Posts tagged #Career Planning

Spring Cleaning At Work

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Rebirth, regrowth and cleaning, all words synonymous with springtime. Are you on a Marie Kondo kick at home? Bring that cleaning attitude to work. Getting rid of those loose papers in your desk can really help clear the mind and adjust your focus on your goals.

There’s a reason why spring cleaning is so popular, it allows you to cleanse the excess you accumulated during the winter and get back to what’s really important. Here are some ways to spring clean at work, and prepare for a productive and efficient summer.

Go Digital

Use technology to help you stay organized. If you have performance reviews, old training materials, or other important documents you want to keep for reference, scan them and keep them on your computer or put them on a USB drive. Cutting down the paper clutter around your desk will help you stay organized and focused.

Use Organizers

Are you the type of person to keep a little bit of everything in your desk because who knows when you’ll need chapstick or breath mints? Invest in desk organizers. They help you locate items quickly and allow you to group similar items together.

Throw Things Away

After you’ve taken the steps above, throw out/recycle/shred papers that you don’t need and that extra stapler you’ve been hoarding. If you haven’t looked at or used something in a month, toss it.

Go Through Digital Documents

The documents, spreadsheets, and papers you have on your computer need attention too. Spend some time taking inventory of digital documents. If they’re important, create a folder on your computer and compile similar documents with it. If not, trash them!

If you use your desktop as your digital catch-all, create a few key folders that you know you will access regularly. A busy desktop is the same as a cluttered desk. Plus, it slows down your computer’s performance!

Refresh your Career Binder

Did you give a stellar presentation or receive impressive praise from your boss? Keep those items in your career binder. It’s easier to refresh your digital portfolio regularly than it is to do it while you’re on the job hunt. What better way to celebrate Spring than to acknowledge your own accomplishments by updating your career binder!

Want to learn more about putting together a career binder? Here’s a blog on how to put one together and what should go in it.

Don’t let spring cleaning overwhelm you. Make small goals and tackle one or two small things a day. You’ll be surprised at how great you’ll feel to see the progress!

What will you be spring cleaning this month?

Posted on April 9, 2019 and filed under Career.

Do You Have A Career Binder?

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We love tools that help make our professional development easier. One of our favorite tools is a career binder or portfolio.

What’s a career binder and why do I need one?

A career binder—also known as a brag book—contains the documents that back up the achievements on your resume. A comprehensive binder builds your confidence and can help you be prepared to impress your supervisor, hiring managers, and anyone else in leadership. It gathers the very best of who you are and what you’ve accomplished in one place, ready to share with anyone at a moments notice.

As you begin the new year, create a career binder now to help align your goal planning with the contents.

What Should Be in Your Career Binder?

You can use a career binder to prepare for an upcoming performance review, when discussing a promotion or raise with your supervisor, or when applying for a new position. Think of it as your emergency kit to always be ready to put your best foot forward to elevate your career.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what should be in your career binder:

  1. Introduction/Elevator Speech - Write a cover letter of sorts that introduces you, your personal brand, and your core competencies. Even if you never show this to anyone, it is helpful for you to have thought through these topics so you are ready to talk about them if the opportunities arise.

  2. Professional Background - An updated resume or CV highlighting your professional background should always be ready to go.

  3. STAR Behavioral Examples - Let your accomplishments shine! Most supervisors and interviewers will ask open-ended questions like, “Describe a time when…,” or “Tell me about…” Answer these questions using the STAR method which stands for Situation, Task, Action, Resolution. When composing your career binder, think of your best accomplishments and break them down using the STAR method. Having an overview in your binder for your supervisor or interviewer to review, will impress them. However, don’t write out word for word what happened, aim to keep the example in your binder concise. Use the interview to elaborate on the example.

  4. Recommendations and Awards - Add relevant recommendations or reviews from previous employers or professors. These don’t necessarily have to be formal recommendation letters or award certificates. If you receive an email with kudos for a job well done or a congratulations for completing training, print it and include it!

  5. Work-Related Documents - It can be helpful to include any supporting documentation that completes the picture of your work capabilities and achievements. This may include performance evaluations, publications you’ve authored, or other evidence of your skills.

Want even more career development tips and tricks? At the Wilbanks Consulting Group, we can help prepare you for your dream career – from creating your first career binder to negotiating your salary package. We have the tools and expertise to give you the competitive edge in your job search. Contact us to learn more.

Posted on January 1, 2019 and filed under Career.

Back To High School & Your Career: It’s Not Too Early To Start Planning

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It’s never too early to start planning for your future. A big part of planning for your life after high school has to do with what career path you want to be on. Are you interested in business? There are colleges known for strong business programs and alumni networks that can help propel your career after college. Or is your passion is science and medicine? Explore colleges with great science and research programs to foster your learning and grow your passions.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t quite know what you want to do. If that’s the case for you, this time is vital to really prepare for your future and explore lots of options!

Act on these tips to help you prepare for your life after learning, even if your path is still undecided:

Explore Your Interests

All your life you’ve been asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  High school marks the perfect time to explore those interests and see if you could picture yourself doing it as a career. If you aren’t sure what you want to be, brainstorm about what you love. Write down what you enjoy, what you could do everyday, what you don’t like, what you don’t like but would be OK with doing. All of these questions will help you narrow down the path to your future career.

Gain Experience

After you identify your interests, next find ways to gain experience. Experience comes in many forms – internships, jobs, clubs, volunteering, and shadowing are a few examples.

Finding these sources for experience can help you learn valuable skills about the job and gain confidence with firsthand experience. It’s also a great way to clarify whether it’s something you could see yourself doing long term. As you gain experience, you may find you like different aspects of your interests. For example, if you take an internship at a dentist office and you realize the techniques the dentists use to achieve patient's goals inspires you but you find the administrative tasks redundant. Keep pursuing the parts of the job that interest you.

Earn Certificates Beyond the Classroom

Certificates and courses help you stand out from the competition. Colleges and employers often look beyond the classes and the grades as a measure of aptitude. There are many in-demand skills employers desire that new graduates seldom have. Among those are critical thinking, project management, and problem-solving. They go beyond what can be taught in a classroom but are crucial for career success.

Find A Mentor

There is no substitute for wise advice. As a student, there is so much about college and the working world that you will do well to explore alongside a mentor. The perfect mentor for you will be someone you trust, admire, respect, and will be honest with about your strengths and weaknesses as you step into the world beyond high school. Think about who a great mentor will be for you and ask them if they would be willing to mentor you. Chances are, they’ll be thrilled you asked.

Invest in yourself and your future and learn skills today that will help you grow toward the career of your dreams. Contact us for more information on our personalized career coaching services.

Posted on September 12, 2018 and filed under Search Strategy.