Challenge Yourself

Last week, I was preparing dinner and suddenly realised there is no atta (flour) at home. I panicked. What should I do? Rush to the grocery shop or call the grocer to deliver it or ask someone in the family to get it fast. Pause. I told myself- It’s ok if there is no atta. Let me not buy atta till next weekend and see what happens. For the full week I treated us with some interesting unusual dishes that otherwise I would not have explored.

“If something that you’re doing doesn’t challenge you, then it doesn’t change you.”Challenge yourself

Challenging yourself from time to time is a good way to practice and prepare for the unexpected challenges that often come up in life and help us to be in control. We usually fall into routine because it’s easy, manageable and predictable. But our routines will not take us in direction of greater heights. We need our daily dose of challenge.

Here are few simple ways of making yourself uncomfortable:

  1. Go for a digital detox- Try it this weekend- no computer/phone/TV.  Enjoy the real people around you.
  2. Figure out one thing that you are scared of. Promise yourself to do that for one week consistently.
  3. Go Backpacking- Rather than taking an all inclusive luxury tour go backpacking. Pack basics and travel local, eat local, stay local.
  4. Learn something new- pick up a hobby, a language, a new skill-driving, cooking anything. Make it a project and take it to completion.
  5. Identify one expense head that you can cut back realistically. Now invest the amount you save.

 

When you get out of your comfort zone, you explore new possibilities. New routes open for you. You get creative. You explore the unexplored. Making yourself uncomfortable and challenging yourself will help you grow your skills and knowledge and above all give you the belief that You Can!

Let us know how you are going to challenge yourself in the comments below.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep calm“I have been trying to return to work from past so many months, I feel so suffocated and frustrated…”  Job search especially after a career break is tough and often brings lots of negative energy. Self doubt, frustration of futile attempts, disappointments can leave us feeling worthless. But negativity and frustration only lead to a downward spiral. We need to trust ourselves during rough patches and keep going. But how? Let’s start with five minutes.

Brad Willis, a former NBC News foreign correspondent and now a Vedic scholar-Bhava Ram, shares some simple steps with Inc. to increase your calm and mental focus any time, even sitting at a desk- by taking five minutes to follow these eight steps. These are not very difficult meditation and yoga techniques but very simple easy to do steps with some proven big results.

1. Close your eyes.

Bring your attention inward, and notice that you are moving to internalized awareness. Set aside the distractions and stimulations of the day for the moment.

2. Listen to your breath.

Really listen, Bhava Ram advises. “Make it deeper, slower, smoother, and fuller.”

3. Feel your body.

Follow your breath as it reaches all of your body’s outer edges.

4. Feel the support beneath you.

That’s the chair you’re sitting on and the floor under your feet, but ultimately it’s the planet itself. “Feel the support of the earth,” he says.

5. Think “I” as you inhale and “am” as you exhale.

Continue repeating these thoughts as you breathe. This will deepen your calm and inner focus. “It’s implementing a yoga pose for the mind,”

6. Bring your awareness to your heart center.

The “heart center,” which is the fourth chakra, or energy point in your body, is a spot right behind your breastbone. Focus your attention there “as though it were the light of a candle flame,” he says.

7. Stay in the moment.

Remember that you are here in the present moment and that you have everything you need to solve the problems before you.

8. Remember that we are all connected.

“All of us are connected with all that is,” Bhava Ram says. “And in this state of awareness, begin to contemplate the task at hand.”

Give yourself this time every day to bring some positive energy, increased focus and self belief into your life.

Things to Do on a Career Break

Things to do on career break

You have decided to quit working for a while. May be just for a year or two. Life circumstances sometimes force us to take decisions that we don’t want to. Leaving your career, giving your ambitions a back-seat is certainly not easy.

But if you want to bounce back after this phase is over, prepare for it! Returning to work is not easy after a career break. Here are few things you can do to make sure your career break is a productive one. Whatever your circumstances are, try to dedicate 1-2 hours daily to nurture your career, to keep you updated and to make returning to work easy for you. Listed are few life events that might have forced you to quit and some things you can do to make your coming back easy.

  1. Relocation: Spouse relocation is quiet common. Many women leave their jobs to accompany their husbands for their assignments abroad or because of getting married in some other city/state. See your break as an opportunity to learn a new language, understand a new culture. Take online courses. It’s easy to volunteer in most of the countries. Contribute your skills for a cause that will also help you keep updated in your field and later you can show it as experience in your profile.
  2. Child Birth and Care: When the baby is small make time to take few online certification courses in your domain to up skill yourself. When you have little bit more time in your hand opt for Freelancing. Working on live projects will ensure you are never out of touch.
  3. Elderly Care: Similar to child care- depending upon the time you have, opt for online courses and freelancing.
  4. Health and other personal problems: It depends on your health condition. If you are completely bed ridden take time to recover without the additional guilt of career break. Keep in touch through reading from online and offline resources.

 

For all the above conditions a universal rule is never to disappear from the scene. Be active on LinkedIn, keep in touch with your colleagues and friends through social media and other channels. Read business news and current affairs to know what changes are happening.

And when you are ready to return, send us your profile and we’ll try our best to help you return to work.

 

 

 

How to Work from Home (Part-1): Freelancing

Work from Home

Work from home broadly defines two scenarios: Either a person working for a company opts to work from home (telecommute) or a person works from home independently as a freelancer (self employment). Focus for this post is freelancing.

Freelancing is a good choice for those who prefer versatility and flexibility. Certain skill sets like designing, writing, translation, accounting, photography, social media, apps development are more apt for freelancing. Many freelancing sites in India are not legitimate thus searching and identifying the right freelance projects is not easy. There are plenty of good global websites that can help you find suitable projects worldwide as a freelancer for a small fee.

Below are key pointers to help you establish as a freelancer:

-Showcase your skills: Build an online portfolio, a blog or a facebook page as per your expertise. References from previous clients are a big plus.

-Research your client: Distinguish between legitimate work from home jobs and stay away from scams.

-Build Your Network: As a freelancer you will be working alone most of the times. Try to network with people in your domain by attending seminars, conferences etc.

-Use Social Media: Promote your offerings on social media like LinkedIn and Facebook.

-Know your Worth: Depending upon your experience level and expertise decide the amount you will be charging for your services.

Though it might be difficult to find well-paying clients at the beginning but start small and build your credibility gradually as a freelancer. Freelancers need to decide the optimum price of their services. Your earnings depend upon your expertise and the amount of work you undertake. For freelancers it is also important to keep themselves up-skilled in their domains. So they should consider re-investing a part of their income in their career growth through various trainings, courses and conferences.

Tools and Templates to Pep Up Your Resume

Resume writing is a tedious task. To make your resume impressive and make it stand out is even more challenging. Here we present some easy to use resume tools ‘n templates from the web that will help you get started and are absolutely free to use.

Text Resume: These resume are always a safe bet for a conservative corporate environment. Use these templates to give a creative touch to your profile without going overboard.

resume-template-1

free-resume-template_10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 For more such templates visit: Primer Magazine

 

 

Infographic Resume: Get Creative, give your plain text resume a makeover. Infographic resumes are great way of showing your profile online. Create a visually stunning resume using this resume builder powered by Accenture.

Infographic Resume

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Resume:

Also known as profile video, creating a video resume is an excellent way to stand out from the competition. There are many tools available online to create your video profile. Tools like Resu-me can let you instantly convert your LinkedIn profile to a compelling video resume complete with a voice over and infographic.

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Nurture Your Executive Presence

Personality

A polished resume and an updated LinkedIn Profile are undoubtedly vital tools in your job search. But sometimes an awesome profile is not alone sufficient. You need something extra. That distinguishing factor that can highlight you despite of your career break.

According to a study conducted by Centre of Talent Innovation (CTI) though work/life balance challenges are often cited as a major factor, the fact that many women do not understand Executive Presence(EP), let alone how  to exude it, also plays an important role in their careers.

Executive Presence is build up of three essential components-

Gravitas: the ability to project confidence, poise under pressure, and decisiveness

Confidence deficit? Do not assume that your career break has made you less worthy. Do not underestimate the value of projects, volunteering activities, short assignments, freelance work that you have done in your career break. Be confident of the choices you made.

You can opt for Yoga as your confidence builder. Yoga has the proven potential to improve your confidence and performance at workplace.

Communicationwhich comprises excellent speaking skills, assertiveness, and the ability to read an audience or situation

Confident communication is your key. During any interaction speak with authority and ease. Practice speaking slowly, thoughtfully and a little bolder voice. Fast speech indicates nervousness.

Appearancelooking polished and pulled together

Appearance does matter. Choose your clothing according to your work environment. Do not compromise on comfort-keep your individual style but your looks should be polished and professional.

Cultivate your executive presence and discover a new you-ready to take on the challenges and all set  to come back to the corporate world.

 

Dos and Don’ts of Career Break

Yes I know, you have kids, you have lots to do at home but don’t forget that you also studied really hard, worked hard and you have a career. Yes it’s on hold right now so you can take care of yours little munchkins, but look ahead to when you want to relaunch…and start preparing now. Here are some simple tips that will get you thinking about your career path and will help you get back to working with confidence.

Career Break

Career Break

Dos

  1. Do some soul searching…Were you happy with what you were doing when you were working? Is that your passion? Is that what you want to do going forward? Sometimes taking a step back and looking at what you want to do with your life can really help you succeed in whatever you set out to do.  I read a quote somewhere that has stuck with me ‘Find your passion and make it your mission’.
  2. Do pick up some work, maybe freelancing, maybe helping a friend with their business, maybe your own part time venture.  This will help you shine in front of prospective employers and will give you intellectual stimulation. Yes…get out of mommy brain for a little bit.
  3. Do keep your skills updated, studying something relevant to your future job, preparing for a certification, maybe joining some classes to add a new skill to your resume.  Find few hours in a day to focus on your career. Just don’t get stagnant
  4. Do update your resume and submit your resume and profile to relauncHER.in. We can start looking for opportunities for you and even help you with updating your skills or answering your questions about the job market
  5. Do take care of yourself. Being on a break is a good time to not just take care of your family but also of your health. Learn some skills to relax, to balance your life and your day so you are prepared when the time comes to go back to workforce.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t lose touch with your friends, mentors and teachers. Try to get out and meet with them. Continue networking. Continue to update your linkedin profile, you never know who might help you with your successful relaunch.
  2. Don’t spend all your free time watching TV , gossip or shopping or reading about Bollywood.  Please, there is so much more to do.
  3. Don’t lose your interviewing skills, it doesn’t hurt to interview just for the sake of it. Maybe apply for some positions and interview just for fun.
  4. Don’t beat yourself for taking a career break and the fear of not being able to find a job. Hey, its life. We all to have to deal with what life throws at us. You made a choice, but you are going to make the most of it
  5. Don’t lose your confidence; invest some time in gaining confidence.  Try joining some groups like toastmasters that can help you with your speaking skills and also can help you grow your network

-Contributed by: Anshu Singh

Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile

Enhance Your Profile

Enhance Your Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is more than your online resume. Consider your profile as a marketplace to showcase your skills to employers. A good profile can help you find and attract great work opportunities. It is your professional presence on social media and generally your first impression on the recruiter. Give your profile some power lift and see the wonderful results it might bring:

  • Profile Picture: Add a professional looking photograph of yours preferably a close-up. Avoid using any selfies, generic pictures or some photo from your vacation.
  • Headline: Think and identify keywords that recruiter will search for to find someone like you for a position. Use these keywords to write your headline. LinkedIn by default uses your current position as your headline- which will not lead you anywhere. Also avoid using generic overused words like creative, enthusiastic etc.  Instead use leadership terms or action words (managed, designed) to establish your niche.
  • Summary: In this section write your elevator pitch. Describe your professional background and aspirations.  Do not write about your previous job roles here(that comes under the Experience section), instead focus on the work you have done, the value you can bring etc. It’s a place to describe your voice and personality.
  • Profile URL: Do not use default profile URL LinkedIn has assigned you.  Customize this URL with your name etc. Use this profile URL in your resume, email signature and business cards for added visibility.
  • Showcase Yourself: Mention all your awards, certificates, honours and accomplishments. Your LinkedIn profile is the best place to showcase your achievements to prospective employers.
  • Volunteer and Causes: Do not shy away from mentioning the volunteer work you have done. Many hiring managers consider volunteering as a legitimate work experience.
  • Get Recommendations: Ask your colleagues, friends, family to endorse and recommend you. It adds to your credibility.
  • Join Groups:  Be a member of groups related to your profession and roles. Actively participate in the discussions to show your competency and subsequently build a great network.

 

Completing your LinkedIn profile 100% with your education, experiences, recommendations, group membership will improve your search ranking on LinkedIn and will get you more visibility with employers.  So go ahead, build a strong professional network and leverage the power of LinkedIn.