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Sunday Inspiration: 5 Steps to Fulfilling God’s Plan for Your Life

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

By Neil Kennedy

It’s simple: We don’t chase after things we have no desire to obtain. Therefore, our pursuit of anything is ample proof of valid desire. But desire alone doesn’t bring success. We must have a clearly defined strategy.

Defining a successful strategy is one of the most challenging exercises a man faces. Even Jesus warned of this process in Luke 14:28-30 (NIV):

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”

God leads us in steps, not by leaps. Most men want to jump into their success, yet a “leap of faith” is not a biblical concept. If we’re going to fulfill our purpose, we must take steps to do it.

Here are five important steps you can take now to fulfill your purpose.

Step 1

You must decide for yourself what is worthy of your pursuit. No one else should decide for you. You may receive counsel from others, but you should make the decision; otherwise you will be unfulfilled in your pursuit. There are countless stories of men who achieved great success yet remained unfulfilled because they were living another person’s dream.

Step 2

Go to your Source to understand your potential. God spoke to the land and said, “Produce!” He spoke to the seas and said, “Teem with creatures!” He spoke to Himself and said, “Let Us create man!” Only God has a complete understanding of why you were created and what your potential is. You may have a hint or a glimpse of this understanding, but you will never know complete fulfillment until you fully know the Source of your potential.

Step 3

Write down on paper or develop a vision board of every dream, goal or desire that is important to you. Write down anything you want to become, do or possess. This is extremely important. I’ve learned that what I have received from God requires me to write it down so I can repeat it often and closely guard the accuracy of the goal He has given me.

Step 4

Narrow your focus to the top three pursuits. After you’ve written down what you want to become, do or possess, develop actions steps you can take now to create momentum toward those things. The big vision will come from a series of small decisions.

Step 5

Be aware that God will network you with others to help you get where you are going. People are God’s hands on this earth. You may find two different types of people will come into your life—one a person you have the ability to help, the other a person who has the ability to help you. Recognizing and discerning these people is vital.

You will never achieve your purpose in life unless you become strategically motivated to pursue it. Make plans right now to get alone with God, pursue Him and listen for His affirming voice to clearly define your purpose, write it down, develop action steps and get moving.

Source: https://www.charismamag.com/life/men/17497-5-important-steps-to-fulfill-your-purpose

How to Be More Joyful in Your Work

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You may be one of those lucky people who has a job that brings tremendous joy in your life. Most likely you’re one of many struggling to find joy in your work.

While you may be temporarily stuck in what feels like a dead-end situation, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your own uniqueness to add some joy to the daily grind.

By finding ways to put your own thumbprint on your work with your unique quirks and skills, you can not only make your work more joyful for yourself, but also for others.

How Others Have Become More Joyful

My favorite example of this is the story I once heard of a school janitor in New Hampshire.

One of his duties is to vacuum the carpet in the classrooms. Everyone is familiar with how a vacuum leaves lines and tracks in carpet.

Well, this janitor uses his artistic abilities to create various designs in the carpet with his vacuum cleaner. It gives him joy in his job to have this kind of creative outlet. In turn, the school children experience joy when they come in to their classroom each morning to find a new carpet mural.

vacuum

Photo by Angie Wyand

Another example is my favorite salesman of The Contributor. Shawn sells at the Music Row round-about. Every holiday he dresses up in costume while he sells newspapers to fund his housing and his own T-shirt company.

the-grinch

One way I put my own thumbprint on my work is by occasionally taking my clients out for a stand up paddleboard lesson. It brings me joy both to be out on the water and to teach someone something new. It brings my clients joy because it gets them out of their normal routine, clears their mind, and exposes them to a potential new hobby. They always comment on how relaxing and fun it is.

The Possible Results

Using your uniqueness to bring joy to your work and to others can open doors to an even better opportunity for several reasons. It can:

  • Increase your positivity.
  • Get you noticed in a good way.
  • Make a difference in the lives of the people you serve in your work.
  • Indirectly impact the bottom line of the company in a positive way.

All of these things make you a valued asset for both your current company and any other company you may be interested in working for, therefore likely resulting in a promotion, a pay raise, or a new job. Or, it could just simply brighten someone’s day.

Have you ever thought about including your unique way of bring joy to your work on your resume or in your responses to interview questions? This could make you stand out from a sea of other candidates!

How Can You Be More Joyful?

What’s a way you can (or already do) add your own thumbprint to make your work joyful? I REALLY LOVE stories like this and want to hear more so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share in the comment box below your own example or others’ examples you’ve witnessed.

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How to Move Up in Your Career

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Lately I’ve had several people contact me who’ve said, “I can’t seem to move up in my career. I keep getting stuck in the same low-level jobs and don’t know how to get out of this cycle and move up to something better. Help!”

Oftentimes there’s a simple explanation for this phenomenon. People take a lower-level job expecting to eventually be promoted to a higher level position, but never take action to ensure this will happen.

The Cycle

The cycle goes like this:

  • You take a lower-level job telling yourself it’s a good foot-in-the-door and will provide an opportunity to grow in the company.
  • You keep your nose to the grindstone and continue to work hard, hoping your boss will notice how good of a worker you are.
  • After the first year, you get passed over for promotion.
  • Then it’s two to three years later and nothing’s changed. You wonder why you’re still stuck in the same position and aren’t advancing.
  • You begin to feel unappreciated, so you decide to look for a job with a different company.
  • However you only apply for the same level job you’ve been in because you think it’s all you’re qualified to do since you haven’t been promoted.
  • You accept the same level job at another company with the same hopes of growing and moving up in the company.

And then the cycle starts all over.

Breaking the Cycle and Creating Real Career Growth

So how do you break this cycle? By going in to a job with an intentional and focused plan.

The people who have suffered through these cycles are in them because they didn’t take responsibility for their own career growth. They went in with no plan of their own and instead expected the higher ups to recognize their potential and promote them.

But, just like a job doesn’t fall into your lap, opportunities for advancement don’t either. You have to do your part to grow in your career. But how?

Below are several actions you can take to jump start a plan for moving up in your career. I’ve also linked each action to paNASH’s various on-demand video courses that show you in more detail how to carry out each action. (Get 15% off each on-demand program from Sept. 18-25 when you enter the discount code FALL2019 at checkout.)

In addition, paNASH provides a one-on-one personalized coaching track focusing solely on career growth. The Career Growth Track provides you an in depth plan you need to break the cycle. Also, it’s perfect for those who’ve just started a new job. It includes:

  • Successful on-boarding in your new job.
  • Preparation for promotion and advancement opportunities.
  • Methods for asking for a raise.
  • “Fire”-proofing yourself.
  • Maintaining joy and challenge in your career.
  • And more!

Don’t stay stuck! Move up!

Don’t stay stuck in your career! The power is in your hands to become unstuck and move up. You just have to learn how to wield your power by following the suggestions above. paNASH can help you do this in two ways:

  1. With paNASH’s on-demand programs available online (get 15% off each online program or the entire bundle from Sept. 18-25 when you enter the discount code FALL2019 at checkout).
  2. And, with the personalized, one-on-one Career Growth coaching track.

Contact paNASH today and break the cycle!

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Sunday Inspiration: Overcoming Failure

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“My flesh…may fail, but God is the strength of my heart.” Ps 73:26 NIV

As you drive toward your destiny, you’re sure to hit potholes along the way, or take some wrong turns, or forget to check your gas gauge and run out of fuel. The truth is, the only way to avoid failure is to not leave your driveway!

In the words of author William Saroyan:

“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.”

The real issue in life isn’t whether or not you’re going to fail, but whether you’re going to learn from your experience and turn it into the wisdom needed to succeed.

In a survey of successful people, not one of them viewed their mistakes as failures. They considered them “learning experiences,” or “tuition paid,” or “opportunities for growth.” That’s the winning attitude!

Henry Ward Beecher said:

“It’s defeat that turns bone to flint…gristle into muscle…and makes men invincible. Do not then be afraid of defeat. You are never so near victory as when you’re defeated in a good cause.”

So the next time you fail at something, stop and ask yourself:

  • What have I learned?
  • Am I grateful for this experience?
  • How can I turn it into success?
  • Where do I go from here?
  • Who else has failed like this, and how can they help me?
  • How can my experience help others?
  • Did I actually fail, or just fall short of an unrealistically high goal?
  • Where did I succeed as well as fail?

Then go one step further, and ask God for greater insight. If you do, you’ll grow stronger and wiser because of what you’ve been through (See James 1:5).

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/overcoming-failure

5 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

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I get a lot of questions from clients asking what they should say in a job interview when responding to common interview questions. But rarely does someone ask me what they should never say in a job interview. However, this knowledge is just as important (if not more!) than the knowledge of what to say.

I can remember when I was doing my first job search, I really just wanted to answer the question “What is your greatest weakness?” with, “Chocolate.” Of course I knew better! But some people still say things which seem obvious not to say. And then there are those not-so-obvious things.

I could spend quite a bit of time discussing all the things you should never say in a job interview. But for this post, I’m going to focus on the top five things most candidates mistakenly say but should never utter.

Top 5 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

1. Don’t share anything too personal

When answering “Tell us about yourself,” never tell the interviewer your personal history starting from kindergarten! They don’t care where you went to middle school, what your favorite color is, or what your dog’s name is.

Instead, talk about your professional self, including your strengths and experience, your interest in the job, and how you can make a contribution to the company. Show them you can be a problem-solver for them!

This is not to say you can’t use a personal challenge you’ve faced in your life that shows your problem-solving skills or your ability to adapt or be resilient. Sometimes those kind of personal stories can tell the interviewer a lot about your character.

I once hired an intern based on a story she shared about what it’s been like for her to grow up with a sibling with Down Syndrome. She shared this personal story in a professional way and related it back to her ability to perform the job at hand.

Therefore, if you do decide to share a personal challenge, I advise you to follow the same approach. Don’t get too bogged down into the details of your personal situation. Instead, show how you’ve grown from it and how this growth has made you a better person for the job.

2. Avoid generalities

Always avoid speaking in generalities. You want to provide specific examples of how you’ve previously demonstrated your strengths.

I’ve said this time and time again on this blog, but I cannot stress enough the importance of doing this! Your specific examples are what differentiate you from the other candidates.

*To learn how to do this, check out my post The Secret to Answering Behavioral Interview Questions.

3. Never show you’ve not done your research

When asked “What do you know about us?” don’t just talk about what you found on the company’s web site.

Dig deeper by studying the company’s past press releases, annual reports (if they’re a public company), and social media posts to show the knowledge you’ve gained from your research.

4. Don’t be the first one to mention salary

NEVER bring up salary until they do, and even then, don’t try to negotiate until there’s an offer on the table.

If you are being pressured for an amount you’re seeking, always give a range, never a single dollar amount. The range you give should never start with your lowest amount you’re willing to take. Start slightly higher than the starting number in your range because you can always negotiate down, but you can’t negotiate up.

5. Never say yes right away

Finally, don’t say yes to the first offer.

Know that you can typically negotiate salary and most employers expect you to! If you don’t, you could end up leaving a significant amount of money (and benefits!) on the table.

More tips

I teach my clients how to prepare for job interviews and how to negotiate salary through one-on-one personalized coaching and through my latest e-book Foolproof Strategies for Acing the Interview, available for purchase on Amazon Kindle. Also, you can get a free copy with your purchase of my on demand program Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety.

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