Category: Career Advice

Career Advice No One Will Ever Share With You

As a career coach, I’m always responding to career-related questions. I recently received a question on Quora asking, “What are a few unique pieces of career advice that nobody ever mentions?” This is a good one because there are a lot of possible answers to it, but I chose two answers that reflect what most of my clients don’t know when they first come to me.

Number 1:

If you work for someone else, you still need to think like an entrepreneur. Why? Because no one’s job is secure. You have to view your employer as your client. And if your “client” decides not to continue working with you, you have to be in a good position to quickly land your next client. You do this by becoming a good salesperson of your skills.

Number 2:

If you work for yourself, then you need to think of each meeting with potential clients or potential investors as a job interview. For instance, I have several consultations with potential clients each week. Therefore, I’m going on job interviews EVERY SINGLE WEEK of the year! I know I have to clearly express the benefits of my skills as a career coach.

Determine Fit

In either scenario, you not only need to sell your skills. You also need to treat the situation as a two-way street. You need to find out if your next job or your next client is going to be a good fit for you.

This is why I always suggest job seekers ask their own questions during a job interview. These questions should be ones to help them determine if the company (i.e. “the client”) is who they really want to spend 40+ hours a week with for the next several years.

***Check out A Proven Interview Hack for sample questions to ask when being interviewed.***

Be Selective

For me personally as a business owner, I’m selective in who I take on as clients. Therefore, not only do I present the benefits of my services and make sure they’re a good fit for the potential client’s goals, but I also ask questions to find out if they’re the type of client I’ll want to work with.

I start with questions in my intake form and ask additional questions during the initial consultation. I’m looking to see how serious the person is about my coaching program. I’m also looking for someone with a teachable spirit, an open-mind, respect for others, courtesy, and professionalism. Someone who doesn’t possess these qualities is not a good fit for me or my company’s mission or programs.

You need to be selective too. If you’re a job seeker with multiple job offers, be selective. If you’re an entrepreneur with multiple potential clients, be selective (even when you feel like can’t afford to be!). Here’s how.

Before walking into an interview or a meeting, take some time to do an inventory of:

  1. your skills and strengths,
  2. how you uniquely demonstrate those skills and strengths,
  3. the benefits of your skills and strengths,
  4. your needs and wants,
  5. your deal-breakers,
  6. and the questions to determine any potential deal-breakers or to determine if the other party can meet at least 60% of your needs and wants (because you’ll rarely find a case that meets 100% of them! – BE REALISTIC!).

Choose only those opportunities that are at least 60% compatible with your inventory. Keep in mind too that numbers 1-3 will give you leverage to ask for numbers 4-5.

Following this advice will help you develop good habits and preparedness for those times when you find yourself at a career crossroads.

5 Books That Will Make a Huge Impact on Your Life and Career

I’m an avid reader, but I’m also very selective in the books I recommend to others, especially to my clients. I only recommend books that provide something tangible. Like advice that can yield actual results when appropriately applied.

Below I’m sharing with you my list of must-reads I’ve shared with my clients. Keep in mind however, to see results from these books, you have to be disciplined enough to read them and to apply what you learn.

If you don’t like reading, I suggest trying to find the audio version of each book or using a reader app on your phone that converts the book to audio. And if you don’t like spending money on books, several of my recommendations are available at your local library. I’ve included in my list how I personally obtained a copy of each book.


Lori’s 5 Must-Reads

1. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Most of you have probably heard of Simon Sinek, especially if you watch a lot of TED Talks. His is one of the most viewed TED Talks of all time.

Start With Why helped me refocus my business and redefine its mission. It forced me to look at why I do what I do and how to articulate my “why” to potential clients. His point is, people (including potential clients AND potential employers) don’t care what you do or even how you do it until they understand why you do it.

I recommend this book time and time again when teaching my clients how to discover their own “why” and how to develop and articulate their own unique personal and professional brand. While one of the earlier chapters in the book seems to drag on, I encourage you to push through it to the rest of the book because you’ll find it to be a great resource. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait any longer!

***Checked out from my local library***

2. Body of Work by Pamela Slim

Body of Work shows you how to make sense of all your diverse work experiences and the skills gained from them, and how to tie them all together to create a career portfolio and professional brand. This includes not just your “official” full-time job, but also your side jobs, passion projects, volunteer work, artistic creations, etc. All of those experiences can add up to future opportunities you may have never previously considered.

***Checked out from my local library***

3. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Designing Your Life provides step-by-step instructions allowing you to experiment with different possible careers and roles for your life. These experiments lead to ways to design and build your life the way you want it to look at various life and career stages.

I’ve personally gone through the book myself, reading it twice and doing each exercise at least once. I choose which exercises I think would best suit my clients at their particular stage of career exploration and help guide them through those exercises. I’m also a member of the authors’ Facebook group for coaches and mentors. So, I use this book quite a bit and therefore highly recommend it!

***Purchased after originally checking out from my local library***

4. Finding True Happiness by Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

I haven’t finished this book yet, but the first half is so good I’m confident in going ahead and recommending it. However, there is a disclaimer for this book. It can get very deep into theories of philosophy, psychology, physics, metaphysics, and theology by numerous pioneers of those fields.

At times in the beginning, Finding True Happiness was a little over my head. But don’t let the scientific and academic jargon intimidate you. There is real-world understanding and application with this book, resulting in true happiness.

***Purchased in a gift shop at a monastery (also available on Amazon)***

5. Do Over by Jon Acuff

This book was actually recommended to me by one of my first clients to recommend to my other clients. It’s perfect for someone who is facing a major transition in their career, whether it be an unexpected lay-off, hitting a career ceiling, a change in role or job function, or an unexpected offer in another industry.

Do Over teaches you how to develop the four necessary elements of a successful career:  relationships, skills, character, and hustle.

***Purchased on my Kindle***

5 Free Books

In the spirit of this blog post, I’m giving away a signed copy of my Amazon #1 bestselling book Advance Your Image to the first five people who purchase my latest book, SUP: Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a Stand Up Paddleboard ($12 + S&H).

Advance Your Image contains advice from when I worked as an image consultant, and also includes job search advice to make you stand out above the competition. Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a SUP is a 30-day devotional and 100% of the profits go to support missions in Brazil.

To purchase Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a SUP and receive a free signed copy of Advance Your Image, be one of the first five people to inbox me at with the subject line “Advance Your Image.” I’ll also sign the 30-day devotional for you.

Share Your Own

What are some books that have made a real impact on your life or your career success? Please list them below so others can benefit from them as well. Thanks in advance!

Should I Apply for a Job I’m Not Qualified For?

A Common Question

This is a common job search question and one I recently answered on Quora. I have several clients who think if they don’t check off all the boxes of requirements on a job ad, they can’t apply for the job. But let me tell you a little story…

You Never Know What Can Happen

…When I was just coming out of grad school, I applied for a director’s level position without any full-time professional job experience. I knew I was unqualified for the director’s position, but I was interested in it and applied to see what would happen.

Of course I got rejected for the job. But then the company called me because the assistant director position had also just come open. They wanted to see if I was interested in it.

I was much more qualified for that role and was indeed very interested in it. They offered me the job a few days after my interview! I was so excited because it was my first “real job” out of school.

I say all this to show that you never know what can happen. You have nothing to lose but the time it takes to apply.

The Truth About The Job Ad

Most job ads read more like the hiring manager’s “wish list” instead of a realistic request. It’s highly unlikely that one person will have all the desired qualifications from the job ad.

My recommendation is, if you have at least 60-70% of the qualifications they’re looking for, go ahead and apply and see what happens. But only do so if you have a genuine interest in the job. Never apply for a job you have no intentions of taking just to gain interview practice. This is unethical.

Be understanding if they decide they don’t want you and don’t let the rejection get to you.

For more job search tips, check out paNASH’s on-demand programs. Get 15% off each individual program and the program bundle from July 9th to July 16th (use discount code SUMMER at checkout).

Related posts:

Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From Today’s Competition

Many of my clients come to me facing the daunting task of conducting a job search for the first time in nearly 20 years. A lot has changed in 20 years. But most of the job search advice floating around is outdated, especially interview advice.

In fact, while recently helping a friend with her upcoming job search, I showed her a specific job interview strategy. She said she’d never heard of it before, and was shocked to learn it was something she could try. “Do you mean I can actually do that for a job interview?” she exclaimed.

“Yes!” I said.

Not Your Grandma’s Interview Advice

Last week I saw this question posted on Quora:  “What are some smart interview answers?”

My response to this question was the same advice I gave my friend:

Smart interview answers are ones that show you have the company’s best interests at heart. And if you don’t really care about the company, you probably shouldn’t be interviewing for a job there. You should always make your answers about them, not about you (until it’s time to negotiate an offer, at which point you need to make it a win-win situation). Here’s a step-by-step method for how you do this:

  1. Find out what the company’s most immediate need is they’re hoping the person in this position can fulfill. Determine this BEFORE the interview! Once your interview has been scheduled, email the person with whom you’ll be interviewing. Tell him or her that you look forward to the interview. Then ask the following question, “What is the main thing you hope the next person in this position will accomplish or help solve?”
  2. Use the answer to this question as your foundation for preparing for the interview. Brainstorm one or two possible ways you can use your strengths to help get the desired result. Also, think of examples of times you’ve achieved similar results.
  3. Summarize your ideas and your past examples in a one-page proposal. You don’t have to have all the details of a full proposal, just an outline of what you’re thinking. If you don’t have enough information to come up with even just an outline, create a one-page case study of a time where you previously solved a similar issue. Indicate the challenge you were facing, the action you took, and your accomplishment or the results of your solution.
  4. Bring this proposal or case study to the interview with you so you have something tangible to show.

Taking the time and effort to speak to the company’s most immediate need shows you really care about working for that company, which will make you stand out from today’s competition in a big way!

Want More Modern Interview Advice?

For more modern interview advice, check out the paNASH on-demand program The 3 Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers. It includes proven job search strategies that blow all the cookie-cutter strategies out of the water! Get 15% off this program and all the other on-demand programs (including the bundle) from July 9th to July 16th (use discount code SUMMER at checkout).

It’s Not Too Late! How to Salvage the Last Half of 2017

In a few days we’ll begin the last half of 2017. Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year?!

For me, 2017 has already been filled with ups and downs, as I’m sure it has also been for you. The mid-point of the year is always a good time to:

  • Review the goals you set at the beginning of the year.
  • See which ones you accomplished.
  • Re-commit to the ones you have yet to accomplish.

My Passion Planner has an entire section devoted to doing just that between its June and July pages. (I really love having a paper calendar again!)

There may have been some bumps in the road since January to cause you to get behind on your goals. But, there’s still some time to re-focus and catch up.

5 Steps to Salvaging the Last Half of 2017

  1. Think back to what your goals were at the beginning of the year. Did they include discovering new passions? Making more money? Starting or completing a special project? Finding a new job or new career?
  2. Find your notes where you put these goals down in writing. If you didn’t write them down, then DO SO NOW! Did you know, people who write down their goals are 50% more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t?
  3. Start breaking your goals down into smaller goals. See if you can set a deadline of December 31st, 2017 to some, if not all, of these smaller goals.
  4. Begin working on your smaller goals TODAY. By doing so, you should be able to accomplish at least part of the bigger goals by December 31st as well.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up if this deadline doesn’t seem realistic for each goal. Right now, just focus on what you can accomplish by the end of the next six months. Once you have, you’ll gain more momentum and more motivation going into 2018.

Resources to Assist You in the Last Half of 2017

A dismal first half of the year doesn’t have to destroy your hopes for an improved you.

One quick way to get back on track is to utilize the on-demand resources offered by paNASH. These videos focus on topics related to improving your work and your life. They’re broken down into smaller video segments, making them quick and easy to access anytime online. They come with handouts to guide you through every step of your goal, whether it includes:

  • Pursuing your passions.
  • Making more money.
  • Improving your job search skills.
  • Developing your authentic brand.
  • Or even just properly setting goals.

Summer is a great time to catch up on your 2017 goals! To help you, I’m offering 15% off all paNASH on-demand programs. Use the discount code SUMMER at checkout. This offer is good beginning July 9th and lasts until July 16th. So maybe one of your first goals for the rest of this year is to take advantage of this offer on a resource that will kick your last half of 2017 into high gear!