“Can we talk here?”

Photo by Hannah Strayer, Storytellers Abroad participant

In the words of Joan Rivers, “Can we talk here?”

First, if you lost your job and are looking for a new job go and have lunch or coffee with a successful pro. Take the time to ask them, “If you were I what would you do?”

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens,  ISO 7200, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

Also scrape together enough money to pay for that lunch or coffee, because it will most likely be the best money you have spent in a long time.

Second, learn to listen and try and hear what people need and learn how to position yourself as the solution to their problems. Too many times new freelancers are doing all they can to tell a potential client what they do. They just talked themselves out of any work. If you talk about how you are a great square and they needed a round solution you can see how you lost the job. It is better to listen and hear they need a round object and figure out how you could be a round object.

Jeff Raymond talks through Stacey Schuett story during our Storytellers Abroad Missions Multimedia Workshop in Togo, West Africa. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens,  ISO 25600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]

Third, if you get a call about a job opportunity–pause and think. Your objective should be get the job offer and then decide if you are interested. Don’t be the guy who before hearing all about a job is turning it down. Now all the reasons you have for turning something down may very well disappear had you just shut up and listened. There is a very good chance they may offer you more money or something else that helps address your needs, but because you are so smart and already knew why this isn’t a good fit just lost a great opportunity.

You never know who is watching. As I was shooting this another photographer was photographing me. [Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/320]

Fourth, let’s just say you screwed up on anything, call that person and apologize. If you don’t know what you did wrong just call them and say I think I made a mistake with you and I don’t know what I did, but would love to learn from you so I don’t make that mistake again. Your willingness to eat some humble pie might just reopen a closed door.

Photo by Hannah Strayer, Storytellers Abroad participant

Fifth, many people could go to etiquette classes for adults. You maybe sabotaging your efforts by the way you dress to how you eat your food for example. The more you know the better you can be at shaping your brand.

Here are some key factors that prohibit professionals or an organization from achieving its potential level of success include:

  • Poor verbal and non verbal skills towards other employees or business partners
  • Rude and distracting behavior in the office and during meetings 
  • Failing to appreciate employees for their contributions and poor communication
  • Inappropriate attire and inappropriate behavior 
  • Poor manners on the phone and via email 
  • Embarrassing business and social faux pas

Let me just say my wife has educated me a great deal on some of what I call overlooked social faux pas. She has helped me so much in navigating etiquette.

Proverbs 1:1-33 ESV

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, …

Now we all still make mistakes, so learn from them. Hope this helps you think about your objective of finding work.

Colossians 4:5-6 ESV

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.