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Posts Tagged ‘Career Change’

March 29th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice

Improve These Taken-for-Granted Skills to Upgrade Your BrandAre your job-hunting procedures not working as well as you expected, or as they have in the past? One reason may be that the “brand-package” you present to prospective employers is weak in some of the bedrock leadership, communications, and teamwork skills most people take for granted. If your personal brand doesn’t appear to include top-of-the-line skills, you may well be losing out to candidates who lack your overall ability, knowledge, and experience, but who seem at first glance to be stronger candidates.

Here are five taken-for-granted skills that you may want to polish:



Your Listening Skills These are probably the most frequently overlooked skills of all. One sharp young marketer was fired from several jobs and failed to make the short list on other positions for which he was well qualified simply because he didn’t take the time to listen when people spoke. His mind raced ahead and grasped the point the person was making, prompting him to interrupt in order to give his eager response. No one cared that he was smart and knowledgeable. His refusal to hear others out in full earned him low marks from almost everyone with whom he talked. Listening to others carefully and thoroughly is fairly easy to do, but it will happen only after you make the conscious decision to do it.

Your Speaking Skills The way you express yourself is fundamental to other people’s overall impression of your personal brand. In fact, it’s quite common for someone who knows what he or she is talking about - but who hesitates, chooses the wrong word, or even just mumbles - to appear less knowledgeable and capable than other candidates who possess the gift of gab. Fortunately, you can easily upgrade your speaking skills, either by means of professional training, or just by recording yourself on a regular basis and paying attention to the playback. There are also public-speaking organizations, like Toastmasters, where you can learn to make a much better impression whenever you open your mouth to speak.
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December 15th, 2011 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, Job Search, Resume Writing

Better Goals Yield Better PerformanceFor a variety of reasons, people respond very strongly to goals. Whether your goals are set for you, or you set them yourself, the simple fact of having a fixed point of reference against which to measure your performance creates a whole new and improved environment in which to perform.

But not all goals are created equal. Goals can be motivating or frustrating, energizing or draining, generate enthusiasm or lethargy.

Much depends on the process by which the goal is set, and how the goal relates to your interests and capabilities.

Choose Your Goals Wisely. Ever notice what motivates greyhounds to race at the dog track? It’s a mechanical rabbit that moves just fast enough to stay out of reach. The dogs are motivated to run their fastest, but they can never catch the rabbit. That seems to work for dogs, but people who never “catch the rabbit” quickly lose interest, energy, and motivation to succeed.

So whether you’re setting your own goals or looking at goals someone else sets for you, think before you run. If the goal is set too high to be attainable, keep your expectations low enough so you won’t be disappointed when you fall short. Goals that are too demanding eventually force you into frustration, resentment, and disappointment.

On the other hand, goals that are too easy to reach let you get lazy and contemptuous of success. The best goals require your best efforts, but no more than that.
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November 1st, 2011 by Linda White   Posted in Career Advice, Job Search

your-money-your-lifeOne of my favorite books regarding work life is called Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. While it doesn’t have all the answers, it did open my eyes to the idea that each moment is a trade-off. Our society has agreed that we will trade money for time. So why not make that trade as beneficial as it can be?

Your Money or Your Life is not new. It was first published in 1992, during “a period of widespread financial uncertainty.” Oh really? I have bought two copies - the first one I gave away. It helps to prioritize things - figure out how you should spend your time, maybe even what your life is worth and what is important.

It may help you figure out if the job you are doing is really worth it. There are different ways to be rewarded, to be sure. But if we have implicitly agreed on this money for time swap, then it makes sense to really think about what you are doing with your time.

The concept may be very useful when looking for a job. Sure, you go through the postings and say, “I could do that.” But don’t just think that. Think instead, “Do I want to do that?” There are many jobs that any reasonable person could do. But try to aim for only those that you feel would best use your talents and skills. And that might even be interesting. Yes, even in a tough market. Because a tough market is the one in which you are more likely to make decisions that you will regret later, when you are stuck doing something that feels like a waste of time.
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October 7th, 2011 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Job Search, Networking, Resume Writing

istock_000016830555xsmallReady to leave the rat race and really make a difference in the world? Job hunting in the non-profit world is a little bit different. Here are a few ways to improve your odds at getting your dream non-profit job.

Become an intern. Internships are valuable for entering many fields, but they are particularly valuable for the non-profit field. Many groups rely heavily on the help of interns, so it’s a great way to get your foot in the door. Idealist.org and YouTern are both great sites to look at. Even if an organization isn’t advertising internship opportunities, give them a call. They may be open to the idea.

Volunteer. Interested in working for a specific non-profit but can’t seem to hear about opportunities? Volunteering is a great way to get face time with members of the organization and also show them you’re committed to the cause. After you’ve shown that you have what it takes, be sure to express your interest in working for the cause full-time. Also, volunteer work is often something non-profits specifically look for in a candidate.

Develop your skills in the for-profit world. Remember, although non-profits serve noble causes, your experience as a volunteer might not be enough to show that you have what it takes. In the end, non-profits are businesses, and they need staff members with computer, management, financial, and HR skills. Once they see that you have the skills needed on your resume, you can show them you have the passion for their cause in the cover letter and the interview.
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September 30th, 2011 by Linda White   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace

Homework with a laptopOne of the biggest trends in the new economy is working from home. Look into any coffee shop and you will either see people hunched singly over their laptops, or intense meetings in progress. Whether you are working from home as part of your own business or through an employer, there are some things you should know before you embark on this voyage.

It can be treacherous. The idea of working from home sounds wonderful to many people. You can work in your jammies, right? Oh sure, that’s all good until the FedEx guy shows up and you have to step outside your door. Or a client calls and wants to meet in a hurry. Or someone Skypes you while you’ve still got bed-head.

But you can do most anything from home that you can do from an office, as well as some things that may require a physical presence, like meetings, some assembly, and even some production work. It all depends on what the job is and what the industry is. Some industries stand up to the idea better than others. Sometimes the nature of the work calls for it, such as with sales reps who cover a large territory and are never in the office anyway.

There are now all types of operations that can help you feel like you are in the room with your clients and coworkers: Skype, GoTo Meeting, instant messaging and other in-the-moment ways to stay in touch. These can be a great help if you feel like you would be disconnected from the mainstream if you worked from home.
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