Category Archives: Self-Help

Being influenced and becoming influential

In my junior year in high school (2002) I spent a lot of time ditching school and participating in online gaming. Deductive reasoning can lead you to the possibility that I might not have been a popular student. However, online gaming gave me an outlet to meet others with common interest and build strong bonds. During the after hours of hardcore gaming I came across a discussion board dominated by east coast gamer’s. It was a forum dedicated to a top-tier clan from the NYC area.  At the time of my browsing there was a popular discussion called “Do you believe in God” in the “Thought Provoking Forum”

I had no idea that me sharing my thoughts about God publicly would change my life forever, and I seriously mean that. Lets just say I was blind in my faith and didn’t feel I needed to support my claims what so ever. On that very day, I got my ass handed to me. It was defeat. I felt humiliated. But it was a blessing in disguise. For you to truly appreciate the good in life you need to experience the bad. I was being influenced by a person who was clearly capable of experiencing life on a higher intellectual plane.

That didn’t keep me from experiencing life on that level though. I was determined to not be portrayed as someone who is “dumb” or “stupid”. Along with that feeling, I also have an innate need to display value and leadership to others. I feel deeply fulfilled when I know deep down in my heart that I have been of service to society. We all participate in being influenced by others and influencing those around us. It just depends on what level of the spectrum.

In all professional fields such as recruiting and even in life in general we’re taking part in a giving and taking relationship. It’s like the circle of life. Simply speaking, the universe and the human species as a whole operate in this fashion. In my opinion, those who “succeed” best in this process are those who take time being influenced by others good and bad and then share that experience and knowledge to others and specifically the next generation.

This blog post is directed to those who KNOW deep down who/what they want to become and to push them to be the best in that specific area. Whether it be in the recruiting field, music industry, acting field and so on. Let this bring to light the process to a conscious level in your mind. Also, understand that the end result does not happen over night. But, you will be able to notice results right away depending on how much you act upon your desire. Let us begin.

It is in my belief, that there is a list of  passive and active interests that allows a person to move from talented to influential in a particular area of interest(s). Passive talents consist of reading, observing, and listening. On the opposite side of the spectrum, in the active category there is writing, speaking and acting. Allow me to elaborate.

There is a saying among aspiring writers, to keep them on the path to becoming a better writer, that is “when a good writer is not writing, he reads”. I think that’s simple to understand. In our case, sticking with the theme of bettering yourself in your career we are looking to experience others by being passive and vulnerable. This allows learning to take place. Anyone can write, but a person who is influential builds an audience through his writing. To do that, he has to have spent a substantial amount of time experiencing life’s lessons and taking part in passive actions. The more reading you do the more knowledge you can consume, and the more knowledge you consume the better your chances are at providing value to others.

A smart student/pupil spends time gathering information such as video programs, audio recording, or positioning himself in areas where he can potentially meet and speak to those who are influential in his field. He then can spend time soaking up this knowledge while also having reading materials in his weaponry. The more he spends time studying, the better his confidence will be when he goes out into the field to experience what it’s all about. Life itself, is the best teacher. As long as the student is willing to learn from his mistakes. To many human beings go through life being close minded, and eventually grow old and can not escape detrimental behavior. Once you have spent time building up your own thoughts and opinions you then can move along the spectrum and participate in speaking events. This really begins to build your persona as a person of great value.

You may be thinking to yourself that both of these terms seem to stick out like a swore thumb. I agree. But I am going to try to stick with them anyway. I will start by explaining the semantics behind the usage of “acting”. When I say act, I don’t mean on the stage or on a movie set. I mean your daily life. What you do as a person, who you talk to, what you eat, the information you consume, and how you act, and above all, how others portray you.

By explaining this, now you should get the gist of the term “observing”. Like I said earlier, a student needs to play a passive role and be vulnerable to the process of learning for the sake of consuming knowledge. This last part is about him or her spending time and stalking/lurking others who seem to play that influence role, and they try to understand that person at a deeper level. Even the psychology of that given person. This circumstance only takes place if the person really wants to be come that spotlight character that others can go to for valuable content. If that’s the case, expect to shift your lifestyle to fit your calling. If you are an actor, you need to be watching movies of great actors, watching bravo’s the actors studio, watching behind the scenes features on DVD’s, reading blogs and forums, and networking with other actors/actresses. Not to mention your close eye on your physical features. Taking care of your face, maintaining a specific body weight( plus size, petite, medium etc) and so.

Remember any person can play any role on these spectrum. There is no good or bad in this situation. It just “is”. If you want to be a person of influence some day, remember you can’t start being an effective influencer without doing your do’s. That means you can’t skip steps. You HAVE to be building passive interest in things like reading, writing, and watching in order to move along the scale. Stick with it and create realistic achievable goals.

Last advice, when taking interests in to others who influence you, remember its okay to have role models, but at the same time, limit them to role models, because you deserve the right to shine like a star just as much as they did. If you put in the time, I guarantee you one day your time will come.

Good luck!

Bad Things Happen for the Greater Good

Max Weber(1864-1920) a German political philosopher wrote an essay called “Politics as a Vocation” and in it he explains that there are three decisive qualities that a true politician needs to have: passion, a sense of responsibility and judgement. Judgement in the sense that you can detach your self from a situation and act calm and cool and decide on decisions that is for the greater good. These qualities are great for a politician of course, but they can relate to anything. Even just being a good human being.

Yesterday I spent my Friday afternoon and night laying in the hospital. During my stay I spent a lot of time crying and thinking privately, not understanding why I could have let myself go physically. As I began to process what was going on, I began to remember what Max Weber taught me only a few hours earlier when I had been laying down and reading. It’s something I learned a long time a go when I was 17 and fully grasped the idea by the time I was 19.

I learned AGAIN that life is so beautiful and precious (passion) but it is finite, and eventually one day I will inevitably die, and because of this it is my responsibility to take care of this vessel of mine (mentally, physically and spiritually) while I am here. To do this I need to have good judgement. Judgement in the sense that I can detach myself from personal situations and act calm, so that I can make quality decisions that is for the Higher Good.

Thank you Max Weber for your time spent on this earth studying. Your past existence has affected the life of a young man almost century later for the better.

Also, in case some of my friends are wondering, I am in good health. I had a cat-scan, EKG, chest x-rays and some type of test that looks for blood clots in the chest. All test came back negative. They gave me nitroglycerin (was used in case there was problems with my heart) under my tongue before all the test, which took the pain away temporarily and something called an upper GI cocktail, a nasty fluid that you drink that numbs the esophagus and throat, which in turn takes away the excruciating pain.

The pain was due to large amounts of acidic acid in my system, that couldn’t escape out of the mouth or the butt, so it worked its way into my left chest. Which def. felt like heart attacks all day and night. It was painful. But it was an experience that allowed me to process my life. Bad things happen which bring out the good in a person.

Now it is time for me to retire and sleep. Much rest is needed.

Resume Advice for Software Engineers

As a recruiter I have come across a lot of intelligent men and women in the tech industry who are out there attempting to try and land a great job for Yahoo!, Digg, Box.net, Pandora and many others. But what they don’t realize is, RESUMES are the first source of concern to these type of companies. It’s the very first thing that they look over to choose whether to proceed to an interview over the phone, or drop your resume into their e-mails trash.

With that being said, I am going to take it as my responsibility to share helpful tips that I have. Being a recruiter who looks over hundreds of resumes a week to fill roles may actually be of some service.

Theme

A theme is very important to have in a resume. If you can keep a theme going in the area that you are looking for a role in, your on the right track. For instance if you are looking to do a front-end role then you better have a theme that can support your efforts. We as recruiters need to see a lot of JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, website optimization, and also showing signs staying up-to-date because front-end technologies are constantly changing here on out.

Education

Education can go two ways. Either you have come from a top 10 tech university with a computer science degree,  physics degree or something along these lines.

OR 

If you didn’t have the ability to go to a top 10 school of some sort or didn’t go to school at all, we need to see some type of real life experience. We need to see passion.

If your going for a front-end role, maybe you have some open-source code that you have leaked to the public community of developers. Or if your role is that of an SA then you might have started doing some real life experience work at some decent companies and are strong in your ability to perform the job well.

Open Source Code

Here is where I will begin to show you some visualizations of what a good resume can consist of, if you have some open source code.

Here is a friend of mine who I have helped modify his resume. Before I started working with him, his resume was kind of dry, he has a lot of experience and passion for what he does, but his resume did not portray that. It had no links or information about what he has done or what he really enjoyed doing (coding for a hobby and releasing it on github.com)

As you can see from the above we added a summery that can show evidence of his passion for coding. We have a github profile link, a efficient and direct statement that expresses his passion and even shows that he stays up-to-date by learning new technologies. This is money!

Down below you can see how many public repositories he has and even how many people are following him. These are subjective as far as numbers go, however, they can still be used to influence someones idea about the candidates capabilities. It’s money!

lorenzos profile

No No’s

General no no’s I can think of are.

  • Please do not put on your resume that you know how to use Microsoft office. I have friends who have sons and daughters who are like 7-8 years of age who know office. Putting this on your resume does you no good what so ever.
  • Please keep your resume to one to three pages. Past that, it gets kind of boring.
  • Keep it simple, keep it direct.
  • “Objectives” this is personal opinion but I think they are pointless. Don’t need them. They waste space.
As of right now I think that’s all I have for now. Remember this is my opinions based on what I have learned and experienced. I hope it carries some value for you as you read it, and that you can use it in the future to land that awesome job you have been wanting!
Good luck, and God bless – sharustar
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