July 8th – The #LetteroftheDay is D as is Data.
One of the keys to building a successful résumé is having data to back up your claims of your ability to perform a certain competency. However, often clients struggle with producing data during an intake session.
I encourage all my clients to keep a brag book; spend five minutes at the end of the week and journal your successes. If you receive a letter of recommendation, a positive email from your supervisor or a client, a performance evaluation, or any documentation that shows your successes, hold onto it.
Keep your information in such a way that if you lost your job unexpectedly you would still have access to your information. Your brag book can help you prepare a new résumé, speak to your success during an interview, or provide backup when speaking with your boss about a pay increase.
July 9th– The #LetteroftheDay is “K” as is Kaleidoscope.
As a kid, I used to love to play with my kaleidoscope. It was pretty neat for an 8-year old to see the ever-changing colors and patterns. The world around us is constantly changing, whether it be in the world, at home, at the office, or with our health.
The dynamics in the workplace change on a consistent basis, which is one reason why you should be ready with an updated résumé at all times. Even if you are not actively seeking a new position, your position could be eliminated, or a recruiter could call with a can’t-miss opportunity. Be prepared for change at a moment’s notice.
July 10th– The#LetteroftheDay is “N” as in Negotiation
As of June, the national unemployment rate was 3.7% and over the past several years, U.S. employers have experienced ongoing skills shortages. Jobseekers have more leverage now than almost any time in history. Whether you are considering new employment or a new role within your current company, negotiating salary can be uncomfortable.
Consider this: let’s say you accept an offer of $50,000 for a new role and are given annual pay increases of 3%. After five years, you’ll be making $56,275 and you will have earned $265,456 during that time. On the other hand, if you negotiate a starting pay of $55,000 (a 10% increase), after five years, you pay will be $61,902 and will have made $292,000, a difference of $26,544!
Don’t accept the first offer given to you. Research your market value and negotiate a higher starting salary; 75% of the time you will receive more. The worst that can happen is someone tells you no, but the payoff can be huge.
July 11th– The #LetteroftheDay is “X” as in Exit
The way you exit a company can be more important than the work you performed for the last decade working for that employer. The last impression you make will often be what sticks in someone’s mind after you’re gone. Of course, handling yourself professionally and working out an appropriate notice are assumed. Here are a few other things you should do as you exit a company.
- Ask for letters of recommendations, or better yet, recommendations on LinkedIn. Don’t wait until you need them—people move around and get busy.
- Ask for copies of your performance evaluations (you should already have these).
- Save a copy of your most recent job description. 10 years down the road, you may need that information and your memory won’t be as clear as it is today.
- Gather any performance metrics or emails you may want to have before you submit your resignation. You could be shown the door immediately and lose access to that information.
July 12th– The #LetteroftheDay is “C” as in Change
Change can be scary and intimidating for some people. Whether it be something as simple as learning how to set the clock on a new microwave, getting a new boss, or switching industries, change always brings out a certain level of anxiety among most people. What can you do to make change a little more manageable and less stressful?
- Accept the new normal – while you may not like the change, it is usually here to stay. Stop fighting a losing battle and embrace the change.
- Analyze the change – what factors in your life are causing your anxiety? Is there something bigger in play that you need to adjust?
- Identify your goals – with the change, have your goals changed? If so, rework what action steps you need to take to obtain your goals and step onto that clearly defined path
- Take charge of your actions – instead of letting things come to you, take the upper hand and be the aggressor