What Snow In Vegas Has To Do With Your Job Search

I’d never been to Vegas, only flown over the Grand Canyon and never seen Red Rock. So to say I was excited to see these on our anniversary trip would have been an understatement. Not only would I get to see some of the most beautiful nature this country has to offer but it would be warm.

I’m over the cold, I’m over the snow, the ice. The frigid temperatures. Dressing in layers. I’m over the whole winter thing. I can’t stand cold. Going to Nevada in February, where it was supposed to be warm, sunny and no winter in sight.

That was the plan at least. But then there was snow. In Vegas. For the first time in over a decade. Seriously? Who would think they need hats, boots, coats and layers in Vegas??

We did.

The really crappy weather could have ruined our trip. We heard plenty of people complaining about it. Instead, it was one of the best trips we’d ever had.

Because we used our superpower.

The things that most people complained about were actually the benefits. That was the superpower in action: seeing the negative as a positive.

Because of the snow, cold, and rain most people stayed away. We nearly had all the landmarks to ourselves. At the Skybridge at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, the guide told us they normally get over 4,000 people a day. But with the weather that week, they hadn’t even come close to cracking 1,000.

Red Rock
Enjoying the beauty and solitude of Red Rock Canyon
  • Joining us at Red Rock were a handful of serious hikers. Other than that, we were able to be fully immersed in the Canyon and its beauty.
  • Hoover Dam was relaxing going at our own pace without being herded in a crowd.
  • The strip – nearly a ghost town! We had the over-the-street crosswalks and escalators to ourselves. We found a table immediately at the Eataly. Front row for the Bellagio fountains show with no one sharing our space. Anything you wanted to play in any location was completely open.

It was wonderful. We checked things off our bucket list. Chief got to enjoy a 2+ hour tour and see the first Shelby ever built and I got to be fully immersed, nearly in complete solitude, in magnificent, inspiring nature.

Everyone has this superpower, sadly we often chose to ignore it. It is easier to complain about a sky full of clouds instead of seeing a single daffodil blooming at your feet. How you perceive the world has a lot to do with what happens in your world.

So how does this help your job search? By redefining how you look at events. Are you letting things happen to you or letting things that happen guide you?

Here is a superpower fine tune that I learned years ago and I still practice today: I get thankful and excited about rejection.

That’s right, I celebrate the no.

Is this crazy, yeah, probably. But it has made such a difference on so many levels that I don’t care about crazy, I go for the feel good.

Here’s how it works. I’m on the phone with a potential client and we decide for whatever reason that it’s not a good fit to work together. After the call, I say out loud “Thank you! Now there is room for my yes .” I consider any type of no as one step closer to something I want to say yes to.

Here’s a superpower view for job search rejection:

  • That job you were rejected for – good thing, they were offering 30% below market salary.
  • The one that never called back – thank goodness, it was a toxic culture that causes a high turnover.
  • The one that you interviewed for several times then nothing – dodged a bullet there my friend. They are on the brink of disaster and going to pin the downfall on the new guy.

All those rejections keep you open to the right thing. It’s coming, it’s out there. Keep doing the smart strategies: networking, customizing resumes to positions, offering value, keeping your ears open, updating your LinkedIn…

Maybe those rejections get you so frustrated that you reach out for help. Maybe it is someone like me or maybe it is a group that meets regularly and offers a full range of support. (If you are in Indianapolis, I highly, highly recommend Passport to Employment as this supportive group).

Without that rejection, you would not have been ‘pushed’ into getting the help that you needed to get the job you wanted.

Seeing a positive or potential opportunity honestly takes a little bit of work. It is a muscle you have to develop and regularly continue to work to make stronger. Start small.

  • Hit every red light? Whew, you probably missed a major back up or that delay got you there just in time for a premium parking space!
  • Can’t take advantage of a great parking space because someone’s hogging two spaces? Won’t he be sorry when, because of his parking style, his car gets swiped and paint chipped – but not yours!

Start using your superpower today even in the smallest of ways and see how the landscape changes for you.

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As a triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach, and Social Media Brand Analyst I help amazing people break out of a suffocating corporate existence and into a position and place that renews their brilliance.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out how I get people unstuck in their careers.

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What Makes You So Darn Special?

Hi, I’m Lisa, I’m a learning junkie.

I look at learning as a continual investment in myself. I am in a perpetual state of evolution. Constant learning by reading, taking classes, experimenting and being blessed with influencers.

I have an amazing tribe of mentors and coaches – shout out to Lorraine, Jennifer, Amy, Deb and Michelle. These personal influencers enrich my life. They elevate me as a person and as a contributor of value to others. They keep me grounded, encourage me, gently point out stupid things I do and get my sarcasm.

There is one constant that every single one of them has told me, on more than one occasion: I am harder on myself than anyone else. Duh.

The aforementioned stupid things I do, if they point it out, they do so in a supportive, kind way. When I think about it, I tell myself something like “well, you’re a blooming idiot.” Here is a great example of this:

During a discussion, I made the comment that I should have known how to do something, which I had never done before. To which she replied, “Why?” I thought because it was similar to something else. She said it was unfair to myself to expect to know something I have never done.

In replaying that conversation, my comment to myself was, “What makes you so darn special? Like you should know all the answers without ever doing it before?”

We all need to stop thinking we are so darn special that our expectations for ourselves exceed anything we would expect of others. Especially when it is setting us up for failure.

My son was having a struggle with something the other day. This would be something his dad could relate to better than I, but his dad passed last year. I tried the supportive, kind way – he wasn’t getting it.

Then I asked him if his dad was in the same situation, what would he tell his dad? His response was a healthier option and completely different than what he was doing. My next comment was, “If you would give that advice to your dad, why wouldn’t you take it yourself?” Light bulb.

Chief and I had a conversation about working out. He had completed a goal and was disappointed that he had not subsequently gone far enough beyond it. He had extremely high goals set for each next step. When I asked him what goals he would recommend for me if I did the same thing, there was a huge discrepancy. The goal was significantly lower and prefaced with “any improvement is great”.

My question to him was, “why is a small improvement great for me, but a failure for you?” Light bulb.

I am all about setting high goals, I’ve got three on my plate right now. What I am not all about is beating yourself up when you feel like you are failing, when in reality you are not.

Here’s how to do a healthy pivot if you’re getting burned out or feeling a bit of failure creeping in on a big goal:

1. Know your why. Reconnect with the reason you have this goal in the first place. Your why is the primary driver of any goal.

2. Give someone else advice. If you can, ask yourself what would you advise someone else to do if they had the same goal. If you cannot divorce yourself from this situation, ask a friend to role play this with you.

3. Break it down. Big goals are not achieved in one fell swoop. Take a look at it and break it down to its most simple components. Can you break down actions into monthly steps? Great, now break them down into weekly actions, then daily. One step at a time. No step is too small as long as it is a step forward.

4. Learn from going backwards. Yes, I just said any step forward is progress, but the reality is that you might go backwards a time or two. Fantastic. Hidden within that is an amazing opportunity to learn something. It might be about the goal, the process, the action or yourself. Write that stuff down!

5. Write it out. This is the best motivator I know. Track your goals, actions and – this is big – your accomplishments. This will help you keep track of how far you have come and that you are, indeed, moving forward.

6. Celebrate it all. Don’t wait until the realization of the big goal to celebrate. Recognize and praise yourself for the ‘little’ victories as well. If you don’t feel like you moved any closer to your goal this week, take a look. You completed every one of the daily activities you set out to do – hooray! Ice-cream with sprinkles for you!

7. Relax. Make sure you bring balance to your life. Goals are awesome, but they are not the end point. Often, they are not the most rewarding, it is the journey that gives us the most delight and satisfaction. Take a break. Recharge your batteries by engaging with people, nature, art, food, exercise, or meditation. Keep yourself at peak performance by taking care of you as a whole.

You know what, you are special. We all are. But you are not so darn special that you should hold yourself to insane standards that you would not encourage for anyone else. Remember that Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. To keep our own expectations from get out of hand let’s add: Do not do unto yourself as you would not do unto others.

Start today. What is one thing that you can celebrate today? I didn’t ask what big thing can you celebrate, I asked what is one thing you can celebrate. I haven’t tackled any of my big goals today. But off the top of my head I can think of three things so far today that I can celebrate. I did my three miles on the treadmill this morning. Dinner is already prepared so it will be a hassle-free night tonight. I had an amazing coaching session and one action suggestion I offered was of great value to my client.

Now it’s your turn.

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As a triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach and Social Media Brand Analyst I help leaders break out of a suffocating corporate existence and into a position and place that renews their brilliance. I get people unstuck in their careers.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about we can work together to get you unstuck

Be Like Ray – Know & Appreciate Your Legacy

 

What do you think of when you hear “The Wizard of Oz”?

“I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!”

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”

Or do you start singing “If I only had a brain….”

I loved the Scarecrow. The whole time he longed for a brain, but he was the one throughout their journey that pretty much had all the ideas!

Ray Bolger, the wonderful actor who portrayed the Scarecrow was once asked if he was upset that he did not receive royalties for the movie. His response was wonderful:

I have something better, immortality

That is his legacy, and what a legacy it is.

Now is the time of year that many take stock of the ending year, then look to the next with enthusiasm and perhaps a new sense of purpose. If you are one to make resolutions, might I suggest that they be based on this one question: what is your legacy? Or better yet – what do you want your legacy to be?

A summary of a dictionary definition of legacy is a gift or something left behind to others. What are you giving to others, what are you leaving them with, what gifts are you giving them?

As a contributor – what gifts are you giving your teammates and your clients?

As a leader – what gifts are you giving your team and your organization?

As an individual – what gifts are giving to your family and friends?

Your legacy is not limited to one aspect of your life. It spans across all those that you come into contact with and beyond. The most important starting point is this question:

What are you giving yourself.

If you do not take care of yourself, treat yourself as valuable, how can you add value to anyone else?

Start refocusing on you by practicing these attributes:

  • Know thyself – be honest about your strengths, set goals and believe in a vision.
  • Encourage and uplift – Set stretch goals and provide encouragement and a roadmap for achieving them.
  • Communicate clearly – let there be no ambiguity in what you expect and what you will do. Stay focused.
  • Set boundaries – be clear on what is acceptable and what is not and but your bite behind your bark.
  • Appreciate fully – genuinely give thanks when thanks are due. Celebrate victories no matter how small and use them to inspire.
  • Be human – ask for help when needed, don’t get tripped up on mistakes – use them to learn. Empathize. Take a step back to look at the whole picture. Remember you are not superhuman – great things are achieved with collaboration.
  • Believe – in yourself, in the greater good, in your vision, in others, in the possibilities.

Practice these with yourself and you can then transition them to others. In doing so, you will leave a truly great legacy.

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A little about me: I do what I love: help leaders break out of a suffocating corporate existence and into a position and place that renews their brilliance.

As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

Click here – CareerPolish – to find out more about how we can help you.

★ To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right ★

Yes, Virginia, the holidays are a good time to expand your career opportunities

 

Whoever said it is a bad idea to job search during the holidays is a Grinch. Holidays, although having their own challenges, are a fantastic time to put a little kick in building your network and boost your career search.

The downsides are that during this time it might be difficult to get all decision makers together at one time. This only means that things could be delayed. No worries. You can keep in contact, send a little holiday cheer and reach right back out after everyone has returned to the office.

Budget considerations seem to be the excuse the Grinches use to not job search. Bah Humbug! If it is a budget issue that they can’t hire by the end of the year, it only means a bit of a delay into the new year. As my son would say, “it’s not that heavy.” It gives you time to build relationships and prepare for the upcoming submission or interview.

The other side of the coin of budget considerations is there are some jobs that are “use it or lose it”. Meaning if they do not fill them by the end of the year, that position will be written off. In that situation, recruiters work doubly hard to fill those positions in the last few weeks before the new year. They have to, too many people are not active because they listened to a Grinch.

Reach out, connect and keep your ears open for these opportunities.

The holidays also provide ample reasons to get out there and network! Maybe you aren’t invited to your dream company’s holiday party, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hobnob with your future coworkers. Charitable organizations give plenty of opportunities for a twofer: to expand your network and support a worthy cause.

You may not have to work very hard to find these opportunities, sometimes they come to you. Case in point: I was called for a donation/tickets to a fun, youth-focused benefit concert – thank you Memphis Firefighters!

Many friends and family have holiday get-togethers. This is a wonderful opportunity to drop little nuggets. Often attendees will reminisce over the past year or look forward. This is a great time to casually mention your career goals or job search. You can have fun with this: “All I want for Christmas is an introduction to Chris Kringle at Holiday Central Company.” Or if you aren’t in the mood for a little corny, maybe say that you have had a great year and next year you are excited to hit one of your goals – to move up into that Reindeer Logistics position.

Be of good cheer and get out there! When attending events be your best elf. Go with the intention of not only meeting specific or new people but with the purpose of providing value to them. It is a golden rule of networking, but worth repeating.

Don’t forget that any interaction is a networking opportunity. Out shopping for someone on your list or for yourself? Oh come on, I can’t be the only one that sees a major deal score on something I already wanted so I just happen to pick it up while I’m out…. While out in the holiday eating and shopping frenzy, talk to your fellow elves. You never know where these conversations can lead. I’m always happily distracted by conversations with strangers during crazy holiday mayhem.

The holidays lend themselves for more interaction. Except on Black Fridays, most people seem to be filled with more cheer. When you see all the opportunities around you, the holidays can be the time when you crush your networking goals.

 

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A little about me: I do what I love: help leaders break out of a suffocating corporate existence and into a position and place that renews their brilliance.
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.
★ To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right ★

How To Stop RBF From Killing Your Communication

 

“Body language is fluff.”
I was told this recently. I didn’t say a word. My responding body language to that statement said it all, and the message was heard loud and clear by this person. They immediately started backtracking and justifying their statement.
The irony of that was not lost on me. Here they were telling me that body language is not important yet changed their tune to pseudo-apologetic mode in response to my body language.
You’re right, fluff.  Not important at all. Using my not so subtle sarcastic voice
My passion about body language came from a fascination and a necessity.
The necessity came from the fact that I have a Scarlett O’Hara Resting Bitch Face (RBF). This face is when you look mean, unintentionally, when your face is expressionless. During an interview coaching exercise, I accidentally slipped into this when working with a client. She stopped midsentence, laughed a bit and told me that I scared her because I looked really mean.  Oops.
The fascination came when I realized by just changing my body language I could elicit different responses from people.  I elicited a change in the conversation by employing the RBF in the above conversation.
This phenomenon happens more for women than men, although there are some men that naturally have RBF. Think Kanye West and Jeremy Renner.  Jeremy Renner is completely aware of this, as he discusses in this funny clip from the Graham Norton Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i50-Rr6ZgHQ   He states that he is quite comfortable with his resting face because, as he says, he built a career on it.
That will not work out so well for the rest of us who aren’t playing Avengers. Research using face recognition software has stated that this look registers twice the amount of emotion as compared to a neutral face.
However, the emotion registers as contempt, which is one of the worst and most dangerous emotions for communication.  Contempt is a mix of disgust and anger, two things that can destroy any relationship.   As businesses are built on relationships, you don’t want RBF anywhere near the people with whom you interact.
What causes RBF? Many people’s mouths or eyes naturally turn down when at rest. In other words, we are born with it.
Not sure if you suffer from RBF? Do you find people ask you out of the blue:
“Are you okay?”
“Are you mad?”
“Did something happen?”
Or one of my personal favorites – “You should smile more!”
There are a few things you can do if you feel that you are slipping into RBF:
  1. Look up at the person. You might have to tilt your head a slight bit down to do so in but it will open your eyes.
  2. Slightly raise your eyebrows, this naturally opens your eyes a bit.
  3. Open your mouth, this will change the form of and can more easily lead into number four.
  4. Smile slightly. This breaks the downward lines associated with RBF.
As silly as it sounds, look in the mirror to see where you fall on the range of RBF. Then practice the above tips so they feel comfortable and natural. You will then, on command, transition from RBF to engaged face when needed.
Yes, I said as needed.  I have found RBF to come in quite handy when my son is being unruly or someone questions the importance of body language.

 

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I do what I love: help professionals break out of a suffocating job existence and into a career that renews their brilliance.

I am triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Social Brand Analyst and Career Coach specializing in Master Level Resume/LinkedIn writing, NLP and Body Language. My clients learn to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to all aspects of their career, including: LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence, and influence.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.

★ To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right ★

Don’t Let Facebook Ruin A Job Offer

Three people.
All exceptional candidates across talent, energy, ability to provide value. All considered for a position with a high-energy, creative firm. Three people who the executive team was excited about.
Not one got the job.
Three people did not receive a job offer because of their Facebook page.
I’m no Nero Wolfe or Colombo (and if you know who those two are without having to Google it, you’re my kind of person). Yet I – and many others – can do a simple search on Facebook.
One search can ruin all credibility you created.
Poof! Gone.
I am not targeting Millennials. Oh no. This faux pas is for us older generation, too. I’ve got one word for you: politics.
It is not that you post your opinion in this arena. Yay or nay about the current climate makes no difference, you do you.
It’s how you post.
If you are mean, nasty, snotty, inappropriate or just an overall horse’s arse then you are going to be a horse’s arse without a job offer. I would not want to hire anyone to be a part of my team who treats people in this way if they disagree with them.
It’s time to clean up all your social media. It matters. Last year it was reported that 70% of employers used social media to screen candidates (CareerBuilder).
Start with the obvious: delete any questionable, vulgar, or inappropriate photos or posts. Next is anything that would throw you in a different light than what you are presenting during your job search.
Not sure what those are? Think of it this way: before I went to college my dad gave me a piece of advice. When deciding what to do, “Just imagine I am standing right next to you.” Would you say that or behave that way if your parent was standing next to you?
If that doesn’t work for you, how about this: would you talk to your grandmother like that? Or how about, you get the job and that picture is going to be used for all your professional material. Business cards, website bio, team photo. Is that really the one you want the professional world to see?
Ideally, you want to clean social media house before you begin the job search. If you are already in the process please, please, please clean up your social media house tonight!
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I do what I love: help professionals break out of a suffocating job existence and into a career that renews their brilliance.
I am triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Social Brand Analyst and Career Coach. My clients learn to identify, strengthen and communicate their brand and most importantly – their value – across LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.
★ To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right ★

Presentation Breakthrough: How To Stop Boring Your Audience

bored audience

Do you hate public speaking?

Most people who do have some fear of essentially making a fool of themselves or the audience not listening. These are absolutely valid fears, and can be overcome with the right strategy.

Here are two solid tips for the often overlooked key to a great presentation: content.

Tip One: Immediately ask two important questions.

   1. What is your goal?

What is the point of your presentation? Is it to inform or influence? The bottom line is what do you want your audience to do after you have spoken to them? It is critical to know your end game. It is the foundation of your presentation.

   2. What does your audience need/want to hear?

This is not what you want to tell them. They do not need to hear everything you know about the subject. This is solely focused on your audience – what do they need?

This is the biggest culprit of losing an audience. How – by trying to put too much information into your presentation. Do not exceed your audience’s ability to absorb information.

Tip Two: Keep your points to no more than five (general rule of thumb).

Yes, really, five. If you scoff at this number, try a little test. Ask people around you to list off as many points as they can from presentations they have heard. How many points did they remember? I will be dollars to donuts that five points is the most.

How to get to those five. First, list of all the important factors your audience needs to know or hear. Write as many things as you can think of in this first list. After you have compiled this list, rank the items in order of importance.

Your top five are you’re your critical points and the structure of your presentation. Other points may be important and can be used as bonus collateral, like handouts or follow up emails.

Bonus Tip One: Say more with less.

We naturally write more words than we speak when conveying a message. (A lot has to do with not being able to use our voice or body language, but that is another story.) When compiling your presentations, focus on key words. Do not memorize whole streams of thought or sentences. If you don’t say them exactly as you practiced or memorized, you might feel like you ‘messed up’ and it will throw you off.

Know the key concepts and practice a natural flow between them. Let your words change, get comfortable with a bit of variation.

Bonus Tip Two: Practice, practice, practice – with a twist.

The best practice is videotaping yourself once you get comfortable with your content and delivery. But throw this into the mix: ask a friend or colleague, akin to your audience, to listen to your presentation.

Here is the key: after you present, don’t ask them how you did. Ask them what they got out of it or what they thought were the main points.

If their points match yours, awesome! If their list does not match yours – go back for ruthless editing. Look at the points they missed – did you say too much, is there a simpler way to convey your message? Is it really important? Were you rushing through and not allowing them to absorb all the points?

Boring presentation breakthrough starts with knowing your goals and the audience’s needs. Do the heavy lifting of strategy and your audience will hear and remember your message. And not looking like a fool? Confidence through practice and a genuine interest in your topic will prevent that.

 

 

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I do what I love: help professionals break out of a suffocating job existence and into a career that renews their brilliance.

I am triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Social Brand Analyst and Career Coach. My clients learn to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.

★ To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right ★

The Art of Win-Winning in Your Daily Negotiations

toasting

I see a lot of articles about negotiating and the majority focus on salary/benefit negotiations when you are interviewing for a new position. But what about our daily negotiations? We are constantly negotiating during our workday and at home. Anyone who has kids knows they think they are master little negotiators, don’t they?

My son is a constant negotiator. When he was young, I would sometimes encourage it to help him build skills.  More often, my response to “so Mom, instead, how about…” would be a smile and a simple “how about no – just do it.”

I don’t think we recognize how much negotiating we actually do throughout the day and therefore, we lose our power to influence the results.  If you find you are in negotiations with a person or a group of people repeatedly, there is one trick I found that helps sway the results in your favor.  We could easily interchange ‘negotiate’ with ‘influence’ because that is what we are doing.

Know their style, tells and triggers.

I’m going to bring Chief into this – just for illustration. I’ll have to remember to not tell him I published today so he won’t read this….

Chief is the boyfriend. He is awesome.  One thing about him is he is always in command and control at his job. He is a natural leader and has a significant amount of responsibility. He is a master negotiator. Every day he has to negotiate to influence, engage, and get things done.

Chief sometimes forgets that I know him oh so well.  He naturally falls into negotiating patterns.  I know his patterns and tells. There are certain words or phrases that he uses and I know what path he is going to follow.

For example, deciding on a place to eat. I really do think when living with someone the most debated, ambiguous question you ask each other repeatedly is “what do you want/where do you want to go – for dinner.”

Ugh.

I’m not a picky eater, I pretty much love food. Yet there are times that something just doesn’t sound appealing. Nine times out of ten, when Chief asks where I want to go for dinner, he already has something in mind. Why, oh why, won’t he just suggest that instead? You know, a simple, “Hey, do you want to go grab a pizza tonight?” would same so much time. But no. So, again, why?

Because he wants buy-in.  He wants me to think that either it was my decision or feel good about it that we decided together. Uh huh.

Here is the conversation:

Chief: “What do you feel like for dinner tonight?”

Me: “I’m not really in the mood for anything in particular. What about you, what do you feel like?”

Chief: “Oh, I don’t care. What do you think?” (This is my clue to offer a list of suggestions)

Me: “Well, we could do chicken out on the grill, Mexican, or pizza and salad.”

Chief: “Yeah, we could do those or, I was thinking, maybe Elvis’ Italian place

(side note, in Memphis there is an old restaurant where Elvis hung out and got his favorite pizza – BBQ Chicken – they were the first place to create that).

-now at this point, I know – Chief wants Elvis Italian. There are three ways I can proceed. If I am agreeable to Italian, I simply say:

 “Oh, that sounds good, let’s do that.

If I want to play a bit, I will offer some back and forth, knowing I’m going to agree to Italian in the end. Hey, don’t judge. I would say something like:

Yeah, I don’t know, not sure that I’m feeling Italian. And I do love your chicken on the grill…

Chief: “Aw, thanks. Yeah, chicken doesn’t sound bad. I was just thinking Italian since we haven’t had it for a while.”

Yeah, but I didn’t think you really had anything in mind. You know, tacos aren’t sounding bad either.”

I just like stringing it out a bit so either he feels like he ‘won’ or just for fun in watching him try to influence me without coming out and telling me he wants Elvis Italian.

Now, my third option is if I really don’t want Elvis’ Italian Place that night. This option is compromising. This is when knowing what his triggers are and how to weave them into the conversation to reach a compromise. One of his triggers is we are conscious of our eating. We try to keep it light through the week, watch the carbs, fats, and sugars. Then we might splurge on something on the weekend. I use this information to help negotiate or influence for a win-win:

Me: “That sounds good, we haven’t had it for a while…you know, I wonder, since it is going to be pretty heavy if we should save that for this weekend.”

Chief: “ Oh, it is heavy isn’t it? But it just sounded good

Me: “Oh, I agree, it does sound really yummy. How about we do Elvis this weekend and while we are out we can go to Bass Pro to get some fishing stuff for your tournament coming up and tonight we can do ‘light’ Italian at that little bistro where you can get a slice of pizza and I can get that awesome spinach salad. That way, we can save up our splurge for this weekend at Elvis’ Italian place.”

Ding ding ding – we have a winner.

If you are interacting with people on a consistent basis, odds are you are negotiating at some point.  Next time you find yourself in that situation rather than going on auto-pilot, really listen to your conversation. Start recognizing their style and tells while remembering their triggers.  Once you start weaving them into your negotiations, you are going to find a much more agreeable and influential way to communicate.

The other side of that is to be sure to recognize your own patterns. We all have triggers, tells and styles. Self-awareness is such a powerful thing.

 

Writing this article has made me hungry!  I think I might have to suggest Elvis’ Italian for dinner tonight, even though we have chicken marinating.  I wonder how this negotiation will go….

 

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 A little about me: I do what I love: help professionals break out of a suffocating job existence and into a career, position and place that renews their brilliance.

As the Founder and Principal of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.

★ To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right ★

 

The One Question Almost Everyone Asks & Hardly Anyone Answers

Interview - how do they know you are still interested

Building a network, expanding a business, searching for a job or just being neighborly, what is one of the first questions we are asked or ask others?

What do you do?

It seems simple enough and I bet a lot of people would say that they do answer that question. What is your normal response? I’ll bet dollars to donuts it starts with “I’m a …..”

If that is your answer, you are not answering the question. Oh no you are not.

The question is what do you DO, not what is your TITLE.

Titles are boring, snippet summaries. They do not really tell what you do – except in the case of a pediatric neurosurgeon. In that case, yes, it does sum it up nicely.

But for the rest of us not saving the lives of tiny humans, our title does not – or more accurately – should not define us.

What we do is bring value to others in a unique way. It is part of what we are as a person. A title does not reflect a person. It reflects a job.  Many people can have the same title yet be on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of value, style and ability.

Take me for example. To say I am a resume writer is partially accurate. I do write resumes. I also write LinkedIn profiles. So should I say I am a resume and LinkedIn profile writer? Nope, still just the tip of the iceberg. I also coach and train on networking, leadership, communication, interviewing, negotiation, branding….and let’s not overlook that I do not just work with those who are unemployed. I work with leaders going to the next level, those who want to improve their effectiveness where they are, athletes, coaches, trainers, motivators, entrepreneurs, heads of corporations and more. I build confidence, bring out their inner rock star, support, give a little kick in the toushy when needed, challenge, celebrate… Saying I am a resume writer does not encompass all of that.

Oh, and let’s not forget – there are many others that are resume writers, coaches etc. What makes me different? Well, my work is comprehensive not volume based. I get to know my clients. I don’t rely solely on questionnaires. I really give a damn about my clients and their success. Our work is interactive, they have skin in the game. I am tenacious in getting them to where they want to be. I love what I do and bring fun into the equation. I have real conversations, ask tough questions, support them through the process and the best feeling in the world for me is when someone reads what we have put together and they say, “Holy crap – I’m awesome!”

Replying with “I’m a resume writer” really falls short of all that now doesn’t it?

So what is it that you do? How do you do it better than anyone else? And yes, you do what you do better than anyone else. How? By the way you do the thing you do, maybe by your approach or mindset. Whatever it is that makes you awesome, own it by giving yourself permission to say so. Once you figure that out, NOW you can get down to really answering the question.

So tell me, what do you do?

 

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A little about me: I do what I love: help professionals break out of a suffocating job existence and into a career, position and place that renews their brilliance.

As the Founder and Principal of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.

★ To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right ★

 

 

Don’t Let an Assumption Kill Your Job Search or Its Progress

fender bender

 

Chief is going to get a new truck because someone is going to hit his.

Let me clarify two things here. First, Chief is the boyfriend. He is a Chief in the Navy hence the moniker.  He has waned back and forth about getting a new truck. It is time for an upgrade, he’s done a lot of research but yet he hasn’t pulled the trigger just yet.  Second, I am not willing or hoping for this accident; I just noticed a pattern and realized someone hitting his truck will be the catalyst in pushing him into that decision.

Every morning we go to the gym at an ungodly hour. On our way back, we pass a school. Sometimes, if we are running a bit late, we pass by when parents are dropping off their kids early. The road in front of the school bends to the left, which takes us back home.  Immediately before the bend is an entrance on the right into the school. Most people leaving this entrance turn left, crossing in front of us.

I noticed almost every single person leaving the school assumes we are turning into the school and therefore whip out in front of us. We have had several near misses. Even using the turn signal indicating we are turning left, they still whip out there. I can understand the assumption as this is not a well-traveled road and most people would assume the only ones on this road are parents or teachers heading to the school.

This is a dangerous assumption and at some point, I am going to look down from the truck and see the hood of a Nissan stuck in my door.

My brother helped me learn how to spell assume with the little tidbit of “never assume, it makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’”. Yes, I know he didn’t make it up himself, but he was my big brother and one of my heroes so I’m giving it to him.

This tidbit got stuck in my head forever. It has helped me beyond remembering how to spell the word, it has been a sage piece of advice.

I normally find I assume in two situations. One, when I am being lazy.  I make a quick evaluation of facts, act quickly to save time and if I was wrong, telling the other person that ‘I just assumed’ is my half-hearted apology.   The second is when I am fearful. I assume I didn’t hear back because they didn’t like me.

Some things I think are in our general nature to assume. Face it, if you see a seven-foot tall man walking down the street – doesn’t the word ‘basketball’ immediately come into your mind?  People make assumptions about me all the time based on my size and height. That’s fine. It’s pretty harmless.

But when you make assumptions during your job search, it can be like looking down at a Nissan buried in your door.

Just because you had a great interview, do not assume you are a shoe-in for the job. Follow up with a thank you maintaining professionalism and interest.  They may be assuming you are no longer interested in the position because you have not expressed a continued interest after the interview.

Just because you have not heard back from the interviewers, do not assume you did not get the job.  There may be an internal snag in the process or the decision makers have to focus on another priority at the moment. You just do not know.  Reach back out respectfully and professionally to remind them of your interest and ask if you can provide any additional information for their consideration.

Just because you landed the job, do not assume that you know everything to know about it. Every job, even if it is a lateral move, is an opportunity for growth and learning. You are the new kid; take a look at this environment with fresh eyes. Take it all in to see where you can improve yourself or the system.

Just because you are not employed, due to termination, downsizing or your choice to leave, do not assume this is a negative for the next employer. Life happens. Companies downsize and people are let go. Sometimes we recognize it was a horrible place to work. As mentioned before, every job is an opportunity. Find the positives in that last one and speak from that perspective. Do not bad-mouth anyone or any company. It comes across as bitter.

Just because you are on either end of the age scale – too young or too old, do not assume you won’t or can’t get hired. Everyone has valuable qualities to bring to an organization. Youth brings fresh perspective, a willingness to learn, adaptability, more of a mindset that anything is possible. Age bring maturity, life experience, ability to stay calm during storms having been through them before and patience. 

Just because you have only done this one thing throughout your career, do not assume you cannot change careers. The skills you developed in that one thing are probably a good match to another field. Take a step back and analyze what it takes to do the new thing. What are the underlying skills needed to complete the tasks? Communication, relationship building, working with cross-functional teams, organization, some financial aspects? Now take a look back at your old thing and see how you used these skills. That is your common denominator and the value you bring to the new field, industry, company.

 

Give yourself a break. Before you act upon that assumption, take a moment to ask yourself where is it coming from. Is it a bit of slacking or a bit of fear? If either of these are the root cause, take a deep breath and either ask the question or take a more bold action.  This can save you a lot of headache, heartache and damage to your vehicle.

 

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A little about me: I do what I love: help professionals break out of a suffocating job existence and into a career, position and place that renews their brilliance.

As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.

★ To get all my latest articles, click the “Yes Please!” button on the right ★