Wednesday, May 27, 2015

4 Soft Skills You Need to Develop for Your Career

In surveys employers and businesses often note that many applicants are lacking soft skills they deem necessary. Even many job postings will note the soft skills an employer is seeking, in addition to the technical skills and mastery required of the job.

Below are 4 soft skills to develop and highlight in a job interview, along with several tips to improve these skills.

1. Communication. It's important to write professional emails, speak appropriately on the phone, and look people in the eye and shake hands firmly when meeting and speaking in person. Watch others who are good communicators and model their behaviors. Ensure that your emails include a greeting a and a closing. You might also consider joining a local Toastmasters to develop your communication skills.

2. Initiative. An effective way to develop initiative is to volunteer for new opportunities as they come up at work. An even better way is to suggest new processes or projects and take the lead in testing them out.

3. Team work/collaboration. A great way to develop team work and collaboration skills is to
volunteer with a local nonprofit or church organization and participate in planning an event or fundraiser. The more opportunities you have to work in collaboration with others the more you'll be able to improve your skills in this area.

4. Creativity. Everyone is creative in some way. Creativity is not just for artists and designers. Creativity enables you to look at problems in a different way and come up with unique solutions. It may even mean that you come to understand that the problem really isn't a problem after all. You can continue to develop your creativity by being curious. Don't stop learning. Meet new people and travel to new places. And don't neglect your personal passions. They can co-exist with your job.

Consider finding a mentor to support you in developing these soft skills and you'll find yourself improving in ways you never imagined.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Daily Leap Career Video of the Week: 7 Sleep Habits for Successful Entrepreneurs

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

In the video below, Entrepreneur magazine takes a look at the importance of good sleep, how it relates to your ability to make good business decisions, and recommends seven sleep habits for successful entrepreneurs.

Friday, May 22, 2015

High 5 Weekly Career Transitions Roundup: 5 Keys to Being a Great Mentor

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!

© Bellemedia | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

  • 5 Keys to Being a Great Mentor"The goal of coaching is to help your mentees build up confidence in themselves... most people do not succeed because they have a great deal of self-doubt and therefore they self-sabotage."

  • The 10 Commandments of the New Economy"We need to have a longer time-horizon than the next earnings call. The communities we live in and the earth we inhabit both demand our attention and investment."

  • 5 Steps to Improve Your Networking Skills"No matter whom you’re trying to build a relationship with, treating that person as a friend rather than a business contact will take you much further with the relationship. So, think about how you would approach a potential friend."

  • How to Brag About Your Accomplishments"What these results seem to suggest is that when deciding whether to (honestly) brag or (deceptively) humblebrag, would-be self-promoters should choose the former — and at least reap the rewards of seeming sincere."

  • Sending Professional Emails"Getting into the habit of writing business documents more formally – even if they are only emails – will help you establish a professional image in the long run."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Your Library as a Job and Career Resource

When looking for a job it's important to take advantage of all the tools and resources available, including online job boards, career blogs and web sites, and networking opportunities.

Be sure not to overlook one of the best resources in your community: the public library.
Photo credit: michael_d_beckwith / Foter / CC BY

Your public library likely has many resources to help you find a job, start a business, seek out educational opportunities, or advance your career. Below are a few of the resources you might find at your local library.

1. Digital career products. There are many subscription-based products (such as Gale's Career Transitions) available to library card-holders that provide a wide-variety of information and data for job-seekers.

2. Career books, ebooks, and audiobooks. There are many informative and inspiring books you can seek out at your library to help you give an edge in your search or in advancing your career.

3. Career workshops or networking opportunities. Many libraries offer free workshops on various career topics, such as job-hunting, resume writing, or networking.

Another great thing about the library is that many of its resources are available to you through your computer at home so you don't have to go to the library to take advantage of all it offers. But talk to the librarian at your library and you'll likely discover many more resources at your disposal.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Daily Leap Career Video of the Week: 3 Daily Habits for Success

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

In the video below, Early to Rise editor Craig Ballantyne shares three daily habits for success, starting with "Plan tomorrow's workday today".

Friday, May 15, 2015

High 5 Weekly Career Transitions Roundup: Getting Where You Want to Go

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!

© Bellemedia | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

  • Getting Where You Want to Go"Failure is our greatest teacher. Yet the idea of failure paralyzes many us so we fail to take the risks that might spur growth.There’s no shame in failure. When you do fail, react quickly, learn from your mistakes, and move on."

  • Influencing Others When You're Not the Expert"If you’re a thoughtful curator of the best ideas in your field, even if you’re not developing them yourself, others will start turning to you for guidance."

  • 7 Lessons from Working Moms"I've found that it's really important to take time off, and I've found that sometimes you get really important insights by taking time off, too...I want people to realize that it really is ok, that you can have a family."

  • 21 Things I Wish I Knew When I was 21"It may not always be clear to you, but the people you meet can help you. Treat everyone like you’d like to be treated and be willing to make new friends. The world is smaller than you think. You’ll be amazed at who is connected to whom."

  • Improve Your Online Visibility"One way to help people understand what you're good at and what's important to you is to write about it. You can document your own stories as case studies, expand upon or add your opinions on thought-provoking articles others have written or highlight industry news."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

5 Factors to Consider When Evaluating a New Job Offer

It can sometimes be difficult to know what to do when faced with a new job opportunity or a job offer. We can spend too much time trying to figure out the right course of action and be fearful of making the wrong decision.

If you have a new job or career opportunity consider these 5 factors when evaluating if it's the right move for you.

1. Managerial style. Do you know who you'll be reporting to? If so, you might already know something about this person's managerial style. Is s/he a micromanager or will you be left to make decisions on your own? The managerial style of the person you'll be working for can play a major role in your job satisfaction so be sure to consider this.

2. Salary increase? If the new position includes a salary increase you might think it's an easy decision.
However, sometime when we take a step back we realize that more money does not necessarily equate to more job satisfaction.

3. Work-life balance. Consider how the new position will impact your work-life balance. Will you be required to travel a lot, spending time away from family or do you have the flexibility to work at home if needed?

4. Career opportunities. Will this job lead to more opportunities for you to enhance your skills and develop your skills or will you feel trapped?

5. Location/environment. Are you moving out of state or just down the aisle? Is it a formal work environment or can you dress casually? You'll want to consider the location and work environment to ensure that you are comfortable in your new position.

Once you've taken the time to consider these factors (and others of importance to you) you can then feel confident you've made the correct decision for you and your career.