Job Seekers: Be Like Q-tips – We talk incessantly about personal branding and how much or how little it can mean to a job search. I still hold firm to my opinion that skills and accomplishments are more important than just a brand, but what do you do when your brand is worn out and not seen as useful anymore? Then it is time for retooling the marketing approach to build on all the strengths you possess. It is almost cliché that past performance defines future performance, so investing the time to rewrite the elevator speech, cover letter and resume can redefine your usefulness.
Job Seekers: Do You Want It All (or Just a Job)? – What is a career anyway? If it is only about making money, satisfaction can be fleeting and tentative. Of course basic needs must be met, but if this is not building a foundation for a more complete person then life and living can be tedious. Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who formulated the theory of a hierarchy of needs beginning with a foundation of basic psychological needs and culminating at the top with the need for self-actualization.
Job Seekers: Are You In a “Balls Out” Job Search? – I know you have heard the term “balls out” used with regard to something going very fast. It has become one of those phrases with a meaning that is universally understood even without a detailed knowledge of its origin. I have a t-shirt that I bought to support the “Balls Out Racing Team” at the Reading Motorcycle Club that teaches boys and girls as young as age ten about the value of competition in tackling life’s problems. I love the double-take reactions that I get when I wear that shirt… No dude, it is not dirty!
Job Seekers: Embracing Negativity for Positive Results – There was a New York Times Op-Ed piece a few months ago by Oliver Burkeman titled The Power of Negative Thinking. This grabbed my attention because I have always been an advocate of the opposite theory that positive thinking keeps us on target and productive. In this article Burkeman highlights new research that is actually a confirmation of ancient philosophies that there must be balance between positive forces and negative ones. He emphasizes balancing “…optimism with pessimism, a striving for success and security with an openness to failure and uncertainty.”
A Tunnel Tutorial for Job Seekers – In the middle of a tunnel you never know exactly where you are located. Motivation to continue is based on the basic survival need that you cannot remain where you are. Dark is scary. In a job search, you pick your tunnel based on the best information you have at the moment and usually must proceed along that path until you reach the end. As you fumble through the darkness, step by step, bend by bend, you never really know if your goal will be waiting for you.