Strategies for Achieving High Job Goals

What are your goals for your job? Most likely, you want to move up, get paid more, and have greater responsibilities. Or perhaps you want to get out of your current job and find one that’s more rewarding.

Whichever goal you have, you can meet it with some positive thinking and a sound strategy. You can also use those same techniques to meet goals your boss has set for you.

When you set your own goal, you’re more likely to achieve it. However, even if your boss has given you a particular goal to meet, avoid looking upon it as a chore. See it as an opportunity, instead. Meeting that goal might impress your boss, but more importantly, it’ll show you just how much you’re capable of accomplishing.

Meeting Goals You’ve Set For Yourself

Setting lofty job goals is a great thing. It’s important that you don’t just languish in a job you really don’t like, doing work you aren’t happy with. You need a job you can enjoy and do well in. If your job doesn’t meet those parameters, it’s time to set goals toward getting a new or better job.

If your goal is to get ahead in your current position, or even change places entirely, there are several things you can do, including:

• Going back to school to acquire new skills and education
• Networking with others in your field
• Talking to your boss about what you need to do to move forward
• Getting a mentor or other employee to work with or observe

Avoid giving up on your goals and dreams. Even if others doubt you, or they don’t understand why your goals are so important to you, stay focused! Your goals add value to your life and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Meeting Goals Others Have Set For You

When your boss sets a goal for you, it could easily mean he sees great things in your future and wants to push you to greater heights. Take that goal as a serious opportunity to show your boss what you can do. It’s not a punishment. It’s a chance at more!

Make sure you’re clear on the goal you’ve been assigned:

• What, exactly, is required of you?
• Are there any preparatory steps, such as further education, required?
• When is the deadline for meeting the goal?
• Are there mini-deadlines for portions of the project you can assign to yourself?
If anything is unclear, ask before you get started. That’s good business sense, and it shows initiative. When you take your goals seriously, others will notice.

Realizing What’s Important

Goals matter, whether you’ve set them or whether someone else has created them for you. However, some goals are much more significant than others, and you’ll want to keep that in mind. If you’re looking for another job but your current boss has already set a goal for you to meet, you may find yourself juggling both for a little while.

It doesn’t have to be stressful. Staying focused on your goals and ensuring that you meet them is something you can plan in detail. Breaking your objective into smaller steps can help you ease the stress.

Smaller steps help your positive outlook, too, because you’ll reach a realistic goal faster than an unattainable one. As you achieve your smaller milestones, you’ll notice that your bigger goals will come into focus and they’ll seem more attainable than ever before!

Your job goals are some of the most important objectives you’ll set and attain, because they help stabilize both your present and future. It’s true from a financial standpoint, but your job carries over into so many other aspects of your life, as well.

Take the time to really think through your job goals, and then draw up your plans to meet them. When you have your plans in hand, stay focused on success!

Simple Networking Ideas to Find a New Job

We’ve all heard that the best way to find a job is through networking. While this is true, some of us just don’t seem to have that social-butterfly gene.

Here are some simple ways to let the world know that you’re ready, willing, and able to help their company.

1. Set a Facebook profile.
Don’t use your personal profile if you already have one. Set up a profile specifically for your professional career. Post your resume and befriend everyone that looks like they might be able to help.

2. Create a profile on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is like the professional’s version of Facebook. Use the tools to create a profile and contact others who you already know on there. You never know who is connected to your friends and colleagues!

3. Always carry business cards.
You never know when you’re going to meet someone that might have the ability to help in your job search.

4. Blog about your profession.
You’ll attract people in the same field and also demonstrate your expertise.

5. Follow blogs in the same industry.
Subscribe to the blog and leave comments. Ask if you can write some content for them. It’s another way to get your name and experience out in the public eye.

6. Let all your friends know.
You might think you don’t know that many people. But if you think about all the people your friends know as well, you’ll see the numbers climb rapidly. Tell everyone what you’re looking for; you might be surprised who can help.

7. Let everyone know.
Your neighbors, members of any clubs to which you belong, your mail carrier, the bus driver, and more could all be helpful. Don’t be bashful.

8. Get a Twitter account.
Follow everyone in your field. Follow everyone you can in the geographic location you wish to work. Tweet away.

9. Have your elevator pitch ready.
You should be able to fire off in 30 seconds who you are, what you do, and what problems you can solve.

10. Get a professional email address.
Super.surfer1970@xxxxxx.com doesn’t sound very professional. John.Smith@xxxxxx.com sounds better.

Looking for a new job is about as much fun as getting a root canal. The best solution is to use as many tools at your disposal to find a job as quickly as possible.

There is someone out there looking for someone exactly like you; you just have to find them. Use the ideas above and be creative; these are just the tip of the iceberg. Good Luck!

Tips to Negotiate a Higher Starting Salary

In life, everything is negotiable and starting salaries in a new position are no exception. As a knowledgeable professional, you have experience under your belt and other valuable skills that employers should be charged a premium for utilizing.

Give yourself your worth by negotiating your starting salary within a new company. Not only will it put you on a better financial footing, but it’ll also make you seem like an ambitious businessperson.

Follow the tips below in order to confidently and successfully negotiate a higher starting salary:

1. Mum is the word. If you’re too forthcoming about your salary requirements, you may come off as desperate. Desperation is something that turns an employer off – big time.

• Furthermore, you may lock yourself into a lower starting salary simply because you’ve given too much information about your salary requirements before the employer has even had a chance to assess your value.

• If your interview is truly impressive, the person interviewing you may give you their absolute highest salary offering immediately simply to ensure that you’ll take the position.

2. It’s not about you. Companies hire employees based on what the candidate has to offer the company, not the other way around. Yet, so many candidates choose to exaggerate the fact of how they’ve always dreamt of landing this job, what the position will mean to them, and more.

• Excitement is good. But, acting too exuberant can cause the interviewer to perceive you as immature. Rather than focusing on what a life-changing experience this is for you, make it known that you’re right for the job because you have a proven track record of saving money, increasing profits, improving employee performance, or some other benefit for the company.

• If the interviewer can see you as an equal counterpart, rather than a giddy newbie, only then will the discussion of salary requirements be pertinent. Also, your assertiveness in this high-pressure situation gives the interviewer a glimpse as to how you will handle high-pressure situations in the workplace.

3. Don’t jump at the first offer. Unless you’ve blown the socks off of the employer, it’s unlikely that the first offer you’re presented with is their absolute best. It’s possible, but not probable.

• If an employer says they’re ready to offer you $45,000, keep cool, calm and collected – even if the offer is much lower or higher than you were expecting. Wait a few seconds to see if they adjust the offer, and if not, counter with a higher figure.

• There’s no need to play hardball, just be firm in your approach. If you’re offered $45,000 and you know you’re worth $55,000, ask for $55,000. The worst that can happen is that you’ll be told that $45,000 is their absolute maximum budget. You can still take the offer as long as it’s on the table.

4. Take the offer. If all of your negotiation tactics have failed and you needed the job yesterday, take the offer. But ask the employer to analyze your performance within six month in order to possibly negotiate a raise.

• With an offer like this, the employer has nothing to lose. If you are truly as good as you think you are, you’ll be able to slash their costs, improve staff productivity, or increase sales, and he will be able to afford to offer you a raise.

Negotiation is all about the legwork. Do your research on the company, their current salary offerings, and the average salary in your locality.

If this is your first time negotiating a salary, it can be daunting. But, you have nothing to lose. If the job is being offered to you anyways, why not try to make it as profitable as can be?

WOW Your Interviewer and Get the Job

The interview stage is so exciting! It’s the final step to landing that job you’ve been wanting. You’ve convinced someone via your resume and telephone interview that you might be the person they’ve been searching for. Basically, you’ve done a great job of marketing yourself so far.

Now comes the most important part: You have to complete the final sale of yourself and your talents. However, interviewing ability doesn’t come naturally for most of us. This makes a lot of sense; after all, you probably haven’t practiced with lots of interviews in your lifetime.

For an impressive interview, focus on these three keys to a great performance:

 

  1. Preparation is critical. Great performances require great preparation. And great preparation requires time. The interview room isn’t the place to try to remember your responsibilities at company XYZ.
  • Higher-level managers frequently ask potential employees, “What were your three most critical tasks?” You should be prepared to answer a similar question without hesitation.
  • Sit down and go through the last 10 years of your employment. List all your responsibilities and accomplishments. Have your answers ready. If you have to pause and think hard during the interview, it may seem like you’re inventing a story.
  • Reflect on answers to these questions: What successes did you have? How many people reported to you? You will certainly be asked about what challenges you had, so be prepared to list a few and how you overcame them.
  • Also, research the company to which you’re applying. They want to know that you’re interested and that you’re making an educated decision about what you’re potentially getting yourself into.

 

  1. Be authentic. One thing interviewers like to see is someone who is genuine.
  • Let go of the idea that you have to be perfect. Interviewees frequently twist and contort the truth in an attempt to appear more favorable. This is extremely difficult to pull off successfully in a high-stress environment like an interview.
  • Be honest. Coming across as authentic is largely a function of being consistent. This is easy when you’re honest. Interviewers will frequently continue to pursue a line of questioning when something doesn’t seem right.

 

  1. Practice selling yourself. What are your strengths? What are you good at? And more importantly, how can you convey those in an interview? Selling yourself without bragging is a fine line, but the interviewer needs to see the things at which you’re great.
  • Pull out the video camera and record yourself while a friend or family member interviews you.
  • Solo, you can record yourself going over your resume and work experience.
  • Consider joining a Toastmasters club. You can get a lot of practice and feedback.
  • Confidence and comfort come from practice. Give yourself the opportunity to be successful and practice daily.

Interviewing is a necessary final step to getting the job you desire. Following these tips will go a long way towards preparing you.

Don’t worry if you’re not a great interviewee. Few people naturally are. But with some preparation, you can become very good, very quickly. That practice will really give you the upper hand against your competition.

11 Ways to Crack the Hidden Job Market

You can shorten your job hunt by knowing how to use methods other applicants usually miss. After all, if you’re relying on want ads alone, you could spend a long time searching. Advertised positions represent as little as 20% of total vacancies, and your resume often winds up in a pile with hundreds of other hopefuls.

On the other hand, the hidden job market has a larger number of opportunities, and less competition. Learn how to position yourself to take advantage of openings that haven’t been advertised.

Benefits of Cracking the Hidden Job Market

  1. Achieve a closer fit. When you’re targeting companies you want to work for, you’re more likely to find a workplace where you’ll feel at home. That sense of belonging will add to your job satisfaction.
  2. Weigh in early. How would you like to write your job description? Contacting potential employers early in the process may allow you to shape your position to suit your strengths.
  3. Receive more offers. The average corporate job opening that’s advertised attracts up to 250 resumes. Your odds of being welcomed onboard increase when there are fewer candidates under consideration.

 

Cracking the Hidden Job Market with Networking

  1. Go online. LinkedIn and other technology make it easy to research and contact companies that interest you. Be sure to keep your profile updated because hiring managers may be looking for you too.
  2. Reach out to recruiters. Many positions are filled through employment agencies. Call up a recruiter to schedule a consultation and stay in touch so you can hear about future developments.
  3. Volunteer your services. Use your skills to support a worthy cause. You can make new contacts and impress them with your expertise at organizing events or tracking finances.
  4. Join a job club. Your fellow job hunters often have valuable leads. Start a club or find one through community listings or your local library.
  5. Attend events. Conferences and networking sessions can help you touch base with lots of contacts in a short time. See what’s on the calendar at your professional association or read industry publications.
  6. Contact alumni. Mine your college alumni group for information and referrals. Some companies have similar resources for former employees or you can approach them on your own.
  7. Seek referrals. Ask your contacts who else they would suggest for you to talk with. That way you can create a pipeline of information interviews and coffee dates.
  8. Focus on giving. Remember that networking is more about giving than taking. Offer to help others before you ask for something for yourself.

 

Cracking the Hidden Job Market by Becoming an Insider

  1. Complete an internship. If you excel at your summer position, you may have a shot at joining the staff. Pick a company with a track record for hiring interns and ask your supervisor for feedback to help you learn and grow.
  2. Consider temporary positions. Even if you’re looking for a permanent position, it may be worthwhile to accept temporary jobs, especially if you’re currently unemployed. That way you may be able to view internal listings on the company website, as well as network with employees who could have a say in hiring you.
  3. Do contract work. Contract assignments are another way to showcase your abilities at any stage in your career. Exceed expectations and let the company know what kind of opportunities you’re looking for.

Companies often bypass advertising to save money and target candidates who are more likely to match their needs. By tapping into the hidden employment market, you can impress hiring managers and find your dream job.

The Differences Between Those That Succeed and Those That Fail

Success is a fascinating thing. There are good people with every possible advantage that struggle with success and life in general. It’s also easy to find people with no education, a poor attitude, and a lack of morality that seem to thrive. Both groups of people want to get ahead, but only one is successful. Why is that?

Successful people, regardless of their advantages or disadvantages, have one thing in common: they consistently work at their goals.

It’s necessary to do everything you can to be successful and take that attitude into the marketplace. You must be willing to compete, whether it be for a job or to see your business become successful.

Add these behaviors to your life and create more success:

1. Make use of what you have. This includes your capabilities, time, and other resources. There’s no reason to wait until you learn something new, save a certain amount of money, or make the right contacts. You can do those things on the side, but the bulk of your time should be spent on doing everything you can with what you currently possess.

2. Read books that enable you to spend your time more productively. By learning more, you can correct your mistakes and use your time more wisely. The right book can teach you more discipline or how to better interact with others.

• Books give you access to the very best minds in the world, past and present. Every book you read can improve you in some way and enhance the way you spend your time.

3. Commit to being your best. Most of us are either too lazy or too afraid to bring our best to each day. Discipline and courage are required if you want to consistently be successful at a high level.

4. Make plans. Dreams are nice, but they’re just a starting point. You must convert your dreams into concrete plans, and then put everything you have into executing those plans.

• Building a life without a good plan is like trying to build a home without a good plan. Eventually you run into trouble and must use make-shift solutions just to keep it from falling apart.

5. Plan your day, but not all of it. Ensure that you can hit the ground running, but leave yourself enough wiggle room to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves along the way.

• The same goes for your week, month, and year. Have a good, solid outline for your time for at least the next year.

6. View problems as challenges to be solved. Becoming successful requires dealing with a nearly endless stream of obstacles. View these obstacles as challenges that make you stronger, smarter, and more capable to handle the next challenge. The bigger the challenge you’re able to solve, the more successful you will become.

7. Avoid distractions. Spend your time on the most important activities. If learning to play piano is a priority for you, spending time perfecting your photography skills, playing the guitar, and learning to oil paint ensures that you’ll never become the best pianist you can be.

It’s easy to look around and see that the universe isn’t judging “good” people and “bad” people when it comes to success. You know plenty of awful people that are doing well, and plenty of wonderful people that are struggling.

You must have a plan and put it into action each day. That is the ultimate determiner of success. Make a plan for your life today and live the life you want.

7 Steps to Repairing Professional Relationships

Work relationships can be much more fragile than other types of relationships. The workplace can be a constant battle of egos, jockeying for positions, and the desire to advance. Small slights that might be ignored in other settings can ruffle someone’s feathers at work.

These slights are often unintentional. In fact, it’s common to be at a loss for the reason behind the downslide in the relationship. At work, many people remain on the lookout for any sign that someone is either on our side or against us.

Repair your workplace relationships in a mature and professional manner:

1. Attempt to identify the issue. Before addressing your coworker, spend some time attempting to identify the source of the problem. This can be challenging.

The origin of the friction can be very subtle and difficult to identify. Your best clue can be the first time you noticed something was wrong. The incident likely started then or soon before. Ask a trusted coworker for their opinion. Odds are that someone else knows the other person’s perspective on the disagreement.

2. Schedule a meeting. Set up a time to meet with the other party. Avoid disclosing the specific reason. Also, be sure not to schedule the meeting too far in advance. Ideally, you could ask to meet in just a couple of hours. Giving the other person too much time to think and prepare isn’t best.

3. State your purpose. Now that you’re face to face, tell them what you want. You might state that you’d like to work toward the best possible relationship in the future. If you’re confused about the reason for the rift, state that, too.

4. Address the current state of the relationship. Describe how you see the current state of affairs. Avoid the urge to blame or judge. Just call it as you see it. It would be worthwhile to have this part of the conversation prepared ahead of time. Address your own shortcomings in the relationship as well.

5. Be quiet. Prepare to get an earful. You called the meeting and stated your perspective. You know that the other person is already annoyed with you. Expect the response to be harsh.

6. Seek to understand. Restate what you just heard to ensure that you understand clearly. Ask questions if necessary. You may have the urge to retaliate after what you just heard. Suppress that impulse. You can make a bad situation even worse.

7. Solve the issue together. Now that you both have your cards on the table, agree on the type of relationship you’d both like to have. Find a solution together that will get you there. The relationship might still be fragile, but it’s on the way to improvement. The possibility to ultimately have a better working relationship than ever now exists.

What if you address the issue and the other party claims that everything is fine? Avoid disagreeing. Tell them that you must be mistaken and look forward to everything returning to normal. Ask them to have lunch with you tomorrow. Hopefully, that will resolve the challenge.

Workplace relationships are especially sensitive and fragile. Many people seek validation at work, so any indication of being snubbed, ignored, or insulted is magnified. Addressing the issue directly will often alleviate the challenge quickly, as many disagreements at work are only misunderstandings.

Avoid allowing the situation to fester. Consider what caused the rift and schedule a meeting. The sooner you address the issue, the sooner both of you can move on and mend your relationship

Overcoming Post-Holiday Blues

The holidays are often a whirlwind of activity and emotion involving a busy schedule of shopping, school programs and get-togethers with friends and family. If you experience an emotional disappointment when the holidays pass, there are many things you can do to lift your mood and make it through the emotional let-down after the holidays.

These strategies will boost your spirits and get your New Year off to a great start:

  1. Take advantage of the extra time you now have for yourself. Since the holiday hullabaloo is over, you have some time to reflect. What do you like about your life? What would you like to change?
  2. Think about small goals you’d like to accomplish. Do you want to finally get that hall closet cleaned out? Maybe you can now complete that special project your boss has wanted you to do.
    • It’s a good time to make a list of all those little tasks you want to get done. Having the list will help you concentrate on your goals. Plus, it’s wonderful to draw a line through an achieved goal.
  3. Focus on you for a change. Now is the time to hone in on personal desires and goals. Perhaps you want to exercise more or spend more quality time with your children. Ponder how you might go about making the changes you seek. Think of taking little steps toward your big goals.
  4. Pursue an interest. We’ve all got those interests we hope to “get to” someday. Since you’ve got some down time now, why not go for it? Delve in to that subject you’ve been curious about or start the photography class you’ve longed to take.
    • If you’re not sure what you’re interested in, do some research. Visit your local library, browse some magazines or look in the newspaper. You’ll most likely find a couple of topics or activities you’d like to learn more about.
  5. Have a dinner party. You’ll have plenty of time to plan and prepare for this event with people you really care about. You’ll enjoy yourself and your mood will lift.
  6. Renew and refresh your surroundings. Do you feel like re-arranging the furniture in a room or two? Maybe you want to paint the walls or make new curtains. Re-decorating your surroundings is a wonderful way to go in to a new year and banish the holiday blues at the same time.
    • Re-focusing on your surroundings and thinking about any changes you want to make will help you de-focus from the doldrums.
  7. Re-connect with an old friend. There’s something so wonderful about making that call you’ve wanted to make. Hearing your friend’s voice again will bring great joy to your heart. It might be a friend from the old neighborhood, a former college roommate or a past co-worker you were once great friends with.

 

If you’re feeling down now that the holidays are behind you, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll begin to rise above those post-holiday blues when you try some of these strategies.

Taking some quality time for yourself during this period can lighten your mood immensely and ignite your excitement about the year ahead.

 

Choosing Your New Year’s Resolutions

At this time of year, you may be considering whether you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve made them in the past and lost interest over time. Or perhaps you buckled down and followed through. Either way, you’re now facing the beginning of another new year.

Even if you’re less-than-thrilled with your follow-through in prior years, the new year brings amazing opportunities to challenge yourself in all kinds of ways.

Try these ideas to help you set up your resolutions so you’ll be successful during the coming year:

  1. Select an area of your life that’s important to you. One of the keys to choosing your New Year’s resolutions is selecting a goal that truly matters. Ideally, you can find something you want more than anything. This will help keep you dedicated.
  2. Be specific. The whole idea of making a New Year’s resolution can seem over-simplified. You’ll hear people say, “My New Year’s resolution is to get in to shape” or “I want to work less.”

What do statements like, “I want to spend more time with my family this coming year” really mean?

Here’s how to be more specific:

o   For the resolution to get into shape, why not state it in more detail? Consider committing to specifics, such as, “I want to lose 2 inches from my waist and 3 inches from my hips.”
o   Another example of being more exacting might be “I want to increase visual muscle definition in my abdominals and my upper arms.”

 

  1. Make your resolution measurable. How will you measure your results?
  • For example, spending more time with your family may manifest as, “I plan to work 4 hours less per week in the coming year,” or “I won’t work on Saturdays, starting January 1st.”

 

  1. Structure your resolution using mini-goals. Consider cutting your overall goal into smaller, separate goals. Select the first mini-goal to accomplish in the process and designate it as your New Year’s resolution for the first 3 months.
  • Consider this example: You want to lose 30 pounds. You’ve struggled to drop the weight in the past. But you want to get serious now.
  • Here’s one way to cut this into mini-goals: Lose 10 pounds in the first 3 months of the year, lose another 10 pounds in the second quarter of the year and drop the final 10 pounds the third quarter of the year. The fourth quarter of the year, plan to focus on maintaining your weight loss.

 

  1. Be realistic. It might not be possible for you to accomplish everything you want in just one year. But you probably can be well on your way to your goal by the end of the year if your New Year’s resolution is within reasonable standards.

 

When selecting your New Year’s resolutions, focus on what matters to you. Be specific and make your resolutions measurable. Use mini-goals and be realistic in establishing whatever resolutions you select.

By addressing your resolution as a process rather than just a goal, you’re much more likely to succeed. And when you achieve one goal, you’re more apt to set resolutions and accomplish them in the years that follow. Start this year to make each year your best one ever!

Five Ways to Increase Your Motivation

Motivation and drive propel us forward toward the realization of our goals, but some of us seem to have more of this driving force than others.

If you feel like you have less of these traits than you’d like, the good news is there are ways to increase your motivation and happily start trekking down the path of achievement.

These suggestions may not be for the faint of heart, but if you really want results, try some of these ideas:

  1. Burn your other options. If you want to find another job or start your own business in a hurry, write a letter of resignation, postdate it a month, address it and give it to a friend. Tell him to mail it in 30 days.
  • If there’s an easy way out, most people will take it. Don’t give yourself the luxury of being able to fail without a lot of pain.
  • Even so, it’s wise to create a Plan B. Just make one that moves you forward instead of backward.

 

  1. Focus on the positive people in your life. If you don’t feel like you have enough, find some new ones. Only share your goals with those that are most supportive of you.
  • For example, if you want to lose weight, join a gym and hang out with the healthy people. They’re positive and supportive. Likely, there’s someone at the gym who has lost 100 lbs. That’s the person you want to associate with!
  • This idea also means getting negativity out of your life. If your friends don’t support you, why are they there? Take an inventory of the people in your life. Add some who have what you want, and move on from the ones who aren’t supportive.

 

  1. Feed your brain with positive information daily. Inspirational books and audio seem silly to many, but the results can be profound. The key is to use them on a daily basis. They’re like exercise for your motivation and drive. You can’t just work out just one time and expect to see significant results.
  • Set a schedule and stick to it. Even if you just do 15 minutes a day, the payoff will be huge.

 

  1. Act immediately. Once you’ve set a new goal, do something! Your first task can be as simple as making a phone call or laying out a plan. If you don’t take immediate action, you risk falling permanently into analysis mode where there’s a lot of thinking going on, but nothing is actually happening.
  • Frequently, motivation will come after action. Making a little bit of progress can be the inspiration behind additional progress. So do something as soon as you’ve decided what you want to accomplish.

 

  1. Look the part. Take a look at yourself in the mirror. Do you look like the kind of person that would accomplish your goal on a regular basis?
  • If your goal is to make $200,000 a year as a real estate investor, you shouldn’t be wearing an Aerosmith t-shirt and ripped jean shorts. Your identity should fit your goal. This may seem like a trivial matter, but it can make a difference.

 

Once you truly commit to your goal, your drive and motivation will see you to success. Take some action daily and remove your conscious safety nets that allow you to fail too easily; you’ll be amazed at the results.