Sunday, April 20, 2008

If others are living their dreams, why not you?

In the quest for the ideal career, many people find it inspiring to read about others who've achieved this seemingly impossible dream.

My question is always, "If others are living their dreams, why not you?" Rather than getting angry or frustrated or jealous because someone has an interesting job, the perfect schedule, plenty of vacation time, great compensation; why not instead see it as a signal that this is a possibility for you too?

In a new book called, "How'd you score that gig?" Alexandra Levit interviewed more than 100 people in their dream jobs to see what got them there. She found persistence was a very important trait.

I would add "belief in their dreams" as another key trait of people I've coached who've made it to their ideal careers. No matter what naysayers or even their own inner critic told them, it was their own belief in the dream that kept them persistently focused on achieving it.

I count myself as one of those people in their ideal career. And still "Believe in your dreams" is the message that I put on my mobile phone so that everytime I turn it on, that's what I see.

We all need to be reminded that dreams do come true, if for others why not you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Negotiating is always a good idea - even in bad economic times

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal online published a great article on how to negotiate salary even in tough economic times. (A link to the full article is at the bottom of this post.)

It's a subject I've been tackling with my clients and thought I'd share a recent example.

Just last week a client asked me if he should expect a drop in pay because he's changing careers in a bad economy. My response - don't ever expect a drop in pay. Rather understand what the going market rate is for the job you're applying for and how your skills and experience can help you stand out.

I told him about - a great resource to understand the salary range for the job your are looking for in your geographic area. Next we assessed his situation and whether his skills and experience put him at the top, middle or bottom of that range. For my client, many of his skills were transferable to the new job from his prior career. He wouldn't need to start over though he may be more towards the middle of the range than the top.

Going into the interviews armed with this knowledge boosted my client's confidence. He knew his worth and that allowed him to act accordingly in the interviews. I'll let you know whether he gets the job and at what pay!

Click here for the full Wall Street Journal article and feel free to email me at for help with negotiating pay that matches your worth!