Thought About Finding a Mentor?

Thought About Finding a Mentor?

 

Unless you’re trying to do something no one else on the planet has ever accomplished or even conceived of, then you are not the first. No one is you so they won’t have done exactly what you’re going to do from your perspective or with your intentions, but if you want to become a manager or president of the company for instance, and you know others have become managers before you, then they have experiences you don’t.

 

Avoid pitfalls and fast track your way through mazes

They have knowledge of some of the pitfalls awaiting you and short cuts to get you to your destination faster. They gained experience along the way and have connections with people who have helped them. So if you want to stubbornly do every single thing for yourself, make all your own mistakes, take longer to achieve your goals than necessary, waste time and expense pursuing avenues that aren’t going to be of any help, then by all means work away diligently by yourself. However if you want to speed things along, avoid potholes, fast track your way through inevitable mazes, then find yourself a mentor.

 

You can have more than one mentor

Don’t just find yourself a mentor, find several. Sticking with the manager example, you won’t only have to become good at one thing, you’ll have to become strong at a host of things. Relationship building, finances, time management, etc. etc. etc.

 

If your network is extensive enough, why not find people who are strong at different things and get them to mentor you on those things. For example if you know someone who is especially great with people, take that person out for lunch or dinner and learn what they know. Visit them in a their professional environment. See them in action, talk to the people they work with. Get a perspective from the other side.

 

Instead of clearing a path through that jungle follow the path they’ve carved. Then follow another path already cleared by someone who’s spent tons of time becoming an expert on the shipping side of the business.

 

Pay it forward

The wheel only needed to be invented once. By taking advantage of mentors, people who can teach you and help you and inspire you, you’re fast tracking yourself to the time when you’ll be ready to forge your own path. The path someone else will follow when the time comes for them to start laying the groundwork for the manager they want to become.

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30 Days To Consistency

 

Everybody knows the key to accomplishing anything is consistency. It’s easy to talk about goals and it’s just as easy to set them. The real work comes along when you decide to follow through.

 

Everyone starts with the greatest of intentions and many get off to a great start but then the enthusiasm wanes. “I’m not inspired today,” they tell themselves. “I’ll wait until tomorrow when I’m inspired again.” What people don’t realize is that every day they don’t get back to work makes getting back to work harder and harder.

 

Consistent effort creates inspiration. It creates enthusiasm.

 

Inspired consistency

To help people create consistency in their efforts, writer and artist Austin Kleon has created a 30-day challenge, “an easy, low-fi way to keep track of your progress.”

 

Decide on your goal. Promise to work on it in some capacity every day, create a reward to inspire you to keep going, then print this 30-day challenge calendar. Austin Kleon’s 30-Day Challenge PDF

 

Every day that you follow through on your commitment you get to put a big X in the box. By the end of 30 days you’ll have tangible verifiable evidence of your efforts. You’ll be in the consistent groove and a personally chosen reward.

 

I’m going to choose singing lessons, so I can sing about my success!

 

 

Three Easy Steps To Increased Productivity

Three Easy Steps To Increased Productivity

 

Sometimes in the middle of trying to do all the things you need to attend to, it feels like all you’re doing is treading water while the to-do list floats all around you. We’ve got three small tips to help you get more daily tasks to shore.

 

Take control of your emails

Emails are like tiny time suckers. If you take the time to respond to every single one that floats into your inbox the second it floats in, you lose focus on what you’re doing, and then you have to take the time to yourself back into the swim of it things and the day gets away from you in small beeping chunks.

 

If you decide to respond later and then forget about the waiting emails, then that becomes a problem too.

 

The best thing to do is take control of the emails. Don’t stop what you’re doing every time one comes through, but do respond to them – at a time convenient to you.

 

Unless an email is absolutely urgent, deal with them in bunches at allotted times. That way instead of breaking your concentration every ten minutes, you’re dedicating 15 minutes chunks to emails throughout the day, and dedicating longer uninterrupted chunks to everything else.

 

Make the most of your commute

If you’re someone who has a long train or bus commute to work, that’s a great time to get through small chunks of work. Your commute is a great time to tackle a few emails. You answer them there and then  and save yourself all that time later.

 

No matter what task you tackle on the train, it will be a more productive hour than mindlessly trolling Facebook.

 

Determine your most productive hours

Different people are at their peak efficiency at different times of the day. Some are most productive after lunch when they’re full and happy. Others are most focused first thing in the morning. While others hit their peak efficiency after they’ve settled in and have been at work for an hour or two.

 

Figure out your optimum work time, and set yourself goals of doing larger or more demanding projects at that specific time.

 

Working according to your body’s natural rhythms is useful for getting things finished. Give yourself small easy tasks when you know your brain is on autopilot, and save the more complex things for when you’re at your mental best.

 

Not Sure What To Do With Your Liberal Arts Degree?

Not Sure What To Do With Your Liberal Arts Degree?

 

So you got a degree in something you are deeply interested in like the humanities or French literature. As much as it  you intellectually and emotionally, it seems that in terms of helping you find a job, it was kind of a waste of time. Well we’re here to tell you that is not true.

 

Emma Williams who went from a degree in Scandinavian mythology to general manager of Bing Studios at Microsoft explains the connection between humanities degrees and jobs in tech (or other fields). “You become very skilled in new subject areas and understanding them deeply….You have a broader understanding (of different subjects) and a better set of capabilities than just having a computer science degree.”

 

Check out these three career inspiring stories from Fast Company

Stop Looking For A Job and Get One

Stop Looking For A Job and Get One

 

Been on the job search for a while? Having trouble transitioning from the searching end of a job quest to the receiving end of an offer? Here are a few tips that will help get you to that offer quicker.

 

Don’t box yourself into small boxes

Some people look at the long list of requirements for job openings and only apply where they have experience in everything.

 

There are plenty of instances where people who don’t have all the qualifications listed are the ones chosen by the hiring manager. Sometimes it comes down to other related experiences, or aptitude in certain areas, or personality type, or potential.

 

If you have the majority of the qualifications they’re looking for go ahead and apply. Wow them with all the reasons they should give you an interview in the cover letter and see what happens. Like Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

 

Learn to boast

You might not feel comfortable tooting your own horn, but you can be pretty sure the person who steps into that interview after you, or the one who was sitting in your seat before you got there made a point of letting the interviewer know exactly how wonderful they were.

 

Sitting there bragging about what a wonderful human being you are will turn people off, but if you talk about they way you worked so wonderfully with others to achieve great results, it paints the picture of a wonderful human being.

 

Relax and be friendly

Yes you are in a job interview, yes it’s nerve wracking, but in the end you are one person talking to another person. Do your homework. Prepare as well as you can, then relax. Go in there with a big smile, and let that wonderful person you’re going to refer to later in the interview shine through.

Resume Writing 101 – Some Basics

Resume Writing 101 - The Job Window

Keep it updated.

The perfect job has come up! You’re so excited. It matches your qualifications and experiences perfectly. Finally after all your searching here it is! You’re going to send your resume off immediately!! Except – your resume is not up-to-date. Ahhhrrrrgggh.

Note to self and anyone else out there who is looking for a job or planning on a career change: Keep your resume updated. Even if you don’t go in and consistently add to your resume, at least keep a tally of everything you’re doing professionally so you can update it easily when the time comes.   And that doesn’t just mean updating with work experience. It includes volunteering, classes, lectures, relevant personal experiences. If you don’t write things down you might forget. If you’re rushing to update your resume because that perfect job is waving at you from across the street, you might forget. The best way to avoid forgetting or losing track is to make a point of checking in with your resume regularly.

Make sure your resume is easy to understand and straightforward.

 Sometimes when you’re trying to impress the hiring manager you may fatten things up or over-blow your accomplishments or duties. Remember the person reading your resume is also reading a lot of other resumes. Essentially they want to see at a glance where you worked and what you did. You’ll have the chance to go into detail at the interview. HR people:

  1. Don’t want to waste time trying to sift through all the fluff to find the nuggets in the center.   
  2. Are pretty good at spotting exaggeration and may not end up with a very positive impression of elaboration weaving resume writer.

Get someone else to read your resume for you.

 You may think your resume is straightforward, easy to understand and completely free of spelling and/or grammatical errors, but most probably you are wrong. You are reading what you’re expecting to read. Mistakes are hidden right there in front of your eyes. What seems very self-explanatory to you, could mean different things to other people.  A resume always benefits from the view of a set of fresh eyes.

Resumes are not one size fits all.

Use specific resumes for specific roles. Tailor your resume for each you job you apply for.  Highlight specific details that will catch the attention of the HR manager. Bring significant experiences to the forefront. Make sure the person reading your resume sees specifically what you want them to see.