I know that there are have been times in my career where I was my own worst enemy. Now at the time it obviously wasn’t me that was the problem but my boss or the job itself, the company or the team or my overall dissatisfaction. Now that those years are behind me, I can look back and be more critical of myself. And know that while those factors were a factor, I know I was still the one holding myself back from success or happiness.
I had let some bad behaviours get in my way of career success.
I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that this has happened to, after all we all have bad habits. We aren’t terrible people because of these negative behaviours but they can lead others to feel that we aren’t worth investing in or promoting.
I want to talk about 7 common bad behaviours that can derail our careers and I want to talk about how to stop them from getting in the way of our success.
This is one of my biggest weaknesses, I tend to procrastinate. There are many reasons why I do it and why you do it too. If I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed, if I feel like I don’t have enough time to complete it fully, if I don’t feel confident in my ability to do it and the biggest killer of my career success is that I procrastinate things I don’t like to do. And when most of your job is doing things you don’t like to do, well you can imagine impact that has your performance!
One way that I have overcome this is to schedule the time – my calendar looks crazy because every minute of every work day is scheduled but with my 2019 resolution to honour the appointments I made to myself I have gotten much better at handling procrastination. It eases my stress, I tell myself it is better to get started even if I can’t finish it, it makes me face my fear in my abilities head on and forces me to do the things I need to do even if I don’t like them!
Apathy, feeling indifferent, just not caring. A behavior coming from a feeling. These are individuals that do their job to the bare minimum because to do more requires motivation. There was a time where I hated my job so much but I felt like I couldn’t leave so I stopped caring. I wasn’t interested in my job, I didn’t care if I was successful or not, I isolated myself and I turned cynical.
It is a cancer too because it spreads to other areas of your life leaving you drifting and not living it to the fullest. So as soon as you begin to recognize the symptoms of apathy, you MUST act before it grows and spreads!
Caring also spreads, so start caring again. Even if it isn’t within your job or career begin finding a new hobby that you really care about, that excites you and that fills you with a sense of accomplishment. Then begin to work on those feelings of apathy towards your career – how can you get motivated again to follow your career dreams?
3. Dishonesty with Ourselves
When we pretend to ourselves that we are not part of a solution means that we can’t move on. Think about it, let’s say for example that something is wrong with your printer, say it eats through paper and so it can’t print. But you don’t want the problem to be that printer, maybe you can’t afford a new one, or the hassle of trying to find a new one is too much. So you try and solve the problem by changing the paper, unplugging and restarting, changing out the printer cartridge or reinstalling it on your computer.
Do you think by trying to fix all those other things will solve the problem? No! That’s because you are being dishonest with yourself about the actual root of the issue.
If you aren’t self-aware, you can’t grow, if you can’t grow, then your career will stagnate and perhaps even derail.
So sit down with yourself and brainstorm all the reasons why things aren’t working right now in your career. Start with the external, after all that is much easier. Then move internal – think about how you are holding yourself back. What is the problem? That way you can actually come up with a solution that will work!
Pessimism is usually the result of something, experiencing setbacks and disappointments, which lead us to believe that caring or putting ourselves out there doesn’t lead to anything good, in fact it just sets us up for yet another failure.
It leads you to constantly question yourself, to assuming that the world is somehow out to get you, that you are not worthy and all those negative feelings and thoughts that keeps you stuck. It can even lead you to unknowingly self-sabotaging any effort you put forth by ensuring that that effort is lackluster.
Deep rooted pessimism is hard to overcome but if you don’t want to lie down and give up then the work is well worth it. Think about why you feel this way and what are some of the thoughts that are leading to these feelings. Start looking for the good in your life and the world in general – maybe volunteer, or watch cheesy movies or surround yourself with friends who are optimists. Let some positivity into your life.
There is one constant in this life that we can depend on. Change. And the world we live in right now this rings even more true, things are constantly changing! If you are inflexible to it then you are letting opportunities pass you by at every turn plus you are gaining a reputation for not being adaptable.
One way to get used to change is to get more comfortable with the feeling of discomfort because that is why we don’t like change. We don’t like feeling uncomfortable with not knowing what to expect, with the icky feeling of not knowing how to do something. Find ways to push yourself into that feeling of discomfort (like taking up a new hobby or sport, putting your hand up to volunteer for something) and get used to it!
We've all worked with these individuals before. The ones that seem to be so busy selling themselves that they have no time for their actual work. The problem is, it works. These people do get opportunities and promotions. So we think that it is a good behaviour to have.
But it only works in the short term.
Think about this person’s reputation. Maybe upper management doesn’t see it right now, but you see it and you aren’t alone. Most people’s reputation catches up to them and it doesn’t end well. So focus on selling yourself but also showing up in your work.
By laziness, I don’t mean being a sloth even though that can derail your career! I mean the appearance of laziness or not caring typically shown through poor communication skills, a lackadaisical attitude and not dressing appropriately for your job and company.
When you send out emails or any form of internal communication you are showcasing your written communication skills, so ones that use overly casual language, “text” speak or poor grammar are ones that can limit your career opportunities. Treating your office space like home by having it super messy, or painting your nails (or worse clipping your nails!), or reading the paper can show an attitude not loved by management! And not dressing according to the company’s guidelines or having a sloppy appearance shows that you just don’t care.
So by laziness, I mean not taking the little bit of extra effort and time to edit those emails, clean up your desk or putting away those lululemons. Show management and your peers that you are professional and that you are ready for more opportunities.
Do you recognize any of these behaviours at all? What one are you going to work on this week to help get your career on track?
Need more help with that? Part of my career coaching is to recognize when things are going awry, get to the root of the problem and come up with actionable steps to overcome it. Schedule a free Discover Your Career strategy call to discuss your situation.
You want to change careers. You just aren’t happy in your current job and you know that you need to change. You come up with a plan and you go after it, guns a blazing.
You are feeling the high, the "you got this", you are so in the zone and nothing, I mean nothing is going to get in the way.
Until something does. Life gets busy, the search gets real hard, you are constantly rejected or even worse, you don't hear anything. Your momentum slows to a snails pace, maybe even halting all together.
Time passes, maybe a few months, maybe a few years and then all of a sudden you have this burning urge. This urge to change careers. You just aren't happy in your current job and you know that you need to change. You come up with a plan and ... wait a second, you are hit with a sense of déjà vu. Didn't you go through this before?
I know this cycle, I lived this cycle for years before finally committing to my career change. And not just to the happily ever after aspect of a career change, I committed to the good, the bad and the ugly of the process. I created a plan to not only make my dream career a reality but also a plan to overcome the obstacles that were sure to come my way.
One big obstacle is motivation, when the going gets tough it is really hard to keep yourself motivated through the process. If you are there right now or are preparing yourself to be there, then here are 5 amazing TED talks to help you power through those challenging times.
1. Why you will fail to have a great career presented by Larry Smith.
This is a great TED talk when your FEAR is the only person at your career change party and throwing excuses at you hoping one will stick! Larry Smith is a professor at the University of Waterloo and this super blunt talk makes light of the excuses that we tend to tell ourselves.
2. How to Find Work You Love by Scott Dinsmore
Scott Dinsmore created the Live Your Legend after being frustrated with the career message that society told us. This talk helps you figure out what your purpose is so that you can find work you love and brings you joy. Scott passed away in 2015 while travelling with his wife but his legend and legacy still lives on through this video and his site.
3. Your elusive creative genius by Liz Gilbert
This isn't the first time that I have spoken about the power of Liz Gilbert in my life. This is a great video when the fear of failure is strong and when we rationalize giving up on our dreams because we aren't meant for it to happen to us. It is geared at creativity but is so relevant to any career change!
4. Why some of us don't have one true calling by Emilie Wapnick
There are some of us that are multi-passionate - we have so many interests and loves that drive us. It can be hard to choose a career when we feel pulled in all these directions. It is also hard to go through the challenge of a career change when we know that it may not last. If you are one, then this TED talk is for you!
5. The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
Career change is hard. But it is harder for introverts for so many reasons. It is hard to put ourselves out there, we don't like attention, we hate networking, etc. But also because society hasn't been kind to us introverts, society tells us that being introverted is wrong, that we need to pretend we are outgoing, bold and assertive. Susan breaks all of this down. Watching this and reading her book of the same title, really gave me the courage to own my introversion as a badge not a weight.
If you are struggling right now and afraid that you may give up on your dreams then schedule a strategy call with me, let's talk you through this and get you motivated to keep going after your dreams.
Video interviews are the latest interview trend to hit the recruitment process. And it makes sense. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have become the norm in many organizations (read my article on how to optimize your resume and LinkedIn for ATS) as a way to get through the hundreds of applications without using too much manpower.
So logically the interview would come next. And just like the how the ATS changed how we submitted our resumes and cover letters so does Video interviews change how we present ourselves.
Interviews are already nerve wracking, and for most of us just figuring out how to create connections over the phone and in person is enough to make our heads spin. So to throw it yet another screening process can seem overwhelming! That is why I came up with 10 tips on how to sell yourself and Ace the Video interview.
What are Video Interviews?
But first, I want to define the video interview. There is a lot of confusion as to what they are exactly. I’m not talking about a SKYPE or video conferencing video where you and the interviewer are both “live”. I’m actually talking about a video interview where you answer a predetermined set of questions on video, sometimes you’ll hear it referenced as a one-way video interview or a recorded video interview.
How do they work?
You will be sent a link to their video interview platform and you will record your answers to a series of questions. The great thing is that you can do it on your own time with your own device (laptop, phone or tablet).
Each interview set up is different but some common options is to allow you to have some preparation time before answering, a note taking section for talking points (don’t worry they aren’t saved!) and the ability to keep recording your answer until you are happy with it!
How are they evaluated?
Each video interview platform evaluates the videos differently, as does each company so the evaluation options are endless.
Some recruiters will watch the recorded video and assess it themselves and then share the top candidates’ interviews with the hiring team to decide on next steps.
The more sophisticated video interviewing platforms utilize artificial intelligence in its screening including the analysis of facial expressions, vocal intonation and body language. On top of that are the language and semantic processing tools to evaluate the answers in alignment with the needs of the job, company culture and organizational fit. It works similarly to an ATS that uses keywords to match a resume up with a job. Which means that a person may never even watch the video!
10 Tips for Video Interview Success
So what does all that mean for you. And how do you prepare for an interview as unique as this? Well, in so many ways you will treat it like a normal interview. There will just be another added layer to your preparation work.
Here are my ten tips that cover all the things you NEED to do to make sure you shine in this newest recruitment trend:
Have you had a video interview? How did it go? Remember to reach out if you need interview help – you can schedule a Discover Your Career strategy call to discuss or book some interview coaching so that you create connections to get that job.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
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