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Thinking of Testing the Job Market Waters? 12 Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE Taking the Plunge

Are you feeling under-appreciated at work, underpaid or simply dissatisfied? Perhaps you’re thinking about seeing what else is out there. Before you submit a resume, apply for a job or talk to your favorite recruiter, take stock of your abilities and accomplishments. Be prepared to sell yourself by asking and answering these twelve questions before you start looking around for a new opportunity.

  1. Did you help to increase sales, productivity or efficiency?
  2. Did you save your company money?
  3. Did you institute a new system or procedure?
  4. Did you identify a problem in your company that had been overlooked?
  5. Were you ever promoted?
  6. Did you train anyone?
  7. Did you suggest any new programs for your company that were put into effect?
  8. Did you help to establish any new goals or objectives for your company?
  9. Did you change, in any way, the nature of your job?
  10. Did you ever undertake an assignment or project that wasn’t part of your job just because you were intrigued with the problem?
  11. Did you ever do anything simply to make your own job easier?
  12. What would you say would be the most important qualities of the “ideal candidate” for the position you seek?

Even if you are a loyal employee, it never hurts to keep your resume up to date or to keep a running log of your accomplishments. The electric utilities market offers plenty of opportunity. Why not be ready if it knocks?

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A Message from My Dog: Stop and Smell the Roses

Dogs are simple creatures. We can learn a lot from them. One of the most important lessons they can teach us is to stop and smell the roses. Really get your nose in there and savor the scent. Don’t like the smell? Then change it and move on. Don’t just keep pruning and fertilizing and hoping the smell is going to get better.Dog reading paper

Every morning, I take my dog Rudy out for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s a nice neighborhood. Lots of dogs for Rudy to greet along the way. I use the time to think through all my tasks for the day, challenges I’m facing, conversations I’ve had… I often get completely lost in my thoughts and hardly register when Rudy needs to make a pit stop.

Rudy has his favorite spots where he always wants to stop and “smell the roses.” (It’s not always roses, mind you. He’s not particular. And smelling isn’t the only thing he likes to do. Sorry, neighbors!) If you have a dog, I’m sure you are familiar with this routine.

During my walk this morning, it occurred to me… What goes through Rudy’s mind when we’re on these walks? While I’m cycling through my lengthy “to do” list, he seems equally focused on diligently smelling every bush, mailbox, and blade of grass along the way. He’s really taking his time, enjoying the process and the moment.

Conversely, I get so caught up in the minutia of daily life that I forget to stop and smell the roses, to enjoy where I am and what I’ve accomplished. My mind is in a million other places, so I’m not really thinking about the direction I’m going. I’m on autopilot, and I’ve realized that’s not such a good thing.

What about you? Are you walking through your days on autopilot? Cranking through the to-do list, not really thinking about where you’re headed or whether you’re even enjoying the walk? Tis’ the season for reflection and counting blessings, and this year I’m going to take a note from my dog. (Don’t worry, neighbors, your roses are safe.) Before I dive into making plans for 2017, I’m going to take a long walk with Rudy, savor my accomplishments, decide if I like the “smell” and, who knows, maybe head in a new direction.