Archive for March, 2009

Deja Vu Career Change


Deja Vu career change is occuring, again…..

In 1996 Sun Sportswear had a major layoff.  The sportswear company had “merged” with larger holding firm and heads rolled.  A lot of headcount was cut, including mine. 

It was the Monday before Thanksgiving and many of us on the design team, which was located in Kent, Washington, were planning to fly home for the holidays after work.

One by one we were called into the office to sit in front of William Wiley, company President and Sandy Teufel, VP of Design. 

Many of us had no idea what was about to hit.  Just the week prior we attended the company all hands meeting to discuss this possible merger.  We were told not to worry about our jobs and there was no need to update our resumes just yet.   

 Being one of the last people to get called into the office that day and naive to big business, I had no idea what so ever what was going on.  Some people left the office in tears while others in a state of shock.  I was beginning to feel a little left out that my name wasn’t called until I was one of the last.

Finally it was my turn to enter. 

I was told the news that I had lost my job.

Sandy Teufel was really sweet about it and said,  “Please know this has nothing to do with your performance, we really enjoy you.   Please don’t take this personally at all.  If things should change we will want to call you back.”   Those words sincerely eased the blow.  You could tell by the look on her face that this was not a good day for her either.

“Well at least I now know what it’s like to be laid off,”  was all I could blurt out.

Going back to my desk I called both my parents and gathered my things.   Other departments affected headed out the door with me.

I took something home with me that would be a defining tool for my future career that day.  I took something that would give me a NEW professional skill and ensure my future career SUCCESS.  What I took home that day was:

The company phone list 🙂

I went back home to my Kirland apartment and called EVERYONE on that list.  My goal was to find out who had just become unemployed “with” me.  I called people who had left the company before the list had been updated and I called people on the list that I didn’t know at all. 

This gave me the experience and confidence to cold call

But the most important call I made that day was to the person who had originally hired me at Sun Sportswear, Chuck Cogswell.   Chuck had left the company a month or two prior (he must have known the writing on the wall) and was working for another apparel company in Seattle.

Chuck was fabulous and put me in touch with Evelyn (I can’t recall her last name) who was Human Resources for Eddie Bauer’s Worldwide Headquarters.  

It was maybe 1 -2 weeks at most before I started work for Eddie Bauer in their Textile Design department.  I was doing something different and earning more money than at my previous job.

Being laid off redefined my career path by giving me the skill to “effectively network” into my next position

And now in 2009, it’s career Deja Vu and I couldn’t be more excited about it.   Reminiscing about all the wonderful career changes my last layoff brought, I can’t help but be ecstatic about what lies ahead for my career future.

So tell me, what event has positively redefined your career path?



March 20, 2009 at 11:33 pm 2 comments

A kick in the BUTT is exactly what my CAREER Needed


So on Friday my contract recruiting position ENDED and I became unemployed.  During this economy, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that even the most successful companies need to take a look at their books and where it makes sense, CUT.  This is the only way to stay in business in the long term and ride out the downturn. Unfortunately, on Friday,  that meant cutting my boss’s position, hence my own and a bunch of other talented folks. 

I should have been upset about it, but something interesting happened earlier in the week:  I read my horoscope in the Good Times (I’m a Capricorn):

 “You wonder if you should follow a dream or become even more practical.  Following dreams actually is practical.  So the question is what do you dream about and who do you envision yourself being in these extremely unusual times?  It’s important to place yourself within the context of the world changes occurring. If you place your dreams within the context of serving humanity your dreams will come true.”

Regardless of whether you believe in astrology or not, this hit a cord for me as good advice. 

Dreams, hopes and desires is what pushes great things happen.  Innovation, reinvention and restructuring is what will push us out of this economic slowdown.

The sudden change in my employment will be the kick in the pants I needed in order to “MAKE things happen.”   It’s my career restructuring… just like my former employer is doing to stay in business.


On Friday, before I got the “official” word, my day started out with some great news.  At 7:30am my home phone rang.  It was a friend and former colleague of mine who had been laid off from Motorola the prior month.   His call was to thank me for the career search advice I had given to him on the very day he lost his job.   He had received the job offer he wanted and my advice was instrumental in his success.   So when the axe fell, I felt confident that I could use my own advice and land a job as well.   

This change will only lead to more successful ventures… dreams will come true…..

I hope that you will stay tuned for my Career Search Chronicles…  I’m pretty excited!

What does your career horoscope say about you? 

March 11, 2009 at 8:46 pm 7 comments

I have an “Unusually Magnetic Personality in Bed” I learned last night at the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup


In case you missed last night’s Santa Cruz Tech Meetup  here’s taste of why you should catch the next one.

Innovation was in abundance at the NextSpace  location in downtown Santa Cruz. As a native to Santa Cruz, it was nice to see Cooper Street alive and well!

I arrived early to the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup but it was already standing room only – which is an excellent turnout!  A generous spread of Chinese take-out was waiting for those who may have just joined us after work. It must have been good food because I saw many go back for seconds during the presentations.

Steve Penny was the first to talk to us on his area of expertise, SEO. Steve gave us some great tips on increasing our Google search rankings. I actually learned quite a bit from his presentation – in particular how “authority” works – something that has puzzled me forever! Steve details his SEO consulting services at:

Mokafive was up next.  Amir Zarsange, Sr Sales Engineer, showed the group exactly how simple their product is to the end user. I wasn’t expecting to be as amazed with their virtualization technology as I was. Seeing it in action during his demo was a big plus. Mokafive is taking virtualization to the next level and it is clear what a cost savings their product will be to companies that deploy it.

Thomas Heinke CTO for Raytek talked about the history of his company as well as their future growth path. Thomas brought along a handheld infrared device which was passed around the crowd as sample of this modern technology. It was pretty impressive for such a technical overview but the future sure looks bright for Raytek and their innovation.

Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, ended the presentation as was a real crowd pleaser. Evernote can best be described as your “external brain”. Phil did a great demo for us and I have to say “seeing is believing.” All of us with A.D.D can now “remember everything” from emails, photos, videos, audio’s… using the Evernote technology. This is a very innovative concept that can be easily deployed for both professional and personal uses alike AND there is a sophisticated intelligence to their applications – which again, you just have to check out for yourself, seriously, see this product demo and you will be amazed.

When all the presenters were done, audience members got a chance to give their own announcements. We heard  everything from the coming up local Geek Dinner to several companies who mentioned they were HIRING. For all those local job seekers in the tech space YOU should be at the next Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup.

The Santa Cruz tech community is alive and well – or shall I say thriving. I got a chance to network afterwards and meet many talented folks who are right in the line of local tech action.  But the highlight for me was the fortune cookie.  A very nice man was handing them out at the end of the event with instructions to add “in bed” to the end of your fortune.

Mine read:

“You have an unusually magnetic personality…..(I added)  in bed.”

Will I see YOU at the next one?

March 6, 2009 at 1:08 am Leave a comment


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