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Invest in Your Most Important Asset: You

Our CEO is thrilled to be featured as a guest columnist for Prime Women Magazine, a magazine dedicated to advising women in business, health, travel and much more! As a career expert for over 20 years, Danielle Dayries is featured in over 100 magazines and online journals, providing expose’s on career transition and development.

So, if you read my post last month, you may have decided to invest in your professional growth and hire a career coach. Good for you! Professional coaching can bring many wonderful benefits including a fresh perspective, unique ideas from someone who operates in the career search space every day and ultimately increase your confidence regarding future career decisions.

We have put together 3 self-guided questions for determining your personal criteria when selecting a career coach. These questions are followed up with expert tips for selecting the best coach for you based on your personal criteria:

3 questions to ask yourself before you hire a career coach:

1.     What do you want to achieve?

Consider where you are today in your career. What would you like to change? Are you ready to take on an advanced role that utilizes all your won knowledge, wishing to make an entire career change or consciously deciding to scale down your career. As they say, you have to first know yourself, to improve yourself. Only after you have clear vision of where you want to go next, can you locate the coach to help you get there.

2.     What type of person do you wish to work with?

This goes back to more introspection. Do you respond well to someone who is super action-oriented or would you prefer someone who will delve into the emotional reasons why you are seeking a change before you have an action plan? Are most of your decisions based on logic or emotion? Once you have answered those questions, you can develop a criterion of what type of coach is going to work best with your personality and unique decision-making style.

3.     What is your budget?

Just like shopping for any consulting service, you will want to have a sense of your budget prior to securing the services of a professional career coach. Factors such as credentials, expertise, education and years of experience all play a role in the coaching fees. In addition, whether they meet with you virtually or live influences the structure of pricing, as well.

Now that you have a baseline criteria checklist for yourself, we have a few general criteria items to look for when ready to hire a career coach:

  1. Look for real, solid evidence that this individual is invested in the process of helping others move forward, and has had years of experience supporting people in an empowering way to create the changes they long for. Review their background, credentials and ask for references.
  2. Research if they offer free materials, articles, resources and content that demonstrate and share their expertise. This can easily be assessed by viewing their website, blogs, videos and downloadable materials. Review their free content. Does it speak to you? Does it appear that their personality resonates with your desired communication style?Are they a subject matter expert in the area you wish to focus? One coach may be a genius at helping clients make dramatic career changes while another may have a track record of pre-retirement coaching and helping clients find meaning during the latter part of their career.
  3. Interview three coaches before you decide on one. Ask each about his or her experience, qualifications, and skills. Also, ask for at least two references.

Remember, coaching is an important relationship. Make sure a connection exists between you and the coach you choose. You remember that teacher that just made you want to do your best or that supervisor that knew just exactly how to keep you motivated when you felt overwhelmed? Model that relationship with your coach for the most meaningful results.

Finding the right career coach can change your life and kick the next phase of your career into high gear. So, go ahead and decide today to invest in the your most important asset – you!

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Mae West

NOLA SHRM Conference & Expo 2017

The team is looking forward to Steve Hughes’ keynote presentation, “Influence: The Art & Science of Changing Minds” which focuses on the art of persuasion, today. He is the author of the book Captivate and he has been featured on NPR, CBS, and BBC Radio. We are very much looking forward to meeting him. #NOLASHRM17 #AnnualConference


ASHRM Conference & Expo 2017

Today is the first day of the ASHRM conference. We are very much looking forward to Jan Hargrave’s key note presentation on ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words—Understanding Nonverbal Communication.’ As a provider of outplacement services for local companies, we teach our clients how to be successful in a job interview – and nonverbal communication is a big part of that!

#IngredientsForSuccess #SHRM #outplacement

Thank you to our intern!

At DMD & Associates we are very proud to interact with students from our community. As a career consulting firm, we understand that internships are an incredibly important part of a students learning and growth. We are incredibly proud to have offered internship experiences for over twenty years. Our intern from Louisiana State University (LSU) had a wonderful spirit and provided great insights!

Thank you for your hard work!

Top 3 Benefits a Spreadsheet for a Successful Search

Job searching can definitely be stressful and oftentimes has the potential to be overwhelming. Just think about it: you have to remember where you applied, if you followed up, when you applied, which resume you used; the list goes on. If you’ve submitted more resumes to more places than you can possibly remember, it’s time to start keeping a log of where and when you’ve applied to each job. To better track all your documents as well as contacts within your network, consider creating a spreadsheet. It not only helps you organize and manage your network, but it eliminates the stress that comes with searching for documents, therefore spending more time applying and less time searching.

Top 3 Benefits of Spreadsheets:

Organization: Remember the phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? Well, what about putting them on a spreadsheet? Using specific category names in your spreadsheet will help you spend more time applying to your dream job and less time searching for necessary documents and files. Try these category names: Title of position, brief position description, how and where you applied, resume used and its filename, individual contacted, comments/feedback, location of interview, time of interview, follow up, and current application status.

Network: A spreadsheet will not only allow you to track contacts, but it will serve as a reference point for connecting others within your network as well. Consider categorizing your data as: Name, how you know, who introduced you, relevant details about them, contact information (including LinkedIn), and which contact yields the most opportunity.

Technology: Spreadsheets can be created on various platforms and programs. Consider computer programs such as Microsoft word and Excel; each provide options that aid in the creation of your spreadsheet. Additionally, there are websites available specifically for creating spreadsheets like this one: Manage Your Job Search. Lastly, consider downloading an app from your phone’s app store. This will better organize your data and keep everything you need in the palm of your hand.

What are some ways you organize your documents and contacts in your network? A spreadsheet is a great alternative to helping you stay organized and on track for a successful job search.

Change the Channel

Remember from your childhood, memories of collapsing on the couch after a long day of school and flicking through TV channels to find your favorite show to watch? Or finding a new show to indulge in because the others just aren’t giving you what you want? In like manner, the channels of your job search should be rotated and switched up too! If you are looking for a few key premium channels to indulge in for your job searching, check out Recruiters, Network & Reciprocate, and LinkedIn.

Firstly, a channel is a method of attaining a job offer.  Just like there are several channels to watch on TV, each yielding something different – there are also methods or channels available to secure employment.

Let’s look at a few key channel options:


On this channel, it is all about making the cut. Just like an actor going to audition, you want to charm the audience and be remembered so you’re the one called in for the ‘part’ aka job!   Often recruiters act as an extension of their company so if you look good, they look good.  This is one of many channels to tune into during the job search

Network & Reciprocate

This channel is full of opportunities to meet pertinent individuals that will expand your network and provide you with important contacts to assist you in your job search. These individuals can be past coworkers, a new or old friend, a colleague, or even a hiring manager.  Seek opportunities to attend various social events or meetings to broaden your network of connections. Most importantly, strive to cultivate those connections. To deepen these relationships, extend a helping hand, inquire if you can assist them in their endeavors or simply send a thank you letter.


Here, LinkedIn is a most sufficient social media platform to utilize during your job search. As it is another form of networking, you have the opportunity to speak directly to hiring managers by finding them on LinkedIn. Using this platform is a good opportunity to research your potential job as well as make a good first impression during the interview.  In addition, LinkedIn provides you with job search resources and job availabilities that best suit the qualities you possess.

Try these channels for something new to watch. Remember, getting the variety you need is as simple as changing the channel!

Shifting Gears: Four Retirement Lessons for a Woman in her Prime

Last year our CEO was asked to be a featured author for Prime Women Magazine, a magazine dedicated to advising women in business, health, travel and much more! As a career expert for over 20 years, Danielle Dayries has written for over 100 magazines and online journals, providing expose’s on career transition and development. 

Check out her most recent article below which discusses what to do when facing a younger interviewer! Originally featured here

Retirement is often seen as the pinnacle of one’s career. However, the emotional and mental side of this life enchanting, albeit often unnerving, change is often overlooked. After years of developing professional skills and social contacts, shifting gears can be challenging.

This life experience is similar to renovating a building with deconstruction and building it back up. It takes time. To aid with the transition, I have outlined four retirement lessons as you continue to thoughtfully and purposely plan for this next chapter.

4 Retirement Lessons

1. Grieve the Loss

With any major change comes loss of the old ways. Grieving this loss has several emotional stages that include denial, anger, sadness and finally, acceptance. We suggest you acknowledge them, tell yourself it is okay to feel this way, realize this feeling is not permanent and allow yourself the time to acknowledge and process the emotions.

As you walk through this stage, draw upon the grace and dignity you have perfected over the course of your career. Remember those times you were stretched, asked to adapt to a new way of doing things without a vote or had to work with that challenging client – you conquered all of that so you can certainly manage this change.

2. Be Gentle on Yourself

Starting a new path requires dealing with the emotional changes and reconstructing different routines and connections. As with any new project, progress can be slow. So, be gentle on yourself and allow yourself to rest – you deserve it!

Prior to your last day at work, have a plan in place that allows you to explore activities that align with your newfound time. Fuel your body and mind with a healthy serving of OATS when forging new paths.

3. Get Involved

Make new connections by becoming involved in activities with like-minded people. Many of our clients engaging in this transition tell us that one of the most helpful tactics they employed was enrolling in a group exercise program.

They found that these type of exercise programs were an excellent way to increase endorphins, connect and socialize with others and rest easier. You now have the time to really listen to your unique physical and emotionally energy level. Creating new routines and connections are good guides to help you stay balanced.

4. Embrace the New You!

This is the new you so embrace it as you create a vision focused on the desired outcome. Just like a work project, create a plan, follow the plan and trust the process behind the plan. By dreaming, planning and preparing for the next chapter, a new way of living after retirement will unveil itself in a way that allows you to soar in this next chapter of life.

“We delight in the beauty of a butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Maya Angelo

3 Smart Tips: How to Successfully Work with a Young Boss

Last year our CEO was asked to be a featured author for Prime Women Magazine, a magazine dedicated to advising women in business, health, travel and much more! As a career expert for over 20 years, Danielle Dayries has written for over 100 magazines and online journals, providing expose’s on career transition and development. 

Check out her most recent article below which discusses what to do when facing a younger interviewer! Originally featured here

There are so many upsides of working with a young boss – they are technically savvy, excellent multi-taskers and are willing to share knowledge. However, as we all know, these same attributes can also be a challenge.

Communication can easily break down with the fast-paced work load and misunderstandings happen resulting in miscommunications and snafu’s in the workplace. As we progress in our careers, working in a cross generational workforce is inevitable. To leverage these situations and set yourself up for career success in your Prime, follow these three smart tips:

1. Listen without Judgement

In most instances, the young boss is undergoing a significant learning curve. This, combined with the responsibility of supervising a diverse staff with different experience levels is challenging. Listening without judgement helps create a supportive work environment. It can be a challenge to only offer suggestions when asked, but the positive side is learning new tactics to achieve business objectives.

Knowing when to chime in and when to observe is critical to any professional, but as we mature and think we have “seen it all,” keeping quiet can be hard! It takes true maturity and confidence to observe and learn from a younger professional. In the Prime Women article “Returning to the Workforce after 50” we share the importance in being confident and knowing that observing and listening are true signs of security.

2. Body Language Self-Awareness

Ok, so you just heard your young boss propose something you have seen fail 100 times…while it is tempting to disagree, even in a nonverbal manner, keep it positive! Negative body language such as eye rolling, crossed arms or frowning are examples of displaying disagreement in a conversation.

These passive-aggressive tendencies break down the open communication needed for productivity. Stay aware of how thoughts are communicated non-verbally. All the wisdom in the world can’t be sold if you are perceived negatively.

3. Build Trust with a Young Boss to Build Partnerships

Trust is an essential part of having your younger supervisor open to your ideas and expertise, ultimately leading to career success.

Building trust starts with positive and open communication. David Perdew, President/Founder of MyNAMS, a company that inspires online social entrepreneurship, states “Integrity is a key ingredient to building relationships. Openness builds trust.” Therefore, we suggest strategically seeking opportunities that demonstrate you have the best interest of the company in mind and don’t feel intimidated by allowing others to shine.

Ultimately, we encourage you to be yourself! Work to understand your manager’s problems and pitch solutions as appropriate; provide your boss with historical and relational information about the organization and industry; and remain confident and positive! After all, having someone in their Prime is a benefit to any smart boss!

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”–John Quincy Adams

3 Job Interview Tips to Use When Facing a Younger Interviewer

Last year our CEO was asked to be a featured author for Prime Women Magazine, a magazine dedicated to advising women in business, health, travel and much more! As a career expert for over 20 years, Danielle Dayries has written for over 100 magazines and online journals, providing expose’s on career transition and development. 

Check out her most recent article below which discusses what to do when facing a younger interviewer! Originally featured here


With an aging population and company downsizing, there is a good chance that an older, more experienced job seeker will interview with a younger boss. This job interview dynamic has challenges, but carefully thought out, the interaction results can be successful. A good start is understanding their concerns and counteracting with strengths.

See these 3 job interview tips to age proof your candidacy:

1. Focus on unique skills

Researching the company’s problems and challenges helps create an opportunity to communicate your unique skillset advantage. In other words, identify the value you can immediately add to help solve one of their problems. A good job interviewing tip is quantifying solutions to similar previous problems. By doing so you establish credibility and further convey your unique advantage over a lesser experienced candidate. Draw on all that knowledge and experience that only you have and communicate clearly and concisely.

2. Address age concerns

Some common concerns are openness to taking directions from younger supervisors and tech savviness. They may have doubts about older candidates being less flexible in taking direction or not as up-to-date on computer software and social media. The second of my job interview tips is to counter these concerns. Share how you handled experiences working on a team with diversified ages or under a younger supervisor. Explain how you handled the age differences. Show examples and stories about ways and reasons for using social media, a smartphone and other professional work related software.

3. Build trust

In Jia Jiang’s book, Rejection Proof, he states that honesty and empathy build trust. Rapport is created when someone finds you believable and trustworthy which in turn leaves a lasting impression. Collaborating respectfully and honestly with others, and sharing specific stories that demonstrate your enthusiasm for the business makes you a valuable asset in any job opportunity.

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been. “
— Madeleine L’Engle

DMD & Associates, Inc.

(866) 296-8593 tel

Lafayette, Louisiana

200 W. Brentwood Boulevard
Lafayette, Louisiana 70506
(337) 254-0734 tel

New Orleans, Louisiana

923 Constance Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
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