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Network Like a Cat

catBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is work, one of the five elements of bigg success.

You may have heard about this. As cat-lovers, we found it fascinating. Researchers have identified a special purr – they call it the “solicitation purr” – which cats use to get attention.

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The researchers say the solicitation purr is a combination of a regular purr and a sound that resembles a crying baby. While cats purr with each other, it appears they really ramp up their solicitation purring when they communicate with us humans to get our attention.

Almost all the people who listened to cats purring identified the solicitation purr as more urgent. So we have trouble resisting it.

It made us think about networking. We’ll talk about the three networking cats:

The cat that meows

As soon as you meet them, whether in the real world or online, they pounce. They’re in your face making as much noise as they can. They want your attention and they want it now!

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georgeI remember getting a friend request in Facebook. I accepted. The next thing I knew, my new friend sent me a message that said, “George, do you have any health problems?” It turns out he was involved with a business that sold a product to improve your health. But isn’t that a strange way to greet a new friend?

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marylynnYet we see it all the time. I think it happens more with social networking. For some reason, it’s as if people don’t think they’re communicating with another person. They think they’re communicating with an object – a picture or a computer. But there’s a real person there.

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Being too aggressive too quickly may occasionally produce results. But most of the time, we avoid these cats. If we do encounter them, we get away as quickly as we can.

The cat that purrs

These cats sit around purring, mostly keeping to themselves. They’re content to let people come to them. They don’t make an effort to meet new people or to extend their social circles.

Because they’re so content just living in their own world, these cats miss out on a lot of opportunities because they don’t expand their network or it expands very slowly.

The cat with the solicitation purr

These cats want attention but they’ve learned there is a better way to get it than meowing. They’ve also learned that their regular purr doesn’t get results either. So they’ve evolved by creating a new purr. It has a sense of urgency along with a sense of calm.

Think about attraction, not the law of attraction but what attracts one person to another. People aren’t attracted to people who seem desperate. This is true in romantic encounters, but it’s also the case for professional encounters.

However, people also aren’t attracted to people who seem aloof. Cats who just sit around purring may be perceived as snobbish.

So evolve. Be the cat with the solicitation purr. Exhibit calm and urgency at the same time and you’ll network your way to bigg success.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll talk about bigg water. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00439-071709.mp3

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Social Networking – The Line Between Work and Play

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We love hearing from people in the Bigg Success community and recently, Rupa, one of our newsletter subscribers, sent us an e-mail with two great questions.

She said that Generation Y wrestles with the blurred lines between their private, public and professional lives. So colleagues in their professional world have access to personal information.

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Young professional

Which leads to Rupa’s first question is, “How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?

Rupa continues by saying that we’re now a very visible society and are encouraged to share our information online. But she’s not thrilled segmenting who can see what by setting up different privacy settings.

So her second question is, “Should we – as a collective society – consider redefining ‘professionalism’ as we've always known it? Is it outdated?"

In the interest of full disclosure, we should tell you that we know Rupa. She is a very professional young person. That’s why her question carries even more weight with us.

Back in the day …

For the sake of simplicity, we'll use Facebook, the most popular social network right now. Generation Y users began using this social media service when it was just a place for Gen Y.

Back in those good old days, your boss wouldn't be on Facebook. Today, he or she may be. Back then, a colleague you met at an event would contact you via email. Today, that colleague may ask to friend you on Facebook.

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marylynnI think all active social networkers wrestle with this to some extent. I have a friend who holds a highly visible position in her community. We were talking the other day and she said that she originally got on Facebook to keep track of her kids. Her family joined her. It was mainly a personal space for her. But now she is getting a lot of requests from people she knows in the community and she worries about the same thing. I think you have to find a happy medium when using social media. Make it not too much personal and not too much professional.

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georgeWhen you create your profile on Facebook, they ask you to fill out all kinds of things. But you don’t have to. For example, I don't include my religious or political beliefs on my profile page. However, I also don’t walk around with those labels stamped on me when I network in person either. That’s something I only share with close friends.

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“How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?”

We think you can do one of two things:

  • When a professional colleague asks to friend you on Facebook, reply with: "I would prefer to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" and provide your link.  
  • If you do add them to your Facebook friends and you are concerned that they might see something you don’t want them to, then you don’t have a choice – you have to use privacy settings.

This can be done by creating a "Professional" friend list and applying specific privacy policies to that group. We found a fantastic article that lists some useful privacy settings for Facebook along with instructions on how to configure them.

Privacy settings allow you to present yourself in a youthful way to one set of friends and as a professional to another group. Don’t we do that, at least to some extent, in the real world as well? Imagine all of the people you know in one room together!

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george
I went too far with my privacy settings. Now, even I can’t see what I’m doing!

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Maintaining privacy settings may be a little bit of a pain but your efforts will give you peace of mind – especially if you are in Gen Y and used Facebook for its original intent but you’re now integrating your professional contacts too.

Is social media creating the need to change the definition of professionalism?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Acceptable behavior hasn’t changed. People still hold each other to pretty similar standards as before.

What is different, and Rupa said it clearly in her e-mail, is the visibility. In other words, you’re more likely to get caught, we say tongue-in-cheek!

Because of that visibility, you have to be more careful about how you portray yourself online. For instance, let's say you are having a bad day. As a professional, you wouldn’t yell out, “I hate my job,” for everyone in the office to hear.

By the same token, it might be wise not to post that sentiment on your Facebook status, especially if you have co-workers in your network of friends. If you want Facebook to be a place to share the "authentic you", and you friend co-workers and managers, then it’s best to set up some privacy settings!

Your brand image

The bottom line is to remember that you are a brand. Your brand consists of your personal life and your professional life. Social media allows you to share both sides of your life with people in a public arena. You have to control your public brand image.

Thanks so much, Rupa, for your thought-provoking questions and for giving us permission to use them!

What are your thoughts about Rupa’s questions?

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00350-031309.mp3

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I Just Got Laid Off – Part 3

work We’re wrapping up a 3-part series on what to do if you just got laid off. In Part 1, we discussed the day you learn about your layoff. Part 2 was about the first couple of days after the announcement. Now we want to talk about moving on to your next job.

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We’re moving ahead quickly, but don’t be alarmed if you’re not quite ready to move on just yet. You’re going through a grieving process so it will take some time. Be aware of it, but also look forward to that time in the near future when you start feeling your zest return. If it doesn’t return relatively quickly, you may consider speaking with a professional.

During this time, it’s important to maintain a proper attitude. One of the best ways to do this is by associating with positive people. It’s also helpful to talk with people who have gone through this before. Ask for their advice. Almost everyone really likes to help other people. They can encourage you with their story.

Next, assess your financial situation. Ask yourself how aggressive you need to be in your job search. Map out a timeline. Think about phases.

For example, in Phase 1, you may be able to be very choosy in your job search. Phase 2 may mean you need to find a job soon so you’ll be less selective. In Phase 3, you may freelance or work part-time to get some money in the door. You may find a job in the first phase, but you’ll be prepared in case you don’t. 

Also plan how you will market yourself. Think about what makes you unique? How can you communicate that? What opportunities play to your core strengths?

Obviously, you’ll also need to update your resume if you haven’t already. We found a great site for help with resumes, cover letters, job search and interviewing tips. Check out Resume Help.

Begin to think about how you will explain your recent departure. Practice interviewing with a friend, preferably someone who is a manager who interviews people. Get feedback.

One of the most important things to get on your to-do list is networking. It’s amazing how many people land a new job through a referral. Resist the urge to go into self-imposed isolation. Reach out to everyone you know who might be able to help you. Tell them what you’re looking for.

Have you registered on Meetup to find out about local events of interest to you? Are you on LinkedIn? What about Facebook? Have you joined any social networking groups for your industry? The contacts you make through these sites will be invaluable now.

The good news is that most people who go through this report that they are happier in their new job than they were in their old job. It may take some time, but you’ll land on your feet!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thank you so much for stopping by today. Join us next time when we discuss scheduling time to decompress. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00334-021909.mp3

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Coping With Life Change

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Think Want, Need, Must About Your Time

pyramids We can place our spending into three categories – wants, needs, and musts. Last time, we applied these categories to money. Today we want to apply them to spending our time.

There’s a trap that’s easy to fall into when it comes to spending our time. We spend time how we want to, instead of how we need to. Then we end up with a must do.

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If you think of a pyramid, with wants at the base, needs in the middle, and musts at the top, we tend to focus too much energy at the bottom of the pyramid at the expense of the top.

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marylynnI may have a lot of things on my “must list” but I’ll zip over to Facebook to see what my friends are up to!

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georgeWhile we need to do quite a bit of research for Bigg Success, I can just get lost in it. I’ve already learned what I need to know, but I’m still interested so I just keep going.

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Why do we work on wants? Without a doubt, there are many reasons. The task at hand is difficult. It’s easier to work on something else. We may prefer to work on something else. It may be more fun to do something else. These are just a few of the reasons.

Start by defining

With our money, our musts are easy to determine – food, clothing, shelter and transportation. They’re a constant. With our time, our musts are much more flexible. They are things that are deadline-driven or crisis-related.

Our needs involve personal growth and interpersonal relations as well as activities that get us ahead of that deadline or prevent the crisis. Our wants then are everything else – generally activities that we like to do.

The time paradox

So why does this happen …

on those days when we have a full schedule, we get a lot done, but …

on days when we don’t have so much to do, we don’t seem to accomplish much?

When we’re required to really focus, we can get it done. When the pressure is off, we’re more likely to drift. We do what we want. If we’re not careful, if we don’t do the things we need to do, the needs move up to musts in the form of a pressing deadline or a crisis that could have been prevented.

Daily starter

So start each day with a blank piece of paper. Write “Musts” at the top, “Needs” in the middle, and “Wants” toward the bottom. Then, map out your day by making your list under each item. When you get done with your “Musts”, you can work on “Needs” and once they’re complete, you get to work on your “Wants”. It’s like a reward!

Musts, Wants, Needs – keeping these three categories in mind helps you best allocate your time!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

We really appreciate you reading our post today. You’ve heard of stepping stones … join us next time when we’ll discuss overstepping stones. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00287-121608.mp3

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(Image by Ahmed Rabea, CC 2.0)

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How to Get Noticed in Job Market 2.0

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Phil Rosenberg. Phil is the founder of reCareered, a career coaching service that helps job searchers get past the biggest challenge in today’s competitive jobs market – to get noticed.

 

Phil, what does reCareered mean?

 

 

It means someone who is seeking a job change, or trying to revitalize their career, or someone who is between jobs and wants help with how the job markets have changed in the last eight years or so.

 

How has the job market changed?

 

 

Eight years ago, the majority of resumes were delivered on paper. Around 2000, it changed to where most resumes were delivered digitally.

 

And how does that change the resume itself?

 

 

It changes it completely. The paper-based resume had to be static. The only way to customize it was by a cover letter. A digital resume can be searched. It also increased the number of resumes that went into most companies, by as many as ten-fold.

 

We always hear about search engine optimization and how you want to rank at the tops of the pages for Google. But apparently you can do the same for your resume … it can be optimized?

 

You bet, and it’s especially critical in today’s world. Most major employers get thousands of resumes for each job, but they only staff to look at twenty to thirty. That’s two to three percent. So your goal, in submitting your resume today, is getting to the top two or three percent. Through resume search optimization, you can manage that process rather than have it be random. My strategy with my clients is to make a resume a single-use document – to have it infinitely customizable so that you’re gaming the search engine and forcing it higher up the search page.

 

How do we make a good impression right upfront?

 

 

There’s been research from the University of Toledo and Stanford University that states that interview decisions are made within the first two to thirty seconds. That blew me away. The rest of the interview is just somebody justifying their initial decision. So it’s a “gut feel” decision that may occur even before you shake hands. It’s all about preparation. Learn about your client – how they communicate (verbally and non-verbally), how they dress, how they look. If you want a job, go to a place that’s close to their office and sit there during lunch. Talk to people from that company who are getting lunch there. On a Friday night, go to Happy Hour at a bar close to their office and talk to people from that company. When you talk to them, watch their body movements. What’s the tone they use? What’s the speed they use to talk? You can also do that with their written communication – their web site, annual reports, press releases. The key to all this is communicating to your audience that it seems like you already work there.

 

It reminds me of the book, Guerilla Selling. It’s all about learning about your customer, in that case, but in the case the employer you’re going after – getting as much information as you can, wherever you can. It’s amazing how much information you can gather.

 

Sure. That’s also an effective way to use LinkedIn, Facebook or your own personal network. Chances are you have contacts within that company. A lot of people only use those contacts to see what jobs are available and to ask them to pass their resume along. They leave out some of the greatest uses of a network – talking to people within an organization to find out what an organization is like and what the communication style is like. Listening for how they’re answering questions rather than just what they’re saying.

 

This is fantastic advice because you do want to fit in. It’s all about mimicking. When you’re at an interview, should you sit up straight and lean forward or should you try to have your body language be similar to the body language of the interviewer? From what I’ve read, you should try to mimic that person.

 

That’s exactly what you’re doing – it’s called mirroring. You’re trying to show that you fit in. You speak the same language. You’re really trying to act like you already work at the company. It takes a ton of preparation. A lot of people aren’t willing to put that preparation in, but the people who do get a huge, almost an unfair, advantage.

Phil's links

You can get free daily job tips from Phil at his blog or visit his main site, reCareered, the place for resume search optimization and job search 2.0.