My interview with Nancy Christie on Make a Change – Part One

Thursday, August 1, 2013

“It is never too late to start as long as you start as soon as you understand and buy into a game plan that gives you more control over your destiny.” — Interview With Martin Yate, CPC (Part One)

Martin Yate CPC
NY Times Bestseller
Professional Resume Services
When I received the book, Knock ‘Em Dead —Secrets & Strategies for First-Time Job Seekers , by Martin Yate, CPC, I thought at first it would only have information of value to newbies to the work world.

How wrong I was! While it’s true the book is great for those venturing out into the employment arena for the first time, there is plenty here for those returning after a long absence or those transitioning form one career to another. And more importantly, Martin talks about the concept of “Me, Inc.” (more about that later) —something that everyone needs to understand and make the cornerstone of their career planning strategy.

In this two-part interview, Martin talks about what we need to do to take charge of our future, how critical a well-drafted resume is and the value of a lifetime career management strategy. (Stop back on August 15th for the second half!)

But before we get into the interview, here’s a bit about Martin… He’s the New York Times bestselling author of Knock Em Dead – The Ultimate Job Search Guide—the keystone of a 14 book series, with each book addressing a different aspect of job search and modern career management that together provide a carefully integrated strategy for navigating the twists and turns of a half-century worklife. 

Martin’s Knock Em Dead philosophy offers a practical methodology for achieving professional success, personal fulfillment and financial stability in an uncertain world. (For more information about Martin, his books and services, please visit his website.)

You’ve devoted the past 30-plus years to helping people achieve professional success, personal fulfillment and financial stability in an uncertain world. From your perspective, do you think what we want out of life has changed? Are we expecting more from our careers, our employers or even ourselves or still settling?

We have always wanted pretty much the same things, financial security, personal fulfillment, professional respect. We haven’t changed, but the times when hard work and loyalty could be relied on to deliver on these needs have passed. The problem is that nowhere has career management advice evolved to meet the needs of the new workplace realities. 

Public figures say, “So sorry you lost your job, but it was a old rusty job, all you need now, is to go back to school again, get even deeper into debt, and then you can start over, and get a one of the nice shiny new jobs at the bottom of a new career ladder.” And this remains true until that “new” job can be exported to someplace cheaper or automated out of existence.

There is no relevant career management education for anyone at any level in this country today. This situation will never change until working professionals see career management skills as important. This will never happen while colleges have the Career Services office down in the basement behind the boilers and a tin door, with one career services professional for every 3000 students… and the Admissions office, where they take your money, is in the lobby behind double cherry wood doors.

The administration of Universities and colleges  have been pulling a confidence trick on their customers for years, and it will not stop until working Americans wake up to the con job that is being pulled on them.

Secret & Strategies
for First-Time Job Seekers
While your book, Knock ‘Em Dead —Secrets & Strategies for First-Time Job Seekers, focuses on first-time job-seekers, I found that a lot of the information would be apply equally to anyone in transition. What are some of commonalities that this book addresses?
  • Your absolute need to take personal responsibility for the trajectory of your professional life.
  • That a successful professional life determines the basic financial stability from which many of the other joys of life flow; it’s what puts food on the table and keeps a roof over your head. 
  • That a professional life need not be a single track, that in fact it should be the long-term simultaneous pursuit of core, entrepreneurial and dream careers. 
  • That there exists a finite set of transferable skills (learned behaviors) and professional values that are the foundation of success in any career and at every level in all professions. Developing these skills and values increases the odds of your long-term success in your core, entrepreneurial and dream careers. 
  • Your career is not a sprint to the top, it’s a marathon run over half a century. Rather than believing that hard work and loyalty will result in that old-fashioned concept of job security, recognize that your survival, your happiness, your success should be the center of all career strategy. 
  • That developing an awareness of modern career management strategy is a critical must-do for any chance to live life on your terms. You need more business-like approach to making your life successful. This is where the concept of MeInc comes into the Knock Em Dead philosophy of success. 
  • Life needs change with regularity as we age (about every 7-10 years) and we need a career management strategy that is compatible with those changing needs and vision of what makes a good life.

You encourage people to take a long-term view of their working life, instead of just focusing on what’s happening today. Do you see that as a common problem—that people just don’t see the “big picture” or worse, fail to even create one for themselves but let someone else do it for them?
You put this extremely well Nancy, in fact you put it perfectly. We are a nation raised on instant gratification, “You’ll be younger, thinner, sexier, more popular and more fulfilled if you just drink the Kool-Aid now. You work too hard and you deserve to live in this commercial, buy now!” Nowhere are we taught to think or do for ourselves, more on this shortly.

Your concept of “Me Inc.” is very intriguing. Can you explain a little about it and why it’s important for long-time career success?

The average career is about half a century, we change jobs about every 4+ years, we change careers at least three times; sex, race, age and wage discrimination are realities of existence. The only professional constants any of us have are change and that you cannot trust your employer to be responsible for your success and happiness over the long haul.

Just as a car is useless without a steering wheel, you need a guidance system that will enable you to navigate through all the twists and turns of a fifty-year career. What’s the best model for this guidance system? To my mind the best model for us to adopt is that of the corporation, an entity that survives and prospers over the long haul and that makes decisions based on what is best for the survival and success of that company, “Sorry we have to fire you. It’s nothing personal it is just business and we can get someone cheaper in China.”

MeInc says, in effect, run your life with the same dedication and self-centered efficiency with which a company is run. Create Strategic Planning (Where do I want to go, how will I get there?”), Finance (Making financial decisions based on bringing your strategic plan to life), Public Relations (creating extensive networks relevant to your strategic plans for core/entre/dream careers) and Sales (resume, networking, job search, turning interviews into offers), and so on. 

In other words, organizing your professional life into corporate-like departments, that together, will deliver a reliable guidance system for reaching your goals.
Are you ready to start your own “MeInc” corporation?  If you’re not quite there yet, come back on August 15th when Martin will give you even more advice on how to take charge of your career—and your life!

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Nancy Christie – Your Change Coach

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