Notes From the Job Search is my product. I own it for better or worse (I hope mostly
better). It is a product fashioned through a couple of careers and more than a couple of jobs. It’s also fashioned from years of self discovery, failures and more than anything else; success.
My first career out of college was as a teacher of kids with significant challenges (now called “at risk” kids), challenges that were serious enough so that the kids assigned were normally on “last chance” types of contracts. Some of them were on parole and others on probation. Teaching these people required that the schools I was part of create reinforcement systems that didn’t include punishment, not due to any regulatory reason, simply because their lives were so completely disastrous and full of negativity that any punishment we did would be meaningless. It was my first experience with the idea of “positive discipline.” In other words helping people find real accomplishments and successes to build on regardless of the chaos that might be filling other parts of their lives.
Since then, I have had lots of opportunities to have these principles reinforced. By the time I became a manager in 1996, I had become committed to positive discipline and it
served me exceptionally well. In 2003 someone pointed me to the book Now Discover
Your Strengths by Donald Clifton and Marcus Buckingham. What this book did for me was to take my anecdotal experience and give it the discipline of scientific study.
I took the Strengthsfinder test at that time. I was incredibly impressed by the results and
how much it helped me understand how I worked. It identified my strengths and what my personal successes were based on and how to use them going forward. Needless to say, the Strengthsfinder test and process became a thoughtful piece of how I managed and is now the primary method of how I coach.
I first went through training in “job search” and “résumé writing” in the late 70’s as I was leaving Education as a career, and have spent some time ever since helping people with both. My first stop after education was sales and it turned out to be a perfect complement to the training in job search. While I set sales records at every stop on my way through that profession it also made me pretty crazy, so I moved on to technology and spent the next 25 years in IT, with the last 10 in some part of management. This gave me an opportunity to actually implement the concepts I thought were true regarding strengths and found it to be amazing.
When I left Microsoft in 2008, I assumed that my next position would be relatively easy to nail down and found that I was completely wrong. Job search had fundamentally changed. In the eight months following it also became clear that very few people were navigating this strange new world all that successfully. As I understood how common my experience was, I went looking for tools that would help me and came up empty. Hence the founding of Notes From the Job Search.
Notes From the Job Search has evolved since and what started out as an informal study/support group became my sole focus within a year, with a formal curricula and schedule times and now this web site and soon a book making this system/process
available beyond the Pacific Northwest.