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As I described in my last blog post, many people do their job searches by doing the equivalent to sending bulk mail to the four corners of the universe, and hoping somebody offers them a job. In this newer, tougher job market, you are more likely to be in a crowded group of all the other people throwing their resumes into a pile for a hiring manager to review. Everyone looks pretty much the same when they are in those piles so I recommend that you choose which place you want to be so you have the time to know what those hiring managers want and you can then shine like a diamond in those places.

So, here are some things to think about when you are trying to narrow down where you want to be:

  1. What are the industries that interest you ( or at least don’t repel you): We all know that there are cultures to different industries and each if us is going to be more comfortable in some than in others. A biology lab will have a very different feel than a hotel catering office.  Choose which are the industries that are most interesting to you and you think will be the best culture fit for you. (A key indicator of this is what I call the “Ooh! Shiny!” affect. If you look at it and it piques your interest, chances are there is something about it that will make you want to work there).
  2. Where do you want to work: If you ate currently in a place where you can’t relocate, you probably know how long a commute you are willing to consider.  If you can move, you probably know which cities/states/countries really interest you. Whichever it is, look at a map and draw a line around the actual area that you would be willing to go to.
  3. What’s the overlap: Now, using your research skills (and if you don’t have any, ask a librarian),  find all the employers in the industries you are interested that have offices in the locations that you’ve indicated. You should be able to find 30-50 companies. If you find fewer, it might be a more difficult time, but then you have to know these particular companies and employers better, since they should know you before the job even opens up.

So, have you done your homework and know the places you want to work for?


Spring has truly arrived in New England. Just this week, most of the trees burst out with buds, leaves, and best of all, flowers. In my walks on Boston’s Public Garden, I get to smell the flowering dogwoods (at least I think that’s the name of that tree!) and the scent is amazing. We’ve had a tough winter here, so we are all looking so forward to having nice weather.

In this area, it’s also the time when colleges unleash another batch of graduates from their studies. Most of these students have never had to look for a job, and they do the one thing that is easiest to do and that worked for their parents: send our a lot of resumes. It’s also the time when these same people fret that no one is getting back to them and giving them a job.

Looking for a job is a marketing campaign and you are the product. You need to identify who are the people who might hire you and let them know of your qualifications and give them enough context of your background to feel like you’re not hell on wheels to work with. Sending resumes is one way to do it, but not the only way (and not even the best way).  If a company was trying to introduce a product and the only thing they dis was to send out mailings to every person possible, they probably wouldn’t get a great response. It’s not surprising that job searchers don’t get different results with the same tactics.

So, what do you do then?  Well, what are some other ways to let people know that you’re great?  First you need to know which people need to know. This might sound obvious, but it’s the biggest mistake I find job seekers making. When I ask them where the want a job, the commonest answer is “anywhere”. just like bulk mail, if you are spreading yourself too thin, you’re not likely to find your target.

Note:  My next post will be about identifying your targets, so subscribe to the blog to find out when I post that.

So, do you know who needs to know how great you are?

I don’t normally put in a post just to refer to another blog post, but the post at Marc and Angel Hack Life: Practical Tips for Productive Living on 50 Things You Need To Give Up Today is just brilliant.  I wish I had said it before them, but it’s just great.

I didn’t know they’re site, but browsing through it looks like it’s got a lot to offer!

Spring is finally coming to the Boston area. I’m still wearing a few layers (especially on a rainy day like today) but there have been enough days where warmth has shown itself to let me know that winter’s days are almost gone. The flowers are blooming, and the trees are budding out and flowering. It’s the time to come out of hibernation and know that we can start stretching ourselves.

It’s also time to pick up things that have dropped by the wayside. I had a lovely dinner last week with Zach Blurton, who has a great blog at pro(zach)nation, and he was mentioning to me that he noticed that I haven’t been blogging much lately and that he misses seeing what I have to write. Zach is a fantastic creative non-fiction type of blogger and I really wish that I could turn a phrase like he does, but he stated that he likes that I write about more “substantial” stuff, while he feels like he’s writing fluff. Just goes to show that you don’t always appreciate what you have to offer.

Anyway, I’ve been busy with a lot of craziness this Spring with traveling and other activities, which I’ve let get in the way of my writing. Just like anything else in life, you just have to get up again and do what you need to do. Consider this one more restart for me. Now, the issue is to keep it going!

So, what do you need to restart in your life?

To all my loyal readers and to my inner conscious: I’m sorry. It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted here, and it’s been something’s that’s been gnawing on me for quite a while. I know that it’s something I enjoy and helps me to keep focused in the world, but I’ve been avoiding it. Every since I got back from my vacation in Florida (warm weather! Yay!), I’ve been out of sorts with my routines. I haven’t been meditating as often and I’ve felt like I’m not in as much control.

Part of this comes from guilt. I know that my plans have been to do this, but it didn’t happen and then the guilt keeps me from looking at it for a while. I don’t want to be reminded that I let myself (and my adoring fans who wait on my every erudite word) down. When I get caught up in that crazy sort of thinking, nothing gets done.

I like to say that I’m a firm believer in reality. So, I didn’t get a blog post written. Maybe I’ve just been tied and didn’t have much to say. Maybe I needed the mind space to deal with something else in life. Whatever it is, I can’t keep myself down because I didn’t live up to my standards. I can only try again.

I find that a ritual of doing things all the time work for me when those ritualistic activities are ones that I’ve chosen that serve my higher purpose.

So, what rituals serve you?

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

I am a career consultant who specializes in the connection between what your spirit wants to do in the world, and how to marry that to the work that you do in order to support yourself. While I work with people in all fields, I specialize in working with "creative entrepreneurs" and the LGBT community.

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