Monday, February 16, 2009

Father Knows Best

Well. It’s about time. My name is Roscoe Chambers, the proud father of (you guessed it) Peppur Chambers. Our family has been in the Human Resources and owners of an Executive Search firm for several years. And because “FATHER KNOWS BEST” I’ve been asked to contribute to the award winning “Brown Betties Gazette”. I will attempt to provide pertinent information pertaining to employment search strategy for job seekers, various employment articles, and postings of open job opportunities nationwide.

Dear readers,

First of all, I’d like to apologize for not participating in the very first BB Gazette of this year. My passion is to participate in them all, it won’t happen again. Having said that, remember the old Cliché… “All I want for Christmas is a Blah! Blah! Blah!” well that was my wish for 2009 after not having an assignment and living on unemployment for nearly 5 months. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to have a few dollars rolling in but it seemed never to be enough, but just enough. Before I knew it I had developed that “where is the mailman waltz” on the 15th and 30th of each month just around 1:30 pm. I knew his schedule like clockwork and those who have fallen prey to unemployment know exactly what I mean.

While I’ve been in the employment profession for several years, even when times were hard, the family business still produced revenue of some sort. But now with the current economy, it appears no one has totally been spared so my wish was “All I wanted for Christmas” was a job, assignment, part-time work or something. I had even threatened to become a greeter at Wal-Mart…..I certainly met the age requirement.

Nevertheless, what’s important to share was how and what I did during that time of unemployment. In this article I want to share with you my experiences and tips of what to do during the time of unemployment purgatory. I trust this information to be helpful.

1) Stay in shape….. when the body is in shape, so follows the mind. Count on utilizing every mental fiber available to sustain the mental challenges this period presents.
2) Create more than one impressive resume. You’ll be surprised as to how many positions are posted that fit your expertise but are worded and titled differently.
3) Finding a job IS a job. Don’t expect to find a job in one week or weekend. It takes time effort and energy. Typically 6 months to a year for professional positions and short of that for other disciplines keeping in mind location, location, location makes the difference.
4) Be prepared to hear the word “NO” more than “Yes”. This exercise is not for the weak or thin-skinned.
5) Stay strong!……You will eventually get YOUR job no matter how many times you interview. Speaking of interviewing……Hone your skills, there will be literally hundreds, thousands of applicants looking for that one illusive position you seek. Be prepared!
6) Network, Network, Network……Don’t be ashamed or embassrassed to let everyone know that you are between jobs…believe me you won’t be the only one. Stay close to your friends; they will tell you the truth. Associates tend to tell you what they think you want to hear.
7) Stay focused….Keep your eye on the prize. Read and stay abreast of what is happening in your profession so when asked a question you can articulate the answer with ease and confidence.
8) Don’t lose self-confidence!........ at times you will feel like you are a piece of human waste.
9) Keep your routine!….get up in the morning as if you were going to work and be productive as you search for YOUR position.
10) And most of all ……. Believe and PRAY! Case in point. On the very last day of my unemployment eligibility which happened to be on a Friday, I received a call from an employer (assignment) and they asked if I would be available to work on Monday……..are you kidding?

My prayer was: Lord, you know this is my last week of unemployment…..take over!
But beware of what you ask for….

I just want to take a few more minutes of your time and share my first two weeks of work. Certainly not parallel to President Obama’s, but about as risqué. Not knowing where the office was located I leave before dawn with an abundance of energy. Two and a half hours later the office finally opens. I’m greeted and told how grateful the company was for finding someone with my skills and expertise. That didn’t make me mad. Then I go through the on-boarding process (computer passwords, login stuff, and security badge etc.etc.) then escorted to my work area. Well, apparently the Lord blessed another person because I was informed that I would have a cube mate. So I’m thinking, if the Lord can bless me, surely he had enough juice for someone else.

Minutes pass and then I hear this heavy Texas accent quickly approaching my cube. I stand up and there she was……..About 5’6, red spiked hair, heavy make-up, (Este Lauder would have been proud) and pear shaped with a very colorful top to cover herself and she was of Native American descent (Cherokee and something else). “Hi, my name is Candy,” she says as she extended her hand and of course I introduced myself as well.

After the pleasantries for the next couple of days, it was cool but then she started bringing in all of this food and drink. Our cube began to take on the appearance of 7-eleven. Then she breaks out the peanuts, huge bags of them and of course Candy says to me, “These peanuts are good for you” (I thought my mother died in 1995). Well if you’ve ever eaten one peanut, you have to eat another one, another one and another one. Needless to say, in two weeks I was hooked. Before I knew it my office floor looked as if it were the local bar. In addition (and not to be descriptive) I can’t remember the last time my bowl movements were so regular….Psyllium and Metamucil combined are no match to the power of peanuts.

But wait! …..There’s more. One day I made the mistake of coughing. Candy looked at me and asked, “How long have you had that cough?” I told her it just started reluctantly………Mistake! Candy opened her credenza and pulls out this brown paper bag twisted at the top like the brothers had on the corner as they harmonized “Duke of Earl.” Then she said, “Take a few tablespoons of this, honey. It will knock that cough right out”. Being the visual person I am, I was somewhat skeptical because nothing visual offered any indication of what was in the bag…… but I did. The concoction had no odor and I can remember it came from a small bottle…..that’s it. I started to sip through my barely open lips and after a few hits of this stuff I nearly fell to my knees. I became short of breath, blurry-eyed, speechless and a burning sensation felt never before crept in my chest then all of a sudden the pain instantly stopped! I never coughed again. I was curious and had to find out what this stuff was. So when Candy left the cubical I opened the bag with caution to discover this mysterious liquid. The label and wording was faded with what smelled of chicken grease and difficult to read. However, when I was able to focus on the title of this hidden remedy it read: OLD INDIAN WILD CHERRY BARK SYRUP.

Unequivocally, if you want immediate recovery from a cough or cold, I highly recommend it. Until next month…..Happy Jobing!

Roscoe Chambers II is also the President of The Kennedy Group, LLC, an executive search firm that takes a broad approach in the staffing of various industries and disciplines covering levels from middle- to upper- management. Please contact him at

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