Once Upon a Time..It was YOU!

Last week I wrote about Grace O’Malley and making yourself legendary.

I was talking about it to a friend and I commented on how since I made changes and lost weight people are more receptive towards me and how I thought people held the weight against me. She said, “Do you think maybe it was you?” What?!?! Then I really thought about it….Yes, it was.

I have a lot of people tell me, I can’t move up at work. I can’t find a job. I can’t make the sale. Is it everyone else or could it be you?

What are you projecting to everyone? I can say I was insecure about walking into a room and networking. I was funny and sarcastic but didn’t stand out for sure. So I avoided networking events like the plague. As much as we don’t want to admit, it’s not the weight, the clothes or our resume that holds us back, the truth is that it is us.

Once Upon a time I was about to turn 39 (ugh), I was new on Facebook and checking out all the people from high school. Oh, that cheerleader got fat and that ex-boyfriend, yuck. Then it occurred to me—they are doing the same thing to me. Then I pondered my family health history and decided I needed to be healthy. Having a better Facebook profile picture wouldn’t hurt either.

So I started Weight Watchers and found a Former Chicago Bear to kick my butt into shape. Fast forward a year and a half and 70 pounds gone…What I didn’t realize was how it would change me.

Not just the physical me, but all of me. I don’t have to contemplate if I can do something anymore, only I hold myself back. I can walk into a room at networking events confident and because of that I am more approachable. I introduce myself in a crowd and want to be involved, instead of getting out as fast as I can or making excuses to stay home like I used to. I’m not intimidated to go out there and sell. I feel like a different person. So it wasn’t everyone else holding me back, It was it just me.

There are a lot of people competing for jobs and promotions. I hear so many complain about how they are qualified, if not over qualified and they aren’t getting the job or moving up. Besides the obvious (resume, references and experience) what is the difference between you and the other candidates? First impressions count. What is yours?

Look in the mirror honestly and ask yourself, “What are other people seeing?” If you don’t like what you see, change it.

The benefits will come in so many ways. It might not be weight, but how you present yourself or your attitude. Are you put together, not expensive, just carefully? You also need to ask, “What are people feeling around me?”

Are you the one everyone can’t wait to talk to in the morning? Or, are you the one that they avoid because you are crabby or negative?
Do you slouch in misery or shrink back because you don’t feel confident? You have to command presence at work or in an interview.
When you are talking about your previous company, talk about the great things you accomplished there, not all the reasons you wanted to leave. Think about how you start a conversation.

Don’t be the person that goes straight to the negative. There are negatives around us, but it’s important to show you are the one to focus on the fix and not the problem. Solve not complain!

How would you answer these questions both personally and professionally?

What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness?
How do you evaluate success?
Why should we hire/promote you?
What are your goals for the future?

These are great questions to ask yourself (honestly) and then decide if you would hire/promote yourself. This exercise will help you figure out what changes you need to make to get to the next level, your dream job or your goal. Make a plan to change those things and talk about your successes along the way.

People are impressed by others trying to better themselves. There were times when I was ready to give up and the encouragement of those around me kept me going.

Sometimes it was from the most surprising places. I had employees at client locations comment and encourage me. People will support you along the way, let them. It also gives you an opportunity to show others (your boss, clients and co-workers) you can set a goal and finish it.

There are tons of hurdles we face in life and work. When trying to find the fix, sometimes you have to ask…Is it me? Good Luck!

It’s March and we’ve all given up on resolutions, but we still have goals. Let me know in the comment section WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WANT TO CHANGE OR ACCOMPLISH THIS YEAR? (I want to run a half marathon by February 2013. It’s out there now I have to do it!).

This was also posted On Patch.com

About evilqueenhr

Once upon a time there was a boring HR person sitting in a back office filling out paperwork spouting sections from the handbook. I’m not that HR person. Work is a scary and sometimes funny place with lots of lessons to learn along the way. People don’t follow the rules, it’s HR’s job to steer them in the right direction. Unfortunately there are no apples with spells to make the bad employees fall asleep until we can recruit new ones. My Name is Denise Benages and I have been in the Human Resource field for over 16 years. I am president of HR Midwest, Inc. I plan on telling the epic lore of the workplace and help with solutions. Don't Bite the Apple...Work is not a fairy tale! www.dontbitetheapple.net www.hrmidwest.com
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