Career Articles

Mon, 2013-03-25 14:52

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, MRW

Job search can be a rollercoaster ride, from the thrill of a forthcoming interview to the letdown of losing out on a job to another ‘more qualified’ candidate.  Sometimes weeks, months – even a year or more – pass and you’re still sitting, glued to your computer, wondering when your resume submission will spark interview glee. What do you do when job search stagnation sets in, and the glimmer of hope starts to fade? Here’s a look at five ways to help get your job search energized.

1. Phone a Friend. While you may feel the threads are bare and that you have no right to use that lifeline yet again, do so. But this time, don’t call to kvetch about the lack of opportunities and your unlucky situation. Instead, invite them over for coffee or for movie night. Fetch your favorite romantic comedy, adventure, suspense thriller or whatever is your preferred DVD distraction and immerse your mind and soul. Reconnecting on a more joyful level while also distracting yourself is healthy personally and for your career. Often your mind comes up with the greatest solutions when it is at rest.

2. Volunteer. If you aren’t already doing so, volunteer your time and be visible to a possible new job connection. Physically leave the house to do this. Research local chapters of your professional or industry association. Start with Job-hunt.org’s Directory of Professional/Industry Associations. Find a local professional chapter; call the president; attend the next meeting. The Directory includes a variety of specialized categories to help you to narrow down your search for career and employment links related to your particular industry, profession or group. In addition to the other benefits, volunteering can be a great stopgap in your resume, providing concrete evidence that you are still contributing professionally.

3. Visit the Library. Another way to bolster your search while also disengaging from the confines of your 12×12 home office is to go to the library or to the local Starbucks or Panera Bread Company. The point is to change your environment – regularly. In Alison Doyle’s article, “Get Job Search Help at the Library,” she describes how libraries provide many other resources for job seekers beyond job search- and career-related books. Libraries offer job search and computer classes as well as computers with Internet and email access; some even offer stress-reduction classes like yoga and meditation. The simplicity, the order, even the aroma of a library has appeal for some who simply need calm outside of the storm that often swirls around you at your home.

4. Revise Your Plan: If you do not already have an action plan with specific accomplishment goals and deadlines for your job search, create one now! Even if you are weeks (or months) into the search, it’s never too late to develop this plan. Use a separate notebook. If you must, computerize these ideas but then print them out from time to time and tick off tasks and milestones; scratch top-of-mind notes in the margins. Drive traction through these actionable steps, and you’ll make more progress.

5. Be Willing to Change. Most of us have a propensity to get stuck in our ways and unwittingly resist change. In job searching, this resistance may manifest itself by refusing to improve your resume story; resisting to join social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are “silly” and “wasteful uses of my time”); or picking up the phone to make a cold call regarding a job opening. Make a change. Hire a resume writer or career coach or attend a local job search event to help you reframe your value proposition—you may be turning hiring decision makers off with your current, lackluster message. Listen to what others suggest and apply it to your job search. Sometimes the smallest changes can spur the biggest improvements.

If your job search ship seems anchored to bedrock, you can remove that weight and free your thoughts and emotions, creating momentum. Even if the changes to your current strategies feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first, you won’t regret switching things up. While trying something new may require several attempts to achieve results, keep trying. It takes only one right opportunity to align with your preparedness to turn your situation from “job seeker” to “employee!”

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, chief career writer and partner with CareerTrend, and is one of only 28 Master Resume Writers (MRW) globally. An intuitive researcher, she helps professionals unearth compelling career story details to help best present their unique experience, skillset and interests in resumes and other career positioning documents as well as through social media profiles. In addition to being interviewed for television and radio stories, Jacqui has written for the Career Management Alliance Connection monthly newsletter and blog, ExecuNet’s Career Smart Advisor, The Kansas City Star, The Business Journal and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, she and her husband, “Sailor Rob,” host a lively careers-focused blog over at http://careertrend.net/blog. Jacqui also is a power Twitter user listed on several "Best People to Follow” lists for job seekers.

Mon, 2013-03-25 14:50

By Heather Huhman

When it comes to sending out your resume for a job opening, you want to ensure you stand out to the hiring manager. But standing out has both a positive and a negative side, and the negative will land your resume in the recycling bin – fast.

While most job seekers understand a strong resume will get them through the door, there are still many overlooked areas when it comes to the actual creation of the document. From simple grammatical errors to poor formatting, creating a knockout resume isn’t always an easy task.

With just six seconds or less for a hiring manager to determine your fate, knowing what not to include on your resume is certain to help you get hired. Here are 10 mistakes that are sure to land your resume in the recycling bin:

1. Poor Formatting. Looks definitely matter when it comes to your resume. Nothing will get your resume disposed faster than a resume lacking attention to formatting. All job seekers, regardless of career field, should understand the importance of white space on their resume. Focus on creating a document that isn’t just a solid block of text. Enhance your formatting capabilities by using tabs for indents, bulleted lists, and smart sectioning.

2. An Objective Statement. This is just one outdated element of a resume. Many job seekers feel their objective statement adds direction and purpose to their resume, but the opposite is actually taking place. This statement actually weakens your resume due to its “all-about-me” nature. Rather than wasting significant space to speak solely about yourself, consider dropping it altogether and creating a short statement (often called a professional profile) explaining the value you’ll bring if hired.

3. A Reference Statement. Not only are your references condemned from your resume, but also the awkward “references upon request” statement. Don’t waste space for redundancy on such an important document. If a hiring manager wants to reach out to your references, they will be sure to ask you for names and contact information at the appropriate time.

4. No Skills Section. Your resume isn’t just a place for details on your previous employment experiences; it’s also a place to share your skills. Clearly showcasing your skills to your potential employer can make or break your chance at landing a position. Many hiring managers are looking for very specific skill sets. Without properly displaying what you have to offer, you’re likely to miss out on an opportunity.

5. Using “I” or “Me”. A first-person direction on your resume is likely to leave you sounding a bit self-absorbed to potential employers. Instead, describe your expertise and skills in a more employer-focused way. Remember SAR: Situation, Action, Results.

6. Using a Template. While not the worst thing you can do to your resume, be cautious of using templates. Many hiring managers are turned off to the idea of repeatedly seeing the same type of resume. Rather than opting for an exact template, try to turn your resume into your own unique document by switching a few things up.

7. Telling Tall Tales. There are numerous examples of the misfortunes of those who have lied on their resume but even a tiny fib can get you into trouble. While your resume’s storytelling abilities are ultimately up to you, use smart ethical judgment when it comes to stretching the truth. Not telling the truth should never even enter your mind when it comes to landing your next job.

8. Mediocrity. The current job climate is competitive, and standing out is an absolute must for all job seekers. There’s no set way for candidates to stand out, but simply sending out a mediocre resume isn’t going to get you in the door. Continually seek out new ways to impress employers with the way you display your expertise on your resume.

9. Lack of Attention to Detail. Does your resume lack important information or showcase a few errors? Simple mistakes just aren’t acceptable during the hiring process. Small errors are likely to present you as not being completely serious about the position.

10. Forgetting to Customize. Too many job seekers take a quantity versus quality approach to their job search. Rather than only creating stellar resumes for the position they’re most qualified for, they end up applying to every position with a generalized mediocre resume. Truly impressing a potential employer means only applying to the position you’re an accurate match for, as well as customizing your resume to each position.

Getting hired takes motivation, patience, and most importantly, an awesome resume. Avoiding these missteps will be sure to save your resume from the recycling bin.

Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

Mon, 2013-03-25 14:49

By Heather Huhman

Mistakes happen. Let’s say you were absent from a high-priority client meeting, dropped the ball on a big account, or maybe even mishandled a large sum of company money. While the scenarios may vary, all eyes are now on you. What happens next?

Making a mistake on the job can be a jarring experience, but there’s a lot you can gain from your errors. You might even come back stronger and more knowledgeable than before. By putting a cleanup and prevention plan into play after the fact, you’re likely to move past this bump in the road.

Here are six tips for coming back stronger after screwing up at work:

1. Pull Yourself Together. The variety of emotions experienced after your on-the-job error are likely to overwhelm you. Whether it’s frustration or embarrassment, spending a brief moment analyzing the situation and getting your thoughts together will put you in a better direction. Keep your analytical timeframe brief, but make sure you’ve dug into your thoughts.

2. Fess Up. This isn’t time for excuses. It’s crucial you own up after a sticky situation. Take responsibility and apologize for your misstep. Your manager and co-workers will know whether you’re genuinely sorry for your actions, so this isn’t a time for any inauthentic apologies. Use your best judgment in your approach for your apology. Sometimes going overboard with apologies can rub others the wrong way – try to find a healthy medium.

3. Clean Up the Mess. If you don’t move quickly, your small mistake could turn into something much larger. Whatever the case may be, do your best to step in and handle the cleanup process. This will show your interest in improving the situation and hold you accountable. If it’s out of your hands, be sure your boss or co-workers know you’re still interested in helping in any way possible, even if it means taking on some of their projects.

4. Don’t Dwell on It. The first step to moving forward after a mistake is accepting the situation. It doesn’t do you any good to beat yourself up, this only leads to self-doubt. As Malcolm Forbes once said, “Failure is success if we learn from it.” Don’t let your misstep ruin your plan of action for the future.

5. Learn From It. What can you do to improve, not only in your current position, but in your career as a whole? Gather beneficial advice from company outsiders like your trusted network of connections and also from your fellow co-workers or even your manager. Utilize this wisdom to learn where you may have gone wrong and how to ensure you avoid this situation in the future. Use this as a personal growth experience to improve yourself in more ways than just this one incident.

6. Move Forward. You’ve faced the problem, apologized, and create a plan for improvement, now it’s time to move on. Your boss and co-workers are likely to want to move past this as quickly as possible and so should you. Leave the situation in the past and never reference it again. If you latch onto it, you’re likely to impair yourself without even realizing. Set your sights on continued self-improvement, both on and off the job.

Mistakes are an essential part of growth when it comes to your career path. Learning to be accountable, forgive yourself, and make improvement for the future will keep you moving in a positive direction.

 Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

Mon, 2013-03-25 14:45

By Donna Fuscaldo

Everyone knows they should have a mentor but many don’t know how to find one. Mentors come in many flavors and hold different monikers, but the two common traits they should all possess is a willingness to give unbiased advice and expertise in the areas you are looking to improve.

“A mentor is extremely important to grow your skills and enhance your career path,” says Susan Ruhl, a managing partner at OI Partners – Innovative Career Consulting in Denver. “It doesn’t matter if the person is internal or external (to your company) as long he or she understands what your personal development goals are.”

Before you can start your hunt for the perfect mentor or advisors, career experts advise to do a little soul searching to pinpoint your weaknesses and to determine your goals. Let’s say you want a marketing job. Come up with a list of skills you’ll need to make the transition and then identify any gaps. Once you know where you need improvement you can pinpoint someone who has those skills. “You have to be clear in what you are asking for,” Julie Bauke, career strategist, president of The Bauke Group, and author of Stop Peeing on our Shoes: Avoiding the 7 Mistakes that Screw Up your Job Search.. “You can’t just say, ‘I want to get to the top of this company can you mentor me.’”

Finding a mentor can take a bit of detective work especially if you are new to a company. Sure the C-level executive would be the ideal mentor, but since that may not be a realistic option unless you are high-up yourself, it’s a good idea to observe people above you and focus on the ones that do their job well.  “I wouldn’t reach out to a stranger,” says Ruhl. “I wouldn’t go up to the CEO unless I had a good relationship” with him or her. Ruhl says to take the company culture into account when choosing a mentor. If it’s a very relaxed structure then you may be able to go very high-up when targeting a mentor, but if it’s a rigid company structure you may want to start by going only one level above you. It’s also important to choose someone that others within the organization admire and respect. The worst thing you could do is align yourself with someone that has no respect within the company.

Once you’ve pinpointed your mentor or mentors you have to come up with a good reason why you want that person to advise you. For instance, if you admire how that person handles herself in a meeting, then ask her for tips on giving presentations. If you want to improve your customer relations skills, compliment your potential mentor on his knack for dealing with disgruntled customers.  “You have to say, ‘the reason I am hoping you’ll mentor me in this one area of my career is because I love the way you handle yourself in meetings,’” says Bauke. “It’s easy for them to say yes because there’s something you admire about them.” By providing specifics, you are giving the mentor a path for success instead of making it feel like work for them, she says.

Not one person is going to give you everything you need, which is why career experts say you should try to have more than one mentor. Creating a team of advisors with expertise in different aspects of your career is the best way to get well-rounded advice and guidance. It also reduces the burden on the mentors, and if it doesn’t work out with one mentor you’ll have others to use as sounding boards. It’s also important to set expectations ahead of time in terms of how the mentorship will go. For instance, will it be something formal where you meet every other week for a specific amount of time, or will it be informal where you can email or call the person when you need advice?

While most people think of mentorships as an older person mentoring a younger one, it’s becoming common to see the reserve going on. “The younger workforce can be just as informational as the older workforce,” especially in areas of technology, says Ruhl.  “It’s become a two-way street.”

Donna Fuscaldo is a freelance journalist hailing out of Long Island, New York. Donna writes for numerous online publications including FoxBusiness.com, Bankrate.com, AARP.com, Insurance.com and Houselogic.com. As a personal finance reporter for years, Donna provides invaluable advice on everything from saving money to landing that dream job. She also writes a weekly column for FoxBusiness.com focused on technology for small businesses. Previously, Donna was an equities reporter for Dow Jones Newswires and a special contributor to the Wall Street Journal. Through the Glassdoor Blog, Donna will provide tips on how to find a job and more importantly keep it.

 

Mon, 2013-03-25 14:41

By Heather Huhman

Finding a job is nothing short of challenging. Whether you’re currently working in a position you hate or have embarked on a seemingly endless job search, almost any opportunity is more enticing than your current situation.

Jobs certainly aren’t a dime dozen in the current job climate, but this doesn’t mean you should apply to every position you come across. It might be time to reconsider the way you’re searching for employment if this tactic is part of your job search strategy. You may feel like you’re raising your chances of landing a position by blindly applying to everything on your radar, but you’re actually wasting valuable time and energy.

Before you apply to the list of openings you’re itching to get through, here are seven signs to watch out for:

1. Something’s Fishy. Have you ever read a job listing and felt like something was off? Maybe there’s a lack of information regarding the employer, little to no notation of qualifications, or, a serious red flag: the explanation that you can work from anywhere. Scam job listings are more prevalent than most of us would like to think. Do your research on every posting you come across before giving out your personal information.

2. You’re Desperate. Your search for employment is taking way longer than you had hoped, and you’re running low on funds. While you may need a position now, it’s highly unlikely you’ll win over a hiring manager with desperation in your tone. Companies aren’t looking for employees who are biding their time; they’re looking for the perfect match for company culture for the long haul. Consider seeking out part-time work during your job search to ensure you’re focused on landing a position you’re fit for.

3. You’re Not Qualified. A successful job search often comes down to how well you understand and market your experiences and skills. If you’re a recent graduate, it’s probably not in your best interest to apply for the position asking for three to five years of experience. If the qualifications they’re asking for are nowhere to be found on your resume, you should pass – and lying is never an option.

4. Your Network Says No. One way to gain insight on a job opportunity is to ask your network if they or anyone they know has worked for the company. You will gain important feedback regarding your potential employer, as well as the position at hand. If you’re receiving a lot of negative feedback, it might be best to skip out on applying.

5. Research Brings Up Red Flags. Scanning online resources for detailed company reviews on an employer is an important step in the job search. Some red flags you may encounter during your research could include a lack of web presence, consistently poor reviews on Glassdoor, no employees listed on LinkedIn, or even negative online reviews from previous workers. Carefully take these signs into consideration before you move forward in the application process.

6. You’re Overqualified. Many jobs act as important stepping stones in your career – everyone got their start somewhere. But if the position you’re considering doesn’t align with your career goals in any way, think about your future. With nearly half of Americans with college degrees working in jobs they’re overqualified for, it might be best to avoid getting stuck in this situation.

7. Company Values Are Off. You may be a perfect fit when it comes to qualifications, but if you don’t share similar values with the company, this could be troublesome. Every company has a unique mission, interests, work environment, and way of doing business. Many hiring managers won’t consider candidates who lack value alignment, but why would you want to work for a company you don’t believe in?

Save time during your job search by only applying for positions that are a good fit for you. This means researching, evaluating, and understanding each position and potential employer before applying.

Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

Mon, 2013-03-25 14:37

By Heather Huhman

A strong cover letter could be your ticket to moving a step further in getting a new job. This relatively concise piece of information has the ability to place you steps ahead of other candidates, highlight your achievements, and showcase your personality – but no one ever said creating one would be an easy task. Writing a knockout cover letter might even be one of the most challenging parts of the hiring process.

It’s hard to nail down just one challenge that accompanies writing cover letters. Unfortunately, many poor cover letters have allowed outstanding candidates to be passed over by hiring managers. While writing your cover letter might be a scary task, doing it successfully is essential to getting hired.

Don’t let your next cover letter be a flop; consider these 10 mistakes before you hit send:

1. It’s Riddled with Errors. There are many things the errors on your cover letter will express to a hiring manager: lack of attention to detail, carelessness, and even disinterest in the position. Your cover letter deserves to be triple checked for poor grammar, punctuation, and overall structure. Pass it along to your mentor or friends to ensure you haven’t missed anything.

2. It Lacks Focus. What are you attempting to convey to the hiring manager? Writing about your professional experiences can be challenging, and it often causes job seekers to create unfocused cover letters. To write a more direct cover letter, consider creating a layout encompassing your main points.

3. It’s Too Long. Respect the busy schedule of a hiring manager by utilizing brevity in every cover letter you create. Write short and succinct paragraphs to allow for a more easily read document. Sift through unnecessary details and only present the most beneficial information for the job at hand.

4. It Doesn’t Set You Apart. Your cover letter is your chance to leave your mark on a hiring manager. Rather than reiterating what they can read on your resume, use this as an opportunity to share why you’re better for the job than any other candidate. Use a strong, purposeful statement of what you can bring to the position, and how you can positively benefit the company as a whole.

5. It Fails to Highlight Your Skills. While you certainly don’t need to highlight every single job you’ve had during your career, your cover letter should talk about your skills and experiences most beneficial to the company. Your cover letter isn’t for sharing your personal life or specific needs.

6. It’s Missing Information. Job listings often require certain information from applicants. By failing to share the necessary information in your cover letter, you’re essentially removing yourself from the hiring process. Why would a hiring manager choose you over a candidate who went above and beyond to provide the correct details? Double check the qualifications needed for the position prior to sending it.

7. Your Tone is Off. While a cover letter is a professional document, it also gives your potential employer insight into your personality. Don’t rub a hiring manager the wrong way with long-winded bragging. Be sure to leave out arrogance, unprofessional information, and keep the company’s culture in mind.

8. It’s Generic. Customization is key in every part of the hiring process. Submitting a generic cover letter presents you as an average candidate. Your cover letter is an opportunity to stand out and truly speak to a hiring manager – don’t settle for generic.

9. You’re Not Qualified. No matter how you twist and stretch your skills and experiences, you might not be the right candidate for the position. Applying to a position you’re under qualified for is an all-too-common part of the job search. Keep in mind this not only wastes the time of the hiring manager, it also uses up the time and energy you could be spending on applying to position you’re more accurately matched.

10. You Don’t Have One. Just because a cover letter wasn’t mentioned in the job listing, doesn’t mean it’s OK to skip it – they’re never optional. Your cover letter is an important opportunity to convey points you can’t in your resume. Omitting this document leaves you at a fault.

Creating a strong cover letter may be a challenging, but it’s worth the time and energy. Leave a positive first impression on hiring managers by going out of your way to create a concise, focused, and customized document.

Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

Sun, 2013-01-27 18:51

Phone interviews are a different ball game to face-to-face interviews. Mainly because any silence is awkward and you cannot read the interviewer’s facial expression or reactions (nor can they yours), as well as more minor facets such as not being able to mention a shared common interest that they display in their office, such as a favourite football team or holiday destination.

Phone interviews are a different ball game to face-to-face interviews. Mainly because any silence is awkward and you cannot read the interviewer’s facial expression or reactions (nor can they yours), as well as more minor facets such as not being able to mention a shared common interest that they display in their office, such as a favourite football team or holiday destination.

Many people believe that phone interviews are better than in-person interviews because you can remain in bed, or at least in more comfortable attire than a suit and tie. Never overlook the fact though that the single most important part of any interview is the answers that you give, so you need to be just as prepared as a traditional interview. Plus, your voice needs to portray, alone, the professional image that your clothing would help to do in person.

You may or may not have had a phone interview in the past, but if you are applying for jobs nowadays then it is more likely you will have one, as they are much more common than they once were. Part of this is because they are, obviously, far quicker and easier for screening candidates in the initial stages of recruiting new employees. If, for example, an applicant cannot form a coherent sentence, litters their responses with expletives, or just has no clue how the business operates or what it does, it is a safe bet they are not an ideal fit for the job. A recruiter can remove that person from the applicant pile within two minutes, rather than setting aside a chunk of time for a face-to-face interview.

So how do you ace this interview to secure an in-person interview afterwards? Firstly, do not agree to the interview if it is not convenient; the interviewer will ask if now is a good time, and if you are doing your shopping, sitting on the toilet or rushing around doing errands then you will not be thinking clearly and thus will not be able to answer the questions as properly as you should. So be honest, say no and suggest a convenient time. If you are doing it on a mobile, ensure it is charged up, and make sure you will not be disturbed during the call.

You also want to have relevant information on hand, such as your CV and the job listing, as well as any notes you have made. Notes should include what the company does, why you want to work for them, what you like, why you want to change jobs, and so on. It is good to have them written down so you do not get flustered and forget important details – a luxury afforded to you by a phone interview. You may also want to consider using a headset, as you can then use your hands to take down further notes; trying to balance the phone between your ear and shoulder risks pushing the ‘end call’ button or making you sound disorganised and confused – which could put your application in jeopardy.

Smile. Sure they can not see you, but smiling will make you feel more relaxed, confident and assertive. Be aware that a phone interview may be more rigid and less spontaneous than a face-to-face interview – the recruiter will want to breeze through them quickly, and if they have 10 questions with a check list you will have trouble making it a two-way engagement. Therefore, prompt favourable feelings by asking things like, “Would you like me to go into more detail?”

Finally, ensure you sound enthusiastic, but not too much. Don’t blurt out answers or sound flustered – pace yourself, so your responses are timed well and spoken at a good speed, not so fast that they can not understand you. When the questions are over, thank the interviewer for their time, ask if you can provide any more informationBusiness Management Articles, and ask what the next steps are.

Source: www.ArticlesFactory.com

Wed, 2012-11-21 16:51

By Sylvia Hepler

Both in work and in life, resilience is the ability to rise above the struggles and set-backs and keep moving forward. In this article, Executive Coach Sylvia Hepler shares her insight into the core qualities that build resilience. Which of these qualities do you already possess and which qualities do you need to improve?

Resilience wears many faces: the manager who finally rights relationships with key staff after making big mistakes; the new CEO who keeps plugging away while being tried by fire; the salesperson who finally learns the secret to selling; the working mom who cares for her sick children during the night; the family who rebuilds their house after a fire. These examples demonstrate resilience in the real world. 

How do you know if YOU are resilient?  See if you have the following attributes when problems bombard you: 

REBOUND ABILITY

Resilient people bounce back after disasters, shocks, disappointments, struggles, conflicts, and loss.  Refusing to be beaten, they're like kids who fall off a bike and climb on again.  Memories of a bad experience?  Of course.  But anticipation of great things yet to come overshadows the negative.  Hope for something different and better lies in rebound ability. 

STRENGTH

Resilience involves a certain amount of mental, emotional, and physical toughness.  This form of toughness leads to durability.  It allows a person to resist the permanent devastation of strain in the same way a bullet bouncing off a law enforcement officer's metal vest saves his/her life.  Durability results from choosing to expend energy in ways that promote healing, facilitate recovery, and preserve sanity.  There is power in exercising strength.  This power gives resilient people greater personal control. 

CENTEREDNESS

In general resilient individuals are well grounded psychologically and spiritually.  It's hard for people to stay intact if they aren't intact before crisis hits.  Imagine trying to locate an inn along a dark country road without an address or phone number.  To cope with difficulties people need to be sure of who they are during stable, more normal times.  Such grounding provides a map for finding one's way back to center after serious challenge, loss, frustration, or pain. 

HUMOUR

Resilience includes a little or a lot of humuor.  The ability to be in the middle of a situation—or at the end of it—and perceive the amusing elements of it is a gift.  Understanding how comical the human condition really is allows folks to see something funny even in a tragedy.  While there may not be anything funny about a relative's funeral, there could be some tiny incident, some story, some remark that is funny and stands a part from the sadness like a fleck of silver glitter on a sheet of black paper. 

FLEXIBILITY

One of the best ways to stock the resiliency bank is to learn to adjust to various circumstances rather than resist them.  Resistance often brings breakage.  People don't have to like their problems, but they may want to start embracing them instead of fighting them.  With fighting and resisting comes rigidity, and this serves no one.  Flexibility implies elasticity, a willingness to flow with whatever happens.  Flexible people get sick less and suffer less in the long run. 

GROWTH CONSCIOUS

When people are open to possibility, they know that all problems have the potential to enhance personal and professional growth.  Painful as they may be, the challenges of life shape us one way or another.  Why not allow them to mature us, soften us, strengthen us, and remake us into better, more capable human beings?  No one ever completes the growing process during a lifetime.  Each of us is constantly evolving.  To view problems, pain, and loss as opportunities is a sign of moving forward along that continuum. 

GRATITUDE

Resilient people feel thankful for every event in their lives:  the good and joyful as well as the negative and upsetting.  They grasp the fact that all of these together serve as necessary teachers.  A grateful heart can be cultivated over time if folks don't have one naturally.  It's worth the effort too, because bitterness cannot coexist with gratitude.  Gratitude refreshes the human spirit, gives room for hope, and smooths away rough edges. 

The biggest benefits from developing resilience?  Fewer emotional scars.  Less anger and fatigue.  Enhanced health and deeper joy.  New skills.  And yesFree Articles, job preservation perhaps over and over again.  There's a significant price to pay for leaving resilience out of one's toolbox.    

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sylvia Hepler, Owner and President of Launching Lives, LLC, is an executive coach based in South Central PA.  Her ideal clients are persons in management positions:  corporate, nonprofit, and business owners.  Her company mission is to support executives as they solve problems, develop leadership skills, and increase balance in their lives.  Sylvia offers three programs, any of which may overlap depending on client need:  First Class Management Program; Change, Loss, and Grief Program; and Career Development Program.  Her professional background includes:  extensive nonprofit management/leadership, public speaking, business writing, retail sales, and teaching.

Source: www.ArticlesFactory.com

Wed, 2012-11-21 16:50

By Sylvia Hepler

Are you grateful for work, but feeling lukewarm about it lately? Do you know you’re producing just enough to get by? Or do you watch the clock constantly, counting the hours until you leave? If any of these questions resonate with you, consider beefing up your level of commitment. This article, by Sylvia Hepler, helps to outline some of the key benefits to increasing your job commitment, respect and chance for a promotion.

Are you grateful for work, but feeling lukewarm about it lately? Do you know you’re producing just enough to get by?  Or do you watch the clock constantly, counting the hours until you leave? If any of these questions resonate with you, consider beefing up your level of commitment. There are some significant benefits to doing so. Benefits like keeping your job, getting more respect, being chosen for a project, landing a promotion. Convinced you must deepen your commitment but don’t quite know how? Take a look at these ten powerful strategies.

Identify your strengths and use them often.

The more you put your strengths to good use, the happier you’ll be. Having your nose regularly rubbed into your weaknesses is a morale buster. Get clear about what you do exceptionally well, then actively seek opportunities to promote these gifts and skills.

Demonstrate your value to your boss.

Make sure your supervisor knows what you bring to the department or company table. Occasionally talk about your accomplishments in both formal and informal conversation. Be certain to inform, not brag. Provide evidence of what you can do. Volunteer to take on additional responsibilities that showcase your talents.

Discover if your personal core values align with your workplace values.

If these two sets of values align, you are well matched with the organization at large. Such alignment, at the very least, prevents you from feeling like you’re selling your soul. At best, it allows you to know you’re making meaningful contributions. If the values don’t mesh, you’ve got a major problem. Unquestionably, your commitment to this particular company is compromised at the roots.

Get enough sleep.

While this basic strategy may seem trite, it’s critical. If you’re chronically tired, your enthusiasm goes down the drain. How can you be genuinely interested in anything when you’re dragging your feet day after day? Restful, uninterrupted sleep over seven or eight hours each night lays the foundation for solid, inspired work performance.

Care for yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Optimizing your health—holistically—boosts your energy. When you have a lot of energy, you feel as if you can tackle anything, right? Eat foods that fuel your body. Start an exercise program that’s appropriate for you. Enhance relationships. Keep a journal. Commitment comes more naturally when you are energized!

Solicit feedback on your job performance.

Your boss should be giving you feedback on a regular basis, but if she’s not, ask for it. You have a right to know what he thinks of your work and behavior. After finishing a project, for example, directly inquire if the results met or exceeded management’s expectations. Once you learn that you are making the mark, you get to enjoy a sense of security that automatically increases your commitment.

Deal with stress.

Acknowledging stressors immediately and coping with them promptly protects you from permanent harm. Although stress is part of everyone’s life, it doesn’t have to damage or destroy you. Your commitment to anything--your job, family, hobbies, or volunteer responsibilities--lessens when you allow stress to wear you down.

Build positive relationships with your boss and colleagues.

It’s likely you are more committed to your job if you get along with your supervisor and most of your peers. Relationships count, and successful ones are worth more than gold. If you’re miserable in one or several key relationships at work, your level of commitment drops.

Just do your best work.

Dig into your work ethic. Do the best you can do every hour of every day. Make it your mantra. Don’t settle for mediocre or substandard results. Accept an obligation to perform at your highest level of capability. When you know you are doing that deep inside, you feel better about yourself and your commitment grows.

Engage in professional development.

Take charge of your own growth. Want to learn a new skill that can benefit your team? Check out the opportunities available to you. Whether the company pays or you do, understand that this is money well spent. It’s a wise investment in you as an individual, your current job, and your entire career./p

Of the 10 strategies above, which one attracts you most? Which one will you try tomorrow? Which one do you think will make a difference for you immediately or over time?  Increasing your job commitment doesn’t have to mean finding another employer. It may mean playing a biggerComputer Technology Articles, smarter game right where you are.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sylvia Hepler, Owner and President of Launching Lives, LLC, is an executive coach based in South Central PA.  Her ideal clients are persons in management positions:  corporate, nonprofit, and business owners.  Her company mission is to support executives as they solve problems, develop leadership skills, and increase balance in their lives.  Sylvia offers three programs, any of which may overlap depending on client need:  First Class Management Program; Change, Loss, and Grief Program; and Career Development Program.  Her professional background includes:  extensive nonprofit management/leadership, public speaking, business writing, retail sales, and teaching.

Source: www.ArticlesFactory.com

Wed, 2012-11-21 16:49

By Sylvia Hepler

Whether or not people like you can determine your entire future.  That's a powerful statement, isn't it?  If you are likeable, you are more apt to enjoy a happy marriage and fulfilling friendships.  If an interviewer likes you, he probably offers you the job, eventually promotes you to a higher position, and trusts you with increased responsibility.  If your boss likes you, she finds a way to give you the raise you deserve.  The more well liked you are, the more likely you will keep your job — even during tough times.  The truth is that likeable people win in many different ways.

If you and I were in a conversation about "the likeability factor" and its role in job success, you might ask me the following questions.  And I would give you the following answers:

Why is it so important to be likeable today?

 Because we live in a global world that depends upon connections, relationships, collaborations, and partnerships, people need to learn how to get along with each other for the greater good.  Fewer folks work alone these days.  Most interact with several or many individuals every day.  When people generally like their peers, team mates, superiors, and staff, they produce products and deliver services of higher value.   This outcome is critical, since the world now demands it.  Your likeability contributes to the worth of goods and services.  Your likeability also contributes to a positive work environment, reducing everybody's stress level.

What is the difference between likeability and charm?

Charm is temporary and superficial; genuine likeability is a deeper trait that sticks around.  It is difficult for people to sustain the seductive allure of charm, especially during challenging or tough situations.  This explains why lots of folks appear to be ideal candidates during job interviews and then everything falls apart two weeks after they are hired.

How do you know if you are likeable?

You can determine if you are likeable by considering how frequently you smile, how often you support other people, how likely you are to help folks meet their goals.  You need to evaluate your attitude, your tendency to judge, your tone of voice, your ability to demonstrate caring and concern.  Think about how easy you are to get along with overall.  Assess your general state of being.  Do you usually feel peaceful and happy inside?  If so, that internal contentment empowers everyone around you.

What does unlikeable look like?

Other people find you unlikeable if you constantly interrupt them, if you frown a lot, if you smolder with anger or erupt in rage on a regular basis.  They dislike you if you are passive aggressive.  They dislike you if you tell inappropriate jokes, create conflicts for no reason, and focus mainly on yourself.  Discounting others' feelings and minimizing their contributions to elevate your own causes people to dislike you.

Why are some people unlikeable?

There are various factors that cause people to be unlikeable.  These include:   unresolved childhood resentment over deprivation, neglect, excessive criticism, or abuse and personality disorders, victimization, low self esteem, chronic disappointment, and feelings of inadequacy.

Can a person increase his/her likeability? 

Yes.  The good news is that you can boost your personal likeability factor anytime you decide to do so.  Start with simple actions such as smiling, wishing your employees a productive day, giving a coworker your undivided attention, helping someone to solve a problem, and showing more of your authentic self.  Take time to laugh.  In short, do things to attract people rather than repel or annoy them.

What are the benefits to being likeable?

If you are well liked by most others, you discover that people listen to you, believe you, and trust you.  They care about what you think.  They take you seriously.  They want to spend time with you because you motivate them, energize them, and make them feel comfortable.  If you are likeable, you increase your value to individuals, the workplace, your family, and the world.  If you are likeable, you get selected for jobs and are less prone to being fired.  Likeability can't save you from every calamityFind Article, but every ounce of it sure helps.  You simply can't afford to have people dislike you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sylvia Hepler, Owner and President of Launching Lives, LLC, is an executive coach based in South Central PA.  Her ideal clients are persons in management positions:  corporate, nonprofit, and business owners.  Her company mission is to support executives as they solve problems, develop leadership skills, and increase balance in their lives.  Sylvia offers three programs, any of which may overlap depending on client need:  First Class Management Program; Change, Loss, and Grief Program; and Career Development Program.  Her professional background includes:  extensive nonprofit management/leadership, public speaking, business writing, retail sales, and teaching.

Source: www.ArticlesFactory.com