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8 Tips For Conducting An Effective Job Search

If you're conducting an active job search, you've probably realized the traditional methods used to obtain employment are no longer effective. If you only apply for job opportunities using job boards and wait for calls to roll in, it won't get you very far these days. So, we've developed eight tips for conducting an effective job search that will make a noticeable difference.

Here are the basics...

​1. Get To Know Yourself

Before starting a job search, getting to know more about who you are and what you're looking for is critical. Write down what your hobbies and interest are, take a self-assessment, and be sure to utilize aids like these affordable career resources.

2. Ensure Your Job Application Is Professional & Highlights Your Skills

Your job application includes your resume, cover letter, portfolio (if applicable), and LinkedIn profile. All of these materials are very important to your job search.

Your Resume

This must be well written and organized in a way that a potential reader can quickly see what sets you apart from other candidates. Identify what skills you have, quantify those skills and accomplishments on your resume, and customize your resume for each position you are applying for. By doing these few things, you'll show employers a glimpse of the value you could bring to their organization, and your resume will be more likely to get past the ATS (applicant tracking systems).

Your Cover Letter

It's not enough to write a cookie-cutter cover letter anymore. For an effective job search, write a disruptive cover letter for every job application you send out. It should tell a story and demonstrate why you would be a good fit for the organization.

Your Portfolio

Not everyone will need a portfolio, but if you are in a field that requires examples of your work, a portfolio is crucial to your job search. Include a digital portfolio of your best work. Employers want to pre-screen your work before they decide to call you in for an interview.

Your LinkedIn Profile

If you are not on LinkedIn, you don't exist in the employment world. The vast majority of employers use LinkedIn to recruit new employees. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is optimized and the information listed on your profile matches what you have on your resume.

​3. Establish A Brand

Your brand is formed in various ways including in person, on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter/X), and on personal websites and correspondence. You always want to leave a good impression on others, whether the impression happens in person or online.

That's why tip number one is so important to personal branding. You must know what you are good at. You also need to know what skills and expertise you possess that you want to leave with people. This will become your brand.

If you perfect the art of personal branding, employers will initiate contact with you.

4. Network Frequently

The first place to start when searching for employment is your personal network (former co-workers, family, friends, church members, and even friends on social media). These are the people who know you the best and will be more willing to refer you for an open position.

You must make networking a regular part of your activities, though, not just something you do during a job search. Join organizations related to your field of choice, attend networking events, and become active on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Do what works best for you and be sure to have balance.

​5. Target Desired Companies & Positions

Target positions that you would like to have and companies that offer those types of positions, then see if you have any connections to company insiders (referrals are the leading source for obtaining interviews).

How do you figure out which companies to target? Create an interview bucket list—a list of 10 to 20 companies that you would love to work for that also hire for your skill sets.

Be proactive and contact hiring managers even when there aren't open positions posted on their company websites. Introduce yourself and see if you can obtain an informational interview to find out more about the company and what they look for in candidates.

​6. Create Job Search Plans & Strategies

After you've targeted the companies that you feel passionate about working for, put together a plan that will help you get hired at one of them.

Regularly evaluate your plans and strategies and stick with things that have had positive results. If what you are doing is not bringing results, it's time to try a new approach.

​7. Follow Up With Employers

Once you have taken the steps to apply or inquire about a position, follow up with employers. Send a quick note that reiterates your passion for the company and desire to work there, and share an interesting article or video that you think they would find interesting. It's about providing value in the little ways that you can to strengthen the connection.

The goal is to stay at the forefront of the hiring manager's mind so when they need to fill an open position, you'll be at the top of their list to contact first.

​8. Increase Your Marketability While You Search

Don't get comfortable with your accomplishments. Continue to develop your skills and gain more experience while you are conducting your job search—and even when you are employed.

In your career, if you're not growing, you're dying. Seek professional development opportunities to make yourself more marketable to employers. Work on your career every day. To truly stand out in a competitive job market, you can't afford to think you have what it takes to get hired. You need to prove it. Always be looking for opportunities to grow your career!

In order to conduct an effective job search, it's important to follow the tips above.

School doesn't teach us how to get the job. So, don't be so hard on yourself! You can (and will!) find a job. Give these steps a try and see how much of a difference it makes in your job search.

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 7 hours 18 minutes ago

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The 10 Key Components Of A Great Resume

A resume is the first opportunity you have to make an impression on a hiring manager or recruiter. And it's important to make a great first impression. The average recruiter spends mere seconds scanning your resume so you need to make yourself stand out.

We've compiled a list of some important factors to keep in mind when creating or updating your resume. Here are the 10 key components of a great resume.

1. Organized Format

Structure your resume in an organized manner; keep your font simple, your layout appealing, and your spacing consistent. You want your resume to be easy to read too, so make sure you have enough white space. You don't want to overwhelm hiring managers or recruiters with too much text. An organized resume format will automatically make them want to give your resume a closer look.

2. Correct Spelling/Grammar

Spellcheck everything at least twice and have someone else proofread your resume before you submit it. Spelling or grammar mistakes give hiring managers and recruiters the impression that you don't pay attention to details and don't really care about the job you're applying for. Avoid these mistakes at all costs!

3. Professional Attitude

List a professional-sounding email address—not "partyanimal_687" or "2cool4u15." Also, list a phone number that is attached to a professional voicemail greeting. Potential employers don't need to hear reality TV, loud music, kids crying, or road noise in the background. If this means you have to re-record your voicemail greeting, so be it.

4. Objective Keywords

Leave out subjective words like "reliable" and "hard-working." A potential employer is not going to bring you in for an interview because you say you're reliable. They are going to bring you in because they think you can solve a problem for them. This is why quantifying your work experience on your resume is essential.

5. Keywords From The Job Description

Incorporate words in your resume that are listed in the job description of the position you're applying for. This will help you get your resume past the ATS and also help a hiring manager quickly see that you're a fit for the position.

6. Brief Explanations For Employment Gaps And Layoffs

If you were let go from several positions due to downsizing, mention this. If you have a large gap in your employment history, explain what you were doing during that time and what you learned. Keep your explanations short and sweet.

7. Relevant Job/Internship/Volunteer Experience

If you're a veteran in your industry, you don't need to list the very first job you had decades ago. Keep your employment history to the past 10-15 years if you have a substantial amount of industry-related experience. If you're a recent graduate, listing the part-time job you had in college is fine—but you also want to list any internships, volunteer work, coursework, or projects you had that are relevant to the job. Unpaid experience still counts.

8. Effective Use Of Space

Treat each word on your resume like beachfront property. Space is so valuable. Make every word you use count. Remember not to jam too much text on your resume either. You want just enough information to get hiring managers and recruiters to give you a call.

9. Customized Cover Letter

Your cover letter should contain content that is different from your resume and should match up very well with the job description. This means you will need to rewrite your cover letter for each job you apply for. To get the best results, make sure you're writing disruptive cover letters so you can stand out in the hiring process.

10. Realistic Expectations

Be optimistic, but realistic. If a job description lists a required task that you're confident you can do, try to word and quantify your past experience to reflect that. But if a job description lists seven required skills or certifications and you only have three of them, then you don't meet the qualifications and shouldn't apply.

It's a great time to update your resume and reflect a bit on your strengths and skills. Being able to effectively and succinctly summarize your skills, education, and experience is important for everyone—regardless of whether you intend to seek employment in the near future. These resume tips are intended to help you put forth the best possible impression of yourself on paper. You only get one chance to make a great impression, so make yours count!

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 1 day 7 hours ago

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How To Answer The Dreaded "Tell Me About Yourself" Question

The dreaded interview question, "Tell me about yourself," stumps a lot of folks. People of all ages and experience levels often fail to answer this question correctly, in a way that conveys meaningful information to the interviewer—information they will actually use to consider your candidacy.

First off, please know the interviewer is not asking you for a boring chronological recap of your professional history. That is the quickest way to lose their interest! What an employer is really asking is, “Why should I hire you?"

That being said, here's my three-step process for giving them an answer that gets their attention.

1. Explain WHAT Business Problems You Love To Solve

Enthusiasm for solving a business problem they need help with is the quickest way to get a hiring manager's attention. Let's face it, they aren't hiring you for the heck of it. You need to explain how you can make things better for an employer.

You are a business-of-one. At the end of the day, you provide a service for your employer. By talking about the problems you love to solve and how you go about solving them, the hiring manager will clearly see the type of employee you are and could be for their company.

2. Show Them HOW You Know This Is A Good Problem To Solve

Companies hire people who can save and/or make them money. So when you provide examples from your personal and professional past that demonstrate the value your problem-solving skills bring, you are proving your worth.

It also shows that you are thinking like an employee who understands that their job is to make things better for the company. Every employer wants to hire a candidate who can alleviate a pain for them.

The research you conducted on the employer before your interview will come in handy here. Connect your past accomplishments and problem-solving experience to the current problems you know the company is trying to solve (from your research). You'll impress the hiring manager with your knowledge of the company and you'll further answer the question, "Tell me about yourself."

3. Explain WHY You Want To Leverage Your Problem-Solving Expertise For The Employer

Let them know how you hope to grow your skills and abilities by taking your problem-solving skills to the next level. Also, mention how passionate you are about what the company does and how you feel connected to its mission (echoing what you wrote in your disruptive cover letter). This lets the employer know you plan to focus on being successful and expanding your value to the organization if you get hired.

Employers love candidates who clearly plan to hold themselves to a higher standard. If you make it to the last round of interviews, you should consider coming prepared for your final interview with a 30-60-90 day plan.

But that's the long game. In your first interview with an employer, combining your problem-solving expertise and your passion for the company in your explanation is an excellent way to answer the interview question, "Tell me about yourself."

If you follow this three-step guideline when answering, "Tell me about yourself," in your next job interview, I guarantee you'll create a compelling story that will have the employer sitting up and taking notice. This is your chance to sell your value—don't pass it up!

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 2 days 7 hours ago

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Management & Beekeeping: 3 Tips For Managing A Software Team

Last month marked an interesting moment for me—the average tenure of my team hit the 10-year mark. We have had our fair share of churn, but it gave me a moment of pause—I am struck by how much time that is. When I first got hired in this particular storyline of my career, my boss (at the time) said, "We know you coders don't stay anywhere long, just give me two years." It's been 23.

A few years later, I stumbled on this humor piece by Orson Scott Card, and part of it is something I think about. The original is internet lore at this point, but there is a part about bees that has a sparkle of truth:

Here's the secret that every successful software company is based on: You can domesticate programmers the way beekeepers tame bees. You can't exactly communicate with them, but you can get them to swarm in one place and when they're not looking, you can carry off the honey. You keep these bees from stinging by paying them money. More money than they know what to do with. But that's less than you might think. You see, all these programmers keep hearing their fathers' voices in their heads saying "When are you going to join the real world?" All you have to pay them is enough money that they can answer (also in their heads) "Jeez, Dad, I'm making more than you." On average, this is cheap. And you get them to stay in the hive by giving them other coders to swarm with. The only person whose praise matters is another programmer.

The part that really resonates with me is that the most important thing keeping the hive together is the other bees. I've been in our beehive for many years now; the other bees are absolutely what keeps me engaged every day. I can't describe why it formed or why it keeps producing honey, but I do think I have figured out a few things and I think they are worthy of sharing to any fellow beekeepers and bees who find themselves pondering honey production.

1. One-on-ones

One-on-ones have taken on a buzzword-level (pun intended!) vagueness these days. In a software company, if you manage people, it's the most important time you will spend in a week. People are your most valuable asset. No software is being built without them.

An important part of establishing and maintaining a relationship with people is having regular and meaningful interaction. I look forward to these conversations and so should you. In this conversation, sometimes it will start off as a status update, which is fine, but that can happen in email or Slack. What you want is problem-solving, as in: there is a problem, and we are going to solve it together. Whether you like it or not, you have problems to solve, and they are either being ignored until they explode or you are working with your people to get them solved.

2. Let the Information Flow

There are definitely situations where confidentiality and discretion are important. There is also plenty of information that is irrelevant. That being said, it's extremely difficult to coordinate the success of something complicated if your team is operating in the dark. That's easy when the timing is convenient. Before you leave for the beach, check the weather. Before you go on a road trip, fill up the gas tank. Seems obvious. But it's most critical when the information is inconvenient or difficult: decisions are being made constantly and the timely actions on that information matter.

If a storm suddenly forms while you're at the beach, it's unfortunate that your vacation is getting interrupted, but you need enough time to get to safety. If you burn more gas than you expected, your schedule is messed up, but you should not skip this exit. Sharing this information will be uncomfortable, but you need all the available brains to avoid disaster. Most importantly, it establishes a sense of collective ownership and trust.

3. Reduce Friction

If you're a manager, you work for your team. Your job is to figure out how to get enough obstacles out of their way so that they can get the job done. The role of a manager, at any level, is to take the challenges you're assigned from the business, translate them into a strategy and tactics, sell your strategy and tactics, and then work hard to reduce friction that would slow the plan down.

The tactics and strategy will change when presented with new information (aka Agile) and the sources of friction will be different and challenging, but doing this for people is something that is truly appreciated and builds loyalty.

Managing a team is more educational than it sounds and it takes years to tune these skills, but it is worth every minute! What do you think? Any other tips you'd add for the beekeepers out there?

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 2 days 8 hours ago

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5 Ways To Get More Challenging Tasks At Work

Everyone wants a job that is stimulating and exciting. Unfortunately, many employees experience days or even long stretches where they become bored with their job or even fall into a rut that seems impossible to overcome.

If you have found your job isn't as satisfying as it once was, you can make changes to improve your satisfaction. If you give yourself more challenging tasks at work, your job will be more than just a paycheck.

Here are five tips for getting more challenging tasks at work.

1. Show Initiative

One of the first steps is to talk to your boss about your current responsibilities. Ask him or her about other projects you can assist with or take on. If you see areas that require help you can provide, present your manager with a plan that allows you to fulfill these roles.

Bosses appreciate employees who are willing to show initiative, find ways to improve the work environment, and challenge the status quo to provide a fresh perspective on things. Heading into this meeting with a plan outlining your own ideas for improvement is a sure way to get some new responsibilities as well as impress your boss.

2. Keep A Positive Attitude

Many employees fall into a rut where they feel depressed or unhappy with where they are in their job. These feelings can have a negative impact on the quality of your work, as well as your overall attitude. One of the most difficult things to overcome is a poor attitude toward your work.

Perhaps thinking of the importance your work holds in relation to the larger picture can help change your attitude into a positive one. Sometimes a simple attitude change is all it takes to find that satisfaction you crave.

3. Evaluate Your Skills

Individuals are typically hired because they have the right skill set or potential for the job. If your job has become boring and unsatisfying, you need to re-evaluate those skills and determine how you can make them work to your advantage. In some cases, the skills you possess may serve your company well in areas you are not currently involved in.

Look at the range of work your department or company performs, and determine if you can help in these areas. You should also look for areas where you need to build your skills, challenging you to improve to serve your company more effectively.

4. Work For Yourself

This does not mean you should quit your job and go into business for yourself. Growing your own business may be a challenge, but it isn't right for everyone. Instead, make sure you are focusing on yourself and your needs within the company for which you already work.

Many people work to impress their employer and, as a result, they become bored with their work and lazy about completing it. Instead, complete your work with an attitude that keeps in mind that your work reflects on you and benefits you, and work less for the need to receive recognition and applause from your employer.

When you make your work about yourself, about your own career growth, you are more likely to challenge yourself and work harder. Your goal in all you do should be to make yourself more valuable to your current employer, as well as to future employers.

5. Forge New Relationships

Your attitude can affect everyone around you. If you are working with a group of people who don't care about their work and are constantly negative, this will eventually affect your attitude as well.

Evaluating your relationships at work and the attitudes of those with whom you interact with regularly can help you see if a change of scenery within the company can offer the boost you seek. Interacting with new people can have a dramatic impact on your level of satisfaction in your job.

If you find your job uninteresting and lacking in challenges, you may think you need to either deal with it or move on and find a new job. Fortunately, you have other options. When you follow these five tips, you can improve the level of challenge you experience at work and boost your overall satisfaction with your job, allowing you to enjoy going to work again.

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This article was written by Inbound Marketing Coordinator Tiana Tucker on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2U, an education-technology company that partners with higher education institutions such as Simmons College School of Nursing and Health Sciences to deliver their Master of Science in Nursing degree for aspiring Family Nurse Practitioners.

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 6 days 8 hours ago

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How To Set Up An Informational Interview

An informational interview is a great way to learn more about a job or career path you're interested in. It's also a great way to connect with someone who is already doing that job. However, if you've never set one up before, you could be confused about how to do it properly.

Your strategy for setting up an informational interview doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, you should keep it simple so that your intentions for the interview are clear.

Here are three simple steps you can take to set up an informational interview.

1. Identify Strategic People To Interview

Make a list of all of the jobs or career paths that interest you. If there are a lot on your list, narrow it down to the top two or three that you're really excited about pursuing.

Then, identify people in your area or on LinkedIn who work in your selected fields. These should be professionals who work at one of your bucket list companies in your ideal career path.

2. Send A Personalized Invitation To Connect On LinkedIn

Once you've made your list of people to reach out to, invite each one to connect on LinkedIn using a personalized note.

If you send these people a generic invitation, they'll think you sent an invitation to lots of other people. That can make your invitation look like spam.

Also, if you don't add a personalized note to your invitation, you risk these people ignoring you. Think about it: If they don't know who you are or why you want to connect, they're more likely to brush you aside.

Not sure what to say when connecting with someone on LinkedIn? Just remember to talk about something you two have in common and don't ask for any favors right away. Be curious about their career and the path they took to get to where they are.

In your note, explain that you've never met, but you saw that they worked in your target industry and wanted to reach out to learn more about what they do. Then, simply ask them if they'd be willing to connect.

3. Go In For The Ask

If someone accepts your invitation, send a follow-up message thanking them for connecting, and tell them you're curious about their industry.

Once you've exchanged a few messages, ask if they are willing to chat more about their work.

They won't always say yes, but it's always worth asking! People generally want to help you out, but people are also busy. It's important to be understanding and respectful of their time.

So, give your contact some options and find out the most convenient time for them. Throw out a few different dates and times. Offer to buy them a cup of coffee, or see if you can set up a quick 15-minute phone or Zoom call.

There are plenty of ways to connect with people to have informational interviews. Figure out what works best for your contact.

Networking plays such a critical role when it comes to landing a job, especially if you're trying to learn more about a career path, job, or company. In order to be successful, you need to be very intentional with your efforts and respectful of a connection's time. The simple strategy above is the best one to use if you're trying to set up an informational interview.

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 1 week ago

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6 Ways To Position Yourself For A Promotion

How do you get a promotion? It's a good time to start thinking about growing your career and positioning yourself for one.

Here are six tips to get the promotion you want at work.

1. Under Promise And Over Deliver

With many companies leaner than they were several years ago, there are probably many internal voids. You want to identify and fill them. We recommend looking at how you can informally be of service.

For example, ask your supervisor or team members how you can step in and support them as well as identify where you see hiccups in efficiency. Approach the appropriate person with a case for how you can step in and help.

At the same time, make sure you do not commit to work you know you cannot complete efficiently and to the best of your ability.

2. Be An Intrapreneur

An intrapreneur is someone who uses an entrepreneur's mindset, relationships, skills, and behaviors within an organization's four walls to develop new, innovative ways of working, new products, or new services.

Whether you are developing a new corporate social responsibility initiative or a new procedure for onboarding entry-level talent, elicit the support of all key stakeholders, do your homework to set yourself up to succeed, and set clear, mutually agreed upon criteria for success.

By launching a new venture within your company's four walls, you may just create your new position. And when you succeed, you will have evidence of your leadership experience.

3. Get Your Internal Networking On

It's important to develop mutually beneficial relationships within your department and team as well as throughout your company. Don't forget to connect with your co-workers, old and new, and continuously try to network with those outside of your immediate office or work environment.

To put yourself in line for such an opportunity as a promotion, set the time to get to know all of your colleagues. Be curious about their work and the opportunities they foresee on the horizon.

4. Balance Short-Term And Long-Term Thinking

This is another important muscle to flex when positioning yourself for a promotion. While it's important to have an eye on your goals so that you stay on top of your chief responsibilities, you also want to pay attention to how your work plays into the bigger picture.

Get clear on your department or organization's one-, two-, and even five-year goals, and work with your supervisor to make sure that how you are spending your time and energy is moving you—and the company—in the right direction.

5. Zap Negativity

People want to work with happy people. And—let's face it—right now, too many workplaces are seas of persistent complaints.

Senior leaders also want emerging talent who see opportunities rather than obstacles. Not only does a Negative Nelly or Negative Ned kill morale, but she or he also comes across as someone incapable of solving problems and inspiring others toward solutions, which are keys to positioning oneself as an effective leader.

If you want to get that promotion, focus on being positive at work. Your encouraging nature will show your manager you have the right attitude for a leadership position, therefore making you that much closer to getting promoted.

6. Ask

This might sound obvious, but we can't tell you how many people know a position is open in their company and fail to advocate for themselves or hope that a supervisor will read their minds and make them that offer they can't refuse.

This is particularly important for women.

Men and women initiate these kinds of conversations the same amount, but men get raises more often. You don't want to under promise and over deliver forever. Once you know you have laid the foundation for your ask, set a specific day and time to talk to the appropriate person about your aspirations, and make sure you facilitate the conversation in such a way that you are creating a compelling story about what you have achieved in your previous position and what you believe you can achieve moving forward.

Most promotions won't fall into your lap. If you want it, sometimes you just have to ask for it.

Remember, often the greatest impediment to our upward mobility is ourselves. Take this advice and position yourself for a promotion today.

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3 Things You NEED To Know About Being 'Overqualified'

As a seasoned professional, being labeled as "overqualified" is frustrating. You have the experience, so why don't employers value it?

Let's face it: Today's job search is much different than it was 20 years ago.

Here are few things you need to know about getting a job when you're tagged as "overqualified."

1. It Takes More Than Experience To Get A Job

Sure, you can have all of the experience in the world for a job, but when you're not actively keeping your skills up to date, that's where you run into problems.

It's a fast-paced world, and if you want to find a job, you need to keep up. Figure out where you need to upskill in your industry and start advancing your skills. You should also look to develop new skills so you can stay relevant at work.

Think about the technologies you'd need to use, tasks you'd need to complete, and projects you'd need to finish. Where would you struggle? Start there.

2. Nobody Wants To Overpay For Services—Especially Employers

Unfortunately, the hard truth is that you might not make the salary you had at your last job. Employers are finding job candidates with the skills they need for less money. Paying more for someone who can do the same thing isn't exactly something employers get excited about.

You need to understand what salaries are competitive for that role in that specific industry, then find ways to market yourself more effectively. You are a business-of-one. As an employee, you provide a service to an employer. So, in your job interview, you have to prove to the employer the services you can provide for the company will either save or make them money.

Employers need to justify paying you what you're asking for, so figure out what you can bring to the table that other candidates can't.

3. It's Not Your Age That's Holding You Back. It's Your Strategy.

You can't change your age, but you can change how you approach your job search. As we mentioned above, the job search has changed drastically over the last 10-20 years (and even in the last few!). If you want to stand out to employers and get interviews, you need to ditch those old job search strategies in favor of new ones.

What used to work for you likely won't work for you now. Today, you need to get your resume past the ATS, write disruptive cover letters, and build your professional network so you can use backchanneling to get on a company's radar. It's about working on your career every day because if you want to win, you've got to "work it daily."

If you've been called "overqualified" before—or think you could be called "overqualified" in your next job search—make sure to remember these three things. You (and only you) have the power to change employers' perceptions. Show them what a great job candidate you are today!

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 1 week 2 days ago

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What You Know (And Should Know) About PMOs

Project management offices (or PMOs) are gaining increasing popularity as the project management profession continues to make solid inroads across organizations that are demanding higher levels of performance in an ultra-competitive world. Implementing a PMO is not only a viable strategy to meet these expectations but also an important neutral voice to assist with vetting the portfolio of strategic initiatives and client-facing projects.

The Project Management Institute (or PMI), the world´s first, largest, and most recognized body in the project management profession, made headlines in October of 2023 when it acquired PMO Global Alliance (PMOGAS), the leading global standard in PMOs. This strategic acquisition further cemented PMI's dominance in the profession while providing its members with an even broader suite of certifications and business knowledge.

All PMOs Are Not Created Equally

Most people associate PMOs with providing standards, guidance, training, and mentoring so as to optimize project performance. While this is mostly true, most people do not realize that all PMOs are not created equally.

In fact, there are several structural components to be considered when implementing the desired configuration.

By undertaking an honest project management maturity assessment, using techniques such as ISO 33000, organizations can effectively identify where their project management gaps are as well as land on a recommended PMO structure. The aim, of course, is to help drive more successful projects, not to mention increased retention of the precious project managers who are more in demand than ever before.

Key tip: It is important to assemble the right audience when conducting the exercise as well as establish guidelines so that the participants really give an honest assessment in order to achieve a realistic output. The exercise can (and should) be repeated when necessary, so as to make any changes to the configuration as quickly as reasonably practical, in accordance with business agility concepts.

The 4 Classifications Or Components Of A PMO Structure

Once the project management maturity exercise has been completed, the next steps in configuring your PMO would be to plot the results of the assessment into four sections, or component areas in which PMOs operate:

Section 1: Based on the degree of control and influence

The level of control that the organization wishes the PMO to exert is a very important decision to make, especially taking into account business culture, organizational structure, and long-term strategic goals. Depending on the organizational needs, the PMO may hold more of a consultant-type role aimed at providing tools and guidance rather than actually managing projects, or the assessment may demonstrate the need for more of an audit role to ensure compliance with corporate directives. The highest level of control would be direct project control and P&L responsibility, which would be more suitable for mature projectized organizations.

Section 2: Based on the mission undertaken

How your PMO will support the organization is the next critical piece as it challenges the organization to determine if the PMO should focus on increasing project delivery success (short-term goals), provide standards, processes, tools, training, and techniques for project managers (focus on continuous improvement), or be a true business partner to manage the organization´s portfolio of internal and external projects (strategic partner).

Section 3: Based on the position within the organization

The first two sections set the stage for how the PMO will actually be structured as well as where in the organization it will actually sit. The most basic approach would be for the PMO to manage a single complex project or program and this can have its merits for short-term targets. A more mature approach would be for the PMO to work under a department to handle such critical tasks as performing operations master planning and project-program management. This can be a very effective, middle-of-the-road approach. The most embedded PMO model would be that of undertaking strategic missions tied to portfolio and budget management as a neutral business advisor, reporting to top management.

Section 4: Based on the degree of technology applied by the PMO

The last piece of the puzzle would then be to determine the level of technology to be applied by the PMO. This obviously depends on the available systems, software, and business processes within the organization. Projects do not necessarily depend on ultra-sophisticated project management software to produce successful outcomes; I myself have used the MS Office software suite quite effectively during my career. Understanding the mix of manual, automated, and now AI solutions will be key drivers to ensure that enterprise data is managed effectively. One size does not fit all so make sure this is carefully reviewed so as to produce meaningful reports and dashboards which will allow for more effective decision making.

Key Considerations For Structuring Your PMO

Personally, I really liked the structured approach tied to the four components or remits of the PMO. I would advise companies to use this technique as an awareness and guidance tool, rather than following the results to the letter, as companies, industries, and, most importantly, people are evolving at an increasingly accelerated pace.

You may be surprised by the results of the assessment as well as the proposed structure for your PMO. This ties to not only the honest part of the exercise but also where the organization sees itself in the future. It may be very appropriate to acknowledge the current state and aspire to a future state by gradually ramping up the remit and responsibility of the PMO.

It also may not be practical to implement each section and I have seen the human instinct to mix and match the component parts so as to arrive at a hybrid configuration naturally creep in, especially in this age of streamlined, multi-hat-wearing project professionals. I would definitely use this mixed approach carefully and back it up with clear processes, roles, and responsibilities (WBS-RACI) so that expectations are aligned from top to bottom.

No matter how you decide to implement or evolve your PMO, don't be afraid to fail fast and redirect as needed. Do make sure your people and clients are a central focus for long-term sustainability.

Finally, consider potentially implementing several different PMO structures should your organization have multiple divisions or locations. In this case, ensuring interaction with the different PMO groups will be key so that overall organizational objectives can be met more effectively, while also allowing for greater mobility within the company.

PMOs can certainly generate many benefits to organizations; those who understand the value proposition will no doubt have a leg up on their competitors as well as more satisfied employees and clients!

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 1 week 2 days ago

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3 Things Recent College Grads Need To Do To Get A Job In 2024

There are three things that I would do as a new college grad who's trying to look for a job in this crazy job market. As a 20-year career coaching veteran, I help recent college grads get jobs every single year, and you must do these three things if you want to stand out to employers and land that first job out of school.

1. Create An Interview Bucket List

The first thing you need to do as a recent college grad is create an interview bucket list. This is a list of companies that you respect and admire not because you heard they're a great place to work or you think they'll hire your skill set. You simply want to look at what you admire and respect about them. Is it their products or their services? How they work with their customers? This is called brand affinity or brand connection, and you're going to need that in order to stand out.

When you create an interview bucket list, you'll see patterns in your results. There will be clear patterns with the 10 or 20 companies you put on this list, and we use those to help you identify jobs and companies that you would love to work for. That brand connection is going to make you stand out when you talk to those employers, and that's what they're looking for because they know you don't have the experience. But what they need to see is a deep internal motivation to want to work for them, and that's called your connection story. And the only way we can pull that out of you is if you can identify companies/brands that you feel connected to.

2. Get A Professional Strengths Assessment

The second thing you should do as a recent college grad is get a professional strengths assessment. All of the recent college grads I work with take two free quizzes:

When put together, your results from these quizzes can help us figure out what types of jobs you would excel in. This is important because you have no experience, but you also have no bad habits. When we identify jobs that you'd be a good fit for and we put you in the right environment, it's explosive. The college grads that I work with catapult their careers and outperform others in the first couple of years. This is how you put your career on a fast track, and if that's your goal, these quizzes are going to help you with that.

3. Watch The "My First Job" Webinar

The final thing you should do as a recent college grad is watch the "My First Job" webinar. This is a 45-minute live session for recent college grads that shows you how to use your personality and your passions to get that first job—specifically what to do to connect with alumni and hiring managers at companies to stand out against the three million college grads that are hitting the job market this year. It is more competitive than ever out there, and this webinar is going to show you how to find the right job for you.

Now, the best part is if you sign up, I'm also going to send you a free "My First Job" workbook. If you can't attend live, that's okay. Sign up anyway and I'll send you the recording. I promise you, this is the information you need in order to land that first job and move ahead in your career.

Good luck, my recent college grads. Congratulations! Go get 'em.

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 1 week 3 days ago

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The Waiting Game: Surviving Job Offer Anxiety

Have you ever felt like you totally rocked an interview? You had all your questions and answers prepared, the hiring manager really seemed impressed, and they even hinted at a callback. You wake up the next morning with a huge grin on your face expecting an email or a phone call, but you receive nothing. No worries, right? “They will probably get back to me tomorrow," you think to yourself.

However, tomorrow comes and goes, as does the next day and the day after that, all without a phone call or an email. Days turn into a week, and you begin to get a bit antsy. Hope starts to dwindle as the questions begin to mount.

  • What's taking so long?
  • Was my interview not as good as I thought?
  • Did I say something wrong?
  • Did I misread the cues?
  • Was my writing sample terrible?
  • Should I send another email?
  • Why haven't they called me back?

As time goes on, you are consumed by these questions and can think of nothing else. This is a dangerous time for any job seeker. This inner state of turmoil is often referred to as job offer anxiety.

How Should You Deal With Anxiety While Waiting For A Job Offer?

The first step to dealing with job offer anxiety is understanding what it is and why you're experiencing it. Usually, there are five reasons why a job seeker might be struggling with job offer anxiety: they're forgetting to continue their job search, they're suffering from restlessness and insomnia, they lack perspective, they're not sure when to follow up with the hiring manager, and/or they lack confidence in their resume.

How Long Is Reasonable To Wait For A Job Offer?

You're likely to hear back about a job offer a week or two after your final job interview with the company. If you haven't heard back from the hiring manager after two weeks, you should send a follow-up email. As always, remember to continue your job search while waiting for a job offer.

What Is Job Offer Anxiety?


Job offer anxiety is the anxiousness and stress one feels usually while waiting for an interview or a callback. This anxiousness is frequently accompanied by tense behavior and rumination. People who suffer from this are in a never-ending search to discover why they haven't received an interview/callback when everything seemed promising.

In a struggle to answer this question, job seekers start to second-guess their interview and writing skills as each day passes. They blame themselves for not getting the call and their confidence all but disappears. Job offer anxiety can even affect job seekers after they have received an offer.

For instance, a job seeker may receive a job offer that happens to be their second choice. The question of whether to accept the offer or wait for their first choice now arises. This may cause unnecessary panic in the applicant which can lead to a misguided decision. Even just waiting for a callback is extremely destructive to the job search. You end up losing focus and wasting valuable time that could be spent pursuing other job opportunities.

If you have ever suffered from job offer anxiety, have no fear. Here are some specific causes of job offer anxiety and ways to overcome them...

Cause #1 - Forgetting To Continue The Job Search


The solution: Apply for other jobs.

This advice seems obvious, but many people become so focused on the callback that they forget about the end goal: getting a job.

What better way to distract yourself than to continue looking for other jobs? Continuing your job search allows you to take your mind off the callback and get back to using your time wisely. Sitting around and waiting for the perfect job to get back to you isn't productive and won't get you anywhere closer to realizing your goal.

And who knows? While you are being focused and productive, time will pass a lot more quickly and you might finally get that callback you were waiting for, and if not, at least you expanded your job opportunities.

Cause #2 - Restlessness And Insomnia


The solution: Exercise.

All that stress and anxiety can inflict heavy damage on your body and overall health. Those at WebMD recommend people with high anxiety "relieve tension with vigorous exercise or massage." The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has found that "regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem."

When it comes to reducing stress and anxiety, exercise should not be overlooked.

Cause #3 - Lack Of Perspective


The solution: Realize that HR is on a different time frame than you.

There is no doubt that when searching for a job time seems to creep by at a snail's pace. Some like to believe hiring managers sit at their desks with an evil smirk, tapping their fingers together (think Mr. Burns from The Simpsons), purposefully making candidates wait in despair.

It's easy to forget that employers may have responsibilities other than hiring candidates. Hiring managers would love nothing more than to get through all the applicants in a timely manner. But like every job, things tend to pop up unexpectedly that require immediate attention. It's important to remember this, take a deep breath, and give the hiring manager the benefit of the doubt.

Cause #4 - Not Sure When To Follow Up


The solution: Use proper follow-up etiquette.

It's important to remember that the interview doesn't end until you have sent a follow-up thank-you note. Susan Adams of Forbes advises applicants to send a follow-up letter as soon as possible. If you wait too long, other prospective employees might beat you to it.

While sending a handwritten note is a nice thought, it takes much too long for the employer to receive it. So email is always the best choice for sending your follow-up thank-you note. It's also a nice touch if you add a high point from the interview in your message.

However, even after the follow-up thank-you letter, applicants can still find themselves without a response. In this case, it is appropriate to follow up again.

In "4 Things You Need To Do After The Interview To Get The Job," Sudy Bharadwaj believes that periodically following up every few weeks is a great way to stay on the hiring manager's mind. He recommends, "Instead of asking, 'Have you made a decision yet?' forward a recent article you've read that you believe he'll find interesting and helpful. Following up in this way demonstrates that you're a great network connection instead of a pesky wannabe employee."

Cause #5 - Lack Of Confidence In Your Resume


The solution: Check if you made common resume mistakes and/or get your resume reviewed by trained coaches.

One last measure to reduce stress and anxiety during the job search is to make sure your resume is in tip-top shape. Knowing that your resume is up to par can be a great boost to your confidence.

An excellent way to get some tips on your resume is to pass it out to your friends and colleagues. They might be able to bring some fresh ideas to your resume and suggest edits to improve it.

We hope you found these tips for overcoming job offer anxiety to be helpful, no matter where you are in your career. And remember...only worry about the things you can control. You'll avoid a lot of stress and anxiety this way!

We know how difficult it is to overcome anxiety in your job search. If you're struggling to find a job, we're here for you.

Become a member to learn how to land a job and UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!

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 2 weeks ago

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How To Answer Salary Questions On Job Applications

You may be asked salary information on an application form, or be faced with a “current salary" or “desired salary" field on an online application. Or you may be asked the same question by a legal recruiter. The answer you provide may be used in the screening process—answer too high and you may not be considered for the position at all.

This number will also likely come into play at the interview/offer stage. It can establish the range for the offer the employer makes. And if you're underpaid and undervalued at your current employer, then there's the risk that your low level of pay will follow you when you move on.

On a paper application form—or if the online form allows you to type in whatever you want—you can write “Negotiable." This gives you the opportunity to discuss your salary history and expectations later on.

How To Answer Salary Questions On Job Applications

If it's not a required field on an online form, leave it blank. If the "desired salary" field requires you to enter a figure, however, you have a couple of options. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks:

  • Enter $0, $1, or $10 (the minimum number you can). It will be clear you're not answering the questions (most employers will know you aren't offering to work for free).
  • Enter $999,999 (or the highest number you can). Like answering $0, this shows you are purposely avoiding the question.
  • You can enter your desired salary, based on not only your personal needs and wants but also on your market research of your value and salaries. But know that it may lead to you being screened out (if it's too high) or being offered a lower salary in the interview.
  • If you can, enter a range. Some online forms will allow you to enter two numbers. Entering a salary range is often the best option because it reduces the chances of being screened out, allows room for negotiation, and recognizes that some of the most valuable compensation (vacation time, signing bonuses, tuition reimbursement, insurance, company cars, travel, child care, insurance, and more) isn't included in the salary.

How you answer the salary question on a job application will depend on your situation and what format is allowed on the online form. But if you can, entering a salary range is always the best option.

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 2 weeks 1 day ago

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5 Possible Examples Of AI Usage With Salesforce

As a 19-year veteran of implementing Salesforce, I’m quite passionate when I think about using AI with Salesforce (or Veeva). Here are five pain points that I believe AI is going to solve.

1) Pain Point: The company needs to instantly send follow-up emails letting customers know that their correspondence has been received and the estimated time to resolution, per specific problem or concern.

Solution: Use Salesforce + AI to route the customer correspondences and send an instantaneous email response with the estimated time to resolution for their specific problem or concern.

2) Pain Point: A national company is small-medium-business-sized and has average funds to spend on IT for this size. The sales department needs an email sent to all current customers in only CA, OR, WA, NV, and AZ states advising a new compliance regulation. This email must apply to all of the relevant customers going forward.

Solution: Use Salesforce + AI to send an email to all current customers and all future customers who fit this specific condition.

3) Pain Point: A customer is having trouble turning on their router. They access the router company’s website, fill out a support form, and send it in.

Solution: Use Salesforce + AI to quickly attach this inquiry directly to the customer’s record in the database and provide a quick set of instructions for their problem, as well as provide the customer further contact information should the instructions not be helpful enough.

4) Pain Point: Sentiment analysis: AI can analyze customer interactions across various channels, such as emails, social media, and support tickets, to gauge customer sentiment and identify emerging issues or trends. A product analyst wants to measure how many communications on Twitter/X that a certain product has been mentioned. In addition, they would like metrics on what types of mentions there have been and to categorize all of the types of mentions.

Solution: Use Salesforce + AI to rapidly correlate and compile social media research to generate reports and dashboards metrics data.

5) Pain Point: Voice assistants: Integrating AI-powered voice assistants, such as Salesforce Einstein Voice, allows users to interact with Salesforce using natural language commands, enabling hands-free access to information and updates.

Solution: Continuing on from the previous example, the product analyst uses Salesforce Einstein Voice to manipulate the reports and dashboards to the desired configuration. This information may be exported from Salesforce for use in presentations.

In summary, this is where I believe AI is going with Salesforce (and possibly Veeva). I'd love to connect with you to discuss this further.

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 2 weeks 2 days ago

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How To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions

Interview questions are not as straightforward as they seem, and answering just one question incorrectly may put you out of the running for a job.

The takeaway? Be ready to read between the lines.

Here are seven of the most common interview questions, what the hiring manager is really asking, and how you should respond.

What Are The Most Common Interview Questions?
  1. "Tell me about yourself."
  2. "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
  3. "What's your greatest weakness?"
  4. "What motivates you to perform?"
  5. "Tell me about a time that you failed."
  6. "Why do you want to work here?"
  7. "How many couches are there in America?"
How Should You Answer The Most Common Interview Questions?

All of the most common interview questions require a thorough answer because they are behavioral interview questions. To answer these types of interview questions, use the "Experience + Learn = Grow" model.

Let's take a closer look at how to answer the most common interview questions below...

1. "Tell Me About Yourself."

What the hiring manager is really asking...

"How do your education, work history, and professional aspirations relate to this position?"

How to respond: Select key work and education information that shows the hiring manager why you are a perfect fit for the job and the company.

For example, a recent grad might say something like, "I went to X University where I majored in Y and completed an internship at Z Company. During my internship, I did this and that (name achievements that match the job description), which really solidified my passion for this line of work."

2. "Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?"

What the hiring manager is really asking...

"Does this position fit into your long-term career goals? Do you even have long-term career goals?"

How to respond: Do not say you don't know (even if you don't) and do not focus on your personal life (it's nice that you want to get married, but it's not relevant).

Show the employer you've thought about your career path and that your professional goals align with the job.

3. "What's Your Greatest Weakness?"

What the hiring manager is really asking...

"Are you self-aware? Do you know where you could stand to improve and are you proactive about getting better?"

How to respond: A good way to answer this is with real-life feedback that you received in the past. For instance, maybe a former boss told you that you needed to work on your presentation skills.

Note that fact, then tell the employer how you've been proactively improving. Avoid any deal breakers ("I don't like working with other people") or cliché answers ("I'm a perfectionist and I work too hard").

4. "What Motivates You To Perform?"

What the hiring manager is really asking...

"Are you a hard worker? Am I going to have to force you to produce quality work?"

How to respond: Ideal employees are intrinsically motivated, so tell the hiring manager that you find motivation when working toward a goal, contributing to a team effort, and/or developing your skills. Provide a specific example that supports your response.

Finally, even if it's true, do not tell an employer that you're motivated by bragging rights, material things, or the fear of being disciplined.

5. "Tell Me About A Time That You Failed."

What the hiring manager is really asking...

"How do you respond to failure? Do you learn from your mistakes? Are you resilient?"

How to respond: Similar to the "greatest weakness" question, you need to demonstrate how you've turned a negative experience into a learning experience.

To do this, acknowledge one of your failures, take responsibility for it, and explain how you improved as a result. Don't say you've never failed (delusional much?), don't play the blame game, and don't bring up something that's a deal-breaker ("I failed a drug test once...").

6. "Why Do You Want To Work Here?"

What the hiring manager is really asking...

"Are you genuinely interested in the job? Are you a good fit for the company?"

How to respond: Your goal for this response is to demonstrate why you and the company are a great match in terms of philosophy and skill. Discuss what you've learned about the company, noting how you align with its mission, company culture, and reputation.

Next, highlight how you would benefit professionally from the job and how the company would benefit professionally from you.

7. "How Many Couches Are There In America?"

What the hiring manager is really asking...

"Can you think on your feet? Can you handle pressure? Can you think critically?"

How to respond: When faced with a seemingly absurd question like this one, it's important you're not caught off guard.

Resist the urge to tell the interviewer the question is stupid and irrelevant, and instead walk them through your problem-solving thought process. For this particular question, you would talk about how many people are in the U.S., where couches are found (homes, hotels, furniture stores), etc.

As with other parts of the job application process, it's a good idea to solicit feedback from family, friends, and former colleagues. Try out your answers to each of these questions with at least two people, then revise based on their feedback. A mock interview is the best way to practice your answers and boost your confidence before the real interview.

The importance of preparation before an interview cannot be stressed enough. The more you practice, the more confident you'll be. If you successfully answer the most common interview questions, you'll be sure to stand out to employers as a great candidate for the position.

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 2 weeks 2 days ago

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What To Do When You Keep Coming In Second Place In Job Interviews

If you keep coming in second place in job interviews—not getting the job and losing it to somebody else—this is for you. I work with a lot of people who get desperate because they come in second place in the interview process a few times. They think there's something wrong, when in reality there's something they're simply not doing right enough in job interviews to beat the competition, come in first place, and land that job offer.

So, what is that something? Not agitating the pain of the employer to show them how they are the aspirin to that pain.

You Need To Agitate The Employer's Pain & Become The Must-Have Candidate

Most people go into job interviews and want to be that pleasant person that everybody gets along with, so you focus on trying to say the right answer to create this smooth, welcoming environment. And that's important. You should do that. But what happens is you end up coming across as the nice-to-have candidate, not the must-have candidate.

At some point in time in the interview process, you have to agitate the employer's pain. You have to have the foresight and the vision to talk about all the things that can go wrong if they don't hire someone like you for the job.

This is where interview prep becomes vitally important. The interview is where you make or break it. The interview is where I can give you the most amount of guidance so that you become the must-have candidate. It's not rocket science. You just have to know how to answer the questions to show that you are the aspirin, not the vitamin. You're the must-have, not the nice-to-have.

For example, when the hiring manager asks you, "Tell me about a time you overcame a difficult challenge," you should have done your homework prior to the interview and be able to talk specifically about a workplace challenge that would be very similar to the work that you would be doing at this company. Then, what you do is something called catastrophizing where you talk about the situation and everything that could have gone wrong and really hurt the business/your employer, and then you explain how you solved/overcame it, detailing the positive outcome.

I'm not telling you to make this up. I'm telling you to spend some time doing structured interview prep. At Work It DAILY, we teach people a model called "Experience + Learn = Grow" which is the same type of storytelling with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Once you learn how to answer interview questions using this model, it's like stealing the opponent's playbook because now we can show you the 18 most common questions you get asked in job interviews and then teach you how to catastrophize them with your very own real-life stories and show the employer the happy ending.

These subtle changes to the way you present and answer questions in job interviews will take you next level, and the best part about it is that when you become the must-have candidate, they don't want to lose you. So when they give you the job offer, you sit in the driver's seat to do things like negotiate salary.

I can't stress this enough. Do not sleep on interview prep. Make sure you're utilizing a format for storytelling like "Experience + Learn = Grow" that really agitates the pain. Make sure you're up to date on the most common behavioral questions that you'll be asked. Invest that little bit of time. The return on investment for interview prep is unbelievable, and it will solve this problem of you coming in second place.

Good luck, and go get 'em!

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 2 weeks 3 days ago

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5 Quick Tips For Working In Walking At Work

Everyone knows that you should walk around every once in a while, especially if you have a desk job. But do we walk enough during the workday?

Probably not (I know I don't).

Well, surprise, surprise—sitting all day is terrible for your health. In fact, it increases your chances of depression, anxiety, and premature death. These are some of the not-so-awesome side effects of sitting constantly. (Are you out walking yet?)

If you need more evidence that walking is a crucial addition to your daily routine, check out these compelling reasons to get walking at work.

4 Benefits Of Walking More At Work

1. It Can Relieve Your Back Pain

Have a bad back? Sitting all day probably isn't the best thing for it. But hey, good news! Turns out walking helps relieve chronic back pain. So if you're back isn't happy, get up and take a little stroll around the office.

2. It Helps You Live Longer

Yes, exercise makes us healthier. But did you know that speedwalking can make you live longer? According to Healthline, people who walk about 3 mph or faster live longer than others of their age and sex who walk more slowly.

3. It Gives You An Excuse To Enjoy The Weather

It's a beautiful day—get outside and breathe in that fresh air, soak up a little sun, and get your walk on! You don't want to waste the nice weather. Take a quick break, rest your brain, and—in the words of Nike—just do it! You'll come back to your work feeling refreshed and re-energized.

4. It Makes You Happier

"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." —Elle Woods

Enough said.

5 Tips For Walking More During The Workday

Okay, so you've got the reasoning behind why you should get off your butt during the workday, but how can you fit it in? Here are a few quick tips for working in walking at work.

1. Skip The Drive-Thru

Instead of picking up your coffee while you're driving to work, walk to the coffee shop.

2. Get A Group

Get fit and be social! Find a few co-workers to walk with each day.

3. Add Walking To Your Schedule

Sometimes we get so caught up in work that we forget to take breaks. To avoid this, pencil in walking times on your calendar.

4. Leave A Pair Of Sneakers At The Office

Leave a pair of comfortable walking shoes at work. That way, you won't destroy your feet by clacking around all day in your heels or dress shoes.

5. Get An App

Find a walking app for your smartphone to track your progress. I use a free app called RunKeeper, but there are tons of great apps out there. It's a great motivator!

It's not difficult to walk more during the workday if you make it a priority. Follow these five easy tips to walk more at work today!

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 2 weeks 6 days ago

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How To Prepare For Different Types Of Interviews

Getting an interview is a success in and of itself: you've caught their eye! But before celebrating, it's important to understand that while landing an interview seems like the hard part, it's only the very beginning of the process.

Each company's hiring process is different. And the types of interviews they will conduct during the hiring process will vary. Here are the different types of interviews you should expect during the hiring process and how you can prepare for each one.

The Phone Screen Interview

A phone screen is usually the very first "interview" in the hiring process. Its purpose is in the name: to screen job applicants for the best possible candidates. During your first phone call with a potential employer, the interviewer will ask you a handful of questions geared toward getting to know you better and seeing if your qualifications make you a good candidate for the position.

To prepare for a phone screen, do your research on the company before the interview. This will not only help you generate questions to ask the interviewer but also show that you are interested in the job and the company.

Write down questions and take notes so you can reference them during the phone call. You may also choose to keep your resume close, which will make it easier to elaborate on your experiences and qualifications—ensuring you won't forget anything!

Finally, be sure to get your salary expectations ready in the event you're asked about them (don't be the first one to bring them up, though). A few minutes before you take the call, find a quiet place, review your notes, and remember to speak clearly.

The Virtual/Video Interview

A video or virtual interview is set up with an employer early on in the hiring process and is especially convenient if a job applicant isn't local or can't make it in for an interview for another reason. You may be interviewed by one or more people during a video or virtual interview.

To prepare, you want to familiarize yourself with the company, and maybe even research the people who will be interviewing you. Who are they? What are their roles within the company? How can you connect with them to make this interview memorable?

You won't be able to reference your notes like you would for a phone screen, but you should still write down the questions you'd like to ask your interviewers to help you work through your thought process. It is also important to dress like you would for an in-person interview and sit up straight. First impressions matter, even virtual ones!

The In-Person Interview

The traditional interview experience can also be the most intimidating. You're meeting face to face with individuals who will ultimately decide whether or not you are the best fit for the job. There isn't a phone or computer screen to act as a buffer. The good news is that an in-person interview is the perfect opportunity for you to shine.

If you make it to this phase of the hiring process, be proud! Walk in with confidence, and your interviewer will take note. A strong handshake, a genuine smile, and timely eye contact are priceless too.

Prepare for an in-person interview by doing in-depth research on the company and the people you will be working with if you are hired. Ask more detailed, specific questions to demonstrate your interest and find out more about the role and the company (to see if it's a great fit for you!).

Remember, good employers want to impress you just as much as you want to impress them. How else could they attract and retain the best job candidates?

The One-Way Video Interview

One type of interview format becoming more popular, especially among larger companies, is the one-way video interview. This interview is conducted at the beginning of the hiring process, usually replacing the initial phone screen. Larger companies and organizations usually don't have the time to schedule 20 minutes out of their day for each job candidate. So, this interview format is about convenience—for you and the employer.

When you are selected for a one-way video interview, the employer will give you a deadline to complete it by. You will be asked to answer pre-scripted interview questions. Usually, there is a time limit for the interview, and possibly for each question, so it is important to practice before you begin the interview.

Rehearse your answers to common interview questions, and make sure to look at the camera when answering, not the screen! Dress like you would for an in-person interview, pick a quiet place, and remember to smile.

After you complete the interview, HR or other members of the hiring team will watch, and often re-watch, your answers until they decide on their next steps.

Before you prepare for your next interview, here's one last thing to remember: Always send a thank-you note within 24 hours after your interview. Gratitude is more powerful than you think!

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11 Signs Your Operations Are Undermining Your Marketing Efforts

More than ever marketing teams are under the microscope to deliver and drive revenue growth. But marketing hinges not only on carefully crafted strategies, creativity, digital marketing technologies, and marketing metrics analysis but also on seamless organizational and operational structure and models for marketing to be effective. When operational inefficiencies rear their heads, they can significantly hinder marketing efforts, undermining your brand's potential.

Here are eleven signs that your operations may be sabotaging your marketing endeavors:

1.  Lack of Proper Budget Allocation for Authority and Empowerment

While holding your global integrated marketing team accountable is essential, without granting them the budget authority to allocate and prioritize omnichannel investments, the effectiveness of your campaigns may lack the necessary resources for success.

Your global integrated marketing team has day-to-day metrics visibility of all marketing activities across the marketing organization and channels that support a campaign initiative to determine where to best invest your marketing budgets. Without an operational model of objective cross-functional, marketing channel metrics analysis and centralized budget allocation, global integrated marketing functions are at the beck and call of those empowered with budgets in a siloed operational model to spend based on their own agenda vs. towards a cross-functional integrated effort.

2. Unclear Scope of Responsibilities

Ambiguity between global marketing and regional marketing can create confusion and inefficiencies in resource prioritization and utilization, particularly when it comes to digital marketing that crosses the boundaries of borders and regions. It’s essential marketing organizations define the structure of responsibilities so global and regional marketing initiatives and spend are working complementary vs. conflicting.

3. Inability to Align Sales and Marketing to Solutions

If your organization aims to transition from marketing point products to holistic solutions but sales isn’t operationally aligned to address the customer needs with a solutions sales approach, marketing efforts may fall flat due to a misalignment between messaging and sales execution.

Sometimes there isn’t time afforded to enable the entire salesforce to be trained on solution selling and you need to consider a sales overlay team. Marketing needs to be operationally aligned with sales not only to deliver pipeline but the right pipeline based on the sales organization structure and direction.

4.  Ineffective Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Implementation

Attempting an ABM strategy, let alone an ABX strategy, is a futile initiative if your sales compensation or team isn’t set up to with strategic accounts by territory.

Marketing can also invest heavily in a MarTech stack to support a digital target account model but the sales organization doesn’t embrace the digital technology.

Furthermore, if the digital marketing and field marketing teams aren’t aligned on an ABM model across 1:Many, 1:Few, and 1:1 marketing and who does what, it can create hiccups in the progression from 1:Many and 1:1 conversions toward your strategic account endeavors.

And don’t forget the channel’s role with strategic accounts also isn’t operationally aligned with direct sales and marketing, all these areas can result in disjointed efforts, missed opportunities, and wasted marketing spend.

Sales and marketing alignment are so critical when embarking on an ABM strategy in marketing.

5. Inadequate Reporting Capabilities for Partner Marketing

​Without robust partner and influenced pipeline reporting capabilities, scaling demand generation efforts to, through, and with partner marketing becomes challenging, as the impact of these collaborations cannot be accurately measured and you are running blind to the effectiveness and ROI of your partner marketing initiatives and spend.

6. Misalignment of Brand Promise and Organizational Culture

When your brand promise doesn't resonate with the internal culture, values, and behaviors of your organization, it erodes trust and consistency in customer experiences, undermining marketing efforts. This ultimately has an impact on your sales cycles or customer retention.

According to a study from Zendesk, “After more than one bad experience, around 80% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor.”

7. Misaligned Marketing Timelines with Buyer Journey and Sales Cycles

Failure to synchronize marketing planning and demand generation timelines with customer buying journeys and sales cycles can result in mistimed campaigns and missed opportunities for engagement.

8. Internal Discrepancies in Marketing Nomenclature

Lack of internal alignment on what marketing nomenclature can also cause disruption in your operational approach internally. Salesforce's definition of a "campaign" as a field in their CRM solutions vs. marketing’s definition of a campaign can lead to confusion across your executive team, sales organization, and within marketing that impacts the scope of strategies, model for campaign effectiveness, and tracking and budget allocation.

9. Misaligned Marketing Strategies with Sales Plays

When marketing strategies do not align with the sales plays that the sales team is incentivized and compensated on, it creates friction and disconnect between the two functions, hampering overall business growth.

10. Lack of Collaboration Between Product and Web Teams

In the evolution of a product-led growth go-to-market model, failure for corporate marketing web teams and product teams to define responsibilities of the overall web and product experience, particularly with PaaS, SaaS, or IaaS products, can result in disjointed user experiences, delays in the product roadmap, and disruption to your marketing to leverage the digital space for marketing purposes in accelerating the customer experience.

11. Building a Culture of Change Management During Digital Marketing Operational  Transformation

Undertaking a digital transformation without considering the necessary change management practices to support cultural shifts internally can lead to resistance, inefficiencies, and, ultimately, failure to realize the full potential of digital initiatives.

Many times companies live comfortably in the physical event space but transitioning to address customer and prospects who are accustomed to a digital experience is difficult as it requires a change in organizational skills, culture, and approach to marketing. Digital is organic and amorphous yet culturally organizations struggle with that operational approach from “one and done” to “optimize and evolve.”

Recognizing and addressing these signs of operational hindrance is crucial for aligning marketing efforts with business goals, enhancing efficiency, and maximizing the impact of marketing investments. Organizational structure and operational models and processes direct behaviors that if modeled appropriately transform into the effectiveness of team dynamics, optimized workflows for efficiencies and scale, and effective budget allocation for ROI for collective business success.

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The Top 4 Consequences Of Ignoring AI: Why Your Organization Needs To Adapt

As AI evolves from a buzzword to a reality, and people see real, measurable productivity gains, the question now is: How's AI adoption going for you and your organization? Are you part of a culture that prioritizes employee development in AI-related skills? If not, there will be consequences.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on AI, organizations need to prepare employees for adoption. By prioritizing employee development in AI-related skills, it will ensure you stay competitive, innovative, and resilient. (By the way, "AI-first" is the hip, new way of saying that you prioritize using AI tools over existing processes.)

“AI won’t replace your job. But people using AI will.”

This popular quote remains accurate, but I much prefer this older quote when thinking about AI adoption:

"Standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards in a rapidly changing world." —Lauren Bacall

Organizations aren’t putting enough emphasis and resources towards empowering their workforce to learn. I’ve spent the past year supporting companies in becoming AI-first, and they all seem to struggle to begin providing tools, and then create space to learn how to use those tools. Leadership looks at resource spend, wondering when the optimization will kick in, but doesn’t emphasize building the culture and foundation first.

Here are the four things guaranteed to happen if you don’t adopt an AI-first mindset in your organization:

1.You’ll be outpaced by your competitors.

AI-first companies are proving to be more efficient, productive, and innovative. Your lack of implementing AI effectively will make it increasingly difficult to stay ahead of your competition.

“It’s clear that businesses that don’t focus on incorporating AI into their marketing strategies will be quickly outpaced by competitors.” —Andrea Warmington

2. Your weakened decision-making will prove costly.

AI tools are great at analyzing data and providing insights that will help you make better decisions. Without the latest advancements supporting your business decisions, you can expect decreased productivity and increased costs in the long run.

“Beyond automating tasks, the other more remarkable impact of AI on an enterprise will be on decision-making: Large organizations still struggle to make good decisions on time.” —Jay Dwivedi, President of xInvest Consultants

3. You’ll lose your talented, forward-thinking employees.

Even in today's job market, employees are looking for more than just a paycheck. They're seeking companies that offer opportunities for growth and development. When an organization fails to adapt and innovate, it can lead to frustration. This results in top talent leaving the company, making it even harder to attract and retain new talent.

“When a high performer walks out the door, it’s a huge loss – for you, your team and the company. Not only do you lose their unique skills, knowledge and energy they brought to the work, you lose customer and vendor relationships.” —Andria Taylor

4. You’ll see a reduction in innovation, agility, and adaptability.

In this rapidly changing environment, innovation, agility, and adaptability are crucial. Without investing in your employees' AI learning, you’ll struggle to adapt, which will ultimately lead to missed opportunities and stunted organizational growth.

“The playing field is poised to become a lot more competitive, and businesses that don’t deploy AI and data to help them innovate in everything they do will be at a disadvantage.” —Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Accenture

The consequences of ignoring AI are far-reaching and can have devastating effects on a company's competitiveness, innovation, and overall success. Investing in your people is a strategic imperative for businesses looking to thrive in today's fast-evolving landscape.

Get a list of free resources and help your people get up to speed on AI tools faster at The Grai.

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3 Ways To Upskill While Not Working Your Dream Job

With economic uncertainty and the ever-increasing competitive job market, it's not uncommon for job seekers to take a job that isn't in their target industry. Although it's tough to stay happy at a job you don't necessarily want, that doesn't mean there isn't an opportunity to grow professionally.

No matter what profession you work in, the more effort you put into advancing your skills, the better your chances are of growing into your role or setting yourself up for an opportunity in your desired industry/career.

If you're worried you might not be getting the experience you need, here are three ways to keep fortifying your professional talents and upskill at your current job.

Actively Seek Ways To Use Your Skills At Work

Whether you're a writer working in sales or a business major working at a bank, there's always some way of using the skills you've studied and practiced—wherever you go. You just have to actively seek out those opportunities.

For instance, if you're looking to be a reporter someday, but your current job involves office administration, find a way to make up writing projects to help strengthen your craft. Perhaps you could write a summary of the company on the company website, blog about the company, or even try to connect with other vendors via social media.

There are always ways to hone the skills you've already gained to add value to your current workplace.

Ask The Boss To Give You More Responsibilities

Taking on tougher tasks will help challenge you in the work field, and asking your employer for more responsibilities shows that you're not afraid of a challenge. It also helps you stand out from the other employees in all the right ways.

It's a win-win: you get to put your skills into practice and your employer has less work to think about. Besides, even if your current job isn't in your professional industry, not excelling at a job doesn't exactly make you look like a professional.

Start A Blog And Utilize Social Media

Even if you're not into blogging or posting on social media, learning how to market your company will help you learn more about who you're working for. The more you know about your employer's business, the easier it will be for you to figure out how you can continue to be a valuable asset to that company.

In addition, this shows additional initiative. Employers love employees who are always offering new ideas that can save or make the company money. The more you contribute, the more you make yourself an indispensable employee.

From all these efforts, you may end up growing fond of the job you're working. And even if you don't, you're making legitimate attempts to grow professionally, and gaining valuable experience and skills that will eventually help you land your dream job.

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