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Archive from "Career Planning"

Five ways to keep yourself motivated (and how not to do them)

Getting something started or something done can be a challenge at times, even more if you are an entrepreneur or work by yourself.

Motivation is always necessary at some point during your professional work hours and during the time span of your professional life.

Here are five ways on how to get yourself motivated and also what you should not do them:




1. Take a break

Short breaks never hurt anyone! It will do you great good in fact. Get of your chair if you have worked for hours on end. Stretch yourself, go make some coffee and have a look outside the window for a few minutes.

Don’t do: Go outside to your nearest coffee shop and pick up a magazine or your mobile. This will easily eat up a whole hour of your work time without you even noticing.


2. Use your calendar

You don’t necessarily need a paper agenda for this. The internet offers a wide variety of tools for this such as Google Calendar. Alternatively, you can use your cellphone. As soon as you get a task, put it on your calendar!

Don’t do: Never look at your calendar after you put a task on it.


3. Set deadlines

If possible, get things done before they are due. This will leave you sufficient time to double-check and re-do anything if necessary. Also, you could turn in things earlier than promised in order to cause a good impression!

Don’t do: Set deadlines which are too tight and unrealistic for yourself.


4. Set Goals

Set daily goals for yourself. If you happen not to finish something, make it your starting point the next day. This will assure that you have a steady pace at which things get done and you will hardly get lost or stuck.


Don’t do: Never set goals you’ll not accomplish!


5. Tempt yourself

Suppose you have an important upcoming event on your personal agenda. You will probably want to clear up time for it. This will motivate you to stay on track and get your tasks done within the correct timing.

Don’t do: Constantly need motivation to get anything done.

Six tips on how to transition to a new job

A time comes in your professional life when you may feel the urge for change. Your current job position no longer appeals to you and you feel that it would be better for your career that you change jobs.


It is common for this to happen at later stages of your professional life, when you are around 40 years of age, for example.


See here six tips to transitioning jobs:


1. Don’t look for the job, let the job find you. 

Firing CV’s all over the place is not a good idea. People will not give you the attention necessary to find a job. First, you need to find out about an actual position you are seeking at another company rather than distributing CV’s to everyone you know. Having a specific position in your sights will make this transition easier.


 2. Don’t constantly modify your résumé
Besides having a Linkedin profile, you should have a printed resume with a maximum of 2 printed pages. The information should be clear and concise. Also, you should only update it when you have some major change in your professional life.


3. Time your conversation


Studies indicate that the best way to get a message through during an interview is to tell a story about yourself which last from 60 to 90 seconds. This will cause the person who is interviewing you to remember the story you told her. It is not a good idea to be extremely brief once selling yourself. Short dialogue will not be as memorable.

4. Discover how you can serve others

Instead of talking about yourself, find out the needs of a company or a position. Give suggestions as to how their needs can be met and their problems be solved. Recommend interesting reading materials online and books which might be relevant to them.


5. Host informal networking events


Try to create a small event where you can gather a few people and eventually let them know that you are looking for a new position.


6. Give yourself some time to rest

Don’t be constantly hunting for a job every single minute of your day. It can be quite demotivating expecting to find the perfect position for days on end. Take a break and recompose yourself.


Eight resources entrepreneurs should never waste

Owning and managing your own business is always a handful. At the end of the day, you are responsible for the decision made within your venture as well as reaping what you sow in your business.

Entrepreneurs must therefore avoid wasting resources in general and what is meant by resources is literally anything that the entrepreneur requires to get his business going, be it money or even time.


Below are listed eight wastes which an entrepreneur must be careful with:

1. Having too many products or services available: This causes the company’s focus to become extremely broad, which results in a very steep learning curve and little specialization. Think of a restaurant with a huge menu; do you think customers will order everything on the menu daily or does all the food necessary to prepare every single plate available go to waste?

2. Inventory restocked too soon: Having too much inventory sitting around or letting it perish is as good as burning your money. Make sure that you time correctly and calculate the inventory you need appropriately.

3. No delegation and time management: Don’t centralize every single decision on yourself. Eventually, you will have to focus on other business aspects rather than micromanage every single decision. Hire a team and delegate!

4. Inefficient communication: Share information! Make it clear to all those involved what are your goals and how you want to get there.

5. Excessive red tape: Some people just love bureaucratic procedures. In a business, this will be reflected as too many processes and checks being used. Entrepreneurs need to be creative and minimal with the processes they deem necessary.

6. Too many actions and little results: Work can be distracting at times. It can be so distracting that entrepreneurs forget that it’s supposed to yield results. Sometimes, working too much doesn’t mean you will get the results you want. Work smart, not necessarily hard.

7. Defective products and services: Poor quality products and poor customer service are doubly deadly wastes. You lose the customer you paid to acquire, and the unhappy customer spreads the word to potential customers that you are spending marketing resources on, but will never win. Recovery efforts are wasted resource which rarely succeeds.

8. Underestimating the skills of others: If you know well your team (and you should), you will know their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t underestimate the abilities your team might have. Let them show what they got and put it to good use!



Three career mistakes you should make

Mistakes are part of the professional learning process for everyone, no exceptions. From them, we must extract a valuable lesson to better learn and refine our conduct and practices. Therefore, mistakes should be seen as normal and should, at times, be welcomed!

See here three mistakes which you should have made at least once during your career:



Mistake #1: Selling more than you are

This is common among individuals who are new to their line of work and the market.

Those who are new to their work tend to overpromise what they can deliver. Why? To show that they are capable and impress others, be it their colleagues or bosses.

Overall, it is important to be absolutely honest on what are your capabilities. If in the end you can exceed that what you promised, you will most likely impress rather than disappoint!


Mistake #2: Going Into an Interview Unprepared

This is something quite difficult to do naturally. You may try to research about the company’s history and read its yearly investors report, but you still don’t know what to expect from the interviewer.

But, being unprepared for an interview once will be enough to make you truly understand in practice how to do so in the best way.


Mistake #3: Rejecting an opportunity because you are scared

Suppose you already have a job in which you have to execute daily/monthly functions and that you are offered to pioneer a larger project simultaneously within your company.

You may at first shiver at the thought of taking on an important new project and reject it because you already have a large workload from your current position.

But it is important to take this extra step to deepen your skills and hone your abilities. Consider it an opportunity for personal and professional growth!

BASED ON: Forbes

Eight easy steps to reach a promotion

  1. Be the best you can in your current position – Before you go any further in your career path, you have to get work done in the position you currently find yourself in.


  1. Provide support to your leader– Other than executing the tasks which are naturally required by your function, make sure you also offer your boss a helping hand. This can go a long way, as you will be perceived as helpful and soliciting.


  1. Lead when possible – Try to assume the position of a leader when possible in any given situation, independent of its size or importance. With this, you will be able to display what you have in you in terms of leadership.


how to get a promotion

  1. Approach problems and issues others are unaware of – Every organization has needs nobody is paying attention to, or people are actively ignoring. When you take on a task that no one else is willing to do, you prove your potential and make yourself stand out.


  1. Show that you are a capable leader – Being a leader isn’t only imposing your will over others. You must be understanding and proactive! Show that you can lead others in the best way possible!


  1. Keep your ambitions to yourself – Share your ambitions only with those whom you can completely trust. Keep a close grip of how you execute your current work but at the same time keep a foresight on what you want to reach.


  1. Find role models – Learn from others’ successes and failures. Find individuals who have the roles you want and learn from them. Identify behaviors you can emulate while being true to yourself, but don’t forget to look at those who are stuck in their career as a lesson of what not to do.


  1. Relationships and networking – Networking is essential in any business sphere. Make sure you meet and greet as well as become well known within your company and among your external work circles.