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How to Job Hunt While Working Your Current Job

how-to-job-hunt-while-working-your-current-jobJust because you’re currently employed doesn’t mean you’re done looking for your next opportunity or career move. In fact, it’s smart to begin planning your next steps before you quit your current job to avoid a lapse in pay or a gap in your resume. The downside is it can be challenging to find enough hours in the day to fulfill the responsibilities of your current job while putting forth your best effort to find a new one.

From our first-hand experience with this very scenario, we have four helpful tips to make your “working” job search just a little bit easier. Take a look!

Block schedule time for job hunting

Just like you schedule your current work tasks and appointments, you need to also schedule the daily tasks and milestones you need to accomplish to keep your job hunting on track. Treat it like any other commitment on your calendar and make a dedicated space for it. On what day and what time will you check for job listings? When will you update your resume and send to potential employers? When will you schedule interviews? Allow margin in your daily work schedule to accommodate these extra tasks.

Update your Resume

Before you start diving into the application process of your job search, dust off that resume! Take the opportunity to first update your most current employer, if you plan to use them as a reference. Next, research the latest resume template trends and update your formatting, as necessary. Carefully review your content and adjust any areas that may or may not be relevant for the new job you’re seeking. Lastly, add any marketable skills and attributes that would make you more valuable and appealing to your prospective employer.

Take advantage of online resources

With today’s technology, we are fortunate to have instant access to countless resources that can make job hunting easier. First, make sure your Linkedin profile is up to date and professional looking. Next, create a profile on popular job seeker websites. Also browse these same sites for potential job opportunities. Finally, familiarize yourself with your ideal employers’ websites to see if they have listed any job openings or career opportunities – and check back often!

Schedule time outside of work

Working a fulltime job while looking for a new fulltime job is essentially working two jobs. It will require a lot of time and dedication, but the reward is a new career that you love! It’s important to not use hours of your current job to look for a new job. Not only could this get you fired, it can also jeopardize this employer as a future reference on your resume. Basically, this requires you to use your personal time to job hunt, which is fair and reasonable. You will need to sacrifice social time and maybe even a little sleep and relaxation to put in the hours to find your new dream job. If this hard work seems intimidating, you should carefully consider your motivation to get a new job. No matter what, a career change requires a lot of work as well as stepping outside your comfort zone. If you’re committed to making a change, these (temporarily) long hours should seem manageable, given the potential reward at the end!

Are you currently looking for a new job while simultaneously working a fulltime job? Let us know how you balance both responsibilities or ask us a question related to this topic!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2016 in Business & Success, Life

 

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4 Reasons to Keep an Updated Resume – Even When You’re Not Looking for a Job

4 Reasons to Keep an Updated Resume

If you’ve been settled into your current job, even for just a year, it may be time to revisit and update your resume. You might be thinking “Why would I spend my time on that? I enjoy my job and have no plans to leave anytime soon.” Unfortunately, our economy and personal situations are equally hard to predict and either could land you unexpectedly unemployed or with the immediate need to find another job.

By keeping an updated resume, you won’t be overwhelmed by the task of updating it with a decade or more of new work experience, or worse yet, creating a completely new one from scratch. This is a major time savings when time is of the essence!

Simply put, the power of keeping a polished resume throughout your career can be more valuable than you think. Take a look at these 4 reasons to keep an updated resume, even when you’re not looking for a job.

Resumes are used for more than just job hunting

Keep in mind that a resume serves far more purposes that just landing a new job. If you want to apply for an award, toss your hat in the ring to be a guest speaker or be considered for a promotion within your current position, an updated resume may be required. By keeping an updated resume, you’re that much more prepared to jump on these opportunities as they arise.

It helps you see areas that might need strengthening

Could some continuing education or an industry certification help give you more of an edge in your professional field? As you update your resume periodically, you can see areas that may need to be strengthened in order to keep up with your peers. As much as your resume is a snapshot of your past work experience and qualifications, it can also serve as a road map to your future professional goals. If you take the time to review it frequently, you will see the potholes that need a little filling.

You may not be looking for a job, but a job could be looking for you

Headhunters and hiring managers might see your qualifications (like on social media platforms such as Linkedin) and approach you about a job opportunity. By keeping your resume updated, you’ll be able to quickly act on such an offer without hesitation. This is all the more reason to also keep your Linkedin profile updated along with your printed resume. They duplicate essentially the same information, so it’s hardly any additional work, especially considering the potential gain from doing so.

If and when you start a new job search, you’ll be glad you kept up with it

Updating a resume that is twenty years old is far more overwhelming than one that is updated every year. Plus, think about all the details that are sure to get lost over time. Can you recall all of the responsibilities and achievements from your first job from memory? Not likely. If you commit to capturing this information on a yearly basis, your resume will stay up to date and comprehensive of all the amazing things you have accomplished in your career thus far. Best of all, whenever you find yourself in need of a resume, it will be as simple as pulling up the file and glancing over it for a quick review rather than blowing off a pile of dust and trying to recall details of your job from several decades prior. Your future self cannot thank you enough for this!

When’s the last time you took a critical look at your resume? Share whether you do or do not have an updated resume and why by commenting below!

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2016 in Business & Success

 

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Taking Control of First Impressions (Guest Blog by Britany Wallace)

The following blog post is part of the Bennis Blogger Battle. Support Britany by “Liking” this post, leaving a comment and sharing it on your social media! The blog with the most hits, wins.

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First impressions are important, but another person’s view of us is ‘outside our control’. So what can we control? The most important thing in our control is our personal commitment to ‘leading ourselves’. If we can’t lead ourselves we can’t lead others. The first step is recognizing that ‘Everything We Do In Life Counts’. This is a constant process and includes everything we do both public and private.

Every choice we make must have a purpose. There are no insignificant choices in life. The small things always matter. What are some other things that COUNT?

 

  • Self-discipline in every area of our life
  • Developing Personal Character
  • Personal Development
  • Commitment to Excellence
  • How we invest our energies and time
  • How we treat others

If we take this approach in life our ‘first impressions’ will be driven by a set of core beliefs that stand on their own. It is said that we become the 5 people we spend the most time around. Look at your 5 closest friends (their character, habits, attitudes, etc) and you will see yourself. If we are committed to developing the character qualities of a leader, we will draw to ourselves people who are just like we are. The ‘lasting impressions’ of those closest to us are the ones that really count. First impressions will take care of themselves.

What is a First Impression?

We know what first impressions are but we DON’T know how much they can help or harm you and the relationships you try to build. A first impression is formed between the first 10 seconds and 5 minutes you are in someone’s presence. PROBLEM: They are private and we have no idea what other people are thinking about us.

First Impressions:

  • Can improving or degrading
  • Are private
  • Can be informed and influenced by personal values and biases; therefore preempting the impression to a particular state (before the meeting even occurs)
  • Are formed based on our actions and reactions, language, tone, appearance, even environments (i.e. what or whom we surround ourselves with)

We may not know or want to believe it (Wizard’s First Rule), but people are watching us… Yes, WATCHING… Scary, right? But true.

Can I Control the First Impression Formed?

Yes, and no. We can control it by preparing for that first meeting. If we do, the first impression will be more stable and likely more positive. However, Geoffrey James cites that there isn’t a logical thought process which individuals experience. Truth is, it’s a reaction both immediate and unconscious. Many sources detail how to form a positive first impression, but they want you to ACT LIKE SOMETHING YOU AREN’T!

David Wygant discusses that your self-confidence is the most important part of your first impression. Low confidence makes it hard for anyone else to believe in you. The best way to market your personal brand is BUZZ marketing. Let people talk about you. LeadershipFreak says that other people will talk about you if you let them. Let other people’s words give you confidence and pride in who you are.

First impressions determine how each interaction proceeds from that point forward. The first impression made on anyone is foundational.

Take Initiative. Research:

  • The person
  • The company
  • Purpose for meeting
  • That person’s values
  • Their superiors (subordinates)
  • Try to find a contact within the company or close to them in the hierarchy

Mark Oakes encourages us to monitor and protect what we can control about our first impressions. You CAN control what you do and say that people will see and interpret; not their thoughts. Be cognizant of those things; use them to your advantage.

How do I Control My First Impressions?

  • Stay Positive
  • Be yourself
  • Be confident
  • Let others market your brand
  • Pay attention to your actions and words; they can help or hurt you
  • Be unforgettable; not memorable
  • Ask relevant, interesting questions
  • Do preliminary research
  • Ask for information to look into and follow-up on

“Wizard’s First Rule: People will believe anything you tell them because A) they are afraid it is true or B) they want it to be true.”   -Zeddicus Zul Zorander, Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Credits:
Edberg, Hendrik. How to Make A Great First Impression. Retrieved from:  http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2007/03/16/how-to-make-a-great-first-impression/.
Goodkind, Terry. Wizard’s First Rule.
James, Geoffrey. 2011. How Important Are First Impressions? Retrieved from:  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505183_162-28554948-10391735/how-important-are-first-impressions/.
Laskowski, Lenny. 1998. How to Create A Great First Impression. Retrieved from: http://www.ljlseminars.com/impress.htm.
Willis, Janine & Alexander Todorov. 2006. First Impressions: Making Up Your Mind After a 100-Ms Exposure To A Face. Retrieved from:  http://pss.sagepub.com/content/17/7/592.short.
Wygant, David. 2010. How Important Are First Impressions? Retrieved from:  http://www.davidwygant.com/blog/how-important-are-first-impressions/4398/.

Other Resources:
http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/FirstImpressions.htm
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200405/the-first-impression
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/with/keyword/first_impressions/

BritanyBritany Wallace is a senior business student at Moravian College in Bethlehem and loves blogging in her free time. She expects to travel for volunteer and learning opportunities during the summer and look for permanent work afterward. She enjoys volunteer work, mostly construction and helping at animal shelters and in her free time she reads for knowledge and pleasure. Please support Britany by “Liking” this post, leaving a comment below and visiting her at kebperspectives.wordpress.com, lifelongstudentofbusiness.wordpress.com or bwallaceperspectives.blogspot.com. (Introduction by Mark O. Oakes, a wonderful contact of KEBPerspectives. Follow him on Twitter @MarkOOakes)

 
 

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Quarter Life Crisis As An Indicator of Differentiation (Guest Blog by Todd Shirley)

The following blog post is part of the Bennis Blogger Battle. Support Todd by “Liking” this post, leaving a comment and sharing it on your social media! The blog with the most hits, wins. (I should also mention that Wednesday March 7th is his birthday–so be sure to give him some extra love!)

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Fight ClubWhile presenting a workshop and working late, a close friend from childhood sent me an email that hinted at the hidden influence his loved ones continue to have over his career decisions.  While reading it,  I felt confused at how such an independent soul could be stuck in an unsatisfying career.

As a self proclaimed “counselor nerd”, who loves both of his jobs, I felt the best way to understand his predicament was to think of it in terms of a continuum (counselor nerds love continuums). At one end of this continuum sits enmeshment– the process of moving close to an individual or group. At the other end sits differentiation– the process of recognizing you are separate from others and their expectations. People cycle through periods of enmeshment and differentiation throughout their lives.  It’s also possible to experience them simultaneously in a paradox that is always difficult. Career development is the stage for which this paradox plays out in two dramatic ways.

This paradox manifests in an ugly manner when people take a prescribed path while recognizing they resent doing so. Ever hear of a mid-life crisis? People who don’t untangle this manifestation of the paradox at their quarter life crisis end up with a mid life crisis.

The other manifestation of this paradox is much prettier.  I’ve seen it play out with loved ones when they moved across the country to take a new job despite a dramatic drop in salary and prestige. Their career shifts were expressions of being differentiated from outside influences. This prevents the mid life crisis.

My friend’s email outlined themes regarding going through the motions of work and his reservations about pursuing a line of work he wants. With the continuum above, his job struggle is clearly linked to a familiar identity struggle. There are some points I’ll quote in an effort to illustrate his concerns in the context of our friendship:

1. Money will always be of concern to me. The last thing I want is to burden my friends and family because I am broke and can’t make it.
Reading it took me back to a difficult two year chapter in my own life.  My wife and I were differentiating from each other. I was intensely afraid that our inevitable split would burden my family.  Through hours of conversation- where he was sincere and genuine- he helped show me I’d be OK and my family would too. If he’s broke, I could care less.  He and I have had great times in our adult lives without money.

2. What monumental thing have I accomplished while unemployed?

The time unemployed he references in this rhetorical question was a period of 5 weeks. He was looking for work because he had to move due to his wife’s career. His self consciousness overshadows his hard work.  He ran his first marathon in under three hours and thirty minutes. Built an amazing desk. AND found a job with improved pay and working conditions over his last one. If those three things aren’t monumental, I’m not sure what is…. I don’t think I’ve done anything like that in the last year while employed.

In times past, he’s proven himself to put time in at a job he hates to pursue new heights. This time for him is no different from any other identity struggle he’s pulled through in the past.  His loved ones are waiting for him to make his move…

Todd Shirley works a full time as a school counselor and carries a caseload of clients who are in the foster care system. When he is not working, he is reading, working out, cooking paleo and discussing all that is arbitrary about life. Oh-and his favorite animal is the manatee. Please support Todd by “Liking” this post or by leaving a comment below!

Oh–and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Todd!

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Guest Blogger, Life

 

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Why Success Is More Likely If You Love What You Do (Guest Blog by Rory Alexander)

The following blog post is part of the Bennis Blogger Battle. Support Rory by “Liking” this post, leaving a comment and sharing it on your social media! The blog with the most hits, wins.

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Chinese Character for Success

I have done a lot of things up to this point in my life and only now am I realizing the importance of this statement. Success is more likely if you love what you do.” I studied economics, then marketing, worked in advertising and moved into print production before packing my bags and moving to China. I taught English for a year and signed on for a second, after which I took all my savings and traveled before returning to South Africa to see what opportunities arose.

I have tried several careers but never loved what I’ve done. It’s been employment and it’s paid the bills but it has left me unfulfilled. It’s not that I haven’t succeeded, but I keep feeling like I can do more. Things are uncertain now as I make the transition from being unemployed to being a freelancer but now I am doing what I love and so this time it’s going to be different. Or at least that’s what I hope.

Sure, you don’t have to love what you do in order to succeed. We probably all know people who don’t enjoy their jobs but drive nice cars and live in fancy houses. So then I guess it’s how you define success. I’d like to think success in life is about being happy. So fast cars and fancy houses might look good and feel comfortable but do they make people happy? I am aware that this could turn into a protracted philosophical argument so let’s consider this hypothetical situation.

If a zoo wants someone to photograph all their animals for a set fee and two people take up the challenge – one who is just after the money and one who loves photography. The one that is just after the money might take a compact digital camera and in the space of an afternoon take a photo of each and every animal in the zoo and hand over a disc to the zoo.

The one who loves photography would probably use a decent camera; take time watching each animal waiting for the best opportunity to take a photo; perhaps arranging to get inside the enclosures of the less dangerous animals and getting some unusual angles. They would probably shoot in the early morning and late afternoons for the best natural light. They may even go the extra mile because they love what they do and produce a printed book of all the photos to hand over to the zoo.

In this example, both people have done what the job required, they both completed the task but who do you think is more of a success? Who would the zoo be more likely to pay? I think it’s obvious that if you love what you do, you will spend more time doing it and the end result will be better than the same thing done by someone who doesn’t love what they do. Imagine what the world would be like if, in our jobs and careers, we all did what we loved.

While loving what you do is no guarantee of success, I believe that at the very least it increases your chances. And to me, the opportunity to following your passion is always a chance worth taking…

After 3.5 years in advertising, Rory Alexander decided to try something completely different and went to teach English in China for 2 years. Now he’s back in South Africa with an open mind looking for opportunities and following his passions which include aviation, photography and blogging. Please support Rory by “Liking” this post, leaving a comment below and visiting his personal blog: www.roryinsouthafrica.wordpress.com. You can also find him on twitter @Rory_Alexander.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Business & Success, Guest Blogger

 

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