FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONTEMPLATING A CAREER CHANGE

There are a few factors to consider when contemplating a career change. Some individuals shift professions rather quickly, while for others take years. There’s no right time to initiate a new profession, rather it’s an individual choice influenced by personal and professional aspirations. Do you prefer better pay over work satisfaction? What job would you consider if promised a decent salary? Taking time to answer such questions brings insight into purposeful career options. Take note of professions that bring purpose and fulfillment as it is key in the decision making process. Also, a new career can manifest change in different areas of life. Consider lifestyle changes that might emerge with a new occupation. Once ready to move ahead proceed with confidence considering all the positive benefits that motivated you to start a new career!  

Consider This Before Changing Your Career…

1. Does the new career align with your current lifestyle? Perhaps your profession requires working overtime hours and traveling. If you’re motivated to travel and need extra cash that may be your dream job. On the other hand, if job flexibility and free time are important then you may want to consider other employment opportunities. Also, is this a good time to introduce change in your life? Life experiences like moving into a new place or having a baby require time and attention. In such instances it may be challenging to start a new career, yet that’s a personal choice. Only you know how much you can handle and the appropriate time to start a profession.

2. Am I willing to start a new career from scratch?  Careers in similar fields can overlap skills and job roles, while others require new skills and additional education. Staring a new profession can be an exciting journey if your willing to do all it takes to change career paths. Other individuals prefer occupations within a similar field that allow for more simplified job transitions. 

3. Research jobs of interest. This provides insight as to what you can expect when entering the workforce. Research average salary based on experience and job role in your state and city. Some jobs are more prominent in certain cities and states. Also, consider if there’s a good hiring pool in your profession. Occupations of high demand a few years ago may not necessarily maintain the same status. With technological advances and todays fast-paced job market occupations are taking a shift. It’s best to do some homework and research if it’s worth pursing any given occupation. 

4. Reach out to professionals for support. Guidance counselors, human resource personnels, career coaches, and professionals in your field of study can provide much assistance. It’s key to ask detailed questions relating to your career of choice. Such individuals can provide valuable resources and share helpful insights. 

5. Step out of your comfort zone. At times the most challenging aspect of change is moving beyond our comfort zone. It can be intimidating to contemplate all that’s involved in changing professions, yet once determined it’s key to focus on positive outcomes. Moving into a different profession may call for new experiences. If in doubt re-evaluate personal and occupational goals. Otherwise, move ahead in confidence considering all the positive benefits in changing careers.

MOTIVATING FACTORS FOR MILLENNIALS IN THE WORKFORCE 

A large influx of millennials are continuously entering the workforce. Many of which are ambitious for success and eager to venture into new career opportunities. What inspires millennials in the job market? Does Generation Y have different career expectations than baby boomers or previous generations?

These young professionals in their 20’s and 30’s are finding creative ways of increasing profit, productivity, and yielding optimal results with limited resources and time. Many employers are cognitive of these positive contributions shifting to a more flexible and accommodating work cultures. With the growing population of millennials in the job market it’s crucial for leaders to understand what inspires potential employees.

WHAT ARE MILLENNIALS SEEKING IN THE JOB MARKET?

An incentive for many young professionals is flexibility and job culture.  According to a study conducted by PWC, 59% of millennials search for employers whose social responsibilities values align with his or her own, and over 30% anticipate flexible work hours. When asked what makes an organization attractive, 52% millennials responded opportunities for career growth.

DOES GENERATION Y DIFFER IN JOB VALUES FROM PREVIOUS GENERATIONS? 

With advances in technology and high demands for quick turnaround, it’s no surprise young professionals often seek career flexibility over predictability and longevity. Many employers are cognitive of the benefits in moving away from traditional work modalities to more flexible options that attract new hires. Surprisingly, only 8% of millennials valued diversity and equal work opportunities. Also, employer reputation is not as prized as once was in previous generations.

DOES SALARY MOTIVATE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS? 

Millennials value career fulfillment over higher pay. PWC documents 32% of millennials were willing to accept lower salaries, while only 14% were take positions outside their job roles. Although pay is an incentive in attracting millennials, job fulfilment and flexibility are taking lead. 

For more stats on millennials and the workforce visit PWC.

HOW TO EXPLAIN EMPLOYMENT GAPS DURING AN INTERVIEW

At times life circumstances cause longer than expected periods of unemployment. Extended time off from work raises questions for hiring mangers and human resource personnel considering potential jobseekers. Most employers understand career detours occur, yet how time is managed during such situations can greatly influence new job opportunities. Instead of contemplating long periods of unemployment, elaborate on knowledge and skills acquired during time off from work leading to greater career achievements. 

HOW TO EXPLAIN EMPLOYMENT GAPS DURING AN INTERVIEW:

Employment gaps may result from family or personal emergencies, changes in careers, continuing education requirements, a residential move, and others. What is done during extended periods without a job is what most employers seek to explore. You may be asked what resulted in long periods of unemployment, or to explain large gaps in your employment history. The key is to highlight steps taken that enhanced your career and professional goals. You may want to mention educational and technical courses, internships, and other accomplishments done during this period. Other things to mention are projects and career groups with other professionals in your field. Share efforts and steps taken for occupational achievements even while unemployed. Doing so shows career dedication, motivation, character, and creative thinking. 

What might seem like a weakness can turnout to be a strength when presented in a professional manner. Situations arise causing changes in career plans. Be descriptive when asked to explain employment gaps, elaborating on conscious efforts that resulted in optimal career enhancements. Share career goals and the steps you’re taking to achieve them. Having long-term and short-term goals paints a picture of your professional dreams and aspirations. Most companies are inspired by motivated and goal oriented jobseekers. Rather than delving on the negatives and what lead to periods of unemployment, draw attention to the multiple accomplishments that resulted in career achievements and new professional opportunities.

EFFECTS OF EXTENDED WORK SHIFTS ON EMPLOYEE HEALTH & PRODUCTIVITY

Most of us are familiar with jobs offering overtime hours extending beyond a 40-hour work week. For entrepreneurs and employees creating their schedule, working long hours is often the norm, making it difficult to disengage mentally from work. In turn many employees. Electronic devices intended to increase productivity are being used throughout the day, evening, and on weekends for work-related responsibilities. There are great benefits in using technology, yet it’s crucial to diligently balance work and social life. Whether you work a fixed schedule or different hours of the day employee safety begins with education. Taking positive steps when working extended hours promotes health, safety, and work productivity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comments on long work shifts, “According to U.S. National Health Interview data from 2010, almost 19% of working adults work 48 hour or more per week and over 7% worked 60 hours or more. Both shift work and long work hours have been associated with health and safety risks.” Sleep deprivation can affect concentration, alertness, mood, and general health. Attentiveness to details is critical in certain occupations like nursing, chemists, pharmacists, employees operating heavy machinery, and others. Feeling tired, stressed, fatigued, or burnout not only affects work performance, but also safety concerns for yourself and others.  

The University of Surrey documents a study by the Journal of Science on the effects of sleep loss on various brain regions. “Research has significant implications for our understanding of how the brain is locally affected by internal time of day and sleep-wake cycles.  Results shed light on why shift workers and people working very long hours struggle to pay attention and concentrate on their job, in particular in the early morning hours,” documents The University of Surrey. Working extended hours coupled with consistent lack of sleep can only raise health concerns. When working overtime hours, consider ways to ensure adequate sleep and proper nutrition each day. Accommodate your work schedule to allow times of relaxation. Perhaps take a power nap during one of your breaks or enjoy a 15-minute meditation? The idea is to find creative ways to take breaks, eat nutritious foods, and get adequate sleep each night when working extended hours.

5 TIPS WHEN WORKING OVERTIME HOURS:

1. Don’t skip meals. Healthy foods fuel your body and mind. When working long hours, it’s important to fuel the brain and body with nutritious foods.

2. Take a break. Disconnecting for a few minutes can increase creativity and focus.

3. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. To be your most productive and keep mentally sharp it’s vital to get a good night’s rest. If having trouble sleeping early, refrain from having caffeine in the later afternoon.  

4. Make times for activities that bring joy. Lasting success is grounded with balance. Hobbies and activities that create meaning, joy, and purpose enhance mood.

5. If overwhelmed talk with your employer. If you feel exhausted and depleted with all the job responsibilities, voice your concerns. At times the employer is not fully aware of the workload or how you’re coping with working extended hours. If you’re feeling burnout be sure to express your concerns to your supervisor. 

*This article is for informational purposes only and not intended to direct health advice. For health questions please inquire with your physician.

TIPS TO GETTING POSITIVE RESULTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA JOB SEARCHES

Social media is one of the strongest platforms used by jobseekers and businesses alike. Individuals seeking employment as well as companies needing qualified workers benefit from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social sites. With the growing interest in social media, more and more individuals conveniently search for jobs using mobile and other electronic devices. However, it can be daunting to examine numerous job posts from various social accounts on a daily basis. The good news is jobseekers can narrow work options and get positive results by implementing a few strategies on social sites. 

TIPS TO GETTING POSITIVE RESULTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA JOB SEARCHES:

1. Use hatchtags (#) and keywords when conducting job searches. Keywords are often used to draw in candidates with occupational skills suitable for the job opening. When seeking employment on social media include your occupation (e.g. Administrative Assistance) and location of work preference (Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca, etc.). You can also search for work schedule preferences such as part-time, fulltime, temp-to-perm, and seasonal. Precise hatchtags are useful when seeking work specialties. Examples include #cardiacnurse, #pharmacists, and #automechanic. General hatchtags are also worth exploring as many posts are geared to attract a large social media audience. Examples include #jobseekers, #jobs, and #hiring.  

2. Explore different job searches. One job search can include the keywords “fulltime hairstylist”, while another search includes “hiring pharmacist Miami”. Introduce various keywords that align with your career options and desired work environment.

3. Review the date on social media posts. Established social accounts have numerous followers, and posts can be shared between followers rather quickly. A job that was available in the morning may no longer have an opening in the later afternoon. It doesn’t hurt to contact the company for more information, but do keep in mind jobs may become unavaibale rather quickly.

4. Reach out to human resources or staffing personnel.  Depending on the company’s social media manager, comments and messages left by jobseekers on social sites may not be retrieved instantaneously. It’s best to contact the human resources department directly for specifics on job openings.

5. Have a notebook or note-taking app handy. List available job openings in order of preference. Highlight jobs you contacted, and include information of the human resource personnel for follow-up if needed. Keeping organized decreases confusion and increases productivity, as many companies post the same job openings in various social sites.

6. Stay proactive. Social media sites are very active and the information spreads very quickly. If there is a job opening that resonates with your skills and qualifications be sure to respond in a timely fashion. 

TIP FOR JOB SEEKERS ON MASTERING PANEL INTERVIEWS

Panel interviews are gaining popularity as employers earnestly seek for exceptional staff to represent their company. The hiring process can be daunting, let a lone interviewing with a panel of top company leaders. Don’t be caught in a state of panic. Be prepared and confident throughout the interview process by mastering the ten strategies listed below.

10 STRATEGIES TO MASTER PANEL INTERVIEWS:

1. Learn the company. Research facts, accomplishments, projects, goals, and company credentials. Much information is accessible on the web and in company websites. Gathering company data can be of great value when preparing for an interview, demonstrating interest and adequate preparation in part of the jobseeker.

2. Examine the job culture. Every company has a unique work environment. Scope the workplace examining language, attire, employee interactions, and overall work ambiance. Verbal and nonverbal cues will key you into the job culture.

3. Be prepared to answer an array of questions. You may have all the credentials on paper, yet there are personal attributes that can make or break your chances of getting hired. How well do you handle change, stress, and unexpected life events? How do you spend your time outside of work? Are you involved in high-risk activities? Do you attend non-profitable organizations? Answers to these questions share insight on character and behavioral patterns in and out of the workplace.

4. Make a list of strong points you want to discuss. Panel interviews provide opportunity to share valuable information with company leaders. Outline how you can be an asset to the company, share goals & aspirations, and provide other valuable points. The idea is to stand out from the crowd, highlighting your passion and ambition for the job position.

5. Ask questions. Make a list of valuable questions for the interviewer. Be sure to inquire job responsibilities and expectations that may affect you as a future employee. Will the company be opening more locations? Is there room for growth in the company? What are the benefits for full-time employees?

6. Prepare days in advance. Practice and preparation is key for success when interviewing. Ask family and friends to listen as you engage asking and answering different interview questions. Have your resume, professional attire, and other needed essentials ready days in advance for the interview. 

7. Stay focused and confident throughout the interview. Fear, anxiety, excitement, dread, nervousness, and other emotions may arise as various leaders flood you with questions. Regain your focus and confidence remembering what you want to accomplish from this interview.

8. Follow-up. Send a follow-up email to the assigned personnel sharing your gratitude for the job consideration. If appropriate, inquire as to when you should be expecting a response on your qualification status. 

9. Be patient. Panel interviews can take days to weeks before a final decision is made. Some companies perform all interviews in one day, while others separate interviews into weeks.

10. Stay positive and learn from experiences. Give it your best and regardless of the outcome, this will be a valuable experience in the interviewing process. If you get the job, great! If you don’t get hired ask yourself what you can learn from the experience, and be confident for the next interview. Panel interviewing can be intimidating, but with practice and preparation it can be beneficial for both employees and companies. This form of interviewing provides job candidates one-on-one access with company leaders to address important points in the hiring process. Although it can be nerve-racking, panel interviews can have positive outcomes for both businesses and job candidates. Much success on your panel interview!

TIPS TO MAKING YOUR RESUME SHINE!

You’re optimistic, dedicated, and focused in finding suitable employment opportunities. How do you convey work skills and experience on paper in a manner that captivates potential employers? Perhaps you’re seeking a career venture or steady employment options. In either case it’s crucial to have an updated resume readily available. Employers are bombarded with resumes and potential candidates seeking jobs. Fortunately with simple strategies you can make your resume shine!

Tips to Making Your Resume Shine!

1. Avoid lengthy resumes. Excessive content can be overwhelming leaving the reader perplexed. Keep out superfluous information and focus on essential details like work experience, occupational skills, and other information pertinent to the job opening. List experience from the past three years avoiding drawn-out explanations. Rather highlight what you can share if given the job opportunity. Keeping resumes to no more than two pages fosters reader engagement and attention.

2. Include keywords. Review the company’s job roles and expectations noting words to be used on your resume. For instance, a job opening may read, “Seeking a positive and energetic administrative assistant who is flexible and willing to take on different job roles”. If considering this job your resume should include the keywords “positive”, “energetic”, “flexible”. 

3. Proofread your work. Microsoft Word offers spell check and other features that aid in detecting grammatical errors. In addition, review your contact information ensuring it’s correct and up-to-date.  Also, have other people review your resume for constructive feedback.

4. Be specific in your objective statement. Use this section to leave an impression and share a powerful message. Let’s review two different objective statements. First objective statement example, “Seeking a Full-Time position as a cook in a company where I can grow”. Second objective example, “Motivated to work as a Full-Time cook in a company with growth potentials where I can share my skills and be part of an inspiring team.” The latter example uses vivid language giving the reader clear insight on the jobseeker’s motivation and career goals.

5. Design, color, and style. Resume designs vary depending on the job you are seeking. Graphic designers, stylist, and other artist may wish to include colors, textures, special fonts, and other visual aids to show their creative potential. Do keep in mind a resume is not a portfolio of your work. Other professions require traditional resumes that adhere to standard resume fonts and style. When in doubt use a 12-point font like Times New Romans and avoid cursive or other fancy fonts. Consider the job you are applying for when selecting resume templates, colors, and font styles.

FINDING A CAREER THAT FITS YOUR PERSONALITY

A sales manager position opened at work, and the boss inquires if anyone knows of a potential candidate. Immediately you think of Sally, your bubbly friend who can make buddies with just about anyone – even pets. To your surprise, after a few weeks into the job Sally mentions how the sales position just doesn’t fit her personality. How could this be? Sally is friendly, social, and energetic – the perfect fit for the sales manager position we’ve been seeking to fill.

There are many intriguing aspects to an individual’s personality. Although it may appear irrelevant, personality types influence work fulfillment, productivity, longevity, and general satisfaction in career choices. Before presenting job recommendations for each personality type, let’s explore four common types of temperaments.

4-BASIC TYPES OF TEMPERAMENTS AS DEFINED BY WIKIPEDIA:

1. Sanguine- Playful, lively, carefree, talkative, and social characters. These individuals are warm-hearted and can make friends easily, yet many have difficulty following tasks, keeping appointments, and can be a bit forgetful.

2. Choleric- Egocentric, extroverted,strong-willedimpulsive, and aggressive personalities. These are task-oriented individuals who like to be in charge, and receive recognition for their accomplishments.

3. Melancholic- Serious, cautious, and introverted temperaments. Such individuals are focused and sympathetic, yet can be prone to depression and changes in mood.

4. Phlegmatic- Private, calm, patient, caring, and tolerant personalities. These individuals often have a rich inner life, enjoy quite settings, exhibit consistency, yet may appear somewhat clumsy.

Using Carl Jung’s Theory of PersonalitiesTruity Psychometrics developed a questionnaire and provided it freely to the public. Truity’s findings lead to their development of 16-personality types, outlining common characteristics within each personality. By understanding personalities types, we can narrow job options to bring about excellence and fulfillment with various temperaments. You may resonate with more than one of the categories listed below, which explains how some people experience a passion for multiple job roles.

16-PERSONALITY TYPES PROVIDED BY TRUITY & COMMON JOBS OF INTEREST:

1. The Inspector: Neat and orderly, abide to rules, traditional, predictable, hardworking, and reliable personality traits. Hobbies include chess, trivia, and solitary sports.

Career ideas: Management, accounting, administration, golfers, and law enforcement.

2. The Protector: Practical, compassionate, grounded, conventional, and traditional personality traits. These individuals are hard workers, appreciate traditions, value relationships, and maintain a devotion to family.

Career ideas: Chefs, education, healthcare professional, and religious positions.

3. The Counselor: Nurturers,strong personal integrity,quiet, caring, intuitive, and ethical personality traits.

Career ideas: Counselors, coaches, teachers, artists, writers, and musicians.

4. The Mastermind: Problem-solvers, introverted, analytical, perfectionist, and strategically driven personality traits.

Career ideas: Computer occupations, technical fields, and legal professions.

5. The Craftsman: Troubleshooter, independent, adaptable, value stability, attentive to details, and logical personality traits. These individuals are good with their hands and enjoy working with others to solve problems.

Career ideas: Technicians, law enforcement, criminal justice, agriculture, military, mechanics, comedians, and aviators.

6. The Composer: Cheerful, flexible, spontaneous, quiet, friendly, supportive, loyal, nonjudgmental, modest, and sensitive personality traits. Such individuals are sensitive to color, texture, and tone.

Career ideas: Artist, interior designers, wedding planners, musicians, healthcare workers, and business.

7. The Healer: Imaginative, pursue truth & meaning, optimistic, caring, ethical, compassionate, self-expressive, and sensitive personality traits.

Career ideas: Counselors, coaches, therapists, writers, and artists.

8. The Architect: Philosophical, analytical, explore concepts, innovative, independent, and nontraditional personality traits. These individuals may come off as unconventional, as may offend with their precise speech and communication style. Many enjoy activities like meditation, hiking, writing, and computers.

Career ideas: engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, writers, and computer experts.

9. The Dynamo: energetic, practical, active, silly, and playful personality traits. These individuals are very energetic, funny, and adventurous.

Career ideas: Sales representatives, marketing, brokers, business owners, aviators, and racecar drivers.

10. The Performer: Entertainers, spontaneous, centered, enthusiastic, and playful personality traits. These individuals enjoy the pleasures of food, nature, animal and people.

Career ideas: Chefs, teachers, actors, musicians, and childcare occupations.

11. The Champion: Innovative, creative, passionate, warm, energetic, unconventional, skillfulness with language, changeable, and self-expressive personality traits. The champion is often bored by repetition, explaining the wide range of friends and experiences.

Career Ideas: Writers, composers, musicians, counselors, educators, and artist.

12. The Visionary: Curious, open-minded, influential, lack patience, re-inventors, friendly, confident, creative, and charming personality traits.

Career Ideas: Travel guides, stewardess, writers, educators, artists, also careers in science and technology. 

13. The Supervisor: Hardworking, traditional, orderly, logical, conventional, and practical personality traits. Such individuals value ground rules, and like to be in control of things.

Career Ideas: Bankers, managers, administrators, financial executives, business owners, and other leadership positions.

14. The Provider: Giving, sensitive, dedicated to helping others, loyal, strong moral character, and caring personality traits. Routine and organization are highly welcomed by these individuals.

Career Ideas: Charity organizer, positions in religious affiliations, teachers, nurses & other healthcare professions, and cooks. 

15. The Teacher: Good communicators,charismatic, idealist, persuasive, focused, optimistic, forward thinking, storytellers, and compassionate personality traits.

Career Ideas: Educators, social workers, gourmet chefs, event planners, artists, and tour guides.

16. The Commander: Ambitious,strategic, problem solver, solution oriented, objective, blunt, decisive, and assertive personality traits. These individuals are focused on results having clear action plans.

Career Ideas: Managers, supervisors, administrators, business owners, and other leadership positions.

The key to finding an occupation that suits your personality is to first have a thorough understanding of your preferences and character traits. This requires introspection and time, but prevents the dread of entering a career path that doesn’t express your strengths and talents. People who report high work satisfaction are often those who “love what they do”. Take some time today to see which personality type best describes you. It may be that you connect with multiple types of characters, which is an advantage for more options in job-fulfilling roles. 

WORK-RELATED STRESS: HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Thriving in today’s fast-paced society calls for excellence and quick turn around. Employees are faced with multiple job tasks and thinner and thinner deadlines.  Experts agree that a healthy level of stress known as eustress can yield productivity and enhance work performance. Unfortunately, poor management can push employees beyond healthy stress, leading to physical and/or mental burnout.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? 

Each person has his or her own stress threshold. It’s important to keep this in mind when taking on new job responsibilities or promotions within the company. Share with your employer areas of strengths and the areas you are working to improve.  It’s just as important for leaders to examine job assignments, workloads, deadlines, competency & skills, and employee availability before designating assignments. Stepping into new job roles is a great opportunity for success, yet it can add stress as employees are in the process of learning new skills and responsibilities. Proficient leaders are mindful of such circumstances, allowing ample time for deadlines during periods of training and transitioning.

The World Health Organization (WHO) compares the difference between healthy and unhealthy work stress mentioning the following:

  • Healthy stress motivates employees to work and to achieve their highest potential. This type of stress is healthy and productive. It keeps individuals alert and interested in their job roles.
  • Unhealthy stress places demands and expectations that are beyond the ability or timeframe, which the employee can offer. This stress is unhealthy and can lead to occupational stress.
  • Factors include poor management, and lack of support from supervisors and colleagues. 

WHO comments on work stress stating, “A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions but an abundance of health-promoting ones.”

TIPS FOR EMPLOYEES:

1. Do not overcommit. Before accepting a project or job tasks examine your comfort level with any given job assignment.

2. Express realistic deadlines when given time sensitive assignments.

3. Suggest ideas for decreasing stress in your workplace.

4. Communicate with your employer if you are feeling overwhelmed.

TIPS FOR MANAGERS:

1. Set realistic deadlines for projects and job tasks.

2. Encourage teamwork, and provide assistance if needed.

3. Put into account competency & skills, experience, and employee availability before designating assignments.

4. Encourage quality improvement and employee meetings for feedback and support.

5. Promote a stress-free environment with periodic luncheons, and other employee incentives.

6. Provide strategies to decrease work-related stress, and allow for workers to share areas of concern.