Is That the Best You Can Do?
Recently I needed to make a hotel reser- vation. I called a hotel in a well-known
chain, and the reservations clerk informed me
that the room rate was $154 a night. The
price seemed a bit high, given the location
of the hotel, so I asked him if that was the
best he could do. "No," he replied. "We have
a special rate of $99 a night." Only when I
asked did he put forth the extra effort.
Over the years I have learned that the
price quoted by hotels, airlines, repairmen
and just about everyone in between can
usually be adjusted in your favor. However,
it is imperative that you ask that all-impor-
tant question: "Is that the be t you can do?"
Few people will volunteer that a better
price or service is available.
You can also apply this strategy to
achieving goals in your life. By asking your-
self,"Is that the best I can do?" you can
produce remarkable results. This is particu-
larly true when you are trying to reach a
goal such as finding a new job, completing
a project or improving a relationship with a
boss or coworker.
Let's take the job search as an example.
Imagine that you have been looking for a
new job for several months. You have been
checking out the Internet and doing some
networking, but you have not turned up any
solid leads.You are getting frustrated and
more than a little concerned. This process is
taking much longer than you had anticipated.
What is going on here?
The first step in turning things around is
to identify the things that you can control.
Your attitude, appearance, resume, cover letter
and personal commercial are all under your
conttol.You are also in charge ofseeking out
networking contacts, preparing for an inter-
view and negotiating your salary. Take a look
at each of these items. On a scale of one to
10, how would you rate your overall effort?
Be honest with yourself. Are you really doing
the best you can? If you are not, what can
you do right now to redouble your efforts?
Are you making a good first impression
when you meet people? Are you someone
others want to have around? People like
people who make them feel comfortable.
What is working for you, and what do you
need to change? Do you need a haircut, a
new suit or an exercise progra.m.?Your
LIVE PAIN FREE
Reduce or Resolve Pain
Call Chris Helmstetter, LAc
".. A CUP U Ne T U RE
- c lin i c, LLC
The natural solution
& ASSOCIATE S
resume may say
that you are good
at attending to
details, but a big
hole in your shoe
says something else.
Polish your 30-second commercial. Know
the four or five things you are selling. Be
sure to focus on your unique value position
- what you bring to the party - rather
than what you need. Make people want to
learn more about you.
Is your resume an advertising brochure
tailored to the needs ofprospective employers?
Does it tell an employer why he or she
should hire you? Does your resume present
you as the best candidate? Do you stand out
from the competition? Have a career coach
read it to see whether you are putting your
best foot forward.
Is your cover letter interesting and engaging?
Spell out what you can do for this employ-
er; don't just rehash your resume. Is the
cover letter addressed to a person rather than
the human resources department? What
will it take for you to get the name of the hir-
ing manager? Who in your network can help?
Go back through your Rolodex and
reconsider every contact. Call or e-mail
everyone who might possibly have infor-
mation that could help in your job search.
Make a concerted effort to reach the peo-
ple you missed the first time around. Don't
just leave a voice message. Keep trying.
Know what you want from each ofyour
contacts. Do your homework before every
meeting. Let them know how they can
help you. Prepare your story before you call
them, and be sure to ask for the names of
other people you can conta.ct. Have busi-
ness cards, and bring them with you.
The point here is that you are in control
ofyou. Continue to ask yourself,"Is that the
best I can do?" If the answer is not a resound-
ing "Yes," see where you need to focus your
energy and attention. Don't settle for less
than your best.You are worth it.•
RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE
311 Rosemary Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
919/933-8500 • 800/382-0673
Unda Conklin is the GM's manager of Alumni Career
Services. Contact her with career-related questions at
Iinda30nklin@unc.edu or (919) 962- 3749. Her
advice and other career-related information can be
found at alumni.unc.edu/career.
Nov e ll1b e r l Dec e lllb e r 2005