Our Greatest Fear

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,

but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,

gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking

so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give

other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson from her book A Return to Love

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Goal setting while unemployed

What does your production look like this week?  What have you accomplished?

“What do you mean Chris?  I’m unemployed and don’t have any objectives to hit.”  Oh, yes you do.  They may not be company driven but you definitely have to have goals while searching for a new position.

If you’re not accustomed to setting goals, now is the perfect time to hone that skill.  And the thing is, the faster you get good at setting goals, the faster something will come your way.

Things to consider:

  • What time are you going to get out of bed?  Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than anyone else in the house gets up.  It may sound silly but what time you start the day has a huge impact on the rest of your day.  The earlier you get up, the more productive it makes you feel.
  • How much research are you going to conduct today? Do you know what your target companies are?  How much do you know about the way they operate?  How many people do you know inside that company?  How many people do you know that know people inside that company?  Get to work and find out.
  • How many calls are you going to make today?  Tell your story to as many people as possible.  The more you share your situation with friends, neighbors and past associates the more people you will have working on your behalf.
  • How many new people are you going to talk to today?  When you talk to people, get referrals from them.  Ask them for names of their friends and associates you could reach out to.  Be professional.  Be sure to let them know you will not bug the referral or even ask them for a job.  Your only objective is to network and share your story.  Then, get referrals from your referrals.
  •  How many new people are you going to meet today?  Are you a member of any networking or community groups?  Groups through your church?  Get up, go outside and meet people.  It’s the best way to break out of the bubble.  Once you’re outside interacting with others you will no longer feel the world closing in on you.
  •  How many people are you going to serve today?  Last week I wrote about a fantastic networking group The Southlake Focus Group.  You can read it here:  http://wp.me/p3nLpj-f1  One system they espouse is the H.O.P.E. method.  I am 100% on board with it.  It stands for Help One Person Everyday.  While you’re unemployed is a great time to serve people.  It’s a great time to volunteer.  You’ll discover that if you open up your heart and give of your time, you will receive so much more in return.
  • How many new opportunities are you going to learn about today?  Depending on your numbers from the previous questions, the answer to this one gets a bit easier.  The more people you talk to and share with the more you will learn about new opportunities.
  •  How much time are you going to spend on-line searching job postings today?  If you’re newly unemployed, you’ll probably need to spend a bit more time initially on-line looking at job opportunities.  But after about the first week, spend no more than an hour a day scouring the web for jobs.  Set up job-search agents that send you daily digests of new positions that meet the criteria you set.
  • How many interviews are you going to schedule today?  If you’re talking to dozens of new people a week it’s realistic to have an interview or two a week (depending on your specific career track).  Phone screens count too!!!!
  • How many interviews are you going to go on today?  The next step from the phone interview is the in-person interview  At the very least, another phone interview with another member of the hiring team.
  •  How many thank you notes are you going to write today?  This is a good barometer of how many people you’re talking to.  Be grateful for all the help you’re receiving and show it by putting a note in the mail.
  • How much time are you going to spend with God today?  If I may be so bold, I would recommend at least 30 minutes.  And wouldn’t you know? Since you’re now waking up 30 minutes earlier, you can use that time.  But if you can fit more in your day, do it.

Did you notice almost every category had the word ‘today’ tacked on to the end?  There’s a reason for that. Goals need to be action-oriented and time based.  Yes, you need long-term goals as well but having daily accountability will help you attain your long-term goals as well.

Here’s something else to consider.  When you’re talking to new people don’t be too narrow in focus.  Open up to the possibilities.  If you’re led to someone in another city or state, talk to them.  Yes, I know, you don’t want to relocate.  So what?  Get a new perspective.  Meet new people with new ideas.  You might just learn something valuable.  You also just might make a powerful connection that can help you in surprising and unexpected ways.

Let me know how I can help and Happy hunting!e

Hope is a good thing

There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning.  Christopher Morely

I created RecruitingShingle to help those that are in career transition.  There are so many seemingly complicated moving parts to a job search; I want to help by providing ideas, clarity or understanding however I can.    But today, I want share with you a remarkable group of people.

Week in, week out, they are in the arena slugging it out working, striving, learning, networking, sharing, and growing.  They are way outside their comfort zone but they are doing what needs to be done.  So this week I dedicate my article to the job seekers and volunteers at The Southlake Focus Group (SFG).

By far, this group is the most helpful, supportive and, most importantly, useful organization in the Dallas / Fort Worth area to help those in career transition to find a new position.  I have availed myself of their services a few times over the course of my career.

They are always there willing to help and support you as you go about the task of finding your next opportunity.  One of the comments they like to make is “we’re sorry you’re here but we’re glad you found us.”

In my experience, these job seekers are in a constant state of learning.  They are honing their skills.  Getting better at giving their elevator pitch, updating their resume and cover letter, learning how to ask better questions in an interview, learning the intricacies of Linked In, how to be more productive with their time in networking and sharing opportunities and so much more.  These are all good things.

This group is also in a state of yearning.  Many feel their lives have been up-ended due to the loss of their job.  And they’re right.  Many have been out of work for a few weeks.  Many more have been out several months.  They are all yearning for their next position.

When I think about the word ‘yearning’ I think of the word hope.  And when I think of the word hope I also think of my friend Marvia.  I met Marvia several months ago while attending the SFG and its spin-off group HR Career Networking Group.

Marvia is one of those rare people who, once they enter your life, I hope you have the wisdom to recognize the impact they can have on you.  She inspires, offers hope and encouragement.  I have asked Marvia for help several times.  Each time she has responded with more than I asked.  And she does it with a giving attitude.  When I reached out to her for help again just yesterday she provided an array of ideas and suggestions.

She also followed up with a note indicating that she just landed a new position.  No one deserves it more.  Way to go Marvia!  I am so very happy and excited for you.  To say nothing of how proud of you I am.  You have taught me a great deal and I look forward to future lessons.

She also has a very inspiring blog.  You can check it out here: http://humanimpulse.wordpress.com/

Never stop learning.  Never stop yearning.  And do what you can to never stop earning.

Mathmatical formulas to help keep life on track

Duh Einstein

I was never very good at math.  Because it surrounds us every day in all we do we can’t escape it.  I remember trying so hard to memorize formulas for tests in HS and college.  Get one wrong and the answers to almost every subsequent question will be wrong as well.

My HS buddy and first college roommate was a math guru.  We took college Algebra our first semester.  He flourished, I floundered.  He went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering as well as a Master’s in Engineering.  I quickly found I was more adept at the creative pursuits; like writing.

But when it comes to life, I have found there are a couple of simple formulas that even I can remember.

The first is: C = C

It stands for Choices = Consequences.  It doesn’t get any easier than this. It’s a reality check that lets you know you are where you are because of your choices.  The good news is you can always change where you are by changing your choices.

The second formula is: The Past ≠ The Future

This one is extremely powerful.  As I wrote about in a previous blog http://wp.me/p3nLpj-e4 no matter where you are in life, no matter what you’re going through, it won’t last forever.  The best we can expect to do is set our sights high with bodacious goals and move forward with confidence.  If you are not familiar with the term “bodacious” it’s a combination of bold and audacious.

Now go live your life to its fullest.

Don’t always assume your interviewer knows what s/he is doing…

You’ve heard it time and time again.  When you go on an interview come prepared with questions.  Questions about the company, the position, your future/potential responsibilities, the culture, etc.  Why bother going at all if you’re not interested enough to care to ask questions?  I’m a firm believer the candidate should always be the most prepared person in the room during an interview.

Everyone is busy right?  Employees at all levels in every organization are consistently asked to do more with less.  Everyone is stretched thin.

Just because there is someone sitting in front of you conducting an interview, that doesn’t mean they necessarily know what they’re doing.  Chances are great they have never had any training on how to conduct an interview.  Because of this they may be overly cautious in their approach.  They’re on guard, scared of making mistakes or asking an inappropriate or even “illegal” question.  And yet, they think since they’re the interviewer they are in a position of superiority.  That is a recipe for a very bad experience.  If that’s the case, how much value do you think anyone is going to get out of the interview?  You, them, the company?  It’s not good for anyone and it has the potential to be a big waste of time.

Remember, you’re there to land a job.  I’m not in the habit of wasting time going on interviews that won’t go anywhere.  I know you aren’t either.  I’m there to fight tooth and nail for it.  You’ve done the research, you know why you want the job, why you like the company and why you’re a great fit.  Don’t leave anything to chance.

Because you are so prepared and excited, it can be terribly disappointing when you show up and it’s obvious the interviewer hasn’t spent any time reviewing your information or bothered to prepare any thoughtful questions.  If they don’t have any thoughtful, substantive questions it’s another sign they don’t have much interview experience.

I once interviewed for a position I was very excited for.  The position would enable me to do things with my career I had not done yet and was excited about doing.  I was back for an in-person interview for the third time.  By this time, my references had already been checked.  We were close to closing the deal.  The only step left was to interview with the person that would actually be my boss.

When I arrived, the recruiter I had been working with let me know that my potential future boss got stuck in a meeting and it would be another 30 minutes before he was available.  Everyone is busy right?  I didn’t think anything of it other than the recruiter now had to keep me company for the duration.

Now would be a good time to mention that when I first walked into the recruiter’s office I noticed a resume printed out and sitting on the very corner of his desk.  As I sat down, it was easy to notice that it wasn’t mine.  I didn’t mention anything about it.  Why would I?  It wasn’t my office and certainly none of my business.  When my potential future boss walked in, we were introduced and, as he walked past the desk, he grabbed the resume off the corner and started to look at it.  He then proceeded to ask me what I thought were very confusing questions.

My background is recruiting sales people.  He was asking me IT-related questions.  When I mentioned I didn’t have that kind of experience he asked “then why does it say on your resume you have recruited IT for the past five years?”  I told him that “while I do have some IT recruiting experience, the vast majority of my experience is in recruiting sales people.  You have someone else’s resume.”

Obviously, he didn’t spend any time reviewing my information before hand.  Nor did he recognize the name on the resume wasn’t mine.  After all, he just met me 10 seconds ago.  He didn’t ask the recruiter if it was my resume.  He came in, grabbed a random document and started making assumptions.  As a result, he looked foolish and unprepared.

Pay attention to all the details when you are interviewing.  Even though the hiring authority in this example came across looking foolish, I was too blinded by the excitement of the possibilities to see what kind of boss he would be.  As a result, I was the fool.  I accepted the position and quickly learned it was a mistake.  I spent the next year or so figuring out how to get out of there.  Lesson learned.