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Learning to Embrace Change

Learning to Embrace Change

It’s human nature to seek out behaviors and paths where we find comfort, safety and routine. And once those routines are set, it can be very difficult to willfully change our ways. It’s a proven fact of human psychology: change causes anxiety. And anxiety causes us to resist new behaviors and maintain the safety of the ‘status quo’.

But here’s another unavoidable fact about change: it’s absolutely required for better results regardless of how you define them. When seeking goals in our personal or professional lives, changing our comfortable daily practices is a necessary but often daunting task. Learn to embrace change!

Growth and expansion require a willingness to change our habits. To replace what got us here with what’s needed to get us somewhere else. And although replacing comfortable habits may make us uncertain initially, we can counteract this unsettled feeling by being more conscious of the hundreds of changes we already make every day – without even thinking about them. Examples include:

Learning to Embrace Change

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• How you started a conversation this morning
• What you ordered for lunch
• The specific content of dozens of emails you send each day
• What you put in the cart at the grocery store
• Which TV channel you selected last evening
• What coat or shoes you’ll wear tomorrow depending on the weather forecast

These are just a few examples of our willingness to adapt to changing circumstances and our ‘mood of the moment’. Simple examples, to be sure. But they illustrate our pre-disposition to minor course corrections throughout our daily business and personal lives.

Now let’s jump to larger-scale habit changes needed to advance towards goals. If you’re looking to be more open to the possibilities that life provides, there are a few important factors that must be actively managed. Here are three.

• Plain Old Fear. Fear can be a powerful motivating force, but it can also be a major reason why we resist dropping habits that block our success. Change means embracing some uncertainty about outcomes, and uncertainty brings risk. Our fears instinctively kick in to protect us in uncertain situations. Acknowledging that fear is entering into our decision-making allows us to more effectively evaluate alternatives and choose a course of action.

Here’s a suggestion to help counteract fear. Take daily small steps. A sustained effort of small daily steps reduces anxiety. This approach allows us to evaluate results and adapt our approach easily. Keep your eye on the horizon- view of your goal. Know where you are ultimately headed. But take small steps initially to minimize fear-triggering uncertainty of change.

• Mental Roadblocks. We all give ourselves excuses for avoiding change. We doubt our abilities, question the likelihood of success, and believe we are generally fine with where we are today. Well, ‘Fine’ is the enemy of ‘Better’. ‘Comfortable’ is the roadblock to ‘Excited’ and ‘Fulfilled’. If you find yourself doubting your abilities, or questioning your comfort levels, you’re not alone. It’s important to remember that overcoming our personal and professional mental roadblocks allows us to see opportunity in every change, and remain open to new forms of success.

• Our Current Reality. We’ll all guilty of settling for the comfort and security of where we are right now. Existing habits have produced reasonable results with manageable risk. But that’s not a formula for goal achievement. Successful people who achieve their goals recognize that where they are right now – their current reality – is a great foundation to jump off to even greater heights. Our past is our past: no more, no less. Our past got us to our present, and our present is the springboard to our future. High achievers like you need to catch your breath, and then step up beyond the accomplishments of now to your goals of the future.

Once we realize change includes a heavy dose of opportunity for growth, it becomes easier to embrace change as something we must have to move forward, accomplish our dreams and exceed our goals.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Selling Yourself

Selling Yourself With Your Resume

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking of your resume as a list of qualifications and accomplishments. What will really makes it work for you is to treat it as a sales brochure, highlighting all of the reasons why an employer should look at you for the benefits you bring to them.

Consider this: whenever you’re on the job hunt, you’re basically acting as a salesperson. The product you’re selling? You!


Sales professionals often give out brochures or other documents to provide additional, compelling information to potential customers. In exactly the same way you’ll give out your resume to potential employers to provide Selling Yourself additional, compelling information about you. A big part of making this an effective strategy is making sure you’ve established a clear narrative in your resume that makes it obvious that you are the right person for their job.

It’s amazing how many people I talk to who never tweak their resume to match the unique needs of a specific position; they just send the same version of the document to every potential employer. When you do this, you’re likely leaving many irrelevant former positions and skills in play. These become distractions to that important person who ultimately reads your resume and decides – often in seconds – whether you are a good fit for their needs.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t keep prior work experience on a resume if it’s not completely relevant to the position you’re seeking. But what you should do is make sure that you use that experience or other skills you have in a way that clearly explains how it makes you qualified for a given position. Show exactly how your skills and experience being specific benefits to their situation.

Here’s a quick example. Let’s say your entering the workforce without a long history of work experience. Yes you worked a job as a camp counselor every summer through your undergraduate years, but with your degree in hand you are now applying for a job with a marketing firm. While you wouldn’t necessarily focus on the duties of your former position, you could emphasize the leadership, organization, supervision and general people and event management skills you used every day in that work.

Take a good look at your resume before you send in your next application. Does it have a clear narrative that “sells” you to that potential employer? If not, it’s time to make some adjustments.

Good hunting!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”