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We first met Sonal Rinello back in 2000 when we consulted for Avon on a new line of retail products. A member of the global strategy team, she was assigned to helping develop the new retail concept. We were quite impressed with her business intellect, organizational skills and amazing creativity. Over the years, we have seen her blossom in a variety of roles from VP Marketing at several high growth beauty companies to starting her own business.

Sonal’s new business targeting job seekers stems from her experience sourcing work as a consultant. With the evolution of job-hunting technology, Sonal has found that many job seekers have become completely reliant on the internet, forgoing or even forgetting traditional methods of connecting with people, such as communicating with contacts in person or on the phone (most jobs are still found through networking), casting a wide net for contacts, or simply sending personal, thoughtful notes. In fact, she believes that modern technology can fail the modern job seeker with perceptions of productivity; overwhelming access to information; and mis-use of time. A need exists to balance time and actions spent online with those spent offline.

What makes her invention simply revolutionary is that it focuses on getting back to basics—pen and paper, organization, and good old human contact. jobgenda is a stylishly designed, spiral notebook organizer with five sections and 160 pages. It includes helpful hints, meeting preparation checklists, resume trackers and templates for better managing to do’s, next steps, contacts, mailings and more. The format allows job seekers to easily take control, gain confidence, and reduce stress, all of which help maintain momentum.

“There’s a lot of power for people in the checklist — being able to check a box or cross off an entry to show progress helps you stay on track and feel like you’re on your game,” says Rinello. “jobgenda is a vehicle to do that, among its other benefits. This empowers them to say, ‘I can really do this.’ It takes a big goal and breaks it into something more manageable. And, it’s all in one place that I can carry with me anywhere. I can be better prepared, have my notes and jot key points in a meeting.” We agree that nothing beats the feeling of checking things off a list – what a feeling of empowerment and accomplishment. Every job seeker needs to experience some empowerment during the tough process.

Sonal is truly extraordinary for taking the time to develop a simple, easy-to-use invention that can help empower job seekers of all ages and backgrounds. Thanks to Sonal for making a difference.

You may know a new graduate who needs to jumpstart their job search. For other job seekers, summer is a great time to get prepared and organized for action in the Fall. Local retailers, Splurge Gifts, The Drawing Room, Mill Street Home, The Rye Stationer, Barrett Bookstore, Juliska Flagship and Wendy Gee, have stocked it in their shops. More products are in development for jobgenda  – including an online solution. To learn more about the product or to buy it online, visit www.jobgenda.com .