Are You Stuck? 3 Ways to Get Your Career Moving Forward

stuck2Everyday I get at least one email from a woman stating that she’s stuck in a rut.  In fact, its the frustration of being stuck that most professionals come to me.  Therefore, I wanted to share  3 simple tips I often give to get careers moving forward again.

connecting1.  Get out and connect.  Although most of us know the importance of networking, we seldom get out and connect.  Connecting with others not only helps you build relationships, it brings potential opportunities your way.  The world changes fast and you must stay current with your knowledge and relationships or you’ll soon fade away.  Stop putting off networking events or social outings.  Go to the company functions and conferences where you can meet and connect with others.  When you maintain relationships, it keeps you fresh and attractive.  Both of which help you to get unstuck.

update2.  Freshen up your profiles.  You’d be surprised how an updated profile will shed new light on your credentials.  Have you promoted all of your accomplishments, affiliations or experiences?  Also adding keywords for your industry will help you float to the top when recruiters search for new talent.  You should also use this practice in your company’s performance management system.  You’ll be surprised at how few people update their information in the human resources information systems.  Often, companies use this information for succession planning.

makeover bus3.  Update your look.  If you have not updated your look in the last 2 years, it’s time.  Those who stay current appear progressive and competitive.  It demonstrates that you’re not stuck and comfortable.  A new hair cut or freshened up wardrobe can do wonders for your image and brand.  Also, it demonstrates confidence and risk taking which makes you stand out from the rest.

It is possible to get unstuck and get your career back on track.  Building relationships through connecting, keeping your accomplishments updated and staying current with your image will help you stand out.  When you stand out, it makes you competitive and attractive.  And believe it or not, that’s the fuel to get your career moving forward again.

Why You Need a Gimmick?

standout2When I tell professionals that they need a gimmick, many think I’m crazy.  Often gimmicks are viewed as shallow and only useful to those in entertainment such as Lady Gaga and Nikki Minaj.  However, I beg to differ.  If you want to compete in this tough job market, you must have a gimmick.

What’s a gimmick?  In marketing language, a gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something “stand out” from its contemporaries.-Wikipedia 

In this competitive market everyone needs to stand out to get access to opportunities, increase business contacts and to advance in careers.  Unless you’re unique, you’ll blend in with thousands of talented and qualified individuals.

Why You Need a Gimmick?  Like the definition above, a gimmick will allow you to stand out from the rest, differentiate you from your competitors and make you memorable.  If you don’t stand out and people don’t remember you you will become obsolete in the marketplace.

standout4How Does a Professional Gimmick Look?  Now when I say every woman needs a gimmick, I don’t mean that you should wear a suit made of meat like Lady Gaga or a Barbie Doll wig like Nikki Minaj. Instead, you need something unique and memorable about you that makes your customers know why you’re a better choice, why they should select you and a way to keep you front of mind.

A professional gimmick could be a signature color, the quality of your work or your creative ideas. It could also be your results or your personality.  A gimmick must be true to who you are and who you wish to be in the present and future.

How to Findseacrhing The Right Gimmick? Finding the right gimmick is essential to your success.  It must fit your market and customer expectations and desires.  It must also send the right message and provide a strong first impression.  Therefore, selecting the right one is critical.  You must determine your brand and select a gimmick that perpetuates that brand.

This marketplace is full of talented and qualified people all looking for the same opportunities and customers as you.  You must have a gimmick that makes you stand out and become memorable.  Don’t fade away in the crowd.  Learn to stand out from the rest with your own gimmick and see how that sets you up for success.

"This was the best conference I ever attended"women's "-Attendee

“This was the best conference I ever attended”women’s “-Attendee

Learn how to find your brand and gimmick at:  2013 Confident Woman Conference on October 26, 2013 at the MRCC Banquet and Convention Center, Warren, MI.

I will conduct a Powerful Professional Branding and Gimmick Boot CampClick here for more information.

How to Get More From Your Network

When it comes to networking, many of us see it as selling ourselves, pretending to be interested or something you do when you need a job.  If you have that mindset, chances are you’re not getting much from your network.

To be successful in your career or business, learning how to network effectively is essential. Everything is based on relationships.  Therefore, those who understand this see networking as building connections, not selling themselves or help when in need.

Transitioning from a “networking” mindset to a “connecting” mindset will bring better results.  Below are some steps to help you make the transition:

  1. Learn how to find common ground.  Instead of exchanging information about your job or business, attempt to find common ground with people you meet. Common ground may be gained by asking questions and learning to listen more. Finding something in common that isn’t work-related will serve you best.  Most opportunities in careers or business come from casual relationships in which both parties have something in common.
  2. Increase your face-to-face contacts.  Once you connect with someone either at a networking event or through social media, arrange to meet them for coffee or lunch.  This allows you to become better acquainted in a social environment.  Hence strengthening the bond.  Look people up when you travel as well.  Remember, people do more for those whom they like.
  3. Make your connections feel special.  Expert connectors see connections as strategic relationships.  All relationships require maintenance and commitment.  Therefore, treat connections well by recognizing significant events like their birthdays, milestones or new jobs.  Also share information, resources and connect them to others.  Social media is a great tool for this.

Changing your networking by transitioning to connecting, will bring better results.  Connectors invest in their relationships by finding common ground, becoming better acquainted and making their connections feel valued.  If you learn to do this well, you will see better results and enhance your strategic relationships.  Happy connecting!

How to Stand Out From the Crowd

To Compete, You Must Stand Out From the Crowd!

To Compete, You Must Stand Out From the Crowd!

The world is full of talented people with great experience.  Many of them are competing for the same jobs, clients and leads. Therefore, in this competitive market, one can’t be ordinary.  In order to compete, you must stand out and shine.

I often tell my clients, unless you differentiate yourself from the competition, you will go unnoticed.  Clients, employers and potential leads need to know what makes you a better choice.  The following are a few ideas to help you set yourself apart:

  1. Be unique and memorable. Everyone needs a gimmick.  Whether it’s your signature color, fashion or hairstyle, you should look for something that makes you unique.  Sometimes it can be your personality, a statement piece of jewelry or  interesting shoes.  I’m known as “the lady in red” because I’ve branded myself as being confident and I wear my signature red when I speak in public.  The point is to find your uniqueness.
  2. Have fresh ideas, solutions and input. Everyone loves to find those whom always come with innovation solutions to challenging problems.  Be the one who often comes to the table with something new.  Many companies are looking for innovative talent.  If you have great ideas, find creative ways to share them.
  3. Stay current and progressive.  Everyone notices those whom look and act progressive.  Updating your look can go a long way in helping you stand out.  People are attracted to those who look like they are going places.  Therefore, stay up on the trends in technology, fashion and industry knowledge.  Most professionals get comfortable and settle in on a look and ways of doing business.  Stand out by staying up-to-date.

Don’t let your talent go unnoticed and fade into the crowd.  Stand out by being unique, having fresh ideas and staying current.  That will get you noticed and enhance your competitive advantage.

Why Your First Impression is Critical to Your Brand

If you want a rock solid brand, you must make a rock solid first impression.

Today, many professionals understand the importance of establishing a strong professional brand.  However, few focus enough on one important factor, the first impression.

The Cliche “you only get one chance to make a first impression” is basically true, especially when it comes to your brand.  If you wish to make a great first impression, consider these interesting stats adapted from “Professional Branding for Maximum Performance, 2006”:

  • In 1/4 of a second, people make up their mind about you.
  • In the first five seconds, a person’s impression of you flips back and forth eleven times.
  • The first impression is more important than the next five impressions.

What does this have to do with your professional brand?  It means that your brand and image may be sealed in six seconds and before you even open your mouth.

If you want a rock solid brand, you must make a rock solid first impression.  Leave them talking positively about you by focusing on the following:

  1. Your Appearance:  Your appearance is the most critical when making a first impression.  Therefore, it’s important to make sure you are presenting yourself the way you wish be known.  According to the American Economic Review, attractive people are considered to be more competent and knowledgeable.  Harvard Business Review stated that women who wear natural looking makeup got more promotions.  Please note: attractive doesn’t mean pretty.  You can be attractive by looking well-put-together.
  2. Your Greeting:  People assess your image by how you greet them.  Do you come with energy and confidence.  Does your face say “I’m happy to be here or see you?” The handshake is most important in sending messages about your confidence.  Be sure to make it firm, give eye contact and smile through the greeting.
  3. Your Body Language:  ninety-three percent of what you communicate comes from your body language, gestures and facial expressions.  Therefore, be sure that you are communicating the right message.  Good posture, open-hand gestures and a friendly face makes people remember you and feel good in your presence.  This adds up to a great first impression.

If you aim to have a great professional brand, be sure to focus on making a positive first impression.  Chances are, you may not get a second chance.

How Relationships Get You Jobs, Customers and Opportunities

The other day a consultant friend of mine told me that she was exhausted from trying to sell her services.  She found the process uncomfortable, taxing and in conflict with her style.  She also stated she was tired of hearing “no” which wasn’t helping her self-esteem.

Hating sales myself, I knew from where she was coming. Therefore I offered the following advice: “To stop selling and start engaging.” 

Whether you’re selling services, products or skills for a job, no one wants to be sold to.  Think of the negative reputation of hard salespeople.  Although my friend wasn’t a hard salesperson, most people shut down when they think they’re being sold.  You get much further when you build relationships first.

Need more leads, customers or a job? Build engaging relationships.  Below are three ideas to consider:

  1. Change your mindset.  Don’t think “sell”, think “engage.” Therefore, try changes your focus to building relationships.  Network and connect with your potential customer base.  Going to lunch or having a cup of coffee to become better acquainted works wonders in building connections. Spend time getting to know others and finding common ground.  People are more likely to buy from someone they know than an unknown.
  2. Get in front of your customer.  Think of ways to demonstrate what your offering so potential buyers can see it in action.  Many of us don’t know what we need until we see it.  This technique is used by infomercials.  Think of demonstrations at trade shows when the vacuum cleaner salesperson throws dirt on the floor and then cleans it up right in front of you.  They know that once you see it, you can’t live without it.  You can try the same technique.
  3. Do it for Free.  Accepting free engagements and volunteering has helped me build many connections and build credibility.  Although I’ve learned to be strategic about my selections, I never see volunteering as “doing it for free”.  Instead, I view it as advertising, exposure and a way to increase my contact base.  Don’t get me wrong, I still need to bring home a paycheck.  However, I volunteer when I can and I’m selective.  It’s  also a great way to demonstrate your skills if you’re looking for a job.

Don’t get frustrated trying to sell your services, products or skills.  Instead, try engaging your potential customer by changing your mindset, getting in front of them or doing it for free.  You’ll be surprised how effective it can be. Better yet, it’s much more fun.  Good luck!

How Beyonce’ “Claimed It” at the Super Bowl

It was no secret that Beyonce’ may have felt pressure to prove herself after the inauguration  lip-syncing incident.

Although my impression of her never changed (she’s awesome in my book), I still felt that she had something to prove.  However, when she walked on the stage, I knew she had it down.

The first thing I noticed about her performance was her determination when she started out.  Her eyes, posture and facial expression told me, she had “claimed” a perfect performance and it all boiled down to CONFIDENCE.

Often when my friends and I encourage each other, we say; “Claim it Girl”.  This is usually done to give confidence or positive support to help her reach her goals.  We know that in order to reach your goals, you have to have confidence and belief in oneself.  Our encouragement is to help build that confidence.

Telling our friends to “Claim it” is a powerful command.  To “Claim it” or to “Own it” means that you have confidence that you can, and will do it.  That’s what Beyonce’ had on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s this type of confidence that’s critical to success.

The confidence Beyonce’ portrayed was most likely driven by her mindset.  “Claiming it” takes a confident mind that tells itself; “I can do it”.  You throw caution to the wind and claim victory.  If you’re a winner in your mind, you can be a winner on the ground.

When Beyonce’ came on stage, I said; “Claim it Girl!”   However, the confidence seen in her eye contact, posture and energy, told me she already had it in the bag.

Tell us what you think?

How to Love “You” This Valentine’s Day!

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day!

“With Valentine’s Day upon us and love in the air, few of us think of throwing some love to ourselves.”-Jocelyn

Filling up your bucket with positive thoughts goes a long way in building your confidence, energy and overall attitude.  Therefore, I challenge you to spend some time loving yourself today.  Below are some ways to help you do just that.

  1. Start and End Each Day on a Positive Note.  I start my day with my Confident Woman Choice Pledge This gives me positive energy and power to start my day.  It also armors me to protect myself from arrows and daggers that get thrown at us.  At night, I end my day with a Reflection that highlights the great things I accomplished and anything I want to do differently.
  2. Make a Brag List.  Who said it’s wrong to brag?  I believe every woman should brag to herself about how great she is at least once per year.  On my birthday, I do a Brag List in which I write down everything I’m grateful for, my accomplishments and anything that I’ve learned.  This keeps me fueled to move forward and tuned into my progress whether large or small.
  3. Change Your Thinking.  As cliche’ as it sounds, you are what you think.  Therefore, be careful what you let float around your head.  Many of us fill our thoughts with negativity and resentment especially when it comes to ourselves.  Make an effort to think positively. Focus on what’s right about you and flaunt it.  I stay positive by doing my Confident Mindset Exercise.

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday.  It reminds us to spread love to those who make our lives special.  It’s also a great time to acknowledge how wonderful we are and to celebrate it.  So, during this loving time, let’s not forget to show ourselves some love too!

P.S.   If you would like copies of the exercises mentioned above, like us on Facebook .

Check out my other posts that will help you spread the love even further.

How to Love the Job You Hate

How to Fall In Love with Your Goals

How do you love you?  Join in and share your thoughts, ideas and tips by leaving a comment.

How to Fall in Love With Your Goals

“Although many of us have goals, few have made a love connection to them. Without a connection, goals can easily become meaningless burdens or dreams we never accomplish”.– Jocelyn Giangrande

With Valentine’s Day around the corner and love in the air, it’s a great time to fall in love with your New Year’s goals.  Although many of us have goals, few of us have formed a love connection to them. 

Below are three ways to help you get connected to your goals and fall in love:

 1.  Be specific:  If you’re familiar with SMART goals, you know about being specific.  However, we often underestimate the importance of this step.  When we write goals, many of us believe they’re specific enough to get us moving. I beg to differ.   Check out the difference between a basic goal and a specific goal:

 Basic Goal:  To purchase a condo. 

 Specific Goal: To purchase a detached split-level condo in 12 months with 2-3 bedrooms, 2 baths, in Oakland county, for $125,000, etc………….. (You get the point).

The more specific, the more you’re able to see yourself accomplishing the goal and you can plan strategically. That brings you and your goal closer together.

 2.  Answer “Why?”  Few of us answer the question “Why?” we have the goal in the first place. Why is the goal important and what are you trying to accomplish?  Answering them brings meaning to your goals and helps ensure that what you’re working on and trying to accomplish, are aligned.  It also helps to prioritize.  That way you work on what really matters.

3.  Make it visible.  Motivational speaker Tony Robbins once said;  “Goals make the invisible, visible.”  I would add, “Only if you can see it.” Therefore, visualize yourself accomplishing the goal. how it feels, how it looks. Get as vivid as possible.  This practice helps make an emotional connection and bring it to life.

Just having a goal is not enough.  Falling in love, makes it attainable, meaningful, and emotionally engaging.  That goes a long way in bringing you closer to it and the love connection that makes it worthwhile.

What’s Holding You Back From Reaching Your Goals? The One Thing You May Be Missing.

Setting Goals

If you’re like the majority of the population, you probably have made a New Year’s resolution.  I know I have, as I do every year.

What if I told you that by doing just this one thing, you could increase your chances of keeping your resolution by 80%.  Would you believe me?  Well, it’s true.

 

Most of us fail to do the one thing that is critical to reaching our goals.  What is it you ask?  Answer: Writing down your goals along with a plan to accomplish them.

Those who put goals in writing are 80% more successful than those who don’t.  A famous study conducted by Harvard Business School involving MBA students from the class of 1979 proved it.  In the study, as sited in the book, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, by Mark H. McCormack, the graduates were asked 3 questions around goals.  They were as follows:

  1. Have you set goals?
  2. Have you written them down?
  3. Do you have a plan to accomplish them?

The researched revealed that only 3% of the Harvard class had written goals and a plan to accomplish them, 13% had goals but didn’t put them in writing, and 84% had no specific goals at all.  When the graduates were resurveyed 10 years later, the difference  the graduates’ success was staggering.

The 3% whom had written goals with a plan to accomplish them, earned 10 times as much as the others combined!

The moral of the story: Put your goals in writing along with a plan to accomplish them.  This one step could get you on to the road to success.

How’s your goal setting?  Take our poll.


Want help achieving your goals?  Join me for Coffee and Coaching

Saturday, February 2, 2012 10am-11:30 am

Click here for details