As entrepreneurs, we’re not always able to dive head first into our businesses. Often times, we have to spend months (or years) building our business on the side before we can take the plunge and go full-time out on our own.
But just because our day job isn’t what we plan on doing for the rest of our life…doesn’t mean we should settle for less in our careers.
In fact, you can use your work-for-someone-else career to catapult your work-for-yourself on, if you apply some little know (but ULTRA powerful) techniques to finding a dream job.
Learn how you can escape the 9-5 grind and find a career you love below…
Have you ever wondered what separates highly sought-after career candidates (those individuals whose inboxes are drowning in endless job offers…the people employers are begging to join their ranks) from the millions of people who click submit, again and again, responding to job board ads and spraying the web with their resumes, feeling like it’s instantly lost in some sort of black hole?
If so, you’re not alone.
Every day, thousands of people are frustrated by the fact that they’re forced to settle in their careers. Instead of doing what they want, they’re doing what they have to do to get by.
The jobs they’re working in lack challenge, meaning, and growth.
“Learn before you earn!”
They desperately want to have an impact, to use the hard-fought knowledge they spent years in school learning, and to be fulfilled by their day-to-day tasks…instead of dreading Monday mornings and (finally) breathing a huge sigh of relief every Friday at 5 pm when they can head home.
And when these same folks imagine working in their current role for the next 40 years of their lives, they feel a crushing weight bearing down on them and see nothing but darkness and gloom ahead.
The only bright spots in their minds are short spurts of travel on vacations—that is IF (and that’s a big “if” by the way) they can muster up the courage to ask their boss for time off—and, of course, there’s always the weekends…
I know the feeling because I had these same thoughts.
I was a fast-food working, college student with no connections or relevant experience in the career field I desperately wanted to be in: investment banking.
I hated my job and had no prospect of ever escaping mediocrity. When I thought of my future, burgers and fries were all I could clearly see.
Every job I wanted required years of experience, but how was I supposed to get my foot in the door to gain experience if I had to have experience to even make it to the door in the first place?
While I was pulling my hair out in frustration, I watched mega-successful job applicants skip light-years ahead in their careers (without the pre-requisite experience…and without having gone to top universities around the globe).
I saw those same people handpick the companies they wanted to work for (being selective…instead of just taking any job that came their way).
And most impressive of all, I looked on in awe as those people negotiated thousands of dollars in pay raises (essentially setting their own salary and getting paid what they deserved) instead of just jumping at the first number the hiring manager threw their way.)
What was their secret?
If you asked the “average Jane/Joe” or supposed “career expert” off the street, they’d say something generic like:
- The best candidates have a LinkedIn profile and clean social media sites…
- Their resume has 12pt font and an objective statement tailored to that company…
- Successful applicants normally have stacks of business cards on hand—just in case they meet someone who wants to hire them…on the spot! (Hey, you never know when chance will strike, right?!)
Yeah, right. None of those things are the real reason.
You and I know there’s something much different causing this disparity.
Of course, your social media profiles shouldn’t have pictures of you doing keg-stands or rants about how much you’re bored at your current job (and how you’re on Pinterest all day…when you should be working).
And of course, your resume needs to be well designed and specific to that job’s requirements.
But there are plenty of people with perfectly polished resumes, stacks of unused business cards and clean social media profiles that never even get a call back.
What is it that the best career candidates know and do that nobody else does…so they don’t spend time fighting over the scraps? And how do they consistently get first dibs on the jobs they REALLY want?
The secret lies behind the scenes with the subtle art of salesmanship.
Yep, you read that right. The best way to uncover a career that’s right for you and finally find your dream job is to employ some elusive but oh-so powerful tactics of master salespeople.
We’re not talking hair-slicked back, used-car salesman techniques here.
We’re talking about timeless tactics you can trace all the way back to ancient Rome, where dudes in togas were earning fortunes by mastering the art and science of selling.
Because here’s the truth: when you’re looking for and applying to jobs, what you’re really doing is selling yourself.
It’s selling them on a vision that you are worth investing in, and you can get the job done… better than anybody else who comes through the door.
It wasn’t until I uncovered some very powerful lessons in salesmanship that I was able to turn my sinking career ship around, bring it back afloat, and land safely on the shores of career success (I did eventually get that job at an investment bank).
You can do the same—no matter where you are on the career-seeking spectrum.
So enough suspense, let’s dive right in to the 3 sales tactics you can use to snag your dream job.
1. Build your network before you need it.
There’s nothing worse than a desperate salesperson. You feel icky when you’re in their presence. When they look at you, you’re not sure if they see dollar signs or an actual person, and that happens because they haven’t spent the time building out their network before they need it.
They’re leading with a pitch, trying to bang you over the head to make a quick sale…and that just wreaks of hopelessness and being needy. You avoid these salespeople like the plague.
On the other hand, successful salespeople know they need to authentically connect with people and add value first, before they ever ask for anything.
Nobody likes to feel sold right away. The same thing applies to your career.
If you’re out networking and meeting new people, the last thing you want to do is lead with your interest in working for them. First, focus on making an authentic connection, then find ways in which you can help them.
The great thing is you can add value in so many different ways.
For example, you could write a testimonial for their business or products, you could share their ideas on social media sites, you could comment on their personal blog (if they have one), you could recommend a great person for a position they might be hiring for immediately, you could even just try some of their advice (and follow up with them, telling them how it went)—no matter what you do, always lead with adding value first.)
Very few people do this. But when you do, you’ll stand out in their minds and rise to the top of any resume stack when a position opens up.
2. Find your niche
Do you know how you can tell a successful, veteran salesperson from a raw, inexperienced rookie?
One way is that the rookie will try to sell to anyone and everyone, multiple times a day. Whereas, the seasoned salesperson will take a much more targeted approach.
In fact, veterans will actively turn some people away, knowing their time is better spent elsewhere.
If you think about the way most people go after a job, they are very haphazard in their approach. Like rookie salespeople, they’re reaching out, trying to grab any and every job they can.
If you were to ask them what kind of job they’re looking for, they’d respond with something like “I want a job that challenges me… and rewards me for hard work. I want to be passionate and part of a team that makes an impact.”
In reality, that doesn’t mean anything—that could literally be any job.
Instead of this generic approach, you can rip a page out of elite salespeople’s book and get very specific with the type of career you want—developing your own target market for a career, so to speak.
So instead of vague comments about an ideal job, you want to get ULTRA-specific. On paper that might look like this:
“An entry level position in business development in the NYC area”
“A mid-level position as a product marketing manager in San Francisco at a startup company.”
When you get specific like this, you can eliminate dead-weight career distractions and take a highly targeted approach to finding your dream job.
Rather than sifting through endless lists on job boards, you’ll know the few companies you should be focusing on and have laser-guided focus on where you want to go.
This is how salespeople develop huge client bases in niche markets–by targeting a narrow range.
You can do the same for your career and get 10 times the results of guesswork and randomly applying to anything that comes your way.
3. Uncover hidden pain
What’s the most important part of any sale?
If you guessed the close, you’re skipping way to far ahead. You’ll never even get a chance to close someone without the first (and most important) part of any sale: creating or uncovering pain.
Top performing salespeople know that’s the case. That’s why you’ll never see them leading with a pitch out of the gate. They always start with questions to uncover the hopes, fears and dreams of the prospect.
You can employ this same technique to your career search.
To do that, you’ll need to spend time researching where the companies that you’re interested in are experiencing some pain, and then paint the picture that you are the one who can solve their issues.
For example, maybe HR is a struggle for them, or consistently closing sales deals, or maybe it’s simply that their site isn’t converting the way it should…whatever the case, every company has some hidden pain points waiting to be found (you can find these in annual reports for larger companies).
While other candidates are answering generic questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, you’ll be in the manager’s office explaining how you can solve immediate needs, and the only question you’ll be answering “When can you start?”
Rather than just a foot in the door, you’ll be rapidly pulled inside to pour your solutions on their burning pains.
Now it’s time to pound the pavement and ink the deal on your dream job!
Go out and try these tips to seal the deal for a new career for yourself. With these selling techniques in your career-seeking arsenal, you’ll have companies begging you to sign on the bottom line and get you started as soon as possible.
How can you inject a bit of sales-y goodness into your job search? Share in the comments!
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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve! All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)
4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing
One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.
Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.
Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.
1. Content can be a form of self-expression
When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up.
But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself.
Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.
As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had.
There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.
“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod
3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie
It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.
When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out. There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.
4. Library of content to share with more people
It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.
As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.
You never know who is watching (reading)
Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say?
You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience. Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.
5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life
Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end.
Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life.
1. Change Your Self-Concept
Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities.
2. Sign Up For An Online Course
If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need.
3. Learn From a Mentor
No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process.
4. Start A Side Hustle
The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills.
5. Nourish Your Body
As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.
Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:
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