The following dialogue is from my Clear Channel Radio interview on powerful steps to take for greater career success:
1. What is the most important piece of advice you can give someone seeking a new career opportunity? Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. It’s all about them! They will make decisions according to your manner of speech, attitude, mannerisms, overall image (how you will represent them to the world), energy (positive, negative, high, low) and amount of enthusiasm (or lack thereof). Do you sound positive, tired, enthusiastic, effective, confident? You want to show you have the kind of drive, work ethic and sense of urgency to provide the best service? These are all qualities that can make people become raving fans of yours!
2. The younger generation in particular has been told by professors that their appearance is not all that important, but their business skills. Does that immediate impression when two people meet really make that much difference? That first impression is made in as little as seven seconds and some people will actually make judgments on a person’s outlook on life, self-image, moral character, economic and educational levels, trustworthiness, social position, and their future success. Is that fair? No. Does it happen? Yes. We have about twenty seconds to get the gist of our message (including who we are and how serious we are about the job) across the other person before they make a judgment as to whether they want to continue the conversation or move on. A messy appearance or revealing clothing invariably sends a negative message. We always want to leave with the kind of positive impression that will prompt them to call us back again. A negative appearance can close a door before we even have the chance to show how qualified we really are!
3. What suggestions can you give someone who wants to switch career fields? They need to market themselves as a “skills merchant.” What I mean by that is show themselves as a “package of skills” that can be transferred to the position they want. For example, when I was in staffing, a farmer came in seeking to get out of farming and into a business environment. He asked if there was any way that was possible due to the type of work he came from. I began questioning his work experience by stating examples of the type of work he must have done over the years, which included bookkeeping, inventory, ordering supplies, selling stock, negotiating fees and services, and time management and computer skills. We were able to create an effective resume showing all of the qualifications that could be transferred to a new career. Research the companies and types of jobs that you want and then see how many skills you can transfer. Your drive, enthusiasm and creativity in problem-solving can often make up for the difference in skills you lack. Show that you have the majority of skills and also the initiative to begin acquiring the ones you don’t have yet. Include work you did as a volunteer or how good you were at raising funds or recruiting volunteers. A positive, can-do attitude is critical as we can always teach some new skills but it’s hard to teach someone how to have the right attitude.
Stay tuned for part 2 for exceptional ways to stand out in the crowd of the working world!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is a national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a career and virtual presentations coach with Transformation Academy, LLC. She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and a contributing author to “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being -The Total Woman in Leadership and Success Guide for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the Small Business Association of the Midlands and co-director of greater Omaha’s Affiliated Women International. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org.