Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Four Tips to Build a Network if You're an Introvert

At whatever point you happen to be in your career you likely understand the importance of building a supportive, encouraging, and challenging network around you.

This network can be made up of former college roommates, colleagues, your ex-boss, best friends, and family.

Some of us, however, are introverted or shy and might find it more difficult to work through the anxiety to build a network that can support us as we look to achieve our career goals and dreams. What do you do then?

Here are four tips an introvert can take to begin to build a strong and supportive network.

Begin with one. Don’t be overwhelmed. Start simply and work to develop a single relationship. You might find yourself more comfortable communicating with someone one-on-one, rather than attending a group. Identify someone from your job or school and invite them to join you for coffee for a few minutes. These simple interactions are the first steps in forming deeper bonds that can lead the relationship to a place of mutual support. In addition, this simple step can motivate you reach out to others or take on some of the other ideas noted below.

Use Social Media. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can provide a great, low-anxiety, way to develop relationships with some of your contacts. You have time to carefully craft a message to someone or to consider a response to a post or a question by someone else. Social media also makes it easier to reach out to others and expand your network, starting with a simple initial “friend” request or follow. With social media it’s never been easier to expand your network beyond those you are already close to.

Start a small group. There are many opportunities to join groups, both in-person and virtual, through a variety of sources but for the introvert it might make good sense to start your own group with a few people you already know. You could start a book club with a handful of friends and open things up for them to invite others. Soon you’ve expanded your circle and widened your network while also making some new friends and building community.

Enlist the help of friends. Finally, of course, let your friends know that you are interested in building your network. Ask them to introduce you to others in their networks who might share similar interests with you. Again, the power of social media can help ease the anxiety around introductions and facilitate getting to know someone a little before meeting up in person.

If you’re an introvert or experience social anxiety these suggestions can help ease the way to building an effective network to help you attain the success in your career that you’re looking for.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Daily Leap Career Video of the Week: How to Deal with Criticism

Each week we present our Daily Leap Career Video of the Week. The video we share presents news or advice related to career and life development, searching for a job, the economy and employment, and other career-related topics.

In the video below from Entrepreneur, Ben Angel provides some helpful tips for handling criticism and making the most of difficult feedback.

Friday, September 15, 2017

High 5 Weekly Career Transitions Roundup: The Art of the LinkedIn Profile Picture

This is our weekly roundup of some of the best career-related articles, interviews, blogs, etc., we've read during the week. We share them so you have some great resources to prepare you for the coming week. Enjoy!
  • The Art of the LinkedIn Profile Picture: "LinkedIn members who include a photo on their profile receive 21 times more profile views than those who don't, and profiles with a photo are 36 times more likely to receive messages."

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

To Be Successful in Your Life & Career Get to Know This Important Person

Success in your career depends on many factors but one factor that is underappreciated is the need to get to know an important person in your life. Your knowledge of this person will help you gain some clarity, focus, and direction in your career.

So, you might be wondering, just who is this important person you should get to know? Perhaps it’s the CEO of your company? Or the Human Resources Director?  

It’s a good idea to know the decision makers in your company but the person you need to know before all others is yourself.

When you have a clear sense of who are, the strengths and skills you possess, and your interests and mission in life, you’ll have the ability to make focused and healthy career decisions for you and your family.

To get a better understanding of yourself consider the following.

Check out the Myers-Briggs test. The Myer-Briggs Type Inventory (or MBTI) is a popular test that provides you with some information about your personality. The results of the test will place you in one of sixteen personality types that can help you better understand yourself, how you interact with others and perceive the world, and provide some insight to help you communicate more effectively with other personality types. There are also versions of the test you can take online.

Take a skills assessment. You can find many tests to assess your skills and these can be beneficial to help you better understand what it is that you are already good at and how you might apply those skills to a career. Many tests will link up your skills with relevant jobs and this can be a great way to consider a job or career you hadn’t thought of before.

Meet with a therapist. Sometimes meeting with a therapist one on one can be the best way to come to a better understanding of ourselves and to figure out what is holding us back from success in our life and career. We might carry with us negative patterns of behavior or thought that we don’t even realize and a good therapist can help us work through these issues.

Ask for feedback. We often have people in our lives who know us well: a spouse or partner, good friends, family, a boss. Take the initiative and be courageous and ask for some feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. The more specific the feedback is the more helpful it will be for you.

Get a mentor. A good mentor can support you in many ways, including providing knowledge and wisdom gained from their experience, providing you access to their network, and encouraging you to persevere. Mentors can provide you with a better understanding of who you are and which direction to head in your career.

When you gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses you can become more effective at surrounding yourself with the resources you need to be successful in your career and in life.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Daily Leap Career Video of the Week: 10 Habits of Happy People

Each week we present our Daily Leap Career Video of the Week. The video we share presents news or advice related to career and life development, searching for a job, the economy and employment, and other career-related topics.

The fun video below from Practical Psychology highlights 10 habits that happy people implement in their lives, starting with gratitude and optimism. Watch the video below to learn about the other 8.

Friday, September 8, 2017

High 5 Weekly Career Transitions Roundup: How to Improve Your Life in 8 Steps

This is our weekly roundup of some of the best career-related articles, interviews, blogs, etc., we've read during the week. We share them so you have some great resources to prepare you for the coming week. Enjoy!
  • How to Improve Your Life in 8 Steps: "A vision forces you to be specific about what you’re going after, and once you have it, it becomes part of your identity and propels you into action each day."
  • 9 Signs an Employee is Exceptionally Productive: "Effort without a genuine purpose is just effort. Effective people don't just know what to do--they know why. They have a long-term goal. They have short-term goals that support their long-term goals."

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How to Become a Better Leader at Work

Even if you don’t supervise or manage staff in your current job you likely would benefit from increasing your leadership skills. Becoming a better leader can help you move forward in your career, be a more effective parent, or help you manage your life better.

In addition to taking leadership courses, there are some basic steps you can take in your life to become a more effective leader. 

Consider taking the following steps.

Change a small habit. Leaders walk the walk, rather than simply talking a good game and expecting others to “do as I say, not as I do.” Good leaders practice good habits; the kind of habits that make them more effective in their lives. For example, a good leader recognizes the importance of sleep to their success and ensures they get seven to eight hours each night. If you’re not getting enough sleep work at changing your routine and starting a new habit. Or perhaps you need to eat healthier foods that promote energy and focus. Start small and start one new habit and then move forward.

Take an interest in those around you and allow yourself to be mentored by them. You have much to learn from your colleagues and others you interact with daily. A good leader has the humility to recognize this and gain insights wherever possible. In addition, practice the art of good listening. This will enable you to humbly listen to, and learn from, as many diverse voices as possible.

You can also gain a great deal of insight from books. Many great leaders are also writers and they can mentor you through their works. Leaders are often voracious readers so check out your local library and become a frequent visitor.

Learn to see the good. No one enjoys being around negative or cynical people and the best leaders express gratitude, are optimistic, and help others see the challenges before them in a positive way. See the good in your life and work situation by changing your attitude and daily noting in your journal the things you are grateful for.