My client Cathy was in a job search, and decided at the outset that she would not settle for “don’t call us; we’ll call you” method. She remembered the line from the Woody Allen movie, “Ninety percent of life is just showing up,” and applied it to the search. She got an early edge by blending charisma with engagement:

  • She stayed informed of in-person events and online networking activities. She got out there. Though scared to death (her words), she became “a great actor” faking confidence but not enthusiasm; and she practiced until the confidence was also real.

Charisma, an often undescribed magnetism that consistently draws people closer, was for many years, touted as something innate since birth. Something you had or didn’t have. I was reading a recent paper on the subject by scholars who disagree and believe that charisma is a set of practiced skills. I think there’s a lot to this. I believe that we have natural charisma styles that fuel our power when blended with practiced job search or career management skills like storytelling, listening well, asking open-ended questions, smiling and using direct eye contact with other positive body language.

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