PERFECT Practice Makes (Near) Perfection!

Compass-seaLEver made a mistake? A really big one? Maybe you did something careless, without proper planning or sufficient attention? Something that might have cost you dearly in some way like a job, sale, time, money, health, or a relationship?

Unless you were just born, you surely have. So, the more important question is “are you better off as a result?” As painful as mistakes can be, they can provide great benefit.
There is no teacher better than the missteps often found in PRACTICING Your Basic Job Hunting skills and tools.  Those who live a privileged, sheltered, and adversity-free life miss life’s education.

THIS Week’s session is INTERVIEW SKILL PRACTICE w/Brian facilitating

chalk1In contrast, those who deal with tough bosses, demanding clients, relationship conflicts, and their own bad decisions, learn many valuable lessons. Counterintuitively, the extent of adversity people have been through is a better determinate of their future success than how much prosperity they have enjoyed. But adversity is only beneficial if it is properly processed.

When people make a mistake, they have three fundamental choices on how to process it. Two of the choices lead to no benefit and the other to significant benefit. Choice #1 is to be frustrated by or dismissive of the mistake. Choice #2 is to blame others or circumstances. Choice #3 is to reflect on and find the learning in it. Intellectually, people see choice #3 as the correct choice, yet regularly practice choices #1 and #2.

Rather than embrace the opportunities for skill improvement, or creating the discipline of personal accountability, job seekers tend to stay in their comfort zone. Rather than learn what they can and make adjustments, they get frustrated until they “get over it” or worse—blame others or circumstances. They may be quick to correct others, but unable to see the need for change in themselves.

Whether you have a hard time getting on the phone to develop new relationships, or have a challenge in avoiding distractions… or allow an employer control you BEFORE you are employed, accept a dead-end job, or simply say something you wish you hadn’t, you have earned the opportunity to learn from and be better for it.

Don’t waste a good mistake.

Your work in Achieving CareerFIT led you to the determination of your career objective, exactly what is the best next step for you in your career transition? It also suggested strongly that you set your straw-man offer criteria to guide you in moving forward…Knowing what your next right employment is.

This will help focus your actual search. With clarity in your positioning and targeting goals, you can write a great resume, be prepared for networking conversations, and develop your skills regarding actual interviews and negotiation.


Most job seekers are surprised and dismayed at their lack of comfort in talking about themselves as others see them.  This is completely normal and human… a ‘talent’ that can be learned through practice.

1. A well rehearsed “two minute commercial,” your answer to the most asked question during career transition, “Tell me about yourself.”
2. Several, well though out, “elevator speeches,” examples that support your primary, positioning, key words. These are usually your representative accomplishments under the SUMMARY of your resume. (30 seconds to 1 minute)
3. A succinct “qualification statement” that you can use as an introduction at networking events. (usually 20 – 30 seconds)
4. An “exit statement” which explains your availability, to address the second most asked question during career transition.

Having your personal marketing collateral materials prepared and rehearsed prior to active personal marketing is central to your success and builds confidence.

Consistency in the delivery of your message is what creates memory… and frequency of your message helps you get there… strive for top-of-mind awareness where it relates to your candidacy.

Your personal marketing COMMUNICATION STRATEGY, your story, must be built around keywords and phrases that best describe your unique value proposition. These words come from your concerted self-assessment process. The challenge is matching the words that best describe your next right employment with the words that best describe a potential new employer’s needs.

A communication strategy that does not achieve that is doomed to otherwise controllable difficulties—and, worst…failure. So, understand that getting recruited involves two distinct elements…

• Being screened for meeting a JOB’s requirements… a subjective process created by the potential employers of the marketplace. They set the bar HIGH, defined by functional experience, skill set, and knowledge standards so they don’t have to interview every JOB applicant.
• Being selected by the hiring authority… another subjective process which now involves their assessment of a job-seeker’s FIT with their needs, including personality, work habits, and other ‘cultural’ standards. They cannot hire all qualified candidates. They must choose.

A job-seeker, then, can give themselves choices when they choose to embrace the OTHER Job Market. They improve their probability of success by nearly eliminating the pre-mature screening and rejection process.


Whether in your professional or personal life, your future success largely depends on how well you learn from your experience, especially the blunders you make in the privacy of practicing needed skills. Here are six principles to follow to get the most benefit from your practice sessions:

1. Acknowledge the mistake.  Confront reality. Forgive yourself and others, but don’t dismiss the mistake outright.

2. Take responsibility. Don’t be quick to fault external influences. Whether your role was limited or significant, accept responsibility. Even acts of omission are mistakes.

3. Reflect on the mistake. Most mistakes are symptoms. Ask “why did this happen?” Consider the possibilities and narrow them down to the likely culprits.

4. Involve others. Seek input from others who can help you objectively think through your assessment. Share your reflections with someone you trust who can help you understand the nuances of your situation. An accountability partner can be your best ally in job search skill practice.

5. Process your feelings. It’s alright to be frustrated and even angry just as much as it is to be excited and happy. Don’t cheat yourself out of processing your feelings, but don’t let your feelings overcome your logic.

Don’t label yourself. A mistake doesn’t define you any more than an achievement does. Allow yourself to go through a healthy learning curve.

6. Look forward. Forgive yourself and others. Realize that you are not perfect and its okay. Recover and move on…your skill and confidence IS growing!


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