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Some people treat their current jobs as if they are trapped there forever, going through the motions as if they are sentenced to life without parole.

It’s as if they’re stuck in quicksand, never able to escape the clutches of their current employer and too afraid to move in case they will sink deeper.

Some people treat their current jobs as if it’s a launching pad for the future, engaging in their role and learning all that they can while they’re there.

They’re using it as a stepping stone, understanding that you get out what you put in and knowing that if they maintain their enthusiasm and keep developing, then bigger, better or even perhaps just more suitable work will be available in the future.

Of course, they’re both self-fulfilling prophecies.

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The world of job seeking is a challenging one with many variances and options that can make the process frustrating and confusing for many people.

My wife and I assist many people with their careers and are unable to guarantee that our assistance will get them their dream job, just that it will increase their chances of success.

I’ve said before that looking for a job is like fishing, in that you can do everything right and come back empty-handed or do everything wrong and still land a job.

However, there is one guarantee that I can make.

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There is no doubt that the interview process can be a challenging one for many people.  The anxiety and nervousness that comes with this process can be distracting and debilitating, causing some of us to perform below our best.  Some people have had such negative experiences that they dread the thought of interviews and either have an increase in stress or don’t apply for new roles, limiting their potential and sense of well-being.

Over the years I’ve helped many people to deal with their nerves in an interview situation.  Here are my top 8 tips:

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I had my first day in the office of my new job this week and whilst it was exciting, it was also a bit scary.

I was with my previous employer for over 10 years, so it’s been a long time since going through this experience and it led me to think of some tips for the first day that I could share.

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As a professional resume writer, clients have brought thousands of resumes to me that are in desperate need of surgery.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is that their resume is too long.  I’ve seen some resumes that stretch to 10 pages or more!

A general rule of thumb is to keep it to three pages or less.  Any more and you will often find your resume on the dreaded “no” pile.  Not on merit, but because recruiters just don’t have the time or inclination to wade through so much information.

So how can you keep your resume nice and brief while still putting your best foot forward?

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I have conducted Career Workshops for a few years now and the theme of Aspiration versus Desperation is a consistently resonating idea that I use that has the potential to reshape how you consider your career aims.

The basic principle here is that most career decisions are made out of either aspiring to do something or desperation to do something.  This relates to our basic human motivation either towards pleasure or away from pain. 

Why does this matter when making career decisions?

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Over the course of human history, we’ve gone through many transformations. 

We started as Hunters and Gatherers before realising that it was much more effective to plant crops and domesticate animals and thus the Agricultural Age began.  People started to settle in towns and 90+% of traditional hunter gatherers got on board and began to till the earth.

Then in the late 18th Century, people learned how to increase efficiency even more through the greater use of machinery, giving us the Industrial Age.  Mass production started and raw materials were able to be turned into something useful. Even farms began to industrialise, meaning that less people needed to work the land as they became more efficient at producing food for the ever-increasing cities that were being formed.  Today, only 3 percent of Americans are farmers, feeding the entire country and providing exports elsewhere. 

Now we are well and truly into the Information or Knowledge Age.  It’s an age when computers have increased efficiency so much that traditional manufacturing jobs are disappearing at a rapid rate, especially in the developed world.  It’s a time when ideas are king, when emotional intelligence is crucial to your success and when you have the opportunity to do much more meaningful work than was possible to previous generations.

So how can we prepare ourselves for the Knowledge Age?

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Over the past few years, I have been responsible for recruiting dozens of people and seen hundreds of Resumes and Application Letters. 

Whilst a great application letter won’t get you a job by itself, a bad one can certainly hinder your efforts.

There are a few simple principles to keep in mind when putting together a job application letter.  Follow these and you should see your chances of job success increase.

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Interviews are a necessary evil.  Very few people enjoy the experience and I am yet to read a Facebook profile where someone mentions job interviews as an interest or hobby.

However, a successful career often requires the ability to navigate through interviews with aplomb.  So what are some simple principles to keep in mind to make the process a bit easier?

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In the many career workshops and coaching discussions I have held over the years, one of the common issues that comes up is that many people have no idea what they want to do with their careers. 

The reality is that you can’t have a flourishing career if you have no idea what you want to do, so it’s an important issue to resolve.

So, how can you find your career path?  Here’s a simple acronym that I have found helpful over the years.  To make it easy to remember, I use the word PATH:

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