How to Elevate Your Employability, Part 1

Approachability is about increasing the probability.

Of getting noticed.
Of getting remembered.
Of getting what matters most.

And for millions of people right now, that means getting and keeping a job.

According to this month’s report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment has reached a staggering level of nine and half percent.


Fortunately, there is way to increase the probability of employment.

No, I’m not talking about bringing a handgun to your interview.

That doesn’t work. Just ask my ex-girlfriend.

The real secret is to make yourself more employable.My name is Scott, and I’ve never had a real job.

I started my company the day I graduated college and never looked back.

But I have dedicated every waking hour of the past decade to experimenting, experiencing and educating on approachability.

And if you do it right, approachability converts into employability.

Tired of watching Law & Order reruns all day? Here’s a collection of employability skills to help you increase the probability of getting – and keeping – a job:

1. Character trumps beauty. Remember the prettiest girl in school? She received constant praise from everybody, had the world handed to her on a silver platter and rarely had to work that hard to win.

But by the time she hit thirty – and the beauty started to fade – she regretted never making any effort to be special. Woops.

That’s the difference between eye candy and brain candy: One is physical attractiveness with little or no substance; the other is psychological attractiveness with high mental appeal. And unless you’re applying for a position at Hooters, focusing on the content of your character – not the level of your beauty – is what will get you hired.

And don’t get me wrong: It’s not that you shouldn’t be mindful of personal presentation. But you don’t have to be good looking to be attractive. Are you catching people’s eyes with beauty or capturing people’s hearts with brilliance?

2. Flexibility trumps strength. Being flexible isn’t about touching your toes – it’s about responding to life – and doing so with an attitude of openness, creativity and self-belief. Here’s how to demonstrate your professional plasticity:

First, actively seek out ways to be stretched. Be emotionally flexible – that is, maintain a wide spectrum of emotions rather than responding rigidly and defensively.

Second, adopt a predisposition to compromise. Be mentally flexible – that is, entertain multiple viewpoints and values and beliefs that are different than your own.

Finally, be what the moment requires. Be contextually flexible – that is, sustain your strength amidst the rapidly changing nature of the economic environment.

Remember: Nobody cares how much weight you can lift – they care how much you change can adapt. Does the muscle of your life have a broad range of motion?

3. Heartset trumps mindset. The problem with attitude is that it can be faked. Read enough affirmations and you can convince anyone that you have the mindset of a winner. Heartset, on the other hand, cannot. And because this is a term I’ve coined, let me break it down for you:

Heartset is the emotional repertoire that enables your spirit to persist. It’s the durability to slog through what matters and the inner infrastructure that keeps you plugging away.

Heartset is also the emotional contract you make with yourself. It’s the identity and predisposition that determines how you interpret situations and respond to life. You can’t fake that. And only when make the conscious decision to adopt a winning heartset will people start to notice.

Remember: Anybody can be successful for a short period of time before the rest of the world finds out about you. But if you’re counting on faking it until you make it, you may never make it. How do you bring your humanity to the moment?

4. Truth trumps academics. The reason I’m so widely read as an author is not because I have an unparalleled command of the English language – it’s because I write in blood. That’s what my readers have come to expect: More honesty per square inch than anyone out there.

Sure, it’s not exactly academic, but at least I won’t bullshit you. How are you branding your honesty?

Maybe it’s by being microscopically truthful in those little moments where lying would probably be easier and quicker. Maybe it’s by encouraging the truthful self-expression of everyone around you. Or maybe it’s running the risk of appearing inconsistent for the sake of preserving the truth.

Either way, remember this: Honesty is attractive because it is rare. And unexpected. And underrated. Be known for it. Would you rather be remembered as the employee who thought he knew everything or the employee who always told the truth?

5. Execution trumps creativity. People know me as the guy who wears a nametag every day. But that’s not my real claim to fame. What matters is that I leveraged the simple idea of wearing a nametag everyday into a successful enterprise. That’s execution. That’s taking action on what matters most.

Your challenge is to position yourself as someone who does the same. Straight out of my latest book, Ideas Are Free, Execution Is Priceless, here’s a rapid-fire list of my best practices for doing so:

First: Be strategically impatient – stop waiting for permission to start.

Second: Build executional capacity into your idea from the onset – calculate the cost of inaction to motivate you.

Third: Develop massive intolerance for the inconsequential – make a list of twenty things that consume your time but don’t move you forward, then stop doing those things.

Fourth: Hustle while you wait – give away your talent to the market until they’re ready to pay for it.

Fifth: Ignore feedback from people who don’t matter – decide whose advice you have outgrown.

Lastly: Finished is the new perfect – when you get to eighty percent done, ship. Become a master of execution and you’ll never be fired.

Remember: You don’t need an idea – you need an, “I did.” Can you turn a seed into a forest without any rain?

REMEMBER: You can’t make anybody hire you.

What you can do is increase the probability of getting a job by making yourself more employable.

And you won’t even need a handgun.

How employable are you?

For the list called, “205 States of Being That Matter Most,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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