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How To Ignite Your Career; Recruiter Insights


How To Ignite Your Career; Insights From A RecruiterIn this episode of the You Winning Life podcast, Jason Wasser, LMFT talks about taking the first steps into your career and how it should be one of the most exciting times in any young person’s life. Yet for many students and recent graduates, identifying the right direction and figuring out how to get there can be overwhelming, even paralyzing.

What’s your dream job? What kind of culture will you thrive in? How do you begin to lay the path toward a career that will truly fulfill you? Throughout your academic journey, every step has been neatly planned out—but now, the way forward isn’t so clear.

Through her book Ignite Your Career, Kris Holmes provides you with the same insight that has helped thousands of her clients find fulfilling careers. With this book, you’ll learn how to develop career goals that align with your strengths, giving you a clear path forward. From proven strategies for optimizing your resume, to practical advice on networking, finding the right company culture, prepping for interviews, and negotiating offers, this book is a step-by-step guide you’ll return to again and again.

Kris Holmes is an executive recruiter and partner at O’Connell Group, a leading executive search firm in consumer marketing and market research. With more than twenty-five years of experience, she is also a member of the Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America. Kris has counseled tens of thousands of candidates in setting goals and leveraging their strengths. Before shifting to recruiting, Kris worked for a decade in consumer marketing with major corporations like Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, and Ralston Purina. She’s a graduate of Tufts University and has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

Kris and her husband Jim are the parents of three kids and two yellow Labs. Purchase “Ignite Your Career” by clicking here:

How To Ignite Your Career; Insights From A Recruiter

Read the entire transcript below:

Speaker 1  (Jason Wasser LMFT) (00:00:00):

This is the You Winning Life podcast, your number one source for mastering a positive existence. Each episode we’ll be interviewing exceptional people, giving you empowering insights and guiding you to extraordinary outcomes. Learn from specialists in the worlds of integrative and natural wellness, spirituality, psychology, and entrepreneurship. So you too can be winning life. Now here’s your host, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified neuro-emotional technique practitioner and certified entrepreneur coach Jason Watson.

Speaker 2 Kris Holmes (00:00:36):

Today’s guest is an executive recruiter and partner at the O’Connell group, a leading executive search firm in consumer marketing and market research. She has more than 25 years of experience counseling, tens of thousands of candidates,  setting goals and leveraging their strengths in their professional careers. She has worked in consumer marketing with brands, such as Johnson and Johnson, Kraft Foods, Ralston Purina, and is a graduate of Tufts University. And also has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and her book Ignite Your Career, you can learn how to develop career goals that align with your strengths, giving you a clear path forward from proven strategies for optimizing your resume to practical advice on networking, finding the right company culture, prepping for interviews and negotiating offers. This book is a step by step guide. You will definitely return to, again and again throughout your professional career.

Speaker 2 (Kris) (00:01:32):

Kris Holmes, welcome to the You Winning Life podcast. Thanks so much, Jason. I really appreciate it by then, very much looking forward to this because everything that you are sharing with the world is so important right now. And especially in the young professional population, which happens to be one of the niches that I serve the most is that they’re scrounging, especially with the pandemic, but even before the pandemic, there was so much myth and mysticism around trying to find a job in today’s culture, with things changing and culture-changing and technology changing. But before we get into that, which is kind of the little teaser of what we’re going to get into further on in our conversation, so that people can stick around to hear what practical tips and tricks one can take from today’s episode. But most importantly, for many years, as you and I discussed in our, in our conversation before, is this idea of re recruiter and recruiting seems to be kind of a mythical animal in the business world. And people either are, have no clue what the heck it is. And therefore there’s all these false facts or myths about it or talking smack about it. And then there’s people who swear up and down by using and having a recruiter in their back pocket. So from your years of experience, how would you explain it to the everyday person and what myths and facts do we really need to sort through? And Jason, it’s a great question. And

Speaker 3 (00:03:00):

I’m going to come at it two different ways from one, from when I was in marketing and, you know, had recruiters calling me constantly because I was really wonderful companies. And then the second side is from the recruiter’s perspective and working with people. And what I can tell you is, you know, as you said, there’s a myth or reality that there are a lot of, um, bad recruiters out there. And what I would tell you is there are bad recruiters out there, but they’re also really wonderful recruiters out there. And, um, I learned that during my marketing days, I got a lot of phone calls and yet there were probably two or three that I spoke to and I trusted and truly they became my mentors and recruiters, the way to differentiate and understand if somebody is a good recruiter or a bad recruiter. I think a recruiter who calls you and says, honey, I got a job for you.

Speaker 3 (00:04:01):

Whatever their actual words are without knowing you is just a salesperson. And they are just trying to capitalize on your background and your experience, and truly they don’t care about you except for as a moneymaker for them. It’s not a long-term relationship. It’s not a symbiotic rate commission for them. It’s a commission. The good recruiters are going to call you and say, this is who I am. This is my background. This is how we operate. Tell me about you. Not do I have a job for you? And sometimes people say, well, I’m looking, what do you have? And I’ll say, I have a lot of jobs, but I don’t want to waste your time. Remind. I want to get to know you so great recruiters want to get to know your background and then goal. You know, what experience have you had and what’s important to you going forward.

Speaker 3 (00:04:57):

And that’s really important because then when they do call you, they’re calling you with opportunities that meet your experience, but also align with what you want. And what’s important to you. The other thing is, if you can find recruiters who are experts in your industry, they can be mentors and resources during your career. And, and shifting over to my job, working with the O’Connell group, I’ve been doing it for 25 years. And the way we operate is we get to know people early on and we stick with them like glue. So many of the people that I started talking to when they were junior in their career are now CEOs or chief marketing officers. And I still work very closely with them. As they’re thinking about, you know, building their team, they’re coming to me to understand what’s going on in the marketplace to help them build their team.

Speaker 3 (00:05:52):

Um, as they went along their career paths, they’d call and say, okay, I’m not looking, but my company’s offering me two different jobs. And I want your perspective of what this can do for your careers. So a great recruiter in your industry can be a huge asset, not just to help you find your jobs, but to help you navigate your career throughout the other one thing, Jason, that I want to bring up, people don’t know, but recruiters are not paid by candidates. If a recruiter tries to get you to pay for their services, run, don’t walk companies, pay recruiters to go find people. So it, you know, I just want to say that up front, but finding great recruiters in your industry will be something that will really, it will differentiate you. It will be a resource. It will be a mentor. And if they do it well, it will be a friend for life.

Speaker 2 (00:06:51):

So those of us who might be just starting off in their career, new graduates, uh, whether it’s undergraduate or graduate school, or they’ve been working for just a handful of years and whatever field, how to recruiters find them. And how do you make yourself attractive to a recruiter? Cause I know resumes are an art and science. We know that the new resume is LinkedIn slash social media, Instagram and stuff like that. So what are some of the things that recruiters are looking for in order to find a candidate to fit their niche and B what should we be putting out? What should the, you know, the potential employee be putting out as far as their personal brand, even if they’re working for some other company or not even working for themselves, but you still have to consider yourself having a personal brand. So what are some tips and tricks on that?

Speaker 3 (00:07:49):

Um, great questions. So the first thing I tell you is, as you’re doing your internship or your first job, talk to your boss, talk to mentors within the company and say, obviously I’m not going anywhere, but I would like to build a relationship with one or two great recruiters for the longterm. Are there people you trust and you like, and I am had many students who are, you know, senior year who call me and say, or MBA students. You know, my boss told me to call you, I’m holding three different offers. I’d love to hear your perspective. So that’s the first way you can be proactive to find the best recruiters. In terms of recruiters, finding you on your LinkedIn profile, that’s likely the most effective way of them finding you. Um, you want to have a LinkedIn profile that says your company’s name, your title, very explicitly your responsibilities, and then your accomplishments. And as a recruiter, those are the things that I for, you know, as I’m calling people I know on the right hand side will be people who are similar to this person. And I, you know, if I know the person I’m calling and I’m contacting as a good candidate, I will go look at those people. And if I think they’re great, I’ll try to connect with them, deal LinkedIn and send them a note and start building

Speaker 2 (00:09:13):

The relationship. So those accomplishments with poetic license, as many people have been known to do, and especially when it is a numbers game. So there’s someone I’ve worked within the past. And I know that they’re in a sales position in their company and not only are they sales, but they’re also about saving the company money by if they can find the right person within the company, through their position, they’re saving money from not sending it out to a recruiter to find how do you articulate that the best way possible? Because really sometimes we don’t know, especially in a corporate setting, how much money you’re actually either a saving a company B what does that actually translate in the eyes of the people you’re working through? I’m sorry, be it radio and into the eyes of the people you’re working through, but see, that’s your job. So maybe that shouldn’t be such a glaring thing of like, we hired you to do this. That’s not necessarily the big, big accolade. This is what we hired you to do. Don’t toot your horn, that you’re actually doing your job. So how do you weave through those?

Speaker 3 (00:10:19):

Yeah. So, um, obviously you can’t put anything confidential, right? Either on your resume or your LinkedIn profile, but you can do up 10% versus year-ago or what you, there are ways to have results on there. Um, and as you mentioned, while yes, companies, some companies have internal recruiters and they want to use them when possible. And when the job is Jason, not a high priority, they may be able to find candidates that are what I call fine. They can do the job companies come to recruiters when they want to find superstars. When they’re trying to find bench strength that can move up through the organization when the role is a really high impact role and they have already budgeted that money. The other thing, um, and this is kind of tying into a little bit, what you said is, um, you know, how to apply for jobs.

Speaker 3 (00:11:18):

You know, there are all these different ways of applying, and I’ll tell you, seeing that job online and pushing that button and applying is really low odds. It feels good for about a second, but usually, it just dissipates and goes into the black hole. So I would tell students, don’t do it, take a deep breath, do it only as a last resort. And if you do it, make sure you have skills bulleted at the top of your resume, that align with what the job is asking for, because how you break through AI. But you’re much better off going through a recruiter who’s working on the job or networking your way in, through somebody you’ve worked within the past or somebody who you’ve networked with, or a friend who can actually get your resume to the right person versus disappearing in that black hole.

Speaker 2 (00:12:12):

So what about even rate rig using LinkedIn, using those resources that you see someone who works in that company that you want to work with and you have multiple, you know, either you have no contacts in relationship with them, how do you create that relationship at that level to leverage that as a possible career, without coming across as self-serving, because that’s the biggest issue, right? Is that at some point there’s going to be not much value that someone’s going to bring to the table in a relationship when you’re starting off in your career. It’s not that you are not about a person of value, but the value you bring as an, as a newer person looking to move up in your career, isn’t much to the person. So how do you ethically, honestly, and with integrity, create a relationship with someone at some corporation that you absolutely love to work at, and you know, that job position is available. What do you do?

Speaker 3 (00:13:09):

Um, great question. And I would tell you, in my book, I have a whole chapter that it talks about networking and how critical it is. So I’m going to take a step back from your question, because I believe that everybody should be networking on an ongoing basis, whether or not you’re looking for a job. And as a student, great place to start is, first of all, family and friends, those people want you to succeed. And if you know people in your industry or the industry, you want to go to tap into them and ask if they would be willing to chat. And a key thing about networking is you can’t say to somebody, Hey, can we talk? I need a job. What you can say is, Hey, would you spend 15 minutes with me? Or when we get out of the pandemic, would you have coffee?

Speaker 3 (00:13:58):

Can I buy you coffee? I want to hear about your journey. I want to hear what you’ve learned. I would love to get advice from you as I navigate my career. And I want to know if I can keep you apprised. And if you start doing that early, started with family and friends, then go to your high school and go to alumni at your high school, go to college, your college, and go to the alumni office and find people in your industry. Those are the easiest ones, because you have something that links you with them. Then beyond that on LinkedIn, as you were just mentioning, Jason, I believe you want to be active on LinkedIn. You want to read articles and people in your industry who write articles that resonate with you, you know, like, um, but then write a note or write something saying, I love this article because as a new graduate X, Y, and Z, and then you can also have to do that message, that person and say, Hey, I just read your article.

Speaker 3 (00:15:00):

I love it. I would love to have the opportunity to network with you and really, you know, learn from somebody who’s quite seasoned in the industry. I want to go and might you be willing to spend a few minutes with me? And so if you do that on a constant, you know, in a constant way, as I call building that networking muscle, then when you need a job, when you need to activate those muscles, they are primed and you already have a relationship. But as you said, trying to network, you go to a company, you see somebody’s name, you know, there’s a job you’re don’t really have relevant experience for it. Reaching out to them is going to be tough at that point, if you haven’t already done this.

Speaker 2 (00:15:48):

One of my, one of my stories where I experienced that was years ago, there was a community organization that had a philanthropy night. In other words, it was the leaders in the Miami sports communities to the presidents or, um, CEOs of the different sports teams here in South Florida on their approach to philanthropy. And, uh, the former owner of the Florida Marlins was there. And, um, one of the niches that I worked in, uh, was sports psychology and performance consulting, which are now bringing a lot to, uh, the business and entrepreneur world as well, uh, in my therapy practice and my coaching practice. But my, my question was not asking for a job. It was advice on what are some of the best ways you’ve been doing this for years? You have people like me who are working for some athletes. I do get some athletes randomly finding me, or, uh, back in the day that would just see my, you know, my marketing and come to me.

Speaker 2 (00:16:44):

What has been his experience with getting someone like me getting in front of other people? Can you give me some advice? So in other words, I didn’t go to them asking for the job. I said, you’ve been doing this, you’re the expert. This is a small part of what you oversee as the president of the club, right? How does someone like me build those relationships with someone like that on a more consistent basis? And you gave me some really, really great advice, and that’s all I want to write. I don’t want to put it out there, but I can hopefully come across as the, you know, the one down paradigm versus the I’m gonna bring you all this value. Here’s why you should hire me, but I’m always going to be hopefully in the back of their, of their heads. So I want the, I love that now, hearing what you’re saying, knowing that like, okay, I did do that, right? And that was at least 10 or 12 years ago, um, in that paradigm.

Speaker 3 (00:17:36):

Absolutely. And Jason, I’ll give you an example. That’s in the book for anybody who hasn’t read the book, my daughter, and this was not because of me telling him always been a huge music fan. And she went to a liberal arts college in Massachusetts school, but their placement office had no clue what to do with somebody with a music industry. And she was able to get two good internships, but then she decided to come out of college. I don’t want to go to New York. I don’t want to go to LA. I love country music. I’m moving to Nashville. And so she proactively went to her high school and got every single person from her high school, independent of the industry who lived in Nashville, same thing from her college and sent out two or 300 emails saying, Hey, this is my story. I’m moving to Nashville.

Speaker 3 (00:18:26):

I’m planning to come there over spring break, but proactively, would you be willing to have a conversation I’d love to get to know you your story and get your advice. And she had probably 30 telephone calls with people everywhere, from dentists to lawyers, to, you know, somebody else, but they all held, had a connection with her because of the school. She went to Nashville over spring Bay break had a bunch of informational interviews moved there in July, had some more interviews and within two weeks had two offers. So that’s, I mean, it is, and she did it on her own, but it’s just the work you have to do.

Speaker 2 (00:19:10):

Let’s talk about those numbers for a second, because I see this as, you know, the last couple of years where I’ve spent hanging out and learning from some really massive entrepreneurs. And, um, that I do know that at the end of the day, it’s a numbers game. And I know that like when a client potential client calls me, right, there’s the cold lead, the warm lead in the hot lead. And there’s even hot leads that I’m turning it on. In other words, they were told by a good friend of mine that they should absolutely come see me. And there’s no one else you should go to and they’re ready to plunk down the money. And the only thing that needs to happen is whether or not they’re an appropriate client for me to be seeing or not. And that’s up to me and that’s the way I’ve really positioned myself over the last couple of years of learning that, like, I don’t have to see everybody.

Speaker 2 (00:19:51):

I only want to see the people I love and enjoy and want to hang out with, even if they weren’t my clients in a very specific niche, the worried, well, the motivated, the entrepreneurial and stuff like that, but it’s a numbers game. So I know that for every 10 people that are going to call for might want to work with me in theory, three are willing to pay the money, right? One or two are only the ones that are willing to accept as a client, right? So when sending out resumes, when making contact, when networking, it’s not the, like you said, Oh, I clicked on the three jobs in indeed and my job is done, right? It’s it has to be at, I’m hearing two things that I maybe want to get your confirmation on one, your resume needs to change in your cover letter, absolutely needs to change for every single one, as specific as possible identifying facts or things about the company that you align with your values that I love.

Speaker 2 (00:20:47):

These are my values too. I always talk with my clients in my courses, in my workshops of my eye, as a mind body wellness practice, which we talked about before. If someone comes in as an associate to work with me, drinking a soda, there’s no interview, right? Because it doesn’t represent brand. I don’t care if they say, but I love yoga. And I have an M and I meditate. There’s just still something, that’s a cognitive disconnect for that. Cause that’s not the brand of that I, that I put out as the brand of my practice. And, and even when I take that as a core value, even to my personal life, even with dating, I won’t date a psychiatrist, I won’t date a pharmaceutical rep rep because it’s, I’m trying to help people get off medication through nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and good therapy. And that’s contradictory.

Speaker 2 (00:21:34):

Not that they’re doing bad things. There’s many useful things for that, but it’s just not within my consistency of core, core values. So how right. So I think, right. I want people out there to hear that if you’re going for jobs, you also have to look at your ethics in your morals and your core values. So, right. I also joke like I have my buyout number. If a company wants to reach out to me here, if a recruiter wants to reach out to me say, we have the perfect job that needs an in house professional that has this mindset of wellness and mind, body Coca-Cola is not going to get me right. North face Patagonia, someone that is specifically focused on doing things for the world versus profit only, or, you know, leaning towards our way. That’s a core value decision for me. So Coca-Cola can offer me 400 grand a year, but it’s probably going to be a now. Yeah. So how do you take that? So how do you apply all that from your perspective?

Speaker 3 (00:22:29):

Um, that kind of ties into my chapter on culture fit. And, um, I really do believe there are no good and bad companies, but there are really good and bad company fits. And by that, I mean, it’s a combination of do the company’s values align kind of like you were just talking about and beyond that it’s do you feel like you can be yourself day in and day out at the company or do you have to pretend to be like everybody else and you know, is it really uncomfortable and is it taxing? It doesn’t wear you out. Um, I have had many people who were in roles that they were doing fine in the job, but they were not happy. And we really peeled back the onion to diagnose it. Wasn’t the job itself. It wasn’t the career. Those were right. It was where they were doing it. And we assessed what they were, what was wrong and what they were looking for and found another company where they culture aligned. And they would say things like, I feel like every day I’m going home, like I’m part of a family. And in the flip side, when the culture fits not right, I had people tell me, you know, I have to stop by the side of the road every day, cry before I go in to make it through. Or I pray for red lights on the way to work because I so dread going there

Speaker 2 (00:23:53):

We’ll be there. Right. We don’t have to. And that’s really what I think. You and I, in some, in many ways you’re doing therapy.

Speaker 3 (00:24:01):

Oh, absolutely. I was a psychology major in undergrad. And thank God because it is, it’s not, not, it’s not black and white. There’s so many intangibles in terms of finding the right career, the right culture, the right fit. Um, it’s, it’s both personal and professional.

Speaker 2 (00:24:19):

Well, that’s why I love starting off any of my therapy or coaching or consulting is I can’t help you unless I know what your core values are. Right. And I always use that, that, um, that example of a bunch of years ago, there was a commercial that came out on TV. And I think she was either, she was probably from Australia. That’s a, her accent sounded like that. And it’s in the upper West side of Manhattan or somewhere in Manhattan. And he’s like, do you want to try online dating? She’s like, all right, fine. She’s and she goes, the person interviewing her goes, what are you looking for? She’s like, I don’t know. I want someone funny and kind and nice.

Speaker 2 (00:24:53):

And I’m like, well, that should be a given, not like a high standard. Right. So that is so as I share that with my clients, and now I go, yeah, I know my core values. Okay. What are they? And usually they’re might throw out one or two or three buzzwords. Right. And I’m like, okay. And then if that’s true, those are your core values. Are you making binary decisions on every single day things through that lens, 99% of the time they say now, or they’re like, well, maybe, I guess I really don’t know. And I’ve been just using those cause those are sound good. So I won’t work with a client once I get understanding, once I agree to work with red, some already starting work with them. But between the first and third session, I’m already having them work on a practical crystal clear list of core values with definitions of what they mean to them. So that as we go through whatever challenges that they’re facing, whether it’s a business, whether it’s a relationship, whether it’s whatever’s going on, we can just go back to the list and say, will this be solved by just running it through this list and making it yes or no?

Speaker 2 (00:26:00):

Right. So I would challenge people out there to come up with that in. And if they go to, um, the links on, on our social media, they can find this list, this values based decision making lists that I give out to people for free. You can decide how to find that company culture based on, well, how do I know what I’m looking for? Well, that sounds right. I would love to work in this type of company. Okay. But will that be helpful for you? So, so how does one know their emotionality? Because I know the mental health piece is something that I would love to talk about with you. When you’re saying people come home, they’re driving home, they’re crying, they’re wishing there’s a red light there. They’re working for a toxic supervisor. They’re working for a toxic boss. They’re not getting support. They’re not being heard.

Speaker 2 (00:26:41):

They’re using these excuses of, I should further along in my career have only my company allowed me if they supported me more of my supervisor respected me more. If I can’t go to HR because HR really doesn’t exist. And they’re really best friends with my supervisor. Anyway, how do people navigate that? Which one are legit, real Twitter excuses. And how does one just decide to like, do you know what this is just so toxic. Maybe it’s better for me to be unemployed. What, you know, then go back one more day versus let me work through this until I find another.

Speaker 3 (00:27:14):

Yeah. So it’s a great question. And Jason, I think there are some people that are what I’ll call, ER, everything happens to them. They get it. And I think before anybody, um, makes any rash decision, first of all, they’ve got to look at themselves and they’ve got to look at their track record and do they have a track record of not, you know, not living up or losing roles or getting poor performance reviews. Um, and that’s one thing that the answer is, yes, they need to do two things. One they need to assess am I in the right place? You know, M you know, is the career path that I’m on aligned with my strengths. And I’m a huge believer that, you know, when you are aligned with your strengths and you’re leveraging them in your job day in and day out, and you’re going to be successful, and you’re going to be happy, plain and simple. If you are not, it’s going to be a grind every single day. And so that could be the case. You could be on a wrong career trajectory because of either family pressure or what is called fear of missing out. You saw other people get these finance jobs and big pay. You’re like, Hey, I want that. But man, or you’re not analytical. So that’s the first thing

Speaker 2 (00:28:46):

Better in that they might be better off. In other words, I have this idea of who they think they are and they’re aiming for a job or career, which they think that they’re capable of doing those things on. Those are actually really not their skillset.

Speaker 3 (00:28:58):

Absolutely. And there are assessments. You can take their strengths finders. There’s one called youth science. I love them. Both you, science is newer. And what they have you do is play nine computer games. And through that, they can map how your brain is wired and people who have taken either of the tests come back and say, this is scary. It’s like they read my, my diary. Um, but it’s really great because it helps you hone in on those strengths. And then they give you different options here, areas where those strengths set you up to succeed. So that’s the first thing, um,

Speaker 2 (00:29:34):

I’m cracking up on the side of what you just said about, like, it’s scary that you read my diary yesterday. I was in session with a client and I said something to them, uh, as they were saying, sharing some information with me and her face dropped. And she’s like, I wrote that in my dire, in my journal last night. I’m like, yeah, I know I read it.

Speaker 3 (00:29:50):


Speaker 2 (00:29:54):

I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s, you know, as, as we’re looking at this, like you, and I know the science behind it, you and I know personalities, you, and I know that there’s, there’s a certain amount of archetypes at a certain point, right? There’s not an unlimited amount of possibility of personalities or challenges or issues. It’s just, you know, environment a with personality type B in this type of situation, C and there’s only so many variables that can come around and we know this. And what I was thinking about what you were, what came to my mind is that the people who might be most stuck in these issues or frustrated or feeling like they’re not getting supported, where else are these things also showing up in their life, outside of their professional career and thematically where these things, a problem for them, because what shows up in one place will probably show up in another place.

Speaker 2 (00:30:43):

And do you walk them through that? Like you said, like you helped them on package out and figure out what’s really going on. Where does the therapeutic process or partnering with therapists come into this for the recruiting field, or specifically with what you’re doing at your level to help them on package and figure these things out. Whether it’s an environmental thing at a job they’re already at, or they’re not, they’re going from job to job, not happy, or they’re not being able to land or find a job at where does the therapeutic process go hand in hand with that?

Speaker 3 (00:31:15):

Um, you know, every day first, well, I’ll tell you every conversation and, and you know, what we try to do, or what I try to do is talk to people, um, and, and really understand what are the things they love doing. You know, if you look at your role, what are the things you love doing? What are the things you hate doing? That’s the first thing then? How do you like to operate? Do you want somebody to give you a playbook? And you’re really good following, you know, learning the rules and following that, or use somebody who wants to work autonomously, you align on goals and objectives, but then let, let me go and let me do my thing. And I’ll deliver success. Two very different cultures to different people. Um, and then, you know, they’re our bosses. That’s the other variable. There are great bosses and there are not great bosses.

Speaker 3 (00:32:04):

And I have personally worked for somebody who was a horrific boss, um, and it’s tough. And, and, you know, at that point, I didn’t realize that every single person who worked for him also hated him. And he was awful to them. Cause you just are in your own little bubble. So during those times, I would tell you reach out to past bosses, past mentors. You know, don’t assume that you were the one and only reach out and get advice from people. And if there are specific things that you can talk to write them down, and it is okay to go to HR, because if this person has a track record of being inappropriate or doing the wrong things or not being HR probably knows about it and they want more information and they’ll help you navigate my personal situation was, um, express was awful. And I felt like this black cloud over my head.

Speaker 3 (00:33:00):

And then one day I, and I actually was pregnant at that time. And my doctor put me on bed rest because there was so much stress. And then I got a phone call saying, we’d had an organizational shift. That person is no longer your boss. You’re now in this group. And I swear, Jason, it was like spring came, the sun came out. Um, and so there are times where it can be, you’re under a bad boss cloud. You just have to figure out how to navigate it. And it was actually talking to somebody yesterday who was in that situation and trying to give him strategies. And we talked about how he could go to his boss and say, look, my main job is to make you look good, help me understand what your objectives are so I can help you achieve them so that you can shine. Because if you shine, we all win. And by doing it that way, even though they may not be a great boss, you’re aligning with them versus adversarial position, and that might help and might get them to give you a little leeway.

Speaker 2 (00:34:06):

Yeah. So from the self awareness perspective, which is the angle I love focusing on is how do you know if it’s you being the problem and your rape versus it’s actually the boss or the culture? Like how do you really get that raw and honest perspective? Because we all tell stories and we all tell stories and narratives that favor us. Um, and I just did an exercise. And one of my, um, I’ve a Tuesday night, a group coaching call, and one of the exercises I had them do was tell a story where they’re absolutely completely convinced that they were the victim. And I split them up into groups, um, through zoom. Cause you can break them up into a [inaudible] zoom. You can break up people into groups, which is a little private groups. I said, you have three minutes to convince the person in your room that you’re a victim and you have to come and you have to tell the story that you’ve always been telling that has already led you to believe that you’re a victim in this situation. Now don’t go into anything that’s will be therapeutic or whatever, you know, massively confidential, but like a story that you went through, you’re like, I’m absolutely convinced that that person is wrong. And because of that, my suffered and they did that and they all came back. Yes, yes, yes. Okay. Now I want you to go back into that same group. And now we tell the story where at any given point, along the way, or at multiple given points, along the way, you could have taken accountability for doing something different.

Speaker 2 (00:35:28):

Now, go spend five minutes telling that story. What could you have done now, looking back in hindsight, at point a point B point C pointy, and one of the people came back into the room and they’re like, I really not happy with you right now, to me.

Speaker 3 (00:35:45):

That’s great.

Speaker 2 (00:35:47):

Yes. And they’re really, they’re very high level self-aware person, but it was the Braybrook what I’m hearing is that like we’re so stuck in a narrative that my boss is in a hole or I hate this company. They’re not letting me succeed. Don’t they realize how talented I are. Don’t they realize how much I want to do good for them, but it might be you, it might be it, it might be them also, but you can only take accountability and ownership for your crap to how do you break through that? Because that’s really, I think I would, would you say like what percentage of actual company issues are actually that, that it’s really you, it’s not the, the environment and it’s not your boss, although that may be obviously humans are humans are humans, but drilling it down, cutting through all the BS, like what number would actually say, Hey dude, or ma’am you might need to play that out with a therapist.

Speaker 3 (00:36:43):

Um, I would say it’s probably a quarter and it could be higher, but you know, there are people who have track records. Um, and those are the people who, you know, it’s kind of like you say, Hey, you know what this has been going on. Are you, you sure. You know, you want to be CEO and you’re acting like a CEO, but you’re an ABM, which means you’ve got to do the grunt work. And so there are people that have that track record that in our field many times, um, it’s a couple of different things. It could be the job doesn’t align well with their strengths. So they just, it’s not that they have to leave the company it’s that they probably need to look at a different job within the company. It could be that the company’s strategy has changed. And Jason, that does happen where they were focused in marketing.

Speaker 3 (00:37:35):

They got a new CEO who came from sales. Now they’re sales focused and building those brands is not important and they’re not putting money behind it. So they’re all different things that happen in the work world. But what you’re saying is definitely reality. And I think if it happens multiple roles, people need to step back and look at, you know, their ownership of what’s going on. And, and did they really, um, you know, hunker down and, and do the job to the best of their ability or is their ego driving on where I shouldn’t be doing that. So they don’t.

Speaker 2 (00:38:13):

Hmm. Interesting. So if, so, if I’m a company and I’m hiring you to find someone, and again, you’ve been doing this for so many years, what’s one thing. So I’m gonna ask it from the company side first, and then I’m going to ask it from the potential employee side, but what’s one thing that you wish companies where we’re picking your brain and taking your influence or a recruiter’s more about that. They’re not, or that they’re not focusing enough time on or leveraging and utilizing recruiters as well as they could.

Speaker 3 (00:38:48):

Um, I’m going to say two things. One is timeliness, you know, even in this market, the best candidates move fast and are recruited. And so companies, who’ve got a C five, 10 candidates and take forever to make decisions are gonna lose the best one. That’s one thing I think the other thing that clients have to realize is it is a two way street and they’ve got to sell themselves as well. So they’ve got to give us the information and, and the knowledge and the tools to create a story about the company that’s truthful, but is also resonates with our candidates because our candidates, if they’re superstars, they’re doing well and their company doesn’t want to lose them. So they’ve gotta be excited to go someplace that offers something different. So I think that’s the other thing realizing, you know, we’re not just looking for bodies, we’re looking for the best bodies and to get them, we need to as partners.

Speaker 2 (00:39:50):

And if you’re the recruitee, you’re the potential employer, what do they need to be focusing on that? They’re not right? What do they need to be really pulling and extracting from you? Cause, right, right. It’s low frequency stuff and high-frequency stuff. What’s the high frequency stuff that probably most people aren’t getting around you, but you wish that they did more proactively by you, but by utilizing you,

Speaker 3 (00:40:14):

Are you talking about candidates? Candidates? Okay. So, um, there’s so much beyond the title and the money in a role. Um, and so I think candidates really diving into the culture and the company and where it’s going, you know, and where the job can lead in terms of the career path and how other people have succeeded and made a difference. And what the culture is, those kinds of intangibles, I think, are critical for happiness. In reality, a title and money. You’re going to forget about them day in and day out. That’s not going to be your drivers. It’s going to be your fit with the company, your ability to deliver success. You’re feeling like you’re appreciated. Those are the things that are going to make you happy and love your job.

Speaker 2 (00:41:08):

Sounds like you should be re the you meaning the person who’s the, uh, the potential employee. Those of us who are looking for jobs, those out there who are looking for the job should be focusing more on what problems they’re well equipped to solve best versus the job title and or, and or position. And that’s kind of what they should be leading with. And that’s what they should be looking for. That’s what they should be putting their most attention to. And an amplifying that is that you’re saying

Speaker 3 (00:41:34):

It really is. And, and making sure, as you said, the values align and they feel like they would fit within the culture. But all of this being said, Jason, as people are interviewing, it’s a, this sounds contradictory, but it’s not. They need to focus on selling themselves everything they do in an interview, connecting with the people, doing what I call wooing and wowing, um, bringing your skills and your experiences to life, your fit with the company, the questions you ask are all selling yourself. It’s not until you get the offer that you can flip the tables. And at that point you can ask what I call with them’s questions. What’s in it for me, things like, talk to me more about your culture. What do you guys have summer hours? What’s your 401k match? What does progression look like for me at this organization? If you ask those questions too early, you’re going to stop the process and you won’t go forward. So there’s a time and a place for everything.

Speaker 2 (00:42:36):

So let’s tie it all together with one of the things that I know we want to talk about that we talked about in our pre-conversation, which was those that are starting off in the young professional age bracket, where there’s so much more passion focused on a specific cause or a specific problem or a theme versus going out and just getting a job versus trying to find that job or create a job or create a company based on that, solving that passion or that problem, right. The passion versus the practicality. So what are your thoughts and experiences on that? And what advice would you give stuck in that position?

Speaker 3 (00:43:14):

Yeah, a great question. And what I would tell you is I, I am in awe of this generation’s passion. I mean, I really think they will change the world. That being said, I don’t think passionate the early stage of your career should drive your decisions. And in my book, I talk about the phases of your career. There’s learn, do leverage. And in the learning phase, it is so critical to build a really strong foundation. And by that, I mean, you want to develop superior skills working for either the best company you can or working for somebody trained at the best. And that is critical because that foundation will allow you to build your career higher and deliver more success. But it also will give you the opportunity down the road. Should you decide to blend your experience with your passion, but if you don’t build that foundation, you will never be able to do the one, two punch. Um, so I think it’s really critical to separate them while you’re starting out. And while you’re in the learning and doing phases at the leveraging phase, you may have the opportunity to merge them back together.

Speaker 2 (00:44:27):

So are there companies out there and I’m finding this, that people, again, there’s questions that people don’t know to what to ask. Right. Right. So one of my clients is very passionate about a very specific problem that they’d like to solve in the world and the charities related to that. And they work for a big corporation. Um, and they just found out by asking by saying, listen, I’d love to do this more. I’d love to volunteer, to find some volunteer time. Is there something that the company, uh, will support me in doing this and come to find that actually that charity is actually one of the charities that they already support. That’s great. And up until we had this conversation of saying, why not see if they’ll help fund it at some level, right. And who can you talk to? And where’s corporate sponsorship. That person was thinking that they would have to leave corporate life to go into a nonprofit in order to have influence sacrifice. Right? Unfortunately, the misnomer is that at working for a nonprofit means you might make less. And there are those that you can use that might, that might happen to you. But until the realization we had this call yesterday, he’s like, Oh my God, I don’t have to leave my corporate job. I’m going tomorrow morning from seven to 10 o’clock and getting paid as a half day of my work to go volunteer for this nonprofit. That I’m absolutely that. And he had, he was crying

Speaker 3 (00:45:51):

Well, and that’s awesome. And, and many companies have that and many companies are open to that. Um, again, that would be a great question to ask when you’re holding the offer, you know, I’m passionate about these areas, you know, would there be an opportunity down the road for me to engage the organization in some ways supporting, and they might say, you know, once a month we give people a half day off to go volunteer somewhere. And so if you want to go volunteer there, great. If you want to get at your team to go volunteer, there we’re a hundred percent behind it. So they absolutely will do it. And truly there are opportunities within corporate America for either rotation within the nonprofit or areas, you know, whether it’s sustainability or diversity or whatever else, people’s passions are to do a rotation. And I have some of my candidates who didn’t shift it over to those areas as a career within corporate America. So, um, but that’s after they got their foundation and they prove themselves and they were valued at the company that they were able to do it. They couldn’t just walk in because, Hey, I love this, but I don’t know anything about what I’m doing. Are they going to be a viable? Okay.

Speaker 2 (00:47:09):

And isn’t it beneficial, I guess, for the, for the companies, other corporations, to have these passionate employees being brand ambassadors as a represent, instead of saying like, no, that’s something unfortunately we’ll have to do on your own time. We’re thinking out of the box where they can say, wait, I have this employee who’s super passionate about something and they’re a good employee. Why can’t I have them be a brand ambassador and have them be super passionate about the fact that they work here and super passionate about the nonprofit or the problem that they want to solve and bring those together. And that will create that’s free marketing for these companies.

Speaker 3 (00:47:44):

A great example is my son, who’s going back to business school now worked for Amazon. And Amazon had a program where they supported their employees as big brothers and big sisters. And so my son did that and once a month, his little brother would come to campus and they’d have lunch and spend a couple hours together. So Amazon not only supported it, they really helped make it seamless. And my son loved it and he was adding value and the corporation got allowed out of it and probably had even built his loyalty to the organization because they did that.

Speaker 2 (00:48:21):

Yeah. And I know a lot of these corporations, um, cause I do have clients in all these different fields that are, that I’m working with from a, from a therapy or coaching side, that a lot of these companies know that you’re not going to stay with them forever. And that the year the it’s the jumping off point for them in their career. And one of the questions I have my, my clients ask is, is there funding for outside additional training, coaching certificate programs? You know, I know that like there’s all these online courses, you can get a certificate in this type of management that the program, you know, that your job might pay for, or is there an internal educational platform, like a virtual right arm that I can have access to because I know Amazon has a massive one for that. And, um, that I can have access to. Cause one that shows that you are, you want to learn more, you want to do more and you’re willing to do this on your own time. It’s not like I’m expecting to get paid for it, but that it might already be there that most people don’t, again, like a lot of times I’m finding people don’t even know to ask, right. Because I thought it would be a possibility even task.

Speaker 3 (00:49:24):

And I think that’s great and many companies will do that. They will pay for outside education if they see it, not necessarily applying to the exact role you’re in today, but building your capabilities for the longterm.

Speaker 2 (00:49:39):

Well, that goes back. I think to what you’re saying about finding that mentor or that person above you in the company that can give you that insight to say, here’s what you’re going to need to know. As you move up, start leveraging that. Now I have this, a conversation with a, with another client and they work for again, got another big conglomerate corporation here. And I said, where do you want to be in the next five years? Like, why want to make this amount of money? And I would love to be at this position. Okay. Number one, do you have the education requirements that they require from the company culture? Right? If not, is there anything in house that will allow you to get that education that you need to get those skills? And if not, is there any local community colleges or any online programs, even if it’s not accredited, but if you go and you do this mentorship program, this coaching program, this Tony Robbins, bro, whatever it is, anything out there to get these unique skills and you say, I this a 30 hour program on database management, whatever it may be right.

Speaker 2 (00:50:32):

As proof positive. And here’s right. And here’s what I learned. And here’s the bullet points of the program. A lot of these companies will be like, Oh, okay, cool. Yeah. We usually do hire someone who has a degree or has been working there, but you’re doing this on your own. We’re going to see that as motivation to want to give you much more of a possibility. And a lot of people just don’t even get that. And I think like, I really want, if you could walk away from people listening, don’t be afraid to ask those questions. Don’t be afraid to show the initiative. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box to solve these problems.

Speaker 3 (00:51:04):

Well, and Jason, I agree with that. And I’m going to even take a step back to kids who are in college, you know, who their internships blew up or, you know, they’re having to work remotely right now. And, and what I tell them, as I’m talking to them, friends and family and everything is stay productive, learn and grow and see how you can add value. And I’ll give an example of a family friend’s daughter, her internship blew up. And so she asked to strategize on what she might do and she’s really into fashion. And I had just cleaned out my classes and I kind of talked to her and I said, Maya, you know, think there’s an opportunity out there for you to reach out to people who are cleaning the closets. Like I am. And see if you can gather a lot of business attire because none of us are going into the work, you know, into the office.

Speaker 3 (00:51:58):

And, um, see if you can gather it and donate it to organizations in need. And she took that idea and ran with it over the summer, had a clothing drive and got so much great stuff that she was then able to donate to Mo multiple sites. And you know, the thing about that, Jason is she didn’t get paid for it, but on her resume, it is going to look glorious. She took initiative, she showed strong project management, creative and leadership skills. So I tell people, talk to family, friends say, look, I’m going to school. I’m not looking to be paid, but is there a project that I could work on at your company that you need done that could help me build skillset? Um, so I think that’s great

Speaker 2 (00:52:46):

When I think, especially the technology that’s available to us, whether, you know, you’re further on in your career and your age versus that young professional or college or high school age student today, if we’re not leveraging all of the free stuff that is out there, right? You don’t have to have $3,000 to spend a weekend with Tony Robbins. You can spend the next five years consuming. Every single thing he has put out for free. Right. Right. Or you want, right. So there’s all of these exercises conversation last night with my sister, we have a third generation family furniture business. And I’m the only of the siblings not in at my brother, my younger siblings taken it over and I do some outside consulting for them. And there’s someone who I’m a big, who had become personally friends with, but also has been a mentor and is isn’t as a business coach.

Speaker 2 (00:53:34):

And I’m like, I saw that this person did this on their website. And it was so simple to make this like, instead of like a picture that rotates, he has a video teaser trailer and I’m like, okay. So I have my social media person. And I just said, can you just come up with something that looks just something like this for me? And I’ll come up with my own voiceover over it, but it’s just, can you give me like the background of what it might look like if you were to do three hours later, I got like a minute and a half little teaser clip of me and different speaking things or podcast interviews, um, or pictures. And it just made it into something that’s just so out of Mike skillset, when brought back to me, it looks, Holy crap, this looks like a million dollar.

Speaker 3 (00:54:20):

Right. Right.

Speaker 2 (00:54:23):

And then putting it out there from that person that I don’t need to have some thousand dollar an hour coach or a thousand dollar an hour video production professional to do these things for me. I just have to know where to go, where to look and see who inspires me and reverse engineer. It. It’s not like there’s really no cop. I mean, you’re not like, you know, verbatim copying word for word, but the ideas, there’s nothing new under the sun. Right. Who’s doing the best job of where you want to be and only start doing what they’re doing. Like I don’t, I don’t pay attention to what all the therapists in South Florida are doing. Right.

Speaker 3 (00:54:57):

Right. No, your mindset’s different. I think the other thing is their Ted talks out there. I know I listened to one, um, which was kind of how to deal with loss the other day, Jason and I found it relevant for everything and, and out of it, it was like three steps. One was realize that, excuse my French shit happens to everybody. Nobody’s life is perfect. No matter what it looks like on Facebook or Instagram. Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2 (00:55:27):

Since I turned it into shift happens.

Speaker 3 (00:55:29):

Yeah. Yeah. The first thing I’m trying to remember the second one, but the third one was, you know, as you go through things, everything that you do think does this help or hurt me. And that reminds me, there’s a book, um, called drop in your bucket. And the idea behind it is every interaction you have with people adds to your bucket or takes away. And I think, you know, just reading books and going to Ted talks and listening to these things, as well as, like you said, the Tony Robbins, all these things are going to build your capabilities and your knowledge and help you succeed. So don’t just sit and watch Netflix and you know,

Speaker 2 (00:56:18):

And the documentaries. Yeah, sure.

Speaker 3 (00:56:20):

I listen to podcasts. They’re fascinating out there. And all you have to do is take one or two nuggets away from them and apply them. And you’re going to continuously learn, which is how the people who are top of their games get there. They, they’re not complacent.

Speaker 2 (00:56:37):

Here’s a little bit of a hack if we want to take that even a step fo of MEO forward. And you want to put yourself, especially if you’re looking for jobs and careers, and you’re just getting started is that if you know where you want to be and you just, and you don’t know how to get in front of people that may be out of your reach just as a potential employer. Yeah. Do what I’m doing. Start a podcast. And now all of the sudden you have a more legitimate platform to get in front of people that might not necessarily want to spend time with you because there’s a good for them. Whether the conversation’s being recorded, it’s being put out into the world and you’re using it as a good for all right. But if you’re a 17 or 16 to 24 year old, then you can use this. As I want to share what I’m having a conversation with you about with six other 16 to 24 years old on their behalf. Right. And the barrier to entry is so low to be able to do it right.

Speaker 3 (00:57:43):

And with that, you could reach out to people, like I said, from your college, from your high school who have gone into different careers saying, Hey, I just want to give a peek under the tent of what a career at Amazon’s like, what a career in music, what occurred in theater? And boy, would that be powerful?

Speaker 2 (00:57:59):

And I did that, right. Even though I liked my network that I started off with, with the first many interviews of starting this podcast was already in my leverage network of the people who I knew were highly successful people from my business community. But then I went on Amazon and this is a nice little trick is go on Amazon and see what books are about to be released that haven’t been released that are in your area that you’re interested about, right. If you’re a job person and looking for a career and, and, and, and say like, can I interview you? And I did this with Howard Bihar from Starbucks, who’s a former international presidents, right. Under Howard Schultz, um, who wrote the book? It’s not about the coffee, about servant leadership at the corporate. You have the corporate culture of Starbucks, send them an email and saying like, I, you know, I happen to know some of these people in the, in the, in that community, in the conscious capitalism community. Um, and I absolutely love it and just would love to pick your brain to have you on my podcast for half hour, eight minutes later, I got a response from him.

Speaker 3 (00:58:57):

Well, I can tell you as a new author, I love it. I love being able to talk to folks like you to talk about the book, to share the information, because that’s why I wrote it to leave a legacy and to get it out to a broader constituent. So I think it’s awesome.

Speaker 2 (00:59:13):

So where can people go to get the book and what other things can they access you for outside of hiring or in addition hiring, you know, you want affirm

Speaker 3 (00:59:23):

So they can get the [email protected] and there they can get the book, but we also are offering services. We’re offering complete coaching, resume writing, interview prep, negotiation, and I’m also available for speaking. Once we get out of this pandemic, um, and within each service, there are different options and different levels, depending on where you are in your search and what you need. So, um, it’s very comprehensive and it goes across all industries. So it’s not marketing per se, it’s anybody. It can be for young professionals. It can be for career changers can be for somebody who has a great resume, but is bombing in their interviews or somebody who did well in their interview. They have an offer, but they don’t feel comfortable negotiating, and they need somebody quickly in their corner to help them do it in a positive win-win manner. So I’m excited about the book, excited about the services and would love to chat with him. But

Speaker 2 (01:00:27):

Yeah, so going through it, as I, as we were prepping for the interview, like these are like, I always have my list of books that like, wow, like if you’re in this segment of life, or if you’re doing this, like this is a must read, like there’s books that I believe that everybody should have on their bookshelf and the simplicity of these areas of what the average, if not most people are going through is being answered in this book. So those of you out there who are, you know, have gotten value and benefit out of this conversation today with Chris, please, please, please go out and check out the book, uh, check out the website. And, um, I really think that as we invest more into ourself, but you’re holding is right. How do you unleash your potential? And that’s everything that I’m trying to do with this podcast is minimize your stressors to maximize your potential, that you don’t even know exists if you do the work with someone like us to get there. So thank you so much for spending time with us.

Speaker 3 (01:01:24):

Yeah, it was awesome. I really enjoyed speaking with you.

Speaker 2 (01:01:27):

Thanks. And we’ll look forward to checking out with everybody in the next episode. And if you, again, got value from this episode, please do us a favor. And if you’re not yet subscribed, do so. And you can leave a written and starred review on iTunes. Not only does that help give me back some value of the effort and energy and time that we’re putting out, but it also helps other people find this episode and podcast. And it was really cool. A few weeks ago, Chris, I, I was looking at iTunes and to see just, you know, whatever, some things. And it said, here are other podcasts that are recommended in addition to yours. And it was true. The people that I love in the social media podcasting, what I’m like, Oh my God. Like, these are people that have been since, before I’ve been podcasting or like people I like devoured their stuff. Like that’s so cool. Like I’m now a suggestion along the lines with them. So right there is that value of just going on and clicking, subscribing and leaving a starred written review for us podcasters out there. So if you whoever’s listening to a podcast, do that for your favorite podcast or subscribe, but also leave them a written review, not just mine, but again, Chris, thank you so much. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (01:02:31):

Thanks for listening to the you winning life podcast. If you are ready to minimize your personal and professional struggles and maximize your potential, we would love it. If you subscribe so you don’t miss an episode, you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook at Jason Wasser, LMF T.



Jason Wasser, LMFT is a Florida Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Neuro Emotional Technique Practitioner and Certified Entrepreneur Coach.
He runs a full service online Therapy & Coaching practice in South Florida and is the host of the You Winning Life Podcast.

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