5 Things I Wish I Had Learned Earlier in My Career 1. Don't be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. It’s scary to go outside of your comfort zone at work. But, when you learn new skills and push yourself, you prepare yourself for your next role. To expand your skillset and marketability, you must have the courage to try new and difficult tasks that you aren't comfortable with to grow in your career 2. View everything you do and everyone you meet as an opportunity. You never know how a project, presentation, or person can add to your life professionally or personally. The people you meet, the things you learn, and the connections you make will make all of the difference in your future career moves. View everything you do as valuable and worthy endeavor, and always try your best. You never know who is paying attention, and what even the smallest [...]
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So far Steve Hankins has created 310 blog entries.
5 Strategies to Boost Motivation During the Cold, Slow Season Amidst a Pandemic It’s hard enough to get through the slowest month of the year for most businesses (February) under normal circumstances; let alone during a pandemic. After nearly a year of adapting to this “new normal” way of life, many of us are secluded at home and in front of a screen for hours at a time. Working in this environment with little to no contact with coworkers, no team building events, group meetings, etc. has surely taken its toll on all of us. On top of that, many people are facing challenges with mental and physical health due to these circumstances. All of these things add up and can really affect our ability focus and stay motivated. Here are 5 strategies to boost motivation during the cold, slow season amidst a pandemic: Create a list of goals both personal & professional, and remind [...]
I hear people say they are skilled at multitasking all the time. However, according to neuroscientists, our brains are not wired to multitask. The ability to work on two two complex activities simultaneously is simply an illusion. People who believe they are multitasking are actually doing individual actions in rapid succession. Our brains cannot perform two cognitive functions at the same time. But, why does this matter? This matters because “multitasking” only hinders our success. Trying to complete more than one task at a time compromises our ability to complete the tasks without mistakes. Repeatedly switching back and forth from project to project prevents you from functioning at your finest. In reality, you are dividing your attention; not truly focusing on anything. This can have negative effects on our attentiveness, increase your stress, and decrease your overall productivity. Choose to do one thing at a time instead. Take the career of a surgeon for example. [...]
Selecting the right a job means so much more than securing a paycheck. Here are some top tips on selecting the right job for you. Remember, compensation is more than base salary The base salary is just that, the very base. On top of that, there is total compensation and benefits. Make sure to consider these all together. Consider what your taxes will be if you’re working out of state. Add up your total time and gas spent commuting. Is there a 401k match? Will you be eligible for bonuses or commission? Is there room for career advancement opportunities; do you have a chance to receive a higher compensation in the future? Is the work-life balance suitable for your lifestyle? How many hours of paid-time-off will you be eligible for? Does the company offer tuition reimbursement for continued education? Consider the company culture Read employer reviews for valuable insight on the company culture. You can [...]
It's Time to Set 2021 Career Goals As we enter a new year, it’s a great time to reflect and plan for the year ahead. The simple act of setting goals will help motivate you throughout the year, give you a sense of accomplishment when completed, and help you maintain your focus. Here are some tips to help you set 2021 career goals. Reflect on 2020 First, Take time to reflect on 2020. Examine how the year has gone, what you’ve achieved over the last 12 months, and how you have advanced (or not) in your career plan. Consider what you’ve learned over the past year, what objectives you’ve met, any new responsibilities you’ve taken on, skills you’ve developed, and any feedback you’ve received this past year. Try to be as honest and realistic with yourself as you reflect on the past year. Consider your Career Path Next, ask yourself if you on the right [...]
How to be Successful While Working from Home this Holiday Season While a vaccination and a promise to return to normalcy are in sight, we still need to get through this holiday season during a pandemic. While you are likely already used to the technology for a remote holiday experience, this holiday season could present some unforeseen hiccups with a work from home environment. Here are some tips to help you get through the holidays while working from home this year. Plan ahead. You may have kids at home, or other additional responsibilities over the holidays. Make sure to plan ahead, and set aside time for your personal obligations that may come up during your workday. Plan whether or not you need to take time off work, or block out time on your calendar to take care of your children at home. Have a back up plan for if something unexpected comes up. Managing a [...]
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals The end of the year is fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about creating goals for the New Year. A tried and true strategy for setting career goals is the S.M.A.R.T. approach. Specific: Be as specific as possible when you set goals. Address an issue that is important to you and consider what exactly you want to accomplish, why it matters, who is involved, and what resources are required. Measurable: A measurable goal means that you can track its progress, and you can check a box once it’s completed. To set a measurable goal think, “How much?”, “How many?”, and “How will I recognize when I’ve accomplished my goal?” Achievable: Make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable. Make sure it’s within your abilities and time constrictions to achieve. An achievable goal is something that you can accomplish despite any constraints. Relevant: Ensure the goals you set are relevant [...]
It’s hard to believe it’s almost time to wrap up the year! That means for many of us, it’s time to self-evaluate our performance for the current year and develop a new individual development plan for the upcoming new year! Self-evaluations can be nerve-wracking and make even the highest achievers nervous. It can be a delicate balance to not be boastful, keep it honest, and represent yourself well. Here are some tips to help you master the end of year self-review process! Use this as an opportunity to shine! A Self-appraisal is your chance to show your employer that you take your career development seriously. Use this time to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished in 2020! Think about things you could have done better, and what skills you could develop to do better next year. Show ownership of your own performance. If you’re anything like me, you may have a hard time tooting your [...]
The Interview Question that Lost Me the Job Early in my career, I applied for a really great job. To my surprise, they offered me an interview. I killed the first interview, slayed the second, and ended up being one of the last two candidates for this sought after position. What happened in my third interview was something I will never forget. I choked when asked the question, “Tell me about a time you failed.” Of course, I had failed a number of times in my life, yet I couldn’t find the words to articulate any of my failures in a way that wouldn’t also destroy my chance to score my dream job. So, there I was, fumbling for words, unable to think on my toes, and watching the job slip through my fingers over one simple question. Needless to say, I wasn't selected for the position. This, of course left me to self reflect. [...]
Holiday Volunteer Work is not Just Good for the Community… It’s Good for your Career! The holiday season is here, which is a time of year when we are often reminded of all the blessings we have, and are compelled to give to those less fortunate. It’s a time to give back to our communities: thanksgiving soup kitchens, food drives, adopt-a-family, build a bike, community projects, and so much more. While these are selfless acts, it can be more than just your opportunity to do something wonderful for your community—it can also help with your career. Volunteering can help you with your job search and professional reputation. When you are out volunteering, you will make connections across the city. You never know who you could meet from city council members to lawyers to engineers… They will inevitably be able to provide contacts. In the workforce, it’s often who you know that can give you a [...]