Work

Be A Time Management God.

Be A Time Management God.

Over the past few weeks, I've been aggregating many time management tips I share with clients to get more done in the limited amount of time they have.

Trouble Strikes When You Get Comfortable.

Trouble Strikes When You Get Comfortable.

"Never let a person who is more successful than you work harder than you." In other words, trouble tends to strike when people get comfortable.

All Great Employees Have This Secret Ingredient.

All Great Employees Have This Secret Ingredient.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Many of my clients complain about the work habits of their employees and how they're light-years away from a competent and conscientious worker.

You're Not Charging Enough For Your Services.

The other day, I came across an old contract when I worked at <confidential> from a famous consultancy called <confidential> in NYC. The contract was signed prior to my employment and after 2 months, I fired the consultancy based on their incompetence with the project. I was amazed with the short and cavalier agreement and the associated fees for each service:

  • Project Management: $39,800
  • Creative Development: $45,025
  • Website Development: $57,350
  • Audio Production: $8,550
  • Testing & Delivery: $27,350
  • On-Site Production: $98,580
  • Electronic Mail Campaign & Fulfillment: $5,875
  • Recording Studio & Equipment Rental: $15,885

The Grand Total? $298,415 for approximately 2 months work building a simple web site with six hour-long webcasts. Oh by the way, the price doesn't include any changes/additions, overtime, hosting, travel expenses, or technology. That's extra. (I get the feeling they came up with the number and worked the financials back into logical groupings — again just a feeling)

Three-Hundred-Thousand-Dollars. Granted, the agreement was dated 2000, so in today's dollars, we're talking over $400K to build a simple site.

But I present this contract to you to illustrate one simple fact:

MOST PEOPLE DO NOT CHARGE ENOUGH FOR THEIR SERVICES.

Why? You're afraid of losing clients and scaring away any potential prospects.

Guess what? GOOD! You don't need to work with them! It's time for you to fully understand the value of your services and to get a better idea what the market will bear. What would happen if you increased your fees by 50%? 75%? or 100%? I know what would happen . . . it happened to me:

  1. You would have less clients. You can then spend more quality time with your current client base.
  2. You would have higher paying clients. People who are probably more successful.
  3. You would have clients who are serious about working with you. You will be working with people who play better tennis, so you'll have to bring your 'A' game.
  4. You would have clients you really want to work with. Charging more allows you to be picky and not just take anyone.
  5. You would begin to build a long list of clients who demand your services.

Are there lines around the door when HTC releases a new phone? No. How about Apple? Absolutely. You need to be the Apple of your industry.

At first it's scary. Clients will bolt, they will complain. But new clients will appear and start telling their friends.

As an example, I have a client who was charging some of her clients $100-$125 per session. After much prodding on my part, she is now charging $200 per session, and her clients are telling their friends — and her appointment book is overflowing with new clients. (By the way, she just hit her all-time yearly revenue goal in 2016!)

I also coached another client who was feeling unappreciated in their current role. They have been delivering key improvements to the company for over five years (most making the annual report). But for some reason, they received no raise, promotion, or accolade from management. They tried to inquire, but were rebuffed time and time again. Ultimately, I had them look outside of the company and within a month, they had a brand new position at a bigger firm with an increase in pay of 20%.

Raise your prices with chutzpah and the clients will line up at your door.

P.S. I'm not a hard-liner on this. I do coach two pro-bono clients every month. So there.

Be Silly Today.

 "None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else." — Christopher Walken I've never opened an article with Christopher Walken (even though I love him), but I found this quote so inspiring for a Friday.

Too often we don't do the things we REALLY want to do, because we're too busy, too focused (or un-focused), or it's just not the 'right' thing to do.

When I worked in corporate, I found myself sometimes being silly — I'd sing, I'd dance, I'd smile and wholeheartedly greet people in the hallway. In the back of my head, I probably hurt my chances for advancement with the more serious executives, but I feel I left an impression on the rest that is maintained to this day.

My older brothers told me many years ago that I will be spending a full third of my life working. I can either enjoy it or dread it. I chose to enjoy it. That's why I start all of my coaching calls, educational moments, and workshops with a outrageously hearty 'Good Morning!' or 'Hello There!'.

I try to hug people more to fully project my excitement about seeing them. I smile when they talk and take an active interest in what they have to say.

It might be silly or weird — but not only do I embrace my joy of life, other people frequently ask, "Who was that guy?" When I do it, I hope I've brought a little sunshine to their life too.

3 Ways To Make This Monday Rock.

I have this problem. When I wake up Monday morning (around 4:15 AM), I don’t feel the happy, energized, and focused self most of my clients, colleagues, and friends see when they encounter me later in the morning. At least not until I’ve taken my meds. : ) A lot of people I know feel this way in the morning and unfortunately, it extends into most of the day and it is especially more intense on a Monday.

It could be for many reasons, you had too much fun on the weekend, you hate your job, you hate your commute . . . a myriad of rationales.

Mondays suck. So what do I do to immediately turn them around?

1. I Say To Myself: “It’s not going to last.”  Usually when I am up and taking a shower in the morning, I start thinking of all the BAD things about my business, career and life.

For me, I call it the ‘Morning Seritonin Slump’. It’s my initial body chemistry starting to rev up and it’s going to take a little while to get my car into 5th gear. So I let the bad thoughts wash over me and say “It’s not going to last.” — and guess what — it goes away as fast as it came.

2. I Plan Ahead.  I usually make a list of things I need to get done the night before. Not a huge checklist which would choke a horse, but a simple list of 3-5 items I know need to be attacked first thing in the morning. This immediately give me purpose and focus, two things I desperately need in the morning.

Also — dive right into work. Take action and stop obsessing how bad the day is or will be. Once you start attacking your to-do list, you begin to feel better immediately.

3. I Stretch and Smile.  The physical affects the mental. If you are feeling down, don’t focus on the stinking thinking zipping in your head, get physical. Even if it’s five minutes of stretching in your bedroom, a run outside, or a quick trip to the gym, physical activity gets the blood flowing and the mental malaise changing.

In addition, make yourself smile — we tend to go through life with a flat or angry look on our face and candidly, it affects our mood. Try to make yourself smile, hum, move your head to music, sing in the shower! You’ll feel a major sea-change in your mood immediately.

How do you make your Monday ROCK?

Every Weekend Is A 3-Day Weekend!

One of my favorite authors is Tim Ferriss, who wrote "The Four Hour Workweek", "The Four Hour Body", and "The Four Hour Chef". As I was speaking to one of my clients the other day, we started to discuss how much time is wasted on the job with superfluous meetings, emails, and antiquated projects. I then said, "Wouldn't it be great to cut down on all the days we work and squeeze 5 days into 4?" Could we work faster, more efficiently and effectively? Do we really need to move the 8 hours from a Friday and distribute 2 hours to Monday-Thursday? What would happen if we said we'd get the same job done in 32 instead of 40 hours?

I know — your reflexive/debate mind is clicking in: "Not everyone can do this. There are some workers who are paid hourly and many businesses who need to be open 5, 6, and 7 days a week." I agree, but stick with me for a moment.

Let's amend the hourly discussion and still maintain a 40 hour workweek, but you might work 10 hours a day? With those businesses who need to remain open, they can schedule their associates to spread out over the "3 day weekend". Instead of 9-5, we would work 8-6 (or 7-5, or like me 6-4) - ensuring 10 hours every day.

Families can spend more time together, workers are more productive while they're on the job, less impact to commuting congestion, and everyone will enjoy 72 hours of vacation each week. I know it would make even the worst job more bearable.

Schools might still be on a 5 day schedule, but parents might be integrated in their kids learning and help out at school. Maybe that 'free' day is a volunteer day to help out the less fortunate, clean up a park, or assist a senior with their shopping.

I still think we can do the 32 hour week — rarely do people work 8 hours a day full out, using every fiber of their time.

What would the world be like if we took one day a week and spent it helping one another?

I would LOVE your feedback. Tell me how you feel — and how you would do it!

Massive Procrastination — When You Absolutely Don't Want To Do Something.

For years many of my clients have struggled to sit down and get to work when they really, really don't want to (which is most of the time). Most are managers, entrepreneurs or in sales and they have the option of subtly putting things off and procrastinating, and often the urge not to work and surf online instead can be powerfully strong. I call that MASSIVE PROCRASTINATION. During one session, I brainstormed what I call "Activity Gambling" and it's actually been really helpful to many of my clients, so I thought I'd share in case anyone else finds it useful.

FIRST: You need two sheets. On sheet one, draw up a big running to-do list of everything you can think of that you need to do (breaking them down into small tasks). On sheet two, use Excel/Numbers/Word/Pages to develop a horizontal chart with six columns numbered 1 through 6 and 5-10 boxes under each column.

SECOND: Review your to-do list and pick six single, discrete tasks in a box under each number. Ideally, try to make these tasks take 5 minutes or less (this is the hardest part of this exercise).

THIRD: Roll a single die and do whatever task is in the column that the die lands on. Cross out that task and list another item in that column and roll again.

FOURTH: Warning: You might feel a little silly having to do this. But it works and many of my clients LOVE IT. Sometimes they really don't feel like doing anything on that list. But the minute the die is in the air spinning, they are waiting for a number to land.

CONCLUSION: The randomness and the act of throwing the die gets them moving. And once they do that first task, they can usually keep it going for quite a bit before they need a break.

Why We Work — A Labor Day Message.

What is Labor Day? On Wikipedia, it's a day to honor the contributions we've made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. So let's do that. Every Labor Day, I take time out to review where I am in my career and all the reasons why I work. Why do I do this?

  • It gives me perspective. I look back at where I've been and what I've done professionally — what I've accomplished and what failures I've had.
  • It makes me appreciate all that I have in my life. All the great people I know and work with — all of my wonderful clients, past and present.
  • It shows me the way forward. Based on where I've been and where I am now, I get a better view of where I have to go.

So many people who work tend to dread going to work. In fact, we all do at one time or another in our lives. A lot of pressure, a big project that's behind schedule, a problem child you're managing on your team. It sucks to get up so early, get stuck in traffic traveling to work, too many interruptions when you get there, watching the sun go down at your office, and reversing the process on your way home.

During this Labor Day, please remember a few things about your career:

  • You have a job. There are a lot of people out there who don't have one. They're nervous and scared — it's September and the clock's ticking.
  • You have a paycheck. You get to pay your bills and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  • You GET to work. So many people complain about how "They HAVE to go to work."

You GET to practice your craft. You GET to interact with qualified peers who help you run the ball over the goal line. You GET to grow in your job, to be better, smarter, and more agile.

This Labor Day, I want you to sit back, spend a few moments, and remember how lucky we all are to have a job.

"Success is not a destination, but the road that you're on. Being successful means that you're working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That's living your dream." — Marlon Wayans

P.S. If you know someone who is currently unemployed, I want you to call them up and ask how you can help them. Not only will they greatly appreciate it — it will bolster your gratitude and appreciation for your current job. Trust me, it works.

"If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend." — Doug Larson

 

Hey CEO, Are You Killing Yourself At Work?

You work hard. You come in early, stay late, and work over the weekends. Of course . . . you're the CEO (or the President, CFO, CMO, CIO, you get the idea). You constantly think about work, even in your sleep.

But you have the primo position, the unbelievable pay, the power to move mountains, and your future already written in stone.

But it's not enough. So you do more. And more. And more.

But what falls by the wayside? Your health? Your spouse or partner? Your kids? Your close relationships?

Yes, you might allocate an hour or two for them a week — but is it enough?

When is work enough when you keep moving the bar upwards every time you reach it?

Let's check out California-based Mohamed El-Erian, when he shocked the financial world when he announced his resignation as chief executive of PIMCO earlier this year:

"The 56-year-old said the "wake-up call" happened when he was arguing with his daughter about brushing her teeth and she left to fetch a piece of paper from her room. "It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments," he wrote. "The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. "I felt awful and got defensive: I had a good excuse for each missed event! Travel, important meetings, an urgent phone call, sudden to-do. "But it dawned on me that I was missing an infinitely more important point ... I was not making nearly enough time for her." (read more here)

Is money enough? How much do you really have to make? Is there a figure you're striving for? Are you reaching for the 'Rockefeller' stratosphere in wealth, power, and influence? Is it worth it?

Or let's see what billionaire Agit Agarwal did:

"He and his family decided to donate 75% of their wealth to charity after meeting Bill Gates, the world’s richest person. Agarwal has a fortune of $3.3 billion, where Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., has a fortune valued at $84.7 billion. “What we earn must be returned for the greater good of society,” the 62-year-old said at an event yesterday. “Life is not only about wealth.” (read more here).

Many times in life, one needs to step back, re-assess and prioritize the important things in life.

Why?

"Because we get so caught up in the race, we forget there's a finish line, and miss all the fun of running."

So take time out today (or even take a day off this week) to better understand the REAL important things in your life. Start putting them at the top of your list.

I work with many C-Level and Executive leaders to re-orient their lives and focus on what's really important. Drop me a line and I'll show you how.

How To Eliminate Your Fear Of Hard Work.

I work with a broad spectrum of clients. All the way from the CEO to the college graduate, I help people overcome obstacles and better understand what's holding them back. One recurring area I encounter is the fear of 'more work'. What do I mean by 'more work'?

Are You Crushing It Every Day?

“Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” - Gary Vaynerchuk, from Crush It! Great words from Gary in one of my favorite books (I require all of my clients to read). He is spot on with this one.

See how he constructs the quote — Family — Work — Passion. Not the other way around.

Unfortunately, many of the C-Level clients I coach work it the other way and find they're not happy, they have a shitty marriage, they never see their kids or their kids hate them, and their only passion in life is putting in mucho hours on the job. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Yes — you've got the three M's — Money, Mansion, Mercedes (or Maserati) — but deep down, you're not happy. Something is missing and time is running out.

So here goes — you can have all three — it's just how you look at them AND how you prioritize them. I am currently working with the CEO/Owner of a top engineering firm and we're currently spinning the sequence around to help him enjoy the benefits of his labor. He's built the organization from the ground up and now it's time to enjoy life!

NUMBER ONE RULE — Family Comes First. No exceptions.

I'm not saying to fill up your calendar with family-oriented activities and let work suffer. Within reason, try to start your workweek by making time for your wife/partner, kids, friends, etc. If there is a baseball game, a romantic dinner, a morning run, hiking at the park — make sure it is recorded and blocked off on your calendar FIRST.

Again, within reason — I understand you work for a living. But taking a vacation day once in awhile is fine, even encouraged. Leave work early to catch your son's or daughter's soccer game. Come in late because you took your family to an early breakfast at your favorite diner. You know, the one where you all sit together with no TV, no smartphones and just eat and talk.

ACTION: Get your assistant in your office right now and start blocking off your calendar. TODAY.

NUMBER TWO RULE — Work Super Hard. But work smart.

I know you work hard. That's how you got to your position in the first place. But what got you to the captain's chair probably won't help you stay happy there. You worked hard, put in the thousands of hours of blood, sweat and tears. You made all the right decisions (and a few stinkers). You made the right connections with the right people. YOU HUSTLED.

Now it's time to sit in the captain's chair and start delegating even more. Don't act like Captain Kirk and accompany the away team on every mission, stay on-board the Enterprise and direct your resources in strategic ways. What got you here isn't going to keep you here for very long without compromising your home life, your happiness, and your health. You're not getting any younger either.

ACTION: Look at all your meetings and start culling them down by 10%. Stop reading every email/text that comes in. Have your assistant monitor your information flow and decide what get priority. They're the gatekeeper — ensure they guard the gate.

Cut down on one-on-ones with everyone — start to develop a sharper pyramid reporting structure with very few people touching you (no more than 5-7) Remember the Godfather? He had three direct reports — his Consigliere (who died - morte), and two Capos — Clemenza and Tessio. That's it.

NUMBER THREE RULE — Live Your Passion. But find what your REAL passion is.

Too many C-Level executives hit the big show and start to abuse the passion that got them there. They forget the fun, innovation, excitement and give in to boredom, politics, and hitting the targets for their buddies on the board. The world becomes pedantic and the passion flows out of them.

They try to make safe decisions and safe moves, and impact their business, their organization, and their customers. They prioritize their bonus, their safety, and their reputation over what's really important. I know it's hard, but sometimes you have to sacrifice the temporary pleasures to fully engage with what really matters. It's not all money (and if you believe it is - READ THIS - another mandatory book I recommend to C-Level clients).

ACTION: Sit down and assess what your real passions are right at this moment. What gets your motor running? What gets you excited about life? What motivates you to do GREAT work? You need to re-establish a connection with your passion and make sure you fill up your enthusiasm gas tank every day.

Are you crushing it every day?

"No excuses. Make it happen." - Rich Gee

POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS BELOW

A Memorial Day Management Test.

This isn't scientific. Let me state that right from the start. But . . . This test has worked for me during my 20 years of managing large teams in corporate settings.

First, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. Relax. Have fun. Spend it with people you love.

When you get to work on Tuesday, get there early and observe your team members as they arrive. See how they act the first 30 minutes at work.

Are they grumpy? Are they not happy to be at work? Do they miss their long weekend? Are they complaining? Or . . .

Are they energized? Ready to hit the ground running with a smile? Did they have fun on the weekend, but now they are ready to make some money?

Short holidays are great opportunities to better understand your team's appreciation of their job.

If they come in grumpy —

  • They might not like their job.
  • They might not like what they do.
  • They might be hitting obstacles.
  • They might be checking out.

If they come in energized —

  • They probably like what they do.
  • They probably enjoy your role as their manager.
  • They are probably crushing it with their responsibilities.
  • They will probably stick around.

Again — this isn't scientific. But I've found if you gracefully approach the grumpy team members individually and find out what is missing in their work life, you might turn them around and energize them.

If people don't realize work is a part of life and you have to make the best of it, it's high time to find out if they've bought into this concept. Because if they're not consistently bringing their A-game to the office, you're going to receive sub-standard work and deal with stinky personalities.

And life's too short to deal with stinky personalities.

POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS BELOW

Are You Feeling Guilty At Work?

I'm feeling guilty today. The funny thing is . . . I shouldn't. Every Tuesday, like clockwork, I attend my networking/sales team meeting with approximately 50 people.

It's called BNI (Business Networking International), a worldwide organization where businesspeople meet to learn about their services and deliver hot referrals (CLIENTS) each week. I find it powerful for my business (it delivers 40-45% of my clients each year) and wouldn't miss it for the world. In fact, if you have a business or a product to sell, BNI is THE place to go to increase your bottom line.

What happened?

Today, I'm missing my weekly meeting. I had to double-book a client over my meeting and could not schedule it for any other time this week. They HAD to meet at this time. And I did ALL the right things a BNI member should do:

I notified the leadership team of my absence.

I replace my open spot for the week with a great substitute who will do my commercial.

I let the visitor host team know of my sub so they could list them on our weekly roster.

And I did it all on-time, prior to our meeting.

I still feel guilty. I feel that I'm letting my colleagues down even though I've taken all the steps to ensure my absence is covered this week. Why do I feel guilty?

I feel like I'm letting my BNI colleagues down.

I feel that I'm missing out on something good.

That regular burst of enthusiasm I receive from attending will not be there this week.

Honestly, I shouldn't feel guilty. NOT ONE BIT. Why? Guilt is all about the PAST. And guess what? There's nothing I can do about it. NOTHING. It's in the past.

I've made a decision, I've prepared my absence — I've taken all the steps to ensure I shouldn't feel guilt about missing my meeting. So it's time to confront my guilt and realize I have to live in the present and move on from this 'fake' feeling. Why?

It's holding me back — I'm focusing on something that really doesn't matter.

I'm expending mental and physical energy towards a belief that is not true.

I'm not focusing on the present or planning for the future. This is where I can make serious progress towards my goals.

So the next time you feel GUILTY, remember it's all in the past and there's nothing you can really do about it. Take that guilt and repurpose its energy into the present and future. You will find yourself working faster, better, and with more enthusiasm.

Guilt is a mechanism for us to remember past mistakes so we don't repeat them — don't let it paralyze you.

I'D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR GUILT AT WORK. LET ME KNOW BELOW.

Top 10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting A Job.

As a business and career coach, I run into so many different people every day. I attend conferences and events, I run workshops and webinars, and I host team masterminds for all types of professionals. And guess what? When I talk to the unemployed, I've heard all the excuses why you don't have a job. Here are the top ten realities of your job search today:

1. You're waiting for the phone to ring or the limo to pull up to your house and whisk you off to your new position.

This is my #1 pet peeve when I host job-search workshops. People say they are busy, they're sending out resumes, but the reality is they are mentally waiting for a knight in shining armor to whisk them away to a new cushy position. Guest what . . . it's never going to happen. NEVER.

Unless you're a recently fired CEO with massive connections to firms who want to hire you and subsequently ruin their company, no one is going to call and no one is driving up with a black stretch limo. Once you realize you are on your own and only YOU can change your situation, it's time for a mental ass-kick to get your head on straight.

What To Do: You want an mental ass-kick? Start listening to motivational speakers to keep your mental energy level up and constant. Check out Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, Jeffrey Gitomer, and my favorite Bennie Hsu at Get Busy Living Podcast. He's the best!

2. You rarely go out.

You get up at 9 AM, you probably don't take a shower, you get dressed in your old geriatric Adidas sweatsuit, and sit in front of your laptop. WRONG!

What To Do: Get up at 5 AM, go for a walk/run outside, take a shower, and get dressed in real clothes. You don't like it? TOUGH. This is your workday and for the next 8-10 hours, I am your drill sergeant and you will deliver 110% looking for a job every Monday through Friday. Set up a schedule which takes you outside every single day. Meet people for coffee, hit the library, go to the gym, walk around the park. Strike up conversations with people — you never know who you will meet.

3. You check the web for postings, send out a few resumes, and watch Ellen, Rachael, and Jerry the rest of the day.

Unemployment is not a vacation. You have to attack your job search like any project you've ever delivered at work.

What To Do: You have to:

  • Focus on the marketplace - What companies are doing well? Where are the growth areas? Who are the movers and shakers?
  • Analyze your attributes against your competition - Do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis on YOU. Figure out how you leverage your strengths and opportunities.
  • Develop key targets to go after - Analyze your commuting radius, find out all the potential industries and organizations within your circle, and begin to make a hit list.
  • Execute - Go after each one incrementally in a cascade pattern to ensure you are not inundated with tasks, but your search is progressing in a healthy fashion.

4. Your industry has changed.

You actually thought people were going to buy slide-rules FOREVER. Yes, that's right, you're industry is changing. And guess what? Everyone's industry is changing. Some are morphing into other forms, some are merging, many are shrinking, and a lot are just plum going out of business. If you thought you could keep your job or profession for 30 years, I have a DeLorean to sell you.

What To Do: Figure out where your industry is going and either stick around for the very bumpy ride or jump off at the station for the next train. Get to thee library, my dear young minstrel and start understanding what is really happening in the marketplace. Read the WSJ, Medium, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Inc, and Foundr. Also meeting with industry luminaries doesn't hurt either.

5. You're too old.

Where did the time go? You were having so much fun as an executive in a corner office working on strategy and mergers, you never saw the axe coming for you until it was too late. Now you're 55 and no one wants you. Let me rephrase that — no 20-year old in HR wants you. The minute they do the college graduate math in their head (or on their calculator), your résumé is flying faster than a 767 into the circular file. And the funny thing is you keep doing it.

What To Do: Stop repeating something which doesn't work and expecting something different. You have to get out of the HR/Recruiter trap and move up the ladder and meet/engage/schmooze the hiring managers. Go to industry events, reach out to them via LinkedIn/Twitter, and google their name to get to know them. Then reach out and try to meet them.

6. You're too young.

Where did the time go? You were just in college wowing them with your 4.0 GPA and now no one will take your calls because you have no experience.

What To Do: It's time for you to get some experience! You need to call in every chip on the poker table of life and have them connect you with possible paid intern/entry level positions. Let's get real — you might have a little bit of knowledge, but your don't have the experience to hit deadlines consistently, run a meeting, handle an angry client, manage a boss, or run a complex project. You have to take a small hit position/salary-wise and build up those talents before you really hit the big leagues of life.

7. You're unrealistic about your position and your salary.

"Look, I was Vice President of Strategic Initiatives with a yearly base salary of $275K. Why doesn't anyone want me?"

What To Do: There are a finite number of positions out there which might fit your position/salary requirements, but you will never find them in time. I know, you might run into them, but most likely, NOT. You have to be a bit flexible on the Who/What/Where/How Much in the current marketplace. Try to broaden your scope and see what else is out there. It might not be a VP position, or one drowning in strategy. It might be a bit lower than $275K a year — but then again, it's higher than the $0/year you're pulling in now (great tax benefits though).

8. You have a glass-half-empty mentality.

No one likes a whiner. I just spoke with a prospect this week who could not stop talking about all the bad bosses and decisions they've made in the past 10 years. The first rule of your job search: Never, ever, say bad things about your past. Not only does it cloud anyone's opinion of you, it brings your mental state down into the basement.

What To Do: Start imagining what life would be like if you had that wonderful position RIGHT NOW. Where would you be? Who would you be working with? What would you be doing? How would you get there. Stop thinking and feeling guilty about the past and start preparing for your glorious future. Get your head half-full immediately.

9. You're afraid of Thinking Big and reaching out to the real power-brokers.

No one is going to think big for you (except me). You hamstring your search and actions by being risk-averse. You're afraid of rejection and will never put yourself in a position of actually touching key movers and shakers in your industry. No . . . you will continue to interview with 20-year-old HR reps who text more than they think and wonder why you don't have a killer position.

What To Do: Get a piece of paper and write down what would be your PERFECT job. Now actualize it in your universe — find those companies who fit the bill and reach out to the key people who run those positions. The funny thing is . . . these same people are always on the lookout for new talent. You're just not putting yourself onto their radar.

10. You've given up.

You've tried again and again to get a job offer, an interview or even a solid connection and it seems the cards are stacked against you. It's been years since you've worked and you're draining your savings account to keep your household afloat.

What To Do: You can always try again. Take a different tack, work on an alternate strategy, reach out to new people. In fact, I just worked with a client who was unemployed for two years and within three months, he had a number of offers and took an incredible job. You never know where your next break will occur.

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How To Deal With Stress At Work.

Stress is a normal part of the workplace — what really counts is how you react and deal with it.