Don’t Let Your Lizard Brain Ruin Your Life!

As we approach the new year, it’s a sure bet that many of you are thinking about what goals and ambitions you plan to pursue in 2018.  With the coming of each new year, almost everyone takes the time to think about and make some resolutions about how they will be different, better people in the next twelve months.  Some of us choose to embark on a weight-loss journey, while others venture to go back to school, spend more time with family, etc.  One thing that we see often as career coaches is many people who are interested in making a change to benefit their careers.  Clients come in with the intention of pursuing a promotion, position within a new company, or starting their own business, yet many have talked themselves out of whatever their goal was before spring comes.

When asked about how we can help them get back on track, many clients reveal that they have been affected by the Lizard Brain.  The Lizard Brain is that little voice in the back of your head that tells you that you can’t do something.  It is the thing that says, “But you don’t have the qualifications for that” when you’re thinking of applying for a new job, or “Do you really think taking on that big of a risk is a good idea?” when you’re considering starting your own business.  The Lizard Brain is the voice of self-doubt, the voice of fear, the voice inside your head that warns you to stay “safe” – regardless of what it costs you.

Scientifically speaking, your Lizard Brain is the amygdala – the oldest part of your brain, where your survival instincts are housed.  This is the part that is charged with keeping you alive, no matter the cost.  Unfortunately, it often cannot tell the difference between fear that means danger is imminent and anxiety from doing something that scares you or pushes you out of your comfort zone.

So, then, how do you beat the Lizard Brain?

You learn to embrace it.

John Wayne is credited with having once said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”  He, and many others who have been successful in their lives, understood one important thing about life – that you can be afraid of something, and still find a way to push forward toward what you want out of life.

That job you’re thinking about?  Apply.

That new skill you’re afraid to learn?  Pick up a book and get started reading about it.

The key is to simply get started – as you make more and more moves in the direction of your goals, you’ll find that it becomes easier and easier for you to work around your fear and seize opportunities.

And if pursuing a better career for yourself is on your “to-do” list for 2018, one of the easiest ways to get started is to schedule an appointment with one of ACM’s career counselors.  Each alumnus is entitled to a free, one hour one on one consultation with a member of the career services team – reach out to us via our customer service team at  800-635-8944 to make your appointment today!

Practicing Mindfulness at Work and at Home this Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us, and for most of us, this is a season that is filled with love and laughter, but also a great deal of stress and anxiety.  It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, where we have a tendency to spread ourselves thin with regard to our money, time, and energy.  However, this time of year is one where it is even more important than usual to practice mindfulness in order to be the best version of yourself, for yourself and for those friends and loved ones around you.  Here are a few ways you can practice mindfulness this holiday season and beyond, cultivating a clear head and peace of mind now and in the coming year as well.

Be Present

This is the first and most basic tenets of mindfulness – being present in the here and now.  At the root of it, this is exactly what mindfulness is.  Take time to slow down and not get ahead of yourself in your head.  Work to let go of thoughts about “what needs to be done next” or “how many more items on your to-do list that haven’t been checked off”.  Be in the present moment, with whomever you happen to be sharing it with at the time, and allow that to be enough.  What will be, will be, and you’ll be better prepared to handle it if you are able to go into it with a clear head instead of one that is clouded with worry.

Work on one thing at a time

In our culture especially, we have a tendency to glorify being busy.  We think that multi-tasking is just a way of life, and if you’re not juggling at least three things at any given point in time, you’re clearly not working hard enough.

Stop.  It’s a lie!

Try instead to “single-task” – that is, work on one thing at a time, and allow it to have your full attention.  You’ll find that by doing this, you’re more productive and better able to get things done, and you’ll likely feel less stress in the meantime.

Feel gratitude

Instead of focusing on the things that you want or need that you don’t currently have, take a little time out to be purposefully grateful for what you do have.  In the holiday season especially, it is easy for us to get caught up in wanting MORE – more time, more energy, more money, more stuff… But what if we took a moment or two to simply be thankful for what we already have?  Look for opportunities to feel grateful on purpose throughout your day and watch how much of an impact it has on your overall mood and outlook.

These are just a few quick tips to help you remain present and mindful as you navigate your way through this holiday season.  Wishing you all the best through the holidays and into the new year from your friends in Alumni Career Management.

Have a wonderful day!

8 Easy Ways to Add Impact to Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site in the world, with more than 467 million users and 3 million current active job listings.  Every company on the Fortune 500 list is represented on the platform, as well as a plethora of others.  The site offers opportunities for networking, connection with recruiters, job listings, and more.  From a job seeker’s perspective, being an active, engaged member of LinkedIn is not only a good option, it is a necessity!  Here are 8 ways you can improve your profile for career management and job search success:

  1. Update Your Profile Photo

Make sure you have a professional headshot photo that lets your personality shine through.  It should be fresh-looking and welcoming, and should allow any user who meets you in person to immediately be able to recognize you from this photo.  A good rule of thumb is to use a picture that is no more than five years old, the clearly shows your face, and that encompasses just a few hints of your personality.

  1. Communicate Your Unique Value Proposition in Your Headline

Write a headline that grabs the attention of your audience, and makes them want to read more about you.  Don’t be afraid to stray from the default headline of your current or most recent position – make it about where you want to be, and what you want others to know about you when connecting with you.

  1. Use the Summary Section to Tell Your Story – Concisely.

Think of the summary section as the executive summary of your resume – it should be personal and written in first person, and should communicate within the first two lines the things that you feel are most important for others to know.  Remember that the first two lines are all that your audience will initially see – grab their attention and make them want to click “read more” so that they can learn more about you!

  1. Customize Your Public Profile URL

Make your LinkedIn URL easier to share by making it shorter.

  1. Click on Profile.
  2. Click Edit Profile.
  3. Click on the “settings” icon to the right of your URL.
  4. Under Your public profile URLsection on the right of the page, click the “edit” icon.
  5. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
  6. Click Save.


BONUS! Once you do this, be sure to share it on your resume (in the place where your address used to be)!


  1. Ask for Recommendations

Recommendations are essential to a solid profile.  Reach out to former colleagues or supervisors, clients, professors, or vendors and ask them to write a short note on your behalf.  Make sure that you ask someone who knows you well and with whom you have a good relationship to write a solid recommendation.  Also remember that you have control over any recommendations that appear on your page – you have the final say in whether or not to include them.  Don’t feel bad about skipping lackluster endorsements or those that contain spelling/grammar errors.

  1. Connect with Coworkers and Classmates

LinkedIn is all about building and cultivating your professional network, so reach out to those around you and invite them to connect.  This is an easy way to build your network.  One easy way to do this is to join The Ohio State University Buckeye Network group – where you can connect with nearly 10,000 Buckeye alumni and staff members, as well as receive ongoing advice and discussions from ACM.

  1. Share Your Professional and Academic Accomplishments

Attract attention by adding visual representations of your work to your profile.  Upload videos, images, documents and presentations.  You’ve had some excellent achievements that set you apart from the rest, but those aren’t always easy to work into a resume – use LinkedIn to showcase your best work!

  1. Showcase Professional Expertise and Writing Skills through the Self-Publishing Feature

LinkedIn makes it easy to share your knowledge through its self-publishing feature.  You can write a book review, share how you have applied your learning to the workplace, or write about your subject matter expertise.

Updating your profile using these 8 improvements could make the difference between being overlooked for a position or called for an interview.  Feel free to reach out to Alumni Career Management for more strategies and one on one coaching for LinkedIn success!