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13 Epic Techniques To Job Hop Like A Pro

13 Epic Techniques To Job Hop Like A Pro

The education system lied to us.

We were promised that if we went to school, worked hard, and earned a college degree, an excellent job would be the reward of our efforts. As many of us have found out, though, that’s far from the truth. Fulfilling, well-paying careers are few and far between these days. In fact, unless you attended a top school, it’s challenging to find a good job at all after college.

It gets worse: College graduates are left out to dry with an average college debt of $35,000. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 7 in 10 Americans across generations say that Millennials face tougher economic challenges than previous generations did at the same age.

Many of us don’t have a choice but to job hop because, frankly, we’re flat broke and we need to get paid more. Moreover, not all of us know what we want to do when we graduate. By working different jobs, we can find our passion sooner. And even better, by finding a position at a new company you can make 10%-20% more than you do at your current job.

It happened to me. I landed in jobs where I was stuck – no room for growth, negative coworkers, and work I wasn’t interested in. I jumped around eight times in three years looking for a company that fit. Now I get paid much more, have the best coworkers, and I wake up excited to see my boss.

It wasn’t always easy to job hop. But through honing my skills, I continued landing jobs using these 13 epic techniques:

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1. Don’t quit before you find another job

Sounds like common sense, right? I’m surprised at how many people don’t follow this advice. The job searching process has many ups and downs. You might get swamped with interview requests one month, and then not hear back from anyone for the next two. Don’t trick yourself into thinking there will opportunities waiting for you once you’ve left your job. Nail down a new position before leaving your current one.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve saved; you’ll find that it disappears quickly when you’re not making any.

2. Create a standout online portfolio

Having a great portfolio that exemplifies your expertise in a particular field can do wonders. Job titles can often undermine the work you’ve accomplished, so it’s important to have another channel besides a resume where employers can see your actual worth.

I suggest a simple WordPress theme or Squarespace to get your portfolio up without having to write a single line of code. Also, make sure to link to your portfolio in your email signature, on LinkedIn, Facebook, and your other social media sites, and especially at the top of your resume.

3. Expert job hoppers walk in with value propositions

This easiest way to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of resumes collecting dust on an employer’s desk is to create a value proposition. Research the top companies you want to work for and write three to thirteen pages of how you can improve the company immediately.

Now, walk into the company on a slow day, preferably a Thursday or Friday afternoon, and hand your value proposition to whoever has the most leverage in getting you a job. Four of the jobs I landed resulted from creating value propositions and walking into a company to hand it to someone of authority.

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4. Act surprised when they call you a job hopper

If someone calls you a job hopper, don’t start defending yourself. The worst thing you can do is act like you’ve heard the accusation before. So, take it with a grain of salt and move on. The more you linger on the topic of job hopping, the deeper the hole you’re digging for yourself.

If the employer persists on the topic, then subvert their accusation of job hopping into how you created huge value for each company in such a short period.

5. Outsource company leads

If you’re spending countless hours searching for businesses to submit applications to, stop. Use an outsourcing site like Upwork or Elance to gather the contact info of all the companies you should apply to.

Sometimes a simple Google search of the top companies in your favored industries will yield you countless results you can forward to your freelancer. Keep in mind that if you spend too much time looking for a job, you’ll lose some of the most valuable skills you’ve worked hard to maintain.

6. Tell employers you’re looking for more growth

If your interviewer asks you why you change jobs so frequently, then be honest and tell them that you’re in search of more growth. Stay clear and concise with your message that you’re ambitious, learn incredibly fast, and always exceed expectations. If they don’t respect what you have to say, then you shouldn’t work there.

7. Complete projects worthy of showcasing

Job hoppers can’t depend on a resume to speak for them. They need projects that garner attention – from Kickstarter campaigns to organizing an industry event.

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Any time you put yourself in the position of accomplishing something big, chances are you will meet people in your industry who can make career moves for you. These people are unlikely to dig into your job history because they’ve seen what you can accomplish first-hand.

8. Focus on making great friends

Staying connected with others will give you inside access to tons of unseen opportunities. These will allow you move around within an industry without the extra hassle of breaking into a new career. The quicker you can move into new positions, the easier it will be to job hop.

9. Start working at companies part-time

An excellent way to get your foot in the door at a company as a job hopper is by asking for part-time employment. This strategy eliminates all the risk that employers take on by giving you a salaried position. By quickly establishing deeper relationships with your coworkers and showing that you’re worth a salary, you’ll most likely move up to full-time work quickly.

10. Guest post on well-known niche publications

A great way to establish credibility is to go to the source – industry publications. If you can position yourself as someone who has enough authority to write for these news sources, then employers are more likely to skip over the job hopping stigma during interviews.

11. Look for companies with a long-term vision

In a fast-paced technological world, companies are failing to compete with giants such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. It’s important to find a company that’s willing to take a huge risk on a long-term vision, and not just focused on monthly sales.

With so many companies going out of date mere months after turning a profit, you’ll continue to job hop until you find one that’s looking to revolutionize an industry. The truth is that in today’s competitive landscape, there’s more risk in not taking risks.

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12. Don’t tie yourself down to a particular location or industry

As a job hopper, it’s important to explore all of your options. Giving up the search for a new job because you can’t find one in a certain city or industry will not help you move forward. Keep your options open, because you never know where the most appealing work will come from.

Moreover, life is about jumping into new experiences. The more you limit yourself, the less potential you have to further your career.

13. Stay persistent

The quickest way to fail at job hopping is to simply give up. Every moment counts, whether it’s an hour, a day, or even a week. When you let discouragement get the best of you, your chances of landing job shrink dramatically. Persistence is always your strongest ally in times of uncertainty.

Think you’re ready to start job hopping?

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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