3 Traps You Should Avoid Falling Into In Your Career Journey.

3 Traps You Should Avoid Falling Into In Your Career Journey.

Our career journeys differ, based on multiple things; our upbringing backgrounds, access to resources and opportunities, who is in our network, our abilities, luck by design, etc. Many people are trying to figure out what career path best suits their needs, values, and interests, and along this never-ending self-discovery journey, there are a couple of traps to be avoided, lest one finds themselves in a situation where they dug themselves into a hole. We highlight three traps to avoid below.

1. Comparing yourself to others – Ever caught yourself comparing where you are in your career journey to someone else (seemingly more successful), consequently setting career goals that are influenced by this person? They seem to make more money so you set a goal for yourself that you want to make that amount in X period of time? We understand that it can be frustrating to feel like you’re giving it your all and yet, you don’t seem to be advancing in your career as much as the next person. However, it’s important to introspect on what your markers of success are. Is it just money? What about things like a good working environment? Effective communication? Good leadership that also displays empathy? Having ownership of your work and not micromanagement? These are critical elements that can not only make you enjoy what you do and thus motivate you to succeed but also feed into your overall wellbeing. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, ask yourself; what is making me feel like this? Are my needs being met? If not, what can I do to change this situation? And set goals that are aligned to what YOU value as success.

2. Believing there’s only one career path for you – Many people believe that there is only one career path for them and that they must therefore perfect their skills and be an expert in their field. And while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can prevent one from exploring their other interests and discovering new paths they can take on. What if you can be the jack of all trades? You’re allowed to excel in multiple things at the same time. Furthermore, with the world of work constantly changing; certain skills becoming redundant and new ones being needed, why would you want to stick to one thing? 🙂 Don’t get caught unprepared because you failed to explore other skills and interests. Our co-founder Martha wrote about how you can achieve career success by being the jack of all trades, read the article here.

3. Refusing to get out of your comfort zone – “Why would I want to switch careers? It’s such a long process and this is working for me right now”. Ever found yourself uttering these words or thinking this? You’ve considered transitioning into a different career but are afraid it’s going to be an arduous process that may not pay off? This is a valid fear to have, however, choosing not to do anything about your desires can have far more reaching consequences than taking the risk to do something about it. Making a career transition doesn’t have to be a one-man journey process, in fact, it’s one that requires you to seek out a support system, outside of that you’ve already established with your family and friends. It requires that you network outside of your current career field, that you potentially reach out to a career coach that will help you strategize on how to make this career transition, that you potentially offer to volunteer in another organization that’ll provide you with the skills you need to make a successful transition, etc. How will you get out of your comfort zone today and take a step towards achieving a fulfilling career?

Wondering if you’re stuck in a career rut? Here are 5 signs you might be. Looking to make a career transition? Reach out to us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke and join a community of like-minded happy career seekers!

Wondering if LinkedIn is “that” important? Here are 3 ways LinkedIn can help you and your career!

Wondering if LinkedIn is “that” important? Here are 3 ways LinkedIn can help you and your career!

Since 2003, millions and millions of people have joined Linkedin; for different reasons – to network, to find job opportunities, to find new talent (for recruiters and hiring managers), to build your personal brand, promote your services/products, etc. While many people have mastered how to effectively use the platform to advance their careers, we’ve come across many dormant LinkedIn profiles when scouring the platform to find desired profiles for the roles we hire for. Now, more than ever, virtual networking, as uncomfortable as it may feel, is a skill many of us will have to grow. Today, we explore 3 key ways you can up your game in how you use this vital platform to grow your career.

1. Finding job opportunities – Sure, job boards are great, LinkedIn however, provides more than one way of finding job opportunities. Apart from advertised positions on the platform, a job seeker may also connect to recruiters and hiring managers to enquire about new opportunities in organizations or in spaces they work in. With the rise of social recruiting through social media platforms and referrals, having existing relationships with recruiters and hiring managers can introduce you to opportunities you were not privy to. Of importance here, is to always make sure you have an updated LinkedIn profile that appeals to recruiters and hiring managers. In this blog post, we discussed some of the things recruiters look for on your LinkedIn profile. 

2. Increasing your network – As mentioned, virtual networking has been on the rise as more and more social media platforms increase. LinkedIn is especially a crucial platform for those looking to connect with like-minded individuals in their field of work or potential clients for their products and services. It’s also a great place to initiate partnership requests in relation to your work or ask for assistance to learn about specific industries and professions. It’s not just enough to connect to people in your industry, if you’re looking to grow your network, then you have to engage with peers and thought leaders in your industry; comment on their posts, share relevant information, go a step further and invite some of them for coffee, or a phone chat to learn more from them. Check out this blog post, for tips you can use to create meaningful LinkedIn connections.

 3. Create your brand – LinkedIn has been able to provide many people with opportunities to build their brands, therefore allowing them to curate an audience niche that relates to and/or engages with their products, services, or content. For instance; if you’re a Career Coach who specializes in helping people revamp their CVs, job hunting strategies, or navigate their career transition journeys, then you’re likely to have many job seekers and professionals looking to transition in your network. The information you share, the way you engage with your audience, who you interact with, etc, are all means of creating your personal brand on LinkedIn. This creates an avenue for the RIGHT people to reach out to you and for you to reach out to them for various opportunities or reasons that can lead to your professional/career growth. Here’s an article on how you can leverage LinkedIn to build your personal brand on LinkedIn. 

If you have a LinkedIn profile, consider what information it’s sending out to your visitors. If you’re job hunting, would a Recruiter approach you? If you’re a thought leader in your industry, would people trust your thoughts and opinions based on the information you share? We wrote about 5 ways you may land your next job on LinkedIn here. Part of our Career Acceleration Program is helping professionals revamp their LinkedIn profiles, reach out to us today, and learn how you can be part of our growing community of meaningful and balanced career seekers. Email – happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke.

Developing Confidence: Why It Matters For Work And Career Success.

Developing Confidence: Why It Matters For Work And Career Success.

Why am I getting all these interviews but not getting hired? When will I ever get promoted? How will I transition into a different career? Have you ever grappled with these questions? And have you ever wondered how developing confidence may help you navigate them? Confidence is a critical element of career success. Could it be that you’re great on paper but don’t exude confidence in job interviews? Have you approached your boss about that promotion? Have you reached out for help to figure out how to transition into a different career? In all these areas, and more, confidence is a key ingredient for success. We highlight three ways below, developing confidence can boost your career.

1. You are known for being assertive– Assertiveness is the quality of being self-assured, bold, and confident without being aggressive (Wikipedia). Let’s cut through the chase, you are going to make it only so far in your career if you; don’t stand up for yourself, express your opinions and ideas, make difficult decisions, stand your ground when needed, propose uncommon solutions, reject offers that don’t match your worth, set and communicate your boundaries with your new employer, position yourself as a great candidate expressing your successes and strengths in a compelling manner and so on. Here is an article with practical situations on how to practice assertiveness at work.

2. Getting yourself out of the comfort zone – This one is a tricky one. Often we think we need to be/feel confident in order to get out of our comfort zone. Actually, we don’t. If you talk to many people that have taken risky decisions and bold moves, they did so while still being scared. However, one small step at a time results in increased levels of confidence. So you got to act even when afraid. Confidence is a muscle that only grows with practice. Up-skilling, transitioning to a new field, pursuing a postgraduate degree, volunteering to develop new skills, asking your supervisor to support you in your career development, etc – all of these things will scare you in the beginning, and then they will not. Eventually, you will take more and more steps to evolve, learn, and ask for what you really need to propel your career forward. In case you have been wondering what career direction to take lately, ask yourself these 5 questions and start taking those tiny little steps to get out of your comfort zone!

3. Making better career decisions – Career growth is filled with a tonne of decisions that need to be made – Should you apply for that job? Should you pay for that online course? Should you work with a Career Coach? Should you share your new idea that could cut costs to your supervisor? Should you approach that hiring manager on LinkedIn to ask about a job opportunity? Should you leave your job despite not having found a new one? All these questions require you to trust you will be able to work through whatever repercussions arise as a result of the decision taken. This type of trust and self-assuredness comes from taking the time to understand ourselves, our needs and values, and clearly knowing what will make us feel fulfilled and successful in our careers. Needless to say, the more you grow, the tougher the career decisions you will need to take!

Find similar content here on our Career Happiness Center. Interested in working with us to help you navigate your career challenges? Reach out to us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke.

Two Simple But Necessary Questions To Ask Yourself In Your Career Audit This Year.

Two Simple But Necessary Questions To Ask Yourself In Your Career Audit This Year.

We’re in the last three months of the year! Can you believe how quickly 2020 has flown by? This years’ events have led many of us on a reflective journey, without doubt, this has included our careers and what this year may mean for our future career plans, or lack thereof, or maybe, what this year means for the next decisions we make concerning our careers. Our co-founder Martha wrote this reflective post on LinkedIn about how we can turn tragic events into gifts, drawing from her own career journey, read it here (ideally before you finish the rest of this email 🙂 ). Have you found yourself almost obsessively pondering about where you are in your career? Reflecting on the skills and knowledge you have accumulated and wondering how you can leverage them for this moment and the future? If so, This post is for you. We highlight two questions you should ask yourself when conducting a career audit, to hopefully help you manage your career in the right direction.

1. Is your skill-set still relevant? – The conversation about the Future of Work has been happening for many years now. To witness so many changes that had been theorized and predicted to happen in the future materialize within a span of months such as mass remote working has been…. quite something. Now, many people find themselves thinking about what this period means for their future careers. Professionals in some of the industries that have been hit the hardest by this pandemic such as hospitality and tourism, have to critically reevaluate how their skill-set can be utilized in new industries, or even, pursue different career paths entirely. Others may find themselves in situations where their skills are no longer relevant in the new world. Answering this question honestly allows you to analyze your strengths, weaknesses and take the necessary steps needed to propel your career to the next level such as taking online courses, or working with a career coach to remap your career journey, volunteering to up-skill among others.

2. What new things have you learned about yourself in the last six months? – Many of us discover new things about ourselves when going through a life-changing experience, and this is one that is being collectively lived by many around the world, so really, we’re also learning a lot about each other, and this can be an opportunity to explore new interests, opportunities, networks, etc. So what are things you have learned about yourself that you didn’t know before? What new interests have you developed and how can you pivot them (if interested) into your career? Has being quarantined made you realize you need to reassess your purpose? If this is the case, the next phase should be to figure out what resources, tools, and possibly professional help, you need to realign your career goals to your new discovered interests and/or needs. Self-awareness is a continuous journey, and we outlined in this blog three ways you can develop it for career success.

For further reading, please check out this post we wrote containing five reflection questions you should ask yourself if you’re wondering about your career direction. If you found this useful, please forward it to your friend or network. Check out more content on our Career Happiness Center.  As always, feel free to reach out to us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke if you’re looking to address your most pressing career challenges.

Job Hunting? Learn How To Align The Job Description To Your Profile

Job Hunting? Learn How To Align The Job Description To Your Profile

When hiring, many organizations take time creating job descriptions internally or through a recruiter. It is not just for the sake of it. This process helps them get the ideal profile they are looking for clear. The JD also acts as their guiding document during screening and making hiring decisions. Their ideal candidate could be you. However, many times, professionals fail to internalize the nitty-gritty of the job description and thus end up positioning themselves in a less compelling manner.

Which is why we advocate for job seekers to take the time needed to decipher said job descriptions to determine how their experiences and skills align with what the employer is looking for, prior to submitting their applications. We outline three things you should ALWAYS pay attention to when interpreting job descriptions. Get this right, and you might increase your chances of scoring yourself a job!

1. Match responsibilities with your skills & experiences – Don’t just go off by the title of the position; different titles mean different things in different industries. Avoid mere skimming through the document or posting and assuming it is similar to what you already know. Ask yourself –From the responsibilities shared; what can you do with your eyes half-closed?  Which areas may you need more support in if hired? Use this information to review your CV and see how laid out responsibilities measure up to your past and/or present role. Ideally, you should be able to carry out at least 70% of the responsibilities. Whereas certain organizations are willing to hire people less qualified and invest in their development, they’ll usually have this stated in the job description. Now, if you find yourself having more questions than answers about your understanding of the role’s responsibilities that may either indicate you are unfamiliar with the role or that the language is not clear for you. Should it be the latter, then it’s worth trying to reach out to the respective organization to understand the role a little bit further. Finally, always have a lookout for job descriptions that are fake! Here’s a guiding article on how.

2. Align the requirements with your qualifications – Organizations often list the qualifications as a must-have and preferred. For instance, if they require expertise in a certain skill or specialized qualifications such as a particular degree or certification or language, they will have that listed. ALWAYS pay attention to keywords when reading the qualifications – you should use this information to customize your CV and cover letter to clearly and precisely show how you are aligned to the role. Keep in mind that your application also goes through the Applicant Tracking System, which filters out certain keywords before a recruiter/hiring manager looks at your application. Learn more about customizing your application to beat the ATS here.

3. Gather information about the organization – Most job descriptions provide background information about the organization. This should be your starting point to conduct more research about the organization prior to any application.  Go to their website, their social media pages, see if there are any articles or YouTube videos about the organization that can help you see what kind of place it is to work in, the kind of culture they have, their vision and goals, the values they hold, etc. You can also check out Glassdoor to see if they have reviews from past employees to see how they treat their staff. If an organization has not included an ”Äbout us” section on the job description, use other means of research as indicated above to learn more about them. Here’s an article we wrote about the importance of assessing an organization’s culture when job hunting.

For further reading; wondering why you always make the shortlist but don’t get hired? This may be why.

WFH: 3 Ways To Set Work Boundaries And Why It’s Important.

WFH: 3 Ways To Set Work Boundaries And Why It’s Important.

With many people now working from home, a new challenge presents itself; how does one establish boundaries to prevent work-life from seeping too much into their personal life? Understandably, this is not an easy thing to navigate as it comes with worries of being seen as if you are not contributing fully to the team’s success.

However, not setting boundaries may risk exacerbating other unrelated stressful situations one may have such as achieving your current work goals, managing your household and family, studying among others. For employers, we’re witnessing a paradigm shift that accelerates outcome-based work cultures, flexibility on working hours, and approaches to collaboration and communication.

As an employee, taking the responsibility to ensure you are creating adequate time to detox, reenergize, and get back your BEST state is necessary if you wish to maintain a highly productive and successful work life.

So what are some of the ways you can establish boundaries that will help ease your life today and in the long-term?

1. Communicate – Now more than ever, it’s critical that you communicate to your boss and colleagues your working hours, when you may not be available for whatever reason, any additional resources and/or support you may need to successfully accomplish your work, and so forth. For instance, if you happen to require flexibility around your working hours because you have to take care of priorities such as schooling your child, or if you’re unable to respond to emails/work calls at a certain time, it’s important that those you work with are aware of this information to avoid any misunderstanding or delays with your colleagues.

2. Learn to say NO – We know, it sounds scary, but here’s the thing, when you allow continuous violation of your boundaries, you’re telling those you work with that it’s acceptable. Ultimately, you’re bound to be stuck in a bubble of regrets for failing to ask for what you need and are now in a cycle you dislike. If you’ve already let those you work with your working preferences and schedule and still continue to receive requests during your off-peak hours, point it out with the respective individuals. Often, a polite reminder may be all you need. Of course, there’ll be occasional emergencies, but let the distinction be clear.

3. Fit your work within your boundaries –  As often as you can, structure and prioritize your work within your own boundaries. In addition, inform your team of your day’s schedule and when you have created time to support and collaborate with them. By learning to respect and stick to your own plan, you can positively influence others to respect your boundaries as well.

Reflecting on how you currently organize your workdays, in which areas do you feel you need to create boundaries to ensure you are taking time to rejuvenate and fulfill other personal responsibilities?

Connect and share with us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke