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.

4 Ways to Find Extra Hours for your Job Search – Job Search Tip of the Week

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Find extra hours for your job search:th-2

  • Shut off all notifications on your smart phone and your computer. (Gains 2.5 hours minimum)
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters. Or at least get these out of your main email account. (Gains 3.25 hours per week)
  • Set up job search processes and systems to streamline your time. (Gains 1.25 hours)
  • Set up job alerts to have the right jobs forwarded to you. Do not troll the job boards. (Easy 2 hours/week of time savings)

Learn how to say “no” to commitments that are not supporting your ability to create time for your job search.

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.

Dissecting Frogs and a Life Skill Gap That We Can’t Afford

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FrogThere’s a lot of talk these days about skill gaps – a need for software programmers, engineers, etc. but not enough trained to fill the jobs US employers have open. Less is said about another skill gap – job search skills – the skill it takes for a software programmer to find the right employer, present themselves well and land the job in which they will thrive.

In a study of job seekers in two states, we’ve found that job seekers rate their job search readiness at a C-/D+. This is disturbing. In the average American’s working years, we’ll spend the bulk of our waking hours working in our jobs. But to land those jobs, we spend less time learning job search than we spend learning our smart phones.

I’ve been asking why and how this could be. How could we be so undereducated and unprepared to affect our career outcomes – the number one source of our income and financial well-being over the course of our lives. Ask any recent high school or college grad you know, for example, and the odds are you’ll hear them say – “No, I never really learned much about landing a job.”

Certainly since evolution of public education in the 1800s job search has become vastly more complicated.

Are our schools giving enough support and focus on what their career counselors are teaching – a life skill on par with personal finance?

So where do we learn job search? Where did you learn it? Chances are that you didn’t learn it well. For example, you may have landed your first job or and about half of your jobs, through someone you know. You may have essentially fallen into the job. After all, about half of all jobs are filled through networking. The chances are also great that you have not practiced job search even if you’ve learned it at some point. Americans change jobs, on average, every 3.5 years, which gives us little opportunity to stay sharp.

In the high school biology classes many states mandate, many of us learned how to dissect a frog, which was not only cool, but now part of the great movement in STEM. Perhaps a few weeks of learning the science of job search and dissecting its various parts would be a worthwhile addition for all of our students planning to look for a job?

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.

Building Your Own Personal Commercial

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When talking with people about your job search, they’ll naturally ask about your background and what you’re looking for. These can be tough questions to answer because you might not know what the person wants to hear or how long your answer should be. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is taking too long to tell your story. That’s why you should write and memorize a 30-second and a 60-second “commercial” about yourself.

Remember: The key is to keep it to the point and highlight your strengths

Include these points in ylego-516559_1280our commercial:

  1. Your brand: a snapshot of your focus, philosophy and core deliverables
  2. Your background: education and work experience
  3. Your skills, strengths and accomplishments
  4. Your job focus and future –what type of work you like to do and your career goals

Other Uses for Your “Commercial”

You can also use the same information from your 30 or 60-second commercial:

  • At job fairs, when talking to employers
  • In an interview when an employer says: “So, tell me about yourself.” And the same information can help you answer other questions, such as:
    • Tell me about yourself?
    • Why should I hire you?
    • Why are you qualified for this job?
    • Why do you want this job?

To learn more about how you can build your personal brand, create your own 30 or 60 second commercial and enter for a chance to win free job coaching, visit

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.