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Getting Back to Your Life

October 1, 2012

Recently I polled a number of people in my job search networking support group about what they look forward to doing again when they get a job.  Although the answers varied, they had one thing in common.  People wanted to return the life they had before they were let go from their job.

Some of the answers were going on vacation, eat at exceptionally nice restaurants, go to Broadway shows, visit museums and make plans for the future.  I expected answers like pay their bills, buy a new house, car, and new clothes.   It was interesting to see they missed the finer things in life.  These are the things that are driving forces to get back to work.

It was fascinating to see what they missed.  Instead of missing the camaraderie of colleagues or learning new skills, they missed their lifestyle.  They feel like their lives are on hold and that bothers them.  The inability to make plans for their leisure time and retirement concerns the, especially if they dip into retirement savings to get by.

However, it’s the dreams that keep them going because as soon as they get back to work they are going to _____________.  I’ll let you  fill in the blank.  Having a fun goal keeps their thinking about other things than the mundane things about going back to work.  I don’t think anyone is looking forward to being stuck in traffic, filled in boxes, or endless meetings.  Instead, they are thinking about a fine meal at a 5 star restaurant or seeing the latest Broadway show.

The fun things done  after work is what’s driving them forward to search for jobs.  And who can blame them.  Because now they have more free time than they like, but they can’t do the things they want to do.

What are you looking forward to doing when you get back to work?


Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to

  • Do you feel all alone in your job search?
  • Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?
  • Looking for state of the art job search strategies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you will love the Job Search Networking Support Group.  Click here for more information.


Surviving Unemployment–You are Not Alone

September 23, 2012


If you were to ask me how I survived my unemployment, I would say it was through my job search networking group.

It as through the support of the people of the group that I first learned I was not alone.  I shared the same feelings of loss, grief, frustration and loneliness.  The group was made up of people from different occupations and levels.  It was a diverse group of men and women all sharing the burden of job loss.

Sharing the typical struggles of looking for meaningful employment allowed me to use what I knew to help others.  What they knew helped me.  It was like to the stone soup story where the towns people claimed they didn’t have anything to share.  But one by one they started sharing what little they had.  Soon they had a feast.  My group also had a feast.  A feast, not of soup but of useful information and leads for finding a job, coping with the job loss and dealing family and friends.  As members used this information, they started finding jobs.  New people joined and added new information, and the cycle continues to this day.

What I learned from the group was I wasn’t alone, they felt the same as I did.  Some were better educated, were better qualified, and felt isolated just like me.  I saw that sharing information and leads were the way to feeling less alone led to becoming more positive and hopeful resulted in a getting hired.

I thrived in this group as did over 300 people.  Only a handful remains on the search.  Some got jobs and lost them more than once.  From this experience, I became a career coach so that I could provide positive experiences for others needing the emotional support along with the sharing information and leads.

I highly recommend anyone out of work and looking for a job join a job search networking  and support group.  The information is helpful, and the support is valuable beyond words.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to

Do you feel all alone in your job search?

Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?

Looking for state of the art job search strategies?

If you  answered yes to any of these questions you will love the Job Search Networking Support Group.

Click here for more information.

Conquer Interview Anxiety

September 10, 2012

Do you have test anxiety?  I do, and my brother does.  My brother will be taking a test soon that has the potential to change his life drastically.  He recently found out that in order to keep his job, he needs to pass a crucial test.  He has a very comfortable life style.  He owns a beautiful home, a lovely beach home, and two brand new cars.  His job takes him to 5 star resorts for bonuses and sales meeting.    Needless to say, he is stressed about passing the test. Life would certainly be different for him if he doesn’t pass it.

Interviewing is like taking a test.  You study and prepare so that you are ready to answer any question that can be asked.  You read anything you can get your hands on.  Talk to people who have been there before you.  You are ready or so you think.  You arrive at the site and all of a sudden you can’t think of a single thing you learned.  That happened to me several times.  When I read the first question, I didn’t even recognize the words in the sentence.  When I interviewed it felt the same, I was so nervous I had a difficult time remembering my name.

Those first few minutes were challenging.  I finally started to remember everything I had been working diligently to put into my head.  After a few minutes, I settled down and then I was on a roll.  However, I have found a way to beat the anxiety of test taking and interviewing.  I use guided imagery to relax me and to prepare for the test/interview.  After practicing using guided imagery, I arrive in a much calmer state.  I know I am ready and know how to minimize any nerves very quickly.  It has save the day several times.

Sometimes the test/interview is a doctor’s appointment, a speaking engagement or one of many of life’s tense moments.  I just go to my calm place and breathe.  The tightness in my muscles loosens, my breathing steadies, and the butterflies in my stomach fly away.  But best of all, my head clears and opens up so that pertinent information comes to me as needed.  Depending on the situation, I am able to recall the way I practiced the answers.  I am confident that my answers are spot on.

I talked to my brother about using guided imagery to prepare for his test.  He said it’s something he needs do to prepare for his crucial test.  He knows he needs the stress relief.   And that alone will help him tremendously.  After only a few sessions, he is seeing results in calming down and feeling more confident.  I will tell you know how he does on his test.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to


Let go and get a job.

August 20, 2012

source unknown

When my daughter was young say around 3, she would always say she was a big girl.  She still played with toys appropriate to her age.  At around 9 she honestly thought she was a big girl; she wanted to dress and act older.  She would have preferred makeup and the like instead of toys.  At about 12 or 13 would alternate between acting her age and reverting to a younger age.  She had one foot in childhood and the other in young adulthood.

Although she wanted to be grown, up there was something preventing her from letting go of childhood completely.  She was holding on to the safety of what she knew as she was entering a phase that held uncertainty.

Many job searchers do the same thing.  They hold on to a past that can never be again.  They are afraid of what lies ahead.  The past is known even though it holds some painful memories.  They know where they are and how they got there.  The future is full of uncertainty and so many unanswered questions that create fear and anxiety.

Getting rid of the anger, resentment and bitterness of being let go is necessary to move on.  They didn’t fully mourn their last job.  Instead, they suppress the negative feelings and emotions as they have been taught by society.  Being around unhappy people is awkward because we don’t know what to say or do for fear we make them feel worse.  But these emotions have adverse effects on the mind, body and spirit.  It is especially beneficial to release the negativity when looking for a job.

When the anger and resentment are fully acknowledged and put to rest, the job searcher is fully ready to tackle a successful job search.  A job search is frustrating; having emotional baggage makes the search more difficult.  A successful job search requires the full concentration of the job searcher.  A job searcher needs to be fully engaged in their future and not held back by the past.  The tug-of-war between the past and the present get in the way of success by confusing the job searcher as to what they are seeking.

Don’t be pulled back by the past.  It’s gone.  You can forgive the people and events that made it painful, but you can’t remove it.  It will always be with you because it has made you the person you are today.  .  Better things are ahead of you.

My daughter left childhood behind.  She has graduated from college but continues with graduate level courses.  She has a teaching job she loves.  And best of all she is married to a fantastic, loving husband.  The toys, well they are still at my house.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to

Job Loss Grief: The Unknown and Unacknowledged Emotion

August 13, 2012

You have either been laid off, downsized, right-sided, made redundant, let go, or whatever they called it, and you feel a wide range of emotions.  Or maybe you don’t feel anything at all at the moment.  All you know is you are now experiencing an unplanned change.  Everything you thought about yourself, your job and your future has now been upended.

Among your feelings are shame, anger, fear, anxiety, depressed and many others.  And all these emotions are real.  You are human, and as a human, it is natural and normal to have feelings like these when a loss occurs in your life.  Loss happens in life.  Job loss is felt in the heart and not in the head.  You will go through various emotions at different times.  They may or may not be like someone’s feelings.  It’s ok though because everyone experiences grief differently.

However you have come to understand yourself at this time, there are many others who don’t.  Your family, friends and former colleagues don’t know what to say to you.  They are reacting out of their own fears. In the case of your spouse and children, they fear the financial security of the family.  Your colleagues fear they will experience the same fate.

Additionally, you live in a culture that wants to feel good and dislikes being around people who are sad.  You, like many of us  were taught to hold your negative emotions in check.  As a result, you are not equipped to handle your own emotions let alone someone else’s.   Think about the last time you were around someone who lost a loved one.  You were at a loss for words and were afraid of saying anything that causes the person to start crying so you tip toed around the situation.  You don’t like to see others cry.  It makes you feel uncomfortable. You and a few million other people feel that way.

As I have explained above, grief is normal.  But it has to end in order to move on.  I will cover that in my next posts.  For now, you need to seek ways to alleviate your grief.  Some ways to help you out:  join a job search networking group that allows you express your feelings.  Find a person who will listen without judging you or trying to fix you.  Understand you are not alone, and that what happened was more about business than you.

Please share your comments below.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to

Intuitive Personal Assessment “A Career Self-Assessment Tool”

April 4, 2012

This blog is written by my friend Paul Rega.  He is the author of an exciting new book titled, “How To Find A Job When There Are No Jobs”In this blog, Paul writes about the Intuitive Personal Assessment which I endorse for anyone looking for a career whether you are a high school or college student, or have been in the workforce for many years.   As a career coach, I talk to many people who are unemployed that don’t want to go back to the career they have just lost but don’t know what they want to do.  The Assessement shows them the job they were meant to have.

Throughout most of my life, I have been on a journey towards the identification, development, and implementation of my personal career path. Many years ago, my father introduced me to the concept of establishing and setting goals. He had developed a very sophisticated goal system and each Thanksgiving would have a series of goal-setting meetings with his business partner. Being involved in my own business for many years, I have incorporated much of what he has taught me into my personal life and career planning sessions.

Utilizing my personal and business experience as an executive recruiter since 1984, I have developed a unique twelve-step career assessment and goal setting process called “Intuitive Personal Assessment,” or IPA. The twelve steps and exercises of the IPA process will guide and assist you with the discovery, acceptance and implementation of your desired career path. The IPA self-assessment program utilizes your intuition and incorporates your ideas, skills, interests, values and life experiences to determine your career path.

The goal setting segment of IPA is based on the principle of establishing and maintaining balance in all of life’s seven components, including Health, Family, Knowledge, Relationships, Spiritual, Financial, and Career. Balance is the key to life’s longevity, and by achieving balance in your life, your career will prosper. Setting goals and taking action to achieve them as they relate to the components of the IPA process will enable you to visualize and accomplish your career objectives.

The IPA personal assessment program is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to discover his or her unique career path. After completion of the twelve-step IPA process, you will be equipped with the knowledge needed to determine your career path and the tools in the form of goals needed to implement your job search plan.

The current job market is a tremendously competitive environment. Many individuals, who have recently lost their jobs often have very similar job skills and will be seeking a limited number of positions. Only those who have a clear understanding of their desired career path and are armed with the proper skills and job search knowledge will be successful in their search.

When searching for a new job, most individuals are doing so for one of two reasons. They are either dissatisfied with their current job, or they have been laid off or fired from their current position. They may be unhappy with the type of work they are doing or dislike the company environment in which they work. They may have a personality conflict with their boss, or salary and benefits issues that can’t be resolved. The reasons for an individual’s job dissatisfaction are endless.

This book is intended to serve as a guide for those individuals who either want to make a career change or for those who are literally forced to make a change and are looking for a new job. The current-day perception of the job market is that there are fewer good paying jobs and more people competing for the same positions. Many US companies continue to export thousands of jobs to foreign countries and as a result have dramatically restructured their businesses and have downsized their work force. Thousands of individuals out of work with similar job experience are thus infused into an already hyper-competitive job market.

When searching for a new job, time is always your enemy; you must start your job search immediately once you are out of work. Should you be privy to company layoffs or you decide to leave your present company, it is important that you begin your job search as soon as you are able to do so. Far too many people I have known through my executive search business have mistakenly decided to wait more than two weeks, to almost a year to start their job search. Some made a decision to take time off from work or even took extended vacations.

Competition for new jobs is very fierce in today’s economically tight environment with fewer quality well-paying jobs available. As an executive search recruiter with over twenty-eight years of industry experience, I strongly recommend against taking an extended vacation should you leave your current company. Time away from work may sound like a good idea, perhaps to regroup and charge your batteries. However, it could prove to be a very costly mistake, especially if several people from your company with similar work experience are also laid off. My advice is that you take a day or two to get organized and gather your thoughts, and then move immediately towards your goal of locating a new position before your competition has time to act.

Begin to ask yourself the following questions: Do I enjoy the work I was doing at the previous company? Does the work challenge me? Am I doing something that I feel is important? Was the environment, culture and location of the company suited to me as an individual? Do I want to work for a small, medium or large company? What personality traits am I looking for in a boss and my co-workers? These are questions that will help you to mentally prepare yourself to begin your job search.

Paul Rega is president of Paul J. Rega & Associates, a retained executive search firm he founded in 1985. He is well-known throughout the business community as an executive search professional and career coach. His new best-selling book, How To Find A Job: When There Are No Jobs hit the #1 position in Job Hunting books in the country, surpassing “What Color is Your Parachute.” The book continues to be one of the most downloaded books on Amazon with over 13,500 downloads during a 3-day promotion. It rocketed to #1 Job Hunting, Careers & Resumes, #2 Nonfiction and #2 Business & Investing. It was also ranked in the Top 20 at #14 on Amazon Kindle.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Journalism, having attended the University of Illinois and Western Illinois University. He began his writing career while attending Western Illinois University as a staff reporter for the Western Courier. Prior to establishing his executive search firm, Paul held the position of Chemical Marketing Manager with Fisher Scientific Company, a division of Allied Chemical where he sold and marketed food and pharmaceutical grade chemicals. He currently lives with his fiancée in a small town along the Gulf Coast of Florida where he is working on his next book, a novel and coaches his children in soccer, one of his other passions in life.








Arleen Bradley has two certifications in career coaching and certification in the Job-Loss Recovery Program .  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs using the Job-Loss Recovery Program.  The Job-Loss Recovery Program uses guided imagery to achieve results. To learn more about it and how you can benefit from it, log on to  Or send me an email at

Grief is grief whether you lose a loved one or a job.

March 31, 2012

7-6-31 to 3-21-12

In the last few months, I have been talking about Job Loss Grief and the grief you feel when you lose a loved one.  Right now I am experiencing grief over the death of my father.  And I can tell you, I am numb.

As in job loss grief the first stage is shock/denial.  The stage you immediately enter.  It is a stage when you haven’t fully processed the loss.  By going into autopilot your mind protects you from the loss to enable you to do the things that need to be done.  I am there.  I am numb and don’t feel engaged with my surroundings.  I am going through the motions of life but not feeling anything.

He suffered cardiac arrest on a Wednesday.  He was gone by the next Wednesday.  But what happened in between was a roller coaster of emotions in forms of worry and concern, hope and happiness, uncertainty and confusion then finally loss.

The day he had a cardiac arrest, my mother and I got to the hospital and were shown to the family room.  It was a small room, not much larger than a closet.  There we waited for the doctor to come in and ask us questions, but not revealing anything more than they were working on him.  In this room, we could only worry and fear the worse.  We were finally able to see him, but he wasn’t conscious. He remained that way for several days.  We could only hope and pray for him to awake without brain damage.  One day, we arrived at my dad’s room to find him awake.

Although we were hopeful and glad to see him sitting up, we wondered if he knew who we were.  I can only guess that he did.  He was able to squeeze my mother’s hand on demand and nod his head yes or shake his head no. But did he actually know?  I hope so.  His only words were he wanted to go home.  He was sitting up in a chair, just looking at each of us.   Since he had been on a ventilator for days, his throat was dry and irritated which made it difficult to understand him.  He was constantly tugging at the wires and tubes that connected him to machines. This day of was a blessing because the next day when we got to his room, he wasn’t aware of anything and was on a higher level of oxygen.  The dad from the day before wasn’t gone.  Was he coming back?  We didn’t know.

But over the next couple of days, we realized he wasn’t coming back to where he was the week before.  And finally the day came one week to the day he entered the hospital when a decision needed to be made.  How much longer could he be given oxygen at hurricane force in order to survive?  We were confused and uncertain if we were making the right decision. It was a tough decision to make, but we knew we had to make it.  After the decision had been made to let nature take its course, it only took 45 minutes for the end to come. It wasn’t easy to watch my dad slowly slip away.  But knowing he would be at peace, and not suffer anymore, confirmed we did the right thing.

The pain is still there and will be for a while.  Loss isn’t easy and certainly not fun.  The pain will continue and will go through different phases and manifestations. But there is one thing I learned about job loss grief and grief from losing a loved one.  You can get another job, but you can’t get another dad.  I will miss my dad.  He is gone but not forgotten. Love you Dad!

In the coming weeks, I will not only share with you my usual information about job loss grief, but I will share my journey as I grieve my father.  How are you handling your grief for the loss of your job and/or loved one?  Please comment below.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to

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