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ET-076: A conversation with Ms. Annie Yang

ET-076: A conversation with Ms. Annie Yang

and your host Wayne Brown on December 05, 2023

and your host Wayne Brown on December 05, 2023

Episode notes: A conversation with Ms. Annie Yang

Hello and welcome to the ET Project. I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and as usual, we’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET.

Today we’re heading to one of my favorite locations in the US, Boston, Massachusetts to chat with an endearing and dynamic young woman, Miss Annie Margarita Yang.

Annie has recently released her second bestseller titled The 5-Day Job Search and this is our primary reason for this conversation. However, like many times before, once we start to unpack the life and career of our guests, we discover much more than originally planned.

By day, Annie works as an accounting manager and business operations leader in the real estate industry.

Here is an extract from our conversation as we start to get into it…

When I was in high school, my guidance counselor told me that, if I don’t go straight to college, then I’m going to be a failure for the rest of my life. And I asked her, well, what options do I have in terms of a career that doesn’t involve going straight to college, that maybe needs a certification or a license, but not like a full-on degree? Because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve been in school, K to 12. What if there’s something out there that doesn’t fall within academia? Even though I’m good at academia, what if my interests don’t lie in an academic subject? And she was not able to give me advice. Instead, she just kept pushing for college..…

Today’s Guest: MS. ANNIE YANG

By night, Annie gives her all to helping others overcome the biggest obstacles in their lives and she specializes in saving money and helping people free up funds in their budgets. For things that truly matter in their life.

With an astonishing 18,000 strong subscriber base and over 1 million views on YouTube, Annie serves up a no-nonsense series of videos aimed at supporting others who are struggling to take control of their finances. Annie lives by five values, education, financial independence, health, integrity, and service.

And I must say that the more I’ve engaged in conversation with her and researched in preparation for our episode, the more that these values became very evident. As part of the demographic that she serves, which is millennials, Annie’s firsthand experience translates into targeted advice that doesn’t just recycle general platitudes. Whether escaping the debt trap or creating a savings strategy that works, she’s all about actionable solutions that yield results.

Annie’s backstory is as compelling as her advice. She sidestepped the student loan minefield by taking on minimum-wage jobs right after leaving high school. It wasn’t easy, but during that time, she developed a love for frugal living, self-education, and planning for the future. Annie eventually earned her BA in communications from Thomas Edison State University, proving that a debt-free education was still possible.

Final words from Annie:

You have to understand, that we live in a capitalist system where the pay is determined by supply and demand. For people who are not part of a union, where they have to negotiate on their own, you’re not going to get the pay that you want simply because you want it, you have to pay what you want based on market forces. It’s almost like when you go to a seafood restaurant and some of the fish on the menu, like let’s say you wanna get lobster, it says market price, the market price changes every day, there’s no set price for the lobster on the menu.

It’s almost like that. So to find out what the market price is for the job you’re doing, you need to do that research on your own, it’s not the employer’s job to tell you. Right? So if you wanna successfully negotiate for yourself, you need to type in the job title and the local area where you’re living, or the city and state into Google, for example, and then open up all of these sites and new tabs like for example, PayScale is one of them, or Glassdoor also shares salary data as well for positions in different states, and so you wanna find the average of the low, the average of the median and the average of the high.

That way when the employer comes back to you with the offer you know, is it on the low end of the market? Is it in the median or the high end, you should know where you fit because if you’re highly experienced and you’re not entry-level anymore, you should fit more on the high end. I think that is the fairest way to negotiate, you shouldn’t be negotiating and saying, Well, I deserve more simply because I’m so great. It doesn’t work that way…

Transcript:

0:00:02.0 Wayne Brown: Hello, I’m your host Wayne Brown and welcome to the ET Project. We’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET. Today we’re heading to one of my favorite locations in the US, Boston, Massachusetts to chat with an endearing and dynamic young woman, Miss Annie Margarita Yang. Annie has recently released her second bestseller titled The 5-Day Job Search and this is our primary reason for this conversation. However, like many times before, once we start to unpack the life and career of our guests, we discover much more than originally planned. By day, Annie works as an accounting manager and business operations leader in the real estate industry.

0:00:46.7 WB: By night, she gives her all to helping others overcome their biggest obstacles in their lives and she specializes in saving money and helping people free up funds in their budgets. For things that truly matter in their life. With an astonishing 18,000 strong subscriber base and over 1 million views on YouTube, Annie serves up a no-nonsense series of videos aimed at supporting others who are struggling to take control of their finances. Annie lives by five values, education, financial independence, health, integrity, and service. And I must say that the more I’ve engaged in conversation with her, and researched in preparation for our episode, the more that these values became very evident. As part of the demographic that she serves, which is millennials, Annie’s firsthand experience translates into targeted advice that doesn’t just recycle general platitudes. Whether escaping the debt trap or creating a savings strategy that works, she’s all about actionable solutions that yield results.

0:01:55.5 WB: Annie’s backstory is as compelling as her advice. She sidestepped the student loan minefield by taking on minimum wage jobs right after leaving high school. It wasn’t easy, but during the time, she developed a love for frugal living, self-education, and planning for the future. Annie eventually earned her BA in communications from the Thomas Edison State University, proving that a debt-free education was still possible. By the way, you’ll hear me say many times during the episode that this book, is an extremely detailed blueprint for those looking to ready themselves ahead of a career transition, regardless of your age. Myself, at 63, I found a wealth of knowledge and insights that I’m going to put to great use. So if you’re ready, Team ET, let’s get this party started with our guest, Miss Annie Yang, as we learn more about what you can be doing to increase your chances of securing that next dream job in just five days.

0:03:00.3 S2: Welcome to the ET Project, a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact. Join our veteran coach and mentor, Wayne Brown, as we unpack an exciting future together.

0:03:15.2 WB: Alright, well, welcome, Team ET. Pleased to have you with us again for another week. Today, we’re speaking with a millennial. For those that know me, you know I’m a baby boomer, so we’re a few generations apart. Welcome to the ET Project, Annie Yang.

0:03:30.4 Annie Margarita Yang: Wayne, thank you so much for having me on the ET Project. I’m really excited to be here today to talk about my new book, The 5-Day Job Search.

0:03:39.7 WB: So it seems like you’ve been passionate about finance for some time. Is that the case?

0:03:45.6 AY: Yes, I’ve been passionate about personal finance for 10 years.

0:03:50.5 WB: Wow.

0:03:52.3 AY: Because when I was in high school, my guidance counselor told me that, if I don’t go straight to college, then I’m going to be a failure for the rest of my life. And I asked her, well, what options do I have in terms of a career that doesn’t involve going straight to college, that maybe needs a certification or a license, but not like a full-on degree? Because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve been in school, K to 12. What if there’s something out there that doesn’t fall within academia? Even though I’m good at academia, what if my interests don’t lie within an academic subject. And she was not able to give me advice. Instead, she just kept pushing for college.

0:04:35.7 AY: So after high school, I worked a whole string of minimum wage jobs. And I came across Dave Ramsey. He’s a really popular guy here in the United States talking about living debt-free. And he was talking about how so many people live paycheck to paycheck, even though they earn a lot of money. And that was a shock to me. I always thought, in order to be well off financially, you only had to make a lot of money and everything else would be fine. But I learned from him that you have to manage it really well. So I actually became interested at 18, which was a great thing because of him. My mindset was, if I can’t play a good offense in my finances, meaning I can’t make a lot of money, then maybe I can play a really good defense and still make it. That’s what I thought.

0:05:28.7 WB: Just on the topic, you mentioned Dave Ramsey. I’m wondering, any other mentors or anyone else that’s influenced your thinking over the years?

0:05:39.1 AY: In terms of finances, Dave Ramsey had the most. But I think later on, it wasn’t like any particular people online that I found. It was simply from helping companies and businesses with their finances and watching how other people spent their money differently and that they had different philosophies. I have met many business owners that were okay with debt because they use debt to leverage in their business. Right?

0:06:03.8 WB: Yep.

0:06:04.3 AY: They use debt to make money. Prior to working with them, I had the Dave Ramsey mindset like, oh, all debt is bad debt. It doesn’t matter what kind of debt. You shouldn’t have any debt at all. And I really embodied that mindset until I started helping other business owners. I saw that they had debt, but I also saw that they made a lot of money. And financially, they were fine. So I had to learn to adjust to my mindset after that.

0:06:34.2 WB: Looking at your book, looking at your bio, talking to you previously, looking at everything that you do, you’ve come across as an extremely focused, driven individual in the nicest possible way. And I’m wondering, how did you get to this point? Like what created this persona about you?

0:06:57.7 AY: I think I was always like this, maybe even as a kid. Yeah. Even as a kid, I was really focused. In my academics, I was always a straight-A student.

0:07:09.1 WB: Right.

0:07:11.0 AY: I think I had a lot of discipline. Even when I was 18 and I got introduced to Dave Ramsey’s concepts about delayed gratification, I was like, oh, yeah, that sounds obvious. And I implemented it right away. Even earning a minimum wage, I said okay I’m working at ShopRite I’m making $8 an hour. I’m going to save $4 of every 8 that I make every dollar like once it gets into my bank account I’m transferring half of it into my savings account. So I think even back then I kind of had this focus maybe not as much as today. I think today is much more intensified and amplified compared to back then because as I think as you grow older you just become more and more of what you were like personality wise and character wise. So that’s hard for me to say [chuckle] that some people have it some people don’t maybe. But you can also learn, because I started off with money being disciplined with my money and then how you do one thing is how you do everything. So once you learn how to be disciplined with your money. Can you be disciplined with your diet? Can you be disciplined with your exercise? Can you be disciplined with reading every day? How about being disciplined with like right now practicing piano? That’s what I’m doing now for the last two years learning piano as like a total beginner. So I just end up applying that same discipline to various aspects of my life.

0:08:40.9 WB: I just wanna quickly touch on your YouTube channel very successful you had a video I think it was at the beginning of 2019 for whatever reason went viral so congratulations on that but…

0:08:56.1 AY: Thank you.

0:08:57.4 WB: Were you surprised at that stage? I mean your book had been out for almost two years how big was your following at that point?

0:09:05.2 AY: I was a total nobody I had been helping people with their finances for five years at that point without making a single dollar or penny.

0:09:16.2 WB: Right.

0:09:17.8 AY: Everything I had done up to that point I had done for free. I had taught Dave Ramsey’s class for free two times, even going to the extent of having a four-hour round trip train ride from Brooklyn to Long Island just to teach one person.

0:09:33.0 WB: Wow.

0:09:34.1 AY: While making nothing off of her. Yeah like for several years I have gone out of my way to help people. The book that I wrote 1001 Ways to Save Money that was written two years before I made my first YouTube video that had no sales for two years. In fact I lost money on that book in those two years because when it initially launched I asked my friends and family, like, would they like to get a copy of the book if they just write me a review? So that cost me money just to get those reviews.

0:10:02.7 WB: Yeah.

0:10:03.9 AY: That YouTube video that went viral was just, people say it was lucky. I guess you could say that, but I had been doing work for free for five years before I got noticed by anybody.

0:10:19.4 WB: Wow. Yeah. Fantastic. And you talk about that in the book as well, in the sense that every overnight success has a decade of hard work. Today, if I look at your YouTube channel, you have 18,000 subscribers. You have a number of very successful videos on there. So congratulations on all that you’re doing. I guess you have some sort of vision about where you hope to take things from here?

0:10:45.8 AY: Yeah. Well, with the YouTube channel, I’m actually, it’s a little difficult because I’m doing everything myself.

0:10:54.6 WB: Right.

0:10:56.0 AY: At the moment until I have everything down pat, like system-wise.

0:10:58.7 WB: Yes.

0:11:00.4 AY: I’m still just fleshing out the systems and processes, but I do want to make more YouTube videos. I have been really inconsistent the last two years because I was growing my business. And, we see other people, these entrepreneurs on YouTube that claim like, oh, this is how you make so much money. And you see them posting content every day, every two days. And I’m thinking, you’re not a real entrepreneur. You’re not like a real business owner. You’re just like a full-time content creator.

0:11:23.8 WB: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

0:11:24.3 AY: Like positioning yourself as some sort of entrepreneur, who’s rich, blah, blah, blah. But all like the really well-off business owners that I know, they’re not in the limelight. They’re like working hard on their business. They’re not busy, like peddling whatever they want on social media. I am trying to get more consistent. It’s just difficult with the limited time that I have. And so my plans for this channel is, I’m just going to like take two people at a time at any given time. So right now I’m already working with two people I’m going to give them a 5-Day Job Search makeover. So if someone’s been unemployed for a long time they’re coming to me and they’re like Annie I need help and I’ll tell them like I’ll work on you for free but in exchange I’m turning this into content so I need your permission to be able to post our recorded coaching session online. So I’ll work on you for five sessions.

0:12:21.1 AY: And then episode six is going to be just like a follow-up to see where you ended up how did your job search go? Right? So everyone gets only about five hours of time with me and maybe like maybe this will take off because people love like when on like a reality tv show you come in and something’s just like…

0:12:41.5 WB: Exactly. Yes.

0:12:45.0 AY: Totally run down and falling apart and people love watching someone turn it around just like Gordon Ramsey goes into a restaurant that’s failing and then he does these crazy things like he’s like, “What why are you microwaving the the tomato sauce?” Right? “Why is the tomato sauce not fresh?” And things like that. So they love watching people turn things around.

0:13:06.0 WB: Yeah.

0:13:06.7 AY: And I think it would be like a great reality tv show eventually. [chuckle]

0:13:13.2 WB: You also talk about five value that you live by if I share them education, financial independence, health, integrity and service. I’m wondering over the years have they always been the same five or have you found that depending on circumstance where you are in your career what you’re doing they change?

0:13:33.5 AY: They’ve always been the same five. I deliberately picked ones that were a bit more general.

0:13:40.7 WB: Right.

0:13:41.5 AY: Like if I picked discipline instead as a value that’d be hard in every situation. Right? So I did this exercise back when I was 20 to try to figure out who I was because I didn’t want just like any job. I think I’m not the kind of person where like if I can go work for… I’m smart I have the ability to work for a fortune 500 company and I have the ability to climb up the corporate ladder if I wanted to. But like my heart isn’t there, I don’t have the heart to do it and so I didn’t want a career where I would feel bored I wanted one that was like long-lasting passionate. I don’t like the concept of golden handcuffs like just a high-paying job holding me down and I stay just because of the salary so I did this exercise hoping that like maybe it would help me discover myself and know myself a bit better so that I could choose a career where I would be happy. Right?

0:14:38.0 WB: Right.

0:14:38.9 AY: Because the career is something like if you start at 18, and nowadays, people retire when they’re 67. Here in the US, to get full benefits for Social Security is 67, but many people work past 70 because even with Social Security, they can’t live on Social Security. So we’re looking at like a 50-year career span. So it’s a really long career, and I think it requires this thought and deliberation before going into something.

0:15:07.5 WB: Which is a nice segue into the book. You’re different in many ways, and one of the ways that I observed is the way you write the book. So you have a chapter that’s a page long. So I very much enjoy the fact that you’re succinct about what you want to say. You say it, and then you move on to the next segment. So that’s a very endearing trait that you have. It was really enjoyable, I have to say, reading the book. Very practical. It’s almost like a blueprint for anyone wanting to understand what they need to do, to become more successful in their job search approach. One of the things you also say is this is something that you learnt the hard way, trial and error basically, over a period of five years. If people were to follow the book letter by letter almost, they could probably shave a couple of years off that now that you’ve given them the blueprint. But it’s important to realize it will still take time to prepare yourself to be able to achieve what you’ve achieved as the end result. Is that a fair comment?

0:16:22.4 AY: It’s a fair comment, but actually, after I wrote the book and after I started working with people, I have found that actually a lot of people are really talented and capable and qualified. They really their stuff in their own job, their own skill set.

0:16:41.6 WB: Okay.

0:16:42.6 AY: The problem is they didn’t know how to package themselves. It’s like, if you’re a gift, right? You’re a gift to other people, how do you put the wrapping paper around yourself and make yourself really presentable and attractive to others? And that’s what I have found. A lot of people are so much more smarter than me, but I have a more polished online brand than them, so I’m the one who gets the opportunities. I know how to speak, I know how to write, and I know how to communicate, basically.

0:17:11.3 WB: Right.

0:17:13.6 AY: Other people, apparently, they don’t know how to sell themselves. So what I’ve been doing is I’ve been helping people learn to package themselves, to present themselves and speak in a way that’s more attractive to employers. Like this one guy, he kept focusing on the fact that he was laid off and how he didn’t understand how accounting was done, even though he had the degree and a couple of years of experience working in the field, and how he wants to help people with tax returns, but still is learning the material to take the enrolled agent exam for the IRS. And I said, listen, you’re quite smart already. It’s quite clear, you’ve got your master’s degree. Most people don’t have one. Only 30% of the US population even has a bachelor’s degree. Right? So he’s already in the subset of the US population that has a master’s as well. And so I said so the problem is not like, that you’re not capable, that you’re not smart.

0:18:15.8 AY: The problem with him is like, you don’t know how to spin your words, and then he asks me, well, if an employer, potential employer in an interview asks me about my background or my certification and doing tax for other people, what do I say? And I said, you just keep saying over and over and over again, I am studying for the enrolled agent exam when I start working here sometime shortly after I will have passed the exam. You don’t focus on the fact that you don’t have the EA to your name. You focus on the fact that you say, “I am studying for it and I will get it in a couple of months.”

0:18:54.0 WB: Right. Yeah.

0:18:55.3 AY: So he learned how to speak about himself in a better way and he was able to get a job offer in only two weeks.

0:19:01.0 WB: Fantastic. There’s an area in the book, that if you say if you wanna have some quick wins and do like a fast track or a rapid approach, you give about 13 different chapters that people can jump to, so the first one, you highlight is about creating or curating your own narrative and using your full name online is such a clever approach, I’ve never heard people talk about that before. So where did the idea even come from?

0:19:33.8 AY: It came because I looked myself online, I think when I was 22 at the time, I had this blog. The blog domain was annieyang.nyc because annieyang.com was taken.

0:19:46.8 WB: Right.

0:19:47.2 AY: And I had written a couple of blogs on it, and then I Googled myself after two years of writing, and I realized none of the Google search results belong to me. Like I have written these articles, they should show up because it’s Annie Yang, but it doesn’t show up on Google because there are so many Annie Yangs on this planet.

0:20:05.7 WB: Right.

0:20:08.4 AY: So we had any Annie Yang the lawyer, Annie Yang the graphic designer, and then I was like… I was getting really frustrated. So finally, I was just like, Okay, you know I have a full name. My full name is Annie Margarita Yang. I think there’s only one Annie Margarita Yang in this world. Maybe I have to use this. It’s a mouthful. People were like, “Huh, what? How do you spell Margarita?” Or like your domain name is Anniemargaritayang.com. It’s like really long, I have to type this whole thing out and I don’t care, I just… I went with Annie Margarita Yang, so that now, when you search my name on Bing or on Google, pretty much the first three search result pages all belong to me. They’re all content that I created or I collaborated with other people, so everything that shows up was something that I curated online.

0:20:57.5 WB: And how valuable is that in terms of the job search approach, like being visible for potential employers to be able to find you easily, how much value does that actually create for you?

0:21:13.2 AY: It’s incredibly valuable because before an employer wants to give someone an interview, they’re looking at a whole stack of resumes, maybe some of these applicants have a LinkedIn profile URL at the top of their resume that they can go to.

0:21:29.1 WB: Yes.

0:21:30.6 AY: But yeah, before any employer these days wants to give you an interview, they want to look you up online.

0:21:36.7 WB: Right.

0:21:37.2 AY: When I was hiring people to work for me, I wanted just to make sure this person isn’t some sort of extremist or maybe a crazy person. So yeah, I would do all kinds of searches. Can I find them on Facebook, Google, Twitter, just to see what kind of person this is before I even walk into the interview to do the questions and the answers. Because why waste my time? Why discover that in the interview when I can just look it up 10 minutes and decide, yeah. No, that’s not worth my time. So you might be getting turned down for interviews for all you know without ever knowing it, because of what you posted online.

0:22:16.0 WB: One question came to my mind while I was reading about this, and I’m wondering how much has the playing field shifted now with the onset of technology, AI and HR companies using more and more AI to do the initial screening of resumes and everything, have you experienced that to be a big factor in your approach?

0:22:45.3 AY: No. Because if you are already posting good things online and you’ve built up a good reputation, if you have a network, which takes time to build, I understand. It’s hard to expect an entry level frat out of college or just a high school person to have that kind of network, it takes that five years to build.

0:23:06.1 WB: Right.

0:23:06.9 AY: But if you can build that network and you can build that reputation, you will be fine, you’ll be fine, you still need the good resume and the LinkedIn that’s highly targeted for what you’re going after, but even with the AI screening people out, you should be fine. Because I have looked at people’s resumes prior to writing the book, I haven’t looked at other people’s resumes, and then after writing the book, people wanted my help on fixing up their resume and… Yeah, a lot of people’s resumes are really mediocre.

0:23:37.0 WB: Yes.

0:23:38.8 AY: Like they really do not highlight the kind of skills and accomplishments people have had at work, that’s why I’m saying, I’m so surprised by how accomplished people are at work, but then the resume doesn’t do it justice.

0:23:53.2 WB: And as you mentioned, the majority of people talk about the task that they do rather than the achievement that they have as a result of what they do in their resume. And I…

0:24:08.7 AY: Yeah it’s a… What I have found is it’s a reiteration of the job listing that they had like their job responsibilities, if they had to print out the job listing that they applied to that got them that current job that they’re working, it would just… Their resume would be a reiteration of that.

0:24:26.7 WB: One of the things I really love about the book is you go into so much specific detail, like if I look at chapter 15, you’re talking about, curating your online narrative, Chapter 16 is talking about first impressions and getting the professional head shot, I think Chapter 18 may be optimizing your LinkedIn profile. So you’re really giving specific support guidance to how to repair that brand, that personal brand, that image, how to become polished like Annie Yang in that regard, and I think that’s so useful. As I went through the book, I was using it as a checklist for myself, so I have a long way to go as well. So thank you for that. The email…

0:25:18.2 AY: You’re welcome, though your brand is great, your brand is already great, you keep showing up on my LinkedIn feed and I’m like, Wow, this guy is doing great stuff, he’s reading a book a day practically. So your brand is already good. If I were an employee, I would hire you.

[laughter]

0:25:36.1 WB: No, thank you, I’ll take you up on that. One of the things I don’t do well, and you put it in there, it was about the email signature, so I checked out the link that you put in there, I think it was signature.email or something, so I’ll be using them, so very good. You also talk about people like Jim Rohn and comments that he made during his career about presenting your best self, people make judgements about you before you get a chance to talk so based on your appearance. Which is very true. How do you find 50 jobs to apply for in a day, and how do you actually turn that out as a physical implementable action to apply to 50 jobs in a day? That’s an incredible amount.

0:26:27.5 AY: These days, there’s the Easy Apply button. Right? If you already have a Linkedin or a Linkedin resume uploaded and you already have your resume uploaded on Indeed and ZipRecruiter, you can click the button that just says apply to this job.

0:26:42.4 WB: Ah, I see.

0:26:43.8 AY: And you don’t have to add anything else, you just literally click apply. And then you’ve applied. So if you’re applying to 50 jobs a day, it’s really only a one-hour task per day. Like we’re assuming you spend just a little over a minute on each one looking through the listing. Yeah, looks good, apply. I think what happens is other people, they mull over the fact like, Oh, but this job listing is asking for 10 things, they’re saying they want these 10 qualifications, five of them are requirements and I don’t meet five of the requirements, I meet only four of them, so therefore I’m not qualified to apply. And this is actually something that holds women back because women are really much about following the rules, they’re really conscientious, and they pay attention to small details like this, and they’ve already filtered themselves out when they look at these listings and they’re like, Oh, I don’t qualify, I’m not gonna apply, they’re not gonna like me.

0:27:40.4 AY: This application’s going to be rejected, I have found like I’m generalizing here. Right?

0:27:45.8 WB: Yeah. Sure.

0:27:47.2 AY: Because there are men who do this as well, but there are also more men in the male population that are also like, Oh, I don’t qualify, but I am just going to apply anyway, let’s see, I’m just gonna put in my shot and see what comes out of this.

0:28:00.4 WB: Yeah.

0:28:00.5 AY: So they apply anyway. And what people don’t realize is you don’t need to read these listings in depth, it doesn’t matter because it’s really a wish list, it’s like the employer going on a shopping spree for Christmas. And they’re like, Oh, it’s Christmas. I have a budget, this is my wallet, and I’m gonna go shopping, what do I want? And I have all these things that I want on my wish list, maybe I’ll get some of it, not all of it, but hey, just to put it out there into the world, this is what I want.

0:28:35.4 WB: Right. Right.

0:28:36.8 AY: There’s no guarantee that they will find somebody who meets all of what they want, and even if there is someone who has that exact combination, that person might have a personality problem that might not get well with the rest of the team. Or That person doesn’t even have the desire to work for that kind of company.

0:28:56.5 WB: And that comes back to a personality trait that I see that really shines through with you, is you’re such a disciplinarian in your approach, your target is to shine and outperform others, perhaps or at least in your job to do the best you can possibly do. Not everyone approaches their employment in that manner, and I guess that’s one of the defining factors that I see about you, so I’m sure that’s had a big impact when you’ve been applying for different jobs, throughout your career.

0:29:36.3 AY: Yeah. That’s right. I think I want to do the best that I can. I like to put my best foot forward.

0:29:41.3 WB: Yeah.

0:29:44.0 AY: So even if I’m not paid well, or even if I’m working for a flat fee on a project, and I’ve gone over time, I spend so much more time than I expected to the point where I’m making less than minimum wage on a project because I charged the wrong price for a flat fee, I will still continue to put in my best work.

0:30:03.0 WB: Right. Yeah.

0:30:03.6 AY: Until the contract is terminated and finished and complete. Because it just doesn’t feel right unless I have put in my best work.

0:30:15.9 WB: One area that you talk about is reframing, I wonder if you could speak to that a little bit, particularly with people, as you mentioned earlier, that are struggling to really position themselves where they could be, and they need to reframe in their mindset so that they can tell a stronger or more powerful story. How does that play out when you’re talking with your clients?

0:30:42.3 AY: Yeah, like the people that are coming to me, like one right now, has been unemployed since May. He’s been unemployed for six months at this point. And he said he’s getting desperate, I really need a job ASAP right away, you know, I need to pay my bills, I’m in debt and I can’t put food on the table very soon, I’m going to run out of savings and things like that.

0:31:07.2 WB: Yeah.

0:31:08.1 AY: And it’s hard, I understand, because your brain goes down this rabbit hole where it just like over and over and over again, will just re-play these thoughts and it’s not going to serve you in your job search. So I think a lot of life, a lot of the issues we have in life is really about how we frame things. Right?

0:31:26.2 WB: Yeah.

0:31:27.1 AY: And if he goes into that interview with that kind of desperate energy, he’s not going to land a job because employers can sense this, anyone can sense this like, Oh, something’s off about this guy, why does He desperately wanna work here? So you really just have to think of like, “Okay, if I am unemployed right now and I can’t pay the bills, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Oh, I will be homeless?”

0:31:53.2 AY: Okay, but maybe I can move in with my other family members, even if they are out of state, I can ask them for help, I won’t be able to put food on the table… Well, maybe there’s a nearby food pantry where I can get help in terms of food. Right? There’s so many different options before homeless. Homeless is really like the last step. There’s a lot of social welfare programs out there to help people that are in need here in the United States. You just have to know about these programs. So if you think about it in this way, then what happens if you don’t get the job instead of drumming up this worst case scenario that your brain likes to do, you can think like, Oh, if I don’t get this job, things will just be exactly the same as they are now, and I’m living that reality right now, so it’s okay. [chuckle] It’s okay. Right?

0:32:45.8 WB: Let’s say that I’m in a job, that I’m not enjoying and I wanna get out, but I can’t afford to get out. Similar to what you’re talking about, until I’ve got something else that I can move on to. So if you have somebody come and they’re talking with you, working with you like that. Are there any suggestions you would give to that person to get them started?

0:33:10.8 AY: Yeah, they just really need to start doing the things that I talk about in the 5-Day Job Search, not just mindset about how to think about your employer while on your job search, but just everything implementing the headshot, crafting up on a resume that will attract employers working on your LinkedIn profile and then doing the apply to 50 jobs a day and only research after you’re scheduled for an interview, like if you just follow that advice, you will be fine. Very shortly after you follow this advice, you will be given a job offer and you will be able to get out of that toxic workplace. So really, it’s just a matter of thinking like, Okay, I can change this because people think they’re tied to their employer for some reason, like it’s better to keep things as they are because at least these are knowns than it is to change and go into the unknown.

0:34:08.8 WB: Right.

0:34:09.6 AY: I think that’s a mindset that people have, but you can get out of your situation, you’re not like held at gun point, you’re not forced to work there, right? You’re there by contract and you can break the contract at any time.

0:34:21.9 WB: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. One of the things I was also curious about is, what about the post-interview process, what recommendations do you have for people, that have been to the interview, how soon after the interview should they follow up, is there a specific way to do that? What’s your thoughts around that?

0:34:45.1 AY: My thoughts about this is you can follow up the next day and just say, “Thank you for the interview, I look forward to hearing from you the status of my application.” But if you hound them every day, Hey, what’s the status, what’s the status, what’s the status, you will come across as desperate.

0:35:03.7 WB: Yeah.

0:35:04.4 AY: And nobody likes that desperation, so I would say, next day say thank you, or even immediately after the interview, you can just write a quick thank you email and then you can follow up a week. I think a week would be good enough because they might be interviewing other candidates, so if you give a week, they probably finished interviewing a couple of the other candidates and they can clearly see whether you are a good fit or not, and whether they want to move forward with you.

0:35:32.5 WB: I’m wondering, is there anything we haven’t spoken about that you think our listeners will benefit by being aware of?

0:35:40.2 AY: Maybe the salary negotiation. So people… We see so many strikes happening across the US right now.

0:35:47.5 WB: Right.

0:35:48.4 AY: And unions are organizing and asking for more pay, but you have to understand, we live in a capitalist system where the pay is determined by supply and demand. For people that are not part of a union, where they have to negotiate on their own, you’re not going to get the pay that you want simply because you want it, you got to pay that you want based on market forces. It’s almost like when you go to a seafood restaurant and some of the fish on the menu, like let’s say you wanna get lobster, it says market price, the market price changes every day, there’s no set price for the lobster on the menu. It’s almost like that. So in order to find out what the market price is for the job you’re doing, you need to do that research on your own, it’s not the employer’s job to tell you. Right? So if you wanna successfully negotiate for yourself, you need to type in the job title and plus the local area where you’re living, or like the city and state into Google, for example, and then open up all of these sites and new tabs like for example, PayScale is one of them, or Glassdoor also shares salary data as well for positions in different states, and so you wanna find the average of the low, the average of the median and the average of the high.

0:37:02.8 AY: That way when the employer comes back to you with the offer you know, is it on the low end of the market? Is it in the median or the high end, and you should know where you fit, because if you’re highly experienced and you’re not entry level anymore, you should fit more on the high end. I think that is the fairest way to negotiate, you shouldn’t be negotiating and saying, Well, I deserve more simple because I’m so great. It doesn’t work that way.

0:37:34.4 WB: Yeah. Anyway, can people go connect with you, talk with you about what you’re doing, buy your book?

0:37:43.5 AY: They can connect with me on LinkedIn, I check LinkedIn every day. So they can go on linkedin.com/in/annieyangfinancial. And to buy my book, I have a special offer for your listeners today, they can go on annieyangfinancial.com and add the book to their shopping cart, and upon check out for the 5-day Job Search, they can enter the coupon code, ET. Literally the two letters just ET for 10% off on the signed paper back copy.

0:38:16.5 WB: Fantastic.

0:38:18.0 AY: And I’m also on YouTube mainly, that’s where my main social media is. So, to catch up with me there, just search Annie Margarita Yang and I should be the first result.

0:38:28.0 WB: You are, I tried it today. Thank you, Annie, for being on the show on the ET Project.

0:38:32.7 AY: Thank you so much for having me on your show Wayne, I really enjoyed being here today.

0:38:38.3 S2: Thank you for joining us on the ET Project a show for executive talent development until next time, check out our site for free videos, e-books, webinars and blogs at coaching4companies.com.