Build the Career of Your Dreams!


TCB Report: No Company Wants to Be a Stepping Stone

TCBReport TCB Report: No Company Wants to Be a Stepping StoneOne of the sure-fire ways NOT to get a job is to create the illusion in your potential employer’s mind that you are using the position as a stepping stone toward a more meaningful position with another firm.  No one wants to put the time, effort, and money into training someone only to have that person take off at the first opportunity. 

While it may be true that you have your sights set on a lofty position much higher up the corporate totem pole, your interviewer can’t see you as a threat to his position or as a quick change artist.  The key to navigating through this mine field is RESEARCH.    
Learn about the company.  

1. What products does the company make?

I once interviewed a potential employee and asked her, “What do we do here?”  She had no clue but wanted a J-O-B.  Didn’t get one.

2. What does the community think about the company and the people who work there? 

What a great answer to have to the question, “Why do you want to work here?”  “People in this community believe this is a great place to work.  People are treated fairly and  the company does so much for their kids.  I want to be a part of it.”

3. How long has the company been in existence?

“This organization has been making thing-a-ma-jigs for 87 years.  It plans to be around for many more years to come.  I want to be a part of that future.” or  “This organization  has been making thing-a-ma-jigs for three years.  I believe that it will have a bright future and I want to be a part of that.”

Be confident, not arrogant.  Be eager, not desperate.  Be kind and understanding, not condescending.  
Remember---You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Good Luck!
P.S.  Got a question or a problem, email me.  If I can help you out, I will.  I will maintain your confidentiality.

From the Author:

I am a life long learner, with decades of experience and wisdom to share.  I am here to help, field questions and stimulate discussion.  Comment on my posts and I will reply promptly.

-Thomas C. Barry
Career and Education Correspondent for


Motivational Quote: Theodore Roosevelt “The Man in the Arena”

Theodore Roosevelt Motivational Quote: Theodore Roosevelt The Man in the Arena

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

-Theodore Roosevelt

(October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) Was the 26th President of the United States. He is noted for his energetic personality, range of interests and achievements, leadership of the Progressive Movement, and his "cowboy" image and robust masculinity.


TCB Report: When Should You Start Looking for a New Job?

TCBReport TCB Report: When Should You Start Looking for a New Job?Those of us who are employed live in perilous times. What seems like a “Dream Job” can quickly sour or disappear in the blink of an eye. While I remain hopeful for you that your position will remain stable and continue to give you the challenges and rewards that you desire and deserve, I am doubtful that this will remain the case and that you will retire from that wonderful job. Therefore it behooves me to encourage you to heed the following advice.

First of all, the best time to look for a new, better, more challenging and financially rewarding position is when things are going well. You are on your game and everyone loves you. Co-workers are on your side and your boss adores you. Getting references is not a problem and you don’t have to answer the potentially embarrassing question, “Why did you leave your last position?”

Secondly, keep you resume current and up to date. Get periodic letters of reference. If things do go south for you after you check out a position or two, you have the proof that things were great until they heard that you might be “looking”.

Thirdly, place any letters of commendation or news articles in which you are identified (positive articles) in an addendum folder. When you get an interview, you can hand the folder over to your perspective new employer. Its not part of your resume, but it shows that you are no joke.

Good luck to you and be ready for the next Big Thing!


From the Author:

I am a life long learner, with decades of experience and wisdom to share.  I am here to help, field questions and stimulate discussion.  Comment on my posts and I will reply promptly.

-Thomas C. Barry
Career and Education Correspondent for


Improve Your Presentation Skills

public speaking Improve Your Presentation SkillsFear of public speaking is right up there with a fear of heights. A whole lot of people don't relish the chance at speaking in front of a large crowd. Even giving a presentation in front of a relatively small group can be a harrowing experience---especially if it's a very important presentation: something that will lead to funding, a job, or promotion.

Stage fright can be debilitating. Your heart races, you pour with sweat, and your thoughts become muddled with anxiety. It can make public speaking absolutely impossible. There are pharmaceutical drugs available, but if you don't want to go that route, there are natural ways to tackle stage fright as well.

Stage fright occurs from a mixture of adrenaline and testosterone---the fight or flight mechanism going overboard. Simple relaxation techniques, such as visualizing a calm place while taking deep breaths, can be effective. You should also visualize success. Part of the tension associated with stage fright is thinking, over and over again, I'm going to fail, I'm going to make a fool out of myself. Visualizing that you will succeed is effective: the power of positive thinking.

Giving a Successful Presentation

Just because you're not nervous does not mean you will give a successful presentation. There is a lot more that goes into a good presentation than overcoming stage fright. Preparation is key, as is practice. Actually, they go hand in hand. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be, and the more this will curb your nervousness.

Think of a presentation like a spoken essay. In a successful essay, the writer will begin with a topic sentence---outlining the theme for the entire essay. Each paragraph will have a specific focus, using examples to prove the thesis. A presentation needs to be this clear---it needs a focused outline in which each presentation point builds on the one before it.

It is recommended that you have a dress rehearsal of the presentation beforehand---ideally to colleagues who understand the subject. They may have suggestions about how you can improve the presentation, by elucidating on certain topics, using more visual examples, or rewriting certain elements.

Enunciation and pronunciation are also extremely important. You could have drafted a very concise and well-conceived presentation, but it all comes down to, well, the presentation. If you don't speak clearly, the meaning of your message will be lost. Practicing the presentation beforehand will ensure that you don't miss important cues.

In some sense, giving a presentation is something like being an actor---a tough ride for someone who's never acted a day in his or her life. Putting emphasis on different words in a sentence can drastically alter the sentences meaning and importance. Practicing a presentation beforehand will help ensure that you get the most of every sentence in the presentation.


Motivational Quote: Dale Carnegie “Kept on Trying”

dale carnegie Motivational Quote: Dale Carnegie Kept on Trying"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."

Dale Carnegie

(November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) An American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking and interpersonal skills.


TCB Report: The Importance of the Resume

TCBReport TCB Report: The Importance of the ResumeMost positions, above the minimum wage level, will require you to submit a resume in order to be considered for the position.  I have received up to 300 resumes for a single opening.  Resumes are first used as a way to weed out unlikely candidates.  Believe it or not, the "No thank you" pile was first created with resumes that had spelling errors and/or appeared sloppy in appearance. 

Next, we looked for those resumes that were not a near perfect fit for the advertised opening and added them to the stack. Those resumes that made the first cut were then scrutinized for reasons to interview the candidate.  Things we looked for included: Education, additional training, community  involvement, life experiences, and anything else that might indicate that this is an outstanding candidate. We knew that we wanted to interview at least five and no more that ten candidates.  So what ever we had to do to get to a workable number, we did it. 

I am sure that we lost some very good candidates over the years using this method, but the ones selected to be interviewed were good candidates as well. The purpose of the resume is to get you to the interview stage of the hiring process.  If you are serious about wanting that interview, your resume must:

  1. Be neat and clean
  2. Be well written
  3. Emphasis your strengths as they relate to the job description
  4. Detail your employment (educational) history
  5. Include experiences that made you a better person (military, volunteering, service orgs.)
  6. Have a cover letter that states why you would love to work for this company and why you would be a perfect fit
  7. Kept it three pages or less

Good Luck! -TCB

From the Author:

I am a life long learner, with decades of experience and wisdom to share.  I am here to help, field questions and stimulate discussion.  Comment on my posts and I will reply promptly.

-Thomas C. Barry
Career and Education Correspondent for


Taking the Plunge: Are You Ready for the Career You Have Always Wanted?

sb147 Taking the Plunge: Are You Ready for the Career You Have Always Wanted?Many people dream of different kinds of lives, different kinds of jobs. Think about it. A full-time job takes up at least 40 hours of every week of your job. Many people who work full-time jobs actually find them selves pulling 60 and 70 hour work weeks. If you are in a job that you feel no passion for - or worse, that you actually dislike - then it is time to make a change. Depending on what you really want to do with your life, you may be able to completely change your professional life within a matter of months.

Before you get ready for a big professional change, however, it is important to decide if you are really ready for the change. Are you ready to pay for additional education or training to take the next step in your career? Or, are you comfortable with taking out a loan? Can you take the necessary time to prepare for your new position? These are all factors that are very important to take into consideration.

If you feel that you have most of the training and experience that you need, then you need to plan a good exit plan to get out of your new job and begin a thorough and aggressive job search. It is best, of course, to secure a new position before handing in your resignation. It can take a while to land the perfect job and you don't want to go too long between paychecks.

Searching for a great new job takes both persistence and patience. Make sure that you are using all applicable job search engines and making the most of all of your professional contacts in order to find out about what jobs are on the market. One great way to expand your job search is to look at positions that are open in other cities. If you can relocate, then this is a great way find great opportunities .

Once you have identified a job that you are interested in, be sure to follow the application procedures exactly as your prospective employer outlines them. Make sure that you are fully prepared for your interview and send a note of thanks afterwards. Don't be disheartened if you do not land the job of your dreams on the first try. Preparing for a professional life that you love and feel satisfied with takes patience and a strong belief in yourself.


Motovational Quote: Lee Iacocca “Waiting for Prosperity”

011 iacoccatopsalesman Motovational Quote: Lee Iacocca Waiting for Prosperity"The trick is to make sure you don’t die waiting for prosperity to come."

-Lee Iacocca

(Born October 15, 1924) An American businessman known for his revival of the Chrysler Corporation in the 1980s,[1] serving as President and CEO from 1978 and additionally as chairman from 1979, until his retirement at the end of 1992. One of the most famous business people in the world, he was a passionate advocate of U.S. business exports during the 1980s.


Not Happy with Your Job? Make Some Moves: Your Career Makeover Guide

08.18.10 Career Makeover Strategy Increase Your Visibility at Work1 Not Happy with Your Job?  Make Some Moves: Your Career Makeover GuideWhat is a Career Makeover?

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Are you ready to make a few changes in your life? If so, you might be ready for a career makeover. A career makeover can refresh your professional outlook, invigorate your career, or give you’re the confidence to explore the job market to find a more fulfilling career.

What is a career makeover? A career makeover involves revamping your outlook, job skills, and career goals to improve your existing job or give you the qualifications and motivation to search for a better job. An effective career makeover begins by making a complete assessment of your current job, expertise, and career goals.

Reasons to Try a Career Makeover

1. You’ve outgrown your current position.

Maybe your skills and qualifications have changed since you started your current job, or maybe your job is no longer compatible with your lifestyle and goals. Either way, a career makeover can match your job to your experience, training, and talents. If you have completed further education, received specialized training or certification, or have gained substantial experience in your field, you are a perfect candidate for a career makeover.

2. You want to advance to a different position.

Do you ever feel like your career opportunities are at a standstill? A career makeover is the perfect opportunity to boost your job status and advance into a more desirable position. Many people stay with their current jobs due to a fear of failure, but a career makeover can give you the confidence, knowledge, and motivation to finally make that leap toward a more fulfilling job.

3. You want a job with better benefits/salary/location/schedule.

A career makeover can also help you if your current job does not match your needs in terms of benefits, salary, location, and schedule. Most job seekers know that salary isn’t everything, but considering these factors now can help you recognize great job opportunities and avoid unfavorable ones. If you have specific needs for health benefits, retirement, job location, or family-related issues, you need to consider how these factors will influence your career choice.

How to Achieve a Career Makeover

1. Assess your goals.

Make a list of the things that are important to you. Do you need to express yourself creatively at work? Do you need a job that provides stability? Look for similarities on your list. Are there any patterns or parallels among the items you listed? Try to think of ways that these goals and needs might affect your choice of career. The first step in finding your dream job is to discover what drives you, fuels your passions, and fulfills your sense of purpose.

2. Boost your credentials.

Ask your current employer if they offer tuition reimbursement for continued education. If not, obtain a copy of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for government grants or student loans. Many community colleges, technical schools, and universities offer workforce-training courses that could help your career makeover. Which courses should you take? Look for classes that offer certification in your field or those that can improve your job skills, such as English, accounting, or management courses.

3. Increase your career network.

Networking can be the single-most important step of your career makeover. Career contacts can offer mentoring, advice, and leads on job opportunities. Who should be part of your career network? Your network can include friends, family, current coworkers, former employers and coworkers, and more.

4. Update your professional image.

While you only get one chance to make a first impression, the image you project each day can have a major impact on your career. Your professional image involves far more than mere outward appearance, although you should always strive to look your best. Your professional image also includes your communication style, nonverbal signals, leadership qualities, and projected confidence. How do you measure up? Take note of the areas where you are strongest, but also consider the areas where you could make improvements.

What Can a Career Makeover Do for Me?

1. Improve your job marketability.

Today’s job market is becoming increasingly competitive, so it is absolutely vital that you maintain an edge over the competition. A career makeover will help you discover your strengths, update your job credentials, and give you the professional image to make you a desirable to employers and hiring committees.

2. Increase your network.

A strong career network is more important than ever. Building contacts with potential mentors can give you an important edge over other potential candidates.

3. Enhance your resume.

After you have completed your career makeover, your resume will need an update as well. Prepare a standard resume that showcases your unique strengths and talents, details your accomplishments and credentials, and highlights your experience. Now, as you approach each potential employer, tailor your resume to showcase how your goals and abilities would be an asset to the company.


Motivational Quote: Jack Welch “Control Your Own Destiny”

jack welch Motivational Quote: Jack Welch Control Your Own Destiny"Control your own destiny or someone else will."

-Jack Welch

(Born November 19, 1935) An American businessman and author. He was Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001.  Welch's net worth is estimated at $720 million.

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