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5 Reasons Why Suddenly Getting Laid Off Can Be Great

April 17, 2014

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It happens to the best of us. Occasionally companies have to go through a dreaded round of lay-offs and a handful of talented employees are let go into the world. It feels awful. And scary. Like nothing could get any worse. But here’s a few reasons why losing your job might be the best thing that ever happened to you.

1. It may be the kick in the butt you needed.
How happy were you in your last position? Oftentimes we settle into a routine. Before we know it, we’ve been working the same position for five years. How much can you grow if you’ve been working the same position for too long? Look at this as a great opportunity for you to switch up your routine and learn more about yourself.

2. It’s the perfect time to try something new. 
If you’ve always dreamed about switching careers, now is the time to do it. At the very least, apply for some positions that are out of your comfort zone and see if you get a call. Here’s a post on how to find focus in a jumbled resume — those skills you have may translate into another career easier than you think.

3. Your network is only expanding.
Leave every company on a good note. Connect with your former coworkers on LinkedIn and shoot an email with your new contact information to any employees you’d like to keep in touch with. When you accept a new position, you’ll get a new set of coworkers and even more connections who can help you down the road. Moving on is not always a bad thing.

4. Your skill set will grow.
Even if you end up taking a similar position at a new company, there’s new processes, people, and experiences that will help you grow personally and professionally. That will make you even more marketable the next time you’re searching for a new position.

5. You’re never going to lose that previous experience.
You may be sad to leave your company, but nobody can take that experience away from you. It will live on your resume and on your LinkedIn page forever. Those connections you’ve made will always remain. Don’t think of a lay-off as taking a part of your life away — think of this move as adding on a new chapter to your life.

 

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Do You Have Coworker Envy?

April 15, 2014

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He got the promotion before you. She landed a better assignment than you. They liked his idea more. Why didn’t they listen to you in that meeting? When will you get your recognition?

Uh-oh. Sounds like a case of coworker envy  – and that’s not good. Jealousy never helped anyone get far in life. Focusing on what you don’t have — instead of what you do — can really drag you down every day at work. A bad attitude is not good for your career or your health.

Brazen Careerist recently wrote a great post on why jealousy can hold you back in your career and what you can do about it instead. Here are our favorite points:

  • Stop focusing on all the negative things happening at work and instead focus on the positive. You’re successful. List off a few reasons why you’re great at what you do. Focus on how you can make the work you do even better.
  • Instead of feeling jealousy toward your talented coworkers, learn from them. What makes them successful? That jealousy can quickly turn into admiration — and that’s a much more positive feeling.
  • What goes around, comes around. Praise others and they’ll praise you. Help out others and they’ll help out you. Give them the cold shoulder and they’ll give you one right back.

Read the full article at Brazen Careerist.

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How to Take a Cue From Your Interviewer

April 10, 2014

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Even the most qualified candidates can lose out on a great opportunity if the interview doesn’t go as planned. It’s hard to land an offer after a failed face-to-face meeting. But we have one interview tip that may increase your chances of landing your dream job: take cues. You’ll have to be a good listener and you’ll have to be able to react quickly, but if you can pull it off, you’re one step closer to sealing the deal.

1. Really listen to each question that is asked.
What is the interviewer trying to discover by asking this question? Sure, you’re always supposed to paint yourself in the best light possible in an interview situation, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid the goal of the question. If you feel like you’ve missed any important points or left anything up in the air, don’t be afraid to ask, “Did that answer the question or would you like me to elaborate?”

2. Adapt to the setting.
Does this interviewer give off a fully-polished professional vibe or a more casual vibe? Does cracking a joke seem appropriate? Assess the interviewer’s personality and even the room you’re in. Make sure you’re not acting too uptight if you’re getting interviewed in a room with a ping pong table in it. And make sure you’re buttoned-up if you’re getting interviewed by a suit-wearing exec.

3. Treat it like a conversation.
Think “conversation” and not “interview.” Conversations are a two-way street and that’s exactly what an interview should be. If you approach it like a conversation — albeit a professional one – you’ll feel a little more comfortable. You’ll pay attention to each question that’s asked, you’ll take emotional cues from your interviewer, and you won’t be afraid to ask questions back to the interviewer.

Read more interview advice on the Spectrum Brands Careers site.

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How Twitter Can Help You Find a Job

April 7, 2014

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Perhaps you’ve dismissed the 140-character social network known as Twitter. Good. That’s just more jobs for the rest of us!

Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with people personally as well as professionally. Where else can you instantly reach out to leaders in your industry and recruiters without even being introduced to them first? It’s kind of amazing. Companies tweet out job listings, recruiters give job advice, and heads of companies network with those who look up to them. It’s time you give your career a boost in take part in it.

While Twitter can be overwhelming, there’s an easy feature that will cut through the clutter and it’s easy as pie: the search button. The best thing to search for is hashtags, which are essentially just key words that users tack onto their tweets so other people — like you — can find the information. Convenient, right? Sign up for Twitter now then try searching for these hashtags:

General hashtags for job listings:
#nowhiring
#hiring
#jobs
#careers
#joblisting
#jobopening
#jobposting
#jobhunt
#jobsearch
#graduatejobs
#employment

Specific hashtags for your field:
#marketing
#HRjobs
#webdesign
#accounting
#legal
#salesjobs
#financejobs
#admin
#exec

Popular hashtags for career advice:
#careersuccess
#careeradvice
#careerchat
#jobtips
#resume
#interview

When you’ve mastered the hashtag, think about joining a tweet up like #JobHuntChat. It takes place on Monday nights from 10 PM to 11 PM ET. Just log into Twitter at that time, follow @JobHuntChat, and search for the #JobHuntChat hashtag to participate in the conversation. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn.

P.S. Find us on Twitter @Spectrum_Brands.

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How to Deal With a Big Mistake at Work

April 4, 2014

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I hope you never find yourself in this situation, but one day you will: you’ll mess up at work. Big time. And it won’t be pretty. Maybe it’s a missed deadline, a blown budget, or an angry client. Before your heart begins to pound and your palms begin to sweat, there’s one thing to keep in mind: everyone makes mistakes. The company won’t come crashing down, you won’t lose your job, and everyone will not hate you — especially if you follow a few of these steps to right your wrong.

Step 1: Fess up.
Don’t brush your mess under the rug, and don’t wait around to see what happens. Address your mistake immediately. It’s even better if you can bring your boss’s attention to the issue before they notice it themselves. This isn’t the time to make excuses either. Just explain what happened and apologize. That’s all there is to it.

Step 2: Come up with an action plan.
You were part of the problem, but hopefully you can be part of the solution as well. If you don’t have a Plan B, at least offer to be a part of the action committee who will fix your mistake. It’s likely that more work has been created because of your error. Don’t let others work late on this problem unless you’re working late too.

Step 3: Make sure it won’t happen again.
Maybe there is too much leeway for error in the process. Maybe the mistake could have been easily avoided if you had known more information. Whatever the issue is, find it and figure out a way to prevent a déjà vu situation. Your boss will be happy to hear that you’re proactively preventing another disaster.

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Your Secret Interview Weapon…

April 3, 2014

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So what is it? What is it? The daily news.

Not what you expected? Well, if you’re not up on the latest industry trends, you could really flub up an interview question. Not to mention the fact that you could look inexperienced or unqualified. But if you know exactly what’s going on in your industry, you’ll stand out among the rest and prove that you’re truly passionate about this position — and about your field. Why wouldn’t you want to impress your interviewer? Exactly.

We loved this recent post by SimplyHired that outlined how to incorporate industry trends and timely topics casually into your interview. Think about it: you always need to start an interview with a bit of small talk – how great would it be to bring up something that’s actually relevant to this position or this company? Industry trends could also have affected your career trajectory, whether it helped you grow in your last position or it was the force that pushed you into looking for a new opportunity.

It’s one thing to say you’ll keep up with the news, but it’s another thing to do it. Keeping up with the latest trends can be a full-time job. But thanks to some cool websites and apps, you can create focused streams of content that are more digestible and customizable to your wants and needs. Simply Hired also broke down a few sites like Scoop.it and Topsy that will make your busy life a lot easier when it comes to interview prep.

Read the full article here.

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How to Dress for the Job and the Interview

March 28, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 6.32.08 PM
When it comes to dressing for work — or for an interview — men have it much easier than women. Tie or no tie? Jacket or no jacket? That’s about the extent of the decisions that need to be made. Women have a lot of options, which is great, but it also leaves a lot more room for failure. Here are our favorite tips from this great infographic geared toward women who are both style- and business-savvy:

  • Keep perfume to a minimum. Your coworkers may be sensitive to certain fragrances.
  • Bangles can be distracting – if your jewelry announces your presence before you do, it means you shouldn’t wear it.
  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. That means being overdressed is OK!
  • Make sure your hair is completely dry before entering the workplace or an interview.
  • Dress like you care.

Read the rest of the infographic here.

 

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How to Land a Job on LinkedIn

March 26, 2014

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We’ve said it before — when it comes to social media, the mantra “If you build it, they will come” does not apply. Social media is a two-way street and it’s all about interaction.

LinkedIn pieced together this infographic based on LinkedIn users who successfully found jobs within three months. They studied their habits and shared their findings so that YOU could learn how to land a job with LinkedIn. Follow these seven steps and your profile will get noticed.

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Career Myths You Must Ignore

March 21, 2014

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In any aspect of your life, if you set the standard too high you will be disappointed. But sometimes the standard you have envisioned is not a reality. We’re here to beat down some career myths that may be making you unhappy and may be preventing you from reaching your full career potential. Listen up — especially if you are a young professional or a soon-to-be college graduate who’s just embarked on your job search.

Career Myth #1: My dream job is out there waiting for me. I just have to find it.
“Dream job” is a relative term. You may land the title you’ve been dreaming of, but it won’t feel like a dream if the hours are long, the pay is terrible, and your coworkers are mean. There’s a lot to consider when searching for a job. What will you be doing on a daily basis? What is the commute like? What are the benefits? Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start out on your job search.

Career Myth #2: As long as it pays enough, I’ll be happy.
Salary can affect your happiness. But studies have shown that “happiness” caps off at $50,000.  In short, our happiness is not determined by our income level. It’s determined by other factors like finding purpose in each day, forming healthy relationships, and living a healthy lifestyle. So don’t say “yes” just because the salary is through the roof and don’t turn down a great opportunity just because the number is a bit lower than you hoped for.

Career Myth 3#: My family says I should take this job. They’re probably right.
If you’re in the market for a job and there’s an offer on the table, most people will probably tell you to take it. Walking away is a risk. However, you’re the only person who knows whether or not you’ll be satisfied in a certain position. Make career decisions based on your beliefs and take any advice with a grain of salt. It’s your career, and only you are in charge of your success.

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How to Stay Motivated During a Long Job Search

March 19, 2014

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We love this advice from Karen Burns, author of the book, The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Useon how to stay motivated during a long job search. Whether you’re unemployed or just beginning your first job search as a recent college graduate, there’s a lot that every kind of job seeker can learn. Here are a few of our favorite tips pulled from her article:

  • Try a job search technique that you haven’t tried before. Maybe you’re not outgoing enough to set up an informational interview or you’ve never attended a networking event for your industry yet. Give it a shot! What have you got to lose?
  • Find someone who can keep you accountable for your job search goals. A friend, parent, spouse, or mentor can help keep you in line. You’ll feel obligated to try a little harder each day if you know you have to report your results to someone at the end of the week.
  • Expand your network each and every day. Instead of measuring your success by the number of interviews you land each day, measure it by how many new people you’ve met, talked to over the phone, or connected with on LinkedIn.

Read the rest of Staying Motivated During a Long Job Search.

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