Final steps to setting your career goals.

Try Job Shadowing to Get an Insider Perspective

If a field still holds your interest after reading about it and speaking with professionals in that sector, try to schedule a job shadow to observe the work and sample the work environment.

Consider an Internship or Volunteering

If you are in a position to try out a field that is still of interest at this point, consider doing an internship or some related volunteer work.

Start the Decision Making Process

You should be prepared to make an informed decision at this point. List the pros and cons for each remaining option on a separate sheet of paper and weigh the choices. If you are still unsure, seek the assistance of a guidance counselor at your high school, a career counselor at your college, or a professional career counselor.

Read the other articles in the Career Goals Series

5 great apps for increased productivity

Microsoft Office

Microsoft have always dominated desktop when it comes to productivity and their mobile version of Word, Excel and Powerpoint are exactly what you’d expect. Available on Android and iOS, the app offers exceptional file compatibility so that your work is in sync with the desktop version. Users can easily edit and view documents, plus cloud support makes it great for sharing and collaborative working. The free version allows basic functions to be carried out but the paid subscription offers more features.

WPS Office

Previously known as Kingsoft Office, the app offers an all-in-one functionality for word processing, presentations and slideshows. It works with a number of different file formats and its features enable the viewing and modifying of documents. There’s also a tab feature that makes it simple for you to work on a number of documents at the same time. Cloud support is also available for Google Drive, Dropbox and other services.

Outlook

The Outlook app from Microsoft is the full package—emails, attachments and contacts are easily accessible. The app brings important emails to your attention based on communications and it works with Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com and many other email accounts.

Workflow

Workflow is an iOS exclusive that allows you to consolidate phone tasks and apps that monopolize your time. You can organize a ride for your next calendar appointment, save images from a webpage and upload photos to your cloud storage. Create workflows and then open them in the app or create iOS Action Extensions. It allows you to carry out over 200 actions using a number of apps and users can share their creations.

Feedly

Feedly is a news reading tool that brings together a number of interfaces allowing you to browse news stories quickly and efficiently. You can have topical updates delivered from blogs and websites or add customer subscriptions form sources such as RSS. The app also allows articles to be saved so they can be viewed offline.

Stay Connected while working remotely

So what’s the secret to staying relevant in a company when you’re not physically in the office? Here are 15 ways to stay present at work when you work from home:

1. Check in regularly. Since you can’t pop into a nearby office or chat in the elevator, constant communication is key.

2. Announce news often. Make an effort to frequently update your team so your role isn’t forgotten. Met with a new client? Made new strides in a project? Email everyone on your team when new events happen.

3. Identify your team’s busiest time of day. Some offices buzz early. Some really get rolling at 4 pm. Figure out that peak time of work at your office and then make sure you’re responding to any correspondence in real time.

4. Carve out a time when you answer calls and emails. Get more done and ditch distractions by sticking to that schedule.

5. Add your coworkers on your social media feed. “If you share your profiles on social media with your coworkers, pop on there occasionally to like, comment, and share, especially work-related items. Take part in the virtual celebrations of your colleagues, and share your own wins as appropriate.

6. Don’t forget to pick up the phone. With so many digital ways to stay connected, it can be hard to remember that the old-fashioned phone call could also be the most effective during critical times.

7. Set up video-conferencing equipment. Set up a Zoom account or other video conferencing platform and use it to connect with your team.

8. Attend company functions. If you’re local, attend big team meetings, holiday parties, or annual meetings.

Starting a New Job? 9 Ways Entry-Level Employees Can Make the Most of Their First Week

9 Tips for Your First Week on the Job

The academic year is almost over, and that means hundreds of thousands of high school and college students are saying goodbye to their school books and getting ready to enter the workforce. If you’re among this group of new professionals, you’ll want to make a good impression and an even better start.

Here are our top tips for making the most of the first week in your new job.

Prepare properly. Whether you suffer from first-week jitters or not, being prepared will undoubtedly make things easier. Select your outfits for the entire week so you’re not rummaging through your closet at the last minute. Make sure you have reliable transport to and from work—and know where you’re going! If you’re bringing your own device, check that it’s ready for the IT department to add to the network and set up your email.

Dress appropriately. You probably gained an impression of the dress code during the interview process, but if you didn’t, try to find out what’s expected. You can simply contact the hiring manager and ask, but if you’re not comfortable doing this, err on the side of convention. Avoid shorts, mini-skirts, crop tops, and flip-flops, and opt instead for business casual.

Get to work early, and don’t be the first to leave. As Hannah Morgan points out in her U.S. News Money article “5 Things to Do When Starting a New Job,” everyone will be observing you. Get to work before most of your co-workers, and at the end of the day, ask your supervisor if he or she has anything else for you before you head home.

Write down your colleagues’ names and functions. You’ll probably be meeting a lot of new people—and if you manage to remember everyone’s name and job function, you’ll definitely score points. When you have a quiet moment, make a note of the people you’ve met and what they do. Then refer to that list as needed.

Ask for a list of your responsibilities. Though the job listing probably mentioned the most important of your duties, it’s a good idea to ask your supervisor to give you a detailed list of what you’re expected to do and when. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or assistance if something’s entirely new to you.

Ask for a tour of the premises. You need to know the layout of your workplace, so if your supervisor doesn’t volunteer a tour, ask for one. Make sure you know where the most important departments are, including HR and IT.

Be social. Even if you have responsibilities at home, it’s wise to think ahead and keep your early evenings and Friday night free. Your co-workers may want to socialize with you, so take every opportunity you get to establish rapport. Join others for lunch, a quick post-work coffee, or “TGIF” drinks.

Avoid gossip. Being social doesn’t mean you have to engage in gossip. In fact, you should avoid it as much as possible – and stick to that practice throughout your career.

Take time for yourself. You’ll have a lot to digest in your first week, so make sure to reserve some “you time,” whether that’s a long walk with your dog, yoga or simply reading a book.
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll greatly enhance your chances of rocking your first week in your new job! Soon you’ll see—each of your successes holds the door open for the next.

Low energy on a job in Bellevue, these tips will help…

Low energy or fatigue a problem on the job? let’s discuss some possible solutions.

First, address reasons for your fatigue. Any job can have physical demands. For example, if you have a sedentary job, the constant sitting can be wearing.

In that case, take the time during the day to stand up, take a short walk and stretch a little. Take a few deep breaths. Even a brief break will help you shake the tiredness.

If you have a more physical job or travel a lot, figure out the actions that will help you stay strong.

And by all means, if you think there may be illness at play, get to a doctor to have it checked out.

Then consider preventive steps on the physical side. Regular activity, even something mild like walking, can help build and maintain energy. More strenuous options, like a sport of some kind, may also suit you and give you a physical and emotional boost.

A moderate and balanced diet also helps a lot. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel, then form a habit of eating things that are energizing and cutting back on those that make you drag (even if you like them). Also cultivate a healthy sleep routine.

On to the emotional fatigue. While physical well-being will help your state of mind, there are many other steps to consider.

Take a 360-degree view of your life, reflecting on your spiritual, social, intellectual, relational and physical health.

Compare where you’d like to be with your current state, and use that to find a few changes you could make that would perk you up.

Also dig a little into how you’re feeling to see what’s under the fatigue. Powerlessness, anger, frustration or boredom will all have different solutions; identifying your emotion more precisely will help you match your actions to your need.

Turn to other people for support. If you need a pick-me-up during the workday, invite a congenial colleague for a walk. Increase the amount of family and friend fun time outside of work.

Balance this with reflective time to go inward and find some stillness.

As you build your portfolio of energy boosters, you’ll likely find that the fatigue becomes more manageable and your work life will be even more vibrant.

5 way to keep engaged in your current job

Life is too precious to waste on things that you do not care about, you spend a lot of your physical and mental energy on your job, shouldn’t you be at least interested, if not passionate about what you are doing.

Here is 5 ways in which you can get that level of engagement back…

Know your “why.” This is fundamental and where you need to start. Why do you do what you do? Make sure you’re in a line of work that you find interesting, and then clearly identify why you’re doing it.

Set digital goals. Now that you know why you’re doing what you do, set up short-term and long-term goals to keep you engaged and on track! use digital tools and apps since they can give friendly reminders. Want to get promoted in 12 months? What are the steps you can take to get there? Get them on the calendar, and start working.

Pick up a new skill. Keep your brain sharp by learning something new. Look into training’s at work, or ask to go to a seminar or conference.  Select something that falls outside of your comfort zone but that is still relevant to your career. Your boss will love the added value you’re bringing to the team, while it won’t hurt to add an additional skill to your resume either.

Ask for feedback. If you aren’t getting the feedback you need, ask for it. A good manager will want to see that you’re interested in your career as well. Feedback can motivate you to perform better since you’ll feel more valued at work, and it’s a tool for continuous learning. Staying stagnant in your career most likely won’t keep you interested in anything more than a steady paycheck…which can work for a while (if you’re getting paid what you’re worth), but generally isn’t sustainable for career engagement.

Be mindful. Start each morning with a positive mantra. Then, watch what you say to yourself and others throughout the day. Avoid negative thoughts and comments about your job, and skip the office gossip. Stop taking everything so personally.

 

3 things to differentiate you in the workplace

Always Acknowledge People Who Help You

It may sound simple to acknowledge those who offer assistance, but it’s genuinely a significant gesture. Whether someone gives you five minutes of his or her time or an introduction to a potential employer, it’s important to let that person know that it meant something to you. And when he or she or someone else needs help, return the favor. Consider it good karma.

Own Your Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes. Even if you try hard not to, it will happen at some point. Of course, you will do what you can to avoid making a grave error, but sometimes even that happens. While your instinct may be to run away and hide, that is the worst thing you can do. Admitting your error, finding a way to fix it, or at least taking an action that mitigates its effects, will help restore your reputation.

Be Your Own Cheerleader 

Root for yourself. If you aren’t your own biggest fan, who will be? Take note of and pride in all your successes and positive attributes. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you “job well done!” Reflecting on your achievements will spur you on to accomplish even greater ones.

Want to make forward progress in your career?

Being ambitious in your career doesn’t mean you need to be a ruthless workaholic who uses other people to climb the ladder; it means being curious, hardworking, excited, and open to new opportunities, even when you least expect them. It means taking an active role in your own process—whether that’s going out on a limb to ask a senior staff member to coffee; proactively seeking feedback; or intentionally surrounding yourself with industrious coworkers you admire. Whether you’re just starting out in the real world or looking for some guidance through a professional rut, read these simple, yet effective career-building strategies to help you meet the right people, expand your horizons, and ultimately land—and thrive—on the right career path for you.

Talk to Someone With the Job You Want

Are you new to the job market or looking to make a career 180? Don’t underestimate the power of an informal informational interview. Find someone in the occupation to speak with, pick their brain: Ask what the job entails, what skills are needed, what level of education you’ll need, what professional organization you should join—and even if you can shadow the person at work for a day. Then take steps to qualify yourself for the position, and make sure the person in charge of hiring—whether you’re applying for a new job or for a promotion—knows you’ve taken them.

Find the Upsides of Office Politics

Whether you want to be or not, you’re in the game, this doesn’t mean you should be petty or step on people’s toes; instead, make an effort to really absorb what’s going on around you, learn who’s in charge of what, and understand how work gets done in the organization. Build genuine relationships with others by being a team player, being professional, and avoiding gossip, and unprofessional outbursts.

Take Advantage of Your Connections

Sometimes it is about who you know—and that shouldn’t be a bad thing. Think about the person who’s hiring for your dream job. Do you know someone who might know them? Or someone who knows someone? Ask around: You want somebody to put in a good word for you. It’s not cheating, it’s smart and how so many great connections and successful careers get started.

 

Starting a new job? hit the ground running.

Start early each day. Getting to work early gives employees time to get settled, review what needs to be done for the day and organize their schedule.

Don’t act like you know everything. Just because things were done one way at your old job doesn’t mean that’s how your new employer wants it done. Before suggesting any changes, it is important to first try to do things the way your new employer prefers.

Ask for help. Try to learn as much about how your new company operates as quickly as possible. If you aren’t sure about a task or how it should be completed, ask someone who knows. It’s better to ask for help than to get it wrong. Also, get specific feedback from your boss each week so you know what areas you need to work on and what additional training might be beneficial.

Don’t rock the boat. When first starting, observe the company’s corporate culture and act accordingly. In the beginning, don’t ask for a flexible schedule or more time off. If those are things you’re looking for, discuss those possibilities before accepting the job.

Say “thank you.” It’s important to show your co-workers appreciation when they help you out. Showing gratitude lets your co-workers know that you valued their assistance and will likely lead them to help you again in the future.

Be open to feedback. If someone tells you that things are done a certain way, accept it and move on. Often, people do not mean it as criticism but guidance. Consider their feedback thoughtfully to make improvements rather than taking it personally.

Ask for advice. There is no better way to show people in your office that you value them than by asking what they wish they had known when they were in your shoes. Many people love to talk about themselves, so give them the opportunity to do so.