Success is Like a Stroll into Traffic

This morning I found myself in a predicament. I was trapped on the wrong side of the road from the bus I needed to catch. Cars zooming by stood between me and getting to the bus before it departed.  Frustratingly, I knew that as soon as the light changed and made it for me to safely cross, the bus would drive away. It was infuriating because the thing I was so desperate for was right in front of my face, yet unreachable.

Beside me was a man I’d never spoken to, but recognized from the bus every morning. He was tall and always wore professional attire – clearly on his way to work as well. As I reluctantly accepted my fate of having to catch the next bus, he did something else.

He casually walked into the traffic. Not in a gap in the flow of traffic – right into it! He didn’t run, or look even slightly nervous. He casually, calmly walked across the street. Cars slowed down for him, drivers staring at him in bewilderment.  He had this crazy confidence about him – like he knew no one would hit him, like he was above even worrying about things like that. And he got the bus.

I, of course, waited for the light, and even though I ran across, it still left without me. I was 20 minutes late for work, and he presumably got wherever he was going in good time.

He did something that was objectively stupid, and I didn’t, but he succeeded in his goal and I didn’t.

As I waited for the next bus, I thought about that. Maybe that’s what success is all about. Doing objectively stupid things with the confidence of a God. The way he sauntered across the street – forcing everyone else to slow down, controlling the people around him instead of letting them control him through sheer force of will and dumb determination. That’s what you have to do. Ignore the obstacles, or the things that could damage you, and just go. Don’t wait for the light to change. Don’t catch the next bus. Catch the one you want when you want it because damnit, you can. Maybe success is about taking gigantic risks, not playing it safe – about doing things that shock people, doing whatever it takes to reach the end goal.

Maybe success is about blindly walking into traffic. (But not literally. That man was clearly insane!)

 

What to Do After Your Promotion

Congratulations on your promotion! You’ve worked your butt off and you’ve finally been recognized. But it doesn’t stop there. This is just the beginning. Your bank account may be getting a bit bigger but so are the responsibilities that are about to be splattered on your plate. Here’s five things to expect after you receive the great news.

1. More responsibilities:
Like Peter Parker said: “With more power comes great responsibility” which is essentially what your new role will be about. You get more power but you’ll also have a lot more to deal with as you move higher in the ranks. Expect more tasks and other job-related issues (good and bad) that will come your way. It could be managing a group of employees, training new employees, being part of the hiring process for the company or leading morning meetings.

2. Pay attention to detail:
You’re supposed to do this even if you’re in an entry level position. However, if something goes wrong, you’re the one to blame first before anyone else. Like we mentioned earlier, you’ll be getting more responsibilities so make sure you’re on top of everything. Your boss promoted you for a reason because he trusts that you’re up for bigger tasks – don’t let him/her down!

3. Ease into your new role:
Don’t go on a power-trip right off the bat and start bossing everyone around. Be humble, introduce yourself to other managers/leaders and the people you’ll be working with and ask questions. Get to know everyone and your role by asking about ways to do/deal with certain tasks or situations. Get a brief summary of what your daily job duties will be like and figure out how to handle them. You’ll find the transition a lot easier.

4. Set long-term goals and never stop moving up
Just like every blog entry we have on this site, we are constantly preaching success and rising to the top. After your promotion, think about what you want to achieve in your new position and work towards it. It might not be the best idea to gun for another promotion right away, but you can tell yourself that you plan to be promoted again in the next year or in a few years. Set goals daily, weekly and monthly to help yourself work towards moving as high as you can in the company.

5. Relationships with your peers will change:
Whatever your role is, it’s best to keep some distance between you and others who you have authority over. This is how you keep things professional and it will be a lot easier to manage others whom you don’t have a personal relationship with. It will also allow you to set a good example for everyone else.

Also check out:
3 Keys to Success if You Want to Move Up

 

Tip Tuesday: Grads, bring down your ego

In this day and age, it’s usually the norm to have either a university degree or college diploma. Because of this, many recent grads in the past years feel entitled to secure a job in their field right after or a few months after graduation. And when they aren’t able to, they blame the poor job market and the economy and start feeling unmotivated with their job search and life in general.

If you’re guilty of that, bring your ego down a bit! If you look at the very successful people, they all started from the bottom and most hopped from random job to random job. Stepping it down a notch and getting any job after graduation while looking for the right job will keep you from feeling negative and blaming the economy. You’ll also build character, learn to budget, meet new people (possibly connections to another job closer to your filed) and most importantly, real life work experience.

 

How to Be Confident in Job Interviews

Job interview jitters – we all get them no matter how many times we’ve done them. The shaking, sweaty palms, stuttering and forgetting all the answers that you worked so hard to prepare for. But here’s the trick to make a long, lasting impression even if you’re shaking in your boots. Look confident on the outside and know how to hide your nervousness.

1) Arrive early to the interview
Get there 10 to 15 minutes before your interview starts so you have time to calm your nerves and soak in the atmosphere. If you arrive right on time, you’ll be disheveled and before you know it, you’re in front of the interviewer before having the chance to practice the interview questions. That 10 to 15 minutes of your life could be the game changer in your confidence during the job interview.

2) Make eye contact with the interviewer
Looking at the person while talking shows confidence in many different ways. It shows that you are confident with yourself, the things you are talking about and the overall situation. Like we mentioned earlier, you don’t have to feel confident, but you have to look confident. Make eye contact and throw in a couple smiles here and there to hide how nervous you really are.

3) Pause. Collect your thoughts
Sometimes when people get nervous they tend to speak faster and ramble on. To avoid this, use a few seconds to think about your answer after the interviewer asks the question. Pause between sentences to collect your thoughts if you have to. It’s ok to take your time to answer the question. Hiring managers are human too and don’t you want a well, thought out answers instead of something that doesn’t make any sense?

4) Pretend you’re trying to get to know the other person
This is easier said than done, but pretend it’s not an interview and just a casual conversation between you and someone you’re getting to know. This will ease your mind and take the pressure off. Get the fact that it’s a job interview out of your head (but still remain professional).