• 5 things keeping job seekers from their dream jobs

    January 11, 2016 by
    sandra lambert

    Sandra Lambert, guest writer

    Many factors can contribute to our overall happiness, and dream jobs we love are a top one. Working in a pleasant and rewarding environment goes a long way in helping us feel happier and more content, but sadly, many people aren’t working in their ideal occupations. In many cases, our own actions prevent us from landing dream jobs, and several factors might be holding job seekers back.

    1. Procrastination

    Do you have big dreams, but put off the work to achieve them? Do you live by the motto “why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” The people who are most successful in life rarely procrastinate because they understand procrastinators will always work from behind and try to play catch up. Successful people develop the discipline and skills to stay a step ahead, allowing them to accomplish more and reduce the stress on their lives.

    Procrastination is a major culprit when considering what keeps job seekers from finding their dream jobs. While postponing tedious tasks is tempting, it won’t help job seekers reach their goals. Instead, break large projects down into smaller, more manageable parts, and work on strengthening discipline and determination in order to achieve career goals.

    2. Lack of people skills

    To find their dream jobs, job seekers must connect with people. They don’t need to become best friends with everyone, but having good social skills is a necessity. While submitting a resume to an interesting job is easy, make a good impression by reaching out to recruiting managers or other professionals to further connect. Even if job seekers aren’t ready to start their new job searches, they should practice their people skills by having conversations with colleagues, bringing in cookies for the next team meeting, or doing something nice for a stranger.

    3. Fear of failure

    fear of failure words in red 3d letters and a man jumping over it to overcome a challenge such as anxiety or uncertainty

    Fear of failure words in red 3d letters and a man jumping over it to overcome a challenge such as anxiety or uncertainty. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Mental health professionals have determined losing a job can be as emotionally detrimental as losing a close family member. For that reason, it is pretty easy to see why the fear of failure is completely paralyzing to some people, and can leave someone complacent. Unfortunately, if people aren’t willing to take risks, they aren’t liable to get where they want to go. While job seekers shouldn’t make any rash or irresponsible decisions, sometimes they simply must take a leap of faith and see if they end up in their dream jobs. Additionally, getting the advice of motivational speakers can be a great resource in providing motivation to chase dreams despite a fear of failure.

    4. You’re stuck in your comfort zone

    Do we find ourselves sticking to activities familiar to us? When is the last time we ventured out of our comfort zones and tried something completely new? Unfortunately, if we’re stuck in our comfort zones, we are really limiting our opportunities in life, including the potential to land our dream jobs.

    Luckily, there are ways to expand upon our comfort zones to find new opportunities. Take a proactive approach to improving flaws and try new things. Find a volunteer opportunity to connect with new people or learn a new skill. This builds stronger, more outgoing personalities in people and helps them learn new things from other different and interesting people. Expanding to try out brand new situations helps us gradually move out of our comfort zones and gives us the confidence to pursue our dream jobs.

    5. Organization isn’t your strong suit

    If we are extremely disorganized, we’re setting ourselves up for failure when it comes to getting the jobs we want. Fortunately, there are various ways we can increase our productivity and improve our organization skills, including helpful apps to assist us in creating to-do lists to keep on track with our workloads, projects, and activities. By better organizing our lives and the steps we take to get our dream jobs, we’ll identify our occupational priorities so we can move in the right direction.

    It is never too late to pursue our dreams, but we need to stop putting them off today. By identifying what exactly might be holding us back from our dream jobs, we can take the steps to eliminate obstacles and get where we want to be in life.

    Sandra Lambert is a CISCO certified computer networking specialist. She has a keen interest in writing about her knowledge and experiences. She writes about technology as well as about business. She has also developed interest in public speaking. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter.

    During January 2016, College Recruiter is publishing content focused on assisting college students searching for entry-level jobs upon graduation or summer internships. Learn more about our focus in “Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan.

  • 5 tips for a successful Skype interview

    January 08, 2016 by
    Robyn Scott, guest writer

    Robyn Scott, guest writer

    Many companies are hiring for remote or part-time positions these days that require some creativity when it comes to the interview process. Many recent graduates will be conducting interviews via phone or Skype. It’s important that applicants keep a few things in mind when conducting a Skype interview so their professionalism and personality can shine through when they ask and answer questions about the position.

    1) Technical issues

    The first thing to think about when doing to a Skype interview is any technical issues that might occur. First, make sure to get the interviewer’s Skype name prior to the day of the interview and give them yours as well. If you’ve been using a Skype name such as “luv2chill,” which would be appropriate for a college student, it might be time to go ahead and download a new version of Skype with a professional nickname such as “firstname_lastname”. Make sure your internet connection is excellent and Skype with somebody out of town for a few minutes to check your connection speed. There’s nothing more frustrating than having Skype drop the call several times during the interview. It’s also a good idea to have a viable backup plan if Skype isn’t working. Make sure your cell phone is charged and offer to finish the interview by phone if things aren’t working out. Lastly, have a good sense of humor about any technical issues on either end. If the person interviewing you feels comfortable that you can make things work in a difficult situation, it speaks to your abilities as a potential employee.

    2)  Lighting and background

    When being interviewed via Skype it’s critical to take a look at lighting and background. Many people look eager and fresh faced in real life but may look completely washed out on a little computer screen. It’s important not to look tired or worn out during an interview and also a good idea to deal with this ahead of time. Set up your Skype camera and play around with the lighting in the room you will be using for your interview. Make sure the lighting is even and the background is neutral. The reality is you may be using Skype in your bedroom as this may be the only private place for many new graduates. However, you don’t want the person interviewing you to see your personal items. You can put up a screen or move your desk around until you get a basic neutral background.

    3)  Formal vs. informal

    Andrey Popov/Shutterstock.com

    It’s difficult to determine if a Skype interview will be more or less formal than an in-person interview. Some employers look at a Skype interview as a more casual and convenient way of getting to know someone, whereas other employers view it as the only way they can get in touch with a remote employee who will be working in their home office in another state. Applicants can play off of the vibe given from the hiring manager. Be prepared to have a professional interview similar to an in-person interview in a corporate office when you start. However, if the hiring manager is more relaxed and casual, it’s okay to have a more informal chat and let them get to know your personality.

    4)  Keep the conversation flowing

    Applicants should be able to keep the conversation flowing over Skype. They won’t have the same social cues they would in an in-person interview because it’ll be difficult to read the interviewer’s body language. Additionally, technical issues including voice and video can make it difficult to have a fluid discussion. Rather than having several awkward pauses practice a few mock interviews over Skype with a friend and figure out professional but friendly ways to fill the conversation. For example, if you’re in your home office in Florida, and the corporate headquarters are in Illinois, chat about the local office, weather, or any kind of small talk that pertains to the job. The point is to keep the interviewer at ease as they may be just as nervous as the applicant.

    5)  Create a professional environment

    It’s important to create a professional environment inside and out. This means that in addition to looking the part, the surrounding should be appropriate for an interview. Applicants are encouraged to find a quiet setting where they will be entirely uninterrupted by classmates or roommates. The more professional the environment, the more likely the applicant is to display sophistication to an employer and to obtain the position.

    Robyn Scott, a guest writer for College Recruiter, is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK. 

    This month, College Recruiter will publish guest articles and other content to assist college students seeking entry-level jobs after graduation or summer internships. Check out “Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan.