It is All in Your Attitude!

confidenceHave you ever heard the phrase “it is easier to get a job when you have one?” If I remember correctly the principle applied to the dating world, too (but that’s another story). Have you wondered why? Attitude. It comes through everything that you do. When you are accomplished and comfortable within your world other things open up to you more easily. Positive attracts positive. When you are stressed about finding employment, it can come across too.

Two tips I give at my workshops: when you have a phone interview do it in front of a mirror to make sure you are smiling and positive because it comes across the phone. Second: whatever your thoughts or mood when writing your resume or cover letter they will come across. If you do not feel confident, it will show.

It does not matter what my mood is before I speak in front of a group, whether it be anxious or lethargic, you will not see it when I speak. I get in the frame of mind that I am a damn good speaker, present with an abundance of energy and I will help or inspire someone in that room! Period. With that mindset I can go out and do what I do best. You won’t hear me whine that I do not feel good or that I am nervous, I save that for my wonderful fiancé at home. Poor guy!

When you are speaking to someone about a position whether that be in an interview, networking or casual conversation you need to be in that positive frame of mind. You are the best candidate, you are interviewing them for the job, they want you – there is not a challenge that you cannot answer! If you do not really believe that you can accomplish a task then guess what, it is going to come across. I love to study body language and intonation, they are so telling. Think back to when your kids were young and you knew when they weren’t quite telling you everything. You could tell even though they swore up and down they gave you the whole story. Others can pick this up on you, too.

Fake it until you feel it. Practice it in front of the mirror, with friends, with your dog – I do not care who your audience is, just practice, practice, practice that confidence! Soon it becomes second nature. You can’t sell it until you feel it, and let’s face it, you are selling your skills, your talents or abilities right now.

I love the quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” So simple but so true.

Lisa K McDonald

They Are Watching You….

at grocery storeMidterms came out not too long ago. A few days ago the Head Varsity Baseball Coach emailed me about my son’s grades. (This coach is great, he really keeps tabs on his boys and helps ensure that they are a positive reflection of the team, the school and the community.) When I told Jake about this he asked why the coach was watching his grades off season – we are in the thick of football right now. I told him Coach is watching him all the time because he is one of his players. No matter what he is doing – Coach is always watching him.

This eerie concept applies to you when you are in the job market. You never know who you will run into or who has seen you so be prepared. Now, I will be the first to tell you if I am working in the yard or around the house and I need to run to the hardware store – I am not changing out of my grubby work cloths. But if you have seen my house or my yard you know that does not happen a lot. Give me a break, two teenage boys both involved in football and baseball, two dogs and two businesses run out of this house – are you kidding me???

However, more often than not, I take precaution to be prepared just in case I happen to run into a community partner, client or prospect. That does not mean that I wear the business suit to the grocery store, but I do dress in more of a business casual. Clean, fresh, no holes, wrinkles or tears, and fit comfortably but well. Men, that means either khakis or jeans and a golf shirt (or khaki shorts). Ladies, that means summer skirt or nice pair of shorts/pants and age appropriate top. I do stress age appropriate because I do not want to talk to a client in my “work around the house” t-shirt that has the bunny on it and the slogan “Its All About Me – Get Over It”. That is fine around the house, but not to a client! (and by the way, Jake got me that shirt!)

Perfect example – at the Northside BPE meeting Monday a gentleman talked about going to met someone at Paradise and his initial thought was to wear a pair of jeans and t-shirt. After more thought he realized that this is a place that a lot of business people frequent so instead he changed into a pair of khakis and golf shirt. Good decision, as he reconnected with a government official while in line and met two other contacts while waiting on his party. He said he was so relieved to have changed as he would have not felt comfortable having those conversations in his first choice of clothing. You just never know…. That guy behind you in the check out line may be your next employer or great contact to your next position!

Lisa K McDonald