Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Timing is Everything

You have often heard that timing is everything; well, I can’t think of a better time to get yourself tuned into a solid plan for your career. As I have shared with you in the past, a surprising number of seemingly well educated, experienced professionals allow themselves to go through long periods of time without the benefit of clear and compelling career goals. What effect do you think the current “bad economy drumbeat” is having on people in the workforce? Do you think there will be more people taking action like you are to get a solid plan pulled together, or do you think more will take a “wait and see” approach to their career? My work experience at Marshall Career Service tells me that in times of concern and worry, many people do exactly the opposite of what logic and common sense would tell them to do. Taking a “wait and see” approach is clearly not a good idea when employers get concerned about the economy and their workforce. Who do you think is most likely to stay in good graces at work; those who are well planned and goal oriented or the employee waiting to see what “might” happen?

Each of us has areas of responsibility for which we are paid to successfully complete. These responsibilities also support directly the responsibilities of those we report to and those reporting to us. An analogy of what you want to do in Part 2 of “Creating Compelling Career Goals” is to completely understand where you are now in order to best determine where it is you want to go in the future. Now is the time to breakdown in detail on paper all of the responsibilities making up your job. It becomes habit to lump multiple responsibilities into broad categories such as “production forecasting and budgeting”. The truth is that this one “responsibility” actually has numerous other essential “responsibilities” that must first be completed successfully. Think of this task as doing inventory; you want to look at everything you do down to the individual part or component level. What are the individual steps you take to accomplish each of your responsibilities? Build a detailed look at every aspect of your job.

As you to look at these responsibilities you can more clearly see what you are best at and what areas need some work. Continuing with the example of production forecasting and budgeting; you may see that you are really skilled at accurately predicting changes in raw material costs on the overall budget. What are the “sub skills” that you must also exercise successfully in order to consistently make solid predictions? Pretty good chance you are skilled in sitting down with the purchasing department and gaining their buy in and cooperation. Does this mean you are a good listener? Does it show skill in communicating needs and expectations? Are you beginning to see your skill in asking questioning to get to the heart of the matter? Does it demonstrate a clear ability to make and keep agreements? I know you can think of your own examples of sub skills you take for granted yet are a critical component to your overall success. You want to look at the details making up the broad tasks of each of your responsibilities. This is how to best understand your areas of responsibility.

Much of our success at Marshall Career Service can be attributed to our approach to understanding the depth of the position we are being hired to fill for our client. Our consultants are well skilled at building the level of trust and rapport needed to help our customers think of their needs at the “component level”. Continuing with our previous example; who would we recommend for hire if our client asks us to fill the position responsible for production forecasting and budgeting? Is this a job for a “numbers guy”, a crusty old manufacturing type or an agile rapport builder clear of purpose? It is a guessing game at best until our staff spends time exercising our skills with our clients. What I am telling you is that companies know what they are looking for, but have no idea what that looks like. Make sense?

Now let’s put this exercise back in the context of creating career goals. Within the company you currently work for, or for that matter any company you will ever work with, there are numerous sets of unique “sub skills” needed to succeed. Whether your company has 150 people or 15000 worldwide, the products you sell, the inherent nature of the business, the attitudes and belief systems of your leaders along with the background, experience and thought processes of each and every person shape the “sub skills” you utilize to get things done. No two companies and no two positions within them function the same way. Every position within every company is unique to that company. This is what makes successful hiring or conducting a successful job search so dog gone difficult. All of you accountants carry the same titles and job descriptions, yet none of you utilize the same set of “sub skills” to get your job done. If you will make the investment of time in yourself to “inventory” each of your responsibilities you will be taking an enormous step forward in positioning yourself for long term career success.

Remember “timing is everything”? Think within your current company; how many of your co-workers do you think will actually exercise the self discipline needed to accomplish this task? Who do you think will be best prepared for the upcoming evaluation or review? Who will be most likely to sell themselves in the next interview? And finally, who do you think will feel a huge shot of enthusiasm and self confidence that comes from inventorying your skills and successes? I will also just bet that your family and friends will also appreciate your “well timed” lighter attitude and smile on your face.

So the time I now, do your homework, lighten up and focus just a little more clearly everyday on what you want and where you want your life to take you. You have a much better grip on the steering wheel than what you might think! is a career resource written by Rick Marshall, president of Marshall Career Service, Inc. located in Fort Worth, Texas. Marshall and his staff are recognized as one of the leaders in the placement and recruiting profession specializing in career opportunities located in the North Texas area. Client companies and qualified candidates working with Marshall Career Service enjoy a true level of personal service not found in today’s resume driven times. To learn more about our areas of expertise please follow this link to our website. www.marshallcareerservice

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2 Ways to Beat Your Fear of Rejection, Backed by Research

Here is an interesting article that was on on July 8, 2015 by Eric Barker.
 ---Eric Barker writes Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
We all deal with fear of rejection. Jia Jiang did too. But he overcame it… thanks to a box of donuts.
He explains how this happened in his wonderful book, Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection.
His dream was to be an entrepreneur — and that means a lot of rejection. So how could he beat the fear?
By turning it into a game. For 100 days he made ridiculous requests of strangers, expecting to get rejected.
And get rejected he did. A lot. But he also got a number of unexpected “yes” responses as well:
·         Knocking on a stranger’s door, ball in hand, he asked “Can I play soccer in your backyard?” The response? “Come on in.”
·         He asked a policeman if he could drive his car. The answer? “Do it.”
·         And when he asked workers at Krispy Kreme if they’d make him donuts shaped like the Olympic Rings, they did. For free.
Pretty cool story, huh? I know; you’re not going to run around looking for rejection.
But by studying Jia’s experiment and the science behind rejection, what can we learn to help us overcome our fears, cope with the inevitable “NO” responses and get what we want in life?
A lot, actually. Let’s get to it.
(Please don’t stop reading now. I’ll feel rejected.)

Yes, Rejection Is *Very* Powerful
So let’s say you tried to join the KKK. But they rejected you. Who cares, right? They’re a group of ignorant racists.
Actually, the research says you might still feel bad:
…ostracism by despised outgroup members was no less aversive than ostracism by rival outgroup or ingroup members.
Crazy, huh? Rejection is so powerful it temporarily makes you stupid:
Rejection can dramatically reduce a person’s IQ and their ability to reason analytically, while increasing their aggression, according to new research. “These are very big effects – the biggest I’ve got in 25 years of research,” says Baumeister. “This tells us a lot about human nature. People really seem designed to get along with others, and when you’re excluded, this has significant effects.”
How can rejection be so powerful that you feel it even when you’re rejectedby a group you don’t even like?
Studies show your brain doesn’t distinguish between physical pain and emotional pain. To your mind, heartache and a heart attack aren’t all that different:
In a new study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have found that the same brain networks that are activated when you’re burned by hot coffee also light up when you think about a lover who has spurned you. In other words, the brain doesn’t appear to firmly distinguish between physical pain and intense emotional pain.
In fact, taking Tylenol can ease social pain just like it does physical pain. To your brain, they’re the same.
There’s a lot you can do to make people like you more. But you can never fully escape rejection. And the more you try to hide from it, the more you shrink your world, and the less chance you have of achieving your dreams.
So how should you approach situations where you might be rejected? What will make you more likely to succeed and less likely to feel that terrible pain?
Jia was on to something. And the answer is more fun than you think.

Make It A Game
Most of the platitudes people tell you about dealing with rejection aren’t helpful:
“Ignore it. Why do you care what they think, anyway?”
But feeling rejected is so emotional and fundamental, it’s very hard to dismiss it rationally.
Or they tell you to “face your fears.” Research shows that works. But, hey, that’s scary.
So what can you do? What Jia did. He made it a game.
Reframing things playfully with humor is no small thing. It kills stress.
In tense moments, explains the clinical psychologist Rod Martin… joking actually reformats your perception of a stressor. “Humor is about playing with ideas and concepts,” said Martin, who teaches at the University of Western Ontario. “So whenever we see something as funny; we’re looking at it from a different perspective. When people are trapped in a stressful situation and feeling overwhelmed, they’re stuck in one way of thinking: This is terrible. I’ve got to get out of here. But if you can take a humorous perspective, then by definition you’re looking at it differently — you’re breaking out of that rigid mind-set.”
When I spoke to a Navy SEAL, an Army Ranger and a Special Forces instructor, they all said that seeing things as a game was key to getting through their arduous training.
Joe Simpson shattered his leg while descending a mountain. He should have been a dead man. How did he keep going when anyone in their right mind would have just given up and died? He made it a game.
Simpson was learning what it means to be playful in such circumstances: “A pattern of movements developed after my initial wobbly hops and I meticulously repeated the pattern. Each pattern made up one step across the slope and I began to feel detached from everything around me. I thought of nothing but the patterns.” His struggle had become a dance, and the dance freed him from the terror of what he had to do.
Reframing stress as a challenge is one of the things Harvard researcher Shawn Achor said leads to success.
And instead of seeing rejection as a form of social death, Jia saw it as a game he was playing. And it became fun.
When he heard “no”, he didn’t feel like a loser. Eventually, he felt the way you might after losing at a video game: shrug and try again.
But what was so inspiring were the times when people joined his game. The workers at Krispy Kreme had fun playing, too.
(For more tips from a Navy SEAL on how to deal with the toughest challenges, click here.)
Okay, so you know how to look at situations where rejection is a possibility. But how do you cope with rejection when it happens? It starts with TV and teddy bears…

Take Comfort In Friends
When you look at lots of scientific research, you find some crazy stuff. And exploring rejection, well, that’s what happened to me.
What helps you deal with rejection? Um… thinking about your favorite TV shows:
Study 3 demonstrated that thinking about favored (but not non-favored) television programs buffers against drops in self-esteem and mood and against increases in feelings of rejection commonly elicited by threats to close relationships.
What else? Hugging a teddy bear:
Overall, the findings suggest that touching a teddy bear mitigates the negative effects of social exclusion to increase prosocial behavior.
Crazy, right? But before you lose your faith in science, let’s look at the broader pattern and see where it points…
·         Being in a happy marriage reduces the pain of chronic illness.
·         In fact, mere photos of loved ones actually reduce pain.
The answer seems to be relationships. Family, friends — even teddy bears — relieve pain. And as we saw, the brain doesn’t distinguish between the physical and emotional types. So rejection fits in here, too.
I know what you’re thinking: what does my favorite TV show have to do with relationships?
TV is a “social surrogate” — your favorite TV shows give you the same feeling of belonging that relationships do:
These results yield provocative preliminary evidence for the Social Surrogacy Hypothesis. Thinking about valued television programs appears to yield the experience of belongingness.
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of relationships. When you look at the research, what yes/no question can likely predict whether you will be alive and happy at age 80?
“Is there someone in your life whom you would feel comfortable phoning at four in the morning to tell your troubles to?”
University of Pennsylvania happiness expert Martin Seligman explains:
Is there someone in your life whom you would feel comfortable phoning at four in the morning to tell your troubles to? If your answer is yes, you will likely live longer than someone whose answer is no. For George Vaillant, the Harvard psychiatrist who discovered this fact, the master strength is the capacity to be loved. Conversely, as the social neuroscientist John Cacioppo has argued, loneliness is such a disabling condition that it compels the belief that the pursuit of relationships is a rock-bottom fundamental to human well-being.
And Jia had that too. He didn’t start his rejection-conquering journey on his own. His incredibly supportive wife told him to quit his job and pursue his passion. (And she was pregnant with their first child when she suggested it.)
When you face rejection — or any pain for that matter — the answer is to turn to those who do accept you and love you. They are the closest thing to a cure.
(For more on the science of how to make great friendships, click here.)
So we know how to approach possible rejection and how to deal with it when it happens. Let’s round this up and learn what steps to take next.

Sum Up
Jia and the research have two big insights:
·         Treat situations where we might be rejected as a game. It’s not life-or-death. Reframe stress as a challenge.
·         The cure for rejection is those who love us. You need acceptance. When you don’t get it, it hurts. So turn to where you know you will find it: the people who already love you.
By making rejection a game, you can try new things without fear. You can strive without worry.
And what you’ll find is what Jia found: people are often more receptive than you think. Research shows we underestimate how much others are willing to help us.
Studies demonstrate that the old saying is accurate: you regret most the things you did not do.
With loved ones around us, rejection doesn’t hurt for very long. Regret, on the other hand, can last a lifetime.
So make it a game. How else can you end up a winner?
This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.