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Tips for the Job Searching Worker
Friday, March 30, 2012

For whatever reason people decide they want to make a career change but haven't been able to because well, they already have one that takes up all their time, there ways around that barrier.

In tough economic times, many would say that it'd be crazy to risk losing a job you have in attempts to find another one. People who take chances are usually the ones who achieve great things. Sometimes taking a leap of faith is one of those necessary measures that need to be taken in order to make way for your next career move.

Here are some tips to help guide you along your way up:
  • Draw Up a Plan
Work isn't the place to be scouring the job boards or sending out resumes. You?ll need to set up when, where, and how you'll be doing the job search. It will take dedication to get results so once you've figured out a viable schedule, stick to it. Conduct your search for a couple of hours a day--an hour after work, during your lunch break, wherever you can fit the time in. But think of it the same way as if you were doing a workout routine to get in shape, if you slack progress will come to a standstill.
  • Reserve Days for Meetings & Interviews
Avoid having your job search interfere with your responsibilities at work. Make sure you organize and plan well ahead of time so that you can ask for time off from your supervisor in order to make appointment with other potential employers. Do not, however, by any means mention to your boss or colleagues your plans because they could choose to let you go knowing that you have plans to leave before you even make it official. If you can, try to do your interviews by phone to manage your schedule easier.
  • Get Crafty
Job searching while you're already committed to one is tough because it constricts your time and flexibility. Nonetheless it is still possible. Sign up for things like Twitter or email alerts that bring jobs to you so you'll have some of the work already done for you. Be adequately prepared with your resumes and cover letters good to go. Remember to tailor them to each job but have templates ready to give you a starting place. A job search can at times feel like a second job, but the amount of work is necessary in order to get the quality reward you want.

There are countless reasons why people leave their current jobs to pursue others. Whatever yours is, make sure to keep it to yourself. You may be crossing over bridges, but you don't want to burn them while you're at it.

Searching for jobs can seem like a chore for anyone, employed or not. Competing for something in such high demand is tough when chances are more likely for rejection than acceptance. But perseverance pays off, it's just a matter of time and patience. The thing to remember is that you need to have a thorough strategy to take on the competition and come out a winner.

Customize Your Work Schedule
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So many people are tired of being tired. They're tired from a traditional routine of working long hours that take up a majority of their waking lives. Before they know it, they're blindsided by retirement. For a lot of people, working a 9-5 just isn't for them. Instead of deadlines and reports, they're stimulated by a more lenient driving force--something along the lines of a go-with-the-flow type of lifestyle. The fact of the matter is that our economy simply doesn't support a job market that would allow everyone that type of freedom.

That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, often times these positions aren't advertised. The majority of people know where to find their dream work schedule and how to obtain it. It exists where else but a cloud--cloudcomputing that is--as well as many other companies in and out of the tech industry. Advancing technology is making it easier for part-time or contract industry employees work from home through telecommunications. Now that so many jobs can be done through the web and don't require an on-site presence telecommuting is flourishing.

Finding Flexibility
People who don't want to sacrifice challenging work for schedule accomodations no longer have to. They can have their night-time coffee and caffeinate it too--as long as they produce results. Usually, these types of positions are offered by companies that need an extra helping hand, but not another body, therefore, face-to-face meetings aren't necessary. You just have to be able to get the job done when needed regardless of when you actually do it.

It's a bit different, however, for people wanting to get back in the workplace and are turning to contract or part-time positions to get them out of a rut. These individuals need to be confident enough to compete with even the most qualified candidates. As in any industry, always look to networks for help in steering you in the right direction. You need to prove that you're ready to be back on the evolving market, a good start is by making sure your resume is strong. Fully equipped with the right tools paired with vigorous self advocation will help get you noticed.

Your best bet for finding contract or part-time positions is at small to mid-size businesses since they are more affordable than taking on a full-time employee. They are more willing to be flexible in exchange for your expertise. For all companies though, you need to exude top-notch communication and problem-solving skills along with the ability to work both independently and part of a team.

Most importantly, find out what your manager wants from you and prove that you're capable of meeting those demands. If you want to work a shorter work week or have longer vacations, your manager needs to be assured that you'll still be easy to get a hold of via email or instant messenger when you're needed. Working less, or not at all, at the office or means making yourself more available out of it.

Improve Your Concentration in 5 Ways
Thursday, March 01, 2012

The average length of a person's attention span is roughly 20 minutes so it's no wonder you find yourself snapping out of a daze in the middle of the workday. Some people have a hard time just retaining their focus for those 20 minutes but no energy drink or amount of caffeine can give you the focus of a bomb detonator.

No one can be expected to remain 100% focused throughout the entire workday, otherwise there would be no need for lunch break. Who's cares about food when all you can think about is the task for hours at a time? In reality, that doesn't happen, sooner or later you're bound to get hungry or distracted and have your thoughts taken over by miscellaneous thoughts. Here are some ways to help keep you on track when you're struggling to do more than stare at your screen.

1) Create a To-Do list
Right when you get in, if you don't already know what you're supposed to be doing, get a list together of what you want to get done that day--for the rest of the week even. Once you have a plan of what your agenda looks like you canget right on it and have something to refer back to when your mind gets lost while wandering. Your to-do list also gets you going right away when you have what you have your tasks listed right in front of you. You'll have no reason at this point to get distracted.

2) Save personal email for later
Checking personal email right when you get can be distracting for hours making it hard to build momentum for getting any work done. Instead, get right on a task until you feel that you can no longer go, then refresh yourself by switching over to--no, not your email--another task. You'll find it easier to get more done in more time and still have time to check your email later on in the day, like just before your lunch break.

Looking at it the first thing when  you get in can get you side tracked before even getting started. Starting your day this way will commence a domino effect of reading one thing that leads to another which then leads to doing some unrelated work research that gets you looking into something else you saw and so on.

3) Plug in and tune out
Listening to music can be helpful but make a good choice. Your number one preferance may not be classical but have you ever noticed how it doesn't make you feel like you're doing your work in the middle of a mosh pit? Choose music without a lot of lyrics because the words will take your thoughts off track. Or, if sound is way too distracting whether it be music or just the sound of others typing, plug in your ear buds to keep the sound out and keep your concentration going.

4) Just 5 more...
It's like when you think you just can't take another step during a run but you keep pushing yourself just a little bit further and you realize that if you can go that much further maybe you can go a little more...and a little more. If you do it enough pretty soon the sky's the limit. The same goes for your concentration and focus. If you continue working at it and tell yourself to stay the course, you will and that momentum will build up again. Don't fall for the temptation of checking statuses or chatting with someone. Doing that will only perpetuate your habit of doing five minutes of work and 10 minutes of whatever else.

5) Make work fun
This may sound cliche but if you think of work as work it's no wonder you're less than willing to jump right into it. We're raised in a world where work is a a four-letter word (even though it technically is). Most of us grow up hating to do homework and that disliking of doing work tends stays with us throughout our lives.

But life can't all be play, we need to put something in to get a reward. Remeber,no one is forcing you to do anything. You applied for the job so you should be more than happy to do it. Whatever your position, they put you in charge of getting it done so take the bull by the horns instead of feeling at like you're doing chores. Conquer your work, don't let it conquer you.

Focusing at work doesn't have to be a challenge. Everyone needs a mental break once in a while but there's a difference between break and vacation. It's easy to get drawn away from your tasks but when it happens more than it should it can be a problem in getting any work done. The main thing to remember is that you should always look forward to getting things done and reaching those goals whether they be your own or your company's. You are your only obstacle.