Tag Archives: career

Career Evaluation: Look In The Rearview Mirror

Introverts, Jennifer Kahnweiler

After the NSA-GA radio show with NSA-GA President and host Dez Thornton.

In hindsight, what are some of the lessons you learned from your career?

One of the things that happens when you step into the “seasoned” category is that younger people start asking you about your past. It has been a strange and gratifying experience; now that I am able to connect the dots from my various career experiences, things seem to make more sense. For instance, my job as a career coach helped me recently when I was responding to a reporter’s rapid fire questions about introvert angst. From this rearview mirror perspective I see the same issues repeatedly emerge.

Another example: Spending too much $ on the wrong biz service providers emerges again and again (and again) in the “lessons learned category.” I am a slow learner!

In an interview I did last month with Dez Thornton, top notch speaker, President of NSA-GA and host of the radio show Speaking Insights  we discussed the story behind The Introverted Leader and Quiet Influence . I focused on lessons learned from my speaking career. In one story I described leaving the room because I didn’t know how to handle the hostility of a group of downsized IBM employees in the first wave of job cuts ever. But that experience made me realize that I needed to acknowledge the resistance, hurt and anger those people felt; not be afraid to confront those feelings and succumb to my own fears.

It does feel weird to quote myself but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to pay attention to my own words again! Here are a few:

” Before I selected a niche I didn’t feel like I had a leadership identity when I was speaking on the topic of leadership.”

” The connection is what counts and it leads to business.”

” Speak a lot for practice.”

” Get work from the work that you do.”

” Partner with organizations when you want to work internationally.”

“The book and the speech are symbiotic.”

” I own the role of speaker now from being involved with the National Speakers Association.

What are your quotes as you look In your own rearview mirror? 




Tips Introverts Can Use to Get Heard

Not that being an introvert doesn’t have some pluses, too. Kathleen McFeeters, president and CEO of dressmaker Donna Morgan, spent 15 years in the fashion biz before co-founding her own company. “I was always one of the top moneymakers, but as a typical introvert, I never asked for raises or promotions,” she says. “On the other hand, if I hadn’t spent so many years just keeping my head down and working very, very hard, I doubt I would ever have had the skills to start a company.”

She adds, “Even now, we’re one of the top women-owned businesses in New York, but we don’t really seek fame or publicity. We like being quietly successful.” Nothing wrong with that–is there?

Read the rest here.


Find the words to answer “So what do you do???”

Do you panic when asked the inevitable social event question, “So what do you do?!!!”  Try keeping it simple. Your aim is to get the listener interested, not give a canned answer. I love the idea of highlighting a talent or skill and providing a success story.
My favorite networking authors,  Lynne Waymon and Anne Baber (Making Contacts Count, AMACOM)  www.ContactsCount.com offer these examples of good answers to that question. Would you be interested in continuing the conversation if you heard these? Any examples of others you can give us for starters?1. Interior decorator: “You know how kids outgrow their clothes? Well, I consult with families who’ve outgrown their houses. I just helped a couple decorate a room for their new baby.”

2. Survey Methodologist: “I design surveys and questionnaires. I wrote one for soldiers returning from Iraq and figured out a way for them to answer online. We were amazed when that boosted the response rate by about 18%.

3. Human Resources Manager: “I’m in charge of the on-boarding process for all our new hires. I just spoke about some of our newest ideas at a conference for people from Fortune 500 companies.”