“The Network!” Newsletter Issue # 8

A periodic publication by Joseph Michaels International   “The Name to Know in Accounting”

Annual Accountant Picnic



Annual Accountants Picnic


A Message from the President

Joem Warm Summer Greetings! Seems like just yesterday when we were celebrating the New Year! Now, it’s half way through the year, and I thought that it would be a good time to give you a summary of the progress we’ve made since the last issue. 

As many of you may know, Joseph Michaels International has moved into a new Headquarters Office in San Francisco. You are welcome to drop in and see us. Also. I’m proud to say, we’ve already found new jobs for over 100 people this year! In fact, April was a record month, and May broke that record. While we still intend to be “The Name to Know in Accounting”, our coverage is expanding and strides toward being a one stop shop for all of your temporary and permanent placement needs are under way.

Our database of candidates and clients in the Bay Area now exceeds over 24,000!  As the fastest growing accounting placement firm on the West Coast, we appreciate your referrals of qualified accountants; especially after two record months and with the unemployment rate recently hitting a 5-year low in the Bay Area, we could really use your help.

To show our appreciation, for three refferrals, we want to present to you one of the 100 new bottles of ” Joseph Michaels Private Reserve” wine that has just arrived (provided the referral is not already on our database).  Call, fax, snail-mail, or e-mail your referrals.  Since supplies are limlited, this offer applies to the first 100 of you that qualify…. better make that 97, I think the staff just opened a few bottles.

Best regards, and have a great Summer,

Joe M. Pelayo






Looking at


As a result of our World Global Economy: secure, lifetime jobs are a thing of the past for many workers. The economy changes quickly, companies change products often for anyone to plan to stay in the same company for very long. Change is so common that many of the jobs to be filled in the next 10 years will not have existed during the last 10 years. 

People used to look at jobs as lifetime commitments and identify closely with their particular job or company. For many, this way of looking at themselves is no longer useful. A change in the way people view themselves is necessary. Rather than saying “I’ m an accountant for General Motors,” the new worker will learn to say “I’m a person with skills which can be used by General Motors, Sybase, Genentech, a small machine shop, plastic manufacturer, etc.”

With the job market being as competitive as it is today’s worker cannot afford to limit themselves when assessing their skills and the process in which they conduct their job search. One of the most productive forms of the job search is found in “Networking.” For many this method of seeking work is found to be repulsive. It bears the notion of being beneath one’s dignity. However, when you are in need of providing a livelihood for yourself or yourself and a family, work must be secured by any legal means necessary.


Know What You Want

To become an expert networker, ask yourself, “How do I express my goals clearly and generate valuable information by drawing on my contacts’ background and expertise?” This takes thought and preparation. You must start by assessing your skills, abilities, interests and goals. People can’t help you if you don’t know what you want to do, or what you want from them. Next, develop a succinct presentation that describes what you’ve done and what you hope to do.

As a job seeker, it’s your responsibility to determine how each person can best help you reach your goals. Otherwise, friends and contacts who hear your presentation and want to assist won’t know how.

Design specific questions to elicit clear, targeted, helpful information, rather than vague promises to remember you if something turns up. People are quicker to volunteer leads when they’re excited about your goals and think they can help you reach them.

Good networking begins with stimulating discussions about a common interest. You may want to do some indirect research before you actually go out and talk to people. If so, there are plenty of places to look for information on the local job market. Here are some of the most common sources of information about the employers in your particular area, and who actually does the hiring.

  1. Recruiters
  2. The Public Library Business Section
  3. Chamber of Commerce Special Employer Directories
  4. Trade Associations and Trade Journals
  5. Professionals Organizations
  6. Want Ads
  7. Job Service Offices
  8. Community Organizations
  9. College Counseling Center
  10. The Yellow Pages
  11. Companies


Instead of viewing yourself as an accountant, break what you do well into specific chunks – then determine how well you perform each aspect of that job. You will come up with a portfolio of “marketable skills.” Once your skills portfolio is pulled together focus on specific problems you have solved in the past. Employers are not interested in how hard you have worked — they are interested in how effectively you have worked. They are “results oriented”. Don’t just list your job activities, describe the results of that activity. The best results show either significant savings for the company or revenue enhancement. Identifying your skills is one thing, being able to explain how they apply to a specific job is another. Talk to everyone in sight. You can’t do it yourself. If you have a knack for seeing the big picture or getting to the bottom line of things quickly, consider that a skill or talent can be transferred to any number of jobs. You got where you are by being the brightest of the brightest, by achieving in college by yourself, by distinguishing yourself early in your career through individual achievement. But the further you go, the more you have to rely on others for help. Do whatever it takes to make yourself a more attractive candidate.






Milton C. Ingraham spent sixteen years as a corporate attorney for General Motors Corporation. During that time, as a result of promotions and transfers, he served in eleven major metropolitan cities. He came to the Bay Area after leaving General Motors six years ago to pursue his MBA at U.C. Berkeley. He is presently starting his company, “The Solutions Consulting Group” which is a small and minority Business Development Consulting Firm. His passion is his work, which in part is getting the individual to realize that all their goals, dreams and desires lie within them and their disciplined efforts to take responsibility for their growth and development. His primary focus has been placed on changes and how it has come to effect our daily lives. He is presently researching the challenging task of writing a book which is entitled, “The Golden Handcuff; Examining Attitudes Towards Work. ” In it he will explore both the behavior and attitudes of workers toward the way in which they earn their livelihoods. 



California Economy Shifts To High Gear

Job Gains Are Projected To Exceed The Nation’s

California is finally breaking free of the recession that has held its economic growth and job creation in check for nearly five years. In fact, according to three separate economic analyses, the state is on the brink of a surge in growth that could well outpace that of the nation as a whole. According to a Salomon Brothers Inc. report, California posted a 2.3% increase in nonfarm employment – a gain of some 280,000 jobs – in the year ending 11/30/95, out performing the national increase of 1.5%. All of the state’s major metropolitan areas posted job gains over the year, and the gap between growth in Northern and Southern California has largely disappeared. While growth is projected to remain in the 2.0-2.5% range over the next twelve months, a favorable combination of national economic growth, stable or declining interest rates, and improvements in foreign markets could push employment ahead by as much as 3.0%. Salomon Brothers suggests that California’s aerospace industry has bottomed out, its high technology and multimedia industries are booming, and its lagging real estate market is on the mend. Demand for consumer goods and housing, business investment, and strong export demand for California-produced goods and services are also helping the state buck a national slowdown trend, the report says. Bolstered by the fast growing Asia-Pacific region, California’s exports rose nearly 19% last year, leading to a 5% jump in wholesale trade jobs.

Employment Growing. Employment is stable and growing in most sectors of the California economy, including services, retail trade, wholesale trade, transportaion construction, and manufacturing. In the services sector, which accounts for 30% of all jobs, employment jumped by 6% or 215,000 jobs. Notable gains in service sector employment were made in the entertainment, media, and technology industries. The bust in California’s aerospace industry, which led to 185,000 job loss in the 1990s, appear to be ending, according to the Salomon Brothers report. Although aerospace employers are still cutting jobs, the rate of decline has subsided, from 49,000 jobs, in 1993 to 36,000 in 1994, and 16,000 last year. Large manufacturers such as McDonnell Douglas, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Hughes, and Boeing have recently announced new contracts and expansion projects which are expected to stabilize aerospace employment even further over the next twelve to 18 months.


Salomon Brothers is not alone in its glowing projections for California’s economic turnaround. First Interstate Bank also projects that the state will out peform the nation in jobs growth, with nonfarm employment gains of 2.3% and 2.5% in 1996 and 1997, respectively. Between 1995 and 1997, nearly 6,000,000 new jobs will be created, it says more than in any three-year period since 1987-1989. Athough the majority of new jobs will come from services and trade, the state will also see marked growth in construction, manufacturing, and transportation. First Interstate is even more optimistic about manufacturing than are the Salomon Brothers’ analysts. The bank foresees a comeback in the sector in 1996-1997 due to double-digit export growth, robust gains in capital spending, strong consumer demand for durable goods, and innovations in the high-tech and biotechnology fields. Although actual gains in manufacturing employment are expected to be moderate, the anticipated upswing in goods production and purchasing should spark hiring in the finance, transportaion, and retail sectors.


Hot For Three Years. The UCLA Business Forecast for California, issued 3/96, projects nonfarm payroll, which increased by 2.5% in 1995, to accelerate to 3.0% in 1996 and 2.8% in 1997, then moderate to 1.8% in 1998. With the addition of nearly one million jobs in the next three years, California’s unemployment rate will drop to 7.3% in 1996 and 6.5% in 1997, says UCLA. Services will remain fast growing over the next three years.



By Lolyn Sutton, Financial Consultant, Smith Barney, Walnut Creek

lsuttonWhat does it take to make a switch from being an accountant into a totally different career such as a Stockbroker?

In a nutshell – absolute total commitment and dedication to your decision to make the change. This is a long process, a marathon versus a sprint. The first step involves numerous interviews to see if you will be accepted by the brokerage house and have the aptitude for this kind of work. The tests involve personality tests as well as basic accounting/numerical skills testing. Once you have secured a position the next step is studying and passing the various tests for licenses, such as the “Series 7, 63, 65 etc.”. Often an insurance license is also required. Most of the larger more reputable brokerage houses require that this test be passed on the first sitting so there is no chance to fail and re-write it. A very serious consideration during all of this process and for a few years while you are trying to get established and build up your client base is how you are going to manage financially — if you are lucky to get a salary it is generally about one quarter of the salary you earned before as an accountant.

The hours of work are long and tedious — and usually seven days a week till you establish yourself. Of course if you have had a strong marketing background and been trained in selling skills it will be a tremendous help but most accountants have to put in extra work to acquire these skills. Here on the West Coast a typical day for a “rookie” starts at 6 a.m. so that you can get to the office before the market opens on the East Coast. You are still working away at 6 p.m. and very often have to go out and see clients in the evening and will make it home by 10 p.m. in time to drop into bed so that you can make it up at the crack of dawn the following morning. Saturdays and Sundays also turn into work­time as you try and catch up with all the additional routine matters that need to be taken care of. But, this is really not any different to starting any kind of business of your own ­­ and it takes a few years till you are on solid ground. The rewards are subtle ­­ in the form of the good feeling when you have helped somebody achieve their financial goal; the ability to work with a lot of high energy people in a constantly changing environment; the satisfaction of continually learning new things to keep abreast; the ability to absorb, sort through and make educated decisions from unbelievable volumes of material to be assimilated.

So, if you are ready to make a total commitment of this nature it is definitely an avenue to explore. Once established an average broker can earn $100K per year, has the ability to choose clients and hours and has a tremendous amount of personal freedom.

As I have successfully made this change I will be willing to help answer any questions anybody may have. I can be reached at (510) 934­0400 ext. 849.

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