Obstacles to action when you know what you want

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Postby pattyn » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:39 pm

But it's not just hating sales. That's an activity that requires a certain type of personality -- Type A, outgoing, gregarious. Usually something one needs to be from the inside.
In the sales training course I took at the American Management Association, the instructor made a strong case against that theory, and showed us how to use our different "social styles" to sell, instead of turning us all into gladhanders.
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Postby willow » Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:24 am

As for being inflexible about the way to get there, I just don't see any evidence of that.
I think the reason you are being perceived as "rigid" is that your responses to ideas has been "really?" "guaranteed" or "prove it." That is defensive language and the reader can only assume you aren't even considering any other alternative. None of us believe the only answer for you to earn enough money to go to Spain is to leave the country. We know there is money to be made here but you need to change your path or get more training. (Don't say "show me" - we've tried and you shot everyone down). If you are so against sales, then you shouldn't pursue it even if it does bring in money. You wouldn't be good at sales anyways unless you love the process. You stated that you don't see why you should take a job here because you'd just hate it. I agree, you shouldn't take a job you hate, however, your statement assumes that there aren't any jobs here that you wouldn't hate. That is a rigid viewpoint. That doesn't allow for the possibility that there are jobs and money to be made here because you have your mind already made up. That is why you are giving the impression that you are rigid. It seems you have a chip on your shoulder about being 51 and what opportunities are available. People pick up on that and won't hire an angry person. If Japan is the only option that you are willing to consider as a viable way to go to Spain, then we really should stop giving you suggestions on this subject and wish you the best.
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Postby jcjm » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:09 am

moviegal wrote:
Heather Duggan wrote: It's easy to say well I can't do [insert activity] because I'm shy, introverted, impatient, bad tempered or whatever trait one may wish to insert here.
There is a difference between stretching your limits and changing who you are. I did sales for 7 years full time and did great with existing customers but terrible with cold calling. Didn't change in 7 years. So, I would have to say that the reasons there are so many self help books out there, is because most people cannot do what they say. They are incapable of doing the 5 or 10 steps lined out for them. They can't do a flow chart, they can't cold call, and various other things. They were lucky to get C's in some classes while getting A's in others. They just are good at some things and not good at others. To keep telling people to bang their head up against the wall with something is not helping. They need to be encouraged to do what they do best and stop trying to make them fit into a generic mold. Heather I like most of your posts, but an old saying about pigs flying comes to mind. Certain creatures fly and others don't, and asking someone to do something that is not in their nature can only be accomplished by brain washing, which ultimately makes them someone they are not and defeats the purpose.
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Postby moviegal » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:09 am

jcjm wrote:There is a difference between stretching your limits and changing who you are. To keep telling people to bang their head up against the wall with something is not helping. They need to be encouraged to do what they do best and stop trying to make them fit into a generic mold.
That's exactly what I'm talking about. I doubt if I would ever take a full-time sales job because I don't consider myself a natural salesperson, but I do have to do some sales in my endeavor. Just because the job requires some sales I didn't reject the idea of becoming a producer, because there are many aspects of the job that do come naturally to me. So I work at stretching my limitations and improving my skills in that area. Another example that has to do with skill and not personality is that I suck at typing. My mom is a natural...can type 100 words per minute. I'm fortunate if I can do 50 and that has been with lots of practice. My mom kept telling me that I just need to keep practicing and could never figure out why I was couldn't get any better. But it was a talent that I didn't inherit from her. I just have poor manual dexterity...that will never change. Yet I make my living as a secretary and had to pass a typing test to get my job. I didn't automatically discard the job just because I'm a poor typist. Instead I practiced like crazy and managed to just barely meet the qualifications. It was worth the effort because I got a good job that is secure, pays well, and has good benefits. While I wouldn't want to do a job like data entry that requires top speed and accuracy all day long, I didn't discard being a secretary just because it has some typing in it...because I'm very good at most of the other aspects of the job. Another example: I know someone who has a learning disability and yet makes a very good living in the field of engineering. People should be encouraged to pursue careers that use their natural talents, but be careful about discarding jobs just because there are aspects of it that one may not be naturally good at. If one isn't careful one can enable one's weaknesses and be limiting one's opportunities in life instead of striving to stretch and improve yourself.
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Postby Heather Duggan » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:58 am

jcjm wrote: Heather I like most of your posts, but an old saying about pigs flying comes to mind. Certain creatures fly and others don't, and asking someone to do something that is not in their nature can only be accomplished by brain washing, which ultimately makes them someone they are not and defeats the purpose.
You're right. There absolutely are limits. I'm conflict adverse - people start yelling and I just freeze up. I'm learning to push myself a bit past my limits by doing dispute mediation, but I don't think I'd ever be happy in a full-time job where there were unhappy, conflicting people all around. I guess I'm trying to explore the boundaries of what's uncomfortable-now-but-could-be-OK and what is simply beyond reach. The reason I'm pressing a little harder here to see where the limits are is because I see the Ana who can't earn over $12 an hour in the US on a collision course with the Ana who wants to divide her time between working in California and living in Spain. One of them is going to have to give up something they strongly believe, and I'm kinda hoping it's not the one who has the big dream.
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Postby kdb » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:01 am

From anecdotal evidence, I would agree with Pattyn that jobs are easier to find today than a year or two ago. However, I think that jobs that pay a decent salary would require some \"baseline computer skills\": at minimum, a knowledge of Word (Excel would be a plus) as well as some stuff most of us on this board take for granted, e.g., how to copy-and-paste, how to move files between folders, etc. Not everybody knows how to perform those tasks. Yet, they are so easy to learn.
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Postby pattyn » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:08 am

Heather Duggan wrote:The reason I'm pressing a little harder here to see where the limits are is because I see the Ana who can't earn over $12 an hour in the US on a collision course with the Ana who wants to divide her time between working in California and living in Spain. One of them is going to have to give up something they strongly believe, and I'm kinda hoping it's not the one who has the big dream.
Well said, Heather!
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Postby expatana » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:42 pm

jcjm wrote:To keep telling people to bang their head up against the wall with something is not helping. They need to be encouraged to do what they do best and stop trying to make them fit into a generic mold..
I can't thank you enough, jcjm, for the understanding. We really ought to be encouraging each other in that direction -- especially for the long term. What depresses me most about some of your attitudes is your insistence that if I don't want to sacrifice more years without some part of my dream, that means I'm not open and willing to change! Barbara talks about getting at least some of your dream -- the most important part -- in your life as soon as possible. Whatever you have to do to make that happen. NOT sacrificing more years without it. How many years do you think we've all got??? A couple of you got onto me -- again -- about not wanting to do something I hate, accusing me of being "rigid," and not giving things a chance. Well, don't you think I've lived and worked long enough, like you have, to know what I hate and what I don't??? And how do you know I've not been looking? You don't know me! The thought of being stuck in some office again here -- and for an indefinite period that could go on and on -- after literally going around the world, just makes me nauseous. I've made one exception to that, it's a good, healthy one, and there are few things I wouldn't do to pull it off if I had the ability: It must allow me those four months in Spain, until I can live there. I'd even do such a job in Pa. if it existed and paid enough. I spent 20+ years compromising exactly as you suggest. Some things don't get compromised anymore. Some of you were on about learning to do certain things that are stretches as opposed to doing something round-the-clock that is against their nature. Sales jobs are just that -- sales. It's not just a "stretch." You don't do it some of the time, as I could certainly do; you do it *all* the time, which is against my nature. Others pointed once again to my insistence that Japan is where the money is. You conveniently missed one word I repeatedly included in that: *immediate* money. That means *now* -- or months from now, at least. Not down the line somewhere, not years hence, not "maybe." Definitely. And soon. The *official* unemployment rate means nothing. Absolutely nothing. It does not prove there are lots and lots of good-paying jobs out there, certainly not lots that pay $40K+, as Patty seems to insist there is. I don't care how many meetings you go to. It has nothing to do with me or others like me. Don't forget, when a person has little to offer it doesn't necessarily mean they don't have promise or can't grow. Sometimes it doesn't even mean they're not qualified. It means they can't STAND OUT among the competition. It really means, "What can you offer that others can't? ... Why should I hire you and not someone else -- when someone else has done more than you've done?" As for the statement that a decent-paying job would only require "baseline" computer skills ... if by baseline you mean Word, Excel, not much more ... I guess there, it depends on what one means by "decent paying." For those "baseline" skills, sorry folks, I look each and every week and I'm seeing an average hourly of about $12. Sometimes $15. ... and to the person who said I have a chip on my shoulder, I'm realizing something else: It's the ego that can't stand the truth. It's the chip on *your* shoulder, not mine. Ana
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Postby Heather Duggan » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:10 pm

Ana, I'm really sorry if I said anything that upset you. I really do have a great deal of respect for what you're trying to accomplish, and a great deal of empathy for the barriers you're hitting. I'm genuinely sorry if I didn't communicate that.
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Postby kdb » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:13 pm

There is a misunderstanding here: "baseline computer skills" are a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to get a decent job. Having those skills doesn't mean you'll get a good job; it simply qualifies you to apply for one. Whether you get it or not is another hurdle. In my opinion, a decent-paying job is one that pays at least 30K, plus benefits. Caveat: high-cost of living areas such as NYC, SF, LA, etc would require more.
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Postby paralegalgirl » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:57 pm

kdb wrote:In my opinion, a decent-paying job is one that pays at least 30K, plus benefits. Caveat: high-cost of living areas such as NYC, SF, LA, etc would require more.
I used to think 30K would be enough, but I think you have to take into account the increase in the cost of living. In 2001 I made 30K living at home with my parents. This meant I saved on rent and utilities. Also I drove a family car so I didn't make car payments or pay auto insurance. This seemed to be around the right amount of money. I could afford to buy clothes for work, take day trips to Chicago and most important save money. I was able to put away $2,000 per year in an IRA plus an additional $2500 in an emergency account. Mind you I did that by keeping a budget and not splurging on entertainment or expensive trips. PLG
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Postby expatana » Wed Jan 25, 2006 5:12 pm

Thank you, Heather. It means a lot to hear that. And I agree with kdb on $30K+. I said at an Idea Party that would be my minimum -- to start. But paralegalgirl has a good point, too, about expenses. If you're making car payments, which I don't presently, that will cost. If your auto insurance is somewhat higher than mine (it's so ludicrously low I won't post it here), that eats up some. Certainly the savings and investment factors are there. And add your expenses in dream-building. For me, it's an absolute minimum, considering travel and overseas costs for part of the year. Others may have different minimums for their good-enough jobs. Could be a good topic for discussion, that. Ana
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Postby pattyn » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:53 pm

Some things don't get compromised anymore.
Ana, I can heartily endorse that. I think compromise is a dirty word. If my suggestions sound like compromise, I can well understand why you reject them. I didn't realize that Japan was still an option, but I'm very glad to hear that it is. I've got my fingers crossed for you that you can return there and bank the money you need for Spain.
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Postby Zanon » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:49 pm

This is an interesting topic.
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Postby expatana » Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:15 pm

pattyn wrote:If my suggestions sound like compromise, I can well understand why you reject them.
I'm not sure what your suggestions were. You mentioned meetings you attended where people indicated that many jobs were available, but I'm still not sure what it had to do with the topic at hand.
pattyn wrote:I didn't realize that Japan was still an option, but I'm very glad to hear that it is.
Let's just say I'm treating it as though it were. There are obstacles inherent there, too, related to my age and history of having broken a contract. But if I can get past those, there will be immediate money there. And *that* is the real point I was making that everyone was missing. Zanon, I don't know which topic you're finding interesting -- the actual thread (obstacles when you know what you want) or the lowest good-enough salary appropriate to each dreamer, which was the most recent thing we were discussing. But I hope you're still interested :-) Ana
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