Lead Through Strengths
Career Q&A: Stop consuming training courses - go learn on the job instead

This Episode's Question
Hi. This is Ivy Portwood. My question is: how do I keep learning on the job? And where do I find the most relevant sources of information to contribute to both my current work and my longer-term career aspirations? Thanks. 

What You'll Learn In The Audio
- The two types of skills you should be thinking about. Hint: it's not 100% about technical and functional skills.

- 4 ideas for getting learning opportunities on the job...all without having to change roles or companies. And without having to attend hundreds of training courses.

- How to narrow down your career development steps into a zone you can succeed with.

- There's a theory in the Learning & Development world called 70-20-10. It says that you learn 70% of what you know from on the job experiences. You get about 20% by learning from others. And you get about 10% from formal learning like training courses. So this question is exactly on track with real world learning.

- What's missing from nearly every career development plan I've seen.

- People don't remember what you said. They don't remember what you did. They remember how you made them feel...taking wisdom from Maya Angelou and applying it to the skills you build.

- Why you should always be becoming something you're proud of.

- There’s so much more to you than the skills you can write on paper. 90% of the career impression you convey has nothing to do with what you actually say with words (Source: John Maxwell). Get beyond your technical skills and impact how the world sees you.

Tweetable of the Episode
Looking to develop yourself? It's not just WHAT you know, it's HOW you show up.

Resource of the Episode
Book: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Book: The EQ Interview: Finding Employees with High Emotional Intelligence 

Subscribe to the Career Q&A Podcast
To subscribe and review, here are your links for listening in iTunes and Stitcher radio. Subscribing is a great way to never miss an episode - let the app notify you each week when the latest question gets published.

Related Episodes to Go Deeper on The Topic
- When you've developed yourself into "top talent" or "high potential talent" you'll want to feel ready to have a conversation about getting a promotion.

- Many people think they need an MBA to have the business skills to skyrocket their careers. This episode debunks the MBA requirement.

Direct download: 012-on-the-job-career-dev.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

Career Q&A: How To Keep Your Resume Out of The Trash Bin - And Make it Uber Relevant

This Episode's Question
Hi. I have a question for you on resume composition. Now that I've been in the workforce for awhile and have various roles under my belt, I'm struggling with what to include and exclude on my resume. How do you balance including roles and experiences you know are relevant (and you know show the right expertise)...and balance that with keeping it short enough that someone will want to read it?


What You'll Learn
- The truth about what a resume really is - and where to put the extra details that won't glue the recruiter's eyes to the page.

- How your email address can sabotage your application.

- Why you should know what a Google search of your name looks like (and social media search) - even if you lead a squeaky clean life.

- How you can use LinkedIn to add depth to your resume and to give you keyword goodness for recruitment searches.

- Why Objectives sections are a waste of paper.

- How to make a Summary section useful for a recruiter rather than a blah, blah, blah sleep inducer.

- Provocative thoughts on why saying you're driven and self-motivated can be a turnoff to a recruiter or hiring manager.

- What do do with jargon, acronyms, and "leftover" skills that keep making it through your resume versions over the years.


Tweetable of the Episode
Your resume is your marketing tool. Include the stuff that sells you.


Resource of the Episode
Pinterest board: Killer Visul Resumes - layout inspiration to compliment your great content


Subscribe to the Career Q&A Podcast
To subscribe and review, here are your links for listening in iTunes and Stitcher radio. Subscribing is a great way to never miss an episode - let the app notify you each week when the latest question gets published.


Related Episodes to Go Deeper on The Topic
- To see why you need one resume for every job you apply for, listen to this episode

- Listen in on a discussion on networking, and how it will get you more jobs than a resume every day of the week

Direct download: 011-resume-length.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

Career Q&A: Ready for your promotion? How to convince your manager.

This Episode's Question
I really feel like I'm ready for a job promotion, to take on more responsibilities, and to build more skills. But I'm not sure how to have that conversation with my manager.

What You'll Learn
- How to make YOU the obvious answer when your leadership team considers people for new roles, open positions, or new projects.

- A simple concept about asking for things, and how it gives you super powers for keeping you top-of-mind when your manager considers who will get the next job.

- Thoughts on "as-if" current performance: acting as if you're already in that role so you become the obvious next choice.

- Why it's important to show or communicate your untapped talents so that you are viewed as having high potential (rather than making them worry that the Peter Principle is in effect and you might be topped out at the next role).

- Questions to ask yourself about your current performance so that you know you're not distracting yourself from excelling in your current job.

- Assessing your risk factors: what things will make you seem like a risky choice when they decide who to promote? What things will make them worry that promoting you could be a career-limiting decision for them.

- How to use special projects to demonstrate skills and experiences they haven't been able to see in you yet.

- Why emotional intelligence or social fluency will win out over your technical skill set every time. It is a better predictor of promotability, even though this is counter-intuitive to most people.

Tweetable of the Episode
If you don't ask, the answer is No.

Resource of the Episode
Book: The EQ Interview: Finding Employees with High Emotional Intelligence by Adele B Lynn

Book: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Chialdini

Subscribe to the Career Q&A Podcast

To subscribe and review, here are your links for listening in iTunes and Stitcher radio. Subscribing is a great way to never miss an episode - let the app notify you each week when the latest question gets published.

Direct download: 010-promotion.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

Career Q&A: Unrealistic Job Descriptions are Killing Me – How Many Of The Skills Do I Really Need?

This Episode's Question
I'm in the petroleum industry. I have a two part question. One is - how would you go about finding six figure job openings?  And then from there, how would you approach a very cookie cutter job description? They seem so rigid - as if no one would fit the qualities, skills, and experiences they're asking for in that description.

 What You'll Learn

- How job descriptions get written behind the scenes

- Where to find six figure job openings

- Whether you should take all of the requirements seriously (education, skills, years of experience, competencies)

- When all of those things in a job description go out the window, and how applying "blindly" to job descriptions will not be your best bet

- How to get creative and get an interview, even if you don't meet the criterion on the job description

Tweetable of the Episode
Find a job description you love, then find a person to get you in the door.

Resource of the Episode
TheLadders - used to be 100k & above (only), now they've opened it up. They have salaries listed much of the time.

My favorite is Indeed- it's an aggregator that pulls from many sites, and lets you filter by salary.

Direct download: 008-JDs-realistic.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

Career Q&A: Resumes: should you make a unique one for each job you apply for?

This episode's question
I'm looking for a new job. And I'm considering a couple of different kinds of jobs. So do I need a separate resume for each type of job that I'm applying for?


What you'll learn
- How to stop wasting your time submitting resumes to recruiters and hiring managers who throw it in the trash or overlook your awesomeness.

- How to get noticed by talent management "bots" - the automated tools that are screening you as a candidate before a human ever sees your resume.

- The big secret to getting hiring managers and recruiters to give your resume more than the 10 second skim. Hint: make it all about them.


Resource of the episode
Pinterest inspiration boards for Killer Visual Resumes to differentiate yourself and catch the eye of a recruiter. There's also a board on resume writing tips and interviewing tips.


Tweetable of the episode
In the world of resumes, if you make recruiters do work to see how your skills are relevant, they will move along to someone who doesn't. via @careerpodcast

Direct download: 006-multiple-resumes.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

Career Q&A: Money versus Happiness - Can One Job Bring Both?

This episode’s question

I’m an artist, and I’ve been in art just about all of my life. My question has to do with getting happier doing what I do. I’m in a company that offers a good 401(k) and a decent salary and standard hours, yet I don’t have any cool projects to work on.


I have friends in markets like L.A. and New York who are working on cool projects in TV, movies, and video games. I have a friend who is an art teacher and she absolutely loves it. I just don’t find myself having the level of happiness that my friends do. I don’t want to move, so I feel kind of stuck.


How do I find happiness at my current work or somewhere else?


What you’ll learn
- Whether money and happiness are mutually exclusive.


- How doing what you love doesn’t promise you money–there’s a little more to it.


- That most people are passionate about more than one thing, and how thinking like Forrest Gump can help your career approach.


- Getting your EKG report in the right direction (and what the heck a Career EKG is).


Resource of the episode
Podcast: How Sean Dietrich Built a Thriving Art Business – Solopreneur Hour with Michael O’Neal


Podcast: How an Artist Built Slow and Steady to A Million – The Eventual Millionaire with Jaime Tardy


Podcast: How Artist Dorsey McHugh Painted Her Way to A New Life – Relaunch with Pei and Joel Boggess


Tweetable of the episode

Make sure your career EKG isn’t flattening–have Excitement, Knack, and the G’s. via @careerpodcast

Direct download: 005-money-happiness2-rebrand.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

Career Q&A: Bad Boss & Slacker Teammates - What to Do?

This episode's question

My boss makes rules and doesn't enforce them. My teammates ignore them and roll in with a lazy wave in the morning. It is unfair and is getting distracting - what should I do?


What you'll learn

  • How this situation could actually be good for you
  • How the environment is keeping you from stepping your game up
  • How people can lose credibility and trust at work (listen up leaders!)
  • What to focus on instead of this dysfunctional stuff


Resource of the episode

Book: QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life by John G. Miller


Tweetable of the episode

It's easy to look good if your teammates are Eeyores. Immerse in what you want to become. via @careerpodcast.

Direct download: 004-bad-boss2-rebrand.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

Career Q&A: Networking event strategies - making impressions and making it worth your time

This episode's question

How do I make networking events more effective, make an impression, and spend time with those who will make a difference?

What you'll learn

- Why too many networking event participants look like they belong in Las Vegas.

- How simply being curious and making friends can boost your career.

- How to make yourself more approachable.

- Having a keep-in-touch plan, and executing it with the help of software.

Resources of the episode

Software: Contactly & Promptivate
Book: Dig Your Well  Before You're Thirsty by Harvey MacKay
Training: Smart Networking by Liz Lynch

Tweetable of the episode

Want to make an impression at your next networking event? Be approachable. Smile & wave people into your circle.

Direct download: 003-networking2-rebrand.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

Career Q&A: Do you need an MBA to get in the 100k club?

This episode's question is from Lindsay. She asks, "How important is an MBA if I want to join the 100k club?"


What you'll learn

- Why you should think really hard about it before enrolling...especially if you're doing it just to get the letters on your resume

- How to earn 100k with no degree at all

- 3 tips that will pay off more than getting an MBA with a 4.0 GPA

- How to maximize your experience if you do decide to go


Resource of the episode
The $100 MBA course


Tweetable of the episode
You can get all of your MBA knowledge from a MOOC or a book, so have another "why"

Direct download: 002-do-you-need-MBA2-rebrand.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT

What to expect from this podcast - what's in it for you?

If you’re tired of schlepping your tired, uninspired-self to the office, you need to take action. In this “what’s in it for you” episode of the Lead Through Strengths podcast, you’ll find out what to expect from us.


This episode is all about sharing with you the vibe of the show, what to expect, and how I got to you as your host.


First, let’s talk about you
Do you do your daily commute, slug into cubicle land, and wonder to yourself why you’re still doing what you’re doing?


If that’s you, you’re in the right place.  You have big ol’ giant dreams …and you have big kid bills and heavy obligations that seem to play against your big goals.


So if you’re still trackin’….big dreams for financial success and happiness at the same time…yet you’re just not there yet, keep on listening because you’re not alone. This is your hub to learn how to discover and apply your unique strengths at work.


The structure of the show
You’ll either get Q&A style where your career questions are answered. Those episodes tend to be around 10 minutes. Other episodes are leader-interviews where people who are using Strengths Based Development at their company share their tips, tricks, and stories with you. Those episodes are 20-30 minutes so that you can still finish an episode during your commute.


You’ll always get a quick action tip in the answer, along with some longer-term stuff to work on.


And why me?
Look, you get to pick whose opinions you consider. I definitely won’t try to talk you into listening to mine. Give it a whirl and see if it’s a fit.


Credibility-wise, I’ve spent 20 years moving through roles in training (or learning and developmentor talent management roles as we call it in corporate), organizational development roles, performance consulting, recruiting and HR. Point is, That part of my experience gives me the ability to share with you the company viewpoint–both what they’re trying to do for you, what they’re looking for, and why.


Then I have marketing experience layered in. That helps me give you a unique viewpoint about how to position yourself, and how to have influential conversations or communications…ones that help them pick you. And ones that work from the employer’s point of view because it’s actually all about them (not you) when you’re trying to land a new gig or get promoted. So that gives you a personal branding angle.


I have also been on the hiring manager side a lot. So I can help you see what’s going on in our minds (or what we’re thinking while making hiring or promotional decisions).  So often, executives or hiring managers seem mysterious. I can demystify that. It’s simpler than you think.


I’m also a Gallup-certified strengths performance coach. I spend a huge amount of my life training, coaching, and speaking on the topic of strengths. It’s all about using your strengths to make you a stronger performer at work. So that’s it–by bringing you both the academic and practical view on things, I can get you tracking. 


I hear people say things like “that’s why they call it work…it’s not supposed to be fun.”  I’m here to poo poo that philosophy.


Instead, why not create yourself a life that makes you want to pinch yourself. Why not create one that makes you say, “dang, this is amazing.  I can’t believe this is my life.”


Why can’t you be one of these people with a wicked, crazy, cool life? Thousands (heck maybe millions of people have done it). So I leave you with one question: Why not you?

Direct download: 001-what-to-expect3-trimmed.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 2:30am CDT