7 Mindful Strategies to Advance Your Career

While there is no substitute for a solid education, many of the most successful people in the world reached their success through other means. Some even pausing academic endeavors to focus on furthering their vision.

Yet, even if you have reached PhD status in your field, how can you ensure success sure is to follow?

Mindful Career Strategies - Professional Woman Holding Business Card

Consistency ranks first at the top of the list, but most billionaires will also tell you that you have to let go of any lingering negativity. Eliminate the negative thoughts that are holding you back and replace them with new, positive habits that support your progress.

As for the practices to cultivate, these should be at the top of your inventory:

1. Practice positive thinking.

Nothing in this life is static; everything is cyclical. So despite what happens over the course of the day, try your best to maintain a positive outlook. Even the most challenging situations, such as losing a job, can be positive in the end. Although you may not be able to see it right away, in retrospect, you may notice that circumstances either allowed you to embrace a new opportunity, learn new skills, or break away from a dead-end situation. If you embrace the changes that come your way, seeing your challenges as opportunities, you will be on your way. A great portion of maintaining a positive attitude is not focusing on past failures and disappointments. Let it go, look forward, and move on.

2. Don’t settle for less than what you need.

While not every offer you receive will be perfect, try to weigh the entirety of the situation beyond just the immediate gains. For example, if you finally earn the promotion you’ve been seeking and the pay isn’t what you expected, don’t rule out negotiating for what you feel you deserve. However, if the promotion offers a stepping stone toward where you want to ultimately be in your career, don’t sacrifice the whole picture for instant rewards. Conversely, if you are an unemployed job seeker and a prospective employer offers you a salary that would cause your wage scale to significantly drop, never feel that you must settle for less than you are worth. Success comes from blazing your own trail and not losing sight on how to achieve it.

3. Model yourself after a successful person you admire.

Keep in mind that, in many cases, if a formula worked once, it’s likely to work again. Those who have succeeded before you have experience that you can learn from on your way to reaching your own goals. If these individuals are in your network, you may find they are very forthcoming with advice and will gladly share their story if you ask. If not, try seeking out books that have been written by leaders in your field. Their experience can be your advantage.

4. Check in with yourself periodically.

Once you have made a plan, be sure to review and reevaluate your progress on a regular basis. Consider a monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual review schedule to assess your growth, and adjust your plans and practices as needed. For instance, if a lack of skills in a certain area becomes apparent, upgrade your education in these areas through an online course or educational program. Acquiring new skills will add value to all of your future endeavors.

5. Embrace change.

The world around you, people, business; everything is in a constant state of evolution. Therefore, it stands to reason that you should be too. This applies to technology as well as marketing trends, and to businesses as well as individuals. Your ability to adapt to your changing environment is synonymous with ongoing success.

6. Believe in the law of physics.

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. This theory holds true for success as well as failure. People who have become successful did not become so by remaining idle, and the same goes for unsuccessful people – they have done something to put themselves in the position they are in. Don’t make excuses for your lack of success; rather do something about it. Don’t settle for less than what you feel you deserve. If you make better choices, your situation will begin to improve in time.

7. Stay curious.

Technology is a perfect metaphor for the constant state of new development in which we exist. For, example, when a new form of technology – or any applicable information – is released, what gives us the desire to learn it? Without our own sense of curiosity, we would never be inspired to learn anything new. Successful people are curious by nature, and curious people are always looking forward and learning new things on their way to achieving their goals.

Mindful Career Strategies - Lightbulb on Chalkboard

In conclusion, your daily routine is the key to your ongoing success. Reinforcing constructive habits and avoiding complacency is the best route to your desired destination. Be curious, be positive, be objective; and above all, stay the course and success will surely be yours.

Fred Coon, CEO

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Second Interview Tips: How to Show You’re a Great Fit for the Job

Earning a second interview for a position can be even more traumatic than the first. Even though you are moving along in the process, and the employer seems to recognize your potential, the pressure is on to “up-the-ante” while providing clear evidence that you are the right person for the job.

Second Interview Tips - Woman and man speaking to professional


Some food for thought:

The job isn’t yours just yet.

You can’t assume that simply because you scored the second interview that the job is already in the bag. Go in with confidence, be professional, but keep your ego in check. Try to get a feel for what it would be like if you actually did work there.

Think about what you didn’t discuss in the first interview.

After your first interview, you will likely have some questions. Think about any details about the position that you need to be clarified or responses from the first interview that can be expanded on. If you took any notes the first time around, review them in detail to see what you can add or append. Think about what wasn’t said and try to fill in the gaps.

Take this opportunity to set yourself apart.

During a second interview, you will be presented with vastly different questions than you encountered in your first. This is a good opportunity for you to demonstrate your character and personality, especially with regard to how you cope with potentially difficult situations.

Some of the areas you might discuss include:

  • How you respond to adversarial workplace situations
  • How you have learned from past mistakes or miss-steps
  • How you manage to rise above conflict

These are all areas that are considered advantageous in the workplace, as it shows you can work with a range of people. Showing that you can look beyond personalities is a strong indicator that you will not use such an excuse for a lack of progress. An ideal candidate is one who is not afraid to advocate for their own concerns but that is also sensitive to those of others.

Find out more about the company.

If this is your dream job, you may already know a great deal about the company, but even so, it pays to do a little research into whom you are meeting with and who the other stakeholders are within the organization. If you already know who you are meeting with, try to find out more about them before you arrive at the second interview. Knowing their professional history with the company shows you are engaged in the process and will impress the right people.

Second Interview Tips - Man shaking hands with professional

Make an impression on everyone you meet.

Your second interview is a chance for you to reinforce the great impression you made on the first. Strive to make a connection with everyone you meet and demonstrate how helpful you can be in supporting them in their own roles. If you are viewed as somebody who can potentially make others’ jobs easier, you will be seen as a team player who is invested in the process.

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200