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I Loved Barbie!

Did you see the Barbie movie? I did, mainly because I had the doll growing up. I loved Barbie. And here’s why this movie and its message for us all is so popular now.

Perfect World

Barbie has always lived in a perfect world. Pink, plastic, and perfect, the marketing machine has families buy her “accessories” for their children constantly. From the dream house, to the car, to her pet dog, Barbie had it all and little girls were supposed to aspire to that life.

But, like me many families we couldn’t really afford Barbies or her perfect world. I had one new Malibu Barbie, the one with the deep (cancerous) tan, gifted to me for my birthday. I never had a Ken doll, or her sidekick Skipper, so was my imagination stilted?

Improvise

No, like any good kid with little resources, I improvised. I made Barbie’s furniture from old margarine tub lids and thread spools. She didn’t have a “dream house.” My tanned beauty had a shoe box, covered with a kitchen towel “patio” with a green washcloth lawn. My doll and the all the Saturday morning commercials gave me permission to use my imagination! I improvised to envision my own “apartment” when I grew up and had a career of my very own.

And the career choices I had, from Advertising Executive to Astronaut, I could live through Barbie and her friends. I didn’t need a man to make my dreams come true. I had my drive and work ethic to make things happen for myself. As a young girl, Barbie really inspired me to succeed to do whatever I dreamed of with integrity.

Movie’s Message

Photo by Priyanka Arora on Unsplash

I see that same message in the movie; Be yourself…whoever you are! No one is perfect or fits a certain mold. Sometimes we hold ourselves up to unrealistic standards to those around us. Whether it’s in work, school, or even motherhood women have to navigate so many other societal obstacles, that men do not.

When we can truly all be accepted as we are, without limitations or prejudices, then we can all rest easy. The world has a long way to go to get there. Even Mattel admittedly has only had three female CEO’s in the company’s 78-year history. One being the founder herself, Ruth Handler.  Where are my pink Birkenstocks?

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Mentoring At Work

Mentoring at work is a valuable tool for personal and professional development. It is a relationship between an experienced worker (the mentor) and a “rookie” or newer employee.  The mentor provides guidance, advice, and support to the mentee (or new worker) for future job success.  Mentoring at work can have many benefits for both the mentor and mentee, as well as the organization or business.

New Skills

One of the biggest benefits of mentoring at work is that it helps to develop the skills and knowledge of the mentee. The mentor can share their experience and expertise, and provide guidance on how to navigate the organization and its culture. This can help the mentee develop new skills, knowledge, and to become more effective in their role.

Builds Trust

Mentoring at work also helps to build relationships and networks within the organization. The mentor and mentee can build a strong working relationship, which can lead to increased trust, understanding, and collaboration. This can help to create a more positive and productive working environment.

Decreases Turnover

A mentoring program in the company can also help to improve the retention of employees. When employees feel truly valued and supported, they are more likely to be satisfied with their job. Turnover within the organization decreases overall with a trusted mentor to support the employee. A good mentoring program can help to create a sense of belonging among employees, which leads to higher retention.

Promotes Diversity and Inclusion

Another benefit of mentoring is it helps to promote diversity and inclusion. When mentoring relationships are formed between people from different backgrounds, it can help to break down stereotypes and biases. This can lead to a more inclusive and equitable workplace, where everyone feels valued and respected.

In addition, mentoring programs can be beneficial for the mentor as well. It can provide them with an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience.  The mentor gives back to the organization and gains personal confidence in their abilities in their role. It can also help them to develop leadership skills and to take on new responsibilities.

Overall, mentoring at work is an important tool for personal and professional development, and for the organization as a whole. It can help to develop the skills of new employees, build relationships, and promote diversity and inclusion. Therefore, companies should consider starting a mentoring program to support the career development of their employees and improve overall work performance and engagement.

For more career best practices check my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Work Evaluations

Work Evaluations

Your first work evaluation at a new job can be a scary experience. But it’s your opportunity to show your supervisor your strengths and work habits. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for your first work evaluation.

Review Your Job Duties

Before your evaluation, review your job responsibilities and the goals set by your manager. Preparing ahead will give you a better understanding of what you should be focusing on and what your supervisor is looking for. Make sure you understand the company’s mission and goals and how your role directly contributes to the results.

Reflect on Improvements

You need to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments since starting your new job. Think about the projects you’ve worked on, the skills you’ve developed, and the contributions you’ve made to the organization. Also, consider areas where you could improve or where you have struggled. Being aware of needed improvements will help you have a productive conversation with your boss.

Prepare Examples

In order to communicate your accomplishments and areas for improvement, it’s important to have examples to back up your claims. Document examples of specific projects or tasks you’ve worked on that demonstrate your skills and contributions to the company.

Also, have data or metrics to show your progress and performance for your team. You need to be prepared to answer the hard questions as well as have solutions for improvement.

Come Prepared with Questions

Your work evaluation is also an opportunity to ask questions and get feedback from your employer. Prepare a list of questions you have about your work responsibilities, the company’s goals or any other feedback. I keep a running list of questions and answers throughout the year. This way, I’m not surprised by my manager’s questions of me during the evaluation process.

Be Honest

During your work evaluation, it’s important to be honest and open-minded about your performance and areas for improvement. You need to accept honest, constructive criticism and take the feedback given to you into consideration for future development. Every boss is different, and most lead from areas of their strengths, so listen with an open heart and mind.

By reviewing your job, reflecting on your goals and areas for improvement, you will be ready for your evaluations. Be sure to prepare examples and evidence of your year’s work and come prepared with questions.

If you are open and honest, you can make the most of your first work evaluation and impress your boss. You’ll be able to demonstrate your value to the organization and develop a plan for growth and success in your role for the future.

Wishing you the very best in your long career!

Follow my website for more career advice: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Getting Promoted

Earning a promotion at your current job can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some best practices to help you achieve success in getting promoted at work.

Be A Team Player

Collaborating with your coworkers and being a valuable team member is very important for earning a promotion. Make sure you are always willing to help out, and go above and beyond what is expected of you. This not only shows your dedication to the company, but also demonstrates your ability to work well with others.

Communication

Being able to communicate effectively is essential for any job, but even more so when trying to earn a promotion. Make sure you are always clear and concise when communicating with your supervisor and colleagues.

Additionally, actively listen to feedback and take constructive criticism to heart in order to improve and grow. It can be hard to hear the truth, but effective managers want you to improve and grow. You need to remember that communication styles will vary with different supervisors too.

Take Initiative

Showing initiative and being proactive in your job is a great way to demonstrate your potential for a promotion. Identify areas where the company could improve, and come up with solutions or suggestions.

This not only shows that you care about the company’s success, but also demonstrates your leadership potential. Be sure when you offer feedback (just like your supervisor) you are also offering a valuable solution for the company.

Improve Your Skills

In today’s fast-paced and constantly changing business environment, it’s important to continuously improve your skills and knowledge. Take advantage of any training opportunities offered by your company, and also consider pursuing additional education or certifications.

This will not only make you a more valuable employee, but also demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth.  Another tie in to taking initiative and showing you are a real team player to your boss.

Overall, earning a promotion takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to go above and beyond. By being a team player, communicating, taking initiative, and continuously improving your skills, you display your potential for a promotion.  You will pave the way for a successful career with your current employer and the sky’s the limit!

For more career best practices check out my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Travel for Work Can Be Fun

Traveling for work is fun.  It’s not the same as a vacation you plan, but there are many ways to enjoy and have fun while working hard.

Plan Ahead

Besides planning your work activities, be sure to plan the free time in between. Whether it’s trying a new place for lunch or walking a new park, plan for it. It’s tiring traveling, so planning even one activity that fits your work schedule will allow you to refocus. Exploring a new city is fun, so if work plans allow you, experience something new! Check out Expedia.com and country-specific or city tourism websites for recommendations and “must-see” sites.

Stay on Schedule

Whether it’s keeping to your workout routine or daily walk, be sure to stay on your normal schedule if possible.  This allows you the energy to handle time changes and jet lag, especially for overseas trips. If your job allows, plan a day before or after your work trip to allow your body clock to adjust.

Or you could also schedule more taxing meetings for later in the week, after your body readjusts to time differences. Bottom line, try and listen to your body and get rest when you’re able.

Extend your Stay

If work allows, extend your stay for leisure to explore a new city. On a work conference, leave early over the weekend, to get your bearings beforehand. Having a sense of the city before you need to navigate locations makes it easier when you’re on tight schedules. This is also a good time for your body to acclimate to the new time zone and readjust.

If you’re able to stay in the same accommodations as your work meetings, unpacking once is much simpler. Be sure to ask about hotel and airline points and take advantage of those perks and upgrades as well. It never hurts to ask. If you travel a lot for work, then your status will help you plan a leisure trip later more affordably.

Traveling for work is fun with the right attitude and planning! What trips are for planning this year?

For more travel inspiration check out my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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The Good Life

I just finished a new library book focused on happiness; The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness. Two doctors relate through short stories the simple ways to increase your happiness, based on an 80-year scientific Harvard study. Here are the simple, proven ways to find happiness in your life every day.

Increase Positive Relationships

It goes without saying, that when you feel good physically, you feel good mentally. You need to increase the frequency and quality of the positive relationships in your life to be happy.  It doesn’t have to be friends or family either that make you happy.

The authors relate the positive interaction with a bus driver who makes your commute easier daily. Or how about the teacher who helps your child overcome learning obstacles, which helps you and your family. When you interact and connect with others that “lift you up,” your happiness increases.

Get Rid of Distractions

A distracted mind is unhealthy for your mental well-being and physical health. For example, have you ever worried so much about something that has never happened? You wasted time and energy for nothing. The authors suggest keep your focus by clearing your mind of past mistakes and future worries with meditation.

Meditation calms your heart rate, breathing, and allows your mind to focus on the present and to be in the moment. Being in nature helps with focus as does removing yourself from negative people. (An overlap from the first point made about increasing your quality relationships.) The authors remind us that the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

Social Media Engagement

Finally, the authors don’t dismiss social media, but rather supply the research to back up the positive engagement of online platforms. The 2020 pandemic is a perfect example of the damaging social isolation we all experienced.

When we lack the social (in person) interaction with others it is damaging to our well-being. Studies have proven (in Norway) that when children engaged on social media they were happier. This versus just scrolling through and “liking” a post. Social engagement even online benefits your health and happiness for all ages.

Simple but proven ways to keep your mind and relationships healthy and active throughout your life. Finally, staying curious and continuing to learn is a simple way to be happy, no matter your age. Money does not make you happy, but being grateful does. The insights in Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz’s book showed me how happy I really am too!

Follow me for more living well tips: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Best Habits for Job Success

 

Starting a new job can be an exciting but overwhelming experience. To ensure a smooth transition and set yourself up for success, it’s important to develop the best habits early on. Here are three habits to focus on when you start your new job.

Be On Time or Early Every Day

One of the most important habits to have when starting a new job is to be punctual. This means being on time for meetings, arriving to work on time, and meeting deadlines. Even if you’re working remotely, be early to sign onto your computer every day. Being punctual shows that you are reliable, responsible, and respectful of your colleagues’ and supervisor’s time.

Clear Communication

Communication is key to success in any job. When starting a new job, it’s important to take the time to understand the communication style of your colleagues and supervisor. Be sure to ask questions when you’re unsure of something and actively listen to others when they are speaking.

Communicating effectively will help you build relationships and get things done more efficiently. This is the foundation a solid and trusting work relationship.

Take Initiative

Another important habit to have when starting a new job is to take initiative. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your ideas or offer to take on new projects. This shows that you are proactive and willing to take on extra responsibilities.

It will also help you learn and grow in your new role. You might make mistakes, but showing you are willing and able to do the job (and then some) is priceless.

Growth Mindset

In addition to these habits, it’s also important to be flexible, open-minded, and willing to learn. Your new job will come with its own set of challenges and being adaptable will help you navigate them. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance when you need it. Building a strong relationship with your colleagues and managers will make the transition to your new job much smoother.

Starting a new job can be daunting, but by focusing on these four habits, you can set yourself up for success. By being punctual, communicating effectively, and taking initiative with a grow mindset, you’ll be able to make a great impression.

Building relationships and excelling in your new role will be second nature. Remember to be patient with yourself and enjoy your journey. Best of Luck!

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Best Learning Styles

Throughout school and work, you’ve been told what your best learning style is to retain information. Now research has shown that you have learning preferences, which we all can benefit from. Here are ways to spot what works for you and what needs a little more practice.

What is “VARK”

Many learning models break down the way people organize and store information into four main categories. Those are categorized by your four senses: Seeing, Hearing, Reading, and Doing or Touching.

You learn differently depending upon the subjects being taught too. The learning style may vary depending upon the complexity of a topic also. Remember how math was easier for you than reading in school?

New research has shown that students or workers learning more complex topics, need more than one method to learn. And retaining and repeating the processes learned is beneficial when multiple senses are used in the teaching process.

What’s Best for You?

Assessing your best method of learning can be easy with a simple test.  Or, as we have seen during the pandemic, human beings adapt to their surroundings. Students, workers, and institutions modified learning, meetings, and processes to assist with the new normal.

Many of those organizations never looked back either. But we also saw a decline in test scores in our younger students during the lack of in-person instruction.

So, we go back to what is the best learning style? The answer is “it depends.” It depends on the student, their resources, the sustainability of the teaching, etc.…

Being adaptable to your environment and having the ability to learn multiple ways is best for most people. Resilience and a growth mindset are traits that are important is any type of learning and in most situations.

Variations of Learning

Now we’re learning from our past experiences, there can be anywhere from 3-170 variations to these basic four styles above. Understanding how and when you learn best is really an efficient method for students or new workers learning a job.

As we continue to embrace remote work and school, understanding your best learning style is the path to success. Wishing you all the best on your learning path!

 

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Interview Tips

It goes without saying you need to prepare for your next job interview. How do you present yourself to the interviewer to win your dream job?  Read on for some useful tips.

Stories to Remember

Research has proven that people remember stories, no matter the situation. So be sure to mentally prepare a few personal stories that relate to successes and mishaps you’ve had in jobs. The successes highlight your accomplishments, and the mistakes show your humility and that you are relatable. You’ve all made mistakes on the job, so show how you are aware and have learned from them.

Stories can also highlight skills necessary for the job you’re interviewing for. Therefore, you should research the job skills and relate how your value and previous experience meets that criterion. Even if you are changing careers, valued skills translate to other jobs such as selling, budgeting, and supervising. Gather your thoughts and have your stories ready to tell in 2–3-minute story bites.

Backup with Examples

You then need to back up your stories with measurable examples from work, school, or volunteering. Let’s say you were in sales and would like to transition into management or another business role requiring meeting deadlines. Having your quarterly metrics ready to share along with HOW you accomplished those goals is important. Share the obstacles you overcame and the how you might have missed some opportunities. Again, having real world examples that relate to your skills and the job are important to shine at an interview.

 Ask for the Job

A career coach once shared with me, that only 10% of interviewees ask for the job. What I mean by that, is “close the sale.” You need to state one last important bit of information so you are remembered as the best candidate. For example, you could say, “Thank you for your time today.  If you allow me this opportunity, I’ll do an excellent job for you.”  Seal the deal and ask for the job in your closing remarks.

Think of your closing statement (after asking relevant questions about the company and role,) as your “pick me “statement. Leave a lasting impression on the interviewer, of why you are the very best candidate for this position. Have you done this job before?  Do you possess at least 80% or in some cases 50% of the job skills?  Is the job in your general industry or a new career you aspire too? Tell the interviewer WHY you are the best fit and close the sale for your new job!

Let me know if you have any interview strategies that have worked for you. Follow my personal website for more insights into your career: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Resume Tips

The first step in any new job hunt or career change is to freshen up or create a new resume. Here are proven tips from Jenny Foss to make your resume stand out for that next interview.

Skills and Value

Highlighting your unique skills and the value you bring the company is the first step in creating a resume. Use a resume template that is easy to read and uses all the real estate on the page.

That said, make sure your resume is no more than two pages in length. Be sure to sue an 11 or 12 size font for easy reading by the reviewer. Only include “technology proficiencies” if you can fit it easily on the second page.

Depending on your industry, it is usually understood that the average applicant is knowledgeable in Microsoft applications, etc. However, if you are a whiz with WordPress then absolutely include this in your “Skills Section.” Your value and job skills need to be near the beginning of your first page and highlighted.

Employment Gaps

With the recent pandemic, many job seekers will have gaps in employment for various reasons. Handling gaps depends upon your specific situation, such as childcare, relocation for a spouse, or being laid off.

Explaining the gap depends upon the amount of time that has elapsed, the industry, and if you’re changing careers. There are many ways to address gaps on a resume. Be prepared to tell your story at the interview in a succinct manner.

Grammar and Organization

Finally, proofread your resume very carefully. Have another person review and proofread for typos and continuity. A recent poll on LinkedIn taken stated that hiring managers felt that zero mistakes or typos should appear on resumes.

Be sure the organization follows the template so the most prominent skills in the job description match the skills in on your resume. Don’t lie, but matching words will help the resume scanning software place you in the “A” pile to interview.

Review the job description carefully and be sure to tailor your resume for each job. The ATS or applicant tracking system will thank you, and you will land that coveted interview. Include the keywords that are used in the job posting on your resume for best results.

Finally, save your resume as a PDF and word document.  Different companies use different formatting when resumes are submitted online. Always double check your download before you click submit for the cleanest and most reader-friendly resume.   Good Luck!

Follow my personal website for more career and living well tips: KathyHusserTempe.com