The Perfect Gift for a Secret Santa

The Perfect Gift for a Secret Santa

The Perfect Gift for a Secret Santa

If you’re someone’s Secret Santa this Holiday season, get them a book that will make 2012 their best year ever. Priced for even the most elf-like budget, they include:

Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System. This book introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Its one-of-a-kind program not only tells you what to do, but how to do it and how often.

Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.

The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.

The Standout Skill

Do you want an advantage in the job market? There is one skill that CEOs today believe is both in critically short supply and critically important to their organization’s success. If you have this skill, it is virtually certain that you will get the attention you deserve from employers, regardless of your profession, craft or trade. What is this standout skill? Leadership.

Leadership is the ability to engage and then organize others in the successful accomplishment of a common purpose. In other words, leadership is not the position you hold, but the work you do. As we all have experienced, there are supervisors and bosses who are clueless about leadership and individual members of a team who are superb at it.

No less important, leadership is a universally accessible skill. It is not reserved for special people, but is something that just about everyone can bring to their work. While there are natural born leaders, the vast majority of those who demonstrate the skill learn it the old fashioned way. They study its essential elements and practice them over and over again.

What does that mean if you’re in transition?

It doesn’t matter whether your occupation is sales or finance, customer service or engineering, systems analysis or teaching, you can be a leader. And, if you can prove that you are, you’ll capture a game-changing competitive advantage in the job market.

Leadership is like cat nip for employers. It will set you apart from other job seekers and make you all but irresistible. In fact, a record of leadership will transform you from a job seeker to a job star – a candidate employers believe they simply cannot afford to overlook.

For many of us, however, that presents a challenge. How do you establish a record of leadership on your resume, even if you’ve never held a leadership position?

How Can You Present Yourself as a Leader?

All leaders demonstrate a range of similar traits. Among the most important are:

  • A sense of responsibility for both the organization’s mission and the wellbeing of one’s colleagues;
  • The ability to communicate complex issues in terms that everyone can understand;
  • A commitment to modeling ideal values and behaviors in one’s own actions;
  • The ability to motivate others to perform at their peak; and
  • An unwavering belief in the importance of honesty and fairness when dealing with others.
  • The key to establishing yourself as a leader during a job search is to ensure that your resume depicts roles you have previously filled (or are currently filling) where you demonstrate all or most of those traits. It’s not enough, however, to say you led this group or managed that activity. You must illustrate the traits in action.

    For example, if you led a special project team for a previous employer, describe how you pulled together a diverse group from around the organization, clearly communicated the team’s mission so they all bought into it, and then motivated them to accomplish that goal on time and under budget. Focus on the leadership traits you showed and the results you achieved, not the title you had or the position you held.

    That reality, of course, begs the question: what should you do if you’ve never had the chance to demonstrate leadership on-the-job? The answer is admittedly easy to offer, but a challenge to implement. What you have to do is extend the boundaries of your job search to include taking on a volunteer leadership position in your professional association, alumni organization or a local civic or social service group.

    Pick a situation where you can do some good and create a record of using those leadership traits in the near term. Then, describe that activity on your resume. The fact that it’s occurring in the middle of your job search won’t detract from its perceived importance. In fact, taking on a worthwhile leadership role during your job search may well add another credential to your record. It’s likely to paint you as a person who takes initiative, and that too is a trait that CEOs value.

    Thanks for reading,


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    P.S. Please tell your colleagues and friends about WEDDLE’s Newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.

    Special Sneak Preview

    While I’m first and foremost a writer, I also serve as the executive director of the International Association of Employment Web Sites, the trade organization for jobs boards, career portals and social media sites. That role has given me a unique perspective on the changing world of work in the United States and the new strategies and tactics required for success in today’s job market.

    I’ve now shared that knowledge in a new book that’s coming out this month. Called, The Success Matrix, it includes dozens of short, easy-to-read articles organized into two sections:

  • How to Find a New or Better Job in a Tough Job Market
  • and

  • How to Hang Onto Your Job in an Unpredictable Economy.
  • While admitting to some bias, I don’t think there’s a better guide to job search and career success available anywhere. And at just $14.95, it’s a bargain, as well.

    The book is not yet available in bookstores, so here’s your chance to give a truly unique and worthwhile gift both to yourself and to those you care about.

    To order, call WEDDLE’s at 203-964-1888.

    Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites

    The American Staffing Association called Peter Weddle the “Zagat” of the online employment industry. Now, you can tap his expertise to find the best employment sites for you.


    Get Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites on the Web. It’s Peter Weddle’s pick of the top job boards, career portals and professional networking sites on the Internet.

    Every site is profiled with a complete consumer’s guide to its features, services and resources.

    Job Nation is simply the best way to use the Internet to find a new or better job. And, it retails for just $14.95.

    Get the book at or at But, wherever you get it, get Job Nation today.

    Get a Career Checkup at

    Let’s be honest. Most of us spend only one day a year paying attention to our career. The only time we focus on it is that single day when we receive our annual performance appraisal and salary review.

    In today’s fast paced and always changing world of work, however, careers can grow flabby and out of shape literally overnight. Why’s that important if you’re looking for a job? Because you won’t get hired with a wimpy career.

    So, give your career a quick check-up. Take the Career Fitness Evaluation at It’s FREE and will give you a good sense of the strength, reach and endurance of your career.

    Then, take a look at the Career Fitness Regimen described at the site. It’s an easy-to-follow program of activities that will help you compete successful in the job market and on-the-job.