Tag Archives: job search

Why Passion Matters in Your Career!

Not all that long ago I had a conversation with the former vice president of recruitment from a major car rental agency about the role of passion in job hunting. As we looked around the packed auditorium I asked him how he could differentiate truly viable candidates from those desperately throwing darts at the board.

His answer was simple: “I look for passion.” He went on to say that he and his team focus on those who demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for creating a positive customer experience. To be successful at his company he really believed that agents have to have that inner desire to work with people to create solutions. Quite simply, passion matters.    

On the flip side, think about the last time you were at the Department of Motor Vehicles (or any other similar administrative government bureaucratic entity for that matter). It usually starts with a long painfully slow line that culminates in a frustrating interaction with an emotionless bureaucrat robotically going through the motions. You can feel the apathy in the air, an apathy that only serves to enhance the negativity of the experience. Would it hurt to have just a little passion for helping someone through the process?

Harnessing Passion

When it comes to behavior there are a multitude of factors that motivate how and when we act.

Just as your personality, culture, upbringing, and education influence your behavior, so too does your passion. Passion can be thought of as a root emotion that compels you to take action, an emotion that is often influences by external forces that influence our perceptions about what is exciting and alluring.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes passion as an emotion that is “deeply stirring or ungovernable.” In other words, passion is something that must be harnessed. Your passion can be as much of a detriment as it is an asset, which is why you must be mindful of its power. The ability to harness your passion for positive gain can provide you with a tremendous advantage. The first step is to explore where your passions really lie by asking yourself:

• What is meaningful to me and what gives me a sense of purpose?

• What generates excitement and enthusiasm in me?

• What types of activities truly engage me in a positive way?

Aligning Passion and Work

Will your passions and your work always be perfectly aligned? Of course not!

Often your greatest passions will lie outside the realm of work. The idea is to find a way to close the gap between your passions and your careers as best you can.

This means figuring out what your passions are and then seeking out those opportunities that best allow you to align your passions with activities that generate income. The harsh reality is the most of us spend most of our waking hours working.

For those who are unemployed or underemployed, most of your time is spent working toward getting back to work. At the end of the day, focusing your energy where your passions are only makes sense. Having a positive emotional connection to your vocation will help create a better experience for both you and those around you.

Passion matters when you learn to use it to your advantage. If you can effectively demonstrate to our potential employers that you have that energizing spark or extra edge, you become infinitely more valuable, and you stand out. Remember, recruiters aren’t looking to hire people who need the job, they are looking for people who want the job. They are looking for those candidates who stand out and have something genuine to offer. Find your passions and learn how to use them to your advantage.
Creative Commons License photo credit: geeky_spaz

College Grads Make Sure You’re Covered: 3 Rules for Writing an Effective Cover Letter

 At the moment, college graduates nationwide are sending cover letters far and wide—many of which came to me for pre-sending inspection. Based on what I saw, I put together the following list of 3 things every college graduate should keep in mind:

 

  1. HR Directors aren’t there to make your dreams come true: Don’t begin by saying what you hope to gain by joining their firm, or that you’re sure a career in X will fulfill your goals/meet your expectations. Instead, state in your opening paragraph how and why your skills/experience/education are going to make their life better. For example, "Your job description states you are looking for someone who can do X. Not only can I do X, but I can do Y."
  2. Have the values/skills you claim you have: Don’t say you’re a go-getter and then never follow up after you send the cover letter. Don’t say you have a strong network in banking if you’ve only held internship positions, and don’t claim you have tech skills that can be checked by someone saying, "Let’s have you take a crack at that right now." Paragraph two should give specifics about the actual values/skills you embody/possess.
  3. Close with Your Hard/Soft Skill Mix: Companies frequently have several choices about who CAN do the job (the hard skills) so their choice becomes: which candidate will be a good team member/colleague? (the soft skills) Consequently, I recommend closing your letter with the phrase, “Given my work experience, my education, and my life experience, I believe I have the combination of hard and soft skills required to add immediate value to your firm.”

Since HR Directors know most students get help with their resumes, cover letters are looked at even more closely. Following these three rules ensures yours will stand up to scrutiny.

Frances Cole Jones

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Following Synchronicity to Find Your Next Job – Part 1

Synchronicity has led me to my last two jobs.  In these uncertain times, with real unemployment around 20% (and my own life impacted time and again by job losses for myself and the people around me) I thought it might be a good idea to share some stories of what happens when you let synchronicity lead you.

The first time happened when I was living in Chicago and my daughter’s father had moved to San Francisco for a job opportunity.  It was difficult for them to be apart and he kept saying I should come to California, that I would love there.  At the same time, my own internal guidance system was telling me that I needed to be in California for some other reason, too.  I sensed that being there had something to do with my life path, that my mission to help people shift their awareness about life would somehow manifest in California.

I had no idea about the details of what would happen, but I knew I had gone as far as I could go in Chicago.  I was living timid there, selling my soul for the “security” of a corporate job, all the while knowing my true calling wasn’t about selling telecommunications equipment, it was about helping people see deeper into their own lives.  I was torn because I knew one truth about myself but was living another.

I went out for a walk one night and looked up and said, “Okay, God, you want me to be in California, I want to be in California.  I am ready to pack up and move. Just find me a job and I’ll go.”

The next day, I went into work… and got laid off.

At first I was shocked and angry.  I was a top performer, I had played the game, how could this happen to me?  But of course I was getting booted out, God had to get me on the right track.  It took me about a half hour to realize what was really going on from a higher point of view.  And about a half hour and one second to know I was moving to California!

I felt like I was flying on a high wire with an invisible net.  The layoff happened on a Wednesday.  The next Sunday, I attended a neighborhood block party, told some neighbors of my plans, and that very night a friend of one of the neighbors called to say she was interested in buying my house.  I hadn’t even listed it yet!  She came by the next Wednesday, only a week after the layoff, and made me an offer on the spot.

Ok, I was really supposed to get out of there.  I felt as if my spirit guides were some kind of cosmic SWAT team, dropping in and getting me the heck out of there, rescuing me, and setting me free to perform my life’s mission.  I had more energy to pack up everything and move to California than I did to stay put and live the same old way.  It was because I was no longer lying about myself.  I was being honest and true and living in a way my heart had been yearning for, to follow the flow of my life as I was guided.

The funny thing about being out of a job was that rather than feeling limited, I felt as if the whole world was open to me.  Now that I didn’t have an income, I saw anything that made any money as an opportunity.  Things I would have never considered before were now options to explore.  Anything was up from where I was, and I could follow the path of my heart rather than the rut of the routine. I was free to pursue my own interests, my own soul passions.

My daughter and I drove to California in my little green Honda Civic on one of those epic, once-in-a-lifetime adventures. We were wild and free, on the road to our new lives.  California, here we come!

A few years earlier, I had joined the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) as a member (www.noetic.org).  I received a brochure when they moved to the new 200-acre campus and as I looked at the photo of the rolling hills of IONS, it just popped into my head “I’m going to work there someday.”  I was also told by a psychic that I would work for a place on top of a big hill that has something to do with science and spirituality.

After we arrived to California and I realized our new home was only a half hour away from IONS, I decided to pay a visit partly to see the campus, partly to update my membership records, but really to drop off my resume and to see what would happen.

I got the job offer 2 weeks later …

That was 8 years ago and everyday as I look out my window to see those rolling hills, I smile inside and am so happy to be up on that big hill working on science and spirituality and living the life I was born to live.

 

Stay tuned for Part II……

Ten Ways To Be Liked in Your Job Interview

The dreaded job interview. No matter your resume and talents if you mess this up you won’t get that job. In today’s tough economy you need every possible edge. As authors of the new book, I Hate People! Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What you Want Out of Your Job, we see it as a simple equation: You want to be liked – not hated.

Here are ten simple things to do that will dramatically increase your chances: from wearing the right expression, to knowing what not to say, to never ever breaking a sweat.

1. Don’t be a Smiley Face

Excessive smiling in a job interview is seen for what it is – nervousness and a lack of confidence. A Smiley Face exudes phoniness, which will quickly be picked up by the interviewer. Instead be thoughtful and pleasant. Smile when there’s something to smile about.  Do a practice run in front of a mirror or friend.

2. Don’t be a Know-It-None

Your job is to be knowledgeable about the company for which you’re interviewing. Random facts about last night’s episode of Dancing With The Stars episode or your favorite blog will not get you the job. Never feel you have to fill an interview with small talk. Find ways to talk about serious subjects related to the industry or company. Pockets of silence are better than padding an interview with random babble.

3. Don’t Sweat

You can lose a job by wearing an undershirt or simply a little too much clothing. Sweaty palms or beads on your forehead will not impress. You are not applying to be a personal trainer. Sweat will be seen as a sign of weakness and nervousness. Do a practice run with your job interview outfit in front of friends. The job interview is one place you definitely don’t want to be hot.

4. Put down that Stop Sign

Interviewers are seeking candidates eager to take on challenging projects and jobs. Hesitance and a nay saying mentality will be as visible as a red tie – and seen as a negative. Practice saying “yes “ to questions about your interest in tasks and work that might normally give you pause.

5. Don’t be a Sheeple

Asking the location of the lunchroom or meeting room will clue the interviewer into your lack of preparation and initiative. Prepare. Don’t ask questions about routine elements or functions of a company: where stuff is, the size of your cube and company policy on coffee breaks.

6. Don’t be a Liar Liar

Studies show that employees lie frequently in the workplace. Lying won’t get you one. In a job interview even a slight exaggeration is lying. Don’t. Never stretch your resume or embellish accomplishments. There’s a difference between speaking with a measured confidence and engaging in BS. One lie can ruin your entire interview, and the skilled interviewer will spot the lie and show you the door.

7. Don’t Be a Bad Comedian

Humor tends to be very subjective and while it may be tempting to lead your interview with a joke you’ve got to be careful about your material. You probably will know nothing about the sensibilities of your interviewer, let alone what makes them laugh. On the other hand, nothing disarms the tension of a job interview like a little laughter, so you can probably score at least a courtesy chuckle mentioning that it’s “perfect weather for a job interview!”

8. Don’t Be High Maintenance

If you start talking about the ideal office temperature, the perfect chair for your tricky back, and how the water cooler needs to be filled with imported mineral water, chances are you’ll be shown a polite smile and the door, regardless of your qualifications. Nobody hiring today is going to be looking for someone who’s going to be finicky about their workspace.

9. Don’t Be A Minute Man

At every job interview, the prospective hire is given the chance to ask questions. Make yours intelligent, to the point and watch the person across the desk for visual cues whether you’ve asked enough. Ask too many questions about off-target matters and you’ll be thought of as a Minute Man, destined to waste the company’s resources with insignificant and time-wasting matters.

10. Don’t Be A Switchblade

Normally the Switchblade is thought of a backstabber, often taking credit for someone else’s work. In an interview setting, the Switchblade can’t help but “trash talk” his former employer. If you make it seem like your former workplace was hell on Earth, the person interviewing you might be tempted to call them to find out who was the real devil.

©2009 Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershon, authors of I Hate People!: Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your Job

 

I Lost My Job and I Liked It!

This afternoon I received a call from Peter Gould, the CEO of my company: ‘Lilou, I have bad news.’ He paused for a few seconds.

It seemed an eternity. I had felt the tension in the company, and sensed something bad was about to happen, but nothing could have prepared me for his words: ‘Your job is being made redundant.

We’re not going to be able to keep you any longer.’ My heart was pounding. I asked, ‘So when do you want me to leave?’

He replied, ‘Well, as long as you hand in all the work you have, and do a professional handover, you can leave now.’

In a few seconds, with those few words, my life changed. My future had altered. What was I going to do? I’d been in the job for six months – Internet Marketing Director for a London-based hospitality company. For the previous seven years I had worked in the USA on a self-employed basis. I’d applied for this job from the USA. I was thirsty for a new adventure. I was thrilled, and accepted the position. It’s a dynamic, entrepreneurial company, but I have to say that it wasn’t all plain sailing, especially the last few weeks…

I just accepted the news at face value, trying not to read too much into it. I stayed professional on the phone, and tried to find out more about the practicalities. ‘OK, so how does this work? This has never happened to me.’ Since I had been with the company for only six months, the official policy was to give me only a week’s severance pay. However, as I had relocated from the USA, Peter told me that I’d be given a month’s salary. I thought that was generous, and it was some relief. Peter told me to call Alexis, the HR person, to arrange the details. Before our conversation ended, I asked him to email the 60 employees working in the office to let them know immediately.

He sent an email explaining that I was ‘moving to pastures new’.

Pastures? What is that now? Is this a British way of saying that you have been sacked? I didn’t think so. I had been fired and that was the truth, but that’s not how he put it. He possibly meant to imply that things would be greener for me on the other side…? Yes, that was probably it… I was hopeful.

I was certainly grateful for that smooth and considerate email, as
I did not want to be the recipient of everyone’s sympathy, to look
bad in front my colleagues. I had only worked six months in the
position. Thirty minutes later, HR was in my office, and we discussed
the details of my redundancy.

So that’s the news today: I’ve lost my job.

All afternoon colleagues came into my office and asked me what
I was up to. They wanted juicy details. Under pressure, I started
making up a story that I had some plans that I could not, as yet,
share, but, yes, I was certainly moving to ‘pastures new’, as Peter
had said. All the while, as I was saying to people, ‘It’s been a great
experience, but, you know, it’s time to move on…,’ I was thinking
of what exactly these pastures could be. By the end of the day,
having received numerous visitors and emails, a new scenario was
taking shape in my heart and mind: I was inviting my life to lift off.

The bad news was transmuting into great news. I felt increasingly
liberated by the minute. Here was an opportunity for something new,
an opportunity for something great to start. It was up to me.
I’m back home now, digesting the fact that I was made redundant
today. This is a first. I cannot explain why I now feel such relief! It has
awakened such joy in me – and energy. I look forward to being guided
rapidly to something new and fulfilling, where I can truly develop my
passions and purpose, and prosper to the fullest extent.

I have to admit that I was not happy at work and it was affecting my
entire life, especially the last few weeks, always stressed, working
long hours, sleepless and not feeling like the captain of my own ship.
Yuck! But I have learned a lot there. I have sharpened my skills, but
most importantly I have learned what I did not want. I am extremely
grateful for that.

Now it is time for more – to find something new. I am asking Life to
guide me. This is the time for my dreams to become real…

I LOVE AVOCADOS
It’s three days since I lost my job, and I’m just doing what feels good,
from moment to moment.

I am in the kitchen now. It is time to nourish my body. I am a raw
vegan. For me, the main thing is to eat foods that feel good. For
example, I love avocado. I am holding an avocado right now, and
I definitely want to add it to this beautiful healthy salad I am about
to create. I love the avocado’s richness, its creaminess, and how it
nourishes my body. So yummy!

NEW IDEAS FLOW
Soon after I lost my job I had the revelation that I should keep a
journal as I look for a new job – a dream job – and then make this
journal into a book. This project should help me and, I hope, others
in this time of economic crisis. It should help them find what their
true Selves really want!

I cannot believe how effortlessly the ideas have been flowing since
then. I haven’t stopped writing, whether on the London tube earlier,
or now that I am in the kitchen trying to find the time to eat some
healthy foods. I have all these amazing thoughts, attracting them one
by one. I am really aware of this right now, and very, very grateful.
This flow of ideas has been happening ever since I started asking for
higher guidance.

AWARENESS
I am so struck by the fact that this is happening at such lightning
speed! I have the thought that, yes, it is going to happen pretty fast,
and, yes, I am going to get a book out of it. It is amazing to be riding
that wave right now and my goal is to keep on feeling that way, to
stay tuned and to feel guided. I am going to focus on anything that
feels good. I am recording every single step, because every step
now is important, as my life unfolds.

MY DIFFICULTIES WERE MEANT TO BE
I think people need this book now. People are losing jobs. Many are
unhappy in their current positions. I wasn’t happy in mine. I stayed
there six months. I had a lot of conflict internally: learning how to
deal with other people and teams, working with women… (Yes, I am
one, but that doesn’t make it easy!) So when I got the news that I
had been sacked I was grateful because I had some understanding
of the Law of Attraction. I knew this was not a coincidence; it was
meant to happen.

And now, a few days later, I understand that there is something
important unfolding. I must share this story to inspire others going
through similar experiences, those who might not have the tools that
I have acquired over the last eight years. So this book is to share
my life with people who really need this support right now. It could
be a guide to help job seekers, job haters, graduates, stay-at-home
moms, and people simply bored with their jobs, not just to find ‘a
job’ but the job, one that corresponds with their desires and needs,
so that they can wake up in the morning, fully alive and passionate
about what they are doing: a job they know that they do well but
which stretches them, one that feels great! That is the kind of job I
am talking about.

URGENCY
I feel a sense of urgency, because people are in real need. I feel
compelled to share this journey – every single step – and the faster it
happens, the sooner the book can go out, the better. I do not think I
am the fastest typist but I can do a pretty good job. As yet, though,
I’m undecided whether to transcribe the memos I’m recording myself,
or attract somebody else to type them up.

A PRECEDENT: NEALE DONALD WALSCH
I had heard about Neale Donald Walsch, and then I saw the movie
of his life, Conversations with God, on DVD about a year ago. After
losing a highly paid job, he also lost his friends and found himself on
the street at about 50 years of age. He kept asking God, ‘Please
God, help me, help me, help me!’ As I remember it, he was sitting
on a sofa one day when he suddenly started to write. He could not
stop writing. I feel exactly the same right now. Walsch said that his
writing was inspired by God.

I am very surprised that, all of a sudden, this is just coming out,
but I realise that it was in me. It was in me and it is just coming out
because I have allowed it to come out. I have asked for guidance. I
have asked for higher guidance and I am receiving it. So I can see
where Walsch was coming from. I remember in the movie the pages
and pages and pages flowing out. He just could not stop.

I remember vividly the moment when God tells him: ‘I am not
concerned about your worldly success, only you are. You are not to
worry about making a living. True masters are those that chose to
make a life rather than a living. Go ahead, do what you really love.

Do nothing else. You have so little time. How can you think for a
moment about making a living from something you don’t like to do?
That is not a living. That is a dying.’ 

 
 
Extract of I LOST MY JOB AND I LIKED IT
30-Day Law of Attraction Diary of a Dream Job Seeker
 
 
 

 

Your Home Can Help or Hinder you Landing a Job

Is your home cluttered and dirty? Is your home unwelcoming? If you answered yes to either of these questions and you are looking for a job, your home could be hurting your chances at success. Clean, remove clutter, and organize your home. Next, use the magic of Feng Shui  and simple manifestation techniques to help you land the job of your dreams!
 
A home that is dirty, filled with clutter and unorganized is not a happy place to live in. The energy is stagnant and negative. Consequently, the people living in this environment will suffer. Clutter will literally bog you down and you will feel stagnant, unable to move on in your life. It will make you inefficient, because you are constantly searching for things. Stress, because searching for things causes anxiety. Lack of productivity and energy, as negative energy of clutter depresses.
 
This environment is hardly conducive to aiding you in a job search.
 
If you are living in these conditions, begin by cleaning your home thoroughly.
Next, get rid of the clutter. Clutter is anything that isn’t used or liked.
 
Sometimes, we hold onto stuff for sentimental reasons. Clutter can also be just too many objects on a given surface. If you collect stuff and don’t wish to get rid of those objects, another option is to rotate them. For instance, if you have six objects on a side table all vying for attention, store three away for half the year. Now, the three objects will look nice and you won’t have that cluttered look. 
If you have things around that aren’t being used or enjoyed, that stuff is not giving off good energy and will make you feel stagnant in your life.  
 
If the prospect of organizing is akin to a trip to the dentist, start with a small space. If cheap psychological tricks—like rewarding yourself for a job done—work, employ them. Conversely, do not try to organize a space so large that the project could take weeks—forcing you to look at depressing piles of things waiting to be organized or removed. Take that large space and divide it into easily managed projects.
 
The payoff for a clean, organized home or workplace free of unwanted clutter is immense. The energy in your home or workspace will change—stale and negative energy will be replaced with positive, powerful, life-enriching energy. The space will feel lighter. And that good energy will make you feel more energetic and happier. When you know where to find your belongings, you will find yourself with more time—to be more productive or to actually relax. Finally, a clean home—one that is as free as possible from dirt, mold and allergens—is a healthier space.
 
Once your home is organized and clean, you are ready for the fun and exciting part of your journey—using Feng Shui and manifestation to help you get your job. The following is a basic introduction to Feng Shui.
 
It is beyond the scope of this posting to give more than a rudimentary explanation of Feng Shui, but I hope this will interest you to study this remarkable practice further. Feng Shui is based all about energy, or chi and the placement of objects to increase good energy.
 
There are two levels of Feng Shui; the visible and the invisible. Moving, removing or adding objects is visible, but changes also occur on the invisible level. When I go to my chiropractor because my back hurts and he realigns it, I instantly feel great. One reason is because the pain is released, but the other reason is that energy is now flowing properly throughout my whole body, so it adds to my sense of well-being. When an object is in the correct place, it too exudes positive energy, which radiates and fills the space. When a room is in proper alignment, you cannot help but to feel good in it.
 
Another aspect of the invisible level of Feng Shui is to first visualize a particular outcome that you would like as a result of making a change. For example, you will learn how to add objects to a room to strengthen or bring love into your life. When adding these objects, you need to focus your thoughts on the object and visualize having a strong and happy marriage or finding your soul mate.
 
 
Above is the Bagua Map, used in Black Sect Feng Shui. ho help you find a job, you will concentrate on the Career, Wealth and Helpful People categories. Picture the Bagua placed over your entire home or a single room. The door to the home or room must be in one of the three quadrants—career, knowledge or helpful people.
 
·         Water flowing represents cash flow:
o   Put a water fountain in entry room of your home..
o   Put a water fountain in the wealth corner of the home or in the wealth corner of a room, like the entry or bedroom.
o   Photograph or art depicting water
·         Flowers
o   Put fresh flowers anywhere in home for bright energy and to uplift spirits
·         Fresh plants and bird feeders outside represent growth—as in career
When you add any of these objects, visualize yourself accepting the job of your dreams. Look at these objects on a daily basis and keep those positive thoughts in mind.
 
By the author of the award winning book,

 

 

In a job search? Do you need a coach?

 

Greetings and Good Morning wishes to you 🙂

This is an interesting discussion about why you should or shouldn’t get a coach during your job search or career transition. Take a peak…

http://www.jibberjobber.com/blog/2009/02/11/job-search-tip-get-a-coach-someone-who-will-hold-you-accountable/

You all know what my answer is 🙂

Yes! Working with a coach will help you during this period of transition – however brief disclaimer.. see my other post labelled career coach – about choosing the right coach for you and ensuring they have experience…

Working with a career coach will increase the speed that you will see results than if you were working alone. Also, a coach will hold you accountable to your goals. There is a lot going on during a job search ( eg. fear, family and personal pressure, ideas, big dreams, changing expectations, rejections, hopes, finances) and staying focused can be challenging.

You are well aware of these complexities facing you – as you are in it right now… having to deal with the emotional rollercoaster of navigating the responses from employers can be pretty detrimental to your ego… whew so much!..

So yes, having an experienced, supportive coach to debrief with once per week would help you move faster to your goal and keep you to task, avoiding many of the highs and lows.

A good thing to remember when job searching – is that this period in your life is temporary – you will work again – it is just a matter of time.

Want more information visit – http://www.embraceyourlife.ca/

 

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