I’m GREAT, Doesn’t EVERYONE else know it?

A healthy ego is essential for success in the workplace.  You need to be confident in your own skills, abilities, and experiences as you progress through your career.  That’s a no-brainer.  But, what happens when your employer decides that your skills, abilities, and experiences should be shared elsewhere.  What you are left with is your past, and it becomes vitally important that you impart your SAE to a potentially new employer.  You know you are GREAT!  Everyone else should know it and come knocking down your door, right?

Uh…  Not so much. 

In the workforce these days, there are many, many bright and talented individuals that have skills, abilities, and experiences that are not readily seen.  Thus preparing for your next chapter as a job hunter becomes mission critical.

A couple of ideas that I would like to share, most of which are considered “DUH” ideas, but nonetheless, are share worthy.

  • Keep your eyes wide open while currently employed.  New employers/hiring managers have ego’s too.  They love the idea of “stealing” talent from another organization, however, are not as boastful if they find a “stray”.
  • Research – Social media offers insights into organizations and leaders that 30 years ago were not as easily attained.  Know who you are interviewing with and what that person focuses on.  Understand and use jargon that are hot in your industry now.
  • Plan your behavioral responses, based upon how you utilized your skills and abilities in situations you have been faced with.  How did these contribute as successes and failures to your overall experience for the position.
  • Share openly during the interview, but not too openly.  You don’t want to be perceived as condescending, individualistic, or hard to get a long with during the interview.  Be able to share what you learned as a result of the situation you provided as an example.  Negative situations are the best sharing opportunities as they demonstrate your ability to grow personally and professionally.

Remember, you need to be able to sell yourself forward, not reside in your past.  The person interviewing you may not be able to connect the dots with your diverse experiences, and it is up to you to connect those dots for them.  People that don’t know me, for instance, are quite surprised when I say that I was a History major in college.  Dot connecting has become common place for me.

You are GREAT!  Plan for where you want to be, not for where you are.  Network, network, network!  Doors will open, and you will be able to walk through them!  Good Luck!!

Have a great week!

Deep Thought

Remember if you will Saturday Night Live back in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s.  Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy…  Today’s blog is one of those such moments….

I rarely write in the first person, because I really feel that what I write about here is not about me, but about others.  However, my thoughts are different today.  I had a thought recently while I was having a meeting with a direct report of mine.  We were talking about customer engagement and how effective we were being not with our consumer engagement, but our clients that hired us. 

Since we have had very few requests come in from our clients, and our consumer ratings have been consistently strong, we wondered if there are issues beneath the surface.  Thus my recent thought, that “the messages often lost are in the words never spoken”.

What this statement means will be interpretted by each person individually.  Here are my two cents.  As a vendor, service provider, retailer, etc., it is easy to get caught up with positive vibes when no one seems to be complaining, however, are you sure there is not something brewing beneath the surface?  Are you surveying your clients and touching base with them on a regular and ad hoc basis?  How do you know what their “ping” points are? 

On a personal level, are you connecting with those that really matter?  In any relationship, communication is the key to success, even at times where you may not personally feel like communicating.  My self-perception is that I am shy and introverted, although I have been told just the opposite in almost all facets of my life.  Communicating with others is something that I really struggle with, especially when it comes to “chit-chat”.  My preference is to be more of a listener and analyzer to gain perspective.  However, in order to be successful in my line of work I have found that I need to proactively communicate with clients and staff.

I have found that by not being proactive in my communication, I have often lost messages in words that were never spoken.  There is the old saying that when one assumes…  I have learned never to assume.  People, personally and professionally, appreciate proactive communication more so than reactive communiction even if it’s as simple as just checking in call.

The messages often lost are in the words never spoken.  Make it your goal to not lose a message today.  Then make it a goal for a week, then a month, and pretty soon it will become a habit, both personally, and professionally. 

Have a great week!  And feel free to communicate back with me!