Yes, Cover Letters Still Matter: They Can Help You Get an Interview

Cover letters, so old school and completely unnecessary, right?

NO!!!

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A well-written cover letter actually can help you get the job. Why? Because it can highlight your great interest in the opportunity. More importantly, it can showcase how you can help an employer solve its problems (which, remember, is why employers hire people).

What’s more, a cover letter actually  allows you to do something that you really can’t do until you’re sitting in a job interviews:

Ask for an interview!

Without a cover letter the only thing you’re sending an employer is your resume. (Sometimes not even that, if you’re applying online and the application is a form you fill out that doesn’t ask for – or allow you to include – a resume.)

Resumes used to put in black and white your contact info, your education, your skills and the jobs you’ve had. While you should write it such that it emphasizes your successes and the things you did for employers, it’s not a document in which you can ask for an interview.

Here’s the best part: simply asking for an interview in your cover letter actually increases your chances of getting an interview!

How to ask for an interview.

Don’t forget, in the body of your cover letter you need express your great interest in what the employer does and how you think you can help the company achieve its goals.

You do so by mentioning one or two things that you’ve done in the past that show how you have the skills, knowledge and experience to do so:

  • As a line manager in the Cerritos warehouse of my employer, I made it a point to get to know my team members personally, honoring birthdays, anniversaries, children’s accomplishments and so on. My own manager told me I appeared to “make work fun” for my team. Retention numbers also back this fact up: my manager told me attrition on the line declined by 15 percent – the most of any year – after my first full year on the job.”
  • During my two years as a CSR, I’ve been commended regularly by my manager for my efficiency as well as my customer reviews. My manager particularly has commented on my calm handling angry customers.

At the end of the cover letter (your concluding paragraph), you end by asking for an interview:

  • I’m excited about this opportunity as (position) with (company) and would enjoy the chance of meeting with you to discuss it more and – more importantly – the chance to discuss my experience and skills and how I can provide value to you. Please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email me at name@emailaddress.com to schedule an interview.
  • Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I would like to interview with you to discuss how my skills and background can be of service to (company) as (position). My number is XXX-XXX-XXXX and my email address is name@emailaddress.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Are you looking for work? Take a look at our current temporary, direct-hire and temp-to-hire job opportunities. If you find one or more that look interesting, follow the listing’s directions.

Even if you don’t see anything that looks appealing, register with the Helpmates branch office nearest you: we’re constantly getting new assignments, some of which are filled before we ever have time to list them on our website.

Make Your Resume Stand Out Now and in the Future

Most job seekers are aware that hiring managers spend precious little time looking at individual resumes. So, you need to capture their attention quickly and make them want to read more.

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But, in addition to incorporating information that will pull them in, you also want to avoid other problems that will get your resume tossed quickly in the trash can. Here are a few tips.

  1. Really watch for grammar and spelling errors.

This may seem so obvious that it does not need to be mentioned. But it does because it’s surprising how often errors crop up in resumes. After putting together many resumes for different job opportunities and reading them over, you are more prone to skim the writing and to fill in the gaps mentally. It’s therefore becomes easier to miss errors.

To prevent this, have friends or family members help out by reading the resumes. Each person should focus on one area, such as spelling or grammar and punctuation.

When a hiring manager sees an error, it does not make a good impression at all and can sink your chances of getting an interview.

  1. Tailor your resume to the job.

Each resume you send out needs to be customized for the job you are applying for. You need to take your cue from the job description, taking note of what keywords are used and what kinds of skills are emphasized. Then you need to use the same keywords in your resume and also highlight accomplishments that relate to the sought after skills mentioned in the job description.

  1. Watch your formatting.

The resume needs to be well organized and easy to read. Avoid large blocks of print and long sentences. Make sure you have adequate white space, using headings and short, compelling phrases. Use boldface and italics where appropriate, such as headings and text that you want to stand out.

Some people try to squeeze in more information by using a smaller font and shrinking the margins. But this is not a good idea because it makes the resume harder to read, and a hiring manager is not going to take the time to pick his way through it.

Review and edit your resume several times to make sure you have trimmed all unnecessary information, that your writing is simple, clear and direct, and not wordy.

  1. Focus on accomplishments, not job duties.

You are not going to impress anyone by simply listing job duties and responsibilities. You will make a more compelling case by listing your accomplishments. How did you change or improve things?

Include facts and figures to support your statements. You should not just say you increased sales, but exactly by how much.

You also don’t need to give information about every job you have ever had. If you have had jobs that bear little relevance to the one you are applying for, you can simply give a quick summary.

  1. Use active verbs.

Active verbs have the name because they show movement and action. For example, words such as led, managed, planned, produced and generated are all active verbs. These are the kinds of words you want to use in your resume to show your skills and abilities.

  1. Highlight important skills.

Skills that are essential to the job should be listed at the top of the resume in the professional summary. Don’t wait to list them later in a skills section, for example.

Your summary at the top of the resume is the equivalent of an elevator pitch – a short, powerful statement why the company should hire you.

Many people are looking for work now. If you haven’t lately, take a look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities and, if one or more interest you, follow the listing’s directions and/or contact the branch office nearest you.

Interviewing for a Remote Job? Ask These Questions

If you are interviewing for a remote job, the company’s culture becomes even more important. Why? The culture at the company will play a big role in how successful a person will be in such a job because collaboration, communication and teamwork become that much more important when everyone works remotely.

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Here are some important questions to ask about the job to make sure the company is providing the support you need to be successful.

  1. What kind of hours will you be working?

Most people assume if they are working remotely that they would have greater flexibility with their hours, being able to decide when they work. But the opposite tends to be the case. You will need to establish a regular schedule, one that coincides with the rest of your team.

Another thing you need to take into account if everyone on your team is working remotely across different time zones is the communication set up among everyone. If the time zones are different, it may require you to work at times outside of traditional work hours.

  1. How many people are working remotely?

You need to determine how common remote work is within the company. Is everyone working remotely, or will you be one of just a few people who are working from home? If everyone is working remotely, you will be working under the same conditions as everyone else, with the same opportunities as everyone else.

If, however, you will be just one of a few who are working remotely, it is more likely that you will have to make the effort to ensure you remain connected and are not missing out on any opportunities.

  1. How do people communicate?

It is important to ask about your supervisor’s management style because this acquires even greater importance for remote workers. Your supervisor cannot just drop by your desk to fill you in on something or give you an update. So, how they plan to keep everyone working together and informed is of primary importance.

You also need to find out what kind of access you will have to your manager. Ideally, you want to have the same kind of access that you would if you were working in an office. How often does he or she have meetings, and what kind of network platform does the company use? Do managers communicate often individually with the people on their team? How often do team members communicate with each other

If you ask how the supervisor plans to keep you connected and informed while working remotely, and he doesn’t have a good answer, that should raise a red flag. This is exactly the kind of thing that should have been worked out. If it isn’t, it shows the company doesn’t value their remote workers as much.

  1. How would you get feedback?

Ask them how they plan to give feedback to remote workers. If they have no procedure worked out, you can suggest one to them, such as getting together every few weeks to talk about goals and performance. If they balk at this idea, this is another red flag that they are not ready to invest in the growth of their remote workers.

  1. How is the company improving the remote work environment?

Working remotely presents its own unique kinds of challenges and obstacles. The hiring manager should be able to describe how the company is responding to those problems and what they are doing to enhance the remote work environment.

If you’re looking for work – whether it’s a remote job or not – make sure to check out Helpmates’ latest job opportunities. If one or more appeal to you, apply online or contact the Helpmates branch nearest you.

Preparing for a Final Job Interview

Congratulations! You have made it past the first round of interviews for a job opening. You now face the prospect of a final round. How should you prepare for it? This next round will be a little different from the first, so you need to change your preparation a little to get ready for it. Here are a few tips.

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  1. Look back on your first interview

Consider how you performed during your first interview. What questions did you answer well and what questions do you feel you could have done a better job with? This will give you some indication about what you need to work on and how you can improve responses that fell short.

  1. Expect more detailed questions

The questions in the final interview are likely to go into more depth on your technical skills. There is also a greater chance that you will get more behavioral types of questions. You will be asked what you would do in different situations, what actions you would take, or how you would go about solving a particular problem.

And you may get more questions related to cultural fit. The interviewers will want to know if you are someone with whom they can work.

  1. Prepare to talk salary

You may be asked what you are looking for in terms of salary, so you should be prepared to give a range. This will require some research. You should find out what the salary is in your industry for this type of position. There are sites such as Payscale.com and Glassdoor.com that can give you the information you need.

  1. A broader perspective

In a final interview, you are more likely to have a member of senior management present. He or she will likely be interested in more comprehensive, broad-spectrum issues that impact the entire company, rather than the nuts-and-bolts aspect of the job.

So you need to be prepared to talk about the value you can add to the company as a whole. Learn about the company’s goals and mission, the problems it faces, and give input on ways the company can reach those goals and solve their problems. Be able to look at things from a big picture perspective.

  1. Some possible final round questions

Because there may be different people present for the final interview, you may get some questions you were asked in the initial round. Others are common in final round interviews and could include:

Tell me about yourself.

You probably got this question during the first interview. But you may get it again at the final interview from a senior executive who was not present during the first one. Keep your answer brief, focusing on recent accomplishments and why you are applying for the job.

What are your career goals?

The purpose of this question is to gauge how your ambitions fit with the goals of the company. The hiring manager or other senior executive will want to determine if you are a good fit with the culture of the company. So, your answer should show that you have ambition but that your goals align with those of the job.

Are you interviewing anywhere else?

Honesty is the best policy in responding to this question. If you are interviewing elsewhere or are expecting other job offers, let them know. This may actually enhance your standing with the hiring manager because he or she will see that you are coveted by other employers.

However, if at the time of the interview you have no other offers you need to be honest about that as well. Don’t pretend that you do. If you begin with a fabrication like this, it will likely only lead to more falsehoods later to support it, which in the long run could get you into more trouble.

Is there anything else you want to ask us about?

This is often the last question at a final interview. You can use it as an opportunity to expand on previous responses that may have been a little off the mark.

Ready for a new job in 2021? Take a look at Helpmates’ current job openings and apply for any you feel are a good fit. You also may contact the branch office nearest you for more information.

The Job Skills You’ll Need in 2021 and Beyond

The pace of change continues to accelerate in our society, led by technological progress and the accompanying economic growth. Growth and change will only continue to pick up speed into the future. In such an environment, what are the skills and abilities workers will need to navigate the world of work?

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The skills necessary for success in the 21st century, as identified by business leaders and academics, are all connected to what is known as “deeper learning” or “higher order thinking skills”. These are skills such as analytic reasoning, complex problem solving and teamwork. They put a premium on flexibility and adaptability. They differ from more traditional types of skills in that they are not as content or knowledge-based.

It will certainly come as no surprise to hear that skill sets related to digital literacy will be highly valued. So-called “soft skills” (such as being able to get along with others and communication skills) will become increasingly important as well. Here are some of the key skills for the 21st century.

Learning and Innovation Skills

  1. Critical thinking

This involves analyzing facts to reach a conclusion or form a judgment. It is based on a rational, logical, objective evaluation of evidence.

  1. Problem solving

This is the use of different methods or strategies to find solutions to problems. There are many different methods depending on the type of problem. Some of the more common problem-solving strategies include abstraction, brainstorming, hypothesis testing, root cause analysis, and divide and conquer.

  1. Communication

Communication skills encompass both written and oral expression. These skills are necessary to express thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively.

  1. Collaboration

This skill involves the ability to work with others. It requires empathy, listening, tolerance, and good communication. People with collaboration skills can handle difficult situations, accept feedback, work with people of different cultures and backgrounds, and influence and persuade others. They know how to work in a team-oriented environment.

Digital Literacy Skills

  1. Information literacy

This is the ability to determine when new information is needed, as well as the ability to locate the information, evaluate its validity and then use it effectively to understand an issue or solve a problem.

  1. Media literacy

This involves the ability to assess the information produced by different types of media for its truth value. Being media literate means a person can detect propaganda, censorship and bias in media information and the motivations behind these distortions.

  1. Information technology

Information technology covers a broad range of activities. Generally, it describes any entity that stores, retrieves, manipulates, or receives information electronically in a digital format. This covers everything related to computer technology and to areas such as robotics. The skills required to work in this area are considered hard skills: learned abilities that can be quantified.

Career Skills

  1. Leadership

Not everyone will be in a leadership position, but the kinds of skills leaders require will be highly valued by employers. These are skills that relate to decision making, managing and resolving conflict, delegating, giving clear and useful feedback, and project and task management.

  1. A solid work ethic

People with a strong work ethic are motivated, dependable, persistent, and resilient. They meet deadlines. They have a positive attitude and are results oriented. They focus on how to overcome obstacles rather than being overcome by them. They work to continually improve their skills and performance.

  1. Organizational and time management skills

When companies are always trying to do more with less – and do it more efficiently – they value employees with good time management skills. These are skills that involve prioritizing tasks, allocating time, planning, setting goals and creating strategies to meet them, and reviewing performance in order to determine how to improve it.

Whether you’ve been laid off in 2020 or are thinking of broadening your job and career horizons in 2021, the recruiters here at Helpmates are here for you. If you haven’t already, check out or current job opportunities and/or contact the branch nearest you to register with us.

Here’s to a happy 2021 for all of us!!!

Talkin’ ‘Bout Those Transferable Skills

You may be dissatisfied with your current career and looking to make a change. It’s a big decision, enough to put a few butterflies in the stomach of the most unflappable person, especially is you’re worried about how your current job skills will – or won’t – transfer. How do you get started, and what do you need to do? Here are a few tips.

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  1. Reflect

The first step is to examine your motivations. Why exactly do you want to make a switch? Are your reasons compelling enough to warrant such a big change in your life? For example, you may be dissatisfied with your current job because of a bad boss or work environment, or lack of growth opportunities in your current job. These problems can often be addressed without launching into a new career.

Think about the aspects of your job that you find most and least satisfying. Would your new career increase your job satisfaction where it is lacking now? What are you most passionate about, and will the new career allow you to fulfill your passion? Finally, how are you situated financially as you make the transition?

  1. Research

You need to do a lot of this. First, you need to find out as much as you can about your new career. You may have a pretty good idea about what it involves, but you need to get into the weeds and learn about what it is really like to do the job.

These days, there is no lack of resources to help you do this. You can look at journals and books or check out the many different resources online. Websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor are invaluable resources to make connections with people who work in your prospective career. Pick their brains for information about the job and ideas for making the transition.

You will also need to find out if you will need additional training to prepare you for entry into your new career.

Research for the job search

The next step is preparing for the job search. You will need to put together a resume and cover letter and update your LinkedIn profile. You will need to research companies you might like to work for and find out which ones you want to target in your job search.

You will need to network with friends, colleagues, contacts on social media, and through informational interviews to gain the attention of your target company. And you will need to prepare for the job interview itself.

  1. Transferable skills

To make your case to a hiring manager and persuade him or her that you have what it takes to do the job, you need to show how the skills you have developed in your previous jobs are transferable to the one you are seeking. You may see little connection between the skills you have and the skills you need, but there probably are a number of skills you have developed that any employer would want.

Some examples of these transferable skills include communication skills, leadership skills, research and analytical skills, organization and time management skills, collaboration skills, numeracy and information technology skills.

What you need to do is show the employer how you used these skills at your previous jobs to achieve your goals, and how they will enable you to excel at your new job. Giving examples of transferable skills will help to show the employer that you are the right person for the job.

And there’s good news: all employers are looking for these kinds of skills, because they’re necessary for almost all types of jobs.

Are you ready to put your current skills to work in a new job? Take a look at our current opportunities and then either follow the posting’s application directions or contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you to register with us.

The Absolutely, Positively Right Way to Leave a Job

You are at a point where you are giving serious consideration to leaving your job. It could be that the job no longer challenges you, that it has become routine. Or you’ve hit a dead end – there is no avenue for advancement. Or you simply cannot get along with your supervisor. Or you’re just burned out.

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Whatever the reason, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to quit your job. Here is the right way to do it.

  1. Think carefully

The first step is to think about why you want to quit. All of the reasons listed above are valid. But there are others that are a bit shakier. If you’re angry about being chastised by your supervisor or colleague or because you were passed over for a certain project, these are not good reasons to leave your job. Take a little time to cool off before you make any rash decisions that you might regret later.

Consider if there are alternatives to leaving your job, such as transferring to another department or asking for more responsibility, or working out problems with a coworker.

Also, career counselors advise having another job lined up before leaving your current position. It is much more difficult to find work when you are unemployed because this still carries a stigma with employers.

  1. Letter of resignation

Because of its purpose, the language used in this document should be more formal. You should use the full name and title of your supervisor.

Your resignation letter doesn’t have to be long. It should state your intention to leave, when your last day will be, your reason for leaving, and an expression of appreciation for the opportunity to work at the company. You could also include a few positive remarks about your experience.

  1. Giving notice

This should be done face-to-face, not through email. It is customary to give two weeks’ notice, but this can vary. Your supervisor may ask you to stay longer for various reasons. If this is the case, you should agree to the extended period to maintain a positive relationship. You don’t want to burn any bridges. It’s also possible that you may be asked to leave immediately, so you need to be ready for this. You should also suggest a transition plan for transferring your assignments.

What you don’t want to do is give vent to any vindictiveness over your frustrations about the job or interactions with other people at the company. This will accomplish nothing. You also want to maintain good relationships at the company.

After you have given notice in person, then submit your letter of resignation.

  1. Odds and ends

Make a list of the tasks you need to take care of before you go. This includes things such as cleaning out your files, finishing up any outstanding assignments, and so on.

Delete all personal information on your computer. You should do this before giving notice in case you are asked to leave immediately.

Put together notes covering all of your duties and responsibilities, as well as the status of your current projects and any background information needed to complete them if you are unable to. Get contact information from your coworkers.

  1. Do good work

It may be difficult to concentrate during the final weeks or days you are still at the company. But you need to maintain your professionalism, and that means continuing to turn in the best work you can. This will certainly leave a good impression on your supervisor and coworkers.

Wondering if there’s a better job opportunity waiting for you? Check out Helpmates’ job opportunities. If you see one or more that look interesting, either contact the office nearest you, or follow the posting’s application instructions.

5 Ways to Break Up a Boring Workday

Many of us are working from home right now. Some like the change and prefer working remotely – there is no long commute to work, you can dress more casually, and you don’t have to deal with all of the interruptions that are part of office work.

However, working from home has its drawbacks: the lines between work and personal life can become blurred. And it can become a bit monotonous. After all, when your workspace is only a short walk from our bedroom, the scenery isn’t going to change that much.

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To break up the tedium, people may turn to diversions like social media or even online gaming. But these are not the healthiest sorts of distractions from work because people can become caught up in them, developing behavior that is addictive. Activities meant to be a break from work can end up taking people away from their work much longer than they had intended.

But there are other things you can do to break up the sameness of the workday that won’t hinder your productivity, but may actually help it.

  1. A new location

Organizational experts recommend having a dedicated workspace when operating from home. And generally this is good advice. It helps to separate work from other areas of your life. But working in the same location all the time might become a bit too boring.

For a change of pace, you can use different locations around the house as your home office throughout the day. You can work for a while at the dining room table and then the kitchen table or the front porch or backyard patio. For a little variety, you can add decorative touches to your home office, such as paintings, knick-knacks or flowers.

  1. Physical activity

This is another way to break up a boring workday.

Before the pandemic, people went to the gym, ran, swam, and played a variety of different sports. But many of these things are not considered safe now. The pandemic is especially hard on those who liked going to the gym.

When the weather is colder, opportunities for physical activity are fewer. But there are still things you can do. YouTube is a good source for workout related videos, activities that you can do at home. Facebook is another source for workout videos.

When the weather is warmer, there are more opportunities for physical activity outside, such as hiking, walking and running. Find out where the state parks are in your area and get back to nature while enjoying the scenery.

Also, get in some physical activity when you take breaks during the day. Go for a short walk or do some calisthenics or stretching exercises. Deep breathing exercises also help improve your mood and focus better.

  1. Social activities

Take some time during the day to stay in touch with coworkers. For example, you can schedule a virtual coffee break using Zoom or some other digital network like Slack or Google Hangouts. (Note: these breaks would be in addition to any Zoom/video meetings you have specifically for work-related matters.)

  1. Explore

Try out new ways of doing things to boost your productivity. For example, vary the times you do routine tasks and assignments.

  1. A new hobby

This is another way to put a little variety into your life while working from home. Learn a new skill, how to play a musical instrument, read something new. Many of these things you can do during short breaks throughout the day. For example, you can practice the piano for short 15-minute breaks or work on a painting.

If one of the reasons your workday is boring is that you’ve outgrown your position with your current employer, you may be wondering if it’s time to move on to another company.

If so, take a look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities. If one or more look interesting, follow the application directions on the posting. You also can contact the Helpmates branch office nearest you.

Acing the Pre-Screening Job Interview

Many employers today perform what are called pre-screening interviews with job candidates. These often are shorter phone or even video chats with applicants to see if it’s worth both the recruiter’s and applicant’s time to bring the candidate in for a longer interview.

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They are becoming the norm, and if you are a job candidate, you should expect to experience one during your employment search at some point.

Take a look below for a few tips on how to make the most of them. Probably the most important thing to know about pre-screening interviews is that you should treat them like any other interview and prepare accordingly.

  1. Do your research

This is basic, common-sense advice that job candidates hear over and over. And yet, some still don’t take the time to research the company they supposedly want to work for. Not doing your homework is a fast way to eliminate yourself from consideration.

If you want to give a compelling answer to the question of why you want the job, you need to know what the job entails, and so you need to study the job description. You need to know basic information about the company, such as when it started, its locations, and mission statement. To impress the interviewer, you can incorporate your knowledge of the company into your answers.

You also should learn as much as you can about the person who will be interviewing you. This is much easier to do now with social media sites such as LinkedIn. Find out about the person’s background – where they were educated, places they worked, what their interests are. This may help you to establish a rapport with the interviewer.

  1. Be ready to talk about salary

The pre-screening interview also presents an opportunity for the interviewer to find out early if you and the company are in the same ballpark with salary. This will save a lot of time and effort if there is an insurmountable gap between you and the company as far as salary expectations.

Again, a little research here will help. Before you begin throwing around figures, you should first find out what jobs like the one you want pay. There are a number of different places you can go to find this information, such as Glassdoor.

You also should provide the interviewer with a salary range, not a definite number.

  1. Show enthusiasm

You need to let the interviewer know how much you want the job, and one way to do so is by showing enthusiasm. You do this by the tone of your voice and the words you use. If you are doing a video interview, you show enthusiasm by the look on your face and the gestures you make.

  1. Put it all together

You have to be able to sell yourself, to show how your skills and experience make you the perfect person for the job. The interviewer is trying to get a sense of who you are and why the job makes sense for you, and you need to help him or her do that.

It helps to practice your pitch in advance with a friend or colleague so it is polished and persuasive.

  1. Have questions

At the end of every interview, the recruiter or hiring manager usually asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” If you want the job, you will have questions. If you don’t, it will look like you aren’t really interested in the position. And you should have questions that show you are thinking about how you can excel in the position. An example would be what skills are needed to be successful in the job, how they measure performance, how the job will evolve in the coming months, and challenges the company is facing.

Then, once you hear the answer, you say something about how X skill you have or experience because of X project fits with the employer’s needs.

  1. Follow up

During the interview you should get contact information from the interviewer and find out what the next steps are. Finally, be sure to send a thank you email.

If you haven’t done so recently, take a look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities. If one or more interests you, follow the application directions. You’re also welcome to contact the branch nearest you to register with us.

5 Tips to Help Your Career Thrive During COVID-19

These are uncertain times. The pandemic has disrupted many careers. But whether the pandemic is a career stumbling block or opportunity depends on how you react to it.

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It certainly presents challenges, especially if you have been laid off. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your career on hold, attempting to just wait it out until the situation improves. There are still things you can do to move forward even now.

  1. Perform above and beyond

No surprise here. If you want to move ahead in your career, you have to perform well in your job. Without doing that, nothing else will work.

Don’t let the disruption affect your performance. Established routines may be in some disarray, but you cannot let that affect your focus and your goals. To stay on track, assess your situation, establish priorities and a plan of action. Don’t get sidetracked doing tasks that are unimportant or take on too many projects. Concentrate on the important stuff. Multitasking – trying to do more than one task at the same time – doesn’t work. In fact, it can really reduce productivity.

  1. Don’t be a perfectionist

While you want your work to be superior, you need to also be on guard against perfectionism. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety, which can harm productivity. It can also lead to procrastination and wasting too much time on minor details. Stopping this behavior means realizing that doing something well does not mean it has to be flawless. One good rule of thumb to follow – treat the difficult task as though it were easy, and the easy task as though it were difficult.

  1. Advertise your achievements

Many think that if we work hard, our accomplishments will speak for themselves, and higher ups will notice our work. But it usually doesn’t happen. To advance in your career, you have to increase your exposure and sell yourself and your accomplishments.

Some of us naturally shy away from the idea of tooting our own horn, believing it gives the appearance of egotism or arrogance. But you need to get past this misguided conception. To get ahead, it is important to let others know what you can do and what you have accomplished.

One tip: every quarter, send your manager a report of the things you’ve accomplished in the last three months and how ongoing projects are progressing. These reports can come in very handy come your annual review.

  1. Network

This is essential if you want to move ahead in your career. It’s something you should be doing whether you are looking for a job or not. Making connections can help in many different ways – gaining new information and insights, learning about trends, learning about job opportunities.

You need to go beyond your immediate circle of colleagues and build relationships with people in other departments and in other companies. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn make this much easier to do.

  1. Lend a hand

One of the best ways to build goodwill and good relationships with others is to volunteer to help them. If you take the time to listen to others, try to understand their problems and offer solutions, you will develop a reputation as someone willing to go above and beyond, a team player and a problem solver.

You don’t have to sacrifice time for your own work to do this. You just need to be selective about what extra projects to take on.

  1. Keep growing

Growing in your career doesn’t just happen. In addition to doing the things mentioned above, you need to continually challenge yourself, to take on new and different projects to help you develop new abilities and skills. This may be uncomfortable. You may have to learn a lot of new information, ask people for help, and do things you are not used to, but the rewards will be worth it.

Whether you’re looking for a full-time career position, or a part-time, temporary opportunity, take a look at Helpmates’ current job opportunities and then follow directions to apply to the ones that interest you.

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