Restarting career after extended break

Jobfish from Butterflyvista and Career Coaching by Sarah Weinberger
Jobfish from Butterflyvista and Career Coaching by Sarah Weinberger

Employers like candidates, who are employed, naturally, but that can be a bad thing too, if too long at one employer or skills at that employer are dated.

What matters most is practical skills. A candidate reentering the job market must first assess if their skill set is still what employers want and relevant / current.

A good way to get practical experience is simply to do some volunteer work or internship. Getting a current certification in your area is another great way to show relevance and explain time off. Many employers give skill evaluation tests, so that many times takes the place of experience. If going the volunteer route, there are many non-profits. Advertising on Craig’s List is a surefire way to do that. You only need a few months, but I think simply going the education route is best. One should never work for free.

Candidates should talk to recruiters and employers and see what the complaints are, if any. A candidate should not assume thoughts from others. They should get feedback. The candidate should not give excuses, simply state the reason. After receiving a list of complaints, the candidate can categorize them and start strategizing a list of action items to address each point. Negative comments are great, better than positive ones, as they lead to correction and improvement.


Sarah Weinberger is a career coach with Butterflyvista Corporation. She is also a software and systems engineer. You can learn more about her and Butterflyvista by visiting the consulting website, You can connect with her via the site or her LinkedIn profile.

Searching for a job in an ever changing world

Jobfish from Butterflyvista, check it out and tell your friends.
Jobfish from Butterflyvista and Career Coaching by Sarah Weinberger

I have noticed over the years all the changes. Changes take all forms.  Star Trek went from a very crude television series in the 1960s to quite a marvel in the latest Star Trek: Into Darkness complete with Imax and 3D, although I only saw the 3D, not the Imax.  In the 1960s, there was no such thing as a smartphone.  Star Trek introduced a flip top communicator as a huge thing never to happen in our lifetimes.  Well, flip top cell phones came and went and we now have smartphones.  We have touch screen 3D monitors, and a buggy Windows Phone 8 that does not allow email access.  Okay, some things are the same, namely buggy stuff.

There is another thing that has not changed over the years.  I have seen that over, and over again, even in my own family.  What is that?  The way we look for a job.  Most people do not look for a job properly.  They may yell, get violent, huff, puff, and threaten to blow a house down, but the plural vast majority of people have no clue how to find a job.

Thankfully, I got lucky.  I had someone teach me years ago now.  Before going further, see if the following applies to you.  You ask a few friends and/or family members if they know of a job.  This approach got a bit more sophisticated with LinkedIn and Facebook.  You collect millions upon zillions of friends.  (I highly recommend that each person on this planet who subscribes to Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn be forced to watch and study The Great Gatsby.  Okay, the first half hour to hour was super boring, but the ending was quite riveting and had a lesson to teach.)  Of those millions upon millions of friends, if you have one real friend, then consider yourself lucky.  I could right an entire novel on what I think of Facebook, but I am off topic.  Okay, people buy a book and read, much better use of time.

People ask a few friends, they maybe go to a job board or two and respond to a few job postings, and talk to your favorite recruiter, who contrary to popular belief does not have your interest at heart and does not work for you, no matter what they say.  Recruiters work for employers and have the employer’s interest at heart.  Period.  Dealing with a recruiter is like playing Power Ball or whatever favorite idiocy name is applied to the get money from poor people fad, otherwise known as the lottery.  In total people might send out somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty resumes every couple of weeks, maybe a month.

When the method just described does not work, people get demoralized and say that there are no jobs.  During the recession there were reduced jobs, but there were still jobs.  Even the good times met with hard times for obtaining work.  There is no such thing as hanging your shingle on the door, Little House style, and you will see people come knocking with a town behind you to give you business and the modern day equivalent to chickens paid in kind.

No matter what changes in life, searching for a job does not.  I know.  Jobfish provides a prism to the way in which people look for a job.  Yes, by looking at the areas that people use, but much more importantly by the support calls and talking with individuals.  Even ones that feel liberal in sending in support tickets, many of them still do not look for work properly.

Oprah a few years back (have your grandmother explain who Oprah is/was) had a few episodes, which got picked up by the multitude of media even Newsweek (ask your Great Grand Father on that one), where she talked of “The Secret”.  If there ever was a product that shows that someone can get rich of selling ice to Eskimos in Alaska, it is that product.  I still could not sit through the entire DVD without falling asleep.  Okay, it does have that redeeming quality.  It is better than a book or music.  The DVD stated that if you think positive that you will get what you want.  If you do not get what you want, then that is because you had a stray thought.  Basically, you are not pure Vulcan.  Spock would fail.

Success comes to those that try and do not give up.  Those that do not take no for an answer are likely to succeed.  If everyone will say that you are a failure, but you keep chipping away at the goal, you will one day succeed.  There are those that wake up at 8:00 AM in the morning, screw off half the day, and go to bed early, and say they are working.  There are those that go to bed at a reasonable time and wake up at the crack of dawn and work their asses off.  When I say “work their assess off”, I do mean smartly, not stupidly.  Work hard yes, but smartly too.  You have to analyze mistakes and judge comments from others judicially perusing the point and regardless of the source and judging if the point has merit.

Before going on, here is another pet peeve of mine that I hear from others.  Sorry, but although some males exhibit this behavior, by and large it applies to women, at least from my observation.  Yes, there is Hillary, Martha, and others are counterweights, but they are still the exception.  Many people say that they are not smart enough to do something.  They do not have the skill to do something.  They are not this and not that.  You here every excuse in the book.  You really want to shake these people.  Maybe some shaking would scramble some neurons in the brain properly and straighten out the thinking.  Southern California has Magic Mountain.  These individuals should go there.

One learns by doing.  Believe in yourself and the rest follows.  Do not judge yourself.  That is a job for others.  Your job when looking for a job is to cast as wide a net as possible and be the little engine that could.  (That was a great childhood story.  Loved it.)  That is a better example.  A little train that thinks he can, can do more than a big noisy train that thinks he cannot.  The relevance is there, if you interpret the story the right way.  (Perchik from Fiddler on the Roof would smile at this statement.)

I hear people say that they do not really want to do this or that.  A better comment would be do you really want to spend several years out of work and wasting your life and watching your family blow away?  I am not saying to settle.  That is another problem.  Working in a hotel kitchen is fine, but if you could do more, then do not settle because you think of yourself as a failure.  You rob society, g-d, and yourself by doing so.  Okay, I sound like Gene Roddenberry here, but hey, why not.

A person who sends out 500 resumes each and every week, talks to a hundred different companies and people each week, and does a slew of other things inclusive of learning and studying is more likely to land a job than the one that talks your ear off on why they cannot do something.  There is a difference between really trying and not succeeding and needing a hand up and out and talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

The hardest part is to get started and to know that the journey will be long, but that patience will in the long run pay off.  Yes, I am the choir to the statement that I was born without patience, that I fell asleep at the park, when nature / g-d chimed for all to get in line to collect patience.  I would not even know what that is.  Like I said, I feel asleep.  Ditto for faith.  That does not mean that I do not know that things take time and hard work.  Let just say that I did not just fall off the turnip truck.  That possibly happened last week. 😉  I am not knocking turnips.  A relative of mine, when I was young grew turnips in the backyard and prepared all sorts of things with the vegetable.  You have to take a deep breath, and start by putting the first foot in front and saying that the journey should begin.  Please, do not wait until January 1st.

I offer an example.  I always prided myself on healthy eating and at little to no sweets.  I was roughly 38″ around my middle for years.  For about a year, people, one in particular, kept after me that I look funny that there is nothing up there by a whole lot down there.  I was asleep or something.  One day, I measured myself and saw that I got to 42.25″ and was well over 200lb.  That was last July.  I got me a personal trainer, as I knew that beside everything else that I would not workout properly on my own.  I am way too lazy.  I admitted that.  It was the truth, so nothing to be ashamed at.  I told my trainer the facts and the first session had measurements and conversation.  Next Monday is Memorial Day 2013, so just about a year and a year of much hard work.  I am not back at 35″ yet (my healthy waist measurement, which corresponds to 160lb to 165lb or so).  I measured myself yesterday at 38.25 inches and 178lb.  I have a long way to go, but I already came a long way.  I lost four inches and about 25 to 30lbs.

Why did I bore you here?  The reason is that success comes through hard work.  Good is bad, and bad is good, except when good is good and bad is bad.  The trick is to know the difference.  Bread and sugar is bad, even though you temporarily think of it as good, but what really is good and bad?  Is being 215lb good and suffering walking up the stairs just to enjoy a pizza or is being healthy and fit good and forgoing the pizza?

Am I off topic?  Nope.  I would not even begin to debate that I have patience or know about faith.  I freely admit that I lack the two.  As I said, I was asleep at the park underneath a tree or something, when nature / g-d passed out patience and faith.  I do know the benefit of hard and continuous work.  I never said that I was on a diet.  That is such a stupid word.  Diet implies going back to old ways when you reach your goal.  That means a yoyo effect, as the old ways caused the problem in the first place.  Think of adjusting oneself as a lifestyle change.  Eat vegetable soup, not potato cheese or broccoli cheese soups.  Did you know that a bowl of good split pea soup is 490 calories but a bowl of vegetable soup (no potato or other trash) is 90 calories?

Landing a job requires being 100%, not 50%.  You have to have a realistic assessment of where you are and what you need to do, and then start checking off one item at a time over a prolonged period of time.  Landing a job requires putting in the time, much like losing weight.  What you think of as bad is actually good.  When it came to my weight, I had someone nagging me and pointing out the facts until I saw them on my own.  Searching for a job is no different.

Jobfish can help.  Butterflyvista designed Jobfish with the job seeker in mind.  We as a company have collective stories of what it is like.  Yes, we have experience on both ends, recruitment as well.  Still, Jobfish can help and not just because we designed the program, but because it can.

You have to talk with many different recruiters and keep logs and schedule and keep track of callbacks.  There is no such thing as your favorite recruiter.  Use all recruiters, 100 per day, each day new, each and every day.  At the same time, broaden your skill set.  Think of yourself as major awesomeness.  Be the expert, even if you are not.  Nobody is.  People who say they are experts just talk that way.  Yes, some have real facts, but a lot of it is attitude.  Do not say trash and stupid things.  That is where studying comes in and doing due diligence.

Send out 50 to 100 resumes each and every day, Sundays inclusive.  Keep different versions of your resume.  If a recruiter says that they need something in a particular format, say no worries.  Hang up.  Scream or yell, curse at the recruiter, but then give the recruiter what they need.  They know what the hiring manager and HR department will need and what they do not want to see.

Also, if you have a father that says that you can wear athletic shoes to an interview because you are a college graduate, you have my permission to disregard the person and read books on the topic.  One must always dress to impress.  Guys, that means that you can and should get a manicure and have your hair done.  Looking clean cut and groomed always helps.  Please know a tailor and a dry cleaner.  Clothes should fit and be clean and pressed.  No exceptions.

Get a life coach.  It takes a real person to know that you cannot do it alone.  There is no bravery for going it alone.  Hillary once wrote that it takes a village to raise a child.  That is true.  Jobfish is not your entire village, nor meant to be, but it is a powerful tool that can help.  We are here to help.

Check out Jobfish at our website at or

The Dichotomy of a City and its Job Market

Jobfish from Butterflyvista, check it out and tell your friends.
Jobfish from Butterflyvista and Career Coaching by Sarah Weinberger

I was going through old articles that I had saved from several years back and one of them from six years ago asked if outsourcing and H1-B visas were getting rid of America’s technical edge and eroding our middle class. I would say that the prediction came true, but things are more nuanced.

Definitely, going to any mall, at least here in Southern California yields a plethora of malls that are brimming with people and sales. Here in Santa Monica, restaurants catering to the middle class are not very popular as seen by the closing of Sizzlers. One can argue that people cannot afford to go out, so no big surprise, but the two eateries that replaced Sizzler is doing a phenomenal amount of business and charging a lot more.

Take another example, the Santa Monica Place, the main mall here in the city. The mall just reopened after a two-year renovation. The mall prior to closing had a Broadway and a Robinson’s May as anchor stores. The mall also had a roof. What changed in two years? The roof went away, which absolutely baffles me why people want to shop with radiation, when they have the Third Street Promenade next door and the beach. More to keeping on track, the two middle class stores were replaced by a Nordstrom’s and a Bloomingdale’s. There is a gourmet high end market on the third floor. From what I hear, the mall’s focus, like most everything else in Santa Monica caters to not the top 2%, but I would argue the top 0.1%. Driving down Montana Avenue, or most any other street here, yields one high end store after the other.

Did you know that a few years ago, there was a JC Penney? That store became a ‘Banana Republic,’ a high end Gap. The list of changes goes on. One can argue that Santa Monica is unique here in Southern California, but no.

One can probably argue that the rich get richer and the poor poorer, but I would disagree with that statement too. Definitely careers have a lot to do with things, and maybe there lies the answer. Professions that cannot be outsourced or do not have H1-B visas have a large and healthy middle class. Fields that are protected are another source of middle class. People here on H1-B are also middle class.

The people, who were affected, just do not shop or radically reduced. Okay, that is hard to fathom as well, if one looks at lines at movie theaters. AMC Theaters is now becoming so cocky that they got rid of the AMC Movie Watcher program and replaced it with AMC Stubs, which a program designed to be better. I agree. The question is better for whom. The answer is them. Six dollar per year fee, a huge decrease in benefits, and elimination of popcorn on Wednesdays definitely says that there business has not suffered, but is in fact booming. If lines, upgrades, and ticket prices have anything to do with sales, then they are doing one heck of a job. Yes, that is a quote from a few years ago, not that it was intentional.

I would say that if we take Southern California as a judge, the United States is not only away from the recession and the worst of times, but we are in the best of times, and far more so than Samuel Clemons knew in his day.

So how do these facts jive with 12.4% unemployment here in the Southland, which translates to upwards of 20% unemployment, as the labor statistics only report those people who collect unemployment insurance or go down to certain career centers and report themselves as a statistic? By the way, is there anyone that has done that or even knows how to do that, let alone has the time? Before going on, California has a huge deficit, 25 billion dollars. That also correlates to 20% unemployment plus probably another 10% underemployment. There is less money coming in, so less people pay taxes.

That must mean that either the rest of the population got huge raises and/or there has been an influx of rich people here to the Southland. Before anyone says that the Southern California is special, it is not. The rest of the nation says the same thing. Does the 30% of the population that is suffering live in a bubble? A percentage less than that toppled the Egyptian regime. At a minimum, there should be protests, but there are none.

It is hard to argue that America is losing its technical edge, considering how well America’s top firms keep doing, although I did read about an Indian company that created a drug, and is doing well. Russia and the Chinese are the two countries in manned space flight. The United States is retiring from that given the cancelation of the Shuttle, Constellation, and Venture Star programs. I am still upset about the Venture Star programming getting the ax years ago, but happy about the Constellation programming getting the ax. Did you all read/hear that William Shatner gave a wakeup call to the astronauts of Discovery today?

Maybe the lesson we wind up with is a tale of two cities, where one is quiet and the other so far not so quiet. The quiet ones do have it in their power to rise up and do something about it. We all do. Egypt has shown that. No, I am not talking of a revolution. Okay, I am, but not the overthrowing kind, but rather the Oprah kind, where we change tactics and do not rely on methods of old. There are jobs out there. We just have to get them.

That is where Jobfish comes in. If you are searching for a job the old fashioned way, then you do yourself a disservice. You really are. Just as we would work hard and organized for an employer, there is no reason to be sloppy and nonchalant about a job search. One should be more organized and methodical in a job search, then when working for someone else. We as Americans have to not take no for an answer, but rather say, and mean, yes we can. It is up to us. Jobfish is the first step towards that end. Be the one that shops at Nordstrom’s. If you shop there, then you might know of someone who does not, so help them out and turn them on to the tools that can help.

As a closing remark, the new build of Jobfish does away with support of Hot Jobs. That is because, as you probably heard, that Monster bought the job board from Yahoo and merged the site theirs. Hot Jobs no longer exists. Which one had the cold jobs?

Let me know your thoughts.

Sarah M. Weinberger
Butterflyvista Corporation

Butterflyvista is the maker of Jobfish 2010, a job search program to help the job seeker find a job. Just as the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market, Jobfish 2010 is revolutionizing the job search market. From help with your resumes, to working with the job boards, such as Craig’s List, applying for jobs, and so much more, Jobfish 2010 relieves the burdens of the mundane stuff, which usually frustrates job seekers beyond belief. Knowledge and organization is power, and Jobfish gives you both.

Surviving a Prolonged Economic Downturn

Jobfish from Butterflyvista, check it out and tell your friends.
Jobfish from Butterflyvista and Career Coaching by Sarah Weinberger

Many people are facing dire times during a prolonged economic downturn, which started by and large in late 2007, although depending upon your specialty, the beginnings of the recession started in the ‘80s with the outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs to other countries.  It was just a matter of time before white collar work got outsourced too.  The politics of the situation, though, do not change the reality for many people.  With bills to pay and many people out of work for two years or more with no unemployment benefits, philosophical discussions are a moot issue.  Solving the problem is tantamount.  For some, joining the military is an option, especially if you are younger, but for others that is not an option.

Although I cannot promise anyone a sure fire way that guarantees a job, I can tell you how to what the best strategies are, which will place you in the best possible position, so that you can get one of the few jobs, which are available.  You do not have to work hard, but you do have to put in time and be smart.  Okay, so let us begin.

The first thing that you should do is to discard old beliefs.  Sending out five or so targeted resumes that you research and know that you are qualified for every couple of weeks does not cut the mustard anymore, so to speak.  What you think of your qualifications is not as important as what the employer and recruiter thinks of your qualifications.  Apply to anything and everything within plausibility of your field.  You do not need to read the job descriptions.  You only need to glance at it quickly.  Your motto should be to throw enough things against the wall, so that not only will something stick, namely that you get an interview, but that you get hired too.  You need to make a nuisance of yourself.  Be heard.  You should send out several hundred resumes every other day.  In a month time period, you should have sent out several thousand.  Yes, you can do that and not spend more than a couple hours a day on the activity.  I will tell you how later in this article.

In most jobs, one does a varied number of things.  For instance, many people in white collar jobs have to do a bit of project management, even if you are not the project manager (PM).  Maybe you had to train people.  Did you ever have to write something?  What I am driving after is that you should explore working in a related field.  It does not matter what you think of your skills, but what the hiring manager thinks.  I say hiring manager, because you can work around recruiters.  They are two dimensional in nature, as are human resource managers.  By the way, being a human resource manager is another possibility.

Create one resume for each type of work.  Mention every job that you had, but emphasize skills in the area that you want to push.  Try to recollect back to your time and think if you did anything in that field, if even scarcely.  If you did, play that up.  Do a search on job boards and find industry buzzwords in the field.  Research what they mean.  You can do that by doing a Google search.  Add those buzzwords, which you feel comfortable.  Maybe you can study a bit those buzzwords and do some practice exercises with them, so that you know the lingo.

When the going gets tough, the tough should start working smartly and aggressively.  Craft one cover letter for each job type. Be willing to accept a small decrease in pay, if you get into high-paying field for which you really do not have that many skills.  You will be receiving remuneration for advancing your skillset and getting into a new line of work.  Be happy.  I did not say to sell yourself short.  You should never do that.

When the topic of distance comes up, act like you have been to that location a zillion times.  The answer should always be that the distance is not bad and that you can do that easily.  What difference is it to anyone what the actual time is?  You are not being paid for it, so why discuss that you will be on the road for an hour.   Be firm and reassuring that the distance is not bad and that you are experienced.

Work every job board and be prepared to talk with recruiters and human resource personnel when they call.  Never, and I do mean NEVER, discuss your job search and how it is going with anyone.  It is not their business.  When a recruiter asks if you have any pending interviews, be firm that you do not discuss your job search.  Act like a manager and the one that is in charge.  Take control of the conversation.  That includes finding out what the job position is.  Most recruiter will not initially give out this information, as they want to screen you to see if you have the skillset.  They may ask you to describe your ideal job.  Try to avoid getting angry or agitated. That only hurts you. Obviously, the answer is any job that pays and is close to home, but you cannot say that, sadly. Tell them what they want to hear. You must tell them that you want to work in that field for which they are calling.  How can you do that?   You do that by keeping track of which jobs you applied to and having the information at your fingertips indexed by company name and contact person.  If someone is calling you, more than likely it is because you applied for the job.

I will give you a word of advice.  Be very cautious about giving out your social security number and other key pieces of information.  You do not need to fill that out on an initial interview.  If it becomes serious, then provide it.  If a company requests it for tracking purposes, such as with Bank of America, I would think twice.  Companies like Bank of America do not care about you.  They could care less.  It is up to you to protect your own interests, just as they do their own.  I would think twice about applying for those types of jobs.  Maybe you want to if the situation is desperate enough, but I would still error on the side of caution.

Searching for a job effectively today cannot be done the old fashioned way.  Employers and recruiters have tools to help them, you should as well.  More than likely you have either a computer or a laptop. It is time that you get a software program which will help you do the chores related to finding a job. When checking into a software tool, your software tool should allow you to apply for jobs without opening a million tabs. It should assist you with your with resumes and a host of other things.

Be careful to not get flustered and throw up your hands doing a job search. Let us look at a common situation, where this happens. Remember, people will only see the end result, the final email, not all the hard work that went into applying for a job. Job boards are the most notorious, as far as being a pain in the rear.  Even so called simple boards, like Craig’s List, are a pain to use.  Take Craig’s List, in order to apply for a job, you must navigate to a job category and then open up jobs of interest on a separate tab.  You then have to open up a new blank email form, one for each job, and then fill out each piece of information that goes into an email, one by one. You can easily spend ten minutes to send out one resume.  The work does not end there, as you should keep track of this application, so that you can add information later on and retrieve information later on too. Yes, this part of the job search process is the most tedious and the most dreadful.

Be careful to not feel humiliated dealing with job boards, endlessly rewriting resumes, and especially talking with recruitment and employment contacts endlessly.  There is also the matter of a long period of your life, not knowing when money will flow again, without money, seeing your life put on hold.  That has an enormously damaging feeling to one’s psyche. To avoid these issues, even with help, you should do things that reinforce your sense of self-worth. For different people that can mean different things. Spend a portion of each week reinforcing your self-esteem. That will help you in your job search, as nobody wants to hire a loser.

You should also note that the best time to apply for jobs is the first thing in the morning, so that people see your email when they first get in.  If you send out emails on a Sunday or in the afternoon, it will get buried along with other people’s email.  Did you know that applying for a job on a job board merely sends an email to the person that took out the ad?  This restriction puts more pressure on you.

Okay, I suppose that I do not have to tell you, but dress well and dress to impress, even if you are a college graduate.  I do not say that lightly.  I talk from experience.   I was still at college, when I went for my first job interview.  I asked my father how I should dress.  He told me that I am a student and then will see me as such, so I should dress that way.  Not having anyone tell me different, I listened to him.  I was taken aside after the interview and given a talk to by the hiring manager about how to dress.  Needless to say, I did not get that job.  Speaking of learning things through the School of Hard Knocks, and I hold a PhD from that university graduated with high marks, you should listen to criticism and accept it if it is valid, but reject it if you do not feel that it suits you.  People say things to help you, but that does not mean that everything that someone says will help you.  You know yourself best, but do not be prideful and reject good advice.

If you want to dress well and on a budget, I would recommend JC Penney, if you happen to have one in your area.  They have great men’s and women’s professional outfits at great prices that anyone can afford.  I would also check out Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack.  Sometimes they have last year’s outfits at reduced prices.

When the phone rings and you start talking to someone, if you do not know an answer, do not try to bluff anyone.  That looks bad.  Jot down the question for latter research, but for the moment just say that you do not know.   The worst that can happen is that you blow the conversation, but will learn the question for the next person that calls.  Many company’s do a phone screen at first, so expect that.

More than likely, if you get the job, then you will get the offer within a day, most likely within a short time of the interview.  When interviewers keep interviewing, then they did not like you.  It is as simple as that, although they may interview other people and then get back to you, so you never know.

There is a job for everyone, just as there is that certain someone for everyone.  You have to be persistent and stay in there.  Keep up the education.  If there is a long period of unaccounted for time in your resume, add in short block to account for the period. I would recommend adding in some sort of education.  That can show people that your skills are still relevant.

The first step to finding a job is to stay focused and come up with a plan.  Decide that you will apply to jobs.  Do that like you would any other chore that you do every day.  The most important thing is to not get discouraged and remember that you are a valuable person.  Be creative.

By following these steps, you will see that the phone will start to ring and you will get interviews, both phone and onsite.  From there, it is up to you.  Be positive and smile at the interview.  Do not forget to shake the person’s hand.

Let me know your thoughts.  I would like to hear from you.  You can leave a comment on the blog or by sending an email via the site.

Sarah M. Weinberger
Butterflyvista Corporation

Butterflyvista is the maker of Jobfish 2010, a job search program to help the job seeker find a job. Just as the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market, Jobfish 2010 is revolutionizing the job search market. From help with your resumes, to working with the job boards, such as Craig’s List, applying for jobs, and so much more, Jobfish 2010 relieves the burdens of the mundane stuff, which usually frustrates job seekers beyond belief. Knowledge and organization is power, and Jobfish gives you both.

Have you heard? Recession is over and 1 interview for 10…

Jobfish from Butterflyvista, check it out and tell your friends.
Jobfish from Butterflyvista and Career Coaching by Sarah Weinberger

Today’s Los Angeles Times begs for a commentary, sadly not in a positive way.  The problem with a lot of people in the media and in government is that they live in a bubble, separate from other people in the world and the problems they face.    You hear citations of talking with “experts”, economists and government officials of various kinds.  Reading the paper is definitely an exercise in patience.  Who needs yoga, when the media exists.  By the way, with the possible exception of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

Have you heard?  The recession ended in June 2009.  You should get at least one interview for every ten resumes that you send out (source today’s Los Angeles Times), and the people that are suffering are those in finance and manufacturing.  There was a third category, but I forget offhand what that was.  Jobs are plentiful, if you live in places like Washington D.C.  The Los Angeles Times blamed the high unemployment on a mismatch of where the jobs are to where people live.  People in California suffer because jobs are plentiful outside of California.

I live in California and am quite familiar with the job situation and the causes here in California, most specifically with the greater Los Angeles.

I was telling a friend of mine today about what the L.A. Times said and my friend’s comment was two things.  One, and he is closer to being right on the first point, is that it takes more like submitting one thousand resumes for every interview unless you are absolutely 100% qualified and your resume gets to the right person and you are the right age and this and that and this and that.  I could hear my mother saying, “and if my grandmother would have a penis, he would be my grandfather.”  Exactly!  I added that one has to be around 28 years old too.  They are the easiest to train, look up to companies as something special, dirt cheap, and will work hard and long hours.  He also likes to talk about the liberal media.  He is a Rush Limbaugh ditto head, Glen Beck too.   He is wrong, obviously, on the second point.

I keep carping on the same points, but they are valid.  First off, engineers and other white collar workers seem be be forgotten.  Secondly, I am familiar with the profession, but before talking about engineering further, I want to digress to tell a story that I heard.

I talked with my sister recently.  She is a medical doctor and her husband works in a hospital.  I was told that up until recently there was a woman, who came by every afternoon, picked up the Dictaphone, and brought back a written transcription the following day.  After years of service,  how do you think that she was rewarded?  Did she get a raise?  Yes, just not the kind that you are thinking about.  She got a quick life from having a foot hand on her butt and tossing her out the door.  She was laid off.  Why?  The hospital could hire a company, in India in this case, at half the cost.

I used to work at Verizon.  Before going on, I will say that I loved that job, the people, and learned a lot.  What is also true is that Verizon was guilty of not outsourcing one job, but virtually the entire engineering effort.  Not only did quite a bit of interaction involve interfacing with the Indian team (numbering in the hundreds from what I could tell), but I would say that over 70% of the people in my building were Indian too working on an H1-B visa.  I was one of only a few non-Indians.  That mix was not good enough.  Verizon decided to close that building and handle the remaining work in Texas, at least until 500 unlucky souls there got the ax.  Verizon was laying people off left and right during my term there.

You may say that Verizon was a special case.  Nope.  My next job was even worse.   Let me just say that the next time you fly on a 787 Dreamliner, you can think of the plane as an outsourced plane.  The trend is getting worse, not better.

Of the companies that I have associated with in one form or another, most believe in outsourcing like many believe in spending $5 (per day) on a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  Some people waste more than $5 per day.  I know of at least two people that fit that bill.

I am not trying to be racist, far from it.  Yes, companies have the right to go where labor is cheap.  I agree with that statement.  They do whatever the law permits.

Before continuing, I talked with a recruiter recently and was told the outsourcing figure.   There are currently about 6 million people working currently in the United States on an H1-B visa.  The government created the H1-B visa program, so that companies could hire talent that was not here in the United States.    The H1-B visa program morphed into a program that does everything but what it was meant to do.

The trouble with engineering and many other industries is not the recession.  The recession is responsible for some job loss, as was the housing bubble burst, but not all jobs.  Manufacturing jobs got outsourced.  “American” car manufacturers build most of their cars outside the United States.  NAFTA is a fancy way of saying take jobs out of the United States.  That was when the problem started.   The problem started with manufacturing and spread to many other industries.

What is my comment about the article that I read that a person should get a minimum of one (1) interview for every ten resumes submitted?   If I were to say horseshit, which was my first thought, I would be saying something bad about horses, and horses are nice creatures, so I will reframe from that thought.  Is there a word to take its place?

As long as I am venting, illegal immigration plays a toll.  I know the Republicans want to score brownie points with their base on this issue, but there are jobs lost in this way.  I was at a well known restaurant chain recently.   They definitely hire knowingly illegal immigrants.  One bragged to me that he came here illegally from El Salvador and makes $10 per hour.  He holds two jobs.  No, I am not making that up, and God alone only knows why he told me or was bragging to me on the topic.  Common sense would say that he would be quite as a church mouse on this topic.  Is he the only one, nope.  I feel for his story, but the truth is that he is taking away a job from an American.  Okay, illegal immigrants is a small percentage of the problem and outsourcing the white elephant, but even so.

Our former president said that migrant workers (that seems to whitewash the real phrase, no?) take on the jobs that no one else wants to.  Okay, I still do not know of a word to replace horseshit, because that comes to mind.  The truth is that there is no one that wants to work like a slave for $2 per hour in the fields or $10 per hour serving soup or warming potatoes for guests on Sundays.  I agree with that.  What would happen if we increased the wage to $25 in the field and in the restaurants?

What would happen if Congress got some Cojones and imposed a tax on H1-B visa and outsourcing, ff a company wants to outsource work, it would have to pay a tax of 20% plus 1.5 times the amount of money lost than if the jobs were done here?  What would happen if a company had to pay $2 million tax per year for every H1-B applicant .

The cost of goods would go up (guess what folks, they do anyways), but at least everyone that wanted a job would have a job.  They would be able to pay for goods.

Just to address one other point that I keep reading about in the papers and is so total whatever the word I should use (thoughts?).  “We are in a deflationary time, blah blah blah.”

Supercuts charges $2 more now than a few months ago, which is $2 more now than last year.  Restaurants charge significantly more now than in the past.  I am thinking of a certain national American Italian chain that doubled their prices in about a two to three year span.  Rents have gone up.  Groceries have absolutely gone up and not by a little bit.  Gasoline has skyrocketed.  Airline ticket prices have gone up.  We live in a radically inflationary time, just people do not complain and the media and government ignores the facts.

Another sticking point, as long as I am bitching, is a certain bank agreeing to stop foreclosures.  How about landlords agreeing not to collect rent and the courts agreeing not to hear any cases of tenants not paying rent, hence no evictions.  Did I make my point?  I am not being heartless either, far from it.  Housing costs had exponential inflation, not because people wanted a home, but because people wanted to become rich off of it, flip properties so to speak.  Yes, there are those that really did get hurt, but a lot more that played the game and should pay the price like the rest of us.

I totally get ticked off hearing that unemployment is bad and that people who receive it have a disinterest in finding real work.  That is the Republican mantra.   I am not even being biased.  They really say that and a lot.  I hear this view much more so than how most people in the GOP are against abortions and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”  Every other speech this year seems to evoke how benefits should be cut and how employees are lazy.  Are you?

Finding work is a tough lonely job under  any circumstances and especially if you are out of work for long periods of time.  They are not lazy and really do work.  I cannot give work to people and nor can I pass legislation, but maybe in my own small way, I can help by creating a program that really does help job seekers get a job.  I wrote Jobfish, because there was no tool that truly helped job seekers.  There was no company that listened to their needs.  Butterflyvista has tried to live up to the ideal to help people.  It was written by a job seeker, who knows from experience what is required.  Jobfish has grown a lot this year by listening to all of you and incorporating many of the comments.  Butterflyvista in the future will continue to do the same.

I hope that with these blogs that there will be a discussion started and a groundswell building so that jobs really do come back and not just temporarily and at the expense of someone else.  Politics and jobs are interconnected; they always have been.  Fixing the economy takes time.  Fixing anything takes time, but breaking it is quick.

Do let us know your comments on Jobfish.   We uploaded training videos to YouTube recently for anyone that feels a bit lost.

Sarah M. Weinberger
Butterflyvista Corporation

Memories of Saint Landon

Jobfish from Butterflyvista, check it out and tell your friends.
Jobfish from Butterflyvista and Career Coaching by Sarah Weinberger

Unless I am mistaken, I think that I am the first to anoint the omnipotent Michael Landon as Saint.  After watching an episode last night of Little House, originally written for Bonanza, I thought of two things.  One, Michael Landon solves every problem large and small.  He can raise people from the almost / virtually dead (He Was Only Twelve with James), make drunks sober (Someone Please Love Me), and make the blind to see (not Mary, but someone else).  My thought was how many of us now with papers writing of a new and larger destitute class living at or below the poverty line would like a Michael Landon (aka Jonathan or Charles) riding up obviously not in a horse to solve our problems.  After all, if he can do all that, then why can he not help the vast amount of people who are unemployed?

The other thought that I had, and the reason why I am writing this blog entry, is that how little (and much) things have changed and how people do not like change.  It takes an act of God, or at least Landon :-), to get people to move.   I was in college and taking a history class.  On the final exam was one question that stood out.  I  do not recall if that was the only question on the final exam, but it was definitely the most memorable one.  “Do people like change, why or why not?”   We had to use historical context to back up our answer.  I naturally said that people absolutely like change, especially if it is for the good.  Ah, the arrogance of youth.  I am not saying that I am old now, but I was younger than.   People do not like change, even when they want it.

The world is full of examples.  People tine and time again like the status quo.  I can think of women that get beaten and stay, because that is what they know, to Congress perpetually moving at a snails pace with Global Warming and other issues.  Even people who want a job, clutch on to what they know, hence the tie-in to Jobfish.  There is one exception, Steven Jobs of Apple.

Okay, he lost his magic with Apple TV, but judgment is still out on that one.  Okay, he gets a pass, because the studios will not allow him to sell shows for 99 cents.  I do not want to get off topic, but seriously have you ever seen anyone else talk virtually an entire planet to change their ways and pay a nice chunk of money for it?  The MP3 and cell phone markets were saturated.   A trip to Fry’s before the iPod offered dozens of nearly free to free MP3 players.  That was before Jobs came along and decided that people should pay multiple hundreds of dollars every other year for it.

My father was the last person on the planet that I thought would ever get an iPhone, but he did.  He proudly showed it off to me.  I do not even have one.   Yes, Steve Jobs is the exception to the rule that people do not like change.

With respect to the job market, people clutch to what they know.  They ask their friends, write notes, open up multiple tabs in a browser, or just use Microsoft Excel, maybe even just Notepad.  Post-It Notes work great too.

Just as the iPhone showed that there is a better way, the same holds true for finding a job.  Face it, with the possible exception of Craig’s List, but even there, the interest of job boards and staffing firms (recruiters) are with employers, not the employee.

Did you watch the episode of Medium last year, when Joe lost his job and contacted a recruiter, who worked tirelessly on his behalf, for free, to get him a new, and then ideal, job as an engineer?   If Michael Landon and Gene Roddenberry (society without money, etc. and definitely etc.) stretched reality, then Medium definitely did.  Staffing firms are simply not like that.  They just are not.  The same holds true for job boards.  Yes, there are a few people, who can always get a job by calling a couple of old colleagues or asking their friends.  I talked with someone the other day for which that was true.   I think that I can say for the most of us that that sentiment is not true.

Can there be such a thing as a savior for the average job seeker?  Okay, I am thinking of a Little Joe Cartwright or Bobby Ewing (think Dallas)?  From what I see, the answer is no.  The Los Angeles Times and other periodicals keep writing horror stories.  I read of one family that had to separate with the father living somewhere else and the mother and children living with her parents, because neither of them could find jobs.

There is one thing that I have noticed that always is in common.  The one out of work woman in Philadelphia sent out 200 resumes in the past twelve months and was not able to find a job.  Virtually every article, if not every article, which talks of people’s hardships, mentions that they sent out somewhere around 200 resumes in a year and could not find a job.

How about sending out 200 resumes in about three hours, give or take an hour?  How about doing that each and every single day?  What do you think the odds would be if the number increased radically?  What would happen if records were suddenly kept.  Information when someone calls would be available at an instant?  What if working with job boards did not require David Carradine’s Kung Fu character, Kwai Chang Caine, but rather maybe not became fun, but at least not bad.  What about if tweaking resumes, getting tips on interviews, looking at job metrics, and even having a better way to use Craig’s List were available?  It is with Jobfish.

What do you think of a major newspaper comparison with the subject line “Which is more stylish and has better lines, Apple’s iPhone 4 or Jobfish!”  Okay, there is something to be said for the styling of the Blackberry Torch, but if you ask me, the lines of Jobfish are a bit better. 😉

I wanted to give a bit more detail on Craig’s List.  The way that Craig’s List works is that you click on the email link, respond to the person who placed the ad, and wait for an email back.  How many times have you received an email back and not known which advertisement that the article pertained to?  Yeah, there might be a link, but usually not.  Jobfish not only makes responding to Craig’s List job postings a snap, by automating the entire process, but Jobfish also places a copy of the posting at the bottom of the email.  In that way, when you get a response back, you have the entire job posting at the bottom of the email for easy viewing.  That puts you one step up, as you can talk intelligently.  Information is power, and so to is Jobfish.

My last comment for this entry is sadly religious institutions and the people inside them for the most part, or at least from my own experience, will talk of helping people in far off lands, but do nothing for the people in their own congregation, who are suffering.  Reverend Aldan in Little House, as the people of Walnut Grove, bent over backwards to help a fellow person struggling get back on their feat.  Religious institutions will not even let you in their doors, if you do not pay them.

Jobfish is here to help you, as are the people here at Butterflyvista.  Let us help you with your job search.  Write us with your stories.  Share your thoughts.  With new dynamics in the job market, finding a job is tougher than in the past.  There can be help Little House style.

Sarah M. Weinberger
Butterflyvista Corporation