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Getting HERE to THERE (Part 1)

by Sherry about a year ago in advice

Transitioning from an Entry Level Position

This is a guide for ambitious young people in an entry level job. If you can identify a mentor, that would be even better, but in lieu of a mentor, I hope this guide can help you.

Please keep in mind that personalities matter too. Don't worry if this style doesn't work for you - look for advice that suits your working style.

1. KEEPING IT SIMPLE

There are literally thousands of books, articles, studies and experts on the topic of successfully reaching your goal, whether your goal is losing weight, making more money, getting a job or finding a husband. At the end of the day, certain methods work for some people, some work for others... while some just plain don't work at all.

No matter which way best motivates you, they all boil down to 3 aspects:

1) GETTING you 2) from HERE 3) to THERE!

Simply put: 1) GETTING you to do things, things that will get you closer to where you want to be, 2) assessing HERE, understanding who you are and what you have to offer, and 3) researching THERE, really knowing who you want to be, where that is and why.

If you don't know where you are and where you want to go, no one can help you get from HERE to THERE. So let me restate the three in order of how you need to think about them:

1) Define your goal - a goal - any goal. This could be as general as "I want to earn more money" or, better, slightly more specific like "I want to transition from an engineering job to a finance job" or best of all "I want to take my skills from computer programming to work in a financial institution in the area of risk management." 2) Assess your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, education background and work experience. 3) Identify the gaps and translate them into actionable baby steps, using all the resources available to you... and there are more than you probably realize!

So the first question you should always ask yourself is "Do I know what THERE is for me at this point in time?" If the answer is no, we know where to start!

2. DEFINING THERE

For most, the main challenge is figuring out what you want to be when you grow up. Not knowing what you want means that making decisions about what to do becomes an incredible chore. Should I go to this info session? Maybe I ought to go to this networking cocktail... No! I could be spending time reading industry newsletters and websites... what to do?

With all these thoughts going through your mind and without a defined THERE, paralysis is inevitable. Let's take the example of a vacation. If you have no idea where you want to go, no one will be able to help you determine whether taking the train, plane or car is the best thing to do. No one will be able to tell you if spending $200 is a good deal. Not a soul can tell you how long it will take to get there!

The first step of any transition or journey is to define THERE. You can define THERE at different levels: it could be as specific as a posted job description or as general as "I love helping people."

The result of "Defining THERE" is to be able to articulate your goal, one that those around you can understand (the so-called 'elevator speech'). Then, your network of people can help you. For some, this exercise is easy and for others, it will require deep, inner thought.

If you have THERE defined, super! We'll start at the next level. If you have not, this is where we will start.

3. DEFINING HERE

If you already know where you want to go, then we can jump right into the self assessment part: defining HERE. Where are you now? What have you got to offer?

This stage entails two sides of the coin: 1) technical skills and 2) soft skills. The simplest way to think about these two areas: what can you put down on your resume and how do you come across in your cover letter? One is more factual and structured in nature, while the other one involves you knowing yourself well and understanding how best to position yourself vis-à-vis the intended audience (the people who are going to hire you for your THERE).

There are many tools out there to help you do this and the trick is to find the ones that work best for you. If what you find is confusing or too complex, just keep in mind that the main things to know about yourself are: 1) what am I good at doing? 2) how have I proven myself? and 3) what are my life values? Then ask yourself: 1) who cares? 2) why should they care? and 3) how do I get them to notice me?

Once you have clearly defined your HERE and your THERE... we can get to the fun part: What are the gaps between HERE and THERE? What resources are at your disposal? How do you build your network of knowledgeable people? How do you test your assumptions about your THERE? What can you do to get yourself closer to THERE?

If you have HERE defined, we can move right along to the gap analysis...

4. THE MOST COMMON GAPS

Saying "I want to be a Doctor when I grow up" is easy, while the path to get there (although fairly straightforward) involves hard work and competition. The risks of not getting there are calculatable and helps determine whether or not someone wants it badly enough to go through the hell! However, the difficulty facing the career "transitioner" is that the path to get there is often not clear at all - there are knowledge gaps. "I don't know what I don't know" is common.

I meet many who come from one background (e.g. sales or IT) and think that obtaining an MBA means that they can automatically become a General Manager or an Investment Banker. Unfortunately, while formal education will open up new opportunities, it does not guarantee a successful transition. LEARN what you don't know - eliminate the most common gaps:

  • Obtain in depth understanding of the industry and the players
  • Build knowledge of the companies, divisions and departments with specific positions
  • Know what organizations are seeking when hiring for those specific jobs and how they go about looking for the right people
  • Find out the characteristics of the competing applicants for those jobs

I can not emphasize how important it is to research first! Then... test your knowledge and assumptions... Talk with people in the industry. Start with the easy people: your friends, your classmates, career counselors and professors. Networking is very important from the very beginning (more later about networking). If you already know your HERE and you think you know your THERE, but have not yet identified the gaps, start your research! Learn what you don't know so you eliminate the gaps! Then... position and market yourself.

5. MARKETING YOU!

Now that you know where you want to go and who you are... it is time to focus on marketing yourself to the target audience. It's actually not difficult to do if you know what you are doing and you keep track of your work...

Know your target audience. You've defined your THERE. So, who are the people who are going to hire you for THERE?

Know yourself. You've defined your HERE. You know what parts of your past experience and technical skills are more interesting and beneficial for your target audience.

Be ready at any time to interact with your target audience at any level. Where are they? How do they make hiring decisions? Are you ready at any time to share your story? Through people you know, can you get closer to your target audience? Are you impressively knowledgeable about your target industry? Is your resume updated and ready to go? Are you ready to market yourself at anytime? Do you have your elevator speech should you bump into the right person at the right time?

The steps to marketing yourself are straightforward. Picture layers: YOU in the middle, your technical skills and experience next, packaged by your resume and covering letters, enveloped by how you get those documents to people... surrounded by your network of contacts, finally coated by the BUZZ surrounding you!

6. THE 3 P'S OF IMPLEMENTATION

You have defined HERE and THERE... You are ready to market yourself... The only thing you really have to remember now are the 3 P's of Implementation:

  • Plan your step(s) towards your THERE. You may be able to get there in one shot; or it may take a few smaller baby steps. ALWAYS REMEMBER WHERE YOU WANT TO GO AND KEEP YOURSELF ON TRACK.
  • Prioritize all your tasks based on how much closer to THERE you can get. When two or more activities compete for your resources (e.g. time), consider which one is more important based on what each helps you achieve. DO NOT LET YOURSELF BECOME PARALYZED DUE TO INDECISION.
  • Persist, persist, persist. If you have done your homework well, you will reach your goal. DO NOT GIVE UP EASILY!

The plan helps you stay on track, but can be adjusted as you do research and speak with people in the industry. Prioritizing based on your plan helps you keep going. The biggest mistake that people make when job hunting is thinking that they have to do everything and be everywhere. There is a delicate balance between the 'it's a numbers game' approach and the 'you have to stay focused' approach. It IS a numbers game, but it should be a prioritized numbers games. Increase your odds by focusing your energy on the better options! Persist and follow through. You just never know where your dream job will come from, the more quality leads you create, the more opportunities you will enjoy. Plan! Prioritize! Persist!

7. THE GENTLE ASK

The main challenge facing people starting their networking activity is how to start.

One mistake many people make is to not ask for help because they do not want to be a 'bother' or are afraid that the other person will say no. In particular, in the Chinese culture, putting someone in the position of having to say no is a face-losing situation for all. However, in North America, if someone can help you, they might and if they can't, they will just say no!

The other extreme is asking for something to which the person is compelled to say no. Common reasons: they do not know you well enough, you ask for too much or they are not in a position to agree to your request. Make an effort to ask people for what they are able to give... better yet, set up the situation so that they feel comfortable offering you what they can.

My recommendation is to let them know your HERE to THERE story, then focus on the 'gentle' ask. Get to know the person and what they can readily offer: 15 minutes of their time? Advice based on their experience? Information about their company? A contact closer to THERE? An introduction? A job? If this person cannot offer you a job, don't ask for one. Ask for advice, ask if there is someone who might have a job, or ask them how they succeeded. People are generally more than willing to help, but do not like being asked for things that they aren't ready to give (because they don't know you yet) or for things they will never be able to give (because it is outside of their jurisdiction).

Make the ask a gentle one and let them know that it's perfectly okay with you if they say no.

8. KEEPING TRACK OF EFFORT

I often ask clients to build a spreadsheet with the following columns:

  • Company name: List out the top 20-40 companies that have the job(s) you want, whether or not there is presently a position available.
  • Rank: Rank them by A (dream job and would do anything to get it), B (great opportunity and would likely take the job if offered), C (not sure if the effort to get this job is worth it)
  • Contacts: Who do you know that might have something to do with this company? Family, friends, colleagues, alumni or acquaintances.
  • Comments: Why did you rank it the way you did and what do you know about the contact(s)? Keep track of conversations and tidbits of information.
  • Follow up: What actions do you have to do next? Can you remove this company from your target list? Did your contact give you another contact? Do you need to send in your resume? Did your contact ask you to call back in 3 weeks? Keep track of what was said and what you have to do later.

This is a good networking tracking exercise when making a career transition. And... there's probably an app for that.

9. IMPROVING THE LUCK FACTOR

Many people attribute a portion of their success (and failure) to luck. Timing. Things beyond their control. There is no question that luck plays a part in every situation. However, is it more likely that successful people are just consistently more lucky than others or have they somehow increased their opportunities to take advantage of the Luck Factor?

Picture this: all of us are on a train - we're on a track... heading... well, into the future. Now, in the air, there is Luck flying all over the place. Are you the person sitting tightly in your seat with the window shut, saying to yourself "If only Luck would come fall on my lap!"? Or have you opened your window? Perhaps you're looking out the window and watching for the Luck that flies closely by? Maybe you're leaning out the window with your arm extended and hand open? Better yet, have you climbed out the window to watch unobstructed where the track is headed and where luck is flying around, holding on to a 10-foot net in one hand and straining your muscles to stretch as far as you can reach?

There are certainly train tracks beyond our control (economic trends, acts of God, family situations, etc.). Where luck appears and when can be unpredictable. However:

  • Have you put yourself out there or are you relying on job postings emailed to your inbox?
  • Does your network of people know what you want or do they think you are happy where you are?
  • Are you ready to sell yourself in a passionate or compelling package or have you not yet clearly defined HERE?

Do you know your target audience? Do you know the industry? Can you see trends? Are you actively looking for opportunities? Are you ready for it? HAVE YOU DONE YOUR PART TO IMPROVE THE LUCK FACTOR?

10. YOUR NETWORK

This is one of my favourite topics - it is so often misunderstood and yet is one of the most important activities everyone has to do everyday. Some people are natural born networkers - they connect with people and they are perfectly comfortable giving and taking. Others feel very uncomfortable with the idea of 'using' people.

My definition of networking is this: the circles of people around you who feel compelled to help you when you need it. The first and closest circle is made up of family and best friends, the second circle consists of colleagues/acquaintances/teachers and, finally, the third circle would be people who are connected to you in other ways (alumni, friend of a friend, relative's colleague - anyone who has an indirect connection to you).

People in the first circle will help you unprompted, and you should be bonked in the head if you do not take advantage of them. They know you best and can vouch for you. People in the outermost circle must be persuaded to help you. Networking is most powerful when you are able to access people in the last circle and move them into in your second or first circles - when they know you well enough to want to help you. This could be due to 1) how well you have positioned yourself (they can see why helping you helps them or someone they know), 2) how much they liked you based on your approach (you have asked them questions they are happy to answer) or 3) they owe you (you have helped them first).

Networking is not about showing up at a function; it is not being the most popular person around... it is a long term development of people who want and are able to help each other.

ARE YOU GROWING AND NURTURING YOUR NETWORK? DO YOU ACTIVELY LOOK FOR WAYS TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE WHEN YOU ARE NOT IN JOB SEARCH MODE? CAN YOU FIND DIFFERNT WAYS TO NETWORK THAT BEST SUIT YOUR STYLE?

11. IT'S TOO FRUSTRATING! I WANT TO QUIT!

Don't quit!

It is very natural that after an initial enthusiastic rush, if you have not quite succeeded in getting THERE, you will feel deflated, discouraged and self-doubting. Do NOT give in to that overwhelming voice that tells you 'it will never happen'. "The goal... is to stay out of what I have always referred to as the 'vortex of defeat' in which you let yourself spiral into inertia and despair." - Jack Welch (Winning, HarperCollins, 2005)

If you are one of the lucky ones, you may experience success quickly. However, do not take that for granted. For most, this process may be long and arduous. Keep in mind that general career management skills will always be helpful - whether it is to move yourself upwards where you are now or to obtain a new job. Do not give up - every barrier or obstacle will bring you a new lesson on how better to manage your career transition.

What to do? Make HERE better for you before you make it to THERE. For example, if you do not like your job now because you are not getting the managerial experience you think you should, speak with your boss. Put together a proposal on areas you can exercise your managerial muscles that may be helpful to your boss... Take on some volunteer opportunities within your company or out of the office that can increase your exposure to other potential bosses...

The last thing you want to do is to show potential employers that you are frustrated with the situation you are in now or that you cannot manage things well. Potential employers should feel that you are a creative problem solver, a positive energy to have around and someone who can handle tough challenges! You never know when you will come across them and you DO NOT want to turn them off by an off-hand comment about your present job situation or a low energy meeting.

12. MANAGING YOUR CAREER

"For the first time in history, more and more people are going to outlive their employing organizations. And this means something totally new and unprecedented... workers now have to take responsibility for managing themselves." - Peter Drucker (The Effective Executive, HarperCollins, 1966, 2002).

What does that mean for the average person who has a decent education, is a hard worker and wants to have a fulfilling career? It means that everyone has to seriously think about a career as an aspect of life that requires active monitoring, assessing and adjusting. Or more actively... strategic analysis, planning and doing.

It is important to annually consider where you are (HERE) and where you want to be (THERE). If you are not where you want to be (i.e. not on track), then determine what the gaps are and whether it means you need to move up, sideways or out (another alternative is to readjust your point of view if your situation does not allow movement for the moment). You want to always be on track. You want to always be on your way to THERE.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR: Has your THERE changed, but your track stayed unchanged? Has your HERE changed without you noticing? Have the requirements for someone to succeed THERE changed? Have you been unhappy at your job for the past year?

13. SHOULDA COULDA WOULDA

Too many people become completely stressed out when they first start actively thinking about managing their careers. Why? Because they think of what could have been or what they should have done better. They start second guessing the decisions they have made, thinking that outcomes would have been better had they made a different decision at a certain critical point in time.

This is a complete waste of time and energy. You should be making the effort to make the best possible decision at any one time based on what you know, what resources you have, what priorities you have at the time and the options available to you. Just because those things change over time or the consequences are not exactly how you imagined, doesn't mean that you should have done something different. Besides, opportunities to change your mind or reverse your decision are usually available later anyway.

So, don't live with regrets and don't constantly look back thinking that you've made bad decisions.

HOWEVER, if you are in the habit of making bad decisions and you are therefore dogged by the bad consequences, start looking at how you make decisions in the first place. Are you doing enough research? Do you have good counsel? Do you have your priorities straight? Do you need help? Don't be afraid to ask for help. You would be surprised at how much help is just there for the asking (and free)!

Whatever you do, don't live your life with regrets. That will hold you back and will not make potential employers feel positive about you.

14. OVERCOMING FAILURE

Look up "failure" on the internet and you will find a wide range of examples of failure. Wikipedia makes a point of emphasizing that "the degree of success or failure in a situation may be differently viewed by distinct observers or participants, such that a situation that one considers to be a failure, another might consider to be a success, a qualified success or a neutral situation."

So really, when you're looking at yourself and saying that you did not reach your goal, which makes you a failure, it's important to realize that not everyone is going to look at your situation in the same way.

So, what is the best way to approach what you define as failure? Acknowledge that there was a gap between where you wanted to go and where you ended up. Determine where the problem stems from: the goal, the effort... OR things beyond your control like timing or luck? If your goal is untenable given your present situation, not adjusting it will kill your self-confidence in the long run and ruin your chances of success EVER. If your effort is misplaced, you are exerting too much in the wrong direction - not adjusting your approach will waste more time. If timing or luck messed up your end result but your goal and approach were on track, just keep doing what you're doing - DON'T GIVE UP!

Only when you are able to get beyond failure will you be truly able to enjoy your successes and build upon them. Don't be too hard on yourself - sometimes you have to give yourself a break in order to perform your best.

15. MAKING DECISIONS

Most people find decisions difficult to make. Should I apply for this job? Should I ask my boss for a much needed/deserved raise? Should I quit? Should I take a chance with a new industry/company/position? Should I play it safe? Should I consider how a move would affect my spouse and kids?

Part of the reason why decisions are difficult to make is because most people do not know what their own priorities are. That means that when a new priority or value is considered, it messes up their original idea or decision. What is more important? Security or high salary? Time with family or prestigious job? Convenient location or promotion? Opportunities for my spouse or a raise for me? Good environment for my kids or a raise for me? Potential opportunities in the future or security now?

The other reason for fear of moving forward is that people can only guess what the risks are what the consequences of their actions will be: Uncertainty - no guarantees - no crystal ball telling you that your decision is definitely the right one... No wonder people agonize over making decisions! Asking friends, doing research and mulling over the questions are all good things to do, but at the end of the day, a decision has to be made and the decision has to be one you are willing to live with, regardless of the outcome.

There is a process to making decisions:

  1. Sort out your priorities - what is most important to you? What are you willing to live with? What will you NOT live with?
  2. Make a preliminary decision and work out the logistics a bit. Think through the consequences you can figure out.
  3. Ask your gut how it's feeling. Is it feeling relieved? Is there a nagging feeling?
  4. Check with your major stakeholders on how they feel about the decision (your spouse, for example).
  5. Commit to a decision.
  6. Make it the right one by ensuring you've covered all your bases as much as possible.
  7. Do NOT second guess yourself!
  8. Do NOT let others second guess you!
  9. Move forward with your decision efficiently and effectively.
  10. Deal with the issues as they come up - and remember: there will ALWAYS be issues that you had not considered or anticipated

16. SETTING UP EXPECTATIONS

Many of us run around and do things without having first set up goals or expectations. Without doing so means that it becomes hard to determine whether or you are successful. Success can only be measured when it is compared to something. And the beauty of it all is that YOU can define your goal, your expectation, what it means for you to succeed.

If you are in a situation where you have not defined a THERE, you are making it difficult for you to move forward and achieve things. Without achieving things, how can you sell yourself to a potential employer?

EXAMPLE:

Amber (not her real name) is working in a job where she is no longer stimulated. This is beginning to show in her work - she is not as enthusiastic, as detail-oriented, as creative or as positive as she once was. She would say that it all started with the new boss, a "slave-driver", one who only focuses on mistakes and does not praise her staff for good work. This boss joined the department 3 years ago. In any case, over the past few years, Amber lost her drive and no longer cares about doing her best anymore. She takes things one day at time, does her office hours, but no more and no less. What she doesn't know is that her boss is trying to figure out a way to get rid of her. Amber has picked up signs that her boss is not happy with her, but never thought that her boss would be as heartless as to try to get rid of her.

RECOMMENDATION:

What should Amber be doing? She can either find a new job or make this one a good place to be. The writing's on the wall... and one should never wait until it's too late, one should always be ready to move BEFORE one gets kicked out!

In either case, she needs to show that she can be successful, that she can achieve goals that people (i.e. bosses) value. So, she needs to determine what the expectations of her boss are... then she needs to break that down into what that means in terms of projects, tasks or daily routines. She needs to set up the expectations for herself, then proceed to meet them or exceed them. She needs to take the initiative before someone takes the initiative and manages her OUT!

Once she can do that, she will either have made her job a better one or else she would be able to compile a list of things she has achieved to impress potential future employers. But doing nothing is NOT a good alternative, because the power to make decisions about her future then lies in someone else's hands!

17. DO GOOD WORK FOR YOUR BOSS

You can't always work for someone who is better than you in every way. In fact, many managers hire people to fill in for their own weaknesses. But that may mean that you are working for someone who thinks completely differently than yourself. There will be times when your boss does or says things that make you wonder if you can still respect him or her. Don't fall into that trap unless it affects your integrity or the issues are legal issues.

You should always strive to impress the heck out of your boss. I'm not talking about kissing ass or complimenting your boss. I'm referring to doing your job in a way that makes your boss feel as though you add a great deal of value. Listen carefully to feedback, criticism and suggestions. If something is important to your boss, you should take it seriously. Don't be a blackhole for delegated tasks or recommendations - in other words, do not ignore things that your boss is asking you to take care of.

Keep track of the work you are doing, keep track of deadlines, measure your success and then learn from each project. Get to a point where your boss can pass something over to you and trust that it will get done exactly the way he/she expects it. Then, exceed his/her expectations.

Be sensitive to how your boss is feeling about you. Most people are hesitant about giving negative feedback. So, if your boss is even mildly unhappy with something, take it seriously and fix it asap!

18. MAKE IT LOOK EASY

For all you overachievers out there, you are not going to like this, but you are 'working it' too hard. If you make it look like you had to work too hard, do insane amounts of overtime, sacrifice nights of sleep and be completely stressed out, you will not be seen by your peers and superiors as successful. You're just a 'go-fer' person who will get things done for others. You're just a soldier.

Make it look easy.

Do the hard work of prioritizing goals, planning activities, mulling, organizing, etc. so that when you are getting things done, it looks easy. Make problems go away without creating a big drama around it. Problems happen and then you fix them. Being a drama queen about it only annoys your superiors. Being calm, cool and collected will increase your value to the organization. Making it look easy when it's not is gold.

Be easy-going.

Without compromising your integrity or the quality of your work, let minor things go. Just let them go. No one is perfect (you aren't) and if you expect perfection from others, you are going to be one very unhappy person no matter where you work. Sometimes things happen. Sometimes people make mistakes. It's not WHAT happens that matters, but what happens NEXT that matters. Be easy-going about what happens and then just fix it.

Easy come easy go.

Things that come easy, go easy. Focus on building things that are hard to come by, like your reputation, your track record, your professional relationships, your team, your industry network, your skills, your expertise... No one can take those things away from you as long as you always invest in them. Business will go up and down, but hard won recognition for being the best at something will get you through the inevitable hard times.

If you can make things look easy when you are doing a great job, be easy-going when the going gets tough and focus on building the important not-so-easy-to-build stuff, you will be halfway 'there'.

19. DROP THE ATTITUDE

When speaking with managers and leaders, you will learn that nothing is more off putting, less professional or career limiting than having a bad attitude. You may be the most competent person in your department, the smartest person in the room... but if you are difficult to work with, you are essentially limiting your options and sabotaging your own career.

An example:

Anne recently hired John, whom she knew peripherally from a previous company. She knew that he was hardworking and smart. However, he turned out to be a passive aggressive complainer. Because the majority of his criticisms had validity, Anne made every effort to hear him out and respond to the issues. However, after 6 months of working with him and giving every benefit of the doubt, she came to the conclusion that John wanted "what he wanted, when he wanted, how he wanted." And even if he got everything, he still found a way to bring negativity into the conversation. There was always a reason to be upset and indignant: someone messed up or something was not set up right. He did good work, there was no doubt about that, but there was a lot of whining and complaining that came with it.

His team found him exhausting to be around and senior management was not interested in hearing what he had to say even when he brought up valid points and good ideas. After he was let go during a reorganization, Anne declared that she would never hire John again and when he asked her for a reference, she declined. "I never want to work in the same team with someone like that again and I would not want to ruin my own reputation by endorsing him to anyone else."

You may be competent, you may be hardworking, you may even be smarter than everyone else around you. Understand this: a reputation for having a bad attitude is going to hurt your career. Recovering from bad word-on-the-street about you is a very difficult thing to do. So, if you think that you may ever be out of work (and in this day and age, no one is immune), you may want to keep your attitude in check.

20. LEVEL IT UP: BRING IT!

"But how? I don't know HOW to change and drop the attitude."

My answer: I'm going to ask you to move from Level 1 to Level 5. See if you recognize yourself in any of the levels below. The goal is to move up a level whenever you can.

Level 1: The "It's Not Fair!" Level

At this level, a person only knows that she is unhappy and is looking around for reasons to blame. The words we hear from a level 1 are along the lines of "It's not fair!" "Why is he getting away with it?" "It's not my job" "No one cares about me". This person wants things done her way, is easily upset and believes it is the responsibility of other people to make all her problems go away.

Level 2: The "Here's the Problem!" Level

At this level, a person is able to identify problems and articulate the need to fix them. He knows that by asking for help, it draws attention to the issues. He is proactive about pointing out what needs to be done to fix the problems, but does not contribute to the solution. We hear things like "Why don't they just...?" "The problem is..." "Someone should tell them that this needs to be fixed." This person often creates drama around a problem.

Level 3: The "How Can I Help?" Level

At this level, a person understands that she can be part of the solution and asks people how she can contribute to help solve the problem. She is happy to be a part of the solution. We hear things like "How can I help?" "Do you need help?" "Should we...?" "Why don't we...?" This person not only identifies problems, but offers to respond with assistance.

Level 4: The "What Else Can I Do?" Level

At this level, a person has already been actively contributing to solving issues and is now proactively looking at other ways to make things better. A Level 4 no longer talk about problems or about what is wrong. He recognizes that everything requires investment of time and energy. He is always looking for ways to avoid future problems through planning, collaborating, listening and responding.

Level 5: The "Bring It!" Level

At this level, a person just exudes the ability to handle anything. In fact, a Level 5 makes things happen before anyone realizes there is a problem. She is so amazing, she just achieves and accomplishes with no muss, no fuss, no drama. She is always in a "Game On!" mode.

If you have ever worked with an entire team of Level 5 people, you know what it's like to be on a winning team! There's a flow that you cannot explain. Everything just comes together. You too can be a part of that. Just bring it.

advice

Sherry

Creator, blogger, and podcaster of Sandwich Parenting. Recovering perfectionist and from CPTSD. I love reading, writing, and conversing with interesting people.

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