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How to Bring Work Home

How to Bring Work Home


    Gone are the days when work ended when the quitting whistle blew. Today, professionals are expected to write a report over the weekend, or join conference calls during the evening. These demands pose challenges for parents trying to care for their children, and for husbands and wives who want to be meaningfully involved in each other’s lives.

    Doing work at home is undesirable because it can exacerbate what sociologists call “role conflict.” When you bring work home, your subconscious mind may be confused as to whether it should assume a work-oriented, cognitive role, or a completely different role more appropriate at home.

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    Sociologists believe that various habits at the start and the end of the work day, such as standard morning routines or evening commutes, help people mentally shift gears between these different roles. However, bringing work home muddles these daily transitions; the act of leaving the physical space of your office is much less effective at triggering the helpful subconscious changes in your mind.

    So the best way to avoid the difficulty of bringing work home is to simply not do it. However, most of us live in the real world, in which professionals frequently need to do work-related tasks at home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of managers do some work at home on any given day.

    If you have to bring work home, you can still try to take advantage of mental cues to separate home and work. Here are a few tips on how to implement this idea:

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    1. Create a Separate Physical Space

    To make it easier for your mind to change roles when you want it to, do all of your work-from-home in a specific physical space. A fancy home office does the trick, but a desk in your bedroom works just as well. The key is that it needs to be a work space, not a shared work-family space such as the kitchen table. You want the act of leaving this work space to help cue your subconscious mind to transition to your family role.

    2. Reserve Certain Times for Family

    You should also reserve certain times for your family every day, barring only the most urgent of work crises. If certain times of the day are saved for family—and only for family—you will be better able to put work out of your mind and fully turn your attention to your family.

    When my two children were young, I worked from home only after they went to sleep. When they became teenagers, I routinely finished up some work on weekend mornings, while they were sleeping in. But I always made sure that work didn’t encroach upon family dinners—that was my reserved time.

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    3. Be assertive with your boss

    To maintain your reserved time, you need to be assertive with your boss. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries; make it crystal clear that you are not available, say, from 7pm to 9pm. During this time, shut off your cell phone and don’t look at your email.

    To learn more about setting boundaries at work, read this fascinating bit of research describing how Episcopalian priests preserve their personal time. Even these priests don’t let themselves be on call 24×7

    In short, it is difficult to give your family the attention they deserve when you bring work home. If you can leave work at the office, then that is by far the best solution. But if you have to finish up work at home in the evening, do so in a separate physical space, and reserve specific hours as family time.

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    (Photo credit: Businessman with Briefcase via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on April 25, 2019

    How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

    How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

    Shifting careers, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Whether your desire for a career change is self-driven or involuntary, you can manage the panic and fear by understanding ‘why’ you are making the change.

    Your ability to clearly and confidently articulate your transferable skills makes it easier for employers to understand how you are best suited for the job or industry.

    A well written career change resume that shows you have read the job description and markets your transferable skills can increase your success for a career change.

    3 Steps to Prepare Your Mind Before Working on the Resume

    Step 1: Know Your ‘Why’

    Career changes can be an unnerving experience. However, you can lessen the stress by making informed decisions through research.

    One of the best ways to do this is by conducting informational interviews.[1] Invest time to gather information from diverse sources. Speaking to people in the career or industry that you’re pursuing will help you get clarity and check your assumptions.

    Here are some questions to help you get clear on your career change:

    • What’s your ideal work environment?
    • What’s most important to you right now?
    • What type of people do you like to work with?
    • What are the work skills that you enjoy doing the most?
    • What do you like to do so much that you lose track of time?
    • Whose career inspires you? What is it about his/her career that you admire?
    • What do you dislike about your current role and work environment?

    Step 2: Get Clear on What Your Transferable Skills Are[2]

    The data gathered from your research and informational interviews will give you a clear picture of the career change that you want. There will likely be a gap between your current experience and the experience required for your desired job. This is your chance to tell your personal story and make it easy for recruiters to understand the logic behind your career change.

    Make a list and describe your existing skills and experience. Ask yourself:

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    What experience do you have that is relevant to the new job or industry?

    Include any experience e.g., work, community, volunteer, or helping a neighbour. The key here is ANY relevant experience. Don’t be afraid to list any tasks that may seem minor to you right now. Remember this is about showcasing the fact that you have experience in the new area of work.

    What will the hiring manager care about and how can you demonstrate this?

    Based on your research you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the new job or industry. Be specific and show how your existing experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Hiring managers will likely scan your resume in less than 7 seconds. Make it easy for them to see the connection between your skills and the skills that are needed.

    Clearly identifying your transferable skills and explaining the rationale for your career change shows the employer that you are making a serious and informed decision about your transition.

    Step 3: Read the Job Posting

    Each job application will be different even if they are for similar roles. Companies use different language to describe how they conduct business. For example, some companies use words like ‘systems’ while other companies use ‘processes’.

    When you review the job description, pay attention to the sections that describe WHAT you’ll be doing and the qualifications/skills. Take note of the type of language and words that the employer uses. You’ll want to use similar language in your resume to show that your experience meets their needs.

    5 Key Sections on Your Career Change Resume (Example)

    The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

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    Don’t forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that you’re not able to show in a resume.

    1. Contact Information and Header

    Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.

    Example:

    Jill Young

    Toronto, ON | [email protected] | 416.222.2222 | LinkedIn Profile

    2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

    This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

    Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that you’re applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?

    Example:

    Qualifications Summary

    • Experienced managing multiple stakeholder interests by building a strong network of relationships to support a variety of programs
    • Experienced at resolving problems in a timely and diplomatic manner
    • Ability to work with diverse groups and ensure collaboration while meeting tight timelines

    3. Work Experience

    Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.

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    How this section is structured will depend on your experience and the type of career change you are making.

    For example, if you are changing industries you may want to list your roles before the company name. However, if you want to highlight some of the big companies you’ve worked with then you may want to list the company name first. Just make sure that you are consistent throughout your resume.

    Be clear and concise. Use 1 to 4 bullets to highlight your relevant work experiences for each job you list on your resume. Ensure that the information demonstrates your qualifications for the new job. Remember to align all the dates on your resume to the right margin.

    Example:

    Work Experience

    Theater Production Manager (2018 – present)

    YourLocalTheater

    • Collaborated with diverse groups of people to ensure a successful production while meeting tight timelines

    4. Education

    List your formal education in this section. For example, the name of the degrees you received and the school who issued it. To eliminate biases, I would recommend removing the year you graduated.

    Example:

    Education

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    • Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario
    • Bachelor of Theater Studies with Honors, University of British Columbia

    5. Other Activities or Interests

    When you took an inventory of your transferable skills, what experiences were relevant to your new career path (that may not fit in the other resume sections?).

    Example:

    Other Activities

    • Mentor, Pathways to Education
    • Volunteer lead for coordinating all community festival vendors

    Bonus Tips

    Remember these core resume tips to help you effectively showcase your transferable skills:

    • CAR (Context Action Result) method. Remember that each bullet on your resume needs to state the situation, the action you took and the result of your experience.
    • Font. Use modern Sans Serif fonts like Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial.
    • White space. Ensure that there is enough white space on your resume by adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.5 cm. Your resume should be no more than two pages long.
    • Tailor your resume for each job posting. Pay attention to the language and key words used on the job posting and adjust your resume accordingly. Make the application process easy on yourself by creating your own resume template. Highlight sections that you need to tailor for each job application.
    • Get someone else to review your resume. Ideally you’d want to have someone with industry or hiring experience to provide you with insights to hone your resume. However, you also want to have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s essential that you know why you want to change careers. Setting this foundation not only helps you with your resume, but can also help you to change your cover letter, adjust your LinkedIn profile, network during your job search, and during interviews.

    Ensure that all the content on your resume is relevant for the specific job you’re applying to.

    Remember to focus on the job posting and your transferable skills. You have a wealth of experience to draw from – don’t discount any of it! It’s time to showcase and brand yourself in the direction you’re moving towards!

    More Resources to Help You Change Career Swiftly

    Featured photo credit: Parker Byrd via unsplash.com

    Reference

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