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4 Phrases Your Boss Wants to Hear

things your boss like to hear

Fact: At some point, every one of us has (or had) a boss. You may have even wondered, what are things your boss wants to hear.

We wish they had all the answers. It would be ideal if on every rung in the ladder, we could look to our bosses to actually lead us, guide us, and be our mentors.

But managers don’t know everything, and more often than not, they need our help, too. Unfortunately, only the best leaders actually ask for it.

But why wait to be asked? Here are four things that your boss wants to hear, and that’ll help you manage up and make both you and your manager shine.

1. “I’ve Got This”

Maybe your manager has a few bosses of her own who have just joined on. These new players are demanding, and she may not know how to manage them and their requests. Projects she used to oversee—like the ones you work on—may not be her top priority right now, nor might she be the best person to guide you. So, what do you do? Easy. You tell her “I’ve got this.”

Why it Matters

A great boss knows that to succeed, she has to set priorities—which means she has to hand them off to someone else. Letting her know you will own this might give her the confidence she needs to let you run with it. And then you have an opportunity to flash your best work.

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Guide to Answering Common Interview Questions

popular questions during an interview.

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview? A pocketbook, made just for you, containing all the popular questions during an interview.

We can’t read minds, but we can give you the next best thing: a list of some of the most asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.

While we don’t recommend having a canned response for every interview question (in fact, please don’t) we do however recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for, and what it takes to reflect that you’re the right person for the job.

Interview Question and Answer Study Guide:

1. Tell Me About Yourself.

This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. Here’s the deal: Don’t give your complete employment (or personal) history. Instead, give a pitch—one that’s concise, compelling, and shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Talk a little bit about your current role (including the scope and perhaps one big accomplishment,) then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant. Finally, segue into why you want—and would be perfect for—this role.

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How to Know if You’re Making the Wrong Career Move

Imagine you are facing a major career decision. A new opportunity arose that would increase your engagement and give you more autonomy. Taking it however means leaving a job that you’ve enjoyed, focusing on a different type of work, and facing a substantial learning curve. Uncertain, you almost miss the window to apply… What do you do?

One of the biggest doubts that gnaws at a decision maker’s peace of mind, is worrying about making the wrong move. What if I take this new job and regret it? What if I’m not prepared enough to move up? What if I strike out on my own and fail? Just how, exactly, can you tell if you’re about to make a wrong move? Like many things in your professional life, there’s no black and white when it comes to making a bold career-changing pivot. But the following three questions may help you work through your concerns. (Of course, if your circumstances are complex, it’s time to schedule with one of our career coaches.)

1. Do You Have a Sense of Foreboding?

Do you feel a tiny lingering sense of dread when you think about the new opportunity? Maybe your potential boss minimized some of your accomplishments in the interview, making you wonder if your work won’t be valued in the new space. Or maybe you met the team, and while they were polite, they also seemed a bit tightly-wound, making you wonder how they handle a tough deadline or if this is the culture of the department.

Think you would just walk away if you encountered red flags like these? Don’t kid yourself—there are plenty of reasons we ignore warning bells, like a bigger paycheck, higher status, or the opportunity to live in a great location. But, if you see these signs, you shouldn’t overlook them simply because you want to make more money. A nagging unease or feeling of discomfort could be your big brain’s way of letting you know that you’re not ready or that it’s not the best option.

Look, it’s inevitable that a career change is going to create some anxiety. (If it doesn’t, check your pulse!) You don’t need to automatically turn down a great offer if you’re feeling nervous, but you should try to determine if it’s more than just butterflies. Ask yourself, “Am I uncomfortable about something that’s happened in this process, or am I just nervous at the thought of change?”

2. Are You Feeling Desperate?

If you’re in a crummy situation and you hate your job, and you get a chance to make a change, there’s a chance you might make the jump just to escape your current situation. Make sure you’re approaching the decision with a clear head so you can determine if the new opportunity actually offers something better or if it just seems that way. Remember that you need to vet this new opportunity. You need to assess if this new company, culture, team, management, product, is an actual fit for you and sets you up for success.

If you can’t find that clear headspace on your own, talk to someone. When you feel panicky, it’s incredibly difficult to maintain perspective. Someone on the outside, someone who doesn’t have your emotional attachment to the situation, can often be of enormous help. A trusted friend, mentor, or career coach can help you recognize and sort through your options.

3. Are You Trying to Spite Someone?

You’re not the only one who’s dreamed of getting an incredible opportunity to rub in that colleague’s smug face. But, c’mon now, that’s obviously a terrible reason to actually make a career move. If you let them drive your decision, you’re giving them control, and it’s unlikely that the decision is truly what’s best for you and your professional trajectory.

If you can remain secure and productive in your role, you’ll ultimately have more control, and eventually, new doors will open for you, giving you the chance to evaluate your options objectively.

Here’s a final nugget to bear in mind when wrestling with a major career decision: If you truly know what is a fit for you, if you know what you need in a career to thrive, and you have vetted the company, your potential co-workers and boss, the culture, then you are likely to make a good, solid decision. Still wondering “Am I making the fight decision?” Ask our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers who all offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

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Why You Need a Professional Headshot

Many professionals assume a headshot is something you upload to your LinkedIn profile and then never touch again. That assumption is wrong! 

Your headshot will come in handy throughout your career. It will grace the “About Us” page on your company’s website, be sent to new coworkers so people can easily recognize you, and be asked for by event organizers to advertise your speaking engagements.

Maybe you’re thinking: Speaking engagements? Please, I am never going to need a professional headshot in my career. 

If so, you need a reframe. Our Ignite Your Potential career coaches can point out countless blurry or inappropriate LinkedIn profile pictures (or no photo at all) that affect whether or not people reach out and collaborate. 

A headshot is useful for many professional situations:

  • Your Email Account
  • Your Email Signature
  • Your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram 
  • Your Website or Portfolio
  • Your Posts or Bylines
  • Your Company Bio

Convinced? Great, now it’s time to take one. And the good news is, it’s really easy.

Step 1: Pick out a shirt that you feel confident in (Tip: Avoid busy patterns or anything you would not wear to Grandma’s Sunday dinner).

Step 2: Find a plain, but ideally interesting backdrop (Tip: Avoid posing in front of windows or busy backgrounds unless you’re a lighting and photography editing pro.)

Step 3: If you’re a woman, you might consider makeup. Even if you don’t usually wear it. Without it you may look a little faded out in a photo. Time to smile and take the photo.

Step 4: Save it and use it for everything.

Whether a friend takes the shot or you hire a professional photographer—it is up to you. But whatever you do, make sure you have one handy—and update it every couple of years. It can costs you very little to make and will save you from having to scrounge through old Facebook albums and crop an adult beverage out of your hand.

Need more tips when it comes to professional headshots? Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

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3 Alternatives if a Career Change Is Not an Option

Just because you don’t want a total career change doesn’t mean you have to toil away in misery without getting closer to what is a good fit for you. Your Ignite Your Potential career coaches have curated three options that aren’t major career changes, but can provide an up level for your career.

  1. Keep Your Job, Change Your Industry

A smart strategy when you want to change careers is to start by pivoting either your role (what you do) or your industry (the field you work in,) rather than trying to do both at the same time. For example, if you hate your job in pharmaceutical sales, could you put your selling skills to work in a completely different field. Yes, it takes effort to network your way into a new industry and convince hiring managers you’re worth the opportunity—but it is easier than starting from scratch.

     2. Make a Move Within Your Company

If you work for a large company, look around. Are there other roles that seem more appealing than the one you are currently in? If so, start talking to these people. Learn the ins and outs of their jobs, understand the skills required to do their work, and ask for advice on breaking into their world. Ask to lend a hand on upcoming projects. This may not work everywhere, but if you show that you are interested in a different type of work and start building the transferable skills required, your employer may be willing to help you make the transition.

3. Negotiate

If you are unhappy there may be a chance that you can figure out how to tweak a few things about your responsibilities, the projects you work on, the people you work with the most, etc. If you can figure out what you need in a role to really thrive, which is something we help clients with all the time, then there is a chance you can pitch these changes to your boss or influence these changes over time on your own. Sometimes it’s possible to make the changes you need within the role you’re currently in.

     4. Reconsider These Options

OK, this isn’t an alternative to changing careers, but you do owe it to yourself to revisit this topic and make sure your “I really can’t change careers” stance is still valid. Maybe the answer will stay the same. But what if you find that one day, this changes to a maybe. And when that day comes, you can start considering the options above or talk to an Ignite Your Potential coach to help make your dream a reality.

Consider giving career coaching a try, we have a hunch you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And remember, all of the award-winning coaches at Ignite Your Potential Centers off a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

 

Why Do You Need a Career Coach?

Here at Ignite Your Potential, we understand some peoples’ hesitation in using a career coach. But do you know what makes career coaching so valuable? Read on to learn 3 things that anybody can gain from spending some time working with a skillful coach.

1.You Get Personalized Advice

There is plenty of career advice out there on the web. But while there is a myriad of general advice on how to develop your personal brand, you’d be hard-pressed to find an article on, “How to Succinctly Explain Your Diverse Writing and Communication Skills While Also Sharing Your Accomplishments and Mentioning Your Love of Sports” (or whatever your situation may be). General career advice will only get you so far. With career coaches, you have someone listening to your situation and giving you expert opinions on how to handle it.

2. Allotted Time to Make Progress

One of our clients’ favorite aspect of our coaching sessions is that it forces them to put everything else aside and spend time defining and vocalizing their challenges. Having set sessions gives you the accountability needed to sit down and actually make progress. It’s your own personal project manager whose main project is the achievement of your goals.

3. You Get to Experiment and Improve

Working with an Ignite Your Potential career coach is a refined, low-stress way to experiment with different ideas for your future. The time spent with a career coach allows you to get an outside perspective on new ideas, without any actual repercussions. That means you have more space to experiment, and then get real-time feedback and strategies from your coach on how to improve.

Consider giving career coaching a try, we have a hunch you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And remember, all of the award-winning coaches at Ignite Your Potential Centers off a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

 

4 Common Career Regrets

“I wish I asked for a promotion. I wish I didn’t dread going to work. I wish I didn’t stay for the money.” You don’t want to be reaching retirement only to reflect on all the things you should’ve done career-wise. You have the power to change your professional destiny. Ignite Your Potential career coaches have curated tips to combat four common career regrets.


1. Fear of Failure

Although risk taking is a part of career growth, many people play it safe because of fear of failure. Changing your perception of failure can make all the difference. If you are passionate about something you should adjust to the adversity and continue trying. Don’t be afraid to do things like present ideas or ask for promotions. You cannot expect to grow in your career if you are not willing to take risks. You may not always get what you ask for or attain your goal but going for it means you will succeed some of the time.

Avoid this regret: Consider taking a new risk every day until you become comfortable to do so at work.

2. Staying for the Money

You don’t have to suffer your entire professional life for a paycheck. “Money can’t buy happiness” is cliché, and true nonetheless. Research shows 85% of employees are disengaged from their jobs, according to psychologist Frederick Herzberg, author of The Motivation to Work. People are motivated by achievement, recognition, advancement, responsibility, and growth. Things such as pay raises and benefits are less impactful to a person’s sense of fulfillment. You should be paid what you are worth but don’t sacrifice motivation or a sense of engagement for money alone.

Avoid this regret: If you are overwhelmingly unhappy or your paycheck is the only positive thing about your job, strategically plan your exit. We encourage you to read about “5 Reasons a Big Check Is Not Worth Staying at a Job You Hate”. As well as, reading about visual artist Vanita Lee-Tatum experience with taking a pay cut for a more meaningful job.

You also don’t have to do this alone. The Ignite Your Potential coaches are here for you, to collaborate and build a strategic action plan, so you can make a career pivot that pays you and motivates you. You can have both.

3. Not Maintaining Network

It is tempting to leave a job you dislike and never look back. In spite of this desire, you should consider maintaining the work relationships you have built. Previous coworkers and bosses can be an important part of building credibility and a professional support system. By not maintaining your connections you are missing out on countless opportunities. You never know how former colleagues can benefit you in the future. In order to maintain a fruitful network, you must stay connected!

Avoid this regret: Take the time out weekly to connect or reconnect with long lost friends and coworkers. Here’s how “6 Tips for Building and Maintaining Your Network”.

4. Not Pursuing Passion

Leaving a lucrative job to pursue your passion is not an easy task. However, if you are committed to being persistent and patient you can reach personal fulfillment and success. You owe yourself a chance to pursue your passion. Life is too short to spend the majority of your day doing something you thoroughly hate.

Avoid this regret: Begin looking for training and network with people in the industry you wish to pursue. Read our blog on how to get out of a work rut before you make your final decision to quit.

After reading this article, you may be inspired to begin pursuing your career without regrets. And remember, all of the award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

“Find something you love to do so much you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again.” – Chris Gardner

Stuck in a Work Rut? Get Out of It!

Before you start looking for a new job, try these four ideas for getting your head back in the game and rediscover your sense of being centered and empowered.

Figure Out the Root of the Problem

Before you can get out of a rut, you have to figure out why you’re in it. This means self-evaluating. When did you start feeling this way? Was it after a poorly received presentation? A change in responsibilities? Also, keep in mind that the cause might not have anything to do with work. Once you identify the cause of your unhappiness, you will be better able to handle it.

Focus on Self-Care

Taking care of yourself can solve a lot of smaller problems. That means making sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating right. At work, take breaks and make it a point to eat lunch away from your computer screen. Self-care is a part of self-management and building resilience.

Remember Why You Wanted the Job

It’s easy to forget why you were excited about your role or the company in the beginning. Take the time to remember the reason this job is important to your big picture strategic plan.

Take a Break

Even if you can’t swing a weeklong trip, plan a quick weekend getaway. Getting out of your routine can clear your mind and help you refocus. It can seem counter-intuitive, but we need rest to allow our brain to recover. We will be sharper upon our return.

After reading this article if you are inspired to take your career to the next level, remember that all of the award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

3 Ways to Take Your Career to the Next Level

If you have been struggling to take the next step in your career, know that you have not exhausted all of your options. The Ignite Your Potential career-coaching professionals have curated three simple tips that are guaranteed to help you.

1. Relocate

The reality is, sometimes, you have to relocate to move up. No matter how hard you work or how much potential you show, it can be tough convincing people you are worth more when they have seen you in the same position for so long.

2. Add New Skills

Many employers will help you gain more skills and may even reimburse you for tuition or an educational course. It is also important to note that many qualifications can be studied during the evenings, to refrain from interfering with work. Knowledge is power and the more you expand your expertise, the more valuable you become to an employer.

3. Network

The saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” still rings true today. Networking is an important ingredient to success, so be sure to make new connections in the industry as often as you can. There are several ways to network, including attending conferences and taking part in team-building exercises. When networking at company events you could be entrusted with more responsibility, projects, and considered for promotions.

After reading this article, may you be inspired to take your career to the next level. And remember, all of the award winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise. Contact us at either of our locations, SF: (415) 343-4658 and LA: (310) 602-7612.