Bud Bilanich http://www.budbilanich.com Your Career Mentor Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:07:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Five Ways to Answer the Dreaded Salary Expectations Question http://www.budbilanich.com/five-ways-to-answer-the-dreaded-salary-expectations-question/ http://www.budbilanich.com/five-ways-to-answer-the-dreaded-salary-expectations-question/#respond Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:07:38 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7432

My career mentoring clients tell me that they dread having to answer this question in a job interview…

“What are your salary expectations?”

This infographic does a great job of showing you five ways to answer and not undersell yourself.


I like the first and second answers the best.

Regardless of the answer you like, it’s important to choose one of these before you get to the interview so you’ll be ready when the question comes.

Your career mentor,


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Biggest Time Wasters at Work http://www.budbilanich.com/biggest-time-wasters-at-work/ http://www.budbilanich.com/biggest-time-wasters-at-work/#respond Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:47:41 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7428

One of my students sent me the link to an interesting infographic about time wasters at work.

Check it out…


Have a great weekend.

Your career mentor,



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Brand Yourself as a Builder, not a Destroyer http://www.budbilanich.com/brand-yourself-as-a-builder-not-a-destroyer/ http://www.budbilanich.com/brand-yourself-as-a-builder-not-a-destroyer/#respond Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:31:20 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7418

Sharon Melnick is a friend of mine — and a very wise woman.  The other day I read an article she wrote about how to speak up when what you say might be unpopular.  This is good stuff folks, check it out…

I was asked by a group of women leaders to show them how to speak up with an unpopular idea. The next day I was asked by a group of male bankers how to be a trusted advisor to big company CEOs if their advice is not what the CEO wants to hear.

Have you been in a situation that requires such confidence? And courage!

That’s right: You start to squirm as you have that inner debate whether to speak up: On the one hand you want to share information that will be viewed as valuable, on the other hand you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, or face repercussions that would threaten your business. You worry: Will I receive negative feedback, lose respect, be shunned…or fired?

How can you have confidence so your ideas are well received and you prosper in your career?

Here are 3 powerful strategies for courage to speak up with your unpopular idea:

1) Focus on your Beneficiaries. Instead of thinking about what others’ response to you will be, take yourself out of the equation. Focus on the beneficiaries of the points you raise. As the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “From caring comes courage”. Here’s where you have an opportunity to own the value of your role, especially if you are a trusted advisor (and you want to make yourself one no matter what position you are in). Who will be helped, or protected, or served by your input?  Do your homework thoroughly beforehand and know your stuff, then when in the room see yourself a champion for the truth. Be proud of your integrity. Often as women we will negotiate or take courageous action on behalf of others but not out of our own convictions. When necessary, leverage this tendency so you can muster your courage to speak up!  As men you might pride yourself on being a protector,  leverage this tendency to see past the fear of the moment and offer advice that will lead your client (and all the people involved) to a greater long term outcome.

2) Get air cover. When you want to speak up you are most concerned with the ‘political fallout’ (i.e., what people will think and say about you in the future). If you know you have information or positions that will be difficult to raise, see if you can float the idea ahead of time and get your manager, mentor, peers, or sponsor to back you up. Another helpful strategy is to raise the idea with key opinion leaders before the meeting (whenever possible) to see if they have any suggestions about how to ruffle the fewest feathers.

3) Build rather than Destroy. Even if your point is unpopular try to say it in a way that bridges with what others have said, so that your idea seems more like a build on others ideas rather than a criticism. Have conviction in your voice and maintain a pleasant, neutral tone (ie., you are not making them wrong, you are trying uplift everyone):  “I think your idea makes sense if we are thinking for the short term, but if we look at it in terms of the long term impact I would recommend we do it this way instead.”  Share with them your thinking, and how you came to your conclusions.  Even if your strategy is different from what they have proposed, try to frame your ideas in terms of “what is in it for them” so they will be more likely to buy-in.  And if you truly disagree in whole with what others are saying, then have the courage of your convictions and say so!  Expect that you will be challenged so be prepared to back it up with facts and strong reasoning. Then take a deep breath and go for it!

As Anais Nin once famously inspired us to remember: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Here’s to your confidence!


I like all of Sharon’s advice — especially the third point — build rather than destroy.  When you find yourself in disagreement with another person or group, I suggest you look for any small point of agreement and build on that.  Don’t begin by tearing down others’ ideas.  Begin by acknowledging them.  This brands you as a builder, not a destroyer — and most folks prefer to be around builders.

Your career mentor,


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Focus, Focus, Focus http://www.budbilanich.com/focus-focus-focus/ http://www.budbilanich.com/focus-focus-focus/#respond Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:03:20 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7415

Tweet 86 in Success Tweets says, “Stay focused.  Don’t get distracted. Treat time like the precious commodity that it is.”

This article provides some helpful hints for maintaining focus in a world full of distractions.


Successful people are focused. They don’t let distractions get the better of them.  If you’re like most people, you always have more to do than there is time to do it.

As Stephen Covey points out, all of your activities fit into one of four categories:

  • Not Important and Not Urgent
  • Not Important and Urgent
  • Important and Urgent
  • Important and Not Urgent

Unfortunately, a lot of people spend a lot of time engaged in not important and not urgent activities. Surfing the web is one of the biggest culprits in this area. I, like most people today, search for and find a lot of the information I need on line. I am pretty disciplined, yet I can get caught up following interesting links when I am researching something on the internet. Following links after you’ve found what you’re looking for is not important and not urgent activity. It is a waste of time, destroys your focus and is a productivity killer.

Then there’s not important and urgent activities.  These can become real time traps. They are the kinds of things that you have to do, but in the greater scheme of things, they are not likely to do much to help you become a professional success. These are things like expense reports that must be done within so many days of a trip, weekly staff meetings that you either lead or attend – the types of things that you have to do, but often don’t contribute to your larger goals. The trick is to get these activities done in a timely manner, but not to spend a lot of your precious time doing them.

Important and urgent activities are just what they seem. I write this blog five days a week. My blog is a very important marketing tool. It increases my awareness in a very crowded market. It positions me as a career advice expert. And it reinforces my career mentor brand. Writing and posting my blog is an important and urgent activity. I do it first thing every day. I’m sure that you have several important and urgent activities on your to do list, too. Do them, and do them well.

Important but not urgent activities are where you get the real payoff when it comes to creating your career success. It’s important to become a lifelong learner. That’s why you need to read, join professional organizations and volunteer for projects in your company. You probably don’t need to read every day and join all of the professional organizations in your field and industry. These activities are just not that urgent. However, you have to make time for them over the long run. If you don’t, you’ll find that you are falling behind, not getting ahead or standing still.

Another example – the books I’ve written serve much the same purpose as my blog. They increase my awareness in a very crowded market; position me as a career advice expert and reinforce my brand. I don’t need to work on a new book every day. Writing a book is an important but not urgent task for me. I manage this by budgeting at least three hours per week to write. As one book goes into the editing and production process, I get busy writing another. In that way, I never find myself without a forthcoming book.

It can be hard to budget time for important but not urgent activities because they are, well, not urgent. However, important but not urgent activities left unattended will soon become important and urgent and may even become career success crises. My best advice is to focus on your personal set of important but not urgent activities and build some time into your daily or weekly schedule to work on them.

Your career mentor,


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Focus on Self Management, Not Time Management, To Get More Done http://www.budbilanich.com/focus-on-self-management-not-time-management-to-get-more-done/ http://www.budbilanich.com/focus-on-self-management-not-time-management-to-get-more-done/#respond Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:03:56 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7411

Besides being a career mentor, I am on the editorial board of PM 360, a print magazine for pharmaceutical and medical device marketing professionals.  I contribute an article every other month.

Here is the article I’ve written that appears in the January 2015 issue.


Your career mentor,


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Care Enough To Do Your Very Best http://www.budbilanich.com/care-enough-to-do-your-very-best/ http://www.budbilanich.com/care-enough-to-do-your-very-best/#respond Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:35:41 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7413

The other day I saw a quote from Sam Parker…

“Work in a way that has people continually thinking of ways to keep you, rather than reasons to keep you.”

Sam is the founder of Give More Media and a very smart guy. I particularly like this quote because it echoes my reasons for being a career mentor. I tell my clients that they need to work in a manner that will get them to the top of the promotion list and keep them off of the layoff list.

To get to the top of the promotion list, or to get people thinking about ways to keep you, you have to care. Tweet 100 in Success Tweets says, “Care about what you do. If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer. Care a lot and you’ll become an outstanding performer.”

I care about helping people create the life and career success they want and deserve. I care a lot. That’s why I wrote Success Tweets and I give it away for free. That’s why I am wrote a series of blog posts explaining each of the 141 tweets in more detail. I cared so much about this project that I committed to writing 700 or 800 words every day for 28 weeks. I cared so much that I turned these blog posts into a book called Success Tweets Explained. I do the things I do because I care a lot about helping you achieve the kind of career success you deserve. And I know that this caring will pay off in me becoming an outstanding career coach – somebody who gives really great career advice.

When you care you do your very best. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books. There is a passage in that book that has always stuck with me. It’s in Chapter 11 and is spoken by Atticus Finch, the father, played by Gregory Peck in the film. He’s speaking to Scout, his daughter…

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

It takes courage to care. Because when you care, you put yourself out there. You do your best. And doing your best can be a scary thing. When you care, when you consciously do your best and fail, it is heartbreaking. But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.

I remember when I applied to graduate school at Harvard. I decided that I was going to demonstrate to myself how much I cared by writing the very best application I could. I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook if I didn’t get accepted by saying, “I could have written a better application, but I just didn’t spend the time I should have.”

When I put my application in the mailbox – we still did quaint things like that back in the old days – I was proud of what I had written. I knew it was the very best I could do. I was also frightened because I knew that my best might not be good enough. After all, both of my other degrees were from state schools. Who was I to think that those kind of credentials would get me accepted at Harvard?

I cared about the quality of my application, so I did the very best I could. The story in this case has a happy ending. I was accepted and got my degree. Even if I had not been accepted, I would have been proud of myself because I cared enough to write the best application I could, and I dared enough to admit it to myself.

The common sense career mentor point here is simple. Successful people are proud of what they do. They care. They follow the career advice in Success Tweet 100. “Care about what you do. If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer. If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.” Does your work show that you care? Or does it reflect an “it’s good enough” attitude? Take it from me, if you want to create the life and career success of which you are capable, make sure that how much you care shows through in every single piece of work you do. Give people reasons to keep you and promote you.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can download a free copy of Success Tweets and Success Tweets Explained at www.SuccessTweets.com. When you do, I’ll give you a free membership in my career site and begin sending you daily motivational quotes.


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How to Make Your Job More Satisfying and Rewarding http://www.budbilanich.com/how-to-make-your-job-more-satisfying-and-rewarding/ http://www.budbilanich.com/how-to-make-your-job-more-satisfying-and-rewarding/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:36:29 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7400

Many of my career mentoring clients tell me that they  don’t enjoy their work.  They find going to work every day to be drudgery.

This article spells out three ways you can take charge of you job and enjoy it more.


I particularly like the third point — Reframe the way you think about work.

If you dread Monday’s and focus on the fact that you have five days of work before you can get back to doing what you really like to do, you’ll never be very satisfied at work.  On the other hand, if you begin to see the bigger purpose in your work, you’ll find it more satisfying and rewarding.  The zookeeper example in the article is a great example of this.

I admit that I have been fortunate.  I have always had jobs that I’ve enjoyed.  Going to work was never drudgery for me.  I also realize that I am in a lucky and small minority of people.  I’m writing this on a Saturday morning.  It doesn’t feel like work I have to do.  It feels like work I want to do because I’m helping other people create successful and fulfilling lives and careers.  I’ll be writing some more tomorrow.

I urge you to look for the greater, bigger purpose in your work.  When you find it and latch on to it, you’ll find that your work will become more rewarding and satisfying.

Your career mentor,



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Seven Success Secrets http://www.budbilanich.com/seven-success-secrets/ http://www.budbilanich.com/seven-success-secrets/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 13:50:33 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7408

As a career mentor, I’m all about helping people achieve the life and career success they want and deserve.  That’s why this article caught my eye.  Check it out…


All seven pieces of advice are great.  But I want to focus on the first one.  Build your confidence by taking action.

My career mentoring clients will tell you that one of most repeated maxims is “Procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear.”  Fear can stop you from taking the action you need to succeed.  When you find yourself procrastinating its important ask yourself a simple question — “What am I afraid of here?”  The answer will help you move forward.

Once you identify a fear that is keeping you from taking action, it has a lot less power over you.  Naming your fear and accepting it allow you to take action.  Many times you’ll find that your fear wasn’t justified.  Some times your fear will come true — and you’ll fail or get rejected.  But you’re likely to find that these failures and rejections aren’t the end of the world.  Failure and rejection are especially helpful if you use them as an opportunity to learn.

Action cures fear — and helps build self confidence.  You will become more confident by facing your fears and acting — regardless of the outcome of your action.  Try this — it works.

Your career mentor,


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Getting to the Other Side http://www.budbilanich.com/7404/ http://www.budbilanich.com/7404/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:23:22 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7404

Gary Ryan Blair is a friend of mine.  His book, Everything Counts, is one of my favorite personal development books.  Gary has a way of taking the mundane and turning it into serious life lessons.  Yesterday I received an email from Gary which he began with the old joke, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”  Gary turned this old joke into some common sense life and career success advice.  Check it out…

Why did the chicken cross the road?” is a well-known riddle.

The punch line of which is: “To get to the other side.”

A punch line is the final part of a joke, comedy sketch, or profound statement which is intended to be funny or to provoke laughter or thought.

If you’ll allow me, I’d like to show you how to use this silly: “To get to the other side.” punch line as a powerful philosophy for turning your dreams into reality.

Ready? Let’s go…

  • On the other side of ordinary is extraordinary
  • On the other side of defeat is victory
  • On the other side of war is peace.
  • On the other side of intentions are results.
  • On the other side of fat is muscle.
  • On the other side of apathy is passion.
  • On the other side of anger is love.
  • On the other side of mediocrity is excellence.
  • On the other side of resentment is forgiveness.
  • On the other side of debt is wealth.
  • On the other side of fear is freedom.
  • On the other side of comfort is adventure.
  • On the other side of cowardice is courage.
  • On the other side of excuses is responsibility.
  • On the other side of deceit is integrity.
  • On the other side of vice is virtue.
  • On the other side of problems are opportunities.
  • On the other side of scarcity is abundance.
  • On the other side of arrogance is humility.
  • On the other side of sadness is joyfulness.
  • On the other side of darkness is light.
  • On the other side of cruelty is kindness.
  • On the other side of liabilities are assets.
  • On the other side of prejudice is understanding.
  • On the other side of despair is hope.
  • On the other side of failure is success.
  • On the other side of taking is giving.
  • On the other side of trivial is important.
  • On the other side of boring is interesting.
  • On the other side of ignorance is knowledge.
  • On the other side of weakness is strength.
  • On the other side of complexity is simplicity.
  • On the other side of embarrassment is pride.
  • And, on the other side of every no is a yes.

I’ve spent the better part of 20 years helping people to understand that ongoing personal development and goal setting is all about getting to the other side.

I hope that this message has inspired you to see things a bit differently, and to start doing different things so that you enjoy and experience what’s waiting for you on the other side…whatever that “other side” may mean to you.

The final week of January is about to unfold…choose to make it big, bold and absolutely beautiful. And by all means possible, do everything you can get to finish it out strong by getting to the other side of some important goals and projects.

Everything Counts!

What’s on the other side for you?  What will you do to get there?  Will you turn your weaknesses into strengths?  Will you turn your fear into freedom?  Will you stop making excuses and take personal responsibility for your success?

If you put in the time and effort to get to the other side you’ll reap the rewards and have a successful, fulfilling life and career.

Your career mentor,




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Six Tips for Creating a Successful Life and Career http://www.budbilanich.com/six-tips-for-creating-a-successful-life-and-career/ http://www.budbilanich.com/six-tips-for-creating-a-successful-life-and-career/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:17:31 +0000 http://www.budbilanich.com/?p=7396

As a career mentor, I am always on the lookout for solid career advice from successful people. That’s why I was pleased to come across an article in which Kevin Costner, a pretty successful guy, laid out his rules for successful living. Check them out…

  • Know Yourself
  • Hang Tough
  • Try, Try Again
  • Stay Curious
  • Honor Your Commitments
  • Assume You’ll Win

Six great pieces of career success advice. Here’s my take on each of them.

Know Yourself – the better you know yourself, the easier it is for you to figure out how you are similar or different from others. Armed with this information you can adapt your communication style to each individual in order to make sure that you are as influential as possible.

Hang Tough – you will fail. You will get knocked down. Successful people are resilient. They bounce back from failures. If you want to create the successful life and career you deserve, you need to hang tough. You need to learn what you can from your failures and use them to move forward.

Try, Try Again – this is similar to hanging tough. Don’t take no for an answer the first time you ask a question. Figure out what you can do to change that “no” to a “yes.” Common sales wisdom says that it takes seven contacts to close a sale. Yet many salespeople give up after two or three tries. Go the distance. Make those seven contacts. And if they don’t work, give it an eighth try.

Stay Curious – the world is a wonderful place. It’s full of interesting people places and things. Be open to them. Learn all you can from every person you meet and everything you do. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it makes for successful human beings.

Honor Your Commitments – do what you say you’ll do. You’ll surprise many people and astonish some. People have become accustomed to other folks not delivering on what they say they will do. You’ll set yourself apart merely by following through on your commitments.

Assume You’ll Win – don’t let fear of failing or losing stop you from trying. Be willing to take your shot – and assume that it will go in. You will surprise yourself at how often you will succeed.

Put these six tips into play in your life and watch your career take flight.

Your career mentor,




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