Career Strategist and Performance Coach
Matching Talents to Opportunities


I am a manager at a small firm in the healthcare industry. I have worked here for over four years with increasing responsibility and promotions. However, I have dreaded coming to work for well over a year now due to the constant gossip and backstabbing. I try to ignore it and simply do my job but that doesn't seem to help.

I need a new job but I work such long hours that I am not sure how to conduct a job search. Do you have any ideas?


Unfortunately, this type of behavior is found in a lot of companies. I have heard from my clients that ignoring the maliciousness doesn’t always help the situation. Even the most diligent professionals find it difficult to be productive with so much negativity in the workplace. As you know, this can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress in addition to your everyday workload.

Constant exposure to negative people can be a real downer!!! Many studies have shown that employees respond to this by calling in sick more often and doing lower quality work. If you can find a way to emotionally detach yourself from it, by all means do so.

For now, try planning some type of positive activity with your coworkers. Take charge of the situation, by asking a few of them out for drinks or whatever works.

In the long run, finding a better work environment may be your best plan. Use your evenings and after-work hours to start networking in your industry. Attend professional association meetings in your field and use social media to make contacts with your target companies.


I have been looking for a new job in the insurance industry for about four months after my former employer went out of business. I have been on the underwriting side of the business for nineteen years. I have applied to many jobs online and attended a lot of networking meetings relevant to my industry. So far, I haven't gotten any interviews.

A former co-worker told me that I need to create a "personal brand" so I'm more attractive to employers. What is a "personal brand"? Do I need one?


Yes, I highly recommend that most professionals spend some time creating their personal brand whether they are seeking work or would like more recognition at their present job. I often coach job seekers on ways to create their own personal brand. Among other benefits, it forces you to bring more focus and definition to your job search.

When I coach my clients in personal branding, I show them how to identify their “target market”, which in this case, would be your ideal employers. You also need to think about the value that you bring to underwriting and the qualities that make different from other job applicants.

After you have defined those qualities, we would work together to figure out the best way to communicate the benefits that you would bring to targeted companies. This takes some time and focus, but a solid branding strategy can be a very effective way to showcase your value to hiring managers. Typically, this leads to a more productive job search and more interviews.


Until recently, I have enjoyed a fifteen year career in the IT field. Due to budget cutbacks, I was laid off along with fifty other staff members. I was recruited right out of college and have never had to look for a job until now. I have already applied to many jobs on internet job boards but I have gotten very few responses, which is frustrating.

I spend most of my job search time applying to jobs online and I rarely receive a call for an interview.    I feel discouraged, what am I doing wrong?


Did you know that over 80% of jobs are filled through networking? This is how I would recommend spending the bulk of your time. This means attending professional association meetings, Meet up groups, informational interviews and job leads clubs. Get the word out that you are looking for a new opportunity.

Networking is effective because employers would rather hire a referral than go through the hassle of posting the job online and sifting through hundreds of resumes. So keep applying to jobs online and using social media but spend a smaller percentage of your time at home on your computer. I think you will be much happier with the results you get through face-to-face meetings.  Finally, if you do find a job online, use “Linked-In” to find contacts within your targeted company.


I've working as an outside salesperson for a major pharmaceutical company for about three years. Prior to this job, I worked in sales for a local hospital supply business. At first, I liked my current job because it was a real adventure going to outside meetings all day. It used to be exciting to close a sale (and the money is good) but over the last six months I have become bored with the daily routine and meeting with the same companies.

How could I find ways be more engaged at work?


As a career consultant, I have worked with a lot of talented outside salespeople. I know that everyone has their own work style and ways of staying engaged.

It helps a great deal if you can clearly define what it is that keeps you motivated and engaged in the workplace. A great way to do this is to take a few assessment tests. Your results can give you the information you need to put together an action plan with goals that fit your particular work style.

In addition, I’d like you to consider if this pattern repeats for you…you like the honeymoon stage and then get bored.  If so, it’s up to you to ask your boss for some new challenges-new territories to pitch or perhaps additional job duties (training new reps or whatever).

You might just have to bite the bullet and find your excitement outside of work-get a graduate degree or plan a trip to a great location.