The Phone Loves a Tight Deadline!

For this, my 174th blog post, I am delighted to introduce my first guest writer, Maureen Farmer of Word Right Career & HR Consulting

This is the story of Hanipe. Originally from Africa, Hanipe came to Canada after completing her combined business and IT degrees in the U.S. With good experience under her belt, and after working in business and lecturing in her field, she felt she was equipped to begin her career. She chose Halifax as her new home and was fully prepared to launch her career with a robust job search.

I met Hanipe at an event in February of 2012 and believed that she would be swiftly hired by someone needing an expert with her business acumen, technical skills and professionalism—not to mention her global business experience and cultural competence.

I walked away from Hanipe confident that she would be immediately successful. And, then I forgot about her until a mutual colleague contacted me in April of 2013 (more than a year later) to tell me that Hanipe was in imminent danger of having to leave Canada by mid-May unless she had a permanent job because her visa would expire. Her entire future hinged on finding secure employment – in her field – in a tight labour market … in two weeks!

Of course, once I learned about this, I had to step in. I asked Hanipe to call me to discuss her challenge. She was down and out and feeling as though her job search was a lost cause. She told me that most of her interviews had been positive and employers had encouraged her to re-apply at a later time. Ouch. It hurts.

It felt deeply personal.

It felt like rejection.

After brainstorming together and diving deeply into her job search experience over the past 14 months, we came up with a list of employers she had previously interviewed with—the employers who encouraged her to reapply at a later time. There were a dozen of them!

I did a lot of coaching with Hanipe and suggested that she follow up with each of the employers on that list. She was skeptical, but reluctantly agreed to try it.

After seven days of madly dialing the phone and following up with each and every employer, and then reporting back to me each day, she landed a full-time permanent job in a growth industry in a position in her field and in her chosen city.

She started her new job in mid-May of this year.

Pick it up. Make things happen! This is the tagline for “The Phone Lady”, and it delivers important advice. Whether you are a business owner, a job seeker or simply someone needing results, the phone is an indispensable tool for your success—hands down!

*A special thank you to Hanipe, whose story I am honoured to be part of and to Mary Jane for asking me to share it.

Maureen Farmer, CRS, CHRP, is Owner and Manager of Word Right Career & HR Consulting and resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. With more than 25 years’ experience working with senior-level professionals across multiple industries, Maureen understands the competencies that employers are looking for today and the three goals every employer shares. Maureen’s recent work can be found in Best Canadian Resumes (3rd edition) and Best Canadian Cover Letters (2nd edition).

If you have a phone story you would like to share on this blog, please do get in touch. Leave a comment here or move to the bottom of this page for my email and … phone number!

Enjoy this week’s phonework. And remember to return next week to learn the second most important trend that will impact your phone success in 2014.

0 thoughts on “The Phone Loves a Tight Deadline!”

Leave a comment

What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.