Archive for the 'Workplace' Category

More On Organizing for Your Job Search – Your Desk is Prime Real Estate!

Did you know that you own prime real estate? If you’re in a job hunt, it could be more valuable than beach front property in, say Maui! Didn’t know you were such a high roller? Your desk is your prime real estate. Being organized and productive are key goals for anyone involved in a job hunt. How it is organized may mean the difference between getting a job and not even remembering to follow up with an employer!
I know from personal experience how important an organized work space can be. Even the little things make a big difference in your day. I always seem to be looking for the same desk reference. Every time I look for it, it is somewhere else. Inevitably, I get annoyed that 1) I can’t find it and 2) I’m wasting my valuable time looking for it. Especially when it is a really busy day, I’ll start getting stressed and annoyed with myself that I can’t keep my reference handy!
I finally decided to ALWAYS keep it in the same spot – close by, but not in my way. It’s not rocket science, but I’ve already saved myself time (and sanity) by being able to just reach for it at a moment’s notice – no stress!

Yesterday’s post reminded us that a clean desk is NOT the sign of a deranged mind! If you are in the midst of a search or want to appear productive and valuable at your current place of employment, you’ll want to get your desk together. Here are some tips from Atlanta based professional organizer, Lauren Davidson, owner of Around Tuit Organizing & Productivity:

Sure-fire Ways to Organize Your Office for Job Hunting:

· Be a real estate magnate: Surfaces and storage within arm’s reach are prime real estate! Frequently used items “live” there: very active files, phone/PDA, a note pad, favorite pen. Floaters get lost, while items with a home are predictably found (think: always know where my___ is). Make the home convenient, and you have a winner.

· Keep your thoughts in one place: A job seeker’s best friend is a notebook that stays on the desk, to jot down anything from brainstorming to your daily to-do list. Not a pad, definitely not sticky notes. Just a plain, spiral notebook – you choose the color.

· Keep priorities in plain sight: In a standing file on the desktop, each job for which you are interviewing has a separate, labeled file. Applications awaiting a response are together in their own file. No-go’s in another file (those can go in a drawer if the visual bothers you).

· Take paper by the horns: Paper clutter is distracting and can be a source of anxiety. As a professional organizer, much of the paper clutter I see is caused by over-printing. Print out items you need to take with you, or that will no longer be readily available. Print out essential information you would not otherwise remember. Less printing leaves more room on your desk, in your file drawer and, dare I say, in your head.

Lauren says, “Getting rid of clutter makes room for life!” I agree!

Don’t underestimate the fact that being organized can impact your thought process and bring more calm to your hectic job searching existence! Spend some time getting yourself together. If the thought of making your workspace productive is overwhelming, hire someone to do it! You will not regret the effort.

Stay tuned for more ideas and products to help you stay organized for your job hunt!

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Keppie Careers will get you organized for your job hunt and help you every step of the way! From a great resume to step-by-step job hunting assistance – Keppie Careers is here for you! www.keppiecareers.com.

Photo by taminsea

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Review of Retire Retirement, by Tamara Erickson

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Regular readers know that I have been reviewing Tamara Erickson’s book, Retire Retirement. Although aimed at Boomers (born 1946 – 1964), the book offers insights that are useful across the generational alphabet!  Erickson’s research suggests that work culture will change in the next decade for several reasons:

1.  To accommodate Boomers seeking flexible, new experiences.  As the first generation with the realistic expectation of a 30-year healthy, active life after age 55, Boomers may engage in several new careers!

2. Because of Gen Y’s desire to have a work-life balance and refusal to join companies requiring 60-hour work weeks. 

(It seems as if Gen X doesn’t have much to say in this matter!)

Erickson makes the case that Boomers who wish to stay in the paid workforce will leverage a lot of power:

  • Boomer skills and experience are needed. Employers don’t want to experience the “brain drain” of Boomers retiring in droves.
  • Technology and a changing economy offer flexible ways of working.
  • Research shows that workers over 55 are more reliable and loyal than younger workers.

Erickson encourages readers to dream big and to think optimistically about their plans.  She believes that by 2025, more companies will embrace next-generation enterprises, which she describes as:

Intensely collaborative, continually informed, technologically adept and skilled at on-going experimentation…Companies will adopt flexible relationships and continual active connections to attract both talented employees and loyal customers (49).

As a result, she believes that employees should reasonably expect the following in the next 5 years:

  • Flexible time.  Changing shifts, compressed work week, individualized schedule.
  • Reduced time. Part-time, job sharing, leave-of-absence programs.
  • Cyclic time. Project-based or contract work.  Employees will focus on a project for a number of weeks or months, complete the work and then either take a break or move on to a new contract.  (Read more about this here.)
  • Flexible place. Telecommuting, no fixed location for work.
  • Task, not time. Instead of working 9 to 6, for example, employees would have a task and be required to put in only the time that it takes to get the work done.

Erickson offers specific strategies for Boomers to negotiate a new work plan.  She encourages this powerful and large group to reinvent themselves and dream big!  The book also outlines a myriad of ways for those seeking a brand new challenge (not with current or similar employers) to leverage their reputation, or “brand.”

Erickson emphasizes that responsibility for a new and improved work life is up to YOU!  Boomers (and future generations) need to plan in advance, position themselves and plot a course to navigate a desired career path.  Many successful workers will map their route years in advance and steer toward their goal.  Others will take advantage of unexpected opportunities.  Either way, a life’s worth of work impacts our options if we wish to work beyond traditional retirement age with the benefit of flexibility and personal choice.

If Erickson is correct about the changes coming to the workplace, Boomers, and younger generations as well should read Retire Retirement to begin to plan how to position themselves in a brave new working world!

Keppie Careers can help you achieve your career goals at any age!  Need a resume?  Job hunting help?  Keppie Careers will assist you every step of the way:  www.keppiecareers.com.

Solutions for Work Gossip

Did you know that 60% of employees consider gossip their number one pet peeve at work?  This, according to a Randstad USA survey reported in Newsweek’s March 10th issue, Loose Lips Sink Shifts, by Anna Kuchment. 

Kuchment’s article reports that, at one small Chicago firm, the problem was so big that they attacked the issue of office gossip by forcing an employee who says something negative about another person behind his or her back to repeat it to their colleague’s face.  One might imagine that this would stem the tide!

The article acknowledges that some gossip helps employees connect and learn important information that wouldn’t be available to them otherwise.  However, Kuchment offers several tips to keep in mind if gossip is getting out of hand at your office:

Separate the good from the bad.  Venting can be helpful, but mean-spirited bad mouthing is not.

Learn to deflect. Try not to get sucked in to a gossip mill.  If someone makes a nasty comment, stay neutral and consider playing dumb.

Set a time limit. Are layoff rumors running rampant?  Make a point to touch in with a reliable source once a week, but don’t spend the rest of your time spreading unproductive gossip.

Don’t overshare.  Keep personal sharing to a few close friends who will keep your confidence.

Never gossip by e-mail.  A paper trail is dangerous – and hard to deny!  Plus, you never know who might “accidentally” forward your scurrilous e-mail message to the entire office. 

Is the word at work that jobs are in danger?  Can’t stand your gossip-y colleagues?  Keppie Careers will get you ready for your job search!  We’ll write your resume, prep you for interviews and coach you along the way!  www.keppiecareers.com


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