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Managing Your Career

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Career management is a must if you expect to gain maximum success and happiness from the hours you invest in work. You are likely going to work 40 hours a week for your entire adult life, and by managing your career effectively, you can make the best of those 40 hours.

Share your goals with your boss and gain a partner who can help you broaden your experience.

Developing your talents and skills will stretch your world and enable more of your unique contribution. This, in turn, can make your career success.

Opportunities

Many employees have not thought past their current job or the next promotion they’d like to receive. They need to broaden their short-term thinking. As employees are promoted up the organization chart, fewer jobs become available, yet continuing to grow skills and experience should still be a priority for people obtaining value from and adding value to their career.

There are multiple ways to experience career growth by investing in your career development and progress:

  • Job shadow other employees in your company to learn about different jobs. This can broaden your skills and increase your value.
  • Explore lateral moves to broaden and deepen your experience. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Being able to handle multiple jobs can add variety to what you do and broaden your skills.
  • Attend classes and training sessions to increase your knowledge. New strategies and technologies relevant to just about every career are being introduced constantly. Stay up to date on your job and industry.
  • Hold book clubs at work to develop knowledge, and share terminology, concepts, and team building with coworkers.
  • Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore. Leaning on someone else’s experience is a great way to gain knowledge and introduce yourself to other opportunities.

5 Tips for Career Growth and Development

Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, vice president and managing director of Apollo Research Institute and visiting scholar in Stanford University’s Media X program, recommends five additional career management strategies.

  1. Set goals and create a plan to achieve them. Could your career development and management use help to gain momentum? People who are the most successful and satisfied in their careers have proactively determined what they want from work.
  2. Develop a timeline, including milestones. Bringing your boss and his or her sponsorship and mentoring into the picture will ensure that you have an internal mentor who will help you manage your career.
  3. Utilize company programs. Some companies have formal programs to help employees develop their careers. In others, you will need to informally pursue your career development. Companies with programs generally focus energy on helping employees develop and follow a career path.
  4. Own your career path. A career path can be discussed at several bi- annual meetings with your boss. Some companies demonstrate a deep commitment to their employees by assisting where possible with resources of time and dollars. However, remember that it is your career path.
  5. Write it down. Career paths are recommended for the same reason that goals are recommended. They are the written plan that can help each employee take charge of what is most important to his or her fulfillment and success. Without a plan, you can feel rudderless and you have no benchmark against which you can measure your progress.

Source: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/improving-career-development-4058289

 

Dress Your Best When Interviewing

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An interviewer’s first impression is often a lasting one, so the way you present yourself during an interview is important, and while some outfit no-no’s are clear (always, always stay away from denim), some guidelines may be more subtle. Read below to find out why your appearance matters and get recommendations on appropriate attire during job interviews.

Does it make a difference how you dress for an interview? In many cases, it does. In a conservative business climate, appearances do matter. In other environments, it isn’t as important. For example, attire for a summer job interview or a startup job interview will be less formal, but it does make sense to dress your best for the interview, regardless of the dress code at the organization.

If you’re in doubt about how to dress for an interview, it is best to err on the side of conservatism. It is also much better to be overdressed than underdressed (or undressed). If you’re not sure, check with the person who scheduled the interview and ask.

According to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look. So while your outfit may seem like a shallow concern compared to your experience and ideas, what you wear makes a difference to how interviewers will assess you as a candidate.

Zoller shared some tips on how to look your best, without necessarily spending a lot of money. Here’s a quick look at the basics:

Women’s Professional Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse makeup and perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Men’s Professional Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

More Ways to Ensure You’re Dressed Appropriately

As you can see, the guidelines can be more complicated for women. Appropriate interview attire for men is pretty straight-forward, and the dividing lines between business casual and professional business attire are demarcated. Along with choosing an interview outfit, women must also style their hair and select an interview-appropriate bag.

Interviewers of any gender should stay away from denim — jeans are never a good choice for an interview. Unless you are applying for a position in the fashion industry, drawing attention to your clothes is best avoided. The best interview outfit is clean, well-fitting, appropriate for the company’s culture, and not attention-getting. After your interview, you want people to be talking about your experience and your ideas — not your flashy tie, sparkly shoes, or too-tight pants.

Make sure to wear deodorant, brush your teeth, and comb your hair. Bring along breath mints if you won’t be able to brush your teeth before the interview (but make sure not to eat breath mints or chew gum during the conversation). Keep scented items — cologne, perfume, and aftershave — to a minimum.

Source: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/tips-for-dressing-for-success-2061336

 

Workplace Outfit Tips

 

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  1. Get Inspired

Seasonal change is the perfect time to hit the pause button and get inspired!  Make the time to flip through magazines, head downtown, surf the web… get inspired by the natural style reset that presents itself with the change of seasons.

  1. Pick Your Path

Get clear on the season’s style cue’s that emotionally resonate with you. Not all trends are for all people – and that’s a good thing!

  1. Claim Your Color Crushes

Color is one of the easiest ways to update one’s wardrobe and yet it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut.  Two rules of thumb:  1. Know your neutral. Rooting your wardrobe in the neutral that best suits you will help to optimize versatility.  Black not for you? Maybe you are more of a grey, brown or navy person. Whatever it is – claim it.  2.  Same goes for seasonal color. Commit to a tight palette of newness. Just one or two new colors go a long way.

  1. Make Room For the New

Before setting out to shop, take stock of what you have.  Donate, sell or give away what you’ve not worn in the last year.  A pared down closet will simplify getting dressed each morning and who wouldn’t want that?!

  1. Shop Strategically

After taking inventory of your existing wardrobe, identify the gaps and shop with clear intent. This approach will keep you from over shopping and also ensure that you can style a lot of different looks out of a curated collection of pieces.

  1. Double Down

There are some things that are worth investing in, if you are able.  Shoes, handbags and outerwear are top of the list. Why? Because they complete the look. Pair an awesome pair of shoes with less expensive apparel and the look is instantly elevated. Same goes for handbag or outerwear.

  1. Embrace Your Go-To’s

It’s tempting to feel like you need to dress a certain way when you’re under pressure for a big meeting. Comfort breeds confidence. Don’t ditch your go-to (fill in the blank) if you’ve got a big presentation coming up. Wearing what you feel comfortable in will positively impact your ability to show up as your best self.

  1. Ignore the Rules

As the workplace evolves and dress codes relax, it’s more fun than ever to push your workplace style. Pair denim with denim, wear black with navy, choose white after Labor Day (gasp!) or opt for a sequined top during the day. Above all, fashion is a creative outlet to express yourself.  Have fun with it!

  1. Travel with Purpose

When traveling for work or pleasure, focus on a narrow color palette and build outfits around that. You’ll be able to do more with less and might even save you from checking a bag!

  1. The Toolkit is Key

Invest in a hand-steamer over an iron.  It’s compact, quick and so much easier than the alternative!  Keep it in your bathroom for last minute touch ups. Other tools to keep handy at your desk or in your bag include a lint brush (or masking tape in a pinch) and polishing cloths for shoes and jewelry.

 

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sboyd/2016/09/24/how-to-dress-for-success/#1c9fb1c341f4

Dress For Success

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Clothes influence how your boss and co-workers perceive you. Whether you’re new to the workforce or in an entry-level position, anyone can look good on the job. Remember, you are going into an environment where you need to be taken seriously. The key is to wear the clothes that make you look professional.

To get started looking “work trendy” and project the image you want, keep these simple on- the-job dress tips and tricks in mind:

  • Follow the leader. Observe what your manager (and co-workers whom you respect ) are wearing. You should be able to hone in on a particular style/ trend of dress. Emulate it.
  • Make sure your clothes are work appropriate. Stick to the basics.
  • Wear simple colors. Don’t use the workplace to test out any bright colors or bold patterns. Save that for your personal time.
  • Be fresh. Nothing says you don’t care like a pair of worn shoes. And remember that its not just clothes that make the man(or woman): trim your nails, floss your teeth, get your hair cut as often as it requires, and keep a pack of gum or fresh mints at your desk.
  • If your dress code policy is confusing, get clarification. Ask your manager or someone in HR for more details. As a rule, if you are questioning an outfit, you probably should avoid wearing it.

Source: https://www.experisjobs.us/exp_us/en/career-advice/dress-for-success.htm

 

Job Preparation & Interview Tips

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If you think most hiring decisions are based on hard experience and qualifications, better keep reading. A resume gets you in the door, but how you interview determines whether you’re offered the job or not.

This article will cover 2 types of job interview tips to help you pass a job interview and get the job you want:

  • Interview Preparation– steps you should take before your interview.
  • Job Interview Tips– the best strategies to use during the actual interview.

These are the best interview tips that I know, from close to 5 years working as a Recruiter.

After you finish this article you’ll know how to present yourself better than the competition and pass a job interview a majority of the time.

Part I: Job Interview Preparation

Each step below will prepare you for the actual interview. None of this is very time consuming but it will set you apart from everyone else applying for the job, making it easy for the company to decide who to hire (you!)

Here are the basic interview preparation steps to remember. I’ve put the estimated time next to each one.

Research the company (5 minutes)

Know what they do, know how they make money. You’re not expected to be an expert, but knowing nothing about the company makes it look like you don’t care. Talent doesn’t matter at this point, you will not get hired if they think you don’t care.

All of this research can be done on a company’s website and on Google.

To learn the latest on a company, try typing the company’s name plus the word “news” into your search bar.

Think of two reasons you’re interested in the company (10 minutes)

Use the company research you’ve done to come up with a business-related reason you’re excited about them. It could be a new business model, new clients, new partnership, etc.

Actual example: I recently had a phone interview with a tech company that was built as a review/info website. They recently started handling transactions instead of sending the buyers out to other websites to complete the transaction. I read this in the news and mentioned it as an exciting development and a really good business move. The interviewer was extremely impressed that I had read the news, and understood the implications.  Total time spent researching: less than 3 minutes.

Along with one business reason, try to come up with a secondary reason too. Maybe community involvement. Or company culture. Almost every company has a blurb about their culture on the website. Read it and mention what you read as a secondary reason for being interested.

You’ll seem extremely well-prepared and well-rounded for having two very different reasons.

Think of an explanation for why you’re job searching (5 minutes)

Companies will often choose someone less talented if they also seem less risky or if their motivations make more sense. I’ve seen it first-hand.

Don’t lose out on a job to somebody with less skill than you. Prepare some legitimate reasons why you want to make a move (without talking negative about your current employer). Here are some examples:

  • You’ve accomplished ____ in your current role and you’re ready for a new challenge
  • Your company’s direction has shifted and you feel it’s time to join a new organization
  • You’re interested in a different type of product/service
  • You’re looking for a larger or smaller organization

You can get more specific based on your situation. These are general ideas. If you do a good job with this you can beat out applicants that have more experience than yourself, because they’re not using these strategies most likely.

Get familiar with your resume (5 minutes)

This is one of the more important interview preparation tips, and one of the easiest. Glance over your resume if you haven’t in a while. Be ready to explain past job changes in a positive light. If you left a job because your manager was horrible, say that you went to an organization that had more supportive management. It’s all about how you phrase it. More examples on how to deliver this in Part II.

Also think of a couple of challenges and accomplishments in your last 1-2 positions. Interviewers love specific examples of accomplishments.

That’s it, you’re done with Part I. At this point you’ve already done more than 80% of job applicants, and you have good answers prepared for some of the most common interview questions. Lets move on…

Part II: Job Interview Tips

So, you’ve mentally prepared yourself with the interviewing tips from Part I. Now let’s talk about how to pass a job interview in the moment.

Describe your work history BRIEFLY

Most interviewers will ask you to give a quick walkthrough of your background at the start of the interview. That’s why I mentioned reviewing your resume beforehand. It’s a pretty commonly overlooked but it’s one of my favorite job interview tips and it’s so easy to do!

If you’ve prepared a good, brief narrative of your career, you can impress them right off the bat. What got you interested in this field? What have you accomplished recently?

But it has to be concise. Nobody wants to hire somebody that rambles on or sounds scattered, and that’s the biggest mistake people make with this relatively open-ended question.

Spend most of your time on the recent portion of your career. Go through the beginning rather quickly. 2-3 minutes total should be your target.

Explain why you’re interested in interviewing with them

After walking them through your resume, you’ll probably be asked why you’re looking to make a job change, and/or why you’re interested in their company in particular. This is where the research you’ve done pays off. You should already have two specific reasons for wanting to interview with their company.

When explaining your reason for job searching in general, I mentioned one example of how to turn a negative into a positive in Part I. Here are 2 more examples:

If your current company has no room for upward growth, say that you’re looking for a job with more room for upward growth. If you don’t like your coworkers, say you’re hoping to find a team that’s more collaborative. See the difference? You’re saying the same thing without sounding negative.

Whatever you say you’re looking for, be prepared for them to ask why you can’t get that in your current company. Just answer by saying that you don’t think there’s an opportunity to get this, and you considered this before starting to look externally. Simple and easy. That should end the line of questioning.

Answering technical questions- don’t freak out

After the basic questions, you’ll get into the meat of the interview. The content and questions here will vary based on the job, but here’s what you need to know about how to pass the job interview:

A good interviewer will test your limits. Especially if it’s a position involving some type of technical knowledge (math, science, engineering, etc). The only way they can find your limits is if they ask something you don’t know. So stay calm when you get this. Here’s what to do:

Try to work your way through the question as much as you can. Your thought process is often more important than answering correctly, so tell them what you’re thinking. Ask questions to clarify if needed.

Seeming genuine, thoughtful and honest can go a long way. It’s more important than answering any 1 question correctly in most cases.

Ask your own questions toward the end

You should ask a lot of questions after the interviewer has finished their own questions. How are you going to decide if you want the job if you don’t find out any info? The best job candidates are evaluating a company, not just trying to get a job in the first company that wants them. Once a company realizes this, they’ll treat you like a top notch candidate and try to sway you to join them.

Here are over 100 great questions you can ask the interviewer.

If you meet with 4 people, you should ask questions to all of them. It’s okay to repeat a question, but don’t tell the last person, “so-and-so already answered all my questions.” I’ve done this in the past and wasn’t offered the job. Lesson learned.

Some of the best questions are opinion-based questions because you can ask the exact same question to as many people as you want. Example: “What’s your favorite part about working here? What is the biggest challenge/difficulty you face here?”

Always act like you want the job

You have 1 goal in any interview: Convince them that you’re the best candidate for the job and get invited to the next round.

You should be selling yourself in the interview, not deciding if the job is desirable.

You can digest the info and make a decision once you get home. If you start using this approach you’ll have a big advantage throughout the entire interview because you’ll have one single thing to focus on. Other applicants will be juggling everything at once.

Always end the same way

After they’ve asked all of their questions and you’ve had a chance to ask yours, thank the interviewer and tell them you’re excited about what you’ve heard so far and you’re looking forward to hearing back from them.

Don’t ask for feedback on the spot

I’ve seen people recommend that you ask for feedback or concerns at the end of the interview. Something like this: “Based on what we’ve discussed, is there any reason you wouldn’t consider me for this job?” Horrible advice. Never ask this. Ever. Or anything like it.

First of all, they just finished interviewing you. Give them time to think. You’re going to go home and decide whether you’re interested, they need time to think too. Don’t put them on the spot like this.

Also you’re bringing the negatives to their attention. You’re literally asking them if they can think of a reason that’d stop them from hiring you. Even if they do think of something, they won’t tell you for fear of a lawsuit.

I like to say something like this instead: “If you need any more info from me or have any questions later, don’t hesitate to contact me.”

Conclusion

If you’ve followed these job interview tips, you’re in great shape to pass your next interview and get the job offer.

Don’t forget: Motivation, interest, and how you explain yourself and the reason you’re interviewing are just as important as your actual resume/skillset. I can’t stress this enough in terms of important job interview tips to remember!

Reading this article won’t change your professional skills. But it can change something far more powerful- how you come across in the interview room.

You can beat out somebody with more experience and a more impressive resume because job interviewing is a separate skill that you’ve spent time mastering.

 

Source: https://careersidekick.com/interviewing-tips-how-to-pass-a-job-interview/

 

Interviews are your chance to sell your skills and abilities.

They also give you a chance to find out if the job and company are right for you. Follow the tips here to ace your interviews.

 

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Review common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants, while emphasizing your:

  • Strengths
  • Willingness to work and flexibility
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability and willingness to learn new things
  • Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
  • Creativity in solving problems and working with people

Figure out in advance how well you qualify for the job. For each requirement listed in the job posting, write down your qualifications. This can show you if you lack a particular skill. Plan how you will address this in the interview so you can convince the interviewer that you can learn the skill.

Make a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview. Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. This might include commenting on the news you learned from the company website, and then asking a question related to it. Also ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, like:

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
  • How will my responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
  • Could you explain your organizational structure?
  • What computer equipment and software do you use?
  • What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?

Be prepared. Remember to bring important items to the interview:

  • Notebook and pens
  • Extra copies of your resume and a list of references
  • Copies of letter(s) of recommendation, licenses, transcripts, etc.
  • Portfolio of work samples

On the day of the interview, remember to:

  • Plan your schedule so you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.
  • Look professional. Dress appropriately to the job.
  • Leave your MP3 player, coffee, soda, or backpack at home or in your car.
  • Turn off your cell phone.
  • Bring your sense of humor and SMILE!

Display confidence during the interview, but let the interviewer start the dialogue. Send a positive message with your body language.

  • Shake hands firmly, but only if a hand is offered to you first.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Listen carefully. Welcome all questions, even the difficult ones, with a smile.
  • Give honest, direct answers.
  • Develop answers in your head before you respond. If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or clarified. You don’t have to rush, but you don’t want to appear indecisive.

End the interview with a good impression. A positive end to the interview is another way to ensure your success.

  • Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time.
  • Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier.
  • Mention a particular accomplishment or activity that fits the job.
  • If you want the job, say so!
  • Find out if there will be additional interviews.
  • Ask when the employer plans to make a decision.
  • Indicate a time when you may contact the employer to learn of the decision.

Don’t forget to send a thank-you note or letter after the interview.

 

Source: http://www.jobslix.com/interviews-chance-sell-skills-abilities/

5 Job Interview Questions That Reveal What a Candidate Has Really Accomplished

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Image courtesy of Inc.com and Getty Images

Some job interviewers (including CEOs) take a fairly unusual approach to interview questions, and most job interviews involve the most common questions and answers. Yet most job interviews also include at least a few questions designed to reveal not just what a candidate thinks, but what he or she has actually done: Goals achieved, skills attained, situations encountered, actions taken.

Since the past is a reasonable indication of the future, here are some great interview questions intended to find out what job candidates have done. (And if you’re a job candidate, I’ve also included a guide to preparing your answers to these questions.)

1. “Tell me about a goal you recently achieved. What did your initial plan look like? What worked particularly well?”

This is a great icebreaker question. Any candidate who can’t talk in detail about a goal achieved is likely to be a terrible candidate.

Most candidates will describe a goal that was set for them, a plan that they were in large part given, and then the steps they took to achieve the goal. And that’s fine, but what you’re really looking for are candidates who set their own goals, created their own plans, and then not only followed those plans but adapted to circumstances and changing conditions along the way.

After all, the best employees are able not just to plan well, but also to react and adjust well.

2. “Tell me about a goal you didn’t manage to achieve. What happened? What did you do as a result?”

Disappointment, adversity, and failure are a part of life — both professional and personal. That’s why everyone has failed. (In fact, most successful people have failed a lot more often than the average person; that’s why they’re successful now.)

Most candidates will take responsibility for failing. (The ones who don’t you definitely don’t want to hire.) Good candidates don’t place the blame on other people, or outside factors. They realize that stuff happens, and a key element of success is having the ability to adjust.

Great candidates take responsibility but also learn key lessons from the experience, especially about themselves. They see failure as training, and can describe in detail what perspectives, skills, and expertise they gained from that training.

3. “Tell me about a time you initiated an uncomfortable conversation with a co-worker. What did you say? How did it turn out?”

When there’s a problem, many people hesitate to be candid and open. It’s a lot easier to stay silent and hope someone else steps up.

But any candidate who has never started an uncomfortable conversation is a candidate you probably don’t want to hire. Great teams possess an element of self-policing. They’re willing not only to praise one another, but also to provide constructive criticism.

And, of course, you want to build a great team.

4. “Tell me about the last time someone got upset with you. What did you do in response? How did it turn out?”

Conflict is also a fact of professional life. Every job at some point requires dealing with conflict. (Possibly the last time someone got upset is the time the candidate raised an uncomfortable issue.) The candidates you definitely don’t want to hire place the blame on other people — and place the responsibility for making the situation better on the other person, too.

Good candidates worked to address and resolve the problem; they didn’t shy away from conflict but dealt with it in a professional (and hopefully emotionally intelligent) manner. The best candidates do that, but are able to admit as well that they played a part in starting the conflict, whether by words or actions or by noticing too late that a simmering issue was about to boil over.

And they can share what they learned from the experience. (Yep: My favorite job candidates are the ones who consistently share what they’ve learned — because those candidates are consistently working to improve themselves.)

5. “Tell me about the first three months at your last job. What did you do? What did you accomplish?”

The best employees don’t want to spend their first few weeks just learning about the organization, getting their feet wet, and finding their way. They want to hit the ground running.

That means they can describe:

how they determined their job created value, and how that helped them focus on doing the right things;
how they immediately applied the skills they brought to the job;
how they determined who were their key constituents, and how best to serve them; and
how they identified practical changes — for greater efficiency, or quality, or customer satisfaction, etc. — and then found ways to implement those changes.
The best candidates are self-starters. They don’t wait to be given tasks, duties, responsibilities, etc. — they dive in.

After all, every employee is an investment, so don’t you want to start seeing a return on that investment as soon as possible?

And One More Tip

Ask the above questions, but don’t stop there. Turn each initial question a conversation. Dig deeper. Ask follow-up questions. Ask what the candidates said, what they did, what they did next. Go past the initial responses.

That way you’ll not only get a better feel for the candidate’s skills, experience, qualifications, etc., but you’ll also give the candidate every opportunity to fully describe his or her skills, experience, and qualifications.

See every interview as a conversation. After all, a great interview is really just a great conversation.

Especially when you’re talking with a great candidate.

This article by Jeff Haden was published on inc.com on May 8, 2018