16 January, 2010

16 January 2010. What Jeff Foster Gave Lexington. What Bobby Nelson Offers Charleston

Higginbotham At Large Saturday 16 January 2010:

In This Issue:

- Jeff Foster Organized It. Will Lexington Join His Job Club?

- What Charleston Needs: Former Huntington Mayor Bobby Nelson’s Radio Show

Jeff Foster Organized It. Will Lexington Join His Job Club?

My Lexington readers are going to want to know Jeff Foster. When Jeff emailed me to say that he was a fan of the things I’ve been preaching about how to find a better job and that he has organized a “job club” (Jeff is looking for a cooler, less generic name) I just had to help him spread the news.

I don’t want to steal all of Jeff’s thunder but during last night’s phone call Jeff told me he plans for his job club to be a real, roll up your sleeves and get something done workshop at each and every meeting. No venting about your bad boss who hates you and plans to fire you. No complaining about your company. While those things may all be true, one of the first things a job seeker has to learn is that employers tolerate no negativity at all so the job club should be a place where job seekers learn how to purge negativity from their speech and learn to restate or recast all negative info as a positive.

Jeff’s job club isn’t a place where the unemployed and the underemployed go to sip coffee and shoot the bull. Jeff wants recruiters and headhunters and other employment experts in the meetings to help job seekers “get inside the heads” of employers and recruiters and learn to think like the employer thinks in order to offer what the employer wants.

Jeff is definitely the right man for the job. Jeff is blessed with more clear-eyed empathy than almost anyone I know. I’m using the word “empathy” the way Asperger’s researchers use it. You see, people with Asperger’s are “mind-blind” meaning that they lack the ability to imagine how others feel, what others want. Empathy is the antonym of “mind-blindness” and if there is one thing all job seekers need it’s empathy, the ability to understand what an employer wants.

When I was serving as an “expert panelist” at a University of Kentucky career night event, I told the crowd that employers don’t give a damn what applicants want. They don’t care about your hopes and dreams. They don’t care how much money you want to make. They don’t care that you want “work / life balance.” All employers care about is what they want so as a job applicant you have to know what they want and assure them that you will give them what they want.

Jeff understands this better than almost anybody I know and he is blessed with more of that kind of empathy than almost anybody I can think of.

Jeff is also a proponent of what some of us have been calling “the transparent resume” which I have defined as a resume that reveals more than it obscures. Let me call out my Lexington friends Beverly Clemons, Deb Hildreth and John Meyers in connection with “the transparent resume.” Traditional, reverse chronological resumes with rigid rules about dates, employers and job titles don’t work for every job candidate. As some of you know, I have experimented, with some success, with the “press release resume”. Deb Hildreth has blogged some interesting resumes. Beverly Clemons once reminded me that a resume should be an “advertisement” for the product (the candidate) and, as we all know, there is no one right ad formula.

Most of all, Jeff understands that job seekers are most likely to find their next job by networking. Networking doesn’t come naturally to some people so if you don’t have the networking gene, Jeff can give you a gene splice. And he can show you how to effectively use social media. Jeff once wrote the following comment on my blog post about how a job candidate with a resume is no match for a candidate with a relationship: “First tech job - I was friends with a VP's son. I got in. Second tech job - I had a friend that was a team lead on a different team. I got in. Third tech job - One of my team mates moved to a new company and opened a door for me. I got in. Fourth tech job - Back at the 2nd company - I listed 20+ references that worked there. I got in.”

Jeff gets networking.

So far, Jeff has a diverse group. He has attendees who are re-entering the job market. He has young professionals with slim work experience. He has “older workers”.

By the way, if you’re in your late 40s or early 50s, yes, you are old enough to experience age discrimination and to have some unique job seeking needs.

I’ve been a fan of my former Lexmark co-worker for a long time. If you go to Jeff’s LinkedIn profile you’ll find this recommendation I wrote for him: “Jeff has too many talents to be neatly defined by and confined to the narrow "individual contributor" specialty roles Fortune 500 companies squeeze multi-talented people into. In a room full of techies, Jeff is the guy thinking business. In a room full of business people, Jeff is the guy who understands the technology. Somebody should give Jeff a job that he can grow into, a job that requires him to use all his skills all the time.” May 20, 2009”

Call Jeff Foster at 859-797-7798 and join his job club.

What Charleston Needs: Former Huntington Mayor Bobby Nelson’s Radio Show

I’ll be Mayor Nelson’s radio guest this Wednesday January 20 at 3:05 PM. Topics: “Governor Manchin’s State of the State Address” and “The Current Legislative Session”. Call the show at 877-420-8255. If you’re in the Huntington radio market listen live on 930 AM. If you’re in Charleston, you can’t hear any live, progressive talk radio at 3PM or at any other time.

From a technological standpoint, there’s no reason Mayor Nelson’s show can’t be aired in Charleston. Reeves Kirtner and the folks at Kindred Communications can easily provide the show to any Charleston station willing to bring liberal talk show listeners back to the radio.

If you’d like to lobby Charleston market radio station owners to air Mayor Nelson’s show live at 3PM here is what you need to know:

Bristol Broadcasting of Bristol, VA and LM Communications of Lexington, KY, own stations in the Charleston market. Lisa Nininger Hale is the CEO of Bristol Broadcasting and she can be reached at (276) 669-8112.

Bristol Broadcasting’s cluster GM is Mike Robinson. Phone Mike at (304) 744-7020 and tell him you are a liberal and you want Mayor Bobby Nelson’s radio show on the air in Charleston.

Former St. Albans radio mogul, Lynn Martin, owns LM Communications. WKLC in St. Albans was Martin’s first radio property and now he owns stations in several states. Call Lynn Martin at (859) 252-4137 and tell him Charleston needs and wants a liberal talk radio option.

LM Communications’ cluster manager here in the Charleston market is Steve Z. Zubrzycki. Some of you know him as “Steve Z”. Call Steve at 304-722-3308. Tell him you want Mayor Nelson’s show on the air in Charleston.

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