• Read Recruiter Spotlight – Kimberly Wilson, How To Make Your Resume Shine

    Career Coaching

    Recruiter Spotlight – Kimberly Wilson, How To Make Your Resume Shine

    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 blog post, I’m asking her a number of questions I get asked a lot as a career coach, “What makes a resume stand out?  What if I don’t meet all the criteria for a role?  What if I just need to get something?” 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.  What makes a resume stand out?  People usually just read the first section of a resume.  Then they read on if the story is interesting. Tell a good story It’s all about sharing what you’ve done in a previous company and how you added value.  It’s looking at your career and the key highlights and being able to clearly articulate that story.  “Here’s the value I created at my last company.  Here’s the legacy I left.” If you think about a resume that read, “I’m a forward-thinking engineer that’s been able to save my company x amount year over year.  I’ve had several people promoted underneath me.”  That’s a story that a hiring manager will read and will want within their organization.  But if it just says, I’m a hard-working engineer that is focused on leading my team to success,” what does that really tell me? With the former you’re telling me why you need to be in my organization.  With the latter you’re telling me nothing.  If you say you’re a strategic business leader, so what?  Anyone can say that.  Prove it with the story you tell. What would you say to someone who doesn’t think they meet all the criteria for a role? It’s about understanding the value you bring and understanding your gaps.  There is no person who is going to be 100% for a role.  If that is the case, they should be doing something else and have moved on to the next challenge. It’s about capability It’s not about meeting 100% of the criteria, it’s about your capability.  It’s about showing that you’re driven to learn.  If you put your resume forward for a role and you don’t think you’re super qualified and the company doesn’t think so either what’s the big deal?  You won’t get a call back.  But at least you tried.  Leave no stone unturned. But of course if you clearly can’t do the job don’t […]

    August 4, 2022

    |

    4.8 min read

  • Read The Miracle of Space

    Productivity

    The Miracle of Space

    To say I’ve been busy lately is an understatement.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful for the meaningful work I’m doing currently, I’m more excited than ever about the future and the possibilities it may hold.  But my brain is full, and some days I feel like I pass from one zoom call to another zoom call and there is barely space to take a breath. In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed an alarming trend too – I often forgo the yoga or pilates class and just keep working instead.  Just get the proposal out.  Finish the blog post.  Hurry up, you can do it Shelley!  Make that hamster in the wheel of your mind spin.  Except it just won’t.  The hamster feels punch drunk and lethargic.  He’s had enough, packed his bags and moved to Puerto Vallarta.  Adios! Sound familiar?  Hence the topic of this blog, the miracle of space. Space is magical Space is magical.  It’s the place of inspiration, of creativity.  Have you ever been struggling with something, a concept, a problem, and you get up to go to the bathroom or grab a cup of coffee?  Then you walk back to your screen and boom – you have the answer!  It’s not a coincidence.  It’s not the fact that a magic genie lives in the bathroom.  It’s the magic of space.  Our brains need it to be creative, to innovate. I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve had such a hard time coming up this week with a topic for this blog.  When your head is full and tired, the ideas don’t really flow.  I was starting to think of previous blog posts I could recycle, but my pride intervened.  I can’t do that to you my dear readers… Creativity Craves Space I used to teach a course on creativity, which is slightly ironic considering I’ve never considered myself a particularly artistic or creative person.  I used to hold up a paper clip or a shoehorn or some sort of everyday object in front of my group of participants.  Then I’d ask folks to brainstorm as many uses for that item as they could in 5 minutes. 5 minutes may not sound like a long time, but sometimes it felt like forever when I was running this exercise.  And I never shortened the time.  The first minute or so, every obvious option for what to do with a paper clip got exhausted. Then we’d typically sit in awkward silence for a minute or two.  I never said much.  I didn’t try to prod the group on.  I didn’t tell them to hurry up.  And then the ideas would start to flow again.  But this time they were brilliant.  They were the ideas that were way beyond the obvious.  The real innovative ones.  I’ve heard potential uses for the paper clip the likes of the world have never seen. Where is the space in your day? I sometimes do mentor coaching as well, the […]

    July 29, 2022

    |

    4 min read

  • Read The Problem with Feedback

    Communication

    The Problem with Feedback

    The other day I got my student feedback from a course I teach each semester on Managing without Authority for a local university. I opened it up, excited to see what the students said, and my eyes were drawn to the one respondent that disagreed the course was valuable, and also disagreed I was knowledgeable.  In the free form feedback it said: “Too much reliance on students and not the teacher. We spent more time talking in groups than being provided real insight on managing without authority. If we asked a question, it was not answered and instead thrown on the class to answer.” My heart sank.  And the mind monkey took off.  I’d been outed.  Because when I look deep at my own inner saboteurs, the one that screams the most is “You don’t know enough.” We Fixate on the Negative Feedback So that comment really stung.  I’ve often noticed this tendency in life, where we humble human beings fall into negative confirmation bias.  We look for the things that confirm our worst fears.  Our worst fears are then confirmed, and we fixate on it.  Never mind the 18 other people that strongly agreed that the course was valuable.  Never mind the copious comments on how engaging the course was, how much they liked the case studies, my humor, the breakout groups.  Never mind that these 18 thought I was knowledgeable.  In that moment none of it mattered.  This one individual in the six years I’d been teaching for this institution had finally seen the truth of me.  The game was up. Unfortunately, I had opened this email in the middle of an important 3 day meeting I was participating in.  And then I cursed myself for opening something that could be potentially triggering at a moment I needed to concentrate most.  It took some effort, but I managed to steer myself back into the meeting and reground myself.  Yay for mindfulness techniques!  I spent a few moments practicing some deep breathing, focusing with my eyes on a few objects in my office that bring me joy and are beautiful to look at.  Slowly but surely the dissonance faded away and I regained my composure. When will we be enough? But it got me thinking…it’s interesting this tendency we have to need to prove ourselves.  We obsess about the big presentation that’s coming up, how we must be prepared and have the answer to every potential question under the sun that might be asked.  We stress about the quality of our work.  Is it good enough?  Will people think that I’m credible and I know what I’m talking about?  We stress about the quarterly performance review; will I be rated above average or exceptional?  And what does it mean if I’m not? But here’s the bottom line – When do we get to enjoy things?  When we know enough?  Because that’s a fool’s game.  Enough is never enough because there’s always something new to prove, someone new to impress, […]

    July 20, 2022

    |

    3.7 min read

  • Read Straight Talk: Speak the Truth with Love

    Authenticity, Difficult conversations

    Straight Talk: Speak the Truth with Love

    This week I’ve been teaching a course on straight talk.  I often refer to this skill as “Speaking the Truth with Love.”  The crux of getting this right depends on three important aspects. There are three elements to straight talk: Caring personally (compassion) – Caring personally about the individual who is on the receiving end of this conversation and demonstrating this care with your words in the conversation. Sharing your perspective and/or challenging directly – Or in other words, being clear about the issue that needs to be communicated and not beating around the proverbial bush. Inviting others to do the same – Creating the space to have a two-way conversation rather than merely talk at someone. Any straight talk conversation is a great opportunity for two-way dialogue and not merely a “dump and run.” Don’t Bury the Lead You’d be surprised how often we do the opposite.  When it comes to challenging directly, I notice one thing in particular.  I often sit in practice runs where participants are role playing a difficult conversation they need to have.  I’ve seen people do a million times something I call “burying the lead.”  At the end of the conversation, I ask the initiator what the issue was they wanted to communicate.  The person on the receiving end of the conversation often had a totally different impression of what the conversation was about.  The gravity of the issue had not been conveyed clearly or accurately.  This happens all the time, and people walk away with completely different perceptions of a conversation or an issue.  No wonder there’s so much conflict in our personal and professional lives! Remember that honesty without compassion is brutality But the caring personally aspect is just as important as challenging directly. It’s crucial to remember that honesty without compassion can be brutality. E.g. “I think your idea is stupid.” I’m reminded of an old friend and colleague that I used to spend a lot of time with.  She prided herself on her ability to give straight talk.  She had mastered the art of being direct.  On that front there was no one better I will admit.  The problem is her words were often not couched in compassion.  Over time it took a toll on my ability to relate to her, and eventually after I’d been stung enough times, I abandoned the relationship.  It just wasn’t worth it. So why don’t we engage in straight talk?  Or why don’t we do it well when we try? Mindset is Everything Mindset plays a huge role when it comes to this skill.  Do any of these sound familiar? It means being unkind. I must act professionally regardless of the cost. I can’t upset people. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I must tell the truth at all costs. Silence is golden. I can’t challenge someone senior to me. Which of these beliefs are true for you?  And how are they getting in the way of […]

    July 13, 2022

    |

    3.1 min read

  • Read How free are you really?

    Mindfulness

    How free are you really?

    I spent the last few days up in Taos in the mountains on vacation, desperately trying to keep up with my energetic husband on the high mountain trails.  As I was huffing and puffing up the slopes of Wheeler Peak at 13,200 feet, one has some time to think deep thoughts, the alternative is to be consumed with fear about sliding off the mountain.  And as the 4th of July holiday passed, it inspired me to think about freedom, and what is means to be truly free. There are things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the types of rights contained within our constitution.  And then there are the more subtle elements that lie within the recesses of our minds.  Because when you really start to think about what it means to be free, quite often, the inhibitor of our freedom lies within. Fixation on the Future To what extent do I really have control over my thoughts?  Or am I a slave to anxiety, negativity, burnout?  Often each day we’re locked in unconscious patterns of thought.  Our focus and attention are hijacked.  We forget our innate self-worth and often fixate on accomplishments and accolades as proof that we are worth something.  Am I good enough?  Am I smart enough?  Have I accomplished enough?  Will I ever have enough time to get everything done? We worry unnecessarily rather than focus on the moment we are in.  We float through our day, half present, consumed by the thoughts in our head, not really connecting with others, not really enjoying the moment, or appreciating where we are at, because we’re so consumed by where we need to be.  Once we get to where we think we need to be, we’re consumed by a new need, a new want.  A new client, a new project, a new job, a new career.  Because unfortunately when we’re fixated on the future, there’s no end in sight.  Our needs and wants are unlimited. No wonder we’re so exhausted. Fixation on the Past Or maybe we’re ruminating on the past.  Which can often be a recipe for depression.  I should have done that differently.  I shouldn’t have had that conversation that way.  I messed up.  I made a bad decision.  If I knew then what I knew now… But the point is you didn’t.  What are you holding onto from the past?  How is holding onto this limiting your capacity to feel fully free?  One of the principles of my coaching philosophy is “It’s impossible to make a mistake.”  This is often difficult for many folks to grasp.  We think about people we’ve wronged, bad decisions we’ve made, tests we’ve screwed up on.  The list is long.  But when you really get down to brass tacks and you think about those moments, you didn’t set out to “make” a mistake.  Typically, you did the best you could in that moment with the level of consciousness you had. Or maybe instead of shame it’s anger and resentment […]

    July 6, 2022

    |

    4.2 min read

  • Read It Really Is All About Your Intention

    Life Direction and Purpose

    It Really Is All About Your Intention

      At the end of yoga class yesterday, my teacher Erikka came up to me and said, “Your practice looks really nice.”  Quite a compliment, coming from her, a graceful swanlike woman, I’ve often watched her move seamlessly out of one posture to another, balancing on one foot in warrior three without a care in the world. Effort without Intention It reminds me of when I first started my yoga practice.  I was anything but.  There, in the sweaty confines of the hot room, I was swearing under my breath as I struggled to lift my crooked back up one inch off the floor in cobra.  I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  I came back to class, day after day because I knew I felt better, but I looked at the postures as difficult mountains to climb, never acknowledged any progress I made and certainly never thought my practice was “good enough.”  I muddled through year after year and somehow found the willpower to never give up. Lately I’ve been talking a lot in these blogs about the body, and particularly our connection to it.  I’ve been realizing how frequently we get triggered by something, have that feeling that we’re out of control or overwhelmed, and then move about our day, only half really being in this wonderful bag of skin and bones we call home.  We lose touch with the sensation of really “being” in our body, how miraculous that experience is.  We become, for lack of a better word, “ungrounded” and float our way through life living almost exclusively in our head, in the neurotic diatribe that is almost always occurring in our monkey-like mind. The Power of Intentions So yesterday, I did set an intention in class.  For many years I’d roll my eyes when teachers would say that.  When I taught yoga, I’d often tell students to do it as well, but I really didn’t grasp what the words meant.  I thought it sounded cool and zen like. My intention was to ground myself in my body during my practice.  I’d had a tough week, I’d been triggered many times teaching a new course to a group of participants.  My mind was on hyperdrive, “Was I good enough?  What kind of feedback am I going to get?  Was I too honest and harsh in the group coaching circles?  Do the participants think I’m some sort of hack?  I should have said this.  I should have said that.  I’m not sure they got all that much out of the experience.  Maybe I upset them.  I’m never going to be called back to do any work for this client again!”  But I digress… So my intention was to look at the yoga not just as an interesting challenge, but a tool for connecting my body to my mind and spirit.  I focused deeply on my breathing and recall hearing myself breathe in and out.  In mountain I reached my arms up to the sky, to salute the […]

    June 30, 2022

    |

    4.5 min read