Archive for April 2012

6 Strategies for Surviving in a Job You Hate· by Teena Rose

April 24, 2012

All of us have been there at some point. Out of necessity, you are stuck in a job that is unbearable – and as a result, you hate life. This is all-too-common in the U.S., where workers are often treated as commodities and liabilities, and get almost no real respect. Unfortunately, under current conditions few have the luxury of simply quitting, so here are several strategies for coping in a job you just can’t stomach.

Set Goals and Objectives: If there is a bright side to your situation, it’s easier to get a job if you already have one. This means that if you are in a job you hate, you’re in a better position to get something better. Set a goal every week for sending out x number of resumes and attending a networking event or job fair. Such actions will help you to see a light at the end of the tunnel (which won’t be New Jersey).

Time for One’s Self: If you are overscheduled and harassed, you’ll be making a bad thing worse. It is vital to set some time aside each day, particularly before heading into work. It’s also helpful to engage in some activity that brings a smile to your face, whether it’s reading the latest Facebook posts, treating yourself to a favorite snack, or playing your favorite music on the stereo.

Create Diversions: If possible, fill your workspace and/or your day with small diversions. For example, an inside sales representative who sometimes dislikes making “cold calls” to prospective clients might bring a joke book to work and make it a point to read something funny before picking up the phone. It made a great deal of difference when it came to talk to people.

Learn New Tricks: If you don’t have the job you want, it may be due to a lack of skills and/or knowledge. Fortunately, this is highly curable. It’s never too late to learn something new that may make you more marketable when a new and better opportunity comes along. Are $$$’s in short supply? Is free better? The Internet has a treasure-trove of free seminars and webinars to help you build your education. Also, make use of your local library. Many carry new how-to DVD’s relative to improving your personal and professional skills (i.e. coaching yourself to success, dealing with management issues, and time management).

Decompression: Failing to “blow off steam” and letting frustrations build up can be dangerous not only to yourself but to others as well. Continuous physical exercise is a great tension reliever, obviously, but also don’t overlook fun activities such as softball, bowling, and dancing. Or, a leisure walk at a local park can go a long way towards depressurizing and maintaining a positive outlook.

Keep on Keepin’ On: Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well – even if it’s something you hate. Not only will this give you a sense of accomplishment and pride in yourself, it can also help you down the road should you need a reference.

Calm Yourself! Quick Fixes For Interview Nerves

April 23, 2012

Published on Come Recommended | shared via feedly mobile

Let’s face it: job interviews are stressful. It’s nerve-wracking to be in such a high-pressure situation with someone you don’t even know! You may be afraid of making a mistake, but that’s normal. Luckily, CareerBliss has come up with a nifty 10 ways to calm pre-interview jitters. 

“Anxiety and jitters come from not knowing what is going to happen — basically, fear of the unknown,” said Katherine Walker, Founder and Executive Director of Lifetime Behavioral Health, to CareerBliss.

Here are my top five quick fixes for those last few minutes before a big interview:

1. “Breathe slowly 10 times”

Deep breathing is a known stress reliever for nearly any rough situation. Walker says you need about 10 slow, deep breathes to calm your nerves. Breathe in through the nose and fill your longs, then breathe out through your mouth to release jitters.

2. “Release muscle tension”

Try a progressive muscle relaxation, says Walker. Tense your entire body and then relax each part one by one, starting with your toes and moving all the way to the top of your head. Your focus will be on relaxation, not your nerves.

3. “Visualize success”

This one’s my favorite — visualizing success in any challenge you face, even a job interview, can help you believe in yourself. If you don’t think you can get the job, you probably won’t. Visualize yourself blowing your interview out of the water and sitting at that desk as the new hire.  Confidence is key.

4. “Smile”

Smiling signals happiness to your body — even during times of stress. Calm yourself and simply smile to lift your spirits and ease your nerves. Even if you’re not really happy, a smile can help you feel like the next best thing.

5. “Avoid coffee”

Most of us rely on coffee to keep us awake during the day, myself included. But when it comes to pre-interview nerves, coffee is best avoided. A cup of java will actually make you jittery because of the caffeine. Instead, chew a piece of gum to help make you more alert (just remember to spit it out before your interview).

If all else fails: see “How To: Recover From Interview Blunders.”

3 Tips for Negotiating Salary

April 19, 2012

Published on Come Recommended | shared via feedly mobile

Salary negotiations can be the most awkward part of the hiring process. It’s a sensitive subject to discuss during an already very sensitive time. So how do you do it?

In a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, Amy Gallo provided tips from experts on how to negotiate your next salary.

Here are some of her tips:

Do your research. Salaries are set based on what the company is currently paying people in similar positions. There are also industry standards to consider. “Information is power in negotiation so the more you know about these data points the better,” said Gallo. Utilize websites like salary.com, vault.com and payscale.com for more information on average salary for certain positions. Also, remember that you can reach out to professional contacts to pick their brains on the topic. Instead of asking exactly what a friend or contact makes, you can say something like, “What do you think the organization would pay for this position?” Asking that question can help you compile some data and prepare you for your negotiation.

What to do when the offer is too low. When you receive a salary offer that you feel is too low, you’re allowed to disagree!  It’s okay to show that you’ve done some research and just want to make sure you aren’t being paid too little for what you bring to the company. Take this as an opportunity to remind the company of the experience that you bring to the table. Keep in mind that most employers assume you will negotiate on some aspect of the job.

Focus on “we.” Remember at this point in the process, the company already wants you; you’re just figuring out details of your employment. It’s important to not just give a list of demands. Make sure you remain positive and not too pushy. Be open to what they have to say and try to incorporate what they want into your list of needs so everyone wins. “The key is to know what you care most about—whether it be money or other aspects of the job offer – and stick to those points,” said Gallo.

Disney looking to hire veterans

April 18, 2012

The Walt Disney Company is looking to hire 1,000 veterans over the next three years. Company President and CEO Bob Iger announced the company wide initiative called “Heroes Work Here” on Tuesday, March 13th.

There is much more to the new program than just hiring vets. Disney will hold career fairs, offer training and volunteer opportunities.

And don’t think you have to head to Orlando just to work at Disney. The company owns ESPN and ABC. Here is a full list of the companies in the Disney family.

Want to make your dreams come true? Check out the Disney Careers website.

Link to website:
Disney looking to hire veterans

How to Launch a Successful Job Search in a New City

April 17, 2012

ImageEd. note:  This is a guest post from Jodi Glickman as part of our Career Series. Jodi is a regular blogger for the Harvard Business Review, contributor to Fortune.com and author of the book “Great on the Job.”  

Finding a job in today’s market is daunting enough, even with friends and family cheering you on. But moving cross-country and looking for a job at the same time — it’s enough to throw any sane person over the edge. Launching a job search in a new city is undoubtedly harder than finding a new gig in your hometown, but today you’ve got more resources to help make the transition smooth, seamless and successful.  Here are 8 things to keep in mind as you load up your VW, board that plane, or head for the other coast…

1. Know Why You’re Moving

Ask yourself the tough (or obvious) questions and be straight with yourself.  Are you making a lifestyle choice, (Boulder anyone?) moving to be close to friends and family, or making a career change? Any of these factors will likely impact your job prospects and earning power post-move.  Whatever the case, be honest with yourself about the reality of the situation and adjust your expectations accordingly.

2. Get to Know Your new City

Start reading the local papers online and find some niche blogs that speak to you. Research the business drivers in your new city—is your destination a high tech zone, like Silicon Valley; a booming college-town like Austin, Texas or a burgeoning start-up community like Chicago? How robust is the local economy? Are you moving to Bismark, ND (3.8 % unemployment) or Detroit (10.8% unemployment)?  Take into account the strength of the local economy as you factor in how long your job search will actually take.

3. Tell the World you’re Moving!  

Update your LinkedIn profile with your headline — “moving to Minneapolis — looking for a new job in consumer products.”  Post your new status on Google+, Twitter, Facebook — and any other social networking sites you use. Send personal messages to your trusted LinkedIn connections and let people know you’re coming to town. A cross-country move is a great excuse to reach out to former colleagues or classmates and ask for assistance with introductions, informational interviews, or job leads.

4. Leverage Your Network 

It’s time to leverage your network and start building new relationships. Use LinkedIn Groups to find like-minded job seekers or networking groups in your new city. The Groups Directory page will give you suggestions of groups to join or allow you to search by keyword or category. And don’t underestimate the power of your alumni network. My Cornell alumni page on LinkedIn is a treasure trove of information — it gives me an incredible dashboard that tells me where fellow alumni live, who they work for and what they do. In a single snapshot, I can tell who is working in business development in the San Francisco Bay Area and presto — I’ve got my target list of people to reach out to to find a biz dev job in that city.

For the more adventurous who want to take networking offline, consider joining an in-person MeetUp group. The Portland Job Seekers Group, for example, hosts regular networking and recruiting events around town.

5. Ask for Help

Once you’ve tapped into your network, old and new, go ahead and take the plunge— ask for the help you need. People relish being the expert on their city and enjoy helping friends and acquaintances find their footing in a new locale. Ask your friends, friends of friends, friends’ parents— who they know who can help your cause. Be as specific as possible in your requests for help.  Do you want contacts in digital media and entertainment or are you looking for informational interviews with consumer products professionals in Cincinnati?

I recently spoke to a job seeker who’s moving to Chicago from New York City.  Micah relies extensively on both her alumni network and LinkedIn community—asking her growing network for help with everything from putting her in touch with local headhunters, making introductions to contacts at financial services firms, even recommending pre-schools for her toddler.

6. Make the Job Search Work for You

There’s absolutely too much information out there to sift through. Instead, make your job search work for you by using the advanced search function in LinkedIn Jobs and searching jobs by keyword, zip code, date posted and more, so that you are only seeing the most relevant and interesting jobs. You’ll also have the ability to see who you’re connected to at respective employers, giving you a great leg up to learn more about a specific company or position. You can also create saved searches and email alerts when new jobs are posted that meet your criteria.

For even more help creating a personalized job search tool, check out Lindsey Pollak’s recent post on curating your own personal job search feed, which gives you great tips on setting up personalized job search alerts from all of your favorite job search sites.

7. Expect to Fail (a little bit….)

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find a job immediately.  There are bound to be bumps and bruises along the way, so plan for hiccups.  Stay busy.  Job search in coffee shops so that you’re not home alone feeling blue.  Get a part-time job or volunteer to get to know people and become engaged in your new community.  Whatever you’re hoping to accomplish, assume it will take longer than expected.

8. Pay it Forward

Finally, reach out and thank all of those who helped you along the way.  Close the loop and let people know how things turned out. And of course, think about how you can return the favor and pay it forward.  Who can you help with a job search or write a LinkedIn recommendation for?  How can you give back to your new (or old) community?  Keep your good fortune in mind the next time someone asks you for a job lead or think about what you can do to help a friend who’s recently been laid off.

Let us know what your job search experience has been by sharing your experiences @linkedin

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