The key to success is
to focus our conscious minds
on things we desire,
not things we fear.
- Brian Tracy
When you're in a job search, it's all too easy to focus on things you fear: making a mistake and getting rejected. It makes sense...job searching is naturally filled with rejection. Not every job you go after is going to be "The One."
The problem is that focusing on the rejection only holds you back. You're not as confident and you're not as enthusiastic, which means that you don't go after opportunities that you should--because you're afraid. And not going after an opportunity is a guarantee that you won't get it.
I once had my office in a very busy part of town. Most businesses on my street (including mine) had a sign on the door that said "No Soliciting." However, every week I bought something from someone who walked past the sign and went for a sale anyway. Not everyone who walked past the sign made a sale--but some did. And the people who never walked past it never did.
So...focus on what you want, not on what you fear. This positive focus will push you past obstacles in your way and get you the success you deserve.
If you're having trouble maintaining your positive focus, get help:
Attend a Career Confidential free job search webinar. These trainings will motivate you as well as build your skills.
Connie lost her Director-level job in the high-tech industry and is looking for another executive-level position. These positions are high-risk positions to fill for any company (lots of money and power involved--repercussions from decisions made by this person can last a long time). Check out Connie's story about how she used the promise of a 90 to 180-Day Plan to make a nervous, unsure hiring manager excited to interview her, and much more open to the idea of hiring her:
I've been using all of your tools since I lost my job 4 weeks ago. I found you by following a link on LinkedIn; your program looked like exactly what I needed to launch my search.
By way of context, I'm in the high tech industry, specifically in outsourcing. My last position was at the director level but the company was relatively small, an EMS company with about $60M USD in revenue. It was a mistake going there in the first place as I am much better suited to large global companies. I'm armed with an MBA in International business, several languages, and 20 years of experience in strategic sourcing.
One of my LinkedIn connections knows the hiring manager at a large global OEM struggling to rationalize outsourcing across 60 countries; they need someone with my exact skill set including fluency in German. Imagine that!
The hiring manager, VP Operations, called me today (bypassing HR:). Luckily he was already pre-sold on me and had obtained executive approval to create a position in Global Sourcing. We spoke for a few minutes but it was clear that he was not sure exactly what he is looking for. He was only able to outline the little he knows about the challenge. He's new to his position as well and sounded nervous about the high visibility "my" position would have (big risk). And he was unsure how to proceed. He said "I guess we should meet so you can take me through your resume, what do you think?"
SO...I said "How about this; sure I'll take you through my background so you can see how I've been successful in similar roles in the past. Then, why don't I show you a brief powerpoint presentation outlining how I will approach this position in the first 3-6 months so that you see my thought process and what you can expect?" His response was "Are you serious? Wow, that would be fantastic! Is it ok with you if I invite a few other executives?"
I will let you know how this works out! I'm so excited and very very glad I followed all aspects of your program.
Did you know you can set up your day to have a quick opportunity to improve yourself? One of the nicest things about the internet is the opportunity to learn, and improving your language is going to make a difference in your career.
Here’s why language is important: the things you write online stay there. The impression you make with your speech and writing doesn’t fade too fast, either. If you are consistently using language the way that “everybody” uses language online, then you are automatically closing the street to opportunity.
If I absolutely HAD to boil down to the bare essentials the best job search advice for anyone, it would be this:
Be a Squeaky Wheel
Why be a squeaky wheel? Have you ever heard, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease"? It means that if the wheel on your car or your bike or your shopping cart is rolling along making no noise, drawing no attention to itself, you won't think about it at all. If, however, there's a wheel that squeaks every time it rolls around, you'll pay attention to it. If you're handy, you'll give it some grease to smooth its circular path.
How does this apply to your job search? A squeaky wheel is noticed. It draws attention. It causes action. It causes a response. A silent wheel won't ever draw any attention to itself at all.
Failures do what is tension-relieving,
while winners do what is goal-achieving.
- Dennis Waitley
(as quoted in Brian Tracy's book, Eat That Frog)
I love Brian Tracy (if you've never read one of Brian Tracy's books, get one and read it today) and I love Dennis Waitley for this quote.
Job searching is hard--no one will argue with that. The problem is that it can be all too easy to relieve the tension of the job search by stepping away from it (watching TV, going out with your friends, or surfing the web all day--even if you are "looking for jobs").
To win in the job search, you have to do those things that will get you to your goal. Stop fiddling with an already great resume and send it. Stop surfing and anonymously applying for jobs and find a hiring manager (your potential future boss) to contact directly. Stop worrying about letting others know you're out of work and contact everyone you've ever met to let them know what job you're looking for. These things are goal-achieving.
If you have some stumbling block keeping you from goal achieving, or if you're already trying these things but not seeing results, get help.
A cursory look at the history of clothing shows a lot of change, and it is a fascinating way to spend some time. Who knew that both men and women wore makeup and high heels in some European courts? Clothing has always been an indicator of power, and that fact will probably never change. But when you are trying to figure out how to dress for the success of your career, there isn’t much help in the styles of the past. What matters today is the impression you make on those around you now.
There Is No Single Business Uniform
It’s a mistake to think that you can read up on business attire and get it right for a specific business environment, because every workplace is slightly different. There are some general guidelines, though, and I think the best one I’ve seen is Business Insider’s look at How To Dress Like A Leader In Any Work Environment. It identifies 5 levels of business attire, from “baseline casual” to “boardroom attire” and gives a complex subject some simplicity.
But the reality is that different regions in the world can vary on their idea of what to wear, and when. CEOs in the Silicon Valley are going to look different than a similar executive level in New York City, while the boardroom in Hong Kong has way more suits in it than the same company’s boardroom in Hawaii.
This is a great illustration of the power of a resume redo.
Tammy didn't change anything but her resume, and she got 4 interviews in a week--after looking for a job for over a year with no luck.
... I [had] been looking for a job for over a year. I completed your extreme resume makeover and within the first week was called to interview at a company for four different positions. My interviews are next week and I have completed my 30-60-90 day plan and will be watching your In Person Interview video before my interviews. Thank you for putting together such a valuable program...
A 30 60 90 Day Plan is a key interview tool that will make you stand out and get the job offer. A 90 Day Plan shows the employer your drive, knowledge, and fit for the job. It even helps you answer interview questions better than ever before.
To create a 90-Day Plan for your next interview, take a look at these articles:
There was a very interesting study done at the University of British Columbia where narcissistic behavior was studied in context of job interviews. According to UBC Psychology Prof. Del Paulhus,
“A job interview is one of the few social situations where narcissistic behaviours such as boasting actually create a positive impression. Normally, people are put off by such behaviour, especially over repeated exposure.”
The study was conducted by having participants answer questions to rate their narcissism, then be observed in a job interview scenario. Those who fell higher on the narcissism scale made more eye contact, asked questions, talked about themselves, and joked around a bit. This made them more attractive as candidates despite the reality of what they’d be like as coworkers.
What This Book Will Do For You:
• Give You Exceptional Answers to Common Phone Interview Questions
• Warn You about Phone Interview Mistakes That Get You Screened Out
• Help You Be Confident, Relax and Make a Fantastic First Impression
• Give You Powerful ‘How To’ Tips for a Perfect Phone Interview
• Get You Invited To Interview Face-To-Face
What Kinds Of Tips Are In This Book?
- Typical Phone Interview Questions (and Stand-Out Answers)
- Tips to ‘Cheat’ in a Phone Interview To Give Yourself an Unfair Advantage
- How To Research the Company and the Interviewer Before the Call
- What NEVER To Say In a Phone Interview
- The ONE Question You Should Ask In EVERY Phone Interview
- How to Help them Qualify You for the Face-to-Face Interview
- How to Follow Up AFTER the Interview
- How to Plan, Prepare, and Execute a Perfect Phone Interview
This book is for YOU if you want to slam-dunk every phone interview and get invited to the face-to-face.
You will discover my best phone interview tips from 14 years of interviewing thousands of candidates (as a hiring manager and recruiter). Find out what hiring managers are really thinking about you.
Peggy McKee is a nationally-recognized career coach and job search expert. As the CEO of Career Confidential, she educates job seekers, providing strategies and tools for a fast, wildly successful job search. Career Confidential has helped over 17,000 people in approximately 90 countries get hired fast.
Peggy McKee has 15+ years of experience in sales, management, recruiting, and career coaching. She is a dedicated advocate for job seekers and believes that her experience has led to her unique advice and unparalleled success rate.
Originally from Oklahoma, Peggy grew up on a 1000-acre ranch. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Oklahoma. She now lives in her adopted state of Texas with her husband and two children. She’s still a cowgirl at heart and loves ranch work, trail riding, and her favorite horse, Lucky.
Anyone who’s ever worked in a supermarket, warehouse or factory will tell you that aiming higher is always going to be a wise move. Some people don’t have the opportunity to better themselves, and so they spend their entire life earning meager wages while working their fingers to the bone. Being as you are in a position where re-entering higher education and seeking a better career is possible, you need to take the bull by the horns. There are plenty of folks out there who would love to head back to university and get a degree. Not only does that expand your mind, but it also means you can earn significantly more cash for slightly more comfortable work. With all that in mind, you should use this article as your starting point. The careers we’ve listed are simply there to point you in the right direction. The perfect idea for you probably isn’t listed on this page. However, the ones we’ve mentioned should get you thinking.