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Escape From Your Dead-End Job

Bigg Challenge: We received a question from Gary, one of our listeners. He graduated from college a few years ago with a liberal arts degree. He had planned to go to law school, but didn’t want even more debt. He tried to get a job in his field, but didn’t find one. So he’s still delivering pizza, a job he started in college.

He feels trapped. He’s applied for a number of jobs, but has been told that he’s not qualified because of his inexperience. He wants our advice on how to get out of his dead-end job.

Bigg Advice: Sometimes you know you have more potential than your job offers. It sounds like you’re in that position, Gary. But keep your chin up – you’ll find a rewarding career if you keep trying.

You don’t find your current job challenging. But here’s the good news – when you go home, your job doesn’t go with you. Think about these two questions:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Are there opportunities to do something part-time in that field?

Get your foot in the door.
On the show, Mary-Lynn said that, when she was young, she wanted to work full-time in radio as a disc jockey. She didn’t have the experience or the skills required.

So she got a full-time job as a waitress and worked part-time at a local radio station. Whenever an opportunity presented itself, she volunteered her time so she could learn the skills she needed. She wasn’t getting paid for that time, but she was investing in her future.

It paid off! Within a year, she got a full-time job as a disc jockey! Get your foot in the door.

  • From janitor to mogul
  • As a kid, Sean Combs knew that he wanted to be in the music business. He went to New York and volunteered to be the janitor at a record company.

    They were growing fast because hip hop was hot. They needed people. They were comfortable with him. They knew that he had a good ear for talent. He had proven himself. In a year, he became the Vice President of Marketing. We know the rest!

Part-time business
Would you like to start your own business? Could you do it part-time? A lot of businesses – like Dell, Microsoft, and Apple – started part-time.

On the show, George said that he was a salesperson when he was young. After his work was done for the day, he devoted his time to his part-time business. Within two years, he opened a store, which provided him a full-time salary.

Back to school
You mentioned law school, Gary – why not go back now? You may have to take on some debt, but most lawyers get paid well. Odds are you’ll be able to pay it off quickly. It doesn’t have to be law school. Maybe there’s something else you’re passionate about that offers great opportunities now and in the future.

Thanks, Gary, for sending us your bigg challenge. We wish you bigg success!

Do you have a suggestion for Gary? Leave a comment below.

Our Bigg Quote comes from Cullen Hightower.

“Worry compounds the futility of being trapped
on a dead-end street. Thinking opens new avenues.”

But that’s just the start! After you’ve thought about your escape route, put it in gear and burn some rubber getting out of there!

Next time, with the Super Bowl upon us, we’re going to discuss how to fumble forward, toward the end zone. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Read more Bigg Challenges

 

Be Dashing While Dining

Bigg Challenge: We recently received an e-mail from one of our newsletter subscribers. Brett is raising money for his business. He’s planned a dinner meeting with some potential investors. He wants our tips to make sure his dinner is a bigg success.

Bigg Advice: Let’s start with two pieces of general advice on how to be dashing while dining.

  • Do the little things well. Above all else, be yourself. That’s assuming you are respectful and sincere!
  • Be the leader. You’re the host; they’re the guests. Lead them through the evening.

Now, let’s look at some specifics.

  • Before dinner
    You should choose the restaurant. Try to determine their preferences – favorite restaurant or type of food. But if you can, balance that with your own. If you have a place you know you’ll get great service, go for it!

    Get there early. You set the appointment, so don’t be late. If you’re late, you’re saying to your investors that your time is more valuable than theirs.

    Arrange to pay the bill away from the table. Yes, you’re paying the bill. After all, you’re the one trying to make the sale!

    On the show, George talked about a businessman who wanted to buy a company. The businessman met the seller and they began negotiating. As day turned to night, they reached an impasse. They were $100,000 apart.

    They decided to go out for dinner so they could come back fresh.

    During dinner, the businessman decided that he would pay the extra $100,000 IF the seller paid for dinner.

    You see the businessman had bought breakfast and lunch. He thought it only fair for the seller to buy dinner! The server presented the bill. It sat on the table … and sat … and sat. Finally, the businessman pulled out his credit card.

    That dinner cost the seller $100,000, even though he didn’t pay for it!

  • During dinner
    You set the agenda. Start off with some small talk, while you’re all looking at the menu. Once you’ve placed your orders, get down to business. You want time at the end for their questions or to just build your relationships.

    After dessert, excuse yourself and take care of the bill.

  • After dinner
    Walk them out. You’ll often find that your best conversations occur once you’re away from the table. There’s pressure to discuss follow-up because the night is drawing to an end. Don’t miss this great opportunity! Make sure that you follow-up. Thank them again for meeting with you. Be positive – reinforce that you look forward to working with them.

Thanks for sending us your bigg challenge, Brett. We hope our advice helps you be dashing at your upcoming dinner!

Do you have a bigg challenge? We’d love to help. E-mail it to bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

For our Bigg Quote today, we felt obligated to defer to Emily Post.

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have
that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.”

Mind your manners and the world can be your oyster!

Next time, we’ll offer some tips to cope with information overload. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Getting The Credit You Deserve

We’re not talking about credit cards here! We’ll discuss a somewhat common problem – what to do when you’re doing most of the work, but getting very little credit.      

Vicki e-mailed us with a bigg challenge – she recently worked on a major project at work. It was a bigg success – okay, she didn’t say that, but we couldn’t resist! Management is thrilled. Her problem – her supervisor is taking all the credit. Vicki wants to know what to do to get the recognition she deserves.

Here’s what we recommend to Vicki:
Put it in perspective
Don’t forget the old saying: It’s amazing how much gets accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit. The fact is you know that you worked on this project and that it was very successful. Enjoy it! You helped your company … you contributed.

Ask yourself if you’re inflating your role? Sometimes we give ourselves more credit than we deserve, especially on successful projects. Make sure that’s not the case. However, from reading Vicki’s e-mail, it doesn’t appear that’s the situation here.

We live in a highly competitive world. You’re a hard worker. You’ve been a part of a successful campaign. Strive to get the credit you deserve. That helps your standing in your company. It makes your job more secure.

If you don’t promote yourself, no one else will.
We’re not talking about walking around telling everyone how great you are. Don’t undermine your boss. Just understand that you need to make sure you’re recognized for your contributions.

Document, document, document.
As you’re working on projects in the future, keep written notes as things progress. Give credit where credit is due for ideas, participation, and implementation. Follow up – after meetings, face-to-face conversations, and phone calls – with a written record of “your understanding” of the conversation. Get agreement on the facts from your supervisor and/or co-workers.

For the project you just completed, consider writing out your role in the project. Ask your supervisor to review it. Tell him that you recorded the details while they were fresh in your mind. You’re going to put it in your file for your next review.

Don’t just write down what you did – include what you learned. Your company provides you with opportunities for growth. Pat your company on the back for that!

One more thought on documentation – don’t forget to add this project to your resume!

Address the situation at the proper time in the proper way.
The proper time is AFTER you have documentation on your role in a project. Then, if your manager fails to give you the credit you deserve, you’re ready to address it in the proper way.

That means having a conversation, not a confrontation. You won’t accomplish anything by attacking him. Report on the situation with as little emotion as you can possibly muster. Keep this two-point outline in mind –

(1) This is what happened      (2) Here’s how it makes me feel.

You may start with a discussion of the project, what you’re most proud of, and what you learned for next time. Then, you might say something like:

“In our meeting yesterday, when this project was discussed, I don’t feel I was given the credit I deserve. It makes me feel unappreciated.”

You’re not putting your boss on the defensive by saying that. You’re simply, and properly, trying to resolve an issue.

Good luck, Vicki! Thanks for sharing your bigg challenge with us.

What’s your biggest challenge right now? E-mail it to us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com

Do you have a suggestion for Vicki? Share it with us in the Comments below.

Our Bigg Quote today is more of a riddle …

Why is Christmas just like a day at the office? 
Because you do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit!

You may be an elf now, but if you remember to elf-promote, you’ll be elf-satisfied!

Come back tomorrow to find out if your knowledge is a blessing or a curse. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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