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Making Beautiful Noise With the Stories of Your Career

beautiful music

What inspires you?

It took me decades to be inspired by Neil Diamond – his pure, crystalline lyrics, his voice that is “gravel and potholes.” Diamond’s music feeds the soul and inspires; you connect to it; you’re compelled to sing along, with conviction. He sang the marquee song in one of my favorite movies, Here Comes the Boom, where “Holly Holy” is the red carpet rolling out several crucial scenes.  “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” as well, is memorable for Pulp Fiction fans.

Moreover, Diamond’s “Beautiful Noise” makes me want to soak up the moment, to imbibe in the noise, fully:

It’s a beautiful noise
And it’s a sound that I love
And it fits me as well
As a hand in a glove
Yes it does, yes it does

Neil Diamond’s soul, heart- and mood-pumping rhythms and soaring lyrics transport you out of the mundane and into the ether of your dreams.

Careerists who feel stuck in their day-to-day rigor, battered by strict work routines from sunup to sundown often are unable to reconnect with their dreams. All you can see and feel are stacks of bills, mountains of boss-, customer- and corporate shareholder-imposed lists, angst about time away from family and the clock ticking. You are weary, sleepless and unable to connect to your own restlessness for fear it will distract from the most pressing deadlines and commitments.

While there is no simple answer regarding how to disconnect from day-to-day and unleash energy to attend to soul-enriching needs, the truth is you must. As inconvenient and uncomfortable as it is, you must shed resistance to moving ahead and just start, today. All it takes is a first step to gain traction, and momentum and get in touch with the ‘beautiful noise’ of really living.

And to help you rev your inspiration engine, take a few moments to listen to Neil Diamond’s “Holly Holy,” which also was featured in the movie, Here Comes the Boom.


By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Master Resume Writer / Career Storyteller
Helping you make ‘beautiful noise’ from the lyrical stories of your career.
Contact me to help you connect with your dreams, today:





What Do You Want?

123newyear (flickr)

By Robert P. Poindexter

Why is such an easy question so often hard to answer? Is it because we fear an obligation to ourselves and others by admitting it out loud?  Or, could it be that we simply don’t feel that we deserve what we want? Even more sinister is the possible negative reaction we may impose upon ourselves by those around us who scoff at the very idea of what we want.

Even Charles Dickens in his classic, A Christmas Carol, warned us to fear “want.” He did, however, warn us to fear “ignorance” even more, but that’s a subject we’ll save for another time.

As children, we were free to want as much as our hearts desired. After all, most of our needs were being met, and we had all the time in the world to focus on our wants. We had no obligation to a thinner waistline, so we were free to want that extra helping of cake. We had no obligation to pay the mortgage, so we were free to want that shiny new toy. We had no obligation to our own education, so we were free to want to be astronauts and presidents and professional athletes.

As adults, our wants tend to get pushed aside in favor of survival.

The problem then becomes one of regret versus fulfillment. Regret for not doing the things we know we should in order to get what we want. Regret for the decisions we’ve made that have forced us to put our wants on the back burner. Regret for wanting (and sometimes getting) things that bring us more misery than joy.

Wanting, in and of itself, is in no way evil. It can be, after all, the catalyst for great success. The problem is “wanting” what is bad for us instead of what is good for us. For example, “wanting” to lie around all morning instead of “wanting” to workout. Certainly, lying around fulfills a desire. However, working out will fulfill a much more worthy desire: the desire to be better then you are now, versus the desire to be lazy. But it’s difficult to want something you know will bring you discomfort in the short run instead of comfort right now.

I’m not telling anyone, including myself, anything new or shocking here. It is simply meant to be a gentle reminder that when we want the best for ourselves, we must be willing to walk through the fire from time to time.

At midnight tonight, the calendar will once again give us the opportunity to reset our lives. We have an opportunity to clarify our wants and work toward them with a renewed spirit and fervor.

Your wants are waiting for you. Will 2013 be your year? Only you have the power to decide that, and it’s all based on what you truly want!

Happy New Year!



Sail Into Career Dreams With Cathartic Resume Process

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

This post originally published at CourtingYourCareer’s blog.


“I have invested hours and hours in the attached (resume worksheet).  I found the process everything from cathartic, to exciting, to tedious and insightful.”

These were the words of a recent client, (we’ll call him ‘Ben’) in an email he wrote me, after completing an intellectually laborious process of career brain dump, an introspection that would serve to equip my writing team with the insights and word stories to fuel his resume.

Ben’s experience is fairly typical. Another client (Jill), who called me last week to exclaim that she’d just accepted an offer from a major product company in a senior sales management role, reminded me of the note she had written several months ago while in the throes of our resume collaboration. Accompanying Jill’s completed worksheet, her note said:

“A very impressive document – I don’t know whether to hug or hit you for having to fill it out ;>)”

Interestingly, many careerists whose careers have sailed smoothly along through the years feel panicked and isolated when the winds of change capsize their vessel, and suddenly they are left clinging to a tiny life raft in a sea of confusion.

When these senior leaders and executives call me, they often have tried – and failed — to write their own, interview-generating career story; and since most proven professionals have solid writing and communications skills, their resumes have a certain polish about them that may cause the untrained eye to consider the resume ‘fine’ and job-search ready. Instead, they find their resume communication efforts sinking to the floor of a competitive and stormy job-search ocean.

The process of constructing your career resume vessel, as well as the end-result deliverable (the ‘resume’) are as integral as regular puffs of wind to the momentum of a sailboat – and as such, ‘fine’ just won’t cut it! Alas, this is where the opportunity to refurbish one’s career vessel is crystallized, and a complete overhaul — a blank-slate remake of the resume engine and surrounding container — must be invoked.

To help careerists wrap their mind around the action steps, time and energy involved in writing a show-stopping and competition-beating resume, I’ve offered a mere ‘sampling ‘ of steps you MUST take, whether on your own or in partnership with a professional resume writer:

1. Deeply reflect on your areas of value that you offer a company, ‘going forward’ in your career. For example, if you are a Sales Management Professional, start by brainstorming 10-20 key traits, abilities, skills and/or achievements areas you particularly excel at, and enjoy. If cultivating efficient, committed and profit-focused team members is among the list, good. This is a start. But …

2. Now, you need to consider:

  • Why is this of value?
  • Can you sustain a resume story on the written page, and beyond, with fleshy examples of ‘how’ you cultivate such teams?
  • Why did this trait/ability offer impact and value to your past employers?
  • Why will this experience and competency matter to your target company
  • Show, don’t just tell, that you embody the adjectives and verbs with which you describe yourself in these bold and bragging statements. (Note: Singing your own praises is okay – in fact, expected — in a resume; you just must support those statements with beefy proof!)

3. As well, consider rough waters you encountered along your career journey, and how you used specific leadership, problem-solving, influence, process improvement (and so forth) talent to navigate those waters, adjust the project sails and create the results that bettered your department’s, division’s and/or company’s market positioning, product placement, revenue and/or profit gains, and such!

4. Be able to showcase these challenge encounters in a way that paints a color-rich, concise snapshot. Think challenge, action and results (CAR), and then expand beyond the ‘CAR’ by articulating what specific leadership strengths you stretched and deployed. Nuance your story.

5. Be able to organize your snapshots into key groupings that support, at most, 3-4 primary areas of your unique value. By trimming your 10-20 key traits, abilities, skills, etc. down to an overarching 3-4 key areas of value, you help the reader navigate your resume course versus drifting along, unfocused. By doing so, you are guiding them to the destination port – ultimately, that of calling you in for an interview.

These 5 tips are illustrative of a much-larger set of resume process steps involving self-introspection; focus on who you are now, and who you want to be tomorrow; research of types of companies, jobs and opportunities that you realistically and optimistically are equipped to explore; research as to what troubles your go-forward companies are facing today, tomorrow, two years from now; … and much more.

As well, you must apply acumen to knit together the career details, trim back loose threads and shape a career pattern that creates a functional vessel with just the right balance, to prevent your vessel from sinking and to compel you to sail into your career dreams.

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