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Deborah Peters: Being My Own Wonder Woman
I love super heroes! For some they are fictitious and sheer entertainment; for others, like me, they are mystical, magickal and a distinct representation of all that is possible. They represent the part of ourselves that are dormant, begging to be nurtured, developed and turned loose so we might step into alignment with our greatest potential.
To find my Inner Wonder Woman I looked to my Mother and away from my Mother. She, like most women was a dichotomy. She represented achieving the impossible and dissolving gender lines, the Journey Less Travelled and the female warrior. She also represented the side of women forging new pathways that have fear, doubt, loneliness, massive sacrifice and financial challenges.
It was hard for me. We were both very strong personalities and I never quite understood the side of her that was blocking her own success through her perceptions of self, through her lack of alignment with her personal power.
We were in a rural farming community. My Dad died when I was seven years old and my Mother decided the best way to raise her three daughters as a single parent was to remain on the farm and learn how to run it herself. Through her grief she tackled the debt, she absorbed the step learning curve of taking a bankrupt farm into a million-dollar retirement 17 years later. It was no small feat and came at a great cost.
She sacrificed everything. Her femininity, her beauty, her sexuality, her joy and her freedom. What was meant to be a refuge and safe economic future became the burden that kept her from enjoying life….it took the bounce out of her step through life.
She was my super hero for many years and as I began to cultivate my relationship with myself I was able to adopt her super powers and add some of my own. Where my Mother was a forger of paths, I cultivated that sense of adventure. As I live my laptop lifestyle I satiate my sense of adventure.
The things she struggled with like speaking out and up, owning my truth and sharing it without fear, creating leading edge concepts regardless of the naysayers and constantly moving toward my grandest dreams has been what has fueled my passion for life. When we change the narrative around being a professional woman, woman entrepreneur, woman business leader, woman head of state to being about the individual’s gifts, talents and desire to Thrive, we take the gender conversation off the table.
As a woman, we have more power than we realize. We have more choice than we claim and we have untapped Leadership qualities that can create great momentum. Cultivate your own Super Powers. List them, envelope them, live them and pass them on. Pass them on to our girl children, to our colleagues, to our friends and to our Mothers because they have given us so much; event in the hardest of situations.
My Mother was abusive at times, loving and supportive at others. From that life experience, I’ve created my own set of Super Powers that I pass on to you:
Belief in Myself, Trust in My Goals, Commitment to my Expansion, Determination to Rise Above My Past, Alignment with My Inner Being, Unconditional Self Love, Choosing Happiness, Expression of My Creativity, Speaking My Truth, Articulating My Needs, Allowing My Inner Being to Guide Me, Claiming and Cultivating My Sense of Adventure, Fostering My Connection to God, Appreciation for Mother Earth, Enjoying My Love of Nature, Courage to Move Forward, Owning my Grandest Visions of My Life Unapologetically, Consistently Implementing My Visions, Celebrating My Intuition and Honoring My Life on this Planet.
Ladies; it is time to Thrive. Please enjoy my new book: Scale-UP; Your Business, Your Relationships, Your SELF & Your Life.
By Neal Morrison, City Career Fair
This is one of the most asked questions by candidates during my years of producing the Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fairs and Roundtables across the U.S. Few candidates have any idea of the potential field of land mines that await them in an interview.
So we surveyed for their input over 500 recruiters and staffing managers who are on the front lines of recruiting for major corporations, government agencies and non-profits.
Here are their top 10 should NOT’s for an interview.
- Be Late – Noted by 100% of the Recruiters
“Next!” that’s what you might hear when you finally turn up—late. If an unavoidable delay occurs, immediately let the employer know before your scheduled interview time. This shows consideration and a level of professionalism.
- Lack Adequate Preparation – Noted by 98% of the Recruiters
Not knowing what the company does or details about the position you’re applying for indicates to the Recruiter that you’re unprepared and may not be the right person for the position. Asking relevant questions that allow you to engage with the recruiter indicates just the opposite.
- Inappropriate Attire – Noted by 93% of the Recruiters
If you don’t know the appropriate attire, just call and ask the company’s HR. Business suits are always your best bet.
- Complain About Your Current or Past Employer – Noted by 92% of the Recruiters
Don’t do it. You’ll be perceived as a complainer and possibly, someone who holds a grudge.
- Become Too Personal or Familiar – Noted by 90% of the Recruiters
Flirting is unacceptable and should be avoided. Telling personal stories and sharing intimate details during your interview is taboo and could put-off the interviewer.
- Lack Attentiveness and Expressed Interest – Noted by 88% of the Recruiters
Yawning, slouching, fidgeting, and clock watching send negative non-verbal cues to an experienced recruiter.
- Cursing or Use of Excessive Slang – Noted by 99% of the Recruiters
Not acceptable in the work place and will certainly eliminate you as a possible contender for the position. It could also draw question upon your emotional and psychological suitability for the position.
- Fail to Smile Appropriately and Make Eye Contact – Noted by 83% of the Recruiters
Appropriate and regular smiles along with eye contact provide the first line of successful engagement with the interviewer.
- Talk or Texting on Your Phone – Noted by 84% of the Recruiters
Talking and texting during an interview is disrespectful and will certainly eliminate you from further consideration.
- Forget to Ask the Interviewer Their First Impression of Your Qualifications – Noted by 75% of the Recruiters
Remember a golden and rare opportunity exists to gain valuable feedback from an experienced observer—the interviewer. Most are willing to share their observations and assessment of your qualifications and prospectus for getting the position, if asked.
Regardless of how you’ve done on interviews in the past, these insights when applied should build your confidence and thereby increase your success.
Neal Morrison is Diversity Outreach Director at City Career Fair ( www.citycareerfair.com ).
By Rhonisha Ridgeway, Yahoo ! Life.
While job hunting, be aware that employers come across thousands of resumes. According to Indeed, “On average, employers look at resumes for six to seven seconds. However , the amount of time that an employer spends looking at a resume varies from company to company.”
A well-written resume can significantly affect your chances of landing a job.
Conversely, you could miss out on an opportunity if your resume is filled with errors at first glance. We compiled a list of things to avoid and essential resume characteristics you’ll want to include when submitting for your next opportunity.
- Do ensure that your resume contains essential information. Include contact information, a summary statement, work experience, skills, education, and references according to worldwide standards. Resumes should be one page with brief and to-the-point information. A LinkedIn profile or any other professional platform is also necessary for your contact information. The summary statement on your resume should also complement your cover letter. A summary of your skills will increase your chances of being noticed by employers.
- Do adapt your resume to each job application. Your resume should list the skills, accomplishments, and qualifications most relevant to the job. Often, companies examine resumes with software designed to look for keywords from the job posting that is relevant to your resume.
- Do emphasize past accomplishments. Do more than copy and paste job descriptions when adding your work experience. Instead, take advantage of this opportunity to discuss your core responsibilities and accomplishments in that position.
- Do include a summary statement. The summary statement should appear at the top of your resume and highlight your relevant qualifications and skills. It should be concise and contain no personally identifiable information.
- Do add awards and special recognitions. If you have received any awards, be sure to include them. In addition, describe any volunteer service, workshops you’ve attended, certificates earned, or if you’re a part of any organizations. By listing these items, you will demonstrate your commitment to a cause while also giving them a glimpse of your values.
- Don’t make your resume layout complex . At first glance, your resume should stand out. Make the page look manageable; bullets are always helpful when formatting outlines. Most companies use applicant tracking systems that only read words, so avoid designing with columns, boxes and tables, graphics, and icons.
- You don’t need to give a reason for leaving your job . You should focus on your work while at your previous employers and not on why you left. But be sure to mention anything relevant and necessary for the position you are applying for.
- Don’t include unrelated activities or topics . If you mention organizations or clubs you may belong to, be concise about whether your employer should know about them. When considering whether or not to include an organization or club on your resume, ensure that it relates to an important skill or responsibility in the job description.
- Don’t forget to let your references know they can expect a call . Let your references know you will be in touch with them during this process before beginning the job search. It’s helpful to email your resume to your references. It also helps them gain a better understanding of your work experience and what you’ve been up to since then.
- Don’t forget to proofread your resume . Check your writing several times to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Even if your resume looks great and you check every box for the job, spelling, and grammatical errors can make a huge difference.
Continue here to read more from Yahoo ! Life.
Especially after the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work is flourishing now more than ever. Whether you need to work from home for accessibility and comfort’s sake or you simply prefer to stay at home as opposed to going to an office, here are the top remote job opportunities you should consider:
If you have a knack for writing and marketing, then a career in copywriting may be for you. As a copywriter, you would be responsible for preparing advertisements to promote the sales of goods and services. Copywriters may work through agencies, in-house for a specific company, or through freelancing. They often work directly with a brand or company to develop company slogans, print advertisements, mailing services, social media posts, marketing communications, billboards, jingles and more.
- Average Salary: $60,748
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in writing, communication, marketing or a similar degree is recommended but not required. Most training can be done on the job and through experience.
- Skillset: Writing, editing, organization, research, effective communication
- Highest Paid Specialties: User Experience (UX) Copywriter, Travel Copywriter, Senior Pharmaceutical Copywriter, Fintech Copywriter
Social Media Managers
For those who have a knack for social media, you could be the perfect candidate for managing a business’s online presence. Social media managers are in charge of running their employers’ social media accounts and increasing their brand reputation. They create and post content, interact with the public as a brand representative, and ensure media posts are being discovered and interacted with.
- Average Salary: $54,360
- Education: Bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, marketing or business is recommended.
- Skillset: Knowledge of social media platforms, marketing, technology, public relations, creativity, communication
- Highest Paid Specialties: Social Media Sr. Strategy Manager, Director of Social Media Strategy, Senior Social Media Analyst
Business Development Managers
Do you want to help a business to reach its full potential? Business development managers are in charge of enhancing a business’s success through client recruitment and relations. They are responsible for creating a business plan that a company can use to enhance its recruitment and retention methods and work in just about any industry.
- Average Salary: $70,503
- Education: Bachelor’s in business, communications or social sciences is recommended but not required. Master’s degrees may be preferable for higher-level positions.
- Skillset: Business, customer relations, leadership, organization, collaboration
- Highest Paid Specialties: VP/SVP of Sales and Business Development, International Business Development Manager, Technical Development Manager
Front End Developer
- Average Salary: $97,148
- Education: Training in HTML and computer programming. A bachelor’s degree in programming or computer science can be preferable but is not required.
- Skillset: Programming, multimedia tool knowledge, creativity, detail-oriented, communication
- Highest Paid Specialties: Front End Architect, Front End Engineer
Teaching the next generation is critical, and curriculum designers can ensure they receive a well-rounded education. Also known as instructional designers, curriculum designers are responsible for creating educational materials teachers and institutions use to teach students. They create the material and ensure it is implemented effectively, edited when necessary, and fulfills educational standards. They also write syllabi and create online learning course content.
- Average Salary: $66,800
- Education: Master’s degree in education or curriculum and instruction. Licensing may also be required depending on the workplace.
- Skillset: Writing, educational background, communication, analytics, interpersonal skills
- Highest Paid Specialties: Instructional Designer, Senior Service Designer, E&I Designer
Sources: Flexjobs, ZipRecruiter, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wikipedia
By Belva Anakwenze
Given the current state of life as we know it, finances are top of mind for everyone right now. The accounting industry, known for its quick burnout, is included in that conversation. My career started in corporate America, working long days and nights, to ensure the company’s months would fiscally close on time. In addition to the long hours as month-end neared, I felt like a cog in a wheel and undervalued.
Before I decided to leave the corporate machine, I saw numerous peers promoted into leadership roles for reasons like length of service or technical skill. Obviously, technical skills are necessary in a role of leadership, but just as important is emotional intelligence. Very young in my career, it seemed insulting to report to individuals without the interpersonal soft skills to actually lead, inspire and guide human capital in an organization.
As I began to envision my next chapter beyond the corporate machine, I vowed to honor that I was more than my work product or career choice. I approach everything in my personal and professional life by looking at the whole person. I support small businesses to lend to the growth of local entrepreneurs and communities. When I was looking at schools for my children, I wanted an environment that nurtured them socially and emotionally. I have carried this with me throughout my entrepreneurial career.
My greatest test as a leader came in my years as an income tax franchisee. My partners and I operated five locations and dealt with a myriad of obstacles. Some of our challenges were high employee attrition due to seasonal employment, specialized skill set and more. In addition to the core staff, we also hired an array of positions that all needed to be filled at the same time; store managers, experienced tax preparers, outdoor sign wavers who danced and brought visibility to our stores.
We struggled as business owners and leaders until we began to understand that our staff, regardless of role, were not a monolith. We began to lean into the interpersonal side of our staff members. We got to know our employees as the humans they were outside of work. We took the time to understand the personal needs of our high-performing employees. Taking the time to understand the motivators in our team members’ individual lives allowed us to meet them where they needed us.
One person may have been motivated by money, while another would be looking for professional development, and another would be looking just to be seen as a member of the team. Others may have been looking for simple concessions that allowed them to start their shift 20 minutes later than normal one day a week or a host of small asks that could make the world of difference in their personal lives.
Diversity is diverse in the true essence of the word. There was diversity in life experiences, thoughts, desires and more that all led to each person’s unique lens through which they approached life and their job. The diversity in the needs of staff allowed me to grasp the true diversity of a team. I began leading with care and affection, as a mother would.
As leaders, we have to meet those who we lead where they are. That does not mean inserting our wishes or desired outcomes on them, but truly understanding what our team members want, how they show up as their best selves and more.
Some of the key lessons I learned from my experience as a franchisee that I still use and follow to this day are:
Understand what motivates each staff member and use that as a reward
- Professional Development
- Work-Life Balance
Our team members perform at their best and desire to exceed expectations when they are valued and rewarded in ways that matter to them.
Give team members autonomy to create their own path
Self-efficacy is the best way to have individuals perform up to their potential. When a team member truly believes in their ability and capacity it is easier to reach specific goals.
Work in collaboration
When developing workflow, especially during change and transition, a leader needs buy-in from the team. Give your team space to offer suggestions, feedback and improvements. They will be open about current bottlenecks and improve business efficiency.
Make your team’s job as easy as possible
Invest in technology, training and human capital to help your team. Duplicative work, inefficiencies or stagnation in workflow processes can be extremely frustrating and anxiety-inducing for your team; especially if they want to do well.
Create a company culture where your team can show up authentically
Be kind and nurturing to your team. Remember we all have lives outside of work that are consuming. Have a physiological safe space, so your staff can show up as themselves. The more accepted they are as individuals, the better they will be at work.
A true leader understands the power of undergirding human capital. The most important thing to remember as a leader is that change is inevitable. It is important to handle changes with grace, dignity and humanity.
By Betsy Leatherman
My husband and I have an arrangement that’s become increasingly common in the U.S.: I work outside the home, and he manages the home front, taking on the brunt of domestic and childcare duties. We’re in good company: Some 30% of married women out-earned their husbands, according to pre-pandemic statistics. When you factor in single mother-headed households, the share of female high earners climbs even higher: More than four in 10 working mothers have been their family’s sole or primary source of income.
But when you look at how much of corporate America functions, you’ll find that companies just aren’t doing enough to account for this reality. And the pandemic only made it worse, with too many organizations failing to adequately support female heads of households at such a challenging time. Frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed, some women quit their jobs despite their roles as primary providers, becoming among the nearly 1.8 million women who opted out of the workforce during the pandemic.
The good news? It’s never too late for businesses to improve ineffective, outdated working methods. Here are three steps leaders and companies can take to help women thrive in their careers as they support their families.
Recognize and respect boundaries
Even if a breadwinning woman has a spouse who shoulders much of the domestic load, that doesn’t mean she’s available for calls at any time of the day or night. For instance, it’s become increasingly understood that in families with children, regardless of the primary source of income, both parents want to spend time with and do things for their kids, whether cooking breakfast or walking them home from school. Sometimes certain things are best-taken care of by one parent or the other, depending on their skills or talents. I’m the go-to person in my house for Spanish homework help — I speak the language; my husband doesn’t. When my kids needed to be homeschooled in Spanish during the early days of the pandemic, I took time out of my day to help them conjugate their verbs.
I’m fortunate that my company gave me the flexibility to do that. Too many don’t. In fact, the new work-from-home model has, in some cases, raised expectations for employees to be more accessible for business meetings and calls, even on weekends. I’ve heard of older male leaders with grown children scheduling calls for Saturday mornings, much to the consternation of their female colleagues who had plans to attend gymnastics meets or baseball games during those times.
Of course, companies and managers can’t define what times are off-limits for breadwinning women and employees in general. It can be different for everyone. Here’s a solution: Before you assume, just ask. And when you learn a specific time of day is going to be problematic regularly — say, 8 a.m. is reserved for walking the dog, or 3:30 p.m. is school pick-up time — make a point of accommodating such schedule constraints as often as possible.
Champion professional development
Managers invested in the continued growth of their staff — and by extension, their company — understand the significance of professional development. But corporate America, historically, has an abysmal track record of genuinely giving women, especially leaders and high-earners, what they need.
Many driven female employees feel pressure to overachieve in every aspect of their personal and professional lives. These women need programs that offer guidance on everything from how to avoid burnout to a more productive approach to learning from mistakes — in other words, how to stop beating themselves up. Such programs should include mindset and skills training, with direction on shifting from a reactive to a proactive orientation in their work. When female leaders integrate what they learn into their management styles, they’ll be in a better position to flourish, which will, in turn, pay major dividends for their companies.
Establish meaningful connections
This is the easiest step but is all too often overlooked: Take time to get to know your colleagues — and show you care. As managers, in our focus on getting right down to business, we sometimes fail to see the inherent humanity in those we engage with every day. But in stressful times — and let’s face it when are times not stressful for high-achieving female high-earners? — taking just a few minutes to engage in meaningful conversation about something other than work can make all the difference.
For example, before any video call or business meeting starts, my boss never fails to first ask me about my boys. He does so because he recognizes that my family is the most important thing in my world and central to my well-being. On the surface, this act of acknowledgment may seem inconsequential, but these icebreakers make me feel seen and respected. It cements my appreciation for him and my entire organization. It makes me want to work that much harder. Leaders who make such small but powerful gestures can build trust with their employees, raise morale and create a healthier work environment.
The steps I’ve outlined can go a long way in supporting all employees, regardless of gender or breadwinning status. But they’ll be especially helpful in improving the professional and psychological well-being of the women who are the primary or sole earners in their homes. So many have had to scale countless hurdles to attain their current positions. Going forward, let’s make it easier for them to succeed.
Interviews are one of the basic steps to securing the job you want. They are your chance to sell your skills and abilities, which allows you to find out if the job and company are right for you. To ace your interviews, follow these simple and highly effective tips:
Review common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror.
Come prepared with stories that relate to the skills that the employer wants while emphasizing your:
- Willingness to work and flexibility
- Leadership skills
- Ability and willingness to learn new things
- Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
- Creativity in solving problems and working with people
Figure out in advance how well you qualify for the job. For each requirement listed in the job posting, write down your qualifications. This process can signal if you lack a particular skill. Plan how you will address this in the interview to communicate that you can learn the skill.
Make a list of questions you would like to ask during the interview. Pick questions that will demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. You can comment on information sourced from the company website and then ask a related question. Also, ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, like:
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
- How will my responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
- Could you explain your organizational structure?
- What computer equipment and software do you use?
- What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?
Be prepared. Remember to bring important items to the interview:
- Notebook and pens
- Extra copies of your resume and a list of references
- Copies of recommendation letter(s), licenses, transcripts, etc.
- Portfolio of work samples
On the day of the interview, remember to:
- Plan your schedule, so you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early.
- Go by yourself.
- Look professional. Dress in a manner appropriate for the job.
- Leave your MP3 player, coffee, soda or backpack at home or in your car.
- Turn off your cell phone.
- Bring your sense of humor and SMILE!
Display confidence during the interview , but let the interviewer start the dialogue. Send a positive message with your body language.
- Shake hands firmly, only if a hand is offered to you first.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Listen carefully. Welcome all questions, even the difficult ones, with a smile.
- Give honest, direct answers.
- Develop answers in your head before you respond. If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or clarified. You don’t have to rush, but you don’t want to appear indecisive.
End the interview with a good impression. A positive end to the interview is another way to ensure your success.
- Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time.
- Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier.
- Mention a particular accomplishment or activity that fits the job.
- If you want the job, say so!
- Find out if there will be additional interviews.
- Ask when the employer plans to make a decision.
Don’t forget to send a thank-you note or letter after the interview
A thank-you note is another opportunity to sell your qualifications and leave a positive impression on the employer. A handwritten or typed thank-you note sent by mail is an excellent choice. However, you can also deliver your thanks in person or by phone. If time is short, an e-mailed thank-you note works too. The best approach will depend on the circumstances. Your message should include:
- Statement of appreciation for the opportunity
- Expression of continued interest in the job
- A brief restatement of qualifications and skills
- Additional background you may have failed to mention
- Follow up on any websites, books, articles or contacts mentioned
- Date and time you will follow up as previously agreed
Have you ever heard the following mantra, it is repeated so often it almost sounds like a truism?
“Former employers direct all reference checks to their Human Resources departments, and those people won’t say anything negative about me.”
Not only does this statement frequently prove untrue, it sometimes misrepresents what HR can – and will – divulge about former employees.
7 Ways HR Can Give a Bad Reference without giving a bad job reference:
1. Stating that someone is not eligible for rehire, without offering details. 2. Suggesting that a legal file or similar venue would have to be examined to offer an opinion. 3. Offering employment dates/title and adding that they don’t wish to discuss the former employee further. 4. Explicitly offering negative commentary that – depending on the laws of that state – could conceivably be considered as legally legitimate. 5. Acting surprised / shocked and asking if we are certain they gave this contact as a reference. 6. Suggesting we check this person’s job references very carefully 7. Offering commentary in a tone of voice indicating hesitancy, guarded remarks, or otherwise implying unrevealed negativity.
Here’s How HR Can Give a Good Reference without Giving a Good Reference: 1. We really miss xxx – wish he / she would return.
The Truth: Most Human Resources professionals will follow proper protocol in confirming employment dates and title (only). However, in addition to WHAT is said, reference checkers also evaluate HOW something is said. In other words, they listen to tone of voice and note the HR staffer’s willingness to respond to their questions. Both are critical factors in reference checks – how will your employment be reflected in their responses?
Note there are no federal laws that address what an employer can – or cannot say – about a former employee. As mentioned above, some states allow “qualified immunity” to employer commentary provided it is considered truthful and unbiased.
About Allison & Taylor, The Reference Checking Company
Critical when seeking a job or promotion. Consider checking and validating your former employment references. Don’t lose a promotion or job opportunity due to mediocre or bad job references.
JobReferences.com , powered by Allison & Taylor, The Reference Checking Company will call your former employer to obtain your references, document the results and provide a report to you.
A cover letter is a one-page document that supplements your resume. Though they may not be required for every job you apply to, including a short letter to accompany your resume is an excellent way to help you stand out in the application process. Your application materials should look like they belong together visually. If you take the time to write a cover letter, be sure the style matches your resume. Remember, a generic cover letter is not worth your time. Make it personal, or don’t do it at all.
Why Should I Write a Cover Letter?
A cover letter lets you tell your employment story with some freedom to express yourself. You can explain your qualifications more fully. Clearly state why you are a good fit for the position and the company. You want to demonstrate an understanding of the specific challenges this company is facing and how you are prepared to add value. Keep this document to one page in length, max. If you can make your point in fewer words or paragraphs, do it.
The Cover Letter Structure
A cover letter, like your resume, should be developed individually for the position and company where you are applying. Remember, a great paragraph needs to have at least three complete sentences — a topic sentence and two supporting statements. The best structure for a cover letter can be described as the following:
- Heading and greeting . Include the date, your name and your contact information. Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible. If you can’t find an individual’s name, use the job title of the recipient (Maintenance Supervisor, Office Manager) or perhaps “Human Resources” or “Search Committee.” Do not address your letter to a business, a department or “To Whom It May Concern.”
- Opening and introduction . Explain who you are and your reason for writing, including how you found out about the position. Use the first paragraph to express your energy, enthusiasm, skills, education and work experience that could contribute to the employer’s success.
- Body . Sell yourself. Reveal why you are a perfect and unique match for the position. Explain why you have chosen the employer. Briefly summarize your talents, experience and achievements. Give a story about a time you went above and beyond in a similar role or share a specific problem you solved in a previous job. Don’t just repeat the information found in your resume. Go one layer deeper about what makes you the best candidate.
- Assertive closing . Thank the person for taking the time to read your letter. Use an appropriate closing, such as “Sincerely.” Tell the employer how you plan to follow-up.
Types of Cover Letters
While a generic cover letter is effective much of the time, you may want to consider one of the following types of cover letters depending on the nature of your application:
- Invited cover letter. Use this format when responding to an ad or other listing. Describe how your qualifications meet the needs of the position.
- Cold-contact cover letter. Use this format to contact employers who have not advertised or published job openings. Research careers to find the requirements for the job you’re applying for matching your qualifications with that research.
- Referral cover letter. Use this format if you were referred to a job opening through networking, informational interviews or contact with employers. A referral may be to a specific job opening (advertised or unadvertised) or to an employer who may or may not be hiring now. Make sure you mention the person who referred you.
- Job match or “T” cover letter. Use this format to match the specific requirements of the job one-to-one with your qualifications, for example “You need 10 years’ experience.” and “I bring 12 years’ experience.” You can learn about the requirements from the job ad, position descriptions, phone conversations, career research and informational interviews.
Remember, cover letters, much like a resume, are supposed to be brief and informative. Use the cover letter to show off your ability, talent and capabilities, but don’t worry about including every tiny detail in your letter. Give it a try and best of luck!
Sources: Ohio Means Jobs, CareerOneStop
In a stunning victory, Michelle Yeoh took home the trophy for best actress at the 2023 Oscars on Sunday. The Everything Everywhere All at Once actress made history as the first Asian American to win the category and the first woman of color to receive the award in two decades, following Halle Berry, who was the first Black woman and woman of color to win the Academy Award in 2002 and presented Yeoh with her history-making win tonight.
“To all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” Yeoh said in her acceptance speech. “This is proof that dream big and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime.”
She added: “I have to dedicate this to my mom – all the moms in the world – because they are really the superheroes, and without them, none of us would be here tonight. She’s 84, and I’m taking this home to her. She’s watching right now in Malaysia with my family and friends. I love you guys. I’m bringing this home to you and also to my extended family in Hong Kong, where I started my career. Thank you for letting me stand on your shoulders giving me a leg up so that I can be here today.”
Yeoh has been a force in filmmaking since the Eighties, rising to fame for her starring roles in action films Police Story 3: Supercop, James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, and international sensation Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Ang Lee. And while Yeoh has been an icon and prolific actress and stuntwoman for decades, her performance as Evelyn Wang in the 2022 film Everything Everywhere All at Once garnered long-deserved accolades from several largely white institutions.
In January, the beloved actress accepted the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and shared a touching speech about the impact of her win for the role of Evelyn Quan Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. “I’m holding onto this,” Yeoh said as she held up her trophy. “It’s been an amazing journey and incredible fight to be here today. But I think it’s been worth it.”
Click here to read the complete article on Rolling Stone.
You may have heard of “quiet quitting,” a term that is creating a lot of buzz around setting boundaries at work. The idea is that rather than leave a job, some workers are deciding to keep doing their duties but not go above and beyond, sparking debates about what’s “normal” when roles shift and more responsibilities are presumed to be assumed.
“Quiet quitting” is making its rounds on social media and web forums everywhere for good reason. Imagine that your manager wants you to take on more responsibility at work, but doesn’t give you a promotion.
(It’s not an uncommon story. After all, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), U.S. workers work an average of 1,791 hours per year versus an OECD country average of 1,716.) You can do one of the following:
- Grin and bear it.
- Demand perks, a salary bump or a bonus for your work.
- Desperately search for guidance because no one told you how to handle this situation.
Your answer will likely vary depending on what led to the change.
Team dynamics can shift for any number of reasons. A coworker could be taking leave or a new job, the company might be downsizing or your employer could simply decide to change your role. Whatever the catalyst, you’ll want to have a chat with your manager to define your new responsibilities, set boundaries and ensure that you’re treated fairly.
Understand the terms
Before deciding whether or not to ask for more money or a better title, find out if your new responsibilities are permanent and what prompted them.
For example, if you’re shouldering the workload of a coworker who will be out for parental leave, you might be able to negotiate an interim salary adjustment or bonus for your temporary workload adjustment. On the other hand, if your company is cutting costs after a round of layoffs, it’s probably not a good time to ask for a raise.
Read the room and think about how your needs and the company’s needs overlap and then you can make your move.
Ask for more
No matter how much you like to think of yourself as a “team player,” you don’t work for free. If your increased workload is due to temporary changes, like a colleague taking a sabbatical or medical leave, you should be paid for the additional work you’ll be doing. Be sure to ask for a specific number, whether it’s a raise or a bonus, and quantify that number with data.
If your workload is increasing because a colleague is leaving permanently, find out if the company is planning to fill the vacancy. If you’re absorbing duties for a vacant role that could be a promotion, ask for the promotion or even an “acting” title to demonstrate your skills.
In situations where a raise or a title change are out of the question, get creative. Explore perks like additional paid time off or even a one-time bonus. If the company offers educational reimbursement, you could even request more tuition or training reimbursement.
In either situation, don’t let negotiations continue indefinitely. If your manager asks for more time to figure out a plan, schedule a follow-up meeting right away.
Your employer shouldn’t expect you to do the jobs of two or three people in the same amount of time for the same pay. It’s neither fair nor sustainable. Setting reasonable expectations up front for your redefined role can help you avoid burnout later.
As you discuss your workload with your manager, try to create realistic estimates for how much time you’ll need to perform each task well and ask about reassigning some of your existing workload — or pieces of the new workload — to other team members. Before leaving the meeting, set a check-in date so you can reassess the situation after you’ve had time to adapt to your new role. Some of your new duties may be easier than you expected, but you may need more training or mentorship to thrive in other areas.
Put it in writing
Ideally, you’ll be completely aligned with your manager on expectations, but it’s always best to have written terms that you can reference. That doesn’t mean you have to ask your manager to draft a to-do list for you. Instead, take notes as you discuss expectations and new assignments — plus any changes to your compensation, benefits or title — and send your manager a follow-up email outlining what you discussed. If the company tries to renege later, you can point back to your email documenting the terms you agreed to.
While taking on extra work is challenging, it’s also a chance to show that you’re ready for bigger roles. Setting expectations and boundaries with your manager before you jump into an expanded role can help position you for success.
Whether you use the opportunity to move up the ranks within your current company or seek another position with a new employer, shifts in your workload can sometimes be stepping stones to advance your career. Embrace the change.
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- School Social Work Association of America
- Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work
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Focus on Aging
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- American Society on Aging
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- National Association of Geriatric Care Managers
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Children, Youth, & Families
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Professional Goals for Work: 16 Examples for 2023
Last updated on 19th May 202 3
Setting goals is like laying the foundation for a successful career.
Goals are the compass that guides us, the roadmap that charts our course, and the fuel that ignites our motivation.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, the importance of goal setting cannot be overstated.
By defining our objectives with precision, we create a sense of direction that helps us stay focused amidst the ever-changing demands of the modern workplace.
But goal setting goes beyond mere accomplishment. It plays a pivotal role in personal and professional development. As we strive towards our goals, we push ourselves to acquire new skills, embrace challenges, and grow as individuals. It’s through this journey of growth that we expand our expertise and enhance our value to our teams and colleagues.
What’s more…goals bring accountability and measurement into the picture. By establishing tangible targets and milestones, we gain the ability to track our progress, assess our performance, and make necessary adjustments along the way.
In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of professional goals.
Whether you’re in the early days of the year, in the midst of a career transition, or deep into the hustle, these examples will serve as a source of inspiration and practical guidance.
What are professional goals?
We all know what a goal is. It’s something that you want to achieve within a certain timeframe.
Professional goals are linked to your career. They can be short or long-term aspirations that will help you grow professionally and further your career.
To help you achieve your professional goals, you can use the acronym S.M.A.R.T when setting them. This stands for:
Creating S.M.A.R.T goals can help to provide clarity, focus, and motivation so that you can more easily reach your goals in a timeframe that you’re happy with.
Now, let’s take a look at 16 professional goals you may want to set for yourself in 2023…
1. Focus on CPD (continued professional development)
Even if you don’t want to climb any further up the ladder or change careers any time soon, it’s still important to be at the top of your game in your chosen field.
CPD (continued professional development) helps to ensure you have your finger on the pulse in your industry.
How to focus on CPD
CPD can be as involved or as relaxed as you want it to be. If you’re very busy and don’t have a lot of time to spare, then reading a couple of news articles a week (that cover events in your industry) could be enough to help you remain current.
If you have more time then perhaps you want to take a course. There are several online course libraries that cover all different kinds of topics. A famous example you may have heard of is Masterclass .
Masterclass features online courses from celebrities who are at the top of their given field. For example, you can learn about business strategy and leadership from Disney’s former CEO, Bob Iger:
Another platform, that focuses more specifically on the business world, is LinkedIn Learning . You can search for any topic that interests you and filter courses by level, software used, and how long they take to complete.
This is a great way to set achievable professional development goals that you can stick to.
2. Improve your public speaking skills
The further you climb up the professional ladder, the more public speaking you’re probably going to be required to do.
This could be during presentations and meetings, or even at public events.
If the idea of public speaking terrifies you, just remember: no one is born good at public speaking!
If you work on it, you will improve.
How to improve your public speaking skills
The best way to get better at something is to just start . And you can start really small. Take the opportunity to speak publicly whenever it is presented to you. This could be as simple as asking a question at your next team meeting.
It also helps to take advice from some experts. The TEDx Talks Youtube channel has some great videos on public speaking, like this one:
Better yet, TED has an official public speaking course that can help you to improve your skills!
3. Read more
Whatever industry you work in, whatever you want to improve, whatever you want to learn, there’s a book for that. In fact, there are probably several great books on whatever you’re interested in!
And reading is proven to be good for you. According to Insider , reading improves cognitive function, memory, and concentration skills.
How to read more
This one is easier said than done!
The key is to start small. Make time to read a chapter a day. And if you can’t do that, make time to read just one page a day – you’ve got to start somewhere!
As for finding time to read, you can incorporate this into your lunch break or even block out time in your calendar .
Reading before bed is a great way to form a habit, too. Plus, it’s good for you! According to a survey by SleepJunkie , bedtime reading reduces stress by 65% and improves sleep quality by 50%.
If you really want to get into reading then you could also look at joining a book club – either local or online.
This way you can meet more like-minded people who enjoy the topics you’re interested in – so you’re not only reading more, you’re building your professional network too!
4. Be more organised
Everyone can benefit from being more organised, both in a professional and personal capacity.
Not only will improved organisation reduce your stress levels and increase your ability to focus (because you’re not distracted by desk clutter or a messy task list), it can also make your customers happier.
How to be more organised
One of the easiest and best ways to become more organised at work is to start using a project management system. This will help you to keep everything you need – from discussions with your team, to payments from your clients, and any files you’re working on – all in one centralised place.
You can also set tasks and checklists that ensure you’re getting the most out of every day and that you never forget to do something.
Project.co is the ultimate project management system. It’s easy to use, everything’s included in one set price, and our users save an average of 2 hours per day on unproductive work.
It’s also really simple to get started. Check out our free templates to find the one that suits you best.
5. Get to know your team better
The average person will spend 30% of their life at work . That’s a lot of time. So why not make it one of your professional goals to get to know your team better?
When you know your team better, you’ll be able to understand how everyone likes to work and communicate, and this should help you work together more efficiently.
It also helps to get to know other teams and departments in your business, especially if you sometimes work on projects together or if you would one day like to transfer over to one of those departments.
How to get to know your team better
This isn’t rocket science – just talk to people more. Ask more questions and maybe even organise some team events that will bring everyone together.
If you’re interested in getting to know people in other departments then ask to take a department tour, or join their meetings. This way you can find out more about different teams in your business and how they operate.
6. Improve team collaboration
In addition to getting to know your team better, another great goal to work on is improving team collaboration.
When teams collaborate successfully it creates a better work atmosphere, improves productivity, and can even result in happier customers. .
How to improve team collaboration
There are lots of tools out there that have been built specifically with real-time collaboration in mind, such as Google Drive and Invision – that allow teams to comment and update live documents together from wherever they are.
When using Project.co, collaboration becomes even easier because you can work on these documents without ever leaving the system.
Our embeds tool allows you to embed any live file that you’re working on so that everyone on the project has access and can leave their feedback in real time.
7. Add a new skill to your tool belt
Mastering a new skill is an awesome professional goal because it can give you personal satisfaction to learn something new, but it also helps to improve your CV.
This new skill could be anything that relates to your role, for example, learning how to use a social media scheduler or finally mastering Excel.
How to add a new skill to your tool belt
First things first, set aside some time each day or week to dedicate to mastering your new skill. You can book this directly into your calendar to ensure you don’t forget.
When it comes to the actual learning part, there are tons of online resources out there ( most of them, free! ) for every skill you could ever possibly want to learn.
Here are the results from a quick YouTube search for “How to draw”:
And “How to use Excel”:
There are several in-depth videos here that would work as a great jumping off point for you to start mastering your new skill.
8. Research your competitors
Although it may not seem like it will directly improve your professional development, researching your competitors can actually be an interesting way to reflect on your own business.
By finding out how your competitors work you can find a new source of inspiration and also discover what not to do.
You should know your competitors inside out. Find out how they got their start, what mistakes they made along the way, and where they’re heading next.
How to research your competitors
There are a few ways you can find out more about your competitors. Firstly, if they have a blog then read it.
Most companies have blogs that they update regularly and there’s a ton of information on there that will help you learn not only about your competitors, but about how they engage with their audience.
Similarly, visiting their social media pages will also help you to find out how they connect with customers and give you an opportunity to spot any issues that customers are having with your competitor (so that you can avoid them).
According to SocialMediaToday , more and more people are heading to social media when they want to complain about a company. 51% of social media users admitted to calling out a company on social media , with Facebook being the number one social media site to use for complaints.
To further your research on your competitors, be sure to check out their online reviews. This will give you a wealth of knowledge on the things they’ve done right and the things they’ve done wrong, and will definitely give you a lot to learn from.
9. Grow your network
We all know the saying, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.”
Professional connections can be invaluable, and you never know when you might need someone’s help. Growing your network is a great way to expand your reach in your professional field.
How to grow your network
The obvious place to start when looking to grow your network is LinkedIn . LinkedIn is the largest professional network online and can help you connect with peers in your field, and also people in fields that you may want to navigate towards in the future.
Networking on LinkedIn is really all about interactions. Sure, it helps to post your own content whenever you can but if you really want to grow your network you should dedicate time to interacting with other people’s posts. Like, leave comments, and share – this is the type of activity that people will appreciate and remember.
Networking online is great, but it also helps if you can get out to local events in your area. Search for events in your area on sites like Eventbrite and MeetUp to find the perfect networking opportunity:
10. Improve your communication skills
Communication is so important in every aspect of life, especially professionally.
According to our Communication Statistics 2023 report, 96% of people think the businesses they deal with could improve when it comes to communication and project management.
How to improve your communication skills
The best way to improve your communication skills with your team, and in your business as a whole, is to agree on the tools that will be used.
If some people use email, some people use Slack, and some people prefer video calls, all of your communications are going to be jumbled and lost.
By agreeing on tools that everyone uses you can keep your communications neat and ensure that the right message reaches the right person every time.
This is another benefit of using a project management system, like Project.co . Our discussion tab ensures that all project communication remains centralised:
Every message shared is available for everyone to see, and it’s laid out in date and time order.
This is also great if anyone is ever unexpectedly out of the office. Instead of digging through their inbox (or being locked out because it’s password protected), users can head to the project and pick up communications from there.
11. Take on more responsibility
If you feel as though your job has become too easy, and maybe even a little stagnant, then taking on more responsibility could help to revive your love for it again.
In addition, taking on more responsibility can also help you grow both professionally and personally, and this could lead to better opportunities in the future.
How to take on more responsibility
This is all about being proactive. If you see others at work who appear stressed or overwhelmed, offer to help them out.
It can also help to talk to your boss and inform them that you want to take on more responsibility.
12. Chase that promotion
Possibly the most common professional goal is to climb the ladder, and get promoted.
If you’ve been after a promotion for a while, set a goal, give yourself a deadline, and start chasing it!
How to chase that promotion
This is another goal that starts with being proactive and letting your boss know about your ambitions. Once you’ve put it out there in the open it will be easier to work towards your goal.
In addition to voicing your want for a promotion, doing a lot of the goals we’ve already mentioned – taking on new skills, helping others, building your network – will all work to get you that little bit closer.
13. Mentor others
If you want to grow and progress, one of the best ways to do that is to help others grow along with you.
Becoming a mentor is a great way to pass along your professional wisdom and it will also refresh your memory on what you’ve learnt.
This can be a satisfying and rewarding professional goal.
How to mentor others
This is a great goal that not only helps you, but helps others too. And it also encompasses other goals – such as taking on more responsibility and working towards a promotion.
If you want to become a mentor, start by expressing an interest to your management team. They can hopefully recommend people in your business that would benefit from your mentorship and you can start from there.
You can also take mentor classes to learn how to be the best mentor possible. There are several classes on LinkedIn Learning to help you get started:
14. Improve your time management
According to research , less than 1 in 5 people have a proper time management system.
But everyone, even the most successful people ( in fact, sometimes, especially those people! ), can benefit from improved time management .
When you can better manage your time, you’re less stressed, more productive and happier.
How to improve your time management
If you struggle with time management, the good news is there are several ways to improve this – you just have to find the technique that works for you.
A popular time management strategy you may have heard of is the Pomodoro technique. It’s the process of breaking your day down into manageable chunks – most popularly, 30 minutes.
The idea is that you work for 25 minutes and spend 5 minutes procrastinating. This ensures that when you’re working, you give the task-at-hand your undivided attention. And then you also give your brain a break by taking some free time before starting your next task.
If you want to find out more about time management strategies, check out our article: 5 of the BEST Time Management Strategies .
You can also check out this short video about another popular time management strategy, the Eisenhower matrix:
Another way to improve your time management is to work out how long each task usually takes you by tracking time spent on your projects.
Project.co makes this really easy. You just find the project worked on, select the person who worked on it, and enter the time spent.
If you do this over several projects, you’ll start to see how long each task should take and this will help you better manage your time and better price your projects in the future.
15. Build your online presence
More and more – especially since the pandemic, our lives are being lived online. So it’s really important to build your online presence across all platforms.
Social media, YouTube, and your website – these are all online channels for people to find you on, both customers and professional connections.
Even the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, like Richard Branson, still put a lot of effort into building an online presence.
Richard Branson updates his YouTube channel regularly:
He writes a lot on his blog , and is also very active on social media:
It takes a global village to eliminate a disease. Our foundation @VirginUnite is proud to support @Sightsavers and help #EndTrachoma : https://t.co/5JEbdvm4K0 pic.twitter.com/Q1VdTGDikc — Richard Branson (@richardbranson) August 1, 2021
How to build your online presence
Start where people spend most of their time online: social media. Make sure you have a presence across all platforms that are relevant to you and be consistent with your posting.
Social media is a fast-paced game, and this means that content quickly becomes obsolete – so post often to ensure you can build your presence.
Another way to grow your online presence to create content that people like to consume, such as YouTube videos or a podcast.
Our sister brand Wyzowl has a wealth of knowledge on how to be successful on YouTube so be sure to check that out!
16. Create healthy habits
The easiest way to make sure you do something every day is to make a habit out of it.
When working on a new goal it can be easy to feel like you don’t have time or you should give up, but you wouldn’t think that about brushing your teeth, would you?
Because that’s a habit .
This is the kind of mindset you need to have when it comes to your professional goals. Once you establish your goals as a habit, it will be much easier to chip away at them consistently and start achieving what you have in mind.
How to create healthy habits
On average, it takes around 2 months for a new behaviour to become automatic. That’s 2 months of doing the same thing every day.
Tips for how to be successful when you’re first starting to form new habits include repeating them at the same time everyday – this way you’re less likely to forget – and starting small.
If you feel as though you can’t commit to 15 minutes, start with one minute and go from there. You may find that when your minute is up you actually want to continue working on your new habit for longer.
It’s important to set yourself regular professional goals so that you can remain motivated and continue growing within your chosen career.
But if you’re busy then this can feel like an impossible challenge.
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Online Master of Social Work
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USF’s Master of Social Work (MSW) programs provide students the specialized skills necessary for clinical practice. Graduates are prepared to become therapists, work in veterans affairs services or pursue one of many other careers in this fast-growing field.
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USF's online MSW program has two tracks designed for both recently graduated students and working professionals. Both program tracks include top-tier faculty, real-world field placement experience and the ability to study remotely.
Traditional Master of Social Work
This program is designed for students looking to establish a career in the social work field. No prior social work education or experience is necessary to qualify. You can complete the traditional MSW in as few as eight semesters. The semester course load requirement makes this program a good fit for working professionals.
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USF’s online Advanced Standing Master of Social Work is designed for individuals who have graduated from a CSWE accredited BSW program. This program allows students to complete 35 credit hours in as few as 3 semesters full time or 5 semesters part time.
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Why USF’s MSW?
Since its accreditation 40 years ago, the USF School of Social Work has been perfecting its program to prepare MSW graduates to excel.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 16 percent expected growth for social work jobs nationally between 2016 and 2026.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The mission of the University of South Florida, School of Social Work is to prepare graduates to achieve excellence as professionals and leaders in social work practice, research, and education. Our focus is to develop generalist social workers at the bachelor's level, clinical social workers at the master's level and social work scholars at the doctoral level and to encourage students to embrace social work knowledge, ethics, skills, and values. Beginning in our own diverse region, and extending nationally and globally, we are committed to graduating students who reflect the School's commitment to promoting social and economic justice, human rights, human dignity, scientific inquiry, and sustainable human and community well-being for all.
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USF’s MSW graduates are highly qualified for positions in a variety of settings, including the treatment of individuals, families and groups. Most report increases in salary and job opportunities, and some graduates even open an independent practice.
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This program is designed for busy, working adults who are looking to study remotely. Plus, you enjoy the same accomplished research faculty as on-campus students.
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A professional is a member of a profession or any person who works in a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession
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It's important to set yourself regular professional goals so that you can continue growing within your chosen career. Here are 16 goals you can pick from
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