Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Communicate to Connect"

This weekend, Mark Beeson read "A Letter to the President" on the eve of President Obama arriving on campus at Notre Dame amidst all the hub-bub... If you get a chance... view it here on/before May 24th.

A simple takaway... when talking to your team, employee, spouse, kids... stop and T.H.I.N.K.

  • Is it True?
  • Is it Helpful?
  • Is it Important?
  • Is it Necessary?
  • Is it Kind?

The right thing said the right way at the right time has a chance of connecting... otherwise, we can expect to swing and miss. At the end of the day, we all have people in our lives we would like to influence. How can we connect/influence?

  • Encouragers are influencers. Who do you like being around? People who beat you over the head or those who call out the best in you?

  • Integrity Matters. Having principles that guide your discussions and actions allow you to be consistent and trustworthy to those values. Wild cards, hot heads, and unpredictability don't make it to many circles of trust.

  • Work for Other's Success. Sure...this goes against the crowd, however... when people know you're "for" them and celebrate their success... they may listen to constructive feedback.

  • Apologize when you're wrong or screw-up.

  • Keep Casting. You're not in control of other people. They may not respond the way you want, expect, or not at all. Keep casting your net... sometimes you end up connecting with an unexpected audience. Perhaps, that's where you should have been all along.

"We all will have an opportunity to speak Truth to those in power..."- Mark Beeson 5/17/09

The question is.... will we connect?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"The Next People that Will find Jobs"

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate on a panel discussion at GCC(thanks to Kathy Guy and Mark Waltz for their leadership) on finding a job, networking and more in partnership with Michiana Career Network. Seriously, the web is full of resources to get help with resumes, templates, how to interview, and more.

Do you want to be part of the first 20% of the people that will get hired?

  • Do the basics well. Clean, attractive resume, practice interviewing, etc. Essentially, spend 6-8 hours on the web looking at the resources, take notes, and build a plan for your resume, interviewing, networking, and action plan. Normal? Wing it, hope something happens... there's tons of resources for me to spend too much time on it... one I found on Twitter: thejobsguy
  • Everyone needs an editor... who are you practicing an interview with, reviewing your appearance (your bushel of hair coming out of your ear is not helping you), tweaking your resume, etc? We all have blind spots, get help. Normal is going at it alone...
  • Focus on building relationships, not finding a job. Networking is about proactively talking with people, understanding needs, and getting the opportunity to tell your 15-30 second story.
  • Understand if A + B= Getting a Job You're only in control of "A", the things you can control. "B" is all the things you can't control... timing, divine intervention, etc.. You being unemployed doesn't define who you are... keep focused on what you can control and do that.
  • Surround Yourself with Positive Influencers... the people around you should be encouraging, expanding your network, expanding your ideas on what industries you could be part of, and giving you helpful input. Turn off CNN and the unemployment reports if needed. You become who your surround yourself with. Normal is finding and reciting the list of excuses of why they won't and can't find a job.
  • You've got 15-30 seconds to tell me a story about you that I could potentially repeat to prospective employers for you. If you confuse me, I won't talk about you. If you inspire me and give me easy "handles" to talk about you, I may be the one to find you a job. Develop your 15-30 second story, make it crisp, and tell it to everyone you have an opportunity to meet.
  • Have coffee twice a week with a new connectors/person to review your plan and ask their advice/input on your job search. Practice your 15 second story, have them interview you, review your resume, and build a new relationship. People love giving advice. Be willing to take it, connect, and sharpen your plan and story.
  • Be real and authentic. Employers like to see a genuine person with integrity willing to show their hand and be real. It's something/someone they can trust and will get straight information from...

Most people have a resume, look in the newspaper, Monster.com, and send out a smattering of inquiries hoping to get a phone call. That's normal.

Those who take it to the next level will be noticed and will be at the top of the stack as the economy turns around and a new position needs to be filled. Will it be you? Are you doing the work now to be positioned for the turnaround?