Kristin Hiemstra

How to Become an Interim Senior Manager

This week’s Art of Potential radio show features an interview with Managing Principal, Vince Papi of Executive Smarts. This is a great show for the senior manager who is is looking for project work, or for job seekers who are laid-off and anxious to work. His no-nonsense advice on the value of networking, resumes, and interviews is fantastic for job seekers of all experience levels.  Following are Vince’s observations on the current job market and strategies for becoming an Interim Manager: “Many companies are encountering a shortage of senior management talent. Due to recent downsizings they often have very little executive bench strength and so they consider a flexible talent solution–interim managers–as a way to turn around performance, provide temporary leadership for projects, or assist with transitional periods.  For these reasons interim management assignments are a growing career choice, not a temporary employment opportunity for many individuals. Interim managers bring a breadth of knowledge, experience and relevant best practices to each and every assignment. He or she is generally classified as an energetic, task oriented individual with first class organizational, communication, and diagnostic skills. In order to be considered for an assignment a person must demonstrate certifiable functional skills in areas that include operations, human resources, technology, supply chain, sales, marketing or finance. They should also have a quantifiable record of achievement and demonstrate flexibility and self-sufficiency. There are...

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2 Steps to Career Passion and Fulfillment

We all have things of significance that happen in our lives. However, what is significant to one person maybe not even register in the memory banks of another. This happened to me one time when I caught up with a college friend who reminded me that we had been pulled over by a police officer while I was driving to visit my aunt and uncle in the small town of Hillsdale, MI. I do not get pulled over often, in fact I can count the times on one hand … I think…. I say that because I had no recollection of the event. Perhaps it was because the policeman did not give me a ticket that I do not remember.     In life, this is true for ourselves as well. We are bombarded with experiences every day that form who we are. When trying to determine your career path, it is the memories that stick with you, for better or worse, that often provide the most insights into the area that will ignite your passion. For example, you may know the name Susan Komen because it was her death that inspired the ubiquitous pink ribbon and Race for the Cure. However, you may not know the name Nancy Goodman Brinker. Nancy is Susan’s sister and the force behind the pink ribbon movement. Nancy felt if Susan’s doctors had been...

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How to Be Socially Smarter

Nick Boothman, best selling author of How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less, is one of my favorite writers. He is an expert in face-to-face communication and was a fascinating guest on the Art of Potential radio show. (click here to listen). During the show he shared ways to be socially smarter and has given us permission to reprint them. Here they are from his fabulous Boothman’s Boosts. – Here are 5 ways to be smarter, socially when you walk into a room full of of strangers – in 90 seconds or less. Wear great clothes – more people will take you seriously (don’t over do it – don’t be better than anyone else) Head for the middle (popular people always go to the middle of the room in restaurants, parties classrooms etc.), Move more slowly than usual. People who move fractionally more slowly than others tend to get noticed and come across as confident and sexy. Get into the habit so it becomes natural: otherwise don’t bother. The three-second rule. Notice someone and within three seconds go over and say something. Do this several times. Ask “Talk-show” question. The best way to start a conversation is with a statement followed by an open question. “I hear Seattle’s a fantastic place. If I only had 3 hours what should I see?” Remember to give feedback....

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How to Have the Best Looking Resume Around

Resumes are worth less than a dime a dozen in today’s job market. In fact they are free for taking. Despite the fact that you are 70 to 80 times more likely to get a job lead from networking than you are from sending your resume into a company, you still need to have one and be getting it in front of people. Here are some tips that reflect a great radio interview I had with Make Your Resume Talk author Dick Hart. (click here to listen) 1. Make your resume welcoming. Sounds funny but many resumes read like they are written for robots. Adding qualifying words like “cheerfully” takes the task of “answering the phone” up a notch. Who doesn’t want a cheerful person answering their phone? Qualifying words show your personality as well as your passion. 2. Pick the best format to showcase your talents. When people think of resumes they automatically assume they must use the reverse chronological format where you list your positions from the most recent position first and then go backwards. That is simply no longer the case. Resume types such as functional allow you to put your talents first and dates worked later. This is a great style for people getting back into the work force. Or, my personal favorite is a hybrid. Click here to see a resume I did for...

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Give a Compliment, Throw a Party and Propose – That is How you Get a Job.

Give 10 compliments a day. It may surprise you to learn that even in our worst economics times there are millions of people who would like the opportunity to live and work in the United States. To them this is still a land of opportunity where a person can work their way up. When we forget the perspective our nation was founded upon we may end up feeling entitled and deserving of work. ”I have more experience.” “I have more education.” “I was here first.” When we think this way we are also more likely to blame or be angry at others who are not living up to our expectations. When looking for work, it is important to distance yourself from this negative energy because the only people who will want to be around you are negative ones. Instead find ways to be grateful, find ways to be appreciative, find ways to look at others in the best possible light. Think about other’s instead of yourself. One way to do this is to compliment 10 people per day via email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, in person, or some other way. When you do this you create the positive energy flow that people want to be around and hire.  Throw a party. 7 out of 10 jobs comes from networking. 70 out of 100 jobs comes from networking. 700 out of...

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4 Steps to Self-Leadership and Managing Career Changes

Leadership is a buzz word among every institution world wide including in the military and business communities. However, few people talk about how to lead one’s self which is the most important skill a person can have to reach their potential. Here are 4 steps to great self-leadership:   1. Manage your emotions. Great leaders teach people how to participate in the world as it is. They do not operate under illusions nor do get paralyzed by fear, instead they teach people how to create with the opportunities available to them. Managing one’s emotions requires the ability to CHOOSE a thought pattern that leads to success. For example, during a recessive economy there are fewer jobs available. That is ONE reality. Another reality is that even in a recession people are getting jobs. Another reality is that there are millions of people who live in countries where there are no opportunities for work and your worst day would be one of their best.     As a job seeker you get to decide which reality you want to focus on. The reality you choose will determine your emotions and it will define you entire job search and ultimately overall life experience.      2. Manage your actions. Great leaders have a goal. Franklin Covey did a study on goal setting and found that if a person has one goal they...

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10 Tips for Making a Great First Impression at the Job Interview

Before the interview Go by office before the interview and pay attention to what people are wearing.  For an office environment wear a suit and blouse combination. Cotton blends work well in the summer and wool blends in the winter.  Have your suit and blouse professional dry cleaned. It does make a difference! Try them on before the interview. You will feel more confident when you are not concerned with how your clothes look.  Bring an extra copy of your resume and make sure you have reviewed your work history and can speak knowledgably about it. The day of the interview  Brush your teeth or chew minty gum before the interview. Make sure to get rid of gum before the interview.  Look your interviewer in the eye when you meet. It conveys trust. Smile. A smile conveys that you are friendly and open, two important good qualities.  Extend your hand. Shake hands with the same pressure it takes to indent a toothpaste tube. Be prepared to engage in small talk. Ask who, what, where, how and why questions about the other person. Example, “Where are you from originally?”  Relax and be confident! Remember you are a very special person worthy of this job and many...

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3 Steps to Easy and Effective Goal Setting

You’ve heard it a million times: “Goal setting is important,” but what have you actually done about it? If you are like most people the answer is… nothing. That is not your fault. Regardless of your education level, it is very unlikely you were ever taught to set goals. While schools do a remarkable job of filling our minds with knowledge, they do a surprisingly inferior job of teaching self-leadership and that is what goal setting is all about, leading the self to create the life you want.   Goals are important because they give the brain direction. Our brains are very smart but they are only useful when they know what they should be doing. A great analogy is learning to ride a bike. “Ride” was the instruction the brain received and the brain took care of the rest. Do you know exactly what muscles you tensed and relaxed to ride your bike? Do you know how you tilted your head or gripped the handle? No, the brain had to coordinate thousands of different actions to make you go.   Whether it’s a financial goal, a career goal or a personal goal, the brain needs to know about your life’s dream of so it can create it for you. To achieve the life you want, here are three simple steps to setting goals.  Decide what you want out...

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Rise and Shine! The Job Market is Primed

Start your engines ladies and gents, the experts tell us the job market is heating up. NC Employment Security Commission reports the state jobless rate was 9.7 percent in April, down from 11.1 percent a year ago. Businesses are coming out of survival mode and embracing their entrepreneurial outlook again. If you are one of those terrific, hardworking, yet unemployed people there is no better time than now to be working your way into employer’s good graces. While businesses may not be hiring at this moment, they are beginning to show signs of moving in that direction. This past year required belt tightening and delaying non-required purchases. Now businesses are starting to think proactively with a sense of vision and purpose instead of reactively with a sense of doom and gloom. Interestingly enough many workers have been doing the same, staying put until the market opens up, and this is where things get really exciting! If my friends are any indication (and believe me they are) many employees have been bidding their time until a new job that is more attractive to them comes open. They may want to do something totally different, desire a lifestyle change, or even have a boss whose leadership style they don’t care for. As new employment opportunities opens up, they are going to be leaving their positions and then, of course, their jobs...

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10 Tips for Your Transitioning “Twentysomething”

Have you ever been lost in an unfamiliar place? It’s not very fun, is it? What goes through your mind when you are lost? For me it’s anxiety. My mind instinctively shuts out extraneous stimuli because I don’t feel safe when I don’t know where I am. All my mental and emotional energy gets high jacked. The stress of being lost overshadows everything. I find it’s hard to concentrate; my mind is constantly looking for the road I should be on. Depending on where I am, a state of panic is not that far away. As a career coach, I hear these phrases all the time “I feel lost.” “I feel afloat.” followed by the list of these characteristics. The mind does not like to be lost. It likes to have a direction, otherwise it doesn’t know what to do and it gets out of sorts. As parents it’s heartbreaking to see our children in this situation and even harder to know how to react. Do we kick them out of the nest hard and hope they fly? What happens if they don’t? Whether it’s the freshly minted college graduate adrift in the job market or the one who is taking some time off to ‘find themselves’, coming of age in a society where more career choices abound then ever before can send even our most promising children into...

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