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Kristin Hiemstra

4 Steps to Self-Leadership and Managing Career Changes

Leadership is a buzz word among every institution world wide including in the military and business communities. However, few people talk about how to lead one’s self which is the most important skill a person can have to reach their potential. Here are 4 steps to great self-leadership:   1. Manage your emotions. Great leaders teach people how to participate in the world as it is. They do not operate under illusions nor do get paralyzed by fear, instead they teach people how to create with the opportunities available to them. Managing one’s emotions requires the ability to CHOOSE a thought pattern that leads to success. For example, during a recessive economy there are fewer jobs available. That is ONE reality. Another reality is that even in a recession people are getting jobs. Another reality is that there are millions of people who live in countries where there are no opportunities for work and your worst day would be one of their best.     As a job seeker you get to decide which reality you want to focus on. The reality you choose will determine your emotions and it will define you entire job search and ultimately overall life experience.      2. Manage your actions. Great leaders have a goal. Franklin Covey did a study on goal setting and found that if a person has one goal they...

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10 Tips for Making a Great First Impression at the Job Interview

Before the interview Go by office before the interview and pay attention to what people are wearing.  For an office environment wear a suit and blouse combination. Cotton blends work well in the summer and wool blends in the winter.  Have your suit and blouse professional dry cleaned. It does make a difference! Try them on before the interview. You will feel more confident when you are not concerned with how your clothes look.  Bring an extra copy of your resume and make sure you have reviewed your work history and can speak knowledgably about it. The day of the interview  Brush your teeth or chew minty gum before the interview. Make sure to get rid of gum before the interview.  Look your interviewer in the eye when you meet. It conveys trust. Smile. A smile conveys that you are friendly and open, two important good qualities.  Extend your hand. Shake hands with the same pressure it takes to indent a toothpaste tube. Be prepared to engage in small talk. Ask who, what, where, how and why questions about the other person. Example, “Where are you from originally?”  Relax and be confident! Remember you are a very special person worthy of this job and many...

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3 Steps to Easy and Effective Goal Setting

You’ve heard it a million times: “Goal setting is important,” but what have you actually done about it? If you are like most people the answer is… nothing. That is not your fault. Regardless of your education level, it is very unlikely you were ever taught to set goals. While schools do a remarkable job of filling our minds with knowledge, they do a surprisingly inferior job of teaching self-leadership and that is what goal setting is all about, leading the self to create the life you want.   Goals are important because they give the brain direction. Our brains are very smart but they are only useful when they know what they should be doing. A great analogy is learning to ride a bike. “Ride” was the instruction the brain received and the brain took care of the rest. Do you know exactly what muscles you tensed and relaxed to ride your bike? Do you know how you tilted your head or gripped the handle? No, the brain had to coordinate thousands of different actions to make you go.   Whether it’s a financial goal, a career goal or a personal goal, the brain needs to know about your life’s dream of so it can create it for you. To achieve the life you want, here are three simple steps to setting goals.  Decide what you want out...

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Rise and Shine! The Job Market is Primed

Start your engines ladies and gents, the experts tell us the job market is heating up. NC Employment Security Commission reports the state jobless rate was 9.7 percent in April, down from 11.1 percent a year ago. Businesses are coming out of survival mode and embracing their entrepreneurial outlook again. If you are one of those terrific, hardworking, yet unemployed people there is no better time than now to be working your way into employer’s good graces. While businesses may not be hiring at this moment, they are beginning to show signs of moving in that direction. This past year required belt tightening and delaying non-required purchases. Now businesses are starting to think proactively with a sense of vision and purpose instead of reactively with a sense of doom and gloom. Interestingly enough many workers have been doing the same, staying put until the market opens up, and this is where things get really exciting! If my friends are any indication (and believe me they are) many employees have been bidding their time until a new job that is more attractive to them comes open. They may want to do something totally different, desire a lifestyle change, or even have a boss whose leadership style they don’t care for. As new employment opportunities opens up, they are going to be leaving their positions and then, of course, their jobs...

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10 Tips for Your Transitioning “Twentysomething”

Have you ever been lost in an unfamiliar place? It’s not very fun, is it? What goes through your mind when you are lost? For me it’s anxiety. My mind instinctively shuts out extraneous stimuli because I don’t feel safe when I don’t know where I am. All my mental and emotional energy gets high jacked. The stress of being lost overshadows everything. I find it’s hard to concentrate; my mind is constantly looking for the road I should be on. Depending on where I am, a state of panic is not that far away. As a career coach, I hear these phrases all the time “I feel lost.” “I feel afloat.” followed by the list of these characteristics. The mind does not like to be lost. It likes to have a direction, otherwise it doesn’t know what to do and it gets out of sorts. As parents it’s heartbreaking to see our children in this situation and even harder to know how to react. Do we kick them out of the nest hard and hope they fly? What happens if they don’t? Whether it’s the freshly minted college graduate adrift in the job market or the one who is taking some time off to ‘find themselves’, coming of age in a society where more career choices abound then ever before can send even our most promising children into...

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