‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com.Dear J.T. & Dale: Where can I go to get a good-quality, affordable mock interview? (I am no longer in school.) — Breddy J.T.: Let's start with FREE resources. Start by checking out your local staffing agencies. Oftentimes, they offer free services to help job seekers prepare for interviews. Also, check your newspaper and its Web site — there are lots of great seminars and training being offered for free right now. Dale: There may be an option that's better than free — the chance to gain interviewing skills while networking. Let me back up and say that many job seekers are frustrated and even resentful that they don't get more help from the people they know. They say, "I contacted 50 friends, relatives and former co-workers, and I haven't gotten a single job lead!" It isn't that your contacts don't want to help; they just don't know the right job openings. In fact, many of them aren't even sure what type of job or company would suit you. So, if you go to your executive contacts and ask for assistance in preparing for interviews, not only will it enable them to come through for you, but a mock interview will educate them as to the type of position you're seeking. J.T.: Beyond that, you can hire a career coach. It's more affordable than most people realize, and can give you a real advantage in this job market. This is especially true for people just out of college or early in their career. As we say at the Web site I founded, CAREEREALISM.com, "College teaches you everything EXCEPT how to get the job." That's why I have assembled a list of approved experts who can offer help with interview skills. (Go to CAREEREALISM.com, click on "Career Experts" and select the "Interview Prep Experts" section. You'll find people who specialize in mock interviews, either in person or over the phone.) Dale: Interviewing is a special skill. In this market, there are plenty of applicants with appropriate job skills, so how does a hiring manager break the tie? The offer often goes to the applicant with the best interviewing skills. Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten's latest book is "(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success" (John Wiley & Sons). Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Everyone has heard of New Year's resolutions. You know, those promises we make to ourselves about things we'll do better in the year ahead. Sometimes these resolutions work, while other times we end up with gym memberships we never use! But have you ever heard of a career resolution? It's actually the same thing as a New Year's resolution, only career-focused.
However, with something as important as a career, you don't want to break these resolutions. That's why it's important to keep these goals manageable.
Here are four simple career resolutions that are easy to stick to and achieve.
Be Self-Aware Of Where You Stand In Your CareerBigstock
Being honest and self-aware of where you are in your career is the most important step in making strong career resolutions. If your career is going nowhere and you're unhappy, then it may be time to consider a career change, which will take you down a different path entirely.
But if you're happy and in good standing with your career, it's a lot easier to set goals for the year and build out a long-term career plan.
Find A Way To Grow Your CareerBigstock
Career growth is a very broad spectrum that means something different to everyone. It could be something as simple as improving on a weakness or building on a strength. It could also be learning a new skill or taking on additional responsibilities at work.
On a larger level, it could be seeking a promotion or moving into a leadership role.
Whatever the goal is, make sure it includes growing professionally. The worst thing you can do is stay the same! If you're not growing your career, you're dying—and becoming a lot less valuable to your employer. There are always ways to upskill!
Better Serve Your Professional Network
With current colleagues, former colleagues, and other professional acquaintances, you've probably built a solid professional network through the years. A strong professional network can come in handy if you lose your job or are looking to make a career change. However, you shouldn't just rely on your network when you're in need!
It's important to find ways to offer value to your network. This could include checking in with members of your network from time to time. Exchange messages on LinkedIn to see how they're doing or share relevant content of interest. If you can help someone in your network going through a career challenge, you should!
Maintaining a strong professional network is like an investment. If you want it to pay off, you have to put some time into it and be consistent.
Take Care Of Yourself
Working on your career is hard work! It's okay to be selfish sometimes. Whether you're working to grow your career or looking for a new job, it's important to find balance.
Your family and health always come first, so make sure your career goals don't interfere with that. If you want to set aside time during the week to work on your career that's fine, but don't miss important family events or milestones.
Don't let your career goals get in the way of your health goals. Go to the gym, take a walk, or go for a jog. Balance is key to maintaining healthy career and life goals. Sometimes you just need to adjust that balance as you go.
Need help sticking to your career resolutions?
Become a member to learn how to UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!
This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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