Friday, November 26, 2010

Let's All Go to a "Tweet" Meet...

Let’s All Go to a “Tweet” Meet!

One of the important things I’ve seen in the last while, is networking with others is a contact sport.  At the end of the day, though we all have the same agenda, we keep very much to ourselves and our immediate work environment. (Keep your demons close). This then places us in a “glass bowl” surrounding; where as much as we are on display, or known for our sparkling people skills, some have problems letting go of the “Work Persona”.  This can lead to a very skewed vision on the chosen profession; and we start relying on outside sources for the inside gossip.
This is where the idea of a “Tweet Meet” makes so much sense.  Firstly, it is usually spur of the moment; with notices being sent via e-mail or by twitter, and they are usually held in a restaurant or bar central to most of the participants.  This is a fantastic opportunity to meet up with new collegues, with old friends and learn briefly about new practices in the industry, and trade war stories about our various issues to get a second opinion on how to solve the problem situations.  Most times you don’t really know who is going to show up until everyone arrives.
For people like me, who are coming in as a new collegue from another profession, this provided me with an opportunity to meet some of the key players (those who have presence and a reputation throughout the industry); and to tear down the velvet curtain and see that “the Wizard” really is human.  I went there with trepidation and questions, though my coach tried to keep me calm knowing about the fear of too many people in a really small space. With her in the room, I felt a little more at ease for the night to come.
I really appreciated the veterans I met taking the time to make me feel at ease; and I was even more pleased to see people I had done work for over the internet; and could now place faces to ”the voice” at the other end of the telephone. Most industries only have gatherings like this at Christmas; or if something really big is happening at their company, but I will say it was really nice to see people let their hair down and have fun.  Although encouraged, shop talk is quickly tabled in favour of everyone diving into the “ sandbox”  together and cutting loose.  It was nice to see that professionals of the industry willing to trade stories with the “new blood” and make them feel that we are colleagues and not competitors looking for the same bone.
New opportunities seem to rise at these things which can get the blood flowing as people figure out whether or not to participate. Right now, my coach is working on a special project (to be outlined at the right time) with the lead of this year’s show.  This can be very major for people across the industry as it  gives them a voice and an opportunity to share ideas and collaborate on new business models and practices. This gets everyone “jazzed” and further committed to our business choice.  Its nice for once to be included in the “cool club” rather than sitting on the outside waiting for our chance to shine.  That doesn’t by any means say that our “place” doesn’t need to be earned, but it does feel good to be welcomed by those who we only know  as Profile pictures on our LinkedIn database.
Now its time to catch up on some rest from last nights event (expect late hours; especially if the conversation and the poison of choice works out really well) I hope that in the coming months, as I learn more about my new chosen craft, that I will be able to take part in more of these “Meets” over Southern Ontario, and meet up with more interesting people, and be able to pick their brains for knowledge or better, more efficient ways to do more with less; Lets face it, Recruiters are the McGuyvers of the employment industry, always finding the way to pull the horseshoe out of thin air with minimal equipment.
Thanks to Rebecca for including me, to Geoff Webb, who hosted the event, and to everyone I met and networked with; It really was a good time, and I hope to see you all (and meet other new faces) at future “Tweet Meets”
Thats it for this week, I am The Recruiters Assistant and have yourselves a dynamite weekend.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

And On The Eighth Day...He Said, "Invent Yourself"

Over the last number of days, I have been listening to a lot of opinions in the areas of Sales and the Marketing of oneself (aka branding). Everyone has a valid argument on how you can succeed and where you could fail…..The lists are endless.  All the points could be considered relevant depending on your situtation at any given time.
This brings me to today’s rant: Who is REALLY responsible for your success or failure.
The answer is real simple: YOU ARE!!!
From a real early age you learned how to communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, using both words and body-language and understanding which method is most effective and when.  Reputations are formed the first minute we are introduced to the world, as are opinions by others on our potential for success and how they have “Big Plans” for our future.  At this stage we don’t understand what is going on, just that we are being liked for ourselves.
Flash-forward a few years to the playground.  Here we learn we aren’t really as special as we have been led to believe.  It is here we learn that those with all the cool toys get the attention, and those without, don’t.  We also meet our first “bully”, that person who has made a negative decision about you based on no information, and has already made his/her opinion of you known to all he/she “controls”.
We all want to be liked and we want to be successful on the playground; yet everytime we think we know all the right answers and etiquette to handle the situation, THE RULES CHANGE!  This is something we have to get used to, as it will be one of, if not, the major hurdle we will have in life.  Fast-forward again, this time to “The School Years”- This is where alot of our self-worth or ambition for the future will be formed.  This is where we find out how good we really are, and learn to stand on our own merit.
Are we good at sports, at music, at drama, or at studies? Do we spend the time necessary to prepare for the inevitable future, or do we try and take as many short cuts as possible?  Again, perception is everything, and again, not everyone will be liked for everything they do.  Keeping a positive attitude is tough during these years; as we really didn’t get a clear set of rules on how to act or treat others.  Adaptation is key at this stage, as is Improvisation on life skills.  The people who get a handle on those skills usually find some tasks easier than others, and find that “Growing Up” and preparing for the future rests on their own goals and aspirations.  The more education (school or street) we receive, then the better we are prepared to face the unknown.  Those individuals who feel they are not as fortunate, discover new skill sets to take the place of “the golden ring” (or the Silver Spoon).  Yes, they too do have the potential to be successful but in order to do so, they have to take a different path to the top.
Which now brings us back to the original question: Who is Responsible for Your Success?  All successful people have a different vision of where that magic comes from, and success becomes measured by different standards.  To truly be successful, I feel you have to be happy with yourself as you are, not trying to change to fit the crowd.  Being that individual is what will make you feel good about you and what you choose to do, as you are the captain of your own ship named “Success”. It can be daunting at times, trying to live to everyones expectations, but, and that is a major” But”, if you disregard all opinions of you except your own, you will find the trip easier to manage.
Every minute of the day brings us in contact with new choices, new people and new challenges which can either assist or torpedo our goals.  The important thing is to keep pressing forward, and measure your success by the achievements we make that put a smile on our face, and give us peace…
Something to think about…When was the last time you looked in the mirror and smiled at yourself?  You may find the answer harder than you think.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Customer is NOT Always Right!!!

Recruiting and sales; or Sales and recruiting.  Which comes first and which is more important?  Whether we wish to admit it, both are part of the very same industry, just at differing degrees on the scale.  Just because you are a great recruiter doesn’t mean you’ll have a long career as a salesperson and the same can be said about Sales People potentially not doing well recruiting others.  If you happen to be one of those rare few that can do both, and do them well–Congratulations!
Both careers take a lot of effort and an insane amount of time to get established; and once established, require tons of TLC to stay on the right track.  You have to develop alot of talents, have the ability to juggle multiple jobs, possess a really thick hide and deal well with alot of rejection.  If and only if you find that niche which will set you apart from all of the others in your profession; then you can start building your reputation.  This reputation is why people will keep coming back to you, rather than try someone new up the street. He (or She) with the strongest reputation in any particular arena will get the nod, and receive the lions share of the business.  This may be one of the only times where being busy may measure your eventual happiness, provided the direction is onward and upward, rather than spinning in place.
One of the things not taught in either school of thought, is that in order to succeed, you have to be willing to sacrifice.  Sacrifice for some is a rather scary concept, as it brings to mind- doing without; and nobody likes doing without.  You also have to be willing to create your own path and find that certain something that will set you apart of the pack.  Sorry all, but I would be in a rather sorry state if I looked on the Internet, or in the Phone-book, or at the various Billboards around town and saw everyone doing the same thing as I, in the same manner, keeping the same hours, and working from the exact same pool of clientele.  It wouldn’t be long before that pool would be sucked dry of prospects, and we would have to spend our time practicing our patter on each other; because all of a sudden everyone had more than enough of what you offer. One of the biggest sacrifices, and greatest rewards is that of time; as we either don’t have enough of it, or we have an over-abundance of it and nowhere to effectively place it.
This is where style-management is key.  This along with proper time-management will help you stand out from everyone else in the industry.  Find something that you can promote better than anyone else, and sell the idea. Sell it to family, to friends, to aquaintances and if done properly you should be receiving referrals and repeat business because you deserve it.  You took the initiative and the time to learn all the concerns and objections; and found that mysterious way to turn a NO!! into a resounding YES!!.  This is where listening is key; as the client will take you by the hand and tell you exactly what he/she needs from you, where they want it to come from, how much they are going to pay for it and how much money you stand to make.  All you have to do is produce!
This is where the next sacrifice comes in. That is on what it takes to produce the sale.  Standards have to be set and adhered to because if you waffle on how you do business, the value of your assets and clientele relations will go down, and many of your clients will move up the street.  Your reputation depends on the standards you set; and this will add value to every transaction you complete.  Its okay to stand alone in your industry, provided its because the crowd around you is too deep for you to involve others, not because you failed to keep your standards high, and everyone lost faith in your abilities.
In closing; be it at sales or in recruiting, take your time and learn your craft well. There are more than one correct way to get to the finish line: Just be prepared for the ride, as there will be lots of detours along the way toward your vision!
Something to Think About…..

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good (enough??!!)

Is this where we settle? Good? Do we not look at better or try to do our best?
Good is okay but certainly not where we should end up! Try and follow (please
note this is written after The Recruiting Animal Show on November
HOW is “Good” enough? When we look at success, look at our job list,
look at our partner or employer and say “meehh, good enough.” Is this a point
where we should settle? NO!! Strive to do better and strive to be better– Good
is not Good Enough!!
WHERE is “Good” enough? possibly the bedroom or the
kitchen, Good enough is not Good enough in the workplace as this leads to
complacency and boredom. This means the challenge has been beaten and we have no
more goals.. NOT acceptable, on a personal level or on a business level; Strive
to be more and to do more as second place goes to the runner up, not to the
winner; and we should always be striving to win.
WHEN is “Good” enough? If you can place a time with a straight face then you are not being serious with yourself or those around you!! There is Never,Never a time where you should
settle for “Good Enough” You can always strive to be better and push those
around you until they push back and make you do better as well. The Mountain is
long, The River is wide….yada, yada, yada: But excuses either by you or to you
should not be accepted. Challenge yourself and Challenge all those around you.
No Challenge, then you my friend are playing in the wrong sandbox, and you need
to find somewhere else to play!! Not enough playmates–Find them!! Open your eyes
because they are right in front of you; waiting to join in on your new, cool
WHY is “Good” (not enough)? Because you need the challenge. You need to
wake up every morning scared that you have no control of your mind and let it
go! You are your own biggest adversary and your biggest confidant. There is
nothing wrong with two faces or two attitudes; just know when the time is right
to use each one– or the other people in the room will be calling for help. If
you have ADD, find someone with OCD to compliment you and keep yourself focused.
The opposite is also true, the time to use the mental issue as a strength is
NOW!!!! Rip the phone out of the wall, and get ready to kick some doors down;
you know that “good” is not enough and that “good” is not personally acceptable.
Set the bar higher and find those in your circle who will challenge you to be
your best. Most, if not all, of us have joined the social media age, and are
part of Twitter, Face-Book, LinkedIn, and especially WordPress and Recruiters
Blog; so there are people to challenge us!!!! Turn that light bulb on in the
brain-compartment and get ready for a better you and a better day. Repeat after
me–”I AM GREAT!!;and I KNOW IT!!!”; and get ready to say that to everyone who
doubts your resolve. (See section above about being number two).
WHAT is “Good” (enough?): Yesterday… because from this day forward sunshine, nothing but
the ABSOLUTE best should be the goal, and each day we should try and be just
that little bit better than we were, because we have many challenges in sight,
and only our absolute tip top best is going to be……Good Enough!!!
Something to Think About……


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