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An interview offers the opportunity to prove you’d be a great addition to the team!

After weeks and weeks of sending out your resume and submitting applications, you finally got the call for a job interview. Congratulations! Once you’ve landed an interview, most of the hard work is behind you. Clearly, the company thinks you are qualified for the job and is interested in learning more about you and your skills. And, with .

Interviews can be a bit intimidating, but they really come down to about 20 percent execution and 80 percent preparation. The employer already knows about your skills and qualifications and has decided that you are a good candidate for the position. The interview is just an opportunity for them to get to know you a bit better and find out if you seem as great in person as you do on paper.

Making sure you are prepared for your interview is extremely important when it comes to landing the job. With the right preparation, all you will need to do on interview day is go in, be yourself, and engage in a professional conversation with your prospective new employer. When you are preparing for an interview, here are a few things to make sure you have:

1. Extra Copies of Your Resume

Even if you already submitted a resume when applying for the job or you do not feel like it is a position that requires a resume, it never hurts to have one. Print off copies for yourself and for each person you will be interviewing with. If you are unsure of how many people will be at your interview, print off three to five copies.

If you don’t have a resume, put some time and effort into writing one. There’s a lot of free advice online, including on this blog. Do some research to discover what makes a good resume, and avoid the temptation to just use a fill-in-the-blank template.  You can also consider hiring a professional resume writer.

When printing your resume, quality matters. Use nice resume paper and, if your ink is streaky or unclear, use fresh inkjet cartridges to ensure that your text is sharp and clear. Unless you are applying for a creative position in art or design, use black printer ink or toner.

2. Professional References

Think of a few people who would be able to vouch for your abilities. They should be people who are familiar with your skills and would be able to express why you are a good candidate for the job you are qualified for. They should not be family members. Choose people who are likely to return a phone call from an employer, and let them know ahead of time that they might be getting a phone call. Type up each reference’s full name, address, phone number, and how you know them. Print this list, and bring as many copies of it as your resume.

3. A Pen and Notepad

There is a lot of information that you may want to jot down during your interview—notes about the job, addresses and phone numbers for drug testing facilities, directions to another office or location, etc. Having your own pen and notepad makes it easy for you to write down anything that you might need to remember for later, and it shows the interviewer that you are prepared and organized. Even if you only need the pen to sign something during the interview, having your own pen instead of needing to ask to borrow one looks great.

4. A Few Questions

An interview is not just a time for a hiring manager to ask you questions and learn about you. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and learn more about the job and the company. Think of a few questions you would like to ask and write them down. Interviewees often freeze up when asked if they have any questions, but having yours written down will enable you    to address any concerns you may have. Just remember that questions like “How much does this job pay?” should not be brought up. Wait for the interviewer to address that type of information.

Need some inspiration? Try asking things like “How does the company define success?” or “How do managers provide feedback to employees?” or “What is the company culture like?”

And as an aside, bring a briefcase or folder, too!  If you bring all of the things listed above to your interview, you will need a way to keep them all together. A briefcase or folder ensures that you will not accidentally leave anything out, and it helps you keep everything you need all in one place. Plus, having everything neatly in a briefcase or folder makes you look organized.

and last, but not least…

5. Your Confidence

You landed the interview, and you have prepared everything you need to take with you. Now all you need is some confidence. Get a good night’s sleep the night before your interview, dress for success, and make sure you have all of the above listed items with you when you head out the door. Hold your head up high, knowing that you are a great candidate for the job and that you are going to ace that interview.

Before you know it, you will be worrying about what you will need for your first day on the job!

The post 5 Must-Bring Items When Going on an Interview appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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The following is a post from one of Sterling’s guest bloggers, Jackie Edwards:  

Leading research groups have found that more people are relocating for job opportunities than ever before. The current number of new hires that have had to relocate for a position has now climbed to 35 percent of the total. Some are using a new job as an excuse to move, whereas others are having to move to find a new job. Mobility is rapidly becoming a new normal within the job market, and leading companies are making it easier to travel and move for the wealth of new employment opportunities springing up all over the country.

However, many people are not willing to move their entire family’s across the country for a new job due to the stress that used to be associated with moving. Luckily, the technological revolution had made finding, buying, and moving into a new home even easier. Here are just some of the reasons why relocating for your career has become so much easier.

Living situation 

It used to be that moving was one of the most stressful life events a modern person could go through, but now it doesn’t even rank in the top ten most stressful things one can go through. Luckily, the times are changing, and thanks to the growth in technological solutions, moving across the country, or even the world, for a new job is significantly easier than it was even five years ago.

Home sales have become exponentially faster, thanks for property purchase tracking apps. Realtors and estate agents are no longer stagnated by emails, phone calls, and visits, as software systems built specifically for home sales are streamlining the process of tracking and buying properties – for buyers and realtors alike. You don’t need to buy virtual reality goggles to get a 360 view of your property, with staging, as 3D models are becoming the norm on all leading estate agency websites. Finding your perfect home before you see it in the flesh has removed almost half of the stress of relocating for your career. So, what else do you need to consider?

Money, family, and moving forward

Along with moving into a new environment and being surrounded by different colleagues, many of you have to bring your family to your new home. Moving can put pressure on marriages and children alike, so ensuring you make time for your family during the movie, and while you’re acclimating to your new position is key. When moving to a new place for a new job, it’s easy to forget that all areas of your life have to keep moving forward – that includes your family.

Money is also frequently a concern when relocating for a new job. Luckily, being proactive costs nothing, so using the largely cost-free technological solutions for finding a job, a home, and any other requirements from your lifestyle, allows you to quickly search and find exactly what you’re looking for. It could be argued that many of the practical elements associated with relocating for work have largely been eradicated due to new technologies, so there is no longer an excuse to not seek out a career change.

So, what’s next?

Going through any significant life changes are always going to bring up concerns, worries, or sources of potential stress. However, finding your dream job in a city, town, or country you’ve always dreamed of living and working in has never been easier. Don’t wait until the last moment, and start to take advantage of everything the world is offering you. Even industry-leading writers like Jane Hurst at Entrepreneur argue that using social media can make finding a job, relocating, and moving, easier than ever before. If you’re ready for a change, the technological creations of the twenty-first century are here to help you move forward.

The post Why It’s Easier Than Ever To Relocate For Your Career appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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The following post about shift work is a guest post by Jackie Edwards, a frequent contributor to Sterling Career Concepts’ blog:

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

In an ideal world, everyone will be employed in jobs that keep regular hours. In reality, there are countless places such as call centers, bakeries, hospitals, fire departments and even media entities that necessitate employees to work seemingly odd shifts. At present, more than 15 million Americans work evening shift, night shift, rotating shifts, or other employer arranged irregular shifts according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As financially rewarding as shift work may be, it can also undoubtedly be challenging, both for yourself as well as your family at home that is trying to adjust to your irregular working hours. Luckily there are a number of guidelines that can help you to not only take better care of yourself while engaging in shift work but make your terms of employment easier on your loved ones as well.

Protect your own wellbeing

Sleep is of paramount importance to your well being and even more so when you engage in shift work. Sleeping for the recommended 7 to 8 hours a day while everyone else in your household is awake can be testing at times. If you can’t manage to get all your sleep in a single go, make use of numerous naps throughout the day to replenish your energy and keep your body functioning properly.

In an attempt to be a more active part of society, a lot of shift workers try to flip their sleep/wake schedule on their days off – sleeping at night and being awake during the day. As noble as this may be, it can wreak havoc with our circadian levels, resulting in severe sleep deprivation and constant fatigue. Try to maintain at least 4 hours of overlapping sleep which will help regulate your body’s internal clock and provide you with the rest you need.

Improve your alertness during shift work

When you work strange shifts it can become very hard to remain focused, even if you do think you get enough sleep during the day. When you are unable to be alert your productivity can suffer tremendously and you can also be more prone to injuries and accidents at work.

Try to engage in moderate exercise before your shift starts as it can boost your alertness. Conversation with your colleagues, where possible, can also delay the onset of fatigue  as can keeping the light bright and as close to a natural hue as possible. Don’t over indulge in caffeine when you work during the night, it may give you a temporary boost but the slump that will follow at around 4am will be one of the worst you have ever experienced. Rather eat healthy snacks like fruits and nuts and drink plenty of water or green tea.

Prioritize your partner while making time to network 

Where one partner works shift work, it is of vital importance to have open lines of communication. It is perfectly normal for the partner at home to feel somewhat neglected – as if your job is more important than your family. 

Make an effort to spend time together when you are at home, even if just for a few minutes at a time. On your off days, you will have to bite the bullet occasionally, fighting your urge to sleep in favor of engaging in potentially-crucial networking with key players within your industry that can help boost your career in the future. Try to make these plans well in advance to give yourself enough time to make sure you are well-rested. Aim to forge friendships with your colleagues and keep in touch with them on your days off. You could all be of great moral support to one another, especially when working shifts may seem to be getting the better of you.

As long as there is a need for shift work, there will be individuals working at all hours of the day and night.  Current economic trends suggest that the prevalence of shift work will continue to increase as more individuals are required to take on second jobs to make ends meets. Luckily there are many ways to negate the negative effects of shift work, allowing you to perform at your best in your job while keeping a healthy balance in your life.

The post How to Successfully Juggle Shift Work with Family Life appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Sometimes we can find ourselves in a hostile work environment.  It’s important to remember that you should only do or say things that align with your chosen core values, whether those requests come from within, or someone else.

When you find yourself in an unhealthy or toxic work environment, here are 3 quick ways to regain your autonomy, and ensure that you maintain a healthy degree of sovereignty…

  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings. Check in and ask yourself if you are mad, sad, glad, scared, ashamed, or anything similar. If your dominant feelings are uplifting, you’re moving in the right direction. If you’re feeling consistently angry, sad, scared or ashamed, you’re probably living out of integrity with your core values, and trying to please someone else.
  1. Acknowledge Yourself. You’re amazing. You’re an extraordinary human being…and sometimes you forget that. When you forget, you seek validation from others, and probably give up your power in order to get it. Acknowledge the gold you see in yourself, and remind yourself what you love about you. Soon you’ll feel more powerful and centered, so you can regain the reins on your life, and make choices that serve you best.
  1. Communicate Your Boundaries. When your values are being compromised to the point of discomfort, unhappiness or resentment, it is time to set some boundaries.  When doing so,  communicate clearly, calmly, firmly, respectfully, and in as few words as possible. Do not justify, get angry, or apologize for the boundary you are setting. You are not responsible for the other person’s reaction to the boundary you are setting. You are only responsible for communicating your boundary in a respectful manner.

You’re a powerhouse. Let the world know, not by dominating others, but by honoring yourself.

The post In a Hostile Work Environment, Be the Boss of You appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Sterling Career Concepts by Laurie Berenson - 7M ago

Inside your mind lives two voices – one who wants you to play it safe and another who wants you to go for it. The key to moving forward is your ability to balance the protective voice with the adventurous one.  Do this correctly and you will keep moving forward in your career.

Here are 3 steps to take RIGHT NOW to become a successful, forward-thinking professional:

  1. Choose To Be Successful. Whatever dream you want to pursue, you have to choose it first.  Recognize that you have a choice in all things, and choose the option that feels the most like success…then pour every ounce of energy you have into it.
  1. Take Bold Action. Just go. Start running. Move boldly in the direction of your dreams, whatever that means to you. Stop preparing…just start, and you can course-correct along the way.
  1. Turn A Deaf Ear to Discouragement. Family and friends are great at providing you with unneeded, discouraging advice.  They have many reasons why your vision is foolish, and they will rattle off a list of your shortcomings if you let them.  Don’t let them.  Don’t listen.  Stay focused on your goal.

You are capable of achieving massive career success. In order to do so, though, you must overpower your inner critic and keep moving forward. I promise, the rewards far outweigh the risks.

How will YOU move forward TODAY?

The post Keep Moving Forward appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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