Open Door Blog » 2013 » August
  • August 29, 2013

Question markAs we head into the dog days of summer and speed toward the Labor Day Weekend and the final few months of 2013, Jay Block wants to know… what’s new with you?

If we are not creating anything new on a regular basis, we are probably heading in the wrong direction… and blaming others or finding excuses. If we are not consistently creating something new… we are destroying possibilities and potential.

New Mindset

Success, achievement, and happiness are NOT born out of negativity and pessimism. All too often we hear the cliché “maintain a positive attitude”… but simply pay lip service to it. When we are feeling unhappy or experiencing adversity, we are told to: “grin and bear it” or “make the best of a bad situation.” The problem is that we are not taught how to maintain a good, positive attitude in the wake of setbacks, obstacles, and unexpected circumstances that throw our lives into chaos.

It is difficult, at best, to create anything of substance with a negative outlook, self-doubt, pessimism, or an apathetic and indifferent attitude. So the first step to creating anything new is to manage our mindsets. We can do this by:

  • Focusing on what we have, and all that we have to be grateful for (more than you know)
  • Surrounding ourselves with positive people and avoiding negative voices of influence
  • Exercising and living a healthy lifestyle because “motion creates emotion”

New Thoughts

New thoughts can be destructive and inhibiting only if our mindset is not functioning at peak performance levels. With a healthy and positive mindset, we can now create new, empowering thoughts.

It’s been repeated throughout history that you can’t fix a problem with the same mind that created it. No matter how hard we work or how committed we are to achieving our goals, if we don’t continually rethink what we think we know, the same thoughts will become old-thought gatekeepers; and no new viewpoints or considerations are possible.

New thoughts create new goals, new dreams, and a new life because new thoughts create new beliefs. New thoughts that create new beliefs have the influence to empower us to lose weight, stop smoking, repair damaged relationships, overcome life challenges, land new jobs, enhance business opportunities… new life opportunities. When we create new thoughts and new beliefs, we then create new habits. We can do this by:

  • Asking higher quality questions such as, “what is possible for me that I current believe is impossible?” This is known as the Socratic methodology. The Socratic Method is universally recognized for being the single-most effective critical thinking process there is. New thoughts and new beliefs derive from asking ourselves, and others, high quality questions that lead to high quality answers.

So, hey… what’s new? Hopefully you won’t respond… “Same old same old.”

{Check back next week for part two of this series}

Posted in health, Life Coaching, Rodas Coaching, success

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • August 20, 2013

Do you have effective workplace communication skills?  Workplace communication is the process of exchanging information, both verbal and non-verbal, and when done effectively, it ensures that all organizational objectives are achieved.

Effective communication in the workplace is important because it builds a cohesive and effective team.  It also provides employees with a clean prospective of what is required from them and what to do and expect.

According to Make a Dent Leadership, effective workplace communication happens when people:

  • Believe, (and witness), the people they work with (their leaders, peers or reports) are acting ethically and honestly
  • Know their opinions and ideas are meaningful to the success of the organization
  • Feel safe to express their opinions
  • Receive information equally and openly
  • Are highly trained in the requirements of the business, and able to interpret business information provided to them
  • Believe that actions are taken and decisions made with positive intent
  • Feel responsibility towards common goals
  • Make use of multiple channels and opportunities to interact and provide information

Do you need to sharpen your skills to communicate more effectively?  Take time to organize your thoughts before you speak so you can be as concise as possible.  Remember that effective communication skills go beyond verbal conversation.  Be aware of what messages you are sending with your body language (facial expressions and posture.)  Another important part of effective workplace communication is listening – not just hearing.  Really listen and understand what other people are saying to you.

Posted in Rodas Coaching, Skills

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • August 14, 2013

skype interview tipsIn today’s digital age, it’s not unusual to be invited for a Skype interview, especially if the job you’re interviewing for is geographically far away.  Although Skype interviews typically take place in the comfort of your own home, it should still be taken seriously and treated as a face-to-face interview.  First impressions are vital, even if they take place through a webcam, so be sure to follow these Skype interview tips from Careerealism:

Dress for the Occasion
Although you aren’t meeting the company in person, dress smartly and in-line with the industry.  Not only will it boost your confidence, but the interviewer will see that you are serious about the position.  Avoid striped or checked clothing, as these can sometimes be distorted when using a webcam.  Also, be sure that what you’re wearing doesn’t blend in with the backdrop; a floating head is sure to distract the interviewer.  Think about your surroundings as well as your appearance.  There’s no point in looking the part if you are sitting in a messy and unclean room.  Sit in the position you would for the interview and check behind you to make sure it looks presentable.

Equipment
Ensure that your equipment is up to the task in regards to microphone, webcam, and Internet connection.  Having a low quality microphone or webcam can make a Skype interview really tricky if you have to keep repeating yourself or if the picture is pixelated.  Likewise, if your internet connection isn’t up to par, there can be awkward delays and a communication struggle.  Be sure to test everything in advance so you can have plenty of time to fix any technical problems or buy new hardware.

Practice
Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to video calls.  Remember to look at the camera and not the person on the screen, and be sure to speak at a comfortable volume as opposed to shouting.  You could record yourself answering made up questions, then play it back to yourself to see how you sound and pinpoint areas you can improve on.

Smile
Smiling comes naturally in a face-to-face interview, but it’s something that’s easy to forget when you’re sitting in front of a computer screen.  Just before the interview, try and get into an upbeat mood, and make a mental note to smile just as you would in person.  Smiling is a proven way to help reduce nerve and stress levels, and a powerful way to convey enthusiasm.  Combining this with good posture helps you appear confident and alert.

Have Notes
Another one of our favorite Skype interview tips is to have notes in front of you without the interviewer knowing.  This can help you out of sticky situations, but be sure to glance at them instead of reading off the page.  Consider creating sticky notes to place around the screen, which contain important and concise information.  It may be useful to have your resume on hand, as well as any information about the company you are applying to. And of course, don’t forget to write down any questions you wish to ask.

Remember the first few video calls won’t be perfect, but don’t let that put you off.  Keep these Skype interview tips handy and you’ll ace your digital interview.

Posted in Interview, Job Search, Rodas Coaching

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • August 9, 2013

blogJob seekers today are finding new ways to catch the attention of employers.  These savvy seekers are putting their skills to the test and blogging their way to job opportunities.

Why start a blog?  Blogging gives you the opportunity to write about a sector, interview industry experts, attend conferences in your field, define and redefine your point of view to get the attention of those in your chosen field who may want to hire you.

Below are blogging best practices from Forbes:

First Have a Goal
Your blog can be anything you want.  But to make it work for you, you should first have a goal, says John Rampton, founder of Blogging.org and PPC.org.  Rampton said it’s important to figure out what you want your blog to do, and to figure out the topics and, importantly, the keywords, to use in your posts.

What’s Your Business Model?
According to social media consultant Jay Baer, you also need to figure out your business model before you start.  Do you want your blog to drive consulting work, do you want to get paid for blogging, do you want to get a job out of it?  Baer suggests bloggers sharpen their focus by identifying the audience they’re targeting and the questions that audience has so they can provide the right answers.

Blog on Schedule
Most blogging experts concur that if you don’t publish regularly, you’ll fail to get traction.  The more you post, the more eyeballs ultimately find their way to your blog, with the majority of eyeballs coming through search.  And the more you use popular keywords for your category, they higher you will rank with Google, the holy grail of bloggers (and pretty much everybody.)

Help Your Readers
Keep in mind that to get readers you need to provide a service in the form of information and problem-solving.  Think about the problems your target audience currently has, and who, if not you, might have some answers.  That question will guide your interviewing efforts and help you identify and find resolution for issues in your new sector.  Sharing the goal of helping others should embolden you to reach out to industry experts since showcasing their ideas on your blog is beneficial to them and their organization.

Be Visible on Social Media
Don’t neglect to have a social strategy for your blog posts.  Get the word out about each post on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as a start.

Posted in career, Career Coaching, Job Search, Social Media

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.

  • August 1, 2013

Are you someone who wants to gain focus and find direction in your career and in your life?  A Life and Career Coach will help you meet your goals.  Are you ready for a Life or Career Coach?  Take this quiz to find out:

  • Are you ready to create more work/life balance?
  • Are you ready to improve your personal and/or business relationships?
  • Are you ready to overcome self-limiting beliefs and behaviors and move forward?
  • Are you ready to create a plan and take action to achieve your goals?
  • Are you ready to achieve a sense of fulfillment at work and in your personal life?
  • Could you benefit from someone who will help you stay on track and hold you accountable to achieve your goals in both your life and in your career?

If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions, then you are ready for a coach.

Make your summer sizzle, and contact me to start living the life you desire and deserve!

Posted in Career Coaching, Life Coaching, Rodas Coaching

Written by Deborah O'Donnell

Deborah O'Donnell is the President and Owner of Rodas Coaching, LLC, a Career and Life Coaching firm located in downtown Chicago. She works one-on-one with individuals, executives, and entrepreneurs, helping them gain clarity and align their passions and strengths to open doors to live inspired and balanced lives. Deborah provides career management consulting, which provides resume review, career coaching, and interview skill development.