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Oct 31

Job Action Day 2010

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

My friends Randall and Katharine Hansen at Quintessential Careers have put together the third annual Job Action Day, where they have invited career coaches and bloggers nationwide to participate in sharing hope, inspiration, tips, and both gentle and hard nudges to support job seekers in these interesting times. I was happy to participate once again.

Some of the statistics and facts put together to alert folks as to the new world of work are eye-opening to say the least. For example…

  • Fifty percent of the workforce added in 2010 will be made up of one form or another of contingent workers, says the report The Emerging New Workforce by Littler Mendelson, P.C., which provides employment and labor-law solutions. “As a result,” the report states, “approximately 25 percent to as high as 35 percent of the workforce will be made up of temporary workers, contractors, or other project-based labor. The numbers of professionals working in temporary or alternative work arrangements will continue to rise. Flexible work schedules and telecommuting will increase as companies turn towards practical solutions to efficiently complete tasks while retaining talented individuals.” [Similar sources:Freelance Nation: Why Permanent Jobs May Not Come Back by Charles Hugh Smith, DailyFinance; Need a job? Contract work could be new normal by Eve Tahmincioglu, MSNBC; One-in-Five employers to hire full-time, permanent staff in Q4: survey by International Business Times]
  • A looming skills mismatch is preventing some workers from obtaining jobs even as employers increase hiring. During the recession, employers had to make do with fewer workers, and those workers took on more functions. “Now, someone who hopes to get those jobs must meet the new requirements,” reports Christopher S. Rugaber in an Associated Press article. Technology has also added to the skills mismatch. [Similar source: The Stagnating Labor Market by Arjun Jayadev and Mike Konczal, The Roosevelt Institute]

I contributed an article to the effort as well, focusing on the absolute necessity for people to begin thinking entrepreneurially in terms of job search. Gone are the days when a call to a headhunter or a few resumes sent in to an online job board would net something. People must begin to realize ever more the importance of relationship-building so as to take advantage of the statistic that 80% of jobs are filled before they are even advertised. Read the article HERE.

This last point I demonstrate quite vividly in the free 16-page Special Excerpt Report,Front Door Folly, Backdoor Bonanza, available upon request from the top-right box on this page.

But then the question becomes “How do I do it differently then? How does one pierce this backdoor of opportunity?” So, in honor of Job Action Day 2010, I am offering my brand new ebook, Backdoor Job Search: Never Apply for a Job Again! 10 Time-Tested Principles for Launching an Effective Backdoor Campaign, for 50% off.  This is a Limited Time Discount and I invite you to reap the benefits of Job Action Day and download your copy today. It even comes with a 1-year guarantee!

Lastly, spend some time today replenishing your job search mind and soul with the many articles and blogs from my colleages at Quintessential Careers ( and the many career professionals taking part in this effort

Sep 10

Great and unique ideas for places to network!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

Remember, it’s all about who you know and who knows you! I was included in a recent blog special where experts offered non-traditional–and sometimes unthought–avenues for networking. Check out the ToiletPaper Entrepreneur’s blog at

I especially liked the one about wakes and funerals! Not to be morbid or irrespecting of the deceased…yet life goes on, doesn’t it? Therefore it pays to ALWAYS be on your game and ready to connect…because you never know who is around you, dead or alive!

Aug 20

Backyards and Barbecues

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

As summer begins its rollout and school and the fall begins their approach, I’m blown away by the what simply getting out this summer has provided for me…and hopefully for you!

With my son’s scout troop last week for 6 days of summer camp in the Sequoias, it was proven to me once again that you never knowwho is surrounding you…so it behooves us all to extend a hand and find out! Under a jerry-rigged tarp to cover an outside picnic table where us few scout dads who brought our laptops could tap into the camp’s wireless, I engaged with another scout leader and found out we can help each other.

The simple question “What do you do?” is something that amazingly few people ask but which opens up so many doors for conversation, connections, collaboration, and contacts! Folks, you just never know who is around you…and it really, REALLY pays to check in with the Universe!

What you are seeking is seeking you!  You just have to introduce yourself to it!

Jul 19

Career Lessons From the Lives of Babes (Part 2)

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

My son’s job search efforts were teaching him good lessons…even if the job wasn’t forthcoming as yet. When one begins to realize the breadth of competition out there, it starts to become important to think strategically and really care about how you come across…because nothing is handed to you.

Also, there’s no job you are “above” when you don’t have one, and sometimes it’s simply the willingness you demonstrate to the Universe by taking something perhaps less appealing simply for the blessing and opportunity it provides to be useful and earn. This was all good for him–at least I knew so!

The idea of volunteering wasn’t sounding as good as he began to realize the value of his time…and really wanted to be paid for it.  Nonetheless, without anything popping yet in his job pursuits, I heard of someone setting up a dog rescue outfit to fall under a couple non-profits. Knowing my son loves dogs, I asked if he might volunteer with them–again, so he could feel the feeling of being useful. Having found out he didn’t fit the age requirements for the local Humane Society, I hoped this opportunity would be possible…and it was!

I called him at his mom’s to let him know that, when he came to me the following week, he would spend half of Monday at this dog rescue place. At first he balked at volunteering, but then came around–with some friendly, fatherly influence–to “thanking me” for opening up this possibility for him.  wink

Lesson #3: Don’t balk at any opportunities to be useful and show your skills and worth–you never know where it might lead.

Jul 12

Career Lessons From the Lives of Babes (Part 1)

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

My son found himself out of school for the summer and without anything to keep him engaged.  He was supposed to have a job with a community organization that puts teens to work…but their funding was cut.  And, although he had applied to be camp counselor at a popular scout summer camp, he ended up on the waiting list.

So, though his first tendency and wish may have been to sleep in and while away the summer, he is blessed/cursed to have a career coach for a dad.  Therefore, to either learn what it is to look for a job, much less to have one and keep it (lessons I’ve been wanting him to learn…including the value of a dollar), he started a program of 4hrs-a-day/4days-a-week of either working, looking for a job, or doing volunteer work–any and all of which have good lessons for what it is to be useful.

It was interesting to note that there was plenty of “evidence” that it would be hard for him to land something (e.g., news articles saying teens would find no work this summer, etc.) but that, in the face of the evidence, on every day he earnestly went out “knocking on doors,” he would find at least one business or store that said they may be looking to hire soon.

Lesson #1: You can buy the “evidence” stories of the masses, or you can make your own reality.

Jun 25

Bay Area Visit to My Favorite Career Counselor

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

I made a visit to my favorite career counselor this weekend, Dick Bolles, and brought my son to meet him. An Episcopalian minister turned supreme career guru in his 40’s, Dick was guided to his calling by just be of service.

With a responsibility for covering campus ministries across the US and supporting those ministers, when the church needed to make some major cutbacks in staff in the late 60’s, Dick was asked by one campus minister after the next “How do I get a job outside of ministry?”  From that simple inquiry posed to Dick, and from the research and materials he pulled together to support these ministers, was born “What Color is Your Parachute?” which will celebrate its 40th year of publication this year.

Amazing what simply looking to fill a need can birth!

And, can you believe, with the conversation being so engaging, I forgot to take one single picture!  But here’s one from 2008 when I spent a week with him, his wife Marci, and 20 other folks in a workshop in his home.

Jun 19

Live OWN Auditions in Laguna Niguel Today!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

If you could bottle Aspiration and sell it, this would be the source of the spring! LIVE Oprah Auditions took place in Laguna Niguel today. Though I posted my audition video,Dream Job Life, on the OWN site a few weeks ago––I figured I wanted to experience the full gamut of this huge game…so I attended in person.

By 5am, there was already a line nearly a mile long and, by the end of the day, I estimate that well over 2500 people came to audition at this Laguna Niguel location alone–one of 4 locations where live auditions have taken place over the last month.

Who cares that only a few individuals will rise above the fray to actually move an idea for a talk show forward: the aliveness and passion around this place–and this entire project Oprah and Mark Burnett have designed–is absolutely inspired!

        Ode, by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
Jun 08

Successful Negotiation – It Pays to Get Outside Our Own Head!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

I just watched a smart client turn a couple hours of coaching into a BIG windfall as he negotiated terms with a new employer. He parlayed a relatively small investment of time with me into a WHOPPING big return: about 7500%!

Funny how so many of us are short-sighted and tight-fisted when it comes to getting help. Our standard Western attitude if often “Oh, I can handle it” when, if we only took a moment and risked a little time to ask for direction, we could save ourselves so much trouble…much less hit a jackpot!

This gentleman’s openness and willingness to see outside his own purview allowed me to stretch his compensatory concept of himself so that he asked for and received a full 20% more in base salary than he was initially willing to settle for…not to mention thebonus AND equity stake in the company that he thought would be mutually exclusive. After all, they had already told him that they didn’t offer equity. Of course, that was before he and I huddled and worked out the play!

Our self-concepts can handicap and/or self-sabotage us, so it pays–whether in the path of career or love (and sometimes both!)–to get outside of our own best thinking.

God I love it when people are willing to play big!

May 31

(Video) Oprah’s Looking for My Show!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

I’ve been developing a few reality show concepts over the past few years to combat the stresses people face in job search with secrets to success. And I just heard today that Oprah is looking for her next television talk show host! Well, about time we talked Oprah!

I put together a quick video to convey the idea…and IT NEEDS YOUR VOTE! Please watch, comment, and pass this along in every way you can so that we can get a zillion votes before June 26, the voting deadline.

If you think a new TV program about what it takes to live a “Dream Job Life” (whether working for yourself or others) will inspire an ailing employment market, please support the movement of awareness…and VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

[youtube height=”360″ width=”600″][/youtube]
May 22

Marianne Williamson: God and Career

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

Bestselling author and spiritual icon Marianne Williamson led an all-day workshop in LA today entitled “God and Career: Work Fabulousness and Job Creation from a Spiritual Perspective.” An inspiring title like that in this economy–you know it was a full house!

I’ve followed Marianne Williamson’s messages for over 20 years, since I first came to LA and saw her speak at a conference in 1988. I’ve seen it her at book conventions, and heard her guest speak at my own church on several occassions.

The day was inspirational to no end, but didn’t (nor was meant to) deal with the externalaspects of finding right work but, rather the internal game of career transition. She quotes heavily from The Course in Miracles and an overall theme for the day can be summed up in the following passage: “Is it reasonable to assume I would give you a job to do but not provide you with the means of its accomplishment?”

That line says a lot in terms of the strength of faith–in oneself, in “the system,” in an overall plan and direction–we must call upon not only in these interesting economic times but always when it comes to making the tough choices regarding how we spend our working hours: money vs. freedom; freedom vs. security; security vs. self-expression. There’s all kind of tradeoffs to be considered, as well as a basic awareness of what we’re each individually here to do and accomplish this time around.

Far too deep a subject for such a microblog! Maybe I should put on a one day thing around this subject myself? Anyone interested?