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Entries in Goals (6)

Friday
Mar132015

10 Mistakes That Are Standing Between You and Your Dream Job

The process of job hunting is tough. It’s not only hard on your wallet, it’s hard on your self-esteem. When you’ve sent out dozens of resumes and landed multiple interviews, all without success, it’s hard not to get discouraged.

At this point, you may start to rationalize your lack of employment by blaming outside influences:

“It’s a tough market right now.”

“There aren’t currently many opportunities in my field.”

“There’s too much competition for too few jobs.”

But the truth is, there are people getting hired in your field. Even if the market istough right now, it’s very likely there’s something you’re doing—or not doing—to lessen your chances of getting hired.

Here are 10 reasons why you may not be getting the job.

1. You’re Not Being Proactive

Are you sitting around waiting for the perfect job to fall into your lap? Successful job seekers know they need to be proactively pursuing jobs and leads and actively strategizing their job search.

Do you have the necessary skills for your dream job? If not, take an online course to upgrade your skill set. Are you well connected in your field? If the answer is no, attend industry networking groups or events.

Research shows a correlation between having a proactive personality and career success. Researchers have found that this proactivity—the belief that you have the power to change your circumstances—is positively associated with achieving salary and promotion objectives as well as increased career satisfaction.

In other words, if you believe you have the power and ability to achieve your career goals, you’re far more likely to succeed. If you believe the world is conspiring against you and you’re powerless to do anything about it, you’re more likely to stay right where you are now—jobless.

2. Your Lack of Passion Shows

If you find yourself applying for positions that don’t excite you, don’t be surprised if potential employers sense this lack of passion. Employers know that skills can always be taught, but that passion is either there or it’s not.

If you’re truly excited about a job, be sure to convey this in your cover letter and interview. Explain your reasons for wanting the position, and share ideas you’ll be excited to explore should you get the job.

3. You Don’t Sell Yourself

If there’s ever a time to sell yourself, it’s when you’re job hunting. If you don’t clearly convey your skills, knowledge, and education, it’s no one’s fault but your own if you don’t get the job.

There’s a fine line between being cocky and confident, so make sure you’re always tempering your confidence with humility. Sharing past accomplishments conveys pride in your work, while going on and on about how educated you are screams “smug.”

4. Your Resume or CV Doesn’t Showcase Your Value to the Company

Your resume is what’s going to get your foot in the door. If it isn’t accurately showcasing your suitability for the job, you’ll never get the chance to impress in an interview. Some best practices for creating a killer resume include:

  • Keep it short (some experts recommend only 600-700 words)
  • List all relevant skills and work history
  • Tweak your resume for each position you apply for
  • Detail how you can bring value to the company
  • Be specific: If you’ve achieved certain goals in past jobs, don’t be afraid to quantify your accomplishments (e.g., raised $2 million in funding in one year).

5. You Haven’t Researched the Job or Company

Employers want to know you took the time to learn a bit about the company. Not knowing the name of the CEO or where head office is could convey that you’re disinterested or even lazy. Take some time before the interview to research the company online. Employers don’t expect you to know all the company’s inner workings, but you should have a good grasp of publically available information.

6. You Conveyed a Sense of Entitlement at the Interview

It’s never a good idea to go into an interview with a list of demands. Having a general salary expectation is expected, but requiring six weeks of vacation from the get-go? This can be a huge red flag for employers. After all, if you’re this demanding in the interview, how much more demanding will you be once you have the job?

7. You’re Overqualified or Underqualified

This is perhaps one of the biggest issues for chronic job seekers. Are you consistently applying for your dream job even though your experience and education don’t really make you a dream candidate? Or maybe you’re desperate for a job (any job!) and are willing to take something (anything!), even jobs well below your pay grade? Ask yourself honestly whether you’re aiming too high—or too low—and adjust your expectations accordingly.

8. You’re Not Connected in Your Industry

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This has never been truer, especially in today’s competitive job market. According to research compiled by Interview Success Formula, while there were 3.6 million job openings in the U.S. in 2012, 80% of these were never advertised. This indicates that employers were likely looking internally and among their current sphere of connections to find suitable candidates.

If you aren’t already, make sure you’re putting yourself out there by regularly attending conferences, networking groups, and industry events. You never know whom you’ll meet!

9. You’re Just Not That Likable

You can be the most qualified person for the job, but if your interviewer just plain doesn’t like you, you don’t stand a chance. Some tips for making the best first impression possible include:

  • Smiling often (when appropriate)
  • Being a great listener (don’t interrupt!)
  • Asking thoughtful questions
  • Not bragging or being overly confident
  • Being talkative and expressive without dominating the conversation
  • Using open body language

In the book Screw the Zoo, author Sam McRoberts outlines several chapters of insightful hacks that delve into the psychology of body language, eye contact, posture, smiling, and confidence.

10. You’re Sending the Wrong Impression

Your interview is your one chance to impress a potential employer. Are you doing any of the following, which could send the wrong impression?

  • Arriving too early or too late
  • Dressing inappropriately (better to err on the side of being too dressy)
  • Joking around too much or being sarcastic (there’s a time for sarcasm, but that time isn’t during an interview!)
  • Asking about the salary too soon in the interview (leave this until last)
  • Not showing any personality
  • Appearing bored or disinterested during the interview

If you’ve been job hunting for a while, it may be time to take a step back and ask yourself what you could be doing wrong. If you’re brave enough, email a past interviewer and ask why you didn’t get the job—while knowing the truth can be hard, it may help you in the long run.

Source: Jayson Demers of Inc. (https://www.themuse.com/advice/10-mistakes-that-are-standing-between-you-and-your-dream-job)

Tuesday
Feb032015

Stop Using These Words In Your Emails!

Do you know how you sound in emails?

Without the benefit of being able to hear people’s vocal inflections or see their faces, it can be challenging to interpret how the person on the other end of an email is feeling. Emoticons and exclamation points can only take you so far (especially in a business email), and in fact, sometimes formal business language can start to sound, well, negative without context.

Wall Street Journal article on enigmatic email tells the story of a consultant who sent a detailed project plan to her client by email and received only a one-word response: “Noted."

She feared he was angry or disappointed, when in fact, he was thrilled to be able to clear the issue from his inbox with so little effort.

So how can you ensure you get your message across without seeming negative?

Accentuate the positive.

Overall, the word choices you make add up to the tone of your communications. And when you consistently choose negative words and phrases, your emails will sound terse, condescending, or angry.

Negativity is never good and always sends out negative vibes. Even if you feel negative about a situation, you can still make an effort to turn your emails into more positive messages — which usually get better responses.

Words like cannot, damage, do not, error, fail, impossible, little value, loss, mistake, not, problem, refuse, stop, unable to, unfortunately, escalation, urgent, never, inability and unsound all have a strong negative connotation.

Take this sentence for example:

Unfortunately, it looks impossible to finish the project on time because of the problems some people are causing with submitting their work late.

That’s a lot of negative words for one sentence. But you could easily convey the same information in a more positive way, like this:

Can everyone please turn in their portion of the project by Thursday so that we can complete the work on time and hit the deadline?

As you can see, it’s all about the words you choose that conveys your tone. If the boss in the Wall Street Journal example above had even responded with, “Thank you!” instead of “Noted,” his employee probably would not have worried whether she had done a good job.

Try to phrase your message using more positive terms like benefit, it is best to, issue, matter, progress, success and valuable.

Dos and Don’ts

An easy way to fall into the negativity trap is to start listing out things people shouldn’t do. Don’t leave uneaten food in the office refrigerator. Don’t be late to the meeting. Even saying “don’t forget” is more negative than saying “remember.”

Instead of telling others what not to do, try telling them what they should do instead. Please take your lunches home at the end of the day. Please arrive for the meeting five minutes early.

People are much more likely to comply with a positive request than a negative complaint on their behavior.

When in doubt, spell it out.

If you find that people frequently misinterpret your emails, you might need to be more explicit. There’s no harm in actually saying how you feel when communicating with colleagues, especially those with whom you have a good relationship.

For example, rather than using terse, negative language in an email about project scheduling because you’re sick of the software you have to use to schedule meetings, you might come out and say, “This scheduling system is frustrating to me, but it looks like we can meet on Friday…”

That way, the recipient can understand that you’re feeling negative about something other than him.

Source: Bernard Marr, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Leading Business and Data Expert; 
December 8th, 2014

URL: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141208072941-64875646-stop-using-these-words-in-your-emails?trk=mp-author-card


Tuesday
Jul222014

Mid year check up - Prepare for your annual review now 

Most companies have annual reviews with employees to help track progress and evaluate their performance. But, it can feel overwhelming to look back and remember all your accomplishments and struggles. After all, a lot can happen in 12 months. Right now, mid-way through the year, is the perfect time to do a little prep work for your future annual review.

Read Previous Reviews
The first place to start is with your previous review. Scanning any notes you took or documents your supervisor provided at your last annual review will help you recall specific goals or expectations that you set for the year. It may also help to review several of your past reviews so you have a good picture of your long-term growth.

Start Your List
Compile a complete list of your recent accomplishments and completed projects. Include information to help measure the success of your work. Also, jot down any accolades or training you’ve received so far. All of this will help you and your supervisor have an accurate picture of your performance this year.

Meet With Your Manager
If you don’t already meet regularly, explain to your supervisor that you’re doing a mid-year check-up and would like to meet with them within the next few weeks. During the meeting, ask for their feedback on your performance and accomplishments over the last six months. To avoid waiting until it’s too late, also ask if you need to change anything moving forward in the second half of the year to meet your annual goals.

Make a Plan
Once you have a good idea of what you’ve done and what you need to change, make a plan for the next six months. Write out any specific actions that you or your manager noted you need to take. If there are still training or performance goals that you haven’t met yet, outline how you’re going to accomplish them before your annual review.

Just because your employer doesn’t require or instigate a mid-year review doesn’t mean you should skip it. Spending a little time and effort this summer could make all the difference in how your review turns out at year’s-end. Plus, it can turn a dreaded experience into a positive one.

Does your employer conduct a mid-year review, or do you do one on your own? Have you found it to be helpful? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Tuesday
Feb182014

No Joke: Seinfeld Can Help You Be More Successful

One of the most recognizable comedians may know a thing or two about achieving goals. Jerry Seinfeld wasn’t a television sensation overnight; it was a day-to-day process. Seinfeld had a simple strategy that made him who he is today – and the same strategy can help you be more successful at work! He explains that first you pick one thing you want to get better at, and then do something every single day to achieve that goal. His goal was to create better jokes, so his one thing was to simply write every day. Read the entire article to find out more:

No joke: How Seinfeld can help you get better at work

What are some strategies you use to achieve goals? How do you think Seinfeld’s strategy would work for you? Let us know in the comments section below!

Monday
Jan202014

ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS IN 2014

Achieving_Your_Goalsin2014_Jan2014_webNow that 2014 is in full swing, it’s time to take a good look at your goals for the year. What are you doing to reach your goals this year? Are you working hard and setting a good pace to accomplish your goals and new year’s resolutions or have you already gotten off track? No matter what the case may be, you can still achieve the goals you’ve set to better yourself this year.

Goal setting is needed to succeed in everyday life especially if you’re searching for a job or working to advance your career. Without goals, you’re letting life push you around. It’s never too late to set goals and make positive changes in your life. Here are some tips and easy steps to follow to accomplish your goals in 2014.

Write Them Down
The secret to achieving your goals starts with writing them down. When you have to make decisions being able to see your goals will help you stay focused on what is most important. Make sure to write down your goals and post them around your house and workplace to help keep you focused. Regularly seeing the goals you’ve written will help motivate you to take action and help you become more successful. Try writing your short-term milestones on a poster board or dry erase board, so you can see them every day and check off each goal as you accomplish it.

Take Action
You could write down goals all day long, but until you take action, they amount to nothing; and you could possibly be right back where you are a year from now, still wishing you’d made a difference in your income, found a better job, or changed your eating habits. Writing down your goals is only the beginning. Next, you have to make a move! Be intentional by pursuing your goals daily and taking action to accomplish them.

Stay Positive
Forget the negative and dwell on the positive. Sometimes, you may feel like giving up, but you’ll eventually overcome if you stay positive and keep your eyes on the prize! Just remember every meaningful endeavor, dream, or goal will encounter resistance. Overcome the obstacles by focusing on the positive.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments
When you’re experiencing success, it’s easy to celebrate. But if you’re not seeing results, it’s difficult to see the silver lining. Think about how far you’ve come and what you still need to do to accomplish your goals. Remember to look at the goals you’ve written down. Think of those goals as mile markers on a highway. Don’t turn around if you make a mistake. Keep moving forward and take time to celebrate your accomplishments!

What steps are you taking to accomplish your goals? Share with us in the comments section below.