Confidence Trumps Talent When It Comes To Success

11/18/14 0 COMMENTS

“Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.” – Zig Ziglar

That quote conjures up the best mental images. I can picture a person who will not be deterred. You can clearly visualize the fisherman in this tiny boat, the rough seas, boat rocking back and forth, and still ready to fight the ferocious creature – all the while knowing they will prevail the victor.

That’s confidence. That’s attitude. That’s mojo.

Confidence and State of Mind

Confidence is state of mind. It’s the feeling of self-assurance that arises from the appreciation of your abilities and qualities. Confidence is knowing what you bring to the table. You believe in your knowledge, skills, and the experience you have.

It’s knowing that you can get the job done.

Talent or Confidence? What Drives Success?

According to Medical News Today, confidence, not talent, is a driver of success. Researchers at the University of California (UC) Berkeley’s Haas School of Business found that those who were more confident experience more success than their peers, despite their talent.

Another study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that those who appeared more confident achieved a higher status than their peers. At work, “higher-status individuals” tended to be more admired, listened to, and had more influence over group decisions.

Business News Daily also published studies on confidence that suggested confident employees have more fruitful careers than their peers who aren’t as self-assured. Their research discovered a correlation between confidence and career success and also revealed that those who self-reported higher levels of confidence earlier in school earned better wages, and were promoted more quickly.

Can it be? Can confidence really be the key to greater success?

The Importance of Confidence

The good thing about confidence is that you don’t have to be born with it. You can increase it whenever you want. Confidence is not a static measure. Our confidence to perform tasks can increase and decrease. Some days we even feel more confident than others.

But being confident changes things. People take notice.

Confidence changes your relationships, how you communicate, your ability to meet your goals, and having a successful working environment. Confidence is one of our most important assets.

How Does Confidence Help?

Confidence helps with competence

Let’s say you are having an interview. Your skills can be off the page but you have to be able to convince an employer that you can do the job. If your body language or communication style says otherwise, that’s going to hurt.

Confidence helps with communication

If you lack confidence, it diminishes your ability to speak with conviction to your colleagues. It may even keep you from meeting new people and forming good relationships.

Confidence helps with meeting goals

If you don’t believe you’re capable of reaching your goals, you probably won’t reach them.

Confidence means you are comfortable just being you

You can tell a confident person by the way they walk into the room.

Confidence frees us from fear

It helps us move out of our self-restricted boundary – called our comfort zone – and helps us to control any situation, circumstance, or outcome.

Confidence replaces fear and anxiety.

Confidence helps our success

The studies above have shown a correlation between self-confidence and success. Increasing confidence can help to increase success.

How to Gain Confidence and Get That Whale

Plan and Prepare – Prepare for difficult situations and take control of the unknown. Break it down into bite-size pieces so you can plan our course of actions.

Increase Your Knowledge – The more you know, the more confident you become. Increased knowledge helps boost confidence levels as well as confidence with our abilities to perform roles and tasks. As we continue to complete our tasks, our confidence that we can complete the same and similar tasks again increases.

Know You Will Do It – Powerful thoughts provide us with powerful intentions. Negative thoughts can be very damaging to confidence and your ability to achieve goals.

Strengthen Your Strengths and Improve Your Weaknesses – Keep doing what you do best and continue to develop those strengths. Understand where you fall behind and find ways to improve or manage your weaknesses.

Take Note of the Times You Were Not Successful – Don’t think of your mistakes as negatives but rather as learning opportunities. Some of the greatest life lessons are a result of missing the mark first go around.

Recognize Your Accomplishments and Accept Compliments – It’s okay to toot your horn every now and then. Recognize your own achievements and don’t be embarrassed to accept compliments when given.

Learn to Express Yourself – Stand up for what is important to you. Flex those vocal cords. Stand up for what you believe and stick to your principles. People admire those who are not afraid to speak what is on their mind. Assertiveness, confidence and self-confidence are linked. As people become naturally more assertive, confidence develops.

Confidence is Not Cockiness – Be confident but not cocky. Arrogance doesn’t win friends and can be detrimental to interpersonal relationships. A little humility goes a long way to temperate arrogance.

Remember, it’s not enough just to feel confident. You have to actually perform the task at hand. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. When you set the ground rules for an expectation of success, you can attempt new things, forge new relationships, contribute to your success, and revel in small wins as you move toward bigger goals – or the whale.

Jan Johnston Osburn

How To Ask For Advice, And Get It!

11/11/14 0 COMMENTS

We all need advice, but many of us don’t seek it. When we do, we stumble over ourselves with shyness and often ask the wrong person. Learning how to ask for and receive not just advice, but good advice, is a skill that many of us should work on. When it’s advice about your career, it probably should not come from mom or your high school buddy.

First, let’s define what “good advice” is. In my experience, good advice is true, solid, and actionable. It comes from a place of experience and wisdom. Also, it is given by someone in a position to actually help. Very likely that person has lived what you are going through and learned a few lessons from their own experience.

Advice proliferates; it’s everywhere from the TV show Good Morning America to thousands of self-help books, but good advice is something you have to seek with intent.

If good advice is valuable, why is it so hard to obtain? Sometimes, people are too ashamed to ask for help, especially if they think the person is important. Also, people tend to be too busy to stop and ask, often questioning whether taking the time to ask will be worthwhile. And unfortunately, good advice is hard to obtain because when we do ask for it, we ask the wrong person in the wrong way.

I have been fortunate enough to be the CEO of three software companies including now at Aha!, I have learned a bit about asking for help and providing assistance. There are a number of ways to seek advice. In a business context, oftentimes it’s not a casual request. Therefore, giving some thought to your request beforehand will help you be prepared to ask for appropriate advice as well as to receive it in a way that allows you to act on what you learn.

It is important to know how to ask for good advice. And it’s even more important to recognize a trusted adviser when you see one.

So, how do you do that? I suggest three ways that have worked for me on both the requesting and receiving end:

Clearly define your problem
Before seeking advice, ask yourself what problem you seek to solve. Define its parameters. Make it as specific as possible. And if you can not easily define it in a sentence, you definitely are not going to get a meaningful answer. Force yourself to write the problem down.

Ask the right person
Give some thought to who might be able to help. The person to ask for advice is someone who has relevant experience or knowledge pertinent to the question you have. Remember: you’re not seeking opinions; you’re seeking a trusted adviser. Approach the problem and the adviser with that distinction in mind. And don’t worry if you do not know the right person, use your network to make the right connection.

Ask one question
Describe your question when you find the right person in a clear and concise way. Limit background noise and concentrate on the end-goal of receiving actionable, valuable help. One straightforward question is most likely to yield a sound, meaningful reply. And when you get a helpful response, share a heartfelt thank-you if you expect to be assisted again.

Most people are happy to help others; because it validates one’s own worth. I personally enjoy helping ambitious people who are acting with purpose whenever I can.

Oftentimes, though, I cannot help because the question I am being asked is not clear or because I do not have the right expertise. The three steps I suggest above will help both seeker and adviser attain results.

Learning how to ask for and receive good advice can help advance your career. Clearly identifying the question you have and the people who can help answer it is a great start. Then, help that person to help you by being direct with what you seek, and you both will benefit.

Brian de Haaff

Propel Yourself to Success

11/07/14 0 COMMENTS

Whether you’re starting a new job or starting your first job, success may seem a long way up the ladder. Perhaps you are many rungs down on the corporate hierarchy. Perhaps your job keeps you far from the company’s most powerful players. You may believe success in your job is a far off dream.

I recently wrote about how thinking like a leader will change your perspective, propelling you to success. This is a great quality to have throughout your career. But if you’re starting something new, there are things you can do – right now – to begin your climb. While your current job may not be considered a power position, you can begin to move yourself in that direction, building the habits and attitudes that will propel you forward. Even if you are in the most entry-level of positions, your success strategy can begin today.

Try these strategies:

Collect small successes. The trick to beginning your upward climb is to foster a habit of success. You may feel you are too far down in the corporate ranking to rack up successes, but that’s not so. Set the goals yourself. Set small ones so that you achieve them routinely and establish a pattern of success in your experience. This is a habit you can foster now.
Set stretch goals. Even as you set your achievable early goals, be sure to also set ones far above your reach. While you may feel they are far off, these stretch goals will serve to inspire you as you make your small steps upward.
Use visualization. Great athletes use this technique to achieve their goals. Visualize your achievements – great and small. Keep the vision in your head as you work. These will help you to stay on track and not lose faith in your ultimate success.

How will you propel yourself to success?

Hiroshi Mikitani

The Six Worst Things You Should Never Do At Work

10/28/14 0 COMMENTS

Careers are not easy to build. Unfortunately there is no clear road-map to success that highlights an exact process to follow that will guarantee us a fruitful and happy career and life. However, there are steps that we can take to help increase our chances.

Throughout my career so far, I have made and observed others make a great number of mistakes. I have also accomplished and watched others do some really great and important things successfully which resulted in significant business, career and personal advancement.

When I look back at my career and life and those of others who I either personally know or have followed through the media, there are six things that stand out in my mind as the most devastating and irreversible mistakes we can make in our professional and personal lives.

Here are the 6 things you should never do at work:

1. React to ANYTHING out of rage or spite

I’m sure you remember Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who in 2010 dramatically quit his job and made a scene by sliding down the emergency exit of a flight he was working prior to its takeoff. He was arrested and burned not only the bridge with JetBlue or any airline for that matter, but is probably not too likely to be considered a serious candidate by many organizations because of his very public, unprofessional, and explosive resignation.

Since most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work we will undoubtedly face times of anger, frustration, fear, and the whole range of emotions that make us who we are. As much as it is important to be genuine and honest with our colleagues, and ourselves, it is important that we do so respectfully of everyone around us and of the place where we work.

When faced with a challenging situation, take time to internalize it and cool off before reacting. An adverse reaction out of anger or spite rarely accomplishes anything positive both at work and in our personal lives.

If you’ve ever read Stephen Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, or Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, you might remember that the most immediate and efficient way to get a point across to someone is rarely the most effective at getting the results we hope for.

2. Betray your coworkers or friends

Remember the expression your parents hammered into your head while you were growing up?

“Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.”

Well that applies to the people we work with too.

Unfortunately I see it, or should I say hear it almost everyday. I’ve been guilty of it myself in the past, and it’s not something that I’m proud of. I hear people mocking and sabotaging the reputation and careers of their coworkers, bosses talking poorly about employees to other employees, and people putting down friends behind their backs. No one is immune to this and few can honestly say that they’ve never committed any of these workplace social crimes.

The bottom line is that gossiping about others shows a sever lack of integrity on the part of those partaking in the gossip. Talking behind someone’s back never justly resolves any real issues.

Betraying your friends and colleagues is an intentional and malicious act that in the long run will come back to haunt you.

“What goes around comes around.”

Sorry for all the clichés, but from my experience this is 100% true.

3. Bring your personal baggage to the office

We all have lives outside of work and at times our personal lives can be demanding and taxing on our physical, emotional and mental states. Seeing as many of us develop strong friendships with our colleagues at work, it can be easy at times to talk to them about personal matters during work hours.

The problem that this creates is that now not only are we ourselves distracted with our issues, but we are now distracting our work friends and keeping them from doing their jobs also. We are all human and can have trouble separating our personal state of mind from our professional state of mind, but by continuing to bring our personal affairs into the office with us, we are hurting not only our chances of success, but the chances of our close colleagues.

If you wish to share your personal challenges with a colleague whom you trust, then only do so outside of business hours or on breaks. If your problems become too hard to manage, seek professional help. The benefits, both personal and professional, that you can realize by seeking the help of a therapist, counselor, or coach will often times surprise you in a very positive way.

4. Lie

Most of us lie because we are hiding truths. We hide these truths because we are either afraid of certain consequences or because we feel that the will do us more harm than good and that we will get further ahead by telling a lie.

The issue with this is that when you lie you are accepting the truth as a weakness. Rather than facing the truth and growing as an individual, you are choosing to avoid reality and run from your challenges.

In the workplace and in our personal lives, it takes a lot of energy and focus to keep up with the lies we tell. What I’ve learned from my past mistakes is that the truth usually comes out eventually. If you lie about your experience to get a job, the truth will come out when you start your new role and appear lost or make certain mistakes that you would have avoided if you had the skills and experience you claimed to have.

When we lie about something today, we are jeopardizing our credibility, reputation, and possibilities for tomorrow.

5. Complain about your job, company, or coworkers

Before my corporate career, I worked as a sales rep for a large national electronics retail chain to pay for my schooling. After working at the company for 3 years the company was taken over by an even larger retail chain from the U.S. who decided to change the commission structure. The new structure made it harder for me and the other sales reps to earn what we had become accustomed to.

In my displeasure I started complaining to my colleagues and manager about how I hated the new changes and how unhappy they were making me rather than focusing on selling more. Eventually I was let go because my sales started to drop and my toxic attitude became a liability for the company. I was left to scramble to find a new job.

Were I to have been more respectful and approached the situation from a different angle, such as talking about my aspirations and what I enjoyed most and were most successful at in my job, perhaps I could have negotiated an increase in my base salary or even a promotion to Assistant Manager.

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

These days corporations are placing more and more importance on company culture. If you make it a habit to speak negatively about your company or it’s management you are not doing yourself any favors.

The next time you feel like you’ve reached a dead-end in your job, rather than expressing your displeasure to your boss or coworkers, try to work with your manager to find ways that you can advance with the current company. Highlight the strengths that you’ve demonstrated on the job and try to find a solution for one of your company’s current challenges. I know many people who succeeded at creating exciting new roles for themselves by presenting an innovative option to their managers. It may not work every time, but it’s worth a try. If it doesn’t work then you are no further behind from where you started and you can then decide what your next step should be.

Whatever the situation, you will get further ahead in life by communicating respectfully and effectively with others.

6. Burn your bridges

Have you heard of the saying“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?”

There are few things truer than that!

I’ve learned that the single most influential element to success in business is really the people who we build relationships with. Having the right skills and abilities is extremely important to achieving your goals and growing both in business and as individuals, but you still need the help of others along the way.

Everyone we work with today might one day either need our help or be able to help us. If we treat others with respect and are genuine towards them we are able to form many potential powerful relationships with our bosses, our employees, our coworkers, our mentors, people we meet at events, and anyone really.

We don’t have to befriend everyone. Although we should choose our friends carefully and avoid those whom we feel we can’t trust, we should never burn our bridges.

It sometimes takes just one other person to change the rest of your life, so treat those you encounter with dignity and respect.

Steven Tulman

Great Job Descriptions Hire Great Candidates

10/21/14 0 COMMENTS

In a perfect world, everyone who applies for an open position at your company is well qualified, enthusiastic and a good fit for your work environment.

But let’s be realistic. Many job descriptions are written quickly and come across as vague and unfocused. This approach encourages a high volume of unqualified applicants and also deters some of your best prospects. Because here’s the bottom line: if you want to attract quality applicants, you need to write a quality job description.

Writing a great job description can be a bit challenging, but it’s also easier than it seems. With some additional planning—and possibly some help from the best wordsmith on your team—you’ll have a job description designed to help you hire the best candidates in your field.

How to get started:

Decide what you’re looking for. Start by asking yourself what your company really needs. What type of individual will thrive in your environment? What are your current team’s weak points? What kind of employee would complement and enhance your existing workforce? Answering these questions will help you gain a deeper understanding of what you’re looking for in a new employee.

Describe your work environment. Most job postings spend a lot time describing qualifications and say very little about company culture. Big mistake. The culture of any workplace is extremely important for a prospective candidate. Include a snapshot of what your environment is like in your description. How big is your team? Is this a high-pressure environment or a more laid-back 9-5 operation? Do most employees spend their day working independently or is the workplace highly collaborative? The right candidates will be highly interested in this information and thus, it’s in your best interest to include it.

Be realistic. Another common job description error is to make too many vague requests. Don’t provide a long laundry list of qualifications that you think an applicant should possess. Instead, consider asking only for the most crucial skills. What most companies are really looking for is an experienced candidate who learns quickly and adapts well. If you ask for too many things, some of your best prospects might look elsewhere.

Ann Bedford-Flood

America Is Running Out of Entrepreneurs

10/15/14 0 COMMENTS

America’s biggest problem is that we don’t have enough good jobs. Yes, unemployment has gone “down” to 5.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But that percentage is almost meaningless, as it doesn’t count people who’ve quit looking for work. A staggering 20 million people or more are still jobless or grossly underemployed, and many are deeply frustrated or depressed — they’re not celebrating “declining” unemployment.

More troubling, Gallup Analytics finds U.S. underemployment above 15 percent and only about 45 percent of adults employed in full-time jobs with at least 30 hours per week of work and a paycheck from a real organization. According to the Labor Department, the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population remains at one of the lowest levels since they began measuring this.

The one thing I’d fix right away is this super serious jobs problem, because if we don’t, we might lose our republic and our way of life. And I wouldn’t fix it with more government “shovel-ready” jobs or free money from the Federal Reserve. I’d fix it with millions of new start-up companies and by reviving the spirit of entrepreneurship.

We’ve got our work cut out for us. In 2008, the total number of new business start-ups and business closures per year – the birth and death rates of American companies — crossed for the first time since the measurement began, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. (Here, I am referring to employer businesses, those with one or more employees.) Four hundred thousand new businesses are now being born annually nationwide, while 470,000 are dying annually — we are at minus 70,000 business survival per year. This is hugely significant, because small businesses are the main source of new good jobs and new economic energy. Up to 50 percent of all jobs are in small businesses and approximately 65 percent of all new good jobs are created by them, according to the Small Business Administration.

Also significant: A shortage of good jobs leads to social unrest. This is true especially when young males are affected, because joblessness destroys their self-concept, makes them feel depressed, humiliated, and hopeless.

Why was there such unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, this past summer? You could say it was a problem between cops and minorities, but I’d argue this was a jobs problem. As The Washington Post reported, “The unemployment and poverty rates for blacks in St. Louis County are consistently higher than those rates for white residents.”

If all those young men in Ferguson had a good job to go to each morning — one where they could feel pride in themselves, feel productive, and be doing something that matters — do you think they would be in the streets, protesting, rioting, and looting? Probably not.

The fix: American business leaders in cities across the country, as well as local elected officials, must begin right away to find and nurture tomorrow’s most successful entrepreneurs in their communities. America needs at least a million more start-ups fast. This means being as serious and intentional about the early identification and development of entrepreneurs as you are about finding star athletes and kids with high IQ’s.

And the talent is out there, waiting to be found. There are nearly 30 million students in U.S. middle and high schools right now. Early Gallup research reports that about five in 1,000 working-age adults in the U.S. possess the rare talents of entrepreneurship, so that means there are about 150,000 future blue-chip entrepreneurs in fifth through 12th grades now, more in college, and tens of thousands more high-potential adult business builders out there. City leaders should find them all and make their entrepreneurial growth as systematic and intentional as intellectual and athletic growth are. Great business builders are like great scientists or great quarterbacks — they will respond and accelerate with special attention. Furthermore, without it, their potential is at risk of being underdeveloped, or worse, never developed at all.

Americans have accomplished much harder tasks. We mobilized the whole country to win World War II. We put a man on the moon. Good Lord, we ignited the dot-com boom that revolutionized business and led to one of the greatest bull markets in history. We can turn the American economy around. But we had better get on this one fast, because we need millions of good jobs right now.

Jim Clifton

Please join Joseph Chris Partners in Welcoming our newest addition to the team, Angie Truitt!

10/07/14 0 COMMENTS

Angie Truitt joined Joseph Chris Partners as a Partner in 2014. A military brat, Angie developed a talent at an early age for developing and maintaining relationships that would later become invaluable in her career as a recruiting professional.

While pursuing her undergraduate degree in business management with a focus on marketing, Angie began working in retail sales management for The Limited Stores and became the youngest store manager in company history at the time. Shortly after graduation, Angie opted to follow in her father’s footsteps and attend law school, graduating from Baylor University in 1999. Practicing law for 13 years allowed Angie the opportunity to develop relationships with other lawyers and business owners and to become a keen listener, critical thinker, and skilled communicator. Those abilities enabled her to quickly identify the specific needs of her clients and deliver the results they expected and translated seamlessly into a career as a recruiter. Partnering with clients and candidates in the legal field, Angie successfully placed attorneys in new positions with law firms, small businesses, corporations, and nonprofits prior to joining the team at Joseph Chris Partners.

What Angie offers her clients and candidates alike is authenticity, dedication, creativity, and a genuine desire to build lasting relationships. Honesty and trust are key in any successful relationship, personal or professional, and Angie is proud to be a part of a team whose foundation is built on integrity. Additionally, finding just the right person requires hard work and persistence, someone who is committed to producing quality results. Any recruiter can amass dozens of resumes and forward them to a client in the hope that one might be a match, but Angie listens carefully to both her clients’ needs and her candidates’ career goals to ensure those candidates submitted will be a match. Also, attorneys are trained to think very critically, examining each issue to not only solve existing problems but to anticipate future concerns, and then to provide practical solutions. As such, Angie brings a very creative approach to recruiting, adding value for her clients by employing nontraditional search methods when necessary to get the best result possible. Finally, dating back to her childhood and life in the military, Angie has always been successful in forging long lasting relationships that span both miles and years. This skill, or what Angie views as a gift with which she’s been blessed, is the cornerstone of her recruiting practice and what brings her the most professional fulfillment.
Angie loves spending time with her daughter, and when she isn’t supporting her at a sporting event or band concert, Angie can be found at the beach or the gym. She is an avid CrossFitter, has competed in the Tough Mudder, is active in Team Red, White, and Blue, and plans to retire on the beach somewhere, someday.

Please join us in Welcoming Andrea Felt to Joseph Chris Partners!

10/07/14 0 COMMENTS

Andrea Felt joins Joseph Chris Partners as a Special Projects/Executive Administrative Assistant to our company CEO, Veronica Ramirez.

She previously worked as a senior researcher in real estate valuation and counseling where she worked closely with lawyers. Her efforts included researching deeds and sales of commercial properties and preparation of exhibits for hearings and trials pertaining to eminent domain cases. She also assisted with bookkeeping, record keeping and managed fee allocation and served as communication liaison for public sector accounting departments.

Andrea has also worked as an information systems research analyst and consultant, technical support for internal software, hardware and IT systems.

Andrea is a Houston native and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In her free time she loves doing Crossfit, training for half marathons and participating in anything involved with the outdoors.

We are pleased to have Andrea join us as her research, organization and detail orientation skills will help our organization efficiently and effectively serve our clients!

Why headhunting is still the best way to recruit the best talent

10/06/14 0 COMMENTS

How did you find your last job and the one before that? If you are like me, you may have never applied for a role online or directly. I have always been approached about roles or relied upon relationships with trusted recruitment consultants to find the right role for me; people who know me and my skills and know how to match me to roles that offer me progression.

There are more ways than ever for companies to advertise roles and therefore for candidates to apply directly online. This brings with it a plethora of issues for both the candidate and the employer. Because it is so easy to apply directly, either via an online ad or posting, lots of people do so. This means the recruiter (in-house or agency) may receive over 100 CVs for each role they post. As if trawling through 100+ CVs isn’t bad enough, it is often the case that 95% of the applicants are not even ‘on brief’ for the role. As a recruitment consultancy we have tested online postings. It created so much more work with no reward that we no longer do this. Out of 100 CVs only one candidate had the right skills for the role we were looking to fill, but that did not stop the other 99 candidates applying.

And where does this leave the best candidates? Will their CVs stand out in amongst so many applicants, and what about providing feedback to everyone? Does anyone really have the time to provide feedback to over 100 people for each role?

It is usually the case that the best candidates do not have the time to be trawling the internet looking for their next role, because they are too busy doing a good job in their current role. They would rather be approached about a specific role that they can see offers them their next career move, than search job boards. They also benefit from the recruitment consultant selling them in to what they hope will be their future employer.

Applying for a role through a trusted recruiter should mean that you are one of maybe half a dozen candidates being put forward. The likelihood of you being invited in for an interview should be very high. At Sandra Collins Recruitment, we have a conversion rate of over 80% of the CVs we submit being invited in for an interview. This is because we only send candidates who are on brief. We don’t send CVs to our clients without meeting the candidate in person first to ascertain how good a fit they are for any given role.

Importantly, we work with our candidates to find them a role that will offer a career progression. I can’t count how many times I was approached about identical roles for other leading media agencies when I was marketing and new business director at Mindshare. Although it is sometimes the case that people are looking for a sideways move, more often than not, they want progression or at least a different challenge. The best recruitment consultants will have a good understanding of your skills and how these may be transferable to different roles.

Choosing the right recruitment agency is also key for both companies and candidates. Recruitment agencies that just collect and submit CVs, add little if anything to the process. If they are not vetting candidates and submitting only those with the best fit, then companies may as well rely on online postings and cut out the middle man.

Recruitment consultants, who work in partnership with their clients and their candidates and who seek out candidates who don’t even know that they are looking yet, will source and secure the best talent.

Sandra Collins

Should your personal life take a back seat to your professional life?

09/30/14 0 COMMENTS

Early in my career, I was so driven to succeed, that I gave up TV. I thought that TV was a waste of time and that only lazy, average, and below average people watched it.

I didn’t just replace traditional TV with YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, or pirating movies on my laptop. I literally didn’t watch anything. Instead I read a whole bunch of business books like Good To Great, Influence, The Goal, The Essential Drucker, Made To Stick, Never Eat Alone, Linchpin, and Built To Last to try to get an edge in my career. But even reading started to feel like work. I stopped reading fiction even though I loved books like The Alchemist, The Time Keeper, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and The Celestine Prophecy.

Back then, I was single and single-minded. Today, I’m married with a kid. And I have no shame watching TV anymore. In fact, last Thursday, I watched a record 4 hours straight bundled up on the couch with my wife and I have no regrets. We watch Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder. In all honesty, I didn’t enjoy each show, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that I was spending quality time with my family.

Presence > Paying A Lot

There are two ways to watch TV—passively and actively. I realized that my younger self hated passive TV. But it wasn’t just passive TV that I hated. I hated passive living. It’s not about what you do, it’s about how you do it. I can gain enjoyment from washing dishes, folding clothes, and gardening if I’m fully present.

As someone who wants to be a present partner and present parent, I realized that presence is more important than paying lots of money. What’s the point of paying thousands of dollars to fly my family to Disney Land if I’m checking my email every 20 minutes? Instead, a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood in which I’m fully engaged could mean just as much.

My wife and I don’t watch TV passively. We comment throughout the show. We laugh in each others arms. We make jokes from the show our own like “That’s what she said” from The Office. We put the TV on mute and talk to each other during commercials.

The younger half of my brain was like the news commentator who bashes the United States President for going on vacation and playing golf during a war. The other half of my brain was like a kid who finished their homework before sundown and simply wanted to play until the street lights came on.

We never judge a kid for how they chose to play as long as their work was done. But as adults, there is a sense that the work is never done. There is always more to do. And if we don’t do it, we will be behind some illusionary competitor who is an early bird and night owl and just works, works, works.

There is a time for everything—a time to be serious and a time to be childlike. As adults, we’ve forgotten that boundary. In the words of Beyonce and Jay-Z, “I want to be forever young.” I don’t want my childlike spirit to die in pursuit of society’s definition of success. Adulthood and the responsibility that comes with it doesn’t have to mean the death of who we really are.

Prioritizing The People I Love

Will I do that every Thursday? No. But last Thursday, I went to sleep with no guilt, regrets, or feeling of being behind. Are other people in my profession kicking my butt because they worked last Thursday night and I didn’t? Maybe? Maybe not? And guess what…I don’t care. What matters to me most is how my wife and daughter feel about my presence, not what the market thinks. If slow success or less success professionally is the price I have to pay for being a great partner and great parent, so be it.

The moment my daughter was born, I became the third most important person in my household. I thought that as a parent, I was supposed to tell her what to do, but I know who the real boss is now. No boss or client of mine can wake me up at 1am, 3am, and 5am crying and expect to get an immediate response from me. My priorities have changed, not by chance, but by choice.

My goal in life isn’t only to be a successful professional. I also want to be a successful partner and parent. And though my goal to be a successful professional came first in terms of sequence in my life, it doesn’t come first in terms of priorities. My first priority is my wife. My second priority is my daughter. And my third priority is my profession.

I encourage you to prioritize professional, parent, and partner in writing in the way I have above. I’m not suggesting that my order is the right order. It’s mine. What is yours? And do the people you love know your priorities. Them knowing will shape their expectations of you.There are many people who are extremely successful professionally, but suck as partners and parents. And there are many people who are great parents, but aren’t great professionals.

If your career is more important than your family, own it. Oftentimes, we say we’re working hard for our family, when in fact we’re doing it for ourselves. Our ambition and work tends to take us away from the people we say we love. Walter White, the chemistry professor turned meth dealer from Breaking Bad said it best when he told his wife “I did it for me,” as his empire started to collapse.

Does Career Success Alone Make A Successful Life?

There is an American narrative that suggests that if you succeed professionally, everybody will love you and your family will understand because your success will afford them a lifestyle they couldn’t otherwise have. I think that is why many people put their career ahead of family. In addition to that, I think we also want to have an individual sense of achievement whether we have a family or not.

I’m not the only one with this internal struggle. In an interview with David Bradley, Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and mother of two daughters shared her mommy guilt. Nooyi says “We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom.” A few months ago, Mohamed El-Erian, former CEO of Pimco, left his position for part-time work after he received a letter from his 10-year old daughter that listed 22 important events that he had missed due to work commitments that included her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade.

Given that these people are quote-on-quote already successful, it’s easy to say that it’s easier for them to slow down because they’ve already made it, they have millions, and they are older. But the one thing they can never buy back are those moments and times with their family.

My Dad Growing With Each Kid

I am the oldest of three kids and I can attest that my father got better with each kid. With me, he was pretty absent because I was born during his rise to the top. With his second son who came 4 years later, he reached the top and felt he has more autonomy, so he started coming home earlier and getting involved on weekends. And with the third son who came 2 years after that, he had established himself professionally and started to slow down a little bit. He made it to every baseball game and soccer game he could.

Many people let what they do define who they are instead of letting who they are define what they do. But your day job is likely not your only job. We all have several roles. Everyone is someone’s son or daughter. Perhaps you are a brother or sister. A mentor or soccer coach. These roles don’t pay money, but they give us meaning. As Drake says in his song Trophies, “Ain’t no envelopes to open, I just do it cause I’m supposed to.” How much do these roles that don’t have money attached to them matter to you?

Hopefully the new and future working parents, myself included, can get off on the right foot with the first kid. If not your kids, then your partner. And if not your partner, then whatever other role is important to you outside of work.

Wishing you more happy hours,

Jullien Gordon

 Page 1 of 25  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »