These Uncomfortable Deeds Will Pay Off Forever

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May 22, 2016

Dr. Travis Bradberry

T.S. Eliot was clearly onto something when he asked, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” The very act of stepping outside of your comfort zone is critical to your success and well-being.

Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some stress and discomfort. In fact, performance peaks when we’re well out of our comfort zone. If you’re too comfortable your performance suffers from inaction, and if you move too far outside of your comfort zone you melt down from stress.

Peak performance and discomfort go hand in hand. Stepping outside of your comfort zone makes you better, and it doesn’t have to be something as extreme as climbing Mount Everest. It’s the everyday challenges that push your boundaries the most, none of which require a flight to Nepal. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace these challenges.

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Skills college grads still need to learn to impress hiring managers

5 Hidden Costs Of Not Interning Before You Graduate

Guest post written by

Kaytie Zimmerman

I write about money and career for millennials at optimisticmillennial.com.

kaytie

Summer break for college students has finally arrived. They have plans to spend time at the beach, lake, or music festivals. Relaxation is important, but they may not realize that there are hidden costs if they don’t use this time to complete an internship before they graduate.

The costs are in the form of career potential, earnings, and time. All of these are important, but which are most significant to a new graduate?

Inability to Compete with Other Graduates

As students don their black robes and graduation caps this spring, they’ll enter a competitive pool of job seekers. Do you know how you stack up against your peers?

In 2014, 75% of graduates left school with at least one internship completed. Further, employers are now looking for work experience above other factors in selecting entry-level candidates.

It comes back to the all-too-painful chicken and egg reality most millennials have faced. They are told they need experience to get a job, but they need a job to get experience.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education and the American Public Media’s Marketplace survey, internship experience is the single most important credential for recent graduates to have on their resume in their job search.

Adding an internship to your resume before you hit the real world will at least keep you on pace with your peers, if not give you an edge.

Lose Out on ‘Foot in the Door’ Opportunities

Most job seekers are familiar with online job submissions being referred to as the “black hole” where their resume disappears, never to be found again.

One of the ways to get a foot in the door to your first job is to find an internship at a company that regularly hires their interns as full-time employees.  Read more…

Powerful Ways To Get People To Take You More Seriously

Dr. Travis Bradberry May 18, 2016

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Do you ever feel like nobody takes you seriously at work? If so, you’re not alone. More than 50% of people don’t feel respected at work, according to a global survey of more than 20,000 employees by the Harvard Business Review.

Maybe colleagues ignore your input in meetings. Perhaps they interrupt you or don’t include you in important decisions. It’s easy to blame that on a bad boss or a toxic work environment. In some cases, that’s even true. But if you really want to be taken more seriously at work, you should start by looking in the mirror and doing what you can to increase your influence.

There are eight things you can do right now to increase your credibility, get people to take you more seriously, and ensure you get treated with the respect you deserve.

Don’t let your statements sound like questions. One of the most common things people do to undermine their credibility is end their sentences on a higher inflection than where they started. It’s called “upspeak,” and our brains are trained to interpret that pattern as a question. So instead of delivering information, you end up sounding like you’re asking if your own input is correct. And people notice. In a survey of 700 managers by Pearson, 85% considered upspeak to be a sign of insecurity and emotional weakness, and 44% said they mark job candidates down by as much as a third for using upspeak. That’s one habit you should break right now to give yourself an instant credibility boost. Read more…

What hiring managers are really trying to figure out when they ask, ‘What are your hobbies?’

Jacquelyn Smith May 9, 2016

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Jeff Hitchcock/flickr

Don’t just say, “I love photography.” Explain why.

When you’re in the hot seat interviewing for a job, you’re answering questions such as “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “Why should we hire you?” — so a query like “What are your hobbies?” will probably seem like a piece of cake.

But before you start babbling about your lifelong obsession with horses or your newfound passion for baking, consider this: The hiring manager wants to get a better sense of who you are, so it’s important to think about which hobbies best showcase your strengths, passions, and skills — and then discuss only those in the interview.

“The employer is trying to determine whether you’d be a good fit, and getting insight into your interests, hobbies, and personality all help in evaluating that,” says Amy Hoover, president of the job board Talent Zoo.

Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” agrees: “By learning more about your outside interests, they can glean more about your personality, and even draw some conclusions about how you may thrive in the organization.”

 

Read more…

When People Ask for Career Advice, This Is What I Tell Them

Great mentors–and personal experience–have taught me some valuable lessons.

The Five Big Mistakes That Will Sink Your Internship This Summer

I have no qualms about saying that, for a host of reasons, I’m not a fan of internships and the emphasis we place on them as the best (and increasingly only) path to that elusive post-college entry-level white collar job. But, as a career advice Cassandra, I realize I’m in the minority. Interns are gonna intern. If your summer plans involve getting on-the-job experience (and a decent paycheck – please hold out for that) in the hope of increasing your future employability in a world in which the value of a college degree seems to erode by the year, you can at least go about it in the smartest manner possible. In other words, don’t make these mistakes.

Assuming Your Boss Knows What He/She Is Doing

It’s possible your manager hires interns because he or she deeply believes in nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurial or creative talent. It’s also possible that he or she has never managed anyone before, just needed an extra set of (cheap) hands around the office or was told from on high that the department would be getting an intern, end of story. The point being that it’s very unlikely that your growth and development will be this person’s top priority. Between putting out various fires, dealing with inter-office politics and daydreaming about an upcoming two weeks at a cabin in Maine, your boss likely won’t be devoting significant time to planning out your workload. Thinking your manager has your best interests at heart and relying on him or her to craft a winning internship experience on your behalf is a mistake. Read more…

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