To my left and overhead I see the tandem chute with one of my daughters and through the distance I wave and yell “Hey.”  The two instructors move us closer together – we nearly touch parachutes together.  She says something about awesome and we separate.  I didn’t see her again until we landed.

As we float downward, Walt points out the skyline of Springfield about 25 miles to the North; we make out the skyline of Hartford about as far away to the South but partially obscured in an overcast. Between the two cities I can make out the dual traffic lanes of I-91 and the Connecticut River paralleling the interstate.

To the West the sun is setting – it is nearly 5 pm on a mid-October day, and the sky is brilliant red. There are only a few clouds. I try looking as far West as possible to see if I can make out any of the familiar western Connecticut hills where we live.  I see the formations but can’t distinguish one area from another.

Maybe if we had more time.  But there is no way we can stay aloft for long, Walt says, even though I ask him to keep us up as long as he can.  Parachutes eventually have to come down, he says.  If we can catch an unusual thermal uplift can we stay up a little longer and that only happens rarely, he says.

Walt asks if I want to hold the cords that direct the canopy and I decline.  I am content just to feel the directional changes he makes – though afterwards I am disappointed with myself that I didn’t take control.  Next time, and there will be a next time, I will take the controls when offered.

I catch a glimpse of a large lake to the East and wonder where it is and think that maybe I’ll come back to the area and look around at this beautiful eastern part of Connecticut where I have spent very little time exploring.


~ free floating ~


(Continued in Sky Diving – installment 5)

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Jessie, the camera woman who jumped moments before us, catches up to me filming as we drop.  She reaches out her hands to me and I take them both and we spin and drop.  She waves and I wave. And we drop.  The wind is loud.  The earth, I realize, is coming closer and closer.  And … 

Jack's tandem dive - free falling

Then, poof, the canopy opens above us – there is no sudden jerk, it is all very smooth — and Walt says assuringly, “We have a full canopy.” And we begin our float under this rectangular shaped parachute at about 6,000 feet.  We had just dropped 8,000 feet in less than a minute (Walt says it was about 58 seconds).  And now there is silence.

I apologize to Walt for delaying our jump and not moving both feet at the same time in the plane and he tells me that we couldn’t have waited any longer because one of my daughters who was behind us and the last to leave the plane with her tandem instructor was getting further away from the drop zone. (I really didn’t need to hear that just then — that one of my four daughters who was helping me check off this item on my bucket list might have been in danger.) But now the two daughters who were able to make this jump and I are all floating under our parachutes heading down. I can’t see them but Walt says everything is good.

No longer is there the rush of wind.  It is quiet. Peaceful. Beautiful. Fulfilling.

As I am hanging in front of Walt, he points out the airport below, and adjusts one of the harness straps on my right leg to make it more comfortable.

And we float.


(Continued in Sky Diving – installment 4)

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Installment 2 …


Head back, feet curled, is the banana form you and your sky diving tandem instructor will take as you exit into the sky.  Can you do that, you are asked on the ground during the pre-flight instructions.  “Oh, yeah I can do that” is easy to say while on the ground during the instructions.

But now at 14,000 feet with nothing in front of me, it is quite different.  My right foot easily releases from the plane and curls under his legs, but not my left.  Something about facing the drop of 14,000 feet and not having anything to stand on. I want to yell something about some glue that is holding my foot to the floor. And then I think: that’s a stupid thing to say.

Two, maybe three times, Walt, my tandem instructor, yells “get your feet under me and off the floor.” Stuck there in a semi-freeze he shakes me and then as soon as the toes of my left foot rise above the floor out we go and into the sky.

The rush of wind in my ears is deafening.  Without the goggles provided for my eyes the view would have been obscure, but the earth below is green and filled with autumn colors and we fall face forward.  From that height everything below is flat.  There are no hills or valleys.  And I am thinking; “I am really doing this.” I catch my breath and we continue to fall face down and spin.

- ready to dive

(Continued in Sky Diving – installment 3)

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Installment 1.  

Standing at the edge of an open airplane door at 14,000 feet above the ground there are several thoughts quickly moving through my brain. 

“Wow, am I really ready to jump,” is the first one. I can just make out the land forms, fields, and roads.  And then all of the “What ifs,” blur by just as does the land below.

Of course I shouldn’t have been so surprised at the height or of my impending jump.  I knew how high we were because as the airplane climbed I could look out the window and see the ground getting farther and farther away.  And the altimeter on the nearby instructor kept moving into the jump zone as we climbed.  A couple of times in the plane I had to cough, kind of gagging a little, to ensure I was OK. 

Sitting on one of the benches that lined the walls of the plane, I looked across to my two daughters who were smiling and giving me a “thumbs up” sign over the drone of the aircraft’s engines. My daughters were here and ready to jump and my wife already had completed her jump and was on the ground.  She even had a chance to kiss me good bye before I boarded the plane almost in the same spot on the ground as I kissed her before she boarded her flight 30 minutes before.

Sitting in the plane before the door opened I presumed I still had choices.

But now I am at the open side door at the rear of the plane. The air is rushing by and the tandem instructor attached to my back tells me, just as he told me he would, to hold onto my harness with my hands and curl my feet under me and between his legs so that I will be hanging on him entirely just before we jumped.

Jack in the plane…


(Continued in Sky Diving – installment 2)

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This article is one in a series by Jack Bourque, president of Wireless Careers. 


There are two major compensation questions involved when a company seeks to acquire talent:

  • What does a candidate need to be attracted to a career opportunity with another company?


  • What will a candidate accept if the opportunity and challenge are right for his/her career?

I have found through 26 years of attracting candidates for client companies that these questions, when asked professionally and answered honestly are the only compensation questions that really matter.

What the candidate is currently earning or what he/she earned in the past have little meaning if the first two questions are not properly developed and explored.

When I recruit a candidate who has the skills and interest matching a specific search, I ask these compensation questions.  Only when I am convinced that the honesty of the answers fits within the compensation range I’ve been given about the specific assignment do I present the candidate for potential acquisition to the client.

In the past three years I have notice that there has been a major compensation adjustment shift particularly in candidates who hit high earnings in the boom of the early 2000 and even more so with candidates who have had life-style adjustments. 

This last group usually represents candidates who are now interested in less travel, or no longer interested in climbing a corporate ladder, or prefer to re-focus their careers on what they really like doing as opposed to what might be consider a “normal career track.”  This group also includes candidates who have cashed-in stock options, taken early retirement benefits, have completed the goal of education for their children, and many times those whose significant other also have a career that provides for a financially healthy life.

One other real time consideration has emerged during the last three years: reality.

Many candidates today understand that the area of high and frequent pay increases they received in the late 1990s and early 2000s is gone.  Most people today understand that salary ranges are stabilizing and that significant high level paying positions are not available without serious life style considerations or relocations.

Companies that understand these considerations and are open to take advantage of them find that they can attract significant talent at compensation ranges that years ago would have been impossible.

Candidates that are willing to look realistically at opportunity and compensation will continue to have career choices that will be challenging and rewarding.

In the end it’s all about a fair and equitable compensation for the responsibility required.

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  • Do you just love to peal back the onion of a technical product and find out what really makes it work and are challenged to make it work better?


  • Does your interest in fiber optic go to digging into the physics of optical communications?


  • Are you excited about finding ways to make high speed data transport optical cable better?


Then this engineering research opportunity will be a utopia for your career in creative engineering leadership.

We’re looking for an engineer who is turned-on by researching, designing, and developing passive optical communication products that are ahead of the curve in anticipating customers’ requirements in high data rate fiber optic communication systems including cables, connectors, panels, cords, and other infrastructure products for critical communications networks.

The goal of this creative leader will be to create new fiber optic products with superior reliability, performance, and scalability.   The top candidate for this responsibility will have a history of creative development with multi or single mode fiber infrastructure products and have demonstrated a career of product development knowledge that has led to production sensitivities required in lean manufacturing.

This position focuses on strategic and tactical design engineering leadership and NPD for fiber optic components that will complement the company’s expansive telecommunication network product lines. 

Do you think you have the skills to join this half-billion dollar Chicagoland company’s “go-to” research lab team for NPD and collaborate with cross-functional groups that will include engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and sales? 

Call me, challenge your career, and become an industry creative leader for fiber optic communication.  Or —  if you know someone whose career might be ready for this level of enhancement, please feel comfortable passing this information to you network.

To discuss this further, please contact:  Jack Bourque  President   860-738-5035 ext: 23



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Please call Jack Bourque directly to discuss your personal interest in the following or feel comfortable passing this information to your network in the event this may be a career enhancing step to someone you know.  Please, reference # 1679

This position focuses on strategic and tactical design engineering leadership and NPD for fiber optic components that will complement the company’s expansive telecommunication network product lines.  The person in this position will provide creative engineering leadership to this area of the company’s overall growth in telecommunication products.


By developing its offerings ahead of the curve and anticipating customers’ requirements in high data rate fiber optic communication systems including cables, connectors, panels, cords, and other infrastructure products for critical communications networks, this Chicagoland company will continue as the world-class leader it has been for more than 50 years.


The top candidate for this responsibility will have a history of creative development with multi or single mode fiber infrastructure products and have demonstrated a career of product development knowledge that has led to production sensitivities required in lean manufacturing.


The person in this position will join this half-billion dollar company’s “go-to” research team for NPD and will interact with cross-functional groups that will include engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and sales.  The goal of this creative leader will be to create the roadmaps for new fiber optic products with superior reliability, performance, and scalability.   


Some challenges will include:

  1. Lead the research efforts of advanced fiber optic products from concept through the proof-of-principle, explore and research emerging applications/ technologies that enable new product opportunities, and evaluate performances of optical communication systems, interconnect technologies, and new emerging optical technologies.
  2. Using experimental research design, build, and troubleshoot prototypes/concept models using optical principles and test methods that will validate theories and models.
  3. Perform measurements and benchmark analysis on fiber optic components, prototypes and existing products to determine future product design requirements. 
  4. Develop new optical test methods for prototype, component or product evaluations.
  5. Communicate and coordinate with cross functional groups to expedite or drive projects to completion, including: project management schedules, reports, and review meetings.
  6. Document research in written reports and presentations and communicate with middle and upper management on development and achievement of goals.


Experience being sought:

  1. 5 to 7 years in NPD  background – in fiber optic infrastructure which may include: communication systems, components including lasers, detectors, transceivers, and optical cable and connectors, assemblies, and adapters.
  2. Experience working with lean manufacturing environments and methods.
  3. Innovation career track record of providing creative solutions to complex problems.
  4. Documented career of creating, maintaining, and organizing projects.
  5. Master Degree in related engineering sciences which may include: Physics, Optical Science, Optoelectronics,  Photonics


To discuss further, contact Jack Bourque,   President           860-738-5035 ex: 23


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Please call Jack Bourque directly to discuss your personal interest in the following or feel comfortable passing this information to your network in the event this may be a career enhancing step to someone you know.  Please, reference # 1503


 This client is a well known and well established vendor/OEM in coaxial cables, connectors, jumpers, site steel components and accessories to wireless carriers and their network of integrators. Client also has a large portfolio of tier 2 and tier 3 carrier customers and competes well with industrial end users and in the government space.

In the Northeast, the client has developed a unique and effective service model geared toward the urban installations of cell site towers and rooftop applications. A dedicated warehouse and site kitting and logistics facility is located in Central NJ to support the Northeast region.

This Northeast Regional Sales manager position requires a “player coach” ability to build relationships with customers and manage a small team of technical field support and inside sales people.  We are looking for a person who will be the star sales leader for the regional and comes with a track record of success in sales and management.

In this region – VA north through New England and west to Ohio – the sales manager should have a strong relationship sales personality who knows how to compete against the major providers through intuitive customer service, product knowledge and positioning as the quality leader.  Company is eager to take advantage of the competitors’ missed opportunities through its personal service and agile delivery business model.  

Customers: tier 1 and 2 carriers; many larger and mid size integrators who build for carriers, some industrial end users, some government and growing customers base for IBS. Rooftop steel platform design and install is a significant part of this region’s customer base and a very valued area with one of the top Tier 1 carriers in the region.  Business expansion in the region will come from leveraging success with the carriers and developing business opportunities with enterprise customers.

While a hunter’s mentality is required for a successful expanding of this region’s sales, we are strongly influenced to review candidates whose backgrounds have some technical knowledge of passive and active components for wireless networks, since many of the company’s products are sold on their high quality, performance, and the support services offered by the company.

The ability to interact in a team culture with the company’s other regional sales managers, engineering managers and operations personnel will also play a major role in the success of the person covering this region.

Home based office anywhere in the region; we expect a minimum of 60% travel. 

Anticipated first year target total compensation will be better than $150,000.


Jack Bourque 


860-738-5035 ex: 23

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Most position requirements — no matter how well written — tend to focus on job specifications, desired background, and behavior. They are “company centric, not candidate centric.”

Because of this they offer no compelling reason to attract a passive candidate or one with many other career opportunities, especially if you are looking to attract people who are top performers who are employed by your competition. Even though these people are reasonably happy and reasonably well compensated many will listen to an opportunity that might enhance their careers if approached by someone who understands them and can approach them properly.

To do that successfully, you need to start with The Analysis Worksheet. It’s available free by contacting me.  With your thoughtful input you and those who are helping you will know where to look, what to offer that will “sell” your opportunity, and help acquire someone “ready, willing, and able” to be attracted by your opportunity.

“I’ll know it when I see it,” doesn’t work.  Although you may “really like this candidate” from the handshake, your job is to ensure the person you hire also fits your needs and that the hire will be a long-term success. The Analysis Worksheet helps streamlines the interview process and reaches successful fulfillment much more professionally. And it avoids a decision that goes bad later because what was really required from your viewpoint and that of the candidate was never totally understood.  

The Analysis Worksheet is very detailed. It will make you really think through what you want to accomplish and what you have that will attract a candidate. The first time through takes a little time.  A professional who uses this Analysis Worksheet consistently can help you walk through it to get the best results. Think of this work as customizing the talent acquisition process  – not off the rack, any resume will do — and you will have a good idea of why this information is necessary.  Once you use this tool a couple of times you will see its benefit.

And having it in your hands during the interview of each candidate will help you be more consistent and deliberate in your decision making.

Get started on this Analysis Worksheet, it’s free, and maybe you will see modifications that you can make to more personalized it for your specific talent acquisition requirement.  While some of the sections appear to be redundant in some of the questions asked, filling out the Worksheet in each area will ensure your completeness in identifying the qualifications sought. 

In addition to this worksheet, you may want to add more value to your acquisition process skills.  Other tools that will assist you including articles on structured interviewing questions and behavioral interviewing formats also are available without obligation from our company.

And when you need personal assistance with your talent acquisition process, please contact me at any time.  When you do I’ll give you more specifics on how to earn the best ROI on your critical staffing and talent acquisition process.

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It is universally agreed that employing The Right People is The Key to any successful business.  Hiring talented achievers to fill key positions is the most difficult task facing any manager. 

Before investing time, energy, and money on this important aspect of your responsibility: GET PREPARED!

Ask yourself these questions:

  ?  Have I completed a Position Analysis Worksheet?

  ?  Why is this position necessary?

  ?  Am I prepared to sell the advantages of working for me and my company to candidates who are working for my competitors or who have other opportunities they are considering?

  ?  How many people and total working hours am I prepared to use to hire the right person?

  ?  Do I personally have 10 to 30 working hours available to find the right person?

  ?  How much time does my company usually spend to fill a vacancy?

  ?  How many other people must be involved in the decision making process?

  ?  What efficient resources are available to surface qualified candidates?

  ?  What is my own track record in locating, qualifying, and hiring the achiever I need?

  ?  Does my HR department really know how to find key talent?

  ?  What time will be given to my requirement compared to other talent requirements the company has?

  ?  Are there security or proprietary issues prompting the need for confidentiality in the information about what the company is doing and why new talent is being sought?

  ?  Is it legal to directly recruit from competitors in my state or in my competitors’ states?

  ?  Are there non-compete issues my company has with other companies?

  ?  Do I know the laws on discrimination in hiring?

These are just some of the questions that need to be considered before you begin a search for new talent.  Once you get to this level of discovery you then need to calculate the direct and indirect cost of having the position go unfilled and determine how long you can sustain the vacancy.  This factor of URGENCY may play heavily on your hiring decision making status, especially when in a competitive talent acquisition status.


If a key individual resigned today, you could expect to spend at least 17 weeks to fill the positions. 

  • 1 week to ensure the job description, challenges, and requirements are consistent with your views for the position, even if this is a replacement position.  Be prepared to give this more time if this is a newly created position.
  • 1 week to review and evaluate internal candidates.
  • 2 weeks to have the job posting reach the marketplace you target and get the exposure you will need to get a mix of qualified candidates.
  • 2-3 weeks to screen and analyze the hundreds of resume that will be sent from automatic web sites and those from individual job seekers.
  • 2 weeks to conduct preliminary telephone screening calls of the top 7 candidates screened from the resumes received.
  • 2 weeks to set arrangements and conclude the 1st in-person interview for the top 3 candidates.
  • 1-2 weeks between 1st in-person interview and decision to conduct the 2nd in-person interview.
  • 1 week to conduct preliminary references.
  • 2 weeks between 2nd interview and decision to hire.
  • 1 week between decision and offer.
  • 1 week between offer and acceptance.
  • 2-3 weeks notice needed by selected candidate after an offer is made and accepted.

And after you have done all this: just before the agreed upon state date, candidate decides to accept counter offer.  Now you start the process over at the appropriate step adding several more weeks to successful conclusion.


Besides your time, you can expect to spend $7,000 to $10,000 on average, in direct cost alone to fill this vacancy – those expenses being: 

  1. Advertisement in journals, websites, and other outlets.
  2. Direct cost of personnel department to do screening.
  3. Interviewing expenses.
  4. Your own salary / time in the process.
  5. Your boss’ salary / time in the process.
  6. Salary of your department employees involved in the candidate review process.

In addition to the above direct costs calculation, what about the loss of productivity or potential new business because while you are working at filling the position your individual time and the time of your staff will be directed away from specific priorities/projects. This time could represent a loss of business opportunities.


  • Can the projects now on my work agenda withstand the time away that filling this position will demand?
  • Have I calculated the impact of the time lost by myself and my department that these displaced priorities represent?
  • Have I evaluated the bottom line value of these displace priorities/projects?

The next consideration should be the method you use to find the best candidates for the position.  

  • Do you and others in your organization know the difference between finding candidates and acquiring talent?
  • Do you know what resources best suits the urgency, money, and energy you have available to fill this vacancy?
  • Is there a website that focuses on the specific quality, background, and size of the audience you want to attract?
  • Does your HR staff understand where to look and how to qualify candidates you want?
  • Does your HR staff know how to reach passive candidates who aren’t actively looking to change jobs?
  • Do you really believe that you can screen candidates simply with key word searches?
  • Are there methods that can increase your efficiency and success in acquiring the talent you want?
  • If you want talent from competitive or like companies do you need to ensure the confidentiality of what you are tying to do? 
  • Are you aware of the advantages and shortcomings of personal and industry contacts in networking for the talent you want?   
    • These contacts while often quick to response with pre-qualified potential candidates can be self-limiting in exposure, create potential conflicts of interest, and exclude the advantage of meeting and considering new talent. 
  • Will your company’s HR department give you the strength of defeating counter- offers, negotiating best salaries, and reaching the hidden agenda of candidates? 
  • Have you consider the time and cost savings possible with an industry focused recruiter who is a professional specialist, sensitive and discreet, committed to ensuring your success?  
    • Finance departments concerned with the bottom line will see this option as a one-time tax deductable fixed expense, and if you consider that recruiters achieve success faster and more successfully than any other method you will be able to achieve the talent acquisition results you want in a more efficient and cost effective way.
    • Your company may prohibit you using a cost-saving professional recruiter for your key talent requirements.  If that is the case, be prepared for lots of individual time and frustration to get the results you want.

Working with an industry focused professional recruiter can actually minimize the time to hire, improve your success, open new avenue to consider, and save money. 

When your cost benefit analysis shows that using an industry focused professional recruiter makes sense and you are ready to engage —  BEWARE –

Avoid recruiters who are unprincipled opportunists, who indiscriminately send resumes, who irrationally lobby for their candidates, who are self-serving, who divulge confidential information about your company, and who have a “hit-and-run” philosophy.

If you want to locate the professional industry specialist who will best meet your needs and have your professional interest at heart, contact Wireless Careers.  


 This article is one in a series aimed at improving management efficiency in selecting and acquiring achievers and was written by Jack Bourque, President of Wireless Careers.

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