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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

Stop Waiting For Your Dream Job and Go Ask For It

Stop Waiting For Your Dream Job and Go Ask For It

If you were looking for a new job, how would you go about finding one? Instinctively you’d probably start off by filtering through all of the common job archive websites; Craigslist, Indeed, Monster, etc. in order to find something related to your field. Which is fine, if you don’t mind settling.

We have been programmed to work this way, to take whatever job is convenient in order to pay the bills and support our lifestyle. For many this system works well enough. But this is how people fall into complacent jobs that don’t truly satisfy them.

If you want to land the job of your dreams, you’re going to have to go out there and get it

    The truth is, the best jobs aren’t listed. Around 80% of opportunities in the market are not open to the public and can only be acquired internally. So if you’re basing your search on the 20% that have actually been listed, you’re going to have a very difficult time landing that dream job.

    So instead, you’ll end up with a job that “works for now.” Eventually you’ll come across the job you’ve been striving for and make the switch. But what if that opportunity never comes? You’ll most likely fall into a routine with your sub-par job and justify it by saying that most people never get to have their dream job.

    How can you solve that issue? By taking the initiative and creating an opportunity. But before you’re able to finagle your way into your dream company, you must first understand why 80% of jobs are not available to the public, and how to work that fact to your advantage.

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        1. Businesses are not sure what or who they are looking for

          This is usually true for startup businesses that are trying to expand into a new market. It’s uncommon ground, so it’s tough to project what they really need.

          If they don’t know who or what they’re looking for in order to move in a new direction, then it’s nearly impossible to create a job ad for a position that does not yet exist.

          What they need is human resources. A fresh perspective that can give them a new edge. This is the perfect opportunity for you to up-sell yourself and the value that you can bring to the company.

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          Take a look at their weaknesses and what could be improved. You could be the answer to all of their problems. Offer your skills in such a way that they can’t afford not to have you.

          2. Companies tend to train-up internal staff instead of hiring new employees.

          Some employers don’t want to go through the grueling trial and error of the interviewing process. Unsure if they’ll be able to find the people with the skills they’re looking for, they will train their already existing staff to do the job instead.

          The mentality is, “the more I invest in my employees, they more likely they are to stay and contribute.” While in some cases this may be true, it’s not very cost efficient and may not work out as they hoped.

          There is no certainty that the employees will stay, especially if there is a change in their job description. Many people are creatures of habit and want to stick to what they know.

          It can be difficult to predict how much time could be wasted training employees to learn these new skills. And in that time you’re taking man power away from already existing projects. In turn, those projects could be neglected and end up hurting the company.

          This is your golden opportunity. Showcase the fact that you already possess the skills they are looking for. Explain the resources they could save by simply hiring you instead of training up their staff. Your drive and passion will make you stand out as the best cost-efficient choice.

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          3. The company truly does not have any openings.

          There is still room for opportunity here. Similar to the previous points, you can scale the company for their weaknesses and needs, and offer yourself as the solution. You could bring ideas to light that probably would have never been considered.

          Your attention to detail and willingness to improve will make you a valuable asset.

          What you do for work is important because it affects your happiness too

          Your dream job isn’t going to fall into your lap. You need to be a little aggressive and create that opportunity. Even if the company of your dreams truly isn’t looking for new employees right now, they will remember you if you make a good impression.

          Your job doesn’t have to just pay the bills. With the right career, you can find your purpose, devote yourself to your work, and live a meaningful life that brings you satisfaction.

          I mean think about it, you spend the majority of your life working. If you don’t enjoy your job, then you’re leading a miserable life. On average, you spend 8 hours a day at work. That’s 22 working days out of the month; 2,112 hours a year! Wouldn’t you rather spend all of that time working towards something you truly care about?

          Mental Notes On How To Manifest Your Destiny!

          At this point I’m sure I’ve got you convinced. You deserve the job of your dreams. In order to approach these opportunities and make them a reality, there are three components to keep in mind:

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          1. Display expectations for yourself, and the company

          Check out resources such as LinkedIn to research the expectations for the job you are pitching for. Research the job descriptions for a grade or two above your skill set. See what goals you need to work towards and which skills you need to improve.

          Explain the progression you would like to see in yourself, and how your progression will benefit the future of the company. Self-reflection is very important to employers, so be transparent about which skills you need to improve upon that can also improve the company.

          2. Understand competitions the company is facing

          In order to understand what the company needs, you need to know what they’re competition is doing. Is it working for them? Could you advance those ideas and make them your own?

          Show them that you know which issues they are facing, and suggest strategies to solve these issues. Offer your skills and explain how they will give them a new edge in this growing market.

          3. Don’t just tell them what you can do, show them.

          Prepare a portfolio of your previous projects to show off your capabilities and experience. After explaining what you have done, tell them your plans for the future. What are you doing to enhance your skills? What could have been improved in previous projects?

          If you show that you are actively improving your skill set, prospective employers can expect that your skills will improve their business plan.

          So remember, don’t wait for the perfect job. Create it.

          Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

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          Leon Ho

          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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          Last Updated on September 17, 2019

          How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

          How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

          All managers and leaders must master the art of delegation. Understanding how and when to allocate responsibility to others is essential in maintaining a high level of productivity, both on a personal and organizational level. Knowing how to delegate is also essential for an effective leadership.

          To learn how to delegate is to build a cohesive and effective team who can meet deadlines. Moreover, knowing when and how to delegate work will reduce your workload, thus improving your wellbeing at work and boosting your job satisfaction. Unfortunately, many leaders are unsure how to delegate properly or are hesitant to do so.

          In this guide, you will discover what delegation really entails, how it benefits your team, and how to delegate work effectively.

          The Importance of Delegation

          An effective leader knows how to delegate. When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more on a daily basis. Effective delegation also promotes productivity within a team by drawing on the existing skill set of its members and allowing them to develop new knowledge and competencies along the way. The result is a more flexible team that can share roles when the need arises.[1]

          When you are willing to delegate, you are promoting an atmosphere of confidence and trust. Your actions send a clear signal: as a leader, you trust your subordinates to achieve desired outcomes. As a result, they will come to think of you as a likeable and efficient leader who respects their skills and needs.

          Delegation isn’t about barking orders and hoping that your staff falls in line. A manager’s job is to get the very best from those under their supervision and in doing so, maximizing productivity and profit.[2]

          Here’s an example of bad delegation:

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            Careful delegation helps to identify and capitalize on the unique strengths and weaknesses of the team members. Delegation also boosts employees’ engagement as it proves that the managers are interested in drawing on their talents.[3]

            The Fear of Delegating Tasks

            Delegation boosts productivity, but not all managers are willing or able to delegate.[4] Why? Here’re some common reasons:[5]

            • They may resent the idea that someone else may get the credit for a project.
            • They may be willing to delegate in principle but are afraid their team won’t be able to handle an increased degree of responsibility.
            • They may suspect that their staff is already overworked, and feel reluctant to increase their burden.
            • They may suspect that it’s simpler and quicker just to do a task themselves.
            • They dislike the idea of letting go of tasks they enjoy doing.
            • They fear that if they delegate responsibility, their own manager will conclude that they can’t handle their workload.

            Delegation vs Allocation

            Most people think that delegation and allocation are synonymous, but there is an important distinction to be made between the two.[6]

            When you allocate a task, you are merely instructing a subordinate to carry out a specific action. You tell them what to do, and they do it–it’s that simple. On the other hand, delegation involves transferring some of your own work to another person. They do not just receive a set of instructions. Rather, they are placed in a role that requires that they make decisions and are held accountable for outcomes.[7]

            How to Delegate Work Effectively (A Step-By-Step Guide)

            So what’s the best way to delegate work so you can fight the fear of delegation, build an efficient team and work faster? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

            1. Know When to Delegate

            By understanding how much control you need to maintain over a situation, you can determine the best strategy for empowering workers. There are 7 levels of delegation that offer workers different degrees of responsibility.

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            This brief video explains these levels and offers examples of when it’s appropriate to use each one:

            Delegation occurs along a spectrum. The lowest level of delegation happens when you tell other people what to do. It offers little opportunity for employees to try new approaches. The most empowering form of delegation occurs when you are able to give up most of your control over the project to the employee.

            Knowing how to delegate work helps you understand how to connect people with tasks that make the best use of their talents. When done properly, it ensures that you will get the best end-result.[8]

            When you’re deciding how to delegate work, ask the following questions:

            • Do you have to be in charge of this task, or can someone else pull it off?
            • Does this require your attention to be successful?
            • Will this work help an employee develop their skills?
            • Do you have time to teach someone how to do this job?
            • Do you expect tasks of this nature to recur in the future?

            2. Identify the Best Person for the Job

            You have to pass the torch to the right team member for delegation to work. Your goal is to create a situation in which you, your company, and the employee have a positive experience.

            Think about team members’ skills, willingness to learn, and their working styles and interests. They’ll be able to carry out the work more effectively if they’re capable, coachable, and interested. When possible, give an employee a chance to play to their strengths.

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            Inexperienced workers may need more guidance than seasoned veterans. If you don’t have the time to set the newer employee up for success, it’s not fair to delegate to them.

            You also have to consider how busy your employees are. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm someone by giving them too many responsibilities.

            3. Tell and Sell to Get the Member Buy-In

            After you’ve found the perfect person for the job, you still have to get them to take on the new responsibility. Let them know why you chose them for the job. [9] When you show others that you support their growth, it builds a culture of trust. Employees who see delegated tasks as opportunities are more likely to be invested in the outcome.

            When you’re working with newer employees, express your willingness to provide ongoing support and feedback. For seasoned employees, take their thoughts and experiences into account.

            4. Be Clear and Specific About the Work

            It’s critical to explain to employees why the project is necessary, what you expect of them, and when it’s due.[10] If they know what you expect, they’ll be more likely to deliver.

            By setting clear expectations, you help them plan how to carry out the task. Set up project milestones so that you can check progress without micromanaging. If your employee has trouble meeting a milestone, they still have time to course correct before the final product is due.

            This type of accountability is commonly used in universities. If students only know the due date and basic requirements for completing major research papers, they might put off the work until the eleventh hour. Many programs require students to meet with advisers weekly to get guidance, address structure, and work out kinks in their methods in advance of deadlines. These measures set students up to succeed while giving them the space to produce great work.

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            5. Support Your Employees

            To see the best possible outcomes of delegating, your subordinates need resources and support from you. Connect them with training and materials to develop skillsets they don’t already have.[11] It may take more time up front to make resources available, but you’ll save time by having the work done correctly. For recurring tasks, this training pays off repeatedly.

            Sometimes employees need a help to see what they’re doing well and how they can improve. Giving and receiving feedback is an essential part of delegation. This is also a good way to monitor the delegated tasks as a leader. While you can keep track of the progress of the tasks, you are not micro-managing the employees.

            Throughout the project, periodically ask your employees if they need support or clarification. Make it clear that you trust them to do the work, and you want to create a space for them to ask questions and offer feedback. This feedback will help you refine the way you delegate work.

            6. Show Your Appreciation

            During periodic check-ins, recognize any wins that you’ve seen on the project so far. Acknowledge that your employees are making progress toward the objective. The Progress Principle lays out how important it is to celebrate small wins to keep employees motivated.[12] Workers will be more effective and dedicated if they know that you notice their efforts.

            Recognizing employees when they do well helps them understand the quality of work you expect. It makes them more likely to want to work with you again on future projects.

            Bottom Line

            Now that you know exactly what delegation means and the techniques to delegate work efficiently, you are in a great position to streamline your tasks and drive productivity in your team.

            To delegate is to grant autonomy and authority to someone else, thus lightening your own workload and building a well-rounded, well-utilized team.

            Delegation might seem complicated or scary, but it gets much easier with time. Start small by delegating a couple of decisions to members of your team over the next week or two.

            More About Delegation

            Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

            Reference

            [1] BOS Staffing: 5 Benefits Of Delegation – Empower Your Team
            [2] Brian Tracy International: How to Delegate The Right Tasks To The Right People: Effective Management Skills For Leadership Success
            [3] MindTools: Successful Delegation: Using The Power Of Other People’s Help
            [4] Fast Company: The Three Most Common Fears About Delegation: Debunked
            [5] Leadership Skills Training: Delegation
            [6] Abhinav Jain: Delegation of work vs Allocation of work
            [7] Anthony Donovan: Management Training: Delegating Effectively
            [8] Management 3.0: Practice: Delegation Board
            [9] Focus: The Creativity and Productivity Blog: A Guide to Delegating Tasks Effectively
            [10] Inc.: 6 Ways to Delegate More Effectively
            [11] The Muse: The 10 Rules of Successful Delegation
            [12] Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer: The Progress Principle

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