Testimonials

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I feel like I need more than just a traditional resume or cover letter in order to stand out to the tech companies I want to work for. What else can I do to separate myself from the competition that’s applying to these innovative companies?

Dear Desperate to Stand Out,

You really hit the nail on the head. Competition’s tough across the board and tech is leading the way.

Your first step to getting noticed is to get in the right mindset. What does that mean? Don’t think like a recruiter, but more like a marketer. Your product is your experience. Here’s how a marketer would sell it.

1. Focus on Presentation
Maybe you’re not a graphic designer, but that shouldn’t be stand in the way of creating an eye-catching resume. There are plenty of tools that make design easy for everyone—many even offer templates designed by experts.

And don’t just stop there. Think of all the other points of contact a recruiter could have with you—including your LinkedIn profile, other social media handles, a blog, an online portfolio, and so on. Make sure they are all polished and contribute to a cohesive personal brand.

2. Spread the Word
A solid resume or cover letter doesn’t accomplish anything if the right people don’t see it. One surefire way to stand out is to proactively put it in front of the right people and to make it easy for them to notice it.

For example, there’s a story of a candidate who used Snapchat geo filters to advertise his portfolio in front of creative directors at the agencies he wanted to work for. You may not want to go that far, but that core idea has some merit. Think of how you can make yourself discoverable.

Don’t be intimidated. This can be something as straightforward as finding an acquaintance who works at the company and asking for a referral, or even dropping a friendly note to the hiring manager on Twitter or LinkedIn.

3. Make it Personal
Anything that starts with the dreaded, “To Whom it May Concern” will find it’s way to the trash can in a hurry. But, it’s hard to ignore a message when it’s highly targeted and personalized.

Start by showing that you took the time to get to know both the hiring manager and the company. Stand out from the competition by finding unique themes, attributes, projects, values, or needs you have in common and then incorporating those into your application materials.

Proving that you’ve done your homework on the role and the company empowers you to present yourself as a seamless fit, while also demonstrating your high level of interest in that opportunity.

Getting the job you want with the company you want to work for can be challenging. But, the right mindset and approach will help you reach your goals faster.

This article is part of our Ask an Expert series—a column dedicated to helping you tackle your biggest career concerns.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/stand-out-against-tough-job-search-competition

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Let’s be clear: It’s innovate or die out there.

Ideas are the currency that buys you a starring role in today’s workplace. But too many people prioritize ownership over adoption, and watch their ideas waste away as a result. Truth is, you’ll be more effective if you work collaboratively with a team to turn ideas into action.

Here’s why you should ditch the old ideation silo and give your best thoughts to the group.

Team Buy-In Makes Things Happen
Ideas are often the prelude to change, and change generally rubs people the wrong way. So, how to get around the very human—but avoidable—friction that comes from shaking things up? Go out of your way to gain your team’s buy-in on the things that may affect them.

Especially if you’re a manager, inclusive decision-making may not only get you a better outcome by melding more minds during the ideation and decision-making processes, it ensures that the team understands the motives and considerations behind new ways of working. Ultimately that means less pushback, a deeper awareness about what led to decisions in the first place, and a more evenly distributed stake in the outcome.

Whether or not you’re a manager, this is a good way to conquer any resistance to change.

Tap Into a More Diverse Range of Opinions
A team brainstorm may be no better than a private one if everyone in the group thinks the same way. You need to mix it up.

Study after study has shown that diverse groups—gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, age, etc.—produce better ideas and make better decisions. Cloverpop, a company that tracks companies’ decisions to help them manage the decision-making process, found in a two-year study that gender-mixed teams comprising a wide range of ages and geographic representations made better decisions than homogeneous teams 87 percent of the time.

Makes sense. People with different backgrounds have different outlooks, motivations and experiences that shape their contributions at work. Hearing their voices and ideas produces a more well-rounded exchange of thoughts vetted by a wider variety of perspectives.

You may have to do some work to get a good mix of people in the room, but it’s worth it. While you’re at it, don’t discount less obvious diversity factors, like years of experience and time at your company.

See How Ideas Hold Up Against Messy Human Stuff
We’re all human, and regardless of race or gender or any of the other factors above, we’re simply wired differently.

For example, think about Myers-Briggs psychological types. People have different ways of perceiving and interpreting information, different thought patterns and emotional reflexes. The idealists on your team will have different ideas than the cynics. The process-oriented people will see things differently from the gut-driven types.

Working through ideas with a mix of personalities will help you find middle ground and flesh out a plan of action that works for everyone.

Test Your Assumptions
Idea sharing can be a valuable vetting exercise if everyone’s encouraged to speak candidly. Ask people to poke holes in your logic, to prove why your proposal won’t work, and to name every single thing that could possibly go wrong. The harder to tear down, the better the idea. Use the feedback to reformulate your idea until you’ve patched the flaws.

If you’re a team lead, this is even more critical. Sometimes you have to design new ways of working but you’re not the best person to do so because you’re not the closest to the facts on the ground—the people who work for you are. They can probably see the peril that lurks in a new idea right off the bat, and they’ll respect you more for recognizing that and hearing what they have to say.

Turn Ideas Into Action
In some ways, the idea is the easy part. The real challenge is executing.

If you think of ideas not as inventions that come out of thin air but as innovative solutions to complex problems, you and your team will have a better foundation for brainstorming.

And in the end, you’ll have a much easier time activating ideas if they’re vetted by a diverse group willing to provide constructive criticism, even if it means swallowing some pride and surrendering credit for the outcome.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-your-next-big-idea-should-come-from-a-team?ref=recently-published-2

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Being stuck in a rut sucks. If there’s one thing I could wish for you, it’s that you never have to deal with a situation that holds you back from being happy, successful, or fulfilled.

That, unfortunately, is an unrealistic wish (even more unrealistic than wishing I could turn everything I touch into chocolate). Because like failure, ruts are inevitable. And the good news about that not-so-fun fact is that they ultimately help make us stronger, smarter, and more successful individuals.

Just look at a few people in your life who you admire—how many of them went through a struggle that forced them to reevaluate their goals or path?

Since I’m someone who doesn’t love surprises (except the birthday kind), I’m going to tell you right now exactly which ruts you’ll find yourself in throughout your career.

1. Being Bored
No matter how much you love your job, how many hours you work, or how large the pile of to-dos is on your desk, there will come a time when you will find yourself suddenly underwhelmed, unmotivated, or unstimulated at your job for days on end.

It could be for a number of reasons. Maybe your boss has stopped challenging you. Or, maybe you’re making the mistake of not seeking out challenges, or looking for exciting projects. Or, maybe you’ve found yourself in a new role that isn’t as exciting as you thought it would be.

Whatever the reason, boredom is usually pretty fixable. You can ask your boss for better projects, or see if you can chip in on what other teams are working on, or find ways to keep learning, like taking online classes or attending conferences related to your industry. If that still leaves you no better than you were before, it may be time to move on and find a role that’s more engaging.

2. Feeling Unhappy
Unhappiness is a more serious sign to keep an eye on.

Why is it so much more common than we realize? Because for one, we’re fickle beings—we’re always changing our minds and shifting our priorities. Which means the things we want in our careers now may change one, two, five years from now. That’s OK!

The other reason is because sometimes we’re really bad at recognizing when we’re miserable. We’ll place the blame on other things (woke up on the wrong side of the bed, had a bad commute, a crazy boss) rather than accept that something bigger is affecting us.Figure out what is making you unhappy and use that information to decide what your next steps will be.

Maybe it means transferring roles internally, changing companies, or switching industries entirely. Or maybe it’s even more simple than that. Maybe it’s talking to your boss about an overwhelming workload. Or asking your co-worker to stop talking to you when you’re working at your desk.

Whatever the cause, take the time to identify it and start making moves to solve it.

3. Doubting Your Career Path
Unless you’re very lucky, you won’t find yourself satisfied in the same role in the same industry throughout your entire career.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re unsure about what you want to do next—even if you’ve spent 10 years in your role and are now doubting everything. The good news is that it’s never too late to make a change, whatever that means for you. The even better news is that you don’t have to have it all figured out when you’re 30, 40, 50.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” Don’t be finished.

4. Feeling Like Nothing’s Going Right
Ever have those months when nothing’s going right? You keep messing up basic tasks, your manager keeps sending your work back with heavy revisions, your co-workers keep shutting down your ideas?

It could be your fault—if you’re job searching, for example, and getting nowhere, it might be worth reconsidering you’re approach.

But it could also be due to external forces, like a company restructuring or a bad boss. If so, it’s worth figuring out whether these can be fixed, and if not, what steps you can take to better set yourself up for success.

5. Having to Deal With a (Big) Change
Your company just went through a huge merger, half your department got laid off, you got laid off, they brought in a new boss, or oyou’ve moved to an entirely new city for a job.

One day, something major will happen that will shake up how you do things and think about your career. While it’s practically impossible to prepare for something like this, remember that it’s common. And, that it’s salvageable. And, that the feelings of loss and doubt and frustration and sadness won’t last forever. And, that you’ll come out stronger and more equipped to handle anything that comes your way. If you don’t believe me, read this.

The last thing I want to emphasize is that it’s easy to feel alone when you’re in these ruts, or that no one understands what you’re going through. But I can confidently tell you that everyone experiences these. Why else would I write this article?

So, don’t be afraid to admit when you’re in one—if you don’t, you’ll regret not making a change sooner. And if you still feel like the only one, chat with people just like you (and get some reassuring advice) on our Stuck in a Rut discussions platform.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/career-ruts-everyone-will-get-into-some-point?ref=recently-published-1

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In their pursuit to keep the Central Coast feeling well, moving well and performing well, leading provider of Allied Health & Sports Medicine services, Coast Sport, has recently partnered with Wyong Lakes Australian Rules Football Club

The Magpies, or ‘Pies’ as they are affectionately known, are most excited to have a premium health care partner on board and look forward to a long- term partnership with the Tuggerah based Allied Health provider.

Located in the Mariners Centre of Excellence Building in Tuggerah, Coast Sport is the leader in provision of Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Exercise Physiology, Sports Nutrition, Clinical Pilates and Massage Therapy services to Central Coast communities. The team at Coast Sport work closely with many elite sporting teams and organisations including the Australian Dolphins Swim team, Central Coast Academy of Sport, Central Coast Mariners FC & Academy, Central Coast Heart Netball, Central Coast Crusaders, NSW Basketball and more.

The team at Coast Sport will be providing physiotherapy coverage at all home and away matches for the senior women’s and Black Diamond Cup Teams as well as providing pre-season screenings to senior players. Coast Sport recognises the importance of education for players, coaches and their families when it comes to things like injury prevention and management as well as nutrition and optimal training and recovery for performance. “We will be providing a number of educational sessions to ensure players are performing at their best and are fully supported to minimise injury occurrence” states Coast Sport Director, Brett Doring.

As part of their partnership commitment, Coast Sport will also be providing access for players to their state-of-the-art and highly equipped gym along with the latest technology and techniques that they utilise on all their elite athletes. Coast Sport Physiotherapist and Director, Mathew Cranney highlights the importance of “nurturing local talent and providing them with the best opportunity to shine in the future’, at Coast Sport we genuinely care about our athletes and work closely with them on their sporting journey, helping them to achieve their goals and dreams”.

Established in 1975, Wyong Lakes Australian Rules Football Club pride themselves on providing a fun family atmosphere for players of all ages. The club is currently working hard towards developing and growing its junior base, which now also includes two female squads. Senior numbers have also stabilised, and the club is looking to further grow numbers. Fostering a culture of inclusiveness and respect for each other, the ‘pies’ warmly welcomes new players. For more information about this great local sporting team visit the Wyong Lakes Australian Football Club website.

 

Source: https://www.centralcoastaustralia.com.au/news/coast-sport-selected-to-service-wyong-lakes-australian-rules-football-club/?current-news

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The prospect of returning to work after years away from my career was daunting. I faced a host of challenges: a lack of recent and relevant experience, outdated corporate skills, and uncertainty about my Baby Boomer place in a Millennial-focused world.

I still thought, however, based upon my early career success and an advanced degree in my field, that I’d get a great offer in no time. It didn’t happen. My strategy—jumping into a role that was the wrong fit (and later leaving), followed by picking up consulting gigs here and there and then trying to explain it all in a resume with gaps and changes—was failing. I needed a strategic shift.

So I changed everything, from how I was approaching the job search process to my end goal. As a result, I applied for and landed a returnship, with Goldman Sachs. (If you’ve never heard of it, a returnship is an internship for people returning to the workforce.) It enabled me to add current and substantive experience to my resume, and reset my career path so I could once again move forward.

Here are the six most important lessons I learned in my quest to get back on track.

1. Update Your Online Presence
Being a somewhat tech-savvy boomer, I had a LinkedIn profile.

But too many people have ones that are lackluster or outdated. If that’s you, place this at the top of your to-do list. Both recruiters and hiring managers use the site to find and screen candidates.

I left off dates for my degrees to minimize age bias, and truncated my experience to the past 10 to 15 years (I recommend you do the same!).

2. Network—Always
You may think that networking is just for young professionals who need to meet new people. That’s simply not true. It’s beneficial regardless of your age.

For example, I had a friend put in a good word for me, and I know that helped me to be considered for the role at Goldman.

Here are four things you should start doing (if you’re not already):

Periodically touch base with professional contacts. Be memorable by sending a personal note and an interesting article once a month.
Let the other person know that you respect their time by being specific when you have an “ask.” Say (or write): “I’d really appreciate your perspective—can we speak/meet for 15 minutes?” And then stick with that time commitment.
Extend your network. Ask your contacts to connect you with their contacts.
Follow-up with a thank you note, every time. Take it to the next level by offering to be of help if they ever need your perspective or expertise.

3. Make it Easy for People to Help You
If you’re asking someone to refer you, give them everything they need, so they can simply send along your details.

So, if you’re applying to a role at their company, this includes the job name, job number, your resume, and bullets outlining what skills and experience you’d bring that match the requirements for the role.

People are busy, and so if you give them a complete email they can simply forward, it’s a lot more likely it’ll get passed on.

4. Refine Your Elevator Pitch
When you’ve had a lot of experience, it’s important (though often hard) to be clear about your objectives.

What are your areas of expertise?

What type of role are you looking for?

It’ll be tempting to rattle off everything you’ve done in the past, or say, “I can really do anything.” But a long speech can be overwhelming for listeners—and can make you look overqualified—and unfocused. So, cut it down and zero in on one thing you want the other person to come away with. My rule of thumb is that it should be no longer than 30 seconds.

5. Practice Self-Care
Unreturned emails, closed doors, and rejection all sting. But, it happens to pretty much everyone, especially when you’re outside the “sweet spot” of hiring prospects.

There’ll be surprises for better and worse: People that you’d have bet would be right there to help aren’t; and people you barely knew will do all they can.

So, it’s all the more important to be kind to yourself: go the gym, meet friends, and see a movie! That stuff may seem frivolous when you’re job searching, but it’ll help you feel happier—and keep you from letting your identity be wrapped up in your professional life.

6. Pay it Forward
Once you’ve landed in your new role, do what you can to help a colleague or friend of a friend. It could be at work, like offering to mentor junior employees.

Or, it could be that someone contacts you seeking your advice. Remember how you felt when you were job searching and do your best to find the time!

And of course, when you’re hiring in the future, give those who’ve had winding career paths a second look.

After my 10-week returnship program ended, I was asked to stay on for another year—and I did, happily. When my role recently came to an end, leaving Goldman Sachs was bittersweet.

But one thing that made me feel better is that I knew I was ready to find my next, more permanent position. On this search, I have not only a solid and recent accomplishment to leverage, but all of the lessons I’ve learned the last time around, as well as some new and treasured Millennial friends.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-6-best-job-search-lessons-i-learned-after-10-years-away-best-of?ref=the-muse-editors-picks-1

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Whether you consider this fact disheartening or motivating, you can’t deny its truth: You probably spend more time with your co-workers than you do with anyone else.

When you’re in the office at least 40 hours per week, the people you work with become a big part of your life. So it pays to have solid relationships with them.

Not only does that give you a strategic advantage in the workplace (hey, it never hurts to be well-liked!), it also makes work that much more enjoyable.

If you don’t consider yourself particularly close with your colleagues, don’t worry—cultivating a more caring and supportive atmosphere at work doesn’t need to be a complicated undertaking.

Here are four super simple things you can do to show your co-workers that you care and, as a result, make your office a place that you look forward to spending time in.

1. Offer Help

Think of the last time you were struggling at work. Maybe you were swamped and overwhelmed, or perhaps you were stuck on a challenging project.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had stopped by your desk and provided some advice? Or even offered to take something off your plate? Wouldn’t that alone have made you feel so much more valued and supported?

Absolutely. So, why not do that same thing for a colleague? When you see someone who’s stressed or confused, just ask: Is there anything I can do to help?

Even if your co-worker doesn’t actually take you up on your offer, just the fact that you recognized the challenge and wanted to do something about it goes a long way in fostering a more empathetic culture.

2. Get Personal

No, you don’t need to get too personal—after all, you’re still in the office.

But, even though you’re in a work setting, aim to forge a relationship with the whole person—not just a job title.

This means that the more you can get to know about your colleagues’ interests and passions outside the office, the easier it will be to connect with them on a more human level.

Whether it’s asking about his marathon training or admiring her desktop background featuring a photo from her recent vacation, don’t neglect to strike up the occasional small talk. Doing so will demonstrate your investment in them, while also giving you common ground that you can use to connect even further.

3. Provide Recognition

Everybody loves to get a pat on the back for a job well done—that’s universal. But gratitude and adequate recognition can easily fall by the wayside when we’re wrapped up in the chaos of our everyday lives.

Step up and be that colleague who always applauds the hard work of your team members. Maybe that involves sending a quick Slack message to let her know how much you enjoyed her presentation. Or, perhaps it means highlighting your co-worker’s contributions when your boss commends you for your own hard work on a recent project.

These sorts of comments might seem small, but they can make a huge impact when it comes to helping others in your office feel valued.

4. Do Something Nice

Little acts of kindness won’t go unnoticed—particularly in the office. So, when’s the last time you did something nice just because you felt like it?

Go ahead and pick up some bagels on your way into work one morning (when in doubt, free food is always effective). When you’re heading out for lunch, ask that colleague who looks insanely busy if you can get anything for him.

Your co-workers are sure to appreciate those little niceties and treats that you sneak in every now and then. Plus, as an added bonus, doing these sorts of things makes you feel good too!

These four strategies are great for showing your co-workers that you actually care about them. And they’re incredibly simple and take almost zero effort on your part.

So, if you’re eager to forge better, more supportive relationships with your colleagues (and if you aren’t, you definitely should be!), put these four tips to work. You’re sure to become one of the most-liked people in your office—while simultaneously cultivating a more positive atmosphere for your entire team.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-easy-things-you-can-do-to-show-your-coworkers-you-care?ref=recently-published-1

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Meetings are expensive. Not because you’re charging people to attend (obviously), but because they use people’s time; time that could be spent doing lots of other revenue-generating things. In fact, one study found that a recurring meeting of mid-level managers was costing one company $15 million a year!).

$15 million a year!

Not to mention, you also need to take into account the prep time as well as the context-switching time. Professor Gloria Mark at University of California, Irvine found that it takes an average of 25 minutes for a worker to return to their original task after an interruption.

Knowing these stats means that when I’m debating whether I need to call a meeting, I ask myself what it’s worth (literally). Is this the best use of everyone’s time, mine included? And not so infrequently, the answer is “nope.”

So, what to do then? Easy! Send a simple but critical email to keep everyone informed and on track.

What to Include

There are three key things you need to cover:

Logistics: why the meeting was cancelled and, if it’s a recurring meeting, what to expect for next time
Action: any critical action items completed or pending
Information: any updates or general FYIs for the group

Note: Don’t fall into the trap of putting the action items and logistics last. Having the most critical information higher up ensures that it’s seen when your colleagues skim their email. Oh, and a bonus tip for you: Put people’s names in bold if they need to do anything to make triple sure they notice.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/turn-meeting-into-an-email-template

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Help shape the future of the Central Coast by participating in this Community Workshop where you’ll be able to input your ideas for a better Central Coast. You’ll be working with members of the Central Coast Council Community Strategic Plan Community Reference Group who have been appointed to bridge the gap between the Council and the community.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 06:00 pm

Umina Surf Life Saving Club
509 Ocean Beach Road,
Umina Beach

 

Source: https://cc365.com.au/details/2017-11-21/507-central-coast-community-strategic-plan-community-workshop

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You’ve likely heard the advice to add numbers to your resume bullets. It helps recruiters really picture the impact you’ve made in your position, and it frankly just sounds more impressive.

See for yourself: Which person would you hire?

Person 1: Duties included taking field measurements and maintaining records, setting up and tracking project using Microsoft Project, and developing computerized material take-off sheets.

Person 2: Initiated and managed tracking systems used for the Green District water decontamination project, saving $125,000 on the overall project through a 30% decrease of staff allocation time.

Exactly.

Of course, I know what you might be thinking: Sounds great, but what if I just don’t really work with hard numbers? Maybe you’re in a role that requires softer skills, or maybe you don’t have hard data or sales reports to pull from.

That’s OK! Truthfully, no matter what you do, you can add some numbers and data to your resume to give it that extra touch.

Here are three ways to quantify your experience without being in an inherently quant-y field:

1. Range

Not knowing the exact figure for things is often a big deterrent for using numbers in resumes. But one way to overcome this is to use a range.

It’s perfectly fine to not know exactly how many clients you see a month or how many calls you take a week, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still quantify it.

Give it your best estimate, and the range will show that there is a bit of leeway. And, of course, focus on your impact.

2. Frequency

Now that you know it’s fine to use a range, one of the easiest ways to add some numbers is to include how frequently you do a particular task (after all, that’s a number that applies to pretty much everyone).

This is particularly helpful in illustrating your work in high-volume situations—a hiring manager will be able to see just how much you can handle.

3. Scale

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: Employers across the board care about money—and saving it. Including the frequency of your actions give a great sense of scale, but an even more eye-catching way to do this is to talk about the bottom line.

Think about all the things you do that ultimately save your company money, whether it’s streamlining a procedure, saving time, or negotiating discounts with vendors. Multiply those actions by how frequently you do them, and pop them into your resume bullets (remembering, again, that rough numbers are OK).

Numbers make such a huge difference in resumes—no matter what your work involves.

So, the next time you’re polishing your resume, try adding a few numbers to quantify your work and see how they really drive home the impact you’re capable of making.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-quantify-your-resume-bullets-when-you-dont-work-with-numbers?ref=carousel-slide-1

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You’ve waited months for this moment—the chance to prove your worth to your boss and get a leg up in your career.

Let me break it to you: You won’t get what you want if you don’t prepare properly. In fact, your review will only go well if you get organized and collect all your information before the talk.

So, with that in mind, here’s what you need to do the night of your next performance review to put yourself in a great position for a productive conversation that’ll get you ahead in your career and get you on your boss’ good side:

1. Learn How to Respond to Feedback

You know not to yell (right?). But do you know there are ways to respond to negative feedback that actually make you look good?

You’re going to want to pay attention to the following because it’s possible you’ll receive some not-so-great feedback. And even if you’ve been doing fabulous work, it’s almost guaranteed you’re going to receive some form of constructive criticism (no one’s perfect, after all).

First, as Muse Career Coach Emily Liou points out in an article about handling negative feedback, own up to your mistakes and be ready to offer a solution or show initiative to do better.

And, says Muse Writer Rich Moy, avoid blurting out things like “I didn’t realize that was wrong” or “It won’t happen again!”

2. Collect Your Accomplishments

Think you deserve a raise?

It’s so important to state your case by listing out your accomplishments (including how much money you’ve made for the company, the skills you’ve learned, the relationships you’ve built, and the projects you’ve completed) over the past six months or year.

3. Review Your Current Goals

Did you set goals at your last review? Or, do you have some personal ones of your own?

Either way, reviews are a great time to look back at what you were hoping to accomplish and see if you, well, actually did them.

If you met your goals, what did you learn along the way? Which ones are you most proud of? How can you build on them in the future?

And if you didn’t achieve them, how far did you get? Did your priorities change? What held you back? What can you do differently going forward?

Jot down some notes to discuss further with your manager when you meet. Which leads me to…

4. Set Some New Goals

Now that you know how far you’ve come, now you can decide where you want to go.

Do this by setting some realistic, yet ambitious goals. Consider the following:

What skills would you like to master by your next review?
What responsibilities do you want to take on?
What projects are you passionate about pursuing?
What weaknesses would you like to improve upon?
What goals would you like to continue to build on?
What role do you want to shoot for one to three years from now? What can you do now to put yourself in the running?

5. Prepare Any Lingering Questions

Especially if one-on-one time is rare in your office, reviews are super helpful for getting some of your most burning questions answered. It could be about the status of your team or department, or the goals of the company, or possibilities for career growth (like budget to get some professional development help).

6. Prepare for a Tough Conversation

Maybe your boss will bring up some serious concerns. Maybe you even seen a performance improvement plan coming. Or, maybe it’ll be a normal review on your manager’s end, but you’re going to have to raise your hand to discuss bigger issues.

For example, now’s a good time to talk about the fact that you’re bored in your role or you’d like to consider an internal transfer.

Having these conversations is hard! But being prepared makes it a little easier.

7. Pat Yourself on the Back

Finally, give yourself some credit for making it to this big milestone. Sure, it happens every year, and you may not even receive anything special except for a simple “Great work” from your manager, but you’ve made it through what was probably a busy, exhausting, or even tumultuous period—look back on it, pat yourself on the back for everything awesome you did, and know you’re going to kick even more butt after this review.

Now all you have to do is double-check your review time (in case you have a jam-packed day), lay out a slightly-nicer-than-usual outfit (it doesn’t hurt), and get some beauty sleep.

And no matter what happens, because you’ve prepared, you’re sure to handle it like a champ.
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-things-to-do-the-night-before-a-review-if-you-want-it-to-go-well?ref=carousel-slide-1

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CENTRAL COAST Council has urged Old Sydney Town owner, Richard Chiu, to submit his plans for the site as soon as possible.

In an exclusive interview last week with the Central Coast Express Advocate, the millionaire global hotel magnate said he was willing to rebuild the theme park even better than before if Central Coast Council rezoned 30 per cent of his surrounding landholding for residential or commercial development.

Mr Chiu said Old Sydney Town occupied only ten per cent of his Somersby land — and rezoning some of this would make it feasible for his company to take the financial risk of resurrecting the theme park.

Mr Chiu said he had proposed this to the former Gosford Council over the years but had been refused.

In it’s response to Mr Chiu, Central Coast Council said it was ready to hold discussions about the future of Old Sydney Town at any time.

“Land owners, who wish to rezone land, can lodge a planning proposal with Council with relevant technical studies to justify the proposed use of that land in accordance with the Central Coast Regional Plan, local planning strategies and environmental attributes of the site,” the council said.

“Council encourages open and honest discussion with landowners about their plans and the owner of the Old Sydney Town site is welcome to meet with Council to discuss his plans at any time.”

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/old-sydney-town-owner-richard-chiu-urged-to-call-central-coast-council/news-story/684fff6b4868215140ae84417926e638

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Can you get me a job at your company, please?

Do you know the CEO—and can I talk to her?

Want to see my resume? It’s awesome, I swear.

These are the things we’d like to say to people when we’re networking, but for obvious reasons can’t.

So, the question always becomes, what can we ask?

I recently read Molly Beck’s book Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence. And in it, she breaks down the art of networking into bite-sized steps—one of which talks about good versus bad favours.

The concept is simple: Some things you choose to ask your network are better than others. And this means the difference between someone wanting to help you out and someone wanting nothing to do with your request.

If you read the quotes above and cringed at the thought of saying them to someone you knew, you already know what a bad favour is.

So, what makes a good favour?

“The key to a great favour is to ask a particular, definable question whose answer cannot be found on Google and can be answered easily in a paragraph or so via email,” says Beck in the book.

Let’s break that down a bit more:

 

It Should Be Specific

Your ask should be tailored to the person and not super open-ended. Beck gives the example “Can I pick your brain?” as both being way too vague and asking too much of someone (and for free, mind you). You’re better off saying something like, “What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into finance like yourself?”

 

It Should Be Non-Googleable

Don’t ask someone a question that you can look up yourself. Beck uses “What open jobs does your company have?” as an example that you could easily search on your own time.

 

It Should Be Short

Many of your requests will be sent over email to someone who’s already pretty busy, Beck points out, so they should be able to answer it without spending hours crafting a response.

 

Now of course, if the person seems excited to chat with you, you can ask to meet in person. But, Beck suggests, “If and when people say yes, keep in mind that you are working around their schedule, not yours, and you should be traveling to go to a place that’s easy for them to get to. Additionally, when you do meet for coffee or even a meal, you should be paying for them.”

Finally, the author says, every favour should come with a gift. Because this person is going out of their way for you, you should do the same—meaning you should include at least two beneficial things in your initial reach-out. Now, before you worry that you have to send a fruit basket and a bottle of wine every time you ask someone to grab coffee, don’t. It can be as simple as a compliment, a book recommendation, or an introduction to someone you think they would benefit from knowing.

(But if they end up helping you out in a big way, you might want to send them one of these thank you items.)

One of the most memorable favours I’ve ever gotten asked was when a reader of my blog emailed me to say that her friend was a big fan of my writing, and would I consider doing a birthday shout-out on the blog to her? It made my day that she and her friend thought so highly of my blog, and it was such a cool way to make someone feel special on their birthday. Of course I said yes. That super-unique favour opened up a great line of communication between all three of us.

Your request may be simpler (or, even more complicated) than this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth asking. If you follow the guidelines above, you’ll make it that much easier for someone to say yes—and be excited about it, too.
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/a-networking-expert-on-how-to-ask-people-for-career-favors-and-get-a-yes?ref=carousel-slide-3

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Central Coast Council is bringing Australia’s only major film festival for kids to the Central Coast over two nights this October.

Little Big Shots is Australia’s largest and longest running film festival with Australian made and International films, documentaries and animations made by kids for kids.

The film festival will be held in Wyong on Saturday 14 October and in Gosford on 21 October.

Council Group Leader Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, said this is just one of the unique ways Council is working to activate open areas across the Central Coast.

“We are always looking for new and exciting events to bring to the Central Coast, and Little Big Shots definitely ticks all the boxes,” Ms Vaughan said.

“It’s great to have something this big come to the Central Coast and inspire any future filmmakers and entertain their young minds.

“It’s going to be an awesome evening out with the family, so bring along your picnic rug, sit back and relax and enjoy the best local and international short films made by kids for kids.”

The first Central Coast Kids Film Festival will be held from 4pm on Saturday 14 October on Chapman Lawn, Hely Street, Wyong and on Saturday 21 October, Kibble Park, Gosford – with each venue showcasing different films.

The Kids Film Festival will be more than a series of short films, there will also be a number of free activities and live entertainment including puppet shows, face painting, juggling, giant Jenga, hoola hoops and a DJ – just to name a few.

Source: https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/australias-largest-film-festival-kids-comes-coast/

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Central Coast Council’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Rob Noble, officially stepped out of the position on Wednesday, September 20, handing over the reins to new CEO, Mr Brian Bell.
Mr Noble is leaving after two years as CEO at Wyong Shire Council and Central Coast Council, to return to his business and home in Queensland.
“I stayed longer than I originally intended, as I wanted to lead the new Central Coast Council through the amalgamation process, and support Administrator, Ian Reynolds, and our staff, in creating a vibrant and sustainable Central Coast,” Mr Noble said.“I am taking with me a lot of fond memories of the Central Coast.
“I have worked with some fabulous people and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work here,” he added.
Mr Bell has extensive experience in Local Government, spanning 50 years, including 12 years as General Manager of Lake Macquarie Council.
“Rob is leaving some very big shoes to fill,” Mr Bell said.
“He has led the transformation of two organisations into one Central Coast Council, and has created a solid foundation for the newly elected Council to build on,” Mr Bell said.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of continuing to lead the organisation through this transition period to the elected Council, while continuing on the excellent course Rob has set for us.”
Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, echoed these sentiments.
“Rob has done an amazing job, and it is due to his hard work and leadership, that this Council has achieved as much as it has,” Mr Reynolds said.
“He is a transformational, charismatic leader and has left a great legacy, and will be greatly missed by staff.
“He is without doubt one of the best CEOs I have encountered in all my years in government, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him.
“Brian Bell is well equipped to continue and build on Rob’s work.
“He lives here on the Coast and has led an award-winning Council, Lake Macquarie Council, for a number of years.
“He has the runs on the board and the commitment to continue to make Central Coast Council the very best it can be,” Mr Reynolds said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald MLC, also thanked Mr Noble for his leadership of Council.
“Mr Noble’s stewardship of the amalgamated Council has placed the region in great stead for the future,” Mr MacDonald said.
With the funding provided by the NSW Government, the new Central Coast Council has been able to implement the following major Wyong region projects: Disability Matters – Improved accessibility to natural spaces across the Coast, $800,000; Community Facilities – Access and inclusion upgrades to community facilities across the Coast, $580,000; and, San Remo BMX facility – New amenities, $640,000.
“The Council is now in a strong financial position to serve its community,” Mr MacDonald said.

Source: http://coastcommunitynews.com.au/2017/09/new-council-ceo-takes-control/

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You know those days when you leave work feeling amazing, pumped that you were highly productive? On the flipside, I’m sure you have days that are just the opposite. Ones that leave you feeling frustrated, wondering whether you got anything done. What if there was a way to end every day knowing that it was successful?

Unfortunately, there’s no bulletproof formula to guarantee this, but there are certain practices you can follow that’ll help.

Here are five habits that, if practiced daily, can boost your success at work:

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journals have grown wildly popular and I can understand why. Earlier this year, I started a journal and committed to writing down one thing I’m grateful for every day. At 159 days in, I’m still going strong. I found that expressing gratitude every morning before work gets me in the right mindset and helps me prepare for the day’s challenges.

But don’t take my word for it. A study by UCLA found that people who regularly wrote down what they were grateful for were more optimistic and cheerful than those who didn’t. Interestingly, they also had fewer doctor visits and fewer work absences. Expressing gratitude daily is a simple, quick practice that has a massive impact, and there’s even an app for it in case you’re not a fan of physical journaling like I am.

2. Reduce Context Switching

Context switching is when you jump between various, unrelated tasks. You’re heads down on a project but get interrupted by an urgent message. A few minutes later, a conversation between co-workers distracts you, and, after you finally refocus, you remember an email you should have responded to earlier in the day. Does this sound like your day?

While rapid context switching may seem like the norm of the modern worker, Jessica Harris from Trello explains how it comes at a high cost:

We spend an average of just one minute and 15 seconds on a task before being interrupted.

It takes an average of 25 minutes to resume a task after being interrupted.

Heavily multitasking can temporarily lower your IQ by up to 15 points.

You probably can’t eliminate context switching altogether, but being mindful of the productivity damage it causes will allow you to create rules to avoid distraction (more on that in a second).

3. Create “If/When-Then” Plans

I learned about this habit from Robert Cialdini’s book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. Here’s how it works. You pick a cue, then pick a desirable action that you can link to that cue. Here are a few “if/when-then” rules I follow:

If/when I need to work without interruption, then I leave my desk and find a drop-by room.
If/when it’s time to eat lunch, then I order a salad. Boring, I know.
If/when I get a calendar invite for Thursday (when my company has a no-meeting policy), then I move the meeting to a different day.
Research suggests that people who use “if/when-then” planning are between two and three times more likely to achieve their goals. This type of planning is effective because you’re proactively creating automatic responses. When situations arise that might prevent you from reaching your long-term goals, you’ve already decided how you’ll act.

4. Exercise—Even if Only for a Few Minutes

You know you should exercise—the benefits are significant. But knowing isn’t the tough part—it’s finding time in your busy schedule to make it happen.

Running, cycling, or going to the gym may be ideal, but all you really need is a few minutes. One option is the 7-Minute Workout. It’s an intense workout you can do almost anywhere and is proven to deliver results.

Taking a short break to go on a walk is a great way to reduce stress. A few years back I committed to going on one walk in the middle of the workday.

These quick strolls elevated my heart rate, for just a few minutes, and it enabled me to go back to my work with renewed focus. So, even if you don’t have time to hit the gym, exercising for only a few minutes each day is still worth it.

5. Have a Shutdown Ritual

Eric Barker, a best-selling author who wrote an entire book on success, teaches the importance of having a “shutdown ritual” in which you take the time to close out the day’s business and prepare for tomorrow. His research found that the simple act of writing down the things you need to take care of the next day can settle your brain and help you relax.

My shutdown ritual includes making a concise list (no more than three) of the most important things I need to do the next day. Since committing to this practice I’ve found that I think less about work when I’m out of the office. My ritual also includes cleaning my desk and shutting down my laptop, practices signaling that my work day has come to an end.

It turns out that implementing this has been found to relieve anxiety and help you enjoy your evening.

One final thought. While each of these five habits is intended to help you be more successful, it’s important to also pause and take a moment to define what success means to you.

These are guidelines, and, ultimately, you’ve got to create your own standard of excellence and measure progress accordingly. Because real, lasting success comes by aligning your actions with what’s most important to you.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-habits-thatll-ensure-youll-end-every-day-feeling-successful?ref=carousel-slide-0

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Your paycheck just got a bit heftier, and you’re thinking about finally biting the bullet and buying yourself that new computer, or taking your significant other out to a super nice restaurant, or splurging on a massage more than once a year. Or, maybe you’re trying to be more fiscally responsible, so you’ve decided to throw all that extra money into a savings account that you’ll one day use for something important.

Turns out, neither of these options is guaranteed to make you as happy in the long term as a third option—buying yourself time.

A recent study cited in The Washington Post found that some of the happiest people are those who invest their hard-earned money into outsourcing chores they dislike to do, such as cleaning or grocery shopping.

And, these findings doesn’t discriminate based on household income, marital status, or number of children—meaning no matter who you are and how much you make, this applies to you, too (even if you’d argue having the latest cool products is all the happiness you need).

So, why do so many of us lean toward buying nice things the second our bank accounts grow? Says the article’s author Jenna Gallegos, “…we’re hesitant to trade money, which is concrete and measurable, for time, which is much more uncertain,” while we know exactly what we’re getting our money for when we buy goods.

And yet, time is so valuable in our lives and careers. It means the difference between leaving work early or staying late, getting all our tasks done or only getting halfway through our to-do list, checking our email on vacation or having the luxury to truly unplug. So, if we could afford to get back an extra hour in the morning, or free up our evenings or weekends to work on things that actually matter to us, wouldn’t we be willing to pay for it?

Consider it the next time you get a raise or bonus—maybe you trade an expensive smartwatch for a laundry service that delivers (because sorting whites and colors every Sunday morning drives you crazy).

Of course I’m not saying that you can’t treat yourself to something you’ve worked hard for, but having clean clothes magically appear when you need them and an entire Sunday to yourself sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-best-way-to-spend-your-raise-if-you-want-to-be-happier?ref=carousel-slide-1

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As a soon-to-be college grad, I know that the world of work can catch you unawares. In preparing for the job search, I’ve found that experienced professionals often have a lot of great advice to dispense (also some not-so-great advice, but that’s an article for another day).

And it’s true that sometimes the wisest tips don’t come from experts, but from real people with real stories. So, with that in mind, The Muse team asked the LinkedIn community what wisdom they’d bestow on recent grads.

And upon reading all the tips, I couldn’t help but think that anyone—and really everyone—should read them, too. So with no further ado, here are my favorites:

1. Remember These Four Words

Be positive, principled, pro-active, and productive.

2. Discover Yourself

Consider this job a journey to learn about yourself. The purpose is to grow as a human being; to discover what you’re good at, what you love to do, and what you dislike.

Discover your why, and you’ll become happier and more passionate in life!

3. Be Open to Change

Don’t get discouraged when a job you really want does not pan out for you. It just opens up doors to other opportunities.

4. Don’t Hide From Mistakes

Be honest. Not sure about something? Ask questions. Screwed up? Own up!

I’ve always valued someone willing to learn, and we do that in different ways. I’ll always highly regard someone willing to be honest about their mistakes because we learn from those just as much as our successes!

5. Keep Moving Forward

Learn to hear feedback and never let it fester. Instead consider it, take what works, and move on.

6. Learn From Everything

Remember every moment is an opportunity to learn from everyone around you, no matter their title.

Pay attention when things go well; pay extra attention when they don’t, and watch how people react to it. Build relationships with the people who face problems by being their solution.

7. Make Connections

Your biggest asset is your network.

8. Be Patient

Networking + Resilience = Success

It won’t be easy but you have to start somewhere. This is just the first step on the stairwell, so don’t give up, and know that the best is yet to come!

9. Utilize Your Co-workers

Don’t be intimidated by your colleagues and superiors!

Remember that they were once in your shoes when they began their careers. Leverage their knowledge and experience and find ways to take what worked for them and adapt it to work for you.

10. Treat Everyone With Respect

Speak when you walk into the office everyday. Say good morning to your boss and peers as you walk past their offices, smile at janitors and receptionists in your office.

Don’t be so focused on getting ahead that it’s all business all the time. Treating people with humanity and integrity is most important.

11. Keep Your Own Counsel

Don’t assume that a co-worker won’t repeat your criticisms of a colleague. When asked how you feel about individuals in the office, be open and vague with your answers.

Always reserve judgment on your co-workers until you have enough time to make up your own mind.

12. Prepare for the Future

Develop good time management habits early on. Your workload will only increase with time, and so will your responsibilities. Be ready when they do.

From making the right impression to getting a handle on time management, a new work environment can be tricky to navigate. And, that goes for anyone, no matter how high up the ladder you are.
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/12-pieces-of-advice-for-new-grads-that-everyone-should-take

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You’ve probably heard that the average job posting receives 250 applications, but I’ve seen as many as 3,000 people apply for the same role.

I’m not telling you this to scare you, but rather as encouragement. Because some people do make it through to getting hired—despite that level of competition.

As the Global Head of Recruiting for Johnson & Johnson, I’ve seen what makes the difference in whether people move to the final stages of the application process—or not.

Without a doubt, from interns to C-suite level leaders, the most impressive candidates I’ve seen are the ones who’ve taken the time to define what they want to accomplish in their professional life.

They have a professional purpose.

By that I mean they know why they do what they do, what they want to ultimately achieve, and how they plan to get there. Because they’re so clear on their goals, and so open in sharing them, I can tell almost instantly when I’ve met someone who should be working at our company.

So, if you keep applying and hearing nothing back, the number one piece of advice I can give you is to find your professional purpose and then use that as a foundation point throughout any recruiting process—from your cover letter to final interview.

With that in mind, here are two steps you can take now:

Step 1: Get Clarity

It’s easy to get swept up in the day-to-day of your job. A constant flow of urgent deadlines can make time slip away and, before you know it, two or three years have flown by.

That’s why it’s important to take time out, hit the pause button, and think about what a successful career really means to you. Determine where you get the most fulfillment in your professional life and start thinking about how that could become your professional purpose. Then get something down on paper and iterate on it.

Here’s an example of how to use your answer(s):

I spoke to a candidate recently who lost one of her parents to Alzheimer’s and had decided to look for ways to contribute to curing this disease. Her plan was to become a recruiter for the next three years so she could identify and attract the best Research & Development talent for a pharmaceuticals company to help them in the search for a cure. Her ultimate goal was to save enough money to apply to medical school, so she could contribute more directly down the line. Needless to say, she really stood out against the other (equally qualified) candidates we were considering for the job.

Your professional purpose doesn’t have to be as profound as that (mine isn’t!), but it should be something bigger than the job’s duties or making money. When you tell a hiring manager something you really connect with, they’ll be more willing to put their neck out, because they know that you have the passion for sticking with it.

Step 2: Share It

Which brings me to this: Once you’ve figured out what’s driving you, don’t be shy about sharing it with others. Yes, it can be a little uncomfortable to put yourself out there, but authenticity’s an HR buzzword for a reason. When you share more of yourself, you’ll find that people gravitate toward you and are eager to help.

Next time you’re asked to introduce yourself, weave in your professional purpose. (If you’re not 100% confident in how it sounds, here are two strategies for creating a one-line elevator pitch.)

I’ll bet people will ask you more about it or offer to connect you to someone who can help you on your journey to achieve it. Sharing a genuine reason why you’re pursuing a certain avenue in your career is much more compelling than listing off your past positions’ titles.

It’s the same in interviews. There are so many boilerplate answers to the question: “Why are you interested in this company (or role)?” And, as recruiters, we’ve pretty much heard them all.

You’ll stand out more when you answer the question by explaining why the job’s values fit with your professional purpose—and why it matters so much to you. “I’d like to work here as a designer because I am passionate about more transparent package design which can help mothers choose better products for their children,” is an answer that’s true—and will get further than, “I want to work here because this company is a leader in the field.” (You don’t lose any points with the second option, but every other person may say the exact same thing.)

So long as it’s something you genuinely identify with, your focus and energy will shine through and make you memorable—and more likeable, too.

You might wonder if I have a professional purpose. I do, and I firmly believe it’s part of the reason I’m in my current job. For years, I’ve been frustrated with the bad recruiting experiences that I and several of my friends have had with many organizations. My professional purpose is all about helping to solve this issue on a large scale. And that’s the opportunity Johnson & Johnson provides me–to reimagine recruiting from the ground up for a large Fortune 100 company.

So, if you keep getting passed over on the job search, revisit that classic advice to “just be yourself.” Tune into what you really want to do and how you’d like to get there. Then, weave that into your materials, networking conversations, and interview answers. I promise it’ll help you stand out.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/this-is-how-you-stand-out-when-youre-competing-against-3000-people?ref=carousel-slide-1

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Knowing exactly what you’re doing at work is a great feeling. You’re confident, full of ideas, and ready to tackle anything.

Except—lately, you’ve noticed your co-workers seem to be avoiding you. They’re not extending invitations for group projects and you’re pretty sure you caught them rolling their eyes when you speak.

What gives?

The harsh answer is, to quote an old cliché: “nobody likes a know-it-all.” The more nuanced one is that they want to feel good at their jobs, too, and if you swoop in with the right answer all the time, they don’t have that chance.

So, it’s not enough to have the best ideas—you need to pay attention to how you deliver them, too.

On the bright side, a few simple shifts can help you salvage your reputation, and once you do, you’ll have the complete package of good ideas plus thoughtfulness.

Here are three changes you can start making today:

1. Be Patient

When you share your ideas first—especially if they’re strong—you eclipse your teammates’ ability to contribute. Yes, they can still build on what you’ve said or add something different, but your behavior sends a signal that you don’t really care what they have to say. After all, if everyone agreed to go with your plan, there’d be no reason (read: opportunity) to hear anyone else out.

Conversely, when you let others speak first, you’re giving them a chance. It shows that you think they have ideas worth listening to as well.

This strategy does run the risk that someone else will have the same brilliant thought as you, and he or she’ll get credit for it. But, that’s a good thing! If you agree, you can amplify it by saying, “I like Tina’s suggestion,” which’ll go a long way toward repairing the impression that you only value your opinions.

2. Be Open to Questions

One time you have to speak first is when you’re the one leading a discussion. But, as we all know, there are two ways to go about presenting an idea and asking for feedback.

The first is to share your idea and follow up with: “Can’t we all agree this is the best strategy?” Sure, this is a question—but the only answer you’re going for is a one-word “yes.”

The second option is to encourage your teammates to revise your work, by saying, “I’d love your thoughts on this: Do you see any areas for improvement?” Unlike a know-it-all who only looks for people to agree and execute their vision, you’re going out of your way to make a space for others to make valuable contributions. (If you want to dig into this a bit more, I lay out the right and wrong way to ask for feedback here.)

3. Be a Team Player

Truth talk: There’s usually more to being seen as a know-it-all than an excess of good ideas. It often comes with a side of arrogance.

It’s good to be ambitious and push yourself to contribute as meaningfully as possible, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of making your teammates feel like a bunch of runners-up.

So, ask yourself: Do you acknowledge when someone else has a good idea? Do you concede when you’re wrong, and back down when it doesn’t make a difference?

Where you’ve previously searched for holes in people’s ideas, challenge yourself to look for—and comment on—their strengths.

As someone who struggles to avoid coming off this way, I know the insecurities that come along with reining it in. You worry about downplaying all you know, and losing out on opportunities because of it. Or you don’t want to step back from a leadership role in a discussion—even once. Or you’d feel overlooked if someone else gets credit for an idea you were thinking and had forced yourself to hold in.

Here’s the thing: I’m not telling you to silence yourself or hide your genius. If you have an idea and you want to speak up and first, go for it. If you feel strongly about taking a project a certain direction, say so. Just realize you don’t have to operate at that speed all the time. If you pick your moments, you won’t just give others a chance—you’ll find they’ll be more supportive of you, too.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-share-your-brilliant-ideas-at-work-without-coming-off-like-a-knowitall?ref=carousel-slide-0

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To understand what it means to be driven by your passion, one need only speak with Sarah Osman, a successful account executive by day and an ambitious entrepreneur and creative by night (and on weekends!). Basically, whenever Osman isn’t making things happen at her day job, she’s devoting time and energy to her side gigs.

Yes, that’s plural gigs: Osman is the founder of Made Simple by Sarah, a lifestyle and nutrition program, and, more recently, she and Jenna Sands, a friend she reconnected with, co-founded Wellness Meet Up NYC—more on that later.

Osman’s sales background has come in handy lining up sponsors for the events, suggesting the powerful impact transferable skills can have on your side gig.

The following is an edited excerpt from our conversation:

You’re Currently Wearing a Lot of Career Hats. You Work in Sales, but You’re Also a Nutritionist? How Does This All Work?

Yes, I’m an account executive at a media company, and three years ago I went back to school and I got my degree in nutrition, so I’m also a health coach—on the side—and for a while I was seeing clients and posting and sharing recipes. I’m still doing that, but I’ve tapered my nutrition clients to focus on the Wellness Meet Up events.

Tell Me About That: How Did You Conceive of the Meet Ups? And What Are They Exactly

I became connected with an old friend, Jenna, who was working for a granola company, and we got to talking about how there was this weird world of social media, where people know what someone ate for breakfast or what their favorite workouts are, but they’ve never actually met in person.

We sought to bring the community together: connect the influencers and the community members outside of the social media world and into real life. To do so, we started in-person events, based on a different wellness theme and influencer.

How Do the Wellness Meetups Work?

We started Wellness Meet Up NYC back in October 2016. Since then, we’ve been doing monthly meetups with a different curated theme and host. We’re doing multiple events per month now and are branching out into different cities. It’s a nice extension of what I was doing on my own from a nutrition space [with Made Simple by Sarah], and a way to reach more people with the limited time I have. Because this is very much a side hustle.

If Money Were No Object, Would You Be Pursuing This Full-Time?

Before this job, I would’ve said yes. I was in another sales role I didn’t like, selling a product I didn’t like. It would’ve been no question. But now, I love what I’m selling. It’s such a cool time for me to be in the industry. Besides food and nutrition, I love media, and it’s a great fit.

For me, it’s not about money, I just need more hours in the day. It’s not if money were no object; it’s if time were no object.

It Sounds Like You’ve Had Some Not-So-Great Work Experiences? What’s the Worst Job You Ever Had?

An intern in fashion. I’d sit there and glue stuff that had fallen off of clothes. I’d wait on Fridays for a delivery guy who often never showed up! Thankfully, it was just a summer stint.

What Advice Do You Have for People Who Want to Pursue a Side Gig?

Give it your all. Give it 100%, and you’ll know if it’s something you truly and really love. If you have absolutely no free time, and you’re making sacrifices, and it still feels worth pursuing, you’ll know it’s what you’re meant to be doing.

I’ve accepted the fact that I have no free time, and that’s what my passion is worth to me.

What’s Next?

Well, our next Wellness Meet Up—a females and fitness event—is on June 21st in New York City. More info here if you want to learn more.
Osman’s path is one way of understanding how a side gig functions. Deciding whether to return to school, however, is a big decision and not one to make lightly. In fact, you can often gain experience in a new field without seeking another degree. In this article, career expert Scott Anthony Barlow explains how to do just that.

And if you’re simply unsure of a side hustle’s potential, this article, “Here’s How I Made $10K on Side Gigs (and How You Can Too)” may be just the thing you need to read.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/this-is-how-i-manage-a-demanding-side-hustle-on-top-of-a-fulltime-job?ref=carousel-slide-4

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REGISTERED clubs have ramped up their support of regional sport, committing almost $250,000 annually to an intensive education program through the Regional Academies of Sport.

In an announcement that brought almost 1000 people to complete silence at the recent Academy Games on the Central Coast, ClubsNSW chairman Peter Newell declared each academy would benefit directly from about 80 per cent of the funding, while the rest would be allocated to the running of the Games into the future.

The new athlete education program curriculum will cover a range of issues including nutrition, drugs in sport, sports medicine and mental health first aid.

It is a program that won’t kick into gear for several months, but is an exciting step in the right direction for local sporting academies.

“It’s a huge value add to our athletes,” Central Coast Academy of Sport managing director Ian Robilliard said.

“The curriculum will be developed independently, so it’s not a drain on our resources, and then we will deliver it as part of the scheme.

“Each year, for the next three years, we will get the money to fund this program and it’ll give us a more systemised approach to off-field education.”

He hoped long term the money would allow the academy to expose its programs to more Coast athletes.

Mr Newell said it was a logical step for ClubsNSW to make, with the future of Australian sport in mind.

“Clubs help get junior athletes onto the playing field and give them the tools they need to play the sport they love,” Mr Newell said.

“Now, through our partnerships program, we will be able to provide guidance on off-field issues as well, which, all too often, derail promising sporting careers.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/250000-boost-to-regional-academies-of-sport/news-story/253dc209e11732c6e8a32325812bfce7

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Organisations which recruit and retain the best people develop an honest and thoughtful employee recognition culture…

A culture that motivates and rewards people in a way that extends far beyond simply material incentives.

A culture which makes them belong and so feel safe!

According to Gallup, 65 percent of surveyed employees reported that they received no recognition over the last 12 months for their work. In the same report, 89 percent of employers feel that most employees leave their companies to earn more money. But, most workers who leave their jobs cite lack of employee recognition as a major concern.

Best Practice For Employee Recognition Culture:

Some of the best practices for recognising employees include:

* Establishing solid criteria for work performance

* Recognising people from all areas of operations and all levels

* Fostering a recognition culture where informal feedback is frequently offered

* Aligning performance benchmarks with the company’s goals, mission, vison and values.

* Providing opportunities for advanced training and career development as part of staff recognition

The following specific recognition culture initiatives are effective ways to recognise and reward your employees:

1. Make it personal, instant, include peers and your boss!

It’s critical to be specific, personal and accurate. Use positive words, and demonstrate to the person that you actually understand their accomplishments.

2. Provide opportunities

Some people don’t get the chance to excel because of the nature of their jobs or reduced expectations for certain types of work. Anybody who does their job well should be afforded opportunities for interesting, expanded responsibilities and training for job advancement.

3. Magnify recognition

While verbal communication is clearly the most effective way to recognise employees, the best strategy is to back it up by publicising accomplishments across multiple forums such as company newsletters, dashboards and in team meetings.

4. Offer beyond-the-call-of-duty perks

People who consistently perform at the highest levels should earn discretionary privileges.

5. Motivate with financial incentives

Although financial incentives aren’t always the best motivators, they certainly demonstrate appreciation for work well-performed. The best financial incentives are spontaneous because they motivate people to work their best at all times.

6. Give holiday rewards and bonuses

Award holiday bonuses include offering a cash or gift package to reward people for outstanding performance

7. Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition

Include recognition from peers.

8. Recognise people’s passions

People love to be recognised for their outside activities, hobbies and passions because it helps people belong not simply for their work, but also for their life out of work. belong Recognising peoples passions can also work as rewards in their own right.

9. Use technology and social media to publicise accomplishments

In today’s environment of instant communications, it is important to publicise important accomplishments and even human interest items in the company’s social media forums.

Recognition and positive motivation are powerful tools for encouraging people to give you their best

The tips outlined above are simply starting points, but depending on your business and industry, we can work with you to create an HR strategy that attracts, retains, and develops talented people that enhance your organisation.

Source: http://www.versatileresourcing.com/nine-ways-recognise-performance/

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We all often face the same problem: The workweek drags by at a glacial pace, while the weekend speeds past us before we even realize what’s happening.

Mathematically, of course, it all makes sense. But, what if you could change that? What if you could use your time so efficiently that you had all of your important to-dos wrapped up by Thursday?

Even if you can’t actually pack up, leave the office, and take every Friday off (we wish, right?), wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have that whole “bonus” day to stop putting out fires and instead get a jumpstart on next week—or even use that day to tackle those bigger ambitions that have been permanently parked in your back seat?

I know, it sounds impossible. But, skepticism aside, it’s totally doable if you use your time effectively. In fact, numerous companies have actually begun instituting flexible or four-day workweeks for their employees.

So, how do these people manage to pull this off? It’s not as tough as you think.

1. They Schedule Intentionally

You’re aiming to view Friday as the extra day tacked onto the end of your workweek—a day when all of your weekly tasks are finished and you can finally have a clear head and a somewhat empty plate.

This means you’ll want to avoid scheduling meetings, phone calls, and other important get-togethers on that day (unless it’s just a casual coffee get-together with a networking contact). Instead, you want Friday to provide a large chunk of totally uninterrupted time that you can use however you’d like.

Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder and CEO of Asana, swears by this no-meeting structure—although, he implements it on Wednesdays for his team. “With very few exceptions, everyone’s calendar is completely clear at least one day out of the week whether you are a maker or manager,” he says in an article for Inc., “This is an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work.”

This intentional scheduling applies throughout your entire workweek. In order to set yourself up for an empty Friday, you’ll also need to keep a close eye on your schedule during the other days as well.

No, you don’t always have complete control over your calendar. However, it’s important that you frequently check through your schedule to see how your week’s shaping up. If you think you have far too many commitments and not enough time to actually work, you’ll need to see what you can move around or back out of.

2. They Focus on Priorities

You start your week with the best intentions and a laundry list of things you’re going to tackle in the office. But, when Friday rolls around, you’re shocked to realize that you barely accomplished any of them. You were too caught up in the emergencies that cropped up.

As Stephen R. Covey, the incredibly successful businessman and author, said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

People who get everything wrapped up before Friday know the value of effective prioritization, and many of them use the time management matrix developed by Covey in order take a step back and readjust their focus on the things that are critical, rather than time-pressing.

Oftentimes, there’s a big difference between how you’re actually spending your time and how you should be spending your time. And, if you want to have Friday reserved as free space, you’re going to need to constantly evaluate your priorities and ensure that you’re channeling your energy into the right things.

3. They Tune Out Distractions

Of course, you’re going to need to maximize every single minute of the days you actually do have. And, that means minimizing distractions as much as possible.

If you can’t focus at your desk with the office chatter and phone calls happening around you, try to find a quiet spot (or, if you’re desperate, some noise-canceling headphones) so that you can get into a groove and zone in on whatever you’re working on.

Another distraction you’ll want to keep at bay? Emails. So, close out that browser tab and resist the siren song of your inbox. You can even take a cue from Tommy John’s CEO, Tom Patterson, and set an out-of-office message that lets everybody know you’re only reading your emails at a certain time. That way, you won’t feel as tempted to keep checking in on your inbox.

4. They Find Shortcuts

You might hear the word “shortcut” and assume that means shoddy work. But, that’s not what this strategy is about at all.

Successful people are always concerned with producing top-notch results—however, they also find little ways to save time in the process. So, take a page from their book and have a good, hard look at your routine. Are there places where you’re spending a lot of unnecessary time?

Perhaps it’s a document you’re repeatedly drafting. Create a template so you always have the barebones in place. Is it an email you’re always sending? Save a canned response so you don’t have to draft the same message over and over again. Is there a menial task you need to complete daily or weekly? See if there’s a way you can automate it.

These changes seem small. But, if you managed to save yourself 15 minutes each day between Monday and Thursday, that’d be an entire hour by the time Friday rolls around. See? It all adds up.

Cutting a day out of your week might seem like a surefire way to get far less done. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, four-day workweeks have been proven to offer plenty of benefits—including increased productivity, higher levels of engagement, and happier employees.

Studies also show that longer hours don’t always equal more tasks being accomplished. After a certain point, we check out and our productivity either flat lines or takes a total nosedive.

So, even if your office won’t officially implement a compressed week, you can still roll up your sleeves, make the most of Monday through Thursday, and reserve Friday as a more low-key day when you can tackle bigger projects or set yourself up for success next week. After all, there’s no better way to head into the weekend.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-successful-people-finish-all-their-work-by-thursday-stressfree?ref=carousel-slide-5

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In case you just woke up from a very long nap and missed it, 2017 is officially here! Everyone you know is making New Year’s resolutions to work out more often, eat less fried foods, and find a job that pays them one billion dollars a year to do the exact thing they want to do.

You probably roll your eyes every time you read a status along these lines, and when you do, I have a feeling it makes you think that making these resolutions is an exercise in futility. I’m as much of a skeptic as the next person, but there are a few things I know you can achieve by the end of the year.

1. You Can Stop Thinking About Networking and Just Do It

How many times have you bumped into someone you knew and said, “Hey, this was great. Let’s set up some more time to talk about what I want to do with the rest of my life,” only to see three months go by before you even think about following up?

I’m not here to give you a hard time for ghosting anyone you intended to connect with. But at the same time, this is an ideal time to be more intentional about staying in touch with your network.

If you meet with someone and feel the urge to say that you’ll reach out to set up some time, stop yourself and just schedule the meeting in that moment. If you can’t commit to doing this, don’t feel guilty about not throwing out the “Let’s catch up” line to close a conversation.

Nobody will hold it against you for not offering to meet whenever you run into each other, I promise.

2. You Can Look For New Career Development Opportunities

I get it—sometimes it feels like there are so many options out there to “boost your career” that it’s impossible to narrow them down and make any progress. But, as daunting as it might seem, the truth is that simply looking at your options is a great way to kick-start some serious career growth.

You can sit down and create a list of all the options out there—courses, books, career coaches. And you can just pick one and follow through.

Whether that requires you to create calendar events for yourself (with annoying reminders) to keep at it, leave Post-it notes around your place, or have a friend text you every week checking in—get started by surrounding yourself with as much encouragement as you need to make this one thing happen.

Sure, you might find hundreds of classes and thousands of books that aren’t relevant to what you want to accomplish this year. But when you find the one thing that inspires you to dig a little deeper, you’ll be amazed by how motivated you’ll be to keep going.

3. You Can Take a Hard Look at How You Feel About Your Current Job

You might like your job right now. In fact, if you’re lucky, you might really like it. But there will come a time when you like it a little bit less, and a little bit less, and a little bit less—until one day you wake up and want to quit.

Avoid that feeling of “How the heck did I get here?” by setting regular checkpoints for yourself throughout the year (and creating actual events on your calendar that’ll pop and and remind you).

On each of these days, ask yourself the following questions

  1. Was I happy to come into the office this week?
  2. Have I done anything recently that I’m proud of?
  3. Does my current path still fit my long-term goals?

As long as you can keep answering yes, keep on cruising. But the first time you have to pause and think for a second, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with yourself on what you want your next step to be (whether that’s addressing a problem or starting to make small moves).

If you want to set some lofty goals for your career this year, I’m not going to stop you. But there’s nothing wrong with going easy on yourself and setting a few achievable resolutions.

Remember: If you run into any roadblocks along the way, try not to let it get you too down for too long. The beauty of these options is that they’re ongoing and it’s hard to fall behind.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-things-i-know-you-can-accomplish-this-year?ref=carousel-slide-1