The Importance of Celebrating Small Victories

The Importance of Celebrating Small Victories

Big, audacious goals are important. Most companies put extensive research and strategy into setting annual goals that will guide their workforces throughout the year and serve as the finish line looming on the horizon. And when those goals are achieved, a celebration often follows to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication.

But, just as important as the big celebration at the end of a hard fought battle to achieve a major goal is celebrating the small victories along the way. This is especially true for the job search. Even the most dedicated job searchers can burnout when the going gets tough, so reveling in minor milestones that push the job hunt toward completion helps maintain engagement and gives a motivational boost.

According to research conducted by Harvard Business School featured in the Harvard Business Review:

“Even ordinary, incremental progress can increase people’s engagement in the work and their happiness during the workday. Across all types of events, our participants reported that a notable proportion (28%) of incidents that had a minor impact on the project had a major impact on people’s feelings about it. Because inner work life has such a potent effect on creativity and productivity, and because small but consistent steps forward, shared by many people, can accumulate into excellent execution, progress events that often go unnoticed are critical to the overall performance of organizations.”

So, what are the key benefits of celebrating small victories on the path toward achieving major goals?

  • Showing progress: The best set goals outline a clear path toward success with measurable tasks or achievements along the way that show you are progressing in the right direction. It’s easier to avoid job search burnout when there’s always a tangible milestone within reach.
  • Building commitment: When working toward finding a job, it’s important to have full commitment from yourself and even other job searchers. If you connect with others in your position, you can congratulate and push each other on the way to a job. Celebrating small victories along the way helps everyone feel united and personally invested in encouraging each other to reach the next stage.
  • Allowing opportunities to “fine tune” along the way: Small victories are also beneficial when you don’t achieve them right away. If you find progress has stalled and that next milestone becomes harder and harder to reach, you have an early opportunity to assess the situation and make necessary adjustments to get the job search back on track.

Make it meaningful
Although there is no shortage of ways to celebrate small victories, the most important factor is to ensure the celebration is meaningful. That doesn’t mean you have to roll out the red carpet and strike up the band for every little accomplishment, but you do want to feel the hard work you’ve put in so far is worthwhile. From eating a fun snack or getting together with fellow job searchers to share the accomplishments that you personally consider small victories, the important thing is to truly celebrate   what you’ve done. The job search is hard. Each resume sent, each interview had, each networking event attended—they all matter.

Will You Get a Job in 2018?

2018 is here! As you get your resume ready and look to the future, what is your outlook? Are you excited? Cautious? Scared? What do you think the job market is going to look like in the new year?

Let us know by voting in our poll!

Poll Results: Are You Over or Underemployed?

Last month we conducted a Movin’ On Up poll asking whether readers believed they were over or underemployed. A resounding 85% said they are underemployed.

Only 9% said they were well-suited for their job, while 4% said they were over-employed.

It can be hard to keep going at a job where you’re underemployed. You aren’t given a chance to use your skills or show people what you can do. However, you should still try to do your job as best as possible, even in these circumstances.

Why? For one thing, it’s better than the alternative—being unemployed. It’s always harder to find a job when you don’t currently have one. Additionally, you never know what kinds of opportunities could arise when you really give it your all. You might get a promotion or take advantage of a chance to move to a different department.

In addition, you can build skills and network. As long as you find a way to keep learning, that’s experience you can use in your next job. Contacts you meet in this position (whether at your current company or with employees from other companies) could be valuable in your future job search.

At the end of the day, if a job makes you absolutely miserable, you need to move on. However, before you do, make sure that you learn everything you can from that job. Learn as much as possible, meet new faces, and pair all of that effort with a renewed focus on your job search.

How have you dealt with being underemployed? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 10 Posts of 2017

Your favorite MOU blogs from the past year

2017 is over, and it was a big year for Movin’ On Up. With nearly 141,000 page-views in 2017 and a grand total of 3,398 comments since our inception, we’re growing fast. And it’s all thanks to you!

Our staff is made up of writers and industry experts who want to see you succeed. That’s why we’re here. It’s our job to help you build a great career. As a thank you for coming to see us every week, we’ve put together a list of our top 2017 blogs.

Thank you, and good luck in 2018!

Interview Tips: Do This, Don’t Do That

You’ve spent days applying and sent in what feels like a thousand resumes. And now you finally have an interview. We’re here to help. Review this list of dos and don’ts to ace that next interview!

How to Deal with a Difficult Boss

Discovering that your boss doesn’t respect your expertise can ruin your work ethic and drain your enthusiasm. But if you aren’t in a position to quit, here are a few ways to excel, even with a disrespectful boss.

4 Secrets to Getting a Pay Raise

Asking for a raise isn’t easy and preparing to ask can be nerve-racking. When should you ask for one? How much should you ask for? Here are our top four tips for negotiating a raise.

Reasons You May Never Retire

Traditionally, retirement was expected. You put in the extra hours while you were young so that you would have the freedom to do whatever you wanted in your later years. But that’s no longer the case.

Resume Tips to Impress Your Interviewer

If you really want to stand out, you need to add something extra to your resume. After all, you can’t make an impression without an interview. In this blog, we focus on the little things you can do with your resume to truly stand out.

How to Tell Your Interviewer You Were Fired

Yeah, you were fired. But does the interviewer really need to know that? Yup. Here’s why.

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On Your Job Search

The job search is the internet equivalent of cold calling: knocking on doors and hoping someone is interested in your product. Every time you fail to get an interview or don’t make it to the next round, it can feel like a personal insult. But that doesn’t mean you should give up!

Why Companies Don’t Respond After an Interview

Why would a company skip out on the goodwill a well-meaning rejection email can generate? Although we personally feel companies should always send out courtesy rejection emails, here are a few reasons why they might not.

Age Discrimination in the job Search

Age discrimination in the job search is a problem. After all, you can’t change your age—it’s a part of who you are. What can you do?

5 Low Cost Ways to Develop Your Skills

Acquiring new talents and abilities doesn’t have to clean out your bank account or leave you drowning in debt. Here are a few affordable ways to develop your skills.

Anything you want to see a blog about in 2018? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

Workplace Gift-Giving Guide

The do’s and don’ts of workplace present exchange

Who doesn’t love the holidays? Delicious eggnog, shimmering trees, and, of course, presents bound in cheerful wrapping paper. This time of year provides a wonderful opportunity to bond with your coworkers. Exchanging gifts that are a bit more personal enhances your workplace relationships

But not too personal. A happy occasion can be ruined by an inappropriate or strange gift.

DO: Office Supplies

Unique and fun office supplies make great gifts. If you have a friend who loves bulldogs, spring for a dog-shaped eraser, pen, or calendar. If someone’s a writer, maybe they would appreciate a typewriter-shaped pencil cup or a calligraphy pen. The gifts don’t have to be particularly quirky. If you want to get April from accounting something but aren’t sure what she wants, you really can’t go wrong with a numeric keypad!

DON’T: Anything Offensive or Inappropriate

Stay away from anything that includes swear words or lewd images. Even if you have an inside joke with your buddy Bob, giving him an inappropriate gag gift in front of the entire office is a bad idea. It makes you look unprofessional, and could even put Bob in a bad spot when he has to figure out what to do with your gift. Also, take care your gift won’t be offensive due to an individual’s religious or personal beliefs.

This is all still true even if the actual gift exchange isn’t happening at the office. People talk, and your boss is sure to hear about it one way or another.

DO: Personalized Items

It’s inexpensive to order customized items online these days. You can get a coffee cup made with an inside (and safe-for-work) joke plastered on the side for a few dollars, or a few pens monogrammed with someone’s initials for a similar price. Some Etsy sellers even create custom keychains or stickers for under $10. Search online and use your creative flair to design something memorable.

DON’T: Jewelry, Perfume, Flowers, Cologne, Etc.

Steer clear of any gift that could be romantic. Although your intentions might be entirely platonic, you have no idea how your coworker might feel upon receiving such a gift. Not to mention the gossip that could start because of it.

And personal items like perfume and cologne are a bad idea anyway. You don’t really know a person’s scent preferences, and could end up giving them something they don’t like or are even allergic to.

DO: Gift Cards

Although gift cards can be a bit impersonal, they are by far the safest workplace gift idea. It’s hard to get offended by a gift card to your favorite restaurant or retailer. Just ask around beforehand to make sure they don’t have a vendetta against any one chain or supermarket. A fun holiday card can add a personal touch.

DON’T: Alcohol

Although there’s nothing wrong with bringing a nice wine to a dinner party, it is usually frowned upon to bring such libations into the workplace. It might be alright if your gift exchange is happening at a restaurant or coworker’s home, but consider your company culture before deciding.

Looking for more workplace gift ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

The Home Stretch: Six Quick Tips to Finish Strong in 2017

With three-quarters of the year behind us, we’ve officially entered the final stretch of 2017. With 2018 just around the corner, many are feeling the pressure to finish strong. So, whether you’re a jobseeker or a busy employee, it’s important to take an assessment of where you are and what you need to do to meet—and exceed—your end-of-the-year goals.

Whether you’re right on track or falling short of your performance expectations, these six quick tips may help ensure you head into the new year with some positive momentum.

Fine Tune Your Action Plan
Although it’s likely too late to overhaul your annual plan altogether, there are small adjustments that can be made to give an extra boost toward meeting your end of the year goals. Taking a moment to review and revise your strategies before making a final push toward 2018 will help focus your efforts on the activities that will get you there.

Clear the Path
Sometimes the best thing you can do to shed all the clutter that has accumulated throughout the year is to clear a path toward the finish line. From extra projects and conflicts with colleagues or family members to actual files and paper piling up on every available surface around the workplace or home, ridding yourself of distractions lets you think more clearly about reaching and exceeding your goals.

Up the Ante
If you’re lagging behind—or just barely meeting performance goals—sometimes upping the ante is necessary to get a final burst of productivity to finish the year. Whether it’s changing your goal structure or setting “reward milestones” (where you treat yourself to something after a certain goal is achieved), giving yourself an exciting new reward to aim for may be exactly what’s needed.

Take a Breather
If you’ve had a long and challenging year up to this point, it’s likely becoming more difficult to summon the energy needed to stay on track. Before you start the countdown to the final days of 2017, take an opportunity to catch your breath. Whether it’s taking a full vacation or just a long weekend, a little time to recharge the batteries is essential to staying focused and energized for closing out the fourth quarter.

Throw a Hail Mary
If you’ve had a difficult year and it’s clear you are going to fall short of your goals, at this point in the game what do you have to lose by tossing a Hail Mary? Think way outside the box and take a risk on a creative strategy or job application that, if successful, could completely change the momentum and put yourself back on track to squeak out a win.

No matter what your end of the year situation may be, the most important thing is to stay focused. And, even if you fall short of meeting your goals, don’t dwell on it. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn what didn’t work so you will be better prepared to position yourself for success in the new year.

Celebrate Your 2017 Successes

Reflect on your accomplishments this year

2017 is almost over. You’ve followed all our blogs this year, prepped as hard as you could, and now all your tools are sharp. Your resume is rockin’, your network is newsworthy, and your industry knowledge is incredible. You’re ready for the job search in 2018.

And that’s worth celebrating. Looking for a job isn’t easy—getting everything up to date is a job in and of itself, albeit a job that doesn’t pay anything at first. And you’ve done it! Let’s take a look at all of the things you’ve checked off your list this year.

Your Resume Is Ready

Your resume is the most important tool in your job search arsenal. It gets you in the door with recruiters, can be passed out at networking events, and is a one-stop summary for everything that is you. Your resume isn’t just a list of the jobs you’ve held. It’s a monument to your achievements, filled to the brim with data showing how you’ve helped each and every company you’ve ever worked for succeed.

You’ve chosen your words carefully and analyzed job postings to find out what the industry lingo is. Each bullet uses new action verbs to show what you’ve done—no word is used twice. Your formatting is beautiful. Everything fits on one page, the margins are perfect, and the spacing isn’t distracting.

You update your resume regularly and have had friends and peers review it to make sure everything made sense. You even sent it off to a local recruiter to get their thoughts on it.

Your Network Has Grown

When you first started looking for a job, your network was relatively small. You had a few previous co-worker as connections on LinkedIn, as well as a few family members. But since then you’ve grown leaps and bounds. You’re active in your community, hold a position in a professional group, and keep up to date on all the latest industry trends. You receive email newsletters from your favorite blogs, and never miss a beat.

People like you for you. You haven’t run around begging for a job, but they’ve let you know about opportunities because of your relationship. That’s what networking really is. Becoming friendly (on some level) with people in your industry and sharing time with them. Then showing them how great you are at what you do. Leave it to them to put 2 and 2 together to realize you’re the perfect person for their job opening.

You’ve Developed Your Skillset

You’ve realized that some job listings mention skills you don’t have, or familiarity with programs you’ve never encountered. Not one to shy away from a challenge, you’ve found local or online classes that provide the training those companies crave. You haven’t let your existing skills dull as you’ve job searched either. You’ve found gig work where you can, and researched the latest trends in your industry to ensure you don’t fall by the wayside.

And for those of you who still have a few things left on your job search checklist? There’s still time! Read the articles linked in this blog to get started, and you’ll be ready in no time.

Have questions about how to get your job search kicked off in the new year? Let us know in the comments below!