I was asked by a member of the press yesterday what I thought was the largest issue looming for my clients. Great question. The two that stand out the most are:

1. Loss of financial security and the fear that builds around it;
2. The loss of identity after being laid off. A corporate attorney doesn’t feel like he/she can go into another field where they might be able to use their legal background. An IT Manager feels like he/she is “stuck” in because it’s all they know, etc.

These two are not at all the only issues out there, obviously. There’s also family issues related to the economy…and fear of failure, etc. But these are the two most prevalent that I’ve seen during this Great Recession.

I’m curious for those of you out who have been laid off recently or have been laid off in the past (like me back in 2001 – for me, financial insecurity loomed larger, fyi), which of these two issues/obstacles loomed larger for you?

And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, what are you doing/did you do to combat them and work around the roadblocks and obstacles of financial insecurity and/or loss of identity?

Best Regards,
Brian Kurth

Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love

I love my job but, like everyone, I have my ups and downs.  Especially as an entrepreneur who does not have in-house tech support.

I have had one helluva week, to be honest.  My beloved iPhone and MacBook were stolen while in New Orleans at a conference; we had some serious IT issues with our main computers back here in Portland; and for the first time in a long time I weighed myself at the gym two mornings ago and I realized I’ve put on 15 pounds in the last year.  I’m ready for a low-cal Friday happy hour with my pals Sean and Carolyn. 

But….just as I am coming off a bad week, I am going to end it on an inspirational HIGH note. 

I am so proud that Black Enterprise Magazine covered the story of our VocationVacations alumni, Charles Turner, and our phenomenal mentor, Mercedes Gonzalez, in their July issue.  BEM’s editor, Sonia Alleyne, nailed the spirit of VocationVacations and Brian Kurth + Company.  What she doesn’t realize is that her story raised MY spirit during an otherwise challenging week. 

Her writing exudes the passion behind not only those of us here at VocationVacations but also that of our mentors.  And, most importantly, vocationer alum Charles Turner exemplifies how one can make a serious career transition one step at a time.  For him, he is going from being a finance professional to becoming quite the successful SHOE DESIGNER

I hope you find this story as inspirationl as I do.  After reading it, my troubles of this past week simply slip away and I once again check into what’s most important in life:  Being happy in my homelife and worklife and helping others find the same balance. 

Please enjoy Sonia’s wonderful article:


Face Your Fears of Financial Insecurity & Make A Career Transition

I’m looking forward to tonight’s teleclass on facing one’s financial fears — and still make a career transition.  Financial Advisor Linette Dobbins will be one of our panelists.  Here are just a few of the many tips she will be discussing on tonight’s teleclass:

1.  Create a financial plan. Those with a financial plan seem to experience less fear when life-changing events occur. A financial planner can help you prepare for the unexpected and discover opportunities, resources and guide decision-making.

2.  Do a financial stress test to see what you can handle – What if I am laid off? What if I change careers for my dream job? Can I retire? How long will my money last, etc.?

3.  Identify your greatest fears and have a disaster plan.

4.  Crisis brings opportunities – look for them and seize them.

5.  Fear is an acronym for False Experience Appearing Real. Identify if the fear you are experiencing is real or false. Media sells more advertising with fear.   Fear hooks you into watching the story.  We refer to this as Media Mania and the Herd Syndrome. If your fear is coming from the media, turn it off. Refocus, do something that makes you feel good.  If your fear is from a real event, ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen? Then take action. If you don’t know what to do, ask for help.

6.  If you have serious financial problems, see a debt counselor.

7.  Set realistic goals and work on them one step at a time. Just keep making small steps toward your goals and reward yourself for your achievements.

8.  Look at the your accomplishments and the things that are going well and acknowledge them.

It’s not too late to join…and feel free to share with your friends and colleagues.  Sign-up here to get the call-in number.  The teleclass is free other than the cost of you dialing the direct line conference number:


Hey gang,

As you know, I love being the career consultant/strategist who provides you a daily lead to a great, newly available job (Been laid off?  Friends or family being laid off or fearing it?  Call me!).

Today’s pick is really cool.  I’m happy to make mention of several really cool, newly available jobs…working for FACEBOOK!  

Apply NOW:


As you all know, I’m really more of a “the glass is half full kinda guy”.  BUT….this has been bothering me all day:

If AIG execs get bonuses from bailout $’s as they tank a company, then what do small & medium sized business owners and not-for-profits get for SURVIVING what SOME (not all!) Wall Streeters created?  Now, I’m a capitalist, believe me….but I’m REALLY having a tough time swallowing this pill that our taxpayer dollars are funding these yahoos at AIG with fat bonuses when they epitomize failure.  

I feel like I’m living back in Eastern Europe right after the fall of communism when corruption and greed were part of most business deals.  Are we so different?  How can we allow them to take such money?  And, even more importantly, how can an AIG exec accepting such a bonus sleep at night?  Seriously.

I promise to get a good night’s sleep and be positive about things in the AM….:)


I really like what Clark Howard says in his article on, What To Do If You’re Laid Off.  I want to share it with you.

What I learned from the article:  I had never heard of LaidOffCamp — love it! 

One thing Clark forgot to mention:  LinkedIn.  Maybe because he’s assuming everyone already knows about it and knows how to use it.  But that’s not the case.  I have career coaching clients who are networking on LinkedIn for the first time after our first session.  LinkedIn is critical to finding TARGETED contacts, possible mentors and EVEN a job that is posted and listed through the many online groups you can join on the site.  

I’ve hosted a free “How to use LinkedIn to find a job” telecass a couple of months ago.  Time for another one?  

Please let me know if you’re interested in that and I’ll set something up with one of my affiliated career coaches — comment below or email me at if you are interested and I’ll set something up….


Hey Folks,

I am SOOOOO tired of hearing nothing but bad economic and career-related news.  I know you are too.  So I’m going to share some GOOD NEWS with you:  I know of a great organization that is HIRING here in Portland, Oregon!

PECI, a sustainable energy efficiency/savings organization is currently HIRING for the following positions:



Energy Analyst

Engineering (4 positions!)

Engineering Manager

Field Analyst Manager (2)

Marketing (2)

Project Coordinator 

Program Manager (2)

Sr. Program Manager (2)

PECI is a cutting-edge organization and I encourage anyone qualified to apply.

Now, here’s the deal about Portland.  I LOVE living here.  Yes, it rains…but not nearly as much as people think.  It’s London weather.  Drizzle from November through April.  But the flowers start blooming in late February (we’re late this year) and the summers are absolutely spectacular with 100% sunshine and NO humidity — or bugs.  Portland, itself, is an amazing city and I encourage you to check out Travel Portland’s website for more details.  So, don’t rule out relocating (I highly doubt that PECI has relocation $’s as it is actually a not-for-profit so the move would be on your own dime, however).

Best of luck in applying for the position(s) at PECI.  Don’t give up on the dreams….and stay positive!


PS – Check out my new career coaching site:

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