Things You Can Do In Your Daily Life That Will Help You During Your Next Job Interview

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Are there areas of your interview game that you want to shape up? Here are four things you can do throughout your day that will help you ace your next interview.

Practice Making Good Eye Contact with Friends

Do you find it difficult to make good eye contact? One of the best ways to improve this is to practice with people you know, and then move onto people who you deal with in low stress situations. Next time you are out with friends, make it a habit to look them in the eye when they are talking to you. Once you feel more comfortable with people you know, start making better eye contact with baristas, waiters, attendants, and other people that you may say a few words to. A week of doing this will yield results, as you’ll start to default to making eye contact without having to think about it.

Improve Your Posture

Many people have a tendency to slouch and they may not even realize they’re doing it. This can undermine your professionalism in an interview, so it’s worth practicing your posture. Start by noting your posture throughout the day, and give yourself reminders throughout the day to sit up straight and straighten your spine. Give people around you the okay to tell you when your posture starts to slip. While it may seem odd when you see it in the movies, walking around your room with a book on your head will help you get in the habit of standing up straight. Working on this won’t just make you look more professional at interviews, it will also help you stretch your body better, meaning you’ll get the extra bonus of getting rid of that stress building up around your neck and shoulders.

Achieve the Perfect Speaking Pace

Being a fast or slow talker is not necessarily a bad thing when you are around your friends, but when it comes to your job interview, you want to find a pace that is appropriate for your region and for the speaking patterns of your interviewer. Start with recording yourself (with the other persons permission, of course) while having a conversation. When you listen back, you’ll be able to note not only how fast you are speaking, but also when you speed up or slow down. Next, get yourself into the habit of matching your pace to the way the people around you are speaking. Finally, take a second before you start speaking, especially when answering a question, as it gives yourself a moment to collect your thoughts so you know what you are going to say before you start saying it.

In the Waiting Room? Use Your Time to Fight Your Fidgeting Habit

Are you a natural fidgeter? Whether you do it out of stress or you simply can’t sit still, it’s a habit that’s worth breaking before you start going in for interviews. You only get one chance to make a first impression with a hiring manager, and you want to present yourself as cool, calm, and collected as you wait in the waiting room. It will take some work, but the key to acing the waiting room is to put your phone away, and don’t give into the temptation to adjust your clothing and hair. Try this next time you are in a waiting room at the dentist, DMV, or wherever else your day takes you. Sit upright in your chair, with your hands in your lap, and a pleasant smile on your face. There is no need to make this a ‘mannequin challenge’, just be in the moment and remind yourself that you are going to ace this interview.

 

Four Signs It’s Time To Look For a New Job

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It’s easy to get lulled into a feeling of safety and comfort at work, but don’t let those feelings hide the truth of your situation or keep you from considering opportunities that could make you happy. Here are four signs that it may be time to start looking for your next career step.

You’re Bored with What You Do on a Daily Basis

Have you lost that feeling of excitement about what the day could bring?? Do you feel like your main job during your workday is to turn off your brain until the clock hits 5pm? We can’t always maintain the same level of excitement we bring to our first days on the job, but if you are simply bored with what you do, and can’t seem to find a way out of it, it’s time to start looking for a new job. Not only will this feeling of boredom turn every day into a slog, but your work quality will begin to suffer, and management will take notice. You might as well leave now on your own terms.

You Feel Stalled in Both Growth and Learning

Are you feeling stalled in your career? If you feel like your professional growth has ceased, and you and your manager can’t identify new opportunities for development, you need to start looking for new work. Even if you do like your co-workers and don’t mind what you are doing, if you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your growth and can’t get passed it, the feeling will only get worse over time.

Your Skills and Duties Have Increased, but Not Your Salary

If you’re growing your skills and contributions to the company, but not seeing that reflected in a growing salary, it may be time to start looking for an employer who won’t take your contributions for granted. Talk to your AppleOne Hiring Advisor to discuss how your current salary compares to others with the same level of experience and job duties.

Your Life Has Changed, and So Have Your Priorities

Priorities change over time, and when they do, you need to evaluate whether your current position is still a good fit for your needs. Whether you want to work 80 hours a week with frequent travel to climb your way to the top, or you want to find a position that will let you get home to spend time with a new and growing family, finding a job with the right balance for you will help you feel satisfied and fulfilled.

Let’s Take a Moment to Celebrate You

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December is a month of celebration, but it’s also a month for reflection. Take a moment to think back on your professional accomplishments over the year. We know, the year went by in a blur and it may feel like you didn’t accomplish anything, but dig deeper. Whether you exceeded your quota, delivered a key project or, for those between jobs, connected with a number of possible employers, you do have accomplishments and there are a number of great reasons to remind yourself of that.

It Keeps You Motivated

You’ve accomplished a lot this year, and taking stock of your specific achievements will help you stay hungry and motivated for the next 12 months. You may have been given challenging projects that took you out of your comfort zone, and while there were some bumps along the way, you need to celebrate the fact that you persevered and came out a stronger professional. By identifying what you’ve accomplished, you can look at the next set of challenges with the knowledge that you’ll conquer them and come out more focused and experienced in the end!

Zero-In On Your Strengths for Interviews or Annual Reviews

Whether your January will include job interviews or annual reviews, reflecting on your recent accomplishments will help you excel in these interactions. Managers want to hear specific instances of when you excelled, so being able to answer a question with a specific example carries a lot of weight. Your accomplishments will help you make a case for hiring or promotion.

It Reminds You that You Are Continuously Improving

Nobody is ever going to have a “perfect” year; but you can strive to always grow and improve. Progress can be hard to gauge while it is happening, and you may not realize just how far you’ve come until you take a moment to look back at where you started. When you feel stagnant, it’s important to focus on where you have improved. It’s amazing what a change in focus will do to your psyche moving into the next year.

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.

One Important Step in Your Self Improvement Routine You May Be Forgetting

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When you are working on a self-improvement endeavor, it’s important to take a step back from time-to-time, and take stock of what you have achieved. Even when your projects are still works-in-progress, recognizing and celebrating your achievements is a key part of reaching your ultimate goals. Here are three reasons you should take time to celebrate your achievements:

It Allows You to Take Stock of What You Have Achieved

When you are always focused on the next goal, it’s easy to lose sight of how far you have come. Make it a point to stop every time you reach a mini-goal and look at what you have been able to accomplish to this point.

It Gets You Excited For Achieving Future Goals

Because self-improvement is a process, setting smaller goals that will help you reach your ultimate goal is important. Having these goals won’t just help better structure a long-term projects (a six hour drive is always less daunting when you cut it up into four 90 minute drives with breaks in between), but it will also allow you to celebrate what you have achieved, which will get you excited for achieving future goals. As you celebrate hitting your current goal, you’ll also condition yourself to look forward to the next celebration when you hit your next goal.

It Reminds You That You Can Achieve What You Put Your Mind Towards

Celebrating an achievement doesn’t just allow you to revel in what you have accomplished in the moment, but it will also serve as a reminder that you can achieve what you put your mind towards. Allowing this idea to stick in your head will come in handy if you start to doubt yourself in future situations. There is no better motivation to keep working on a project than to know that you’ve conquered challenges, in the past.

Today’s the Day – Let’s Get Started on that Goal!

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Whether it’s finding a new job, getting in shape or going back to school, if there’s something in your life you’ve been meaning to do (and who doesn’t have at least one something?), this is the day you get started. We know, there are plenty of reasons to wait, but here’s why you absolutely can, and must, get started right now.  

Start Small What Can you Do Right Now? 

Big life changes can be scary. Little tasks are easy. It’s OK to start small and build. The key is to start, so find any part of your goal that you can start on right now will do. It could be as simple as writing down your goal and sharing your plans with significant people in your life so that you’re committed to doing it.  Find the smallest thing that you can do right now and do it right now.  

Plan Your Next Step And Give Yourself a Deadline

Planning is important, but too much planning can be an excuse not to get started. You don’t need to have the whole plan right now, but you do need to have the next step. As soon as you complete a step, write down your next step, and give yourself a deadline to get it done. Before you know it you’ll have made real progress towards this goal that’s been lingering, and you’ll be wondering why you waited so long to get started on it. 

Don’t Just Celebrate the Milestones. Celebrate the Cobblestones. 

No matter how small, every step you take is progress towards achieving your goal. Allow yourself a moment to feel good and energized by each step you take. By acknowledging that you are taking an active step towards achieving your goal, you set-up a feedback loop that will keep you driving forward. Every time you celebrate a small step, you’ll see how much of a big leap you’ve made in your progression!

Busy Life? How to Gain Job Skills When You Don’t Have a Lot of Free Time

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Thanks to technology and changing market demands, job requirements are evolving at a breakneck pace. The skills that got you a job three years ago may not be enough to get an interview today, so you need to adapt and learn new skills to stay competitive. However, between jobs and family and other commitments, who has the time? Here are three expert tips that will help even the busiest person learn the new skills you need.

Find Online Courses That Can Fit Into Your Schedule

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of websites and online programs that are dedicated to teaching you skills specific for your field. While you may not have four hours at a time to complete a program, you may be able to do it in 20-minute increments. Also, be on the lookout for online colleges that offer classes with downloadable lectures and online testing, as they can not only teach you skills, but also give you written documentation of your achievements.

Make It a Part of Your Current Job

Many companies and bosses encourage learning and personal development because they recognize it makes employees happier as well as more effective and productive. Identify the skills you need, find a class that will help you gain those skills, and determine the time required to complete the class. Then present a plan to your boss for how you can fit that time into your current workload. Chances are, your boss will be thrilled to see you taking the initiative, and if it’s a paid course, they may even pick up the cost.

Prioritize and Calendar Your Key Commitments

There’s a saying that if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it. Very busy people have very detailed calendars that help them get everything done. A quick look at your personal calendar will show that you do have pockets here and there where you can fit in segments of training. You may find that you have an hour before bed to dedicate to learning, or a few hours on the weekend. Block off these times and find a program that you can fit into it. Don’t try and multitask your training with other items, plan to take that scheduled time to focus on learning.