Monday, April 5, 2010

Overcome Failure Like A Champion

"Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street."
--Zig Ziglar
We tend to get so upset when we fail. That word, "fail" swells and pulsates like a headache. We repeat it. "I failed. I failed. I'm a failure". The emotion builds from the story we're telling ourselves. "I didn't get the job I wanted. What does it mean about me? What will my friends think? What will my family think? Oh God! The shame!"


You are not a failure!

This "failure" you speak of is only a teeny tiny bitty smudge on the canvas of your entire life. So, have some faith. Stop crying! This failure you cry about could just be a blessing in disguise. Learn to have faith in a process that's bigger than you. Trust that life is going to provide you with a better opportunity. So keep working, keep going, and keep improving and developing yourself! You are not a failure! ...unless you want to be.

Today, go out and take some positive action. Make a list of 3 things you learned from the experience. (Make it 5 or 10 if you can). Ask yourself what you can do to improve. Don't smash yourself in the head with your findings, instead use them for reflection. Use them like a scientist learns from experiments. The Wright Brothers didn't fly the first time they tried.

Then write a list of 3 things that you do well. WRITE IT! DO IT NOW!

Write 3 things that make you a good prospect for any job! Are you tall? Good looking? Do you have nice posture? Count these kinds of things too, for they are very big determinants in the hiring process.

Are you smart? Can you communicate well? Write down three things. (4, 5, or 6 if you can think of them). Write them now. Use these things to inspire yourself.

Instead of thinking "failure", and telling yourself stories about "I'm such a loser," start telling yourself a new story. Tell yourself that this is the beginning of a new adventure. Tell yourself that that stupid company will one day regret their decision. Decide to get positive revenge! Go out and bust your ass to get an even better job. Prove them wrong!

If you're really feeling pity, really feeling sad, then okay. Take time to feel sad. Set the timer on your watch. Sit down and feel sorry for yourself for 15 minutes. 20 minutes. 30 minutes. Really give yourself time to do that. Then, when the bell rings, stand up and take action!

If you won't write, then choose to change the thought from the word "failure" to something else. Instead, think power words! Think POWER. Think STRENGTH. Think CAN. Think FIGHT!

Bottom line, don't let that emotionally laden word (failure) paint dark ugly pictures in your brain. Failure is a learning opportunity. Without experiencing failure you wouldn't be human. Learn from the experience, then let it go. The water in the river of that moment has passed under the bridge. It's gone. It's done. Now move on!

Let me leave you with a quote from Samuel Smiles:
"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do."
--Samuel Smiles
All for today, Job Warriors! Keep up the fight!

Michael Jay....OUT!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Write To Win!

Our topic this week comes from Ko. Mr. or Ms. Ko wrote me with the following letter: I’ve just graduated from university. I am really worried. I’m finished school, but I don’t think I have skills. What can I do to get skills?

Today I’m going to talk about what our listeners can do to “get some skill!”

First of all, Mr. or Ms. Ko…we all have some skills. They may not be as brilliant as we like YET, but we have them. They need to be developed. So don’t give up!!!
“Yet” is a powerful word. We are works in progress. Who we are today is not who we will be tomorrow, if we are taking action toward growth! What are somethings that Ko can do to “get some skill”? Ko has options. There are ways to get job skills, to get experience. There are some obvious ways, and there are some not so obvious ways.

The obvious: take a part time job. Really recommend this. Gives you money. Earning money helps our self-confidence. It doesn’t need to be a perfect job. Take it and learn all you can. Throw your heart into it.

Second, volunteer. We talked about this a few weeks ago. There are many ways to volunteer. It’s up to you to find ways to help others achieve their goals. Again, throw your heart into this. Learn all you can. You’ll be surprised at all you learn.

The not so obvious: and this is my main point today: START WRITING! That’s right, start writing. But not just any kind of writing. I want you to start writing the kind of stuff that helps other people. I want you to start a blog. If we are preparing for a job interview, we should be researching companies, researching industries, practicing interview skills, learning how to prepare our resumes, practicing Toeic, and a number of other different things. I recommend you choose an area and start start writing about what you learn.

Become an expert by researching, and pass it on. Write a blog that teaches others.
For example: If you are researching the pharmaceutical industry. What are you learning? What information are you getting that can be passed on to others? If you are benefiting from it, probably others could benefit from it. So write it. Teach it to others. If you have found some great advice on ways to prepare for Toeic, pass that on too. (I’m not talking copy and paste).

I’m talking about learning something, and explaining to it people. I'm talking about using your own words!
You could take what I am telling you today, and write it on your own blog. I’m giving you advice, why not pass it on to others? Oh, but won’t others steal my ideas? Why should I help the competition?? What have you to be afraid of? This is a great chance to show that you are not afraid of competition. It’s a great chance to show your confidence. As you learn through research, as you teach through writing, you gain the intelligence, you gain the skill. You gain the power. No one can take that from you. Write weekly. And write consistently.

I recommend you focus your blog on only a few key areas. For example, you might focus it on Pharmaceutical Industry research. Or TOEIC test tips. On specific company information. I might focus it on “Things I’ve learned from various job interviews”. You can focus it on several areas, but try not to be too broad. I have a blog, but I focus only on Career Advice, Presentation Skills, and PR. My blog’s in the baby stage, but I’m learning as I go. So what do I learn? I learn how to use the technology. I learn how to communicate clearly and informatively. I learn how to research. I learn how to synthesize information. I learn how to share. I learn how to market myself. I also learn about industries. I learn about companies. Here’s a key to making your blog helpful. (Can also turn into a self-promotion tool. Online Social Networking is becoming HUGE! And can help you get a job).

Visit other blogs. Read and leave comments. Include a link to your blog. That way people will come and visit you.
When you go into an interview, you can talk about your blog. Companies will probably see your commitment to the betterment of others as a good thing, they will see your skill and willingness to put more effort than what is necessary into the job hunt.

But I’ve no time to create this blog???

Yes you do. Searching for a job is a FULL TIME JOB! Building your skill-set is 2 FULL-TIME JOBS! When you’re sitting in front of your television, you can be asking yourself….hmm….is this the best use of my time?

Famous motivational guru Zig Ziglar once said, “When we do more than we are paid to do, eventually we will be paid more for what we do.” Keep this in mind as you work on building your skill-set, your brand, your future through creating an informative, helpful, blog.

Remember, when you write you should be responsible and respectful. Yes it’s your blog, yes you can write what you want. But, it’s also your reputation. Social Networking is a powerful thing. Blogging is a powerful way to create your reputation. If you create bad information, if you write abusive information, if you act and write unprofessionally, you will lose.

What blogsites should I use?

There are many places to go., You can also use microblogging sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The blog does not have to be perfect. It’s a work in progress, just like us. Once we publish, we have the freedom to rewrite and edit. It’s our duty, in fact, to always improve upon what we learn.

But I don’t know how to write???

Me too? So what? No one does….at first. But, keep writing. Learning is only done through doing. We act and we learn, we don’t think our way into knowing, we don’t think our way into a skill. Skills come from action.
But I can't write English!!! Don't write it in English. Write it in whatever language is best for you, and will help most people.

But everyone has a blog like this!!!

So what! Then join the bandwagon. Do what everyone is never know, you might just find yourself a superstar blogger! We've all got unique talents that we can only uncover by doing new things. So try something new, you might just surprise yourself. So that’s all for today.

Keep up the fight, Job Warriors!!!!
Michael Jay….out!

Improve Your TOEIC Scores & Speaking Skills--LOW COST

Good morning!

Today’s topic is a result of a letter I received last week. On last weeks show, a listener wrote in and asked me my advice. This person wants to know what they should do to improve their English speaking skills and TOEIC scores in order to prepare for a job. …but there’s a twist. Due to the cost of TOEIC institutes, the person is unable to attend. So, today I’m going to talk about a low cost way our listeners can both improve their English speaking skills and study for TOEIC.

A few years ago, I took the TOEIC test. I actually missed two questions. D'oh!

I noticed how varied it is. That to prepare for it properly takes a LOT of time and effort. So, the greatest way to prepare for the test is to give yourself a lot of time. You have more options available for studying. But, reality is that we don’t often have a lot of time. So today, for this corner, I’m going to assume you’ve only got a short time to prepare. Doing that helps me focus my message into a few simple tips.

The fact is, in preparing for this, I came up with an ocean full of ideas. But, given time….I’ll have to keep it simple.

First, you’ve got to realize that you are not the only person who’s ever had money difficulties. There have been tonnes of people like you. And, there have been tonnes who’ve not let that stand in their way.

You don’t have to let money issued stand in your way. You can still prepare well without spending as much as people spend on a hogwan. All you need is a dream, dedication, and persistence. Without the dream, (a concrete goal to strive for, it’s pretty hard to fight for what you want. Often without a dream, our motivation dies. So make your dream achieving a REASONABLE score on the exam. What’s reasonable? Find out what you need, and shoot for it. I’ve heard that between 450-750 depending on whether you want to work domestically or internationally.

Find yourself a team. Form a group of likeminded motivated individuals. Work together to tackle the exam. How do you form a team?

Go onto the free webboard of your university, post a want ad. Or, go onto a famous internet café website, and post a note there, or find a note of another person who’s looking for a group. I think you’ll find a lot. Be brave.


Once in the group, each buy the same test book. If you have enough time, you can work through more than one book, but to begin with, each buy the same book. If that’s too much money, then each of you should search mercilessly among the used bookstores of Korea for similar books. The chances of finding one are good.

Once you have it, break that test into pieces. There are two parts. Listening and reading. Listening has 4 sections. Reading has 3. Depending on the amount of people in the group, one person should take one section. That person goes home and studies to understand it, and the questions. (This technique is often what law school students do to manage the heavy load of studying.) Make sure you keep your commitment.

Then, come back to meet together. Start off with one section of the test. Each of you take it together. When you are finished, the expert can then instruct and explain why certain answers are wrong, and why certain answers are right. (In Korean). Once a section is understood, move to the next section.

Again, each group member takes the section test, and again, the new expert explains.

This is not a perfect method, but it is an effective method that I have on good authority has worked to help produce really high scores. (Without the help of a hogwan!)

For speaking, there are a lot of short term solutions.

The TOEIC test has a speaking section now. That involves looking at a picture and describing it. Well, that’s easy to work on. This can be broken up too. Each person selects a picture of something from a movie scene or a magazine. They study it and write about it, and look up various words for it. Then, they bring their picture to the group. The others practice describing it. The expert works hard to explain and add to the others’ knowledge. This is a great way to increase vocabulary knowledge—particularly verb knowledge. …this can be tricky, because of misuse of the words. Again, not perfect…but it can help.

Mainly for speaking, the most important thing is to JUST DO IT!!! Stop letting fear win! You are amazing and powerful! There is nothing to be afraid of. The only person you need to worry about comparing yourself to is YOURSELF! Everyone has different abilities and skills. Practice anyway. Talk to your teacher, talk to friends. Remember that your goal is to speak better and score well on TOEIC. …how important is it to you?

Go out and join one of the many free “language exchange clubs”. There’s one that meets at city hall every Sunday.

Get an English newspaper, or an expat magazine in itaewon and search the classifieds, find a language clubs, or similar interest (English member clubs) to get involved in.

Volunteer to teach some passionate foreigner English. …For Free! It’s a great way to be forced to utilize English to communicate the Korean language. It’s difficult, but it’s for free and no matter what, will be beneficial to the person you are helping. There are chances at churches, temples, universities. There are a lot of chances if you look in the classified. (more practice for reading comprehension).

The bottom line, is that if you want to learn, money is not a barrier. There are a lot of options available to you.

You have to commit yourself to the process, you have to dedicate yourself to the process, you have to go at it whole-heartedly. If you do that, nothing can stop you!

All for today, Job Warriors! Keep up the fight, and TAKE NO Prisoners!!!

Michael Jay…..OUT!

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