Dear Experts, I have an interview at a company next week and I'm certain the person who will be interviewing me is an old acquaintance from college. This person and I never got along well during those years and left school on very bad terms. We have not spoken since. I want this job really bad so I'm ready to put my feelings aside and get down to business during the interview. What do I do if this person noticeably treats me different because of our past? How do I handle this? Should I contact her beforehand? Here is how our CAREEREALISM-Approved Experts answered this question on Twitter:Q#383 It's probably not a big deal. You did get the interview. It could be water under the bridge by now. (@gradversity) Q#383 Assume best of her (i.e., she's matured/dismissed the past); interview proactively to solve her current needs. (@ValueIntoWords) Q#383 HUMILITY! H/She who elevates him/herself is humbled; h/she who humbles him/herself is elevated. (@robtaub) Q#383 Be professional, be prepared, as u would for any interview. Assume that you both have grown, and the past is passed. (@resumestrategy) Q#383 Don't contact prior. Past is over & not part of work. In interview, be professional & show true character. (@jtodonnell) Q#383 Don't borrow trouble. People chg & mature. U did. She might have same angst. Be prepared, but don't dwell in past. (@DawnBugni) Q#383 If U think she'll treat you bad in interview, why wld U want 2 work w/her? Try ahead of time 2 soften up. (@beneubanks) Q#383 Ask intrvw'er ques that bring out th 'mentor' in her. Its elevating, feels good, & draws respect. Be tough not to like you then. (@robtaub) Q#383 Great advice already. I wonder if you are past the hurt you experienced and can forgive or make amends. (@juliaerickson) Q#383 Call her ahead of time. You've grown up and so has she so get it over with. She is feeling just as restless. (@thejobgenius) Our Twitter Advice Project (T.A.P.) is no longer an active campaign. To find an answer to the above question, please use the "Search" box in the right-hand column of this website.
A lot of people tell you to follow your passion, follow your dreams, or do what makes you happy. But how many people are really doing it?
Survey after survey indicates that the majority of employees are unhappy in their professions or wished they had pursued other passions earlier. So, why do they stay?
In reality, it may be a case of not really understanding what they want to do. Finding your work passion is tough when you have no idea where to start. However, the alternative of not figuring it out can leave you even more unhappy, bitter, and unproductive.
When you realize you want to do something else but have no idea where to begin, follow these steps to get started:
Evaluate What Drives You Each Day
In order to find your work passion, you have to evaluate what drives you. What makes you tick? What issues do you feel particularly excited about? What cause or stance would make you drop everything to make life better?
Answering these questions can help you to assess your interests and decide where you can place them in your professional life. They can also help you create an interview bucket list, which is vital to a strategic job search.
Connect Those Strengths To A Career
Not every interest translates into a career. For example, just because you love soccer doesn't mean you can make a career out of it. Instead, focus on the strengths that you have and connect these strengths to a career path. So, for the person who's interested in soccer, perhaps you also have a real interest in how the sport is marketed. You may want to look into sports marketing positions, which can fulfill both interests.
(P.S. If you want to know which careers you'd thrive in based on your workplace persona, check out ourfree quiz!)
Ask Yourself If It's Realistic
You may be a great public speaker. However, that doesn't mean you should be the president.
Setting realistic expectations can help you to navigate these strengths into a suitable career. While not everyone can be the president, you can pursue public speaking opportunities elsewhere. To help you, try making a list of all of the jobs you would like to have and narrow them down to jobs you have the most chance of actually landing.
Network And Gain ConnectionsBigstock
Networking and gaining the right connections can have dual benefits. First, networking can help you meet people with similar dreams and work passions. These connections can then let you know how they got to where they are, share pros and cons about your passion, and provide some real insight into what you can expect.
Next, networking and gaining the right connections can help you break into an industry. Think of it as that golden ticket to finding and then landing those jobs you would do anything for. This is particularly vital to those who haven't worked in the given space, even if they love it.
Being bold can get you far in life. It's how so many innovators and leaders reached that level of greatness.
While your work passion may be out there, it's necessary to pursue it if it's important enough to you. Sure, it's probably going to take a lot of hours and late nights. However, being bold means taking the good with the bad and moving forward with the notion that it's all worth it. And if it's not worth it, then you can move on to something that is.
Finding your work passion and relevant jobs when you have no idea where to start can be very frustrating. However, once you understand what your passion is, you can get busy getting your life started, and be happier because of it.
If you could use more help figuring out what you're passionate about, we're here for you!
We'd love it if you joined our FREE community. It’s a private, online platform where workers, just like you, are coming together to learn and grow into powerful Workplace Renegades.
It's time to find work that makes you feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. Join our FREE community today to finally become an empowered business-of-one!
This article was originally published at an earlier date.
When I first started as a call centre trainer, I listened to a sales team leader’s briefing. Like many naturally talented salespeople, he couldn’t explain how he was so good.
He told his team to build rapport with their customers. One recent recruit asked: “How do we build rapport?” He replied: “Be yourself!”
I thought to myself: “What does that mean? There must be a way to train for this.”
I did some research on the internet and found various techniques. These are the top four which I included in the first training session of our agents’ onboarding course.
1. Use the other person’s name
Dale Carnegie said people like nothing more than the sound of their own name. Using a person’s name can get and hold their attention very effectively. Like all games, this one has rules.
Make sure you know how to pronounce it. I work with people from all over the world. I often first see their names in written form. So I will ask them, “How do I pronounce your name?” No one wants to hear someone mispronounce their name, and they will appreciate that you have taken the trouble to say it correctly.
Don’t overuse it. The classic stereotype of the “slimy sales guy” uses a customer’s name at the end of every sentence. Use the person’s name at the start of the conversation, and then at points where you want her to pay special attention. That should not be more than once or twice.
Names can be a sensitive topic. In the English-speaking world, using first names with complete strangers is considered normal. In the Czech Republic, it’s still common to use “Mr.”/“Mrs.” and a surname. Be careful to fit in with what’s normal for their culture, or you could be seen as disrespectful.
2. Question, answer, comment (QAC)
When two people talk for the first time, they often ask each other questions.
At a conference, you might ask: “What do you think of the event?”
When your partner replies, respond with a comment before asking the next question. Here’s an example:
“What do you think of the event?”
“It’s not what I expected. I was hoping there would be more presentations.”
“Really? What aspect of XYZ are you interested in?”
The comment, “Really?” shows you are interested in her answer.
Two points to note: your comment needs to be appropriate to the answer, and you should not use the same comment for every answer, otherwise, you will sound like a bored telemarketer.
3. Something in common
Finding something in common with the other person is a good rapport-building technique. If you are talking to someone, you are in the same physical or virtual environment.
You could ask a question or comment about the event you are both attending.
You could comment about the signal quality of the video conference call you are on.
If you meet face to face, you could do the classic British thing and talk about the weather!
You could also volunteer some personal information, such as mentioning your children or pets. People love to respond with a similar comment of their own. Suddenly, you find that you both have teenage sons or Jack Russell terriers. You have something in common to talk about!
This is the most effective, but the riskiest way to build rapport. Humour is usually culturally specific. What makes one person laugh could leave another person cold, or even get you a fist in the face.
I wait for the other person to make the first joke, to gauge what works for her.
If you’re going to make a joke, don’t make a joke at the expense of anyone you are talking to.
I know someone who was talking to the managing director of another company. He made a humorous comment about salespeople. The managing director had spent the first 20 years of his career in sales.
You may think that self-deprecatory humour is a safe option, but in some cultures, making jokes about yourself is seen as a sign of insecurity and weakness.
How Can I Improve My Game?
Start by watching other people and how they build rapport.
Watch what other people do in meetings or conversations. Watch TV or films where people have conversations. Police dramas are great since police officers usually try to build rapport with witnesses and suspects who they interview.
Start actively practicing by trying one technique at a time in conversations. Watch how your conversational partners react, and take that as feedback.
I used a practice activity where every new trainee had to ask the other trainees five questions to get to know each other. They had to use rapport-building techniques. Fifteen minutes after the exercise kicked off, the classroom sounded like a party!
If you go to a networking event, prepare four or five simple questions and go around the room and try to talk to everyone, using the rapport-building techniques. See how they react.
I love hearing how people get on when they use these techniques, what works for them and what doesn’t. Send me a message and let me know how you got on!