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Put Your Own Skin in the Game and Get a Job

Throughout our decades of working with great people who have sought a new job or a better opportunity, we have observed a missing advantage. Let us take a clearer look at what job seekers are facing now.

Today’s job seeker faces a very challenging marketplace and discouraging economy. Nearly everyone who finds themselves in a search for new or better employment feels that they are behind the “eight ball” so to speak in facing an endless litany of media pundits and “chicken littles” touting the doom and gloom.

Okay, we get it. It is an uphill battle, yes, but by no means an assured failure. Some folks have resigned themselves to an existence in their homes and either on the computer or couch watching television. This is not to make a disparaging comment about these folks; it is just a widespread and unnecessary reality.

Some folks are unemployed as a result of circumstances beyond their control. Some are coming from high performance careers. Still others were released from their jobs for falling short of outrageous demands put upon them or by organizations so compressed that they couldn’t expand their staff. Finally, others are without jobs due to a myriad of economically insane moves by employers and our government alike. This has caused a widespread sense of fear and futility causing huge numbers of those who simply feel like giving up the good fight.

Reality is a harsh element when you are a job seeker. Nevertheless, you must pull yourself up and press onward. The major reason many “throw in the towel” is because they see a lack of results using what they have come to believe works to gain new employment. I suspect that the underlying cause for a sense of desperation is that the “tried and true” practice of compiling a mega list of employers, writing a resume that seems to meet the recommended one size fits all models, creating a resume blast campaign and then waiting on the flurry of calls. How is that working for you?

The disappointment most face from this well intended process is often caused by the inevitable fact that you just joined a thundering herd of folks doing exactly the same thing. Let’s examine an alternative way of looking at your situation and how to approach it in a manner that will create results in the form of interviews and offers.

Go back to the time when your major focus was on achieving the highest performance in your career positions. These are a few of the tactics employed by the most successful professionals in their position.

They:

  • See the status quo and determine how they can reach outside the box.
  • Amass the resources they know are essential to their success.
  • Prepare a value-based proposition to “sell” the outcome of their ideas being implemented.
  • Identify the potential pitfalls they face and either chose to avoid them or seek a means to overcome them.
  • Align themselves with those who can be a resource and asset to achieve the success they envision.
  • See obstacles as an opportunity to adjust and improve the game plan for victory.
  • Know that resilience is a prerequisite when dropping common practices as barriers to success.
  • Never feel that they must accept the bird in the hand, even in the darkest times on the road to success.

Many of you reading this know these tactics and attitudes to be self-evident. Others know that they may have done more had they been a stalwart in applying them. Regardless of which person you may be, these are the same fundamentals applied by those who find the job they want (or need) and stay in control of the outcome of their plan to do so.

This now begs the question, “How does this translate to a job search?” Here are some paradigms that will help in understanding how seizing a great opportunity and the job that you can count on parallels the same behavioral attributes of highly successful people. They:

  • Create a list of well researched potential employers that are high probability targets
  • Make contact with every individual who can prove to be a resource in their campaign
  • Exploit the use, not abuse, of the technology tools at their disposal wherever they exist
  • Quantify and detail their career accomplishments to a bottom-line level
  • Create a value-proposition that is specifically tooled for each targeted position they pursue
  • Construct a list of direct and liaison contacts as touch stones who will provide competitive interview intelligence
  • Amass the knowledge essential to create the impressions that dramatically separate them from the job applicant stereotype
  • Investigate the real time status of any position of interest and plan their approach with a timely strategy
  • Categorize their references according to their key skills and accomplishments
  • Approach the refined list of high potential employers with a well crafted dialog
  • Craft a material presentation that creates an admired perception of their professional ability to create exceptional results and solve the most challenging obstacles facing that specific employer.
  • Understand the “buyer-seller relationship” and how to pilot it to their goal, an offer.
  • Conduct interviews in a professional, qualifying and compelling manner knowing that the best contributor is not passive

The missing advantage of many job search campaigns is the application of a targeted process to identify and research potential employers, prepare a professional inventory of career accomplishments and then tactically apply your insights to each unique situation. Top performing professionals constructing a job search have mastered a process that includes an aggressive action plan. The put some of their own skin in the game rather than send a resume and passively await the results they want. Of greatest importance to those who seek and find the best opportunities, under any conditions, is acquiring the process and the knowledge of the few who have mastered it and know how to help you apply it..

Here lies the “rub”. I know of no college or institution of higher learning that teaches an individual the seemingly elusive secrets of a successful job search. It’s equally rare for either an employer or consultant outplacement firm, hired by an employer, who provides any advice, let alone a total process, which will run against the “common wisdom” of get your resume together and send it to anyone who will read it, etc. etc. Empowered with the insights of top professionals, jump into the game and win big!

Fighting Boredom Through Free Online Games and Other Fun Activities

Boredom is seeping in so you need to do something fun before you waste your precious time – ASAP. So what can you do? Try free online games and these other activities that will surely get you out of boredom.

Free online games

Computer desktop games can be very costly nowadays since they all require installers that you still have to buy from the store. But with the rise of technology, free games have already been made available in the internet. When you go to your favorite search engine, it’s always easy to search for websites that offer these online games such as miniclip.com, bgames.com, fishflashgames.com, and gamesoid.com. Since there is no installation time needed for you to start off, all you’ll have to do is to log on to your computer and visit these sites. Through these games, you can still have fun even when you’re all alone.

Online games can entertain you in different ways. Some will come in the form of the all-time favorite arcade game. There are also those that are in a flash format such as the ones found in miniclip.com. Choose according to your liking from action and adventure, puzzle, console games, and the classic family computer games such as the Super Mario Brothers and Super Sonic. The whole experience gets even better, as you can chat with your buddies by just simply signing up and becoming a member.

Hobbies

Your hobbies are your easiest savior from boredom. If you don’t feel like surfing the internet, turn to your hobbies that can probably include reading books, painting, playing musical instruments, or even cooking. Not only are you able to hone your skills further but you have also just used your time in productive ways. But if you don’t have a particular hobby, learn a new skill that you might just spend your time on should boredom seep in again next time.

Rearrange your room

If you don’t have anything to do, it’s probably the best time to rearrange your room and have a different feel once and for all. Boredom is often an effect of things becoming monotonous already. Rearrange your room and express your creativity. This way, you’ll be able to use your time wisely and enjoy a new environment.

Go for a walk

When you are bored and the weather is fine, try getting some fresh air outside your house. Get into your walking shoes and go for a walk around the neighborhood so you can have a fun relaxation time. You can always bring your pet dog with you to have a more precious leisure time.

Hang-out with another bored friend

Who else will understand what you are feeling right now? Surely, only another bored friend can. Call up someone and think of something that you can do to fight boredom and have fun together. Some company will surely be a great idea since just a plain chitchat can already shake the blues away. But to really have a more enjoyable moment with your friend, you can try out the things mentioned above. This will surely be another bonding moment for you and your friend.

Beat the Survival Game and Meet the Higher Needs of Self Actualization

The first sets of needs according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are: physiological, safety, social and belonging. We treated those needs in the article: “How To Beat The Survival Game And Achieve Self Actualization”. To read this article see the resource box.

Now we come to the “Esteem” needs. This level of needs is about being respected, or recognized. Being able to function in a way that you gain an adequate self image. Moving beyond any type of inferiority complexes etc. Here are some suggestions for gaining adequate esteem or status. Our focus will be on creating “optimal” situations that do not steal your energy. A surplus of energy is the best assurance of being able to move beyond the lower level needs and move into the higher level need brackets.

Find ways to contribute

Make sure these activities complement your values. The key is avoiding conflicts of interest. Also find activities that are low maintenance both timewise and moneywise. This endeavor will reward you with self respect and esteem. Recognition and admiration are important to both give and receive. They comprise a healthy respect for our interdependence. There are lots of “needy” people and it’s easy to find groups that help them. The environment faces threats that need correcting. Liberating social causes always need more voices to speak for them. You don’t have to become a fanatic. Just contribute in a measured and sane way. You will be rewarded.

Express your self creatively.

Find a medium that appeals to your nature and express your deepest thoughts and feelings. This could be something simple like a blog. You can start one free in many places on the Internet. Creative writing is a great way to stay in touch with your true self. If you’re into photography you can upload your pictures and talk about them. If you do artwork, you can scan it and upload it. Music is another way to express yourself deeply. MP3 files are easily created and uploaded with a computer.

After Esteem needs we move into the Being needs area. This is the actual frontier of true self actualization. Quoting now from Wikipedia:

“Self-actualization (a term originated by Kurt Goldstein) is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their unique abilities and to strive to be the best they can be. Maslow describes self-actualization as follows:

Self Actualization is the intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately, of what the organism is. (Psychological Review, 1949)

Maslow writes the following of self-actualizing people:

* They embrace the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them.

* They are spontaneous in their ideas and actions.

* They are creative.

* They are interested in solving problems; this often includes the problems of others. Solving these problems is often a key focus in their lives.

* They feel a closeness to other people, and generally appreciate life.

* They have a system of morality that is fully internalized and independent of external authority.

* They judge others without prejudice, in a way that can be termed objective.

In short, self-actualization is reaching your fullest potential.”

Ultimately, reaching your fullest potential requires a mastery of energy. Especially enough energy to be able to meet the lower level needs. The less energy you need to spend on the lower level needs, the more you will have available to meet the higher needs of self actualization. Finding creative and self perpetuating ways to meet those needs and to gather and preserve energy are what Optimal Living is all about.

Energy comes back to you in several ways. Money gives you security, food and shelter. From mature relationships and group involvement you get nurture, care, support and help when needed. When you learn to give out of your heart, you receive meaning and satisfaction. Engaging in creative expression keeps you in touch with your higher self and exercises that contact. From the aesthetic side of life – art, music, yoga,contemplation, openness and intimacy etc. you experience an increase in awareness, subtle pleasure, appreciation, admiration and the like.

My hope is that this article will allow you to establish a more clear vision for your life. That it will get your creative juices flowing towards “Optimal Living” ways to meet your needs and gather energy. That you will gain the momentum to achieve “escapevelocity” from the doldrums of a life of mere survival and move more quickly into self actualization.