Archive for June, 2015

Two Ways To Improve the Odds in Your Favor

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

ContinuousImprovement_300Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity. Improving your odds of winning – being lucky and landing a fantastic job, well-paying new clients, a sold-out audience for your workshop, a big promotion or bonus depends on preparation and opportunity. AKA luck.

That’s why some people are always lucky. And, some people have no luck.

There is a trap door you may haven fallen through in life’s journey so far. It’s what puts you below our awareness. It drops you off our radar when we are looking to hire. It makes you invisible when we need someone who does exactly what you do. It makes you appear inferior even when you could be in fact, the very best at what you do. It cripples your good intentions.

That trap door is clarity. For you to be lucky – to be prepared and conscious of opportunities that fulfill your dreams – you must be completely and totally clear about what you want. Or what I call: what you really, really want.

Clarity is a synonym for commitment in this case. As you know, many people are commitment-phobic. You might be accustomed to thinking about commitment in terms of romantic relationships. There are self-help books about falling in love with people who can’t commit. The books all end the same way. The best advice: run away from people who are commitment phobic. You can only lose if you stay attracted and attached to them.

That’s how employers feel. How prospective clients feel. How investors feel.

We can feel your lack of clarity. We can sense your lack of commitment. I don’t mean in a romantic relationship, of course. I mean in a business relationship.

This is what a lack of clarity and commitment sound like:

“I hope I can …”

“I think I might …”

“If someone gave me …”

Having met thousands of people talking about their businesses and careers in this way, I now know why employers, and prospective clients or investors run away from the people who lack clarity and commitment.

You appear to want to burden us with your needs. How? You want us to imagine you. You want us to be clear on what you want. You want us to make your luck.

We don’t want to.

It is up to you describe exactly what you want – what you really, really want – in its most minute detail. The first person you should tell is yourself. Then, go about preparing yourself for exactly what you want. Take the classes or workshops. Do the reading. Follow the thought leaders. Practice and prepare. You’ll be amazed how the right opportunities land right in front of you. And how quickly your dreams become reality.

How should you start getting clear and committed? Be able to answer this question. If I called you up tomorrow, and said, “I have an amazing opportunity for you!” What would I be talking about? Just so you know, over ten years I have asked this question of thousands of people. In a decade, only three have been able to answer it on-the-spot.

What would you say is an amazing opportunity for you? Let me know. I might help you find it. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Amazing

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Are You from Another Planet?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

ASK-QUESTIONBefore you talk to a recruiter or hiring manager, ask yourself: “Am I from another planet?” Because you might be, when it comes to expectations, environment, hierarchy, and all sorts of corporate culture.

The number one reason why most people lose out on bigger salaries, plus a moving allowance, expense account and even a down payment on a house is?

You don’t know to ask for it.

If the “planet” you’re from has a culture that includes “don’t ask for more than we think you deserve,” you are leaving money, benefits, and perquisites on the table.

Your current planet might be a business where you are working, or it might be your family culture, where you never understood how much money came in and where it all went.

If you are a second child, your “family planet” has really compromised your asking ability.

After all, your eldest sibling had the “first mover advantage.”

A second child’s life is lived like you’re behind Microsoft, Apple, Oakley, Iron Man and Henry Ford’s Model T. The eldest child naturally has a winner take all mentality.

If you fall anywhere behind the eldest, you got trickle down everything. Clothes, bedroom furniture, books, music, computer, video game console and pie (or whatever dessert was left over after numero uno was full). Stuff just trickled down on little lucky you.

Of course, your life might not have been that harsh. And, you might be the eldest or only child (like the great majority of US astronauts and presidents).

If you are the eldest, you got treated either too well or too harshly.

The parental units either doted on you or cut their teeth on you.

If you’re an only child, you have been on your own planet for too long. You might lack empathy, patience and agreeableness. That makes you a great mergers and acquisitions executive, but a difficult employee all the way up the ladder to that post.

The truth is: no one has it easy interviewing at a new company. It’s a new planet. You don’t know what to expect. It’s hard to get ready for the unknown.

I worked at seven major media companies and Global 2000 corporations. Each one was a planet onto itself. Some had less gravity, thinner air, and way better perqs. Some had more gravity, thicker air and way less of everything else.

When I became a consultant, I realized that I was on a different planet with every phone call, meeting and strategy session. The ability to recognize that old rules do not apply, is imperative to your success. The ability to read the landscape and the people on it is mission critical.

My advice to you is “stay in the moment,” when you are in conversations with people you do not yet know.

Do not go forward with your old mindset.

You cannot imagine what is so much better and how to get it – if you persist in believing that you know how it is everywhere. And, you won’t know what to avoid, if you’re coming from a happy place and into a darker one.

A basic rule: ask for more than you think you deserve. Ask for a moving allowance. Ask for car service. Ask for a down payment on a house. And, if you think the company’s going to go places, get stock.

What is your biggest salary negotiation question? Ask me and I will answer. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com Subject line: Salary

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Have You Made A Really Big Mistake?

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Frustrated-businessman-011-430x258The truth about your success is pretty grim. Success shines a light on your mistakes. Success often comes from the lessons you learned. They are most often carved out of experiences where you did not win. Where you lost, but got back up. Where you failed, but stood up to take another chance.

Your victories owe a huge debt to whatever keeps you going. In a word, we might call that thing: Persistence. Resilience. Patience.

Those words are all about your personal brand. They are all about what you have to bring to the fight, from the strength of your own work ethic, mental fortitude and psychological well-being.

But there are many mistakes from which you cannot pull yourself up without the help of others. These mistakes aren’t simple ones. They are the real big ones that happen at work. They are the ones that can destroy your career.

A client of mine is in finance. One mistake on a spreadsheet nearly cost her an entire lifetime of building up to the vaulted position she held. Yes, human error is still possible in the computation age. In the era of spreadsheets, a single human error on a data point cascades throughout the entire analysis (since the computation takes that error and spreads it like a virus).

So, no amount of persistence, resilience or patience could “cure” that mistake.

What saved my client was not anything she could do on her own. Not Persistence. Not Resilience. Not Patience.

Relationships saved her.

Kindness. Goodwill. Compassion.

You see, she had given these gifts to the people around her. Her boss. Her subordinates. Her peers. Her vendors. Since the day she was on the job, she showed them. Kindness. Goodwill. Compassion. It paid off. It’s called the Rule of Reciprocity. She earned what she received, even though she had hoped she would never need it.

In this life, you will be much more imperfect than perfect. You will make more mistakes than should be tolerated by your organization, by your boss or by yourself.

The smartest people are the kindest ones. They are betting realistically on the future. They know they will need forgiveness.

Would you like to tell me about a mistake you made, one that worries you? I’ll send back my best career coaching advice. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Mistake

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