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How to Get the Job You Want

“Only those who can see the invisible can accomplish the impossible!” – Patrick Snow

Lisa was the subject of my earlier post. What I didn’t mention is the depth of our conversation. She had dropped by to give me an update on her year of personal development. In late 2015, she took a sabbatical from ‘being in the dumps’ and decided that 2016 was going to be her ‘Personal Development’ year.

She had taken time off years ago for child-minding reasons, and was ready to get back into the workforce, but finding opportunities commensurate with her background and experience was proving difficult.

At the beginning of 2016, she harnessed all the resources she could get: DVDs, books, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, webinars, and, of course, joined my Let’s GROW Project. We also continued our coaching check-ins, which started three years ago.

A day before stopping by, she had sent a Whatsapp message that said, “I got the job!” The job is with a well-known organization with offices around the globe, and she was thrilled. What intrigued me most about her approach were the unusual steps she took to get the job.

Nearing the end of her first interview, she was asked if she had any questions. She said, “I asked one of the questions you usually recommend: If I were the successful candidate, what would you like to see me accomplish within my first 30 days?” This time she chose 90 days.

By the look on their faces, the panel was probably not expecting that question, but after a few awkward moments, they responded. She made some notes, went home, and developed a 3-page list of her 90-day goals, which she sent to the panellists. She was invited for a second interview where the majority of the time was spent discussing her goal list. She felt very confident after leaving the office that day.

On her return home, she sent a thank-you note, but took the process one step further. She took out a family photograph, gathered her ‘sensory images’ (I call them ‘inspirational stones’), that were labeled Faith, Hope, Believe, and Success. She then bought a small Lucky Bamboo plant and arranged all the items as if they were on her desk at the company’s office.

 

 

Each day she would visualize herself at the desk, working, speaking with her new boss and coworkers, smiling and answering the phone. She said she didn’t have time to think about her competitors – the other people who had been interviewed for the job. She just focused on seeing herself in the role. Two weeks later she received the call that the job was hers.

If you are a skeptic you may scoff at all this. You are probably wondering what role, if any, the ‘lucky bamboo’ and the inspirational stones played in Lisa’s success. That’s not the point. Whether one is a student of Law of Attraction (whatever you focus on you attract), or one sees the value of prayer, or setting intentions, it is true that one’s focus determines one’s reality. Or, as I reminded some ladies in a recent Career Workshop, “Ideas or thoughts become things.”

Not only did Lisa visualize and surround herself with the sensory images, but she did the work that was required! She prepared for the interviews, maintained a positive ‘can-do’ mindset, took the time to research the needs of the company and set goals to support the company. Action was key! Her year of personal development paid off, and on January 9, this highly-qualified professional will start a new phase of her life.

As she said, “My Personal Development immersion over the year has not only helped me professionally, but helped me improve personal and professional relationships, improved my mental health, and my overall feeling of well-being and, most importantly, given me a strong belief that I have control over my future.”

There goes a client who did not leave her professional development to chance. She decided what her reality should look like, applied laser-beam focus to it, and with sustained action, she achieved one of her goals.

With only a few hours into the New Year, are you ready to visualize your own reality? The late Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t like where you are, change it. You are not a tree!”

Want to share your thoughts?

Got Laid Off? So What?

iStock_Lay-Off

This article is a guest post by Nathan Tanner, a member of LinkedIn’s Acquisition team, and author of Not Your Parents’ Workplace, Critical Lessons for Interns and Young Professionals. In the article, he offers insights into the lessons he learned from his failures.

January 14, 2009. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was sitting at my desk when the head of our team tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to come by his office. At that moment I knew that I was toast. I was told to collect my things, and after a few quick goodbyes, I was forced to leave the building. It was over that fast. The job that I’d worked so hard to obtain was over.

I had only been an investment banking analyst for six months. I joined Lehman Brothers just weeks before its record-setting bankruptcy, then transitioned to Barclays Capital after it came to the rescue and acquired Lehman’s US operations. For weeks there had been rumors of layoffs, so I wasn’t that surprised when I fell victim.

Facing rejection

While I felt surprisingly calm that fateful day, my new reality sunk in that next morning. I woke up with no responsibility and nowhere to go. Time to find a job. I was excited to get started and optimistically thought that it might take a few weeks to find my next gig. I knew the financial turmoil had created a difficult environment for finance jobs, but I soon realized just how hard it would be to find any job in any industry.

As the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, I continued to cast my net wider. I applied for positions that had little connection to my degree or work experience, and I was fortunate to interview for many of them. I went into those interviews feeling confident and qualified, maybe even overqualified for some of them. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t land a job. At this point I had been out of work for four months.

I felt like such a failure.

I eventually found a great role in a completely different industry, and I was thrilled to get back to work. I can’t recall the number of jobs I applied for, but I ended up interviewing with 65 people at 20 different companies.

Lessons learned

At the time I felt like getting laid off would permanently damage my career. On the contrary, I was able to bounce back, and I learned several lessons along the way.

The first lesson I learned is the importance of having a job. I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but I didn’t realize or appreciate how much value I got from going to work. I missed having somewhere to go each day. I missed being a part of a team. I missed being needed. I learned that having a job, even if it might not be amazing, is a privilege.

The next lesson came during my job hunt. Early 2009 was an awful time to be looking for work, but that’s only one reason why I struggled to persuade companies to hire me. The main reason I couldn’t get an offer is that I failed to show companies how I could add value. I thought companies would want to hire me because I went to a good school and worked for a good company. But that’s not enough.

During an interview at a retail company I talked about my ability to analyze financial statements (my skill), but failed to demonstrate how I could help them manage inventory more effectively (their need). Companies don’t just hire smart people; they hire people who can passionately demonstrate how they can make a big impact in the organization.

Lastly, I strongly believe that one of the reasons I got laid off from Barclays is that I failed to develop strong relationships with my coworkers.

The slow financial markets gave me a lot of down time, and the looming bankruptcy created a less than positive work environment, so I routinely left the office as soon as I completed my work. While other analysts were discussing recent events and the fate of the company with senior bankers, I mostly kept to myself. I failed to take advantage of those slow periods and didn’t spend sufficient time building deep relationships.

When difficult decisions need to be made, it’s a lot easier to let go of someone who you don’t know that well. It’s a mistake I’ve tried to avoid ever since, and I now love getting to know those I work with on a personal level.

Failure can be a great teacher, and while I would never wish to re-live that period again, getting laid off and struggling to find a job taught me valuable lessons early in my career.

Build strong relationships, demonstrate how you add value, and strive to remember that having a job is a privilege.

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Nathan Tanner is on the Talent Acquisition team at LinkedIn and is the author of Not Your Parents’ Workplace: Critical Lessons for Interns and Young Professionals. He recently graduated from BYU with an MBA. Follow him on Twitter @nhtanner.

Related post: I Just Got Laid Off…Now What?

Monday Morning Rx: Chase Your Dreams, It’s Never Too Late

Madame C J Walker_Recite

This is your Monday Morning Rx – a giant dose of inspiration for today!

The above quote is attributed to Madame C.J. Walker. “Her savvy business acumen led her to become the first female self-made millionaire in the United States who donated the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.”

Mrs. Walker had many obstacles to overcome, but she did.

Take your eyes off yesterday’s closed door. Yesterday is gone forever. Today is all you have, and now is the right moment to begin chasing your dreams! What are those dreams?

  • Is it a new job? Well, what’s holding you back? Do you need some help moving your career forward?
  • Do you want to start a business? Grab the phone or send an email to someone you admire who has a business similar to the one you have in mind. Start the conversation rolling.
  • Would you like to learn a new skill? It’s not necessary for you to sit in a formal classroom to learn a new skill. Ample opportunities abound. Sometimes it’s as close as the cubicle next door, or in another department. Why not ask to job shadow someone at work?
  • Have you always wanted to climb a mountain? This may be a steep one, but if it’s your dream, then go after it. My neighbour recently returned from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and it was a climb of a lifetime she says. It took everything she had, she said, but it was worth it. She has returned with a new perspective on life.

What is it that you have always wanted to do, but excuses kept getting in your way? You have run out of excuses now. It’s time to chase your dreams and achieve success. Madame C.J. Walker did!

Want some support? Share your dreams right here and I will hold you accountable.

 

 

 

Woman Honoured By Alma Mater

Daisy Wright (third from right), a Brampton businesswoman, was recognized with the 2011 Alumni of Distinction award from Conestoga College.

Wright, the founder and chief career strategist at The Wright Career Solution, a career transition firm that helps individuals find jobs and an author, was among eight Conestoga College alumni honoured.

The award is the college’s highest recognition of outstanding graduates who have achieved great success in their careers and made significant contribution to society.

Read full Press Release here:  Brampton Woman Honoured

Monday Rx: Unemployed & Down in the Dumps? Try Freelancing

Another Monday has come around and you are still unemployed and down in the dumps, right? Why not pick yourself up and ask yourself, or someone else, the following questions:

  • What is it that I am pretty good at?
  • What am I known for?
  • Why is that some people come to me (instead of someone else) when they need to solve a particular problem?

Your answer could help you pinpoint skills you didn’t realize you have, or skills you have been taking for granted. With this awareness, it is possible for you to parlay your skills, (meaning “to make good use of an asset or advantage to obtain success”), and earn some legal money ‘on the side’. You could be selling your expertise – the skills you are good at – on several online marketplaces. Freelance websites like oDesk, Guru, Elance, and Freelanceswitch allow you to register and offer your services on a freelance basis.

Then, there is Fiverr, a site that builds itself as “The place where people share things they are willing to do for $5”, and Goferr, offering similar services or products, but for $25. These sites are not for everyone, and mentioning them here, do not constitute an endorsement or an affiliation of any kind. However, they may be worth your while to explore to see if you could earn some legal interim cash while you continue your job search. If you do decide to register with any of these sites, be cautious and pay special attention to their Terms of Service.

So, instead of holding a pity party today, explore the sites and see what happens!

To your success,

 

 

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

Client Lands Job Posted on Twitter

Her recent email read “Remember that job posting you sent me about a Bilingual Marketing Manager where they asked me to translate my résumé to French? I want to let you know that I got an offer and I accepted it. I am very excited since there will be a lot of interesting challenges and I am getting everything I want – salary, vacation and benefits. Thank you for all your help and I will keep in touch.”

This message was from a client with whom I had been working for several months. She was having a tough time finding a marketing manager’s position and thought that nine months was unbelievably too long to be looking for work. At times in our conversations I could sense her frustration, but I reminded her gently that job searching could be a slow and tedious process, but if she kept her head up and continued doing the right things she would eventually land the job she wanted. I also told her that giving up was not an option. She hung in there and got the job.

How did this happen? As part of the job search strategy, I encourage my clients to invest time in social media. I do, and it’s not not for social reasons, although that happens. On Twitter, for example, I follow hiring managers, recruiters and job boards, and participate in Twitter Chats with HR professionals, recruiters and leadership coaches to keep abreast of industry trends. Through these channels, I sometimes become aware of job opportunities and if I find that someone in my network seem to be a match for some of these opportunities (whether they are clients or not), I forward the information to them.

This Bilingual Marketing Manager’s job is a great example. It was posted on Twitter by Monster Canada (@Monsterca). When I read the requirements, it sounded perfect for my client so I forwarded it to her. She translated her résumé to French as the company requested, and after a couple of interviews and several weeks of waiting (because of the summer holidays), she landed the job with “everything she wanted…” as noted above.

Looking for a job is a full-time job, as it’s often said, but it requires various strategies to achieve success. The other point is that you may have a great résumé, but if you continue to use ineffective job search methods or rely on one particular strategy, it will not help you land the job of your dreams. Therefore, plan to incorporate social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ into your job search toolkit because that’s where employers and recruiters hang out these days. Job boards are still around, but the companies behind these boards are extending their reach via social media. If you are an early adopter ready to jump on the social media band wagon, you will be way ahead of your competitors and achieve your job search goal.

And, don’t buy in to the concept that there are no jobs! Jobs are out there, but you need to assess your skills, employ a variety of tools, be deliberate with your search and visualize yourself sitting at the desk as an employee at one of your target companies!  Remember, “Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.”

I hope you have gained some value from this post. Share your comments below, or connect with me if you need to discuss how you can move your career forward. I will be pleased to have a chat with you!

 

Monday Rx: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

It has been raining on and off for a few days in my neck of the woods, and it is quite dark right now; yet I know that the sun will come out tomorrow.

Are you still waiting on the phone to ring for that job you so desperately need? Have you heard ‘No’, once too often? Are you stuck in a rut feeling you have done everything you possibly could? Whatever you are going through right now, it’s not permanent. The dark clouds will subside and the sun is going to come out tomorrow; if not tomorrow, the day after.

May these quotes add some sunshine to your day:

  • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas Edison.
  • Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. ~ Christian D. Larson
  • When life seems hard, when you want to quit, look deep inside to find your spark to rekindle your fire. @MikeMoore
  • The road to a better tomorrow starts at the intersection of fear and faith. You can either yield onto insecurity lane, or you can take a deep breath and put the pedal to the metal on the courage freeway. ~David Roppo (Thanks to +Lisa K. Smith for this one)

If these Monday Morning picker-uppers are benefiting you, then they might benefit others in your circle. Have them subscribe to the RSS feed above to get each post.

To your success,

 

Monday Rx: Wisdom for Achieving all Your Ambitions in Life

If you are reading Monday Rx for the first time, welcome! Since many of us suffer from the ‘Monday Morning Blues’, I use this space on Mondays to send out positive picker-upper messages or other useful information to help us start the week right.

Today’s message is a simple one from Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman in the World”.

1.    Today I begin a new life
2.    I will greet this day with love in my heart
3.    I will persist until I succeed
4.    I am nature’s greatest miracle
5.    I will live this day as if it is my last
6.    Today I will be master of my emotions
7.    I will laugh at the world
8.    Today I will multiply my value a hundred fold
9.    I will act now
10.    Today I will pray for guidance

Select any line that resonates with you and make it your mantra for today.

To your success,

Daisy

Monday Rx: Value Has a Value Only if its Value is Valued

The headline for this post is really a tongue-twister, so read it again for clarity.

Today is Labour / Labor Day in Canada and the US, but am still sending  my message, albeit a shortened version. It’s a 30-second speech from Bryan Dyson, the former CEO of Coca Cola.

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. They are Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit, and you are keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you dropped one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family and friends and have proper rest. Value has a value only if its value is valued.”

Whatever you are doing right now, take a moment to reflect on the message and evaluate your priorities. I am doing just that today!

To your success,

 

Monday Rx: 7 Simple Steps to S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

What is success? Whatever answer you come up with will be correct, as success means different things to different people. I read a quote recently that said “If you fail and learn something from it, that’s success too.”  Isn’t that amazing?

These seven simple steps won’t tell you how to get a promotion or how to make more money. They are more basic than that. They will guide you into making simple changes to your thought processes and set you on the path to achieving your success. You see, there certain things we all have to get out of our way before we can begin to see success.

S

STOMP out all the ANTs – those Automatic Negative Talks that you engage in with yourself. Crush those negative self-talks. If you don’t you will be impeding your ability to succeed.

 

U

UNDERSTAND that no matter what you are going through, no matter how bad your circumstances appear, you are never alone. Someone else is going through the same or worse than you are at this moment.

 

C

Be open to CHANGE. When you become too rigid and develop this “it’s my way or the highway” mentality, you are stalling your growth, so be open to change. Be flexible!

 

C

Learn to COMMUNICATE your value to everyone with whom you associate. What is it that you do better than anyone else? Learn to answer that question and then communicate it in a way that it’s easy for people to understand.

 

E

Reach out to EXPERTS. If you are struggling with an issue, there is always someone who knows a little bit more than you do and is willing to offer assistance. Seek him or her out. It’s never a weakness to ask for help.

 

S

SURROUND yourself with positive people. Those who will engage, motivate and build you up rather than drag you down. They will inspire you to keep on going when the going gets rough.

 

S

STAY focussed on your goal. Don’t allow small setbacks to stop you from moving forward. The road may be winding but don’t deviate. If you stay focussed on where you are going you will be successful.

Do you have anything else to add here? Post your comments below, and have a succesful week!