Personal Branding

The Question of Age: Part Two

(Last week we tackled part one of the sticky subject of age and the bias that may hold you back as an older job-seeker. Read part one, first.) Take care of yourself. Aging requires you to pay more attention to your body than when you were younger. It is important to listen to your body’s messages! Move your body, eat well, get enough sleep, drink enough water, and  keep your mindset in a positive place. Podcasts and guided meditations are my go-to resources. My current favorite meditation app is Insight Timer. Try the guided meditations by Sarah Blondin…

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The Question of Age: Part One

The question of age—I get asked about it all the time. It comes in several forms from people in their 40s, 50s and 60s: How do I deal with my age when looking for a job? What is your take on ageism in the career search process? And other related questions. It is a touchy subject, for sure. Yes, age is an issue in the job search/career transition process, though not as much as people think. Here are some thoughts on how to deal with it: Drop all but the last 10 years of experience off your…

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Does Your LinkedIn Photo Help or Hurt You?

My team and I spend a lot of time working in LinkedIn, helping clients optimize how they position themselves to get what they want professionally. AND, I’m always surprised by the opportunity people miss to bring their best foot forward on that platform: their photo. Many people either don’t want to put a photo up  or they put one up that isn’t doing them any favors. If you don’t have a photo on LinkedIn, you might as well not have a profile. When people view your profile and there is no photo, it appears that you are…

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The Secret to a Great Resume

The number one problem with resumes is they focus on a person’s past instead of their future. This may sound counterintuitive—isn’t a resume supposed to describe what you’ve done? Yes, and no. Yes, you need to describe what you’ve accomplished, but ONLY in the context of what you want to do next in your career. In other words, you must identify and highlight the projects you have worked on that you enjoyed, and leave off (as much as possible) the work that drained you. In my view, a resume’s true purpose is to convey a clear picture of…

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Seven Skills You Must Master to Thrive in Your Career (Part 2)

In the first part of this two-part post, I outlined the first four of the seven essential skills for thriving in your career. Here are skills 5-7: 5. Curiosity. Try to keep a beginner’s mind. Staying open to new perspectives is imperative in leadership and career mastery. I work a great deal on helping candidates prepare for job interviews, and a big part of that is cultivating a sense of curiosity. My clients have done the work to figure out what they want in their next opportunity, so in the interview, their primary task is to ask great questions…

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Seven Skills You Must Master to Thrive in Your Career (Part 1)

When I work with executive coaching clients, I help them explore what they want most from their careers–and by extension, their lives–and then I help them get it. To do this, we examine what their dream outcome would be. Once we clearly have this vision, we figure out how to make that a reality—this is no small task! In doing this exercise, we often uncover beliefs and skill gaps that need to be addressed before the goal can come to fruition. Although each person’s journey is different and their story unique, there are some themes in terms…

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Chat with Mer, July 7: Building a Legacy

I am excited about this month’s installment in the Chat with Mer series. Join me and Theo Schwabacher, the Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley and the Founder & CEO of the Women’s Intelligence Trust (WIT) as we discuss How to Build a Legacy. Theo and I examine how she promotes a greater understanding of the issues affecting women via a powerful, interactive annual event in the style of a female-only TED talk. Watch a brief preview of my inspiring conversation with Theo. The entire conversation will be available on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Other topics Theo and I discuss include: How to create a…

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Readying the Soil for Planting

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the raised garden bed in my backyard, lying fallow as we ready for the planting season. I am thinking about blending in the rich, loamy compost to bring nutrients to the soil and ultimately to the tender, young seedlings. Then, a deep watering or two to bring moisture back into the sun-baked earth. Both these components are an essential precursor to planting new flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Without these ingredients, plus the consistent care of us gardeners, the plants will not thrive—or even survive. Like the readying of the garden…

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A Strong Foundation

When my husband and I purchased our home seventeen years ago, it was just a patch of brown dirt. Slowly, over several months, we observed as the home was constructed, visiting on weekends with our picnic lunch, lawn chairs, and the newspaper to witness the transformation of the bare ground into a lovely two-story house. It was an amazing, empowering experience. We took pictures all along the way. I remember when they poured the foundation, carefully framing it up, placing the rebar, and pouring the cement. They then made sure that the concrete dried flat, so that…

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Accessing Your Inner Wisdom, Part 2

Learn how to harness the power of reflection and dig deep to discover your happy path. In my previous blog post, I explained that the first steps to finding a career with heart are to acknowledge that change is possible and to determine what it is that you truly want to do. The next step is to align your materials with your evolving personal brand. Ensure that the authentic story you tell in your written materials (your resume, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and your oral communication (interviewing, networking) reflects what you’ve learned about yourself and what you want professionally. An edited version of…

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