Successful Networking With Busy People

As luck would have it, the people with whom you most want to network are usually the busiest. Trying to connect with these people can be challenging, because there's so much competition for their time.

But these busy people are often the best contacts you can have. Most people who are always busy are that way for a good reason: a large number of people want to network with them.

For greater success, remember these tips when reaching out to such busy people:

1. Think like a busy person. Consider their perspective. A busy person is unlikely give you a lot of attention without a really good reason. The fact that you reached out to them is not necessarily a guarantee that you'll receive a response.

* The busy person you have your sights on may receive upwards of hundreds of communications every day. They can't give the same amount of attention to every contact. Just as your local emergency room must assist patients based on the severity of their medical issues, the busy person also sorts their interpersonal to-do list.

* You may have a great and even noble reason for reaching out to them. But you must see reality from their perspective if you want to succeed in making contact. Would you rather spend a few extra hours returning phone calls and answering e-mails from strangers, or would you rather spend that time with your friends and family?

* As you can see, busy people have to be very selective when it comes to returning communication attempts. This isn't rudeness. They're just being effective. Realizing this gives you a much better chance of connecting with them. Accept the fact that you're going to have to function within their reality and not within your own.

2. Be unique. Avoid sending the same thing they've seen 500 times already this week. If your email looks like everyone else's or your phone call sounds like everyone else's, you're going to the same place all of those people have gone: to the virtual wastebasket.

* Give them something unique if you want a personal reply instead of a canned response or no response at all.

3. Use the least clogged communication channels. E-mail is almost always a bad idea. Even non-busy people frequently have more e-mail than they can reasonably answer. The phone may or may not be a good idea, depending on the person and their field of business.

* Are you confident your e-mail will be read? Consider good, old snail mail. Most of us don't get mail anymore besides bills. It would be even better if you hand wrote it on real stationary. You can guarantee it will be opened and read, especially if it is sent via FedEx or UPS.

Be creative in your approach. Making meaningful contact with busy people can be challenging, but it can certainly be accomplished. Always consider their perspective and the time pressure that exists in their lives. If you're thoughtful, polite, and at least a little inventive, you can add that busy person to your contact list!


I am proud to make an honest living.

There are few things that outdo the pride of earning an honest living. There is an element of satisfaction that comes from toiling and seeing the results of that work.

The world is filled with many temptations to take shortcuts in life. But I refrain from allowing those influences to catch my attention. I know that very rarely do easy things bring enduring satisfaction.

Being upfront about my abilities is a sure way to make an honest living. I gain a lot of respect when others realize I produce exactly what I say I am able to.

Cheating is an extreme that I refuse to entertain. It weighs on my conscience and prevents me from being at peace. Any success earned by dishonest means is sure to dwindle away with time.

Even though I sometimes want to earn more, I remain patient. I know that I always have enough to get by. That knowledge keeps me from becoming frustrated with my circumstances.

Today, I am proud of my achievements and the earnings that I receive as a result. My future looks bright because I believe in the rewards that come from hard work. My daily approach is to stay honest and dedicated to my responsibilities.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What other ways can I extend my charitable side to the community. How do I handle temptations to act dishonestly for extra income?
2. What gets me back on track when I begin to feel frustrated with my financial situation?
3. What are some things I can do to ease my financial stress?

 

A career change at this time in my life is for the better.

I look forward to change because it is through change that I grow and come one step closer to achieving my purpose.

A career change at this time in my life is for the better because there is no better time than the present to embark on a new adventure.

This life is not eternal; therefore, I choose to spend my time exclusively on activities, which I am passionate about. Today is the day for me to start doing what I love to do. There is a time to be responsible and cautious, but there is also a time to take risks and follow my heart.

At this time in my life, it is best for me to pursue my dreams. I have a fresh and new perspective on life, which causes me to reconsider the rut in which I find myself.

Awakening from this comfortable state requires courage and determination but produces gains beyond measure. I am thrilled about my opportunity to reinvent myself through a new career.

I reject any doubts that try to induce fear within me about my future. The truth is that in these uncertain times life is a gamble. Whether I continue on my current path or choose to change careers, I am taking a risk.

Today, I choose to become informed about a new career and begin to plan a change. Launching myself out of my comfort zone is just what I need to attain happiness in this season of my life.

Self-Reflection Questions:

• Am I stuck in a rut? If yes, what steps will get me out?
• What new career interests me?
• How does a new career bring me closer to fulfilling my purpose in the world?

 

Leaving a Job Gracefully

Leaving a job gracefully enables you to protect your future career path and maintain good relationships with former colleagues. During your career, especially if you stay in the same industry, new jobs are often enhanced by good relationships with former bosses and co-workers. It's a small world - you never know who from your past you might meet again in your future.

The average worker changes jobs 10 times or more in a lifetime, so it's more important than ever to know how to make a peaceful departure.

Following these strategies as you plan a job change will ensure a smooth transition and keep your career on track.

Preparing to Quit Your Job

1. Be discreet about searching for a new job while you're working. Conduct your job search on your own time.

* Use your private email and cell phone when you send out resumes.

* Start dressing up now if you're concerned about looking conspicuous on the days you go out on interviews.

2. Consider your timeline. Timing always plays a big part. If you're considering leaving your current employment, a good time to start looking for new opportunities is right after you've made major accomplishments in your current position. This way, you're in a better position to get more desirable offers.

3. Review your company policies on resignations. Refresh your knowledge of the process for resigning at your company.

* Some workplaces may require you to notify your supervisor and the human resources department. Try to accommodate at least the minimum notice period requested.

4. Check your employee manual for compensation issues. Find out what you're entitled to when it comes to benefits such as unused leave, pension, insurance, and flexible spending accounts. You'll be prepared to verify that everything gets accounted for in your final paperwork.

5. Complete your assignments. Remain diligent about fulfilling your current responsibilities. It's the right thing to do and will make a better impression, however things turn out.

6. Leave detailed documentation. Impress your supervisor by maintaining an updated training manual that your successor can use. This makes a graceful departure easier and your final days less hectic.

Submitting Your Resignation

1. Know the basics for a good letter of resignation. Regardless of the circumstances, put a positive spin on your reasons for leaving and express your gratitude for the experience. Specify your date of departure and offer your assistance with the transition. Close by extending your good wishes and the desire to stay in touch.

2. Talk with your supervisor. In many situations, you'll want to approach your boss in person to give them notice before the formal resignation letter. It can help defuse any anxieties and maintain a cordial relationship.

3. Clarify your references. Try to get a letter of recommendation so you'll have something handy in the future if you lose track of former co-workers. You may also want to supplement your supervisor's reference with additional endorsements from board members or others.

4. Make realistic commitments. Your employer will probably appreciate your cooperation in the transition. Offer whatever is feasible for your schedule in terms of training a successor and finishing projects.

5. Help find your successor. You can do everyone a favor if you know someone suitable for your old position. Let your boss know if you have a great candidate in mind.

6. Be prepared for your exit interview. Some companies conduct exit interviews to collect feedback from departing employees. Depending on the corporate culture, you may want to make constructive suggestions or just avoid saying anything that could cause complications.

7. Remain part of the team. Keep a positive attitude right through your final moments on the job. Speak tactfully about any past conflicts as well as about your new position. Make every effort to be helpful and considerate.

Starting a new job can be an exciting step forward in your life. By making a smooth transition from your former employer, you'll keep your career on track and make the process less stressful for everyone involved.

 

Working Under Pressure: Be At Your Best When it Matters


Working under pressure is the status quo in much of the world. While some people handle pressure better than others, we all have the capacity to enhance our skills and perform well under pressure.

Ask yourself these questions to gain a better perspective of your situation.

When am I most likely to feel anxious in my personal or professional life?
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

How does my body react to stress?

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

How is my mind affected by stress? How would I rate my ability to concentrate and focus?


________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

What techniques can I use to be more mindful at home and at work?


________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

What techniques can I use to relax? What has worked for me in the past?


________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

Have I made poor decisions in the past when under pressure? What are they?

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 

How can I make better solutions in the future when I’m feeling uncomfortable?

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

 


I am enthusiastic about my work.

My career provides me with many opportunities. Even if the work itself sometimes feels less than exciting, I am enthusiastic as I think about all of the good things ushered into my life by my choice of occupation.

My work allows me to meet my needs in the physical world; I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on the table. But this is just the beginning.

Thanks to what I do for a living, I also have an abundance of luxuries. Maybe these luxuries are small, like being able to afford whatever kind of toothbrush I like. Or maybe they are big, like a nice, newer car. Regardless of how much they cost, I take time to appreciate all the things provided by the work I do.

I also get to know myself better through my job. I learn about my likes and dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses. This is a huge boon to me, as I am always on a path of growth and development.

Sometimes, I may wonder what life would be like with a different career. This is just fine! Although I am enthusiastic about my work, when I pay attention to my daydreams and longings, I become increasingly aware of who I am and what I want out of my life. I may even be prompted to make a change in what I do for a living, which is also just fine!

Today, I make time to think about all the ways in which my work benefits me. I am grateful for all the many opportunities my job provides. Today, I commit myself to a fully positive attitude about the work that I do.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What are some of the ways in which my job is beneficial to me?
2. What do I learn from my work?
3. Are there opportunities for me to manifest more enthusiasm about my vocation?


Top 10 Ways to Demonstrate Your Ability to Handle Pressure at Work

Is your job particularly demanding? Being able to deal with pressure in the workplace is a highly sought-after skill. If pressure at work is part of your everyday life, you'll be happy to learn that there are things you can do to both lower the pressure and prove to others that you can handle pressure effectively.

Put these ideas into action and impress your superiors and co-workers with how great you handle on-the-job pressure:

1. Remain calm. Maintain a calm demeanor no matter what happens. This takes practice, but the more you practice, the better you get. Staying calm demonstrates that you have the ability to take things in stride and complete your tasks even in the face of difficult circumstances.

2. Stay focused on what needs to be accomplished. Even though the day may be stressful, keep your mind on completing your regular responsibilities.

3. Help others to get through their taxing day. If you notice your co-workers struggling with their tasks, help them finish and become the leader you know you are!

4. Stay positive. Refuse to enter into arguments or other disagreements with co-workers. Keep busy to enable your thoughts remain positive and focused.

5. Get help if it's needed. Part of your job as an employee is to protect your employer. Notice if there is something out of line and get the help that you need immediately. Assessing the situation and taking care of issues right away shows that you can think clearly under pressure.

6. Steer clear of too much caffeine. Coffee is a stimulant and while it's good for you in small amounts, too much of it can cause you undue stress. Limit your coffee intake to one or two cups a day and space them out throughout your work time. Chocolate is also a stimulant, so go easy on the chocolate snacks.

7. Take breaks. Taking short breaks helps you release pent-up stress, rejuvenates you, and actually enables you to be more productive. Take a walk to the restroom or just get up and move about the office.

8. Utilize your vacation time wisely. Plan your vacation during slow times at your job. Staying during the busy times shows your employer your dedication.

9. Join in with big projects. From time to time, your company may need help with a large or complex project. Take on the responsibility willingly. Showing your ability to be flexible also demonstrates your ability to handle added pressure.

10. If you're stressed, avoid letting it show. Carry on with your responsibilities, no matter what it takes. Consciously bringing your mind back to your current action in completing your important tasks will help you let go of worrying and other stress.

Staying positive and focusing on your work, regardless of the circumstances, demonstrates tremendous ability to handle pressure at work. Employers look for this trait when they hire new employees and when they consider which employees to promote. So being able to deal with pressure is a handy skill that can help advance your career.

Practice using these tips each day and you'll find that you get better and better at dealing effectively with pressure at work.

Taking a Leave of Absence Without Derailing Your Career

For most of your working life, you'll probably juggle your responsibilities at home and the office, but sometimes personal issues demand your full attention. Maybe you're expecting twins or undergoing major surgery. Maybe you're joining the army or going back to school temporarily.

A leave of absence can be the ideal solution for such major life events. However, it's important to take precautions so you'll be able to resume your career when things settle down.

After all, life is full of uncertainties. One day you're paying for monthly parking, and the next you could be considering taking an extended break from your job. Use these ideas for taking time off without sacrificing future opportunities.

Planning Your Leave of Absence

1. Save money. Unless you're on disability, you probably won't receive any pay while you're away from work. Build up your cash reserves in advance. Reduce your housing expenses if possible. Cook at home instead of dining out.

2. Research your rights. You may be legally entitled to some forms of leave, especially if you're covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act that allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year if you or your immediate family have a serious health condition or you're having a baby. Check your employee manual or speak with your HR department.

3. Weigh the consequences. Clarify what level of job protection you're provided. With mandated leave, there's usually a guarantee you'll be reinstated. With voluntary leave, you could be terminated if there's no suitable opening available when you return.

4. Cover your responsibilities. Assure your boss that you care about your job. Present proposals for how to cover your tasks while you're out.

5. Give prompt notice. Let your employer know about your plans as soon as possible. Cooperating on a smooth transition will help everyone to adapt to the changes.

Taking Your Leave of Absence

1. Provide updates. Keep your boss in the loop. Tell them about any developments in your medical condition or other circumstances that would affect your return to work.

2. Remain accessible. Of course, your situation will impact your co-workers as well as your boss. If you're able to stay in touch, give a trusted team member your contact information so you can answer questions as they come up.

3. Stay active. Look for ways to minimize gaps on your resume. If your condition allows, do volunteer work or take on consulting assignments. Join a committee at your professional association.

4. Protect your health. For some workers, staying home can be more stressful than keeping up their usual 9 to 5 routine. Pay extra attention to eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, and sleeping well. Spend time with family and friends.

Returning From Your Leave of Absence

1. Contact your employer. Thank your employer for accommodating you and let them know that you're eager to be back on the job. Discuss what would be the most productive way for you to catch up.

2. Modify your job. In some cases, you may need to make a phased return to work. Ask your employer about altering your hours or responsibilities or adapting your workspace.

3. Negotiate offers. What about job hunting after a leave of absence if you decide to move on or your employer needs to terminate you because there's no immediate openings? Find out what salary range is appropriate for your skills, and rehearse a brief explanation of the situation that you can deliver with confidence when you go on interviews.

Preparing for emergencies gives you peace of mind and more control over your future. Collaborate with your employer so you can maintain your professionalism while taking off the time you need for personal obligations.

How to Deal With Isolation When You're Self-Employed

Working alone sounds great. No one steals the last cup of coffee, and there's no boss telling you to get to work. There's one big catch. Self-employed people often suffer from isolation. You may have limited opportunities to interact with others. This can become quite uncomfortable after a while. Before you start talking to your plant, take control of the situation.

Find ways to spend time with others:

1. If you work at home, consider getting an outside office. If you can afford it, consider getting an office in a building with other people. You'll have more chances to chat with your fellow building-dwellers and some office buildings have a lot of amenities, such as gyms.

2. Stay in touch with your friends. Your old work friends don't have to stop being your friends just because you work alone now. It's easy to lose track of each other. Make an effort to stay in touch with those you like. It's harder to make new friends when you don't see the same people repeatedly.

* Send an email or make a phone call at least once a week to stay in touch.

3. Find others who are self-employed. You're not the only one feeling isolated. Take advantage of social media and find others just like yourself. You can communicate online, but it would be much better to get together in person.

* Skype can be a good compromise if you want to communicate with someone outside your city.

4. Look into networking opportunities. There are meetup groups, business networks, and other opportunities to get together with other like-minded people. You might even grow your business through these activities. Get out of the house on a regular basis and mingle. Go to meetup.com and get started.

5. Avoid eating lunch alone. Everyone eats lunch. Be on a mission to find an endless supply of lunch partners. Between your networking groups, friends, family, neighbors, old friends, and the trusty internet, you should be able to find plenty of willing lunch partners.

6. Get a pet. Consider getting a dog. A fish or cat might be more your style, but dogs are more interactive. Your dog will always be happy to see you. The cat might not care. No one will understand just how brilliant you are more than your dog.

7. Create a routine. It might not make sense, but having a routine can help to beat feelings of isolation. It's easy to sit and stare out the window when you work alone. Having a schedule prevents this. You'll also know when your next dose of human contact is coming. Make a routine and force yourself to stick with it.

8. Join a gym and use it. There's always someone at the gym. If you can stick to a schedule, you'll see a lot of the same people over and over. You can also get in great shape in the process. This can be a great way to have a few conversations. You might even make a friend or find a date.

9. Spend time with your clients. If you have local clients, get out of the office and stop by for a visit. They'd probably welcome a short break. You'll maintain valuable relationships and boost your social life.

Isolation and self-employment don't have to go hand-in-hand. With a little planning, you can find plenty of people to share part of your day. You don't have to suffer just because you've decided to work at home. There are options for enjoying regular human contact. Take advantage of them and leave your isolation behind.

 


How to Impress a Boss You Rarely See

Wherever you work, impressing your boss is part of your job requirements. You probably know what to do when your supervisor sits in the office next door, but you may need to think more creatively if you seldom see each other.

Bridging that gap is a growing concern now that more employees work remotely or travel extensively for their jobs. Try these suggestions for hitting it off with your boss up close or long distance.

Traditional Methods for Impressing Your Boss

Some strategies apply in any context. Please your boss by excelling at your job and contributing to a successful team.

1. Take initiative. Identify needs and propose solutions before anyone asks you to look into a situation. Focus on areas that are essential to the company.

2. Continue learning. Take advantage of opportunities to expand your knowledge and hone your skills. Sign up for a webinar on the hottest trends in native advertising or the latest news on health insurance requirements. Send your boss a summary about how you'll use what you learn to work smarter.

3. Hold yourself accountable. Assume responsibility for your actions. Be prepared to explain your decisions and accept the consequences.

4. Radiate enthusiasm. Go the extra mile with a smile. Empathize with your boss and colleagues. Cheer each other on during tough projects.

5. Network vigorously. Technology makes networking easier for remote employees. Professional associations and industry events can help you to show your boss that you're engaged with the key players in your industry.

6. Deliver results. Meet and exceed expectations. Develop a reputation for high performance. Your boss's confidence in you will grow as you prove that you can work independently.

Long Distance Methods for Impressing Your Boss

Now that you've covered the basics, you can take some additional steps. Skillful communications and sound work habits will help you to capture your boss's attention.

1. Schedule virtual meetings. Dress up and arrange your work area to present a professional appearance to your boss. Prepare a dazzling slide show and stick around to eat lunch together online.

2. Master social media and collaboration tools. Flaunt your technological savvy and connect with your boss. Tweet an interesting news story. Make it easy for your manager to track progress on each project.

3. Check your internet connection. Maintaining a stable and speedy connection keeps your good qualities on view. You'll also want to assure your boss that you're protecting network security.

4. Watch the clock. Are you in a different time zone than the rest of the office? Adjust your timetable so you contact your boss during the most convenient hours.

5. Say good morning. Simple office rituals can have a great impact. As a substitute for greeting each other in the break room, send an early morning email to wish your boss a good day and let them know you're at your desk.

6. Post your hours. Work at being accessible. Let your boss know when you're quitting for the day and when you're heading out for lunch. For the hours when you're on duty, respond promptly to your boss and colleagues.

7. Take a break. Resist the temptation to work excessively long hours. In the long run, a sustainable pace will make you a more valued employee. Keeping your life in balance enables you to remain friendly and productive, which are traits that your boss will appreciate.

Show your boss that they can count on you to offer solutions and make them look good. You'll earn their trust and build a mutually beneficial relationship, even if you work on opposite sides of the world.

 

 

What Every Job Hunter Needs to Know About Assessing Your Future Boss

When you're searching for a new job, you're also taking on a new boss. That decision could have a big impact on your current happiness and future career prospects. Almost 75% of workers say the most stressful aspect of their job is their relationship with their immediate supervisor, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association.

These guidelines will walk you through the process of assessing your new manager. Learn how to get the information you need through research, direct questions, and observations.

Questions to Ask Your Future Boss

You may have 10 minutes or less to ask questions in the typical interview. Use the time well!

1. Keep it conversational. You'll get off to a better start with a polite chat rather than an interrogation. Aim for a natural conversation with give and take.

2. Evaluate leadership styles. Gather clues about individual leadership styles. As the boss discusses the nature of the work, you may find out how they communicate with others, manage time, and delegate responsibilities.

3. Identify a star employee. The way that the boss describes a top performer in the office can be very revealing. You'll see what traits they value and whether that matches your talents.

4. Inquire about future plans. Ask what the boss expects the successful candidate to accomplish over the next 6 months or within the first year. You'll get a good idea of the demands of the job.

Questions to Ask Your Potential Co-Workers

Reach out to current employees because they probably have valuable insights and inside information to share.

1. Establish trust. Start out gently. Ask generic questions first to try and determine if people would be comfortable discussing more sensitive issues.

2. Clarify the work experience. Try to get a general picture of what it's like to work there. Cover everything from the usual amount of overtime to how performance evaluations are handled. Observe whether people are eager to praise your new boss or reluctant to say anything.

3. Discuss teamwork. Find out how well employees in the office work together. If teamwork is important to you, you may appreciate open door policies and regular staff meetings. Listen to those who work there and see if they say "we" or "I" as they describe their activities.

4. Gauge turnover. The turnover rate is one objective measure of overall job satisfaction and stability. Find out how long others have stayed in positions like the one you're applying for and if they ever received a promotion. Calculate how long the senior management has been in place.

Other Techniques

Research and nonverbal communications play a big role too. Get ready to do some investigating!

1. Conduct background research. Browse through relevant social media, such as Linked In. Read the company website and blogs. Talk with others in the field. Search for any related press coverage about the company and your new boss.

2. Survey the work space. You can learn a lot from the way offices look. Is there a lot of clutter or is everything pristine? What kind of personal photos and objects are on display?

3. Observe interactions. Maybe everyone seems friendly and relaxed. Look deeper if it seems like the employees tense up when the boss speaks to them.

4. Rate the attention level. If your boss is attentive during the interview, they're likely to be more accessible on a daily basis. Consider whether the individual you'll be working for listens, makes eye contact, and responds openly to questions.

5. Expect surprises. Although taking every precaution to get to know your new boss is sensible, it's inevitable that some things may only be revealed after you start working there. Be ready!

Check out your potential boss while you're considering your next career move. This kind of due diligence will help you to evaluate whether a job offer is a good fit for you.

 

 

8 Tips for Easing Back into the Work Week after Summer Vacation

After a relaxing summer vacation, when it's time to get back into the swing of work life, it can be hard to get motivated. You no longer feel like you have something fun to look forward to in the near future. But just because the vacation is over, it doesn't mean you can't continue to enjoy your life.

Follow these eight tips to ease back into the work week after your time off:

1. Plan your time off. Just because you're back to work doesn't mean that you need to make your life all about work. You should still have plenty of free time that you can plan out and enjoy to the fullest. Plan a fun evening for yourself or your family. You can even plan for a weekend trip somewhere in the near future.

2. Take it one day at a time. Sometimes, coming back to work can be overwhelming because there's so much to do. Your mind may race through all the things you'll need to accomplish over the next few weeks. That'll make your thoughts unbearable and you'll definitely long for the vacation that just ended.

* Instead, focus on one day at a time or even one moment at a time. Your work will get done, no matter how overwhelming it seems. And there will still be time for fun, too.

3. Organize your life on the first day back. When you first get back to work, spend a day "spring cleaning." If you have a desk job, organize your computer files as well as your desk. This can help you feel a sense of accomplishment, while also clearing the clutter.

4. Do a few half days if you can afford it. If you still have vacation days left, you can ask your employer if it's okay to do a couple of half days to transition yourself back to work. This way, you can start slowly when getting back into the work mentality. You'll still have portions of your day that you can plan for yourself and your family.

5. Start planning your next trip early. Even if your next trip is far into the future, you can still dream about what it'll be like. There are many benefits to planning early. When you book a trip early, you can take advantage of early bird discounts. Those who know what they want early will be there to grab the best deals.

6. Go somewhere special for lunch. On your first day back, plan a special lunch for yourself. You don't have to delve immediately into the usual routine. Pack a special lunch or treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant you love.

7. Make a vacation scrapbook in your free time. Remember the good times you had on vacation by using your free time to make a scrapbook. You can do this after work or on weekends. It's a great way to keep your vacation going in your mind.

8. Focus on what you like about your job. If transitioning back to work is turning out to be more difficult that you thought it would be, it might be because you're focusing on the negative aspects of your job. Even people who have their dream jobs will tell you that there are certain things they simply don't like. Strive to have a more positive mentality and focus on what you do like about your job.

Vacation time will be here again before you know it. Learn to enjoy your life no matter what time of year it is. Make the most of each moment by seeking ways to sprinkle that vacation mentality into every ordinary day.

 


I have the strength to run a successful business from home while also caring for my children.

I am an amazing person who gets to enjoy the best of both worlds. Not only do I work my dream job, I also have the privilege of spending my days with my children.

Life can get hectic between kids, business, and home concerns, but I am able to balance it all with grace. I devote time to my children, take care of my home, serve my clients, and also take time out for myself.

Balance is the key to my success. I take life one day at a time. I keep an organized schedule to stay on track. Planning schedules is a mountain that I can surmount with ease.

As a parent, I spend quality time making memories with my children. I educate my kids through books, movies, outings, and hands-on experiences. I plan play dates for my children to socialize with other kids while I enjoy the company of my friends.

As a business owner, I separate my business from my home responsibilities. My children come first in everything I do. My clients know and respect that my family is my top priority. My business is booming because I am passionate about what I do.

There is never a dull moment around me. I feel blessed beyond measure, and I know that blessing is to be paid forward.

Today, I enjoy the fullness of my life. I take full advantage of every opportunity by eradicating idleness and I maximize the use of every moment.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How do I balance home life with business life?
2. Am I willing to ask for help when I feel overwhelmed?
3. What do I love most about my life as a work-at-home parent?

 


Excellence sets my work apart.

I perform every task as if it were my most important task.

I am dedicated to the fine details. Even when I do seemingly monotonous daily chores, I put my heart into it and give it everything I have.

I complete my work because I choose to. My attitude makes all the difference in how I perform a task. If I think of the task as a chore, then I complete it with disdain. That is why I choose to think of chores as opportunities for me to sharpen skills.

I think of the people who love to do what I have to do. I ask myself how they feel when performing the task. By putting myself in the shoes of someone who loves what I have to do, I change my perspective and adopt a new attitude. I strive to find the joy in every situation.

While it's easy to just want to be done with a task, my goal is always to present my best regardless of how long it takes. I think of someone who I admire and imagine that the work that I am doing is for them.

When things look grim, I take a deep breath and calmly think through the situation. I have too much talent inside of me to quit. The harder things get, the greater my chance to shine. As the clouds roll in to cloud my view, it is clear for me to see my opportunity for learning.

Today, I choose to approach everything I encounter with excellence.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Why is it important to work with excellence?
2. How does my attitude affect my work?
3. Do I see challenges as opportunities to shine?

 

Discover How Your Hobby Can Advance Your Career

If you need one more good reason to get a hobby, do it for your career prospects. A recent study found that what you do in your leisure time could make you a more valuable employee.

People who use their free time creatively performed better at solving problems at work and were more helpful to their colleagues, according to researchers at San Francisco State University. They believe creative activities stimulate learning and help people to feel energized and engaged.

Ready to make the connection between your hobby and your career? Consider these suggestions about using your hobby to get ahead at the office.

How to Choose a Hobby That Could Help Your Career

1. Focus on the mission. Think about how your pastimes align with the company mission. A sustainable architecture firm might appreciate your organic garden.

2. Connect with your colleagues. Relationships play a big role in job satisfaction. Accept your coworkers' invitation when they ask you to join them for a game of badminton.

3. Review your job responsibilities. Do your hobby and your professional position have anything in common? You might be juggling numbers at work for budgeting and at home for Sudoku.

4. Showcase your strengths and achievements. We're often drawn to hobbies that enable us to develop our innate talents. Employers will notice that you're a strategic thinker if you tell them about your tournament bridge winnings.

5. Be memorable. In today's job market, you may need to distinguish yourself in a large pool of candidates. A recruiter is more likely to remember your name if you tell them a funny story about your baseball card collection.

6. Express your personality. Focus on something you're passionate about so it will be easy to sound articulate and engaged.

7. Act cool. At the same time, it's always good to keep up with trends. Be open to designing your first videogame diorama.

 

How to Use Your Hobby to Help Your Career

1. Edit your resume. Depending on the position, add a hobbies section to your resume. Include it only when it appears relevant.

2. Mention it at your interview. Some questions provide an opening to discuss your hobby. When a reviewer asks what you do with your free time, you'll have a better answer than watching TV.

3. Put on a show. Hobbies come in handy for the office talent show. Reveal your musical talent on the piano.

4. Share with your coworkers. Whatever activities you enjoy, you probably have expertise, goods, or services that your coworkers would appreciate. Baked goods usually top the list.

5. Personalize your staff bio. Let your clients get to know the real you. They may enjoy finding out that their graphic designer also illustrates his own comic books.

6. Create side income. Some people turn their hobbies into full time jobs. Starting off gradually is a good way to test your earning potential while you hold onto your current paycheck.

7. Extend your network. The best leads tend to come from friends of friends and acquaintances. If all your LinkedIn connections are accountants, your leisure pursuits could help you to meet more hair stylists and foreign diplomats.

8. Achieve life balance. Best of all, a hobby widens your experiences and knowledge. You'll gain exposure to things you may never see around the office.

Of course, your hobby is rewarding in itself even if your boss doesn't share your enthusiasm for carving turtles out of watermelons. Advancing your career is just a bonus compared to the deeper benefits of learning about yourself and becoming more accomplished.

 


I show initiative.

When I want to have a new relationship, excel in my career, or begin a new venture, I show initiative. Each day, I consciously take on the responsibility to go after my goals and bring my hopes and dreams to life.

I recognize that I hold the power to create the life I desire.

To me, having initiative means that I am ready at all times to pursue something that I believe makes my life better. The confidence I gain from showing initiative builds my self-esteem, compelling me to take an opening move more often.

Progressing forward to go after something I want brings me challenges, excitement, and satisfaction. Although I may feel fear or uncertainty, I find the courage to do it anyway.

I know that if I want to succeed, I must show initiative in my everyday life. It is comforting to know that regardless of challenges, I can count on myself to produce a positive result.

I have confidence that I can set into motion the success I want in life.

Today, I take personal responsibility for my life. I accept that my success and fulfillment depend on my ability to show initiative, so I take action whenever possible.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. When was the last time I showed initiative? How did things turn out?
2. Do I go after the things I really want, no matter what? If not, why not?
3. How can I increase my personal initiative?

 


My job brings abundance into my life.

Working each day provides me many benefits. At work, I get to delve into projects that interest me and attain recognition for the tasks I perform. I also have the opportunity to stretch myself professionally and achieve my goals.

While I am at work, I accomplish all that is essential for me professionally. I develop a genuine interest in my work projects. I make acquaintances and new friends. Also, I earn money to support both my family and myself.

My job helps me build confidence and a sense of integrity as I show that I can be a responsible, reliable associate. These character traits provide me with abundance at work and elsewhere.

Because of my job, I have so much to be thankful for. I live in a secure, comfortable home that is paid for by my wages. My place is filled with items of necessity and pleasure that I have also obtained from many honest days of work.

My work not only allows me to have material goods, but it also allows me to provide for my family. I furnish my loved ones with everything they need because of the monetary abundance provided by my job.

Today, I feel blessed with the abundance my job brings into my life. I am truly thankful each day for all that I have because of my work.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Is it hard for me to relate my comfortable home life to my work?
2. Do I feel thankful for my job? Are there times when I have a negative attitude toward my work?
3. How can I ensure that my work will continue to provide me with the projects, interests, experiences, and financial abundance to which I have become accustomed?

 

How to Use Professional Associations to Advance Your Career

Professional associations are a major asset when it comes to staying employed and developing a more rewarding career. See what these organizations can do for you at every stage of your working life.

Professional Association Tips for Students and Entry Level Professionals

1. Receive financial aid. With the costs of higher education continuing to climb, many students are searching for financial assistance. Most professional associations provide scholarships and grants, either directly or through educational foundations. Even better, there may be relatively little competition for these funds because many are unaware that they even exist.

2. Pay reduced dues. Newcomers can usually pay lower dues in their first years because associations are eager to attract promising new talent. Check the website or call the membership office to discover your options.

3. Work with a mentor. It can be difficult to capture the attention of prominent people without some form of introduction. Mingling together at association events can widen your opportunities and introduce you to influential mentors in your field.

4. Research an industry. You can explore an association even while you're still deciding on your major. Sitting in on a few roundtable luncheons is certainly more cost effective than changing directions during your senior year of college.

Professional Association Tips for Experienced Professionals

1. Apply for senior positions. Executives and recruiters use associations to help fill their talent pool. Building up your visibility can get you noticed when there's an opportunity to advance.

2. Recruit new employees. Similarly, you may find an association is a good source for filling positions in your department. Through your membership in a professional organization, you can interact with candidates in a setting that's more natural than a job interview.

3. Choose your specialty. When you're first starting out, you may find valuable information through a relevant association. Later in your career, you may want to focus on organizations that match your area of specialty and geographical preferences.

4. Negotiate dues with your employer. Annual dues and expenses can add up. Your employer may agree to cover the costs if you convince them of the value. Be prepared with examples about how you've been able to use your membership to save your company money, enhance their reputation, expand their customer base, or bring them other benefits.

Professional Association Tips for Any Stage of Your Career

1. Extend your network. For most people, developing positive relationships with colleagues is the greatest benefit of association memberships. Be generous about sharing information and services.

2. Enjoy discounts. Your membership may entitle you and your employer to significant savings and discounts. Check the association website for more information.

3. Engage in advocacy. Many associations lobby to create a favorable government environment for their business. Your efforts are likely to be more effective when you join with others.

4. Access continuing education. You may want to take a workshop on the latest accounting software or meet the speakers at a national conference. Check your association calendar for events that will add to your knowledge and skills.

5. Volunteer your services. There are many different ways to volunteer at associations. You could help write press releases or join the welcoming committee for new members.

6. Share your expertise. Giving presentations or writing a blog post can position you as a subject expert. You'll also get to meet new people as they ask questions or comment on your materials.

7. Contribute to society. Your association can also guide you through combining your professional and philanthropic activities. Participate in holiday food drives or spend a weekend building affordable housing with other volunteers.

Professional associations provide many valuable opportunities whether you're starting out or you've been working in your field for years. Network with your colleagues and demonstrate the leadership qualities that will help you to stand out in your field.

 


My business attracts my ideal clients.

I work with my ideal clients to achieve their goals and fulfill my destiny. My business naturally attracts the best people. I gain success with each new client I find. I learn new things and try new ideas with each project.

I have an ideal client profile in my mind that becomes reality.

I create the right marketing solutions to attract my customers. I focus on their needs and what they want to achieve. However, I stay aware of my capabilities and what I can offer.

I know my value and how I can help my clients.

I understand how to find the answers to their challenges. I know which resources or tools are right for them.

I radiate confidence in front of my clients. I promote my business, brand, and ideas to others. I network to reach new people and companies.

I build my brand with a clear goal in mind.

I understand how to make clear messages that attract clients. I relate to my clients, so they feel safe and trust me.

Customers and clients keep knocking on my door.

Today, I attract my ideal clients to my business. I ensure my business vision aligns with their dreams. I know that my work matters to them. I am happy to help them.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How can I ensure my ideal clients can find my business?
2. How can I focus on the clients that value my work?
3. What can I do to expand my skills, so my clients can better see my value?

 

 

Save Your Job: How to Deal With a Bad Boss

Odds are that you will have at least one bad boss sooner or later. It can be a very challenging situation without obvious solutions. But there are things you can do to make your life at work more positive or to at least buy yourself some time.

Keep an open mind and maintain your composure. Staying calm might be the most important thing you can do.

These tips can help you to navigate the challenge of dealing with a bad boss:

1. Consider finding another job. That might not be what you expected to read, but sometimes leaving is the best idea. Consider your circumstances. If your boss is firmly entrenched and isn't going anywhere soon, it might be in your best interest to find alternate employment.

2. Consider your own contribution. Are you certain that you're not at fault? Sometimes we tend to put all the blame on the other party. The good news is that if it's your fault, you can fix it!

3. Keep your cool. When your boss is mistreating you or being unreasonable, your first instinct might be to respond in a similar fashion. This is frequently a mistake. It's an excellent opportunity to show others that you're reasonable and professional. Maybe your boss's boss will be one of those to notice.

* It will also reduce your boss's tendency to bully you. Bullies tend to stop if they see their tactics aren't getting a response.

4. Touch base with human resources. This can be a good idea, but it depends on your work environment. HR departments tend to either support the "little guy" or the manager, depending on the company. Be careful.

5. Network, both within and outside the company. It's important to stay active and communicate with your network of people.

* You'll be sure to find out about any potential job opportunities.

* Staying sociable is also good for your mental health!

6. Consider talking to your boss's boss, but beware. If you do say anything, focus on the behavior, not the person. Remember that they may have been the one that hired your boss. People don't like to admit they made a mistake.

7. Keep a sense of humor. It's easy to spend all of your time thinking about work and your boss. Try to laugh about it and move on to other things.

* You're already at work most of the day. You probably don't want to spend your free time thinking about it, too. On your own time, it's important to let go of your work challenges.

8. Get some clarity. Find out exactly what your boss wants from you. If you can get a list of specific performance measures, preferably in writing, you can protect yourself. If you can hit those performance numbers, it gives your boss less flexibility to fire you. You might also find that you're making them happy!

9. Keep track of your successes. When you've done something worthwhile for the company, write it down and keep records. If you do lose your job, it gives you a lot of leverage when it comes to negotiating an exit package or potential settlement.

Dealing with a bad boss is something that we all have to do at some point. There is no set formula for getting through the challenge successfully, since circumstances can vary so much. Take a careful look at what's going on and decide on a course of action. Sometimes the best you can do is hold on tight until you can find another job.

Remember that at the end of the day, you're working for yourself and your family. It's important to do the best you can to create an environment that supports the life you desire.

 


My work is important to me.

I am thankful for my career. I realize that I have choices about what type of work I do. I choose to work at my particular job because it is meaningful and fulfilling.

Because my work is nearly one-third of my life, I want it to be fascinating, ever-changing, and abundant. Without work, I realize I would likely be less than the person I am today.

My work adds to me. It makes me think more, show my serious side, and gives me a chance to be a great team player. I show the world what I can do at work.

I excel in life because of my work. I feel pride when something I do at work is recognized. I am happy to help out my supervisor or co-workers. My chosen life's work has a special place in my heart. I know I can be at the top of the heap at work because of my achievements there.

When I am off work, I ponder all the things I love about my current job. I am blessed to have my job.

Today, I intend to put my all into my work. I see it as my responsibility to ensure I love my work. I plan to reach out to my supervisor to offer to help them and my co-workers in completing their work projects. My career is important to me.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How do I feel about my work?
2. Do I enjoy getting up in the mornings, knowing that I am headed to work?
3. What can I do to find more joy and value in my work?

 

 

How to Write a Great Resume

If you're in the market for a new job, the quality of your resume can make all the difference. With careful planning and proper formatting, you can write a great resume that just may land you your dream job.

Here are some quick resume tips to get you on your way:

1. Be brief. Your goal is to get your point across quickly and effectively. Don't fill your resume with fluff. Chances are your potential employer won't have a lot of time to read every detail, so stick with the meat.

2. Start with action verbs. If you start your sentences with action verbs in the past tense, you'll be stating your past jobs in a brief, yet effective, way.

* An example would be using a sentence that starts with "Managed" or "Coached" instead of starting a description with "I was a manager of a sales team."

3. Targeting. Make sure that your resume and cover letter reflect your interest in the job you want. This means you'll want to place all the relevant job information at the top or at the head of a section where it's most likely to be seen.

* Oftentimes the manager won't be the first one to read your resume. Target your information so you make the first cut.

4. Keywords. Include the relevant keywords associated with the position you're seeking. Tweak your resume to include the job title you want as well as the keywords associated with your potential job functions.

* This is especially important because employers may be searching for your resume online by querying these specific keywords.

5. Bullet Points. It's important to break up your text with bullet points to avoid lengthy paragraphs. This also helps employers gain the information they need while quickly skimming your resume.

6. One Page. You probably have a lot to say on your resume. Even if you keep your resume to the main points, you may be tempted to submit a resume that's several pages long. Don't give in to this temptation! If you need to trim down, try deleting some of the items not relevant to the job.

* If you must go beyond the one page rule, keep the resume to two pages, maximum.

7. Don't get fancy. There's no need to provide intricate designs or colored textured paper. It's recommended that you stick to white paper. You'll stand out to your employer because of the fantastic skills listed on the paper, not because of the quality paper itself or the unique font you picked.

8. Explain your skills. Don't just provide a laundry list of your skill set. You can still remain brief while explaining how your skills can benefit the company. This tip alone can greatly improve your chances of getting noticed.

9. Tweak your template. You may have found a template to use online to build your resume. These can be useful to help you get an idea of what a resume should include. However, you shouldn't copy and paste because other applicants may be using the same template.

* If you want to stand out to your employer, you don't want to risk looking like everyone else.

10. Avoid silly mistakes. Be sure to go over the final copy thoroughly. It may help to have a professional or trusted friend read it first before submitting. Be sure your resume is grammatically correct and avoid typos at all costs.

If you keep these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to landing that dream job. Now the only thing you'll need to think about is the interview!

 


My business is growing bigger and better each day.

My business is very successful and is growing more successful by the day. It is making more money, serving more customers, and gaining a better reputation each day.

The future is bright for my business. I am working diligently and intelligently to take my business to the next level. It is impossible to predict the future, but I have high expectations for my business.

I am focused on serving my customers and clients to the best of my ability.

I am a powerhouse in my industry. My competitors are running scared, while their customers are running toward me. My customer base is growing by leaps and bounds. My business is growing bigger and better each day.

I make my business a priority in my life.

I spend time each week determining the most intelligent next step for my business. I know that I must be focused to have the right to expect success.

I regularly design new products and services for my customers. I keep my business moving forward. I avoid relying on my past successes. I am doing better and better.

Today, I am redoubling my efforts in my business dealings. I am looking for bigger and better customers and cutting unnecessary expenses. My business is growing bigger and better each day.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What are the greatest obstacles to expanding my business?
2. What can I do to grow my business intelligently?
3. What are my greatest business expenses? How can I reduce them?

 


11 Ways to Handle a Bossy Coworker That Make You Look Good

Do you have a coworker who acts like they're your boss? Maybe they issue orders or dominate department meetings. Perhaps they give you advice you didn't ask for or insist on having projects done their way even when you're supposed to be in charge.

An overeager coworker can cause conflicts and interfere with your productivity.

Before you lose your cool, try these tips for dealing with the situation.

Steps to Take With Yourself and Your Coworker:

1. Talk it over. If you want things to change, it's important to assert yourself. Start with brief statements indicating that you have your tasks covered and don't require any assistance at the moment. If the interference persists, you may need to schedule a more formal conversation.

2. Listen closely. Keep in mind that there can be many different motives for the same behavior. Paying attention to your coworker will help them to feel that you respect their views and want to understand what they're trying to accomplish.

3. Stay calm. Your discussion will be more productive if you can avoid anger and judgements. While you're addressing the one behavior that annoys you, think about your coworker's good points as well. You'll feel friendlier if you remember what you like about them.

4. Set boundaries. Healthy relationships depend on establishing and enforcing reasonable boundaries. Whatever your colleague's intentions, let them know that you wish to focus on your own work and expect them to do the same.

5. Suggest a team meeting. If additional measures are needed, you could suggest that you and your coworker discuss the division of work with your boss. If your coworker wants to avoid such a confrontation, they may become less intrusive.

6. Hold yourself accountable. Examine your own conduct to determine what role you've been playing in any conflict. Ask yourself if your own insecurity or jealousy could be a factor.

Steps to Take With Your Boss and Your Other Colleagues:

1. Be inclusive. You'll probably feel more confident about your position if you're trying to help your colleagues as well as yourself. Talk with someone you trust to see if others feel like they're being bossed around too. If so, you can support each other's efforts to be more assertive.

2. Ask for help. It's usually wise to try to resolve conflicts yourself before getting your boss involved, but sometimes it's necessary to consult a higher authority. If you decide to approach your boss, be sure to stay focused on creating conditions that maximize productivity.

3. Cultivate other relationships. While you need to be courteous and respectful with each of your colleagues, it's natural to feel closer to some of them than to others. Having a few office friends you can laugh and talk with makes it easier to handle any irritations.

4. Focus on your goals. Use the situation as an opportunity to work on your leadership abilities. Volunteer for high-profile assignments and take courses that will increase your skills. Mentor another employee and practice delegating tasks that someone else could do more efficiently.

5. Remain positive. Avoid complaining about your coworkers. Staying upbeat will earn you more trust and responsibility. You'll also be creating a more pleasant workplace for you and the rest of your team.

Establishing clear boundaries and communicating effectively will help you to handle a coworker who may be overreaching. Being assertive changes the team dynamic and creates an atmosphere where more voices can be heard.

Even if your coworker doesn't change their behavior, you'll be taking a professional and constructive approach to the situation. You'll gain greater respect as a result.

 

 

14 Strategies to Help You Stay Focused in an Open Office

Nearly 70% of employers in the US have adopted an open office layout even though numerous studies have found that they reduce productivity and increase distractions. Their popularity may be mainly due to the fact that they’re economical because more employees can be packed into less space.

While the lack of walls may also be handy for collaboration and learning from your peers, what do you do when you have tasks that require concentration? Try these strategies that will help you to focus on your work.

Steps to Take on Your Own:

1. Wear headphones. Sometimes the obvious solution is the one that’s most effective. Bring headphones or earbuds to work. Your employer may even be willing to cover the cost for noise cancelling devices.

2. Post a busy signal. If your office doesn’t have a system in place yet, create your own version of a do-not-disturb sign. It could be your headphones or a sign that you can place on top of your computer.

3. Lower your voice. When one employee starts talking louder, there’s a tendency for the rest of the room to follow. Monitor yourself throughout the day to be sure you’re using your indoor voice, especially when you’re on the phone.

4. Stay home. If your employer allows you to work remotely, take advantage of that flexibility. If possible, schedule your lengthy phone calls and tasks that require close attention for the days that you’ll be at home.

5. Accept interruptions. Changing the way you think about interruptions helps too. Try to let go of anxiety and frustration.

6. Gather your thoughts. At the same time, distractions have a real cost. One famous study found that it takes 23 minutes to get back on track. You may be able to speed up that process by taking a moment to assess your activities and plan your next moves.

Steps to Take with Your Colleagues:

1. Designate quiet hours. Maybe you and your coworkers can agree on blocking out time for quiet tasks. It could be a few hours in the morning or afternoon on certain days of the week.

2. Book a conference room. Some companies encourage employees to move around when they need more privacy. You might be able to use an empty meeting room or temporary offices where you can close a door.

3. Send a message. Instant messaging apps let you carry on some conversations silently. If you need to talk face to face, consider going somewhere out of earshot.

4. Batch communications. If you and your coworkers are overwhelmed by emails and voice messages, try cutting back on the frequency. Keep a running list of subjects you need to discuss and address them all in one or two daily communications.

5. Shield your eyes. Visual noise counts too when you’re sidetracked by watching what your office neighbors are doing. Some employers are limiting the line of sight with oversized plants, privacy screens, and curved computer monitors.

6. Turn down the lights. Neutral colors and softer lights also decrease the urge to keep looking up. If it’s time to redecorate the office, you might want to work with a designer who can suggest options that encourage psychological privacy.

7. Relocate office equipment. Copiers and vending machines rarely make great roommates. Try to position work areas away from noisy equipment.

8. Talk with your boss. Your boss has an interest in your performance too. Be creative and proactive about offering suggestions that can help you and your coworkers to be productive.

You can make an open office less chaotic and distracting. Take steps on your own and with your employer to create more privacy and quiet time for concentrating on your work.

 

 

My strong work ethic transfers from one job to the next.

There are certain rules in life that I take with me wherever I go. They keep me consistent and allow my character to develop well. One of these guidelines is my strong work ethic.

When I display a strong work ethic, I am able to find solutions to any challenge. This character trait gives me drive and determination that creates alternatives.

Having that trait means that giving up is the last possible option that I choose. I keep persevering until I am able to achieve what I desire. At work, I take as much time as necessary to complete my tasks.

Although I prefer to work smarter, sometimes I am required to put in the extra hours. The most important thing to me is the quality of my output.

Consistency is always at the forefront of my mind. I like to be considered reliable. Part of that is allowing others to be accustomed to the high level of work that I produce. My references are impressive because I give each task my all.

Getting my mind right is a key component to the formula for maintaining a strong work ethic. Focus comes from living healthily on a consistent basis.

Healthy living means resting well, eating nutritious food, and taking care of my physical well-being. These factors combined give me a sense of clarity that makes it possible to give my all on the job.

Today, there is very little difference between one job and the next in my mind. Although the specific responsibilities are varied, the effort required from me is the same.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How do I strengthen my work ethic?
2. What impact does it play on the types of job that I choose to commit to?
3. How does my work ethic impact my personal life?

 


What Movie Trailers Can Teach You About Writing Your Resume

Movie trailers and job resumes have both taken on more importance these days. In the film industry, a 2-minute trailer can make the difference between a flop or a blockbuster based on the social media reaction.

When you’re job-hunting, making a positive first impression is just as essential now that easy online applications create more candidates to screen.

If you love movies, try taking a cinematic approach to crafting your resume. Screen these lessons on what movie trailers can teach you about getting more interviews.

When to Copy Movie Trailers:

1. Start fast. The average time a recruiter spends looking at a resume is only about 6 seconds. You have to capture their attention quickly. Ensure your resume and cover letter have a strong opening that addresses the employer’s needs and makes them want to keep reading.

2. Finish big. You also need an effective closing because the beginning and end of any event is what we tend to remember most. Summarize the specific reasons why you think you’re a great candidate and demonstrate your enthusiasm.

3. Use keywords. Movie trailers may not talk about keywords, but they’re sure to mention any Academy Awards, big stars, and other attractions. When you write your resume, include the words that automatic scanners and humans in your industry want to see.

4. Address weaknesses. Even if you had a stormy relationship with your last boss or you don’t know how to code, you can still create an impressive and honest resume by focusing on your strengths and putting a positive spin on the areas where you need to grow.

5. Ask for feedback. Some major trailers cost more than a million dollars to produce, so studios gather a lot of input first. See what your friends, family, and coworkers think of your resume. They may suggest some helpful revisions.

6. Generate excitement. Successful trailers create a mood and capture your interest. Remember that you’re using your resume to market yourself rather than just describing your work history.

When Not to Copy Movie Trailers:

1. Embrace spoilers. While a trailer usually tries to avoid giving away the whole plot, you want your resume to support a clear conclusion. Audiences may be willing to gamble on a movie where they don’t know what to expect, but it’s the rare hiring manager who will call you without knowing your qualifications.

2. Exercise caution. Adult content and controversy can help promote a movie, but most employers are committed to protecting their brand. Avoid saying anything unnecessarily controversial that could remove you from consideration. While you’re at it, see if your social media accounts need any cleaning up too.

3. Be selective. Do you enjoy sitting through 15 minutes of trailers before seeing the movie you paid for? While that strategy may make sense for the movie industry, you can find more productive and less annoying ways to share your resume. Target companies who match your priorities.

4. Think long term. While movie trailers aim to generate as much profit as possible in the critical first few opening days, you need to take a longer perspective. It’s natural to be happy about any job offer but evaluate how it will affect your future. Will you find the work fulfilling? Are there opportunities for advancement?

Pay attention to the trailers the next time you’re at the movies waiting for the
main feature to start. You may find valuable ideas about how to write a
resume that makes employers want to see more.

 


The Secret to Applying for Jobs When You May Be Under-Qualified

You’ve probably come across job openings that sound interesting, but you notice that you’re lacking some of the desired qualifications. Is it okay to apply anyway? In most cases, it’s worth taking a chance.

Of course, there are some exceptions, like when you have to be an attorney or know how to play the violin. Otherwise, it’s usually a matter of seeing if you can reframe your background to address the employer’s needs.

In fact, many employment advertisements are more like wish lists than precise formulas, so there is substantial room for flexibility.

Take a look at three of the most common situations where you may be able to make the case for why you’re a candidate worth considering.

When You’re Changing Careers

Do you want to switch to a new industry or a different kind of position? Many adults have made a successful transition at various stages in their professional lives. A career
change could help you discover a job you’ll love.

These strategies will help you make the switch:

1. Research the field. Before making such a big move, do your research carefully. Clarify your reasons for the switch, so you can explain them to an employer as well as yourself. Look up data on starting salaries and employment prospects.

2. Interview colleagues. Professionals already working in the field are an important source. Attend networking events where you can make new contacts. Join groups on LinkedIn and reach out to someone whose profile looks interesting.

3. Focus on transferable skills. Review your resume to see how you can apply what you’ve done to your new area of interest. Many tasks are similar even when the job title changes.

4. Ask for referrals. Your current network is still an asset. See if there is someone you know who can introduce you to others who may be willing to share advice and job leads.

When You Lack Experience

Maybe you’re brand new to the job market or have limited experience. You can still impress employers with your talents and accomplishments.

Try these techniques for highlighting your talents and gaining some experience:

1. Volunteer your services. Build up your resume while you advance a worthy cause. Offer your assistance to a charity you already support or call your local volunteer clearinghouse. Propose a project that will give you valuable experience.

2. Do an internship. While internships are usually designed for students, there are also programs for adults. Contact companies where you would like to work and ask about formal or informal opportunities.

3. Polish your cover letter. Customizing your cover letter is even more important when your resume needs support. Develop engaging stories that present your skills and abilities. Ask friends and family for feedback.

When You’re Missing Specific Skills

Soft skills can be just as important as your major or computer knowledge. With a few extra steps, you may be able to prove that you can do the job even if you’re unfamiliar with a program that could be outdated by next year anyway.

1. Study the job description. Review the qualifications to see which requirements are essential and which are less significant. While an international company might like each employee to be multilingual, it may not be a significant part of the position you’re seeking.

2. Pick out keywords. Automatic programs and human resources departments focus heavily on keywords these days. If a particular skill is stressed repeatedly, you may need to look elsewhere.

3. Continue learning. On the other hand, you can keep strengthening your qualifications. Take advantage of training on the job or in your free time.

If you’ve done your homework and concluded that you’re an excellent fit for the position, ask to be considered. Even if you’re missing a few items on the qualifications checklist, you’ll feel better knowing that you made an effort. Plus, you may even land your dream job.

 

Respect is at the core of my professional relationships.

My professional life provides a great platform to develop into an accomplished human being. The people whom I work with are brilliant and worth looking up to.

When I consider the accomplishments of my boss, I am honored to work in his presence. I respect the dedication that goes into building a business from scratch.

There are many lessons that I learn each day at the office. I soak up all the knowledge that my boss offers just by running a professional establishment.

I see the value of treating employees and customers with respect. Taking people’s feelings into account is important in any work situation. Although good businesses are run on more than emotion, it has its place.

The types of decisions that I make rely on the support of my colleagues. I am sure to show them that their perspective is important. Listening to what others have to say shows regard for collaboration.

I know that I am able to reach further professionally by taking others along for the ride. Combined skills create more powerful results.

My customers keep the business running. Although their requests are sometimes challenging, I do what I am able to accommodate them.

Today, respectful living is important across all facets of my life. It takes me far and encourages others to trust me. I lead my professional interactions with respect for others.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. In what ways do I show respect to my colleagues when we are off duty?
2. How do I give someone tough business advice without discouraging their efforts?
3. What are some of the tenets of business that I maintain each day?

 


I find new ways to keep the excitement in my work.

There is dignity in doing a job well. I take pride in any professional endeavor that I undertake, even when it feels tedious. I simply find ways to enjoy the tedious tasks.

My work environment is decorated in a way that keeps me happy. I like to have pictures of my loved ones around me. They are my inspiration to keep going.

When I am reminded of who I am working to support, I proceed with energy and determination. I reward myself throughout the day with calls to my family. Whenever I achieve a small goal, I celebrate with a quick chat with my husband.

Dancing keeps my mind awake to be productive. I take regular dance breaks during the work day. They give me a break from the monotony of my tasks.

Setting new time goals encourages me to always be productive. I challenge myself throughout the day by completing tasks faster than the day before. Although I am focused on efficiency, I ensure that I maintain thoroughness.

Creating balance between mundane tasks and more enjoyable ones is important. I carefully allocate time slots, so I remain motivated during each day.

I start each morning with a task that I enjoy. That sets the tone for the rest of the day. Ending each day with a preferred project gives me a sense of fulfilment.

Today, I am in control of how successful my work day is. Finding enjoyment in my responsibilities is the key to ensuring that I am productive. When work is more than a chore, I am able to generate impressive outcomes.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How does the approach to creating excitement at work transfer to home life?
2. How do I fill my time when I am short on tasks for a given day?
3. What is my preferred time of day to work?

 

 

What is the temperature of your personal network? Cold? Warm? Hot?

If you only reach out to your contacts when you’re looking for a job, you may be disappointed with the results.

It’s easy to get busy with other things and realize you’ve fallen out of touch with important colleagues. At the same time, it’s natural for your contacts to be less than enthusiastic if they only hear from you when you’re asking for a favor.

Regular communication will strengthen your relationships, and there are steps you can take if you’ve been somewhat inattentive in the past. Try these tips for heating up your network.

TIPS FOR WARMING UP A COLD NETWORK:

APOLOGIZE SINCERELY.
Start out by acknowledging your lapse, especially if you’ve neglected to return phone calls. If someone is gracious enough to forgive, ensure you’re considerate in the future.

START CLOSE TO HOME.
You’re surrounded by opportunities to practice your networking skills and make new contacts. Look for leads among those you interact with daily, including coworkers or other job seekers.

DO SOME RESEARCH.
Find out whether someone has changed jobs or gotten married since you last spoke. Check LinkedIn or mutual friends. You’ll be more prepared for your first conversation.

MEET FACE TO FACE.
Digital communications are convenient but personal interactions make a deeper impression. Circulate offline as much as possible. Attend industry events and invite others out for coffee or lunch.

STAY INFORMED.
Your conversation will be more interesting if you know what’s happening in your field and the wider world. Read books, watch movies, and engage in deep conversations.

GIVE MORE.
You’ve probably heard that successful networking is about being generous. You can help others by sending articles, making referrals, or just sharing an encouraging word.

 


TIPS FOR PREVENTING YOUR NETWORK FROM GROWING COLD:


BE SELECTIVE.
Quality matters more than quantity. You’re more likely to cultivate authentic relationships if you prioritize. Figure out who your key contacts are and devote most of your time and energy to them.CREATE A SYSTEM.
Networking is also easier when you’re organized. That might mean scanning business cards or creating a whole database.

BLOCK OUT TIME.
Put networking on your daily or weekly calendar. You could set aside a half hour in the morning to make phone calls or set a goal for eating lunch with one of your contacts at least once a week.

INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY.
Speaking, teaching, and publishing on topics related to your career will also give you opportunities to make new contacts and refresh old ones. Check with your local community college or contact the organizers for an upcoming industry event.

OFFER CONGRATULATIONS.
Most of your contacts will be delighted to hear from you if you express a genuine interest in their lives and appreciation for their achievements. Relay your good wishes when you hear someone has been promoted or landed a major account.

SEND HOLIDAY GREETINGS.
Thanksgiving or National Spaghetti Day can be a fitting occasion for reaching out to your 9 colleagues. Try personalizing your message for your key contacts and creating a more general version you can use with contacts who you interact with less frequently.

TAKE TIME OFF.
Scheduling periodic breaks from networking may help you to stay motivated and balanced. You may want to forget about business when you’re with your family or faith community.


An effective network is more than a collection of business cards. Develop closer professional relationships and advance your career by keeping in touch with your contacts and taking the initiative to reach out if you’ve let a valuable connection grow cold.

 


How to Find Your Next Job by Networking

Have you ever wondered how that friend of yours that really wasn't qualified for a job received a better paying job with more holidays than you? You could give them the benefit of the doubt that they interviewed well, but in all likelihood, this probably was due to their networking skills.

Networking is one of those lost arts that social media has, more or less, watered down. In a world where people value followers on Instagram more than actual job performance, it can be hard to network based on your resume.

In the modern work environment, networking is more important than ever. Consider these tips to find your next job through networking.

Avoid Being Shy

This is the first and most obvious step to landing your next job by networking. To be honest, it’s rare to see someone in a very high position of power when they are shy or timid.

If you’re looking to take your job to the next level, it’s important to look at complete measures of success and understand that, in most cases, one simply cannot be shy.

You’ll need to exit your comfort zone and take on tasks that might not be geared to your strengths. Only by stepping out of your comfort zone will you begin to see that networking really isn't that difficult.

Start Freelancing

Freelancing can be one of the most effective ways to network.

Just by creating a profile, at LinkedIn for example, you’ve entered the world of contractors and freelancers who meet each other solely on experience and judgement. If you’re good at your work, you’ll stand out and develop a deep list of contacts that you can call upon for extended work or even full-time jobs.

In fact, most freelancers go on to start their own business, which in some cases can lead to huge success and an even better job down the road.

Update Your Social Media Profiles

In a modern world, very few people use word of mouth anymore. Virtually all communicating is done online. For this reason, making a professional and striking online presence is essential.

This means creating profiles on social media - not to boast about the big fish you caught last week, but to show your success and hardships (people value real profiles).

Think of the social media game as an opportunity to show potential employers who you are and what you do. After all, the hiring staff and HR reps don’t only look at LinkedIn!

Friends of Friends

For some companies, keeping a tight-knit idea of hiring is important. For that reason, friends of friends can be an important step in networking for your next job.

This doesn’t mean that you must start sending out friend requests to every random mutual friend. However, the next time your co-worker asks you to come to a dinner party, don't stay home and watch Netflix. Go enjoy a glass of scotch with some like-minded individuals.

Who knows? A friend of a friend might become your best friend and a colleague at the job of your dreams!

Start networking today! You'll likely make some pretty amazing connections!

 


3 Strategies for Job Hunting Over the Weekend

There’s some truth to the adage that the more time you spend looking for work, the shorter your job search will be. With that in mind, you might want to avoid taking 2 days off each week while you’re waiting for business to resume on Monday morning.

Fortunately, there are worthwhile things you can do on the weekend that will help you land your next position sooner. Start with these 3 strategies suitable for Saturdays and Sundays.

Networking on Weekends:

Networking is one of the most effective ways of looking for work. While online communications are helpful, face-to-face interactions have more impact. Weekends provide opportunities to spend time with contacts who may be too busy to see you during the week.

1. Volunteer in your community. Donate your time and talent to worthy causes. Gain valuable experience, and mingle with other volunteers, staff, and supporters.

2. Get a side job. Would you like to earn income while you make new friends? Look into ridesharing, party planning, and similar gigs.

3. Work out. Gym memberships, exercise classes, and team sports help you bond with other fitness fans. Taking care of your physical and mental health will also help you manage stress if you’re unemployed or dissatisfied with your current job.

4. Throw a party. Extend your hospitality. Help organize a block party or host your own barbecue. Job leads are just one benefit of getting to know your neighbors.

5. Practice small talk. Others may be eager to talk shop, or they might want to take a break from the office. Pay attention to whether it’s appropriate to hand out business cards or stick to more neutral subjects.

Skill Building on Weekends:

Lifelong learning is essential to your career. Find out what qualifications employers in your field are looking for. Then, use your free time to add those credentials to your resume.

1. Study online. Browse online for courses and certifications that will increase your capabilities. Arrange a dedicated study space so you can minimize interruptions. If possible, contact the instructors to clarify expectations and find out how to ask for extra help if you need it.

2. Visit your library. Explore the career resources available at your local library. Many branches offer computer classes and business seminars. Ask a librarian to recommend books and other materials that match your interests.

3. Teach others. You can learn a great deal by being an instructor. Offer an organic gardening class at a nearby community center. Tutor students who are learning to code.

Having Fun on Weekends:

Job hunting can leave you feeling anxious and disappointed. Stay upbeat by scheduling time to play and relax so you’ll make a more positive impression on potential employers.

1. Share a laugh. Do something entertaining. Take your family out to see a funny movie and play miniature golf afterwards. Invite a friend to join you for coffee at a cat cafe. If your city doesn’t have one yet, watch videos together on your phone.

2. Enjoy nature. Green spaces are restful and uplifting. Go rock climbing or ride your bike. Spend a day at the beach or in the mountains. Check the schedule of events at your local park.

3. Appreciate art. Visit a museum or create your own works. Many institutions have free admission or economical annual membership fees so you can visit as often as you want.

Stand out from the competition by resisting the urge to sleep in or binge watch TV over the weekend. Use the last days of the week to expand your network, strengthen your skills, and maintain your emotional health. Perseverance and consistency will make your job search more successful.

The Secret to Networking at Social Events

When you meet a potential contact at a business event, you know what to do. You deliver your elevator pitch and set up a time to talk more. However, when you run into someone interesting at a social gathering, things can become more complicated.

While funerals and 12-step meetings are awkward places to do business, there are plenty of occasions that fall somewhere in between. How can you take advantage of opportunities at parties or your child’s baseball game without coming across as being too pushy?

Discover the secret to networking at social events. Use these tips to make connections that will help you to advance your career.

Help Others:

1. Share information. Maybe you’ll find a natural opening for discussing trends in your industry or demonstrating your expertise. Maybe you’ll accomplish more by explaining how to grow tomatoes in the shade or recommending a great movie you found on Netflix.

2. Offer referrals. Spread the word about businesses and services you like. Personal testimonials are more reliable than online reviews.

3. PItch in. Passing around food trays or joining the planning committee is a great way to make mingling easier at parties or parent meetings. Your contributions will be remembered.

4. Pay attention. Simple gestures count too. You can make a positive impression just by listening closely to what other guests have to say. Ask relevant questions and focus on their message instead of preparing your own response.

5. Show enthusiasm. Others will find you more attractive if you’re having fun. Check that your body language is warm and friendly. Use smiles and eye contact to let others know that you welcome conversation.

Follow Up:

1. Ask your friends. If you and someone you just met have contacts in common, you may be able to rely on them to help you stay in touch. That could even include children and pets if they go to the same schools and dog parks.

2. Explore mutual interests. Your initial conversation may also reveal areas of common ground. Building relationships is often most successful when you have regular interactions like attending the same gym or volunteering at the same community center.

3. Go online. Researching someone online can be constructive as long as you respect their privacy. Learn more about them from public sources like their company website or news articles.

4. Exchange contact information. Before you hand out any business cards, assess the situation to see if you’re going too far too fast. If your new contact seems receptive, you might offer your phone number or email and suggest a casual coffee date.

Other Tips for Networking at Social Events:

1. Practice regularly. Networking skills can be developed. Chatting with other parents at the park is a low-risk way to train for more challenging professional communications.

2. Focus on quality. Networking is usually more rewarding when you concentrate on who you’re talking with now instead of trying to work the whole room. A small number of mutually supportive relationships is more valuable than having a lot of superficial contacts.

3. Circulate more. It will be easier to allow relationships to develop gradually and naturally if you feel like you have an abundance of opportunities. Experiment with accepting more invitations and hosting your own gatherings. See what a difference it can make in widening your circle.

4. Respect boundaries. Be sensitive to the purpose of any event and the comfort level of others. Honoring their needs will help you to make a positive impression.

Strengthen your network by learning how to use social events to build relationships. You’ll be helping yourself and others as long as you take a genuine and generous approach.

Say Goodbye to Feeling Lonely at Work

If you feel lonely at work, you’re not alone. It may be the natural result of technology that reduces face to face interactions and increases the number of remote employees.

It’s a subject that’s receiving more attention lately. Research suggests that loneliness affects the whole company as well as the individual employee. In addition to making you feel blue, it lowers your productivity and creates stress for the rest of your team.

Keep in mind that loneliness is different from being alone. It has more to do with working conditions that don't fulfill your desire for connection and companionship

Researchers have found other interesting complications too. Loneliness is situational, so you may only experience it at the office. Depending on individual personalities, the same conditions could be ideal for one employee and isolating for another.

Whatever the situation, there are ways to deal with loneliness at work. Try these suggestions for encouraging a greater sense of connection for yourself and your coworkers.

Overcoming Your Loneliness at Work

The sooner you act, the easier it is to reverse the effects of loneliness. Otherwise, your performance may decline, and coworkers may find it more difficult to approach you.

Consider these ideas:

1. Join in. Relationships are built on frequent interactions. Look for opportunities to spend more time with your colleagues. Sign up for a group project or the office softball league.

2. Communicate offline. Think before pressing the send button. Is this something you can discuss over the phone or with a quick visit to someone’s office?

3. Pay attention. Just listening to your coworkers and taking an interest in their lives can make a big difference. Show that you care about their opinions and wellbeing.

4. Help out. Be generous with your time and talents. Train other employees and pitch in when they look overloaded.

5. Get personal. If you’re comfortable sharing private details at work, it can create more intimacy. Display family photos on your desk and talk about your weekend plans.

6. Bring candy. Simple gestures count too. Bake a batch of cookies or add to the supply of leftover Halloween candy. Send birthday cards or pass along books you’ve read and enjoyed.

7. Nourish yourself. It’s easier to be popular when you’re taking care of yourself. Eat a balanced diet, work out, and sleep well.

8. Change jobs. There may be times when you need to accept that your current workplace isn’t a good fit for you. If you still feel isolated after making a sincere effort, use your experience to guide you in searching for a new position.

 

 

Creating a Workplace Culture to Prevent Loneliness

Loneliness can spread through any industry and level of a company. Stay safe by working with your employer to create a friendlier environment for everybody.

Try these techniques:

1. Change your onboarding. New employees can feel a little forlorn when they’re surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Help them to fit in by offering mentors and team activities.

2. Socialize more. Office parties and happy hours may backfire if they make lonely employees feel more awkward. However, socializing is effective when accompanied by adequate support and an inclusive atmosphere.

3. Lunch together. Take advantage of break rooms and lunch hours. Encourage employees to go out to eat together and create a communal table for those who stay in.

4. Recognize and reward. How does your company thank employees for their efforts and accomplishments? Support ideas for employee competitions and awards and offer your own proposals.

Workplace relationships play a major role in your job satisfaction and performance. Protect your happiness and your career by learning how to deal with loneliness at work.

I know that my employer appreciates me.

I am valuable to my company. I provide an important service to my employer, and they are thrilled to have me be a part of their business.

I make myself irreplaceable by using my skills to the best of my ability. I am constantly making myself more valuable to my employer.

I learn new things each day that I can apply to my work. I am evolving into an even more important employee.

My employer would be lost without me. I do my job better than anyone else can.

I have a wonderful attitude at work. I focus on doing my job well and serving those I am supposed to serve. Everyone that works with me sees me as highly competent and reliable. I strive to be the best employee the world has ever seen. I take pride in my work.

My employer shows appreciation for me and my work. I am compensated well for what I do. I am provided with all the opportunities I need for advancement. My career is going as planned.

I know my attitude, skills, and work ethic would be valued by any company.

Today, I am feeling appreciated as an employee. I am showing appreciation to my employer. I am enjoying all the benefits of being a great employee.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What can I do to be a more valuable employee? What does my employer need from me?
2. Am I being treated fairly at my current company? Would I be better off somewhere else?
3. What does my employer appreciate about me?

 

 

A Foolproof Formula for Cutting Down on Excessive Meetings

Are you unable to complete your work because meetings are eating up your time? One study found that the average senior manager spends as much as 23 hours of their week in scheduled meetings. The figures are even higher if you add in the impromptu gatherings that occur in most workplaces.

There are logical reasons for why meetings tend to multiply. They provide an opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other.

However, when they start to feel overwhelming or pointless, they may actually lower morale and productivity.

Imagine what your workday would be like if meetings were less frequent and more productive. Try these suggestions for transforming your approach to meetings.

Making Meetings Less Frequent:

1. Consult your boss. There are steps you can take on your own to cut down on meetings. However, you’ll probably make more progress if you work as a team. Ask your boss if they’re interested in developing an overall strategy.

2. Clear the calendar. Do you attend weekly meetings whose origins are shrouded in mystery? It may be time to start from the ground up. Review each recurring meeting to ensure that it still serves a valid purpose.

3. Call first. Make a quick phone call to see if you can resolve the relevant issues before asking your colleagues to attend a meeting. You could also try handling it on your own or asking another employee for assistance.

4. Create meeting-free days. Take a day off from the conference room. Some companies have made a commitment to at least one day without meetings each week. This gives employees more time for tasks that benefit from deeper thought and fewer distractions.

5. Opt out. If you’re tactful about it, you may be able to turn down meeting invitations without causing any friction. Explain your conflict and propose an alternative like using project management tools or creating internal reference materials. It also helps to have a supportive boss.

Making Meetings More Productive:

1. Prepare an agenda. Keep your meeting on track by circulating a written agenda. It will provide a sense of direction and help participants to stick to the main subject.

2. Limit attendance. Most experts believe that meetings are more effective when they’re limited to about 8 participants. Larger groups often experience more difficulties with communication and decision making.

3. Shorten the time frame. Why schedule an hour-long meeting when 45 minutes will suffice? Having less time encourages greater focus and fewer conversations about items unrelated to the agenda.

4. Finish early. Give your colleagues an incentive to be concise. Make it a habit to end meetings ahead of time when the work is completed.

5. Stand up. Try conducting some of your meetings standing up or walking around. You’ll be less likely to want to linger on a cushioned seat because you’re sleepy. You may also think and speak more clearly when you’re on your feet.

6. Ban browsing. Do you want to join the ranks of companies that prohibit phones and other devices from meetings? On the other hand, you may be satisfied with a policy for muting phones and using devices only for tasks relevant to the meeting.

7. Upgrade your technology. Then again, some technology may enhance your meetings. Use video conference calls and screen sharing applications to keep things interesting and accomplish more in less time.

8. Provide leader training. Talk with your employer about providing training for employees who conduct meetings. It may help you to build morale and achieve your objectives.

Meetings can encourage collaboration and strengthen professional relationships. Work with your employer to ensure that your meetings are essential and successful.

3 Unconventional Roads to Finding Your Dream Job

Are you looking for a career that will give you a sense of fulfillment, as well as a paycheck? You might get lucky and find your dream job through your current network or a job board.

However, you might have to put more thought into your search when you raise your expectations higher.

A recent Gallup poll found that only about 13% of full-time employees consider their jobs meaningful. With that in mind, it’s worth considering what tradeoffs you’re willing to make.

You might decide to make your family and leisure activities your main priorities or you might still want to pour your passions into your career. Experimenting with these unconventional job search methods can help you discover your dream job or expand your options.

The Volunteer Road:

1. Offer your services. Find an interesting charity and approach them with a proposal for how you can get involved. Focus on a specific project or ask them about their needs. You can pick a group you already support or contact a local clearinghouse.

2. Develop your skills. Use volunteering to add to your portfolio or branch out in new directions. Your service hours can also help you to develop soft skills, especially if you have little previous work experience.

3. Assume responsibility. Take your activities as seriously as any paid jobs. Follow through on your commitments and impress others with your professionalism.

4. Think long term. What if the nonprofit you choose has no immediate hiring plans? Be sure to stay in touch in case things change. You may also find valuable leads as you network with staff members and other volunteers.

5. Be transparent. It’s okay to let others know that you’re looking for paid work while you volunteer. That way they can keep you in mind if they hear of anything promising.

The Encore Career Road:

1. Accept your age. You may have more flexibility now if your mortgage is paid off and your kids are grown. While age discrimination is a serious issue, there are plenty of places where your wisdom and experience will be an asset.

2. Do your research. If you’re moving into a new field, ensure that you understand the requirements. Browse online and talk with experts. Ask about the income potential and whether you’ll need additional qualifications.

3. Leverage your strengths. Fortunately, many skills are transferable. Focus on how to build on your past achievements. Ask your current network contacts for feedback and referrals.

4. Continue learning. You can further your education without going back to school full time. Read books and industry publications. Sign up for courses online.

The Wide Net Road:

1. Help others. You can find job leads anywhere. However, you want to be sensitive to others when you’re in a nonbusiness setting. If you focus on being of service, you’re less likely to seem too pushy.

2. Strategize carefully. Be open to unusual opportunities without wasting time on tasks that provide little return. Track your activities so you can concentrate on your most effective options.

3. Brand yourself. Authenticity will help you to communicate more successfully. You’ll increase your chances of finding a situation that aligns with your goals and dreams.

4. Practice and persevere. You may need to be patient when you’re casting a wide net or using any unusual job search method. Your efforts will pay off if you’re willing to take risks and overcome obstacles.

You’ll probably spend about one-third of your life at work. Being innovative about your career path will help you to make those hours more rewarding. In addition to using job boards and recruiters, try less conventional search methods that may uncover rewarding opportunities.

 

Helpful Solutions for When Your Boss is Burned Out

Is it difficult to get your boss to pay attention to you these days? Maybe they’re taking long lunches and ducking calls from clients. Maybe you’re afraid to ask any questions because they’ve been extra critical lately.

This lack of enthusiasm could mean that your boss is burned out. It’s common these days. “Almost 96% of senior leaders reported feeling burned out on some level, and 33% said their condition was extreme,” according to a recent study by Harvard Medical School.

Before you hand in your resignation, try to address the situation. Consider these ideas for steps you can take to deal with a boss who may be exhausted and overwhelmed.

Steps to Take Yourself:

1. Practice self-care. Working in a tense environment can affect your health, so stick to a lifestyle that will keep you strong and fit. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Manage stress and aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

2. Have fun. Studies show that burnout can be highly contagious. Boost your spirits by looking on the bright side and finding opportunities to laugh. It also helps to engage in activities that engage your creativity.

3. Consult your colleagues. Find out what your coworkers are thinking. You may be able to work together to share support and make the atmosphere more pleasant.

4. Find a mentor. If your boss is distancing themselves at least temporarily, you may want to look for other sources of mentoring and coaching. Look through your network for contacts you admire. Make new connections through social media and industry events.

5. Explore other resources. What if the situation is more than you and your coworkers can handle? Research your options. You may want to ask your HR department to intervene or you may want to talk with a professional therapist.

Steps To Take With Your Boss:

1. Examine the causes. The symptoms of burnout can be easily confused with other issues like routine job stress or an upsetting event like divorce. Even if burnout is involved, your response may vary depending on whether the issues are related to business or your boss’s personality.

2. Talk it over. Your relationship and level of trust will determine what kind of conversation to have with your boss. If you're close, maybe they'll be open to candid feedback. If you’re less familiar with each other, you can still discuss specific behaviors and changes you need to help you do your job well.

3. Listen closely. Remember that your boss is human. Just helping them to feel understood may lead to greater harmony. You’ll gain more insights into what’s happening and how to deal with it.

4. Provide validation. Even if you and your boss disagree, you can still show them that you care about their feelings and experiences. Let them know that you recognize and accept their emotions.

5. Be kind. Your boss may appreciate thoughtful gestures. Offer to bring them back a cup of coffee when you’re making or buying one for yourself. Compliment them on their new haircut.

6. Take initiative. On a practical level, your boss may need someone to take over some of their usual responsibilities. Assess the current workload and make specific suggestions about where you can pitch in.

7. Set boundaries. At the same time, you need to protect your own health and career. Honor your limits to avoid putting yourself at risk for burnout too.

You may be able to adapt while your boss resolves their situation, or you may need to move on if your working conditions start having a negative effect on your overall well being. Staying positive and keeping up with your responsibilities will help you to support your boss and keep your career on track.

 


How to Make a Career Change at 30

Are you fed up with your current job? Perhaps feeling undervalued or overworked? If that sounds like you, perhaps you need a career change.

This is a big step, but unless you want to become a professional sportsperson, there is no reason why you cannot make a career change at 30.

Do You Really Want to Change Careers?

When you first decide to change careers, you will likely have to start from the bottom rung of the ladder, with a drop in pay. Are you willing and financially able to deal with these changes?

Ask yourself these questions before you take the plunge:

● What do you hate about your current job?
● What attracts you to another job?
● Do you enjoy anything about your current job?
● What led you to your current career?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll get a better idea of what skills you have, plus what skills you need to pursue your dream job.

Tips to Help Change Careers:

1. Look at your professional and personal networks. Talk with someone already in your desired field of work. This may not be possible by talking to your colleagues. However, your friends may know someone that they could introduce to you. Once you meet, you can ask them what the job is actually like.

2. Do your research. You may think that starting a new career will require a second degree, which will take time and investment to achieve. However, you may not need one in reality, as many hiring managers will value experience and your skills more highly. So, take the time to do your research!

3. Work on any missing skills. What skills do you need for this new career path? If you need to develop certain skills, you could try an online course or perhaps some skill-based volunteering, where you can work on your skills in a voluntary position while building your skill set and resume.

4. Gain relevant experience. Luckily, we now live in a gig economy, where you can build up experience by working on freelance jobs. Even if you are working pro-bono, you are still building experience and your skills.

5. Recreate your resume. Just because you’re making a career change doesn’t necessarily mean that your resume will be blank. Look at your past work experience and see if any of the skills you have acquired are relevant for your new career path.

6. Write a cover letter. When applying for jobs in your new career, let potential employers know your story and why you’ve decided to change careers. Talk in a positive manner and show how passionate you are about this potential role.

7. Network. If you are new to the industry, your professional network will be small. It is important to expand this network, not only to increase knowledge and exposure, but also to ensure that you hear about any potential job opportunities.

Making a career change at 30 won't be as easy as making one at 25, but don’t let that put you off. If you are passionate about what you are doing and are willing to work to gain the necessary skills, there is nothing to stop you from changing careers.

 

Protecting your job from robots sounds easy now compared to dealing with today’s issues in health and economic security. Job security has become a matter of increasing concern.

According to a recent poll by Monster, 49.5% of employers expect they’ll be laying off workers in the near future, and 65.1% of companies have cut back on job listings.

On a happier note, the poll also found that openings for online jobs are increasing.

There is much uncertainty about the future, but you can make yourself more resilient. Try these suggestions to help you hold onto your current position and make yourself more marketable if you’re hunting for a new job.

Excelling at Your Current Job:

Connect with your boss. Strengthen your relationship with your supervisor. Communicate openly and frequently. Maximize one-on-one time and try to adapt to their work style.


Focus on shared goals. Make your supervisor’s priorities your own. Helping them to succeed usually benefits you too.


Present proposals. Think creatively and take worthwhile risks. Prepare practical and specific suggestions on how to increase quality and reduce expenses.

Welcome feedback. Ask your boss and colleagues for input about your performance. Listen with an open mind and use their suggestions to make positive changes in the way you do your job. Thank them for their support and let them know they’ve made a difference.


Leverage your strengths. Try to structure your job in a way that allows you to focus on the things you love and do well. You’ll probably accomplish more with less effort.


Keep your word. Prove that you’re reliable. Follow through on your commitments, especially when they affect the rest of your team.


Exceed expectations. Go beyond your job description. Take on additional assignments. Put your heart into your work and try to deliver the highest quality.


Be helpful. Offer encouragement and assistance to coworkers who are under pressure. You’ll create alliances that may be useful in the future, and you’ll probably enjoy your job more.


Searching for a New Job:


Network safely. Physical distancing changes the way we network, but the intent remains the same. Reach out to current contacts and discover new ones through video calls and virtual events.


Continue learning. Add to your knowledge and skills. Read books, chat with experts, and sign up for online courses. Shop around for bargains as many companies are offering free or discounted programs during these challenging times.


Update your resume. Imagine trying to describe your achievements over the past few years while you’re dealing with the stress of being laid off. Be proactive. Keep track of significant events worth adding to your resume.


Build a portfolio. Showing is more effective than telling. Display samples of your work online or with other media.


Raise your visibility. Promote yourself appropriately within your workplace and beyond. Publish articles and reports. Volunteer for high profile projects and community service work.


Consider the idea of changing careers. It’s natural for different industries to rise and fall. You may want to focus on skills that will help you move into sectors like ecommerce and health care.


Think positive. An upbeat attitude makes you more likely to reach your career goals. Manage stress with constructive methods like meditation and physical exercise. Think about your purpose in life and align your actions with your values.

Unexpected events can create fresh opportunities even as they disrupt your old plans. Prepare to succeed in the modern workplace by making yourself more valuable to your current employer and more attractive to other companies that are hiring.

A Manager’s Guide to Preventing Sexual Harassment at Work

If you’re a manager at your workplace, it’s important for you to be aware of sexual harassment and how it can affect the company’s work environment.

What is sexual harassment? It occurs whenever an employee makes a continued, unwelcome sexual advance, requests sexual favors, or uses inappropriate sexual remarks to another employee against their wishes.

Examples of sexual harassment may include:
● Unwanted jokes, gestures, offensive writing on clothing, or comments of a sexual nature
● Any kind of unwanted physical contact between employees, including scratching, hugging, or kissing
● Repeatedly asking for dates
● Sending emails that contain sexual imagery
● Watching pornography at work
● Putting sexually suggestive objects or pictures on display
● Playing sexually suggestive music

So what can you do to prevent sexual harassment at your company?

Use these strategies:

1. Incorporate harassment training in your workplace. Have regular training with annual refresher courses. There are online courses available that can help deal with harassment in the workplace.

2. Have a sexual harassment policy in place. In this policy, set out what is acceptable and what is not. It is important that all employees make themselves familiar with this policy, including how to report any sexual harassment encountered.

3. Raise awareness of sexual harassment. One of the most effective ways to prevent harassment from occurring in the first place is to make people aware of it. Once people understand what can be interpreted as harassment, they’ll be able to avoid it.

4. Have clear procedures in place to report harassment. All employees should be comfortable to report any behavior they feel is inappropriate and makes them uncomfortable. Staff should feel safe at work and not left to feel alone while dealing with inappropriate colleagues.

5. Incorporate staff welfare into review meetings. These are usually used to review an employee’s performance, but they can also be an opportunity to review the company. Allow your colleagues to voice any concerns that they may have, either with the company as a whole or with one particular colleague.

6. Deal with allegations of sexual harassment immediately. Failure to act could allow the problem to get worse. This toxic environment will make your employees uncomfortable.

7. Have a person in place dedicated to dealing with harassment. This can be difficult in smaller companies with employees having to juggle numerous roles, but in larger companies, a dedicated HR person who deals with sexual harassment issues can make the employees feel more secure.

8. Have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. Make it clear to all employees and colleagues that any form of sexual harassment will not be tolerated. It does not matter what role the person performing the sexual harassment has in the company, any cases will be dealt with immediately.

9. Do not laugh at or encourage inappropriate jokes. While it’s important that we all enjoy ourselves at work, it’s also important that we all understand that not everyone has the same sense of humor. Sometimes things said can be offensive rather than funny to some. Keep this point in mind, even in jokes.

If you believe that you’re being sexually harassed at work, it’s important that you complain to someone in authority there. Doing this will ensure that your employer is able to take action and you can go back to work without having to deal with disrespectful colleagues.

A Foolproof Formula for Staying Focused While You Work at Home

Working from home instead of the office means trading in one set of distractions for another. Plus, you need to supervise yourself. How can you stay focused when your kids are bored, and Netflix just added your favorite show?

Remote work has lots of advantages, like greater flexibility and zero commuting time. However, in order to get your work done, it’s important to create a system that keeps you focused and productive.

You can succeed at remote work by providing your own structure and motivation. Use these ideas for dealing with internal and external distractions.

Dealing with Internal Distractions:

1. Think positive. Build your own morale. Think about the things you like about your job. Appreciate the opportunity to do meaningful work that stretches your skills and helps others.

2. Set goals. Give yourself specific targets to strive for. Know what you want to accomplish each day and over the long term.

3. Write a list. Use paper and pen or a free app to make a to do list. Block out realistic time for each task.

4. Schedule your day. Figure out your priorities and the hours when you’re most effective. Devote most of your resources to the activities that create real value.

5. Designate a workspace. Carving out an area exclusively for work will help you keep your mind on your job. It can be a spare room or one corner in your studio apartment.

6. Reduce discomfort. Pay attention to ergonomics, especially if you’re working at home full-time. Arrange your workspace for maximum efficiency. Ask your employer if they’ll help cover the costs for equipment like headphones to reduce straining your neck during phone calls.

7. Take breaks. You’ll accomplish more if you allow yourself generous helpings of downtime. Try to pause and relax before you feel fatigued.

8. Move around. Exercise reduces stress and restores your energy. Use some of your break time to stretch and jump rope. Go for a walk or do yoga during your lunch hour.

Dealing with External Distractions:

1. Ask for support. Let your boss, coworkers, family, and friends know when you need help. Be willing to return the favor when you see them struggling.

2. Arrange childcare. Finding someone to watch your kids has become more difficult for many parents. Keep in touch with other families to learn about options near you or ask your employer about taking leave if necessary.

3. Set boundaries. Let others know the hours when you’re available for collaboration and when you need to work without interruptions. Shut your door and turn the volume down on your phone for tasks that require concentration.

4. Interact with others. On the other hand, socializing is a valuable part of your workday too. Participate in virtual happy hours and stick around to chat before and after video meetings.

5. Play music. This is your chance to control the soundtrack at work. Create a variety of playlists to mask background noise or stimulate creative thinking.

6. Eat healthy. Your kitchen can be a distraction too. Plan your daily menu in advance around nutritious meals and snacks. It’s easier to turn down junk food when you feel full.

7. Limit media. Facebook and streaming videos may consume much of your day unless you eliminate such temptations. Find methods that work for you such as turning off notifications or setting time limits on sites where you tend to linger too long.

Develop the communication and organizational skills you’ll need to excel at working from home. You can be a high performer whether you’re sitting in a cubicle or on your patio.

 

 

How to Find Your Next Job by Networking

Have you ever wondered how that friend of yours that really wasn't qualified for a job received a better paying job with more holidays than you? You could give them the benefit of the doubt that they interviewed well, but in all likelihood, this probably was due to their networking skills.

Networking is one of those lost arts that social media has, more or less, watered down. In a world where people value followers on Instagram more than actual job performance, it can be hard to network based on your resume.

In the modern work environment, networking is more important than ever. Consider these tips to find your next job through networking.

Avoid Being Shy

This is the first and most obvious step to landing your next job by networking. To be honest, it’s rare to see someone in a very high position of power when they are shy or timid.

If you’re looking to take your job to the next level, it’s important to look at complete measures of success and understand that, in most cases, one simply cannot be shy.

You’ll need to exit your comfort zone and take on tasks that might not be geared to your strengths. Only by stepping out of your comfort zone will you begin to see that networking really isn't that difficult.

Start Freelancing

Freelancing can be one of the most effective ways to network.

Just by creating a profile, at LinkedIn for example, you’ve entered the world of contractors and freelancers who meet each other solely on experience and judgement. If you’re good at your work, you’ll stand out and develop a deep list of contacts that you can call upon for extended work or even full-time jobs.

In fact, most freelancers go on to start their own business, which in some cases can lead to huge success and an even better job down the road.

Update Your Social Media Profiles

In a modern world, very few people use word of mouth anymore. Virtually all communicating is done online. For this reason, making a professional and striking online presence is essential.

This means creating profiles on social media - not to boast about the big fish you caught last week, but to show your success and hardships (people value real profiles).

Think of the social media game as an opportunity to show potential employers who you are and what you do. After all, the hiring staff and HR reps don’t only look at LinkedIn!

Friends of Friends

For some companies, keeping a tight-knit idea of hiring is important. For that reason, friends of friends can be an important step in networking for your next job.

This doesn’t mean that you must start sending out friend requests to every random mutual friend. However, the next time your co-worker asks you to come to a dinner party, don't stay home and watch Netflix. Go enjoy a glass of scotch with some like-minded individuals.

Who knows? A friend of a friend might become your best friend and a colleague at the job of your dreams!

Start networking today! You'll likely make some pretty amazing connections!

Modern Rules for Dealing with Deadlines at Work

Most job interviews include questions about how you handle deadlines. From law offices to government contractors, employers depend on you to manage your time and help your team meet its goals.

However, it’s often difficult to coordinate complex projects, and the increase in remote work adds new twists.

Knowing how to organize your tasks and stay on track will help you to prevent conflicts and enjoy greater job satisfaction. You’ll also become a more accomplished and valuable employee.

Try these strategies for dealing effectively with deadlines.

Organizing Tips for Meeting Deadlines:

1. Write a list. A to do list helps you to see the big picture and structure your day. You also free up your mental capacity because you have something to refer to rather than trying to memorize each detail.

2. Set priorities. Rank your tasks according to their importance and urgency. Figure out what you need to do now and what you can put off until later.

3. Break things down. Translate your goals into concrete actions. Focus on taking a first step and accomplishing something each day.

4. Budget your time. Most people tend to underestimate how long it really takes to complete specific tasks. Create realistic targets and build some leeway into your schedule.

5. Overcome procrastination. Perfectionism, anxiety, and vague goals are three common reasons for putting things off. Figure out why you procrastinate and adopt habits that will encourage you to take action and persevere.

6. Limit distractions. How much time do you spend checking social media or talking about your weekend plans? Set time limits on your breaks. Turn off notifications and remove time wasting apps from your phone.

7. Automate routine tasks. Look for ways to work more efficiently. Research the latest AI solutions in your field. Ask your IT department for suggestions on how to streamline your procedures.

Communication Tips for Meeting Deadlines:

1. Consult your boss. Align your priorities with your boss’s vision. Touch base regularly and ask for feedback.

2. Provide updates. Participate in department meetings and share information. Let others know what you’re working on and notify them about developments that could impact their plans. They’ll be more likely to do the same for you.

3. Use technology. Zoom calls and project management tools make it easier to collaborate with team members at remote sites. Practice using new platforms. Check that your online messages sound friendly and clear.

4. Ask for help. Let your boss and coworkers know when you need assistance. You’ll make a more positive impression when you notify them about issues while there’s still time to correct them.

What to Do If You Miss a Deadline:

1. Stay calm. It’s easier to resolve any setback if you manage your emotions and make rational decisions. Take a deep breath. Talk the situation over with someone you trust.

2. Take responsibility. Acknowledge the missed deadline as soon as possible. Hold yourself accountable for your actions. Apologize to other stakeholders if the situation calls for it.

3. Propose solutions. Focus on what you can do now. Try to come up with multiple options for minimizing the unwanted consequences and moving forward again.

4. Evaluate your situation. Learn from your experience. Did you miss the deadline because of your own conduct or external events beyond your control? Assess the things you did well and the things you would want to change, so you’ll be better prepared next time.

Deadlines can be motivating as long as you manage them effectively. Meeting and exceeding expectations enhances your productivity and professional reputation. You’ll also make your job less stressful as you clarify your priorities and work together as a team.

 


Read This Before You Reject a Job Offer

US job losses due to COVID-19 have reached their highest level since the Great Depression. With news like that, you might wonder if it’s foolish to even consider turning down a job offer.

However, it’s still a case-by-case decision. Sometimes it makes sense to settle for a position that seems less than ideal. Other times it’s worth holding out for a job you’ll really love.

How can you decide what to do when an employer presents you with something less than your dream job and they’re waiting for your answer? Try these tips for accepting or rejecting a job offer without derailing your career.

Evaluating a Job Offer:

1. Set goals. It’s easier to analyze a job offer when you have a clear vision of your career path. Goals enable you to think long-term and focus on how any position can prepare you for your next step.

2. Weigh the evidence. What are the pros and cons? Identify your priorities. Maybe you’re willing to accept a longer commute in exchange for tuition reimbursements that would enable you to complete a degree.

3. Consult your feelings. Emotions matter too. That sinking sensation in your stomach could be minor jitters or serious misgivings.

4. Talk it over. What would you tell a friend in the same situation? Ask someone you trust for feedback. A third party may be able to see things more objectively.

5. Sleep on it. Recruiters and employers may be pressuring you for a quick decision. If possible, give yourself at least one night to mull things over and gather more information if needed.

6. Maximize your options. Money troubles are sometimes unavoidable. However, if you can build up your savings, you’ll have more flexibility for extending your job search until you find an opportunity that truly excites you.

Rejecting a Job Offer:

1. Choose your medium. Any channel from email to a personal meeting can be appropriate depending on your previous interactions. When in doubt, you may want to reply to a job offer the same way that it was delivered.

2. Show appreciation. Express your gratitude. Let them know that you appreciate their time and consideration.

3. Use tact. Most companies will want to know why you’re turning them down. You may be able to provide them with helpful feedback without being too critical. It’s okay to keep it brief.

4. Be prompt. Avoid causing any further delay. Sending your response in a timely manner will help the company to move ahead with its hiring process.

5. Stay in touch. There could still be valuable opportunities in the future. If you see such potential, let the company know that you’re interested in hearing about other developments and invite your contacts to connect on platforms like LinkedIn.

Accepting a Job Offer When You Have Reservations:

1. Offer to negotiate. You’re in a stronger position to negotiate when you’re happy to walk away. Ask the company if they can increase the starting salary or allow you to telecommute some days.

2. Exceed expectations. Regardless of your feelings, it’s in your interest to deliver high performance. You’ll be more likely to gather impressive achievements for your resume and strengthen your professional network.

3. Keep looking. At the same time, fewer employees stick with one company for long these days. Feel free to use your new position as a steppingstone on the way towards other opportunities.

Keep in mind that overnight success is rare. Most careers involve progress and setbacks. Clarifying your criteria will help you to weigh the tradeoffs when you receive a job offer, so you can decide what works for you.

 


The Secret to Being More Proactive at Work

What does your workday look like? Maybe you’re productive and engaged. Maybe you’re working hard but accomplishing little because you’re usually cleaning up after the things that happened yesterday.

The answer depends on whether you’re reactive or proactive. A reactive approach leaves you stuck responding to situations rather than controlling them. On the other hand, being proactive helps you to shape your future and experience less stress.

The choice is up to you. If you want to be more proactive at work, focus on planning, organization, and communication.

Planning:

1. Set priorities. Think about the most valuable and meaningful aspects of your job. Figure out how you can devote more time and energy to these priorities. When possible, avoid activities that would pull you off track.

2. Seek solutions. Focus on the things you can control. Instead of dwelling on disappointment and regrets, ask yourself what you can do now to get the outcomes that you want. Be creative. Take action and move forward.

3. Be realistic. Maybe you’re struggling because you’re trying to do too much. Review your goals to ensure that they’re really within your reach.

4. Embrace change. Anticipating change can make transitions more comfortable. Stay informed about what’s going on at your office and in your industry. Pay more attention to what you have to gain rather than trying to resist the inevitable.

5. Strengthen your skills. One of the most effective ways to prepare for the future is to keep your qualifications relevant. Sign up for training at work and take courses online. Volunteer for challenging projects at work.

Organization:

1. Write a list. Your to do list provides structure and helps you to measure your accomplishments. It clarifies your priorities and may even reduce anxiety. Research shows you’ll be less distracted by future tasks once you know you have a written reminder.

2. Update your calendar. Block out your time, so you’ll be able to complete your most important and urgent tasks. Give yourself adequate breaks to keep your performance strong and protect yourself from burnout.

3. Develop systems. Experiment with efficiency tools and methods that work for you. You might like giant year-at-a-glance posters that help you to think long-term. You might prefer keeping your desk and walls bare in order to maximize your concentration.

4. Use technology. Apps and automation are another way to accomplish more in less time. Browse for free apps or sign up for a trial period to test what works for you.

Communication:

1. Reply promptly. Your colleagues and customers will appreciate your quick attention. Plus, you’ll waste less time second guessing what you want to say about simple matters.

2. Share information. Collaboration makes it easier to be proactive. Use meetings and task management apps to exchange ideas and keep team members updated on the latest developments.

3. Consider others. Being proactive is usually advantageous, but you may have to take some precautions. Ensure that your boss approves of your innovations. Be sensitive to other’s needs if you’re presenting proposals that would increase their workload.

4. Seek feedback. Encouraging frequent and constructive feedback is an excellent way to stay coordinated. Respectful conversations and active listening will help team members to develop common values and goals.

5. Network regularly. Building and maintaining a healthy network is another area where it’s beneficial to be proactive. Reach out to others and give generously. Join interest groups and participate in discussions online. Follow up after conferences and information interviews.

Being proactive will increase your job satisfaction and make you a more valuable employee. Advance your career by planning ahead and taking initiative.

The Secret to Networking at Social Events

When you meet a potential contact at a business event, you know what to do. You deliver your elevator pitch and set up a time to talk more. However, when you run into someone interesting at a social gathering, things can become more complicated.

While funerals and 12-step meetings are awkward places to do business, there are plenty of occasions that fall somewhere in between. How can you take advantage of opportunities at parties or your child’s baseball game without coming across as being too pushy?

Discover the secret to networking at social events. Use these tips to make connections that will help you to advance your career.

Help Others:

1. Share information. Maybe you’ll find a natural opening for discussing trends in your industry or demonstrating your expertise. Maybe you’ll accomplish more by explaining how to grow tomatoes in the shade or recommending a great movie you found on Netflix.

2. Offer referrals. Spread the word about businesses and services you like. Personal testimonials are more reliable than online reviews.

3. PItch in. Passing around food trays or joining the planning committee is a great way to make mingling easier at parties or parent meetings. Your contributions will be remembered.

4. Pay attention. Simple gestures count too. You can make a positive impression just by listening closely to what other guests have to say. Ask relevant questions and focus on their message instead of preparing your own response.

5. Show enthusiasm. Others will find you more attractive if you’re having fun. Check that your body language is warm and friendly. Use smiles and eye contact to let others know that you welcome conversation.

Follow Up:

1. Ask your friends. If you and someone you just met have contacts in common, you may be able to rely on them to help you stay in touch. That could even include children and pets if they go to the same schools and dog parks.

2. Explore mutual interests. Your initial conversation may also reveal areas of common ground. Building relationships is often most successful when you have regular interactions like attending the same gym or volunteering at the same community center.

3. Go online. Researching someone online can be constructive as long as you respect their privacy. Learn more about them from public sources like their company website or news articles.

4. Exchange contact information. Before you hand out any business cards, assess the situation to see if you’re going too far too fast. If your new contact seems receptive, you might offer your phone number or email and suggest a casual coffee date.

Other Tips for Networking at Social Events:

1. Practice regularly. Networking skills can be developed. Chatting with other parents at the park is a low-risk way to train for more challenging professional communications.

2. Focus on quality. Networking is usually more rewarding when you concentrate on who you’re talking with now instead of trying to work the whole room. A small number of mutually supportive relationships is more valuable than having a lot of superficial contacts.

3. Circulate more. It will be easier to allow relationships to develop gradually and naturally if you feel like you have an abundance of opportunities. Experiment with accepting more invitations and hosting your own gatherings. See what a difference it can make in widening your circle.

4. Respect boundaries. Be sensitive to the purpose of any event and the comfort level of others. Honoring their needs will help you to make a positive impression.

Strengthen your network by learning how to use social events to build relationships. You’ll be helping yourself and others as long as you take a genuine and generous approach.

 


Why Losing Your Job Could be a Good Thing!

Whether you’ve already lost your job through down-sizing, redundancy, or any other reason, or if you’re under threat to lose your job, your first thoughts run from blind panic to anger, desperation, and all points in between, especially if you have a family and all the commitments that go with it.

It’s especially daunting if you’ve been in that position for a long time and assumed that you had that job for life. When it’s the only job you’ve ever known, finding out that your job has gone can be devastating.

Even if it’s a job that you’ve tolerated for years, when you no longer have it, you suddenly forget all the things you didn’t like about working there and remember only the good. It’s human nature.

But the feelings of loss, of being in free-fall, create feelings of doubt. And doubt can cause a huge loss in self-confidence at a time when you need it the most.

Rather than block out those feelings, acknowledge them, embrace them, and then let them go. They will not serve you in moving forward.

Keep in mind that many layoffs are activated by accountants - usually people you don’t know and have never met. They have no idea who you are, what your skills are, what your true worth is, and how your family might suffer from your job loss. They’re just doing the job that they’re paid for.

Why Me?

The accountants are simply moving numbers from one column to another on the balance sheet to keep the company solvent and in business. So, avoid wasting your time trying to figure out ‘why me.’ You are just a number to them and there’s no answer to that question.

Granted, it might be tough for you to make sense of the situation. But sooner or later, you know you have to get past it, over it, or around it, so why not make it sooner? Later has no merit at all, does it?

Here’s the truth. Losing a job is part of modern society. We live in a rapidly changing world, and this is just another kind of change, and change is the only constant we can truly expect.

Look around you. Everyone you know that has a job has come from some other workplace. And most of them ended up with a better job after their move! You can too!

Regardless of what happens to you, it’s what you do about what has happened to you that’s important.

So, although you didn’t anticipate this change, you can look at it as an opportunity to rethink, reset, adjust, and get a clear idea of not only what is possible for you, but what could also change your life for the better.

Have you ever had thoughts about a career change? It just might be the perfect time to consider one. It could be so much easier to make such decisions now that your old job isn’t holding you back from going after what you truly desire.

Could There be a More Perfect Time?

Think about it. Could there be a more perfect time to re-define what you want to do with your life and get clear on what’s important to you?

Follow these steps to plan your perfect direction:

1. Decide what you want to avoid. An easy place to start is with what you DON’T want, and then look at the opposite.

● For example, if you totally loathe commuting, look at a role where you could work from home. Tens of thousands of people already do, why not you?

2. What about your chosen field of expertise? If you’re tired of that kind of work, maybe you could look at something completely different.

● You can find free courses on the internet for thousands of different skill sets. Sign up for as many as you need to get an understanding of what’s out there that just might be a perfect fit for you.

3. Explore new ideas using your current interests. Consider anything and everything that gets your attention. Start paying close attention to what interests you and what fascinates you. There could be something within arms-reach that you’ve had an interest in for some time. For example:

● If you go to the bookstore, what sections do you visit most often?

● If you’re channel surfing on the TV, what kind of programs do you stop at most often?

● If you’re scrolling social media, what stories do you read the most and/or comment on the most?

Make copious notes for a week or more. Then go back and review. Notice where the commonalities are and make a decision to follow up on what gets your attention the most.

You may find a fascinating new direction to pursue!

Some people have found that losing their job was the very best thing that could have happened to them. Why not you?

 


14 Habits That Make You a More Valuable Employee

Making yourself more valuable to your employer leads to a more successful career. More opportunities open up when you have an impressive resume and a reputation for being a team player.

You’re likely to enjoy more job satisfaction too. A productive workday is bound to feel more gratifying than watching the clock until it’s time to go home.

While individual bosses and companies will have their own priorities, there are some qualities that are appreciated in just about any workplace. Take a look at this checklist of habits that make you a valuable asset on the job.

Increasing Your Competence

Your performance plays a big role in how much value you contribute at work. Dedicate yourself to making a consistent effort and delivering high quality work.

These strategies will help you to increase your competence:

1. Set goals. Clarifying your career goals will guide your actions and help you to get the outcomes you want. For example, you may want to close more sales or develop your leadership skills. Aim high while being realistic.

2. Continue learning. Add to your knowledge and skills. Read books and subscribe to industry publications. Talk with thought leaders in your field. Earn certifications online and sign up for training seminars at work.

3. Master technology. Take advantage of apps and devices that will help you to manage your time and accomplish more. Brushing up on computer skills enables you to stay relevant and collaborate with other professionals.

4. Be proactive. Do you wait around for your next assignment? Take initiative by volunteering for projects with high visibility. Look for ways to streamline work processes and cut costs.

5. Welcome feedback. Gathering feedback from your boss and coworkers can have a powerful impact on your performance and professional development. Apply what you learn and thank others for their input.

6. Seek balance. Star employees know how to prevent burnout. Take breaks and use your vacation days. Pay attention to your personal and spiritual life as well as your career objectives.

Working Well with Others

Soft skills matter too. They’re the kind of traits that can make you someone who others enjoy working with.

Try these techniques to strengthen your soft skills:

1. Follow through. Let others know that they can depend on you. Complete your work on time and provide updates when you know that your activities affect your coworker’s ability to do their jobs.

2. Focus on solutions. Stay calm under pressure. Propose strategies for overcoming setbacks rather than casting blame. Learn from experience and move on.

3. Share credit. Acknowledge your coworkers’ contributions too. Praise them for their ideas and innovations. Take pleasure in their success.

4. Resolve conflicts. Some disagreements are inevitable when you work closely with others for 40 hours each week. Deal with differences promptly. Treat each other with respect and search for common ground.

5. Help others. You become a more valuable employee when you create conditions that make it easier for others to excel. Pitch in when a colleague is swamped. Teach them how to do tasks in areas where you’ve developed your expertise.

6. Show empathy. You can also help others just by showing an interest in them. Make time for small talk. Validate their feelings.

7. Advocate for yourself. Honoring your own needs is fundamental to your wellbeing and your capacity to give. Ask for what you want. Stand up for your principles.

8. Think positive. Maintain a cheerful disposition. Find the humor in difficult situations. Wear a smile and speak kindly. Choose positive words that increase motivation and help fight stress.

Position yourself to stand out in any field. Being recognized as a valuable employee will help you to manage your career and achieve your own definition of success.

How to Figure Out What Type of Job You Really Want

Are you considering a job change, but you keep putting it off for one reason or another? Most often it’s our lack of clear ideas for a job or career change that keeps us trapped in our current situation.

What we’re really lacking is the ability to think differently about what’s possible for us.

If you feel stuck, trapped, or unable to think of anything at all that might serve you in finding a new job or career, here are some tips to help you think differently about potential and practicality that could stir up a whole host of new ideas for you.

Answer these questions:

1. What is it that you DON’T want to do? Oftentimes, identifying what we don’t want can shine a light on what we do want, simply by considering the opposite.

● For example, if you absolutely hate the commute, working closer to home or even at home might be preferable.

2. Do you hate conforming to rules and regulations? Maybe something that would allow you to work under your own initiative with your own ideas would be ideal. Like writing, for example.

3. Are you putting yourself under pressure to conform to someone else’s perceived impression of you? For example, do you have thoughts like these:

● I should have a professional position.
● I must have at least this much as a salary because of my background.
● I should have a title that other people will respect and admire me for.

● Deep in your heart, maybe you really want to build dry stone walls with your bare hands, on your own, out on the ranch.

● Check your feelings to see whose rules you are actually following. You will never be happy unless you follow your own idea of what makes your heart sing. Are you really prepared to let others dictate how you should spend your life and make a living?

4. What if anything was possible? What would you do with your time? Try thinking without restraint or limitation. What would you do if absolutely anything were possible?

● Would you travel?
● Would you build?
● Would you create?
● Would you buy and sell?
● Where would you go?
● Who would you go with?
● How much time would you spend there?
● How much money would you make?

5. What would you be like if you reinvented yourself completely? If you could turn the clock back and unload all the junk that you’ve collected in your mind and heart so far in your life? If you could eliminate all the mistakes, errors of judgment, and wasted time of the past?

● Where would you be and what would you be doing?

● Who would you be doing it with?

● Where would you be doing it and why?

● What if you seized some of the opportunities you’ve turned down and refused some of the opportunities you’ve taken? What would your life be like now? Where would you be? Who would you be with? What would you be doing? How does that feel?

● What would this brand new you look like? What kind of work would you be engaged in? How much money might you be making? How much joy would you have in your life? Where would you live? Why there? Is this new you inspiring?

6. What if your new career wasn’t grandiose, world class, or life changing for anyone else? Would that matter? What if it was modest, relatively inconspicuous, but incredibly important to your heart and soul?

● Just because some ideas are bigger, it doesn’t automatically make them better. What you are searching for here is a perfect fit for you, not for someone else.

What if you could identify what you really want today? Would you get started? Begin exploring? Begin making that transition from where you are right now to where you really want to be?

Your life is waiting. Time to get busy!

 

My morale is strong.

I am motivated and brimming with energy. I find meaning and purpose in my work.

I take initiative. I go beyond my job description. I volunteer for high profile projects. I seek out opportunities to work with other teams and take on greater responsibility.

I show enthusiasm. I celebrate group victories and share my success stories. I make a list of the things I love about my job. I thank my colleagues for their guidance and assistance.

I learn new things. I sign up for certification courses and job training. I master emerging technologies and read about developments in my field.

I exchange constructive feedback and participate in meetings. I listen to others and ask questions.

I focus on solutions. When I run into setbacks, I identify my options and visualize the outcomes that I want. I adapt to change and try alternative strategies.

I support my coworkers. I validate their experiences and empathize with their struggles. I share information and express appreciation. I help them to reach their goals.

I prevent burnout. I clarify my priorities. I take breaks throughout the day and use my vacation days. I maintain balance.

I keep setting new challenges. I build a successful career path.

Today, I am eager to tackle my personal and professional responsibilities. Boosting my morale keeps me happy and fulfilled.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How can I maintain high morale while working remotely?
2. What can I do to build team spirit in my workplace?
3. How does my morale affect others?

The Secret to Having a Greater Impact at Work

Do you pride yourself on meeting the expectations in your job description and completing tasks on time? That’s a great start, but it’s important to go beyond just fulfilling your job requirements if you want to stand out at work.

In today’s employment market, many qualified applicants compete for a limited number of openings. Even when you do land a position, you must keep proving your worth.

Strengthening your skills and adding to your achievements makes you more competitive and gives you more security.

Discover the secret to impressing your boss while you widen your opportunities and develop your career. Try these 3 strategies for increasing your impact at work.

Cultivate Innovation and Creativity

Expectations are higher now, even for entry level positions. You can find ways to increase quality and save money whether you work in the mailroom or a corner office.

These techniques will help you provide solutions with innovation and out-of-the-box thinking:

1. Continue learning. You’re more likely to spot issues and resolve them if you stay on top of developments in your field. Keep your technology skills up to date. Read industry publications and attend conferences.

2. Clarify priorities. Focus your efforts on the areas where you can expect the greatest returns. Talk with your boss about what matters most to them.

3. Develop proposals. Be prepared before you present your ideas to your boss. If possible, offer several options. Try to identify possible obstacles and strategies and address them.

4. Take risks. Embracing change can feel scary, but it’s essential for making progress. Remind yourself of what you have to gain. Start small and learn from your experiences.

Make Yourself Visible

Your accomplishments may not speak for themselves.

Use these tips to learn how to promote yourself effectively, so others will take notice:

1. Participate in meetings. Use Zoom calls and conference room sessions to deepen your office relationships and communications. Create a goal for each meeting and practice what you want to say. Questions can be just as helpful as statements.

2. Choose your assignments. Take more control of your workday. Volunteer for projects that align with your career goals.

3. Network vigorously. Reach out to colleagues in your workplace and at other companies. Aim to meet someone for coffee or lunch at least twice a week.

4. Manage your online presence. Do your social media pages convey the professional image you want? Tweak your LinkedIn profile by updating your headline and work samples. Check your keywords and add a new photo.

Help Others

Building up your colleagues is likely to bring you more happiness and success. Earn a reputation for being a team player.

Follow these strategies:

1. Share feedback. Talking with others about their performance can be awkward, but it’s one of the most effective ways to help them. Provide specific and constructive input that they can act on. Be grateful when someone does the same for you.

2. Provide recognition. Let your coworkers know when they’re doing a great job. Write a thank you message and copy their supervisor.

3. Make referrals. Be generous with introductions and referrals. You may spark rewarding partnerships and reinforce your own network.

4. Pitch in. Offer your help without having to be asked. Tackle any remaining tasks necessary to meet a deadline or put together an outstanding client presentation.

5. Teach others. Maybe your employer has a formal mentoring program or welcomes a new slate of interns each year. Maybe you can find your own ways to train others and pass along your knowledge and skills.

Find areas where you can excel and transform yourself into a more valuable employee. Having more impact at work will increase your job satisfaction and help you to advance toward your career goals.

 

A Useful Guide for Sharing a Home Office with Your Partner

Does your house seem smaller since the pandemic started? Many families feel more cramped with 2 adults working at home, especially if you need to share your workspace with your partner.

This may be the first time you’ve seen their work habits up close or counted how many dirty coffee cups they leave behind in their wake. Even if you’re used to having an office mate, it’s a different experience when you don’t say goodbye and go your separate ways at quitting time.

Protect your relationship and your productivity by mastering the modern rules for couples who share a home office. Try these tips for setting up your workspace and interacting with each other.

Setting Up a Home Office for Two:

1. Divide your space. Each of you will probably need your own desk or workstation. It will help you to stay out of each other’s way and reduce distractions. There will be less risk of accidentally carrying off each other’s files or losing items too.

2. Separate your stuff. Figure out which supplies and equipment you can share and which you’ll need for yourself alone. You can probably save money by having one printer and shredder. On the other hand, you may need your own phone line and storage space.

3. Enable privacy. How will you handle tasks that require quiet and concentration? Maybe you can write or attend Zoom meetings in your sunroom or kitchen. Maybe you’ll be more comfortable with your desks facing away from each other.

4. Create ambience. Design your office for maximum comfort and cheer. Give it a fresh coat of paint and display some artwork and photos.

5. Minimize clutter. At the same time, open space and tidy surfaces are more relaxing, so be selective about your furnishings. Cleaning up after yourself helps too.

6. Stagger your schedules. If possible, you might work different hours. That way you can count on a private office for at least part of the day.

 

Etiquette for Sharing Your Home Office:

1. Establish boundaries. Planning ahead will avoid many conflicts, but you’ll still need ground rules. Share the vacuuming and agree on where to set the thermostat.

2. Talk things over. Resolve minor annoyances promptly to keep them from escalating. Be open to compromises and keep your sense of humor.

3. Wear headphones. Volume levels are one of the most common challenges in any shared space. Noise cancelling headphones may help you keep the peace if you prefer different styles of music. You may also need headsets if you make a lot of phone calls.

4. Eliminate odors. Unpleasant smells can be as intrusive as noise. You may need to step outside if you’re snacking on pizza with extra garlic. Use neutral cleaning products or check to see that you both like pomegranate scented air freshener.

5. Stay focused. Maintain balance by using your home office for work and dealing with personal matters elsewhere. Save personal conversations for after hours.

6. Take breaks together. While sharing an office with your partner takes some effort, it can also be a lot of fun. Drink your morning coffee on your patio. Take your dog to the park at lunchtime for a long walk or outdoor concert.

7. Be considerate. Overall, treat your partner with respect and courtesy. It’s easy to drift into taking each other for granted, so remember what you like about them. Show your appreciation and look for ways to make their life easier.

There are many advantages to working from home, and the trend will continue long after lockdowns and quarantines end. Learning to share office space will help you and your partner to enjoy your relationship and your remote work experience.

 


How to Make the Most of Working from Home

Working from home is becoming much more common. On the surface, it sounds ideal. You can work in your robe while you talk to your dog. You might even have your favorite movie on in the background. Your boss can’t even track your internet time!

But working from home has its disadvantages, too. It’s not as easy to get things done from home as you might think. You can also go a little stir-crazy if you’re not careful!

Use these strategies to make working from home productive and enjoyable:

1. Stick to a schedule. If your company is flexible on your hours, make your own schedule and stick to it.

● Get up at the same time each day.
● Stick to your normal grooming routine.
● Sit down to work at the same time each day.
● Plan your lunch time.
● Quit working at a set time.

2. Dress effectively. Some people can take care of business just fine in their pajamas. Others might need to dress in their normal work clothes in order to get things done at a high level. Dress in a way that works for you.

3. Deal with the other people in your home. Kids, the spouse, friends, neighbors, other family members, and pets can all be a distraction. Set boundaries and enforce them. You might have to tell your kids to leave you alone unless there is a real emergency. Friends might have to be told to stay away until 5:00 PM.

● Each household is unique. Set rules that work for you and don’t be shy about ensuring that everyone is respecting them.

4. Put in face time. Use video conferencing tools or actually head to the office occasionally if appropriate. Avoid only relying on the phone and emails for communication. It’s beneficial to see your coworkers, boss, employees, and clients or customers regularly if at all possible.

5. Plan breaks. Part of sticking to a schedule includes taking regular breaks. A break is a good time to clear your head, check on the kids, or let the dog out.

6. Get out of the house at least once each day. It helps both your mental and physical health to get out of the house for at least a little while each day. You could run to the store, take a walk, or do anything else that takes you out of your home for a bit.

7. Communicate more. Communication can be less effective when you don’t have face-to-face contact. That means you’ll likely need to communicate more to make up for the lower quality of communication. Communicate as much as necessary to ensure that everyone knows what they need to know.

8. Have a dedicated workspace. It can be tempting to spread out on the kitchen bar. But are your papers going to stay where you put them? Can you have a decent phone conversation here? Are there too many distractions?

● Have a dedicated workspace that you and your family will respect.

9. Get some exercise. You might not think that you get a lot of exercise at work, but you probably get more at work than you do while working at home.

● At work, you have to walk further to the bathroom. You have to walk from the parking lot to your office. You might go out for lunch regularly. You have to walk to your boss’s office or take files to another department. The coffee pot might be at the other end of the hallway.

● At home, everything is close and convenient. It makes a difference regarding how much movement you experience each day.

Enjoy your time working from home but understand the potential drawbacks. It can be more challenging to get things done, and it’s much easier to waste time if you’re not cautious. Working from home can have more distractions. It can also be psychologically more challenging if you’re alone all day.

Take a look at your job responsibilities, homelife, and your own idiosyncrasies. Develop a process that works for you.

13 Strategies for Making Your Job Search More Efficient

Some things are beyond your control when you’re searching for a job. You wait for companies to call you back, and you compete with other candidates who may have stronger qualifications.

However, you can take charge of making your job hunt more efficient. That way you’ll make the process faster and more rewarding, regardless of the state of the economy.

The secret is getting organized and taking care of yourself. Use this checklist to work smarter rather than harder while you’re preparing for your next position.

Tips for Organizing Your Job Search

Careful planning and helpful routines reduce stress and enable you to accomplish more. You’ll maximize the return on your efforts.

Try these top tips:

1. Clarify your goals. Charting your career path will help you to understand your values and make sounder decisions. You’ll be able focus your efforts on your top priorities.

2. Leverage your strengths. Customize your job hunt based on your skills and resources. Maybe you have a powerful alumni network. Maybe you communicate more effectively in writing or on the phone.

3. Limit your research. You need to know about the companies where you’re applying but ensure that you’re allocating enough time for the rest of your to-do list. You can gather more information if you’re invited to interview.

4. Polish your writing. Make your applications stand out. Edit your cover letters to match the requirements of each position. Use keywords. Describe your past achievements and what you can offer.

5. Take advantage of technology. Automate tasks to save time. Email alerts will notify you of new openings, so you can be among the first to apply. Use project management apps to track and evaluate your progress.

6. Batch similar tasks. Block out time for checking job boards or keeping in touch with network contacts. Activities that require the same thought process usually take less time because your brain doesn’t have to switch gears.

7. Avoid distractions. Figure out where you may be wasting time. Let your family and friends know the hours when you want to be undisturbed. Set limits on video streaming and internet browsing.

8. Clear away clutter. Tidy up your environment. Try to cut down on paper documents and develop a filing system that works for you.

9. Ask for help. Let your family, friends, and colleagues know how they can assist you. Talk with recruiters and consider hiring professional services like resume writing if your own efforts have stalled.

Tips for Taking Care of Yourself During Your Job Search

It’s difficult to be productive when you’re anxious and depressed. Investing in yourself will keep your energy levels up and help you to make a more positive impression when you’re interviewing.

These strategies will help:

1. Sleep well. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day even if you’re unemployed. If anxious thoughts make you toss and turn, get out of bed and do something boring until you feel drowsy.

2. Eat healthy. Fuel up with nutritious meals and snacks. If you’re watching your grocery spending, stock up on beans, lentils, and oats. Frozen produce often costs less than fresh and can be just as healthy.

3. Exercise regularly. Staying active will give you more energy, enhance your mood, and help you sleep at night. Go for a run or jump rope. Do stretches and body weight exercises at home.

4. Manage stress. Take time to relax and have fun. Call a friend or a community hotline if you’re struggling with difficult emotions.

A long job hunt can take its toll on your self-esteem and bank account. Being efficient will help you to increase your success rate and move ahead in your career.

 

Setting Healthy Boundaries in Business

With smartphones at our fingertips, boundaries around business are more blurred than ever. Applications like Slack and Gmail make us radically accessible, conference calls can happen at any time of the day, and laptops make it easier than ever to work on the weekends.

It’s no surprise, then, how stress begins piling up. Things happen at work that leave us feeling frustrated and burnt out.

We find ourselves balancing clients who cancel at the last minute, working extended hours, and juggling others’ expectations that we are always available.

If you feel resentful, guilty, or angry about things that happen at work, chances are you have overcommitted yourself.

The key to overcoming that resentment and achieving work-life balance is learning to set healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are lines we set about our expectations, availability, and energy. Because boundaries protect our energy and focus, they allow us to be more productive in the workplace.

And they do not have to be hard, aggressive rules. Boundaries simply prevent us from overcommitting and make our lives easier.

We might think that setting boundaries pushes others away from us. However, setting boundaries can actually help us have better relationships with others in the workplace.

Use these tips to set boundaries in business:

1. Explore what you need. Identify where you feel guilt, resentment, or anger around work.

● Maybe you feel anger towards a client who cancels on you at the last minute.

● You might feel guilty because you’re not spending enough quality time with your children or partner.

● Figure out what makes you feel resentment or guilt. Then figure out what you need instead.

2. Create structure around what feels right for you. After you understand what you need, create a structure to help you achieve your desired outcome.

● Set formal policies around cancellation.

● Set office hours based on when you would like to be available.

● Whether you work from home or in an office, set up a structure (like closing the door or working with headphones on) where you can work undisturbed.

3. Start small by setting boundaries in low-risk situations. If you have gone your entire life living up to everyone else’s expectations and demands, setting boundaries can feel uncomfortable. Start by choosing an easy area, like hours you will check emails, to set a boundary.

4. Be consistent with your boundaries. Be as firm as possible with your new boundaries.

● If you only want to take calls on certain days, stick to booking calls on those days.

● Do you have days of the week you want to be free from work?

● You get to decide where you allow exceptions.

● If you schedule a vacation for yourself, stick to it.

5. Delegate. What responsibility can you pass onto others? Delegating can help you free up time or address those areas around work where you feel resentful.

6. Learn to say no. You might have trouble saying “no” to things because you feel obliged to impress clients or appear dependable. Be in tune with how a “yes” might lead to resentment. Here are a few ways to say “no”:

● “Thank you, but this doesn’t work with my schedule. Here’s my availability later this week.”

● “I can’t commit to this right now, but let’s circle back to this in a few weeks.”

● “That sounds like a great idea, but I don’t have the availability for this project. I recommend asking (colleague) about his/her availability!”

Setting boundaries will look different for everyone. You might find that as you evolve into a different season of life or your business, your needs change. As your needs change, the boundaries you have around business will change too.

Overall, setting boundaries in your business can help reenergize you and the relationship you have with your business.

Have you found yourself working from home, but where you’ve set up your work center is getting in the way of your normal family activities? If you don't have a spare room in your home and need to set up a home office, there are a few other areas in your house that you may consider using.

Establishing a dedicated work zone will help you remain productive and stay focused.

It all starts with looking around your home to find any extra space. Usually, you won't have a problem finding an area in your home that isn't being put to good use. If you really can't find a spot, you may need to shuffle a few things around to create some space.


Get some inspiration from these home-office ideas:

SET UP A DESK IN THE LIVING ROOM.
The living room is a perfect spot to set up a corner office.


Take a look through the room and see if you can spot a corner that isn’t being used.


Perhaps a floor lamp is sitting there that can be easily moved to a different spot.


CREATE A COMMAND CENTER IN THE KITCHEN.
If you have a large kitchen, you can work out a home office plan there.

This works great for people that need to multitask in order to get things done.


If, for example, you have to get some work done in the afternoon but at the same time need to cook dinner for the family, you can keep an eye on the food while you’re completing your work tasks.
MAKE AN OFFICE IN THE FRONT ENTRYWAY.
Although it may seem unconventional, setting up a home office in the front entry is totally feasible.


Look for a desk that is attached to a storage unit to help make the furniture blend into the front hall.


You can also make use of any built-in storage that’s already available in the entryway that isn’t being put to good use.


USE THE DINING ROOM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Do you use your dining room table a lot or simply for entertaining? If you aren’t getting much use out of it you can easily turn it into your work desk.

If you plan it out to be a temporary desk where everything can be moved quickly when company arrives, you won’t have a problem using the table for both dining and for work.


Invest in a rolling cart with at least 2 shelves. You could quickly and easily load your work items, including your computer, onto the cart and roll it out to another room when you need to.


SET ASIDE AN AREA IN THE BASEMENT.
If you have a basement in your home, there’s a good chance that you can flush out some unused space there.
Install recessed lighting and purchase a high-quality desk lamp to brighten up the space.


The basement is the perfect place to set up shop since it will keep you away from any distractions that may be occurring on the main floor.

CREATE A WORKSPACE IN YOUR BEDROOM.
You may discover some extra space in your bedroom that can be used as an office area.


Buy a storage unit with doors on it to put your work away at night. Work clutter can actually disturb your sleep.

Home offices have become the new normal these days and they naturally blend into the rest of the room when you set them up the right way. It just takes a bit of thought and creativity to make an office that works for you.

 


Dealing with ADHD at Work

Does your boss keep giving you the same feedback? You need to follow instructions and pay more attention to details. These could be signs that you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

More than 8 million adults struggle with ADHD. If you’re one of them, you may have trouble keeping track of multiple projects or even showing up for work on time. The symptoms can vary widely in intensity, and many cases go undiagnosed.

While ADHD can make getting and keeping a job more difficult, there are coping strategies and other resources that can help. Find out more about how to deal with ADHD at work.

How to Deal with ADHD in the Workplace:

1. Limit distractions. A quiet environment will help you to focus. If you don’t have access to a private office, maybe you can work in a conference room or turn your desk to the wall. Minimize interruptions too, like checking phone messages and email.

2. Clear away clutter. Is your phone buried under piles of paper? Tidying up will save time looking for lost items and reduce anxiety.

3. Plan your schedule. Managing time can be tough when you have ADHD. Use an app or a paper appointment diary to block out time for activities and meetings. Check your to do list during the day to ensure that you stay on track.

4. Create reminders. You can also use technology or post-it notes to jog your memory. Set an alarm for staff meetings and write yourself messages about filling out timesheets and sending your boss a birthday card.

5. Move around. Relieve restlessness by taking breaks throughout the day. Go for a walk at lunch. Make phone calls standing up.

6. Change roles. Maybe you can develop a career geared toward your personality. Many adults with ADHD flourish as entrepreneurs, using their creativity and energy.

7. Boost your self-esteem. While you’re finding your path, remember that ADHD can be frustrating. It can also cause misunderstandings with your colleagues. Build your confidence by taking care of your health and advocating for yourself.

 

 

How to Find More Help for ADHD:

1. Tell your boss. ADHD is a condition recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you’re comfortable discussing your situation with your supervisor or HR representative, you may be able to arrange accommodations to make your work life more comfortable and productive.

2. Consider disability benefits. If your symptoms are so severe that they prevent you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) payments. Working with a lawyer can help you understand the process.

3. Talk with your doctor. It’s important to get diagnosed if you think you may have ADHD. That way your physician can recommend an appropriate treatment plan and helpful lifestyle changes.

4. Consider medication. ADHD can often be managed with a combination of therapy and drugs. Your doctor may prescribe stimulants, as well antidepressants. If you’re unable to take stimulants, there are alternatives such as atomoxetine.

5. Join a support group. As much as your family and friends try to help you, you may still want to talk with others who have similar symptoms and experiences. Organizations like Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) can help you find self-help groups online and in your community.

6. Find a coach. What if you need some assistance with implementing what you learn? Working with a coach who specializes in ADHD can help you master new lifestyle skills.

Some very successful business leaders and celebrities have used their ADHD to their advantage, and so can you. Think of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad or Olympic champion Simone Biles. Find a career that suits your strengths and ask for help when you need it.

 

Managing Video Meetings: How to Avoid Collaboration Fatigue

2020 was a year rife with changes and challenges.

Remote working evolved from a futuristic concept into the standard strategy for most businesses. Our in-person meetings and daily chats became video calls and instant messaging.

Collaboration tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack took over the world in the age of the pandemic, promising a convenient way for teams to stay connected.

On the one hand, the tools meant that staff members could stay productive wherever they were – even outside of the office. Video meetings kept us interacting face-to-face, and cloud-based tools connected teams.

On the other hand, the constant influx of never-ending meetings ignited a new challenge: collaboration fatigue.

38% of workers in a 2020 study said that they experienced video fatigue since the start of the pandemic. Another 24% confirmed that they find virtual meetings overwhelming, exhausting, and inefficient.

So, how do we combat this issue?

 

Managing the Collaboration Drain

Some parts of the virtual collaboration experience are more exhausting than others.

Video, for instance, requires us to give more attention to our screens and track a larger number of factors. Unlike in a standard meeting when you can make notes without worrying that everyone in the room is watching you, you’re constantly on high alert in a video call.

Simultaneously, you’re trying to keep track of everyone else’s video feeds, the presentation from the person hosting the meeting, and anything else that’s happening on your screen.

All that, and you’re constantly checking your own video stream to ensure you look okay. It’s a lot for anyone to handle!

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the fatigue. Try these techniques:

1. Avoid multitasking. It’s tempting to try and respond to emails and deal with other work when you’re in the middle of a call, particularly if you know the focus isn’t directly on you. However, research shows that trying to do various things at once harms performance.

● You need to access various parts of your brain for different types of work, making it much tougher to do anything at 100% capacity.

● Stanford even finds that people who multitask tend to struggle with remembering important factors. That means that you forget what happened in one meeting and have to call another one just to iron things out.

● What’s worse, multitasking makes it more likely that you’ll be called out by other members of the video conferencing crew for not paying attention.

2. Take breaks. In the remote and hybrid working landscape, you might assume that you shouldn’t need to take breaks. After all, you’re working from your spare room or sofa – you should be comfortable enough already, right? However, you still need to give your brain time to refresh in this environment.

● Setting some time aside in your calendar each day when you won’t be available for video calls or collaboration experiences will allow you to have some crucial moments of independent work and focus.

● In between meetings, it’s also worth taking a moment to go for a walk around, take your eyes off the screen, and stretch your legs. Back-to-back calls will quickly wear you down if you don’t give yourself any breathing space between them.

3. Reduce excess stimuli. This advice ties in with the tip to avoid multitasking. How many pieces of information are you trying to pay attention to at once during a collaboration session? Are you gazing at your own face and checking your emails while trying to pay attention to a presentation?

● Shut the tab for your inbox and hide your camera feed from view.

● If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the different video streams you need to keep track of in a grid, ask your employer to use a virtual environment for the meeting instead, like Together mode.

● You can even tackle mental fatigue by considering your physical surroundings. Are you in a separate workspace that’s cut off from the rest of your family, the TV, and your dog? How much outside noise can you hear? Is it worth using a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to get yourself in the zone?

4. Keep meetings short and sweet. Video meetings might be the new normal for many workspaces, but they’re not necessary at all hours of the day. Most team members will work better with a handful of video meetings in their schedule, interspersed with regular team chat, emails, and calls.

● According to productivity software, Desktime, the top 10% of productive employees only focus on a work topic for a period of up to 52 minutes, before taking a 17-minute break.

● Following that information, you may decide that you should never schedule a meeting that’s longer than an hour.

5. Remember, only use video when it’s necessary for:

● Creating human connection through face-to-face interaction

● Bringing visual context into a conversation

● Delivering full team experiences

Virtual collaboration is a natural part of our modern work life, but it doesn’t have to be exhausting. Try these strategies to help reduce collaboration fatigue and get more out of your meetings.
An effective team fosters creativity and takes advantage of diverse strengths andexperiences. Working as a group can produce results beyond what any individual member could do alone.

However, some teams thrive while others flounder. Creating a collaborative environment takes work, and many obstacles can undermine the process. Maybe negative competition runs rife. Or perhaps your organization could benefit from investing more time in teaching team-building skills.

Situations like these can take a heavy toll on job satisfaction and productivity. Learn how to spot and overcome 3 of the most common obstacles to team building.


Vague Goals

Teams must understand their goals before they can commit to them. While work groups may function independently in some ways, they still need senior leadership to provide adequate direction and support.

Use these strategies to ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page:

Clarify your purpose.

Each individual needs to be on board with the organizational mission and values. You can help keep these principles at the top of employee’s minds with meetings, retreats, and regular conversations.

 

Set specific goals.

Establishing common ground and concrete goals for your team helps to guide decisions and evaluate progress. Have a clear written statement of what you want to achieve. Take personal goals into account too.

 

Define roles.

Reach a consensus about roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Detailed job descriptions prevent conflict and confusion. They also help each member to see where they fit into the bigger picture.

Lack of Trust

Cohesive teams trust each other. They create an atmosphere where members feel safe to share information and take risks. Developing healthy relationships makes it easier to tackle any task.

Try these tips to build trust within the team:


Establish ground rules.

Codes of conduct let members know what’s considered acceptable. Employees are also more likely to follow rules that they played a part in negotiating.

 

Spend time together.

Work groups may bring together employees who otherwise have little contact with each other. Plan some fun social activities to break the ice. Keep teams small enough to encourage personal connections.

 

Reward teamwork.

How do you get members excited about shared priorities rather than their own agendas? Provide incentives for collaboration and host group recognition events.

 

Discourage cliques.

Some teams might remind you of high school with an in crowd that leaves some students out. Try giving assignments that require interacting with someone new and change the make-up of each team from time to time.
Ineffective Communication

Friendly and respectful communication makes employees feel like they belong. Team members feel more driven to achieve their common purpose.

Keep these effective communication techniques in mind:


Exchange feedback.

Help each other with honest and tactful observations about how to enhance individual and group performance. Resolve disagreements before they escalate into serious conflicts.

Ask questions.

Learn from each other. Listen attentively and ask for more information and clarification when you’re unsure. Many snafus can be avoided by gathering facts and consulting each other before taking action.

Provide training.

Communication skills can be strengthened with practice and instruction. Survey teams to find out what assistance they want and need. Offer courses online or engage outside experts to customize a program.

Use technology.

Cloud computing, project collaboration software, and video calls have transformed the way teams interact. Now, you can stay in touch and coordinate activities, even when some employees are in the office and others work remotely.

Stay positive.

Attitudes are contagious. Team members can lift each other up or make maintaining morale more challenging. Focus on what you like about each other and be generous with thanks and praise.

You can make a difference in any team you join. Knowing how to deal with common obstacles will help you to create opportunities for engagement and advancement for yourself and your colleagues.


Expert Job Interview Tips

It’s exciting to make it past the resumé and job application phase. Being invited to a job interview can feel exciting. It can also feel nerve-wracking.

Now that you’ve made it past the initial phase, it’s time to make the first impression needed to take the next step.

You can also shift your perspective: during the beginning part of the job application phase, you are just the words on your resumé and cover letter. Being invited to an interview is an opportunity for a potential employer to actually get to know you, your personality, and how your experience relates to their company.

How can you make a lasting impression on the interviewer? Spending time researching and preparing for the interview is essential to get over your nerves and make a good impression.

Follow these job interview tips to stand out from the crowd:

1. Research the company beforehand. The start of your interview preparation should be company research! Look at company values, their LinkedIn page, and the About page on their website. This research will help you connect your answers to the company values and mission.

2. Show you have the skills the company is looking for in that role. It’s easy to tell the interviewer that you are “deadline-oriented” or a “team player.” For every skill in the job listing, come up with relevant experiences that show you have those skills.

● What is the company looking for?

● How does your experience line up with the job listing?

● What relevant results have you gotten before? Prepare numbers or percentages that demonstrate your accomplishments.

● Think about specific experiences that show you have certain qualities or skills.

3. Prepare an answer for “tell me about yourself.” This open-ended question interviewers ask gives them insight into who you are behind your resumé, cover letter, and job conversation. It’s a way for interviewers to start the conversation and get to know and understand you. Here are some ideas:

● Give a brief overview of your education, most recent jobs, and insight into short and long-term career goals.

● Tell a professional story - what inspired you to pursue the field? Why are you passionate about your work?

● Show your personality and interests (and make them relevant to the company).

4. Practice for the interview beforehand. Practicing will help you prepare answers for the questions you may be asked during the interview.

● Think about why you’re interested in that specific role and company.

● Prepare to talk about the connection between your past experience and the current position you’re applying for.

● Practice body language and making eye contact.

● Consider recording a mock interview and reviewing your answers and body language.

5. Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. At the end of the job interview, your interviewer will probably ask if you have any questions. This is your opportunity to learn about the company, as well as show your interest.

● What does a typical day look like?

● How is performance measured and reviewed?

● Why did you choose to work with this company?

● What professional development opportunities are available to new employees?

● What are your goals for the first six months of this position?

● Which of the experiences we discussed today is most relevant to this position?

Walk into the interview calm, confident, and engaged. During your interview, engage with the interviewer! Don’t just answer their questions. Have a conversation with the interviewer as well.

Being engaged and confident will help you build a relationship with the interviewer and make a lasting impression.

Preparing for your job interview might feel like a lot is on the line. Look at this as an opportunity to build a relationship with the interviewer and show how you would fit in with the company culture.

 


7 Ways to Boost Focus and Productivity While Working From Home

Many businesses have allowed or forced employees to work from home. While this is a welcome development for many people, it’s not always easy to be productive from home.

It can be easy to sleep late, watch a little TV, spend too much time on social media, or just waste time in general. Having children at home makes everything even more challenging.

There are many distractions that can make working from home especially difficult. It’s also easy to be unproductive without a boss or coworkers around.

Try these strategies to get more work done when you’re working from home:

1. Set a schedule and stick to it. One of the benefits of going into the office is that you have a set period of time to work each day. You can’t arbitrarily sleep in, read the paper on the couch, check your Facebook page, and then decide to get to work.

● Create a schedule and follow it. Avoid starting your day too late and ensure that you get to bed at a reasonable time.

● Schedule your work-related tasks. You can’t watch TV during the middle of the day at work, so avoid doing it while you’re working at home, too.

● Create a to-do list and follow it.

2. Stick to a grooming routine. It’s still important to take a shower and follow your normal grooming routine. It will put you in a more productive frame of mind.

● When does your grooming normally slip? On the weekend? You’re not used to doing work on the weekend. Following weekend routines can confuse your brain and body into feeling like it’s the weekend.

3. Dress for success. You might be one of those people that can take over the world while wearing your flannel pajamas. Or you might be one of those people that needs to dress like you’re going to the office in order to get your work done. You can try it both ways but then dress in a manner that works best for you.

4. Become an expert on your distractions. Study yourself and learn how and when you distract yourself. When are you most likely to get off-track and waste a lot of time doing something other than work? What types of activities do you use as distractions?

● Imagine you were given the challenge of keeping someone just like you productive from morning to evening. How would you do it?

5. Take breaks responsibly. A quick walk isn’t likely to lead to any problems at work. Checking your social media accounts just might. Watching TV for a few minutes can easily lead to an hour or more of wasted time.

● Set a timer and avoid any activities that will be challenging for you to stop when your time is up.

6. Manage your phone and computer. The phone and the computer are often the biggest distractions. Put your phone on silent and leave it in the other room if you can. Limit your computer use to work activities until your workday is completed.

7. Perform chores after work. It’s tempting to vacuum the floor, do a load of laundry, run errands, or make your bed during the workday when you’re working from home. You managed to do those activities outside of work in the past. Get your work done and then worry about your household chores.

Working from home might seem like the ideal situation, but it can be challenging to be productive for several reasons: the lack of a schedule, distractions, and the lack of supervision and peers in your environment.

Working from home can be highly productive but might require a few changes in your approach.

Copyright Yes Education

 

 

Support us!

Make a donation Shop at Become a volunteer