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Explaining Why You're Looking for a New Job

During the interview process, you’ll likely be asked the question, “Why you are looking for a new job?” When answering this question, there are some basic guidelines you’ll want to follow to ensure you come across as professional, polite, and prepared. Here are some suggestions on how to handle this common interview question…

 

During an Interview

Whether you’re speaking with a recruiter or interviewing with your potential new boss, they will want to know why it is you’re looking for a new position. How you handle this question will give the interviewer insights into your personality and level of professionalism. It’s important to be honest and to communicate diplomatically. Our suggestion is to share one or two reasons why it is that you’re seeking a new position. Perhaps it’s that your current role has grown stagnant, and you’d like to further your career, or that you’re seeking a better management relationship and mentorship than what your current employer provides. Whatever you’re reasoning, politely and clearly explain the situation then quickly pivot the conversation to the new career opportunity and how that role would better serve you. Another suggestion is that when answering the question, you’ll want to avoid using strong words such as “hate” and you never want to criticize your current company, boss, or co-workers. Instead, reframe the situation, and how it served as a learning lesson for you, and why the new employer would better suit your needs and talents.

 

If you’d like some more examples on reasons for leaving you’re role and exactly how to answer this question during an interview, check out this great article on Indeed.

 

Speaking with Your Current Employer

When you inform your current boss at work that you’ve found a new role, they may also ask why you’re leaving. The way you handle this is to keep it short and sweet. You want to always leave your current role on good terms so simply let them know you found another opportunity that will serve you better in furthering your career. You don’t want to get into the details about whether it’s a higher salary or a better cultural environment. Be concise with your explanation and do let them know that you’re grateful for the time you had at your company and the knowledge and support they provided you in your career. One final suggestion is that you don’t want to burn bridges, so giving your current employer a 2-weeks’ notice is common courtesy in most work settings, as well as getting your loose ends tied up and leaving things as organized as possible.

 

Explaining Why You're Looking for a New Job

Improving Productivity and Focus at Work

Charles Duhigg, author of the books: The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better writes about habit formation and productivity. How do we become more productive as well as create routines to help us build and maintain healthy habits? In today’s blog, we turn to Duhigg’s work for his insights and observations.

 

Productivity

Most people agree that productivity isn’t about working harder or longer. Charles says, “The difference between being merely busy and genuinely productive is about taking control of how we think and making better choices—instead of simply reacting to life's constant demands.” One of the ways to feel in control is to start making conscious choices instead of only responding and reacting. When you’re reacting to demands or the situation, you’re not thinking, planning, and strategizing. The people that can set goals and get the most done are those that can focus and eliminate distractions. They focus on the main goal and sort what is helpful versus what is a distraction. We may think of distractions as spending time on social media, watching tv, etc., but distractions aren’t always so obvious. In his book, Smarter Faster Better, Charles writes, “If you need to improve your focus and learn to avoid distractions, take a moment to visualize, with as much detail as possible, what you are about to do. It is easier to know what's ahead when there's a well-rounded script inside your head.”

 

Habit Formation

We may think habits only make up a small portion of our day-to-day life, but in reality, they make up a large portion of our daily actions. A Duke University research paper found that about 40% of people’s daily actions weren't due to decision making but were due to habits. It can be powerful to know that such a large part of our lives are taken up by habits because it can help us evaluate whether those habits are helpful or if we need to change them. If we want to implement new habits, Charles recommends using the framework:

  • Identify the routine
  • Experiment with rewards
  • Isolate the cue
  • Have a plan

An example of putting these steps into action could be wanting to adopt a new running routine. Once you know you want to start running (identifying the routine), you choose the cue (such as in the evening setting out your workout clothes and running shoes for your planned morning run), experimenting with a reward (like a refreshing drink after your run or an Epsom salt bath in the evening for your muscles), and creating a plan (you’ll run every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from 6:30 am-7:30 am). It takes willpower to implement and maintain new habits, but like training a new muscle it will get stronger with time and consistency.

 

Improving Productivity and Focus at Work

Improving Your Work Meetings

Meetings bring people together for a purpose with a defined beginning, middle, and end. Whether in-person, or remote, most work environments hold at least one meeting each week, and many have them daily. They may consist of all-hands meetings, team meetings, and 1-on-1 meetings. Each type offers its own benefits and the structure for each varies. So how can you make the most out of your work meetings? Here are some suggestions.

 

Be clear on your Intention for the meeting

Prior to the meeting, it’s important for attendees to know the purpose of the meeting and to have it clearly defined. By outlining the agenda, and involving only those necessary, the meeting will feel more organized and purposeful. It’s important to have meetings out of necessity and not habit. Doing so will improve the quality of the meetings even though the quantity is less.

 

Encourage Engagement and Presence

People can view meetings as interruptions to their “real work” so it’s important to get everyone’s attention at the beginning of the meeting and promote a sense of presence. Harvard Business Review recommends, “As the conversation gets started, try to adopt a stewardship mindset, asking questions, engaging others, modeling active listening, drawing out concerns, and managing conflicts.” Remember that the way you open a meeting conveys the tone for the meeting. Going back to the first point, remind attendees of the purpose of the meeting and spend the first 5 minutes doing a check-in with the team and encouraging engagement. When meeting in person, meetings tend to be more relaxed and have a sense of comradery. Whereas virtual meetings or calls tend to be straight to the point and can lose the feel of a team environment and collaboration. Depending upon which type of meeting you’re having, you may need to work harder to encourage engagement with the attendees.

 

Be Open to Change

If your environment is one in which repeat meetings are necessary, be open to adaptation and change. Take a poll with the routine attendees on what their “pain points” are with the meetings and their suggestions to make the meetings better. Keep these polls anonymous so everyone feels comfortable sharing their opinions and suggestions. In the same Harvard Business Review article, they gave an example of a manager who did just that and by asking for feedback, “He’d shown that he was a leader who valued reflection, learning, flexibility, taking reasonable risks, not being complacent, and trying new things, and his employees were rewarding him with proactive problem-solving.” It may be time to makeover your team meetings and get the input of your attendees on the ways they’d like to see meetings conducted moving forward.

 

 

 

  

 

 

Improving Your Work Meetings

Know Your Limit and Avoid Work Burnout

Since the start of the pandemic, many people have experienced higher levels of stress and exhaustion. When these periods of fatigue last longer than normal, and even short breaks don’t provide relief, this can be a sign of burnout. In today’s blog, we’ll dive deeper into work burnout and provide some solutions and ways to turn your stress into an opportunity for personal growth.

 

What is Burnout?

Prolonged exposure to increased stress leads to burnout. In an article on Thrive Global, they state, “the definition of burnout was first coined by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974, when he described it as “a depletion or exhaustion of a person’s physical or mental resources attributed to his or her prolonged, yet unsuccessful striving toward unrealistic expectations, internally or externally derived. Burnout is about not having enough energy, motivation, or passion.”

 

Signs of Burnout

There are a lot of signs of work burnout, some of the most common include:

  • Fatigue, both physical and emotional
  • Developing an unhealthy relationship to food and alcohol
  • Insomnia
  • Numbing out with internet and television
  • Not getting pleasure from the things we normally enjoy
  • Increased irritability and frustration
  • Feeling tired and rundown
  • Decreased productivity and a loss of enthusiasm and meaning in our work

What’s causing our burnout can be work overload, work with high emotional intensity, or a lack of acknowledgment, awards, and support at work. Those most prone to work burnout are workaholics and perfectionists who are so dedicated to the work, and doing good work continuously, that it leads to burnout.


The Remedy

The first step is to identify the sources of stress in your life, recognize that your job stress is getting to the best of you and take steps to find a resolution. Have you not taken a vacation or time off since the start of the pandemic? Perhaps it’s time to unplug and reset. You’ll likely come back to work more focused and refreshed. If you’re not in the position to go on vacation, at least consider taking a “mental health day”. Additionally, see what steps you can take in the workplace to mitigate stress. Are there meetings you can skip and instead spend that time completing a task? Is there anything at work you can delegate? Talk to your boss and see where you can get a bit more time in your day that way you don’t need to work overtime. Also, remember to pace yourself. Moderation and balance are key. If you’ve been intensely pushing it at work, it’s time to try and back off.

 

Another suggestion comes from the same Thrive Global article, where clinician and therapist, Robert C. Ciampi, says, “Burnout is a matter of recovery from a debilitating state of emptiness and exhaustion from which it takes time to recover. A strategy I often recommend to my clients is to take life one day at a time or, even better, one hour at a time, breaking up the pressures we face into manageable chunks. It works for me! Give yourself the time you need to “detox” from the day-to-day “addiction” you experience every day. And remember to call a therapist as soon as you begin to feel overly stressed with everyday life.”

 

Finally, good self-care is also key to avoiding burnout. Connecting with others and doing things that bring you joy is imperative for your well-being. Also, look into ways to reduce the intensity in your life. Some examples of this may be skipping the evening news or ordering dinner instead of making it after a long day at the office. Think about simple steps to make your personal life a bit easier so you can handle and manage the other areas of stress in your life.

There are a lot of signs of work burnout, some of the most common include:

  • Fatigue, both physical and emotional
  • Developing an unhealthy relationship to food and alcohol
  • Insomnia
  • Numbing out with internet and television
  • Not getting pleasure from the things we normally enjoy
  • Increased irritability and frustration
  • Feeling tired and rundown
  • Decreased productivity and a loss of enthusiasm and meaning in our work
Know Your Limit and Avoid Work Burnout

The Great Talent Migration of 2021

With our current tight job market, increased job flexibility, and technical advances, we are going through what has been phrased as the “Great Talent Migration”. What is the reason for the current talent migration and what does it mean for companies looking to hire and retain their employees? In today’s blog, we discuss further.

 

What’s Causing the Migration?

Microsoft study found that “41 percent of employees were considering leaving their current employer this year and 46 percent said they were likely to move because they can now work remotely. In addition, 53 percent of Americans said they would switch to an entirely new industry if they could retrain.” Some of the reasons for the current turnover include work burnout, more freedom and flexibility for where and how employees work, and technical advances. We discussed work burnout in last week’s blog and some of the tools to help prevent it, however, that is one of the leading causes for the talent migration. In the same Microsoft study, they found that “burnout is widespread — 54% of workers said they are overworked, 39% said exhausted.” Work burnout is a real issue and has resulted in an exhausted workforce. Work flexibility is also a big motivator for employees. While companies were slowly adopting increased hybrid and remote work options, the pandemic quickly accelerated the trend and employees have now grown accustomed to and enjoyed the benefits of having this option. As far as the technical advances, previously it was more challenging to collaborate and bring remote teams together, however with all the current tools such as Slack, Zoom, and instant messaging, it’s become easier than ever to stay connected even when teams are physically apart.

 

Ways to Retain Top Talent

Companies are getting creative with the perks they are offering to attract talent. Apart from sign-on bonuses, another interesting trend has been offering assistance with student loan repayment. However, not all companies have the option or ability to afford such perks. There are a lot of non-monetary incentives that companies can offer, one being remote work. Studies show that flexible work environments are here to stay and that gives employees a lot more options. Companies wanting to acquire and retain top talent should consider offering flexible and remote work options. Other non-monetary incentives include strengthening their company culture and policies. Employees are interested in working for a company they believe in, and companies who haven’t already, should consider adopting environmental, diversity, and inclusivity policies. Another incentive for employees is offering career development opportunities. Having strong mentorship and career growth pathways in place give employees the option to climb the corporate ladder without having to switch to a different company.

 

The Great Talent Migration of 2021