Creating A Bridge To Your Next Job

Creating A Bridge To Your Next Job

You found a company where you think you would fit in perfectly. The only problem is they’re not currently hiring. How do you create a bridge between them and you?

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Has Anyone Ever Called You Too Nice?

Has Anyone Ever Called You Too Nice?

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.

Moving From School to The Job Market

Moving From School to The Job Market

 

As you transition from college or university to the workforce, you no doubt have been given lots of advice. Don’t text at work. Keep your feet off your desk. Don’t wear t-shirts with swear words on them are a couple common suggestions given to graduates by well-meaning career advisors. While practical, those bits of job advice are things you probably already knew. We’ve got a couple more useful suggestions that may be a little less obvious.

Start Networking Now

Whether you’re still in school or you’ve recently left, making connections that can help you find work and further your career starts with classmates, teachers and even guest speakers. Teachers and guest speakers are your first chance to connect with people in your field who also have workplace connections. Asking questions and constantly seeking out assistance will speak to your enthusiasm and set you apart.

Larissa Faw, writing for Forbes has another interesting avenue you can try for networking.

Join the nicest health club you can afford in your area, and become a regular in the early mornings. High-level executives exercise at the crack of dawn, and this is a great way to personally connect with those who can advance your career. It takes time to build relationships — you can’t form a friendship in a week — but showing up that early demonstrates dedication and the right priorities.

Focus on Key Areas of Strength

When looking for work, focusing on a key area of strength that matches the job posting is essential. Tailoring your resume and cover letter for each job is something many job seekers forget to do. In an article for The Globe and Mail Danielle Bragge, a partner at The Headhunters, a nation-wide recruitment firm says, “If a company says it is looking for someone to work in a fast-paced environment, use that as a chance to emphasize your experiences in that capacity, be it within a volunteer program or a past project.”

Know What You Look Like Online

One of the very first times I Googled myself–this was a number of years ago–the only thing that came up was a medal I had won in a high school science fair. Those days are long gone. You’ve probably heard it from friends, parents and teachers that you shouldn’t post partying pictures online. Again, this is practical advice you’ve heard before. Our advice isn’t so much what you make sure your interviewer doesn’t see, so much as what they do see.

Are you actively on twitter tweeting about the industry you’re looking to enter? Do you have a blog where you write? Is the writing there spellchecked and grammar checked? Are there any volunteer groups where you may be featured? Your online presence is much more than what you feature in a resume. It can offer a glimpse into who you are and can give you that essential bump in the interviewers’ mind.

Take Breaks

They call it the rat race, and taking a break can feel like you’re letting everyone else pass you by. But break you should.  If you never take a break, your productivity will actually suffer, you’re coworkers might begin to resent it and your boss may take you for granted. Take a look at this article in the The Atlantic. Ensure you don’t get burned out, and take time within your day–and days within your year–to refresh.

You Will Find Success With A Focused Even Mindset

You Will Find Success With A Focused Even Mindset

 

John Wooden was the first basketball player to be named All-American three times. Motivated to share his love of the game and vision for success, he moved on to become one of the most beloved, respected coaches in the history of sports. As head basketball coach at the University of California in Los Angeles, Wooden won ten NCAA national championships over 12 years. (Including an incredible 7 in a row). He was named national coach of the year six times. Over his twenty nine year career, John Wooden’s vision for achieving success and his skills at motivating and inspiring others went way beyond the sports area creating renown in the fields of personal success and organizational leadership.

Success in one thing creates success in other things

John Wooden’s lessons about leadership start with, “Good values attract good people.” Next comes, “Love is the most powerful four letter word.” The reason John Wooden was so inspiring was because he didn’t just coach his teams and his players on basketball, he coached them on life. In the same way, if any of us want to achieve true success, we cannot solely focus on our careers. We need to focus on our lives and the lives of those around us. And what each of us can do to make the world better.

Emotion is your enemy

Wooden’s fourth leadership rule states, “Emotion is your enemy.” By focusing too much on either the good things that happen or the bad you will be carried away from your goal. Winning a game is great, but if you imagine you’ve reached your final goal you won’t put in the effort required to get to the championships.

Everyone loses sometimes, but if you get lost in pits of self pity and stop putting in the effort to improve you will never win. That’s why you don’t want to let the peaks get too high or the valleys too low.

PyramidThinkingSuccess

The Success of a Snowball

The Success of a Snowball

At the start of your career? A career is created through a succession of efforts large and small, each one building momentum and substance. A snowball starts out as a single snowflake, like a single idea.  Combine that with more ideas, and know how, and inspiration and you’ve got yourself a snowball. Keep adding to that, and eventually the smallest snowball can grow to monumental size.  By becoming proficient in several areas, you can help that snowball grow as surely as by rolling it down a mountain.

 

Expand your learning

Once your career starts to accumulate some success and your snowball gets noticeably bigger, you may be inclined to let it roll down that mountain on its own. Of course, that would be a mistake. Without your constant attention, it could roll off a cliff, it could hit a tree and break apart, it could hit a relatively flat section and stop altogether. One of the best ways to keep that snowball on course is by consistently improving your skills. Learn new things. Expand your areas of knowledge, especially as they pertain to your career. Meet with experts in your field. Get inspired by them. Learn and take your career into new or different directions.

 

Don’t celebrate success by spending inordinate amounts of money

Even if you’re accumulating some wealth, it’s important not to get ahead of yourself by spending an expected income, or even spending to your current limits. You want to always be adding to that snowball to help it grow. Think about your future. Instead of spending, save. Let that money build on itself.

 

Force yourself out of your comfort zone

Your comfort zone is like a leveling off on the mountain. An area where there simply isn’t enough of a decline for the snowball to keep moving, and if it’s not moving, it’s not growing. People stay in their comfort zones because they get lazy, because they’re scared, because they’re comfortable. No great career is built by a lazy, scared, comfortable person. It’s built by someone willing to take chances, willing to try new things. Willing to fail in order to succeed.  According to Jacob Morgan writing for Forbes, getting out of your comfort zone is the best thing you can do for your career.

 

Beware of time thieves

Of course, you have a life outside of your business. If you don’t – get one! That being said, there are some things you can do with your free time that will lead to your betterment, while there are others that will in no way help. Have fun, enjoy physical activities, talk to interesting people, volunteer, initiate a community project. Putting your free time to good use makes you feel great. It invigorates you. Of course, you can still enjoy things like TV, but it’s one thing to enjoy your favorite television shows. It’s another thing altogether to lose yourself to the hypnotic pull of Netflix for four or five hours at a time on a regular basis. Despite the fact that it’s called free time, if you waste it, you can be sure you’re paying for it!

Never Had A Job Interview?

Never Had A Job Interview?

If you’re about to head into your first interview, it can be pretty daunting. Preparing for an interview can be difficult, especially for beginners. Here’s what you can expect from a job interview, along with you some helpful ideas on the best way to prepare for it.

 

What to Expect

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. You will most likely meet with one person, at their place of work to talk about getting a job. It’ll probably be you and the employer sitting down across from one another at their desk, or at a boardroom table.

Your interviewer may ask to see your resume. Depending on their hiring process, it’s never a guarantee they’ve seen it before. So always bring a copy of your resume with you. This is something beginners often forget. Make sure you bring it in something that prevents it from getting bent. If your interviewer asks to see your resume and you pull out a crumpled piece of paper, that’s all they’ll need to know about how much you want this position.

What Questions to Expect

Every interviewer is different and every interview will vary as far as the questions go. However, when you’re preparing for an interview there are a few common ones you can expect. Your interviewer will probably ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself. This is so they can get a sense of who you are. Give a brief description of where you went to high school and college, talk about your interests and how they led you to this position.

You’ll also be asked about a specific time in your past where you demonstrated a key ability. Most often, the ability they will ask about comes right from the job posting. Make sure to think of specific examples from work or school where you overcame an obstacle, had to deal with a difficult team member or found success. The more you can relate these to the job your interviewing for, the better.

Another very common question is where you see yourself in five years, or what your goals for the job are. When you are ready with an answer to this question it shows that you’ve thought about your future with the company.

How to Prepare for the Interview

Now that you know what to expect and what questions you might get, what else can you do to make sure you’re ready? The number one thing you can do is learn about the company! A demonstrated knowledge about the company shows you’re interested in not just the job, but this specific company as well. It can be as easy as checking out their website and following them on Facebook and Twitter.

When preparing for an interview you have to give yourself time. It may seem inconsequential compared with everything else you have to prepare, but have your outfit chosen and ready. Nothing is going to make you feel more nervous than running late. Have your resume printed and your clothes picked the night before. Make sure to give yourself lots of time to arrive.

Finally, make sure you have some questions for your interviewer. At the end of most interviews, you will be asked if you have any questions. If you don’t have one you give the impression that you uninterested. Having one or two questions will help you learn more about the position and prove that you’re interested in the job. A couple ideas for questions are “what does a typical day look like in this job” or “Why do you enjoy working for this company?

Prepared for the Interview

You’re all ready to go! Your resume and clothes ready. You’ve looked into the company your interviewing with and know all about them. You  have answers to the questions they’re likely to ask, and you’ve even thought of some of your own. All that’s left is to ace this interview and get the job! Good Luck.