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Showing posts from tagged with: career transitions

How To Rapidly Super-Charge Your Job Search

Posted by Richard Yadon in Career Management, Job Search | 2 comments

Nitro fuel race car heating up the tires.

Fine Tuning Your Job Search Engine

Are you racing toward the finish line of getting a new job?  Or are you stuck in the pits with your job search?

There are few simple steps you can take to super-charge your search. To beat your competition, however, you need to do the things other job seekers aren't doing.

In this short video you'll learn simple, easy to implement steps, so you can accelerate your search and get to your new job quicker.  Don't forget to download a PDF transcript of this video at the bottom of the page.

 

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW

How To Handle Employment Gaps in Your Resume

Posted by admin in Candidates, Career Management | 0 comments

Absorbed pensive mature businessman

There Are Legitimate Gaps

In today’s world having the best resume you can is essential.  Life happens and sometimes you encounter employment gaps in your resume.  If you don’t know how to handle these gaps they can severely hurt your ability to find a new job.  In this article we are going to teach you how to handle these gaps like a professional and come out looking better in the end.

Do you have a legitimate reason for having a gap in your resume?  There are many different reasons that you could have a gap in your resume that can be easily explained in a way that a potential employer would completely understand.  The most important thing to do about gaps in your resume is to have an explanation that you can give to a potential future employer.

If you are out of work for a while it is important that you spend that time doing something productive.  Doing volunteer work is a great way to handle time away from being employed.  You can actually list volunteer work on your resume and cite it as a core value of yours that you help others out.  If you are out of work and not volunteering, start now.

 

EMPLOYERS WILL UNDERSTAND

Young successful woman

One reason people cannot relocate today is because they are care providers for family members.  If you were providing care for a family member and you needed to leave your full time job to do so, this is a perfectly valid reason.  Many people want to shy away from saying that they were taking care of a family member.  Employers understand these issues arise.  Be sure to stress that now you are out of the role of caregiver and do not foresee needing to take up that role again any time in the future.  They want to know that you are now available.

Another good reason for having an employment gap in your resume is that you did not believe in doing a job search while working.  Explain that your ethics dictated that you focus all of your time working on the job you had so when it came time to leave it was also time to start looking for a job.

Continuing your education is never a bad thing, it shows employers that you want to better yourself and fulfill your role to the best of your ability.  When it comes to going back to school though, most people need to leave their job in order to focus all of the time and energy on their education.  Make sure to list going back to school on your resume and explain to employers that you were looking to better yourself by going back to school.

 

PACK YOUR BAGS!

Travel Paris Eiffel Tower woman happy tourist

Yet another one of the major reasons for having an employment gap in your resume is spending time traveling.  Like education, traveling can actually be a big benefit if you are looking for certain jobs.  Spending time traveling shows that you have experience with other cultures.  Jobs that require you to interact with different cultures or travel will look upon time spent traveling as a benefit.  Make sure to explain that you were spending time traveling during your interview and, if relevant, mention it in your cover letter.

Many people include consulting projects as different jobs on their resumes.  Instead of this, list consulting as only ONE job on your resume.  Put the time you were consulting as one period and then in points under that job put the different consulting contracts you worked.  If you list each consulting project as a different job it makes employers think you are just bouncing around between jobs.  Remember they are usually just glancing at resumes before actually reading them.

Having an employment gap in your resume can be a red flag during the hiring process.  Prepare to discuss the reasons before the interview or make sure your resume reflects the reasons you were without a job (consulting, education, volunteer work).  Having a gap on your resume doesn’t have to kill you.  Just make sure that you can prove that you have done something productive during that gap.

Watch this video for more resume tips...

Amazing Resume Video Shot

The Work/Life Balance Choice

Posted by Richard Yadon in Candidates, Career Management | 0 comments

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The Key to a Happy Life: Striking a Balance at Work and at
Home

In a culture obsessed with consumption, whether it be tech gadgets, fast cars, large houses, or job titles --- it should be no surprise that we often tip the scales of work/life balance.  Advertisers and Pop Culture tell us we can have it all.  The strain of trying to accumulate it all has made many people virtual slaves in their offices.

Even after working more than 50 hours a week... even after getting every material need and luxury that money can buy... many people still live unhappily.  The corporate success, instead of bringing fulfillment, has left many executives and employees with a feeling emptiness and disillusionment.

Stress is a part of every job.   People are going to be people, accidents will happen, life is not fair, and thing won’t work out all the time.  Striving for a life and career without stress may actually create even MORE stress!  But there is still hope for the tired executive and the downtrodden worker.  Stress and anxiety need not ruin lives and careers.  If you are at point where the demands and pressure of your career is becoming overpowering, use the following advice on how to be an achiever who has work/life balance:

Writing It Down

Businessman Writing Document

What you are lacking is work/life balance.  Balance does not mean equilibrium. Sometime you have to just take the time to dig in to start to dig out!

If you plan carefully to have balance, you will most likely make the right choices. Life can be made simple and enjoyable. A career or life plan must start with having a stated purpose.  Knowing what you really want helps you jettison stressful things which are not really important to you.  Knowing your priorities also helps you get rid of unnecessary worries and prevents you from wasting energy.

Writing it down --- putting your plan on paper --- is the first step on having a balanced life. Your first agenda would be to clearly define what you want.  Do you prefer to have a fun personal or family life, vibrant health?  Is that more important to you than having financial success or a well-respected position?  Maybe you can have both without making any sacrifice in terms of time or quality of life? When you write it down, the process of marking your priorities is much easier.

 

Recharge Yourself for Work/Life Balance

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All work and no play make Jack or Jill a dull person.

Do you rarely have fun at home or enjoy your work because you always feel tired and hassled? Maybe it's time to ask yourself when the last time you really connected with your family was.  Maybe it's also time to take a look at your inner life...your spiritual bearings.  While often overlooked, you cannot have the life you love without a healthy body and spirit that will allow you to live it. You must take care of your physical and spiritual well-being. Take time to recharge, which is really what stress management is all about.

You can start recharging and finding that work/life balance by answering these questions:

 

  1. Am I bored?
  2. Do I get enough exercise?
  3. Is my medication any help at all?
  4. What really makes me sick?
  5. Are my loved ones (or friends), or my job draining all my energy?

 

The state of our physical and spiritual well-being has a direct impact on the quality of our lives. It impacts our work, business, and relationships. So we must take care of our bodies, eating right, getting enough sleep and rest, and exercising regularly.

 

Are You Being Too Self-Focused?

[Tweet "The Key to a Happy Life: Striking a Balance at Work and at Home "]

To get our bearings, it is important to be constantly aware of our priorities.  A good way to start re-defining one's priorities is by answering the following questions:

 

  1. Are you neglecting yourself physically, mentally or spiritually?
  2. Are you neglecting your spouse, your children, your peers or other important relationships?
  3. Are you fulfilling your commitments?
  4. Are you operating in your Comfort Zone?

 

Being self-focused or having an air of self-importance doesn’t just destroy your work/life balance, it also destroys it for those around you. Pride, selfishness, and conceit should always be put in check.

 

Leverage Your Time

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You might be wondering where the time went. Your to-do list is increasing, you have countless meetings, it’s your spouse’s birthday, pick up junior from his baseball practice this Friday. You’re trying to find work/life balance by doing more with your family or doing more socially, but the increased demands are causing your more stress.

Ever been there?

You may not realize it but you have to power to manage your everyday stresses.  Leverage your time and resources to ease the pressures off your back.

 

  • Utilize Your Plan of action – Start focusing. Which ones from your to-do list is the one you really want to do? Which ones can be delegated?
  • Don't be the Lone Ranger for every crisis or situation- Even The Lone Ranger used a side kick and not everything can get the job done by just being alone.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back- Every once in a while. Give yourself credit. Acknowledge all the good things you have done.

 

 

In many ways being overwhelmed or too stressed is really your decision. Remember that you always have a choice to live the lifestyle you have and to do the work you do.  For some stress is just the currency to pay for the life they want.  It’s not health, but that is a choice you have the freedom to make.  For most of us, however, we want balance.  Realize that if you want it all there is a price.  Decide what is really important to you and then determine just what price you want to pay.

Tell us about ways YOU have found balance in your life and career...  

9 Ways To Love Your Job | Replay Available

Posted by admin in Career Management | 0 comments

REPLAY OF LIVE PRESENTATION

 

('Refresh' or 'Reload' if you can't see it)

Tell us below how you found your career passion!

5 Comments will get an advance copy of Richard's upcoming program

"Pursue Your Passion"

Hey I got on the wrong boat! | Living on Purpose

Posted by admin in Candidates, Career Management | 0 comments

Monitor shipwreck

Are You Clear About Where You Are Going?

This week we have a guest post from Dan Miller, author of the highly acclaimed book 48 Days To The Work You Love.  He writes about living your life on purpose...

The phrases people use to describe where they are in life never cease to amaze and amuse me. In the new 10th Anniversary Edition of 48 Days to the Work You Love I share just a few of the revealing statements about where people see themselves:

51-year-old businessman — “I feel like I’ve lived my whole life by accident.”

Wife of professor — “I feel like we have been free-falling for the last 13 years.”

Salesman — “I feel like I’m a ball in a pinball machine.”

56-year-old (PhD. in Theology currently driving a bus) — “I feel like I’ve been given six seconds to sing, and I’m singing the wrong song.”

53-year-old businessman — “I feel like my life is a movie that’s almost over, and I haven’t even bought the popcorn yet.”

Collection Agent — “I’ve lived my life up until now as though driving with the parking brake on.”
46-year-old “successful” car salesman — “I feel like a lost ball in tall cotton.”

39-year-old automotive engineer — “I’m a butterfly caught in a spider’s web, with my life slowly being sucked out.”

27-year-old computer specialist — “I’m a box of parts and nothing fits together.”

31-year-old attorney — “Law school sucked all the life and creativity out of me.”

55-year-old dentist — “Failing in my practice knocked the wind out of my sails. Still waiting for a breeze to bring me in.”

 

Confidence to Live On Purpose

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Recently I received the pre-coaching information profile from a 40-yr-old teacher. He wrote, “I feel like I got on the wrong boat, yacht crash on the rocks and now my life is half over.”

Wow – what a painful statement about moving along in this journey called life. Are you clear on where you are going? Do you know your purpose – your calling? If not, why not?

How can we find fulfillment, peace and meaning without being clear on our “mission” in life?

In sharing this with my wife, Joanne, she paused and then related her absolute confidence in knowing what she was sent here to do. She can’t imagine being unclear or confused about her mission at this stage in her life.

Yes, it’s a process – but if we pay attention to the signs along the way, the path ought to become clear.

Four things must be blended for you to have the confidence of living out your purpose:

  • Your Skills & Abilities
  • Your Personality Traits
  • Your Values, Dreams & Passions
  • A ready market for what you produce

 

What if You Only Had 6 Months?

[Tweet "What if you only had 6 months to live?  What would you do in that time?"]

There should be enough information from these four areas to help you identify your direction and purpose. It’s not something superimposed from the outside – looking at yourself and what God has already revealed to you should give you a clear starting point.

This same gentleman continued in response to this question: If the doctor told you today you had 6 months to live, what would you do in those remaining months?

He writes, “I would apologize to God every day that I couldn’t find what it was I was sent here to do.”

If this is where you are today, commit to change tomorrow. Don’t let that be the final summary of your life.

Check out  Dan Miller's book if you want to redirect, restart, or just discover your purpose and passion.  

Find Your Calling

Passion Busters | 9 Career Change Myths Exposed

Posted by Richard Yadon in Candidates, Career Management | 0 comments

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Passionless or Just Frozen In Place?

Sometimes we end up in jobs and careers because we just fell into the opportunity. It looked great at the time and maybe it has gone well. Then a few years into it we realize it is just a job and not really something we are passionate about. Would it surprise you to know that most Americans feel this way about their jobs?

And most just duck their heads and keep trudging onward, digging their rut deeper and deeper. Yes, it is not an exciting way to spend your work day. After awhile you realize it is not an exciting way to spend your life either! Yet so many stay the course and don't make a change.

There is real anxiety in making a career change. It is uncomfortable and there could be some risk involved. All aspects of making a change should be weighed carefully.

However, there are some widely believed myths about changing careers that should not stop you. Below are 10 of the most prevelant myths about changing careers and why you should not give much weight to them.

Career Change Myth #1: You can't make a living doing something you really, truly love

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This is the grand-daddy of career myths, the belief that you can't have a "practical" career doing something that you were passionate about. It has to be one or the other.

This myth is rooted in fear. Fear that we have to sacrifice our happiness to make a living. Don't buy the myth that you can't earn a living by doing what you love.

When I first started coaching, I heard from plenty of people that it would be very difficult to make a living doing this work. I just decided to find coaches who were successful, and to learn from them (simple, eh?).

If you find yourself buying into this myth, consider this question - As you look back on your life, what will you regret more? Following your passion or following your fears?

 

Career Myth #2: It's a tough job market/economy

Even when the newspapers and other news sources say that unemployment numbers remain steady, that job growth is at a standstill, or that we're experiencing slow economic recovery, not to mention downsizing and outsourcing, don't believe it.

It's a career change myth because it doesn't reflect the whole story, the fact that that it's a different job market today. It's a changing economy. How we transition from job-to-job is different. Hiring practices have shifted. So the job market has changed, but that doesn't necessarily make it tougher. What makes it tougher is that we've been slower to change. We've held on to old practices and old behaviors. That's not to say that old ways still don't work, but they're just not as effective.

So I challenge you to just believe that it's a perfect job market for you to find work. I've had my college students try this, just for a week, and, more times than not, several of them find job leads or make important connections during the week.

 

Career Myth #3: Changing careers is risky

Risk Solutions

What's riskier than leaving what you know to pursue the unknown? Career change means leaving behind a piece of your identity - your "I'm a nurse" response to the "what-do-you-do?" question. It might mean admitting to yourself that you made a mistake with an initial career choice. Or it might mean acknowledging that you're unsure of what's next. And smart people always know what's next, right?

Nope. Successful career changers often don't have a plan. In Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career  author Herminia Ibarra provided evidence that waiting until you have a plan is actually riskier than just doing and experimenting.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is riskier than not changing careers if you're longing to do so. Here's why: The longing won't go away. It will always be there, under the surface, waiting for you to do something about it.

 

Career Myth #4: Always have a back-up plan

Sometimes having a back-up plan is the smart and prudent course of action. Back-up plans are so grown-up and responsible. But what happens when you're standing with one foot in and one foot out? In my experience, we usually close the door and retreat. We are reluctant to commit to ourselves, and we end up denying ourselves the satisfaction of playing full-out, getting dirty and sweaty. We end up with feelings of regret and the nagging "What if?" question.

Back-up plans diffuse our energy. Diffused energy equals diffused results. Give all that you've got to your dream/passion/risk and you've got a better chance of being successful.

 

Career Change Myth #5: Asking "What's the best thing for me to do?" is the right question

This is one of the most common questions asked when considering a career change or a career move. It seems like a logical analysis - weigh the pros and cons and evaluate the balance.

Do not ask yourself this question!! It rarely leads you to the answers you're seeking. It will lead you to feeling overwhelmed with options (sound familiar?), or feeling like you have to choose what's practical over what seems to be impractical.

The question that will lead you to answers is simple (but not easy!!) It is "What do I really want to do?" This is a very different question than "what's best?"

 

Career Myth #6: If you don't like your job, you're probably in the wrong career

[Tweet "For most of us, the career epiphany is a quiet whisper. "]

Cause and effect, right? One way to tell if you're in the right career is whether or not you like your job. If you're dissatisfied with your job, it's probably a sign that you need to re-examine your whole career choice. This line of reasoning seems so logical and rational. This leads to a natural assumption is that their dissatisfaction is a symptom of a larger underlying issue - their career choice.

This is an example of false logic. Not liking your job might be telling you you're in the wrong job. It doesn't necessarily mean you're in the wrong career. It doesn't even mean you're in the wrong job. You could just be working for the wrong person or the wrong company. It takes a skillful approach to discern the source of discontent, and I think it's very hard to do it on your own. Sometimes some professional guidance can help you step back and look at this issue from a different perspective.

 

Career Myth #7: Everyone needs a mission statement

Do you know what your mission is? Mission statements are supposed to guide us, keep us on track, and help us move forward. But what if you don't have one? Does that mean you're destined to never fulfill your potential career-wise?

It is my belief that your mission will likely find you. Our life's purpose has always been inside of us and our frustration comes from trying to conform to missions others have assigned.

People can trust that they are already fulfilling their mission statement, even though they don't know it right away. After you shift your focus from finding your mission to living your life, an amazing opportunity may come your way.

Here's a little tip: If your mission statement is elusive, stop chasing it. Be still and let it find you. And in the meantime, keep living your life and see what happens.

 

Career Myth #8: Expect a career epiphany

When you see a link to "Find Your Dream Job," do you immediately click on it to see what's there? Do you look at every "Top Ten Career" list out there to see if anything catches your interest? Do you know your MBTI type? If you do, you might be falling prey to the career epiphany myth.

Wouldn't it be so convenient and refreshing to have a career epiphany that told you, in crystal-clear terms, your next step. This just doesn't happen very often. Ususally I see careers "unfoldings" or a journey of discovery much more regularly. That is, being willing to not ignore the obvious, the pokes, the prods, and listen carefully to the whisper within. For most of us, the career change epiphany is a quiet whisper.

 

Career Myth #9: Ignoring your career dissatisfaction will make it go away

boy with his hands covering the eyes

This is a great solution only if you like Chinese water torture!

Oh, if only this worked in the long run!! Granted, it does work at first. When you find yourself beginning to question your career, you'll find it's rather easy to push the thoughts aside and pretend they aren't there. You know what I'm talking about: the "what ifs" and the list of regrets.

Over time, the random thoughts become nagging thoughts. You spend more and more time daydreaming about options. You build your list of reasons to ignore your growing career dissatisfaction:

  • You're too old.
  • You don't want to take a pay cut.
  • You don't want to go back to school.
  • You missed your opportunity 5, 10, 15 years ago.

If you are in this situation, begin to work on identifying and challenging these fears. Sometimes the fear of change remains, but there becomes a greater commitment to living than to feeling the fear.

 

Challenge

So now that you know that one or all of these myths have been holding you back, what are you waiting for?

If these myths have frozen your career a great way to start the thaw is with Dan Miller's '48 Days To The Work You Love'.  

Find Your Calling

Re-Discovering Your Career Passion

Posted by Richard Yadon in Candidates, Career Management | 0 comments

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Have you lost touch?

Do you ever feel like you've lost touch with the enthusiasm and passion you once felt about your career?

Remember when you were just starting-out at your first job, or you were a recent graduate? You probably thought that any job would be available to you; that every employer would want to hire you. You were excited about your
prospects and believed that you had something wonderful to share.

But now that you’ve been in the work-world for quite a while, and have had a series of jobs with several different companies, have you become cynical or resigned in your work-attitude? Are you unsure as to which direction to turn next?

As a professional Career Consultant, I have found that this loss of career passion and enthusiasm is very common – and it’s one of my most troubling observations.

To address this problem, I came up with an amazingly simple three-part exercise, which I use with my clients. It helps them understand why this has happened to them, and what steps they need to take to re-discover their career passion.

If you’re thinking, “It’s too late for me,” I’d like to challenge you on that assumption. Allow me to show you how, by performing an internal evaluation and re- visiting your true priorities, you really can re-discover the career of your dreams!

Ready to get started?

The Most Important Career Passion Questions

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Complete the following sentences without “over thinking” your answers. You may list multiple answers for each of the items below. Be sure to keep your responses  focused only on the career/work aspects of your life:

  1. In my free time, the activities or hobbies I like to do best are ...
  2. Whenever I go to a bookstore, the section(s) I always seem to be drawn to are ...
  3. My closest friends work in the following fields/businesses or professions ...
  4. The kinds of environments I feel most comfortable working in are ...
  5. My friends/colleagues/family have often told me that I should be a ...
  6. The things that have always motivated me most are ...
  7. I have often been praised for my work in ...
  8. If I were to get involved in volunteer work (unpaid), I’d like to work in the field of ...
  9. I love to ...
  10. I am passionate about ...
  11. I am excited about ...
  12. What I really like is ...
  13. My greatest contribution is ...
  14. I am particularly good at ...
  15. I am known for ...
  16. I have an exceptional ability to ...
  17. Colleagues often ask for my help with ...
  18. I would feel disappointed, frustrated or sad if I couldn’t do ...

[Tweet "20+ Questions to Re-discover Your Career Passion from @MMS_Group | "]

At this point, I suggest you go back and carefully review your answers to the questions above. Refer to those answers as you respond to the four final questions below.

Be as thorough and detailed as possible with your responses:

  1. What do my answers above tell me about my core values, interests, and motivational patterns?
  2. Where in my work do I still find real energy and enthusiasm?
  3. What implications do these answers have on my current and future career choices?
  4. What is one thing I can do right now to enhance or change my current career situation?

 

Next Steps

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Your answers to all these questions are important for several reasons. First, they point to your natural talents, gifts and skills.

Secondly, they point to areas where your own internal satisfaction will most likely match your external success – professionally, financially, and as a “whole human being” who is able to bring your complete self to the work.

And, finally, your answers will highlight the critical areas on which to focus your next career move – those areas where your talents and passions intersect with market demand!

Now that you’ve performed this brief internal evaluation, ask yourself this final question:

Is your current career direction aligned with your true gifts, goals and passions?

If not, remember: it’s never too late to correct the problem – as long as you have the right resources and support!

So, if you've been feeling resigned or cynical in your work-attitude, I urge you to take responsibility and take action NOW. Leverage the resources that are available to you, and commit to improving your career situation. You CAN STILL re-discover your career passion!

Copyright © 2006, Ford R. Myers and Career Potential, LLC.

One of the best resources we've found for channeling your career passion is Dan Miller's '48 Days To The Work You Love'.  I encourage you to get his book now!

Find Your Calling

What To Expect In This Year’s Salary Increase

Posted by admin in Candidates, Job Search | 0 comments

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Thinking of your 2015 salary increase?

You might be surprised about what to expect. Salary trends vary widely by industry and by role within the industry. As reported by the Robert Half organization...

"U.S. starting salaries are projected to increase an average of 3.8% in 2015 for professional occupations. Technology positions are expected to see the largest gains among all fields researched, with an anticipated 5.7% increase in the average salary for newly hired workers. Accounting and finance and creative and marketing professionals can expect their starting salary to rise an average of 3.5%."

If you re looking for a big jump in pay this year you'll more likely see it in these industries. Salary increases for a new job with a different company average between 3% and 7%. This also varies widely and it is highly dependent upon the percieved value you bring to the new organization.

It is best to do some research before you have your performance review or salary increase conversation. Some of our favorite sites to get 'generalized' salary information are:

  • Salary.com  Good site for a ball park figure.  Keep in mind that the pay scales tend to be high and are focused more on large city metro areas.
  • Payscale.com - Our of the best with robust tools and information.
  • Monster.com Monster offers a free 'salary wizard' that might be fun to try.  Good generalized info.

Negotiating Your Salary Increase

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Most pay increases are negotiable. How much depends on who you work for. If you are in a large corporation there is very little negotiating room unless you are at the top of your organizational ladder. Big companies have fixed salary ranges that appear to be locked in stone. However, if you are in a smaller company there tends to be more room to maneuver.

 

[Tweet "Most pay increases are negotiable. How much depends on who you work for. "]

 

Also, remember to ask for an increase - don't expect the company to just hand them out. Companies are not in business to provide jobs and pay salaries. They are in business to make a profit. The more you can show your direct contribution to business results the more power you have in salary negotiations.


Salary GuideBrought to you by Robert Half

Tell us what other topics you'd like to hear about?

10 Questions To Start a Self Development Plan [AUDIO]

Posted by admin in Candidates, Career Management, Sales | 0 comments

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"Be All You Can Be"

This used to be the tagline for the US Army, but it echoes the inner drive of most people.  After all, who doesn’t want to be all they can be?  You don’t have to join the Army, as honorable as that is, to accomplish this goal.  You can be all you can be in your career, in your community, in any or all areas of your life.  We often see ourselves as somewhat contented with our lives the way things are right now.  Of course it's hard to think of anything else when there are other, pressing issues to be addressed.

Still most of us aspire for something deeper and more meaningful.  It all starts with a personal self development plan

Perhaps you are on the right track, perhaps you know you’re not, and perhaps you didn’t even know there was a track!  MMS  Group principal Richard Yadon gives you ten questions to ask yourself to uncover what it might take to be all you can be!

 

10 Questions to Start A Self Development Plan

What other questions should you ask yourself to fully optimize your life? Let us know below.

3 Steps to Solve Your Job Search Problems

Posted by admin in Candidates, Job Search | 0 comments

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Got a Difficult Problem in Your Job Search?

Say, a lack of networking contacts? Or trouble answering interview questions?  Problems in a job search are as common as mosquitoes in July.  You aren't alone either, no one's job search goes smoothly.

Have you ever written your problem down on a piece of paper?   I'll bet you haven't.  Most of react to problem to solve it as expediently as possible.  Few take the time to structure the problem and structure a solution.  Sometimes you can snap to a solution a common problems, but job search problems are not common.  You may only encounter them a few times in your life.

Writing down difficult problems has an incredible impact.   Wen you write problems down, you take an immediate, huge leap towards solving them. Think about it: Every great invention or solution, from the atomic bomb to the Xbox, was first worked out on paper.

Getting your problem down on paper is just the first step.  Here is a three-step method that will help you get the problem solved!

STEP ONE

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Start by asking the right questions

Most folks put themselves behind the eight ball in their job search by asking questions that are self depreciating, depressing, and demotivating.  Questions like ...

 

Why won't anyone give me a job?

How do I network when I don't know anyone?

Why doesn't someone recognize my great experience?

 

 

These questions are not very helpful.  Instead, start asking questions that motivate and inspire you.

Better questions to ask are:

 

 “How could I give people a reason to call me with job leads?

How did my 10 closest friends find their current jobs? How could I brainstorm with them and use their methods in my job hunt?

What worked in my last job search? The job search before? How could I do that again?

 

 

Important: Ask questions that YOU can solve. Don’t act as if the government, your school, parents, family -- anyone else – is going to come through for you.  They might; but you can’d depend on it in a job search. Once you give up responsibility for solving problems with your job search (or anything else), you become a prisoner of outside forces.

Write down at least five empowering and motivating questions about your job search, right now.

 

STEP TWO

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Brainstorm at least 20 possible answers

After you write down five good questions, circle the one question that looks most promising. You're going to use it to get hired faster. Write that question at the top of blank sheet of paper.  Write neatly because this question is going to help you get hired!

Let’s use this question as an example:

 

 How could I give people a reason to call me with job leads?

 

Now start writing down answers to this question.  Think of as many as possible, no matter how crazy, outlandish, or unlikely it might be for you.  Keep writing down every possible and don't stop until you have at least 20 answers to your question.  Not 15 or 19, but 20 answers -- or more.

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There is an important reason to keep going until you have 20 answers.  Left to its own devices, your brain will pull a Homer Simpson after two minutes and try to talk you into going out for donuts or beer. Brains hate to think. Like bench pressing, thinking is strenuous work, no matter how good it may be for you.

But don't let your head off the hook. Don't stop until you get 20 possible solutions. Brainstorm as if your career depended on the outcome. Actually it does.

After you get to 20 it is time to review.   Most of your answers won't be very good – don’t worry about that. You are not being graded on the quantity of your best answers.   Look  closely however, because your best answer may come right after the most hare-brained. By forcing yourself to write out 20 answers, you're flushing the creative pipes while going deep into your subconscious mind to dredge up a winner.

 

STEP THREE

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Take action on one solution today

Choose the most promising from your list of 20 answers. Then, get started -- today -- to make it happen. No excuses.

Let's say the most actionable of your solutions is to throw a networking party where you can meet friends, family and acquaintances, and let them know about your job search.

What do you need to do to make this party happen?

Just think it through… you have to make the guest list, send invitations, get the food, etc. So write down all the sub-goals necessary for the party to be a success. Check each sub-goal off your list as you complete it. Before you know it, your networking party will be a reality.

After that, take the next most-promising solution from your list of 20 and make that one happen.

Repeat until hired.

 

SUCCESS FORMULA

Here's why these 3 steps work when it comes to solving problems –

 

Clear Thinking +  Continuous Action =  RESULTS

 

If you're struggling to find a job, write down clear, empowering questions of your situation. Then, brainstorm at least 20 possible solutions and take action on the best one today. When you do, you'll be that much closer to getting the job you really want, faster.

 

Tell us about your biggest job search problem today and we'll try to help you solve it....