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How to land a job or promotion AND find work life balance in 2012


This is YOUR year! You heard it here. This is the year you are going to land a job, get ahead at work AND manage to reclaim some control over your work life balance.

So where to start?

 Let's start with you job seekers. job search organizer StartWire is offering New Year’s tips for job seekers:

  1. Apply earlyas nearly 50% of company hires applied within the first week and approximately 75% of all hired candidates applied within three weeks of the job posting, according to StartWire research.
  2. Look beyond the Help Wanted ads and job boards to identify companies landing funding, new clients or making other positive news. Positive corporate announcements, such as receiving funding or landing new clients, often mean new jobs. Get ahead of the game and contact recruiters before jobs are posted.
  3. Understand a company’s hiring approach (referrals, events, etc.) Depending on the recruiting department’s philosophy, the company may hire exclusively through employee referrals or via corporate events. tailor your efforts to be noticed so that your resume will have a greater chance of making it to the top of the pile
  4. Find local connections to industry jobs through local professional organizations. Almost every industry has a professional association with local chapters. Send an introductory email to the local chapter leaders and attend some of the relevant events. It can open doors to future job positions. 
  5. Use Social Media to yield inside networking opportunities. Actively following and engaging with potential employers’ social media networks may help increase your chances for an interview or a second look by hiring managers. This shows you are interested in the company and are actively following its efforts. Plus, social media circles often yield inside networking opportunities. Research shows that 1 in 10 candidates whose resumes come through a referral are hired, compared to 1 in 100 general applicants.


Now, for those who have a job, let's look at how to get ahead in 2012

"If you have a job, your workplace resolutions should be focused on keeping it, as well as putting yourself in a position for a possible salary increase or promotion,” advised John Challenger,chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Here are some suggestions from John Izzo, a corporate consultant and author of STEPPING UP: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything.

-- Find one thing: Think of something at work that you want to do something about. Instead of trying to hatch a master plan, identify one thing you can do starting immediately to move in the direction of the change you seek.

-- Punch above your weight or formal position: Come up with ideas for new products and innovations even if it's not in your job description. Win customers for life even if it's not your department, and generally go bigger than whatever your role says you MUST do.

-- Don't let your lack of position get in the way of your influence: How could you lead right now even though you have no position? What steps can you take to make change?

Now, let's move on to work life balance. You can achieve it this year!

Here is some advice from The Grindstone. I've tweaked it a bit to add my spin.

--Workout before work: You already wake up early for work and though sleep is precious tacking on that extra hour will make you feel so much better for the whole day. Designer Tory Burchdoes her workout at 6 a.m. before her kids get up. University of Bristol researchers found that employees who enjoyed a workout before going to work – or exercised during lunch breaks – were better equipped to handle whatever the day threw at them. It also found that people’s general mood improved on days of exercise but they became less calm on non-exercise days.If you are able to you can exercise during your work commute if you can bike or walk.

-- Don't go crazy over working on vacation.  If you are going to worry about checking your email all day while on vacation then it is not going to be a very fun vacation. So check it and then move on.

--Do more charity work, but do it your way. It is wonderful to help others and it does make you feel good but don't feel bad if instead of going down to a soup kitchen you instead give a generous donation to a shelter or non-profit that helps promote entrepreneurship in Africa. Or what about talking to a group that helps young girls develop their career paths like The Canadian Women's Foundation Girls' Fund? It would be great to go to Africa with Angelina Jolie, but there are other things to do that fit into your work life schedule.

-- Do fret over being a better housekeeper. We'd all love to be Martha Stewart at home but we don't have that kind of time. So don't kill yourself if you can't throw a dinner party, clean your whole house, make the kids' costumes and still be great at your job all the time. Just one of those is enough.

-- Consider outsourcing. The service TaskRabbit, which is also an iPhone app, allows you to easily hire people for several types of tasks including shopping and cleaning. Concierge services as well as sites like Get Friday which provides virtual assistance services to clients all over the world. Get Friday is available 24 hours a day and now caters to busy individuals and small businesses in 30 odd countries across different time zones. You can even hire a personal or virtual assistant on a temporary basis if you need it from TasksEveryday.com.

--Ask for what you want. Don't sit around moping about how much time you spend at work and away from your family. Make a change. Figure out exactly what you want, how to make it happen, and ask for it. That may mean shifting your work hours, skipping lunch and leaving earlier or setting an alarm that signals you to leave the office at 6 p.m.




I wish you all success in 2012!