It’s not that hard to find like. Or lust. Or friendship. But love - true, epic, lasting love, the kind of love that leads you to celebrate 50 year anniversaries - is a whole other story.
As someone with two divorces under my belt, you may be reluctant to take love advice from me, and I wouldn’t blame you! But I’m nine years into my current marriage, and things are better than ever, so maybe I’ve learned a thing or two. Take it with a grain of salt, but in case something I’ve learned resonates with you and helps you find the kind of lasting love I’ve finally found, I wanted to share it with you.
1. You probably won’t get everything you need from one person. And that’s okay.
I used to think my romantic partner had to be my end all/be all. I had a list a mile long of what my partner had to do/be/think/like. I’ve since learned that many of the things on my list are mutually exclusive. In order to rock one, you’re likely to have to give up another. So how could one person possibly be everything?
Now I realize that I can get every need on my list met - but I have to seek outside my romantic partnership for some of it. For example, I adore my husband, but he’s agnostic. And I’m extremely spiritual. I love him unconditionally, so I’m not going to ask him to change his beliefs. But I need to find spiritual connection elsewhere. So I have friends I can call when I’m in spiritual crisis or want to share some miracle that’s happened in my life.
What you need to know to be a real adult.
When you’re 25-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. You know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding and how to make something for dinner. You don’t have to think much about skin care, home ownership or your retirement plan. Your life can look a lot of different ways when you’re 25: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.
Steve Jobs’ impact on your life cannot be underestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect — computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs’ greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.
Over the years, I’ve become a student of sorts of Jobs’ career and life. Here’s my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our “inner Steve Jobs.”
1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world for the better.” Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, “I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.” That’s how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.
2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, “Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?” Don’t lose sight of the big vision.
3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn’t have any practical use in his life — until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don’t live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.
4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the “A-Team” on each product. What are you saying “no” to?
5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?
6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate your ideas, it doesn’t matter. Jobs was the world’s greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.
7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It’s so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don’t care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you’ll win them over.
There’s one story that I think sums up Jobs’ career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that’s the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.
Resumes. Ugh! Even just the word elicits fear, intimidation and visions of the black hole that is a hiring manager’s trash can. To better the chances that your resume gets reviewed (and moved to the top!), Life2PointOh spoke with Ashleigh McBeth, a human resources administrator in NYC. She gives us a clear answer to the Word vs. PDF resume format debate, explains how to handle gaps in your employment history, shares her own hilarious experiences reading resumes and more.
1. Spelling Errors. Kind of a “No duh!” kind of mistake, right? But in all honestly, spell check it. Spell check it again. And then take a break and spell check it once more 15-20 minutes later.
HR’s take: “The worst mistake I have seen was a misspelling of the company’s name and the person’s title! Spelling errors show carelessness and lack of attention to detail, which are obviously not what hiring managers want in a future employee.”
2. Huge Gaps of Unemployment. Blame it on the economy!
HR’s take: “Generally, professionals reviewing resumes will see gaps between 2008 to present day and know it was due to the economic recession. Same way that many on the East Coast had a gap after 9/11. It’s important that those who are unemployed spend their time networking, volunteering for various organizations and staying busy. Even though it may not be a paid position, listing your experience on a board or as a weekly volunteer will show that you have dedication.”
3. Gimmicks. Avoid Legally Blonde tricks like colored or scented paper.
HR’s take: “Someone once sent me coupons along with their resume! While it definitely made me look at the resume, this person was not a fit for the position with or without the shopping discounts.”
4. Disorganization. Keep the same format all the way through, from top to bottom, left to right.
HR’s take: “Have all the margins set equally around the border as well as the tabbing for each bullet point. They should all line up. Bold company names and positions while also keeping the same format throughout. Simple and clean is appealing and eye-catching to any hiring manager, even more so if this person is going through countless resumes.”
5. The Objective Objection. Changing industries? Add a summary.
HR’s take: “For job-seekers with minimal experience, an objective or a summary of qualifications can help explain what you’re looking for career-wise. Or if you have a ‘jumpy’ resume and are going from job-to-job or hopping to and from different industries, a few sentences can guide the person who is reading your resume.”
6. Responsibilities vs. Results. Mix-and-match for the perfect balance.
HR’s take: “It’s dependant upon the type of industry you’re in. In Financial Services, it’s important you show your responsibilities, but if you’re a trader or an investment banker, you are going to want to drop some big numbers, like how much you’ve made and the amount you’ve been responsible for.”
7. Excluding skill certification. List it if you know it.
HR’s take: “In today’s world of technology, we take for granted that everyone knows Microsoft Word, for example. But it’s always wise to list your additional skills, especially if it’s a specific program (like ARGUS for Real Estate) that is used, but not always industry wide.”
8. Sending as a Word document. PDF really means Pretty Darn Fantastic to any hiring manager.
HR’s take: “If you’re sending your resume to a recruiter at an agency, a Word doc is OK because they can help you rework it. But if you’re sending it to a company, send it as a PDF so no accidental changes can be made. It also gives it a clean, fresh, professional look rather than showing your tab work and that your margins are set at half an inch.”
9. Disregarding industry-specific words. Drop ’em like it’s hot.
HR’s take: “The majority of resumes come from people who are applying online, so key words will be highlighted. But as the old saying goes, ‘It’s who you know, not what you know.’ So contacting a search agency and attending networking events will always help you discover more job opportunities.”
Recent college grads may feel like their older, more experienced counterparts have the upperhand when it comes to finding employment, but some experts argue young adults’ lack of job history is advantageous.
Brandon Labman, co-founder of Responsible Outgoing College Students (ROCS), an entry-level staffing service agency in Northern Virginia, says while some firms hire based on applicants’ past history, recent college grads’ energy and eagerness may trump experience.
“We hire based on their potential,” Labman says. “It’s all about showing you are excited and want this position. You can’t go in there and say I have done this for 10 years and I am great at it, but you can show in the next 10 years that you will be great at it.”
Here are some tips from Labman and Sarah Wright, lead client representative for ROCS, on how those fresh out of college can land a job in a weak labor market.
No 1: Ask questions.
Make sure that you have a list of questions prepared to ask the interviewer if the opportunity presents itself. Even if most of the questions are answered throughout the course of the interview, it shows you are engaging and enthusiastic about the position. “If people don’t have questions at the end of an interview, it seems they are up prepared,” Wright says. “It’s refreshing when people ask, ‘How did you get started?’ or ‘What’s a typical day like here?’”
No. 2: Do your research.
Finding a job is a full-time job. Use any and all resources to find available positions including, social media, online job boards and personal connections. Once you score an interview, be sure you are more than prepared. “A good interview is forgettable,” Wright says. “Tell your story, get them to remember you somehow. Find out if the company is on Twitter, or what your interviewer’s favorite sports team is or if the company recently won an award.” Being a great interviewee isn’t enough anymore.
No. 3: Don’t be afraid to be “Old School.”
The Internet is a hugely-valuable resource for job hunters, but don’t get lost in the web noise, Labman advises. “We are all for pushing every avenue you can to get connected, but never forget the old school stuff. If there is a networking event or business mixer, go out to it. Send a thank you letter, handwritten or even pick up the phone and call somebody. It shows you are trying to stand out.”
No. 4: Stay fresh.
No matter how many interviews you have been on, treat everyone as if it’s the first one you’ve had, Labman suggests. “If you are tired and have been on 50 interviews, you have to show you are still hungry and enthusiastic.”
No. 5: Don’t be too good for anything, ever.
Be ambitious, but keep your expectations grounded in reality, Labman warns. “Go run out and get coffee, offer to take the trash out. It shows that you want this and you are willing to work your butt off to get where you want to be.” Wright echoed that notion, adding “People expect to go in somewhere and run the place within a year. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with starting from the ground up.”
My husband, Rael, and I have just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. I’m pretty sentimental about a lot of things, but anniversaries aren’t one of them. Ours are usually simple occasions: maybe a card and a nice dinner out and a few jokes about buying matching walkers.
Somehow, this year felt different.
This year, I felt like we had scaled something…like we had survived something…like we had accomplished something. This year wasn’t just another 365 days gone by and “isn’t that nice,” it was a year to be grateful. A year to be proud.
This was the year my son regained his confidence and his smile. The year we lived the grand experiment of home schooling. The year my daughter grew strong. The year we “cleaned house” in many more ways than one.
So, in honor of our 18th year, I humbly offer five things I’ve learned so far about marriage.
1. A strong marriage is built of tiny actions.
“It’s the little things.” Such a cliche! Such bad sentence construction! And such truth.
Each time you discuss instead of demand, you strengthen your marriage. Same goes for speaking with respect instead of sarcasm, and listening instead of dismissing, and engaging instead of eye-rolling.
Each action is like a brick. You choose whether to use it to build a foundation or a wall.
My life has become dedicated to helping others who are struggling with issues of the heart, so please pass this along to anyone who needs guidance. Take what I say with a grain of salt. I’m human— not perfect. But my heart is in the right place (and, hopefully, I can make a few people laugh).
With that said, here’s my list for hopeful romantics to “get `er done”:
1. We will not be desperate. You heard me. Live your life; enjoy your passions. Put the cell phone down, and stop texting. For the love of God… let the guy pursue you.
2. We’ll give “Mr. Nice Guy” a chance and stop dating the player. Please cease and desist from giving away your goods to a man you barely know.
3. We’ll teach Nice Guy a few of the player’s bedroom moves. Passion is fun, after all.
4. We will not shave our legs before a first date. We need a little insurance policy. You know what I’m talking about.
5. We will engage in PDA. When we’re not in church, all deals are off!