How to Know When It’s Okay to Quit

We were always raised to “try our best” and not to be a “quitter.” Well, society, thanks for setting us up for failure with your terrible advice.

It’s OKAY to quit.

Many of us spend our time trying to overcome quitting on a day to day basis. I’m not saying you should go out and quit your job, school, marriage, kids, etc. But there are some situations in which it’s best to quit and move on. I have outlined some of these circumstances when you should just raise up the white flag.

Skills (or lack thereof) and Talents:

“You can do anything you put your mind to.” —– Wrong.

I, for one, could never be an Olympic sprinter. For those of you who have seen me run, you know my legs don’t work that way. I could never be a flame thrower. Sure I could try and try and maybe, just maybe, I could get good at it one day. But am I going to keep trying knowing my lack of coordination? No. I don’t particularly think I would like being set on fire. Obviously these are very dramatic examples, but the same applies to sports, singing, acting, and even day to day activity. I can understand trying to stick with certain activities as a child, as you’re still developing mentally and physically. But I don’t think there are any 8-year-old little league players reading this blog. So for YOU, if you are miserable doing something that you are god awful at, and it is getting you no where, just quit. Move on to something that will be a more appropriate use of your time, and much more fulfilling.

Your Job:

Many people (myself included in this category) have been afraid to quit their job for a better one, or even look for new opportunities, because they are afraid of disappointing their current boss. You have become a valuable asset to them, and they spent time and money training you. You think, “What would they do without me?” I’ve learned after moving a couple different jobs for new opportunities that when it comes down to it, you boss does not care about you. At the end of the day, they need to run a business. They WILL replace you. If you can better yourself by leaving for a new opportunity… Do it. Don’t hesitate. No one ever got anywhere by standing still.

Your relationship:

When you have a commitment to someone, usually there is a lot invested in it. Sometimes people get married just because they have a joint loan payment, or they bought a puppy together. They get sucked into this world that they don’t want to be in. It’s no shock that divorce rates are sky rocketed. If some couples just quit on each other before they get married, the world would be a much happier place. Ya dig?  Relationships aren’t meant to be easy, and you shouldn’t give up on “the one” if things are a little rocky. But if you know deep down that they are not right for you… Welllllllp, see ya later.

Life isn’t made to be easy, and you shouldn’t quit every time something get’s tough. But be realistic, have a back up plan if you are determined to stay with your flame throwing or other far-fetched passion, and always be true to who you are (not who everyone else wants you to be).

“Quitting law school was the most difficult decision of my life. But I felt this great relief that this is my life and I can do what I want with it” – Carly Fiorina

The 10 Worst Things About Job Hunting

No one likes searching for jobs. I’ve been fortunate enough in the past to fall into jobs or get referred to apply by someone I knew. Not that I didn’t work hard or have to interview for them, but it always helped me to have connections. But now, I am on the real, legitimate, resume-pushing job hunt. It’s awful. Throughout my process of looking for a gig that will benefit me in some way, shape, or form, I have created a list of all things that are terrible about job searching. job_hunt

  1. Changing your resume and cover letter for every single job. I’m not talking about just inserting the company name differently every time. For those who are really serious about getting a job, they should change their resume and cover letter so that it relates to the job at hand. This sounds like common sense, but as someone who has been the hire-er and the hire-ee, I’ve seen it all. And not to mention most job applications ask you the questions about employment, education, skills, etc. that are ALREADY ON YOUR RESUME. Like, they ask these questions as if they expect to open your resume attachment and find a blank piece of paper. There are only so many adjectives I can use to describe my duties at previous jobs.
  2. Talking about yourself. I can sincerely say I hate hate HATE making myself sound like the greatest person that ever stepped foot on the earth. I mean… if the shoe fits. But doesn’t mean I like talking about it. Personally, I just find it uncomfortable when an employer says “Tell me about yourself.” Seriously? You already know my street cred from my resume and your endless questions. Now, something I’ve learned from interviews in my day is that employers can generally tell when you’re bull shitting. So unless you totally suck and have zero skills or experience to talk about (which if that’s the case maybe reevaluate your life a little bit), then just be honest. Most employers are looking for someone who is down to earth anyways.trash-can
  3.  The Circular Filing Cabinet. Any time someone sends out a job application or resume (in particular for a posting listed online), there is no telling if someone is actually going to look at it. See number 1 for the reason why this is especially frustrating. It is proven (I think) that companies generally hire within or hire somebody through a connection they have. I stand by my claim that networking is the most important thing a person can do in an attempt to move up in the world.
  4. Condescending people. I absolutely hate when people are condescending. Like, oh, you don’t have a real job? (insert concerned look here). In my case, I’ve worked since I was 14 or 15 years old. I’ve had great jobs that I could have turned into careers. Just because I don’t want to be a corporate robot for the rest of my life doesn’t mean you should feel bad for me and talk to me like I’ve never had a job before. I feel bad for you for hating your life and the job you do have. So there.
  5. Skype Interviews. Okay, let’s talk about awkward. Do I look at the screen when i’m talking? Do I look at the little camera up top? Do I have to wear pants? So many questions.
  6. Inaccurate Job Descriptions. Every job description I see I’m like oooooh, aaaaahh that’s perfect! They all sound so glamorous. Some of them should really say: “Job Description: You will be our Bitch. Required Skills: Ability to be okay with hating your life. Salary: Hahaha. Good luck eating ramen noodles for the rest of your life.”
  7. Looking for work while you are still employed. It never fails, they always ask for the contact person at your current job. And all you want to do is write a little side note saying “Please don’t call.” You don’t want your employer to know you’re looking. If they are evil, which a lot of them are, then they will make your life hell until you finally escape.
  8. Desired Salary. Well, my desired salary is a million dollars, but that probably won’t fly huh. I used to always put “negotiable” on all applications, but some are now actually requiring an amount. WTF. You don’t want to put an amount too high because then they will throw away your app in a jiffy. You don’t want to put an amount too low because they will pay you that, and let’s be real, that’s not really your desired salary. You are trying to step up in the world and avoid Cup of Noodles for lunch every day. 9-utterly-insane-job-opportunities-on-craigslist

  9. Craigslist Ads. Many companies these days put ads on craigslist for jobs they have available. I get that, it’s free for them to post, unlike some of the other job search engines. HOWEVER, I do NOT want to be an “adult” model or a maid for your free candy van. C’mon man!

  10. Getting job offers. I know the thought of getting multiple offers at one times is absolutely dreadful. But seriously, no one wants to be that person that tells a company no after spending countless hours interviewing with them and telling them how much you would love a job there. I’d say just apply for one at a time, but that would be highly inefficient and you might be 80 years old by the time you finally find someone to take on your poor self.

 

If you are like me, and searching for a quality career opportunity… good luck! I’m sure you’ve experienced these things as well, and feel free to add more. Make sure to subscribe and follow me on twitter @NelsonKati

 

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
– Milton Berle

How to Make Yourself Competitive

The single most important trait one can have in a changing economy is the ability to be adaptable. That’s what will put you ahead of the others. All too often we hear people excusing others, “Oh, they are just stuck in their old ways.” Well move over traditionalists, you better clear the path for the modern thinkers.

Let’s face it… The world is changing. I watched this speech by Gary Vaynerchuk recently and it really opened my eyes. It is a long one, but I highly recommend it.

I can remember when Facebook first came out. I was NOT having it. Perfectly content with my MySpace account, I wanted nothing to do with this new social media approach. It looked different, it was confusing, and I didn’t want to take the time to learn it. Finally when I entered college, I gave in. EVERYBODY was doing it (that makes it cool right?).

There are a lot of things we do because other people are doing it. Facebook was one of the many things I said I’d never do, but then gave in because others were doing it (wearing skinny jeans and drinking Starbucks coffee are on that list as well). Since then, I’ve realized the benefit of jumping on trends before they become the norm. I’m not talking about fashion here, unless you’re a fashion entrepreneur, then you can relate this to skinny jeans all you want.

What if we had the ability to see what would be popular in a matter of weeks, months, or even years? Well, we do! Although it’s not full proof, we have the technology to see what people are talking about in real time. With the use of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and all the other social media sites, we can see what people like, at the instant they like it or talk about it.

If we want to grow in society, we have to be forward thinking. The other day, I heard someone talking about how Facebook finally forced them to have the new “timeline” profile. Welcome to 2012, lady. I hated the idea of the timeline at first, it was weird. At the same time, I knew that Facebook was heading in this direction and that eventually everyone would have this profile. So I voluntarily got the new profile while it was still an option, and I adapted to it. Sure, I could have waited until now when Facebook forced me to have it, but then I’d be behind the curve. Everyone would already be used to it, while I was still learning it.

We can apply this same scenario to the business world. Employers want adaptability. I have always said there is only so much we can learn by reading a textbook, but the ability to be creative and forward thinking is a skillset that will put you ahead. It is a gamble trying to anticipate what will be the trend in the future, but risk often equals reward.

“If life is moving slowly… Run faster!” ~Jordan D. Ulmer

A Whole New World

It’s been about a month since my last post. Since then, I’ve moved to California, went for a week long training session in Washington DC, and came back to try and get the ball rolling with my new job.

In the past month I’ve learned a lot. The main thing that has had an impact on me is the power of adapting to new and unknown situations. In order to grow, we must be able to change. We can stay doing the same old thing day after day, or we can adapt to make ourselves competitive in a growing market. There is a constant need to update our skills, revamp our attitudes, and never cut the ties with what keeps us motivated.

Southern California is a whole new world, to say the least (Literally, I think they’d become their own country if they wanted to). There is no small town feel like I’m used to. I don’t walk into a business and expect to see someone I know. People are friendly enough, but they are mostly just concerned with their own wellbeing (unless we are talking about a driving situation, in which case California drivers are concerned with destroying everyone else’s wellbeing. Seriously. It’s terrifying).

Moving is never easy. It involves leaving behind your loved ones, and stepping out of your comfort zone. I took a huge leap of faith, entering a newly created position in a tough market, for only a certain number of months. But that’s life right? Taking chances is the only way we can get to where we want to be.

They say “good things come to those who wait.” Well, I beg to differ. I think good things come to those who get after it! There is a difference between having patience and waiting. Why wait for something good to happen, when we can be proactive and make it happen. That seems like a much more efficient approach to me.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things,
because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~ Walt Disney.