August 2009 Newsletter

Daisy Swan & Associates – August 2009 Newsletter

Hello Readers,

At this writing, I’m taking my inspiration from Jim Collins, an individual and author I respect and admire. The other night, I watched Charlie Rose’s interview with Jim, in which they discussed his latest book, “How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In”. Fascinated, I rushed to pick up a copy of the book the next day. This book, in my estimation, turns out not to be just about business, but also about life – with a title like that, how could it not be? Here’s Collins’ back book jacket quote: “Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you.”

I know that the wisdom of this quote, for many of you reading this, is old news. But truly, who in this new world with which we find ourselves coping, isn’t reeling from some form of anxiety? I find it helpful to continuously look for inspiration, useful information, and ways to encourage and incorporate new insights. Actually, I recently stumbled upon some notes that I wrote five years ago, which re-ignited my passions and interests in the work that I do. How fortuitous! If we’ve ever worked together, you know that I am always encouraging curiosity and learning. Now, more than ever.

So back to Jim Collins’ book: While I won’t ‘give away the goods’, he discusses the five stages that take down a great company. The first stage is hubris, ‘excessive pride that brings down a hero’. What often comes with hubris, is a level of complacency. I’ve seen this complacency and I think it sometimes looks like boredom or ennui. I blogged about boredom a couple of years ago when so many of my clients were realizing that they really weren’t getting or going anywhere in their jobs. They were ready for more challenge and for many that meant learning new ways of being and doing.

The challenge of today’s world, it seems, is not what most of us had in mind, but it sure does give us an opportunity to turn on the creativity and find new solutions. If this Great Recession isn’t having that impact on you, I encourage you to pick up some books (a Kindle, if you must) that are out of your comfort zone, watch some TV that is out of your ordinary lineup, or take a trip to a museum or forest you haven’t been to in a while. Inspiration is available to all of us, all of the time, but we have to be able to see it. These days, being able to see anew is crucial for those searching for work, but also – clearly – for those who aren’t.

This is also an important time to take a good look at yourself (a nod to Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”), and how you’re prepared to talk about yourself and your gifts…what makes you the person/employee/founder/partner that you are? My clients who have scored in job interviews have relentlessly prepared. Sadly, but honestly, some of those who have not been offered the job, have learned so much about themselves and what they have to offer through their preparation, that their self-esteem actually increased regardless of the outcome of the interview.

We want you to shine from the inside out and be so right for the job you want, that it’s practically impossible for someone to turn you down. Being that person takes a lot of work. And hard work, it turns out, is an important underpinning of the winning underdog (a nod to Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece). And these days, who doesn’t feel like some sort of an underdog?

I’m certainly not all about hard work and no play – although I do take my work, curiosity and learning pretty seriously. In fact, those of you who’ve been in any of our Job Search & Networking Groups know that balance is a huge part (not ‘party’) of what we discuss.

So here’s my segue: We’re offering another new Job Search & Networking Group beginning September 9th, at 7:00 PM. We offer these support groups for people who want to be proactive as they move forward with their career transition and job search. These groups are a place where we expand our perspective and listen to others we wouldn’t have met under usual circumstances; we develop and share ideas and create new ways to think about things and take new actions. I, and my associates, love these groups because we get to offer more of what we know with more people, who also enjoy getting to know each other in the process. To sign up for the next group, please click here.

We’re also offering a new group for those of you who are ready to more seriously consider the idea of going back to school. No matter how old you are, an investment in yourself via education, is a good one. And the rub is, you want to have researched what you’re really getting yourself into when you take this step. You want to know what your investment’s return will look like. We know you’re out there, mulling over these options, and we want to help you structure your time and research, as well as the application process, if need be. You can sign up here, if you’re interested – this group will also begin in early September.

I’m also happy to share that I’ll be on a September 1st panel of esteemed economists and business leaders discussing the employment situation in California. If you’d like to listen to this panel discussion live, you can check out the webcast at 10:00 AM (PST) on September 1st, at Just click on the California Labor Day Survey link, or call 1.877.570.6091 – the conference ID number is 22941914. I can also be seen on a web/TV program, Those of you who work for organizations that are doing more than just some housecleaning, may want to know that corporate outplacement services are now available and are provided in the same very personalized manner that we have, here. For more information, please contact our office.

And to keep up the momentum, I’ve been quoted in an upcoming issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine – yes, it’s still a thriving magazine, after all these years!

For more suggested reads, links to helpful sites, a Q&A with me, newsletter archives and more, check out the Resources page on my website. And for those of you who are in the process of updating your résumé, you can sign up to receive a FREE résumé template from Daisy Swan & Associates; the signup box is located right on our home page. Please feel free to tell your friends and colleagues about our FREE résumé template!

Until we talk next, keep your eyes and heart open. Recognizing and grabbing opportunity when it appears is a hallmark of those that enjoy what life offers.