Category Archives: Career Development

Quitters Never Say Die

Jon Acuff

It’s as simple as STARTing!

Huh? What? I know, I know. You’re thinking to yourself, “Quitters ALWAYS say die– This title definitely seems a bit oxy moronic. And I totally see where you’re coming from. But let me explain.

For those of you who are familiar with Jon Acuff, you know he’s the author of two best-selling career books, “Quitter” and “Start!” For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jon (and yes we’re on a first-name basis,) he was a self-proclaimed “quitter” who finally got what he called his “dream job” at The Lampo Group, Dave Ramsey’s company. Here is where he not only wrote his two books but also became one of Dave’s most well-known personalities, traveling around the country speaking with people stuck in their careers in desperate need to revive their dreams by just taking one step in any direction and simply starting.

Shockingly, a week after his excitedly organized and wildly publicized START! conference, I went to a site called No More Voices, a platform where Jon encouraged everyone to share their fears and gain a sense of community in knowing you’re not the ONLY one with self doubt or ridicule. You’re not the ONLY one who takes 20 minutes to talk yourself into something and then 2 seconds to talk yourself out of it. But when I arrived where the site used to be, a fear rushed over me that I had never even dreamed of: the site was gone.

A site that the Lampo Group hosted, it simply stated Jon had abruptly resigned, and the site was no longer available. I’m pretty sure I sat there for about 10 minutes in complete shock. My first thought was, “How could Jon leave his dream job? How could he leave ME?” Okay, that sounds a bit obsessive, but that thought truly entered my psyche, albeit a short stay.

I did what any normal human who has heard of the internet (or as my grandma calls it the world-wide web,) would do, and I immediately googled his resignation to try to get answers. Of course I only got extreme speculation. After marinating in the news for several days I thought to myself, “Isn’t Jon doing exactly what he talks about in his books? He’s literally living out the words he wrote in his books.” But this seems to be a double-edged sword. Because now that Jon’s words of having a “dream job” are etched in stone (or just printed on paperback, but details, details,) people are suddenly all over him about leaving Dave’s organization.

I am the first one to think Jon would be crazy to leave there, but who knows. Who knows what outside influences caused him to make the decision. Who knows what his head and heart were leading him to do.

My mom always says FEAR stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” And I’m sure Jon anticipated the speculation and judgement that would come with his decision. But he recognized the false evidence of all the rumors and decided to appear as real as he could, and do what was right for his family, his career and himself. And for that, I applaud you, Jon Acuff.

– Ambitioussoul

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(Un)hinged

Ambitioussoul

Hinges: not just hardware.

Hinge moments. I’ve always called them epiphanies, but “hinge moments” sounds like the next best marketing campaign. So I’ll go with that.

In Jon Acuff’s book Quitter, he talks about hinge moments. Those moments that while you’re in them seem as inconsequential as the color of my nail polish but when you stop to reflect,  you realize that one measly moment changed your paradigm and your path from there on out. You know those moments—when  the universe is pushing you in what seems like a natural, formidable direction, but every molecule of your being is resisting, and you’re not sure why. The resistance typically starts as a dull but nagging feeling deep inside your mind, but once the spark is ignited by this seemingly innocuous person, event or experience, you’re given all the evidence (or faith) you need to change direction. These moments can cause angst. They can cause agita (one of the only medical terms I know how to use in context.) But for me, hinge moments have come in two forms: a famous sportscaster and a drab apartment.

Here’s to you, Mr. Costas
It was my sophomore year of college. As the campus radio station’s News Director, I was flown to New York City to interview Bob Costas and a couple other broadcasting dignitaries at a prestigious media luncheon. When I finally got my marantz to cooperate and my heart beat to slow down, I made my way through the crowd to interview Mr. Costas (and yes, I was that formal with him. Come on, besides the multi-colored rings, this guy is the next best symbolism for the Olympics).

After I was done asking the formal and mundane questions and we posed for a photo together, he turned to me and said, “Have you ever thought about going to Syracuse University’s Newhouse School?” Ughhh noooo… the dreaded question. I had been dealing with this inquisition since I began looking at colleges my junior year of high school. I had been adamantly against going to SU since I could spell the world “college.” Sure I loved the Carrier Dome and Otto the Orange (lamest mascot ever,) but being from Syracuse, I was just… over it. I of course didn’t explain this deep disdain to him, but simply smiled and told him being from Syracuse was enough to keep me away. Being a Newhouse alum himself, he shrugged, urged me to apply and was on his way.

Before this encounter, it had NEVER crossed my mind to apply at SU. I didn’t want to move near home. I didn’t want to go to a school where I’d be just a number in an auditorium of about 3,000 students, trying to figure out what the difference between two beetle exoskeletons was (and yes, once I got there, I had to do that. And I was a broadcasting major. Go figure.)

It seemed easier to stay put. I had great friends, a great social life and loved my classes. But something made me submit the application paperwork. Something pushed me to see it through. Many months and an academic scholarship later, there I was… at SU… loving life and thanking Bob Costas for his priceless nudge.

The irony of it all: I didn’t end up being a broadcaster. I didn’t even end up in the industry. But being at SU got me on the right track to understand what I loved (writing) and what I hated (always having to look good while carrying around a 50-pound camera and tripod in snowbanks up to my eyeballs).I thought about switching my major to Public Relations and Marketing, but that meant I’d have to invest more time and money into an undergrad education. No thank you. So I stuck it out, hoping (and knowing deep down) that the practical knowledge I had gained at my 2 1/2-year internship would propel me through my career.

So why do I have Bob Costas to thank? Welp, he led me to Syracuse University, which led me to my internship. My internship turned into my first full-time job once I graduated. It was that job that introduced me to my husband. I thankfully got to reintroduce myself to Mr. Costas several years later with my husband at my side, and I explained to him how he had truly changed my life, all with a simple question.

Little did he know that simple question made me question my entire life. My entire path. The path that led me to where I am and who I am on this very day. And little does he know today, I’m labeling him as “Hinge #1.”

It Takes a Village

I was pretty much packed and ready to go. The big move was only 10 days away. I had rehabbed some end tables, saved money for furniture and already paid first and last month’s rent for our new apartment (notice I said “our”) in the village. But one night, something woke me up as abruptly as my 12-year-old sister yanking at my eye lids. Something made me sit straight up in bed and whisper to myself, “I can’t do this.”

It was the “our.” I was moving into an apartment with my boyfriend. The boyfriend who I had been with for 4 1/2 years but still didn’t trust. The boyfriend who I clung to all through college and justified our unhealthy relationship as a “growing experience.” WHAT?!

Since I already revealed the ending in my Bob Costas story, you all know I moved on and found the love of my life. But instead of moving to the village, instead of going through the motions of this relationship, I decided to end it. I decided to chalk up our 4 1/2 years together as a learning experience, being young and being dumb. No, it wasn’t easy. No, I didn’t feel good about it at the time. But I learned sometimes the hard things and the right things are the same. And I was destined for something else, and more importantly, someone else. Hinge moment #2.

Find Your Hinge
If you’re older than 5 years old, you’ve had a hinge moment. You’ve probably had many. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint them, but they’re there. They exist to be discovered, explored and appreciated.

Hinge away!

~Ambitioussoul

Bold. Daring. Audacious. Terrifying.

ImageIn my mind, you can’t have audacity with out fear. And yes, fear may only be manifested by the mind, but it’s as real as any other emotion. And when it visits, it’s raw—and it festers like no other. It just creeps in. Down to the bone. And sometimes, it never leaves. We may try to layer other emotions over it, ignore it, but eventually, most times, we surrender, without even a second thought or a gleam of acknowledgement.

That same fear is also what pushes you. It’s what brings success and a healthy confidence that’s virtually untouchable. All of a sudden those negative thoughts dissipate, and no one can stand in your way—no one.

So for these 24 days during the START experiment, I vow to be nothing but terrified—nothing but audacious.

-Ambitioussoul

What’s this START experiment all about? Check it out!

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SAHM Avenue intersects at Working Professional Boulevard

How do you women do it?!

How do you women do it?!

A Familiar Intersection
Unbeknownst to my husband, thoughts of becoming a stay-at-home mom, also popularly known in the blogging world as a ‘SAHM,’ (thank you to the world of over-used acronyms,) had been swirling around in this perpetually revved up brain of mine. Full time? Part time? I wasn’t sure. But it was something that I just
couldn’t shake.

I think much of this was due to the guilt I feel each morning when I drop Maryn off. Does she cry? No. Does she whine? Double no. Does she seem phased at all when I leave? I don’t even think I need to answer that… So why is it that I feel this natural pull to be home with her all of a sudden? Well, maybe it’s just that– the fact that she is perfectly fine with not being enveloped in my presence and love all day every day.

When I expressed my thoughts to my husband, I could sense the shock he was feeling even before I finished my sentence. After all, I was the definition of a career woman—always wanting to excel, progress and be defined in some sense by who I am when I’m in my office and sitting in front of my computer screen. I knew he wasn’t super sold on the idea, so I just let it breathe for a little bit.

He Speaks in Mysterious Ways
A few days later during my ritualistic Facebook perusing, I came across an article where a woman explained why she regretted leaving her career to be home with her kids. In her interview, she graciously pointed out that although she loved the time she was able to spend with her children, the eventual reentry into her career several years later was not only super challenging but quite dreadful. After losing her ability to cultivate professional relationships and networking opportunities that were at one time bountiful to say the least, she found herself dizzying over the thought of having to start from scratch. In her words, her world had “narrowed” before her very eyes.

Call it divine intervention, call it terrific coincidence, call it whatever you will. But I believe and KNOW seeing this article was no accident. Amidst the sea of inconsequential news feed shenanigans, that one post jumped out at me and urged me to click on it like nothing ever has before (except for maybe an oh-so innocuous J. Crew summer sale e-blast).

Gridlocked is no way to be
After marinating myself in the article and all it stood for, a sudden peace came over me. Yes, it’s difficult to tackle the inevitable sick days when there isn’t any sick time to be had, or the lazy days when all you want to do is immortalize the day by staying in your PJs and eating breakfast for dinner, but it made me think about all the things I’d say goodbye to. I like that I have an office where it’s just me and my music, writing the day away for clients. I like that I can run errands during lunchtime, without my daughter trying to snatch grapes from the produce bin. I like that my email signature defines me by company and title, mentioning nothing about my life as a mom and everything that comes with it. It’s almost like another identity… yet miraculously, it’s still me. 

Now, for you SAHMs out there, I give you more credit than you could ever imagine. The patience, grace and love you display each and every day is astounding, and I commend you deeply for it. You turned down SAHM Avenue and never even looked back in your rear view mirror, and that’s pretty incredible. But for me, the next left at Working Professional Boulevard, that’s my turn.

-Ambitioussoul

Oh, and here’s the article I reference in this post!

Like a Boss

Ambitioussoul

Your future awaits.

Apparently, according to my 19-year-old sister, the title of this post is a phrase that has recently been coined as hip and, well, awesome. It just so happens that it sparked my idea for today’s post. Like a boss… who knew?

I know I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. And I’m not going to bore you all listing the reasons why. Have you ever heard the term “organized chaos?” Well, my life has been “UNorganized chaos.” Enough said…

Among all of this chaos, I decided to start my own home-based business. (I know, for those of you who know me, you’re rolling your eyes…) So why would I want to do this? Why would I want to increase the chaos? It’s not enough that I’m so crazy I typically leave the house with Cheerios stuck to my sweater? Welp, it’s all about the BIG PICTURE. Let me explain.

Throughout the past couple of Financial Peace University classes I’ve taught, there are so many people who struggle with a monthly budget because there’s not enough month left at the end of the money. They are literally left with $3 extra each month (if they’re lucky,) to buy a slushee on the way home from a day of running all over kingdom come. When you are living so incredibly tight, how are you supposed to bank extra money towards an emergency fund or debts? Many people would answer, “It’s impossible.” But I challenge everyone in my classes to get creative, like I had to do. Just because I sit at the head of the table doesn’t mean I’m any different. I had to take charge. Like a… well, boss.

As I depicted above, sometimes it’s not a budgeting issue that people have—it’s an income issue. But after much deliberation, it may seem as though a job at the mall or the grocery store wouldn’t be worth the effort, especially after taxes are accounted for. But like I’m sure you’ve heard before, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. So you have to CHANGE your strategy!

Think about it this way: if you had to have a second (or in some cases a third job) for only 1 year, could you do it? Of course you could! You can do anything, especially when you know it’s only temporary. That’s the mindset you have to have when charting a new financial path for yourself. Whether it’s a home-based business, like what I chose to do, or something within the confines of a retail operation or a franchise, something is always better than nothing.

I guess it’s all about how bad you want it, how fast you want it, and what your “it” is. Is it getting out of debt? Is it saving for a house? Whatever it is, get passionate. Get dedicated. Like a boss.

-Ambitioussoul

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Do What it Takes to be Envied

Click. Customize. Celebrate.

Yes, I know, I know, envy is one of the seven deadly sins. But in this case, it’s totally acceptable. When could having envy in your heart and soul be okay and almost advocated for? When you’re talking about Banner Envy of course! Let me start from the beginning…

In starting this blog several months ago, it became more and more apparent with each post I published that I needed a change. The marketing world was where I wanted to build my career, but with what I was doing and where I was, I didn’t feel like I was building a career with brick and mortar; I felt like I was digging a huge hole in attempt to start laying the foundation, but the digging seemed unending; I was running out of motivation and energy, with the goal of a perfect, satisfying career slowly dissipating each day.

I couldn’t fall to hypocrisy. After all, the majority of my posts have been dedicated to doing what you love, making your career not feel like work, and just because a job landed in your lap five years ago doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the job for you. I had to take my own advice, knowing sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same. With this epiphany, my search for not only a job but a CAREER was underway.

Enter Banner Envy, the perfect job opportunity, a business carved out of what people are looking for in today’s marketplace: something that makes a statement, sets itself apart from all others like it, and adds a personal touch to the year’s best party or event, making it unforgettable for all who attend. Not only do people hope and pray they are invited next year, they would do anything short of taking care of your landscaping for a summer or shoveling your driveway for a winter to be sure they remain on the guest list.

Another great thing about Banner Envy: it’s simple and easy. All you have to do is visit the site, click on the banner you like, customize it, and viola! And who doesn’t need a banner for their monumental event? Whether it’s your annual Cinco de Mayo siesta with all your neighborhood friends or your ten-year class reunion where you  evaluate who has aged well and who, ahem, hasn’t, forget the confetti and the streamers. Just get a banner.

-Ambitioussoul

Change of Seasons, Change of Heart

Image

The building may be pretty, but think about the bill!

I just received the dreaded phone call from my sister who started her first year of college only a month ago. When I saw her call come in and hit “accept,” I could sense the unsureness and panic in her voice. She didn’t waste any time telling me what was bothering her. The statement “I think I want to change my major” was hurriedly followed by the reasons why she wasn’t being fulfilled in her classes and how she came to this conclusion.

For all of us who have been through college, these times of “finding ourselves” seem so far off in the distant past that we probably read this and shrug it off, thinking it’s not that big of a deal. After all, how many of us even have jobs or careers in what we studied in college? I know I don’t. But before I spewed out my advice, I tried to not only think about the thoughts that were most likely swirling through my sister’s brain, but also about what I went through as a college student, the mistakes I made, and how to have her avoid them.

Do I think where you go to school means everything? No. After all, I went to a small, rural school for two years and transferred to a large university almost quadruple the first one’s size. It wasn’t because of the dorm rooms with their own private bathrooms, or the fact that they had my favorite cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch if any of you are taking notes), or even that the people wore UGG boots and carried Herve Chapelier bags.  It was hard to explain then, and it’s just as hard now. It just wasn’t… “it” for me. Little did I know, it was because the college didn’t fit over my hips! Say what?!

To me, college is like buying  a wedding dress. You know, the second you begin to slip it on, you start to tear up and say to yourself, “This is it… this is the one.” When you step onto the college campus you belong at, you suddenly feel at home. You have no reservations, no worries, no stress. It’s a pretty incredible feeling. And once you’ve found the perfect college ambiance, all your problems seem to fall to the wayside, right?

WRONG! What about your course selection? What about your college loans? What about the community that surrounds the campus? Back to my wedding dress analogy, it’s not just about satin versus chiffon, or tulle versus lace. There are so many other things to think about above and beyond the beautiful budding tulips peppering each and every green space and the large greystone buildings that tower over you at every turn. But this is what college has been marketed as; this is what all-knowing 18-year-olds look for (can you sense my sarcasm?)

It’s sad to say, but in my mind, this economy and the price gauging colleges and universities get away with year after year has led people to treat choosing a college like a business decision. What education can I buy for the least amount of money and risk? I know, this doesn’t make the decision sound sexy or even fun, but it’s the truth! It shouldn’t be about where you want to go, but what you can afford. Why try on a $10,000 dress when you can only afford one for $3,000?

So many people believe that where you go to school has something to do with your success. I would say yes in only about 3 % of cases. Why? Because the Division I football team’s success or the new off-campus housing the school built have nothing to do with your capabilities and skills once you enter the job market. It’s the practical experience you gain via internships and part-time positions that differentiate you from the other 50 million college students graduating at the same time as you (okay, that may be an extreme exaggeration.)

And I digress… the second variable should be what you’d like to study. In my sister’s case, she knew what she was interested in (as many post-high schoolers do,) but she wasn’t exactly sure how to classify it. As shown in my intiial story, she’s realizing she missed the mark and needs to go back to the drawing board, but better now than three years down the road with unrecoverable time, money, and effort invested. But let’s be honest– there’s alot of wiggle room when it comes to majors in college. Look at me: I was a broadcast journalism major, and I’m in marketing. Relateable? Not really. But I’m doing it. If I would have gone to my advisor 3/4 of the way through my college education and shared my thoughts on switching gears, she would have talked me into changing my major and spending another three years in college to the tune of $45K per year. No thanks…

I give my sister alot of credit. Between going to a state school solely because of cost and following her heart, knowing quickly she had chosen the wrong path, I know she’s headed in the right direction. Although she’s not at her “dream school,” in her “dream city,” she’s making it work… in her real life.

-Ambitioussoul

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Longevity and Loyalty: A Thing of the Past

Close your eyes, believe in yourself, and jump!

How many of you have grandparents or even parents who started and finished their careers at the same place? That was how it worked back then: you graduated from high school, attended college (of course this step was optional,) and found a job, made it a career, and retired from that same factory, office, or school 50 or more years later.

This is exactly how my grandpa’s career took shape. He didn’t even graduate from high school (not that I’m saying this is recommended,) and he worked for The Herald Journal (our city’s newspaper) as a copywriter and then editor for 51 years. He retired with full health benefits and an extremely generous pension.

A few decades later, my dad’s career took off a bit differently, but with the same result. He graduated from high school, then college, got a job right away and is still there today, climbing the ranks the corporation defined way back when. He has been with the same company for 31 years– incredible.

Now, both scenarios I’ve described above are almost unheard of. For those of us who have just entered the job market or have only been in it for a few years, we know nothing is forever. We start our job search knowing that we will most likely only spend a few years in that position and then begin looking for something else. It’s just… the “way” these days.

So many people shake their heads at the paradigm shift I describe above. Those who join my parents in their generation wonder why no one looks for careers anymore, they only search for jobs. I think there are two reasons for this:

1) The job market itself has changed. Professionals of my era don’t trust large corporations, or any company for that matter, to take care of them for life. With so many lay offs, downsizes, and outsources, everyone is constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering with each closed door and mandatory meeting if bad news is going to come their way.

2) Just a warning: I may offend some people with this, but here it goes… whether you’ve been working in your position for 1 year or 25 years, I think the work force has found this unwarranted sense of entitlement. People expect things more than they ever did. It’s a mentality of “What have you done for me lately,” and frankly, it makes me incredibly irritated. Whether it’s companies providing lunches, outings, or bonuses, many believe they should receive all kinds of perks for just showing up 40 hours a week. When people don’t feel as though they are “getting enough” out of the company they work for, they start to look elsewhere. And in my opinion, more power to them.

So how are people supposed to overcome this sense of uneasiness and vulnerability? Well, according to 48 Days to the Work You Love, maybe it’s time to “be your own boss.” Now more than ever, there are so many opportunities for individuals to start their own business, and often without much of an investment. For many, they can’t find their true “dream job” within an already existing company’s four walls. They also can’t reach their highest income potential. As Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad says, “The problem with having a job is that it gets int he way of getting rich.”

Is starting your own business scary? Sure it is. But it’s also super exciting. Just think about it: doing what you love, being your own boss, and most appealing of all, being in control! I’m not saying you should quit your job today and give up everything (how little or much that may be,) but this is something you can totally do alongside your current position. Yes, it’s a TON of work and effort at the beginning, but the long-range benefits are sure worth it.

I will clarify all of this by saying I don’t have first-hand experience owning my own business, but I know many people who do, and not one of them ever has complaints about his/her job. And they all look at what they do everyday as a career– not just a short-term position they’re hoping to move up from someday.

In 48 Days to the Work You Love, Dan Miller lists 18 attributes that are key to owning your own business. Here are a few that will really give you an idea of if you have what it takes. If you do, the answer to all of these questions will be a resounding “yes!” And of course, you have to be honest with yourself. Here we go:

1) Are you a self starter? Waiting for opportunity to knock on your door typically leads to settlement. Start bothering the crap out of opportunity to be truly fulfilled.

2) Do you have a high level of confidence and belief in what you are doing? If you don’t, that will shine through. Even if you have the most useful and cost-effective product and/or service to sell, it won’t matter. Perception is everything, and consumers can see right through you.

3) Can you stick with it? Most small businesses fail because the starters don’t know how to hear “no.” That elementary, one-syllable word slows them down or makes them break down all together. It’s difficult not to take it personally, but it running and owning your own business, you must realize for every 1 “yes” you get, you’re going to get 100 “nos” first.

After reading these few qualities you may say, “Well, I answered yes to everything, but I could never start my own business, because there are a million other people out there who probably have the same idea as I do.” Yes, you’re probably right. But out of those 1 million people, you may be the only one who takes a chance, believes in yourself, and actually takes a leap of faith. That’s the difference.

-Ambitioussoul

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Resume, Schmezume…

Let’s not and say we did…

We all know what a resume is, but a schmezume? Is that an onomatopoeia for a sneeze? Well, um… bless you? But seriously, I guess you could say “schmezume” is everything in between the sending of your resume and waiting for a phone call or an email, including the point when you realize the phone is never going to ring and your computer is never going to ping. But why? Why isn’t the traditional, acceptable way of finding a job working for so many people?

I didn’t understand it either until I start reading Dan Miller’s thoughts on this (yes, from the 48 Days to the Work You Love book I’m obsessed with.) He definitely knows his stuff, supplying statistics and citations that basically say we’ve got it all wrong. We’re NEVER going to find jobs on Monster.com or the classifieds. As I read this I thought, “Well what the hell are you supposed to do?” Of course Dan, being the amazing and inspirational author that is is, provides a step-by-step approach to not only marketing yourself and finding a job, but a job you LOVE and belong in.

Prior to this segment, he talks about making a list of 10-12 career paths you can see yourself taking. This is ESSENTIAL to narrowing down the opportunities you want to look for. You may be asking yourself, “Why do I want to put myself through this? I’m just going to go online and find any available job that fits my skill set, and send my resume. Something will eventually pop up, and it has to be better than what I’m doing now.” False. The mindset for this must be quality vs. quantity. So, back to the career paths exercise…

Once you make your list, begin thinking about what places in your community you’d like to work. Come up with a list of 30-40 places, and then try to find out who the best person to reach out at those places would be (i.e. directors, VPs, etc. in the department you’d like to join.) Not sure of exactly where you’d like to work? Hop on LinkedIn, and try to contact people in your circles that work there to get their opinions on the professional culture and if it’s somewhere you’d fit in.

Now comes the hard part: marketing yourself. This is where what some people would call “badgering” begins. Let’s not think about it like that… way too negative. Let’s call it “persistence” and ultimately wanting the best career for yourself, and the best employee for the company. You may think this is crazy, especially since there may not be a job posting at these places, but that’s the point! You want to get to them before the rest of the world knows there’s even a position open!

First, send an introduction letter to each company, explaining who you are, why you have an interest in working there and that you’ll be sending a resume and cover letter within a week or so (you want to be sure you’re giving whoever is reading the letter enough breathing room.) It’s important to send this to a specific person, not a department. We’ve all seen the abyss of interoffice mail… enough said.) Then, send your cover letter and resume, pointing out in the cover letter that you’ll be following up with a phone call in a  week. WHAT?! WE’RE GOING TO ACTUALLY PICK UP THE PHONE AND USE OUR VOICES?! Well, yes. So get over it.

Lastly, is the phone call. And of course, this is the hardest part. But that’s why you’re committing to it in the cover letter, so you MUST follow through. Like I said before, this process may seem CRAZY, but it makes sense, right? And based on the stories and statistics Dan provides, it works!

So give this not-so-traditional approach a try. But be sure through all of it, don’t just apply for anything… apply with a purpose, and a passion.

Intrigued about Dan Miller? Check out his blog!

Conveyor Belt Love

Passions passing you by? Pull the lever… now!

Last night we had family friends over for dinner to say “congrats” and “good luck” to the 21-year-old daughter who is off to Orlando next month to start her first “real” job. After all the hub bub of getting her confirmed start date and salary, finding the perfect apartment and completing orientation, she can’t wait to get down to Florida.

Is it for the gorgeous sunshine or the change of scenery, after living and going to college in Central New York? Well, of course, that’s part of it. But the main reason why she’s going stir crazy is because she can’t WAIT TO WORK!

Some of us would say it’s because she hasn’t entered the workforce yet, and once she does, she’ll be whining and wanting to go back to the days of 4 hour shifts and her own schedule, only bound by waiting for her wash to be done to put on her favorite shorts or what time the gym’s strength classes are. I understand where this point of view comes from, but knowing this young woman, following her all through high school and college, I know her better. And I know it’s because she LOVES the career she’s entering into.

While in college, she attended the school of management, and like 99.9 percent of the college freshman population, she wasn’t sure what avenue of management she wanted to hone in on. After a couple years, it was clear after a summer internship with a large department store that she wanted to go into supply chain management. Is this something I could see her doing? Walking around a warehouse with forklifts and conveyer belts in her J. Crew pants and Urban Outfitters top? Absolutely not. It was a total shock to me. But the first time I saw her talk about her internship and the possibilities and opportunities that would potentially await her once she graduated from college, it was plain to see she hadn’t fallen into a career but had fallen in love with one. She will be working for a large office supply chain, and although the prospect of staplers and swivel chairs may not appeal to any of us, she couldn’t be happier.

Before having a long-winded career conversation with her last night, I had never thought about a younger person, someone who has been like a little sister to me, being my mentor. But now I know the passion in her eyes and the excitement in her voice is exactly what I yearn for, and what I will stop at nothing to achieve.

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