Tag Archives: personal career

TI (9)? I Exist… And You?

Much has happened over the past week as David slouches in the saddle once again. Last time we reviewed how the power of affirmations and visualization can lead to great success, personally and professionally. Catching up with David we find that part of his process during the termination process revolves around one simple question: “Are you existing or living?”

DSC_0090 Two weeks ago I asked David to begin the affirmation and visualization process – of which he states he has. Problem is, he now questions if there is a meaning in life or do we just exist between birth and death? Actually a complicated question asked throughout the ages… and first asked (officially) by a Socrates. So many years later, same question… same excuses.

David: “Once terminated by Bertha, I stopped thinking about duties of the day and began to think about purpose… or if there is one. This thought hit hard last week while standing in a return line at Walmart. I saw on the faces of all entering sadness, hollowness, and burden. Their eyes and body language yelled existence, not living. I stood there, wondering if my eyes disclosed the same lack of passion… water began to swell and I’m not really sure why. I just felt so much sadness, like I was drowning in a river of emptiness.”

Taking David’s thought to the next level, questions slid inside a diving pool… are we poised to ask, do we dare ask, are we afraid of the answer: “Are you living or existing? Are you happy with your life, your career, and who you are?” With heaviness, I followed David’s experience at Walmart and took trip to our local market for a view from my own eyes.

Like David, I saw what he saw… for the first time my eyes opened to a world where self- and social- delusion no longer blinded vision. Who knows, perhaps I noticed you in the crowd… did you see me or are you capable of sight?

Knowing the vast majority of people are not satisfied with their current job/position, I would like to know how you are going through each day without purpose, not just professionally. With this, I encourage each reader to take the next fifteen minutes to reflect on themselves and respond to the following (would appreciate feedback but expect none):

  • What does the concept “exist” mean and how does it differ from the concept of “living”
  • Are you doing what you believe you were born to do
  • What keeps you motivated, professionally and personally (please do not say money)
  • When you are gone, what do you want to be remembered for (do not mention easy things like being a great mom, a great dad, a hard worker, a religious person, a great knitter—I am looking for something unique—and we are all unique—and personal)

With these questions in mind, I went back to David and asked for his insight. As expected, David remained depressed over the termination.

David: “When teaching and seeing student eyes open to new possibilities and insight, I grasped a sense of wonder dreamed about as a young child. Yeah, I’ve owned, operated, and ran large and small organizations, but the feeling of being alive was only profound when teaching. Bertha took that away, and enjoyed doing it. I’m trying to visualize regaining that sense of self, but all I see is her smile, smirking and slashing without regard to civility, right or wrong.”

Danny: “Yes, getting back on the track to ‘living’ is not going to be easy, but it can be regained. Perhaps you will find some comfort in the old saying, ‘what comes around, goes around?’ Who knows what karma has in store.”

What about you? Are you afraid to look into the mirror with eyes no longer shut? Are you existing day to day until death or are you living, appreciating the moment? When was the last time your body thanked your lungs for air? Think about it before slighting the question as being silly. Look behind the veil, if you can.

I’m not asking for me, I’m asking for you: Are you existing or are you living?

Looking onward, David comes to share more about his trip(s) and times alone with Bertha. Through the next few letters, you will recognize the deceit and desperation behind the makeup Bertha wore so well.

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how ECS can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Blog site: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Success: Visualizing the New Year

Last week we discussed the bright possibilities that are brought on by the New Year. We discussed how, in order to make progress in finding personal and professional success, there MUST be changes. post clips for blog

The first step highlighted in this process was visualization. Anyone can daydream, but I thought we could walk through specifics that will help make your daydream productive, one that leads to a better future.

Take a moment and close your eyes. Picture your life as though it were drawn on a transparent sheet. Now, picture your dream life in the same way. In your mind, lay the “dream” transparency on top of the “real” one. Where are the differences? Does your house look different, or your hair, or do you? Is there someone beside you in either one?

What about your career, your school, your personal life? Does it stay the same when you lay the sheet down or is there something bigger and brighter on your “dream” sheet?

* Time to quantify: On a scale of 1 to 10, how different is your vision for your life from your actual life?

No matter the number, don’t forget that I’m not here to bring you down. It’s ok if you recognize that you are far from where you want to be. If anything, that means you still have an adventure on your hands.

I’ve heard it said that Complacency is the enemy of Contentment. Yet, many people who feel they’ve “made it” to where they always wanted to be will find just that – Complacency.

Regardless of your proximity to the goals of your dreams, the point is that there is something you can do to make this year unbelievable.

Right this moment, get some scrap paper and brainstorm without boundary. Consider it an exercise in the stream of consciousness, an exercise which may seem silly but can be the spark igniting a new and exciting journey.

While brainstorming, write down every career idea you’ve ever had. Notice the keyword: idea… these are not necessarily jobs you have had but jobs you have always wanted to have. After scattering the many career/job ideas, time to make a list of top two or three that are realistic in nature. For example, if you want to be a professional soccer player but you are not the athletic type, be realistic and don’t prioritize soccer. Then again, given your background, experience, and personality, if you always wanted to be a counselor, you may want to place that on the top three choices.

Your Visualization chart may look something like this:

brain stormOnce you’ve got several ideas scattered across your page, chug a glass of water, put some headphones in, and go for a walk. The exercise will get your blood and brain pumping, and the music will spur your imagination.

Come back later to the scatter-sheet and start in on the branches. Pros, cons, details, length of time you’ve secretly wanted to do it. For every career option there should be at least four to five branches. If you run out of paper, get more. There is no excuse not to finish this.

This is the paper that you want to put away for a day or two. Just put it in a drawer and resume your normal life. Your subconscious will keep up with it for you. When we come back next week, we’ll take the next steps. In the meantime, get dreaming!

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Emotional Intelligence: Your BEST Career Move

Mo-Duck
Mo-Duck

Listen to Plato. He was a smart, crafty guy who said, “All learning has an emotional base.” He figured out an important skill, one gaining more and more traction in the modern career marketplace, ages before us fancy, savvy moderns dubbed it “Emotional Intelligence.”

In typical fashion, researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic. Regardless of this conflicting data, students and young adults need to be aware of and embrace the growing importance of this ever more popular, sought after skill.

Ironing out semantic wrinkles, time to clipboard emotional intelligence:

1. Perceiving emotions.
Students and young adults new to the workforce need to exhibit this important skill. They must learn to understand the difference between colleagues’ emotions, such as anger, sarcasm, humor, seriousness, etc., in order to know how to respond appropriately. This is a critical skill for both the networking world, as well as the workplace. They must be able to read verbal and nonverbal language or queues. Mastering this factor makes it possible to accomplish the remaining three.

2. Reasoning with emotions.
This EI trait means being able to understand important skills like problem solving, creativity and analytical thinking. Candidates possessing this skill can adapt to situations that require said skills. Especially for students and young adults with a shortage of solid job-related skills, showing and putting these abilities to use is vital.

3. Understanding emotions.
This trait means being able to distinguish between what’s in your control and what’s out of your control. It involves possessing the ability to realize that people display a variety of emotions and for a variety of reasons. Students and young adults must be able to see the reality behind certain workplace situations. For example, a co-worker, boss, or friend may be acting angry because they’re upset with you for some reason, but they also may simply be having a bad day… or are perhaps upset because they forgot to record last night’s episode of The Voice.

4. Managing emotions.
This is the ability for simple self-control and controlling your emotional response in reaction to the emotions of others around you. A good example would be not reacting negatively to a colleague or a customer who is upset or not taking their complaints personally, rather simply dealing with the conflict. A student or young worker who can achieve this will always be a valuable part of the workforce by possessing a knack for getting people to join his or her team.

The above list may seem like obvious, common sense knowledge when one lists it all out like this. It may seem more like sense than skill, but then you have to stop and ask yourself: When was the last time you were in conflict with another human being, personal or professional, because you perhaps didn’t pay such close attention to one of those four skills?

Chances are you won’t have to search your memory much farther than within the past few days to get an answer to that question.

Do yourself a personal and professional favor and pay a little closer attention to yourself, looking for new opportunities at home or at work to brush up on and put some of your emotional intelligence skills to use.

Being able to better understand the people you most often connect with is such a personal, marketable skill that it will always be in demand. In any job. In any relationship.

Interested in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters, visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available products and support. Contact our professional staff directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Article penned by Bret Hoveskeland
Writer/Editor with Education Career Services
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Breakout: Where are the jobs?

Over the past few months more and more people throughout the Greater Orlando area have been writing in with one basic question: “Where are the jobs?” Though there are no job-warehouses impatiently waiting for your application, rest assured, companies ARE hiring.

Unfortunately for most, jobs are NOT growing on a tree where all you have to do is pluck the one you want as you passively stroll on by. Taking a passive approach does not do you or your career success a favor.

For the record, I consider an individual putting in less than four hours a day pursuing for a job to be taking a passive approach. How about a quick survey of sorts, raise your hand if the following refers to you: I spend less than two hours a day on my career campaign? If you raised your hand, congratulations as your complacency will allow you take advantage of unemployment longer than your aggressive counterpart… do you feel lucky!

As many career management studies indicate, most people undergoing a career transition spends an average of 3.5 hours daily looking for employment.

After looking at this morning’s job classified in the Orlando Sentinel, I came away quite under-whelmed as the amount of jobs were an embarrassment… so glad President Obama’s job stimulus program is working the same way most politicians work… not at all (oops, did I say that out loud?).

Despite political efforts to dampen the field, companies are hiring. For those living under a rock, companies skipped rope and have jumped away from the traditional method of newspapers to another medium. So, where are jobs to be found?

Did you know: The top career management associations in the United States suggest that only 20% to 30% of all job openings are listed traditionally; meaning that 70% to 80% of all jobs are not advertised!

The above statistic is bad news for the passive job seeker but GREAT news for the aggressive job seeker. The aggressive job seeker works at finding work six to eight hours daily and is finding payday (on average) four to six months quicker than the second-handers (any Ayn Rand fans out there?).

If job listings are not advertised, why did they leave and where are they?

Let’s tackle the first question first and understand why companies turned away from traditional advertising. Though the main reason is obvious, I’ll say it anyway: MONEY. The cost of print advertising has skyrocketed to the point of absurdity (even more than the price of gas—go figure).

In addition to the increased cost factor, demographics come into play. Newspapers cater to a limited area and to a limited audience. In order for companies to be competitive, they must attract and keep cutting-edge employees from across the globe. No longer is a village good enough (sorry Hillary, this is not child-rearing); companies on the move reach across village lines, state lines, and country lines to gain their competitive advantage.

With cost high and reach low, companies are taking advantage of low-cost methods to attract high quality candidates via two main avenues (both of which reside under the networking umbrella):

* Employee referrals: Companies enjoy this method of finding quality hires as it is cost effective while empowering current workers who now play an active role in the hiring process.
* Digital networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter has become the number one place for companies to secure help.

How does the shift from traditional advertising to a digital and employee referral system affect you? To be blunt, if you want to find your perfect job, networking is the key though you must maximize your efforts. Not to worry, we’ll review networking techniques as well as some of the do’s and don’ts in upcoming articles.

No doubt about it: In this day and age, an online presence is important. In fact, in some professions, not having an online presence is an immediate disqualifier.

Think about it the suspicion: If the hiring manager enters a name in a search engine and nothing comes up, he or she may wonder several things:

●  Why doesn’t their name show up?
●  Are they behind on the latest trends?
●  Do they not know how to use the Internet to its fullest?
●  What are they trying to hide?

Time to draw a line between professional networking and social networking. Professional networking is a place for business related discussions, not so
much social networking. Social networking, however, IS ALSO a place for business related discussions as well as personal.

Warning! Everything you do, post, or say on the Internet is fair game for employers.

Data triangulation is part of the hiring process… hiring managers are not just going to check the references on your reference document, they’ll do a Google search and more detail searches as part of your background check.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Ready or Not, Here YOU are

(Missed) Opportunities often come and go at the oddest of times and the most peculiar places. When it comes to networking, are you prepared?

While sitting in a reception area waiting my turn for a cut, the silence amongst the group of four was deafening. Thinking as a career coach and author, I wondered why no one was taking advantage of a perfect networking environment. After too-much silence, I took the first step and broke the ice by asking a young lady sitting next to me about the cause of a minor leg injury (her left ankle wrap was a giveaway).

Conversation lacked reciprocation and so I pushed it a bit further with questions regarding her many tattoos. I quickly learned she and her friend, sitting directly across, were recently in Virginia. I then asked what it is they do:

I am an unemployed call center supervisor, ”stated one while the other stated she was also unemployed. Here’s where the “Ready or Not, Here YOU are” comes full circle as the remainder of this discussion was directed toward the “other” unemployed individual (we’ll call Irma):

You’re unemployed. How long have you been unemployed?” I asked
Since January, but I really need to find a job.” Irma replied.
What is it that you are looking for?”
It doesn’t really matter, I just need a job.”
What were you doing?” I asked knowing this lady needed to understand the value of an introductory statement/elevator speech.
An administrative assistant.” Irma responded with nothing more to share.
Seeing an opening, I pounced with “why would someone want to hire you?”
I’m a hard worker and good at what I do.”

Not satisfied with rhetoric, I then asked her what I typically ask all applicants during the interview process: “I have two other applicants also claiming to be hard workers and good at what they do, why should I consider you and not the other two?”
I am a hard worker,” she repeated and added “I offer the total package.”
Not knowing what that meant, I asked her to give me an example of a situation requiring her action, what she did, and what was the result.

Thrown back a bit, more non-specific, non-quantifiable verbiage flowed from her mouth.
“These are nice qualities just about EVERYONE will say, but I need more… I need examples, confirmation, something believable giving you an advantage.”

After a short pause, I informed the two that I own a career management and publishing company and know how difficult it is to locate and secure jobs. Without pause, Irma asked “can I have a job.” I responded that “nothing was available but one never knows what will happen next month or perhaps someone else I know has a need for an administrative assistant possessing the total package.”

I then asked for her card just in case, Irma had no card.

Once my hair succumbed to butchery, I politely paid the receptionist and, as I was leaving the establishment, gave the unemployed a card with my email address and website information. Three days later, still no word, no email, no connection from Irma.

Taking advantages of golden opportunities means being prepared at all places and at all times. After all, no matter where you are, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.

Reviewing Irma’s missed opportunity, what went wrong?
●   An initial reluctance to begin or take part in a conversation
●   Lacked an elevator speech or 30-second commercial
●   No true professional objective
●   The inability to quantify value in the workplace
●   Too much talk, not enough action
●   No introductory or business card
●   Asking for a job
●   Neglecting to follow-up

No doubt the above does not reflect all of the things that went wrong but it is enough for now.

Let’s place you in Irma’s shoes… Are you prepared? Before answering if you are Ready or not, take a few moments and respond to the following
●   What distinguishes you from the other two finalists (be specific and offer examples)?
●   Do you have a business or introductory cared with you at ALL times?
●   Do you know what you are looking for in a job, really?
●   Why should I hire you?

The next time you are standing in line, waiting for your appointment, or even riding an elevator, take a deep breath and put yourself out there.

After all, no matter where you are, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.

ECS offers cutting-edge books and workbooks designed to give you a competitive edge. Throughout the pages, prepare yourself with hard hitting questions, truths, activities, samples, and proven strategies to improve your career station. For additional information, go to our storefront page on our website (www.edu-cs.com) or go to Amazon (simply search Danny at ECS).

For additional information or assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email me directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.educationcareerservices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Art and Local Involvement

Catering to our talented concentration of artistic and creative professionals, Artists Square’s CEO, Racquel Cruz, asked member Dyanne Parker, owner/founder at “Canvas and Cheers, Inc., (where u paint and pARTy) the following question:

Does volunteering and local involvement greatly enhance your art sales for your career goals?

Building relationships is the most important component in building any business. Art is adopted and not just purchased because a client falls in love with the color, subject, style, and mood of the piece. When someone acquires a piece of your art, they buy a piece of you and become extended family. It doesn’t get any more personal than that.

Career tip #1: The art business is personal and involves more emotion than selling a service or a retail product.

Spending almost twenty years in building a community and businesses as CEO of the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce, building relationships, serving on Board of Directors, committees and organizing hundreds of volunteer networks guaranteed not only the success of the Chamber but built a network for business to succeed. As a new business or new business leader, a business plan should spell out a plan for acquiring and building a database of key potential clients and how that network of leads would be reached.

Local involvement can greatly enhance your art business.

Involvement is a commitment and has to be built into your schedule whether weekly or monthly. Track your time spent and always track the leads, sales and contacts you make.  Don’t commit to an organization and not follow through as it can cause more negative perception than positive.

Volunteer and donate to great causes. Some of the greatest exposure is not only volunteering your time but also your creative work. Grab attention while contributing to events where your work is exhibited and displayed. Giving back always come back to you.

Auctions are a great venue to showcase your art as many will see it, several will place bids to attain your work, and someone will become the new owner. Donate brings ripples of positive return!

The more people you touch, the more potential you have. Remember that it’s more than just a numbers game; it’s truly building a network of people that you know.

Career tip #2: The key is identifying organizations to build relationships with potential clients that will also create referrals.

Get out there, contribute time and art. It will come back in great relationships, success in business and friendships.

Thank you Racquel for your question and special thanks goes out to Dyanne for her helpful insight. For those wishing to reach out directly to Dyanne, she is an active Artists-Square member, http://artists-square.com/DyanneParkerArt. For those not part of Artist’s Square, join and let me know your thoughts.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Follow me @DannyatECS

Career Breakout: Invisible, There is a Cure

“I’ve been working in the same position for close to four years and it seems as if I cannot advance in my career. What do you recommend I do to get recognized as an employee in it for the long haul and one wanting to grow?”

No doubt being recognized as a key player nowadays takes more than simply doing your job well. In such a competitive employee market, you must go beyond the call of duty or get lost in the shuffle or worse, become a victim of “right-sizing.”

Now that you’ve been with the same company for several years, NOW is the time to let your voice be heard in a professional and progressive manner. One of the most effective techniques of career recognition lies with you developing and submitting a one to three year plan. I realize this takes a bit of work on your part but the payoffs could be most rewarding.

Career Tip #1: A formal one to three year proposal can lift you well above your peers.

Last year one of my employers surprised me by providing an in-depth plan detailing steps she would be taking to become a more effective and valuable employee. Part of her plan was to complete her career coaching certification and also to introduce a web-based customer response team. Needless to say, her five-page proposal lifted her head and shoulders over other members in the department instantly.

Following up on her story, within three months she gained her coaching certificate and began coaching clients directly, increasing revenue while decreasing client services wait time. The following year she was promoted to department lead.

Developing and producing a formal strategic plan is not for every position and person but creating mini-career/company projections is something all employees can do. These shorter projections can be as simple as becoming more diverse within the company, for example, learning how to perform duties outside of your realm of expertise or department. Such learning show determination and increases the value you offer.

Career Tip #2: Diversifying your work duties beyond job descriptions gains value and career recognition.

Going back to the original question, I recommend you take a long look at the value you currently offer and what you can do to enhance your position. After writing several ideas down, think of the ways you can add value to the company and merge those thoughts into a formal proposal. Once you have your work proofed for errors (nothing like poor grammar to ruin a picnic), arrange for a meeting with your supervisor where you will submit your plan of action.

By submitting action and results, you are making a strong statement that you are a dedicated employee who is in for the long haul. As an employer, I actively search and promote dedicated and innovative employees, especially those going beyond normal operating standards. Unfortunately with large companies, taking a passive approach rarely gains recognition.

Career Tip #3: Actions you propose to take must be met or the career recognition you seek will not be favorable.

If you would like additional information or assistance in any career-related manner, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email me directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com or visit us at Amazon.com (search Huffman at ecs).

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.educationcareerservices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Performing Due Diligence

A few days ago I noticed a question on LinkedIn which I believe is a fairly common concern for most people seeking a job or those undergoing a career jump. Though the individual asking will be graduating soon, the issue is relatable for all levels. Here’s what Priya had on her mind:

Just graduated, what is the first step in finding a job?”

As a career textbook and publishing company, we hire a great many soon-to-be and fresh graduates. Nothing is more powerful for the candidate than displaying confidence and taking an initiative.

For the recent graduate, I suggest performing several weeks of due diligence in the form of researching companies of interest. After examining their blogs and website information, develop a single page introductory letter (filled with plenty of professional courtesy) and snail-mail prospective contacts within the selected organization.

Career Tip #1: Keep your letter to four paragraphs packed with personality and company benefit.

Your introductory letter is NOT a plea for a job, rather this letter briefly describes your education, knowledge, interests, and desire to learn more about your field of choice by eliciting a quick 15 minute (roughly) informational interview. Many graduates would be shocked to find out that the vast majority of executives and company personnel are willing (and desire) to share their experiences and methods to graduates beginning their journey(it’s kind of an ego thing too).

Remember that this is NOT a time to ask for a job. At the conclusion of your informational interview, ask if he or she has a few minutes for a face-to-face meeting where you can learn more about the hands-on environment within the company. Your goal is to develop a relationship and having the other person’s buy-in as this informational relationship bridges into a professional one.

Due diligence, research, and building a professional network conceived by an informational interview is one of the most effective techniques for career success, no matter your level of experience or education.

Career Tip #2
: Take advantage of your research by incorporating key concepts within your introductory letter.

Though the question was posed by a recent graduate, the benefits of performing due diligence by way of research and developing relationships can benefit everyone.

If you would like additional information about developing an introductory letter or assistance in any other career-related manner, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email me directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com or you can even check visit us at Amazon.com (search Huffman at ecs).

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.educationcareerservices.com
Twitter: @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Ink or Excuse?

In response to our most recent article dealing with tattoos, Christopher responded in the following manner…

I also have tattoos that are mostly where no one can see them but the few on my wrist are obvious. What do you suggest I do? I am a hard worker getting ready to graduate college.”

First of all, being unemployed and owning tattoos are not exclusive to each other. In other words, career success and ink can cohabitate. Not knowing your exact situation or background, I offer these general guidelines and job hunting strategies to enhance your personal career success:

  • Prepare an effective resume AND cover letter highlighting your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Overall, companies look for candidates with a proven track record. The reasoning here being that if you improved operations or increased sales with another company, you will do it again for their company. As a result, time to brag about achievements is NOW (detail accomplishments and responsibilities with numbers when possible)… simply stating you managed a sales team is not enough. To place your resume on the right pile, state the number of people you supervised and the bottom-line result due to your hard work and superior team leading skills.
  • Once you gain an interview, dress the part. Males should wear a suit accompanied by a tie (get over the tears and just do it) while the ladies should dress      professionally in a business suit of their own. Remember first impressions can ruin an opportunity.
  • Speaking of first impressions, let’s focus on your tattoos. As you will be wearing a long sleeve shirt (to go with your suit), unless there are facial markings, our concern      resides on the wrists. Wearing a watch on your right hand may shield a sliver (or most for some) and should be considered. I suggest the right hand as that is typically used during the initial handshake. Regarding your left hand, do not keep it in your pocket as that will raise suspicion.
  • If your tattoo catches a concerning eye, facial twitch, or remark, be honest but do not state any prejudicial quips. For example, don’t make mention that during a college drinking binge in Las Vegas you woke up in a bathtub to notice a      permanent mark or during a three-year stint with the state it was part of a gang initiation. Not sure why but some companies don’t think kindly on such information. Being honest (but not prejudicial) may work in your advantage.
  • Be prepared to counter negative responses or smirks with a positive. After your reply transition and refocus the interview on the many advantages you bring to the company. You may be surprised at the positive responses received once the white elephant in the room is recognized. You may be even more surprised by knowing how many of those same hiring managers have tattoos.
  • To summarize, be confident and always brand yourself as a problem resolver, not a problem maker.

It is true that many “conservative” companies are not tattoo-sensitive and discriminate, but the number of those organizations is shrinking. No matter the situation, see through the eyes of the employer and respond to his or her concerns. To be blunt, hiring manager concerns boil down to two things:

1. Can you increase sales, bring in revenue, or expand the customer base
2. Can you decrease costs, develop new methods of production, or enhance team development

Quite simply, it’s all about the bottom line. Tattoo or no tattoo, you are the right candidate if you can satisfy one of the above conditions. Going into an interview passively or not confident due to a few ink spots is not conducive to your career. Quite honestly, in the midst of the total package, it’s all about the money so get over any excuses and get into your groove.

If you have any questions for our career professionals, we are ready.

Interested in learning more about Education Career Services library of career resources, books, and workbooks, visit our website or go to Amazon.com (search Huffman at ecs).

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.educationcareerservices.com
Twitter: @dannyatecs