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Don’t Allow the D’s in Your Life to Defeat You

Although my primary role is that of a career coach and professional résumé writer, one day out of the week I write the Monday Rx blog post hoping to wipe away the Monday Morning Blues and offer encouragement and hope to my readers, whether or not they are clients. This week’s post missed the Monday mark and ended up as the main article for my CareerTips2Go newsletter. Here it is:

Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking is one of my all-time favourite persons. While preparing to write my usual Monday Rx blog post, I picked up the Miniature Edition of his book and it opened at the chapter “I Don’t Believe in Defeat”.  What serendipity! That’s exactly what I was going to write about. For starters, here’s a quote from the chapter:

“If you are thinking thoughts of defeat, I urge you to rid yourself of such thoughts, for as you think defeat you tend to get it. Adopt the “I don’t believe in defeat” attitude.”

We all go through rough times when we believe that everything is about to fall and fail. At such times, all the ‘D’s seem to surround us:  Defeat, Doubt, Despair, Discouragement, and Disappointment. Don’t allow them to defeat you. Analyze them for what they are, get them out of the way and move on to something more productive. Today’s post not only offers tips on how to get rid of all the ‘D’s in your life, but I have included relevant quotes to support and strengthen you.

Defeat – We are not going to win at everything we set out do, no matter how hard we try. We are going to meet setbacks. However, “being defeated is often a temporary condition.  Giving up is what makes it permanent”, said  Marlene vos Savant

Doubt – Are you beginning to doubt yourself and your abilities? Look deep within and you will realize you have all that it takes to succeed. Don’t allow the negative committee in your head, or anyone else for that matter, to tell you anything different! Feed your faith until your doubts starve to death.” Anonymous

Despair – If you are feeling anxious about something, I suggest you take a walk in the woods to refresh your mind and recharge your energy, watch a movie or listen to some music – anything that will get you in a state of relaxation. As Dolly Parton said, If you’re feeling low, don’t despair. The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning.”

Discouragement – Have you given it all you have got and you haven’t seen the results? Are you at the point where you are ready to give up? Hang in there. “Never be discouraged. Never hold back. Give it everything you’ve got. And when you fall, fall forward.” Dr. Denzil Washington

Disappointment – Are you disappointed over something or someone? Somebody didn’t come through for you, or the news you received was not what you were expecting? Be encouraged. What might be a disappointment today may be a blessing in disguise tomorrow. Eliza Tabor said, Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.”

If those ‘D’s do get in your way, don’t allow them to defeat you. Defeat them instead!  I hope you found this message uplifting. You are always welcome to add your comments.

 

Need a résumé, interview coaching or career advice? Contact me at info[at]thewrightcareer.com or 647-930-4763.  You can also visit www.thewrightcareer.com.

 

Case Study: Interview Coaching Nets Client $20,000 Pay Increase

The above title reads like a headline from your local newspaper, but this is a classic story of what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Rick is an IT Project Manager, and has been my client for the past three years. He reconnected with me recently for interview coaching as he was pursuing an opportunity through a recruiter. He met with the recruiter and got a clear idea of the challenges his target company was facing. Using that information he developed a strategic plan, prepared a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the challenges and offering solutions, and sent it to the recruiter for review. The recruiter was so impressed with his approach that he asked all shortlisted candidates to prepare a presentation.

By the time Rick came to me for coaching, he had updated the presentation to include matrices and charts, and was confident he knew what the company needed and the value he could offer them. I reviewed the presentation with him, then we focussed on interview questions he would most likely be asked. To cover all bases, we reviewed other questions that could come up based on the problems he identified and the environment in which he was going to work. He left feeling very confident.

At the interview, all eyes were focused on him and the presentation. When the interview ended he was told that he would hear from them by Friday. In less than two hours, and before he got back to his office, they called to offer him the position. Not only did he get the job, but it came with a $20,000 pay increase and an excellent benefit package.

Here are some things that Rick did right:

  • He took his job search very seriously instead of leaving it up to luck.
  • He did not wait until a day or two before his interview to seek coaching. Too many people go to the interview ill-prepared and with high expectation that something miraculous will happen.
  • He researched  the company, found out what problems they faced and offered strategies for solution.
  • He separated himself from his competitors by going the extra mile. He capitalized on his strength and, in so doing, raised the bar by which the other candidates were measured.
  • His expertise and enthusiasm shone during the coaching session and because of that we were confident he would do well at the interview.

Rick’s case is not unusual. More and more hiring managers are asking candidates, particularly those at the managerial and executive levels, to prepare to deliver a 10-15 minute presentation. Rick was not asked to do one, but it gave him an edge, and to a large extent, allowed him to set the agenda and control the interview.

I have coached many individuals to do what Rick did.  In one case, it was a corporate lawyer who wanted to apply for an internal position as Corporate Responsibility Officer. A presentation was not a requirement but I suggested she prepared one anyway, as she was competing with three other internal candidates. From her assessment, they appeared to have had the edge, including one who was with the company for 22 years and was acting in the position. The research that she did and the strategy we developed helped her to ace the interview and get the job!

As competition increases, job seekers are being pushed to find creative ways to stand out from the crowd. Not everyone will have the successes mentioned above; not everyone will be vying for positions at those levels, but if you are serious about moving your career forward, it requires an investment of your time.

Some people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their job search, and from my experience, it’s easy to spot these individuals. They call in a panic the day before the interview to ask “Do you guys do interview coaching, and can you see me this weekend?” or they leave a message wanting to know the fee for a ‘general’ or ‘generic’ resume so they can apply for a job that has a deadline the next day. This quick fix, microwave approach won’t work, and that’s the reason some people’s job search go wrong. Don’t let this happen to you.

Proactive Workers Know How to Stand Out from the Pack

“It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared”. ~Whitney Young

According to a recent survey commissioned by Robert Half International,standingout 82% of workers polled said they would be ready to conduct a job search if they lost their jobs tomorrow, but only 20% had updated their resumes in the last 3 months.  What differentiates the 20% from the rest? They are proactive. You won’t find them passively waiting for their pinkslips. They are constantly preparing for new employment opportunities (in or outside their companies) just in case the layoff axe falls on them. Here’s how you, too, can become part of that 20% of proactive workers and set yourself apart:

P Be prepared. Have a carefully laid-out plan ready for the next opportunity. That means your resume is up-to-date, voicemail is professional, and interview skills are sharp.
R Research companies and target only those employers for whom you would want to work. Do not send unsolicited generic resumes to every company in the telephone directory.
O Remind yourself that your objective is to convey to the employer how you can solve their problems, not to ask for “a challenging position that offers opportunity for growth”.
A Be active and visible. Attend networking meetings, volunteer on committees, participate in discussions on social media forums like Twitter, LinkedIn and others, and get noticed.
C Commit to ongoing professional development if you want to set yourself apart. It’s one of the best investments you could give yourself.
T Take time to develop and nurture relationships and build your network of contacts. It is a fact that people do business with, and recommend, people they know and trust.
I Become good at generating ideas, and learn how to influence key decision makers so they will accept and implement your ideas.
V Have a vision of what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. Don’t get sucked in to people who don’t share your vision and want to divert your attention from your goal.
E Exude confidence, not arrogance. Confidently communicate to the employer why you are uniquely qualified for the position and why you should be the one they hire.

These steps actually spell the word P-R-O-A-C-T-I-V-E, and if you follow them, you will always be ready to pounce on an opportunity, and lessen the impact of a sudden job loss.

We welcome your comments on this or any other topic covered.

Lydia Fernandes’ Interview on Book – No Canadian Experience, eh?

Job searching and managing one’s career is a daunting task for almost anyone, particularly in the current economy.However, new immigrants face an additional set of barriers commonly referred to as “no Canadian experience”. Recently, I had a chance to interview Daisy Wright, award-winning career coach, resume writer, interview coach and author of “No Canadian Experience, Eh?” I have read this book myself and it is a great resource. In our interview, Daisy shared some of her insights on this prevailing issue as well as her motivation for writing a book on this topic.

Read more…

Lydia Fernandes, founder of MotivMode, is the Career & Education Coordinator for the Goan Overseas Association. She can be reached at lydia@motivmode.com