What makes you successful?

what makes you successful

What makes you successful?

January 4, 2021

what makes you successfulAs we step into 2021, I find myself thinking about what I want the New Year to look like. And my natural inclination (and I think this is true for all of us) is to first look back at the last year as guidance for the year ahead.

Although it’s easy to look back at 2020 and grumble at all of the things that went wrong, I think it’s important that we also note that a lot of things went right.

And we can draw on those things that went right as we do our 2021 planning.

Note: Even if you aren’t inclined to identify a New Year’s resolution, setting professional goals is key for starting the new year on track.

So, as I reflect on 2020 as part of my 2021 planning, I thought I’d share my findings with you and also invite you to do the same.

I invite you to answer this question:

Regarding your professional life, what are three things that you accomplished in 2020?

In other words… What went right?

If you spend much of 2020 unemployed, this might be a difficult question. If this is the case… a better question for you might be to reflect on your entire career to date.

In this case, you might want to answer this question instead:

What are three factors that have contributed to your career success?

I actually really like that second question, and so I’ve chosen to think about it for myself. I’ll give you my answers here and I invite you to share yours with me in the comments below.

Note: When you identify your answers, it can be helpful to recall specific examples. They help make the concept concrete, which will help you remember them as you start planning for 2021.

As I look back upon my career, prior to striking out with my own business, I see these three factors as having contributed to my success then and now:

  1. Feedback I have been open to feedback that informed me about what I needed to do better. This has been true when that feedback has come from my manager, a colleague, and even my piano teacher. If my manager did not volunteer constructive feedback, I found myself soliciting it – and that was always helpful! I remember being on a conference call with colleagues and after expressing my opinion, I asked, “Did I come across too strong or was I clear in what I was trying to say?” When I asked for feedback, I was willing to hear what was being said with an open mind and chose to not get defensive. This was especially true if I asked for the feedback.
  2. Initiative I looked for opportunities that challenged me. I remember saying to my boss, “Let me help you by taking this off of your plate.” I joined a team on what I anticipated to be a high visible project and it went well! Fortunately for me, I had many bosses who were willing to delegate to me, which ultimately led to me getting promoted. I did not wait to be asked and that initiative made a big difference.
  3. Relationships This is the area where I excelled in the most. I learned early on that the people you know are our most important asset for both personal and professional success. Building and maintain relationships became the cornerstone of my career. It led me to write a book about it: You, You, Me, You: The art of talking to people, networking, and building relationships.

I have two reasons for sharing these factors in a blog for you.

First – I think you might find it helpful to see how key factors can show up in a career, which might help you identify your own.

Second – I wanted you to see my success factors because they are core to what I teach and guide my clients with. They are essential to a successful career!

I hope you found this helpful! Please let me know in the comments if you did!

What does job hunting have in common with shoe shopping?

job hunting is a lot like shoe shopping

What does job hunting have in common with shoe shopping?

December 7, 2020

Finding the right job is like buying a pair of shoes.

If you buy a pair of shoes that don’t fit, sooner or later your feet hurt, and you can longer bear to wear them.

In exactly the same way, if you don’t spend the necessary time finding the right job so that it fits you, sooner or later, you will begin to feel uncomfortable and want to leave.

I hear this concern quite frequently with my clients: They want a job that fits them.

I hear this especially when they’re previous role didn’t fit. They are highly aware of how badly it felt, and they don’t want to feel that way again.

Here’s a specific example:

A recent client of mine wanted to move out of state. To make that happen, he took the first job that he was offered. He was so excited about the move that he didn’t pay attention to the details. He didn’t make sure that the job fit his aspiring career goals, nor did he look into the company’s culture or belief system.

It didn’t take long for him to discover that the new role in the new business really didn’t fit him and he was going to need to go right back out on his job hunt immediately. On top of that, the current position was so uncomfortable, he was feeling urgent about his job search – which wasn’t helping him focus so that he could make the right decision about his next position.

So what did he do? He made an incredibly brave decision to leave the position he didn’t like so that he could dedicate his time to finding a position that offered the right fit.

I’m not saying that you have to do this! I’m just saying that you need to prioritize your wants and needs when you conduct your search.

Hearing a client say, “I want to find a job that is the right fit,” is music to my ears!

When you take the time to think about how a job fits you, your whole job search changes. You start to focus on the skills you want to use in your next job, the values that company needs to have, what you need to feel supported, and what type of work that you find interesting, you won’t just be successful. You’ll be happy!

When you find shoes that fit, you will wear them for much longer. They’ll be your go-to pair and you’ll wear them so long that you’ll wear them out!

When you find the right job that fits you, it’s exactly the same. You will stay longer, you’ll be happier, and you will do your best work!

Rebuild Your Confidence After a Job Loss Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Improve your confidence

Rebuild Your Confidence After a Job Loss Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 16, 2020

Improve your confidence“Who you are will always be the foundation of your success.” Suze Orman

Many people have lost their jobs due to the Covid Pandemic.

Whether you were laid off or furloughed losing your job at any time is scary. But losing it during the pandemic even more difficult when there is so much unknown and no end in sight.

Yesterday you were employedYour confidence was high.

You were adding value to the company and you were proud of sharing your accomplishments with others. You had a place that you belonged, a steady income, and a plan for the future.  [Jayne: We don’t know for sure that they were a top performer. I’m trying to include a sense of “I have a job” that would be valid for most people.]

Today, you are unemployed!  Your confidence is lower and that is expected.

The company had to make a tough decision during these times of the Covid Pandemic. Your unemployment is NOT because of your performance! The company’s revenue suffered and a difficult business decision had to be made. Your position along with others were affected by this decision.

But when you leave a company, you lose more than just your job. You lose a partnership with talented people, a community of friends, your daily routine, a sense of identity, plus your income. It can also have a negative impact on your sense of self-worth.

Looking forward… you will need to present yourself in the best possible light to a new prospective employer, so it’s important that you take the time to acknowledge and mourn your loss.  It is okay!

When anyone first loses a job, it is easy to fall into the trap of losing your confidence, which can cause you to doubt your ability to land a new position. If that happens, make bouncing back your top priority. The secret is not to stay too long in this space.

Aren’t you still the same talented professional who has the same skills, accomplishments, and expertise? The company did take those away from you as you headed out the door.

This all belongs to you. It is a part of you and it is what you bring to the table.

The only difference is you are no longer working for the same company.

The company took away your job, but they did not take your accomplishments. They are yours to take with you wherever you go. They are YOUR stories and YOUR experiences and YOUR skills. They do not belong to the company that you once worked for. Please do not leave them behind as you will need them for your next role.

It is not uncommon to lose your confidence during this period of transition. Re-gaining your mojo will be essential for a successful job search.

Based on my experience working with people in transition, these 7 tips have been helpful in re-gaining their confidence:

  1. Develop a routine around your job search plan

Treat your job search like a full-time job and develop a routine around it to regain a sense of control. Create a “to do” list that includes a variety of key activities including: applying for jobs, scheduling, virtual networking meetings, and using LinkedIn to create more visibility.  There are many activities that will keep you busy, so use your time wisely. Picking and choosing strategically will bring a sense of control.

  1. Find a supportive network

Surrounding yourself with a circle of support can help rebuild your confidence. The people who believe in you really do want you to find the right fit and they will be your best advocates. Anyone from former colleagues or acquaintances to family members can help boost your self-esteem during this time of transition.

  1. Be generous with helping others

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, use your new free time to help others. Establishing new connections and applying your skills to other areas like volunteering or taking on leadership positions in your community can help you bounce back.  It will also keep your skills sharp, make you feel better, and it will give you something to talk about when meeting others.

  1. Use positive affirmation

While getting support from others is key, it is also important that you believe in your own skills. Every single day, verbalize a positive affirmation and remind yourself that you possess valuable skills. Self-talk is an important part of rebuilding your self-confidence. Do not waste this time beating yourself up. Treat yourself as you would a treasured friend in the same situation. Yes, this will be hard to do sometimes… so recognize that you will have good and bad days and be compassionate with yourself.  It really will be ok!

  1. Take time to do something you love

Filling part of every day with something you love to do will fill you with positive energy.  It can be as simple as reading a book, listening to your favorite song, baking, or going for a walk. Make sure you do something every day and that it's a part of your day that you can look forward to.

  1. Practice self-care

Taking care of yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally is so important during this time of stress! Exercise is a natural endorphin booster, so get moving! Walking, running, or riding a bike will certainly lighten your mood.  Since you might have neglected your work-out routine due to a busy work schedule, use your newfound time to get back into shape and feel better about yourself.

  1. Reflect back in time

Being prepared for the interview process can protect you from further disappointments and plunges in confidence. Spend some time reflecting back on what you’ve accomplished. Write them down so you can go back and remind yourself before a key interview. Capture the challenging project you were asked to lead, the goal you reached that you did not think you could achieve, and the rewarding things said about you during your performance review. Remember, those stories are still true!

Going through a job loss is never easy and expect you will have ups and downs. Practicing these 7 tips will help you rebuild and sustain the confidence you need to be successful in finding your next exciting role!

I have confidence in YOU! It is imperative that you have confidence in you, too!

Haunted by Interview Ghosting? Here’s How to Stop it

Don't get caught waiting for a phone that doesn't ring

Haunted by Interview Ghosting? Here’s How to Stop it

October 26, 2020

Don't get caught waiting for a phone that doesn't ringYou interviewed for a job and you thought it went well. You asked what the next steps were, and they responded, “We’ll get back to you in two weeks about next steps.” That sounded hopeful!

But then… silence.

You reach out to the hiring manager.

And still… silence.

So, you move on to the next interview with slightly less enthusiasm, but you’re holding on to hope.

You interview. It goes well. You ask about next steps. They say they’ll get back to you.

But then… Silence.

You reach out to the hiring manager

And still… silence.

Welcome to ghosting!

Has this happened to you? It might help to know that you are not alone.

When companies don’t get back to you after your interview, it can be very frustrating and demoralizing. It’s even worse when you’re certain that the interview went well!

Unfortunately, ghosting has become the norm in today’s interview process. It has become so standardized that I often warn my clients about it: “Expect that you will be ghosted while you are interviewing.” Managing your expectations will help with disappointments.

That being said… there are things that you can do to minimize how much ghosting you experience.

I’m going to offer you some tactics that have helped my clients reduce ghosting.

But before we get to that, we need first to take a look at what’s going on here.

Why does ghosting happen?

You thought the interview went well.  What information have you based this on?

What if you didn’t do as well as you thought you did? Maybe your qualifications and experience didn’t match up in their eyes. Or maybe they’re interviewing other people (They should be!) and found someone else better qualified.

Are these the things that have been going through your head while you’re waiting for that call back that never came? Listen to those concerns and be honest with yourself. Are they valid?

At the end of the interview, when you ask, “What are the next steps?”, the interviewer’s easiest answer is to tell you, “We will get back in a couple of weeks.”

First, they may actually need those weeks because they’re doing other interviews.

Second, if they don’t think you did well enough, they don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, so they push you off with an easy answer.

And lastly, at the end of all of their interviews, if they decide that you don’t meet their needs, no one there wants to tell you bad news so...

Yup. You’ve been ghosted.

Are you ready to eliminate ghosting from your interview process?

Here’s what you could do differently.

Most people ask, “What are the next steps?”  or “When will I hear back from you?” They shy away from questions about the viability of their candidacy.

Instead, ask how your skills, experience, and qualifications match up with the job description, and inquire about specific next steps. These questions show the interviewer how serious you are about the role. Bonus: This builds a stronger relationship as well!

And honestly, wouldn’t you want to know if you are not being considered for the next round? It’s certainly a better experience than the feelings of limbo that ghosting creates.

To help you to ask more thought provoking questions that will improve your chances of hearing back even if you are not being considered for the role, I’ve offered some specific suggestions below.

New questions:

The next time an interviewer asks you, “Do you have any final questions for me?“ skip the standard response.

Instead of saying, What are the next steps? When can I expect to hear back about moving to the next round?” try these new questions:

New Question 1: “Based on our time together, how do you think my skills, experience and qualifications align with your need? Is there any disconnect that would prevent me from moving to the next round?”

Upon hearing the response, say: “Thank you for the information, I appreciate your feedback.”

New Question 2: “If I am not being considered, would it be possible for you to let me know and share with me the reason why? I would be grateful for the feedback so that I can focus on improving in the right areas as I move on to find a job that is a better fit.”

Note on Q2: Hiring managers are sometimes not comfortable providing this information, which is why it is so important to ask while you are interviewing.

It is simply a fact that ghosting happens. However, that does not mean it has to happen to YOU.  

Ask better questions at the end of the interview to get a clearer sense of your candidacy status, and at the same time, you’ll develop a stronger relationship with the interviewer. These better questions also tell them a bit more about who you are and how you think. That can help you get the job!


Are the things you say to yourself holding you back?

Are the things you say to yourself holding you back?

May 17, 2020

This topic of our beliefs is covered in chapter two of my book, You, You, Me, You: The Art of Talking to People, Networking and Building Relationships.

I wanted to take a deeper dive into how you can change the messages from your past to help pave the way for healthier personal and professional relationships.

Do you feel worthy and deserving of the best life has to offer? I certainly hope so!

However, many people do not feel worthy and have held onto to their negative beliefs all their lives. They might have been true at some time in your life, but are they still true today?

Our beliefs are engrained in us from the messages we heard from early childhood that carry us into adulthood. 

One clear positive message I heard often from my father from when I was very young was, “Honey, honey, honey, of course you can do it.” Hearing him say this engrained it in my belief system. I still hear his voice today.

Sometimes our beliefs lift us up, and sometimes they hold us back from taking on a project, achieving a goal, believing in our abilities, or just feeling good about ourselves. We hold onto “I am not good enough (or smart, talented, pretty, etc.)” because we don’t understand that these beliefs have somehow become our truth.  We hold onto the positive messages, but people sometimes hold onto the negative ones more. Those negative beliefs can be incredibly powerful!

I know that exploring the past can be daunting and painful, and there are memories you might prefer to forget. However, exploring those memories will help you understand more about yourself.  Joseph Campbell, American Professor of Literature whose work covered many aspects of the human experience once said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

For instance, growing up I often heard I was too sensitive because my feelings would get hurt easily. I would feel so badly about a situation and then my father would say “Honey, honey, honey, you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.” The message I heard was that being sensitive was not a good thing.

Fast forward to adulthood where I am in a field where I help people, and I have found that being sensitive is an asset and a strength. I have changed the message about being sensitive from a bad thing to a positive one.  It took work to change the negative belief of “being too sensitive,” but I’ve done it!

How did I change my belief? By listening to the newer messages people were telling me and watching how people were reacting to my being sensitive to their needs.

What if some of the negative messages you heard when you were younger weren’t actually true?  Have you ever challenged them and asked yourself, “Are these really true? Even if they were… do they mean the same thing today??

One final example of how our beliefs can sometimes not serve us well is found in the journey to becoming a parent.  I have heard many times, “I want to give my child what I did not have.” Maybe growing up they lacked affection, or material goods, or wish they could have attended an Ivy League University. Parents want to live the life they wish they had through their children.

It makes me think, “What makes the parent believe that their child wants what they didn’t get?” Don’t you want to give your children what they want and need? You cannot go back to your childhood to give you what you did not get, but you can give your adult self a variation of what was missing from your childhood. I believe that a healthier belief system makes for a stronger parent.

So, what limiting self-beliefs are you currently holding onto? And how do YOU know them to be TRUE?

  • Do you want to stop feeling so badly about yourself?
  • Do you want to ask to be on a challenging project?
  • Do you want to feel confident during the next staff meeting or presentation?

Now is Your time to take some action with these steps one at a time. 

  1. Uncover your limiting self-beliefs. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and be as honest with yourself as possible. It might be painful at first and it is a great beginning. Start by drawing at T on a piece of paper where on one side you write down all the beliefs you have about yourself – both positive and negative. On the other side of the T indicate if you believe them to be true or false.
  2. Understand the origin. This step will help you gain an understanding of how and why you have those beliefs. This is not about placing blame; rather, it will give you insight about where the things you believe came from. Ask a family member you trust to talk about your childhood with the intention of learning more of how you were raised. Steven Covey suggests that we “seek to understand.” This is good to remember at this step.
  3. Work on letting go at your own pace. Decide which messages you want to work on changing based on your list.  Seek help, read books, listen to podcast, or even hire a coach or counselor who can guide you through the process. Be patient and loving with yourself too as this will take time to let go.

As children, we take in all kinds of messages that form our beliefs about ourselves and others. These messages help us develop our behaviors, habits, and our belief system into adulthood. As children, we do not have the whereabouts to understand the why or the tools to make changes. However, as adults you begin to understand yourself more deeply and life’s situations triggers some of those not so positive messages you heard from childhood.

If you have beliefs that are holding you back from having unhealthy relationships and situations in your personal and professional life, it is not too late to take responsibility as an adult. You are not responsible for what happened or did not happen to you as children. However, you are responsible for what happens to you as an adult.

Your life matters and you matter too. I have the utmost confidence in your ability to uncover and let go of your limited beliefs that has prevented you from achieving your greatness!