Preamble: Work & Life

“I live a charmed life — and I wish it on everyone I meet.” This is a quote that I picked up from a New York fashion reporter in one of those stylish cable TV shows. It radiates my worldview — and keeps me inspired. Indeed, everything we think and do involves our perception about life.

Why talk about work AND life? It’s all about skating on that tight-wire of “balance.” Many of us spend many hours working to fulfill certain goals or simply to survive. “Do we work to live or do we live to work?” How many times have we asked ourselves that question?

There are many Filipino women in the global workplace who want to articulate their thoughts and experiences about “living a life that works” and “working to make a difference.” Together, we can explore our options even if it means getting out of our comfort zones. You have a charmed life. Or, you want to work on having your ideal charmed life. Speak up!

The Charmed Work Life: Positioning Yourself for the Marketplace

The Stimulant: Last weekend, I was in Honolulu, Hawaii, enjoying a quiet moment with my husband and one of my girlfriends at Sand Hill Beach Park, away from the Waikiki Beach tourists. Our trio feasted on “Killer Kalua Pig” sandwiches from our favorite snack joint, the Big Kahuna. Inevitably, the topic centered on the job-hunting process.

We agreed that the availability of overqualified skilled talent was advantageous to the potential employer and challenging to the numerous candidates vying to fill one job opening. Since my friend wanted to know what she should do to prepare for her upcoming job search, we talked about some of the practices that marketers and salespersons use, interspersed with an emphasis on an individual’s mindset and attitude so that her distinctive personal qualities make her visible among the job-hunting crowd.

The Emphasis: Positioning, simply stated, means what people remember about you every time they hear your name, read about you, or meet you. This is where your reputation management skills come in handy. It’s easier said than done especially since many of us don’t remember that “work practices” are linked to our “personal practices.”

The Starting Point: Everything starts with research. Call up many of your old personal friends and ask them a couple of questions. Record your answers and draw your own conclusions. Then, go to your library or favorite bookstore. Find a book that assists you in determining your personality skill sets that would either confirm or invalidate your friends’ opinions. Please remember that your investigative and analytical skills are being given prominence here. After all, YOU are the “product.”

1. When you see me, think about me or hear about me, what is the first image that comes into your mind?

(Give them permission to make a frank assessment as long as you give your solemn promise that you are not going to hang up on them.)

2. Since you have this image of me — and assuming you do not know everything about my work history — what career do you think would be perfect for me?

(I recommend that you get the latest edition of Richard Bolles’ book, What Color is Your Parachute, your new job-hunting friend.)

The Right Personal Statement: You have to be clear about your intentions. By this time, you might already have a vivid picture about your ideal charmed work life. Write down what you are looking for and why you are THE person for the job. Test it out on some of your employer friends and ask them if they would be motivated to interview you with this statement attached to your resume.

Starting in 1997, I successfully used this statement for a career change.

THE MISSION

“I am looking for a dynamic organization poised for rapid growth. There must be a business out there that can appreciate a person who is a rare combination of sales savvy and operational finesse. The adjectives that best describe Lorna Dietz are: enthusiastic, efficient, innovative, and creative. I quickly adapt to changes in a given setting with a sense of humor and an intuitive sense of priorities. My clients have always been impressed with my vivid memory for details when handling multiple tasks. My team or account management style is definitely that of a mentor, motivator, and facilitator. I feel that employees should learn to take ownership of their jobs and take pride in the exceptional quality of their work. My new career will also encompass my commitment to ‘building the future with action and vision’ through my active involvement in community service.

Do you think I would make an excellent addition to your team?”

We’ll continue this discussion next month. Your comments are going to be very helpful. So, please write me at [email protected] Thank you.

© Lorna Dietz, April 2003. Published by Manila Bulletin USA.

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