We’ve all been asked this question. And throughout our lives, the answer can change as our skills refine and our interests shift.
I am the parent of a pre-teen and a teenager. They have many questions about their future, and are figuring out their interests along the way. They both know that they want a career that interests them, and will sustain them. I look forward to showing them this infographic below, as many of the points are ones that come up in our thoughtful and thought-provoking conversations about choosing a career.
Do you sometimes find yourself with nothing to do at work? Summer is here, and depending on your industry, things can slow down at the office. Here are some tips on how you can use that quiet time at the office more effectively:
Does it have to be just one thing? Can we give ourselves permission to change career paths multiple times? Sit back and enjoy this TED Talk by career coach Emilie Wapnick, who, herself has tried multiple careers.
“It is rarely a waste of time to pursue something you’re drawn to,even if you end up quitting.You might apply that knowledge in a different field entirely,in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated.” ~ Emilie Wapnick
In last week’s post, we talked about preparing for the job interview. Now it is time to put yourself in the mind frame for when you are actually face to face with your interviewer.
This is a collaborative and interactive experience: think of it as an extended discussion in a coffee shop. Get into detail, but don’t share so much that you are long-winded or get off topic. Remember it’s about you and them, not just you. It’s a two-way street – you get to know them and they get to know you. In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell conveys this type of process as a kind of a dance. Fall into sequence together, a “conversation rhythm,” according to Gladwell, and you’ll likely find yourself with an offer.
. Listen to the question before jumping in with an answer: do not speak in general terms when you have been asked a question looking for specifics. Nervousness might have you jump to conclusions that are way off from what the interviewer is intending. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. And never interrupt the interviewer when he or she is speaking.
Teamwork vs. Me-work: While it is important for most companies to know about your ability to work as part of a team, keep in mind when the question comes about asking what did YOU do on that project? So many times we hear, “Well, we did this and we did that,” and “We came in under budget,” etc. Never does the individual reveal what his or her specific contributions were. This seemingly says the person did not have a significant role in the project. This might be totally incorrect, but could cost him or her the job.
. The Paperwork: This may be an obvious point but, surprisingly, one that’s often forgotten. Always bring a copy of your resumé for yourself as well as copies for the people that you will be meeting. If you have been asked to bring along additional documentation, make sure you have it available. Also, a thorough reference listing of past supervisors should be attached to your resumé. Make sure you have contacted the references in advance of the interview so they are aware they may receive a phone call and, most importantly, know about the position you are applying for.
One last thing. Relax. You might find yourself enjoying the job-search process. And remember, it’s not just about you.
You have submitted your job application. Then you got the call. They want to meet for a face to face interview. Now is the time to sharpen up your interviewing strategies. Remember that you are your brand and that every part of you is under scrutiny in this process. Give your prospective employer every reason to spend some time taking a further look into who you are. Before you walk in the door, consider some prep work to be in order. A few points to note:
Be prepared, do your research: look beyond the internet. Study local business periodicals and scour for advertisements highlighting your target company. Look for corporate recognition internally and externally. These things will say a lot about what makes an organization tick. In your travels, you may also be able to learn more about the individual teams within the corporation.
.Dress professionally: this goes without saying, but along with that power suit, show a positive attitude. Do not underestimate the importance and impact of professional image. If ever unsure of dress code it is better to be more corporately dressed on the first meeting.
. Prioritize your questions: make sure you have your most important questions ready to ask. Time them throughout the interview versus loading them up at the beginning or the end.
. Budget your time: know approximately how long the interview is intended to be. There is nothing worse than a person who goes on and on, forcing the interviewer to fight to get through their questioning. Organize your thoughts.
In this TED Talk below, the late Scott Dinsmore, founder of Live Your Legend shares the points about our own lives that we have complete control over to find our true path. We all have unique strengths, values, experiences. It is up to us to find the definition of success and what it means to us. Scott encourages us to surround ourselves with people that inspire us. We hope you find the video below inspirational.
It is never a good idea to be complacent in the workplace. If you want to remain employed at your current company, nurture the current position you are in. As well, give yourself opportunities to go beyond what is expected of you.
Last week, we shared some tips on how to approach the job market. The following are some tips if you are currently employed and want to remain there:
What you do everyday makes a big difference. Your positive outlook and pitch in attitude will give you great mileage. Your positive vibes can become contagious to others.
Look at problems as opportunities. Look at market slowdown as a chance to regroup and re-strategize. There is time now to make improvements.
Show up early and stay late when you can. Not to bank overtime, but to show your employer how much your company means to you. Your exemplary initiatives will be noticed.
If you have metrics or targets – go above and beyond.
Now may not be the time to ask for a raise. It will come in good time. Wait for it.
Be fiscally responsible. Consider what you and your coworkers can go without. Lead some office initiatives on recycling and other ways to save on resources. This will not only help improve the office bottom line but will be good for the environment.