January 18, 2011

Alicia Marie Interviewed on Deb Scott’s Radio Show

Click here to listen to Deb Scott’s interview with Alicia Marie on “The Best People We Know” Radio Show.  Alicia Marie discusses different ways to take “mental” advantage of the new year, how and why everyone should set measurable goals, how to get a fresh start in 2011, and much more!

December 21, 2010

So, you were fired. Now what?

So, you were fired.  Now what?  How will you explain it when you interview?

How do you respond to a job interview question about why you left your last job, when the answer is that you were fired?  This question is dreaded by everyone who has ever been laid off.  But it doesn’t have to be that way…

There are many questions that job seekers are asked. “What salary are you looking for?” is a common one.  “Why should we hire you?” is another.  And “Why did you leave your last job?” – this one can leave you spluttering if you were fired and don’t know how to answer, and most people don’t!  After they’ve stumbled through a few answers, trying in vain to phrase it in an acceptable way and are not invited back for a second interview, their fears are confirmed.  No one will hire them because they’ve been fired.

But that’s not what is really happening.  The problem is not that they were fired, but how they answered the question.

We don’t stay at a job our entire lives like our grandparents did.  Not only is it common to change jobs, some believe it’s the best way to leverage salary and a career.  Most of the changes may be of your own volition – odds are a few changes will involve being fired or laid-off.

Companies are bought out, they merge, they down-size, and they consolidate, which means inevitably there’s a duplication of staff.  It can be as simple as the new president wanting to bring in his own team.  He probably didn’t even look at your capabilities; he just decided you were “outta there”.  These departures aren’t as difficult to explain, and your answer can be relatively easy.

The instances that cause real concern feel very personal, even when they aren’t. You are the only one who was dismissed, and what’s more, you know they’ll replace you.  You’re caught off guard, angry, and frightened.  In an instant, you’re on the defensive, which is usually where people remain. And that’s exactly what causes the problem.  Interviewers can spot “victim” mentality from a mile away.  

Firing isn’t always about the individual, even though that’s who is impacted the most.  Sometimes it’s about the boss—especially bosses with issues.  It might be about poor performance, but that’s not always negative. It could be the result of having different philosophies.  For instance, the company may value those who work weekends, nights and holidays.  You prefer to balance your life.

Once you’re fired, you can’t change the circumstances.  But you can control how you view them.  While departmental or companywide layoffs are easier to explain, they can also cause damage.  You wonder, “If I’d been really good, wouldn’t they have found another spot for me?”  In addition, you’re in an insecure place that sometimes is difficult to adjust to.

Take some time to clear some tears or anger.  If you’re tempted to recoil, rehash, threaten revenge or otherwise communicate with your previous employer, don’t.  Remember two words: reference and reputation.  Don’t burn your bridges!  Leave the company gracefully.

During this time you have given yourself, detach yourself from the event and honestly examine what happened. Look at the facts.  That’s the only way you’re going to get any insight and begin adjusting your thoughts and perspective.  There are hundreds of reasons for dismissal, so there is no perfect answer.

The first step, as trite as it sounds, is to look at it as a blessing – an opportunity to grow or move on.  It may take some time to see, but no matter how bad it looks or feels, something good will come of it.  Maybe it will be a better job, a chance to grow, a new business, or the realization that you hated your career – who knows?

If you’re too busy being the angry and defensive victim, not only will you miss the chance to capitalize on the positive outcome, but you’ll also keep experiencing negative consequences.  When you’re in a victimized frame of mind, you’ll miss recognizing an opportunity and continue to perpetuate your unemployment.

The unequivocal rule in an interview is to tell the truth.  If they discover you lied, you’ll be wondering for a long time how you’ll pay your bills.  So when you’re asked why you left, tell them you were fired.  Forthright brevity is best.  It’s all in how you phrase it.  The trick is a shift in perspective, which is easier when you’ve purged the defensiveness and shame.

Don’t give a long, rambling story or blame the company, your boss, or anyone else.  Take full responsibility.  Do not be a victim in any way shape or form.  Did you learn from the experience?  Then by all means, say so. It is okay to say the role, company, or job was not a good fit for me.  Not every job is right for every person.  There are philosophical differences, chemistry problems, tough spots, and bosses who are difficult and self-absorbed.

Regardless of the reason, it wasn’t your perfect job, or you weren’t quite what they needed.  The great thing is that it was recognized (in whatever form) and everyone is moving on.  The goal is to be real about what works for you and why the firing took place.

Let’s examine two answers to the question: “Why did you leave your last job?”

“I don’t know.  I was doing my job.  Most everyone liked me.  They always came to me for advice instead of our boss.  When the other manager left, they promoted the assistant.  She’s maybe about 28.  I guess they thought she’d be good just because she’d been there a long time, but she really was a shrew.  I think she hated me.  She was always talking down to me.  She never did this with the “higher ups”.  One time she took credit for one of my projects.  She’s the one that should have left!  I’m glad to be out of there.”

“I was fired, actually.  The assistant manager was promoted to manager because she had seniority and she was very good at her job.  Unfortunately, she was young and perhaps she thought respect was automatically accorded instead of earned, because when everyone else began coming to me instead of her, it didn’t seem to sit well with her.  Despite that I excelled in my responsibilities and met my goals, she let me go.  I’m sorry to have had to leave the company.  I did learn that I could have been a better communicator and I could have built a relationship with her.  That could have saved my job.  Next time I will work harder on that instead of assume someone knows my intentions.”

Can you spot the differences?  As the interviewer, what would you think?

You must work out a comfortable response.  Rewrite it, rephrase it, and test it.  Be able to say it calmly and sincerely.  If you notice hesitation or discomfort, your words and your attitude (possibly both) need an adjustment.  There is no good or bad.  There’s only perspective, which is your choice.  Firing is considered “bad,” but what’s bad about being fired when a boss has issues?  What’s bad about protecting a customer or not compromising your ethics?  What’s bad about being asked to leave because the position description changed and doesn’t fit your job preferences or skills?  What’s bad about being fired from a sales job for lousy numbers when you hate selling (and realize later that you’re relieved to be gone)?

One last bit of advice:  talk through your responses to interview questions with an objective supporter, like a career counselor or a career coach.  Sometimes we can gain perspective by having a conversation with a neutral party.

Alicia Marie
People Biz, Inc.

December 17, 2010

Ask an Expert: “How to Build a Million Dollar Business: What Would Your Business Sell For?”

Join Alicia Marie on February 1st at 2 CST as she interviews Brian Walters on business valuations!  Brian will discuss several points related to performing business valuations, including what information is needed to perform a valuation; what factors impact the value of a business; and most importantly, what you as a business owner can do to make your business more valuable, and potentially worth much more on the open market.

Brian Walters is the co-founder and CEO of Brian Walters and Associates, a management consulting firm based in Austin, Tx.  Mr. Walters has successfully changed the operations and guided the financial performance of businesses all over North America.  The company’s commitment is to be an advocate and resource for small, privately held businesses in Central Texas and beyond; to this end, Brian Walters has been instrumental in assisting small businesses to improve their operations and profitability by implementing solutions to issues that typically plague entrepreneurs.

To register, call (512) 989-2230 or email rsvp@peoplebizinc.com.    

No cost to attend.  Reserve your space today!

December 14, 2010

Alicia Marie to be interviewed on “The Best People We Know” Radio Show

Save the date!   On January 13th at 2 CST, Alicia Marie will be interviewed on Deb Scott’s radio show, “The Best People We Know.” 

Alicia Marie will discuss different ways to take “mental” advantage of the new year, how and why everyone should set measurable goals, how to get a fresh start in 2011, and much more! 

Have a few questions in mind on this topic?  Call into the show and have Alicia answer them on the air!  Just call 347-637-1318 anytime during the show.

December 10, 2010

Inspired Goals Webinar

INSPIRED GOALS WEBINAR: A COMPELLING ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL GOAL SETTING

YOU WILL LEARN:

• The top three reasons why people don’t set goals

• How to start fresh and complete past goals

• The process of focus and attention

• Goal setting tips

• The language of goal setting

• Strategy for what will likely stop you from achieving your goals

• How to set goals that inspire and motivate

• How to embrace failure and disappointment rather than avoid it

JANUARY 21, 2011
Time: 10:00 – 1:15
Tuition: $39.95 (As always, current coaching clients are free.)
Tuition includes PDF of Student Notebook.

Inspired Goals Flyer | Inspired Goals Registration Form | Visit our website!

 
What are people saying about this seminar?

“Alicia is a superstar. Her real life experience is reflected in the substance of her teaching. Anyone can benefit from her ideas and approach.”

Alicia Marie’s “Inspired Goals Workshop” blew me away. I’ve read books, listened to training programs and felt I knew a lot about goals…until her workshop. The workshop took goals to a deeper level that I had ever experienced. Finally, I was able to realize that something “was in my way” and that without addressing this thing in my way, I would have been off and running with my goals that didn’t get accomplished….again. I believe the workshop has helped me stop the recurring cycle of well-intended but never accomplished goals. I feel like I’ve been given a gift…a key to unlock the door I’ve been banging my head against for so many years. And it was Alicia Marie’s style that allowed for this revelation. She is amazing at empowering the class to come up with their own “aha” moment rather than telling us what to do. She has such a humble aura of wisdom and patiently invites people to “get it” on their own terms. As a person that trains people, I am flat-out inspired with how she does it. Her genuine care and love for the class is beautifully evident. Thank you so much, Alicia, for being you.

  Ken Kuznia – Owner of Dig Your Work

“I feel so fortunate to have met Alicia Marie and to have experienced her Inspired Goals Workshop. Having never had much luck with “goal-setting,” I expected the morning to consist of learning techniques to get my business goals on paper … but it was so, so much more than that. Alicia inspired me to “drill down” to discover where I am stuck, what I really want in life, and what is getting in my way … and not just in business, but in every aspect of my life. Somehow I left the workshop feeling inspired to take massive action, while also realizing that I need to stop worrying and stressing so much. I felt I had just been given the gift of years of counseling sessions in one morning! I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone.”

Julie Ray – Keller Williams

December 9, 2010

Targeted Transitions Program

Join Career Coach Deborah Huyer for Targeted Transitions, a teleclass  program specifically designed for professionals who have decided to make a transition, or for those currently seeking new opportunities.

MODULE 1:  Taking Aim“Without knowing where you want to go, you’ll end up nowhere or somewhere you don’t want to be!”

  • Creating your definition of success
  • Understanding the role of culture in company fit
  • Creating a job search strategy, pipeline and spreadsheet to identify roadblocks
  • Creating your elevator pitch and why
  • When are you networking? Always
  • Time commitments
  • Dealing with rejection  – lots of it

MODULE 2:  Targeting your Resume“One size does not fit all.  Being everything to everyone is vanilla – how do you stand out from the crowd?”

  • Understanding your unique value proposition and translating it into a basic resume
  • Tailoring your resume to specific opportunities
  • Resume do’s and don’ts
  • Understanding key words and competencies
  • Researching the company and employees
  • Writing cover letters

MODULE 3: Opening Doors“Getting past the black hole of Applicant Tracking Systems, or how to find and be found.”

  • Employee referrals and networking
  • Job boards and social media
  • Posting your resume
  • Applying for positions
  • The role of key competencies in search criteria

MODULE 4:  You have an interview…now what?“How do you plan for unknown questions and inexperienced interviewers, and have your value shine through?”  Hint: you do not wing it.

  • Preparing for a phone screen or in person interview
  • Anticipating questions based on the job description
  • Preparing for commonly asked questions
  • How to talk yourself out of the job
  • Follow-up

MODULE 5:  Sealing the Deal“It’s yours to lose now.  Learn how to deal with references and negotiating the offer.   By the way, not everything is negotiable!”

  • Requesting and providing references
  • When to talk salary and benefits
  • When and what to negotiate
  • Paperwork / contracts and agreements

WHY DEBORAH?
In addition to her talent as a teacher and her training as a professional coach, she knows the other side of recruiting, having managed recruiting for the past 12 years.  This is a perspective you will not get from traditional sources!

Click here for pricing and to create your customized Targeted Transitions Program.

HR PROFESSIONALS:
This program can also be an affordable outplacement option designed to help your employees in transition.
Click here for more info

Module 1 starts on January 12!  See our calendar for the full schedule.

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December 3, 2010

One size does not fit all…

Deborah Huyer - Career Coach

One size does not fit all…when it comes to your resume, that is.

If you are using the same resume for all your job applications, you are doing both yourself and the recruiters a great disservice. 

Here’s why.

Think about your professional career.  You have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience, all of which cannot possibly be covered in your resume.   (If you could, it would be far too long for someone to wade through, since you only have about 60 seconds to get their attention.)  So you need to pick and choose what you think is the best summary of what you bring to the table.  But what if those that you picked are not relevant to the job you are applying for, and other things that you left off are?

Every time you apply for a position, you need to customize your resume to highlight what past skills and experiences are relevant to that job opportunity.  If you are not doing this, you are wasting a great opportunity for not only you, but the recruiter trying to read through your resume to see if you have what they are looking for.   It’s an opportunity lost.

Isn’t that cheating?  NO!

You’re doing them a favor. How can a recruiter possibly know all of the experience and successes you’ve had in your career by reading through a two page document?  They can’t.  You need to connect the dots between what they are looking for and what you have done in the past.  You need to print out the job description and highlight everything that they are looking for, then you need to identify where and when you have been successful in those areas, and highlight them in your resume.  That’s not lying or cheating – it’s actually the opposite!  You need to be able to provide specific examples once you get to the interview stage.

Doesn’t that take a lot of time?  YES!

If you won’t take the time (an hour) to research and customize your resume for that position, why should they invest time in interviewing you?  Just remember to rename each version of your resume with the company name that you are applying to and file it away so that you have a copy for reference when the recruiter calls.  (And they will, because you’ve made their job easy for them!)

That’s if you can get your resume through the Applicant Tracking System…  Want to know why your resume goes into the black hole of technology, never to be seen by a recruiter? 

I invite you to join my upcoming TeleClass, “Targeting Your Resume: How to Stand Out from the Crowd” on January 19th.  Call 512-989-2230 for details, or send an information request to register@peoplebizinc.com

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Article by Deborah Huyer

Deborah has over 20 years of experience as an HR leader, business manager, entrepreneur and consultant, giving her the ability to effectively coach her clients to higher levels of performance and success.

October 28, 2010

“Success Story” – A note from a client

“My coach is Alicia Marie Fruin of People Biz, Inc.  She is absolutely amazing!  I have grown so much (both personally and professionally) since beginning her program at the beginning of the summer.  This is, without question, the BEST investment I have made in my business and myself!

I found her through some business associates (in separate firms) whom I had seen dramatically improve their businesses and asked them what they were doing differently.  I checked out her website and listened to a podcast of a sample coaching session.  I was impressed, and scheduled a free trial coaching session with her.

It wasn’t what I expected–honestly, I didn’t quite know what to expect.  But, Alicia was able to help me sort through my conflicting priorities, overcome obstacles, and focus on the most productive course of action.

As a result, I am executing a solid, workable plan for moving my business to the new, expanded space.  (I was overwhelmed by that before I started coaching.) Plus, I have more balance in my life, time for my family, and I’ve even improved my health and well-being and lost a little weight.

I have become a huge proponent of coaching in the process.  If you are “thinking about it”, you probably already know you need it on some level.  Whether you choose to work with Alicia, or someone else, PLEASE make sure the person you hire is liscensed and trained.  They can do a whole lot of damage if they’re not.”

– Lisa Gaynor, President of Design It With Consignment

October 15, 2010

“Valuing a Business” – Case Study by Brian Walters & Associates

Under what circumstances would it be necessary to need to know the value of a business? Well, there are myriad reasons why knowing what a company might command in the open market might be a critical piece of information.

A divorce; the opportunity to offer an attractive remuneration package to a potential executive; the dissolution of a business partnership; to obtain a second opinion on a previously performed business valuation- these are all valid reasons why one might need to know the value of a business.

Brian Walters and Associates has conducted several appraisals – read about one below.

Client Specifics

“John Doe” was part owner of two companies- one an established business grossing approximately $20 million annually, the other a startup company that saw revenues of almost $18 million in its first year, and was projected to do 2 times that much the following year, with projected increases for the foreseeable future of approximately 20% annually.

Mr. Doe owned 20% of one company, and 10% of the second.

Mr. Doe had fallen out of favor with his fellow business owners, and the business relationship was ending. In order for everyone to part on good terms, the other owners agreed to give Mr. Doe a check for his share of the value of the company. So the valuation project was initiated to accomplish a few objectives:

  • The overall value of each company needed to be determined (and Mr. Doe’s gross share calculated)
  • The other business owners had already performed a valuation of both businesses; we were tasked with comparing the previously performed valuation with the one to be done by us, and justifying any differences
  • Mr. Doe’s share eventually had to be adjusted to account for 2 common discounts applied when assessing the value of a minority share- Discount for Lack of Control (DLOC) and Discount for Lack of Marketability (DLOM). An opinion needed to be offered on what an appropriate percentage was for both these discounts.

The Project

Performing a business valuation is an intensive, exhaustive process that involves several key activities, all of which are interrelated, and each of which adds another piece of valuable information to the overall objective of providing an opinion of value to the business.

A few are highlighted here:

  • Interviewed key associates in both companies to obtain a sense of how each company was operated.
  • Interfaced regularly with the bookkeepers and CPAs of both companies in order to obtain all of the financial information needed to complete the valuation project.
  • Recast the financials as necessary, making the adjustments needed to view each firm in an appropriate light and to make decisions regarding the valuation independent of the particular idiosyncrasies commonly seen in privately run firms.
  • Performed an intense analysis of the industry in which both companies operated, taking note of all trends and including their effects in the final appraisal report.
  • Conducted research on previous court cases involving DLOC and DLOM for the industries in which the subject companies operated, and determined an appropriate value for each discount.         

 *Note:  Even though this project involved scrutinizing court cases, we are NOT attorneys, nor do we claim any expertise in the legal field*

  • Selected several methods of performing the appraisals for each company, then weighted each appropriately in order to determine the most appropriate method for assessing value to the projects.
  • After an appropriate level of scrutiny of the previously performed valuation, offered an opinion as to why it was not appropriately performed, and why our client was entitled to a higher share of the business than first calculated.

The End Result

Due to the work performed on this project, Mr. Doe was able to receive from his former business partners a check in an amount that more accurately reflected the value of his share of the companies. He has now successfully divested himself of the untenable position represented by his former business climate, and has other business interests that he is currently pursuing.

Being able to supply such a critical piece of information for the client to assist in his long-range planning is always a great pleasure for the consultants at BWA, as we realize the importance of this function to any of the processes that involve needing to know the value of a business.

 

Case Study provided by Brian Walters, CEO of 

Brian Walters & Associates.

 

Click here to view the BWA website!

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2010

“Oh Fear” by DeAnne Pearson – A Poem Inspired by Leading Change

 

“Oh Fear” by DeAnne Pearson
A poem inspired by Leading Change

 

Oh fear, oh fear, my old friend,

I have put you on a shelf.

It is not that I don’t expect to see you again,

But while holding onto you, I can’t be myself.

You have poked me and prodded me as a tool,

That I have relied on too long and it has made me still,

And often you have made me the fool.

But, it is time that I live, and you can watch from the window sill.

I have things to do and you weigh me down,

You are keeping me from being who I really am, that is even sadder.

Through Leading Change, that is what I again and again have found-

That each of us, including me, really does matter.

With lots of support and tremendous care of leaders far and near-

Brett, Ed, Mark, Reen, Stacy, Ken, Jess, and Alicia Marie, who I hold dear.

Fear, oh fear, you can’t keep me too busy to be present in my life,

……As artist, writer, Christian, mother, daughter, friend and wife.

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www.peoplebizinc.com
www.deannepearson.com

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