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May 06

Upcoming 8-Week Summer Program

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

Want to invest wisely in your career this summer while still being on the go? Check out our upcoming 8-Week Summer Career Transformation Programbeginning June 21. Click Here to check out what others have said about this program…and register for one of 12 available seats today!

You can prepare yourself for a stealth, behind-the-scenes backdoor career move in late summer or fall while still being on vacation. As long as you have an internet connection and a phone, you’re in career-transformation business!

Mar 15

The Cobbler’s Shoes of Personal Branding

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

I spoke for the Orange County Chapter of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) this evening, covering some of the ways by which individuals can separate themselves from the crowd the same way companies and products do. It’s interesting that even professionals that do this for a living for products and services need support to get past those internal governors placed on us by the cultural “rules” that you’re not supposed to toot your own horn nor beat your own drum.

It’s a human dilemma we all deal with…but I say that, if you have special talents, skills, and a unique essence that you bring to everything you touch (which, by the way, everyone does), and you’re NOT promoting it effectively in the best, ear-catching and branded way of ownership, then you’re in effect cheating the world.

OK…now who feels guilty of cheating??

Feb 16

The Emotional Side of Career Transition

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

Are you a senior executive going through a challenging time, both work-wise and emotionally, around a career transition? We often don’t share the true esteem-shattering aspects of the search process. Listen here to an audio from the wife of a client who called me completely out of the blue after just a couple weeks of working with her husband through this program.
Once she began talking, I asked her if I could record the call, and what she shares will give hope to anyone going through transition.
Jan 04

Out of the Box: Backdoor Job Search for Non-Traditional Career Shifts in Non-Traditional Times

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

JobTalkRadioUSA hosted me for their 2011 inaugural radio show on Jan. 4. I receivedLOTS of calls and emails of positive feedback from the 60-minute show, with people saying it was tremendously helpful. Here’s just a couple!


Tracy M. has sent you a message.
Subject:Thank you!

Hi Darrell,
I just listened to you on Blog Talk Radio’s “Career Catalyst” and I really enjoyed your advice. I’m slightly shy so I especially appreciated the specifics you shared about crafting an approach letter as part the backdoor job search strategy.

Thank you so much!
Tracy M.


On January 30, Wen D., MD wrote:

To: Darrell Gurney
From: Wen D., MD
Subject: Wen D., MD wants to connect on LinkedIn

Dear Mr. Gurney,
I just listened to your CareerCatylst talk on “Backdoor Approach for Non-Traditional Career”. Thanks for sharing your insights, it was encouraging to hear your success stories and to affirm the Networking & Informational Interviewing approach that I’ve been using.
Thank you,

Listen to the show here.

Click here to download…

Nov 10

Early Morning or Evening Networking Always Pays Off!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

I visited the Orange County Chapter of CafeNet this morning and spoke on “SureFire Ways to Recession-PROOF Your Career.” It so pays to find and visit the networking organizations around you, whether you have to shimmy out of work a couple hours in the morning or take an evening to network on your way home.

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It amazes me that so many folks are not aware of the multitude of professional and trade associations right in their backyard, in both fields of current work as well as fields of passionate interest. Many are completely free, or allow you to come a time or two before joining just to check them out. Google “Professional Networking Organizations” for your area, or consult the Directory of Professional Associations at your local library…and get out and get connected!

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.