Monday, July 30, 2018

How Long Should You Stay At Your Job?

Years ago, it was common for people to stay at their jobs for decades, with many staying at the same company for their entire career. Today however, bouncing from job to job has become the norm. In a culture when people are constantly on the lookout for a better opportunity, how long should you be staying at each company? Thanks to this article from Wanda Thibodeaux, we can narrow it down to six different categories of consideration.

1. Cost to your employer
Finding a new worker can be extremely costly. With expenses like sign-on bonuses, relocation costs and advertising fees, it's not unusual for a company to spend up between $1,000 and $5,000 to hire someone. Then you have to consider costs like training, too. One guideline is to leave only when you've provided a value to the company that is equal to those fees for your replacement. Otherwise, you're costing the company money, which can reflect badly on you.
Remember here that the cost of staying when things stink is much higher than hiring-related expenses. A Harris poll indicated that the cost of a bad hire was more than $25,000 for 41 percent of respondents and greater than $50,000 for 25 percent.

2. Smoothness of transition
Employee turnover can disrupt processes and decrease productivity. If you can help even out wrinkles your exit might create, such as by assisting with the candidate search or sticking around a few extra weeks to make sure your replacement is properly trained, your employer might not think as badly of it if you leave before a year or two.

3. The gig economy and what you achieved
Traditionally, job hopping on resumes has suggested that you couldn't find a good fit and weren't able to contribute well. It's also been seen as rude--companies don't want to be seen as secondary or only as a stepping stone to something better.
But the gig economy is changing all this. Temporary and flex workers, who often stay at a company for just a few months, have become essential to operations, with 2 out of 3 employers say they wouldn't survive without them. They are able to get jobs by proving over and over again that they stepped up and met unique needs.
If you can do the same thing and demonstrate your time was truly productive, hiring managers who understand this workforce shift might cut you some slack if they see shorter job durations. This is especially true if the industry you are applying in prizes or requires adaptability and flexibility. Lack of movement in those is more likely to be perceived as stagnation.

4. Your overall career vision
In many cases, there's simply no substitute for having a specific mentor, project experience or training. If you're getting those things at your current job, it might be worth it to hang in there a little longer to make sure you have the footing necessary to take the path you really want. But conversely, some jobs, like that extra weekend gig you use only to fill a financial hole, don't even need to be on your resume in the first place. Don't burn important bridges, and at the same time, if you do your homework/research and see your dream job right in front of you, most leaders will understand if you reach out and grab it.

5. How the company is using you
If you were hired to do certain tasks or projects and your duties have gone completely off the rails, or if you're sitting around waiting for jobs to do, you're probably worth more and would be happier at another business. It's fine to leave early if you've already discussed how you're utilized with management and they're not addressing the problem.

6. The number of candles on your birthday cake
If you're younger, leaving a job before six months to a year has passed can reinforce the negative stereotype that youthful employees don't have the drive or focus to be serious or considerate. You might do yourself a favor by staying for a while and showing that you're grounded. If you've been around the block, many hiring managers are more lenient. They often assume that, at that point, you've got the life experience and common sense enough to know what's best for you.
About 68 percent of millennials say the longest they'd stay in a job they enjoy is three years, and 58 percent say they plan to stay less than that. 41 percent of millennials expect to be in their current job for two years or less (compared to 17 percent of Gen X and 10 percent of Boomers).

Monday, July 23, 2018

Is it Time For a New Job?

How do you know when it’s time to look for a new job? Maybe you started a new job recently and don’t like it as much as you expected to, or maybe you’ve been with the same company for years and have slowly stopped enjoying your work. Most people spend decades of their lives working full time, making it important to be sure that whatever job you’ve chosen is making you happy. According to Business Insider, these are the four signs that you should look for a new job:

1. Your work is stunting your growth

Have you been doing the same work since day one? My friend Jim Kwik, celebrity brain and memory coach, once said to me, "If you're not feeding your mind, you're falling behind." Is your job stretching you, pushing you forward, making you better? Are you expanding year over year?

"You can be at a job for seven years, but without new learnings and growth, what you really could have is one year of experience repeated seven times," Kwik says. Yikes. Now that's depressing. And it's no way to spend your precious years on planet earth.

2. You're irritable (and have been complaining to anyone who'll listen)

Have your conversations with friends and family lately been dominated by how much you hate your job? Are they sick of hearing about it? 
Alarm bells are probably ringing loud and clear to almost everyone who's listening to you. If so, it's your job to take responsibility for your situation and commit to a new direction.

3. You've been thinking about a change for a while

My LinkedIn profile says I used to be a sales director at a Fortune 500 company. But in my head — and to the people who really knew me — I was a coach and teacher.

As year after year went by, it was harder and harder to maintain what felt like a betrayal of who I knew I really was. When I turned 30, I made the commitment to work for myself as a life coach and committed side hustler. Less than 18 months later, I left cubicle life for good. It was scary as heck at the time, but the best decision I've ever made.
When I looked back, I realized I always wanted to work for myself. I'd been thinking about it for years. I'd daydream about having freedom over my schedule and secretly always envied entrepreneurs that I read about and who I met in real life. I knew that I definitely didn't want my boss's position. And over time I simply cared less and less about getting results in the job that I was doing. My focus on my side hustle naturally grew because I knew that it was ultimately my way out.

If you've spent a long time thinking about doing something else, consider it a sign.

4. You feel out of alignment

Are the books you read, the subjects you love to talk about, and the topics you research aligned with your work? These things are all big signs about what interests and motivates you.

What I know from experience is that when we do meaningful work, we access energy resources we didn't know we had. That's why side hustles are so rapidly on the rise: They are passion-fueled. When we are not activating the special gifts within us that want to surface, our soul knows it. It's like a quiet, unsettling voice that won't be silenced. So listen to it.

A new job, career or side hustle beckons if even one if these apply to you. Because your talent (and your life!) is too important to squander.

Monday, July 16, 2018

How to Become a Master Negotiator

For some people, being able to negotiate is second nature; however, for many others negotiation can seem far too intimidating. For example, studies show that women are especially hesitant to advocate for themselves when it comes to salary. Being able to negotiate helps you receive a higher salary, better benefits, and more job satisfaction. According to Forbes, these are the five habits every negotiator should practice:

 1. Ask for a discount.
Great negotiators are comfortable asking for more. Some people feel uncomfortable asking for a discount. They do not want to be seen as either frugal or greedy. Remember, you are the customer. It is your money. If you don’t ask for what you want, you won’t get what you want.
Ask your Internet provider for a discount if your Internet connection has been slow that month. Ask the airline agent if he will waive the phone transaction fee because their website was down. Ask your restaurant server what she can do for you after having brought you the wrong meal twice. And something doesn’t always have to go wrong to ask for a discount. Inquire about the membership discounts they might accept.
Get comfortable making “the ask.” The more comfortable you are asking for what you want and deserve in your everyday life, the easier it will be at work.
2. Speak with the manager.
Master negotiators are comfortable speaking with someone in authority. Whether you have criticism or praise, ask to speak with the manager. It could be the manager of the grocery store, your healthcare provider or the salon. Tell them what your issue is or share your positive experience. The more comfortable you feel speaking with someone in power, the easier it will feel speaking with someone in a position of power at work.
3. Say “No.”
Successful negotiators know their priorities. Sometimes you have to say “no” to surveys when you don’t have the time, to the retail stores trying to sell you a credit card when you don’t need one or even to a friend having a party at the same time that you have family in town. The more practice you have saying “no” outside of work, the easier it will be for you to say “no” at work. The ability to say “no” is critical to effectively negotiate your salary. Actress Jessica Chastain reminds us that when negotiating your salary, “The power of ‘no’ means you’re educating people in how to treat you.
4. Play sports.
Master negotiations know their option B. When you play sports and are active with others, to win you must have in mind different ways of achieving your goal. Let’s say you are playing basketball, and you want to run a particular play. And then a defender steps into your path that renders your play ineffective. To get to the basket and score, you have to know and quickly execute your second best option.
When you are negotiating in the workplace, how you go about achieving your goal may not go as planned. You need to train yourself to think about alternatives and be able to transition to your backup plan quickly.
5. Travel.
Successful negotiators feel comfortable in unfamiliar situations. When you travel, particularly internationally, you find yourself in unfamiliar territory. Travel on your own instead of going on tours that are customized for your native culture. Gain experience interacting with the locals at the neighborhood market and on public transportation. People who put themselves in situations where they must adapt to their surroundings, compromise and problem-solve are better negotiators.
The ability to negotiate successfully at work is critical. It could mean the difference between career advancement and career paralysis. Use situations in your everyday life to hone your negotiation skills to be in top shape for when you need them in your career.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Fix This Resume Mistake Before Applying for Another Job

Are you constantly sending your resume out to job postings only to hear nothing back? It could be because of the language you’re using. According to an article by Quora for Inc. the language you choose when writing your resume should be tailored to each position depending on wording used in the job posting. Keep reading for the full article by Quora and learn how to make your resume stand out:

"What are the biggest mistakes that job seekers commonly make on their resumes that cause them to be skipped over during the screening process?

It's hard to narrow it down to one big mistake, but in a general sense the biggest mistake is not tailoring your resume to the role you're applying for. I've seen plenty of clients who are overly qualified for a job who don't make it through the screening process, and it almost always comes down to tailoring.
One thing to remember is that in today's market, the first thing your resume does is go through an applicant tracking system. So a computer, or a bot, or an algorithm is the first 'person' to look at your resume. That means that if your language doesn't mirror the job posting, or if you don't have all of the relevant skills and keywords added, you may not be selected.
I was once searching for a senior role when recruiting where the candidate would still have to know advanced Excel functions (it was a very specific role), so I needed someone who was a manager, had specific functions and also had worked with Excel. You would be surprised how many people didn't list Excel on their resume, and even further surprised how many people didn't list it while they were doing daily VLookup functions, advanced Macros and Pivot-tables (which was what I needed from my candidate). I often found those candidates through referrals because other people would send me their resume and I could ask about Excel. However if they had taken the time to customize their resume to the posting (which did specifically say that advanced Excel was needed) I would have been able to find them more easily.
So take the time to do your research. Start by looking at the company website and seeing if there are any values you can put on your resume. (If they mention teamwork and you've worked on many teams, add it.) Then I would go to the job posting and make sure that you've addressed their requests in similar language to how they've written the posting. Lastly, go to LinkedIn and see the people who are currently working there. What do they have written for their job duties? Do the skills and language match your resume?
Many of my clients even go beyond that and contact people on LinkedIn for an informational chat, and often that leads their resume to be chosen, but I know that strategy can intimidate some people, however it can definitely get your foot in the door more than just a generic resume."

Monday, July 2, 2018

How to Motivate Yourself to Start Your Job Search

Have you been struggling to begin your job search? For many people, finding the motivation to start a job hunt can be the most difficult part. Whether you’re unsatisfied with your current position, ready for a change, or trying to further your career, the first step can be the most important one. Below are some tips from Jack Kelly via Forbes on how to get your job search started!

1. Stop talking, complaining and take immediate action right now!
We all waste so much of our precious time hoping for things to magically change and make our lives better overnight. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but it doesn’t work like that.  In reality, rather than grumble about your current boss and job, you must initiate change and make the bold decision to pursue your dream. Push yourself to get off the couch, put down the phone, turn off Netflix and make it happen.  There is no need to obtain anyone else’s permission or blessings to seek out a new job that offers more money, intellectual challenges and better opportunities for growth.
There will never be a perfect time. Well, there is one great time to start and it is now. It is very simple; all you need to do is get serious and hyper-focused about making a change and actually decide to start.
2. Write a game plan to find a job.
Draft a quick and easy game plan for yourself that you could put into action on a daily basis.
Include building, enhancing and tailoring your résumé to fit the jobs that you are applying to. Enhance your LinkedIn profile and start networking on the platform by connecting with recruiters, human resource personnel and LinkedIn members who could help you land the next job.  Scour the job boards for appropriate positions and email your résumé. Find recruiters in your space and meet with them in person. Set time to practice your elevator pitch about yourself. Network with colleagues, former co-workers and others who can help guide you. This is not just a game plan anymore, but rather a plan of action that you will follow every day without fail. Yes, there will always be obstacles and setbacks. Mentally prepare yourself for hardship, failures and rejection. It is all part of the game. Promise yourself to fight through them with strength, courage and dignity.
3. Avoid the negative people and surround yourself with a like-minded, motivated group.
Life is too short to be surrounded by toxic people who whine, complain and only see the problems and dead ends. Instead, seek out like-minded people. Find others who share your passion and drive. If you know people who are also looking for a new job, offer to take them out for a coffee and share notes about your progress. Brainstorm strategies, share and receive ideas. Meet with successful recruiters and pick their brains to find out what works. Join networking events and meet-ups. You will be invigorated by their energy. You will learn new interviewing techniques. You could deconstruct why you may have not received that job offer and work toward making positive changes to your interviewing style and approach.
4. Focus on taking care of yourself emotionally, mentally and physically.
The interview process can be long and exhausting. View yourself as a top professional athlete. Eat right, sleep well and exercise. You must have a healthy diet and workout routine. Go to sleep early and wake up early. You need to be in peak condition to manage all the emotional highs and lows, rejection, discouragement and stress associated with the interview process.
5. Replace negative feedback loops with positive self-talk.
We all have negative self-deprecating thoughts run through our minds. We are our own worst enemies. Our loved ones will encourage us, but the little nagging voice played on an endless loop in your head fills you with self-doubt.
Often these thoughts tell us that we can't achieve certain goals and success will never happen.  It is amazing how critical our own inner voice can be and how harsh we are to ourselves. If someone else talked to us like we think about ourselves, we would disassociate ourselves from that person for being so rude.  For some reason, we accept the negative, critical and restrictive abuse we heap onto ourselves. It doesn’t have to be this way and you can change the internal conversation in your mind. It is possible to alter the negative feedback loop to a positive, internal monologue. Immediately replace any negative self-talk with positive and encouraging thoughts. Remind yourself of all the times you succeeded and overcame the odds. Remind yourself of past accomplishments. When you are feeling the negative feedback loop, quickly substitute with a story of one of your successesno matter how inconsequential. Will yourself to succeed. There are enough negative people out there; you don’t need to be brought down with your own negative thoughts of failure.
6. Know your weak spots and find help to fix them.
Focus on your core strengths and abilities. When it comes to your weaknesses, don't feel bad; seek assistance. If you are an introvert, seek a career coach or a good recruiter who could help you become more comfortable with interviewing. The recruiter could help you craft an elevator pitch in which you could sell yourself. They could also work with you to improve on how to answer challenging interview questions.
7. Don’t obsess over the big dream of a new job, but focus on each small, incremental step.
Having a big, audacious goalsuch as getting a new jobcould be daunting and overwhelming. It could look so large and scary that you become paralyzed into inaction. To make it easier on yourself mentally, break up the big dream into smaller, easily-achievable pieces.  Return to your daily game plan and focus on each small part.
Since it is challenging to stay focused and motivated working toward an ambitious goal in the face of obstacles and setbacks, take the time to congratulate yourself and celebrate all the small milestones along the way. By celebrating the triumphs, you will gain more confidence. You will recognize that it is possible to succeed. Most average people sprinkle their achievements everywhere and pile up their failures. Consequently, they see a mountain of failures and can’t find the success. You are not average; you are better. Sprinkle the failures and pile-up the successes high. Each little victory spurs you onto bigger victories. It will keep you psyched-up, confident and motivated.
The ultimate goal of finding a new job will then happen on its own without all the worry and anxiety.
8. Think of a reason, purpose or deeper meaning why you are searching for a new job.
When you are working on behalf of something larger than yourself, the likelihood of success intensifies. There is something hardwired into us that if we are acting on behalf of a meaningful endeavor that will help others, it makes us unstoppable and invincible. It could be because you want to earn more money and the chance to improve your career to create a better life for your spouse and children. Maybe it is to get out of an untenable situation with a horrific boss.  Continually remind yourself, especially when things look bleak, about the reasons for looking. Use it as a mantra that you tell yourself throughout the day.  When things look dark, remind yourself that “I am doing this for the benefit of my kids and I will do whatever it takes to move forward. They deserve the best and I will do everything in my power to make their lives better.” By doing this, it will give you the internal strength to forge ahead.