You’ve got yourself a great internship at a company you really like and you’d like a job there. Your internship is coming to an end. How do you turn the internship you love into a job you love?
At some point in your career you will probably be asked to work overtime. If overtime goes on for an extended time it can get pretty demoralizing. Is it worth it?
In the past people could expect a predictable climb up the career ladder. Things are a little different now.
If someone asks you to help out with their project, do you automatically say yes? Even if it’s a small thing they should be able to handle on their own and it’s really kind of out of your way, you can’t help but agree? Do you find yourself over worked, helping others and still feeling bad if you’re unable to help out? You probably have a too nice problem.
From an early age we’re taught that we should be nice, considerate and kind to one another. This is true, but there comes a time when being overly kind can actually hinder your career progress. We’ve put together a couple questions you should ask yourself if you’re worried you might be too nice at work.
Can You Say No?
As we mentioned above, your very nice tendencies can lead to you feeling like you have to agree anytime a coworker asks anything of you. Next thing you know, you’re handling your own work, and everyone else’s. Not only does this add extra work to your plate, but it also sets a dangerous precedent and pretty soon people will think of you as the person who can be taken advantage of. Being able to say no also shows that you have a good understanding of your role and its responsibilities.
Can You be Honest?
Honesty is the best policy, especially at work. If you can’t tell a coworker or an employee that they need to shape up, your group’s work will suffer. Eventually people will notice you don’t have what it takes to be in a leadership role. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but if someone needs to shape up, then another person is going to have to tell them. Let it be you. Even if it doesn’t feel nice. Tell them gently, and help them work on what they are lacking.
Can you Speak Up?
This is the one where the most excuses are made. Whether you’re a little intimidated by your boss or don’t want to overstep boundaries with your coworker, you can constantly convince yourself that the more polite course of action is to say nothing. The truth is, sometimes you’re gonna have to pipe up and speak your mind. People are going to have differing opinions, and sometimes they’ll be wrong.
Being nice and being able to get along with others are essential to making friends and networking. However if you’re too nice, you risk not being able to stand up to those who might take advantage of you. You can also hurt yourself by using politeness as an excuse for not getting your ideas out there. There is a time and place for niceness, and also a time and place to put your foot down.
As each of us strives to achieve the success we’re after, there are some days where we do great. And others where we fall short of our goals and aspirations.
To help those do-great days outnumber the less successful ones, here are a couple of things to keep at the top of your daily to-do list or on the first page of your journal.
If you want what few have, you’ll have to do what few will
We all say we want success, but when the alarm clock rings in the morning do we push the snooze button and try for another five minutes? Or do we jump out of bed ready to tear up the day?
When the choice is take that extra course or be satisfied with where you are what do you choose? What about working late? Or reading more books related to your goal?
As Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Every time you choose your goals over an easier or more fun alternative you are doing what few will do. Choose long term success over short term gratification.
New habits can transform your life
Just about everything you do is based on some habit or other. What you do in the mornings, the route you take to work, how you feel about certain situations or people. Usually we do what we’ve always done because it’s easy to follow in the ruts of life we’ve created by doing the same things, thinking the same things over and over.
Is there something you could do, or a thought pattern you could change that would directly impact your life and career? Before automatically thinking change is impossible think about the possibilities.
How could you make that change? Make it one day, then make it again the next. New habits are not easy to form but they are entirely possible. Instead of following in your usual ruts, realize this is your life. One where it’s up to you to can create brand new tracks.
Through the years of your career you’re going to have all kinds of interviews. One-on-one in person interviews are the most common, but there will also be group interviews, Skype interviews, phone interviews, quick ones in a café, the list goes on and on.
Today we’re going to talk about phone interviews and what you can do to excel.
Treat it like a regular interview
Because the interview is on the phone, you may be inclined to treat it as less serious or more preliminary than a regular interview. If you have any intention of moving on to that next interview you’d better take this first one on the phone seriously. Which brings us to our next point.
No matter whether the interview is on the phone, in person, on Skype or via satellite from the moon to Earth, your first priority is to prepare for it. Research the industry and the specific company. Check out their website. See what they post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Which brings us to our next point.
Make a list of questions
All that homework may trigger questions on your part. Write them down. Have questions ready about the company, the job you’re applying for, the sort of future they envision for you. They will ask you if you have questions. Have some ready.
Use common sense
Don’t think it would be okay to have this interview on the go, in a coffee shop or during a commute or somewhere noisy. Find a quiet room and get yourself comfortable in there. Also make sure your phone is charged! The last thing you want is to suddenly notice you’re about to run out of power in the middle of the interview. Also if you expect the interview to take fifteen minutes leave yourself half an hour. If you expect it to run half an hour then leave yourself at least 45 minutes. Give yourself plenty of extra time.
Act like you are there in person
If this was an in-person interview you would have a smile on your face and you’d be sitting up all tall and attentive so do those things during the phone interview. You would be amazed how much body language and facial expression come across over the phone.
Make sure you take notes of the sorts of questions you were asked during the interview. These are the sorts of things that will come up in the next interview. Use them to help you prepare.
Finish the interview off by thanking the interviewer for their time and letting them know you look forward to meeting them in person.
Some people have a knack for getting things done. Productivity is no problem for them. They’re more organized than the rest of us and they don’t let themselves get distracted by whatever curveballs the day throws their way.
For those of us who have to work a little harder to achieve the same results here are a few productivity hacks to get you going.
Did you know that morning people are generally more proactive? Here are a few small things you can do to get you going earlier. Set your alarm five minutes earlier each day until you achieve the new wake up time you’re looking for – about an hour earlier than usual.
Once you’re up don’t waste your newly acquired precious time scrolling through Facebook or looking for dinner recipes. Get yourself into productive mode. Start with a glass of water. Your body needs a dose of hydration (other than coffee) to get you going.
Exercise for 10 – 15 minutes, meditate – even a short 10 meditation is beneficial. If you can do both great. If not alternate or choose the one that means more to you. Make yourself a good breakfast that includes protein. Protein is known to get you going.
Finally spend ten minutes writing. It can be a journal, it can be notes about the day, it can be related to long-term goals. Deliberately sitting down to write everyday lays down a path of productivity for the rest of the day.
There are lots of things you can do during your commute. You can seethe at the other drivers or commuters. You can listen to music. You can daydream. Or you can use the time to your benefit. If you drive to work, podcasts are a great way to educate or entertain yourself. So are language apps.
If you’re on transit the commute is the perfect time to catch up on articles you’ve bookmarked for later, for goal setting or for online classes.
If work isn’t too far, the other thing you can do with your commute is use it to get in shape. Cycle, run or walk to work – it feels great and puts everything in forward motion!
First part of your day
Productive people have a routine. Start work at the same time each day. That puts your mind and body in work frame. Don’t check your emails first thing because they are a time and energy suck. Give yourself an hour to get settled and get your most important tasks underway first.
If you haven’t already prepared a to-do list for the day get that done. Prioritize it. Start with your top priority. Get that out of the way, them move down the list. Give yourself deadlines for each task.
You have probably heard that you have 90 minute sleep cycles at night. Well, those 90 minute cycles don’t suddenly stop once the sun rises. In general you can focus well for about 90 minutes at a time. After that you’re brain is tired and you lose productivity so you might as well break every 90 minutes. It doesn’t have to be long, but get up, stretch your legs, get a drink, break it up every 90 minutes. Switch tasks.
Do not multi-task. Even if you think you’re a good multi-tasker you are not. You are still doing one thing at a time then switching. If you want to do something well then give it your full attention then switch to something else.
Some people work equally well in the afternoon as they do in the morning, but most have a little more trouble focusing in the latter part of the day. That’s why you want to get your most important tasks done early. Watch your posture in the afternoons. If you notice yourself slumping over sit up straight. If you can get yourself out for a sort walk in the afternoon. A quick walk around the block can do wonders to bring productivity back into the day.
Afternoons are a good time to do the work that doesn’t require as much concentration so save those for after lunch. It’s also a good time to let your mind wander a little to pursue a little creative thinking.
Although it might be tempting to take work home, the most productive people know there needs to be a cut off time. Your body and mind need a full stop to recoup from one day and rest up for the next.