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When You’re Away From Home, You Understand These 20 Amazing Things

When You’re Away From Home, You Understand These 20 Amazing Things

Living away from home is a big step for many reasons. There are so many phases of emotion people go through when they first move, but eventually they realise it was the best thing they have ever done. The lessons you learn when you’re alone are lessons you use for the rest of your life. It’s also a great way to have hilarious stories to tell your friends. Here are twenty things only people who live away from home can really understand.

1. You learn to enjoy being alone.

The quiet is disturbing at first, and you may find it difficult to get used to. Eventually, you learn to enjoy the quiet and learn that being alone is time for you to spend with yourself, which is very therapeutic. It becomes something you miss when you go back to visit your family from time to time.

2. You have the opportunity to figure out what your thoughts on things are.

When you live at home, you are surrounded by people who have different opinions and these opinions have an effect on how you think. When you are alone, you have time to really find out what you think about certain things and develop your own set of beliefs.

3. You realise you are stronger than you had realized.

When you’re faced with adversity, you seem to muster up strength you never knew you had. Only when you live alone do you really see how strong you actually are when dealing with stressful situations.

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4. You appreciate the little things.

You never realised what a blessing it was to have a fridge full of groceries and a table ready with dinner when you were living at home. When you live away from home, you come home to a dark house and bills. You will never take things for granted ever again.

5. You learn to be more aware of your responsibilities.

When you live alone, you develop a biological alarm clock that reminds you to do important things. This biological alarm clock doesn’t exist initially; it grows over time, and when it does, you end up being pretty proud of yourself.

6. You can blast music throughout your house and dance with no inhibitions.

There is nothing more liberating than turning up the volume and just letting go of all your stress, which is something you can only do if your not in a house full of people.

7. You become more aware of money and when not to spend it.

You have the balance of your debit account recorded in your mind, and you mentally subtract from it every time you spend, making sure you don’t go past your budget. Sometimes you do spend too much, and when that does happen, you spend the rest of the month never leaving your apartment.

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8. You tend to double check if you locked the door and turned the stove off multiple times in one night.

You can never be too careful. You do not want to be the person that sets the fire alarm off at three in the morning.

9. You learn to appreciate just how much you enjoyed being around your family, even if you didn’t realize it when you were living with them.

You miss their dumb jokes at the dinner table. You actually just miss having them at the dinner table. Any chance to Skype with them is just bliss.

10. You learn to self motivate.

With no one around to tell you what to do, it’s easy to get carried away, but you find a way to motivate yourself to do work. When you do end up getting work done, you feel pretty good about yourself.

11. You develop some kind of organizational skills.

Even if things don’t seem organized to everyone around you, you understand your system and that’s the most important thing.

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12. You learn to appreciate the things that were done for you when you did live at home.

Now that you have to do them all yourself, you see how hard they actually were. Paying bills and writing checks are not exactly fun jobs. You are grateful that these jobs were once done for you, but appreciate that you are learning to do them yourself.

13. You become an expert multi-tasker.

Multi-tasking is the best way you can make maximum use of your time. You never realized there would come a time when you had to stir spaghetti sauce whilst you were sweeping the floor and reading simultaneously.

14. You find that almost everything in life requires filling out forms.

You spend ninety percent of your time ticking boxes and signing on dotted lines. If these forms were a final exam you would probably get a hundred percent.

15. When you take important phone calls, you find that you have slowly transitioned from being awkward to actually sounding like a grown-up.

You hang up and you realize that you managed to make it through the phone call without saying anything awkward and that’s when you know you have won at life.

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16. You fake being an adult so well that you eventually become a fully functioning one.

During some point of your life away from home, you will have an out of body experience where you will watch yourself be such a grown up that you won’t even recognize yourself. It’s a pretty spectacular moment that you’ll cherish for a long time.

17. You become good at responding to unexpected changes.

You eventually deal with them calmly and rationally, which is a change from how you first used to deal with them. You are impressed with how well you handle erratic situations, but are glad you developed this vital life skill.

18. You are a master at keeping in touch with people because you are so used to living away from people you love

Technology is your best friend when it comes to keeping in touch with people.

19. You learn to enjoy change and transitioning more than you used to

You learn that change is a part of life and you find that change builds character. You look at any potential changes as challenges that you will eventually master and learn valuable lessons from.

20. You hold on to things less tightly

You become good at letting go of things and moving on, which is a big part of growing up.

Featured photo credit: young hipster man looking at the mountains via shutterstock.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!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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