Ok, so... January is almost over and you are struggling with continuing to get in shape and pay off the holiday credit. (You're in good company! I'm right there with you!) Have you taken a few moments to figure out how to make yourself a better candidate for a new job opportunity in 2014?

Whether or not you are currently employed, take a moment to think about self improvement. What did you do in 2013 in order to make yourself more valuable to the company you work for, your manager, or your future employer?

Many people expect that they have the right to be promoted/hired while doing nothing out of the ordinary. Those individuals getting promoted are doing quite a bit out of the ordinary of their everyday job. Some ideas may be:

-Take a class in your field. Better, enroll towards a higher level degree than what you currently have! In my years of recruiting, I have never heard someone being passed over on a promotion for having too much education. It's never too late, and there are many online courses to assist older students with families and careers in completing collegiate degrees.

-Start a blog. Get intricately familiar with your subject of choice! Your writing and communication skills are sure to improve! Talk to them. Maybe even help them too! You can start a local networking event if you know enough people from various industries.

-Get involved in your community. Becoming a more well-rounded person makes you a better employee.

-Most importantly, make sure your attendance is impeccable! Nobody likes a pilot who cancels at 3 am before a flight! Stay until the job gets done. Put in 100%, consistently, every day.

Let's set the bar higher for 2014! No more mediocrity. Let's show the world how it's done and all get promoted!!!
 
 
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Today, I took on the undertaking of all undertakings! I decided to peel the wallpaper from our half bath. Now, allow me to explain that this is not only the smallest room in my home, but one of the smallest rooms I had ever seen. Until I got started... 

Now, everyone knows about the heaping plate of spaghetti which you can eat for hours and not make a dent in? That was my 4 wall inferno! To explain further, I am not someone who enjoys manual labor. I am not reveling in an almost finished product. (I lost all feeling in my dominant hand and needed to stop.) Understand that, at 5'3", I was not doing well at getting the wallpaper saturated close to the ceiling. In fact, where I left off were the uppermost corners. I took a couple of risky moves all around: risking my manicure (I'm girly!), stepping on what I didn't realize was a very wet vanity, and just being on a ladder in general is not typically a safe bet with me being more klutzy than most.

So...where are we going here? Today, I appreciated what painters do (and why they charge so much) more than I ever thought possible! Having pulled out mature plants from my yard, laid 20 or more bags of mulch, and now, scraped (most of) a room of wallpaper, I have an increased respect for those working physically hard to make a living. It's tough! I could have called my painter. But I figured I'd save some money and put in some sweat equity. I also did not realize that, while it's not the toughest job, it's the opposite of fun! 

Additionally, when I hear people who tell me they can/will do "anything" for a job, I realize that first, they are coming off as exceptionally desperate, and secondly, while I technically could peel wallpaper, there is no way on this side of hell that I plan on doing that a second time over! Ever! If we ever look at a new house, it will be wallpaper free prior to move-in. I could, but I won't, and that's something that unemployed people must be aware of!

And in case you are wondering, HGTV is very misleading. It takes more than 30 minutes to renovate the walls in a microscopic bathroom!

 
 
Just because you want a job or you think you can do a job does not mean that you are the right fit for a company or the specific position for which they are hiring. If a job requires a year of experience and you are a new graduate, the manager is not waiting for you to graduate, get licensed/certified, to hire and train you. There is a reason they are looking for an experienced person. Perhaps the position will be a mentor for others. Maybe they don't have time/resources to train. To apply will be both disappointing to you and a waste of time to the employer, who is looking for a targeted type of person.

If you are getting a bunch of fast rejection letters or emails, take a look at the jobs to which you are applying. Objectively think about it from the hiring side. If you were paying for someone to take the job, would you hire your background on paper? If not, apply to more jobs within your scope. Get experience through volunteer work.

Understand that the company is not waiting for you. They are looking for the person who will best fill the role for that job!