Is the Holiday Season a Good Time to Job Search?

Hiring does not come to a halt as the holiday season approaches.

Office parties, professional get-togethers, and year-end meetings abound during the Holiday Season. While it may be tempting to put your search on hold, that could put you at a disadvantage.

When organizations have a need, they hire regardless of the time of year. As companies complete their financial planning for 2019, they’re under pressure to fill certain openings or risk losing budgets. Hiring managers with new goals are eager to find productive workers. The low unemployment rate means competition for candidates is keen.

Because many hiring managers don’t travel much during the holidays, they may have time to meet with job seekers. Several organizations interview in December for positions starting in the New Year.

The fact that many potential candidates don’t job hunt during the holidays is another advantage. Those who plan to leave, wait until the New Year so they can receive year-end bonuses. Others take vacations.

Some successful candidates begin new jobs between Christmas and New Year. Starting work during the holidays can be a bonus. The work pace is usually slower, and new employees have time to settle in. Seasoned employees have time to answer questions.

The interview process may take longer than normal as interviewers take a few days off. That can work to your advantage. You’ll have time to prepare, and have a foot in the door in the New Year.

Holiday Job Search Tips

Be prepared. Identify your job target. Know your preferred job title and industry, your special skills and accomplishments, what you can offer the company (value added), and desired locale. Show potential employers why they should hire you. Match your qualifications to employer’s needs. Know key industry words to describe your skills.

Investigate jobs and prospective employers. Be resourceful. Check the classifieds, online job boards, local newspapers, business and trade publications, and company and professional association websites. Target company decision makers. Call hiring managers of desired organizations. Consider small and medium-sized companies. Use Google and other search engines to research organizations and individuals.

Update resumes creating a separate one for each job target. Also create a business card that highlights specific areas of expertise and directs recipients to your resume in an accessible format, such as the URL for a resume web page

Use social media. Build an on-line professional profile on Likedin, Twitter and other plarforms to expand your network.. Most employers will do a Google search on potential candidates. Ensure information about your professional accomplishments and background is updated. Keep personal life private on Facebook and ensure privacy settings are secure.
 
Consider industry-related Twitter chats to communicate with the right people. Share information by re-tweeting, forwarding links and articles. Contemplate sharing work on high traffic sites such as You Tube.

Review your elevator speech. This mini speech should introduce yourself, describe your experience, accomplishments and skills, and demonstrate your value added. Speeches can be given over the phone, in person, at professional conferences and sports events, or when you make cold phone calls. Indicate accomplishments and what you can offer the company. Keep communication positive.

Research your audience.  State what you like about the organization. Indicate what you can offer, problems you can solve. Deliver your speech conversationally. Be friendly, genuine.

Network during holiday events. Attend as many functions as you can fit into your calendar. Attend events sponsored by professional associations and chambers of commerce. Ask for invitations to friends’ company functions. Attend to catch up with old friends and meeting new ones. Learning about a great position before it’s advertised is a bonus.

Present a professional image. Dress conservatively. Avoid revealing clothing and stay sober. Discuss business in general terms. Talk about industry trends, and what you’ve contributed to your profession. Briefly update others about your situation. Emphasize positive aspects about your search, such as the intriguing people you’ve met.

Be sociable, informal. Don’t aggressively ask for employment information. When the topic of work comes up, casually mention your job search. Discreetly exchange business cards with professional contacts. Follow-up with phone calls in the New Year.

Send holiday greeting cards. These get the attention of people with whom you have discussed work. Send cards to well-connected friends, as well. To be sensitive to various cultures, use generic cards with messages like “Season’s Greetings.”  A simple message like “Looking forward to seeing you in the New Year” is appropriate. Personalize cards with a pre-printed signature. Write a short note and sign your name. Mail cards early in the season or send via the internet..

Volunteer. You’ll meet new people, learn about job opportunities, and gain experience. Contributing to the community provides a sense of satisfaction and confidence.

Take a survival job. Temporary work can stretch your finances and may lead to a permanent position. Employment agencies report an increase in employer requests as companies try to complete annual goals with regular employees wanting vacation time.

Maintain a flexible schedule. Allocate time for job search and relaxation or holiday celebrations. Be available, adaptable. A prospective employer may unexpectedly call. If you’re accessible, you have an advantage.

Follow-up. Contact hiring managers within two weeks of sending correspondence. A brief phone call reasserting your interest and strong qualifications for the position is effective.

Persist. You may get your Christmas wish.

Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life provides additional job search tips. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Author, Dr. Carole Kanchier, psychologist and coach, encourages people to reassess their views of career success, and strengthen Quester traits such as purpose, intuition, and courage to prevail. Carole Kanchier has worked with clients representing varied industries, and has taught at the University of Alberta, University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, and other institutions of higher learning. She chaired the Career Change Committee, National Career Development Association, and was Advisory Board member, College Admission Counseling Program, University of California, Berkeley.

Contact Carole Kanchier: carole@questersdaretochange.com; www.questersdaretochange.com


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 Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life shows how!

The New Year is almost here, and many are still wondering what to do with their lives!

I would love to share my work on lifelong career, personal and spiritual growth with you.

Award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, redefines how we look at careers and work, and inspires adults to take charge of their life careers. Questers is available from amazon: (https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963O)

Case studies of purposeful, growth oriented, Questers, quizzes, and guidelines show viewers how to manage lifelong growth and decision making. (Take the Quester Quiz: http://www.questersdaretochange.com/services-2/quester-quiz/)

Questers Dare to Change demonstrates how career transitions are linked to all areas of a person’s life. Questers’ stories, quizzes, and guidelines help readers understand how they grow and change through life, where they are in the career and life cycles, and how to create purposeful, growth-oriented lives.

Questers Dare to Change answers many questions adults have about lifelong career, personal, and spiritual growth.

  •  Are you a Quester? Check Quester traits with self-scoring quiz: http://www.questersdaretochange.com/services-2/quester-quiz/
  • Courage – A crucial skill in changing times
  • Develop a lifelong master plan for career success
  • Create your own luck – Develop a winning mindset
  • Understand how job dissatisfaction affects health and productivity
  • Are you ready for a career shift?
  • Overcome fear of failure
  • Know what’s in the cards for you
  • Entry, mastery, and disengagement – Where are you?
  • Find your truth – Complete self-scoring quizzes
  • … And so much more

Individuals world wide benefit from Questers Dare to Change.

Please request PDF version of Questers for review. Sample articles/columns are on my web site blog.questersdaretochange.com.

Many thanks for your interest and consideration. I look forward to exploring possibilities with you.

Kind regards,

Carole Kanchier, PhD; carole@questersdaretochange.com

Author Bio Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life. Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering interdisciplinary approach to human potential

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Embrace Change in the New Year
 Are you a Quester? Could you become one? What are Questers anyway?

 

Questers are redefining the way we look at lifelong career, personal, and spiritual growth. Questers a described in the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Like many of us, Questers will probably spend a third to half of their adult lives working or thinking about work. But unlike many people at crucial points in their careers, they set off on quests to find new life challenges. Some start taking charge of their careers early. Others are near retirement.

We’re all born Questers. However, as we grow older, societal institutions impede development of Quester traits.  Fortunately, we retain Quester traits within and can strengthen these, if we desire.

Maybe you share some personality characteristics Questers tend to have. Take the Quester Quiz: http://www.questersdaretochange.com/services-2/quester-quiz/

Why Questers Succeed

Questers are purposeful, innovative, and resilient. They view career advancement as growth of the whole person. Independent, optimistic, and often drawn to challenges, Questers have courage to risk.

Questers measure success by internal standards rather than by the “shoulds” of others. They value self-respect more than what others say about them. For them, security in a changing world must come from within.

Because they work hard and are goal-oriented, they tend to succeed. Indeed, some become billionaires or achieve celebrity. Money and prestige, however, are by-products. Questers include the accountant turned potter, the laid off worker who created her new job, and the millionaire who started his business with $60.00.

Questers have been around for centuries. Famous Questers include Socrates, Galileo Galilei, Marie Curie, Nelson Mandela, and J.K. Rowling.

Because Questers create self-harmonious work by choosing purposeful activities that provide meaning and direction, they tend to have higher levels of career and personal satisfaction than many others. Questers are productive, healthy, and happy well into their nineties.

Questers create work that’s in harmony with their purpose. As a child, Fred loved fixing things so he studied mechanical engineering. He had been promoted to senior management within a large organization, but wasn’t happy. So, he pursued his purpose, “fixing things” by becoming a maintenance manager in a large apartment complex. “If you’re doing something you like, it’s not really work, and you’re making money…”  Fred radiates joy.

Questers measure success internally. Some may think Fred moved down the occupational prestige ladder, but Fred believes he moved up the ladder of success and satisfaction. Fred enjoys his work, is productive, and sets high standards.

Attuned to changes within and around them, Questers anticipate layoffs and know voluntary and involuntary career changes are a normal part of growth. Therefore, quitting a job during a recession may be smart. While his colleagues worried about being laid off, Mike upgraded his skills and contacted employers. He was offered a job the day he received his pink slip.

Not all Questers live to work. Some work to live.  Terry’s passion is to enjoy life. “Although I get satisfaction from doing a good job, I devote my life to hobbies and volunteer activities.”

Retirement is obsolete to Questers. Antonio, a professor, says; “I choose not to retire because work is too much fun…If I wasn’t paid, I would continue to work!’

Nurturing the Quester Spirit

  • Take charge. Create a life in which you can continue to learn, grow, and have choices. Life is an opportunity, take it, life is an adventure, dare it!
  • Clarify purpose. Identify themes: absorbing childhood activities, proud accomplishments, when you’re most energized, a favorite Halloween costume.
  • Be authentic. Do what’s right for you. Ensure actions are consistent with thoughts and feeling. Set goals in harmony with your purpose.
  • Build confidence. Focus on the positive. Avoid, “I can’t.”  Don’t compare yourself with others. Judge accomplishments against personal standards and strive for excellence.
  • Continue to learn. Read, take courses, volunteer. Challenge conventional beliefs. Recognize and seize opportunities. Find better ways to do things. Try! Place no limitations on yourself.
  • Strengthen courage to risk. Review three successful risks taken. Note what made these successful. Identify perceived barriers for taking another risk and explore ways to overcome these.
  • Manage fear. Identify worrisome issues. Minimize these by researching relevant information and resources. Live in the present. Let go of “attachments.” Join or create a group of supportive people

Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life shows how to embrace change. www.questerdaretochange.com.

Author, Dr. Carole Kanchier, encourages people to reassess their views of career success, and strengthen Quester traits such as purpose, intuition, and courage to prevail. Carole Kanchier has worked with clients representing varied industries, and has taught at the University of Alberta, University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, and other institutions of higher learning. She chaired the Career Change Committee, National Career Development Association, and was Advisory Board member, College Admission Counseling Program, University of California, Berkeley.

Contact Carole Kanchier: carole@questersdaretochange.com; www.questersdaretochange.com

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Does Your Career Express Your Purpose?

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” John F. Kennedy

Having a sense of purpose and striving towards goals that enable you to express your purpose gives life meaning, direction and satisfaction. It not only contributes to health and longevity, but also enables you to succeed in uncertain times. If you’re in harmony with your purpose, you’re also in sync with the energy of the universe.

Do you know your purpose?
Answer yes or no:

1. Facing my daily tasks is very satisfying.
2. I have clear career and life goals.
3. My life has been worthless.
4. I enjoy my close friends.
5. I wouldn’t change my life drastically if I had six months to live.
6. I have seriously thought of suicide.
7. I see a reason to be here.
8. My job and other activities give my life meaning.
9. I have little meaning in my life.
10. I spend my life doing what I “should” rather than what I want.
11. My job reflects my purpose.
12. I can state my purpose in a sentence.

Scoring: One for each “no” to statements 3, 6, 9 and 10; and one for each “yes” to others. The higher you score, the more involved you are in activities that give you a sense of meaning, direction and happiness. You’re honest with yourself, enjoy life, and are probably achieving desired goals. Your various work, leisure and other activities reflect a unity of purpose.

A score of 6 or lower suggests you lack a clear sense of purpose. Your life may have little meaning and you appear to lack clear life or career goals. You may be bored, anxious, and aimless. To develop more meaning in your life, try the following.

Clarifying purpose
Identifying your purpose will take time particularly if you’re not used to looking inward.

– Identify what’s important to you. Clarify what success means to you. Don’t try to live up to others’ expectations and definitions of success.

– Consider how you’d change your life if you knew you had six months to live. If you would change jobs, return to school, complete a project, travel, then get on with it! What’s stopping you? Be honest.

– State what you’d do if you had billions. If you’re working at something that has no meaning just to pay bills, you’re making money more important than your sense of purpose. How could you make money doing what you really enjoy? Ross, a former accountant, earns lot of money making and selling his pottery.

–  Identify personality traits you would choose if you could begin life today. Would you be more assertive, caring or other?

– Describe yourself without using labels. Specify human qualities, for example: “I am smart, creative, and a loving partner.” If you resort to labels such as job history or marital status, you may view yourself as a statistic rather than a special human being.

– Adopt a cause. Discover ways in which you can get involved in community or other projects in which you believe — that enable you to express your purpose. Volunteer to help in a senior citizens’ home, volunteer to be big sister or bother, join a community fire fighting or group that fights for a cause in which you believe.

–  Identify major themes or patterns: 1) Proud accomplishments in any life area (social, work, school, civic); 2) What you want colleagues to say about you; 3) Absorbing childhood activities; 4) Recurring dream; 5) What you’d do if you couldn’t fail; 6) A prize you’d select (literary, athletic) for being the world’s best; 7) What you’d wear to a costume party; 8) People you admire and why; 9) Skills you want to use in your ideal job.

Write a “working” mission statement describing your purpose based on recurring themes. Discuss your themes with a partner. Brainstorm how your purpose can be expressed in various life components. For example, if your purpose is to help others, you could express it at work by being a helpful sales clerk. In family activities, you may express your purpose by being a loving aunt. Don’t allow age, lack of education, or physical disability stop you from expressing your purpose.

Dick’s purpose is communications. He’s been a successful magazine editor, author, broadcaster, photographer and evangelist. Charlene’s purpose is caring for animals. She’s made this into her business — caring for pets during their families’ vacations and waking dogs.

Barbara loves woodworking and cabinet making so she developed a business that enables her to offer these services to her community. Roy’s purpose is helping people. He says, “Volunteers are unpaid not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” Roy volunteers for varied projects that help needy children.

Purpose is a common denominator for success. Knowing your purpose will give you courage to do what you’ve always longed to do. It will be easier to risk, to manage fear. You’ll be able to change your life for the better.

But before pursuing a job that will enable you to express your purpose, research options. Then clarify a job goal that will enable you to express your purpose, and develop a plan to attain your goal. Be flexible as your goals may change as you get to know yourself and options better.

“Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.” John D. Rockefeller

TAG: Dr. Carole Kanchier pioneered the concept of purpose in her work on lifelong career, personal, and spiritual growth. A registered psychologist, coach, educator and syndicated print/digital columnist, Carole is author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Your Life: http://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Dr. Kanchier offers workshops, keynotes and individual coaching to help individuals and organizations clarify and express their purpose: carole@questersdaretochange.com

 

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Are You An Effective Communicator?

Frank, a brilliant project manager, was demoted. His colleagues and clients thought he was abrupt, critical and aloof.

Effective communication nurtures relationships, increases career advancement opportunities, strengthens confidence and helps manage stress. When we communicate effectively and feel understood, life and work are satisfying. We feel in control, valued, trusted and respected. When communication breaks down, our interpersonal relationships and career advancement opportunities diminish.

Are you an effective communicator?
Answer Yes or No:

  1. I listen to what people say and value their opinions.
  2. I find it difficult to refuse requests or give opinions at community or work meetings.
  3. When I get upset at work, I often take a short break before addressing my concerns to others.
  4. I can be critical of others’ work when it’s not up to par.
  5. I let others know when I think their work is first rate.
  6. I often give my opinion before people are finished stating their views.
  7. I speak positively, briefly and clearly.
  8. I tend to engage in small talk about neighbors, co-workers and happenings.
  9. I usually keep an open mind when dealing with people or ideas.
  10. It’s difficult for me to let others know I understand how they’re feeling.
  11. I ask questions for clarification.
  12. I don’t always look at others when speaking to them.
  13. I welcome others’ ideas even though they differ from mine.
  14. I usually don’t let others know I appreciate their efforts.
  15. I summarize what I hear to correct misunderstanding
  16. If I can’t meet a deadline, I forget to let relevant people know.
  17. I know how diversity influences communication.

Scoring and interpretation: One point for each Yes to odd numbered statements, and each No to even numbered ones.
12 or higher: You’re an effective communicator. A good listener, you understand people and feel they understand you. You may be assertive, and have many good friends. You probably think before speaking and can unravel mixed messages.
6-11: You have some effective communication skills, but are weak in others. Review your response and identify skills you would like to strengthen.
5 or lower: Your communication needs improving. With a little work, you can enhance your communication.

Review your responses to identify strengths and weaknesses. Then try the following.

Tips for enhancing communication

  • Respect others and value their opinions. Respect is a key ingredient in nourishing relationships and creating a just society. It requires trust, equality and empathy. Recognize the dignity and worth in all people. Treat them as you wish to be treated.
  • Listen attentively to what others are saying. Clarify by asking questions when you’re unsure. To minimize misunderstanding, summarize what you hear.
  • Reflect feelings. Let others know you hear and understand their thoughts. Consider what someone is feeling but not saying. Try empathy: “If that happened to me, I’d be angry.”
  • Think before responding. Don’t speak when you’re angry or upset.  Instead, take time to prepare and rehearse before confronting a potentially difficult conversation.
  • Avoid malicious gossip. Don’t engage in idle and nasty chat about co-workers or neighbors. What you say can come back to haunt you.
  • Develop an appropriate speaking style. How you speak is just as important as what you say. Speak briskly in a level, modulated voice. Pronounce words clearly. Be positive and brief. Stick to the facts. Avoid words like “always” and “never.” These seldom describe reality and often elicit defensive reactions. Make specific requests rather than complaints. If you want a clean refrigerator, say: “What can we do to keep the refrigerator clean?” This will initiate more constructive action than: “Look at the dirty, smelly refrigerator…”
  • Be aware of body language. Maintain eye contact when speaking. This conveys honesty and confidence. Avoid grimaces, lip biting, rolling your eyes and fidgeting. Relax your arms and legs.  Sit erect. Stand tall, shoulders back. Develop a powerful handshake.
  • Be assertive. Establish appropriate limits for your personal and professional life. Separate the person from the task. Say no to the request without rejecting the requester. If the requester persists, say, “I understand your needs, but I can’t take on any more right now.”
  • Recognize and respect differences. Gender, cultural background, birthplace, occupation and personality all influence communication. Recognizing and respecting differences can help reduce misunderstandings, frustration and resentment. For instance, extroverts often monopolize conversations. Introverts may find this rude and annoying while extroverts may perceive introverts aloof and detached. Both types could benefit from understanding how others perceive them and modify their communication to accommodate different styles.
  • Give recognition and praise.  Feedback, praise and support are necessary to evaluate performance, achieve feelings of accomplishment, confidence, self reliance, and productivity. Show appreciation for a job well done. Praise often and publicly. Link praise to a specific activity, quality or attribute.
  • Offer constructive feedback. Separate the person from the product or task. Instead of criticizing, begin with a compliment. Make suggestions for ways to improve.

Try working on one communication tip a week. You’ll note positive changes in your relationships and professional growth.

Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Carole Kanchier offers more strategies to help you enhance communication skills: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Author Bio Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force WithinYou!  Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.

 

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In Flanders Fields
 In celebration of our veterans on Veterans’ Day in Canada, US and elsewhere, I am dedicating this article to our brave, selfless veterans who gave their lives for world peace. May they rest in peace.

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 
  • We are the Dead.Short days ago
  • We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  • Loved and were loved, and now we lie
  • in Flanders fields.
  •  
  • Take up our quarrel with the foe:
  • To you from failing hands we throw
  • The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  • If ye break faith with us who die
  • We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
  • In Flanders fields.

“In Flanders Fields” is a war poem written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. “In Flanders Fields” was first published on December 8 of that year in the London magazine, Punch.

It is one of the most quoted poems from the war. As a result of its immediate popularity, parts of the poem were used in efforts and appeals to recruit soldiers and raise money selling war bonds. Its references to the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers resulted in the remembrance poppy becoming one of the world’s most recognized memorial symbols for soldiers who have died in conflict. The poem and poppy are prominent Remembrance Day and Veterans Day symbols for soldiers who have died in combat.

Veterans’ Day is an official United States, United Kingdom, and Canadian public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans who served in their countries’ Armed Forces.

Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.

God bless our veterans for their services and sacrifices they and their families make year-round. How do you plan to honor our veterans?

Ways to Honor Veterans

– Organize a care-package party. But first learn what deployed troops want in their care packages.

– Visit a veterans’ hospital or facility. Visit an injured vets to help brighten their day.

Teach children about veterans contributed to the country encourage them to create a small a meme for a veteran.

– Encourage your child’s teacher to develop a Veteran’s Day lesson plan or project. Invite a local veteran to speak to your class about some of his or her experiences,

– Wear a red poppy to show support for veterans and active duty service member. T

Acknowledge veterans in your workplace. Consider a special coffee break, themed snack or poppy cookies.

– Support veteran-owned businesses. Your local chamber of commerce may be able to help you identify these.

– Express thanks. When you see someone in uniform, extend a simple word of gratitude or small kindness to show how much their service means to you.

– Send a card. Compile a list of names and addresses of veterans you know and send them a thank you card.

Military Careers

Today’s military offers a breadth of opportunities where those with STEM skill sets can lead, thrive and succeed now — and in the future. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math occupations. Of course, there are several other occupational fields in the military including Arts, Communications, Media and Design; and Counseling, Social Work and Human Services. Explore the varied military occupations:https://www.todaysmilitary.com/working/career-fields-and-profiles.

Realize you can join the military to get training work for a specified time, then retire and use these skills in business, community or other settings.

 Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Carole Kanchier offers guidelines to help you evaluate occupations’ suitability for you. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Author Bio

Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force WithinYou!  Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential. carole@quetersdaretochange.com; www.questersdaretochange.com

 

 

 

 

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When Search is Tough, Try These Tips

 

Maintaining a positive, self-confident attitude when letters and phone calls are not returned or interviews bring rejection letters can be disheartening, particularly during prolonged job search. But perk up. There are ways you can stay enthusiastic and optimistic.

– Know what you want. It’s very important that you have clear career goals that represent your passion, not what others think you should be doing. It’s difficult to maintain enthusiasm when you’re applying for positions you’re not excited about.
 
Review your goals periodically. If necessary, modify them to represent what you’ve learned about yourself and the market place during the search.
 
– Investigate growth industries to determine how your skills fit. Creatively investigate ways in which you can transfer your skills to a new industry. Brian, a former account manager in the meat packing industry, found a job using his accounting skills in the biotech industry.
 
– Explore all job search avenues. Try executive recruiting firms, temp agencies, college placement offices, trade and professional associations, accounting firms and chambers of commerce. Explore the internet.
 
– Take charge. Don’t passively answer help-wanted advertisements or send out resumes to personnel departments. Find out who the hiring managers are in the departments at companies you’ like to work to determine jobs available and skills required. Then, if appropriate, revise your resume to fit their skill sets.
 
Develop a different resume for each job target. Make certain that your resume reflects a clear career objective, summary statement, and focuses on your accomplishments — what you did in previous positions that made a difference.
 
– Enhance your network. Keep abreast of new developments in your field, and add to your list of colleagues and acquaintances by joining professional, trade or civic groups.
 
– Develop a routine and stick with it. Even if you’re unemployed, get dressed like you’re going to work every day. Make a daily list of things to accomplish. Ask yourself, “What can I do today to move my job search campaign forward,” or “What follow-up steps need to be implemented?” Activities may include mailing targeted resumes to the project manager at companies M and N to determine job leads, or follow-up on resumes you sent to companies A, B, and C a month ago. Tangible, daily accomplishments will provide stimulation and help maintain enthusiasm, energy and motivation.
 
– Secure the maximum number of interviews with potentially interested employers. Make as many contacts as your information and time will permit. Follow-up every telephone interview or meeting with a letter. A polite, pleasant note indicating your appreciation of their time, assistance and consideration will encourage the recipient to remember you.
 
– Write and state affirmations. Say, “I’m an excellent programmer (or whatever) with many special skills to offer.” Say it regularly, with conviction. Confidence (in your eyes, your words, your gesture, your very being) transmits to others. Having faith in yourself and your abilities is related to confidence.
 
– Develop a support system. Stay in contact positive, supportive people to keep your spirits up.  Many withdraw during job search because they don’t like to answer questions like, “How’s the search going?” If this happens to you, respond with a brief, “Everything’s great,” then shift the focus to something else.
 
Sometimes, though, it’s good to have someone to commiserate with, who understands you and can function as a sounding board for frustrations. Although partners are helpful, they may lack the intimate understanding of how painful a job search can be. Professional career counselors or coaches can be helpful. Check the experience and credentials of professionals including education, philosophy, tools and techniques used, and years of experience.
 
-Take breaks periodically. Reward yourself for accomplishing a certain number of goal-directed activities.
 
– Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, get at least seven hours of sleep daily and exercise regularly.
 
Develop your spiritual self.  Allow yourself quiet time to meditate or pray. Enjoy nature. Take walks in nature including parks or by the water.
 
– Stay focused on your goal. Believe you will attain it. Creating a life worth living and finding the courage to risk pursuing your dreams isn’t always easy. But you, like thousands, can do it!
 
Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Carole Kanchier, offers additional job search suggestions: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

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Cutting Costs During Transitions
Cutting Costs During Transitions

Are you considering a career transition? Are you unemployed? If so, you’ll need to manage money wisely. Here are some tips:

Prepare.
Planning and the willingness to live on less temporarily will stretch the time you can go without a full-time job. You’ll not only have more time to fin that ideal position, you’ll also eliminate a financially controlled deadline.

Before making a career shift, determine how long you can live without an income. How much can you live on and where will you get it? A careful review of expenses and potential income may disclose that you can manage several months without a salary.

Create a Budget.
Identify your monthly income. List all current income sources like salary, unemployment benefits or severance pay (if applicable), interest/dividends, savings, and partner’s income. Also itemize assets that an be converted into cash including pension funds, insurance policies, and stocks. Identify future income sources such as student loans or assistance from relatives.

Next, identify expenses. Include housing, education, furniture, clothing, dry cleaning, medical and other insurance, entertainment, car, utilities, food and restaurants, taxes, job hunting and miscellaneous costs. Add 15 percent as a cushion.

Identify ways you can lower your standards temporarily. Look for ways to cut. Involve family members in financial discussions. List a lower figure for each expense.

Conserve cash.
Live frugally. Saving early in the process will enable you to have enough for essentials later. Will your old car do? Do you need to eat our as much? Discipline yourself. Use coupons. Look at your needs, rather than wants. But do treat yourself sometimes.

Identify additional income sources.
Get a part-time survival job. Work as a sales clerk, waiter, delivery person. Register with a temp agency. Can a family member help? Any income helps.

Contact your creditors. Work out interest-only or reduced payments early. Most will cooperate. Reduce credit card purchases. Pay cash to save interest charges and prevent overspending. If you must credit, pay the full balance each month. Cash in “luxury” assets. Comparison shop for insurance and other necessities. Trade down to a less costly home or share a residence.

Deduct job hunting expenses from your federal income tax if you’re moving to similar work.
These “miscellaneous deductions” require receipts. Allowable expenses include employment or career counseling, resume costs (typing, duplicating and mailing), phone and transportation. If you’re relocating to another city, you can deduct some moving expenses. Education costs are also deductible if you’re upgrading your skills to maintain or enhance your present job or salary. However, if you’re changing fields, establishing a business, or have been unemployed for more than a year, you can’t deduct these. Contact and accountant or the IRS for more information.

Review health coverage.
Under the COBRA law, if you’ve worked for an employer that provided medical coverage and had 20 or more employees, you can continue your coverage. Call US Labor at (866) 487-2365 or check their website at www.dol.gov/dol/pwba. If you’re not insured, investigate other options at the same site. Many local clinics provide services on a sliding scale fee. Better, stay healthy. Attend to minor ills.

Borrow.
Some debt is okay provided it excludes mortgage payments and doesn’t exceed 10 to 15 percent of your income. The easiest loan option to negotiate comes from parents. To maintain family harmony, agree on an interest rate and repayment schedule. Consult an accountant to determine if it’s taxable. Credit unions are often cheaper and easier than banks. If you deal with a bank, shop around. Consider borrowing from your 401K, your company profit sharing plan, your life insurance policy or stock investments. Check the feasibility of a home equity loan or reverse mortgage to tap your home equity.

Research financial assistance options.
Check The National Center for Financial Education (NCFE) website at www.ndfe.org.

Numerous state and federal programs offer financial assistance for post-secondary education and training. Contact the student or financial aid department of the institutions you are considering for additional information.

Review your employer benefit programs to determine what services they provide employees to manage transition and education expenses.

Keep abreast of changes in your job, industry and geographic locale. Adult and continuing education is required for employment in changing times.

Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life shows how Questers cut costs to achiever desired life career goals. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

Dr. Carole Kanchier, registered psychologist, career and personal growth expert, and author of the award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, has cut costs many times to navigate her life career transitions.

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Self-Discipline at Work

Carole Kanchier —  October 22, 2018
Self-Discipline at Work

 

Referring to our ability to succeed at any life endeavor, Aristotle once said, “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”

At the root of any successful person, is self-discipline. Whether it’s success in their personal, professional or other life activities, it starts with an intention to be self-disciplined. Thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and habits, must all be kept in check!

Successful people have learned how to use self-discipline to attain desired goals. So can you!

Do You Have Self-Control?
Answer yes or no.

  1. I’m pretty good at resisting temptations to go out for lunch when I need to complete a project before leaving work.
  2. I have a hard time breaking bad habits such as chewing gum when I meet with clients.
  3. I often say things at work without thinking.
  4. I behave inappropriately at employer social gathering, at times.
  5. If something at work is fun, I’ll probably do it, even if I know my supervisor may not approve.
  6. I refuse to eat junk foods at coffee breaks.
  7. I’m good at working toward long-term work goals.
  8. I sometimes I call in sick even if I’m not.
  9. Occasionally, I can’t stop myself from taking home office supplies even if I know it’s wrong.
  10. Co-workers say I have amazing self-discipline.
  11. Computer games sometimes keep me from getting work done.
  12. At times, I do more than my share of the work so tend to get burned out.

Scoring and Interpretation: 1 point for each ‘yes’ statements 1, 6, 7, and 10; and each ‘ no’ statements 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12. Add your scores. The higher your score the more self-control you seem to have. To strengthen self-discipline, try suggestions below:

Until recently, research on self-control focused almost exclusively on the benefits of having a lot of it. People who are good at keeping themselves in line also tend to be more successful in school and work; they also have better physical and mental health.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to be quite so perfect all the time and some newer studies are now investigating the negative side of having too much self-control including the tendency of supervisors to have high expectations on workers with good self discipline, and people dumping too much work on colleagues with higher self control.

How can one person be so conscious of what they do daily while others simply throw caution to the wind? The answer to this question lies in our habits. Since about forty percent of our behavior is habit-driven, you must break bad habits.

We spend years etching neural pathways in our brains. These pathways take on specific functions such as cycling, smoking, or preparing coffee lattes. Neural pathways automate repeated behaviors in an effort to reduce the conscious-processing power in the mind. This allows the mind to focus on newer things rather than the mundane.

Developing Self Discipline

  • Think positively Think and talk about what you want. View setbacks as learning opportunities. Every time you hear your inner voice criticize, think of something positive to say such as “I’m learning.” Listen in inspirational tapes; read motivational books. Begin each day with positive thoughts. Associate with optimistic, supportive people.
  • Strengthen confidence. Know and accept yourself. Prepare a list of positive achievements and personality characteristics. Post this where you can read it daily.
  • Reward yourself. Each morning think of something positive to do for yourself. Every time you pull through a challenging or negative experience, give yourself a treat.
  • Enjoy success. Measure yourself by what you have done, what you are doing, and what you can do. Keep a daily, weekly, or monthly record of your accomplishments and build on these. Each day do something a little better than yesterday. The exhilaration of achievement will make you feel good.
  • Build desired self-discipline habits. Start small. Repeat desired habits daily. Instead of promising a full 45-minute work out every day, commit to a 5-minute walk around the block. But ensure the workout is exercised every day. This is easy to do because it’s small.
  • Set short and long-term goals. Write these down. Ensure they’re specific and measurable. Develop a plan indicating how you will attain these. Track your progress towards goal attainment. It’s harder to get distracted when you can see the results. And your subconscious mind will find less ways to lie to you or help you cover up the truth. Every morning, create daily goals, identify the most important task that needs to be done during the day. Act.
    Ensure your goal is consistent with your purpose. Intend to achieve these. “I intend to lose 10 pounds by February 15, 2019.” “I’m enrolling in a computer programming class offered by Institution X on January 22, 2019.” Visualize your goals. See yourself completing the computer programming course with competence and confidence.
  • Make choices in advance. If your goal is to pay attention at meetings, choose to leave your phone at your desk. You can’t play with it if it’s not there. If you want to become more self-disciplined about food, ask the waitress to box up half your meal before she puts It in front of you or choose to always eat just half of the sandwich.
    If you want to get on top of your emails, decide how many emails you’ll respond to before doing something else. Just decide before the situation presents itself and you’ll find it a lot easier to remain steadfast.
  • Make lists. Start your day with a list of daily tasks you need to accomplish. Everything from emails to grocery shopping can go on the list.
  • Use technology Some technology tools can help build self-discipline. Additionally, you can set timers hat limit the amount of time you spend playing a game, or on your favorite time-wasting website. Fitbit, for example, motivates people to reach health and fitness goals by tracking their workout activities, exercise, sleep, weight and more.
  • Plan and practice. When you make decisions in advance, you reduce temptations. If you want to stay sober and professional at the office holiday party, decide in advance that you will limit alcohol intake. If you want to eat healthily, grocery shop when you’re full.
    Identify ways to make the things you struggle with less available. For instance, if snacking on salty carbs is a disaster for your diet, don’t buy the potato chips.

If you know you may have a challenging time talking with your boss about a particular topic, plan what to say in advance. Then, schedule the discussion for the time of day when you both have the most stamina and self-discipline.

You will not make yourself perfectly disciplined overnight, but, if you focus on the forgoing, and keep mind, body and spirit in top working order, you’re on your way to success.

Living a self-disciplined life gives you feelings of accomplishment and confidence. You’ll gain a sense of purpose, inner peace, and greater control over your personal and professional life. Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Carole Kanchier, offers additional ways of strengthening self discipline at work. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963


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Finding the Company Culture That Fits Your Personality

Do you like working for your current organization? Does it enable to express your purpose, satisfy your needs, and use your interests, skills and other characteristics? Do you know what kind of company culture would best fit you?

Organizational culture is defined as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.

A good company-culture fit is important for job satisfaction, and personal and professional growth. It’s a critical but often neglected element of the job search process.

Organizational cultures
There are numerous way of categorizing company cultures. A simple way of classifying a company culture is bureaucratic, innovative or supportive. 

To clarify your preferred organizational culture, indicate the importance each of the following characteristics has for you, using the following criteria: 0 – not important, 1 – somewhat important, 2 – very important.

My ideal work organization
a. Has written procedures and policies.
b. Promotes individuality and creativity.
c. Encourages close working relationships.
 
a. Emphasizes systematic, efficient operation.
b. Has active, dynamic people.
c. Has friendly, warm people.
 
a. Has clear lines of authority and responsibility.
b. Develops a competitive, challenging environment.
c. Has people who trust and help one another.
 
a. Has rules that specify appropriate behavior.
b. Drives people toward excellence.
c. Fosters cooperative behavior.
 
a. Is prestigious and well established.
b. Is enterprising and entrepreneurial.
c. Is comfortable and secure.
 
a. Has a formal management style.
b. Has optimistic, progressive leadership.  
c. Has supervisors who give encouragement.
 
a. Stresses position, title and rank.
b. Encourages risk-taking and high expectations.
c. Emphasizes fair and equal treatment.
 
a. Has well structured work roles.
b. Has a stimulating atmosphere.
c. Has harmonious work relationships.
 
a. Is organized and business like.
b. Exerts pressure to get things done.
c. Has a team approach.
 
Scoring and interpretation
12 or more A points, suggests you’re motivated by power and prestige. You like bureaucratic, hierarchical companies that have clear lines of authority, fixed divisions of labor and a solid standing in the business community. You’re comfortable in structured, stable, power-oriented companies with written rules and guidelines.
 
Twelve or more B points indicate you’re motivated to accomplish challenging goals, are willing to risk, and set high expectations for yourself. You’re individualistic, ambitious. You prefer innovative cultures that are stimulating, creative, adventurous, competitive, enterprising and achievement-oriented.
 
Twelve or more C points implies you like developing relationships and friendships. You like supportive cultures which emphasize harmony, trust, equality, security, warmth and safety. You value colleagues who are sociable, friendly, cooperative, and encouraging.
 
Finding the right organization
 
Although bureaucratic, innovative, and supportive cultures exist in all organizations to varying degrees, many have an overall company culture as well as distinct subcultures. The overall culture of a large company may be bureaucratic but it may have an innovative research and development subculture, and a supportive clerical and maintenance subculture.
 
The type of industry also contributes to the company culture. What types of workplaces attract you? For example, would you want to work in a manufacturing company, hospital, airport, bank, museum, hotel, police station, university, retail store, your own business, private home, library, engineering firm, or other? Check the internet and telephone directories to identify the types of organizations that appeal to you.
 
Additional information about organizations can be obtained from a variety of sources including printed materials, the internet, informational interviews and company visits. Consult company annual reports, newspaper business sections, trade journals, business magazines, and directories such as those published by Dun and Bradstreet (Million Dollar Directory) and Moody’s Investors Services. Chambers of commerce, libraries, and your business contact network are valuable resources.
 
When researching companies identify: 1) mission statement; 2) structure, including number of employees, departments and hiring managers; 3) products made or services provided; 4) type of employees and your compatibility;  5) problems that need attention and how you can help; 6) supervisory, decision-making and communication styles; 7) promotional policies; 8) benefits, wage structure, and potential salary range; 9) history and growth prospects; 10) image, rank among competitors; 11) work space and employee morale; 12) professional development opportunities; 13) political environment; and 14) concern for employee health, safety, family and well-being.
 
If you do your research, you’ll find a company that has a culture, mission statement and other characteristics compatible with your personality, career goals, and desired organizational requirements.
 
Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Carole Kanchier, offers additional suggestions for finding a good person-company fit. https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963

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