Goal: 1. To score one point; 2. To win a game; 3. To win the championship; 4. To win at life; 5. To win eternal life.
Now is the time to prepare for a great New Year. December 31st is too late.
Some people avoid goals because they do no good. Others set goals and excel because of them. A whole bunch of people set goals and it doesn’t make any difference.
Avoiding goals can help you feel less discontent. If you never think about what you are capable of and strive to excel, you will feel less discontent. Maybe. Or you may just feel that the world is a rigged game. That YOU can’t win, while others you know “get lucky”. By avoiding goals, you are likely to become at least a little cynical.
Successful goals come in all sizes. They can be goals for today, this week, this month, and this year. I set goals of all those sizes, and larger. I even have goals for what I want to achieve beyond this life.
Here is what I am going to do for the rest of this month.
One of the ways to make goals work for you is to think about them daily. Set aside 5 or 15 minutes a day. Have your list of goals, a sheet of paper, and a pen. Spend that time writing down things you can do to reach your goals. Make interim goals you can accomplish today. Think about the things you can do, the way you can change what you would normally do to accomplish a little more. For me, thinking about my goals every day is the most important thing I can do to reach them.
While I think about my goals, I change them. They become more real to me. My expectations change. Sometimes I discard them because I see a better goal. To me, that is motivating. I am excited to see something even better I can strive towards as I go down the path I am on.
Spend some quality time with your goals every day. Savor their flavor. You’ll be surprised what a difference it will make.
Something To Do Today
Figure out when you can spend some time with your goals every day. Just sitting with a pen and paper for 15 minutes each day can change your life if you are thinking about where you want to go.
Now is the time to prepare for a great New Year. December 31st is too late.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. (George Bernard Shaw)
I talked in depth with salespeople earning over $200,000 per year. I asked, “How did you get into the position where you won’t even consider taking a base salary under $100,000?”
The answer is very simple he said, “It is all in how you position yourself.”
I talk with accountants, programmers, managers, salespeople, engineers, and others every day who would never take less than $100K. Others doing similar jobs can’t conceive of earning over $40K.
The difference is that the well paid people are always trying to develop the skills and experiences that are rare. One salesman said, “I’m highly paid because of who I can get in to see. I can talk to people in research laboratories and CFO’s of companies all across America. I know how to get their attention and sell to them. In Philadelphia there are thousands of salespeople who sell well in Philadelphia, but can’t or won’t sell in New York or Boston. If you are competing with a thousand salespeople for that Philadelphia only job, guess what? You may think you are worth $200K, but there are at least 500 other people willing to do it for $50K-$80K. You will never get paid $200K because you have positioned yourself wrong. Too many salespeople have positioned themselves to sell in Philadelphia for $50K.”
The same applies to computer programmers, managers, accountants, and even call center technicians. I know a lot of people earning over $100K because they have looked at their business carefully for years. They constantly ask, “Why is Joe earning more than me? What jobs are paying big bucks? What do I have to do to get there?”
First you need to position yourself at entry level so you can get experience. Then you have to see where the rare talent is. What are people doing that earns them the money you want to earn. Then you need to educate yourself, volunteer to help on projects, and get involved in decision making. Eventually you will work up to the rarefied air of the best paid people in your field.
So how are you positioning yourself? How will you be positioned next year?
Something To Do Today
Make a list of 5 people who are doing what you want to do and earning what you want to earn.
Now go invite each one to lunch. Whether they accept your invitation or not, ask them for help. Ask them how you can join the rarefied company at their level.
It never seems fair when you get a cost-of-living raise or less. But there is usually a reason.
Here are 11 reasons you may not be getting what you think you deserve.
How NOT to treat a recruiter is as important as knowing what they can do for you.
Are recruiters getting in you way, and keeping you from even being considered for a job? Are they annoying you and taking too much of your time? Do they want you to fill out another form like the last one you filled out? Are they demanding references before you get the first interview?
All those things can be annoying. Sometimes you just need to tell a recruiter, “No.”
Here are 5 things NOT to do to a recruiter.
I was talking to a job hunter who said, “Recruiters have never done much for me.” I understand the sentiment. It depends on what you expect.
As a recruiter I help people get jobs, but only a few people. I also prepare a bunch of people to get jobs on their own.
Some things I can do for you are:
- I help you get your resume to look good enough to get you interviews.
- I find jobs you didn’t know about and submit you for them.
- I talk to hiring managers and try to give you an unfair advantage.
- I give you guidance on better interviewing.
- I remind you to send a thank you note after the interview.
- I follow up and follow up and follow up with hiring managers.
- I negotiate a higher salary.
- I help you resign successfully.
- I smooth the way into your new job.
Now, you’ll notice that a bunch of those I do whether you get the job or not. As a recruiter I may not directly get you a job. I may just help you learn some job hunting skills even if I am not paid for it.
One more thing. If I find a better candidate anytime during the process, I will present him to the company. My driving loyalty is getting the best person for the job. I am absolutely committed to avoiding second best. I’ll help you, but you need to be the best candidate for a job. Live with it.
I help people get jobs. I help a few people get the job I submit their resume for. However, I have a huge impact on a lot of job seekers as I help them to become more employable.
Something To Do Today
Make a list of suggestions you have received from recruiters that have helped in your job search. Make sure you remember them for the interviews where the recruiters are not involved.
Experience is that marvelous thing that allows you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. (Franklin P. Jones)
You can’t get in the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) unless you have a job acting in a movie that is going to use union actors. You can’t get a job in a union movie unless you have a SAG membership. So how does anyone ever become a SAG member? Here’s the trick. Someone puts together a movie company, gets a bunch of actors who want a SAG card to sign a contract, then goes to SAG and says I want this to be a union picture, so give all these actors a SAG card. It happens all the time. Those films are rarely made. They exist only for experience.
I talked to a guy who wants to be a programmer. The trouble is that he has no experience, just some education. He and some friends are building a website with a game. It is not a simple task. It will take the 3 of them about 6 months to complete. He is still going to school.
How do they make a hobby programming project look great on their resume?
They form a company to do it. Just like the SAG actors.
In Pennsylvania, and most states, you can register a company with the state for a few bucks. You don’t have to incorporate, just register a name and an owner. Now the three of them have a company, a project they can use to show off their skills, and six months of programming experience that looks good on a resume.
If you are in school an internship is incredibly useful for getting a job after school. It is just as useful to create a job with some friends. Put together a real product and a real company. If it fails, no big deal. You still have experience on your resume.
You can also do this if you are 50 years old and want to switch careers.
Think about it. What can you do to get the experience for the job you want. Is there an alternative? Can you get some friends to form a part time company that will give all of you the experience you want? Make sure it really does give you the experience, and you will have a great line on your resume. Who knows, you may even start making real money and not need someone else to give you a job.
How do you get experience before you have it? Do it yourself.
Something To Do Today
Sit down with a pad of paper and a pencil. Make a list of 20 companies you could start to give yourself the experience you want.
HR uses personality tests to protect their jobs when bad hires are made. Hiring managers use the tests to try and do less badly at reading personalities. If they would test themselves first, things would go better.
This article also shows why a two question test often works just as well as the hour long personality tests.
Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. (Peter Drucker)
An old friend laughed when she read my article on procrastinating. She knows I am a king at procrastinating. She mentioned how I paid my kids to help me stop procrastinating. The first one to call me after 3 p.m., and ask if I had met my goal for telephone calls that day, got paid. It was cheaper than having a boss take 50% of my commissions.
I am an expert at procrastination. The only way I have been able to beat that problem is to think about it….then set up motivators. You need to do the same thing with your job hunting duties.
There are certain things that help me stop procrastinating:
- Getting checked up on
- Brain games
If I make a plan that I know will succeed, and don’t follow it, I feel guilty. Simple. I pray for help, come up with a plan to reach my goal, and am goaded by guilt. (Why don’t you write down a plan for finding a job. You’ll feel guilty for ignoring it.)
One month I earned a membership at the Climbnasium by making a placement. I basically don’t buy much of anything unless it is a reward for reaching a goal. At the end of this month, I get a “prize” if I call 30 new people every work day. I’ve used trips, shoes, clothes, a car, computer accessories, a camera, lunch, and leaving before 5 p.m. as rewards. (You can set up a reward for sending out 10 resumes, or making 5 calls.)
Getting checked up on
I mentioned paying my kids to call me and check up. I’ve had my wife call at noon when I was having a lot of problems procrastinating. I have kept daily charts of how many new people I call, how long I am on the phone, and other important daily accomplishments. Having a helper or just having to check up on myself every day is a big help. (Try making a chart for how many ads you respond to, or how many networking lunches you have in a week.)
Funny thing about starting, it’s easier to keep going after you get some momentum. The first 3 calls I make every day are to people I already know who are actively looking for jobs. That gets the phone to my ear. After those 3 calls, it is much easier to make the other calls to people I have never talked to before. (To start your day you can send out two resumes thru Monster first, then send out two resumes to companies with no openings, then call the two companies you sent resumes to yesterday. Get momentum going.)
The most effective thing I have done to get me to make calls is a simple brain game. I have 50 dollar coins – 40 are gold colored, 10 are silver. Every time I call a new person I noisily drop a coin into a cup. Silver coins are for sales calls, gold are for recruiting. It reminds me that every call means money. It works for me. At the end of the day, if I only have 20 or 25 calls, I can see how close I am to my goal of 30. It is a brain game that really motivates me. (What is a brain game you can use for job hunting?)
Procrastinating the most important parts of your job search can be a major problem. Figure out what you can do to get working on the important things every day.
Tomorrow: Mental hygiene
Cover letter anesthesia
Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off. (Ellen DeGeneres)
What to learn from procrastinators
My son and daughter put off doing their summer homework. When they only had 3 weeks to get it done there were more problems. They also had band camp taking up 10+ hours a day. After they procrastinated the hard part of summer that long I was telling them…..
“Procrastinating can be a good thing.
“First of all, I hope you procrastinated to get important things done. If you did, then you used your time wisely. Use this experience to learn to do first things first. (That is very important for job hunting.)
“Second, you should be letting less important things stay undone now that you are up against a nearby deadline. Learning to NOT do good but less important things is just as important as doing “first things first.” (Job hunters often do repetitive, less productive, easy tasks. Stop it. You don’t have to do them.)
“Third, your quality should be high now, and you should pay attention to what works and doesn’t work for shortcuts. Now is when you learn how much research is essential, and what research is just being done to avoid the hard work. Now is when you find out you really can do a quality job in 8 concentrated hours rather than 4 full leisurely days.” (Job hunters often research a company for hours when all they need to know is that it is in the same industry. They do heavy research so they can make less phone calls and send less resumes, which is more painful than surfing the internet.)
Think about all the schoolwork, studying, and commercial work you have procrastinated and gotten done at the last minute. How much time did you save by having your back to the wall? How many tasks that were more important have you gotten done? What tasks just disappeared with time?
Now apply those lessons to job hunting. Give yourself tight deadlines to get tasks done. Instead of procrastinating, give yourself too little time to get tasks done, then fit them in the time you have given yourself. Learn from the times you procrastinated.
Something To Do Today
Be your own boss. Set a goal for how many companies you will call today. That is a high priority job search activity. How many resumes will you send out on ads? How many resumes to companies in your industry or geography?
Learn from your prior procrastination.
Later: More procrastination
Here are 5 ways to get free career intelligence. This can help you find and land a job.
1. Every day I give away useful business intelligence. I am an expert in a few job markets. I’m a recruiter. Every time you talk to a recruiter, grill them. If a recruiter calls you out of the blue, you have a right to be very nosey.
2. HR (human resources) people give away business intelligence. They are experts in their company and will tell you how you fit in. If you ask they will often tell you where you stand in the job competition. Hiring projection for 3 to 6 months into the future are often on the tip of their tongues if you just ask them.
3. Salespeople are incredible sources of information. They also like to talk a lot. Take a salesman from your own company, a supplier, or a place you want to work, out to lunch. Or just talk to them. You’ll find out more than you would think possible. Often they can tell you about all the competing companies in your area.
4. The web. Indeed. Monster. CareerBuilder. Look for “trolling” job ads. What ads are there for months? Often they are renewed weekly, but they are the same ad forever. Those are jobs that constantly need people. Sort by company and look for ad clusters. Is a company creating a new project team? Often they advertise for 3 different jobs while they have other unadvertised openings for the team that will be created. The manager job may be unfilled. Or another team has an opening because the manager for this team came out of that team. Keep all the possibilities in mind.
5. Every industry has a trade magazine or ten. Subscribe. Many are free. There are even more industry trade publications appearing as email magazines. There are specific trade publications for cement, computer banking systems, turkey processing, pizza shops, jewelry making, dog kennels, dairy farmers and more. Even if you just read the cover you will be better off than if you didn’t get the magazines.
Open your eyes. Look around. Where do the experts go to become experts or to show off their expertise? That’s where you need to go to get career intelligence.
Something to do today
Subscribe to 3 trade publications.