30 Second Commercials Suck

Let me get straight to the point.

Stop using the old style 30 Second Commercials.

You do not need to validate yourself every time you introduce yourself to others.

Validation should occur only when asked.


The supposed best practices of 30 second commercials, as told to us over the past decades has been to state:

#1 – Your name and associated credential.
#2 – Your career goal.
#3 – How have you demonstrated your skills related to your goal.
#4 – Your career qualifications.
#5 – Then ask a question about the other person.

Here are a few problems I have with this style of 30 second commercials, in most instances:

  1. Most introductions where people use their 30 second commercials are not to people who want or need to validate us.
  2. If the other person wants or needs to validate us, let them ask a specific question in that regard.
  3. Most of the time the question the other person has is simply, ‘who are you?’
  4. If they do want to ‘validate’ us, let’s make sure we use the best possible example based on a direct question.
  5. When you feel compelled to use a scripted validation, it often does not come across sincere or real
  6. When you feel compelled to validate yourself, it can sound like you are not completely sure or confident of yourself.

I have never really thought about this before, but I do not think I have ever introduced myself with validation statements.

Today my introduction when someone asks me who I am is; “I’m Teddy Burriss a LinkedIn Coach, Trainer and Public Speaker. My purpose is helping business professionals get real value from their investment into LinkedIn. What do you do?”

Often I even trim my intro down to, “I’m Teddy Burriss, LinkedIn Coach & Trainer. What do you do Monday – Friday 9-5 to enjoy yourself?” Simple with a touch of humor as I hand the conversation back to them.

Ponder these ideas for a moment:

  • How often are you using your 30 second commercial when the person only wants to know who you are, with no need to validate what you say?
  • Let the validation occur in an open conversation rather than a scripted and robotic response.
  • Wait till you are asked for validation and position your reply in context to what you learned about them.
  • Simplify your ’30 Second commercial to a 10 second and make it engaging rather than full disclosure & validation
  • Be a little different and a little better than every other person in career transition and position yourself better in the process.
  • Networking events and even job fairs are all about meeting people and getting into a conversation. Start with a friendly introduction and as the conversation progresses, consider what validation is relevant and important.

I’m way different than most people and realize that my philosophies may not appeal to everyone. However, I’ve found this has worked for me over the past 40 some odd years. Maybe these ideas could work for you as well.

I would love to hear your ideas on this topic. Comment on this blog article, LinkedIn or Facebook Post.



Career Transition ToDo List

Click here to get a Google Doc of your ToDo List
Click here to get your’s

Week # __________

My network consists of _________ individuals.
My network growth goal for this week is __________

Ideally 30-50 hours per week are needed to make this happen.

I spend on average ________ hours per week looking for a job.
My goal for this week is to spend ________ hours working on my career transition

I average _______ hours on telephone conversations regarding my career transition.
My goal for this week is _________

On average I send _______ introductions and/or job ideas to my career transition groups.
I will send ______ this week.

On average I go to ______ network meetings each week.
This week I will go to _______ networking meetings.

I spent ______ hours researching ______ companies this week.
I will spend _______ hours researching _______ companies this week.

I have _______ companies on my target list.
I will add ________ new companies to this list.

I spend _________ staring at a computer screen on average.
I will spend _____ at the keyboard this week.

I spend ________ hours outside of my home on average looking for a job.
I will spend ______ hours outside of this house this week.

I spend on average _______ hours helping others.
I will spend ________ helping others this week.


I borrowed this from my friends at Triad Career Network.

Jung Typology Test – Personal Assessment

Myers-Briggs Lite

Sel-Below is a quick lite version of a Myers-Briggs assessment that you may find useful.

It takes less than 10 minutes to go through and the results pages are chock full of useful insights into your results.

Jung Typology Test

Take the assessment, review your results and the Explanations of the different Personality Types and the Learning Styles of each Personality Type.

Then for a little fun, review the prayers below for each Personality Type. You’ll enjoy them.

Prayers for Myers Briggs Types

ISTJ: Lord help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow at 11:41.23 am e.s.t.

ISTP: God help me to consider people’s feelings, even if most of them ARE hypersensitive.

ESTP: God help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they’re usually NOT my fault.

ESTJ: God, help me to not try to RUN everything. But, if You need some help, just ask.

ISFJ: Lord, help me to be more laid back and help me to do it EXACTLY right.

ISFP: Lord, help me to stand up for my rights (if you don’t mind my asking).

ESFP: God help me to take things more seriously, especially parties and dancing.

ESFJ: God give me patience, and I mean right NOW.

INFJ: Lord help me not be a perfectionist. (did I spell that correctly?)

INFP: God, help me to finish everything I sta

ENFP: God,help me to keep my mind on one th-Look a bird-ing at a time.

ENFJ: God help me to do only what I can and trust you for the rest. Do you mind putting that in writing?

INTJ: Lord keep me open to others’ ideas, WRONG though they may be.

INTP: Lord help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.

ENTP: Lord help me follow established procedures today. On second thought, I’ll settle for a few minutes.

ENTJ: Lord, help me slow downandnotrushthroughwatIdo.


(ht to Kathy Vohs for sharing these prayers with us)


Email Address Best Practices during Career Transition and Beyond

I regularly hear about folks in career transition being advised on what email address to use during job search.

Some of the advice I hear is astute while other advice is misdirected, and irrelevant, in my professional opinion.

Let’s break down some of this advice and guide you with best practices that can help you during your career transition and beyond:

#1 – You should not use an AOL, Compuserve or other old platform email address.

This is good advice for a few reasons:

– Some recruiters and hiring managers in certain industries may look at you as out of touch with new technology
– You are missing out on the added functions of email platforms like GMail, Outlook. Calendar, Docs and Contacts are just a few of the functions that can be useful in these newer platforms.

#2 – You should not use your current employer’s email system during career transition

This is a wise suggestion also for a few reasons:

– Most folks do not want their employers to ‘see’ their job search communications. Your employers email system allows them to look at all of the email.
– If and when you leave your current job, you will leave a trail of conversations and possible future conversations in an email system you no longer have access to.

#3 – You should create a unique email account only for job search.

I do not recommend this option for many reasons:

– It adds another email account to manage
– As you network, make connections and build relationships during your career transition, once you complete this task you will need to advise your network of an email address change, or lose these connections.
– If a current connection introduces you to a new connection, shares your resume and/or current email address, confusion could result from you introducing yet another email address.

#4 – You should not use an (ISP) Internet Service Provider Email Address.

This is not just a career transition issue. Generally speaking I recommend not using an ISP email account that you may lose if you relocate. Simplify your life by getting either a public domain (GMail or Outlook) email address that you can keep under your conditions, not based on where you live or your own email domain (with your website) that you ‘own’ as long as you pay for the domain registration and email service. Don’t make this decision just because you are in career transition. This is a business decision.

#5 – Do not use an inappropriate email address.

I agree with this advice.

  • SexyGirl4567@triad.r.com
  • SixPackGuy@gmail.com
  • LuciousMomma@outlook.com
  • HotChick@bellsouth.com

Depending on the type of job you are working towards, these email addresses may not represent you well. A business professional, hiring manager or recruiter may perceive you less than professional with an email address like these.

For most people, I don’t recommend personality or character email addresses. This is more than just a career transition issue.

I encourage you to think more personal identity email addresses. Furthermore, consider personal Handle identity. Example, my email address is TLBurriss@{mydomain.com} TLBurriss is the identity handle I use for all of my social media, websites, Skype, Google+, WebEx, Eventbrite, etc, etc. A great branding opportunity starting with your email address.

Consider all of the advice you get, even from me, during your Career Transition. Think about how it could benefit you. Make a decision that you feel helps you the most.

What email address change have you made during your career transition?

The Recruiter Led me on and on and on

Recruiter Follow ThroughRecruiter Follow Through

I hear this often, “The Recruiter led me to believe it was my job, but he never called me back. Why do they do this?”

First of all let me make this statement; I know a lot of recruiters. Many are my friends. Some are not. Many I trust explicitly. Some I don’t. Just like any other industry, there are really good people and there are others who are not really good people. This is a fact of life.

A recruiter may tell you in many different ways “the job is yours, let me get back to you, ” for one of two reasons:

#1 – They want to keep you on the ‘line’ until they finish ‘selling you’ to their client.

If you are working with a third party recruiter, they’ll need to go back to their client and convince them that you are the best possible candidate within the budget. Sometimes the recruiter is competing with other recruiters. This makes this ‘sales process’ even more difficult.

If you are working with an internal HR recruiter, this sales process still occurs, however it’s not as difficult. There could still be budget issues and internal candidates involved in the decision.

They will lead you on so that you don’t go find another job while they are wrapping things up.

#2 – They could be completely sincere with their statement.

However there are still lots of issues that come into play. Budget, changes in business goals, internal candidates, and new or differing opinions from other members of the team that the recruiter did not know about and/or could not share with you.

Many of the good recruiters I know will try to follow through with their candidates. They feel it’s important to treat their candidates the same way they want to be treated. However, some do not follow through.

Regardless of the reason(s) for leading you on, there are many reasons a recruiter will not follow through with you . Here are the reasons I have discovered:

  1. They forgot. (Yeah, I’m trying to be nice.)
  2. They are too busy. (Again, I’m trying to be nice.)
  3. They don’t like giving people bad news. (This is real, many people can’t do this well.)
  4. They don’t care about you at this time. (They may care about you when they need you.)
  5. They have moved on to another Job Requisition that you can’t do and you’re not important
  6. They feel you need them more than they need you. (I’ve heard this said.)
  7. They are not nice people.

OK, here is the best advice for dealing with being led on and recruiters who do not follow through.

#1 – You are under no obligation to sit idly and wait for anyone. Work your career transition process. This means, as soon as you are done interviewing, regardless of what the recruiter says, go on to your next task.

Never stop working your career transition process until you have an offer letter in your hand and a firm start date, salary and commitment.

#2 – Ask probing questions about the process. The level of relationship you have with your recruiter will determine how deep you can probe. Here are some examples of probing questions:

  1. Are you interviewing other candidates?
  2. Are other recruiters presenting candidates?
  3. Who else has to review my resume before an offer letter can be presented?
  4. Is there any possibility that a budget change is possible?
  5. What other issues are in play that may result in me getting this job?
  6. What are your next steps on this position?
  7. When should I expect to hear back from you next?

The most important question to ask your recruiter is:

If for any reason this opportunity falls apart, will you call me and let me know it is not going to happen?


I regularly recommend to career transition folks “NO Expectations.” Work your process. Keep moving forward. However you can manage your expectations if you are willing to ask probing questions.

How have you dealt with a recruiter who has led you on?

How have you dealt with a recruiter who did not follow through?

Stop worrying during Career Transition

keep-calm-and-stop-worryingHi – I am Teddy Burriss; I’m doing “Unbelievably Fantastic, Hovering Near Ecstasy and right now it’s not chemically induced.” Why do I say this? To condition the way I feel and think, even in the most trying times.
Here are my notes and the Dale Carnegie content that I read during this presentation given to the attendees of the Triad Career Network on 10/15/15
Readings from Dale Carnegie Scrapbook – by Dorothy Carnegie, Dale Carnegie’s wife.
Many of these writings came from the book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
From the writings of Dale Carnegie:
The small boy whistles merrily and loudly when he bolster up his courage. And generally he overcomes his fear of walking past cemeteries because he has “whistled” up his courage. How many of us, when we’re feeling down in the dumps, sing to make other people happy” And in acting happy, we suddenly discover that we’re feeling happy. This same principle applies to enthusiasm. If we simulate animation and excitement for our work or the talk we are going to make,  we will usually find that we’ve “simulated” ourselves right into the middle of the kind of emotional drive we’re seeking.
From the writings of Dale Carnegie:
If you have fears, stop to realize that others have had them too. Probably a fear is haunting you at this moment: the fear of what someone is going to say about you; what your boss is going to do; what the neighbors are going to think. These all have to do with the future. You never fear the past, for you know what has happened and generally it wasn’t so bad after all. But the future! Fortunately there is a simple way of fighting fear. Analyze your fear and it will lessen. You will know the worst that can happen and will not be so terrified by it. You will say to yourself, “Why, I can stand that.”
Seneca – Our Fears are always more numerous than our dangers.
From the writings of Dale Carnegie:
Look facts in the face, bitter though they may be: make a decision, and after you have once made the decision, devote all your time to carrying it out. Don’t spend any time worrying about whether or not it is right. Make it right!
From the writings of Dale Carnegie:
Suppose we are so discouraged that we feel there is no hope of our ever being able to turn our lemons into lemonade – then here are two reasons why we ought to try, anyway – two reasons why we have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Reason one: We may succeed.
Reason two: Even if we don’t succeed, the mere attempt to turn our minus into a plus will cause us to look forward instead of backward; it will replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts; it will release creative energy and spur us to get so busy that we won’t have either the time or inclination to mourn over what is past and forever gone.
Edgar W. Howe – Every successful man I have heard of has done the best he could with conditions as he found them, and not waited until next year for better.
From the writings of Dale Carnegie:
Is giving yourself a pep talk every day silly, superficial, childish? No. On the contrary, it is the very essence of sound psychology. “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” Those words are just as true today as they were eighteen centuries ago when Marcus Aurelius first wrote them in his book Meditations.
From the writings of Dale Carnegie:
By all means take though for the morrow, yes, careful though and planning and preparation. But, have no anxiety.
Remember – Worry Kills
Fact – Worry can you make you Physically Ill
Worry can affect your:
Dale Carnegie lost a finger as a child – he accepted it
Flemish Inscription – “It is so. It can not be otherwise.”
William James – “Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the fist step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”
King George V had this inscribed on a wall in his library, “Teach me neither to cry for the moon or over spilt milk.”
German Philosopher Schopenhauer said it this way, “A good supply of resignation is of the first importance in providing for the journey of life.”
Booth Tarkington once said “I could take anything that life could force upon me, except blindness.”
When he went blind in his sixties he said, “I found that I could accept the loss of my eyesight, or all of my five senses because we live in our minds.”
During a period in the hospital Tarkington asked to be in the ward instead of a private room. He tried to cheer up the other patients and during the repeated surgeries he said, “How Wonderful! How Wonderful that science now has the skill to operate on anything so delicate as the human eye.”
John Milton discovered that “It is not miserable to be blind, it is miserable not to be able to accept blindness.
This is not to advocate giving in, rather to accept it’s the situation you are in and work to overcome that which you can overcome. Put up a good fight.
Mother Goose Rhyme
“For every ailment under the sun,
There is a remedy, or there is none.
If there be one, try to find it.
If there be none, never mind it.”
JC Penny – “I don’t worry about losing every dollar I have. I do the best I can and leave the results to the gods.”
Henry Ford – When I am up against a tough situation, if I can do anything about it, I do. If I can’t I just forget it.”
Epictetus taught in Rome nineteen centuries ago, “There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things that are beyond the power of our will.”
If you are not able to overcome worrying during career transition, I encourage you to reach out to someone and talk about it. You will be much better off.

Dream into your Next Career

I had the pleasure of sharing “Dream, Dream out Loud and Share your Dreams with Complete Strangers” last night (8/27/15) at the Professionals in Transition meeting.

The room was packed with nearly 30 people in attendance.

Here is the Video I recorded of this presentation. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed sharing the message.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”500″]https://youtu.be/lF4pxL0nohU[/youtube]

Focus on your Career Transition

Let me help you Focus on your Career Transition

2015 will be a successful year for you, if you:

Focus on Your Career Transition

You will find a new job or you’ll create a money making business that fuels your passion. You will finally bring your latest career transition to an end.
This can all be true, if you Focus on Your Career Transition.
There are lots of people throughout history and our lives who have told us that to be successful we must focus on what we are doing. The definition of Focus is “pay particular attention to.” In order for your Career Transition Journey to be successful, you will have to pay particular attention to it.
Yes, there are things in life that can get in the way of this focus. Things that you can’t control. Your health and family needs are two of the big items in life that often require you to change your focus.
However, these priorities aside, there should be very little else that gets in the way of your Focus on Your Career Transition.
Here are four really important areas of career transition that you must never lose focus on.
#1 – Focus on “Who Am I” – You have to get to a complete understanding with yourself and answer this question, “Who am I?” The sooner you get focused on this, the better off you are going to be. It’s hard enough for everyone else to help you find that next great job, it’s even harder on you without knowing “Who am I.”
#2 – Focus on your Marketing Material – It takes time to build a strong 10 second “Who Am I” statement, Resume, LinkedIn & other online Profile(s), Networking Outline, Cover Letter Template and other letters and email templates. You have to focus on building compelling and consistent content that both represents you and speaks to the needs of the people who could use your skills and talents.
#3 – Focus on your Career Transition Plan – Have you heard these before:
“No one plans to fail. Many fail to plan.”
“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.”
“Plans are nothing, Planning is everything.”
“Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous.”
Do I need to go on.
If you do not have a well crafted and goal oriented plan in place now, focus on building a Career Transition Plan NOW. Be sure your Plan has all of the critical activities in it: refining your marketing material – 5%, applying for the right jobs – 5%, personal development – 5%, researching businesses, people and opportunities – 30% and networking – 55% Once you have your plan built, focus on executing it.
#4 – Focus on your Attitude – I truly believe that our attitude is one of the most overlooked aspects of success. This is so true in regards to how people perceive us in public:
  • People are open to networking and having informational interviews with other people who have a positive attitude.
  • People want to do business with people who have positive attitudes.
  • Hiring managers, recruiters and business owners want to grow their staff with smart, capable people who have the right attitude.
More importantly, career transition can be tough, overwhelming and often emotional. You can’t change the fact that you’ll receive rejection letters, no responses to emails or phone calls or you won’t get that interview you so badly wanted.
What you can change is the attitude you have during this period in your life. Don’t just use positive words in front of others. Use positive words, images and thoughts in your head. This is where it’s the most important. Despite all that is negative in life and during this journey, focus on having a positive attitude and you’ll create better results.

Focus on your Career Transition Journey

and you’ll be far more successful.
I wish you a fabulous 2015 & successful journey
Visit my Career Transition Program if you want help focusing on your Career Transition Journey
Originally published in the GSO News & Record on 1/18/15

Desperation hurts

Desperation HurtsDesperation Hurts

“Desperation clouds the mind and causes it to do things that may not be in your best interest.” @NCWiseman

Loosing your job can be painful and cause you to become fearful and emotional. Fear and negative emotions are two catalysts that cause us to consider doing things that we shouldn’t do, i.e., become desperate.

Desperation during career transition can cause you to make mistakes, including taking the wrong job. Taking the wrong job can cause all kinds of problems; lower income, bad environment, stress, anguish, loosing the job again and even depression as you discover you’ve made a mistake.

There are many activities you need to do in order to not become desperate.  I can’t coach you on how to do it all in a short article, however, I can share 3 beneficial tips that can help avoid desperation.

Tip #1 – Don’t go it alone.

There are lots of resources available to help you with many aspects of career transition. Don’t misunderstand, there is no one waiting to give you a new job. However, there are lots of resources available to help you with various steps, tasks and access to information and ideas. Take advantage of all of the resources you can access and use.

Beyond career transition resources, you will also need to keep family and friends close. The people in your life who care for you and you care for will be important during this challenging time. Don’t hide the reality of your career transition from these folks. Share your concerns and fears with the people in your life who are willing to lend an ear and an idea when you need it.

Desperation happens to people who lean towards isolation.

Tip #2 – Maintain a positive attitude.

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” ~ John Wooden

The Power of Positive Thinking is not just a life changing book. It’s a mindset that can significantly alter the outcomes of your career transition.  Positive thoughts fuel positive actions. Positive actions lead you in a positive direction towards success.

Look at the people in your life who are successful in many different ways. How do they act, think, live. The majority of these successful folks are positive attitude and action folks.

One important step you can make towards living a positive attitude life is to look a the people you are hanging out with, during your career transition and beyond.

“You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.”
― Joel Osteen

Believing in yourself and praying are powerful tools towards always having a positive attitude during your career transition. A positive attitude will help you from doing desperate things. Remember, Desperation hurts

Tip #3 – Focus all of your time and energy on the best practices that create value.

Unless you have successfully  journeyed through career transitions before, you may not know the right activities that will create value and success. This means you have to ask people who have been through career transition and people who know the best practices of career transition. Learn from the right people and execute on what you learn.

Do not, I repeat, Do Not follow directions from people who are neither “successfully” experienced or appropriately trained to teach you how to do this work.

Learn these best practices and focus all of your time and efforts using them. Career transition is not a part time job. It’s also not a job to be taken haphazardly. Prepare every morning to go do your job.

Treat your career transition as your job, do the work required, focus on the right activities in a positive way and you won’t become desperate.

People do desperate things in life when they get frustrated, fail to plan and execute properly. Mix into this a heaping spoonful of negativity and you’ll do just about anything.

Desperation Hurts – avoid it

Do everything you can to keep from becoming desperate and making a career transition mistake.