What's your passion?

Posted: August 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on What's your passion?

(pas-sion): a strong feeling or emotion

Speaking about motivation from passion gets me more excited than my morning coffee. You know when you meet someone motivated by their passion because they’re ignited by a fire within and it shows in the way they speak and behave.

If you’re currently looking for a new job, think about this time as an opportunity to ignite the fire within you. What’s your passion? Think about the adage “do what you love and the money will follow”. As a veteran career coach, successful business woman and living example of this philosophy, I would amend it to say “do what you love, focus your energy on a strategic plan and the money will follow.”

Life will throw you curveballs, like any other time. Here are two of my favorite Real-Life Success Stories that prove, if you follow your passion, money and success will be yours.

Daniel Michael “Danny” DeVito Jr.
In a recent interview on the Biography channel, Danny Devito said:
“I remember one audition I went on early in my career. After handing the woman my headshot, she threw it back and me and said “No one wants a 5 foot tall character actor”

I thought “Whoa!”

Many of us first met Danny DeVito in his Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning role as Louie DePalma on the TV Series Taxi. He, and wife Rhea Perlman, also own Jersey Films, a production company known for films such as Pulp Fiction, Garden State and Freedom Writers. He’s currently back on TV in the FX Sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

I’m thinking the director who tossed back Danny DeVito’s headshot has kicked herself quite a few times by now. There’s nothing like a good dose of passion to get revenge on a nay-sayer.

Cesar Millan (aka The Dog Whisperer)
At 13 years old, on his way to a judo competition, Cesar declared to his Mother, he would one day be the best dog trainer in the world. He lived in Mazatlan, Mexico and spoke only Spanish at the time.

8 years later, at 21, he illegally crossed the border into the U.S. unable to speak English, and got a job at a dog grooming store working with the most aggressive dogs. Fast forward 20 years and Cesar Millan has his own TV Series The Dog Whisperer which is in it’s sixth season and broadcast in more than 80 countries worldwide, has founded the Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles, the Millan Foundation and written three (3) New York Times Best-selling books that have sold two million copies in the United States. (quite an accomplishment, take it from a fellow author)

In addition to the aforementioned, he’s also released a magazine, Cesar’s Way, and is working with Yale University to create a children’s curriculum based on his work.

Making it real
When it comes to pursuing your passion, ask yourself:

  • What ignites my fire?
  • What do I love doing?
  • What brings a smile to my face?

Keep the idea of how much you can make seperate from the questions to get to the core sense of what your passion is and how to pursue it. After all, I doubt Cesar Millan, or his mother, ever thought that being a dog trainer would lead to a global brand and business empire that he has today.

What NOT to do on Linked In

Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on What NOT to do on Linked In

Ken Gutierrez might be thinking is a good thing his Linked In profile is being viewed as many times as it is, and by the names and titles of those viewing it, he might even be sitting on pins and needles waiting for his phone to ring.

Dear Ken,

I am going to give you some news that may surprise you but it’s important to know. Your current Linked In profile is a shining example of what NOT to do. Listing “Unemployed-looking for work” as your headline is about as captivating as McDonald’s listing “Full of fat” on their billboards. It may be true but there are plenty of other options to choose from that will capture the audience’s attention and land you a job much quicker.

In your case, something along the lines of “NY-Based Online Media Ad Sales Planner” is truthful, eye-catching and 100% more likely to get the attention of prospective employers and the 73% of recruiters that spend their time online.

Moving through your profile, it’s shocking to see anyone in sales and the online media industry in particular have only 2 connections. Working with clients is what you did, Ken. Get those fingers working and start reaching out to build your network base up closer to 100+ contacts.

Lastly, you did a great job of mentioning that you worked with clients and sales team members on accounts throughout the world including the U.S., Canada, UK and Australia however, there’s no information on what size accounts (dollar value) you worked on or what type of clients (Amex, Travelocity, MillerCoors, Axe, etc). Give yourself credit for the work you’ve done and you will see the results of your hard work while at Heavy.com pay off with interviews and networking, online and offline.

If your profile feels like Ken’s, don’t worry. Many job seekers work hard to perfect the resume and then forget that Linked In is a virtual version of the resume. Your resume has one purpose: to land you an interview. With recruiters using Linked In as a tool to find high caliber candidates and employers sourcing qualified individuals from it’s 65 Million professionals, make sure you’ve got a “Pimped Out Profile”.


Dallas or Bust

Posted: August 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dallas or Bust

Dear Adriana,

I have decided I’m moving to Dallas, Texas by November 1st, job or no job. I’m either going to take a 6 week personal leave or resign from my current job. How should I answer this question in an interview?

“Why did you leave your last position?”

Dear Dallas or Bust,
Congratulations on making a decision to move and giving yourself a deadline. First, you may be able to answer this question easily, and honestly, by saying that you’re currently on a leave of absence while you organize your desired relocation to the booming metropolis of Dallas, TX.

If you chose to resign from your position, focus on your answer on the employer and your decision to relocate rather than your former company. For example, “As you know, Dallas is ranked #1 as the fastest growing US city, it’s tracking ahead of nearly every other city for economic development and more Fortune 500 corporations call it home than nearly any other city. When I began evaluating my career growth and advancement, I took location into account and decided I wanted to be a part of the best city, and state, in the country.”

We all know Texans love their state, and Dallas dwellers love their city. What better way to connect than compliment their hometown and location while proving you’ve done your homework before you relocated. This answer will put the focus on your knowledgeable relocation rather than on your decision to resign and move by a self-determined deadline.

Go get ’em, Dallas.

Bake your way to a new job

Posted: August 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bake your way to a new job

Picture yourself on the rooftop of a popular downtown hotel in the middle of Chicago enjoying a glass of wine on a warm summer evening and mingling with friends. You’ve just found yourself networking.

That was where I found myself last night, although I was there, along with a fellow entrepreneur, to meet with an advertising agency that works with both of our companies. Despite sounding professional, I felt like I was the third wheel on a pseudo-date. To keep myself from being anything other than a wallflower, I struck up a conversation with the folks around us. Enter Jim and John. Jim and John met at the Air Force Academy in 1979 and, thanks to LinkedIn, reconnected a few years ago after Jim hunted John down.

A short while later, and a few mistaken conversations about boating and golf, we had begun an enjoyable banter about business, books and hiring. Jim is a Senior Vice President at a large retirement planning firm who, despite enlisting a talented recruiter to source quality candidates, prefers to hire from within his network of colleagues or from a trusted word-of-mouth recommendation.

Then there’s John who shared with me the secret to landed a job with him, and apparently John and I as we quickly realized. Warm apple pie. You read correctly.

John is a human resources executive with one of the Top 5 audit, consulting, accounting firms in the country. This guy has seen his fill of CPA’s, MBA’s, MAAA’s, CFA’s and every other initial under the sun. What he had never seen before was someone bring a warm, homemade apple pie to an interview – topped with a helping of honesty.

The candidate was a woman who was recently widowed, needed a new job – as do many people in today’s market – and she appealed to John’s human side.  Whoa!

I was blown away. Wine glass down. Smile from ear to ear. This was no gimmick. It wasn’t some crazy idea a marketing person thought of for her. It was the essence of personal branding done right.

  • Did she go out on a limb? Oh yeah.
  • Was it risky? Definitely.
  • Could it have gone poorly? Maybe.
  • Did she get the job? You bet.

As a chocolate loving, vegetarian I rarely eat pie, homemade or not. Be that as it may, there’s a great chance I would hire a candidate who cared enough about working for my company that they baked me a pie, apple or any other flavor.

If you really want to land a job, find a way to brand yourself and make sure the interviewer remembers you when you walk in – and out – of the door.