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Sometimes it’s hard to manage a job successfully with everything that life throws at us, but if it’s finance worrying you, you’re not alone. A recent study showed that 63% of the American respondents were concerned about unexpected expenses, suggesting that cash is a stress that we cannot escape from. But it’s important not to lose sleep over it as that won’t help your career soar. The good news is that there are ways to develop your career that don’t require investing a lot of money.

Are financial worries age specific?

Anyone can be hit be financial struggles, regardless of their age or stage of their career, but it seems that young Americans are hit particularly hard by financial struggles related to the cost of education. Respondents aged 18-34 were questioned about their personal debt and over 40% were most concerned about their school debt. This figure increased to over 50% for 18-24 year olds. However, with the option of student loans for not just those studying but also for graduates, there seems to be some potential for an increase in cash to help out those who are hit the hardest. It’s certainly worth investing time to research the various sources of finance for students, as the rates and terms vary, but there are many who can help.

The power of a resume 

Perhaps not everyone sees the benefit of spending time and effort on producing the best resume possible, but with intense competition for jobs, it’s more important than ever to gain the employer’s attention. With a variety of services and writers for different budgets, it might be worth investing in expert help initially to gain success in the long term. As I’ve written in the past, the most important thing about your resume is to align your achievements to the job specification to prove why you are suited to the job. A professional resume writer can help you do this.

Proactive options which cost nothing

Cash worries can be intense and may affect your motivation about your career, but there are other ways you can invest in your employability while saving your money:

  • Read about ways in which you can enhance your skills and talents. Interviewing tips are helpful for new job opportunities and researching the company that is interviewing you is essential.
  • It’s also good to keep updated on new job opportunities within your company so you can apply to move internally.
  • In addition, speak to your manager or HR department about training courses and join as many free, relevant courses as you can.
  • Find a mentor at work who you can discuss your career with, it’s amazing how many tips those with years of experience may be able to offer.

Essentially you are the only person who has the power to grow your career and develop, but there are ways to increase your employability without worrying about money. It’s important to produce the best resume you can and polish up your interviewing skills, as both reflect you and your experience and abilities. There really are no reasons to let money woes affect your career growth.

_______

This guest post was contributed by Jackie Edwards. 

The post Don’t Let Money Worries Dictate Your Career appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Do you always hold yourself to high standards? If so, you’re not alone. Most gifted people strive for perfection.

But what if inflexible standards are slowing you down and holding you back?

There’s evidence that constant perfectionism can get in the way of happiness and productivity. It’s connected to procrastination, low productivity, and depression.

More often than not, continual high standards aren’t needed for us to succeed. The trick is to recognize when high standards are necessary and when they actually get in the way of innovation, efficiency and fulfillment. Getting to the place of good enough on most tasks and projects allows us to get more done without compromising quality. This open minded approach allows for creativity, innovation and fun.

Freedom from perfection starts with flexibility, compassion and faith in self. Remember that you are good enough as you are. You are intrinsically valuable.

The next time you notice that you’re driving yourself hard, procrastinating on projects or tasks, or feeling self critical about your accomplishments, ask yourself:

 “Am I holding myself to standards that aren’t needed in these circumstances?”

“What would good enough look and feel like?”

Breathe.  Open up your heart and mind.

Think flexibly about your project or task and let your standards relax.

Try taking the “good enough approach” for your day-to-day tasks and reserve your high standards for  special circumstances. You’ll not only get more done, you’ll also feel motivated to do more!

The post There’s a Time and Place for Perfectionism 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 - 1M 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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There are a lot of characteristics that make up a person—strengths and weaknesses, personality, and history — and some of those characteristics end up making people better suited for certain positions and areas than others.

There are different ways of thinking about and measure personality. Some of them are more well known than others. For example, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test talks about characteristics such as introversion and extroversion, sensing versus intuition, and thinking versus feeling.

There are other tests, such as color psychology, that aim to do the same sort of things as the Myers-Briggs. In fact, if you combine results from both tests, you can often get some unique insight into yourself, including jobs for which you may be well suited. For example, did you know that people who love blue are often the same sort of people that are classified as INFJ on the MBTI test. For which jobs are they well suited? This graphic explains it. It’s not necessarily the most scientific way to define your target job, but it’s a fun way to consider how your personality influences which types of jobs might be a good match.

Where do you fall on the chart?  Do you see parallels between your personality and the recommended career tracks?

The post How personality types and color psychology can help determine your ideal job appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Are you happy in your career?

No, really, I’m serious.

Can you say with 100% certainty that you’re truly happy? Or are you like most other people, just getting by?

Are you waiting for the end of your day so you can slump home, veg in front of the t.v., and forget about work? Are you working toward some fuzzy, future goal in the hopes of one day finding fulfillment?

We’ve all been there.

At some point or another, we’ve all hit a rhythm of trudging along at work, head down, getting through it. But some of us stay in that trench for far too long.

However, that’s just one story. You can choose to write a new one in which you’re bright-eyed, enthused about work and fulfilled by your career.

Here are 3 easy ways you can leave the grey days behind and seek career happiness:

1.   Define Your Happiness

What brings you joy? Is it helping people? Is it ranking as the top salesperson? Is it helping a company launch a new product? Take the time to reflect upon and determine what qualities in a career or employer make a happy you.

2.      Move Towards Your Chosen Life

Start creating the happiness you just defined. Take steps toward your bliss activities. Sign up for a networking event, take a class to learn something new, or start looking for a new position. You’ve got to keep moving.

3.      Let Go

Once you’re moving toward the things and exchanges that make you feel happy, it will be easier to see what’s dragging you down. Let go of those things. It might be challenging, as people want to hold on to what they’ve known…but it’s okay. Let go, and create space for even more joy to show up.

Happiness is not a trait reserved only for lottery winners. It’s available for everyone…but you must choose it. Step out of the shadows, and choose to live in the light. You deserve it.

What will YOU do to choose happiness TODAY?

The post Choosing Your Career Happiness appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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We’re honored and excited to share that Sterling Career Concepts has been included in CareersWiki’s list of top career blogs for 2018.

Click through the check out the list for some other great online careers resources and expert advice – whether you’re a recent college grad, a parent returning to the paid workforce, a senior professional, or someone looking for the second phase of their career – and thank you for following us here! We appreciate your readership.

The post Named one of CareersWiki’s Best Career Blogs to Follow in 2018 appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Work-related stress is a global concern that is plaguing almost all working adult population of the first world. All the advanced and developing countries are facing this issue. The targets, the deadlines, are eating at our lifelines too. Doctors are seeing a lot of lifestyle-related issues with their patients and they sight that stress is one of the major and important factors that is leading to several health issues in people.

A person’s life has an infinite number of stressors at each step. By the time he completes taking care of one stressor, there are three more that will be staring in his face. Work-related stress is the common factor that is taking a toll on people’s health. Inflexible working hours, poor working environment, high workload, issues related to settling into a new job and building relationships at work, bullying, and harassment by boss, superiors, or colleagues all contribute to work-related stress.

It is time to sit back and take control over your situation. This detailed infographic from Armstrong Appointments suggests some good solutions on how to tackle work-related stress. There are many important steps that you can take to relieve yourself from work-related stress. Please go through the entire infographic, and hopefully, it will be of some help to you.

The post How to Handle Work-related Stress appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Gaps in your employment are often seen as a major obstacle to securing future work. Yet, when you live with a chronic illness, these interruptions to the flow of your career are common. Fortunately, these days, you are not alone. Almost half of American adults are affected by a chronic condition. Companies are much more understanding and accommodating of job seekers because of this. Here is what you need to know when crafting a resume after an extended absence from the workforce due to a chronic illness.

Explain What You Did During Your Time Away

Work is not life’s most important aspect of despite what we are conditioned to believe. Putting health first is perfectly understandable. After all, it will make you a better worker. Therefore, there is no shame in taking time to improve your wellness after finding out about your illness or when recovering from the debilitating stages. As a matter of fact, you will demonstrate that you can deal with adversity and persevere, have problem-solving skills, take personal responsibility, and are well-balanced when you take time to heal.

Yet, a gap in the chronology of your resume may leave employers curious. Without masking the truth, you can showcase skill development and activity by highlighting alternative work you performed when you were not employed full-time due to your illness. This might include full-time parenting, training and education, project work, part-time employment, freelance work, or volunteer activities.

Consider Using a Hybrid Resume Style

When you are trying to display the progress of your career path, the traditional chronological resume makes a lot of sense. But, gaps due to years when you were unable to work because of your disability or illness can appear glaring to both you and the potential employer. Thankfully, a hybrid resume style is a perfectly suitable alternative.

Rather than looking at the progressive nature of your career, the hybrid resume style sheds more light on your overall qualities, education, experience, and skills. This style includes a section that highlights your accomplishments and skill sets followed by a short chronological listing of positions. Job seekers can focus their attention on their professional attributes and direct the attention of the employer to how qualified you are for the job, which is what’s most important.

Address Your Ability to Hold a Position with Your Illness

You may be concerned that a recruiter will doubt your ability to keep a position down the road as you find methods of pain relief and ways to deal with your illness. If this sounds familiar, you might not want to address this in the resume. Instead, use the cover letter to show how you are a good fit.

You can keep the specifics of your illness private. However, you should talk about how the experience helped you grow. This will exhibit to an employer that you are full of drive and confidence rather than wallowing in your situation. For instance, in your cover letter, you might say that your poor health has given you the chance to develop coping mechanisms that help you take on challenges from a position of strength.

The job market is incredibly competitive, but with the above tips, you will be well on your way to turning your chronic illness into a positive for securing employment.

This guest post was written by Jackie Edwards. 

The post Turning Your Long-Standing Chronic Illness Into an Asset on Your Resume appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Sleep deprivation is a growing epidemic. In the United States alone, an estimated 50 to 70 million adults have sleep disorders. A lack of sleep can impact every aspect of our lives from our relationships with others, to our health, and even our careers.

We require sleep in order to restore and repair body systems and without a good night’s sleep, our brains do not function properly. Chronic sleep deprivation can negatively impact the way that we think, learn, get along with others and react.

Of course, we’ve all had those bad night’s of sleep where we feel like we might be off our professional game a bit the next day. But when inadequate sleep becomes a regular pattern, it begins to do damage.

At the office, sleep-deprived employees often lack the motivation and drive to learn new things. Not only do they find it takes longer to complete tasks, but they also lack focusin getting things done and paying attention during meetings. Their creativity is also negatively impacted and it becomes difficult for them to generate new ideas. One study even revealed that sleep-deprived employees are costing their organizations an average of $2,280 a year in lost productivity.

It can be easy to push sleep to the bottom of your list of priorities when you have so much to do. But getting a good night’s sleep needs to be a priority. While there may be some factors out of our control that can interfere with our sleep habits, there are many things that we can do to improve our quality of sleep.

The most obvious one is to make sure that your bedtime necessities are up to date. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that 92 percent of people believe that a comfortable mattress is important to a good night’s sleep. If you notice any rips, tears, or lumps in your mattress or find that you are waking up with neck or lower back pain, it’s time for a new mattress. Foam mattresses are great, especially for those sleepers who switch between sleeping on their sides and backs.

If you’re looking to improve your sleep patterns and catapult your professional success, keep reading for the not so obvious ways that our sleep patterns can be disrupted as well as tips to try to solve these issues.

If you’ve had a long or particularly stressful day on the job, it can be tough to wind down and clear your mind of thoughts. Develop a pre-bedtime ritual to help signal to your brain that it’s time to fall asleep – possibly a cup of tea, a warm shower, or reading a book. Select an activity that will help tell your mind that it’s the end of the day and beginning of the night.

Everyone has their personal preference, but if you’re looking to make adjustments to improve the quality of your sleep, try setting your thermometer to 65 degrees.

Late dinner at the office?  Or do you find yourself munching on  snacks while watching television?  Opt for a light, carb-heavy snack in the evening to avoid disrupting the quality of your sleep.

The post Do this one thing better every night to boost career success appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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