The Best Way to Answer “YES” to “Have You Ever Been Fired?”

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For some, the question “Have you ever been fired?” can inspire a pit in the stomach when the answer to that question is “Yes”.  You may be among an unfortunate bunch who had a horrific experience at a company (or with a certain coworker or boss), ending in a not so ideal ending.  And whether your termination was your fault or not, it can continue to haunt you in your search for future prospects.  So what is the best way to field this tough issue?

Be Honest

First things first:  don’t lie.  It may be tempting to dismiss the topic altogether, hoping that the company you’re interviewing with never finds out – but what happens if they do?  If they find out during the interview process, you’re certain not to get the job.  And if they find out a few years down the line, no matter how great an employee you are, they may still decide to let you go.  A second termination is not what you want on your record, so do yourself a favor and be upfront and honest from the get go.  It’s much safer, and you’ll stress about if far less in the long run.

Provide Some Context

Explain the circumstances surrounding the incident.  If it was a conflict of interest, let the interviewer know.  If it happened 15 years ago, tell them that you now have a lot of distance from the incident and that your stellar work performance since then speaks for itself.  If it occurred in the more recent past, explain that you have learned quite a bit from the incident, but don’t spend your time making excuses.  Lay down the facts, and focus on what you’ve done since and will do in the future to demonstrate that you are a valuable employee who understands what it takes to be an asset to a company.

Don’t Give Away Too Much

While it’s important to be forthcoming in your response to this question, you also don’t want to spend too much time addressing the matter.  Keep the focus of the interview on what makes you the ideal person to hire, and spend as little time as you can conveying what the interviewer needs to know about that particular incident.  People who feel the need to defend themselves tend to over-explain, and this can portray lack of confidence and lead you down the wrong road.  Certainly stray away from speaking ill of your former boss or company, remaining as objective and succinct as possible.

No one likes getting fired and everyone wants to find a new job.  Don’t let one obstacle in your past set the tone for the rest of your career.  Concentrate on what you need to do to land your next job and on the reasons you’re a perfect fit for it, and the rest will follow.

Have a wonderful day,

The Doostang Team

Staying Motivated throughout the Job Search

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We all have those days when it’s difficult to stay motivated.  And if you’re looking for a job – a task that can drag on for weeks and weeks with no end in sight – it may become even more difficult to maintain your enthusiasm and stay positive as time goes by.  Obviously, getting discouraged is the last thing anyone wants while trying to get things moving and land the perfect position.  So here are a few tips to help keep you motivated:

Reward Yourself

While the ultimate reward is that great job you’ll eventually snag, it’s important to treat yourself along the way.  There are dozens of ways you can go about this.  Perhaps you reward a great week of job hunting with a Friday night movie or happy hour with friends.  If you need more encouragement along the way, unwinding with a favorite TV show or a bowl of ice cream can help get you through a long day of job applications.  Or maybe you’re the type of person who needs little incentives throughout the day, such as a quick stroll through the park or a flip through your favorite magazine.  It’s imperative to give yourself something to look forward to, if only to clear your head from all of the time and energy you spend looking for a job.  But also try to truly position these indulgences as rewards – things you can enjoy if you reach the goals you have set for yourself.  It’s great to go party with the guys at 5pm, but if you do it every single day regardless of whether or not you have been productive, it is less likely to be a huge motivator.

Find an Accountability Partner

When it comes to getting things done, it can be easy to blow your responsibilities off and procrastinate for a bit, but far more difficult to let someone else down.  So find someone you can trust – a person that you know will hold you to your work – and check in to update them on your progress.  Doing this also keeps things in perspective for you, and it forces you to take a look at your actual progress.  Sometimes it’s helpful to choose an accountability partner who is trying to achieve a goal of their own – a fellow job seeker, perhaps – so that you can build off of each others’ momentum and support each other.

Create a Working Environment Conducive to Your Work Style

Since you’re likely going to be sitting in one place for an extended period of time while you’re looking for a job, try to create a working environment that is conducive to work.  For some people, this means removing all distractions.  For others, it means creating a friendly space full of personal touches.  Some individuals may need to select one space and stick to it, so that they can train their minds to go into “work mode” whenever they enter this space.  Others may need to vary their setting in order to avoid becoming too antsy.  The best, most productive working environment is different for everyone, so figure out your style and play to your strengths.

Staying motivated is difficult – just don’t get disheartened when you’re not feeling completely jazzed about the job search.  It’s perfectly fine – and actually advisable – to take breaks every now and then. And while inspiration itself can be difficult, working on ways to inspire yourself is something that’s much easier to manage!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Doostang Success — An Opportunity to Break into the Finance Industry

Ruchi

New York University, 2011
Compliance Analyst – ACA Compliance

Doostang attracts the right candidates and employers, making it easier for any college student or graduate to find a job in an industry of their choice. The vast selection of employers, industries, and job opportunities makes Doostang far superior to Monster, Careerbuilder, or even university career centers.

Within days of submitting my resumes, I was invited to interview with numerous firms, and within 2 months I was able to secure a job!

Also, Doostang gives those individuals who are liberal arts majors an opportunity to break into financial services. I studied political philosophy and law and society in college, but managed to interview with many financial firms and secure a job in the financial services/compliance industry.

And here’s where Doostang nails it: for every search or job, you’re able to see the connections you have at a potential firm, inviting you to network and speak with individuals before you apply.

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Financial Associate Intern – LA-Based Private Investment Firm, Los Angeles, CA

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How to Create a Healthier Work Environment

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When you spend upwards of eight hours at a desk every day, it’s difficult to focus on your health.  But staying healthy at work is important, because not everybody has the ability to take ample time off to make a full recovery.  Moreover, your well-being affects how you do on the job.  Here are a few things you can do at work to ensure you are your best self, both physically and mentally.

Exercise During Your Lunch Break

It’s important to fit exercise into your routine, especially when you’re sedentary the entire day.  Remaining inactive is bad for your overall health and also leads to weight gain.  So instead of going to the fast food drive-through at lunch, strap on your running shoes and exercise at a nearby park or gym.  Then indulge in something healthy like fruit or a protein bar.

Work on Your Posture

Improving your posture can reduce pain in your shoulders and lower back, and minimize eyestrain.  Adjust your chair and monitor so that your eyes are level with your computer screen, and make sure to sit up straight and all the way back in your seat.  Your keyboard should be at a proper height that allows your wrists to lie straight.  Finally, it’s important to get up and walk around from time to time.

Bring Healthy Snacks to Work

Instead of relying on the vending machine in the break room to provide you with nourishment, bring your own healthy snacks to work.  Fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and yogurts are all great ideas.  Snacking throughout the day will help you to resist the urge to overeat at lunch, and will also keep you alert.  It’s equally important to drink lots of water – bringing along a water bottle will prevent countless trips to the water cooler.  Although if you’re looking for an extra reason to get up and walk around, the water cooler isn’t a bad idea either.

Keep a Clean Working Space

When you get bogged down in clutter you often get stressed out.  Alleviate this by keeping a clean, organized desk.  Doing so will also reduce the amount of dust and food particles that build up over time, which can often draw pests to the scene.

Request Flexible Hours

Try to work with your boss on devising a schedule that works for both of you.  If you have kids, try to work around getting them to school and their various extracurricular activities.  If you aren’t able to function in the morning, find out if it’s possible to come in a bit later.  Working during hours that fit with your schedule is important for your stress levels and mental well-being.

Living a healthier life at the office is important because you spend so much time there.  Consider these helpful tips and improve your health both at work and outside of it.

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Doostang New Jobs This Week: Feb 14 – 20


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