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Last Updated on October 9, 2017

The One Skill that Will Land You the Next Job Yet 90% Job Seekers Have Neglected

The One Skill that Will Land You the Next Job Yet 90% Job Seekers Have Neglected

Are you looking for a job searching tip that actually works? Here is one skill that 90% of job seekers typically ignore.

What is this ignored skill? Writing.

“If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position, hire the best writer. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They know how to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate.” – Jason Fried, author of Rework

Clear Writing Means Clear Thinking

Simply put, employers seek strong writers. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73.4% of employers look for candidates with strong writing skills.[1]

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Kyle Wiens also remarks in I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why [2],

“Good grammar makes good business sense – and not just when it comes to hiring writers. Grammar signifies more than just a person’s ability to remember high school English. I’ve found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something unrelated to writing – like stocking shelves and labeling parts.”

Wiens in fact uses grammar as his litmus test. He made his employees to prove whether they were detail-oriented with the grammar test.

People typically do not write well and this impacts future career potential. If you do not possess the skills necessary to write well, why would a prospective employer put trust and faith in your ability to be an effective communicator? Try the following exercise if you do not believe me.

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Describe the difference between the following:

  • Its and It’s
  • Your and You’re
  • Affect and Effect
  • Anymore and Any more
  • Assure or Ensure or Insure

Don’t fret if you struggled with this exercise as you are in good company. However, many employers complain that they cannot find qualified candidates because of this.

Writing Is the Foundation of a Good Idea

So, what can you do? Simply get help. There are quite a few places to turn to online for assistance with improving your writing skills and it’s important to find the right one.

Websites like this will help you with professional writing development:

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  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Essay Outline
  • Essay Structure
  • Formatting Standards
  • Paper Formats (AP, MLA, Harvard, Chicago/Turabian)
  • Bibliography

Additionally, you set the deadline, essay type, word count, and academic level when working with places like PaperWritingHelp.net. You cannot skip this tip, otherwise you will actually lose credibility in the next tip.

Put Your Writing out There

    Author Austin Kleon writes in Steal Like An Artist,

    “Do good work, then put it where people can see it.”

    This is quite possibly some of the best advice you will ever receive when it comes to writing, yet it is also the most intimidating.

    I have fully embraced this idea. The more I write, the more confident I become in my writing. The more I share my writing, the more confident I am with my communication skills.

    Finally, let’s take a quick look at a few more practical tips you can use to improve your writing. [3]

    I guarantee you will improve your chances of landing the job you want and desire if you actively work to improve your writing skills. So, master this ignored skill and put yourself a notch above everyone else.

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    “Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.” – Austin Kleon

    Reference

    More by this author

    Dr. Jamie Schwandt

    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

    Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills for a Sharper Mind 10 Brain Training Hacks to Increase Your IQ, Focus and Creativity How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

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    Published on July 17, 2018

    How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

    How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

    I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

    You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

    But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

    What is compartmentalization

    To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

    In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

    However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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    Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

    Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

    The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

    Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

    Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

    How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

    The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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    Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

    My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

    Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

    Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

    One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

    If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

    The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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    Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

    This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

    If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

    Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

    Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

    Reframe the problem as a question

    Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

    One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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    For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

    Choose one thing to focus on

    To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

    Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

    Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

    Comparmentalization saves you stress

    Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

    This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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