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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others, Claim Your Greatness!

Orange Wish Identity to be AppleThis edition of the Monday Morning Rx is asking  you to stop comparing yourself to others. That is, on the assumption that it’s something you often do. Do you find yourself saying things like:

“She always seem to have it all together, what’s the matter with me?”

“He gets all the attention in meetings, why I can’t I?”

“Why did she get the promotion over me? We have the same qualifications.”

Have you ever said any of the above, or something that close? We all do, at some point or another. Even the image above is that of an orange wishing it were an apple. We should stop these comparisons. Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

While reading a Fast Company blog post recently, “How I Learned to Stop Comparing Myself to Others and Love My Own Ideas” it brought back memories of the poem Desiderata. One particular line says, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” Isn’t that the truth? When we begin to compare ourselves to others, it makes us feel less about ourselves. Shouldn’t we be spending time valuing our uniqueness? Paraphrasing Meredith Fineman in the article, “In order to succeed, you have to be the best you.” 

It is a mistake to compare yourself to others. Why? Because you really don’t know what’s happening in the other person’s life. All that portrayal of having it all together could be a farce.  The Fast Company article suggests that, “…when we compare ourselves to others, whether it be a marriage, a career, or a specific achievement, we are only comparing ourselves to our perception of this person.” That’s right. We are making comparisons against things we don’t know or don’t have enough information about.

During the coming week, instead of comparing yourself to others, reflect on these words from Desiderata: “Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”

Here’s my personal message to you today: Opportunities are lost on those who spend time comparing themselves to others. Quit doing so, embrace your uniqueness, and get ready to play it big and win!

 

Life is Like a Camera, and So is Your Job Search

Monday_Morning_Rx_Life_is_Like_a_Camera

Happy Monday!

For readers who do not know about my Monday Morning Rx, it differs from a regular blog post. It is a small dose of encouragement to brighten your Mondays as you begin your work week, or as you continue your job search. It is supposed to be short and uplifting. So here we go:

Let FOCUS be your keyword today.

  • Focus on what’s important
  • Focus on your job search
  • Focus on your interview prep
  • Focus on revamping your resume
  • Focus on that difficult project
  • Focus on building your network
  • Focus on self-development
  • Focus on that awkward conversation you need to have with the boss
  • Focus on _______________. (Fill in the blank)

Focus, focus focus!

To your success,

daisyname

Why You Should Leave the Complacency of Your Comfort Zone

Monday Morning Rx – A Weekly Dose of Career Inspiration

Hello there! I am Daisy Wright, of The Wright Career Solution, and am here with the Monday Morning Rx – a weekly dose of career inspiration.

Today’s episode is titled Why You Should Leave the Complacency of Your Comfort Zone.

First, I want you to take a look at the image before you. If you are within the circle where it is said that 90% of the population resides, I think you are a bit too comfortable, and it’s time to disrupt yourself. Get up and stretch, because I have an assignment for you today. I would like you to choose a phrase from inside the circle that you say quite often to yourself, and throw it away – literally or figuratively. Banish it from your vocabulary. Do not allow it to take centre stage in your life or your mind again.

Once you have done that, dare yourself to look outside the circle and choose one phrase that makes  you uncomfortable. It makes you uneasy whenever you see or say it. Brainstorm with yourself by writing as much as you can about this phrase. In doing so, keep asking these two questions: Why does this make me so uneasy or uncomfortable? What am I going to do about it?

I believe the comfort zone is jammed. Too many of us are settling for less; too many of us are fearful about trying something new, so we lock ourselves in this comfort zone where we feel safe. If this sounds like you, it’s time to get out of this space and allow yourself the freedom and flexibility to become the person you were destined to be!

Need help in getting started? Why not engage a coach or mentor; someone who can help you leave the complacency of your comfort zone and try something different. Then watch yourself gain confidence as you push yourself forward.

Someone once said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”  My challenge to you today and this week is to make the decision not to stay where you are, but to get out of this safe place.

Best wishes as you move forward with your life and your career. Until then, it’s Daisy Wright, career coach at The Wright Career Solution, where we help managers and emerging executives tell their career stories and get hired.

 

 

Is Your Resume Telling Your Story?

This is your Monday Morning Rx…a weekly does of career inspiration (or humour)!

Is your resume telling your story

Once upon a time there was a resume that thought it was the best resume in town. It had an Objective that focused on what it wanted from the employer; followed by a series of job description statements and ended with References Available on Request. The resume looked at itself in the mirror and was quite pleased with its appearance.

Off to the job boards it went – Workopolis, Monster, Indeed, Eluta – where it applied for all the jobs that were available, whether it met the qualifications or not. It was so busy applying that it forgot to customize itself for each position. This resume then to sat and waited…and waited… for calls! It started thinking, “I have sent out so many resumes, why am I not being called for interviews?”

After a frustrating few weeks, it found the courage to call one of the employers. It was told that they received the resume but it was tossed into “File 13”. “What is File 13?” the resume asked. “The garbage bin”, the employer answered. “You did not include any achievement stories, neither did you demonstrate how the company would benefit from what you had to offer.”

As you can imagine, that was not a happy-ever-after story for this resume. It had to go back to the writing board to think of strategies to create an effective resume. Luckily it found a blog post on 5 Ways to Get Your Resume Ready for Prime Time.

Moral of the story… A resume that dresses itself up with a ‘me-focussed’ Objective; a laundry list of job descriptive statements instead of success stories, and a meaningless References Available on Request declaration, will never tell a convincing story or open doors.

While I can’t lay claim to the resume acronym below, it clearly illustrates that to capture an employer’s attention, a storytelling resume must contain:

Relevant

Experiences and

Skills, which are

Understood and

Measured by

Employers

What about your resume? Is it telling a compelling story? If not, it’s time to seek help.

Hope you received some resume inspiration from today’s dose of Monday Morning Rx.

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.

 

 

 

5 Questions a Candidate Should Ask in an Interview

Are you one of those candidates whose eyes turn to the ceiling, or who say “No” when asked if you have any questions? As a job seeker, professional or senior executive, you are smarter than that. You have already researched the company and have a list of questions to ask. After all, the interviewer(s) may have been so busy taking notes that they missed some of your key points, and you welcome another opportunity to emphasize those points.

One way of making sure that your key points were not missed and that you have demonstrated your value in the interview, is to be ready for this inevitable question – “Do you have any questions?” Here are some questions to ask:

What do you see as the priorities for this job in the first three months?

Their answer will give you more clarity and allow you to zero in on how your background closely matches those priorities.

Is there anything you’d like me to explain in more detail?

This question gives you a chance to delve deeper into your successes and illustrate your ability to exceed their expectations.

Do you have any doubts about my ability to do this job?

You may or may not get an answer to this question but if you do, it will help you to address any weaknesses or shortcomings they may have picked up during the interview.

Why did this vacancy occur?

You will want to know if it’s a newly-created position; if the person was let go, or if it’s a hot seat where no one stays for too long.

If I am the successful candidate, which duties would you like me to accomplish first?

This will go to the heart of where they are hurting, and you will have to be prepared to focus your energies in those areas first.

Since you are also interviewing the company, the responses to these questions will also help you determine if the company will be a good fit for you. Go ahead and boldly ask those questions. It’s another opportunity to tell your stories and get hired!

 

Image: Courtesy of Lifehack.org

10 Resume Pet Peeves Cited by Hiring Managers & Recruiters

Job seeker, sometimes it’s just a small blunder or gaffe that stands between your resume being selected for further consideration, or being tossed. Since recruiters and hiring managers play a significant role in your job search success, the onus is on you to know how to avoid these resume faux pas that irk them. Based on a survey conducted in late 2010 about Resume and Job Search Trends, the following were identified as the top resume pet peeves for recruiters and hiring managers:

  • “Generic  Objectives” that scream ‘me-me-me’. “It rarely helps, often hurts, and always takes up valuable real estate that could be better used to showcase your accomplishments”, said one respondent.
  • Massive email blasts where the resume is not tailored to the position for which they are applying.
  • Beginning each point, regardless of experience, with the standard “responsible for” with few, if any, real accomplishments.
  • A resume that contains “references available upon request”.
  • Lack of professionalism in the layout and composition.
  • Lack of detail on duties and accomplishments.
  • Dull job descriptive statements.
  • Content that is unrelated to the role.
  • Chronological history of events dating back to high school (especially when the applicant has been out of high school for 3 or more years).
  • Resumes with more than three pages, poor formatting, and spelling and grammar errors.

Some recruiters indicated that they prefer a longer resume as it enables them to see the breadth of the person’s experience and are better able to identify the skills relevant to the position they are trying to fill. However, these same recruiters say that clients/employers prefer a 2- or 3-page resume, and they would modify them to suit the client’s needs.

“As we are placing the candidates to our clients we prefer the longer version for details but we don’t like to send that to the client, unless specifically requested.”

While you might not agree with all of the above, some are glaringly obvious and should be avoided. Have your say.

11 Important Interview Tips

Do you have an interview today, or anytime soon? Are you nervous? Are your palms getting sweaty? Stop worrying because help is near.

While coaching a client last week, I suggested to her that she ask for some inside tips from the recruiter since he already knows the company where my client will be interviewing. He quickly reeled off the points below, and while they are not new, they could easily be overlooked by job seekers who are focused on practising answers to interview questions. Hopefully they will calm your nerves and help you to do well in the interview:

  1. Arrive early and enter the building 15 minutes before your interview.
  2. Bring three copies of your resume.
  3. Interview attire is conservative, so dress accordingly.
  4. If you have long hair, pull it back.
  5. If you have several ear piercings, take out extra earrings.
  6. If you have tattoos, cover them.
  7. Take a Photo ID – preferably your current driver’s license.
  8. Relax – answer questions honestly and you will do great.
  9. It is OK to ask interviewer(s) to repeat a question, if you need clarification.
  10. Do not accept anything to eat or drink.
  11. When asked to “Tell me about yourself”, they mean your professional, not your personal background.

While reviewing these tips, others might come to your mind. Add them here.

To your interview success,

 

 

 

Monday Rx: Thank a Co-Worker Today!

This coming Thursday, November 24, is the US Thanksgiving, and the Black Friday TV ads are already reaching me from across the border. After all, I am just a mere 90 minutes away from Buffalo. But, because of the prevalence of these ads, a debate has begun between my brain and my pocket. Should I head across the border on Friday? Right now, I don’t know which one will win the debate by the end of the week.

OK, so what does this have to do with my topic? Well, it’s so easy to get wrapped up into the commercial aspect of the Holiday; so much that we forget the real reason for the season. It’s all about gratitude – being thankful for what we have; being appreciative for family, friends and coworkers, and being open to share.  And talking about coworkers, when last have you thanked one of them for ‘just being there’?

According to Jon Gordon, author of the Energy Bus, “the number one reason why people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. A simple thank you and a show of appreciation could make all the difference.”  Can you imagine that a simple ‘thank you’ could determine whether a co-worker stays or leaves? Yes, two small, but very powerful words could make a difference.

Wherever you are today, whether or not you are celebrating the official US Thanksgiving, find a co-worker and tell him or her how much you appreciate them. It could make their day, and yours too!

To your success,

 

 

 

PS: Every Monday, I take off my career coaching and resume writing hat and write a ‘Monday Rx’ post to stave off the Monday blues from which some of us suffer. Why not add your email address in the box on the top right of this page to receive each post? And, while you are at it, ask a friend or coworker to add their email address as well. I appreciate that. Thank You!

 

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.