Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Beware Regurgitated Ideas that are Costly

There are a lot of job coaches out there. I personally spent several hours this week reading through their websites and materials. It turns out that the majority of their materials are just regurgitated concepts and formulas from the top three people in the field.
Why doesn't everyone create original material? Why doesn't everyone focus on the client's background and personality instead of being clones who overcharge for copied and dated material?
Originality begets more originality. Be original. Develop your interests and forge your career path. Stop listening to smooth talking liars.It is not about following a pre-created program but developing your own talents, presentation, and skill set.

Make sure you find a coach that spends the time on you and enhancing your skill set, objectives, and overall package. Spend your money on originality not on a costly regurgitation.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

False Faces

We live in a world that makes it increasingly difficult to be our authentic selves. Face it, everyone expects you to behave, think, and live in a way that society defines as acceptable. For some of us, it is as traditional as women shutting up at church and suppressing our natural talents and for others, it involves forcing the self to act in a managerial, outgoing way while in reality, he/she prefers to not be seen or heard. There are on average 16 documented different personalities in the human population according to the latest cognitive psychological research. So, in light of this, why do so many organizations and positions require people to be something that what they are not genetically programmed to be?

While society is evolving at a rapid pace, there is still a movement to bring originality to the workplace and a higher tolerance for individual variations especially in personality. However, for women, this change is not happening fast enough.  Business still demands the neutral, masculine suits and the subdued leadership strategy. It is not surprising that the fastest growing start ups are among young to middle aged women. The 21st century is a great time to be alive!

In dealing with these variations in society and the organizations we must interact with, how can we keep our authentic selves and not not get lost identity wise in this hell?  For those most bothered by these trends, the best solution is to become an independent contractor or start a business. When inside the belly of the corporate beast, one can not express the self fully. But when marching to the beat of the personal entrepreneur drum, financial security might be temporarily sacrificed. The big question is what is the price tag of your personal happiness and peace of mind? Again, the given personality traits a person has will self guide him or her to the decision  that must be made for the self.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Drop Charlie or me a line at askcharliemc@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Racial Fears and Focus

One of the biggest problems in corporate America is the fear of hiring the most qualified candidate if they happen to be Anglo Saxon in appearance. Managers are terrified of lawsuits. Maybe it’s time the concept of race is deleted from our vocabulary. When it comes to work, racial quotas are the most discriminatory invention in the history of humankind.

We must focus exclusively on experience, abilities, personality, and intelligence. Gender and race are meaningless when it comes to job performance potential. Actually the smallest minority in the world are fair skinned, green eyed redheads. Just think about it.

As a job seeker, you must move past the race card. As middle-aged Anglo Saxon job seekers, your skill set and interviewing must be phenomenal to offset the predominant age preferences and the racial quotas in the corporate and education world. It may seem like the odds are stacked against you. However this is why we created this coaching business: to level the playing field.

And likewise if you are a minority, you may feel white privilege prevents you from advancing. Having peak interviewing skills, a well written resume, and the experience makes you a competitive candidate.

Let’s work together to squelch this racial conflict in this great country. Race is who we came from, not the sole defining factor of who we are. In all honesty, many are multi-racial. Race focusing will someday end. Until then, let’s focus on our individual strengths and uniqueness. That’s what makes s candidate STAND out from others!

We understand. If you need help navigating this insane job market, we are here to help. We are offering FIFTY percent off all coaching packages for the month of October.

We won’t talk about race. But we will evaluate your presentation and interview skills and overall impression and help you strengthen your weak areas.

We’ve got you covered.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pronoun Referents: do they belong in the "real" world?

An interesting development is going on in higher academics that soon, if not already, will be bleeding over into the business world. Have you experienced the new social development of personal pronoun referents? Referents are the words one uses to refer back to someone else being either talked to, about, or quoting. Usually gender determines what we automatically call someone. If someone is named Laura and is clearly wearing lipstick and a dress with bust line, we would say /she/. If a person is named George and he clearly has a masculine figure and sporting facial hair, we would say /he/. However, in this gender bender craze, American society is currently undergoing, this is no longer considered politically correct. At first it seems bizarre and then on second glance, it becomes problematic. How do we know what to call someone if we are not allowed to go by visually apparent gender?  Apparently the new protocol is when one writes an email or letter, they sign it with their name and then in parenthesis, they write their pronoun referent preference. For example:

June Narber (prefers she, her, hers, herself)

This strategy is the most sensible way of clearly up confusion but the next phase is even more baffling. There are among us those who do not identify as male or female. They prefer to be referenced as (they, them, themselves). Grammatically this induces a crisis in terms of how we write formal letters, newsletters within a company, or even a simple press release. For example, "Mrs. Terry Smith requests your presence at their reception. They appreciate the interest." When referencing a single person, male, female, or an it, how on earth can we in, even the most barbaric grammatical structure, use /they/ to describe one?  I think that /they/ was chosen as it sound less strange than /it/. But in fact, if someone is not male or female, they are indeed an /it/. If they consider themselves gender fluid being both male and female, are they still an /it/? Have they merged and become a /they/? 

This new development in the ever striving cultural phenomena of trying to cater to a minority of a minority, is going to create absolute confusion. Perhaps gender is something that can be deleted from language but I don't see how that can be done without erasing the very identity of who we are as a people both present tense and past tense. Can you imagine when this segment of society demands that gender neutral terms be applied to our ancestors, the founding fathers, or any historical figure? It is going to be a maddening insane world.

What can we do? We have to do as we are told within our academic and business sectors or we are  not going to be employable. My first suggestion is that we avoid using pronoun referents when at all possible and simply refer to individuals by their last names and/or their title. This may sound cold and impersonal, but I for one prefer someone to call me Narber than a they. And if calling me a she bothers someone, I again would prefer they just repeat my name numerous times within a document than to use the much dreaded word /she/.  But what are we to do when we are asked every time we sign up for a web site, a credit card, an application, or a hundred other things, to check our gender? We are given two choices; male/female  or man/woman. 

Has American reached such an identity crises with their religiously driven gender roles that people feel a need to stop calling themselves female or male? Would it not be simpler if we just stopped stereotyping males and females? Does your office still expect secretaries to be female and fetch coffee? Do you have a preference to work on an all male team?  Are dress codes enforced for women but not men at work with such rules as high heals for women and neutral stockings? Take just a few minutes and read through your company's employee handbook. Are there gender related behavioral expectations? Does sexism have a silent presence in your company with all front desk people being young, pretty, and slender blondes? Are your upper managers suave pre 50 year old men who know how to dress well and sport hip hair cuts? Image is one thing but age and gender preferences for certain jobs may have been the start of this new personal pronoun referent craze.

What we do in our personal lives is well, personal.  If Mr. Smith wants to sing soprano while wearing high heels, a girdle, and a sequined Las Vegas showgirl outfit on his (her) (their) own time, is that any one's business? The problem is when these alternative lifestyles bleed over into the real working world. Minorities have freedom to be as minority as they so desire in the United States. However, there still exists a majority (and I'm going to state probably in the upward 80 percentile) who think the terms male/female and he/she are sufficient for referring to their fellow human beings.

Why are people SO OBSESSED with gender? While I bemoan the ridiculous ideas many churches tout (skirts two inches below the knee, no female scientists, no makeup, girls belong at home pregnant, no female corporate leaders),   I, at no time, have ever doubted I'm female. I'm reminded every month when my period starts. I'm reminded every time I put on a bra. I know this is a fact as I comb my long black hair and apply makeup as I desire to look my best as my skin slowly shows my age. However, when I go to work, when I meet clients or students, or when I  just walk in to a store, my gender is meaningless to any one except me. Well it should be. 

I think humanity has just obsessed over what lies between our legs too much over the centuries and now in the final modern age, this obsession has gone whacko. Some don't want to be anything or desire to be what genetically has been denied them. 

My final thoughts on this unexpected topic that has been weighing  on my mind today, are these: a) let's get sexism out of the work place by having the same dress code for every one; b) let's remove the gender check box on every application on the planet (except doctor forms as they need to know gender for medical checkups etc), c) let's try to focus on goals and objectives, not what we want to be called. 

Have you experienced this insanity? If so, drop me a note at askcharliemc@gmail.com

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Transitions, False Starts, and New Goals

Just when you think your life is fixed and you are on a path that won't change, BOOM, God throws a curve ball at you. I'm sure you have all experienced that. Part of my new resolve in restarting this blog is to keep it real and focused on daily things that may be of interest to many people and to share my experiences along the way.

My change was a sudden move from NC to MO. I really didn't want to move but circumstances domestically demanded it along with health issues and blood kin problems I was hoping to help with.

All of a sudden, I left beautiful Chapel Hill, NC and found myself moved into a really crappy rural house filled with debris, filthy from being vacant for years, and surrounded on all three sides with: COWS.  I never had thought much about cows before this move and experience but now many of my puns are related back to this backwoods, primitive, uncultural, rural setting that I have nick named the cow pasture. I don't mind cows or pastures, and I love farms, but I had never planned
to live in a hick place where it was impossible to find a cappuccino, get reliable Internet, and have constant domestic problems like breaking pipes, clogged sewage lines, spiders, snakes twice as long as jump ropes, a landlord almost 90 years old that won't fix anything, and well, just everything malfunctioning.

After nine months, I had just about given up. The blood kin's emergency had turned out to be a lie with most of them being convicted drug users and con artists. My tutoring business was almost dead in the water due to the nightmare satellite Internet service called Hughes net and then T-mobile broadband, neither of which can maintain a stable, consistent broadband speed making video conferencing with clients impossible. My business partner parked the coaching business we had launched a year prior until I could get the domestic stuff under control (snakes out of the house: imagine one slithering across the floor while you are online or on the phone with a client paying 2k and screaming at the top of your  lungs in his/her ear-just not very good for business).

Then about a month ago, I received funding to return to college for a second Masters Degree in TESOL at UMKC. My business partner/mentor moved to Kansas City to be near by. New students arrived. And I started seeing the problem as not being in NC but in being in a rural area that lacked the resources I need. Hey, rural areas are great for raising horses, kids, and cows but it is useless for someone with my objectives, research library needs, and my unquenchable need for GOOD coffee, sky scrapers, museums, shopping malls, and concerts to name a few.

Transitions come in many packages. Often they do not arrive in the way we expect or invite (or in my case, prayed for). In fact, it seems like God has given me the opposite of what I asked for. I conclude that His ways are far more advanced that my intellectual level can process. I trust Yahweh (God the father) and Messiah (Jesus Christ) and I put my life course, business course, research course, book course, and everything into their very capable hands.

I'm back in business: coaching, teaching, editing, and tutoring online and in person if you reside in the Kansas City area.  I will be here for about two years until I finish this degree and then I will move on to the next academic objective.

In the meantime, false starts can lead to a new and clearer path that in turn, will lead to a higher objective, new opportunities, and other wonderful things.

Transitions are not easy. They hurt. They REALLY hurt.And they make you cry, scream, and think all kinds of things. But ultimately, logic wins out and we learn how to process the new environment, seek out new resources, friends, and opportunities.

So, I say, "Howdy from the cow pasture!" (at least until I transition to KC once I find a place large enough for my personal research library that is ever growing).

Cheers until my next blog.

June Narber

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Changing Times

Change is a scary thing, isn't it?

We all feel that way at times. But life can be explained in this one term: change.

Everything changes. There is a proverb that says a dead river died because the water stopped flowing. Life must keep flowing. Change must come in order to still have life. Life flows as water in a raging river. It never stops and so, it must constantly change.

Change is not always a bad thing. But it is not always positive either. The one fact we must face is that change will come. Even when it is bad, the knowledge that life constantly morphs should comfort us that the difficult periods will not last forever. Likewise when things are going well, don't get too comfortable as change always is knocking on the door.

In the past, careers rarely changed. People got jobs and stayed there until they retired. This rarely happens anymore. One way to always stay in control of career is to constantly be evolving your personal skill set, communication skills, and advancing in your technological abilities. That way, when change comes, whether by chance or invitation, you will be prepared.

That is often easier said than done, isn't it?

Recently an old friend asked if she could come live with me, as she feared she was losing her job. She also asked if I could her find a job. Of course, my answer was negative to both. As young chicks, when things get bad, it is often instinct to look for a place to hide, a situation where you place your cares in the lap of someone else, and thus, you make your problems theirs. This is a highly negative way of dealing with change. In seeing so many people in their 20's, 30's, and even 40's moving home to live with their parents, this is almost an American epidemic. The scariest prospect is, what happens when the parent dies? Hiding from reality at any age past 15 is toxic and shouldn't be allowed to happen.

No matter how bad things get, no one should EVER move home to be with mommy and daddy. It is better to rent a room and share it with four others and to eat noodles while taking a job delivering pizzas.  Psychologically, when a grown man or woman moves HOME, the child sector of the brain is activated and it becomes increasingly difficult to ever reenter adult life. I highly discourage this act.

A close friend recently married a woman who I highly suspected was going to use him to support her adult, deadbeat children. Of course, this has proven true as three of her nonworking children moved in with them in his tiny house. In a situation like this, it is going to be up to the homeowner to simply tell them to get out in 48 hours. The longer parasites are allowed to stay attached, the harder it is to detach them. I pity him greatly but as he invited this problem in to his life, he will have to solve it.

Shouldn't we help people down on their luck? Of course but that doesn't mean we allow our lives to become Grand Central Station or allow chaos to enter our domains. Helping people is often giving them ideas of what they might consider doing to alter their negative situations. People who refuse to adapt to change are at fault for refusing to deal with the signs that hint problems were coming.

Change will always come. However, to be prepared, one must learn to have FORESIGHT. That means they constantly are evaluating the facts in his or her life and learn how to predict potential problems and to always have a plan B ready to instigate. 

What about losing a job: can anyone be prepared for that? I think they can to some degree. The first step is to always be learning new things; reading the latest trends in their industry, and to constantly stay in contact with other people who work in their sector. One way to do this is to network on LinkedIn. You don't wait until you lose a job to start thinking about other choices. You constantly should be evaluating if there is a better job or even a better place for you to be. This isn't being fickle but being prepared. Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Always have a secondary income whether from selling things online via books or collectibles or a part time job tutoring, editing, or otherwise.

Learn to develop passive income. Passive income is money that is constantly generated without any ongoing action required. Google "passive income opportunities" for ideas about this.

The last topic to deal with changing times is budget. Thousands of books have been written about budgeting but few really address the real issue of budgeting: spending.  The only people who should use credit cards are the wealthy: a) they can afford to pay off their balance monthly; b) they use it as a convenience, not as a tool to buy the necessities of life; c) they often use them to accumulate air mileage which is in itself a form of free income; or at least a usable resource. Anyone who struggles to pay monthly bills should not own a credit card because a) they will overspend because they will use that credit card to buy the best food (steak) at the store, not the food they can afford (beans, rice, pasta, etc.); b) they can't afford to pay off the balance monthly; c) they start to see credit cards the same as CASH and this is the foundational reason they are in debt; d) they become dependent on the easy access to what they want and need instead of learning to WAIT until they afford it; e) they will use cards as a crutch to avoid the action necessary to get out of debt such as eating out in restaurants instead of taking the time to plan and cook food at home.  In fact, most impoverished people don't fully realize how poor they actually are because they foolishly have a wallet of credit cards.

The most successful people in life use changing times in life much like a surfer uses a surfing board to ride waves: they REVEL in change as it brings exciting new opportunities their way.

Perhaps we can learn to be like this ourselves by a) developing foresight and vision to be reading the heartbeat of our careers and the latest things happening; b) be prepared for emergencies by having secondary and passive income revenues always in action; c) living on a budget, getting to a cash system and not using credit cards, and cooking at home most of the time.

Wave surfers have to learn to stand on their own two feet before they can soar on the oceans of time. See you at the surf!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Of Warm Summer Winds and Lazy Days

Summer brings warm breezes and lazy summer days. Most of us would rather be lying on a beach or barbecuing in the backyard. Business seems to be something we just do to pay the bills. However, success comes with a price.

Have you heard that before? Do you believe it? Financial security and business success do come with  a price tag. While most blogs will tell you to relax and enjoy yourself, I'm going to tell you the opposite. Why would I ruin such a pleasant thought of idle bliss and summer day dreams?

Sadly, here in the western world, we have been lulled in to a false sense of financial security. Having been raised by a wonderful man who had lived through the Great Depression, our household adhered to the idea that sunny days were the time to work even harder at completing projects, tending the garden to guarantee an abundant fall harvest, and dealing with things that needed to be repaired or simply finished. It was indeed easier to repair a broken fence in the pasture during a sunny day than a downpour. And pulling weeds was actually easier during warm weather than when it became chilly and windy.

Sadly, gone are the rural living and farm days for me and for many of you. But the principle is still there: work and produce while both the atmosphere and weather is favorable. We don't know what tomorrow is going to bring. So isn't it better to make that vacation just a couple of days shorter to get back and deal with that leaking roof or that landscaping project? And isn't it wiser to follow through with that work project instead of driving across the country for a silly useless gathering?

Remember this one fact: it only takes one bad day on Wall Street for your investments to tumble. And it takes a single decision for your employer to end your job or your clients to abandon you. Utilize every resource that is at your disposal NOW and don't let the seduction of lazy days stimulate your inner sloth. There is a time to rest and there is a time to produce.

Unfortunately, too many will soon realize they squandered their most useful productive seasons for yet another trip down entertainment lane.

Produce, strategize, plan, implement, and work harder than you ever have.

You can rest during the coming economic storm in which it will be nearly impossible to generate profit.