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Follow These 11 Online Dating Rules to Find the Perfect Job

Follow These 11 Online Dating Rules to Find the Perfect Job

For anyone who has ever both applied for a job and online dated, you have probably noticed that the two can feel a lot alike. For instance, you want to impress and find long-lasting ‘love,’ many decisions are based on first impressions, and your emails sometimes go into a black hole and you are left wondering what happened.

Many daters have found love online through following simple guidelines, and you can use those same guidelines to find the perfect job, too!

Here are 11 rules from online dating that will make for terrific job hunting:

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1. Know what you are looking for

It’s easy to lose sight of who you are and what you want in a partner or job when you are bombarded with so many options online. You find yourself thinking, “I could make that work,” and then run the risk of ending up in something that is okay, but may not be what you really want. Before you ‘set foot’ online, know what you are looking for. What is your dream? Write it down, and keep it handy so you can remind yourself.

2. Speak to the person reading, not to yourself

An online profile or job application is about you reaching through the screen and engaging with the person who is reading it. Who are they, what do they care about, how can you ‘take care’ of them? You are building a relationship with that person, but you might forget that because you can’t see them. But it really is just like meeting someone at a party: you (hopefully) wouldn’t start the conversation by bragging about yourself and astounding yourself with just how awesomely well-traveled you are. You would build a conversation. The same is true of online job applications or dating profiles.

3. Understand your own brilliance—and let it shine

Dating or job searching with low self-esteem is like hunting with a broken arrow: you can get yourself in front of the ‘right’ target, but you won’t be able to hit it. If you are going to convince someone to hire or date you, you have to be convinced that you are a catch. I don’t mean that you should brag about yourself, but know your own worth and approach your conversations from the position of ‘I have a lot to contribute.’

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4. Get a little personal

Let’s face it, us online daters are sick of reading the standard, “I like to travel, cook, and listen to good music.” The same is true of hiring agents. They want to get to know the person behind the resume, to see if they will be a fit for the culture (not just the job requirements) of the organization. Make sure that your authentic voice comes through in your job application, with your own unique pizazz.

5. Make sure your reality matches your pitch

It’s hard to convince someone that you ‘love urban events’ when you live on a farm in the middle of nowhere in North Dakota. The same is true of your resume and job pitch. Make sure that your resume tells a story of who you are that matches up with the pitch. If you are pitching yourself as a thought leader, your resume should regale the reader with your past brilliant ideas, not the times when you were a great workhorse (although you may choose to incorporate those into your pitch, too).

6. Share only the most valuable parts of you

If you are anything like me, you read the first paragraph of a profile, and if it doesn’t grab you, you move on. I can’t tell you how many online dating profiles start with a paragraph saying, “I didn’t really want to do online dating, but my buddies convinced me to give it a try, so here I am.” This a waste of prime real estate! Focus on what is most important to say and convey about yourself, and save the rest for a rainy Saturday.

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7. Ask a friend, mentor, or coach to read it over

I can’t remember how many times I wrote something that I thought was genius, only to have a friend point out that it sent the wrong message about me, or didn’t do me justice. Once, I wrote a profile that emphasized how much I liked to explore the world around me and try new things, and my friend observed that it made me sound like someone who wanted an open relationship and didn’t want to settle down, which was the opposite of the truth! Have a second pair of eyes look at your application from a fresh perspective, and you will be amazed how much you overlooked.

8. Remember that deception doesn’t win people over

Yes, we have all been on that date where the person looks 10 years older than their profile picture. Not only does this feel like a letdown, but it also erodes your trust in them and makes you wonder what else they are hiding. Another family in Georgia you don’t know about, perhaps? The same is true of how you present yourself in a job application. While it may be tempting to embellish yourself, the benefits aren’t worth the price. Be proud and confident of who you are, and know that the right ‘one’ will love you for who you are.

9. Know your deal breakers

You’ve learned from past experience what does and does not work for you. For example, I know that my partner can’t smoke and must want kids, and my job must be a meritocracy that values innovation. It can be tempting to compromise on these when a ‘hot’ date or job comes along, but this will ultimately lead to dissatisfaction. So make sure you know where you absolutely draw the line.

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10. Spend ‘sacred’ time each day on the hunt

Dating or finding a job is a process. Make a commitment to yourself that you will spend at least 30 minutes (or more) each day searching, writing, meeting, exploring. Make it your goal to become a master searcher, which you do by practice, practice, practice. And remember…

11. Have fun

Sure, finding a job or the love of your life is serious business. But it should also be fun. No one likes drudgery, and if you feel like online dating or job searching is drudgery, that will come across in how you talk, write, and act. So have fun with it! The people on the other end will enjoy working with you, and you will be more likely to have a successful outcome.

Which ones of these eleven points would make all of the difference in your job hunt? Which ones are you going to implement today? Write a note in the comments to share.

Featured photo credit: Businessmen Shaking Hands/ReynerMedia via flickr.com

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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