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Archive for August, 2012

Excellent link for job seekers

The following link is an excellent article for those in the job search.

When you think in terms of personal marketing it’s only natural for all of us to want our resumes to be perfect.  We’ve read countless books extolling the virtue of the perfect resume.

There’s so much written on the subject that, in our quest to have the perfect resume, we sometimes forget or put off other activities critical to the job search.  Indeed, we spend so much time looking at the tree we forget there’s a forest right behind it.

Good article.

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Categories: Personal branding

I want my books

Lately, I done a lot of reading.

I’ve bought and collected many books over the years from bookstores (Barnes & Noble, Amazon – you’re welcome.  Borders, I’m sorry I couldn’t save you…I liked you best), used bookstores and even  library used book sales.

Eighty percent of the library is on business and public speaking.  The balance on gardening, farming, hydroponics and raising livestock (my retirement plan).

There’s a lot of wisdom in those old books and I use them for reference when preparing presentations.  My dilemma, nay my addiction, is keeping them.

You can’t beat timeless quotes, lessons learned and stories of success and failure.  They’re great reads and they beat hands-down the fiction that is written today.  The problem is space.

I believe in technology.  I do.  I love all the things computers and smartphones can do.  I love Facebook (though not a big user), Linkedin, and Twitter.  I love the fact that you can update one and it updates the other two automatically.  I love almost everything e-whatever.

Except e-readers.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do like them.  There’s just something missing when I hold one of them in my hand and try to relax and read.  It’s just not, well, normal.

I love my books.  They’re warm, comfortable to touch, highlighted to death in some cases and were the original wireless reader.  They’ve traveled with me, kept me company during long nights when I was in the service, taught me many things and, yes, look good on my bookshelves.  They’re representative of my personal library.

I don’t get the same feeling when it comes to e-readers.  There’s just something sterile about having your whole library in a 9″x12″ space.  But, that brings us back to space.  Space I don’t have and a wife who is really pushing me to downsize.

It’s an argument I’m afraid I’m going to lose.

In the meantime, I’m going to go re-read some of my old friends because I will have to decide which to keep, which to get rid of and which to put on a new e-reader.

Lord, I’m going to miss my books…..

Categories: Uncategorized

What a pool player can teach you about self-promotion

August 19, 2012 1 comment

I’m re-reading a book I bought years ago. The title is”How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” by Frank Bettger. It’s an old book, published in 1947, but still containing gems that apply today.

Chapter 30 contains a lesson he learned from Willie Hoppe, internationally renown billiards player (1887-1959), that we should all practice.  That lesson?

“It’s just as important to play position for the next shot in selling, as it is in billiards.”

Champion pool players always think 6-7 shots ahead when playing.  They position the cue ball accordingly.  We should do the same when it come to self-promotion.

Self-promotion is not a one-shot proposition.  It’s a long-term strategy that consists of carefully calculated steps that enhance your experience and visibility.  The execution of that strategy positions you for the next step in your overall plan, be that plan a job promotion, career advancement or business development.

Don’t be shortsighted.  Take the time to determine where you want to go, then develop the plan to get there.  Only then will you know the how to evaluate the next 6-7 steps in your self-promotion strategy to get you where you want to go.

 

Categories: Self-promotion

Standing out

August 16, 2012 2 comments

To stand out. How do you do that when so many things we do in our work are reduced to commodity?

After all, if you’re on a factory floor putting widget A into thingamabob B all day how do you stand out?  What if, heaven forbid, you’re sitting in a cubicle filling out TPS reports (from Office Space – great movie)? How do you stand out?

I believe what Bob Proctor said about getting rich.  He said, “You don’t get rich doing certain things, you get rich doing things in a certain way.”  The same can be said for standing out.  It’s not what you do – it’s in how you do it.

Boring jobs are just that,  boring jobs.  Break the monotony by adding some enthusiasm and intent to what you’re doing.  It will be noticed.  Your boss and your peers will probably ask you what’s going on.  Keep it up and people will begin to mark you as someone they want to have around.  You’ll stand out.

The second way to stand out is to actually take a stand.  Success in any endeavor means you will have to go your own way from time to time.  It will be unpopular and there may a cost involved.  Pay it.

You cannot be successful and please everyone all the time.  At some point on your journey you will tested regarding your integrity, your time or your principles.  Choose to be your own person and make your own decisions.  Those who take a stand, stand out.

Back to the four principles

As promised, I’m going to go back a couple of posts and address the four principles of career success according to Williams Arruda and just give my take on his video.

I’m just going to deal with two of these in this post:  be your own boss and forget the ladder.

Be your own boss.  Get used to the idea now that the days of looking for work in the traditionally sense are done.  You now must take ownership of your career.

You can no longer trust that a company is gong to take care of you.  They can’t and they shouldn’t.

They own the job, but you own the career.  And a career goes on even if the job ends.

Like it or not you have to treat it like a business.  You have to show fiscal restraint.  You have to show initiative.  You have to show tenacity and discipline.

Are you saving?  Are you putting money away to get additional training?   What skills are you developing on your own to get better at your job and the next job you want to have?  And, finally, are you setting aside time daily or weekly to read about your field?  What books have you read?  Are you up-to-date?

Sit down and have a frank discussion with yourself.  Do you know where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years or 10 years?

Finally, have you got a mentor?  You know, someone who can show you the ropes and is interested in your success.  Someone you can talk to.  Don’t wait for someone to show up.   Find someone you’d like to emulate and go ask for advice.

Being the boss is hard.  But if you don’t want to wind up depending on someone else for your career, then you need to step up and own it.

Forget the ladder.  In the video post Mr.Arruda talks about the mistake of managing your career only when we are trying to get to the next rung.  Then we update our resume; then we finally get around to updating Linkedin, Monster or Careerbuilder; then we finally make contact with recruiters.  All in the attempt to get to the next rung on the ladder or get the next notch on our belt.

The problem with all of that is we’re trying to get to the next rung on “their” corporate ladder.  We care that the resume shows the “right” progression, the requisite responsibilities, and the right buzz words.  Did we job hop?  Did we stay too long in a position (homesteading)?  Why weren’t we promoted sooner?  We want to demonstrate that we fit in the “box.”

And if that is what you want then that’s fine.  But if you’ve taken control of your career then “their” ladder doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are moving in the direction you want to go.  The ladder becomes irrelevant.

And when the ladder becomes irrelevant you are now on your schedule.  You can relax and concentrate on doing the job and not worry about what others think of your career.  You’re on your timetable, not theirs.

Long post, but it’s my take.  Next time we’ll deal with the last two principles:  Stand out and Build your brand.

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