What Hopes Do You Have For 2020?


Start thinking about January 2020 and what you’d like to see happen for you personally in the new year. It’s the 13th of December today, so we’ve got 18 days left in this year to come up with a few things.

So what are you after? A job perhaps? Perhaps a better job. Maybe you’re considering a return to school in order to finish your high school diploma or launch yourself into a new career by attending College or University. Could be a change in your diet is in mind; getting healthier, being kinder, showing more patience and forgiveness or even getting around to popping THE question to your special someone. There’s any number of things you might be hoping will happen in 2020.

Okay so have you something that came to mind? Something you’re hoping for in the coming year? Let’s go with whatever came to mind. Of course, we’re only in the third paragraph here, and you might need a few more hours or days to come up with what you really want to see happen next year. But even in this short time since you first started reading, think for a second about what DID come into your mind first and foremost. Hmm… why did that surface? Could be that whatever it was came to mind for good reason.

Now hoping for something is always good. Hope is a wonderful thing, because it can keep us going in tough times and it can sustain us when things look bleakest. I’m a big believer in hope. However, while hope is a good thing to have, you’ll likely find that hope alone doesn’t always bring about the things we hope for. Confused? Okay, I can understand that.

Hope often needs a plan and action to bring about the realization of whatever it is we’ve hoped for. You can hope to play a musical instrument, but the odds of picking up a trumpet and playing it instantly or sitting before a piano and bringing your favourite song to life are minute as best. You’d agree I think that planning to take some lessons, finding someone to instruct you and putting in the practice to actually learn how to play is increasing your odds of success. Hoping to play an instrument in 2020? Find a teacher, rent, borrow, buy or get gifted an instrument and you’re giving your hopes a fighting chance.

Now supposing that you’re hoping to find a job in the new year. That’s a good thing. You feel mentally up for it and 2020 is going to be your year. Congratulations on coming up with a commendable ambition for the new year. So the question now is what has to happen in order for your hopes of employment to come about?

These days you typically need a resume, computer skills to apply online, interview skills to perform well when meeting with someone from an organization, and a little self-confidence and self-esteem thrown in would be a big help too. I’m simplifying things here for the sake of illustration, but let’s go with that list: basic computer skills, a resume, interview skills and practice and some self-confidence.

By listing the things above that you’ll need to successfully find work, you can then move to the next phase which is turning to the community in which you live and the people you know in it, seeking to find the help in acquiring the skills to check off each need. You may believe you have a good resume – well, good enough at any rate – but having someone look at it who can make some helpful and intelligent suggestions for improvement would confirm your belief. If it’s good, that’s great. If however it’s not as good as you believe it is, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and disappointment by learning how to improve it and then doing so.

As for the computer skills? Well, basic skills needed to compete for jobs these days means you have to be able to send and receive emails, attach your resume and cover letters, know how to upload a resume to a job site online, and of course being able to sit down and type out that resume and cover letter is required too. Can you do these things? If so, again, great! If not, a basic computer class is all you need to learn these essentials.

Okay so on to the interview skills. Mom or dad might be okay to practice with, but I would guess they aren’t up on using the STAR interview method or know much about behaviour based interviewing. For interview help, you’ll want to tap into someone perhaps at a local employment centre, maybe even going so far as to hire the services of a self-employed Employment Specialist or Recruiter. These are options you might want to look into.

Hope as I say is really good to have. Hope alone however usually doesn’t bring about whatever it is you’re hoping for. Action is what you’ll need, and your action is best put into place only after you first settle on a plan. With no plan, your actions might give you the illusion of doing something to move toward your goal but in reality just be one step forward and two back. Plan your work, work your plan.

A job, a relationship, a purchase. Whatever you hope for in 2020, here’s to hoping it comes true.

Suppose You Were Given This Key…


Imagine if you will that you chance upon a box which upon opening, has a key and a note. The note reads, “Congratulations. You are now the owner of a key which will open any one single thing you desire. Choose wisely.” What would you open?

Depending on your inquisitiveness, you might be already wondering whether you found the key at home or work; was it out in the open like on your desk or hidden behind some wall in a castle you’re visiting built in the 1400’s? Don’t fret about that. You might wonder who put it there? Why me? How big or small is it? How could it open anything? Will it change shape as I insert it? You’ve been gifted this unique opportunity so just accept it and don’t over think it; the key is in your possession so leave it at that.

So do you opt for something tangible like the keys to a house? I suppose if you’re homeless or have had a life full of moving from one substandard housing unit to another this might have great appeal. On the other hand, if you already have stable housing and you’re relatively happy with what you have, the idea of using this key to unlock something you already have holds less appeal. In other words, you might not want to use the key to make a minor upgrade on what you already own. This you perceive is the big game-changer; the one chance you’ve got to dramatically alter your current existence.

Maybe you’ll go for the tangible but indulgent. You know, the key to a yacht, your own private jet, the front door to a vacation property in some island paradise. Why you can almost hear the jingle, “Just imagine” from a Lotto 649 commercial playing in your head. The fanciful side of you may want the yacht but before you actually declare with finality that the yacht is what it fits, the practical side of you says, “Hold on! We’ll have to pay the insurance, the storage fees and just think of the gas money at todays prices!” So you second guess what you want this key to open and pause to reconsider.

After some moments you think that maybe something tangible isn’t the only thing this key could open. Maybe the romantic lover in you imagines then that this key unlocks the heart of that person you’ve always wanted to see you in the same way you see them. They’ve always had your heart but somehow you’ve never felt they shared your feelings; this key you own could be used to open what you most desire and always have; them. But then some voice whispers to you that it just seems wrong somehow to get this person this way. You really want them to come to love you for who you are, not because you used this key as you would a love potion.

Sigh….

What about a job then? Ah, a job! Not just any job but THE job! The one you’ve tried unsuccessfully to get for what seems like an eternity. It does say it will open anything you desire so why not the door that keeps getting slammed in your face every time you apply for work? Yes, your dream job. Just wish it and it becomes your reality…your phone will ring in minutes with some voice at the other end telling you they’d be thrilled to have you come and work with them!

Unlike the heart of the person you’re hopelessly – or Hope Fully in love with, there’s little or no guilt surely in getting what you want by using this key. There’s nothing wrong with using it to unlock the doors to that corner office in the tower, the Chairman’s office, the Ranger tower in the forest or – well wherever this job you want is located. So why does your conscience nag at you that using it to get that job cause you difficulty?

Okay, okay! So you go to something that’s just fun and harmless. The key may just unlock the door to the local ice cream shop. Yes! Ice cream when you want it for you and your friends! A myriad of flavours at your choosing; vanilla and chocolate when you’re in the mood and raspberry thunder when you’re craving it! Harmless too; it’s only ice cream! Ah, but your health would suffer you acknowledge. After all, how much ice cream could you eat without having your fill? What if you got diabetes or became lactose intolerant? Then your wish for ice cream would be a cruel joke and a waste of the key. Rethink.

What about a vault that holds money. Surely then you could use the money stored there to get whatever you want and when you want it! As your needs and wants change, the money would be there to easily go out and get it. Would that be so bad? It’s like using your last wish to ask the Genie for more wishes. That has its problems too of course.

Enough with the ideas to spur one’s imagination. Would it make a difference in what you wish for if there was a limited time to use it? Would you unlock the mysteries of the universe?

What would the key open if you come across it today?

Maybe you already hold such a key.

 

 

Expecting Vs. Hoping


I’m fortunate in that behind my home, there is a field that is operated by a farmer who rotates between soy and corn crops. Our home is but three years old, and I’ve been told by my wife that there is to be no development in that area for a minimum of twenty years. Apparently the reason why is that with the existing development in Lindsay where I live, the existing planned areas for homes must be completed prior to any additional building sites. Nice.

Since we moved to our home three years ago, we have been fortunate to spot deer, wild turkeys and coyotes in the field from time to time. During the winter months, the spotting of wildlife is easier against the white background of the snow instead of the Spring and Fall when things are neutral in colour and the animals camouflage themselves better. Not much point in looking in the summer as the height of any crops pretty much makes spotting shorter animals an impossibility.

I’m always looking however and hoping to spot wildlife. During the Christmas break however, I’ve decided to stop hoping to spot life and started to expect to spot it. Oddly enough, today I spotted 36 wild turkeys and one coyote in the early hours at 4:30a.m.! Now just because I expected to see wildlife doesn’t mean they all got together in the other end of the field and bush and came out just for my benefit. To think differently would be peculiar as if I had some magical control over the fate of animals to make the rounds for my sake.

However, because I expect to see wildlife, I’ve made more of an effort to look out the window, and when I’ve looked, I’ve looked with more intensity and for longer periods. Then I got to thinking, isn’t there a parallel between this activity and the art of job searching? You bet there is.

What a difference between just hoping to get a job and actually expecting to get a job. The difference in this case, much like my decision to look more intently for wildlife, is to put more effort into the job search because the results are expected. This involves a shift in mental energy and sets up personal expectations for favourable results that I believe I have the power in influencing. Put in a concentrated effort with some enthusiasm and energy, and the likelihood of a positive result is heightened rather than just hoping to get a job.

Doesn’t it even sound more assertive and confident to say, “I expect to be hired shortly” instead of, “I hope to be hired shortly”? Of course if you don’t ACT with confidence and do the required work, just saying you expect to be hired won’t work any better than rubbing a lamp and hoping for a magical Genie to appear and grant you three wishes. (By the way, if this actually DOES work, I’ve never heard of anyone wasting their three wishes by wishing to have a job!).

When you are talking with other people, for example an Employment Counsellor like myself, using this kind of assertive language is like a breath of fresh air. Tell me you expect to be hired shortly and I’m more motivated to put forth some effort to match your positive attitude, and even this is multiplied if you Demonstrate via your behaviour that you are doing what it takes to land interviews and succeed in doing them well.   

I worked helping a woman this past year who hoped to get hired. She had skills, attitude, looks, but needed help crafting her resume and cover letter. She had pretty decent interview skills too, but there were two questions she answered with anxiety and it showed. Now once she opened herself up to accepting help and we pinpointed where she could improve her overall image, she walked into the room one morning and you know what she said? No kidding, she said, “I expect to get an interview today, I’m done with just hoping”.

Now in her case it took another two months before she landed the interview and as I suspected, once she actually got the interview, she landed the job the following day. Hers was a competitive field where not too many jobs are actually advertised so it may not take as long in your case depending on what you are going after, but the point is her attitude shifted, and the results followed.

Do you hope to get hired in 2013 or do you expect to get hired in 2013? If you answered that you hope to get hired, think about making this slight change in wording and then act differently the way someone would if they actually expected it. If you answered that you expect to be hired in 2013, you’ve got to now start working harder to get your applications out on a more consistent daily basis and with better presentation.

Do your homework and research companies, network more, set up meetings, apply for jobs daily, do a single resume for every single job you apply to, and make a cover letter that is powerful as your marketing tools should be. Get out and badger an Employment Counsellor. Set up a meeting with an Employment Counsellor, walk in and introduce yourself with confidence, head held up, hand extended for a firm handshake and say, “Hi, my name is ______________ _____________, I’m expecting your very best today, and you in turn can count on me to do whatever you suggest to improve my job searching. I expect to be hired in the near future with your assistance!”