Underestimating the Power of Words

We are guilty of underestimating the power of our words.

As you may have read, Paula Dean, has probably sabotaged her business future. Hard to feel sorry for her. With social media and more in the mix, it shows our lack of self-control. And believe me, I know there's a heart problem too.

Paula Dean is just a micro of what we all do and struggle with. She just happened to do it with a stunning level of stupidity. I say that so strongly because you would think she'd have advisors to provide restraint. Maybe she did and just refused to listen. Alas, we live in a culture that often believes in "we don't need any advice."

I work on my words everyday and I fail. The cool part about the work side is it increases the chances that I won't screw things up.

Don't underestimate the power of your words.


5 Questions with Alan Corey, Author of The Subversive Job Search

Corey book cover

Great conversation with Alan Corey, author of the The Subversive Job Search: How to Overcome a Lousy Job, Sluggish Economy, and Useless Degree to Create a Six-Figure Career. His insights might surprise you.

Why do you think most
job-seekers trust the status quo approach to looking for new employment?

No one is
taught job hunting in school so many job hunters get their job searching advice
from a trusted family member or friend who they think has great job. They want
to know how he or she was able to do it so they can replicate the same steps.
Unfortunately, that advice is always outdated as they’ve probably have held
that job for five or more years and even worse, it may be the only job they
have ever had.

You want to
talk to someone how is constantly job hunting. Ask them how they are getting
noticed? What is working and what is not working? I’ve had 5 jobs in 24 months
and I learned a lot as I was constantly on the hunt. And I’m still learning
more.  But the big difference is that
employers are hiring differently than they have in the past.

A decade ago,
employers hired based on an employee’s potential. If you came from a good
school or had a college degree, then you’d be worth taking a chance on. But now
employers don’t have time or budget to train new employees, which means job
seekers need to come in with value on day one. 
It’s on the job seeker to pay to get their own training, have to find
their own way to build up their own skill set, and create their own working
experience. Showing you can come to work the first day with value is the
difference between getting noticed or not by a hiring manger in today’s

In your book you discuss your
struggles with depression. It seems like depression would go hand-in-hand with
a loss of a job, what advice would you give to someone in that spot?

Yes, I was unemployed for a
year and suffering depression and the number one thing is getting help. Depression
sucks the life out of you, and without help from family and therapy I may still
be there.  Talking about it helped a lot
and allowed me to look at my situation in a new light.

If you find yourself in this
situation reach out to family, friends, and professional help. My therapist
gave me the tools to get back on my feet. There shouldn’t be shame associated
with losing your job. It happens. It’s life. I realized I was one of millions
suffering from lack of employment and it gave me encouragement to try job
hunting in different ways.  I eventually
made job hunting my number one focus, stopped blaming others for my problems,
stopped blaming the economy for poor job prospects, and taught myself how to
job hunt subversively.

Is it important to know what’s
most important in your life when considering the next opportunity?

This is a
huge key to job hunting. I’ve job hunted for different reasons based on my and
my family’s needs. I’ve taken jobs just for the paycheck, I’ve taken jobs for
the experience, and I’ve even taken jobs for the abundance of vacation days it
provided.   Each served a different
purpose of my life at different times.

It’s crucial
to recognize where you stand in your career. If you are entry level, go for the
experience. Or better yet, go for what excites you or what you want to learn
about.  And realize that every job you
land may end quicker than you think it will, so always be building up your
skillset so you are instantly employable in case you get laid off. By taking
after-hour classes, networking outside your office, and reading your career’s
industry-focused magazines you’ll begin to learn what it is that you want from
your career and you’ll also know what it will take to get there. Working on
your career doesn’t just stop when you leave the office.

Where do you see the U.S. job
market heading in the next 3-5 years? Will people get more subversive in their
approach to finding employment?

I think the
job market will be improving and I see no other way to job hunt than to be a
bit subversive. You have to make yourself a big fish in this huge sea of job
applicants. This can be done by branding yourself correctly, working online or
for free to earn a reputation, or finding ways to be noticed within your career
niche.  If you are labeled as an expert
at something, even if it is just one tiny task or responsibility, this goes a
long way to get employed. Someone out there will have a need for this expertise
and is willing to pay top dollar for an employee to fill it.  If you recognize what these skill sets are
with your career, you’ll be no longer be a job hunter, but you’ll be head-hunted
instead by well-connected recruiters and hiring managers. The ideal situation
for anyone looking to further their career.

What advice would you give the
person, just out of college, trying to land their first job?

With hard work comes experience, with
experience comes opportunities, and with opportunities comes luck.  And with all of these four things working for
you, then comes wealth. To be a graduate shows you’ve got the ability to work
hard, but most graduates lack experience that makes them the in-demand hires
they want to be.

I’d recommend freelancing online via website like odesk.com and elance.com to
earn real-world experience as quickly as possible and to prove you are a self-motivated
candidate. This is also a great way to learn what you like within your career,
learn what skills are in demand, and make a little money on while you job hunt.
Furthermore, they’ll have actually talking points to discuss in future
interviews that can help them make a great first impression.


Alan Corey is the personal
finance and career author of “A
Million Bucks by 30
” and “The
Subversive Job Search
.” You can learn more about him by visiting his
website at www.alancorey.com or by
following him on Twitter @alancorey. 



What You See In the Valley

My friend Marc sent the above short to me today…it is well worth the 5 minutes  It appears it was made a couple of years ago.  I think about where I was at then.  Trying to make sense of a new way working and living.  Not having the energy anymore to grade people on "style points."  Funny how certain images/places in time stir you.

This short clip was timely, considering my struggle to learn how to live differently-in light of my father's passing. 

I've cried today more than I have in a while.

Here's what crossed my heart and mind as I watched the above video:

  1. The last communication I had with my father was a kiss.  No words, just a kiss.
  2. It's never a good idea to pretend…be vulnerable.
  3. I'm glad God introduced a level of humility to me 3 years ago that I needed desperately.  It softened my heart and allowed me to see with eyes of forgiveness and tenderness-specifically toward my father.
  4. I hugged and kissed my son when he got off the bus today.  We've always shared physical affection, but today I needed to plant a seed.
  5. I don't know when my heart will mend.
  6. Maybe what's inside me has changed the world (thank you, Robin).
  7. Even the strong need to allow themselves to be weak.

I have been brief here. 

The Plan for Your Life

Most people, at least those awake, want to know the plan for their life. Maybe they come at from a God-thing or determined planning. Most people want to know the point and how to get there. 

One of the beautiful parts of my mission is I get to share my journey and I carry many of your same desires. Sorry, if you were expecting me to be sitting high on the mountain above you.

I know that's not what you want or need.

My experience tells me that the plan for your life is found in a form of unfolding. It happens in minutes, hours and days. It happens whether you know it or not. It rarely happens in a quick 5 minute video clip, though many spend their lives hoping for this. 

Before you think I'm advocating sitting back and waiting for the story to play out or that free will is a myth, you should know how important choices are in building a life. Choices are a very big deal.

Every choice we make sets forth a brush stroke. The brush stroke may be small or it may be large. Either way, it will impact the way your plan looks. We here often about the importance of making good choices, but it's so cliched in our time. Sorta like the advice around exercise. Everyone nods in affirmation, but few do it. The good news is we have a say in the matter.

Here's the paradox, if not riddle, for us all. You're not going to get to see the advance copy of the plan for your life. You've got to live it out. You've got to live out the minutes, the hours, the days. You'll get some confirmations, some glimpses, some feelings of happiness that lead you to a sense of rightness. There will also be the times of confusion and fear. It's a co-mingled affair and and it requires a lot of faith.