Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Take time to enjoy the holiday season.
- Listen to your favorite Christmas carols and holiday music.
- Enjoy the festive decorations.
- Bake cookies and fudge.
- Instead of thinking about all you have to do, sit back and relax for a few minutes.
- Visit shut-ins and the elderly.
- Dress in your holiday attire and accept those party and dinner invitations.
- Spread cheer wherever you go.
- Adopt an animal from a shelter.
- Attend to your spiritual side.
Balancing work, play, spirituality, and health is the best way to enjoy the holidays and every day.
Tis the season. Slow down and enjoy it.
Monday, December 5, 2011
As we begin the ending month of the year, it is a time to reflect on how our careers have progressed throughout the year. Your boss and your company will hold you accountable for your workplace behavior and accomplishments. Go one better and hold yourself accountable. Ask yourself if you have:
- Performed your tasks to the best of your ability, completing them in a timely manner
- Maintained a positive attitude daily
- Adhered to a strict code of personal behavior
- Kept skills up to date and learn new ones as required
- Became an expert in your field
- Used good judgment
- Spoke kindly and tactfully
Taking responsibility for your actions and words will preserve your value to the boss and company.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
- Take advantage of every opportunity to become an expert in your field.
- Establish positive behavior that gets noticed by supervisors.
- Develop excellent customer service and decision making skills.
- Be a self-directed worker who performs duties with proficiency.
- Take on extra responsibilities cheerfully and help others.
Friday, November 11, 2011
- Be grateful for what you have. At the beginning of each day, reflect on your blessings and the people who complete your life.
- Don't let little aggravations overshadow the important ones.
- Count the things that are going right in your life, not those going wrong.
- Take a break when you feel yourself getting stressed. Don't wait until you are overwhelmed.
- Keep close to family and friends during this and other holidays.
- Burn a candle with one of the wonderful stress-reducing fragrances like lavender or vanilla.
- Take a mini vacation in your mind.
- Enjoy yourself.
Remember Thanksgiving is about being thankful.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Take a good look at your skills. What do you do best? What is the company looking for in a job candidate? Do you match the company's needs? You should concentrate your search where your skills match the employer's needs.
Think about your work history. Have you included all tasks you have completed that bring out your best talents and abilities? Did you receive any special recognition or awards? Were you promoted? How was your attendance and punctuality? Were you a team player? Can you work with little or no supervision?
By thinking about what employers want from their employees, you can better prepare a resume to fit those needs and perhaps score an interview.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Many people miss opportunities they don't realize were presented to them until long after they are gone. Don't let that happen to you. Be on the lookout for opportunities that will improve your personal and your professional life. Here are some ways you can create your own opportunities or take advantage of ones presented to you.
- Help others improve their lives
- Bring happiness to others
- Assist coworkers with their tasks
- Assist the boss with special projects or find other ways to make his job easier
- Ask for help when you need it
- Reflect on the positives in your life and be thankful
- Focus on the important things
- Commit to being open to opportunities
With an awareness of what is going on around us, we can all be better prepared.
Friday, October 14, 2011
I sometimes hear people speak negatively of job fairs. Isn't it better, though, to get out and meet employers and other job seekers than to skip the opportunity? It only takes one contact to get that job.
Job fairs may not be high on your list during your employment search, but they should be. There is a lot to be said for personal contact and building a network. Even if you do not get an offer for an interview or are not asked to fill out an application, you are acticely looking for work. The more times you get out there, the more chances you have of making the right contact for you and landing a job.
Remember, job fairs can provide an opportunity to:
- Network with other professionals
- Meet other job seekers and trade job hunting strategies
- Meet employers face to face and submit a resume
- Put yourself out there in the employment arena.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Here are a few motivational tips to help:
- Determine specifically what you want. What type of job? In what industry? In what location? Doing what tasks? Set a goal rather than say, "I'll take anything."
- Visualize being in that job. See yourself going to work, sitting at your workspace, doing your tasks.
- Get yourself ready for employment. Update your skills if necessary. Everyone must know how to use a computer these days. If you do not, take an inexpensive or free class at a reputable school or agency.
- Prepare a modern resume. Get help if necessary.
- Practice interviewing with a friend, all the while visualizing that you are interviewing with the company of your dreams.
- Get up everyday and do something to move yourself closer to getting a job. Inertia causes boredom and depression.
- Find a mentor to help in your job search.
- If you still have a hard time motivating yourself, find a cheerleader who will cheer you on and keep you motivated.
Take action every day even if it is a small step. It is by taking those daily steps that you can reach your goal of getting a job.
Friday, September 16, 2011
- Make a list of everyone you know who can help you in your job search, including former bosses and coworkers, HR personnel, instructors, friends working in companies where you would like to work, and so forth.
- Write down your strengths, your skills, and your personal characteristics. Be sure to include transferable skills--those that you learned somewhere along the way that could be useful to an employer; for example, customer service, sales, problem solving, etc.
- List any skills or personal characteristics you need to work on improving. List ways in which you can accomplish this; for example, take a class, attend a seminar, read a self-help book, etc.
- List specific achievements and positive results you have accomplished while on the job. Include specific amounts of money you saved the company or the percentage of increased sales you had.
- List at least six reasons why an employer would want to hire you over other job candidates. Give specific examples of your worth to an employer.
- Write down questions you think an employer might ask you and your answers to those questions.
- Make a list of people you can use as a reference to attest to your work history and personal attributes.
- Make a list of places where you can apply for a job.
Now that you have created these lists, use them in your job search.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I will be posting more job related information and inspirational tips next week.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
- Use a heading that includes your name (typed in bold and capitals), address, phone number (where you can be reached easily), and a professional-sounding email address.
- Limit the resume to one or two pages--employers do not have time to read through several pages no matter how much experience you have.
- Use a current style--check one of the many resume books or find a sample online.
- Instead of using an objective, prepare a summary of your skills and accomplishments in two or three sentences.
- List your work experiences chronologically backwards, highlighting accomplishments instead of just listing tasks.
- Make sure your achievements stand out--you don't want them to be overlooked.
- Show that you can deliver results and solve problems--demonstrate your skills through examples.
- Use numbers, dollars, and percentages where possible.
- Customize the resume to the specific ad you are answering or to the position you want.
- Eliminate personal information such as health and marital status.
- Proofread carefully and then have someone else proofread for you.
Once you polish your resume, send it out to as many places as possible. It cannot do the job if it is not circulated.
Monday, August 1, 2011
- Do not berate yourself if you have no job or a low-level position; rather, remind yourself that most people go through several jobs and careers.
- Do not tie your self-worth solely to your work; consider the sum of your talents, skills, and unique experiences.
- Believe in yourself and your competency; upgrade your skills if needed.
- Develop positive work habits.
- Strategize ways to find more meaning in your work or more meaningful work.
- Tell yourself you can conduct a successful job search.
- Display enthusiasm during an interview and while you are working.
- Set goals and persist in achieving them.
- Be grateful.
- Surround yourself with upbeat, positive people.
- Call on your network when you are feeling down or when you need help with a job search.
- Be positive; a positive attitude will help you move forward; replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Become a problem solver.
- Do something to improve your situation.
- Make friends on LinkedIn and other professional networking sites.
- Focus on what you have control over; forget about what you cannot control.
Friday, July 22, 2011
- Is the goal still relevant today?
- Have I taken steps toward completing the goal?
- Have I reached the goal?
- If I have not reached the goal, am I likely to reach it within the timeframe I have set?
- Is there anything more I can do to reach my goal?
- What new career goal should I set?
- What are the steps I should take to reach this goal?
- What is the timeframe for this goal?
- What rewards will I gain by reaching this goal?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
- In what ways can you add value to your company?
- What other responsibilities can you take on that will increase your worth to the employer?
- What can you do to personally improve yourself (i.e. take a class, join a professional organization, learn a new skill, etc.)?
- Can you make your boss's life easier?
- Can you think of ways to save your employer money?
- Can you think of ways to save your employer time?
Saturday, July 2, 2011
- Develop a routine that allows just the right mix between time spent on your personal life and professional life. Too much time or too little time spent on either can upset the balance needed to live your best life.
- Create a daily plan.
- Focus on the tasks you absolutely have to do and downgrade the rest according to how necessary it is to complete them.
- Forget about things you cannot change. Banish irrational and pointless worry.
- When problems arise, step back and look for solutions. Do not let problems paralyze you.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Keep work and ambitions in check--balance them with family, friends, hobbies, and interests.
- Take a breather. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing for several minutes.
- Keep company with people who lift you up, not those who tear you down.
- Do your part in taking care of your health by eating right and exercising.
- Let go of anger and grudges that erode your peace of mind.
Never lose sight of what is most important to you. Take time to relax and enjoy family and friends this Fourth of July. And remember the servicemen and servicewomen who sacrifice for us.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
- Take a day trip to some place you have been meaning to visit. Research your state's website or check out some back issues of regional magazines. There are all kinds of interesting sites tucked away in out-of-the-way places--sometimes close to your own backyard. Many are free to visit and enjoy.
- Get personal with nature. Just being outside can, in many cases, help you de-stress. For the creative ones among us, nature can expand our creativity.
- Plant a garden. Gardening is a great stress reliever. If you plant vegetables and herbs, you can enjoy their freshness at mealtime. If you prefer to plant flowers, you can enjoy their beauty indoors and outside. For the smaller space, use pots and containers. Planting flowers, shrubs, and trees will also help beautify and benefit our stressed environment.
- Visit your local library, zoo, museum, science center, planetarium, conservatory, amusement park, or other entertaining site. On a tight budget? Check newspapers and websites for discount coupons or else visit a free park, playground, or lake.
- Invite friends over for a backyard barbeque or pack up the cars and picnic at a local park or lake.
- Build a backyard habitat for small animals, butterflies, or birds.
- Sit on your deck or porch or in your favorite chair and make a gratitude list.
- Join or create a book club that meets in person to discuss favorite readings.
Hopefully, this list will give you some ideas that will get you started on a relaxing summer.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Continuing with the "hang onto your job" theme, I have added more ways to keep your job and get ahead in the workplace.
- Speak kindly to everyone--every day.
- Go above and beyond for your customers. If there is something special you can do, do it.
- Go above and beyond for the boss by making yourself valuable to him or her.
- If you must offer criticism, say something positive first.
- Update your professional image.
- Maintain a positive attitude at all times.
- Maintain a "successful" mindset.
- Make a plan for your advancement and write steps you can take toward that goal.
- Look for solutions to problems.
- Hone your leadership skills.
- Stay away from troublemakers and gossips.
- Be a results-oriented employee.
Taking appropriate steps today can lead to a rewarding career tomorrow.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
The unemployment picture is not as rosy as economists earlier predicted, and the unemployment rate edged up a bit. Therefore, this blog will offer pointers on how to keep the job you have.
- Be a team player and make an effort to get along with everyone at work--overlook the shortcomings of others (and maybe they will overlook your shortcomings, too).
- Be productive all the hours you are at work--do more than the minimum required.
- Accept personal responsibility for your work, including mistakes. Work to correct and not repeat mistakes.
- Contribute to the overall success of the company--no personal calls, no personal work, no going aboard with socializing.
- Display a positive work ethic at all times--go to work everyday, show up on time, work until quitting time, be honest and ethical at all times.
- Become an expert on your company's products and services.
- Keep your skills sharp and updated at all times.
- Always ask yourself, "How can I add value to my boss and my company.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
One thing I tried to get across to conference attendees, especially newbies, was to take advantage of ALL opportunities and to be open to ALL possibilities. The same can be said for every day living.
- Be open to people and things that come your way unexpectedly. The immediate benefit of a meeting or a piece of information may not be apparent at first.
- Build long-term relationships and store each piece of information for future use.
- Don't overlook the small things and the obvious things and people.
- Learn as much as you can every day from every situation.
Look around today and be open to all that you see, do, hear, and encounter. You never know what precious things await.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Many sons and daughters today have elderly parents to care for as well as their own children. Here are some stress management tips for them and everyone feeling stressed these days:
- Take stock of your activities to be sure you are living a balanced life. If not, make changes. When one area of your life is out of balance, you will not be able to do yourself or anyone else any good.
- Establish priorities and stick to them.
- Start a gratitude journal and make a few entries every day.
- Strike negative words from your vocabulary. Let go of worries.
- Skip the news and read a good book.
- Eat healthy.
- Learn something new--exercise your mind.
- Keep in touch with friends and relatives who add joy and fun to your life. Share with them.
- Take it one day at a time.
- Keep up your sense of humor. Watch comedies and uplifting movies.
- Enjoy the outdoors. Take walks, work in the garden, tend to the flowers--get in touch with nature. (Take Mom with you.)
- Clean up clutter around your home. Clutter adds stress.
- Create a workable budget and stick to it.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Employers are using technology more and more to advertise jobs--LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have become favorite ways of getting the word out about job openings and finding perspective employees. If you are not on these networking sites, sign up today.
As for the updating part, that includes everything from using current resume formats to wearing modern hairstyles and clothing to researching companies online to learning the latest software and skills companies need.
Although a lot more goes into a job search, doing these with greatly enhance your prospects when looking for a job.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Take time this Easter to enjoy family and friends and to renew yourself spiritually. Living a balanced personal and professional life is crucial to your successful well being. Too much attention to your professional life to the exclusion of your personal life will cause you to miss out on important "self" time. Too much attention to your personal life and not enough attention to your professional life will stagnate your career. Develop a routine that fits your lifestyle and make corrections when your life is out of balance.
- Take time to maintain a healthy physical and mental balance.
- Practice good time management and stress management techniques.
- Get organized and stay that way.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
- How are you coming with your personal and professional goals?
- Have you made the progress you intended to make when you set them?
- Is there anything else you can do to move yourself closer to your goals?
- Can you revise or rewrite your steps for attaining your goals?
- Are there goals on your list that you should remove or revise?
- If you have met most of your goals, can you think of new ones to set?
Taking time to assess goals and, if needed, revise and rewrite them will keep you motivated and on track to personal and professional success.
Friday, April 1, 2011
- Plan for your advancement by writing down your goals.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
- Do something every day to add value to your company. This can be as simple as doing the best job you can do each day.
- Do more than required.
- Look for solutions to problems.
- Maintain a professional demeanor.
- Be a results-oriented employee.
- Make yourself valuable to your boss.
- Hone your leadership skills.
- Ask your boss to evaluate your work and provide feedback.
- Ask if there is anything else you can do be valuable to your boss.
- Steer clear of gossips and troublemakers.
- Get along with everyone in the workplace.
By maintaining a "success" mindset, you can steer your career in the right direction. What steps have you taken to ensure your career success?
Friday, March 25, 2011
Think about ways in which you can muster the same kind of enthusiasm for your career as the actors, actresses, directors, and producers who won awards.
- Look for ways to project enthusiasm through your attitude, smile, and personality.
- Surround yourself with upbeat people.
- Find ways to enjoy your work--no matter what it is.
- Embrace your work and workplace with an open mind and flexibility.
- Create passion in all you do and say.
- Excite others about what you do and how you do it.
- Rejuvenate yourself when your enthusiasm wanes. Take time to have fun, enjoy time with friends, and appreciate your past accomplishments.
Let your enthusiasm show with your excited voice, winning smile, and zest for life.
Friday, March 18, 2011
- Sit down with your supervisor and discuss ways you can become more of an asset to your company. Ask for feedback on your performance.
- Think about ways you can positively set yourself apart from coworkers by performing your tasks better, updating your skills, offering solutions to problems, etc.
- Look for ways you can add value to your company by saving money or time or by increasing profits or productivity.
- Keep up with industry news and developments in your field.
- Take a class or attend a seminar.
- Find ways to get along with everyone in the office, including those hard-to-deal-with coworkers.
A little spring cleaning can go a long way to improving your career.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
- Don't sit back and wait for other people to come up with ideas. Contribute some of your own. Make suggestions for saving the company time and money.
- Become more proficient at your tasks. Increase your skills.
- Whenever you encounter a problem, brainstorm to come up with solutions.
- Listen to coworkers' ideas.
- Share ideas and tips with your supervisor, coworkers, and clients.
- Become a contributing member of the team.
Because there are a number of variables that affect the implementation of ideas, do not become discouraged if your ideas or suggestions are not accepted. Keep those ideas coming.
Friday, March 4, 2011
- In meetings concentrate on information related to your position and duties. Think of ways to apply the information to what you do. Ask questions and contribute ideas.
- Be open-minded when others propose ideas, even if the ideas do not pertain to what you do. You never know when a variation of the idea can help you do your job better.
- Listen to coworkers who have more experience that you do. Ask appropriate questions.
- Attend professional conventions, meetings, and conferences.
- Research your industry online to keep up to date with the latest developments.
- Read newspapers and newsletters. Keep up with the news.
- Learn as much as you can about your company and its products and services.
To optimize career success and grow and develop professionally, continuously learn as much as you can.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
- Volunteer to do something extra
- Be accountable for your actions
- Be flexible
- Show up for work everyday and be punctual
- Look for ways to save the company time and money
- Get along with coworkers, supervisors, and customers
- Do your best work; be quality conscious
- Avoid gossip and the rumor mill
- Ask, "How can I help?"
A little extra effort can go a long way towards boosting your career to the next level.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
- Decide the industry you would most like to work in and the type of work you would like to do
- Assess your skills and training to determine if they fit the position; if not, acquire the training
- Write a resume tailored to the company for which you would like to work and the type of position you want
- Polish your professional image
- Practice interviewing skills
By matching yourself and your skills to a position, you are more likely to enjoy your job and find workplace success.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
- Network--tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job.
- Use a modern resume format that makes your achievements stand out.
- Focus your resume on the job for which you are applying--customize.
- Research companies before the interview--check their websites.
- Be prepared--practice interviewing with a friend.
- Focus on jobs that are appropriate for you rather than applying to everything.
- Continue to learn and grow professionally.
- Embrace technology--update your skills.
- Work on keeping a healthy body and mind.
- Dress for success.
Putting forth extra effort can pay off in big dividends with the right job for you.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
- Assess where you are at the moment in your career--are you satisfied in your position or do you want to move up or move out?
- Assess your skills and education as needed to advance in your position or to change careers.
- Research applicable positions and companies.
- Set specific goals that will lead you to your career desires.
- Keep a positive attitude with regard to attaining your goals.
- Take charge and do something to move yourself toward your goals--sign up for a class, send out resumes, research companies, network, schedule interviews, and so forth
- Assess your progress and make adjustments when necessary.
With planning and action, you have a good chance to reach your goals.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
- Maintain a record of dependability and good attendance at your current job.
- Be able to convey your assets and accomplishments within a few minutes.
- Match your skills to the employer's needs.
- Research the company and be prepared to discuss your findings during the interview.
- Demonstrate your willingness to try new things.
- Practice time management and organizational skills.
- Maintain a positive attitude and demonstrate your willingness to get along with others.
- If you working in a multi-generational workplace, mention your ability to get along with people of all ages.
- Take an active part in your self-development through training and updating skills.
- Join a professional organization in your field.
Push yourself to the top of the competition by showing the employer you are the right person to hire.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Even if you are not currently searching for a job, you should always keep your resume updated.
- Keep your resume to one or two pages; employers are time strapped.
- Instead of a job objective, briefly profile your achievements in a sentence or two.
- Use the keywords from the job description or from your particular industry.
- Locate important information in a prominent place where employers will see it during a 30-second scan of the resume.
- Quantify whenever possible--use numbers, dollar amounts, and percentages.
- Do not overuse fancy fonts, underlines, bullets, bold, boxes, tabs, etc.
- List a professional email address.
- Never lie or exaggerate your experience, skills, achievements, or education.
- Do not list references on the resume; prepare a separate reference page.
- Customize the resume to fit the job description.
- Always send a customized cover letter with the resume showing how your qualifications meet the employer's needs.
- Print the resume on quality paper; and proofread carefully checking spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
A well-prepared resume just may get you that job interview.