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Sending References

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When you're asked for references, don't just submit a list of names and numbers. Put each reference into context so your potential client understands their relationship to you, and why you're using them. Angelique and David Forsman were both executives in AT&T.

Angelique Bushman
Vice President, Human Resources
AT&T Broadband
183 Inverness Drive West
Englewood, Colorado 80112

References for CareerLab

  1. Tamera Bachand
    When she was outplaced, Tamera was a Senior Vice President, Human Resources for National Media Group, working for Phoebe June. Bill Frank handled the outplacement, and he and Kate have become good friends. Her cell phone number is 303-555-1212. 
  2. Patsy Mendicono, V.P., Human Resources, Gambro BCT
    CareerLab has provided outplacement to Gambro BCT and COBE Cardiovascular (sister companies) for more than 15 years. We have worked for Patsy the entire time at all levels of the organization, from entry-level to officer, on both small and large projects. In addition, Patsy is a member of TOP-12, the same HR Leadership group David Forsman belongs to.  You may reach Patsy at 303-555-1212 or at patsy.mendicino@gambrobct.com  
  3. Evan Bermudes, V.P., Finance & Administration, Polaroid
    In January 20—, Polaroid experienced a traumatic restructuring based on market conditions. They reduced their workforce by 25%, and CareerLab managed the pre-planning, separation, and survivor training following the reduction. The outplacement involves all levels, and most of those affected had long tenure (some 20 to 25 years). You may reach Evan at 303-728-0372 or ebermudes@polaroid.com
  4. William A. Rector (Bill), Former President, Coors Microlithics
    As President of Coors Microlithics, Bill used our outplacement services for his departing employees. When Bill left Coors himself, we were the first people he called for advice. We helped him assume the Presidency of Industry Network Corporation in New Mexico. Four years later we assisted in his job campaign to become President/COO of The Kemtah Group. Recently he consulted us as he purchased a company in Grand Junction. Bill describes CareerLab as "a small personal firm that cares." You may reach him at 970-555-1212 or by e-mail at brector@gmail.com 

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.