Going Beyond Fear – Your Key to Growth and Success

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Fear can be useful, but you won’t grow if you allow it to hold you back. As in all things, you need to find the right balance, and our 3-step process will help you work through you fear so that you can boldly push past your comfort zone into the areas where growth is possible.

Is the Fear Specific or General?

Are you worried about a specific aspect of a new opportunity, or is it just a general anxiety of the unknown? Separate the general uneasiness from the specific concerns that you may have about risks you may be taking. For example, being worried about fitting in and thriving at a new company can be chalked up to the general anxiety everyone experiences when starting at a new job. This kind of stress can be expected, and thus not looked at as something that should stop you from going for it.

Are There Steps You Can Take Right Now To Help Reduce Your Worry?

Some of the fear you have regarding a new opportunity that has presented itself can be alleviated immediately. For example, if you are worried about a taking on a new job because it is related to a field that you don’t know much about, you can find a lot of information online that will give you in-depth information on what you can expect. A lot of fear comes from the unknown, so simply learning about what you need to know right now can alleviate a lot of fear.

Are the Risks Worth the Reward?

Once you’ve eliminated general anxiety and taken steps to reduce specific worries, you’re left with a few risks that you need to actively manage. For instance, you may be worried about leaving a relatively secure position for a less secure position. First test each assumption. Is the current position really secure? There are no guarantees in life and people often find themselves let go from jobs they thought were stable. Is the potential employer really insecure? If it’s a start-up, how long can they stay in business based on the current direction of the company. If you were let go how long do you think it would take you to find a new job?  Once you have a handle on the situation, look at why you’re interested in the opportunity. Will there be new duties or skills that will allow you to grow in your career? Will there be a larger salary that will allow you to save against a possible loss of work. Consider each of the rewards against each of the risks and make an informed choice.

Urgent: The 3 Keys To Turning Any Resolution Into An Achievable Goal

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Do you have a list of resolutions you are looking forward to tackling this year? Before you start on your journey to better yourself, it’s important to recognize that most resolutions fall by the way side, not because the person isn’t driven, but because the idea isn’t transferred into an achievable plan for reaching their goals. For those looking forward to a successful year, here are three things you can do to make your resolutions a reality:

Forget the Abstract Idea: Identify the Goals You Are Looking to Achieve

You can’t start working towards a resolution until you identify what exactly you are looking to achieve. Say that your goal is to learn more job-related skills to advance your career. Start by identifying what exactly you want to learn, and picture what a successful completion of your goals would look like. For example, if your resolution is to gain management experience, identify specific steps you can take such as: speaking with your boss about your goals and having yourself put in charge of the “XYZ” project so that you can manage the team to a successful project outcome. Aren’t sure what an achievable goal for your resolution would be? Speak with your mentor, peers or supervisor to get their ideas.

Have an End Date in Mind: Give Yourself a Realistic Date to Get Things Done

There is nothing more daunting then an open ended goal.. When turning your resolution into an actionable plan, set a date by which you intend to reach your goals. While you may end up moving the goal back (or forward) as you progress, having an end date will make your goal concrete and actionable.

Celebrate the Journey: Set Goals Along the Way that Will Keep You Pumped Up

If your goal is to run a marathon or lose 20 pounds, where do you even start? The secret is to break that big goal down into small easily achievable steps. Set a goal to find a marathon training program that will guide you to your goal, or set a goal to meet with a doctor to discuss an exercise and nutritional plan to lose weight. As you achieve each simple goal take a moment to celebrate your achievement and then immediately set the next goal for yourself. Give yourself points along the journey to stop and look back at how far you’ve come and you’ll find yourself much more motivated to continue towards your ultimate success.

 

Rock Your Job Search Like a Superstar

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Celebrities have learned that social media is the best way to advance their career, and while you may not be looking to land a role in the next blockbuster or keep your $50 million fashion line afloat, your favorite stars can teach you a lot about how to succeed in your own career goals. Here are three simple rules that will help you craft and utilize your social media footprint to land your next starring role:

Rule #1: Image Is Everything (And You Have the Power to Tailor It)

Examples: Taylor Swift, Ellen DeGeneres                      

We all create versions of ourselves for social media, and celebrities (and their teams of assistants) have this down to a science. For example, Taylor Swift, shares posts that make her seem “approachable.” Her fans don’t just feel like they have a connection to her, they feel like she could be one of their friends. Ellen DeGeneres shares posts that are goofy, yet wholesome. This  matches the image that is presented on her show. You have the power to craft your own image on Social Media, and when it comes to getting a job, nothing will sell you more than looking both professional, yet approachable, meaning that you’ll get the work done, and fit in well with the office.

Rule #2: Looking Professional Will You Seem Professional

Example: Justin Timberlake

People judge you by how you look, and celebrities learned long ago that they can use that to turn themselves into whoever they need to be. Take Justin Timberlake for example. When he first burst on the scene with *N SYNC, his fashion sense left a certain “something” to be desired (a denim suit is never appropriate!). As his career matured and he went solo, JT updated his fashion sense, trading his old boy-band look for those of a fashionable crooner. Now, you can’t solely credit his suit and tie (sorry, had to) for his new image, but it definitely helped. Of course you’d wear a suit to an interview because you want to be seen as professional, but if the first time a potential employer sees you is on Instagram or LinkedIn, you need to craft a similarly professional image there, too. You don’t have to be formal all the time, but if you’re looking for a job, select profile photos and share pictures that will leave employers wanting to meet you.

Rule #3: Use Your Fan Base to Get Yourself Opportunities

Examples: Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen

In the music industry, your online fan base can be as important  as your record sales. In fact, some of today’s biggest artists got their big break because of their social media fan base. Both Justin Bieber and professional earworm Carly Rae Jepsen were signed to major labels because their posts got so many likes from their followers. Musicians, artists, and actors are now using their social media followers as a tool in advancing their careers. Unless you’re in PR, Social Media, or entertainment, you may not get a job due to the number of followers you have, but you can still use your own social media “fan base” to get career opportunities. Follow people at companies you’re targeting or tap your network for introductions and job advice. Share your professional achievements, and don’t be afraid to inquire about work. It used to be that you had to go out of your way to network. Now, thanks to social media, you can meet new people and share your skills in a matter of seconds.

Why Thanksgiving Weekend Is Prime Time For Your Job Search

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Thanksgiving weekend is not the time to completely check out of your job search. It fact, in between football, shopping, and having thirds of pumpkin pie, you should carve some time to take advantage of some of the opportunities that are unique to the weekend. Here are three reasons Thanksgiving weekend is stuffed full of great opportunities for your job search:

Thanksgiving Dinner is a Great Place to Do Some Light Networking

Family dinners are a great opportunity to meet with family members and friends that you may not get to see all the time. While you are catching up, don’t be afraid to do a little bit of light networking. Let them know that you are looking for new career opportunities. You may end up finding that a friend or family member knows someone who is hiring, or someone who can help you. At the very least, you may get some useful advice.

Friday is a Perfect Day to Connect to Target Companies

If you have been looking for a perfect time to connect with a target company to ask questions or inquire about openings, the day after Thanksgiving is a great day to do it. There are a surprising number of companies that are open Friday, even if it’s just a skeleton staff. Employees at target companies may have a little extra time to talk, meaning that you can get more than the yes or no answer you’d get on a regular workday. You may gain a great connection at the company with a simple phone call.

A Lot of Hiring Occurs Between Thanksgiving and New Years

It’s a myth that hiring doesn’t occur during the holidays. In fact, hiring between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day tends to be as high, if not actually a little bit higher, than the rest of the year. Companies get new budgets during the latter part of a year, meaning that they may be looking to hire for newly created positions that will begin in the New Year. A lot of these jobs may be posted around Thanksgiving time, including throughout the weekend.

The Four Things You Need To Know About Thank You Cards For Your Job Interview

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A thank you card is a critical component in not only showing a Hiring Manager that you appreciate the time they took interviewing you, but also that you are excited about the prospects of working for their company. In fact, a recent study showed that 75 percent of interviewers said that receiving a thank-you letter from a candidate does play a factor in their hiring decisions. When it comes to getting the maximum impact out of your post-interview thank you cards, here are four things you need to know.

Address a Thank You Card to Each Person Who Interviewed You

The point of leaving a thank you card after an interview is to thank the people who interviewed you for taking time out of their busy day to meet with you. With this in mind, stay away from the highly-impersonal “Hiring Manager” and address the card to  those you met. Ask who you will be interviewing with when you are setting up the interview. Most companies will gladly share the name of the interviewers.

In The Card, Reference Your Excitement at the Prospect of Working with the Company

Your thank you card is a perfect opportunity to remind a hiring manager that you are excited about the prospect of working with their company. In one or two sentences, highlight how well you will fit into the company culture, and what you can add to the team. Let them see that this isn’t just another job opportunity to you, but something that you really want.

Make It Known That You Are Looking Forward to the Next Step

Hiring managers wants to see candidates who are passionate about getting a job. With this in mind, sharing that you are already looking forward to the next step in the process is a great reminder that you are confident you are right for the position. Simply end your note by saying that you are looking forward to the next time you will speak. While you don’t want to seem pushy, a little bit of confidence in yourself is always a good thing to show.

If Possible, Leave the Note with the Receptionist Before You Leave

You want to be fresh in the memory of the Hiring Manager when they read your thank you card, so leaving it with the receptionist as you leave the building is always a good idea. While there may be circumstances such as phone interviews or off-site interviews where you may have to send the card via mail, if you are able to immediately drop off the card with the receptionist, have the card written before you go to the meeting so the hiring manager can see it ASAP, but be sure to leave a little room to reference something from your interview to better personalize it.

Don’t Let Halloween Photos Come Back to Haunt You

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Halloween gives us a chance to try on alternate identities and let our inner wild-child out to play. It can be a lot of fun, but with the internet being the place where nothing ever dies, those photos can come back to haunt you in your job search. Even if you think it shouldn’t matter and you wouldn’t want to work for the kind of employer who would care, it’s always best to leave yourself as many options as possible. You can still have fun if you follow a few simple rules about how you share the fun via social media.

Give Some Thought to What You Post Publicly

While it’s okay to wear a funny or potentially controversial political Halloween costume, you should avoid posting pictures of it. Your future hiring manager may not share your sense of humor or political leanings, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to broadcasting your costume to the world.

Remember That Friends’ Pictures Can Haunt You Too

Sometimes the scariest photos can be the ones that you didn’t even know existed. While you may have done the smart thing and not post the photos from that crazy Halloween party you went to, it’s safe to assume that someone else did, and they may have tagged you in some of the pictures. Heck, you may not even be in a picture for it to be tagged. With this in mind, make a sweep of your social media platforms to make sure you aren’t attached to anything scary. If you aren’t able to manually untag yourself from a photo, contact the poster to have them do it for you.

Be Ghoulishly Aware Of Who Is Around You in a Group Picture

Maybe the most terrifying of all party photos when it comes to your future job prospects are those that involve a large group. As the saying goes “You will be judged by the company you keep,” and even if you don’t know the people who you are posing with in a photo, you’ll be lumped in with whatever they may be doing in the photo. Even if you are over 21, stay away from photos with people with alcohol, and always be aware of what is going on in the background of a picture. You may be thinking that you are taking an innocent photo with a couple of friends, but the background may make it seem otherwise.

How Giving Back Will Help Move You Forward

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There are many ways to increase your chances for a successful job search, but there are few as rewarding as volunteering. Whether it’s a few days a week or just a few hours on a free Saturday, here are three ways giving back will help you move forward in your job search.

Make Great Connections

Studies have shown that you are up to 7% more likely to get a job when you know someone at the company you are applying to. These numbers skyrocket when you are referred by someone in Management. Volunteering is a great way to both meet people who are already employed, and to interact with local companies that will volunteer as groups. By working hand-in-hand with these individuals in a team environment, you won’t just be able to gain valuable connections for your job search, but they will also get to see you in action. This will make an impression on them that they will remember when it comes time to reach out to them.

Learn New Skills

Hiring managers like to read resumes where a candidate’s skills are shown through tangible experience. Volunteering is a great place to learn new skills that can be added to your resume. Whether you are able to learn a new computer program, or you take the lead on a warehouse project, this type of experience will add to your skill repertoire.

Fill Job Gaps and Beef Up Your Resume

If the work and experience you acquire while volunteering is relevant to the job you are applying for, you should include it on your resume. These additions to your job history can be especially beneficial to those who are currently out of work, as it can fill in what would otherwise be a job gap. Hiring managers want to see that you were being proactive while you were out of work, and a regular volunteering gig shows them that you were active while looking for a new job. Even if you are currently employed, volunteering on the weekend or evenings will make you seem like a more rounded candidate when the time does come to move on with your career.