Welcome to Between the Trapezes! Often the
our lives feel precarious as we are suspended
between two certainties. But the frightening moment
passes as we bravely go on to the next step -- as
we always do.
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|How to Avoid "DEC Syndrome"
A former client I'll call Rich, now a technical
support lead for a
software company, recently called to enlist my help
with a decision: should he leave his current job or
stay? It had taken him a while to land the job, and
he really liked it, so his question intrigued me.
I asked him to list his reasons for leaving and
for staying. He paused, then said that the
reasons for both cases actually overlapped. "I can't
ask for a better boss, and they're all nice people.
I know the products like the back of my hand, and I
am making pretty good money. I feel very
He went on. "But that's just it: I know all there is
to know, and I'm no longer feeling challenged. I've
felt this way for a few months now, and there's
nothing new on the horizon there for me. I feel
like I'm too comfortable, especially in a
I could stay, but then again,
what's going to happen to my skills if I don't get
exposed to other technology, developing technology?
And what will happen to me if my company gets
bought?" Rich was asking some very smart questions.
Rich's description of where he is right now, and
what he wants to avoid, is what I call DEC
Syndrome. DEC Syndrome the
state you're in when you're oh so comfortable in
your job, you feel "all set", and it seems like it
could stay this way
forever. Part of DEC Syndrome is that the person
does not look up to see what else is happening in
his/her field, because, well, they feel they don't
The name is from the late, great, Digital
Equipment Corporation (DEC), where legions of New
Englanders worked over the years. So many
former "DECkies" tell me they thought they'd be
at that company for their entire careers. They
started their careers there, and got very
comfortable, then the world (and technology) changed
beneath their feet and job cuts ensued. Then the
company was sold. Now those who'd stayed too long,
and whose skills were too tied to their old company,
were adrift. And many found their job searches to be
very difficult. Although many are now employed
elsewhere, many DECkies are still looking for another
DEC: that very comfortable place where they can work
until they retire. Sad to say, those places are very
rare today. Better to spend your time keeping up
your skills, which are your currency in the job
Rich has decided it's best for him to move on. He is
now sending his resume to network
contacts, and is researching new target companies.
He's being smart by doing so. It makes no sense to
let your career and skills get too comfortable, or
you will stall. To do so means you'll be
left behind. And he wants to get ahead.
Today, "Digital Equipment Corporation" is just an
entry in Wikipedia. Nothing is forever.
|Job Search Half-Life
Very often, people in job search call us, expressing
shock at how different the job search is today.
Whether they're exployed, or are now between jobs,
they most commonly say "I'm getting no responses to
my resume... this has never happened to me before".
"Have things changed that much since I last looked
for a job 10 [or 5 or 3] years ago?"
Not only do many larger employers use resume
screening software , other changes continue to take
place. For example, today some job hunters,
particularly those comfortable
with video technology, are posting videos of
themselves on Youtube.com and other sites, answering
typical interview questions. They are eager to get
the attention of interviewers. No doubt this method
will up the ante for other job seekers.
The changes come at us all faster and faster. I call
the time span during which things remain relatively
the same, a "half-life". Physicists define half-life
as "The time required for the disappearance or decay
of one-half of a given component in a system". So in
terms of job search, some of the usual methods stay
the same, and some go away, and it's happening
faster and faster. Blame it on technology or our
attention spans or our shifting culture, the speed
continues to grow. And the half-life continues to
Result: many new job seekers realize they need to
spend a few weeks getting
to learn this dizzying new way of doing things. It's
sobering. So if you haven't looked for a job
in a while, build in some extra time before actually
networking and applying, so that you can learn the
ways of going about a good search.
New rules, new year: At Face2Face on
Dr. Paul Powers speaks about "the new
rules" in the changing workplace, and how to adjust
your job search attitude. Join us for this vital talk.
|Software That Manages the Job Search
Because of the level of activity in many searches
today, it's essential to keep track of all your
communications with potential employers and with
networking contacts. There are many ways you can
keep your search organized: you can use specific
software which our speaker will talk about, or you
can use an Excel
spreadsheet, file folders on your PC, even a 3-ring
notebook or 3" x 5" cards. Whatever keeps you on
track is a good system.
At the January 17th meeting of the Face2Face Job
Search Networking group, we'll have a speaker who'll
bring us up to date on a new type of job search
Come hear about the latest, plus
meet fellow job hunters. The
link below gives you the details.
|Thought of the Day
Anything I've ever done that ultimately was
worthwhile... initially scared me to death.
We are proud members of:
- Association of Career Professionals Int'l
- Career Planning and Adult Development
- Career Counselors Consortium/Boston
- Massachusetts Women in Technology
- National Resume Writers Association
- BNI, Holden, Mass.
Called "The Resume Queen" years ago by a
colleague, Joanne Meehl decided to have fun
nickname (which we've officially trademarked). But
she also takes it seriously by
her career management skills on the leading edge,
through research and ongoing dialog with hiring
Next Meeting of Face2Face, the Job Search
Wednesday, January 3rd, 9am - noon, in
Topic: The New Rules for Career Success:
Savvy Moves for a Changing Workplace, presented
by Dr. Paul Powers, motivational speaker and
For details about the program, and
directions, click here. Also on this
page, you'll be able to see notes about previous
speakers at Face2Face.
meetings, we make it easier for
you to network, no matter how shy you are. Come
new people who might be the link
to your next job!