Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

The Portfolio Life and the New Economy

June 19, 2017

The economy is ever evolving. Each technological leap forward has demanded that workers respond with new skills and ways of solving problems. Career paths of the previous decades may no longer provide the same security that they used to, and the essential jobs of tomorrow may not yet exist. So how can you prepare and market your skills in an environment where certainty is a rare thing?

Keeping with the portfolio theme of last week’s Plano Public Library Job Center posting, we consider the idea of the “Portfolio Life” this week. Very simply, we are not our respective job titles; instead each of us possess a collection of skills, interests, abilities, and passions that make us capable of responding to the challenges of a job or career path.

Jeff Goins of Fast Company offers the three tips for developing a “portfolio” mentality and how this mode of thinking can help you respond to the new economy:

  • Plan for changes: Change is inevitable. Don’t bemoan it; embrace change and prepare yourself with well-rounded experiences.
  • Play like you work: Hobbies and leisure activities can provide practice spaces to explore new and skills and mindsets, while growing what you already know.
  • Never stop learning: The time will come when an old skill may not transfer to a new opportunity, so constantly fill your career toolbox with new knowledge, abilities, and ideas.

Ensure that you are always broadening and enriching your portfolio and stay a step ahead of change. Learn a new language or skill, take advantage of training opportunities at work, pursue a personal passion, volunteer in an unfamiliar career field for new perspectives, or explore how play and reflection on your unique experience can prepare you for inevitable change. Build your personal growth strategy around exploration of your strengths and opportunities. The resources available from the Plano Public Library can help drive your growth with:

What does the portfolio of your life say about your experiences, goals, and dreams – what could it say one, five, or ten years from today?

“So Tell Me about Yourself”

May 3, 2017


How many times have you walked into an interview where this is the opening statement by a potential boss? We all imagine that this might come up as the lead-in to gathering information about us as the candidate for a position, but all too often we aren’t prepared to answer it in a way that makes us look good to our prospective employer. In her April 28, 2017 piece in US News and World Report, Chrissy Scivicque writes about how being prepared for this seemingly innocuous statement can either make or break the interview.
She discusses how to respond, as well as some of the mistakes that are made while trying to give a well thought out answer. Candidates should remember that they need to make a good first impression without either talking too long, giving too much personal information or getting off track and rambling on.  Being well prepared for this question is key to a successful interview. A few suggestions which she makes are:
• Create a well-crafted answer. Remember, this is about you as a professional. Your response gives the interviewer an idea of who you are and sets up the rest of the interview.
• Build Rapport. You may be nervous but you still need to be friendly and show enthusiasm. Show the interviewer you are excited to be there!
• Frame your Professional History Cohesively. Think about your entire body of work and highlight those areas you are passionate about and which will make you stand out to a prospective employer. You have a resume, so there is no need to go into too much detail – just a cohesive outline about your career. Fill in any gaps that may have occurred along the way.
If you take the time to think of how to respond to this question, you can feel good about the possibilities.
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