What If You Want To Work And No One Wants You?


MainStreet knows baseball and it also knows the job market. Poor Barry Bonds may not have work this season. Perhaps, Barry should be more concerned about the outcome of Roger's Clemen's days in court, and start focusing on retirement.

Barry Bonds needs a job.

Major League Baseball's 2008 season begins next week and not one team has been rushing to sign the controversial homerun leader. Bonds, 43, who made $19.3 million last year with the San Francisco Giants, says he is not retiring. "I want to keep trying to win a championship," he has said. "I can still play."

Is your career in play right now? In Bond's case his 2003 grand jury testimony denying his knowing use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs, and November's subsequent perjury indictment, are making his job search more challenging. You may not be fighting obstruction of justice charges, but you can still learn from his struggle. MainStreet consulted with some career experts for some hot tips.

Tip #1 - Identify What Needs To Change

“You need to go through your resume and look for anything that calls out what you did wrong," says Penelope Trunk, author of Brazen Careerist. "So Barry Bonds doesn’t want to put 'Homerun King' on his resume. Remember you don’t need 10,000 achievements. Take out the stuff that reminds people of your public stain. It’s OK to not include everything.”

Tip #2 - Have A Party

Not a steroids party, a social party. “You really have to get creative right now with your job search," says Eve Tahmincioglu, the author of From the Sandbox to the Corner Office: Lessons Learned on the Journey to the Top. "Throw a party and invite ten people and have them invite their friends. Then network and don’t make it too obvious. Provide the food and the booze. The drunker they are the more they will help. Have those business cards at the party ready, too." Extending your network can make a big difference. "People who are posting resumes and not getting response forget about the networking piece," says Dawn Quesnel, a certified life coach based in Franklin, Mass. "They’re tapping into the hidden job market: 80% of all jobs hired come from networking and 20% come from posting or an ad. That’s a big difference."

Tip #3 - Expand Your Job Search

"Barry Bonds could leverage his experience and move to another job if he wants," says Trunk. "If Barry Bonds wants to sell diet stuff or exercise stuff he could. Who wouldn’t want their kids coached by Barry Bonds? Who cares then about the steroids? Ask friends who can look outside of the box. You need help getting that same perspective on your own career.”

Tip #4 - Get Nice

“Hiring managers are really cautious right now to hire just anybody," says Tahmincioglu. “If you have that mark against, you it is even more important that you get a referral. Someone who vouches for you and says, ‘Yes he’s had a bad rap but he really is good.'" Trunk agrees, especially for a seeker with a troubled past, like Bonds: “People make the mistake of not apologizing and coming off as arrogant. People mistake self confidence for arrogance. Lots of self confidence is showing vulnerability. Acting like you care is important."

Tip #5 - Work Out

During a long search, a positive attitude is paramount, and Trunk says you can keep your spirits up with a good workout. “If you can’t do it psychologically, then go to the gym," says Trunk. "It comes from inside and if you go to the gym everyday, that is a quick fix to feeling better about yourself. You will hold your body in a better way, your brain will feel more focused.”

Home run advice for sure.


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