Category: Uncategorized

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Yourself

Congratulations on completing a week of shutdown.  What a week!

I was on back-to-back virtual meetings via FaceTime, Google Hangout, Zoom with smatterings of phone calls, and conversations over texts, and checked Facebook and Instagram first thing in the morning to see who had birthdays and wish them a happy one, and in the early evening to stay in touch and like pictures and posts.  I noticed a fair number of posts that joked about how there’s no need to color one’s hair since no one would notice, or referred to pajamas as work-from-home attire, or indicated there’s no need to upgrade a wardrobe since there’s no one to impress.  Have to admit, they gave me a chuckle or two, but it also got me thinking. All joking aside, if you are a job seeker, or if you’re working from home, how you dress and look will have an impact on how you feel about yourself. Working independently on your job search and working remotely does mean you have someone to notice and impress. 

Y  O U !!!

You are important. You are impressive and deserve notice. It’s OK to like your friends and family, social media posts and tweets, but like yourself too. 

Exercise and get those endorphins going! If you go outside, just keep that 6 foot distance between you and another person.If you choose to hunker down, you can stretch, do situps, crunches, and planks, and you don’t have to subscribe to fancy and expensive Zoom yoga classes.  You can find plenty of self-proclaimed exercise gurus that would only be glad to have you view and like their DIY exercise youtube videos.

Get dressed! (take a shower first please) Yes that’s right, get dressed for your job search. In case you haven’t noticed that’s work too. A lot of work.

The proactive bird gets the worm. Did another interview get cancelled? Take the initiative and suggest an interview via Facetime, Google Hangout, or Zoom. Don’t know how to operate Google Hangout, or do you need to setup a Zoom account? Take advantage of the time now to learn, so you’re all set to go tomorrow.

Above all, R-E-S-P-E-C-T yourself!

Best, Mariko

Getting organized

Working from home offers flexibility and has its benefits. It reduces dreadful commutes ridden with delays and jams. It also empowers us to design our schedules and define productivity according to who we and how we operate.  Working remotely also requires self-discipline, the ability to internalize structure to complete tasks on hand, and to hold ourselves accountable and not cheat or shortchange ourselves. For many people with or without disabilities the ability to create and stick to a schedule is a challenge. How many times have we heard of individuals who required support around time management, or who lack executive functioning skills?  Managing time is an art which many can accomplish.  Here are some suggestions…

Create lists. Break them down into 3 categories: (Below are just examples).

  • Things that must get done: School work, job search, prep meals
  • Things I’d like to get done: Workout, household chores      
  • Things to do during break: Call/text friends and family, email, social media (FB, Instagram), Watch TV

Ask yourself the following questions: (everyone is different) Am I a morning person, a night owl, somewhere in between, or really don’t know?What kind of day do I want. 9-5? 10-6? If I absolutely need help from others, what time of the day can I reach them? What distracts me – phone, notifications, certain people?

Create your schedule by filling in the blanks: (again these are just hypotheticals)

6:00     am       Wake up and have coffee

7:00     am       Crossword puzzle, workout

8:00     am       Get ready for work

9:00     am       Schoolwork – reading, homework

10:00   am       Schoolwork – study for exams

11:00   am       mid-morning break

12:00   pm       Job search – update resume

1:00     pm       Lunch

2:00     pm       Job search – research websites

3:00     pm       Job search – draft cover letters

4:00     pm       mid-afternoon break

5:00     pm       Review day’s work and create To Do list for tomorrow

Tackle the list by turning off or silencing your phone. Minimize distractions by turning off notifications. If certain people have the habit of distracting you, have a chat with them beforehand show them your schedule and ask them politely to hold off till your break.  If you work in a separate room, put up a “Do not disturb” or “Concentrating right now” sign and on the sign indicate your break time.

Keep track of what you’ve accomplished.  Tasks that you weren’t able to complete or get to should go to the top of your following day’s “To Do” list.

Again, these are only suggestions. Just like our fingerprints, we are all wonderfully unique. What works for one person, may not work for the other. Embrace this time to discover how you like to work independently and what works best for you. 

Best, Mariko

Coping with COVID-19

First and foremost, Project Job hopes you and yours are safe and healthy.  These are highly unusual times wrought with anxiety and stress, and the continuous stream of headline news does not help.

For job seekers like yourself, the cancellation of job fairs, the delays in response to your resume submissions, the postponements of interviews only feed into insecurities and exacerbate a fraughtful process.  However, the disruption to the flow of your employment search, and the added loneliness in a world that is temporarily working remotely, can be used to your advantage today to get a job tomorrow. Here’s a few ways to grab the gloom and doom by the horns and start making lemonade out of lemons.

1. Catch up. How many times have you felt you didn’t have enough time to for your job search “chores?”

  • Review and update your resume
  • Create or polish your LinkedIn profile
  • Create that excel spreadsheet and enter jobs you’ve applied for
  • Reconnect or stay in touch with former colleagues
  • Research a new list of prospective employers

2. Get curious. Learn a new skill, listen to a TED talk, check out a new podcast.  Here are some suggestions: LinkedIn learning, Grow with Google, TED talks, How I Built This podcast with Guy Raz.

3. Stay connected with your circle of support and friends, by using the phone, facetime, google hangout, skype, or other modes of communication that you’re comfortable with.  Network with professionals by connecting and communicating via LinkedIn.

4. Exercise your mind and body, go outside, do a crossword puzzle, take pictures, listen to music.

5. Reflect and hear yourself think. Jot your thoughts down.

Yes be mindful of your surroundings, be safe and careful, wash those hands, embrace the solitude to tackle your “To Do” list, and please stay in touch.

Best, Mariko

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