When you're on the job hunt, the last thing you want to do is annoy hiring managers, interviewers, recruiters, and so on. But how do you know when you're being a nuisance? We asked our experts what they thought were the most annoying mistakes job seekers make during their search. Here's what they had to say: "Biggest mistake: Focusing on them, what they want and a list of what they did. You need to focus on what the employer wants. You do this by identifying the 3-5 top things they are looking for and then tailoring your resume to showcase what you did and what results were produced." (Don Goodman) "One of the biggest mistakes that I see with job-hunters is time wasting. My number one tip for people in a situation of long-term unemployment is to treat the job search like a full-time job. I encourage the candidates to schedule their time each day, just like they had a job. For example, start each day at around the same time and block out "appointments" to do online job searches, attend networking events, make follow-up calls, and so on." (Amanda Haddaway) "While I can't necessarily say that I get annoyed by it, I do think that job seekers sabotage their job search every morning when they go online, first thing, to check their email. This starts a quick downhill spiral of moving from job board to job board, in search of positions that are already posted. Best tip for breaking the habit? Start with one email-free morning, and slowly move to two, three, and so on! Instead of checking email, head out to an informational interview, networking event, or training workshop." (Laura Labovich) "Taking advice from so-called experts who have never hired or fired anyone in their lives... If you have a question, ask someone who has been there and done that... Check credentials before taking advice." (Bruce Hurwitz) "Not being fully prepared for salary negotiations and receiving an offer. So many job seekers are so focused on the resume and interviewing that they forget to prepare to win the job and what goes with that, salary negotiations. Research early on about the going rates for that position in that geographic area well in advance of a final interview... Know what you can live with and what you can't live with, not only in salary and benefits but commute and office environment... Stay teachable and flexible in your negotiations." (Lisa Adams) "Most job seekers forget that hiring managers have a lot on their plates. Filling an open position, no matter how important to the operation, is one of several things that compete for their attention. If you don’t hear anything by two weeks after your note should have arrived, you might want to follow up with an email, letting the hiring manager know you are still interested. Follow up is good – too much follow up can be just plain annoying and hinder your chances of getting the job." (Bud Bilanich) "Probably the one biggest annoyance is when I get asked my opinion of something, like a person’s resume. I usually pick out the most glaring issues to give them feedback on and then I’m told something like” I had another resume/career expert told me to do that." First, it feels like an attempt to discredit me, and second, if they had another career expert tell them to do something, why are they asking me? ...If you ask enough people their opinion, you will ultimately find conflicting inputs. At some point, you still have to balance experts inputs with your own judgment and stop fishing for answers." (Dorothy Tannahill Moran) "Many of my clients make the mistake of not recognizing that some of their 'smallest' successes might be the most appreciated by the employer. It's great to 'Wow!' an employer with accomplishments that show how you contributed to the bottom line, but it's equally important to have stories of how you've fit in with the organization's culture. For example, maybe you helped a colleague when you didn't have to, went above and beyond for a customer, or volunteered to set up a little lending library in the break room. Ask yourself: what have I done that will resonate with this employer?" (Kristin Johnson) "Too often, job seekers fail to define and refine their professional brand, to know themselves (their skils, talents and values), and what they really want from a career, so they go into the job hunt without a target... Job seekers need to take the time up front to establish a personal brand by defining and refining their skills, talents, and values; they need to research career paths in which they will thrive, and then move forward with a targeted job search strategy." (Lisa Lambert Snodgrass) Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Balancing a career and family is a common concern for most individuals. However, it’s important to realize the smallest of changes can produce the strongest of impacts.
I’ve often worked jobs that required evening and weekend hours. The question is: What can we do?
1. Morning Gratitude Moment
When you wake up in the morning, don’t jump out of bed for your workout immediately, or drag yourself to the washroom. Sit up straight, relax, and close your eyes. Say to yourself, “I am grateful for those who support me, believe in me, and are always there for me.” Say this with a deep breath in between each time you say it, and I recommend saying it for a full five minutes. When you open your eyes and look at everything around you—keep that moment of gratitude with you, throughout your day, reminding yourself how you can’t wait to get home to your loving family.
2. Workout Partners
Begin your day by stretching with your family and doing some physical activity together. All you need is 10 minutes. You’ve accomplished a two-for-one: physical activity and family time!
3. Family Playlist
On your shared streaming service, make a playlist of your family’s favorite music. When you take a break at work or feel a negative moment getting the best of you, listen to that music, think about your family, and regain your focus. Music is a powerful voice and has the ability to affect our mindset. Your family playlist will energize you and improve your mood.
4. Daily Phone Call
At least once a day, call or text your significant other or your kids and repeat Stevie Wonder: “I just called to say I love you, I just called to say how much I care.” Let your family know they are always in your thoughts. Even in the face of a big deadline or an important meeting, that moment will relax you and make your family smile!
5. Clarify Your Work Hours & Expectations
Discuss with your boss his/her expectations of you in regards to your time and your position to foster a mutual and clear understanding of your role. Should your role involve evening/weekend hours, and tasks such as answering emails, working from home, or extra time needed for special projects, establish a strategy and discuss with your boss how to meet these expectations so you don’t feel overwhelmed and pulled between your family and your job. If you are a new parent, have family members who require special needs, or have personal circumstances which require attention, bring these up as necessary, so if you have to leave early, there is an understanding of why this is the case.
6. Socializing At Work
It’s common for colleagues to hang out after work. Say yes when your significant other and/or kids are also busy. This will balance things out more. There are times to have beers with colleagues, but there are also times to go home, relax, watch a movie, and simply have fun with your family.
7. Buffer Moment
We all deal with a lot at work and at times might get irritated or annoyed. Remember you are a human being, not a robot, and thus it’s acceptable to have a buffer moment for these feelings. Take a deep breath, zone into your happy place that involves your family, think about how your energy can be used towards something else, and move on.
8. Yoda Philosophy
As Yoda put it, “Do or do not, there is no try.” Don’t try to leave at 6:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.; just do it. Allocate the last half-hour of your day to do the following and leave at 5:30/6:00 p.m.:
- For two minutes, take deep breaths, in and out, looking away from your desk, feeling the moment of gratitude you felt in the morning. Turn back to focus on leaving to see your family at home.
- Organize your emails based on what is to be reviewed, what requires follow-up, and what needs a response after your breakfast/snack/meal. Your emails are emails, not a to-do list.
- Write out your to-do list, priorities, goals, and key items for the next day.
- Double-check that you have a water bottle and healthy desk snacks.
- Organize your desk so that your to-do list is in front of you, papers for review are next to your list, and keep a pen ready with blank paper to jot down extra notes. Don’t always rely on your computer; rely on yourself and your mind.
9. Phone And TV-Free Dinner
At the dinner table, leave your phone and turn off the TV. Focus on your family, not on work, and use this as a time to bring all your energy, your aura, and your being in the moment with the people who support and believe in what you do, and love you for the ability to do what you do.
10. Your Work Journal
Keep a two-week work diary: try to track every fifteen minutes of your work time. After that, analyze for, and attack, any inefficiencies! This will import balance in your day and yield a well-deserved coffee break, a breath of fresh air, and time to make your daily family phone call!
Does email control you and take you away from your priority list, and thus your work-life balance? Organizational skills are an important factor in how you balance your day, affecting your work-life balance. Get organized and get happy! You'll find that work-life balance sooner than you think.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.