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Dallas Morning News 12/9/12

Jeff Morris' book, "What I've Learned About YOUR JOB SEARCH That You May Not Know" is reviewed in the Sunday Business section of the Dallas Morning News by Jim Pawlak. Jim reviews 2 business books each week for 22 papers around the US.

You can read the review here.


Carrollton Leader Star 4/1/09


Unemployed network, find support at weekly meetings

By Senitra Horbrook, Staff Writer
(Created: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 1:20 PM CDT)

During the Monday morning meeting of the Carrollton Career Focus Group, Tracy Leard noted that employers aren't interested in his old accounting experience because he doesn't have current certifications.

"It's either current or they don't want to talk to you," he said.

That's when he got a helpful tip from another job seeker to write "preparing for" certifications on his resume and job search web sites will pick it up as a keyword.

Information like this is shared weekly at the Hebron and Josey location of the Carrollton Public Library, where about 25 job seekers meet for two hours.

"We're not here to be the one to find you job leads," said Claire Mullins, the group's moderator, who herself is searching for employment as a PeopleSoft Business Analyst. "The purpose is to find networking opportunities."

Sue Heusing attends the group for motivation. Heusing has been unemployed since February 2008.

"I needed that jump start on Monday morning," she said. "It's so easy to vegetate."

Kathryn Taylor said she has had several telephone interviews, but no face-to-face interviews, since losing her job in December.

"I like it because it does start your week off in the right direction," she said. "And you meet people."

The March 30 meeting began with a local recruiter, who talked about his experiences. Then attendees shared good news about members who had found employment. As moderator, Mullins shared information about local career workshops and upcoming job fairs.

"The number of unemployed seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, so let's see what we can do to get us back among the employed," she told the group.

Then, everyone proceeded to do their "30-second commercials," which involved saying their name and describing what they do.

"We consider it practice or the ‘you meet somebody in an elevator speech,' " Mullins said. "It's brief, forward thinking and not your history. One acronym used is ‘WIIFM' (What's in it for me?) You have to gear your pitch to how you can help them."

Claude Dollins, an executive coach of The Dollins Group, heard about the Carrollton Career Focus Group through his church and came to share some advice about knowing your competitive edge and natural talent.

"If I'm interviewing you, I want to know what you can do for my bottom line very quickly...that you can bring something special immediately," he told the group.

The group also spent time discussing LinkedIn and how they select specific companies to target for employment.

Buddy Fly, who has been unemployed since January, said he found his previous job through a similar group and hopes something similar will happen for him again.

"It's a good way of bonding," he said.

The Carrollton Career Focus Group is affiliated with other groups through, which has a number of links to job search sites, workshops and other area networking groups.

For information, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Dallas Morning News 3/15/09

Networking groups improve odds - Dallas Morning News 3/15/09

It's a cutthroat world out there, right? Dog eat dog? Every man for himself?


Why then are growing legions of jobless folks meeting regularly to help each other in networking groups all over North Texas? Is it merely a case of misery loves company?


Actually, it's a pretty simple equation: The more people in your network, experts say, the better the chances that you'll find a job.

"When you help others and they help you, we can be pretty powerful," says Don Brock, who teaches a newcomers class every Tuesday at Career Connection, a nonprofit job networking organization. "If you maintain and develop that process, it will help you."


Career Connection bills itself as the largest and oldest networking and career counseling organization in the Dallas area. It started in 1992, and its director, Lisa Miller, has been with the group from the beginning.


The number of people attending newcomer classes has been growing in leaps and bounds lately - averaging close to 100. During the general sessions that follow those meetings, hundreds of job seekers, mostly white-collar professionals, come together to exchange job leads.


There are also workshops on resumes and job interviews, including how to do the personal "30-second commercial" or elevator pitch.


"Write down what you do," says Brock, "write it down again and again. And then practice and practice."


Career Connection (www.careerconnection .org) is one of numerous area job networking and counseling organizations. Many are based at churches, though that does not necessarily mean they are religiously affiliated. Churches allow them to use space for little or no cost. Career Connection lists other job networking and support groups on its Web site.


You can also visit the Web site to get an extensive list of groups that provide job search and career support, as well as job-hunting tips.


Dallas Morning News 3/22/09


Read the story in the Dallas Morning News from 3/22/ here or read below


CareerDFW founder helps the jobless pull together

12:26 PM CDT on Saturday, March 21, 2009
By CHERYL HALL / The Dallas Morning News


Jeff Morris wishes his Web site weren't so popular.

Four months ago, he launched to help people looking for jobs with their search.

It's a simple-stupid site that even I can navigate, with information on seminars, network groups and job fairs around North Texas.

Need to know the nearest location for the Texas Workforce Commission or how to get to a networking meeting? There are maps.

Call it Unemployment Central. And these days, it's a busy place.

It's gotten more than 40,000 page views from more than 8,000 visitors in 24 countries, 43 states and 88 places in Texas. Lately, weekday traffic averages 175 people; weekends, it's 50 or so - twice what it was six weeks ago.

"I never dreamed the economy would take such a nose dive and that so many people would want to use the Web site," Morris says. "I wanted something that was very Google-like - plain, no graphics, simple, click on the link, and you go right to the group. That's how it developed."

In a time when greed and self-promotion are often prime motivators, Jeff Morris is doing this on his own time. He's paid for, built and maintains the site - even though he doesn't have a paying job.

"I want to pay it forward," says the 50-year-old former manufacturing manager who does voluntary career counseling. "I help others, who will help others."

When Morris got laid off 16 months ago for the third time in six years, he decided to be Mr. Mom to his two children, now 14 and soon-to-be 13. His wife, Melanie, had a new boss who had tightened the screws of her once-flexible schedule in national radio sales at Clear Channel Communications Inc.

In his spare time, Morris leads North Dallas Career Focus, a career networking group in Plano.

When he realized there wasn't a central information site for the underemployed and unemployed, he took it upon himself to build one, even though he knew nothing about Internet design.

First he needed a domain name and was stunned to find that was available.

"I bought the dot-org and the dot-com, so it cost me 20 bucks for two Web sites for a year," says Morris, who also paid $300 for three years of Web hosting. (He doesn't use the dot-com site except to refer back to, but he didn't want anyone else to use it, either.)

"Once I had the name, I had to ask my network, 'Has anybody ever built a Web site?' "

Somebody suggested a program that seemed to fit his needs, and he started typing things in. It took more than 200 hours to get the site running in November, and he spends four to 12 hours a week updating it.

"I'm getting information from all sorts of sources," he says. "As I say on the site, 'If you don't see it, send it to me.' "

For several months, he's been attending a Web designers network meeting.

"I go to every meeting with three questions," he says. "They answer them, and then I come home and incorporate what I learned into the Web site the next day."


Gayle Bridgeman used the Web site in her search for gainful employment - ironically, as a career consultant and trainer with an outplacement company.

Now she refers her clients to CareerDFW.

"I've had a lot of good feedback from them," says Bridgeman, an "alum" of a network group in Southlake.

She got to know Morris during her 10-month job search. "Jeff is such a giver. He sees a need and does something about it. He's an amazing fellow who is always reaching out to help the job seeker. He's not getting paid to do any of that."

Morris knows what it's like to be a deer in the headlights. He was laid off the first time in 2000 from a video duplication facility where he'd been general manager and director of operations.

"That was quite a shock - working there for 13 years, never having to put together a résumé. I was lost," he says.

The second time, the company he worked for tanked after 9/11, but he was better prepared.

"I see it today with people who've been working for 20 or 25 years," Morris says. "They come out shell-shocked: 'Now what do I do? Hold my hand and help me.' "

So he does. And there are a lot of hands - including his wife's. She was laid off along with 1,850 others in January.

"She says she's lucky to have a personal career coach at home," he says.


Recently, Morris started a CareerDFW LinkedIn group that has grown to 220 people in eight weeks.

On a recent Friday, 150 people came to his focus group to hear a Texas Workforce Commission representative talk about the ins and outs of unemployment insurance.

Miguel Richards is a member of two career networking groups, including the one hosted by Morris and another in Southlake. He was a senior manager of data center operations for a Web-hosting company until November, when he was laid off along with 25 other people.

"The politically correct term is I'm in transition," says Richards, who had 80 employees reporting to him. "I'm at the senior management level, and the advertising for those positions has dropped way, way off."

He encourages others to use the CareerDFW site. "It's an effort of love and a learn-by- doing by Jeff. He's been doing this little by little, and it's turned out great."




Dallas Morning News BLOG 2/11/09

"If I smell you before I see you, the interview's over."

7:41 AM Wed, Feb 11, 2009

Linda Crosson  


That's a quote from a story in The Wall Street Journal about a different slant on jobhunting from an unusual counselor. Stay with me and I'll tell you about some places to go in the Dallas area for job search help. Here's the start of the Journal story:

In the cafeteria of a small factory in Caldwell, Ohio, nine graveyard-shift workers gather before dawn to hear some job-hunting realities.

"You're going to have to do stuff that you've never done before," counselor Dick Gaither tells the group, clad mostly in denim shirts, baseball caps and work boots. "The world's done changed on you."


You can read the rest of the story -- about Gaither using humor and plain talk to reach his audiences.


What's the North Texas connection? There are plenty of sources for free or low-cost counseling, networking and other job help in the Dallas area. There's a Web site devoted to listing such groups, And if you want to read more, here's a story on such groups from a past edition of The Dallas Morning News. 


To see the full blog and story...

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