The Obama Job Fair

It’s December and the recession is over. OK. But there’s an inconvenient fact – unemployment is still at 10.2%. So the administration is going to act – a job fair at the White House today. 100 CEOs and business leaders brainstormed ways to get people back to work. Stay tuned for the results (but don’t hold your breath – VP Joe Biden called it like it is – a recession is when your neighbor is out of work – it’s a depression when you are)
Here’s a blunt, but realistic viewpoint from Kevin Mergens, a contributor to WSJ’s blog “Laid Off and Looking.”

In previous posts, I referenced how the job hunt can be a roller coaster ride of emotion. As I draft this, I am fighting through one of those low points. I had a great deal of activity in October, including on-site interviews with three companies. One of the three gave me the thumbs down after a second round of interviews; I must give them a complement in that they were good at getting back to me by a certain date — just not with the news I wanted.

I also had multiple interviews with two other fine organizations. At this point I am still waiting on a verdict from both of them. While I am still in the running for both, the longer I wait the more negative I can get.

Your entire professional life is centered on landing a job. However, I have to remember that filling the job is hardly the only thing going on in the hiring manager’s life. I have been on the other side of the coin and realize that something like a VP’s trip to Europe could freeze the hiring decision for weeks. My goal is to assume the worst until I hear otherwise — I did the best I could in the interview, and if they want to move forward they will.

I am the type that can get overconfident about my chances after an interview. The double wammy of this is letting up on the search if I think I did well, and then being devastated if I don’t get the role after I thought I had a great interview. I try to tell myself to “live one day at a time.” I try to get up with a good attitude and work the day’s plan: complete the ads, attend networking events, and at some point something will click. If I need a day off, I take it.

The point is to stay fresh and focused. A good friend of mine just landed a role the other week. He passed along some advice that was given to him: “It’s all good in the end, and right now, if it’s not all good, you are simply not at the end.”

Kevin Mergens was a product manager for ADP Dealer Services. His job was eliminated in June 2009. Previously, Mr. Mergens, 40, was a marketing manager at Littlelfuse. He earned an M.B.A. from Michigan State University ’s Broad School of Management in 1993. Mr. Mergens lives with his wife and three children in Niles, Ill.

JP Headshot1JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations, most recently helping those in transition. His philosophy is to help others be more successful and to enjoy the benefits of meeting new people.

JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile and his articles on


One Response to The Obama Job Fair

  1. Christa Pedersen says:

    Great article, thank you for the tips.
    I like the format also.
    Building relationships is key I think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: