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Cat Breet on Career Search Post COVID

Jun 09, 2021
 

 Season 2, Episode 23

Summary:

“If you get in by referral, you have a 40% chance of getting that job. If you get introduced to a decision maker, you have a 60% chance of getting hired. If you get introduced to the hiring manager, you've got a 92% chance of getting a job. So talk to people, because it dramatically cuts your job search down by 55%.” - Cat Breet

Cat Breet has been playing career matchmaker for 23 years, and along the way has had a few career changes herself. Her experiences help others evaluate and mitigate their career risks especially now in the new world of work. She is the Chief Stripe Changer, President and founder of Arbez, and has taught over 167,000 people how to get more money, freedom and fun out of work. She also hosts Planet Work Live on LinkedIn on Tuesdays and Thursdays to add perspective and the full human experience of work. Cat shares how COVID is changing the workplace, what’s become more important to employees, and how companies need to change in order to be a desirable place to work in the post-Covid era. Gain job search tips and how to evaluate if it’s a new career or entrepreneurship you’re seeking. 

 

Links:

Arbez

Cat Breet

Planet Work Live

 

Transcript:

Michael Kithcart:

Hello, I'm Michael Kithcart. I'm an executive coach who helps worn out achievers become thriving high performers using my winning your way framework. Welcome to the Champions of RISK, where we examine the many aspects of risk so we can all face uncertainty with more courage, confidence and some humor together. Let me ask you, how much do you love your job? I mean, like on a day to day basis on a scale of one to five with one being low, how would you rate your job satisfaction? A lot of people are asking themselves that question these days. So today, we are going to talk about how COVID has changed career transition for people and how companies are dealing with it. And I just happened to have the absolute perfect guest to discuss this topic. I'd like to welcome Cat Breet. She has been playing career matchmaker for 23 years, and along the way has had a few career changes herself. Her experiences help others evaluate and mitigate their career risks, especially now in the new world of work. She is the chief strike changer, president and founder of Arbez, and she has taught over 167,000 Yes, thousand, people how to get more money, freedom and fun out of their work. This is going to be a great conversation. Cat is an author, speaker and consultant, she does it all. And if that wasn't enough, by the way, she owns a zebra, his name is Joe. And you can bet that we are going to talk about that. So Cat, welcome to the Champions of RISK podcast.

Cat Breet:

Good morning. Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here. I love your show.

Michael Kithcart:

Ah, thank you. Thank you, we, we have a hot topic to discuss. Because, you know, going out on a limb and deciding that you are going to change your career is a big deal for a lot of people. And the best way to teach is to pull from personal experience. So what is it about your experience in in career search in your lifetime, that made you want to help others?

Cat Breet:

Oh, my gosh, her name was Scary Mary. I was. Ironically, it was my very first job. As a recruiter, I was working for a global consulting firm. And all I had to do is pick up the phone, talk people and get them hired, it sounded so simple. And the reality is, it was not easy. It was a sales job. It was numbers. I was terrified of rejection, and I was about to get fired. And to make matters worse, there was an executive VP. So she was like three clicks above my boss and she was terrifying. She believed in old school like fear management, like public shaming and spoke, we had those 7am meetings and we'd have to go through our candidates and our numbers of money hires we were going to get; I was a disaster. I'd been there like three months. And I was just trying to hold it all together. And one day, I heard her voice in the hallway. And she was not supposed to be in town. So I was not emotionally prepared for her that day. And I didn't have my numbers together. And I knew she was going to grill me in public about my numbers. So what did I do? I did what any smart 24 year old does. I jumped out of my chair and I climbed under my desk.

Michael Kithcart:

Oh! (laughing)

Cat Breet:

Not my finest moment. But I tell you what, it was a defining moment in my career and my life because I realized this ain't working. This something's got to change and the only person who can do it is me. And by the way, I'd spent three months blaming her for her bad management style. You know what? I look myself in the mirror and take accountability and make a choice? Are you gonna quit? Are you gonna stay a doormat? Are you gonna stand up so, you know, my fire my passion. So the great, obviously, I didn't quit, I chose to stand up to her and defend myself and get my shit together. And two years later and tripled my income and things were great. I tell you what, 10 years later, I woke up in a toxic job with a rotten boss and I quit that time, within 30 days. So I am obsessed with helping people find work that they love and get more money freedom and fun just like you are and on top of my personal experiences. I have been helping other people do it for 23 years. Oh, I know a thing or two about how to do it.

Michael Kithcart:

Yeah, I love the fact that at 24 you realized personal accountability. Because it takes some people a little bit longer to stop on that journey dream right? And so how do you help people decide between the time when you should buck up and and stay and when you should quit?

Cat Breet:

Right, because it is risky, right? And I knew in that moment when I, okay, let me be honest with you, I did not stand up to her on that day, it took me three weeks and a lot of tears and anger and pillow punching and conversations to figure out what was I going to do. And back then it was really just conversation with myself. 10 years later, my risk was much- right, I was 24, I knew I could quit and go get another job as a bartender or whatever. So the risk was pretty low. When I was 33, and I had a husband and two babies and house on the risk was much greater. Because I was- income was not a nice to have, it was a gotta have. And, you know, in my 30s, the career risk was a lot higher as well, what are people gonna think is that a mistake, blah, blah, blah. So I'll tell you what I did when I was 33. Because I think your audience is mostly people with a few years under their belt, where they might have families, homes, and lots of things to worry about. So here is how I made that decision when I was 33. Build a scorecard for myself, which is now my most popular tool, and all of my courses. Its priority scorecard. Basically, I help people make a list. What are the 10 most important things in your life, your life, not just your career, your life. In order of importance, then you rank them and you give a value to each one so So Michael, what's the most important thing to you in your life right now?

Michael Kithcart:

Freedom!

Cat Breet:

Alright, so on your priority scorecard freedom would have a weight of 10 points. Now on the bottom your list, what's like a one and a half, but not a gotta have? You want it, but...

Michael Kithcart:

Hmm, that's a good one. What's- I spend so much time prioritizing the top ones. A low one, what would be nice to have? I don't know maybe like a vacation home?

Cat Breet:

Okay,

Michael Kithcart:

A second home, yeah.

Cat Breet:

Alright! Funny you should mention that. That was number four on my list when I was considering quitting this job. Because I really wanted a cabin in the woods, on a lake. So that's low on your totem pole. That's worth one point. Here's what the scorecard does for people. The most important is freedom. 10 points. The want to have, but I'm okay with not getting that right now, today. One point. So when you're evaluating, Should I stay? Or should I go? Yeah, ask yourself in the job or the career that I'm in right now? Am I getting it? Yes or no? And if you're getting it, if you have freedom, that's worth 10 points. If you're making boatloads of money, that so you can get that cabin in the woods, vacation home, maybe you don't want to be a cabin in the woods. Maybe you want to be on a beach somewhere,

Michael Kithcart:

I was thinking another country?

Cat Breet:

Oh, right. You gotta tune in to my show Planet Work on June 17th. I'm bringing in greenback expat taxes to talk about tax advantages of living abroad and running your business. So yeah, I'll send you a link to that. So my priority, you know, vacation home isn't urgent for you right now. So that'll be worth one. If you're evaluating right now with your own business in blah, blah, blah. And you've got both of those that's worth 11 points. If you are somebody who's tuning in this morning, and flexibility and freedom is most important, and you don't have that at work. It's a minus 10. So you add up, am I getting it or not. And all of a sudden, you're able to take your emotions and put them to the side and look numerically at a score that says, This is why I'm so unhappy. So when I did this, when I was 33, my score for my current job with that horrible boss, a job I hated was negative 22. Wheew! All right, so then I couldn't ignore it. My husband had said, I don't know who you are, I want my wife back, you gotta quit. I freaked out, I can't quit. I did the scorecard and said, I gotta quit. So then the question is, then what do you do? Well, in the second column, you evaluate your opportunities, you go get a job at another company. Do you totally transform your career? Do you start your own business and you evaluate your various opportunities and priorities again you out of a score and all of a sudden it becomes crystal clear what the right choices so that's piece one, then you got to get your exit strategy is now the right time. And I'm not a financial adviser, but I'm living debt free. I have two homes. And I got there because I looked at the money every time I made a major career change and you need to do so yes, you know, you got to make a move you want to make a change is now the right time. I don't know only you can decide. Money is one piece of it. Career family, blah, blah blah. Lots of things to consider. You might be a working parent with small kids at home. And flexibility is your number one that might overshadow your desire to travel the world. Right. So I priority scorecard. My short answer.

Michael Kithcart:

That- (laughing). Well, it's super valuable because you just walked people through it. And we'll we'll be sure to put a link in the show notes. But what courses that that you teach that people could actually get that have you walk them through that, because there are people listening right now who are thinking they're on the fence.

Cat Breet:

I would love to help you. If you go to Arbez.com and click on our courses page, you can see all of our courses, it depends on what you want. If you're dreaming about a better job with a company you love. That is our Get Hired Faster and Easier course and it helps you with everything from the dreaming, prioritizing gameplan execution, even now I got the job now what so if you want a new job, a new career, that's the course for you. If you want to start your own business and become a highly paid consultant, solopreneur entrepreneur, we've got a series of courses there for you as well.

Michael Kithcart:

Okay, that's fantastic. let's address the piece that there are a lot of people who probably rank themselves pretty low at the start of the podcast here, you know, they're at a one or a two and that job satisfaction, yet they're so resistant to move forward to find something that's better for them. What's the risk in finding a new career?

Cat Breet:

Well, you might not like it. You know, the biggest mistake people make when they change careers is when they're unhappy. When you are really unhappy. There's a danger that you're going to just make a rash decision and jump before you really evaluate. That's what I did. I was 33. I, within a job I absolutely loved as director of recruiting and a global consulting firm got laid off. And I was like, dang it. I love recruiting. I'm great at this, but I really want to see what it's like to work inside a global company. So I went to one of my clients who knew me and loved me, and they hired me. And I had my rose colored glasses on. Stupid, right? I'd been a recruiter for 12 years, I should've known better. I did not evaluate carefully enough, what my priorities were, what fun at work looked like for me. Therefore, I did not ask the tough enough questions in the hiring process, I fell in love with the company. And the people got in there and woke up and said, Oh, my gosh, I am miserable. So that risk number one is that you might not like what you go to. So you got to go through the evaluations. Number two, when you're out shopping around because I say before you jump, you've got to talk to people, you got to do market research, interview people that are in that industry, you have to be careful how you announce to the world that you're shopping, because you could get fired from your current job. Listen, if your boss hears you are shopping actively, you're probably going to wake up to a box and a Get out of here conversation. So that's the second risk. Those are the two biggest ones.

Michael Kithcart:

Okay. And then there are we have lots of entrepreneurs who listen to the podcast too. And there's that big shifting moment where I'm not going to work for the man anymore that that was my mantra, no longer working for the man. So in that case, what what's just a, you know, one or two of those core things that people really have to get real about if they think that they are going to leap and start their own business.

Cat Breet:

You got to think about, there are two questions you need to ask yourself, number one, do I have the stomach for it? You got the chops? I can tell you and you can tell people, Michael, if you want it, you will be successful. That's not the question. The question is, do you have a stomach for it? Michael and I can both attest to life. On the other side is the fantastic, stability, money, and then there are the bad days and the scary days, and the global pandemics and the great recessions, that take our revenue from here to here overnight. It's not for the faint of heart. So the first question, Do I really have the stomach for it? Do I just like the romance and the idea of being my own boss? Or do I really want it? That's number one. The second question you need to ask is, is now the right time in my life, and that's going back to what we talked about earlier. Um, I'm not a financial planner. But I can tell you if you are up to your hocks in debt, and you have no cash reserves, this is not the time for you to go get crazy and start your own exciting new business. That being said, there are ways for you to start your own business right now, today. Even if you're up to your hocks in debt. I call it starting easy, which is starting a side hustle, Keep your full time job, side hustle. The second way I call starting easy, starting smart, which is go get a job as a consultant. Let a staffing or consulting firm, find you your first project, make sure the money is great that you can start socking away some cash reserves. It's work you love to do when you're going through a professional recruiting or consulting firm that can manage expectations be there to help you blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's a safe way for you to try it on for size without all of the risk of starting your own business from scratch, like Michael and I did.

Michael Kithcart:

Yeah, yep, absolutely. Okay-

Cat Breet:

Hey Michael, guess what, what? I can help people and I'll provide it for you can give it an a link. I've got a free assessment that helps people answer that question about the stomach, and is now the right time.

Michael Kithcart:

Love it. Okay, great. That, we'll make sure we get that in the show notes too. Let's go back to just you know, what's happened with all of us being in isolation for the last, you know, 14-15 months? What are you noticing are some of the patterns now of people searching for jobs? Post COVID versus, you know, back in 2019.

Cat Breet:

You know, people have always left bad bosses, they've always jumped for more money. What used to push people out the door were those things primarily. You know, when a recruiter called, they weren't looking, but a recruiter called today. On the heel- well, we're not out of COVID yet, but you know what I mean. Today, bad bosses will still chase people out, but much more urgently. So here's what happened. We all keep hearing Katy Perry's song in my head, I'm Wide Awake. People are- so COVID forced every single one of us to reevaluate our priorities, get crystal clear on what matters most in our life, and its family and friends and community. Right. So maybe people were asleep at the wheel, they were putting up with bosses and unhappiness and disengagement at work. They're like, it's okay, I'll just suck it up for the next 5-10 years. Those days are gone, people are now wide awake. And they realize a couple of things. First of all, I could lose this job tomorrow. What's the there's no security, every single job is temporary. Gone are the 30- so they're wide awake, they realize, number one, what their priorities are. Number two, every job is temporary. So then it starts to beg the question, if I can lose my job tomorrow isn't worth being that unhappy? But there's a much more urgency. Let's talk the real urgency. I have a friend who posted on LinkedIn just yesterday. And she said, Hi, I'm a mom of four. And guess what? School shut down. My kids are back home for two weeks, and I'm working full time. So is my husband, so we're still in this reality. And that work life balance issue that used to be sort of maybe a nice to have is now critical. So that's new, but because of the wokeness, I don't think it's going away, I believe and I hope people now are going to hold on to that clarity around what matters. So that's what's new. The urgency, the clarity, that sort of thing. Um, what's the opportunity? Like, you said it, your number one priority is freedom. And guess what people? you can get that. So technology. I've been the hiring and launching consultants for 23 years, back in the day, it was tough to get high speed internet at home. And to find opportunities. Today, you can sell your house and go move to a beach in Thailand, and work remotely chop, chop, chop, no problem. So your opportunities are boundless, which is really exciting and new. And for companies can no longer reject the idea that remote workforce is effective, because we've been proving it for 14 months. So that is new and different and exciting. But I can tell you, the resistors are already starting to push people back into the office.

Michael Kithcart:

Yeah, so let's talk about the other side of the coin here. Because this side, the company side is is going to help determine whether you're not you're going to initiate that job search or not. So what is it that companies need to be doing differently as they are bringing people back in whatever shape or form they're doing? What needs to change on that side?

Cat Breet:

Um, really interesting you asked that. I had a guest on my Planet Work show yesterday who's a global thought leader, he's been chasing, covering, living the freelance revolution for the last nine or 10 years John Younger. So he's great for you guys to go check out. If you're a business leader, an HR leader and you're wondering what to do. Like he's got some great articles and tips on it. So you can also go to www.planetwork.live, listen. So here, here are the suggestions that he had for business and HR leaders. Number one, you can no longer ignore it. The freelance revolution is here to stay, can't ignore it. Number two, an agile, flexible workforce is really good for your business. But number three, if you continue to just treat it as an afterthought, and just in time workforce, you're a not going to be able to attract top talent be you're going to lose your top performers. So what do you need to do today? When you're staring at your top performers, your ply achievers who are worn worn out, burned out? What did you say when you started your show? Michael, this is exactly what you do. You help worn out high achievers...

Michael Kithcart:

Yep, Turn into thriving, high performers. Yeah.

Cat Breet:

Yeah. And if you want to be the business leader, or HR leader who is enabling your high achievers to do a couple of things, start talking to them. Like forget the formalities and dancing around the topic, just go head to head and say, how are you doing? How are you doing? We've been full tilt for 15 months. I'm feeling, like burned out; how are you doing? So identify your- it's the old 80/20, right? Figure out who your most critical employees are that you want to hold on to, and talk to them. And ask them how they're doing. Ask them what they need and want from you moving forward. And you know what you should do? If they are feeling burned out and you want to retain them, I think you should call Michael Kithcart and say, can you come in and help my high achievers figure it out? How's that for a plug for you?

Michael Kithcart:

(laughing)

Cat Breet:

But seriously, you're gonna have to wake up, embrace and invest in your high achievers. Because what I can tell you is the recruiters are calling number one. They've got choices. Number two, they're dreaming about being their own boss, one in four, right now are considering scaling, quitting. And number one, number three, too. Yeah, that's it. Wake up and lean in.

Michael Kithcart:

High performers want to work with other high performers. So if you are losing your top people, it's gonna, it's just gonna escalate because the other high performers that are still there are like I got to get out of here. I don't want to be hanging with average people. And it's, it's true. So it'll be really interesting to to see that people, and I'm curious if you're hearing this too. On some level, people are feeling more worn out exhausted and overwhelmed. Right now, as we're like, entering this new era, whatever it's going to look like. Then they were even like, six months into COVID.

Cat Breet:

Absolutely. I had another guest on my show a couple of weeks ago on that issue of burnout. She's a psychologist who does corporate psychology, health, wellness. And she said that the high achievers have been carrying it all. At home at work. They've been like getting it done the last 15 months. But we are physically and mentally built to run from lions. We are not built for long, sustained trauma, uncertainty, upheaval. And so people the high achievers are starting to burnout and collapse right now, when we haven't seen that at all. So right now is the critical time for companies and individuals who pay attention, wake up and say, all right, Something's got to give here. I can't I can't carry all these balls anymore. Something's got to drop. What's it going to be?

Michael Kithcart:

Yeah. You know, way before COVID. There have been things in the workplace that some companies embrace and others absolutely say no to things like job shares, flexible work schedules, you know, leave that extends to people caring for aging parents, making sure that there's you know, paternity leave, as well as maternity leave, things like that. How much of those just like quality of life pieces do you think are just gonna start to become the norm in the business world?

Cat Breet:

Well, I got to tell you, the young people are going to save this planet and they are going to save corporations because they are wide awake. They have watched their parents get just cut unceremoniously, after sacrificing family. So 40 and under are not going to put up with it. Period, full stop, like they will demand and they're already demanding it: the flexibility to freedom. And if you don't give it to them, they're going to go somewhere else. So companies are going to have to respond to this, and I know there are a lot of business leaders that are pushing back on me and saying, But unemployment is still high. I mean, I don't have to do these special things right now because I can get great talent. And I said, mark my words, you just stay in your ivory tower and and just think that. I'm telling you, your top performers are well known in their industry, they are getting called right now and your competitors, your smart competitors are taking advantage of the situation. Um, I that's what we'd one of the things we do here at our best people basically use me as a lead magnet for talent, and clients. So I get to do my one of my most popular talks right now. It's called career crunch. It's all about on the brink of burnout, what to do. And there are companies that are using my keynote and workshop to attract high achievers that don't need a new job, but they are not happy. So they come on in and they listen to my workshop. And then at the back end, my host, my sponsor says, Hey, by the way, you want to know what your career could look like here, flexibility, freedom, money, time off with your family and your parents. So that's what the smart companies are doing right now. They're just figuring it out. They're getting it done. And they are just accepting now and forever forward, we're going to have to offer the best employees flexibility, and all of those barriers you were talking about.

Michael Kithcart:

Yeah. So for some that sounds really great. And the next question will be okay, Cat, who are those businesses that are, are doing that? So in absence of you doing a list, you know, a naming of what should people who have already decided it is time for me to go? What are some new ways that they should be taking into consideration as they're starting their search?

Cat Breet:

Yeah, you know, new ways to search, believe it or not, 23 years in the business. And old school is the best way networking, you know, think back to how our parents got jobs when they were young, it was all about talking to your neighbors talking to people that you know, and saying, Hey, I'm thinking about this, what do you think? So that is still the very best way. And so number one, you got to talk to people, that's the best way to find out what's possible, find out what you qualified for, identify your gaps, and get those personal introductions in when you talk to people instead of trying to apply online. If you apply online for jobs, you have a 12% chance of getting hired. Well, percent. If I asked you for 100 bucks and said 12% chance, I'll give it back to you, would you give me 100 bucks, of course not. Your time is precious. And when you go waste it applying for jobs online, you're getting a 12% return on your time. Networking, if you get in by

Michael Kithcart:

Yep. No, that's that is great. What would referral, you have a 40% chance of getting that job. If you get introduced to a decision maker, you have a 60% chance of getting hired. So and if you get introduced to the hiring manager, you've got a 92% chance of getting a job. So talk to people talk to people, first of all, because it dramatically cuts your job search down by 55%. It gets you to the front of the line, you can avoid all of the headache over the perfect resume and all of the hoops, you just jump to the front of the line. And the odds are stacked in your favor and they start wooing you. So that's kind of the first thing. The second thing is, it's so easy to talk to people, it is so easy to find people. So what I want you to do, I want to talk to people who know you and love you and know who good good you are. If you're going to talk to strangers. And I think what you should do I know what you should do is go out and look for the people who are on fire in your dream career or job. They're on fire they are posting on LinkedIn or maybe Instagram. You love what they're doing. you admire what they're doing. And you think I want to be like that. Those are the people you need to reach out, introduce yourself to and say, Hey, I love what you're doing. You got 10 minutes, I'd love to pick your brain. That is how you will find awesome opportunities. And number three tip, it is a numbers game. So it's just like shopping for house. You want a new career, you want a new job, you want a new client. It's like shopping for a house if you only look at three houses. And none of them has everything you're looking for. Those are your choices. If you look at 40 houses, all of a sudden you can get picky and say, Nope, I'm no taking a house that ain't on cul de sac. So it's a number game, the more people you tal to the more super cool awesome opportunities you'll have. Which number four, top dollar, when you have two or three options. You can go to the one you really want and say hey, you know w at, Michael? I cannot wait to work with you. A little bit of a problem here. I'm gonna sell their company over here that offered me 22% more, you think we can work on you say that you are seeing with career seekers. Right now again, we're talking about people who have had success in their career their mid to late in that but what are they still fail to take into consideration when they're looking for that next opportunity?

Cat Breet:

Yeah. So, you know, especially for people that have been really successful, and they've never had to go look for a job, or jobs have always had to come look for them. It can be a real shock all the little pieces that they don't, they're blind spots like they are over and I do a talk for executives in transition. And it's basically, would you hire you? is the question that I ask. You know, do you look good? Is your LinkedIn profile, does it have some sizzle in it? Is it sexy? Is it clear? Is it compelling? Or is it just, this is what I did, just chronology. You can't assume that your title, and the companies that you've worked for are going to get you a fantastic new opportunity. It's about breathing life into that and and getting beyond the job title and the brands, it's good to have some high profile brands, but you really got to talk about what are you really going to do for me that success, the metrics? You know, I increased revenue by 23%, in 7.2 months, that kind of thing. So be careful not to assume people are just gonna understand your value the minute they see you. That's the number one mistake high achievers make. The second one is they make an approach, Well, I'll figure it out know what, when I see it, let me tell you what happens if you approach a career transition with the frame, I'll know it when I see it.

it's going to take you a long, stinking time. The reason the average job search in America right now is taking over seven months is because people are not focused. Not figured out you know, I want a new house and you're looking all over the New York City area. Come on, you got to figure out what borough, how much you want to spend, what you want the house criteria before you go shopping. Same thing with a job search. So get gotta get clear on your what you want next. Then the rest of it all falls in place. Number three mistake is looking at the market and looking for excuses. If you look for things that are out of your control as barriers, they're going to become barriers. I'm too old, I'm over 50. Nobody wants me, the market isn't good. COVID is still here, on and on and on. If you look for excuses, you're gonna find them and they will become your barriers. Let go of what you can't control focus on what you can control. You're a top performer in your focus doesn't matter what the market is doing, or what the pandemic is doing, you will find an awesome opportunity.

Michael Kithcart:

Yeah, yeah. Let's talk about the difference between men and women searching for jobs for a moment. Because and I still, gosh, I hear it, and I see it all the time. So I can only imagine with you focused on career transition, what it must be like, but women want to have all the boxes checked off. And men, if there's one, you know, if there's a couple, so how do you help women in particular, get over that qualification hurdle?

Cat Breet:

Yeah.

Michael Kithcart:

I'm air quoting.

Cat Breet:

No, I know, it is, um, we could talk for hours about why women hold themselves back. One of the biggest reasons you're talking about now is the feeling like they have to check all those boxes, they have to be fully 100% qualified, before they apply. Men are not tethered by the same self restraint. It's just classic. And I've seen it over and over. And I've seen it 1000s of times. And so the, how do I coach women through this? Number one, wake up, your competition ain't doing this. They. So number one, your competition isn't doing it. The men are not doing this. Number two employers never expect the perfect candidate. They know that their wish list is unreasonable. And they are not going to find the perfect candidate. So they put the checklist out there. They're hoping you have most of it. But they're not expecting perfect. So your standard for yourself is higher than the companies. Now that being said, keywords do matter. And if you can't resist applying online, you're going to have to play the keywords search game and then translate and match your resume and your LinkedIn profile to their keywords or you'll never get a call. But if you're networking, let go and focus on the company, the opportunity, what their business challenges are one value you can provide. And forget about that checklist of things you don't have focus on what you can do for them and and identify the gaps and say, all right, yeah, okay, so I have never done pivot tables in Excel. Oh my gosh, I can figure that out. In fact, I just wanted a free course online. I know exactly how to do it. Want me to show you? So yeah, it's awareness that women hold themselves back around the qualifications, negotiation. We were not raised or trained to ask for more money. Therefore, we don't. Men are three times more successful at negotiation, not because we're not capable. But because we were told, be grateful, be humble, and nobody taught us we could or how, but you can, and you should. And you need to. And guess what? When you ask for it nine times out of 10, you're going to get it.

Michael Kithcart:

Right. Right. There's just so much personal accountability that is weaved through everything that you're saying cat, and it is it's just eliminating me excuses. You need to decide decide, there is a better opportunity out there for you. You don't have to figure out what it is or how you're going to do it. Because that's what stops you in your game. But decide and and then start taking action and start with your, your inner circle. Right, right. Like start with the people that you know, and then work your way outward. Because you start getting more comfortable and you hone your skills and what your story is, the more times you tell it, right.

Cat Breet:

I mean, yeah, you know, on that note, Michael, that's such a great point. And I want to circle back to what we talked about earlier, because sometimes I scare people, because I say you want to figure out what you want. And so they don't do anything. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying what you just said, figure out what you want by talking to people in your immediate circle, reaching out. Here's what you do, instead of telling a stranger that you found and admired, and you want to be like them, instead of telling them I want a new job. Can you help me? That is the kiss of death. Don't do that. Instead say, Oh, my gosh, I've been following you for years. And I would just like to pick your brain and figure out, you know, did you get into this? Like, what do you love about it? What do you- I think I might like a career in that, but not sure. Put on your market research hat, not your job search hat. And that gives you freedom and safety to explore and figure out what you want. So I'm so glad that you brought that up. Yeah. Thanks. I'm also curious. So now we know we've kind of, you know, structured it with people who are looking for new opportunities, career opportunities, if you are working in a corporation right now, and you could in influence, both recruitment and retention. What would you do? Hire Michael Kithcart.

Michael Kithcart:

(laughing)

Cat Breet:

Okay, short of that, What- so recruiting and retention, you know, kind of back to the earlier things that I said, this is the new world of work, remote work, flexibility, freedom demands are not going away and stop worrying about the masses and start focusing on Who do you need. You need the high performers, you need the top performers in your industry, how are you going to get them, you're going to focus on them, you're going to make your workforce, inclusive, open, safe to talk about having babies at work, taking care of your elderly parents, taking vacation, like be human. A friend of mine, Mike McCarthy started a club called the Humans First club, and it went global overnight. So those are some tips from the sort of attraction and retention and they're two sides of the same coin, you can't have one without the other, the worst thing you can do is woo them on the front end and sell them a bill of goods and then not deliver. So on the retention side, you know, hit rewind, listen to our earlier part of the podcast where we talked about things you can do to retain your high achievers mostly figure out who they are, sit down and say to them, how are you doing? What do you need and want from me? So be the leader that is brave enough to look at yourself as the obstacle remover? Not the boss.

Michael Kithcart:

Yeah.

Cat Breet:

What do you need? What do you want? How can I remove those obstacles? And if your high achievers come to you and say, I don't even know what I need, I just, I'm overwhelmed. I don't know what I need. You got a couple of options. You can sit down and be that coach that helps you, you can hire Michael to work as an executive coach with those people you want to retain, you can bring me in to do you know, a global enterprise wide just a keynote just kind of wake people up. And you know what i do that you do, Michael, with my career crunch keynote, it's about waking people up to their individual personal accountability. So while you're begging your employees to take accountability, Michael and I are there saying stop waiting for the boss to give you permission to stop waiting for HR to give you you know, flexibility, you can figure out what you want and need and then go get it

Michael Kithcart:

Absolutely. Yeah, that that is that figure out how to win your own damn way. And you know that that obstacle piece too. I also want to speak for a moment to that those middle managers or you know, the layered management who will say you know, my hands are tied, it's a corporate dictate or corporate says this and that, that is no longer acceptable. I would like to say it was never acceptable. But if you think That line is going to keep people wanting to follow you. If you think that is a form of leadership, let's just be super clear it is absolutely not. And there has to be individual ownership at that middle and higher level, pre executive level of leadership to really stand up and create the environment, do it for your team, even if it can't be company wide yet, do it for your team.

Cat Breet:

It's a great point. You know, when I was 26, I got promoted to director of recruiting with a team of 12. And Michael, I was so insecure and scared and overwhelmed, and proud, and all of that stuff. And then one day, just a couple of months in one of my recruiters said to me, I need you to have my back. What I need is because I asked the question, what do you need from me and he said, I need you to have my back. And I need you to get that guy away from me. And I was like, woah, I had to make a choice. I was 26. I barely had any answers. I was brand new to management. But I knew if I wanted to keep my best recruiters, and succeed as a leader, I had to find my backbone and stand up to the bullies. That's really what my most important job was, is to stand up and tell them no more. You cannot treat my recruiters this way, and have their back. And I'm happy to say I earned the nickname, and actually I was mortified. The first time I heard them called me the Rottweiler I was mortified. And then they explained, no, we know that you got our back. And I'm like, oh, okay, I think that's a good thing. Don't wait for anybody else to do this for you stand up right where you are. And by the way, leadership happens at all levels. If you're not even the boss, you are not a manager and you're on a team, and you see problems, stand up, do something.

Michael Kithcart:

Right, be a baller. It doesn't matter about what the position what your title is. So this is I mean, you know, Cat, clearly you and I, we love this stuff, and we talk about it forever. Before I let you go, we have to talk about the pet zebra. What's the story morning glory?

Cat Breet:

Oh, did you know when you marry a guy from Southern Africa that you're going to get a zebra as a wedding present?

Michael Kithcart:

No, oh my god I love this.

Cat Breet:

I did not know that either. And turns out you got to marry the right guy in the right family. So I my husband is from South Africa. And and when we met, his parents met me and found out I grew up on horseback and they just thought it would be really stinking funny to buy us a pair of zebras as a wedding present. So we got his and hers zebras. And they gave us doc certificates. So we knew they weren't lying and a headshot a picture they took when he came off the trailer to their farm. They were collecting wildebeest and zebra and giraffes. And so Joe went to live with them on their farm in South Africa. And they said Welcome to the family. Here's your zebra now you have to come visit us to meet your zebra and by the way, will you bring our son along please?

Michael Kithcart:

(Laughing) And have you done that?

Cat Breet:

Oh, many times. Yeah, six times since then. And I actually moved there in 2001 because finding one zebra in a herd of 30 is just as easy as finding your ideal career. And so anyway, that's why Joe is the mascot for our business, which is our best zebra backwards. And we help people change their stripes stand out from the herd and do what they love for a living. Ba-dum!

Michael Kithcart:

Oh, and it all comes together. That's fantastic, Cat thank you so much for being a great guest on the Champions of RISK podcast. How can people find you?

Cat Breet:

they can go to LinkedIn it's my, I'm out there every day. Cat Breet, so far I'm the only one, touch wood CatBreet.com, if you're interested in hiring me as a speaker seeing what I'm up to from a corporate recruitment retention kind of thing, and then Arbez.com if you're an individual who is dreaming about a new leaf and you either want to go get a new job, or you want to start your own business all of our courses are available right now out at Arbez.com

Michael Kithcart:

Okay, that is great

Cat Breet:

And planetwork.live! yeah planet- So twice a week I do a LinkedIn live show. We'd love to have you there too.

Michael Kithcart:

Live on LinkedIn, everybody and we'll make sure that we make it easy for you to find all those. Cat Thank you so much.

Cat Breet:

Thank you, Michael. Keep doing you. We need you out there. Have a wonderful rest of the day.

Michael Kithcart: 

Hey, if you're like most people you want this year to be better than last year. Right? So how's it going so far? Chances are you're making some progress. But how is that momentum going? If you'd like to find ways to accelerate your goals, check out Champion You Group Coaching each month other high performers just like you meet virtually to learn new ways to break down current barriers and put action and momentum behind their goals. If you're looking to get diff rent results in business and n life, then discover how Cham ion You Group Coaching can support you in achieving your own version of an unstoppable 2021 click on the link in the show notes or go to michaelwkithcart.com for more information and sign up.

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