Long-Term Employment Is Over — Here’s How To Cope

In the video below Human Workplace CEO and Founder Liz Ryan explains why the disappearance of long-term employment is forcing working people to take control of their own careers — and how to take charge of yours!

Check out Liz’s new book Reinvention Roadmap: How to Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve on Amazon (or wherever books are sold)!

INTENSIVE Four-Week Virtual Course: Using Business Pain To Close Consulting Deals

What Is A Pain Letter — And Can It Get Me A Job?

What is a Pain Letter? It’s a letter that accompanies your Human-Voiced Resume when you send your resume to your hiring manager.

Reaching out to hiring managers directly is a new-millennium job search approach that our CEO Liz Ryan invented and teaches in her stories and lessons.

Pain Letters are effective because when your hiring manager — the person who will be your boss in your new job — opens your letter, you are speaking directly to him or her.

You are no longer just another job-seeker, one of thousands. You are speaking directly to your possible future boss about his or her favorite topic: themselves!

A Pain Letter serves some of the same functions as a traditional cover letter, but a Pain Letter is different from a cover letter in many ways:

  1. While a cover letter is addressed to anybody who happens to read it, a Pain Letter is created for just one person — someone whose name you already know. You’ll use your hiring manager’s name in the Pain  Letter.
  2. A cover letter  is generic. A Pain Letter is very specific. It’s called a Pain Letter because it talks about your hiring manager’s Business Pain — whatever is not working perfectly in the hiring manager’s department right now.
  3. Cover letters are the least important part of the two-part packet that includes your cover letter and your resume. Pain Letters, by contrast, are at least as important as the Human-Voiced Resume the Pain Letter accompanies! You’ll send your Pain Letter in the mail in an envelope together with your Human-Voiced Resume, straight to your hiring manager’s desk. You will find your specific, target hiring manager by doing this.
  4. Cover letters are typically submitted with your resume into an online careers portal. Pain Letters are not written to be lobbed into recruiting sites. They are written to be printed on paper, sent in the mail and opened by a human being who is avid to get help with his or her biggest problems!

If you are new to Pain Letter writing, check out Liz’s book “Reinvention Roadmap,” which is available on Amazon now!

In “Reinvention Roadmap” you’ll learn how and why to write your own Pain Letters as well as how to write your Human-Voiced Resume and tons more practical job-search and career advice!


your flame is growing for not everybody will celebrate

Should I Tell My Boss That I Got A Better Offer?

Dear Liz,

I have a dilemma. I really, really like my job and I love my boss, but she doesn’t go to bat for me.

We are friendly. We collaborate well. My boss apologizes to me at least once a month for my pathetically low salary, but at my last performance review I got a two percent raise. I am badly underpaid.

She says the university doesn’t have the money, but it isn’t true. They spend money like crazy around here. I wasn’t job-hunting, but my old boss works at a consulting firm in my city and he gave my name to a partner there. The partner’s assistant called me and I went on two interviews at the consulting firm two weeks ago.

Today they made me an offer for ten thousand dollars more per year than I’m earning now.

I don’t know what to do. I can accept the offer and give notice at my current job, or I can tell my boss that I got a better offer and hope she makes me a counter offer.

I know she can’t pay me the whole ten thousand dollar difference but maybe she could meet me halfway.

What do you think I should do?



Dear Regina,

I think you should go to work for the consulting firm. Why does your current boss deserve a shot at keeping you in your small box after she’s already proven that she won’t stand up for you?

If your current boss got you a $5K or even a $10K increase now just because you showed her a competing job offer, wouldn’t you be insulted? You should be!

Your boss wasn’t willing to risk one drop of her political capital to keep you in her department until another company made you a job offer. If she is willing to do so now, then she knew all along that you were underpaid and she was fine with it. Do you still want to work for her?

If your boss really cared about keeping you around, it wouldn’t take a competing offer to get her to pay you fairly!

You are at a crossroads. When you find yourself at a crossroads, I recommend that you always take the road you haven’t traveled before! Enjoy the new job –

All the best,


Have you ordered Liz Ryan’s book Reinvention Roadmap yet? Read about it on Amazon here!


Gift of MOJO Holiday Special: MOJO Boost Collection!

Ten Mojo-Boosting Tips For December Job-Seekers

It  can be grueling to job-hunt in December. For one thing, you may be worried that employers will shut down their hiring apparatuses for the month, but luckily that’s not always true.

Lots of hiring managers have 2016 budget dollars (including payroll dollars) that must  be spent before the first of January — or else that budget allocation will disappear!

December job-seekers can also be stressed about needing to find a job before the end of the year, not to mention holiday expenditures.

If you’re job-hunting and you aren’t working now, take some pressure off yourself by explaining to your family and friends that you’ll bake for them or do something nice for them in lieu of a holiday present this year.

You don’t need the extra stress of trying to find extra cash to buy holiday gifts. Your friends and family members love you, and they will understand!

Here are ten tips for managing your schedule, your stress level and your mojo during your December job search:

  1. Keep in mind that the only employers who will schedule you for interviews during December are the best employers for you to know — that is, organizations who really  have Business Pain that you can help them solve. If they didn’t have pain, they wouldn’t schedule interviews now with the end of the year looming. That’s good!
  2. Review your LinkedIn profile to make sure it sings your song as loudly and proudly as it can.
  3. December is a hard month for lots of people. If you’re surrounded by happy throngs of holiday shoppers while you’re trudging off to sign up with another temp agency, it can make your job-search burden seem like a lot to bear. Keep this in mind: you are smart and strong and employable. You only need one hiring manager to see your spark and vice versa.
  4. If you need a survival job to tide you over while your “career” job search continues, take one! Retail merchants are hiring right now — they have huge signs in their front windows. You don’t have to apologize to “career”-type employers for having a survival job. You have nothing to apologize for. If they want you, they can interview you when you’re not working.
  5. Make a little time for yourself every day in December. Listen to your favorite music or do something that speaks to you, like reading or writing in your journal or talking on the phone with your best friend. Your mojo is the most important element in your job search. Your mojo fuel tank gets depleted when you go on interviews, research and write Pain Letters and follow up on Pain Letters you’ve already sent. Take a few moments to refill your fuel tank every day!
  6. Look through your local business paper online to find business-related holiday networking events. If you don’t already have some, order your own consulting business cards and give them out to new people you meet. Attend one or several holiday networking events by yourself or with a friend. Remember, you’re not a job-seeker: you’re a consultant now. You get to decide what sort of consultant you are!
  7. If you’re job-hunting alone from your house, visit a job-search networking group in your city and meet some other job-hunters you can collaborate with. A coffee meeting once a week with supportive people is a tremendous mojo-booster for all of you.
  8. Get a journal and write in it. Write about your plans for 2017 and your triumphs and challenges in 2016. Get your thoughts, worries, hopes and ideas out of your head and onto the page!
  9. Remember that walking around in the desert is the toughest part of reinvention — but it is the part of the journey where all the best learning happens!
  10. Remember to pat yourself on the back for your hard work as a job-seeker — one of the hardest jobs there is.

You are a super star, but not everyone will see it. You don’t need everyone to see your flame. Your job is to find the people who resonate at your frequency — and say a quick “Nice to meet you, and goodbye” to everyone who doesn’t!

If you haven’t ordered your copy of Liz Ryan’s book Reinvention Roadmap yet, you can buy it on Amazon here!



Five Easy Career Steps To Take Before 2017

The new year is going to hit, and then 2017 will fly by. You know it will — look how fast 2016 has gone!

Here are five easy steps to take for your career before the end of December:

  1. Update your LinkedIn profile. What can you add to your description of your current job, and what can you tweak in your LinkedIn profile Summary?
  2. Update your Human-Voiced Resume.
  3. Send an end-of-the-year greeting to your closest business contacts and invite them to get together with you for  lunch or coffee in December or January.
  4. Order your consulting business cards. Even if you don’t think you’re a consultant, you are one! Design cards you like that include your name, email address and phone number. You don’t even have to specify what sort of consulting you do!
  5. Write a list of everything you accomplished at work in 2016.

If you don’t write down your 2016 accomplishments, you’ll forget them. Don’t forget them — they are part of your brilliant career history now! Think about your triumphs in 2016 and your goals for next year.

If you haven’t already ordered Liz Ryan’s book Reinvention Roadmap, you can order it from Amazon at this  link! 



Q & A With Liz Ryan: What Makes A Great LinkedIn Profile?

Not sure what to include in your LinkedIn profile, and what to leave out – or how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out?

Here are the elements that make a great LinkedIn profile, from an interview with Human Workplace CEO and Founder Liz Ryan.

What  is the most important element in a LinkedIn profile?

It’s a tie between your profile photo and the first two sentences of your Summary. They are both important. You have just an instant to convey “This is me,” both visually and in your written description of yourself.

Your LinkedIn ‘headline’ is the third important element in your LinkedIn profile.

Of course, no one will see your LinkedIn profile unless they can find you in the vast LinkedIn member database. You need connections in order to be found!

Every time you work on your LinkedIn profile (and any other time you get the chance), invite someone you know to join your LinkedIn network!

How should a LinkedIn user construct a strong ‘headline’ for their LinkedIn profile?

You have 120 characters including spaces to use in constructing your LinkedIn ‘headline.’ In your headline, tell us what you do professionally and inject a bit of your personality if you like.

The default setting for your LinkedIn ‘headline’ is to duplicate your current job title, but you can choose a different ‘headline’ for your LinkedIn profile, and I encourage you to do it if you like. You and your job title are not the same thing.

Here are three examples of strong LinkedIn ‘headlines:’

Legal Secretary with Contracts Experience Seeking Next Challenge

Print/Web Graphic Designer and Illustrator

Children’s Author

Your ‘headline’ will be stronger when you resist the urge to praise yourself (using terms like ‘savvy,’ ‘senior-level’ or ‘creative’) and simply tell us what you do, instead.

What makes a good LinkedIn profile Summary?

A compelling LinkedIn Summary tells the reader who you are and what you spend your time doing in just a few seconds.

It doesn’t use boring jargon like “Results-oriented professional with a bottom-line orientation.” Any empty suit could call themselves a “results-oriented professional.” Use a human voice to describe yourself, instead of done-to-death zombie language.

Tell us your story. How did you arrive at this place in your path? What do you care about? Make your professional background real for the reader. Not everyone will appreciate your human-voiced LinkedIn Summary, but then again not everyone deserves you!

How can I make my LinkedIn profile stand out?

Choose a profile photo that shows some personality, not a formal, stilted photo that makes you look less vibrant than you are. Choose colors that you feel great in and take a photo that shows your face clearly.

You can use a photo of yourself taken outside of work, but make sure we can see what you look like and that there are no other people in the photo. We don’t have to see you at work in your profile photo – but we want to be able to imagine you in your professional life!

When you’re happy with your LinkedIn photo, make sure that your ‘headline’ tells the reader what you want them to know, and that your Summary amplifies the self-description you used in your ‘headline.’

Read through your Summary and ask a friend to read it, too. Now add your career history in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent job.

There are so many available categories and elements for a LinkedIn profile now that you could work on your profile for weeks or months.

Don’t worry about using every available feature and field in your profile. Just tell us your human story — and don’t be afraid to show your personality! That’s what will stick with the reader.

Once I create my LinkedIn profile, how often should I review it?

Try to review your LinkedIn profile once a quarter.

Every time you update your LinkedIn profile, you can upload images, presentations, video and other cool enhancements to make your profile more interesting to visitors.

You can tweak your Summary and your descriptions of past jobs.  You can expand your profile with new Dragon-Slaying Stories and triumphs.

How important are the Skills listed on my LinkedIn profile?

LinkedIn makes it possible for you to list Skills (drafting, graphic designer, coding, etc.) and allows your friends to endorse you for your Skills by clicking buttons.

You can round out your profile by listing the things you love to do and are good at and letting your friends click on all your Skills to verify that you possess them.

More substantive than the LinkedIn Skills listing are Recommendations that you can write for your friends and colleagues and vice versa. Why not drop a glowing Recommendation on one of your favorite former co-workers right now?

I have a lot of past jobs. When someone glances at my LinkedIn profile it looks like I couldn’t keep a job for more than two years, but most of those transitions had nothing to do with me. How can I keep my LinkedIn profile from making me look like a job-hopper?

You can use a sentence or two in each of your past job descriptions on your LinkedIn career history to explain why you left each post (example: “I left Angry Chocolates during the company’s acquisition by Nestle.”)

Alternatively, you can lump together several short-term jobs that you held consecutively under the title “Bay Area Project Manager Assignments” or a similar “umbrella” heading. In that case you will combine the dates of the similar, consecutive assignments under the “umbrella” heading.

I have several letters of reference from former managers of mine who have either passed on or they are so infirm that I can’t use them as references any more. How can I make those letters of reference part of my LinkedIn profile, since I can’t ask these folks to recommend me on LinkedIn?

You can scan them and upload them to your LinkedIn profile, but most visitors to your profile page are likely to be more interested in your recent references than in references from long-ago supervisors. Keep cultivating new reference-givers on every project you take on, including temp jobs, volunteer assignments and ‘survival’ jobs!

I am a creative writer, but only outside of work. Some of my co-workers know that I write and others don’t. Should I use the LinkedIn blogging platform for creative writing or would that muddy my professional brand (I’m a Finance Manager)?

I’d do it, if only to exercise your creative juices in the presence of a large population of avid readers.

You could make creative writing on LinkedIn the next big thing! Don’t write anything violent or inappropriate, of course, and don’t write a serial novel with characters who have the same names as your co-workers and your boss and you’ll be fine.  You might find a huge audience on LinkedIn.

As for the merging of your two brands — the creative writer outside of work and the Finance Manager inside — the world is headed in that direction in any case. The wall between work and life is crumbling.

It could only be good for us, our employers and our communities if we felt comfortable bringing more of ourselves to work.

You are one person.

You are a creative Finance person and a financially-savvy creative writer. That is something to rejoice in!

Not everyone will get you. There are seven billion people in the world. You don’t need all of them in your fan club. Your job is to find the people who resonate at your frequency!






Liz Ryan’s Book “Reinvention Roadmap” Is Here!

Liz Ryan, CEOGreat news for job-seekers, career-changers and all Human Workplace fans — our CEO Liz Ryan’s book “Reinvention Roadmap” is here!

“Reinvention Roadmap” is available on Amazon now, and will be in bookstores on December 6th, 2016!

Here is a Q & A with Liz about “Reinvention Roadmap,” career reinvention and job search in 2017 and beyond:

Q & A with Liz Ryan, Human Workplace CEO and Author of “Reinvention Roadmap”

Liz, what inspired you to write the book “Reinvention Roadmap?”

I’ve been talking with job-seekers, career changers, working people and leaders for a very long time. Hearing their stories inspired me to write a book for people who aren’t sure how to navigate in the new-millennium talent market — the one we all have to navigate now. The rules have changed!

What do you mean by the “new-millennium talent market?”

We used to get a job and keep the job for a long time. Those days are gone and they’re not coming back. We have to learn a new way to operate in this new millennium.

We all have to know how to find work when we need it. We have to know how to find a job or find clients, if we work for ourselves. Most of us aren’t sure how to do those things. Years ago it was easy to get a new job when you needed one. Now it’s much more complex.

You can’t just fill out online applications and wait for somebody to contact you. You have to be more proactive than that to get a job. You have to break some rules!

Which rules do you have to break to get a job these days?

You have to break the rule that says that the only way to apply for a job is to fill out an online job application. I don’t want you to do that. There’s a better way to get a job, using your Human-Voiced Resume and the new-millennium improvement on a cover letter.

It’s called a Pain Letter. In “Reinvention Roadmap”there’s a list of rules we all have to break now. It’s a long list!

Does “Reinvention Roadmap” teach readers how to write their own Human-Voiced Resume and Pain Letters?

Yes! “Reinvention Roadmap” includes examples, stories and tons of step-by-step ‘how to’ advice.

What is the book “Reinvention Roadmap” about?

It’s about navigating now that the old working world has evaporated. Long-term employment is a thing of the past, and we all need to learn how to deal with that. We are becoming business owners even if we work for large corporations or institutions.

We all have to think like entrepreneurs now, and that’s what “Reinvention Roadmap” teaches people to do.

What will I learn to do as I follow the “Reinvention Roadmap”?

You’ll learn how to set your career direction, brand yourself for the jobs you want, set your market value, approach hiring managers directly using your Pain  Letters and Human-Voiced Resume, and get a great job that deserves you.

You’ll also learn how to run your career like a business, grow your flame and stay on your path!

How long is “Reinvention Roadmap?”

“Reinvention Roadmap” is about 250 pages long. It’s full of illustrations, exercises and stories. It’s got a Glossary that defines a few hundred of my favorite terms, from “mojofied” to “Dragon-Slaying Stories.”

When can I find “Reinvention Roadmap” in bookstores?

You can find “Reinvention Roadmap” in bookstores beginning December 6th, 2016 and you can purchase “Reinvention Roadmap” on Amazon now!

“Liz Ryan’s book ‘Reinvention Roadmap’ is a friendly, fun and invigorating guide to surviving and thriving in the new-millennium workplace. It’s full of practical tips and encouragement for job-seekers, career-changers, working people and anybody who wants to have the life and career they deserve.”

Remember: If they don’t get you, they don’t deserve you!

Click here to view “Reinvention Roadmap” on Amazon.com!



10 Tips for Beating Job-Interview Anxiety

Most of us get nervous either before or during a job interview, and who can blame us? These ten tips will help you reduce your interview jitters and allow you to feel more relaxed and ready for a great interview conversation!

1) Preparation is key. You won’t feel so nervous on a job interview if you know you’re well-prepared. Read the company’s website, read your hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile and prepare a list of great interview questions (like these) to bring with you to the interview!

2) Choose your interview attire at least a week before the interview if you can and make sure that every garment is cleaned, pressed and mended so you’ll look and feel great! Lay out your interview outfit (completely, including shoes, underthings and socks or hose) the night before your interview so nothing will get you in your way as you dress for the occasion!

3) Bring a notepad inside a portfolio or padfolio with you to the interview, along with your favorite pen and a few extra copies of your resume. Bring the address, names of your interviewers and contact name and details with you to the interview, too!

4) Exercise the night before the interview to calm your nerves. If your head is racing, listen to your favorite music or watch a movie that will take you out of your worrying mind!

5) Visualize the interview in your head and walk through it from beginning to end. Imagine the office or interview room where your interview will take place. Imagine yourself answering the interviewer’s questions and asking him or her your own thoughtful questions. Visualize yourself leaving the interview feeling like a champ — because you are one!

6) Just before your interview, do a little physical exercise if you can (running up and down a flight of stairs twice or three times is perfect) to wind yourself a bit and get out of your busy mind.

7) When you walk into the interview room, be human and say something pleasant, like “What a great view of the river from this conference room!” You are not on stage. An interview is just a variation on a networking meeting. You and your interviewer are going to share information and ideas with one another — that’s all. You are the perfect new hire for someone, and this person may or may not be that manager. Either way, you are awesome!

8) Get to your interview location very early — at least twenty minutes ahead of time, so that you avoid any risk of getting there late. You can walk around the block and wind yourself a little more if you are early. That’s better than dashing in the door at the last minute!

9) Don’t be afraid to take notes during your interview. It’s perfectly fine to capture your thoughts, ideas and questions on the notepad you brought with you.

10) Lastly, keep in mind that not everyone deserves you. Only the people who get you, deserve you! You are interviewing the employer just as much as they are interviewing you. Have a good time, and celebrate with a nice gelato when the interview is done!


thanks a million for following liz ryan

One Million Reasons To Say “Thank You!”

We’re celebrating like there’s no tomorrow. Guess why?

…Because YOU put us over the ONE MILLION FOLLOWER mark on LinkedIn!

We are so happy and excited that so many people around the world are resonating with the Human Workplace message to reinvent work for people.

I’ve made a video just for you to say thanks for being part of the Human Workplace movement!

I also wanted to offer a free ebook. Just click here to receive it.

Three years ago, we wrote our first column for LinkedIn. You read and shared that column, and more of our stories.

You told your friends about us.

You listened to our podcasts.

You took our courses and you got involved in our webinars.

Just a few years later, we hit our one million follower mark–and it’s ALL THANKS TO YOU!

At Human Workplace we are are committed to reinventing work for people. We want you to succeed, for you to find your ideal job and develop your career. We want you to build your mojo and find your voice. We want you to create a strong personal brand for yourself and thrive in the new millennium workplace.

As we reach for 2 million followers, I want to thank you for every bit of good energy you’ve sent to us along the way. And enjoy the special video–you mean so much to us!

Just as you’ve shared our columns over the years with your friends, don’t forget to let your friends and family know about this video. Forward this email and tell them I say THANKS!