While perusing the Internet in an attempt to learn more about social media marketing, I came across the craziest statement; apparently people don’t like it when a product blog is constantly used to push the product. Insane, right? But, just for kicks, I decided to try something different today. While Tools4Careers may be a great tool for careers, so is friendly advice. While I lack the experience to give advice in many facets of life, one thing I have done quite a bit is interview. Here are a few bits of advice that no one ever mentioned to me:

Spell Check isn’t smart enough to check all-caps.
Have you ever been on an interview where the interviewer pointed out a spelling error on your resume? I have! Lucky me! The format I chose for my resume uses all caps for the job title, which apparently spell check CN’T REED PROPRELY. Your best bet is to have someone else read through it first (if not several someone elses), paying close attention to all caps lines.

Too much of a good thing can be bad.
With a title like that, what I’m so obviously referring to couldn’t be any clearer: deodorant. If you’re anything like me, one of your biggest fears is being remembered as the interviewee who smelled. So again, if you’re like me, you apply deodorant at least 11 times before leaving for your interview. If so, stop; too much tends to make you sweat more, thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Pick an eye.
This may just apply to me, as I find that I can be rather odd at times, but just in case… Everyone is always going on about how good eye contact can make you look confident and poised and so on. What they don’t mention is that when there’s only a desk separating you and the other person it can be hard to focus on their eyes, emphasis on the plural. Often when I’m thinking about eye contact, I realize I’ve been staring at just one eye, so I switch to the other (you know, so it doesn’t feel left out), and then occasionally switch back. While I’ve never tested this hypothesis, I can only assume this makes me look fairly shifty. You’re better off just picking an eye and sticking with it.

Do you have any other unconventional pearls of wisdom that you wish someone had told you before going on an interview?

Like the Pasta Pro, My Lil’ Reminder, the Handy Peel, and so many other ‘As Seen on TV’ products, it was decided that what Tools4Careers really needed was an infomercial (or rather, a spoof of an infomercial mocking the often poorly-acted and overly-dramatic scenarios).   What better way could there be to showcase the black-and-white horrors of life without T4C—and the Technicolor bliss that follows its use—than an infomercial?   Unfortunately, developing and producing an infomercial is extremely time-consuming, and this Vision Mover intern must move on to other assignments.   We did, however, manage to put a storyboard together.  Enjoy!

Brian's Storyboard

Brian's Storyboard

For a ridiculously large version, click here.

Like all other conversations at The Gabriel Institute, the topic of my impending departure for life on the high seas came full circle back to RBA.  While the average person might have thought of Blackbeard or that episode of Family Guy in which Stewie imagines his musical life on deck, Dr. J’s mind went straight to 15th century Italy.  Leave it to a Founder to take things in a different direction.

According to the good doctor, Renaissance Italy offered few vocational choices.  You either went to work on a ship, raised livestock, or spent your days stomping grapes.  So if you’re Christopher Columbus, and you aren’t feeling the sheep or the stained socks, you hop on board the first ship that’s hiring.  The sailors who were actually good would likely have been Explorers, had they taken RBA.  Considering the 7,790 miles (thanks Google) that separate America and India, it seems likely that Chris’ Role wasn’t such a good fit for his occupation.  Then again, with only three career options and ten Roles, there were bound to be a few people who weren’t exactly at home in their jobs.

Taking our imaginary DeLorean back to the year 2009, we find that there are millions of careers to choose from.  This difficult decision can be made easier by determining your Role, and thereby ensuring that you don’t end up in America, when you should’ve been in Italy all along making wine with your feet (figuratively speaking, of course).

Internships in today’s economy are getting harder and harder to come by.  As a result, many college students are turning to less legitimate job sources, even… Craigslist [cue dramatic music].  Every time a friend tells me that they’re looking for jobs on Craigslist, I am reminded of my first experience with the site.

I was looking for a marketing internship, and sure enough, Craigslist had one.  I applied and went for an interview.  The owner gave a vague description of his start-up marketing company that he ran out of his parent’s house.  The internship would be from home and sounded cool enough, so I took it.  I received no instructions or training, forcing me to ask questions every step of the way.  After a few weeks, I stopped receiving emails.  I immediately jumped to the conclusion that I had been a terrible marketing intern.  What else was I supposed to think?

Looking back, I can see two problems, neither one of which was my own ineptitude.  Firstly, I was working for a guy who thought it was appropriate to cold shoulder an intern.  More importantly, neither of us was aware of our Role.  I now know that I am a Vision Mover, and as such, I need a clear vision to work with in order to be successful.  While I learned absolutely nothing about marketing, I did come away with a newfound appreciation for the wise words of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who frequently reminded the WWE audience to “Know your role!”  Can you smell what the Rock is cookin’?

When I started this blog, I did it with the intent that I’d turn it over to the younger, fresher voices of our interns.  Brian wrote this and I had to laugh because I was well into my – ummm – more than thirties – and still dreading the question.  In fact, if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing, I’d be dreading it too.  Here’s Brian:

College is a very uncertain time for many of us.  One of the most confusing things can be the one thing that everyone feels compelled to ask constantly; “So… what do you want to do?”  I personally cannot escape this question.  Anyone I’ve ever met that has run out of legitimate things to say to me immediately falls back on this question.

Unfortunately, it’s a question many of us can’t answer.  There are the lucky few who happen to love the first thing they do, but most of us just try things until we find something that we’re good at, and even then, happiness isn’t guaranteed.

Fortunately for those of us who fall into the latter category, there are tools out there to help us answer this difficult question.  One such tool is Role Based Assessment.  RBA offers a different way of looking at ourselves, and how we fit into the workplace.  Universities across the country are noticing its usefulness.  One prominent northeastern college is considering offering RBA to all of its undergraduate business students, after being taken by only six students.  While there are other tools out there that were created for career guidance, RBA has been proven to work.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have something else to say the next time someone asks what you want to do?  Keep in mind: Thanksgiving break is approaching rapidly, a classic time for that question.

Ok Brian, I hereby promise NEVER to ask that question again.  Well, unless I’m trying to interest someone in getting the answer that’s right for them.