22 February 2024

Archives for 2018

No Meeting This Week

Declaration of Independence


4 July 1776

No meeting this week! See you at our next meeting on Friday 13 July.

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JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. Meetings are not held on the Fridays closest to Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

Click here for more information about the meetings and agenda.

See you on Friday!

– Dave O’Farrell
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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Discouraged Workers Are Always Welcome

Discouraged workers, downcast people and depressed souls are always welcome at JobSeekers.

As I talk to job seekers over the days, weeks and years, I learn about people who are going through a period of depression. The depressed people aren’t telling me; it’s someone else who tells me about them. Oftentimes, the most depressed people don’t attend our JobSeekers meetings.

This concerns me for two reasons: first, if you are staying home on Friday mornings because you’re down, you’re making the problem worse. I’ll say more about this in a minute. Second, I’m concerned because the meetings are so upbeat, you may feel out of place.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:4–7

Friends, discouraged workers, downcast people and depressed souls are always welcome at JobSeekers! I can tell you with 100% certainty that every job seeker in that room on Friday mornings has battled negative thoughts and feelings if they have been looking for a job for 30 days or more. The only difference between you and them is that they may be at a peak while you are in a valley. When you are in the valley looking up, it seems everyone is better off than you. Come to JobSeekers and we will lift you up.

Mood swings come with the territory. Job search is an emotional roller coaster. If you are down, find someone else at the bottom of his or her curve and lift him or her up. I spoke to a job seeker a few days ago who took another job seeker to lunch; both were in a funk before, and now both are in better spirits. Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” The best way to lift your own spirits is to pick someone else up.

If you get down and stay down, get help. God doesn’t want you there; at least not for long. He will provide resources – including other people – to help you out of the dark hole you are in. Look at what you might be doing to make the problem worse. Examine yourself mentally, physically, socially and spiritually:

1. Mentally.

Read uplifting books. Listen to motivational audios. Seek wise counsel, even professional help, if necessary. Limit your time on the computer. And, when you work on the following three areas, mental health usually takes care of itself.

2. Physically.

Optimize your diet and nutrition, rest and sleep, and exercise and activity. They form the three-legged stool of good health. Depressed people often make the problem worse by changing their habits in these areas for the worse. Eat healthier foods, drink more water, get the proper amount of rest, and exercise more often. You’ve got the time!

3. Socially.

Get out and about. Help someone else. You are making depression worse if you are staying home on Friday mornings – and every other day of the week. Lethargy sets in and depression becomes more and more difficult to overcome.

4. Spiritually.

Admit it. Confess it. Write about it. Pray about it. You’re in good company. David wrote more psalms of lament than anything else. Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet.” Old Job had more trouble than any of us will ever see. Yes, you are in good company; the person sitting next to you has been there too.

Depression is not the problem; it’s a symptom of the problem. You’ve got to figure out what the root cause is. Some say they are having a run of bad luck. You can do a lot to change your luck; it starts by laying your problems at the foot of the cross. Trust in the Lord and work wholeheartedly as God directs you.

Chuck Hodges, pastor at Athens First United Methodist, emphasizes that there’s a difference between joy and happiness. As Christians we are called to be joyful all the time (see the “Rejoice in the Lord always” passage above). We are called to be joyful, but we don’t necessarily have to happy. In fact, if you were happy about being out of work, we may need to talk!

When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he instructed them to rejoice in the Lord always; I know from personal experience that “always rejoicing” is tough to do when you are looking for a job. Friends, it is okay to be depressed while you are looking for a job; it is not okay to accept it as your fate. Decide today that, with God’s help, you will not dwell on your present circumstances; you will hope for – search for – the abundant life God has planned for you.

That’s what we do every week at JobSeekers. We rejoice. Always.

I’ve included three pictures from our meeting on 2 November 2012. Mark Hutto came to shares his good news after he landed a great job. He had been through some extremely difficult times in addition to his job search. Tiffany Lust volunteered to help me demonstrate the difference between knowledge and skill. She easily learned the steps to juggle, but couldn’t actually do it. We all fell out laughing. When Marcus Smith introduced himself, he said he wasn’t leaving until he got a good networking referral; he succeeded in seconds when devotional speaker Glen Gould  gave him one.

Dwelling on the abundant life he has in store for you – now that’s something you can be joyful about, even when times are tough! My prayer for all of you is that when you hit the bottom of the joy curve, you will claim this verse – and all of God’s promises – for yourself.

Come to JobSeekers on Friday – especially if you are weary and heavy-laden – and He will lift you up! You will find rest for your souls, hope for your heart, and strength for the week ahead.

Copyright © 2004-2018 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Your First 90 Days

Image result for your first 90 days

Come this Friday for “Your First 90 Days — What You Should Really Do When You Start Your New Job.”

Transitions are a critical time for leaders. In fact, most agree that moving into a new role is the biggest challenge a manager will face. While transitions offer a chance to start fresh and make needed changes in an organization, they also place leaders in a position of acute vulnerability. Missteps made during the crucial first three months in a new role can jeopardize or even derail your success.

We will offer proven strategies for conquering the challenges of transitions — no matter where you are in your career.

Whether you’re starting a new job, being promoted from within, embarking on an overseas assignment, or being tapped as CEO, how you manage your transition will determine whether you succeed or fail.

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JobSeekers meets every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

Click here for more information about the meetings and agenda.

See you on Friday!

– Dave O’Farrell
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

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Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Oftentimes, things aren’t always what they seem. A few years ago Marcia Gibson told us her accomplishment for the week was getting turned down twice. The way she phrased it was, “I was blessed this week when two companies told me I could keep searching for a new position. God got them out of my way so I could move more freely toward the job He has in store for me.”

We all fell out laughing, but I think everyone could hear the certainty in her voice and see the conviction in her heart – she actually believed what she was saying!

Marcia was red hot after that and accepted one of two offers a few weeks later.

Her story reminded me of a JobSeeker and OCM client from several years ago who was counting his blessings a year after he was turned down by two companies. Notice that he was counting his blessings a year later – not when he got the news.

Phil interviewed for a promising position on 20 May 2003. He rushed from that interview to another company and another promising position. And now, as Paul Harvey used to say, for the rest of the story:

The first company was BioLab in Conyers. They made the national news 369 days after Phil’s interview when a massive fire tore through their plant. Phil said, “I turned on the TV this morning to see the billowing smoke soar skyward from their massive facility; I thanked God for His divine guidance away from that situation.” As you may have guessed by now, he didn’t get the job at the second interview that day either. Even though Phil and the hiring manager had an immediate rapport (turns out they were acquainted) that job wasn’t a good fit for Phil. The manager called Phil several months later to say that he was about to leave because the company could no longer compete in their niche market.

Phil got a good job not long after that. He kept the faith. Whenever I spoke to him there was always something good just around the corner. It turns out he was right. He concluded an email with this: “I hope this finds you well. I am doing fantabulous. God does look out for us! Dave, thank you for all you have done to help me. I am a richer man today for meeting you and I consider you a friend.”

Friends, don’t give up. God has a plan and a purpose for your life and career (Jeremiah 29:11). He is working for your good (Romans 8:28). Trust God. Sometimes when we think things aren’t going well, he says, “Trust me with all your heart, for I have better things planned for you.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Things aren’t always what they seem.

The following story illustrates this point. 

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Two traveling angels spent the night in the home of a wealthy family.

The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.

When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t what they always seem.”

The next night the pair of angels came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, and you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die!”

“Things aren’t what they always seem,” replied older angel. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead.”

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don’t turn out the way we want. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You just might not know until sometime later.

There have been times in my life when I’ve faced loss and disappointment only to find out later that God’s hand was on my shoulder the entire time, that his love was surrounding me completely, and that his plan and purpose for my life were unfolding before me.

One more verse from Proverbs 18:13 before I close: “He who answers a matter before he hears the facts – it is folly and shame to him.” Things aren’t always what they seem. Oftentimes, they are much better than we can conceive or imagine.

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we trust God – especially when things don’t seem to be going well.

Copyright © 2004-2018 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

Great Job; Worth the Wait

Great job

Neal Nelson

Man, am I proud of Neal Nelson! He landed a great job. It was worth the wait. His resilience and optimism inspire me. He led the devo at JS on 4/20. About two weeks later, he received this offer. Congratulations!

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Hey Dave,

I GOT A JOB! I accepted an offer from Sage Software for Field Sales Engineer. I will be providing software demonstrations and value messaging to customers as part of the pre-sales team that partner with Account Execs in their sales efforts. It’s a role suited to my background and also will be exposing me to the manufacturing side of ERP which is a new area for me.

I’m excited, nervous, and pumped about this new challenge! This opportunity came about because of networking just as you’ve told us most opportunities do. I had an internal champion at Sage who is a Sales Rep I worked with a number of years ago and he put my resume in front of the right people and provided insight along the way. It’s been in process since early January and has had several roadblocks and stops along the way but it finally came through!

Also, the base salary is higher that what I was previously making at Oracle – and I was convinced that any next job was going to be a pay cut for sure. Who said God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

There is more to this story that I will tell you in person. But for now, please know that I’m so very grateful for you and this ministry. It has sharpened me, encouraged me, and given me hope when I was at my lowest. Thank you for being obedient to the Lord and leading this ministry so faithfully. You are a blessing, my friend!

Overjoyed and still somewhat trying to process it all.

See you Friday morning!!!

– Neal Nelson

Employer Comes Seeking Out Job Seeker

Gary Royal

Great message from a man who loves our Lord. Gary has been an inspiration to me and to many, many others during his search because of his hope, faith and love. He never gave up and he never doubted. BTW, they company came seeking him. A former co-worker from Southwire heard about the challenges they were facing; he said they needed to hire Gary Royal.

Super-proud of you, Gary!

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Dave,

It is with great joy that I can share with you how God has blessed me.

On Friday afternoon I accepted the offer from Magna Decostar to lead the HR function as their Senior Human Resources Manager. I start in two weeks. I will have responsibility for 1300 employees at their four sites in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Magna Decostar is a division of Magna International, North America’s largest automotive supplier.

I am very excited. I have already worked for North America’s largest electrical wire and cable company. And now God has opened this door for me with automotive supply industry leader.

Thank you for walking beside me and praying for me.

Our God has provided for me for the past 53 weeks. Financially, emotionally and spiritually.

I praise Him as God and thank Him for his special blessings.

Thank you for celebrating and praising God with me.

Love you guys,

– Gary Royal

Changing Careers? Even Jesus Changed Careers

Messy-Spirituality


May you experience God’s grace in the midst of your brokenness.

Our topic at JobSeekers recently was “Changing Careers.” Even Jesus changed careers.

When I teach this topic, I ask members of the audience to raise their hands if they are thinking of making a change in their function or industry (or both) during this transition. One-half to two-thirds of the audience answer in the affirmative.

Jesus changed from being a carpenter to being a teacher, rabbi, healer, miracle-worker and Savior. After he changed careers he faced many challenges. Almost everywhere he went he was met with a warm reception only to be rejected by the establishment soon thereafter. Sometimes he was almost killed.

Jesus narrowly escapes death.

According to Luke 4:14-30, the first attempt on Jesus’ life was made very early in his public ministry. Verse 29 says, “They [the men in his hometown synagogue] got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.” Matthew and Mark also mention that Jesus was rejected in his hometown on another occasion (Matthew 13:53-58 and Mark 6:1-6).

John says there were three unsuccessful attempts on Jesus’ life. The Gospel of John mentions the first attempt in 5:18, “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” In verse 8:59 John says, “At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” And in 10:31-33 he says, “Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.'”

Jesus kept his wits to stay alive and fulfill his mission. Like William Wallace in Braveheart, he had to keep his wits about him just to stay alive. Yes, in the world’s eyes Jesus faced some serious challenges in his career, but he stayed focused on his goal. His mission here on earth was clear: to overthrow the corrupt power structure of the Jews, to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy, and to offer himself as a perfect sacrifice for all mankind so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.

Jesus has empathy for us because he faced death and many other rejections throughout his ministry.

Messy spirituality.

A while back I heard a devotional that brought this point home. The devotional centered on a story in “Messy Spirituality,” by Michael Yaconelli (p. 36). It’s about a young boy who talked his mom into giving him an advance on his allowance so he could buy a puppy he’d seen at a nearby pet store. Here’s the excerpt:

The little boy went back to the pet shop to buy his new puppy. After determining that the boy had enough money, the pet shop owner brought him to the front window to choose his puppy. The young boy said, “I’ll take the little one in the corner.”

“Oh no,” said the pet shop owner, “not that one; he’s crippled. Notice how he just sits there; something is wrong with one of his legs, so he can’t run and play like the rest of the puppies. Choose another one.”

Without saying a word, the boy reached down and lifted his pant leg to expose a chrome leg brace to the owner. “No,” he said firmly, “I’ll take the puppy in the corner.”

It’s amazing how few of us believe in the unqualified grace of God. Many of us believe that God loves us long as we’re free of sin and whole. But like the boy and the dog, what most qualifies us to be chosen by Jesus is our crippledness.

Like the boy and the dog, Christ has empathy for our situation because he has experienced rejection – and much worse. As the boy loved the dog, Jesus loves us because we are broken. God in his grace looks down on us and says, “That’s why you need me; I’ve sent hope and help and healing – and a support network to provide for your needs as you go through this transition in your career.”

See you on Friday at JobSeekers, the place where we experience God’s grace in the midst of our brokenness!

Copyright © 2004-2018 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved