How to Update Your Resume Based on What You’ve Done and Where You Want to Go

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Out with the old, in with the new is a great approach when you’re cleaning out your fridge, but it doesn’t always work when you’re updating your resume.

Why?

Cutting old jobs and adding recent positions keeps your career timeline fresh, but it doesn’t allow you to shape your career story in light of where you’re headed right now.

So, if you’re ready to revamp your resume based on how much experience you have—and what you’d like to be doing next—try these edits on for size:

1. Entry Level (1-2 Years)

As someone entering the career world, you probably don’t have much to pare down. Unlike a seasoned professional, you’ll want let your academic life do some of the talking for you, so it’s fine to include categories like relevant coursework. But even with all that, paired with internships and volunteer experiences, you might feel like filling an entire page is a challenge.

Still—resist the temptation to fill your resume with fluff!

By fluff, I mean overly elegant language, or information that’s just there for the sake of being “more.” If you can’t quantify your accomplishments, don’t. In place of meaningless add-ons (like any information from high school), paint a clear picture of what you walked away with, because even jobs like babysitting and hostessing have taught you something. Demonstrating the skills you’ve honed can be as simple as including bullets like this one:

“Contributed to three social media marketing campaigns, assisting with SEO and SEM initiatives and gaining experience with Superfast, Sprinkler, and Google Analytics.”

2. Professional (3-6 Years)

You’ve already moved your education section to the end of your resume, and you’ve probably also trimmed your graduation dates and details about your GPA and extracurriculars. Terrific! You’re well on your way to allowing your experiences—rather than your academics—to do the talking for you.

To seal the deal, dedicate some page space to outlining moments when you’ve had any autonomy, like training someone new, taking on a solo side project, or jumping on a critical problem that you spotted before anyone else. Choose a few a highlights that explain that you’re not a just task rabbit, but a pure go-getter with a bias toward action.

You may not be to point to deliverables that turned the company on its head (yet), but you still have cool stuff to talk about. #TrueStory

For bonus points: List any professional development coursework, or on-the-job training you’ve completed. I mention it because of the whole “I love learning and pushing my perspectives” spiel rattled off during interview after interview.

It’s one thing to say it. It’s absolutely another to embody it.

Oh, and if you spent the first couple years of your career in one sector and then hopped to another, check out this advice.

3. Mid-Career (7-15 Years)

It’s time to make an important shift in your branding.

To beat out your competitors, you’ll have to do more than just highlight your leadership ability or the specialized skill set you’ve honed: You have to deliver clear-cut stories about your accomplishments.

If there were a time to brag, it’s now.

Step beyond merely outlining the responsibilities you’ve fulfilled and give details on the change and results you’ve delivered. Identifying your contributions is as easy as falling off a log. Just ask yourself:

  • Where did I create new systems or processes?
  • How have I generated new business?
  • Did I launch a new product or process?
  • Did I help the company avoid costs, red tape, or other headaches?

Whenever possible, these stories should incorporate metrics that illustrate the value of what you did. But don’t let a lack of metrics hold you back from talking about awards, current projects that haven’t yet been measured, or relationships and strategic partnerships that benefited your team. If it’s something you’d want to share in depth during an interview, get it on the page.

4. C-level, VP, or Director (15+ Years)

At this point in your career, you might find that you’re forced to consider how to handle roles that, although they occurred early on, include notable achievements that are important to your brand.

You’re faced with the choice of keeping these roles on your document and spilling onto a third page, or cutting the details altogether.

It’s conundrum city, unless you add a Career Highlights section.

A Career Highlights section allows you to retain key points from your early career roles by boiling them down to one and two-sentence statements. You’re able to trim dozens of lines of content from your resume while re-capturing details that make you shine. Most candidates place this section just after their resume summary and include a couple of recent wins alongside their older accomplishments. Here’s an example of what it might look like:

Career Highlights

  • Currently shaping supplier relations and business development strategy for the rollout of Tesla’s 2017 Model 3
  • Developed 15 patented automotive / mechanical and hydraulic control systems designs—10 patents were used in international markets, and five are still in production
  • Delphi Hall of Fame member and recognized with numerous Chevrolet Innovation awards

Be selective as you fill this section. Think of it as a greatest hits album or box of keepsakes. The idea is to include stuff that’s truly remarkable and sets you apart as a candidate, limiting what you share to three or four bullets at the most.

 

Your career isn’t static, so your resume shouldn’t be either. As you grow and change as a professional, make sure you’re showing off all you’ve achieved and learned.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-update-your-resume-based-on-what-youve-done-and-where-you-want-to-go

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

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How to Get Your Loved Ones To Understand Your Crazy Work Schedule

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For high-achievers, striving to be the best is part of the job description. Pushing your limits can be exhilarating, accomplishing things you’ve set your sights on can be motivating. It’s thrilling to see your career aspirations come to life when you hit a major milestone, land a new client, or launch a new project.

If your career’s important to you, you also know that making your dreams a reality requires sacrifice. At times, work may become your number one priority, leaving your personal life to fall by the wayside. Trading quality time with loved ones for long hours at the office becomes the norm.

Finding the right work-life balance is a struggle that every ambitious person faces. Crazy-busy periods at work are inevitable—and while they may be temporary, if you don’t manage them properly, they can hurt your relationships and well-being. It’s one thing to communicate about your stress with your boss and co-workers during demanding times in the office, but explaining to family and friends that you’re going to be spending more and more time at work can be challenging.

Gone are the weekly happy hours, trips back home, phone calls with buddies. The irony is that although a chaotic work schedule means you have less time for those closest to you, it’s precisely when you need them the most. How then do you handle this catch-22 of ambition and rally your support system to get through busy periods?

Addressing the situation directly is the best way to deal with these conflicting priorities. Take the following steps to negotiate a positive balance, without pushing away those who care for you (or coming off as a workaholic). Here are three ways to save your relationships and keep your career and personal life on track.

1. Be Clear About How You Can Be Supported

While you’re all too aware of the projects you’re juggling and your growing to-do list at the office, it can be hard to remember that your friends and family are in the dark about the details of your work day. Your mind may be consumed by work, but your loved ones know nothing about the supplier who messed up your order or the five meetings you have to prepare for.

When you come home from work tired and preoccupied, all they see is your closed body language and emotional cues. Noticing that you’re stressed, your partner or roommate may do his or her best to be there for you, making misguided attempts to help by offering suggestions that only end up frustrating you (you should really take a mental health day! Why don’t you try yoga?). Are they even listening? Do they not know how urgent work is right now?

Rather than getting defensive or shutting down, share the details of your current workload and get specific about how he or she can best help you manage the demands you’re facing. For example, be direct and let your mother know it would more helpful if she just listened when you talk about work. If you’re typically in charge of chores, delegate specific tasks to someone else and let this person know how much his or her efforts would help you out this week—or month. That’s much more effective than griping about how no one’s helping out around here.

Clear communication gives your loved ones insight into your stress, empowering you to tackle it in a collaborative, constructive way.

2. Lay Ground Rules

Defining boundaries is essential to creating space to accomplish your professional goals, especially when work conflicts with your personal life. To successfully focus during busy periods, you have to know when to set limits—even with the people closest to you.

The key to asserting boundaries is to do so firmly, but compassionately. During a product launch, you may let your partner know you’ll have to forego your weekly lunch date for a month. Explain why you need the extra time in your schedule, how it will help you focus, and then be future-focused: Specify a date when you can revisit getting your lunches back on the calendar. Or, if you usually spend the day in constant communication with your best friend, lay down boundaries around when you’ll be free to talk, so you can give your undivided attention to them during those breaks and to work projects the rest of the time.

Boundaries become all the more significant if you’re going to be working from home. Be sure to implement rules on when it’s OK or not OK to interrupt you and commit to stop working at a certain hour to transition to downtime.

3. Channel Stress the Right Way

At home, after a particularly long work day, you and your partner are debating your nightly Netflix pick. You suggest a comedy. Your partner groans. You fly into a rage. How dare she disregard your suggestion! Why do you always have to watch what she wants? But, wait—why are you getting so worked up over a TV show?

What’s really at play here is a defense mechanism called displacement. It gets triggered when we try to deal with stress. Displacement is when your mind redirects a negative reaction away from the true source of your upset to a person or object that’s less threatening. In other words, to save you from work stress (which feels huge and overwhelming), you may become disproportionately outraged at an easier target—often a spouse, sibling, roommate, or parent. Displacement can happen when you’re not channeling stress in other healthy, constructive ways. And if you have a lot of work anxiety, displacing it could lead to a momentous fight at home.

If you’re noticing this defense mechanism rear its ugly head, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this really worth a battle over?
  • Will bringing this up now benefit me and the relationship?
  • How would I react if they said the same to me?

Create a plan to channel your anxieties appropriately through a healthy outlet like meditation, exercise, or even art.

4. Be Mindful of What Really Matters

Even if you’re consciously choosing to make work a priority at the moment, keep room in your life for honoring your social commitments. So, while it might be tempting to bail on lunch with a friend to tend to important work, resist the temptation. Your word is important in your personal life just as it is at the office.

When you’re in the midst of a busy time at work, do a quick perspective check: Why are you working so hard, if not to create a life that you love? It’s important to find meaning and purpose in your career, but it’s only one part of living a balance life. Don’t neglect the importance personal relationships have on your long-term emotional health and wellbeing. It’s often worth it to make certain sacrifices to achieve what you want in your career—but not to the detriment of your happiness. It’s fine if you need to lighten your social calendar a little during a busy work period, but don’t drop all your friends and cancel all of your plans in favor of more hours glued to your computer.

Busy periods are inevitable, but they’re most often temporary. Managing them correctly will ensure that you stay balanced. Ambition does not have to lead to loneliness. Be sure to take the above steps, and let your friends and family know they’re the support you need, not those you’ve left behind.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-get-your-loved-ones-to-understand-your-crazy-work-schedule-and-why-youre-a-little-on-edge

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

19 Crazy Easy Ways You Can Be Healthier in the Office

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If you’re like me and spend most of your day in an office, you probably think it’s impossible to practice healthy habits on the reg. (Unless your company has an in-office gym or catered meals every day—if that’s you, you’re a lucky duck.)

Well, I’ll prove you wrong. I came up with not one, not 10, but 19 easy ways to have a stronger mind, body, and spirit in just your average workspace. By easy, I mean these are so quick and simple you wouldn’t believe you can actually improve yourself by doing them. And yet, I have proof you can!

Read on to learn my healthy little secrets!

1. Keep Healthy Snacks Nearby

As Muse writer Nina Tamburello says, “When the vending machine or leftovers from the 3 PM meeting tempt you with their ease and convenience, it’s hard to just say no to chips and cookies during that mid-afternoon slump.”

So, instead, leave a bag of almonds or kale chips next to your laptop. It’s much easier than getting up to snag something from the office kitchen.

2. Bring Your Own Lunch

When you make it, and the local sandwich shop doesn’t, you get to control what kinds of foods you choose to eat. Yes, this takes work, but it’s so worth it for your health and your bank account.

3. Hang Out With the “Health Nuts”

Science says you eat what your friends eat, so try surrounding yourself with people who’ll unintentionally help you kick your bad habits.

4. Stand Up and Stretch Often

Even if it’s just to tackle some emails or short to-dos, spend 30 minutes a day standing at your desk—we bet it’ll boost your energy. Oh, and if your office doesn’t have any place where you can work standing up, then just literally make sure you’re physically standing up and stretching at least once an hour.

There’s also nothing worse than leaving work at the end of the day with a kink in your neck or sore muscles, so avoid the pain with these 17 exercises that you can do right at your desk!

5. Practice Smart Computer Habits

Staring at a computer all day is exhausting, and hard on the eyes, neck, back, and head.

So, remember to take short breaks between tasks, turn the brightness down on your computer, sit up straight, use eye drops, and shift positions occasionally.

6. Schedule Walking Meetings

Take your meetings on a stroll, where you can enjoy some sunshine, stretch your muscles, and maybe get those creative juices flowing.

7. Take the Stairs

It’s a quick way to get your heart rate up when there’s no time for a workout. (If you work on the 20th floor or higher like I do, maybe try taking the stairs halfway and catching an elevator when you’ve exhausted yourself.)

Tiring idea? Yes, but science says it’ll make you smarter!

8. Work Out in the Middle of the Day

If you can, try taking an hour off work to head to a nearby yoga studio or go for a run. Muse Senior Editor Stacey Gawronski found that after doing so, her day flew by and she still got a lot done, despite losing an hour: “I [felt] so productive from my exercise boost that I barely noticed what time it was.”

9. Try a Quick Nap

It can be hard to just conk out on your desk without concerning your boss, but if you’re able to—and desperately need it—let him or her know you could use a bit of shut-eye to refocus and excuse yourself to a couch or private room for a quick nap. You’ll be more productive for the rest of the day. (Just don’t do it every day.)

10. Work Outside

“Believe it or not, your natural habitat is not a room filled with fluorescent lights and computer screens,” says Muse Career Coach Lea McLeod.

Grab your laptop, or an old-fashioned notebook, and get some work done (even if it’s just for a bit) at a park nearby, on a bench outside your office, or in an outdoor restaurant. It’ll reduce your stress, and give you a healthy dose of vitamin D. (And, if you’re not sure how this will work, try using these 16 items to help you shift your desk to a new space.)

11. Carve Out Personal Time

You can’t work all the time, it’s just not good for you. As Muse Writer Lily Hermanrealized, “My constant desire to work came to a head when I start showing signs of ‘brownout’—it’s the notion that while I was performing fine from the outside, I was slowly becoming exhausted, unmotivated, and uninspired.”

So, literally set aside a slot on your calendar for “you” time—whether that means getting yourself a coffee, scrolling through social media, or chatting with a co-worker.

12. Drink Lots of Water

It goes without saying, really. Water equals a happy body (and less mid-day headaches).

My secret for success? A fun water bottle. Try out one with a straw, or a button, or a flippy lid.

13. Buy a Stress-Relief Toy

Take your frustrations out on something else besides your co-workers or boss—it’ll salvage your relationships and ease your stress. For some great ideas, check out these 18 options that’ll fit right on your desk.

14. Start an Office Workout Tradition

Here at The Muse, we’re big fans of the 3 PM “judgment-free” push-ups—it’s when members of our team stop what they’re doing to do a round of push-ups together. Besides getting in a quick workout, it’s a great way to bond as co-workers.

Did I inspire you? Get a group together and start your own healthy tradition! It can be as simple as swapping tea for coffee in the afternoons or taking a 10-minute mid-day walk.

15. Stare Out the Window

Science says that just looking at a tree can reduce stress and make you feel better overall. This is probably the easiest health tip I’ve given you all day. (Unless you live in a city, then maybe try purchasing a plant?)

16. Replace That Second (or Third, or Fourth) Cup of Coffee

Rather than shoving more caffeine into your body, try replacing an afternoon coffee with de-caffeinated tea or sugar-free gum.

17. Turn the Music Down

Loud music is harsh on the eardrums, so if you’re constantly blasting it through your headphones, turn the volume down a notch. And this way, you’ll be able to hear if your boss is calling for you.

18. Give Your Hands a Break

They’re doing the legwork all day (unlike your legs), so give them a rest by stretching them out or taking a second to relax them in your lap. You don’t want to get carpel tunnel, do you?

19. Breathe

Cheesy, I know, but if you just take one minute (or more!) of your time a day to stop, look away from your work, and just breathe, you’ll feel a heck of a lot better. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you might even practice mindfulness or meditation.

My final tip for you: Everything in moderation. Healthy habits are about balancing work and pleasure, cookies and vegetables, sitting and standing. You don’t have to stop having fun or enjoying a beer with co-workers, but be mindful of how much and how often you choose one thing over another possibly better option.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/19-crazy-easy-ways-you-can-be-healthier-in-the-office

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

8 Ways You Can Still Land an Interview When You Don’t Meet All the Requirements

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Ever stumbled across a job title, gotten really excited, and then felt the enthusiasm and energy drain out as you read through the requirements? A job listing’s qualifications can turn a prospective candidate off before he or she has even had a chance to read through the entire list—some of them are just that long and complicated. But, do you really need to fulfill every single thing on the list?

And, if the answer is no, is there a percentage, or a certain number of descriptors you must meet? I reached out to our career coaches for their thoughts on this tricky topic. Although I’ve long suspected that hiring managers put every possible requirement they can dream up on there, with little hope that the right person for the job will have all the qualifications, I never thought of it as a wish list more than anything else. And yet, that’s what one coach is comfortable calling it.

The thing is this: If you believe you can do the job and are a good match, save for this thing or that, you should absolutely put yourself out there. Just make sure you’re being realistic when it comes to knowing the difference between almost qualified and not even close. And know that you’re going to have to take a few extra steps than just clicking submit, such as finding an “in” at the company, completing a pre-interview project, and using your cover letter to make your case.

Read on for advice on being an awesome candidate when your job requirement checklistneeds some work.

1. Focus on Your Transferable Skills

The requirements listed in job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. You don’t have to satisfy every requirement or meet every qualification listed. If your skills are transferable and you are in the ballpark with the number of years of experience the company’s looking for, apply. Applying gives you the opportunity to be considered.

 

2. Complete a Pre-Interview Project

Are you confident you could do the job, and are you legitimately excited about the opportunity? If the answers to those two questions are yes, then do everything in your power to get in front of someone at the company who can refer you for the role. Startups tend to be flexible on some of the ‘requirements’ listed—as long as you can show passion for what the organization is doing and prove to them through a project (or other means) that you’re the real deal. I’ve seen this technique work over and over again. You just have to be willing to do the legwork that your competition isn’t!

 

3. Find a Direct Connection at the Company

Interestingly, gender seems to play a role in how clients approach this question. In my experience, men will apply to jobs regardless of their alignment with required qualifications. If they want the job, they’ll go for it. Women are much more hesitant, and look for nearly perfect alignment before going for a job. This divide is echoed by research in Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. I tell clients that if they are at least 60% qualified, they should go for it—but only if they’re able to network and find a direct point of contact at a company, rather than applying through an online tracking system.

 

4. Figure Out the Non-Negotiables

What I see hold smart, ambitious job seekers back is not a lack of confidence, but a mistaken perception about the hiring process. A dirty little secret of hiring managers is that job descriptions are more like wish lists than set-in-stone requirements. Err on the side of boldness: If you meet at least 75% of the qualifications, apply—but be smart about sussing out the non-negotiables. Applying online? Keywords are king. Put the job posting into a word cloud application. See what stands out, then make sure your resume showcases your experience using keywords that align with what they care about the most. You’ll beat the ATS and show the hiring manager why you’re perfect for the job. You can also do research on Glassdoor, through networking, or using LinkedIn to get insider knowledge about the company.

 

5. Read Between the Lines

Honestly, many job descriptions are hacked together, based on what that company saw was listed for similar positions at other places. And in many cases, job descriptions are meant to weed people out who won’t even take the time to apply because they think they’re unqualified. Some qualifications are even contradictory (I remember applying for jobs in college and seeing listings ask for five to seven years of social media marketing experience, when at that point, social media had only been around for four years). Rarely does a person meet every single bullet, so if you feel like you meet the core competencies, you should apply.

 

6. Use Your Cover Letter to Make Your Value Add Clear

The job description’s basically the employer’s wish list for what the company’s hoping to find in a candidate; it’s not a checklist. An applicant may meet all the stated criteria but still lack some crucial quality that makes him the right fit for the job. If you meet at least some qualifications and are really excited about the position and confident that you would be a good choice, convey that enthusiasm in your cover letter. Draw the reader’s attention to your qualifications and highlight other strengths that make you worthy of consideration. How would you contribute in a unique and positive way? How have you made a difference in other settings? Taking the time to personalize the cover letter can really pay off.

 

7. Show Your Enthusiasm

I spent 10 years as the director of a nonprofit, and I fielded hundreds of job applications. The people I ultimately chose to hire were not always the ‘most qualified’ or the ‘most experienced.’ They were the people who demonstrated genuine enthusiasm for the organization and our mission. Skills can be acquired. But enthusiasm is either there—or it’s not. I’d say, if you feel genuinely excited about a particular role or company, go for it! Apply! You’ve got nothing to lose—and who knows? The hiring manager might see that ‘spark’ in your eyes and decide, ‘She’s the one.’

8. Check the Match

The thing to remember is that the hiring manager is not always exactly sure (consciously or not) of what he’s looking for, so he’s putting out a description that he thinks will work, casting the widest net, and attracting the most ‘qualified’ candidates. There may be a few hard and fast requirements, but the rest of the description’s a best guess at who’ll be an ideal fit for the opening. If after thoroughly considering and researching the type of company and role that matches with your experience and passion you can make a strong argument as to why you would be a good candidate, you should absolutely apply. Make sure to explain in a cover letter the connection, and try to find a direct link to the hiring manager so you can argue your case for applying.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/8-ways-you-can-still-land-an-interview-when-you-dont-meet-all-the-requirements

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

The Super Easy Way to Motivate a Team

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It was the summer of 2000, and I was living my dream.

I was still in my early 20s, working for a large nonprofit in the heart of New York City, and I’d been appointed to lead a small teamI loved my job; I loved New York. Life was good.

But suddenly, everything changed.

My department manager, who had become a great mentor, suddenly left. He was replaced by “Jack,” the assistant. Jack was the complete opposite of our old boss: He seemed to always focus on the negative, and was extremely difficult to please.

I don’t think Jack hated us, but we felt that way sometimes—as he constantly pointed out our mistakes, never commending us for what we did right.

Morale sank.

Many years later, I moved to Europe and began work as a consultant with a number of international companies. While conducting research on employee satisfaction and company culture, I surveyed dozens of professionals working in various fields, and I noticed one complaint repeated over and over: I just don’t feel appreciated.

Many of the employees I interviewed said that their superiors were quick to let them know what they were doing wrong, but were almost never inclined to tell them what they were doing right.

What Every Employee Craves

Throughout the years, I’ve consulted with many companies, large and small. The topic of what makes up a great organizational culture is complex. But I strongly believe it begins with a single action: sincerely commending your people.

Praise. Giving credit where credit is due. Telling someone: “Job well done.” Whatever you want to call it, people crave it—and they respond to it.

Think about it. How would you react if your superior said something like the following to you:

Hey, do you have a minute? I’ve been meaning to tell you something. I know I don’t say this enough, but I really appreciate what you’re doing here. The way you handled that (project, client, problem)—it was great. I could really see your (specific quality you possess) in action, and how much it benefits the company.Keep up the good work.

Sound motivating?

Don’t mistake my point: My goal isn’t to encourage flattery, or praise just for the sake of praising. We all know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a shallow or superficial compliment—it just leaves us wondering: What are they trying to get out of me?

But everybody deserves praise for something. All of your people are talented in different ways; it’s your job to see those talents, and to bring out the best in them.

The Benefits of Praising Employees

If you take the time to give employees realistic and positive reinforcement, i.e., sincere and authentic commendation for their efforts, you’ll experience the following benefits:

1. Your People Will Feel Important and Needed

In contrast to Jack was Jack’s boss, Mr. Larson.

Mr. Larson (“Call me John,” he would say) was the managing director—and he had a much different reputation. Despite overseeing the work of about 300 people, he would come around to see each of us on our yearly “work anniversary.” He usually stuck around and chatted for about five to 10 minutes, amazing us with the personal interest he showed.
Somehow, he even managed to learn all of our names—greeting us by first name as we passed each other in the hallways. “How’s it going, Shelly?” “Great job on your presentation, Micah!”

Mr. Larson, um, John, also made himself available if we felt the need to speak with him. These “little things” meant a lot. He made us feel that our work was important to him.
We were important to him.

Takeaway: Do you want your team to jump through hoops of fire? It might mean a matter of just a few minutes a day, but I promise it will be time well spent.

2. It Makes Giving Correction Easier

Jack may have had a brash management style, but many managers suffer from the opposite problem: They cringe at the thought of giving corrective feedback.
Erika Andersen, author of Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers, put it this way in an article she penned for Forbes:

“Most often,” she writes, “we’re worried about the other person’s reaction: What if she gets angry? What if he cries? What if she tells me I’m an idiot? What if he gets super defensive and starts blaming me?”

The thing is, everyone needs correction. When your people don’t receive constructive criticism, they never reach their full potential. Even worse, they may end up losing their jobs without ever having an idea of what they were doing wrong.

But when we are in the habit of telling our employees how much we appreciate the goodthings they do, it becomes much easier to correct the bad things they do.

Takeaway: When you praise authentically and regularly, it gives you confidence to give corrective feedback when necessary.

You’ll know that your direction is balanced and reasonable—and in the best interests of both employee and company.

3. It Makes Receiving Correction Easier

In contrast with fearing to give corrective feedback, I’ve witnessed a great number of “Jacks” running the show. Additionally, a number of employees I interviewed said that it was common for their team leaders and managers to spew out correction (even in a public setting), without ever giving commendation.

Morale, and productivity, naturally decline.

The fact is no one wants to make mistakes or underperform. But when that’s the only message we hear, we begin to lose motivation.

On the other hand, when we are confident that our leaders have “got our backs,” we’re much more ready and willing to receive constructive criticism.

Takeaway: Regular and sincere commendation helps employees see that you’re on their side. They’ll begin to see you as a mentor, instead of someone whose job is to come down on them.

Putting it Into Practice

So give some thought to your own style of leadership. When was the last time you told your team—as a group and the individuals themselves—that you appreciated them? Or told them specifically what you appreciate?

A few moments of sincere praise will pay rich dividends for you, your team, and your company.

By the way, my story has a happy ending. Remember Jack? He actually improved dramatically over the years we worked together. In the end, he became a great manager.

Want to know why? Because he learned from the great example that others set, others like Mr. Larson.

That’s the power of sincere and authentic praise: It makes everybody better.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-super-easy-way-to-motivate-a-team-with-low-morale-that-doesnt-involve-buying-them-lunch

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

5 Career-Boosting Moves You Still Have Time to Make in 2016

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We’re more than halfway done with 2016. (Can this even be possible?) How’s your career humming along? Did you vow to make this the year you make a change, snag a promotion, or gain new skills or credentials?

Are you there yet? If no, fear not. You’ve still got plenty of time before the holiday season, when companies typically start winding down on interviewing and hiring for the year. Now the hard question: Are you ready to set aside a bit of your summer sun time and get going?

I’ll assume you said yes: That’s excellent. Here are five things you can still accomplish career-wise in 2016, instead of putting things off until next year:

1. Better Your Position at Your Current Employer

So many people, when feeling unhappy in their current jobs, assume that they need to go find another job, at another company. But, what if there’s a way to make your career situation happier, more lucrative, or more fulfilling—without leaving? Is there another department you’ve got your eye on? Or, a position you’d die to have? Or, maybe a special project you want to work on?

Or, are you feeling like it’s well past time for a raise?

If so, don’t just sit there. Put together a proposal or a plan. Approach people of influence—whether that’s your boss or leaders within other groups, or even peers—and sleuth out internal possibilities. Ask questions. Take thoughtful risks. Make a case.

There’s truly something to the adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” The trick is to squeak in productive, compelling ways, not in ways that make you look like a whiner. Always keep in mind that businesses exist to make money (or, in the case of nonprofits, raise money). So, in everything you do, figure out how whatever it is you’re asking for will help the organization make money, improve productivity, add value, solve problems, or innovate. Present what you want in the form of “What’s in it for you guys,” rather than, “What I want out of the deal,” and see where it takes you.

2. Map Out a Career Pivot Plan

Or, maybe you don’t want to stay at your current employer. Maybe you want to shake things up in a big way. Can you make progress toward this before 2016 comes to a close? Of course you can. And, depending on the nature of the pivot, you can probably make considerable progress.

Where should you start? Your very first move should be to define the “ideal” scenario. You’re not likely to leave a job that doesn’t suit you, and move into a great career that does, if you don’t define—with specificity—what “better” looks like. What skills do you want to put to use? What tasks energize you? What do you do really well? Write this stuff down, as well as the stuff you truly don’t want to do or be around in your next role.

And then play around with some of these terms and variables when you’re searching—see what jobs come up. What are they called? Who are they with? What skills and experience do they require?

Once you have a handle on what that position you want to pivot into looks like, you can then start building a transition plan.

Who do you need to know? What organizations should you research? Are you lacking any credentials or skills that will be either required or super advantageous in this next role? How can you go about obtaining them? What’s a realistic timeframe for this transition?

Build some big picture framework around this bad boy, and then develop action items for yourself—specific tasks that you can knock off one by one every week. Endlessly pondering a pivot isn’t going to get you anywhere in 2016; devising and tackling action items will.

3. Gain (or Shore Up) a New, Valuable Skill

Speaking of credentials, are you someone who maybe isn’t feeling a strong pull toward a completely different field, but realizing that you’re at a disadvantage because you lack a certain skill that’s in demand in your field?

How can you obtain that skill or credential, or at least start the process yet this year? Consider online learning. There’s an endless array of online classes available to professionals today, many of which are either free or quite reasonable in cost. It’s easier than ever to learn new skills—whether that’s a popular tech tool, or a business practice, or a language, or even leadership training.

Bemoaning what you don’t have is a waste of time. Investigating how to make yourself more valuable (and then mobilizing) may provide you with a critical advantage—and you’ve still got plenty of time to knock this off in 2016.

4. Build (or Establish) Thought Leadership

I cannot overstate the value of building thought leadership within your field of expertise. Can’t. And you know exactly what I’m talking about because I will bet that, right this minute, you could name at least one or two people in your field who are absolutely killing it, in no small part because they’ve done a bang-up job of establishing themselves as the thought leaders in your industry.

Do you think that they’re just lucky? Probably not. These people (that you probably admire, or maybe secretly envy a little bit) have very likely deployed deliberate strategies to market their knowledge, their talents, and their personalities in the right places, at the right times.

Social media makes building thought leadership accessible to the masses. If you’re not using LinkedIn, Twitter, or other appropriate-to-your-field platforms to showcase your passion for and expertise within your chosen field (along with your winning personality), start now.

Dip a toe in: Begin posting relevant articles on LinkedIn once a week or launch a professional Twitter page. Follow other industry leaders. Study what they’re doing on social media. What works? What doesn’t? And then build your own strategy from there.

You don’t have to be prolific, certainly not at first. But you’re wasting an incredible opportunity if you’re not leveraging the power of the internet to build or establish yourself as an influencer.

5. Stay Top-of-Mind With Your Professional Network

In addition to its power as a tool for building thought leadership, social media provides every professional means to stay top-of-mind with your network. And that, my friends, is half the battle. If you can stay on the radar of your professional contacts at all times (OK, most times)—and this means, even when you’re not actively looking for a new job—you’re going to be the one they think of when some cool opportunity opens up at their company that aligns with your background.

They’re also going to be more willing to help you if and when you do need their support, because you’ve not blipped off the grid for multiple years and then popped back up only when you need something.

LinkedIn is, perhaps, your lowest hanging fruit for keeping your network “warm.” Did someone you know just land a new job? Spend two minutes sending a congratulatory note. Did a former colleague just finish her master’s degree? Bam. Another two-minute congratulatory note. Are you heading to an industry event that you’re excited about? Post it as your LinkedIn status update, and see if anyone (who maybe is also attending) sends you a note. You catch my drift.

This isn’t rocket science, and it’s also not cumbersome or insanely time consuming. You truly need less than an hour a week to be effective with this. And you’ve got lots of hours left in 2016.

The year is cruising by, without a doubt. But you’ve got four solid months left in 2016 to make a considerable dent before everyone gets “holiday brain” and checks out for the season.

I vote for making these four months count like crazy. (Ready to get started?)

https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-careerboosting-moves-you-still-have-time-to-make-in-2016

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

How to Land Your Dream Job When You Currently Have Zero Experience in That Field

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One of the most common job search frustrations stems from people who want to change careers, but are paralyzed by the assumption that they don’t have enough experience.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

I graduated from college with a degree in biology and a job in the medical field. My heart was on a different path though, slowly pulling me in the direction of digital advertising. Two years, one side gig, and 50+ interviews later, I landed a job with Microsoft in digital advertising sales (after landing interviews at Google, Twitter, and Uber as well).

While getting a job in a new industry can seem like a daunting task, it’s actually not as hard as you think if you’re willing to put in the effort. I know, the e-word, but trust me—if you truly want to do this, it’s worth it.

So, without further ado, here are the steps you can take to make that leap that worked for me.

Step 1: Define “Perfect”

First, you want to understand what perfection looks like in the eyes of the company that will be hiring you.

In order to do this, you’re going to turn to the job description for your dream role. What many people don’t realize is that these descriptions are effectively resumes in reverse—they lay out the exact skills the company believes you need to be successful in that role.

For right now you’re going to focus on the listed skills (a.k.a., ignore scary numbers like “years of experience required”—as long as it’s not too far-fetched).

Next, you’re going to want to get in touch with someone who works in the industry or in that specific role (more on how to do that via Linkedin here) and ask these two questions:

  • How would you prioritize the skills on this job description—which are the most important?
  • What you would you do if you were in my shoes with no experience trying to get this job?

These answers should help you develop a solid jumping-off point for step two.

Step 2: Build a Foundation

Once you have an understanding of the skills you absolutely need to succeed in that role, it’s time to build a foundation. Spoiler: This is the part of the process that’ll take effort and work after your long day at the office. Depending on the change you want to make and the amount of skills required, it could take anywhere from a few months to a year. Yes, this will feel like forever in the short-term, but in the grand scheme of your life and your happiness, it’ll be a blip.

The two most effective tools for learning at this stage are (no surprise here) books and courses. Books are ideal for gaining a high-level, conceptual understanding of the topics, while courses help you learn the granular skills that you’ll be using on a daily basis.

A great way to find the best reads is to ask this questions in your informational interviews: What books do you recommend a beginner read? In fact, this is a great topic to ask someone about who doesn’t have time to meet for coffee, but is open to answering a few questions via email. (Plus, when you finish the book, it gives you a great excuse to follow up again.)

As far as classes go, there are so many online resources (Udemy and Coursera for starters). Some companies, like Google, even offer free courses and certifications for their products. When I began my transition, I knew I needed to learn the fundamentals of digital advertising, so I started with Google’s free academy along with six Udemy courses on the subject. Then, I focused on honing the specific skills listed in job openings, like Google’s analytics and advertising suites.

Many are free to take and are self-guided, meaning you can set the pace. And, on sites like Coursera, you’ll be given the option to pay for a certificate with the university seal stating that you successfully passed. If you’re able to afford it, I’d definitely recommend it. After all it, it never hurts to have the MIT seal of approval on your resume or LinkedIn.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-land-your-dream-job-when-you-currently-have-zero-experience-in-that-field

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com