Got gaps in your work history? How do you explain them to potential employers? Career experts J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten answer the following question from a reader... Dear J.T. and Dale, How do you handle gaps in your resume? I worked before I had my children, then did jobs that allowed me to be home with them, and even had my own business. I’m going to college for an accounting degree and look forward to working again, but I’ve gotten looks from interviewers about gaps in work history. - Cheryl The first thing you need to do is get in the right mindset, according to Dauten. “Look at the people you’re going to be competing for jobs with,” said Dauten. “Most of them have very little experience. They would LOVE to have gaps in their work history. They don’t even HAVE a work history!” Once you’ve done that, then you need to figure out the best way to present your experience to employers. The best way to do that is to connect the dots for them - make it easy for employers to understand WHY you have the gaps and WHY it’s not going to be an issue. “If you take all of those past jobs that you’ve held and pull out the pieces that involve accounting, you can connect the dots for that employer and show them that this is all part of a plan,” said O’Donnell. According to O’Donnell, doing this will give employers a lot more confidence that you know what you’re doing, and you’re just being very strategic about it. So, got gaps in your work history? You want to present a logical progression that makes it clear that all of that experience you have to offer, even if it has gaps, has lead you here for a reason. Want to ask J.T. & Dale a question? Email your question to email@example.com.
Want to be more productive but not sure how? Whether you are working or job seeking or both, using the following tips will help you bridge the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be in the future.
1. Time Management
Choose the best part of your day and use it wisely. Time management is a catch-all phrase for planning but without it very little gets done. I believe we must create our life and that goes with how and what we spend our time on.
For example, when I'm writing, I choose morning because that's when I feel most creative and can seem to channel my thoughts onto paper. When I was job searching, I would only accept an interview in the morning because I wanted to show up at my personal best and my energy is lower in the afternoon.
Not only will you look and feel better, but you'll also have a sense of accomplishment, which will create momentum in other areas. There are so many benefits to exercise and I'm a huge fan. Knowing yourself will help you engage in the right activity at the right time of day.
For example, I work out in the middle of the day because that's when I need a lift. I go to the gym because instructor-led group exercise is more motivating to me. Consider hiring a personal trainer or trying one of these activities: cardio, weight training, running, playing sports, yoga, Pilates, walking.
There are no excuses for not exercising. It is the single most important thing you can do for your health. It will also propel you forward in your work life and job search activities because you will feel good about yourself.
3. Being Reactive
Living in a non-stop world these days can wreak havoc on your health, relationships, and productivity. If you are someone who does whatever comes up and jumps from activity to activity, then chances are you aren't being very productive.
Multitasking is necessary at times, but I wonder if people actually accomplish more or less. I have seen incredibly people pull off multitasking and I'm in awe of their talent. Sadly, I'm not one of them. I'm someone who takes charge by starting and completing tasks before moving on to the next thing. Knowing which one of these people you are can work to your advantage and increase your productivity.
4. Priority List
It's a game changer. Either you run the day or the day runs you. Writing out a priority list on things that are most important to you right now will help you to stay focused on what you want and off of what you don't want. You've developed the criteria for making decisions and your life flows better because you're connected to what you want.
5. Setting Boundaries
I find it necessary to set boundaries with people because, when I do, it helps protect my energy and mood and I'm honoring my time. For example, I won't take phone calls in the morning. I have also stopped listening to victim stories because I find them very draining. I also choose to work from inspiration—not obligation—and this helps me eliminate time spent doing things I don't want to do and opens up time for activities that fill me up and move me forward.
6. Commuting And Traffic
Commuting can be such a huge productivity killer. People spend hours every week stuck in traffic. Do the research and see if there are ways that you can obtain the same results through an online meeting or phone call. Can you work from home? Plan what you will do to make your time in the car productive? These are valuable ways to reduce your time held hostage in traffic.
If you want to be more productive in life and in your career, focus on these six things first. Chances are at least one of these tips will work for you!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.