Archive for October, 2012

First Impressions

October 24, 2012

First impressions are so very important.  When you make a good first impression it’s easy to have a conversation and get to know someone. When you make a bad first impression you have to work really hard to erase the other person’s pre-conceived notions about you in order to then have a conversation.  This is particularly important if you’re going on a job interview. If you make a good first impression with the interviewer that person will want to know more about you and your qualifications. If you make a bad first impression with the interviewer the time spent in that interview may be cut short. You know you only have about 5 seconds to create that good first impression so how do you do this?

First of all be sure to stand up straight, have a pleasant look on your face, and look the interviewer in the eye when you greet them. I’m sure you know that if you’re slouched over with your shoulders slumped forward you give the impression that you’re not interested. You want the interviewer to see you as an interested and interesting person. You also know that if the expression on your face is worried or concerned with your brow wrinkled that you convey a lack of confidence. That’s the last thing you want an interviewer to think! By looking the interviewer in the eye you are telegraphing confidence and interest.

Dress appropriately for the job. If you are a man interviewing for a teaching position you may want to wear business casual wear. A woman would want to dress demurely; nothing too short or too revealing. If you are interviewing for a job at a bank or at a law firm then business atttire for both men and women is appropriate. But, what if the job is at an advertising agency? Then I suggest you dress creatively. You would want the interviewer to know by looking at you that you have an imagination!

Have you heard the expression ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’? Well, if you have I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. If you haven’t… Be sure to have washed up before you go on a job interview. Take the time to make sure your fingernails are clean and tidy, no rough edges. Have clean hair and clothes. Don’t overdo it with the afershave or perfume. Smelling pleasant is fne but you don’t want your perfume or aftershave to walk in the room before you or stay long after you have left the premises.

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but how many times have you been drawn to open a book by the interesting graphics or picture on the book jacket? So, create interest in yourself by being confident and showing that confidence in your body language. A friendly expression and a steady gaze will go a long way. Cultivate these things in yourself and you will be sure to create good first impressions.

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Do you have time to…?

October 10, 2012

Do you get that deer in the headlights dazed look around this time of year when someone says something like ‘Do you have time to help me …’? There is always so much going on in the fall. Reconnecting with friends you haven’t seen much of during the summer at meetings, like the Garden Club or Book Club.  If you have children in school then there are the school parents nights to attend and parent/teacher conferences.  How about making or finding your child’s halloween costume? Following Halloween is my favorite of fall celebrations: Thanksgiving. But, leading up to Thanksgiving for me is the baking and preparing of the goodies which make up the Thanksgiving feast. Right on the tail of Thanksgiving comes Channukah and Christmas. I don’t know about you but I sometimes get a little overwhelmed thinking about all the activities that go along with Christmas.

Personally, I have lots of tasks to take care of in preparation for Christmas. I send out cards, decorate my house and bake lots and lots of cookies. I have several cookie monsters in my family and love to provide them with these delectable cookie treats at Christmas. I also have gifts to buy for my immediate family and for my siblings. So, in addition to buying the gifts, they also have to be wrapped and mailed to the recipients. How do I accomplish these tasks and keep from feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed? It’s all about organizing & prioritizing my time demands and knowing what additional tasks I can take on without overtaxing my schedule.

How can you avoid the deer in the headlights look as we get deep into fall? This is the topic of a workshop my colleague, Jonda Beattie, and I are presenting on Friday, October 19th in Alpharetta, Georgia. It’s going to be a wonderful workshop complete with holiday punch, christmas cookies and door prizes. Jonda and I will share our strategies that enable us to complete all the tasks surrounding these holidays AND enjoy them! Attendees will also receive a terrific handout full of useful tips. I hope to see some of you there.

Living in Today

October 2, 2012

Do you find yourself living in the future? I mean, are you the type of person who says something like ‘I can’t wait for …? I know when my children were very little I would say to myself ‘I can’t wait for my baby to roll over’. When he was able to do that I went on to say ‘ I can’t wait for my baby to sit up’. This went on through the years and now both my babies are young men and living on their own. I did appreciate the moments as they happened but what I realize now is that I was always focused on something in the future. Focused on what would (or should) come next. I am learning to be better about living in today.

Now, having said that, you need to know that I still like to plan. I almost always plan my day the night before. That is to say, before I leave my desk at the end of my work day, I create a prioritized list of the things I want to do the next day. I factor in my appointments and any errands as well as household chores and the tasks I want to accomplish. This frees my mind and enables me to enjoy the evening. Planning the night before also allows me to get up in the morning knowing what I am doing today. I am intent on bringing my best self to the day instead of letting my mind create illusions about what the next month or several months may hold in store for me.

I don’t want to give you the impression that I don’t have (or that you shouldn’t have) long term goals. I do have a long term goal. I have broken this long term goal down into a series of shorter term projects. I have further broken these projects down into smaller segments. These segments, or baby steps, are planned into my day – as the day allows. The thought I am trying to convey is that I am not simply striving toward achieving my goal. I will, certainly, celebrate and be happy when that occurs. I am actively living in today – appreciating the small accomplishments of each day – and enjoying the here and now.

This is a shift in attitude and perspective for me. It’s one that has brought me peace of mind. I’m happier and I find I’m much more appreciative of what today is offering me. I’m interested to know if you live in today. Do you spend your time revisiting what has happened – living in the past? Or, do you look to the future? Write me back and let me know. I look forward to your comments.