23291063Well now! It’s two days after inauguration day and I am stoked. Whether or not you voted for our new President, Barack Obama, one thing was evident on Tuesday- people are ready for a real change and to take action. The confetti has been swept up, the halls and streets cleaned, the formal wear put away. Now it’s time to get down to business. Tuesday felt just like New Years to me. People making renewed commitments and vows to do better. And just like New Years, these new vows and commitments will fall to the wayside if you’re not careful. So what are you going to do?

Take action-If you woke up this morning and realized that nothing has changed at your job or the company is facing some serious troubles, it’s time to make a plan. You need to find out from someone in the know what the status of your company and position are. If you don’t receive an answer you like, revamp that resume and put your ear to the ground. Start investigating other opportunities. I know the job market looks like crap right now. But trust me when I say there are opportunities if you have skills. A lot of people will say they don’t have many skills that they know of other than what they’ve been doing for the past how many years. Well, if this is true, then you need to figure out what you really want to do and then start getting the training you need to do it. It’s that simple. We live in the age of internet and YouTube. If you cannot afford to pay for college or training classes, there is no law that says you cannot seek out free training on the web. The point is, don’t make excuses, resolve to find a way.

Brush up your resume- I have a friend who hasn’t needed to use her resume in 10 years. She came to me and asked me to take a look at it. Honestly, it looked like something copied out of a resume book. The format was 80’s like and ineffective. So I sat down with her to rework it and highlight her accomplishments. If you are not good at writing, hire a professional resume writer. You want to put forth your best first impression, which will be on paper. Don’t leave it up to chance. Let the professional do his or her job.

Reach out to people-Yay! You get to network! Start reaching out to people you know to get their perspective on the job market, their industry and business, and how they perceive you as a professional. Ask for honest feedback and be prepared to take it gracefully. Start reaching out to people on your professional (social) networks. Don’t come out and ask for a job. That’s tacky. Instead ask to schedule some phone (or face to face time if possible). You don’t want to come to them hat in hand. It’s better to approach them as someone who can advise you. They’ll be more receptive. Don’t pester them every week. I can’t stress this enough. Recently, I had to delicately tell someone in my network to stop emailing me every week with his resume and “weekly update”. It’s annoying and rude. You can end up turning people of. Remember to keep other people’s schedule in mind and be respectful of their time. And if you’re inviting them out to coffee, lunch or whatever, pick up the tab. It’s the least you can do and consider it an investment.

Take an inventory of You– Start from the top down. Do you need a fresher, more polished hairstyle? Yes, I’m serious. Go ahead and get your hair done. Next take a look at your wardrobe. Can you stand to update your wardrobe. You can pick up a few inexpensive pieces to add to your wardrobe. Just make sure they are well constructed. Could you stand some diction or speaking lessons? Take a class or join Toastmasters. Do you have bad habits that are inhibiting you from succeeding? Get rid of them. Some habits may be hard to break, but you must. Could your attitude need improving? Work on it. Take note of any negativity you may be exuding and vow to correct it. Start surrounding yourself with affirmations and positive people. Attitude adjustments start from within. Take a total 360 degree assessment of yourself and determine the areas you wish to improve. Then improve them.

Just do it. Make yourself get out there and start taking risks. Look for leads, go meet people, and fix the perceived flaws you may have. Only you can dictate how successful you will be. Take the pre-emptive measures to be successful.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham