5 Reasons Why You Are Still Unemployed

The Great Recession is over and while job growth is still not at the chart topping rates of the early 2000s, jobs are out there and employers are hiring.

So, why are you still unemployed? After nearly a quarter of a century of helping people to find jobs and helping employers to find talent; I realize that matching the right person with the right job is difficult.

However, as a job search candidate there are many critical variables that you can control. Here are five reasons why you might be still unemployed.

1. You refuse to relocate.

The job recovery has not come to all parts of the country. Job seekers who are willing to relocate stand a better chance of matching with an employer in search of their skills.

2. You are applying for jobs exclusively on job boards.

Less than 50% of all open jobs are posted on job boards. Job seekers with a diversified job search strategy have more options. My post How to Tap The Hidden Job Market will provide details on getting off of the job board treadmill.

3. Your friends and family are unaware that you are looking for a job.

If the Great Recession has taught us anything, there is no shame if you are unemployed. Therefore, job seekers should tell everyone they know that they are looking. Your friends and family can be your best allies; by giving you an extra set of eyes and ears for opportunities. If you’re worried about being a bother; stop it. People love to help when there is a need; especially family and friends.

4. You are ineffectively using LinkedIn.

Sure, you have a LinkedIn profile; but, is it really getting you notice by recruiters? Are you using the site to find companies and hiring managers; long lost, but influential classmates and most importantly, jobs? A LinkedIn profile must also include a comprehensive strategy to leverage the entire tool to get you notice; and find the people that can lead you to the job of your dreams. My blog How to Get Noticed on LinkedIn is a great read as you start developing a LinkedIn job search strategy.

5. You are not networking

A U.S. Department of Labor study confirmed that a staggering 80% of all jobs are acquired via networking. Networking is the key to finding a job. Personal face to face networking and follow-up is the number one skill I teach my job search clients. I believe in networking and the power that it can bring to the job search. I have written extensively about networking.

Here are some posts that will turn you into the kind of networker that can find a job:

How To Network With LinkedIn

How to use LinkedIn to Build A Great Network,

The 10 Best Places for Career Networking

Fortune Favors the Prepared Networker

Thought Leadership

Final Thoughts: You Will Be Employed

Believe me. I have been unemployed and I know what it is like to mount a job search. The discouragement, uncertainty and lack of income can be overwhelming. However, I also know that no matter how long you have been unemployed, you can find a job. If you are guilty of one or more of the items listed in this post take heart. You can turn it around in an instant. How? A little understood fact about the job search process is that the candidate is really the one in charge. You can make it happen, and with God’s grace and mercy you will find a job.

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

Derek Jeter: Where Fantasy Meets Reality

Giving Us The Best That He’s Got

He never led his league in batting,

He never was the Most Valuable Player of his league

And He was never considered the best at his position.

However, he was……

A Winner

5 times a World Champion

An Icon

20 years as a New York Yankee, playing more games and amassing more hits than anyone in franchise history.

The Captain

A certain first ballot hall of famer

And today Derek Jeter will put on the Yankee uniform and play in his 2,747th and final regular-season game.

Ironically that final game will be in Boston against the Yankee’s most hated rival the Red Sox. Normally Red Sox fans are brutal on opposing players. However, this weekend they have displayed the ultimate respect for the Yankee shortstop as they recognize Jeter as having been a worthy adversary for the past 20 years.

While I will never forget how Derek Jeter and his Yankees spoiled the title hopes of my beloved Atlanta Braves in 1996 and 1999. As a fan and a student of the game I am impressed by the clear, compelling and classy way he played baseball. Moreover, in an era of performance enhancing drugs and other evils Jeter was a model citizen. He wrote the book on how athletes should act on and off the field. What makes this feat even more impressive he did it all in the most challenging and rewarding place to play in the world, New York City.

Sure, he was never the best, but he was always the best in the biggest moments. No better example was on Thursday night when in final at bat in Yankee pinstripes Jeter, delivered the game winning hit.

Yankee play by play announcer Michael Kay summed up the moment so well “Derek Jeter where fantasy meets reality.” However, the reality of today is that this is Derek Jeter’s last day as a big league player.

Nevertheless, this should not be a day of sadness because of the ending of a career rather it should be and will be a celebration of passion, persistence, and performance. For twenty seasons Derek Jeter has done what all of us hope to do with our faith, our families and our futures – give it the best that we have.

And today in Boston, the New Yorker will give the best that he has one last time.

Gossip

The word gossip translated into Hebrew is defined as “one who reveals secrets; one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger.”

Paul in Romans 1:29-32 reveals the sinful nature and lawlessness of mankind; stating how God poured out His wrath on those who rejected His laws.

Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness and sin, of greed and hate, envy, murder, fighting, lying, bitterness, and gossip.

…..They were fully aware of God’s death penalty for these crimes; yet, they went right ahead and did them anyway and encouraged others to do them, too.

Despite God’s warnings, Christians are plagued by gossip either by hearing it, speaking it, or being a victim of it.

Gossip is dangerous to Christians. While in worship, we are honest and tender with each other. During these vulnerable moments, we share the raw details of our lives. Gossipers, will use the tender information that was shared and reveal it to others. These intimate items should not be shared. It’s no one’s business!

The reputation of Christians, especially those who are in leadership is ripe for the gossip mill.   Sadly, I have experienced the grinding assaults firsthand; when unbelievable things were said about my character. Yet they, found eager ears to rest upon and spread.

However, Jesus does not want us to feel sorry for ourselves when we are the center of gossip.   As he said in Luke 9:23, “Anyone who wants to follow me must put aside his own desires and conveniences and carry his cross with him every day and keep close to me!

Therefore, while God despises gossip; He also has great disdain for those of us who cannot put aside our “own desires and conveniences”. For as Jesus demands…. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.

So take up your cross and do not gossip. Don’t speak it or hear it. Refrain from all participation of this weak minded act. Yes! Only a weak minded person can be persuaded to victimize another Christian with unproven chatter. Remember, when you become a victim of gossip (and one day you most likely will be); know that God has your back.

All Christians, should find peace in knowing, it is only God’s reputation that truly counts and it is stellar. It is never about us. The only judgment that counts is from The Lord and if we are living right and keeping His commands all the Gossip in the world that is spread about us does not matter.

Because the only words that matter is: “Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant.”  

 

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a business strategist, professional speaker, and thought leader. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

You Are Important to God

As humans, we are in a constant search for importance. The desire to feel important is primal. The feelings of importance can help keep us stay on the straight and narrow to do the ordinary. The feelings of importance can give us the power and confidence to do the extraordinary.   In all of life’s enterprises, we need to feel important.

What makes you feel important?                                                                           

Research has shown that there are many things that make us feel important. Here is a list of some of the things that bring importance to our lives.

  • Health
  • Work (your position, your profession and the money made as a result)
  • Food
  • Faith
  • Money (and the things it can buy)
  • Family (including children)
  • Sexual Gratification
  • Education
  • Sleep

You are important to God

While it may be hard to fathom, we are important to our all-powerful, all knowing, all important God. But…why? Why would God, who is everything, believe that an inadequate, insignificant, and incorrigible individual like me is important?

Well, the prophet Isaiah tell us: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”   Isaiah 55:8

The Bible gives us several examples why God believe we are important. Here are a few more scriptures for you to hold close to your heart if you doubt God’s thoughts about your importance.

You Are Important To God:

  1. So, He created you in His image.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27

You are God’s highest creation. Unlike any of the other things He made, God made you to look like Him.

2. Therefore, He cares for you and knows all about you.

 “Aren’t two sparrows sold for only a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. Even the hairs on your head are counted. 31 So don’t be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31Contemporary English Version (CEV)

God thinks that we are so important that He providentially cares for our needs. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

3. He gave his only son to die for your sins.

 God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. John 3:16 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

As Romans 3:23 tells us we are all lost and in need of salvation, God sent His son to Earth to save us because He know “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Let’s get our importance from God

In this world it is sometimes easy for us to think that no one cares about us. That we are not important, and that our lives do not matter. However, always remember, we are important to God:

Because He made us in his own image,

  • Because He knows all about us
  • Because He sent Jesus to die for our sins

Our importance in life does not come from material or social status our importance in this life and the hereafter comes from God. So get to know God, become His friend, give Him your life and watch your importance grow….. Why?. Because we are important to God.

 

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

How To Fall In Love With Your Job

Gainful employment permeates so much of our lives.

Jobs are a source of income.

Jobs provide opportunities to use our talents and skills.

Jobs give our lives stability and purpose.

Despite the importance of our jobs, many of us are frustrated, unfulfilled and sick of our employers and the work we do. Curtesy of the “Great Recession” a lot of us are stuck in jobs that we don’t like. Doomed to 8-10 hours every day of underperforming work.

Steve Jobs was right when he said: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

So how will you know when you have founded a job that you love? Here are two questions to consider:

  •  Do you love your job?
  • Can you fall in love with your job?

If you answered “no” to one or both of the questions? Then, let me propose some ideas that may help spice up the romance.

1. Lead with your Strengths

Knowing, understanding and leveraging what you do well, will lead to more successful outcomes. Those successful outcomes will bring the respect, reward, and remuneration that can power up love for the job. Don’t know your strengths? Go to www.strengthfinders.com to start on your path of discovery.

2. Fall in Love with the Boss

 Bosses come in all shapes, sizes and colors; but, they all need one thing…support, help, and love from you. Your boss plays a critical role in your job. You need love from the boss for your success. Therefore, complete the circle by loving your boss!   Find some falling in love tips, by reading my post Are You Leading Your Boss?

3. Turn Your Hopes and Dreams into Goals

We all fall in love with our hopes and dreams. However, these wishes remain fantasies until we set goals and put some muscles behind them. Establishing a goal using SMART or other criteria can make the impossible, possible.   We all love it when a plan comes together or dreams come true? For more about the power of Goal Setting read my post Make Your Dreams Larger Than Your Memories.

4. Love to Learn  

 Being a lifelong learner provides platforms for exploring new applications and approaches; while making room for personal improvements. Check out Fred Pryor Seminars and Toastmasters two groups that have had a big impact on my lifelong love affair with learning.

5. Become a Go to Person

 “Red” played by Morgan Freeman in the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” is beloved by both prisoners and guards; because of his ability to, as he put it “Get you things”. Yes, loving your job is about your strengths, your boss, goal setting and learning. However, you can never truly love your job unless you love and care for the people you work with too. Becoming a “Go to Person” by being willing to share your knowledge, resources, time and talents will create waves and streams of love greater than any you could imagine. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a timeless primer on how to get along. I read it again this summer and found new nuggets for my business and life.

Final Thoughts: Love is the Answer

Loving your job may seem out of step with the 21st Century business world; where profit, stock price and market share rule. However, love is timeless and will provide ventures far richer than money for scripture tells us:

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8Living Bible (TLB)

This is how I do business; and I hope you will do business that way as well. Loving people and loving our jobs.

©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

 

 

5 Personal Branding Strategies from Joan Rivers

The career of Joan Rivers is a remarkable study in modern personal branding. The comedy icon was more than a performer. She became a brand with a savvy understanding of her audience, comedy, and the market place.

Ever the marketer Joan developed a personal brand that allowed her to master a tricky dance. Making fun of the fashion industry; while at the same time making millions from selling her own brand of fashion!

With her passing let’s look at some of the personal branding strategies that powered the remarkable career of Joan Rivers.

1. Think and Act Big

The hair was big. Her jokes were big. The controversy of her life and now her death was big. Everything Joan involved herself in, she thought and acted big.

However, acting big for Joan was not an act; it was a strategy. Thinking ahead and acting big was the formula for her survival and the platform of her success. Comedy, was a man’s world when Joan started in the 60s, she had to think and act big to get the attention, laughs and work in what is still a male dominated profession.

Half a century later, that thinking and acting big made Joan the first woman to have her own late-night talk show on a major network; a bestselling author publishing nearly 20 books, and the first female comic to play Carnegie Hall. Along with the attention and the laughs, Joan Rivers got work; lots of work. In fact, she was still in demand performing big and thinking big until the end.

Joan’s strategy: Your results are only as big as you think and act.

2. Have an Opinion

Joan Rivers knew that her audience wanted to hear opinions and she gave the people what they wanted. With her brassy style nothing was immune from her comedic attack. Joan made a career out of saying the things that all of us were thinking; but, did not have the courage to say. And with the boldness of her opinions Joan elevated herself from just another comic to America’s voice for topical humor.

Joan’s strategy: Your opinions have value; use them to create value for yourself.

3. Develop a signature expertise

Satirical humor making jokes about her own life; while making fun of the lives of celebrities and public figures was the stock and trade of Joan Rivers.

As reported in Wikipedia “Joan’s tough-talking style of satirical humor was both praised and criticized as being truthful; yet, too personal, too gossipy, and very often abrasive.” The Wikipedia post concludes by saying; “Nonetheless, with her ability to “tell it like it is,” Joan became a pioneer of contemporary stand-up comedy.”

During her 55-year career as a comedian, Joan reinvented herself many times, going from a standup comic, to an actor, talk show host, and fashion critic. However, her signature expertise of satirical humor remained at the center of all of her personas; and it has proven to serve her well over the years.

Joan’s strategy: Develop a signature expertise and use it again and again to reinvent yourself to stay relevant.  

4. Form Collaborations

Despite her highly publicized blowout with Jonny Carson, Joan established an excellent reputation for “playing well in the sand box”. She formed successful collaborations with the likes of Barbra Streisand, Carol Burnett, and Ed Sullivan. Of more significance were the collaborations she made in the business world with QVC, the TV Guide Network and E!

However, her greatest and best collaboration was with her daughter Melissa. Always the proud mother Joan shamelessly brought her only child into the family business of fashion, comedy and reinvention. The relationship between two was so seamless that often it defies the traditional mother daughter the world knew them as a team; in addition to mother and daughter.

Joan’s strategy: You can go a long way with the help from your friends and family.

5. Leverage your strengths

The success of Joan Rivers can be attributed to how she leveraged four key strengths:

  • Intelligence – Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Barnard College
  • Courage – Fearless in satirizing the lives of celebrities, public figures and herself
  • Business Savvy – Taking comedy beyond the stage to books, fashion, and QVC.
  • Longevity – 55 years in show business and relevant to the end

Joan’s strategy: Know what you are good at and play it to the hilt.

Final Thoughts

Either by design or by coincidence, Joan Rivers developed a remarkable and successful personal brand. While our results may vary, we too can and must brand ourselves for success. Joan would expect no less from us.

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©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace.

Anger, Violence and Ray Rice

Developments in the Ray Rice domestic violence case has taken a radical change with the release of a video showing the actual act of violence between Rice and his then fiancée, Janay Palmer.

The video vividly proves that domestic violence is a hurtful, senseless act. Anger and violence are fundamental parts of the human condition. From the murder of Able to the crucifixion of Jesus, we learn that violence is the direct result of anger. However, it is never right for a man to hit a woman.

While the Bible is filled with anger and violence by no means does God condones it. Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20 English Standard Version

Controlling our anger is the key to controlling violence. God commands us to do so when we are told to love thy neighbor as thyself. Mark 12:13.

Godly Tips for Controlling Anger

We serve a wonderful God. He never commands us to do anything without guidance.  

 God’s Guidance in Scripture:

 1. Anger Is Not Sin

Many of us have been taught that anger is sin. Therefore, we feel “sinful” when we are angry. Paul stated it clearly when he said, “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). The challenge is not “Don’t get angry;” but, the challenge is not to sin when we are angry.
 

2. Deal With Your Unresolved Anger

….let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak [and] slow to anger for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

Unresolved anger makes it impossible to do God’s work. Anger from the past must be acknowledged and confessed. He is a God of peace. Apologies for silent or open anger must be made.

3. Replace Anger With Acts Of Kindness

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31

Peace and fullness of love will not be activated unless we replace our angry spirit with a loving, peaceful spirit. We must not focus on what we should not do. The focus should be on what God want us to do. Be practical. Write down a few things you can do for that friend you have wounded or that person with whom you’re angry.

Regulate your conversation by polite statements and well-intentioned motives. Example: “I will not interrupt another person while they are speaking. I will wait for them to finish what they are saying before I speak.”

Final Thoughts – The Redemption of Ray Rice

The future does not look bright for Ray Rice. He is now unemployed, suspended from gaining new employment in the NFL and the embarrassing, heinous act of his participation in domestic violence is online for the world to see. Ray Rice, once the toast of the NFL, is now disgraced.     In denying Jesus, Peter committed a heinous act for all the world to see. A disciple who heard the teachings of Jesus firsthand and had vowed to follow him until the end was disgraced.

However, within the depths of Peter’s disgrace there was redemption. Jesus redeemed Peter prior to the actual heinous act by telling him: “But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Peter that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 New Living Translation (NLT) Jesus knew what Peter was going to face. So, He gave him guidance to ensure that Peter would know how to return to his faith and then, be qualified to help someone else when they fail.

While Ray Rice may never play again in the NFL; he can, like Peter, play on God’s team. Jesus ensured Ray’s place and our place on the team by enduring the anger and the violence of the cross.

If we accept and follow God’s guidance we will be able to get through the anger and the violence. What’s waiting for us on the side? Love! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)

Welcome to the team Ray! Coach Jesus has your playbook!