Monday, January 24, 2011

Coming to Minneapolis on April 8: Poised for Leadership workshop

Are you in Minneapolis?

Did you ever wonder what it really takes, to get promoted?

If so, you are invited to join me on April 8 at Poised for Leadership, a one-day workshop for women who want to create a roadmap into positions of responsibility, influence and leadership in business.

Register or learn more at

Jo Miller is CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. Through leadership workshops, coaching programs and webinars, Jo helps women create their roadmap into leadership positions in business.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Poised for Leadership workshop: 9 shots of leadership inspiration

Are you in the San Francisco bay area? Have you ever wondered what it really takes to get promoted? If so, you are invited to join me in Milpitas, on March 3 at Poised for Leadership, a one-day workshop for women who want to create a roadmap into positions of responsibility, influence and leadership.

Register now, and discover what it really takes to break through into leadership, including how to:

  • Project a seasoned, credible leadership presence

  • Gain visibility and reward for your accomplishments

  • Build a reputation as a leader, expert or go-to person

  • Understand the dynamics of power in your organization

  • Navigate organizational politics with savvy

  • Build an influential network

  • Leverage your network to gain access to hidden resources, information and opportunities

  • Cultivate influence and get “buy-in” for ideas and initiatives

  • Create, envision and lead high-profile projects.

A past participant recently said:

"... Over the last year I've been listening to all your 1 hour webinars over the phone and then attended the Poised for Leadership seminar which took all the 1 hour seminars over the months and brought it all together for me. After the webinars I started putting effort into the things I learned during those seminars and this month I was promoted to Senior Manager. Over the last year I've also created a name for myself amongst the Exec's. I think you start by having to work really hard in showing your worth but once someone else sees it they start spreading the word for you so it gets easier as you have more people spreading the word for you."

To learn how to integrate these skills into your daily work-life, join me for Poised for Leadership, a 1-day workshop for women who want to break into positions of responsibility, influence and leadership in business.

Register or learn more at

Jo Miller is CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. Through leadership workshops, coaching programs and webinars, Jo helps women create their roadmap into leadership positions in business.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is this your year to break into leadership?

In the Emerging Women Leaders Webinar Series, learn 6 skills you’ll need, to break into leadership:

#1: How to advance while remaining true to yourself and your values
#2: How to lead and collaborate across time zones, cultures, and generations
#3: How to ask for and get the resources you need to do your job well
#4: How to communicate your personal brand
#5: How to exude leadership presence
#6: How to present persuasively to groups, and in teleconferences and webinars.

Learn from six outstanding women leaders as they describe the skills that helped them advance to where they are today.

Register now for only $169 for the full year program of 6 webinars >>

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What should I do if I can’t find any job postings appropriate for my background?

Question: I have recently completed my education and am looking for employment. When I search job postings, I don't find any entry-level jobs. How can I make myself marketable without experience?

Kim Zilliox Answers:
What a great and very timely question. With all of the job seekers in the market today, coupled with today’s rapidly changing workplace, employers are raising the bar on the skills and experience they are looking for in any position. This can certainly make it tougher on recent graduates to secure those great entry-level positions. Let me break my answer down into two parts:

Step 1

First, let me speak to not finding entry-level jobs. Please be assured there are actually entry-level jobs out there. They are more plentiful in certain areas and fields like major cities and in growing industries, but they are certainly there. My corporate clients consistently tell me they are looking for great talent to bring on board from all levels including entry. The problem is not necessarily the lack of jobs, but it is more about how to find out about them. Unfortunately, searching job postings is not the most effective way to do so. According to research, 65-70% of jobs are obtained through networking, while only about 15% or less of employed individuals secure positions through responding to postings. So, it is absolutely critical that you launch a networking campaign for yourself to tap in to all of the resources in your network. Here are some specific action items I recommend:

  1. Create a list of people who can help you in your search and meet or schedule a call with them to pick their brain about opportunities, share what you are looking for and know that a day will come when you will do the same for them or for someone else. Your contacts on Facebook can most likely help you fill out a large list here, and don’t forget all of your uncles, aunts, neighbors, friend’s parents, their friends, etc.

  2. Create a list of companies you would like to work for and see how you can connect with people in those companies to build relationships and find out about opportunities or, growth areas. Visit LinkedIn, this site can help. Use it to see who you can be introduced to in company’s you want to work for.

  3. See if there is a Meet Up group in your area to connect with like-minded people and hear of opportunities while you look to provide your positive energy and friendship to them. There are also association meetings in your specific field of interest, so find them and attend.

  4. Finally, your undergraduate or graduate Career Center is a good resource. Be sure to look through the Alumni database to see who you can connect with and meet with the Alumni Counselor to see what they know as they are often aware of opportunities at growing organizations and in touch with the recruiters.

Step 2
Second, I do like the second part of your question about making yourself marketable without much experience. First of all, see #1. If you are hired based on relationship, this becomes less of an issue. If people like you and trust you, and see that you have the potential to learn quickly and gain experience, they will give you some time to get up to speed. Additionally:

  1. What experience do you have? My hope is that you took advantage of opportunities during school to intern, so you can absolutely leverage that, as well as projects and research you did during your studies. If you did not, you are a step behind your fellow classmates, but all hope is not lost. Begin right now. Where can you apply your skills and knowledge? Can you volunteer for a local non-profit to help them in any way while you are searching? Did you work on projects in school you can speak about to reveal your current knowledge?

  2. What positions are there that you do qualify for? Sometimes the key is to enter an organization wherever you can and then eventually move into the position you desire once you have proven yourself and they know you.

  3. Be an amazing salesperson for yourself. This can be very difficult, especially for women, but it needs to happen. Any story that pops up in your mind that makes you uncomfortable about doing this is not as true as your need for a great opportunity. What are the traits you bring to the table? This is as much of a part of your brand as functional skills. Are you reliable? Are you a hard worker? Do you have a good attitude? Do you work well with others? Do you have a good recommendation from a previous employer? Are you a quick learner? Would a company be lucky to have you? These are all questions you want to make sure you can answer “yes” to. Then you can position yourself as a “diamond in the rough’” that has just enough experience to know the basics of the field and the working environment, but someone fresh enough to have new ideas and to learn quickly the ways of a future organization. You need to believe it first that you are a huge asset to an organization, realize you have more experience than you think, and know that you may have to take a position just to prove yourself at first and then move into a position closer to your ideal role.

I do hope this is helpful, and like anyone else out there, just keep working at it and being strategic. The average person spends 5 hours per week on a job search. You want to treat this like a full-time job and you will see the results. Look beyond the postings. Volunteer your time, connect with people, know and be able to articulate your value, and be clear about your goal. Keep track of all of the ‘asks’ you make as you’ll want to reciprocate or pay it forward on their behalf in the future!

Kim Zilliox, Vice President of Leadership Development for Women's Leadership Coaching Inc. specializes in coaching women to become successful leaders. Join Kim starting February 15, 2011 for the Executive Women Leaders Webinar Series.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Emerging Women Leaders share their Leadership Resolutions for 2011

What is your New Year’s Leadership Resolution for 2011?

Throughout 2010, I was honored to meet and work with hundreds of outstanding women who were proactively taking steps to advance their careers. Of those, a handful stood out and I invited them to share their greatest wins of the past year, and their Leadership Resolutions for the year ahead.

Daska P. Babcock
Litigation Associate with AlvaradoSmith

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
Won a $16.6 million judgment in U.S. District Court for a Latin American government.

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011
Developing a client base with a focus on cross-border business litigation.

Sarah Dybevik
Product Manager

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
During 2010, I set aside time during the work week to Innovate. This allowed me time to think outside the box and test new strategies which was something that often got lost in the midst of all the other daily tasks. Implementing new strategies saved both time (allowing me to be more productive) and money (driving profitability). This year was a success and I plan to continue to do this in future years, as well as ask my team to do the same.

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011
I was once told by a leader at my company that leadership consists of four things:

  • Creating a Vision
  • Motivating your Team
  • Aligning Resources
  • Eliminating Roadblocks

My ‘New Year's Resolution’ is to develop my team and those around me by using the principles listed above.

Michelle Jowitt
Senior Manager at a Bay Area Enterprise Software Company

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
Taking a two-week, guilt-free vacation without logging on to the computer. After six years at a rapidly growing company, my overdeveloped sense of responsibility to the office is finally in check. Taking a true break from work and giving my family my full, undivided attention was a big step forward in my work/life balance.

Leadership New Years Resolution for 2011
Putting into practice the modern leadership skills described in two books: “Drive” by Daniel Pink and “Multipliers” by Wiseman and McKeown. These books resonate strongly and motivate me to refine my management style.

Tanuja Korlepra
Sr. Software Engineer, Symantec Corporation, Symantec Women Action Network (SWAN), MN co-champion

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
I am an Engineer at Symantec, part of the Customer Focus Team. I work on design and development of product features, and also get to be a Product Advocate. My position gives me opportunities to work with customers on deployment of those features in their data centers. Over the last year, I have resolved several customer product issues, conducted product training and worked on Proofs of Concept (POC). I believe these were all equally rewarding. However, one POC in particular stands out for me as the greatest career achievement or win in 2010. I was asked to work on a very critical POC effort for a new customer that was using a competitor’s product. I successfully worked with a team of Engineers, Network Administrators, Managers and Sales, over a period of 3 weeks and did a very compelling presentation and product demo that resulted in a deal worth $1.5M for my company. I love my job and that was a pretty good win too!

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011
Similarly to others, I get into the resolution spirit this time of year. My resolution this year is to lead projects. Being an individual technical contributor, I don’t have people and teams reporting directly to me. I do however, manage and lead project efforts. One of my goals this year is to get better at project management. One of my mentors said that life, and everything in life is a project. Therefore, I believe life calls for good project management skills. It is the essential art and science of getting things done and is a very important skill to have . Being influential, efficient, a good team player, delegator, communicator, and technically and professionally adept are on my mind for 2011.

Jacobia Solomon
Senior Manager, Newell Rubbermaid, Inc.

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
Wow, this is a toss- up. I will share two of my greatest achievements for 2010. I successfully led the Financial Supply Chain Management (SAP) implementation (system, processes, people). This was a $12 MM savings opportunity. The other achievement was putting together Newell Rubbermaid’s first Women’s Leadership Conference. This was a great undertaking of hosting over 150 women nationally, with a focus around building your brand. We received such great feedback from participants that we are presently planning next year’s event.

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011

Practice, Practice, Practice - getting into better shape as a leader. Deliberate practice, as the phrase implies, is about intentionally engaging in an activity that will improve how we execute and how we lead. The best leaders are the best learners. They are curious about what is going on around them, always seeking to better understand how things work, how they are leading, and how they can improve their own behavior and the functioning of the organizations.

Tamara Wesley
Engineering Manager

Greatest career achievement or win in 2010
My greatest career achievement was exceeding the expectations of my new manager, team, and business unit . This is particularly significant because I did not meet the grade level requirements for the new management position. However, I took a risk and applied. My technical ability coupled with my strong interpersonal skills landed me the job as Engineering Manager.

Leadership New Year’s Resolution 2011
My primary Leadership New Year’s Resolution is to grow leaders around me. I am committed to encouraging my team to push beyond their comfort zones and use their strengths to achieve their professional best.

Jo Miller is CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. Through leadership workshops, coaching programs and webinars, Jo helps women create their roadmap into leadership positions in business.