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11 Ways to Impress Employers and Network with Your Professionalism

11 Ways to Impress Employers and Network with Your Professionalism

It is no longer good enough to be present. You must be impressive. Otherwise, judgment on your professionalism creates distance, not association. In today’s social climate, everything has a professional undertone. Meetings with friends, play dates with other parents and children, or visiting with friends often require an appointment. There are many layers to people’s lives today. You’re expected to respect other’s time and at least acknowledge the effort to help.

Don’t be the last to understand a certain person is unapproachable. Even our closest friends have layers of relationships requiring different rules of engagement for each layer. Your professional network expects the same from you in understanding each person is different. You must do more than just capture attention. Your presence must move them to act. You must impress them to be memorable, and “wow” them to want to associate with you.

Employers have rules of engagement too. Since video recording and the spirit of transparency reigns today, unprofessionalism is noted. You don’t want to be THAT man or woman who mistreats, misquotes, or misappropriates anything. Employers are looking. Your network is looking.

I noticed these 11 attributes from people who exude professionalism. Be sure these are a part of your communication and overall presentation:

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1. You are direct

Your voice in writing and presentation speaks much louder, and your actions yell as either a fan at a sporting event or as an antagonist at a political rally. If people are guessing what you’re asking or responding to, then the respect you expect will dissipate.

2. You remember names

Forgetting a name is an awful habit. If you met the person more than twice, this could change the game for you in all of the wrong ways. Not to mention it says how much you care about the individual. It is hard if you’re meeting many people when starting a new job.

But if you don’t have the job yet, you’re obstructing your efforts. I would highly recommend Jerry Lucas, Dr. Memory series, notably the remembering names series. Don’t be fooled, forgetting names is an employment stumbling block. Remember: Professionalism is the end result. You will be remembered for not being interested if you forget names.

3. Temperance

As a job seeker, you are at the mercy of everyone and his godfather. Signs of impatience and petulance could disqualify you – it’s your personal smoking gun. Even if your face scrunched as it’s ready to be boxed is seen, it is a turn-off, and your non-verbal or verbal angst is considered to be bratty or self-entitled. Take the edge off as much as you can. Ask coworkers or people you know how do you come across in business situations.

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4. Answer the phone with tact

We might be talking about phone etiquette here, but it is important to tactfully and respectfully answer calls professionally. People are still surprised and enchanted when speaking to someone who is trying to impress them (without regards to position). Even if the caller is agitated, our voice, tone and wordings can diffuse the bomb before it blows, if we’re tactful and respectful.

5. Each person is important

Treating the secretary as if he or she is the CEO is a powerful tool. Don’t think it doesn’t impress the people who interview you. If executed well, more opportunities will increase your engagement with people and encourage a conversation rather than an interrogation.

6. Timing is everything

What you say is important, but when you say it could be the difference between being a professional or disrespectful. You learn when to talk about salary and perks because sooner than later is not a good strategy. If something bothers you about a part of the hiring process, it matters when and who you talk to. It is wise not to speak with anyone about it when you don’t have all of the information.

7. Clarity in everything

You must clearly communicate in every phase with everyone involved in your hiring process (essentially it’s everyone you meet). Typical communication mishaps are unfinished thoughts, bad grammar, unclear speech or dialect, and many times lack eye contact. Professionalism is also seeking clarity. Questions show enthusiasm and interest.

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Some of it is culture related, but when you struggle with clarity you can always:

– Repeat what you said in a slightly different way
– Ask the person if what you said was clear (with a humble attitude)
– Provide a follow-up email to significant conversations

8. Punctual

Being late for meetings, events, and even phone calls can leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. Coffee, lunch, scheduled phone calls and casual meet-ups count as much like job interviews even if it is with a colleague. When you’re on time, excellence can be assumed or at minimum care about the work at hand.

9. Allowing accountability

It’s more important to have self-accountability, but providing an option for people to follow-up empowers them. The trick is for them to find it unnecessary because you want to show out. Offering transparency creates trust and faith in your abilities, but it also shows you don’t mind putting your reputation to your work.

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10. You’re honest with your mistakes

No one expects you to confess your sins in a public way, but how you respond to others mistakes says a lot about you. Empathy helps when others can feel through experience by walking in their shoes. Mistakes are human, and handling gaffes with grace and tact seal your authenticity and professionalism.

11. Your social updates are thoughtfully and carefully crafted

If you have an acute sense of humor, it doesn’t mean you have to be serious. I think even comedians who are known for their brash humor add context to their stories. Without context, we’re all vulnerable to incessant criticism and misunderstanding. Therefore, your attempts to connect with your network are futile without clarity and context.

Every interaction counts during your job search and as you advance in your career. Whether people view you from far away, online, or shaking hands with you, no one should doubt your professionalism. I just mention a few ways to be professional, but there are more. Mainly, you want people to rave about you after you leave the room.

Featured photo credit: www.insidehighered.com via insidehighered.com

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11 Ways to Impress Employers and Network with Your Professionalism

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

Memory plays an integral role in our lives, both in the short and long term. If you’re wondering how to improve memory, I’m here to tell you that there are natural and effective ways to do so.

Despite what you might think, improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it.

Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve memory efficiently and reduce the risk of memory loss.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts, and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder, then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. Research suggests that the more information and distractions you receive, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory[1].

Fortunately, meditation can help.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

While any amount of meditation will do something to help your memory, one study pointed out that “8 but not 4 weeks of brief, daily meditation decreased negative mood state and enhanced attention, working memory, and recognition memory as well as decreased state anxiety scores”[2].

Therefore, if you’re looking for the most benefits, try sticking with a meditation practice for at least 8 weeks.

However, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then it’s likely that you’re not able to remember well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities, including your memory.

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If you want to learn how to improve memory, how much sleep should you be getting?

Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation[3], you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things[4].

If you want to improve memory, get plenty of sleep.

    Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!), but if you care about improving your long and short term memory, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

    Try these three things to naturally improve your sleep cycle:

    • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
    • Don’t eat too late
    • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

    Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

    However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory.

    3. Challenge Your Brain

    When was the last time you challenged your brain?

    I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or under-sleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and memory games.

    To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

    Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-solving ability, and memory.

    There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

    • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

    If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

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    Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it; try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

    4. Take More Breaks

    When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctly remember working all the hours under the sun—and many under the moon, too!

    At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat, and tears.

    However, if you want to know how to improve memory, taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative, and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

    Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

    One 2011 study from the University of Illinois concluded that “the brain is built to detect and respond to change…and prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”[5].

    This is based on something called the “vigilance decrement.” This can be applied to many things. For example, we often don’t notice the feeling of clothing touch our bodies because our brain becomes accustomed to the sensation. However, if you change clothes, you’ll likely notice the difference in texture and temperature for a few minutes.

    When you take a break from memorizing information, it refocuses your attention and energy, leading to increased focus overall.

    It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart, and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

    Basically, make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

    5. Learn a New Skill

    I love this quote, as it’s 100% true but frequently overlooked:

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

    From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

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    Let me give you an example of this:

    Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day, many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

    Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

    The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you rather than letting you work in your own way.

    Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction into learning a new skill (computer coding).

    It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career, and the ongoing learning made the call center job much more bearable.

    Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus, and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking out new information. When learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly becomes a habit, too.

    If you want to know how to learn something new every day, check out this article.

    6. Start Working out

    If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

    Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory[6].

    Regular physical activities increase blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. A well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

    Even if you don’t have much time, research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines[7].

    Interested in getting started?

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    Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

    • Join a gym
    • Join a sports team
    • Buy a bike
    • Take up hiking
    • Dance to your favorite music

    7. Eat Healthier Foods

    I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

    This applies to your brain, too.

    The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health, as well.

    Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. But any fruits, vegetables, or foods high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory. Here’re some ideas: 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

    Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain, leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

    If you want to improve your mental health, eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

    • Turmeric – Helps new brain cells grown
    • Broccoli – Protects the brain against damage
    • Nuts – Improves memory
    • Green tea – Enhances brain performance, memory and focus[8]
    • Fish oilFish oil supplements can increase your brain power

    Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

    Also, remember that your brain is about 75% water, so dehydration can have a huge effect on the way your brain functions. Stay hydrated if you really want to improve memory!

    Final Thoughts

    I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be helpful for you.

    You don’t need to implement them all, but you can try out the ones that appeal to you.

    But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory and avoiding cognitive decline, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested.

    More on How to Improve Memory

    Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

    Reference

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