Entries with tag career advancement .

5 Great Reasons to Look for a New Job

Have you been on the fence about finding a new job?  If so, read on. We have some great reasons why finding a new job might be the perfect career decision for you in 2017:

  1. Economics.  Don't go down with a sinking ship!  If you're seeing signs of impending doom at your employer like layoffs and financial losses, consider it time to move on.  Rather than waiting around until you're unemployed, take proactive steps to find a new job in a company that's financially sound.

  2. No Room for Advancement.  Do you work in one of those companies where the only way to move up is to wait for your 40-year-old manager to die?  Rather than secretly wishing for your boss to pass away, begin looking for employment elsewhere. Interestingly enough, lack of career advancement is the most popular reason people change jobs.

  3. Boredom.  While most jobs are boring at times, you should definitely consider leaving your job if boredom is your dominant feeling between the hours of 9-5.  Look for a job that you'll find challenging, but not overwhelming.  That's the type of job that keeps people interested and feeling fulfilled.

  4. Dread.  Does Monday morning fill you with dread?  Do you ever sit in your car and cry before you head into your job?  If so, it's time to find a new job stat!  Rather than continuing to tolerate a job you despise, start looking for something that's going to make you feel happier.  Your personal wellbeing is too important to continue in a job like this one.

  5. Hostile Environment.  Is your boss a yeller?  Do your coworkers take credit for your ideas?  Is your office filled with backstabbers?  Some companies foster toxic cultures.  Instead of remaining in such an unpleasant atmosphere, polish up your resume, start networking, and begin planning your exit strategy.

Bouncing Back from a Career Setback

So, you've suffered a career setback.  As uncomfortable as you may be feeling right now, one day you might look back and believe it was the best thing that ever happened to you.  To help you with that mindset, we have some tips for handling career setbacks:

  1. Think Positively.  Rather than adopting the mindset, “I'm doomed,” try to see your failure in a positive way.  If you look back on your life, you can probably think of at least 1 occasion where something didn't go the way you wanted it to, and ultimately, you were better off for your “failure.”  Perhaps you need only look back as far as your last romantic relationship for an example!  Believe that the same is just as true of your career—that the “setback” may be to your benefit—and that is far more likely to be the case.

  2. Learn from It.  Let's say you were turned down for a promotion you really wanted.  Are there takeaways that can help you further develop your skillset?  Perhaps your manager cited your lack of supervisor experience or said that you need additional training.  Rather than dismiss this feedback categorically because your emotions are running high, learn from it and take steps to address areas where there's room for improvement.

  3. Take Time for Yourself.  Unfortunately, we often skip self care when something in our lives goes wrong.  Yet, oftentimes, this can be exactly what we need to help distract us.  While you may decide to make career changes based on what you learned from your setback, remember to still tend to those things that strengthen your peace of mind, whether that means going to the gym, taking a long walk in nature, or just grabbing coffee with a friend.

  4. Get Support.  Speaking of grabbing coffee with a friend, your friends can be invaluable during a time like this.  However, there's an important caveat—choose the right friend to discuss this with.  Ideally, it will be a person who's supportive and a good listener, rather than that friend who likes to spout, “I told you so,” whenever something goes wrong.

5 Easy Tips to Impress People at Work

Want to earn that promotion?  Read on to learn 5 ways you can impress your boss and coworkers:

  1. Be Proactive.  If something needs to be done, roll up your sleeves and volunteer for the task.  Not only does this type of can-do behavior leave others with a favorable impression, but it also demonstrates leadership qualities—a skillset bosses look for when they're deciding who to promote.

  2. Respond to Email/Phone Calls within 24 Hours.  If you've ever had a colleague you had to repeatedly hound for a response, than you already know how frustrating it is when people don't communicate in a timely fashion.  Don't be that person!  Instead, make it your goal to respond to all requests within 24 hours, even if it's only to say, “I need more time on this.  I'll get back to you in 2 days.”

  3. Take Responsibility.  When something goes wrong, it's all too commonplace for people to point fingers.  Rather than doing that, acknowledge mistakes and frame them in a positive way by explaining how you'll tackle things differently in the future.

  4. Aim to Develop a Good Working Relationship with Your Coworkers.  If you've ever watched reality TV, you'll notice that on virtually every show, there's one person who declares, “I'm not here to make friends.”  Typically, that person gets sent home early.  While you don't have to be best buds with the people you work with, make an effort to be friendly.  You never know when you might need a favor from a coworker, and it's in your best interest to be seen as a team player.

  5. Stay Positive.  Have you ever had a coworker who complains constantly?  If so, you already know people go out of their way to avoid that person.  If you suspect you are that person, try to keep your complaints to yourself and maintain an upbeat attitude at work.  People who lift others' spirits—rather than fostering low morale—are enjoyable to work with.  By merely changing your attitude, you'll impress those around you with your positive nature.

5 Tips for Shy People on Acing that Next Job Interview

While most people don't look forward to job interviews, they can be especially concerning for introverts and shy people.  However, there are strategies to help you put your best foot forward when selling yourself in an interview.  Read on to learn how you can impress your next interviewer:

  1. Prepare.  Preparation is one of the best ways to feel more confident about your upcoming interview.  Think of the questions that you're likely to be asked and then, rehearse your responses in advance.  Doing so will help you feel more at ease when the interview occurs.

  2. Bring Props.  Visuals that show your accomplishments are always a great idea, and they can be particularly helpful for people who are less comfortable selling themselves.  If you have charts, graphs, or letters of praise, bring them along.  It's also a good idea to write down your 10 greatest professional accomplishments and carry them in a notebook for reference during the interview.

  3. Visualize Yourself Succeeding.  Research shows that visualization can be just as effective as actual practice.  With that in mind, we advise you to imagine a successful interview—that you're prepared, answer questions confidently, and have a great rapport with the interviewer.

  4. Fake It.  Just about everyone feels some degree of nervousness prior to a job interview, even people who are extroverts.  However, people who excel in interviews know that in spite of anxiety, they can “act as if” they are confident and use this mindset to genuinely perform well during the interview.

  5. Pay Attention to Body Language.  Sit up straight, maintain direct eye contact, avoid fussing with your hair or clothing, and remember to smile.  If you really want to wow your interviewer, mirror them.  That doesn't mean mimicking them exactly but waiting a brief period of time (30-50 seconds) before behaving similarly—for example, leaning forward if your interviewer does so.  Mirroring helps to form a connection.  That being said, practice this strategy in a low-pressure situation prior to incorporating it at your next interview.  You want to make sure you can do it naturally and still easily follow the flow of conversation.  

What to Do If You've Been Put on a Performance Improvement Plan

Nobody enjoys being put on a performance improvement plan (PIP).  However, if you are put on one, it's a great idea to know how you should proceed at work going forward.  Read on to learn how best to navigate a PIP:

  1. Own It.  Avoid making excuses or denying responsibility.  Instead, be open to criticism and accept that you're going to have to haul up your sleeves to change your manager's perception of you.  Unfortunately, people tend to get defensive when they're given a PIP, and their negative attitude does nothing to help their cause.

  2. Establish Clear Metrics.  A PIP is going to detail areas for improvement.  Rather than signing a PIP that is murky in this area, ask for specifics.  For instance, let's say you're a salesperson and your manager is displeased with your recent sales.  Rather than signing a PIP that says you need to obtain higher sales, ask your manager to put his expectations in writing.  Does he want you to increase your sales by 10%? 20%?  You're going to want to know what the benchmark is so you can focus on exactly what you need to achieve.

  3. Ask for Time.  It never hurts to ask for additional time to achieve your performance goals.  If your manager has set 3 months as the deadline, consider requesting 6.  Change isn't accomplished overnight and the more time you have to meet your goals, the more confident you will be of your ability to do so.

  4. Have Positive Expectations.  If you've been thinking about changing jobs, this is probably a great time to be proactive about it.  However, if you like your job and want to remain there, have positive expectations.  All too often, people believe that once they receive a PIP, they're doomed.  However, this can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Instead, believe in yourself and your ability to meet the objectives established in your PIP, and you can overcome this.