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6 Job Search Tips from a Successful Engineer

6 Job Search Tips from a Successful EngineerI spoke with an engineer today as he was finishing up a project. I asked for his perspective on jobs in his career field. He was very willing to talk and had some inspiring answers to my questions. His experience is unique since the company he works for is global. He is not from the United States, but has worked both here and abroad. I asked him what he thought was important to keep in mind for someone pursuing a career in engineering. He had a great response. His answers will apply to any career field so [click to continue…]


Proof of Concept

Low Cost Image  600x336When a great idea for a new business hits you in the middle of the night and you get so excited that you can’t sleep, that is called inspiration. It’s a wonderful feeling of exhilaration and anticipation all rolled into a few wonderful moments. That is until you realize that your idea isn’t all that new. In fact other people have been doing something like this for quite some time. That moment of reality, or self-doubt, that hits you is part of what is called “the Resistance” in the book, Do the Work  by Stephen Pressfield. [click to continue…]


Do You Know Your Why?

It is so important to know why you do what you do. In this shortened TED talk from Simon Sinek, he explains the rationale behind his book, “Start With Why“. You will find that the concept is powerful and can effect your business, your work, your ministry or your career. Simon was one of the speakers at Leadercast last year, is a best selling author of “Leaders Eat Last“, and has a powerful message in this video that will get your new year off to a great start! So Do You Know Your Why? Please comment below and let me know what you think.



Are You Prepared for Your Next Opportunity?

OpportunityGood things happen to us when we are in motion. We can’t expect new opportunities to just show up. In fact if you don’t change your behavior and position yourself for new opportunities to find you, they may NEVER show up. I am not sure who said it first, but “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” In other words, it’s not luck! Good things happen all the time. [click to continue…]


A Creative Job Search Strategy

COFFEEMost job search strategies involve searching job postings submitting dozens if not hundreds of resumes and filling out multiple applications in hopes of getting an interview. They also involve joining job boards online and searching for what is currently being advertised. Before you keep going down this path, I suggest that you consider a creative job search strategy that will get you exclusive attention. Here is the strategy in more detail.

Bonus Content: There is a FREE download at the bottom of this post, but if you would like to get it now, click here. [click to continue…]

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You are More Valuable Than You Think!

SkilledThis week I have had the opportunity to interview a handful of applicants for a position with the company I work for. (My “day job”) Each of these applicants was very skilled in their line of work and most had multiple years of experience. It was refreshing to speak with each one of them and see what they had to offer. In fact, I was a little concerned about choosing between them. It all worked out in the end, and I was able to find the one that was the best fit. However… [click to continue…]


Does Your Job Fit Your Personality?

a text blockSometimes we need a concrete tool to help us find a great job. The process is not always easy and it usually takes some time. However, if we have some tools to helps us make decisions it can move the process along more quickly.

So one area where people get stuck in their search for meaningful work is identifying a career that “fits”. This can be difficult especially if you have more than one set of skills or area of interest. To help in this process I like to recommend a personality assessment to help give you some guidance. This type of tool is not to identify your next career path, but to provide ideas about environments in which you would thrive. This is critical to discovering work that you love. [click to continue…]

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SODAI recently met someone whose story will make you think. This individual was a dedicated employee working for the same company for over 20 years. During this time he worked through all the available training and accepted as many positions as he could to advance his situation. He was highly regarded by his coworkers as well as those who worked for him. I know because I interviewed one of them. What makes this story somewhat sad to me is the length of time that he waited for a better position to come along. Though he was highly qualified, he worked a fourth of his life for a company where he hoped a better situation would come along but never did.

Bonus Content: I have created a one page tip sheet that will help prepare you for a job interview. Look for it at the end of this post, or click here to grab it now!

This story is more common than you may think. How long should you work for a company before you decide that it’s time to move on? What makes people stay? Is it wrong to stay loyal? Is it wrong to jump ship?

The answers to these questions are as different as those who ask them, but depending on your situation, here are three factors to consider when frustrated with your job:

It is more common today for people to change companies and careers in a relatively short period of time. The average length of time for people to stay in one job is now around 3.2 years. Working for the same company for an entire career is becoming a thing of the past. If you are passionate about the work that you do, you love your position and you have no desire to leave, than it makes sense for you to stay. If you need to change your situation and there are no foreseeable opportunities, then you should create a plan to change.

Don’t let the lack of a degree hold you back. It is becoming more common for companies to offer more advanced positions to candidates who have related experience even if they don’t have college degrees. I have worked for companies that would offer promotions to those without a college degree as long as they had valuable work experience or special skills. There are still companies that don’t offer promotions unless you have a college degree. To me this is old thinking. More and more companies recognize and reward folks who are predisposed to action and accomplishment whether you have a degree or not. Those are the companies you need to target with your plan of action.

Your experience is valuable. It is sad but true, that local talent is sometimes overlooked. While your company may not recognize the things you have accomplished, there are other companies who will. The gentleman in my story was a very skilled supervisor who was organized, focused and had a track record of production success. Another local company was thrilled to pick him up and offer him a better situation, better pay, better hours, better incentives and better recognition. You may have exactly what another company is looking for. But you need to recognize your own value first.
So what should you do?

  • Commit yourself for two to five years of dedicated effort. If the fit isn’t right, or the opportunities are not available, then create a plan to move on. Start today. Life is too short!
  • Learn everything you can in and for your current position and future positions.
  • Be indispensable. This means that they can’t live without you.
  • Identify your next move based on work that you love. Don’t just take the next best pay scale. Have a strategy to put yourself where you need to be.
  • Keep your options open. What I mean by this is, make sure that you don’t limit your career options by outside decisions. Debt is a huge factor because it strangles mobility. If you are not mobile, the best options may not be available to you.

My hope is that you will find encouragement in these ideas. Don’t wait for years thinking that your time will come. It may, but then it may not. Loyalty is admirable, but your first duty is to your principles, your family and then your company. If your current situation is not working, then take steps to change your situation. You have value as an employee, and perhaps you have greater value to someone else.

Let me know what you think. If you are working on a plan already, check out this free worksheet on Seven Steps to a Great Job Interview. Leave a comment below. I would love to connect with you!


Conference PicA little over a week ago I hosted a Leadership Conference here in my hometown of Owatonna, MN. The event was called Leadercast, and it is one of the largest one-day leadership conferences in world. I hosted an authorized rebroadcast of the live event that was held back on May 9th. Promoting an event of this caliber was a brand new experience for me. I learned a ton through the process, and I realized that these lessons can be applied to nearly any type of event that you want to promote. So let me share some of what I learned.

You need a team. I was grateful for the folks that helped me promote this event. They were generous with their time and encouragement. It’s the encouragement part that is so critical. During promotion, it is easy to get discouraged with the process. People don’t respond as you hoped, or signups are slow. It is then that you need people around you to encourage you and provide ideas. You can’t afford to lose momentum and a team will help keep you focused.

You need to connect with the right people. It wasn’t until late in the process that I reached out to a couple of individuals that could have been very helpful in the process of promotion, but there wasn’t enough time to have a serious impact. When you team up with folks, you need to connect with influencers. These are folks that tend to be where the action is and they know how to promote. When they move, other people follow. This is the Law of E.F. Hutton who was so influential that when he spoke everyone listened. Attract the right leaders to your cause and this will help you build a following.

Start sooner. The bottom line is you need to have time to promote. The community has to get used to the idea, and it takes time to sink in. People need time to discover who else will be attending your event. If you are looking for businesses to send employees, they need to have your event on their radar at least a couple of months ahead. For an event like the one I was promoting, four to six months would have been ideal. Planning earlier will save panic and missed opportunities later. You just need to get out of the gate as soon as possible.

Get personal. Share your enthusiasm for what you are doing, and do as much as you can in person. Speak to clubs, to churches and to businesses. You see, people likely don’t know that they need what you are promoting. They may not “need it” yet they will benefit from getting involved. It helps people to make that connection when they can hear from you in person.

Don’t let fear keep you from action. The best lessons are learned while you are in motion. Action builds confidence. People usually regret the things they didn’t attempt, not the things that didn’t go as planned. Today I know a lot more about promoting an event like Leadercast and my next attempt will be an even bigger success.

Live events are a great way to get noticed and to build your brand. No matter what your platform is, I encourage you to consider some kind of live event. It could be a conference, a workshop, a sale or even a concert.  Give it some time to work. Create a plan, and work your plan. If you follow these five key lessons it will help you achieve the success you are looking for. If you have an idea for a live event of your own, I would love to connect with you about it. Leave a comment below and let’s get you started!


Four Reasons to Do a Live Event

Whether you are a teacher, a leader, an artist or you just long to interact with people there are four reasons to do a live event.

  1.  A live event is a great way to become a perceived authority in your niche. Teach your passion. Help others to succeed in the area where you have had success. Become the “go-to” person for information in your area of expertise. This helps to establish you as an authority.

2. A live event can be one of several things, and you can pick the option that works best for you. If you like webinars, then this is an option. If you enjoy face to face contact, then a workshop or seminar is a good option as well. If you like even more interaction and want to meet large groups of people, then hosting a conference may be the right thing. A live event can be many things, so give one or all of them a try.

3. Live events are motivating. There is something dynamic that happens in the presence of many people. There is a certain energy. There is a sense of common interest. The ideas that are generated, supported and affirmed are valuable.

4. You develop connections. Connections are critical to surviving in our current culture. You need to be able to network with other like-minded people and live events help make that happen.

Whatever your niche, I encourage you to consider doing a live event. Live events are just one segment of my personal goals in 2014. Leadercast Owatonna will be the second live event for me this year, and I encourage you to get your tickets today if you are in Southern Minnesota. In fact the early bird price will expire this Tuesday the 19th, so get them soon before the price goes up!

Consider doing a live event of some kind, whether it’s a how-to class, an informational workshop or hosting a conference. It’s a great way to connect with people and it just may help you get your business off to a great start! So enjoy the video, check out the Leadercast Owatonna page and let’s go live!