DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve been trying to buy a house for the past year. I feel like every time I find something that I want and that will work, something goes wrong. I have all of my money and credit in order and am ready to pull the trigger, but there’s a problem with either the property company, the lender, the Realtors, the sellers or the house, or something else will feel off that makes me hesitate on finishing the contract. I have had to back out of four different deals for all different reasons.
I am ready to give up and stay where I am and keep renting. I am unhappy where I am, but I feel like anything new is going to be a step down now. I need some light to keep me focused. How can I stay motivated? -- It's Never Right
DEAR IT’S NEVER RIGHT: Have patience. Buying property is a big decision. Trust your instincts. It’s better that you walked away from four different deals than to have signed yourself and your resources into something that you regret.
Pause for a moment and think about what you really want in a house. What are your top priorities? Write them down so that you can have your list top of mind as you consider other properties. Take your time and follow your list. You will find the right property for you.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My job has a promotion open, and I want to do my best to get noticed and be considered for the position. There are many people at my job that have the same idea in mind, and it is like a madhouse at work. Everyone is crunching to get their work done and trying their best to help out the big boss.
I don’t want to be ordinary and do what everyone else is doing. I want to be unique, but I don’t know what I can do to stand out. I’m doing my work and volunteering where I can. I come to work early and leave last. What else can I do, and what do bosses expect when looking for the right person for a promotion? -- Best Candidate
DEAR BEST CANDIDATE: Think about the position. What are the requirements for it? What does your company need to be successful? What qualities do you have that are well-suited for the role in question? Why are you "the one” for this role? Spend time answering these questions. This is where your uniqueness comes in. What about your education, job experience, personal experience and relationships makes you particularly right for this role? What about your temperament, ability to work with others and perspective on the work at hand are assets for your company?
After you consider these questions very specifically, write down what stands out about you for this role. You need to be able to answer the question “Why me?” in terms of why you should be hired. Once you have that answer, consider writing up a proposal that pitches you for the job, telling your employer what you can offer to add to the bottom line, describing your brand of leadership. You can proactively offer your pitch to your employer, making it clear that you are interested and prepared to do the job. Meanwhile, continue to do your work to the best of your ability with as pleasant an attitude as possible.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)