October 24, 2010

Developing Great Relationships.

Crucial to any goal (job search in particular) is making great contacts along the way. "Great" contacts being defined as those who can provide significant forward momentum to your search. It's a big plus if they know you personally.  Better, if they know your industry and are well connected themselves.

But there's more. Much more. The key to forging great connections is being a great listener. That may sound elementary, and it is. But it's not natural. In fact, it's hard work. Building solid, long-term relationships (both personal and professional) takes time and commitment, and an ongoing effort to keep quiet.

We must continually find ways to step away from ourselves and into the shoes of those we meet, asking great questions and waiting for the response. In turn, others will have more of an interest in what we are saying. It's simple. But it's not easy.

Practice. Ask great questions.
Then remain silent.

October 9, 2010

Watching. Waiting. Working.

Much of our lives is spent simply...waiting. Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for a phone call, waiting for the mail, waiting for the weekend, waiting to get married, waiting to have children, waiting for retirement, waiting for the lottery, (fill in your favorite here). I remember a song from decades back called, "Waiting on Someday". It always saddened me as I was, in fact, waiting on so many things back then.

Truth be told, I'm still waiting today...some 20 years later. Oh, perhaps what I'm waiting for has changed to some degree, but I'm waiting still the same. In some cases that can be a practical and perfectly harmless endeavor, but the downside to all this waiting is that we can linger in mediocrity or languish in laziness. Not good.

What to do?

For starters, we watch. For opportunities. For changes in circumstances. For any light at the end of the tunnel; anything to provide an incentive to keep moving forward. All the while making ready to take advantage of any particular situation to turn it to our advantage. The key is that while all this watching and waiting is going on, we're not idle. We're not mulling around, lounging our lives away.

We're doing something. We're active. We're engaged. We're working.

Today is our "someday". Now let's get to work