5 Best Strategies To Stand Out And Land Your Dream Job!

interview date Lately, I’ve been assisting with the recruitment of new employees for a small boutique firm. Sorting and sifting through over 250 applicants for only 2 jobs has been an interesting and revealing exercise. I’ve noticed many mistakes in every stage of the recruitment process from how an applicant submits their interest and resume, to the phone screening process through to the in person interview.

If you are interested in standing out as a candidate, here are my 5 best strategies to help you avoid some derailing, yet common mistakes:

1. Be strategic about which jobs you apply for. The job market is highly competitive. Applying for any and every job is not the right strategy. Make sure your strengths, skills and experience are in alignment with the job description and the requirements of the job. Don’t waste a recruiter’s time and energy if you do not meet most of the job specifications but you really want to work for the company. A better strategy might be to network with employees within the organization until the right job comes up that matches your strengths, skills and experience.

2. Make it easy for a recruiter to pick you out of the multitude of job applicants. First impressions really do count. Your LinkedIn profile should include a professional looking headshot, summary and highlight relevant past experiences and education. However, remember even a great LinkedIn profile is not a substitute for a resume and quality cover letter. Make sure you have a well written and succinct resume that is also attractive to look at. Customize your resume and cover letter to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a creative marketing role, use your creativity. I once observed an applicant submit an infographic resume in response to a marketing role resulting in her landing an interview.

3. Don’t make the recruiter do your work. I’ve noticed applicants use minimal effort to apply for jobs online. I’ve seen scanty online resumes or no resumes, relying on LinkedIn profiles alone. Always include a full resume and where possible submit a cover letter which summarizes why you are applying for the position and why you are the right candidate for the job. This requires that you also do some research about the role, the organization and perhaps even the hiring manager. The better prepared you are, the greater your chance of landing the interview and the job.

4. Practice phone and email etiquette. Often it’s the little things that make a difference in landing you the job you want. Let’s start with making sure you spell check your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. Details matter! When engaging in email or online conversation with a recruiter or prospective employer use more formal email etiquette, including proper salutations, grammar and effective written communication skills. This is not the place to use “texting” language or abbreviations. During phone interviews, make sure you capture the interviewer’s name and use their name when asking or answering questions. People love to hear the sound of their name. It not only lets the interviewer know you are someone who listens but it also says you care. In a recent assignment, only 2 out of 20 applicants interviewed used my name in the phone interview. Both advanced to the in person interview stage. Lastly, always follow up a phone or in person interview with a thank you email. Not only is it good manners, but it’s another opportunity to make a good impression and gain share of mind with the recruiter or hiring manager. And because most interviewees don’t do these simple things, you will stand out.

5. Show up as your best self. So you’ve finally made it to the in person interview stage. Make sure your shoes are polished. Many hiring managers look at the shoes first. Sounds strange, but it does say a lot about your attention to detail. Shoes don’t lie. As for attire, I recommend at least one notch above how you would normally show up for the job. It is better to be over dressed than under dressed. Example, an applicant showed up to an interview in dress pants, dress shirt with the top button undone and a loose tie around his neck. He was being interviewed for a wealth management role where everyone wears a suit to the office. Unfortunately, he was ruled out before he even opened his mouth.

If you want to stand out as the ideal candidate, take the time to be strategic in your approach and in the interview process. That means careful planning and research, preparation, practice, and attention to detail. With a little extra effort you can stand out amongst the other candidates, and that little extra might be just enough to land you your dream job.

Manage Your Emails! Don’t Let Them Manage You!

emailManaging daily emails continues to be one of the biggest challenges for busy managers and career professionals. Yet, the ability to quickly read, absorb, process information and to action what is relevant is an emergent skill for successful professionals today.

Here are a few tips to help you manage your emails:

Reduce the frequency of checking your inbox. Consider only checking your email once or twice daily at specifically scheduled timeslots for a limited time allocated. Just because people can get in touch with you by email or text instantly doesn’t mean you have to be available instantly to respond. Determine what’s reasonable within your company or department and then be consistent and organized about when and how you respond to your emails.

Utilize “rules”. Your email management system may have a “rules” feature to allow you to stream your emails into specific separate file folders. Set up separate file folders by project, or by a particular person. It makes sorting and scanning a breeze.

Touch incoming emails once. After reading the email; delete it, file it, forward it, action it or flag it for a future date and remove it from your inbox. Leaving it in your inbox will only clutter your inbox making it difficult to find or deal with later.

Be a good role model for others. Get in the habit of practicing good email etiquette. Label the emails you send to others to make it easier for them to read and process your emails by using abbreviations in your subject lines followed by the topic. For example: FYI (for your information), URG (urgent), ACT (action required), CC (copied). Ask your colleagues and direct reports to do the same. It will be much easier to handle incoming emails in an effective and timely manner.

Don’t be part of the problem. Don’t clog other people’s inboxes by copying everyone you can think of on an email. If you do have to forward an email to someone, make sure you summarize why you are sending them the email, or highlight the key points you are drawing their attention to. This will save them time reading through the several pages of forwarded email.

Set boundaries or guidelines. Let direct reports and colleagues know what you wish to be copied on and what you don’t. Establish some guidelines for how you will keep others informed or how you wish to be kept informed, email isn’t always the best way or the only way to communicate.

Practice effective communication. Don’t assume email or texts will be your best or fastest way of communication. Determine the nature, sensitivity and context of the communication and then determine if it’s best to call, email or meet face to face. It’s way too easy to send a quick text or email but sometimes that can create issues that weren’t there in the first place.

Managing emails can be a nuisance but it is manageable. Make sure you are contributing to proactive manageable solutions rather than being part of the problem.

Interested in more time management techniques, check out my Time & Self Management Package

Preparing For Your Mid Year Or Year End Performance Review

By Guest Author Lorraine Moore

make things happenIt is that time of year – your mid year review with your boss. You have much influence over that conversation. Rather than procrastinating or dreading the discussion, you owe it to yourself to prepare and submit information to your leader in advance of the review. (Unfortunately some leaders do not gather feedback before establishing a rating. This is poor leadership behaviour and all the more reason for you to take the initiative and provide input.)


• This is your opportunity to self promote; to share results your leader may not have been aware of. In companies with pay for performance cultures, articulating your results may have a bearing on your rating, bonus and overall compensation.

• It never failed to amaze me when employees told me they were “too busy” to prepare and provide their boss with content for their review.

Don’t mistake activity with results:

• You were really busy this year? Find me someone who was not. Being busy has become a badge of honour in North American companies. As a leader, I rewarded results, not busyness.

Provide data – quantify your results:

• E.g. saved $ through effective negotiations; reduced risk; your department expenses are under budget

Cite examples and answer “so what?”

• Don’t presume that your boss understands the positive implications of a given outcome. If you brought the project in early, state the benefits, e.g. freed up resources (people and $) to work on other projects; contributed to positive customer perception; saved money on contract staff, etc.

Was it one of your key objectives or KPA (Key Performance Areas)?

• Sometimes people are quite excited about something they invested much of their time in. However, if it was not aligned to one of your KPAs, you may not want to elaborate.

• Similarly, if you had spectacular results in an area that is part of your key goals and/or aligned to your role and responsibilities – highlight it!

Management is not leadership:

• Who on your team have you grown/developed this year?

• Who have you mentored?

• Where did you innovate and improve? What were the benefits to the company?

Demonstrate your commitment to the success of the entire company:

• How did your actions, a decision or results benefit your team, the division or BU (business unit) or parts of the organization?

• Show that you operated with the best interests of the entire organization in mind, not simply your own results.

Make it timely:

• Ensure you provide your leader with information well in advance of them finalizing ratings.

If this was useful, share it with others; pass it on to your staff.

About the Author:

Lorraine Moore is President of Accelerate Success Group, a management consulting and leadership coaching company focused on inspiring individuals and leadership teams to action, personally and professionally. For more about Lorraine Moore visit: www.lorrainemoore.ca

My Most Devastating Career Moment

nextI was at the top of my game. My career was on an upward trajectory and everything was going well, or so I thought. I was deemed high potential and in line for the next promotion. In fact, I had already had my round of internal interviews and I was not only told I was the best candidate, but I was told that I would be getting the job. The promotion I so patiently waited for was finally imminent. But then, I heard nothing, and when the announcement was made my name was not mentioned. Another candidate got the job; I was devastated. My mouth dropped and all I kept thinking was “what happened?”

There are so many ways I could have reacted to the situation. I was hurt, my ego bruised, I was grossly disappointed, and I felt like I had somehow done something wrong to justify being passed over for my greatly deserved promotion.

When I finally gathered my thoughts and feelings, here’s what I decided to focus on:

THE FACTS: It would have been easy to make assumptions about the situation. I could have told myself: “They changed their mind”, “They didn’t think I was good enough”, “There is a better candidate”, “I don’t deserve the promotion”. Instead, I needed to get to the bottom of the situation. What happened between when I was told I had “the job” to the time the announcement was made? Why did the announcement come out announcing someone else’s name? I didn’t want to make any assumptions about why I was being passed over. I enlisted my current boss and my human resources representative to make some calls on my behalf to help figure out what happened. As it turned out a very competent candidate was returning from maternity leave and needed placement. The screw up was in neglecting to let me know that the plans had changed.

MY RESPONSE: Throughout the ordeal I kept my composure, remaining calm and controlled. It would have been easy to have a “hissy fit” or to get angry. However, I simply wanted to understand the situation and close some of the communication gaps. I decided to take the high road and keep my emotions in check and not make this about me and how being passed over was making me feel. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you most certainly can control your response and that makes all the difference.

THE NEXT STEP: Once all the communication loops were closed and it was confirmed that I was indeed not getting that job, I had to regroup and determine my next career steps. I was ready for the next career opportunity and wanted to make sure I wasn’t idly waiting for something to happen to me. Through internal networking efforts I found my next career opportunity, and that job turned out to be one of the best moves of my career.

Even when you know you are ready, and you feel you have done everything right, things can happen so that you are passed over for promotion. Know what you can control.

Top 10 Networking Strategies To Advance Your Career

business handshakeWhether you are a corporate employee, self employed professional or entrepreneur, climbing the ladder to success can be easy if you are committed to consistently following a few simple networking strategies in your career.

One of the most important skills I learned as I progressed in my career that still serves me well today is the art of networking. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, referrals can make up 80%-90% of new business revenues. Networking is both a competency and a process that you need to hone in order to be successful.

Here are 10 of my favorite networking and business tips which I’ve learned throughout my corporate career and which I consistently incorporate on a regular basis to help me be a successful entrepreneur as well:

1. Build Your Networking Muscle – Practice networking by attending lots of different networking events. You will meet many interesting people and contacts, some of which will become great clients, colleagues or friends.

2. Develop Thick Skin – Get comfortable hearing the word “no”, over and over and over again. It will build your character and make you tenacious about your career goals.

3. Be Nice to Everyone You Meet – I had a boss once who used to say “be nice to the people on the way up because you never know when you’ll be meeting them on the way down”. The key message is “don’t burn any bridges and be genuinely nice to everyone”.

4. Be Giving – Give your time, your advice and especially your referrals. It will all come back to you in positive karma and rewarding business connections.

5. Grow Your Relationships – You are only 4 or 5 people away from anything you ever want or need. All you have to do is ask.

6. Communicate Regularly – Maintain regular and consistent contact with the people in your network. One of my most successful communication tactics is to periodically meet with people in my network face to face. It’s much more personal and much more fun too. When you can’t meet in person then a phone call or personal note works well too. Of course, I’m also on various social networks including and especially “LinkedIn” which is awesome for career professionals.

7. Keep it Simple – Look at where you are spending your time and your precious energy. What is generating you the best results, those are the activities you want to continue doing and do more of. Get rid of the time and/or money wasting activities.

8. Build Rapport – Are you a people magnet or a people repellent? What are you projecting outwardly? Make sure others see you as a positive, warm and friendly person they would like to interact with. Make sure your positive personality and outlook is attracting relationships and not pushing them away.

9. Set Goals – If you have a clear vision of where you are going, the rest will fall into place. Make sure you decide on what you want short, medium and longer term and in every area of your life.

10. Access Available Resources – There are so many resources available to support you in whatever you wish to do. Build a strong support team which includes family, friends and colleagues. Read books like The Power of Women United, an inspirational and informative book on networking. Join networking groups in person and on-line. Get connected and stay connected.

Networking is about connecting with people, building and nurturing relationships, sharing information, tapping into the hidden job market, learning about career opportunities, pooling resources and expanding your contacts. Networking is about connecting with people not collecting people. It is truly a life skill whereby you build, nurture and maintain quality mutually beneficial relationships over your career and your lifetime.

If you are interested in learning more about networking, career and business building strategies or about the many ways you can successfully attract your goals, dreams and aspirations, please contact Linda directly at linda@resultscatalyst.ca.

20 Career Tips To Make 2015 Your Most Successful Year Ever!

success aheadIt’s time to set your intentions for 2015. Here are 20 fabulous tips from some of the world’s best career experts to assist you in taking control of your career and making this year your best year ever.

1. Engage in the “Power of Stopping”. According to Susan Freeman, a daily centering practice can reap you huge rewards in terms of calm and peacefulness. It can also improve your relationships with others.

2. Be a “Reflective Leader”. According to Deborah Colman corporate environments today can be chaotic and require a level of interdependence with others. It’s important to know how to “navigate and respond vs react” to whatever situation comes up.

3. Learn how to make the most of “Reciprocity”. Gary Ford says most people have a fear of rejection and while “everyone wants to be more persuasive”, “often we are only hinting” at what we really want.

4. Begin the process of “Self-reflection”. Kim Ades says it’s important to “surface our beliefs” and to “look at our thinking”. She refers to this as “thought management” and is an advocate for daily journaling. Regular self-reflection can accelerate change.

5. Recognize “Common Behavior Patterns”. According to Sylvia Lafair, there are “13 common behavior patterns we learned as kids” and like it or not, “we bring these behaviors to the workplace”. Recognizing these “behavior patterns” in yourself and in others, will “help you deal with office politics and conflict in the workplace”.

6. “Move your Career Forward.” If this is the year you are looking for a new role or job, then Dana Manciagli recommends you “start with a goal, develop a plan and create a candidate packet”. Traditional resumes are simply not enough to get you the interview.

7. Hone your “Perception Management”. Do you know what impression you are making on others? According to Judi Walsh, you “can measure your level of influence and develop a distinct foundation”. This “distinctness” will set you apart from others.

8. “Manage Up”. According to Cecile Peterkin, “leaders don’t need a title”. “Managing up is about developing a solid relationship with your boss, keeping your boss informed and knowing your boss’ priorities and management style”.

9. Complete your “LinkedIn Profile”. According to Melonie Dodaro, “one of the best ways to stand out is to complete your LinkedIn profile”. Your LinkedIn link will usually be the “first thing that pops up when someone googles your name”.

10. Use the “Power of Your Voice”. Carla Kendall suggests you “speak from your gut not from your throat.” 38% of what you are communicating is communicated through your voice. Pay attention to your quality, tone, pitch, rate, and volume.

11. Get good at “Self-Promotion”. According to Regina Barr, “Self-Promotion is not bragging”. It’s important to “get comfortable talking about yourself”. Barr says “find 2-5 contributions/success stories that you can describe in a meaningful way”.

12. “Grow Up Your Gifts”. Shahmeen Sadiq says “at earlier career stages, we often use our gifts/strengths/talents in overcoming obstacles, managing threats and outperforming our peers to get ahead”. “At later stages, it’s important to “grow up” our gifts to create desired outcomes with ease, grace and elegance”.

13. Achieve “Work-Life Satisfaction. “ According to Nora Sudduth, it’s not about finding balance, it’s about achieving fulfillment. This “shifts responsibility from the employer to the employee to define your values and priorities and to find space for what you value most”.

14. “Practice Safe Stress”. According to Lori King “healthy stress can make you more alert, focused and even productive”, while unhealthy stress can immobilize you, “inhibit your ability to relax and reduce performance”. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga can help manage stress.

15. Stop Avoiding “Difficult Conversations”. Sylvia Plester-Silk says “one of the keys to success in life and business is building trust. As a leader, having conversations about difficult topics is an opportunity to build trust through deeper understanding of another person.”

16. Develop Your “Leadership Effectiveness”. According to David Town, a great place to “begin to understand your current leadership effectiveness is a personal assessment tool”. An assessment can increase your self-awareness and help close the gap between where you are currently and where you’d like to be as a leader.

17. “Understand Who You Are.” Anne Dranitsaris says that while “past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior” you need to also “take into account the unique differences in personality and how the brain is hard-wired to function.”

18. Find a Job You Love. Kathi Miller-Miller says if you’ve been fired, “skip the blame game”. Kathi says it’s important to “take care of yourself, avoid negative people” and recognize that you are not alone. This is a terrific “opportunity to find your passion”.

19. “Don’t Lose Your Soul”. According to Sondra Sneed, “you are more than your job”. It’s important to “know your life’s purpose or your job won’t produce a career path”. “There is a part of you that is your job, but you are so much more than that”.

20. “Invest in Yourself”. I say there is no better time than the present to invest in yourself and in your career potential. You can no longer rely on your employer to prepare you for your next role or promotion. Consider hiring a professional coach to assist you in developing a career plan, hold you accountable or to support you on your career journey.

Whether you are at the start of your career, mid way through your career, or at the tail end of your career, vow to make this year your most successful year ever.

If you are interested in hearing more from each and every one of the above career experts, join us for the 2015 Catapult Your Career Success Summit: http://www.resultscatalyst.ca/catapult.html


7 Tips To Survive And Thrive This Holiday Season

red presentAre you feeling like this holiday season is coming faster than you expected this year? Are you running out of time hoping you can get everything on your personal and professional to do list done in time? Well, perhaps it is time to stop, take a deep breath and make sure you are set up to enjoy this holiday season.

Here are some tips to help you not just survive the holiday season but to really thrive this season:

1. Know your priorities. Take a hard look at your “to do” list and be critical. Make sure you are spending time on your most valued priorities, whatever they are. For me, that means ensuring lots of time spent with friends and family over the holidays. It also means I go full out during the month of November on my professional responsibilities to give me space during the busy holiday season.

2. Make a plan. “What gets focused on, get’s done.” Having a plan provides structure and focus and ensures you get to do all the things you want to do vs must do. My December calendar fills up long before December rolls around mostly with activities I schedule in advance to make sure the activities I most want to engage in are on the plan. I also free my calendar from professional responsibilities after December 15th to allow me to unplug from work and focus on personal pleasures.

3. Get organized. Avoid last minute gift shopping. Make your gift list early and then pick things up on opportunity. I make a list for everything. The gift list. The list of food for each of the events/dinners we host or contribute to. The “to do” list. I also like to organize whatever I can to make it easier not only this year but in future years as well. Like the Christmas tree ornaments that go into neatly organized boxes and stored away from year to year under the staircase. It takes no time to find them when I need them.

4. Keep it simple. Simplify wherever you can. This may mean fewer gift exchanges or cutting back on the number of greeting cards you send out. This year I purchased holiday plant inserts for my front urns simply because it was faster, easier and freed me up to do other things I value more.

5. Manage your stress. Make sure you get enough sleep and you relax whenever you can. It’s helpful to stick to your regular exercise routine throughout the holidays especially if you indulge in extra food or drink. Think about organizing a fun group activity that will combine relaxation, exercise and family time all in one event like a skating party, a toboggan party, or a bowling party.

6. Set boundaries. Decide in advance what you will say “no” to. Know your boundaries and your limits and simply say yes to yourself by saying no to the things you simply can’t do.

7. Have fun. Remember to celebrate and to have fun. You’ve worked hard all year and this is the time to sit back and celebrate the year.

So before the holiday season is over, stop and take some time to truly enjoy and do what is most important to you. I wish you and your families the very best this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

Build Rapport – Connect In 90 Seconds Or Less!

shaking handsYou walk into a meeting with someone you’ve never met before, you extend your hand to shake theirs and look them straight in the eyes. In that instant you’ve both communicated non-verbally. How do you know if you’ve made an instant positive connection?

Rapport is the process of achieving a level of communication that is uncritically accepted by the person to whom you are communicating with. It’s a magical state where the person listening to you, does so carefully and absorbs your message at an unconscious level.

Why is the process of building rapport so important to know about?

• Rapport is the first step in building strong relationships

• Rapport is established in the first 90 seconds or less

• Rapport enhances your interaction with the other person whether they are a prospect, colleague or client

• Rapport techniques are easy to learn and easy to use

• Rapport is the key to effective and more meaningful communication

• Better Rapport = Better Communication = Better Results

The theory of Rapport is based on a study originally completed in 1970 by Robert Birdwhistle called ‘Kinesics and Communication’. In this study, Birdwhistle discovered that communication is multilevel and multifaceted:

7% is Words

38% is Tone of Voice

55% is Physiology

A staggering realization is that, 93% of what we communicate is not words but rather nonverbal and communicated unconsciously. So, in order to establish effective Rapport with someone, we have to do it at an unconscious level. Understanding this and consciously utilizing the techniques available to establish Rapport allows us to effectively build this unconscious connection.

Here are a few ways you can easily build rapport with other people:

• Pay attention to the other person’s language and language patterns; notice the words they use as well as the tone of voice they use when they speak those words. Often people will use repetitive language. If you can play back some of their own words or in their tone of voice, you will be on your way to building rapport.

• Determine their communication style and communication preference. People will use visual, auditory or kinesthetic words in their language and even in their body language. For example, visual people will point to an image or picture or use words like: “picture”, “vision”, “imagine” or “look” in their language when describing items or concepts. People who are more auditory will be more literal and intentional with their language. While kinesthetic people are likely to be a bit more verbose with their language, get closer to you when they speak and use the language of feelings and emotions. Using the other person’s communication style or preference will make you a better listener and communicator.

• Observe their eyes patterns. The eyes will tell you how they think and process information which will allow you to adjust your approach to match theirs.

• Match and mirror body language, voice, words and even their breathing. The more you are in synch with the other person on an unconscious basis the more engaged they will be in your communication with them.

Using Rapport can assist you in creating instant relationships, strengthen communication and get better results in everything you do.

If you are interested in learning more about the many ways you can establish and deepen Rapport, contact Linda at linda@resultscatalyst.ca or 416-617-0734.

Eager For Promotion? 3 Things You Need To Know!

career cityPerhaps you have been passed over for promotion not knowing why. Or maybe you know what is holding you back, but you simply don’t know how to make the changes necessary to move forward. You are probably working hard, doing a great job, yet frustrated with the lack of career progression or opportunity. Here’s the bottom-line, you may not be realizing your fullest career potential and that is costing you money, frustration, stress, credibility, or that future promotion.

Here are 3 things you need to know to realize your career potential:

1. Know your value. Start with an honest look at yourself. Engage others who know you to assist you by providing their honest feedback as well. List all your strengths. What are you really good at doing? What do you typically get recognized or praised for? What are you known for? What are your major accomplishments? What comes really easy to you? How have you added value to your job or company? Now summarize your findings into 3-4 key strengths by writing it all down. Make sure to include real life examples for each strength you have identified. Once you have clearly identified and written your key strengths and examples of each, commit them to memory so you can easily recite them when asked.

2. Have a career plan. One of my favorite sayings is “when you don’t have a clear vision; any road will get you there”. It explains why after working for 10, 20 or even 30 years, people wonder how they ended up doing what they are doing, and often not enjoying their career. A career plan is a blueprint for success. A career plan provides you with direction and movement. However, it isn’t a guarantee for success. A career plan helps you make the right choices on your career journey so that each step of the way you have confidence in what you are doing; nurturing your strengths and developing your competencies. A good career plan will consider career goals and aspirations, lifestyle, location, financial security, retirement, personal and career values. It will also identify development or experience gaps. No matter where you are in your career currently, at the start of your career or perhaps nearing the end and thinking about retirement, you need a plan.

3. Invest in yourself. You can no longer rely on your employer to prepare you for your next promotion. Training budgets are often the first to get cut when expenses are under attack. And in today’s marketplace, employers hire/promote people who are ready to “hit the deck running” rather than hiring “potential”. So the responsibility to perform and to ramp up quickly is left to the employee. What are you doing to ensure you are fully ready to take on more responsibility or that coveted promotion? If you have already identified competency or experience gaps as part of your career plan, what are you doing to close those gaps? It could mean going back to school either part time or full time to get formal training or education. It could take the form of volunteer experience to strengthen or obtain experience that may otherwise not be available to you in your workplace. Alternatively, taking a sideways move may provide you with the missing skills you need to make yourself the ideal candidate. In addition, consider hiring a professional coach to assist you in identifying and closing your gaps, developing a career plan or simply supporting you on your career journey.

Whether you are at the start of your career, mid way through your career, or at the tail end of your career, there is hope for career advancement with some planning and focus.

If you are would like more information or support regarding how to prepare for your next promotion or to accelerate your career, contact Linda at linda@resultscatalyst.ca or 416-617-0734.

7 Strategies To Boost Your Confidence

confident businesswomanHave you ever felt uncomfortable or out of place in meetings, networking events, or even social settings? Have you ever missed out on something you really wanted because you didn’t have the confidence to put yourself out there?

Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. Sadly, people who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful.

After all, most people are reluctant to back a project that’s being presented by someone who appears nervous or unsure of themselves. On the other hand, you might totally support someone if they speak clearly, hold their head high and answer questions with ease.

Self-confident people inspire confidence in others, and gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.

Consider these 7 strategies to boost your confidence:

1. Be prepared – Whether you are about to attend a meeting, make a presentation or simply be an active participant at an event, make sure you prepare yourself well. This includes: knowing where you are going, what you are going to wear, what you are going to say, who you want to connect with, and what you hope to achieve and why. It may seem obvious but people rarely consider what a successful result might look like. The more prepared you are the more likely you are going to remain confident, poised and in control during the event. I remember when I was a corporate executive, I would regularly “dry run” my presentation if I was about to present to an important audience. It’s a practice I still do today when preparing for a keynote presentation.

2. Get feedback – Get feedback from others whenever you can. Then, take the time to review the meeting, presentation or event you just attended and consider all the things that went well. Pat yourself on your back for your “did wells”, and then consider all the things you could have done differently next time. Do this not to beat yourself up but rather to learn from the experience and assist you in being better prepared the next time.

3. Use your body language – Your stance can be a powerful tool especially if you are a woman. Remember, most women are smaller and shorter than their male counterparts so you need to use your body to make you appear bigger than you are. You can do this by standing tall with your hands on your hips, feet shoulder length apart. In this position you not only appear more in control, but you feel more confident too. In a sitting position, sit tall and simply place your hands on your hips.

4. Use your voice – Your voice is an amazing instrument. Communicate using a statement intonation. A common mistake some women make is to use a question mark at the end of a statement. This can cause people to see them as uncertain or tentative or worse, needing approval. Here’s an example: “You know I’m right!” vs “You know I’m right?” Use your voice to project your most confident self.

5. Listen more – Listen twice as much as you speak. When you do speak (and you should), be clear and concise and avoid using big fancy words. If you talk too much, you train others to tune you out. Speak to get your point across and remember it’s okay to pause using silence rather than filler words such as umhs or ahs.

6. Breathe deeply – Train yourself to breathe deeply. Many people breathe too high in their chest and high chest breathing can make others assume you are angry, not very bright, or just plain nervous, none of which is how you want to be perceived. Low and slow into the whole belly will help you look and sound more intelligent especially if you breathe through your nose. A bonus of low slow breathing is that you get more oxygen to your brain which results in clearer thinking and a better quality to the tone of your voice.

7. Dress for success – Remember the saying, dress for the job you want and not the job you have. While dress codes have relaxed substantially in the workplace that doesn’t mean you should look any less professional. When I walk around the business section of the city I notice huge interpretations of business casual. You will always look more professional and taken more seriously if you dress the part. Professional attire makes you appear more credible.

Confidence and success isn’t a matter of simply mastering a few tricks, although those can help you so you can focus on the more important internal changes you may need to make. Maximizing your confidence reinforces your personal sense of power, your inner strength, and your self-worth not only in the workplace, but also in every aspect of your life.

If you would like more information or support regarding how to further enhance your confidence, sign up for this FREE eReport: 3 Surprising Reasons Your Career is Stuck in Neutral and What You Can Do About It. It will provide you with strategies to help you get unstuck, regain control and make a huge difference in your career. It’s time to challenge your thinking and explore ways you can change your mindset and accelerate your career with confidence. Click here for the free eReport: www.resultscatalyst.ca/stuckinneutral.html