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Changing Jobs Outside Your Comfort Zone

(c) Can Stock Photo / kmitu
Changing jobs outside your comfort zone. Has this happened to you? Or, are you contemplating crossing over into another career choice or type of work you have never done before? Of course, if you have had formal schooling in a new career choice and you are waiting for the right job to come along then this article is not for you. Today, I am addressing those who might have a little experience in the new job but basically will need to learn a great deal more to keep the job.  So where to begin...

First, you can do it. Learning a new job skill on the job is extremely challenging.  You got it though! Let's look at some tips to keep you happy and sane:

  • You have already demonstrated some job skills and no doubt a great attitude to get this job.  The employer sees in you the potential to take on this new job skill. They have already put faith in you by hiring you. Now, you just have to believe in yourself.
  • Assess your strengths and weaker areas.  Work on them both. No need to talk about this. You know what they are. Excel in what you are strong in.
  • Take clear and understandable notes that you can follow. Some people make a notebook with tabs to follow the details. This is crucial to a new job.
  • At home, go online and see what learning tools are available free at this time that can add knowledge to your job. Yes, "You Tube" is a great place to start.
  • When in doubt, don't be afraid to ask your boss for their advice as to the proper procedure in something you have never done before. Humility here shows you are willing to learn. Nobody knows everything.
  • As time goes on, you may be able to find a fee-based course either in a class you can take nearby or online at night perhaps on the weekends. Some employers may help with this fee or pay it all.
Whatever you do don't give up. There will be times that you will be overwhelmed. This is normal. However, as time goes on you will get more comfortable with the accumulated knowledge and skills you are building daily. Remember, a strong building is done in layers. This is the same with your new job.  One day at a time.  Have faith in yourself and hit this job with a fresh and happy spirit of "can do."

Interviewing Skills that Will Land the Job

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Interviewing skills to land the job.  Right...you're thinking.  No doubt you have read many articles boasting about skills you need to land the job via the interviewing process.  However, I will tell you that I personally know someone who has excellent interviewing skills and most of the time lands the job. I have never seen anyone else get jobs so quickly.  Of course, that doesn't mean she accepts all of the offers.  Nevertheless, here are a few of her secrets she shared with me:

  • Check out the company's web site before your interview. Read the "About Us" page. Sometimes the interviewer will ask you about what you know about the company. They are usually impressed if you can bring out an interesting fact or two.
  • If it is an area of work or products you are not familiar with, then "Google" or "You Tube" away! You may be asked something about the nature of the business.
  • Adjust your approach to the interviewer. You are usually told to be yourself. To a degree that is true. However, is the interviewer on the conservative side or are they blessed with a good sense of humor? Respond accordingly.
  • Check out the reception area or the office you may be working around or in. What do the pictures tell you? Are there funny sayings on the wall? Are there family pictures on the desks? Observing the area around you, that is if you are not ushered to a barren conference room, will tell you a lot about the company atmosphere and the people running it. As such, relate in your conversation to something you have observed. For example, maybe you observed they like golf or fishing. If you like outdoor activities too, then let them know.  Pick familiar things to touch on in your conversation.
These techniques actually work. Incorporate one or all of the bullet points...and don't forget to relax before and during the interview. 

Employers - Step Up

                    (c) Can Stock Photo / sellingpix

Employers, step up.  That might sound a bit demanding.  However, so many times you only hear how accountable the applicant is as he goes through the interview process.  What do I mean?

You've sent out dozens of resumes.  You finally get called on an interview. You review what your best assets are along with your least desirable attributes.  You repeat in your mind questions you might have to answer. Of course, even worse is picking that interview outfit.  Not too formal, not too casual...hum?

Now what?  You hang on to the last words of the employer as you leave the interview.  Sometimes you get a good feeling...sometimes not.  NOW YOU WAIT.  This is the hardest part of the job-seeking-interview-scenario.  Generally speaking, employers say they will get back to you.  How long? Maybe a week or longer? You now hold your breath. A few weeks go by. No call. You obviously didn't get the job.

Here's where I believe many employers are lacking.  If you took time to be interviewed with a company, then the courtesy of letting you know you DID NOT get the job should be carried through. Over and over again I have seen employers fail to let the person know he did not get the job. They just drop the ball.  In fact, some employers will deliberately not return your phone call to avoid giving you the bad news. Not professional.

Being unemployed is not easy in itself.  Budget problems galore.  However, controlling your anxiety is the key.  The longer the applicant waits to hear yes or no, the greater their anxiety level.   It would be better if the employer knows the applicant is not a suitable fit to tell them as soon as possible. This reduces the anxiety level of the applicant while they can move on to another possible employment opportunity.

My message...employers everywhere...we are not wimps..just step up and let us know.

Is Your Boss Driving You Crazy

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Is your boss driving you crazy? Although most of our employers are great people, some of them were never meant to be a supervisor or a boss.  As you know, it is a skill to teach, motivate, and supervise an employee. If you are the owner of your own company you certainly can appreciate the challenges you face communicating with each and every worker you have. However, if you are the recipient of a bad-boss-scenario, when is it time to pack up and go? How bad is bad?

Here are some situations that might send you packing:

1.  Your boss openly degrades your work and job knowledge in front of other employees although you have asked him privately not to.

2.  Your boss has given you a workload that is beyond reasonability, exceeding all human limits. This problem is not a one-time project.

3.  Extreme personality differences.  This is a tough one.  The boss reads your explanations as insubordination while you just want them to understand your reasoning.  

4.  Your boss continually changes policy in mid-stream making you look like the idiot.

5.  Your boss is the final authority. As such there is nobody else you can take your concerns to.

6.  Unfortunately, there are times when jealousy can be a factor.  You might know more than your boss on the subject.  

7.  NO matter how hard you try, your boss feels you do everything wrong. 

At this point, no doubt you have addressed your concerns with the appropriate party.  However, if there are no legal issues, and nothing has changed, then consider changing jobs.  If you are waking up with the dread of another day at work, then move on.  Some situations no matter how hard you individually try will not change.  Chalk it off as a learning experience, not a failure.

Mental abuse on a daily basis can wear heavily on your health.  It may not be easy getting another job.  What to do?  Start applying and sending out resumes to other employers.  Hang in as long as you can at your present job until you get another one.  Develop patience and self-control to make it through the last of your bad-boss-scenario days. 

Don't try and defend yourself.  At this point it just doesn't work; you know you are a good worker. What else?  If possible give your notice and leave the job with as little strained feelings as possible. Stay professional and keep your emotions in check. Remember, you will find the right fit. Stay positive. Your new job is just around the corner.