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Archive for January, 2013

Communities: The Inside Track For Job Seekers

Communities: The Inside Track For Job Seekers

Imagine this: You are a manager and you need to fill a job. So, you have more work than you can handle – you are busy enough to need another person – and you have to take time out of your busy schedule to find a qualified person. Ugh.

Now you know if you put out an advertisement, you will get hundreds of resumes; may be hundreds of resumes each day. Many people are looking for jobs and they’ll send out resumes by the dozen, even is they are only remotely qualified. Who has time to sift through hundreds of resumes when you are already too busy doing your job?

Now imagine that a person who this manager knows and trusts walks in with a resume and says something like, “I know ‘so and so’. He/she is a hard worker, is reliable and diligent, is easy to get along with, and I think is a good fit for the job opening.”

The manager interviews this ‘so and so’. It’s a pretty good fit and the job is filled. May be the job was never even advertised. The outplacement company Challenger Gray & Christmas states in some of their press releases that up to 80% of the available jobs are never advertised, but are filled through other means like the referral in the above example. 

Once you understand that emailing your resume out to dozens of job postings is putting you in competition with hundreds of other job seekers, you realize that to get an insider’s advantage you need to spend most of your job search time doing something else.

What is this something else? 

Connect and reconnect with your communities!

 

Communities:

What is a community?  In Wikipedia you’ll find this excerpt: The word “community” is … a broad term for fellowship or organized society.

Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community no longer has geographical limitations, as people can now virtually gather in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location.

So — what communities do you belong to already?

1. Many schools and colleges have alumni associations. If you ever went to school, you are automatically part of that community.

2. Do you belong to a religious or spiritual organization? Consider both your current as well as past affiliations.

3. Any previous employer and former colleagues are a source of community.

4. Any professional associations you belong to or have belonged to.

5. Any hobbies that bring you together with other like-minded people.

6. Any continuing education, from book discussion groups at your local library, classes at your local community college, continuing education classes at your local high school or community recreation department: fellow classmates as well as teachers.

7. All the people you have a professional relationship with: your dentist and doctor, your dry cleaner and owner of the local ice cream shop or wherever you frequently go.

8. Your family and extended family, neighbors and friends.

This gives you an idea of how many people you already know.  When you add them all up, they easily can exceed 100 people. Some people will have contacts exceeding 100s of people.

In the olden days we put contact information in address books. If we didn’t stay in touch and when people moved, we lost track of them. Now with social media, you can find and reconnect or stay connected with many more people.

 

Taking it Further:

If you are not already on LinkedIn or Facebook, this is where you start. Build your profiles and find people whom you know and link to them or friend them. As you get to know new people who you are interested of staying in touch with, ask if they would like to stay connected through LinkedIn or Facebook. You should be able to connect with several 100 people over a period of time.

Now make a list of the companies you are considering as possible employers. On LinkedIn check if any of your connections are or have worked for those companies. Make contact with those connections by email or phone. Ask what it’s like to work there. If you like what you hear, find out if they have a referral program and if your connection would be willing to refer you. At minimum you might be able to get the name and contact info of a hiring manager in your area of interest. Hopefully you can set up an informational interview. This is not to get a job, but it is to create awareness of your availability and your skills and to show in interest in the organization.

Another networking tool is to find a professional organization in your field, which has regular meetings. Attend the meetings, volunteer on a committee, become visible and make connections.

The goal is to find out about a job, possibly one that is not advertised, and have someone recommend you for the position. You’ve just eliminated all your competition and tapped into the 80% of the job market that never gets advertised.

 

Contact me:

Many people struggle to take the steps they know they need to take. As a coach I can help you clarify what’s most important and offer support and accountability so you make important changes in your life. Think about the life you could have. For a free coaching consultation, call Edith at 847.913.3900. Isn’t it about time you invested in you and your goals?

Selective Eating for Your Health: It’s a Journey – Part II

Growing Emotionally Healthier While Eating Selectively

This is an exploration of how memories and beliefs we formed earlier in life can negatively impact how successful we are in achieving our current goals. Examples in this article are from my journey of following the advice in the book “The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss. But this isn’t about me. These examples are here to help you see how your own past can derail you and what you can do about it. By identifying current blocks and their link to a past memory or belief, their hold on us can simply dissipate. I hope these examples help you on your journey toward your goals.

One of the suggestions in Mr. Ferriss’ book is to start slowly. For a week, follow his “slow-carb” diet only at breakfast. Well, on that first day I felt like gagging all day. When exploring this with my “coach”, it traced back to a childhood event where I was told to eat something most unpleasant. Working through that scenario, I released the emotional hold it still had over me. So I almost derailed at breakfast on day one.

Somewhere around day two I developed an intense craving for soda, which I normally drink very rarely and which is not allowed. Working with my “coach” I was able to unearth a memory of another childhood event where my mother drank soda on occasion but I wasn’t allowed to have any. After releasing this memory, the craving lessened substantially.

On day three I became quite sad and despondent wondering if I could stick with this diet for a week, let alone for a whole month as I had planned. Again working with my “coach” I discovered that there was a childhood memory associated linking receiving food I liked with love from a parent. So, depriving myself of some of the foods I liked felt like being unloved. Wow, I was beginning to see that I have a lot of emotional baggage associated with food. I recommitted to resolving my food related issues and sticking with this diet for at least a month. Following the diet was harder than I had expected, but I approached each meal as if it was the only meal on the diet. Each meal I started over doing my best to follow Mr. Ferriss’ recommendations as closely as I felt able.

By day 4 I felt bored with the foods I had been eating and felt that I couldn’t possibly stick with eating the same few foods much longer.  Working through this issue with my “coach” I remembered that I had been a good cook when I was younger, but after repeated ridicule had taken on the belief that I couldn’t cook. I also discovered that somehow I had come to believe that I didn’t deserve to spend time on cooking meals for myself. Once I realized this, I took some time to search for “slow-carb” recipes online and expanded my choices with tasty and easy to make dishes. More importantly, I was more than halfway through the week and was working through my issues as they arose. Each issue I clear up will be one less issue holding me back from a healthy weight – for the rest of my life.

I hope that these examples from my own experience will help you become aware of your own struggles and how, by recognizing the origins, you can let go of the emotion associated with old memories and beliefs.

Call to Action:

If you have an unhealthy weight, I encourage you to work through any emotional issues you have around food. Once you resolve them, they will no longer have a grip on you, and you will naturally and effortlessly adhere to a healthier weight. Willpower can only take you so far, but in the end your unconscious emotions and beliefs are likely to take over and ruin even your best efforts. If you have unsuccessfully dieted before, get off the yo-yo and take control of all that is holding you back. You are worth it.

Taking it Farther:

Check out the Internet or the public library for a diet that works for you. I am currently following the diet from the book www.fourhourbody.com.

Contact me:

Do you have trouble following a diet and sticking with it? Are the goals reasonable and you still can’t do it? Have you checked with a doctor to see if there are medical reasons for an unhealthy weight? May be life coaching can help you let go of self-sabotaging behaviors or unconscious beliefs around food, and help you achieve your goals. For a free consultation call Edith at 847.913.3900

Selective Eating for your Health: It’s a Journey – Part I

Do you want to lose weight and NOT count calories?

Over the Holidays I connected with someone who had recently lost some weight. Feeling the need myself to curb my consistent upward trend on the scale over the last few years, I need to try to stop and reverse my own weight gain. I asked some questions and later did some research on Google. When I was done I settled on learning to follow the advice from the book “The 4-hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss.

Fortunately you don’t have to read the entire tome (well over 500 pages).  Mr. Ferriss describes several pathways through the book, about a 100 pages each, depending on your goal, whether it be weight loss, or muscle or strength gain. I chose the path for weight loss and it does not include counting calories.

What I find intriguing about Mr. Ferriss’ book are all the little tips sprinkled throughout. He not only has researched the topics extremely well, he also experiments on himself extensively. With the information from MANY experts, his own experiments, and a cadre of volunteers testing his conclusions, I choose to experiment to see if his advice will work for me as well.

Here are some examples of his tidbits I found interesting:

  • 80 seconds of exercise before eating and 1 ½ hours after eating is all that is needed to gain muscle instead of fat from a meal. Mr. Ferriss has researched the Minimum Effective Dose (MED) for doing anything helping with weight loss.
  • Fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchee provide healthy bacteria as well as increased libido. Mr. Ferriss eats 5 forkfuls daily before breakfast.
  • Cinnamon decreases blood glucose levels as well as LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It slows down the rate at which food empties from the stomach and can therefore make you feel full faster. But be careful, cinnamon is also a blood thinner and intake should be limited to 1 ½ teaspoons or less per day.
  • Fat is not just under your skin, it also forms around your organs.

Call to Action:

Whether you weigh more than what is a healthy weight for you, or you want to build a body that is a pleasure to look at, Mr. Ferriss has a roadmap to getting there. I highly recommend his book. But even if you decide to follow another method to reach a healthy weight, find something you can do. As Mr. Ferriss states, “a mediocre method you stick with is better than a great method you give up on”. Give yourself a reasonable goal and stick to it. I intend to give this method a try for a month and then review my progress and my ability to stick with it.

Taking it Farther:

More information is available at www.fourhourbody.com.

Contact me:

Do you have trouble following a diet and sticking with it? Are the goals reasonable and you still can’t do it? Have you checked with a doctor to see if there are medical reasons for an unhealthy weight? May be life coaching can help you let go of self-sabotaging behaviors and help you achieve your goals. Call Edith at 847.913.3900

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