Category: Career Development

Career Development: The Truth About Failure

June 22nd, 2015 by

success failure

In Walter Bond’s book All Buts Stink (2009),  he puts failure into perspective.  He believes that there are two important factors that contribute to it – a lack of information and/or a lack of discipline.  Both contributing factors can be overcome.

You are already paying a price for the life you have. Pay a little bit more and have a bigger life. ~ Walter Bond

Reaching for a bigger life is to risk failure. Ironically, failure is easy to live with because it brings out sympathy from our friends and colleagues.  Sympathy is comforting.  We may not realize it, but there may be a point in life that we settled comfortably into the benefits of failure.  Discipline is hard work, and so is finding the information that we need to be successful.

However, accepting failure is also accepting a smaller life.

So how do you live a bigger life? Bond advises,

Career change, back to school, investment of time, investment of money, increased effort or focus, investment of courage.

And then what? And then the road to success may get uncomfortable, and one reason is that success brings out jealousy from those same friends and colleagues who were all in on the  group hug when we failed. They may send this message to us once we begin to experience success:  Don’t push forward and leave me behind. Stay here on my level where we’re friends.  They may not say those exact words, but what they do say to us may not encourage us to move toward a bigger life.  Plus, taking risks will create more obstacles, more roadblocks, more failures.

Perhaps the solution is to re-frame “failure” as simply an undesirable outcome.  Undesirable outcomes are not failures, they help us succeed.  To experience success after an undesirable outcome, we must be willing to take action.  We not only need a willingness to risk failure, we need to be willing to fall flat on our faces allowing that experience to motivate us to take that information and increase in action, to find the information we need, to become more disciplined.  Failure is a chance to move forward with important, new knowledge.

Know better. Do better.

Think of all the successful people throughout history, and all the struggles they went through before achieving a bigger life.  They never gave up — they corrected what needed to be corrected after each failure and kept their momentum.

When we become wildly successful, no one will be talking about our failures. Failures are just important and necessary stepping stones to achieving our highest aspirations.  Stepping stones … not stumbling blocks.  And that, friends, is the truth about failure.

Are you paying a price for the life you have? Are you willing to pay a little more?

Learn more about Walter Bond at http://walterbond.com/

Career Development: Ace the Interview!

March 30th, 2015 by

So you got an invitation to interview for a job — what now? Time to collect your thoughts to ensure you ace the interview. The first thing you should do is take a few moments to research and take notes on the company. Then take some time to become very familiar with the job description, and make notes on how your skills match it. Also, make a list of questions that you can ask the employer about the position.

Last but not least, get ready for the questions the employer will ask you. The Center for Career Development at Biola University has a list of the top 50 Interview Questions and tips on how to handle them. Learn more here:

https://career.biola.edu/interviewing-2/top-50-interview-questions/

And don’t forget, additional training will open up more career opportunities for you. Check out our upcoming training schedule here:

http://www.taproot.com/courses

Monday Motivation: Think of mistakes as encouragement to keep going…

March 23rd, 2015 by

Motivational-quotes-photo

Thomas Edison said, “I failed my way to success.” Mistakes – do they help you to grow stronger or do leave you feeling beat down, afraid to try again? What would happen if you stopped berating yourself for not meeting your highest aspirations every single time?

Mistakes are not committed intentionally but we often allow them to interfere with our progress. If we step back and view them objectively, we will find a few gems of wisdom to help us along the path. Stay open and flexible and most of all, see mistakes for what they are: events that provide each of us with our unique life experiences. Not only are mistakes proof that we are out there trying something, they are proof that we are willing to suffer some risk and change to get to where we want to be.

Career Development: Don’t Deal with the Devil by George Burk

March 2nd, 2015 by

Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted with permission from the author, Captain George Burk, USAF (Ret), Plane crash, burn survivor, motivational speaker, author, writer. Visit his website at www.georgeburk.com  or contact Captain Burk at gburk@georgeburk.com.

Many times it’s simple to do the ethical (right) thing on your own. But what about when your boss tells you do something you instinctively and intuitively know is wrong (unethical)?

Simply stated, it’s a question of “Can I be true to myself and my character” said Elizabeth Doty, founder and president of WorkLore, a San Francisco-based consulting firm.

“Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.”

John Madden, football coach

Doty surveyed people about how they handle the tension between their core values and their work persona. Doty calls this, “winning the devil’s bargain.” The tension (conflict) between succeeding at work and doing the right (proper) thing can be difficult. Then again, maybe it doesn’t need to be if you know and follow your core beliefs and always take the right course of action. Whether you agree or not, like it or not, your character and integrity is always being tested. In the final analysis, it’s never about money. It is about character, integrity, self-respect and being able to live with yourself.

“If money is your hope for independence, you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.”

Henry Ford, industrialist

“Most people are so uncomfortable in those situations, they just push it out of their awareness,” she said.

When people take the initiative and confront the issue and know it’s the right thing to do, it improves their productivity. “You begin to feel more alive, creative and resourceful when you feel good inside,” Doty said.

“The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.”

Bono, musician

So, if or when you’re asked to do something you know is unethical or worse, here are a few suggestions:

Don’t play the game. Do what Doty calls “play the bigger game.” Learn to always place your principles first and have the strength of character to say “no” when asked to compromise them. “It’s not lowering your aspirations. It’s daring to be absolutely honest about the current realities,” she said. The goal’s to create conditions where (more of) the truth is part of the decision-making.

“Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live.”

Eckhart Tolle, writer

Turn the tables. One example Doty used is of the woman who once worked for a telephone company. The woman’s boss asked her to fake documents that would show that customers had asked to switch their phone service. The woman told her boss that she knew he really didn’t want this to happen. Hearing that, the boss then knew he had to do the right thing. “You can bring it back to the long term impact rather than the short term gain,” Doty said.

Beware of “good” organizations. These are the companies and organizations that seem to do the right thing but don’t always do it. Doty interviewed one person who joined a financial service firm because it seemed especially ethical. Soon after she was hired, several senior officers were convicted of embezzlement. When this happens, people who work for that kind of organization often become even more disillusioned and their level of trust is lowered significantly.

Remember the big picture. When you compromise your values, it doesn’t just affect you, it also hurts the organization. What may begin as a small indiscretion can soon grow into something larger and have even more effect on your personal and professional character. When that happens, it can destroy an organization.

“If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we’d all be millionaires.”

Abigail Van Buren, advice columnist

Trust your instincts. It’s impossible to know if every situation is the right one. But your gut, your intuition and instinct can give you a hint. When you have a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach or a question in your mind, that’s a powerful message! Act on it! “When an organization or its employees are running too fast or operating from a culture of fear, that’s when these unethical things happen,” Doty said. Don’t always look to the “external” for answers. Look to your “internals.” Tap into you experiences, instinct and intuition. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“Wherever smart people work, doors are unlocked.”

Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder

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