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Vision 30

Career Coaching for Young Professionals

Your Dream Career

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What is your dream career?

As a recruiter and career coach, I get my fair share of people reaching out and sending me their resumes.  Early in our conversations, one of the first questions I ask them is “What is your dream career?“.  It’s startling how many people aren’t able to answer this.  These are professionals who have been ‘playing the game’ and having success for a few years now.  For whatever reason, they are ready for their next move, but they just aren’t sure what that next move is and they aren’t quite sure how to figure it out.

What is your dream career?Think about this!  You are likely going to spend 40+ hours per week of every single week for many many many many many weeks to come working in a career.

That’s a long time!

Isn’t it worth taking the time and energy NOW to figure out what you want that to look like?

Some questions to ask yourself?

  • What kind of organization do I want to work for?
  • What is important to me?
  • What excites me?
  • What am I good at?
  • What do I love doing?
  • What impact do I want to make?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • What legacy do I want to leave?
  • What do I deserve?

When you start asking yourself questions like these, you start to focus on what is important and meaningful to you.  And believe me . . . you want a career that is meaningful to you!

There are too many people doing things they don’t love doing.  There are too many people who are stuck in a position because they never thought about the impact they wanted to make.  There too many people who are scared of change.

That doesn’t have to be you!
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What dream career will you be pursuing by 30?

Fix Your Broken Windows

 

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Within the past day or two, I’ve finished the audiobook: Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell.  Tipping Point is a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does.  If you haven’t read this book, I highly encourage you do, as well as his other two books: Outliers and Blink.

In Tipping Point, Gladwell talks about the “Broken Window Theory” as he shares a story about why the crime rate in New York City dramatically changed in the mid 1990′s.

There was a major crime problem on the subways in New York City.  The subway cars were covered in graffiti, they were dirty, and everyday commuters Fix Your Broken Windows - Vision30were getting hassled on a regular basis by panhandlers, bums, and homeless people.  Long story short, over the course of 6-10 years, they removed all the graffiti from cars, put the resources in place to ensure the cars stayed clean, and they stopped the harassment by the panhandlers, bums, and homeless people.  They quickly started to see the crime rate decline.  Gladwell’s explanation is the “Broken Window Theory

Broken Window Theory

Wikipedia states:

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.

What this says to me is an environment creates a culture that influences attitudes and behaviors and continues to attract like attitudes and behaviors.  Because it appeared that no one cared for or respected the subway cars it attracted careless and disrespectful attitudes and behaviors.  When they intentionally changed the environment the culture started to change.  As the culture changed, so did the attitudes and behaviors it allowed and attracted.

Environment & Culture

Think for a moment about your personal environment and culture.  They can be the ones you live in or the ones that live in you!

  • Do you have any “Broken Windows”?
  • What kind of attitudes and behaviors are they inspiring?
  • What kind of attitudes and behaviors are they attracting?
  • What do you need to do to fix them?

Personal Leadership is knowing our external and internal environment and understanding how that affects our personal culture.  We must know when we have “Broken Windows” and we must fix them.

We know what will happen if we don’t!

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What attitudes and behaviors will you attract by 30?

Handsome & Beautiful at What Expense? by M.Ruble

 

viagra

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Part of “Getting & Staying Healthy” is looking your best– which means being as aware of what we put on our bodies, as we do in our bodies. My guess is that you have bought at least a few items of food or household goods at the grocery store because it said “Natural, Organic, and made with real x,y,z”. What about Get Healthy & Stay Healthy - Vision30your personal care products? How safe (or toxic) are they?  What havoc are they wreaking on your skin, and would you even know if what the label claims isn’t entirely true? One would think that if millions of people are using a product, surely it is safe, right!?
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What I bet you didn’t know, is that the cosmetics & personal care industry isn’t as regulated as the pharmaceutical and food industries… so don’t just rely on the marketing labels without turning the bottle around and actually reading the ingredients (if they are even listed). Once you start doing a little research, what you find may surprise you– and healthier choices are more readily available now than in the past.

How do I know what is toxic, and what isn’t?

  • The Cosmetic Database (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com) provides an easy to use tool which ranks products on a scale of 1-10 (0-2 Low Hazard, 3-6 Moderate Hazard, and 7-10 Highest Hazard).
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  • Get Healthy & Stay Healthy - Vision30Hover over any of the categories along the top bar to select the type of product to search, or search by a particular product you use.
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  • I challenge you to at least take a look at the products you use every day to see how they rank– include makeup, skin care, hair products, eye care, nail products, baby care, oral care, sun protection, clomid overnight and many others!  I have personally done this and have gradually changed out all of my skin care, toothpaste, lotions, and cosmetic products.  It is easy to do, and you will quickly start to know which ones are ‘good’ and which ones to avoid in the high-hazard categories.

Take your knowledge a step further: 

  1. FAQ to learn more about the scoring system, why you should care, and harmful ingredient listings to look for: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/faq/
  2. Check out this handy ”Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics” that you can print and keep in your wallet: http://www.ewg.org/files/EWG_cosmeticsguide.pdf
  3. Sign-up to receive newsletters from the http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
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Hopefully this information helps guide you to some basic resources for making healthier and knowledgeable decisions about the products you use every day. Educate yourself and take small steps to healthier choices…to keep looking young and fabulous even longer!

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How healthy will your skin be by 30?

5 Ways to Kill The Messenger!

 

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Last week I was on the treadmill at the gym and I found myself irritated over ridiculous news story I was watching.  I normally don’t watch the news, but this morning my phone died, which is also my music player.  It was a reminder of how big of an impact the messages we receive can play in how we approach the world.

The average American gets hammered with over 5,000 messages per day in one form or another.  This means each one of us is having to make decision after decision after decision on what we are going to pay attention to and what we are going to ignore.

If it was only that easy!

It’s not that easy!  Sure we can say we are going to consciously make and effort to pay attention and that’s all well and good, but what about all the other stuff that our subconscious is sucking in without us even realizing it.
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Time Square, New York City

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We are at a disadvantage!

Most of the messages we experience aren’t coming from people we trust and sources who genuinely have our best interest in mind.  They are coming from sources who understand how we think, feel, and act more than we do.  Their number one goal is to influence you and I to do something that at the end of the day benefits them.  The tricky part is, they make us think we’re in control.

We’re not!   Yet!

The only way to win this battle is to understand your passions and values and proactively seek out information and resources that align with the person you want to be.  Being reactive puts you at the mercy of everything coming at you.

Take Control!

Here are five ways you can take control and kill all the messengers that have no interest you being confident and living fulfilled.

  1. Set Expectations
    Set expectations for what type of person you want to be and what type of life you want to live.  Call it vision, goals, interests, passions… however you want to phrase it is up to you.  Once you set expectations you’ll know what you need to pay attention to and what really doesn’t matter.
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  2. Select Your Network
    We talked about this in a previous post “Soar with the Eagles“.  You are who you hang with!  The people you roll with are a reflection of who you are and an picture of who you are trying to be.  Surround yourself with people who inspire you and cut out those that take and bring you down.  Need some help?  Read this “Removing Toxic People From Your Life
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  3. Read/Watch/Listen
    There is so much great FREE information available right now at your finger tips on whatever topic you’re interested in.  Read blogs and articles…  watch YouTube clips or documentaries on Netflix… listen to podcasts and audio books.  Of course there is reliable and unreliable information, but you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t.
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  4. Get Involved
    Once you figure out your passions and values, get involved in things that align with them.  Getting involved will accomplish two things.  One: You’ll meet like minded people, which contributes to #2 above.  Two: When you focus on things you’re passionate about, the stuff that doesn’t align, doesn’t seem to matter as much.
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  5. Find a Mentor, Coach, or Trusted Advisor
    If you haven’t yet, watch the video on the upper right of this site.  Google CEO, Eric Schmidt talks about the value of this. We all need people who want to see us succeed that will give us the good, bad, and the ugly.  Often we are our own worst enemy.  Few things are more valuable than the third-party perspective of someone we trust.
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Of the thousands of messages you encounter on a daily basis, how many of them align with your passions and values and are helping you live confidently and fulfilled?  If you don’t know, you need to pay attention.  If you don’t like what you discover, you need to change it!  Only you can!

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What messages will you pay attention to by 30?

 

8 People You Need In Your Network! (Reblogged from PRDaily.com)

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I read this article after it was posted on Facebook by the Des Moines Young Professional Connecting (YPC).  The original article can be found at Ragan’s PRDaily.com and was written by Becky Johns.
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One common theme that great leaders and successful people have in common is the acknowledgement and gratitude they share for the people around them who have helped them become successful.  Our networks play a key role in becoming the leaders we need to be.  This article below does a nice job and looking at different personality types and how each can impact our success.

What will your network look like by 30?
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Young professionals are constantly told to focus on building their networks.
In the process, it’s important to introduce a diverse group of people into the mix. Life and work will surely throw crazy situations at all of us, and if we’re ready with the right team, we can tackle anything.

When it comes down to it, you need these eight people in your network.

8 People You Need In Your NetworkThe Cheerleader
There will be times when you need someone in your corner cheering you on. This person is there to root for you when you’re chasing a goal and is willing to help gather support for you from others. The Cheerleader provides encouragement and won’t be a fair-weather fan. You will know your cheerleader believes in you. With his or her support, you feel like you can conquer the world.

The Geek
Be sure to have someone you can count on to always know about the newest technologies, the emerging digital trends and the crazy things happening in startup land. This person won’t care much about what is cool now but will probably have an idea of what’s next. Knowing this type of person and talking about what he (or she) thinks is interesting will be a pipeline to new ideas.

The Peer
This person is close to your age, at roughly the same point in his or her career, and in the same (or a similar) industry. It’s very important to know a like-minded person in a similar professional place so you can discuss issues, including frustrating bosses, difficult colleagues or clients, and the challenges you face at your job level. Sometimes you’re just going to need to speak with someone who understands where you’re coming from and may be able to some advice, given that they’re living it, too. It also doesn’t hurt to have a peer to attend industry events with and help each other meet new people.

The Mentor
Strong mentors will make the biggest difference to your professional success. Great mentors will recognize your potential and help cultivate your talent. They will offer you advice as you’re navigating your career, introduce you to other successful people, and teach you how to become a better professional. They will also give you an opportunity to show what you know and help teach them something new or offer insights into a generation they may not fully understand. A solid mentoring relationship is beneficial for both sides, and having a trusted professional advisor will be helpful in more ways than you know. Here are some tips on creating successful relationships with mentors.

The Protégé
Just as a mentor will help you grow professionally, it’s important—even as a young professional—to help people even younger. Having students or less-experienced pros look to you for advice will make you feel responsibility toward the success of another. You’ll learn to dedicate some of your time and energy to giving back. The protégé will give you a handle on the next set of up-and-comers—the shining stars in your industry. Be sure your network includes people who will hold your feet to the fire—it will ensure you never grow complacent.

The Influencer
Do your best to create a meaningful relationship with someone influential in your industry. When influencers are far-away celebrities, or just the keynote speakers you see on stage, it’s easy to idolize that person and take his or her word as gospel. By getting to know them on a deeper level, it will remind you that everyone is human—even the rock stars. Learning this lesson will be important as you gain more success in your own career. By looking at their success from the inside out, you will better understand which behaviors, habits, and practices make them so respected in their industry.

The Weirdo
Everyone needs a quirky, artsy weirdo in their network. The person who finds crazy videos, drawings, and passion projects and shares them. This person will be a crucial source of inspiration throughout your career and will surely be your go-to when you need to inject some creativity into your life. Never have a shortage of people who fuel your right brain.

The Hater
Humans are most comfortable when surrounded by similar people. It’s easy to get caught up in building a network of people who will generally agree with you, support you, and enjoy what you share. But you need a hater—someone with whom you don’t see eye to eye. Someone who won’t be afraid to challenge you and make you feel uncomfortable at times. When you work hard on something and someone tries to make you feel like you’re effort is worthless, it does a few things:

    • It makes you more appreciative of the supportive people in your life
    • It makes you reevaluate how much dedication you have to your vision and project
    • It lets you know you’re doing something worth noticing.

I always say, if no one is hating on you, then you’re not doing anything interesting enough to talk about. The hater will sometimes be the reality check that the rest of your network can’t give you.

Who else needs to be part of your network?

This story first appeared on PR Daily in April 2011.

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The Problem with Motivation

 

Because I talk a lot about leadership, personal development, and life balance, I often get asked if I do motivational speaking.  Almost as quickly as this question is asked I am ready to respond with a NO!

Motivation - Vision 30I am not a motivational speaker!

Here’s why . . . 

Motivation is a temporary emotion that comes and goes.  We have an experience that provokes something within us that fires us up.  It’s an awesome explosion that will quickly fade unless one major decision is made.

That decision is commitment.

Commitment is the difference maker.
I don’t know about you, but I can get excited about a lot of things.  I’ve set a lot of goals in my days and every single one of them started because I felt motivated.  However, the only goals I’ve followed through on and achieved are the ones I committed to.

Motivation might be the spark that ignites an explosion, but commitment is what allows the fire to keep burning.

Vision 30 - CommitmentCommitment is a choice.

It’s true; commitment is a choice to be made.  It doesn’t just happen.

Don’t be that person that says “I have no motivation” or “I need to find some motivation” like it’s some wonder drug that is going to dramatically change your lives.  The problem is you haven’t made the choice to commit to whatever it is you can’t find the “motivation” to do. When you decide to commit it’s amazing how motivation is much more accessible.

If you are going to take this Personal Leadership thing seriously, you can’t half ass it.  If you are going to live the life you deserve to live, you can’t rely on motivation alone.  You must commit to your results!

Leaders commit to their results!
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How committed will you be by 30?

Do You Have Double Vision?

 

With few exceptions, anyone who has ever accomplished anything possessed
Double Vision.   Great leaders have Double Vision.

What is Double Vision?

Double Vision is the ability to look at a single situation and see from two different perspectives.

Future vs. Present

Vision 30 - Double Vision - FutureLet’s start with future, because frankly . . . that’s where you must start. If you don’t start with the future, you won’t think about the future. If you aren’t thinking about the future, you’re only thinking of the present. If you’re only thinking of the present, none of this matters because it’s not Double Vision.  Got it?

Double Vision starts with the future. 

Seeing the future is kind of like looking into a crystal ball. However, rather than you waiting for some mysterious image to appear, you have to create that image. Rather than waiting for your future to be defined, you must define your future. 

Take control!

Once you define your future and know what you want your world to look like, you must understand where you are today. Understanding where you are today compared to what you want your world to look like is the first step in setting goals and creating your plan to get there. If the future you defined aligns with your passions, values, and expectations every step in your journey will be rewarding and purposeful.

Enjoy the journey!

Double Vision is your ability to recognize how the present impacts the future. Every single day we are faced with choices and decisions that either align with what we want our lives to look like, or they don’t. It’s up to every one of us to be proactive about our future and take personal responsibility for how we live today. Double Vision accomplishes both!

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Will your vision be doubled by 30?
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Did you find this post helpful?  If so, please share it with others.  Thanks!

A Battle You Can’t Afford to Lose!

 

Your ability to effectively lead yourself and inspire others comes down to the never-ending battle that occurs in all of us:

Confidence vs. Insecurity

Merriam-Webster.com defines each as:

Confidence: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
Insecurity: deficient in assurance: beset by fear and anxiety

A theory that I personally use to organize my world is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  In a nutshell this theory says that insecurity prevents us from developing:

  • Healthy love and relationships with others
  • Self-esteem needed to strive for greater accomplishment
  • Ability to discover our purpose or as Maslow says “Self-Actualization”

Vision 30 - Confidence vs. InsecurityWithout even realizing it, insecurity drives us to act in ways and make choices that we would not make if we were secure with ourselves and the world around us. It paralyzes us from being the person we truly want to be and living the life we deserve to live.

It holds you hostage!

Insecurity does serve a purpose however.  It’s a survival and protection mechanism that gives us a sense of relief and control when we feel, as Merriam-Webster.com says “fear and anxiety”.  This relief and control may not be productive in the grand scheme of things, but for now it works.  We become comfortable, but never really become secure.  The scary part is some people live in a constant cycle of “fear and anxiety” and don’t even know it.

The questions you must ask yourself are:

Do you want your life defined by choices based on “fear and anxiety”?   

OR

Do you want your live to be defined by choices based on security and the genuine belief that you are acting in the “right, proper, or most effective way” to reach your goals?

That’s confidence!

The foundation of our security and confidence is something that was built within us at a very young age and was largely dependant on our environment and the relationships with the adults in our lives.  If the adults in our lives didn’t understand this battle (and most didn’t) it never got addressed.  We were just expected to be confident, do our work, and be successful.

Regardless of past experience and what you think you are right now you must understand this:

Confidence is a key characteristic of success and fulfillment!

Confident people think more productive.  They feel better about themselves and the world around them.  They don’t get consumed by worry and fear.  They progress even in adverse situations.  They aren’t held back by people or things.  They are purposeful in their actions.

In the battle between insecurity vs. confidence, confidence must win!

Study confidence, practice confidence, and be confident!

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How confident will you be by 30?

Are You An Asker or Guesser?

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Over the past ten years I’ve been exposed to a lot of great information. “The Social Animal” by David Brooks has quickly moved its way into my top three favorite books and I’m only half way through it.

The Social Animal, by David BrooksAn excerpt that caught my attention is the concept of:

Askers and Guessers 

“The writer Andrea Doneri argues that the world is divided between Askers and Guessers.  Askers feel no shame when making requests and are willing to be told no without being hurt.  They’ll invite themselves over as a guest for a week.  They’ll ask for money, to borrow the car, a boat, or a girlfriend. They have no compunction about asking and do not take offense when they are refused.

Guessers hate asking for favors and feel guilty when saying no to other people’s request.  In Guess culture you avoid putting a request into words unless you’re sure the answer will be yes.  In Guess culture you never say no to someone else directly.  You make excuses.  Every request, made or received, is fraught with emotional and social peril.”

Which are you? 

For a lot of my life I was a Guesser.  In a hyper-sensitive world, I thought being a really good guy, trying to please everyone, and not offend anyone was the key to success.  I needed people to like me.

I had to become an Asker!

People that get things done and impact the world are Askers. They approach the world with confidence, assertiveness, and fearlessness.  They aren’t afraid to pursue their passions and go after what they want.

The world needs more Askers!
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Can you be an Asker by 30?