Already Made It To The Top

I called a candidate about a new opportunity. It was a promotion from his current role, and he had the right skills and qualifications.

Sorry but I’m not interested,” he politely said. I pressed him on it until he said something that really confused me.

He told me that he “already made it to the top“. I was familiar with his current company and looked at his resume again.

He wasn’t anywhere near the top.

He would have needed binoculars to see the top.

He wasn’t even a manager yet.

He explained to me that “making it to the top” for him meant he loved the exact work he did each day, he loved his company, he was treated fairly and with respect, he made enough money to be comfortable, he had excellent benefits, he had flexibility, and most importantly to him, he’s never missed a single football game, school play, parent-teacher conference, anniversary, birthday, or any family event.

He knew what taking the next step in his career meant.

More time, travel, and sacrifice. “Not worth it,” he said.

Your definition of “making it to the top” doesn’t have to be society’s, or anyone else’s definition.

Everyone should march to their own drummer.  You Do You. What is important to one person, does not, and should not, define the other.

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Be Confident

atop_the_clouds_by_alliecat33-d6hw1gpDo you want to be more confident?   ….Then change your thinking.

Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions, and of all achievement.”   -Claude Bristol

To be confident, think about how you think…

  • What do you think about every day; every hour?
  • Do you think confident thoughts, or I can’t thoughts?
  • Do you think about positive things most of the day, or negative?
  • Do you think about what you don’t have, or what you can have?
  • Do you think about the possibility of success, or failure?
  • Do you think about the future, or the past?

Think positively every moment, of every day, and make sure your actions are positive, that your words are positive, and that your energy is positive. The result, you will find, is that people will be attracted to you; they will want to work with you, they will want to be around you.   People want to be around positive, confident, successful, uplifting people; and as the saying goes “birds of a feather.”

So, if your thoughts are the origin of all wealth, success, discovery, invention, and confidence, then you must first control your thinking. It is the foundation of your success!

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Things You Should Not Do Every Day

It’s for your own good.STOP

Cut these things out of your day and you’ll see gains in productivity–not to mention happiness.

If you get decent value from making to-do lists, you’ll get huge returns–in productivity, in improved relationships, and in your personal well-being–from adding these items to your not to-do list, so, every day, make the commitment:

NOT TO: Check my phone while I’m talking to someone.

  • You’ve done it. You’ve played the, “Is that your phone? Oh, it must be mine,” game. You’ve tried the you-think-sly-but-actually-really-obvious downwards glance. You’ve done the, “Wait, let me answer this text…” thing.
  • Maybe you didn’t even say, “Wait.” You just stopped talking, stopped paying attention, and did it.
  • Want to stand out? Want to be that person everyone loves because they make you feel, when they’re talking to you, like you’re the most important person in the world?
  • Stop checking your phone. It doesn’t notice when you aren’t paying attention.
  • Other people? They notice….  And they care.

NOT TO: Multitask during a meeting.

  • The easiest way to be the smartest person in the room is to be the person who pays the most attention to the room.
  • You’ll be amazed by what you can learn, both about the topic of the meeting and about the people in the meeting if you stop multitasking and start paying close attention. You’ll flush out and understand hidden agendas, you’ll spot opportunities to build bridges, and you’ll find ways to make yourself indispensable to the people who matter.
  • It’s easy, because you’ll be the only one trying.
  • And you’ll be the only one succeeding on multiple levels.

NOT TO: Think about people who don’t make any difference in my life.

  • Trust me: The inhabitants of planet Kardashian are okay without you.
  • But your family, your friends, your employees–all the people that really matter to you–are not. Give them your time and attention.
  • They’re the ones who deserve it.

NOT TO: Use multiple notifications.

  • You don’t need to know the instant you get an email. Or a text. Or a tweet. Or anything else that pops up on your phone or computer.
  • If something is important enough for you to do, it’s important enough for you to do without interruptions. Focus totally on what you’re doing. Then, on a schedule you set–instead of a schedule you let everyone else set–play prairie dog and pop your head up to see what’s happening.
  • And then get right back to work. Focusing on what youare doing is a lot more important than focusing on other people might be doing.
  • They can wait. You, and what is truly important to you, cannot.

NOT TO: Let the past dictate the future.

  • Mistakes are valuable. Learn from them.
  • Then let them go.
  • Easier said than done? It all depends on your perspective. When something goes wrong, turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know–especially about yourself.
  • When something goes wrong for someone else, turn it into an opportunity to be gracious, forgiving, and understanding.
  • The past is just training. The past should definitely inform but in no way define you–unless you let it.

NOT TO: Wait until I’m sure I will succeed.

  • You can never feel sure you will succeed at something new, but you can always feel sure you are committed to giving something your best.
  • And you can always feel sure you will try again if you fail.
  • Stop waiting. You have a lot less to lose than you think, and everything to gain.

NOT TO: Talk behind someone’s back.

  • If only because being the focus of gossip sucks. (And so do the people who gossip.)
  • If you’ve talked to more than one person about something Joe is doing, wouldn’t everyone be better off if you stepped up and actually talked to Joe about it? And if it’s “not your place” to talk to Joe, it’s probably not your place to talk about Joe.
  • Spend your time on productive conversations. You’ll get a lot more done–and you’ll gain a lot more respect.

NOT TO: Say “yes” when I really mean “no.”

  • Refusing a request from colleagues, customers, or even friends is really hard. But rarely does saying no go as badly as you expect.
  • Most people will understand, and if they don’t, should you care too much about what they think?
  • When you say no, at least you’ll only feel bad for a few moments.
  • When you say yes to something you really don’t want to do, you might feel bad for a long time–or at least as long as it takes you to do what you didn’t want to do in the first place.

People always complain about not enough time. If you follow the advice above, you will find you have more time. Especially the one about multiple notifications. Focus is becoming more and more valued, don’t lose yours.

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Are you Smarter than a Squirrel?

 What does a squirrel do in the summer?Are you smarter than a squirrel

He gathers food for the winter.

In the summer, the weather is nice. Food is abundant. The squirrel could easily get out of his little squirrel bed, scamper down the tree, have some breakfast, and frolic all day with his squirrel friends, without a care in the world…except for maybe a neighborhood cat or dog of course. Anytime, the squirrel is hungry, there is plenty to eat. He or she, doesn’t have to worry about tomorrow. There will be plenty to eat then too!

But this is not what is going through that little squirrel mind is it? The squirrel knows that even though the weather is warm and food is abundant NOW, that it won’t last forever. Winter will eventually come, as it always does. There’s no food in winter. It’s bitter cold and not much fun to go outside.

The squirrel is thinking winter in the summer. Sure, you see the squirrels playing around your area…squirrels like to have fun too…but they don’t play ALL the time when things are good…they take time on a regular basis to prepare for when times get difficult.

So, I repeat the question… are you smarter than a squirrel? Or even as smart as a squirrel? When things are going well in your business, are you still putting something away for a “rainy day?” Are you still investing time in new ideas or looking for ways to improve?

Yes, you should enjoy life. Yes, you should enjoy some of the fruits of your labor. But at the same time, take a lesson from your inner squirrel, and do a little for your future and your career, beyond what you need to do today. It is always better to prepare and find another job, WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE TO! Don’t wait until it is too late (Winter) to start putting your resume together, update your references, have your suit ready, & stay in touch with recruiters. You will always find the best opportunities, when you aren’t ‘actively’ looking. The best job could open up when you least expect it too, so be always be ready and open to listening when your phone rings.

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Podcast: “What Are Hiring Employers Looking For? From the Resume to the Interview”


BEX - Opportunity

Earlier this year, I had a chance to sit down with Rick Whitted, to do a radio interview with him for his weekly Podcast. Rick is a wonderful, successful, and bright individual who has done several Podcasts focused on career as well as personal improvement. You can listen to the full interview titled “What Are Hiring Employers Looking For? From the Resume to the Interview” here. The interview is in two parts:

Part One:

Part Two:

After listening to these, I would highly encourage everyone to listen to his other Podcasts, Rick’s series is entitled “On your way to work”, you can listen to them weekly at his website:


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“You will never feel 100% ready when an opportunity arises. So just do it. “

“You will never feel 100% ready when an opportunity arises. So just do it. “Image

 “The number one thing I persistently see holding smart people back is their own reluctance to accept an opportunity simply because they don’t think they’re ready.  In other words, they believe they require additional knowledge, skill, experience, etc. before they can aptly partake in the opportunity.  Sadly, this is the kind of thinking that stifles personal growth.

 The truth is nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow emotionally and intellectually.  They force us to stretch ourselves and our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.  And when we don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel ready.

 Just remember that significant moments of opportunity for personal growth and development will come and go throughout your lifetime.  If you are looking to make positive changes in your life you will need to embrace these moments of opportunity even though you will never feel 100% ready for them.”

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Is an Interview with a Staffing Firm a ‘Real’ Interview?

During my 20+ years in the staffing business, I’ve experienced some curious things:  I’ve seen my share of purely written and extremely long resumes, awkward behavior, inappropriate attire, and more than a fair share of unrealistic expectations on behalf of both job seekers and employers. Some of these have been isolated incidents, but others seem to persist into patterns and trends. Recently, I’ve noticed a common job-seeker misunderstanding related to the role of the staffing firm in the hiring process.

Job seekers, allow me to emphatically clear this up once and for all: YES An interview with a staffing firm IS a real interview.

The staffing firm acts as a gatekeeper, protecting the interests of a client company and screening potential candidates so the company can save time and resources. Whether the interview is via phone, or in person, you need to know that the application process has already begun.  The staffing firms’ recruiter is on your side, but we’re also working to connect clients with the candidates most likely to shine. So remember, all the interview rules apply: Bring your best self. Speak clearly, honestly, & concisely.  Dress to impress. Leave your coffee cup behind.  And by all means, get rid of the gum.

Don’t save your confident eye contact, straight posture and firm handshake for another occasion. Use them now. In fact, use them all the time. These things are all part of your personal brand, and you’re likely to get more out of the job search process, and out of life, if you recognize that you’re almost always being observed and measured.

We can help you find a job you love, but you’ll need to help yourself first:

  • If the interview is in person: So don’t slouch. Show up for your staffing firm interview five minutes early. Wear neat, professional clothes that suit the occasion, and remember your manners. If you’re offered a seat, take it. Smile when you enter a room.  
  • If the interview is on the phone:  Be sure to speak very clearly, and slowly to make sure the interviewer understands you well. Make sure that when you take the call, you are someplace quiet, where you can concentrate on the conversation and the questions they have for you.  Do not be ‘driving’ you don’t want to take a chance of the call being dropped/lost.  Ideally use a land line, not a cell phone.

And don’t forget that every person you meet (in person or via phone) represents a new contact and a valuable opportunity. Your next great job may be right around the corner. Don’t misunderstand the process and let simple mistakes stand in your way.

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