Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting On With Life

Funny thing has happened on the way to finding a new job. I started consulting. Whether consulting will be my future or if it will be an interim way to earn a living is unclear. I can tell you that the work continues to come in and the revenue is growing. I enjoy the work. I get to do more of what I like to do.

I have affiliated myself with another consultant. His business is two-fold: Providing management and leadership development training and providing career transition services. I am engaged in both parts of the business. One day I will be helping downsized professionals develop a job search strategy and prepare a resume, etc., and another day I will develop or deliver leadership training.

I also provide consulting services through my own company including online personal branding workshops, developmental coaching, and custom management development training.

I have a pretty good pipeline of work already in place through mid-December. Next calendar year is looking promising. I continue, however, to look for good, traditional opportunities that are in line with my area of expertise. I have learned, however, to be realistic about being hired in this economy and in my local market. A seasoned recruiter told me early in the process that I would have a tough time finding commensurate work. I am perhaps over qualified or too experienced for most opportunities. Phoenix is a very transactional market - a "B" Market. Most all my experience is working more strategically for global companies in "A" markets. That's why the consulting angle seems to be working. Companies will buy the wisdom but they don't want it on the payroll.

So, I am just getting on with my life in the most productive way possible.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Edgwewood Human Capital Consulting is Launched




The current economic downturn has impacted millions of workers in the US and created a new dynamic in the hiring environment. The types of positions now available in the AZ market are typically lower to mid-level positions to be filled with workers with 6-9 years of experience. Just enough experience to be productive without a lot of payroll. This means most of the opportunities available to me in this market bring me back to work I did 10 to 15 years ago and provide only 50% of my most recent income.

I am not above considering such positions. I have applied for many and I am at several different stages in the interview process with three organizations for such a position. The challenge in being considered is one of experience and perception of expense. Hiring organizations are wary of someone with too much experience who applies for a position significantly below prior experience levels. Dummy down the resume too much and they are wary of you for different reasons.

The hiring process takes longer today as well. For example, one position in the Oro Valley, for which I have applied, has been in play since June. Two phone interviews, individual interviews, group interviews. The feedback has been that they love me, etc. However, while the position has been approved, the decision to fill the position with a specific finalist has not been approved. Approval must be made at the executive team level. Mind you, this position is a specialist-level position. It is not a management level position. It is now August and the executive team will not meet until next week. If, they approve me as a hire, the offer will come the following week and the likelihood that I will start at the beginning of September is remote. In the past, a position at this level would be filled in two weeks! I am an HR professional. I know this stuff!

Not too long ago, I woke up to the reality that the odds are against me in seeking a traditional position in the AZ market. Positions at my level of experience do not exist at this time. I am too qualified for the others. A good friend at the premier recruiting group in AZ for HR professionals told me that AZ is not a great place for me to be with my background and experience. AZ is more a transactional town. I have a big-market, strategic background. Employers think I am too expensive or will not be loyal to them - They believe I will always looking to move up or out.

Seeking opportunities outside the state creates a new set of problems. Employers do not want to relocate an employee nor do they want to incur the expense of an employee commuting at this time in the economy. Selling a home is incredibly difficult in AZ with the high number of foreclosures. It is quite the pickle!

I decided to take matters into my own hands. That's right. I am not waiting around for a traditional opportunity to develop. I decided more than a month ago to begin consulting in earnest. If a great traditional opportunity is presented, then I may consider the opportunity. Until then, I will keep my skills up, develop new work relationships, and make some money.

My new venture is named Edgewood Human Capital Consulting. “Edgewood” is one of many translations of the name Boizelle. I have always liked the sound of it. I offer HR consulting services with a specific focus on talent management (recruiting, training, performance management, management and leadership development, succession planning, and performance coaching).

My venture is off to a good start. I am doing work for the Phoenix office of RSM McGladrey, my former employer, Leadership Choice, a local management and leadership development firm, and a pharmaceutical company in valley.

I have delivered several projects already for RSM McGladrey and several more are in process. I have developed and delivered a leadership workshop for interns. I am developing a management development curriculum for entry level through manager/director personnel. I am developing and delivering a workshop for new accounting students at Arizona State University on personal branding. I may also build off this project to provide a similar deliverable for the accounting professionals at RSM. A blog on personal branding for accountants is forthcoming. Stay tuned for more information. A book on the topic is also under consideration.

I have created a management development/leadership development framework for Leadership Choice based on a meta-analysis of current management and leadership literature. With that framework, I have also identified the core skills and mindsets that are needed to move from being a producer of work to a supervisor/manager of workers to a manager of managers, etc. To support the framework and the associated coursework, I have developed a process for assuring transfer of skills from coursework to the job through a mentoring program and developmental assignments. I will help deliver the coursework and transfer process to a healthcare industry client with my friend at Leadership Choice this fall.

I am actively marketing my services within my Arthur Andersen and RSM McGladrey networks with several phone conferences set up to market my services and spread the word. Feedback so far has been very positive.

I also recognize that I need to develop more professional contacts and business opportunities in AZ. To help accomplish this end, I have joined the board of The Valley of the Sun Chapter of ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) and serve as the Director of Marketing and Communication. I am responsible for overall marketing and communications to the chapter members and to the business community at large. I prepare a quarterly newsletter, send monthly event communications, seek new chapter members, issue press releases, seek event sponsors, etc. What better position to hold to meet new people in my field and get my name and business exposure.

I don’t know where all of my efforts will lead. To date, I am enjoying the consulting work I am doing immensely – to the point that I am not sure that I want to return to traditional work. The economy has forced me do something that I have always wanted to do. As more work comes my way and as I make more commitments to clients, I may redefine how I make a living and add value to the market.

Monday, July 27, 2009

On the Road Again

Lauren and Becky came home for a visit this last week. This gave them an opportunity to hear Ben speak at church following his return from his mission. It was delightful to have them home. We had fun in the pool, enjoyed a trip to the temple to do ancestral work and otherwise enjoyed renewing our associations.

They are on the road again returning to Utah; Becky to Cedar City and Lauren on to Salt Lake City.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Brett's Commanding Grab

Over the last few days, we hosted Brett Spackman at our home. He has been a lot of fun to have around. He is smart and inquisitive. I was really impressed with his command of current events.

It was mighty hot outside so our outdoor activities centered mostly around eating, Bahama Bucks and pool time.

Ben and I engaged Brett in one of our family favorite pool games of snatching a football in mid-air coming off the diving board. We had a great time ingesting water, scraping our feet against the bottom of the pool and once in awhile, demonstrating superior physical prowess by performing a great catch.

Here is one of Brett's better catches.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ben Arriving At The Airport Terminal



HE'S HERE!


Ben arrived a noon today at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, AZ. We left immediately for Pete's Fish & Chips in downtown Mesa, Ben's favorite restaurant of all time. He will be released from his mission this evening at 5:30pm by President Salmon, our Stake President.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Almost here....


Stay Tuned As More Comes To Light.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Use the one downstairs...(cont.)


Lindsay fills the holes created by the screws with thin set to prepare the backerboard for tile.





Lindsay tapes a seam where two pieces of backboard join.



The job is done. Lindsay will let the thin set dry before she starts to lay tile. Another good job, Lindsay! This is a job that needs to be done in the event that we need to sell or rent the house.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Use the One Downstairs...

The upstairs bathroom is under renovation. Lindsay and I have made good progress this week. After chipping out the old tile and patching the floor, we finally started laying the backerboard.



Lindsay finds the floor joists and marks a line.

Lindsay measures dimensions for another piece of backerboard.

Measure twice, cut once, as Lindsay always says.

Lindsay notes her measurements on the wall.


Lindsay secures the backerboard with screws. She almost reminds me of Rosy the Riveter.

Dad, makes the cuts at the bottom of the door frame to accomodate the half inch difference in height.

The backerboard is in!

It is now time for taping the seams. Good job Lindsay.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tied Up On Father's Day

I think I have not been hired due to my outdated ties. If only I had realized this months ago, I would now be well employed and making excessive income. My children have stepped in and have dressed their father for success. Take a look my Father's Day tie makeover below.




Thanks kids for sprucing up your dad. I mean, look at these pictures! Who could resist hiring me now with ties like these?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Be On The Lookout

Lindsay passed her driving exam and can now drive with an adult....




with other cars on the road....and pedestrians all around....and cyclists....and....animals...
is my littlest girl really ready for all this?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Cleverest Gadget




Alien spacecraft? Top secret military craft? Mistaken weather ballon? UFO?








Actually it is one of the most clever little gadgets we have ever used. Jon and Steph presented this item to Sandy for Mother's Day. It is a vented lid that is to be used in microwaves to cover bowls and plates instead of using plastic wrap. I love it and use it all the time. No more splatter in the inside of the microwave, less money spent on plastic wrap, and less waste in the landfills! We are going green!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

All Alone

Sandy and Lindsay have driven to Utah to attend the wedding of Randee Hawkes and Tim Bereese. I decided not to go with Sandy since she plans to stay the entire week. I couldn't justify spending that much time away from the job search and access to critical job search resources. I am in the 5th month of job search and the stress is starting to take a toll. A new work situation would be most welcome as soon as possible.

There is always something to learn in these situations. The key learning for me is this: always demonstrate that what you do is linked to revenue generation or return on investment. Bottom line...work for an organization that values your skills and sees a direct link between what you can do and the success of the business. If possible, work for a company that understands the value of strategic investments, has the resources to support strategic investments even in downturns and has a culture that values long-term thinking as a competitive advantage. It is possible to have good skills and work for the wrong organization. Work for organizations that align as closely as possible with your values. This one thing alone will keep you engaged, energized and able to generate value.

Sandy has been away all but one day and I feel very alone. The house is empty. The prospect of a whole week without her is not pleasant. I am wondering how I will entertain myself on Memorial Day. Holidays are not the same without family present. By the end of the week I may decide that a trip to Utah would have been a better course of action.

I will try to get back to a more frequent blog updating schedule going forward.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gold Bar Ranch Adventure

Sandy, Lindsay and I took some time over spring break to get into the outdoors. There is a ranch on the way to Prescott called Gold Bar Ranch that offers camping and fishing. We camped for an evening and fished the next day. Here are some pictures of our fun adventure.








Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Beautiful Amaryllis

Kathy Merkley sent an Amaryllis down to us when Erik and Lauren came to visit for Christmas. We watched it grow in the kitchen bay window since that time. The stem grew quickly and before we knew it, beautiful flowers appeared.



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Synchronized Swimming Triumph

Lindsay's Desert Dolphin Synchronized Swim Team competed today. They chose a very difficult routine. There was concern that it might be too difficult. Competition and judging in Arizona are tough given the number of competitive synchronized swim team in the state. It is very difficult for a team to score well. Good scores are above 6.0 on a 10 point scale. The best teams in the state average about 6.8.



The team huddles before they begin their routine and a prayer is offered. I believe all the girls are LDS. This is a competitive team that has chosen to not swim on Sunday. This is the girls' choice. We are proud of them. This does mean that they will likely not go to nationals since the national competitions are held on Saturday and Sunday.


A quick pose with their team coach, Sarah.




The start of their routine.



The routine calls for three lifts. Lindsay's lifted on the first lift.



Lindsay at the peak of her lift. She settles back into the water artfully.


Someone took a video of the entire routine. Look for a link to Facebook in the future.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lindsay Continues Her Quest

For her prince.

Tour of Tucson Results are Now Official

(Disclaimer: I am probably making a big deal about this because of mid-life crisis issues)

The Tour of Tucson results are now official and posted. I can share my official results. I don't know why it took so long for the times to become official but there must be some inaccuracy in the tracking system.



The picture above is from the Tour newspaper and shows the group of 1210 riders that competed in the 67 mile event. Of the 1210 riders, there were 30 tandem couples. These tandems are great to have on the ride. You can get behind them and cruise. They break so much wind.

My official overall placing was 95. ( I moved up 13 spots since the unofficial results were reported). I finished with a time of 3 hours 41 minutes. I placed 30th among those riders that were between 50 and 60 years old. Not bad for an old man.

Update on Ben


Sister Joyce, the wife of Ben's mission president, occassionally sends us pictures of our missionary following a mission activity. Ben is pictured here with his new companion, Elder Snyder. I believe that Ben is training Elder Snyder. He is currently serving in Layton, Utah.

Ben often has family sightings and chance encounters due to so many relatives living in and around areas in which he has served. Ben wrote to us this week that his sister, Lauren, drove past him the other day in a relative's truck. She honked and honked as she drove by. The honking is not out of the ordinary. Lots of people do that but he did take notice this time. Ben commented in his letter, "Yes, I recognized Lauren as she drove by. I told my companion that I thought it was her. I was odded out by the truck. That thing must dwarf her! My spiritual sense is doing better. Soon, I will be able to recognize family from a mile away or more."

Ben also had an interesting experience the other day that was bound to happen. The Boizelle family lived in Fruit Heights for 2 years before moving to Arizona. Fruit Heights is in his mission boundaries. Ben had a number friends in his age group. He wrote, "So I met Joe Stephenson (from Fruit Heights). He gave me and my companion a ride, and later, (it was dark) as he dropped us off, he asked us our names, and when I said my last name, he turned around and said "Ben!?" I said yes, and we hugged. He just got back from a mission somewhere. It was good to know that people still remember you from so long ago."

Ben says that his missionary work is going well. I believe that Ben truly loves his missionary work. He is serving faithfully and will return with honor.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

When Dad Was a Tough Guy



Some pictures of Dad and associates provided by an old friend from New Jersey. Our ward youth group attended a 50s style dance at the stake center in East Brunswick, NJ. I don't know why our glasses were so large. It must have been the style or my head was too small.

Between the Eyes

Sandy visited the dentist the other day for a root canal. While she was lying in the chair, a piece of equipment came loose from the boom and fell on her face - right between her eyes just above her nose! Luckily, nothing was seriously broken or damaged.

When Sandy came home it was clear that she had been crying for some time. She explained that she had been hurt at the dentist office. I figured that the dentist slipped with the drill or knocked a tooth out by accident. She then explained that her tear ducts had been activated by the impact and would not shut off.

I am not allowed to post pictures of her face and the bruising. She is alright now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

And They Are Off to Las Vegas

Jon and Stephanie waved goodbye and headed for Las Vegas this afternoon. We wish them well.

Family Picture

The Boizelle family attended the funeral of Rex Spackman, Sandy's father, in Northern Utah on September 20, 2008. Ben was allowed by his mission president to attend the funeral and the graveside services. This gave us the opportunity for a family picture which included Jon's wife Stephanie Quinton and Lauren's husband Erik Merkley.



From left to right: Stephanie, Jon, Rebecca, Ben, Sandy, Dave, Lindsay, Erik, and Lauren.
I include a picture of the Rex Spackman family: Back row from left to right; Gary (mostly blocked), Leon. Second row; Howard, David, Roger, Dennis, Paul, Richard, Stephen (partially blocked). First row; Marne, Mary Ellen, Mildred (Rex's wife), Sandra, Sydney, and Diane.