Sunday, December 28, 2008

Corporate Social Responsibility - The Next Tidal Wave in Business

Thirty years ago, environmentalists were called “tree huggers” in mainstream circles. Today, most people recycle and intentionally make lifestyle choices that are fundamentally environmentally-friendly. Thirty years ago, there was a clear distinction between capitalism and socialism. Either you were pro-business or anti-business and that was that. The new mantra: it pays to be socially responsible. Today, multinational corporations -- while still in business for profit -- are adopting new corporate social responsibility [CSR] initiatives that are changing the way organizations of all size do business. CSR is not a widely-used term yet. Give it time.

The premise of CSR is that when an organization makes money in a community, they reinvest a portion of profits in that community and/or other global regions in need. That investment can come as a combination of money, employee volunteer time or products, such a pharmaceutical giant Merck which donates a drug to cure river-blindness, a dreadful disease which affects tens of millions of the world's poorest people.

Many Fortune 500 companies have climbed on board, in many cases employing entire departments dedicated to setting and implementing their CSR strategy. It’s a job industry that will grow tremendously in the next decade as Internet retail gives all consumers worldwide a greater choice of where to buy the products they need and want.

London-based Acre is a staffing organization dedicated exclusively to CSR/SRI [social responsibility investment] positions. At visitors can search global listings of CSR and SRI professional services organizations, as well as learn more about events and training associated with this emerging trend.

Just because the media isn’t talking about this every day doesn’t mean it’s not already on the minds of world business leaders. A handful of public companies already entrenched in CSR/SRI initiatives include: Wal-Mart, Target, Levi Strauss, Gap, Timberland, General Electric, Whole Foods, Manpower, Inc., Dupont, Alcoa, IBM, and Hewlett Packard. Few CEOs are as globally generous as Microsoft founder, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda or his good friend Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffett. Ted Turner and New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, also make that list. Generosity is “in” and the biggest names in the world -- to varying degrees -- are stepping up to make a difference and in many cases, to let their customers know about the difference they're making through corresponding media campaigns.

The Creating Job Security Resource Guide with 75+ hot job resources and all the tools job seekers need to find a job this week or this month is now available via the Kindle. Download your copy today for just $4.00 at

Monday, December 22, 2008

Eggs. Bread. Milk. Check!

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed this time of year. There’s often so much to do that it’s pretty common to look around and not know where to begin. Looking for ways to increase your income (finding a job, finding a new job, finding a second job) is not that different from getting ready for a special holiday or event. For some people, the details can seem really overwhelming.

I’m a list person. You hear people joke that they know they’re old when they can’t go anywhere without a list. (This reasoning would mean that I’ve been old since I was about 10!) The truth of the matter is that we lead busier lives and maintain schedules that are packed far beyond those of our grandparents’ 40 years ago. It used to be that a monthly calendar in the kitchen was all that was needed to keep track of an entire family’s scheduled events. Today, most people need at least a weekly calendar to track one person’s whereabouts. And have you ever arrived at the grocery store only to realize your shopping list was home on the kitchen table? “Eggs, bread, peanut butter… oh there was something else.”

Trying to find a job is so much more overwhelming than trying to remember a shopping list. Many people don’t know where to start. And then there are the detours out there… the advice columns that say nothing! I Googled “job advice” and came up with this to-do list that I THINK is aimed at someone looking for a job. The advisor says: “Be aware of industry trends. Educate yourself by reading trade publications and conducting research on the Internet. Attend conferences. Participate in local trade associations and other professional groups that will enhance your knowledge and networks.” What does any of this have to do with finding a job this week or creating a position that supports long-term job security?

Be aware of industry trends. Which industry?
Educate yourself by reading trade publications. Huh?
And conducting research on the Internet. Again, huh?
Attend conferences. “Yes, operator, I’d like to order a conference, this week, free since I have no money, and preferably within 50 miles of where I live.”
Oh, and love this one - participate in local trade associations and professional groups to enhance your knowledge and networks.

The thing is, if you are “looking for a job” this is bogus advice.

If you need to find additional income ASAP, you need 1) hot job resources. You need to know who is hiring. You also need 2) to be prepared for what a potential employer will ask from you as part of the hiring process. Does that mean you’ll need to complete a questionnaire? Does that mean you’ll need to go through three levels of interviews? And 3) you’ll need to be prepared to standout in a good way and convince an employer that you really need, and want this job -- and that you will stay in this position for at least a year.

Once you’re hired, then you can attend conferences, read trade publications, network with industry colleagues, and do all the other things to increase your knowledge of the products, trends, competitors, and customers. (These are all good things, just not for job seekers.)

A list can help you develop a step-by-step plan to get from point A to point B. And if you need a little extra help with that, Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-in-One Workbook can walk you through the process, step-by-step -- without sending you on any wild goose chases. For more information visit

Wishing you and yours a merry Christmas, happy holidays and prosperous 2009 ahead.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Adapting to Life in Between

Most people spend a good portion of time living somewhere between setting a goal and achieving that goal. For millions of people right now, that goal is finding a well-paying job that meets their other needs for a satisfying career, including: opportunity, creativity, flexibility, stability, feasibility, and longevity. We start out at point A and we head toward point B, but somehow, while we’re on the road in between, we sometimes find ourselves on detours that happen when life gets in the way of our plans.

Life in between can be inconvenient, messy, expensive and unexpected. It can also be surprising, interesting, life-altering and… unexpected, only in a really good way. Sometimes it takes walking down a path we wouldn’t have chosen, to discover that more than one path can lead to happiness and a whole new career we may have never known existed or existed for us when we drew up the original map.

There may be several things that led you to where you are today -- or maybe it was just one thing that was completely outside of your control. Perhaps you were laid off due to department cutbacks, or maybe you are one of hundreds or thousands affected by a plant closing. Or it may be that your job is safe - for now - but you’re proactively researching your options so you’re prepared if a RIF or pink slip should affect you. Some people thrive on change. You may be one of them. Or you may be among the majority of people who struggle to accept change.

You may be changing careers or fields due to an accident or an injury, or because you need increased flexibility to manage other obligations. You have your reasons and you know what they are.

There are many people who are very successful as small business owners. They appreciate the flexibility it offers and the opportunity hard work can bring. And they don’t mind the extra accounting hassles of saving receipts and taking responsibility for their own taxes. There are others who would rather make less money but have the security of a paycheck every two weeks along with the benefits that often come with working for a larger organization.

Adapting to life in between means sometimes you’ll need to do things that are outside your comfort zone to pay the bills. That may include freelancing, providing service work like landscaping or housekeeping, selling unused items online or via consignment, or starting a home business just to keep money coming in until the economy turns around.

You may be surprised to find that something you didn’t expect to enjoy turns out to be a career you later pursue with enthusiasm. Or you may simply feel good about your ability to adapt to difficult circumstances with perseverance and grace. Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons and try something outside your comfort zone in your quest to create job security.

You never know the possibilities that await you right around life’s next corner, in between where you started out and where you thought you were heading. Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-in-One Workbook is now available for $30, tax and shipping within the U.S. included, at

Monday, December 1, 2008

Desperate Times Call for Kindness – To Yourself and Others

For many years Maui has been a second home for our family. When we lived in different states, we met up in Hawaii. It was our fun, relaxing, happy place. Today, due to the economy, the kama’ainas (locals) who call Maui home are struggling like so many places around the world. And just like families struggling with mortgages that have reset at significantly higher interest rates – store owners have leases that are nearly impossible to meet. One jewelry store owner looked at storefront space on Front Street in Lahaina which was listed for $32,000 a month in rent, but opted instead for a sophisticated space costing a mere $12,000 a month in the Wharf across from the famous banyan tree.

This conversation came up after I tried and failed to negotiate a mere $5.00 off of a photograph in the weekend art fair under the banyan tree. Normally, it’s customary for a vendor to set a price, a buyer to counter and the vendor to set a new price a few dollars less. The vendor I approached was packing up for the day. He even offered to walk across the street and accept my cash (the banyan tree’s in a public park so money cannot be exchanged there) – but not for a dollar less than his original price.

So naturally, I asked the jewelry store owner about this – especially since he seemed creative and inventive in his approach to selling handmade Maui soaps at the wholesale price to get people in the door to browse the more expensive jewelry inside. He thoughtfully explained that the vendors have already discounted their goods 40% and they can’t afford to discount them further.

While I haven’t written this before, sometimes the first step in creating job security includes keeping hope alive that all things do change – and that you have the power to make positive changes in your life.

Bad economies do get better. Recovery follows rest. Just as marathon runners need rest and recovery before they get back out and train again, people need mental and spiritual recovery to tackle life’s challenges. So be kind to yourself and those you meet along life’s path. And if you live in Hawaii, and you need a great job, or you have one to advertise, check out Mahalo.

Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-In-One Workbook is available starting today from the Graduate Group for $30 at or e-mailing Coming soon, the complementary Creating Job Security Resource Guide, offering 75+ hot job online resources will be available via

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Aloha – Please Bring the Tourists Back

Nowhere do people feel the effects of a struggling economy quite like an island or state built largely on tourism. Isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2000 miles from most international airline hubs, Hawaii feels that pinch in a way unlike most U.S mainland locations.

The local shops on Front Street in Lahaina are quiet. There are no long waiting lists for reservations at all our favorite places: Hard Rock CafĂ©, Kimo’s, Longhi’s, or Bubba Gumps. The service is as great as ever and the food is still wonderful. It’s not a ghost-town; cars still line the streets. But it’s not bustling the way it has been in holidays past.

It started with Aloha going out of business and other airlines cutting back on schedules. Gas prices have come down – and that is appreciated – but a gallon of unleaded still costs $3.28. With fewer tourists dropping money on everything from postcards to rum, things are tighter here on Maui than most places for the locals. It’s not like they can drive 30 miles and find work in a different industry. A lady at a local souvenir shop shared that there are fewer service jobs and those that remain offer fewer hours.

In a non-isolated region, displaced workers using the Green Light Scoring Model™ can take a few easy steps to determine alternate careers. The local people of Hawaii have a special challenge; they’re limited in many cases by a lack of customers. Many own homes which they cannot sell or they have families they do not want to leave behind. A lot of workers across the U.S. and the world are feeling the same challenges felt here. Adapting to this environment is difficult but not impossible.

To survive this economy it’s critical for all workers to find and cultivate alternate skills and income sources. The Green Light Scoring Model can help you do exactly that.

For those who have the skills but need reliable job leads, you need a comprehensive online job resource with 75+ hot job sites that cater to job seekers by industry, executive, general, and freelance/contract or work-at-home. We’re responding with a mini guide that also includes actual corporate questionnaires you may be asked to complete when you apply for a job.

Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-In-One Workbook, published by the Graduate Group, comes out December 1. Coming soon, the Creating Job Security Resource Guide. Your pain is real. But there are solutions. They are inside you and we can help you unlock them. If you have suggestions or tips for other blog readers, please share them here and give someone else hope this week as the U.S. celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday. Someone will be thankful you did. Mahalo and aloha.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fixing the Job Market Will Take Everyone Digging In – WARNING CONTROVERSIAL

Earlier today Ted Turner was on CNN doing a junket for his new book. He was asked whose fault it is that we’re suffering through this world financial crisis. His response: “We all are.” He went on to say that the average person can only live beyond their means for so long before it catches up. Ted Turner understands what it takes to make a business profitable.

Hours ago, the Japanese government announced that the world’s second largest economy is officially now in a recession. I haven’t had a chance to call my college roommate Asano in Tokyo to ask how the slowdown is affecting Japan's job market, but I’m sure it’s affecting her like it’s affecting us all.

This may seem controversial to say – everyone wants to hear how hard we all work – but the truth is that few people outside of those whose pay is linked to the success of the business, invest in the companies we work for like we would invest in ourselves. And again controversial – unions may be among the worst offenders. Union positions are so regulated by work times, break times, paid holidays, precise duties, etc. that there’s no room for industrious employees to say, “I’ll stay until this job gets done.” [My uncle is a janitor at a public school, and he’s not even allowed to screw in a light bulb per his union contract. He has to call plant operations.] Can anyone argue that’s either productive or that it inspires someone to go the extra mile?

The only way for our economy (and by extension our job market) to get back on track is for 1) companies to cut the fat out of their budgets, 2) employee pay to be compensated in large part by performance-based commissions and/or bonuses, and 3) there to be a significant increase in the number of small businesses or employee co-ops where the compensation reflects the effort invested. It sounds harsh – especially in light of the U.S. job market where benefits are an expected extension of salary. But if Ted Turner is right – and I think we all know he is – that American’s have been living beyond our means for far too long, the only way to move away from our role as world consumers and begin producing products and services again, is to take back the power through an explosion of small business.

I’d like to hear what you think. Please consider sharing your insight with other readers by commenting today.

Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-In-One Workbook, published by The Graduate Group, will be available December 1. To order e-mail, call +1 860 233 2330, or visit them online at

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Media Not Immune to Downsizing

Journalists take a lot of heat for the way they report stories – and sometimes that heat is deserved. Most will tell you they make an effort to tell the story without bias. This week in Central Washington, 17 reporters, editors, photographers, and other staff at twolocal ABC affiliates “became the story” as management announced plans to drop one newscast entirely, outsource another to a sister market 200 miles away, and truncate the 11:00 news to just five minutes. In an economy where jobs are lost every day, the storytellers have unfortunately become the story – not due to any fault of their own.

The layoff, according to management, is the result of their expensive transition to digital. Like this medium-sized station in Central Washington, multi-national corporations and organizations all have their own “transition to digital.” The health of the economy is uncertain, consumers are tightening their belts, and there’s less money to go around. The only thing that seems to be “in excess” these days are fingers pointing at someone else.

Today, more than at any time in the past 20 years, it’s critical for people to have access to the latest tools to help them discover new opportunities and create their own job security. Reliable online staff resources can jump-start your job search. We offer more than 50 of them, sorted by industry, executive resources, general resources and work-at-home opportunities, in the 2009 edition of Creating Job Security. Some of my personal favorites include:,,, and Do you have favorites you’ve found helpful to share with those who have recently received bad news about their jobs – maybe even from the newspaper, TV or radio station where they once worked? We want to hear from you.

Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-In-One Workbook, featuring the Green Light Scoring Model for creating your ideal job right now, can now be preordered through The Graduate Group. It is available December 1. E-mail
Telephone: 860-233-2330. Visit them online:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Releasing Yourself from the Golden Handcuffs

Do you know someone who is struggling to find a job that pays the same salary they made in a previous position? Maybe it’s you who once made ten, twenty or even fifty thousand dollars more than the offers you are receiving today. It’s frustrating to balance maintaining your self-confidence and self-worth while still being weighted down by what career counselors call the “Golden Handcuffs.”

I had a career counselor tell me just this week that many of his clients feel it is “settling” to take a position that pays substantially below a position they formerly held. He disagrees. He pointed out that each job offers unique benefits. While compensation is a part of that, so is the ability to expand your field of knowledge to a new industry or field.

Job hunters seeking to create true job security, ultimately need to consider if the position provides the income, opportunity, creativity, feasibility, flexibility, stability, and longevity that meets their needs right now. Those are the keys to the Green Light Scoring Model™. To disproportionately consider income is to be tied up by golden handcuffs which may prevent you from finding a position that is otherwise ideal for you right now.

Is this downturn in the economy more of a hardship on men than on women? At a career fair in Parsippany, New Jersey – 35 minutes from Manhattan – approximately 90% of fair attendees were men, most of which described themselves as middle management. One female attendee [a former marketing VP] commented on this saying, “I think as women, we’ve learned to adjust in ways that men don’t consider, taking secretarial work temporarily or taking a part-time job to work around kids.” She added that with her husband making the primary income in the household, she didn’t have the pressure to be the family’s primary breadwinner.

In Creating Job Security, the 2009 All-In-One Workbook, due out in December 2008, readers benefits from a seven-step scoring model that empowers them to determine the ideal job right now. We’d like to hear your views. Are men suffering more than women in the current economic downturn? What advice can men give each other to help them cope while they work to determine the ideal job for them right now?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Managing Your Network of Contacts Should Be a Snap – Now It Is!

Clearly, the first step in Creating Job Security is figuring out what the ideal job for you is right now. If you are uncertain about what that is, or you’d like to explore new opportunities, the Green Light Scoring Model can help you unlock your own possibilities.

But what if you have found that idea job, and now you need to work to support that? Whether you opt to work for yourself or an outside employer, managing your network of contacts is critical.

The other day, I was talking to a highly-connected friend of mine – a producer in Hollywood whose very career is impacted by her contacts. I shared with her my post and asked her why she had not joined. She confessed it was simply a “time issue.” Being signed up on social networks elsewhere, she was hesitant to “take on” what she felt was another obligation.

For those of you who find your lives to be as busy and complicated as that of a Hollywood producer, you may want to check out It’s a free service that allows you to simultaneously update all your social networks in a snap. They are networked to both the familiar sites, and to things and places that are even new to me. Whether you have contacts on Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, Linkedin, Friendster, Myspace, Kwippy, Xanga, Bebo – or others – you can update all of them at once.

The good news is that you can update from the Web, AIM, GTalk, iGoogle, iPhone, iPod Touch, SMS, e-mail, Windows Live Messenger, WAP and Yahoo! Messenger. The bad news is that even busy Hollywood producers no longer have an excuse for avoiding keeping up-to-date with the hottest social network trends available today.

Creating Job Security – the 2009 All-In-One Workbook is coming soon. The information included in this blog post is too new to be included in the 2009 book but will be included in some capacity in the 2010 edition.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why create an annual workbook?

The challenge of creating job security can shape and color your entire view of life for a time. And if it does, you're not alone.

Many people who are normally self-motivated, energetic and experts at multitasking suddenly find themselves feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about where to begin when their financial future seems to be at risk. Maybe you were once dynamic and confident – only to suffer a career setback that shook your confidence and left you feeling defensive or at a loss for what to do next. If so, you understand what millions of people are experiencing around the world in these challenging financial times.

Often when people feel uncertain about where to begin, they simply need a structured plan that walks them step-by-step through the process of discovery. The 2009 all-in-one workbook serves as a guide that gently and carefully takes the reader through the easy steps to creating job security. While case studies absolutely have their place – and you can find them in the original Creating Job Security Through Mobility and Diversitythis workbook is for fast track readers who have a goal of Creating Job Security right now.

We’ve all been there. Whether you are looking at creating your own job security or throwing a lifeline to someone you know, the Creating Job Security workbook provides the structure, guidance and resources that can make that critical difference – all in one convenient and portable guide.

Creating Job Security: the 2009 All-in-One Workbook will be released by The Graduate Group in time for the holidays. What better gift could you give yourself or someone you care about than the gift of help in Creating Job Security in 2009 and beyond?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Are you ready to experience true job security?

It doesn't matter how many tips you receive on headhunters or work-at-home opportunities, unless you know what's right for you, at this point in your life, tips are simply random pieces of information that won't affect your life or your search for a career that meets your needs right now.

To be truly successful, you need an objective, mathematical, statistical means for determining the best possible position for you right now. The only way to achieve this is through a scoring model.

Creating Job Security: the 2009 All-In-One Workbook is coming soon. Finally, everything you need, in one easy-to-use package, to help you discover the ideal job for you right now.