.

For me though, I try not to pass on a job lead if I don't have a connection. But that is not the subject of this blog.

The question is "Do you feed your network table scraps?" What I mean is, "Do you pass on leads that you are actively pursuing, or just the ones that either were not interested in you, or you were not interested in them?"

Recently, I read on one of my LinkedIn groups a discussion that was both interesting and, IMHO, a bit cold. The writer was commenting about how we need to share job leads. But then the writer said only those leads you are not interested in. *I am not singling out this person because that would not be proper network etiquette either. Every day this topic comes up in many networking groups.

At the Professional Services Group at New Brunswick's Dept of Workforce Development, I get some quizzical looks when I share that I pass leads on even if I am pursuing the same position. Why?

No one can argue the fact that there are more people looking for jobs than ever before. The candidate pool for any job is more experienced and diverse than has ever been in our lifetime. Because of this large pool of people to choose from companies are able to be more selective about who they hire. And they are willing to wait it, most of the time, to find that great employee.

I was recently submitted for a Technical Trainer position at CommVault over in Oceanport, New Jersey. This position has been open for more than 6 months. Companies want it all and are willing to wait it out.

Here's a scenario.
Suppose I am applying for a position as a Training and Development Specialist at XYZ Consulting. I am an excellent match for the position. I know that James, a close friend in my network is seeking a position as a Training and Development Specialist as well. I inform Jim about the position and tell me that he should apply. Jim is not competing against me on this job. XYZ is going to hire the BEST candidate. This not only includes skills and experience, but how Jim or I (or any of the other final candidates) will fit into the department, and within the company. And this "fit" includes one's personality, emotions, ethics, and the hiring manager anticipates they will be politically and socially within the organization. If I don't fit in with these intangibles, I am not receiving an offer whether Jim applies or not.

Potential Win-Win for me.
Let's say that Jim gets the job and I don't. It's a potential Win-Win for me. The next time a position opens up at XYZ Jim is going to being looking out for me. He will sing my praises to the hiring manager, and everyone else. I will have a very strong advocate/angel with XYZ Consulting. Also, there is the possibility that in future conversations Jim has with his new manager, he might tell them how I told him about the position. When the manager hears this they will recall my interview and think "Wow. Genesius was so unselfish that he shared a job lead with you, his competition. I should find some way to hire Genesius or create a position for him. I want that kind of integrity on my team."

Didn't you ever invite your friends in school to team tryouts knowing that there was only one spot open?

Yeah, I could be way off base, but "You never know."

Please let me know your opinion.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How to talk BIG with small talk

Every walk into a room filled with people you don't know and when you looked around it seemed as though everyone was paired off? Ever walk into a group of two or more people and feel like a third wheel, or the odd man/woman out? We have all been there before. Would you like to know how to easily talk to people in those and other situations?

The ETP Network had the pleasure of having a fantastic speaker at out last FREE Weekly Conference Call, Don Gabor, America's Small Talk Expert. Don has written over half a dozen books on the topic of speaking to people. These are my notes on the great insights and tips he shared that evening.

Don Gabor has given his permission to publish this discussion. Click here to find out more about the various tools Don has to offer: multimedia; tips; coaching; books; DVD's; etc. Click here.

Don Gabor – “TURN SMALL TALK INTO BIG DEALS: Using 4 Key Conversation Styles To Customize Your Networking Approach, Build Relationships and Win More Clients”

Small Talk – not irrelevant, or a waste of time. Normal relaxed conversation about everyday topics. Plays a critical role. Shows ones ability and willingness to quickly connect with an individual you have never met. Ex.: “the weather” – willing to communicate. By talking about simple or supposedly uninteresting topics, on is able to exchange a lot of information with people and find what is important to them. You need to listen carefully – pick out the words that have meaning. Take the opportunity to understand a person’s communication style: tone, rate of speech, emotion connection, motivation. There is tremendous value to open the door to another person’s life. It builds your career, helps gain more clients.

Career opportunities – you can network in any situation

  1. Business – small talk, some people like to get right to business, others what to get a sense of who you are through small talk. Who (which type) are you talking to? In general it is OK to bring up business topics, or spend too much with non-business small talk. Taboos: sex, politics and religion. Sometimes sports too.
  2. Social – considered boorish to starttalking business, and looking for that business contact or work opportunity right away. Makes people feel uncomfortable. Small talk about non-business related topics. If the opportunity presents itself, move towards business.
  3. Public – people don’t know you. Any overt selling comes across suspicious and off putting. However, networking can be done. Must be done in a very pushy non-selling way.
There is a difference in networking etiquette for different situations: job fair; waiting for an interview; barbeque; airport; park bench are all different.

4 Key Conversation Styles

  1. Competitive
  2. Amiable
  3. Supportive
  4. Serious
Setting Goals - The goal to find a job is not, and should not, be the only goal when you enter a room, go to a networking event.

Informal conversation – segue. Using your elevator speech is not the most effective way. But you do need to let them know about you.

Toxic networkers – don’t be one. Watch out for them.

Breaking the Ice (the basics)

It is not about "me"; it is about connecting with the people in the room and connecting with them in some way. Engage others for that purpose. Don’t think inward (will they like me, will I being come off too strong, etc.). Don’t do that or you’ll miss the clues. "My attitude" - I have something to offer other people.

When we see two people talking, we assume that they are old buddies and that it is a private conversation. Don’t assume that everyone knows each other because they are talking to each other. Your body language communicates apprehension/fear.

Before you enter the room, what do you want to get out of the networking event? Don’t have just one singular goal. Prep yourself. Know the movers and shakers in your industry: recent news/activities; who is moving from company to company; who has written a recent article and will be at a networking event. Try to get the guest list – research them and remember names from the list. Target certain people who are going to be at the event – you can’t talk to everyone. Send an email or make a phone call to introduce yourself to them and that you would like to meet them at the event.

All speaking is public speaking. You need to prepare.


  • Body posture (stand with arms folded – BAD – shows discomfort; defensiveness; it is a non-receptive signal)
  • Smiling (shows approval)
  • Eye contact (first form of contact).

Q & A Time

I am unemployed. How can I help someone if I don’t have a job?

You’re not alone. Finding employment doesn’t preclude helping others. It increases your potential for finding work. It will come back to you in many other ways. “People will help people that they like. They won’t help people that they don’t like.” You will receive a positive impression from others if you show genuine interest in them and value what they said.

Don’t ever think for one minute that you are sending signals only to the person(s) you are talking to. You are communicating with anyone and everyone that sees you at that moment. If you think it is all about “me”, it will be picked up by everyone before you even meet them, and they will not talk to you.

Go into the room with the desire to help others.

How do you become the person in the room
everybody likes and everybody wants to talk to?

Engage others and facilitate conversations between people. Introduce others to others; grow the group from one-on-one by adding others – becoming a sort of host for the growing group. When people feel you have shown interest in them and care, you’ll make them feel good about themselves. Then they will feel good about you.

Find one or two things that the person is passionate about; show you interest and feelings about that topic. It shows the other person there is a connection. “You are interested in what I have to say. Therefore, I like you!” Continue this and let it grow.

However, don’t go into a room wanting to be the most popular person in the room. Go because you are interested in meeting others to the mutual benefit of both.

When people meet initially there is a ritual happening: the topic they want to talk about; do they want to get to business; etc. If you can’t adapt to the other person’s way of communicating, you will not be able to connect. Four styles mean that you will not connect with 3 out of 4 people or 75% of the time. But how do you tune into the other person’s communication style, and relate on that level? Just like dancing, it takes a while to make a connection. You might have to dance for while before someone is ready to open up. Don’t rush it or give up.

Even if you are prepared. What mistakes do people generally make?

  • Go to a networking event where they already know people, and they stay with them instead of branching out.
  • Not managing your time at the networking event. You want to meet specific individuals, don’t spend too much time with any one individual.
  • Potted plant/growing roots. They expect people to come to them. Circulate. If you are potted plant – impression you are afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Take initiative – introduce yourself first.
  • When you introduce yourself and exchange cards - Japanese style.
  • Close the conversation with the phrase “You have been so helpful. How can I get in touch with you? Can I call you next week? Meanwhile, I would like to meet some other people in the room.”
You are networking the right way when people you are find your interaction beneficial.

One of my present issues is how to not appear cocky and overconfident? Bragging or tooting your own horn.

Provide an example of how you have helped a company, a department, or someone, to achieve a particular goal. Share the experience briefly, show you can be part of a team. Share the glory. Magnify the benefit of what you accomplished.

The primary vehicle to your career is the ability to network and meet people. WIIFT (What’s In It For Them). Show that you can build relationships. Let your communication skills be the way to achieve those goals.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Always Feel Like Someone is Watching Me

You know that insurance commercial with the money and the eye balls, where they play that old song "I Always Feel Like Someone is Watching Me". Sometimes being watched can be a good thing, especially in LinkedIn. Here is yet another way to find those people you should be connecting with.

The other day, I found a job lead on the Internet that I was a very good match for. I checked my LinkedIn network to see if there were any advocates within that organization. There were six Level 2's I could reach out to for intelligence gathering and possible support. The next day, I received an invitation from one of them to join their network (see below).

This person is a former executive at my target company and he reached out to me because I had viewed his profile. We had a very productive  conversation and the intelligence he shared with me about the company and it's culture was invaluable. Based on the information, I decided not to pursue the position. However, even though the position didn't turn out,  I decided I should pass on this "new" (at least new to me) networking tip.

After logging into LinkedIn go to the Home Page. On the right hand side of the page there will be a box titled "Who's viewed my profile?"

Click the "See more" link (or the words "Your profile has been viewed by...") and you will be taken to a new page displaying who has checked your profile over the last (x) day(s).

For those of us using the gratis (free) LinkedIn membership, we are limited to a certain amount of days. Those with paid membership, will be able to view more days.

If you click one of the people who has viewed your profile their profile will be opened for you to view. Check out their profile. Who knows, it might be someone you should connect with.

Any people in the list without names are those outside of your network. When you click on those individuals LinkedIn will displayed a new search list based on the criteria from the description on the previous page.

For example: If I click on the fifth link (from the above) a list of individuals within 100 miles of zip code 10021 (NYC) working in the Publishing industry with the key words engineering-information technology will be displayed..

Another bonus for all of us. Once you find someone who has been watching you, you can see who has been watching them by checking the list of names under the "Viewers of this profile also viewed..." area on the right hand side of their profile page.

Again, a possible resource for people you might want to connect with.

Let me know if you have any new (not so new) ways to grow your network using LinkedIn.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Do You Want to LinkUp?

Did you know when you submit your resume to the blackhole for a position you saw posted on a typical Internet job search board over 3,000 other people are submitting their resumes for that same position? Did you also know that when you submit your resume online it will most likely be scanned for keywords by a computer program before it ever is seen by an actual set of human eyes? Do you wish you could find jobs and send your resume directly to the employer and not have to go through the screening software used by recruiters?

First, I want to thank a good friend in my network for informing me about this website: Terrance Seamon. You can visit his blog at

We all know about, or should know about, the two big aggregate job search engines on the Internet: indeed and SimplyHired. But there might be a new kid (at least to this blogger) on the block: LinkUp. And LinkUp might be the better of the three depending on what you are looking for. LinkUp positions itself as an aggregate that grabs postings from only the company websites – over 19,000. But I'll let the readers decide with the a sampling of results from each of the aggregators using the same criteria, which by the way, is my personal job search criteria while I am in transition.

A little research shows that LinkUp is registered through and might be housed out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Of course with the Internet, there doesn't need to a brick and mortar office with a web server being located anywhere.

When one looks at the site one has to wonder who LinkUp is trying to appear like. Anyone who has used indeed and SimplyHired can see the similarities between those two. However, I invite readers to comment on what major Internet branding LinkUp might be trying to connect up with.

Criteria used: 50 miles; training coordinator; employer websites only; last 7 days.


If I had broadened my search to 100 miles, I would have found 41 jobs. Unfortunately, indeed is only aggregate job search engine that has a radius setting of "100 miles".



There are some other interesting tools/functions that are available on LinkUp. There is a page where you can check out the Word Cloud. For those who don't know what that is (before this blog neither did I), a Word Cloud is…a tag cloud or word cloud (or weighted list in visual design) is a visual depiction of user-generated tags, or simply the word content of a site, used typically to describe the content of web sites. Tags are usually single words and are typically listed alphabetically, and the importance of a tag is shown with font size or color.[1] Thus both finding a tag by alphabet and by popularity is possible. The tags are usually hyperlinks that lead to a collection of items that are associated with a tag. Click here to learn more about Word Clouds at Wikipedia.

The Word Cloud in LinkUp,, lists a variety of different job categories. After clicking on a job category, the Word Cloud will be displayed. Here is the Word Cloud for…

LinkUp states that one can use these words for job search terms or those hard to find words for your resume. Personally, I think one should look for glossary sites related to their industry and bookmark them.

Because LinkUp posts only jobs from employer career websites you can start networking immediately. Then you can find advocates who can hand your resume to the hiring manager, and supporters who can help you gather intelligence in your target organizations.