• Courtney Kirschaum

This'll make your stock soar

Almost everyone knows the term "peloton" now, because a stationary bike company turned it into the call sign of an elite, monied fitness clique. Project managers and some leaders joke about “herding cats.” Tennis players talk about putting “spin” on the ball. "Watch your six" started with World War I fighter pilots. If you were at a horse show, you might hear someone counting strides or talk about seeing “spots.” A casual observer wouldn’t know that riders navigating a course of jumps count the strides between fences and look for a “spot.” That "spot" is ideal place in front of a fence that gives the just-right arc to the horse and rider.

Showing you understand a secret language instantly raises your credibility.

The irony here is you already do this without thinking about it... until you start looking for job. Hand to the sky it happens every time! Being on that stage makes even the most bulletproof among us self-conscious and insecure. We start talking to "impress." Do we really need to do this? Nope. It's not your fault.

The hiring process is so de-humanized, it's hard not be affected by it.

Use your knowing language and people become present and interested. It makes us feel understood or at least that understanding is possible. That's your moneymaker. One word can take you there. And it's not MBA or PhD.

Those are credentials, but they aren't necessarily credibility.

Ask anyone who's got one. Despite all the rules and rhetoric, people want to be heard and understood. If they value rhetoric and the ever-changing job hunt ruleset over that, chances are you don't want to sign an employment contract with 'em. These will get you started:

  • What words or phrases affirm belonging in the world you want in on? Use them in your materials and don't edit them out of your speech to be more "professional."

  • What does the person you want to connect with need to hear from you to know that you "get it."

  • What "call sign" shows them you're not only competent but confident?

Watch your six.


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