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!
How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life
Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:
1. “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2. “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?” (more…)
The Truth About the Law of Attraction
When we want something, we generally imagine the form it will take when it manifests. If we’re not careful, however, we can find ourselves attached more to the imagined form than the actual desired outcome. This is like placing an online order and expecting it to come in a blue box shipped by UPS. If we then receive a red box delivered by FedEx, we might not realize that it’s what we ordered, and never even open it!
For example, most of us say that we want money, but when money comes in the form of a free coffee or a gift or a discount, we don’t see it for what it is. We overlook it, and maybe we even say “No, thanks” and decline the gift which is, in one way or another, still money. In doing so, we fail to appreciate the value of the discount, the gift, or the freebie. If it isn’t cash being handed to us, we don’t see it as a manifestation of our desire.
The law of attraction is a funny thing.
It is much more complex and much more intricate than what it seems to be and yet, at the same time, it’s so very simple: We always get what we want. We always receive more of the energy at which we vibrate. Always.
However, if we’re acting from the energy of “I don’t deserve it” or “I don’t think I’m worthy,” then whatever it is that we receive will be negated and essentially unseen. On the other hand, if we are open, observant, and maintaining an abundance mindset, we will receive our request on numerous levels and from plentiful sources!
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
This is because we “place our order” not only through our words, but through our actions, our beliefs, and our thoughts.
Last month, I was open to receiving a new client. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I’d set my intention: I was going to get a new client. That night, out of nowhere, I got a message from an old student of mine. She was looking to hire me again as her coach for the upcoming college entrance exams in the U.S. But wait! I didn’t want an entrance exam client.
What I actually wanted was to get life and business coaching clients. This student was my “red box from Fed Ex.” I wanted to decline at first, but as I was about to reply, something made me stop. I asked myself, “Why am I rejecting this?”
This student is an amazing client. She pays on time. She’s not needy. She does her part. Best of all? She doesn’t short-change me. So I said yes, because I realized that the Universe was simply responding to the essence of my desire.
You see, my “Big Why” in everything I do has always been to facilitate an accelerated personal and business growth for my clients, and this student fit the bill in every way. She wanted the personal growth, she was ready to go all in and she reached out to me.
It didn’t look like the package I was expecting so I didn’t recognize it at first—and I nearly turned it away—but she was the perfect answer to my request.
Serving people like her has always been a driving force in my life.
The Universe knows that. It also knew that I wanted a client asap so that I could re-invest the money into my business, so it responded in the most ideal way… but in an unexpected form. And I came so close to missing it!
How many times have I missed other opportunities like this? How many times have I dismissed a “red box” because it wasn’t “blue?” I’ll never know. But I do know that, had I not stopped myself from sending a “No, thanks,” I would have felt as though the Universe wasn’t listening.
That’s the thing: the Universe is always listening.
The more open we are in receiving, the more we thrive. The more open our energy is, the greater the possibilities. Don’t just return that red box to the post office and keep waiting on a blue one. Ask yourself, first and foremost, if what you’re receiving at the moment matches up with your underlying desire.
See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it.” – Rhonda Byrne
The key is to be willing to receive anything and everything. How? Keep on reading1
1. Get clear on your “underlying desire.”
Identify exactly what it is that you really want—in my case, it was an ideal client (underlying) as opposed to a coaching client (surface)—and focus on that. Clear out all the mental noise and static that clouds your awareness.
2. Be flexible
Keep your eyes and mind open for anything that fits the description. When you ask for money, recognize that free coffee for what it is: $3 you were going to spend anyway, that can now remain in your pocket. Every penny on the ground, every coupon, it’s all money.
3. Keep an attitude of gratitude.
The more you appreciate what you have, the more that comes your way. Your grateful mindset opens the energetic door for more to flow your way, because “where attention goes, energy flows.” The more you focus on the things you want, the more you will draw them into your experience.
Remember, that the Universe responds to our requests in whatever way fits best within the big picture.
It’s a picture so big that we couldn’t possibly begin to see how it comes together. Trust it. Know that when you ask, you will receive. It may not come in the form you anticipate, but always in a form that responds to your underlying desire. You just have to be ready to see it.
7 Simple Ways to Master Your Emotions When Making Decisions
A lot of people have big regrets when lying on their deathbed. These regrets are often related to bad decisions or decisions not taken. Thus, as it turns out, decision-making is dependent on great self-confidence. A person who has confidence in their decisions has an easier time making them.
Emotions also play a big role in all of this. This is a debate that has confronted two great thinkers. According to Descartes, “decisions are the product of the rational mind.” In other words, decision-making is essentially based on facts and mathematics.
But this thesis was refuted and proven to be wrong by Antonio Damasio in one of his works called “The Error of Descartes”. This was partly based on the story of Elliott, a kid that was very smart, who had above average rational capabilities, but incapable of making a decision, after a surgery to remove a brain tumor on the surface of his frontal lobes. After all his work in that matter, he concludes that a person who is incapable of emotion is incapable of making the most rational decisions.
The management of emotions is therefore completely inherent to good decision making, especially when making the most important decisions. To this end, here are 7 tips to put into practice to really master your emotions thus making the best decisions possible and never regreting them.
1. Take a step back
You must learn to take the time to identify and understand your emotions. Since physical reactions are emotionally related, also take the time to detect the reactions you have to some of your emotions. To be able to take the distance necessary to make decisions, it’s important to refer to your prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain responsible for reasoning. To do so you need to put yourself in a stress-free environment for a few minutes.
The best way to do this is to learn to breathe deeply. This will allow activating your prefrontal cortex again, therefore, to have better control of your emotions so you do not react to them, let alone to the event that causes these emotions. Do this exercise for at least 15 minutes. It’s amazing how you can train yourself never to react, no matter what the situation. Ideally, let at least 24 hours go by before responding to a situation that would normally cause tension.
3. Pay attention
Once you are in the prefrontal cortex, put one hand on your abdomen, at the level of your intestines, and the other hand on your heart, and take the time to listen. These two parts of the body are the two major centers of vibrations and emotions. This is why it’s important to listen and pay attention to them.
The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of your gut and heart. What you need to remember is that the only person you need to trust is yourself. By practicing this exercise, one thing will become very clear: what the emotion you feel seeks to convey to you about the decision you have to make.
Since everything is energy, first make sure that the vibration of the decision you are about to make and that of your heart and gut are in sync. You will then know whether to go ahead with your decision or reject it based on whether you feel serenity or heaviness.
4. Discern untruths
It is important to know whether your nervousness is the result of an untruth you’ve told yourself. These can corrupt the vibrations that should help you make the right decision. You have to throw out all of these untruths and come to the decision-making without any filter. Stop thinking that you’re unlucky, that you’re in a bad situation, that your life is a failure, or that you are a victim.
5. Become aware of your emotions instead of avoiding them
To become aware of your emotions, you must learn to coach yourself. Ask yourself questions: How did you feel the last time you had to ask these types of questions? What did you get in return? Rename what you felt and the result you obtained from what you decided to do. You will thus be much better at assimilating, understanding, and welcoming your emotions.
6. Be as present as possible
There is no point in focusing on the big events surrounding the decision you want to make. Concentrate instead on the present moment, without analyzing the events. Judge based on emotions rather than the event. By being more present, you will be better able to listen to your emotions and feel them.
7. Make your emotions your allies
Each of your emotions speaks to you through the physical and physiological reactions that they generate in you. Look to the weight of their impact on you as an indicator. Only by listening to them, using them, and managing them can you manage your emotions.
Habit comes with practice. With time, these 7 points will become much more natural and will become automatic. You will make better decisions for yourself. This is one of the best ways to not end up with one of the big regrets.
How to Keep Your Mind Away From Distractions in This Tech-Loaded World
Social media notifications, push notifications, email notifications, and messages from chatting apps, keep peeping from the notification area of our smartphones and invite us into a world of a never-ending loop. Perhaps, even if it is ending, it is not until we have wasted 15-20 minutes of our productive time in just checking different apps and emails that we realize the need to get back to what’s important. No wonder many organizations insist employees on keeping their mobile phones in lockers prior to proceeding to their desk!
Technology is so enslaving that we don’t realize what an endless loop we are stuck in when we are constantly replying to our friends and relatives on social media or checking that limitless newsfeed on our timelines. If all the time of the day is put together, we can observe that we spend almost 4-5 hours on social media with the total output zero and sometimes negative.
Of course, keeping smart phone on airplane mode or switching it to Do Not Disturb mode, or somewhere away from us is the first line of defense against distractions, there are other steps preceding it to really spend your day productively.
Adopt a Proactive Approach
This implies that prior to beginning the day, you must take-charge of it. Instead of letting the day rule you, it should be vice-versa. You must adopt a zealous approach by planning your day and if possible, hours. You should have the determination to pay no heed to distractions in place of just letting them ruin your day by reacting to your impulses.
Instead of acceding to the fact that distractions are surely going to come your way and take up the major portion of your productive time, think about the ways in which you can tackle them.
You need to ponder on the need to focus and be determined to remain so during the day. You need to take the following steps for it:
- Plan how you are going to spend the hours of your day and deadline for completing tasks.
- Consider your to-do list as a choice rather than a chore to be completed.
- Remind yourself of the consequences of surrendering to distractions instead of completing your work. For instance, getting a reprimand from the manager for consistently low productivity and quality or having to rush to complete the work at the end of the day.
- Visualize the benefits of the time you gained by winking at notifications. Perhaps, you can spend more quality time with your kids or researching your new business idea.
- Note down hourly productivity – How many tasks did you accomplish in the last one hour?
“An addiction to distraction is the end of your creative production.” – Robin Sharma
Enhance Your Concentration Power
What keeps your mind stick to a task until it is sufficiently completed, is your ability to concentrate. If your concentration power is stronger, distractions will not bother you. You have to sharpen your power to focus by consistent practice. Meditation is a great way to improve your ability to work on a single task for a long time. If possible make meditation a part of your daily routine. It will keep your mind silent and give it the power to resist distractions.
If you cannot find time to meditate at the start of the day, it is advisable to do a one minute meditation every hour or every time you get that urge to check social media or chat with a friend. This will bring back your attention to what you have to do instead of what you want to do.
Here is the best way to improve concentration power: Take Regular, Refreshing Breaks.
One of the major keys to staying charged up for work is to take regular breaks. Continuously working for hours is only going to make you feel more tired. Instead, take planned breaks and do what you like the most during those breaks.
Of course, you should check your phone to be aware of any urgent messages or calls; remember to take refreshing breaks rather than just keep scrolling through that never-ending newsfeed. Rejuvenate your senses by reading some motivational stuff, watching an inspiring video, taking a walk in the lobby or having a non-work related chat with a colleague, to recharge your batteries and get back to work with even more focus and passion.
One technique utilized and propagated by productivity gurus is the Pomodoro Technique. It is the practice of working in chunks of 25 minutes and then taking a break of 5 minutes. After 4 such sessions, you can elongate the break time to 15-20 minutes.
Have an Organized Mindset
Adopt an organized mindset towards all aspects of your life. Keep clearing irrelevant mails, adding e-mail addresses to spam, organizing all your photos and videos on one drive, keeping all your documents accessible from one place, etc. Keeping your life clutter free and organized right from your shoe-rack to your locker, empowers your ability to spend your time in a disciplined way.
Even when it comes to online browsing, keep it limited to certain topics rather than just browsing and then jumping from that topic to all the related topics. Note down the ideas you would like to research on a specific day instead of randomly browsing through a plethora of topics.
Also, jot down the points which you found useful. Set aside an hour or 30 minutes of time for this. If you feel the need to read that lengthy but useful article, then save it under bookmarks, instead of swaying and spending more than the planned time on it.
These seemingly little, yet practical things, help you adopt the same approach towards your day and work.
“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” – Christopher Columbus
It is a fact that technology has taken up major share of our life, however, it would be a misjudgment to regard it as bad. If maneuvered the right way, it can help us live a more disciplined life. It is a boon but if we let it rule us instead of us ruling on it then it may eat up most of our focus and productive time of our day.
What distractions do you feel take most of your time? What steps you have taken up to put the brakes on them, apart from just whining about them? Ponder over it, take a proactive approach, and share your action plan with us by commenting in the section below.
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