“I hear informational interviews are important so I can explore career and business ideas, but how does that work? Huh? What? Who do I ask? What do I say? They’ll think I’m weird…”
~from almost every introvert I talk to (at first)
Yes, asking people questions about their path is such a helpful step in finding your own path. And yet, it seems awkward, at first, for many introverts.
Informational interviews are good for when you’re exploring career ideas, business ideas, new niche ideas for your business, retirement ideas, and more. There’s so much gold in there.
I hate seeing so many people get stuck on this step. Let’s make this simple, right here and now.
There are particular concerns that I notice introverts raise about informational interviews. Do you recognize these?
- Won’t I be bothering the person if I ask them to speak with me?
- How can I find people to interview?
- I can’t just cold call some stranger I found online!
- I don’t know what to ask. I’ll be tongue-tied.
- I don’t know enough about the field to ask good questions. I’ll sound stupid.
- I don’t know what I’m planning to do yet, so I’ll seem unfocused.
- Is it a call, a lunch invitation, what? What’s the etiquette?
First I’ll give my short answer to each of those classic concerns, then I’ll elaborate and give you some basic steps including what to ask.
It could be as sweet and simple as this.
During holiday season, party survival is on a lot of introverts’ minds. And it comes up year-round with all kinds of events or conferences.
Let’s get real with this. Here’s what happens to me and what works to stay out of trouble.
These same “party survival” tips below apply to all kinds of social events, from networking gatherings to conferences.
I have a love/hate relationship with parties. Even with all the stars aligned at a social event — nice people, nice environment, good conversation, fun dancing — I can find myself hitting a wall and ready to scram early.
When that happens, my inner critic can start telling me I’m being rude, and people will think I’m a jerk, and before I know it, I’m forcing myself to stretch past my limits, and then it can get worse! I turn into a wall and end up crashing later (both my energy and my mood), and that’s not good for anything.
There is a better way. It takes gumption to take a stand for your needs, but it can really save your well-being and support those valued connections with others. I hope the ideas below can help light an easier path for you. It’s helping to re-light the path for me as I write this. We’re in this together. Continue reading
“What do you do?” seems to be one of the most dreaded questions. Especially for people in transition or who feel like what they’re doing might be judged. It makes us squirm a little…. or a lot.
It can be especially hard for introverts and perfectionists who like to think before talking and then speak in a thorough way. It’s hard to find a good simple answer!
And yet, we are faced with this question so often. It might sound like this in your head when you get that question:
- “I better have something good to say, Now!”
- “They’ll think I’m a freak if I tell the truth!”
- “They’ll think I’m a loser if I don’t have a ‘legitimate’ answer.”
- “I feel like I have no clear identity like other people have.”
- “I don’t want them to know I have family money to support me.”
- “Staying at home with kids doesn’t seem like a real answer. Maybe I should do more.”
- “I have tons of ideas but they’re still messy and I hate talking about it at this stage.”
- “I don’t want to tell them I’ve been sick for a year. Ugh.”
Can you relate? It’s… Complicated.
Even people who know what they do for work can get nervous with this question. It almost feels like the asker wants us to define ourselves, right now, in one sentence. It’s just impossible to summarize ourselves like that.
Since I talk to so many people in transition, I get this question about how to answer “What do you do?” all the time. I want to share some things I’ve found helpful. Continue reading
This is not some gimmick. I’m going to give you the exact step below because I’m concerned that so many people skip over this easy and effective step.
I notice that people starting businesses, or even with existing businesses, make it way too hard on themselves to get a few new clients.
You don’t even need a website, a speaking engagement, a business card, or a networking event to get some new clients.
This is the easiest and fastest way to get new clients.
I recently had a first coaching session with a client who we discovered was ready enough to have her first customer, but she wasn’t sure how to find customers. I nudged her to try this one idea and by the time we met the second time, she had two new customers! Continue reading
It’s time for a post about LinkedIn because I’m spending a lot of time explaining it. Even people who have been using it a while are not using it as well as they could be. You’re leaving money on the table if you don’t use it, or if you don’t use it well. It’s not just for stuffy “businessy” people. You’ll find plenty of heart-centered people in there.
And it doesn’t take much time at all! There’s really no down side to having an updated LinkedIn profile. And plenty of up sides.
Below are a few specific reasons why you should spiff up your profile, followed by quick tips on how to make it work best. I’m including links to step-by-step instructions.
Even if you’re sure social media is not for you, it might be worth getting a free listing in LinkedIn.
Who am I to advise on this?
LinkedIn says I’m an all-star. That’s fun to see.
I’ve been using LinkedIn longer than most people have even heard of it, and I’ve tinkered around to see what works. I have gotten business from LinkedIn with very little effort. And I’m in the top 5% of most viewed LinkedIn profiles. I understand social media and I enjoy sharing the shortcuts.
So here’s my checklist for you…