Euphoric winner winning at homeThe typical job search can be very hard on the ego. You’re continually being judged, the value of your past experiences is in question and you may face more rejection than you’ve ever felt in your life.

While that feeling is normal, it’s crucial you’re able to overcome the resulting self-doubt and move forward with your quest. Letting discouragement seep into the tone of your job queries or interviews will help no one, and at times you’ll need to be your own best friend to quiet that negative voice in your head. As Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Tips for Continuing a Positive Campaign

  • Recognize that job searches are notorious for being long and difficult. Lack of immediate success doesn’t mean you’re a failure; if you need proof, check out the early careers of Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Thomas Edison or Walt Disney.
  • Remind yourself you’re more than your job — you’re likely a beloved child, supportive parent, loyal friend, devoted spouse, productive volunteer and/or highly regarded member of your church, community or social circle. Surround yourself with people who remind you of that, and maintain an attitude of gratitude as often as possible.
  • Don’t feel you have to do it all on your own. A career coach like one from The Five O’Clock Club can help you overcome obstacles in your job search, advise you on best practices and new techniques and make the process in general feel less burdensome.
  • Lose any negative energy you’re carrying from your last job. Even if you didn’t choose to leave it, you may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or subject to factors beyond your control. Think of it as a learning experience, shake it off and look to the future.
  • Keep circulating. Look into job-seeker meetings that get together regularly for networking, lead sharing and mutual review of resumes, cover letters, social media profiles, etc. (Check out the Five O'Clock Club's Career Insider Program!) You might also join service clubs that attract local movers and shakers, or seeking meaningful volunteer work that keeps you in the public eye.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, exercise and high standards of grooming to keep up your positive self-image and ward off depression.
  • Don’t waste energy trying to be something you’re not. You’ll only make yourself disappointed for example, by pursuing jobs that require extroversion if you’re an introvert — or vice versa.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed by reports about the difficulty of the job market. The Bureau of Labor Services reports people nationwide are filling more than 5 million jobs each month.
  • Beef up your LinkedIn profile, paying close attention to expanding and maximizing your contacts and making it clear you’re looking for work. When applying to a company, use the LinkedIn search function to find related contacts who might help you get an interview.
  • Take breaks from the stress of the job hunt. Offer yourself daily rewards and incentives for completing the sometimes difficult tasks involved, and for continuing to put yourself out there.

Finally, when the game that’s part of job hunting starts to get you down, remember what Wayne Gretzky once said: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”



Blog - 3PsFinancial hardships, a sense of rejection, pressure from friends and family — you know these things all too well if you’re in the middle of a job search. It’s easy to convince yourself that you won’t find a job, but you’ll never get anywhere with a mindset like that.

Being out of work is stressful, but too much stress can make your job search less efficient. Even if three companies were to turn you down, remind yourself that getting three interviews means you can get three more.

Push through and land your dream job with these helpful tips:

Stay in touch with former co-workers

Life is different without the daily camaraderie you experience while working in an office. When you’re unemployed, one of the most painful aspects is missing the people who were fun to be around. Stay in touch with these colleagues throughout the week to keep your spirits high and remind yourself of past achievements.

Treat your job search like a job

A lack of routine can be disorienting. The best way to overcome this is by creating a new routine for yourself. Provide yourself with a day-to-day schedule to remain on track and propel your job search.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

A healthy diet and regular physical exercise are two of the best ways to combat stress and tension. If your former routine involved going to the gym, keep it up. Stick with healthy habits to keep your energy high.

Enjoy the change of pace

Take this time, when you’re free from the 9-to-5 grind, to finally think about what you want to achieve. What matters to you the most? What do you want to do differently in your next position? What can you do better next time?

Celebrate short-term success

Set achievable goals each day to give yourself a daily sense of accomplishment. Write five more targeted letters, find ten companies to contact, make four follow-up calls. Simply crossing these goals off your to-do list as the day progresses will make you feel productive and may even generate some new job prospects.

The key is to stay positive. At The Five O’Clock Club, we believe adopting the motto “I will persevere!” will help you land a great job, sooner rather than later.




Blog - Identify AccomplismentsThinking of reentering the job market after spending years at your current position? If it's been 5 years, 10, or even longer, it's fair to assume you've made a positive impact at your job. After all that time, though, it can be difficult to remember and single out your various accomplishments.

It's time to flex that memory muscle so you can get ahead!

A long tenure at a company doesn't indicate that you're merely loyal; it means future employers will assume you made a difference. This is a huge competitive advantage you have over other job hunters and it's absolutely imperative to demonstrate your accomplishments in your resume and during interviews.

To start, take a trip down memory lane. Get out a piece of paper and write down all of the times when your work made a big impact. Recall moments you felt really proud. Include details such as the time, the process and what value it brought to the company. The more ideas you have, the better.

Next, jog your memory further by having chats with colleagues and supervisors. You don't want to make it obvious that you're looking for another position, so consider carefully what you say. Frame the conversation as though you are feeling nostalgic or trying to use past knowledge to solve a current problem and people will generally open up. It's likely they'll remember things you have long forgotten.

After you have a long list, it's time to whittle it down to your top accomplishments. Select three to five for your resume and save additional examples to discuss during the interview. Pluck the ones you feel are most impressive for the job you're applying to and switch them up as appropriate for each application.

Keep in mind there are two main components of a great accomplishment: what you did and the result. It's best if the result can be quantified, but if it cannot, use powerful descriptive phrases to help you demonstrate the value you brought to the company.

Example A: Created a new auditing system that saved 100 hours a week.
Example B: Created a new auditing system that eliminated redundancies and promoted better relationships between vendors.

Example C: Managed team of 20 consultants with a 95 percent client-approval rating.
Example D: Managed team of 20 consultants who provided top-quality service that resulted in high-level contract renewals.

The statements you create should be concise and instantly impressive. You can go into greater detail about your experience when inquired during an interview, so try to be straight forward on your resume. You'll have plenty of time to explain the details and demonstrate how you can really shine on the phone or in person.

Still feel stuck? The career experts at The Five O'Clock Club can help you determine your top accomplishments and frame them in a way that future employers can't ignore.








By Richard Bayer, Ph.D.

As the economy continues to send mixed signals and many of us struggle financially, we start to reflect on what really matters in life. And as a society we’re realizing, “We really are all in this together—and we need to be kind to one another.”

No longer are people grasping for success in the Gordon Gekko “greed is good” sort of way. Rather, they’re seeking the good life in a kinder, gentler, more holistic way, working to become better human beings and helping others to do likewise.

Most of us, of course, already want to be good people. It’s just that we get off track from time to time. We need some gentle reminders to help us refocus and recommit.

If you decided to make “I want to become a better person in 2014,” your New Year’s resolution, what does it even mean to be a good person? What kinds of things do you do to become one?

Learn what love really means. Practice it. Many believe love is a “feeling”; that it’s conditional; or (absurdly) that it’s synonymous with good sex. These misunderstandings result in misery instead of fulfillment. Whether it’s practiced in the context of marriage, friendship or even work relationships, love actually means “intending the good of the other.”

The cultural momentum which sees everything, including people, as a means to one’s own happiness, has become almost overwhelming. One marries, has children, and participates in groups, aiming only to find happiness for oneself instead of intending the good of the other. But relationships based on either utility or pleasure are not loving in the deepest sense. These are inherently fragile relationships, since the time can come when the other person is no longer useful to us, or serves as a source of pleasure.

So, take a close look at your own motives. In all relationships ask yourself, “Am I intending the good of the other, or seeking to serve myself?” Awareness is the first step toward change.

At home and in the workplace, always, always treat others with dignity. Protecting human dignity is at the very heart of being a good person. All people have six innate characteristics that must be honored. All people are:

      •     Spiritual: a person must have space to practice spirituality.
      •     Social: a person only develops to his/her fullest with others.
      •     Material: a person requires food, clothing, shelter, etc., to survive.
      •     Free and Creative: we all want to move forward professionally, to exercise our creative abilities.
      •     Fragile: we are all prone to error; have our weaknesses and failings.
      •     Equal: persons have a basic equality regardless of race, color, creed, etc.

Seek to acknowledge all of these areas in your interactions with others, whether they be a coworker, employee or significant other. And guess what? Protecting human dignity is a way of “intending the good of the other”—a.k.a. love.

Let’s single out, for example, the notion of fragility. If you’re a leader whose employee fails, you provide oversight, second chances, extra training or reassignment. In marriage, even though you know your partner’s vulnerable spots, you abstain from exploiting them. In both cases, you’re showing love, you’re just doing it in different ways.

Stop squashing hope in yourself and others. Instead, seek to cultivate it. Do you fret and worry out loud about, say, the state of the economy? Do you make dire predictions about the future? Do you shoot down the ideas and plans of others under the guise of being “realistic”? Many of us do these things, often unconsciously, and have probably never considered that it is incompatible with “goodness.” But it is. Expressing optimism to others, even when you’re truly doubtful about the outcome, is not mindless pollyannaism.

To squelch hope doesn’t just cause momentary unhappiness. It influences people not to do the things they need to do. The cancer patient who doesn’t have hope won’t work toward his own recovery. The child who’s told he’ll never go to college won’t do his homework. The budding entrepreneur who has a great business idea won’t chase her dream. Taking away hope from others harms them in a very real way. And it harms you as well.

Be thrifty and generous. (No, these are not mutually exclusive!) You may think “thrifty” is synonymous with “stingy.” It’s not. In fact, the word stems from the same root as the verb “to thrive.” Being thrifty is the (virtuous) middle ground between stinginess and extravagance. It’s a balanced way of living that allows you to help others out when they need it. (After all, if you’re drowning in credit card debt and living paycheck to paycheck, you certainly can’t give to charity….and if you’re Ebenezer Scrooge’s soul mate, you won’t.)

Therefore, to be thrifty encompasses being generous. Virtuous people help the needy, care for their children, assist their parents in old age, and especially show a concern for those with whom they share a special relationship. This is what it means to have a generous soul.

Awaken your gratitude. Are you grateful for all that you have? If not, you can’t possibly be happy. Start paying attention to all that you have: friends and family who love you, business associates who help you earn your income, the beautiful world in which you live. Start being mindful of them and you’ll become grateful. Make a “gratitude” list if it helps. Most important of all, start saying “thank you” to others. Remember, gratitude is also a form of courtesy.

Think about your friends or coworkers whom you have helped without receiving a word of gratitude for your good deeds. This is painful indeed. Also think about this: you can enhance the good reputation of those who do good deeds when you speak a kind word about them to others. Hence, expressions of gratitude bring further rewards.

Make sure you’re really working toward your goals. It’s hard to be a good person when you’re drifting aimlessly along in life or pursuing money in a job that makes you miserable. Not having goals (or having them and not working toward them) is harmful to our physical and mental health. Without the proper sense of fulfillment, we can end up clinically depressed, medicated, and confused, with our personal lives in turmoil —and, at the very least, we experience early burnout. So use The Five O’Clock Club techniques to set your goals.

We must make choices. We can’t decide to pursue a $250,000-per-year job, and fulfill a deeper desire to be a teacher. We can’t work 60-hour weeks to make it on Wall Street and be home for our children. When we know what we really want, other things must be considered distractions or temptations….Get in touch with your deeper aspirations, and aim to reach the goals that are most fulfilling for you.

When you make the decision to become a better person, two things happen. First, you get an immediate surge of happiness and validation. This is the natural state for human beings. Second, others will respond to the change in your behavior by changing their own. Goodness begets goodness; it’s an organic unfolding. It will be exciting to see how it all shakes out.

Dr. Richard Bayer is an ethicist and economist and former Chief Operating Officer of The Five O’Clock Club. As a frequent guest on radio and TV, he appeared on the Today Show, CNN, Good Day New York, and in Fortune magazine, and other major media. Dr. Bayer taught economics and ethics for 22 years at the university level. He has authored a book on labor economics (Georgetown University Press, 1999), The Five O'Clock Club's "Good Person Guidebook: Transforming Your Personal Life" (2008), 18 articles in scholarly journals, and numerous popular essays on topics concerning ethics. He received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Bayview Correctional Facility in New York for the programs he led there.


Audience 4-best

By John Carle

Anthony had worked for ten years in the same division of a large, international bank when he was given notice that the bulk of his responsibilities would be moved overseas.

One benefit the bank provided for Tony was membership at the Five O’clock Club, where, over the course of the four months,  he attended a total of six weekly small group strategy sessions and met with his coach for 10 hours.  With his coach, Celia Currin, a key area of focus was identifying the elements that would provide him with the greatest career satisfaction.

“Celia helped me recognize what it is in a job that would make me happy,” Tony says.  “That was very, very important. We went through several sessions going over exactly that.”

Tony Bottan

Tony Bottan

Tony and Celia developed a strong résumé based on his assessment exercises. The results were immediate: on the very same afternoon that he wrote his cover letter, Tony went online and found an attractive position at another large, international institution that looked like an excellent fit.  “So I said, ‘that’s it.  I’m going to send it in and let’s see what happens.’ But it’s the Internet, right?  You figure, who’s going to answer you on the Internet, one out of a thousand resumes.  But 48 hours later I got a phone call, and the interview process started from there.”

Tony landed the job a few weeks later. His new position as Senior Vice President came with a better title at a prestigious, large consumer bank, and a raise in salary. He cut his commuting time by one-third.  But Tony says the most important thing was that he found a job “that met those characteristics that I discovered would make me happy.”

In Tony’s case, it was clear from the Five O’Clock Club assessment exercises that what would make him happy would be to continue in his current career path and industry. He particularly thrived on solving challenges, fixing problems. Celia recalls: “First of all, he tells me that he was a fixer—through his whole career he was a fixer.  And it’s obvious he’s had a career that he loved.  He was in an industry that he loved.”

With Celia, Tony completed the Five O’Clock Club’s Seven Stories assessment exercise, going through his

Celia Currin

Celia Currin

history, both personal and professional, and identifying where he did something well and loved doing it.

“Two important things came out of that,” says Celia. “Number one, you could almost physically see his mojo come back.  You know, he went back to those times in his life that he had identified a problem and he had fixed it.  And number two, those stories led to the development of some phenomenal accomplishments and an incredible résumé.  And if you were to look at this résumé, you would immediately say, get that guy in here.  He beat the odds of getting a call from an ad. He embraced the Five O’Clock technology, the Five O’Clock methodology from the get-go.  He worked it and he proved, like many of our clients do, that if you do it, it works.”


by Richard C. Bayer, PhD, COO, The Five O’Clock Club and author of The Good Person Guidebook

Anyone can achieve their fullest potential, who we are might be predetermined, but the path we follow is always of our own choosing. We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny. Your destiny can't be changed but, it can be challenged. Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.

Martin Heidegger, German philosopher
September 26, 1889 - May 26, 1976

by Richard C. Bayer, PhD, COO, The Five O’Clock Club and author of The Good Person Guidebook

by Richard C. Bayer, PhD, COO, The Five O’Clock Club and author of The Good Person Guidebook

Basically eschewing as much as possible the age-old debate about whether we are primarily what our genetics make us to be, or what our environment makes of us, Heidegger brings to the fore the importance of individual choice and personal destiny.

I have held many newborns in my own arms. They have been my own children, my children's children, and those of many of my good friends. Almost all these parents proudly state, or imply, that their baby is somehow uniquely beautiful from the start. It may be scandalous of me to admit this, but in this matter I have been more impressed with how very similar all these newborn babies look and even act! (I hope my friends and family might forgive me for my personal observation here!)

Something very exciting happens with the passage of time. Children do not remain children very long. Alas, what parent, including myself, wouldn’t cherish the opportunity to go back in time for a few minutes and play with their young children! I am not digressing here. When they were young, they really were different from adults. As young children, there was a clear lack of formation; there was a noticeable indeterminacy about them. But the child matures. Older children no longer look or act the same as newborns and there is more to them. They have made many choices; they have taken in information, deliberated, chosen one path (and excluded others), and then finally acted. Suddenly, older children all act as differently as they now look! They are no longer amorphous bits of clay. They have taken definite early steps toward some eventual future self. This is all a very serious thing, since repeated acts form character and necessarily engender one’s destiny.

Ultimately, of course, there is a fantastic and (generally) delightful variation among grown persons. Through choices, adults have well-developed habits. Habits can be good or bad. Good habits we call virtues, bad habits we call vices. And it is these that constitute character.

Indeed, after the course of a full lifetime, our character is formed to a unique and near-razor point. The full “moral” range of character stretches from the monsters (most typically cited are the obvious types, such as Hitler and his attendant National Socialism) to those who achieve a certain perfection of compassion for others (say, Mother Teresa). Of course, most of us fall somewhere in between these extremes.

I am not a believer that, at a late point, one can change one’s character—apart, perhaps, from some sort of unusual grace. We should all take heed about the choices we make and, therefore, the paths we walk. Our initial form may be malleable but eventually becomes quite definite, clear to others, and a source of pride or shame. “Possibility” eventually gives way to a single actuality. Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.

Questions to consider:

  • Are you aware that, in your everyday life, your choices are expressions of your character?
  • What do you do to influence the character of your friends, family, and business associates?
  • Which actions do you take specifically to affect the character of your children?
  • What simple things can you do to become a better person?

Books (and their electronic equivalents) have not lost their influence.

Members read and re-read those that have affected them, and so do I. Beyond Shakespeare and the Bible, which both taught me a lot about human nature, the most important book in my life has been George Valliant’s Adaptation to Life, the forty year study of 268 male Harvard graduates. The study analyzed who succeeded, who didn’t, and why. Because of the homogeneity of the group, the study proved that “the relatively broad socioeconomic differences among the subjects upon college entrance had no correlation” with later success. Participants born to economic privilege did not do better than those from relatively poor backgrounds, such as those on need based scholarships.

What a hopeful thought—for myself, as well as for those we work with who have aged out of foster care— that the luck of the draw in how we were born is not so relevant to our future success. Everyone has a chance.

How we were born is not so relevant to our future success


Vaillant concluded that family circumstances are not the major determinant of future success. The study showed that everyone has major setbacks, but how we respond to life’s difficulties is the most important factor in success in life. A broken love affair may lead one man to write great poetry and another to commit suicide.

We can choose how we react and these choices affect our success—in love and in work. Vaillant ranks 15 coping mechanisms by their relationship to successful results.

The study also observed that maturation continued over the span of a person’s life. We stop growing when our human losses are no longer replaced. The study proved that it is “sustained relationships with people, not traumatic events, that mold character.” Without love, it is hard to grow.


So I know that there is hope for each of us depending on our responses and our attitudes. Even a good book can offer hope.

You must find some way to hope in your future. Here’s a quote I’ve saved for many years:

Optimism Emerges As Best

Predictor To Success in Life


“Hope has proven a powerful predictor of outcome in every study we’ve done so far,” said Dr. Charles R. Snyder, a psychologist at the University of Kansas. “Having hope means believing you have both the will and the way to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be . . . It’s not enough to just have the wish for something. You need the means, too. On the other hand, all the skills to solve a problem won’t help if you don’t have the willpower to do it.” — Daniel Goleman, The New York Times, December 24, 1991

So think long-term about your situation. Do whatever you can right now to keep your body and soul together, and build for the future—regardless of how bleak things may seem right now.

Kate Wendleton, President

A Hard Pill to Swallow

posted: Jul 112012

Last week, my daughter Marisa announced to my wife Lori and me that she was giving notice to resign her position as a speech and language pathologist at a private New Jersey school for children with learning disabilities. Now, my wife and I are of the baby boomer generation, and still of that era where the old adage of “don’t leave one job until you have another” drives our work ethic, so we were certainly concerned that Marisa was making the right career move, not the least of which included thoughts of her giving up a good salary and the prospect of returning home until she lands another position.

Marisa’s reason for her decision to leave one job to pursue another was not solely financial, but based on her long range career goals, and for that I applaud her even though her potentially moving home on an interim basis would mean helping her move for the fifth time between college, graduate school and first job. Our basement cycles between looking like a normal one to a Goodwill center. All joking aside, my wife and I would do anything to help our daughter, but coming to grips with the new realty that young professionals today will easily transition between jobs every few years early in their careers and every four to five years over the course of their careers is still a tough pill for us baby boomers to swallow.

Maybe we boomers are just a little more jaded and accustomed to a world of work that is not ideal and one that is fraught with ethic violations, financial scandals and corporate greed that makes us think anyone today is crazy to give up one job before having another. But the world of work is changing, and the Gen X’s and the Me 2.0 generations see things differently. Marisa’s decision to leave a job working in a school is largely due to her desire and passion to work in a medical or health care environment where she can not only better apply her skills and training as a speech and language pathologist, but be part of a work environment where she can grow and advance in her profession. And how can you argue with that?

However, Marisa also wanted to leave her current position because the founder and head of the school misleads prospective parents and students into believing they will be schooled in techniques that simply do not exist, and where the necessary resources are not available. While I admire Marisa for not wanting to be part of such a “marketing ploy,” part of me screams out “welcome to the real world!” Who in business of any type has not put the “spin” on the services and products they offer? Or again, is this just the jaded and skeptical part of me coming out? What I have come to learn is that the younger generation of professionals value the mark they can make in the world, and unlike the boomers are not necessarily putting security ahead of career.

I know Marisa did not make her decision in a vacuum and she sought her parents input as well as that of her trusted friends and colleagues. She also met with and discussed her decision with her immediate supervisor who a week ago applauded her for making a decision that would help advance her career, only to do a “180” and this week tell her she was making a big mistake in leaving and that she “wanted to be happy for (Marisa) but can’t.” Talk about a spike through the heart! My sense is that the supervisor’s delayed reaction was based on the old thinking about loyalty: “so now that we gave you such a terrific learning opportunity, you get up and leave us.” However, we know that loyalty should work both ways and today’s employer shows little loyalty to its employees. Perhaps the newer generations know this better than we who still cling to the old notions of a two-way loyalty.

During this period of transition, Marisa has been actively pursuing opportunities in her desired field while fulfilling her current work responsibilities. I know she will land the right job for her. And she did accomplish an important goal by working at the school: She completed a much needed clinical fellowship that fulfills her requirement for certification.

Maybe the real point of sharing this story is that careers are, and should be, as much a part of your long-term goals as they are about the short-term gains in terms of salary, benefits and job security that we boomers have valued for so long. Now I just need to start making room in the basement for Marisa’s belongings. The good news is that each time I have had to do so it marks another achievement in her life. And I have no problem with that.

 Posted by at 2:44 pm  Tagged with:

Getting Your Mojo On

posted: Nov 162011

One of the goals of The Five O’Clock Club is to reach out to potential members through speeches to professional organizations in order to increase its own membership.  After all, the 5OCC is as much about career development as it about job search, and since many professionals attend association meetings to learn more about their profession, meet other professionals within their same field or industry, and learn how they can advance in their own careers, these venues are a great opportunity for 5OCC coaches to meet with prospective new members to the Club.

On the flip side, attending professional association meetings are a great opportunity to expand your network and there is no better place to practice your Two-Minute Pitch.  This opportunity was evident at a speech I delivered this past week to the New York/New Jersey Chapter of the National Sales Network, an association dedicated to African-American sales professionals.  What made this particular speech memorable was its venue since the meeting was held in a brownstone in Harlem converted into a hip, and I must say, totally cool lounge bar.

I have delivered speeches in some other unique environments, such as the time I was invited to speak to a professional group in the auditorium of a church.  However, due to a conflict in schedule the group’s meeting had to relocate to the church’s sanctuary, and I was given the pulpit to deliver my speech on “Keeping Your Career Going.” Now I must admit I have given speeches in some unique circumstances, but this one was probably the closest I will ever get to God when it comes to speaking on jobs and career opportunities!

On another occasion, I gave a speech to the New York Chapter of the Project Management Institute but since they were between moving from one location to another they held this particular meeting in a mid-Manhattan diner. Standing under a dim light with the members ordering dinner (after all, we were in a diner at dinner time) I felt somewhat like a stand-up act in a nightclub. However, just like my recent experience at the cool lounge, the mood was congenial and networking was the optimal word.

The message here is that you can network in any venue and pretty much under any circumstances so you need to be prepared with your Two-Minute Pitch (or a 30-second version of your Pitch) because you never know when the opportunity to meet someone who can help you in your career will present itself. Having the self-confidence to tell someone who you are professionally and the type of work you are interested in pursuing, even over cocktails or dinner, can open up entire new possibilities for you.

As I mingled and networked with members of the National Sales Network I learned that many were looking to transition their sales careers into other industries or companies. As such, I reminded them about the opportunities right there in front of them to talk to other sales professionals who might just be able to help them in that effort. Not many of them were polished in their “Pitches” but the potential and opportunity was there, and of course I took the opportunity to tell them about the 5OCC, and how the Pitch was the “keystone of their search.”

Now I can only encourage you to get out there, meet with as many people as you can who are knowledgeable in your field, or the field you in which you want to transition. With practice and self-confidence, you will get your mojo on The Five O’Clock Club way – no matter where the venue.


And Advice From Rocky

You may have noticed that many of the articles in our magazine are focused on career development, not job search. That’s because our average job hunter is in the negotiating stage for a new job after regularly attending just ten small-group sessions. Yet their magazine subscriptions are for one, two or even ten years. This means that our readers are with us long after their successful job searches. What they really need for most of that time is career development advice: how to do well in their jobs. In this issue of our magazine, Ruth Robbins, who has been a coach with The Five O’Clock Club for over a decade, tells you what to do when you feel overwhelmed at work. Richard Bayer, our Chief Operating Officer and an ethicist, tells you when and how to blow the whistle on your current employer. Another article reminds you that it is not advisable to lie on your résumé: You can simply emphasize those points you want the reader to notice and downplay other aspects of your background.

Click Here to Read More ( File format is Portable Document Format  (PDF)  )


by Richard Bayer, Ph.D.

To be thrifty is to be happy and generous! Avoid stinginess and extravagance.

Is through the possession of virtues that people achieve genuine happiness –the full flourishing of the individual. The moral virtue of thrift can be considered paramount. A good place to begin a discussion of the virtue of thrift is perhaps the greatest of all philosophers, Aristotle. In book two of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, a virtue is defined as the habit of doing the right thing, at the right time, toward the right people, for the right reason, and in the right manner. Aristotle viewed the median as the best course, the course that is a mark of virtue. Think of it as navigating a boat down a river while trying to avoid hitting the bank on either side. The best course is the median course!

Click Here to Read More (PDF)

 Posted by at 7:02 pm  Tagged with:

On Gratitude

posted: Jul 082004

by Richard C. Bayer, Ph.D.

We should all learn gratitude if we want to be genuinely happy. Gratitude is most certainly a virtue; and a virtue is a positive habit of character that helps one to act in a reasonable and constructive way.

The full exercise of this virtue involves three steps. One first recognizes the need for gratitude as a response to a favor; one then should express gratitude in word; finally one should express gratitude in deed. In this way gratitude comes to full fruition and brings no small amount of pleasure to all parties concerned!

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. -Mark Twain

Recognition of the Need for Gratitude

Humility is a virtue integral to gratitude. We cannot recognize the need for gratitude without it. People who are puffed up with their own accomplishments and who do not see how dependent they are on other people and (economic) systems which have favored them are rarely grateful. They are blind to the ways in which they have been favored, perhaps beyond what they deserve. Therefore, the vice of pride is the death of humility.

In his classic work The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, argues that people (even as economic agents) who don’t feel gratitude are cheating themselves out of happiness. “Failing to feel grateful to those who came before is such a corrosive notion, it must account at some level for part of our bad feelings about the present. The solution —a rebirth of thankfulness— is in our self-interest. … For us not to feel grateful is treacherous selfishness.”

Gratitude in Word

Gratitude is also a form of courtesy, which is mindful of how others have been helpful, and reciprocates in word. We have all felt the annoyance or even outright pain when people fail to verbalize gratitude for something significant we have done for them. This is not only ingratitude, it is also rudeness. Think about your friends or co-workers whom you have helped without receiving a word of gratitude for your good deeds. This is painful indeed. Also think about this: you can enhance the good reputation of those who do good deeds when you speak a kind word about them to others! Hence, expressions of gratitude bring further rewards.

Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, argued that those who don’t feel gratitude are cheating themselves out of happiness.

Gratitude in Deed

Gratitude for things large and small should also be repaid by appropriate actions. There are many such occasions in the world of work. People who want to benefit from having a “team of advisors” —(a recommended technique for getting advice from those more senior than you to move along in your career) should be careful to express gratitude with deeds. Do you simply take from people? If you do not give back and show gratitude, even by helping those less fortunate than you, you risk proving Mark Twain right in his analysis of the difference between a dog and a man.

Gratitude for Life in General

According to gratitude guru Gregg Easterbrook, author of The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, “Those who describe themselves as being thankful to others, or to God, or to “Creation in general” have more vitality, suffer less stress and experience fewer episodes of clinical depression. Well, aren’t they the lucky ones? Grateful people are less materialistic, less concerned with status, less controlling and arrogant…than the population at large.”

Beyond gratitude for specific things, there is a second type of gratitude. Let’s call it gratitude for life in general. For those who believe in God, Allah, or some source of being itself, that deity, as the Source of life, is the object of this gratefulness. This is a personality trait characterized by happiness for gifts (s)he has received. It is a positive attitude that can produce a buoyant personality. The attitude is not simply grateful for some specific things, but for life in general.

This gratitude for being or reality in general can also mean being grateful for what one does not have! Since it assumes that that basic reality (or God) is essentially benevolent, it assumes there are good reasons for not having things as well.

Thankful people have more vitality, less stress, and fewer episodes of depression.

Gratitude for being also requires humility, since it recognizes the gifts given by God Him/Her self. Pride—here meaning the opposite of humility—makes the recognition of the gifts impossible. The self-made person does not understand the gifts he has received, and therefore is blind to the need for gratitude. In this context, gratitude is also often expressed in a special word, which is called prayer.

Gratitude for being also plays itself out in good deeds. It brings a person to do good deeds to others because of the sense of gratitude to God. The good things from God are passed on to another.

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by David Madison, Ph.d.

The following article is based on a panel presentation at the March 12, 2004 meeting of the HR Network at the Marsh headquarters in Manhattan. The network is co-sponsored by Marsh and the Five O’Clock Club, and is a venue for HR professionals to meet informally and hear discussions of important issues of the day.

The panelists on March 12th were Michael Dolfman, Ph.D., Regional Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics; Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, the city's premier business leadership organization founded by David Rockefeller; and Bill Hartman, Senior Director, Cushman and Wakefield.

Michael Dolfman’s presentation will be summarized in one of the summer issues of this magazine, following the release by the government of the report that he discussed. This article reflects the comments of Ms. Wylde and Mr. Hartman.

The September 11, 2001 day of terror evoked memories of that other day of infamy, December 7, 1941, which prompted America’s entrance into World War II. The country’s situation in the weeks following the attack on Pearl Harbor, with our Pacific fleet in ruins, could hardly have looked worse. But anyone who doubts America’s ability to rise to a challenge would do well to recall that by the end of the war—just three and half years later—our industrial apparatus was turning out one battleship per week.

There appears to be a collective adrenaline that kicks in, and this is especially so in a dynamic metropolis that prides itself in being, in many ways, the capital of the world. In the days following the attack on our city, New Yorkers knew that they had been hit hard. And now, two and half years later, we now have a pretty good idea of the damage sustained by New York City on 9/11—beyond the most grievous hurt of about 3,000 lives lost.

Insurance companies paid $37 billion in claims for 9/11, the largest insured event in history.

Tallying the Economic Devastation

Studies conducted by the Partnership for New York and a number of fiscal analysis firms show that the attack cost the city between $80-100 billion in lost economic output. Research by Cushman & Wakefield reveals the astounding fact that the Manhattan office space destroyed or damaged with the collapse of the World Trade Center was more than the total office space in other major cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and Dallas.

Downtown Manhattan, of course, has long ranked as one of the major financial hubs of the world, so it’s no surprise that the financial industry was among those hit hardest by the devastation. Other damaged industries include travel and tourism, retail and real estate. The crippling effect on the airline industry, for example, was front-page news for months after the attack, and even now in 2004, international travel—for both business and pleasure—is still 26 percent below pre-9/11 levels. The hotel occupancy rate in the city during 2000 and 2001 (prior to September) was about 88 percent. It went as low as 73 percent in the wake of the attack, and now is around 76 percent, a major indicator that travel and tourist are struggling to bounce back.

This deficiency has impacted other businesses, especially retail. Anyone who does much shopping in the city can expect to hear other languages while browsing and standing in the checkout line. Indeed, before 9/11 two-thirds of visitor spending in the New York retail sector came from international travelers.

Cushman & Wakefield: the Manhattan office space destroyed or damaged with the collapse of the World Trade Center was more than the total office space in other major cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and Dallas.

Sources of New Money

The on-going recovery has been enabled in part by money from the federal government and from insurance. Congress voted $20 billion to help rebuild the infrastructure and the economy, and insurance companies paid $37 billion in claims—indeed, this turned out to be the largest insured event in history. Reconstruction and adjusting to the ongoing threat of terror have actually been a stimulant to job growth—and in many cases the return of jobs lost. It appears that 80 percent of the jobs that were forced out of lower Manhattan by 9/11 are now back in the city, many of them downtown. For all of the hassles of the commute and possible dangers of working in an area that surely remains a choice target, the stimulation and collective adrenaline of Manhattan are irresistible. Broadview Financial, for example, moved from Fort Lee to 1345 Avenue of the Americas because 300 of its clients were within walking distance of the new office. Manhattan packs a lot of energy into every city block.

The downside, naturally, is the cost of doing business in Manhattan. Real estate taxes have been raised, understandably, insurance premiums have increased and firms must now shoulder the big cost of building security. The Empire State Building provides a dramatic illustration of the insurance situation, although it is atypical due to its icon status. It is insured for about $600 million and prior to the attack the annual premium was about $1 million. After the attack the ESB couldn’t buy insurance; Congress finally came to the rescue with re-insurance protection—and the annual premium is now $9 million.

The Strain on Government

It’s hard to recall a time when our city and state haven’t struggled to make ends meet, and the fiscal situation wasn’t wonderful before the attack. We have been faced with structural deficits due to rising costs for pensions, Medicaid and debt financing—these fixed expenditures are growing at 6 per cent a year, while the economy grows at 3 or 4 per cent. Obviously it’s a major strain to continue borrowing to overcome this mismatch. The last thing any fiscal planner wanted to see was a major emergency that would add billions in costs, both short-term and for the foreseeable future.

To meet the post-9/11 reality, for example, the New York City Police Department today employs 1000 officers assigned to intelligence and anti-terrorism, many of whom are stationed around the world. Some of these officers were assigned to assist authorities in Madrid in the wake to the train bombings there. Lessons learned from these atrocities may help prevent more attacks here. Hosting the Republican National Convention this summer will obviously be a boon to the city economy, but the security costs for the government will be enormous.

The Empire State Building is insured for $600 million. Their annual premium rose from $1 million before the attack to $9 million afterwards.

We face additional financial burdens as well to upgrade the transportation and power infrastructures—such projects might have been on the drawing board, but they now have priority status. The rapid closing of the bridges and tunnels on September 11th and the August 2003 blackout heightened the awareness of our vulnerability in several spheres. “These events have shown us,” one official commented, “that Manhattan is an island.” We have always taken for granted the easy crossing of the rivers, but we learned the feeling of being trapped—and the danger posed by having virtually no escape routes. The securing of the bridges and tunnels, the building of a reliable ferry system, and the creation of redundant power grids are now major issues—and major expenses. To help close the gap between tax revenues and the ballooning expenses, New Yorkers have already seen an 18 per cent increase in real estate taxes, 10 per cent surcharges on state and city taxes, and the removal of some of the clothing sales tax exemptions.

The NYPD today employs 1000 police officers assigned to intelligence and anti-terrorism, many assigned around the world.

Help for the Private Sector

Accelerated growth for the economy, of course, is one of the keys to recovery and fiscal health. One of the agents for boosting this process was already in existence before 9/11, but has taken on new meaning and mission: the New York City Economic Development Corporation is charged with creating and coordinating efforts to attract business to the city. It is now focused heavily, for example, on working with major medical research institutions and universities to stimulate the science and education industries in the city. Mayor Bloomberg has worked closely with the NYCEDC, and undoubtedly it has been to the city’s benefit to have a businessman at the helm. NYCEDC’s website, which lists incentives, financing options and tax benefits for setting up shop in the city, can be found at

The New York City Economic Development Corporation is charged with creating and coordinating efforts to attract business to the city.

Big Plans for the Future of New York

It is well to recall that, in the depths of the Great Depression, New Yorkers built the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. The same can-do, rise-from-the-ashes spirit is not in short supply now. We may be more cautious, even keenly aware that the terrorists have not given up, but there is no current of fear or pessimism about the city. We are focused on keeping our status as capital of the world. It took just one year for the PATH train to be carrying passengers into lower Manhattan again—just as the Pentagon was rebuilt by the first anniversary of the attack. The real estate market is showing renewed strength, even more rapidly than following the real estate recession of 1990; in 2003 there were $10 billion in real estate purchases in New York City, which compares very favorably with such good years as 1987 and 1998.

Plans for the rebuilding of Ground Zero are well under way, Marriott is planning a $190 million facility at 125th and Park Avenue, New York is making a strong bid for the 2012 Olympics, and the Hudson Yards project on the west side of Manhattan is setting the tone for the decade ahead. A statement on the Hudson Yards website betrays no hint terror-inspired despair:

New York City is engaged in a comprehensive and ambitious planning process for the Hudson Yards area of Far West Midtown. The redevelopment of Hudson Yards is critical to the long-term economic health of the city and state as it can accommodate future office and residential development. The Hudson Yards planning area extends from West 28th Street on the south, Eighth Avenue on the east, West 43rd Street on the north, and the Hudson River on the west. The area is isolated from public transportation, has few public amenities or significant green space, and is primarily characterized by large tracts of underutilized land. Its strategic location adjacent to Midtown Manhattan provides a unique opportunity [for the city] to plan comprehensively for its future, to maintain its place as the premier financial center in the world. (

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