Monthly Archives: January 2012

Your Personal Branding REALLY Matters

What People Think of You REALLY Matters

When you think of your own personal brand, what comes to mind?
Now more than ever our personal brands matter critically, in our ability to carve out any semblance of long-term job security.
So, what do people think of you? If you asked 4 or 5 of your closest friends, professional peers, and business relations what words they’d use to describe you, what would they say? GO AHEAD…do it! It’s a great learning experience on the road to self-exploration.
At the end of the day, we only have our word to stand upon, as our personal brand. Based on the thousands of interactions I’ve had these past 4 years as a career coach and business consultant, many people are failing miserably. I’m developing a program on “Business Ethics.” When I tell people they laugh, like it’s a joke.
Let’s start with today’s used car salespeople…RECRUITERS. Do you receive emails from recruiters, placement agencies, or search firms about supposed job opportunities that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your background, skills and qualifications? At the end of the e-mail, they say: “If this position isn’t right for you, can you share this with others in your network?” They are basically spamming and phishing us, asking us to help them do their jobs and find others for them to send to their clients.
Have you received a call from a recruiter asking if you’re interested in a job they are looking to fill? They discuss their client’s needs and the requirements with you, then you send them your resume and they promise to forward it to the hiring organization and let you know.
Weeks then months go by, you never hear from them after repeated efforts to obtain a status. Finally you reach them and they dismiss your application by saying their client wasn’t interested, your background wasn’t an ideal match. What about a courtesy call back?
Ethics and professional behavior matter in our personal and professional lives. Have you ever said to someone you had no intention of following up with: “I’ll get back to you?” knowing full well you’ll never call them back? WHY? Because it’s those little WHITE lies that are so easy to tell, rather than the embarrassing truth?
What happened to dealing in truth with all our personal relationships and professional correspondence?
Just this morning I was scheduled to give a FREE coaching session to a potential client. She Tweeted a reply to a re-tweet I sent her on Twitter, so I responded with a message confirming our call. Then I emailed her 2 times within the half hour after our scheduled time when I never heard from her. NOTHING. This is the type of behavior that destroys people’s perceptions of you.
Are we so busy with intensive work schedules and overlapping family, work and personal responsibilities that we’ve lost all sense of decorum in dealing with others?
What happened to the Golden Rule (LUKE 6:31) “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

There are far too many unethical behaviors that can potentially destroy your brand. Here are only a few examples:
* Companies offering extended unpaid internships.
* Plagiarism.
* Lying on your taxes, resumes.
* Falsifying professional credentials.
* Construction companies ignoring codes, taking shortcuts.
* Mortgage robo-signings.
* Producing/marketing dangerous products.
* Legalized gambling.
* Police misconduct.
* Accepting bribes.
* Piracy: stealing others’ intellectual capital.
* Vulture Capitalists.
* False/inaccurate job postings.
* Division I College athletics & big time money.
How do you know if something is the right thing to do? Ask yourself a simple yet poignant question: “If I choose to go through with this decision, would I mind seeing it reported on the news tomorrow?” If the answer’s YES then you proceed. If you’re still not sure then ask yourself four (4) key questions:
1) Does my decision match the organization’s vision & mission statements?
2) Would it be good for customers?
3) Would it be good for the organization?
4) Would it be good for me?
(From Gretchen Morgenson)
So, don’t forget that how you engage people speaks LOUDLY to your ethics, beliefs, and values which in turn creates perceptions that people have about your personal brand. In today’s volatile world with rampant unemployment, stressed schedules, and rapidly changing personal obligations our BRAND matters more than ever.
– Ethan
The Compassionate Coach

We've Survived Worse Times Than This!

We’ve Survived Worse Times Than This

Here we are just ONE week into the New Year, and you’d swear by all the DOOM & GLOOM being propagated that the year was already an abject failure.
There is NO disputing that times are still extremely difficult for many. The unemployment rate is 15-20%, not the ridiculously unreliable 8+% “official” rate being lauded by the Obama Administration. One in four Americans work in contract, consulting, temporary, NON-PERMANENT positions, and the average American will change jobs 8-10 times in their careers.
It certainly doesn’t add to a sense of confidence that things will improve, in a presidential election season in which candidates running for the Republican nomination are spewing hatred and venom at each other and the Obama administration. There doesn’t seem to be any counter or protest being put up by the media, the Republican National Convention or the population at large to focus the debate on the important challenges we face.
It’s also not very encouraging that the Occupy Wall Street movement has fizzled without the effect of building an alternative political figure to run against our 2-Party dysfunctional political system.
However, despite these times of uncertainty and pain, America has ALREADY lived through much tougher times, and come stronger as a result!
Consider this:
“Out of every crisis, every tribulation, every disaster, mankind rises with some share of greater knowledge, of higher decency, of purer purpose. Today we shall have come through a period of loose thinking, descending morals, an era of selfishness, among individual men and women and among Nations. Blame not Governments alone for this. Blame ourselves in equal share. Let us be frank in acknowledgment of the truth that many amongst us have made obeisance to Mammon, that the profits of speculation, the easy road without toil, have lured us from the old barricades. To return to higher standards we must abandon the false prophets and seek new leaders of our own choosing.
Never before in modern history have the essential differences between the two major American parties stood out in such striking contrast as they do today. Republican leaders not only have failed in material things, they have failed in national vision, because in disaster they have held out no hope, they have pointed out no path for the people below to climb back to places of security and of safety in our American life.
Throughout the Nation, men and women, forgotten in the political philosophy of the Government of the last years look to us here for guidance and for more equitable opportunity to share in the distribution of national wealth.
On the farms, in the large metropolitan areas, in the smaller cities and in the villages, millions of our citizens cherish the hope that their old standards of living and of thought have not gone forever. Those millions cannot and shall not hope in vain.”
Know who said this? Ron Paul? Barrack Obama? Tim Geithner? Bill Clinton? Herman Cain?

NOPE! Franklin Delano Roosevelt did, in his address to the Nation accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 2, 1932.
The bottom line is, we’ve seen times like this, and we’ve overcome them before. It may seem dire but we will come through these challenges as a stronger Nation and create greater career opportunities for ourselves, in the process. We ALWAYS have!
Examples of success in business and industry, corporate social responsibility, the Green movement are all around us, as eager, energetic visionary leaders are rising to drive America forward into the 21st Century. Too bad nobody is reporting the successes being achieved in the United States. Just a few examples:
* New marketing, social media start-up’s like Groupon, LivingSocial, IMShopping,and BuyWithMe;
* Social networks for entrepreneurs like Entrepreneur Connect, PartnerUp, StartUpNation, and Go BIG Network;
* Small business success stories like Quadlogic Controls, Back to the Roots LLC, Laughingstock Design, Pillow Bar LLC, Sanctuary T, Mr. Bigshot, etc.
The list of modern day American entrepreneur success keeps rising. WHY?
More and more professionals,seniors, and college graduates who are either out of work, frustrated by their time spent in Corporate America, or looking to fulfill their dreams are pursuing their passions and interests.
Let’s hope this trend only continues. THIS is how America will dig itself out of this funk!
Here’s to a happy, healthy and SUCCESSFUL 2012!