How Do I Figure It All Out?
The $1million question there! Well, the best place to start is to take a closer look at what you do and don't love in your world today. A quick one-two week audit of how you're spending your time and what lights you up, and what sucks the life outta you, is the best place to start.
Here's how - print off this chart below, the one with soul suck and soul shine, keep it with you or next to your bed, and then at the end of every day (or as you go), write down at the 'soul shine' end, all the moments that made you feel fired up, excited, happy, pumped, in the zone, excited and all those other awesome emotions. Include what made you feel grateful, content, calm, satisfied, at peace, proud too.
Move it down and in the middle, note those things that were 'alright' and 'pretty good' and note down all the 'uggghhhh' stuff too, the 'soul suck' stuff - what made you feel flat, worn out, frustrated, and make sure you include all the things you avoided too.
Hit print, and get cracking, let's see what appears for you in a week or two!
The Most Painful Job Search Mistakes People Keep Making (Again, and Again)
With all the resources and advice available online, it’s astonishing to me that people continue to make the same mistakes, over and over again, when job searching.
I’m not talking about the big, laughable mistakes like showing up to an interview inebriated or inadvertently bad mouthing a former boss to his best friend. I’m talking about the small, seemingly innocuous, yet completely avoidable mistakes people make.
But you don’t have to be one of them. Use this list as a sort of checklist against these common mistakes, and protect your job search against painful mistakes. You should always avoid:
- Typos on your resume. They make you look unprofessional. Proofread with extreme prejudice.
- Waiting for the job to come to you. You should be proactive. Make a list of the top 10 companies or jobs you want and figure out how to go after them.
- Relying on job postings. An online ad is going to generate thousands of responses. Instead, focus much of your time on networking to find those unadvertisedpositions.
- Casual searching. A productive job search is a part-time job in and of itself. Make a plan to follow with daily tasks to increase your likelihood of finding a great position quickly.
- Lying on your resume. Seems obvious, but people still do it. In this internet age, it’s easy to be caught. Don’t do it!
- Not casting a wide enough net. When it comes to networking, no one is off limits. Your parents’ networks, friends’ networks, old colleagues and teachers — everyone is fair game.
- Sending unsolicited resumes. I don’t know anyone with a resume amazing enough to get them hired for a job that doesn’t exist. Sending unsolicited resumes with no context is a waste of time.
- Disengaging from your networks. If you’re between jobs, it can be human nature to tend to disengage from social networks — don’t. Now is the time to stay active in your groups, professional associations, even hobbies so that you can continue to network.
- Sending the same resume for every job. This is a good way to get yours filed in the round file (aka: the trash). Personalize every resume.
- Talking instead of listening. When networking, your first priority should be listening. If someone asks, you can talk about the kind of job you’re seeking, but otherwise, keep your ears open more than your mouth.
- Including random (or inappropriate) hobbies. Unless your hobbies are directlyrelated the job you’re applying for, they just serve to take up space on a resume that could be put to better uses.
- Failing to follow up. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as the old saying goes. Don’t just wait for the phone to ring (or the email to ding); follow up.
- Looking for “any job.” It’s important to be open to different types of positions, but deciding you’ll take any old job makes you lose focus.
- Not following instructions. Hiring managers often include specific instructions in job ads to weed out people who don’t pay attention to details. Don’t be that person.
- Appearing unprofessional. This doesn’t just apply to the interview. Sanitize all your online profiles, and be sure your email address isn’t something like “tequilalover69”.
- Being unprepared in interviews. In this digital age, there’s no excuse for arriving to an interview unprepared. I’ve written about this several times. Use these tips and prepare accordingly.
- Being late to an interview. Accidents happen, but you should do everything in your power to arrive on time and prepared. Set your alarm, check the traffic, plan your route, scope out parking, and arrive on time.
- Not knowing your market value. The internet makes it easy to research an average salary for your position and experience level, allowing you to come prepared with a reasonable answer when the question of compensation arrises.
- Not having questions prepared. Almost every interviewer will ask if you have any questions toward the end of the interview. So have some questions ready to go.
- Not saying you want the job. This is so often overlooked, it can be very powerful if you are smart enough to actually tell the interviewer that you want the job and why. Show enthusiasm. It goes a long way.
Source: Bernard Marr via LinkedIn
“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn one's back on life.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
The Best Career Advice You Never Heard
Author: : Matt Norquist, Senior Vice President of Consulting Solutions, Right Management
“When are you going to quit?” I remember looking incredulously at my good friend, who had just asked when I was going to quit a sport that I’d sacrificed everything for, to give up on a childhood dream of being an Olympic gold medalist. “What do you mean?!” I’d been a multiple time All-American and was still one of the best decathletes in the country for my age. I probably had 10+ years left of career if I pursued it. His response: “Matt – you’re never going to be as good as I am – and I know you want to be the best in the world at what you do.” Well, he was right. I didn’t have the raw talent he had – this friend went on to win multiple Olympic and World Championships, and will go down as one of the all-time greats in his sport. And I decided to hang up my spikes and go find something at which I could become the best in the world. Am I there yet? No, but I’ve still got a few decades to make it! I was thinking about this the other day, when a friend was asking me for some career advice. What follows is some of the best (but surprising) career management advice I’ve ever gotten/heard: Give Up. That advice from a close friend set me on a path to finding my own “Gold Medal” – and I’ve never looked back. The underlying theme is to give up your less-than-productive pursuits, and go after what you can do better than just about anyone else. Follow. I heard this one recently from a mentor of mine who leads a large organization. We were talking about the challenges of leading a big team, and he asked me how well I was doing following my boss. That question gave me a real pause – because as leaders, or aspiring leaders, many of us spend most of our time up front and trying to take charge – while sometimes the best leadership is demonstrated by taking direction from the person we are following. Stop Chasing Happiness. If you’re looking for happiness as the result of your job, you’re in trouble. Now, that’s not to say engagement, productivity, and fulfillment are unimportant but, according to Gallup research, while a free massage, workplace perks, more pay or 2 months PTO per year might make people “happy” that is not necessarily the same thing as being engaged or productive. Pursue meaning, performance, and creating an impact instead and, more likely than not, happiness will be a nice side-effect. Forget the Golden Rule. Instead treat others how THEY want to be treated. I can’t remember if I heard this from an elementary school teacher or my mother, but it stuck with me. We are all so different. What matters to you doesn’t necessarily matter to everyone else. When managing your career, your team, or interactions with those around you, thinking about how they will respond and what is meaningful to them will get you and those around you a lot further than simply following the golden rule. Stop trying so hard! I adopted this one from the fitness industry, where most people measure success based on effort – how hard they worked and how sore they are the next day. I have seen countless people who work their tails off but make no progress, while others go in and make steady adjustments each day. A year later, the ones measuring themselves by effort are still in a puddle of sweat on the gym floor and look the same as last year, while the men and women who follow a plan of progression look like different people, despite not being in constant anguish and soreness from their latest fad workout. In careers, I find the people who do the best are those who make small gains and adjustments on a daily basis, which, over the years, add up to a substantial difference in their performance. Some of our recent research at Right Management indicates that as many as half of employees are working in roles that are not a great fit for them, while nearly everyone we speak to is in search of finding a meaningful career that plays to their talents. Try a couple of these counterintuitive career management suggestions, and see where it leads you.
“Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”
– Anita Roddick