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Vision Boards Create Success

What is a vision board?  Create success and achieve your goals this year with a vision board. Read on for three simple steps to make a vision board and have your dreams come true this year.

Visualize Goals

First you need to visualize your goals or what you want out of 2024. Whether it’s a new job, relationship, or home, create a picture in your mind of exactly what that looks like. Remember little details to truly create a vision in your mind’s eye of how achieving your goal would feel.

Next, have at least 3-5 big ideas for the new year. Write down the words that describe those successes and don’t hold back.  Words that come to mind can be fearless, courage, abundance, joy, self-care, so use your imagination.

Illustrate Your Big Ideas

I’m not an artist, so illustrating for me may be different for you. I like to use Pinterest as a very easy way to capture my thoughts and inspiration. Studies have proven if you can visualize your goals, you will increase your chances of achieving them. Digital photos, drawings, doodles, anything that brings your big idea to mind is an “illustration” for your board.

I tend to create simple drawings and also attach photos for inspiration on my vision board. Whatever is easiest, illustrate your ideas so you have a roadmap to your action steps.

Map Out Steps

 

Mapping out specific actions, no matter how small, for each goal is your next step.  For example, if you want to learn Spanish by the end of year, your actions might resemble:

  1. Check out free language resources at the library
  2. Research local teachers or community organizations for classes
  3. Block off time on my weekly calendar for lessons/practice
  4. Book my trip to Mexico for the summer or in 2025
  5. Continue conversational Spanish with my neighbor two nights a week

When goals are written down, visualized and acted on, they are more easily achieved. The vision board for this big idea might include Yucatan travel photos or common conversational phases. Having a goal that is broken down and committed on your calendar is also more likely to be completed by your timeline. This is only one big idea example, so think of more and don’t limit yourself.

The most difficult part of a vision board is deciding what you want from 2024 with so many possibilities today. Don’t limit yourself, and make this new year, a year to remember and celebrate.  Here’s to a happy and healthy 2024 to you and your family and friends!

 

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New Managers’ Traits

As librarians’ transition into managerial roles, the dynamics of their responsibilities change, a lot. Effective leadership is not merely about overseeing tasks but fostering an environment of growth, collaboration, and achievement. Here are three essential traits for new managers or leader in libraries and other fields.

Communication is Key

At the heart of effective leadership lies the ability to communicate with clarity, empathy, and purpose. New managers must be adept at conveying their ideas, expectations, and feedback in a manner that resonates with diverse team members. Clear communication sets the foundation for a harmonious work environment, reducing misunderstandings and fostering a culture of transparency.

Moreover, an essential aspect of communication is active listening. New leaders should not only express their thoughts but also be attuned to the concerns and perspectives of their team. This two-way communication builds trust and establishes a sense of inclusivity within the team.

In practical terms, this trait involves mastering various communication channels, adapting the message to different audiences, and being open to feedback. By prioritizing effective communication, new managers create a work culture for collaboration, innovation, and psychological safety.

Emotional Intelligence

As leaders navigate the complexities of managing a team, emotional intelligence emerges as a pivotal trait. The ability to understand and manage your emotions while empathizing with others is a hallmark of successful leadership. New managers who possess emotional intelligence can navigate interpersonal relationships, inspiring their teams to perform at their best.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are not only aware of their own feelings but can also read the emotions of their team members. This awareness enables them to tailor their leadership approach, providing support where needed and celebrating successes together. By fostering a positive emotional climate, new managers can enhance team morale and resilience, key factors in achieving long-term success.

Adaptability

In today’s fast-paced work environment, adaptability is a non-negotiable trait for new managers. To navigate change and make informed decisions in uncertain situations, positions a leader as a dynamic force within their organization.

Adaptable leaders instill confidence in their teams by demonstrating a willingness to evolve strategies based on emerging challenges and opportunities. This trait involves a continuous commitment to learning, staying updated on industry trends, and encouraging a culture of agility.

In essence, adaptability enables new managers to steer their teams through uncharted territories, transforming obstacles into stepping stones for growth. By embodying this trait, leaders inspire resilience and creativity, fostering a culture where challenges are viewed as opportunities for improvement.

Finally, effective leadership goes beyond merely overseeing tasks; it involves cultivating an environment where individuals thrive. By prioritizing communication skills, emotional intelligence, and adaptability, new managers can set the stage for both personal and team success.

Check out more career advice on my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Effective Feedback for Work

 

Providing feedback to employees is an important aspect of a manager’s role. In order to achieve successful outcomes, managers should be mindful of the following when providing feedback.

Be Timely

Feedback should be given in a timely manner, whether it’s positive or negative. It’s important to address issues or concerns as soon as they arise. Don’t’ wait until a formal evaluation or not at all, always address the issue. This will allow the employee to tackle and improve the issue in a timely mannerThis also helps morale for the other team members.

Be Specific

Feedback should be specific and focus on the employee’s actions or behavior, rather than their personality or character. It should be based on observable facts and should provide clear examples of what the employee did well or what needs improvement. Factual information is so important to keep an objective tone and help improve the employee’s behaviors or skills.

Be Balanced

Feedback should be balanced and provide a mix of positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback helps to build morale and motivation, while negative feedback helps to address areas for improvement. Have current examples on hand to illustrate the points of your feedback. Provide a timeline to help them understand what could have gone better and why.

Be Constructive

Feedback should be given in a constructive manner and focus on providing solutions rather than criticism. Avoid using judgmental or negative language and instead, provide specific suggestions for improvement.

Communicate Face-to-Face 

Feedback should be given in person, rather than via email or other forms of digital communication. This allows for a more open and direct conversation. It’s easier to pick up on nonverbal cues that can help to understand the employee’s perspective. Sometimes you will learn a great deal from eye contact and willingness to accept the feedback from your employee.

Follow-Up With A Plan

Feedback should be followed up with a clear plan of action. The manager should discuss with the employee what steps they will take to improve and what support the manager will provide. Follow-up conversations should be scheduled to assess the progress made and make any necessary adjustments. The employee needs to seriously address the plan for improvement as well, being open to change and suggestions.

Providing feedback to employees is an important aspect of a manager’s role, it’s a way to help them improve and grow in their jobs.  It’s a way to ensure that the company is running smoothly and efficiently.

By providing feedback in a timely manner with an action plan, managers can ensure that their feedback leads to successful outcomes.  Positive outcomes for both the employee and the company’s growth. This also helps to provide a healthy work culture and high morale for your teams across work groups.

KathyHusserTempe.com

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Life Lessons

 

As a librarian, I love reading the latest books. Tom Hanks’ first novel is out and follows the story of how a fictional motion picture is made. The story has many life lessons that apply to real life too, and I thought I’d share a few.

The Right Partner

Finding the right “partner in life” will lift you up, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. The main characters have extensive backstories. From surviving abuse and war trauma to fulfilling your creative dreams, these folks have seen it all. The thread tying them together is the passion to enjoy life and finding their partner for success, (however that’s defined.) Whether it’s a career, spouse, or creative channel to express yourself, find the right partner to get you there.

Strength

The author brings to life each character from their childhood to their interaction together as adults. All of these characters have a solid inner strength and “will” to go on.  When you read fiction like this, you experience these lives first hand. Reading about others’ stories of strength, you realize you have it as well. Inner strength is tested all the time, and sometimes we don’t even realize it.

Some call it “the grind,” grit, or just plain tenacity.  The lesson learned, is we all have something heavy we carry and don’t necessarily share. Consistently strong people grow from those tough life experiences and flourish.

Fate

Call it fate or divine intervention, but things do happen for a reason. It might be to protect you and direct you to a different life path. Fate is there for you, to help you be your best self.

What the Hanks does in his story is intertwines each character’s experiences into one successful finale. Will we all be successful or happy?  How do YOU define success or happiness? It depends, just like in life…it all depends on you and how you react.

Finally, I’d recommend The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece,” to help understand human nature. The story helps define the realities of war, trauma, relationships, and yes, especially movie making. I’m a diehard movie fan.  I love the happenstance method the author shows the reader the filmmaking process is in Hollywood. I’m looking forward to Hanks’ next novel.

Happy Reading!

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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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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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Last Minute Gifts

Do you feel like gift giving and the holidays have taken on a whole new life of their own recently?  During October, I saw many Christmas displays full of gifts and decorations, but Halloween hadn’t even been celebrated! Here are three ways to make your holiday gifts more meaningful this year without buying stuff.

Give Experiences

Enjoying an experience with a dear friend, colleague, or your family is my first choice when thinking of gift giving. Something as simple as driving to a friend’s home and enjoying lunch together. Having a heartfelt conversation with your parents or a trusted colleague, seems so simple, but how often does it happen?

Science has proven that personal connections with those we love and care about provides us health benefits. Friendships and positive relationships enrich our lives on many levels, so take advantage of the holidays to show you care.

Give Your Time

I’ve written about volunteering before and can’t stress enough what you receive when you volunteer. Donating time to your community is a service that keeps giving throughout the year.  I’ve donated my time to local art organizations and events. Having a common goal with these groups connects you to your community.

I’ve donated to animal rescues in my father’s name, since we both love helping animals find their forever homes. Dad still talks about it being the best gift ever! Give your time to assist with a shelter’s website, an adoption event, or fundraise for larger projects and supplies.  The sky’s the limit, and you feel so good after volunteering!

No Gifts Rule

The final option is something I use with my husband and very close friends, and that is “no gifts please.” We just don’t exchange gifts, period. The “no gift rule” is something I’ve used during many anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmases. No gifts, just re-enforces the other two options highlighted earlier.

I love to give my time to these very special people and nonprofit agencies. These are “my tribe,” who have given me so much over the years. My gifts are the memories of a special meal together or reminiscing during a walk around the park. Time together to make new memories is our gift to one another.

You should try something new this year. You might be surprised how the pressure to the find the “perfect gift” has been lifted for both of you. If you bring up one of these gift ideas, you might spark a new tradition this holiday season.

Follow me on my personal website: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Cover Letters

Once you have a solid resume, you will need a cover letter to compliment your skills. A good cover letter highlights your value as a potential employee and paints a picture for the reader. Here are tips for an effective cover letter to get that next interview.

Introduce Yourself

A good cover letter will provide the reader a clear idea of who you are and what you can do. The cover letter is important to fill in the gaps that might be left from your two-page resume.

Give the reader a clear idea of WHY you want to work for their company and HOW you can provide that value.

Highlighting why you’re making a job change (spouse relocation or career switch) is another important aspect to include. If you can include metrics or tangible improvements from your previous employment, include them.  But keep your cover letter to no more than one page. People are busy and one page is enough to sell yourself and your skill set.

Match Keywords

Just like writing a resume, a solid cover letter should align with the job description and your skills. Match keywords from the job posting and use that vocabulary in your letter. Better yet, highlight an achievement or “win” from a previous role which illustrates that specific skill or certification. Remember, readers like stories so make your cover letter tell your story.

Spelling and Grammar

This goes without saying but using correct spelling and grammar is vital for your cover letter. You need to show off your writing skills and a huge part of that is a readable introduction. Check spelling and tenses of verbs to ensure they match.  Read through with fresh eyes to make sure not to leave out any important details. Finally, have a friend or colleague read through your cover again letter for clarity and punctuation.

Ask for the Interview

Without sounding cheesy, have a great closing statement in the letter to specify “action.” In other words, ask for the interview!  Or you could ask to follow up in a few days if the reader had any further questions. Bottom line, you want the reader to act and contact you for an interview, to continue the conversation.  A salutation of “Thank you” or “Sincerely” is also best when signing off.

Practice makes permanent, so the more you write, the easier a solid cover letter will be for you. Good Luck!

Follow my blog for more career articles posted weekly: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Resumes

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 use 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 stated that hiring managers felt that zero mistakes or typos should appear on resumes. Be sure your organization follows the template so the most prominent skills in the job description match the skills on your resume. Don’t lie. Rather, match words that 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!

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