By J.T. O'Donnell Carla is a smart gal. (Actually, her real name isn't Carla, I'm protecting her identity.) I've known her for years. She's logical, patient and consistent. She's well-organized too. Unfortunately, she got laid off recently. Actually, over 10% of her company's workforce was let go. So, the good news is she's not taking it personally. However, when I asked her how the job search was going, I was disappointed to hear her response: "Well, I haven't gotten very far. I got on the internet and looked at job postings, but I stopped doing that because nothing really caught my eye. Also, I've been struggling with the best way to update my resume. To be honest, I'm just not sure what I want to do next." I said to her, "Wow. So it's like you're riding a bicycle blindfolded?" "A what?" she replied? I explained... "You are standing over the bike because you have no idea where you are going and you can't see what direction to head in. However, when you want to feel like you are moving, you opt to ride in circles, expending all your energy but not moving forward so that you don't make a wrong turn or get in an accident....and it makes you dizzy." Job Seekers: There Are Steps You Must Consider (Do you know them all?) Job searching is like a road trip - to get there quicker and with fewer problems, one must identify a specific destination to reach AND all the milestones that must be passed along the way. Many job seekers in this economy may not realize there is a sequential set of steps that need to be completed on the journey to a new job. Actually, there are 10 of them. 10 Key Steps to a Successful Job Search Carla needed the 10 Key Steps to a Successful Job Search. She needed to know how to narrow down her options, plan her strategy and then create the appropriate tools for executing her plan. Many well-intentioned job seekers today do not know all of these steps. The result is a stalled job search that slows them down and can even hold them back completely from finding the right opportunity. This often leads to them succumbing to ‘The First-Job-That-Comes-Along Syndrome' - a disease that is guaranteed to lead to career dissatisfaction. (I'll be writing about that soon.) Whether you are fresh out of school or a seasoned professional, you need to make sure you are following a logical and complete process for finding your next job. Without one, you'll feel like my friend Carla - confused, unproductive and frustrated. I gave Carla the 10 Key Steps to a Successful Job Search. I'm also offering them to you. At the very least, you can use it as a checklist to confirm you are doing the right thing. You may even determine which of the steps is giving you the most trouble. Either way, it's a quick resource designed to help you get focused and engaged in a proper process for finding your next job. Sign up below and you'll automatically receive an e-mail with the 10 Key Steps to a Successful Job Search. I'll be honest, we won't ever sell or use your e-mail for SPAMMING, but we will add you to our newsletter database. So, if you decide you don't want to get our weekly e-mail, you can easily unsubscribe at the bottom the first time you receive it. I hope you'll use this free tool to plan your route to success. As you've hopefully gathered from this post, cycling blindfolded is bad for the health of your job search!
January 25, 2009
Getting through to the job interview stage in the hiring process means the employer believes you have the right experience and skills for the job on paper. But now comes the real deal-breaker: whether you can communicate those skills effectively in person and come off as the right fit for the company's workplace culture.
There are typical red flags employers watch for in job interviews. Any one red flag can reduce your chances of getting a job offer, so here's what you need to avoid in your next job interview...
1. Poor Communication
This includes everything from talking too little, talking too much, or simply having poor nonverbal behavior like a lack of eye contact or making the situation uncomfortable with poor body language. When it comes to questions and answers, a job candidate who can't provide effective responses to questions that are necessary to assess their experience and skills is always a problem.
Be prepared to address every point you have on your resume. And when an employer presents a follow-up question like "Tell me more about..." they are trying to dig deeper either because they're curious, or you provided an insufficient response.
An inability to communicate well in a job interview will leave the employer questioning whether you do have the experience and skills you say you have on paper.
2. Question Of Permanency
When an employer puts out a job offer, it's going to be to someone they believe is committed to the job—not to someone who's simply looking to fill in an employment gap until a more fitting job comes along. Any reasonable job seeker wouldn't present such a front, but sometimes casual conversation can lead you to say things that are better off unsaid.
Avoid talking about challenges in your job search or how you were looking for a job in fashion marketing, but somehow you're now applying for this job in healthcare marketing. It brings to question if you're really interested in the job the employer has to offer.
Also, avoid talking about any long-distance relationships and try not to mention that your spouse and kids remain in another state. The employer will question if your personal situation may impact your job loyalty down the road if a relocation package is not going to be a part of the offer. And if they ask where you want to be in three years, answer with a position that corresponds with their growth opportunities.
3. Bad Talk
The purpose of the interview is to demonstrate why you're a great candidate for the job and effectively convey what you have to offer. It's not about letting your frustrations out about a boss you don't like or people you don't like working with. Any bad-mouthing simply sends a negative message about your character. It'll also make the employer question if you can manage workplace relationships professionally.
Often, bad-mouthing occurs when employers ask questions like, "Why are you leaving your current job?" Stay focused on answering with a positive response that relates back to the goal of improving yourself and utilizing what you're capable of offering.
4. Not Dressing The Part
Yes, it's wrong to judge a book by its cover. But in a job interview, this is what happens. If you're not dressed the part to look like you suit the job, it's going to be hard for the employer to see that, too.
It might also make the employer think that if you can't even manage to present a well-groomed appearance for a job interview that you'll be a slacker when on the job—and that's not going to work, especially if this is a position where you may have interface with customers or business partners that require a professional appearance.
5. It's All About The Money
Salary is a factor in determining whether the job offer is ultimately right for you, but bringing it up too early in the interview process comes off as though you're only in it for the money. And when you're the one to bring it up, it puts you at a disadvantage. You create a situation where you need to reveal your desired salary before the employer offers insight to what they're considering, which may end up being much lower or much higher from what the employer has budgeted.
The point is to first make the most impressive mark you can. If you're the one they want, they'll bring up the topic of salary and you'll have an idea of what they're offering, which you can then further negotiate so it meets your expectations.
Employers take into account many factors during the job interview. It's not just about the experience and skills you put on paper. Now, you can avoid all the typical red flags to keep yourself in the running.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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For years now, I have seen hustle-culture being glorified, and it frustrates me. The idea of earning respect by overworking yourself isn't healthy. It just isn't. As a small business owner, I fully understand the word hustle. I grind daily. But as human beings, we have limits, so I suggest that we must be intentional with how we hustle.
I like to think about it in running terms. Hustle culture would have you believe that you can sprint forever. But that isn't possible. At some point, your legs are simply going to give out and hurl you face-first into the ground. Intentional hustle, on the other hand, is like doing a 100-yard dash a few times. You have a goal, you meet it, and then you have a bit of time to rest and reset. The important thing here: it's sustainable.
If you are working too much, not only are you not spending enough time with friends and family, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to take on projects that will benefit your career in the long run. Burnout is real and so is your body's need for sleep and self-care.
Sleep is a magical thing. A study done in 2018 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss, and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29 percent more productivity loss when compared with those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
To see the full results of the study click here.
Discover Your Flow
You'll notice that there are different levels of stress and flow in your work and life. It's not about finding a perfect balance between the two, but rather finding the sweet spot for you. You need to understand what makes you flourish and what drains you, so you can plan your days and projects and accordingly.
Planning well and taking notice of what you enjoy will allow you to steer your free time and career towards projects and learnings that light you up. Hustle on things that make you happy. It is harder to burn out doing things that you truly enjoy.
When you work too hard, you miss out on the nuances of the world that matter the most to you. You can see a beautiful sunset and not even notice it if you're racing to get done with a project at work. Conversely, when you stop working so hard, you have time to enjoy life's little pleasures, recharge, and be present for the people in your life.
There are so many awe-inspiring things and people out in the world, but you have to look up from your screen to see it all. As a creative, I know without a doubt that my work gets stronger when I take the time to meander and explore the world around me.
Being intentional with how you choose to hustle is the key. A strong work ethic is incredibly valuable, but the idea of ambition as a lifestyle, not so much.
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