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battle plan for auditors

How to Be Productive With Your Job Hunt

There’s no getting around it: hunting for jobs is a pain. It’s time consuming, stressful and occasionally disheartening. Worst of all, it’s easy to lose focus, potentially keeping you unemployed for even longer.

However, there are certain steps you can take to be more productive with your job hunt and avoid losing focus. You’ve probably heard this before, but just in case: when you’re unemployed and searching for a job, you need to think of your job search as your full-time job. Treating your search this way makes it much more likely to yield results.

Here are some tips that you should consider:

  • Plan out your days. Just as you would with an average work day, plan out what your days look like while on the job hunt. You might reserve certain days for networking sessions, or set aside blocks of hours looking job huntingfor jobs online. You should also reserve time to tweak your resume, fill out applications, write letters, etc. Stay organized with your planning so that you start to get yourself into a routine; that makes it much easier to stay focused.
  • Track everything. Keep a thorough spreadsheet of all your job seeking activities. Track the jobs that you’ve applied for, when you applied for them, who your contact person was and when you followed up. You should also track all of the networking contacts you’ve made and when you had correspondence with them. Update this spreadsheet regularly to make sure that you’re staying organized.
  • Take advantage of technology. Use social networking or job hunting sites to your advantage. Many of them even have email alert systems when jobs that match your searches or your qualifications show up. You can get alerts as soon as listings are posted, so you can have an inside track on applications.
  • Revise your resume and cover letter for each application. You won’t find great results if you use the same generic resume and cover letter for every position you pursue. Research the target organization and what they’re looking for in an applicant so you have a better understanding of how to frame your application materials.
  • Keep your schedule arranged like you would at work. Get up early, stay well groomed and dressed, take lunch breaks and call an end to your job hunting activities by a certain time of the day. This will make your transition into your eventual new job a lot easier, and also keep you more productive during your search.

Getting that important work position is critical. Take these and other steps that each increase the probability of a successful pursuit. Good hunting!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

employee to entrepreneur

What You Need to Know When Going from Employee to Entrepreneur

There are thousands of people out there working nine to five jobs with dreams of breaking free from the system and starting their own business. I’ve done it, and I always try to encourage others with these same ambitions to ‘find their own way’ to go for it. But never say goodbye to life as an employee without knowing exactly what you’re getting into as an entrepreneur.

Here are a few things you will need to know about taking that leap:

  • You’re going to be in for some long hours. There’s no way of getting around it; when you first start out as an entrepreneur, you’re going to be working a lot more than you did when you had your nine to five office employee to entrepreneur job. It takes a long time to get a business up and running to the point where you can take a step back and breathe. 25 years in I’m still cranking out 60-plus hour weeks every week. But if this is a business idea that you’re truly passionate about, it won’t matter so much to you. Just make triple sure that your loved ones are ready for the change, too.
  • You’ll be wearing many hats. You won’t be able to afford to hire people for every aspect of your new venture right off the bat. You’ll be in charge of many things yourself, ranging from overall leadership to tech support to marketing to service delivery and much more. Be sure that you are comfortable handling a wide range of responsibilities. If you don’t do it, it probably won’t get done.
  • You may feel isolated. This is especially true if you’re leaving a big company where you had lots of friends in the office. When you get started as an entrepreneur, it’s likely going to be just you for a period of time. This could be a shock to your system if you’ve never worked outside of a traditional office environment. From day one, find ways to include meaningful human interaction in your work. Coaches and mentors are a great place to start.
  • You will need to be able to set your own schedule. As an employee, your days are pretty much scheduled out for you before you even step into the office. It takes much more self-control to be able to work as an entrepreneur, because you have to plan out your own daily schedule. This means you’ll also need to learn how to prioritize tasks and manage your time appropriately.
  • You won’t find success right away. This last point might seem rather obvious, but it’s worth reminding you that you’re probably not going to have a high level of comfort with your new venture right off the bat. You’re going to have to take some risks, and it will likely take time before you reach a reasonable level of success. But if you have reasonable goals in mind, take effective daily action, and stay on track, you can get there. And it’s a great feeling when you do!

I’m not trying to turn anyone off from jumping into a new life as an entrepreneur. But after the safety and relative security of a full time position in an established organization, it’s important that you are aware of what to expect before you take the lead.

Think it through, ask for help, recruit your advisors, write out your plan, and then execute every day. You’re worth it!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

How to Make the Most of a Bad Job Situation

How to Make the Most of a Bad Job Situation

Even with an improving economy, there’s still a lot of press about how hard it is to find a good, full-time job: a job that fulfills us and provides financial confidence for ourselves and our families. Too many good hard-working people are stuck having to deal with jobs they dislike and can barely bring themselves to do every single day.

There are no guarantees, but we can improve the probability that something Better! will come along with a few simple steps.

  • Focus on other people. If it’s the actual work at your job that you dislike, try to connect with other people at your company. Show them what a positive person you are. Be easy to be around. Good relationships with your colleagues and supervisors can often make bad situations Job Situationmuch more bearable. Be sure to look outside your department as well. Find a small group you can spend some time talking to. Not complaining, just talking.
  • Speak up. If you’ve built a positive relationship with your supervisor but often wind up with tasks that you just can’t stand doing, ask for some time to speak to your boss and let him or her know what you don’t like about the work you’re given. Be positive in your words and be prepared to offer specific solutions. Perhaps the two of you can work out a situation that allows you to avoid some of the work you dislike so much. And if you don’t have a positive relationship with your supervisor, why not start right there!
  • Keep it light. Find ways to try to squeeze some appropriate humor into your everyday routine. At least smile. This will help you to pass the time and will hopefully have a positive response within your office.
  • Enjoy yourself outside of work. As much as you can, try not to take your work home with you. Keep busy with positive outside activities. Enjoy your friends and family so that you don’t have to spend your time outside of work feeling down about your job. Balance is the key.
  • Keep your options open. Block the time to polish your resume, check for job openings and attend networking events. The search for something Better! will help give you a light at the end of the tunnel. Take positive action to move your career towards that potentially Better! place.

Teddy Roosevelt had this great advice for any life situation: “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, right where you are.”

Make the most of a bad job situation while working proactively towards something Better! NEVER give up the goal of having work that you enjoy.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

bad boss

The Biggest Signs that You are a Bad Boss

Oh boy. This is a subject that people never really want to talk about, but if you can’t pinpoint where the problems lie in your business that prevent it from really flourishing, it might be time to analyze yourself.

When you’re the boss in any organization, you’re almost never going to have universal popularity. However, there are some characteristics that you can avoid that should help you avoid being a bad boss.

Here are some of the most common traits that may indicate you’re a bad boss:

  • People are afraid to give you their opinions. You need to be able to have constant lines of communication open with all of your employees. If people are afraid to talk to you, that may very well be because they bad bossare scared of your response, or that you have a reputation for being less than willing to have these discussions.
  • You tend to micromanage. You shouldn’t have to constantly be on your employees’ case to ensure they achieve results. When you feel like you constantly need to be a whip cracker, this may mean that you’ve hired the wrong people or you haven’t properly motivated them, or both. In any case, it’s your fault.
  • You are out of touch. The best managers have their finger on the pulse of their business at all times. You should know what’s going on in all areas of your organization. If you don’t know what’s happening inside, how can you convince other people outside that you’re a great organization?
  • You try too hard to be liked at the expense of respect. You’re just about never going to have universal popularity. It’s great if people love you and enjoy working with you, but it’s more important that you are respected as a leader. You need to be able to build the trust of your employees and deliver tough messages when they need to be heard. It can’t always be sunshine and roses.
  • You throw your employees under the bus. When things go wrong, you can’t avoid taking responsibility. As the boss, you need to take the blame when things go wrong, even when it’s not completely your fault. You also need to pass the credit when things go well. Throwing your team members under the bus will only serve to make them despise you.

Fortunately, all of these behaviors are fixable. If you find that you are guilty of any of these characteristics, it’s never too late to make a conscious effort to change your ways. Your business will be far better because of it.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

Problematic Employees in Your Workplace

How to Deal with Problematic Employees in Your Workplace

Sooner or later, everybody’s going to work with someone that they simply don’t get along with. This becomes even more problematic when you’re the manager or owner of a company, and it becomes your responsibility to put out any fires that get started because of this person’s behavior.

So the question is, how do you go about resolving conflicts and deal with problematic employees in your workplace in an efficient way that doesn’t make the problem even worse?

Here are some steps you should consider when dealing with problematic employees:

  • Never ignore the issue. The longer you let a bad situation fester, the worse it will get. Sooner or later it will start to impact the effectiveness of your other employees and your organization as a whole. As the old Problematic Employees in Your Workplacesaying goes, “if you aren’t part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.”
  • Get involved as soon as you hear about the issue. As soon as you become aware of a negative pattern of behavior, you need to intervene. It may be a situation where the employee has no idea that he or she is being difficult. But regardless of what the situation is, it’s on you to jump in as soon as possible.
  • Conduct a personal investigation into the problem. One tactic I recommend is bringing the employee in question into your office or a conference room where you can have a private one-on-one conversation about the issue at hand. This is also where you can give the employee a chance to respond to the allegations. If he or she refuses there’s a problem despite evidence to the contrary, focus their attention on the presence of a problem and less on the blame or resolution at this point.
  • Do what you can to help the employee correct his or her behavior. Hopefully after this discussion, your employee will understand that his or her behavior has caused problems. Take some time to coach the employee in appropriate behavior and give them time to adjust. Be sure to give feedback and positive reinforcement to help the adjustment process.
  • If the employee cannot or will not change, it may be time for more serious action. Nobody likes to discipline or fire an employee, but it’s better to let one person go than to let a problem spread throughout a business and damage the morale of your workplace. Be sure to document all instances of bad behavior, and follow any protocol in place at your organization when taking the discipline or termination route.

Whenever possible, your goal should be to resolve conflict situations that arise and help problematic employees to correct their behavior. But sometimes, this simply isn’t possible. The key is getting involved as quickly so you can put an end to the negative behavior right away.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

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