Stop Ignoring This Abundant Supply of Hardworking Employees!

As a member of a local executive networking group, a frequent topic in our meetings is the lack of quality, hardworking employees.  Due to the strong job market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find employees with the appropriate qualifications for a position, and once that match is found, employers tend to hope productivity follows.  The one demographic my peers tend to overlook while hunting for the perfect candidate is the mature workforce.

Mature workers make up some of the most highly educated, extremely productive employees and come from one of the highest achieving workforces in history.  At Career Partners International (CPI) we work with thousands of highly qualified, motivated, and experienced workers every year.  In today’s employment market, older workers are still interested in contributing to the workplace.  Many of these workers still want to, and even need to work for years to come.

Technology and workplace skills are evolving at a faster pace than ever before.  Most every community has developed educational programs and training to help this group of workers refine their skills, add new skills, and in some cases totally change their existing skill sets.  Both traditional and emerging fields of education are available to reposition this group for a renewed impact in the workforce.  CPI offers a variety of training programs to improve candidates’ skills to better fit the modern workplace.  No longer is a long resume a reason to think a potential candidate’s skillset is obsolete.

Never forget that no matter what age or generation a worker was raised in, it is only when one stops stop learning, unlearning, and relearning that an employee becomes unemployable or undesirable in the workforce. Many mature employees have worked hard to keep their superior skills on the upswing. Retooling their skills through continuing education and training has become a priority for many of these workers.  While some retooling may be arduous, often these shifts come naturally and the path to do so simply needs to be highlighted by a good coach or mentor.  Relearning and discovering new ways of working builds on a strong foundation of decades of experience.

As businesses continue to face new challenges and opportunities, we must count on hiring back this generation to address escalating talent shortages.  This hardworking generation has the desire, ability, and means to combine their drive and experience with new forms of learning to stay relevant.  To keep our businesses competitive and economically strong we must harness the potential of all talent available to us, both new and practiced.  With the recent launch of CPI EmployerConnect™ employers can more easily find these hardworking candidates.  Employers can and should look to bring back seasoned, wise, and reliable workers for the challenges in today’s workplace.


Written by Travis Jones, CEO of Career Development Partners, a CPI Firm

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4 Steps to Harness 360-Feedback’s Possibilities

Effective leaders develop themselves and their team members. Since the 1990s, many leaders have leveraged the development possibilities from 360-feedback surveys, or multi-rater feedback.  Like all development tools, 360-feedback surveys have their pros and cons.

A quick scan online yields articles warning readers of the “Horrible Truth of 360-Feedback Assessments” and “The Fatal Flaw with 360-Surveys”. 360-feedback surveys can promote disagreement, dissension, and discord—when implemented improperly. However, when used as a developmental tool, rather than an evaluative appraisal, 360- feedback affords individuals greater self-awareness, opportunities for deeper alignment with company goals, and insights for clear paths to professional success.

Like all employees, leaders have their own blind spots.  In order to successfully manage themselves and their teams, it is key to acknowledge these blind spots exist and work to minimize their effects.   Leaders who develop this awareness position themselves for success by knowing what competencies they possess, how those relate to the success of the company, and how others around them—peers, direct reports, customers, etc.—perceive their day-to-day effectiveness.

360-Feedback’s Possibilities & Pitfalls

360-feedback provides leaders and team members with key data points taking them beyond their own hunches or assumptions about themselves. They can gain critical insights from how others validate their strengths and pinpoint their weaknesses. It informs, or alerts, recipients to traits and tendencies concealed from their view but ripe for refinement. 360-feedback helps recipients address what strengths and competencies they offer, how those strengths are perceived by others, and how closely linked one’s strengths are with the goals of the company.

Because of its anonymous multi-rater process, 360-surveys add a unique richness to an individual’s development opportunities by lessening the intrusion of reviewer bias.  360’s anonymity empowers raters to offer unguarded feedback because they are given a voice and permission to use it. This anonymity, though, can enable ineffective responses if respondents aren’t aware of the survey’s goals and expectations. Without coaching and the necessary time to complete the surveys, respondents can offer points of grievance without context or examples, expressing aimless criticisms of a leader.

Additionally, leaders who force 360-feedback surveys into the rhythms of their companies will find it difficult to connect the dots between company goals and how 360-feedback can help recipients contribute to those goals. Not all 360 tools are created equal, and if leaders don’t take the time to shape a 360 to the core competencies of a certain role and the overall values of a company, they’ll encounter more dilemmas than developmental opportunities.

So how can leaders effectively implement 360-feedback as part of their companies’ goals for development and success? Here are four steps to harness the possibilities—and avoid the pitfalls—of 360-feedback.

  1. Align to Desired Behaviors: Before a leader receives a 360-feedback review or has a team member reviewed, it’s important to evaluate empirical research addressing the skills, abilities, and competencies necessary for certain roles to help a company thrive.  It’s also important to consider which 360 tool is appropriate to drive desired outcomes. This combination will help leaders connect the dots between what development opportunities and strengths a 360-review reveals and what direction of development will help an individual efficiently contribute to the company’s success.
  2. Use as a Developmental Coaching Tool: Problems arise when 360-feedback is used as an evaluative instrument of performance rather than as a development tool for coaching. When 360-feedback is used to grade performance, it becomes tied to decision making that involves possible promotions, raises, etc. In this capacity, 360-feedback can be inappropriately viewed as a final assessment.  Instead, leaders need to understand—and help others understand—it’s a data point on the development journey. A skilled coach can deliver the results of 360-feedback to help leaders grow in awareness of their strengths, define steps for moving forward, and clarify what accountability and feedback loops look like.
  3. View It as a Component: Leaders who use only 360-feedback reviews to assess themselves and others are akin to conductors who direct only one musician; they’ll hear wonderful notes and chords, but multiple instruments are required to hear the entire song. 360-feedback reviews should be used in concert with other tools to provide a fuller, clearer picture of behavioral strengths and development opportunities. This provides leaders with a better baseline to create a more nuanced plan for learning, practice, progress, and success.
  4. Clearly Communicate Expectations: Ensuring facilitators and those surveyed are trained to offer helpful reviews is the backbone of a successful 360-feedback discussion. Clear expectations provide a leader with the opportunity to embrace a wider company vision for a culture of development, help illuminate strengths, and highlight opportunities to grow expected competencies.  This also helps prepare recipients to digest and reflect on feedback to develop a plan for professional development.

Leaders who hastily implement 360-surveys without a developmental mindset and effective coaching will likely encounter challenges. But when 360-surveys are used as a development opportunity to cultivate greater alignment between strengths and the competencies required to succeed, they bolster self-awareness and create effective development plans to move leaders —and their teams—toward success.


Written by Promark, a Career Partners International Firm proudly serving Greater Cincinnati clients locally and delivering globally for over 50 years.

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Why Executives Need Career Transition Support, Even in a Hot Job Market

In a hot job market, certain business leaders question whether they should continue to provide career transition support for executives.  Unemployment is down.  Companies are clamoring for good talent.  “Surely, they will find something quickly.”

But is this really the case?  According to the December 2018 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment duration was over 21 weeks.  As employees climb the ladder it takes longer and longer to find a position on par with their talents.  For executives, it is not unusual for the hunt to take over a year, placing considerable strain on the job seeker.

While your displaced former executive is hunting for a job how are they filling their time?  Are they sharing their discontent with former colleagues at the organization?  Have they visited Glass Door and left a scathing review for the world to see?  Or have they been given the support needed to move on in their career with a future focus, reflecting on their time with your company as a period that was enriching for their career?  Regardless of job market conditions, the challenges of a career transition still exist. Your executives are unlikely to be prepared for the emotional challenges of dealing with a job loss, the technical difficulty of conducting a modern job search at the executive level, and the motivational struggle of sustaining a typical, extended search.  Without support, this could prove detrimental to your employer brand.

Career Partners International (CPI) has over thirty years of experience getting executives back to work quickly.  Our combination of expert level coaching facilitated through world-class technology helps executives convey their value to the market and land new opportunities suited to their talent.  CPI coaches guide job seekers through this complex market, while our technology ensures that executives perfect every detail of their job search documents and interview interactions.  Over the course of 2018, this system has helped the average CPI Executive candidate land in under 20 weeks, a significant decrease in search time compared to executives without a career transition plan and support.

If you’re charged with deciding whether to provide executive outplacement services, don’t think for a minute that it is any less stressful or any easier to find a new role in a “hot market.”  Sure, there may be more opportunities in an expanding economy, but the competition is tough and the process of finding the right opportunity can be extremely difficult, especially for executives who haven’t been out in the market or haven’t been hands-on in a search for a while.

Having a professional on your side with experience in career transitions and industry-leading technological support is the exact backing your executives need. Your executives are accomplished in many things but bootstrapping their own career transition is not one of them.  An executive career coach who is trained to help executives identify their goals, polish their messaging and networking skills, facilitate important introductions, negotiate their next package, and generally put their best foot forward can help them navigate this unfamiliar territory and come out the other side for the better. Not to mention, executive career coaches can also help ensure that your company brand is protected and positively represented by your most visible employees – a worthwhile investment indeed.


Written by John Myers, Managing Partner at Kensington International, a Career Partners International Firm

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Why is Your Virtual Dream Team Not Living Up to Expectations?

Harness the Potential of Virtual Teams – March 12th and 14th – 1 SHRM PDC

With over thirty years of experience in talent development and career transition services, Career Partners International (CPI) has provided clients with the tools to navigate through decades of change in the workplace. Despite the best preparations, new challenges continually emerge for HR and Management teams.

Join us for Harnessing the Potential of Virtual Teams, a CPI Webinar Series program, on March 12th and 14th, 2019 as we discuss how to bring out the best in your remote workforce.  Many organizations already have or are beginning to introduce remote workers to their team.  The benefits of this arrangement are numerous.  Leaders can source scare talent from all over the world, not limited to a commutable range.  With constant improvements in technology, connectivity becomes easier despite physical separation.  Engagement and retention are improved.  Employers are even keeping cost down by reducing worksite overhead.

Whether they have given their teams an added perk of remote work flexibility or have just assembled a completely virtual “dream team” many employers are still struggling to see the promised returns of a digital team.  Why are these teams not delivering at the level of their onsite counterparts despite being, on paper, a superior group of employees?  Bill Florin of Learning Dynamics, a CPI Partner Firm, joins us to discuss some of the more treacherous obstacles to realizing the potential of a virtual team.

With over three decades of experience in evolving workplace best practices, the team from Learning Dynamics will be illuminating the most frequent disruptors to team productivity and proposing practical resolutions.  We will explore ways to increase engagement, develop relationships, and bridge cultural differences.  Ultimately, the goal of the program is to identify ways to get things done.  With the proper guidance your teams can deliver on those promises of effectiveness and efficiency, achieving well beyond your current results and expectations.


This program is valid for 1 PDC toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification.


Register today for free at

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Career Coaching: Your Competitive Edge For Employee Engagement

Picture this familiar scene.  You are conducting your teams’ annual reviews and one of your star employees sits down across from you.  Their performance this year has been phenomenal.  All goals achieved, if not exceeded.  The structure of your reviews leaves time for discussion of the future.  Are they content? Mostly.  Could they be doing more? Sure.  Are they looking for a promotion? Of course.  But, truth be told, unless you’re vacating your seat, there isn’t much upward mobility in the division.  You two end the meeting with a handshake and a smile, the plan for next year looking much like it did this past year.  You’re left with an uneasy feeling.  They seemed disappointed.  You wonder if there is more you could be doing to keep them engaged.

While this example might feel like an exaggeration, it happens every day.  It is important to acknowledge the paradox that exists in today’s world of work.  You want your employees to continue performing well and to feel valued, yet careers have become harder to navigate than ever.  Rapid changes, flatter organizations, less opportunity for upward movement, the changing needs of the workforce, and a strong recruiting market make your missed coaching opportunity your competitor’s open door.

Many organizations have shifted the burden of career planning to the employee, but it is important to recognize the critical role management plays in their development.  Although many managers desire to be of service, they feel discomfort engaging in career conversations.  They fear they don’t have the right answers, upward opportunities are limited, and time is scarce.

So, why bother?

  • Engagement is a key driver of business performance and yet over 85% of employees report being not being engaged.
  • Employees are 3x more likely to be engaged when they have regular and meaningful conversations with their managers. More engaged teams deliver key bottom line metrics in the areas of customer satisfaction, profitability, productivity, and absenteeism.
  • The current market is highly competitive with a fierce war for talent. If top talent is not receiving support in their career development, they likely won’t stay long.
  • Employees crave it! They long for the opportunity to explore how they can grow and develop and where they can be of most value in the organization.
  • It’s expected. Millennials, who currently represent the largest portion of the workforce, expect career development conversations with their manager.
  • Empowering employees with a more agile and entrepreneurial mindset enables organizations to achieve a competitive advantage.

That said, supporting your team members’ career development is not as straight-forward as it used to be.  Understanding what career planning looks like today and strengthening skills in career coaching can help to increase your confidence in engaging in career conversations.

What does Career Planning mean today?

  • Focus on the Experience, Not the Title: Due to the rapid speed in which organizations and job descriptions are changing, focus more on the type of work experiences your employees want to explore and the kinds of problems they want to solve rather than their next job title.
  • Continuous Enrichment: Focusing on job enrichment, growth, and learning in their existing role allows your employees to not only find value in their work, but it also better prepares them for lateral and vertical moves. It helps to convey the importance of continuous improvement and enrichment regardless of role change.
  • Navigate the Networked Organization: 84% of organizations are considered networked or matrix structures.  This means that your employees need to develop their brand and nurture relationships in order to access information and build their profile for key projects and opportunities.
  • Hone Value Propositions: Paying attention to what problems need solving and how one is uniquely positioned to solve them helps employees consider where they can make a difference, even in their existing work. It also helps them position themselves for future roles that are yet to emerge.

How to make a difference as a Leader?

  • Be Quick: Career coaching isn’t about long, drawn-out, planned conversations.  While some meetings may be formal, there are many opportunities to quickly check-in and find out what is exciting to your team members and what they want to be doing more of.
  • Be Present: Coaching isn’t just about asking questions, it is about investing in someone else and taking the time to share insights.
  • Be Humble: While you may have deep experience and the war wounds to prove it, it is important to check your biases and assumptions at the door.  Your team member may have a new idea or perspective that you haven’t thought of.
  • Be a Conduit: You likely know more about the organizational landscape than your team has exposure to.  Sharing what you know can help to inspire ideas.
  • Be a Connector: Helping your employees identify potential mentors and ways in which they can grow their network helps to further embed them in the organization and enhance their ability to grow with the business.

Take the time to reflect on where you can offer the most value as a developer of talent.  Investing in coaching your team helps to drive engagement and trust, which will no doubt influence your team’s ability to step up when needed and help you navigate the complex environment you are in.  Enhance your skills as a career coach; your team will thank you.


Authored by Liane Taylor and Ranya El-Farnawani of The Talent Company, a CPI Firm based in Toronto, Canada.

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Career Partners International Names Bill Kellner New President & COO

Career Partners International (CPI) is pleased to announce the arrival Bill Kellner as new President and COO.  An experienced international business leader, Kellner has held various senior leadership positions in the talent development and human resources industry.

In his new role, Kellner will provide CPI with operational direction and support for Partners across the globe.  Kellner will report to former President & CEO, Douglas Matthews, who has announced his retirement but will continue to serve CPI in an advisory capacity to ensure a seamless leadership transition.  With over 350 locations throughout 50 countries, Kellner looks to solidify CPI’s reputation as the world’s most effective talent development and career transition consultants.

“Bill has proven himself time and time again to be an innovative leader in our industry.  We could not be more excited to welcome him as our new President and COO.  Having previously worked alongside Bill, I am confident he will help our partners continue to deliver exceptional services and grow exponentially,” said Douglas Matthews.

With decades of human resources experience, Kellner is innately aware of the value of CPI’s services.  His strengths in talent management, organizational design, and leadership development make this is a natural fit, sure to enhance the organization’s offerings.

“After meeting with multiple Career Partners International leaders, it became clear that their goals closely aligned with my experience and priorities.  CPI’s dedication to supporting their clients and candidates is truly impactful.  I look forward to continuing this tradition of providing exceptional services,” states Kellner.

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Launch the New Year with Your Own Board of Directors

One common piece of career advice is to find a mentor, someone you respect and trust to offer guidance on your journey.  If you have a mentor, or multiple mentors, how can you take this process a step further to elevate your career development?  Start this year off with a strategy to establish your own board of directors.  A group of people you can go to for goal setting, problem-solving, and to hold you accountable.  When you look at any company with a board, there’s usually a lawyer, a strategist, an accountant, and a human resources leader. Just as a company benefits from various experts, so will you. Surround yourself with people who have skill sets, personalities, and experiences that are different than yours.

What’s in it for me?

  • Receive advice from individuals who have specialized knowledge and/or business experience that is different than your background.
  • Acquire feedback on how they see you leading yourself and others.
  • Accelerate introductions to other key stakeholders in your development.
  • Gain encouragement, support, and honest reactions from other professionals who want to see you succeed.

What’s in it for them?

  • Expand their relationships.
  • Expedite their knowledge of other areas within the organization or the community.
  • Improve their strategic and political acumen.
  • Fast-track another person in achieving their goals.

How do I approach a potential board member?

  • Let the person know that you respect and admire them.
  • Explain what you would like the person to do to serve as your advisor on your personal board of directors.
  • Offer to reciprocate by helping the potential board member.

What do I need to know about selecting and maximizing my board of directors?

  • Identify people you admire inside and outside your organization. These advisors are people with important connections and those who want to see you succeed.
  • Use your board to provide guidance about professional image and presence, to expose you to valuable connections, and to provide unique outside perspectives.
  • Just as a code of behavior applies to networking groups, it is also critical to thoughtfully manage the advisor-protégé relationship. Most advisors are more than happy to provide guidance to a protégé that is eager to learn and uses the advisor’s time well.
  • Expressing gratitude to advisors is a requirement of this special relationship. You can also reciprocate your board’s generosity by offering to support your advisors in their future endeavors.

Take the time to work with your board.  Focus on high priority situations and deliver on your commitments.  By utilizing this group you can gain exponentially more feedback and advice than through a typical mentor relationship.  Remember, your hardest critics can be the best people you learn from this year.


Authored by Barbara A. F. Greene, CEO of Greene and Associates, Inc. A CPI Firm

ICF Master Certified Coach and M.S. Degree in Counseling

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Get a Better Job and Make More Money in 2019

As the year ends, many of us head into a period of reflection and planning. “How did 2018 go?  Did I achieve everything I wanted to?  How can I make 2019 my best year yet?” This thinking inevitably leads to developing New Years’ Resolutions. Everyone knows the default goals that are set on January first; eat healthier, start exercising, read more, etc. Often coming in further down the list of most frequently set goals is to get a new job. With over 30 years of experience, Career Partners International (CPI) Coaches know how to not only advise in getting a new job, but also in getting a better position to advance your career and make more money. Here are a few tips to make 2019 the most prosperous year yet for your career.


Up-Level Your Mindset

If you’re looking to not only find, but also attract a better job with higher compensation in 2019, an up-level in your mindset is required.

First, you must start with believing that you’re worthy of a higher paying job that you enjoy. You do this by taking inventory of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Carve out some time on your calendar and do a “Year in Review” by looking at projects you worked on and individuals with whom you collaborated. Utilize the STAR method; Situation, Task, Action and Result. Document these activities and events so you realize (and remember!) all you’ve accomplished in one year! This exercise will also help you prepare for the inevitable behavioral interview questions “Tell me about a time when you had to…”

Once you’ve taken inventory and are feeling confident in what you have to offer, it’s time to assess why you and your unique skill sets/experience are valuable to your future employer. Any up-level in responsibilities and compensation will require you to consider the business and how your position will make an impact. Doing your research online and through your network about the organization will give you more confidence in an interview, allowing you to ask contextual questions about the organization – and how your role fits into their short- and long-term success. Knowing about their business and what their biggest challenges and opportunities are will position you as high-value and will differentiate you from other candidates vying for the same role.

– Brenda Stanton, Vice President Keystone Partners, Boston, MA


Cultivate Your Network

Over 50% of the people we work with find their next role through their networks. The holiday period is the perfect time reach out to your network and reconnect with people. They are more likely to have time to chat and it is an opportunity for you to share with them what you are doing and what your plans and ambitions are for 2019. This may be as simple as calling those who have helped you to say thank you or making time to catch-up for a coffee. It’s a great time to start or continue those conversations which may open new opportunities.

– Jannine Fraser, Managing Director The Career Insight Group, Australia


Negotiate a Job Offer

Job offer negotiations are rarely easy. But job market complexity creates opportunities for people who can skillfully negotiate the terms and conditions of employment. Every situation is unique, but some strategies, tactics and principles can help you address many of the issues people face in negotiating with employers. Before you even begin salary negotiations with a prospective employer, you need to find out how much the job is worth – take the time to research salaries before you begin discussing pay. Being informed about the competitive job market will help prepare you to make your case.

Don’t underestimate the importance of likability; this sounds basic, but it’s crucial. This is about more than being polite; it’s about managing some inevitable tensions in negotiating, such as asking for what you deserve without seeming greedy. Don’t just state your desire for a higher salary but explain precisely why it’s justified, based on the value you can bring to the firm. It helps to consider the whole deal; to many people, “negotiating a job offer” and “negotiating a salary” are synonymous. But much of your satisfaction from the job will come from other factors you can negotiate. Focus on the value of the entire deal; job responsibilities, location, flexibility in work hours, support for continued education, and so forth. Finally, understand the constraints the employer may have and try to determine where they may have flexibility, whether it be in salary, benefits, time off, or work schedule flexibility. And remember, once you have received the offer, you don’t need to accept (or reject) it right away. A simple “I need to think it over” will allow you the time to fully assess the offer and determine if more negotiation may be warranted.

– Rob Croner, Vice President of Senior Executive Services at CCI Consulting, Blue Bell, PA


Put on Your Strategic Thinking Cap

I’m often asked by clients to assist with developing critical leadership skills. Strategic thinking usually tops the list, as companies need strategists to bring long-range thinking connected to achieving the organization’s strategy. More importantly, strategists create a road map to achieve an objective, and put a concrete plan in place that can be implemented successfully. This demonstrates the value of their strategic ideas and sound judgment. The best, most strategic leaders bring others along with them, giving them a clear understanding of why the strategy makes sense and how others can participate and contribute to get the work done.  One of the ways to make yourself more visible and promotable in your organization right now is to consistently find ways to connect the work you do every day with the overall strategy of the organization.

You make yourself more valuable to your employer when you have a clear understanding of where the business is evolving and how you can best contribute your skills in making that happen. Learn, understand, and anticipate what the future may hold for your business, and get out in front of it with additional learning so you can provide those insights to your leadership team. Consider a certification or accredited professional development program to develop your strategic thinking skills. You will be on your way to a promotion in no time.

– Claire Edmondson, Vice President Client Solutions, CPI Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN


Internal Promotion

Do visions of a better job and higher salary in 2019 automatically translate into seeking a position outside your current company? Maybe not. Are there internal executive coaching programs that you could explore to broaden your horizons and contribution to the organization? With so much focus currently on talent development and retention, companies are getting increasingly creative to keep their best talent. Have you completed your Annual Review yet, with your accomplishments for 2018 and goals for 2019? Would that include going from Manager to Director; Director to VP? What action plans can you and your manager put in place (additional training, cross functional responsibilities, a mentor, professional certification, etc.) to ensure an increased level of responsibility and subsequent compensation?

Ask yourself, “What would need to change for this to be my perfect job?” and then see what, in fact, may be negotiable with your current employer. Perhaps you go from a fixed to a variable compensation plan, tied more to individual performance? Maybe you work from home 1 or 2 days per week to help alleviate a time-consuming commute? Have an ongoing, open dialogue with your manager and check your company’s intranet for training opportunities, succession planning options & internal job openings.

Before you succumb to “the grass is always greener on the other side,” take a look inward to your current organization. The opportunities may surprise you.

-Bill McCann, Executive Search Consultant at CCI Consulting, Blue Bell, PA


Evaluate Your Priorities

Very few of us are truly self-aware. We are shaped by many things – our experience, our views, our fears – and it’s difficult to see yourself as others see you. From a career perspective, being self-aware means understanding your real (not your self-perceived) strengths and what you have to offer in the workplace. It also means being honest with yourself about what truly makes you happy at work. For example, pushing yourself to achieve a senior level role when you know that many of the tasks and responsibilities of that job have little appeal to you, is only going to make you unhappy and stressed. Similarly, taking on a level of financial responsibility that requires you to do a job you hate just to earn the money you need sets you off on a path of misery for a large part of your life. Consider also that, if you are a free spirit, the benefits and possibilities of working within a large corporate organization may well be offset by how constrained you will feel when your life at work means following a rigid set of rules and processes.

Of course, it can be hard to be honest with ourselves, but in the context of career planning it can be life-changing. Really knowing yourself and what makes you happy is the foundation of making a great career plan and to getting your life and work in balance.

– Lynne Hardman, CEO Working Transitions, London UK


Career Partners International specializes in providing the most efficient talent development and career transition services in the world. Our coaches have a wide range of experiences and work with people in all phases of their careers. No matter what your current role is, you have the opportunity to get a better job in 2019. Happy New Year!

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Out of Work for Longer than a Year?

Out of work for longer than a year?  If so, you are part of the so called “long-term unemployed” folks.  This is obviously not a fun place to be.  While things seem to be improving on the employment scene, we still have a high percentage of long-term unemployed workers; 20.3% of total unemployed people are classified as long-term unemployed.

What to do?  We’ve put together a few tips for people in this position:

  1. Self Assessment: If you’ve been out of work for 12 months, you may be a bit beaten up. You may be emotionally drained, you may be financially strapped, you may have taken on some habits that are not supportive, and/or you may have strained relationships with people you really care about.  The first step is to take a look at your current situation and deal with what you need to deal with.  Job search is much like building a structure; you need a solid foundation.  Seek out the appropriate professional as needed.


  1. Career Transition or Outplacement: Did you have access to these types of services when you left your last organization? If yes, when was the last time you had contact with your consultant?  If it’s been a while, it’s time to reach out to your consultant to reconnect and find out if you still have access to your services.  Reputable organizations may extend support beyond original program timelines.  When you reach out, be clear about how your consultant can help you.  If you did not have access to Career Transition services, then it may be worth hiring a Career Coach to assist with the process.


  1. Value Proposition: What do you bring to employers that will help them drive revenues, increase margins, cut expenses, improve diversity; you get the idea. In this situation, you need to be very clear about how you will benefit the organization.  Write out your key accomplishments.  Sometimes, it helps to think of differentiators.  If we brought the top 10 candidates for a position into one room (of course you are one of them), what do you bring to the table that many of the other candidates wouldn’t bring?


  1. Activity Evaluation: What have you been doing up to this point? How are you spending your time?  It’s time to make a critical evaluation of what you’ve been doing with your days.  Have other activities entered your life and taken up chunks of time?  While this can sometimes be healthy, it’s important to put in the job search time to make things happen.  Have you sent 100’s of resumes and gotten few interviews?  Then it may be time to look at your application packages.  Are you getting interviews, but not getting to the offer stage?  Then it may be time to look at your interviewing skills.  In times of high unemployment, the percentage of people that land in a new position through someone they know increases.  Are you spending time reconnecting with old connections?  How about connecting with people that you don’t know through introductions?


  1. Focus Your Search: At first, this may seem counter-intuitive. Why would it be beneficial to cut down on the number of job applications or eliminate some possibilities?  It turns out that if you focus your search on what you’re really interested in, your network now knows how to help you.  If you’re very clear about what you want to do, you can now ask for introductions to people that do that work and are in organizations that are of interest.  Think back to your “Value Proposition” and find the work and organizations that would benefit most from what you do.


  1. Volunteer: Volunteering is a good way to get back in the game. People who have been out of work for an extended time have likely lost contact with some connections.  Volunteering also introduces you to a whole new set of connections.  Various studies have shown that volunteering shortens job search times by 7% to 27%.  Be sure to pick something that you truly enjoy and that uses skills that you want to use in the workplace rather than thinking about the outcome of getting a job.  You may also want to set a cap on the amount of time you commit to volunteering.  It’s easy to have this component dominate your job search activities without careful planning.  Doing an internet search for “your city” and “volunteer” should bring up websites where you can browse various opportunities or contact your local library.


  1. Career Change: In some cases, it may be advisable to consider a career change. Some people may already have some ideas about what they would like to do, others may be uncertain.  One suggestion if you are not sure is to take an assessment.  Another suggestion is to visit your neighborhood library and wander the books.  Take note of where you are drawn.  There may be something work related that is worth exploring.  Once you have a target, find and talk to people that are doing the work.  Ask questions.  What’s it like to do the work on a daily basis?  Do they recommend education pieces, or can you get into the work with your current skills?  If you can’t do the work right away, are there stepping stones that will get you closer to your target?


  1. Be OK with It: You are basically the same person as when you were working. In fact, you may be more valuable to an employer now.  Reflecting on your current situation may allow you to bring a certain grounding when you do land in a new role.  You bring much to the table.  Don’t allow the fact that you have not been in a paid position for an extended period of time diminish the you that you are.  Be ready to explain what you’ve been doing, which can be going on a sabbatical or spending extended time with your family if that is what you’ve been doing.  Do so with your head held high.

Hopefully, this provides some thoughts and ideas for moving forward.  Remember that everyone needs help in some form or another from time to time.  Job search is a roller coaster of a ride.  If you get stuck in one of the dips, reach out to someone you trust who can listen, provide support, and help you regain your momentum.  And if you’re not inclined to do so because you don’t want to impose, simply think of how you would feel and what you would do if someone in your situation came to you for help.

Written by Steve Cutler, Consultant at Cenera, a CPI Firm

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Turn Recruiting Into Your Competitive Advantage

Simon Parkin, Founder of The Talent Company, A Career Partners International Firm (CPI), has over 20 years of diverse recruitment and talent management experience.  As a CPI Partner, The Talent Company has provided Toronto, Canada with global expertise in talent development and career transition services.  Simon’s team has developed a system to Find, Keep, Reward, and Transition an organization’s employees.  Now Simon has put pen to paper to share his recruiting specialties in his new book Hiring Right, on shelves December 4th.

None of Hiring Right is theory or blue-sky thinking. Throughout the book examples—some inspirational, others cautionary— are drawn from daily life at organizations around the globe that Simon Parkin and his team have worked with. Simon’s hope is that you will find yourself thinking “a-ha!” at various points, nodding in recognition at others, and highlighting, underlining, and scribbling notes in the margin in every chapter.

“Simon Parkin is a true influencer of our time with his common-sense approach towards talent acquisition.  Any HR or business leader who is serious about propelling their business forward by improving candidate quality, new hire experience, and increased bench-strength of existing human capital, needs to read this book.”  Annamaria DiCesare, National HR Leader of a Global Financial Services Organization

As a special pre-order thank-you, CPI Partners and clients have access to 20% pre-order discount on Hiring Right.  Enter code “TalentCo20” at check out.  Hiring Right is available at

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