Developing Warrior Like Mental Toughness — 11 Easy Steps: Guest Article by Tim Denning

Success in any pursuit requires a mentally tough mind. You can have all the resources, but if your mind is a mess, you will fail. I’ve become obsessed with the mind and have tried everything to stack the odds in my favor.
I’ve spent four years training my brain every day to make it see what I want it to see. What do I want my brain to see and hopefully yours too? All the abundance, positivity, and happiness in this world. I want to have less negative thoughts and be driven by my higher self rather than by fear.

No longer do I want the traditional media outlets to poison my brain with their bad news dopamine hits. I’ve made a pact never to be defeated by any event in my life no matter how tragic or horrible it may seem. Deep down, you want the same thing as me, and that requires mental toughness.
It’s time to become like an ancient warrior. It’s time to build resilience that will help you get through even the coldest winter. It’s time to take the game of life to the next level and learn the hidden superpower that is a warrior like mental toughness. Are you with me soldier?

***It’s all about discipline
Mental toughness boils down to one thing: discipline. You can make any change you want to your mindset and the way you think, with discipline. Discipline is about not letting the small stuff topple over your tower of happiness.
To have an abundance of mental toughness you have to make a decision. That decision is that you have to decide to be in control. That means not letting events control you but making sure that you decide what those events mean for yourself.

Apart from a decision, mental toughness is about practice. It’s about becoming conscious of your thoughts and then getting the best out of them.
“Fear is our default programming, so if we don’t use discipline to stay in control, then we will fall to the lowest common denominator: negative thoughts, fuelled by either anxiety or depression”
Discipline is about no longer settling for second best. It’s about choosing to make the right decisions which you already intuitively know the answer to. You know you should work before play, eat healthy, exercise, do what you love, and treat people with love and kindness.
You know all of these things, yet you don’t do them when you lack discipline. The best way to always come from a state of discipline is to tie it to your purpose. You need to have a life quest that is more important than anything else in your life.
Then, when you have a decision to make that requires discipline, remind yourself of your purpose, and tell your brain that you will fail at your purpose if you are not disciplined.
By linking the outcome of your purpose to discipline, you rewire your brain to make the best decisions for you. It gives you leverage over your brain to rig the game in your favor.

Here are the 11 easy steps to develop mental toughness:
1. Go one step further
Mental toughness can be developed by going one step further than you believe is possible. If you can currently do 10 chin-ups, try next time for eleven.
If you currently drink two liters of water a day try two and a half tomorrow. If you are doing 8000 steps a day, try 8500 tomorrow. The secret is to go one small step beyond what you mentally believe you can do.
Each day, keep taking another small step, and before you know it, you’ll be progressing further towards your goals that you ever have before.

2. Convince yourself things will go wrong
If you need to prepare for a big goal or event, then you can become mentally tough by telling yourself right from the start that stuff will go wrong. Instead of hoping for everything to be perfect, hope for everything to be mostly good and know that at least one thing will go wrong.
Perfection is a quick way to destroy your mental toughness because nothing is ever exactly how we want it to be. Perfection is how we sabotage our success and veer off track from our goals. Expect a bit of failure in everything you do and then if you get none, you’ll be even happier with yourself.

3. Sleep on negative emotions
So everything goes to hell and hits the fan. That’s cool. As the negative emotions build up in your mind, tell yourself you are going to let them all out except with one catch: sleep on them and commit to doing it tomorrow.
This little hack allows you to become mentally tough because it delays your negative emotional reaction to any circumstance in your life. Rather than getting caught up in the moment, you delay reacting till later. Chances are, if you’re like me, by the time you wake up the next day, the impact of those negative emotions has subsided.

4. Always see Mr. Brightside
When tragedy strikes (and it will), commit to finding at least one thing that’s good about it. Before spending even a second on the negative side, I want you to find at least one positive thought about the situation. It can be as small as you like as long as it’s positive.

By starting with the positive, you develop the mental toughness to find our friend Mr. Brightside in everything that happens. Prioritize positive thoughts, and do your best to make negative thoughts secondary in terms of priority. You won’t always win at this game, but that’s okay. We’re not looking for perfection remember?

5. Focus on a goal, not a dream
One of the attributes of mental toughness is focus. It’s diverting all your mental energy towards one thing and being tough enough not to give up. What I learned from Tim Ferris’s podcast is that if you want to be mentally tough at something, you must make this task a goal, not a dream.
A goal is clearly articulated, has planning involved, comes with a deadline, and typically has some accountability from someone other than you. A dream is a nice to have, but it’s much vaguer. The brain needs things to be told to it in a clear manner and for it to be very specific in order to enable your mental toughness, focus your thoughts, and force you never to give up and execute on your plan.

6. Are you okay with pain?
You can’t be mentally tough without experiencing pain full stop. Pain is guaranteed if you want to be mentally tough; whether you suffer from that pain is your choice.
If you’re going to stay in your womb of a comfort zone and refuse to have any pain, then pal, you’re not going to be mentally tough, successful, wealthy and probably happy either. Being mentally tough is your choice!

7. Break the comfort zone regularly
I live in freezing cold Melbourne, Australia. There’s nothing better than having a nice warm shower every morning to wake me up and make me feel comfortable. WRONG!
To develop my mental toughness I’ve decided to start taking cold showers. That’s right, I blast myself with freezing cold water every day to program my mind to be uncomfortable at least once a day. Slowly but surely, my mind and my body are starting to get used to the discomfort.
It’s these small habits of discomfort that give you the warrior-like way of thinking that can help you succeed in even the most impossible endeavors.

8. The brain only has no much fuel
What sabotages our mental toughness is our brains mental energy. Just like a car, we only have so much fuel before we’re running on empty. The quickest way to lose your mental toughness is to waste your brains fuel on problems that you can’t solve, or negative thoughts that don’t serve you.
Negative thoughts consume twice the brain fuel and give you zero progress towards your goals. Every time you react to a situation, you’re also wasting mental fuel. If that situation doesn’t serve you (like beeping your horn at a motorist), then do what is hard at the start and become more disciplined.
Use your mental energy to inspire you and propel you forward. You’re not stupid, and you know what thoughts serve you, and what thoughts do not. If you find yourself always drowning in negative thoughts and running on empty then maybe it’s the people around you.
Recalibrate your mind, refuel your mind, and practice some personal development. Feed your mind through books and seminars. Give your mind the nutrients it needs through fresh fruit and vegetables or my favorite, a green juice.

9. Prepare the mind
Practicing your craft allows you to be mentally tough in the moment. When you’ve done the same thing over and over, you’re less likely to fail (this is so obvious I shouldn’t even have to say it).
When I’m preparing for a speech, I read it dozens of times. By the time speech day comes, I feel mentally tough because my mind is prepared and knows what it has to do.
The mind becomes weak when it’s required to perform at an extraordinary level and has never had to endure this type of struggle before. Think of it like this: you’d build the muscle first before you entered a weightlifting competition wouldn’t you? The mind is no different.

10. Limit distractions
The quickest way to lose your mental toughness is to become at the mercy of distractions. I’m talking about technology. You can’t be mentally tough when your phone keeps ringing, buzzing, or flashing. Turn the freaking social media notifications off, and sit down and work on your craft in a focused, mindful, silence.
11. Believe you can win
Mentally tough champions think slightly different; they show up to any competition or task with the belief that they can win. You can have all the positive thoughts in the world, but if you don’t believe you have it in you to win, then you’re going to flunk out of the race.

“Believing you can win is more crucial than how you perform on the day”

It’s your mentally strong mind that can push through the inevitable pain to get you where you want to go. If every other part of you is prepared to achieve the impossible and your mind isn’t, again, you will fail at your goal. How do you practice becoming a mentally tough startup/company?????

The #1 Productivity Factor That Matters: Richard Howes, Guest Contributor

The Answer

Momentum.

There, I said it. Article done. Whew! That was deep and valuable. You’re welcome 😉

What? You want evidence and an explanation? OK. Fine. You’re a pushy bunch you folks who are continuously driving for improved productivity. I’ll pause my own momentum briefly to explain.

The Fix (for those too lazy to read the full article)

Start.

I’m a genius as this productivity and motivation stuff!

The short answer is that when you’re stuck and procrastination has got you paralysed, just start. It can be the tiniest teeniest of starts, but starting is absolutely the key.

Then keep going. That’s how you build momentum — the glorious secret to productivity.

If you can’t get motivated to get fit, then get a 7-minute workout programme and do that. Too lazy for 7 minutes of hard slog? Do as many pushups as you can and call it a day. Every day.

Been dreaming of becoming a writer since 1984? Create a working document, give it a title, work on it for five minutes a day. Every day.

The point is to start. And then to build momentum — that’s the ‘Every day’part.

Momentum.

TL;DR

I was once asked the following question by a staff member:

“What do you do when you get ‘stuck’ and you can’t get started on something important?”

Good question. Like most people, I have struggled with procrastination most of my life. Some people have considered me lazy (as have I on many an occasion). Those people have included teachers, colleagues, bosses, clients, my children, and my long loooooooong suffering lover (my wife of 22 years actually, but neither she nor I ever liked the conventional term ‘wife’).

I don’t agree. In fact, I am a believer in ‘The Laziness Myth” as articulated by Mike Sturm here, and Psychology Today here. Google “laziness myth” and you’ll get 898k results. Read them, summarise, and let me know what you think — unless you’re too lazy ;).

If I know how to do something, it interests me, and I have a belief that I can complete whatever it is, then I am as hardworking and motivated as anyone. During my school days when I frustrated the life out of teachers who knew I was smart but couldn’t get me to apply myself for love or money, I could work 50 hours straight on teaching myself programming on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum. You couldn’t tear me away from that thing.

I love reading, something considered a chore by many people. I can get so engrossed I read non-stop for days. My parents used to complain about having to shuttle me to the library regularly and coming to the dinner table with my book attached to the end of my nose. Not exactly a strenuous activity but I know people who claim to be ‘too lazy’ to read. I just think they don’t like reading or have been conditioned by schooling to see reading as a chore.

Get me on a tennis or squash court and I will play harder and longer than anyone. I don’t know the meaning of ‘enough’ or ‘I’m too tired’. Sound like a lazy person? I didn’t think so.

Same when I get into bed with my gorgeous w̶i̶f̶e̶ lover. I am never ‘too tired’ no matter how stressful or busy my day has been. And when we start to…. “What Babe? Nothing. Just writing a Medium article.” Anyway…

And yet procrastination and poor delivery have made my life more difficult and less successful than it could have been. By orders of magnitude.

My answer to that staff member of mine?

“Start. Then do a tiny bit. Every day. Momentum!”

You’ll have made a huge dent in that impossibly daunting task before you know it. The alternative is that in days or weeks from now you will still be lamenting your procrastination when you could have been way ahead with minimal but consistent effort. Momentum.

Example: Becoming a Writer

Take that ‘become a writer’ dream many of us have. The key to success is so simple it defies belief, yet so many of us dream of becoming a writer. Writers write. So write.

Some days you will only write for five minutes. Other days you may get on a role and write for five hours. Point is, if you started when you first dreamed of becoming a writer, and wrote for 5 or more minutes every day, you’d be a writer now. For some of us, with hundreds of thousands or millions of words in prose. Somewhere.

Another example: Becoming a Programmer/Coder/Software Engineer

My son says he wants to be a programmer (as we called them when I became one). I’ve bought and provided courses, offered to teach him, tried to cajole him into some kind of programming project we can do together. I’ve enticed him with the idea of developing a WhatsApp messaging clone only he and his friends will have for secret comms between themselves. Should be enticing to a teenager right?

Nothing. Nada.

Eventually at dinner, after being asked again about how he can get the necessary skills I started with the ‘coding courses on Udemy, the secret app idea, I’ll help you…’ and other tried and t̶e̶s̶t̶e̶d̶ failed strategies until I suddenly had the real answer.

Coders code. So write code.

And if you can’t get yourself to do that then there is only two likely answers: you don’t really want to be a coder, or you don’t believe it’s an achievable goal. If it’s the first then I have bad news — never going to happen. If it’s the latter then let me say it again:

“Start. Then do a tiny bit. Every day. Momentum!”

5 Truths You Must Accept Before You Can Grow: Ayodeji Awosika

Hard but essential pills to swallow in order to become your best-self

Ambitious people are a dime a dozen. Most people doubt themselves. All of us — in some shape or form — are stuck in la la land.

One of the most difficult yet useful skills is the ability to balance your aspirations with reality. A pessimist and an idealist both miss the point.

The point is to have optimism about your future but look at the state of society, your environment, and your circumstances without rose-colored glasses.

Many of these truths sit right under your nose. Intuitively you know they’re true, but facing them head-on means discomfort.

Success or failure in life comes from which type of discomfort you choose.

You can choose the discomfort of facing reality, making decisions to change, and having the difficult dialogue needed to do both.

You can also choose the discomfort of rationalizing your situation, lying to yourself, and making excuses.

The choice is yours. In my experience, and from what I’ve observed, taking the discomfort upfront can feel horrible in the short run but rewarding in the long run. Pushing it away with the avoidance of truth alleviates discomfort in the short term, but it always comes back and persists until you do something about it.

Take a look at the truths I’m about to share with you. Technically, they are my opinions. You’re free to disagree with them. Before you do, though, try to take a look at yourself and your situation honestly to determine whether you really disagree with me, or you’re just hiding.

The World Will Never Quit Poking You

Most [people] make the error of thinking that one day it will be done. They think, “If I can work enough, then one day I could rest.”Or, “I’m only doing this now so that one day I can do what I really want with my life.” The […] error is to think that eventually, things will be different in some fundamental way. They won’t. It never ends. As long as life continues, the creative challenge is to tussle, play, andmake love with the present moment while giving your unique gift. — David Deida

Have you ever felt like your circumstances were trying to break you?

Just when you’ve improved your finances, your car breaks down. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed, come to work to a nagging boss and go home to an indifferent spouse.

Every time you take a step forward, you take three back. Inevitably, just as you’re on the rise, something or someone tries to knock you down.

If only life would give you a little bit of a break, you tell yourself, you’d have enough energy to make an effort to become successful.

The Untold Truths of Success
And why hard work isn’t enough
medium.com

Deep down, you believe success provides an escape from life’s problems. You figure if you had enough income, freedom, and positive experiences in your life…the bullshit would stop.

It doesn’t and it never will.

In fact, when you push to do something outside of the box — start a business, write a book, become an artist, carve your own route — not only will things get worse before they get better, you’ll still have to work to maintain what you’ve achieved.

People of all walks of life have problems. Billionaires have problems, Hollywood actors, the Dalai Lama all have problems. Around every corner, just when you think you’ve won, life will find a way to see what you’re made of.

But there’s beauty in the struggle of life when you look at the right way. When life tests you, you get the chance to prove you’re resilient. One of the deepest levels of satisfaction comes from knowing how strong you are. Few memories are better than those of overcoming struggles, persisting, and absorbing pressure and turning it into fuel instead of letting it break you.

Realizing the world will constantly test you removes the element of surprise. When you find yourself in a bad spot, it feels doubly worse because you didn’t see it coming.

Know that life is preparing its next right hook, but as Jim Rohn said, “Don’t wish it was easier. Wish you were Better. Don’t wish for fewer problems. Wish for more skills.”

Our first reaction to pain and hardship — mine included — is to dwell on how much it sucks. A few of us, however, realize there’s an opportunity to be had.

It’s easy to say and difficult to do, but if you can learn how to transform pain into purpose you’ll feel a type of happiness that is ten times better than the feeling of having a life devoid of difficulties.

Maybe our purpose on this planet isn’t to feel good. Maybe we’ve been placed here to see what we’re made of.

Almost every time life tests you, you won’t want to find the opportunity in it. I never look positively at a challenge or hardship instantly, but after I’m done sulking, I look to take a step in a positive direction.

Try it. Over time, it works wonders.

Things Will Never be the Way They “Should” Be

“We unconsciously imprison ourselves to avoid our most primal fears. We choose Should because choosing Must is terrifying, incomprehensible.”- Elle Luna

Should — what a simultaneously dangerous and useless word.

People often use should in one of two ways — to give themselves an excuse for not doing something or for complaining about an unchangeable circumstance.

A perfect world doesn’t exist — the one without inequality, injustice, unfairness, superficial people, hate, greed, envy, lust, the list goes on.

Are you using the world to avoid living in reality?

Maybe you think you should be making more money. But you’re not, and believing you should make more isn’t going to change that. Finding a new job could change that. Improving your performance and negotiating a raise could change that.

Complaining definitely won’t.

Maybe you think you shouldn’t have to work twice as hard to achieve the same level of success as someone else. But what if you do have to work twice as hard? Are you going to wait for the scales of justice to even out? They won’t.

Again, you can complain if you want, but complaining isn’t a strategy. It doesn’t do anything.

The same energy you use to rail against the way life should or shouldn’t be could be used to improve your situation.

Should also become dangerous when you talk about the things you aspire to do. “I should start working out,” you tell yourself. “I should start working harder and being motivated.” The minute you use the word in your head or out loud, you’ve already lost. It gives you an out. You almost get a perverse satisfaction from thinking about doing something. It gives you the credit you don’t deserve yet.

Instead of talking about what you should do and the way the world should be, you’re better off doing.

Doers make change happen for themselves and for others. Doers don’t have time to think about what they should or shouldn’t do. They know what to do. If they don’t, they gather enough information to have an idea of what to do and act on it.

Ask yourself where the word should is causing harm in your life. Now, what are you going to do about it?

No One is Coming to Save You

“Sure, raise the minimum wage if you plan to stay there your entire life.” — Jim Rohn

When was the last time the government came to your rescue?

The answer is likely never. Yet we treat it like a savior or a demon when it’s neither. It’s a machine. An uncaring machine that’s completely self-interested. Regardless, we make our way to the voting booths to ensure our guy or girl wins.

Look at your own life. Has it changed dramatically between presidencies — not in terms of news coverage or your feelings about the president — but your actual life from day to day?

Are you waiting for an employer to save you with a raise or magically improving your work environment? If so, you might be waiting for a long time.

It’s easy to blame the government, your employer, or someone other than yourself for your woes. It’s easier to say wages should be higher than to try to become more valuable.

I’m not saying the institutions of society are fair. They’re definitely not. With the fleeting life you live, however, you don’t have time to wait for institutions to save you.

Odds are, you’ll have to lift yourself out of your circumstances. Will it be easy? Hell no. But you really don’t have a choice — not if you want to change your life.

Everything is Your Fault

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”-Theodore Roosevelt

I know what you’re thinking.

You were born poor, your parents didn’t treat you well, you have a disability, you have a funny accent, you live in the wrong city, you’re sick, your boss hates you, you have no money, you’re a disabled veteran, you’re black, you’re a woman, you’re gay, you’re trans.

You’re special. And because your circumstances are so unique, you couldn’t possibly be to blame for your failures.

Deep down we know we’re the common denominator of all our problems, but it’s hard to face. Why?

Because it means we’re the ones who have to change our situations. And if we don’t change our situations, we can only blame ourselves. Nobody wants to think they’re the only real barrier to their own success, happiness, and well-being. It’s easier to blame someone or something else.

And no, I don’t think you’re lazy, mediocre, or “don’t want it bad enough.” It’s genuinely difficult to take full ownership of your life. It can be uncomfortable or downright painful. The natural reaction is blaming someone other than yourself because your brain wants to protect you from harm and danger. But you can overcome these excuses.

You’re in control of your life.

Are you in control of what happens to you? No, but you’re in control of how you react to what happens to you.

You choose how to react to situations, maybe not fully and consciously, but choose nonetheless.

If you don’t take responsibility for your life, who will? I know how hard it is. Denial feels bad, but it hurts a little less than accepting the truth of your role in your own life.

If you go through the painful period of acceptance and get up from the floor, I promise greater things are ahead.

You’ll Never Find the Perfect Time Start

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Proverb

I remember the first time I told my wife I wanted to start writing.

“I think it would be really fun to have a blog and start writing,” I said.

“Well…why don’t you start writing then?” She replied.

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 17 years old. I didn’t start until I was 25. Maybe I was too immature to write anything of value until I’d lived a little, but I still wonder how much further along I could be now if I started earlier.

Did I make a declaration to become a writer, buy a typewriter, and lock myself in a room to write for hours? No.

I started with one blog post…and I’ve been writing nearly every day for years since. There’s power in starting. You don’t have to make a big deal out of starting a new project, just do it.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for the kids to grow older or move out so you can write that book?

Leo Tolstoy had 13 kids when he wrote War and Peace.

Are you waiting to have enough money to start your business?

If you have a good idea, there are various ways to start businesses at a low cost or find seed money. Oh, it’s hard to find seed money? Well, starting a business is hard. Deal with it.

All salesmen know the phrase “now isn’t the right time,” is a lie. There’s always a hidden objection behind the polite ones given such as lack of time, money, or ideal circumstances. The objection could be that the buyer doesn’t trust the seller, they don’t believe the product will deliver on its benefits, or they do believe in the product but not in themselves to get the most from it.

The way you self-talk is much like the relationship between a salesperson and a customer. You give yourself the polite out, but the truth is there’s a deeper objection.

What is it? You may not have even consciously thought of it yet. You really might believe in your own polite excuses. Until you dig deep to find the hidden reasons behind your behavior, you’ll never change. I talk about this process at length in my book.

We all have deeply embedded beliefs about ourselves and about the world we live in — business is “risky,” intelligence and talent are fixed traits, finding a secure job will make us happy, others are luckier than you are, rich people steal, you’re left or right brained and can’t cross over, being healthy means depriving yourself, you must own a home and have kids, men are evil, women are evil, the list goes on and on and on.

Many of these beliefs keep you from starting. You’re not a “numbers person” you tell yourself. Richard Branson has dyslexia and teachers labeled him learning disabled as a child — he’s a billionaire.

You think you can’t succeed because you’re ill or have a disability. Jon Morrow — a man who cannot move anything below his neck — owns a multi-million dollar blog with a viewership of millions per month.

I can find a counterexample to every excuse you have for not starting “x.”Rather than argue with me about it, why not just start?

Learn How to See

There’s a lot of noise in the world. A lot of b.s. You can find success by seeing through it all.

You can wait for the world to change into the ideal state you want it to be, or you can learn to navigate it.

The people we call successful, they can see — through the limits, society tries to place on people, through the cliches that aren’t true, through the joy-sucking prisons called institutions.

Can you see now?

I hope you decide to use the lens of truth to shape your decisions moving forward. It won’t feel good right away, but it will feel amazing when you look back at all you’ve done.

An Oldie But Goodie Guest Article by Jan Tegze: Recruitment Industry is Dying. Really?

Working as a recruiter is a job without any future prospects. The recruitment industry has an uncertain future because recruitment will die… soon. Recruiters will be replaced by Artificial intelligence (AI), clever algorithms will pair the right candidates with open roles and after interviews with AI, their profile will be sent by AI to the hiring manager. So the “middle man” (recruiter) will not be necessary any more. Hiring managers will open the new positions and AI will find the candidate, do the prescreening and invite them for the interview. The new sourcing tools, together with AI and algorithms, are going to make sourcers obsolete and together with recruiters, they will need to start looking for new jobs because the end of recruitment is near! Recruitment will die in 2018! And if not, then “Recruitment will die in 2019”…. And if not, 2020…. etc.
Oh wait, when did I hear a similar message before? Oh yes, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012….
Every year, some so-called experts that never worked in recruitment (as recruiters) or understand the recruitment industry are trying to bury recruitment and recruiters. These predictions are mostly written because they will get the author the attention they are looking for. Recruiters try to respond, because they believe it is a nonsense and candidates who hate recruiters will start posting supporting messages with something like “It’s about time”, but 99% of the articles I read during the years are not built on any relevant data or expertise. They are just based on wild guesses any amateur could make.
We don’t know the future at all, we can only make guesses. Those guesses might be educated guesses, but they are still guesses.
Predictions
Around year 2010, many predictions stated that job boards were dead or will be dead within two or three years and yet, they are still here and some of them turn into job aggregators adding new futures etc. They are adapting. And people in various industries are still using them to apply for jobs. Monster or Indeed are still here and they will be used for many more years.
Predicting the future is difficult, like weather forecasting. It hasn’t improved even though we have satellites, fast computers and enough data. Predictions may be good for a couple of days, but we are not able to predict the weather for next two months and be right about every day.
Many experts predicted Hillary Clinton will be the new president of the United States and that Brexit would never happen, that the UK will stay in the EU… etc. And guess what, they were wrong.
It’s the same as many predictions about “Recruitment will die in X” (replace X with any year you want.) Most of these articles are just clickbaits by people who don’t have deep knowledge about the recruitment industry. Yes, these articles are going to get your attention and they will try to force you to react, especially if you are a recruiter.
These predictions are the same predictions that anybody can give. Right now, my prediction is that we will discover life on planet KIC 8462852 in 2019. If I am wrong, you won’t remember it and will forget about this prediction, but if I am right I will post an article with title “I told you so”. But this prediction will just be a random guess supported by nothing specific.
All these predictions are almost the same as the predictions about the end of the world. Yes, it will make a catchy title “End of the world in 2018” but still nothing is going to happen. And if you are right in this prediction, well nobody will tell be able to tell you that you were right because nobody will be alive.
Recruitment is Not Going to Die
Recruitment is not going to die in 2018 or in any near future; it’s going to evolve. It’s still evolving almost every year and recruiters are adapting. Our industry is influenced by new technologies, like other industries. New technology improves our jobs, makes them easier and also brings new challenges. New sourcing tools help us to find contact details for candidates faster than before, but they don’t turn these candidates into new employees with one click.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will change our industry for sure, but we will adapt as always. Recruiter jobs scope will evolve and sourcers could change into data miners.
AI will have algorithms but they won’t be able to give a chance people to try at an interview because their algorithm will evaluate that that person will not have a chance. People hire people and many of us will get a chance to get a position that maybe we were not ready for yet or our resume doesn’t have the right keywords, but the recruiter, hiring manager etc. gives us the chance because they see something in us. They see that we don’t have the all the skills that are mentioned in the job description, but yet they see our potential and our willingness to learn.
In the end, people want to speak with people and not Al. Yes AIs will automate some tasks, but if everybody uses the same AI, they will only get some candidates and the person who is trying to find other ways and sources will have bigger advantage. Google indexes only 5% of the Internet, so where do you get the assurance that AI will index more?
You also need to consider the candidate’s experience. Yes, bad recruiters could ruin it too, but tell me: If you have two companies offering the same role to you and one offers you an interview with some AI and the second one with a live person what interview you will chose and which one will be more comfortable for you?
Recruitment is also about relationships and recruiters make great relationships with candidates and with hiring managers. If there is trust between the candidate and recruiter, the candidate will share his concerns about his current job and mention that he could be open to another interesting role. Good recruiters will try to keep this in mind and contact the candidate with a new role. If you replace recruiters with AI, are you sure that candidates will share the same thing also with AIs, “Hey, I am open to the role, but it’s confidential.” I am curious how effectively the AI will act with confidentiality, but I hope they will be better than Yahoo is at protecting their e-mail service against hackers.
Conclusion
The recruitment industry will not die in 2018 or any near future. Humans love connecting to other humans; they always have and most of them want to speak with live people. They want to share their story and explain their career choices, fill the gaps and share why they are the right people for the role. They want to get attention from recruiters if they are applying for a new job.
Our job is not only to find the candidate, but we also trying to convince the managers to give some candidates a shot and invite them for an onsite interview, even if the hiring manager doesn’t see the potential in the resume. We already spent time with candidates and understand their needs and wants, and we saw something else than just raw data on a resume. And we listen.
And if you are an author of these articles, instead of killing recruitment every year, try to learn more about it. It is often said there are two types of predictions… lucky or wrong. So if you are betting that the recruitment industry will die in 2018, you are betting on the wrong horse. The recruitment industry will be still here after 2018. Maybe it will slightly change every year, but it’s not going to die.
And if you are planning to kill the recruitment industry again in any of your future article, the years 2021–2025 are still available and nobody has used them yet.
If you believe data more than predictions, let’s take a look at the results of a quick search I did (January 23rd, 2017) on Indeed Worldwide Search. There could be an error in the search, but if there isn’t, it doesn’t look like recruiters are going to be without work any time soon.

If you are a recruiter who believes in these predictions and you are afraid of the future, I have good news for you. In some companies, recruitment is still stuck back in the year 2000. So even if the recruitment industry died in 2018, these companies would find out about it only in 2036, and so you still have enough time to get a job in one of those companies.

Weekly Guest Article:The Science of Developing Mental Toughness by James Clear


Guest Article by Benjamin Hardy: 21 Behaviors That Will Make You Brilliant at Creativity & Relationships

When you see things from multiple perspectives, you realize you can achieve almost anything you want in far less time than you imagined.

Yet most people have fixed and limited views about themselves and what they can accomplish.

They have fixed and limited views about the resources available to them.

They have fixed and limited views about time, and how long things must take to accomplish.

In this article, I squash all of those limiting perspectives and provide concrete strategies you can use to achieve your goals. There are no fixed limits.

Here’s how it works:


Core Principles

1. Set absurdly ambitious goals

“When 10x is your measuring stick, you immediately see how you can bypass what everyone else is doing.” — Dan Sullivan

Goals are most likely to be accomplished when:

  • They are intrinsically motivating. As Napoleon Hill explained in Think and Grow Rich“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
  • They must be difficult, or else they won’t be motivating.
  • They must be time-bound, to create a sense of urgency. Shorter timelines are one way to go 10x, since they force you to shed artificial constraints and think more creatively. As billionaire Peter Thiel is known to ask: “How can you achieve your ten-year plan in the next six months?”

As with all things in life, you get what you want. If you prefer to make excuses and justifications for a lack of progress, then just admit you prefer your current station in life. Self-acceptance can be a beautiful thing.

However, once you desire progress more than convenience, obstacles no longer stop but propel you. As the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius is famous for saying, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

2. Reframe subconscious patterns and get bold insights via auto-suggestion

“What is impressed in the subconscious is expressed.” — Dr. Joseph Murphy in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

While awake, your conscious and subconscious mind are often at odds with each other. For example, you’re trying to be positive, but your subconscious patterns simply won’t let you.

Yet, while transitioning from being awake to being asleep, your brain waves move from the active Beta state into Alpha and then Theta before eventually dropping into Delta as we sleep. It is during the Theta window that your mind is most receptive to reshaping your subconscious patterns. Hence, Thomas Edison is known for having said, “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”

As a result, just before you fall asleep, it is key to visualize and even vocally state what you are trying to accomplish. When you repeatedly state a desired goal, visualization is key because you want to have as emotional an experience as possible. You need to feel what it would be like to have what you seek.

You can absolutely trust that by planting these subconscious seeds, thoughts will pop up at you, often at random intervals. You need to record these thoughts throughout your day. The bigger the goal, the bolder will be the required action to attain it. The clearer your why, the more inspired will be your how.

If you’re serious, you’ll need to act immediately upon the impressions your subconscious is transmitting to your conscious mind. If you brush off these insights, you’ll get less and less of them. You’ll demonstrate to yourself and the source of your inspiration that you don’t really want the changes you claim to desire.

3. Learn and work in counterintuitive environments

1905 was Albert Einstein’s break-through year where he published four research articles, known as the Annus Mirabilis papers, which went on to substantially alter the foundation of modern physics and changed views on space, time, and matter.

Interestingly, when Einstein published these papers, he was not working in an academic setting, but rather at the Swiss Patent Office. His work in this counterintuitive work environment allowed him different reflective angles and questions than a typical physics lab.

As Elon Musk’s wife, Justine, has said:

“Choose one thing and become a master of it. Choose a second thing and become a master of that. When you become a master of two worlds (say, engineering and business), you can bring them together in a way that will a) introduce hot ideas to each other, so they can have idea sex and make idea babies that no one has seen before and b) create a competitive advantage because you can move between worlds, speak both languages, connect the tribes, mash the elements to spark fresh creative insight until you wake up with the epiphany that changes your life.”

When you work in a different context from the majority of people in your field, you can make distinct and unique connections. You can integrate and cross-pollinate different ideas. You can avoid dogmatic thinking and expectations. You can learn to integrate ideas from seemingly dissimilar fields.

4. Learn from counterintuitive resources

“What does following in the footsteps of everyone else get you? It gets you to exactly the same conclusions as everyone else.” — Ryan Holiday

As Holiday explains, if you read what everyone else is reading, you’ll think like everyone else thinks. If you think like everyone else thinks, you won’t be able to come up with anything unique.

Follow your curiosity. Chase down obscure leads. Find stuff that no one else has found. In this way, your work will be truly valuable to others.

5. Focus on the process (not results) of those who are succeeding big

“Success leaves clues.” — Jim Rohn

Focusing exclusively on results is one of the primary reasons the current academic system is broken. Kids are being taught to train for the test, rather than seeking novel and unique ways of doing things. No two kids are wired the same, nor should their contribution, creativity, and talent be viewed from the same standard.

When you want to develop expertise at something, rather than focusing on the results of those at the top of your field, study and emulate their process.

What are they doing?

Once you get process-oriented, as opposed to results-oriented, you realize you too can achieve amazing results. The process, or your behavior, is completely within your control. Conversely, when you focus solely on other people’s results, you can quickly become overwhelmed and give up.

6. Ignore what almost everyone else is doing

In the book Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, Tim Grover explains that the world’s elite don’t compete with other people. Rather, they make others compete with them. They set the tone and make others react to their environment.

Most people are competing with other people. They continuously check in to see what others in their space (their “competition”) are doing. As a result, they mimic and copy what’s “working.”

Rather than worrying about what others are doing, live your values. Put first things first. Spend more time with your loved ones and away from work. While working, follow your own curiosity, not what others are doing.

7. 80/20 Analysis of highest leverage activities

“Today everyone is a generalist, a deliberate move on the part of most as a reaction to the economic times.” — Leonard Smith

When studying the process of those you seek to emulate, don’t try to do it all. Everyone has their own strategy. Even those at the top of your field have imperfect strategies.

Find the patterns. What are the key things you must master? Master those.

Then innovate beyond those patterns when you’re ready, so your process comes to exceed the process of those you admire. Eventually, your results will exceed theirs as well.

8. Over-learn high leverage activities

Learning something new is all about memory and how you use it. At first, your prefrontal cortex — which stores your working (or short-term) memory — is really busy figuring out how the task is done.

But once you’re proficient, the prefrontal cortex gets a break. In fact, it’s freed up by as much as 90%. Once this happens, you can perform that skill automatically, leaving your conscious mind to focus on other things.

This level of performance is called automaticity, and reaching it depends on what psychologists call over-learning or over-training.

For example, if you want to quickly learn how to write viral articles, study several hundred headlines of viral articles. If you want to write a book, study just the table of contents of hundreds of books. These are your lay-ups.

Start with small sets of information, then expand from there. By over-learning a particular category of learning, you’ll be able to better understand how it relates to the whole. You’ll also quickly be able to apply what you learn. You’ll quickly see the patterns others miss. Time will slow down for you as your cognition expands.

9. Learn to apply, not to procrastinate “the work”

“The key secret to success is not excessive expertise, but the ability to use it. Knowledge is worthless unless it is applied.” — Max Lukominskyi

Learning is best done while you’re doing the activity. Public education has taught people they must first master theory, then attempt to transfer that theory into the real world. In a similar way, people’s love for information via the internet has led them to use “learning” as a form of procrastination.

A better approach is “context-based learning,” where you learn while doing.The key principles of context-based learning include:

  • Learn a concept in its simplest form.
  • Put your rudimentary knowledge to practice in a real-world scenario.
  • Get coaching and feedback (feedback often comes in the form of “failure”).
  • Apply the feedback through repetitious practice.
  • Get coaching and feedback.
  • Repeat until proficient (see #8 just above).

Interestingly, researchers examined the effects of role-playing on the self-concept of shy adolescents. One group of adolescents got traditional discussion-based training while another did role-play based training. The group that did role-plays experienced a significant positive change in their self-concept, which has a significant impact on their behaviors.

In our digital world, simulation training — based on role-playing real-world scenarios — is becoming increasingly popular.

Additionally, research has found that getting consistent feedback is essential to effective learning. You can use this. By making your work public, you get immediate feedback.

Getting immediate feedback has been found to be a flow trigger. It heightens performance. Especially when the feedback is real world, and there are real consequences for success and failure.

10. Focus on quantity in the beginning

“Plant a lot, harvest a few.” — Seth Godin

In the book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the WorldAdam Grant explains that “originals” (i.e., people who create innovative work) are not reliable. In other words, not everything they produce is extraordinary.

For example, among the 50 greatest pieces of music ever created, six belong to Mozart, five are Beethoven’s, and three Bach’s. But in order to create those, Mozart wrote over 600 compositions, Beethoven 650, and Bach over 1,000.

Similarly, Picasso created thousands of pieces of art, and few are considered to be his “great works.” Edison had 1,900 patents, and only a handful we would recognize. Albert Einstein published 248 scientific articles, only a few of which are what got him on the map for his theory of relativity.

Quantity is the most likely path to quality. The more you produce, the more ideas you will have — some of which will be innovative and original. And you never know which ones will click. You just keep creating.

11. Track only a few things (ignore everything else)

“If you have more than three priorities, then you don’t have any.” — Jim Collins in Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t

If you want to improve at something, you need to quantify it. If you don’t quantify it, you don’t really know what’s happening. As Thomas Monson explains, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

I can personally attest to this principle. When I started measuring a few metrics, such as each set in the gym, my income, and how much time I spend in “flow” while working, I dramatically improved in these areas. The reason is simple: tracking helped me become aware and objective about my weaknesses. Thus, I knew exactly where I should focus and could do it systematically.

12. Heighten expectation for what you can accomplish

“I think the ability of the average man could be doubled if it were demanded, if the situation demanded.” — William Durant

I started working out with my current workout partner about two months ago. He’s nearly 20 years older than me, and can lift substantially more weight than me.

One of the first things he told me was, “Most people never get stronger simply because they don’t put themselves under the weight.” As a result, our first several workouts involved me being heavily spotted while benching and squatting way more than I ever had before. The purpose was to feel the weight.

It hasn’t taken long at all to increase my strength while working out with my new partner. He’s raised my expectations. Yet I don’t let his expectations dictate what I can do. As will be shown in the following section on mentorships, the expectations of those around you create the context for your growth and potential.

But you don’t need to be bound by those expectations. For instance, just because many of my favorite writers publish twice per week, I decided to hold myself to a different standard when I started writing. In large measure, you get what you expect you will. According to Expectancy Theory, one of the core theories of motivation, motivation involves three components:

  • the value you place on your goal
  • your belief that specific behaviors will actually facilitate the outcomes you desire
  • your belief in your own ability to successfully execute the behaviors requisite to achieving your goals

Learn from the best. But don’t be bound by their standards. Run at your own pace, even if that pace is faster than those you aspire to be like.


Mentorships

13. Surround yourself with people with higher expectations than you have

According towhat psychologists call “The Pygmalion Effect,” other people’sexpectations of you heavily influence how well you do.

When you’re a child, the expectations of your parents “set the bar.” Interestingly, these expectations form an invisible barrier from which it becomes very difficult to exceed.

For instance, scientific experiments have been done on fleas, wherein they’ve been put in a glass jar. Without the lid on the jar, the fleas can easily jump out. However, the fleas can be trained to stay in the jar by putting a lid on it. After only three days, the lid can be removed and the fleas will be constrained by an invisible mental barrier.

Not surprisingly, the “next generation” of fleas is also constrained by this new and invisible barrier. The Pygmalion effect explains why: the next generation develops the same expectations for themselves as their parents have for them.

If, however, you were to take one of those fleas out of that jar and place them in a bigger jar, surrounded by fleas jumping much higher, mirror neurons would fire and that flea would soon be able to jump higher. Mental barriers would shatter, soon to be replaced by the mental barriers of those in the new jar.

When seeking mentorships, it’s important to realize that the expectations of your mentor reflect the flea’s jar, and invisible barrier, as opposed to your inherent ability. There is no fixed ability. Nothing, and nobody, has an “absolute” value. Everything is contextual.

Even still, by jumping into a much bigger jar, you’ll quickly grow. Actually, you may learn to jump much higher than you ever imaged with the help of a caring mentor. Thus, it is extremely important for you to surround yourself with those who have high expectations for you. It may be difficult, frustrating, and humbling to develop and grow. But if you stick to it, you’ll eventually reach a new invisible cap.

14. Expect to expand and adapt

Human beings are highly adaptive. For instance, Viktor Frankl reflected on his experience as a Nazi concentration camp victim and sleeping comfortably next to nine other people on small beds. Said Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Yes a person can get used to anything, just don’t ask us how.” Indeed, this was one of the most surprising aspects of living in a concentration camp, the rapidity at which the shock and horror became apathy and “normal.”

No matter how far-reaching and discontinuous the jump from one environment to the next, a person can and will adapt, whether that means going from zero kids to three (trust me), or from completely inactive to exercising with professional bodybuilders.

Take, for example, Collin Clark, a 20-year-old who lost 64 pounds and 30 percent body fat in six months. The process was simple; he went to the gym and began to emulate the bodybuilders who were there. Eventually, one particular bodybuilder took an interest in Collin, and became his mentor. By working out daily with a bodybuilder, Collin transformed. The example of Collin Clark is particularly notable, as he has down syndrome.

When you first enter a new and larger jar, you’ll feel excited and perhaps even intimidated by all the jumping room. However, like gas which spreads to fill the space it’s been given, you too will adapt. Thus, you won’t want to overstay your welcome. Remember, the jar is a reflection of other people’s expectations.

Hence, the next point:

15. Don’t get stuck with one mentor

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.” — Lao Tzu

High quality friendships should last forever. High quality mentorships, on the other hand, should not last forever.

One mentor can only take you so far; they can only give you one “jar.” If you want to evolve beyond that jar, you’ll need a new mentor. And this is exactly what any true mentor would want for you as well. It’s not about “them.” They are investing in you. It is through your best work that they can live on forever.

16. The mentor sets the expectations, but the mentee sets the tone

Although the mentor’s expectations and abilities reflect the size of the jar, it is the mentee that sets the tone for the relationship and how well it will go.

I’ve been in mentoring relationships where I’ve been a good mentee and a bad mentee. In each case, it was not the mentor, but me, who determined how well the relationship went. No one cares more about your success than you do. It is up to you how far you go in life.

Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, has said, “Never take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with.” Thus, you should be highly selective about the mentors you seek. If you aren’t intrinsically motivated to “set the tone” with you mentor, ask yourself: Do I really want to be like this person? If the answer is no, then they are the wrong mentor.

When you have the right mentor, you’ll know, because you’ll feel extremely lucky to have even a few moments of their time. You’ll do all you can to deepen the relationship, provide value, and learn. You’ll be willing to bend over backwards to help them. You’ll take on greater responsibility. You’ll make their life easier. You’ll make them look good.

17. Give credit where credit is due

Although you are responsible for your own success, you are not the sole cause of that success. Far from it. You are not independent of all the help you’ve received. More accurately, you are the product of all the help you’ve received.

You are standing on the shoulders of giants. Acknowledge them for that. And never forget where you came from. Also, never speak poorly about your mentors or those who have helped you along your journey. This does nothing for you. I’ve made this mistake and destroyed important relationships with people I deeply admire — people who invested lots of time and energy into me.

As Ryan Holiday explains in his book, Ego is the Enemyalways be a student. Remain humble. Don’t let ego take over, or it will lead to your inevitable demise.


Mental Models

In this final section, I will detail beliefs required for rapid growth.

18. Think astronomically

“You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” — Robin Williams

There is some brilliant new research on the concept of Awewhich has been defined as a feeling that arises when you encounter something so strikingly vast (in time, scope, complexity, ability, or power) it provokes a need to update your mental schemas.

Awe, or having a peak experience, can happen during an optimal sports performance or even a deep spiritual experience. When you become mindful, you can experience awe even during mundane moments.

Research has found that experiencing awe can expand your perception of time, alter your decision making abilities, and enhance your well-being.

I can personally attest to these findings. I’ve experienced awe several times. I strive to experience it as often as possible, which for me provides a much richer and deeper perspective of life.

Awe alters your experience with time because it helps you see things more astronomically. From the perspective of light, for example, time stands still. Thus, this moment, from the perspective of light, is both an instant and an eternity. Time fades into the background of infinite possibility. Nothing becomes impossible. No distance too far.

Awe alters your ability to make decisions because you no longer fear trivial things such as other people’s perceptions, failure, or even death.

Lastly, awe alters your well-being because the mind and body are one. When you improve one aspect of your life, all others organically improve as well. Thus, when you experience a deeper connect with yourself and the universe, you live differently. You see yourself differently, and that perception has the power to alter your biology. Your emotional state also matures and becomes more healthy as well.

19. Think laterally

“Lateral thinking doesn’t replace hard work; it eliminates unnecessary cycles.” — Shane Snow in Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success

Most of the United States presidents spent less time in politics than the average congressman. Moreover, the best, and most popular presidents, generally spent the least amount of time in politics. Rather than spending decades climbing the tedious ladder with glass ceilings, they simply jumped laterally from a different, non-political ladder.

Ronald Reagan was an actor. Dwight Eisenhower laterally shifted from the military. Woodrow Wilson bounced over from academia. These men spent considerably little time in politics and became fabulous presidents. They reached the top by skipping the unnecessary “dues-paying” steps. Insanely productive people think the same way. Rather than climbing up ladders the traditional ways, they think of alternative routes. They skip unnecessary steps by pivoting and shifting.

Shane Snow himself used this tactic to get published on some of the biggest media outlets in the world within six months of blogging. How did he do it? He started by pitching articles to low level blogs with basically no bar of entry. After getting a few articles published on those, he leveraged his new position and pitched to slightly higher level blogs.

He did this by sending editors of the slightly “better” blogs an email reading something like: Hello, I’ve written at these blogs which reach similar audiences as your blog. Here’s an article I think would be a great fit for your audience.

Because the editors of those blogs knew about the blogs Snow had been published on, he was able to be published on theirs as well. He followed this pattern over and over until, within six months, his work was published at Fast Company, WIRED, and others.

20. Think more flexibly about “limits” on resources

One of the faultiest and most crippling mindsets people have is over-categorizing things, and then being bound by those categories. Psychologists call this having a “pre-mature cognitive commitment.”

When you see things from only a singular perspective, you’ll assume there is a limited supply of that thing.

Money, from most people’s perspective, is a limited resource. However, research has found that after basic needs are met, what people really want is a state of mind. Yet, that state of mind doesn’t have to be tightly bound within the cognitive category of money.

Consequently, from a mindful perspective, you can look at certain things, like money or even yourself, from multiple viewpoints. You don’t have to get stuck with fixed and rigid definitions. In nearly any case, you come to realize that what you want is always available to you, if you’ll simply alter your viewpoint. As Ellen Langer, Harvard psychologist has said, “If we examine what is behind our desires, we can usually get what we want without compromising.”

The most detrimental thing we can view from a limited standpoint is ourselves. Don’t let your own assumptions and categories determine what you are. You have no clue who you are or what you can become. Different angles and more flexible definitions allows for limitless possibilities.

21. Think more flexibly about “limits” on time

“It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time.” —Ernst Mach in The Science of Mechanics: A Critical and Historical Account of Its Development

Time is an abstraction, which we conceive by the change of other things. For example, the changing of the seasons, or the aging of a child.

Many people have rigid notions, for example, about how long certain things must take.

You can’t finish high school until you’re 18 years old.

You can’t be successful until after you’ve paid your dues.

If you break your leg, it must take a few months to heal.

These fixed notions about time are constraining and limiting. Change can occur at different magnitudes and qualities depending on the context. For example, there is a concept called, “Spontaneous Remission,” wherein an illness or disease surprisingly and immediately changes.

When I started my writing career, I was told it would take me at least three to five years to get the amount of subscribers needed to get a literary agent and subsequent book contract. I was told this by a highly credible source, actually a literary agent herself. However, that was based on her assumptions of time and resources, which resources also included my abilities and motivations.

She had no clue of my context, desires, and abilities. Thus, her assumptions about how long it would take me were absurd. Yet, she was just going off what she had seen, which caused her to be mindless about the situation. Within months of the conversation with that literary agent, I was in the position she said would take several years.

Takeaway: Let go of your beliefs about fixed limits of time. Time is a unique concept, which few of us understand. It need not be linear nor lead to entropy. Again, many scholars are seeing that these are nothing more than assumptions, or fixed mindsets about how things work.


Conclusion

Achieving your goals is very doable. It need not take as long as you may have previously assumed.

10 Bad Habits of Unsuccessful People….Darius Foroux

The first successful person I ever met — truly successful, with accomplishments I admired and ambition I strove to emulate — was an entrepreneur in his forties, a client of mine in the first real business I’d ever started. I was 24 and eager to learn; he was constantly cheerful, and had more money than he could count.

We became close friends, and he told me eventually that he’d lost his wife, the love of his life, a half-decade before we met — the kind of loss, he said, that you never get over. It was a story that made his positive outlook seem all the more remarkable to me: Here was someone who had been through tragedy, and yet still made it a priority to do good things with his time and his money. He seemed to truly care about other people.

Often, he’d tell me what he saw as the secret to his success: “I just try to avoid being unsuccessful,” he said. He studied what made someone (avoidably) unhappy, broke, or unmotivated — and then he avoided making the same mistakes.

I knew in my bones that he was right. Too often, we adopt a plug-and-play attitude: “If I do x, I’ll be successful.” But if success was easy and predictable, we wouldn’t be seeking advice on how to achieve it. Instead of studying what’s worked for other people, I’ve followed my friend’s advice, paying close attention to the habits that hold people back from reaching their goals.

Here are 10 of the most common self-imposed barriers. If you find yourself bumping up against one, use them as a signal to reevaluate, reflect, and reverse course.

1. Always being distracted

In his book Essentialism, time-management consultant Greg McKeown describes running into a former classmate who was between jobs and looking for career advice. Midway through the conversation, the man looked down at his phone and began typing.

“Ten seconds went by,” McKeown recounts. “Then 20. I simply stood there as he continued to text away furiously.” After a couple minutes, he gave up and walked away.

I think of this story whenever I feel pulled in many different directions, as a way of reminding myself to focus on the moment I’m in and the people I’m with. If that old classmate of McKeown’s had reminded himself the same thing, he might have made a connection or gotten a tip that led him to a job.

2. Only talking the talk

“I’m training for a marathon.” “I’m starting a business.” You know what’s better than announcing something on social media? Doing it.

In his 2010 TED talk, “Keep You Goals to Yourself,” entrepreneur Derek Sivers argued that broadcasting your plans can be counterproductive rather than motivating. People will often applaud you simply for stating your intention, he said, and somewhat counterintuitively, that applause can sap your will to actually follow through on the plans you’ve just outlined.

“When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a ‘social reality,’” Sivers explained in his talk. “The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it’s already done. And then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.”

There’s nothing wrong with sharing your joy. But try to hold your tongue until you’ve got good news, not just good intentions.

3. Spending time with the wrong people

The friends you surround yourself with can encourage you to be your best self, or they can bring out your worst tendencies. Do you have a goal to get healthier, for example? Hang out with people who will encourage you to make those changes in your life. Want to utterly fail in that goal? Spend time with ones who revel in their own bad habits. People feed off each other’s energy.

4. Always focusing on the negative

As my friend showed me years ago when he told me about his grief, you can focus on the positive without pretending life is easy. You can have a realistic perspective without pointing out the bad in everything you see.

We all know the person who complains about everything. “Ugh, it poured this morning, and my shoes got soaked.” Yes, that sucks. No, you can’t change the weather. You can put on a new pair of shoes.

Having a bad day is okay — everyone gets irritable once in a while. But if you always hate everything, you’re having a bad life. It’s that simple.

5. Procrastinating

In college, I once asked a professor to extend a deadline for an essay. His reply: “I’m perfectly happy to extend your deadline by a week. The only thing I’m asking you is, will your essay be better if you hand it in a week from now?”

We both knew the answer was “no.” I worked my ass off to finish it on time.

Only delay things when you’ll do a better job with that extra time. Do it now, or do it better later.

6. Not listening to others

Being a good listener can steer you in the right direction, but in the long term, it also helps you maintain close, valuable relationships.

Everyone can give a hug, but not everybody calls just to ask, “How are you?” Put in the time. Ask, listen, care, repeat.

7. Giving in to laziness

We all have moments where we’re tempted to cancel plans. Sometimes, the effort of leaving the house can feel Herculean, even for something “fun.”

But new and novel experiences are what makes life beautiful. When you give in to laziness, you’re not fully participating in your own life — which also isn’t fair to your friends, family, partner, and the other people who want to share it with you.

8. Not being curious

It used to be that if your dad was a farmer — and you were a man — you became a farmer. Women didn’t get to choose what they wanted to be. And the ability to learn things beyond your immediate world was limited, if not impossible.

Today, access to information is easier than it’s ever been. Obviously, there are still structural barriers that limit what people can do, but those who take advantage of this access to information — who read books, who ask questions, who follow their curiosity — have more power to envision, and shape, their futures. It’s hard to dream about what you don’t know.

9. Not being nice

Just be a nice person. If you have difficulty defining what a “nice person” is, you’re likely a jerk.

10. Giving up

“The most certain way to succeed,” Thomas Edison once said, “is always to try just one more time.” Success, however you define it, never came from not trying. And often, it comes after first failing time and time again.

7 Psychological Superpowers Few People Have (That You Can Use to Set Yourself Apart)

“Tell me where I’m going to die so I never go there.”

The sentence above describes a superpower few people have. It’s one I’ve only been able to exercise ten percent of the time, but that ten percent creates most of the positive results I get in my life.

What’s the superpower? Restraint.

Successhappiness, or whatever word you use to articulate what you want, often involves what you don’t do.

Also, restraint from one action can be a springboard to a more useful one, e.g., talking to listening.

We live in an unrestrained world. It’s getting louder, angrier, more chaotic and pretentious.

Which is why it’s the perfect time for you to behave in the exact opposite fashion and wield these superpowers few people have.

Hide Your Intelligence

“A know-it-all is a person who knows everything except for how annoying he is.” — Demitri Martin

If you’re a smart person, you might have the tendency to want to show it off.

You want people to know you’re smart. While there’s nothing wrong with displaying your intelligence, the costs for showing it off too much are high. People don’t like being corrected. Also, they don’t want a mirror reflected on their own inadequacy.

If you’re in a work setting, follow one of Robert Greene’s 48 laws of power — never outshine the master. Showing up your boss is a surefire way to make the relationship contentious (even if only subtly).

Showing people up in general means you lack an important type of intelligence — social intelligence.

If you had social intelligence, you’d know that letting other people take the spotlight makes them feel important. And they’d connect that feeling of importance with being around you.

Also, paraphrasing Greene again, it’s much more clever to resist the urge to display your cleverness (move in silence…let people think you’re less intelligent than you are).

It’s difficult for me. I’m tempted to correct people when I hear them say something incorrect. I love talking about all the things I know. But, at times, I’ll catch myself and realize that nobody really wants to know how smart I am. They want to know how I can play a role in their life that benefits them.

It’s almost always better to understate your intelligence than overstate it.

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

Resist Group Think

Madness is rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule. — Friedrich Nietzsche

We lie to ourselves a lot. One of the main lies we tell ourselves? We think we’re open-minded. On the whole, we’re not.

You’ve cobbled together an identity based on narratives. You tell yourself stories constantly and the ones you repeat often become part of your personality. You’re also prone to adopt narratives based on groups you belong to. You do this because human beings are naturally tribal animals.

The problem with this occurs when you’re unable to even hold views that deviate from your group’s list of stances. This is what you see in the political sphere right now — no one’s budging.

If you’re able to form your own worldview — a legitimate one should contain elements of contradictory philosophies — you’ll have the benefit of not being a crazy person participating in mud slinging contests.

It’s pretty much impossible to form an original worldview because you have to form it by picking up established narratives (unless you’re a truly original thinker, which you’re not). Just knowing how difficult it is to form untainted beliefs gives you the humility to second guess your own opinions.

The end goal? Be able to say that you’ve put thought into which components of group narratives you decided to adopt. And then, stay out of the herd altogether.

You’re going to have to sit on the sidelines while everyone else bickers. Don’t even participate in the discourse. Improve your life.

At the end of the day, most of what happens in your life can be seen and shaped through the lens of your individuality. No matter what group you belong to, the experiences, memories, and emotions you have are unique to you. And, you can only genuinely look to yourself to reshape any of the above.

Stop Caring What People Think About You

“You want praise from people who kick themselves every fifteen minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves.” — Marcus Aurelius

You want to know a great trick for letting go of other people’s opinions? Read a book about space or watch a Youtube video about it. Right now, I’m reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.

Here’s a passage from it:

“Our sun is just one of the one hundred thousand million stars that make up our galaxy the Milky Way. The Milky Way is only one of the many galaxies in the local group. The local group, in turn, is just one of the thousands of groups and clusters of galaxies which form the largest known structures of our universe.”

Now think of your place in that universe. Why so preoccupied about ‘what will happen’ or ‘what others’ will think when you’re already essentially dead? Because human beings are the only known species arrogant enough to place themselves at the center of the universe.


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

I do it. You do it. The less it’s done, though, the freer you are. That’s the thing about freedom — it’s often a consequence of what you don’t do. Once you decide to stop caring so much, it’ll allow you to do what you want.

Are you going to let other people — infinitesimal pieces of existence in the expanse of the universe — stop you from living your life the way you want to live it?

Stop Placing Blame Altogether

“If it’s in your control, why do you do it? If it’s in someone else’s control, then who are you blaming? Atoms? The gods? Stupid either way. Blame no one.” — Marcus Aurelius

This is about taking ownership of your mind.

If you don’t own your mind, someone else or circumstance will. Owning your reactions to what happens to you gives you a source of power no one can corrupt.

Like most of us, I get angry when someone slights me or treats me unfairly. When situations don’t go the way I want them to, I begin feeling sorry for myself. If I’m lucky, I catch myself and focus on the role I played in the situation.

You’ve heard this before. It’s so cliche. Why add personal responsibility to this list?

Because it’s really really hard and goes against our nature.

Also, there are times where the blame should be placed somewhere other than on yourself, but it’s often fruitless.

Sure, you might be able to convince the person you blamed they’re wrong, but at what cost? To what degree did each of you play in the situation (your apt to take more percentage of the victim category than you should)?

You might be able to bend the universe to your will and make the circumstances around you better — as opposed to just being better — but, again at what cost?

In my life, at least, I’ve seen that forgoing the blame game is a net positive ninety-nine percent of the time. Does that mean I always accept responsibility instantly? Hell no, but being able to do it even some of the time goes a long way.

Stop “Waiting to Talk”

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” — Stephen Covey

Have you ever been in a conversation where it’s clear no one is listening? Each person talks and the others are waiting for a millisecond of silence to jump in.

This entire post has been about dialing back your tendencies. Why is that important? When you’re a little more restrained in your actions and your thoughts, you become a better observer.

When you become a better observer, you realize that you can get further ahead by doing less. It’s not easy to put that idea together at first — less outward activity equaling better results — but it’s true.

If you let other people talk, listen to them, and give up your need to jump into the conversation right away, everyone will love you. People love to talk. Let them.

While they talk, listen. If you really listen, they’ll give you all the information you want to know — their hopes, fears, desires, needs, likes, dislikes. Just sit there while they ‘spill the tea.’

Then, you can do little things that make them feel like you’re a great conversationalist and someone they can trust, even if you barely talk — repeat what they said back to them, ask them a question that makes them continue to talk, genuinely highlight when they bring something up you have in common.

You can use this technique in a real conversation or the conversation — the zeitgeist, blogs, and social media. Don’t jump in the debate. Watch it while everyone reveals their cards.

Photo by Trung Thanh on Unsplash

Stop Letting Your Desires Pull You in Every Direction

“Those who act with few desires are calm, without worry or fear.” — Buddha

Books like Think and Grow Rich teach you to have an ultimate desire for wealth to get it.

If you like to read about business and self-improvement like me, you see Facebook ads on “how to start a six-figure business in real estate” or whatever.

Ambition can be good and necessary. It can also be poisonous. When I focus too much on results — output — writing becomes less fun. It starts to feel like work. When I write what I think you want to read and start to pander because of a desire for clicks, the work suffers.

Every time I do something I don’t really want to do because I think it will help me get something I desire, I feel bad, misaligned, incongruent.

The only times I’ve ever succeeded and felt good were bi-products of doing the work I enjoyed doing.

How about you? What status games are you playing right now? What objects and circumstances are you lusting over? Are you being controlled by a desire for the output or the need to do the input?

I have to remind myself constantly that I can be happy with what I have this second. And, even if my life gets better outwardly, I’ll adjust to it quickly and begin running on the hamster wheel all over again. Better to just do the things I love, right now, and forget about the future.

Stop Taking Everything So Seriously

“Outrage is like a lot of other things that feel good but over time devour us from the inside out. And it’s even more insidious than most vices because we don’t even consciously acknowledge that it’s a pleasure.” — Tim Kreider

Imagine a society where everyone tended to their own well-being firstbefore shouting into the sky about the government or what’s on the news?

What if we stopped watching the news altogether? If we did that, we’d realize — while things are nowhere near perfect — the sky isn’t falling. It isn’t. It isn’t.

You can probably see this in your own life. The things we tend to take seriously at a high level, e.g., will we go to war with ‘x’ (there’s always an x), have little to do with what’s going on at the ground level, otherwise known as our actual life.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I stopped reading the news and going on Twitter all the time. It’s not real life. I realized I was getting riled up over nothing. Also, even if the situations were as dire as I thought, my tweets weren’t going to fix the situation.

All the while there were plenty of things in my own life that needed tending to.

Get out of the outrage, ‘if it bleeds it leads’, machine right now. It’s not worth your sanity.

Then, even in your own life, try to stop taking everything so seriously. Focus on your career, but don’t make your career your life. Be prudent, save, budget, but don’t become a worry wart.

Spend time with your friends and family without worrying much about anything beyond them.

I’ve said this many times. From the perspective of the universe, you’re dead. Clutching on the steering wheel of life gives you the illusion you have control. You don’t, really.

Just live.

5 Simple Ways To Boost Your Focus Today…Guest Article by Jari Roomer

Focus Booster #1: Remove All Possible Distractions Beforehand

Focus Booster #2: Have Clear Daily Goals or Targets

Focus Booster #3: Seek More Simplicity and Minimalism In Your Work

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

Focus Booster #4: Use The Pomodoro Technique

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Focus Booster #5: Apply Parkinson’s Law

The psychological effect of Parkinson’s Law

Now Do It

Risch Group Weighs In On Best Methods For Conducting An Effective Job Search

6 Ways to Conduct an Effective Executive Job Search–republished from Hunt Scanlon Media

Jobs are plentiful – but landing a new one demands that would-be candidates apply a structured, sustained use of networking, direct outreach and executive recruitment firms. Nine leading recruiters weigh in. In today’s dynamic and competitive job market, the elements of an effective executive-level job search are very different than what may be utilized for non-executive roles.

A new report by Rob Croner, vice president of senior executive services at CCI Consulting, explores channels of activity that drive any effective professional job search.

“It can be seductive to spend time on job boards responding to advertised openings — but this is a low probability exercise,” Mr. Croner said. “The three channels of activity that drive any effective professional job search are networking, targeted direct outreach and executive search firms.”

“Actively working all three channels through specific and sustained activity yields the best results,” he said. “This is especially true for an executive-level search as the level of competition is intense, and there are fewer opportunities at this level than at lower levels.”

1. Getting started.

An effective job search begins with a realistic assessment of skills, background, and experiences to define the value proposition that you bring to the market. “With a realistic assessment of yourself, the next step is to define the range of industries, organizations and roles that have a need for your unique combination of skills and experiences, and in which you would likely bring value,” said Mr. Croner. “Resume, biography and social media accounts (i.e. LinkedIn) are then created, or updated, to reflect and highlight your relevant background and experience as they relate to the industry, function and/or opportunity you are trying to secure.”

2. Limit the time spent on job posting websites.

Most people spend way too much time trolling around job posting websites, but this is usually a time waster that does not yield success unless coupled with other more active efforts. “Online postings typically generate hundreds of eager and well-qualified responses,” Mr. Croner said. “However, the typical applicant tracking system uses algorithms to filter the pool of applicants so only a select few are ever seen by the people involved in the hiring process. It’s a very efficient process for the hiring company but it is unrealistic to expect a positive outcome if an individual is passive and simply waits for opportunities to present themselves.”

3. Spend a lot of time networking.

Mr. Croner explains that the most important factor in an executive-level job search is the sustained effort to secure introductions, conversations and interviews with individuals and organizations who might have a need for your skills. “Networking involves a pragmatic approach to identifying and connecting with people who can provide information, insight or connections that bridge to potential opportunities,” he said.

“Effective networking requires an investment of time and commitment to follow-up and follow-through on potential leads even though many will not directly result in a job. Some conversations yield valuable information or connect directly to a specific immediate opportunity while other networking conversations lead to connections with new networking contacts. Be patient and maintain the effort.”

While networking often starts with those who are close, it should expand as a job seeker stays connected with their personal network. The expectation is that the broader group will then provide additional insight and connections within the industry or with specific organizations or opportunities.

4. Do targeted direct outreach.

While networking seeks to leverage the strengths of personal relationships, business connections and social interactions, direct outreach involves proactive outreach to targeted organizations and individuals without the benefit of prior relationship or a network referral. Direct outreach is as simple as connecting with a targeted individual to see if they would be receptive to an initial conversation to explore the possibility of mutual interest.

“There are two things that make direct outreach effective,” said Mr. Croner. “One is targeting so there is a clear and obvious connection between your skills and background and the potential needs of the organization. The more alignment, the more likely there will be a positive response to the direct outreach.”

“The second key to successful direct outreach is the breadth and depth of the outreach. In terms of breadth, there needs to be enough activity to generate a positive result,” he said. “If someone only reaches out to two organizations, they would need a 50 percent response rate to secure one follow-up. If that same individual reached out to 10 organizations, a 10 percent response rate would yield a meeting. Extend that to 100 organizations and apply the same math, and it could result in 10 follow-up meetings.”

“Successful direct outreach requires appropriate follow-up to help increase the odds of a positive response. If a job seeker sends a single email to a busy executive, it is not likely they will hear back,” Mr. Croner said. “If on the other hand, they send a follow-up email a few days later or they reach out by phone as well, the odds of contact and conversation are greatly increased.”

5. Tap into executive search firms. 

Many executive-level roles are filled through executive retained search. The larger and more visible the role, the more likely it is an organization will hire a search firm to manage the process. “To be considered as a candidate for these roles, the job seeker must first gain visibility and credibility with the external recruiter,” Mr. Croner said. “This is typically done through networking and direct outreach.”

“Since search firms are retained to find the best overall candidate for a specific role, they are evaluating and screening potential candidates on a variety of tangible and intangible factors,” he said. “A retained search process usually involves the screening of 100 or more candidates to create a pool of four to five that are interviewed by their client. Those who have the requisite skills, background and experience are in the initial screening pool of 100 or more. The few who have the greatest demonstrated alignment with what are perceived to be the most important success factors for that specific role at that specific organization make it to the interview process.”

Some interactions with search consultants will lead to interviews and job offers while others may lead to disappointment, but the disappointments can also lead to valuable insights and information. “While you may not be identified as the best fit for one role, you may be an ideal fit for another,” said Mr. Croner. “A candidate will not be presented to more than one client at a time, but search firms keep track of those they interact with. If a candidate makes a positive (or negative) impression, search consultants remember and factor it in when they, or their colleagues, are working on other similar searches.”

6. Balanced activity yields the best outcome. 

There is a high correlation between the effort and activity people put into their job search and the success of the search. “Greater success will come more quickly by engaging in active and ongoing networking combined with a high degree of direct outreach and targeted interaction with executive search professionals,” Mr. Croner said. “Individuals who leverage all three will generally land better positions faster than those who put more limited effort into networking, outreach, and navigating the executive search arena in favor of simply responding to open online postings.”

“The executive job search has always been a difficult process, and it has been made more complex with the introduction of various online distractions and increased connectivity,” Mr. Croner said. “With the right coach and a structured approach, job seekers can take advantage of this new reality to land in a firm that values their contributions.”

“We are inherently empathetic with executive level job seekers and pay added attention to those referred by our corporate clients and by our previous executive level candidates,” said Steve Schrenzel, COO of the Taplow Group.

“We also encourage those executive level job seekers to enhance their network with relevant search firms by getting references and or permission of their industry contacts – at the “C” level for introductions to us and other firms thought well of by their industry contacts.”

As virtually every search we conduct requires elements of business leadership, line management, professional expertise and salesmanship, he said, “we are amazed at how poorly many executive prospects communicate those attributes – particularly if they are prospective candidates for a leadership or short-term succession situation or are positioning themselves for such roles.”

“At the level we work at,” he added, “we expect most executives to understand that we are in a global economy and our business works across 90 percent of that. There is no sense in not being out front about relocation limitations even though at the most senior levels this might limit the executive seeking a new role.”

Conducting an effective job search should mimic the proactive way executive search consultants execute searches, said Joseph B. Hunt, managing partner at Hunt Executive Search.

“Clearly identify the target company environment and proactively connect and engage with the appropriate stakeholders through the most effective means. Networking and getting introduced by a credible sponsor is ideal, but if push comes to shove, there is nothing wrong with cold calling to make a self-introduction to a hiring manager.”

Irrespective of whether there is a job opening or not, “most companies are always interested in ‘A’ player talent and will figure out a way to bring in top talent that can improve the leadership team and realize the value creation plan.”

“Retained recruiters could retire early if there was a way to monetize the number of executives who reach out when conducting their own job search,” said Todd Bennett, CEO of  R. Todd Bennett Retained Executive Search. “That volume makes it very hard for search professionals to help everyone.”

Key Considerations

A couple of key considerations for candidates may enhance their ability to enlist search professionals to help broaden their network and ultimately land a role.

“First, recognize that we work for specific clients for specific roles, not for candidates seeking a role, so timing is key,” said Mr. Bennett. “One percent of the time I have a specific search related to an executive who reaches out. Second, sending a long cover email and resume generally goes to the bottom of the list. Brevity is the key to getting our attention. Third, we know a good resume vs. a bad one, but we don’t provide resume services.”

The fact is, he added, “we love when accomplished executives reach out and can help them expand their network at the same time providing us the opportunity to reach out to current and potential clients. That is a win-win situation.”

“For executives, the avenue of applying for job through job boards has a low probability of success but also, more importantly, you don’t have control of your information once you enter your details into those internet platforms,” said David Evans, managing partner at Watermark Search International.

”The majority of executive level appointments are made through the individuals own networks and executive search firms. At our firm, we advertise less than 10 percent of our active searches and in interim executive, we don’t advertise any opportunities.”

“Executives are appointed through referral, prior history/contact or active approaches – headhunting,” said Mr. Evans. “In order to be considered for many of these jobs you need to be on the radar. Ideally you are known to the executive search firm or one of the partners.”

“If you don’t know who the leading search firms are in your space, you need to find out and you need to build relationships with the key partners to increase your chances of being considered for those jobs that never get out to the active market.”


12 Reasons Why Companies Hire Executive Search Firms
Is retaining an executive search firm always the best route to take when hiring top performing talent? Hunt Scanlon Media and CNA International have brainstormed with senior executives, CHROs and top recruiters. Here’s why you might need a top flight recruiter to find your next leader.


When Bill Hawkins, president of The Hawkins Company, started in the recruiting business in 1977, 96 percent of all executive hires came as a result of friends and families, said Brett Byers, executive vice president of The Hawkins Company. “While that number has probably gone down over the past 40 years, it still represents the vast majority of how people land the right top job.”

Formal and Informal Networks

“The ‘Six Principles for Conducting an Effective Executive Job Search’ is a good article that examines how to conduct one’s career search,” said Ms. Byers.

“I would stress the importance of networking and very strategic targeted outreach – it is the bread and butter of a successful job search. The focus should always be on your family and friends (social and professional) and their networks. Remember the ‘six degrees of separation’ theory.”

“You must be very intentional in working your formal and informal networks,” she added. “Generally speaking, people want to be helpful, but you have to ask directly for how you want them to help. Then they can say, yes, I can do that, or no I can’t.  Remember, ‘the closed mouth never gets fed.’ Open-ended requests, like, ‘Please keep me in mind if you hear of something the fits my background,’ versus, ‘I would like to meet Ms. Smith, CEO of XYZ Corporation, can you facilitate a meeting.’ That’s big difference in what you want from the person, versus a passive ‘Hail Mary.’”

“In my experience, some candidates do not spend enough time crafting a readable resume and don’t always think to adapt it to the particular role they are targeting,” said Alison Gaines, CEO of Gerard Daniels. “Some people fail to proof read their LinkedIn profile or keep it up to date. LinkedIn is a major research tool for internal recruitment teams and external search consultants.”

“An important network for managers and executives is their professional network,” said Ms. Gaines.

“It’s a great career investment to engage in professional education and development, conferences and seminars and volunteer with professional associations. Many good recruiters and executive search consultants will seek out recommendations about standout candidates from amongst professional peers.”

“If you get into the diary of an executive search consultant for a general discussion about your next career move make sure you have an efficient conversation – be clear about what you want out of the meeting, have some thoughts about the span of your career search and the types of roles, industries, employers, locations and compensation you prefer. Also have a view about the types of career risks you can, or cannot, tolerate,” she added.

Increasing the Odds

“I would suggest any executive who is actively seeking an opportunity and wants to increase the odds of landing the best one, use a coach to help them,” said Richard Risch, CEO of Risch Group Executive Search. “It provides another set of eyes and a professional buddy at your side to provide insight that might not otherwise come to mind. “

“On the executive search side, most of our searches are filled by people who are not actively seeking a new opportunity, so the chances of an active job seeker walking into our offices and finding that ideal job is unlikely,” said Mr. Risch. “Not impossible, but unlikely. It is why we always tell our recruits that see the opportunity we are presenting as an excellent one, but the timing not right, that those two aligning are rare.”

“When the iron is hot you strike, even if the timing is not ideal. That said, every executive should have a deep network already developed in the search industry. Those that land the best jobs usually come through that route.”

“When conducting a search for a new position, it must be a proactive, targeted process that requires discipline and focus,” said Walter Baker, managing partner of Pitcairn Partners. “There are three things critical steps to the process. “First is the ability to clearly and concisely articulate your objective. After assessing your experience and skill set, identify and be able to clearly communicate what you are looking for. Second is to identify and target those companies where reality dictates that you’ll most likely find that job, and provide opportunity for career development. These would include companies in which both your functional and market experience would be valued. Finally, pick up the phone!”

“Use your network to identify how to get in the door. In other words, who can you speak with that can direct you to individuals that can help you get in front of those who really matter at those companies. These would include gatekeepers, influencers, and decision makers.”

“Looking for your next job is not an event. It’s an ongoing process,” said Lisa Maxwell, managing partner of executive search firm Gerard Stewart. “Even if you’re in a great situation and you’re well-positioned in your current role with your current company, you should always be actively managing your own career and thinking about what’s next. Building relationships internally and externally is paramount to this.”

“An important job we all have is to serve as our own career agents – because recruiters work on behalf of companies, not individuals. You need to build relationships with good recruiters so they know who you are.”

“They can be great alliances and sources of information for market trends, compensation trends, job openings and other industry goings-on. At the end of the day, you are your own best advocate and agent,” said Ms.
Maxwell. “You are a business of one and should constantly be working on behalf of yourself. When the time comes to look for your next gig, the foundation should be already there.”