For Career Coaches

What’s your Wiring–Growth and Gain or Drought and Drain

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

garbage-in-outGIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. The same can be said about the wiring in our brain. Wiring that we have created over the decades, whether intentionally or unintentionally, may be good and helpful, or it may be bad and draining/disruptive.

The good news is that if you’ve got a negative habit or thought pattern that you’d like to get rid of, it’s just a matter of creating new wiring. That allows us to change the GIGO acronym to Good In, Good Out. Sound good?

So how do you create new wiring? Here are four ways to flip the “on” switch in your brain. There are 2 F’s and 2 R’s, or F2R2 for short:

 

shutterstock_1327892121.       Focus: What we focus on grows. Research showed that participants who were blindfolded for 30 minutes began growing new neural pathways in the auditory processing areas of their brains.  So choose where your focus will be this week: is it on growth and gain or is it on drought and drain?

 

shutterstock_1047168292.       Future: Looking into the future kicks our brains into the prefrontal cortex where we can envision the future, see possibilities, explore options, and create a picture of what we’re moving toward. Whether you want to look  years down the road or 6 minutes into the future, think about what you want to create.

 

shutterstock_1265292593.       Reward: When you are expecting a reward, your brain will be more attentive. What’s the reward you want as a result of your future focus? Is it more income, more clients, more job opportunities, more peace? Name the reward. Explore it. Flesh it out in your mind. What’s your reward?

 

shutterstock_929713214.       Relevance: To create new wiring, the topic must be relevant to your needs. Learning how to speak Chinese (if that’s a goal) will not be easily attained if there isn’t some relevance attached to it. It (learning Chinese) will quickly be drowned out by the barrage of other competing priorities. So make sure your goal is relevant for this time-and-space in your life. Rate it on a scale of 1-10. If it’s not a high score, what needs tweaked in order to make it higher?

 

If you’re working with job seeker clients, this one question can encompass all four of the above F2R2 elements: What do you want to focus today that will you move you toward your rewarding and relevant goals?

The question can also work for us individually as coaches. So what’s your focus?

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Perceiving Provision

By Susan Whitcomb | 1 Comment »

Do You Have What You Need?

shutterstock_86875375When we get stuck in life or work, it’s usually because we don’t have what we need. The “lack” can come in the form of not enough energy, wisdom, resources, time, connections, money, belief, and so on. The “stuckness” causes us to focus on what’s missing. And when we focus on what’s missing, we miss what’s already there. It’s like watching for a train coming from the north when it’s really approaching from the south.

So how do you perceive provision when you feel and think that it isn’t there?

First, explore the word “perceive” with me. To perceive … to recognize, to voice, to understand, to observe, to point out, to be aware of, to be awake to, to be amazed by, to be in wonder of.

Next, consider these steps:

  • Point 1Perceive Life’s Provision. Start with the places where you are already satisfied. Even when there are places that don’t yet feel satisfied. Do so, just as a wise and magnanimous mentor might look on the person he is mentoring. The mentor sees perhaps an early version of himself in his career, not yet fully matured in character and wisdom. Nonetheless, the mentor doesn’t focus on what’s missing, but focuses on what’s there already, what is good, what to build on, what to add to, and what can be.
  • give thanksAcknowledge the Provision. Speak about the places where you are satisfied. Choose people you trust. Share with coworkers, coaches, mentors, friends, family members. Whisper your thank you’s silently throughout the day. Mention them out loud in the lunch-room/break-room with a coworker. Comment on them over the dinner table at home.
  • shutterstock_108957806Notice the Shifts. As you focus on the places you’ve been “satisfied” and share those experiences with yourself and others, notice the differences in your thinking, your attitude, your heart. When the heart is satisfied, all else is at rest (even when it looks like there isn’t ‘enough’). And speaking of rest . . .
  • Rest. Sometimes we push and press and labor and strive … and there are times when that is appropriate. But there also need to be times of shutterstock_127651703rest, of contemplation and “wool gathering,” of doing something completely different to give your brain a chance to bring you new insights, oftentimes around the very place where you felt stuck. And voila, you’re unstuck.

Wishing you a meaningful measure of provision this day.

Enjoy this bit of wisdom? You’ll learn both practical tips and poignant truths like this in the Certified Career Management Coach program.

Next classes begin Jan 28 and Jan 29, and there’s a $500 EARLY-BIRD SAVINGS through Jan 22nd AND a free ticket to our new live program, Social Media for Skeptics and Non-Social Media Enthusiasts!, when you register. Info here: http://bit.ly/JTlWJv or start the registration process here:  http://www.theacademies.com/register/#CCMC

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A Brain-Based Look at Why We Get Stalled and What To Do About It

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

A Brain-Based Look at Why We Get Stalled and What To Do About It

Recently, I’ve been knee deep in developing curriculum for a new brain-based coaching certification.  What at first seemed an overwhelming task is taking shape, but I’ll readily admit that there were (far too many) times when I just sat staring at my computer without getting anything done or procrastinating with low-priority tasks such as email and laundry.

I’ve gone from “Where in the world do I begin” to “What’s most important to teach?” to “What material do I keep/let go of?” to “What order do I put this in to make this flow” to “How do I get this particular concept across more clearly” and more.

As the process unfolded, the obvious dawned on me: our clients get stalled for similar reasons. They often:

  • Don’t know where to startshutterstock_150935408
  • Don’t know what they want
  • Are missing a piece of the puzzle, an answer, a resource
  • Have competing priorities and time management challenges
  • And more

Underlying all of these “stalls,” I discovered, is an interesting brain phenomenon. It’s what I call the “No Map Syndrome.” The No Map Syndrome looks something like this:

Here’s what happens during each phase:

shutterstock_132882386

  • Lack: We tell ourselves, “I don’t have …” (e.g., the right answer, the right system, the right resource, enough wisdom, enough time, etc.). In essence, “I don’t have a map that tells me how to fix this lack.”
  • Uncertainty: The lack leads to uncertainty. There are no maps yet wired in the brain that tell us how to fix the uncertainty.
  • Fight-Flight-Freeze: Uncertainty triggers a subtle threat in the brain that draws resources away from the prefrontal cortex (the place where we can think rationally, clearly, creatively). This is similar to what Daniel Goleman refers to as an “amygdala hijack.”

The next time you or a client experience the No Map Syndrome, consider these steps:

shutterstock_83776657

  • Acknowledge the Situation: Simply say to yourself, “I’m noticing that I don’t have an answer for how to …” (e.g., for clients it might be, reach out to this networking contact, explain why I was let go, find enough time to practice for my interview, etc.) Here, your language shifts from “lack” to “situation.”
  • Notice your response to the Situation: “Hmm. I notice that this situation triggers a desire for me to move away from my computer and watch television.” Notice the response without making any judgments. Stay neutral.
  • Allow Insight: Because you have acknowledged the situation and noticed your response, your brain has now shifted into operating in the prefrontal cortex. This gives it additional time to figure out what to do next. Insights often come at this moment. Engaging in movement can also help, as it oxygenates the brain.

We’ll be covering these types of brain-based coaching techniques in the NEW Certified Brain-Based Success Coach program soon!  You can learn more here.

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Career Coaching-A Favorite Technique to Hold the Vision

By Susan Whitcomb | 1 Comment »

Depositphotos_5782855_lA Favorite Thing: Co-presenting with brilliant colleagues to an audience of brilliant career coaches. I just got to do that this week at the MBA Career Services Council Conference in Washington, D.C. with my Georgetown University colleagues Patty Buchek and Laura Kapelski. They shared their formula that has yielded an impressive 100% internship placement for 1st year MBAs at the McDonough School of Business.

My contribution to the presentation was how coaching supports these future leaders during an academic program that is rigorous and rich. One of the points I shared was the technique of “Holding the Vision.” My husband likes to say:

“Hold their vision or their vision will be on hold.”

For example, you’ve probably downloaded a video online at some point. On occasion, that download sputters, falters, or fails. At which point, your patience as a viewer diminishes, the delay causes frustration, and, you get distracted or quit.

The same can happen when our job seekers encounter delays, frustrations, and distractions in their search. It’s easy to lose sight of why they started after their goal in the first place.

Why hold the vision?

An interesting thing happens in our brains when we look to the future. The various parts of the brain that are responsible for the visioning task are not associated with the area responsible for the “emotional hijackings” we are familiar with—that fight-flight-freeze response we experience when we encounter stress and consequently can’t think clearly.

Depositphotos_1963970_l

In addition, “holding the vision”-type questions can cause us to see a bigger picture than our current stress-filled circumstances. A neuroscience study by Garland et al. revealed that when perspective is broadened, the positive emotions that are created can counter downward spirals of negativity. Translate: broaden your perspective to counter a setback.

How do you hold the vision?

As a coach, you can:

  • Ask reminder questions, such as: “Take a breath … exhale … repeat … now go back to your raison d’etre – your reason for being here (whether MBA school, on a quest to get a new job, wanting to earn a promotion, etc.) in the first place! What was the dream/goal?”
  • Ask futuring questions, whether far in the future or even a few hours/days in the future: “I hear that things are busy/crazy right now … if you look beyond today at who you are as a successful [executive] in the years to come, what do you notice?” Or “As you go into that [interview, networking meeting], what do you want them to remember about you [or, what are the value-adds you want them to know about your candidacy]?”
  • Ask broadening questions:  “So that’s one perspective. What’s another?” Or “I hear you muscling through your tasks, hyper-focusing on getting it all done. And to a degree, that’s good. On the other hand, it sounds like it’s become consuming rather than productive, and that it’s causing tension. What would bring some balance to things right now?”
  • Ask ramp-up questions: “If you used your key strength of ___________ 10% more, how would that change the game?”

How about you? What are your favorite questions or techniques to hold the vision? There are many!

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My Job Is Over—Career Coaching Insights

By Susan Whitcomb | 8 Comments »
Helping out in 1st grade classroom

Helping out in 1st grade classroom

The orchestra is warming up. And I, the dutiful mom—who comes to not one but two or three performances of the same show, just to support my kid and her school—wait for yet another school musical to start. (And yes, I am sitting in the theatre working on this blog post … have laptop, will work-on-the-go.)

Future SMU Mustang

Future SMU Mustang

It’s the last event of the semester—but this occasion holds more significance than all the dozens (or hundreds) of others I’ve attended over the K-12 school years. My daughter has now graduated high school. In 78 days, she’ll hop on a plane with her one-way ticket in hand and become a Mustang, attending Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas.

Being the parent of an only child, I’ll admit that this transition is a tough one for me (and my husband). The house is going to be very quiet come September, and my job as mom—my favorite job—to a great degree, is over. With it comes a huge sense of loss:

  • A loss of my “title” (yes, I’ll still be a mom, but not needed nearly to the degree that I have been)
  • A loss of purpose (not completely, of course!)
  • A loss of my routine (yesterday, I deleted all the recurring appointments in my calendar that said “Drive E to school” and “P/U E @ school” … and I cried)
  • A loss of my friend and fashion advisor (we frequently finish each other’s sentences … and she can always tell me which pair of shoes go best with my outfit)
  • A loss of some of my social circle (my kid’s friends often ended up at my house, and I really enjoyed them so much)
  • and more.

I’m not only focusing on the losses … there are some gains, of course. But in the midst of this transition, I have had a number of insights that have helped me get through and be a better coach in the process (you knew I’d bring this around to a coaching topic, didn’t you?!).

When you’re coaching someone who is grieving a job loss . . .

Remember to:

Coaching Question / Comment:

Allow them to express their loss. “You’ve had a lot to deal with. How are you doing?” Or “What do you miss the most?”
Acknowledge their emotions—emotions are simply information, not symptoms of some deep-seeded problem. “There’s a lot of emotion there.”
Avoid rushing to reframe the situation as all “sunshine-and-roses.” “This is a challenging season.” Or “What do you not want me to say at this moment?”
Celebrate the positives of the past. “You did a good job in that position … what are you most proud of?”
Check in on self-care. “What are you doing to take care of yourself during this time?” … “What’s helping you get through this?” … “Who best understands what you’re going through?”
Look forward with them. “What do you want to fill the future with?”
Mom fixing hair on sr. picture photo shoot!

Mom fixing hair on sr. picture photo shoot!

As I navigate my transition, I am working on self-care. And, I’m looking forward, filling my future with activities that will be special, significant, simple. Life is good … in every season (even the hard ones). And, my job isn’t really over … it’s just changed. And I am grateful … for yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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Executive and Leadership Coaching-Problems to Solve or Tensions to Manage?

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

Challenges are an everyday occurrence. Some come in small packages; some big. Some are short-term; some long-term. Some are simple fixes; others require complex analysis. Some can be solved independently; others involve teams, SMEs, or external consultants.

As I was recently co-leading The Academies’ Certified Executive & Leadership Development Coach class, my co-teacher Fran LaMattina, MCC, shared one of her favorite phrases (from the wisdom of author Andy Stanley) relating to challenges that clients face:

Is that a problem to solve or a tension to manage?

Closeup portrait of a pensive worried businessman

I’d never heard the question, so it gave me quite an ah-ha (I love ah-ha’s—they’re like brain candy!). Some of the challenges in our lives are time-oriented, where there will be a quick fix, a clear ending, and a tidy resolution to the situation. For example, things like resolving a technical glitch; apologizing to a client for a mis-step; delegating “delegatable” tasks so there’s more time to meet an important deadline; and so on.

Some of the challenges will never have an ending, or they will have a period of uncertainty until there is an ending—both of these challenges will be “tensions to manage.” For example:

  • Personality conflicts with prickly colleagues.
  • The never-ending pressure of dealing with shrinking budgets, finding new business, making quota.
  • Periods of uncertainty (e.g., will the merger go through?; will we get FDA approval for our new drug?; will my performance be impressive enough to get the promotion?).
  • A permanent injury or illness.

When it comes to tensions to manage, our clients can exacerbate the situation with negative self-talk. They may start endless-loop questions of “why is this happening to me” or “what if?” and play out all of the worst-case scenarios that could go wrong. They may decide that their assumptions are definitive truth. They can become consumed with the situation, to the point it crowds out their ability to focus on priorities.

Our brains are wired to look for solutions to problems. In cases where there isn’t a clear fix—the “tensions to manage”—walk your clients through these coach-approach tips:

—Notice, name, and acknowledge the tension. This will help prevent the executive/leader from getting emotionally hijacked, where it’s harder to think clearly and act rationally. For example,

  • “Wow, I’m noticing that I’m hyper-focusing on what’s going wrong, or what might go wrong.”
  • Or, “I hear myself playing the worst-case scenario tape around this issue.”

Shift the focus: Refocus on what’s going right and substitute new self-talk. For example,

  • “This delay in waiting for FDA approval doesn’t mean we won’t get it. I have done everything humanly possible for a successful outcome and I have a contingency plan in place, so now it’s time for me to focus on other priorities while I let the puzzle pieces that I cannot control fall into place.”
  • Or, for a difficult relationship, “I’m grateful for this challenging relationship issue, as it’s growing me as a leader. I’m learning how to have a ‘heart reaction’ before a ‘head reaction’ when working with people who don’t see things in black and white like I do.”

—Control the controllables: Many times, the biggest “controllable” is our perspective and attitude.

  • If the “tension to manage” involves a coworker, controlling the controllables might sound like this: “I’m going to remember that my coworker is under a lot of stress right now and may not be capable of being as civil as I would like her to be. I’m going to ‘let go’ of wanting her to be nicer to me.”
  • Or, “As her direct supervisor, I’m going to have a non-confrontational meeting with her to talk about expectations and the resources she needs to be able to manage as well as possible.”

How about you? What are the tensions to manage in your life? How might the tips above open up new perspectives for you?


The Certified Executive & Leadership Development Coach program will equip you to confidently coach on executive/leadership topics, such as leadership models/competencies, vision/mission/values, personal branding, leadership presence, 360 feedback, emotional intelligence, leadership essentials, delegation, employee engagement, and team-building. Over the 15-week program you will receive ICF core competency training, leadership essentials, and hands-on coaching experience.  

The next class begins April 29, 2013 and will be held 6pm – 8pm ET every Monday
Learn more or register now

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Career Coaching & Crisis Negotiations

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

What might career coaching and crisis negotiations have in common? As you know, the tragic situation involving Jimmy Lee Dykes, the 65-year-old retired truck driver holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in a tornado shelter, has made headlines. Dykes allegedly held up a school bus, then shot and killed the bus driver who tried to protect the children. Heartbreaking.

As the media covered the story, I heard a newsman interview a former FBI crisis negotiator. Two phrases in the negotiator’s language caught my attention . . . phrases that capture an important brain-based element of coaching, which I’ll explain later:

  • “This gentleman”
  • “His concerns”

I imagine many people listening would have chosen words other than “gentleman” to describe Dykes—words such as murderer, insane, evil, or worse. And I’d guess that most people would say, “to heck with Dykes’ concerns! Look at the pain he’s caused to the bus driver’s family, the 5-year-old and his family, the other children on the bus….”

So why did the FBI crisis negotiator use those terms? Maybe because Dykes might be monitoring the media from his bunker and the term “gentleman” instead of some other label would lead him to act rationally; maybe he’d live up to that expectation. Maybe the negotiators know that people who do these heinous acts feel that their concerns are not being heard. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I can’t be certain. But! …

I do see some connections to career coaching:

  • Labels: The language we use with clients is critical. Speak encouragement into your clients’ lives, and they will more likely live up to it than not. Remind people that they are a success, have had successes, and can create new successes, and they will more likely live up to it than not. From a brain-based perspective, negative labels can send clients into a fight-flight-freeze response, whereas positive labels can send clients into a place of hope and possibility!
  • Concerns: Every client we work with has concerns. Although we don’t want to hyper-focus on the concerns and problems, people need a chance to feel heard … to know that you know what they’re going through. The old saying is appropriate: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Again, it keeps people in a place of hope and possibility, rather than fear and fight-flight-freeze!

Coaching challenge:

  • “Label” your clients (and certainly yourself, as well) as creative and successful today. What opens up when you do?
  • Listen for concerns, without jumping to analyzing, problem-solving, or minimizing the concern. But don’t leave your clients focused on the concern. Take them into the future, envisioning the options and actions they can take.

Finally, as the hostage situation continues unresolved at this writing, please also join me in praying for a safe resolution for all parties.

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My New Drug of Choice

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

I spent part of my weekend learning from well-known neuro-scientists in a fascinating 6-hour webcast, and another part of my weekend reviewing our leadership curriculum as I prepare to teach another leadership coach training class this Friday.

The combination of two of my favorite subjects—the brain and leadership—led to some “ah-ha’s” that can radically fuel our success. In short, here are just two of my many insights:

Visioning is a “drug” – visioning releases dopamine (similar to adrenalin), which enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action toward those rewards.

  • For leaders – visioning helps business leaders shift beyond a myopic view of their current challenges and see the strategic, big picture
  • For job seekers – visioning takes job seekers beyond their current “lack-attack” situation (unemployment) and helps them create a “provision” situation (employment)
  • For entrepreneurs – visioning takes business owners past their status quo to an anti-status quo—a refusal to settle for business as usual.

How often do you use visioning exercises/ techniques/ questions with your clients (or yourself)? It doesn’t always have to be a formal visioning exercise. Sometimes a simple question, “what do you want that meeting to look like?” is sufficient to take our brains into the future and get that important shot of dopamine.

The Peter Principle is just a myth – hear me out on this one! You know that the Peter Principle is the belief that people are promoted to their level of incompetence. What if we, as coaches, curiously questioned that belief and asked ourselves:

  • What if “incompetence” was just a pause in my client’s learning curve?
  • What if there were always ways to reprogram someone’s “I can’t” to “I can”? How would that impact their success? And my success as a coach?
  • What difference would it make to my clients if they were never again unconfident or uncertain about taking action?

Join me in applying these ah-ha’s not only to your work with clients, but to your own self-leadership. The better you self-manage and self-lead, the more you will succeed and attract successful leaders as clients!

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Hurricane Relief and Job Search Support

By Susan Whitcomb | 2 Comments »

Devastating. Unfathomable. Heartbreaking. Those are just a few words that attempt to capture the ravages of Hurricane Sandy. As I watch from afar here on the West Coast (admittedly removed from the physical and emotional effort it will take to recover and rebuild), I couldn’t help but notice some parallels in our work with career transition and job search clients.

  • Assessment: Though millions of people were without power, the first step the leaders took was to survey and assess the damage. They didn’t just jump in and fix the first thing in front of them.

As career coaches, we need to survey the bigger picture. Sometimes the crisis the client sees is not the best place to start. Without a plan in place, inefficiencies and misprioritization will certainly hamper progress.

  • Patience with Progress: I heard from friends in the Northeast that neighborhoods with dozens of downed trees were surprisingly silent. There wasn’t a flurry of activity by the common man out with chain saw in hand to dismantle the fallen trees. That’s because there were too many ‘hot’ power lines tangled up in the mess.

For our clients, sometimes it takes time—longer than they’d like—for pieces to fall into place before they can see progress. Holding the vision for them is part of our work as coaches.

  • Sorrow and Resilience: As New Jersey Governor Chris Christy toured the wreckage and comforted residents, he said it well: “As long as sorrow does not displace resilience, then we’ll be just fine.”

As coaches, the people we serve may be experiencing sorrow at the loss of a job, income, friends, identity, and more. Pretending that their sorrow isn’t there or avoiding it is insensitive. But allowing their sorrow to prevent resiliency is a disservice to our clients. Finding the balance is key.

To friends and strangers who were affected by Sandy, on behalf of your career-community colleagues, we share in your sorrow . . . and we cheer you on in your resilience. If there are tangible ways we can help from afar, please share.

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Pumping Up the Interview Pipeline: The Difference between Openings and Opportunities

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

If you’re working with clients who are in job search mode, they’ll want to be sure to have enough interviews in their pipeline! More interviews mean more options. Too often, people in career transition pin all their hopes on just one interview, thinking their ship has come in, only to see it turn into a sunken dream. If you see clients who are experiencing this scenario, you know it can really take the wind out of their sails. On the other hand, there is nothing more empowering than having options.

To help your clients increase their options, increase their opportunities. Notice the emphasis on opportunities instead of the more common terms, postings or openings. There’s a world of difference between the two. Let’s take a look!

Definition:

Openings: An advertised position soliciting a predefined skill-set to perform specific tasks.

Opportunity: An unadvertised position or situation where a job seeker’s skill-set can contribute to company/shareholder value.

Job Seeker Positioning:

Openings: In openings, the candidate has a tendency to come as a “supplicant” on bended knee, positioned in a role to sell and convince others of his or her worth.

Opportunity: With opportunities, the candidate has the ability to come as a “value proposition,” positioned as a business solution or service.

How Accessed:

Openings: Candidates comb through online postings and print want-ads to apply; human resources then winnows to make the volume of resumes manageable, eventually conducting a formal, structured interrogative interview process.

Opportunity: Candidates target companies, then read, research, and conduct “focused networking” with people who will lead them to conversations with decision makers; needs are uncovered and value-based solutions offered through an informal, fluid inquiry/discovery process.

Materials Needed:

Openings: Traditional resume and cover letter.

Opportunities: Knowledge of company/hiring manager needs and how the candidate’s strengths and brand can deliver a return-on-investment; targeted resume or SOS (solution or service) letter; project proposal.

Quantity:

Openings: Limited and restricted to those companies in hiring mode.

Opportunities: Potentially limitless and unrestricted, as the focus is about building long-term relationships while exploring opportunities and innovations that will benefit the company’s bottom line.

Competition:

Openings: Typically stiff when advertised broadly.

Opportunity: Minimal; the candidate is often competing only with himself/herself.

Who Controls the Process:

Openings: Controlled by human resources; usually a predictable process 2-6 month process.

Opportunity: Controlled by hiring manager and decision makers; less predictable process.

Human Resources:

Openings: Actively soliciting and screening applicants.

Opportunity: The human resources department is often unaware that a “job seeker” is even on the premises.

Connections:

Openings: The candidate is typically anonymous and an unknown commodity.

Opportunities: The candidate builds relationships that lead to being trusted and gaining insider status because of recommendations by colleagues, employees, and/or friends.

What the Employer Looks For:

Openings: Features (an ideal “wish list,” such as number of years of experience, degree, skill set, and so on).

Opportunities: Benefits (solutions or services offered) that will make the company money or save the company money, making the candidate a valuable asset that boosts the bottom line.

Employer’s Preferred Method of Contact:

Openings: Anonymous submission of electronic or paper resume.

Opportunities: Often email or telephone to start, and eventually face-to-face exploration, although it can start with face-to-face in informal business networking or social networking situations.

Effectiveness:

Openings: Leads to jobs 5-8% of the time.

Opportunities: Leads to jobs 58-62% of the time
(source: Drake, Beam, Morin).

Understanding and embracing these differences will give your clients an edge in their search! You, as an experienced coach, already know this. The challenge is helping the client be open to this as well.

  • Start with some discussion to increase awareness around the difference between openings and opportunities,
  • Ask how effective the client has been focusing only on openings (probably not very!),
  • Inquire about what an opportunity would look like, and then
  • Explore how they can start looking for opportunities, as well as openings.

Clients will see a major shift in their search when they do!

Interested in learning more job seeker tips to share with your clients?  Join us for the next Certified Job Search Strategist class beginning November 29, 2012.  Register now and save $400 (use promo code SEARCH).

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