You have training and experience under your belt, you sent out 20 resumes, and you are still waiting for a response. The good news is there are jobs. The real questions are:
Where are the jobs?
What will I need to do to get the job I want?
Do I know what skills I want to develop and look for in jobs I am seeking?
Am I using effective strategies for creating a successful career?
The most important career strategy is knowing what you want. Knowing what is most important to you means knowing your strengths, values, and interests. From there you will need effective strategies for your job search to get the job that is the best fit for you.
I'm here to help you with your job search strategies. Send me an email to schedule your 30 minute complimentary conversation. email@example.com.
Nancy J. Miller, M.S., Career Counselor/Certified Life Coach
Career, Writing & Creative Problem-solving
Creative LifeWork Design, Inspiring Creativity and Prosperity
These are general interview questions. Interview questions are a great way to practice by first writing down your answers and then practicing them.
Regardless of what the interviewer asks, they want to know how you solve problems and conflicts, how you make decisions, and how well you work in groups or on teams. They also want to know how you communicate verbally. Don’t worry, they are aware that you may be nervous and uncomfortable. It’s ok. Can you carry on a conversation and answer questions under pressure? if not, practice. Start with people you know well, and then talk with someone you don’t know, like a career coach, counselor, or teacher. Your life and work success are worth the effort.
Tell me about yourself.
1. Think about something you are interested in, passionate about, or particularly gifted in. Describe your interests, skills, and experience for the job you are applying. Be prepared to give examples of your successes. Write them down ahead of time and practice saying them. talk to yourself in the mirror and watch your expression. Smile! Practice with a friend or professional. Video tape yourself if needed. The underlying question you are answering is: “Why should we hire you?
2. Why do you want this job?
Make sure you understand the product or service. Think of something you like about the product, customer service, impact on the environment, etc. Give examples of your skills and experience that add value to the company or help them solve a problem. the employer wants to know that you will always portray a positive image of the company.
3. What do you expect to be doing 5 years from now?
Think about how you would like to grow with the company. Describe education, skills, or experience you would like to have in 5 years that would qualify you for a promotion in the company. explain how you could help the company by being in that position.
4. Tell me about a strength/weakness.
You will have no problem explaining your strengths related to the job after completing your portfolio. the weakness question is trickier. One way to answer the question is to discuss a skill or ability that you are weak in and how you compensate for it. example: i like to work independently on a problem or project, but i’ve learned the value of input from others. I’ve had success bringing in collaborators and working on a team when that is the best approach.
5. Describe a problem or conflict and how you solved it.
Think about how you solve problems, make decisions, and
resolve conflicts. Write down examples of each. Be ready to
describe a specific situation at work or school where you
resolved a conflict.
6. What do you know about…
Give examples of how and where you have used the skills
related to the job you want.
7. What would a former supervisor (or colleague) say about you?
Take a moment to think about words colleagues have used to
describe you. For example:
• You really think things through.
• The event you planned was well organized.
• You are an excellent leader.
Ask the interview panel for their names and business cards if possible. Repeat each name as you say hello. Ask a question about the position at the beginning or end of the interview, for example:
• What would a typical day look like?
• How would a person in this position spend most of their
• What is the biggest challenge your company is facing?
• What do you like best about working for this company?
Often, at the end of the interview, the panel will ask if you have anything you’d like to add. Be prepared to say something positive, add additional important information, or reiterate something that you would like to emphasize. Thank the interviewers for their time and attention. Ask when they expect to make a decision. Send a thank you letter in the mail if possible (you may also need to send an email or (fax) to each interviewer.
Stay away from discussing examples of problems that still have emotional impact. Seek professional help for finding ways to discuss difficult situations. Sometimes changing the words you use to describe an experience will help release its emotional hold on you. Avoid talking about your personal life, age, schedule, or religion unless it is relevant to the job. Interviewers sometimes ask illegal questions. employers say interviewees often give too much information.
From the book, Fire Up Your Profile For LifeWork Success, Copyright @ 2012, 2016 by Nancy J. Miller.
It's the last day of National Novel Writing Month. I wrote almost everyday on my novel and finished 10,067 words. I connected with writing buddies I hadn't seen in years. Very fun and motivating. The NaNoWriMo goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I was always intimidated by such a lofty goal even though I know stretching to reach a goal, whether I meet it or not, stretches my muscles and takes me farther than I would otherwise go.
November 21, 2010, I set a goal to walk and blog everyday for a year whether I wanted to or not. I wrote about how I could have come up with many excuses to not walk, but I made a commitment. I knew my daily discipline of writing would help me build the skills I need to meet my daily, yearly, and five-year goals.
I set a goal to write two books and publish five in the next year. This seems optimistic since I had yet to finish one of the three books I was been working on. The purpose of a goal is to stretch. It’s like doing exercises. If you never stretch your muscles and reach higher than you think you can, you will never build any strength. Julius Irving, the fifth-highest scorer in professional basketball history said:
“Being professional is doing the things you love to do on the days you don’t feel like doing them.”
I set a goal to write a book and blog because I finally had the freedom to do what I really wanted to do. Then I found out I didn’t always love to do what I wanted to do. I love writing ideas and scenes when I feel inspired. Writing everyday whether I feel like I have something to write, doing editing, and rewriting are work. So it takes a lot of stretching and building writing muscle to reach my goals.
By stretching my goal in 2010, I wrote and published, Fire Up Your Profile For LifeWork Success: Your life, Your work, Your Style, and Vegetable Kids in the Garden: Healthy eating, healthy relationships. I am now stretching again to make a goal to finish my novel by this time next year. I wrote it now let's see if I can do it.
Blessings for Health and Prosperity,
Nancy J. Miller, M.S., Creative LifeWork Design
Coaching for Life, Work, and Creativity
There’s a time to think and a time to do. When you have a major life decision, it’s time to think before doing. If you have a project you are working on, maybe you just need to start it. Begin the process and let it unfold, and then think about it. If you are buying a house, start looking, notice how you feel, then think. If you are writing, start writing and see where your story takes you. If it is going nowhere, then take a few minutes to think, take a walk, go to the coffee shop, or move to a different space.
I’ve been writing a scifi novel for about two years, I’ve had a very general idea for a novel for about 10 years. I’m moving very slowly. I think too much, and I wait for an idea or inspiration. It’s fun! This year, I decided to take the NaNoWriMo, challenge. In the past I chose not to do it because it seemed impossible. This year I was a day late but I signed up. Will I meet the challenge to just do it and write more.
On the NaNoWriMo website, I can tally my words for accountability. The website says at the rate I am writing, I will meet the 50,000 word goal May 3, 2018. Am I discouraged? No. I have been writing everyday with the exception of one day since November 2nd. I’ve written more in two weeks than I did the first year of writing the novel. That’s an accomplishment!
If you are a thinker like I am, you can take the leap and start something you have been thinking about doing or work more on something you have a passion for doing. Take the challenge. Need organization, accountability, or help getting started? Give yourself a sense of urgency. Send me an email and set up a conversation. Need more? Invest in yourself and consider hiring a coach. You are worth it!
I would like to say call me, but with all of the unwanted calls, I just might not pick up. Then how would you feel? I would like to give you a positive experience and make good use of your time.
Creative work may take inspiration or ideas although sometimes it takes the discipline to just do it, check it, and share it.
You have a grand goal and you are willing to work hard to achieve it. You know your expected salary, the location you want to work, and you've invested in your education. With your goal in mind, you create a solid resume and send it out to a hundred companies with little or no response, so you work harder toward your goal.
You begin to think there are really no jobs that fit the criteria you need, there is something wrong with you, or you got the wrong degree. You begin to feel inadequate and lose motivation. You spent time setting goals and made a plan. What went wrong?
After talking to a career coach, you realize you were planning for a job hoping it would last a lifetime. You liked the myth that if you worked hard enough you would keep your job––you just needed to find the right one.
The problem is that there is not just one right job. You need to develop a process for growing your career rather than just looking for a job. What's the difference? In today's job market, all jobs are temporary, but if chosen well, each one gives you the skills and experience you need for the next job.
How can you prepare for a career rather than just looking for a job? First determine the skills you want to develop and take with you. If you are not sure, then choose the skills and find ways to use them at some level so you will know if you want to pursue a career using the skill.
For more on skills, read the Skills You Want to Use section of Fire Up Your Profile For LifeWork Success Revised 2016.
Blessings for Health and Prosperity,
Nancy J. Miller
We can go through phases of our lives that are bright and sunny full of light and energy that is even hard to contain in simple things like words. Punctuation interrupts the flow of thoughts, ideas, and energy. At other times, it feels like a shadow is passing across our energy field leaving a trail of emptiness. The passion has waned and the heart asks what is next.
This morning the United States will see a partial to almost total eclipse of the sun. An article in Science Daily, says, "A total eclipse is a dance with three partners: the moon, the sun and Earth," said Richard Vondrak, a lunar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "It can only happen when there is an exquisite alignment of the moon and the sun in our sky." This quote made me think about how we have a dance with ourselves; the heart, the mind, the body. There are times when one part of ourselves overshadows another part, but rather than being out of alignment, maybe one part just needs more attention than another.
I have been feeling very stuck this year. It is like my body is overshadowing the other parts of myself since it has needed a lot of attention. I say that I have had health hiccups because it seems like one after another. But since I keep slowly moving forward taking care of the part of me that needs the most attention, while I continue learning and working on what needs to be done, I can see this shadow as an alignment that needs to take place.
You could call this reframing the situation, changing perspective, or appreciating an exquisite dance with self. Each part of ourselves needs special attention at one time or another. The heart or soul may be searching, the mind might be exploding with ideas, or the body might have too much of a good thing like an overgrowth of cells in all the wrong places.
I am learning to respect each part of myself and see the shadow not as an interference with my intentions or goals, but a new dance that will bring to light an awareness of a new resource, ability, or character that I have never used before.
As a Life and Career Coach, I am often reminded that we have so many resources and abilities within ourselves that we are not aware of until something or someone brings clarity into the dance to give it rhythm and purpose. When you experience the eclipse through media, pictures, or special glasses remember the shadow of the moon briefly passes across the sun to create an amazing experience shared around the world.
When your sun is so bright you feel overwhelmed or the shadow is crossing your path, seek out a friend, mentor, or coach for support, clarity, and accountability to create the life and work you want. Don’t know what you want? I have tools to help you with that too! Where are you in your cycle of creativity and productivity? I would love to hear from you. Comment or send me a message at, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you in the driver’s seat managing your career or are you a passenger waiting to see what direction it takes? If you are not clear about your vision, strengths, values, and goals you may be passively watching the road as opportunities come and go without recognizing the possibilities in front of you, and taking action.
Your Life Coach will show you how to take charge of your life and career. You can’t control the road hazards and detours along the way but you can choose how you act and react to your environment.
You have a vision for what you want in your life and career. If you take the time to write it down, reflect, clarify and see what is most important based on your values and strengths, you will have a clear picture for your life and career. A clear vision will drive you to make plans and goals that fit your values. Understanding your values and what is most important to you will take you on the ride of your life. With a Master’s degree in Career Counseling and 15 years’ experience, Nancy has the expertise to help you create your map for success.
Ready for a complimentary conversation to see what coaching can do for you? Read about Nancy, her coaching style, and what a 20-30 minute get acquainted appointment might look like. While you’re here, send Nancy an email to set up a telephone conversation. She’s looking forward to hearing from you.
A couple of months ago I was having a lovely pre-valentines day dinner with my husband when my doctor called and told me he was sorry to give me the news that I have cancer and would need surgery. It was a shock, and I didn’t know what to expect. A large mass in my kidney, the doctor said. That didn’t sound good. I told my husband that I would have that glass of Merlot after all.
Certified Life Coach
Coaching for Career, Writing & Creative Problem-Solving
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