Executive meetingHave you ever wished for a dose of self-confidence right before you get up to speak—in front of several people who hold your career in their hands? How about before that really important interview, or that imperative conversation with your significant other?

Self-confidence. Some people have it and some people don’t.  I’m sure you’ve noticed those individuals that light up the room when they walk in, they exude charisma and self-confidence, and you immediately want to get to know them.  Wouldn’t it be great to be that charismatic?  How much easier would your life be?

I know, it’s been awhile since I published the second article in my three-part article series, but better late than never! If you didn’t see the other two articles (or don’t remember them), here they are:

*Step One (Of Three) Immediate And Unusual Steps To Increase Your Personal Presence and Self-Confidence

*Step Two (Of Three) Immediate And Unusual Steps To Increase Your Personal Presence and Self-Confidence  (Scroll down.)

Yes, there is a simple and effective way to immediately increase your self-confidence. I didn’t say easy.  I said simple.  If you read the previous articles, you now know where your Power Center is, and that focusing your attention on your Power Center brings the energy into your body and makes you present.  Now, you are ready to go to the next step.

Step Three—Learn to hold your space by expanding and containing your energy.

By now, I’m sure you’ve realized that this is energy work. Before I took the Art of Feminine Presence workshop a couple of years ago, I’d never been exposed to energy work before.   It was an overwhelming, but transformational experience.

In the first article, I mentioned that the Art of Feminine Presence (AFP) was a body of work created by best-selling author Rachel Jayne Groover.   AFP was primarily designed to help women turn on and turn up their powerful and magnetic feminine essence—which gives them a radiant power.  The radiant power was clearly embodied by Rachel Jayne.  She unmistakably had it—that phenomenal glow and charisma I craved.

Since then, I’ve worked consistently at doing and teaching the practices in AFP. I don’t quite have the same glow as Rachel Jayne, but I’ve experienced some amazing results, like becoming a more effective and dynamic speaker (because I now connect so much better), experiencing a much happier love relationship (instead of the previous four significant, highly tumultuous relationships which all ended in disaster), and feeling the newfound joy, self-confidence and power I feel.

I realized, thru AFP, that I embodied a feminine shell over a masculine way of being. Meaning that throughout my long career in a male-dominated industry, I had tried to be and act like a man—believing that being feminine was somehow weak and ineffective.  Problem was, I wasn’t a man.  The result was a constant competition in a battle that I couldn’t win—pushing and struggling to get seen and heard.

Now I’ve embodied my feminine essence, my feminine power. Besides experiencing the afore mentioned benefits,  I am now in the flow of life, attracting more of what I want—more love, more support, more clients, more money.  I also, by the way, work more effectively with men—getting the kind of attention and respect I always wanted.

However, let’s move on to that third step—holding your space by expanding and containing your energy.

Let’s do this. Close your eyes.  Relax and breathe.  Take a big breath in and let it out slowly.  Do that again and again until you feel calm and centered.  It all starts with your breath.  Now, put your attention on your Power Center.  Imagine a light suspending from the center of your Power Center and focus on that.  Now, from that point, imagine expanding your energy to just past arm’s length.  Go ahead and spread your arms out wide to get a sense of where your energetic boundary is.  Enjoy feeling your energy as big and spacious.

I love the metaphor of a light bulb. Your Power Center is the center of this energetic ball of light, the filament.  The boundary is the edge of the light bulb.  When you contain your energy inside the light bulb, it glows and lights up the rest of the room.

Get into the habit of expanding your energy and containing it. Then when you need to feel more confident, like right before that important interview or presentation, you’ll  remember to go into your Power Center and expand your energy.  You can be the one who lights up the room when you walk in, and the one everyone wants to get to know.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what your feel when you expand your energy?  Email me lara@doloreslara.com, or comment below.  I look forward to your comments.

Let’s break barriers together!

Dolores, The Running Recruiter

Yes, you can be both powerful and feminine.  Are you interested in a free one-hour consultation on how The Art Of Feminine Presence can benefit you?  Contact me at lara@doloreslara.com.   Let’s talk.  I have a new class starting on March 10 in Irvine, CA.  Hurry, only two seats left!    

Dreams really do come true! Read about my upcoming book Breaking Barriers. Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine.

Woman thinkingDo you want to be the person that exudes self-confidence when you walk into a room—the person everyone wants to get to know?  I’m sure you’ve seen them, that person who positively glows and gets the attention you wish you had.

What’s their secret?

They have enhanced personal presence and enhanced personal presence increases self-confidence.  Yes, you can develop enhanced personal presence.  It’s not difficult.  In this article series, I will tell you how you can increase your self-confidence immediately, before you walk into that crowded room, or that important interview, or critical sales meeting.  In the first article I covered Step One:  Learn the location of your power center.  Here’s step two.

Step Two—Focus on your power center.   

Many people are “in their heads”, which is where I used to spend most of my time.  When you are in your head, you’re entertaining a barrage of thoughts.  The best way to get into your head is to worry about something.  Go ahead and try it.  Worry about something.  We’ve all got something to worry about.  That part is easy.  You are now in your head.  It doesn’t feel good, does it?  When you’re worried, you are not present—in the moment.  You’re in the future worried about something that hasn’t happened.  Being “in your head” is not the way to enhance your personal presence.  In fact, it diminishes it.  Recall a time when you were having a conversation with someone who clearly was not present with you.  Instead he was thinking about something else or maybe looking around the room.  There was no connection, was there?  It probably wasn’t a pleasant conversation for you.  In my case, I couldn’t wait to get away from that person whom I considered boring.  Think about it.  Have you ever experienced the feeling that no one wants to have a conversation with you?  You were probably in your head.

You need to get out of your head.  To increase your personal presence and self-confidence (and your ability to connect), you need to focus on your power center.

Here’s how you do that.  Close your eyes and imagine a light suspending from the center of your power center.  If you need to learn how to find your power center, refer to the first article in this series, First Step To An Immediate And Unusual Way To Increase Your Self-Confidence.  Feel your energy go back into your body.  If you don’t feel that, imagine placing a heavy crown on your head.  Now place all of your attention on your power center–as best you can.   Focus and you will start to feel a tingling sensation.  Congratulations, you found it.  That tingling sensation is your energetic presence.  It feels much better than the “in your head” feeling.   You are becoming conscience of the mechanism that will expand your energy, your charisma, and your glow.

Now open your eyes and you will notice your surroundings with greater clarity and you’ll feel more centered and calm.  Do you feel like you can accomplish more in this state?  You are present.  That’s the seed of your new found self-confidence.

In the next article of this series, I will tell you how you can learn to hold your space–which increases your personal presence and self-confidence.

Now it’s your turn?  Did you try finding your power center?  How did it feel?  Did you notice a difference from being in your head as opposed to being in your power center?  I’d love you hear your comments. Email me lara@doloreslara.com, or comment below.

Let’s break barriers together!

Dolores

Ladies, are you interested in learning more about The Art Of Feminine Presence–the way to turn on and turn up your magnetic feminine power?   Contact me at lara@doloreslara.com for more information.

Dreams really do come true!  Read about my upcoming book Breaking Barriers.  Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine. 

nervous-womanHave you ever walked into a crowded room and suddenly felt small and invisible?

Maybe your experience goes the opposite direction.  When you walk in, you go into overdrive approaching everyone in sight.  But everyone walks away—like you have the plague.

Either case, it’s not a pleasant feeling.  Your self-confidence flies out the window and you start wishing for a big dose of self-confidence to swoop down and shower all over you.

Then you see someone else walk into that crowded room.  You can’t help but notice.  The room lights up the second they walk in.   You can see the charisma and self-confidence oozing out.  You suddenly want to get to know them.  So what‘s the deal?  What’s their secret?

They have an enhanced personal presence.

Think about it.  Enhancing your personal presence and, therefore, increasing your self-confidence, is important in many facets of your life—like interviewing, negotiating, selling, speaking . . . to name a few.  As a veteran Executive Recruiter, believe me when I say that personal presence and self-confidence are more important than skills in getting job offers and promotions.  Yes, you can learn to become more self-confident by enhancing your personal presence.  They go hand-in-hand.  You can be the person who lights up the room.  People will come to you to get to know you and to buy your product or service, or recruit you to join their team.

How do you enhance your personal presence?  As a licensed Art of Feminine Presence (AFP) instructor, I learned an immediate and effective way to increase personal presence and self-confidence.  AFP is a body of work created by best -selling author Rachel Jayne Groover.  AFP was primarily designed to turn on and turn up a woman’s powerful feminine essence, which gives you a magnetic power (which, by the way, is what men desire the most).   The first time I saw Rachel Jayne, at a workshop she presented, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.  She positively glowed.  I was mesmerized and I immediately wanted to get to know her.

I’m happy to share a simple, yet powerful technique to enhance your personal presence and increase your self-confidence.  This technique is for men and women, by the way.  As a person who used to shrink when I got intimated or experienced fear, I can now hold my space.  It’s a great feeling.  The first step of this three-step article series is to learn the location of your Power Center.

Step One – Learn the location of your Power Center. 

If you have ever practiced yoga or martial arts, you may be aware of one of the most important energy centers in the body called the Power Center (sometimes called the Dantien or the Hara).  The Power Center is located three inches below the navel and back toward the spine in women. For men, it’s located two inches below the navel and back further in the body.

Why is the Power Center so important?  It’s the center of physical strength and stamina, and it also serves as the house of physical communication, sensory awareness, and feelings.   You have the ability to listen to what is going on around you, not just from your logical brain, but also from your Power Center.  You can get accurate information from what you feel in your body.  Thus the saying, “I have a gut feeling.”  These feelings are subtle, but the more you pay attention to your Power Center, the clearer this communication becomes.

Now you know about your Power Center.  In the next article in this series, you will go one step further in this technique to get an immediate dose of self-confidence.  I’ll explain how you can tap into the power of your Power Center to enhance your personal presence.

Now it’s your turn.  What happens to you when you get intimidated or experience fear?  Do you shrink or do you go into overdrive?  How do you handle it?  Email me lara@doloreslara.com, or comment on my blog.

Let’s break barriers together!

Dolores

Yes, you can be both Powerful and Feminine!  Come to my Intro Night on December 5th.  Download flyer and registration info here.

Dreams really do come true!  Read about my upcoming book Breaking Barriers Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine. 

Woman thinkingPerhaps you’ve imagined starting your own dream business, yet it fills you with anxiety. How do you go about it?  Is there a voice in your head telling you to play it safe?  After all you’ve got responsibilities.

I totally appreciate what you’re going through. I worked and collected a pay check for years until I finally took the plunge and started my dream business—and not without great anxiety.  I started out completely on my own as an executive recruiter and then, built a personnel firm from scratch, with a partner, into a two-office, twenty-employee firm—not counting all of the temporaries we had out on assignment.  We were major players in Southern California for 15 years.

Sure, it takes guts and determination to get started. There is one goal I tackled that mirrors the same traits needed to start your dream job.  Achieving that goal gave me the confidence to successfully launch my dream job.  What is it?  If you need a dose of confidence, then train for and run a marathon.  Here’s why.

1. You must have a burning desire to do it.

No one tackles a marathon (that’s 26.2 miles) unless they have a dream to complete one. It’s just too damn long.  If you want to start your dream business, then it needs to be a burning desire in your core.  Don’t go about it half ass.  It’s too hard.  A dream turns an enormous task into an exciting challenge.

 2. You must have an expert plan and follow it.

I wouldn’t have made it through the training for my first marathon without taking a marathon training class. I followed a plan written by running experts and did the long training runs with a group.  I wouldn’t have made it as a solo recruiter if I hadn’t learned my craft thoroughly, first with a large recruiting firm, and then with a small, entrepreneur firm.  I knew exactly what to do when I plunged into my own dream business.

3. You must believe in yourself.

The confidence to run my first marathon came from the positive affirmations I got constantly from the marathon trainers. They assured us if we followed the plan and completed the miles, we would complete the marathon.  Both our body and mind would be trained.  I believed them, thus I believed in myself.  When I started my first recruiting business, I believed, from the depths of my soul, that I could do it.

4. You must have stamina and perseverance.

The marathon training plan is six months long. At the high point, as beginners, we peaked out at 45 to 50 miles for the week including a 20-mile training run.  The weekly miles and weekly long run increase steadily throughout the training.  Fatigue is common.  Learning how to manage that increased our ability to complete the marathon distance.  On marathon day, it’s very, very important to pace yourself or you might deplete your body.  That means you might hit the wall and finish in severe agony, or you might drop out from exhaustion.  Expect the same experience the first six months of operating your dream business.  Pace yourself and manage your fatigue.

5. You must see the finish line.

When I stood on the starting line of my first marathon, I have to admit, I felt high anxiety. All those self-doubts emerged and circled around in my head.  It took a conscious effort to switch my thoughts.  After all, I had done all of that grueling training.  I wouldn’t give up now.  I visualized crossing the finish line.  The same experience happened when I signed the lease on my first office.  All those fears and self-doubts surfaced.  I remember thinking about my billing goal and how much fun it was going to be to be independent and free.  My success mirrored my visualization.

Happy Endings

I finished that first marathon and have now run many more—17 so far. It’s an exciting challenge that keeps me young and strong.  I completed the first six months in my new independent recruiting business—quite successfully.  After a couple of years of being independent, I grew into a multi-office search firm—a fantastic dream job.  If I can do it, you can too.

If you imagine starting your dream job—please follow my tips, including running a marathon—if you are so inclined. Maybe you don’t dream of running 26.2 miles?  No worries.  Surely there is another challenging athletic goal that teaches stamina and perseverance.  Go for it!  Now it’s your turn.  Are you dreaming about starting your dream job?  What’s stopping you?  Email me lara@doloreslara.com, or comment on my blog.

Let’s break barriers together!

Dolores, The Running Recruiter

Email me at lara@doloreslara.com to get a FREE copy of my new E-report, What Goes On In The Mind Of A Recruiter . . . When Deciding On Which Resumes To Read; Sending Candidates On Interviews; Negotiating The Best Salary Offer.  Wouldn’t you like to know???

Looking for tools to find your dream job?  Check this out.

Dreams really do come true!  Read about my upcoming book Breaking Barriers Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine. 

Picture courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

WearinessEver reached burnout to the point of paralyses? Most of you reached that point in college.  Am I right?  I certainly did.  Many of you learned from that college burnout experience and slowed down enough to achieve balance once you started your first career position.  Right?

Wrong.

According to Gallup.com, 40% of Americans get less than the recommended amount of sleep per night.   Medical studies have related a lack of sleep to health problems and cognitive impairment.  Not good.  I’m assuming here that lack of sleep is an indication of overwork and burnout.  Also, I have my vast experience, of working with all levels of professionals for over 30 years as a recruiter, to draw on.  Too many times I got phone calls from overworked candidates who begged me to find them another position, ASAP.

Perhaps you know someone who’s suffering with a mid-life crisis, which can be caused by burnout (among other things)?

There’s hope of a better life.

As one who has displayed Type A personality traits throughout my life, I can appreciate your struggles with burnout. A few of my milestones, or should I say setbacks, include experiencing a nervous breakdown in my early 20’s during my second year of working in a national CPA firm; running a two-office personnel firm with my husband for 15 years cumulating in divorce and business closure; hitting the wall in the marathon four times (oh it’s as bad as being in labor).  Yep, I’ve pretty much pushed myself to the extreme my entire life, making the same mistakes over and over, until I learned, finally, how to avoid burnout and achieve real success.  Success isn’t really worthwhile if you don’t enjoy it—if you’re always looking to the future.  Another way to describe it would be peaceful success—the type of success that you can sit back and savor.  And it comes to you without the stress of constant pushing and burnout.

Here are the three key mistakes to avoid burnout and achieve success without stress.

  1.  Ignoring your body’s signals.

As I write this post, I’m in week 16 of a 24 week marathon training program. As such, I’ve got burnout on the brain.  This will be marathon number 18, so I’ve had some prior experience with this training stuff. As I mentioned above, I’ve hit the wall a few times during a marathon, which means I went out too fast at the beginning and pushed too hard becoming completely and utterly exhausted.  This can happen anywhere from the mid-point at 13.1 miles.  When it comes right down to it, running the actual marathon is not nearly as stressful as the long and cumbersome training.  For instance, last week I ran 48 miles, including a 9 mile speed work run and an 18 mile long run.  The week before I ran 47 miles.  Sticking to the program will train my body and my mind to complete the 26.2 mile distance.  In my past, I’d ignore my body’s signals and push and push and push.  Invariably, I’d get sick and/or injured, forcing me to rest.  Burnout.

Now I’m older (and hopefully wiser). I cut back on miles every three weeks to recover and I sleep—a lot.  If my body is giving me the signal to rest, I listen.  Listen to what your body is telling you.  That tension in your shoulders, the stiff neck, the headache, are all signals.  Listen.

  1. Living in the future.

According to the international best seller, The Power Of Now, becoming more aware of your body (and it’s signals) happens in the present moment.  If you’re worried about something, your thoughts are on the future—you’re in your head.  Flow your attention down into your body and pay attention to what is happening right now.  Constant worrying about the future causes what you’re thinking about to happen.  It’s amazing how much better the mind works when you don’t have a constant barrage of thoughts about what might or might not happen in the future.  I recommend the book for ways to avoid burnout by focusing on your body signals in the here and now and to become more present.       

  1. Focusing on what you don’t have.

We are thinkers. As much as I practice quieting the mind, it’s really hard to do.  If you’re going to constantly think, it might as well be positive.  Avoid burnout by practicing positive affirmations that are in the present moment.  I am safe. I have a wonderful position and I am appreciated and compensated well.  I am willing to make this the best day of my life.  A great person to read about is Louise Hay, who advocates positive affirmations.  She cured herself of terminal stage 4 cervical cancer.  Louise, by the way, is still going strong at 90 years old.

I love saying affirmations now. When I started this current marathon training program, I started to experience pain in my left hip, the same pain that hindered me when I ran the 2015 Boston Marathon (from, yes, overtraining and burnout).  My first thoughts were, “Oh no, this is bad.  It didn’t heal.  I won’t be able to train for the marathon.”  I made a conscious decision to change my thoughts.  When I started to feel the hip pain on my next training run, I started a new mantra.  I said it over and over and over during my run.  “My left hip is strong and I am strong.  My left hip is strong and I am strong.”  Sure, it was discouraging at first because I didn’t notice a difference immediately.  But I kept at it.  If the pain wasn’t there, I didn’t think to say the mantra.  About a month later I realized I wasn’t saying the mantra at all.  The pain had disappeared.  My left hip is now strong.  It takes determination and a willingness to pay attention to your thoughts.  Acknowledge a negative thought, dismiss it and replace it with something positive—even if you don’t believe it.  Just keep at it and your reality will change.   Now, as the training is getting really tough my new mantra is “I can do this.  I am incredibly strong.”

In summary, avoid these three mistakes to avoid burnout and achieve peaceful success.

Now it’s your turn. Have you or are you experiencing burnout?  How are you coping?  Email me lara@doloreslara.com, or comment on my blog.

Let’s break barriers together!

Dolores, The Running Recruiter

Email me at lara@doloreslara.com to get a FREE copy of my new E-report, What Goes On In The Mind Of A Recruiter . . . When Deciding On Which Resumes To Read; Sending Candidates On Interviews; Negotiating The Best Salary Offer.  Wouldn’t you like to know???

Looking for tools to find your dream job?  Check this out.

Dreams really do come true!  Read about my upcoming book Breaking Barriers Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine. 

Wichita Marathon 1983Maybe running a marathon isn’t at the top of your “to do” list. Maybe it isn’t even on your list.  Maybe fitness is something that you don’t have the time for—but it’s something you know would benefit you.

How much does being fit benefit your career?

Right now I am in the process of training for my 18th marathon.  Yes, number 18.  I’m training for the Steamtown Marathon in Pennsylvania this coming October.  I am a career-oriented person that puts fitness at the top of my “to do” list.  It wasn’t always that way.  I never considered fitness as important in my teenage years.  I was way too busy.  While I was in college, I did a really smart thing—I got married to another college student.  Go figure.  I gave up living at home and getting fed to depending on our two part-time jobs while carrying a full college course load and traveling frequently with the debate and forensics team.  I cared deeply about getting good grades and winning trophies on the speech circuit.  I also cared deeply about eating, so I needed to work.  Top all this off with a tumultuous marriage to a man that was verbally abusive, and—you guessed it.

I was a mess—a total mess.

I suffered from constant anxiety attacks, insomnia, frequent bladder and sinus infections, and constant self-doubt. Despite all of this, I was young—I looked good and interviewed well.  I got an offer from, what was then called, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG).  Yes!  I was on my way.  NOT.

The pressure of the long hours and disruptive home life look its toll. It took a nervous breakdown and a couple of months off of work to finally slow down and re-think my life.  I took lots of advice from my phycologist, like practicing self-hypnosis to control my anxiety and learn how to relax.  He also said, “Dolores, you need to start exercising.  It’s a great way to relieve stress and detox the body.”

I dumped the abusive husband, changed jobs, and decided to get fit. I started running in my early twenties and I’ve never looked back.  Running changed my life on many different levels.  The health benefits were tremendous.  Just do a simple google search and check out my previous blog post (6th article down).  I started running with a group and became friends with healthy, upbeat people.  I started to eat in a way that supported my running.  I LOVED running in road races, both 5K and 10K races.  And talk about looking good—I got lean and mean.

Then I ran my first marathon when I was 29 years old. Why?  It’s the ultimate goal of any long-distance runner.  Being able to complete a 26.2 mile course seemed like an impossible goal when I made the brave decision to do it and signed up for a marathon training clinic.  The clinic supported us through a six-month marathon training plan.  Yep, six months.  Not for pansies.  The trainers told us over and over throughout the training.  If you follow the plan and complete the training—you will finish the marathon.  Period.  “Your body will be in shape, but more importantly, your mind will believe you can do it.”

Running a marathon is more of a mind game.

That’s the key. That’s why running a marathon is so key to career success.  Anyone who trains for and completes a marathon is someone who has proven to the world that they can stick to a plan, preserve, and follow-through—all key elements in a successful career.  As an Executive Recruiter, if I see marathon running listed under Extra-curricular Activities on a resume, I not only see a healthy, fit person in my mind, I also know this person has certain good habits that any employer wants.

Standing on the starting line of that first marathon (The Wichita Marathon in 1983) was one of the most intimidating things I have ever done.   The training was exhausting.  I didn’t think I would make it, but I just kept training.  Finally, it was over and there I stood on the starting line of the marathon—shaking in fear.  What if I couldn’t do it?  What if it hurt too much?  I kept thinking, “Remember, my body is trained.   Don’t think about it.  Just do it.  I can do this.  I can do this.”

Getting started is the hardest part.

The gun went off and I began the marathon—self-doubt and all.  Once I got going the fear started to dissipate and the perseverance and determination kicked in.  I just kept going and going and going—until I crossed over the finish line and collapsed.  Ah, the sweet taste of victory.  Despite the painful cramps and exhaustion, the euphoria swelled over me.  It was like nothing I had ever felt before.

Would I have been able to run a successful recruiting business with my then husband for 15 years without my marathon habit? No.  My running kept me sane.  Having challenging running goals gave me something positive to look forward to.  It made me mentally (and physically) strong.  I’m still relying on my marathon habit to fully experience life.  Every time I train for one, I vow to never do it again, but then I experience the high of the finish and the satisfaction of the goal completed.  Okay, maybe I’ll run just one more. . .

Put fitness on your “To do” List.

Make it a priority.  You will live longer and be healthier.  Exercise three days a week–30 minutes a day.  That will work wonders.  If you run, I recommend running one marathon. I know several people who have run just one.  No one has ever been sorry they did it.  If you don’t run, then I urge you to find a challenging physical goal and train for it.  Maybe it’s competing in ball room dancing, climbing Mount Whitney, or completing a Bikram Yoga 30 day challenge.  Do something that gets you excited and motivated.  The good habits you learn will carry over to your career success.

Now it’s your turn. Has running or exercise been a major part of your life?  How has it helped you?  Email me lara@doloreslara.com, or comment on my blog.

Let’s break barriers together!

Dolores, The Running Recruiter

Email me at lara@doloreslara.com to get a FREE copy of my new E-book, What Goes On In The Mind Of A Recruiter . . . When Deciding On Which Resumes To Read; Sending Candidates On Interviews; Negotiating The Best Salary Offer.

Looking for tools to find your dream job?  Check this out.

Dreams really do come true!  Read about my upcoming book Breaking Barriers Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine. 

 

Jobs on computerImagine this scenario. You’ve been thinking about starting a job search, but not quite sure if it’s the right time.  It’s not that you’re unhappy, you just feel like your career isn’t moving as fast as you think it should.  You like the people you work with, but the job isn’t challenging like it used to be.  You’d like to add more value and beef up the resume, but your boss isn’t receptive to change.  Yet, you’re comfortable.  You work 40-hour weeks and love the life-balance.

When is it a good time to leave?

As a veteran recruiter, I’ve been asked that question many times. The answer isn’t simple because it really depends on what you want.  The short answer is to figure out what your top priorities are—like the top three.  If your current position meets your top three priorities, then you’ve got a good thing going and it might be best to stay put.

But then again . . . maybe not.

I thought about that question and came up with five important reasons to leave based on real life situations in my experience as a recruiter.

Here they are:

  1. You are not using your three greatest strengths.

Not the same as priorities. For instance, you may be in a position that provides life balance, is close to home, and is stable.  But your greatest strength is your people skills and you’re on a computer all day analyzing numbers, and you’re miserable.  That’s not good, is it?  If you’re not using your top three strengths, you will not be happy.  Start looking.

  1. You’re passed up for promotion by someone less qualified.

A CPA in a regional CPA firm confided in me and told me that even though she had the highest chargeable hours on the staff, handles the biggest book of clients, and received the best evaluations, she was passed up for promotion to Sr. Manager by a younger man. She couldn’t get a clear answer from the (all male) Partners as to why.   She said she wants to make Partner, but thinks she is being discriminated against.  Not only is she a woman, but an older woman.  She took several years off to raise her children.

I advised her to start a search. There are lots of firms out there including ones that will not hold her back, especially with her talents, from getting the promotions she deserves.  The largest companies are not the best place to be if you are older or have a unique background.  They tend to follow a more rigid promotion track.  If you get passed up for promotion and aren’t given a good reason, then you’re not in the right place for you.

  1. Your colleague gets paid more, even though you sell more and/or get equal evaluations.  

This is my personal story. In my beginning years as a recruiter I worked quite closely with a guy.  Our production was pretty much equal, except the third year I zoomed past him.  Then I found out what he was making.  I’m not talking a difference of couple of thousand dollars here.  The difference was a whopping $15K.  That was significant, considering at that time, I made $35K and my colleague made $50K base.  Yes, part of it was my fault for not researching the market and not knowing what I was worth AND then not asking for it.  But the idea of the difference being so big left me cold.  When I left they offered me a HUGE counter-offer.  That’s another story.  Never, never accept a counter-offer.  My leaving was the best thing that I could have done for myself.  If you’re in this situation, I’m guessing you will benefit as well by high-tailing out of there.

  1. You are no longer learning and developing.

We live in a changing world. If you’re a professional and you’re not continuing to develop, you’re stagnating.  What happens if you should get laid off?  The level of your skill set will determine how much in demand you’ll be.  I couldn’t believe it.  Once a got a call from a CPA who did all of his work manually.  Yes, this was 15 years ago, but I couldn’t place someone whose skills were so outdated.  That’s an extreme example, but I’m sure you get the picture.

  1. Your mentor leaves and offers you a better position.

I’ve seen this several times in my career. A high level executive leaves and then takes their favorite staff with them.  If you get asked to follow along, I’d seriously consider it.  You know your boss and that they’ll look out for you.  That’s a good situation to be in.

Each situation is different and needs to be considered based on your strengths, skills, and priorities. If you’re unhappy and unfulfilled, and you’re stuck because of fear, then get over it.  You deserve to be happy and no one grows without facing fear.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a story to share?  Did you face your fears and are now in a much better place?  Email me lara@doloreslara.com, or comment on my blog.

Let’s break barriers together!

Dolores, The Running Recruiter

Email me at lara@doloreslara.com to get a FREE copy of my new E-book, What Goes On In The Mind Of A Recruiter . . . When Deciding On Which Resumes To Read; Sending Candidates On Interviews; Negotiating The Best Salary Offer.

Looking for tools to find your dream job?  Check this out.

Dreams really do come true!  Read about my upcoming book Breaking Barriers Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine. 

Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Executive meetingYou got the interview! Of course you knew you would.  You read the job description, your experience fits perfectly.  You know your skill set is in demand.  You get calls from recruiters all the time pitching similar jobs.  You think you’re ready to make a change, but you’re not sure.  Okay, you’ll go into the interview and see if the company’s a good fit for you.

That was Scenario A. Here’s scenario B.

You got the interview! A part of you doesn’t believe it.  You read the job description and you’re not a perfect fit.  You know you’re on the light side of what the company wants.  You’re excited but terrified!  Time to prepare.  If nothing else, you’ll show the hiring manager that you can do the job.

Who’s more likely to blow the interview? Candidate A or B?

The objective of an interview

As a veteran executive recruiter, I’ve set-up over 4,000 interviews in my career. Sure, if Candidate B goes into the interview begging, that won’t work.  In my experience, however, Candidate A is the most likely to blow the interview.  Why?  Candidate A doesn’t understand the objective of the interview.  What is the objective of the interview?  No, it’s not for you, as the candidate, to discover if you may or may not be ready to make a change.  No, it’s not a fact finding mission.  It’s to get the offer.

Interviewing is a game

Pure and simple. Play the game to your advantage.  All too often I’ve seen star candidates who think they’re God’s gift to the working world, blow their chances of getting offers.  They walk into an interview unprepared, thinking that the hiring manager needs to sell the opportunity to them.  The hiring manager walks away from the interview questioning Candidate A’s desire to work for him or the company.  The candidate comes with a high price tag.  The hiring manager questions the candidate’s real reason for looking.  Is it money?  Who wants that?  The job’s tough enough without hiring someone who isn’t really into it.

Then Candidate B goes into the interview. She’s well-prepared, having done her research on the hiring manager and the company.  She’s practiced her answers to common interview questions.  She’s prepared to give specific examples of how she provided value in her current and previous positions.  She acts like she wants the job.  The hiring manager walks away from the interview convinced that Candidate B will work hard and she comes with a lower salary requirement.  He can afford to take a chance and offers her the job.

The secret to getting offers

That’s the secret. Act like you want the job!  Of course the big mistake is not acting like you want the job.  Hiring managers want to hire people who want the job.

Once you’ve sold yourself to the hiring manager, then everything changes. The hiring manager will then be much more interested in selling the opportunity to you.

What’s the silver lining of playing the interviewing game? You don’t have to take the offer.  But you can’t take an offer you don’t get.  Oh yes, I’ve had situations where candidates interviewed with the wrong attitude and later, after they thought about it, they decided they wanted the job.  But too late, the company lost interest or hired someone else.  First impressions are very hard to reverse.

The moral of this story is to play the interviewing game to your advantage and get the offer. A good attitude wins over qualifications every time.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a question on interviewing?  Do you have a good or bad interviewing experience we can learn from?  Email me lara@doloreslara.com, or comment on my blog.

Let’s break barriers together!

Dolores, The Running Recruiter

Email me at lara@doloreslara.com to get a FREE copy of my new E-book, What Goes On In The Mind Of A Recruiter . . . When Deciding On Which Resumes To Read; Sending Candidates On Interviews; Negotiating The Best Salary Offer.

Looking for tools to find your dream job?  Check this out.

Dreams really do come true!  Read about my upcoming book Breaking Barriers Middle age is not the transition to old age, but the transition to mastery—the mastery of a life of learning and experience.  It’s our time to shine. 

Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

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