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]

Learn from other foolish interviewing mistakes

It’s important when we learn from our own mistakes and just as important to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Sometimes the mistakes we make are embarrassing. We try to not let them mistakes be discovered.  However, when other people’s mistakes are embarrassing, we want to know about them so that we can A) learn from them, B) giggle at them.  Here are interviewing mistakes that may be considered embarrassing.

Instead of telling you the embarrassing mistakes others made, let me tell you some things you should never do:

  • Never tell the interviewer that you are not sure this job is worth even starting your car
  • Don’t ask to take a sip of the interviewers coffee
  • Do not refer to yourself in the third person during the interview
  • Don’t take your shoes off during the interview
  • Don’t forget the company name, or worse yet, ask the interviewer to tell you the name of the company
  • Don’t wear your boy scout uniform to an interview and not offer some form of explanation
  • Don’t put the interviewer on hold to take another call and then come back to the call declaring your excitement for a Friday night date.
  • Don’t bring an “Interview for Dummies” book to the interview
  • Don’t brag about your promptness as a strength after showing up 10 minutes late for the interview
  • Don’t continue on to the interview after passing another car, flipping the other driver off and cursing at him, only to discover that driver is your interviewer.

A few other mistakes, maybe less embarrassing include:
(According to a CareerBuilder survey these mistakes happen very often – Percent occurrence included)

  • Don’t answer your cell phone or respond to a text message during an interview (77%)
  • Don’t appear disinterested during the interview (75%)
  • Don’t go to an interview dressed completely inappropriate (72%)
  • Don’t appear arrogant during an interview (72%)
  • Don’t talk negatively about your current or past employers (67%)
  • Don’t chew gum during an interview (63%)

Let’s all learn from other people’s interviewing mistakes.  In time these percentages should decline. Let’s hope.

Naked on the street

Lots of people fear using Social Media for lots of different reasons. Additionally, many people use Social Media incorrectly.

Previously I wrote a post about paranoia using Social Media – PARANOIA

Then I saw a great infographic from the Oatmeal about How to get more Facebook Likes

I can distill these conversations (for the most part) down to a simple analogy:


Scenario #1 – Stand at the corner of 4th & Cherry Street, downtown Winston-Salem, completely naked, smoking a giant doobie, drinking Mad Dog 20/20, yelling and cursing at all of the cars that pass you by? (I have a pic to use, but decided not to use it – sorry)

Scenario #2 – Standing on the street (maybe waiting for something) and politely striking up a conversation with a stranger standing near by. Starting off with a hello and then starting into a polite conversation about the weather, sports, the economy, maybe a little soft political or even religious views (note the use of the word soft). Depending on the time available, maybe asking them questions about their family, sharing a little about your family, where you went to school, where you work, maybe even depending on how the conversation feels and time allows, talking about your neighborhood and other personal, maybe you’ll tell a good publicly acceptable joke and laugh about a TV Sitcom you watched last night or the comedian on the Late show. Depending on the time and feel of the conversation, maybe you’ll share some personal (not private) information about yourself. SO, would you do this?

Engaging or having conversations in Social Media is not much different than having a conversation with someone standing out on the street corner.

If you won’t do Scenario #1, don’t do it in Social Media. If you would do this, maybe I don’t want to be your friend, follower, contact, subscriber, connection. (I may already have a few friends like this)

If you can see yourself doing Scenario #2, then go ahead and do it in Social Media.  I’d enjoy an opportunity to know who you are and then become your friend, follower, contact, subscriber or connection. We’re not much different.

Warning/Disclaimer  – this is an analogy used to draw a point about the risk and acceptable use of Social Media. It is not a complete statement of acceptable use and risk management in regards to the business use of Social Media. Give me a call and we can talk about the details that you will want to understand.

Clay Balls

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man so he took the bag out of the cave with him.

As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it until he dropped one of the balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone.

Excited the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure.

He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he just threw it away.

It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person by God.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay.

May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

-Author Unknown

Reposted with permission from Nigel Alston of Motivational Moments

Twitter and LinkedIn

Update – this information is now Null & Void – see Twitter & LinkedIn Separated

Twitter & LinkedIn are great conversation and relationship tools

Sharing similar conversations and ideas on both streams can be beneficial.

However, there are some tweets that have no business being displayed in the LinkedIn stream.

Tweets like:

“I am getting a mani-pedi tonight”

“Why is American Idol doing this tonight?”

“I’m getting pizza for the kids tongith”

Etc, etc.

So, how do you setup LinkedIn and twitter to share only the relevant tweets?

Unless you have added an App to Twitter or LinkedIn that controls this integration, it’s built into LinkedIn.

Click on your name in the upper right corner
Click on Settings

In the setting box, click on Manage your Twitter Settings

In the Twitter settings Box, review your options and make good choices based on your Twitter use and what your followers would be interested in seeing.

Here is how I set up my Twitter Settings on LinkedIn:

Again, make choices in your settings that are important to you and your followers.


Dealing With Stress while Job Searching

Recently we asked a dozen or so Job Seekers to tell us what causes them stress while they are out of work and looking for a new job. It was an interesting conversation with most agreeing to many different issues causing stress. They shared issues including:

  • Lack of income
  • Depleting their savings, IRA or retirement
  • Being removed from the working folks
  • Lack of good routine
  • Uncertainty of change
  • Frustration of the process
  • No Social or professional stimulation
  • Rejection after rejection
  • Having to learn new technology
  • Dealing with building the right resume
  • Having to meet and talk with new people, especially if they are not used to doing this
  • Not getting anything worthwhile accomplished
  • Pressure from family and friends
  • People thinking they are less of a person because they are unemployed
  • Not knowing the best steps to find a new job

What adds to your stress being unemployed?

We then asked this same group for ideas toward dealing with these stresses. They said:

  • Don’t go shopping or buy items that they can do without
  • Spend time with their family
  • Prayer
  • Get involved in various support groups (see Triad Job Search Network)
  • Don’t be alone
  • Get involved in public groups
  • Meet someone new every day
  • Join a Gym or at least go for a walk every day
  • Volunteer anywhere you can
  • Stive to be positive (read good attitude books or blogs)
  • Plan to achieve your goals
  • Set Goals that can move you along on your journey of finding a job

What do you do to reduce your unemployment stress?

Someone in the conversation pointed out that letting stress get to you reduces your desire to do anything and this in turn reduces your productivity.

Another member of the discussion shared that recruiters, HR Managers, networking contacts and potent employers can see stress on you if you don’t manage it properly. Put your troubles in the trunk of the car when you go to talk with someone about that next job or opportunity.  Put on a smile and “buck up”.  Once you are done with the conversation open the trunk and get your troubles back out and handle them appropriately.

Finally, find a good book that can help you deal with the stress of being unemployed.  Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to stop worrying and start living” is a great book to read.

Open Letter to PMI Triad Chapter

First of all, thanks to my good friends at the Ettain Group for sponsoring my presentation last night (4/9/2012). I threw down a challenge to get my presentation sponsored and the Ettain Group stepped up to the plate. – Thank you very much folks.

With 80 or more people in the room, the buzz was magnificent. It was exciting to see so many people chatting with other members before the meeting got started. A month is a long time and lots of interesting stuff happens during that time. Lots of exciting stuff got shared with fellow members last night.

Thanks to the good folks @ Pepper Moon for another great meal. I admit I wanted extra servings of that cheese cake. I also admit I did not do it.  Angela does a great job setting up for the meal and taking care of us during dinner.  Thanks Angela

Thank you Alan, Bobbi and everyone else who helped me get ready for and deliver my presentation.

Thanks to Lexi, Denise, Glen, Bobbi, Michael and everyone else who jumped into the Twitter-sphere to share the message(s).

I could tell that the group was engaged in the presentation “Networking for Mutual Benefit“®. All eyes were looking at me, there were no side discussions going on and mostly everyone got my one-liners. As a public speaker, it’s always more enjoyable to give a presentation that the group is eager to hear.

To be able to engage Nora, JR, Barbara, Linda, Susan, Scott, Mark, David, Bobbi, Glen, Michael, Sean, Alan, Chris, the entire team from the Ettain Group, (and so many others that I know I failed to forget), added so much to the presentation and follow up discussion.

To make the night even better, dozens of you hung around afterwards and got into more great Networking activity. That made the evening for me.

I got to chat with a few members who wanted to know more about what I do and even shared some ideas of helping students at some of the local universities and colleges. Ideas bounced all around during some good conversations.

Thanks again for having me as your presenter last night folks.

Stay true to “Networking for Mutual Benefit“® folks and I assure you that you will succeed on your journey thru life.


NEW Quick Connect in LinkedIn

LinkedIn has made it easier for us to accomplish one of the 4 Cs of building Relationships with LinkedIn.

Contribute, Collaborate and Cram are still easy to do; however Connect just got easier.

LinkedIn is letting us Beta test a new “People you may know” tool.

It lets us forgo entering in the answers to the original connection request question of “How we do we know…”

I like this idea and think it is going to be very useful.

However I strongly caution that we not abuse this new tool and go off half-cocked.

Anytime we are working on building mutually beneficial relationships thru LinkedIn we must start the relationship the right way.

We must be honest, transparent and relevant.

How do we know this person? If we don’t know them, or more importantly, they don’t know us, we need to find a way to get an introduction. Even a simple email from a mutual connection saying, “Hi Stephen. You may not know who Teddy Burriss is, but I think you two should get to know each other.  Here is his contact info for you two to connect.” After this email is sent, then follow up LinkedIn connection request is very appropriate.

Why are we connecting with this person? Hopefully we are asking for a LinkedIn connection so that we can learn more about our new person and work on building even the simplest relationship thru Contributing and Collaborating. If you want to connect so that you can immediately begin to “sell your freakin widget to them”, do us all a favor and don’t. Social Media is a tool use to get social. Sales comes later on.

What is our message to this person? This beta tool allows us to enter a “Personal note.This is important. Building a relationship directly with someone thru a direct and personal note to them is the best way to get started. “Hello Stephen. Per the email that Bill sent out to you and I, let’s connect on LinkedIn. Then at your convenience let’s find a time to do coffee, sweet tea or “soda”-30 and get to know each other better. I look forward to meeting you.

Here is a video from LinkedIn about this new Connect tool


Thanks LinkedIn for this new Connect tool.  I hope that we all get benefit from using it the right way.


Stop rushing time

Benjamin Franklin said, “Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of. ”

Tom Wolfe said, “We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past.

We’re always wanting to rush away from the present to the future.

Yet we look back at the past and we let our memory wander. We treasure the past with our vivid memories, pictures, videos and books.

Yet we want to rush away from the present, the point in time where we actually make these memories. The only point in time where we can actually change our future memories.

The future arrives like clockwork every moment, every minute, hour, day, week, month.

Spend time in the present and enjoy each moment before it slips away into the past.

Don’t wish for the future to come sooner.

Furthermore you never know when the future will stop coming altogether.

Hope that your present is the best present you have ever lived and not that the future will be better.

Your now, as short as it may be, will always be the best it can possibly be and if the future arrives, your memories will be true treasures.

Teddy Burriss