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The Big Deal About Small Talk

If you’re working from home, you may be as productive as ever. You can focus without interruption. There are no long chats around the water cooler. There’s no wasted time commuting. You can wake up and get straight to work. There’s a good chance you may be skipping breaks and lunch. You’ve started to find your work from home groove.

But, one thing we’re definitely doing less of at work is small talk. When is the last time you asked about a colleague’s weekend? How are their children doing? How is the pandemic impacting them from day to day? When is the last time you had lunch with someone you work with? If you’re like millions of Americans, it’s been a while. It may have even been since early March.

On the surface, this is no big deal. You’re saving time. You’re more efficient. And, work is about work. Right? Sure, to some degree this is true. But, work is also about relationships. In fact, very often, your project may get done on time if you have a good relationship with your colleagues.

And, the thing is, relationships don’t form out of spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations alone. They are formed when we spend time together. They’re formed between meetings. They’re those small moments when we exchange pleasant words that are unrelated to work. Relationships form over sandwiches and coffee.

If you’re struggling at work more now than you were before COVID, it may be time to rethink your day to day interactions. The same social distancing that’s keeping us safe from disease is also dividing us. We’re more disconnected than we were in the past, especially when working from home is new.

What can you do? Unfortunately, there’s no perfect solution. But, there are many ideas you can try. You may want to take the time to call colleagues when you don’t need something specific. Or, take a moment in the beginning of meetings to ask how folks are doing. Consider setting up virtual social occasions. You might organize a coffee or a virtual happy hour with a colleague. You could consider organizing a book club or a virtual exercise group. Although some of these things may sound silly, they’re also a way to create connection and build your relationships.

As you’re working to create this connection, there is something to keep in mind. First, everyone is having a tough time in some way, on some days. Every person is in a unique situation, so it’s hard to predict when they’re having a tough time. When your coworker is having a difficult day, it will be harder to tell than when you are in person. Try your best to be patient.

It’s all a little weird right now. But, we may be working from home for a while. It’s time to find new and different ways to make small talk and to build big relationships.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

A Case for WFH

The letters WFH used to be mainly used by the tech industry. But, as work from home is becoming more common, so is the use of this important acronym. In the last six months, working from home has gone from an exception to a norm. But, if you’re like many employees, your company may be asking you to come back to work in person.

For many of the folks I have spoken to, returning to an in person work environment just doesn’t work right now. So, what can you do when your boss asks you to come back?

It’s tricky. Start by being honest. If you have a preexisting condition that makes you high risk for COVID complications, you may want to consider sharing it. Normally, I would never advise to share private health details with your boss. But, it may help them to understand why you need to continue to work from home.

The same applies for family situations. If you have aging parents who you help to care for, share your concerns. If you are being forced to home school your children, be up front about it. And, if your spouse has a high risk job where they work with the public, share your concerns about possibly infecting your office if you were to become infected.

These are all good reasons to keep working from home – especially if you’ve been doing it since March. Your boss’ biggest concern should be whether or not you’re getting your job done. When you approach them with this request, focus on your ability to do your work.

Outline the hours you plan to keep each day. Since your boss cannot see you, it may help to know you’re keep regular office hours from home. Set expectations around how you will communicate. If you plan to check email during certain hours, let them know. If you’ve available to video chat during meetings, share that. And, if you are available by text, say that too. The more your boss feels they can count on you, the more likely they will be to allow you to continue to work from home.

If you’re interviewing for a new job, this is something you’ll likely want to discuss at some point during the interview process. Given that this could be a point of negotiation for you, you may want to save it until you reach the offer stage of the job interview. You may be surprised though at just how many companies are willing to be flexible with work from home now. And, some companies that require you to move to their city are allowing you to delay the move until after COVID is finished.

If you believe you need to work from home for any reason, it’s your responsibility to advocate for yourself. It doesn’t mean your boss will agree. But, if you don’t ask, then you definitely won’t get it.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Virtual Hiring

During this difficult season, finding a new job feels complicated and often nearly impossible. However, online there are a few options you should check out if you want to make a switch. As usual, you should check for job postings on sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor. But, you should also look for special events. In particular, Indeed has put together an hiring event that may help you if you’re looking for a new job.

Indeed.com has launched a Virtual Hiring Tour across the United States. Their goal is to help 20,000 people get hired for new jobs.

“With unemployment at record high levels, our mission of helping people get jobs has never felt more important. This Virtual Hiring Tour is designed to help people from all backgrounds – essential workers to licensed professionals – quickly find roles, in a way that is safe and effective,” said Chris Hyams, CEO of Indeed.

The Indeed Virtual Hiring Tour is made up of online events that are broken out by region across the country. The events will use Indeed’s video technology to help with interviews.

Indeed is also partnering with Goodwill Industries International, to ensure that job seekers are aware of the hiring tour and are able to participate if they’re interested.

“Even before the pandemic, millions of people were stuck on the employment sidelines, struggling to find work. Today, they are even more anxious about their prospects, but we want to assure them that we are here to help,” said Hyams.

The Western United States event was held earlier in September. The event for the South is being held from September 29 to October 2. The Midwest is being held October 13 to October 16. The Northeast is being held October 20 to October 23.

Job seekers can register for free. Once on the site, you’ll also find interview tips and tricks, including what to wear to a virtual interview, how to prepare for your interview, and how to find out if the job you’re interviewing for is remote. There are both presentations and videos available on the site to walk you through the interview process.

In addition, if you click on the region of the country where you’re interested to work, you’ll find a list of jobs currently posted to the hiring tour. From there, you can RSVP for an interview. You’ll see how many interview spots are available for each job.

To learn more about the Indeed Virtual Hiring Tour, you should visit indeed.com/virtualhiringtour.

The pandemic is one of the hardest things we’ll ever face. Remember that you’re not in this by yourself. Often when we job search, we hope friends and family will help. But, it is more common for someone you don’t know to be the one to help. Don’t stop looking. Look for events like this one, and check with your university to see what additional events they may be organizing.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

One Thing at a Time

We’ve all been there. The list of things you have to do or to manage suddenly grows. It can feel truly overwhelming. And, that’s because it is overwhelming.

When you look down and find a giant to do list, you wonder how you will achieve any of it. But, when you break the tasks down one at a time, each item on the list is often manageable. There’s nothing you don’t know how to do.

During the pandemic, many people are finding themselves overwhelmed. They’re pushed to the edge with family responsibilities, health concerns, home schooling, and working from home. At times, there’s a good chance you are one of these people. I know I have been.

When you find yourself at this place, start by creating a list. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Jot down all of the things you need to take care of. Then, write down the amount of time you think each task will take. From there, take a look at your schedule to see when you may be able to achieve these goals.

You’ve probably done this before. But, it’s a good concept to remember when you’re feeling under water. I often use this exercise to sort out my goals for a particular day, week, or month.

But, very often, when I reach the point of feeling overwhelmed, I will set a goal that is one or two steps below what I think I can actually achieve. It’s not in an effort to achieve less. Backing the goal down gives me the breathing room that I need to both achieve the other items and my list, and to do them well.

It’s a great idea to push yourself. But, sometimes if you push yourself too hard, you will fail to meet the goal. Normally, that can be a good thing as it can drive you forward. But, if you’ve reached the point of being overwhelmed, feeling like you’re failing will only make it worse.

Remember, this is a crazy year. Frankly, every day feels more unbelievable than the last. Your job during this time is to keep things calm and on track.

When it comes to career, if you can, try to keep moving on your normal goals. There are many things you can do that don’t take much time. If you have extra time, you might want to update your LinkedIn profile. Or, you may want to revamp your resume. Or, you might want to attend a seminar virtually. It’s really interesting to see just how many conferences have moved online this year!

But, whatever you do, don’t do everything at once. And, if someone asks you what new hobbies you’ve learned or what new goals you’ve set, remember that it’s not a competition. A pandemic is not an opportunity to prove anything to anyone. It’s a time to stay physically healthy and mentally stable.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

208 | Professional Headshots for LinkedIn | Madison Yen, Photographer and Brand Strategist

Episode 208 is live! This week, we talk with Madison Yen in Denver, Colorado

Madison is a photographer and brand strategist, and the CEO of her company, Madison Yen Photography.

On today’s episode, Madison shares:

  • What are some of the dos and don’ts of our LinkedIn profile photo?
  • How much does it cost, generally, to hire a professional photographer?
  • Are photographers shooting photos during the pandemic?

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Madison’s work, check out her website at madisonyen.com.

Thank YOU for listening! If you’ve enjoyed the show today, don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts! When you subscribe, it helps to make the show easier for other job seekers to find the show!