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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?

May 21

Another Bang at FENG

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

Last night, I visited the 101 Corridor chapter of FENG (Financial Executives Networking Group) in Woodland Hills. It’s wonderful to see these high-level CFOs’ faces light up when they realize there are ways to introduce themselves beyond simply their title and industry!

The title of my talk was “Personally Branded: Designing Your Memorable 30-Second Pitch.” Before we could design the pitch, however, I had everyone do a little exercise on outlining their top accomplishments in life.

How shocking (but not to me, because I see it all the time) it was for them to be faced with the need to spell out 7 of their major accomplishments. Most people never take the time to look deeply into their past to see the patterns of their success, but it is an absolutely critical part of personal branding, as well as overall career transition.

You have to know yourself better than anyone else when you’re out in the market…and a comprehensive “career inventory” is as critical to you knowing your own assets as a regular inventory is for any business.

May 11

Summer Group Webinar Launched!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

I started new group tonight in an 8-week Career Transformation Program to end in early August. They will be going through three phases of alchemy to come out pure gold at the end.

1) Learning how to distinguish themselves from others based on their unique patterns of success. Did you know that everyone has a unique way of doing things? Being able to identify that gives you the beginnings of “personal branding.”

2) Packaging their unique “brand” in their written and spoken presentations of themselves. Think about it: what do you say about yourself? You’ll always give your verbal “resume” more than you’ll give a written one.

3) Backdoor networking training, where they will learn how to create connections out of thin air with the people they most want to know in the places they most want to get. Yes, they become magicians!

See the details of this program at Not sure of Fall dates yet…but stay tuned!

Apr 27

We Swam With the Sharks! Harvey Mackay Teleseminar

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

Wow! Monday night I hosted an incredible teleseminar with Harvey Mackay, author of “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” and his newest career-oriented bestseller, “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door.”

Harvey answered our subscribers TOP career networking questions. Because our lines maxed out and I know many of you were highly anticipating this call, I’m making it available for you for a few days at

Apr 16

Views from the Top!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

I was a guest for a full 90-minutes on Adrienne Graham’s “Views From the Top” BlogTalkRadio show. What a gob of information covered in only an hour and a half!

We discussed “Tactical Career Planning,” including how to position yourself to stand out from the crowd, plan for (and land) that ideal job, and create your own opportunities. Myself and another guest also shared best practices for job hunting and career planning in the age of social media.

If you missed that call, you can hear the full, information-packed 90-minutes here:

Apr 13

(Video) Making a Bang at FENG

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

I spoke this morning at the Orange County Chapter of FENG (Financial Executives Networking Group) on the power of knowing and owning your personal “brand.”

What a behive of activity once I set them loose on a cool exercise to begin developing their unique branded 30-second pitch!

Actually, I call it a 30-second “HELLO” which stands for Helping Everyone Locate and Land Opportunities!™ We all know that networking works best when it’s all about service, right?

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