Regardless of whether you are married or with a significant other, there's no doubt you've heard of "speed dating." The goal is to talk to many potential dates as possible, in a tight time frame, with just enough time to say your name and see if there's any chemistry (or chemie, as we say in French), with the other partner. No matter what your opinion is, speed dating and trying to find chemistry with a potential employer who shares commonalities are very similar in their nature. Now, that commonality has transitioned into a trend called speed networking.

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"Be all you can be." Do you remember that TV ad the American army used for a time? Stop and think right now. Are you really doing everything in your power to move forward in your job search? Here are nine key questions to self-assess:

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How's your job search motivation these days? While job seekers experience setbacks, disappointments, or perceived failures, their motivational compass needs to be recharged. With the countless negatives a (long) job search entails, how do can job seekers stay motivated? Consider these tips from A to Z and how they apply to job seekers: A - Achieve your dreams. Avoid negative people, things and places. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” B - Believe in your self, and in what you can do. When was the last time that you reviewed your successes, accomplishments, skills and qualifications? CConsider things on every angle and aspect. Motivation comes from determination. To be able to understand life, you should feel the sun from both sides. If your job search is not yielding results, change the approach and take risks. DDon’t give up and don’t give in. Thomas Edison failed once, twice, more than thrice before he came up with his invention and perfected the incandescent light bulb. Make motivation your steering wheel. EEnjoy. Learn as if you’ll live forever. Motivation takes place when people have intrinsic goals (inward). FFamily and Friends are life’s greatest treasures. Don’t lose sight of them. They can be your best supports in a long job search. GGive more than what is enough. Where does motivation and self- improvement take place, at work? At home? At school? It happens when you exert extra effort in doing things. HHang on to your dreams. The "little" stars in your dreams may be your driving force. IIgnore those who try to destroy you. Don’t let other people to get the best of you. Resist the comopany of toxic people – the kind of friends who dislike hearing about your successes. True friends will applaud your efforts and act as your bellweather of support. J Just be yourself. The key to success is to be yourself. And the key to failure is to try to please everyone. For example, if you are unable to land two interviews in a week, reconfigure goals that are realistic. KKeep trying no matter how hard life may seem. Realize that unemployment is temporary. Eventually, it will be in your control, and that's why you need to gauge your intrinsic motivational levels. LLearn to love your self. Now isn’t that easy? Quite often, layoffs, for example, are not a reflection of you, but the dour economy. MMake things happen. Motivation is when "your dreams are put into work clothes." (Sorry, I cannot claim this phrase. I do not know its original author). NNetwork strategically. Most jobs are not are never advertised (up to 85%). The larger your network, the more motivated you will be to keep your job search fresh and active. OOpen your eyes. People should learn the horse attitude and horse sense. They see things in two ways: how they want things to be, and how they should be. Reflect on things that have gone well so far. PPractice makes perfect. Practice is about motivation. It lets us learn repertoire and ways to recover from our mistakes. QQuitters never win. And winners never quit. So, choose your fate – are you going to be a quitter? Or a winner? RReady yourself. Motivation is also about preparation. Goal achievers know this fact intimately. SStop procrastinating. Set goals. Only three percent of adults write down their goals. Use job search management resources such as TTake control of your life. Discipline or self-control is symbiotic with motivation. Both are key factors in self- improvement. Develop a 360 degree job search marketing plan, which includes social networks. UUnderstand others. If you know very well how to talk, you should also learn how to listen. Yearn to understand first, and to be understood second. VVisualize it. Athletes are well known for visualizing success. You can do the same to boost your motivation levels. WWant it more than anything. Dreaming means believing. XX Factor is what will make you different from the others. When you are motivated, you tend to put on “extras” on your life like extra time for family, extra help at work, extra care for friends, and so on. YYou are unique. No one in this world looks, acts, or talks like you. Value your life and existence, because you’re just going to spend it once. See your USP (unique selling points) to potential employers, recruiters, hiring managers and contacts. ZZero in on your dreams and go for it!!! Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Are you confused about how to use military experience on a resume? For over nine years, I worked as a bilingual employment counselor at a military base. It was my role to help hundreds of clients make the transition from military to civilian life. Ironically, when I was a civilian, the military did not offer a program designed to educate outgoing personnel on creating compelling resumes for civilian employers, teach them current networking strategies, or offer them career coaching. Then my much acclaimed "how to de-militarize your resume" seminar was born. What followed was career seminars to soldiers, airmen/women, and sailors alike at Canadian Forces Base Kingston and Trenton, Canada. The Lt (N) at CFB Trenton chose me over other services providers. She trusted my expertise and protected the "intellectual property" of my seminars' content. Military personnel need to market their transferable skills to attract a civilian employer. A transferable skill is acquired in the following ways:

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Want to really "wow" the interviewer? Use competitive intelligence. The term refers to pre-information. How does this apply to job seekers? Competitive intelligence is valuable information you can demonstrate to potential employers you have foresight about their product, service, and company. Let's suppose you're applying for a position at a top retailer. You find yourself on an interview panel, and the inevitable question is posed by the interviewer, "WHY do you want to work for OUR company?" In your mind, you compose yourself in the heat of fire and formulate a response that represents competitive intelligence. Whether you are crafting a "sales letter," cover letter, or are promoting your USP (unique sales points) during an interview, find out essential points about your desirable company or business such as:

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Ever heard those demonic thoughts that swirl in our inner sanctum and resist giving way to the one thing humans patently avoid... changing their comfort zone? Risks. Stepping out of the comfort zone. Making a career change. Our inner temptations to make that change, even one small change, need a guiding force. Pay attention to those inner temptations - even if it means confronting the status quo! Quite often, the riskiest career choices we make are the right ones! Ancient Roman poet Vergil said, "Fortune favours the bold." (You'll often hear me refer to the Ancient Romans and Greeks. Those Roman senators were the precursors of modern career change). Let me explain. Can you identify with any of these change-resisting thoughts to a new career?

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Have you had that experience of suddenly having a huge hunch something is about to happen, and to your surprise, that intuition was eventually translated into reality? When you feel strongly about something without logical basis to it, that's called intuition. It comes in three impressions: clairvoyance or "the third eye," sensing clearly, and feeling through listening. Intuition, in the context of career planning or job search, is often undervalued or dismissed in Western culture. This is regrettable because intuition often serves as a superior way to make a career decision. Using a behavioral model, revert back to a time when your intuition was calling you to do something or not to do something. Did you let the intuition pass by without realizing the consequences? For example, did you accept a less satisfying job, while suppressing your inner intuition? What was the result? Probably unsatisfactory! In Western culture, we emphasize, quite naturally, the rational mind coming up with ideas. In contrast, when we engage in our intuitive abilities, magic happens. Our logical, "rational" minds relax and allow ideas to flow. Then, solutions appear... Grace Cirocco, author of Take the step: The Bridge Will Be There, embraces intuition as inner source which has "saved lives, discovered cures, and made people rich." Regrettably, some Westerners minimize intuition in favor of logical or rational decisions. By contrast, what happens when we tap into intuition? Important information appears before us that we need to know - before we make decisions. Clairvoyance occurs when your eye goes beyond what it can see. In other words, you know what is happening somewhere. For example, we may receive messages in pictures, symbols, colors, dreams, and visions. Or, you may experience a movie that "plays in your mind," that is intended to give you information. Clair-sentience is sensing clearly or what we refer to as "hunch" or a "gut feeling." Think of when you are feeling overwhelmed and you can't explain it. Your response may be, "Don't know why, it just seems like the right thing to do." (Notice I am using the present tense as much as possible. Living in the moment has a natural affinity with intuition, which relies upon the present moment). On the other hand, clair-audience is listening between the lines. Intuition also happens at times when a certain sound, such as a song in your head or a voice outside your ear, which ushers in an intense feeling. They say only a number of people are gifted with intuition. Astrologers even insist people born under the Scorpio (me!) or Pisces signs are naturally intuitive. However, numerous studies claim anyone can develop intuition. I believe this is true based on two reasons: having sought advice from an intuitive consultant for over three years and having the power of the mind to unleash intuition as a noble decision-making tool. (Just ask career expert Cathy Goodwin: Why the need to develop intuition, you ask? Intuition also makes you far more creative. Intuition means releasing more creative juices for any means of expression. Lastly, intuition has a healing power. This healing power delves deeply into your soul to eradicate negative energy. For example, are you still harboring anger or hurt from a layoff or dismissal? Do not allow this negative energy to fester, otherwise it will totally impair your job search!

The Power Of Intuition In Your Job Search

Are you ready to develop your intuition? Here are some ways to unlock this gift (not everyone is bestowed with this):

1. Hypnosis

Oh yes, get yourself hypnotized. Hypnosis is not limited to watching a pendulum move back and forth. Perform self-hypnosis or you can avail of hypnotic programs that can strengthen your intuition.

2. Meditation

Meditating means finding peace in yourself. If your mind and heart are cluttered with too much baggage and or self-defeating thoughts, you will not be able to quiet down; this is essential to engaging intuition. Easy ways to meditate are through yoga, classes, or just lighting incense and watching the smoke.

3. Positive Thinking

Though this is difficult if you are unemployed or underemployed, a worry-free, fear-free state could improve your intuitive ability exponentially. By staying positive, you attract good energy that would be able to easily recognize imminent feelings and events. Present yourself positively during an interview, so the employer will "pick up" your energy.

4. Letting Go

What does this mean? If you are on the brink of making a huge decision, let go of all the inhibitions and head to a quiet place where you could find out where the letting go has brought you. I personally have made some of my best decisions while taking a nature walk. That's when I feel the most spiritual. Listen to the voice within you and pay attention to everything you hear, think, feel or know. This is how to receive psychic guidance.

5. Patience

After letting go of the inhibitions and all those things that stop you from thinking and feeling clearly, never expect an answer right away. This aligns closely from my training in solution-focused counseling, which resembles Buddhism: "If the student is willing, the teacher will come forward." In other words, if we don't suppress our intuitive thoughts, an answer will appear in time.

6. First Impressions

When you see someone for the first time and think he is a bit too arrogant for your taste, chances are that impression actually holds true. Most of the time, first impressions are brought by intuition. Think of interviews. Statistics show the interviewer forms an impression of you within the first five minutes of the interview! Conversely, in customer service, they say "you only have one chance to make a positive impression."

7. Happiness

See? All you need to be intuitive is to stay happy! Happiness attracts immense power and such power includes intuition. Even if you're unemployed, put on a brave face and demonstrate happiness. Potential hiring managers will respond to your behavior. Intuition is helpful because, sometimes, it leads you to something that cannot be achieved otherwise. Decisions are easier done if armed by this gift. What is my best personal example of using intuition in my career? Intuition guided me to make a quantum leap career change from radio broadcasting (my dream career since I was nine years old), to returning to a University to pursue a second degree in teaching. In closing, Albert Einstein noted: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift." Act on your intuition now and reap benefits you have never imagined. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Workplace harassment and office bullying are all too common in this day and age. As a certified harassment advisor, one who works on a (potential) harassment case, and a career coach with certification in solution-focused counseling, I have a good idea on how to handle harassment cases. Here's what to do to alleviate harassment or bullying in the workplace:

1. Write It Down

Keep a detailed journal of what occurred with as many details as possible.

2. List Witnesses

If there are witnesses, compile their names.

3. Use Your Voice

Tell the offensive person his/her behavior is not acceptable.

4. Seek Help

Go to the supervisor, if necessary.

5. Don't Rise To The Occasion

Choose not to react to the bullying or harassing behavior. (Quite often, bullying is power through aggression).

6. Use Company Resources

Use your company's resources, such as a harassment advisor, mediator or employee assistance program (EAP), if necessary. Many EAP programs offer you a choice of talking to someone by phone or in person, and possibly the opportunity to seek assistance outside of your community. Naturally, harassing behavior or bullying creates stress. I'd like to thank my colleague, Sheryl Pedersen, for inspiring me to blog about this, after taking her workplace stress management seminar.

7. Identify Workplace Stressors

Take a work stress inventory to identify your sources of stress, your triggers and your current coping mechanisms.

8. Change Negative Thoughts

Learn to identify and change your "mind maps" (thoughts swirling in your mind) in such a situation and remind yourself this stressful situation is temporary. You CAN transform negative thoughts and energy into positive thoughts and positive energy. I highly recommend Dr. David Burns' book, Feeling Good, to deal with defeating your mind's negative thoughts. Dr. Burns uses cognitive behavior tools and techniques to help you "program" your mind in the face of adversity.

9. Keep A Joy Journal

Write a joy journal to focus on what is going right (this is the focus of my solution-focus training), rather than what is going wrong.

10. Learn To Relax

Teach your body to relax with "keeping well" resources: deep breathing, progressive relaxation, mindfulness, guided imagery and relaxing music. If you are a victim of harassment or bullying in the workplace, a statement from Dr. Ron Warner, who trained me in solution-focused interviewing and counseling, still resonates: "No problem exists 24/7 except for terminal illness or chronic pain." Photo Credit: Shutterstock