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Jeff Herzog

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Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight! Part 2. Hard-hitting Interview Tips.

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 14:02 PM

Last month we launched part one of our new eBook, “Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight. The FPC Recruiters’ Guide to Winning!” In it we shared tough advice about what it takes to get a job in this continuing difficult business climate. your job search is a bae knuckle fight part 2

The information in part one was intended to help you organize and implement an effective job search, the way we recruiters do it. And that’s much different than how outplacement services and job coaches tell you to go about it.

If you’ve read part one and taken it to heart, you’re well on your way to lining up some juicy interviews. That’s where part two of the Bare Knuckle Guide comes in. We believe that the interview advice most people get is way too soft and way too generalized.

As recruiters, we’re preparing candidates for interviews every day – and seeing the results of how those people actually handle themselves in the interview situation – for better or worse. We know what lands the job – and what lands you on the mat.

We’ve dug into our experience to share with you real world anecdotes about both successful and unsuccessful interview moves. Some come from interviewees. Some come from hiring managers. Some come from job search industry leaders.

Among many other important lessons, you’ll learn why:

  • You must be respectful to every person you meet in the interview process regardless of their position
  • The couch in the waiting area is off limits
  • Showing off your knowledge of the company can work against you
  • Your language must be very, very specific

Part two of the Bare Knuckle Guide also explains why you may need to act as your own recruiter and how to do for free what we do for a fee.

It’s hard enough to line up interviews for promising positions. Especially if you’re listening to and trying to follow the ‘rules’ we tell you about in part one – the ones that don’t work if you want to be employed.

When you finally do get a chance to sit down with a hiring manager at a company you really want to work for, you have to know how to assess whether the opportunity is as good as you think it is – and, if so, how to close the deal. This is particularly important for senior executives who have been out of work for six months or more and are stressing out about how to pay the bills and the kids’ college tuitions.

In writing this eBook, I put my heart into sharing some of the professional techniques that I and my fellow FPC recruiters use to help our job candidates build solid careers. It really kills me to see talented, experienced men and women going through long, painful periods of unemployment – especially when it’s unnecessary.

When we launched part one of the eBook last month, I said that the advice is blunt and that some of the activities won’t feel comfortable at first. But you owe it to yourself to push the limits a bit if it means getting back to work.

If you haven’t read part one yet, there will be opportunities when you download part two to get it. Look for links on the download page and also right within the part two pdf. We tried to have some fun in putting this eBook together with lots of boxing references and vintage images. It helps to smile when things are rough.

Enjoy both parts of the Bare Knuckle guide. Feel free to get in touch to let us know how it’s working for you. And if you start to think that this recruiter stuff might be fun as your next career, you’ll be right. It can also make you a darn good living – especially if you do it as the owner of an FPC Executive Recruiting franchise. It’s an incredible way to leverage your past experience and industry contacts, while taking control of your career at a time when corporate careers are increasingly risky.

Click the button below to get The Bare Knuckle Guide, Part Two.

eBook Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight

Topics: Changing Careers, Career Advice, Interview Tips, Job Search Advice

Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight! Introducing Our New Ebook

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Mon, Jan 6, 2014 @ 07:01 AM

A while ago I was asked to speak to a group of senior executives about job search and career management. Many of them were unemployed or at risk of becoming unemployed. It really bothered me. Not the fact that I was asked to speak. But the fact that a bunch of unemployed professionals were spending their time getting together to ‘network’ (read: commiserate).

In my parlance, I call that kind of gathering ‘notworking’ – notwithstanding the fact that there would be a speaker – me – who might share some helpful information. I decided to make the time worth their while by sharing some tough love; by telling them some things they needed to know, but probably didn’t want to hear.Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight Part One

What I told them – the title of my presentation – was, “Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight.” Afterwards, a number of the attendees confirmed what I had suspected, that this was the first time they’d heard the advice I gave them.

What really, really bothered me, and continues to, is that many of these men and women had been unemployed for months or years, had been through outplacement, had worked with coaches, had spoken with recruiters. And yet, this was the first time that someone had told them the truth about what they have to do to get a job in today’s unprecedentedly challenging workplace.

They had been following ‘rules’ that have developed in the digital age about how to use the Internet to get a job. As a recruiter who gets people jobs for a living, these ‘rules’ are just plain wrong. Here are a few:

  • Email, don’t call.
  • Spend time and money developing a great resume.
  • Find positions you think you qualify for and apply online.

In the vast majority of cases this simply won’t work. Anyone who has emailed hundreds of resumes in response to online job postings – and still no job – knows this is true.

Here at FPC, we use a far different approach to connect our clients to the right talent. As part of my job as owner of an FPC executive recruiting franchise office, I train my recruiters in these techniques that earn them quite a good living. As Executive VP of our franchise entity, I train other FPC owners in the recruiting methodology that has worked successfully since the company was founded in 1959 and since we began franchising it in 1973.

Unfortunately, my fellow FPC recruiters and I cannot help many of the job candidates who come to us. It’s a sad irony that, for the most part, our clients in manufacturing and industry hire us to find passive candidates, i.e. those who are currently employed. The longer someone is out of work, the less probability that a recruiter can find them their next job.

So, I decided to flesh out my presentation to the executive group and turn it into an eBook that would not only share the tough realities of today’s job market, but that would empower job seekers to serve as their own recruiters. Today, we’re launching Part One of “Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight: The FPC Recruiters’ Guide to Winning!”

Bare Knuckle – as we affectionately call it – is pretty blunt, but we also had some fun with the boxing metaphor and hope that you’ll find it a good read, as well as good looking. Enjoy the vintage boxing images and other cool graphics. To further encourage you to download the Bare Knuckle Guide, Part One, here are some of the chapter titles:

  • The Internet is killing you!
  • Outplacement is often out of place in a bare knuckle job search
  • The road to a job usually bypasses HR
  • Your job search is a sales job, like it or not

In Part One, you’ll learn why you must accept that these things are true. You’ll also come away with a fight plan that, if you follow it, will get you to interviews with the right people. In Part Two, we’ll teach you how to take advantage of these opportunities and close the deal.

In this initial 27-page eBook, we bring the experience we’ve gotten placing thousands of executives. You bring the guts and get the glory! Get into training for your Bare Knuckle Job Search right now and go from contender to champ when you win that coveted new position!! Click the button below to download Part One of the ebook. We’re in your corner!!

Your Job Search is a Bare Knuckle Fight

Changing Careers? How to make a better choice this time around.

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Thu, Nov 7, 2013 @ 14:11 PM

Most visitors to our website and blog, and everyone we meet with who eventually becomes an FPC executive recruiting franchise owner is changing careers. Eighty-five percent of our owners have never before been recruiters. Most have come from the corporate world and industry. Even those who have recruited in the past have worked for a recruiting firm and never owned their own company. Those who have owned businesses have not owned a franchise. Changing Careers - How to make a better choice

Every one of these career changers went through a circuitous and sometimes tortuous path to find the right next step for themselves. By the time we meet them they’ve usually done quite a lot of exploration. Even so, becoming a recruiter wasn’t necessarily on the radar screen, so we try to help them assess whether our offer will be a good fit for their personal, financial and lifestyle needs.

To that end, we have a real interest in reading what others have to say about making good career choices. Today, we want to share with you an insightful article from On Wall Street that offers some good steps to follow on the path to your new career. After you read the article, please share some of the steps you’ve taken in planning you career in the comments.

If you’re wondering what it’s like to leverage your past experience and contacts in a new career as an FPC franchise owner, please download our popular recorded webinar, “A Great Career Option You May Never Have Considered.” It’s free! Enjoy the article!

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Topics: Career Change, midlife career change, Changing Careers, Career Advice

Can Type ‘A’ Entrepreneurs Run Successful Franchises?

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 16:09 PM

The answer to the question we’re posing in this post is, “It depends.” We’re not saying this to avoid a direct answer, but because it’s true. Entrepreneurs are often thought of as Type ‘A’ personalities who have to be on the go and in control, but would that disqualify them as successful franchise owners?

To begin with, let’s look at a definition of ‘entrepreneur’. Entrepreneur Magazine – which should know – defines an entrepreneur as: “One who starts or assumes control of a business or other independent enterprise, often employing innovation and more than an ordinary degree of risk.”

The magazine goes on to say that, although the terms ‘small business owner’ and ‘entrepreneur’ are often used interchangeably, they really aren’t the same. The writer points out that the willingness of the entrepreneur to assume substantial risk is the key differentiator between the two. Can risk-taking entrepreneurs run successful franchises

Considering that most budding business owners who choose the franchise model do so to reduce risk by following a proven process and adopting a recognized brand, it doesn’t appear that the typical ‘entrepreneur type’ would be happy going that route.

Indeed, running successful franchises requires following the tried and true, regardless of the specific business category. Any self-described entrepreneur who can’t stomach that reality would be better off developing a business concept from scratch and maybe becoming a franchisor instead of a franchisee.

However, having said that, there’s also plenty in owning a franchise that can appeal to and satisfy entrepreneurial qualities.

A recent article for Entrepreneur by Stephen Key discussed what the author has identified as, “5 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs” based on his decades of experience mentoring this group. He lists them as follows:

  1. An unwavering passion
  2. Open-mindedness
  3. The desire to be an expert
  4. A forward-looking approach
  5. A constant flow of ideas   

When we read this article, it struck us that there’s not one of these qualities that our FPC owners don’t possess in running their successful franchises. Let’s look at them one by one. While we’re using FPC executive recruiting franchise owners as examples, we’d bet that the same applies to many franchisees in other industries.

  1. An unwavering passion. I, personally, describe myself often as passionate about executive recruiting and the benefits it provides to the companies and job candidates we work with – not to mention our employees and everyone’s families. Many of my FPC colleagues also express their passion for what we do. As owners, our passion helps us to focus on what it takes to succeed through the ups and downs of running a business.
  2. Open-mindedness. According to Stephen Key, successful entrepreneurs don’t presume to have all the answers and are not rigid about their visions. Even though we may be following a process that we didn’t invent, we franchise owners all have a vision of where we want to take our businesses and how we want them to contribute to our lives and legacies. Fortunately, we operate in a system of peers and franchise management that fosters learning and provides constant and continuing input to help us fine-tune our operations.
  3. The desire to be an expert. Key says that successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of developing industry expertise and leveraging it from venture to venture. You can bet that even though and The Washington Post don’t seem to have much in common, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos based his recent purchase of the Post on his expertise in digital content assets and marketing. Our FPC owners succeed because most of them are recruiting in the industries they used to work in and know inside out. Coming into franchise ownership as content experts gives them instant credibility in their new roles.
  4. A forward-looking approach. It’s easy to get into a business rut – especially when things are running smoothly. The owners operating the most successful franchises know that, by definition, the status quo is meant to be disrupted. They look ahead and plan for changes and challenges. They’re strategic goal setters. The FPC national office happens to be a great role model in the looking forward department. It’s currently celebrating 40 years of franchising the FPC recruiting process. This success has been largely due to keeping an eye on economic and industry trends and thinking beyond conventional wisdom to meet and overcome challenges.
  5. A constant flow of ideas. An often-discussed quality of entrepreneurs is that they are always looking for what’s next. For all of our FPC owners, buying their franchises has been what’s next for them. Most of them came from successful corporate careers. Many of them have never stopped thinking about and exploring how to build on, rather than rest on their laurels. Some have opened up new offices. Some have branched into recruitment for related industries. Some have brought other family members into the business. Some have created partnerships to expand services.

Going back to the definition of ‘entrepreneur’ that we shared at the beginning of the post, it’s good to know that even though entrepreneurs who buy franchises may have to temper their love of risk, they don’t necessarily have to give up on their desire to innovate.

Many franchise systems, including FPC, have peer advisory boards where owners get to share their ideas for improving the system and to contribute input to management initiatives. There are also franchises, again including FPC, that offer owners considerable freedom in running their offices.

The takeaway is that if you’re an entrepreneurial type considering whether a franchise is right for you, consider whether you can be happy channeling your qualities into the functions involved in franchise success. Which of your qualities do you wonder whether you could put to good use in a franchise environment?

To learn how your time would be spent on a typical day as an FPC owner, download our free eBook, “A Day in the Life of an FPC Franchise Owner.”

A Day in the Life of an FPC Owner pdf

Topics: Recruiting Franchise, Career Change, Successful Franchises

Post Labor-Day Career Advice: Make it Happen vs Let it Happen

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Thu, Sep 12, 2013 @ 12:09 PM

Labor Day marks the start of the business season. Lazy, hazy days of summer are over. Vacations are behind us and have hopefully re-charged our batteries. If we’ve used summertime as an excuse to lay back on our career pursuits, it’s time to look reality in the face. Career Advice - Make it Happen

While you were in summer mode, did any great opportunity somehow find its way to your door? My experience leads me to say, “Probably not.” I’m working on an eBook that we’ll be publishing in the near future, but one part of it is very appropriate to this time of year, so I’ve decided to use this post to give you a preview – and some career advice that has worked for me.

Out of work and looking for a job? In a dead end job and looking for a new one that will get your juices flowing? Seeking the promotion you deserve? Finally, seriously considering starting your own business? Whatever you’re trying to accomplish in your career, this one’s for you.

Why you can’t just let it happen

The number one element of success – or failure -- is how you perceive and feel about you. This definitely applies when it comes to your career moves.

Feeling that the world owes you a job or a promotion or any other workplace reward is a self-defeating idea. So is the idea that if you’re patient, something will come along.

In effect, such attitudes lead to a passive approach. You’re going to wait for – and expect – opportunities to come your way. When they don’t, you’re set up for disappointment. You feel defeated and angry at the world. This is not a good place to come from if you want to succeed.

Face the facts

The reality is that no one cares about you but you! And if you want to succeed, you have to take charge of the process. Once you recognize and accept that the future is in your hands, you put yourself in control. This fosters the sense of confidence you’ll require.

Without self-confidence, the future can seem like a place of terror where fear can prevent positive action. With self-confidence, the future becomes a land of boundless opportunity – limited only by your imagination. In order to make things happen in your life, you must adopt the latter point of view.

I was fortunate to understand that it was up to me to build the life I wanted early in my career. Getting every job I’ve held, starting my own company and becoming an owner of FFC all happened because I pursued these goals with passion, confident that I had a lot to bring to the table. From my experience, what I’m sharing with you works.

But you don’t have to take just my word for it. Norman Vincent Peale, the multi-million-selling author of The Power of Positive Thinking said, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

Career Advice - Take ControlMaking it happen

Even more, I like the late tennis star Arthur Ashe’s take on the role of confidence: “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

As an executive recruiter and franchise owner, my daily mantra is, ‘Plan and prepare’. Planning includes establishing goals and setting out steps to reach them. The engine that drives us to our goals is commitment. Preparation makes it easier to stay on track. Planning and preparing is a great confidence builder. Can you begin to see that these elements contribute to a continuous loop of career success?

Once you start to build the confidence to forge ahead toward your goals, you’ll feel more comfortable departing from conventional wisdom – which is often what it takes. When I speak to groups of job seekers, I tell them not to look for job postings and then email their resumes and see what happens. That does not represent sufficient action to get a job in the current environment. I tell them to look for companies they want to work for and then make a plan to get there.

The plan is sure to include some activities that may not be entirely within your comfort zone, but if you keep your own value and the ultimate reward in mind, you can do it. This post is designed to give you an initial sense of the mind set you must cultivate if you’re going to build the career and life you want.

In the eBook I’ll be sharing a lot of details about how to plan and execute your next career move. It will offer job search and career advice that you probably never heard before – based on the proven techniques that FPC recruiters use to place candidates in great jobs and my own philosophy of creative self-resilience.

We’ll be announcing the launch of the new eBook here, so if you’d like to get it when it comes out, just subscribe to the blog. Type your email address into the field at the top of the right column and you’ll get our posts delivered to your inbox weekly.  

Before you go, please share your thoughts on self-confidence and the role it’s played in building your career.

Topics: Career Change, Executive Recruiting, midlife career change, Changing Careers, Job Search Tips, Career Advice

An Alternative Career Path to Franchise Success: Work First, Then Own

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Thu, Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

This is the fifth and final post in our series about the career path that led some top executives into franchise ownership. These owners are part of our FPC executive recruiting franchise network, but their stories have broad application for others seeking a new direction.

What motivated these owners to consider leaving the corporate world? What options did they explore? Why was franchising appealing? How did they choose a franchise company?Work in a franchise before buying it

This week we profile a very successful owner who took an indirect path to ownership.

Meet Randy Cagan

Randy Cagan joined FPC of Raleigh (North Carolina) in 1986 as a recruiter. The office had been established by longtime owners Rick and Stan Deckelbaum. Today Randy and his partner David Singer own the business, which they bought in 2002. The business employs 12 recruiters and is the top-producing office in the FPC network. Here’s the story of his recruiting and franchise success.

Randy began his career in sales and marketing in the pharmaceuticals and medical device industry.  “After several successful years of outside sales and product management I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the owners of the Raleigh office,” he said. “It was this introduction that changed the course of my career. I learned what it takes to succeed and saw the potential in recruiting as a career for myself.

“I wanted an opportunity that gave me control of my own destiny and that had unlimited earnings potential. I also saw that it could create a career path to running my own business one day. I really liked sales so it made even greater sense to me to work with Stan and Rick, who were glad to have expertise in pharma and medical device manufacturing.”

The Road to Success

Like 85 percent of all FPC owners and many FPC recruiters, Randy started from scratch with no recruiting experience. He went through FPC’s recruiter training and was under the wing of experienced colleagues who helped shorten his learning curve.

“I joined a successful office with two successful owners, so I had some almost immediate wins. It took three-to-six months to get started and about a year to hit my stride. Of course there were some bumps along the way, but hey, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so I pushed forward building a book of business.

“I was making a good income but, in truth, it took a few years until I became a really proficient top producer. What do they say? It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any field.”

According to Randy, everyone has the same opportunity as he did, but you have to have the legs and the staying power. It takes a strong work ethic and a commitment to putting in the time.

“Once I got into recruiting, I never looked at anything else. David and I are succeeding by hiring, training and retaining top recruiters and providing them a career path in the business, just like we had. Our plan is to grow organically by partnering in additional offices with our recruiters who want an opportunity for ownership.”

Why He Loves Recruiting

There are both tangible and intangible reasons why Randy Cagan is passionate about executive recruiting.

“First of all I love the challenge. Finding opportunities, building credibility with companies and job candidates, making the right matches – for both our clients and our own business – dealing with changes in the economy and where the jobs are.

“Successful recruiting is financially rewarding to be sure. But it’s as important that what we do makes a positive impact. Sometimes I look back at 25-year business relationships I’ve developed and it feels great to have been part of building someone’s career. For example, in 1987 I placed someone in a $25k entry-level job and have worked with him over the years. Today he’s a senior VP at a very large firm earning more than $500k.

“I also love watching the success of the recruiters in our office, and I enjoy the freedom and flexibility that recruiting and franchise ownership provide. I like controlling my lifestyle. I have no business travel and I have the time to work out and be with my family.”

How FPC Contributes

Even after many years of recruiting and franchise ownership, FPC of Raleigh uses the services of the corporate office in New York City every day.

“FPC has great brand recognition and an excellent reputation. We use the national office regularly for help hiring and training recruiters. We encourage our recruiters to take advantage of their expertise and support in day-to-day situations – whether it’s advice in negotiating a placement or to help boost them out of a slump.

“With FPC we get a training and recruiting system that is consistent and repeatable. If you follow the system and call on the national office regularly – which is what you pay royalties for – you can succeed. The sky’s the limit!”

If you’d like more information about franchises, recruiting and FPC, you can download a free recording of our popular webinar, “A Great Career Opportunity You May Never Have Considered.”

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Topics: Recruiting Franchise, Executive Recruiting, Franchise Owner, Career Paths

Career Change: Building a Successful Franchise Business in Tough Times

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 @ 18:08 PM

This is part four in a five-part series about the career change that led some top executives into franchise ownership. These owners are part of our FPC executive recruiting franchise network, but their stories have broad application for others seeking a new direction.

What motivated these owners to consider leaving the corporate world? What options did they explore? Why was franchising appealing? How did they choose a franchise company?

Can you think of a worse time to start a new venture than at the beginning of the Great Recession? Today we’ll learn how one owner built a great franchise business in those tough times by trusting in himself. Career Change - Building a Business in Tough Times

Meet Kris Jensen

Kris Jensen opened FPC of Valdosta (Georgia) in August of 2008 – just as the Great Recession struck with force. He had been a very successful human resources executive in the manufacturing industry when he reached an inflection point in his career.

“I had one of the top three HR jobs in our area and would have had to relocate my family to find a job at my level. That option was distasteful. I decided to become a business owner rather than looking for another job. I had a penchant for business and a nest egg for starting a venture. I was always self-sufficient. I had a newspaper route as a kid and put myself through college working in food service – an industry I remained in until I was 30. I believed that these qualities would help me to succeed.”

Finding the Right Business

Despite his experience and self-confidence, Kris felt inclined to find a solid franchise opportunity to give him a launch pad to success.

“I asked myself, ‘What does this town need that it doesn’t have?’ and exhausted the possibilities. There wasn’t any well-defined need that would support any of the franchise opportunities we explored.”

However, that process helped Kris determine what he did and did not want in his next career.

“We looked at retail food franchises because of my experience in that industry. But I recognized that I really wanted a more predictable lifestyle -- including reasonable hours. I also determined that I wanted to work with other professionals.”

An FPC owner he had worked with in the past touched base with him and suggested that his HR background and corporate experience in manufacturing would make him a good candidate for owning an FPC executive recruiting franchise. He could work with companies and job candidates anywhere in the U.S. from an office in Valdosta.

“All the stars lined up. I had the confidence, the need and the money. I liked the FPC opportunity. I felt assured that the franchise company would provide the process and how to sell it. I also liked that there was flexibility in how I could deliver the services. You create your own reality and if you aspire to that you’re likely to be successful in this business.”

Finding His Professional Focus

Because of his HR background, Kris initially thought he would specialize in placing HR executives. But he found a more interesting way to put his experience to work.

“I also know a great deal about the battery manufacturing industry. It’s an interesting niche. I place all functional roles within it, but especially R&D and engineering folks because that’s where the jobs are. My HR experience helps me to build credibility with the HR department and hiring managers. I understand their pain. They know I won’t send them an unqualified candidate so when they see an email from me they’re going to open it.”

State of the Business

Although Kris says that the first year or so was tough, today, FPC of Valdosta has three full-time recruiters and an intern. He plans to keep the office at this size for the foreseeable future, and is considering expanding by opening a second office.

“I was experienced at hiring, managing and training people in my corporate role. One of the things I liked about FPC is that it would give me a chance to bring those skills to both my own and my clients’ businesses.

“One of the most important things you can do in this or any business is to hire the right people. In my business, our recruiters have to be confident and committed in order to be comfortable working on a draw and commission. They have to have the initiative to reach for high levels of performance. From my perspective, having a lot of talented oars in the water besides my own helps the business succeed and takes the pressure off.”

Key Benefits

Here’s what Kris Jensen likes about owning his own business in general and an FPC executing recruiting franchise specifically.

  • The locus of control is with me.
  • What I do has positive impact on others.
  • I’m in an ever-changing landscape where every day is different. I thrive in a multi-tasking environment so I enjoy doing many different things, dealing with many different people and companies in the course of a day and solving an array of problems. I have routines and processes, but within those my days are rich and varied.
  • There are down days, of course. That’s when I’m glad to have my partners at FPC corporate. They’re with me all the time and help me move forward if I get stuck on something. I can also call on my fellow owners for help and support.
  •  I’ll be able to ease into retirement. When I decide to slow down and turn over the helm or sell the business, I can scale back and still make a strong retirement income. I can make a handful of placements each year and still bring in enough money to live comfortably and be happy. With defined pension plans going away and the stock market more volatile than ever, that’s a comforting idea.

Have you started a successful venture in tough times? Please share your tips in the comments. If you’d like to be sure to read the rest of the owners’ stories in this series, please take a moment and subscribe to the blog. Plug in your email address to the field in the sidebar and you’ll receive each new post in your inbox.

If you’d like more information about franchises, recruiting and FPC, you can download a free recording of our popular webinar, “A Great Career Opportunity You May Never Have Considered.”

Get Webinar

Topics: Career Change, Franchise Business, Executive Recruiting

Career Change: Wisdom from Successful Recruiting Franchise Owners

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 @ 21:07 PM

Career change rarely follows a straight path or an express route. From the time you first consider career change as a possibility, until you determine what you might like to do, zero in on a new career direction and finally make your move, it can take years.

If you’re considering a career change and find yourself reading this post, it’s not likely that you got here because you’re looking specifically for an FPC executive recruiting franchise. That was certainly the case for most of our current franchise owners. So it occurred to us that it might help your career change explorations to hear some of our owners’ stories of transition and success.

Over the next month or so we’ll share the stories and wisdom of a number of our FPC owners. The owners themselves vary from our newest franchisee who just got started, to one of our longest-term franchisees whose office is in its 36th year.Career Change Wisdom from Franchise Owners

You’ll meet an owner who started his office at the beginning of the great recession and is thriving nonetheless. You’ll also meet one of our top-producing owners who worked for another owner first before buying the business. And we’ll introduce you to an owner who parlayed a 20-year career as a top manufacturing executive into a satisfying second career.

They’ll answer questions on a wide range of topics including:

  • What were they doing before?
  • What motivated them to make a change?
  • Why did they zero in on franchise ownership as a good option?
  • Why was executive recruiting an appealing choice?
  • Why did they choose an FPC executive recruiting franchise?
  • What are their secrets of success?
  • What was their learning curve like?
  • How did they transfer their skills and experience?
  • How do they get value from the franchise system?
  • How hard do they have to work?
  • How does running a business affect their family life?

Meet Walt Fowler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Walt Fowler, owner of FPC of Williamsburg (Virginia). Walt came to executive recruiting from a 20-year career in quality engineering and manufacturing for top office furniture manufacturers including Steelcase and The HON Company. He is an expert in Six Sigma and lean manufacturing, which he studied at Motorola’s University in Chicago and at Toyota in Japan, respectively.

By the end of his manufacturing career, his roles and responsibilities were demanding. He was General Manager of two plants – a seven-day-a-week job. Walt had children later in life and did his best to be involved in their activities, although it was not often possible.

“The turning point for me was when I had a serious car accident racing to make it to one of my son’s Little League games,” Walt shared. “It was a real moment of truth. Something had to change. It wasn’t a question of finding another job, because at my level, it would have been the same situation at a different company.”

Walt began to research his options. As a hiring manager, he always had executive recruiters calling on him. He was familiar with the important role they could play in the business and felt that it might be something he’d enjoy. He spent some time with a recruiter he knew and his wife to get a feeling for both the recruiting profession and the lifestyle it might afford him and his family.

“It seemed like a logical move for us,” said Walt. “I could have gone to work for someone, but I’d always been drawn to the idea of one day being my own boss. I had run big operations and managed lots of people, so the idea of running a recruiting business felt doable. Nonetheless, I liked the idea of a franchise since I didn’t have the specific recruiting experience.”

Walt investigated the top executive recruiting franchises, including FPC.

“When I met with the folks at FPC, it just felt right. They were friendly, personable and made it clear that they really cared about my long term success. Sixteen years later, I can say that I made the right choice. I took my kids to school every day and didn’t miss any ballgames. We took quality vacations, uninterrupted by work emergencies and I’ve made a good living.”

In addition to finding this work/life balance, the work part has been rewarding.

“I really enjoy interacting with corporate America from this side of the desk,” Walt said. “From the perspective of my hands-on experience with the roles I fill for clients, I often understand their talent needs better than they do – and they appreciate that. I’m an advisor and consultant in addition to being a recruiter.”

What does he like best about running his own FPC office?

According to Walt, “You set your own expectations. No one is looking over your shoulder. But help is there when you need it and want it.”

And, what does Walt see in the recruiting industry going forward?

“There used to be greater candidate stability. In the past, people would stay in jobs for an average of five years. Now we see a lot of turnover after two years. In general, there’s less of a requirement for loyalty on either side. While that’s too bad in one way, it means a greater need for professional recruiting services and spells opportunity for our industry.”

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If you’d like an inside peek at a day in the life of an FPC owner, you can download our free eBook right below.

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Topics: Recruiting Franchise, Career Change, Second Career, Franchise Owners, FPC of Williamsburg

Changing Careers: 4 Ways to Give Fear the Boot

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 @ 18:07 PM

If you’re like most people faced with a job search or career transition, you’re suffering from metathesiophobia. Simply put, that’s fear of change. If you give in to this fear and let it affect your planning and actions, then you’re not only battling external economic and workplace conditions, you’re also battling yourself.

Whether we’re working with men and women considering buying an FPC executive recruiting franchise and becoming employers, or we’re counseling job seekers on how to land their next career we often see fearfulness. After all, it is a natural response to any feeling of threat. And change can certainly seem threatening.

It’s part of our job as both franchisors and recruiters to empower the potential franchisees and job candidates who come to us. In both situations we provide tools and training designed to help them to overcome fear of change and move forward with confidence.Changing Careers - Overcome Fear

To clarify, we’re not saying that change is easy and that it doesn’t have its ups and downs. Successful change requires realistic expectations. Almost certainly, it will not happen overnight. However, change is totally do-able and, with the right mindset, always leads to personal growth.

Here are four things to consider:

1. Be your own best friend. Spend some time reflecting on where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’d like to go. Focus on your strengths, both professional and personal. Acknowledge your weaknesses.

This process will help you to create realistic goals and a workable plan for reaching them. Most important, it will help you to identify and emphasize what you like and admire about yourself and make you likeable and admirable to others. Get passionate about who you are and what you have to offer.

2. Identify possible destinations. What do you do when you’re planning a vacation? You think about what you’d like to experience, whether you want rest and relaxation or a fast-paced, exciting tour. You think about the places you’ve always wanted to see. You look at your budget and the amount of time you can be away. Then you pick a few possible destinations for further exploration.

All in all we plan vacations with enthusiasm, curiosity and a positive attitude. There’s no reason why we can’t think of changing careers the same way.

When we work with job candidates we tell them, “Don’t pick a job. Pick a company.” If you explore the possible destination, determine its desirability and can picture yourself there – productive and happy – you can then build a plan for getting there.

Many of our franchise owners have had business ownership as one of their possible destinations. They may not have known exactly what kind of business, but it was an option open to exploration – and it led them to our door and a successful new career.

3. Find and use proven techniques. A sign of confidence is knowing when it’s smart to find help. One way to dispel fear of change is to enlist those who can help you minimize risks and smooth the transition into new territory.

For example, as recruiters we coach job candidates on proven techniques for every step of their job search and give them inside tracks to their destination companies.

As franchisors, we offer owners who have never been in recruiting a proven process for success. Recently our newest franchisee, who’d been in business for less than a month, reported how excited he was that the training he received was already opening doors for him.

4. Kill fear with action. Set your daily, weekly and monthly goals and do what it takes to reach them. Ten calls a day? Make them without fail. Research five new companies a week? Don’t settle for four. Visit with four business or franchise owners each month to benefit from their experience? Why not make it five or six and reach your goal even faster.

We see these steps work time and time again. We hope this information and the examples in this post will give you confidence in changing careers.

Thanks for sharing your tips for giving fear of change the boot!

If one of your possible destinations is to buy a franchise, please download a free recording of our popular webinar, “A Great Career Opportunity You May Never Have Considered.”

You’ll learn how to take some of the fear out of your career change by leveraging your experience and professional contacts.

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Topics: Executive Recruiting, midlife career change, Changing Careers, Job Search Tips

5 Unconventional Job Search Tips from an Executive Recruiter

Posted by Jeff Herzog on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 @ 22:07 PM

Many of the men and women who visit our website and read our blog are exploring a number of career options – including getting a new job. Some of our visitors will become interested in owning an FPC executive recruiting franchise. But for the visitors who primarily want another great job, we want to make your visit worthwhile, too.Job Search Tips - Be Different

While we are a franchise company, first and foremost we’re executive recruiters passionate about what we do. So, we’d like to share some unconventional job search tips that may very well put you ahead of the competition for that next job.

1. Be your own recruiter

Even if you are working with one or more recruiters, it’s in your interest to be your own recruiter. The next few points will give you a crash course.

2. Be an industry advocate and expert

Recruiters do best who recruit in an industry that they know inside out. They understand the job functions, the role interactions, the productivity issues, the competitive environment. Conduct your search as though you are an executive recruiter with industry-specific expertise representing you and also representing the company seeking to fill a crucial role.

3. Have a love affair with your phone

Most job searchers today make emailing resumes to potential job postings their key strategy. Even though we may use email to let potential candidates know about a position, the real success of executive recruiting happens over the phone.

Fortunately, calls from executive recruiters are generally well-received. They offer a career opportunity to an executive or someone in his or her network; they help a company to find the talent needed to meet business objectives. People tend to take our calls. If you approach your job search from the perspective of solving someone else’s problem rather than your own, they’ll take your call, too.

4. Partner with recruiters

Successful recruiters are great networkers, so get into the network of a few recruiters who are active and plugged into good jobs in your current industry or, in the case of career changers, your prospective one.

The best networkers give more than they ask for. Become a resource. Recruiters have positions to fill that aren’t suitable for you, but may be perfect for someone in your network. Instead of calling every week to see if anything new has come up for you, make an introduction.

This will keep you top of mind and well thought of by both recruiters and your spheres of influence. Your friends will want to return the favor, and when your dream job comes available, your recruiter partner will want to plug you in; plus, you’ll have a passionate advocate in your corner. You may find a recruiter partner specializing in your industry among the top professionals working in our FPC offices around the U.S.

Job Search Tips - Sell Yourself5. Be a creative marketer of you

When you’re in a job search, you’re in sales – and the product is you! The best marketing solves a problem – that idea again – and it’s well planned. Here’s where the Internet can really be your friend. Rather than sending job application emails that go into the black hole of job application emails, use online marketing to get opportunities coming to you.

Your job may be gone, but your knowledge and experience is alive and well. Start a blog and use it to provide expert commentary on news, trends and issues in your industry. You can set up a blog in an hour or two on or Blogger.

You’ll establish thought leadership and create discussion opportunities with others in the sector. Keep it positive and don’t use it to complain about companies and conditions. Offer your insights and solutions to what’s going on.

Social media is a great source of information and articles about what’s happening. Start accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and use them to monitor industry activity and converse with others on business topics of interest. Publicize your blog posts using your social media accounts, including a shortened link back to the post and before long you’ll build a following.

Rather than disappearing from the scene while you look for a new job, you’ll be right in the middle of it.

What unconventional job search techniques have you used?

Just in case you'd like to explore running your own business, download a recorded webinar about executive recruiting, franchising and us - FPC. Let us know if we can help you in any way.

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Topics: Recruiting Franchise, midlife career change, Changing Careers, Job Search Tips