By Andy O’Hearn
“By practicing the quiet strength within and gentle acceptance without, you acquire a grace that dissolves all barriers to progress.” (I Ching, via Brian Browne Walker)
That opening quote set the tone for Terrance “Terry” Seamon’s engaging presentation, “On your Marks. Get Set. Go!” at the Professional Service Group of Central New Jersey (PSGCNJ) free weekly meeting on December 10, 2012.
Terry, a two-time PSG alumnus and soon-to-be-three-time book author, imparted a rich blend of job-seeking wisdom, drawing from sources as eclectic as the horoscope, the book “Artful Work” by Dick Richards, and Terry’s two Millennial sons. A list of six tips from the latter reads as follows:
- Use Facebook—don’t be afraid of social media
- Stay in touch with friends—they may have work for you
- Start your own projects—and encourage your friends to participate
- Be ready to do favors willingly—stay flexible and receptive to requests for help on others’ projects
- Stay nimble—try something new. Steve Jobs said it well: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
- Team up—Do NOT Go It Alone! (i.e., job search works best as a team endeavor)
As is his style, Terry then took the pulse of the room, asking how many in the audience were on Facebook and Twitter, as well as LinkedIn. Noting that many had not yet ventured into the first two, he encouraged audience members to “dip their toes into social media” to connect with others, stay in touch with friends, form communities, creatively employ keywords to be found via organic search, and burnish their personal brands.
For example, Terry commented that Facebook can also be used as a job-search tool (e.g., through applications such as BranchOut and BeKnown).
Regarding Twitter, Terry explained that it’s basically just a micro-blog, where you provide status updates in 140 characters or less (or about as many as were just used in this sentence prior to this parenthetical comment). Several excellent resources exist to help demystify Twitter, including Mark W. Schaeffer’s easy-to-read guide.
By way of illustration, Terry pointed out that savvy job seekers such as Ed Han issue a LinkedIn Tip for the Day on Twitter—which encourages readers to then connect with Ed on LinkedIn.
Terry added that Twitter has come a long way from its initial “here’s what I just had for lunch” banality . . . which is not to say that you can’t use a lunch meeting as a way to work in some of your keywords conversationally. Case in point: earlier this week, Terry mentioned his friend Mark Hollern in the context of one of the kinds of things that can be “tweeted” (or, in this case, used as a LinkedIn status update):
Terrence Seamon had a great lunch today at Doll’s Place with Mark Hollern, talking about organization development, networking, success, and happiness
After Terry’s PSGCNJ talk, he sent this one out:
Terrence Seamon had coffee after PSGCNJ with old friend and marketing expert Ed Farris, talking about finding your unique distinction, listening, teaching, and careers – http://lnkd.in/kY9gpK (the shortened link is to Ed’s blog, Brand Nonsense)
Terry further commented that his involvement in blogs, such as Learning Voyager, Human Capital League, Casting the Net, Blog Notions, and Rutgers Center for Management Development, allows him to interview people in his field as a nonpaid, self-initiated project, to help him “move the ball down the field toward [his] goal.” Mentioning a free LinkedIn webinar by Brad and Deb Schepp as a current example, Terry reiterated that such quests were all part of a team sport, namely working with others.
Noting that everyone in the audience was quite possibly an expert in something, Terry asked what course would each listener teach—and if given an hour to make three or four key points, what would those be? He then suggested that this focus would be an excellent basis for a 2013 career plan.
Paraphrasing the words of Greg McKeown, Terry also talked about the disciplined pursuit of less, noting that too many job-seekers are doing too many things that end up getting in the way of accomplishing something great in their careers. He prompted the audience to ask, “What is distinctive about us? How can each of us be more deliberate and discerning in navigation so that we can achieve our highest point of contribution?” (Sometimes referred to as HABU, or highest and best use)
In the ensuing workshop exercise, participants were asked to get together in groups of four or five, taking turns answering the following questions:
- What am I deeply passionate about? (i.e., “called” to do)
- What kinds of work would tap into my talents the most? (i.e., problems that we are each really good at solving)
- What are the significant needs in the world that I feel my talents and passions could best address?
The group then offered suggestions as to the “nexus” or coalescence of these three points to each group participant—and discussions got so lively that Terry noted he “could see the brain waves going”—and that the PSGCNJ’s Transition Management Team (TMT) could borrow this same technique to jump-start career planning for 2013.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
“I never worry about action, but only inaction”
— Winston Churchill
Terry closed his talk by urging the audience to draw motivation from inspirational stories (e.g., Oscar Pistorius), and restated the importance of purposeful action: “You are creating your future right now—so maintain a bias toward action,” he said.
Terrence H. Seamon is an organization development consultant who provides leadership and team development services to employers in New Jersey. His book Lead the Way: Becoming an Engaged Leader explores the challenges of leadership. Additionally, Terry is a job search and career coach whose book To Your Success: The Job Seekers Guide to Success in 2012 provides a motivational guide for anyone in transition. His next book, to be called “Change for the Better,” will be on the topic of how to lead change.
An alumnus of PSG, Terry co-founded and co-moderates the St. Matthias Employment Ministry, located at 168 JKF Boulevard, Somerset, NJ, which, coincidentally, is hosting an event on Monday, December 17, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. entitled “Managing Stress During the Holidays.” Be sure to read Terry’s recent related article on that topic as it pertains to job search. Terry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and via his website: http://about.me/terrenceseamon.