Job Search, Canyoning Style

Canyoning (‘canyoneering in the U.S. / kloofing in South-Africa / torrentismo in Italian) is travelling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming.

canyoningIn the mountains of Spain, in the middle of what many might describe as nowhere, there is a tiny blip of a town called Jorox, and in Jorox there is a gate which opens onto a creek. Which leads to a river. In a gorge: a narrow, jagged edged fissure in the mountains of Jorox, with steep rocky walls and waterfalls jettisoning torrents of ice cold water toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Standing at the gate, looking up at the mountains and down at the rocky creekbed, the inordinate power and beauty of nature is humbling. Thoughts swirl like the rapids over the rocks: Can I do this? Does anyone know we’re here? One wrong move and…

Protected by a wetsuit, helmet, old tennis shoes and (we hope) a company’s liability coverage, we are keenly aware of our circumstances, our limitations, the risks. We discover a serious language barrier between our guides and our group. We wonder if we really want to be here, doing this. But we are here. We have come too far to turn back, so we have to muster up the courage to get through it; we have to reach deep inside ourselves for faith to trust things we can’t control, and people we can’t understand. Words like “fortitude” and “grit” come to mind. And “pluck.” Does anyone use the word pluck anymore?

When we finally have the audacity to push open the gate and step into the creek, the journey becomes a series of careful steps, tying and untying ropes, looking up, down and sideways before making decisions, and trusting our wits and ingenuity to move forward in the right direction. The exhilaration of  reaching the destination is worth it. We come out on the other side changed, better for having made the journey, and mostly unharmed.

Cool. But what does this have to do with job searching?

  • The fear of it will keep many people from pursuing a job change, even when the current situation is untenable. It just feels overwhelming.
  • Deciding to make a change, or through a layoff having the decision made for you, the time comes when you assess your gear: will this resume, education, blue suit and shiny shoes be enough?
  • Does anyone know I’m doing this? Job searching can feel lonely. For some people, networking comes naturally; for others, it takes a little more… pluck.
  • Who can I trust to help me? The only people who get more unsolicited advice than job seekers are people buying houses, and maybe brides and grooms. Everyone’s been there, so they say, and their ways are certainly the best ways to job search. The communication barriers might be subtle, but they’re there.

Take careful steps. Tie and untie the ropes that tie your career experiences together, and look around carefully before making decisions about where you apply, how you negotiate, etc. Call on your faith, wits and ingenuity to lead you in the right direction. It might seem like a slow process at times, but the exhilaration of reaching the destination is worth it. That is, if you have the audacity to step into the creek.

Early & Wrong: one and the same?

They’re not. They just feel the same. If you’re early — on your innovation, timing, plan — you’re going to feel vulnerable, afraid, a little worried about facing investors and pundits. But you’re not wrong to be there. You just have to make smart decisions about what to do until everyone else catches up.

Being early gives you insider knowledge. If you arrive at the wedding reception early, you’re the one who knows where the bar is, right? If you arrive at the market early, you get to set the bar. Use insight, metrics and creativity to determine what to measure and how to use the data. Define success in this space, and others will follow you there.

Being early gives you a unique vantage point. If you arrive at the party early, you see who’s arriving with whom and can decide for yourself where to mingle. If you arrive at the market early, you can identify the players coming after you, and decide for yourself who your competition might be, and who your potential partners could be, as well.

Being early isn’t wrong. It doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. It just means you’re in a place, and using your intuition backed up by data, you can decide for yourself whether it’s the right place at the right time, or if there’s somewhere better to be.

Early can be better; late rarely is.

Why investors love spin-off startups

The difficulty in identifying the next hot startup has lead many venture firms to employ a wasteful “spray and pray” strategy, sometimes making more than 1,000 investments in the hope of getting lucky with a wildly successful startup that more than pays off their other sunk costs. Spin-offs from known companies, in contrast, mean less risk, as investors have a clear view of the reputation, infrastructure, and credentials of the parent company. For founders, being at the helm of a spin-off rather than a from-scratch startup, has its advantages, too — you’re likely to get VC funding more easily and on more favorable terms.

Source: Why investors love spin-off startups

This Year, Resolve to Build Something Better

First published in Insight News, African American newspaper serving Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Source: This year, resolve to build something better

This is an update to an article published a couple of years ago. I stumbled across it and realized a topic like this is timeless. Think about it. What are you building today?

Looking back on this day twelve months ago, what was different? What aspects of your life (career, family, home, finances, fitness level, spiritual depth, musical ability… you name it) are better now because of something specific you did during 2014? What’s worse?

Fast forward to the end of 2015. What do you hope will be different? The best way to ensure that your personal remodel is satisfactory is to oversee the construction yourself. Don’t wait for your ship to come in; if you want something better, build it. This year, resolve to be your own architect.

Things you can build: A house, a car, a sculpture, a family, friendships, career, bank account, roads, bridges, walls, teams, muscle mass, fatty deposits, spiritual understanding, websites, blogs, a following, a brand, a name for yourself…

During 2015, what will you build into your life to make the world around you a better place? What are the pieces you’ll put together to create a foundation? How will you reinforce the framework so the end result will be strong and long lasting?

What are the finishing touches that will say to the world, “Here is something truly valuable? Look! I did this! This matters!”

Building something of quality can be challenging work. Every little pig who ever slapped a few sticks together knows what happens when a wolf shows up at the door. Better to take the time to plan for your own success. If you are thinking of building a better career for yourself, take time to think about what that journey needs to cover. What positions do you need to tackle or what education do you need to get where you want to go in your career? There are no shortcuts. Lay a strong foundation.


April 15th. My last blog post was April 163-days-ago Fifteenth. That was 114 work days ago. That was fsunburstorever ago. I don’t even know where I was on April 15th of 2015. Paying taxes? No, that was earlier. Working? Yes, working with my head down when I received a phone call out of the blue. Kind of out of the blue. Kind of with my head down. You see, I was thinking there had to be something more. Had kind of (that phrase again) settled into a groove: search, source, contact, repeat. Kind of got to the point where I could see things going where they were supposed to go. Kind of missing newness and mostly wondering if what I was doing was meaningful to the greater, I don’t know, universe… So, I kind of applied for a volunteer coordinator position with hospice, which is a thing I have been passionate about consistently over time. Someone called and said, hey, do you want to do this other thing for us, instead of the volunteer thing? Yes, yes, I had always wanted to do that. Was it fate? Or was it faulty vision? I went. I buried myself in something. And now I’m back above ground. A little wiser. A little worn out. And with a longer list of friends, because I met some great people during the last 163 days. Every time you leap, you risk something. Every time you risk something, you gain something, too. Does every risk have rewards? I’d say so.

So, what have you been doing for the last 163 days?


Random collection of Job Search Advice — CareerCloud

via Random collection of Job Search Advice — CareerCloud.

Number Three

“Start. If you have not had to look for work for a long time, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Not everything has changed,” said Julie.

· You still need a resume and it still has to look good; but it will never be printed on a piece of paper, so it doesn’t matter how long it is.

· You still need to apply for positions you are qualified for; this is more important than ever, because companies today have no budget for an “I can learn that” candidate.

· DON’T fill your resume with personality words: hard worker, driven, multi-tasker… who isn’t?

· DO save space for words that describe what you can do: “Developed an application through full SDLC including requirements gathering, design, coding, implementation and user testing.”

· DON’T think you have to rely on the major job boards; your online social profiles will help recruiters and hiring managers find you.

According to Julie, “One thing hasn’t changed. If you want to find a job now, the best thing you can do is network, network, network.”

Submitted by Julie Desmond from George Konik Associates.

via Random collection of Job Search Advice — CareerCloud.

Best Keywords for Your Resume

By Sarah White

It’s hard getting your resume in front of a hiring manager. The economic downturn, coupled with an increase in technology, can make it feel like you are sending your resume into a void, never to hear back. Chances are, there is a hiring manager or recruiter on the other end that is overwhelmed with resumes, scanning them to find keywords that will make them put a resume in the yes pile. The same goes for electronic recruiting systems that scan through resumes, searching for the right words on your resume or CV.

While you can’t read the minds of recruiters – or computer programs for that matter – there are ways to tailor your resume so that a human or bot will pick up on keywords and give your resume a second look. We spoke with a number of people in the tech industry who are experienced with sorting through IT resumes and asked them what keywords catch their eye during the hiring process.


Read the article at:

Disruptive HR: Take a Look at Tomorrow’s Workforce

Tom Gillaspy at Oct MNTRN event

how today’s demographics will shape your organization tomorrow


Thanks to Tom Gillaspy, longtime MN State Demographer, for presenting to the MN Technical Recruiters Network at Health Partners this week.

We are living in unique times, Tom says. Think, global aging which really means a global – yes, global – shortage in the workforce. The shortage comes by way of an unprecedented number of REPLACEMENT openings on top of newly created positions, along with economic growth in developing nations. Does your team have a plan for identifying and attracting talent in history’s most competitive hiring environment?

Continue reading “Disruptive HR: Take a Look at Tomorrow’s Workforce”

Who’s Searching for Work: IT pros or Engineers? Google knows

Are More Searching for IT Jobs or Engineering Jobs in 2014?

Our Internet marketing guy is always telling us that Google has a lot of pretty cool tools to help formulate a business strategy. So when some of us at GKA were we were recently discussing a question that we all clearly didn’t agree on, we decided to check out one of these so called “cool Google tools” to see what it could tell us about our question – and who was right and who was wrong on this particular point (of course).

The Question?

At George Konik Associates, we specialize in staffing and recruiting services for higher-skilled technical jobs in the greater Minneapolis and St. Paul area, Minnesota at large, and Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas as well. In particular, we specialize in recruiting for Architectural, Design/Drafting, Engineering, Information Technology, and Manufacturing positions as a core area of our staffing business.

The question that came up amongst our little group was: Which of these job types do you think more people are searching for right now, and is that different than even a few years ago?

  • Engineering Jobs?
  • CAD Jobs?
  • IT Jobs?
  • Architect jobs? or
  • Manufacturing jobs?

So our Internet marketing guy said he’d take a look for us using a tool called Google Trends. As it turns out, Google Trends can provide some pretty amazing insights on just about any topic that you can think of! And maybe our example of a Google Trends query isn’t really “amazing” – but it did provide us with the answer we were looking for with some pretty compelling data to back it up. So we decided to blog about the results thinking that there are probably a lot of HR recruiters and technical hiring managers and technical job seekers that might find the answer to our question of interest as well. And, the chart was interesting and pretty “cool” all on its own as well!

Go to Google Trends Home Page and type in any word you’re interested in into the Google Trends search bar to try this tool out yourself.

– See more at:


Hiring Mechanical Engineers

We are hiring now – our client company designs Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM). We are looking for that talented engineer who is in the 1-4 year experience range (approximate) who has some experience as a design engineer and manufacturing engineer. We are looking for someone who is out of college within the past few years who has great potential. At least half of the job will be designing protoypes and 3D modeling with CAD. We would prefer Pro-E, but Solidworks experience is applicable.

to apply, please send resume today to