How to stay Focused on your Career Goals

How does one stay focused on their career goals and land the full-time job they want?

During a recession when the competition for jobs is so high, where jobs are lost and career objectives do shift or change; it is important to stay focused (on the bigger picture). How do you when we are in a recession and the job prospects are so bleak? Some people have been forced to rethink their career objectives completely and others have simply had to work harder to sell their skills and/or work experience just a little bit more. While others have changed their career objectives completely and have become the employer; they have taken advantage of business opportunities that have opened up as a result of this recession. There are a number of things that one can do to stay focused on their career goals.

Returning to School:
This is one way to build on the skills you have and of course further your education in an effort to stay current. Quite a few companies support their employees returning to school and do reimburse. Therefore, make sure that you look into possible financial support from your place of employment if you are seriously considering returning to school.

This also opens doors for you to possibly move up in the company, because most companies hire or promote those that are already employed with the company instead of getting new hires.

Plan Ahead:
It’s good to think ahead; project where you want to be in the next 3 to 5 years.

Take On More:
Don’t say no to more responsibilities because it might open doors for you. It may mean making certain sacrifices i.e.; staying late after work, accepting and fulfilling an invite to a company dinner on weekends ‘or’ after work, or maybe venturing into a completely unfamiliar department. At the end of the day you want to prove that you are worthy, skilled, and capable, because you never know where this might take you. Keep your eyes on the bigger picture.

Create an Objective Board:
Write it down! Map out your plans and objectives; it makes a difference to see your goals in writing. Then determine ‘how’ you will achieve the goals that you have mapped out for yourself.

Support System:
Make sure to surround yourself with people who are going to encourage you. Try not to do it all on your own, because there are days when you will need that little nudge or even a slight reminder of where you want to be. There is nothing wrong with having people in your corner that has your best interest at heart aside from you.


Transient Workers

There are more and more young people who are working part-time because an increasing amount of employers are laying off higher paid or more experienced employees. They are cutting back, outsourcing jobs, downsizing and hiring less recent graduates. As a result more new grads are forced to work multiple or part-time jobs.


How to Relieve Work Related Stress

It is so easy to take work related stress home with you at the end of a long work day. However, carrying that or any kind of stress with you is not only bad for your health, but also unhealthy for those around you. There are ways in which one can relieve stress by becoming involved in fun activities in order to unburden the stresses of the day.

1. Yoga:
This is a great way to relieve stress because it gets the heart going and helps one to rest well at nights. Moreover, it balances the systems of the body.

2. Meditation:
Mediation is a good stress reliever on account that it slows down the breathing, and heart rate and normalizes one's blood pressure. More so, it is known to improve the immune system.

3. Dancing:
This is one of the best forms of stress relief because you are working all the muscles in the body. More so, it is a great form of self-expression; a great way to vent, if you please. It is also good for the skin (because it gives it a natural glow and helps it to breathe better)and great for the heart.

4. Baking:
It's a great stress relief if you love the task. Baking helps one to focus their thoughts and energy; a kind of meditation if you will. Additionally, it's a fun activity for everyone in the family.

5. Working out:
Helps release the stress hormone, cortisol. Plus it's also a great way to take your mind off your problems and redirect one's thoughts to more positive things.

6. Gardening:
Gardening is a good stress reliever because of the fact that one is closer and therefore more connected to nature. Furthermore, you are breathing fresher air and getting your vitamin D at the same time by being in the sun.


Experienced Students

More and more adults or experienced workers are returning to school. Although there's been said to be a recession recovery, it a slow one and results of this are still yet to be seen. Nonetheless, there is an increase in adult students because there has been more and more layoffs, decline in the average household income (on account that one or both income earners have lost their jobs), a shift in the number of people that are changing careers, job loss, and the like. However, if you are seriously considering returning to school, there are a number of things to consider before doing so.

1. Firstly, take a look at your financial situation. Ask yourself if you can afford the tuition and all the other expenses that come with being a student (like the cost of text books).

2. Review the potential benefits of returning to school. Are you looking for a better income and will there be an increase in income? Is it a field you love and are interested in or are you doing it because there is a growing demand for people in this field? What are your reasons...?

3. Do some research about the field of study you are entering. Is it viable? Is it currently a market trend? What is the income like?

4. Research the different or various college options available to you. Campus life can be expensive for an experienced student (who has a family and bills), but it can also be inconvenient or not at all flexible with respect to your family life. Determine which best suits your needs, pocket book, and lifestyle by doing some research before committing. More and more people today are choosing to study online, because it is flexible and inexpensive.


How to Write a Resume

I have given tips before in a few articles on what to include in a resume when job hunting. It’s a critical time in our economy when everyone is worried about unemployment. Many of us have lost our job and the reverse is true; those who still have a job are worried about losing it. The recession is not over and most of us are saving more than ever before. We are looking for ways to live below their means, promote our job skills and are focused on taking care of our families the best we can.

Having the right resume format will improve your chances and give you an edge during an interview. If you are someone who is good at interviews, then it could make a difference in you getting your foot in the door and sealing the deal on that dream job.

Choose the correct resume format or layout; really think it through. The type of job you are applying for will help you determine this.

Resume should be no more than one page. Therefore it is important to determine which skills you will be highlighting that will be eye catching to the potential employer and for the position you are applying for.

Make sure that your name and contact information is bolded or highlighted at the very top of the resume. The font should be a size greater than that of the body. The average font size should be between 10 and 12 points.

Determine your job objective. Clearly state your intent based on the job you want or the job you are applying for. Make sure to match the list of skills (you possess) with those in the job description.

Research the job you are applying for and the skills needed for that specific job. Do not list all the experiences you have had, but only relevant skills. It is always important to make sure that your resume emphasizes or highlight skills specific to the job you are applying for.

I have said it before and it is a fact that if you are just of college, it’s important to promote your education and then job or transferrable skills. If you have been in the workplace for a number of years, then you would promote your work experience first and then education. View here "How to promote Job Skills."

Once you have gotten into the body of the resume it’s important to use bolded subtopics when listing your education, skills, work experiences and interests.

List work in chronological order beginning with the most current job.

Under work experiences make sure to include the name, location, description of your work experiences, dates your have worked (chronological order) and a short description of the company.

Use short but complete sentences and bullet points to list those experiences. Use verbs and/or strong action words to list work experiences and accomplishments. Make sure you are clear and concise when describing your skills and accomplishments.

Layout should be consistent throughout resume.

Complete the resume with a list of interests that not only compliments your job skills, but also flatters your assets.

Upon completing the resume, make sure to review and correct spelling and grammar errors. Use a grammar and spell check in Microsoft word (great tool).


Stay at Home Jobs

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Stay at home jobs give many at home parents the opportunity to spend quality time with their family, to raise their children and at the same time be breadwinners. There are quite a few lucrative online job opportunities and here are a few:

Be an Online Educator :

A few of these online companies include brainfuse.com (email resume to jobs@brainfuse.com), tutor.com, educationadvancecorp.com (email resume to hr@educationadvancecorp.com), tutorvista.com (apply at jobs@tutorvista.com)or teach E.S.L. at Idapted.com. There are lots of opportunities to grow with these companies.

Write Online:

There are lots of websites that allows one to write online and promote your hard skills that one may possess. Infobarrel.com (click here to join), helium.com, associatedcontent.com, bukisa.com, ehow.com ,and much more. Offer advice using your expertise, skill or natural talent online at liveperson.com. Just sign up for free, become an expert and provide your tax information. It's very easy! However, like most online (independent contractor positions) jobs, you must promote your site and skill(s).

Sell Online:

Quite a few stay-at-home parents promote and sell health benefits from home with AmeriPlan, which pays daily. Sell electronics on gazelle.com, networth.com, Used-Electronics.ClassifiedAds.com, and Rated4Stars.com/SellMyElectronics.

Etsy.com is a great place for those who have a skill to sell crafts and other handmade products. There is a wide array of children's, women and men's clothing, crafts, accessories, toys, vintage, woodwork and the list goes on. Check it out!

Other websites include thehappygardener.info, simplyfun.com (games for children ages 3 and up), wineshopathome.com (wine shop at home).

You might fine that some sites may help you to develop some natural skills that you have and others my just allow you to use experience that you have acquired over the years while working for someone else. No matter what you do, it's a great opportunity to grow.

Take a look at some tips for promoting your job skills.

How to become an online tutor

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How to Promote your Job Skills

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We have all heard the saying that ‘we too are a business so sell your skills.’ I think that is so true. So many times we expect the employer to see our worth or value, but that’s not their job. It would be nice if it was that way but it’s not. We have got to know your own value or worth and sell that every time. This is what your negotiations are based on; your skills and work experiences. There is so much competition in the work place that it seems like every employee is looking at everyone through the same magnifying glass. It’s not just enough to get a job anymore, but one must work hard to keep a job also. There is less value placed on seniority, punctuality, and hard work than it was at least 30 years ago. Therefore know your skills and what they are worth.

If you were asked right off the bat what your skills were, what would you say? Would you reply “ummm, well… I am a good communicator. I am personable. I have great interpersonal skills?” Well, that would not be strong enough to sell ‘you’ to an employer. It’s important to know your skills and what you are worth. It doesn’t stop there, the employer always like to know what your limitations are (your ‘weaknesses’), abilities, job objectives, education background and interests.

If you are just of college, it’s important to promote your education and then job or transferrable skills. If you have been in the workplace for a number of years, then you would promote your work experience first and then education.

Beginning with your job skills, you want to talk about the skills that you have and then move into the work experience using examples to support the skills you are promoting. For example, if an interviewer asks the question “why should we hire you?” This would be the perfect opportunity to promote your job experiences and accomplishments. Support almost every skill listed with what you have accomplished, your abilities and interest as well as your education. Don’t over look your transferrable skills; these are also your hard skills.

Then promote your soft skills. This is where your ability to communicate well and your interpersonal skills come into play. Employers are looking for those who can get along well with others, they want a people person. They want someone with confidence, leadership qualities as well as great analytical and problem solving skills.

It’s in the delivery… How the information is presented on a resume cv or cover letter is what’s going to get you in the door. Is it clear, job relevant, concise, only one page; or is it cluttered, wordy or over a page or two? How you communicate that information is essential as well. Are you confident, making eye contact, communicating clearly or otherwise? More so, are you presenting work experience that’s not on the resume? This is a major no no; only talk about the jobs you have listed on your resume. Therefore, know what’s on the resume well.

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A Detailed Review: Steps to Finding a Job

Although it can be an overwhelming and stressful process. There are a number of things one can do to find a job. The process will be different for everyone because of age, experience (level of expertise), expectations and depending on how we market our skills. More so, some become employed again because of who they know and how well they are able to network.


Prepare your resume, cover letter, letter of recommendation and references. This is the perfect time to get those tools up-to-date. Make sure that you get all the necessary job search tools together.


It's important to know how to begin the job search process. Are you going to do your search online or knock on doors? Some of us do an online search, others apply with job agencies, and some of us use the classifieds, where other's do the foot work and go directly to the company that they are interested in becoming employed with. Decide what is going to be your primary focus. Keep in mind that you can do all of the above, however it is more efficient if your focus on one medium.


Once you have begin the job search process, follow up with the companies that you have applied with. Have they received your resume? When are they hosting interviews? More importantly, keep job specific resumes organized.


Using search engines like careerbuilder.com, hotjobs.com, monster.com, beyond.com and other networking sites. These sites allow you to post your resumes and register for daily newsletters, which is very helpful in the job search process. Use the resources available to you.


Find out what's out there. Get out and meet others, network, meet employers and find out what they are looking for in potential employees.


This process can be overwhelming at times and tiresome. Therefore, be patient with yourself. It might be discouraging at times, but keep in mind that all that hard work will pay off. More importantly, the process itself is a skills building process, so focus on the positives and not the negatives.

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How to Find a Job

There are a number of things one can do to find a job. The first thing you want to do is focus your job search. The process itself can be overwhelming, however it's important to know 'where' you are going to begin your search. Some of us do an online search, others go to a job agency, and some of us use the classifieds where other's do the foot work and go directly to the company that they are interested in becoming employed with.

Using search engines like careerbuilder.com, hotjobs.com, monster.com, beyond.com and other networking sites. These sites allow you to post your resumes and register for daily newsletters, which is very helpful in the job search process. It's important to focus, however it is also good to make use of all the resources available out there. If you do not hire a head hunter and you have the time then you can become a full time head hunter. Be patient with yourself, because the process may not only be tiresome, but it will also take some time.

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Promote Your Skills

More than ever, I am now committed to promoting my skills in a way that will maximizes productivity. Like most I am tired of the rat race. I have worked from home for some time now, however, one thing I have come to realize is that the most satisfaction I have gotten in all my years of working comes from working for myself and in being at home with my family watching my young children grow. I am now actively promoting my expertise online. There are lots of great sites that allows anyone who has a talent to work from home using those natural skills. These websites include: guru.com, elance.com, odesk.com and so on. I am on the following websites promoting my soft skills: Associated content: www.associatedcontent.com/user288635deedavishtml

Ehow: http://www.ehow.com/members/deedavis.html?view=3rd

Bukisa: http://www.bukisa.com/people/Deedavis

Helium: http://www.helium.com/users/edit_show/460530


Resources blogs


Don't Put all Your Eggs In one Basket

I spent twenty days training for a job I was confident was mine and in the end was disappointed to learn differently. Why would I have thought differently when I passed the first three levels with flying colors? Looking back I realized that I would not have been so disappointed if I had continued job hunting while I trained for that job. I did put a lot of stock in the fact that this was a job that I had a lot of experience in and I thought that would carry me. Which it did for the first three levels. Unfortunately I did not pass the last level and was not offered the job. It's tough because I feel like I have to start all over again.

It's a full time job just job hunting. However, there are lots of great skills that are gained along the way. I have learned of some really great job sites, like beyond.com, moneymakingmommy.com, careerbuilder.com and so on. I have been able to acquire information from these sites that has made the job hunting process much easier. At the end of the day one thing that I was reminded of was to not put all my eggs in one basket. One thing that I am confident of is that there is something better out there for me. And the job hunt continues...

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How to Apply for a Job After Being Laid Off

I have not seriously examined the application process when job hunting until I was recently laid off. The job market is really competitive right now, so when I became unemployed I then realized that there were a number of things that I needed to do to make myself more employable. On account that I have not had an interview or job hunted for years, I then knew that I needed to do a little research to prepare myself; after applying for a few jobs and not getting a reply.

The first thing I did was update my resume; however I did not make it more job specific. After applying for a number of jobs and getting the same results, I realized that my resume looked a little dull. Therefore, I asked someone I knew was good at editing and working on resumes to review my own. I was fortunate to get the feedback I did on updating my resume. Therefore, I not only updated my resume, I pretty much gave it a complete facelift.

I highlighted my strengths and relevant job experiences. More so, I edited my job objectives and kept the resume itself simple. I realized that two pages was a little too much and therefore cut it down to a page.

I then did a financial assessment. I reviewed my monthly expenses and focused on paying all the monthly bills off. Therefore, I can focus on the job hunting process and not the bills.

I then made job hunting a full-time job. If you do not have the time, then it’s important to hire a headhunter.

After job hunting for some time and not getting the results I wanted I realized that I needed to connect with people who were not going to help me network, but also build me up and encourage me. The toughest challenge for me was maintaining a positive mindset after job hunting for months and not getting the jobs that I was looking for.

I then became more open to other job offers, because I realized that it was better to have an income than to have half that or none at all. In doing this, the job I really wanted came my way and now I am going through a long, arduous training process for the job that I really wanted.


Rethinking the Application Process

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Last night I lost a lot of sleep because I was up 'til the wee hours of the morning doing job searches. During of all this, I then realized that I needed a better game plan than the one I have. Then, I started thinking about the things I could do to 'really' improve my chances of finding a job. I am tempted to apply for everything and anything as long as I do have an income, however I know that I should not only apply for a job that I am qualified to do, but also a job that I would be interested in doing. Then I started thinking about what I wanted my next career move to be and funny enough all I could think of was teaching, only because it's the safe thing to do!However, truthfully... I would love to take some writing courses and explore my natural skills as a writer. Nonetheless, I am clear that I need to rethink my career choice.

Something else I realized is that I have had the same resume layout for some time and I know that I need to update it. However, I am not sure how or what changes to make in terms of the layout. Now, I am wondering if that is part of the reason why I was not getting the reply I expected. Now the research begins... What exactly do employers expect in terms of one's resume layout, how many pages and what is most appealing or attractive to a potential employer?

Now I am wondering about what else am I not doing to make myself more employable." I think it's only natural to ask yourself those questions after job hunting for some time and not getting enough replies or interviews. I have a lot of details on my resume and a long history of work experiences, but although I highlight relevant experiences I still include all my 'volunteer experiences.' Do I need to include my volunteer experiences at all or simplify it? I am not sure how important volunteer experiences are to an employer. Additionally, I don't have any references listed on my resume and I have never included any. Now... How important is it to have references when initially applying for the job? There is a lot to consider.

I have almost always researched the company’s history, which I have found to be necessary not only when applying for the job, but especially during the interview itself. Plus it's interesting to find out all those neat facts about the company that you will potentially be working for!

The encouraging thing is that there is also a lot of knowledge and experience to be gained when job hunting, no matter how tough it might be.


The Job Hunt Continues...

I have been actively looking for a work at home job, and although this is no walk in the park, I am very hopeful that I will find the job I am looking for soon. At this point in my job hunt every employer I have applied to has turned me down with the promise of "We will still keep your application on file, but with all the applications we receive, there is no guarantee that we'll be able to hire you. However if there is an opening for this position we will contact you."

This can be discouraging, but in a weird way it is encouraging, because at least employers are responding and still reviewing applications. I don't know... I have made job hunting a full time job; I have applied to long list of companies; I have been to all the popular sites; careerbuilder.com, monster.com, hotjobs.yahoo.com etc. yet no luck.

The bottom line is that there is no real job security anymore. Teachers are getting laid off, construction workers, engineers and the like. The top 3 jobs at the moment are in retail (groceries), health/life insurance and collections. Well, I guess I really need to rethink my career choice during this recession. As a result I, like many others, have come to realize that this is the perfect time to start my own business. If you are like me, you probably have had many creative ideas and have not done anything about them; well now is the time. It seems like the only way to guarantee an income in this economy.

Thus, I have come to realize that maintaining a positive mindset at this time, networking, updating my resume, and getting out there and promoting my skills to potential employers is a sure way to put a 'face to the resume,' and increasing my chances of getting hired. At the end of the day it's about being proactive in the job hunting process to increase the probability of getting a call back.


What is 'recession proof' really?

How do we 'recession proof' our lives? In this economy I am not sure what that means exactly when most of our States are in recession or at risk of being in recession. More so, most of us are at risk of losing our jobs, being laid of or have lost their jobs.

I was speaking with a friend of mine recently and she was almost hysterical because she had been demoted. I was taken aback for the reason that I have never seen her that emotional before. I allowed her to talk and I listened attentively because I realized that she needed to vent. I was apprehensive about what to say since she was a single mom who was doing it all on her own and I did not want to say the wrong thing or be insensitive to how she was feeling. After listening to her vent for some time I realized that I was not really helping, but promoting her self-pity. I decided the best thing I could do in that moment was to be 'real' or honest with her. My hours had been cut recently and knew that it was just a matter of time before I was out of work, my husband had just started a new job after months of unemployment and so many friends and family members out of work. I then opened up and shared with her how truly fortunate she was to still have a job. After sharing much with her, I then reminded her that although she was doing it all on her own, that if she is able to pay her bills, mortgage, or take care of her family financially and emotionally, then she has a lot to be thankful for. The irony is that she could not see it in that moment, but I also understood that she was just dealing with the initial shock of her demotion.

This is a really tough time for not only Americans, but for so many people around the world. I also know that for those who are challenged by the current state of the economy, that in the end we will come out on top and will be better for it. There are days and nights when I think my game plan is on point and other days when I am overwhelmed and am discouraged. Thus, the fact that others are going through this encourages me to keep moving forward.

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