Category Archives: Uncategorized

‘Comfort Zones’ Are Overrated

Guest Blog
by Paul Porras

This is one that hits home for me for many reasons. Professionally speaking, I’ve always been good about speaking up and making my intentions known. I tend to be pretty open with my boss about what I want out of my career and how I plan to get there. I will ask for a challenging task, a raise, and even a promotion because the fact is, nobody is really going to do that for you. I attribute this to my growth and learning in the military. My trouble, however, lies in the initial acts of doing. Now, I’m not saying I don’t get it done. I pride myself on my work and my efficiency. What I’m referring to is the reaching out of my ‘comfort zone’ to get started on those things that I want. I won’t lie I’m a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to getting started. It’s the apprehension of doing something new that really gets to me and delays my initial reaction. It’s been this way MY ENTIRE LIFE! From learning to swim and riding a bike to even sliding down a park slide for the first time – embarrassing. I digress.

The whole concept of reaching out of my ‘comfort zone’ is intimidating, especially in a professional setting. Can you relate?
I think everyone can on some level. We all have a fearful place that we ignore or sidestep. We let others be the doers and see them reap the benefits. Well, let me tell you this from my personal experience…you can do it – it can be done! If you can dig down deep and suppress your apprehensions of doing something fearful, you will experience both success and true satisfaction. I now realize that this has been true throughout my life, but only recently, and as I begin my new business venture, have my eyes been opened to this epiphany. I’ve stepped outside that ‘zone’, survived, and prospered! I guarantee the same will be true for you. So please, heed my words…’comfort zones’ are overrated!
A few lessons learned:
• Latch onto someone that pushes your limits and holds you accountable to your goals and dreams – a spouse, a mentor, a boss, a coach, anyone.
• Take a deep breath, say a quick prayer (if you do that), and leap!
• Believe in yourself and your abilities. You have no idea what you are capable of until you try, and believe me you are capable.
• Realize why you are doing what you are doing, and do it!
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South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture discusses job opportunities in South Dakota

Secretary Of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch visits with Directional Motivation founder, Russ Hovendick,  about employment opportunities in South Dakota, upcoming projects,  as well as his path to becoming secretary. Lucas brings a unique background of experience to the position which includes: farming, food manufacturing, military and also being a small business owner.

Useful Links:
SD Ready To Work

Dakota Roots


Olympic Motivation

by Andrew Rock

Gold Medalist Andrew Rock

As an Olympic Gold Medalist, I am asked frequently about my motivation, drive, and commitment towards excellence. What does it take to achieve beyond what you think is imaginable? How did you manage all of the hard work it took to get there?

First, I want to say that I believe the following principles apply to many circumstances – athletics, career, job search, etc. A few of my thoughts on this:

Goal Setting:

To start, I believe strongly in goal setting. What do you want to accomplish or be? Once you have that established you can then decide how you are going to get there. In order to have an unwavering motivation, I think it is essential to set small goals that are measurable and achievable. You need to feel like you are making progress in order to stay committed. These goals cannot be so difficult to achieve that you lose hope but must be challenging enough to make sure you are working hard and committing yourself towards your ultimate goal. Read More →

To My Fellow Veterans

by Nolan Ruby

Nolan Ruby

Standing at the starting gate of a summer long overdue, (considering the winter most of us have had,) already a few picnics and barbeques into June’s extended sunny days, and just a few days away from a long weekend of cold drinks and fireworks, it’s tempting to fall into our tried and proven, comfortable routines. We move through our schedules towards the next “check in the box,” and we forget I fear that ambition and sense of wonder which caused us to request a tour of duty within the armed forces. We have a job, and it’s meeting the needs for now, so we settle, we accept, and we start to think that perhaps the most accomplished days in our lives may be behind us. We look for that feeling of achievement like we once had, only to find a world of supervisors who do not seem to understand our past success. We find a world full of cubicles and digital deadlines, and we may become disheartened.

Have you ever had these thoughts? Sir Frances Bacon once stated; “The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he is yet alive.” Can you relate to that? If you can, if I just explained in detail your feelings, have you settled? Do you want more? If so, how hard are you willing to work for it?
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Kristy Jackson -The importance of Internships

Kristy Jackson

Kristy Jackson

It is with great pleasure that I write my first blog article! Over the years, I’ve worked in higher education and business, always with a focus on either career planning or organizational development. Simply put, I love to help people “see and seize” opportunities that will help them grow.

I currently work for the local educational co-op, which means that my clients are school districts. While I work on a variety of projects, one area that has caught the attention of parents recently is our internship programming.  Over the past five years, we’ve placed hundreds of high-school aged students into internships at local businesses and non-profit organizations for the handful of school districts that use this service.  It is a great way for students to ‘sample’ a career field, prior to investing time and money at college.

What to do if your school does not have a formal internship program? 

As internships have gained in popularity, I’ve received several phone calls from parents who are seeking guidance as they are attempting to arrange internships for their own teens.  Each student is different, but I’ve found that most teens appreciate help with:

  1. Identifying career fields that are related to their interests
  2. Determining which businesses offer those career fields
  3. Verbalizing his or her goals for the experience.  In other words:  what is your child hoping to discover during the internship?  What strengths do they want to test?  What do they want to learn?
  4. Scheduling.  Teens are busy!  If you can help them to identify consistent blocks of time that could be used for an internship experience, it will make it easier for a business to say ‘yes’ to your teen’s inquiry.

As you help your teen to plan their approach, be sure to prepare them for scenarios that might arise during their initial phone conversation with a business.  Being prepared to schedule an interview, to leave a message, or to handle a ‘turn-down’ are all equally important, and this will make your teen feel more confident.

If your teen is looking for additional support in arranging an internship, remember that your school counselor is often a great place to start.  There are also supportive resources available online, including the Directional Motivation website.  Their ‘Know Your Strengths’ worksheet provides a clear, easy way for teens to identify personal strengths that they can contribute during an internship.  It can be found online at:

Readers: chime in!  What other kinds of support would help your child’s career development efforts?


This is a guest blog post written by Kristy Jackson, manager of the Career Link program at EDEC in Sioux Falls, SD.  She serves on a variety of non-profit boards that support the career development efforts of students.

South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs Larry Zimmerman Interview

Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs Larry Zimmerman speaks about Veteran issues both nationally and within the state of South Dakota. Larry discusses the objectives and recent developments of Operation RAV and his efforts to personally reach every veteran in South Dakota. Larry also hails the efforts of the Directional Motivation team to impact the lives of veterans and their families. For veteran resources including the book ” Deployment to Employment: A guide for military veterans transitioning to civilian employment” visit
For more information on south Dakota Veteran Affairs visit

The Importance of Veterans in Your Ranks

By Michael E. Echols, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Bellevue University

Our nation’s veterans are in the news, with individuals deployed for duty coming home and struggling to find traction in the civilian workforce. According to labor statistics, veterans have higher unemployment rates than the general population. They may also be underemployed — languishing in positions that don’t take advantage of the very skills most businesses say they need most today.

In fact, the 2012 PwC 15th Annual CEO Survey reports that more than half of the more than 1,250 company leaders polled cited a lack of key skills among veterans as a major challenge for their organizations. Only 30 percent said they are confident they will have access to the talent they need over the next three years.
Read More →

Last day to apply for scholarship

Today is the last day to apply for our scholarship. Our scholarship winner will be selected on June 28th and announced at 10 AM. Keep in mind the scholarship can be used for self improvement courses, professional certifications and licensing or traditional higher education. Apply Today!

Note: If you applied for the previous scholarship and did not win, you will need to reapply to be eligible for this scholarship.

Attention Recent Grads

Unfortunately stories like the one pictured below are not uncommon in today’s economy. Are you a recent graduate looking to land your first job? Please use our videos and other interviewing resources to help you land the job you really want. Also be sure to check out our latest book “How to Interview: What employers want to hear in today’s competitive job market.”


The Scoop on Resumes and Cover Letters

By: Capiz Greene


People spend way too much time worrying, fretting about and re-doing resumes during a job
search. Here are some basic rules and tips for resumes and cover letters that allow you to
showcase yourself in the best light, and be as time efficient as possible in your job search.
REMEMBER: When you are looking for a job, it IS a full time job! Here is a way to look at the whole process:

1. In a job search, the product is YOU.

2. YOU must be promoted in the best light, to the most people possible who will BUY YOU.

3. The cover letter and resume are the two initial promotional tools you use to get the attention of
your target market: the potential employer.

4. The Cover Letter is the “teaser” – it is the preview of what is to come. (Much like the news
teasers – “100 car pile up on interstate 94 – details at 10”)

5. The Resume then becomes the “Ad” for your product. It includes just enough information to
raise the potential employers’ curiosity and get them to call you in for an interview.
a. Many people make the mistake of putting EVERYTHING about themselves in the
resume – enough information to land them in the circular file (the trash can).

6. It is important to keep in mind that simple, direct and easy to scan is the rule to live by in
writing resumes and cover letters.

7. Know your top three (3) areas of strengths and prime story examples that show evidence and support of those strengths.

8. Include a line in your cover letter that states you will follow up on a particular day…then do it!

9. Structure your resume beginning with a summary (not an objective), and then follow with
your accomplishments.

10. Write in active voice: eliminate the phrases “Duties Included” and “Responsible for”.
a. Employers want to know what you actually DID, not a copy of your job description.

11. Omit a “job objective”. In this fast paced, impatient I-Want-It-NOW world of scanning, a job objective limits you to that one objective and is the quickest way to weed you out!

12. You do not have to list your work experience all the way back to the time of Moses. The last 10 years is all that is needed.

13. But I had some really good jobs further back than 10 years! How can I not include them?!
a. We’ll cover that in the “Accomplishments” section. Really. It’s not hard to look good
on paper!

Once you have the template for writing these two documents, it is a simple matter to move them around and rearrange to accommodate different jobs for which you are applying.
Capiz (pronounced “copy”) Greene is based in Omaha, Nebraska. She is an international speaker and author who works with organizations that want to create environments where people can achieve and perform at their best and individuals who want careers that reflect their passion and purpose.

For more information on outplacement/job transition services, please contact Capiz at