Four tips to make you a strong candidate for any job (even before you need one)


You may have heard this before, but I want to remind you that, “The best time to look for a job is when you don’t need one.”

Let me tell you why.

I’ve had my share of jobs. Before becoming an entrepreneur, I’ve managed to have jobs in project management, nonprofit management, education policy, teaching, public relations, news reporting, newspaper editing, and more. I always had either a full-time opportunity or one or more part-time opportunities while in between jobs.

I learned how to have income-security versus job security.

This is because in our work culture, not only is our generation more fearless to leave a job when it’s not a good fit, but the jobs we have aren’t always jobs we can stay at for a long time, even when we desire to. There have been jobs I’ve had where the whole company was dissolved unexpectedly, where a staff member came on who shifted the work culture so I no longer felt it was healthy to work there, where the company was about to fire everyone and re-hire those they wanted to invite back, or where the company shifted strategy, so I could continue on in the company, simply in a different role. I was often able to survive shifts in the companies I worked for, or was able to attain another opportunity (even attaining a $13k salary increase in the midst of the recession), or I happened to be moving to a different geographic location before a shift was made, although it’s still not a great feeling when you feel like your fate is in a company or individual’s hands.

So, if you’re going to work hard and give your all at your current job, and if you’re serious about wanting to build a legacy based on your career, you’ll want to make sure that you’re implementing the career-mastery strategies below even before it’s time for you to seek out employment in the future to make you the strongest candidate for any future position:

1) Update your resume now. Make sure your resume is not only professional and up-to-date, but impressive! Your resume should evoke a positive response when even you read it. Some of my most capable and gifted clients often utilize a lot of my support in strengthening their resumes to make them more achievement oriented. Do this now before it’s pressing.

2) Brush up on your interview skills now. If you feel that you’re not the strongest interviewer (and all of us can do better), definitely find resources to enhance these skills before you need to use them. One of my previous clients just landed her dream job, living in one major city while working remotely at a job in another major city in a brand new career field. Hours of us doing interview role-plays while working on her areas for growth in interviewing were key in her transition. Another client landed her first senior position in a brand new career sector after in-depth interviewing practice with me as well. Interviewing well is key not only to be a good fit for your next job, but to also be able to speak strongly about your brand. Determine what you can do to strengthen this critical skill.

3) Identify what your next dream transition would be. The sky is the limit for what kind of job you can pursue next. Really take some time to explore your previous work experience, your strengths, your weaknesses, and even your life’s mission, whether that’s pursuing financial freedom for your family or influencing international policy, for example. One of the most powerful things I do with some of my clients is to spend time digging deep to explore what their personal and professional mission and values are. It clarifies what matters as they decide what opportunities to pursue next. Check out job listings, determine which are of most interest to you, and really spend some time reflecting on what you desire that’s in alignment with what you really want before you feel pressured to get a job simply to fulfill financial obligations.

4) Network! If you’re planning to be considered a valuable prospective employee or if you plan to be considered for a senior position in the future, it will be critical for key players within your organization and within other organizations to know who you are and know the value of the work you bring to the table. If you’re in a city that has regularly occurring networking, make it a point to attend networking events regularly (even if that means you’re attending once every few months) and form substantial personal and professional relationships while there. Many new positions are not listed within companies, and a substantial amount of positions are filled through networking. If you’re hesitant about networking, know it’s possible to break through your networking challenges to be an expert networker. I’ve seen it happen for a number of my clients who worked with me to master the art of networking through our video calls or in-person at events. You too can work to start to or continue to master the art of networking and make it work for you!

I’m hoping the tips above offer some great perspective and practical guidance so you can be a competitive candidate for your next opportunity and so you can continue to move forward in confidence when it comes to your career journey! 

If you need help along the way to pursuing your career goals, definitely feel free to book a quick chat with me so I can learn more about what you’re looking for and how I can help!

As always, feel free to forward this post to friends, family, or colleagues who might benefit from this information, and also feel free to email me at if this was helpful.



Photo credit: RawPixel (on unsplash)

How to do a self-led quarterly self-evaluation!


Sometimes, life is moving so fast that we don’t get the opportunity to stop and really look at where we are and where we want to be.

I dare you to do just that by doing your own self-led self-evaluation this March, as we near the end of the first quarter of the year (and I know you can do it!). Below, I’ll give you some practical steps to lead you through one way of doing your own self-evaluation, and then, I’ll let you know about a few promotions (in highlighted sections below) that only members of this list will hear about until the end of this week when I share them with the world via social media! Meanwhile, you can feel free to share this email with friends and family if you’d like!


  1. Find a quiet place for you to do this activity alone or with a trusted group of friends. You can also play music that helps you to reflect while doing the activity.
  2. Get 3 – 5 sheets of notebook paper.
  3. At the top of each notebook sheet, write 1 of your top priorities in life and/or business (examples are 1) forming healthy friendships, 2) establishing a stronger spiritual relationship, 3) eating healthy, and 4) Increasing clientele).
  4. Write “Current” as a heading underneath your first priority.
  5. Underneath that heading, write 3 – 5 short statements that describe where you are in this priority area.
  6. Underneath those statements, rank yourself in this priority area on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being exactly where you want to be.
  7. Underneath that, write the heading, “3 months from now.”
  8. Underneath that heading, write 3 – 5 short statements that describe where you would like to be in this priority area 3 months from now.
  9. Underneath those statements, write the heading, “Action Plan.”
  10. Underneath that heading, write 3 – 5 very feasible things you can do to move towards where you want to be in that area.
  11. Repeat steps 3 – 10 on each notebook sheet for each priority (feel free to use a journal, Google Document, or whatever works for you)
  12. If you are with a group of friends, you can eachshare one goal at a time, give listeners an opportunity to ask questions at the end of each goal, and clap it up for the presenter after each goal.
  13. Schedule your self-led quarterly evaluations for the remainder of the year using Google Calendar or whatever planning mechanisms you use including reminders to help you prepare to reflect leading up to your next evaluation.

If you really focus on the areas of your life that mean the most to you and take steps like the ones above to reflect, analyze, then strategize on how to take your goals to the next level (and how to hold yourself accountable to these action steps), you WILL see much more progress than if you allow yourself to get used to operating at levels below what you know you are capable of! Try it for yourself, and tell me how it works for you!

You CAN make $ doing what you love! Check out these 3 tips!


Yesterday, I spoke to my colleague, Rodney Elam, who raises quite a bit of money for a Washington, D.C. nonprofit. We spoke about strategies to build the financial capacity of mission-driven organizations like mine. He reinforced what I know is true. You can definitely make money doing something you love that impacts society.

Though there are various funding models for businesses and nonprofits, what stays consistent in almost every model is that relationships and strategy matter.

In trying to get investors to fund your business, putting on events, writing grants, creating campaigns around a social issue, or seeking out wealthier individuals who are simply passionate about your cause, your ability to be able to have critical and strategic conversations with key contacts can totally change the dynamic of your organization through the additional funding it could provide.

Though there are many steps involved in gaining the funding you need to move your dream forward, there are 3 things I would suggest you do to increase your organization’s cash flow.

1) Determine what funding model and strategy is best for your organization and industry. Click on the following links for a few examples of strategies that have worked for major nonprofits and for-profitcompanies (and certain strategies certainly work for both nonprofits and for-profits):
“Ten Nonprofit Funding Models” by Stanford Social Innovation Review
“10 Practical Ways to Improve Small Business Profitability” from YFS Magazine

2) Create a list of top prospects for funding, whether those are individuals, businesses, foundations or other sources. Create a priority list and timeline of when you will call or visit these prospects. Emailing is the least effective method of outreach, unless you know someone who has a personal connection with the entity and can facilitate an introduction. No matter how you reach out, a personal connection with someone who can make an introduction is always a plus!

3) Know where you are and where you want to be as an organization. You never know when you might meet a prospective funder or be speaking to someone who is connected to a funding source. At all times, and especially before your conversations with prospective funders, know where your organization is financially, and what small, medium, and large-scale funding would benefit your organization. Know how much money would cause a certain scale of impact on your organization, and be able to vocalize that. Don’t forget to let the individual or entity know that you know about them, want to learn more, and care about their work as well.

Stay tuned for more advice on what else you can do to pursue your dream of having an impact on society through your business!

Article by Daphne Valcin, Your Empowerment Specialist

Photo credit: Simon Cunningham (Flickr)