Why Early Job Experiences Matter

Why Early Job Experiences Matter

 

You might think those early jobs you had like slinging burgers in a fast food location or going door to door with your lawn mower don’t have any effect on your long-term professional life. Maybe you should take a look at the things you gained from those early job experiences.

 

The Benefit of Experience

The only benefit from every job isn’t simply the potential is has to become a bullet point or paragraph on your resume. Sometimes it’s about the experiences you accumulated while you were there.

 

Obviously if you want to become a programmer, standing behind the grill won’t have taught you anything about coding, but it did teach you a few things.

 

What did you learn?

Working in fast food for example requires you to work quickly and efficiently and carefully. (You wouldn’t want to burn yourself!)

 

If you’re behind he counter, you’ll learn all about dealing with difficult customers, how to take ownership of your mistakes if you mess up. You also learn what it means to be a good co-worker.

 

If you did go door-to-door with your lawnmower you learned all kinds of things about scheduling, talking to people, taking control of your own destiny.

 

Every experience impacts the person you become

Sometimes it’s important to re-frame how you look at early jobs and recognize the benefits of the experiences you had there. Learning how to deal well with customers and co-workers, learning to be accountable to yourself and your job are experiences you can apply to everything you do for the rest of your career.

 

Every experience you have contributes to the person you become. Whether you’re conscientious or lazy. Whether you work well with others and are able to ask for help when needed. Whether you become the go-to person or there never-there person.

 

Pay attention to the shape your taking. Embrace what you learn in every situation.

Have You Thought About An Internship?

Have You Thought About An Internship?

 

Sometimes an internship leads to a job offer sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you get to do interesting, motivating work, sometimes you end up becoming the coffee guy. They can be hit and miss.

 

At the very least an internship will help you make connections with people in that field and give you a good idea whether or not this is something you actually want to pursue.

 

If you want an amazing internship experience, check out this post from The Muse.

What You Don’t Do Is As Important As What You Do

What You Don’t Do Is As Important As What You Do

 

Everyone knows the importance of To-Do lists for keeping themselves on track and ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. Often lost in the shadow of the powerful To-Do List is the less recognized but also important To-Don’t List.

 

You may not have heard of the To-Don’t List so let us explain. It’s a list of things you don’t want to do everyday. Things that hold you back, that drain your energy and productivity. That waste your time.

 

Here’s a quick overview of why a To-Don’t List can help you Avoid Time-Wasting or Repetitive Tasks from Lifehacker

 

Not only will creating a To-Don’t List help you remember all the things that hold you back, it will also help you clarify the things you want to add to your daily To-Do List.

 

Same as a To-Do list, your To-Don’t list needs to be personalized to your lifestyle and habits. Unlike a To-Do list that will probably change daily, a To-Don’t list is normally updated much less frequently, because of instead of being a list of specific things you need to do everyday, it’s more like a general list of things you don’t want to do everyday. So it will likely only get revised when you realize there’s something else that needs to be added to it.

 

Once you’ve got the To-Don’t List that works for you, post it where you can see it everyday.

 

Here are a few examples of things on our To-Don’t List:

 

Don’t stop what you’re doing every time an email comes through

Emails are like buses. They come through all day long and there’s always another one coming. Some of them are important, some less important and some are out and out time wasters.

 

No matter which category a specific email falls into, when you stop what you’re doing to attend to it you’re breaking the flow of whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. Your concentration gets broken, you start thinking about other things and it takes time to get yourself back in the right mindset to finish what you were working on – and then another email shows up. Better to let the emails line up at the bus terminal and finish what you’re working on before taking a ride.

 

Don’t always fall back on what’s worked before

Learning shortcuts for doing things is great. But sometimes doing things the way you’ve always done them doesn’t give you the opportunity to come up with new, better ways of doing things. Pay close enough attention to what you’re doing to recognize when it’s time to try a different approach.

 

Don’t put off till tomorrow

“How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” Just because we don’t like doing something doesn’t make it any less important. Instead of putting off things we don’t want to do or are afraid to do, it’s better to simply deal with them as they come up. Today.

 

Don’t dwell on the past

The past is full of positives and negatives. Dwelling on the past steals focus away from the present. Learn from it and then move on.

 

Don’t let yourself get dragged down by negative people

Negative people can drain your energy, and send you into your own negative feedback loop. Stay vigilant with your attitude. Recognize when you’re being influenced by someone else’s negativity and push the re-set button.

 

Not sure how to go about creating your To-Don’t List? Here are some suggestions from Allen Gannett in TNW News. The To-Don’t List: Things you will NOT do

 

Now it’s your turn. What’s on your To-Don’t List? Where are you going to put it so you’ll see it everyday?

Emotional Intelligence And You

Emotional Intelligence And You

 

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) you may ask, and what does it have to do with my professional life?

 

Emotional Intelligence is your ability to recognize your own emotions and those of other people, and how well you can process that information and use it to navigate the social environment you’re in.

 

 

Your EQ is based on four components:

 

Self-awareness – Your ability to recognize which emotions are influencing you at any given time and how they’re affecting your thoughts and behaviors. How well you understand your strengths and weaknesses and how confident you are in yourself.

 

Self-management – Your skill at managing your impulses. How well you manage your emotions in healthy ways, whether or not you get flummoxed by change, how well you’re able to follow through on commitments. Your emotional flexibility.

 

Social awareness – Your ability to understand the emotions and needs of others, to pick up on emotional cues in group dynamics, to understand what’s really going on beneath the surface.

 

Relationship management – How well you can communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, manage conflict and work well in a team.

 

The reason your EQ impacts your professional life is, according to a test conducted by Talent Smart, people with high EQ make $29,000 more annually than their low EQ counterparts. 58% of your job performance is based on your EQ, and 90% of top performers have high EQ.

 

 

In the past we were always taught that a high IQ – Intelligence Quotient was what was going to get us ahead in the world, but it turns out your EQ can be an even better indicator of your potential success than your IQ. And the good news is that unlike IQ, which pretty much stays the same your whole professional life, your EQ is something you can develop.

 

 

Just because you’ve flown off the handle with little provocation in the past or didn’t take how others felt into account, doesn’t mean it always has to be that way. There are things you can do to help you increase your Emotional Intelligence. Here are six from Psychology Today

 

 

Reduce negative emotions

No one is immune to negative emotions. The key is not to let them overwhelm you or let them influence your decisions. Two of the biggest contributors to negative emotions are taking things personally and the fear of rejection.

 

When someone doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do or they’re rude or unhelpful, our first impulse is to take it personally. What we need to remember is, what people do and say often has a lot more to do with them than us. Maybe that person didn’t return your email right away because they got busy with something else. Before jumping to conclusions, dig a little deeper.

 

If you’re afraid of getting rejected, then get rejected until it doesn’t bother you anymore. Go ahead and put yourself into the face of NOs. After a while you’ll build up a tolerance to them.

 

Also instead of focusing all your energy on a single outcome, give yourself lots of options so if one thing doesn’t work out, you have other avenues to turn to.

 

Find ways to diffuse your stress

There’s going to be stress. Much as we’d like to, we can’t always sidestep it, but instead of flipping out there are a couple of things you can do to cool yourself back down – for example a splash of water on the face can help, or some fresh air. A walk outside, or a quick run. A few minutes of movement and change of scenery might be all you need to deal with the situation with a cooler head.

 

Learn how to express your emotions with words

We are pretty good at reminding our kids to “use your words” but as adults we will often keep our emotions bottled up inside which

A. Will often lead to illness and

B. Does nothing to change the situation with the person or situation that’s got us bottled up.

 

Instead of lashing out with “you are…” or “you have to…” learn how to reframe what you say from the “I” perspective. “I feel frustrated when I have to send several emails to you before I get a response.”

 

Recognize when you’re getting pulled into other people’s dramas

When someone is in a bad mood or starts yelling or speaking rudely our first impulse is to give it right back – like a mirror. Once again it’s important to remember that’s their baggage and you’ve got no business carrying it.

 

Learn the art of getting back up after you fall

When life knocks you down you’ll sometimes want to just stay down. Instead of dwelling on the fact that you’re down, ask yourself why? Did I fall because of something I did? What part of what I did wasn’t successful? How can I change that? Instead of thinking of knock-downs as failures think of them as learning experiences.

 

Foster close personal relationships

When we meet up with someone, we ask them how they’re doing as a matter of course, but do we really care about the answer? Become attentive to other people, to their words, their body language, your body language. The closer your attention to your relationships, the more in-tune you will become to them. The more you learn to genuinely care about others the higher your EQ will become.

Run Or Learn – Monday Motivation

 

Run Or Learn

What happens if you don’t get the job you were going for? Do you stop applying altogether and resign yourself to a jobless life?

 

What about if your forever partner breaks it off? Do you decide the best course of action is to hole yourself up all alone in a cabin in the woods forever?

 

Or if you fail the last exam before your degree? Do you walk away and leave the degree unfinished?

 

Never let your past determine your future

Hopefully you did not decide on a jobless/loveless/degreeless life and realized the only way what happened in the past can stop you from achieving your future, is if you let it.

 

Of course it’s heartbreaking when things don’t work out the way you want and sometimes it feels like they never will, but as Rafiki says, you always have a choice. “You can either run from it, or learn from it.”

 

Choose to learn. Make the world your kingdom!

Set Yourself Apart From The Job Hunting Pack

Set Yourself Apart From The Job Hunting Pack

 

A generation ago landing that first job was pretty easy compared to the situation now. Job seekers simply didn’t have to contend with the fierce competition for every position the way they do now.

 

With so many people vying for your job, you may find it’s the little things that set you apart from the pack.

 

Do your homework

If you want to shine during an interview, then thoroughly acquaint yourself with the company before you even begin tailoring your resume for them or writing your scintillating cover letter. That means checking out their About Us page, their Facebook page, Twitter. Get a feeling for the sort of company they are and incorporate that into your words, in person and on paper (or virtual paper).

 

Go over your resume with a magnifying glass

We don’t literally mean you should go over your resume with a magnifying glass, but we do mean you should check and check again and then get someone else to check for you to confirm there aren’t any typos or spelling mistakes on your resume and cover letter. Before you send it out print your resume and give the hard copy on final going over.

 

Follow up

After sending in your resume you might think your part of the initial application process is over, but there’s still one more thing you need to do. Follow up within a week. Follow up can be as simple as a quick note to the HR person or hiring manager, confirming how enthusiastic you are about the opportunity. You can also reiterate exactly how it is that you’re going to benefit the company.

 

Thank them for the interview

Within twenty four hours of your interview, follow it up with a thank you note. In the note, thank the interviewer for meeting with you, and once again, quickly touch on why you are going to be such an asset to the company. If you can manage to squeeze in something you discussed during the interview, brownie points for you!

 

Always have your elevator pitch ready

You never know when you’re going to run into someone who could possibly benefit you professionally. The last thing is want is to find yourself tongue tied when what you should be doing is wowing them with all the reasons you’re such a great candidate. Your pitch should be short somewhere between thirty seconds and a minute and it should include who you are, your great attributes and what you’re looking for.

Work on it unit you’ve come up with something snappy and attention getting. Practice your elevator pitch when you don’t need it, so when you do need it, it chirps out of your mouth like an early morning songbird.

Positively Increase Your Productivity

Positively Increase Your Productivity

 

Ever wonder how you can get more done everyday? Here’s something you might not realize, the higher your positivity, the higher your productivity!

 

You are a mirror to yourself

It might sound a little too smile and the whole world smiles with you simplistic to be true, but it is. You are a mirror to yourself and everything you think and do reflects back to you. Being productive makes you feel good about yourself and feeling good will make you more productive. It’s kind of like the opposite of a vicious cycle!

 

Get the cycle started

The key is getting the cycle started. Make a point of deciding to bring more positivity to what you do and that will encourage the productivity. Or conversely, bring up your productivity a bit, feel good what you’re accomplishing and boost your positivity.

 

Believe in your abilities

You will never be able to boost your productivity if you don’t believe you’re capable of doing more than you’re doing right now. If you don’t really believe you can do more then are you sure you’re in the right place? Is this something you want to continue with? If you don’t believe you can do more then you certainly can’t.

 

If you believe you can do more then you’re ready to lay down the foundation for achieving your productivity goals.

 

Schedule your productivity

To increase your productivity you need to set clear guidelines for yourself. Written guidelines that you adhere to. That means lists. Priority lists of things that MUST get done, should get done and wouldn’t it be great if I could get it done for each day.

 

Block out time for your lists and don’t finish the day without completing the MUST list. Hopefully you’ll also get through the should list. Wouldn’t it be great if you also made a dent in that list as well?

 

Plan out your lists for tomorrow at the end of today so as soon as you’re ready to get to work, you know what needs to get done.

 

At the end of the week create a master list for the week ahead. By filling your time in advance you are much more likely to stick to the plan when the time actually comes.

 

Seeing your accomplishments feels good

As soon as you start seeing progress you immediately start feeling better about what you can do. The better you’re feeling, the more motivated you’ll be to keep on doing what you’re doing to increase that productivity. Your productivity is a reflection of your abilities. Feeling good about your abilities encourages you to push yourself to the next level.

 

Feelings are contagious

All those good feelings you’re starting to have about yourself won’t stay limited to yourself for long. Your positive outlook and ability to get things done will inspire those around you to find their own happiness and increase their own productivity.

 

Problems seem less daunting

If you consistently feel like you’re out of time and failing in the accomplishing department it’s hard to stay positive, if however you’re seeing positive outcomes on a consistent basis, then when problems do arise you’re much more likely to take them in stride and believe they are things that can be overcome, rather than things that will can stop you in your tracks. Because you believe you can get things done, you feel good about yourself. Productivity leads to positivity and positivity leads to productivity. It’s another one of life’s cycles.