Worklife Survival

3 Reasons To Say “No” At Work …

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 11:02

When you are tired and you just can’t take it anymore do you give yourself permission to disconnect? Whether it’s from your job, your family, or from your computer, learning how to say “No” when you are not feeling it is vital step in honoring who and what you are no matter how tempting the invitation to “join in” may sound.

You may like to please others more than you like to please yourself but learning when and how to put up the boundaries at work will save you not only time, but your sanity when the going gets even too tough for you. The next times you feel compelled to say, “Yes” but are stopped in your tracks, think about what is motivating you and respond accordingly.

  1. It’s Not Your Job. Knowing when it’s appropriate to be a “team player” and pitch in and knowing when you are being asked to stretch well beyond your limits signals a time when it may be okay to just say “No”. It’s not that you are trying to be insubordinate or problematic, but knowing that you are working and focusing your attention on the job you were hired to do does not mean you are a traitor when you are being asked to do twenty other things that will take you off your game. Saying no to handling extra work assignments or pitching in on a regular basis to help out a co-worker will prove to be your down fall if you don’t know when and decline in a way that does not alienate your team mates and piss off your overly demanding boss. Outlining your job priorities when asked to take on extra work means you are open to considering it but need to find something else to give up if you are truly needed to pitch in elsewhere. Don’t over extend your self to the point of no return. It’s okay to say you can’t handle more work if you really can’t- you are not a slacker if you can’t.
  2. Trying To Impress: We all want to make a good impression at work whether you are up for that promotion or just a new kid on the scene trying to score some points with the powers that be. You are up for a challenge just like the next person but when your sole motivation is to impress regardless of how much work you are piling on, maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities. Raising your hand and volunteering for everything and anything does not mean you are a team player and a rock star at work. What it does mean is that you either have too much time on your hands, or you are not sticking to the job you were hired to do. Make sure you understand the scope of what you are volunteering to help out with and whether earning a few more brownie points is worth the stress and aggravation that may come from your inability to say no to the next new thing that comes your way. You can be impressive without being oppressive.
  3. It’s Not in Your DNA: Some people just don’t have it in them and say “Yes” to everything feeling like they will a disappointment or will be left out of the mix. Crowd pleasing is one think but saying “No” does not mean you are retreating, It does mean you have enough common sense to know when and how to expend your energy and resources so you maintain a high level of consistent job performance without stretching yourself too thin. It may take practice, but there is nothing wrong with declining an offer that extends your limits even if that includes after work drinks with the team or taking on extra assignments when your plate is already too full. Knowing when to balance your wants with others asks is the first step in gaining confidence and learning an artful way to decline an invitation without offending anyone.

You don’t need to be a martyr when it comes to sacrificing what’s good for you vs. what’s good for the crowd especially if all you are craving is a bit of down town to recharge the batteries. If you are not able to stand up for your self and your own needs and what makes sense for you without feeling like you are letting everyone down, then you will likely run a ground and peter out way before it’s time to raise a glass to toast anyone’s success let alone your own.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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5 Ways To Negotiate A Job Offer or Raise….

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 11:11

Whether you need to sharpen your skills to negotiate a job offer, a promotion or a raise, knowing how to ask for what you want may not come easy for some. You may have learned from an early age the best way to ask for what you want came when you completed a chore or a task. You may have also discovered that the ultimate decision was left in the hands of your parents, teachers or guardians. Feeling that your destiny is not in your control and that from a young age you needed to learn other ways to boost your confidence and adapt survival skills if you wanted to move ahead.

It may be hard to know how and when to ask for something for fear you may alienate your friends, bosses or co-workers. It’s time to learn to stand up for what you want and here are a few ideas to keep in mind that may prove to help you along the way:

  1. You Deserve It. Nothing screams confidence more than knowing what you are worth and standing up to make sure you are compensated for it. If you are in a job you love but feel you are getting less than you deserve, do your homework and find out what the rest of the world thinks. Going on informational interviews to see what other companies pay for your skill set is not a sign that you are not being loyal to your boss. Doing some market research online to understand what your compensation range should be signals you are aware of how your position is valued on the open market and if you are performing at the desired level, maybe it’s time to have a little talk with your boss to determine the best way to navigate a raise.
  2. Know Your Facts: No one wants to feel like they are being put on the defensive when it comes to negotiating a job offer or a salary raise. Besides, the person in the position of your boss or hiring manager may not be the final decision maker when it comes to approving your request. Making your request known by stating the facts based on your research which should include, market salary data, comparable position ranges, years of experience and education should be used to build your case. You should not discuss what your peers make, what your boss makes or any other confidential information that you may have gotten access to and try to use to your advantage as it will NOT help your case.
  3. Engage Support Everyone likes to help someone they believe and trust in even if they have no control over the final decision. Learning how to build your allies and support network actually does come in handy when it comes to your ability to negotiate for yourself. Making sure you have the best offense enables you to move towards your desired goal whether it’s a job offer or a raise. Having others on your side that can speak on your behalf and support you sends the message that others think you are a valued member of the team.
  4. Keep it Simple: Don’t over complicate your negotiation by making demands that are unreasonable or make you appear greedy. We all want what we are worth but make sure you have no more than three (3) asks in a negotiation and that you are clear on the priority and importance of those asks otherwise you may lose credibility. Not getting caught in the details and having a clear plan of action and specific goals, i.e., title, salary increase, timing, etc. helps you move through the negotiation process with ease and confidence.
  5. Seal the Deal: You may get so caught up in the tactics or the details of the negotiation that you forget to close the deal and come to a conclusion! Remember any good negotiation ends with both sides feeling good about the results. Make sure you allow yourself time to do the dance but remember to close the deal and accept the offer one way or another. Leaving the deal hanging whether you are thinking about a job offer or timing of a raise or promotion should not make or break the deal for you. Close the deal even if you don’t get 100% of what you want on the first shot keeps the game fair and room for you to come back again in the future.

Negotiation does not have to be a painful process. It’s a dance and you are either the choreographer or the principle dancer. Knowing your part and learning the rules of engagement helps you to ask for and get what you want no matter how absurd the demand.

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3 Reasons It’s Time To Quit Your Job…

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 10:08

We all have those days when we just think we can’t take any more criticism, phone into one more conference call or just make that endless drive into the office. It’s not that you have any issue with working it’s just that you didn’t sign up for the nonsense that has become your every day job life. It’s a little like the movie “Groundhog’s Day” when each time you hope for a different outcome you get the same predictable results.

Quitting your job may not be an option, but challenging yourself to know when it’s time to make a change may be a first step in knowing when it’s time to move on.

  1. Boredom You may be good at what you do you may even like what you do, but when you are no longer challenged by what you do it might be a sign it’s time for a change. No one is saying you need to make each day of your job like a competition or a great race to the finish line. But learning, growing and being challenged by new and different ways to think and apply your skills is necessary if you want to keep your brain from going dark. Making sure you stay alert to new business applications, new methods of work and understanding that you are as good as your last big project, all are signs that it’s time to look elsewhere if your current work environment does not offer up those opportunities.
  2. Your Boss: You may love your boss you may hate your boss but can you remember the reason you took the job in the first place? The people we work for and we work with are as important a part of the job landscape as the work you have chosen to do. Like a marriage or any committed relationship, your boss or co-workers make up your job family. You may not always see eye to eye and like any good family dynamic, you have a whole host of characters and personalities you have to manage. But the fact is, you need to decide whether the relationship is worth saving or, when it’s just time for a professional divorce. Making that decision after you have tried to patch up any disagreements is not always easy especially if you like the company and you like the work. Before you decide to pack your bags and end your job marriage over irreconcilable differences, make sure you have given it your best shot and you have no regrets about making the break. Breaking up may be hard to do but turning back may be impossible.
  3. It’s Always About Money: Whether you think you are compensated well or just well enough, feeling appreciated in your job is not always taken care of with a pat on the back or an employee of the month award. In our society, one measure of success is determined by the amount of compensation you receive as an employee and the value that dollar amount signifies. Money is not a dirty word and you should not feel badly if you think you are shallow because you are motivated by money. It’s not always right and it’s not always fair but learning to stand up for yourself in terms of compensation and fair pay plays a big part in whether it’s time to move on from your current job or simply ask for a raise.

You know better than anyone when the job you love no longer loves you. It’s always hard to break up with someone or something but learning to take care of yourself and your needs is not a selfish act when it comes to your career survival. Self-preservation and your own sanity should be driving you to make the right choices when it comes to your next career move. Something to think about when you are stuck in traffic.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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5 Things That Drive A Recruiter Crazy…

Lisa Kaye - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 12:58

When it comes to making a good first impression do you tend to “over compensate” and push too hard? Listen it’s hard to know how you should behave to a total stranger especially one who has the power to get you your next job. Knowing how to act and knowing what drives recruiters crazy is the first step to not making it your last step when you show up for an interview.

Next time you find yourself in front of a perfect stranger who has your career in the palm of their hands here are a few things to avoid if you want them to ever call you back:

  1. Fidget & Fuss: We all get nervous especially on an interview for a job you really want. But acting like you can’t hold it together is not going to score any real points with the recruiter. Shifting in your chair, biting your nails, playing with your hair or an object, chewing gum are all signs that you are not able to act and behave professionally when under pressure. You are being judged for your professionalism as well as your skills so remember when interviewing for the part you better learn how to act the part first.
  2. Sweaty Hands: Some people just naturally sweat and some people take it to an art form especially when they are nervous. No one likes to shake a wet towel and then have to wipe their hands off on their clothes afterwards. If you are one of those that have to wring your hands (and feet) from sweaty glands, you can try a little trick before you are introduced to a recruiter. Try carrying small can of deodorant spray or wipes in your pocket and gingerly apply a small amount to your hands. Avoid using powder or dry deodorant as they leave a sticky feeling and white residue that will likely get all over the recruiter’s hands. Alcohol wipes or Purell also act as a drying agent if you have room to carry them. Remember dry before you apply.
  3. “You Think I’ll Get The Job?” Asking the recruiter about your chances before you even get through the first interview shows you are too eager and maybe just a little desperate – no one wants to be harassed! You may want to know about your chances and how well you stack up against the other candidates but best to save that for a follow up email or the next round of interviews assuming you get a call back. Don’t be too pushy or forceful please learn to play it cool.
  4. “Do You Have Any Questions? When asked if you have any questions either about the job or the company, don’t sit there with a blank stare or simply state, “Nope, I got it!” The recruiter does not want to be the only one talking and asking questions and it’s good to show you did your homework before you came in for an interview. Being prepared with a few questions, even if they are general ones, shows that you have given the process some thought and that you are interested in the company and knowledgeable about its products and services. Staring down the recruiter should not be your only response.
  5. “How much?” We all want to be paid fairly for work but putting the recruiter on the spot about salary and compensation in a first meeting may not be the right approach. If you are asked about your compensation requirements be honest and tell them what you are currently making or, that you did some research and would like a salary between a specific range. It’s best if you do not initiate conversation about salary unless asked on a first meeting or you will likely put the recruiter on the spot as they sometimes are not fully aware of the budget or range. Trust me, if they like you, they will make the compensation work for you-wait until you are asked.

Making sure you make the best first impression means you are aware of how you come across in making the interviewer feel comfortable and relaxed. That doesn’t mean you should pull out pictures of your family vacation, but learning to read the queues and keeping it professional will ensure you at least a follow up interview if not a job offer.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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Tats & Views…

Lisa Kaye - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 10:45

So you think everyone has a keen appreciation for the multi-colored art you have displayed on your inner thigh or your forearm? It’s not like anyone would dare say a nasty comment about the word “Mother” tattooed on your hand? When it comes to art what do people know anyway. Judged or be judged? Not when it comes to your interview. Think again Picasso…

You may like what you wear, your piercings or the multitude of graffiti art proudly displayed on your body but chances are not everyone has your same level of appreciation or taste. So when it comes to “dressing” the part, how do you navigate the sterile waters of interview land when you are covered in tats way down to your toes? Knowing your audience no matter what job you are applying for means making sure you don’t give up your individuality for professionalism no matter how artfully you are decked out. When the world of tats and views collide here are a few things to remember.

  1. Do Your Homework: If you are thinking of applying for a position in a company where the culture resembles a laboratory, think about what you should wear to the interview before you show up all covered in ink. No one is asking you to change who you are or what defines you. But knowing that others may or may not have the same level of appreciation for your image might make it hard to break the barrier to entry when all you are trying to do is get a job. Hey, even Cher has to cover the ink for a part in a movie-so think of it as your audition.
  2. Keep It Simple: When in doubt about whom you are meeting or the work environment best advice is to keep it simple. This means save all the jewelry, chains, metal and accouterment for the clubs or your casual look and try to package your wear in something more main stream and toned down. No one wants to cramp your style but less is more when you don’t know who is on the other end of the interview judging you before they even look at your resume or portfolio. Be smart about your choices.
  3. Don’t Take It Personal: Keeping your demeanor as professional as possible during an interview speaks volumes to who you are as an individual and how well you present yourself to someone you just met. Not everyone will like you no matter how well you come across so no point in trying to manipulate the situation to your advantage. Being yourself means honoring who you are and what you stand for. Flaunting yourself no matter how minimal shows a lack of respect for the other person and makes people feel uneasy. Remember, not everyone has your taste level so don’t make someone feel bad because you are picking up a vibe that makes you feel uncomfortable. When in doubt remember it’s not personal it’s business.

You are your own person and you should not change for anyone. Choosing a company culture that embrace that philosophy will help you target a place where you want to work. Making sure you understand that not everyone is looking at you in the same way you see yourself helps you to anticipate how to act during an interview meeting. Becoming self-aware helps you manage first encounters and shows you are insightful. First impressions do count so make the most out of yours by dressing the part and knowing your lines.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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Follow greenlightjobs on Twitter http://twitter.com/greenlightjobs

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Interviewing For Your Job…

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 09:11

It might provide some peace of mind when you think you have it all and that you are nice and comfy in your current job with nothing to worry about. Just because you get a steady paycheck, have been temping in a job for a year or more or are liked by the powers that be, does not guarantee you’ve got the job in the bag. Interviewing for your job means you may have still to audition for the part just when you think the casting call is over.

Having the inside track on a position when you are currently working for the company of your dreams does not always guarantee success. Finding and keeping a job is never a sure thing not when situations out of your control at work change the dynamics of the workplace and you are caught in the middle of a game of hide and seek. You are always on the spot when it comes to keeping your job. Remember there are no guarantees that you are the one they want even if you are busting your butt at work to prove yourself to those that matter most, the decision makers. Situations come and go and people change their minds as it relates to who they want to hire for a particular position.

If you have your sights set on landing and keeping a job, remember there are a few things to keep in mind when you are asked to interview for a job you were sure was yours in the first place:

  1. Assessing the Competition: Who are you competing against? What is it about your skills vs. someone else’s that are better or worse in comparison? Understanding who you are competing against and what the hiring powers are looking for in a candidates will help you position yourself for success when it comes to being considered for a job you thought you already had.
  2. Managing Your Expectations: Everyone wants to be liked and valued in what they do and working and interviewing for a job is no exception. But knowing that there are some things that are out of your control helps you to manage your perception on your candidacy for a position even though you think it’s a slam-dunk and you are the perfect person for the job. Keeping your expectations in check means you are level headed about your situation and will be confident about how you are likely to interview for the job when asked.
  3. It’s Not Personal: As much as it feels like you are entering a beauty contest when it comes to managing your job expectations, learning how to make it less personal and to keep it professional will help you to keep the feedback objective. If you are not sure why you were passed over, it was probably less likely about how you look or spoke and more about the person involved in making the hiring decision. Keep it professional remember it’s not about a popularity contest.

When it comes to wanting to impress someone you work with or who is making a hiring decision that involves you, make sure you are positioning yourself in the best way possible. Surround yourself with allies and people who support your work and are not afraid to speak up on your behalf and you will be one step closer to keeping the job of your dreams in place even though you may not have thought you had to fight for it.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/lisakayeglj

Follow greenlightjobs on Twitter http://twitter.com/greenlightjobs

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7 Things NOT To Do In An Interview…

Lisa Kaye - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 13:58

Well you got the call and you are finally set up to meet with a team of people at the company you’ve been dying to work for. Maybe you just lost your job, maybe you quit unexpectedly because you could not take it, or, like some you keep knocking on every door hoping someone will answer. You are not alone. It’s hard to figure out what will and won’t work when you are meeting new people for the first time. Perhaps someone refers you for the job that is high up in the organization like the CEO and the position you are applying for is an entry level one-how do you position yourself? Or, you could have a friend or relative in the company that put in a good word for you, how much do you leverage your connections for the right opportunity? When it comes to meeting people for the first time on an interview, how much is too much information and what can help or hurt you land the job?

When it comes to making a good impression though, here are a few things to consider when you finally do get your interview and want to really impress the hiring team:

  1. “I’m sure I can figure it out?” When it comes to describing what your skill level is and what systems or processes you are familiar with it’s best to be honest and not try to impress someone for the sake of it. Your skills are one of many professional attributes you possess that are important to a hiring manager. Understanding and presenting yourself accurately is key when asked about skills you may not have. Telling a hiring manager you can figure it out does not leave anyone with a sense of confidence that you can master the skills for the job. Shoot straight and tell it like it is when it comes to describing what you know.
  2. “It’ not personal”: So you maybe lucky enough to know the right people but flaunting your relationship with a senior member of the company is not the way to impress the hiring team. Remember, these folks likely report to or work for the top gun. Your relationship whether real or imagined may threaten folks you are meeting with. Describing your relationship with the person who may have referred you for the job as “personal” rather than “professional” send out all the wrong signals and puts everyone who meets you in an uneasy position. Keep your personal and professional boundaries apart and be clear you are not there to forge a personal connection you are there because you want the job.
  3. “Wink & rub”: Responding to a question or comment posed by the interviewer with a “wink and rub” of the hand is not an appropriate gesture if you want to be taken seriously in an interview. You may have some good skills, but knowing how to present yourself in a professional manner will help you land the job you want and not offend the people you may work with. Touching, winking or giggling should be saved for a date and not an interview.
  4. “Sending gifts,” You may think it’s a courteous gesture to thank someone for interviewing you. No one likes it when you send chocolates, flowers or balloons to the interview team and thank them for interviewing you for the job. Bottom line, it’s viewed as “bribery” no matter how insignificant the size of the gift. Sending a follow up email, note or letter is a much more appropriate response to saying “thank you” than a Starbucks’ gift card.
  5. Trying too hard: Answering every response with “I can do that” is not a way to reassure a hiring manager that you know what you are talking about. You may be eager to please but being too eager is a sign of desperation and not of someone who wants to pitch in and be a team member. Being direct about what you can and can’t do on an interview gains you far more points that trying to be a pleaser.
  6. Doesn’t be a groupie: Everyone wants to interview someone who is interested in the company and the people who work there. But don’t feel the need to recite the entire employee directory for the company. You will likely come off as a stalker or a groupie rather than someone who is in the know and has done your homework. Underplay your relationships and talk about the company and its products and services if you want to impress someone with your knowledge rather than recite the employee listing.
  7. Chewing, biting & crunching: The only thing that should come out of your mouth on an interview is your words and not what you are eating. Chewing gum (no matter how delicately you chew), biting your lips or crunching on candy are all distractions to the interviewer and are really not appropriate during an interview. If you are thirsty ask for water don’t consume a small meal.
  8. “The color of Halle Berry’s skin please” And when someone DOES offer you a drink whether it is water or coffee (best to ask for water it’s less complicated) don’t be cute enough to describe how you like your coffee as the skin color preference of a major celebrity. It might be cute in a coffee shop, but it certainly doesn’t win you over with a recruiter whose probably got ten more candidates lined up after you and has to try to figure out the complexion of Halle Berry’s skin tone! Not cute or cool under any circumstance.

Remember, first impressions count and you do only have one shot to make it stick. Make sure you don’t say or do anything that will make you appear less than qualified for a job you really want. You are what you say and what you do in an interview so make sure the lasting impression you leave is not something they will talk or tweet about once you leave. If you want a call back, act like a star not a starlet!

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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10 Overused Resume Terms

Lisa Kaye - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 01:17

Making it to the interview stage may seem like a long, endless journey with you not knowing how it will end up. You may get a job offer, you may be passed over for the job or you may just feel like it’s not the right match. It might feel great when you get the call and they want to set you up for an interview but do you ask yourself how you even got that far? It may have been through an introduction or it may just have been the compelling words on your resume whatever the reason knowing what terms or phrases to avoid on your resume might help you get one step closer to landing the perfect job.

What does your resume really say about you?   If you ever wondered what works and what does not work when it comes to impressing someone you don’t even know here are a few “overused” words and phrases that you might consider eliminating from your resume if you want even a fighting chance at nailing the next job interview:

  1. Thought Leader: When it comes to describing your leadership qualities and those you may admire in others, using this phrase to highlight your ability to be both thoughtful and a leader in one phrase seems over reaching and not a great way to explain how you truly think, feel and lead.
  2. Thinking Outside The Box: Depending on whose box you are thinking “in” or “out” of may not be to your advantage when you are trying to explain how “creative” a thinker you really are. Best to think of another way that bests describe your ability to be innovative by citing a few key business examples rather than overusing a phrase that really isn’t very original to begin with.
  3. Strategic Thinker: Much like being a thought leader being strategic is not something you need to think too much about if you are truly “strategic”. Showing someone how strategic you are is always about highlighting your professional results and not merely declaring you are able to think or act strategically. You need to prove it in order to convince someone else that you are strategic.
  4. Results Oriented: Your orientation towards results is a given if you are good at what you do. Stating that fact is one thing but highlighting your accomplishments and the way your results increased profitability for the company is another. Show me the money and we’ll show you results.
  5. Highly Motivated: You may be motivated by your work and your ambition to succeed but telling someone you don’t know in your resume about your motivations is not necessarily going to win you any extra points. Let’s put it this way, one would hope you are motivated, no need to pronounce it as some professional revelation.
  6. Change Agent: Not everyone likes change. Change for change sake is not necessarily something you need to brag about. Being an agent of change implies you can make things happen. Just be careful that your agent status does not make you seem like you are a security breach or a career operative.
  7. Dynamic: Being a dynamo is great when you are setting up a dating profile but describing yourself that way in a work situation is not necessarily the way to get the support of others. Describing yourself as “dynamic” is great if you are trying out for a professional soccer league.
  8. Bottom Line: When describing your skills like a balance sheet be careful not to make yourself appear to be so goal oriented that you miss the big picture. Being able to relate to the people in your professional circle the way you can manage your departmental budget takes more skill than being a bottom line bouncer.
  9. Best in Class: This might work for entry into a “dog show” competition but not when you are trying to explain how great you are as it relates to your professional skills. Save the “best in” for a beauty contest and not your resume.
  10. Team Player: This phrase may have meaning when watching the World Cup but when you talk about how well you play with others in the workplace, it’s not necessary to let everyone know you can and will play nicely with other employees if your job depended on it.

Making sure you represent yourself in person as well as you do on your resume should not be considered an art form, but should take more than just common sense when you make an effort to stand out.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/lisakayeglj

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Job Independence

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 11:51

Job Independence simply stated comes from never having to be a slave to your work.  Whether that implies you are content being self-employed, not employed or a long timer at a job, your independence comes from calling your own shots and never having to feel restricted by anyone or anything.

You may think job freedom is a luxury for the rich or the famous and would not apply to you.  Think again.  Creating a career where you have the freedom to choose is your first step towards true emancipation.  Having the ability to decide what type of job you want and whether the one you have is good enough opens the gates to allow you to walk in or walk out of any job situation that may not be right for you.  Your career freedom comes from being able to pick and choose and from knowing that you can celebrate your job freedom by not working and going to school if that’s what you decide.

There are many people around the world who do not have the freedom of choice whether it’s in their job, their home or in their relationships. Realizing that you live in a time where flexibility, fluidity and the fact you can call your own shots is an honored tradition, gives you the courage and ability to take leaps where you may not have dared to jump before.

What does true Job Independence mean to you?  How do you value your ability to be free when it comes to your career choices and do you take full advantage of your options? As you move into 4th of July celebration mode, ask yourself a few questions to determine whether you truly possess job independence:

  1. Can I walk away at any time?:  Knowing that you are not trapped by your circumstances means you have a good sense of freedom when it comes to moving out  of a job that you no longer like or where you are not growing.  Most people stay at a job for financial reasons and because the fear in moving into a new position may be too overwhelming for them and they’d rather just stay where they are.  Nothing screams “prison” like being held hostage by your lack of career choices and to stay in a job you hate no matter how valid the reason.
  2. Can I say “no” to my work?   Complete freedom comes from being able to not only walk away from a situation that is not right for you but to be able to say “no” to work that is not to your liking.  How many people do you know that have that option?  You don’t need to rebel against the hierarchy in order to be heard, but being able to professionally assert yourself is the key to true job independence.
  3. Do I have true flexibility?  Choosing whether to stay with your job is one thing but do you have the freedom to come and go as you please at work and make your own schedule?  Having creative freedom in your work projects is as important to creating job independence as your ability to walk away from your job or to show up to work when you want.

Having job independence means you are not limited by your surroundings and you can make your way at any time and under any circumstances.  If you are lucky enough to have true job freedom, than you have much to celebrate this holiday!

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Creating Jobs Without Borders

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 13:34

One might think that if all else fails you might want to pack it up for another continent and look for a new job!  But what if it was you and not your job that needed new boundaries?  What if you were to decide just how far you needed to move in order to find the right opportunity?  We all get stuck from time to time thinking we can’t find a job outside of our chosen profession or an industry we’ve grown to love to hate. Not true for you or anyone else looking to make a radical career change.

You are able to set boundaries when it comes to your career choices.  Nothing needs to be where it is if it does not fit your needs or your future desires.  Setting borders around what you want and what you don’t when it comes to your career is as simple as making and sticking to your decisions.

Having a sense of what you want may be as easy as deciding what cities you’d like to consider living in from knowing that you are nor interested in a relocation or moving to another country.  Your career boundary is about picking and choosing situations and people that meet your career expectations.

You are who you want to be even if there are some days where you may feel like being someone else would be a whole lot easier.  Your career border provides you with some much needed guide posts to help you from veering too far off from your desired goal.  Figuring out your job desires means you are clear on what and where you want to be.

The road may be paved with many choices but setting the proper boundaries helps to eliminate any obstacles and distractions that might get in the way.  You are not supposed to panic every time a career obstacle pops up in your path.  Making the proper choices means you are ready and willing to take risks even when the borders are unclear.  Here are a few things to consider when establishing job border:

  1. Make a choice:  You may have lots of options available to you or you may be stuck on what to do next.  The first step in creating your job border is to define the boundaries of your desire and to make a decision on where you’d like to go.  Having a strong sense of self coupled with the desire to achieve certain goals will help you to establish the job borders you need in order to move ahead in your career.
  2. Pivot:   Knowing you will stumble on many distractions and lose your footing when it comes to staying the course is a given no matter how prepared you are when you venture out into the unknown job world. Having and maintaining your focus on your next career goal helps you to avoid unnecessary detours in an already crowded path.
  3. Charge to the Finish:  You may feel uncertain along the way about where you need to go when it comes to deciding and sticking to your career.  But when you have the end goal in site, there is nothing that should make you pause or hesitate when you are about to charge to the finish line.

When it comes to establishing your job border know that you are the only obstacle that can make or break your chances for success.

 Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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Job Purge

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:12

Like the movie of a similar name, wouldn’t it be great to have one night a year to purge your sins away without retribution?  What would it be like if you were to purge your job history in much the same way?  What if you were able to get rid of those job duties, internships, positions, you took because you had to not because you wanted to and you could erase them from your job history once and for all.  If you could get rid of some of the less flattering parts of  your job history what would you purge?

Proactively purging your job history is not meant to encourage you to lie or to misrepresent information on your resume.  You can “emphasize the positive and eliminate the negative” as the song states without recreating history. Learning how to spin your resume and eliminate the information that no longer helps promote your best skills and qualifications is part of your purge.  It’s not easy for some to weed out information from a resume, but learning how to determine what stands out from information that is repetitive will help make the process move more quickly.  You might need to engage the help of a professional or a friend to put a fresh perspective on what might seem like a given for you.  Emphasizing what is important from what is irrelevant helps you make sense out of an otherwise complicated mess of information.

Having the ability to objectively look at your self takes time and an honest point of view. Not everyone can decipher what is important from what is not when it comes to their job history.  Here are a few ways to look at your resume and help you purge what no longer tells the story you want everyone to hear:

  1. Wash, Rinse, Repeat:  Looking at your job history is like doing laundry, there is a cycle and process for everything. When you are unsure of what to include in your resume, make sure you are consistent in how you present your skills and accomplishments.  Keep in mind listing your accomplishments consistently means that you focus on only those goals, which are meaningful and measureable and you get rid of anything that is redundant or merely a “fun fact.”
  2. Simply Stated:  Including metrics such as revenue goals, staff size, departmental budget responsibility or how you may have increased or decreased key business measurements are important to include in your list of accomplishments.  By eliminating statements that are not supported by quantitative measures, you purge what is unnecessary and highlight what is important and meaningful to the business as a whole not just your specific job.
  3. Make It Pretty:  Formatting and layout of your resume is as important as the information that is contained within it.  Taking the time to eliminate unnecessary or inconsistent formatting signals that you are detail oriented and want to present your information in a clean and consistent way. No one likes to read a list of dates that don’t tie into position or company names.  If you have held more than one job in a company there is a right and a wrong way to list out the information to make it easy for the reader to follow.

When it comes to telling the story of how good you are, getting rid of irrelevant information, cleaning up your job progression or eliminating unrelated skills from your job history, helps you frame the story and makes the recruiter yearn for even more than the first page may hold.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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Career Baggage

Lisa Kaye - Sun, 06/08/2014 - 15:20

Whether you are packing bags for a road trip or an overnight stay with a friend or rummaging through boxes you have stored in the garage from your past jobs, clearing away your career baggage is should not wait until spring cleaning!  We all keep things longer than we need or have to.  Maybe we think we’ll need something from our past one-day, or perhaps it’s just too hard to let go of items for sentimental reasons.  Hanging onto things including items from your past jobs, might seem like a nice idea at the time but can soon turn you into a career hoarder if you are not careful.

We all need to learn when it’s time to purge.  Cleaning out and clearing out are signs that you are making room for new experiences and opportunities to come into your life.  Whether you are giving up old ways of thinking or simply throwing out years of stored files that you will never use again, making room in your life for the new helps you eliminate career baggage and lighten the load for you to move forward freely.

Baggage comes in many forms not just the stuff that’s hidden away in storage or at the back of your desk drawer.  You may have stored away feelings of doubt and frustration over your career in a way that binds you to emotional baggage that weighs you down and makes it hard for you to move ahead.  Emotional baggage may be because you were turned down for a promotion, had a poor performance review or struggled with a co-worker or boss. You may have doubts about your communication skills or your ability to lead and manage and wonder whether you will ever get ahead in your career.

Career baggage can take many forms not just the physical stuff you hold onto but the emotional wounds that you won’t let heal.  Finding a way to let go of not only the material stuff but also the psychological stuff helps free you in ways you may not have imagined or even allowed.  Holding on prevents you from moving on when all you need to do is create some much needed space to allow you to see more clearly. Changing your perspective on things helps pave the way for new job opportunities that you can’t do when your view to the future is blocked with baggage from your past.  Knowing how to clear out the unnecessary from the necessary is your first step in managing to lighten the load and to make a clear path in the road ahead.

We all have stuff from our past we want to hold onto no matter how unrealistic it is for us and when it holds no purpose towards helping us towards our future growth.  Like a warm and worn security blanket with many tattered holes, we need to know when it’s time to lay down what has served its purpose and free ourselves towards a lighter, brighter road ahead.

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Just A Job…

Lisa Kaye - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 23:39

Giving thought to what you were put here on earth to do in the long term might hurt your brain too much to think about.  Coasting through the ether however and landing on something you like vs. what you have to do might feel like a more fluid and natural process.  Not everyone loves his or her job.  Some people might actually be good at something that they are really not that into.  Just because you have an aptitude and are successful in a chosen career path, does not mean this is what you were born to do.  Just because you have a job does not mean you are either good at what you do or bad at what you do it really just means you have a job.

Your ability to apply your unique gifts and talents in a meaningful way sets you apart from just having a job to really excelling in your job to becoming successful in your job to really loving your job.  On some level whether you admit it to yourself or not, being good at a job does not mean you love what you are doing.  It may seem like an oxymoron but one does not necessarily equate to the other. There are many folks who do what they do well because they have found a pattern a rhythm a way to do something that suits them.  This does not necessarily mean they love what they are doing.  Being good at something and being in love with something can mean the difference between what floats your boat and what just floats.

Having just a job might be what most people feel they are doing when they drive the long way into work each morning.  Looking for a new challenge and finding a way to make it through the next pay period might be all you need in order to get motivated to get to work each day. But does that make it just a job or a job you love?

You can have your cake and eat it to when it comes to designing the career that suits you. It does not mean you have to settle for something that makes you miserable.  It does mean than you should be able to pick and choose from what makes you thrilled to go to work each day from what makes your stomach turn with anguish.  Your job should not be something you just do to pay the bills as it may be for most.  Your job is something that should make you feel good about your accomplishments, your interpersonal interactions and your ability to learn, grow and contribute as part of the greater good.  Whether you are part of a start up creating the next version of virtual reality or you are an owner of a confection shop, your job should be part of your DNA not motivated by paying your electric bill.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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Raising Your Job Bar…

Lisa Kaye - Tue, 05/27/2014 - 12:05

You may feel like you are reaching for the stars every time you set your career intentions or apply for another great job only to be turned down or ignored. It’s not like you are deliberately setting your expectations too high it’s just that you may need to lower your desire to match your expectation.  Just because you set your sights on something does not mean you should not do everything in your power to try to attain it.  Whether it’s a house, a car, a relationship or your next job, knowing what you want is half the battle between where you stand now and moving closer to what you want.

Lowering your desire to match your expectations does not mean you are settling or selling yourself short when it comes to attaining your career goals.  It means that you are setting realistic expectations and are able to manage your expectations against what you know are possible outcomes.  Having desire towards wanting to achieve something is the gas in the car to help you drive you to your next destination.  Expecting you’ll arrive there without gas is setting yourself up for disappointment and regret and an even longer walk to where you want to go.

When it comes to your career choices raising your expectations to match your desire means you are willing to look at what is not working in your job or your search and course correct until you feel you are aligning your expectations with your goals.  When your desire is strong, you have the necessary energy and will to realize any expectation you set for yourself.  Maintaining that level of uninterrupted focus and vision will help you realize your career goals even though you may become discouraged at not moving fast enough towards your goals.

Becoming who you want to be takes work.  No great work of art materializes over night. In order to achieve your own personal greatness you have to continue to visualize your dream job, your next career move with clarity and intention.  Wanting something bad enough is sometimes all it takes to move you from an okay job to your dream job. You will need to be responsive to opportunities and choices that appear in the road to your success and not question every turn with hesitation or fear. Understanding your limitations helps you realize what may be missing in your attempts to create the perfect job opportunity.

Listening to your self and believing you are capable of getting what you want may be all you need to realize your dream job.  Enthusiasm for something is contagious when you have the right attitude and are willing to engage others in helping you realize your goals.  Everyone wants to support a winner and someone they can get behind.  You have what it takes to succeed and raising your job bar to the heights of your desire is not wasting your time when you know what you want and are willing to do what it takes to get it.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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1-2-3 Hire Me!

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 05/19/2014 - 09:36

Well it might not be as easy as 1-2-3 but keeping the interview process simple and to the point will likely help you figure out whether you have what it takes to land the perfect job.  Job interviewing like any first time encounter, needs to be direct, clear and to the point if you are going to make your first impression count.  Having a great resume or being referred by someone all help you open the door but what actually makes you walk in and take a seat may be the difference between knowing how to ace your 1-2-3’s.

You only have one shot when it comes to making a good first impression.  There are no makeovers or second chances when you are up for the role of your life.  Not to add pressure, but making a good first impression sets the stage for whether you will be called back to read for the part or likely hear the words, “Next” to give you an idea on where you stand in the interview process.

There are three simple rules to keep in mind anytime you are up for a new job or you are about to interview with someone for the first time:

  1. You Had Me At Hello:  Knowing how well you present yourself may make the first awkward moments of meeting someone knew less clunky.  How firmly you shake someone’s hand, whether you make direct eye contact and how well you hold your physical posture all are signs that you take yourself seriously and others should as well.  The first words you speak and how you address someone new all make a lasting impression when you are making your first introduction.  When you ramble on, fire away too many questions or fall into an awkward silence, you set yourself up for failure before you even begin.  Start by keeping it brief and making a strong first start instead of nervously fumbling over your self.
  2. I Robot:  Having a good script and sticking to it ensures you cover all the basis when it comes to highlighting your background and accomplishments to someone you are meeting for the first time.  Your ability to be relaxed and comfortable when talking about your self is the key to making someone notice you and not feel like you are programmed to answer on command.  Remaining calm, focused and relaxed ensures you are not going to blow a circuit if thrown a curve ball of a question and that you are able to keep up with whatever someone has to throw your way without a serious malfunction or break down.
  3. End It Like Beckman:  Making a good first impression is important but learning to end the meeting with a big finish will help you either seal the deal or kill your chances for ever getting a call back no matter how badly you think you aced the interview.  Having some set responses such as, “What are next steps in the interview process?” or “What is the best way to follow up” or perhaps, “I really enjoyed our conversation what’s the best way for me to get in touch again?” all help you to ease into the next step without sounding desperate or hard up for the job. Remember to make the interviewer feel comfortable and glad they met you and feel like they can’t wait to wash their hands after the meeting.

Learning how to follow up with a prospective job lead whether you are at the beginning or end of the interview process implies you are comfortable with change and new direction and know best how to make the most out of a new introduction even if it does not immediately yield a job offer.  Remember 1-2-3 hire me steps the next time you feel the need to trip over your own words before you even get out of the car for your interview.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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5 Things To Avoid In A Job Interview

Lisa Kaye - Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:08

Some of you may not always be in the interview seat and may actually be the one interviewing a prospective candidate.  Whether you are doing it as a favor to a friend or are a recruiter, or someone asked you to keep an applicant company while they are being shuffled from one interview to another, remember to put yourself in the candidate’s place and act “as if”.  We all know how nervous and intimidating the interview process can be.  Understanding that is the first step in making a candidate feel comfortable and less awkward during the rigorous interview process.

Here are some topics or actions that will likely make an already nervous job applicant see “red” or worse, run in fear before the interview even gets started.  Next time you are in front of a prospective candidate consider avoiding the following:

1.     “You are sitting in my chair!” Claiming your space during an interview may seem like a natural step for you but marking your territory with an unsuspecting candidate is likely to have them feel like they just stepped in a pile before they even sit down.  Physical and personal boundaries are important when meeting new people but rearranging people like furniture is not going to win you any high marks and will likely set the stage for a very tense first impression.

2.     “So, you’ve been married before?”  Finding ways to break the ice when meeting someone for the first time is an important first step in establishing a good rapport. Delving into their personal life and inquiring about their marital status or how often they date is not.  Finding the boundaries between “social” and “sociopath” will help you know just how close is too close for comfort.

3.     “When was the last time you had sex?”  There is probably no “good” conversation where this phrase is appropriate unless of course you are auditioning for a scene in “Masters of Sex.”  Inquiring about someone’s sexual activity is not appropriate topic of conversation for the office or in any professional setting.

4.     “How late do you like to work?”  It’s nice to know the work ethic of the prospective candidate, but inquiring as to their work preferences implies you may have a set of standards that are hard to match.  You can discuss work expectations but watch out when you want to know what time this person likes to go home and have dinner with the family.  At that point, it’s really none of your business.

5.     “Oops sorry, I farted.” It’s good to feel comfortable in your own skin, but when you are feeling a little to at ease you may miss the line between appropriate and crude.  Controlling your physical impulses to burp, fart or spit while in front of a candidate and not your family member will help you set a good example not to mention maintain self-control during the meeting.  And before you ask, yes this has happened in an interview!

We all want to make a good first impression and knowing that you are representing your employer when you meet someone new for a job means you should act as if your boss were in the room with you.  Your personal comments and actions during an interview are as important to a prospective candidate as what you may find on their resume.  It’s always good to try and make someone feel relaxed but remember making someone feel “at home” should not be taken literally.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

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10 Phrases You Should NOT Use During a Job Interview

Lisa Kaye - Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:50

When it comes to putting your best foot forward sometimes it may feel you’ve put your foot in your mouth instead.  When we try to make a good impression on a job interview we inadvertently get nervous enough to stammer, chatter on or pick up old habits and phrases well are best left between texts among friends.  It’s hard not to wander off in conversation when you are in a job interview and feel like the questions have put you off guard or that you are taking some test where only a select few know the right answer.

There are things you say and things you don’t say when you are meeting someone for the first time and literally your job is on the line.  Job interviews are meant to be conversations about you and about the other person in a way that gets you both feeling comfortable with one another and are able to share important details about your accomplishments, work style and social skills.  Yes it is a test but not one where you need to feel “too comfortable” and let you guard down.

Next time you are in a job interview catch yourself if you find you are using one or more of these phrases in any part of the conversation because sometimes being too relaxed might not be a good thing:

1.   Will do: Ending your sentences in a phrase that denotes you will take action is fine in email but does not work when you are trying to act professionally and responsibly in a job interview conversation.

2.   For sure.  Ok I’m not sure when this over used term made it back into the daily vernacular but last time I think I heard this used was when Bevis & Butthead were popular.  There is just no appropriate place to end a sentence with this phrase in any conversation job interview or otherwise.

3.   Copy that:  Unless you are an air traffic controller or are in law enforcement, sounding like you are speaking to someone through a walkie-talkie is not a way to make the person feel engaged or understood during a conversation about you.

4.   Trending:  The world of social media is taking over “for sure” but not every conversation or subject or individual is “trending” regardless of how “in” this makes you sound.  Ideas trend, people do not.

5.    Selfie:  Yes they made it into the common language but attempting to take one of your self during a job interview would be the height of inappropriateness and believe me, it has happened!

6.    Viral:  Being enthusiastic about your accomplishments may make you want to “go viral” but it’s best to save that conversation for a medical professional and not your prospective employer.

7.    Game Changer:  Your job interview may very well be a game changer, but describing your career choices in such a way is not wise if you want to take the “d” out of drama.

8.    Chillaxin:  You may feel like you want to kick back and sip your Perrier with ease during your job interview but describing your work experience in such a way serves you better if you were applying for a job as a life guard.

9.     Man up:  Not sure where you’d use this phrase in a job interview unless you were describing your less than amicable relationship with your former boss, but showing how macho you are during an interview is probably not the best place to flex your resume.

10‘Aha” Moment:  Describing your choice to look for another job as if you found The Holy Grail is not likely to draw you any points.  Keep your true “aha moments” and self-realization exercises in private-no one really wants to know how you process your feelings.

Giving yourself permission to feel comfortable when on a job interview is one thing, acting and speaking as if you made a new “BFF” with the recruiter is another.  Keep the casual comments for your friends and brush off a few new phrases that will have you turning down job offers left and right.

Looking for a job?  Find us at www.greenlightjobs.com

Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/lisakayeglj

Follow greenlightjobs on Twitter http://twitter.com/greenlightjobs

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