• 8 pros of procrastination your future boss will appreciate

    August 12, 2016 by
    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Meet the most successful procrastinators in the world. Steve Jobs is known to be a chronic procrastinator.   Bill Clinton famously always left the final revision of his speeches until the last minute, causing his aides a lot of angst and stress.  Frank Lloyd Wright once procrastinated on a commission for almost a year.  He finally started the job when he got word that his patron was driving out to visit and to see his progress.  He completed the work in the time it took to drive to his home, and it became the great masterpiece “Fallingwater.” The famous screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (of “The West Wing” fame) procrastinates to such a degree that he sometimes gives actors their scripts in the middle of the show.  In fact, despite its bad rep, many argue that procrastination is a hallmark of creativity.

    It’s difficult to believe this philosophy when we have been so thoroughly indoctrinated to perceive procrastination as a flaw. There have been hundreds of self-help books and articles dedicated to helping people overcome it. However, procrastination is actually a very complex issue without a simple explanation.

    To fully understand why someone procrastinates, we need to look at other activities that person engages in while avoiding tasks, as well as the nature of the tasks that s/he avoids.

    According to successful entrepreneur Paul Graham, there are three different categories of procrastination, which are classified based on the activities that you engage in instead of doing a designated task:

    1. You do nothing,
    2. You do something less important, or
    3. You do something more important.

    So if you are a Type 3 procrastinator, this can actually be very beneficial!  Instead of grocery shopping or showering (eek!), you may be composing beautiful music or creating a great work of literature.

    The reality is, whether good or bad, it’s simply human nature to procrastinate.  As such, we need to find ways to accept it and work with it instead of trying simplistic and ineffective ways to squelch it.  But how to explain that to a future employer?  It’s safe to say that bosses are not impressed by procrastination.  It’s commonly viewed as a sign of laziness, disorganization, and unreliability.  Some of these things may be true, to a degree.  However, it’s only fair to list some of the positive aspects of procrastination, to show how procrastinators can be characterized as passionate, driven, and highly creative.

    1. That Burst of Energy

    What is the main reason we put off doing a task?

    Because we don’t want to.  It’s that simple.

    We put off tasks that we don’t enjoy doing, usually things that are difficult, unpleasant, or just plain boring.  Because of our lack of motivation, we don’t have much energy to accomplish these tasks.  The fear and adrenaline rush of a looming deadline suddenly gives us that energy we’ve been lacking.  In fact, this is one of the many hidden motives of procrastination.  When there is not much else to motivate, fear can always be counted on to do the trick.   The fear of consequences for missing a work deadline is indeed a powerful motivator.   This fear releases adrenaline, which naturally kills our pain and makes this otherwise painful task suddenly much easier. So procrastinators are actually pretty smart.  They are using their natural instincts of fear to gain the burst of energy they need in order to accomplish an unpleasant task.

    How to make this “hidden” benefit of procrastination seem appealing to an employer?  Show him/her that you always get the work done on time even if it may be at the eleventh hour, and that you bring much more passion and energy to it than someone who does the job just so they can tick another item off their list.

    1. I Work Better Under Pressure!

    How many times have you heard (or used) that excuse?  Well, it turns out that it may be true.

    One of the greatest enemies to a procrastinator is distraction.  Email messages, social media notifications, phone calls, friends dropping by to chat:  we will seize on any or all of these things as a valid reason for not completing a task.  But if it’s the last possible minute, we have no choice but to deliver a laser focus to the task.  We will turn off our phone and sign out of Facebook in order to make sure that we can get it done.  And research shows that this kind of anxiety activates the part of our brain that heightens awareness so that we provide peak performance when there is something at stake.

    And what to tell your boss about this one?  Show him/her that you have the ability to give such focus to a task that it can be done very well and thoroughly, even if it is the last minute.

    1. Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

    Here is a hidden benefit to procrastination:  if you have less time, you get things done in less time.  By avoiding tasks that we don’t like, we ensure that this unpleasant, boring, brain-draining chore will only be in our lives for a short time.  That translates into more time spent on things that we enjoy.

    And from the perspective of our employer, that means he/she can count on us when the pressure is on to get a task done quickly… because we’re used to that.

    1. I Haven’t Made a Decision Yet

    Decision-making is one of those unpleasant tasks that we like to postpone.  But as it turns out, there may be very good reasons for this.  Giving yourself time to gather and process all the information and absorb new ideas can actually lead to unexpected insights and better decisions.

    And from your employer’s standpoint, what’s not to love about an effective decision-maker?

    1. I’m Secretly a Creative Genius

    Creative ideas take a long time to percolate. Da Vinci took 16 years to paint the Mona Lisa  because he kept getting distracted with other tasks.  It turns out that these “distractions” (such as experiments with optics) ultimately made him a much better painter.

    While it’s not very realistic to expect your employer to give you 16 years to complete a project, it’s useful to recognize that some of the greatest, and most inspirational, accomplishments are also those that take the longest.

    1. Maybe I Just Won’t Have to Do It

    This is the secret hope of every procrastinator.

    “If I put it off long enough, maybe someone else will just do it instead.”

    Well, in the workplace, this actually happens sometimes.  Eventually if that task keeps getting shoved farther and farther down your list, someone else may just step up and get it done, relieving you of what you had been dreading…thus freeing you up for jobs that offer you more inspiration.

    While it may seem counter-intuitive, this can actually be seen as beneficial in the workplace.  More time for you can translate into more important tasks getting accomplished.

    1. A Job Well-Done… Kind of

    For many procrastinators, the fear of failure is so severe that it causes them to leave a big task until the last possible minute.  Then, any inadequacies in the finished product can be blamed on a lack of time.  It forces those of us who are chronic perfectionists to give in and say:  “This is really the best I can do.”

    I would say that any employer should be happy to have a staff member who will go to great lengths to avoid failure. Perfectionism is a desirable trait in an employee.

    1. Fewer unnecessary tasks

    Very often, we are postponing tasks because they do not fit with our larger goals, our hopes and dreams for the future.

    By postponing these non-essential tasks, we are leaving ourselves free for the work that really matters to us.

    This can make us a more desirable employee because of our ability to prioritize.  We are able to accomplish the greater vision of what our job entails because we are not bogged down in petty details.

    So… It’s Okay That I Procrastinate?

    The bottom line is, whether good or bad, okay or not, procrastination is a complex behavior, and it will not just magically go away.  Therefore, it’s best to use it to your advantage.  There is definitely a strategy involved in “good” procrastination.  Use it to help you motivate or to reduce the time that you spend on routine tasks, so that you can spend more time on the things that really matter.

    A little procrastination for the right reasons can be beneficial.  But make sure that when it comes to high-priority projects, you plan ahead and give yourself deadlines along the way to produce that energy-boosting adrenaline rush.

    And put that awesome, crazy, procrastinator energy to work where it counts.

    Want more tips about how to make your defects and quirks work for you in the workplace? Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    ____________

    Samantha Wilson, guest writer

    Samantha Wilson, guest writer

    Author Bio:

    Samantha Wilson is an irrepressible writer from http://www.essay-writing-place.com/. She is passionate about languages, cats and books. A favorite phrase of her father has become her guideline in life: “Every book is like a string of your heart – once you touch it, you will always remember the feeling”. Don’t be shy to write a line to her on Twitter.

  • Taking onboarding to the next level

    June 09, 2016 by
    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Congratulations! You’ve landed your dream job – or at least the job that now represents a stepping stone on the path to that dream job. Either way, a new experience is on the horizon.

    All companies, regardless of size, have an onboarding process. The onboarding process welcomes new employees to the organization. Some companies formalize the process and run it through a distinct human resources department. Others may have a more informal process that connects new employees with a more seasoned professional to help you learn the ropes.

    Regardless of which process you encounter, making the most of your onboarding experience is a great way to begin your new career.

    Since you never have a second chance to make the first impression, take the bull by the horn and rock your onboarding experience.

    Be Punctual

    This should go without saying, but show up on time – early even – when starting a new job. Showing up on time shows that you respect your colleagues’ time. They are busy professionals, and the onboarding process may be tightly scheduled in among a number of competing priorities.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the area, take a dry run at locating the office in normal traffic to ensure you know the route. Above all, leave extra time for unexpected events.

    Be Personable

    A smile goes a long way when meeting new people for the first time. Dust off your most social persona and make it available during the onboarding process. Find out what you can about the company culture, important dates to consider, and what it takes to be a successful employee with your new employer.

    Be Proactive

    Many companies will assign workplace mentors to new hires. Mentors generally serve as someone who can help you get established, answer routine questions as you get settled, or direct you to the appropriate resources to find the correct assistance. If the mentoring program is not defined, ask your contact if they can recommend a senior employee and make the connection. Mentors are likely extremely busy, so reach out to a workplace mentor and set up a lunch meeting. Use that downtime to establish a relationship, seek advice, or learn more about the company’s culture or advancement prospects.

    Be Pensive

    Ask questions. Use the onboarding process to find out as much as you can about the new company, your new positions, and your new coworkers. If applicable, find out as much as you can about expectations for someone in your position. Learn as much as you can about training options available. Connect with any social or philanthropic organizations sponsored by your new company to connect with other employees and begin building your network.

    Be Productive

    While you were hired for a specific position, the onboarding process may expose you to a wide range of functions and opportunities available in the company. Gather as much information as you can. Look for opportunities to make your mark – even on your first day. If there are processes that can be improved or angles which can be exploited for cost savings or revenue generation, find out who would be the best person to submit those suggestions moving forward. Innovative ideas and process improvement strategies are valuable skills to help you stand out.

    For more onboarding tips, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    Guest writer Vera Marie Reed is a freelance writer living in Glendale, California. This mother of two specializes in education and parenting content. When she’s not delivering expert advice, you can find her reading, writing, arts, going to museums and doing craft projects with her children.

  • Why employees should put extra effort into impressing the boss

    June 06, 2016 by
    Woman raising her hand to ask question photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    At the very beginning of your career, you may be faced with the fact that all the knowledge and the diplomas in the world will not be enough to save you if you are on your boss’s bad side. You will end up watching from your cubicle how other people are getting promoted, while you are sitting there and doing the same things you have done on your first day at work.

    You see, when people graduate they are full of confidence and hope, and that is not a bad thing, but books and tests are just the basics that should be upgraded with experience and interpersonal relationships. One of the people who can affect your professional growth the most is your boss, and you should do your best to make that relationship productive and mutually beneficial.

    Learning from your boss

    One of the main reasons why you should have a good relationship your boss is the opportunity to learn from someone who is in a position you would love to be in the future. If you are constantly giving your maximum with work tasks and showing consistency and dedication, you will have the right to participate in some important conversations and find out many valuable things, not only about the company you are working in, but also about the road to success.

    Self-improving

    At first, your motivation may be just to impress your boss, but as time goes on, your dedication and efforts will grow to become habits and make your career success even more certain. Showing up to work early and taking initiative might seem like “sucking up” to your boss to other employees and to you yourself, but actually, when you think about it, there is nothing wrong with these actions. On the contrary, they showcase you as a well-educated and ambitious man/woman.

    You are the image of your boss

    … and vice versa. A good boss surrounds himself with competent people, and if you show to be anything other but that, you will not only make your boss look bad, but also create a negative image about yourself, which can impact your position in the firm, and even future employment opportunities. If you on the other hand, do your best to make your boss succeed, you will show that you are a great employee worthy of going up the corporate ladder.

    Improving your current job

    If you want to love the job you are doing, you have to make it a job you can love. The best, and possibly the only way to do so, is to make your boss fond of you. If you are consistently productive and assigning for the difficult tasks, you will have a more pleasant relationship with your boss, which will make your working hours less stressful. Beyond that, you will get better assignments and maybe become the right-hand-man/woman.

    Getting promoted

    The ultimate goal of every employee would never even be considered without a long process of impressing the boss. After all, your boss is the one handling the decisions about transfer of the employees to a better job. If you notice he is giving you some extra projects and work, accept it with enthusiasm, because this can be a part of grooming you for higher jobs, and eventually even his position. So, make sure you are on his radar by struggling to get new challenges and more recognition, instead of struggling to get your work done.

    Some people would love to spend their days at work unnoticed to avoid conflicts and critiques, but by doing so, they are also avoiding praises and opportunities. Do not be one of those people and fight your way up to the top, in a struggle where impressing your boss is your best chance to succeed.

    In search of more career advice? Come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Nate Vickery, guest writer

    Nate Vickery, guest writer

    Nate Vickery is a marketing manager and a blogger. He is also the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog.

  • 10 reasons how becoming a personal assistant can benefit your career

    May 14, 2016 by

     

    With the standard paths to fame and fortune well-trodden, it is important to be on the lookout for new ways to make a buck and your mark. One surprising way to do so is to become a personal assistant.

    Here are 10 reasons why.

    1. Personal assistants learn how the best in the business do what they do

    How many of us start off doing something and then six months or a year down the line say to ourselves, “I wish I’d known about that when I started out.” Well, had you been a personal assistant, you would have probably known, as you can look on over the shoulders of the best in the business. You can’t put a value on that.

    2. The pay is surprisingly good

    That’s not to say the pay is bad; it isn’t. A mid-range PA can make about $60,000 a year. Are you even better? Well, then it can go up to between $80,000-120,000. Now, you won’t be buying any yachts for that money, but you won’t be going hungry either.

    3. You get to say, “You know who I work for?”

    And besides, you’re going to get quite a few of the perks of being rich without being rich anyway, provided you know how to name drop. Want to have dinner in a Michele star restaurant but don’t have reservations? Come right this way, sir. Want to buy that new Chanel bag? I just happen to have one behind the counter. The benefits can be truly tremendous.

    4. Personal assistants go to interesting and exciting places

    For example, if your boss travels, often you’ll get to go along. And that can take you to some pretty amazing places (and have you staying at some nice hotels). Don’t like to travel? Select a boss who stays in one place! You get to choose who you’ll work for.

    Also read: 5 reasons why recent college grads should consider work and travel jobs

    5. You can qualify with any educational background

    Now in many different occupations, you can’t get in the door without the right degree. Quite often, job seekers absolutely need a college education. That does not necessarily have to be the case in PAing, however. Just as long as you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you can get far.

    Search for entry-level personal assistant jobs now!

    6. You can use it to jump start your career into another line of work

    You can even use being a personal assistant to pass some of the lower rungs of the career ladder, as you demonstrate what you’re capable of to somebody who can actually make the hiring decisions.

    7. Personal assistants rub shoulders with the movers and shakers

    Even if your boss doesn’t hire you, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to impress people. After all, you’re going to be meeting other important people and taking their calls. If you know how to impress people, you’ll be able to leverage that into a better position somewhere down the line.

    Also read Networking: A Definitive Guide for Students and Grads to Succeed in the Job Search

    8. Your days will vary immensely

    Also, your days as a personal assistant will rarely be boring. You’ll get a huge amount of different activities thrown on your plate and be left to tackle them as best you can. Of course, you’ll have to adjust your day to fit the schedule of your boss, but if you can live with that, the world is your oyster.

    9. You’re a gatekeeper

    There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that people have to get past you to speak to your boss. The smart ones will know that and make certain to go out of their way and be nice to you. And the others? Oh I’m sorry, I don’t know how we just got disconnected for the third time in a row! There must be something wrong with the telephone system!

    10. You get to learn from other people’s mistakes

    Most importantly, a personal assistant gets to see what other people do wrong in high power situations and make certain you don’t do the same. That can be incredibly valuable down the line when you’re trying to do your own thing – or when you sell the book rights, of course.

    Now being a PA isn’t for everybody. You’ve got to tolerate negative attitudes from others when they’re having their bad days, and some of us weren’t made to get coffee. For those of us willing to take a humility pill and play second fiddle for a few years, however, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn and get a glimpse in a different world.

    Ready to find a personal assistant job today? Search on College Recruiter!

    Looking for more information to boost your job search? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Luisa Brenton, guest writer

    Luisa Brenton, guest writer

    Luisa Brenton is a lifestyle blogger. You can find more of her posts at TrustMyPaper. She was born in Italy, graduated from The St. Louis School of Milan, and went to Chicago to pursue higher education at the Chicago’s Public Research University. Luisa is interested in modern literature. She is fond of journalism as well.

  • Stay-at-home mom to CEO: Transferring skills to the workplace

    May 04, 2016 by

    During one of our one-on-one meetings, Faith Rothberg, CEO of College Recruiter, laughed as I described some of my potty training woes with my toddler.

    “Just continue to lower your parenting expectations, and you’ll be fine.”

    This sage advice has saved me from numerous mommy meltdowns. Faith Rothberg is not only a wonderful workplace mentor, but she’s also a mentor for young moms as well. Faith was recently featured in an article about returning to the workplace by OptIn as well.

    Faith, a mother of three children, two of whom no longer reside at home, is a true parenting expert. She chose to stay home to care for her children after establishing her own career in the field of information technology after earning her MBA at the University of Michigan. Before earning her stay-at-home mom (SAHM) status, she worked for Ford Motor Company as a programmer, a manufacturing information technology consultant for KPMG, and for Wells Fargo as a project manager. Faith’s family photos adorn the walls of her house—even her home office—and she doesn’t hide the fact that her family comes first.

    Yet as CEO of College Recruiter, an online recruitment media company named one of the world’s top career sites by Forbes, WEDDLE’s, and Business.com, how does Faith strike a balance between work and family? How did she transition back into the workplace after staying home with her children for 13 years? How did her SAHM experience provide her with transferable skills which now benefit her as CEO?

    I recently interviewed my boss, Faith Rothberg, to ask her these very questions and more.


    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    Faith made the decision to stay home with her children after her second son was born. She admits she didn’t feel she was doing well as a mom or as a professional at this time in her life. The biggest surprise she had at this time was how hard it felt to be home every day and how many decisions she was faced with making all day long while caring for her children. She realized right away that she was building better multitasking skills, decision-making, and problem-solving skills as a parent. These are transferable skills that certainly aid her now in the workplace.

    Many stay-at-home moms struggle when deciding whether to re-enter the workplace. “I don’t know if you ever know exactly that it’s the right time. When I made the decision to come back and start in our business . . . it was really good timing for the business, and it was almost good timing for me,” Faith candidly shares.

    She admits she was worried she would not be able to be as available for her children. There was certainly an emotional component which was difficult during the transition back to work.

    Faith suggests that parents who stay home with their children should remain active in their communities and at their children’s schools. Parents can volunteer in the classroom, on committees, and in non-profit organizations in order to round out their resumes to avoid major gaps with absolutely no experience.

    Faith offers three tips for stay-at-home moms considering a return to the workplace.

    1. Evaluate what you want to do.

    Often what you were doing before you had children isn’t what you want to do now (when returning to the workplace). You may have had a great paying job before having children, but now you may have different goals or objectives. Take some time and either work with a career coach or take career assessments online to reevaluate your goals. Get a career mentor and seek advice and guidance.

    1. Once you know what you want to do, update your resume.

    You’ll have a gap on your resume during the time you stayed home with your children, and you may not have professional work experience to list on your resume during this gap. Use the volunteer experience and community involvement to fill in the gaps on your resume.

    1. Network.

    Network with other children’s parents and with the spouses of those other stay-at-home parents. Network back with your former coworkers. Use LinkedIn and other social media sites. Send your resume to your contacts and friends and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

    For more tips related to transferable skills, transitioning back into the workforce, and searching for jobs, visit our blog and follow us on social media at LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

     

     

  • Losing A Dream Job- Learn How You Can Handle The Situation With 6 Easy Tips

    September 04, 2015 by
    office, the head of a woman worker's release

    Office, the head of a woman worker’s release. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Losing your dream job seems like a nightmare as it rips your self-esteem to shreds. Not only such a situation leaves you with a very limited lifestyle but sometimes, it also pushes you into deep depression and stress. However, below you will learn some wonderful tips that will help you cope after losing your dream job and start working towards a new career: Continue Reading

  • 6 Terrible Mistakes Employees Often Make That Cost Their Promotion

    August 05, 2015 by
    female boss yelling at employee at work

    Female boss yelling at employee at work. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Who does not want to get a promotion? Every one of us strives at our workplaces to get promoted or to find a better job. Why don’t all of us get a promotion that easily? It is probably because not all of us know what it takes for earning one. Career development is not something that people are taught in schools. That is one reason why many people are bad at using the right career development strategy. Even if you have the right skills, people fail in getting a promotion because of this problem.

    But, you would stand a better chance of getting a promotion at your work now; all you need to do is to be aware of what is going wrong. Take a look at the following 6 most common mistakes that can cost you the promotion: Continue Reading

  • Want a Promotion? 5 Tips to Help You Earn One

    July 08, 2015 by

    Do you believe it is time for you to get promoted at work?  If you have been with a company for a while and have proven your worth, then chances are you are probably right.  You may have even asked your boss for a promotion before, but for some reason it was not the right time.  That does not mean you should give up.  If your goal is to move up within your business, there are ways to do it.  Here are some tips to help you earn a promotion. Continue Reading

  • Negotiate your Salary Like A (and With the) Boss

    June 26, 2015 by
    Justin Ethington

    Justin Ethington of Your Worth Salary Calculator

    Most people shy away from confrontation with good reason. But avoiding confrontation doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate your salary like a boss. Here are the 6 main negotiation strategies for maximizing your salary without being disagreeable.

    1. Don’t reveal your target salary too soon. Avoid disclosing your salary expectations until you know you’re a finalist for the job. Delaying the answer without upsetting your potential employer requires timing and diplomacy. To put off answering the salary expectation question, you’ll need your own personalized statement explaining your reasons. Practice this phrase so it sounds natural and friendly. It may save you thousands. Your employer should make the first offer salvo. Continue Reading

  • 7 Secrets To Writing An Impactful Resignation Letter

    May 01, 2015 by
    Letter of resignation

    Letter of resignation. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Change in a job might become a necessity for individuals who want to step forward in their career. While progress is often the most common reason why people switch jobs, there are many other reasons like workplace environment, politics, relationship with boss and financial reasons why individuals are seen to be in a constant job search.

    As soon as you decide to leave a job, there are many things that should be considered including arrangement for the next job, financial crisis that may take place in absence of any job, and an appropriate resignation letter as it is going to be your last impression on any company. You have to make sure to compose an effective resignation letter. However if you can’t decide how to write it, take a look at the following useful tips: Continue Reading