• Read Recruiter Spotlight – Kimberly Wilson, TLR Search, “How do I approach a recruiter?”

    Career Coaching

    Recruiter Spotlight – Kimberly Wilson, TLR Search, “How do I approach a recruiter?”

    In this blog I’m sitting down with an amazing colleague and recruiter Kimberly Wilson, owner of TLR Search.  Kimberly has over 25 years’ experience as a recruiter based in Houston, Texas.  For this short blog post, I’m asking her a question I get asked a lot as a career coach, “How do I approach a recruiter?” About Kimberly Kimberly Wilson enjoys helping energy and chemical company hiring managers gain talent market share by bringing strong diverse talent to their attention and guiding them through any unconscious bias during the search process. Kimberly is the Managing Director/CEO of TLR Search, a recruitment firm she started. Kimberly began her career in retail management learning about customer service, people, and business. Taking that experience along with her education in psychology and sociology, she set out to help companies attract the best unique talent to align with their initiatives and to help individuals/candidates to see potential possibilities in their career.  How do I approach a recruiter?  When you reach out to recruiters and say “find me a job” it’s important to understand that’s not what recruiters do.  I have people who constantly ask, “I’d love to share my background with you, do you have fifteen minutes to chat with me?”  Okay, would you do that if you were dating someone?  I say that because recruiting is a relationship, just like any other important relationship we have. The bottom line is that if I had fifteen minutes to share with every person who asks me that, I wouldn’t have work to get for those people who are qualified for it.  My recommendation is reach out to recruiters but be very thoughtful and make it a win-win. Here’s an example of something that would land much more effectively with a recruiter: “Hi, I identified your organization as one that is doing work within the same sector I’m focused in.  I’m always open to looking at opportunities (if you’re still employed) or I’m currently looking (if you’re not employed).  I wanted to get on your radar and share my resume.  If there is anything in the future, I’d love to hear from you.  If you feel I could be of service to you and help you network on another opportunity, I’m happy to do so.” The key is to be of service The key is to be of service when you are sharing your resume.  What is the value you bring?  Here’s me and how I can create value for one of your clients.  At the end of the day, we don’t market ourselves on the benefits we bring, we market ourselves on the value we bring the client.  And the client when you’re looking for a job is the hiring manager that has posted the job. Then there’s the networking aspect and being able to assist the recruiter. “Here is how I can be of service and help you find candidates for the clients you serve.” Let’s say a recruiter reaches out to you and you’re […]

    September 19, 2022

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    3.6 min read

  • Read What We Can Learn From Elizabeth

    Leadership

    What We Can Learn From Elizabeth

    It was a hot summer day in London, the day of my naturalization.  I trekked down to the registrar office in Wimbledon with a few friends, including the two that had sponsored me for citizenship.  It didn’t take long for the formalities, considering I’d paid the extra fee for the private ceremony.  I was the only one to be sworn in. “Do you swear allegiance to the Queen, all her heirs and all her successors?” the officiant asked. “I do.” And it was done.  I was officially a dual citizen. Then the officiant pressed a button, and the music to “God Save the Queen” boomed through the office.  My guests all stood up abruptly at attention as if on cue.   We sang loudly and somewhat awkwardly to a large cardboard cutout of Queen Elizabeth that stood in the office.  I have to admit I thought that was a bit weird.  But over time I’ve noticed the amazing quality that Elizabeth had to inspire reverence, even in the most unlikely of subjects. Americans have often had a strange fascination with the British monarchy.  We may view the concept as outdated and irrelevant, but then flock to the gossip that surrounds sagas like Charles and Diana, Harry and Megan and the antics of Prince Andrew. And yet, in the background, beyond the chaos and the drama, silently running for seventy years, was Queen Elizabeth.  There are many now that will write about her life as a way of honoring her, I don’t profess to know much about her. But I am intimately acquainted with her legacy.  And that’s the interesting thing about great leaders.  They leave one. great leaders know who they are These are questions I often ask when I’m facilitating a leadership development course.  Simple questions on the surface, but usually the most difficult to answer.  We’re often so caught up in the minutiae of the day, we don’t take the time to reflect: Who am I? What kind of leader do I want to be? What are my values? What is my mission and purpose in life? How do I want others to experience me? What legacy will I leave? I think Queen Elizabeth knew the answer to these questions.  And as a result, she showed up, year after year, with a stoic calmness, a beauty, a grace, a clear sense of duty, that was invaluable to her subjects in times of trouble. and more importantly, they know who they’re not A great leader brings people together in times of hardship, in times of stress, in times of confusion and conflict.  They’re able to do this not because they have some sort of magic formula that will make everything all right.  There is no such thing no matter how many leadership books you read or Ted Talks you watch that process to have the perfect pill.  Great leaders can do it because they’re grounded in their own sense of self-worth.  They know who they are and more importantly in the […]

    September 11, 2022

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    3.8 min read

  • Read Feeling resentful about something? Think about this.

    Difficult conversations

    Feeling resentful about something? Think about this.

    Giving feedback is never an easy task.  I’ve recently mused about this topic quite a bit, and written a blog recently on the art of straight talk, which highlighted the three elements that are critical to doing this well. And then there’s real life.  It’s one thing when it’s a colleague.  It’s another thing when that colleague is also a very close friend.  My friend Jenny and I have known each other for years, and we’ve also collaborated on a number of projects.  She’s one of my favorite people, she’s funny, insightful, hardworking, caring and full of entrepreneurial spirit.  She’s commonly the ideas person in our dynamic duo, and I work behind the scenes to help execute her ideas. Lately I’ve been experiencing some frustration relative to what I’m calling the whiplash effect.  She has a grand idea, I rush behind the scenes to make it happen, and then it gets shelved. we create resentment when we don’t speak up And so, a couple of glasses of sparkling rose into a business lunch we were having the other day, out it came.  I shared with her my frustration, and the grief this had been causing me.  It wasn’t a perfect delivery as far as feedback is concerned.  I didn’t follow each of the straight talk steps in perfect unison, but then again perfect is the enemy of good.  I was still scared, even though she’s my friend.  I was scared especially because she’s my friend and this relationship really matters to me. I fully expected her to listen, and she did.  I fully expected her to acknowledge the frustration and the mixed messages she’d been sending, and she did. What surprised me was the text she sent me later on.  “I’m going to do better.”  And she expressed sincere concern for hurting my feelings and sending mixed messages. I had to ask myself why I was so surprised.  And then I had a realization.  I’m not used to people owning things.  I’m not used to reciprocity in relationships.  And this isn’t because I think other people are inherently selfish, or I was picking horrible people to surround myself with (although in some instances I could have done a better job on that front).  In the past I often took the path of please and appease rather than assert myself and share my concerns.  I took that path because I was desperate for people to like me, to have a ton of friends in my network.  Unconsciously, this was a hidden measure of success.  Interestingly it didn’t matter whether I liked them. I got used to giving more than my fair share.  I got used to not sharing my voice or truth on things, then feeling resentful, and rather than expressing it, shoving it down and shaming myself instead.  Then I’d have to find ways to numb the pain.  Or it would spill out in other passive aggressive ways and ultimately pollute the relationship. when we know our worth, we can […]

    September 2, 2022

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    4.1 min read

  • Read Put down the mask and allow yourself to be seen.

    Authenticity

    Put down the mask and allow yourself to be seen.

    As we navigate life’s path, it’s interesting the things that will come up over and over again.  I’ve often mused that life will keep giving us the same lessons over and over again until we really learn them.  And really learning something is more than learning it on a theoretical level, or a “head” level as I tend to call it. Many of life’s lessons are what I call “heart” level lessons.  These are the ones that we must feel.  The ones that we need to feel to heal past experiences, so we can let more love into our life, and the shadow of the inner saboteur becomes fainter and fainter. We all wear a mask I had one of these experiences this past weekend.  I was on a girl’s trip to Rockport with some friends of mine.  The four of us met in a hiking meetup group during the pandemic and have been very close ever since. I hadn’t slept very well during the trip and the last morning I found myself in a very raw and emotional state.  The final morning, I started to cry, more like allowed myself to cry and feel some things I’d been shoving away for a while. And then I found myself worrying about things like: “What will they think of me?” “I’m ruining the trip.” “I look silly and I’m embarrassing myself and them.” I sat out on the dock in front of our lovely pastel colored condo and watched the sun come up.  The beautiful purples and pinks shimmering through the clouds, the seagulls diving into the water looking for a morning treat.  I cried, I was breathing deeply, I was letting out fear I’d been carrying for a while.  But I didn’t want to bother the group.  I separated myself on purpose so I wouldn’t be a burden to them.  The fear and embarrassment of showing strong emotion in front of my newish friends was just too overpowering. I was startled when I felt Carol’s hands on my shoulders.  She started to rub my back, and I let her.  The important point of this story is I let her.  It wasn’t easy I will say, even for me, a coach, someone who teaches communication skills and emotional intelligence.  It still wasn’t easy. So often in life, I think we learn that we must be strong.  And we take on a very limited view of what that means.  We put on a mask that hides our true nature from the rest of the world.  I think I’ve often prided myself on being that person in the group that has her proverbial “shit” together.  That knows what she is talking about.  That never loses her cool.  Because I somehow deduced that people won’t like me or want to be friends with me if I let them see who I really am.  That it’s not acceptable to ever be “out of control” or need a moment to cry. Which frame do you choose? […]

    August 23, 2022

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    4.5 min read

  • Read Feeling is freeing: How to Practice Emotional Intelligence

    Emotional Intelligence

    Feeling is freeing: How to Practice Emotional Intelligence

    For years and years, I would have told you that I was a very emotionally intelligent person.  I was aware that emotions could take many forms, had many names and I knew intellectually it was important to understand them.  Emotional intelligence has been a notable topic for many years, and I considered myself to be one of those wise people who were in the know. Unfortunately, in all of my information gathering on the topic, I ignored one crucial point.  That in order to have emotional intelligence you actually have to experience emotions.  Who would have thought? The key to emotional intelligence is to not just identify the emotion we are experiencing with a handy dandy robust emotional vocabulary, but to allow ourselves to feel it non-judgmentally.   This is a key point, because many of us who grew up in households where emotions were not welcome got used to shoving them down and pretending they didn’t exist. Feeling is freeing When we suppress emotions, it typically doesn’t lead to much good.  We end up accumulating hurt on top of hurt and over time these feelings build up until one day we can’t shove them down any longer, and the long-awaited bomb finally erupts.  Or we can try to numb them out with the help of food, booze, shopping, video game playing or any other addictive habit we have accumulated over the years.  Not a recipe for success either. We often try to squash the negative emotions.  The ones we consider to be “bad” like anger, frustration, sadness, guilt, shame (my personal favorite), disgust, overwhelm, anxiety, fear.  We’re often not super aware of the oh so subtle tricks we’ve accumulated over the years for disowning these things in ourselves. I feel anxiety before delivering a leadership development program, particularly a new one.  Perfectly reasonable, right?  And yet, in my head I’m thinking to myself, “Bad Shelley.  You shouldn’t be feeling that.  You’re only feeling that because you’re a bad teacher and facilitator.  If you were better at your job, you’d be more confident and you’d never experience this.” So the anxiety comes up, and I try to swat it down by directing anger at myself for having the emotion in the first place. Or perhaps I’m frustrated or angry at a family member.  “Bad Shelley.  You shouldn’t be feeling that.  You’re only feeling that because you’re a bad niece, sister, cousin, etc.  If you were a better person, you would be more caring and emphatic and understand their perspective and where they were coming from.” Here is the mental leap that often eludes us:  having and especially feeling an emotion does not make a person “bad.”  What matters at the end of the day is what we do with the emotion we’re having.  I can be angry and resentful inside and yet I can still manage to put that aside and recognize in the moment exhibiting that behavior would not be helpful.  I can choose my response.  I feel the way […]

    August 18, 2022

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    4.3 min read

  • Read Your values matter in life and leadership.  Here’s why.

    Authenticity, Leadership, Life Direction and Purpose, Mindfulness

    Your values matter in life and leadership.  Here’s why.

    A discussion about values can often seem like an artificial conversation.  It’s a nice to have, not a need to have, right?  Something I do once at a training course because the facilitator forces me to do it, and then I shove the paper they’re written on in a desk drawer and forget about it and go on with the rest of my business. Values can help or hinder our growth and development What’s interesting to understand about values is they can help us or hinder us.  And that might seem counterintuitive, because aren’t values a good thing?  The answer is, it depends.  Let’s say I value accuracy.  If I place too much emphasis on accuracy, I might find myself overworking reports, overworking data, to an extent that’s unnecessary for the task at hand.  Many of us trip ourselves up this way and forget the tried and tested 80/20 rule. One value that I tend to hear a lot from clients is trust.  Trust is an interesting one because we often gravitate towards it if we’ve been hurt in the past.  Maybe our parents got divorced and it eroded our trust in them.  Maybe a spouse or partner cheated on us, and the result was devastating, we can never trust again.  Maybe a business partner stole money from us, or a family member wronged us.  The list goes on and on. Based on these life experiences we then conclude that trust is the most important thing in any relationship, and we cling onto it for dear life.  We suspiciously look for signs that someone might be untrustworthy.  We fear that our worst nightmare will come true, and then it does.  We reinforce this idea by telling ourselves things like, “the only person I can trust is myself.” Fear based values versus conscious based values Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not wrong to value trust.  But it’s worth thinking about the relationship you have with your values.  Did I consciously choose to value trust because it’s important to me, or am I desperately clinging to this value out of fear?  And if I’m clinging to a value out of fear, how might that be blinding me?  How might I then be unconsciously creating the situation I fear? For years I clung to authenticity.  It was my biggest personal value.  And when I think about my personal history, that makes perfect sense.  I grew up in a household where conformity was valued, and I often felt like I could never be myself or loved for who I am.  I had to fight very hard for the right to just be myself.  I even prided myself at one point of being the proverbial black sheep of the family.  I was so concerned with losing my “authentic self” that it inadvertently blinded me to choices I might have liked but wouldn’t even consider because they seemed on the surface to be too conforming. A few years ago, I gave up authenticity as my most important […]

    August 11, 2022

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    3.9 min read