Being Kind – Why It Helps Your Career Grow Faster

July 9th, 2018

Do you make kindness a priority in your life? If not, you may want to start thinking about the ways you can turn negative behaviors around to positive ones. Why? Your attitude is just as important to your job search and career growth as your skills and experience. And kindness sometimes feels like a lost art in our modern American culture. So how can you be more kind and how does it affect your career prospects? Using the T.H.I.N.K. method is a good way to start.

Is it true?

Do you feel the need to share information with others around you? You may feel like co-workers are frustrating or not able to accomplish the same jobs you can. But in your interactions, do you sometimes feel the need to exaggerate or embellish what you want to say? You may do this to your management team to keep yourself out of trouble. Before you say something that isn’t true, stop and consider how your actions may affect others.

Is it helpful?

Constructive criticism is helpful, but just criticizing others isn’t. Know the difference. If what you’re about to say will be helpful to someone, then figure out the best way to deliver the message. But if your message is just to insult them or disagree with them for the sake of disagreement, think twice.

Is it inspiring?

Encouragement goes a long way on the job and in any of your personal interactions. Make sure you’re taking the time to thank people for what they do every day, not just when they go above and beyond. Creating a culture of gratitude is contagious and will help inspire everyone on the job.

Is it necessary?

Before you make a statement, consider whether or not this is essential to getting your message across. Often, people will qualify statements in an effort to reduce the damage, but the result is passive aggressive, not helpful. So rather than trying to soften the blow in your criticism, determine what is actually necessary.

Is it kind?

Finally, it all comes down to kindness. And being kind in your career will have multiple benefits for you in the future. Kindness, like gratitude, is contagious and your entire department, and even company can benefit from just one person starting this avalanche. Being kind means that you have empathy, can put yourself in other’s shoes, and are willing to think about problems from all angles.

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You’ve Been Fired from Your Last Job – How Can You Address It in the Next Interview

June 28th, 2018

No one wants to be fired. But if you are, it doesn’t have to be the end of your career. You can, of course, take time to grieve and even wallow, but don’t let it define you. Recover from your mistakes and move on. But that also means you’ll need to field questions in interviews that may try to get to the bottom of why you left your last job. Your answers will make all the difference, so it’s time to learn how to provide the best answer possible to these kinds of questions. Here are some things to consider.

Honesty

You will be asked, point blank, why you left your last job. Lying about it won’t do you any good and could actually cost you the opportunity. Your new employer will conduct reference checks and may uncover the truth themselves, so use caution when answering. The truth is, many people have been fired before and went on to have wonderful careers in a better environment, so use that to your advantage.

Education

Life in a learning experience. That is true about being fired as well. Why were you fired? Use that reason to allow yourself to become a better person. If, for example, you had problems meeting important deadlines, spend time learning how to better organize your time so it doesn’t happen again. Then communicate that to the hiring manager in your next interview. People aren’t interested in the problem, they want to know the solution.

Positivity

You can be mad about being fired, that’s absolutely the right human emotion. But don’t let your interviewer see it. Negativity is a major red flag for potential employers and if they hear you speaking poorly about someone with whom you’ve worked in the past, they’ll be concerned about repeat behavior. Instead, stay positive talking about your past job and your ideas for the future

Ownership

The bottom line is that you need to take responsibility for the actions that led you to be terminated from the job. And, in order for a company to decide to take a chance on you, they need to see that you have ownership of your mistakes and are actively working to improve them and not letting them hold you back. You sell this in your interview by sharing how you’ve grown from the experience and showing them how it won’t happen again.

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Become a Great Customer Service Representative by Focusing on These Skills

May 24th, 2018

Customer service is a skill that many people bring to the table, so it’s important that you’re able to set yourself apart from your competition. How can you become a great customer service representative and land your next job opportunity? There are a few skills that companies are always seeking out in their new hires. If you focus on these skills, you will be able to showcase what it is you can do and demonstrate why you should be hired.

Industry knowledge.

Customer service comes in a lot of flavors. No matter where your background started, it’s up to you to be sure that you can communicate your knowledge of the company’s industry during the hiring process. This is where research comes in. You don’t have to be an expert from the start, but look into what it is they do and familiarize yourself with the industry. Also, be sure to know the general basics of customer service such as customer interaction, providing value, and more.

Empathy for others.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. That is a big part of the customer service experience. Not only do you need to have empathy for the customers, especially in the instance of a problem, but also for management and co-workers. Try to see how someone else experiences the same things day-to-day that you do and use that to inform your interactions.

Ability to resolve conflicts.

Customer service is also often about solving problems. Customers have problems, management has problems, and even co-workers will have problems. Demonstrate that your skills in resolving conflicts along the way will be invaluable to the hiring company. Communicate this by describing specific situations where you’ve solved a major problem.

Self-control.

You also need to make sure that you can keep your own temper under control. That’s not to say that you won’t, and shouldn’t, get upset by certain situations, but it’s extremely important that you can maintain your cool around your colleagues, management, and especially customers. Know how to keep yourself calm and reserved and express your emotions in a healthy way rather than blowing up.

Self-confidence.

Another personality trait that is key to getting a great customer service job is to prepare and practice ahead of interviewing. It’s also essential that you’re able to project confidence throughout the hiring process as well as once you begin. Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout training to demonstrate that you’re understanding the material and stay confidence while making decisions.

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Yes – It’s Possible to Eat Healthy at Work. Here’s How

May 10th, 2018

You may feel like it’s always go, go, go at work, so you’re certain you won’t have a spare moment to eat a healthy snack or meal. When whipping through the drive-thru on your short lunch hour seems like the only alternative, it may sound impossible to conceive of healthier lunch habits. But it is possible to eat healthy while on the job. Here are some tips to make sure you’re getting the right nutrition for that energy burst you’ll need for a productive day.

Avoid junk altogether.

It can be difficult, but if you don’t have junk food available it’s much easier to avoid it. Don’t keep candy at your desk, don’t bring change for the snack machine, and don’t have chips in the break room. The less accessible you make the unhealthy options, the most likely you are to stick to the healthy ones.

Take your lunch hour.

So often employees eat at their desk or simply don’t take lunch at all. But this is critical for maintaining a healthy diet as well as your emotional health on the job. Take a real lunch hour. Leave the office. Pack a healthy lunch so you don’t feel tempted to swing through the drive-thru on your way out.

Bring your leftovers.

Another trick to making sure you have healthy lunches is to make healthy dinners and save your leftovers. Make an additional half portion when you’re cooking in the evening and set it aside so you can bring it to work the next day. This will help keep you on track with healthy eating.

Drink plenty of water.

Sometimes when our brain tells us we’re hungry, it should be telling us we’re thirsty. Curb your cravings by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. The conventional wisdom is eight glasses of water a day, but the truth is a little more complicated than that. Most healthy adults will get plenty of water, but if you’re concerned, know that current science suggests more than three liters of fluid for men and more than two for women.

Plan ahead.

It’s also helpful if you plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. It’s easy to give into stress eating and just grab salty snacks or sugary sodas if you’re feeling stressed. But when you’re stressed is exactly the time you should be turning to healthy alternatives. Pack and prepare your snacks and lunch to prevent yourself from grabbing and eating just anything.

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