JEAN'S BLOG. Best & Next Practices in: Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Zen and the Art of Job Search

Posted by Jean Cummings

Jul 20, 2011 7:01:00 AM

 executive job search - poise and power 

As I was driving home Sunday from a weekend away, I tuned into an NPR interview on the radio. He was taking about stress-free productivity. Something job seekers need desperately! Along with everyone else practically! His ideas sounded oddly familiar...

Yes, it was David Allen of Getting Things Done fame. I'd read it years ago - it's a classic in the field of personal organization - and used the system for awhile, then fell away (alas, the end of most good intentions). But his words about having too many different kinds of things to do on our minds causing significant stress resonated big time for me.

So I pulled out my iPad when I got home and did what he said to do: take everything on your mind and write it down in a way that makes sense to you. And then have a system for checking it and also for continuing to enter anything that is a to-do and that preys on your mind. I used Notes but there are lots of apps I will explore. (Put that on my list!)

OK, I did that. The rewards Allen promises are valuable: the ability to be highly productive and react in perfectly appropriate ways to stressors. He describes the "mind like water" that martial arts practitioners use for perfect readiness and power. 

I think daily pauses (mini meditations if you like) for deep breathing and contemplation of a serene image (water receding from the beach, then rolling in again, for instance - my image) help get us into that frame of mind of poised readiness and response.

Looking for your next job involves a myriad of things to do and keep track of: executive resumes sent, personal branding initiatives, targeted cover letters written, networks contacted, appointments planned and kept, research on companies, interviews planned and attended - all with various schedules and levels of importance. What better time to apply Allen's ideas?

The Zen job search would be one conducted with full confidence that you had the bases covered and WRITTEN DOWN according to your system, so that you can act from a place of calm productivity.

The Zen interview is when you can bring a mind open and a readiness to respond to the interviewer with calm interest, quiet confidence, generous openness to the other person, and keen listening (to hear the subtext of questions), and make an appropriate on-brand response that speaks to the employer's needs. A Zen mind is also ready to ask insightful questions and proactively project its personal brand in appropriate ways into the conversation. 

So, "mind like water," T.S. Eliot's "the still point in the turning world," and Yeats' "I hear lake water lapping, with low sounds by the shore." Now we are ready. Bring it on.

 

 

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Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, technology executive resumes, interviewing, interview style, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, CIO resumes, career management, executive job search, Job Interviews, personal brands, career brand, salary negotiation, salary negotiations, job interview, power of attraction

Use Positive Psychology to Power Your Job Search

Posted by Jean Cummings

Nov 10, 2010 10:50:00 AM

Image How to stay positive

Positive psychology is a relatively new field that focuses on what makes individuals and communities thrive. Instead of the negative psychology that is emphatically prevalent in our culture, the emphasis is on what's right about someone, not what's wrong. What makes for the person's happiness, not what causes their pain and difficulty. The successful ways they've managed their lives, not their failures.

Job seekers are always told to "stay positive," and for good reason. Law of Attraction theory says that like attracts like. So, if you have positive views of yourself, a positive vision of the future when you will be employed in a job you like, and positive mental habits, you will be more likely to get a great job. If you are consistently negative, you will see negative things, feel down, and execute a lackluster job search.

What are some ways you keep on the positive side? Here are 7 DAILY habits that can help.

1. Take 15 minutes before you start your day to meditate or listen to some calming music.

2. Create an image in your mind of yourself in the job you are targeting. Picture yourself hired, dressed to go to work, doing your job, eating lunch, working through the afternoon and going home.

3. As you contemplate the image, let yourself feel the relief of having landed a great job, the satisfaction from doing the job you know you can do, and any other feelings that you would have.

4. Make a list of your top 5 qualities and your top 3 career successes. Write them down. Periodically through the day remind yourself of your positive qualities that have enabled you to be successful in the past and of the times you were able to exercise your knowledge, skills, and abilities to do a great job.

5. After doing some hard aspect of the job search - for some that might be cold-calling or going to a networking meeting - reward yourself. Go to a basketball game, buy some new eye makeup, try a new restaurant, etc.

6. At the end of your day, think of 3 ways in which you made progress towards your goal that day.

7. Get the "attitude of gratitude" - spend a few minutes being thankful for your many gifts and anticipating only good things the next day.

Have you found ways of staying positive through a job search?

It may not be magic, but there is a power in it. The hard part of being positive for most people is that they have to move out of their comfort zone and the culture that are used to negative thinkging - particularly about job search.

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Topics: job search, power of attraction

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