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Posts Tagged “Career”

via Forbes : How To Shorten Your Time Spent On Job Searching

Once you decide you want to make a job or career change, your first tendency is to feel impatient. You want to get through the murky uncertainty of the job search itself and have it behind you. I understand that. I don’t care for loose ends in my life, either.

Being in a rush might delay your success. You need to slow down and do your homework before diving in head first. The truth is, job hunting in today’s environment takes time. In fact, the only thing that is certain is that your job search will take longer than you think it should. For a while, the average job hunt was taking four-to-nine months from start to finish. Some of that time is spent waiting for HR to make a final offer. But the job search itself demands a lot of time.

You probably won’t want to hear this, but the best way to shorten your job search is to get help. Hire a coach. Find someone who is knowledgeable. You need someone who will care about your success and understands the process in its entirety.

I recognize that not everyone wants to hire a coach. Money is tight, especially if you are between jobs. You may have no money coming in at the moment, so hiring someone feels like a luxury you can’t afford.

In the event you can’t get professional help, you can turn to free resources that are at your disposal. Most colleges and universities offer free career services for alumni.

I happen to live in a city where at least two networking groups of job seekers exist. They coordinate their programs with one another and offer a combination of technical support and emotional support, including pro bono coaching for those who want it. Check out your city or town to see if there is a similar support network. If not, consider starting one! It is an excellent way to meet new people from other industries and walks of life.

Job hunting can often feel like riding a roller coaster, and if you stay on it long enough, it stops being fun. That’s why networking groups are so beneficial. Check in your area to see if a support group for job seekers is available.

The worst part of job searching is that when you are starting out, you don’t know what you don’t know. Unfortunately, in this case, the whole “ignorance is bliss” adage is not accurate. In fact, ignorance in job hunting can be downright dangerous! What you don’t know can and will hurt you. That’s why you need guidance along the way.

via AARPPolish Your Social Media Image

Like it or not, all your social media posts about your children and grandchildren, politics, vacations and whatever else strikes your fancy present a portrait of you to the world. Just as we remind our kids that the kind of image they create online will follow them, your personal “brand” also matters — whether you work full time, part time or volunteer.

So does that call for keeping your social media accounts professionally focused? Not necessarily, say two career experts. But they agree that your online image must be carefully curated.

“On social media you want to show what you’re good at beyond what you ate for breakfast or that you have 10 grandkids,” says Jean Baur, author of Eliminated! Now What? “Think of branding yourself online as who you want to be known as.” That can relate to work or an avocation. Baur, for example, brands herself as both a career coach and a therapy dog advocate.

A social media presence proves that you’re not a complete dinosaur when it comes to technology. Don’t wait until you’re downsized on the job before creating a social media footprint. “If you’re a boomer who needs or wants to work, it’s really smart to have some social media presence,” Baur says.

Start with a LinkedIn account, the first place employers look. Make sure to list your top accomplishments and skills, and ask people to endorse your skills. It’s also important to use key words — sales, marketing, project management — that HR scans for in résumés. And lose the vacation photo. Instead, post a good headshot. If this seems a bit overwhelming, Baur suggests heading to the local library, where free tech help with social media is often available. Or check out aarp.org/academy for free video courses on the topic.

The next step is to do some spring-cleaning on your Facebook page, says Robin Ryan, author of Over 40 & You’re Hired! “Younger HR professionals especially check out Facebook, which too often presents an open book on your life. “We learn everything that you blab to the world, from hating your new hair color to your take on politics,” she says.

Here are Ryan’s tips for cleaning up your Facebook page:

  • Remove any political statements, including photos at demonstrations. “Those comments and photos make employers nervous that a person will come in and cause problems with other employees.”
  • Review party photos. While photos of family fun are OK, make sure that you’re not having too good a time in pictures posted on your own page or on friends’ pages.
  • Don’t bad-mouth your current job. “If you took a spa day … fine. But don’t write that you needed it because your work is so stressful.”
  • Delete comments that show bias. “Even an offhand comment or a joke can be perceived as racist. Diversity is a big issue.”

If stripping your Facebook page of all opinion seems impossible, then consider a professional page with only posts and accomplishments related to your career or avocation. The posts can be informative (a news item) or fun (a video), but taken together they present a professional image rather than a personal one. Another alternative is to maximize privacy settings to keep the world out and only close family and friends in.

An edited Facebook page or separate one can be a launching pad for a career change or part-time work. If your dream is to turn your passion for quilting into a career, Ryan says to share that with quilting posts and look for Facebook pages devoted to quilting.

What about Twitter and Instagram? Instagram is used mainly for fun, although many people also create an image (perhaps unconsciously), posting only food or travel photos.

Twitter is a great way to follow people with similar passions, Ryan says: “Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, you’re not likely to get millions of followers, but you can still use Twitter to connect with others.”

via Popsugar.com : Activate Your Emotional Intelligence to Nail Your Next Job Interview

Congratulations! Scoring an interview confirms it: your credentials are turning heads. As you prepare, you’re probably thinking through answers to interview questions, amassing references, and contemplating all you’ve learned from your current position — all great prep.

The interviewers already know you’re well-qualified. But you want them to leave the room saying, “I need her on my team.” That’s where your emotional intelligence (or EQ) comes in.

What’s the deal with EQ?

EQ guru Dr. Travis Bradberry explains: “Emotional intelligence is the ‘something’ in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.”

Nailing a job interview calls upon this “something.” It’s not just about answering questions. It’s also about demonstrating fit. Here’s how:

Forge connections

When you lead with your EQ, you view your interviewers not just as gatekeepers to something you want, but as actual people with whom you can connect. So think about connecting as much as impressing.

Break the ice by sharing your enthusiasm. You’ll find it’s infectious and will likely inspire your interviewers to share theirs. Do your research to find what makes this organization a unique and thrilling place to work. Also note factors about the environment that impress you. For example:

“I was blown away to see that there’s an org-wide green policy. It must feel great to work for a socially conscious institution.”
“Campus is electric when the students are changing classes. It must be inspiring to have that energy around you.”
“I’ve always admired this beautiful building. It must be cool to work in such a beautiful space.”
Genuine enthusiasm is an attractive quality, so find an angle that helps you muster it. You may also find that connecting with your interviewers helps quell your jitters.

Slow down

Embrace your role as interviewee. You may or may not get this job, but there’s value in this meeting either way. Calm yourself. Breathe. If a drink is offered, accept that hospitality. Doing so reminds you to relax into the moment, and it adds an air of friendliness — which is how it should feel because this is just a group of professionals discussing an opportunity. It benefits both sides for this conversation to go well. It speaks well of the interviewers to foster a productive interview, just as it speaks well of the interviewee to participate in one. You have a shared and attainable goal.

Readjust your mindset

Instead of thinking: “I just have to get through this and make these important points,” try thinking: “I’m having a conversation about an exciting opportunity that could be a fit for me.” Aim to enjoy this experience. Isn’t it awesome that you have a greater realm of jobs open to you than you did the last time you searched? Look how much more you qualify for now!

An interview is just a conversation. You’re not getting weighed for your worth as a human being. The job you’re discussing may be one you really need or want, and that may tempt you to throw desperation at the project. But putting that hurdle in your way won’t help. Get comfortable in your skin and in the situation — from that vantage point, you’re much more inclined to enact your best work.

via BDaily : Plan for promotion or risk career suicide

All ambitious professionals will have their eye on advancement, but being too hasty to walk into a promotion can cause serious harm to a career.

Securing a step up the corporate ladder without the risk of falling off is like any major business project. It requires asking the right questions, meticulous planning and clear communication to all stakeholders if it is going to succeed.

Dean Williams, an award-winning executive coach and member of the highly prestigious Forbes Coaches Council, has conducted nearly 2,000 coaching sessions with high-flying executives over the last decade. He has helped many professionals achieve that coveted senior-level promotion and is now helping them thrive in their new role.

In his new book, Thrive: How To Achieve And Sustain High-level Career Success, Dean outlines a tried-and-tested roadmap to sustainable promotion that features a formula and science (his patented ‘Career Annulus’) for achieving optimum performance at a senior level.

Here he introduces some core areas of his Career Annulus, shares his experience and insight of what makes a professional thrive in a new role and, equally, highlights the pitfalls to avoid when advancing your career.


Firstly, a little bit of honesty is required. If you’re ambitious, that’s great, but what makes you feel you are ready for a more senior role? It is likely that the new role will come with increased demands and expectations so you need to be already achieving excellence in your current role before thinking about going to the next level. You need to demonstrate consistent excellence in terms of nailing your objectives and smashing your key performance indicators.

If you are not, what makes you think you are ready for the step up right now? Ambition alone is not enough if you are to sustain and thrive in the more senior position. Being purely CV hungry and mistiming your next move could, in fact, be career suicide!

When you move into a more senior role you are being watched more than ever from day one. People are also listening to your every word. It’s like being in a goldfish bowl and having a megaphone amplify your voice. You’ve got to genuinely be ready to step up, both in capability and mindset.


Having assessed your readiness, it’s time to tell others about your aspiration.

Clearly, this is about communicating with senior stakeholders but be warned: communicating your ambition with a key stakeholder carries an explicit expectation from them that you will demonstrate competencies and behaviours above those of your current role.

You will likely be offered more senior-level exposure (perhaps a senior project); you will probably hear developmental feedback from seniors (which definitely carries an expectation you will change); your results will be scrutinised and objectives added to. Not reasons to dampen your ambition, but definitely reasons to be ready. Don’t make the mistake of falling at the first hurdle!


In the eyes of senior stakeholders, and those making decisions on your future, the final call can be largely about assessing the risk of your promotion. Are you an obvious choice? Can you enter into the role seamlessly and make a positive impact quickly? In terms of your leadership, will others follow you? And fundamentally, assuming you are delivering excellence in your current role, who replaces you? If you’re that good, some would say ‘why lose you from that role?’.

Your succession planning is KEY to managing the potential risk of your own career advancement. Start to identify the quality within your team and nurture it alongside their level of ambition. Don’t not have a solution for your replacement!

In summary, Setting and readying yourself for success is of critical importance if you are to enjoy and sustain a thriving career. There are no real short-cuts to sustainable advancement.

via Management Today : For better time management, focus on the big picture

A book about time management crossed my desk some years ago. It had all the usual advice – check emails at set times, eliminate unnecessary meetings, schedule difficult tasks first thing. The reason I remember it is for one of the more unusual tips I’ve read. It suggested, ‘You should wear a wig. Think of all the time you will save washing and styling your hair.’

Indeed. I have coached many people since then, and while most have managed fantastically busy schedules, they have done so without wearing a wig to save time*. I’m pretty sure business stars like Bill Gates or Sheryl Sandberg have never succumbed to one for that reason either.

Thankfully, there’s a new wave of advice focusing less on ‘saving’ time, and more on rethinking what you’re doing with the time you have, and why. Tim Urban at waitbutwhy.com has mapped out pictorially exactly how many days, weeks, years and decades we have if we live to 90 years old (be warned, it fits on one page). He then suggests how you might use that knowledge to allocate your time on both a small and a grand scale. It might lead you to make some far-reaching changes.

On TED, speaker Laura Vanderkam suggests we schedule our priorities ahead of anything else. In her words, ‘when we focus on what matters, we can build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.’

This plays neatly into the ‘Urgency vs Importance’ matrix. We spend most of our time in either the ‘Urgent, non-important’ quadrant or the ‘Non-important, non-urgent’ (‘Insta & Netflix’) quadrant. Where we should spend more time is the ‘Important, non-urgent’ quadrant.

Unfortunately, this quadrant is where a lot of life-critical material hangs out. It’s where you’ll find ‘change career’, ‘become a better leader’, ‘spend more time with my parents/kids/partner’ and ‘sort out my pension’. (I didn’t say it was all interesting.)

If you want to make better use of your time, start here, with the bigger picture. In a year’s time, what do you want to have changed in your work and personal life? What do you want to have learnt?

Now look at your time use. What are you doing or not doing that stops you achieving your goals? Are you doing the right things with your time, or just the things you like or are comfortable with? This raises two additional questions. The first: if you’re busy, but not with anything that contributes to your longer-term plan, do you really need to do it? Beyond essential tasks, what could you delegate or ditch?

The second question: if you have time, but you’re not spending it where you need to, why is that? Perhaps you’re scared to take the next steps towards your goals, or you don’t know how to proceed, or you’re not sure it’s the right goal after all. Take time now to address these.

A final question. What do you, me, and the business leaders of each of MT’s cover interviews have in common? Every one of us has 168 hours a week. What’s different is how we choose to use them.