Coach Spotlight – Meet Tara Orchard

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TaraTara Orchard, MA., is a Career Transition and Performance and Social Networking Coach. For over 20 years she has provided tangible and actionable insights and perspective to individuals and organizations seeking to develop strategies to adapt and grow.

Tara was advising on Social Networking and personal branding a long time before it was in vogue. She is a freelance writer featured in two business magazines and a member of the Advisory Board for the Career Professionals of Canada. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Psychology and is certified in numerous career, personality and psychology assessment tools.

As a career coach Tara brings over 20 years of experience working with thousands of individuals in different industries and careers, from around the world, at different stages of their career. She challenges people to ask themselves questions about who they are and what they want and need. Tara believes in Career Agility and finding an intersection between what is possible and what is realistic today as a part of the process for navigating an ongoing Career Journey. Tara has developed a 4 step career navigation process, “Discover, Prepare, Build, Actualize’ and a 5 step psychologically infused social networking strategy for career and business success ‘Ready, Set, Go, Focus and Flow” and is always looking for new ways to help people build and actualize their personal career journey.

What one piece of core advice would Tara share with job seekers in today’s market?

“Always remain aware and open. A successful career is not built in a day but over time through a series of events, opportunities and decisions requiring smart and proactive navigation. By constantly staying aware, which includes self-awareness, industry, career and economy awareness people can position themselves to be ready when an opportunity presents itself or are capable of creating an opportunity when needed or desired.

Part of the awareness process for career building includes understanding your career brand, a tool useful for both career direction and career marketing. An effective brand is built on awareness and then showcased through your words, content and materials (resumes, social profiles) and actions. All the pieces of the career building and navigation puzzle are more likely to come together when awareness remains on your radar.”

As a career coach Tara helps facilitate the process of gathering information and gaining insight to build awareness, identify new opportunities and help develop tangible and actionable strategies that can help someone move along the next phase of their career journey.

For more career coaching advice from Tara, follow her on twitter at @CareerChatter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.

Coach Spotlight – Meet Dixie Bullock

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Dixie is a Coach Team Manager at NextJob where she manages a team of job coaches and is also the Quality Survey Manager. Dixie joined NextJob in 2010, as a Certified Homeownership Counselor (through NCHEC). Her non-profit work includes housing counseling, delinquency and foreclosure prevention anddixieprofile financial education.

Dixie’s coaching and employment-related services experience include over 15 years in staffing, recruiting, training, and job-matching while delivering exceptional service and solutions to a large client-base in a variety of industries and skill levels. With an aptitude for decision-making and problem solving, she has been consistently successful in gathering information and providing guidance while helping others feel empowered about next steps, possible outcomes and options.

Dixie was recently a featured job coach in the BrandOfYou JobTwitterViews event held on May 19, 2015 offering coaching advice to contestants vying for one of the 1,000 available coaching scholarships being offered through @FifthThird bank.

What one piece of advice would Dixie give to job seekers out there?

“Develop a concise, descriptive, accomplishment-based branding statement/60-second commercial. You’ll get a lot of mileage out of that content. It can be used in cover letters, resume career profile and online applications in the “comments box,” and of course in interviews when asked to “tell a little about yourself.”

For more career coaching advice from Dixie, follow her on twitter at @DixiebDixie or connect with her on LinkedIn.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.

Why didn’t I think of that?

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Over the past few days, I’ve had the pleasure of listening to some of our job seekers talk about their experiences working with their job coaches. I started to see a common thread and it was a simple question: “Why didn’t I think of that?”

They were talking specifically about advice they were getting from their coaches around personal branding and use of social media to make connections and be visible in the hidden job market. This is such an important part of a job search today, since many available jobs are not actually published. In fact, it’s a sobering thought when you realize that maybe as many as 50% of the available jobs out there are not listed on a job board, or in the paper or even at the local workforce agency office. That amounts to approximately 25 million job openings a year that you have to go out and find on your own.

There are many ways to seek out these hidden jobs, and personal branding plays a big part in each of them. But what made this simple question surprising to me was that some were millennials – the generation that is extremely tech savvy and adept with social media. It seems that they don’t use it to connect with people in their field in a meaningful way – people that may have connections to hidden jobs.

These are job seekers that know about technology, with thousands of Twitter and Instagram followers, so I kept coming back to the basic question they shared, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

I think the answer has more to do with “state of mind” than anything else. I recently met with a client of ours who said that job seekers are just “lost and don’t know what to do.” Whether you are just graduating from school and are without a job or have lost your job of 10-20 years, just about everyone feels a little lost. We’re outside of our comfort zone and feeling a bit insecure. For non-tech-savvy job seekers, the problem is worse – some don’t even own a computer.

The good news is that there are many forward thinking organizations that recognize that job seekers need some real guidance. Whether it is the many employers purchasing outplacement for their exiting employees or banks such as Fifth Third Bank, M&T Bank and USAA, who offer it to their mortgage holders, real help is available.

And, the job seekers we see, couldn’t be happier. One Millennial said she felt 10 times more confident now about her ability to find a job than she did before working with her coach.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.

The Fifth Third Program

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The Program

NextJob matched unemployed Fifth Third customers with a personal job coach. The NextJob service included one-on-one coaching on topics from career direction to social media interviewing, NextJob’s proprietary online job search training software, and weekly job search webinars.

The Result

On average, the participants had been out of work for 22 months. Nearly 40% were fully reemployed after six months. As a result, Fifth Third Bank incorporated the program into the way the Bank does business — including offering a free, online Job Seeker’s Toolkit for all of its customers.

Moving past the gap

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The Movement

Retweet to Reemploy is a new website and movement giving the American public a chance to activate their social networks to help a group of job seekers connect with their next employer. You can see the job seekers’ videos at the Retweet to Reemploy site and you can retweet each job seeker’s story from the site. Your connections can help match the job seekers with their next job.

The Gap

Job seekers rate their job search readiness at a D+ average. Because employers make half of all hires through networking, the Retweet to Reemploy campaign’s focus on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook is a reminder to all job seekers that their network of family, friends, neighbors and former co-workers can be a powerful path to their next job.

Your Part
We need your help. Please take a minute to see the site and job seeker videos – they’re powerful. Then 1) retweet the site or the story; 2) share it on LinkedIn and Facebook and/or 3) email it to your network. For every 53 retweets, Fifth Third will fund a job coach package for another job seeker. And in the process, you will spread the word about networking – one of the most misunderstood job search techniques.

You can follow the campaign at and our work at @nextjobthoughts and @fifththird.

Together we can help eliminate long-term unemployment.