At risk of overstepping my bounds by responding to so many of you on this email…

I am the young lady Bill mentioned several weeks ago, who participated in the Launch Pad at my first FUMC lunch meeting. IT WAS FUN. Really! I’m not going to lie – it was intimidating to take those three steps to get me to the front of the room. But once I did, I was empowered! I caught my breath and attempted to stop sweating as I passed my resume out to all the kind-eyed folks around the room. As I did, some words of encouragement were whispered… I knew I was in the right place.

Words cannot describe the energy I felt as my moment in the spotlight subsided. Yes, I was asked challenging questions, but they needed to be asked – I needed clarification in my own mind, and better these supportive people catch me unprepared rather than a hiring manager during an interview! I was REengergized by the caring souls sitting around me. Some silently cheering me on with nods and smiles, while others were very direct and – as mentioned – asked the tough questions. And of course, there were innumberable words of encouragement. Everything about that experience was wonderful. My spirits were uplifted, I made connections… everyone in that room was a SUPPORTIVE FRIEND. It is an incredibly safe, non-judgemental situation, and I highly recommend your participation. There are infinite possibilities in terms of what you can get out of the LaunchPad and the meeting as a whole. YOU are in control of YOUR SUCCESS. I walked away with so much – contacts, new approaches, much-needed resume help, and a renewed sense of self worth… priceless intangibles.

If you want to participate in the Launch Pad, but are simply feeling scared or unsure, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to talk you through it, give you suggestions as to how to stay calm or what to expect, or simply give you a pep talk. I assure you, you are doing yourself an immense disservice if you pass up the opportunity Bill, Russ and the Team provide on a weekly basis. This is an amazing program driven by even more amazing people.

Wishing you all that you work hard for and deserve in this new year,
Jennie Dexter
jennie.dexter

On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM, Bill Johnson <bjcpaok> wrote:

Judging by the attendance today, many of you are still on a holiday.

May I make a few suggestions?

Get back into the swing of the search ASAP. Many companies are now working on their first quarter budgets, and every day you delay can put you another day behind your competition.

This might be a good time to try a New Year’s Resolution.

Repeat after me: I resolve to……

Come on! This isn’t that hard. Get up off your couch, put down that ding dong, and step away from the remote.

Now, repeat after me: I resolve to do everything I can….

I saw you roll your eyes. This isn’t even as hard as eating all of your brocoli. Now try it again. Repeat after me: I resolve to do everything I can to further my job search. I will work hard on staying connected and….

Oh my! The holiday hangover has affected your attention span. Let’s try something different. Repeat after me: IresolvetodoeverythingIcantofurthermyjobsearch.Iwillworkhard onstayingconnectedandwillstronglyconsiderattendingtheFUMCjobsministryeveryThursday,includingparticipatingintheLaunchPad.

Mo betta. Now that wasn’t hard, was it? All you need to do to get on the Launch Pad schedule is to return this E-mail with your request and I will put you on the schedule. Just to make sure that the holidays haven’t affected your memory, I am concluding with our Launch Pad FAQ:

ARE YOU DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO FURTHER YOUR SEARCH? IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE THE LAUNCH PAD, THE ANSWER IS NO!

FAQ’s about the Launch Pad:

Question 1: What is the big deal about the launch Pad?

Answer: The big deal is that everyone in the room bonds with your search. Not only that, but you will receive names, companies, ideas and resume suggestions that will give you something to do immediately about your search. Sometime back Russ & I were trying to think of people who would be a fit for a job that came across his cell phone during the Launch Pad. I sent Russ a complete list of everyone who had done the Launch Pad because we can just read the names and images jump into our minds. Unfortunately, just introducing yourself does not leave a lasting impression.

Question 2: How can I get out there in front of strangers? It is too scary.

Answer: You are not going to find a better room of friends. Your social friends are going to give a little advice or encouragement and then go back to their jobs and lives and forget. The people in that room are all in the same place or have been in the same place you are in right now. Even among the leadership group, there are very few people who haven’t experienced job loss. I, myself have been laid off politely, laid off rudely, been fired politely, fired rudely, have worked my way out of a job twice and quit and moved on twice, have taken the wrong job twice, and once I even testified in court on behalf of the company and right afterwards was basically told "thanks for all you have done for us….we don’t need you anymore."

Question 3: Why can’t I just wait until my resume is ready?

Answer: Because your resume will never be "ready". The resume is not the most important part of the Launch Pad anyway. We would like nothing better than to help you make it more relevant, but your previous jobs, education, and experiences in your job history are going to be more important than the white space or type fonts in your resume. Besides, if you get on the Launch Pad and then realize that you really want to pursue your passion, you can always get back on the Launch Pad and look for new ideas on how you can do that.

Question 4: I have seen the Launch Pad and I feel intimidated by the experience level of those who present.

Answer: That seems to be a self-perpetuating problem. The more experienced people are the most comfortable in front of a group. But don’t let that hide the value. We have had numerous people get out there and spend time explaining what they can’t do. We gently turn their focus on what they CAN do. Everyone has a value proposition, and it is very important that you can recognize and be excited about yours. It is easy to get discouraged on a job search. You need to have a way to re-charge your batteries and the Launch Pad is perfect for that.

Question 5: What is the acceptable format for the Launch Pad?

Answer: Are you kidding? The 20 minutes are all yours. We only ask that you not use it to sell Amway or use false pretenses to promote some product. One guy passed out 3×5 cards and explained that he would appreciate feedback in a written form because he was ADD and was going to talk for 20 minutes….and he did. Another older gentleman took off his sport coat and started his Launch Pad by dropping down and doing 60 pushups…..just to let us know he wasn’t as old as he looked. Another young man read a prepared text on why he got fired and what he had learned from it, and yet another person talked the whole 20 minutes as he reasoned his way into going after his true passion of life. We recommend that you spend five to 10 minutes filling in the details of who you are and what you are looking for and then allow 10 – 15 minutes for feedback……but it’s whatever floats your boat.

Question 6: OK What do I have to do to qualify to get on the schedule?

Answer: Everyone has the opportunity….for whatever reason, some have not tried. That is their loss. All you need to do is respond to this E-mail with a simple request to be put on the schedule and I will respond with your time. It is that simple. I ask that you respond by E-mail for two reasons. First, it is first come, first served, and E-mail makes it clear who was first. Second, if you tell me during a meeting, there is a good chance I will forget before I get back to the office and that tends to cause hard feelings.

Thanks in advance for volunteering….le bon ton rolle’

Bill Johnson

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