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Via Think Advisor : Risk Taking Is Crucial to Career Growth

Planning for risk results in confidence that will enable your career to flourish.

When it comes to our careers, we hear it all the time — Don’t be afraid to take risks! Step out of your comfort zone! But what do we mean by risk? And why do we have to take risks? Shouldn’t we be trying to avoid risk?

The truth is, when it comes to our careers, risk taking is crucial to growth. That doesn’t mean, however, we should dive into a situation without first accessing our surroundings. It’s crucial that we plan and prepare for risk. Much like finance, when it comes to our careers, it’s not about taking the risk, it’s about how we manage it!

Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to live on four different continents, which has provided me with a unique perspective when it comes to managing risk. While living in Budapest during the Serbian War, my husband Daniel and I had an exit plan in case gas was dropped on Central Europe. Planning for your life provides you with great perspective not only when it comes to managing business risk, but also, what’s important when starting a business and hiring employees. The people of Budapest had a certain survivor’s mentality that made us realize there is more to life than just work.
Living abroad also provided me with people skills that I may not have developed if I’d only worked with people who looked, talked and acted like me. While working in Hong Kong, I worked with and managed a diverse group of people from all different backgrounds. As a way to promote good energy, some members of the staff wanted to slaughter a pig for lunch, which was part of their everyday culture.
As you can imagine, not everyone at the company was comfortable with this, so, as management, I had to walk a fine line. I couldn’t alienate those employees who wanted to slaughter the pig because to them, it was completely normal. On the other hand, we worked in an office, not a butcher’s shop.

After much back and forth, we eventually decided on a way to appease everyone involved by bringing a previously slaughtered and cooked pig in for lunch, while giving others the opportunity to take their lunch at nearby restaurants and cafes. Obviously, this is an overly unusual story, but it was these types of experiences abroad that provided me with the necessary skills to work with and manage all types of individuals.

“Stepping outside of your comfort zone” does not mean you have to live abroad. While it can provide career-defining lessons, there are other ways to push yourself career-wise. At some point, you may take a job where you don’t necessarily meet all the qualifications, but just because you don’t know something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the opportunity. Sure, there will be times where you’re overwhelmed, but it’s all about how you approach and work through each situation.

My mother, who owned her own business during a time when there weren’t many women-owned businesses, always told me to walk into a room like I owned the place. That advice has stayed with me throughout my career. From the time I began as a sales assistant with Morgan Stanley, to being named a vice president at Lehman Brothers in Hong Kong, through co-founding six different financial services businesses (where I actually did own the place), I’ve always approached every situation with confidence, knowing that I belong.

Sure, finance has historically been an industry dominated by men, but women have just as much ability to break in and drive the industry forward — it’s about confidence!

Moving jobs, accepting promotions and getting outside your comfort zone are risks that lead to career success, but it’s imperative that you properly prepare to approach each situation with confidence. Planning for risk results in confidence that will enable your career to flourish.

Via The Ladders : 6 job search tips to consider that will enhance your success

Whether you’re looking for your first job, or you’ve been in the game for a while and are considering a change in careers, you may have better opportunities now than in the recent past.

According to Gallup, the National Jobs Creation Index recently reached its highest point in the last six years. Instead of just basking in that good news and hoping the market does the work for you, adopt a proactive attitude to help beat the competition. To help get yourself on the company dime faster, check out these six job search tips.

1. Make Your Resume Stand Out

There are plenty of ways to make your resume stand out from the competition. For starters, don’t just rely on one of them. You should have a few different CVs specifically tailored to the different industries in which you are applying, and even for the position, you might be applying for. Instead of simply stating your qualifications, back them up with data. If you improved sales by 10% in a particular year, mention that. And—this goes without saying—make sure your resume is error-free and grammatically correct. If necessary, include hiring a professional resume writer in your job-seeking expenses.

2. Take Advantage of Tax Breaks

There are indeed some tax breaks related specifically to job seeking. Generally, though, the tax breaks associated with your job search only apply if you’re looking in your current industry—and first-time job seekers are ineligible.

If your job search qualifies you for tax breaks, keep track of resume preparation expenses and postage, travel expenses, and any fees paid to employment agencies.

3. Interview Better

Start all your interviews off with a firm handshake. Keep your attire modest and business formal or casual—you don’t want your high-end outfit to overshadow the conversation. Research each company thoroughly before the interview so you can speak about it intelligently. As for the tone of the conversation, be confident but not arrogant—there is a difference. When given the opportunity to ask questions at the end, always do so. Get a prepared list ready for easy reference. Inquire about how the process may move along after the first interview, then tailor your follow-up strategy accordingly. If you’re told not to call or email, abide by that. If
follow-up is encouraged, don’t forget to do it.

4. Streamline Your Jobs List

Instead of hopping on a jobs website and applying for everyone that’s remotely related to your skillset, take some time and form a list of the top companies you’d like to work for. Target those first, and, if nothing pans out, you can always go back and add more. Using an application strategy in many cases is a waste of time.

5. Use Mobile Apps

There are mobile apps geared specifically towards the job market, from Monster to this site, you can find mobile apps that can help match your skill set with currently available jobs.

6. Review Your Online Reputation

Google yourself and look for any negative or untoward information. If you find any, check out the website Reputation for ways to push that information down in the search results. As an overall tip for your job search, be patient – and don’t give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t find the perfect job the moment you begin your search. Stay the course, keep working hard, and eventually, good things should come your way. What tips have worked well for you in your job search?

Via BolivarMoNews.com : 3 time management tricks used by CEOs of large companies

Those of us who have been in the work world for a while have learned that there are a few professional skills that are absolutely essential for career success, regardless of your position or industry—and chief among them is sound time management. According to Psychology Today, “Time management is the ability to plan and control how someone spends the hours in a day to effectively accomplish their goals … It is important to establish clear goals and priorities in order to set aside non-essential tasks that can eat up time, and to monitor where the time actually goes.”

Most of us have learned what happens when we fail to effectively plan and utilize the time we have available to handle important work tasks—things get chaotic, our stress and anxiety levels shoot through the roof, our ability to focus and perform suffers, we lose track of key details, and we tend to accomplish less (sometimes significantly less) than we hoped to. Not a formula for success, is it?

Conversely, those of us who have embraced sound time management techniques have felt its magical effects: we’re suddenly able to develop realistic plans for effectively tackling projects both large and small, we dazzle and amaze our colleagues by our ability to consistently stay on schedule on tasks, we’re able to stay calm and collected even during the most volatile and challenging of times, and we become able to make full and productive use of the hours we have each day to handle our priorities.

It’s hard to argue with results, and having a to-do checklist full of completed items at the end of each day makes a pretty compelling case for the value of time management. And it’s not just those at the lower rungs of the corporate ladder who benefit from using time management tricks. Those at the very top of the professional food chain—the bigwigs and decision-makers with the big offices and fancy job titles like CEO—have also developed their own time management tricks, which have not only helped them rise to the top but also helped keep them there.

It makes perfect sense—CEOs of large companies often have daunting workloads and jam-packed schedules, and their ability to handle their jobs effectively not only affects their own livelihoods, but also the health of their companies and the employees who work for them. So, you can safely bet that the time management tricks they have adopted are proven to work.

Business Insider recently followed the CEOs of some of the world’s largest corporations and found some striking similarities in how they manage their time at work.

They avoid overload

Simply put, no one can do it all, and those of us who learn this and avoid trying to take on too much responsibility all by ourselves are better equipped to create realistic plans for handling our workloads. Sure, trying to do as much as we absolutely can to be productive and keep things moving forward is a noble pursuit, but the truth is that it’s ultimately a futile one—overload is certain to either result in burnout, less-than-optimal results, unachieved goals, or some combination of these. Wise CEOs have reached their positions by figuring out where the tipping point is between maximum productivity and overload to avoid going overboard.

They delegate effectively

Effective CEOs know that they’re only as good as the people and teams they surround themselves with. One person—even a super CEO—just can’t handle everything themselves; in order for a business to operate smoothly, CEOs know that they have to delegate responsibilities to trusted subordinates so that they can devote their time, energy, and focus to the higher-level tasks that demand their attention.

They plan tomorrow before it comes

Sure, sometimes plans change, and savvy CEOs know that they always need to be prepared to effectively pivot towards and react to the unexpected, but they also are aware of the benefit of planning in advance whenever possible. Building daily, weekly, and even monthly schedules as early as possible allows for effective strategic planning of each hour of the day and lets you maximize the time you have to devote to work tasks while avoiding the unpredictable chaos of unstructured time.

Effective time management is both an art and a skill that often requires taking many variables into account and considerable trial and error. But whether you’re just starting out in the work world or are a seasoned veteran, developing strategies for making the most of your time each day is a wise investment in your productivity and future.

Via Askmen : Common Career Advice That’s Totally Wrong

Job hunting is not for the weak of heart – especially if you’re not currently employed. Heading to interview after interview, writing meaningful cover letters, and trying to sell yourself day after day can be exhausting, and really takes a toll on your mental health and self confidence. It doesn’t make it any easier when friends and family start to offer unsolicited advice, either. How many times have you been told to fake it until you make it, or that work is work and you should just settle with whatever pays the bills?

This common career advice, well, kind of sucks – and while getting advice on your impending job search or climb up the corporate ladder can be useful, there’s a lot of not-so-great advice and clichés floating around out there that you definitely don’t have to listen to. That’s why we asked a handful of career coaches and employment professionals to share the worst career advice you can give or get – and you’ve probably heard of most of these before.

Fake It Until You Make It

“One of the oldest pieces of advice there has always been is ‘fake it until you make it.’ Though this is a great way to think in terms of confidence, it’s frowned upon when submitting your resume/application or during formal interviews,” says Ciara Van De Velde, Client Engagement Manager at Employment BOOST. “For example, stating your expertise for technical skills such as programming languages can affect daily processes and result in difficulty completing tasks or, in some cases, lead to termination.”

Instead, Van De Velde says you should be honest about your background. Though you may be determined to find a new position, finding one which you are not efficient in will only set you back in the long run. If you find that your desired position/career path requires a specific skill or proficiency, it may be beneficial to consider taking on courses to help you to succeed in the future.

Just Follow Your Dreams!

“This sounds nice, and people want to believe it,” says Sean Sessel, Director at The Oculus Institute. “However, life isn’t a Disney movie. The truth is that following your passion often requires a great deal of work, especially when it comes to learning how to market yourself, sell products/services, and break through internal mindset issues. The starving artist doesn’t starve because he’s an artist; he starves because he doesn’t know how to sell his art.”

Work Should Be Work

If anyone ever tells you that trying to find a career you enjoy is a fantasy subscribed to by lazy or idealistic fools or to just focus on making as much money as possible, feel free to ignore them and walk away. “This bad advice is commonly perpetrated by people who have given up on their dream, and they console themselves by telling themselves that it’s impossible. In reality, it’s very possible (15% of people enjoy their work, according to Gallup); it’s just not easy,” says Sessel. “The people perpetrating this often point to people who have failed as a result of buying into the ‘following your dreams’ advice as evidence, but then ignore the 15% who are thriving and happy.”

You Need a University Degree

“The one piece of career advice we hear that is very dangerous and wrong is that you need to go (or have gone) to university to get a great career,” says Freddie Chirgwin-Bell, Marketing & Communications Executive at Morgan Jones Recruitment Consultants. “This is not true and in fact bad advice as your work experience and job-relevant skills vastly outweigh what qualifications you have. Having a successful career does involve a certain amount of education, but that can be learned through in-house courses, apprenticeships, vocational courses and colleges and even self-education. The best decision you can make is to ascertain what you want to do as a career and pursue the qualifications that are the most relevant to that path.”

“You’re Doing Great – Keep It Up”

“The most frustrating – and persistent – advice I hear is a variation of ‘keep chopping wood.’ There are several other ways people give this advice, such as, ‘keep doing what you’re doing,’ or ‘you’re doing great, don’t change a thing,’ or ‘we love what you’re doing, keep it up,’” says Albert Ciuksza Jr., Career Coach at Solutions 21.

According to Ciuksza, there are two problems with this advice. First, it deprives professionals of crucial performance feedback that can be career-changing, especially for those early in their careers who are just forming work habits. Second, it’s demotivating for the person who is trying to figure out how to enhance their career. Ciuksza says to get better advice, ask more specific questions – perhaps about part of a project or a point in a presentation. That way, someone has to consider what feedback they give, and the person gets something more concrete and actionable.

Avoid Looking Overqualified

“As a recruiter, I have over time been confronted with a number of applications and resumes that simply do not stack-up. A quick conversation with the candidate has revealed they decided not to include their degree education,” reveals Simon Royston, Managing Director of The Recruitment Lab. “It leaves me baffled but I am always told the same thing; that ‘friends’ have said not to include the information because it makes the candidate look overqualified for the role they are applying for. Instead, they have an application with a 3-4-year gap on it, which leaves employers wondering if the candidate is completely unemployable or has just been in jail!”

According to Royston, having a degree does not make you overqualified, especially given the high number of graduates now entering non-graduate roles. “You have worked hard for that academic achievement, show it off, be proud of it. Do not hide it away. For one thing you could be shutting down opportunities and offers from an employer that could be earning you a higher remuneration and a steeper career path.”

Everyone Else is Competition

According to John Crossman, CCIM, CRX at Crossman & Company, “You are in competition with your fellow students” is one of the worst mindsets to have when it comes to job hunting. “It’s often not true and even if it is, you can’t control it. Some of your fellow students will be co-workers, vendors and clients. Looking at your contemporaries as competition is a negative outlook and produces jealousy, envy and depression,” he says.

Instead, focus on networking and supporting those around you. You never know when someone you came in contact with will extend an olive branch and actually help you with your job search – even if it’s years down the road.

Sell Yourself

“All job-seekers are told that it’s important to ‘sell yourself’ in a job interview and this is horrible, mindless, garbage advice,” says Rafe Gomez, co-owner of VC Inc. Marketing. “Why? Because a prospective hirer isn’t interested in you as an individual as much as he/she is interested in finding an employee who can help make his/her business thrive – and also make his/her department shine! So instead of ‘selling yourself,’ you need to sell your ability to deliver the exact solutions that a company is looking for to meet its needs, overcome its challenges, and achieve its goals.”

How is this done? By presenting anecdotal evidence and factual, data-based examples of how you’ve delivered such solutions throughout your career. If you can explain and validate how you can make a company money, save a company money, and/or improve its image in the marketplace – and those benefits are in line with what the company is seeking – you will get hired.

Via Inc : 17 Tried-And-True Job Search Techniques That Top Executives Know (That You Can And Should Steal For Yourself)

What are you waiting for?

Far too often, people stay in jobs that aren’t the right fit simply because they loathe the process of looking for a new one. Waiting for calls back, facing possible rejection, surviving interview anxiety, spending countless hours updating and submitting resumes–it’s no wonder they say that searching for a job is a full-time job itself.

Often, though, the reason for that painful process is that most of us think that searching for a job is something you do only when it’s time to leave your current gig. But that’s absolutely not the case.

Here’s another way: Rather than putting all those tasks off and letting them intimidate you, make the job search part of your career on an ongoing basis. After all, top executives are always contemplating the next best move for themselves–shouldn’t you be, too?

Here are 17 strategies that successful leaders follow that ensure that they’re never at a loss when it comes to making a career transition.

  1. They consistently manage and build their networks so that within a few emails or phone calls letting people know they’re wanting to transition, they have opportunities knocking.
  2. They have no fear of the job search process because they know that there are endless opportunities that they would be right for.
  3. They actively save money all of the time so during times of transition they don’t have the stress of not being able to pay the bills or needing to take a job that isn’t right.
  4. They actively join communities that will offer support, connections, and ideas in times of transition.
  5. Their door is always open to people that are interested in hiring them.
  6. They hire executive coaches or people to help them be objective about themselves, see their strengths, and be strategic and thoughtful about the job search process.
  7. They are humble and open to growing and developing themselves at all times.
  8. They research organizations that are a culturally good fit or seem to be, and actively reach out to business leaders in that organization and request a meet and greet.
  9. They are proactive and innovative with how they can showcase or share a point of view on their industry using their genius. This can take the shape of articles, thought leadership, social media, or public speaking.
  10. They hire an editor or writer to help create clear language to use to describe who they are for their resumes and Linkedin profiles.
  11. They do the inner work to ensure that they appreciate and value who they are, so that when it comes to interviews, they never try to be someone they aren’t.
  12. They don’t compare their achievements with friends, colleagues or anyone else. They know that what’s most important is how they feel about their own achievements and career progress.
  13. They know that benefits and salary are not the priority when accessing a new opportunity. It’s the work, the culture, the people and how much they can be themselves with the new job that is the most important.
  14. They have stress management tools to use when they’re feeling stressed about the job search process. It could be exercising, meditating, or another healthy outlet. And they are committed to using them often, so that they’re making career decisions from a place of feeling peaceful and calm.
  15. They have a clear vision of their career so that when they are going to interviews or accessing opportunities, it’s from a place of clarity.
  16. They know that having purpose at work is essential for being intrinsically motivated. Therefore, they make it a priority to know their purpose and use that as a deciding factor in the job selection process, making sure that the impact that the potential job has is in line with their purpose.
  17. They actively offer support to people in their networks for connections or help with them during times of transition, so that when they’re in need, a lot of people have their back.

Follow these strategies and before long, career transitions will be seamless. You’ll gain confidence, attract more attention, and ultimately find yourself in a job that aligns with who you are. People will be fighting for you to work with them because you won’t fear the process anymore.