Top 10 Tips For Better Communication

The ability to communicate clearly is essential in your professional and personal life. Without clear communication, misunderstandings occur.  Improving your communication skills will help you succeed on the job and in the community. According to Incorp, “Employees can experience increased morale, productivity, and commitment if they can communicate up and down a company’s communication chain.”  Are you currently comfortable communicating with those in all positions in your company?

Better Communication

Tips For Better Communication

If you want to get ahead in life, then use the 10 tips below to improve your communication skills.

Keep It Simple

Whether you are communicating verbally or in writing the key is to keep what you are trying to communicate plain, simple, and easy to understand. Don’t overwhelm your audience with fancy language or technical jargon unless you are giving an academic talk and it is totally necessary.

Make Notes

Creating notes will help you plan what you want to say. You’ll be able to ensure that you include all the points you want to make and that you eliminate anything that is totally unnecessary. When giving a speech your notes will keep you on point throughout the talk and avoid you going blank in the middle of your message.

Engaged Listening

Surprisingly, being an engaged listener is an important communication skill. It ensures that the speaker knows that you are both listening and interested in what they are saying. Many of us have difficulty focusing on listening.  We often are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next.  Listening will help you to give an informed response as you will be able to demonstrate that you have listened and understood what was said.

Body Language

Your body can say things without you ever saying a word.  In fact, It can be saying the exact opposite of your words!  If you want to ensure that you are giving the right impression and message, then you need to make sure that you stand upright with your head high and shoulders back. Don’t cross your arms as this will put a block between you and the person you are talking to.  Pay attention to your body language.

Be Confident

Confidence is a state of mind and it is something that you can create. There are many ways you can increase your self-confidence. Consider using affirmations and visualization on a daily basis or use hypnosis, coaching, or neuro-linguistic programming.  Finding ways to become more confident will help in all areas of your life.

Small Talk

If you find yourself struggling to communicate effectively during social situations, you can use the FORD technique to help you get a meaningful conversation started. FORD stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. Talk to them about each of these items and you will appear to be a great conversationalist and others will want to talk with you. Using this technique, you’ll no longer have to feel tongue-tied when you meet strangers.

Use Eye Contact

Using eye contact correctly can really improve your communication. Your audience will feel a greater connection with you and listen more intently. Holding attention is a key skill of a great communicator. Remember to be natural and not to stare as that will have a negative impact.

Pause

Before you start talking or reply, take a breath and pause. This gives you time to think about how you want to respond, calm your emotions and manage your tone of voice. By using a pause, you can make sure that you respond in the way you mean to, instead of saying the wrong thing.

Ask Questions

This will show that you are listening to the other person and that you are paying close attention to what they are saying. You will also increase the sense of rapport between you. By asking questions you ensure that you understand what is said and can respond appropriately. If necessary, don’t be afraid to repeat back what the speaker has said to increase your understanding.

“Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say”

That old saying contains very sage advice. By ensuring that you follow it you will avoid misunderstandings and your message will be relayed with clarity. Of course, you’ll find on occasion that you need to be assertive and prepared to stick to your guns. However, the upside is you will gain the other person’s respect if you are honest and tactful.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-05-10T19:56:15-05:00May 11th, 2021|Career Success|Comments Off on Top 10 Tips For Better Communication

How to Deal with Age Discrimination

It may seem that we’re living in a more progressive world and discrimination of any kind in the workplace isn’t as prevalent, but that would be wrong. Discrimination is still very much at play in companies, and age discrimination is no different.

Age Discrimination

You’d think when you reach a certain age, and you’ve worked hard and have plenty of experience and knowledge, you’d be an asset to your company. But more and more older employees are being replaced with younger ones and even computers.  Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age and is against the law. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.

According to AARP, Age discrimination in the workplace persists as a serious and pervasive problem.

Age Discrimination Danger Signs

How do you know if you’re being discriminated against? Here are a few signs:

  • Younger employees are offered promotions, educational resources, or special perks over older employees.
  • You have been overlooked for a particular assignment or project, or you’ve been assigned unpleasant or tedious tasks over and over while others are getting the best projects.
  • You are left out of important client or employee meetings or company activities.
  • Employees, including managers, have made jokes about your age or maturity, asked about your retirement plans, or made pointed comments about your age or abilities.
  • You’ve been passed over for raises and promotions that you’ve rightly earned.
  • You’re not entitled to as much time off as younger employees because you don’t have kids at home.

How To Fight Age Discrimination

If you’ve experienced any of these things, age discrimination may be at play in your workplace. Here are a few things you can do to fight it:

 Don’t Assume Fairness

Don’t assume your workplace is always fair and that there are other factors at play for you being overlooked. Look deeper, even if the comments or actions are directed at another employee. Try to see the situation from a neutral perspective or talk to someone outside your company who can be impartial and honest about what’s happening.

Push yourself to do better.

Read, take courses, stay up-to-date on trends in the marketplace, and find a mentor to inspire you. Don’t give your employer any reason to pass you over. If you work hard, have the experience and knowledge to handle something, there should be no question about your ability.

Don’t give them ammunition.

Don’t make jokes about your age, and don’t coast through your job without learning anything new or being willing to advance yourself. If you do this, you encourage age discrimination within your company; you feed their beliefs about older workers. A company doesn’t owe you anything for your years of service. You have to earn your promotions and raises on your merits.

Be Professional

Maintain professionalism at all times. Present yourself as polished, confident, and knowledgeable to your supervisors and your clients. Always put your best foot forward when representing your company.

Keep Records

Keep track of any possible age discriminating actions by keeping notes. If you ever have to take your problem to HR, you’ll need detailed notes of dates, people involved, and the situation.

Stay active and relevant in your industry and workplace so they won’t have any reason to discriminate against you. Dealing with age discrimination can be a challenge, but you can fight back and get what you deserve.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-05-03T10:07:08-05:00April 29th, 2021|Career Success, Job Stress|Comments Off on How to Deal with Age Discrimination

7 Ways to Be Happier at Work

Would you like to be happier at work?  We all have those rough days at work, the ones when we think we’ve had enough and can’t take it anymore. We just want to quit. But then you think about all the years you’ve put in, all the contacts you’ve made, and the promotions and raises you’ve worked hard for, and you change your mind and tell yourself tomorrow will be better.

Happier at work

 

 

But what if you could be happier at work more days than you’re unhappy? What if you looked forward to going to work and enjoyed what you do? Not only would it make you happier throughout your workday, but that joy would carry over into your home life.  According to an article on TheOneThing.com, “Happy people tend to work more efficiently and think more creatively. They also approach problems in a constructive manner so that their issues are quickly solved.”  So being happy is a win for you and for your company.

Ways to Be Happier at Work

Being happier at work isn’t as hard as you may think. Try these tips to improve your mood and enjoy your job more.

1. Do Something You Love

This may sound simple, but most people work a job for the money and not because it’s something they enjoy doing. Believe it or not, you can make money doing almost anything you love. You just need to figure out how. Think about the hobbies you enjoy and blend them together with the experience and skills you have to come up with a job that makes you happy.

 2. Find Balance

All work and no play is bad for your mental health and happiness. Find a job where you can find some balance, one that you can easily take time off for your child’s activities or date night with your spouse. A job that is more focused on work product instead of how many hours you sit at your desk will make you happier and more motivated.

3. Focus On Development

Both personal and professional development can make you happier in all areas of your life. What are your goals? Are there hobbies that interest you? What classes do you need to take for a promotion? Anything you do to better yourself will contribute to your happiness.

4. Stay In The Loop

Know what’s going on at work, even if it’s not in your department. It will help you see the bigger picture of what your company is focused on so that you can look for ways to contribute and maybe move to a different department where you’ll be happier.

5. Ask For Feedback

Most managers forget to tell their employees how much they’re appreciated or what a great job they do, but we need to hear those things to stay motivated. Ask your boss for feedback on how you’re doing at your job or how you managed a project.

6. Don’t Overextend Yourself

We think we can do it all, but we can’t. And overextending ourselves leads to stress, frustration, and resentment. Don’t take on a new project until you’ve taken some time to think about the time commitment involved and how you’ll manage it.

7. Avoid Negativity

Almost every office has an office gossip or two; you know the type who always talk about other people behind their back and spreading negativity everywhere. These are the people you need to avoid. Yes, they’ll probably talk about you too, but only because they’re jealous. Keep these people at arm’s length and politely walk away from conversations that are too negative.

When you focus on your own happiness, you can find ways in every situation to be happier no matter what’s going on around you.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-04-15T10:46:11-05:00April 15th, 2021|Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on 7 Ways to Be Happier at Work

When Being Overqualified is a Job Interview Obstacle

Is being overqualified a job interview obstacle for you? There are several reasons why you might apply for a job you’re overqualified for. Maybe you want to be closer to home, perhaps jobs in your industry are hard to come by, and you need to work, or maybe you want less responsibility than you’ve had previously.  Or maybe due to COVID-19 you need to look for a different job.  All of these are good reasons for applying for a job that you’re overqualified for.

Overqualified for a Job Interview

Sometimes when looking for a job your years of training or job experience can work against you.  According to The Wall Street Journal, “It’s hard when your big title or years of experience are seen as a disqualifier, rather than a qualifier.”

Your future employer might need a little reassurance that the job you are applying for is a good fit for you.

Answers To The Overqualified Question

Here are the best ways to answer the “aren’t you overqualified?” question when it comes up in your interview.

1. Be Honest

Tell your potential employer the true reason you’re applying for a job that you’re overqualified for. A good employer will respect your honesty and your reasons. If you want to be closer to home or have a better work schedule than you have now, say so. But don’t overshare. If you’re applying for the job because you really need the work, don’t share your sob story. The employer might feel sorry for you, but it won’t win you the job.

2. Emphasize Your Commitment

Ease your prospective employer’s concerns that you’re only interested in the job because you need to work, and you’ll be keeping your options open for when a better opportunity comes along. Let the interviewer know that you may be overqualified for the position. Still, you’re committed to performing at your best, and that you intend to be a long-term employee and perhaps grow within the company.

3. Discuss the Potential Opportunity

Your potential employer may still be skeptical so let them know that you’re looking at the position as an opportunity; you’re not settling. Discuss the skills you have that can benefit the company and help push the position to a new level. Talk about how you can help grow the position, the department, and/or the company with your experience. Share how you want to develop yourself professionally and how the job fits into that goal.

4. Share How the Position is a Better Fit

Maybe you’re tired of being in management, going to meetings all day, and pushing papers around. If the reason you want a job that you’re overqualified for is to get back to the basics, the work you really love, share that. Talk about how the current position holds more interest for you than the position you’ve previously had.

5. Make the Boss Look Good

Talk about how your experience and knowledge bring a lot to the team and can support the team in a way they haven’t been supported previously, making the management team look good. You can help your boss and your team be more successful with what you bring to the table.

There are many reasons why you might want a job that you’re overqualified for, but if you can help your potential employer see the positive in hiring someone with too much experience, it just might be the perfect fit for everyone.

Do You Need Career Search or Interview Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-03-31T14:51:01-05:00March 31st, 2021|career search|Comments Off on When Being Overqualified is a Job Interview Obstacle

What to Include On Your Resume When You Are Not Working

Are you wondering what to include on your resume when you are currently not working?  If you’ve been out of work for a bit, it can be hard to reenter the job market. Employers like to see a constant flow of employment on your resume. How do you explain your time off? And what skills have you used during your time off that transition to the job market?

What to Include on your resume

Whether you’ve been a stay-at-home mom, retired but now want to go back to work, or lost your job due to COVID or other economic difficulties, your time off from a job has not been lost. You’ve used and possibly gained more skills than you know.  Volunteer work, working for free, or with a non-profit on an ongoing basis is work that can be put on your resume.  

Items To Include On Your Resume

Just because money did not exchange hands, does not mean it should not be included on your resume.  Your resume is about your work history, NOT financial payment history in exchange for using your skills.

Let’s take a look at some of these skills that can transition to the workplace.

Organization

If you’ve ever tried to manage the schedules of your entire household, you know what it means to be organized. Making sure you know where every child is supposed to be and when, and what time they need to be picked up from where, and the items they need to take with them is the epitome of organization. Add to that your own schedule and your spouse’s; if you can master all of that, you are a master organizer.

How about organizing your pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Are you a meal planner? Checking inventory to ensure you have what you need for an entire week of meals is an added layer of organization. These are not skills to be taken lightly. Many people struggle to organize their own schedule, much less one for their entire family.

Multi-Tasking

Multi-tasking falls right in line with organizing and keeping track of your schedule. Have you ever dropped your child off at practice, run to the grocery store to pick up what you need for dinner, and realized you left your list at home but still managed to get everything on it and made it back just in time to pick up your child? 

How about doing laundry and cleaning the house while dinner’s cooking then cleaning up while helping your child with their homework as someone is texting you about something they need?  If these ring true for you, then you are also a master multi-tasker and this is a much-needed skill in the workplace.

Time Management

If you’ve been out of the workforce for a bit, you’re probably trying to figure out how you even found time to work with all that you have going on. Kids, chores, errands, cooking, cleaning, carpooling, making lists, and marking things off. It’s very time-consuming, but you’ve managed it all with, hopefully, a few minutes to yourself at the end of the day. 

Managing your time in order to get everything on your list done within a certain period is a skill that is much needed in the workplace. Employers like to know that you can get your work done on time and that you’re able to prioritize the most important tasks.

Volunteer Work

Suppose you’ve spent time doing any volunteer work while you’ve been out of the job market. In that case, these experiences can transfer into teamwork, team building, management, organization, time management, prioritizing tasks, and creativity. Don’t discount this work!  It’s very beneficial to your resume.

You Have More To Offer Than You Might Think

Take a look at your daily life. What do you do in a day? Are you managing anything? What do you keep organized? How many things do you usually juggle at one time? These are all skills that easily transfer to the job market and skills that employers will find impressive when you are ready to reenter the job market. Adding them to your resume when you are not working just makes good sense. According to an article on Forbes.com, “Inside you may be a quivering mass of imposter syndrome, but your resume needs to tell the story of why you are equal to the task.”

Do You Need Help?

If you are struggling with how to showcase these skills and abilities on your resume, please reach out to me, Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find. I will help you create a bulleted job description and job title that will communicate your abilities as well as your strengths. It will shout about your strengths from the rooftops and will not raise red flags. This will give you something to leverage and help you springboard into your next role.

 

By |2021-03-17T20:31:19-05:00March 17th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What to Include On Your Resume When You Are Not Working

How Far Can Your Smile Take You In 2021?

A smile can say so much about you. It can communicate warmth and openness, but it can also convey the wrong message. The saying is “eyes are the gateway to the soul,” but it can be said that the smile is the open/closed sign hanging above the gate.  Now that most interviews are happening online, your smile is even more important because instead of the interviewer seeing you from four feet away, they are going to be up close and personal in their view via the camera.  How can you ensure your smile is communicating what you want in a job interview or on a Zoom meeting?

Smile

 When job searching, it is important to put your best foot forward, come across approachable, nice, and open to opportunities. Start by checking your smile and your entire face in the mirror before getting on that Zoom interview.

Smile Tips For Interviews

What do you see?

Are your teeth clean? Be sure to always brush and floss before heading to an interview.

What color are your teeth?

Discolorations can cause someone to shirk away from you. If you see that your teeth are discolored and yellowing from all of the coffee, red wine, and soft drinks consumed, you may want to consider a tooth whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash, or professional teeth whitening in a dentist’s office.

Don’t forget your hair

Is it clean and neatly styled?  No one expects perfection, but you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed.

Facial hair matters too

Your beard and mustache should be clean and neatly trimmed.

Make-up neatly applied

If you wear make-up, make sure it is neatly applied and not overdone.  You want to only use make-up to enhance your natural beauty.

Dress professionally

Yes, you are just on Zoom, but you still need to appear professional.  It is best to wear a solid color near your face and the color should be one that flatters you.  A pattern draws attention away from your face, so stick with a solid.  It can be a scarf, shirt, sweater, or tie.

If there is any chance you will need to move at all during the interview, you might want to make sure you have appropriate attire on your bottom half as well.  You don’t want to jump up and show your underwear, PJs, or stained sweats.

Meeting In Person

If you are meeting in person, there are three additional personal hygiene items to be concerned with.

What do you smell?

Cup your hand and do a “breath check”. Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors, some of which indicate gum disease and other issues within our mouths that need the attention of a dentist. Bad breath will kill an interview faster than you can say, “excuse me”.  An interviewer would prefer to end the interview quickly and get you the heck out of there than offer you a mint.  After all of your hard work and interview preparations, don’t allow bad breath to prevent you from moving forward in the interviewing process.

Hands up!

If meeting in person you will be shaking hands and perhaps moving your hands around as you talk.   Make sure your hands are clean and your nails are clean and trimmed.

What is that scent?

If you desire to wear cologne or perfume, use it lightly.  You don’t want the perfume or cologne to be overpowering.  Remember some people have allergies to scents.

You can find other tips for Zoom etiquette for meetings here.

A strong job search strategy will open interviewing doors for you, and a smile that looks great, is warm, and communicates that you are approachable, will keep you on the screen for a Zoom interview or in the seat in the interviewer’s office.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-02-09T15:56:59-06:00February 16th, 2021|career search, Interview Prep, Job Interview|Comments Off on How Far Can Your Smile Take You In 2021?
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