Marty Nemko

Host, Work with Marty Nemko

Marty Nemko was called "job coach extraordinaire" by U.S. News and "The Bay Area's best career coach" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2014-15, he has written 20 essays in's Ideas section, and writes daily for Previously, his career column appeared for six years in the San Francisco Chronicle and then wrote The Big Idea continuing series on and the Working it Out column on In his 26th year as a career and education coach, Marty Nemko has served 4,600 clients and enjoys a 96% client-satisfaction rate. He co-teaches a Foundations of Patient Care course at the UCSF School of Medicine.

Marty Nemko holds a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and subsequently taught its graduate school. He is the author of seven books including Cool Careers for Dummies, How to Do Life: What they didn't teach you in school and What's the Big Idea? 39 Disruptive Ideas for a Better America.  Those and his 2,800+ (!) articles on career and other issues inform his radio program. Those articles are archived free on

Marty Nemko has been a repeat guest on many major programs including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, NPR's Talk of the Nation and The Today Show. Toastmasters names one non-member its Northern California Speaker of the Year. Marty Nemko was a winner, in part because of his KALW program.

When I ask listeners what they like about Work with Marty Nemko, the most frequent answer is something like, "I like to hear you and your wife Barbara go back and forth on issues."

That's what we''ll be doing from 11 am to noon on July 1. We'll have some career-related topic to bat around and we'll debate how to respond to callers' worklife questions.

Work with Marty Nemko is heard every Sunday from 11 am to noon on 91.7 FM, KALW, San Francisco.

It's the Holy Grail of careers: A good and ethically unchallenged career requiring only a bachelor's degree--and in which job openings are plentiful.

One of the few careers meet those criteria: medical technologist, more often referred to as lab tech.

On Work with Marty Nemko on June 24 at 11 a.m, my guest was Hanna Poczter who has hired and supervised many lab techs for the North Shore Health Care System.  We'll talk about how best to prepare, the various niches, the careers' upsides and downsides, and other insider advice.

It seems that an ever larger percentage of job openings is for a marketer.

Everything from peas to non-profits to people need to be branded and then marketed every which way from face-to-face to Facebook.

Hype over substance, sizzle over steak.

I guess that's why I've been averse to doing a show on marketing careers. But alas, with all those marketing jobs out there, I feel it will serve my listeners to succumb.


Terry Bradford, who was Celine Dion's duet partner for five years, has impressed me not just with his incredible singing and performing ability, and not just with his huge heart. It's easy to mistake someone with a big heart as being naive about the practicalities of how to make a living as a performer. That would, indeed, be a mistake. Terry is one savvy guy.

And Terry Bradford will be my guest on Work with Marty Nemko, Sunday June 10 from 11 am until around 11:30.  He'll share secrets of the trade and yes, you'll get to hear his truly compelling singing. 

Every Sunday from 11 am to noon, I try to help you solve your career conundrum, no matter how serious. Usually, I only devote part of the show to those Three-Minute Workovers. But on Sunday, June 3, I'll do Workovers for the entire hour, interspersed with my favorite new career tips.



On Work with Marty Nemko on May 27 at 11 am, my guest:  Josh Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies.

At around 11:30, I'll invite listeners to call in for me to do a three-minute Workover on them.

Work with Marty Nemko is heard every Sunday from 11 am to noon on 91.7 FM, KALW San Francisco.

On Work with Marty Nemko on Sunday May 20 from 11 am to noon, Drs. Marty and Barbara Nemko debate these questions:

How do you assess whether you're competent enough at your job?

How do you assess when it's time to ask for a raise or promotion?

How do you decide whether to pursue a creative career or a less risky option?

How do you assess if you have a personality problem that's damaging your career?

How do you know when to quit your job?

How do you decide whether to go back to school?

I discussed new, no-and-low-cost ways to improve workplace morale plus I did three-minute Workovers on caller

Work with Marty Nemko

Apr 22, 2012

Barbara Nemko and I read scenes from famous plays that addressed work issues: Death of a Salesman, Prisoner of Second Avenue, Pygmalion. That led to a discussion of the nearly unprecedented plight of today's job seekers. An Associated Press analysis reported on April 22, 2012 found that HALF of new college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. Here's the link: I also did three-minute Workovers on callers.

In today''s (Apr. 15, 2012) show, I shared some career (and life) lessons I learned from my dad and callers shared theirs. I think it was a particularly warm and instructive show.

I received more positive emails in response to my career counseling client Jeffrie Givens' appearance on Work with Marty Nemko on Mar 11 than to any show in my 23 years hosting the show. So, I've asked her back. She'll be the guest on Sunday May 13 at 11:00 AM.

This time, she'll tell how, as a U.C. Berkeley graduate, she coped with having to be a data-entry clerk...and what she's done to rise up. She'll also, again, demonstrate her amazing singing voice, doing songs from her one-woman show, Big, Black, and Shy. I'll accompany on the piano. 

Smart Franchising

Apr 2, 2012

Might you like to be self-employed but are scared to start a business from scratch? A franchise can be tempting. Alas, too often, franchises fail.

Conversely, if you run a successful business, it can be tempting to franchise it. Perhaps you see images of money rolling in while others are running clones of your business.  Alas, there are governmental, legal, and other roadblocks galore.

This Sunday, on Work with Marty Nemko, I'll devote the entire show to helping you with your career. In between offering my favorite new tips, I'll invite you to call in for what I alternately call a WorkOver or Three-Minute Career Makeover.

With molecular biology and aerospace engineering degrees from MIT and an M.D.from Harvard, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Diamandis, founded the X-Prize Foundation to award up-to $10-million prizes to scientists that could make serious inroads into the world's greatest problems: poverty, energy, disease, etc. 

Not surprisingly, he has received all sorts of proposals. He has synthesized what he learned plus his current thinking and predictios in the just-published Simon & Schuster book, Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think.

Brian Jones' goal was never to run his own business. He always wanted an 8 to 5 job with benefits, and to retire as early as possible. That's not quite how it worked out. And no, it's not the typical rags to riches story.

He'll tell his story on Sunday, March 25, plus you can call in for a three-minute career makeover, on Work with Marty Nemko, Sundays from 11 am to noon on 91.7 FM, KALW San Francisco.

I've had 3,900 career coaching clients. The experience I had with Jeffrie Givens is my most memorable.  She'll be on the show this Sunday, Mar. 11.

Plus, as usual, I'll do Three-Minute Workovers on callers. So if you or someone you care about has a work-related problem, feel free to call into the show.

That's on Work with Marty Nemko, Sundays from 11 a m to noon on KALW, 91.7 FM San Francisco.

On March 4 at 11 am, I'll talk with Margaret Wehrenberg, author of The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques Workbook on anxiety in today's anxious workplace. 

That plus call-in three-minute Workovers, on Work with Marty Nemko, Sundays from 11 am to noon, on KALW, 91.7 FM.

Whether it''s your supervisees, coworkers, a friend, your kid, grandkid, romantic partner, or a sports team, we all coach. Alas, too often, we fail to help the other person as much as we'd like.

Many people think of voiceover as an easy, cool career. But how realistic is it that one can make a living at it--or even enough to pay back the cost of the training and demo?

On Sunday, Feb. 19, I'll ask such questions of Elaine Clark, author of the just-published third edition of There's Money Where Your Mouth Is: A Complete Insider's Guide to Earning Income and Building a Career in Voice-Overs.

That's on Work with Marty Nemko, Sundays from 11 am to noon, here on KALW, 91.7 FM.

 Can you work effectively while drunk or high? Think you might have a substance abuse problem? What if you think your supervisee or coworker does? When can and can't employers require?  My guest Paula Wilbourne, who runs a national substance abuse program for the Veterans Administration and I will discuss those questions. And as usual, you can call-in for a three-minute Workover--I'll try to help you solve your career or self-employment problem. On Work with Marty Nemko, Sundays from 11 am to noon on KALW,91.7 FM, San Francisco.

Ever wonder whether your boss is being honest with you? Your supervisee? Wondering what someone is really feeling?

My guest this Sunday on Work with Marty Nemko is Joe Navarro, author of What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People.

Plus, as usual, you can call in for a three-minute Workover. Whatever career problem ails you or someone you love, I can usually offer at least a baby step forward, sometimes even a giant step.

This Sunday's Work with Marty Nemko is devoted exclusively to you. If you or someone you love has a work problem or a lack-of-work problem, call in or listen to Marty doing three-minute Workovers on callers. Interspersed, he'll share his favorite new career and workplace ideas. Most listeners say they're not looking for a job but just enjoy listening. Those listeners too are, of course, most welcome.  That's Work with Marty Nemko, this Sunday, Jan 29 from 11 am to noon, here on 91.7 FM, KALW.