Monthly Archives: June 2010

Looking for New Job Opportunities? Advice to Improve Your Results

How are you looking for new job opportunities? Are you waiting for them to just appear or are you actively seeking them out? Searching for a career is a full-time job in itself, and it’s important to exhaust all your avenues for finding employment. To help you be more proactive with your efforts, here are some tips to improve your job search efforts today.

Attend networking events. If you know what industry you want to work in, try to get plugged into professional meetings in that field. This will give you an opportunity to network with others who work in that field and make valuable connections. Introduce yourself to them and don’t be afraid to tell them what your goals are. When you attend these meetings, always have your résumé and business cards on hand with you and pass them out. You want people to leave that meeting with a good impression of you.

Talk to people. You never know if somebody knows somebody who is looking for a new employee. Make it a point to get out there and just meet new people. When you’re at your local coffee shop, strike up a conversation with those around you. Ask others what they do for a living, and then tell them about yourself and what you want to do in life. Also, keep your friends and family updated about what’s going on with you. It never hurts to share your story with others.

Volunteer for organizations. Seek out volunteer opportunities that would provide you with experience related to what you want in a job. If you like marketing, volunteer to do some writing for a non-profit organization. If you want to do construction, contact Habitat for Humanity to see if they have any projects for you. These are great ways to build your skill set and be able to measure the impact of your results.

Get online. Check out company websites and others like to search for job openings. Submit your résumés online, along with a copy of your cover letter. Be sure your contact information is included. Apply for all the job openings you qualify for. The more you apply, the more your chances go up of hearing from an employer about a possible interview.

Also, set up social media networking accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, if you don’t already have one. This is another great way to make connections with others. You can include information on these profiles about your skills, experiences, and what type of jobs you’re looking for. Again, you never know who could see your online profile and want to meet you.

Instead of waiting for opportunity to knock on the door, it’s important for you to take some initiative and push that door open just a bit and introduce yourself to new possibilities. If you keep approaching the job hunt the same way you always have, you will get the same results. Try these tips to help find the job you want.

Frustrated at Work? Find an Outlet to Relieve Workplace Aggravation

Does this sound familiar?

The alarm clock sounds, and once again you’re faced with another day at the office – another dreaded day. With some effort, you manage to make it out of bed and get to work, where you count down the hours until you’re free again. You count the hours till your lunch break. You count the hours till you can go home. And the next day – which comes too quickly – you start counting all over again. You long for the weekends. You dream of a vacation.

If so, you are probably suffering from workplace discontent.

A variety of factors like company environment and culture, lack of meaningful work, difficult co-workers, and the management style of supervisors can lead to unhappiness at work. And those factors can really add up. When you’re frustrated at work, even the smallest problems can feel like the biggest nightmares. But, there are numerous solutions that can help improve your job satisfaction and create happiness in your work life.

If your job dissatisfaction is consuming your life at work and at home, before you explode or jump ship, try finding an outlet you can enjoy in your spare time to help relieve your workplace anxiety and stress, and help provide the passion and purpose you’re looking for in life. Need an outlet from workplace stress?  Relieve your anxiety at work in your time outside the office. 

Discover a hobby you enjoy. Find something you enjoy outside of work to improve your outlook on life and the workday. Pick something you’re interested in or passionate about like pottery, cooking, sports, dancing, writing, or gardening. Try something new. Be adventurous. Challenge yourself. Whether it’s learning a new language or spending your weekends enjoying extreme sports, find something you love to spend time doing.

Learn all about it. Once you’ve found an outlet you enjoy, learn everything you can about it. Read books. Take classes. Research and collect information from the internet. And, practice, practice, practice. Become an expert at what you love. The more you know about it, the more satisfaction it can give you.

Find others who share your passion.  As you get more involved with your hobby, find people who share your passion. Building relationships on your common interests can add motivation and meaning to your outlet. To meet people, join a network, club, or group of those passionate about your interests or hobbies. Read and comment on blogs that pertain to your interests to help build your online relationships and gain knowledge in the area.

Finding a hobby that adds meaning, passion, and happiness to your life can help relieve your workplace frustration and change your outlook and attitude at work. And who knows, when the time is right, the outlet you love could even lead to an exit from a job that has you watching the clock.

Are Co-Workers Talking About You? The Truth About Gossip

EntryLevelLifeButton_D You hear your name being whispered. You hear laughter following. Then when you walk into a room, everyone stops talking. Webster’s Dictionary defines gossip as “such talk” or “one who chatters idly about others.” How many times have you been talked about or you’ve talked about someone else? In the workplace, it can create barriers, stir negativity, and lead to destruction.

If you’re entering the workforce for the first time, beware of the ugly beast known as gossip. It can be negative, hurtful, and embarrassing for everyone involved. It can also create conflict in the workplace, especially if you and your co-workers are in close proximity all day. To help you avoid the office drama, here are some tips on how to stay away from the rumor grapevine.

Focus on your work. You have a job to do at work. If you stay focused on your tasks, you won’t have time to participate in negative chatter. If your co-workers see you’re busy, they’ll be less likely to ask you to partake in their chit-chat. If they try to include you in the conversation, let them know you don’t feel comfortable and to exclude you from the conversation. If someone starts gossiping around you, make a choice to walk away from the conversation and don’t participate.

Keep your personal and professional life separate. It’s important to build relationships with your co-workers because doing so helps you function better as a team. But, be sure to keep your conversations professional in nature. If you tell them too much about your personal life, you could be giving individuals a reason to gossip about you. Be careful what you share and who you share information with. This also applies to social profiles such as Facebook. If you share information on your online profile that you don’t want your co-workers to see, control your privacy settings, create a professional page, or make it a policy to not add co-workers to your Facebook account.

Choose friends carefully. When you spend eight hours a day at work, it’s easy to form friendships with your co-workers. If you hang out outside of work, be careful not to talk about the workplace or other co-workers. If so, word could get back to your office and people could get upset.

Stop gossip in its tracks. The best way to end negative conversation is to say something nice about the person being talked about. Being positive is a great tool for combating negativity. A kind word can end the fun that gossips have and can stop them in their tracks – kindness doesn’t provide fuel to the fire.

At some point in time, everyone has partaken in gossip. It's damaging and never the solution to a problem. It’s better just to stop it before it gets out of control. But, if gets to a point where it is damaging to those involved, let your supervisor know. It’s sometimes tough to be the positive one, but it’s well worth the effort and is a true testament to your character, maturity, attitude, and leadership ability.

What Every Job Seeker Needs for their Next Interview

Recently on “Hired,” a new MTV documentary series that follows college graduates in their pursuit to find their dream jobs in a difficult job market, one prospective candidate designed a shoe for her interview for a design assistant job at Steve Madden. She didn’t get the job, but the shoe design for Steve Madden did get her a second interview.

It seems pretty brilliant when you stop and think about it. Why wouldn’t you bring an example of your work or create something specific to the company that ties in the requirements of the job you’re applying for? In addition to a great résumé highlighting your skills and accomplishments, visually showing the interviewer the value you can bring with a tangible example of the work you could do for the company can put you at the top of the list for the position.

If you’re in the communications field and interviewing for a job that requires public relations work, create a scenario for the company and present a press packet on how you would address the objective. If you’re applying for a journalist position, provide writing samples like news stories, feature stories that publications could feature, in addition to samples from other publications you have written for. For those in graphic design, create a design for a product that the company you’re applying for could sell. You will find that in creative fields like these, you can create something that will show your value and what you can bring to the organization.

For fields like finance and accounting, job seekers will want to bring documentation on how they saved their past employer money. It’s a little more difficult to research a company’s financial status and present a solution for accounting practices than it is to create a design portfolio due to finance confidentiality, but you should still be able to present knowledge about the company’s specific accounting needs. For positions in clerical, administrative, and industrial work, you can highlight your skills by bringing an example of your work. Just think of a project or task you completed at your old job. Apply the concept and relate it to the new position you’re applying for.

Even with the job market showing signs of improvement, there are still many people competing for every open job. So, before your next interview, take the initiative to create something that will impress a potential employer. Learn more about their needs and be ready to sell how you can help them. This will not only showcase your talent but will also show that you researched the company, demonstrating your initiative, your work ethic, and desire to work for them.