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Entries in jobs (6)


Lucky Preparation

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." What a powerful quote! Read the quote over again. Do you believe it? If you do, consider the question: "What kind of luck are you preparing for?"

Another quote comes to mind: "Don't wait for your ship to come in-swim out to meet it."

I have a friend who lost his job over a year ago. He is extremely talented and should have had no trouble finding a job. Unfortunately, he allowed himself to gain a substantial amount of weight and added some facial hair (not that there's anything wrong with facial hair-but it does have a different effect on the appearance of someone). I can just see some prospective employer failing to see beyond appearances and missing the chance to hire a fantastic employee. On the other hand, this person is definitely not taking the right opportunities to present himself in the best light possible.

It is critical to prepare for when the right opportunity comes along. Your preparation should be a conscious, daily labor. If not, the danger is that the right opportunity comes along and we are not prepared. Get ready!!


Working Yourself To Death

According to the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (as reported by CNN), people who work 10-12 hours per day are 56% more likely to develop heart disease or have a heart attack than those who work less than 10 hours. Before you discount the results, realize this: They factored out stress, personality and behaviors such as smoking.

One of the authors of the study speculates that the increase in hours leaves less time to unwind. In Juggling Elephants terms, there is little time for an intermission to relax and recharge.

While this type of study gets our attention, we shouldn't discount the short-term impact of working too many hours. It's true that jobs sometimes require an increase in hours for a short period of time-but too often we let that short period of time become too long. For me, it helps to have some warning signals that tell me I am working too many hours without a break or change in routine. They include:

  • Eating lunch at my desk more than once every two weeks.
  • Skipping my personal time (reading, devotion, etc.) in the morning.
  • Trying to convince myself I don't have time to exercise.
  • Failure to have at least 2-3 good laughs per day-because I am too hyperfocused on work.
  • Just going through the motions at work and not really focusing on how to best accomplish the tasks.
  • When I have no creative energy.
  • Being irritable or on a "short fuse" with family and friends.

You might want to make your own list-before some major health problem FORCES you to change behavior.


Social Networking and Your Job Search

While many people are comfortable posting pictures, comments and taking strange quizzes (i.e. Which member of the Addams Family do you look most like?) on social networking sites, few are comfortable leveraging these sites for job searches and employment.

The Yahoo article, Social Networking Basics for Job Hunters, offers some good initial ideas to get you started.


For Those Looking For A New Work Ring

Liz Ryan has offered a fresh perspective on an essential tool for those looking for a new lineup for their work ring (i.e. a job). There are so many people now looking for jobs that last typed out a resume on a computer that was thrown out (or recycled) years ago. Like those computers, today's resumes should look and perform much differently than ones from the past.

In 10 Boilerplate Phrases That Kill Resumes, Ryan encourages us to have "human voiced resumes" instead of the cold, institutional ones of the past. One of my favorite parts of the article was the 10 phrases that kill resumes. They include:

-Results-oriented professional
-Cross-functional teams
-More than [x] years of progressively responsible experience
-Superior (or excellent) communication skills
-Strong work ethic
-Met or exceeded expectations
-Proven track record of success
-Works well with all levels of staff
-Team player
-Bottom-line orientation

She gives several good tips and even an example of how a resume should reflect a warmer tone.


Will They Bring Your Circus Down?

There was a news report recently of a paratrooper who had a harrowing training experience. In one of his first parachute training exercises, the trainer strapped to him died of a heart attack. The soldier saw all kinds of potential dangers lurking below him-houses, power lines, etc. The solider said he was able to safely land using techniques he had seen on television and the movies. Sadly enough, one death could have created two.

It brought to mind a similar situation that happens in an organization. An employee (performer) takes unnecessary risks or improper actions. Maybe they unexpectedly leave for another job. Retirement or even death might be the reason for their departure. You or your department were depending on them to help guide things in the right direction... and now they're gone. What will you do now?

Today, before you "jump" into your lineup it might be a good idea to:

  • Review the key performers in your work circus. Do you have a contingency plan in the event they were no longer there-or simply out for a period of time?
  • Ask yourself, "What have I done to cross train employees so we could keep things moving in the absence of other performers?
  • Reflect on your role as a "general manager of the circus," meeting the needs of others so they will remain as a strong supportive performer in your lineup.

The soldier never dreamed he would face such an uncertain situation. Thankfully, he had the ability to avoid disaster. What about you?