October 29, 2016

Survivor and Disabled

Posted in Job Search, Personal Image tagged , , , , , , at 3:30 pm by Yvonne LaRose

There are many who have reached an unexpected status in the climb toward their goal, their dream career and a feeling of greatness in their own right. Some type of accident occurred. Maybe it wasn’t a physical accident but was an illness or even an unexpected turn of events. Injuries were sustained. A disability was the result. Sometimes it’s an obvious disability; sometimes not. Still, things are no longer done in the usual way – as they were done before.

The fact remains that the incident is now history. The person is a survivor. New skills need to be learned or old skills need to be adapted so that the race can be resumed and the competition for “best” can be turned into the trophy – a win – whether tangible or just the satisfaction of knowing the latest milestone was reached.

Building strength

Building strength

Yes, there is now a new type of weight to carry in order to continue. But it doesn’t mean stop and start letting grass grow around your feet. There will be no dust collecting on this survivor. However, it is wise to do some self assessment so the internal strength and confidence, the confidence of self is what’s projected during interviews and while interacting with others. The last thing we need is doubt clouding our objectivity as we interview for the new job or make a return to the old one.


First things first. Do that internal assessment. Find the person within. Make friends with them. Identify the innate strengths that were part of the package from the very beginning. Identify the newly acquired admirable qualities. They’re probably little things that were previously taken for granted. Acknowledge them and celebrate that they’re in your possession. Be a survivor of the race. Be a survivor – the one who got through the task.

Adaptation and Practice

So there’s something new in the picture. Maybe it isn’t obvious; it’s non-visible. All the better. It isn’t necessary to go around bragging (some would call it complaining or whining) about it. It’s simply something that is, like the nose on your face. When does it need to be mentioned? When an accommodation is required or when your endurance is tasked and you need an interval.

How to Toot a Horn

Meanwhile, there’s something else that needs to be done in the self assessment mode. That’s the time when the disability needs to be given serious thought. This disability has imbued you with the ability to adapt and develop new skills, maybe even new abilities. It’s forced you to identify skills that were previously overlooked. There were some critical things learned about bad habits that gave you this gift of disability. Be quick about identifying what those habits were so that can be countered in the future.

What are the new abilities? Why are they valuable? In what way will they make you an even better choice for the job or become a tool for being the best? Not only have you identified your own basis for validation, you’ve developed your own sales pitch during the interview or during the salary negotiations. (Just be certain it’s appropriate to make the disclosure. It may not be necessary except for convincing you of the advantage.)


Once you’ve seized your confidence in new and old abilities, it’s time to charm others with your beguiling self. Do a little boasting about how good you are in a charming way, sort of in the sports field jocular manner guys have of ribbing one another or putting out a comrade’s challenge. Let the boast be about how skillfully you can be at what’s a desired skill for the role. Have a little fun with it. (We don’t have to be so serious as to be boring and up tight.)


So it may take a little extra time to do something. Or adapters may be required. That only means you need a little focused practice so that the specific talent can become second nature. If we have Special Olympians who are setting and breaking records in all events, so it is with you in your new state of being. How well you execute your duties without complaint is a testament to how well you can blend into the culture where you want to be.

Likewise, being erect in your stance is a subtle way of showing confidence. Speaking in a clear voice and without whispering or mumbling, is another way to achieve that. Good eye contact also works. (Just don’t stare or glare.)

Of course you’ve been reading and attending webinars to stay up to date on current practices. As you go through your interview discussion and questions, there may be a very opportune time to observe how that subject was so interesting when you read it or got more insight about it during the webinar (class, organization meeting). The point is, you’ve not been vegetating; you’ve been involved and engaged and are eager to be totally immersed in being part of, and the cause of, the mix.

Are We There Yet?

So, Survivor, what are you going to be doing next? What are you going to tell me (in a subtle and pleasant way) about why you are an outstanding person because you are a survivor?

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October 10, 2016

Following the Standard

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:58 pm by Yvonne LaRose

Today I’ll start with a question.

Who in your industry is the leading figure in your area of specialty or your target career area?

Looking at the top

Looking at the top

Now that you have two or three names in mind, I want to ask you another question. Why are they considered a leader? What is it about them that makes them stand out from all others? Maybe it’s because some survey was conducted by an organization and they were the top vote getter. Maybe they have a good publicity agent who is able to keep them in the public eye for their accomplishments in whatever manner.

Just because they’re a noted leader in the industry doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best model. Sometimes it only means they have the most notoriety, know how to get invited to speak at plum industry conferences, is blustery enough to intimidate others so they won’t have the audacity to openly question their theories.

The next thing I want you to think about is the vintage of the list you just created. Are those the names of leaders from 15 or even 20 years ago? Maybe they aren’t really today’s leaders and you haven’t been keeping up with the current movers, shakers, and thought leaders in your industry. Which names are coming up a lot today? What is it they’re doing that’s creating such a stir? Search engine optimization isn’t that astounding. There’s something more to it.

Dissect your role models. Learn more about the what of who they are. Investigate the how of what they do and where they do it. Look at who they know and where they go to be around (also known as “network“, see #8) those people. It isn’t necessary to start emulating their habits and putting yourself into bankruptcy. There are starting points that can help you leverage your abilities, knowledge, and career vitality. Sometimes those starting points are in fraternal organizations that cater to your avocations (causes, hobbies, interests). Their existence is gratifying because they provide reason and purposefulness. The things you volunteer to do have meaning in some way – even if it’s merely staying fit or well read.

So, who are the leaders in your industry? Are they your role models? If so, it’s time to do a personal study of their habits and then adapt those habits to suit you and your purposes. And then carve your path to your destination.

Incidentally, it’s entirely possible that you may change your mind about your destination. That’s okay. But you have some points of light to help you understand whether you want to stand out from the crowd and how to do it. Just make certain you do it in the right way and have the best role models to guide you.

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