It’s a New Year and many people have set (or are at least talking about) resolutions. Most of us are notorious for making New Year resolutions and quickly forgetting them by mid-January! But, you can’t afford to call it quits so soon when it’s career goals we’re talking about.
Your career goals may range from obtaining more satisfaction from your current role to striving for a promotion or moving on to new opportunities. It’s time to work out how you will achieve these goals and plan on how to get there.
1. Negativity is contagious! To retain your motivation, stay away from those that bring you down with their pessimistic and complaining behaviors.
Digital organization is vital for today’s job search organization. Customizing your resume and cover letter for each job opening is essential to get your application noticed and make it through what can seem like a digital maze. However, that means it’s all too easy to attach the wrong file or an old version of your resume during the application process. Making that mistake can be an embarrassment and cost you the chance at an interview. This is where your digital organization skills become essential.
Here are three quick tips to simply organize your career search:
I suppose it’s time to take my own advice from this blog to update my resume and online profiles! NO, I’m not looking for a new job, but I’ve realized my descriptors are tired, overused, and dated. Updating your personal introduction, social media profiles, resume or CV should be completed on a regular basis, even if you are happily employed. If you’re actively job searching, it can make all the difference if you delete old phrases and resume cliches and add a few powerful, action words.
Even though it may still fit, my “dynamic and driven professional” descriptor has evolved into a group of resume cliches. You know, those buzzwords that have become abused in the workplace? Synergy. Team effort. Strategic. Innovative. The words we are guilty of overusing in everyday life and conversations: excellent, very, good, love, great…and the list could go on and on.
Most of us on the road to career and self-improvement love (there’s that overused word again) lists of what NOT to do. I guess it’s easy for us to identify what we should be avoiding and make quick changes. By no means is this list exhaustive, but if you are wasting valuable space on your resume with some of these weak words or jargon, then you should consider replacing them soon:
If you’re already in a job interview situation, chances are you aren’t crazy about your current job. You’re anxiously waiting for the interviewer to ask you that inevitable question, “Why do you want to leave your current position?”
How can you eloquently discuss your current job, boss, and why you are leaving?
You know the saying “Keep your mouth shut if you don’t have anything good to say!” While it’s true, silence is not an option in a job interview. There are a few very basic reasons that can be simply explained, such as an employer going out of business, a long commute or relocating with a family member. Beyond that, it’s important to stay clear of negativity regarding your current job. If you spew hatred for your current supervisor or employer, it only makes the interviewer think you will do the same with their organization someday.
In my last blog, I discussed the fine tunes of annoying your coworkers through their sense of hearing. In this blog, I turn from ears to nose. Offending a coworker with smells is another common workplace grievance.
Food, candles, cologne.
Whoa…what IS that smell? That reeks!
The stench of lunch seems to be a common complaint in the workplace. Realize that the fish tacos or garlic pasta may taste fantastic, but the lingering smell may drive your coworkers crazy. Likewise, that afternoon snack of microwave popcorn that got a bit burnt may be a bother to some. You should be able to eat what you want, but ensure you are disposing of waste properly (maybe even taking super stinky trash outside to the dumpster) and cleaning up any remaining dishes. Don’t forget to clear out leftovers from the refrigerator that have seen better days! It may be a cool science experiment, but no one enjoys watching leftover takeout food grow mold in the work fridge.
We’ve all been there…that office mate on their cell phone all the time, or the coworker that smacks their gum loudly. Some days these little annoyances are easier to handle than others. I’ve done my fair share to annoy people in the workplace (not intentionally); some people have told me straight out, I’ve overheard others complaining under their breath, heard it through the grapevine, etc. Supervisors may even be called in to address it with employees. I’m sure there are plenty of exasperating habits I possess that I don’t even realize.
This blog is NOT meant to be a manual on how to get back at your coworkers! More so, it’s a heads up on what you may want to avoid in the workplace, or at least be cognizant of, from someone who’s been there a few years.
Offending senses in the workplace can be a major annoyance. In Part 1, we’ll discuss how your ears can be friend or foe!
Voices, music, cell phones.
Some of us are just loud talkers (guilty). But it is important to note that a few so-called loud talkers might not even be aware of it! So, don’t be personally offended if someone asks you to turn it down a notch.
We’re all familiar with IQ, or Intelligence Quotient. For years people assumed that IQ was the source of a person’s success. However, studies indicated that people with the highest IQs outperform those with average IQs just 20% of the time, while people with average IQs outperform those with high IQs 70% of the time. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves provides an in-depth look at this topic. They explain that the physical source of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is communication between your rational and emotional areas of the brain.
EQ is a person’s ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. EQ allows you to handle yourself and relationships in challenging circumstances at work and home. It generally includes:
Better hope you don’t get called for an interview – that is, if you lie on your application! Lying could include listing education, skills, or experience that you don’t have, filling in gaps in your work history with “fake” jobs, or exaggerating your credentials.
Dishonesty in the application process doesn’t just impact you and the potential employer. Not only are you lying, but your references are forced into a rather sticky situation if they are put on the spot and become part of the deception.
We’ve heard it repeatedly, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Networking has become one of the most talked about terms (and perhaps overused) when it comes to career growth and business success. However, the effectiveness of this topic necessitates its continued emphasis. But what is it really? It surprised me when the first synonym that Microsoft Word and the thesaurus suggested was “schmoozing.”
Merriam-Webster defines networking as “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups or institutions; specifically, the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.” Illustrating the importance of career networking, this dictionary also includes a quote from Hal Lancaster, “Networking remains the No. 1 cause of job attainment.”
It may be top-of-mind in the job search process, as a principal connector for candidates and employers, but networking is imperative for overall career and personal growth too. Furthermore, if a company wants to persevere and prosper, their employees need to continue to grow as well. Professional development and networking often occur simultaneously. It’s all about making contacts, meeting people and exchanging ideas.
References are a common job search dilemma, especially for those that are already employed. You can’t ask your current boss to be a reference unless you’re moving, or facing a lay-off, downsizing, or a merger, or other obvious situations. So who to ask for a reference if you can’t ask your boss?
This is one of the many reasons why it is important to stay connected with former bosses and supervisors; keep the line of communication open so they can serve as references in the future.