Tips To Rehearse For An Interview

Tips To Rehearse For An Interview


Rehearsing is one of the best ways to prepare for a job interview. A mock interview with a professional is one way to learn and practice interviewing skills. Another is to use an online interview preparation tool. Both of those are fee-based options, but you can still practice even if you can’t afford professional assistance. Here are some tips for Interview for all of you…

1. Do-It-Yourself Interviewing Practice

There are a number of ways to prepare for an interview at home without the help of a professional career counselor or coach or a fee-based service.

You can practice interviews all by yourself or recruit friends and family to assist you.

2. Know the Interview Process.

 If you’re new to the workplace or haven’t interviewed in a while, know what will likely happen during the interview so you don’t get any surprises. Make sure you understand how a job interview works so you know what to expect.

3. Practice Answering Interview Questions.

The simplest way to prepare is to create a list of common interview questions and answer each question out loud. The more you practice, the more you will be prepared to respond during an actual job interview.

4. Use Flashcards.

Write the questions down on flashcards. By shuffling the flashcards, you will become comfortable answering questions in any order.

5. Record Yourself Practicing.

If you have a webcam, video camera or tape recorder, record your responses and play them back. Assess your body language (if you have a video camera) and your answers to the questions.

How are your posture and eye contact? Are you fidgeting? Are your answers too long-winded? Do you sound confident? If you do not have a video camera or tape recorder, practice in front of the mirror.

6. Recruit a Friend or Family Member.

You can also give a list of questions to a friend or family member and have them interview you.

Ask your practice interviewer for constructive feedback. Practicing with a friend or family member will provide you with a comfortable, safe environment for honing your interviewing skills and receiving feedback.

7. Dress the Part.

One way to make a do-it-yourself practice interview seem more like an actual job interview is to dress in interview attire. Not only will dressing the part makes you feel like you are heading to a real job interview, but it will also give you the opportunity to make sure that your interview clothes are in order and you’re ready to go.

8. Set Up an Interview Space.

It will also feel more like an actual interview if you set up an interview space. Even if it’s your kitchen table (cleared of clutter) with a chair on either side, one for you and one for the interviewer, it will set the scene for your practice interview to be more formal.

Practicing your interview skills will help reduce stress during your actual interview, and will allow you to focus on connecting with your interviewer rather than struggling to come up with answers. The more familiar you are with the types of interview questions you’ll be asked, the better prepared you will be to interview.

Taking some time to practice will boost your confidence and help you ace your job interviews.

02nd April 2019

7 Ways To Boost Your Self Confidence

There are many benefits to believing in yourself. Think about the people in your life or at work who have a strong belief in their abilities—in themselves. You will note that they seems to accomplish a lot daily. They have tons of energy, fulfilling their to-do list with a lot less procrastinating. And, they are just nice people—less likely to judge others and much more likely to encourage them instead.

Wouldn’t it be great to truly believe in yourself and be that those people you really look up to? Well here are some top 7 ways to boost your self confidence

1. Being Realistic About Your Goals
Accomplishing goals makes us feel good about ourselves. Setting goals that are achievable on a daily and weekly basis sets us on the path toward success and the belief that we can accomplish great things.

2. Surround Yourself With Positivity
When you surround yourself with the people who bring you down, you aren’t going to feel good about yourself. Surround yourself with positive and generally happy people and rid yourself of as much negativity as possible—like that friend who never has a positive thing to say.

3. Acknowledge Accomplishments and Passions
Every time you accomplish something—no matter how hard it may seem at first-acknowledge that you have completed something. And, think about those things you really enjoy doing and acknowledge them by indulging in your passions as often as possible.

4. Share What You Have to Offer
Are you an expert at something? Most of us have at least one thing that we are passionate about and very good at. Share your expertise with someone else—helping others learn a new skill strengthens our belief in ourselves.

5. Reach for The Stars
As cliché as it may sound, go for that reach job or learn that extremely difficult skill you have been putting off because it seems much too difficult. Even if you don’t succeed in reaching the farthest star, you are sure to catch something extremely rewarding on the way down from all that effort.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up
If you have a question or need clarification, speak up. If you are seeing another way a system within your office can work more efficiently, tell someone.

7. And Take Care of Yourself—You’re Important
This one is so important because you are. Believing in yourself comes down to you and taking your journey through life on your terms. Set boundaries that you are comfortable with, take care of your body, continue to learn, and, most importantly, surround yourself with family and friends that love and support you no matter what.

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How Do Recruiters Find Promising Students On Social Media?

Using LinkedIn to recruit

Many business owners use LinkedIn to find and recruit talented students. This social networking site is designed to make it easy for recruiters to find job-seekers. That is why many students looking for jobs have LinkedIn profiles. A LinkedIn profile is very much like an online CV.

That does not mean that LinkedIn can replace a conventional CV. The role of LinkedIn cannot be denied when it comes to finding promising candidates online.

Recruiting from Facebook

Facebook is now the most widely used social networking site. Users like Facebook for a host of reasons. You can create your personal profile, exchange messages, and add others as friends. There are numerous groups and events, and the members share not only text but also photos and videos.

Although most users of Facebook use it for connecting with their near and dear ones, organizations are now trying to get the best out of this social networking site. It benefits the students, too. However, things are a lot easier for students these days.

Recruiters can access the information of students and contact them. If we look at the phenomenon from a career perspective, we can see that Facebook is a really easy way for recruiters to contact promising students and interview them to know if they are capable of getting the job done.  All these have been possible mainly because of the informal nature of the site. When a recruiter communicates with a student, the conversation goes smoothly, because they are ‘friends’ on the site.

Tips for recruiters

  • Organize competitions. To get the best out of digital media, you can organize competitions where students can participate and prove their skills. Hold a competition and let students know about your company and the brands. Before they become professionals, they need to know these things and realize their responsibilities. The goal of such a competition is to let them know how your company works.
  • Set up a referral program. An employee referral program can greatly help you find promising students who can serve as your employees. If you set up a program like this, your current employees will also be happy. They can act as brand ambassadors for your company. If your employees refer to some promising students, reward the employees.
  • Do not take too long to hire. Some recruitment agencies take a long time to make decisions and lose many talents. If you take too long, your potential candidates will get hired by your competitors. Do not take too long, because, in that case, your candidate will either get another job or lose interest in your company. It is very important to value the time of your candidates. Do not let the students wait too long for your response. Contact them instantly.
  • Be flexible. When you contact students on social media, do not be very strict. Talk to them in such a way that they do not feel pressured. Give them a sense of freedom and flexibility, and keep the conversations in line with the informal nature of social media.
Some more Career Blogs:
Top Demanding Job In Future.
Hr Interview Question That You Must Be Ready For.



1. Personalisation

Historically HR has focused very much on standardization and “One-Size-Fits-All”. Making the shift to an approach where the individual needs, wishes, and capabilities of candidates and employees are the starting point is difficult. Traditionally, many HR-practices take the needs of the organisation as the starting point. An example is recruitment we have an organisation structure, with a hierarchy, and well-defined jobs. Next step: how do we find the candidates that can fill the vacancy? Another example: most on-boarding processes are designed top-down: what do we want new employees to know when they enter the organisation? The reverse question is hardly ever asked: what can we learn from the new employees who enter the organisation?

In 2019 personalisation will get a lot of attention, and employees and organisations will benefit.

2. The Trust issue

Do people trust the organizations they work in? Do employees trust technology? Are people confident the organizations will use technology for their benefit? A recent global survey of Ernst & Young (“Trust in the Workplace“) showed that less than half of the respondents have “a great deal of trust” in their current employers, boss or team/colleagues.

trust in the workplace

The results of the annual Edelman Trust Barometer are a bit more promising: globally 72% of the employees trusted their employers “to do what is right” Trust in government and the media is a lot lower. The trust issue needs to be on the 2019 HR agenda because many of the HRinitiatives are designed under the assumption that employees trust the organization and that employees trust technology. Unfortunately, the trust level might be lower than we expect.

3. Development as a service

What can we learn from football? In football some of the top players hire organizations, as Your Tactical Analyst, to help them with their development.
Your tactical analyst

The provider gathers data about the player (per match), analyses the data and sits with the player to discuss the outcomes and the lessons. The provider is there for the player, paid by the player. The club of the player is not involved. This seems to work well, although some clubs do not like it. The interests of the player (the employee) and the club (the employer) are not totally aligned. The club wants to become a championthis year. The player wants to develop into one of the most valuable strikers in the world. The interests of the service provider (Your Tactical Analyst and others) are totally aligned with those of the player. “We are here to help you to become better”.

In business life we have not seen it a lot (a bit in the executive coaching area), but we expect, and hope, it will come. We see a great perspective for data-driven “Development as a service”.


4. HR Innovation Labs

Experimenting with new technologies and new innovative HR solutions can be enhanced by installing an “HR Innovation Lab”. Big innovative organisations, as Deutsche Telekom and RABO bank, are investing in teams that focus on HR innovations and the possible applications of HR Tech. We consider this as a positive development. It is good for the organisations, as they increase the angle of the learning curve. HR tech providers benefit, as they can work with and learn from sophisticated clients. It helps HR to change the image of HR, from slow and traditional to fast and innovative.

5. No more Paternalism

Often HR takes a very paternalistic and normative approach. “Our leaders and managers should be good coaches”. “We expect our employees to take responsibility for their own development”. “You cannot opt out of life-long learning”. Coaching is a good example. It starts with the global leadership model. These models (often a circle) always contain an element like “Developing People” and/or “Coaching. As an example, below the model of Leadership USA.

Leadership Competency Model

As the reality is that many managers are not good coaches, the next step is training (mandatory). Also, HR designs a process, that forces managers to have coaching sessions with their direct reports at least twice per year. The process is incorporated in the HR System, and when a manager starts her computer in the morning, the chatbot starts talking: “Good morning Tina, it is time for your bi-annual coaching session with (terrible) Tom, I have already scheduled it. Can you please complete the following preparation form?”. This approach is cracking, as it does not work. Neither Task Oriented Tina nor Terrible Tom is happy with the process. Why force people to do things they do not like, and they are not very good at? it is time to consider other approaches.

Some more Career Blogs:

Top Demanding Job In Future
Hr Interview Question That You Must Be Ready For

The New Networking Norm: Keys to Making Social Media Connections Count

The New Networking Norm: Keys to Making Social Media Connections Count

Networking ain’t what it used to be. Handshakes, hand-written notes, and a Rolodex sound like ancient history. But with all the obvious advantages of email, LinkedIn, and social media connections come one major downside: the risk of coming off like a creeper looms high at every turn.

It’s important to send the right message, especially on LinkedIn. The social network crossed the 500 million user mark in 2017, and according to the company’s Ultimate List of Hiring Stats, more than 75 percent of people who recently changed jobs used LinkedIn to inform their switch.

That all begs the question: What’s the proper networking etiquette online? Here are a few ways to maximize impact and minimize creep:

Start On the Right Foot

Connections without context are no good. Connecting with someone who doesn’t know who you are may expand your network, but it’ll do little to brighten your career prospects. So, rule number one: If you’re connecting on LinkedIn and you haven’t met before (whether that’s in person or over the phone), or you’ve met but there’s even a slight chance the other person won’t remember you, send a quick personal note with your invitation.

Briefly introduce yourself and explain why you want to connect. It may be that you’re fascinated by their job title and industry, and want to see their experience and insights. Or you may be interested in getting hired at their company or in their industry and you want to set up an informational interview. Either way, don’t slide into their connections without introducing yourself first.

Strike the Right Tone

When you reach out, be transparent but not desperate. It’s OK to state your intention upfront, just do so politely and unassumingly. For example:

Hi Name,

I just graduated UofX and I’m interested in starting a career in marketing. I came upon [company] while researching jobs on LinkedIn and would love to learn more about the company and your role. Would you be willing to talk sometime in the next week to share a little bit about your experience?

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Also, don’t make it weird. If you’re going to connect, don’t apologize for it. Starting a note off with “Not to be that person who messages you on LinkedIn…” or “Sorry to bother you, but…” will make the person on the other end cringe. Approach confidently, but be mindful of the other person’s perspective. For example, take into account whether they are more or less senior than you. If it’s more, show deference and be super respectful of their time and experience.

Finally, be you—professional-ish you. LinkedIn is professional but not that professional. Intros are less formal than they’d be on email, so it’s OK to write short messages that get to the point. Quasi-cover letters and unsolicited job applications, on the other hand, are not welcome.

Share Good Content

If you have connections, you have an audience. Take that opportunity to post interesting and insightful content you find online. Think of what you post as part of your online “brand.” And to that end, before you post, ask yourself, is this on-brand? Would I roll my eyes at this or click on it if someone else posted it?

Sharing content gets you on connections’ feeds, which is a nice way to remind them that you exist and to entice them to refresh themselves on what it is that you do by clicking through to your profile.

Not sharing content means people may—sorry, but—forget about you and will only find you from search or when they have a reason to look at your profile. Worse, spamming your connections with an overflow of poorly thought-out posts may render you persona non grata in their network.

When other people post good content, like it or leave a comment. People pay attention to who likes their posts. This is another subtle way to remind them that you exist so that if and when you do reach out, it’s not weird.

Fill Out Your Profile

The only thing worse than an internet ghost (no online presence) is an internet outline (internet presence but scant details). If your profile has no picture, lacks information or connections, or has no summary, you’ll raise eyebrows among connections. Be sure to:

Write a solid summary. Aim to convey your current role and your general career aspirations in a line or two.

Upload a headshot.

Fill out the basics. Where you’re based, your education and previous jobs are a must.


Reviews and endorsements are gifts. Reciprocate them! It’s not weird to ask someone to leave you a review, but if you do, leave one back as a courtesy. If someone leaves you an unsolicited review, return the favor. The same applies to skills endorsements. This builds goodwill among close connections (the ones who know you well enough to leave a review or endorse you) and improves the impression your profile imparts on less-familiar connections.

Networking norms change so fast it can be hard to stay on top of what’s kosher and what’s not. But, these tips can help you build and manage a social media presence with meaningful connections you can leverage when you need to (without being creepy!).

Need more blog for career advice? Visit


10 Things to Do for Your Career by 35

10 Things to Do for Your Career by 35

10 Things to Do for Your Career by 35

We’re all for flexibility. Going your own way. Paving your own path. Doing what works for you (and not doing what doesn’t).

We’re also big fans of not putting a timeline on things. We’ve even said that there are plenty of things you don’t have to have my 30 (or 40, or 50, or ever…).

But when it comes to your career, there are some things that we do recommend getting started on sooner rather than later. Not because some all-knowing career god out there says you have to, but because you’ll make your professional future—not to mention day-to-day work life—a whole lot easier.

So, do you need to check every box off this list by the time you’re 35? Definitely not. But, consider it a list of suggestions that, if taken, can have a really big impact on your career.

1. Really Refine Your Elevator Pitch

While it will obviously change from time to time, you should never have a hard time answering, “What do you do?” In fact, you should be so good at it that people will never forget.

So, really spend some time figuring out what message you want to get across when people ask about your career. Communication expert Alexandra Franzen has an exercise to help.

2. Know Your Superpower

Or, in other words, know the one thing that you’re truly amazing at.

Serial entrepreneur Tina Roth Eisenberg says that all the most successful people she’s met know exactly what they’re best at John Maeda, who led the MIT Media Lab and Rhode Island School of Design, responded with “curiosity.” Maria Popova, who curates the popular Brain Pickings blog, said “doggedness.” Eisenberg’s own superpower is enthusiasm. See how to find your own superpower, here.

3. Know Your Weakness

On the other end of the spectrum, it’s key to know what you’re not so great at. Not to make you feel bad—not in the least!—but to help you know who you should hire and work with to complement your skill set and what tasks you should delegate (so you can spend more time on what you’re great at).

On that note:

4. Learn How to Delegate

No one can do it all, and especially as you climb the career ladder, you’re going to need to know the difference between the things you should be spending your time on and the things you shouldn’t.

And, perhaps more importantly, be able to effectively and comfortably delegate to others—interns, staff members, your partner, your childcare provider, you get the picture. These 10 rules of the successful delegation will help you do it right.

5. Know Your Career Non-Negotiables

You’re going to have a lot of opportunities come your way in life, and you don’t want to waste energy agreeing to things that really don’t line up with what you want to be doing.

So, really be honest about what you want and need out of your career, and then come up with a list of non-negotiables that you can use as a guide next time you’re making a career decision. Writer Andrea Shields Nunez has some tips on creating them—and then actually enforcing them.

6. Do Something You’re Really, Really Proud Of

Whether or not it’s something you’ll be known for forever, something you get paid for doing, or even something you really want to do with your life, make sure you have something on your resume that, deep down, you’re really proud of.

7. Learn From Something You’re Not So Proud Of

We were going to add “fail at something” to this list, but that’s silly. Because, let’s face it, we’ve all failed miserably at one point or another.

What’s more important? Learning from that blunder and taking that lesson with you productively into the next stage of your career.

8. Stretch Your Limits

You know you can manage a 30-person meeting, but a 100-person multi-day travel conference? That might be stretching the limits of your skills.

Actually—this is exactly the type of stuff that you should try once in a while. After all, you’ll never really know how good you are until you step a bit outside of what you know.

9. Do Something That Really Scares You

This takes stretching your limits a bit further—we’re talking going way out of your comfort zone here.

Whether it’s speaking at a conference, going for a (big) promotion, or finally writing that memoir, why not try something that terrifies you at least once in the early stages of your career? As they say, big risks can lead to big-time rewards.

10. Get Comfortable With Getting Feedback

Hillary Clinton once said that her biggest piece of advice to young professionals is: “It’s important to take criticism seriously—not personally.” Meaning: Knowing where you’re not meeting expectations is the only way you’ll learn and grow as a professional, but taking every harsh word to the heart is a fast way to make your confidence crumble.

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4 Signs You’re Just Not Cut Out for the 9-to-5 Life

4 Signs You’re Just Not Cut Out for the 9-to-5 Life

4 Signs You're Just Not Cut Out for the 9-to-5 Life

So many of us were raised to a subtle beat (or loud gong) that went something like this, “Get good grades. Get into a decent school. Get a solid desk job (with benefits). Be happy.”

Problem is, for some people this formula doesn’t lead to career fulfillment at all. In fact, for some, it’s a formula that ultimately makes them want to crawl out of their own skin or run screaming from that solid desk job (with benefits).

Could this be you? What are some signs that you may, in fact, not be cut out for a traditional, 9-to-5 job?

Here are a few signs, plus what should you do if this becomes clear to you.

1. You Feel Like a Caged Animal When You’re in the Office

Sometimes, it’s not about resenting authority at all. For some who aren’t cut out for traditional jobs, it’s the endless sea of desks that makes them want to run screaming from the building.

I remember my own first corporate job. At first, it was all like, “Oh. Sooo cool. Look at all these important-looking people in these little cubby holes.” By about six months in, I was finding any excuse possible to get out into the fresh air. (“You need someone to go pick up lunch? On it!”)

By a few years in, I’d had enough. I lasted a grand total of seven years before I’d flat-out had it. I needed freedom, and I needed space.

What to Do If You Feel Trapped

If your job truly requires you to sit in one space and stare at a computer all day (and you actually don’t mind the work), you may consider requesting the option to telecommute a couple times a week. This article includes templates and suggestions for starting that conversation.

If your role doesn’t really mandate sitting in one place every day, start planning your day (or requesting to do so) in a way that gets you out and about at least a time or two every day.

Monotony can crush even the brightest spirit. Find ways to break up your simple suggestions here. Or, if you know an office is simply a no-go, start investigating ways to apply to a field that has you, well, out in the field.

2. You Don’t Like Working Regimented Hours (or Having a Regimented Life)

Similar to the feeling that a cubicle may give you, being required (or nearly required) to punch in and out each day can make you feel like you have no say in your career or life. And having no say may make you want out, stat.

What to Do If You Despise Set Hours

Of course, there are many roles that simply require you cover a shift. If this is your job (and it’s making you nuts), you may want to consider a new position or line of work. Businesses that run shifts need shift workers. No getting around that.

However (and this is especially true if you’re a top performer), if the imposed hours are arbitrary—done because this is what everyone does and has always done—perhaps you could put together a proposal that shows your boss how you can achieve your goals outside of the current schedule.

Use care with this approach, of course. (Keep in mind that your boss may long for a similar scenario but be too afraid to push it with “the powers that be.”) But if you do it strategically and in a non-pushy manner, you may just find your idea is heard. And, hopefully, approved!

3. Spreadsheets Make You Crazy

I recently worked with a client who was having a heck of a time finding a new sales role. It was a mystery to me at first, because she has so much going for her. But as we spoke, I began to realize that, while she loves selling, she hates (understatement) all the paperwork and reporting that goes along with it.

In fact, she doesn’t just hate it—she’s terrified of it. Thus, every time she gets into a conversation with a hiring manager (for another sales job), they get as far in conversation as the spreadsheets and then she’s out.

The companies she is eyeing simply don’t want a salesperson who can’t or won’t also do the necessary behind-the-scenes work.

What to Do If Paperwork Makes You Pout

Whether you’re afraid of the paperwork (or the technology you need to know how to use to complete it), or simply annoyed about having to do it, here’s the reality: It’s probably not going away.

Whether you’re working for someone else or for yourself, your job will likely require at least a certain amount of reporting, documenting, data entry, or number crunching. I don’t care if you’re on Wall Street or running a landscaping crew, business is business and it requires paperwork.

That said, if you truly abhor it, consider finding ways to delegate, outsource, or get support on the stuff you simply do not want to do. If you’re weak on the technology or tools that power the paperwork, ask for training, or invest in it yourself.

If you’re at the bottom of the ladder and can’t just delegate, see if you can trade tasks with a co-worker. Maybe they hate something you don’t mind and it could be a win-win for both of you.

Few of us adore paperwork, but it’s a part of a business. So, either get comfortable with it or get it off your plate.

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Starting Your First Job? How to Stay Organized and Sane

Starting Your First Job? How to Stay Organized and Sane

 Starting Your First Job? How to Stay Organized and Sane

Like many other young professionals, I have a jam-packed schedule. A typical week for me consists of working at my 9-to-5 job, volunteering at two nonprofits, happy hours and hikes with friends, networking at professional events, getting in some “me” time, and even doing some contract work.

And I love this pace, but when I first made the transition from college to working world, I found that balancing a new job, a personal life, and a new city—and staying happy doing it—was a pretty big challenge. Sure, I did a lot in undergrad, too, but there’s something about adding a full-time job into the mix that requires a different approach to scheduling, planning, and organization.

If you’re feeling the same way, here are a few things I found immensely helpful in balancing my first few post-grad months.


Recognize Your Needs—and Meet Them

You’ve heard this advice in college, but here it is again: Know what you, personally, need to succeed.

Many of my friends from college struggled with the transition because they thought being in the “real world” meant being a whole new person than they were in undergrad. And yes, while your lifestyle—everything from your schedule to your social life to your living situation—will be very different from the past four years, you are still the same person. So, the things you needed to succeed while you were in college will likely be the same things you need in a job setting.

For example, if you know you need a full eight hours of sleep to function properly at 7 AM, then figure out how to get it—even if it means calling it an early night when your friends are still out. If you crave exercise to calm your nerves, make time for it—even if it means you’re not the first one in the office. I’ve never been skilled at multitasking, so I deal with it by setting a schedule that lets me devote different periods of the day to different aspects of my life.

Remember, you’re not doing yourself or anyone else any favors if you’re not on top of your game.

Organize Your Time

If you weren’t a time management guru in college—well, it’s time to become one!

The first thing I found very useful was making lists: From grocery lists (keep a basic one in your phone so you don’t have to recreate the wheel every week) to to-do lists (ideally separate ones for work, life, and anything else you have to go on) to pro-con lists (so helpful when you’re making a decision!), write things down. Do it daily, weekly, monthly—whatever works. Whether they’re formal or informal, online or on paper, lists are all about getting your thoughts down so you can visualize and conquer without fear that you’re forgetting anything.

In addition, I recommend organizing your big tasks—from projects at work to grad school applications to your friend’s bridal shower—with a timeline. Spread the work out over several days or weeks, making sure you have adequate time to devote to the task. Remember to prioritize and organize around the different activities on your plate, and give each one its own pocket of time. (Or, if you tend to be a procrastinator like me—who doesn’t work well with timelines—just set a couple of deadlines. Timelines only work if you stick to them!)

Stick to Your Priorities

If you’re like most, your highest priority is your job—whether it’s figuring out how to get ahead at your new gig or trying to find that first dream position. But, try not to let everything else fall by the wayside if it’s important to you, too. Just as your extracurriculars, your friends, and your hobbies were an important part of your college education, they’re an important part of being happy as a professional. I highly value my volunteer work and spending time with my friends, so I keep them high on my priority list, even if work is battling for my time and energy. Taking time to decide what you want out of life—and making those things a priority—will help you organize your schedule to maximize your happiness.

That said—don’t overload yourself. If you’re starting a side business, taking night classes to get a competitive edge, and trying to have a social life while still holding your new job—you may be in a little too deep.

I learned this the hard way when I tried to take on too many things when I first started my job while continuing to live the same lifestyle I embraced in college. And the best advice I got then was this: You don’t have to do it all. Really. Finding balance in your new life is about being honest with yourself, knowing what you can handle, and setting priorities based on what matters most

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How to Work From Home: Tips From People Who Do It Successfully

How to Work From Home: Tips From People Who Do It Successfully

How to Work From Home: Tips From People Who Do It Successfully

1. Get started early.

When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your pillow to your computer can be much more jarring.

Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day. Otherwise, you’ll prolong breakfast and let the morning sluggishness wear away your motivation.

2. Pretend like you are going into the office.

The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when telecommuting.

When working from home, do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make (or go get) coffee, and wear nice clothes. Internet browsers like Google Chrome even allow you to set up multiple accounts with different toolbars on the top — for example, a toolbar for home and a separate toolbar for work.

“Get fully ready for the day and pretend you’re actually going to work. Otherwise, you might find yourself back in bed.”

3. Structure your day like you would in the office.

When working from home, you’re your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting scheduled to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out.

To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks. Google Calendar makes this easy.

“Are mornings for writing while you’re in the office? Use the same schedule at home. While you probably will get tasks done faster at home than at work, this structure will help keep you focused and productive.”

4. Choose a dedicated workspace.

Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch — spaces that are associated with leisure time — dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.

“Have a place you go specifically to work. It could be a certain table, chair, local coffee shop — someplace that’s consistently your ‘workspace.’ It helps you get into the right frame of mind.”

5. Work when you’re at your most productive.

Nobody sprints through their work from morning to evening — your motivation will naturally ebb and flow throughout the day. When you’re working from home, however, it’s all the more important to know when those ebbs and flows will take place and plan your schedule around it.

To capitalize on your most productive periods, save your harder tasks for when you know you’ll be in the right headspace for them. Use slower points of the day to knock out the easier, logistical tasks that are also on your plate. Verily Magazine calls these tasks “small acts of success,” and they can help build your momentum for the heavier projects that are waiting for you later on.

“For me, the most productive times of the day are usually early in the morning or late at night. I recognize this and try to plan my day accordingly. Also, music that really pumps me up doesn’t hurt.”

6. Take clear breaks.

It can be so easy to get distracted as a telecommuter that you avoid breaks altogether. Don’t let the guilt of working in the building you sleep in prevent you from taking five to relax. Rather than just opening YouTube and watching some comfort clips, however, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Go for a walk outside or spend time with others who might also be in the house.

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4 Ways You’re Making Your Job Way Harder Than it Needs to Be

4 Ways You’re Making Your Job Way Harder Than it Needs to Be

4 Ways You're Making Your Job Way Harder Than it Needs to Be

You know that work is supposed to be challenging—but there’s no way it’s supposed to be this challenging.

Even the simplest of tasks take you twice as long as anybody else in your office, and you’re beginning to think that you’re the problem.

Here are four ways that you might be making things way harder than they need to be.

1. You’re Clinging to Outdated Processes

Change is hard—I get it. Sometimes it seems way easier to hang on to your standard way of doing things than to adjust to your company’s new process.

But, here’s the thing: That change was probably introduced because it’s better and more efficient. So, white-knuckling that tired and outdated workflow is really only slowing you down—not to mention frustrating your colleagues.

The Fix

Figure out what you need to do to familiarize yourself with that new approach. Do you need a tutorial from a team member who has already mastered that piece of software? Do you need to write detailed instructions for yourself so you remember what to do next time?

Getting up to speed can take a little work, but I’m willing to bet it won’t be long before you’re glad that you did it.

2. You’re Seeking Everybody’s Stamp of Approval

Personally, I thrive on confirmation that I’m on the right track. It not only makes me feel like I’m knocking things out of the park, but it also prevents me from sinking too much elbow grease into something that’s heading in the wrong direction.

However, if your boss has already given you the go-ahead, that should be enough for you to move forward. You don’t need that same affirmation from every department manager, your entire team, and even the UPS delivery guy. Seeking that is only adding unnecessary bloat to your work.

The Fix

Perhaps much of your desire to get a stamp of approval from a dozen different people is the fact that you aren’t sure who has the final say on whatever project you’re working on.

When starting a new task or assignment, figure out exactly who is the key decision maker. That will give you the confidence you need to move forward—without hearing from absolutely everybody involved.

3. You’re Forgetting Previous Feedback

You’re beginning to feel like you have to complete every assignment twice. There’s your original attempt, and then your second one after everybody has torn your work apart with a red pen.

Revisions and constructive criticism are inevitable. But, you might be adding extra hassle by not remembering or implementing feedback that was offered previously. There’s nothing more frustrating for you (and everybody else!) than needing to change the same thing time and time again.

The Fix

You need to keep better track of those suggested changes so that you can remember them moving forward.

Start a simple feedback log for yourself—it can be as straightforward as keeping a document within easy access on your computer. Treat that as your cheat sheet, where you can reference changes that were suggested previously and ensure that you incorporate them into your future assignments.

4. You’re Planning for Every Possible Scenario

There’s nothing wrong with being a planner—in fact, there are plenty of times when it will serve you well. However, it’s also far too easy to fall victim to analysis paralysis.

Overanalyzing every potential pitfall or roadblock means you’ll continue to delay getting started on a project—not to mention seriously stress yourself out.

The Fix

Just get started. It sounds simple in concept, but can actually be pretty difficult for those of us who like to plan for every last scenario. But, if you’ve been carefully plotting every last slide of that presentation to your company’s board of directors, give yourself a kick in the pants and begin by creating a few slides and dumping some information into them.

Rest assured, you can still make tweaks and changes down the line. But, at least you’re finally putting pen to paper, so to speak.

If you absolutely can’t squelch your compulsive desire to plan (guilty as charged), set a designated planning period for yourself. Once you hit that end date, you just need to get the ball rolling.

Work isn’t always easy—that’s why it’s called work. But, it also doesn’t need to be insanely complicated. However, when it comes to keeping things simple and streamlined, we can be our own worst enemies.

Keep your eyes open for these four common situations when you’re making things way harder than they need to be. When you recognize one? Make the necessary adjustments and get ready for a little less stress in the office.

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