Tag: career management

The Uncommon Commodity, The Common Sense Guide for New Managers


One of my favorite clients just released this wonderful book titled: The Uncommon Commodity, The Common Sense Guide for New Managers. Chock full of great insights and tips! Learn more and grab your copy here:  http://www.amazon.com/Doug-Thorpe/e/B01I7ABQC0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1


5 Reasons You Need to Be on LinkedIn Even When You Have a Job


Great article here from the ladders – tips on how to use LinkedIn. Very appropriate for executives – I especially love the tip about recruiters– this is spot on information in my professional opinion!

Read more here: 



Executive Career Management: 3 Tips for Creating Mini-Celebrity Status in Your Industry

celebrityWhy should you care about creating mini-celebrity status when it comes to your executive career? Because self-marketing in your area of expertise can have multiple career benefits for you including:

  1. Potential exposure to future executive “dream” positions – they contact YOU!
  2. Establishment as an expert in your industry
  3. Widening your network
  4. More ability to garner positive references and testimonials
  5. More control over who you work with and how you work

Certain aspects of this list will stand out as meaningful to different people. The real point is, managing your career gives you options you may not have had otherwise.

So where do you start? Here are three quick and easy tips:

Tip #1: Get a Platform

It’s easy to create a platform to express your opinion and ideas in your area of interest or industry by starting your own blog. WordPress.com is free and setup is easy, even if you are like me and not technical.

Another option is to utilize LinkedIn Publisher (connect with me!). LinkedIn is a business-oriented networking site, so it’s perfect for sharing industry news, insights and expertise. You can also use Groups to answer questions other business people are asking on various topics. A quick way to establish your credibility!

For more on utilizing LinkedIn, check out my blog article, LinkedIn for Executives: Tips VPs to CXOs MUST KNOW to Leverage the Power of LinkedIn.

Tip #2: Rub Shoulders with High Performers in Your Industry

Get involved in a corporate volunteer group or industry association. These are two wonderful portals filled with people that care deeply about industries and issues – just like you! Not only will this broaden your networking circle but it will keep you growing in your career.

And remember, if you attend an industry luncheon to listen to a great speaker, introduce yourself to him or her after their presentation. Give them your business card as well – and gulp, ask for theirs! It’s the little things you do as you “put yourself out there” to be open to new opportunities, friendships and possibilities that will pay off in the long run.

Tip #3: Grow Your Knowledge Base

What was the last certification you received? How about ongoing training?

I recommend making sure that each year you commit to 2-3 actions that will result in learning a new tool for your trade. How about starting with that one training, certification or learning experience that has been in the back of your mind to master! You know the one I’m talking about. And check with your employer’s ongoing education benefits to find out if your training might be a covered expense.

Bonus Tip: More Social Networking

Remember that LinkedIn’s not the only game in town when it comes to establishing thought leadership and broadening your network. For quick and tangible insights on the top 3 social networks for job seekers, check out 25 Career Experts Reveal Their Top Social Networks for Job Seekers.

Establishing mini-celebrity status doesn’t mean you have a gigantic ego. It’s simply a wise business move that opens doors of possibility for you. You will be amazed how putting these simple tips into action will quickly change up your career status!

How to Get (and Stay!) Motivated to Accomplish Your Job Search Goals

motivate-cloud2Let’s face it: Sometimes a job search can be a tiring and depressing process!

It’s one of the most challenging things we do as professionals, so it makes a lot of sense to invest in your career by gaining knowledge about how to do it right.

What is the right way? A job search should look like this:

  • It should start with a crystal clear plan, so you always know where you are going. You figure out your end game, then work backwards. This helps you to know what opportunities to take full advantage of and which ones to let go.
  • It should get you multiple high-quality interviews with companies that you like.
  • It should leads to a great offer or offers!

The more of these components you have in your job search, the more you will minimize drains in energy and enthusiasm as well as feelings of depression.

Here are several tips that help my clients get and stay motivated throughout their job search.

Hire a Career Coach or Resume Writer (or Someone Who is Both!)

You will generally get your money back or make money when you invest in an expert who is adept at taking professionals safely and smoothly through the job search maze to a successful outcome! Having a professionally written resume that clearly speaks to your market results in more interviews, bigger job offers and ensures you get the quality of position that you deserve.

As a professional resume writer and business owner, I too, have a business coach AND a mastermind group that help me to achieve my goals. It works. Try it.

Note: Make sure that you hire someone who has a professional resume and/or coaching certification through an established and trusted association such as Career Directors International or Career Management Alliance.

Create a Job Search “Schedule” and Stick to It!

You don’t want to spend your creative energies figuring out what you are going to do each day in your job search. Make it so you don’t have spend time thinking about it, but rather approach your tasks mechanically. It takes the emotion out of the process and gives you workable goals for each day.

Plan your schedule out a week in advance. Block out the times and dates and list a SINGLE MAIN GOAL for each day. This is called activity batching and it is a proven way to get more done faster. It will help you achieve super-productivity, I promise!

Your single goal for that day might be to invite X number of new connections on LinkedIn, call 10 recruiters, or conduct industry growth research. Keep it simple and automate as much activity as you can so information comes to you – not the other way around. This is easy when you use news and job alerts.

Focus on the Task

When searches get “scary” – meaning, when you find yourself in those places where you are really pushed way out of your comfort zone – it can be tempting to stop and avoid those places all together.

Examples of this include networking or calling a company decision maker for the first time. My tip: rather than focus on the fear, focus on the tasks of your day and don’t think beyond them!

Whatever happens will unfold daily. You will have very positive experiences, neutral experiences and perhaps negative experiences. It is a normal part of the search process and this simple technique will help you to keep a healthy perspective through it all.

Do What You Enjoy First

Why not concentrate on those areas you love first?

Maybe it’s research, writing or perhaps you are one of those gregarious people who enjoy and quickly see the benefits of networking. Do what you enjoy first and then do what just lightly takes you out of your comfort zone next.

Save those tasks that really push you out of your comfort zone for specific times during the week (not every day). You will find yourself more balanced and achieving more results using this common sense method.

These few tips are time-tested by over 4000 of my clients and I can tell you assuredly, they DO work!

Now is the perfect time to get motivated and move forward towards your dream job, armed with the knowledge of how to avoid many of the pitfalls so common in a job search.

Your Career as an Investment

Taking control of your career trajectory is a trend that is becoming more prevalent with each year. But how exactly do we “take more control” of our career? The answer is: the same way businesses take control of their growth and profitability.

Many of us spend a considerable amount of money on education in our specialty. We attend classes to obtain certifications, or business schools for advanced degrees, all in an effort to rise to the fullness of our potential, make ourselves more “viable,” maximize our income, and hopefully secure positions that we enjoy.

Most agree that investing in education will pay off – and even investing in our personal appearance, such as purchasing an expensive suit, can offer payback – but many professionals stop there, thinking that job search coaching or investing in a new resume is “an additional expense they cannot afford.”

Unfortunately, those who think this way end up holding themselves back as they fail to make the mental shift from “expense” to “investment” and completely miss looking at their career ROI.

I often hear executives say, “I have never had to look for a position before because they have always come to me,” or, “I have never needed a resume before.” Understandably these executives have yet to experience the multifaceted benefits of having really powerful marketing materials professionally developed for them – and even though the fact that they are sought after validates their uniqueness and market viability, when it comes down to it, they are still making decisions about their career moves one opportunity at a time – and this is not a leveraged or controlled job search.

Thus they venture out into the market for the first time, and after several months of frustration, finally call someone like me.

The truth is, no executive really has to go through those agonizing months of trying to figure out what is working in today’s job market. All they need is access to the right information. And the willingness to embrace that there are marketing investments that can and should be made that yield impressive returns.

The bottom line? Where a business may spend 20% annually on marketing, individuals should be prepared to at least invest 1% to 4% of their annual salary every 3-6 years in their marketing efforts.

And what do executives get for that? Each case is different, but shorter job searches and significant increased earnings for the “prepared and educated” executive are just two of the major benefits. Less frustration, more control, and thus more energy and enthusiasm to perform well in interviews they really wanted, are additional bonuses.

A top US-based construction executive recently came to me after sending his resume out for 6 months. Being one of the best in his field with an exceptional reputation, he didn’t put any energy into making his resume look good or telling the story of his success – it was basically just a list of companies he had worked for. Honestly, I think he may have been a little offended that he was ignored by the people that should have been fortunate to interview him, and ticked off he had to “spend money” on a resume and LinkedIn profile (my words not his).

But not two weeks after completing his resume, he had four interviews and two offers on the table – one represented a 20k raise and the second a 70k raise over what he was previously making. It was then that he made the shift in thinking from “expense” to “investment” and understood that he basically just “profited” 69k on his 1k career investment.

It is often said that 7 out of 10 small businesses fail in the first 3 years and I would bet money that those businesses that survive have a solid understanding of Marketing 101 and invest accordingly. Job seekers today need to realize that to step up and play big requires an investment in their marketing – in addition to academic and other professional expenditures that help with career optimization.

Professionally designed resumes, value proposition letters, LinkedIn profiles and job search coaching pays off!

Join me June 18th for my first ever CAREER POWER STRATEGY Session!

Empower your career and your life with the most cutting edge strategies to take your career to the next level, maximize your salary and multiply your interviews and offers with my new…

Career Power Strategy Sessions: How to Land a Job Using LinkedIn

Would you like to learn the secrets to using LinkedIn to land interviews and offers?

Tuesday, June 18th, I am hosting a special 45-minute teleseminar titled, “How to Land a Job Using LinkedIn.”

This is the same information I teach in my one-on-one private coaching sessions! You will learn how to:

  • Set up your profile to easily triple your weekly visitor rate and attract the right decision makers, recruiters, and companies to your profile.
  • Optimize your profile with the right keywords for a passive or active job search.
  • Avoid tipping off your current company that you may be in a job search.
  • Unlock the secret to attracting the attention of recruiters.
  • Get amazing recommendations discreetly and effortlessly.
  • Organize your settings and create a vanity link.
  • Create content, including format and tense, and why you should never just cut and paste your resume into your profile.
  • Effortlessly establish yourself as a thought leader using this one amazing LinkedIn feature.
  • I will personally answer YOUR specific questions about LinkedIn too!

And for the first time ever, I am excited to introduce a very special method to get access to this vital information.

The suggested price for this call (and I won’t be upselling or holding anything back) is $79. But the amount you invest in this powerful knowledge – before or after the call – is up to you.

This means if you are in a long job search and you could really use my help, you can jump on the call for free; or contribute whatever amount you wish.

I have wanted to try this for a long time because it aligns with my heart-centered approach to your success.

To sign up for the call, just follow this link, and I will send you a receipt and instructions for getting on the call:


If you have specific questions about LinkedIn, I will answer them personally at the end of the call! Email your LinkedIn questions prior to the event to me at: maryelizabeth@maryelizabethbradford.com.

This teleseminar will be recorded and an audio file and transcription of the session will be sent to you via email following the event – so there is no pressure to be on the live call.

Hate Your Job? Survival Skills 101

I won’t name names, but I would like to share a little story with you about a past company I used to work for. The conditions were almost unbearable and although I was planning my escape and had my dream job in sight, it took about a year for me to make the transition. Sparing you the real grizzly details, I will simply say this was a company who did not believe in supporting their employees (financially or otherwise) and I had a passive-aggressive female boss who had made me her special science project.


I won’t say it was easy to deal with this unsavory situation but I got through it and really celebrated and appreciated finally being free when I left!


The following are a few mistakes I have seen professionals make in similar situations and some solutions for circumventing them and getting through a tough job:


Mistake #1: Quit Before You Have Another Job

Quitting will give you immediate relief but that feeling soon looses its luster and is replaced with a nagging anxiety to find a job. Also included in this is potential bad blood with your last employer (affecting strong references), money worries, potential loss of negotiating power (you generally have more negotiating power when you are currently employed) and something often overlooked until you are actually experiencing it, its harder to confidently express yourself to a potential new employer when you are  unemployed.


So make a plan to transition – start working on your career goals, your resume then start your search. If it’s at all possible, do anything but quit!


Mistake #2: Have It Out With Your Boss

I had wonderful daydreams of really giving my old boss a piece of my mind….and I had every reason to believe she deserved it. In my reasoning, someone had to advocate for truth, justice and liberation from tyranny! But, in retrospect, I am glad I held my tongue. My superiors should have seen and acted on this bad behavior and if they wouldn’t, then nothing I could say would have changed them or her. The only thing that would have happened is a string of negative circumstances.


So here is what I did: I avoided her and anyone else who vexed me as much as humanly possible. This allowed me some temporary relief and let me focus on doing my job.


By avoiding those that bother you, the eyebrows your elusiveness might raise will be a small price to pay for a job you are not planning on staying in anyway and it’s better than a hairy confrontation that may haunt you – right as you may be.


Mistake #3: Badmouth Your Employer

Getting yourself all worked up talking to coworkers and others about your companies shortcomings might feel good in some respects but it very well may come back to bite you, get back to your boss and even tarnish your own reputation. Personally I even considered writing a letter to the president of the company after I quite my “hated” job – partly because I had been dealing with the $%^@# for so long I wanted to share what was really going on with him and partly because I felt it was necessary for him to know. In the end I wrote him – but it was a thank you note.


Again, I held my tongue because little good could have come from my negative letter. What is not heard through productive communication certainly won’t be heard through anger and frustration.


So, what helped me? I made a list of all the GOOD things about the company and the benefits of the job – and I tried to concentrate on those positives. I confess I was amazed at how long this list became! All those points just became harder to see and appreciate through the bad times.


Almost all of us have dealt with less-than-desirable jobs. Just like the saying goes – you can’t change others but you can change yourself. You will feel empowered through having “survived” the situation and through the nobility you will experience when you take the higher road.


What Motivates Companies to Hire You?

Knowing what triggers a company’s interest and quickly motivates them to sit up and take notice of you is powerful knowledge that you can use over and over again. Each situation is different of course, but the general practices behind them are the same. Here are several motivators that will increase a company’s interest in you:

Motivator #1: You Can Solve a Problem They Have

Perhaps you read about it in a job ad or in a news article. No matter where you gained your insight, a company that has a challenge will appreciate your attention to it and willingness to be either a part of the solution or THE solution!

Motivator #2: You Have Little, If Any, Competition

Don’t wait for a job ad to post on a major job board before you connect with your companies of choice!

Connect with a decision-maker (not human resources) and express your interest and qualifications. Companies ALWAYS have a need for talented people across all departments, so why wait when responding to a job board ad means competing with hundreds of other resumes? Compound that by the fact that over 80% of jobs aren’t even advertised and there’s ample opportunity to limit your competition!

Motivator #3: You Have a REALLY Impressive Resume

This is where hiring a resume writer really pays off. One of my clients told me he landed a great interview in a new industry he was targeting. When he got there, the first thing the interviewer told him was, “I just had to meet the man behind this resume!” Needless to say, the interview went very well and he got the job!

A compelling resume is just one component of a successful job search, but it is a powerful tool to “prime” your interviewer by impressing them with a resume that builds the excitement of meeting you!

Motivator #4: You Are Enthusiastic

You will score BIG BIG POINTS if during your interview you find an opportune time to say “I am really impressed with your company and I can definitely see myself working here,” “I am really excited about this position,” or even, “I want this job!” Just think about it, would you want to hire someone who didn’t want to work with you? Of course not!

Motivator #5: You Are Positive

There is no deal breaker like a string of negative questions and answers. People that are critical thinkers have to be especially careful about coming off as too quiet or too talkative in interviews (my engineering, technology and finance friends – you know who you are ☺️ ).

You don’t have to be something that you are not, but do take a little time to prepare for your interviews by putting a special focus on the positive responses you can give. PLUS (and this is a big plus) make sure to use stories about your accomplishments! Critical thinkers and introverts can display their brilliance and aptitude just as easily as outgoing people, as long as they take the time to prepare for their interviews.

These are simple, yet tried and true techniques that are easy to overlook but pay off in more generous offers – if you take the time to incorporate them into your job search strategy!

Three Ways You Can Protect Your Job in Times of Economic Uncertainty


Are you looking for positive and tangible ways to increase your real and perceived value to your current company? If so, congratulations on your wise decision! Increasing your value can help avoid layoffs and job instability. It can also serve you in terms of excellent job reviews and potential salary increases.


Not only will your focus pay off in real time, but also in the future! If you love your job and want to protect it, here are 3 easy tips that you can take action on right now, for increasing your value:


Tip One: track your accomplishments

Do you ever catch yourself feeling like your boss should just be making mental notes of every accomplishment you make? Avoid making this potentially costly mistake simply by making a note of each of your accomplishments in real time, When your annual job review comes up you can present your employer with a list of challenges and what action you took. They will love it and appreciate your focus of attention.


You can then repurpose your list through updating your resume with lots of quantifiable accomplishments you may have missed by not writing them down! Don’t be tempted to overlook what you may see as small accomplishments that “are just part of your job.”  Often what you see as mundane others see as marked improvements and demonstrations of your skills.  Trust me on this one!


Tip Two: take on projects

Asking your employer for additional projects in areas you excel is an excellent way to demonstrate additional value into your position. Taking on a volunteer effort, being a part of a research or innovation committee or involvement in a special task force – lets say to “green up” next years operations, are valuable contributions and also serve to keep you motivated and challenged. It may even inspire a renewed enthusiasm for your company or position. You may be surprised on this one!


What if you are “too busy” to take on any additional work? Well, many professionals feel this way initially. However I would challenge you to look at how you are spending your time and see if you can find one thing you can give to someone else to manage in order to free up your time to do something where professionally, you stand to bring more value. Examples of this include administrative duties and repeat managerial or operational tasks that other support members of your team could take on as an additional personal challenge for them.


Tip Three: provide solutions

You know that glaring problem or issue in your company that keeps getting ignored either because it’s too large or too small for anyone to take care of right now? Proactively provide solutions to gain additional visibility by providing tangible value and demonstrating your positive initiative. Make sure when you present your idea; to present it to more than one person (3 or more is best) and just give enough information initially to garner some real interest. Don’t worry if initially you don’t have all the answers. That’s what teams are for! Progress towards active and positive change should be the goal – not perfection.


Using these simple steps will help you plan and achieve your goals faster and easier as well as increasing the value you bring to your company! 


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