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Video Blog – How To Get Director Or Executive Level Job Interviews

In this career coaching Q&A, I answer Jose’s question about how to get more interviews at the executive or director level:

Job seekers need to convey their background, skills and experience in a way that the employer understands, so there is no mismatch between what the job seeker wants and what the employer offers:

1) Look at how you’re positioning yourself at the right level in your resume, networking pitch, online profile and all correspondence;

2) Check that your network is also positioning you at the right level.

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Got Wings?

Why don’t we have wings? I mean, think about it. We can do just about everything else, but we can’t fly, I mean, not without an airplane. Why not? Well, it could be because we are meant to grow our own set. And the kind of wings I’m talking about are inner-wings. They are the wings that allow us to assume our own empowerment, to fly into the heights of beingness, into the fullness of presence, into the power of transcendence while keeping our feet solidly planted on terra firma. But how do we do it? Well, the truth is that we don’t really grow them—they are already there and fully grown. No, we find them. And once we find them, we can’t help but begin to use them—for they are a refined essence of who we are. Finding our inner wings is the essence of authentic leadership. And it is through authentic leadership that we will change our companies, our businesses, our governments, politics, healthcare and everything else on planet earth. Got wings? Don’t miss this show.

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Got Wings?

Why don’t we have wings? I mean, think about it. We can do just about everything else, but we can’t fly, I mean, not without an airplane. Why not? Well, it could be because we are meant to grow our own set. And the kind of wings I’m talking about are inner-wings. They are the wings that allow us to assume our own empowerment, to fly into the heights of beingness, into the fullness of presence, into the power of transcendence while keeping our feet solidly planted on terra firma. But how do we do it? Well, the truth is that we don’t really grow them—they are already there and fully grown. No, we find them. And once we find them, we can’t help but begin to use them—for they are a refined essence of who we are. Finding our inner wings is the essence of authentic leadership. And it is through authentic leadership that we will change our companies, our businesses, our governments, politics, healthcare and everything else on planet earth. Got wings? Don’t miss this show.

Posted on

Got Wings?

Why don’t we have wings? I mean, think about it. We can do just about everything else, but we can’t fly, I mean, not without an airplane. Why not? Well, it could be because we are meant to grow our own set. And the kind of wings I’m talking about are inner-wings. They are the wings that allow us to assume our own empowerment, to fly into the heights of beingness, into the fullness of presence, into the power of transcendence while keeping our feet solidly planted on terra firma. But how do we do it? Well, the truth is that we don’t really grow them—they are already there and fully grown. No, we find them. And once we find them, we can’t help but begin to use them—for they are a refined essence of who we are. Finding our inner wings is the essence of authentic leadership. And it is through authentic leadership that we will change our companies, our businesses, our governments, politics, healthcare and everything else on planet earth. Got wings? Don’t miss this show.

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Career Success Tips From Revlon Chief Marketing Officer Julia Goldin

This career coaching post originally appears in my Work In Progress blog for Forbes.com:

Julia Goldin is global chief marketing officer and EVP at Revlon, Inc, where she oversees all marketing activities and product innovation. Goldin has over 20 years of experience in consumer packaged goods, including senior executive positions over 13 years at The Coca-Cola Company. A native Russian, Goldin has lived and worked in Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan and the US. I had the pleasure of hearing Julia Goldin share success strategies for career and life at a talk for Step Up Women’s Network:

It’s all up to you — Believe in a limitless ability to evolve, change and learn.

Goldin recounted a story of a protégé she mentored in Japan. This soft-spoken woman was a rising star in a country with few female executives. Goldin credits the success to this woman’s willingness to break assumed cultural limitations, try new approaches, and ask for help. The protégé believed she could evolve, change and learn and was therefore able to carve out her own success despite her environment.

But look for external support — Don’t be afraid to go elsewhere for it.

On the other hand, you still need to be aware of your environment, particularly company support and opportunity. Goldin herself decided to leave her first role and instead join Coca-Cola because the other company couldn’t provide the international scope she wanted for her long-term career. International was not within their business priorities, so she wasn’t going to change that just for her benefit. Goldin reminded the audience, “Don’t just stay to prove a point.” Confirm that the company can and will give you what you need.

Set a vision and inspire – Find ways to get your ideas embraced by people

Asked about a single skill required for career success, Goldin highlighted the ability to deal with different audiences, to have the courage to stand up with your ideas, to set direction, and to get support from others.

Understand that most fears are acquired – Therefore, you can unlearn them

On the issue of self-confidence, Goldin pointed out that only two fears are natural — falling down and loud noises. All other fears are learned, and therefore, you can unlearn them! Goldin emphasized public speaking as a must-have skill and strongly recommended that aspiring executives overcome any public speaking fears.

Prioritize, delegate and trust to balance work/ life – You can’t control everything

On the subject of balancing family with a demanding job, Goldin talked candidly that things will not go perfectly. Be proactive about asking for help, learn to delegate, and live with how other people will do the things you give them.

 

As we kick off 2013, many people will include career advancement in their resolution list. Goldin shares excellent tips for all career stages. What will you work on? Do you have a limitless belief in yourself? Do you know if you have your company’s support? Can you generate buy-in from others for your vision? What fears will you overcome? Where will you ask for and accept more help?

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Radical Awakening

We don’t generally think of awakening as a process of accepting what is. But our guest today has been working in Great Britain to awaken a generation of spiritual inquirers to the experience of abiding presence and peace in our ever-shifting world through that very process. Jeff Foster answers questions like “How can we find an effortless ‘yes’ to this moment?” “How do we stop running from ‘the mess of life’—our predicaments, our frustrations, even our search for liberation—and start flowing with all of it?” With his book, The Deepest Acceptance, Jeff invites us to discover the ocean of who we are: an awareness that has already allowed every wave of emotion and experience to arrive. We all know that these things are beyond words, and yet, on our show today we will talk, and what we will talk about is how to stop trying to make acceptance and “nowness” happen and start falling in love with what, according to Jeff, has already been allowed.

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Special deal on conference for women entrepreneurs – $50 off till Jan 29

I will be attending the Savor the Success Rock The World Event, featuring Alexis Maybank of Gilt Groupe, Jessica Herrin of Stella & Dot, Simon Sinek author of Start With Why, and key media contacts at MSNBC, Entrepreneur, and other leading outlets. Till Jan 29, I can share a special link and coupon code for $50 off the registration fee. Use link = http://rocktheworld2013-cclevine.eventbrite.com to register and coupon code = savorlove to get $50 off. Let me know if you come, and I’ll look for you at the conference! Remember, the coupon expires next week, Jan. 29.

 

I attend conferences regularly and credit the networking and learning with helping me build my business over these past 5 years (can’t believe we’re entering year 6!). I wrote about resources for entrepreneurs who don’t only want to work solo in a recent post for Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/01/17/five-alternatives-to-a-business-partner-for-entrepreneurs-who-dont-want-to-work-solo/

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Radical Awakening

We don’t generally think of awakening as a process of accepting what is. But our guest today has been working in Great Britain to awaken a generation of spiritual inquirers to the experience of abiding presence and peace in our ever-shifting world through that very process. Jeff Foster answers questions like “How can we find an effortless ‘yes’ to this moment?” “How do we stop running from ‘the mess of life’—our predicaments, our frustrations, even our search for liberation—and start flowing with all of it?” With his book, The Deepest Acceptance, Jeff invites us to discover the ocean of who we are: an awareness that has already allowed every wave of emotion and experience to arrive. We all know that these things are beyond words, and yet, on our show today we will talk, and what we will talk about is how to stop trying to make acceptance and “nowness” happen and start falling in love with what, according to Jeff, has already been allowed.

Posted on

Radical Awakening

We don’t generally think of awakening as a process of accepting what is. But our guest today has been working in Great Britain to awaken a generation of spiritual inquirers to the experience of abiding presence and peace in our ever-shifting world through that very process. Jeff Foster answers questions like “How can we find an effortless ‘yes’ to this moment?” “How do we stop running from ‘the mess of life’—our predicaments, our frustrations, even our search for liberation—and start flowing with all of it?” With his book, The Deepest Acceptance, Jeff invites us to discover the ocean of who we are: an awareness that has already allowed every wave of emotion and experience to arrive. We all know that these things are beyond words, and yet, on our show today we will talk, and what we will talk about is how to stop trying to make acceptance and “nowness” happen and start falling in love with what, according to Jeff, has already been allowed.

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How To Answer The Dreaded ‘What Is Your Biggest Weakness’ Interview Question

This job search advice post originally appears in my Work In Progress column for Forbes.com:

As a former recruiter and now career coach, many job seekers ask me about the ideal answer to common interview questions. Of the questions job seekers are curious about, most ask specifically about the Weakness question. Variations on this question include: What would your boss or colleagues say is your biggest weakness? What is your biggest mistake? Tell me about a project where something went wrong? In all of these cases, you are asked to reveal something negative that could decrease your chances of getting hired. Here are three strategies for handling the Weakness interview question:

 

Be specific.

You want to minimize the reach and scope of what you reveal. So don’t confess to a general skill set as a weakness, such as communication skills, but rather point to something very specific. One candidate I interviewed who handled the weakness question well stated her weakness as presentation skills, specifically presenting to a large group. She offered how she was working on this skill and how she handled it in the past (yes, she can make presentations but set aside extra time to prepare.) Had she not answered so specifically I might have assumed that she can’t handle meetings or communicate well at all. You must be specific in what you share, or the interviewer will imagine the worst.

 

Avoid deal-breakers for the job.

That same candidate also chose her weakness well because her role didn’t involve a lot of public speaking. Had I been interviewing for a corporate communications role or a teacher/ trainer, presentation skills would have been a terrible weakness to share. In her operations role, however, it was an infrequent part of the job, and she showed that she could get by given advance time to prepare. Review the job description closely and steer clear of skills and expertise directly related to the role you want.

 

Remember that a weakness isn’t necessarily bad.

This candidate confessed to needing extra time to prepare and to not being good at spontaneous and impromptu speaking. She didn’t say she was a nervous wreck or someone who gets booed off the stage. A weakness is just an area that isn’t a strength. It doesn’t mean it has to be terrible. Think of things that don’t come naturally to you that require extra preparation. Think of projects where you might have done things differently in hindsight – what specifically would you do differently and can this be turned into a weakness that you are dealing with?

 

There is no single best answer to any interview question because it must be authentic to you (therefore it varies person-by-person) and it must be relevant to the interviewer (i.e., a weakness can’t be a deal-breaker, a strength should be a key responsibility). In addition, interview questions are framed a multitude of ways (see all of my weakness question variations above). Therefore, I can’t tell you word-for-word what you should say in every instance. But by identifying specific, non-essential, and not damning areas of development, you can come across as a self-aware, reflective, and thoughtful professional.