work life balance

Flexible Work/Life Balance Questions

The phrase, Flexible Work-Life Balance has not only become common place now, but is a “perk” that a lot of us are seeking in our jobs. More people than ever are looking for a career that fits in their life, instead of the other way around.

But how do you actually figure out if a new opportunity can provide you with the work/life balance you are desperately seeking?

How to Find Out About Work/Life Balance When Interviewing

“You” Questions

1. What level are you going to be at?

While not a hard and fast rule, the bigger your team, the more difficult it is to work remotely… or work less hours. I’m not saying you have to put your aspirations to be a director, a vice president, or more on hold – but what you want to be responsible for in your role, does have an impact in your flexibility.

At some point in your career, you may hit the crossroad of two choices: flexibility or the title.

This can be especially true if you’re at a larger company. I don’t think it’s right or even necessary, but seeing your face and being able to step into your office becomes more important the higher you climb.

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Changing the Lens on Job Opportunities

The stories that we grew up hearing, the advice that we listened to whether willingly or not, and the modeling our families showed us – create the fiber of who we are, for better and worse. We start seeing the world through various lens and viewpoints, with some biases and “shoulds.” And for most of us, it gets confusing when we look at our own career.

I was taught to get a good, stable job; make heaps of money so you never have to worry about it; work hard – it gets recognized; climb the ladder; and pick one path and stay on it. You probably have your own story about what your career should be about, where today’s world of work or your own personal work style/preferences, don’t even enter the equation.

That’s why it is so difficult for us to make career changes. It’s why other people sometimes can’t understand our perspective.

But it’s time to shift the lens in which we make career decisions, ever so slightly. Breaking free a little piece of our own stories, will open up opportunities you’ve never knew were possible.

On a daily basis, I hear clients pondering turning down a job offer because they weren’t going to make “enough” money or because it didn’t have the next-level title. And instead, they go back to their job search miserable trying to find their very own purple unicorn.

What if this is the place where we shift our lenses? What if the way we look at opportunities, overt and hidden, change – taking us on a slightly different than originally planned course, but much more satisfying in the long run?

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Followers Don’t Equal Influence or Support

There must be something in the water these days. The number of times I have had someone say to me that they aren’t really worried about making a sale or getting promoted because they “have a huge following on social media,” is driving me bananas.

I’m not sure when social media followers earned such a high ranking of influence in our society, but let me clear something up for you – followers do not equal influence or support. This is especially true when you are working in a traditional job.

Obviously your social media friends, followers or hoards (you know those requests you approve because the numbers count!), can play a role in your overall career, but they are not worth much at face value alone. Since their value is vastly different in a traditional job versus any type of business you start, I’m going to break their value down separately.

Social Media Peeps in Traditional Jobs

It seems ludicrous to think that social media followers can influence a promotion or new job… and for the most part, you’re right. The number of friends you have in any one outlet, is not going to be an active influencer in your overall success. I hate to break that news to you… well, honestly, my old-self can’t believe I have to. But I digress…

Your promotion-ability within a company, is mostly driven by your capabilities, delivery and likeability at work. Being able to put together and showcase the hard and soft skills. Getting the right influencers on your side within the company will always pay off more than having outside people talking about your awesome.

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What to Do When HR Is Dragging Their Feet

Your phone interview went well, your on-site interview went better than you expected — and now you’re sitting by the phone waiting for HR to call you back to discuss next steps. It’s a common occurrence — HR is dragging their feet once again. At least it feels that way.

Before we talk about ways to move the process forward, it’s important to understand why HR may not be getting back to you as quickly as you’d hoped. Remember, they’re usually the coordinators of the process, not the leaders. Imagine trying to wrangle four or five people (at least) in the office on the same day with the same time block open. It’s kind of like herding cats — sometimes it works by sheer luck, but most of the time, it’s a time-consuming mess.

In addition to calendar coordination, HR is dealing with more than just your open position — sometimes upwards of 50 open positions at one time. It’s a lot of resumes, emails, phone calls and paperwork to keep straight.

Why is this important? Most likely, you’re not the reason HR is taking their sweet time in responding. In other words, you’re not the problem.

Still, when HR is dragging their feet with phrases like, “We’re still in the interview process,” “I’m having a difficult time getting everyone scheduled” or simply not getting back to you, here are three actions you can take to get some answers:

 

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4 Steps to Apply for a Job Directly

You’ve finally hit the job search jackpot — your dream job has been posted, you know someone who works at the same company and you have the hiring manager’s direct contact information. It’s a job hunter’s dream come true.

But what’s next? Now that you have their contact information, what do you actually do with it?

It’s so much pressure. (Under pressure — that burns a building down. Um ba ba be…)

It’s easy to sit back and randomly send applications for positions into the online ether. We’re so used to the lack of personalization that comes with online application robots. When you have the name and details of the actual, honest-to-goodness person who has power and influence over your next job, it’s scary.

Here’s how to approach it:

1. Do Your Research on the Person

Not only is doing research on the person’s name a good procrastination method; it’s critical to your direct application. The easiest way to research all about them is to look the person up on LinkedIn.

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