Thursday, March 1, 2018

Time for a Break

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Everyone has at least one book in them. Or so they say!

Writing a book is challenging. And I want to get my next one finished, published, and selling in as little time as possible. So...

This will be my final post for a while, perhaps for the year. 

You can still find a lot of useful information by clicking on the Pages above.

And the best of luck and joy in your career creation!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to be a True Optimist

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Let there be light...and there was light!

This famous Optimist's Creed by Christian Larson can be your new beginning, or daily guide to greatness!

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”

--Christian Larson

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Knowing the Company: Doing Your Research Before Your Job Interview

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Job interview coming up? It pays to do your research!

Have you done your due diligence? Your new job may depend on it!

Before you head to your interview, it's important to gather information about the company/organization/business. The more you know about the products, services, goals, mission statements and competitors, the better impression you'll make. Most people won't do what you're going to do. You'll be in a good position to take the lead!

I found this great list in Next Day Job Interview (2nd ed., 2009) by Michael Farr and Dick Gaither. You can find it on Amazon or, like me, get it from your local library. Easy, quick read.

From the book:

"Employers want people who are problem solvers* and future focused. By can walk into the interview and demonstrate your ability to identify common problems...and point to future trends... A few types of information you should acquire include the following:
  • The latest trends in your chosen career field.
  • Any environmental or political factors affecting the industry.
  • New technologies, equipment, or methods coming soon.
  • Common problems within this industry or field.
  • The number of companies in the industry.
  • Professional organizations supporting the industry.
  • Trade and professional journals of the industry.
  • Projected employment growth of the industry.
  • Pay and compensation packages within the industry.
  • Training or education that will be needed."
You can find nearly anything you need online, in trade publications, encyclopedias of associations, and even from information provided directly by the company with which you're interviewing.

The better impression you make, the better your chances. Having a good, rounded knowledge of the industry and the company will give you just that much more of a leg up.

One more bonus tip... If you can, get some good positive information on the person who'll be interviewing you.

Best of luck to you.

*You veterans should be aware that companies don't always know how to translate your military skills into company skills. This is your opportunity to show them you know what you're doing as a civilian employee. It gives them a much better reason to consider you for the job.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Creating Your Interview Mindset - Pt 2

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

You have it nailed, right?

(Continued from Part 1)

The company has called you in for your first interview. (Yes, there is often more than one!)

Are you ready? Let's see...

  1. Do you have and can you give acceptable reasons for leaving your last job?
  2. Have you practiced salary negotiation?
  3. Are you fully aware of the interview styles and methods for this particular industry?
  4. Can you list, without looking at your resume', 10 of your marketable skills and abilities, including personality traits?
  5. Could you pass a drug test if the interviewer wants you to take it on the spot?
  6. Can you comfortably talk about the company's products, services, mission statements, goals, and even competitors?
  7. Are you ready to follow up immediately with thank-you notes, either by email or snail mail, or both?
  8. Have you prepared a good list of intelligent questions to ask the interviewer? They expect it; don't forego this opportunity.
  9. Do you have a card or other piece of info, other than your resume', that you can leave behind?
  10. Are you dressed appropriately? Do you smell OK? Are your tattoos covered?
The more prepared you are for your interview, the better. Often, the interviewer is as nervous as you are. Help them to feel comfortable. Know your stuff, be authentic, and don't forget to smile!

Best of luck to you.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Creating Your Interview Mindset - Part 1

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Confidence, poise, knowledge, skill. That's you!

The company has called you in for your first interview. (Yes, there is often more than one!)

Are you ready? Let's see...
  1. Do you know the jargon, buzz words and lingo of the industry?
  2. Can you provide at least three reasons you want to work for this particular company/business/organization?
  3. Do you know most of the common interview mistakes?
  4. Can you share a few outstanding job-related successes you've had and your role?
  5. Will you be able to give a few good reasons why the company should hire you?
  6. Do you have a promotional presentation ready in case you're asked "Tell me about yourself"?
  7. Do you understand the job description for which you are applying and can you give examples of when you have used the skills needed?
  8. Can you answer job related technical questions?
  9. Can you pass employment tests?
  10. Have you anticipated possible interview questions and how to answer them?
These are just the beginning. I'll continue the list in Part 2.

In the mean time, I wish you all the success on your upcoming interview.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Interview Deadly Traps: Are You Listening?

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Image result for job interview disasters free clip art
Are you listening?

Avoid these interview traps at all costs!
  • Failing to hear the question can spell doom.
  • It can cause you to answer a question that wasn't even asked!
  • When you don't listen, your answers may be inappropriate, or even useless, perhaps dangerous.
  • When you're unprepared for the interview, you might as well write it off.
There you go, then. Keep these little secrets in mind. Always be prepared, always listen to the interviewer's questions, never answer unless you know what you're saying. 

Simple, sure. But you'd be surprised at how many people break these rules, sometimes all in the same interview.

Then they wonder what hit them, why they didn't hear back from the company, why they didn't get the job.

More than likely, they'll blame everything and everyone but themselves.

But not you! You are prepared. You are ready. And you can nail the interview.


Comments always welcome.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Job Interviews: What They REALLY Want to Know

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Professional, poised, prepared. You are hired!

All jobs--ALL--have three things in common: 
  • To help the company increase profits
  • To help the company increase productivity
  • To help the company keep from going bankrupt.
If you can show them you're the right person to help them achieve those goals, you'll have more job offers than you can count.

With that in mind, before your next interview, take the time to think through and answer the following questions:
  1. Can you truly do the job? 
  2. Do you know what our company actually does?
  3. Are you motivated to take any necessary extra steps?
  4. Can you take direction? 
  5. Are you a team player?
  6. Are you professional--in appearance and action?
  7. Can you solve problems, sometimes BIG problems for us?
  8. Who are you?
The company is always nervous about new hires. It costs them a lot of money to hire someone and then have to let them go soon afterward. If you can prove to them that won't happen with you, it will be a big relief and you might become the star!

Remember this: Employers are often as on edge as you are about the interview. Help them relax. Show them you have the right stuff.

It will be the beginning of a great relationship. And who knows? You may one day be the boss. Then you get to conduct the interviews!

For more information on interview preparation, click here.

Comments always welcome.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Ready for a Change? The Ultimate Job Search

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

It's a new year and time to refresh, regroup, rethink, redo!

If you're looking for a new job, a new career, I highly recommend Martin Yate's latest edition of his job search book:

Knock Em Dead - The Ultimate Job Search Guide (*

It's updated, easy to read, and covers everything from resumes to online job sites, interviews to social media, and lots of references. 

Best wishes to you in this new year and may the best job win!

*Save money! This book may also be available at your public library. That's where I got my copy.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Still the Secret to Success: Reading in the Digital Age

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Open the book, open your life!
What to do? Read to your children. Daily!
Become the best example to your kids. Read, read, read.

You Can Open New Worlds!

It's easy to write opinions, but sometimes, statistics can be fun, too. So, first, let us be clear. As Mark Twain said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." Learn from them, but don't take them too seriously. OK? On with it…

Humans like to think that they know something. And we do, actually. Nearly everything we know of any consequence, though, we have learned or discovered within the past 500 years or so. In fact, most of what we know, scientifically and technologically at any rate, we have learned within the last 120 years. We went from horse and buggy to the moonwalk in less than 70 years. We went from the first computer in the 1920s to the Internet. We watched Filo Farnsworth's blurry little TV picture (an idea he purportedly stole from someone else), also in the 1920s, and now we have flat screens and DVD/DVR/Blue Ray technology that surpasses anything Filo could have imagined. 

(Side note: At a recent electronics convention in Las Vegas, a new TV was introduced. It has the depth of one American quarter!)

Still, our collected knowledge is limited. And we know we know almost nothing. But we continue to reach. We must always continue to reach. It is our saving grace. Reading is the key.
Not a big reader? You're not alone. Check out these stats from the American Booksellers Association:
  1. Eighty percent of Americans will not buy or read a book this year. (Still, book sales are at an all time high. Interesting. . .)
  2. Seventy percent of adults have not been in a bookstore in the past five years.
  3. Fifty-eight percent of adults never read a book after high school.
  4. Forty-two percent of university graduates never read another book. (They know it all, right?)
  5. Fourteen percent of adults go to bookstores and walk out with a book; only 10 percent of that number read past the first chapter.
  6. Forty-four percent of adults read below 7th grade level.
  7. Fifty percent of high school grads cannot read their own diplomas or fill out a simple employment application.

If you have trouble with your reading skills, consider this: the most impoverished nations on earth are those whose populations have the lowest to no reading skills. The more a nation reads, the better it positions itself in the world. And what goes for a nation goes for its individuals as well.

Nations that do not emphasize reading skills do not produce nearly as many successful citizens as the reading nations do. There are far more billionaires in the US than in India or China (so far!). But that can and will change if our reading levels do not continue to increase.

If you or someone you know struggles with reading skills, or reading desire, make a conscious choice to improve. Check with your local library. They can put you in touch with reading programs to suit your level. And don’t forget to emphasize the importance of reading to your kids.

Reading is the door to everything. It opens up worlds that cannot exist in any other way. "You are the same today as you'll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet." Charlie 'Tremendous' Jones (National Speakers' Hall of Fame)

Finally, here’s a little stat you might enjoy. See where you fit:

What Are You Most Afraid Of?
(Peoples' Almanac Book of Lists)
  • Speaking before a group: 41%
  • Heights: 32%
  • Insects and bugs: 22%
  • Financial problems: 22%
  • Deep water: 22%
  • Sickness: 19%
  • Death: 19%
  • Flying: 19% 

(This survey involved 3000 Americans. There was no prompting. When the group was given a list of possible choices, more than 90% chose speaking before a group first.)

Read more; be more. It’s more than a good idea; it’s a necessity.

Comments always welcome!