September 8th, 2020

TJ Kastning

Happiness in this context also means achieving goals, established relationships, a renowned reputation, pride in your work, meaningful personal influence, and well-laid-out family priorities.

We do not believe in career success only; success in your carrier must be accompanied by success in your personal life because that is how you be truly happy. Your life responsibilities must align, not be at odds. 

We define career as a field of work you have chosen and decided to be excellent in. A career can be broader than this, but we narrowed it down because we will provide tips to go deeper in the field you choose. 

When you stay long enough in a field, you gain a deeper understanding and expertise that gives you the upper hand. You will have special insight. 


  1. Creating Career Goals
  2. Resume Crafting
  3. Preparing to Interview Expertly
  4. Performance interview
  5. Negotiate with integrity and power
  6. Honorable resignation
  7. Swift onboarding
  8. Career Building Habits


You would beg to differ and say you are already happy in your job right now. But we want to help you go from happy to happier.

Creating and understanding goals makes decision-making easier. Those without goals or who do not understand their goals think shallowly and make decisions to benefit them short-term at the expense of their ultimate goals. When pursuing a greater goal, you might have to sacrifice some opportunities and delay gratification but enable advancement down the road through mentorship and leadership development.

Who Do You Want to Be?

What do you want for your personal life?

What do you want from your professional life?

Do you truly want to change your job? Think about this BEFORE you start the interviewing process. There is a common analogy I would like us to use “the grass is greener on the other side.”  

Often when you admire the greener grass on the other side, it is because it has been watered and fertilized.

Do not underestimate what watering and fertilizing the grass on your side could do.

So, instead of thinking about hoping over the fence for the greener grass, put in the work. People who put in the work are the most valuable.

And often, the proverbial grass is actually greener, so you can go. But ensure you know what you term greener grass by your priorities.

We do not often appreciate what we have until it is gone; other times, we do not recognize how companies have sprayed this so-called green grass and even go further by dedicating time to improving ourselves in the challenge.

Do not retreat the first time you sense trouble, and do not avoid opportunities by avoiding problems because that is how you improve your leadership and problem-solving skills. With tenacity, problems become opportunities. 

That is how you become the owner of the greener grass, entitling you to top-level compensation.



Here are some places to get good resume templates

You should choose a design that reflects you.  It could be modern, simple, colorful, or pragmatic; anything that fits your personality.

Just like you would in an interview, you should put your best foot forward when preparing. There is no reason to have a shoddy resume if you value making a strong first impression.


Hiring managers and recruiters go through many resumes, so they are usually attracted to one that stands out. Supposedly, people spend about ten seconds with a resume before drawing up a conclusion. Think of what they could come up with in ten seconds.

Hiring authorities read your resume to know if you can solve their problems. They want the right attitude, quality work, loyalty, and a record of sustaining good relationships.

That is why your resume has to showcase an honest and attractive image of your abilities on paper. 

Focus less on having all the right skills and more on being teachable, humble, capable, and honest. 

A perceptive leader will recognize that your attitude matters more than experience. 


The introduction is highly important because it gives them a glimpse of what to expect. Start with the most important details about you. Your name, where you live, contact information, and chosen profession. 

Then you go on to share your mission statement talking about your why and what. 

For example, I find fulfillment in creating marketable designs because I enjoy complexity, collaboration, and a beautiful, completed product.

This statement clearly states what motivates you.


Be concise and strict. Most people are too lax and vague about their skills. Consequently, they do not highlight the major skills. 

A specific list of problems you can solve is better than stating abstract skills like communication. 


This is where you talk about your work experience. It is important that you streamline this because you do not know what they can perceive from your background.

BE HONEST! Changing minute details like dates and omitting stints is dishonesty and is the same as a company not writing the entire truth in their job description. Focus on your experience and lessons. 


Even though many companies care more about what you have achieved than your formal education, however, it is still good you share.


  • Use good formatting. Use tools like headers, bolding, highlighting, italicizing, underlining, and the like to make it easy to pick important parts of your resume and digest them. 
  • Choose bullet points over paragraphs
  • Get help  from your friends for a better presentation 
  • Be more authentic than trendy. 


You will write cover letters for each role stating why you are interested in the role. This is a way to connect your skills to their hiring needs. 

  • Cover letters should be brief and concise 
  • Make it personalized
  • Concisely articulate their need, your passion, and why they should reach out.  


There are other supporting documents to add to your application pack to back up your candidacy.

  • Project list showing your specific work project experience 
  • Recommendation letters
  • Awards and accomplishments



Who gets the job is not the best person for the job, but the person who interviews best. 

Your communication skill is essential; if you have not brushed it up, there is little this document can do for you. Some aspects of communication skills are learned from practice and failure. It is common for unprepared candidates to interview poorly and still have no idea why they failed to get the job. The sad part is that they keep doing this with no self-examination. 

If you are on a learning curve, this information will be valuable. You might already know some of the information here, but the emphasis is good.

To represent the Ambassador Search Group,  you should take interviews seriously and prepare beforehand.  


While you might have some shortcomings, you should go through the interview process with knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses. 

Here are some introspective questions to help you define your unique selling point to the hiring opportunity.  

  • What part of the work gives you the most fulfillment? This question clarifies how motivated you are and your definition of success.
  • What impact would you make on the industry? This question speaks about your expectations and vision for the role
  • Why are you in this line of work? Telling your interviewers how you came about your career helps to understand your background and trajectory
  • What are you good at and why? Clearly stating this helps your interviewer envision what you do for the company.


It will be easier to impress your employer if you are well-prepared. 

Your goal should be to learn what you can and learn what you do not know, so you can ask about it.

No matter the amount of research you do, you can not know everything about the company and its role. You can only get about  40% information, which is a good start. You will know the rest during the interview process.

What the research does is help you know enough to ask the right questions, show preparation, giving you the interviewer’s respect. Here are the things to check out

  • Company website 
  • Check the company name (news, awards, lawsuits)
  • Read the job description carefully
  • Check the company’s LinkedIn page and check each interviewer’s profile. Check for the common ground you both have. 


  1. Sleep well. The importance of sleeping can not be overemphasized. Interviewing is a dynamic relational process, and you should be at your brightest and happiest state to give you a good reflection.
  2. Plan your drive with extra time for traffic
  3. If it seems you might not be able to make the interview in time, speak with them and explain beforehand.
  4. Know where you are going, your route, and the likely traffic time. Estimate the time and add extra time. Get to the interview location at least five minutes early.
  5. Ensure your hygiene is in order. Do not wear strong perfume or cologne.
  6. Just because you have sent your resume does not mean you should leave it at home. Something unpredictable things can happen, so it is best to hold extra copies. 
  7. Being nervous happens sometimes. In such circumstances, take a deep breath and humbly tell the interviewers that you are nervous. This can reduce the tension in the air and make everyone relax  and comfortable
  8. Turn off alerts from your devices
  9. Dress smartly to reflect professionalism, regional culture, and company standards. For instance, considering regional culture, business attire on the West Coast is not as formal as that of the East Coast. 
  10. Greet everyone with a warm smile, and note their names.  


  1. Sleep well.  The importance of sleeping can not be overemphasized. Interviewing is a dynamic relational process, and you should be at your brightest and happiest state to give you a good reflection.
  2. Ensure your technology works.  Check the video and sound, and have strong internet.  
  3. Show up five minutes early
  4. Avoid ambient noise (talking, dogs barking, car honking, etc.). It is best to use quality headphones
  5. Use a setting with a nice background or use a virtual background
  6. Turn off notifications from your devices
  7. Turn off your self-view video to avoid distraction and focus on the interview. You don’t have to make eye contact with your camera, but you should focus your attention on the person speaking
  8. Dress sharp. Just because it is a virtual interview doesn’t mean your appearance will not be evaluated.
  9. A slight audio or video lag can cause interruptions regularly, defer to the other person speaking 


Asking intelligent questions is an excellent way of showing preparation and competence. When you do not as intelligent questions, it shows that you have invested little in researching the position and may not care much for your career trajectory. 


  1. Can I know more about the working culture of the company?
  2. What is the company’s measure of success in this role?
  3. What are the unacceptable in the job?
  4. What challenges is the organization facing at the moment
  5. What is considered the productive conflict
  6. What are the common challenges I can face in the position
  7. What is the biggest challenge faced by the company
  8. How did the position become available? What happened with the previous employee
  9. What do you regard s failure? Why do people tend to fail?
  10. How do you respond to underperformance?


The first interview is about getting a full view of the interview. Reading the people. Asking the big picture questions. Discovering what investment is required of both parties. Establishing mutual interest. 

The second interview defines the relationship more. You talk in-depth about the role, expectations, and corresponding skills. It is a vetting test.

The third interview goes deeper than the second as it brings out more information and questions needing answers. This is where you can share sample work products and assess challenging situations to know if you fit the role. 

The standard number of interviews is three, but a company can choose to add more if they are not satisfied with the previous one.  


It is not possible to know how exactly your interview process will be because each interview is relatively different. Different factor play a role in the interview and including communication, skills, and chemistry. 

However, there  is a common trend.


  • Build a rapport with the interviewers and get them to trust you
  • Know  the goals and expectations of the job
  • Talk about your own goals
  • Connect your skill and experience with the demands of the job

The interview process replicates how any other type of relationship forms. 

You can form a relationship by looking for common ground, appreciating and understanding the other person, and talking more about yourself.

The person who gets the job is someone the interviewer or company likes. If you are not likable, your chances of getting the job are lower.

An interview is like a sales process. Not the typical used-car-salesman method but the true problem-meets-solution method. 

Many think of sales as a dirty word. But you should think of sales as a way of helping someone solve their problem. The company would want to hire someone with the talent to solve their problems.  The interview process helps them know the right person to solve the problem. 


  1. Interviewing to be the right person instead of interviewing to understand who the right person is.  The pressure of going through the interview can mar your active listening abilities. Eliminate all interview veneer that makes you try to look good. Instead, focus on understanding the company, role, and people, on making the right decision.
  2. Assuming the meanings of words. Assumptions birth bad surprises. Convert ambiguity to clarity. If you are not sure about something, ask follow-up questions instead of making assumptions.
  3. Showing a lack of investment by poor interview preparation, listening, and presentation
  4. Answering questions quickly  without giving an in-depth answer expected to the question
  5. Overconfidence that you are the right person for the job. It is good to show confidence but only at the same pace as theirs, and vice-versa. Else, you will not sync.
  6. Taking rejections personally. If you get personally offended by signs of rejection, it can ruin your chances of getting other opportunities from the firm or other firms affiliated with the management.
  7. If your intention for interviewing is to get an offer so that you can have leverage at your current firm and get a counteroffer, you will give a bad-faith animosity impression with your current and prospective employer. It is dangerous, avoid it at all costs.


  1. Show up on time, looking happy and bright, with extra copies of your resume
  2. Dress smart with good hygiene
  3. Greet with warm smiles
  4. Remember people’s names
  5. Listen actively (be ready to rephrase or clarify questions)
  6. Show professional etiquette at all times
  7. Let the interviewer lead
  8. Prepare yourself with good questions to clarify words so you do not have to assume anything
  9. Tell them what you like about the role and connect how you are qualified for it
  10. Ask for the next step


If you are familiar with taking notes, that’s awesome, but remember that you might need to  make more eye contact during the interview

Taking notes is very helpful in keeping track of new information.

  • skills needed
  • relational dynamics
  • role expectations
  • follow-up question ideas

You can create a note column for the categories to easily track these factors during the conversation

But ensure taking notes does not impair the relationship


Some of the reasons you are interviewing for a new job might not reflect well on your current employer, but it is improper to fully divulge such information during the interview.

This might include office drama details, mismanagement issues, unethical work culture, and bad worker relationships. 

Do not rant, complain, or go into gory details.

Talk about the positive sides you experience and the opposite things you look forward to. 

For instance, if you have a troubling relationship with your coworkers, you can state your goals to be having a good team relationship.

If you are uncertain about the long-term stability of your current job, talk about your enthusiasm to work for a well-managed company that will handle challenges well. 


The questions the interviewers ask you are what open the portals for follow-up questions. Their questions are critical requirements to assess you, so you can assess your skills and role with the follow-up questions based on their questions. 

For example: 

Interview: Please tell us about a time you handled a challenging client.

Answer the question

Then ask: Please tell me some examples of challenging clients you have encountered and your standards for serving them.


Does your excitement increase the more you know about the position and the company?

If so, tell them precisely why?

For instance;

“I am grateful for this opportunity to know more about your team and the role you are offering. It is exciting because I have always been interested in XYZ and this seems to correlate with the FGH needs of the role. Does that sound right to you?”

Ask for the next step.

The next step in the interview might have some strict process before committing, but you should endeavor to ask.


Companies want to hire people who are qualified and enthusiastic to work with them. 


To keep the wisdom of interviewing the interviewers, reflect on these questions.

  1. Have the interviewers fully defined the position and can they answer all your questions satisfactorily? 
  2. Have you met and liked the team determinants of your success?
  3. Are the interviewers relaxed and easy to talk with? Are they welcoming and friendly?
  4. Does the company think ideological process conflict is good? What does it seem like? What happens to the yes-people?
  5. Did the interviewers show respect, or they had to look at the hierarchical authority to do that?
  6. Do you understand why there is a vacant position and what that represents? (for instance, people keep leaving the role due to an incompetent manager.)
  7. What does their culture say about their beliefs?  Will they want success at no cost? Do their values align with yours? 


Critical interview feedback is rare. Society is litigious, and many interviewees do not take critical feedback well, especially in a subjective relational topic like interviewing.

If you truly want to receive interview feedback, first review yourself and think of what you could do better. When you share it,  it will show humility and ownership and elicit perspective from the other side,  but do not feel entitled to it. 


We believe in quality long-term relationships, so we are not interested in sleazy compensation negotiation tactics. Deceiving, manipulating, and looking out for yourself only might get you more compensation, but those tactics sacrifice trust, integrity, and relationships and sabotage your long-term prospects. 

There are different negotiation strategies for different situations. There is haggling for beanie bags at a garage sale and negotiating with people, you will need to trust for decades. 

Compensation negotiation is more relatively sensitive and nuanced because it is a long-term deal. 


  1. Justify everything
  2. Set clear goals
  3. Understand alternative solutions
  4. Build trust
  5. Deal in good faith (avoid emotional manipulation)
  6. Be direct about concerns
  7. Protect the other party’s right to veto

What do these mean?


Negotiation is just like haggling and less effective at making people willingly want to compromise if your reasons are not justified.

If your only leverage is the company’s need to hire, and you use that to negotiate with them, do not be surprised if they treat you the same way with their need to employ disappearing. 

Using open-source salary data can be suspect because it never accounts for communication abilities, skillsets, differences in experience levels, leadership, etc


You will be able to agree on compensation more easily and enjoyably if you already have clear goals. Thinking you are going in to get as much as possible makes you greedy and use unethical negotiation tactics, leading to adversarial relationships. Remember, this is a long-term partnership and the value of the negotiation should favor both parties, and this happens by setting clear goals.


It is unreasonable to be so fixated on the salary when the company stock option program will be of more advantage.  Identify compensation priorities. Do you prefer less salary and more bonus potential, or the other way round? Negotiate all these. 


Trust is the foundation of a good relationship. You build trust by preparing, investing, taking ownership, sharing risk, listening, and taking nothing for granted.


It is tempting to play manipulative games to have the upper hand in negotiating. 

Emotional manipulation while negotiating shows that you did not use the first tip (justify everything). It is like trying to get something for nothing. 

To negotiate in good faith is to communicate honestly with the other party’s interest in your mind as well so that both parties can get the most benefits.  

You can ask for anything you can justify. 


Many people share their concerns with us, the recruiter, and we advise them to share them with the clients also so that they can work through them together.  

Each party should be interested in the other’s success (if you are both financially aligned). Problems are excellent opportunities to see how the other works out said problem. 


You will build trust better if you acknowledge the other party’s right to leave the relationship if they do not find you suitable for their need. You also have this right.  Acknowledging and protecting each other’s right to walk away makes communicating your interest in the other person’s interest easier, building trust. 

Manipulative negotiating skills back the other person into a corner where the logical decision is to agree to what the other wants. This has adverse effects and creates a distrustful relationship.


  • Changing the compensation goals without explanation during the negotiation. If there is no justification, it is a greedy move. 
  • Being coy about compensation expectations “I will like to know their offer first”. This is a waste of valuable time.
  • Not calculating total compensation value beforehand to set your goals, then introducing new information (profit sharing, bonuses, etc) after presenting the initial offer. This is purely a leverage ploy and is unethical. 
  • Using leverage as the primary negotiation tool. This can be playing hard to get, initiating a bidding war, or counteroffer. This is not right because it prioritized your earnings over the relationship. It shows manipulation and could have an adverse effect. 

This is the only way some know how to negotiate. However, no one wants it to be done to them. Live by the sword, die by the sword. If you think of this as the only way to secure an offer, you or the other party are not negotiating in good faith and you need to come up with justifications.

  • Showing you are ready to accept an offer, then asking for more time once it is extended. This is a manipulative move used to leverage against another offer. Bad faith move.

To gain more perspective, we recommend this helpful video by Professor Deepak Malhotra, discussing his recommendations for compensation negotiation.



Resigning from your current work is a trying task, even if you are leaving for good or emotional ones. Successfully resigning with professional drama and minimal drama is the perfect way to keep the bridge intact. 

Are you really ready to resign, or do you want a deal to convince you of it?

Resignation policies vary widely. Some firms will slam the door in your face, while some will throw you a farewell party. Prepare your expectations accordingly. 

It is not fun to disappoint people, especially those you have a good relationship with. 


We recommend that you tender your resignation with a written letter. It shows regard and is also professional, allowing you to prepare your resignation explanation beforehand. 

Be positive and grateful. No matter the circumstance, there have been good acts from some co-workers at one time. Showing gratitude for the opportunity makes it easier for the graceful receipt of the letter. 

You do not need to itemize the reasons for your resignation. Use your discretion to highlight helpful information. 

Here are some sample resignation letters.


We recommend resigning in person because it makes more impact. 

Hopefully, your boss is a good one and can urge you on, and wish you the best in your career growth. 

However, panic-driven conversations are more common when they realize the problem is there to stay. Some leaders will immediately find a solution to the problem provided you have previously stated. 

You should ignore this. Desperate people do desperate things, including telling you what they think you want to hear just so you can stay back. 

Do not fall for it; remember why you looked for a new job.


  1. Stalling for time
  2. Offer for promotion or raise with flattery
  3. Coworkers trying to deter you from going
  4. More attentiveness to your concerns

Again, remember why you wanted t leave in the first place. It is not time to be emotional; rather, think of your principles, no matter what. 


We can not completely say it is inappropriate to take a counter-offer, but we can confidently say it is not a great recipe for a relationship 

Getting what you want from others by threatening to leave is not a good way to grow in your career. Loyalty goes both ways. 

How do you want to be treated? Do you want to be treated cruelly if the company finds a way to further its interest at your expense? Do you want to invest your career in such a company?

Your prospective employer invested good faith, time, money, and energy into interviewing you and chose you over other agents. If you accept the counteroffer, you will disrespect their investment, staining your industry reputation. 


How you finish the remaining time spent will reflect your work ethic and integrity

  • Do not be a short-timer by leaving the company without executing your duties diligently. Finish strong.
  • Setting up your clients, co-workers, and projects allows for success by always communicating needs and progress to the stakeholders. You can do this with a handover document that highlights and informs them of where you stopped. 
  • Do not speak ill of anyone. Show gratitude and graciousness. It reflects well on you,
  • Return all the company’s equipment promptly and in good condition. Don’t make them come for it 
  • Do not publicly announce where you are going. You can tell a few close co-workers in private.


Now that you have gotten the offer, the first hurdle is gone; the second hurdle is getting on board in the next 100 days. This is when you make first impressions, establish partnerships, and set your career trajectory.

Even though first impressions can be changed, it will take extra effort. More so, companies want employees to be a part of and exhibit their culture within ninety days, sooner if possible. The first 100 days need special attention; it is different from business as usual.

Transitioning is usually learned the hard way. However, there has been enough research to know the trends in successful work transitions

We are always available to talk and listen confidentially.  You will have unlimited access to career coaching. Sometimes external processing can be helpful in working through challenges. 

  • It is easy to get carried away because you are leaving soon, but strive to the end and finish strong so that you do not bring down your reputation.
  • Be quick to adapt; all dogs can learn new tricks. Cpmannes have different methods of doing things,
  • Take time to learn the culture to build partnerships easily; do rush to make an impact, thereby missing opportunities to build relationships.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself and others. You are just getting to know one another; give it time
  • Know what you still need to learn.  Even if it is the same niche, companies are different. Hold back from giving opinions at first. Learn the landscapes, nuances, and people. Leadership is more about listening than talking. Do not be arrogant, it will impair several opportunities.
  • Technical knowledge is good but learning to adapt to culture and building relationships is better. You can make up for technical knowledge by asking questions. Adapting to culture takes quiet and [atient attention. 
  • Pay special attention to horizontal relationships – not your subordinates and boss. Peers are stakeholders. Align with everyone. 
  • Make others successful and shine. You look good when others look good. 

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.”

– Harry Truman
  • Create citrus cycles of humility, build and understand effective relationships, have mission-completion perseverance, and build good organizational credibility. That is how you easily get early career-boosting wins. 
  • No one expects you to know everything.  They expect that you ask the right questions, listen carefully, and do what you are told.



You must excel at solving your employer’s customer’s or client’s problems. Excelling in all other areas without solving the main problem is pointless.


Obstacles are perfect ways to sharpen your skillset, innovate, learn a new perspective, and build trust with key stakeholders when you build a path with the obstacle


Industry relationships might not give you an immediate advantage but they are valuable. Relationships give you leverage. Who do you think has a better advantage? Someone with a small or large network.


Knowledge births wisdom. Do things to advance in knowledge; read books, innovate, take courses from professionals, and see things from a different perspective on solving the industry problems. 


You can not do without diplomacy in a company setting. Learn problem-solving skills, learn how to pass across bad news, and many other skills.