Mark Gonska

Mark Gonska is Executive Vice President and leads the Outplacement Practice for Dise & Company. He helps employers avoid the second most costly mistake they can ever make: retaining employees they should release. Also known as America’s Career Coach, Mark has assisted over 8,000 people moving forward in their careers.
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Networking not working? Hint: It's not the virus

We have all heard it:

  • 80% of jobs are captured through networking
  • I’ve never advertised, it’s all networking
  • I’m not an alcoholic, I’m networking

Every human being thinks more about himself than anyone else. Dale Carnegie said, “Remember that a person's name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” 

Can networking be the best way to win friends and influence people?

It can be all about networking. Many times it isn’t.

Like the Griswoldesque neighbor who briefly feigns interest in what you have to say only to let you know how wonderful his life is. He is smarter than Biden and Trump put together and his great ____________ (fill in the blank with anything he describes as awesome) can’t be found in any store or Amazon. Let’s call him Norman Networker.

Norman is a walking, breathing Facebook post of his best breakfast with his best sunrise in the best venue on Earth. Networking for Norm is an opportunity to shine a bright light on himself. He craves the Likes, Hearts and an alphabet of smiley emojis.

Exhale Norman! Networking in a job search isn’t meeting for coffee without a plan for more than bagels. Sliding your resume across the table and sheepishly asking, “what do you think? Know anyone who’s hiring?” Norman, Norman, Norman… it’s YOUR job to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.

Norm isn’t networking at all. After the obligatory response, “if something comes up, I’ll be sure and let you know” Norm will have a tough time getting a follow-up meeting.

I’d like to share these tips with Norman Networker, but he doesn’t listen:

  • Find a WHY for both of us. Research how a networking meeting could be of value to both parties. Networking is not just about you.
  • Treat a networking meeting like it could be worth a million dollars. Send a formal meeting request, forward simple agenda clarifying expectations. Confirm every appointment, you make the reservation, be early.
  • Have a stop time as well as a start time. You may have nowhere to go and a long time to get there but respect others’ schedule.
  • Prepare an advance list of people and companies that you can help with. Then share your needs.
  • Ask smart questions to position yourself as someone who knows what matters.
  • Don’t ask to pick my brain, that’s creepy and gross.
  • Take notes. It’s a sign of respect and creates an easy follow-up on who committed to do what.
  • Execute on recommendations and every next step. Do everything you said you would do.
  • Copy or BCC your source on every referral outreach. Keep them in the loop.

Norman Networker won’t follow any of these recommendations. He hasn’t stopped talking.

Mark Gonska is the Career Accelerator. For his super-secret networking hack, reach him at

Tagged With: Expert Knowledge

Make this setback your comeback

When will this lockdown end? What can I do? 

You can’t answer every question. No one can. You CAN decide to snatch this time away from the Covi-geddon disruption. With a crisis comes opportunity. Seize the day! Ask questions only you can answer.

  • What do you want your career to look like post-Lockdown?
  • What do you enjoy most in your chosen work?
  • With a return to “normal” do you see a bright future for your career?
  • Why would or should you consider doing something else?
  • Do you know what you’re looking for? Can you describe it to others?
  • What would you need to get there?
  • Assuming you will never have more available time, what can you learn to jumpstart your career?
  • If you have said, “some day I’ll…….”  how can you begin to make some day today?

You may be homeschooling kids, fighting cabin fever, wrestling with technology, Youtubing home repairs, etc. Despite these challenges, what if you decided to take action rather than march in place?

Draft your action plan:

  • Make a list of the Top 20 people you’d like to talk to - SME’s, influencers, or smart people who you can learn from may be easier to connect with than ever before
  • Networking is expected. Ask: “how are you keeping safe?” “how’s your work going” Ping former colleagues you have lost touch with; Join new LinkedIn groups in your chosen field
  • What skill could you work on? Update your chops on QuickBooks, SolidWorks, Spanish language, healthy cooking, art/craft work, chess, organic gardening
  • Brain Power - draft a business plan for the start-up you have dreamed about; Share it with others and make it better
  • Read, listen, learn - books - what are we saving them for? Create a reading list. Start or join a Zoom book or learning group

Make this set back your comeback. Isn’t it up to you?  Dise & Company has great tools to get you on track. Today, we are making these resources available at no charge. Contact: Mark Gonska at  (job fit scorecard available)

Let’s talk – by phone video chat platforms or email. 

Tagged With: Expert Knowledge

From Lock-Down to Lift-Off - What do you want to be when you grow up?

Make this lock-down a positive experience for your career. 

Wash your hands, sit down and ask: “What’s the best I could hope for in my next job?”

  • Be called back from my previous employer?
  • Same job, different place
  • Engage in a mission I was meant for?
  • Start or buy my own business?

Crazy or smart at such a time of uncertainty? For most, there is incredible pressure to get a new income stream as soon as possible. Bills, healthcare, 401-K, eating…the list doesn’t end. it’s hard to turn off your brain and think about anything else.

Assuming this Covi-geddon dies a well-deserved death... you WILL go back to work. Employers will need to make up for lost revenue and you will need to rebuild your savings.

This could be an opportunity of a lifetime. You have the time. Use it.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” – H. Ford

On average, you’ll work about 85,000 hours in your career. An incredible investment! Work dominates your waking hours. Have you asked yourself, “what do I really want to do next”? What’s stopping you?

No time? No money? No degrees? No clue?

Many people have overcome even bigger obstacles. They probably aren’t much smarter or better looking than you are. One thing’s for certain, they decided to decide.

  • Ask yourself: what skills have I learned?
  • What are my God-given abilities?
  • What are my strongest interests and passions?
  • What do I value regarding workplace culture?
  • What possible employer needs can I meet?
  • Who has problems I can solve with my skills?
  • Who is doing this job right now? How can I meet them?

This crazy Lock-Down can be a Lift-Off for your career. It’s up to you to decide. For help: Contact Mark Gonska – Career Accelerator, Dise & Company 440.452.4398

Let’s talk – by phone video chat platforms or email. 

Tagged With: Expert Knowledge

Providing job search assistance is more than doing the right thing

Providing Job Search Assistance, Outplacement, is more than doing the right thing. 

You have worked hard to establish your brand. You have invested years, sleepless nights and many, many dollars to make your brand stand out. Do employees you lay-off remain brand ambassadors for your organization? Can laid-off employees impact your brand? Yes, now and for years to come. 

Your company name never leaves their resumes or LinkedIn profiles for the remainder of their work lives. Time and time again, they’ll be asked, “what was it like to work for” YOUR company? How will they say you treated them during the great COVID Crisis of 2020? 

Do The Right Thing

No one has to provide Outplacement/Job Search Acceleration benefits for laid-off employees. Why choose to? Why spend the money at this uncertain time? If doing the right thing is part of your fabric, choosing to take extra care of employees when they need it most demonstrates who you are.  

Meaningful help with social distancing approach to securing employment faster. 

Displaced employees need help. Dise & Company delivers it. 100% virtual job search assistance is available now throughout the US. There is no quick fix for what were facing. Job search is growing tougher than anything we have seen. Dise & Company is here to help.  

Let’s talk – by phone video chat platforms or email. 

No one can fully imagine what’s next for your organization. Many people will be impacted. We can and should make contingency plans.  

Call: Mark Gonska: 440-452-4398  

Tagged With: Expert Knowledge

My leadership stinks . . . NOW WHAT?

My leadership stinks … NOW WHAT?

  • Micromanagement is not leadership. It’s higher pay for lower level work.
  • Delegation is emancipation. Nothing else helps you see organizational strengths and weaknesses. Delegation frees you to work on your business not just in your business.
  • Shooting down ideas assassinates the best minds on your payroll.

Tagged With: Corporate Outplacement

I fired Frank - he roasted my company on social media . . . NOW WHAT?

I fired Frank, he roasted my company on social media… NOW WHAT?

  • Terminating employees stinks.
  • Procrastinating is bad leadership.
  • Just “getting it over with” can ruin your Corporate reputation.

Tagged With: Corporate Outplacement

How to get fired – work hard at the wrong things.

Work hard and smart, be nice to others, be the first person in the office and the last person to unplug the coffee pot… pitch in and help out with urgent projects, especially when it’s “not your job.” Look good, smell good and update your wardrobe. Maintain eye contact, listen twice as much as you talk and genuinely care about others. Call them by name. Don’t gossip or shop online. Get plenty of rest, limit your carbs and consider kale.

Tagged With: Corporate Outplacement

Want some Litigation with your Layoff? I bet you don't.

Anyone can sue anyone for anything.

Use a lawnmower for a hedge trimmer – there’s a lawsuit for that. Climb over a barbwire fence into the lions’ exhibit and get mauled – there’s a lawsuit for that. A burglar sprains his back while stealing valuables from your home – yes, there’s a lawsuit.

Tagged With: Corporate Outplacement, Expert Knowledge

Are You “Over-qualified”? Or Are You Just Too Old?

Often, “over-qualified” is code for something else.

“You’ve got very impressive credentials, and your experience is wide-ranging, but…” the hiring manager says: “We really think you’re overqualified.”

If you hear the words “over-qualified”, your job is to figure out what that something else is…, and overcome it just like you would any other objection.

Tagged With: Executive Coaching

Remove This One Obstacle And Watch Yourself Grow

What’s the #1 thing holding you back? Could it be your leadership style?

Any time I get the chance to sit down with an executive, I ask: “What’s the biggest obstacle to taking your business to the next level?”

Typically I’ll get a variety of very serious responses: “We’re not in alignment”. “We’re not hiring the right kinds of people.” “Turnover is really high.”

And invariably, I respond: “Wow…, that sounds like a leadership issue.”  Because if you really take time to think about it, at every level, problems can be traced back to leadership, or rather, the lack of leadership.

Tagged With: Executive Coaching

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