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16 Things You Need to Do on Your Own Before Doing with Someone Else

16 Things You Need to Do on Your Own Before Doing with Someone Else

Since times unknown, being alone has been equated to loneliness. This is one of the biggest myths and deep-rooted beliefs that make very little sense. Some people feel terribly lonely surrounded by hundreds of people, but experience the highest level of freedom in isolation.

I am a big believer in finding happiness by doing things on my own. Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with being an introvert, having no friends, or being lost in abandonment. In fact, I am very social and have the most amazing family, friends, co-workers and mentors. While I enjoy spending time with them, I also enjoy my own company. It is not only fun and rewarding, but a great way to reassure yourself that you are capable and independent.

Not convinced? Scared? Out of your comfort zone? I urge you to try these things on your own, unaided and unaccompanied. Disclaimer: You are most likely to experience pure ecstasy.

1. Immerse in a murder mystery.

Pick up any Hercule Poirot novel by Agatha Christie from your nearest bookstore. They are easy to read but gripping enough to let you lose track of time. For more nail-biting thrillers, try Jo Nesbo or choose from the list of best murder mysteries of all times.

2. It’s time for fine dining, at home.

What is your favorite dish? Replicate it at home, buying fresh ingredients and following a trustworthy recipe from a cookbook or the Internet. Create an ambiance in your dining space with your best dinnerware, a glass of wine, candlelight and music. Dress up and treat yourself like a king. You deserve it!

DinnerAlone2

    3. Play Scrabble® with yourself.

    No one will rush you, and there will be no annoying Mr. Smarty Pants to compete with. You don’t have to resist looking at the dictionary either. At the end of the day you will have some new words under your belt. It’s a win-win situation.

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    Scrabble

      4. Create an inspirational word art.

      Even if the paintbrush is not your friend, tap into your hidden creativity by making a simple piece of art using words. Use leftover newspaper, magazines, pens and other random objects lying around your home. Go crazy with your imagination as you make your own rules. Once done, hang it on the wall and pat yourself on the back.

      InspirationalArt

        5. Travel to a new city.

        If you haven’t been on a getaway by yourself, it’s high time you do it. Don’t rob yourself from the joy of getting lost in an unknown city. Wake up whenever, go wherever and eat whatever you want. Discover and explore the beauty of the world, without a timetable.

        TravelAlone

          6. Exercise your vocal muscles.

          Want to feel heard and liberated? Sing at the top of your lungs, while no one is around. The neighbors might hear you. If you enjoy it too much, you may actually break into a dance, which brings me to the next point.

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          Singer

            7. Dance until you drop.

            Warm up at home and master your moves. Then hit the dance club. Don’t be shy; you may actually end up having a fan following. Freestyle dancing helps increase your self esteem, improve flexibility, balance better and burn calories. What are you waiting for? 5-6-7-8!

            Dance

              8. Head to the theaters for an animated film.

              Who needs company to watch an animated movie? You spend approximately two hours gazing at the screen engaged in some serious laughter. Most of the time, you don’t even remember who you came to the movies with. Besides, you own that whole bag of popcorn.

              AnimatedFilm

                9. Meditate in style.

                One of the best solitary activities that can energize you, refresh you, and take all your stress away is meditation. Take time off your routine activities to reflect and introspect. Delve into your inner self and find harmony. For some unconventional meditation techniques, look here.

                Meditate

                  10. Take an epic ‘selfie’ video.

                  Select a solo scene of your favorite actor or actress. Get into the character and record yourself enacting that scene. Perfection takes practice, so you may need a few takes. Brave enough to put it on Youtube?

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                  Selfie

                    11. Be the first person in the gym.

                    Wake up early and wait for the gym doors to open. There is nothing like working out in a clean sweat-free environment, while no one is judging your flab. No gym membership? Mother nature is your treadmill.

                    Gym

                      12. Sip a martini like 007.

                      Happy hour can be happier when you go the bar alone and stylishly ask for a martini. Savor each sip and open yourself to the opportunity of making new friends.

                      Martini

                        13. Go for a picnic in the park

                        Give up time spent in opinionated discussions, all for the perfect spot in the park. Soak in the sun, let the breeze flirt with you and observe your surroundings. People-watching is an underrated educational activity.

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                        Park

                          14. Be your personal shopper.

                          Take yourself shopping for a makeover. If you’re on a budget, accept the challenge and find atypical stores. Getting a new look can be a huge confidence booster.

                          MakeOver

                            15. Strike off the longest living item on your to-do list..

                            What is that one thing featured on your ‘things to do today’ that’s been there since last month? Take time on a weekend to finally do it. Find a sense of accomplishment from life’s little things.

                            ToDoList

                              16. Make your own Happiness Jar.

                              Every time you enjoy doing something alone, write the activity on a piece of paper. Drop it in a container and label it “My Happiness Jar.’ If you are bored, feeling blue, or stressed, simply draw a random slip of paper from this jar and do what is written.

                              HappinessJar

                                Photo Credit: Featured Image and many other post images are sourced from Creative Commons, license 2.0.

                                Featured photo credit: Jump over Mt. Rainier/The U.S. Army via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                                7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                                7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                                Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                                For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                                Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                                1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                                A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                                It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                                It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                                How it helps you:

                                If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                                Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                                2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                                Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                                Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                                How it helps you:

                                Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                                Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                                If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                                Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                                3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                                Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                                Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                                How it helps you:

                                This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                                For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                                Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                                A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                                4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                                To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                                A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                                How it helps you:

                                One word: hierarchy.

                                All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                                In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                                If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                                5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                                Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                                Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                                How it helps you:

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                                Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                                If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                                This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                                6. What do you like about working here?

                                This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                                Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                                How it helps you:

                                You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                                Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                                Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                                7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                                What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                                As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                                How it helps you:

                                What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                                First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                                Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                                Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                                Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                                Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                                Making Your Interview Work for You

                                Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                                Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                                More Resources About Job Interviews

                                Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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