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Monday, August 02, 2010

KALÖN WOMEN: Change or Disappear

Guest Columnist: Dickie Sykes

All businesses must keep up with technology and know the impact of global competition, fluctuating business cycles, and shifting demographics to make necessary organizational changes. Businesses like people must understand the new language of communication and learn how to translate their value to customers, stakeholders and partners. To not change and acquire new skills is to have their head in the sand and they will surely disappear. In this new economy, people like businesses, must change, learn new skills, adapt or they will disappear.

People who are rigid and inflexible and opposed to change, people who believe they can’t or won’t learn anything new are the ones having a more difficult time during this recession, as they are not willing to reinvent, reeducate or relocate. Individuals who understand that change is an inevitable part of life and that they must continually reinvent and re-market themselves and remain open and flexible, are the ones who are a lot more successful during economic hardship. They work part-time jobs, volunteer, experiment with new ideas, write articles, and continually market themselves to expand their personal brand and make new connections.

The number one coaching tip I give people is to stop looking back at what they had or didn’t have and live in the power of now. The power they seek and recognition they desire are in the present moment. The power to carve out the life of their desire requires small, consistent changes that overtime, will improve their career opportunities, expand their capabilities and build a strong resume of new skills and talent. People must act like free- entrepreneurs, building a portfolio of skills and accomplishments they can use to negotiate the next job -- whether with a new employer or the same one (White, J. 1999).

In this new interviewing paradigm, knowledge is king and knowledge creates transformative power. Possessing the right information and presenting it in the right way, gives interviewees the power to get any job! To go on any job interview without understanding what you should say and how you should look when you say it, is setting yourself up for a disappointing outcome. In business you must match the medium to the message. You must do the same when interviewing. There are certain things you must say to enhance your image as a strong, effective candidate and because people communicate as much nonverbally as they do verbally, there are several things you can do nonverbally that will enhance your image.

To communicate your leadership potential nonverbally:

  • Stand and sit using an erect posture. Avoid slouching as it makes you look tired, sloppy and unprofessional.
  • When confronted, stand up straight. Do not cower.
  • Nod your head to show that you are listening to someone talk.
  • Maintain eye contact and smile at those with whom you are talking.
  • Use hand gestures in a relaxed, non mechanical way.
  • Do not frown or look confused or angry when listening to someone talk.
  • Always be neat, well groomed and wear appropriately fitting clothes, not too tight or big.
  • Don’t wear strong cologne or perfume or too much makeup.
Judgment is made within the first 30 seconds of the interview; it may not be fair, but that’s how long it takes the interviewer to size you up. When you walk in the door have a smile on your face, stand tall and look directly in the interviewer’s eyes, hold their gaze and tell them how absolutely enthusiastic you are about the position. Having up-to-date information about the company and interviewer and presenting it with the right technique, gives you the upper hand in the interview process. Managers size up how a candidate will perform in the new role by evaluating how much effort he or she put into preparing for the interview. If you're in charge, you want someone who has taken the time to think about how to help the business. Women have lots of great ideas and power but lack confidence; men are overly confident and don’t adequately prepare. Preparation, research and knowing your target, the interviewer, will give you the right mix of confidence and preparation needed to secure the deal.

White, J. (1999). The wall street journal millennium (A Special Report): Industry & Economics --- The company we'll keep: corporations aren't going to disappear; but they're going to look a lot different. Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), p. R, 36:1. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 47568263).

Dickie Sykes is a former construction executive and CEO of DGS Consulting LLC. She reinvented her career and relocated her business from New York City to Atlanta, Georgia. For more information on DGS Consulting, contact

Learn how to bring value to your next job interview. DGS Consulting has made it simple. To purchase the company’s how-to products on job interviewing, log on to or ‘Yes You Can Still Find a Job -The Gold Standard of Job Interviewing’ is a 60-minute CD that accompanies a 42-page PDF textbook.

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