Networking For Introverts - Real Tips for Real People Who Hate Schmoozing


Ugh, networking. Sucks, right? Here's a common networking conversation I have with my clients:

Jolene Jobseeker: "It feels like I've been looking for a job forever. My resume is polished and I've submitted it to at least a hundred different online job postings. Crickets. What am I doing wrong?"

Coach Coverletter: "What is your networking strategy?"

Jolene Jobseeker: *Crickets*

Oh, Jolene, if you only knew how much I used to hate networking. In fact, I refused to do it. Not the traditional version, anyway. And the traditional version goes something like this: 

  • Cocktail Mixer, super awkward, "Sorry, what was that? It's too loud!", anxiety attack

  • Chamber of Commerce, bad coffee, "What's that strange smell?", business card shuffle

  • Job Fair, bad coffee, hand sanitizer dispenser is empty, handshake hell

  • Baseball Game, I hate baseball, I can't believe he put ketchup on his Chicago dog, "How is this networking again?" night out

Jolene is an awesome person. I know that she'll work hard, learn anything, go the extra mile, and then go one more. But I know that because I've had the privilege of getting to know her. Her resume, even though it looks strong, doesn't introduce employers to her "awesome". 

When I suggest networking to her, so people can get to know that awesomeness, she recoils. "I hate networking. It scares me. I'm an introvert. I don't like big groups or awkward meetings with strangers. I'd rather email a thousand resumes than go to a single Chamber of Cocktail Job Fair Game."

Click to continue reading this article for free at Psychology Today

My Latest Article: The New 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People

Ky0n Cheng/GoodFreePhotos

Ky0n Cheng/GoodFreePhotos

In 2013 I wrote a article that became my most read article in the seven years I’ve been writing for them. This week I updated that article with new research and resources.

Check out the article, The NEW 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People

And stay tuned… In the new year I’ll be writing a follow-up piece about a certain form of resilience that hits close to home.

Service Changes Plus Fun Facts About Brad

Los Angeles sunset in my backyard - October 26 2018

Los Angeles sunset in my backyard - October 26 2018

Greetings From Sunny Southern California!

As we rapidly approach the end of 2018, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for another amazing year. I extend my heartfelt gratitude for being given the opportunity to collaborate with each of you on your exciting life changes. We worked hard and had some good laughs along the way!

I also want to share a few updates with all clients past and present, as well as those considering working with me in the future:

  • I’ve recently changed my service offerings which you will see reflected on the Services page. The biggest change is that I no longer offer the Full-Service Coaching-Consulting package. Whereas I used to offer a package of 4 sessions with a semi-structured framework, the only packages I now offer are for Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn reviews. In place of the Full-Service package I will shift focus to a Pay-Per-Session approach. My full menu of services will still be offered just as before, but with the simplicity of pay-as-you-go. This approach is more responsive to individual needs. Simply put, not everybody needs 4 sessions or the package structure.

  • As some of you know who have recently contacted me, I have very limited availability for the duration of 2018. I will do my best to schedule existing clients as quickly as possible. New consultation requests will be added to a wait list that I will begin contacting the week of January 7th. The first quarter of 2019 is shaping up to be a very busy coaching season, as that wait list is growing quickly. If you’d like to be scheduled for a complimentary consultation I encourage you to email me ASAP and request your name be added to the wait list.

  • As a career coach-consultant I have the pleasure of hearing the fascinating stories of so many people from so many different backgrounds. I truly love it! And because your time is valuable, I try not to talk too much about myself on our calls… unless, of course, I feel one of my personal stories might be helpful. So I thought it would be fun to share a few fun facts that you might not know about me:

    • Did you know my partner and I raise birds? We have a large coop that currently houses 5 chickens, 3 pigeons, 3 quail, and 2 ducks. The best part is, most of them are rescues and they provide fresh eggs! I grew up on a small hobby farm in Michigan and I feel so fortunate to continue that tradition at our Los Angeles home. Interestingly enough, the city of Los Angeles has a long history of farming and to this day it’s not unusual to find homeowners in L.A. who raise poultry or even have horses. Our neighbor raises pigs and sheep, yet we’re only 15-minutes from the skyscrapers of downtown.

    • Clearly I love animals, but did you know I used to own a pet sitting and dog walking service? I built the business from the ground up and at one point had a team of 7 dog walkers. When I moved from Michigan I sold the business to one of my employees and it’s still in business to this day.

    • Speaking of my job history, did you know I worked at Burger King? It’s been 20 years but that experience shaped my work ethic and is still fondly remembered. You can read more about that story in my latest Psychology Today article.

Here are a few more of my recent Psychology Today articles you might find helpful:

Are You Making These Big Job Search Mistakes?

Applying For Jobs Online? You Might Be Wasting Your Time

12 Tips For Landing A Job At A Company You Admire

10 Ways To Uncover The Hidden Job Market

Is College Worth It?

Photo: Diliff/Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Diliff/Wikimedia Commons

Unemployment, underemployment, degree inflation, labor shortage, student loan debt... I cover a lot of ground in my new article, but it's just the tip of the iceberg on such an important topic.

I use the latest data and labor market trends to take up the tough question: Should I go to college?

Read the article here: Does It Pay To Go To College? - Psychology Today

18 Ways To Get Jobs and Training Without Incurring Tons of Debt

Stumped on how to make a career change without amassing tens of thousands in student loan debt? Need to be earning an income while learning a skill? Click to read my latest article at Psychology Today that gives 18 ideas for moving your career forward without being set back.

Answers Fill The Stillness We Create

Struggling with big decisions? You may not be making the space necessary for those answers to arrive.

Every day I work with people who are in the throes of making difficult decisions like changing careers or relocating.

They come to me for help thinking through their options and working through their overwhelm. I guide them through a process of introspection, information gathering, and taking action.

But even with all the information at our fingertips and all the support by our side, making a difficult decision is still making a difficult decision. When the moment comes to push the button—to say yes or no—we still look for more information. Just a little more "something" that will help us decide if we're doing the right thing.

That's the moment when I just might say, "Stop everything."

You have all the information you need. You've done your due diligence. All that's left is to silence the mind and clear a space for the answer to arise.

A puzzle box can contain every single piece you need to create a beautiful picture, but those pieces can only be fitted together once your space is cleared. 

As a writer I regularly have days when the right word isn't coming to me. When a storyline hits a brick wall. Lately I've noticed that the less I try to force the answers I'm seeking, the more likely they are to appear. In fact, this happens so often now that one would think I'd become accustomed to it, but I'm amazed every single time.

When we're faced with big decisions we must do the work of seeking out information, exploring our options, and enlisting our supporters. But we must also create a space for the answers to arrive. A cluttered and racing mind is too full and too busy to let them in.

The answers you need will rise to greet the stillness that you create.

Source: Psychology Today: Our Answers Find Us In The Quiet We Create by Brad Waters

Ace Future Job Interviews With This Two Step Strategy

image via HypnoArt/Pixabay

image via HypnoArt/Pixabay

From the title of this article you might guess that I'm about to share some of those tried-and-true job interview tips that you've probably heard before, like: send out a thank-you letter to the employer after your interview. While that is a good tip, I'm going to suggest a new concept that will boost your interviewing confidence.

When I was starting out as a psychotherapist intern—let's just say that was "a few" years back—my supervisor required me to conduct a process recording after every client session. I kind of hated them (the process recordings, that is). But, looking back, they were tremendously helpful and now I suggest the same technique to my job seeking clients. Read the rest in my new article at Psychology Today.

Resume Revamp? Every Word and Every Second Counts

Okay, time to back up our resume strategy with some sobering statistics:

"Less than five minutes—that is how much time a resume is reviewed before it is decided whether a job candidate proceeds to the next step in the hiring process"

That's according to a survey done by the Society For Human Resource Management. Check out the rest of their resume statistics here.

Need some help making every second and every word count? With some of the most affordable rates of any experienced resume/career experts in the country, I will work with you by phone and email to make your resume perfect. Contact me to set up a free phone consultation.

I just helped a client land a 6-figure job and this is what she had to say:

I can’t say enough about how much Brad has helped me. His insights are spot on and it’s been a pleasure working with him... career coach extraordinaire

Customized Resume, Cover Letter, and Professional Branding Services Now Available

 A collaborative approach that not only crafts great documents but teaches clients the building blocks for making these important documents great.

Over the past year I've seen a particular increase in requests for help in the following areas:

  • Custom resume and cover letter review & strategy
  • LinkedIn development
  • Professional narrative/identity development & strategy (branding & messaging)

After years of looking at resumes and cover letters from all imaginable career levels and industries——seeing which land interviews and which don't——I STRONGLY believe that clients should be writing their own materials in their own voice. I've seen too many expensive "professionally" written resumes that lack personality and are full of generic keywords that make the resume seem more robotic than eye-catching. There are certainly many great resume writers out there who take the time to get to know their clients and create effective documents. However, I believe in teaching my clients the building blocks of what makes resumes and cover letters great so that they can continuously revise their documents throughout their professional career. All of my resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn reviews include this much needed teaching component.

To respond to this need I've restructured my service line to include new and affordable career strategy packages. Clients with whom I've already conducted these services are reporting very high satisfaction with having a strategy partner to customize their materials and create their 'story'. I'll continue offering my full-service career coaching-consulting package as I have for the past six years, but now clients have the additional option of choosing highly personalized services focusing on their application materials.

Below are my 3 career coaching-consulting packages. Please contact me if you're interested in scheduling a consultation call to discuss rates and how these services can help boost your career. All of my services are available throughout the U.S. by phone and email.

PACKAGE #1: FULL-SERVICE CAREER COACHING-CONSULTING provides highly personalized coaching and consulting services that may include:

  • Skills/strengths/interests inventory
  • Career discovery and clarification
  • Career path planning and strategy
  • Goal setting, motivation and accountability
  • Resume/cover letter/LinkedIn review & strategy
  • Job interview preparation
  • Creating a professional narrative/identity (professional branding & messaging)
  • Job search strategy
  • Career transitions and leveraging your prior experience
  • Possibilities brainstorming

Full-Service Career Coaching-Consulting gives clients access to all of the above coaching-consulting services, 4 phone calls, and access to private client portal with unlimited email/journal access. Additional/ongoing calls available at a per-session rate.

PACKAGE #2: Resume, Cover Letter, & LinkedIn Review/Strategy gives your materials a thorough review and your professional identity a major boost. This is not a resume writing service. Instead, clients send one current version of their resume, a cover letter sample, their LinkedIn profile, and (if available) examples of jobs they're interested in. We then schedule an initial consultation call to discuss your strengths, skills, and goals. I independently review the materials for improvement, email you a mark-up of the materials, and meet with you again by phone (up to 60 minutes) to discuss edits and strategy. A final review email is conducted as needed. The result is a strategic professional identity and narrative that is cohesive throughout your customized materials. Turnaround time is 5-7 days for these services. Additional follow up calls available at a per-session rate.

PACKAGE #3: A La Carte Resume Review/Strategy like above, this service includes an initial consultation call, one resume review, one strategy call (up to 50 minutes), emailed document mark-up, and a final review email as needed. Turnaround time is 5-7 days for these services. Additional follow up calls available at a per-session rate.



10 Ways To Uncover The Hidden Job Market - Psychology Today

My new article on Psychology Today is about tapping into creative strategies for finding a new job... especially if you hate traditional networking and are sick of wasting hours in the online job boards.

10 Ways To Uncover The Hidden Job Market via Psychology Today

Action is Art, Art is Action

I hope this note finds all of my clients, friends, and visitors doing well during this busy post-election/holiday season. For many of us, the recent (and upcoming) weeks are ones that have and will test our patience, our bonds, and our hopes for the future.

I recently wrote a post on Psychology Today about post-election grieving. It stirred a mix of emotions, but eventually I had to turn off the commenting feature because the inflammatory responses were distracting readers from the positive intent of the article. You can read it here: Post-Election Grief and Resilience

Then last week I came across the stirring quote below by author Toni Morrison and it felt like the perfect companion to my article. And today, as I take a break from hanging a few antique paintings I picked up recently at estate sales, I wanted to share it with you.

With her message of art, inspiration, and action I wish you all a peaceful and productive week. I wish the same as you come together with loved ones this holiday season. I wish the same as you navigate this uncharted political landscape. And I wish the same as you step into a new year that is full of possibilities.

To you and yours, a peaceful, productive, and inspired year ahead!

Toni Morrison - by Angela Radulescu (originally posted to Flickr as Toni Morrison (1)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Toni Morrison - by Angela Radulescu (originally posted to Flickr as Toni Morrison (1)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

"This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art."

Read the rest of the article at Brain Pickings

Don't you just love a good estate sale find?

Don't you just love a good estate sale find?

Not Another Damn 'How To Write A Resume' Article?!

Source: Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr

Source: Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr

Oh you betcha! It's another damn resume article but this time it's written by me and this time it's fun. In it I incorporate timeless phrases like "junk in the trunk" and "your resume is full of duty".

Resume writing sucks, am I right? An Internet full of conflicting advice and terrible templates makes me pretty snarly. In my job I see a lot of resumes, good and bad, so I see which ones are landing people interviews. That’s its job. So let’s talk about how we can get our resume to do its job…without landing us an anxiety attack.
Resume Golden Rule: Understand the true function of a resume. It’s not an autobiography. It’s not a chronology of duties you perform every day. And, brace yourself, it’s kinda’ not about you! Zing! Pow! Mike drop! Check please!

Ready to find out what a resume is really about? In my article written for Psychology Today, I give tons of tips and resources that will totally transform your resume.

How To Get A Job At Google: 8 Preparation Videos

Occasionally I speak with clients who want to work at Google. In fact, a looong time ago, when Google was an emerging cool company to work for, I even applied with them (without success). We know these are highly competitive jobs and it can be difficult to get a foot in the door. I've chosen eight YouTube videos, full of tips from actual Google employees, to give your application and interview process a strategic edge.

In addition to watching these videos, the best thing you can do to prepare for a Google job or ANY job, is to learn everything you can about the company. Acquaint yourself with their website, their LinkedIn page, their social media accounts, their press releases, and how they are showing up in the news or industry publications. Don't not do this! Here's why:

  • Companies will often publish tips for applying and interviewing with their company. It could get embarrassing if you don't know the basics before going in.
  • Companies want candidates who really get them. Learn the company mission, their corporate culture, their strategic vision, their professional voice, their client, their product, etc. Your research will make you better versed in an interview and it will help you exude excitement. If you do this research and find yourself NOT excited, should you really be applying?
  • Know the bottom line: The company has a problem and you're being invited to demonstrate how you can be part of the solution. So what is the company's problem? Are they growing rapidly and need to keep up with demand? Are they in a highly competitive sector and needing a visionary to help them stay on top of the game? Are they struggling financially? Did your predecessor quit the position and leave the company overwhelmed? If you can pinpoint their problem, you'll be able to demonstrate how you're their new problem solver. This is your chance to be the hero.

In the case of Google, there is fortunately a lot of information out there on how to get hired. There's also a lot of garbage. In these videos you'll hear directly from current and former employees about which hiring hearsay is fact vs. urban legend. You will learn which competencies they are looking for and how to demonstrate them. You'll hear sample interview questions and how to approach them. And you'll learn how to structure your resume so it stands out from the crowd.

If you still have questions after watching all these videos, just Google it!

Two engineers from Google Chicago discuss how to get your resume noticed by Google engineers. Go to to learn how we hire, or go straight to to search for a job!

Watch Fitz and Ben from Google Chicago answer discuss Google's interview process and if the horror stories about lots of interviews and long wait times are true. Go to to learn how we hire, or go straight to to search for a job!

Two software engineers from Google Pittsburgh discuss how to prepare for technical interviews. If you're interested in applying for one of our roles, please visit our job site:, and to learn more about how we hire, visit

Google employees dispel hiring myths and tell it like it is.

A former Google employee shares the hiring scoop.

Three members of Google's Staffing team talk about how candidates can prepare their resumes for technical roles in this Hangout on Air video from March 13, 2013. The group discusses how to structure your resume, what skills recruiters do and don't look for, and how best to tailor your CV for our engineering jobs and our other technical roles.

Google resume tips & tricks.

Googlers Fitz and Ben answer questions about the qualities Google looks for in its prospective Engineering employees.

News From The Kitchen Table and Spring/Summer Clients Enrolling Now

After a very busy winter season that saw some clients wait-listed before coming on-board, I'm happy to announce I'm accepting new clients.

It seemed like a lot of people out there had big plans for 2016 and wanted coaching to help them along the way. Top off a full client roster with our being in the midst of house renovations, things got pretty crazy over here. With all the hammering and sawing going on there were days when the only quiet space for a coaching call was inside my car inside my garage. (If you're new here, we moved from Chicago to Los Angeles last year and have been renovating our house since February.) We have a few more projects pending—including lighting in my office—so for now my office is the kitchen table.

On top of feeling misplaced at home, I've made numerous trips to numerous doctors since November to figure out what was going on with my hearing. I had that Charlie-Brown's-teacher's–voice thing going on. So for all the times I said, "I'm sorry, can you repeat that?" please know that I really was listening and feeling very sorry. Six months and many uncomfortable tests later, I'm relieved to report that my hearing is fine. All tests show perfect hearing and I'm feeling much better. All that aside, I've been grateful for a beautiful and peaceful start to the new year.

And what an exciting first quarter it has been for so many of you! I've been incredibly proud of all my clients' hard work and successes. Together we've experienced exciting career transitions, hurdled motivational slumps, and perfected a bunch of tricky resumes. Can't wait to meet new folks and chart uncharted territories through the rest of 2016.

Who Moved My... ?

If you happened to stop by the site looking to download StoryLaunch!—my coaching companion ebook—it has been retired. Not like Rolling Stones retired, but truly done for. StoryLaunch! was my first foray into ebook writing and it was a little project I was very proud of. However, as my professional choose-your-own-adventure has taken me to new places and my voice/expertise/philosophy has grown, it was time to send the ostrich flying. Well, flapping anyway. Who remembers the ostrich from my How About Cake days?!?

Something Something-ish This Way Comes!

Last night I couldn't sleep. Too many ideas. As many of my coaching clients have heard me say time and again: "Write it down! Get the swirling thoughts out of your head so they don't keep you awake." So I'll be taking a spoonful of my own medicine. Nyquil! No, wait. Writing! 

I don't have details to release yet, but there will be something. As I did with StoryLaunch!, I'll likely be releasing teasers on Facebook and here on the blog, so follow along if you're curious.

(Everything I Do) I Do It For You

No, not a Bryan Adams exposé. My next something will, of course, be career related. And I want it to be for you. So I'd like to know what you'd like to know. In the comments section or in an email [], please feel welcome to share what you wish you know now that you might know then but won't know now until it's then. Ya know?

What career-life advice do you wish you'd heard when you were younger? What are your biggest career-life questions and concerns? Chances are, if you're wondering or struggling, so is somebody else. If you let me know then I can let them know.

That's the news from my kitchen table. After my office is spruced up and I'm feeling illuminated I will probably write to you next from... the kitchen table.

Creating A Success Toolkit For The New Year

From my latest article at

After my high school graduation I attended a couple semesters at a culinary arts school. It was a strange little satellite campus of a larger university, and it ultimately wasn’t a good fit. However, it planted the seed of an idea that I've now revisited over 15 years later. During orientation at culinary school each student was given a rigid blue plastic box—about the size of a 3-ring binder—filled with blank pages like a scrapbook. It was designed to be a professional development portfolio where we could store our resume, certificates of achievement, and anything else that would highlight our career accomplishments. In theory, it was a great concept to encourage us to develop a career mindset. But ultimately its high dork factor—the expectation that we would carry the blue box into job interviews—relegated mine to the thrift store donation bin.

Now that I’m in the position of helping people navigate their career exploration, I’ve tweaked the concept of the blue box into a comprehensive career journal. Valuable at every stage in one’s career, it’s a personalized notebook or binder where we store and explore all things career and personal-professional development. In this article I've included all of the general framework components of the career journal. While one might add folders for resumes and certificates of achievement, the primary goal is to conduct an in-depth exploration and inventory of a comprehensive range of career topics. Click here to read the career toolkit creation tips on my blog at Psychology Today.

10 Best Career Advice Websites (Psychology Today)

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

The endless stream of career advice can feel overwhelming, frustrating, and even misleading. So much online advice is outdated, boring, or too general to be helpful for any one person’s unique situation. Here is my updated 2015 list of favorite career websites, posted on my latest blog at Psychology Today. (link opens in a new window)

23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs

Jung // Source:

Jung // Source:

As a career coach I’ve worked with many clients who have expressed interest in mental health related careers. I hear common motivators: they like working with people, they’re helpers by nature, they find psychology and human behavior interesting, and they want to be of service to the community.

Whenever a particular career interest arises, we explore it from all angles. Those intrinsic motivators are a big part of it, but we also examine the extrinsic realities: Are they aware of the education and licensure requirements? Do they have realistic salary expectations? Do they understand the realities of interning in a community mental health center? Or struggling to make a private practice thrive? Can they imagine the personal toll of constantly listening to people’s problems? Handling crisis situations?

To obtain a clear picture of any career option, I encourage my clients to research the field and talk with people working within it. With the latter exercise in mind, I embarked on my own homework assignment. In an effort to provide insight into a variety of mental health career experiences, I recently put out a call to action to the general public working in any mental health related job:

Seeking experiences from a variety of mental health workers. Provide pros & cons and frank realities about pursuing education and careers in mental health related fields. Responses should be kept to a minimum and address the following: 1. Name, job title, and degree(s) 2. Describe of your job duties. 3. Describe one thing you find fulfilling about working in the industry. 4. What would you caution/urge prospective students to understand before embarking on a degree/career in your field?

I received many responses—far more than I can include here—and have selected the following 23 responses for their completeness and succinctness. May this admittedly lengthy collection of career profiles help you or a loved one explore the opportunities and realities of a career in mental health.

Check out the 23 interviews on my Psychology Today blog, 23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs (opens in a new window).

Need help with a career decision? Contact me for a free phone consultation.

Volunteering: "Good For the World, Good For You" (HuffPost)

I've been included in this great article and infographic about volunteering in today's Huffington Post article, Good for the World, Good for You - This Infographic Shows How Volunteering Can Help You Find and Get Your Dream Job



Landing Interviews But Not Job Offers? 20 Possible Problems

source: Flickr/martinak15

source: Flickr/martinak15

So you're a great candidate with a great resume. You're getting interviews—maybe even second or third round interviews—but then it stops. Somebody else gets the job. Your inner critic chimes in and starts beating you up over what you potentially did wrong. 

The good news is, your application materials are working. Your resume and cover letter are getting you in the door and that can be the biggest hurdle. Now it's time to fine tune your process.

Click here for my list of 20 questions to ask yourself when you're landing interviews but not job offers.