The majority of us seldom put ourselves in first place. We invest in the latest gadgets to organize/complicate our lives, hopeful business ventures, and other people’s dreams. We dress according to trends and style our hair from magazines. But in doing so, are we doing what we love or do we love conforming to the whims of the world?
Dr. Carmen Harra, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert, challenged readers in the Huffington Post to honestly answer these three questions:
You will better understand how your energy is consumed based on your answers. If you feel you deserve more self-care, Dr. Harra recommends putting into practice the following 10 ways to invest in yourself and watch your inherent strength resurface:
Remember, you are your single greatest investment, and to put energy into your well-being is to ensure the equal well-being of those who depend on you.
LinkedIn is known as the professional social network and your profile picture should be just that – professional. What does your LinkedIn profile picture say about you? Below are five types of profile pictures from Social-Hire that say more about you than you think.
1. No Profile Picture: How disappointing! Whoever has posted their information has not even bothered to find a decent photo. What are they hiding? I have encountered worries that their picture may cause viewers to discriminate, or they may not feel particularly photogenic, but there should be something there. You may need to be imaginative, but leaving it blank causes us to wonder why.
2. Poor Quality Picture: Not all of us may be Photoshop gurus, but blurred images, stretched or squashed images, poor lighting or so much red-eye that it reminds you of a Hammer House of Horror movie? To me, this just says ‘This will do! I will just slap this picture on there!’ Would that be your thought about going to an interview or going into an important business meeting? Probably not.
3. Inappropriate Setting: If you have a picture of yourself with a bar in the background, it is a risk. Remember ‘first impressions last’ – nobody will judge you if you go out on the weekend, or have a busy social life, but it doesn’t belong in a professional setting.
4. A Picture, but you’re not in it: A portrait of your children, a car, a cat! This is not Facebook! People want to see you, this is your profile.
5. A Company Logo: This is more of a judgment call. You may be in business, but is this the place for your logo? You can create a company page for your company on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve decided on your perfect profile picture, connect with me on LinkedIn.
Instead of New Year Resolutions, create a life contract. Create this contract with yourself stipulating: “Here are five or six things I would really like to achieve in my life. I hereby promise myself that I am going to try to accomplish them.”
Write these things down on paper. When you write down your thoughts like this, you have taken the first important step toward changing your life and making it more rewarding and memorable. Getting started will require some thought, and moving forward will require some action. The following tips can help you get started:
1. Open your mind (and shut the door). You may have no clue what types of things to include, but that’s only because you haven’t devoted enough thought to it. All of us have dreams and notions of things we’d like to try-your list probably exists in the recesses of your imagination, waiting to be coaxed out. Close yourself off from the daily grind for an hour with a pen and pad (lock yourself in the bathroom if you must) and you’ll start to develop ideas.
2. Make it uniquely yours. I don’t believe in generic lists taken from books of “things everyone should do.” Your list should be different from everyone else. Maybe you want to go back and earn your college degree, retrace a journey your grandparents once made or build something with your own two hands. The possibilities are endless (which is part of the challenge of making such a list; you have to make choices). Overall, it’simportant to create a list based on experiences that have special meaning to you.
3. Themes can help. If you need to spark ideas, divide your list into these themes: Face Your Fears, Get Lost, Test Your Limits, Rediscover Your Childhood, Express Yourself and Aim for the Heart. Most are self-explanatory, except maybe the last one, which is about seeking an experience that helps others or makes someone else’s dream come true. Think of an interesting idea that ties in with each of these six themes and you’ll have a great list.
4. Go public. Stashed away in a desk drawer, a list is easy to forget about or ignore. Once you’ve written it, keep it in plain sight. Keep copies all over-on the fridge, near your desk-so you constantly see it and are reminded of your dreams. Show it to your spouse, your kids and your friends. Soon they will start encouraging you to take action.
5. Lose the guilt. I know, I know. You’re a “responsible adult.” People depend on you. If you’re off having fun, how will everyone survive? Answer: They will manage. And maybe everyone will be better off. By leading a fuller life, you’ll make yourself a happier, healthier person and a better spouse and parent. Your loved ones will probably be thrilled and supportive (and willing to fend for themselves for a day as you go chase a rainbow). Don’t be surprised if they begin to follow your inspiring example and make their own dream lists. Make time for dreams. Your life is big, and there’s room in it for work and dreams. It’s simply a matter of how you prioritize. If you consider fulfilling your dreams unimportant, you’ll never find time. You must choose to rank them above, say, cleaning out the shed. Remember, having an adventure is not a waste of time; rather, it’s one of the best ways to maximize our limited time on earth.
6. Failure is not an option. Fear of failure often stops us from trying something that is challenging. But when you set out on any type of personal adventure, you really can’t fail. Just by going out and trying it, you guarantee yourself a memorable experience regardless of outcome.
Happy 2014! Make it your best year yet!
The new year is upon us which means a chance to start fresh. If you weren’t seeing job search success in 2013, now is the perfect time to get a new job with these new year’s resolutions for job seekers from Spark Hire.
1. Clean up your resume. Make it one of your job search resolutions to craft a new resume. Assess your resume, and determine which items should stay and go. For instance, if you graduated from college ten years ago, your GPA and extracurricular activities aren’t super relevant anymore. Make sure your contact info is up-to-date. And with that, make sure your resume style is up-to-date as well.
2. Commit to networking. If you get pale and clammy at the thought of networking, don’t worry — it happens to a lot of people. But they get over it, and one of your job search resolutions should be to get over it too. Commit to attending one networking event each month, which can include fun events like happy hours or in-person and online career fairs.
3. Invest in the interview. This particular job seeker resolution is two-fold. First, invest in a great interview ensemble. If you’re searching for a more traditional job, go with a nice suit and tie. However, if you’re interviewing at start-ups or creative agencies, lose the stiff look and go with something fun, yet professional. Secondly, practice, practice, practice. Finding a job is like a job in and of itself. You must prepare, and be ready “to work” at a moment’s notice. Develop answers to those common interview questions like “Tell us about yourself” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Research companies with whom you’re interviewing or at the very least interested in working for, and come up with a list of questions that you have for them.
4. Get your head in the game. Every job seeker goes through dry periods, and when that happens to you, you need to be mentally prepared. Keep in mind that the perfect job is out there for you and that it’s just a matter of timing. What you can do in the meantime is get your name, face and experience out there.
Allow me to help you begin the new year stronger than ever. If you are interested in learning more about Career Coaching, contact me for a free consultation.