If I could do only one thing all day, what would it be?
In a job hunt, every day can seem the same and ‘selling yourself’ can become boring. So how do we get new ideas? We start by getting a new perspective. When I read the article, “When You Need a Completely New Career“, in Forbes, it started me thinking about my own career journey.
Originally trained as a foreign language teacher, I found that while I loved teaching, I didn’t see the kind of career choices that I wanted in that field. After getting my Master’s degree, I went to work at Eastman Kodak Company. For 17 years I had a wide variety of assignments. With each new job offer, I asked myself if the skills I would learn there would help me grow my own business. I didn’t know what that business would be… but I knew I wanted to try. When the timing was right, I jumped on the chance to strike out on my own.
Here’s an idea, write a short autobiography. In it, describe the things you’ve done that you absolutely loved doing. Don’t write, oh I loved the people… write what you did with or for people that you enjoyed the most. As a kid, what did you love to do? If you had no financial responsibilities, what would you do? Think about the things that make you light up and that you just can’t seem to shut up about. You may not find a career doing those things but it may help your creative flow.
Just thinking about these things isn’t as productive as writing them down. Once on paper, the ideas can be reviewed, sifted through and reorganized. If you’re stuck, talk it over with someone (I suggest someone outside your family). Have that person listen to you for 15-20 minutes; ask them to take some notes. Then you can listen and take notes for them. You might be surprised at what you’ll learn.
Let me know what you found out. Sharing is a very important part of growth and change. We’re all in this together.
Once upon a job, I had a great boss. She was the first female boss I’d ever had and she taught me a great deal about being a good manager. She taught me to listen and how to stay focused on an objective. She showed me how to help a team reach difficult goals and how to ask for help. She told me what I was doing wrong and praised me when I deserved it.
The first time I met her she asked me a question that no boss had ever asked me. “What would you like to be doing and where do you think you can make the most difference?” I was blown away by the question and grateful that I had a good answer! If your CEO asked you that question, what would you say?
She spoiled me for the next few bosses I had until one day I realized that I could go shopping for a boss who would teach me things and help me grow. I wanted a boss who could show me how to be responsible for my own professional development and I vowed never to work for someone I didn’t respect or believe I could learn from. I became a boss shopper.
Before I took any job I would listen carefully to the person who would be my boss. Did I think the person was ethical? Would our styles be compatible? Would I be proud of the work I was doing? I always listened to my heart and my gut as well as my head. They haven’t steered me wrong since.
The worst boss I ever had (besides the one who was an embezzler!) was the one who was a micromanager. I got excellent performance reviews but he drove me crazy and I moved on to another job as soon as I could.
While these are difficult times for job hunters, it is still important to know myself and to understand what kind of boss will help me provide the most value to my customers and colleagues.
You might wonder what Lucille Ball, Michael Jordan, Ulysses S. Grant and the Beatles have in common. They were all thought to be failures. Lucy’s high school theater teacher thought she was too shy, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team and Grant failed so many times that, at 38, he finally went to work for his father. Lastly, the record company that listened to the Beatles thought guitar music was ‘on its way out’ when they turned them down.
These household names not only had talent, they also persevered. If you watch this video, you’ll find a source of inspiration. Feeling discouraged? Remember what each of these failures faced. The difference between them and a lot of other very talented people is that they did not say, “I give up.” They just kept going.
At a time when the world is moving faster and opportunities may seem elusive; it is important that we simultaneously lighten up and bear down. Remember the good inside you and decide that, as one of our most patient and famous Rochester forbearer’s, Susan B. Anthony, once said, “Failure is impossible.”
When I first saw this video, it was like listening to a wise friend. Patricia Ryan Madson says, “Ready or not, scared or not…improvise your life, no matter what, don’t give up,” from ‘A Way of Life’. I want to be a cheerleader for you and what you want to do. If you need some encouragement; I hope you’ll call on me. It’s your faith in me, your encouragement and kind words that keep me going. Thank you!
I hear it over and over, “Twitter is stupid.” When some people find out I teach social media they tell me how dumb twitter is. They know almost nothing about twitter and have never even seen it, yet they are convinced (based on something they’ve read or heard) that it’s a waste of time. When I explain it, some people still argue with me and announce,”I’ll never use twitter.”
To that I reply, “You don’t have to.” If you can grow your company, find a job, network effectively or accomplish your other goals without it, then good. If however, you’re looking to inexpensively reach new contacts; you may want to have an open mind. I encourage people to learn what twitter is and how it might help them. I agree Twitter isn’t for everyone but only make that decision after its capabilities are understood.
If you are unfamiliar with Twitter you may think that you have to follow people and have followers and that is what it’s all about. The power of twitter is in REAL TIME SEARCH. All the information that is attached to a ‘tweet’ is there because a person thinks it’s worthwhile.
Here are just a few facts about twitter for job seekers. Did you know that:
There are a minimum of 180 recruiters on twitter?
There are over 50 companies who regularly post jobs on twitter?
You can find jobs by searching on a profession e.g. @engineering
You can find an internship by searching @findinternerships
People who find jobs there already ‘get’ the power of social media and don’t need to be trained
I regularly teach social media for job hunters, my next session is on October 29 at the Pittsford Library, Rochester, NY. Let me know if you’d like to join us. The sessions are free, fun and you can network at the same time as you learn. I am looking forward to meeting you.