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Posts Tagged ‘Career Advice’

November 2nd, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace

Think Better on Your Feet - Part 2When you’re put on the spot and under pressure to answer an unanticipated tough question or respond to a pointed remark, it’s useful and important to be able to “think on your feet.”

Once you master this skill set, you’ll find it far easier not only to come up with something worthwhile to say, but to say it quite effectively. As a result, others will feel more confidence in you, and respect you as smarter and more trustworthy than someone who seems to babble and bumble under pressure.

Last time we talked about speaking from a place of confidence, and mentally preparing in advance. Here are four other, equally valuable techniques to help you think better and faster on your feet:

Relax First, Speak Second

When you’re put on the spot, your first reaction might be to take action. Since you probably can’t run away, you’ll often feel the urge to start babbling. Resist it. Whenever a spotlight hits you, adrenalin immediately tenses your muscles, which in turn tends to impair your performance. The better response is to take a few slow breaths and consciously relax before you open your mouth.

It’s easy to develop a few facial expressions and hints of body language that convey: “Fascinating question. Give me a second to think about it before I answer.” Get in the habit of using them while you prepare to dazzle the crowd.

You can even use silence to improve how others perceive you. A brief pause before you speak, or between a few of your key sentences, can convey the idea that you are in control of the situation, and can also add impact and layers of meaning to relatively simple ideas.

Observe in Depth

It’s a big mistake to shoot from the hip in unanticipated situations. You might respond to a less important part of the whole situation, or overlook the largest opportunity. Instead, get in the habit of observing the people around you in depth: not just their words, but their tone of voice, the expression in their eyes, their behavior, body language, and the words they don’t say as well as those they do.

By processing all this information you’ll come to a deeper understanding of the unanticipated situation that confronts you, and you’ll automatically have a basis to formulate a smarter response.
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October 15th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Resumark News

Male Executive With Severe Headache - IsolatedWe all report to someone, and eventually - perhaps often - that very same someone will put us on the spot by asking an unanticipated tough question or making a pointed remark that requires an immediate response.

Some people are born with the ability to think on their feet and come up with a good answer to such a challenge. The rest of us need help in developing this useful and important ability. Once we master it, we will not only be able to come up with something worthwhile to say, we will have the ability to say it effectively. Those are valuable personal attributes, because people involuntarily tend to feel confidence in these kinds of remarks, and respect as smart and trustworthy the person who makes them.

Here are some suggestions to help you improve your ability to think better and faster on your feet:

Speak From a Place of Confidence

If you have inner doubts in unanticipated situations, as soon as you open your mouth they will come pouring out for everyone to see. So the first rule of learning to think on your feet is to follow that old saw: “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Of course, NOT speaking because you’re NOT thinking is NOT going to get you very far. So the second rule of learning to think on your feet is to steadily build your knowledge of the various situations in which are likely to you find yourself, and do some thinking about them before you ever get to that unanticipated situation.
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August 22nd, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, Resume Writing

How Long Should Your Resume Be?Generally, the answer is: as short as it can be. Some people belong to the school of thought that anything over a page is simply too long. It’s just one resume among a pile of dozens or hundreds more, so you need to make your case fast before they move on to the next one.

But here’s the thing: you also don’t want to leave off key experience because you’re trying to artificially cram everything onto one page. The key is to highlight the relevant experience, skills, education, and attributes, and for some, this may require two pages. In the case of senior executives with a lot of time in the workforce, your resume may even be longer. However, if you’re a recent college graduate or someone with just a few years of work experience, there’s no reason to have a resume over one page.

Some people incorrectly believe that having a longer resume will make them look more qualified or accomplished, but if you don’t actually have the experience, simply making it longer won’t fool anyone. In fact, it will just take them longer to get to the information that is relevant and may end up in you being passed over for the position.

What You Can Cut

So how do you know if your resume is as short as it can be? Look it over to see what’s extraneous. Each section and each item should be a selling point that gives the potential employer evidence that you are the right candidate. Here are a few common places where you may be able to cut down - or remove things altogether.

References

It’s no longer customary to include your references on your resume, so this is a great section to cut. If your employer is interested in contacting people for recommendations, you can provide them on a separate sheet. Similarly, you don’t need to include a line that says, “References available upon request.” The potential employer will assume this is the case.
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August 20th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace

AccountablilityIt doesn’t take a genius to look around our world and see that it’s sorely lacking in accountability. People in both prominent and obscure situations say and do the strangest things, and rarely are they held fully accountable.

That’s a real problem, particularly in the practical worlds of jobs, business, and the professions, but also in human relations.

Whether you’re leading a team or simply managing your own life, you can kick up the levels of effectiveness, responsibility, and success by practicing (and where possible, encouraging in others) meaningful accountability.

Here are some guidelines to help you:

Stop Ducking Responsibility

We live in an intertwined world, so it’s rare that a simple, single cause (”I overslept”) can result in a problem, a missed deadline, or a lost opportunity. Sure, it can happen. But, it doesn’t have to happen to you.

Practice accountability by taking meaningful steps to honor your commitments and live up to your responsibilities. If you take these seriously enough, you can be pretty sure you’ll never have to say “it’s entirely my fault”.

Set Up Accountable Situations

Airplane maintenance is a wonderful example of how to set up an accountable situation. Every maintenance procedure is clearly spelled out, and every mechanic who performs a procedure must attest to what he or she did with a signed and dated form. Many procedures also require a supervisor to check the work and sign to affirm his or her approval.

If you’re not in a life-and-death situation, you may not need such a rigorous, formal system. But you increase accountability when you have a plan of action with clear steps to be followed, and when you are careful to follow that plan. It’s even more accountable to have multiple layers of inspection and supervision.

With such a plan in place, results can more easily be traced back to the plan, and to everyone who implemented it. Whether the results are positive or negative, there’s clear accountability.
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July 10th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, On the Radar

How to Enjoy the Job You Currently HaveAs Americans, we’re taught to shoot for the stars. To always be looking towards the horizon for that next big thing, and never be complacent. In many ways, this is great advice. It keeps us fighting to better ourselves, get promotions, and achieve our dreams.

Unfortunately, it can also lead to us feeling unsatisfied and unable to enjoy where we are because we’re always looking to the future for happiness. Sometimes, these dissatisfied feelings can bleed into our work performance, and in the current employment climate, that is a very bad thing. With that in mind, here are a few ways for you to take a step back and realize that there are a lot of things you like about your current job, even if it’s not your dream position.

Think about the money. Chances are, you probably wish that you were making more. Fair enough. But if you asked him, even someone like Donald Trump would probably say he wished he was making more money. We don’t stop dreaming for more, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be thankful of what you have - a steady paycheck coming in that allows you to cover your expenses and keep dreaming.

Relish the security and stability. If you’re a person thinking about striking out on your own as a freelancer or with a small business, think about all the worries and stresses that come with that. It’s not just money that may fluctuate from week to week, but the ability of this new career or business to work out at all. Most likely, your current job is relatively stable and secure, even if it doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere.

Enjoy friendships and relationships. Even if you don’t like your job or your boss, most likely there are people you work with that you consider friends. If the work itself is beating you down, concentrate on these relationships. You might end up finding ways to help each other and make work (and life) more bearable.
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