It’s been said that work and personal life shouldn’t mix, but that can feel nearly impossible during times of personal crisis. It can feel very difficult to stay focused on work when problems in your personal life keep popping into your head or affecting your emotions. However, you have to perform your job functions or face serious consequences. Learning to march forward even when stress is overwhelming is key to career success. There’s no sure-fire way to push feelings aside at work; it just doesn’t work that way. But, here are some tips that may help you stay focused when it matters most. Give Yourself Grace & Time Give yourself some slack. Don’t add pressure and stress to your plate by feeling guilty or suppressing your emotions. If you feel a personal feeling cropping up during your workday, look at the clock and give yourself a 5 minute break to process the situation. Tell yourself [...]
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So far Steve Hankins has created 290 blog entries.
It’s Labor Day weekend, which is a time for workers to relax and enjoy an extra day off work on Monday. This is a time for us to remember that we have rights as laborers, and we deserve as well as need time off work. It’s so easy to become caught up in corporate America, and forget that we do not owe any employer our entire lives. We deserve a work-life balance as workers in this country. The holiday originated in the late 1800s when workers were expected to work long hours without days off work. Representative Lawrence McGann of Illinois, who sat on the Committee on Labor, argued for the holiday in a report submitted on May 15, 1894: The use of national holidays is to emphasize some great event or principle in the minds of the people by giving them a day of rest and recreation, a day of enjoyment, in commemoration of [...]
One of the most common interview question is, "Tell me about yourself." Open-ended questions like this often trip people up. They are designed to--it's a somewhat ambiguous question, and it's hard to understand what the interviewer is really asking. Don't find yourself ill-prepared in an interview. Use this question as an opportunity to outshine the rest. Plan to be asked the question. Brainstorm how to answer before your interview. Ask yourself the following questions: What is unique about my life that qualifies me for this position? Why am I interested in this role? Are my passions & interests in alignment with this position? How do my hobbies & community involvement relate to this role? Is there anything about my education or previous career experience that would help me excel in this position? Are the company's values and vision in alignment with my own? Keep in mind that this question can set the tone for the [...]
So many people fall into the trap of overthinking job descriptions. It can feel overwhelming for job seekers to read an exhaustive rundowns of job duties. Keep in mind that at most major corporations, the job description is not created by the hiring manager. They are usually written by someone in human resources who has never worked a day in the actual position. Job descriptions use corporate jargon and can sound scary. But, don't shy away from a job application entirely based on its description. A solid work history, positive attitude, and willingness to learn will go a long way with hiring managers. We can help you convey through your resume, cover letter, and interview coaching that you are able to manage the essential responsibilities for the job and learn the rest. Or, even if you think the company looks great but the job itself looks like it’s a little burdensome, you can still use [...]
It’s hard to believe it's already that time of year again— To go Back to School or Not to? That is the Question. Is continuing an education or finishing a degree really worth your precious time and money? College fees are expensive, and it' natural to wonder if you will you get a return on your investment. According to this LA Times article, studies show that college graduates earn 84% more than high school grads! And, those graduate degrees earn an average of $17k more per year than those with a bachelor’s degree according to “The Economic Value of College Majors,” a 2015 study by Georgetown University. The same study showed that on average, a doctoral degree-holder will earn $3.3 million over a lifetime, compared to $2.3 million for a college graduate and $1.3 million for those with a high school diploma. As you can see, that difference in lifetime earnings more than covers the [...]
Many people are afraid to say “no” at work and think that management just want a “yes person". But, sometimes saying no will earn you respect and even benefit your organization. While it's true that saying “yes” can increase opportunities and keep you in a favorable light with some, sometimes saying “no,” is still the right thing to do at work. If you say "yes" to everything that comes across your desk, you will end up struggling and most likely failing to fulfill all your promises. Instead, stay focused on your top priorities, and say no to anything that is not in line with your goals. It may sound counterintuitive, but in order to be a good team player sometimes you have to say "no" to some meetings or tasks. You will not be good at anything if you are stretched too thin. Plus, saying no to some things will give you a chance to [...]
How to Stay Busy When You Have Down Time at Work "Sometimes I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I am working," is one of the most infamous quotes from the beloved comedy, Office Space. It makes us laugh because it rings true--at least a little for most of us. We all have downtime at work on occasion. Sometimes our busy hours are seasonal, or sometimes the hustle and bustle comes in waves. Here are some ideas to keep you busy during your down time and help you stand out as a productive employee even when business is slow. First, no matter how little you feel you have to do right now, create a to-do list. Sit down and create a list of potential projects. You'd be surprised how much you may be able to come up with to do on top of your normal workload. Get creative and think of ways to improve [...]
How to Manage Back-to-School as a Working Parent During Covid-19 With cases of Covid-19 rising across the nation, most schools are reopening virtually this fall while workers continue to work from home. It will be difficult for working parents to strike a balance juggling the demands of parenting while meeting demands at work. Managing projects and sticking to deadlines is hard enough on a normal basis; let alone try doing it while also tending to children who are schooling from home. In order to be successful when schools reopen virtually, it’s important to set boundaries. Create a schedule to plan your days ahead. Plan when to start to your work day, and when you can take breaks to help your child(ren) with their schooling. This will require some planning, self-discipline, and effective time management skills. The key to making back-to-school and working remote a cohesive success is to developing a support system and set reasonable [...]
Imagine that you are competing for a position, and you bring the same skill set as other applicants, which are the minimum requirements for the job… But one applicant really stands out because they spend their free time at a charity, helping the community, and gaining experience with a non-profit organization. Who do you think would be more likely to get the job? With everything going on in the world, now more than ever, corporations and businesses are putting a big emphasis on social issues and activism. A person who works in a volunteer group develops unique skills and experiences that are often applicable in the workplace. By doing volunteer work, you’ll meet new people and grow your network. You may also be inspired, learn new skills, and discover what you’re good at, which will all potentially help you find a career that you are passion about. Volunteering is so important that LinkedIn, the number [...]
Some of us are more gifted with talents and acquired skills than others. But, that doesn't automatically give a person a better shot at their professional success than others. In fact, in my life I have met many exceptionally talented people who failed to be successful because they didn't apply themselves in the ways that they should. These are things that you can do to set yourself apart that require no talent. These qualities are highly valued and will contribute to your success in whatever you choose to do in life. Show a sincere passion for your work. If you show a genuine passion for what you do, you will ultimately be more successful. When you are truly passionate about something, you will be inspired and driven to succeed. When you really care about what you do, you will be much more likely to apply yourself and produce your best work. Always be prepared. It [...]