Conan O’Brien is Laid Off & Loving It for 2010!

As America is well aware, late night talk show host/comedian Conan O’Brien has just been terminated from the Tonight Show. NBC tried options to save him but Conan ultimately opted to sever ties with his employer.

Hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of professionals have received severance packages during this recession. I know laid off people who have received nothing, people who have received two weeks of pay, two months of pay, a year of pay, and we’ve all read about top executives who left with millions of dollars upon termination.

But few severance packages match Conan’s. He’s been with NBC for 20+ years so let’s not talk of him “only working for 7 months.” But, his severance package of $33 MILLION is amazing.

He’s also an extremely stand up (comedian–ha!) guy to negotiate $7 million for his staff who moved from New York City to California. Seems like everyone, including NBC, wins in this deal.

No, Conan didn’t want to leave The Tonight Show, but he’s sitting on $33 mil, his staff is taken care of, and he’ll have a BETTER deal on a show at a new network after September 1 of this year. He gained tremendous sympathy and new followers throughout this drama.

All of this allows me to name Conan as the “poster child” for my book, “Laid Off & Loving It For 2010.” Conan, I’ll send you a free copy if you like–we can even work up a comedy bit together on the perils of being laid off. …Not that record unemployment is a laughing matter to folks who can’t pay the mortgage. But a little humor may help anyone who is struggling.

So, let me know where to send “Laid Off & Loving It For 2010” Conan, because you are an inspiration for severed employees everywhere!

America’s Job Coach

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm  Comments (2)  
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Reverse Headhunting–Is It For You?

I was reading today about various headhunting issues. The article was discussing executive search firms and their charges to place six-figure leaders. It reminded me of what is invovled in the industry called “search” or search firms.

In that business, the search firm does extensive research on people. Then its agents make many phone calls to potential candidates who they may try to recruit into their search assignments. And there are many calls a headhunter makes to get new clients and earn new search assignments as vacancies occur. It is mostly about a lot of phone calls.

I have also read recently about the plethora of job boards. There are seemingly thousands of them out there…some huge…some specialized…some obtuse. There are so many it is hard for anyone to know what to do.

Faced with the anonymous “pray and spray” techniques of using too many job boards, consider the headhunter example. Te reverse engineer something means to tear it apart to learn how it was designed and made. How about your considering reverse headhunting YOURSELF?

Instead of wishing to be called by an executive recruiter, how about doing the headhunter’s work for him/her? How about you making your own TwitterVator Speech (a 140 character sale pitch/unique selling proposition about YOUR attributes) and peddle that via a few well-rehearsed (but not canned) phone calls to some key person you found on

You’ll undoubtedly get a lot of voice mails if you try this but hey, what is wrong with leaving a 30 second long pitch about why they can’t live without you? This strategy is mostly for those who are now, unemployed but those with jobs might consider it too.

What is the worst that can happen? The company won’t hire you? You already have THAT! Let me know if I am all wet here.

Learn about a twittervator speech in my book, “Laid Off & Loving It For 2010” or at my web site,

Happy (self) Headhunting!

America’s Job Coach

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 2:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Two Girls For Every Boy/Six Seekers For Every Job

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A similar post to the one below was made on November 2, 2009, but in light of today’s headline in the USA Today (6.4 Job Seekers For Every Job), I’ll repeat it below (in a shortened fashion). It was a popular post.

Two Girls For Every Boy!

In 1963, the song Surf City was recorded by a young band named The Beach Boys. It was the number one song on Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 back then. Some ‘Over-50 Types’ definately remember the song on AM radio.

What a fun concept to think about especially for young men — a place where the girls may have worn an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, AND there were TWO girls for every one boy! The song has been played for decades at wedding dances and theme parties etc.

Fast forward 45 years or so. Instead of ‘Two Girls for Every Boy,‘ now we have “Six Seekers For Every Job.”
A recent editorial by Paul Krugman of The New York Times included the statistic that we are now seeing six job seekers pursuing every one available job. (This was repeated in the news on January 13, 2010). That isn’t near as much fun as Two Girls for Every Boy. This level of competition for work looks like it is going to be with us awhile.

If you are stuck in a job you don’t like, or you are out of work, that thought might be depressing. But don’t let it bring you down! Three out of five 50-something laid off people I know have recently found jobs! Collectively, they were competing against hundreds of other job seekers. But, they managed to land something despite the long odds. But if you aren’t so lucky, what do you do?

If your line of work is clogged with too many competitors for too few jobs, you may need to reinvent yourself. The short version of how to do that is this:

» Take what you know better than anyone else, repackage it, remould it, add a new, big dash of passion to it, get someone smarter than you to review your efforts, and give it a whirl.

» Maybe you can become a consultant to your former industry, or to a niche you have followed for a long time?

Maybe you can boldly approach your former employer with a new ”value-add” proposition or TwitterVator Speech?

Maybe the time is finally getting close where you can turn your hobby into a small business?

Let’s hear from readers who have done this: Share your success stories and plug yourself here. Show the world how you reinvented yourself! Perhaps this blog can inspire you about how to catch that perfect career wave. Maybe comments by this blog’s readers will lead to Two Jobs for Every Boy (and Girl)!

Surf’s Up!

America’s Job Coach
Author of “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010”

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Are You As a Mature Worker Strategic Enough?

This content is from the Blog and the main content is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

It is helpful for all people who are in or considering a career change or upgrade. Seeing where things are headed, even if you don’t have the background to specifically do some of these specialized jobs is helpful. Why?

Because you can look at these fast growing functions and use the skills you DO have to SUPPORT these growing professions!

Considering Changing Your Career? Be Aware Of 20 Occupations With The Fastest Growth And 20 Occupations With The Fastest Decline..

Hoping for a strategic and prosperous New Year for all !

America’s Job Coach

Author: Laid Off & Loving It For 2010

Will 2010 Lead to 2020 Vision or 2020 Hindsight?

We just saw the end of a year and the end of a decade. A very turbulent decade. No rehash needed because you have seen all the life changing events in the media lately. Ten years is a big chunk of time in anyone’s life.

So if you agree that this hunk of time is noteworthy, shouldn’t it be marked with big ideas and big goals? What will your life be like in 2020? Will you have 2020 vision or will you coast through another ten years and only THEN have 2020 hindsight? That date is only ten years away. Just think how fast the last ten years came and went. 9/11 seems like yesterday, doesn’t it? A little strategic thinking may really get you postured well occupationally for the future.

What if YOU had known ten years ago that 350 to 400 million people globally would be putting vast details about their work history and/or personal traits, families and friends on social networking websites? Would that have been good to know? Could that have affected your job or your industry? What if you could have, ten years ago, guessed right about some trends in banking or other industries?

I am not directing us all to become wise sages here who can predict the future and then profit from that. What I am suggesting is that you, at the start of an exciting new decade which is going to be RIFE with change, give some thought to the world of work, invention, trends, entrepreneurship, etc. Where will the new decade take you?

How will the marriage of technology and health care, the emerging world of finance, the ongoing “green” parade, or the globalization of most anything affect your occupation? Remember, today radiologists in India can read the scans made of your hip which the lesser educated US-based technologist just took of you in the local MRI room. If those kinds of changes are occuring in the medical world, how will things change in your world?

The movie “Up In the Air” is a new release staring George Clooney. His character travels constantly to companies which are downsizing or laying off their employees. He is the hatchet man who breaks the bad news. One of his stock lines during the terminations is that this action will now allow the people who are cut to go on and finally pursue their dreams.  He implies to his public that he is almost helping them by “liberating” them.  This blog will discuss more about Clooney’s movie later, but hold Clooney’s thought in mind: Is your life standing in the way of your dreams? Can your 2020 Vision or Hindsight apply to YOUR decade ahead? 

What do you think? Add a comment about where you think everything will head and how that could affect your career. Will globalization make your job obsolete? Or, will offshoring have proved ineffective in your industry so your skills are back in demand?

Kick out your ideas here…Maybe as a group this career advice forum can come up with the next FaceBook, or something similar… THAT would show some 2020 Vision!

Think big…think bold!

America’s Job Coach
Author: Laid Off & Loving It for 2010