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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re looking to address your most pressing career challenges.
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.
Our values are the bedrock of the decisions we make concerning our lives. They influence our actions, how we show up in our relationships (personal and work), determine what is important to us, our career decisions and so much more! When your personal values are aligned to your work, you feel a sense of, fulfillment, joy, connection to what you do, and are driven to put your best foot forward. Ultimately such positive feelings are great for our mental well-being. On the other hand, when your personal values are misaligned to your work, your overall well being, productivity, performance, and confidence are negatively affected. Let’s explore further how this happens
1. Lack of performance. A misalignment of values can and does remove your sense of care for the work you’re expected to do. When you don’t feel connected to the values of an organization, you may often find yourself not being accountable, reliable, not delivering quality results, and possibly, not meeting deadlines. It is thus important you critically consider an organization’s values and how these influence their culture, especially when applying for new roles. Check out this blog on how you can assess an organization’s values during the selection process.
2. Burn out – Ever felt like you’re consistently lacking the energy to meet work KPIs? Find it difficult to concentrate on work tasks? Feeling detached from your work, team members, and even your personal relationships? These are some of the symptoms of feeling burned out. While there are several causes that can lead to burnout, values misalignment can exacerbate stress levels and lead to burn out. If you’re feeling uncomfortable about doing certain work tasks, are afraid of raising concerns you have to your boss(es), don’t feel like your work is being valued and so on, this may cause you to lose your motivation, make you feel exhausted because you’re doing work you’re not finding fulfillment in and of course increase your stress levels ultimately leading to burnout.
3. Stagnation – Just because an organization has certain values, does not mean that they live up to them, or all of them. This is why you should continue assessing the organizational culture and how values are implemented, even after you’ve been hired. Clocking a misalignment in values as early as possible can prevent you from investing too much time in an organization that is, for instance; not stretching your skills and knowledge therefore not allowing you to develop your career. This can lead to you being stuck in a position or job for too long when you could have used that time to seek out new opportunities in other organization s that may be invested in your career growth. An organization that is intentional about upholding its values and meeting those of the employees is an organization that is committed to seeing its employees grow in their careers. Wondering if you’re stuck in a career rut? Read our article to find out.
Still, wondering how personal values lead to job satisfaction? Read this article that further explains the importance of clarifying your values with your work. As always, you can find more similar content on our Career Happiness Center, and you can reach out to us about your career challenges at email@example.com.
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?
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