Speaking to professionals in different industries about their career path and goals is always a learning experience for me. Frequently I find myself reviewing a basic career search check list with each professional during our conversation. Updated resume, check. Attending networking events, check. Skills current and relevant, check. Confidence, I get silence or the Scooby Doo face of bewilderment.
I have witnessed confidence be the unspoken career tipper of determining if a candidate will actually follow through and actively pursue the position or promotion that they truly desire and not settle with it being just a good idea. As a career coach, I find myself sometimes spending equal time encouraging the candidate to connect with their career confidence specifically as I do scouting for their desired career opportunity. It is such a rewarding experience to watch candidates shake off insecurities and doubts to elevate their confidence mindset to a belief that they are worthy and deserving to be considered for a potential position. When candidates are confident in their knowledge, abilities, and skills they have an assurance in the way that they carry themselves that they know that the right career opportunity will present itself at the right time for them to pursue. Confidence is a primary connector of being well prepared and being focused on accomplishing your career goals regardless of timing and the lessons learned along the journey to your career goals becoming a reality.
I had the opportunity to be mentored by Janine DiGioacchino in the midst of career transition that I was excited to develop in as a business development professional. Janine is the Divisional Director of Midway Attractions North America at Merlin Entertainments Group. Janine would take time to share her managerial insight with me. We would often speak about work performance and how work performance would impact how one perceives themselves when responding to metric driven goals, constructive feedback, and promotional opportunities. When I reflect upon those treasured conversations with Janine; confidence proved to be the unspoken factor every time that determined the employees perspective and the pursuit positioning they chose; to be the status quo, stagnant or advance their career with the company. I recently re-connected with Janine and interviewed her about how confidence has impacted her career.
Career Tipper: How has your confidence contributed to your success of having productive career longevity in managing a multi-level organization?
DiGioacchino: Confidence is not innate nor can you inherit it! For me, my confidence has grown with experience and the opportunities I have been afforded throughout my career. Having confidence has allowed me to make decisions outside my comfort zone and take calculated risks while overseeing multiple businesses at a time.
Career Tipper: What is your confidence building strategy for members of your team that have the tendency to shrink back although they have demonstrated the ability and skills to perform their assigned role?
DiGioacchino: Building confidence takes time. I encourage my teams to take risks and not be afraid of failure. You will learn twice as much from a failed attempt than from a successful one.
Career Tipper: From your perspective and experiences, how can confidence shift someone’s career path during their pursuit of a promotion?
DiGioacchino: Every business needs “steady eddies” – individuals who chug along and keep the motor running. The employees who stand out most for me though, are the employees who are not afraid to go against the grain and think differently. Change is the price of progress and often can be necessary for businesses to grow.
Career Tipper: What has your confidence assisted you in qualifying for and protected you from in your various management roles?
DiGioacchino:I have been with the same company for almost 15 years. During that time, I have held various roles that required me to let go of my security blanket and take on more and different responsibilities. If I didn’t possess confidence I don’t think I would have taken the leap to apply for the more challenging roles. Confidence has allowed me to defend my failures by rationalizing how the decision could have positively impacted the company. I never make a decision without playing out the outcome in my head. Optimism helps too! Think about all of the amazing results that accompany good decisions!
Choose to shine and not shrink back. Work on taking your confidence to the next level daily. Your career and legacy is worth it. Share your comment below about a confidence building moment or lesson for you.
“Ask yourself this question: ‘Will this matter a year from now?’”
~Richard Carlson, American Psychotherapist and Writer, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff~
The year is more than half way over and there are a few things that may come to mind; mid-year review outcomes, career promotion opportunities, unused vacation time, or how to figure out more ways to do something fun for yourself in the midst of your personal and professional must-do list. Our chosen career paths have the ability to gift us many revelations. For starters, determining that our career is what we do versus who we are. Evidently our monies earned from our career choices fund our lifestyle and our dreams.
During conversations with colleagues and peers many things are discussed from successful business outcomes to pressing through business frustration. One thing that I aim to do after each business conversation is to take the time to put the conversation details into perspective. Conversations have the ability to subtly shift you in the direction of being more productive, stagnant, or evolve into a progressive distraction of idleness chatter. It is important to know and recognize your contribution to your work place. Your conversation matters and it is an indicator to all that you interact with how you view your career, your pursuit of success, and your career legacy.
Our words linger as much as our actions. Our words and productivity outcomes often make it to the auto-play list that decision makers use to select us for projects, brand representation opportunities, and promotions. It is critical that we keep our words in perspective with our career goals and projections. Intentional effort to be mindful of the words we speak and how we are viewed by other business professionals because of them. Whether we like it or not, perception is reality.
Our mid-year lessons that have been sparked by refreshed career aspirations or by fine tuning the game plan of our professional performance that will result in you hitting the bullseye in the final quarters of the year for next level career excellence. It is important to remember that our actions, words and thoughts serve as a snapshot to our perspective of how we choose to respond to the expectations of our career roles based upon our career lessons and to-do lists. For me personally, my ever evolving and forward thinking career perspective aha moments often happen at the most unexpected times; listening to mentors and industry leaders share their insight, in the middle of a bikram yoga class, reading, or an engaging in a casual conversation.
Will you choose to just meet expectations or will you choose to exceed expectations? Developing a career perspective will take you beyond just earning your income. A clear career perspective will catapult your courage and tenacity of knowing the pursuit is worth your preparation time. While owning your professional development is never wasted time. Being in tune to your career perspective is worth the dedicated focus of living your career dream out loud daily.
I would love to read your comments on how you make your career perspective a reality.
“Go to college. Get an education. Understand the law, the profession and our constitution so you understand your responsibility to the people and the trust you are granted – and to stay true to it.”
-Sheriff Dave Brown-
I have always had much admiration for men and women that choose the career path of being a civil servant. I had the honor of being a resource connector to assist potential candidates prepare to be considered for law enforcement roles. I must say that I was always taken back when a few candidates realized that they really did need to be at their physical best, their past life choices can really come back and haunt them, and committing time to volunteer with an agency is time well spent. More importantly helping the potential candidates connect to the reality that their entire life personally and professionally is an open file that will be reviewed against a standard of excellence that could become their lifestyle to uphold with integrity and commitment.
I’m excited to share a recent interview that I had with Sgt. Jamie Joyce. Sgt. Joyce is a Patrol Supervisor with the Winter Park Police Department. She shares her experience and mindset tips from an insider’s perspective for potential law enforcement candidates. Sgt. Joyce has served the citizens of Winter Park, Florida for over 22 years in various capacities with experience in recruiting and background investigations, working with the media as an Agency Public Information Officer and a certified Crime Prevention Practitioner. She also serves as a Team Supervisor for the Hostage Negotiations Team and as Vice President for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 64.
Career Tipper: Please share your recommendations of how law enforcement candidates should establish themselves to have a successful law enforcement career?
Joyce: Candidates should familiarize themselves with the agencies they are interested in. Review the websites of agencies, research news articles, go on ride-alongs, and volunteer. Be “career minded”. Attend the police academy and distinguish themselves during the program. We all know each other; law enforcement is a close, tight-knit community and we do our homework on prospective recruits. Get your education (2-4 year degree) it’s required for promotion. Understand that law enforcement is not just a “job”. It is a way of life and once you are an Officer, Trooper or Deputy. You are expected to conduct yourself with honor and integrity at all times. With that being said, if you are a few years out from applying for a sworn position; understand that your personal and social life will be assessed by a Background Investigator. Any adjustments to social life or peer group should be made now. Your reputation should be sterling.
Career Tipper: What are two character traits you look for in law enforcement candidates? What are two character traits that is not favorable for law enforcement candidates?
Joyce: Honor and integrity are the two most important. All you have is your word, don’t compromise it for anyone or anything. Other important traits is patience, flexibility, strong written and oral communication skills, the ability to multi-task, make good decisions quickly and have a strong work ethic. I couldn’t narrow it down to two. Character traits that are not favorable would include: laziness, cowardice, violent impulsivity, prejudice, having what I call the general “get over” mindset. Always figuring out a way to get away with things you know are morally or ethically wrong and justifying it with some excuse. In addition to having a predatory mindset by enjoying observing or creating suffering for others. Other traits that would not be favorable are: mental illness, lack of critical thinking skills, and lack of communication skills.
Career Tipper: How important is proper usage of oral and written grammar for a law enforcement officer candidate to understand that is entering the crime industry?
Joyce: Extremely important. We document everything and it has to be accurate and complete. Our reports are seen all the way through the court system, by the media and by the public. Nothing is more embarrassing for an individual officer or an agency than to present a report or legal document that is lacking. Oral communication can save your life and keep you from physically engaging with folks. Everything we do (or don’t do right) reflects on others that wear our or a similar uniform.
Career Tipper: What has been your keys to success to your career advancement and longevity?
Joyce: Conducting myself personally and professionally with integrity at all times. Never complaining about a task or job assigned to me and maturely accepting disappointment (not getting a position, assignment, transfer I wanted right away). Patience, flexibility, strong work ethic, loyalty, accepting and seeking training, and doing the job the best I could every time. Understanding and sincerely subscribing to the mission of the agency and truly enjoying the service oriented nature of this job. A sense of humor and having an internal mechanism for processing out all the negativity one can experience in this job.
Career Tipper: What has been your most profound career lesson to date?
Joyce: This is a service oriented occupation, law enforcement is still a business and a delicate balance between the cold business fiscal side and the human side of this job (in terms of the employees and the public we serve) must be struck. The career of law enforcement is professionalizing and in that profound systemic change, there is room for positive growth for not only the profession and its practitioners, but the philosophy behind what we do and why. It is an exciting time! Stagnancy has no place. There is too much technology and too many resources available for us to be playing “catch up” in terms of crime fighting and prevention.
Career Tipper: What do you enjoy most about working in the law enforcement industry?
Joyce: Knowing that in some small way, at some time, I might have made a positive impact on someone or the world is very rewarding….but hands down, the best thing about this job are the amazing professionals I work with and get to meet every day. Law enforcement are a truly special group of folks and it has been an honor and a blessing to work with all of them. These people, whether you know them personally or not, will walk through fire for you, be there for you through the worst, help you celebrate righteously the best and if need be, sacrifice everything and die for you. No other profession outside of firefighters and armed services can say that.
Are you at a place in your career where you desire a career promotion? You have embraced the constructive feedback from your employer and mentors. You’ve acquired the needed certifications and education to be viewed as promotable. You aim to display a can-do attitude with a smile in all that you do. Yet as time passes, pending opportunities of advancement seem to look like a mirage of anticipation. I hear you loud and clear.
There was a season during my retail career path where I knew I was making a consistent dedicated effort to improve and master my role. I was hungry for professional advancement and multiple uncontrollable situations were continuing to prevail. I went into a reflection mode that led to an acceptance mode that led to a grateful place of being appreciative of the professional experience. That moment in time reiterated in my mind and spirit; what’s for me is mine but the career advancement may not come the way I was looking for it to manifest in my life.
I then remembered that there was one success trigger that I had not fully executed to positively change my career path, journaling. I started listing everything that I wanted to experience in my new role that I had complete confidence and faith would happen for me. I had fun listing all my career wishes that included, but not limited to; continued professional development, domestic and/or international travel monthly, financial increase, cherished memories and lessons, a role that I woke up to loving daily, and managing the development of business processes. I then transformed the list into a detailed affirmation that I read at least twice a day. At the onset of a career frustration that would occur randomly during my business day; I would read the affirmation. The affirmation evolved into a peace of mind balm. I read the affirmation so much that it eventually became committed to memory. Let’s just say I was on a mission, smiles. I’m happy to share that this particular affirmation manifested in thirty days. I strongly believe that my preparation, faith, and confidence in my career goal coming to fruition arrived right when it was supposed to.
Ironically my career advancement did not arrive in the desired package from my employer at the time. It arrived super sized with gifting everything I wanted on my career wish list. I went from affirming my career goal daily to living my goal out loud with my first travel stop in my new role being London, England.
Today and everyday I encourage you to take time to affirm your dreams and prepare for the next career experience that you want to list on your LinkedIn profile daily. Even if it’s an expansion of your current role as long as it promotes your professional development goals.
What way has journaling, affirmations, or other success triggers helped you advance in your career? I would love to know one of your most prized success stories that came from being prepared for your next level career move.
The quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” is a metaphor that is an unspoken factor in personal and professional environments when one is being considered to be promoted to a new role, collaborate with others in cultivating business relationships and establishing or expanding brands. How you choose to carry yourself, converse, and interact with others are also image factors for career seekers, entrepreneurs, and career changers to be mindful of.
During my tenure of preparing candidates to interview for their next level career opportunity. It would have been a disservice to only focus on how they answered the mock interview questions and not remind them of the importance of image. It is true that you should dress how you want to be addressed personally and professionally. The professional image that you portray displays that you have an understanding of how to demonstrate that you belong in the desired position. I also liked to remind candidates that their grooming habits is a part of their image as well. Personal grooming details has equal merit as the statement of their professional attire. For some, I recognize that you may not view yourself as the professional dress type but desire a professional position that requires professional attire. It is important to mediate on this image truth and “Act as if.” moving forward. Take the time to invest in a quality professional wardrobe that will reflect a positive nod that you’re advancing in your chosen career path. I reached out to Mark Hillery, an in demand men’s image concierge to share his fashion and grooming insider tips for men to consider while establishing and pursing their career legacy.
Mark Hillery is the CEO of Style and Travel Daily and Mark’s Resume Rewrite. He’s an Image Consultant/Personal Stylist/Professional Writer/ Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger. Mark created his image concierge firm as an opportunity to help others realize their dreams through the creation of an excellent image. First impressions are lasting, and Style & Travel Daily teaches their clients how every interaction counts. Mark is a Contributor to the Details Bloggers Network and also serves as a consumer advisor to Saks Fifth Avenue.
Career Tipper: What lead you to become and image concierge for professional men?
Hillery: I initially began my concierge services as a lead instructor for a very popular and established Image Course created by fashionista/blogger/business guru, Dr. Stacia Pierce. My favorite time during the course was the annual shopping trip with the gentlemen to help them put all of the classroom learning to practice. I’d help them create their looks for a special event, work to schedule on-site seminars and image Q & A with men’s departments at stores such as Nordstrom’s and critiqued on what looked best on them. One of the things I realized as a result of the trips was that the gentlemen enjoyed looking their best, but they just didn’t have the time it took to adequately shop for the ideal pieces; so that problem gave me an opportunity to help them look their best by doing the shopping for them.
Career Tipper: What is your suggested strategy on how men can up-level their career wardrobe?
Hillery: I’m a firm believer that a quality wardrobe is created over time by purchasing one quality piece of clothing at a time. Trends are great, but never sacrifice quality for quantity! Men should always purchase the “professional” essentials in order to create, maintain and enhance their career wardrobe.
Career Tipper: How important is grooming for career focused men? What are a few products that you recommend?
Hillery: Grooming separates the men from the boys! A man who takes his grooming seriously is taken seriously. Image is crucial and decisions of whether to buy your product, take your advice and/or follow your leadership hinges on the amount of pride you take in preparing yourself for that chance meeting. Men should get their hair cut and trimmed by a professional barber/stylist on a regular basis. A well-groomed man has the proper tools to maintain their facial hair and appearance in between their visits to the barber. Skin types vary, so purchase the razor that works for you. When in doubt, visit places such a The Art of Shaving for equipment advice. The companion to the ideal razor is a skin care system. I use Kiehl’s products, but there are other great products on the market.
Career Tipper: What are five wardrobe must-haves for professional men?
Hillery: All professional men need to own a dark-colored (navy blue or black) dress suit; a blue or white dress shirt; brown or black dress shoes, silver or gold-toned accessories such as cufflinks, tie bars; and lastly, a briefcase or document holder in brown leather preferably.
Career Tipper: What is the best wardrobe styling advice you have received?
Hillery: Know your body type and wardrobe personality. Once you know those two factors, buy the best materials you can afford in order to look your best.
Career Tipper: What is the best character trait a man should develop to compliment his professional wardrobe?
Hillery: Integrity is a must have. People can forgive and understand mistakes. They want to know that they can trust you.
Visit Style and Travel Daily for more career image advice and to learn more about Mark Hillery’s personal image concierge services.