A certain man, we’ll call him Patrick, was in dire financial straits. His business was failing, his wife had left him, and he was behind in his mortgage payments. Patrick’s desperation was so strong that he started playing the Lottery. Related: 5 Ways To Get A Job After several months without winning the Lottery, Patrick became really desperate, and decided to go to church to pray. He sat in a back pew, so as not to disturb anyone else, and started praying. “Oh, God,” he prayed, “You can see how badly off I am. Please, please, please let me win the Lottery.” A week later, he still hadn’t won the Lottery. So he went back to church. “God, this is Patrick. I’ve been Your faithful servant for many years. I really need to win the Lottery.” Another week went by. Still no Lottery winnings. This time, Patrick didn’t even bother with church, he sank down to his knees in his living room. “Oh, God, are you sure you have the right Patrick? I’m Patrick O’Donaghue, and I’m from—” Just then a blinding light filled the living room, and a thunderous voice said, “Patrick, my son. Help me out here. Buy a ticket.” I tell this story to demonstrate the best-kept secret to job-hunting success: You won’t get anywhere without plunging in. “What do you mean, Jack?” you demand. “I have a resume, and it’s posted on Monster.” To this I say, Good for you. But what else are you doing to market yourself? Are you on LinkedIn? Are you on Facebook? Twitter? Do you post regularly to these sites? What LinkedIn groups do you belong to? What message are you posting about yourself? If you’re going to get anywhere, you have to plunge right in. That means making sure your resume will show a prospective employer how you can solve his or her problem(s). Sometimes it means convincing that employer that his or her house is on fire, and that you’re the fire fighter. How about your LinkedIn profile? Are you one of those people who doesn’t show your face? Do you understand why a picture is so important? And yes, I get that you’re worried about putting your picture out there. Just please be aware that LinkedIn advises that you are 14 times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a photo. Let’s face it; humans are visual. And we want to do business with people we know, like, and trust. In the case of a LinkedIn photo, the adage is correct that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And what else have you done to draw attention to yourself? Do you at least repost material you find that may interest your prospective customers or employers? Do you blog? YOU: “Who, me? Write a blog? Myself?” Yes, you. Writing isn’t the horrible fate you’ve always thought it was. When the teacher assigned a 500-word composition as a punishment, she or he never realized that you weren’t learning your lesson, you were learning to hate writing, to associate it with being punished. So try. If you fail, try again. And again. Read blogs you like, and try to approximate what they do. Read everything you can get your hands on. You’re probably going to be using your native language, for crying out loud. Make your first attempts offline, in MS Word or some other word processing app. If you devote just 15 to 30 minutes each day to writing, you’ll get better. You’ll at least get good enough to write your own blog posts. Do you post to Facebook and Twitter? On LinkedIn, have you joined any groups that interest you? Try answering a few posts, as writing practice for your blog. The important thing through all of this is that you need to explore ways to get yourself known. The old way, where you just walked into the company and filled out an application, is no longer viable. Today’s world demands that you show your value, that you network with others. You need to take an active role in selling yourself. As the Lord said to Patrick, “Buy a ticket.” This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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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