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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 January 6, 2021

          14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

          14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

          Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

          In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

          For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

          For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

          Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

          Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

          Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

          How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

          Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

          1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

          Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

          For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

          2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

          Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

          Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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          Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

          3. Create a System

          Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

          This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

          You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

          Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

          Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

          4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

          We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

          If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

          Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

          Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

          5. Use a Ratings Scale

          Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

          Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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          It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

          6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

          This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

          You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

          You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

          7. Offer Feedback Forms

          Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

          First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

          Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

          You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

          8. Track Cost Effectiveness

          This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

          Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

          Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

          9. Use Self-Evaluations

          Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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          Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

          10. Monitor Time Management

          This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

          Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

            The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

            While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

            11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

            We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

            Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

            For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

            Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

            Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

            From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

            12. Utilize Peer Feedback

            This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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            Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

            Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

            It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

            13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

            When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

            Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

            Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

            14. Use an External Evaluator

            Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

            They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

            While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

            Final Thoughts

            These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

            The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

            The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

            More Productivity Tips

            Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

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