June 2009

I’ve been chatting with a lot of HR directors over the past few months.  They’re gearing up for the economic recovery.  Yes, you read that right.  They’re gearing up for the economic recovery!  For real.

JUST last night on the airport shuttle to my hotel, I was chatting with three HR managers who work for a large corporation and the manager who heads up the recruiting side of things said that she has had an open position every single day through this recession AND she’s gearing up to hire more people.  But it’s not just new hires that I’m finding exciting.

Additionally, companies are looking to expand their in-house mentorship programs.  And what I’m most excited about is the incredible interest in not only setting up a standard mentorship program where a more senior manager mentors a junior manager, etc.  but what I’m most excited about is the interest from HR managers in “shaking things up” with their employees and provide them short-term, small-group mentorship experiences OUT of the office.  What I call Mentorship 3.0.

The Brian Kurth + Company team is ready to assist.  We have mentors in nearly 100 vocations who offer the HR managers’ in-house clients the opportunity to gain key team-building, leadership, project management and communications.  The small corporate teams (4-10) getting the mentorship will then be able to use the 80/20 rule back at the office.  In other words, 80% of the mentorship experience that the Chocolatier (or Animation Producer, Dog Daycare Owner, Wine Maker, and the list goes on) mentor provides regarding business leadership, projection management, communications, etc. can be applied to an IT department at a healthcare provider or to the marketing team at an ad agency, and so on, and so on.

So, I’m here at the SHRM (Society of HR Management) conference in New Orleans.  And I’m really excited to chat a lot about Mentorship 3.0.  Let the paradigm shift begin!

Are you here too?  Let’s meet up!  Email me at brian@briankurth.com




Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step By Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love (Hachette, 2008)

OK.  I’m going to vent, folks.

I’ve had a plethora of “the sky is falling” emails from baby boomers the past week or so who are wigging out that their world has changed.  Now, I can be guilty of being a tough-love career consultant but I’m here to tell ya’:  Welcome to the New Reality.

I totally understand what you have today, financially, isn’t what you had five years ago.  I understand that you may not have as much saved for retirement.  I understand that you’re suffering from some loss of identity after being laid off.  The big corner office is gone.  I get it.  I really do.  And I have compassion for it.  But I ask you, Boomers, were you really happy anyway?

Here’s the deal, Boomers (and the whining GenYs and GenXs too — the Boomers do NOT have the lock on whining):  Life goes on.  Whining about it isn’t going to bring it back.  Set an action plan and move forward. And it IS going to be OK.  Yes, this is a paradigm shift in today’s society, our income levels, etc. but there ARE positive stories out there about people successfully making career changes.  So the laid off IT manager may not be able to make $100K in 2010 but he/she can use his/her skill set in a different industry and still make a great living on national (let alone global!) standards.  Bottom line:  Boomers, readjust your expectations of what it takes financially to be…..happy.  That’s right.  Focus on being HAPPY.  And the money will come.

I don’t mean to beat up on all Boomers as clearly I have many Boomer career consulting clients who are not at all whiners.  They appreciate what they have and what they’re going to attain in their reinvention.  In fact, I just spoke to a woman this morning who had been laid off only a month ago.  She was making great money as in-house counsel but got laid off due to a company merger.  She was wigging out since she’s the bread-winner in her family of four.  But….she wrote down what she wanted in a new job in her reinvention:  A minimum of $x (which was less than what she was making), a light commute and some international work.  Guess what?

In only a month, she landed a new job that is paying her MORE when you weigh in bonus potential, she has a commute that is 5 minutes less than her previous commute….and she is now heading up a Fortune 200 company’s INTERNATIONAL LEGAL COMPLIANCE for God’s sake.  She is even still getting severance from her former employer while still employed in her new job.  See.  She did it.  And she’s just one of many.  The key:  She took action.  She didn’t wallow. She moved forward.  With a postitive attitude.

This is where I really want to insist that everyone apply the 8-Steps To A Career Transition that’s the basis to everything that my career consultants and I do.

Whew.  That’s off my chest.  How many people did I just piss off as being too tough on Boomers?  Hopefully not too many.

That being said, for all you Boomers who aren’t whiners OR want to stop whining because you know it’s not going to get you anywhere, then I suggest you attend my expert Boomer panel and me this Monday, June 29; 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific for a FREE (other than your long distance charges) teleclass geared toward the 50+ folks – “8 Steps To A Successful Career Transition For the 50+”.  Sign-up!

Let’s have some FUN talking about career reinvention, exploration and happiness.



Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love (Hachette, 2008)

So you dream of relocating to another city and start a new career?  What about a new state?  OR….wowee…


Whether you’re in your 20’s and just starting out in your career….or you’re mid-career and burned out and want a break….or you’re close to “retirement age” (whatever the hell that means — I subscribe to what Bea Arthur said about retirement:  “Only people who hate their jobs retire!”), working abroad can be one of the most rewarding and inspirational things one can do.   I have lived and worked abroad — in Tallinn, Estonia and in Budapest, Hungary.  I loved it and I plan to work abroad again someday.  It’s on my vision board for the future.  I highly recommend working abroad to anyone.   It changes your life.  For the better.

So….my pick dream job of the week sent to me by Career Informer Patti (a Northwestern University alum following our work with the Northwestern Alumni Association) is….drum roll….


Below are more details and the contact person’s information.  Go get ’em!  Please let them know how you heard of the opportunity if you would.



Working at
Harbin Institute of Technology
92 West Dazhi Street
Harbin, China 150001

Immediate opportunities are currently available for English Foreign Language teachers.

Job Description – Foreign English Language Teacher
Contract Duration: Aug 31, 2009 to July 15, 2010
Workload: Maximum 16 teaching hours per week, Monday to Friday
Subjects to teach: English Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing

Native English speakers
B.S or B.A degree or above
English teaching experience preferred
English teaching experience in China a plus
TEFL certificate preferred

Recommendation Letter
Degree & Certificate copy
Passport copy

Offer Package
Salary per compensation below
Furnished apartment
Round trip air fare reimbursement every year
•    Location: Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
•    Contact person: Mr. Guodong Liu, t: 86 (0) 451 8641 7713, e: gdliu@hit.edu.cn
•    Compensation: BA 4200/mos; MA 4700; PhD 5700/mos
•    This is a contract job.
•    Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
•    Phone calls or emails about this job are ok.
•    Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

It’s 4:30pm Pacific as I type….and there’s still room on our free teleclass if you’d like to join!

How To Get A Job In The Fashion Industry
– A Free Teleclass –


What will we cover?  Well, here are just a few of the many tips that LA-based Fashion Designer Barbara Lesser will be providing:

SHOP – Know the hot labels in your sector of the industry. Know the players. Check their websites. Find out where they are located. Maybe you can work for them.

EXPERIMENT WITH FASHION – This is usually instinctive to someone interested in fashion. Push yourself to try new looks.

LEARN – Take classes in textiles chemistry  (finishing and dyeing of fabric). Know how a garment goes together. You don’t have to be a great sewer, just know how the pieces fit together.

TEACH YOURSELF TO DRAW – You don’t have to be an artist. Learn to get your ideas across using a croquis as a guide and draw you garment on top of the figure.

MEET THE INDUSTRY PLAYERS – Research the buying offices and meet their buyers. They can recommend you to stores based on their opinion of your product.



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