Sometime ago I was speaking with a friend. My friend was not happy with her current career; she was at a crossroads considering going in a different direction career wise. However, I could tell she had some reservations. I asked her, this new direction you are considering, is it your passion?
She replied with a chuckle my passion? Who goes to a job and is passionate about their job? It’s a job to make a living. I replied some people are fortunate enough to have a passion and use that passion to make a living for themselves.
Then she asked, are you passionate about what you do? My answer was, I am passionate about helping people and in my line of work I am in the position to help people; so yes, I am passionate about what I do.
Later, I though more about our conversation. I thought deeper about the question my friend asked; am I passionate about what I do? The truth is I enjoy what I do. I feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. But passionate is a strong word. In my opinion, something a person is passionate about, they would do for free. Would I do my job for free? The honest answer is no.
I had to give some more thought about what I am passionate about. I knew deep down what my passion was however I was not practicing it anymore. After some soul searching I could reconnect with my passion. Here are some steps I took to reconnect with my passion. If you are honest with yourself, you too can rekindle that love affair with your passion.
What do you Love to do?
I must admit in between work, family, social life etc. life can get hectic! I forgot what I was passionate about because I did not have the time to remember! Think about what you love to do. This can be a hobby, something you would like to devote time to if you had more time. Think back to what you did in your spare time as a teenager or young adult before life took over.
In my case, as a teenager, I often wrote. I journaled, wrote poetry and short stories. I initially started journaling to vent, as I felt I had no voice as a teenager. Later the journaling became a powerful tool to self-awareness. Later, when introduced to poetry, poetry became enjoyable to write.
What do you find yourself thinking about?
If we take a moment to contemplate our thoughts, it will reveal our desires, passions and purpose. What did you daydream about as a kid? What brings you enjoyment? Why is it enjoyable? How did you believe your life would turn out? How is it different? How does this make you feel? These are questions to ask yourself to reconnect to your desires. Journal your thoughts, even if you are not a “writer” journal about whatever comes to mind. This process will help expose to you what your purpose is.
Would you do if for Free?
After taking a voyage down memory lane, asking yourself honest questions and meditating on your thoughts, you should have some idea what your passion is. If you have not done your passion in some time, do it now to see if you still have the same fire for it. Now the million-dollar question is do you love your passion so much, that you would do it for free?
If you answer is yes, then congratulations! you have found your passion!
Is your Passion Something You Can Earn A Living Doing?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up and do something that you love and get paid well to do it? Now that you have found your passion see if you can monetize by doing what you love. Research, create a plan, and follow through.
There are many people fortunate enough to do what they love. I believe, if you are passionate about something, you can turn your passion into a career. I would love to hear from you. Have you discovered your passion? Have you been able to support yourself financially by doing what you love?
Written By: Rochella Neely
“An Open Book”
It’s a new year! One of your new year resolutions may be to switch employers, secure a promotion or change careers. The beginning of the year generally opens doors to new opportunities as employer’s budgets have been finalized, retiree’s positions are open and companies are looking to fill positions.
Whatever your career goals are for 2017, it is important when your opportunity arrives, you are ready and put your best foot forward. Below are some tips to help you secure your dream job
Update Your Resume
If you have been at your current employer for years or changing careers, it is imperative to update your resume. Your resume is what inspires an employer to reach out to you. This is your first impression to a hiring Manager or HR professional. Make it count. Ensure your resume is up to par.
Check that there are no grammatical errors. This is a pet peeve of mine. I will not call a candidate that has typos and a poorly written resume. If the individual did not put in the effort and time to ensure his/her resume is presentable; may be a clear indication of the candidate’s attention to detail if he/she works with you.
List your accomplishments, this is something I like to see on a resume. Don’t be afraid to brag a little about your achievements. Your resume is the place to highlight these activities.
Briefly list your responsibilities in previous roles; this will give employers a clear picture of your experience. Notice I said briefly. Hiring Managers want to be able to skim your resume to see if you may be a good fit. Make it easy for them by not listing a long list of responsibilities. If you get the interview, you will have the opportunity to go in more detail at that time.
The Interview Starts Before You Step in The Building
One of the biggest misconceptions candidates have is, their interview starts once they are in front of the hiring Manager. I start interviewing when I make the call to set up the interview appointment. I take note of items such as how did the person sound on the phone? Did they sound professional? Did they seem excited to receive the call? What was their tone? Were they accommodating when scheduling the interview?
Once the interview is confirmed, start preparing. Look at the description for the position, this will tell you what the employer is looking for. Research possible questions you could be asked and be prepared to answer them. Practice out loud your responses. Tape record yourself so you can play back how you sound. Some individuals have done mock interviews with a friend or mentor and video-taped themselves to assess where improvements can be made.
Dress for success. Dressing professionally, goes without saying. No matter what type of position you are applying for, ensure you are dressed professionally. Your clothes should be clean, pressed and presentable.
Treat the receptionist or the person who escort you to the hiring Manager, with courtesy and respect. At a previous institution, I worked for–when an applicant came to fill out an application or for an interview, the receptionist had a questionnaire unbeknownst to the candidate that was completed. Some of the questions were, did the person make eye contact? Did the individual smile? Was the individual courteous? Remember employers like to know who they really are hiring, not who they think they are hiring. Always be prepared.
During the Interview
During the interview, try not to be overly nervous. It’s normal to be nervous during an interview, however you want to minimize this as much as possible to have an effective interview. Some practices I do before an interview is to take slow, deep, breaths before entering the interview. I am aware that I tend to talk faster when I am nervous, I purposely slow my speech down so that I sound “normal”. Make eye contact. If you are not making eye contact, the interviewer may think you are not being honest. Let your true personality come through.
Be confident but not arrogant. Confidence is a good quality. Some ways you can convey you are confident are:
- Make eye contact, introduce yourself and give a firm handshake
- Make eye contact throughout the interview
- Project your voice
- Tell a story when appropriate
Sell yourself. The purpose of the interview is for the employer to get to know you, for you to get more information regarding the company and position, and to sell yourself. Let the interviewer know what you have accomplished and what you are capable of. One of the questions I usually ask during an interview is “If I have two candidates and you are one of those candidates, both candidates have the same experience, look the same on paper, and are both equally qualified for the position. Tell me why you should be selected over the other candidate?” This is your chance to sell yourself. The interviewer has given you the opportunity to convince them why you should be selected. Use that opportunity wisely.
Be prepared to ask the interviewer questions. I like to hear candidates ask questions, it shows they are serious about working together. Please beware basic questions about the position and company may be covered in the interview. So, have some creative questions in mind in case your question was already answered earlier.
Here is a list of things you should not do during the interview:
- Be late for the interview
- Dress inappropriately
- Use slang
- Ask about the salary unless the interviewer brings it up
- Speak about your current or previous manager negatively
- Chew gum
- Speak about your personal issues/situations
- Ask about internal confidential policies and procedures
- Argue with the person conducting the interview
After the interview, thank the individual for their time and give a firm handshake. This last pointer, many people fail to do after an interview and that is to send a thank you note. I think sending a thank you note shows gratitude and sincerity for the opportunity to possible work together. If I am undecided between two candidates or if I am unsure about one candidate, the thank you note can give the candidate the extra boost for the position. The thank you note preferable should be an email. You can also mail a letter. The letter should briefly outline why you should be selected for the position, a thank you again for their time and convey that after speaking with them, your continued interest in the position.
Interviewing is an art. If it has been awhile since you went on an interview, prepare and knock the interview out the park!
Written by: Rochella Neely
an “open book”
How to deal with a Bad Boss
Dealing with a “bad” boss, takes skill and patience. It’s important to realize, the relationship you have with your manager is extremely important. If you are planning to grow within the company or if you plan to stay short term; it is wise to have your manager as your ally or cheerleader than foe. Your current manager can help you to get the promotion or prevent you from getting the promotion. If you leave the company, your reputation will follow you so protect your brand. How do you deal with a situation when you have a bad boss? You know the type, the insecure manager, the gossiping manager, the backstabber.
Find out what makes them tick
Find out what makes your manager tick. This will take some conversation, observation and getting to know him or her. Once you find out what makes your boss tick then handle with care. For example, if you find out that your boss is insecure due to unskillfulness in their role; assure your boss that you are not trying to take their position. You will need to prove your loyalty to your manager. This may take time and you may have to prove it more than once.
Aid in the areas they are weak. If you see your boss really does not like completing a report or struggles completing the report, offer to take it off his hands.
Do Your Job Well
The best assistance you can do for your boss is to do your job well. Learn as much as you can, become an expert in your field, and share your knowledge. By doing your job well, you in turn make your manager’s job easier and make your boss look good.
Go above and beyond when asked to take on projects. Deliver more than expected and do it with a positive attitude.
Keep your Emotions in Check
If you have worked for a bad boss previously, you understand how challenging it can be to keep your emotions in check. Don’t Let your boss get to you and don’t take things personally. Remind yourself this is a test that you will pass.
Do not fall into gossiping about your boss no matter how tempting it may be. As you are in the lunchroom and you hear the gossip about your manager, do not participate. Don’t do it. This is career suicide. I promise you if you do fall into this trap, there is a strong possibility what you said will get back to the manager.
Instead, if you must vent about your bad boss, go home vent to your family and friends. Someone who does not work for the company.
Have you ever worked for an untrustworthy boss? You know the type, they tell you one thing, then when its brought up again they deny it. For this backstabbing boss, get pertinent information and directives in writing to protect yourself. If your boss doesn’t usually put information is writing , you put it in writing. For example, send an email outlining what you verbally discussed. Even if you don’t get a response back, you have your writing.
Dealing with a bad manager can be challenging and demanding however it can be accomplished. The benefits of having a good working relationship with your manager out weights the negative. Learning to build strong relationships with key people is a valuable, life long skill that can benefit you in both your career and personal life.
Written by: Rochella Neely
“an open book”
How To Increase Relationship Building Skills
During college, I learned many technical skills. One of the most important skills to learn was not taught in college thus, I learned all about relationship building through trial and error. Relationship building is a life-long skill that transfers into all areas of life. It doesn’t matter if an individual is an employee, an entrepreneur, a mother, a sister, a wife or business partner. Building relationships is important in any professional or personal endeavor. Here are some guidelines I have learned that help in building relationships.
I love this quote. As a young professional new to the business world, I started out trying to be what I thought Senior Managers, Executives, and esteemed colleague’s thought I should be. I believe many young professionals make this error. Not being who you are will only get you so far in the business world and life in general.
Authenticity is a must. Years ago, I made a promise to live a more authentic life. Some of the people I most admire, know who they are, have the courage to be who they are, and are happy doing so. In your career and in your personal life, people know when you are not being authentic. They can feel it, I can feel it. Authenticity is the first step to relationship building.
Once, I started to be my authentic self, all the goals I were working toward professionally, came overflowing in my life. During a person’s career, there are many people who help cultivate, motivate and mentor the individual. Having strong relationship building skills helps this process.
Of course, in a professional environment, you must act professionally. To be authentic is to be true to your unique distinctiveness. Who are you? Does the person know who you are? Do you stay true to who you have established yourself to be? While building a relationship, it is important to be genuine, (remember people can tell when you’re faking it) once you have established who you are, stay true to that authenticity. This is how trust is built.
Trust is crucial to every relationship. Would you want someone on your team you could not trust? I absolutely would not. The people you report to want to trust you will do what you have been hired to do. In business, clients need to trust you will deliver what you have promised. Your business partners need to trust you will deliver you portion of the project.
When you are building relationships, ensure you are doing what you said you would do. If you say “I will call you on Tuesday at 2:00,” make sure you do so. Strive to over deliver. People are observing to see if you are trustworthy with a little fish, before giving you a big fish.
Service to Others
One of the best ways to build relationships and increase self-development, is to shift the focus off one self and on to helping others. In a world where individual self-gratification typically comes first, service to others can be last on the list. There are many organizations and individuals who dedicate themselves to helping others. Partner with these people and give back. Many relationships can come out of these endeavors. Once I shifted my focus to helping others, I became more fulfilled, happier, and more successful.
Relationship building is an important skill that may help you land your first job, your next job, your promotion, open your first business, take your current business to the next level, or help you find your calling. The positive effects are endless. With constant developing of this critical skill, you will notice a big, positive, change in your professional and personal life. What are some ways relationship building has positively impacted your life? I would love to hear from you!
Written by: Rochella Neely
“An Open Book”