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

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.

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.

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)

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.

The Art and Heart of Writing a Letter

My latest post on Psychology Today is about the power of writing a letter—how taking that extra effort to show someone you care can do more than you know.

"One of the most endearing parts about receiving letters from my pen pals is that both of these long distance friends, unbeknownst to each other, use stickers. With glittery hearts, neon butterflies, and gold embossed sunflowers, each envelope is preciously adorned. They are jewels to me. When I receive them I’m reminded I’m rich..."

Read the rest of The Art and Heart of Writing a Letter at Psychology Today (opens in new window).

5 Reasons Entrepreneurs and Business Startups Should Journal (via Psychology Today)



The first assignment I give my career coaching and consulting clients is to go out and purchase a journal. Not because I want to hear about what they made for dinner, but because I know they’re about to encounter a lot of information and emotions they’ll need to get out of their heads. For someone exploring career change or starting a business, a journal is one of the best (and cheapest) investments they’ll ever make

Here’s how journaling can guide you through career and business growth:

1. Visualizing and journaling is a solid first step towards making a career change or developing a business plan. It helps clarify and prioritize that which you want to concentrate on next. Ari Weinzweig of the wildly popular Zingerman’s company in Ann Arbor, MI states , “To be clear, a vision is not a strategic plan. The vision articulates where we are going; the plan tells us how we’re actually going to get there.”1

Read the rest of the tips plus writing prompts for keeping up the journaling habit, here at Psychology Today.

Rethinking SAD: Creating A Winter Oasis

photo by Brad Waters

photo by Brad Waters

A departure from my usual career themed blogs, my latest at Psychology Today tells my own story of how I developed a mutual respect for the season of SAD. Does your mood or productivity change during winter months? Learn ideas for creating a winter oasis

“One thing I might find more frustrating than the polar vortex is the annual onslaught of mainstream news articles about seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Only because it’s the same advice year after year: exercise, buy a sun lamp, and have your doctor check your Vitamin D level. Okay, did that, still feeling kind of crappy. So now what?

I think what bothers me the most is that the articles often contain cutesy phrases like “knock out depression”, “put the smackdown on SAD”, or “beat the blues.” I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling lousy I’m not exactly in the mood to jump in the boxing ring to deliver depression a TKO punch. And when we treat our “bad mood” like it’s the enemy, we might just be setting ourselves up for a long and difficult bout in the ring.

I believe our culture tends to make a fundamental error when it conceptualizes negative moods as intruders we must stave off. I believe we can do much better at seeing our whole spectrum of moods as parts of ourselves to be witnessed and experienced. What if we reimagine mood as more like a dance partner than a sparring partner? Allowing all of our moods to show up at the metaphorical dinner table, not as uninvited guests, but as wise elders with lessons to share.

Our moods and emotions are intertwined with the world around us, and the environment within us. I think of them as infinite invisible threads weaving together our behaviors with our memories, associations, connections to our environment, and relationships with one another. Each thread serves a purpose, has a story.

I recall one winter over a decade ago when I was feeling particularly mired in the long gray season. That was the winter I truly learned what it meant to witness and honor all of my moods and the messages of my body, as opposed to hating those parts that felt like suffering. I learned to witness and dance with the discomfort of a depressed mood without judging it so harshly for showing up on the floor.

This was the dance: Over the course of that winter, I worked with a counselor to redefine my rigid beliefs about winter and find a rhythm I could move to—personal ways to give meaning to the season. First, I learned how to witness, honor, and appreciate aspects of winter rather than blanket the entire season with resentment. Then, to notice and appreciate the messages my body was sending, and to give myself permission to accept a slower, gentler pace. Finally, I learned how to incorporate symbolic objects into my home that reference what I love about warmer seasons and long for in the winter. This, a process I now refer to as creating a winter oasis…”

Please click over to my Psychology Today blog to read the 4 steps for creating a winter oasis


Ever Considered a Career in Antiques of "Mantiques"?

I enjoy interviewing and profiling professionals with non-traditional careers. The subject of my recent interview, however, transformed enjoyment into pure jealous. Eric Bradley is a Public Relations Associate for Heritage, the largest collectibles auction house in the world. He also wrote the book Mantiques: A Manly Guide to Cool Stuff. In my Psychology Today interview I talk with Eric about his new book, how he came into his career, why people collect antiques, and how people are making careers out of picking and selling. Plus, he answers two very important questions we antique buffs all want to know:

  • Are the estimates on Antiques Roadshow accurate or are they inflated to make good t.v.?
  • Have you met the Keno brothers?

Click over to the interview, Mantiques Turn Classic Collectibles Into A Cultural Craze