Three steps to overcome your fear of being judged

Good-bye-Comfort-Zone

Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone. (Robert Allen, author/speaker)

I have recently been busy updating my social media accounts, an activity many would find easy as it simply involves updating profiles and sharing useful messages and articles. However, for me, it is not so easy. It takes me right out of my comfort zone and, when I wonder why, I think this is because part of me fears being judged through social media’s power to amplify public opinion.

What will other people think of me? What happens if a negative comment is posted on my LinkedIn or Facebook page for all to see? What happens if someone disagrees with me?

In the end I sometimes find myself procrastinating over the perfect wording to avoid judgments being made. Perhaps that is the lawyer in me requiring 100% accuracy and perfection! However, is perfection possible? Can I really control other people’s reactions in this way? No, of course I can’t, and the immediate and public nature of social media does not allow for this. To be noticed you need to step out of the norm (despite the risk of attracting diverse attention). There is also no time for procrastination when you have a business to run!

As well as procrastination being a risk factor, the fear of being judged can be really debilitating for some people. It can quickly lead to a loss of self-esteem as it causes individuals to become anxious or easily embarrassed. Not many people want to look silly and this can lead to individuals keeping quiet rather than doing what they want to do.

Does this fear sound like something that is affecting you from confidently moving forward with your ideas?  If so, use these three steps to help you to challenge your fear.

  1. Be decisive – do you want your fear of being judged to hold you back?  Your fear affects your feelings and these feelings affect your behaviour, preventing you from achieving what you want to achieve. Don’t let the opinions of others become more valuable than your own individuality, allowing others to hold you back. You may miss the career opportunity you have always hoped for.
  2. Be curious – think of something more useful to believe.  It is your thought patterns around fear which need to change first to enable you to change your behaviour. Instead of holding a fear of judgement, replace your thoughts with curiosity. You may learn new things that help you move forward with your plans and strive towards your goals.
  3. Take action….    

…..I am now going to be bold and take action by inviting you to follow me on LinkedIn or to Like my Facebook page. Please also share anything that you believe would be useful to others. I share lots of information to help those wishing to change career, develop their career or improve performance.

I am also thinking about making and sharing short video clips with helpful career tips…watch this space!

Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone. (Robert Allen, author/speaker)

http://www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

Stand out from the crowd – How to write a great LinkedIn profile

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LinkedIn is a powerful tool allowing you to have a professional presence in the world. It provides the opportunity for you to tell other professionals what you can do and what you can offer.

Do you have a LinkedIn profile and does it represent you in the best way?

Having a LinkedIn profile is fast becoming an essential professional requirement. You now have to assume prospective employers will look at your online presence before approaching or hiring you and if your LinkedIn profile is out of date or poorly written, it could potentially close doors. Who would want to employ someone who does not spell correctly in their shop window?

It is therefore really important that you spend time completing your profile. To assist, I have provided some hints and tips to help you write a great LinkedIn profile.

Some initial thoughts:

  • Make sure your CV and online profile match (consistency around dates is particularly important).
  • Think about your brand. Does your profile match the kind of jobs you are applying for?
  • Complete every section of your profile.

 

Your profile

Headline

The headline appears directly under your name and will be the first thing people read about you. It will also appear when people search for you and decide whether to click onto your profile. To make it more compelling, include a short description of your role as well as your job title.

For example, my headline reads:

‘Career Coach, Specialist in Career Change & Career Development – Achieving the best career path for you.’

You should also upload a professional photo of yourself.

Summary

Make life easy for a potential employer by using this section to tell them about what you can do, including your achievements. This is your chance to sell yourself in 2,000 characters. To give potential employers an even better chance of finding you include keywords which you know your industry uses. The more you use these keywords within your profile, the higher you will rank for that term in the search results

Perhaps include your contact information in this section (otherwise your contact details do not appear until the end of your profile).

Experience, Skills, Publications and Education

Include all relevant employment and education in these sections as well as your skills and publications.   If your CV is up to date, simply copy and paste the information.

Additional Sections

There are many additional sections to choose from, the most important being the ‘Volunteer Experience and Causes’ section. If you do any relevant voluntary work, add this section to your profile using the ‘Add Sections’ link. Relevant voluntary work will make your profile stand out even more.

Additional Information

This section gives you the opportunity to link to your website, blog, twitter account and any other sites providing professional information about you. Do not provide links to social networking sites used on a personal basis.

Recommendations

This is your chance to request recommendations from people who have worked with you. Make sure you personalise your requests rather than using the standard LinkedIn wording.

 My final tip is to make your profile public to ensure people can find you – market yourself and show potential recruiters what you can do! http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tessaarmstrong

 

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

Why you should have a LinkedIn account

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LinkedIn is a powerful social networking tool which will expand your network and enable you to stay ahead in your career.

I am always surprised when someone tells me they don’t have a LinkedIn account because they can’t see the point. There are lots of reasons why you should be on LinkedIn and here are just five of them.

  1. Employers and recruitment agencies are now using LinkedIn as a headhunting tool. It is an easy way for them to find out about you and make contact with you.  Even if you are not actively seeking a job, you may be approached and may be offered an even better job with more money. If you are not on LinkedIn, you are closing the door to these opportunities.
  2. Many employers now automatically download a candidate’s LinkedIn profile when they apply for a job. Your LinkedIn profile gives you another opportunity to tell them what you can do and what you have achieved.
  3. Group discussions on LinkedIn can enhance your knowledge on topics you are interested in and create job opportunities.
  4. You can build a large network of contacts. Imagine you are made redundant next year. Who would you turn to for help? Is your current network big enough? LinkedIn is a hassle free way of networking and can connect you with past colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
  5. LinkedIn is an online CV which must be kept up to date in order for you to get the most out of the social networking tool. This means that when you are actively looking for a job you will always have an up to date CV to hand.

Without LinkedIn in your life, you are missing out on a whole world of opportunity to connect with people with similar interests. Start building your LinkedIn profile now and use my blog on writing a great LinkedIn profile to assist.

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

Coping with redundancy

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How you can focus on the future to help you find a great job

If you have been made redundant, it is unlikely to have been your choice. It can be a shock when it happens and make you feel angry, guilty and depressed. You may even feel like a failure.  At this time, life can seem really unfair.

These are all real feelings and it is always important to allow yourself time to get used to the idea of being made redundant. Your job is likely to have been a big part of your life and you are now facing some changes ahead.

Although it all seems unfair, it is also really important to gain control of these feelings so that you can return to work as quickly as you want to.

Remember:

  • Many people go through redundancy more than once – it’s tough but you are not alone.
  • Don’t take it personally. The job role has been made redundant, not you.
  • Redundancy can allow you to reassess your career and make new choices (remember many people change career direction 3 or 4 times).

Taking action

Now use your family and friends (and colleagues, if appropriate), to help you move forward. Get your finances in order, attend courses and use all available job search resources. Be patient and spend time tailoring each job application. When you tell prospective employers you were made redundant, remain positive and keep doing the best you can. Remember you are now in control.

For further help, please have a look at my factsheet, 10 tips on what to do if you are made redundant, for further guidance

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk

How to cope if you are put at risk of redundancy

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It can be a worrying time being put at risk of redundancy. You may feel frightened, out of control and unsure about your next steps. It can be very stressful time and so it is important that you look after yourself emotionally, be positive and take as much ownership of the situation as you can.

To help you move forward, here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Know your rights. Ensure you understand the consultation process. Seek advice on the process, your rights and your entitlements.
  2. Identify your strategy. What will be your approach? Do you want to stay or does redundancy appeal?
  3. Take ownership. Put together an action plan for your next steps.
  4. Build your self-awareness. Be clear about what you want from future roles. What are your strengths? What do you enjoy? What work environments suit you?
  5. Consider your career options. This may be a great opportunity for you to enhance your skills or change career.
  6. Start job hunting. Use all job search resources available such as LinkedIn, networking and recruitment agencies.

Be positive. Be proactive. Be prepared.

You can’t control being put at risk of redundancy but you can control your response.

For further information please read my fact sheet, ‘10 tips on what to do if you are made redundant’.

www.tessaarmstrong.co.uk