Beginning with the End in Mind – Advice for Non-Profit Professionals from Mindy Derr

One must begin with the end in mind.

This is my most consistent advice for professionals seeking to build a career in the non-profit space. Ask yourself: How do organizational leaders perceive their legacy in the role of leadership? What is the Executive’s  mission, vision and plan for perpetuity?

I founded Fore Hope, Inc. in 1989 for my father, Guy. Fore Hope was a small grassroots non-profit organization utilizing golf as an instrument for health recovery. My dad became ill shortly after retirement and his spirit was crushed. Dad was an avid and proficient golfer.

His aptitude and love of the game have carried over into our family heritage. The Derr family is known for golf!

After my service with the Boy Scouts of America in northern Ohio, I decided to start Fore Hope with a focus on therapeutic golf for those with chronic health conditions and disabilities.

Thousands have been served in the 32 + years since our founding and that continues today. Fore Hope was absorbed by the OhioHealth Healthcare System in Columbus, Ohio in 2017. Fore Hope was the first ever grassroots therapy golf program…originating on a card table, to travel among the ranks of a nationally recognized golf program. Fore Hope now resides within the OhioHealth Neuroscience Center for Wellness.

Giving up “my child” (Fore Hope) was not easy. However, as discussions ensued with OhioHealth, I felt the comfort of knowing that our organization would go on, serve more people and keep alive my dad’s legacy. Fore Hope had a niche and remained true to the mission of therapeutic golf. Fortunately, OhioHealth recognized the value of our services, unique offerings and that our organization was an appropriate fit for their wellness programs.

Fore Hope became a new family within OhioHealth and the “start over” within a healthcare system was daunting but exciting as well. Today, I remain an Advisor to OhioHealth Fore Hope.

Populations served throughout our Fore Hope history were those aging and with brain injury, cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, stroke and other injuries and illnesses. Golf is magic and improves balance, cognition, mobility, self-confidence, and fosters socialization. The joy that comes with hitting a little white ball is incredible as one focuses on the accomplishment and not the deficits in his/her life. Golf is a validated tool for Recreation Therapy and improves quality of life!

I know first-hand how illness can change one’s life. My recent diagnosis of MS was difficult to comprehend and yet, knowing that I could walk and play golf again gave me the much needed HOPE to move forward each day.

Over the years, Fore Hope provided services to adult day care and assisted living centers, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings, Recreation and Parks and schools. Fore Hope offered outdoor programs at local golf courses, golf ranges and putting areas. Our estimate is that 10,000 persons have been a part of Fore Hope programs along with care partners and families.

Lessons in Leadership from Originating a Non-Profit

I have learned so much over the years with Fore Hope and would like to share a little bit about the “secret sauce” of operations and delivery in a non-profit world. Leadership must be that…lead by example and have the ignited passion that excites those around you…your staff, board, investors and your clients. One must be a risk taker, and yet be a “quantified risker.”

Non-Profit leadership must have the ability to see the big picture and yet be effective in detail. Community trust arrives through exemplary services and brand recognition. Validation of the wonderful work of the organization is necessary and begets resources that encourage growth and wider community outreach. Funding for programs arrives in a myriad of ways, but the  best way in my opinion, is the awareness of mission need, connection to services provided, and the involvement of potential investors. Investors/donors want to realize their gifts make a difference in transforming lives, hence, the reason for being.

The view from 30,000 feet?

Fore Hope began with the end in mind and we reached for the stars. We shared the big picture and built consensus among the masses.  Fore Hope staff and board searched for those

like-minded partners to forward the mission and continue to serve. Mission perpetuity, like OhioHealth Fore Hope as a stellar example, transcends all the struggles and ultimately

“gives back” to those who invested over the years. Our organization wanted the public to see, feel and know, that this journey of non-profit impact prevails and continues to enhance community wellness.

Remember, without cause, there would be not effect. One’s legacy as a leader, is one withstanding.

 

Melinda “Mindy” Derr
Ohio State Alumna,  Class of 1981
Founder and Advisor – OhioHealth Fore Hope

Resource Spotlight – Getting Hired in Healthcare for Veterans

As a veteran who has fearlessly and faithfully served our country, you may be wondering what a post-military career looks like for you.  If you are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, we invite you to explore a new resource from EduMed.

Healthcare Careers for Student Veterans: An Online Guide (edumed.org)  is an step-by-step guide to launching a civilian career in the healthcare industry for veterans.  This in-depth guide offers advice on military-friendly degree programs, interview advice, skills assessments, and more.  Visit EduMed at the link above to take advantage of this excellent resource, and visit our veterans resources tab for more tools to support you in your post-military career development journey!

 

EduMed Guide:  Healthcare Careers for Student Veterans: An Online Guide (edumed.org)

Veteran’s Resources:  For Veterans | Welcome to Career Corner! (osu.edu)

From the Director’s Desk – Don’t Forget Your Job Search Etiquette!

In the age of texting and in shorthand and immediacy on social media, don’t forget the basic manners that your parents taught you…and your career coach! A positive and grateful attitude will get you far in job search and may even land you the position.

Always say, “thank you”.

A must in your interview follow up is to send a thank you to your interviewers. But prior to that step, it is important to express thanks along the job search process. Networking is a critical step and skill in your job search strategy. Think of all the people who have given you advice and recommended others that can add to your network. Hiring managers are the ultimate contacts, but don’t forget the people along the way who connected you to that hiring manager or opportunity. This could be family, friends, acquaintances, faculty, advisors, and colleagues. A simple “thank you” can go a long way. Always respond with a note to someone who has sent you advice. And if you miss that step, then you may not receive help in the future.

Remember, you are building your personal board of directors for your entire career journey. So, keep your network in the loop along the way, to include when you land a position. Express gratitude for contributing to your success.

In a fast-paced era of communication, don’t drop the ball. Networking is a give and take exchange. Keep your network alive. Your life will be richer for it!

 

Alumni Spotlight – Meet Melissa Trahyn!

Degree: Bachelor, Music Education
Graduation Year: 1998
Current Occupation: Educational Technology Specialist

 

  1. – What brought you to The Ohio State University?

I went to Ohio State to be in the Marching Band.  In my junior year of high school in Kentucky, we visited the Stadium Bandroom, spoke with then director, Dr. Woods, and saw a performance of the OSUMB.  I knew, from that point on, that I wanted to go to Ohio State to be in the Marching Band.

 

  1. – How did your experiences at Ohio State shape your career path?

I came into my current career after 20 years on another path.  While at Ohio State, I got the international bug and traveled outside of the US a lot through my involvement with Cru (then Campus Crusade for Christ).  That led to me spending a year after graduation teaching English in Central Asia.  Upon my return, I taught for 2 years in public and private schools in Indianapolis, but still wanted to be in more of an international environment.  In 2001 took a job at Butler University which started my 20-year stint in International Education at the university level.  I have held positions in English as a Second Language programs, International Student Services Offices and Study Abroad organizations.

During the pandemic of 2020, international education took a big hit and I found myself out of work for the first time in over 16 years.  I took a career pivot in July 2020 and accepted a position as an Educational Technology Specialist, something I had been learning, using, and informally training for in my previous position through experiences and opportunities that were afforded to me.  Now I work with faculty at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, to design online courses that are not only pedagogically sound, but engaging to the students through a virtual environment.

 

  1. – What advice do you have for OSU alumni and students interested in pursuing a career in your field?

Every job you take, every position you are in, you are learning.  Never stop learning as the path you think you want may not be the path you end up on 20 years later.  I’m an educator at heart and have found myself in a variety of fields in education, from teaching K-8 music, to teaching ESL, to working with international students and study abroad students, and now working with faculty.  Find what you love; find what brings you joy and pursue that.  My current field of EdTech is really taking off since the pandemic.  I find I’m energized by helping others find connections and engagement and have found that my current field of EdTech is a catalyst for engagement in the classroom.

 

  1. – What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

I think my greatest professional accomplishment is that I have never stopped learning.  I have recently been accepted into a doctoral program at Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology which will commence in Fall 2021.  I never thought I’d get to this point of pursuing a doctoral degree and am very proud of where I am now.

 

  1. – What inspires you in your profession?

An idea or concept that “clicks” for someone is so inspiring.  I love that “lightbulb” moment where people finally get it!  I want to jump up and down when that happens.  Whether it’s a musical piece that finally came together, someone communicating for the first time in English, or a faculty member making a meaningful connection with a student virtually – those moments inspire me and keep me going.

 

  1. – In what ways have you stayed connected with OSU after your graduation?

It’s taken me some time to get to where I am today.  Upon graduation, I immediately moved overseas.  When I came home, my parents were living in a city and state I had never lived in, and I was without work.  After getting married and having kids, time just flew right by…but in the summer of 2020, I felt the urge to reconnect when I saw an announcement for a TBDBITL Alumni Club Board of Governors (BOG) At Large Position.  I reached out, put my name in the hat, and was voted in during the September 2020 BOG meeting!

Since then, I’ve been passionate about helping others who may not live in Columbus, reconnect.  I have done this by spearheading the social media for the TBDBITL Alumni Club.  I revived the Club’s Facebook page and created a LinkedIn page in December 2020.  Since then, our Facebook page has increased its followers by 20% and our LinkedIn page has gained 241 new followers since its inception.  Our 2021 goal for these two platforms is to see 1000 followers on Facebook and 500 on LinkedIn by year’s end.  Since March 2021, I have also revived the Instagram and Twitter feeds for the Club and have seen our interactions and followership grow with each post.  We currently have an alumni campaign highlighting “The Best Damn Alumni” each month.  This social media campaign runs on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram and has been a great collaboration between the Awards Committee and Communications of the TBDBITL Alumni Club.  I’m so excited to be serving in this way and it’s very rewarding to see the conversations going on between alumni on these platforms.

You can find us and help us meet our follower goals at:

Career Management Staff Receives Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Certification

Often in the Office of Alumni Career Management, we talk to clients about the importance of continuing professional development, and a commitment to consistent personal growth. We are also committed to doing this in our personal lives as well.

In that spirit, we are excited to amount that both Marilyn and Kioshana have recently completed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace certificate program offered through the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business! The seven-week program, created in partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jabil, focused on ways for organizations to create diverse workplaces, address equity issues, and foster inclusivity.  In order to obtain this certificate, we completed seven two-hour modules related to important topics in the DE&I workplace, including emotional intelligence, stereotypes and biases, community outreach, and crafting a sustainable business model. We were also tested on each of the cornerstone topics and earned 1.4 continuing education credits as part of this program.

In this office, and at the university at large, we pride ourselves on our ongoing commitment toward making the workplace a more equitable and healthy place for professionals to thrive, and this training will help support that mission going forward.  For more information on this certification, visit the website here.

Alumni Perspective – “Find Your Marching Band”

The following is a contribution from alumnae Melissa D. Trahyn (Fordham), a 1998 graduate of the School of Music and current member of the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s Board of Governors. Read on to hear her advice on life, career, and remaining engaged with the alumni community – no matter where your journey takes you!

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I was a student at Ohio State in the mid-90s and a member of TBDBITL, playing trombone in Q-Row.  I went to OSU for the sole purpose of being in the OSUMB (and to study Music Education, of course) ….and I was cut my first year.  I worked my tail off and got in my sophomore year, spending the next three years in The Ohio State University Marching Band.  Three years that tested my perseverance, my endurance, my physical limits, and my mental capacity.  These three years thrilled me to no end and fed my love of performing.  I LOVED band and in particular, marching band.

Fast forward 23 years, 26 countries, one marriage, three kids, a master’s degree, and six jobs later…I’m now the voice and driver of the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s social media public pages.

Two years ago, I was attending a leadership course through Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, dissatisfied with my job (but not admitting it yet) when someone in the course, who had just met me asked me when the last time I was happy and involved in something that I enjoyed.  Without skipping a beat, I said “Ohio State’s Marching Band”.  He then proceeded to say something that has stuck with me to this day, “We need to find you your next Marching Band”.

Losing my job in April 2020 during the COVID-19 shutdown and pandemic was a blessing in disguise.  I started seeking meaningful connections, but the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s presence on Facebook and LinkedIn, the two social media platforms I engaged with, were slim to none.  How can you be involved if you don’t know how?

In September 2020, I was elected as an At-Large Member to the TBDBITL Alumni Club’s Board of Governors, with a desire for engagement and helping others engage.  See, I don’t live in Columbus, or even Ohio, which makes it hard (or so it seemed) to be involved in TBDBITL activities.  I didn’t even know that these leadership positions in the Alumni Band existed or that I could apply until I saw Past President Derrick Mills’ post on Facebook – and of course I immediately reached out.

I wanted to be involved, to be connected, to be engaged, and found a way to do it from Indianapolis.  Through my discussions with President Zacke Naughton and Vice President, T.J. Hersch, I found my voice and excitement for engagement, creating meaningful connections, and for reaching those who may feel like I did – far away and removed from TBDBITL.  I have a passion for helping people feel connected and in using my passion, I became connected!

As the voice of the Club’s social media, I have learned so much about social media in general, and the different platforms in particular.  I have re-engaged our public Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages and created our public LinkedIn page.  Since the revival and renewal of our public voice on social media in December 2020, we now have a monthly social media plan with regular posting, in addition to ad-hoc, in-the-moment posts.  In conjunction with our Awards Committee, we have established a new monthly Alumni Spotlight series, the “Best Damn Alumni”, which premiered in April 2021.   Our long-term goal for 2021 is to see 500 followers on LinkedIn and 1,000 followers on Facebook, our two primary platforms.  At the time of this article, we are at 215 followers for LinkedIn and 708 for Facebook…well on our way to meeting our goal by the end of 2021.

If I can say one thing to anyone out there who’s feeling disconnected and unengaged – “Find your Marching Band”.  It will make all the difference!

Salary Negotiation – Your Questions Answered!

Here in the Office of Alumni Career Management, we often receive questions from alumni about salary negotiation.  In anticipation of next week’s Job Club meeting on salary negotiation, we thought we’d post a few answers to the most common questions we get here for your review.  Enjoy!

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Q. – Are you able to negotiate when the job is in the public sector? It seems like pay and benefits are pretty well set, at least at the state level.

A. – There are a few sectors that do not allow for salary negotiation unless you advance to another level. Some government agencies and K-12 Education have set pay scales. However, some public sectors get around this by hiring a candidate into a higher level than the posted job so that they can be sure to keep that valuable candidate.

Q. –  How should salary negotiations differ between internal and external positions?

A. – Internally, know the salary request schedule of your organization. Give your manager plenty of time to discuss with you and then enter into the request process for you. Be ready for that conversation with your manager. Show your accomplishments and progression in your role and market value data to support your negotiation. External negotiation is with a hiring manager that does not know you and has not seen your work. However, the process is the same with research, strategy, and negotiation. In both cases, be prepared and strategic.

Q. – Do you have advice for salary negotiating when making a career change or going into a new industry?

A. – When changing industries, you have to focus on the transferrable skills that you are offering to the employer. If you are at point of offer, then you did well in selling yourself. If you are referring to the research phase and setting your range, then you should still honor your years of work experience. Networking definitely helps in getting interviews when you are changing careers.

Q. – How do you inquire about merit increases? In my experience, I have been able to negotiate salary a little bit but was told they could not offer the top amount in the range because the person in the role before had not reached that amount when they left the position. I am wondering if the range listed accounted for merit increases and the potential of what you could get up to for salary after some years in the role.

A. – In the negotiation process, ask about opportunities for advancement. This will lead discussing merit increases. Ask the hiring manager to be specific about the salary range listed. Does this include a merit or bonus structure and what is the history of employees reaching that top dollar?

Q. – I’ve heard before that your first salary is the most important, or that it dictates what you’ll make later in life. What’s your take on this? How important is that first, out-of-school salary?

A. – Your entire future career does not rest on that first salary because you will not be sharing that figure in negotiation. You will focus on the market value of each job for which you apply. However, initial negotiation is important for each job because every year the typical 2-5% raise will be calculated from that initial offer. That is what we mean by do not leave money on the table.

Q. –  What happens if you give a range and the employer comes in at the top of that range with their offer? Have you just run out of room to negotiate?

A. – No, because you gave that range at the beginning of the process to determine if you were both in the ballpark. And in may cases, that initial person is not the decision maker. They are not determining your offer on that initial conversation. They are determining your offer on the market value for that position. So, do your research and know what the market is dictating for that role. At point of offer, you know much more than you did at the beginning and can base your negotiating on how your skills match up to their needs. In addition, you will have your data to support the market value range. Remember, their first offer is not usually as high as they can go. And if it is as high as they can go, they will tell you. However, you won’t know if you don’t try. And they will respect you as a savvy job seeker.

Q. – What else can you ask for to strengthen a job offer once salary is set or can’t be moved more?

A. – Please consider all the benefits that can possibly come with an offer. Prioritize what is most valuable to you at this point in your life. Is it flexibility, autonomy, working with a team, travel, a car, cell phone, vacation time, working remotely, a bonus structure each year?

Q. – Would it be best/more likely to get more with haggling with the paycheck or a bonus like 401K match, etc.?

A. – It is easier to negotiate the salary than a set 401K structure. However, you can ask for a sign on bonus.

Q. – What % of salary is standard for a sign-on bonus?

A. – It is more of a flat fee of 1K-5K.

Q. – Is asking for the offer in writing insulting? You mentioned reneging on an offer but can you speak to an agreed upon salary, yet the employer doesn’t hold to their offer?

A. – Absolutely ask for the first and final offer in writing. They can quickly send a letter via email and then typically HR will follow up with a benefits package.

Q. – Are there any unwritten rules about requesting stock in a salary negotiation? Ex: You should only negotiate after working with a company for 5+ years or holding a specific position within a company.

A. – There are benefits that may come after working for an organization for so many years, like education credit, some insurance benefits, and family leave, and yes, stock options. These are typically not negotiable.

Q. – I was given a raise at the beginning of this year and lost it due to Covid. When would be the right time for me to revisit this topic with my manager, if ever?

A. – I’m sorry about that. Yes, many organizations are freezing raises so that they can keep positions intact. I would check in at your official review period. In fact, they will probably bring it up first at that time.

Q. – Any strategies particularly important for women to keep in mind for negotiating (who may be offered lower amounts relative to worth)?

A. – Have your research and data ready! Fall back on the market value. Be confident and assertive.

Q. –  Any advice on approaching the topic of a raise if you feel like you deserve it, but want to stay with the same organization?

A. – Know the salary request schedule of your organization. Give your manager plenty of time to discuss with you and then enter into the request process for you. Be ready for that conversation with your manager. Show your accomplishments and progression in your role and tie them to the goals of the organization to support your ask.

Q. –  What would be the proper way, if at all, to negotiate more PTO/Vacation Days in a job offer?

A. – Once you have settled on salary, then launch into the other important factors that you want to negotiate to include PTO/vacation time. Research shows that vacation time is one of the easiest to negotiate.

Q. – Can you make up some numbers about what to ask for… Lets say walk away point is $40k, top of range is $60k, and initial job offer is $50k…What should I ask for? $51k? The full $60? or even higher to hope that you can ultimately settle at top market value.

A. – This would depend on your market value. Your years of experience will determine where you should fall on this range. If you have less experience (1-3 years), then you would be on the lower end. If you have more experience (6-10), you would be on the higher end. If 50K is about right, then try for an additional 1-2 K.

Q. – In negotiations, of a current job, is there an unspoken limit?

A. –  Typically, there is a set range for your position. Glassdoor.com is good for this research.

Q. – When the application requires you to enter your current salary and anticipated salary, how should you answer?

A. – Always try to leave current salary blank. If you cannot, then offer a range of your last position. For the anticipated, offer your anticipated range. If you are only allowed one number then put the middle of the range.

Q. – How do you negotiate a salary match of a current job?

A. –  Always negotiate from market value rather than with your current salary. However, if the offer is close to your current salary, but a bit lower, then use that as leverage. State that you need to at least match your current salary and would like to obtain an increase in this transition. Then suggest $2,000 or 5% over your current salary as long as it is still in the market value range for the job.

Why Network? – From the Director’s Desk

As career coaches, we often find that job seekers spend 100% of their time on job boards applying to as many jobs as they can. What they often don’t realize is that one thing has remained steadfast through ups and downs in the economy and job market. The fact is that 80% of how most people find their next role is through networking. And the 20% of job seekers who obtain a job through job boards also need to then network into an interview.

Why is that? Think about how many resumes HR professionals or hiring managers need to comb through to choose candidates to interview. Even if the organization uses AI technology to narrow down the candidates, there is still a human element in choosing the right hire. You can imagine that the hiring team welcomes a good reference or referral beyond the stack of resumes.

Building a network of trusted colleagues affords you two things. You may learn about job openings that are in the works and not yet posted. This gives you the opportunity to connect with people in the organization through your contacts. Or, if you have already applied for a particular job, your network can serve as a reference on your behalf. Either way, you get the scoop on the opportunity, the culture, goals, and mission of the organization.

Once you land your next role and join your new team, it is wise to continue to build your professional network. You can keep up on current industry trends, meet mentors and experts, or promote your business or product. Today, it is smart to take ownership of your career inside and outside of your specific job or organization. Increase your visibility, gain professional development, and advance within your industry.

On April 13, we will meet for our next session of Job Club. We’ll focus on the Art of Networking and the importance within your job search. We’ll discuss how to put together a strategy that is comfortable for you as you begin to network and build your board of directors. I hope that you join us.

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Marilyn Bury Rice, Director

Marilyn has 30 years of experience in the career management field within higher education, non-profit, and corporate settings. She has advised students and alumni at Purdue University, Hanover College, the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Wesleyan, and The Ohio State University. She had the privilege of assisting women in becoming financially self-sufficient as a career consultant for Center for New Directions (a United Way Agency). And Marilyn spent 15 years working with experienced professionals in career transition at Right Management, a global talent and career management firm.

Marilyn holds a BS in communication and psychology and an MS in counseling and higher education administration from Purdue University. She values assisting alumni
in their ongoing career development and connecting with fellow Buckeyes around the globe

The Other Side of Fear: Pivoting to Your New Role

Written by alumna Marissa Lee

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic tens of millions of people have requested unemployment benefits. According to David G. Blanchflower, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College, we might see an unemployment rate of 20%. That’s significant and rivals the unemployment levels attained during the Great Depression. With these numbers, it’s not a surprise that people are taking a “wait and see” approach to pivoting to a new opportunity. However, pandemic aside, LinkedIn Learning research shows that 47% of all professionals ages 35 – 44 say they aren’t sure what their career path should look like, even after spending more than a decade in the workforce. To take this a little deeper, research shows the average American has been in the same job for 9.88 years, rising to a substantial 13.91 years for professionals over 55 years of age. This can lead one to draw the conclusion that whether we are in crisis or in a season of certainty, people are averse and belated in moving to their next opportunity. One of the biggest factors holding people back is fear.

Fear is the feeling manifested because of the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or be a threat or detriment to your progress. Fear is an enemy of success. It causes you to second guess yourself. It makes you think of everything that could go wrong. It shows up in the form of an excuse. Fear has caused people to hide themselves since the foundation of the earth and continues to keep people from fully realizing their potential. When it comes a career pivot, fear usually reveals itself in four major ways:

  1. Fear of Failure
  2. Fear of Rejection
  3. Fear of the Ambiguity
  4. Fear of Falling Short

Fear of Failure is the fear of doing something and later finding out it doesn’t work. It’s not a good feeling so in an effort to avoid failure, people decide not try at all. They choose to play it safe and stay with what they know. It keeps the person stuck in that moment, space, or role and makes it difficult to move forward.

There are benefits in failing and they can actually help you conquer your fear of failing. Past failures hold the key to all the ways you shouldn’t be doing something. Ask yourself what are the biggest lessons learned and how you can use your learnings in the future. Another thing that can help you overcome your failures is showing yourself some grace and giving yourself space to fail. I’m not saying to go in with a mindset to fail. I’m saying to leave it all out on the proverbial floor and be kind to yourself if you come up short. This will help you get more comfortable with putting yourself out there.

Fear of Rejection is the fear of doing something and others discard it or cast away. Whether it’s a romantic or work relationship, it doesn’t feel good to be or be perceived as “unwanted.” A great example of this is applying for a job and receiving that “we regret to inform you email” or worse the company just “ghosts” you and you don’t hear anything. Often times people internalize this rejection to mean they aren’t good enough or they are lesser than and that hurts. Depending on the individual, rejection is processed differently and on a deeper level especially if encountered numerous times in the past.

If rejection is stopping you, you have to find a way to overcome it. First it’s important to understand what aspect of rejection is holding you back from pivoting to your next role. Are you worried about being told no or is it something deeper? You have to figure that out and further address those concerns. In addition to that, I would say keep things in perspective. Remember a “no” doesn’t necessarily mean a “never”. It mean a better “yes” is on the way. I’m a witness to this. Hindsight is 20/20 so I’d encourage you to reflect on the times you’ve been told “no” and write down the “yes” that followed or the things the “no” kept you from. I’m sure you will look at your situation differently.

Fear of the Ambiguity is the fear of the unknown. You may fret because you just don’t know how things will turn out. Most people who are scared of ambiguity worry if they take the leap and it doesn’t work out then they will have sacrificed their security. A sense of security is valuable especially at times like this so if people can’t identify a sure opportunity they usually decide to stay put. I’m going to let you in on a little secret…no role is 100% secure whether old or new. You can still be in a vulnerable position if you fail to position yourself appropriately and show your value. I’ve seen where people stay in a role for years and get labeled a talent “blocker” because they haven’t managed to demonstrate valuable contributions and they are preventing someone else from transitioning into that role who can make an impact. I say all this to say, the known can be just as much as an enemy as the unknown.

If you struggle with this fear really make an effort to embrace change. We all know what they say, “the only thing constant in our lives is change” and that’s true. When we started of 2020, no one was planning for a pandemic. It didn’t even cross our minds but it came and we had to adapt. Lean into change and exercise your resilience muscle to help you conquer this fear.

Fear of Falling Short is the fear of not believing in yourself and what you bring to the table. It’s a confidence thing. It’s the self-sabotaging and deprecating mindset that you don’t have what it takes especially when it comes to transitioning to a new role. It’s the constant questioning of your skills and abilities and not in a productive way. It’s believing that regardless of your accomplishments you are a fraud. Those feelings are known as imposter syndrome and according to research 70% of people experience these feelings so you are not alone. Even I have questioned my capabilities and competencies to be effective in one of the roles I had so I know what it feels like. I also know that it’s toxic and can stifle your career and wreck your career experience if you let it, so don’t let it.

If you struggle with the fear of not measuring up to the standard needed for a new role, remind yourself of your worth. Sit down and write out your accomplishments then celebrate yourself. Give yourself permission to be great! Come up with a mantra that encourages you. Hype yourself up! Do what you need to do to get yourself in the right frame of mind so you can articulate and position yourself for the role you want to pursue.

A couple of the things I cover in the SOW EVOLVE Bootcamp are mindset and toxic behaviors. Sometimes we have to unlearn and deprogram ourselves to preconceive notions and archaic beliefs to ensure we can position ourselves for success. Fear is one of the feelings you have to learn how to detach from if you want to take the leap and pivot to your next role. Once you deal with fear and other limiting factors you will have more clarity around if and when you should pivot. In my new eBook Pivotal Moves-Shifting to Your Next, I discuss some things you should consider while thinking about a pivot and even included a short assessment to help you go deeper in your evaluation. Once you determine if you want to pivot you have to understand what you want to pivot to, what transferable skills you current possess, understand how you need to reposition your personal brand and then actually pivot.

Final Thought

Your next role is waiting for you but it may be on the other side of fear. Overcome fear and you will have conquered half of the battle to making your next move. Don’t extend your stay in role because of fear. Don’t allow fear to make you forfeit your next opportunity.

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Marissa Lee is a global HR leader, career strategist, and author with a unique approach to helping us rethink the relationship between employer and employee. For the past 10 years, she has combined her passion for people and processes to provide strategic business solutions for Fortune 500 companies in the fashion and chemical industries. Marissa is the founder of SOW EVOLVE, a career and business consulting firm which helps organizations and individuals address contemporary culture and career ownership issues.  If you would like to connect with Marissa, you may do so via LinkedIn or email at Marissa@IAmMarissaLee.com.

Wow Them with Your Winning Elevator Pitch

One of the most important tools for a jobseeker to have in their job search toolkit is a strong 30-second commercial, also known as an “elevator pitch”.  This is a great way to introduce yourself to new contacts, and allows you to communicate professionally and appear polished when meeting new people.  There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your 30-second commercial makes the best first impression for you.  Read on below to find out how to create your own winning elevator pitch.

What should I keep in mind when developing my 30-second commercial?

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Your 30-second commercial should be conversational and natural. Although prepared in advance, it should never sound memorized. You want to appear confident, enthusiastic, poised and professional. Make it memorable but not outrageous. You are competing with many other qualified candidates. Your commercial should allow you to stand out a bit from the crowd. Whether it is the vocabulary you choose or a specific achievement you mention, you want to engage the listener and give them an opportunity to see your personality.

Questions to Think About in Developing Your 30-Second Commercial:

1. What is your career goal? (Frame it in the form of doing something for someone)

2. What skill, strength, or experience do you have that would help you realize that goal?

3. What accomplishment proves you have that skill, strength, or experience?

4. What are you searching for in a job?

5. How can you immediately benefit the organization?

How should I format my 30-second commercial?

First sentences: Include your name, where you are from, your alma mater and what you studied.

Middle sentences: Quickly summarize your relevant experience. Do not reiterate your resume. For example, mention your industry and your most recent roles, the key skills you use and developed as well as an accomplishment with results. Mention your future career goals. Try framing it as, “One accomplishment I am most proud of…” or “One key strength that I would bring to your organization is…”

Last sentences: Briefly relay how your background led you to your career exploration. If you are in an interview, explain why you are interested in the organization and this role.

Pro Tip:  Even though you may get the request, “Tell me about yourself”, this does not mean that you should share personal information about your family, marital status, health conditions, or negative stories about former employers. The employer or networking contact can get a sense of your personality by your responses and attitude regarding work. If you share personal information, it may be used against you in their decision to stay engaged with you as a candidate or networking contact.

We would love for you to join us at the April meeting of the Alumni Career Management Job Club, where we will be providing networking time for participants to practice their elevator pitches with one another live.  If you’d like to take part, register here.