Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

About Our Fight To Be Free of Fear

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

shutterstock_241659253-300x199Be relentless. Be resilient. Be able to repair.

Be ready to play hurt. Play tired. Play even with despair.

Everything can change in one moment.

Every thing passes. Every thing that is good and every thing that is bad does not last.

What have we learned from the latest terror campaign acted out on Paris and Nigeria? What have we learned from Boko Haram and other followers of religious or political texts that preach the elimination of anyone who does not follow those “teachings?” What have we learned from Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Russia, the US and every other territory on the planet?

What have we learned that is so valuable that it should inform the way you live and work, and the way you express your personal brand?

We have learned not to be afraid. Being afraid makes you a resident of a permanent state of instability and some would say its neighbor: insanity. Afraid is not a place where you can reside if you believe that your freedom to make decisions for yourself is the best way to live. If you are among my tribe of intentional personal branders, you believe that freedom opens all doors and all possibilities. Of course that includes the best and the worst of times.

Although you may be in a heightened state of grief right now, in fact no place is absolutely safe nor has it been at any time. We have learned there is no safety if you shelter in place. If you try to remain quiet with the door shut.

We have learned if you are armed with a pencil, with the talent of a cartoonist and the intellectual capacity of a pundit, you are not safe. That if you shop in a market, you are not safe. We have even learned that a young girl may come into a town square, probably unknowingly carrying a bomb that kills and injures as many people as possible.

The actions of states or individuals can result in such tragedy. You cannot actually hold all the possibilities in your brain and stay calm. That does not mean you should look away from the truth, or act in spite of, or in any way fail to acknowledge it.

You should just take in what you can, when you can. Then do your best to live the best life you can. Remember to kiss the ones you love good-bye or tell them that you love them before you get off the phone or text. Support strangers in times of grief and in times of celebration, and do not be surprised that those occur quite close to each other.

We are mourning and celebrating. We are in despair and yet our faith in humanity has deepened.

Je vous suis. Nous sommes une.

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Why You Need a Recruiter to Feel You

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Business handshake to seal a dealYou probably don’t think of yourself as a teacher, unless you actually are one. That’s too bad, since the majority of your work in whatever occupations you choose will involve teaching other people, at least if you are going to be successful.

Successful people won’t spend the next 40 years trying to fill job descriptions written by someone who never met them. If all you can do is what a boss tells you to do, the future looks dreary and impoverished. You’ll probably be competing with robots for most of that kind of work anyway, and robots are really poorly paid. They work for chips. They live on a fuel cell.  Don’t you need more?

Recruiters have too many candidates who are like robots. They appear to be alike. Capable of doing the functions of a job. You might be slightly better or worse than your competition for a job, but frankly you all pretty much look the same to employers.

The candidates who rise to the top, that recruiters notice, are the people who make us feel something. It’s the candidates who surprise us, with their amalgam of skills, life story, or unrelated prior experience that at first glance might be seem outlandish – but on learning more: amazes and impresses us.

That’s the key. You need us to learn about you.

Therefore, you have to teach us about you.

Here’s what you may not know about teaching. There is no learning without feeling.

In her opinion piece for last Sunday’s New York Times, a middle school English teacher Claire Needell Hollander writes, “I like it when my students cry, when they read with solemnity and purpose.” What Hollander knows is that information presented in a way that evokes emotion is education, because it stays with the student. It becomes part of the student. It haunts them. Changes them. Motivates them.

Why? Emotion is necessary to embed information in the brain. Emotion is the tripwire to our associating new information with other relevant knowledge we have stored.

The refrain in the brain of recruiters is: “I need someone who can do this!”  Their brains are full of needing and pain. They get a pile of resumes, look at a whole lot of LinkedIn profiles or take a whole lot of interviews, looking for someone who deserves the job opportunity they have.

What are they looking for? Recruiters are looking for someone who stands out from everyone else who could do the job. They are seeking someone who should get the job, because this person inspires trust, communicates a sense of willingness to take on a challenge, or telegraphs a warmth or generosity in their nature.

You know all these qualities and more as attributes of a personal brand. It is your personal brand: the true, authentic, compelling and engaging qualities about you that makes a recruiter feel you. That goes beyond scanning your resume.

You have an opportunity to help us feel your personal brand when you write your cover letter, develop your LinkedIn profile, take your interview and when you make an outreach call to a recruiter who has never met you – and especially when you get their voice mail. Learn to tell a story that communicates your personal brand and connects you with the job you want, even if you have little or no experience. Even if you appear to be an outlandish choice.

If you’d like to learn how to tell a story that teaches us about your personal brand, I have a worksheet and some examples for you. Send me an email at [email protected]. Subject line: Heroic Achievement Examples.

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Personal Brands: Craziest Advice Ever

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

644397_burzaWhy do job coaches tell you to EVADE a straightforward answer when a recruiter asks you this simple question?

“What do you expect to earn in terms of salary and related compensation, given the role and responsibilities associated with this position in our company?”

  1. Job coaches earn money for coaching you to get a job, but lose their income stream if you actually land a job.
  2. It’s been a long time since job coaches have succeeded in a job interview much less held a job, so they are giving you advice from the 1980’s.
  3. You appear to be a turnip living off nutrients from the soil, rather than a person seeking employment.

Would anybody who cared about you tell you to wear a funny hat to an interview?

Go naked?

Eat a Philly cheese steak during the interview?

Make sure to bring up your thoughts on Warren Beatty’s daughter getting a sex change (unless you are applying for a medical job, in which case they counsel you to talk about the need to re-cane all the chairs you have hoarded in your parents’ garage)?

Or tell you to do everything you can to avoid answering a simple question, which would show you:

  1. Came prepared to land the job
  2. Done research on the company and compensation for the job in its sector
  3. Understand your value and the value of your skill set

Clearly, I am puzzled by the rash of sort of angry diatribes from coaches who last week responded to my post by defending why they counsel you to think of money as a roadside bomb.

Here’s the truth. Employers are actively seeking employees who can help move their companies in a direction of growth (or stability).  They want sincere, straightforward communicators with integrity. They want to avoid hiring people who are:

  1. Crazy
  2. Liars
  3. Difficult to get along with

They want people who are:

  1. Honest
  2. Team players
  3. Good at what they do

In my post last week, I recommended you come prepared to answer the compensation question. Maybe that’s why CNBC called me their top job coach. Jeri Hird Dutcher agrees, and she is a super career coach with great strategies to help you get ahead.

On the other hand, among the comments from my post last week, I am glad to have drawn fire from other coaches whom you may hire if you want to dance like a gargoyle in your next interview.

It seems that if you are seeking an employer who likes obfuscation, frustration, and irrational chatter about simple things, there is a preponderance of coaches who can help you engage in the kind of dialogue that starts you off on the left foot, on the wrong beat.

Alternatively, when you want a great job with a great employer and a great start on a great relationship that will lead to great opportunities for greater challenges and greater income, then just answer the question when it’s asked.

“What do you expect to earn in terms of salary and related compensation, given the role and responsibilities associated with this position in our company?”

I urge you:

  1. Do your research so you know the company and compensation range
  2. Know what you are worth and the best way to articulate that
  3. Come prepared to be hired!

Angry, defensive, and personal attacks should follow in the comment section below.

Visit at

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Personal Brands: Stop Lying

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

You know who you are.

You tell us you will get it done – and you don’t.

You tell us you got it done – and you didn’t.

You tell us where you will be – and you are not.

You tell us you understand the situation and are prepared – and you haven’t given it a thought.

You tell us you used airline miles, when you actually put it on the company credit card.

You say you will be back to relieve someone else on their shift, but somehow traffic delayed you – again.

First you are informally demoted when someone else has to be brought in to do the mission critical portion of your job. Then, you are angry and irritable about feeling “underutilized,” so you lose your job. You have a tower of accusations or excuses. To us, your family and friends, your defenses actually are credible the first and second time.  After all, there really are impossible jobs with terrible bosses, and good people get fired. But, the baseball rule (three strikes and you’re found out) solves the puzzle of what you say happened versus what really happened.

Three of the best liars I know are able to look me straight in the eye and lie without blinking. They’re also performance artists: they cry real easily or get angry when they’re called out. They wonder aloud why no one trusts them. How could their character be so impugned? Why do we keep reminding them of what needs to be done? Why do we keep seeking assurances that it’s been done?

When lying is part of your personal brand, part of how you cope or how you roll, you are eventually exposed and everyone around you is exhausted from working with you – or accommodating you.

The path of destruction

The path of your destruction: the missed deadlines, the thrown together projects, and the loss of our time, money and opportunity hang like a shroud around you. The anxiety about what will be done, what will not be done, what will be half done and what will be undone but lay undiscovered for months so destroys our relationship with you, that any other amazing contribution you make has no appreciable value.

Lying is so stupid and debilitating to your career, that it’s most shocking when a smart, confident and ambitious person does it. It’s stupid because you lose all credibility, trust, respect and regard from the rest of us. No matter what other qualities you have, being a liar defines you.

Whether you lie reliably (about pretty much everything) or intermittently (which really destabilizes our relationship with you), just quit it. Cold turkey. People quit smoking, drinking, overeating, biting their nails, creating clutter, and a whole host of other self-destructive habits in service of self-actualization.

Consider that lying is a career-ending pattern for you. It’s disrespectful and disruptive to society – even if that society is just your workplace.

If you know me, you know I am Dr. Seuss’ Heloise the elephant. “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s true 100%.”

And I recognize that no one on earth is able to perform 100% on any given day. I suffer from making the same mistakes and experiencing the accidents of life just like everyone else. So, this isn’t a diatribe about your computer really crashing, a family member really falling ill or a sudden detour sign taking you off route.

It’s about the truth and our trust.

Let sleeping dogs lie. You keep your word.

Note to other elephants: Consider sharing this post by email with the people who lie to you. Subject line: “Can you believe this?”

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Ten Commandments of Personal Branding – #7: Think Themes Not Words

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Giant WheelWho are you? You are a theme. You are one unified, coherent, understandable and consistent presence – if you are successfully branding yourself with your network, both real and cyber.

You can’t be all things to all people. You must be one distinguishable thing to your tribe. If you don’t choose, your tribe will assign a theme to you. Sociologically we cannot live among each other, without labeling.

You know this. You have that crazy friend, the boring one, the smart one, and the one who always knows what club is happening.  Most people didn’t sign up for the label they live with. Their bad.

Regular people live their lives and let others brand them. People like you, living with intention, making their mark indelibly, choose a theme. You must choose an authentic one – and use it in every communication, conversation, presentation and meeting.

Consider these, they may help you self-diagnose:

#1 Courageous, adventurous, brave and daring
#2 Encouraging, joyful, uplifting and fun
#3 Gracious, generous, giving, and thoughtful
#4 Funny, quick-witted, sardonic and comedic
#5 Current, hip, in-the-know and happening

Consider who’s who in a new partnership

Courage is the guy who puts his money down to jumpstart the deal. Encouraging is the guy who inspires others to contribute. Gracious is the person accepting the funds and thanking everyone for their efforts. Funny is the one who lightens the mood when the going gets tough. Current is the one who knows exactly where to spend the profits.

If you think you’re all of these themes, you’re going to have to spend some time alone, because no – you’re not all things to all people.

Ask yourself:

If you were with Gilligan, lost on an island with people who don’t know you well – what traits would undoubtedly define your attitude and interactions with them? That’s who you are. It may not be who you want to be. So act accordingly, or rather change your act accordingly.

When you like what you see, go ahead and let the world know.

Who are you?

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Employment Odds Favor Social Media Addicts

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Job Market is Sweet if You Can Tweet

(As of today, a bounty of tweets have appeared on my latest article, carried by numerous online and conventional media. Lots came from, linked here, in case you’d like to see it there. Forgive the third person reference to myself in this blog post – it’s taken directly from an article.)

It pays to be a regular user of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Employers are searching for people who are “addicted” to these sites, because social media is the cheapest and most effective way for brands to build their reputations. Your odds of getting a job simply because you can use Twitter are fantastic: 69% of Americans don’t even know what Twitter is, according to a new LinkedIn/Harris poll. That cuts down the number of people you’re competing with.

Just this morning on a popular job board, a search for “twitter” popped up over 7,500 social media openings, with annual salaries ranging from $30,000 to $110,000. “Career coaches have always counseled job-hunters to improve their communication skills, but now we’re training people to how to tell a story in 140 characters or less,” reports Nance Rosen, a social media expert who coaches companies and employees on business communication.

Rosen is adamant that even if spending your day making friends and gaining followers is not your idea of a dream job, social media prowess may still be the critical factor in your winning or losing a job. Employers want every employee to do more than the job they’re assigned.

“Accounting, technology and administrative people are human assets, that must be multi-functional in order to be attractive right now. Like a photocopier that also faxes and scans, an employee who can talk up the company favorably on blogs or forums is more desirable than one who can’t,” Rosen says.

By using keywords to search any social media site, it’s easy for employers to see who’s talking about the topics that matter to them. As Rosen says, successful job hunters don’t fritter away the opportunity to make a good impression. They use Twitter to get ahead.

Tips for job hunters on Twitter

1. Identify the companies you’d like to work for, and tweet news about them.
2. Quote the companies’ CEOs or respond to their tweets, using the @ sign along with the CEOs’ Twitter.
3. Re-tweet news about the company or industry.

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An Interview with the San Francisco Chronicle

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Are you committing career suicide on Twitter and Facebook? Seriously. If you’re a “fan” of sleep or “Dopey” in the Snow White Dwarf quiz, you’re not putting your best foot forward on Facebook. Beyond the obvious: companies really care how many friends or Twitter followers you have – because they are looking for people with a sphere of influence. Reporter Benny Evangelista did a great job of pulling lots of social media secrets from me. From the article:

Social media tips when you’re laid off

  • Set up a blog and Twitter account so recruiters can find you and know you’re up-to-speed on social media skills. Post short notes with links to industry news. Re-tweet comments from people whom you admire – they’ll hear about it.
  • Participate in LinkedIn discussions and pose questions on discussion boards. Recruiters are watching for smart people with good communication skills.
  • Don’t post “job needed, desperate!” Do post attention-grabbing questions such as, “What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?”

Need a job? Show them you can Twitter

Need a job? Show them you can Twitter

Read the whole article “Need a job? Show them you can Twitter” in the SF Chronicle.


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A conversation with MediaPost about Twitter.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Picture 2MediaPost – THE industry trade publication for advertising and branding, asked for my insights on how big brands see social media in their Online Media Daily, and how your skill set changes your fortune in the job market. Thank you to reporter Laurie Sullivan for a crisp but powerful piece.

From the article:

Looking for a job in online social marketing? It’s not what you know. It’s the number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and connections on other social network sites that matter, according to Nance Rosen.

Rosen, career coach extraordinaire and CEO of Pegasus Media World, a communications firm focusing on publishing, social media and seminars, told Online Media Daily that brands looking to hire marketing professionals want “influencers,” “connectors” and “mavens” — people that others turn to for information, news and trends…

You can read the whole article Is Twitter A Job Qualification #FAIL? at the Online Media Daily website!



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