How to Elevate Your Employabilty, Part 3

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.

Yikes.

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 part three (read part one here and part two here!) of a collection of employability skills to help you increase the probability of getting – and keeping – a job:

1. Grit trumps work. In a recent article in FastCompany, Dan & Chip Heath reveled that grit – that is, endurance in pursuit of long-term goals and an ability to persist in the face of adversity – is a key part of what makes people successful. The secret is to bolster grit by creating unacceptable consequences of failing.

When I first started my publishing company, I was living in my parents’ basement. Not exactly ideal conditions for building an enterprise. Ever tried to book a speech with your mom yelling downstairs to find out if you want asparagus with your salmon?

Two words: Dial tone.

But, that frustration grew into the source of my grit. And the motivation to persist became clear: Get the hell out of the basement. Only took two years, eight months and twenty-nine days. Where will your motivation come from?

Don’t abandon yourself during trying times. Adversity is exercise, obstacles are aphrodisiacs and suffering is sandpaper. Besides, I bet not every part of you has given up yet. Are you constantly formulating escape plans, or tunneling your way out one spoonful at a time?

2. Focus trumps knowledge. Any idiot can be smart. Employability is a function of your ability to focus your face off. That’s what companies want: People who know when to stop brainstorming and start executing. You don’t need another idea – you need an “I did.” In order to strain the impurities out of your life and free yourself to execute what matters most, two factors must be considered.

First, focus comes from deleting internal noise and discarding irrelevant work. Which isn’t about time management, getting things done or streamlining the quality of your process so you can maximize the efficiency of strategic productivity. It’s about creating a filter for your work. Do you have one?

Second, focus comes from the emotional environment of your workspace. And your challenge is to let people know – specifically – how you preferred to be praised. Because when you can count on the emotional release of consistent public recognition, focus will become a non-thought. What internal and external factors keep you from keeping focused?

3. Action trumps acquiescence. Demonstrating that you’re actively engaged in helping the organization succeed is a surefire way to retain employability. And while it’s not smart to develop a reputation for challenging everything, it is possible to rock the boat without sinking the ship. Here’s two ways to do so:

First, disagree openly. Good naturedly test the limits without alienating the people who matter. Use the phrase “I respectfully disagree” as a vocal hanger to command attention and prime people’s brains for your argument.

Second, be more challenging. Instead of nodding with unexamined enthusiasm, gently poke people’s assumptions in a way that encourages them to rethink their own solutions. Challenge unspecified attribution with phrases like “According to whom?” and “What evidence do you have to support that?”

Remember: Just because you have the right to remain silent doesn’t mean you should invoke it. When was the last time you took the risk to stand up and speak out for something you were passionate about?

4. Story trumps statistics. Numbers lie. And they can be manipulated to prove pretty much anything. On the other hand, if you position yourself as a compelling storyteller, it will be impossible to disagree with you. What’s more: Stories aren’t just remembered – they’re retold. And success in any organization is measured by the number of positive stories that are circulating about you.

But here’s the secret most experts won’t tell you: It’s not enough to tell the story – you have to stick the landing. Here’s how:

First, extract the universal human experience from the story so every listener can relate to it. Second, tell people what you learned from the story and how that lesson can make their lives better today. And third, drive home the actionability of the story by giving people simple instructions that make them think, “I believe this, I can do this and I’m willing to try this.”

All the statistics in the world won’t be able to contain your employability. Are you known as an employee who depends on numbers or commands with story?

5. Attitude trumps age. If you’re a newbie, here’s how to be taken seriously when you’re the youngest person in the room: First, stop taking yourself so seriously. Be strong enough to be simultaneously self-effacing and self-confident.

Second, identify opportunities for bold contrast. Develop your ability to deliver powerful perspective wrapped in a concise package, to the right people, at the right time.

Third, replace bitching with evidence. When you have a problem, complaint or issue, calmly present your issue to the powers that be in a quantitative, organized, legitimate and nuts and bolts fashion.

If you’re a veteran, try this: First, learn the new tricks that matter. Even if you’re an old dog, if there’s a new trick that counts – you still have to learn it. It has nothing to do with old age and everything to do with old thinking.

Second, don’t just get over yourself – stay over yourself. When you share a success story, use someone younger as an example. When share tell a mistake moment, use yourself as an example.

Finally, stop trying to manufacture commonality. Treat people as individuals to be cared for, not as labels to be related to. Are you leading with the rings around your trunk or the flavor inside your fruit?

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.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How employable are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “37 Things Not To Do This Year,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Elevate Your Employability, Part 2

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.

Yikes.

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 part two (read part one here!) of a collection of employability skills to help you increase the probability of getting – and keeping – a job:

1. Assertive trumps aggressive. Assertion is based on respect for yourself without justifying, claiming or withholding. It’s about becoming a public spokesperson for your values. It’s about engaging your backbone to solidify your boundaries. And it’s about being proactive instead of lapsing into passivity.

If you want to rock the boat without sinking the ship, try this: Don’t accept passively what is happening as the only way. Good naturedly test the limits. Become known as someone who takes action quickly, but without tramping people along the way.

Remember: Companies keep people who initiate. People who can travel without a map. After all: If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. What is the cost of nonassertiveness?

2. Intellect trumps smarts. Any idiot can be smart. Real job security comes from being an intellectual. Here’s the difference: Smart people have all the answers; intellectuals ask all the questions. Smart people study content for the purposes of memorization; intellectuals entertain ideas for the purpose of democratization.

And smart people accumulate facts; intellectuals explore ideas, extract universal truths from their experiences – then use those lessons to make other people better.

That’s the kind of person companies want to hire: Someone whose mind can plug itself a variety of workplace equations. Someone who can step back from the corporate canvas and say, “Wait a minute. Does anyone else smell that?”

Think of it this way: Companies, much like baseball teams, pay the most money to hire athletes – not shortstops. How many positions do you play?

3. Why trumps how. Anyone can learn how to do anything. But if they’re not in touch with why they’re doing it, the lack of vision will stain every part of the process. That’s what employers are looking for: People who are plastered with purpose. People who are the walking translation of their vision.

If you want to tap into the reservoir of whypower and pinpoint the deepest motivations behind what you do, try this exercise: Make a list of a hundred reasons why you do what you do. Keep a copy in your wallet. And on your next interview, pull it out and read it. I’m serious.

People won’t just pay attention – they’ll pay money.

The point is: You can teach a monkey how to email, but you can’t teach it why the message important. Will overrides skill. Demonstrate a deep enough purpose behind your work and you can invent the technique of your work. Are you at war with how when you need to be in love with why?

4. Commitment trumps talent. I’m not saying competence is overrated – I’m saying competence is commonplace. What differentiates you is your dedication. What keeps you around is your commitment.

Those are the people that companies retain and promote: The ones with a proven history consistent commitment. Period. Talent is so last century. Now it’s merely an assumption. A commodity. And if it’s the only thing you bring to the table, you will be ignored.

On the other hand, if you compound talent with commitment – and communicate to the people who matter most that you’re fully committed – they won’t just pay attention, they’ll pay dividends. All you need is a commitment device. Because if your commitment isn’t symbolized, memorialized and personified in a tangible way, you’re just winking in the dark. Which of your fears are diminishing your commitment?

5. Passion trumps leadership. To make yourself more employable, you don’t need a title on the outside – you need a burning fire on the inside. That’s the thing about employability: It doesn’t matter who you know, it matters whose life is better because they know you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a leader, it matters is how many people are warming their hands by your fire.

Here’s how to ignite the flame: The word “passion” comes from the Latin passio, which means, “to suffer.” Therefore, the two questions you have to ask yourself are: What would you suffer to do? What would cause you suffering if you did not do it?

That’s passion. And if you can uniquely infect people with that fire every time you interact with them, they won’t even care what title you hold. True power comes from personhood. When you walk into a room, how does it change?

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.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How employable are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “37 Things Not To Do This Year,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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.

Yikes.

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.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How employable are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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