10 Things to Do for Your Career Success

Career success is important. Whether you are searching for a job, desiring a promotion, or working in a job you have had for years, you want to be successful. No one wants to be miserable in their career, be underemployed, or forever searching for a new job.

Career Success

What is Career Success?

We all know the person who seems to have it all, a great job, good pay, lovely things, and yet they are unhappy and always complaining. They have not found career success. They are accomplished in what they do but not happy with their choices. So what is career success? According to an article on Forbes, career success is a combination of achieving a reasonable level of financial stability while doing work you enjoy and then finding that you are also happy and fulfilled with your life and career choices as well.

Keys to Career Success

Below are ten things we feel are vital to making your professional future and life a lot easier and more successful:

1. Know how to explain ‘what you do’.

Refining your elevator pitch does take practice. It may have changed throughout your career. Spend time thinking about this. It isn’t a cookie-cutter type thing. Everyone’s elevator pitch should be personal. Be so good at explaining what you do that those who hear it will never forget it.

2. Know your career non-negotiables.

Be honest with yourself about what you need out of a career, make a list, and don’t waste your time on jobs that don’t line up. If certain things really matter, don’t take a job that doesn’t serve you. Often, we are in a hurry to find a job or move up the ladder; we take a job that will limit our happiness because it goes against what we deem important. For example, you want to be home in the evenings to spend time with your children, but you take a job requiring several evening meetings per week. It won’t be long till you are feeling frustrated with this job.

Another example is that you desire to have a job requiring some travel, but you take a position that requires you to be in the same office every day with no chance of travel. Or you want to work for a company that supports something you believe in, yet you take a job whose policies do not line up with your beliefs. All these will hurt your success.

Know your non-negotiables and stick with them. You will be much happier in the end.

3. Jump off a cliff every once in a while.

Push your boundaries, get out of your comfort zone, and do something that terrifies you at least once in the early stages of your career and every so often as the years go by. It is so easy to get comfy and go through the motions and never challenge yourself. Sometimes we need to shake things up and try new things. You don’t have to be in a new job to shake things up. Look for opportunities in your current position to challenge yourself, take on something new, etc.

4. Learn how to take criticism.

It is important to take criticism seriously and not personally. Knowing where you are not meeting expectations will allow you room to grow professionally. This is a big one. Learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect; if you use constructive criticism to improve and grow, it will contribute to your success. Ask for feedback, use it constructively, and it will carry you to new heights in your career.

Lear to say NO for Career Success5. Learn to say No. 

Sometimes this can be the hardest word to say to your boss. Knowing when and how to use this word when it is necessary may save your sanity. This is especially important if you have a boss who piles things on and doesn’t realize the time component involved. A great example of this would be when a boss tells someone who works with technology they want this and this and this done. The boss only sees the end product and has no clue how long each project takes to complete or the steps involved. As an employee, you might have to say, I’m working on this and this and this, and I can’t take on another new thing till at least one of these is completed. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Or ask the boss to prioritize all the projects he has assigned to you. That way, he can determine which you should spend your time. Sometimes when they see the list in black and white, they are surprised with how much they have assigned and are willing to take an item or two off your plate and give to someone else, or at minimum tell you which are low on their priority list so you can work on the items that will make you look like a hero.

I also need to point out that learning to say NO will come in handy not only with career success but with life in general. Learning to say NO reduces stress.

6. Know how to negotiate.

In most cases, this is the only way you will get what you deserve and want. Negotiation skills are valuable for your long term career and future happiness. Just a word of caution…don’t expect to get everything you want. Negotiation is give and take. I refer back to know your non-negotiables and make sure you remember and fight those things when you negotiate.

7. Find a to-do list system that works for you.

Whether you need 30 post-it notes or a list synced on all your devices, learn to manage your workflow. Trello, Asana, and Slack are all programs that can help with your to-do list. Not only are they helpful for you, but if you have a team, it helps to keep everyone on the same page and organized. Whether you use a paper tablet with a list or an online program, just be sure you prioritize items on the list, so you get the most important things done first.

8. Know when you are the most productive.

Use your energy levels to your advantage. Don’t spend your peak mental hours on wasteful things. This is so important. If you are the most productive first thing in the morning, then do your hard work, which takes concentration at that time. Save checking email or returning calls for a later time. To do this, you may have to tell yourself NO for a while till you get into a new routine, but once you see how much more productive you can be, you will realize it is worth making the change.

9. Know how to manage stress.

Stress can ruin your life if you don’t cope with it. Learn what helps you de-stress and make it part of your routine. Everyone handles stress differently. Some exercise, some spend time in nature, some meditate, take relaxing baths, read books, etc. Find what works to reduce your stress, and then make an appointment with yourself to follow through on these items on a routine basis. Reducing stress helps make you more successful, more fun to be around, and helps you to live longer.

10. Make a career emergency plan.

What would you do if you got laid off tomorrow? Instead of panicking, get started on an action plan. During the past seven months, many of us have dealt with layoffs we never expected. Many people have started new businesses, freelance work, or hunting jobs in different fields. Having an emergency career plan with several options is always smart. When something happens, you know what steps you need to take to implement your plan. Without a career emergency plan, it may take months till you figure out what to do next. Create a career emergency plan and revisit it every year, so it is up to date and ready in case you need it.

Do You Need Career Search 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 at Career Find to assist you.

By |2020-10-27T10:32:00-05:00October 27th, 2020|Career Success|Comments Off on 10 Things to Do for Your Career Success

Social Media CheckUp

Do you need a social media checkup?  In today’s professional world, it should be assumed that a company will check a candidate’s social media presence when they are looking for employment with that company. It is important to find out how your potential candidate presents themselves to the world and what they choose to share on social media.

Social Media Checkup

Why Should I be Concerned?

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.  They look for information supporting the candidate’s qualifications as well as the negative stuff.

One job hunter named Sarah was in her third and final round of interviews at a company. Unfortunately, she forgot to clean up her Facebook page prior to beginning her job hunt. She was not extended an offer because of the passionate and derogatory views that she expressed about a previous employer. Another candidate, Matthew, did not remove images that he posted on Instagram of drinking and partying with his friends on a weekly basis. The company decided that they didn’t want to deal with a party animal showing up late to work. They never extended an offer to him.

Sam posted a lot of discriminatory comments on his page with hateful remarks about people of a different race and sex.  When the employer saw how negative and polarizing his posts were, they chose not to offer a second interview.  Another job hunter bragged on social media about skipping work and going to the lake for the day.  Although he had been the top candidate, he was not offered the job.

Clean Up Your Accounts

As far as employers are concerned, in today’s world, everything you choose to put on social media is a direct reflection of who you are.  So you might want to consider a social media checkup.

I always advise my clients to clean up their social media accounts prior to starting their job search. On Facebook, it’s not just the images that you post and the information that you put out there, it is also what you have been tagged in. It is wise to look at all of your posts, as well as anything you have been tagged in. Untag, hide, or delete items prior to beginning your job search.

Lastly, there is always the option to suspend your account temporarily while you are on the job market.  But be aware that employers expect you to have social media of some sort and if everything is deleted, it could be a red flag.

In this day and age, you must be exceptionally vigilant about what you share on social media and what the content says about you.

Stand Out From the Crowd

When you are looking for your next opportunity, it is extremely important to be at your professional best and to differentiate yourself from other job seekers. Take the time to complete a social media checkup and make sure you are putting your best foot forward.  If you need help, we can get you on the right track to get the job you want.  Contact Rachel Schneider to schedule an appointment.

 

 

By |2020-07-30T23:53:29-05:00July 30th, 2020|Career Success, Job Search|Comments Off on Social Media CheckUp

Proper Ergonomics Can Help With Remote Work

With many of us adjusting to working remotely, setting up home offices, using the dining room table or some other makeshift desk, plus the stress of isolation, and fear of COVID-19, we are feeling pressure from many directions.   This crazy time can take a toll on your body. To prevent aches and pains, try your best to practice proper ergonomics while working from home.

Proper Ergonomics

Ergonomic Tips for Remote Work

Check Your Monitor

When you sit at your desk, make sure the center of your computer screen is slightly above eye level.  If you are constantly looking up or down, it can create neck and back problems.

Be Aware of Your Arms

Make sure your arms are parallel to the floor with your wrists supported and minimally bent.  Putting extra stress on your wrists will increase the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Customize Your Chair

Desk and computer heightUse a desk chair with adjustable lumbar back support and customize it to your body.  You can also purchase separate back supports if you feel you need them.  I found this diagram of how high your desk and monitor should be on Pinterest.

Bend Your Knees

Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle.  If you are vertically challenged, you may need a small footrest so your feet are not dangling.

Keep Your Feet on the Floor

Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest.  Do not cross your legs or your ankles.

Use a Headset

Instead of holding the phone with your shoulder, use a headset.

Get Up and Stretch

Take time to stretch your body and change your position during the day. It also gives your eyes a break from the computer screen.  It is recommended you move at least once every hour.  Stand up, stretch, take a walk, just move.

We rely heavily on our body and mind to help us reach our maximum potential in all aspects of life.  Take the time to take care of your body.  Proper ergonomics can help with remote work so your body can carry you wherever you’d like to take your career, whether that be back to your office when this is all over, or being a permanent remote worker.

 

By |2020-04-14T22:42:42-05:00April 14th, 2020|Career Success, Remote Work|Comments Off on Proper Ergonomics Can Help With Remote Work

Do You Need a Career Coach?

If you’re unhappy with your job and looking to make a change, a career coach may be just what you need. Even if you think everything is “fine,” you may feel deep down that you’re not doing what makes you happy.

Career Coach

A career coach can help you with a simple task like updating your resume to make it shine. Or something more complex like helping you figure out what you really want to do with your life. They can guide you through the confusion of changing jobs or careers, going back to school, and even just moving to a different company.

Working with a career coach is a great way to get an unbiased opinion on changes you can make in your career path.

Signs You Need a Career Coach

If you’re not sure if working with a coach is the right choice for you, here are a few signs to help you figure it out.

  1. You’re Unhappy in Your Current Job

This is one of the most obvious signs that you’re ready for a change. If you’re feeling unhappy but don’t know what you want to do instead, a career coach can help you guide you to the answer you’re looking for.

  1. Having the “It’s a Paycheck” Mentality

This goes hand-in-hand with #1. You’re unhappy with your job, but hey, at least it’s a paycheck. Having a job that you love can also give you a paycheck that makes you happy. It IS possible to have both and a career coach can help you figure out how to make that happen.

  1. You Like Your Job But Need to Make More Money

Knowing how to ask for the raise you deserve can be difficult. There are a few tricks you can use like doing your research and knowing what other people in your field make. A career coach can help you negotiate the best way to approach your company, what to say, and when to make the move when asking for a raise. They can also help you figure out if you can make the money you want to make working for another company.

  1. You’re Stuck

If you’ve been stuck in the same position, making the same salary, without any raises or promotions for too long, it’s time to consider a change. Working with a career coach can help you figure out how to put your skills and experience to use in a job that will pay you more and has more opportunities for growth.

  1. You Have Too Many or Too Few Interests

When you know you want to make a change but you’re not sure what you want to do, a career coach can help you sort through your ideas and make sense of them. They can also help you dig deep to find your true passions and put them to use in your career.

  1. You’ve Been Unemployed Too Long

Even if your resume looks great and you have tons of experience, being unemployed for too long can work against you when you’re trying to reenter to the work world. Potential employers can see this as a negative. A career coach can help you improve your resume, practice your interview skills, and help you figure out how to answer the tough questions like “why have you been unemployed so long.”

There are many great benefits to working with a career coach. Whether you’re trying to change careers, find your passion, get back into the corporate world, or make more money, a career coach can help you achieve your goals.

Are You Ready to Work With a Career Coach?

Call your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a meeting to begin coaching that will differentiate you from other job seekers and help you develop a  job search strategy as you begin your job search.

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By |2019-12-18T13:53:45-06:00January 7th, 2020|Career Success|Comments Off on Do You Need a Career Coach?

Are Your Technology Skills Evolving?

It is important to keep your skill base up to speed and current in order to stay competitive and relevant, especially if you are in the job market or thinking about looking for another opportunity.

Technology skills

Do You Have Current Technology Skills?

Traditional marketing efforts are falling fast in the wake of social media. This change yields direct contact with individuals in companies like CEOs and HR Recruiters who are active on social sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Having direct access to hiring managers and company decision-makers is ideal when you are actively looking for a job. So what do you do if you aren’t very active on social media due to the learning curve? Does that mean you are out of luck?

With technology taking a leading role in business, you need to understand and know how it works to keep yourself in the game and marketable.  What do you do if you don’t feel comfortable with your tech skills?

Ways to Improve Your Tech Skills

There are numerous ways you can improve your tech skills:

Take a Course

It could be an online course or one at a local campus focusing on the skill area you need to enhance.  Online courses are very popular and can be completed at any time when it is convenient for you.

Watch YouTube Videos

There are videos on how to do just about everything.  Just do a search on YouTube and you will find numerous videos to assist you as you tackle new technology.

Google The Task

Google the task you are trying to learn and you may very well find some blog posts with the information you need or free ebook with step by step instructions.

Find a Tech-Savvy Mentor

Find a tech-savvy mentor to teach you the ropes!

Have you ever heard of reverse mentoring? A  Wall Street Journal article discusses companies who are pairing young employees with older, less tech-savvy colleagues to improve their technology skills.  Are you brave enough to seek help from a younger coworker?

The truth is, knowledge is key so it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and learn how you can leverage your technology skills to be more marketable and competitive in the job market. Ready to get started? Pick any of the above options and begin.

Other Post of Interest

Does Your Resume Need an Update?

Is Working Remotely For You?

Sending Cold Email Introductions

By |2019-10-30T22:22:21-05:00October 31st, 2019|Career Success|Comments Off on Are Your Technology Skills Evolving?

How to Work for a Younger Boss

If you work for a younger boss, it can be a challenge.  A September 2016 study in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that most workers at firms with managers younger than themselves reported more negative emotions, such as anger and fear than those with older managers.  The anger more than likely stems from not feeling valued and respected.  There could also be some resentment, especially if you applied for the job and didn’t get it.

Work for a younger boss

My friend Robin had this to say about working for a younger boss, “I had no problem with the age, him being younger.  But I did have a problem with his attitude about the way his predecessor handled things.  He didn’t value the work the team had done under our previous boss and that left me feeling disrespected and that the work I had been doing was not of importance.  But I found ways to cope and make it work.”

When your boss is younger than you, age may add an additional challenge. Think of age as immaterial, appreciating the fact that the position was most likely earned by impressive skills and talents.

So how do you deal with a younger boss?

Tips to Work For a Younger Boss

Here are six tips to help you work for a younger boss:

Communication

Communication is key. Try to open up the doors of communication with your boss by addressing the issue face-to-face and letting your manager know how you feel. Your tense work relationship might be as simple as a communication mismatch.

Ask how your younger boss wants to communicate. Do they prefer email, text, or instant message? Do they like to have scheduled meetings? It may mean less face time and more technology than you are used to.

My experience is that younger managers tend to prefer texts to emails, phone calls or real-time verbal conversations while older workers are often just the opposite.

Attitude

Pause and do some soul searching. Learn how to manage your attitude. Is your unhappiness about you or the boss? Could this be an ego issue for you? Were you passed over for the position and have negative feelings about it?

One of the biggest pet peeves younger bosses have is when employees say, “we’ve always done it like this,” or “we don’t need to learn a new way”. Even though learning a new process may be a pain, do your best to have a good attitude when it comes to accomplishing tasks in a new way.

Have Empathy Towards Your Younger Boss

Your boss may feel threatened and a little insecure about managing you. Have respect for your boss. Yes, he or she needs to respect you, but it’s a two-way street.  Your boss got the job for a reason, and while he may be the best person for the job, he may feel a little intimidated.

Play to Your Strengths

You have your current job for a reason. It may not be that you are the best with new technology, rather your experience and mentorship capabilities that really shine through. Make your strengths known to your boss so they can utilize you in the best way.

Keep Your Skills Current

As you know, technology is always changing and will continue to change in the workplace as well. When a new technology becomes available, embrace it and learn it as quickly as possible.

Keep networking

This is not the time to be complacent about building your network with people of all ages. After all, your boss may really be a jerk and you may need to find a new job sometime soon.

Employers still hire the old-fashioned way, bringing on people they know — or those who come recommended to them. So keep adding contacts and connections on LinkedIn. Attend industry association gatherings and get involved in committees or boards. Go to alumni get-togethers. Make it a point to have coffee or lunch with someone who could help your career. Volunteer at a nonprofit or at an outing with your employer’s volunteer efforts. You never know whom you might meet.

The key to making any boss and employee relationship work is mutual respect.

You can work for a younger boss and still be successful.  Using the above tips will give you a good start.

Do You Need Career Help?

If it doesn’t work out and you need to begin a search for a new job, contact Rachel at YourCareerFind.com and let her help you create a resume that will make you stand out from the crowd.

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By |2019-10-14T23:19:21-05:00October 15th, 2019|Career Success|Comments Off on How to Work for a Younger Boss
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