Is Job Hunting Really Just Sales?

If you are successful in sales, you’ve either had training or you’ve learned what works through trial and error . For the rest of us (90%!), we don’t really have any idea how to sell. Sure,we may have personal communication strengths that make us more or less persuasive, but without training, we’re flying blind.

As job hunters, we can learn a lot of from the steps to effective selling; especially if we think of finding the job we want as a similar process: prospecting, qualifying, negotiating and maintaining the relationship and we think of closing a prospect at each step along the way.

When sales people are required to make ‘cold calls’ — that is, talk with someone without an introduction… they use a process that can be helpful to job seekers. Check out …Cold Calling: How to Ask for an Interview.

Excellent sales people learn:

— not everyone is a fit for what they are selling

— not to take disinterest or rejection personally

— to focus on value and building relationships for the long haul

— to stick to the process and follow through

What separates a good sales person from a great one is how they:

— understand their target (research and listening)

— focus on the value of their offering to that particular customer

— are politely persistent in their follow through







No matter where you are in your job search process… I guarantee you will learn something valuable by learning more about sales. Take a great sales person to coffee or lunch and pick their brain about staying even, goal setting, follow through, etc. It’ll be money well spent.

Photo credit 1: borissey  working women3

Image credit sales process graph: Peaksalesconsulting

Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants – The War is Over

At work, the war between the kids (20 somethings) and the old people (50 somethings) is over. The kids have won.

For those of you who think this isn’t true, let’s consider the facts.

— The workplace is officially  BYOD – Bring Your Own Device… in a short 5 years the IT department has gone from “we don’t support that” to “we’ll help you get your job done on whatever device you need.”

— Bye bye Blackberry– 5 years ago, in “Corporate America” — the Blackberry was  the go-to device. Their market share has fallen from 41% to 10%.  A person no longer needs a big corporation’s network and device to be mobile & productive.

— Letting technology do what it does best is a win/win. When we can use technology to remove distance barriers between people…e.g.  online learning, online petitionsFacebook and collaborative tools like Google docs, dropbox and flickr— we substantially improve productivity and outcomes.

However, we need to keep pushing on the very important HUMAN side of the equation. The things machines can’t do (and likely never will) are the keys to making this new digital, “cyberspacy” world work for all of us.

These include:

– Empathy, Passion, Listening, Respect, Courage.

Listen to Marc Presnsky (who first talked about digital natives and immigrants in 2003) talk about the responsibility of educators in using technology. We can all learn from this.

Photo credit: familymwr -eye of the holder

Yawn, I’m Comfortable With Who I Am

For those of us who have a ‘good’ job; one that we’ve been in for several years – we’re probably feeling a combination of smugness – “well, I haven’t had to go through all that so I must be really good” and relief – “thank goodness I haven’t had to look for a new job, interview, network, change.”

If you are thinking, no, no – that’s not true, I know I how lucky I am. Really?

Whether you have a job or are looking for one… attitude is everything. An honest appraisal of ourselves is required for growth of any kind. There’s a fine line between self-acceptance (I’m OK the way I am) and denial (deep down I know I need to change but it’s too hard so I’m going to just stay the way I am.)

In a terrific short read, “Are You Too Comfortable to Grow? “, the author describes how comfort limits our ability to stretch.  How many times a day do think, “this is so hard?” The harder the challenges, the more we grow.


Photo credit: Irreverant


10 Steps to A Happy Life

These steps are based on my years of experience of doing it wrong; so I have it on excellent authority… my own happiness… that if you follow these steps … you may not be ecstatic..but you will be in a a better place.

1.  Sit quietly for 5 minutes a day

2.  Stop whining (you live in the wealthiest country in the world)

3.  Stop gossiping (including judging other in our own minds or out loud)

4.  Be grateful (write down 5 things you’re grateful for 2x a day, no repeats for 30 days)

5.  Learn new stuff – especially stuff that is hard

6. Find someone to help (outside your family)

7.  Shut up and listen (for a change)

8. Exercise your body and willpower daily

9. Walk tall, smile, be gracious

10.   Be grateful — this is really the key to everything.

At the most difficult time of my life, I kept a gratitude diary. Once a day I wrote down 5 things I was grateful for…and I couldn’t repeat anything. After 3 months I had incorporated gratitude into my daily thinking. That was nearly 20 years ago and I still reflect on all my gifts everyday.

Those tremendously sad years gave me the one thing I needed most – a way to enjoy every day – no matter what is happening around me. The idea and accompanying serenity are yours for the taking.

Photo credit: Partners in Community Development

Kerploppi and Other Old Friends

My kids favorite book was Professor Wormbog’s Gloomy Kerploppus.

What did they love? the silly pictures? the way I did the voices of the various characters? or simply the comfort of snuggling and reading the same story over and over – completely predictable in an unpredictable world. As children we are naturally attracted to what interests us. We are open. Life is compelling and fun. Do you still feel that way?

Check out one of my favorite bloggers – Julien Smith –  his post 19 Thoughts on Finding Your Purpose. There’s a little something for everyone here. I particularly like…

Go through your childhood and find what interested you. Combine those things and add a trend or two. Do it right and you’ll have a great business.”

What did you love as a kid? Do you still do it now?

If you can’t remember what you loved as a kid– think about how you can remember? Smells and sounds can be evocative so remember those childhood foods and songs and see if that helps. Ask someone who knew you then how they remember you.

What book, stuffed animal, cartoon, movie, friend, house, toy -do you remember? See what you can learn about yourself today.

As I kid I loved to read and write. I had a very difficult and unhappy childhood but I still remember sitting in an orange wing chair (oh the 70’s!) next to a window where birds chirped all day. Those books and that chair took me places where I felt safe. Now I look to find ways to help others “find their way.”

What did you love as a child and how might it help you be happier and more fulfilled today? You can do it!