Time: your riskiest investment

The current economic volatility has caused many of us to be concerned about our investments and thus spend our time worrying about how best to manage our money and stay ahead of the challenge of protecting our hard earned money and maximizing our investment portfolio.

Most of us are careful about our career choices, our opportunities for advancement and in many cases, bolstering our education. We hand pick our financial advisors and research our options. In the process, we spend our time and energy where we feel we will gain our largest profit.

Consider Time:

Time is our largest and riskiest investment. We all have time to spend, but are we spending it wisely, in the most profitable arenas? Since time is intangible, we struggle to place a value on it. Nonetheless, we all own it and have the full capacity to control it, invest it and spent it as we feel best suited to our own custom portfolio. Time is so easily wasted. Once time is spent, it has no value. Time spent wisely, however, is money in the bank.

Time spent is directly tied to our focus of energy. If getting your MBA is deemed your ticket to attaining the title of COO, then that is time and energy well spent and a great investment. But if you spend your time thinking about getting your MBA and all that it will take to earn it, you are wasting your most valuable commodity.

Wishing you career successes,
Liane

Applicant Tracking Software …sink or swim! | applicant tracking systems

I’ve had many meaningful conversations with clients about the importance and prevalence of software used by larger companies to sort through the often hundreds of applicants for one single job. The reality lies in the accuracy and ease that technical solutions bring to these companies and in the process the reduction of man hours. The risks are obvious in that the best applicant for the job may never get pulled from the pile.

“Over 90% of large companies use applicant tracking systems, which require a resume to apply. It is a recruiter’s first point of reference, and a poorly designed resume will hurt your chances immensely.” This stat was shared by career writer, Stephanie Walden (Mashable.com), who quotes VisualCV CEO, James Clift, whose company designs and sells templates for online marketing. “You only have one chance to make a first impression when looking for a new job, which means your resume needs to be top notch,” says James Clift whose subscribers can create, tweak and share their virtual resumes with the world. New designs are release every month and can include embedded videos, shifting images and customized content from the convenience of any keyboard, or exotic location you may be around the globe (searching for the perfect job, of course).

In Walden’s recent blog she stresses the importance of social media profiles and how applicants who are serious about getting noticed as a valid applicant for a posting must be diligent about their online presence and presentation. The underlying point to note here is that not only should your online resume be current and accurate, but the reality is that everything that is online and in some unfortunate cases ‘out of line’ are also at risk of ruining your career, or tarnishing a once-shiny career opportunity (if you’re not careful about what gets posted to the Web). There is enough debate material about balancing your online presence to launch a rocket into space.

Balancing the noticeability of your profile can be extreme: ‘Hey! Look at me!’ or ‘perfectly private’ and essentially ‘invisible’ to ‘Ooh no! How did that get online?’ The key nugget here is to comprehend the power of the Internet (with a Capital ‘I’), and to exercise great caution when ‘Accepting’ apps,’  such as Poacht, or buying a subscription to sites like Poachable.com, who help you find your dream job in the palm of your hand and with merely a few moments of aided data entry. Sites like Good.co, (‘the EHarmony of jobs,’ according to Time), aims to match you perfectly with an agreeable culture and as a fine bonus — a job. (Insert question mark, exclamation point here.)

Whoah!

All trends aside, all apps and dreams deactivated for a moment … the point to be noted is that not all these applications and services (free or paid) will benefit your career, or enhance your reputation. As Clift states, and every search firm and HR department will affirm, “the resume is still very much a crucial part of the hiring process.” Your personal and professional data must be compiled into a meaningful and customized format prior to any subsequent upload or dump into an app or onto a site. Consider quality versus quantity; invest your time and apply meaningful solutions to your career opportunities, rather than buy into a one-stop career shop where you’ll drown in the worldwide sea of ‘notsomuch’ opportunity.

Tabla Rasa …. the clean slate

Oh the New Year and all things fresh… right? Ah well, that doesn’t alter the fact that we all must return to the old, does it now?

The job.

The family.

The mortgage.

The stresses of life.

Re-embrace the old with a new attitude, perhaps? A new year; a new attitude?

Okay, I digress. You get the point. Resolutions are healthy and all, but what of the remnants of the yester year …er, like yesterday?  Turn a new page, leaf, …leaflet …oh, I know what you’re thinking: “What’s the good in focusing on yesterday when tomorrow is just as near, if not nearer?”

Well then, let us go there:

As I write this, 2015 is still pink and slightly jaundice, probably from the fire that’s been burning in my family room all New Year’s Day long, or maybe tinged by the early morning mimosas.  Whatever the reason, 2015 is uncharted and that truly is exciting, if you let it be. This is the stuff New Year’s resolutions are made of: unmarred conceptions and the most noble intentions, the desire to improve and expand in new ways yet unmeasured.

This attitude is a good thing and despite the science of (our own personal) history and the 20/20 hindsight thing, looking forward with some quality peripheral vision can—and will—work for us all …if we let it.

Several years ago I learned how to meditate from one of Deepak Chopra’s protégées, Sarah McLean, as one of her last one-on-one (step-by-step) students in her home studio in Sedona before she went on her debut book tour and soon after launched her meditation institute in Sedona. At the time I had been very recently diagnosed with a very rare auto-immune disorder and struggling with severe pain and a strong desire to regain control of my life and health and eliminate pharmaceuticals from my daily life.

Learning to meditate for me was for certain a new beginning; the new frontier of what I did not yet know was going to be how to handle future stress, consider my own personal flaws and failures, improve my body’s own ability to heal and above all else, find positive light inside the foreboding shadow of daily negativity and doubt.  You should know, however, that all things stated, this did not happen immediately, and it did not happen after my invigorating ‘Sedona Vortex Experience’ that followed the next day, either. It took time.  It took effort.  It took believing in my self that I had what it took to heal, to concur and to see (and feel) how those around me often believed in me more than I did. 2015 has a lot of work to do.

With the entire frontier of 2015 uncasted, unscripted and perhaps even undermined for most of us, I urge you to embrace whatever form of contemplation you can muster (or maybe have mastered) and visualize and realize your very own pure potential. Face it. Embrace it.

Much success to you in the year ahead,

Liane