Written By Susan Lamphiear
Setbacks like a job loss, job change, or job transition all have the potential to chip away at our self-confidence.
Our keynote speaker, published author and international speaker, was on hand to remind online attendees at Career Connectors about ways to preserve and build self-confidence during job search or job transition– even during challenging times like this historic pandemic.
*See Playlist for boosting your self-confidence or increasing your energy in the Resources and Closing.
OK. So the year 2020 was less than perfect, keynote speaker Bridgett McGowen commiserated briefly with the online audience of Career Connectors. And the tough year may have left you wondering how to re-establish your confidence. Because, after all, little things, much less a pandemic, can impact our self-confidence.
Bridgett recalls her confidence took a hit during times long before any pandemic when she visited neighbors who were a little picky. You had to take off your shoes and you weren’t sure if you could touch anything or you’d leave fingerprints. Contrast that with visits to neighbors who were laid back so you almost felt you lived there.
Our behavior is often dictated by our environment. Also called the “recency effect,” if we’ve had negative experiences most recently, our self- confidence may suffer. We tend to remember the most recent information or events. It’s good news, though, because challenges are not usually as bad as they seem in the moment–a hard concept to swallow during a pandemic because looking left and right it’s hard to imagine if everything will get better, Bridgett admits.
During the pandemic, Bridgett’s son turned six years old and finished kindergarten online and now in first grade, he’s still learning online. However, even in the pandemic we can manipulate our perceptions.
And never forget: Words matter.
Bridgett reminds us we have choices. Imagine the world as a pot of boiling water.
- We can be like the carrot and let the boiling water turn us soft, sad and weak.
- Or we can be like the egg who turns hard, and mean, and nasty.
- Or we can be a coffee bean who actually changes the boiling water. Despite everything, we can be the coffee bean who changes the world around us for the better.
In life we have choices and learn from successes and failures as we face challenges thrown our way. A confident person can deal with obstacles.
Words DO matter. A soothing reminder to wordsmiths everywhere. How can you speak up to get results you want, even in challenging times?
Having an adaptive communication style is vital. Bridgett tells a story about her young son finding her old 2006 Motorola Q. Not a blackberry or palm pilot, but the Motorola Q which Bridgett purchased in 2007. When her son found it, the year was 2016 or 2017, so of course the battery was dead and the phone didn’t work. Her son, age two or three, summoned what he knew of the world, and tapped the phone but nothing happened. Then he held down on the button and said, “Siri, play my video.” Worthless to him, he tossed it in a corner and she’s yet to find it. The point is, like her son, if we’re not communicating the way other people are, we won’t be heard or we’ll be misunderstood.
Bridgett asks, “Which communication style best describes you?”
- Connection Seekers need a feeling of personal rapport. They want to be known as more than simply a name on a list. They need to feel that human connection. The pandemic is particularly challenging for this group because they relate with others back and forth. They crave interaction. Sadly, they may also be judged harshly as time wasters for taking time to chit chat and ask how your weekend went or how your new gold fish Fluffy is doing.
- Honesty Seekers are logical and want to know how information fits with what they already know. Things need to be clear. They ask lots of questions. Seen as being difficult, these individuals want to make sure any information they pass on is correct.
- Result Seekers want the bottom line. Cut to the chase. Give them facts not fluff. They may seem short and aggressive. In their minds they are probably thinking 20 questions ahead.
- Energy seekers feel and exude excitement. Often seen by others as “over the top,” they get things done and inspire others. Deemed a “10” on the energy scale, other people tend to want them to dial it back to a “6.” Remember energy is not about LOUD. Energy involves good posture, eye focus and thinking big picture.
The good news is that you can communicate in all four ways depending on the situation and who you’re trying to relate to, for example in a meeting or an interview. Knowledge of these four styles also allows you to recognize other people’s styles. If you engage in chit chat and get little response or one word responses, move on, since you’re likely dealing with a result seeker. Most people only use one of the communications styles 51% of the time. But we can adapt. If you don’t adapt to another person’s communication style, you risk being misunderstood.
In the book Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, by Tim S. Grover, coach for hall of fame athletes and champions, Grover describes three types of champions: the cooler who gets everyone else excited, the closer who gets himself or herself jazzed/pumped up, or the cleaner who never gets cranked up or emotional (Bridgett prefers to use the term “confident” instead), saves all their energy for “game day” when it matters.
When you’re confident, you keep pushing yourself and thrive on challenges. The confident person makes decisions, not suggestions.
In the book The Image of Leadership, Sylvie di Giusto says YOU control the message your look sends. Fair or not, when you meet someone, you’re judged in the first seven seconds. This applies to not just how you’re dressed, or how you look, but everything about you, including your posture. So keep your head up, shoulders back, and eyes laser focused.
And SMILE, even on the phone, or during the pandemic when wearing a mask. You have just a few seconds to make that first impression, so remember the smile sends a silent message.
- Infectious–even with a mask on, your smile shows in your eyes.
- Energy–keep it positive.
Bridgett made the audience guess her height and received guesses ranging from 5’2 to 5’8 and taller. In reality, Bridgett is 5’2″ and a powerful speaker and an obvious leader, judging from her presentation and confident demeanor. Researcher Nancy M. Blaker reports taller people are perceived as more dominant, healthier and more intelligent. However, voice also communicates leadership, so Bridgett reminded everyone to find your optimum tone. If your voice pitch is too high or too low, people often make negative assumptions. So find and practice your ideal voice by humming the song “Happy Birthday.”
Remember: What you say is a tool. It’s not bragging if you sell yourself. “I do amazing work.” Use your voice to elevate others, too. If you don’t sell yourself, who will?
Bridgett reminds you to be very mindful of the image you project with the messages you send out to the world. She tells a story.
A local priest and pastor are just outside town pounding a sign in the ground which reads:
The End is Near. Turn yourself around before it’s too late.
A speeding car goes by and the driver yells, “Leave us alone you religious nuts.” Soon after, the priest and the pastor hear a loud screech followed by a splash.
The pastor turns to the priest and says, “Do you think we should have just written, The Bridge is Out?“
Always pay close attention to the messages you send out. Written or spoken. Organize your thoughts and think before you speak.
Checklist for messages
- Open Minded
- Effective with the right impact for the intended audience
Is what I’m about to say
Bridgett left us with the following thought. The value of our lives comes not in what we do, or who we know, but how we demonstrate our care and our respect for each other by the way we communicate.
For 52 strategies, one each week, on how to show up as your most confident self, read Bridgett McGowen’s book Show Up and Show Out.
Heather Kitsko, Director, Global Talent Acquisition
Isola, founded 108 years ago in Germany, creates raw materials for advanced printed circuit boards. Almost every ventilator in healthcare uses their raw material. An industry leader, Isola’s global headquarters is located in Chandler, AZ, and has locations in South Carolina, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.
Employing 1600 worldwide, their global footprint includes seven manufacturing facilities. With industry-leading technology, they have more than 185 patents. Through innovation they help enable more capabilities for mankind.
The company values include putting safety first, stressing collaboration, staying customer focused, being courageous by embracing change, and keeping commitments.
Isola is hiring! Career opportunities include the following positions:
- Global Compensation Analyst
- Global Industrial Engineer
- Machine Operator
- Maintenance Technician
- Sr. Applications Engineer (PCB)
- Sr. Integrity Engineer
To obtain more information or to apply, go to their website.
Amanda McBride, Recruiting Coordinator
Robinhood, a licensed brokerage app founded in 2014, provides commission-free services to both beginning and experienced investors. Of the 13 million accounts, about 50% are beginner and the average age is 30, younger than the typical investment customer. The company is one of the fastest growing custom brokerages.
Robinhood’s mission includes creating a better way for the next generation to invest. These days the average individual has to pay up to $10 per trade. Robinhood believes this is inherently wrong and is headed on a path to change this.
- Robinhood provides a platform for customers to learn and invest responsibly.
- Robinhood offers customers the ability to trade commission-free.
- Robinhood provides educational resources to help customers have an informed investing experience.
Robinhood takes prides in its workforce diversity. Toward this end, the company has created the following resource groups:
- Black Excellence
- Vets @Robinhood
Among the numerous benefits and perks offered include competitive salary, comprehensive medical benefits with premiums 100% company paid, 16 weeks of fully paid flexible parental leave whether through birth or adoption, and monthly health and wellness stipend.
For more information or to apply, visit their website.
Resources and Closing
CEO/Founder of Career Connectors Jessica Pierce closed the formal part of the online event. Jessica reminded those in attendance of the resources available via the Career Connectors website. Videos included on the website include the following: Online events since April of 2020, Career Chat with Jessica, and Career Connectors Community Updates. LinkedIn is the number one source for job hunters and hiring managers, so Jessica stressed if you’re not already using this important tool, she highly recommends it.
Tempe Virtual Job Fair will be hosted by Career Connectors on January 26, 2021. Click on the link for details and to register.
Because all Career Connectors events are only online during the Pandemic, anyone who needs a professional head shot may contact Gordon Murray Flash Photo for the exact schedule in January and February, for locations in the Phoenix area, and contact information. Gordon offers his professional service to Career Connectors. The photographer donates this free service on a volunteer basis; however, the service will accept donations though it’s certainly not required.
*Playlist for boosting your self-confidence or increasing your energy
- You Say Lauren Daigle
- Just the Way You Are Bruno Mars
- Lift Every Voice Stanford Talisman Alumni Virtual Choir
- Dancing Kylie Minogue
- Can’t Stop the Feeling Justin Timberlake
- Ain’t No Way by Jennifer Hudson in tribute to Aretha Franklin
- Happy Pharrell Williams (feat. Minions)
- Let Me Reintroduce Myself Gwen Stefani
- Firework Katy Perry
- Treat People With Kindness Harry Styles
- Rise Up Andra Day
- You Raise Me Up BYU Vocal Point (A Capella)
- Dynamite BTS
- Who Says Selena Gomez & the Scene
- So Will I Ben Platt
- Magic Kylie Minogue
- Always On My Side Sheryl Crow and Sting
- It’s My Life Bon Jovi
- You’ll Never Walk Alone Virtual Choir/Orchestra 15 countries 300 people May 1, 2020