Career

The Power of Networks: Starla Hart on The Open Door Interview

Do you have a full-circle career moment?

Starla Hart, Director of Community Initiatives at 16 Tech Community Corporation, does! She assumed the role of her undergraduate mentor that led her to the work she is doing today!

In this month's Open Door Interview, she shares how the strength of her network helped her overcome obstacles both personally and professionally and how taking a big risk has opened doors that changed everything for her.

🎧 Listen here.

The Match of Self-Talk: How Inner Dialogue Matters for Endurance

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Self-talk is a thing. For better or worse. Your inner dialogue matters.

I was reminded of this when I was on the tennis court for the first time after 13+ year hiatus of match play. Prior to this break, tennis WAS LIFE. In the past on the court, I beat myself up with words when I missed a point or was down.

Coming back last week, I was determined not to fall into those negative mental traps, but just like years before, with the swing of my racquet, I was bullied by my thoughts. I was both physically and mentally out of shape!

But something happened. I needed the focus to move forward. Out of breath and tired, I had to reframe my self-talk for SURVIVAL - I had to talk myself into playing the very next point!

Job seeker, where do you need to talk yourself into taking the next step? Language matters so much that researchers in a 2014 study found talking to yourself in third-person is more effective than referring to yourself as 'me' or "I".

When you need endurance, train yourself with positive thoughts.

Instead of: I can't do this another day.

Say: You can take the very next step, Meg. One foot in front of the other.

Just a Monday morning PSA: Be kind to yourself.

Are you aware of how you talk to yourself? How has it helped or hurt you in your career success?

Unemployed? Expert tips on how to handle it on LinkedIn

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How do you handle your unemployment status on your Linkedin profile? Today, The National Resume Writers’ Association round-up of career experts tackle the issue.

From keywords in strategic areas (i.e. headline, summary and job titles) to utilizing volunteer work, board positions and project-based work to fill in the gap are just a couple ways to strategically position yourself for your next opportunity. Check out all the expert answers here.

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Be like the Frog: Own your Unique Value Proposition

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Being unique is hard. Take it from the frog.

After spreading out our library book haul yesterday, my three-year-old son and I read book after book plastic-covered book. At the bottom of the pile was Dev Petty's, "I Don't Want To Be A Frog" which is about, you guessed it, a frog exclaiming he doesn't want to be a frog! Instead, he wants to be a whole host of other animals with their unique capabilities. The frog thinks he is too wet, too slimy and too full of bugs.

But you know what? His three unique features save his life from a big, hairy wolf looking for lunch.

Aren't we just like the frog? Looking left and right in our workplace, the job applicant pool and in our personal life comparing (and complaining) about our distinct qualities. We would rather be like the people around us rather than different.

It isn't sameness that makes you stand out, but your differences! Own what makes you unique.

What does this mean for job seekers? Sell your unique qualities, skill set, experiences - whatever makes you, YOU! Dare to stand out, not blend in! Showcase your unique value in your resume and on Linkedin as it relates to your work and job target. Speak it out loud as you network and in your interviews. It may be the very thing that lands you the role.

What are the frog-like qualities that you shy away from? How can you use them to your advantage?

Are You Facing Obstacles? Return to Work with Confidence!

Flexjobs surveyed over 900 Stay at Home (SAH) parents about their decision to return to work. 58% of SAH parents surveyed took more time away from work than they expected. What obstacles did they face to return?

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The study found their barriers were:

Don’t want or can’t be in an office full-time: 59%

Don’t know how to find a job that fits my life: 54%

Don’t know what I want to do for work: 36%

Don’t know where to begin: 34%

Don’t have networking contacts/stayed in contact with them: 33%

Not sure how to balance career and family: 31%

Need an updated or new resume: 30%

Don’t want to go back to the same career: 27%

Lack of confidence: 25%

The local job market isn’t great: 22%

Haven’t kept up my skills: 23%

Need guidance or coaching: 19%

Commuting to work is prohibitive: 17%

Are you stuck in your return to work strategy? Start by unlocking your career focus! Download our free DIY tip sheet to get started and gain confidence!

Work is Stressful: Five ways to combat the Daily Grind

No matter your gender, seniority or generation, stress at work leaves no one untouched. According to LinkedIn, the number one stressor is workload (as it relates to work-life balance) followed by future job security and career direction/purpose.

This report found executive Gen-Xer's are the most stressed followed by Baby Boomers and then Millennials.

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How can you combat work stress to ENJOY your life and work?

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✔︎ Learn to say no. Know and understand your own priorities in both your work and personal life. When you say no to something, you are saying yes to something else.

✔︎ Upskill. Own your own professional development as an eager student to add to your skill set.

✔︎ Own your life (and work) as a journey. There is always time to pivot or recalibrate your career trajectory.

✔︎ Laugh! Find humor in small things.

✔︎ Do something you love. Whether during work or personal time, make time to do what you enjoy. Running? Re-decorating? Reading? Just do it!

What are your keys to less stress?

Don't forget O*NET - A Trusted Career Resource

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Are you looking for reliable career information? Check out this oldie, but goodie online resource:

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.

 Locate dependable occupational information and use advanced search functions to:

📌Find what’s hot. Identify growing industries.

📌Reverse look-up job titles. Use keywords to discover a new-to-you or unusual job.

📌Skill-based search. Find a new career based on your unique skill set.

Exchange fear with confidence in your job search. Unlock the door of opportunity and hire Meg for a one-hour job search strategy session.

Career Passion: Destination or Process?

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“Do what you love.” “Follow your passion.” How many times have you received similar career advice?

I love what Angela Duckworth said in Adam Grant’s WorkLife podcast to “develop your passion" not follow it.

We treat career like a calling – something that needs to be found like uncovering a secret treasure. With this philosophy, there is even a possibility of missing it if we don’t dig around enough.

I love the idea of career passion being developed rather than found. It isn’t a destination; it’s a process. Have you missed opportunities by pursuing a singular focus? How can we encourage others in their career pursuits based on inquiry and learning rather than a linear, planned path?

Chaotic To Straight: Your Professional Narrative

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Does your career path seem chaotic rather than intentional?

Yeah, mine did too.

My college degrees have little to do with what I am doing now.

Nonprofit management? Nope. Not anymore.

Higher education? Still no.

Even if your career path isn’t straight, you can still craft a professional narrative that IS! Even though I started in Sweden working with college students and now certified to write resumes professionally – my focus hasn’t changed – only my assignment.

I’m passionate about connecting people to their passion.

What themes do you see in your career journey? Dig deep. They are there.

Once you discover them, tell your story in your career documents and your LinkedIn profile.

If you can’t seem to connect the dots, check out our six free tips to clarify your focus and your job target here.

Fling the Door Wide: What Do You Want Next?

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I get a lot of questions about the Hinge Resume name. How did you come up with it? What stirred within you to create your business brand?

The Hinge Resume Collaborative name is inspired by a saying (or proverb) in the Bible.

Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
— Proverbs 8:34

Your resume is one of many tools in your job search that can open doors of opportunity. I like to say your resume is the hinge that opens the door.

[hinge: noun. (/hinj/) a central point or principle on which everything depends.]

As I dreamt up my business, I envisioned each of us closely hugging a doorframe, leaning in on the threshold, door slightly open, peering out in expectation of what comes next.

Steal away a still, quiet moment this Monday morning. Close your eyes and picture yourself at your doorframe. Feel the October wind hitting your face as you lean forward on your threshold.

What do you want next? What do you need to fling the door wide open?