Posts Tagged ‘ Facebook ’

Somebody Has Probably Defeated Your Demon

Today I want to talk about demons.  Personal ones.  The worst/most embarrassing/most limiting/most difficult-to-overcome kind.  To make it easier for you to confront yours, I thought it would help if I told you about one of mine.  

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Every Demon Has An Angel To Defeat It.

How many of you out there feel like a fraud for no apparent reason?  I’m not talking about how you “embellished” on your resume to get your foot in the door to that completely-unrelated-to-your-skillset job back in 2010.   If you gave her blank stares when she asked you about diodes, any HR person worth their salt can tell that your version of “complex electrical systems troubleshooting” probably consisted of trying to figure out why the lamp over the pool table quit working during the game.  They probably gave you the job because you wore a tie, and could hold a conversation while smiling.  But I don’t mean that.

I mean that no matter who I am surrounded by, it occurs to me that I am an expert on very few things, and, theoretically, should have no reason to position myself on those things that I haven’t done for as long.  And yet, I do.

I am an expert in the field of aviation, a relative expert in the fields of real estate and music, and an armchair expert on politics and world happenings (same as everyone else *wink*).  I am also a self-proclaimed expert at communication–the way I communicate with people is not by accident, and the way you communicate with somebody shouldn’t be, either.  I work very hard to serve those I have chosen to at a very high level, but even still–something bothers me a couple of times a week, at least.

I have overcome personal demons in the past; for example, I finally quit smoking for good about eight years ago (on the ninth time I tried), and I’ve cut back my liquor consumption pretty dramatically over the last few months (I’m working to make that stick).  I can confidently say to someone, “Well, if you want to quit smoking, then do this, this, and this.  Just do it.  What are you waiting for?”  What I can’t say yet is, “Well, if you want to become wealthy, do this and that and this, then repeat,”–and the reason is because I haven’t done it yet, and have no credibility to dispense the advice.  I’m learning on it.  I’m planning on it.  I’m working on it.  But I’m not there yet, and it annoys me.  It’s a demon of mine because I feel like anyone I talk to can see right through my goals to the reality of my life right now, and it undercuts my ability to be confident.  It’s like when you “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”…well, if I showed up to work in a hangar wearing a suit (completely opposite of the uniform we’d normally wear to work on planes), my colleagues would be asking me, “What are you doing?  You work down here, with the rest of us.”  They know what my life is like on a daily basis, which is part of the reason it’s so hard to break away and change to begin with.   

Just because I struggle with this particular demon (among others) doesn’t mean I’m doubting that I’ll achieve my goals, or that I’m so worried that people don’t take me seriously that I cower in bed and cry myself to sleep each night.  I function during the day like each of you do–responding to stimuli, working to be better at something, struggling to fight against the pull of whatever your demon is.  As a best friend of mine once said, “Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug.”  

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Yep, This Is What You Look Like Inside.

Still, there are times which will be overwhelming.  Whether it’s alcohol or drugs, wasting too much time on Facebook (guilty), maybe it’s the fear of failure, fighting to stay monogamous, feeling worthless, being stuck in a rut, hating yourself for procrastinating (guilty), feeling guilty for having a second doughnut or cup of coffee, or skipping a workout…it doesn’t matter what it is.  You can make small corrections, or you can dump your plate and start completely over from rock bottom.  (This guy is really great at helping with this.  Take notes, and take what he says to heart.)  Just don’t give up.  Every one of us has a demon to fight, and an entire history with that demon that has led to today.  The key is to not give up and let it run you over.  Stand back up and fight it off.  Get pi$$ed enough to do something about it.  You’re a raging bull!

Of course, you’re not alone no matter how hopeless you might feel.  There’s support everywhere, if you’ll only reach for help when you need it.  In fact, if you’re feeling brave, you can vent or unload in this forum without fear of judgment or retribution, and we will do our best to collectively guide you toward the purpose you seek.  

Tell me about your demons.  What do you have to do to fend them off on a regular basis?

 

 

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Fame, Fortune, and Power: Who Lives Near You?

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Mila Kunis

We’ve all had a story about meeting somebody famous or powerful…well, around here, it seems to be a little more commonplace, and it got me interested.

I was doing some sniffing around, and I’ve found some interesting things having to do with the Northern Virginia (or NoVA) area.  First of all, we’ve got some pretty famous people from here.  Dave Grohl–legendary drummer of Nirvana, and leader of the Foo Fighters–is from the North Springfield area, down by where 495 curves to the east to head toward DC.

We can also lay claim to Mila Kunis–one of the stars of “That 70’s Show,” and an all-around fox.  She moved here with her family from Russia when she was 7, but hey, we’ll take it.  She still speaks fluent Russian, also…see her skills on full display during this promo for a movie she and Justin Timberlake were promoting in Moscow.    She went to Fairfax High School, graduating only a year after me, in 2001.  I feel so underaccomplished!

Our area has also been home to Sean Parker (creator of Napster, and founding member of Facebook).  He went to Chantilly High for the last two years of high school, and was actually born right here in Herndon, where I’m living right now.  Once again, I guess my parents were right:  “You’re not living up to your full potential!”

Sandra Bullock and Warren Beatty (and also Shirley McClaine, who was his sister) are all from Arlington, and John Walsh (host of “America’s Most Wanted”) lives in Alexandria.

Lorena Bobbitt works as a hair stylist in Fairfax, and is said to live in the Manassas area.  I am sure she is a wonderful woman and a skilled stylist, but…she couldn’t find a job that doesn’t require blades?

Of course, there are also tons of famous sports players and government folks alike who live in the area, scattered all over.  It’s fascinating to live in an area where one might routinely bump into Newt Gingrich while getting coffee at Starbucks.  I’ll bet the residents of NYC and LA are used to it, but I’ve never lived in a place where so much education and  business actually happens.  The entire DC metro area is one of the most powerful places on the planet, and it’s fascinating that some real talent in the entertainment industry was born and bred here as well.  As a Realtor, it throws in that extra bit of excitement that I’m in this field, because you just never know who your next client will be!

What famous people are from your town?  Does anyone famous live near you?

“I Need To Tell You Something About Your Skills…”

“…As of right now, they mean precisely…d*ck.”  –Tommy Lee Jones, “Men In Black”

The same could be said about your resume.  You know–the paper one?  The one you forget about for months or years at a time while you have a job, and scramble to update when you suddenly don’t

The truth is that paper resumes are fast becoming a formality.  A pleasantry, if you will.  They used to be the Head Cheese, the Big Ticket To The Job.  Sometimes, the only ticket to a job, if you haven’t taken the time to network properly.  No more, and here’s why.

First of all, hiring managers (and every other manager) all know that nobody’s resume is the one, single, accurately-descriptive manifesto about you.  That one time you had to figure out where the circuit breaker box was turns into “Troubleshooting of complex electrical systems.”  Knowing how to check your email turns into “Extensive experience with the latest technology.”   The fact that you’ll talk to anyone makes you “Highly outgoing, and fearlessly able to engage potential customers”…to say nothing of whether most people actually like you.  They might give you credit enough for coming up with that little blurb (or at least finding someone smart enough to do it for you), but they know that the real meat is in the interview.  That’s what the paper resume was for–to get you the interview.

Hell, the interview itself is almost becoming obsolete because of this next point:  Your web presence is only getting bigger.  Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Naymz, and every other social media website out there, people have more access to you without your knowledge than ever before.  And it’s not slowing down.  It’s well-known that employers these days use whatever tools they have at their disposal to investigate you before they decide to spend the time to bring you in and talk with you.  They do this because they understand the benefits of getting a “feel” for what kind of person you are, and will scan what they see online for inconsistencies on paper.  Potential employers of mine have open access to my LinkedIn profile, both of my blogs, and limited access to my Facebook profile.  Sometimes, they even run credit checks.  I’ve come to grips with this (with the exception of the credit check, which I find incredibly invasive), and embraced it.  In fact, this is what you need to do.

You'll Still Need To Embody This, Of Course...

If you haven’t already, you need to go through every public profile you have, and flush it of any content you think might circumvent your right to the Fifth Amendment.  Pictures of you the first time you got trashed and slept in front of a toilet, other peoples’ dirty comments, any status updates which could have an “-ist” connotation attached to them…basically, anything you wouldn’t say to or show your grandmother.

Use sites like LinkedIn to the best of your advantage.  Fill out your profile, be honest about your goals, and put more on there than a simple vomiting of your work history.  Use their widgets, like the Personal Book List, or the space for Extra Licenses and Experience.  Throw in your hobbies.  The more things a potential employer might have in common with you, the better a shot you’ll have at a connection, which could lead to an interview. 

Take it to the next level, and find it in yourself to ask some key people at work to vouch for you.  People who have a written, public recommendation on LinkedIn are far more likely to score an interview than those who don’t–mainly because whoever is looking at your profile looks at a recommendation almost as a favor (someone already did some of the legwork for them). 

Finally, nip it in the bud:  Google yourself.  Do some digging on yourself, and see what you find.  Search for yourself using variants of your name, or by misspelling it.  See who else shares your name (if anyone), and look into them, too.  Imagine the surprise if a potential interviewer does a search for a candidate named Jennifer Jameson, and Google suggests Jenna instead.  Know ahead of time what the employer will find, and if it turns out that damage control might be needed, do your best to take care of it. 

The fact is, your resume is no longer on paper, it is alive and already speaking for you.  Make it say what you want it to.

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