Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Work in the 21st century series" - Finding More Satisfaction in Your Work

Finding More Satisfaction in Your Work

The pressures of cash flow, job security, new technology, the ongoing financial crisis, and our rapidly changing marketplace can more than take their toil on today’s professional. How you handle the transition from home to the office and back home again, each day, impacts your performance, how you are perceived by others, and how you see yourself. Whether your full time job is finding work, or you work full time at one job or part time at two, the strategies for increasing your personal health and satisfaction at work are the same. Finding a healthy sustainable 24 x7 balance is the end goal for everyone.

For some reason, as adults, we require our children get adequate sleep each night so they are fresh, invigorated and sharp at school. Yet, we often don’t hold ourselves accountable to the same standard of rest to maintain our edge at work. Sleep is a mandatory precursor for the brain to function at its best, no matter our age. When your body and mind are at rest, your body temperature and heartbeat regulates, your muscles relax and repair, your blood supply increases, hormones are released for growth and development throughout your body, memory consolidation occurs, and your body’s energy is restored. Sleep not only affects how you feel and function, but also how you look. While adult human sleep needs vary, the magic sleep number remains at 8 hours, throughout our lives. 

If you drove your car to work without gas, would you get there? While it may sound like parental advice, perhaps even trivial, skipping meals means your not going to be running at full speed. Simply put, food is your body’s fuel. Finding and maintaining a regiment of good sleep, and eating the proper quantity and quality meals for your body to run at its optimum are the winning strategies of Olympians, professional athletes, and just us plain old professionals.  

Exercise: Body & Brain
It only makes sense to maintain the best health possible for your body, since it is the carrier for your brain, the physical vehicle that enables your brain to function properly and move you forward. In addition, there are a variety of exercises you can do to take your own mental temperature, challenge, analyze, reflect and regulate your work identity, as follows:

  1. Spend a half hour each day completely unplugged – no phones, radios, televisions, or “i-whatever”s. Sometimes your answers are screaming over the noise, but can’t be heard. Miracles and greatness are discovered in the quiet.
  1. Make a tape recording of yourself during a phone call. Pay careful attention to the words you use (I, me), and how you actually sound. What do your spoken and written words really say about you? Our reality if most often a combination how we see ourselves and how the world sees us.
  1. Journaling is nearly a lost art, but its usefulness is not. Keep a personal journal for self analysis, a place to download frustrations in order to clarify and release them, and a place to clearly and concisely document your dreams and goals.  

Blog Reference:

National Sleep Foundation:What Happens When You Sleep

AOL Jobs:5 Surprising Ways toBe Happier at Work, by Ashley Lutz

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Work in the 21st Century - Modern Resumes; Keywords That Match

Most companies, today, now receive job applications and resumes via email and through website applications, and in turn, also process those resumes with various ingest technologies. These technologies are programmed much like a search engine, scanning through volumes of data from the resumes received, in search of the best or closest matches to the actual job opening (and more specifically, description). By understanding this methodology, job seekers should update their resumes to keyword rich resumes, using words that not only match but pop, and get you noticed. Further, it is important to include acronyms (in addition to spelling them out).

Although we’ve all heard this before, it is more important now due to technology - Resumes should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. In order to determine the right keywords for your resume, first read the job posting, job description, and peruse the company website. Tweak your resume to be sure it includes the employer’s specific terminology, how you can specifically meet their requirements, and the specific skills you possess to do so, and using their words.

Change job titles to match. If the job opening is for a “software engineer”, naturally those applicants that have the title “software engineer” listed within experience are more likely to be considered. If you worked as a “software developer”, but completed the same job duties, be sure to change your previous title to reflect “software engineer” so it is an identical match. 

Include specific keywords in your previous experience that matches the employer’s requirements. If the employer lists multi-tasking as a high priority, be sure your previous job descriptions not only demonstrate your ability to multi-task, but include the actual keywords.   
As in the case with search engines, the websites with the most matching keywords make it to the top of the listing. The same applies to your resume; more matching keywords results in a higher probability of getting your resume in the hands of a live person for real consideration. When your resume includes 20 well-placed keywords, your resume will not only stand up, it will stand out.

For all those unemployed or under-employed, happy job hunting this week - tailor, match, get noticed, and get hired. Join me next week as I cover the ways to be happier and healthier in the work you do.

“This nation, this generation, in this hour has man’s first chance to build a great society, a place where the meaning of man’s life matches the marvels of man’s labor.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

Blog Reference:
CAREEREALISM: Optimizing YourResume, by Don Goodman 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Work in the 21st Century - Professional Development

The Internet and development of social networks has forever changed the job search process. Most companies, like LAC Group, now have a web presence and accept job applications via online application tools. 80% of employers also now search potential job applicants online, and at least 50% make decisions based on what they find. While unemployed and under-employed send resumes by email or snail mail (in the 21st century), they must also be proactive and establish a strong online presence and submit their resume via the tool the organization is using.  In most cases resumes are handled by machine, and only if you have optimized your resume for the digital ingest it will go through, will you increase your chances of being selected for an interview.

A recent survey shows at least 75% of job recruiters are using the LinkedIn business network to research prospects, which matches LAC's experiences. Job seekers must develop a strong online profile with a professional headshot, work history, websites, links and recommendations (online references), and build a meaningful network with past employers, co-workers, and professionals in your industry.

Additionally, Facebook, Twitter, personal websites, and even blogs can be effective (or damming) tools for building an online presence, keeping in mind job recruiters often check these sites to get a better understanding of who you are, what you do, and what you can do. For job seekers, it’s important to keep your online presence, especially within social platforms, as professional as possible. I often liken these platforms to the “business casual” side of individuals.    

LinkedIn and Google offer proactive job matching notifications, along with 100s of other job boards and websites, including The Ladders, Career Builder, and Monster, to name a few.

Join me next week as I cover the modern resume, ways to update and keep your resume fresh and eye-catching.

“In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard.” – Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses, 1900.