Avoiding Conflicting Goals

Do any of your goals conflict with each other? A classic example of this is the work-life balance dilemma where you have the following two goals:

Goal 1: Spend more quality time with my spouse and family.

Goal 2: Get promoted two levels within the next year.

Obviously, both of these goals require a substantial amount of the same resource: your time. Knowing that forgetting about sleeping and spending 12 hours per day with your family and 12 hours per day at work is unrealistic, you’ll quickly find yourself frustrated. And you’d have plenty of company as there are probably thousands of so-called experts who make their living preaching about work-life balance. I’ll give you my short course and this one’s on the house.

Five Unforgivable Interview Mistakes

I hate interviewing. I hate having to use phrases like “my skills and qualifications” and watching what I say so I won’t discourage the interviewer from hiring me. So I tend to be extremely forgiving when I am the one conducting the interview. However, through the years I’ve noticed so many people make some obvious mistakes. So my list of interviewing tips has now become a list of things not to do in an interview. Some of these tips can also apply to sales calls any other situation where you’re selling your skills, products or services.

Tip #1: Dress Appropriately:

Tasks vs. Results

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I write down action items every day to help me achieve my goals. One thing that I recently realized is that when possible, it’s better to list results instead of tasks.

I remember a few years back when I was looking for a job, one of my daily tasks was “send out 10 resumes.” Looking back, I now realize that I would have reached my goal quicker had my daily objective been “make contact with at least one recruiter or hiring manager.” After all, it took me less than an hour to go through the various job posting web sites, identify 10 or more positions, modify my resume & cover letter and hit the submit button. To actually connect with someone, it would have taken me almost all day.

Painless Time Management

Wouldn’t be great if you could get an extra hour or two of productive work done each day? Forget about cutting your sleep back to three hours a night (trust me, it’s not a good thing to try), you can do this by mastering Time Management.

There are probably hundreds of books and courses out there on Time Management, and someday I’ll probably offer one too. However, sometimes people spend so much time trying to manage their time, they become even less productive.

Two envelopes

There’s an old story about a manager being fired and leaving his successor two envelopes. The envelopes, labeled #1 and #2 are to be opened in that order when the new manager gets in a tough situation. The story goes that the new manger gets in a bind, opens #1 which has a note inside that reads “Blame it on me.” This works for a little while and then another major problem arises. The new manager opens up #2 which contains a note that reads “Prepare two envelopes.”

Quick Tip #2 – Remember your Ideas

How many times have you thought of a great idea but were unable to recall the details when you were ready to act on it? Let’s face it, great ideas can come to us at odd times: while we’re driving, in the shower, or lying in bed. If we don’t take the time to note them right away, there’s a good chance we’ll forget them. In today’s tip, I’ll talk about a couple ways you can avoid this situation.

Quick Tip #1: Using the library

I am addicted to the library. Where else can you get books, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks for free?

If you’re on a tight budget, the library is a great resource for giving you access to materials that aren’t in your budget. And you’d be surprised at the selection as the latest bestsellers and blockbusters are often waiting on the shelves for you.

Some ways you can use the library to become an Overnight Sensation:

  • Request materials through the intra-library loan system. I live in Massachusetts and I’ve had things come from as far as Illinois.