Tag Archives: motivation

4 Ways to Fight the Blues During Your Job Hunt

Interview1 Finding a job can be difficult, especially in today’s work environment with so many job seekers fighting for the limited number of openings. With job hunts lasting anywhere from six to 12 months or longer, it’s easy to get discouraged. But, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and not give up. In fact, since searching for a job is a full-time job in and of itself, here are four tips to help you stay motivated and fight the job hunting blues!

Get Organized
Amid sending out your résumés and cover letters, it’s important to keep track of your efforts so everything doesn’t start running together. Staying organized will help you stay effective and efficient on the job search. So, create a tracking system that includes the names of the companies you’ve contacted, who you talked to, when you talked with them, if you spoke over the phone, in-person, or through email, and what they said. Also, keep track of the results, such as if they said to call back in two months or if they requested a copy of your résumé. This not only helps you with your unemployment requirements, it will also ensure you don’t contact the same employer too often and provide a visual record of how hard you’re working.

Change Your Surroundings
It’s easy to get in a rut when you’re sitting at home scanning the classified ads or online job boards. When you get discouraged and tired, break out of the norm and change up your job search environment by going to a local bookstore or coffee shop to do your job hunting. Libraries are also good places to go, especially if you need a computer for searching job sites or emailing applications. As a bonus, these local meeting places often times have bulletin boards where employers post job openings.

Take a Break
Just like everyone needs to take a vacation now and then, you also need a break from your job search every once in awhile. Give yourself permission to rest. Maybe go outside and work in the yard or go to the park with your family or see a movie. You could also volunteer at a local charity, which is also a great way to build skills and experience. You’ll come back to the job hunt feeling refreshed, less stressed, and with a new outlook.

Ask for Help
Teamwork is an effective tool when you’re on the job hunt. The more people who know you’re looking for work, the more your chances increase of finding job openings. It’s also another way to build your personal referrals. Make sure everyone you have a conversation with knows you’re looking for a job – tell everyone. Also, staffing companies are another great way to multiply your efforts because recruiters help you locate a job that matches your skills and interest. You should never be charged, and you’ll gain access to companies and job openings that you might not have ever known about.

Today’s job hunt is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s imperative that job seekers stay motivated and not give up. It’s easy to get discouraged, but if you get organized, change up your environment, give yourself a few breaks, and build a team around you, you’ll be well on the way to finding your next great job! So, try these four tips to keep your job search fresh and moving forward.

From a Hiring Manager’s Perspective: What Are They Thinking After Your Interview?

Interview After you interview for a job, the ever-fun waiting game begins. Will you get a second interview or a call saying, “Thanks for interviewing, but…?”  Whether or not you advance in the interview process is now in the hands of the hiring manager. It’s time for the interviewer to process what they’ve learned about you.

So, what could make or break the deal? In deciding whether or not you get a call back for a second interview, here’s an inside look at two questions an interviewer is sure to ask themselves about you.

Do I like the candidate’s personality?

Can this interviewer see you getting along with the team? Would you fit in well with the company culture? On your résumé, you might be a great fit, but there’s a lot that a hiring manager can learn about you during – and after – you interview. Not only will a potential employer evaluate the answers you gave during an interview, but they will take into consideration your nonverbal communication skills, investigate your online personal brand (a.k.a. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and check your references. All of these items are taken into consideration when a potential employer is debating hiring you to their team.

Is this person driven?

Are you self motivated and eager to learn and take on new projects? Right now, with the continued uncertainty about the economy and tight budgets, companies are still playing it safe when it comes to hiring. With fewer workers and heavier workloads, employers are looking for hard-working, motivated individuals who can stand the test of time.

To determine if you’re the employee for them, hiring managers will be taking all things about you into consideration when making a decision – your work history, your interview responses, and your references’ feedback. To put your best foot forward during the interview, make sure your résumé is up-to-date, research the company, brush up on some potential interview questions, and dress to impress. Also, contact your references so they can be prepared to give you a recommendation. The day of your interview, it’s your day to shine. Your goal is to make a lasting, positive impression that makes the hiring manager want to hire YOU!

Ready for New Year’s Resolutions? How to Accomplish Everything on Your List This Year

“The longest journey starts with a single step.” - Lao Tzu
                          
Gearing up for the new year

It’s that time of year again: new calendars, party plans, and “Auld Lang Syne.”

Counting down to the new year just isn’t complete without also making at least one resolution. Chances are there are a few issues you’d like to work on in 2011, broad personal or professional objectives that might top your official resolution list this year.

Turning those broad items into attainable goals is, of course, the real challenge.

Planning for success: how to set short-term goals with long-term objectives
Big picture vs. small steps

Setting a goal often starts with an idea of the “big picture,” the end result you want to achieve. A sense of accomplishment, sometimes at a key moment, usually lets you know you’ve met the objective. Students, for example, daydream about graduation, while job seekers likely imagine signing on the dotted line to accept their ideal position. That big promotion and what it might mean for your career might also be easy to envision.

While the mental image of achieving what you set out to accomplish might seem clear, exactly how to arrive at that specific end result can be less obvious.   

Reaching goals is a process that requires time, self-evaluation, and sustained effort. Taking the right approach and maintaining motivation along the way can be major challenges. Knowing how to stay on track can help make any goal a reality.

Tips for managing your goals

Define them: Write down exactly what you want to do and what success looks like to you. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Don’t forget to identify how you’ll define goal completion. Be realistic about what’s possible and when. Learn more about SMART goals.

Identify first steps:  Outline a series of short-term goals that lead to long-term objectives. Assess what you need to do and be specific about details. For example, if you want to enhance your communication skills, penciling in “Communicate better at work” probably isn’t specific enough. Instead, try researching local public speaking clubs, finding university classes at a nearby campus, or scheduling a first presentation so that a target date is established from the beginning.

Find support: Let others know what you’re working to achieve. Talk regularly with people who can encourage you and will keep you accountable. If you can find another person with the same goal, try to tackle it together. Friends, family, or a support group can help keep you motivated.

Try small but significant changes: A small change can make a big difference. Trade one behavior for another that aligns with the goal, rather than trying to eliminate a big issue all at once. Know that what you’re doing is going to take time. Develop your skills and take gradual steps.

Revamp goals as needed: Take a step back and look at the progress you’re making. By assessing your progress, you can decide if you need to restructure your goals to better accomplish them.

Reward mini-milestones: Celebrate reaching short-term goals in a meaningful way. Make the reward something you can look forward to. Changing your habits is often the real key to achieving your goals, so choose positive incentives that reinforce what you’ve already done.

Give yourself a break: Recognize that the goal process may not always go as planned and give yourself permission to try something else. Keep an open mind and look into different options if your original plan doesn’t work in the way you thought it would.

New year, new you

Get your new year off to a great start by making your resolution list today. Take the time to determine what steps will help get 2011 off to a running start by following the tips above. Do you have others to share? Post in the comments section.

Struggling to Find Inspiration to Make it Through Your Workday? 4 Places to Look

If you find yourself in the same work environment day after day, year after year, you might start to feel drained physically, mentally, and emotionally. You may even become apathetic, causing your creativity to drop. Then, your work might begin to suffer. Suddenly, just getting through the workday can be challenging. If you’re one of many workers struggling to find motivation to get through your workday, discover your inspiration and revive your passion through one of these four avenues.

Environment

Sometimes, simply changing your environment can give you a new perspective on your job. If you’re able to take your work with you, ask your supervisor if you can work outside for a short time, work in a different area of the building, or possibly even work from home for a day. Work not portable? Use your lunch break to get outside, take a walk, and enjoy the different scenery.

People

Do you know someone who always makes you laugh, makes you feel better about your situation, or shares words of encouragement? Check in with those friends, family members, and co-workers when you need a pick-me-up during the workday. Consider writing down some of their encouraging words on note cards and posting them in your workspace to view throughout the day. Want to hear someone else’s view on the world? Talk to a child you know. They’ll be sure to make you laugh and appreciate the smaller things in life.

Art

Whether your favorite type of art comes in the form of photography, paintings, music, poetry, or novels, surrounding yourself with the art of your choice can provide new inspiration to help you reach your goals at work and at home. Not sure where to look? Hang a print of some art that brings you joy. Inspiration is sure to follow when you are surrounded by things you love.

Dreams

Sometimes, inspiration comes from dreaming of what may come. So, don’t be afraid to dream big and look toward the future to find your inspiration. Whether you’re motivated by striving for the VP’s chair or simply want to earn a raise to buy the car you’ve been eyeing, dreaming can supply the power you need to make it through the workday.

You’ve probably experienced at least a day here or there when you’ve struggled to stay on task at work, making your day seem endless. But, if you concentrate on what brings you motivation, you’ll soon be right back where you need to be – inspired to get the job done and done well.

5 Simple Ways to Appreciate Your Boss (Without Kissing Butt)

Anonymity – the feeling that you are not known or appreciated for your job role – is one of the three signs of a miserable job. Everyone craves to be known and appreciated for the work they do. In fact, it’s the role of the boss or manager to provide this for every employee.

Do you ever think about who is appreciating your boss for the work they do? Chances are, they don’t get as much thanks as you would think.

Many people are hesitant to demonstrate their appreciation for a great boss. That’s because, there’s often a sticky side to employer appreciation. No one wants to be known as the office brown-noser. Especially at the price of co-worker relationships.

But, the fact is, a great boss deserves to be appreciated – and more than just with a card on National Boss Day. So, here are five simple ways you can show your boss your genuine appreciation – without kissing butt.

1. Strike up a conversation. Depending on your work situation – and your boss – this may be the easiest thing in the world or it may be difficult. Either way, having an informal conversation with your boss is a great way to build rapport. Don’t forget, conversation can happen in many ways – it doesn’t have to be in person. Write an e-mail, or make a phone call, just to say thanks or catch up. Then, make sure your thankful, positive attitude shines through in the way you communicate – verbally and non-verbally.

2. Help them meet a deadline. When you’re on top of your game and have time to spare once your tasks are completed, invest your time in helping your boss meet – or beat – an important deadline. Adding time into your boss’ workweek by offering to lighten the load when you can is one of the best ways to show your appreciation.

3. Share important news. If you have a pulse on a niche or are well-read in your industry, consider e-mailing interesting articles or resources to your boss to keep them well-informed. This practical idea not only saves them time, it also demonstrates your value and just may spark an innovative idea.

4. Send them a note. Consider writing a short note of appreciation or encouragement to your boss and leaving it on their desk. For an even bigger impact, mail the note – to their work or home address. The cost of the stamp will be worth it. Personal mail is so rare these days, your gesture is sure to stand out and make a positive impact.

5. Use the golden rule. Most bosses aren’t perfect. But who are we kidding? Most employees aren’t perfect either. So, choose to focus on the positive aspects of your boss, and show your appreciation for those factors. (Even if you don’t feel fully appreciated by them.) A simple act of gratitude may speak multitudes into the heart of even the most callous boss.

You may be surprised how far a little thanks can go. After all, a positive attitude is contagious. So, no matter how good or bad your relationship with your boss stands right now, realize you have the power to make it better than it is today.

Taking the time to show your thanks – whoever your boss may be – just may spark the positive energy they need to better motivate your entire team.