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Entries for the 'Job Search Tips' Category

Bill Heatley on Graduation and Finding Meaningful Work

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Bill Heatley never disappoints with his insightful reframing of work and success in terms of human spirituality and our relationships with God.

Check out his recent interview with “tothesource”. (click here)

In this interview Heatley discusses the transition from college life to work life and some of the misconceptions, myths, and empty promises that young people face. He offers the refreshing and challenging alternative that work might actually be a place to bless society and each other through meaningful participation.

Two realms (work and religion) that most people keep compartmentalized, he comfortably integrates with language that is both accessible and helpful.

Bill is a kindred spirit regarding the natural integration of work and faith. If you have not met Bill, you need to do so right away. 

Bill Heatley is also the author of The Gift of Work, a helpful rethink of our workplace commitments in terms of God’s larger intentions for our well-being.

Loving Monday: Wishing You Were More

Monday, April 2nd, 2012


Have  you ever thought that you should be more than you are? More experienced, more skilled, more relational, more organized, etc.?

Our hiring practices can lead us to believe that there are ideal people out there somewhere. And we mistakenly conclude that we are not one of them.

We compare diverse, complex individuals against our idealized preferences as laid out in a depersonalized list of job responsibilities, qualifications, and characteristics.

(We’ll leave the disasters and complications that such a process creates for the hiring process for another article.)

For today, though, I want to look at how we inadvertently buy into and compare ourselves with these idealized myths of the omni-competent professional.

Well of course we always come up short against such an unfair and unrealistic comparison.

Many of us react by thinking we should be other than we are… more than we are. We think we are lacking in some regard, deficient, or inadequate.

The result of such thinking is disastrous.

Once we believe that we are not enough or wish that we were more than we are, we begin behaving accordingly. We sabotage our own well-earned giftedness, (more…)

Loving Monday: Staying in the Game

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

loving_mondayThere are times when simply getting the job done isn’t enough.

There are times when how the work was completed overshadows that the work was completed.

We all get weary. We all experience boredom, stress, and fatigue among other difficulties at work.

Very few of us can simply override these feelings by sheer force of will, working with as much vigor, enthusiasm and effort as we would in the best of times.

We need a way to stay in the game when work and life pressures are weighing heavily on our spirits.

Who would you give the promotion to? The person who is engaged or the person who is distracted? The person who is taking the initiative or the person who is doing the bare minimum?

Who would you give the job to? The person who believes in their ability to make a meaningful contribution or the person who is trying to get away from a bad supervisor? The person who is eager to jump in with both feet, or the person who wants to know how much overtime is expected?

We need a way to hold ourselves with poise and a comfortable confidence. We need a way to stay interested and engaged. We need a way to restore (more…)

Interview Tips: 100 Ways to Prepare, Participate and Be Present

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

As if looking for work wasn’t stressful enough.

Interviews can be nerve-wracking affairs. No matter how mutual you try to make the exchange, there is no getting away from the fact that the hiring person has the job and you don’t.

As a result of this power differential, we can easily feel that we are the only one on trial, the only one being evaluated, the only one with much at stake.

Mike King is someone I keep my eye on. He has put together an almost overwhelming list of 100 interview tips. You can find it at: “100 Ways to Ace an Interview” on his web site Learn This.

Suggestion for benefiting from King’s list
Read quickly through the list paying special attention to your initial responses as you do so.

  1. Which three tips seem most immediately helpful to you?
    Decide how you will incorporate these three ideas into your next interview.
  2. Which three tips were brand new or surprising thoughts for you?
    Reflect on what you might be able to learn from these three tips.
  3. With which three tips do you disagree most?
    Disagreement is often a clue to an important value of your own. What underlying values of yours do these three tips violate?

We want to be playing at the top of our game when interviewing. Playing at the top of one’s game, though, does not mean play-acting. It means showing up fully yourself and comfortably yourself.

Click here for Mike King’s “100 Ways to Ace an Interview.”

On your side,

– Karl Edwards

Loving Monday: Remembering The Truth About You

Monday, December 13th, 2010

loving_mondayFor too many people these days, Monday morning does not begin a new week at work. Monday begins a new week of looking for work.

Having a bad job can wear one down, but having no job can wear one out.

The experience of repeated rejections is difficult not to make personal and internalize.

We lose confidence. We lose energy. We begin to think that we might be the problem and not the economy.

It is in this situation that Monday becomes a weekly opportunity to pause and remind ourselves of the truth. The truth about ourselves, our skills, our capabilities and our character. The truth about the job market. 12% unemployment is unparalleled in our working lives. This is no ordinary cyclical recession that we can wait out.

The title of the column, “Loving Monday,” almost sounds like someone is mocking our pain. How can we love beginning another week of hustling ourselves to a working world that has curled up into a fetal position in the corner until some undisclosed future time when it feels safe to make commitments again?

The truth, though, is that you are a valuable professional. You bring a marvelous set of skills, perspectives, experiences, personality, attitude, and competencies.

Regardless of the economic reality by which so many businesses find themselves constrained, you have value. Enormous value.

This fact is the truth that needs to be reengaged each Monday morning as you launch another strenuous week of telephone calls, letters, emails, coffees, lunches, networking efforts, and interviews.

While always tiring, while sometimes discouraging, while occasionally depressing, our continued job hunting efforts nonetheless give credence to the larger truth. The truth that we have value.

If you need a more personal reminder of the deeper truth of your value, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

On your side,

- Karl Edwards

Loving Monday is a weekly column designed to encourage us to step into our weeks with an intention to show up authentically, engage fully, and choose to make it a good week for ourselves. Explore past columns here.

BlogWorld 2010 -> 7 Ways to Take Action Now

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

BlogWorld BadgeThe largest Blogworld yet is behind us.

What now?

The hours of helpful (and not so helpful) seminars, the miles we walked on the trade floor, the networking parties, and the innumerable conversations with vendors, future partners and potential customers. We are hopefully inspired. We might be overwhelmed. We are definitely exhausted.

We came away with many new ideas. Maybe too many! Maybe just enough so that once we get back into the grind of our busy lives, we don’t find our way to act on any of these great ideas.

It is too easy to leave all those great ideas in that closed notebook on the desk. Too often we never get around to sifting through the computer files where we stored those ingenious tidbits that were going to transform our business.

Here are 7 trajectories of action that you can use to guide your after-the-show efforts.

1. Attitude Boost

Participating and persevering in a still-emerging industry during a struggling economy requires courage, passion, and energy.

Select one source of inspiration from the expo that resonated deeply with the challenges you face. What is one way you can transform that model, story, and/or attitude into a vehicle to recharge your juices, restore your confidence and/or rededicate your efforts?

Take action to boost and reinforce your attitude for the work ahead.

2. Personal Branding

Feeling your blog is lost in a crowded sea of exponentially expanding bloggers, consultants, experts, celebrities and companies?

Which one or two speakers at BlogWorld do you remember most clearly? Why do you think the memory is so clear? How do they describe themselves in their title, (more…)

Thought Leaders Unpacked -> What the Dog Saw #14: Late Bloomers

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

thought-leadersJust call me, “Cézanne.”

Having enjoyed a multi-faceted career, I could easily buy into any of the many interpretations others have provided to make sense of the diversity of roles I have held through the years. Interpretations, that is, that come from a particular frame of reference that Malcolm Gladwell explores in this week’s chapter on “Late Bloomers.”

What-the-Dog-SawMultiple roles could be a symptom of being lost. Unable to find my way, my calling, my destiny, I could be moving from role to role in search of something that feels like home.

I could be a loser of sorts. Kidding myself into believing that I am God’s gift to humanity. I don’t see that my personality grates, my skills are archaic, and my working style is neither productive nor helpful.

I could have my priorities mixed up. Preferring to inaugurate entirely new visions of capitalism for the 21st century, I neglect being a stable, domestic provider who makes sure that each week’s expenses corresponds with a particular paycheck that covers them.

What if, though, I were exactly where I belonged during each stage of my professional journey so far? What if the only way forward is to take another step? What about uncharted territory where the path only becomes visible when looking back at where we have been?

When experience is one of life’s teachers, then the knowledge, experience and connections needed to see which path to take can only be found in actually proceeding down a path. In the doing is the learning, the adjusting, the maturing.

Gladwell’s insight into our culture’s fallacious assumption that genius comes early and easily is a breath of fresh air to those of us who experience the world so startlingly different that we struggle to find vocabulary, context and/or means to communicate, persuade and create all that burns deep within.

This week’s chapter seemed written especially for me. Give it a read. It might be especially for you too.

You never know. You or I may be the next, “Cézanne.”

Join the conversation. What was your main take-away from this chapter?

Each week I post my reflections from one chapter of What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.

Keeping it Real: It’s Easier to be Yourself

Friday, May 21st, 2010

I am the world’s foremost expert on being me.

I am a novice at being someone else. Anyone else. Even someone else from whom I might have a lot to learn.

Yet so many consultants, coaches and career counselors are advising us that we need to be someone other than ourselves.

“If you want the job.” “If you’re serious about the promotion.” “If you want to negotiate well.”

I find myself over-thinking interview and sales situations. I am managing both a conversation with the person I am with as well as a conversation with myself about how I am going about the conversation with the other person.

How can I possible be fully present with someone when I am preoccupied with talking to myself?

I’m not! is the answer I pretty consistently receive from those willing to tell me.

Key for me has been realizing that I am an incredible expert on being myself. The task doesn’t require any more thinking. I can give my full attention to the issue on the table and the people I am with.

When I let go of the need to impress, to appear unrealistically competent, or to artificially mirror the qualifications of an attractive job description, I am free to come alive in the skin within which I am most comfortable—my own.

I make a very attractive “me.” Even if I’m not a fit or match for every client, job or interview, I will come across infinitely better as myself than any image of competence I might be tempted to put on.

It’s simply much easier to be oneself.

On your side,

- Karl Edwards

Keeping It Real is the column where I share what I myself am learning. Beware of the leader who is not always learning themselves!

Job Search Tip -> Distinct or Odd?

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

MeaningFull-CareersDistinct or odd?

The connotation is everything.

Being distinct adds to our value. Being odd detracts.

Being distinct means that you bring something to the table that no one else does. Being odd means that you bring something to the table that no one else wants.

DistinctOur distinctives are attributes of which we are proud, aware, and take care to maximize. Our oddities are attributes about which we remain silent, are often unaware, and pop up when we least expect them.

When looking for work, we want to be well versed in and comfortably articulate about our distinctives. These unique attributes add value to the working community and increase our attractiveness as a candidate.

Your distinctness may just be what separates you from the competition and gets you the job.

Try this exercise. Write out as many of your personal attributes as you can think of. Keep writing until you’re exhausted and then add twenty more.

Then go through the list and circle the ten that relate best to the specific job for which you are applying. Finally, of those ten, highlight the one to three attributes that might be unique to you or are specialties of yours.

Now you have a few specific attributes to talk about with a prospective employer. They may turn out to be distinct attributes. They may turn out to be what distinguishes you from the other applicants.

Your distinctives make you attractive. Your oddities… well… let’s just say, focus on the positive.