The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb

 

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In looking for inspiration for today’s blog,  I Googled top inspirational quotes and “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb” appeared.

I absolutely LOVE this concept.  In helping people, as a friend or career coach, I can attest that we are all guilty of beating ourselves up and saying it’s too late, we are too old or we missed our chance.  The reality is that the only boundaries that exist are the ones we create for ourselves!  Truth as the Proverb states, that optimally the best time for what ever action may have been 20 years ago, but the reality is- you can’t go back, you are in the present moment and while it may not be what you originally perceived as the optimal “BEST” time, NOW is perfect.

It takes guts to take action, make a change and believe that what you truly want or desire can be yours and that you are worthy of it.  We are all here to learn, grow and bring value. It’s all a choice.   There’s consequences with the paths we choose. As we get busy with the mundane tasks of life, (what I refer to as running on the hamster wheel), we lose touch with our passions, our essence of what inspires us, what makes our souls feel alive and our lives richer.   What I find exciting and interesting is that sometimes, when we are lucky enough to be open, opportunities, passions, relationships, or things long forgotten have a way of coming back into focus in our lives.  These events need to be honored as magical and cherished as wonderful gifts.  It may be something as simple as picking up a musical instrument that you loved to play in school, watching a movie that inspired you, hearing a song that takes you back to the place and sensations of when you first heard that song or reconnecting to an old friend.  I truly believe life is like a garden.  There are seasons when you plan your garden and the same concepts are applicable to managing your career. You need to:

1.      Prepare the land or soil where you will have your garden.  This is similar to preparing yourself in school and life education as the foundation to be successful in your career.

2.      Plan where you will garden and what you will plant in your garden.  This is similar to figuring out what you want to do and where you want to do it.

3.      The right tools such as seeds and gardening tools for your garden, and education, experience and relationships for your career.

4.      Deal with environmentals- this could be weeding, dealing with bugs, or animals eating your bounty in your garden or weeding out negative relationships/companies that won’t work for you, environments that don’t suit you, or situations that just don’t work in your career.  Whether it’s your garden or your career, you need to check in on it, anticipate problems, give it care and feeding.  You can choose not to, but it won’t yield big results if you fail to help it grow.

5.      Enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Just as in gardening, you need to take a break and enjoy the beauty and bounty of what you have created, cared for and grown.

6.      Learn from the past and remember you can try again. 

Live with gusto!  Sieze the day!  Snap out of it! While the best time to plant a tree may have been 20 years ago- live in the perfect present of here and now and make a difference- make a change- re-ignite your passions- tend to your garden, live your dreams and “plant your trees”!

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:

http://www.1077thebronc.com/?page_id=356

If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM  session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:

http://www.careeryenta.com

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!

Love

Career Yenta TM

Rock 2013!!!

What’s your “Secret Sauce”?

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A dear friend recently shared an article with me to let me know they recognize my “Secret Sauce”.  I was of course very grateful and flattered.  http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130717182801-48426-the-secret-sauce-of-great-recruiters   In reading it, I thought of the friend that sent it to me and felt they too had this same “Secret Sauce” applied to their profession!  Sometimes we forget or take for granted the things we do right or what makes us unique.  Sometimes it can just take a quick email, with a simple link from an old friend to remind you.  In further reflection of the article, I realize that the key factors are having genuine passion, a plan for success, pride in your work and focus on whatever task/job you are doing, your direct customer(s) and the world at large.

 So how does this help you?  Let’s walk through the highlighted characteristics and how they are critical to success in anything you do.

Here’s what the article states as “secret sauce of a great recruiter”

 “1. Authentic Compassion. The best recruiters are often labeled as a “people person” but what that really means is that they are incredible listeners and they truly care about the people they interact with. Compassion is even more powerful in the long term as people build a relationship and interact across multiple roles and/or companies.

 2. Agile Builders. The best recruiters are data driven and iterate with the same discipline and frequency as the best software developments teams. Understanding a problem (such as sourcing, interview process, closing a candidate), measuring performance and using a sprint process to optimize results on a regular basis are fundamentally agile development skills and requirements for top recruiters.

 3. Positive Marketers. Every interaction an external person has with your company is a marketing impression. This includes every email, phone call or news article, and every person they talk to including a recruiter, front desk admin, interviewer or executive. The best recruiters know this and use every impression as an opportunity to have a positive impact. People often forget that 99% of the time you make an impression on an external person you will not ever hire them so the risk of that impression being negative is high. If every interaction is positive, you will impact not only those individuals but a broad network of potential future hires.

 4. Communication Artists. In today’s electronic and busy workplace, communication is an often overlooked art. The best recruiters are able to handle three widely varying communication requirements — sourcing new candidates, rejecting existing candidates and internal process alignment — with the same level of empathy, positivity and discipline. Each of these communications is an art in its own right and the best recruiters manage all three such that every interaction leads to positive momentum.”

 Here’s why it’s critical path to incorporate this “Secret Sauce” into your career management plan.

 1. Authentic Compassion. The key words to me here are “incredible listeners” and “truly care about the people they interact with”.  We talk about it on “Your Career is Calling” http://www.1077thebronc.com/?page_id=111  the key to success is networking- building relationships.  It takes time, but the foundation can be created in an instant (i.e. an interview).  Part of building a powerful relationship is trying to understand where the other person is coming from, learning where you can help and provide value.  So whether you are in an interview, working in a cross-functional team, or meeting with your boss…actively participate… life is short… it’s not a dress rehearsal.

2. Agile Builders. The key words to me here are “data driven” and “Understanding a problem (such as sourcing, interview process, closing a candidate), measuring performance and using a sprint process to optimize results”.  In Step 1- you actively listened, understand the pain point you need to resolve and now in Step 2 you need the data- the plan – how will you successfully exceed expectations?  Like my Dad used to say… to do the job right, you need the right tools as well as …. Knowledge is power.  Put yourself in a position of power!

3. Positive Marketers. The key words to me here are “Every interaction an external person has with your company is a marketing impression; and If every interaction is positive, you will impact not only those individuals but a broad network”.  You are always on.  I forget where I heard this, but I remember either reading or hearing someone tell me “EVERYTHING MATTERS!”  Not to stress you out or cause anxiety- you can always recover and learn from a mistake, but do your best, be your consistent, authentic self and stay positive. I’ve written about the power of positive thinking, tweet positive quotes https://twitter.com/G45Consulting and have done an entire radio show on the effects  (archives available here: http://comm.rider.edu/thebronc/?page_id=356   ) The Power of Positive Thinking April 7, 2013.  We also recently had a guest discussing the effect of the positive workplace:  Transforming IT Culture– June 23, 2013- (while he talks about “Information Technology” Culture- the concepts translate to any workplace).  STAY POSITIVE.

 4. Communication Artists. The key words to me here are “Each communications is an art in its own right and every interaction leads to positive momentum.”  Any time you interact, you need to be sensitive to what message you are communicating.  We recently did two different radio shows on the mechanics of your message.  You can check out archives of the show here: http://comm.rider.edu/thebronc/?page_id=356   Check out the shows from The Importance of Netiquette– June 16, 2013 –   and The Art of Communication– June 30, 2013

As my mission is to help others “Work with passion…. Live inspired!”  I encourage you to ENGAGE and ENJOY!  Like Gene Simmons says… “I don’t wait for the calendar to figure out when I should live life.”

If you are looking to make a change in your career, and are stuck, it’s not working, or just can’t get going, let us help you in your journey.  If you don’t do it now, when will you?  Dreaming without a plan is like thinking you are going to win the lottery and never buying a ticket. Get your admission ticket to a Career Yenta Boot Camp!  Let’s get going.

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:

http://www.1077thebronc.com/?page_id=356

If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM  session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:

http://www.careeryenta.com

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!

Love

Career Yenta TM

Rock 2013!!!

Happy Fourth of July Weekend – Could you pass the US citizenship test?

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NBC News has the following 20 question test : http://nbcnews.to/19WLCwB which has been modified.  “The questions asked by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are usually selected from a list of 100 sample questions that prospective citizens can look at ahead of the interview (though the examiner is not limited to those questions). Some are easy, some are not. We have picked some of the more difficult ones.”

 In hearing about this test, especially during the Fourth of July holiday, I can’t help but think of the correlations that run between career management and citizenship (today or our ancestors just coming to this country). Here are a few: vision, preparation, courage, trust, resilience and independence. 

¨      Vision:  I love fireworks!  Every year during this holiday, I’ve never shared with anyone that while I’m enjoying them, my mind is in a constant state of wonder… about a lot of things. One consistent thought is that of trying to imagine the same vision of what could have inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner.  What were and are the real conversations that occur amongst the leaders and within families developing, and then relaying the plan to go to America?  During the revolution, what really happened behind closed doors? History books tell us the stories, but it would be interesting to learn what conversations really happened and were shared.  What truly sparked their inspiration to believe there will be a better life and it was critical for them to pursue this vision?  Even for new citizens to this country, or employees looking to work elsewhere, what is driving you- what does your new world look like?  Whether you are trying to manage your career or change your life, you need to have a vision, a goal and then a plan.

¨      Preparation: A key difference between a dream and a successful goal is that successful goals pack a plan.  You can dream detailed, fun, action packed dreams, but unless you have a plan to execute and get there, the likelihood that your dreams will come true are extremely low.  It’s true that some people can develop better plans, but we are all living in our own swim lanes.  The plan you craft, will be custom fit for you.  It’s your journey.  You can be as detailed or wing-it as you want.  Whether it’s the citizenship test or preparing for an interview, the tools and tips are out there.  Are you doing everything you can to ensure success?  It’s all up to you.

¨      Courage: Goals, visions, dreams and plans are wonderful, but will never have life, nor be fulfilled without the true guts, courage to take that first step on your journey. There’s a saying, “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its’ own wings.”  Always believe in yourself. It takes courage to believe in yourself that even if you fail, you will do everything within your power to pursue the goal and execute your plans.  Our ancestors, immigrants, new citizens and job seekers all have/had it.  They all faced the fear and forged ahead anyway to blaze a new trail for themselves and their families!  

¨      Trust: In working the plan, there has to be an element of trust in others.  While you may be the conductor of your life’s symphony, there are musicians that need to play the music.  Your musicians may have the face of a husband, wife, child, career coach, hiring manager , old boss, recruiter, or random stranger.  Whatever face your team has, you need to have a belief that other people will properly execute their piece of your journey, that the information you have is correct, the map, path or process you are on is the correct one that will take you to your end goal. Even if there is a breakdown, you need to trust the universe that there is a lesson for you in this breakdown, recover and move on.

¨      Resilience:  There will be times in your journey that I refer to as “the desert”.  I call it this because I always envision a scene from a movie where the hero or heroine is walking through the desert, their camel has deserted them, they are low on water and supplies, yet they continue to forge ahead.  There may be some hallucinating and crazy self-talk, but the journey continues.  Being a Jersey Girl, I love the latest slogan of resilience after hurricane Sandy : “Jersey Strong” and “We are stronger than the Storm”.  Even if you’re not from Jersey, remember you are stronger than any storm you are facing.

¨      Independence: Once you achieve your goal, it will be time to set new goals on how you will sustain, maintain and live within your vision on your own.  Once you leave the nest, whether it’s a country or an old job, you need to acclimate yourself to your new surroundings, develop new habits, try new things that will allow you to flourish.  There will always be elements of your old “home”, but as you forged your path to this new life, endured the “desert”, holding on to the past will hinder your ability to enjoy the fruits of your labor- your perfect present and the future.  Like a snake, you need to shed your old skin… it no longer works for you.

So as you enjoy your time in the sun, the lazy, hazy days of summer, reflect on the world at large.  Learn from history and understand that how the more things change the more they remain the same.  As you enjoy the theater of the sky as it’s painted with fireworks, take a moment to look around and see the families on blankets and lawn chairs and wonder ….be grateful for where you are!   A few years ago, a friend had shared that George Washington had the opportunity to be King of the United States and declined. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/GeorgeWashingtonTheManWhoWouldntBeKing/  Since that time, I take a minute to thank and be grateful to the original George W for choosing to be President and not King (not that there’s anything wrong with it), but our lives and the world would have been so different! 

If you are looking to make a change in your career, and are stuck, it’s not working, or just can’t get going, let us help you in your journey.  If you don’t do it now, when will you?  Dreaming without a plan is like thinking you are going to win the lottery and never buying a ticket. Get your admission ticket to a Career Yenta Boot Camp!  Let’s get going.

 

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:

http://www.1077thebronc.com/?page_id=356

If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM  session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:

http://www.careeryenta.com

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!

Love

Career Yenta TM 

Rock 2013!!!

Life is too short. Make today Count! RIP James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini

Wednesday the world learned that James Gandolfini, while vacationing in Rome, died of a heart attack at the young age of 51. While age is relative, 51 is too young for such a great talent to end his time on earth and a sad reminder of how tomorrow is promised to no one. In hearing the stories and memories of friends and colleagues, it’s refreshing to hear that while he played such a big narcissistic character Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini seemed to have been one of those rare gems, that was humble, modest, generous, compassionate and genuine. It begs one to evaluate their own life and to think of their legacy.

Your career and legacy are not created and managed in an instant. It’s those daily interactions, those moments that you stepped up and did the right thing, especially when you thought no one was watching. Not to encourage paranoia, but especially in today’s technological landscape, the world is watching. We have cameras on street lights, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, cookies, your digital footprint at work and at home. It’s the tending of the garden. Are you consistent in your message, branding and daily interaction? Time passes so quickly, it’s so easy to get caught up in the minutia of to do lists, chores, errands and running on your personal hamster wheel that before you know it months, years, and decades pass. Are you living the life you thought you would? Is your career where you want it to be?

What can you do different today to make your world or the world at large a better place?
In learning more about James Gandolfini in the media, there are few relevant lessons in managing your career. He didn’t do interviews because he felt he wasn’t any good at them. He did sit with James Lipton on “Inside the Actor’s Studio” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/james-gandolfini-inside-the-actors-studio_n_3472025.html
Actors, musicians and artists are the consummate job seekers. It’s level set and understood as they are looking for a role, their employment is a gig and it’s about filling in the gaps to pay the bills until they land that dream job and even then they are always looking towards their next opportunity.  In today’s landscape, you can’t expect to be in the same job for 20 years.  You need to manage your career and look to your best next step while bringing your A-Game to your current role.
-During an interview, do your best and drop the self doubt – In auditioning for the role of Tony Soprano he didn’t think he would get it. He thought that they would want someone more suave, more smooth!!!!! Who was more suave or smooth than James Gandolfini?
Be kind to everyone. In hearing the feedback from colleagues, the consistent theme was that James Gandolfini was a really great guy and treated everyone kindly. Until doing this blog, I never thought about it, but being from Jersey, especially North Jersey, I can’t tell you how many bars and restaurants have autographed pictures of James Gandolfini. Some of them are from when they shot a scene for the Soprano’s at their location, but when you consider all the stories of celebrities that “don’t sign autograph’s” it’s refreshing.
Network, network network. Whether you are in business or the arts, staying connected and networking is so important to managing your career. When you work with someone and enjoy great chemistry or success, they are a known commodity, it’s easier to say yes I want to work with you again. Brad Pitt worked on three films with James Gandolfini. While your reputation and skill set do play a part, knowing someone will be a good fit on your team, makes all the world of difference. I can’t tell you the number of hiring managers that when speaking about who they would hire, said “I just like that person.”
Play to your strengths. Early on, he was consistently getting roles of a thug, mob guy. In watching the interview “Inside the Actor’s Studio” it seems that James Gandolfini struggled with some of the scenes in the Sopranos. He felt the fear and did it anyway.

There is countless wisdom we can take from the life of James Gandolfini. While sadly James Gandolfini’s legacy is included in the obituaries this week, it reveals he packed a lot of life in his short years. I send prayers and condolences to his family and friends. It was cute, in his Actor’s Studio interview when asked what he would want God to say to him when he got to heaven, James Gandolfini replied: “Cover for me I’ll be right back”. I hope as his journey continues beyond this earth, he feels fulfilled.
For the dear readers of this blog, my wish for you is that you are happy and healthy. If you’re stuck in your career management, looking to make a change, need help in strategizing your best next step, reach out and let G45 Consulting help you succeed.
Work with passion…. Live inspired!

If you would like to check out the radio show from this past week:
http://www.1077thebronc.com/?page_id=356
If you would like to enroll for a Career Yenta Boot CampTM session or sponsor a friend or loved one or previous employees as outplacement:
http://www.careeryenta.com

Give us a call- join us at boot camp!
Love
Career Yenta TM

Rock 2013!!!