Archives For Pulse post

 Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, truth loving.’ James E. Faust

Have you ever lied at work? Do you tell half-truths to get the sale or job? Do you keep promises?

 What does this quiz say about you?

Answer yes or no.

1. I’ve lied on my resume or fudged reports.

2. I call in sick when I’m not.

3. I surf the internet on company time.

4. I fail to disclose pertinent information.

5. I’ve cheated on school or employment tests.

6. I’d tell a face-saving lie to protect my career.

7. I exaggerate the truth or tell white lies to avoid hurting someone.

8. I’ve stolen office supplies or padded expense accounts.

9. I lie to better serve my employer or clients.

10. I’ve copied software or reproduced cassettes.

 Scoring: One point for each “yes.” The higher your score, the more you could enhance honesty.

 Lying is stressful, and stress harms health and accelerates aging. Frequent lying and fear of exposure keeps your body’s “fight or flight” response on. Long term activation of this system may result in health conditions like heart disease.

 The Pinocchio Effect also kicks in when you lie. The temperature in the muscles around the nose becomes hotter, according to Emilio Milán and Elvira López at the University of Granada. There is corresponding action in the insular cortex of the brain which controls emotions. Fear of being caught in a lie increases activity in the insular cortex, leading to more heat emanating from the nose. The researchers called this the Pinocchio effect. In Walt Disney’s Pinocchio, the boy puppet’s lies are revealed whenever his wooden nose grows.

 Lying damages a person’s self respect and credibility. Dishonesty also affects company productivity. Using company time and stealing small items add up. Honest employees pay for others’ lack of integrity through stricter rules, or other..

 Why people lie

Children learn to lie. Many don’t view cheating on exams as unethical. Dishonest behavior is encouraged when schools fail to show disapproval of students’ cheating. The same message is given when parents cheat on taxes. Children learn all methods for achieving goals are justified.

 We fib because we need to appear competent, want to avoid hurt or conflict, desire to protect our jobs, or not rock the boat. Some workers may lie about a sick child to protect themselves from taking another business trip. Others who call in sick are tending to personal needs. Not all supervisors understand employees’ need for family or relaxation time. Business behaviors such as not disclosing pertinent information or selling defective goods are rationalized along the same lines.

Political and business leaders have lied for centuries. Recent studies conducted by Paul Piff, social psychologist, at the University of California, Irvine, found that self-interests tend to spur the elite to lie and cheat.

Lies have hidden costs, not only in productivity and teamwork, but in a person’s self-respect. It’s difficult to stop, once you start exaggerating the truth. People who lie don’t remember who knows what. A major consequence is damaged credibility.

Various workplace situations facilitate untruthful behaviors. Employee dishonesty may be a sign of outdated company policies. Workers may take time off for questionable family needs because the employer has no flex time or personal care days.

 Demonstrating Truthfulness

 William Shakespeare offers sage advice: “Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.” Additional suggestions follow.

 – Love and accept yourself. Know what you want. Surround yourself with supportive people who accept you for who you really are.

Don’t compromise your integrity and reputation by associating with people whose standards of integrity you mistrust.

– Speak the truth. Communicate in an open and honest fashion. Exaggerating your ability to meet expectations will hurt your status and business more than being honest up front. Truth and trust go together. Lies erode others’ faith in you.

– Say what you mean and mean what you say. Present both sides of an issue to ensure objectivity. Simplify your statements so that others understand your message. Tell people the rational behind your decisions so that your intent is understood.

 – Keep promises. If there is a genuine reason you can’t reveal your position, such as when you’re negotiating, consider saying, “I can’t discuss that now.”

 Hold people accountable when their actions don’t match their words.. If you have a personal bias or a conflict of interest make it known to people with whom you are interacting.

 – Avoid compromising situations. If your boss tells you to lie about a given situation, gently decline saying you’re not comfortable with the idea, or offer an alternative way to achieve the goal.  If you find yourself in many compromising situations, think about moving on.

– Shift mindset. Lying is a learned survival strategy that can be unlearned. Note what triggers your decision to lie. What fear (e.g., being wrong, hurting someone) is behind this choice? Why do you believe the lie will have a better outcome, and for whom? Reflect on your answers to uncover your motivation, and make needed modifications.

When you sense yourself crafting a lie, ask yourself. “What’s the worst that can happen if I tell the truth?”

Visualize an image of your honest self. Focus on this image to maintain truthfulness in all situations.

 Additional tips for maintaining truthfulness and strengthening other Quester traits are discussed in award winning audiobook, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Dr. Carole Kanchier:

 https://www.audible.com/pd/Questers-Dare-to-Change-Your-Job-and-Life-Audiobook/B07VZNKGJF?asin=B07VZNKGJF&ipRedirectOverride=true&overrideBaseCountry=true&pf_rd_p=34883c04-32e5-4474-a65d-0ba68f4635d3&pf_rd_r=TN801GRP49AWQSSYMDYC1

 Dr. Carole Kanchier, registered psychologist, career and personal growth expert, is author of award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life.  Carole Kanchier inspires people to realize their potential and look at career advancement in new ways.  Dr. Kanchier pioneered the unique model of lifelong growth and decision making which she shares in “Questers Dare to Change.”  www.questersdaretochange.com.

Share

Audible, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, shows how to succeed by being yourself!

Are You A Quester?

Are you a Quester? Would you like to be one? Who are Questers anyway?

Questers redefine careers and work!  Questers are growth-oriented individuals with a sense of purpose, confidence, resilience, perseverance, and other traits needed to prevail in changing times.

Check your Quester traits: http://www.questersdaretochange.com/services-2/quester-quiz/

Questers shows how to realize potential!

https://www.audible.com/pd/Questers-Dare-to-Change-Your-Job-and-Life-Audiobook/B07VZNKGJF?asin=B07VZNKGJF&ipRedirectOverride=true&overrideBaseCountry=true&pf_rd_p=34883c04-32e5-4474-a65d-0ba68f4635d3&pf_rd_r=TN801GRP49AWQSSYMDYC1

Please review sample book chapters: http://www.questersdaretochange.com/book/excerpts/

Best wishes in your life career,

Carole Kanchier, PhD

Author, Carole Kanchier is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist, coach, speaker, and author of award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.

Contact Carole: carole@questersdaretochange.com

www.questersdaretochange.com

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Are You Telephone Savvy?

July 28, 2019

© Carole Kanchier, PhD

Telephone Skills Are Crucial for Career Success

Are You Telephone Savvy? Part 1
The telephone is the most common business tool and its proper use is essential for career advancement.

Talking with a potential client, customer or colleague on the phone can sometimes be challenging. Without seeing an individual’s face, messages can become muddled and meanings misinterpreted.

Are you telephone savvy?

When you make calls do you

  1. State your message briefly and clearly?
  2. Leave your name, organization and phone number, repeating these twice, slowly and clearly?
  3. Give the full name of the person for whom you’re leaving the message?
  4. State the date and time of the call?
  5. State whether you’ll call back or you’d like the other person to calAsk for a return call at a time you’ll be available?
  6. When you receive calls, do you Identify yourself
  7. Use courtesies such as “Please hold while I complete another call.”
  8. Offer to take messages when you’re answering for someone?
  9. Repeat the caller’s name and number to make sure they’re correct?
  10. Speak in a professional manner?

Scoring: One point for each yes. The higher your score, the more positive telephone skills you possess. A score of 8 or less suggests you should enhance your skills.

Review telephone basics

  1. Knowledge: Before you make a call have the required information.
  2. Goals: Know what you want to accomplish.
  3. Attitude: Make the person feel you’re interested in him and the message.

– Make a great first impression. Show the caller you’re helpful, confident and competent. If a potential employer’s first contact is over the phone, she gets cues from your voice. What kind of impression are you giving?

Influence your listener’s reactions by controlling the pace, pitch, inflection and tone of your voice.  Strive for an energy level that matches your normal conversation. A soft voice suggests shyness or uncertainty; a loud voice implies anger or worry. Be alert to your caller’s needs. If he’s having trouble hearing, speak louder, more slowly.

Speak briskly but pronounce words clearly. When you talk too fast, you sound hurried or excited and are difficult to understand; when you too speak slowly, you sound tired, lazy or uninterested.

Inflection adds special meaning to your message. If, for example, you say, “John needs help with his resume this afternoon,” you’re suggesting John needs help. If you say, “John needs help with his resume — this afternoon, —  your indicating he needs help this afternoon.

Different tones of voice can make us feel differently — happy, angry, hurt, etc. Keep your tone attentive, interested and friendly. Smiling adds a pleasant tone to your voice.

– Be courteous, respectful. People are turned off by careless or rude remarks. Always say hello and identify yourself. Ask how you can help. Use courtesy words, “Thank you for waiting.”  If you need to put the caller on hold, ask, and wait for an answer. If you need to phone back, indicate when you’ll call.

End the call positively, for example, “Thanks for calling.”  Let the caller hang up first. This gives him control of the ending as well as an opportunity to ask further questions. Don’t eat, drink, or chew gum.

– Leave clear, concise messages. State your name and phone number. Repeat these twice. Give the name of the person you’re calling and date and time you called. If the person doesn’t return your call, phone again a few days later. For other message skills, review the telephone savvy questions.

If an employer calls, and you’re not prepared for the session, ask the employer if you can return the call, or if he can call back at a mutually convenient time. This gives you time to prepare.

Keep the forgoing in mind when you call or receive phone calls. Your confidence and career advancement will improve as you hone your phone skills.

Additional tips for strengthening telephone and other job skills are discussed in award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: http://www.amazon.com/Questers-Darhange-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Visit Carole Kanchier’s blog for more tips to enhance personal and professional growth. www.questersdaretodhange.com/blog

Author bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist, coach, speaker, and author of groundbreaking, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life.  Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.

 

 

 

 

 

Share

What the Colors You Wear Say About You!

Colors you wear may affect your mood as well as how others perceive you. Work environment colors also matter.

At a subconscious level, colors affect people in different ways. Colors can send positive or negative messages. Using colors effectively to dress, decorate your office, or design your website can put you ahead of the competition.

Research on the psychology of color demonstrates that colors evoke emotional, behavioral and physical responses. Advertising executives know that a product can have a completely different impact if the packaging color is changed. Psychologists have found that certain colors in our environment help or hinder performance of certain tasks.

Generally, warm colors such as red and its neighboring hues on the color spectrum are active, exciting. Cool colors such as light green, blue and violet are passive, calming. Reds tend to stimulate the central nervous system and increase bodily tension, while cool colors release tension. Meanings change with lighter or darker shades of colors, and different cultures have differing views.

Research suggest that blue is the most favored color, followed by pink, green, red, purple and black. Brown is the least popular, followed by white, yellow and orange.

Personality traits are reflected by your preferred color. Extroverts like red, introverts blue. Yellow is the choice of intellectuals, and well-balanced individuals tend to wear green.

Use color positively

Use color to trigger desired emotions. Surround yourself with favorite colors to lift your spirit. In addition to selecting colors that suit you, attend to how you feel and the message you want to project.
When dressing for important meetings, plan your wardrobe to achieve impact. If you wear more than one color, combine the meanings to create your desired effect.  Remember to dress with authority. The dark suit, navy or medium to dark grey, with a crisp shirt and contrasting tie is appropriate for men.
 
Red exudes power, energy, excitement and passion. It makes peoples’ hearts beat faster. Wear red when you want to be assertive, need an energy boost or exude sexuality. Red is effective as an accessory to project energy. Avoid red when you feel nervous, want to elude attention.

Orange represents creativity, confidence, joy, sensuality and ambition. It suggests vibrant health and has positive effects on emotional states. Wear orange when you want to have fun, heighten creativity or heal emotions. Avoid it when you feel restless, dependent, fearful, want to relax.

Yellow is associated with happiness, freedom, optimism and mental concentration. Yellow speeds metabolism. Some shades suggest cowardice; golden shades promise good times. Wear yellow when you need to attend to details, maintain mental alertness, feel happy. Use sparingly because it can be overpowering. Avoid yellow when you’re fearful, want to evade attention, relax.

Green suggests security, abundance, love, growth, luck and balance. It’s also associated with envy. Forest green projects conservatism, wealth, but olive green may represent illness. Wear green when you want to see things from a different perspective, need to feel grounded, calm, generous. Don’t wear it when you’re confused, feel stagnant, want to be alone.

Blue represents authority, structure, communication, dependability, trust and loyalty. Some shades or too much blue can project coldness. Wear blue when you want to exude power, have mental control, be conservative, respected or communicate an important message. Don’t wear blue when you feel isolated, depressed, critical.

Grey is practical, timeless, cautious, successful and solid. Some shades are associated with age, depression, lack of direction. Excessive use of gray leads to feelings of being invisible, but a touch adds feelings of stability. Wear grey when you want to feel self-sufficient, isolate yourself. Avoid it when you feel lonely, stressed.

Brown is associated with stability, honesty, practicality and commitment. Wear brown when you need to work hard, be a team member or organized. Avoid it when you want to expend energy, play, feel insecure.

Pink represents love, affection and serenity. Wear it when you want to feel feminine, lovable, need to concentrate and listen. Avoid pink when you feel vulnerable, insecure, fragmented, are giving more than receiving.

Purple is associated with prosperity, spirituality and sophistication. Wear purple to project wisdom, trust, release destructive emotions. Don’t wear it when you want to evade societal regulations.

Black represents power, elegance, discipline and mystery. Sometimes, it’s associated with evil and grieving.
Wear black to communicate an authoritative image or protect emotions. Since too much black can overwhelm some, don’t wear it when you want to establish rapport.

White symbolizes purity, cleanliness, safety, completion, strength and neutrality. Wear white to feel peaceful, convey a well-balanced, optimistic personality. White is most effective as part of an ensemble. Too much can project coldness, isolation.

Make a great impression. Use color to create your desired effect at business and other meetings. 

Additional tips for growing your life career are found in award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963.The  Dr. Carole Kanchier is a registered psychologist, coach, and newspaper/digital columnist, Carole Kanchier is available for keynotes and consultations: www.questersdaretochange.com.

Share
Responding to Illegal Job Interview Questions

It is important to know your rights as an employee. Unlawful questions are not acceptable on applications, during the interview process, or in the workplace. Although improper questions by employers might be simple mistakes, they could also be intentional cases of discrimination that should be reported.

Legal and illegal interview questions
How you would you respond to each question?
1. How old are you?
2. What’s your native tongue?
3. What language do you use when writing?
4. What’s your marital status?
5. Would you be willing to work overtime as necessary?
6. To what clubs do you belong?
7. How much do you weigh?
8. How’s your family’s health?
9. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
10. In what branch of the Armed Forces did you serve?
11. Have you had any recent illnesses?
12. Do you have children?

Scoring: Questions 3, 5, 9 and 10 are legal. The others are illegal. Generally, interview questions should focus on your ability to do the job. It’s illegal to base hiring decisions on certain other criteria.

Numerous federal and state laws protect employees form discrimination. These include the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Occupational Safety Act.

For example, Title V11 of the Civil Rights Act, makes discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin illegal in hiring decisions, and The American with Disabilities Act requires that an employer provide equal opportunities to individuals with disabilities. Check your state and federal acts related fair employment and housing practices.

There are situations where a specific job might require an answer to some questions that might appear to be illegal for other jobs. For example, a firefighter needs to be in good physical condition so health-related questions are acceptable.

Smart interviewers can get the information they want by asking open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking “Are you living with anyone?” interviewers can ask “Do you foresee any situations that would prevent you from relocating?”

Examples of illegal and legal questions

Age
Illegal — When did you graduate? What’s your birth date?
Legal — Are you over 18?

National Origin, Citizenship
Illegal — Are you a US citizen? Where were your parents born?
Legal — Are you authorized to work in the US?

Marital/Family Status
Illegal — With whom do you live? Do you plan to have a family? What are your child-care arrangements?
Legal — Would you be willing to relocate if necessary? Would you be willing to travel as needed for the job?

Affiliations
Illegal — To what social organizations do you belong?
Legal — List any professional, trade or other groups to which you belong that is relevant to performing this job.

Personal
Illegal — How tall are you?
Legal — Questions about height, weight and strength are acceptable if certain minimum standards are essential for safe and efficient job performance.

Disabilities or Limitations
Illegal — Do you have any disabilities? Please complete this medical history. What was the date of your last physical exam? Do you need an accommodation to perform the job?
Legal — Describe how you would carry a 200 pound weight 50 yards with or without accommodation.

Arrest Record
Illegal — Have you ever been arrested?
Legal — Have you ever been convicted of __________? (The crime should be related to the performance of the job in question.)

Military
Illegal — Were you honorably discharged?
Legal — What type of training did you receive?

Gender
Illegal — We haven’t hired a woman before. What makes you think you can do this job?
Legal — Describe the skills you have to do this job.

Drug Use
Illegal — Do you take drugs, smoke or drink?
Legal — Have you ever been disciplined for violating company policies about the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs?

Pregnancy
Illegal — Are you pregnant?
Legal — Will you be able to work overtime or travel?

Do the forgoing or any other areas of discrimination apply to you? If so, what are these? What can you do to turn around an illegal interview question or situation to protect you from discrimination? What federal or state law or agency could help you resolve a discrimination issue?

Dr. Carole Kanchier, career and personal growth expert, informs and inspires you to realize your potential. A coach and international newspaper/digital columnist, she is author of award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Share
Are You Stressed At Work?

Do you feel powerless about aspects of your job? Do you feel unappreciated? Overworked? Are you always tired, irritable? Do you lack enthusiasm? Think of quitting? If so, you may be experiencing job stress.

Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a problem when you feel so overwhelmed by work demands that normal coping strategies don’t work.

Studies report that anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of North Americans feel stressed at work, and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress. Job stress can lead to varied health, social and economic problems. Workers, for example, may experience physical violence, verbal abuse, phone rage, back pain, insomnia and cardiovascular diseases.

High Stress Jobs

Job stress is not limited to any one type of occupation. Studies, however, consistently rank the following as highly stressful: combat personnel, disaster relief workers, inner city public school teachers, astronauts, nurses, air traffic controllers, professionals who work with severely challenged or ill patients, prostitutes, short-haul bus or taxi drivers, social workers, airline pilots, deep-sea fishermen, hard-hat divers, factory workers who do monotonous, rapid, repetitive tasks, farmers, police men/women, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, attorneys, physicians, flight attendants.

Job categories don’t tell the whole story. Some workers in high stress jobs manage jobs well, while others in less demanding jobs are stressed. The severity of stress depends on the demands placed on workers and the perceived amounts of control they have in performing tasks. For example, managers who perceive they have considerable responsibility but little authority, experience severe stress.

Certain personal characteristics contribute to job stress. These include poor planning, inability to relax or manage change, and failure to care for physical, intellectual, social or spiritual needs. Unrealistic expectations, emphasis on security, a loner lifestyle and inability to delegate also facilitate stress.

Work environments that promote stress offer little support, challenge, flexibility, recognition and feedback. Workers have no decision making influence, ambiguous job descriptions, rude customers or clients, few breaks and excessive competition. Little or no preparation, inconsistent rules, endless paperwork, few advancement opportunities, politics, and insecurity, caused by layoffs, are other stressors.

Minimizing Job Stress

Change perceptions. A major stressor is how you see real or imagined threats to your well-being, and the perception that you can’t cope or don’t have options. Since your perceptual bias is learned, it can be unlearned.

Keep problems in perspective.  View mistakes as learning experiences. If you have a setback, identify what went wrong, modify plans, and try again.

Manage time. Keep a daily record, and recognize time wasting habits. Identify time needed for essential tasks, and modify your schedule accordingly. Make lists and prioritize. Avoid unnecessary meetings and delegate when possible.

Clarify roles, responsibilities and goals. Know what’s expected.  Ask supervisors for constructive feedback on performance. Discuss ways to eliminate frustrations and rigid demands.

Explore ways to creatively redesign your job. List energizing and draining job components. Spend more time on energizing tasks and less on draining ones. Intersperse frustrating activities with short breaks and rewards. Rotate job functions. Schedule breaks.

Maintain optimism. Expect success. Fill your mind with positive, constructive thoughts. Listen to inspirational tapes, read motivational books. Begin each day with a positive thought.  Rephrase negative thoughts to make them positive and illustrate control.

Lead a balanced life. Look after your mind, body and spirit. Leave worries outside the bedroom and sleep at least seven hours. Eat healthily. Watch sugar, coffee and alcohol intake. Exercise regularly.

Schedule quiet times to think and reassess. Reevaluate priorities — career advancement, family or health. If you want more time with your children, cut down on golf with colleagues.

Do something stimulating and enjoyable each day. Enjoy small pleasures such as walking.

Develop support systems. Cultivate meaningful, supportive relationships that allow you to share frustrations. Consider professional assistance. Hospitals, mental health professionals, company EAP programs and educational institutions offer courses, counseling and advice. The internet and books provide a wealth of knowledge.

Choose productive attitudes and behaviors. Identify people, places, activities and conditions that revitalize you. Also identify places, activities and conditions that drain energy. Each month, pursue at least one activity that revitalizes you, and eliminate one that depletes you.

Use stress as an energy source to change, grow, accomplish desired goals, and achieve competence and confidence.
Award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, by Carole Kanchier, discusses numerous other suggestions for measuring and preventing stress: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Carole Kanchier, PhD, registered psychologist, coach, speaker, and author of Questers, shows individuals and organizations how to manage stress. www.questersdaretochange.com

Share
Risk: In the Eye of the Beholder

 

Are you a risk taker? If you said no, think again. You may be more of a risk taker than you think.

Dan works as a sales clerk to support his fledgling acting career. Before that he taught school, following 11 years as a computer programmer. You may perceive Dan to be a risk taker having left two positions which had good security and pay.  But Dan doesn’t see himself as a risk taker. For Dan, risk involves physical activities such as mountain climbing.

Most of us are more conscious of the risks we avoid than those we take. That’s why we don’t think we’re risk takers. And because we’re aware of the risks we avoid, we assume that others take bigger risks. But they may be avoiding risks we’re taking. So risk, in this sense, is in the eye of the beholder.

What’s risky to you?

  • Physical danger – sky diving, skiing, taking drugs, having cosmetic surgery?
  • Psychological/Emotional – staying in a dead-end job, getting married or divorced?
  • Social – giving a presentation, telling jokes at a company party, traveling solo in a foreign country?
  • Intellectual – taking a graduate course, chairing a high-level policy meeting?
  • Economic – investing in stocks, buying a home, starting a business?
  • Career – changing jobs or any combination of the above?

Enhance ability to risk
Think about three successful risks you’ve taken in any life component. What did you do to make it turn out well?  In which categories did the risks fall? What have you learned about yourself and your risk taking behavior?

Describe barriers that are blocking you from making a desired change. For example, Personal Barriers include fear of loss of a secure income; fear of failure (such as starting a new job); fear of what others will think; fear of success; and guilt that change might create family hardships.

Societal Barriers include old notions of “career”; outdated retirement policies; traditional gender roles; and blocks imposed by educational institutions, unions and professional associations.

Let go of “attachments.” The more attached you are to something, the greater the fear of losing it. Ask yourself, “What do I want to let go of?” “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I let go?” “What people, resources and support would make my goal less risky?”

Live in the present. Because most fear centers around the future, don’t spend time worrying about what might happen.

Know yourself. Clarify your purpose, strengths and priorities. What do you really want to do? How does this differ from what others think you should do? Replace the “shoulds” with your own values. As you turn your priorities around, risking will become easier. It’s simpler to risk for something you’re passionate about.

Clarify a goal in harmony with your purpose. State and write down your goal and outline a plan to achieve it.  Break the goal down into small steps. What’s the first step you could take? When could you take it? Do this for each step.

Watch “self-talk.” Each time you catch yourself saying something that fuels your fear, say “cancel,” and replace it with a more positive statement. Shift your vocabulary from being a victim to someone with power and strength.

Educate yourself. Read books, listen to tapes, or take courses on building confidence, strengthening ability to risk, or any other topic of interest.

View setbacks as learning experience as you move toward your goal. Failure can be reduced by researching, planning and persisting. Depersonalize setbacks. Ask yourself what you would do differently and then make the necessary modifications.

Look upon something new as an exciting opportunity to challenge yourself and to grow. If you don’t try, how will you ever find out if you can do it?

Balance tentativeness with commitment. Set goals but don’t write these in stone. Be open to new experiences.

Establish a support group. Confide in and ask for help from supportive family or friends. Associate with positive people.

Complete this Fantasy Risk Exercise: Think of an important risk you would like to take.  What appeals to you about taking this risk? What would you gain?  What is frightening about this risk? What will you lose?  What’s the worst thing that could happen if it turned out badly? If the worst happened, what would you do?

Where could you get information to pursue this risk? From whom could you get support? What could you do to make this less risky? Less irreversible?

If you broke the risk into small steps, what would the first step be? How soon could you take it? Do this for each step. Evaluate the outcome of the risk. Did it turn out as expected? If not, why? What have you learned?

Celebrate your success whether or not it turned out as expected. Gradually, you will see yourself as a risk taker.

Creating a life worth living and finding the courage to risk pursuing you dreams isn’t easy, but you can do it!

Questers, described in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, show you how to risk and strengthen other winning Quester traits! http://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Author bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force Within You!  Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential. www.questersdaretochange.com

Share
Common Job Search Mistakes

Andy was disappointed to learn he didn’t get the position he wanted. Have you ever been passed over for a desired job? Do you know why?

Applicants don’t get jobs because they lack required job skills. Poor people chemistry, partisan politics and certain interview behaviors are other reasons. Do you demonstrate behaviors that “turn off” employers? Do you make any of the following mistakes during job interviews:

  • Lack clear job goals
  • Lack accomplishments to support skills claimed
  • Don’t prepare for interviews
  • Excessive interest in financial rewards
  • Lack social poise
  • Make little eye contact
  • Lack communication skills
  • Have poor posture
  • Demonstrate little or no enthusiasm
  • Lack initiative
  • Belittle previous employers
  • Have unrealistic expectations
  • Make excuses for poor work records
  • Ask no or poor questions about the organization and job responsibilities
  • Arrive late for interviews
  • Have a “What can you do for me?” attitude

Effective job search strategies

– Show you’re knowledgeable about the company and its needs. Research the organization and job. Call contacts to get an insider’s perspective. Be conversant with the company’s product and services, and recent developments in the industry. Know how to describe contributions you can make. Identify and contact hiring managers.

– Prepare several resumes. Target each one to a specific job.  Demonstrate how your experience, skills and accomplishments fit the job and company.

Prepare a scannable resume. Use dashes instead of bullets. Avoid fancy treatments such as italics, underlining and graphics. Employ key words listed in ads to define your skills, accomplishments and other strengths. Include numbers, dollars and evidence of quality and quantity.

Write your résumé in Microsoft Word. Cut and paste the text of the résumé into the body of the e-mail instead of, or in addition to, sending it as an attachment. (Some recipients fear opening unsolicited attachments). When sending your résumé as an attachment, save it in Rich Text Format (.rtf) instead of as a Word Document to reduce cross-platform compatibility problems.

– Create a career portfolio. This portfolio should demonstrate what you can offer a potential employer, business investor, or new client. Portfolios provide considerably more information than a cover letter and resume alone. Portfolios use words and pictures, as well as an array of multi-media formats.  A portfolio is limited only by one’s imagination.

A portfolio includes work samples that show your qualifications and skills as well as relevant education and volunteer activities. It documents the scope and quality of your experience and training. Your portfolio demonstrates what you’ve accomplished and can offer the employer

In addition to being shared during job interviews, portfolios can be used creatively as employee evaluation instruments. They can be part of business plans, project proposals, or used to market new business ventures. Portfolios can document student learning in educational courses, and demonstrate employee growth and improvement when seeking job advancement.

– Write a short, courteous cover letter.  In three or four paragraphs, identify your job objective, highlight related accomplishments, and indicate how you can benefit the employer. Consider including a portfolio with sample accomplishments, publications or other achievements.

Think about sending an email “teaser” letter with similar content to the regular cover letter. But instead of sending a resume, ask for permission to send it.

– Prepare for interview questions. Practice delivery.  Know the names and titles of all interviewers. Answer questions promptly, offering concrete examples. Show how your skills and accomplishments can do the job. Use success stories to illustrate behaviors.  Emphasize results. Give data indicating positive results you’ve achieved, such as sales increased by fifteen percent over the previous year.

Prepare to answer the following key questions: Tell me about yourself? What are your long-range goals? Why should we hire you? What are your major strengths? Weaknesses? What salary do you expect? How does your previous experience relate to this job? Why do you want this job? Why did you leave your last job?

Turn weaknesses into strengths. If you don’t have a ready response, ask for time to think about it. Don’t respond with one-or two-word answers, interrupt or talk too much. Never discuss salary until you’re offered the job. If pressed, give a range, based on current salary in your field.

– Present a professional demeanor. Wear the team uniform. This shows you belong in the environment. Research the norm for the area, industry and company.  Coordinate pieces. Clothes should be spotless, well-tailored. Hair should be professionally styled, nails well-kept. Avoid strong fragrances.

Radiate energy, enthusiasm, confidence and competence. Be positive, genuine.  A sincere smile displays good will, friendliness. Show interest in the person or project. Keep hands out-of-pockets.  Maintain eye contact with everyone and develop a firm handshake.

– Leave with a favorable impression. If employers like you, they may create a job for you even though you don’t fit the skill set of an advertised position.

Close the interview emphasizing key skills and why you should be hired. Never refuse an offer on the spot. Follow-up each interview or mailed resume with a call. Send thank-you notes to interviewers within 24 hours after interviews.

Don’t take rejection personally. If one job doesn’t materialize, believe you’ll get a better one. Be patient. Maintain optimism, honesty, persist.

Award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, by Dr. Carole Kanchier, offers additional tips to ace job interviews. and strengthen winning Quester traits: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963; carole@questersdaretochange.com;  www.questersdaretochange.com

Share