Five Tips For Better Time Management

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Some days feel like they are 30 hours long. Other times, we feel like we need 30 hours to get everything accomplished.
Since everyone is given the same 24 hours each day, how can you make adjustments to feel like you’re accomplishing what you want or need to get done? Here are five tips to help you improve your time management skills. Let’s get started!

#1. First, understand where your time goes. Whether you use a phone app to track your time or write it in a journal, you will want an accurate accounting of your time. Are you wasting time checking your phone or on social media? Talking to friends? Taking long breaks? Checking emails constantly?

#2. Create a to-do list. Write your tasks in the journal or enter them into an app. Do not rely on your memory, even though some of your tasks may be repetitive. Think about grocery shopping: if you go in with a list, it will help you remain focused instead of bouncing around from aisle to aisle, scooping up impulse items. Another benefit of using a list is the sense of accomplishment when you cross off an item.

#3. Prioritize. Your list is only a start. Make sure you do the most important or time-sensitive tasks first. Do not do the things you enjoy doing, saving the less enjoyable tasks for later. There is a wise saying that holds true, make the main thing the main thing – and put first things first.

#4. Delegate. Is it possible for others to do some of the work? There may be other people that have the training or knowledge to help ensure tasks are completed on time. Even if you don’t need or receive help, it can be good to help others when they feel overwhelmed.

#5. It is okay to sometimes say no. Instead of delegating tasks to someone else at your workplace, saying no may refer to your personal life. As you prioritize your life tasks, unforeseen requests have to be weighed against pressing deadlines. Learning to say no to distractions or temptations is among the toughest lessons to learn.

Despite your best intentions, sometimes life happens when unforeseen crises occur, and sometimes priorities change. No matter what happens, try to be clear and stay focused on what is most important by keeping yourself organized with good time management skills. It will serve you well in both your work and your personal life. Good luck!

A Helping Hand for Ali was Found at the Goodwill Job Center

Living in a war divided country was difficult for Ali. His home country of Iraq was in complete political disarray. The fear of safety for his family and himself had become a growing concern. Ali and his family fled to Syria as refugees and were transferred to the United States as part of the United Nations refugee program in 2014.

After a few months, the urgency of finding a job while finishing high school was pressing. Ali had the responsibility of providing for his family while studying and adjusting to living in a new country. This was challenging for Ali and he knew that he needed some help.

A helpful friend from Iraq encouraged him to try the Goodwill Job Center in Sioux Falls. “They do their best to help people find a job,” Ali’s friend stated. In August of 2014, Ali successfully found his first job in the United States because of the help he received in the Job Center.

Ali has continued to be a proud advocate for the Job Center. Ali says with a smile, “I always tell my friends to come to the Job Center if they are looking for a job.” He has referred his brother and father to the Job Center for their helpful services. Ali commented, “Every morning you get a prayer from us before we go to work because you helped us find jobs.” He finishes with a big smile, “I like you guys.”

Three Changes To The Job Search – Not Counting Technology

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Technology has changed our lives in many ways, including how we conduct a job search. I have witnessed a number of recruiting and job coaching changes in my 30+ year career. Most – but not all – involve the use of technology. This week I will examine a few non-technology changes.

#1. Whether due to downsizing or a worker’s desire for a new challenge, today’s workplace sees more turnover than ever before. All this change means it is important to keep your resume up to date and be a lifelong learner to remain competitive with constantly improving and expanding skills. Take a class. Earn a certification. Do what you can to best position yourself with market-relevant skills expected by today’s employers.

#2. While networking has always been part of the search process, I would argue it is more important than ever. The days of walking into a company, shaking hands with the hiring manager and having an unscheduled conversation are largely over. Technology makes it easier to locate and apply for work and human resource departments are overwhelmed with applicants. Some companies have responded by building digital barriers to protect their time. You may be qualified for the position, but, if you are one of 300 applicants, personal referrals can improve your chances that the employer will choose to speak with you rather than other candidates.

#3. Employer expectations and what you can do to meet them have shifted. I am seeing companies place more emphasis on soft skills and cultural fit than ever before. For many jobs, you will be required to take an assessment or two. You may have the skills and experience to perform the work, but if your personality does not mesh with that employer’s desired target, you may not get the job.

Employers expect candidates to be prepared; technology allows easy access to information about the company. Online resources help answer interview questions. Doing your homework – being prepared – is more significant than ever.
Technology is a tool. Use it and know you need more than a search and a few clicks to get the job. Good luck!

Storm Lake Job Center Spotlight

There are many reasons that Arely works passionately in the Job Center. Being able to help different cultures is one of those reasons. Arely has learned that patience is important in the Job Center because some individuals have language barriers. Arely appreciates the different opportunities that we offer people in the Job Center and how Goodwill can connect individuals to jobs in the community.

If you need assistance with resumes, cover letters, or finding a job, stop into our Storm Lake Job center, and Arely would be happy to help you reach your employment goals. Our Storm Lake Job Center is located in our Storm Lake store at 229 West Milwaukee Avenue Storm Lake, IA. Our Job Center hours are Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm.