Your Dream Job: Go Get It!

Hold on, sit down.

DSC_0049Don’t quit your job today. I’m not trying to get you to Jerry Maguire your way out of your current paycheck. We’ve been talking about Highly Sensitive People in the workplace for some time now, and if it’s brought something to light for you, that’s great.

If you read the descriptions of jobs in our last HSP blog, and you suddenly realized that you’ve always felt like you’re dragging yourself around just trying to stay afloat, don’t panic. As we already know, in life there are plenty of things we have to do to maintain the life that we choose.

Truth is, if you choose a life with a house, and food, a car, or anything that requires money, you need to work. Unfortunately, you may not always enjoy your job.

As we said before, plenty of people find themselves in jobs they dislike but they are able to handle it because of the money it brings in. Granted, most of those people have a sensitivity level different that is either normalized or relatively low. – No offense.

But for the Highly Sensitive: The person who hears sounds others don’t, smells and sees things that most people either ignore or never notice, for the person so drained by feigned human interaction that you can’t see straight after five minutes, this is for you.

This is for you to make a plan, stick to it, and find the job that not only brings out the best in you but contributes the most to the world. This is possible using the right steps.

Network

Networking cannot be stressed enough. This doesn’t mean you have to go to big, bustling meetings and be surrounded by people for hours on end. It does not have to be that exhausting. Just start looking for people that are doing what you dream of doing. Have you ever heard of Meetup.com? If you’re squeamish about networking, this is a great place to start because you can browse the entire website for your interests. You can see groups, read facts about them, and find out when and where they meet to work together on projects that you’re interested in. Once you get there, you never know the connections you might make or the doors they might open for you.

Training

Find any research, any free course, any way to gain experience in the area of your interest. If you already have limited experience, then pick up where you left off. Maybe it’s time to pay for a certification. Maybe it’s time to look into evening classes and get a degree. Just dive in and learn everything you can that could put you in the position to leverage your knowledge for a position on any rung of the ladder in that world.

Foot in the Door

Whether this is volunteer work, an informational interview, or a bottom-rung position, a foot in the door is a big deal. USE IT. Consistently making the best impression on your contact(s) can and will pay off. This doesn’t mean you have to beg for attention, be fake, or buy them coffee every day. Be genuine, be yourself, and take every opportunity to humbly and graciously showcase your knowledge of the industry. Stand out, be confident, and make your way through that door.

The point is, of course, growth and career satisfaction is possible. You can have a job that feels less like work and more like contributing your unique skills and purpose with the world. You simply have to believe it, work for it, and treat it well when you get it.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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Writing a Meaningful Self-Assessment

The annual review cycle begins with the self-assessment of your performance.

DSC_0045While it may be easy to get caught up in the details of writing the assessment and meeting deadlines, remember, it is important to focus on content. Don’t take this opening for granted, now is the ripe time to inform your manager of your achievements while discussing challenges, opportunities, and goals.

ONE THING TO KEEP IN MIND — How you perceive your job performance may be quite different from the evaluation by your supervisor.

You may be feeling confident in believing you’ve gone above and beyond job requirements until reality creeps in with a sucker-punch. The other side of truth does not always match. Truth is, your supervisor’s perspective may view your performance as being “average.”

For those not believing average can define them, average can be the product of many factors and not just the one or two you thought of. Unfortunately, factors include misunderstanding of expectations, a need for additional training, communication issues, or as simple as your manager not being aware of your day-to-day interactions.

Positive Shift: This is your chance to take control of your career by giving feedback and informing your manager of any training or resources necessary to future success. In order to do such a thing effectively, there’s no time like the present to take an objective self-assessment and then get with your manager for a realignment of sorts.

Is this a lot of work? Sure it is. Is this worth the effort… you bet’cha.

A clear and well-written self-assessment has the following attributes:

  • Restates objectives. Paraphrasing job objectives gives the manager a clear picture of how well an employee understands job performance expectations.
  • Highlights most significant achievements. The assessment doesn’t need to be lengthy; however it should highlight major achievements during the review period. Don’t forget about achievements made early on in the performance review period. (This is where keeping a journal can be your career advantage—you don’t want to forget accomplishments) States why the achievement matters. Show a cause and effect of the contribution. Describe how the achievement has profited the company. This information should paint a clear picture of how important your job is to the company.
  • Emphasizes when your actions were an important factor in success. Employee conduct or behavior is commonly taken into account in the performance rating. Be sure to bring up specific instances where behavior made a positive difference in the outcome of an objective. Acknowledges challenges. The word “challenges” has a negative connotation. However, overcoming a challenge shows you are able to achieve goals despite setbacks or obstacles. These obstacles may be technical, personal, or even limited resources available that an employee may need to rise above.
  • Offer specifics to improve performance in the future. Be detailed when writing the self-assessment. Tell/Show how your performance will improve and give a timeframe for the progression.

Following these simple instructions increases your chance of getting eyebrows raised from your manager and entices them to see the added value brought to the company by your exceptional work performance.

The key here is how well you organize. Keep detailed notes with numbers when applicable. Truth is, most managers want you to succeed and wants you to show how you completed the task. Throw in positive bottom-line results and you may be the winner the company is looking to promote.

Hope to see you at the finish line,

Your CC Connection
Tammisha Willis

Want or Need… What does it matter?

March 2011 050In the midst of this Quarter, many try to abide in their resolutions by expressing to themselves and others of their optimistic future.  Truth is, many resolutions are broken due to lack of confidence in oneself, by not making a commitment to one’s own priorities in an adjusted manner, or by splurging on wants, while ignoring the needs.

If you stumble, don’t give up… You are not alone.  We live in a fast-based world in which many of us waste valuable time not “listening” to ourselves along with not creating our own specific financial goals.  This is where the power of picturing comes to play.

It’s essential to set financial goals because visualizing gives us something to strive for.  Creating goals in the form of images gives focus and a sense of nobility.  Additionally, developing clear pictures create a realistic spending plan and will assists in obtaining financial success.

Having a sense of self-discipline gives us the boost that which is needed into making our dream goals our own reality.  Motivation gives us the push that we all need everyday so that we become that much closer to our own success.

Truth is: The need for persistence and optimism is essential to reach full potential.  Motivation is important in financial success because it drives our dreams while providing guidance each day.

There are multiple benefits when one organizes our lives in a way that promotes financial goal success.  There are many ways in this can be done, though analyzing ones priorities makes it easier and minimize stress each day.  Though, many rely upon a budget to safeguard their ways of staying on track with finances, you need to find a system that works best for you.

Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough time to get things completed or enough time to enjoy the world in which we live.  Having a managed financial budget guides time management more effectively, offering you a clearer path goal attainment.

With a proper analysis, you will also be able to differentiate between what is needed versus what is wanted.  The things that we need should be the top priority of keeping our finances in check. Keeping the value of what we need pulls us closer to having the financial success via waste control.

Truth is, want or need… it does matter. After all, once we recognize the wants in our life are taking away from the things we need in our life, the world opens up.

Your CC Connection
Dawn French

The Promotion WAS Mine!

DSC_0169So… you were so sure you were the next one in line for that promotion. Feeling confident, you began dreaming of a new life until you sense pinching fingers. Upon waking up you were told the chosen one was NOT you. Difficult to digest, to say the least.

The good news is that you CAN get through this. Let’s take a look at “twenty tips” to get you through a promotional disappointment:

  1. The first day you find out. Calm down to begin with, you CANNOT change what happened.
  2. Abstain from speaking to anyone right away or at least think twice about what you are going to say… who you are kidding!!! Think five times before you speak to anyone at your workplace.
  3. Go to the restroom and wash your face with cold water, time to get the bad mood off your face.
  4. Don’t behave resentfully.
  5. Don’t shelter or focus on negative thoughts. This may be the perfect time to take a quick break, walking off the negativity.
  6. It is expected your co-workers will ask and it is ok to say “This is disappointing” “I really wanted it.”
  7. Remember people won’t mind knowing you are disappointed. What everyone will mind is the endless whining about the rejected promotion. This makes you look BAD.
  8. GO HOME and scream to the top of your lungs how much you wanted this, or speak to your other half or whomever you tell your things too (preferably no one from your workplace) and spill it out, talk about till you can talk no more.
  9. Truth is, you will not be able to focus on an action plan YET, therefore DISTRACT yourself with a positive outlet.
  10. Go to the gym and run, run, run till you drop for the next few weeks to clear your mind.
  11. Ok… a few weeks have passed and everyone forgot about it and you should feel a bit better about it. LET’S MAKE AN ACTION PLAN!
  12. Do a vision board! It’s fun and can re-ignite focus by placing yourself in the future. Career roadmaps are a proven method of getting back on track.
  13. Ask yourself why do you want a promotion? Take for example, more pay, different responsibilities (more challenge), or a new career
  14. Learn the goals of those who have a decision making role in your career.
  15. Ask questions about the goals of the company but DON’T ask questions on “what are you doing for me.”
  16. Focus in the future and PLAN on making things better.
  17. See any career stumbling blocks as a learning opportunity.
  18. Request a meeting with your manager and ask for a review. What can you improve on? Learn your weakness and strength on the job.
  19. Start focusing on the things you need to improve on and TAKE ACTION.
  20. “The brick wall is not there for you, is there for the ones who don’t want it” (Pausch, Randly 2007)

Believe in yourself! Good luck… I am confident the next one is yours.

Career disappointments are never easy. Unfortunately we have all experienced the wrong side of either not getting that promotion or not given the opportunity to prove ourselves. You are not alone… so get over it and get on with life.

Truth is, now is the time to refocus and walk with confidence. With a professional plan in hand, the road to success may be just one or two steps away.

Azalia C. Arias
Your CC Connection

HSP Spotlight in the Workplace

DSC_0123Many employers are beginning to accept not only the inevitability of Highly Sensitive People in their workplace, but also the benefits of employing them. Evidence shows that the presence of HSPs in the workplace is, aside from their myriad assets, also a good teller of the state of the workplace in general.

Because of their sensitive nature, HSPs are able to sense a shift in morale more quickly than normal employees. This means that employers have a better chance of maintaining proper functionality of the workplace by keeping a closer eye on the more sensitive employees while utilizing their potential to the fullest.

So what does this mean for you, the Highly Sensitive Person working in an environment that is not ideal for your characteristics? I can tell you; this new understanding among employers is excellent news for you. Why? There are a few reasons:

Like Roses Bordering a Vineyard

Experts say that when a man plants a vineyard, he plants rose bushes along the borders. The roses and grapevines require the same conditions such as soil and light. This means that if conditions begin to arise, it will affect the roses first, and it will give the farmer a chance to adjust for the vines before they are adversely affected as well. This is a good metaphor for HSPs in the workplace, which means you will be notice, in the right way. Your opinion, the things that affect you, will matter if your employer wants to maintain a positive workplace.

Addressing Needs

This also means that you no longer have to be afraid of asking for your needs to be addressed properly. You probably shouldn’t ask if you can ride your skateboard to work and bring your cat to sit on your desk because it makes you more comfortable. However, due to the newer recognitions of the differences in how people succeed at work and the recognition of the importance in the differing levels of sensitivity, you can now ask for certain environmental stimuli to be minimized or distanced from you so that you may perform at your best.

Broadcast Your Best

Now that employers are being prepared to see the best of having Highly Sensitive employees, this is a chance for you to recognize that the floor is open for your brilliant and unique ideas that wouldn’t come to people with different sensitivity levels. This is a chance for you to shine, and that only exists for you because you are different. Here’s your chance to see what you can offer not despite of your differences but because of them. Take advantage of that, bring your observations to light, and use them to make where you work (and the world) a better place.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Friend of a Friend

DSC_0130So you are on the hunt for a job and you have all the basics to land an interview, but you aren’t getting many responses.  Submitting resumes and applying on large job sites can be discouraging and make you feel like you are falling into the cracks of a very large database.  After scratching your head, you begin brainstorming as to what else you can do to have that extra push to land an interview.  The answer is simple: ask for job referrals.

Common sense and statistics make one thing clear: companies are hiring based on employee referrals and will typically give a person with a referral more of a chance to land an interview.  According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, applicants are twice as likely to get interviews and 40 percent more likely to get hired if they have a referral.  But how do you get these great referrals?

Career Success Tip of the Day:  Networking is the way to go.

Social Media

Social media is at an all-time high and if you want to land a dream job, networking is a crucial building block to obtain referrals.  Sites such as LinkedIn, CareerCloud, and even Facebook and Twitter can be effective ways to network and gain contacts.  The best thing about social media networking is that you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to find your way into the company.

In Person Networking

There is no better way to network than in person.  People remember faces and have a harder time saying no when they are face to face.  It can be as simple as running into a former coworker at the grocery store or making a new connection while watching your son’s football game.  The secret to in person networking is to be sociable.  Truth is, people refer people that they like.

Then What?

So you used your resources and found out that you have connections into companies you would like to work for.  How do you ask?  Well, unless it is someone who knows you well, it is best to ask if they feel they know your work enough to refer you.  If they don’t, but still would like to refer you, give them a copy of your resume.  That way they are knowledgeable of your qualifications and work experience.  They can then provide you with a referral letter or a contact within the company’s Human Resource department.

Just Remember…

More and more companies actively take advantage of referral programs. Employees are also taking advantage of referral program rewards and would be enthused to meet a “great match” for the position.

When searching for your dream career, take advantage of all the resources out there to assist with obtaining a referral and make sure you act professionally in public.  You never know, the person waiting in the checkout line next to you could be your next business contact.

Looking forward to our next career meeting, I am.

Mari Brooks
Your CC Connection

Tell Me About Yourself…What now?

DSC_0011Finally, the recruiter calls you in for an interview with the hiring manager. This is not the time to be shy… now is the time to illustrate relevant skills and work experience to get to the next stage.

First things thing, make sure professionally written copies of your cover letter and resume are readily available in your portfolio… a simple common sense mistake many partake in.

After days of mentally and physically preparing, you walk into the conference room anxiously waiting for the interview to begin. Hiring manager, Tom, introduces himself and starts the session. After a typical introduction, Tom looks up and asks: “tell me about yourself.”

Suddenly your hands begin to sweat profusely because you didn’t anticipate on being asked this question. Crazy and doubt-adding “self-talk” bounces around, only to make matters more stressful.

Before “telling more about you,” and potentially embarrassing yourself, let’s take a moment for a quick course on how to respond effectively. After all, there is a specific way to answer the question “tell me about yourself.” There’s also a few not so-good ways.

When it comes to the not-so good ways, you need to know what’s really going on. First of all, do not give personal information such as age or number of children. Don’t mention any hobbies that are NOT related to the job or company. “Tom” does not care if you enjoy cocktails by the poolside or perform karaoke on Friday nights at Applebee’s.

Truth is: Too much or irrelevant information rarely results in positive outcomes.

On this note, Tom definitely wouldn’t want you to answer his request by asking one of your own: “What do you want to know about me?” Answering in such a way portrays unprofessionalism and a lack of confidence. This is a for sure way of getting a “we’ll call you” at the end of the interview and probably getting your resume thrown in the trash seconds after leaving. We don’t want that now do we?

Keep in mind—the company wants to know how you can benefit them. In other words, when it comes to responding to the “tell me about yourself” question, highlight your most important achievements that are relevant to the position.

With that said, follow these five tips to keep the interviewer engaged in the conversation:

Tip #1-Introduce yourself (Who are you as a professional)

Tip #2-Explain your current status (last job position, degrees (if any))

Tip #3-Describe your current experience and transferable skills related to the position

Tip #4-Describe accomplishments directly related to the position and/or company mission

Tip #5-Explain why you want to work for the company

One more thing… all the above information must be relayed under a minute or two. In other words, don’t become a chatter… less oftentimes can mean more. By way of example, Here’s my response to this challenging interview question:

I am a recent graduate from City College with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. I have over 5 years’ experience in coaching individuals, problem solving and time management in the health insurance field which has allowed me to excel in previous leadership roles. In my last position monthly quality scores increased 20% because of my persistent coaching techniques which improved product knowledge and confidence in representatives. My skills provide excellent customer service and truly define who I am and what I will bring to this company.

This is a lot to remember…but…if you practice, practice, and practice, answering the “Tell me about yourself” question will roll off your tongue naturally. Just follow my advice and you’ll be on the way to a well-deserved career. I’m rooting for you…fingers crossed.

One more thing, keep me posted on the outcome!

Tammisha Willis

Your CC Connection