A traveler was walking through a medieval town and saw three stone masons working on a stone wall. He asked the first what he was doing. The first mason spat back, “cutting stones.” Still curious about what they were actually constructing, he asked the next stone mason, who replied “building a wall,” before going back to work.
When I was in college I routinely lived on 4hrs of sleep. Who has time for sleep when there are all these video games to play?
Back then, we didn’t have the extensive selection of energy beverages we have now. If you didn’t like coffee, then you could try this new thing called Red Bull. I specifically remember that Red Bull sponsored a 10PM event at my university during finals week in the Fall of 1999. I liked how it tasted but it didn’t really work for me (it didn’t give me energy, it just didn’t let me sleep) and besides, I didn’t need it.
If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know that my approach for interviewing is very different from what you’ve probably done before.
I don’t think you should go into an interview with hat in hand asking for a job. I think you should approach it as a conversation. Instead of sitting down and just answering questions, you should engage in a conversation and ask questions yourself.
Did you hear about the girl who had received and accepted a coveted NASA internship only to have it taken away after she posted it on Twitter? She and her friends cussed out a member of the National Space Council and obviously someone at NASA didn’t like it and rescinded her internship offer. You can read the article here if you haven’t yet: https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/nasa-intern-homer-hickam-naomi-h-profane-tweet-twitter-internship.html
That’s why, whenever I start working with someone on career coaching the very first thing I do is do a deep search into their social media. I go through every post and every picture to make sure there isn’t anything that can be seen as offensive.
The next step is to set all those accounts to private. Despite what you think, no one really cares about what you think.
No, really. No one cares. I can assure you that your twitter jokes aren’t original or very funny. You’re the 27th person today who’s sent me that meme. And I hate to break it to you, the rest of the world doesn’t care. So instead of having a public profile, keep it private. Besides, you should spend less time online and more time experiencing the real world.
If for some reason you feel like you have to post something online, here are 3 of my favorite quotes to read before you post.
“Never tell your problems to anyone...20% don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them.”
― Lou Holtz
“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”
― Maurice Switzer
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
― Ambrose Bierce
PS: I hope you have a good Labor Day weekend. On September 15th I’ll be traveling to the Rochester Institute of Technology for my 2nd annual Dream Coop Workshop.
Have you been in a situation where you mean to get something done but as more and more time passes, the harder it seems to get it done? I have not written in about 2 months (maybe more) because I wanted to make sure that what I wrote was perfect. I have several topics in mind like the best time to find a job (spoiler alert: it's when you already have a job), a salary negotiation book recommendation, and how to ask for help. Don't worry, I'll make sure to send them to you soon.
I've done at least 3 drafts for each one, reworded, edited, looked for the perfect picture, and edited some more. Every single time I thought I was finished a new thing would pop up and so would another reason why it wasn't ready to be sent out. All of this to say that another week went by without me publishing an article
I was planning on writing you again until next week however I wanted to make sure I sent this out now since you may be struggling with this problem.
I go to the gym on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday and since they’re small classes, I usually get to overhear what other people are saying during the workout.
One of the exercises we do is to put a resistance band (basically a giant rubber band) right above our knees and move around.
There is a secret process to putting them on. If you hold the band from the sides to stretch it out and then pull it up like you’re putting on a pair of underwear, the band doesn’t roll up and it doesn’t dig into the side of your knees. However, if you roll it up your legs when you put it on, it (surprise!) rolls up and becomes uncomfortable (in my case it also yanks off a bunch of leg hair.)
This girl next to me (let’s call her Stacy) rolls it up and noticing it’s digging into the side of her knees says “This is uncomfortable. It’s because my thighs are too fat.”
I found this interesting because I am a good 10 inches taller with thicker thighs and yet, I didn’t have the same problem.
The reason I’m telling you this is because through my coaching practice and my day to day I consistently see candidates, and particularly women, personally blaming themselves for their failures when in reality, it’s not them who failed, but rather the process.
Stacy thought her “fat thighs” was the problem when really it was the way she put on the resistance band that was wrong. Think about how those are two very different problems. One can be fixed in 5 seconds and the other would take months as well as a lot of mental energy and self-awareness to achieve.
Same applies to your job search. Did you not get the interview because you were deficient or was it your resume that wasn’t up to par? Did they give someone else the job because you don’t have enough experience or because your Interview Theme wasn’t developed?
Let’s look at “Stacy” again.
Stacy probably thought this:
“This is uncomfortable because my thighs are too fat” = “It’s my fault I’m fat and it will be very hard and months of work to get thin thighs for this to work the way I want it to be”
When really it should have been this:
“This is uncomfortable because the process I’m using isn’t correct” = Fix process in less than 5 seconds, gets a great workout.
You’re probably doing the same in your career.
Instead of thinking this:
“I didn’t get the job because I don’t have enough experience” = “I’m personally deficient and will take years to get that type of experience so I may as well just give up”
Replace it with this:
“I didn’t get that job because my Interview Theme wasn’t the right one” = Takes about 90mins to develop an Interview Theme, gets awesome job.
Next time you hit a roadblock, before you start thinking that things didn’t work out because YOU are too dumb/fat/skinny/tall/short/broken/deficient/etc, take a step back and first consider that maybe, just maybe, the process you used wasn’t the right one.
PS: Next week I will be in Houston for the World Autism Organisation's 5th Annual International Congress as a speaker discussing techniques job candidates who are on the Autism Spectrum can obtain white collar jobs at Fortune 500 companies. I was selected based on my work and success rate I've had helping candidates start their careers. If you will be in attendance, feel free to reach out
I love it when you guys send me questions. Just this week I received the following email from one of my readers asking about what he should include as his LinkedIn Headline.
“What’s a LinkedIn Headline?” It’s the little title you can give yourself (refer to the red arrow below)
I'd like your opinion on a dilemma regarding the LinkedIn headline.
There seem to be two schools of thought and both sides are adamant with their advice:
1) NEVER put "Seeking opportunities". It screams "desperate loser" and recruiters are only interested in employed prospects.
2) ALWAYS put "Seeking opportunities". Otherwise, recruiters will often just move on to a less ambiguous prospect to save time.
Any advice from your perspective is greatly appreciated.”
I would say C. none of the above. LinkedIn is a tool you can use to help you find a job however you shouldn't rely solely on it to get your next opportunity. The only way a recruiter will find you on linkedin is if they're looking for you as an almost exact match for the job they're trying to fill. This means that unless they are looking for someone with your exact profile, chances are they're not going to look at your profile.
Now to your question. A recruiter who sees "Seeking New Opportunities" has only 1-3 seconds before they make a decision. Although some may think it makes you sound desperate, I think most recruiters see that and immediately think "he was fired. he was bad at his job otherwise he wouldn't have been fired/laid off/voted off the island" and move on to the next candidate. Is this right/wrong? That's not really the issue here. It's an efficient way of determining if you’re good at your job and much easier than trying to figure out what the situation was. It’s easier to just move on to the next candidate who has a job.
Instead of putting on your profile that you're looking for new opportunities, I would suggest you put "Consultant". This makes you sound like you're still active in the workforce (which you should either by doing some freelancing or maintaining your technical abilities through self study). A way to tell a recruiter that you're interested in opportunities, is by choosing the option on LinkedIn that let's recruiters you're open. You can change this by going to Your Account, Privacy, then scroll down to Job Seeking Preferences and change "Let recruiters know you're open to opportunities". Most recruiters start their candidate search by looking first at those willing to change jobs then by qualifications than the other way around.
Let me know if that helps. If you need more in-depth advice, let me know and we can schedule a one-on-one session.
To clarify, if you’re a student, I recommend you put “Student” as your headline. If you have a job, put your current job title.
What’s on your headline? Do you think it makes a difference? Let me know.