Feature: You, Yourself

Feature: You, Yourself

Feature: You, Yourself

According to countless surveys, restaurant patrons do not tip more when they receive better service. They do, however, leave behind a significantly larger tip when their waiter or waitress takes the time and makes the effort to engage them on a personal level. In other words, the mechanics of human interaction-taking a meal order accurately, delivering it promptly-are normally taken for granted; it’s the subtleties of such behavior that most impress others.

Ironically, this insight is contained in a book called You, Inc.. Its premise is that you must manage your individual “brand” as if you were a corporation selling something-your talent-to a potential buyer-an employer. While that metaphor is probably helpful for those who are actively looking for a new or better job, it is insufficient as a strategy for finding and, just as importantly, winning the job of their dreams. It will help you locate work, but it won’t ensure that the work you take is right or fulfilling for you.

As obvious as it may sound, you are not an organization, incorporated or otherwise. You are a person. And people don’t succeed the way corporate organizations do.

  • Companies establish a mission, develop standard operating procedures to ensure they do things right for the accomplishment of that mission, and measure their success in financial terms. The more money they make, the more successful they are. The calculus is simple and straightforward.
  • People can execute the same steps-they can operate as You, Inc.-and may also achieve financial success. However, as most of us realize at least at some level of consciousness, wealth is not an enduring or a deeply affective measure of human success. Human success comes not from doing things right, but from doing the right things. When we do the right things, we increase not only the paycheck but the satisfaction we bring home from work.
  • Now, the common formulation for this more human measure of success is “Follow your bliss.” Or, “find your passion.” Or, “do what you love and the money will follow.” It’s all wonderfully inspiring advice, but fails to answer the obvious question: Where do you start? How do you figure out exactly what is your bliss, your passion, what you love to do?

    Look around and you’ll see that there are a number of different approaches to answering this question. They include:

    Taking Tests

    One approach is to use assessment instruments and personality tests, ranging from the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory to Myers-Briggs. These tests can be very telling, but often require a trained professional to help you interpret the results. And even then, the findings may not be as insightful as you need because the trained professional must (and often doesn’t) know you well enough to apply the results to your specific life circumstances.

    Hoping for the Best

    This approach involves relying on luck or the serendipitous discovery of what you were meant to do with your life (or at least the one-third of it you spend at work) without much effort or forethought on your part. Sadly, there are legions of people who adopt this course, often unconsciously.

  • They lurch from one kind of a job to another in a serial (and all too often fruitless) search for work that is meaningful and rewarding for them;
  • or

  • They rely on the well-meaning but often misguided advice of parents, friends, spouses or partners who have no idea what work will engage and fulfill them.
  • In both cases, the implicit assumption is that lightening will strike and point them to the career of their dreams. Except in the rarest of circumstances, however, life doesn’t work that way so what actually happens is exactly the opposite; they fall into a career that neither interests nor satisfies them.

    Acquiring Expert Assistance

    In this approach, you turn to career counselors and coaches who are trained to help you explore the person inside you. Taking advantage of such a resource, however, requires that you get past a common misperception among American workers. Too many believe that career insights are a birthright and should be available to them for the asking. That’s simply not the case in the U.S. or anywhere else on the planet. Acquiring personal insight from an expert will frequently involve paying a fee, but doing so isn’t a violation of your rights. Instead, it is an investment-a financial commitment-you make in yourself and your future.

    Embarking on Self-Exploration

    Another approach is to conduct a conscious and methodical self interview. The premise of this approach is as simple as it is controversial. It’s simple because all it involves is the commitment of time and effort necessary to have a candid, personal conversation with yourself. It’s controversial for two reasons:

  • First, when done right, such a conversation is far more frank and honest than most people have ever been with themselves.
  • Second, self exploration is based on the notion that you already possess the answer you’re looking for. You already know the You of your dreams.
  • In essence, this approach introduces you to yourself. That person is there inside you waiting to be acknowledged and accepted. There’s even a term for it, at least in the world of work; we know it as our “calling.” It’s that voice whispering inside you that describes your own true self.

    Some of us are perfectly comfortable conducting such a self interview and are able to do so effectively. Others of us need a little help. That’s what career counselors and coaches can provide and that’s what you’ll find in my new book, Recognizing Richard Rabbit. (For more information on the book, please see below.) Either way, the outcome is the same: you uncover the secret of yourself.

    Why bother? Because whether you’re a recent college graduate or a Baby Boomer, whether you have fifteen years of work experience or fifteen minutes, whether you’re looking to get better tips from your restaurant customers or better a solution to a difficult problem at work, the foundation for a meaningful and rewarding career is a deep understanding of the real you, the You of your dreams.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. READER’S ALERT: Don’t miss the write-up below on our latest book-WEDDLE’s Guide to Staffing Firms & Employment Agencies. The American Staffing Association reports that one-third of those who take part time or contract jobs through a staffing firm end up being hired full time by their employers. That’s why this book is “a practical path to full and part time employment”.

    P.S.S. Don’t forget to send us your new e-mail address if you move.

    This Issue’s Sponsor; Recognizing Richard Rabbit

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Recognizing Richard Rabbit, Peter Weddle’s big bestseller in a little book that is this year’s first choice for summer reading.

    Thursday, July 17th is Recognizing Richard Rabbit Day at Amazon.com. Buy the book on that day-Thursday, July 17th-and you’ll get the special Amazon.com discount and Peter Weddle will personally sign your book for you. (See below for details on how to get your book signed.)

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults, young and not so young. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s a tale about some forest friends who make an amazing discovery by trying to help one of their own. They don’t uncover the key to organizational change, however, or to setting strategic goals for the enterprise. No, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a much more personal book and its gift is unique to each and every reader.

    This story is not about self-improvement, but about self exploration. It is all about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self. How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you were meant to be.

    Make this the summer when you figure out how to meet the person of your dreams-the one who lives inside you. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768. So, don’t delay. Make sure you have Recognizing Richard Rabbit packed in your suitcase for your summer vacation.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit Day at Amazon.com: If you buy your book on Amazon.com on Thursday, July 17th, send the book and your receipt to WEDDLE’s, 2052 Shippan Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902. We’ll have Peter Weddle personally sign the book and return it (and your receipt) to you right away. This is the perfect gift for the Holidays, so send several copies and Peter will sign each and every one of them for you.

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    TheLadders.com conducted a survey of senior level job seekers and found some good news. While 71% of the respondents said they had noticed a decrease in interview opportunities so far this quarter, almost six-out-of-ten (58%) described the senior level job market in their cities as stable and even more (59%) said they fully expect to find a job in the next six months or less. Why the optimism given the steady parade of gloomy news in newspapers and on the evening news. Apparently, employment opportunities are holding steady in a number of key segments of the economy. These include:

  • technology,
  • healthcare, and
  • defense.
  • .

    What locations are the strongest? According to respondents, some of the best job markets currently include:

  • San Francisco,
  • San Diego,
  • Washington, D.C.,
  • Seattle, and
  • Boston.
  • Men’s Fitness magazine published an article by Malcolm O. Munro which offered some useful advice for surviving a layoff. According to Munro, many people do exactly the opposite of what they should do when word gets out about an impending layoff. They hunker down, “become timid and avoid unnecessary risks.” What will serve them better? Step up and step forward. Make yourself more visible by upgrading your performance on-the-job. As Munro puts it, “Demonstrate your value with suggestions, creativity and, above all, a strong commitment to being the absolute best employee you can be.” I think that’s good advice at any time-it is the foundation for a healthy career-but during a rocky time at your employer, it’s absolutely essential. It may not help you hold onto your job, but it will ensure that you leave with a strong recommendation and an invitation to come back once the company turns around and has an appropriate opportunity for you.

    The Society for Human Resource Management and WSJ.com/careers, a Web-site operated by The Wall Street Journal, announced their findings from a poll of HR professionals that explored critical skills for job success in the 21st Century workplace. Poll participants indicated that two skills, in particular, were much more important today than just two years ago, whether you are a first time job seeker or a seasoned professional. They are:

  • adaptability and flexibility
  • and

  • critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Other skills that were also identified as important include leadership, professionalism and work ethic, and teamwork and collaboration. What can you do with this information? Include your experience with these skills on your resume. We often have a tendency to focus on hard skills when developing that document (i.e., the ability to use specific hardware or software, capabilities for which we have a degree or have been certified or licensed), but these findings make clear that so-called “soft skills” are just as important to enduring career success. So, use your resume to highlight that you have them and that you have a track record of applying them effectively on the job.

    WEDDLE’s announced the release of a powerful new tool for job seekers. Called WEDDLE’s Guide to Staffing Firms & Employment Agencies, it’s a comprehensive listing of such organizations organized by their occupational, industry and geographic specialties. Some people prefer temporary, contract or part time employment. For others, it’s a foot in the door-the American Staffing Association reports that one-third of those who take such positions are ultimately hired full time by their employer. Whichever is your preference, this book is the fast way to find a job, even in a difficult economy.

    WEDDLE’s also offers a number of other publications that can help you land the job of your dreams. Called WEDDLE’s WIZNotes-Fast Facts on Job Boards, they’re a quick reference to job openings on the Internet and an inexpensive job search aid. Each WIZNotes includes compact, but complete profiles of the key sites that specialize in a specific career field or employment situation. There are WIZNotes for:

  • Sales & Marketing professionals,
  • Finance & Accounting professionals,
  • Engineering professionals,
  • Human Resource professionals,
  • Scientists
  • Women Professionals
  • Managers & Executives,
  • and

  • Recent Graduates.
  • Plus, there are WIZNotes on:

  • Finding a Job on the Web
  • Writing a Great Resume
  • All you have to do is select the WIZNotes that’s right for you. Each volume has exactly the information you need to find the right job boards and career portals for you. And best of all, at $12.95 each, WEDDLE’s WIZNotes are a bargain to boot! To order your WIZNotes, click on the link to your left or call 317.598.9768. Order today!

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    There are 50,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to a successful online job search, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for your specific employment objective. WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide identifies 350 of the top sites worldwide and provides the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the best opportunities for you. For example:

    The ASTD Job Bank

    American Society for Training & Development

    http://jobs.astd.org

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: International-USA, Canada

    Number of jobs: 290+

    Salary levels of jobs: $51-75K/yr, $101-150K/yr

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: 1 year

    Restrictions on who can post: If registered

    Other services for job seekers: Career information, Links to other sites with career information

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

    Support Our Sponsor: Recognizing Richard Rabbit

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Recognizing Richard Rabbit, Peter Weddle’s big bestseller in a little book that is this year’s first choice for summer reading.

    Thursday, July 17th is Recognizing Richard Rabbit Day at Amazon.com. Buy the book on that day-Thursday, July 17th-and you’ll get the special Amazon.com discount and Peter Weddle will personally sign your book for you. (See below for details on how to get your book signed.)

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults, young and not so young. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s a tale about some forest friends who make an amazing discovery by trying to help one of their own. They don’t uncover the key to organizational change, however, or to setting strategic goals for the enterprise. No, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a much more personal book and its gift is unique to each and every reader.

    This story is not about self-improvement, but about self exploration. It is all about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self. How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you were meant to be.

    Make this the summer when you figure out how to meet the person of your dreams-the one who lives inside you. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768. So, don’t delay. Make sure you have Recognizing Richard Rabbit packed in your suitcase for your summer vacation.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit Day at Amazon.com: If you buy your book on Amazon.com on Thursday, July 17th, send the book and your receipt to WEDDLE’s, 2052 Shippan Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902. We’ll have Peter Weddle personally sign the book and return it (and your receipt) to you right away. This is the perfect gift for the Holidays, so send several copies and Peter will sign each and every one of them for you.