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Career Survival: Staying Active When Things Feel Hopeless

Things are challenging for a lot of people right now. Seemingly overnight they went from being in a role with job security to being laid off. It’s crazy.  They’re now in survival mode. On the phone with their lenders and their local unemployment office.  Focusing on their career has turned into focusing on finding a job. Just about any job.  Finding a job in an environment in which no one is hiring.  Overnight, some of us have dropped several rungs in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. You may have been focusing on self-actualization and now you’re wholly concerned about safety.  Even …

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The Other Side

As I write this in March of 2020, we’re in the midst of something no one currently alive in this country has experienced.  Change happened seemingly overnight. Our routines, our predictions of the future, our sense of security, our jobs and careers – all turned upside down.  Marketers like me are struggling to understand how to market in a time of uncertainty.  Many people have been forced to work remotely for the first time in their careers. Some of us have been doing it for a long time, but now it’s different.  Businesses, some within only a week, have shuttered. …

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Narratives and the Stories Other People Create About You

Stories are a part of our every day lives, whether we realize it or not. We are either telling ourselves stories about someone or a situation. We also do things to help others project a certain story about us. Take job titles, for example. They can be a signal to other people about your success. Or is it just perceived success? Do job titles give people a convenient place to hide? What do I mean a “convenient place to hide”? Research has been done that shows if we want to accomplish something big – like writing a book or running …

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What it Means to Be a Professional and Why it Matters Now

With everything going on right now, I’ve been thinking a lot about being a professional.  Most specifically, the shift in the way a lot of people work and communicate outside of what they’ve done in the past. A shift into using technology more than they may have in the past. A shift in the way they now have to show up each day. The world isn’t going to simply stop because of this pandemic. Companies need to change, adapt, and keep moving forward. People need to do the same. Stop worrying about what could happen and start focusing on what …

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From Constraints Come Opportunity (and Choices)

There’s no question. There’s a lot of anxiety in the world right now. A lot of uncertainty.  We’re in the midst of a global pandemic. It seems like everywhere you turn it’s doom and gloom. People are fearful. They’re anxious. They’re afraid. That’s to be expected. But, it’s also important to be rational. To be an adult. To be a leader. To be supportive. And, to use this time to reflect and get better. A tremendous opportunity exists to come out of this thing better than we went in. We’re stuck at home, there aren’t any live sports on. That …

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Patience (Part 2) – Focus on the Small Things

Patience.  A lot of people talk about it but when it comes to practicing it ourselves a lot of us fall short, don’t we? Patience is a difficult thing to have when it comes to our careers. A lot of times we know we’re capable of so much more than we’re doing if only we had a chance to prove it.  I’m sure this is a thought that young professionals have on a nearly daily basis. Unfortunately, that’s not a thought that goes away when you get more experience.  If you’re a continuous learner like me and if you strive, …

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Patience: The Key to a Successful Career – Part I

A couple of weeks ago I was in Lincoln, Nebraska for a charity event and I was able to meet Ali Schwanke, a fellow speaker at the Digital Crush marketing conference last October (2019). After coffee, she gave me a tour of her office. It was very impressive and I particularly liked the breakout rooms that were named after well-known, highly successful marketers. People like Seth Godin, David Ogilvy, Rand Fishkin, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Ann Handley.  After the tour we said goodbye and I drove from Lincoln to Omaha. As I was driving I was thinking about things and thinking …

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What Really Happens After I Apply for a Job?

If you’re in a position in which you have to lead with your resume, it’s important to understand what happens after you click ‘submit’, what recruiters (or sourcers) really do, and how they think.  This is part of building empathy and understanding the “who’s it for” aspect of your resume.  Who is involved? You may have noticed that I used the term “sourcer” and are wondering what that is. Large companies will often hire people whose sole responsibility is to source and screen candidates. If you make past them you are sent over to the recruiter (or directly to the …

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Empathy in Your Job Search

Empathy. That’s what I’m going to talk about today. Empathy and how it relates to your job search. You hear about empathy a lot. Especially in a business context. But how does it relate to someone looking for a job? Shouldn’t the interviewer and hiring manager show empathy toward me? Not the other way around. When you start to view the world through someone else’s eyes and worldview possibilities open up around how to connect. Not just that, but it also helps you understand why you may not have gotten a second interview or an offer. What Hiring Managers are …

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Get Out of Your Own Way

How to Make Better Career Decisions from The Winding Road on Vimeo. Today I’m going to talk about fear. It’s a topic that I resurface from time to time because it’s an important one. It’s one of the most life-limiting and career-limiting factors any of us face and we face it daily. At least in some form. It shows up when we start to consider a change. Any kind of change. But especially when we consider a change associated with our career. I have a couple of ‘theories’ on this and the one I see as the most influential is …

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