Archive for February, 2011
Inspiration: Shine On
Sunday, February 20th, 2011
You may already be familiar with this quote from Marianne Williamson, author of “A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles,” among other titles. If so, read it again. And if necessary, read it every day until you fully believe that your “playing small does not serve the world.”
Looking for work, being under-employed, or working in a dead-end job can leave even the most bright-eyed optimist feeling down, out and worthless. When we’re in this frame of mind, everything is harder: networking, interviewing, even practicing self-care. When we’re on our A Game we can lift our head high and face bravely any challenge before us. But when your game is off, what then? How do you dig deep and find the courage to press on when you feel weak, fragile and yes, even afraid. It is precisely when I feel I have nothing of value to offer the world that I find the greatest comfort in this quote. When I am feeling small what emboldens me to move forward is the thought that letting my light shine may help someone else. Consider your light and shine on:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, 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 are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
How To Create Your Job Search Action Plan
Friday, February 18th, 2011
Job seekers are a curious bunch and I should know, been there and done that, more than once. We have what appears to be all the time in the world yet we seem to have no time at all. We’re frantically networking – online and off – looking under couch cushions for a glimmer of a job lead to chase down like a bull charging a toreador.
I recall vividly the summer of 2001. I was still a newlywed trying to find a high tech job in the so-called Silicon Prairie just months after the dot com meltdown. I was miserable. I went from being that gal with her own condo in Chicago’s Gold Coast, a track record of slam-dunk success and a MBA to boot… I went from The Bride for crying out loud… to someone who needed to borrow money for a haircut. Let me tell you, the time to try and explain to your new husband why his visit to the hair salon is under $25 and yours is nearly $250 is so not when you’re unemployed.
It took me nearly a year to land a full-time job again and what I remember most about those long months of under-employment is how frantic I was to convince everyone and their brother how hard I was looking for work. Each day when my husband came home I wanted him to know how many hours I spent online hunting, on the phone dialing, and offline networking lest he think I was watching soap operas all day.
Truth be told, I wore myself out and it showed. I was frayed at the edges and had to step back to rethink what an optimal job search looked like. I learned the hard way, it does not look like a hamster running on a wheel, although I certainly did!
Now when I work with clients one of the first things we do is create a Job Search Action Plan that clearly spells out measurable goals for all your search-related activities, including:
- Conducting informational interviews
- Attending in-person networking events
- Searching for jobs online
- Volunteering for an industry-related organization
- Contacting recruiters
- Sending unsolicited inquiries
- Social networking
- Sharpening the saw
And we assign dollar amounts too. If you have a budget for association dues and networking events, know what it is and stick to it! Maybe that last bullet caught your eye – it’s a Stephen Covey-ism that I adore and a powerful reminder to make time to replenish your spirit, look after your health, and keep your mind sharp.
A Job Search Action Plan helps ensure you don’t wear yourself out by running in circles. Consider your resources – time, money and energy – and set your goals accordingly.
Inspiration: What’s Your Dream Job?
Sunday, February 13th, 2011
When I meet job seekers the first thing I ask is, “What’s your dream job?” The answer usually begins with details about where they’ve studied, jobs they’ve held or other details about their past. This is a test of sorts because while I ultimately want to know about where you have been, what I’m really measuring is your ability to articulate where you want to go.
As I told the DePaul Kellstatdt Marketing Group at last week’s Career Forum, you have to name it to own it. Lee Iacocca said, “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” So take out a piece of paper, grab a pen and write a vivid description of your dream job. Be specific. Name your title, your salary and the size of company. What does your day look like? How about your desk?
Smell it. Taste it. And then tuck that scrap of paper in your wallet and carry it with you. Read it often. Think about it. Talk about it. Own it.
Inspiration Of The Week: Direction
Monday, February 7th, 2011
This quote attributed to Lewis Carroll, beloved author and lover of wordplay, is one of my all-time favorites:
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
This week be intentional in your action, clear in your message, and resolute in your purpose. Point your arrows to wherever you believe true north to be.
Ready? Aim. Fire!