Building a Network of Contacts

There are plenty of available jobs in the market, and there also are a lot companies recruiting right now, but it is possible that those job openings are never advertised or published in newspapers or on the Internet. Further, important or high-rank job openings are rarely advertised. How to approach this hidden job market? Certainly, it’s not enough to investigate listings of job openings. The key is word-of-mouth or networking.

Networking means building a list of contacts. Contacts are people you’ve met during your business or social activities. More often than not, such friends and acquaintances will provide you information about job openings, companies and industry leads. Moreover, they’ll introduce you to other so that you can grow your network. Therefore, it is important not only to inform them about your job search, but also give them some résumés.

This list will provide some hints about the people and organizations we should include in our network:

  • Relatives
  • Friends
  • Recruiters
  • Former Employers
  • Neighbors
  • Professional Organizations
  • Other Job Seekers
  • Academic Contacts (School, University)
  • Business Associations
  • Merchants

Organizing your Network of Contacts

Please, organize your network. Save information about your contacts in a spreadsheet or a database. Include their names, titles, company, address, phone and fax numbers, and email. It’s also important to register a few notes about the way in which any of your contacts is valuable, for instance, what do they know?, who can they refer you to?, and so on. Further, organize their business cards.

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Visualizing your Goals

A goal is a very specific result that we want to achieve in a precise, future time. It’s an experience not yet lived, although firmly wished. Let’s recall from our first post about goals, that an objective or goal is a personal or perhaps organizational desired end point in development. It is usually endeavored to be reached in finite time by setting deadlines. Albeit goals, dreams and expectations are related concepts, there are important differences that will be discussed further on. As it often occurs with dreams, there are virtually no limits on the number of goals we may set, since goals represent, in essence, states or things that we wish to achieve in the future. Unlike dreams, though, goals require that we define them precisely, and we have to work for them in the present time, right now. Thereby, goals are nearer, within reach.

visualizing goals

Goals and Expectations

We should not confuse goals and expectations. Goals are the concrete and positive result of a fulfilled wish, and they provide satisfaction and success. On its side, expectations are focused on the behavior that we expect from other people. Setting a goal also means directing all our efforts towards achieving the goal, combining several tasks in order to attain it. However, to have an expectation reduces to delegating our wishes to the lucky concurrence of external factors.

Therefore, setting goals helps us to empower strategies, to create effectivity and to dominate the process of achieving whatever thing we wish. Besides, our goals create new opportunities, and improve our capacity for overcoming obstacles and conquering unexpected hurdles. As we move forward and reach the little goals that we had set, we also have the feeling of walking our paths faster, with a boosted self-confidence and a diminishing desire to return to the past. By the way, when we feel little or no desire to return to the past, we can be sure that we have improved as human beings.

Goals and Dreams

As aforesaid, a difference between goals and dreams lies in the time required for reaching them. Goals are closer. Besides, motivation also establishes a notorious difference between goals and dreams. We have more immediate and realistic motivations for reaching goals. On the contrary, dreams’ motivation is typically diffuse, sometimes very unclear.

However, dreams are the ultimate fuel of life, no matter how fuzzy they may be. As life moves on, we will feel the dream, approach the dream, dream the dream… we will be continuously reshaping the dream. Dreams are, after all, made of a very malleable matter. In life, we walk towards the sun, and our sun is composed of just dreams. Every step toward such sun kills a doubt. And each of such steps is a goal.

Organizing our Goals

We have to prepare a few lists for visualizing our goals and, in general, our action and thinking paths. When we write down our goals in a list, we are defining and outlining a plan to reach the goals. We are committing ourselves to fulfilling them based on practical aspects. On the contrary, the list of dreams contains relatively remote possibilities, excepting perhaps the first or second dream. In order to reach the first dream of the list, we have to conquer a chain of goals. In short, goals are the intermediate steps required for achieving the ultimate objective of your life.

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A Shining Job Interview: How to Succeed

Typically, the first prerequisite for a shining job interview is a well-redacted and organized Résumé. A shining Résumé can move you to the first places of a list comprising perhaps hundreds of prospects. Therefore, your Résumé should list your best germane abilities for the job you are applying to… those abilities that would guarantee a star performance in the job. Remember that you are the ultimate responsible for highlighting your attributes to constitute a valid option to integrate the new team that the company is forming. In order to determine which of your abilities are the most suited for the job…

you have to research your potential employer beforehand

…that will give you a very important lead. Get as much information as you can about the business, and also about the potential interviewers (you should research their style and attitude… that’s very important). If you know someone who has previously taken an interview in that company, talk with them about their experiences in the interview. Try to extract pure information, i.e., don’t let them to influence you (specially about the job being impossible or, on the contrary, being too easy).

1. First Approach

Remember that you have to dress with a professional look, according to the nature of the job. You are a professional… thereby each and every aspect of you must communicate that fact. Now, during the interview, take into account that Interviewers will ask questions related to their company, for example, why would you like to work for us? They may ask you about your opinion on the company’s products or history. Typically, this information is available on the company’s website, and by knowing it you demonstrate a genuine interest for the job.

2. Virtues and Limitations

Talk about your virtues, but not excessively. In this regards apply balance and good sense. Answer this question presenting your virtues in the context of the requirements of the job you’re applying to, with a clear and concise language. However, other almost granted question they will do is about your defects, thereby you must also be prepared to answer that. Furthermore, the interviewer may ask about your abilities and limitations: prepare an answer beforehand in order to allow you to present your defects as a new opportunity for keep improving.

3. Expect the Unexpected

You have to be ready for anything… a group interview, a forum about some specific problem of the company, a written exam, and so on. Carry any material you think you may need: think of the interview as your first day of work.

Job Interview
Confidence

When entering to the interview, greet to your interviewer with a smile. Visual contact must also be direct and firm (but not exceedingly). Remember that, no matter the circumstances, you have to act formally instead of dared or zany (refer to your interviewer using his title… Dr., Mr., Engineer, etc.), unless they demand you to treat them informally (but that’s relatively rare; read point 6. Be on the alert). Listen to your interviewer very carefully. Sometimes the applicants are so focused in the things they want to say that forget what they are really being asked about. No answer is good if it does not truly answer the matter asked about.

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On Credit Card Points

After the season of parties, when you might find yourself feeling financially depleted and despondent, there is a tantalizing prospect that awaits – the opportunity to earn free international travel and indulge in luxurious hotel stays. This alluring possibility is made possible through credit card points, which can be exchanged for a range of travel perks and enticing goodies. As January brings forth attractive deals, you might be enticed to apply for a credit card that offers such rewards.

However, let’s consider the reality. I like credit cards, but credit card rewards may not be worth it for most individuals, unless they possess certain qualities:

  • Firstly, financial stability is crucial. If you are wealthy and have a firm grasp on your finances, the potential payback from these rewards could be more significant.
  • Secondly, self-discipline plays a vital role. It’s essential to have the discipline to manage credit card spending wisely, ensuring that you don’t fall into the trap of accumulating debt.
  • Lastly, being attentive to your financial situation is imperative. Keeping a close eye on your expenses, payments, and rewards redemption options will enable you to maximize the benefits.
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What I like about Credit Cards

Yummy… a pizza with onion, green pepper, mushrooms, olives, plenty of tofu and a bit of minced fresh garlic. Tasty! Oh, and I have to buy my new laptop. Well, for all these things and little pleasures there’s the credit card. I prefer to pay with my credit cards as I dislike the notion of acting like an ambulant cash dispenser 🙂 However, using credit cards requires control and knowing well the “policies behind the card” (the rates, the limits, how the credit reporting system works, etc.) Managing and using credit cards is just a matter of applying good sense

Credit cards

That said, I have some friends that abuse their credit cards usage. They charge a lot! They go nuts because they feel like they work pretty hard and should be able to do that sometimes. The problem is not that they cannot afford the payment or cannot pay it off. The problem is that most of their purchases are frivolous things they really don’t need. Surely, they work hard and they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their work. But they are not enjoying anything by acquiring a bunch of unneeded objects. On the contrary, they’re wasting their money. The only thing that such frantic credit card usage satisfies is the desire of material possession. Do we indeed work so hard only to crumble under such lame desire? When we are going to use our credit card we always should examine the actual reason behind the purchase. Review carefully your financial state… are you paying a house, a car, a small loan? Then try not to acquire more debt. Moreover, if we have a short or troubled credit histories we must try to do things right. Pressure of extreme debt is what leads to desperate and dangerous measures such as payday loans, for example. Really dangerous. Calm. Relax. Think. Good sense, remember? Life is beautiful.

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Looking for True Happiness

It is very difficult, although not impossible, to win a race if we have to start down in a hole. However, this is the precise handicap which a lot of people face during their search for happiness. Because of such handicap, climbing out of the hole and arriving to at least the starting line represents an exhausting endeavor. Apparently, this is not logical… this is not how life should be. But truth be told, we can only start from the position we are right now, and we can only use the resources available to us right now. In order to achieve happiness we have to shut off perturbing messages, such as “I cannot”, “I’m going to lose”, “Maybe tomorrow is a better day”, and so further. We have to put all these miscreant ideas aside from our mind, to remove these slimy sentences which do not contribute to our goals. It’s easier for us to attribute the responsibility of our failures and defeats to others… those who taught us, for instance. Some people like to attribute to their parents and teachers an alleged fraud… everything bad has been their fault, not ours. They hold on to the past. They are losers. On the contrary, winners focus on overcoming each obstacle that rises until accomplishing their goals. Winners want to be happy and to bring happiness to all the people around them, sharing the love, their views on life, and perhaps, their goals.

True Happiness
True Happiness

 Some serious studies demonstrate that people from developed countries are not necessarily the happiest ones. A lot of nationals and residents of such countries manifest to feel unhappier than those of some developing or poorer countries. In this sense, let’s recall the Easterlin paradox, based on a study by professor and economist Richard Easterlin: Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? published in 1974, while he was with the University of Pennsylvania. Basically, the paradox states that economic growth does not necessarily lead to more satisfaction. It’s obvious that people in poor countries become happier once they can afford basic necessities. But the important idea behind Easterlin paradox is that absolute income does not matter as much as relative income does. In other words, how much you make compared with others around you is what really matters. To put it in today’s terms, owning an iPad doesn’t make you happier, because you then want an iPad Pro 🙂

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The Art of Saving

Saving refers to the preservation of money for future use. Such future use might include capital and goods purchase (house, transport, vacations, etc.), emergencies, and miscellaneous expenses. Strictly speaking, saving is the difference between our income and our consumption expenditure. Besides, saving is our main tool to cope with mortgages, credit card debt, extraordinary bills, and other loans. Without savings, such debt and expenditures may sharply erode our personal finances. Saving also allows for harnessing sudden investment opportunities and to gain access to quality services. All in all, saving is a fundamental aspect of personal finance.

Money has to be tightly controlled. We must know where money comes from, and where it goes to. We must strive to know the way our money flows, the paths it travels, and the drains taking most of our income. By closely watching our money’s nature, we’ll learn to control it. Control is a keyword of personal finance. Control refers to checking the errors we are incurring with our money’s management, and to take the corrective action to rectify any deviation from our desired goals. Setting goals is other important requirement for saving, and it answers the question what are we saving for ?

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A Thing that Truly Hurts Self-confidence

A look behind the scenes of work’s misdirections

What do we achieve by thinking of ourselves as “supermen” or “wonder women”? Too little, indeed. Trying to act (and even feel) like fiction heroes, in a frantic rush to enjoy something that really is too tiresome to be enjoyed. There is little reward in demanding ourselves the compliment of being perfect, effective, productive, attractive and winsome people who have no real problems at work or at home, and who always ignite the life of the party. Needless to say, there is no reward in working frenetically until our minds and bodies cannot handle it anymore: we would weaken and become sick. But we already know that time is unstoppable: other people would carry on our duties, and someday, we would be simply forgotten. In other words, no matter how much effort and blood we devote to our jobs, we are always dispensable for the furious wheel of businesses.

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The 7 Attributes of Leadership

The 7 Attributes of Leadership
The 7 Attributes of Leadership

When I have to hire someone for any position in my company, I always pay close attention to the below discussed 7 attributes of leadership, because I always strive to hire people with leadership traits (even when the job is not a key managerial position.) I always want the best people, no matter the size, complexity or responsibility of the job. I know that, as time goes by, groups of workers with leadership traits perform and coordinate a lot better than simple people. And the today new assistant may hopefully become a very important director in a few years.

Furthermore, I prefer the democratic (also referred to as participative) leadership style: in this case, the leader offers guidance to the group, but also participates in the group, and promotes feedback from other members. Note that this style is not inconsistent with the view of everyone in a group acting as a leader! The democratic style is also suitable for the modern dynamic environments because it allows dealing with fast-changing circumstances. Other styles, such as authoritarian or delegative leaderships, are very harmful and obsolete.

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