Open post Title Image: A Deep Dive Into Your Job Search

A Deep Dive Into Your Job Search

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

As labor-intensive as it can feel, looking for a new job can be very exciting. It’s a fresh start. An opportunity for you to redefine your goals or get closer to the ones you already have.

But it can sometimes be tedious, and can even feel like a full-time job. This is why it’s so important to know what resources are available to you and how to use them.

That’s where we’re here to help. We’ve done the research on different types of job search platforms, so you don’t have to. And we’ve put together a guide to make job searching easier for you.

But before you dive into your search, it’s important that you’ve figured out what you want to do and have prepared for your job search. Check out our recent blogs for support getting through those steps.

If you are ready to get into your job search, keep reading for a guide to some tools available to you.

Networking

Networking is a very useful tool for finding jobs and is considered the most successful. Being referred by someone for a position is vastly different than applying, yourself. It always helps to know someone.

However, it’s different from other tools in that it’s an indirect pathway to a job. What we mean by this is that it’s not advisable to ask someone for a job when networking.

The benefit of networking is that it helps you build strong relationships. It also allows you to learn more about others and allows others to learn more about you. This way, when suitable opportunities arise in the future, you will come to mind and be recommended.

If you are unsure of how to find networking events, a good place to start is through alumni networks if you have gone to school or completed a course. Another great option is to look for events relevant to the position you are going for, held in your area through services like Meetup or Eventbrite.

If you don’t have access to events in your area, fear not, once you’ve cleaned up your social profiles (you can join groups or follow people in the position you see yourself in and begin building relationships. Not only will you learn a ton, but you will start to develop a community of people who are rooting for your success.

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind for successful networking:

·         Ask questions (remember, you want to get to know them too)

·         Offer your unique insights

·         A Thank You goes a long way

·         Find reasons to follow up

·         Ask for suggestions on expanding your network (the contacts you make will likely have many contacts themselves)

Job Boards

You’re probably familiar with job boards. These are platforms for employers to advertise open positions. They are a popular resource for job seekers. This makes sense. They’re relatively easy to use and cover jobs in many fields and locations. Some popular job boards include Glassdoor, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and you can find many more with a quick search.

Though you should not limit your search by solely using job boards, they are a great option, especially when paired with some of the other resources discussed in this article.

Here are some ways that you can make the most out of job boards:         Use multiple job boards

·         Search with keywords (this could mean searching by relevant skills, companies that interest you, or the type of work you’re seeking)

·         Refine your search by location or remote options, depending on your preference

·         Review their resources (many job boards have additional resources such as salary estimates, employee reviews, resume advice, etc.)

·         Set up job match alerts

·         Follow up directly (after applying through a board, you can set yourself apart by reaching out directly to the recruiter or hiring manager expressing your interest)

Company Websites

Many companies post job opportunities straight on their websites. This is a great way for you to look for jobs at companies you’re already interested in.

Additionally, if you hear about an opportunity that really captures your attention (through a job board, social media, or some other medium) going straight to their website, rather than applying through other platforms is an efficient and direct approach. It could also help you stand out, as there might be a smaller pool of applicants.

Company websites can also be a great way to learn more about a company.  Being familiar with not only the role, but the company itself will be very helpful throughout the application process.

LinkedIn (and other social media)

LinkedIn is a widely used professional network. It is very useful but sometimes overlooked by job seekers. Many employers require you to send your LinkedIn profile along with your resume and cover letter. So, taking the time to update and optimize your LinkedIn profile will be incredibly valuable to your job search.

Here are some ways that you can make the most of the platform:

·         Have a professional profile photo

·         Have an engaging summary with proper keywords

·         Include a complete list of skills, hard skills, and soft skills

·         Proofread for errors in grammar and spelling

·         Keep your work experience updated

·         Include a full detail of your educational background

·         List important achievements, certificates, and awards

In addition to polishing your LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to be mindful of your social media presence as a whole and clean up your other accounts, or update your privacy settings. Check out our past blog to learn more about managing your personal brand and why it’s important.

Recruiters

There are many advantages of partnering with a recruiter. Recruiters are experts in finding the best-fitting jobs for job seekers because they are so familiar with the client and what they are looking for.

They have intimate knowledge of the requirements needed for each position, with a deep understanding of the culture of the company and what personality types would work best, for both parties. They are matchmakers for your career.

You may find there are some skills and professional development you need before you can acquire your dream job, recruiters can help you develop a plan to achieve your goals.

Recruiters can help you figure out how to get you to the position that you may not be ready for right now. No, they will not recommend you for a position that you are not qualified for, but they can show you the path of how to get there.

In addition, they can help you with your resume, assist in securing interviews, and provide valuable feedback and insights at all steps that you would not normally be privy to on your own. All those times you didn’t hear a peep after an interview would be no longer.

Your recruiter should be able to share with you what went well and what didn’t from the client’s point of view. This is invaluable knowledge because it allows you to learn from each experience; knowledge you can take to the next interview and really wow them.

And even after you’ve been hired, recruiters will continue to check in with you to ensure that you have everything you need to be successful in your new role. Throughout your time with your recruitment firm, your recruiter remains an asset to you and your career path.

You've Got This

There are quite a few things to consider whilst on your job search. The most important thing is for you to know your own limits. Experiencing overwhelm and frustration will not help you in this endeavor.

Take breaks when you need to. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. This can be a long process, but if your goal is set, and you show your true self with all your unique qualities and stellar skills, you will be sure to land the job that is perfect for you.

For job search advice personalized to your needs, please feel free to contact our team: contact@quardev.com. We are standing by and happy to help.

 

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Open post Image of Man Searching Sky - Title: Not Sure What You Want to Do? Let's Figure It Out

Not Sure What You Want to Do? Let’s Figure It Out!

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

There’s a good chance at some point, you’ve been asked the following - “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This question may have been fun to think about as a child, but now that you’re an adult and the pressure is on, it can be stressful and confusing.

Whether you’re just entering (or re-entering) the workforce or you have been employed but are looking to take your career in a different direction, the first step to securing a job that you can thrive in is to determine your goals.

Even if you’re only planning for a minor career shift, or simply want to work at a different company, reevaluating your priorities and motivations can help you to go into your next job search with some clarity.

If defining your career goals seems intimidating, you are not alone. The stakes seem so incredibly high. How can you possibly take your interests, experiences, and dreams, and decide on one thing you are meant to do?

We’re here to help get you started on that reflection and make it a bit less intimidating. Keep reading for some very simple and fun exercises to help you realize your career goals.

Don’t worry about the “perfect fit”

The idea that your perfect career awaits you and you just need to find it, has been fed to many of us.  The pressure to find the ”perfect fit” can lead to having expectations that are unhealthy and unrealistic.

Take some of the pressure off. Don’t worry about finding the perfect fit, and just focus on coming up with some options that are a good fit.

Also, remember that choosing what you want to do does not mean that you’ll be locked into that career path forever. It’s actually quite common for people to make career shifts. In fact, a recent poll found that over half of middle-income workers are considering changing jobs right now.

Drop the “shoulds” from your life

In life, there are so many things that you are told you should do, in order to live your best life. Some of these are well-supported by evidence, like getting enough sleep most nights. But others, like the idea that you must receive a certain level of education to have a fulfilling career or that your path will be clear and straightforward, are not true.

All of these “shoulds” can cloud your judgment, and make it hard to get in touch with your true values and goals.

Before you go through the following self-reflection exercise, take all of your “shoulds” out of the equation. This might be tricky at first because so many of these thoughts are automatic but stick to it. The “shoulds” are probably not serving you as well as you think they may be.

Career assessments and personality tests

While career assessments and personality tests are not the end-all-be-all for defining your career goals, they are a helpful starting point. Many personality and career tests are not based on scientific method and haven’t performed well on tests of reliability and validity. But this does not mean that they can’t still be useful tools for you to use.

They can help you learn about yourself, your interests, your strengths, and your weaknesses.

Regardless of how accurate you find your results, taking the tests and interpreting them will encourage further introspection. If you find some careers that look promising, it might be a good idea to research those positions. For example, results may reveal strengths that really resonate with you. It might then be helpful to investigate careers that will require you to harness and apply those skills.

Here we’ve listed just a few free and popular career and personality tests (but there are many more available online) :

Career Assessments

•             The MAPP Career Test

The MAPP career test is comprised of about 70 questions in which you are asked to sort your likes and dislikes. It’s supposed to take about 22 minutes. It aims to help you discover careers that would suit your interests and fit with your motivations.

The MAPP test has held up to reliability and validity studies and has been used by many institutions and career counselors.

•             The Work Importance Profiler

The Work Importance Profiler is aimed to assess what’s important to you, and then show you careers that are compatible with your values.

Personality tests

•             The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most widely used personality tests available. It takes about 20 minutes, and then upon completion, you are given a personality profile.

There are 16 possible personality types, that are presented in the format of four letters. The personality types are determined by whether you’re:

  1. Introverted or Extroverted (I vs E)
  2. Intuitive or Sensory (N vs S)
  3. Thinking or Feeling (T vs F)
  4.  Judging or Perceiving (J vs P).

The test will give you a brief description of your personality type, along with a list of strengths and weaknesses. It will also provide you with careers that others of your suggested type are excelling at.

•             The Big-5

The Big Five personality test will give you a score on five personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

This test should help you understand some of your tendencies and skills. Providing you with important factors to keep in mind whilst in your career search.

Questions to ask yourself

These questions are all aimed to help you learn more about your specific skills and interests, and how you can match those with careers.

The more detailed and true you are with your answers, the more helpful these tools will be.

What criteria do you have for your life?

To define your career goals, a good place to start is to consider what criteria you have for your life, both in and outside of work. This can include positive and negative criteria: positive things that you would like more of in life, and negative things that you would prefer to avoid.

For example, a positive criterion could be that you want to work in an industry that allows for promotions and career advancement. Or maybe you want a lifestyle where you can spend frequent time with family.

Whilst, a negative criterion could be you don’t want to work in a highly stressful environment, or that you don’t want a role that requires you to work during your personal time.

What are your interests?

This seems like an easy question, one you’ve likely answered many times but this time you will need to dig deep. When you were younger, what did you enjoy learning about?  What do you go out of your way to learn more about now? It’s helpful to understand what your interests are to gain insights into what you’d like to have in your life.

What are you passionate about?

The best and most fulfilling work often comes when you follow your passions. What is truly important to you? What are your values? Is there a topic that you could talk about for ages, or listen to others talk about without becoming bored?

What do you excel at?

Everyone has certain skills that just seem to come more naturally to them. This could be a specific technical skill such as coding, or it could be a soft skill, like empathy.

If you’re struggling to come up with answers to this one at first, it can be helpful to reach out to a close friend or someone who knows you well for insight. Taking the career and personality assessments will also give you a solid foundation to answer this question.

Who do you admire?

This question can really get you thinking about the qualities you value and can help you to direct your aspirations. You may think of people you admire for their job-related accomplishments, or simply for who they are as people.

Once you’ve determined the qualities you admire in others, you can begin to institute them in your own life.

How much additional effort are you able to put in to achieve your career goals?

There might be a certain job that you’re interested in, but it requires another degree or certificate. And maybe going back to school is just not practical for you at this point in your life. That’s perfectly understandable; going back to school is a huge commitment of time and money. It just means that you may need to get creative.

Depending on what it is you’d like to do, you may be able to find free courses that you can fit into your spare time. Self-directed learning has become more available and accepted.

Look for entry-level positions for the job you’d like. You may qualify for the position with the skills you have and then are able to gain skills and knowledge on the job.

There are many ways to get to where you’d like to be, they don’t all have to be conventional.

Find people on social media who are in your dream position and follow them. You will learn a ton about the industry, what it takes to make it, as well as potentially make valuable connections that can help you to achieve your goal.

If none of these are available to you, begin to pay attention to the aspects of your current position that you really enjoy. Focus on those. Does your current company have a position like the one you want? Seek cross-training opportunities to learn more and gain skills. After some time you will be able to apply those to the position that you are really interested in.

Conclusion

Ultimately, if you are not currently where you’d like to be, there are many roads you can take to get there. It’s most important that you just take the first step – regardless of how small that step may feel.

You are a wonderful collection of unique skills, experiences, and perceptions. And you are at your best when you are interested and invested in what you are doing. If you have it, take the time to truly get to know yourself. It will be the best thing you ever do. Future you will thank you!

 

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Open post Hand holding a heart-shaped rock. Title-Soft Skills: A Testament to Your Personal Development

Soft Skills: A Testament to Your Personal Development

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

When building your resume, you may naturally place emphasis on your technical skills—those relating directly to tasks you’ll be performing on the job. Technical skills are undoubtedly important, as they can demonstrate your experience and capabilities. They show what you can do. However, it’s also important to include soft skills on your resume. Soft skills are attributes that enable you to interact effectively and harmoniously with others. They are crucial for workplace success.

Soft skills are often related to your attitude and intuitions. They are less about qualifications and more based on the status of your personal development. As technology advances and jobs become increasingly more automated, having interpersonal skills that computers can’t match becomes even more essential. In this article, we will discuss six of the most important soft skills. We'll talk about they can make you more successful not only in your workplace but within your life.

Organization

Organizational skills can include attention to detail, persistence, and time management. The ability to maintain organized and efficient operations is extremely important. If someone has great technical capabilities but is frequently disorganized, they will be unlikely to live up to their full potential at work. Strong organizational skills demonstrate a commitment to carrying out tasks and duties in a timely manner, with a focus on quality.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving skills involve using creativity in order to resolve issues or perform tasks more efficiently. This is much valued by employers. A workplace full of strong problem-solvers is likely to run smoothly and remain unharmed by any minor hiccups. Problem-solving also means being innovative, and new ideas are valuable to any workspace.

Teamwork

Most employees work as part of a team, and even those who work ‘alone’ need to collaborate with other employees at some point. Being able to engage in productive collaboration is extremely valuable. If you’ve ever worked on a team or group project where some of the members were clearly not eager to work together, you have seen how difficult it can be.

People who are skilled at working in a team appreciate the value of joining forces with others in order to accomplish shared goals. They know when to delegate, and how to allow each person to contribute in ways that play to their unique strengths. Strong teamwork skills will make your life, and the lives of your team members so much easier.

Communication

Whether verbal or written, good communication skills can help you in all aspects of your career. Being able to communicate well means being skilled at delivering your message to others in a wide range of situations. Sometimes, you may need to communicate ideas that are uncomfortable or unpleasant. Conveying these messages tactfully and without creating conflict is an extremely desirable attribute that employers value.

Also essential to strong communication is the ability to listen actively and attentively. Being a good listener is crucial because it will help you respond more appropriately and will also help your co-workers/employers/employees see that you value and appreciate their ideas.

Adaptability

Being adaptable means being able to adjust and perform well under a variety of different conditions. Flexible employees often refine processes and identify new ideas for a business to explore. In any job (but especially in technology-driven fields or startups), changes occur unexpectedly. Being able to work with these changes and adjust quickly is extremely desirable for employers.

Adaptability can even make up for a lack of technical skills in some situations. For example, if you have never worked with the computer system that your job uses, but you are adaptable, employers may disregard your lack of experience because they see that you are motivated to learn, and know that your technical skills will follow.

Empathy

Empathy is simply the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. With that insight, you become better adept to support others through challenging situations. Empathy is an essential human characteristic, and can also be very beneficial in the workplace, as it can enable you to resolve conflicts, build more productive and collaborative teams, and improve relationships with co-workers, clients, and customers.

If after reviewing this list, you are concerned that you may not be as strong in some of these skills as you could be, don’t worry. Even though soft skills are not taught formally in a course or class, they can be developed and fostered through self-reflection and the observation of others. Remaining proactive with your personal development will increase your emotional intelligence which will significantly impact all your relationships for the better, not only the ones at work but across all facets of your life.

 

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Open post Four people dressed in business clothes walking quickly, some are checking mobile devices.Text: Too busy to look for a job? How to fit a jobsearch into your already too full schedule

How To Fit A Job Search Into Your Already Too Full Schedule

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

Searching for a job can feel like a full-time job. It requires quite a bit of time and energy, which can feel exhausting even when you have ample amounts of time to dedicate to it. When you may be already overwhelmed by the demands of your current job and other life-related tasks, carving out the time to hunt for a new job can feel almost impossible. But it does not have to be that way for you. Keep reading to learn how to effectively work a job search into your busy schedule so that you can continue to grow and evolve.

 

Prioritize

When you are job hunting, it is important to remember that not everything is urgent, even if it may feel that way. While some tasks are time-sensitive, like meeting application deadlines or scheduling interviews, other tasks can be worked into your schedule however you can fit them in. Prioritizing your tasks and remaining organized will help you free your mind and keep your schedule under control.

 

Be Active

If you are quite serious about finding a new job, you must pursue it actively. Casually browsing jobs or merely entertaining the idea of applying for a new job is rarely fruitful. Passive job searching is not as productive or efficient as an active search. Your determination here will be a great indicator of how strongly you feel about finding a new job. Taking a more active approach to your job search can benefit you in two ways; first, it will help you feel more in control of the process, and second, it will help you figure out how serious you are. If you find that your heart is not in it, maybe take a break from the search and work on determining some personal goals, instead. This will make it easier for you to figure out where your path goes from here, and how to start drawing that map. But by giving your job search structure, you can avoid feeling as if the work you are putting in is aimless or fruitless. Using a planner to make a timeline for yourself or creating to-do lists will help keep you on track and will also help you to observe your progress. 

 

Take Breaks

It is imperative, regardless of what you are doing, to take breaks and time for yourself. Sure, you feel busier than you ever have, but you should never try to power through each day with minimal breaks. This will lead you to burnout and is not sustainable long-term. Although it might not seem like you have any room left in your schedule, finding time to take breaks is essential to your well-being. Build breaks into your schedule and spend them doing things that re-energize you, whether it is exercising, cooking, or talking to a loved one. No matter what you do, make sure that you are taking time for yourself. Doing so will drastically improve not only your job search stamina but your overall mental health. 

 

Take the Pressure Off 

You are only one human being. You only have a certain capacity, and a job search can take a great deal of it. Consider the work you are putting in at your current job; are you going above and beyond? If so, you may have room to dial it back a little. If you are serious about finding a new job, it is time to cut yourself some slack at your current job. This is not to say that you should shirk your responsibilities and risk bad references or strained relationships with your colleagues and managers. But it is a suitable time to reconsider your boundaries at work, maybe don’t answer work emails after hours, or avoid taking on that extra project. Maintaining appropriate boundaries at work is important regardless of whether you are looking for a new job or not. Dedicate some of your valuable time to setting boundaries to protect your valuable time.  

 

Use your PTO 

If you are having trouble balancing your job search with your daily life/work schedule, and you have paid time off available, consider using it. Taking advantage of your PTO is a perfect way to gain the time you need to really focus on looking for a job. If you have longer application tasks, like interviews, taking a day off work will help you to clear your mind of work responsibilities, and really put all your energy into your application process. 

 

Do Not Settle

A job search can feel exhausting, especially when you are also managing the demands of your current job and life, so when you receive an offer, it can be very tempting to take it. But it is crucial that the job you take is really the right choice for you and your life; otherwise, all your time and efforts have been for not. The job hunt takes time, and you will feel fatigued at points. Be kind to yourself and use those moments to check in with your commitment to this process – taking breaks when you need them. You are the decider and the only one who truly knows what is good for you. Do your best not to sell yourself short, the future “you” will thank you.

 

A job search feels incredibly daunting, but if you stick with it and are true to who you are, eventually, all your arduous work will pay off. You will find the company or path that is right for you – fostering your superpowers and discovering your people. Hang in there! And if you ever need help – we are standing by.

 

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