What Do You Mean You Are Highly Motivated?


Are You Saying You Can Be Bought?

The dictionary defines motivated as: to provide someone with a motive or reason to do something. In return for doing something the motivated individual receives money, power, profit, rewards, promotions, recognition, raises, bonuses, acknowledgement, new job, a job or anything else the “motivated” individual may value.

The definition implies we do things for a reason which could be as simple as “out of the goodness of our hearts”, but when it comes to employment that is seldom the reason. In essence no one is inherently motivated; there is a reason for their motivation and the greater the reason or reward the more highly motivated someone will typically be.

If Your Profile or Resume States You Are Motivated or Highly Motivated; What Motivates You?

I am frequently asked and I regularly choose to read many profiles and resumes which often times state the individual is motivated or highly motivated. The question I ask is what is the source of the motivation?

There are many individuals, as well as professional resume and profile writers, who include this statement but I have not found a single profile or resume stating the source of their motivation. If you are going to put it on your profile or in your resume; you had better be prepared to have a good explanation as to what motivates you.

My Motivation Story

Many years ago I worked for IBM as a Systems Engineer. I wasn’t much for being in the office; I loved being in the field with my customers and that is where I spent my time. Because I was seldom in the office I frequently did not hear about things when they were told to everyone else (the days before email).

One day I was in the office and heard about this great dinner a couple of my co-workers and their spouses had attended with our manager and his wife. I learned the dinner was a reward for winning a monthly sales contest. My interest was piqued and I asked what I had to do to participate. They laid out the rules for me and from then on I was one of the winners month in and month out. I was motivated! The reward was worth the effort.

What Is Your Motivation?

If someone were to ask what motivates you; how would you answer? Would you respond pay, recognition, promotion, reward or what? I believe it would be a tough question to answer without sounding self-serving, patronizing or insincere.

However, for your own understanding it’s a great question to answer. Knowing what motivates you can help you as you make career decisions.

Motivated or Highly Motivated; Does it Make a Difference?

Do you remember the movie “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore. There is one courtroom scene where the prosecution asks a question and the Demi Moore character says, “I object” and the judge overrules her objection. Demi’s character then says, “I strenuously object” and of course the judge overrules again.
As they point out in the movie what does it mean to “strenuously object”.

Whether it’s highly motivated or strenuously objecting it’s simply an adverb added to a verb. Don’t do it!

Motivated or Highly Motivated: Does the Recruiter or Hiring Manager Really Care?

Although being motivated may sound like a good thing to say; recruiters and hiring managers don’t care! I am still waiting to see a job posting asking for someone who is motivated or highly motivated. If you see one, please send the link to me. Until then, I will stick with the position it is wasted words.

Once you are hired your manager may start caring as they get to know you and understand what makes you tick; but initially it’s a moot point and making the statement may hurt you more than it helps!

Conclusion

Whether it is your profile or resume; you don’t have real estate to waste and putting motivated or highly motivated is just wasting important space. Make every word count and have a purpose.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

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The Lost Art of THINKing


The Lost Art of THINKing

THINKing has become a lost art! One of the messages conveyed by Earl Nightingale in his 1950’s classic “The Strangest Secret” was the comment from Dr. Albert Schweitzer about man’s problem being the lack of THINKing!

Today it’s no different! In our tough economy people are constantly looking to others to solve their problems or to find the answers. In reality we can solve our own problems and find our own answers if we choose to do our own THINKing and ACTing!

We can’t leave the work, we must do, to someone else; we must take responsibility!

You Need to Think from the Outside Your Box

You may believe you have heard this before but this is different! If you are paying attention and THINKing about what you just read, you recognize the difference! Most of us are familiar with people saying “You must think outside the box.” What they mean is you need to look beyond the normal pool of answers for something new.

I disagree!

I believe you must stand outside your box and look in!

Inside your box you will find all the skills, abilities, education and experiences you have had and the stories telling how you used those personal attributes. The stories you find will help you better understand what you have given to customers and employers and what you have to give to your future customers and employers.

Inside Your Box You Will Find the Stories to Tell Your Referral Network

The idea is you want to look into the box to see all you have done throughout your career. You want to see the stories of how you applied your skills, abilities, education and experience. When you see the stories from your past; they will serve two purposes: 1) give you the stories you need as you describe to your referral network how you applied your skills, abilities, education and experience to solve problems and 2) help you to rebuild your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Additionally the process does one more thing; it gets you THINKing again. THINKing for many is not a regular practice and ACTing on those thoughts is even more foreign for most. However, THINKing and ACTing are two skills you must put to work, so you can get back to work!

Experiencing the “What If” Syndrome

If you are unemployed or under employed; I’m willing to wager that at some point in the past you have gone through the “what if” process. What if I could do what I want to do? What if I hadn’t been pushed into this or that career? What if I had followed that dream or idea? We have all had these thoughts and we have allowed them to fall to the ground; to go unrealized!

Yes, there are plenty of excuses: timing, finances, family obligations, lack of time, not knowing how to start, not being sure of what resources would be required, etc. Well it’s time to put the excuses behind you and move forward. You need to THINK and ACT; you cannot delay.

My THINKing Story

After 9/11/2001, like many, my business was turned upside down. The contract work I had been doing dried up. I had to do something, but I struggled trying to figure things out. The reason I struggled – I wasn’t THINKing! I wanted things to recover quickly and, as a result, I waited around for the recovery to occur. Guess what? It didn’t!

At this point I wasn’t suffering from the problem of looking to someone else for answers; I was simply sitting and waiting for things to happen. It doesn’t work that way; if you sit around and wait for things to happen; sure enough they will – it’s just the things which happen are not the things you want.

What you get are bills piling up, endless frustration, family issues, bill collectors calling, utility shut off notices and scrimping to buy food and gas.

Eventually I gathered myself together and started THINKing from outside my box. I looked at the current economic climate and the skills employers were desperately looking to add. Having worked for many years in the technology space I came to the conclusion I should position myself as an IT Security Specialist. To read the story of how I was able to re-craft myself check out My 9/11 Story.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

How Not to Use LinkedIn


How Not to Use LinkedIn

Today I received a boilerplate invitation to connect on LinkedIn; which I feel is a learning lesson on what NOT to do! I checked out the profile and connections in common, accepted and wrote a thank you. Shortly after I received this “Tom, I am looking for individuals connected into the community to connect me into some top sales opportunity. Are you a potential resource?”

If I Say I’m Not a Potential Resource Will I Be Dropped as a Connection

As I read the comment it makes me wonder if I will be deleted as a connection unless I agree to be a potential resource. I don’t really care one way or the other; but the invitation and comment do not sit well with me.

I’ve read about the individuals who are interested in networking only if it benefits them. Go back and read what was said; is there anything in this relationship for me? Is there even a hint of a possibility of there being something in it for me. If so, point it out because I don’t see the value!

Accepting a LinkedIn Invite Is the Beginning of a Relationship

The example in my opening is NOT the way you should be networking! The extending or acceptance of an invitation is the beginning of a relationship; a relationship which must be nurtured. When we start into a relationship both sides must first establish some credibility. We need to show interest in the other person, not just an interest in ourselves.

In my example this guy immediately went for the jugular by asking for a referral: this is bad practice. This guy is on my radar. I don’t want people in my network who abuse the relationship or could indirectly impact my relationship with others. I don’t know if I will keep this individual in my network; I will monitor his activities and make a decision later.

It Is a Bad Practice to Refer Someone You Do Not Know

When you make a referral you are putting your reputation on the line in support of the person you are referring. You may think this is only a referral and not a recommendation; but chances are the other parties in the process see it differently. Both the person you referred and the recipient of the referral feel there is an underlying recommendation in your action. With that being the case; you must be careful with who you refer.

I have had numerous people connect and immediately ask for a referral or recommendation and I don’t really know them that well. Needless to say they did not receive the referral or recommendation. They did, however, get a rebuke by my saying I only give referrals when I have had the chance to get to know you.

I’ve also had people, who are connections, but were lacking in their social skills turn around and ask for a referral or introduction. After being insulted myself am I really going to potentially expose my contacts to the same behavior: absolutely not!

I value my relationships, however limited they may be, with my network members and I am not going to subject them to bad behavior from people I find questionable!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Four Easy Ways to Double the Effectiveness of Your Referral Network


Four Easy Ways to Double the Effectiveness of Your Referral Network

SMBs – Small and Medium Businesses – depend upon referrals, in fact Constant Contact did a study and 82% of the small business owners surveyed said their primary source of growth comes from referrals. Brian Tracy, one of the top business strategists and trainers, once said only 1 or 2 out of every 100 connections will play a role in your business growth. The conclusions… 1) you need to build a Referral Network and 2) you don’t know which connections will deliver business growth through referrals.

If Your Business Growth Depends on Referrals; You Must Have a Strong Referral Network

To survive, your business must continue to grow; referrals from current customers, prospects, family, friends and contacts are integral to the process. So here are the “Three Easy Ways to Double the Effectiveness of Your Referral Network.”

  1. Build Your Network – You never know who will provide your next referral;
  2. Establish Your Credibility – If your referral network doesn’t find you credible; they will not refer people to you;
  3. Explain Your Value Proposition – Your network must understand, not just know, the value you bring; and you must
  4. Keep Yourself in Front of Your Referral Network – You must be Top-O-Mind with your network so they think of you when opportunities develop.

Build Your Referral Network

Building your Referral Network is critical to your growth. You need new people coming in who can promote you, your products and your services. It is true you never know who will provide your next referral, but if you build with the “right” connections you can improve your chances for good referrals. Identify the type of individuals you need in your network so you can target those who have the best potential to bring your referrals.

Your Referral Network Must Find You Credible

If you want your network to refer you to potential customers they must find you credible! If you cannot establish your credibility with your Referral Network; it’s a lost cause.

When someone refers you they are putting their reputation on the line along with yours. If the members of their Referral Network listen to them; they have established credibility within their network and a bad referral could damage their credibility so they must be careful! They are not going to be willing to put their own reputation and credibility at risk for someone they do not know!

You must be credible!

Explain Your Value Proposition to Your Referral Network

Your Referral Network must understand the value you bring. Many people try to do this by listing their skills and, in all honesty, this doesn’t work. When people hear a list of skills, at best, they will remember a few and probably with little accuracy. What you want is to tell your audience stories about the things you have done. If you are talking about skills; explain them in a story. It is much easier to remember stories and easier to relate those stories to others. Stories also help with connecting the dots as opportunities are explained.

Stories also add to your credibility. Stories help things become real in the mind of the listener and they become more interested in your situation and helping you.

Keep Yourself in Front of Your Referral Network

The last thing you must do is keep yourself in front of your Referral Network. Stay in touch, keep them apprised of what you are doing; let them know about the projects where you are engaged or recently completed.

You also want to stay in front of your Referral Network by acknowledging the things they, their families, and their companies do; if you read about something positive, let them know. You also must acknowledge any events in their lives you know. If you know about birthdays and anniversaries wish them well or congratulations. If there is a job change, new venture, promotion or other event; send or post an acknowledgement.

If members of your network post something take a moment and click like or comment. This accomplishes two things 1)it acknowledges their activity and raises your credibility in the eyes of the individual and 2) if you are regular in the process it raises your credibility in the eyes of the other members of your Referral Network! You are in front of your network, not promoting anything of yours, but promoting your network members and their activities. People appreciate seeing you be positive and helpful to themselves and others.

There you have it Four Easy Ways to Double the Effectiveness of Your Referral Network: Build Your Network, Establish Your Credibility, Explain Your Value Proposition and Keep Yourself in Front of Your Referral Network!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve! Let me know what you think of my articles; are they helpful? If you like what I have to say; please follow my blog so you don’t miss any of my posts.

Do you need help building credibility with your Referral Network? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Are There Stalkers on LinkedIn?


Are There Stalkers on LinkedIn?

I believe there are stalkers and I see them as anyone who chooses to view profiles anonymously!

Here is the scenario…

Somebody is watching you! They have checked out your LinkedIn profile and maybe they have done Google, Bing and other searches on you. Who are they? What do they want?

I was just looking at my LinkedIn statistics to see who has been viewing my profile. I saw several names, but some chose to remain anonymous. Why is that? Are they stalkers? Are they afraid of being identified? Are they ashamed? Should I be worried? I don’t know!

If this were happening outside your front door most people would be more than a little uncomfortable. So what’s the difference between stalking your house and stalking your profile; neither time identifying yourself?

Remaining Anonymous Is Bad Behavior

Yes, LinkedIn allows you to do some things anonymously and in some cases it’s perfectly okay. However, I don’t like the idea someone can come in, read my profile (or whatever I choose to make public) and remain anonymous. I don’t think it’s right and I don’t feel it is appropriate networking behavior; it’s very one-sided!

I Like to Know Who Is Reading My Profile

Personally, I like to know who has stopped by to read my profile. If someone has taken the time to view my profile, I like to reciprocate and look at their profile. Maybe there is a synergy which would make connecting worthwhile for both of us. Regardless, I deserve the opportunity to look and to know who is looking!

Effective Networkers Don’t Hide Behind Anonymity

Effective networkers are looking for opportunities to connect where there is a mutual benefit. You won’t find them lurking in the background, keeping themselves anonymous and leaving others wondering about them. Effective networkers are open because they are looking for ways to build their credibility and trust.

It Would Be Great if LinkedIn Allowed Us to Be Anonymous to Those Who Choose to Be Anonymous

Wouldn’t that be a great personal setting? If someone tries to access your information anonymously you could shut down anonymous viewers and prevent their seeing your profile. Being open with others who are open makes sense and that’s why I keep my profile open.

Networking is your opportunity to build credibility and trust! Hiding behind anonymity does the opposite. People are looking for reasons to believe you are credible, honest and trustworthy; don’t mess it up!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Is Closing Your LinkedIn Account the Answer to Annoying Calls?


Is Closing Your LinkedIn Account the Answer to Annoying Calls?

I saw a friend of mine the other night and after exchanging some pleasantries I asked if he had closed his LinkedIn account because I was no longer seeing him on LinkedIn. He said he had. He was finding many of his unwanted calls were from people who found him on LinkedIn. He didn’t like the calls, so he closed his account. Was this a good idea?

People Expect to See Your Profile On LinkedIn

The expectation today is you WILL have a profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn started as a place for business professionals to network but it has rapidly grown to become the professional/business networking site for all walks of life. “If you are not there; you are square.”

Your co-workers, customers, vendors and others expect to find your profile on LinkedIn. If your profile is not there; the conclusion is you must have a problem. Either you are hiding something, hiding from someone or you are a really poor networker and do not understand the value and importance of a network.

Who Are You Attracting?

If you are receiving annoying calls because of your LinkedIn profile; maybe it’s the way you’re advertising yourself! The reality is many unsophisticated networkers search LinkedIn for “C” level executives, directors, purchasing agents and numerous other high profile positions solely to promote their products and services. People in high-level positions play into these searches by listing their current title as their headline or tag line.

LinkedIn even exacerbates the problem because, by default, your current job title automatically becomes your headline unless you uncheck the box “Update My Headline To” when it appears. You DO NOT want your title as your headline! Listing your current title serves no one other than a person looking for someone in your position.

The Funny Thing About Titles

Many people get caught up in the importance of their own title and want to display it proudly; maybe even brag a little. The truth is if you are the CEO, CFO, COO, CIO or any other “C” positions of Podunk, Inc.; no one cares! Most likely the people seeing Podunk, Inc. have no clue about the company and until they have more information: do not care! Not only are you making yourself a target for marketers; the information you provided tells your audience absolutely nothing about the value you offer!

However, if you are the CEO of Coke, Proctor and Gamble, Macy’s Department Stores or some other large easily recognized company; your title will mean something and it will also draw a lot of attention – unwanted attention. So unless you are with a large company using the C-level title has intrinsic value; otherwise it is wasted effort.

Your Headline Should Be Your Value Statement; Not Your Title!

This is where people go wrong with their profile and invite the unwanted attention. If you have a title in your headline you are making yourself an easy target. Your headline should tell your reader about the value you offer. Your headline, next to your name, is your most prominent piece of information – as a headline should be; so make sure it draws the attention you want!

When You Do Your Headline Properly the Unwanted Phone Calls Will Be Reduced and May Stop

Because your headline is prominently displayed and has high value as searchable information; you must focus on your value proposition. What is it you offer that people want and will search to find?

I can have a headline which says I’m a Realtor or my headline can say Realtor Specializing in West Linn, Oregon Homes; which tells your audience more? I could go further and say “Realtor in West Linn, OR specializing in high end homes.” If I’m not interested in people searching for low end or starter homes; I am filtering them out with my headline. Some may call regardless, but I’m doing my best to get the prospects I want.

Deleting your profile is a solution to unwanted calls based upon your LinkedIn profile, but it is a drastic response to a fixable situation. Before you take this action; look at your profile to identify the cause of the unwanted attention and make some changes.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Top-O-Mind: When Was the Last Time You Thanked a New Connection?


Top-O-Mind: When Was the Last Time You Thanked a New Connection?

With LinkedIn and other Social Media sites it is easy to set your self apart from 99% of the other members. It’s as simple as saying “Thank You”. When you connect with a new person your thank you is the beginning of a relationship; the beginning is NOT simply sending or accepting an invitation to connect!

Simple Actions Can Reap Big Rewards

Your network can be a valuable resource and treating your members with respect and courtesy WILL work to your advantage. People love to be appreciated, especially because it doesn’t happen very often.

Thank Yous Are a Big Deal!

Very few people look for opportunities to appreciate family, friends and their network. We have become so busy and wrapped up in ourselves that the niceties in life have been forgotten. Because society has moved away from simple courtesies you have an open opportunity to show you are different!

Regardless of how busy you are or they are; people like to be acknowledged and appreciated! They like to know someone recognizes their efforts and is willing to say so. Be that person, be something different, reach out and appreciate the things others do!

When to Thank Your Connections

The opportunities to thank your connections are unlimited. As noted above, one of the first opportunities is when you are invited to connect or when an invitation you extended is accepted.

Less than 1% of LinkedIn members take the time to thank new connections.

Connection “Thank Yous” are private emails between you and your new connection. Your thank you is important because it starts to set the tone for the relationship; remember you are building your credibility.

Other times to thank your connections include when they like or comment on your post, send you congratulations on something work related, send you a birthday greeting or share something with you.

You can also thank your connections when they endorse you for a skill or write a recommendation.

How to Get the Most Mileage Out of a Thank You

Any thank you must, most of all, be sincere! Your sincerity will show and conversely a lack of sincerity will show as well; don’t mess it up!

With that caveat in mind; there are ways to get more mileage out of your thank yous. When you send an email thank you; it is between you and the recipient.

When you do the thank you as a post; all of your connections have the potential to see your thank you as well as the connections of the individual you are thanking. Again, you are working to build your credibility and being a thoughtful, caring person goes a long way in building credibility and trust.

If you are thanking people; you just can’t be all bad!

Taking time to tell someone you appreciate what they did or what they wrote is often overlooked because we don’t think it’s a big deal! However, what is you feeling when someone offers you thanks for something; regardless of the size of the effort? You may be a little embarrassed and feel it wasn’t necessary; but you still liked being acknowledged. Your connections are no different; a little acknowledgement can go a long way!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!