Clients Say

Linda L., MBA – A niche-market Consultant who edged out the competition to land a unique position in record time.I had run my own consulting business from home for several years when the opportunity suddenly came up for an intriguing job and I knew I needed to become competitive quickly. Relying on a referral from another professional, I contacted Lynne and we mobilized quickly to meet my immediate needs. It did not take long for me to realize that I had been underselling myself, both in my resume and in my interview presentations.

Lynne worked with me to bring my materials up to market speed and customize them to my targeted opportunities. We zeroed in on how to package and present my past experiences in terms that were meaningful to potential employers. With these new tools and Lynne’s personal coaching, my confidence increased and I was able to edge out 2 other candidates within a few days to land the job I really wanted. Working with Lynne was a positive experience, and I highly recommend it.

With an international background to draw upon, Marta wanted to define the next 10 years of her career and recharge her energies. She found the answers – and the job – she was looking for more quickly than she thought possible. !

When I made a decision to make a career transition I fortuitously found myself working with Lynne O’Connor. The experience has been incredible. We worked together to develop a resume that was absolutely ‘me’ but I couldn’t have gotten there without her skillful guidance. A mutually developed networking plan landed me in places I where I had envisioned myself going but was amazed that I was able to get there so quickly.

I attribute this entirely to the brilliant process Lynne engaged me in to feel, portray and exude the strengths of the skill set I have been developing over 20 years in business. She has been excellent in providing wise counsel and strategic advice on letters on interest, the interview process and the critical follow up. In a matter of months I have made the transition to a great job with lots of future opportunity. I truly earned this milestone – Lynne’s career coaching expertise was the keystone. Thanks Lynne!

As a natural networker, Lenora’s ability to generate sustained interest in her candidacy was remarkable. To leverage that she wanted to set up clearer messaging in her interviews by being able to get right to the heart of key issues, yet still keeping her personality front and centre. How did she do it?

“I was preparing to interview for a job that held a lot of appeal for me, and not having interviewed in a while, wanted to ensure my skills were sharp. I called on Lynne to assist me. She immediately identified several barriers to overcome. She showed me how to develop a value proposition and map the interview for this particular opportunity.

We did some mock interviewing where I practiced my responses, becoming fluent so that I could tune into the subtle cues given by the interviewer. In a few short hours, I was ready. While that job may not have been ‘the one’, we have since revamped my résumé, and this together with the tools Lynne gave me have allowed me to land a number of interesting consulting opportunities.

Lynne is particularly adept at identifying barriers and developing strategies to ‘get you out of your own way’. She is diplomatic, but relentless, in ensuring that you put your best effort forward. I can’t thank the person who recommended Lynne to me enough!”

Brandon J. – A professional Financial Specialist who decided to gear up for a definitive career move – and exceeded his own expectations!

Lynne’s career coaching was invaluable. She encouraged me to take a critical look at my current job and think ahead to see what career path I wanted to take. She took a lot of vague feelings and amorphous thoughts and helped me focus on what was important to me. Then we took the overall plan and generated a practical, executable strategy to make it happen. I could not have moved forward in my career and professional development without Lynne’s help.

Now, thanks to Lynne’s coaching, I have the job that I thought I was going to have to wait at least 5 years – and another interim ‘building’ position – to get. I’m part of the senior team at a young company in a new, thriving, and expanding industry. Thanks again, Lynne.”

Pat B., a Business Development Manager who capitalized on a prime opportunity and landed more quickly than expected.

“After 15 years in the same industry, with 2 different firms, I was at a point in my life and work where I wanted to make a career move. But I wasn’t sure if I had the courage to begin. I knew I needed to speak with an expert outside of my immediate network for sound, unbiased feedback and guidance. Lynne encouraged me to “think big” and focus on my strengths, interests and abilities to begin the process. I knew in theory what I needed to do; Lynne motivated and coached me on important next steps.

I set my sights on making a move in 6 months and began exploring outside my industry. With a positive first networking meeting and referrals to others my confidence increased significantly and Lynne was right there, always encouraging me to move forward. Then, an exciting opportunity was uncovered, and after careful consideration and invaluable interviewing coaching by Lynne, I accepted an offer for a new position, just 2 months after beginning the process. Lynne’s enthusiastic and straightforward style, as well as her extensive experience, was just what I needed to move forward. Thank you, Lynne!”

Fred B., IT Specialist & Customer Service Manager

“After more than a decade working in a relatively flat corporate structure, the opportunity to advance I’d been waiting for suddenly materialized. Of course I was unprepared! With a résumé that hadn’t seen an update in seven years and severely rusty interview skills, my chances of landing this coveted position (there were 6 other qualified applicants) seemed remote.

In stepped Lynne. With her keen analytical skills, expert turn of phrase and an eye for excellence, she soon had my résumé in tip-top shape. Next, she focused her vast knowledge in career transitioning on sharpening my interview technique, helping me prepare in key areas and then taking me through a challenging mock interview. Her constructive feedback gave me the confidence I needed to present the best case for my advancement.

Even though I’d worked for the company for years, the direct report for this position is based in another city and we’d only met briefly once before. As such, he didn’t really know much about my skills, knowledge or work ethic. I knew I’d need to “sell” myself. When the actual interview turned out to be more situational in nature, I fell back on Lynne’s guiding principles, tying each of my responses to a key point or strength from my résumé. When it was over, I knew I’d aced the interview, and days later I was offered the job.

Throughout the process, Lynne was efficient, responsive and professional (we literally went from “help me” to “you’re hired” in under 3 weeks). Creative and determined, she works hard to prepare you as completely as she possibly can. She truly is at the top of her game, and her assistance was instrumental in my success!”

Sonia S, A Senior Business Manager with an International MBA and PMP certification gearing up a full scale search strategy…

“Our first initiative included revising my outdated resume to better articulate my strengths for accurate, targeted positioning and marketability which resulted in immediate interest from corporations and headhunters as well as interviews!

Lynne’s experience proved invaluable when considering the barriers of conducting a search independently. We worked together on interviewing skills and coaching included presentation skills, an interview map highlighting personal strength and value-added skills as applicable to the position and a plan on targeting employers in different geographical areas. Lynne delivers timely and constructive feedback and is providing expertise on managing my career in an on-going relationship.”

Steven R – A legal professional who needed to build a winning case to land a new employer

“When I met Lynne, I’d been out of work for 17 months, and after several (unsuccessful) interviews I was starting to lose confidence in my own ability. It showed. What prospective employer wants to hire someone who doesn’t project confidence? And, like a vicious circle it was getting worse because with each disappointing interview (I now realize) I’d been continually selling myself short. I am a senior counsel with 25 years experience first in private insurance litigation practice, then winding down the claims of a property and casualty insurer, then working as senior insurance counsel at an international adjusting firm, plus conducting a special project for a major pension fund. A mixed-bag of legal experience, to say the least!

Lynne was great. First, she repackaged my resume, making it much more attractive, readable, and brief; (as she pointed out, “No one’s really interested in what you were doing 20 years ago”). Then, she took me through a series of ‘practice interviews’, identifying my strong points, focusing on my accomplishments through short anecdotes, and coaching me how to address the ‘hard questions’ (e.g. “Describe some of your weaknesses”).

My next interview was in about 2 weeks, for what I considered to be a ‘dream job’. By that morning, I felt fully prepared. I believe that because I felt ready for anything I projected such a sense of self-confidence that I ‘hit the ball out of the ballpark’, as it were, landed the job, and couldn’t be happier.

I have no hesitation in giving Lynne my whole-hearted recommendation”

Chris B ., A former business consultant specializing in the banking and brokerage industries now working as an actor/entrepreneur

” As the heading states, my former and current career path are diverse indeed – so diverse that the decision to transition from one occupation to the other required an in-depth analysis of my skills, strengths and weaknesses. As I had gained modest success in the business world, I really had to feel confident that I could survive as an actor, both psychologically and financially. The only way that I could feel secure with my decision was to understand myself a little better, assess my skill set, create and build a plan that was not unreasonable and create goals and objectives that could be attained with hard work and of course, a little luck.

There are many usages for career counseling, as I found in working with Lynne. For my situation, I needed to take a step back and really hone in on my skills as well as find out what my “psychological” make-up was. Through some testing and then subsequent analysis of the tests, we were able to see where my interests lay and in which types of environments I thrived under. These tests showed me that I was very much an independent worker and that I preferred to, for lack of better words, march to the beat of my own drum. Moreover, there was the artistic side of me that was being underutilized in my former career.

After these initial tests, we created a list of options that were available to me. Most of these options revolved around the need to maintain my current standard of living and build a plan to kick-start my career as an actor. The benefits of creating a list of options and subsequent action plans, allowed me to see on paper, what was available to me and how I could go about in pursuing this new career. It was one thing to have all these things float in my head but when I finally had it in a clear concise format, it allowed me to really see the big picture. When things are written down, there is a sense of commitment that does not otherwise exist. As well, it allowed me to keep in daily touch with my goals and objectives. In my mind, repetition is the key to success, so the more you see something that is written down, the more likely it will be stay committed to the task at hand.

In retrospect, having Lynne guide me through the transition was extremely helpful, as it has given me the confidence to really pursue what it is that I want. A year later I am still following my original plan and loving it everyday!”

Roxanna T. – A verbatim email sent in after an early and positive response to her new resume that was recrafted to target a career shift from one field to another. See what the company had to say about why this resume stood out from 250 others – even from applicants who may have had more direct experience – and what happened as a result.

Hi Lynne, I hope this finds you well.

I wanted to let you know that for a ‘test run’, I used my spiffy new resume to apply for a job at the (confidential) Association to run their (confidential) programs and was chosen for an interview today! She called me and had a 45 minute phone interview with me to start (which, I must say, I was quite charming in) and told me that the reason they chose me and a ‘few others’ (out of 250 applications), was that my resume was so good at highlighting my diverse experience, which is exactly what they wanted. So, we’ll see what happens (it’s good to get the experience taking the meetings) but I wanted to let you know that first time out of the gate, it worked to get me in the door! Thanks again & talk soon.”

Terry K ., writer and performer

“I had always assumed that career coaches were for “suits”. Then I met Lynne.

Within that first hour she was able to peel away all the should-haves and could-haves I’d been struggling with for over a decade, revealing what I’ve truly wanted to accomplish all along. With her ongoing encouragement and advice, I’m well on my way. Thank you.”

Robert Blanchet, WebMaster and Designer

“While working for Canada’s biggest job site, Workopolis, I had opportunity to read and review a lot of column advice about how to keep yourself afloat and employable in the midst of career change. Yet inspite of these articles and tips on how-to get that next job, I realized that I couldn’t really get a sense of who I was and what I was trying to achieve.

When I finally had the chance to meet Lynne and work with her through a series of coaching sessions, I was very impressed with her ability to not only share a wealth of knowledge about the working industry but also provide insight into my own skills and personality. With the help of Lynne’s personal notes and visual imagery, and the usage of symbols (as you may discover), I finally had a good sense of who I was and what I needed to do to land the next job interview.  I got that job. Thank you Lynne!”

Suzanne M ., Senior Operations Manager

Two consecutive downsizings in a period of less than two years had left me feeling exhausted and overwhelmed – at times it was hard to think about what the next steps should be, let alone to actually execute them. This is where the true value of a coach like Lynne really becomes apparent. Lynne knew when to push me to keep going, but she also knew when the best thing for me was to put some distance between myself and the search. Over the longer term search, it’s critically important to work with someone who can support the inevitable highs and lows. Lynne’s ability to sense what I needed and when I needed it, was a key part of our eventual success.”

Ann G., Independent Financial Planner

“Lynne has worked with me on developing the content to my website.

I find her positive, energetic, and responsive. She is exceptional at putting the issue at question in perspective and developing solutions to address it. Her writing is clear, concise and gets to the point. She follows up and prompts action in a most diplomatic way. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her.”

Lisa S, C.P.P, who had to mobilize quickly for an important interview with only a few days notice …and landed the job almost immediately.

“Lynne O’Connor is a true professional who quickly assesses a client’s needs. Her experience and wisdom enable her to provide constructive feedback and specific direction as it relates to the level of coaching required. Lynne provided tools that enabled me to focus on a critical interview and gave me the confidence and level of preparation I needed to succeed. Her warm and caring demeanour round out her skills and I would highly recommend her services.”

Eloise M., SVP, HR  responding to Lynne’s presentation on “Managing the Extended Executive Search” for the Phoenix Executive Network

“The members of our group now realize that not all recruiters and executive coaches are the same. (You) zeroed in on the key issues a senior executive deals with during a transition period. They all agreed the information you shared with us was insightful and certainly puts you head and shoulders above the rest.“

Bashir U. A Senior Professional who arranged for assessment work and debrief coaching for his University-bound daughter so she could make more informed choices in the external world based on an enhanced understanding of who she was internally..

Thanks a lot for the reports and the discussions….Your comments about my daughter’s personality are invaluable and I cannot think of any other way of knowing her better.”

Y.R. , Marketing Director on coaching for career development on the job…

“In today’s job market it is becoming quite the norm to work with a professional coach who can help you identify your personal USP (unique selling proposition). Lynne’s “no nonsense” approach helped me to focus my attention to areas that would benefit me both in the short and long term. Lynne has excellent listening skills and truly hones in on the relevant soundbyte.”

Christine J., CHRP, – Senior HR Professional commenting on the new strategic energy in her resume.

“To say that I am thrilled with this document is an understatement. Thanks so much for your quick turn around on this!! It looks awesome.”

Jenna L., A hardworking recent University Graduate who was looking for a career direction to focus her energies on that would make the most of her natural talents and her personal strengths

I would like to begin by thanking you for your wisdom and guidance. I really enjoyed our sessions. I have spent some more time and thought on the assessments we did and the career areas we discussed. After considering where I am in my life currently and which were best suited to my interests and my life, I have decided to go down the HR route. I have applied to and am awaiting news from an HR post grad program starting in January.

In the meantime, I have also found part time work to tide me over throughout the school year and am very hopefully that everything will work out. So again thank you very much for everything and please know that you will come highly recommended by me. I will keep in touch and keep you posted! Thanks again.

Martin V. – A Non-Profit Project Manager who crossed the bridge over to the corporate world by landing with one the top employers on his target list to achieve a whole new level of compensation and advancement possibilities.

“Great news, I have just accepted a position as a Project Analyst in Supply Chain of a Major Projects Division for one of the employers at the top of my target list. I am really excited about the new role and the company – and the compensation package was a real plus.

I absolutely attribute the success of my job hunt to the time I spent with you. I spoke to numerous people in varying industries (and yes, it does get easier as you do it more regularly!). In fact, as luck would have it, the day after I signed this offer I was called by 2 different people at another big firm (both of which I had networked with previously) who were also interested in interviewing me for Project Officer positions.

I was extremely well prepared for my interview. I had written and practiced my “proof stories.” I remembered to answer questions slowly and decisively. I was prepared for the behavioural and situational questions that I faced. All in all, I knew that because of my preparation, both with you and on my own, I had done very well in the interview.

As you know, I’ve just referred one of my friends to you and I hope she does choose to spend some time with you. She is in a similar situation to where I was – she currently has a good job, but is uncertain as to the direction she wants her career to go in and how to get there.

Thanks again for your help. I always mention you to people when speaking about my job search.”

Alexandra W., MBA, An independent Business Consultant fast-tracking to land a new project

What began with Lynne as my exploration back into the world of full-time work, suddenly changed into a rapid-fire job preparation crash course as a lucrative contract came my way through a recruiter. With only days to mobilize for the all-important interviews, Lynne and I quickly adapted the work we had already done on my resume and marketing points to meet the needs of the new target. It took confidence and preparation, but I did land the contract quite quickly despite the competition from other applicants. I am excited about work and it’s great to be valued for my ideas and abilities again.

Liz B. –  A communications professional with a career message of her own to convey says:

The moment I sat down with Lynne to work on my resume I knew I was in good hands. She has a remarkable way of discovering your strengths and unique qualities, even when you didn’t see them yourself.  Proof that the resume was a success came instantly.  I received a phone call for a job interview within two hours of sending it out.

Lynne is not only a good writer, but she is also an excellent teacher.  Through her guidance, and step by step approach to resume and cover letter writing, I’ve learned about the importance of crafting each letter to the specific job and I now understand the thought process behind it.  It’s an art that she skillfully shares.

Sandy and Jim D. – A professionally-focused couple who have developed senior-level careers in their respective fields. Over the last 5 years they’ve worked with Lynne in an advisory relationship to prepare for fresh opportunities and set new plans in motion.

We have worked with Lynne for many years and we have found her to be very current on industry trends. Her guidance has been impeccable and we rely on her advice. Lynne offers a wide array of services and delivers on all of them. We would highly recommend Lynne to anyone seeking professional career counselling.” .

Jamie W. – With insights on how and why coaching helped to clear the obstacles to achieve professional certification and establish greater career confidence. In order to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, it is necessary to write several half-day examinations at three different times.  In order to advance from one level of exams to the next, it is necessary to be successful at the prior level.  The pressure to perform after many months of preparation is extremely high.  I definitely had the motivation to prepare, and I was well able to do the work.

What I needed was help from Lynne to learn to handle that pressure.  We met regularly over a six-week period before each set of exams and Lynne taught me valuable techniques to help me relax, focus, and to deal with the stress. I would highly recommend Lynne for her ability to first of all listen to me and to identify clearly just what it was which was creating roadblocks for me on my desired career path, then to devise clear methods for dealing with them.  These methods were of immeasurable value to me as I prepared for my exams, but, most importantly, as I sat in the intense environment of the exams.

Marguerite G., – A marketing expert trying to restart her career, talks about the power of a resume to rebuild your confidence by reshaping the way you think about yourself, and how her revitalized resume pre-sold her to new employer and even got things off to a good start with her colleagues.

I want to say a BIG THANK YOU for helping me find a job.

One of the first things I said to you when we spoke was, “I want to become one of your success stories”.

I believe that I could not have found this job – Product Manager at a large specialty company – without your help.

You not only helped me with my branding and improving the presentation of my resume, you also helped me with my confidence. You made me realize that things that I thought were not important about my interests and skills are actually important and that these passions set me apart from other candidates.

In fact, when my current boss introduces me to colleagues, he says “Marguerite has an impressive 10 years of experience in marketing”, all due to the resume you helped me put together.

I really appreciate your positive and nurturing approach. I will continue to recommend you at every possible opportunity!

Nicole, C – A technical expert speaking to the value of applying core skills gained during the work search to on-the-job advancement – and succeeding in landing a promotion as a result.

Received in a recent email….”I’m writing to say a much felt thank you. As I hopefully conveyed when we were last in touch, I really appreciated the help you provided after I had left my former employer, during my subsequent job hunt, and during the process of negotiating, and starting, my current position with my new employer. The support and guidance you provided were invaluable. I’m now writing to say a new thank you: Not only have I really enjoyed my time at this top tier company over this past year (I get to work with some great people and on some fantastic projects) but I was recently promoted! I wanted to share this success with you as I see you as a significant contributor to the foundation that allowed me to achieve this accomplishment. So thank you!!!

We don’t always get to hear the difference we make in other’s lives and the value we bring so I wanted to make sure you knew how you’ve contributed to mine 🙂 Hope all’s going well for you too and that our paths cross again soon.”

Pierre H. – An accomplished Senior Executive who wanted to reevaluate his options in order to open up new opportunity in the later stages of his career – and succeeded.

Having spent most of my professional life working in a narrow field of practice, I realized I wanted and needed a career change. I had no experience in looking for a job within my field, let alone outside of it. I retained the services of Lynne O’Connor who had come highly recommended to me. Within no time, Lynne helped me clarify my overall perspective, focus on the things that were meaningful and important, define my career goals, realize my strengths, and concentrate on the various aspects of the career hunting process having provided me with important tools and insight.

The extensive volume of resources is overwhelming, and without Lynne’s advice I would have wasted much time and energy, being unfocused, utilizing ineffective resources. What I learned from Lynne was invaluable and it allowed me to be confident in my approach to the entire job seeking process. Without a doubt, the application of Lynne’s extensive knowledge and experience in the field results in an effective course of action, focused to the point that one is dealing immediately with critical issues such as one’s strengths, weaknesses, and personal and professional goals. I have now secured a position that I know I will enjoy having a better understanding of what is important to me professionally. Thanks, Lynne.

Keith J. – A marketing expert who marketed himself over the course of a search that changed course along the way.  His words of advice on looking for new opportunities.

The job search process . . . Efficiency is the key !
Create a systematic approach to how you will find a job – Understand what you are looking for and what your deal breakers are . . . Research specific websites that post positions in the field that you are interested in – Position titles are sometimes deceiving . . . The truth lies in the roles and responsibilities of the job posting and the number of years experience required. Once you have found an intriguing position you will need to research the company and align and articulate how your strengths and past experience will position you for the first interview.

Beyond the first interview . . . Keep track of your notes and questions
As you progress beyond your first interview make sure that you keep track of the themes and questions that you are asked . . . Often you can use this information to build upon and begin to create short term relationships . . . As you progress throughout the interview process you are often able to build a picture of the organization, culture and philosophy – This will help you to determine if you will also fit within the company – Remember, the interview process is a two-way street.

If you are frustrated . . . Take a break
Searching for a job is a long process – Reviewing a number of websites, looking at job postings, composing cover letters, adjusting your resume to highlight your strengths, researching the company, telephone and in-person interviews . . . Don’t forget to take a break to refresh yourself and your attitude! It sure helped me . . .

Reneé M. – Despite a tightening job market and the challenges of being viewed as a specialist, this HR advisor was determined to land a role with expanded scope and succeeded. Here she shares her collected wisdom from the job search that said, “Yes, I can.”

“I have successfully collaborated twice with Lynne O’Connor to help me through employment transitions. The first time I was introduced to her by my employer following a restructuring; the second time I tracked her down after I had resigned and hired her as my personal coach because I like her personality and her ability to be in tune with her client’s expressed and unexpressed needsEach time, I greatly enjoyed her help through my journey as it allowed me to get to know myself better and successfully secure my next employment opportunity. Here are my thoughts and the lessons I learned from my most recent job search.

  • Know yourself and be honest with yourself Do you know who you are and what you are good at? Take an honest look at yourself. What are your strengths, your weaknesses, your passion, your dreams and your fears?
  • Have a vision What do you want to be or become when you grow up? What do you want to be or become in five years?
  • Believe in yourself If you want to convince someone else to believe in you, you first have to believe in yourself. Surrounding yourself with positive people who believe in you and can help you generate positive energy when yours is running out.
  • Believe that what you want is out there Remember that it is a matter a time before you come across and are offered a great fitting job, in the right company, with the right culture and the right team that’s a match for who you are and what you want.
  • Silence the committee Do not listen to those who say that what you want is not attainable or does not exist. If I had listened to them, I would not be where I am today.
  • Have the sustaining willpower and perseverance to make it happen Have a road map, set goals and take one step at a time. Confront your barriers. Celebrate your progress and small successes. Keep going.
  • View problems as learning opportunities If you can learn, grow and develop from every challenge you face in life, you become a more well rounded person in the process – and gain more sustaining willpower and perseverance to face the next challenge and start to view life as a learning journey.
  • Integrate new learning Listen, open your mind, question yourself and how your search is going based on how the market is responding to it, the feedback you receive from interviews, your personal coach, your networking groups and your connections. Integrate new learning and adjust your approach to it.
  • Get professional support One plus one equals three. Get a personal coach. He/she is paid to work for you, will address your specific needs, will keep you focused and going on the right track. Your friends, spouse or partner can’t do that for you even if they are trying to support you as best as they can.
  • Make connections and build relationships It all starts and ends with making connections with people and building relationships. Remember that networking is first about netgiving.
  • Be good to yourself Allow you to have down days and feel sorry for yourself. Continue to look after yourself. Exercise, go for a walk, play with your kids or with your pets, talk to a friend who makes you laugh, have a glass of wine, eat some of your favorite comfort food, have a bubble bath.
    Above all, enjoy the journey and your freedom of becoming who you want to be.”
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