073 The Number One Hidden Secret to Career Success

With all the job gurus and career pundits telling us what is right and good and true – it’s hard to know where to start and what to do. 

Scott and Andrew discover, with all the noise, what the #1 hidden secret to career success is for all of us.

Don’t miss these Topics:

  • Measuring success.
  • Taking stock of what works and what doesn’t
  • Measurements to consider for resume, networking, and job search tracking
  • Building perpetual career communities 

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00:00:01 – 00:05:04

welcome to job seekers radio. I’m Andrew and I’m Scott. This production is meant to provide meaningful support to fight great careers faster eastern whether you’re working or not today’s episode is brought to you by the anatomy of never came conversation. It’s an e book a free resource to download at job seekers radio DOT COM in. It’s our free gift to you. Today’s episode we’re talking about the number one hidden secret of career success. Yes there are a lot of ways to look at success I remember in my youth feeling that as an actor or the only measurement measurement of success would be that Academy award or a Tony Award. Whatever that might look like and I remember hearing someone say no it really is just winning? Whatever it is? You’re going for whether that’s a specific part whether that is getting a paid gig being just voice talent whatever that might be that all of these are measures of success and I remember totally dismissing that Of course I was also in my teens and probably lacked any life experience audience to be able to make a judgment on in the first place so as we talk about hidden secrets we really do. Come back to the idea that it could be something. That’s really right in front of you. It’s amazing how when we look at our careers and we think about success. We’re always looking for the easy way. The the path of least resistance for getting to the path of least resistance. Maybe it takes a little effort. But I’M GONNA make it too easy street right. Something that does require effort On any of our parts and and really when we talk about the tools available accessible to us in career and we talk about success the first one. That always comes up with anybody buddy. I coach is the resume and we talk about success for resume. What does that look like? We have spoken on resumes a lot and we always come back to the idea that the best way to judge a resume is to use the one that works the one that gets you calls. And that was advice that I got from a Recruiter and head hunter that I had turned to to ask we what works for you and she turned that around on me. Well what works for you. What gets you the calls? That’s the one you should use. Her point in the larger conversation was to try a lot of them. Use the works trial and error improve. Always always look for ways to attract an interview through that method Shurmur that document. We do want the resume in this case to be interesting to let people know what you have done. Most importantly the value you brought in whatever it is that you had done. So that’s why they talk about accomplishment so if you’re on the sales side what what kind of sales percentages were you dealing with you know. Put the numbers in there. You make it recognizable for the people that you’re sending the resume too so they can see. There is value behind the accomplishments or the tasks that you were responsible for one of the reasons you may actually be on this podcast right now is is perhaps your resume is not working for you and that is a way to determine whether or not to move to another method sure in the method. We often advocate. And you can probably see that from virtually. All of the episodes we’ve put together is networking. And when we look and talk about success when it comes to networking what are we really talking about to use the resume analogy. I like to think of. It is a snapshot at my experience. So if that’s all I’m giving people as I’m networking king really. That’s about meeting New People talking to people that may be able to give me information advice and all of that. It’s not just a one and done thing. It’s not like the resume Somme where they say. Oh well can I have your resume. You handed to him than you think you’re done. No there’s still work that needs to be done one of the things that they can help you do as your networking is to you. Say whether or not this resume would be something they respond to. Does this actually trigger their interest and it gives you something else to talk about the idea of having a project to work on where you’re asking people for Information and advice. The resume can be that project as you’re looking at networking. It works the same way. You have to to do the things that actually bring results okay. What results are you looking for? The first thing that Andrew you and I deal with in terms of the conversations that we have with job seekers is going to group events whether that’s a job fair or an association trade show or any one of these common networking groups. oops I have spoken to a number of people who say yeah. I’ve done that. Didn’t work for me. Wooded how did you approach it and what were you hoping to get out of it. Exactly how do you measure success zest and another thing that they fall into is that’s the only kind of networking they do. So they’re out they’re going to the groups they go to a lot of groups but they’re not trying to get any deeper and in some cases they’re actually when pressed they will admit it.


00:05:04 – 00:10:05

They’re actually looking for ways to disqualify group networking and as avenue and the president makes them uncomfortable comfortable or they’ve made up their minds already that for whatever reason that it’s not going to work so if they’re looking for reasons why networking isn’t going to work group. Networking isn’t going to work. They’re going to find that and instead it brings us back to what our mentor clan has talked what about in his group is to one of the three key points to get out there and learn something. Well if every single group that you go to is an opportunity to learn something okay. So this one didn’t work. What did you learn what happened in? That event didn’t work for you. Why didn’t it work for you? And that’s really the information and as I’m talking to people say oh well never does work for me why you could say the same about individual nats right is that people go into one on one situation and they come into with best of intention and their intention doesn’t always get them what they want which they assume might be an interview so they’ll bring their resume they’ll sit down with somebody and say hey you’re working had a great company where I see an open position. Here’s my resume. And then it doesn’t work I say networking doesn’t work because I approached it from that perspective and the outcome outcome were really looking for is as you mentioned Scott Learn something maybe get some advice or direction or even get introduced to somebody else now. If invitation for an interview comes in was that really the success I was looking for and you don’t set yourself up for success if we have unrealistic expectation. That’s absolutely true. You also also won’t see this if you enter without an open mind because I would say just look at it from from an artist. Point of view talked to any painter. I personally do glass art photographers. You name it whatever. The the art form is often we get our best successes through mistakes through things that didn’t work out the way we expected them to Specifically with glass art. I’ve come up with some of my nicest pieces because what I was actually going for. It didn’t work. And so I take that and I make it into something something else that ends up being better than what I had already had in mind. Networking is no different. If I go to a networking event and I’m not getting the outcome that I wanted and let’s say just because is this is something that that is a nice starting point. I’m going to meet three New People in this networking event. I’ve never met them before. I’m going to have a meaningful conversation with whatever that looks like right. I I’d say that’s a good approach to a networking event. And maybe I only talked to one person. Does that mean I have not succeeded because I have reached a goal that I walked in with the answer or is yes. It is in fact a failure if I learned nothing from it. Yeah well if that works for you sure it may not work for me to meet three people. It might mean gene success for me is I just WanNa have one person that I talked to a hiring manager and that means I have to talk to own lunch sort of team. People it just to meet one hiring manager but if I set myself up for success I do have an objective and that works for me. The idea is I’m not failing by having having a really good conversation with one person. It may not have been the goal that I walked ten. With what if that one person can actually introduce me to three other people. It’s still a success. What we’re doing? We’re coming in with some assumptions. The idea that we have to reach a specific goal in order for something to be a success and that is not not necessarily true in fact the more we try the different things the easier. It’s going to be to recognize success when it happens and the best analogy that I bet for this is going fishing. You have to cast your into several different kinds of ponds and rivers to figure out which one is going to be the one for you you. You may end up pulling up a fish one that you don’t like here’s the thing you know. It’s so funny about that. When I was selling real estate? I was coaching through a company and he called Mike Ferry and Mike Furious. I’d me coach. Steve Powers I remember this conversation like it was yesterday and it happens every year January. I it’s the largest number uh of expired listings of the entire year. Okay that means he said to me and I remember this vividly. There’s a narrow channel and all the fish are going going through this little channel. How can you not afford to be there? Fishing win the Fisher running through the channel. Yeah so not only do you need to have your lines ends in the water but you actually need to be fishing yet. You have to be paying attention. I also think about those who who say oh well yeah the group thing never worked for me so I’m just going with one one. That’s all I do. Okay that’s going to be a problem because you’re not actually paying attention to where the fish are going and the reverse is true. Oh well one on one doesn’t work for me because I’m just not not good at asking people to introduce me to other people so I’d rather go the group thing okay I. I’m not saying you won’t find success that I will suggest that you will be limiting yourself instead. Pay attention where the fish are and that tends to be cyclical as well you think about if you’re looking for government jobs.


00:10:05 – 00:15:02

When is the time that the hiring usually happens? What’s after the fiscal year begins But that’s not the only time it’s also as the fiscal year is ending because these government agencies or their contractors have to spend their money or they’re not gonna get it for the next next fiscal season. Pay Attention. What what can you learn from all of these different things that you’re doing cast your bait into the pond or the river or wherever the fish are to figure you’re out what is going to work for you and keep doing that? Keep your eyes open for other things because you don’t know where the fish may go next time. Keep making the effort keep measuring in some way until you figure out what it is that works for you and my guess is it’s going to be a combination of things that brings us to another idea in career and that is the key skill. I believe we just completed a decade. We’re in a new millennium and have been for twenty years now and really the key skill today in in the marketplace my perspective of course is the capacity to learn new things and what we need to look at in terms of success in learning new. Things is having capacity to know why I should be doing. That’s the first step second step. Is You get to decide what does it do. I want to learn. And how do I WANNA learn it. And they’re obviously as many different different options for how to learn something as there are learning opportunities lists endless over the holidays. I was at a party. Some good friends of mine were hosting and I happen to meet the Chancellor of a university. There didn’t know him from Adam. We’ve ended up talking having worked in higher. Ed In my past it gave me an ability to talk about out commonalities. What was interesting was in the work that I do now as a trainer and consultant I create training opportunities for people and sometimes they ask for a blended learning opportunity meaning some of it online some of an in person so there’s pre work there’s post work all of that stuff that might be done online and so it makes the in person part richer? Okay so you’re you’re only there to to actually practice the skills that you may learn through the online source and it turns out that this chancellor chancellor had brought with him to his university somebody who was an expert on blended learning heap introduced me and I had a follow up conversation with this professor. About how do you you back up. The success of blended learning with data and I went with the express goal of finding out what the data was that that supported the benefits of learning specifically in other words. What this study’s where have they been done? What do they show that? Prove that blended blended learning is actually as effective as impersonal earning. Well I did not succeed at that goal because come to find out at least according to this professor there really isn’t any and we could go into other conversations about why what ended up happening. What we ended up talking about was? How do you make a blended learning wing situation work and yes the evaluative process is definitely there how you approach it may need to change and this is something that I hadn’t really considered in this context? There were a few things that we talked about though and one of them was building a persistent community. And that’s a term. I had never heard before the idea idea was to create and in this case online a community where people can chat about things they can talk about the paper. They’ve just written or the article that they’ve just read and how this relates to the things that they’re working on but it’s an online platform for them to keep the conversation going while in my work reinforcement is a a big part of what we do. The online learning is a way to get the learning into their hands and so the in person part is how they practice at. That part isn’t going to change the A key. Learning moment for me in this conversation was there was a whole realm of conversation that I didn’t even think about despite the fact that I’ve been through it myself south into different context. All of a sudden there was a connection job seekers can create for themselves a persistent community. Exactly what does that mean in terms of what works for you. Well that’s going to depend on what works for you. That’s part of the empowerment moment if you can then take what you’ve learned and you can create some kind of persistent community think about the job seeking networking groups that you already attend you the listener. You’re already attending some of them somewhere right. How do you keep the persistent community going for me so far? It’s been pretty random. I think about Nancy whom I met. Gosh a decade ago. I hadn’t really thought about this but it was ten years ago that we met she and I stay in contact not often regularly probably every six months or so we just paying each other. It had never dawned on me that that’s the beginning of a persistent community. How can we be more intentional about that? So for for some people it may be an excel spreadsheet.


00:15:02 – 00:20:05

And I know injure. You’ve talked about that. Oh yeah well having some kind of job search or career. CRM customer relationship. Can you get management really. It’s something that we talk about a lot in sales. Is You need to know your customer shore really well. Yeah in one way to keep track of all of that especially if you have. It’s like I don’t know how many are in your network on Langton but I’m over seven thousand now I mean how do you keep track. I can’t possibly keep in touch with everyone. No Oh I can’t either right. We think about our parents would have had rolodexes got my mom had one of those. I actually just ran across one. I was going through stuff and the ad it. What’s really interesting? Interesting is for me. I was of the generation of rolodex users. Where you had the little punch card and so you didn’t actually have rolodex cards? You had a Rolodex where you put. Somebody’s he’s business card. You punched holes or the you know the slots whatever and then you just slip the business card in an ooh. That was all the rage back when I was doing that. But I have all these business business cards at people I didn’t know and I had written on the back of some of them. However there are people for whom that still works? Don’t stop using it if it works if it works for you keep using. That’s the skill we’re talking about here is using the one that works for you. Excel for me. It’s actually notebooks keeping the notebooks and flagging the ones uh-huh literally by color the conversations that I’ve had and so I can go back to a notebook that I’ve used in the past sort of journal idea although I’m not journal or I yeah I do keep track of the people that I’ve talked to what we talked about. And so those things that I wanNA remember I can flag and if I’m looking for a specific kind of memory or we’re learning whatever that is I go back to the color okay. That’s what works for me. There are so many other out there and some people actually have access to salesforce and some of the other other platforms right and I use sales flair for my business. I’ve seen people use hub spot. There’s a lot of softwares service type of solutions out there to keep track back in my job search in my career and nobody ever thought to do it that way there was somebody actually developed when back in the day when the dot com thing was going on and it never took off primarily. I believe because Lincoln came on the scene and really they’re looking to displace a lot of what’s happening in that space. My mom I still remember. She had literally a metal box with the flip over lid and it had three by five cards in it. And that’s how she kept in touch with her believe it or not she was a printing broker and this says how she kept. Track of people was a three by five card now and it doesn’t have to be. Its whatever’s going to keep you going one of the things that we keep. Keep coming back to. Is You have to be the one to make the effort. Whatever the form that works for you it means that you have to put the effort into it to get out of it? What you want there is no easy street? And that’s the biggest challenge I have in coaching. People is that it doesn’t necessarily life doesn’t necessarily get easier here. I also come back to the idea that specific efforts will get easier. The quote that says the more you do something the easier it becomes not because the the thing itself has changed but your ability to do it has and so as we’re looking at the measurements of success and what it is that we’re trying to do so in our job seeking in our career. What is that that secret to success will first of all you have to be able to define what success is and that is going to be individual to you and your situation nation Andrew? Dance what you’re trying to achieve for some of you. It may just be a job. Kamajors need to get on base. Maybe your objective his jaw and measuring all of your things things against that and if it works for you guess what then that was the right measurement for me personally. It is a job where I can feel like I bring value. That’s going to make a the difference in the lives of the people that I’m working with and as a trainer coach that makes sense and generally able to do that. Is it working the idea of fulfiling career. All of us walk in the door wanting a fulfilling career how do we measure that success what does fulfillment really need. And if I I need to lower my standards for that fulfillment in the short term. Will they lead to the higher standards that I’m actually going for. If you can say yes to that then that doesn’t mean it’s failure it means it’s a step that you know it’s funny you bring that up. I am really attracted to great leaders. Yes and for me. A A measurement of success is regardless of how many people I need. I’m always looking to me what I would define as a great leader and that certainly has certain characteristics. Yes so I’m I’m always looking for those people to create you know as we talked about earlier that community. Actually you bring up another point that I think about when talking about great leaders often we read the articles. On what what. What makes a great leader right and we’re thinking about? How do I internalize this so I become a better leader? There’s also the idea that these should be traits that I’m looking for and other people then there are those who they don’t look at their own performance.


00:20:05 – 00:24:04

They’re looking at the other people I well. They need to look at their own performance. It’s turning it on its head How do we look at things differently so that we see as we go back to the basics how that can work but how it can work differently for us so that we gain greater success it also could be an awesome company? We Now we talk about awesome company in a generic sense for each one of us. We need to define what that is. What is an awesome company? Look like what are their values. What is their mission? Statement what benefit sedate provide do they have great leadership and so for each one of us we may be out to measure Azur or say. Hey you know I’m just really looking to work for an awesome company. Nothing wrong with that. That’s great one thing I would say. Just as a caveat to that is some some companies are in fact awesome. They have the right values. It’s totally in alignment and everything is absolutely great. Until of course you meet the people inside inside the company always remember that you’re dealing with human beings and it’s never going to be quite as good as they say it is and I don’t mean to sound cynical. It’s keep the lens of realism in your glasses. Because that will help you to discern what is real and what isn’t real because you can always deal with the things that are real in positive ways speaking of real. I think you’ve realized we’ve gone through most of this podcast and not actually actually told you the number one hidden secret of success we sort of hinted at it. Well we we did hint at it and hopefully you caught it. But what is the number one secret of success. The hidden secret success don’t give up don’t give up keep making. The effort changed things as you go try little differently. The whole premise is the secrets into our success. Whether it’s one or a series of parts the secret is usually something that has been in front of us the whole time. We simply haven’t haven’t recognized at so that is my challenge to our listener to look at the things that you’re currently doing. Try to look at them differently. Which one of these? He’s could still be the key to your personal success. I think about clan who says the answers are all inside of you. You already have them. And I I am a firm believer in that. It’s simply that we haven’t looked at that diamond in the rough and recognized it for what it was. We do have the answers in front of us. We simply have to Polish them one of the tools. You have right in front of you right now. Is the show notes in resources. For this podcast episode you can find those at job. Seekers radio DOT COM forward slash zero seven. Three the other source is the book that we put together the Anatomy of networking in conversation. We want you to download that at job seekers radio DOT COM. And then while you’re there we would really appreciate it if you would send us some feedback. Let us know how the book is helping you how this topic of the secret. The Not so secret secret. It can help you. We’d love love to hear of your successes. We’d love to hear about your challenges so that we can get a little deeper into this to help you figure out what the best success really really looks like but we want to challenge you. Don’t give up do us a favor in the show notes. There is a link to itunes for you to leave a rate and review. It’s also a great great place to subscribe to get future episodes so please head over there. The link is right there in the show notes. That is something you could do as a favor to us so that we can spread the word about about what we’re trying to accomplish here this labor of love that we have called job seekers radio. Well thanks everybody. I’m Scott and I’m Andrew and in the words of Simon cynic doc. Don’t quit never give up trying to build the world you can see even if others can’t see it listen to your drum and your drum only. It’s the only one that makes the sweetest sound. Thanks everybody bye bye.


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