A Valuable Planning Tool For 2020 and Beyond

According to Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, “there is considerable evidence to indicate that expectations of your future do, in fact, tend to create your future. People usually end up pretty much where they expect.

It seems reasonable then, to spend some time determining specific, worthwhile expectations that will make your life more meaningful. If you don’t have a written plan for your life, it may feel like you’re driving a car without having your hands on the wheel.

Are you a goal setter? Do you typically set goals at the first of the year? If not, why not?

Goals are not written in concrete and unchangeable terms but they do give you a starting point and a destination. The important thing is that you are in charge when working on your goals. It is the easiest way to put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life.

Your life has meaning only when you are working toward goals that you have decided on.

In order for your purpose in life to be fulfilled, you must set goals in multiple areas. Success is not just career or financial – family, physical and spiritual are equally important areas of achievement. They are part of the same whole, balanced person.

Any stage in life can be an exciting time with many opportunities, or a dreary time of confusion and entrapment. You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can decide that the circumstances won’t dominate you. You do have choices.

There is something magical that happens when you write down your goals.

Here’s the framework for this entire process.

  • If we were meeting three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
  • What are the biggest dangers you’ll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
  • What are the biggest opportunities you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
  • What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don’t currently have in order to capture those opportunities?

Begin with the three-year goals and then work backward to what you need to do today to make deposits in what you want your life to be three years from now. Be specific, creating quantifiable benchmarks to track your deposits of success.”

2020 Goal Planning Guide

I’d like to offer you the opportunity to grab a free step-by-step 3-year planning guide compliments of  Dan Miller. Miller asks, “If nothing changed in your life over the next 3 years, would that be okay?”

You can also download Miller’s 2020 Goal Planning Guide at my website Wisdom-Matters by clicking on the “Free Resources” tab.

You can use his detailed guide for vision-casting and goal setting in what Miller calls “the 7 main aspects of life”.

As an added bonus, feel free to download a copy of Andy Stanley’s 20 Building Blocks for a Vision.

Lastly, no matter what stage in life you are, my prayer is the use of these tools will help put you on track to the future you’ve always dreamed of.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

How To Beat The Competition On Your Next Job Interview

Many job seekers are under the false impression that a slick resume is the key to securing that job they so badly want. It’s true your resume should be as attractive, truthful, and concise as possible without boring readers with a lot of unnecessary details.

However, make no mistake, your resume is just a tool designed to ignite enough interest to get your foot in the door for that all important job interview.

The interview process is where you must be ready to effectively sell yourself and put yourself in a position at the head of all the rest of your job-seeking competitors. The only way to do that is preparation, preparation, preparation!

I must confess I didn’t fully understand how important preparation for a job interview was, and what it meant to properly prepare for an interview, until I was preparing to interview for my last job at the age of 64! I firmly believe my preparation for that interview made all the difference in helping me rise above the rest of the pack.

In fact, and in retrospect, I realize now that I probably knocked myself out of several great job opportunities because I was not properly prepared for the interview process.

So what changed in my ability to properly prepare for a job interview? I ran across Dan Miller’s website, 48Days.com, and ordered his book 48 Days To The Work You Love.

Everything Miller wrote about in that book made so much sense to me that I committed to put it into practice when I decided to candidate for that last job I spoke of earlier, at the age of 64!

It made me realize that you’re never too old to compete for a job opportunity if you possess the skills and experience for that position and, more importantly, if you are properly prepared for the interview process.

I’m going to share some nuggets of wisdom from Dan Miller’s book, 48 Days To The Work You Love, hoping you too will find his wisdom as valuable as I did and want to learn more before seeking your next job opportunity.

Proper Preparation For A Job Interview

Dan Miller says, “The keys to successful interviewing are preparation, knowing what to expect, and practice.

Preparation is the single most important factor in successful interviews. Your preparation should involve 2 primary components: knowing yourself and knowing the company.”

Knowing Yourself

Millers states, “Critical to presenting yourself well and securing a position that will be meaningful and fulfilling is the process of self-assessment. You should be intimately familiar with your (1) skills and abilities, (2) personality tendencies, and (3) values, dreams, and passions.

Be prepared in this regard to answer the following questions in the interview (. . .these few are critical in thoroughly knowing yourself):

Tell me a little about yourself. This is a standard question in almost every interview. In some ways, it is probably the most important question in your interview, and you must prepare your answer well in advance.”

I must confess, I didn’t understand how important this question was and I know I lost out on at least one job opportunity I was really interested in! I actually would get angry when asked that question. I thought it was so stupid since they had my resume and could find out as much as they wanted about me! I totally didn’t get it!

Miller goes on to say, “The interviewer will expect you to have developed an answer for this question, and if you have not, you will appear ill-prepared, and the interview will be off to a very poor start.

Remember, your answer to any question should be no more than 2 minutes in length. On this particular one, you might spend 15 seconds on your personal background, 1 minute on your career highlights, a few seconds on your strongest professional achievements, and then conclude by explaining why you are looking for a new opportunity.

Ask yourself, ‘What can I contribute to this company?’ and let that guide your response. Regardless of the content of your answer, you should outline the answer to this question on paper then practice it many times until you can repeat it concisely.

What are 3 of your strengths? If you cannot clearly identify and describe your strengths, how do you expect an interviewer to pull them out in the brief encounter of an interview?

Tell me about a weakness and what you have done to work on it. Don’t play ignorant or modestly claim perfection. Be prepared to talk about something you struggle with. At the same time, stay positive in regard to what you have done to improve.

What skills do you possess that have prepared you for this job? Obviously, you need to have researched the company and the job, or you will be unprepared for this question.

What are your short and long-term goals? Talk about personal goals as well as business goals. Companies today are looking for balanced individuals who are interested in things other than work.”

Knowing The Company

Miller states, “Knowledge of the company or organization, its products and services, its standing in the community, and the key individuals involved is essential.

In addition, you should obtain information about the company’s annual growth rate, annual sales, number of employees, location of the company headquarters, and it’s major changes such as buyouts or mergers and industry trends.

The information you have, which will lead to questions you can ask, can easily tip the scales in your favor during the interview.

Make sure you are ready with 4 to 5 questions. Even if the interviewer has answered everything you need to know, it will make you appear more interested and more knowledgeable if you ask a few questions.”

In his book, Dan Miller offers 21 questions you may be asked by an interviewer, questions you need to have a 1 to 2 minute answer prepared in advance.

It’s a process well worth committing to if you want to shine above the competition. It may seem like a daunting task at first but it will help you really take a serious assessment of yourself in a number of very beneficial ways.

Miller also offers 21 questions you can choose from to ask the interviewer.

I can honestly attest to the fact that 48 Days To The Work You Love totally prepared me with the information and confidence I needed to shine above my competition at the age of 64 and win the job doing the work I knew I would love!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!































































































25 Business Skills To Master Now!

In today’s competitive work environment, if you want to stand out as a job applicant or an employee competing for a promotion, there are certain skills you must bring to the table to impress employers.

The following information written by a staff writer for Get Motivated Workbook will help you take an inventory of your current skill set. You’ll be able to access your current strengths as well as the areas where you may need some work.

In the article, Randall S. Hansen states, “Whether you’re seeking your first job, a new opportunity, or a promotion within your current company, the business skills you need to master are the same.

Beyond evaluating job-specific requirements, employers look for ‘hard skills’ and ‘soft skills’ in a candidate seeking a position or promotion.”

Stay ahead of the curve in your career by brushing up on each of these 25 vital skills.

Hard Skills

  1. Communication: Vitally important in business, successful communication includes concise writing, careful listening and effective speaking—all of which will be evaluated in your resume and interviews.
  2. Analytical: This skill begins with the ability to see the big picture, to assess a situation, gather information and seek multiple perspectives, and then to apply sound judgement.
  3. Computer/Technical: If you don’t possess solid computer skills, get them, or be left behind.
  4. Adaptive: As employers downsize and combine jobs, they are focusing on efficiency. Show your value by demonstrating a willingness to learn new skills and assume additional responsibilities.
  5. Interpersonal: The workplace is all about people. If you’re an alpha male or female, tone it down. Learn to understand and accept different personalities.
  6. Leadership/Management: Whether you’ve progressed to a management position yet or not, your leadership skills are important because they demonstrate initiative. “Don’t wait to be told to do a job or take on a responsibility,” advises Shelly Field, author of The Unofficial Guide to Hot Careers. A willingness to take the lead or solve a problem will get you noticed, she says.
  7. Multicultural Sensitivity: As the workplace grows more diverse every day, show you can get along with people from different backgrounds. Multicultural sensitivity has become an employability hot button.
  8. Planning/Organization: Demonstrate your ability to take a task from beginning to end and finish it on time.
  9. Problem Solving: Creative problem-solving is important at all levels of any organization. Document your best examples for your next interview.
  10. Teamwork: Valuable employees are team players committed to the organization’s goals, says Laura Berman Fortgang, author of Living Your Best Life.

Soft Skills

  1. Loyalty: Managers facing staff cuts, with no reduction in workload, are keenly aware of who’s with them and who’s not.
  2. Integrity: As corporate scandals rock news headlines, it’s not surprising that integrity tops the list of personal values employers are seeking in employees.
  3. Flexibility: Become a star player by demonstrating a willingness to leave your comfort zone.
  4. Dedication: By showing care for your work and concern for your company, you will be valued for your commitment and for the example you set.
  5. Reliability: Prove you can be counted on, so you won’t be easily counted out when the chips are down.
  6. Positive Attitude: Particularly when times are tough, your positive attitude will boost morale for everyone, and make you an essential member of the team.
  7. Professionalism: A code of conduct and a sign of maturity, professionalism covers a host of behaviors, from being fair and responsible to never being petty.
  8. Self-confidence: If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
  9. Willingness to Learn: Jobs are constantly evolving, so demonstrate that you can too, no matter your age or level of experience.
  10. Ability to Work Independently: A counterpart to teamwork, being a self-starter who performs well with minimal demands on a supervisor’s time will distinguish you in today’s competitive job arena.
  11. Respect for Others: Every person you interact with during your workday, from the CEO to the receptionist, gives you an opportunity to demonstrate respect, which others will reflect back on you.
  12. Patience: Wrapped up in our own immediate needs, it’s easy to forget those of others. Show respect by being patient.
  13. Be a Good Listener: Listening is a sign of respect and patience for others.
  14. Willingness to Conduct Research: Go the extra mile to learn all you can, and then question what you learn. Just because something comes up on Google doesn’t make it true!
  15. Time Management: The more effectively you manage your time, the better you will become at meeting your goals and those of your company.

A lot of wisdom here for how to be fully prepared to excel in today’s workplace environment!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!