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July 25, 2014

Your Candy Crush Obsession and It's Problem Solving Power!

So, if you are following along in your Top 10 Transferable Skills Series, you have learned how these attributes help you keep your career afloat in tough times, how to determine your own skills list, and now we are working on strengthening the ones that will give your abilities a boost.

The #4 Top Transferable Skill on our list is Problem-Solving. This week let's take a look at the benefits of using mind games to increase your problem-solving power.

You Need Problem Solving Skills To Make It In Life

 You face problems every day.  If you aren't solving customer problems, you are helping a coworker solve an issue, solving a family problem, or looking for your own solutions to problems (like how to improve your problem-solving skills). 

By weeding out bad mental habits and improving on processes that work,  your process becomes a pattern that you can apply to various situations and successfully problem solve.The more problems you successfully solve the better and faster you learn to do it.

Check out this MindTools test of your Problem Solving prowess and see how good your skills are! 

So What Does It Take To Get Better And Faster At Problem-Solving?

Now, on to the part where you get better at this skill….after all, you want to be the "Go-To" person for problems in your field (That is part of what makes you highly desirable to your future employer).

Experience is definitely a main factor, but have you also considered mind games to strengthen supporting contributors to problem-solving: Pattern Recognition and  Logic . 

Research suggests that games that utilize these factors in a timed and pressured setting do in fact increase your mental sharpness.

Pattern Recognition
Candy Crush Saga was a big deal in my former office for quite some time. It helps you increase your ability to recognize visual patterns.

Not only do we seek patterns around us but also include patterns in the things we create. Research on human skill acquisition has proven that your ability to recognize and recall patterns that have inherent meaning improve expertise in a select area.

Candy Crush Saga challenges your pattern recognition and cognitive speed with 385 levels and cross platform capability you can charge up your pattern recognition power on any device and not miss the beat.

My four-year-old's favorite game to play while with me while waiting at an appointment is Cut the Rope. It's a cute and engaging game where the goal is to get the candy which is attached to the rope onto into Om Nom's mouth ( a green alien). The catch is that there are various obstacles in the way and you must use cause and effect reasoning to get the candy from point A to point B.

It is a physics based puzzle game that has been researched  as having a positive effect on executive functioning sharpness. This is important for general intelligence, problem-solving, and multitasking. The game starts off pretty simple but the longer you play the more complex the puzzles get .

Will These Games Make You Smarter Overall?

No, you will not become a genius by playing Candy Crush, Cut The Rope or any other mind training game.

 However, intentionally doing activities that are timed and pressured; while increasing your focus, logic, critical thinking, and pattern recognition can enhance your mental alertness and critical thinking processing speed if you are mindful to apply the concepts to your everyday tasks.

What Do You Think?

Are you a Candy Crush, or Cut The Rope player that feels a bit more mentally sharp at problem-solving?

Leave A Comment Below!
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July 18, 2014

Time Management The Good Leadership Quality You Need

Good leadership qualities such as time management skills could give you a boost in finding a career of your dreams.

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

Are you:
  •   A person who enjoys interacting and building social networks; but has difficulty managing interruptions (like FB updates, instant messages and email)
  •   A perfectionist, where if you aren't able to do things perfectly you tend to avoid them all together? 
  •  A naturally busy person who enjoys using your project management skills to juggle multiple things at once; but seldom complete those tasks on time?  

If this describes you, keep reading…

Time Management, Most of us need to get better at it.

Time Management is #3 of our Top 10 Transferable Skills, it is one of many good leadership qualities and is universally desired by employers.

We have all thought at some point "If only there were more hours in the day".  Then you could get all of your tasks and projects done and not feel exhausted before the next day even starts.

If you want to be more productive and less stressed overall , improving your time management skills should be a priority.  

Start By Changing Your Habits And Behaviors.

Brian Tracy (Time Management & Productivity Guru) says it best when he says:

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

Eliminating behaviors such as the ones found here, 29 Ways You’re Wasting Time Today; can help you become more mindful of your time management mistakes.

Once you are aware of what you are doing to sabotage your success, you can start adding in strategies to set you in the right direction.

Here Are 5 Strategies That Build Better Time Management Habits
Time management is a skill that is distinct for each individual. You just have to discover what works best for you. Aside from eliminating poor time management behaviors, here are a few simple strategies that will improve your productivity.

          1. Prioritize Tasks: Before the beginning of the day, make a list of jobs that need your immediate consideration as unimportant jobs can use up much of your valuable time. Then tackle the biggest and baddest of the tasks first! That way everything else is a piece of cake ;)

2. Stick To What’s At Hand: Try and establish a deadline before the job so you could finish all those jobs that will get in the way. Reward yourself for matching with a challenge that is difficult.

3. Take Small Breaks: Whenever you locate yourself for 10-15 minutes, take a rest. Too much pressure can take toll in your body and change your productivity.

4. Learn to say No: Refuse to accept additional jobs if you believe you are already overloaded with work. Look at your 'To Do' list before consenting to take on additional work. 

5. Take Action: Procrastination is among the matters that affect the productivity. It can result is squandering energy and critical time. It needs to be prevented at any cost. It could be a significant issue in both your private life and your profession. 

Sometimes You Need Professional Help
      If you feel you've been holding your self back by procrastinating on  important tasks (Ahem...like working on improving your time management) or lacking the motivation to get things done right away, you may need to take a guided approach to learning great time management. 

Upgrade Your Time Management Skills With Brian Tracy's “Eat That Frog!

I know "Eat That Frog" sounds pretty strange if you are not familiar with Brian Tracy, but his 21 ways to beat procrastination have been proven to help individuals double their productivity and become indispensable to their employers.

When you understand the "Eat That Frog" metaphor and his process for improving time management....you will see how easy it is to become master of your day! 

I hope you enjoyed this post on boosting your productivity through better organizational and time management skills. 

If you've got any other procrastination busting suggestions, please don't hesitate to share them below!
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July 11, 2014

Boost your Team Leadership Skills with Emotional Intelligence

Looking for an effective way to develop your team leadership transferable skills? Increasing your emotional intelligence is the one stop shop to effective management skills.


Unless you work and live by yourself and do not collaborate with others at all, you have probably had to work in a team of some sort to get a task accomplished.

The Pain of Poor Team Leadership Skills

We all have experienced horrible team leadership skills.

You know the kind...where someone clearly felt they had the right manager skills to lead, delegated all the work without consideration of individual skill development, and couldn't get everyone on the same page.

Or maybe, no one wanted to take the lead, and by default you took the whole project on so that it would get done.

Yes you can say that you are a team player to an employer but those are not examples of teamwork that will impress them. 

There is a secret to successful team work that I will let you in on.

No, it has nothing to do with bringing doughnuts to the office, even though that helps a little :) , It actually costs the employer nothing and it's what they are looking for in your examples when they grill you at the interview about how you work in a team.

Your Emotional Intelligence is the Answer

Emotions effect how and what you learn and the ways you behave and interact with your coworkers. Emotional Intelligence is your ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of people around you.

Your resume may say "team leader with good manager skills", but if your ability to read others is lacking, leading a team successfully is a difficult and stressful part of any new career.

How Do You Know If You Have It?
  • People with a High Emotional Intelligence Level or EQ are good at reading people and can easily see how to motivate others to work together and promote positive interactions increasing team performance. They are often excited to learn more about others.  Are assertive in nature and don't get distracted easily. They know their own strengths and weaknesses and know how to self motivate. That often gives them an advantage when it comes to successful manager skills.
  • People with Low Emotional Intelligence Levels (it does not mean you are a bad person if you have a low EQ) get easily distracted, frustrated and hold a pessimistic point of view.  they are often impulsive and could use better listening skills. They can be overly critical about themselves or others and have a difficult time understanding their own strengths and motivators.

If you are a visual person, Forbes Top Five Emotional Intelligence Moments of 2013 gives you very clear examples of good and poor Emotional Intelligence.

You Can Get Better At Both!
Emotional Intelligence is something you can improve with training, reflection and mindfulness. Here are some  tips you can implement right away and give your Emotional Intelligence and team leadership skills a boost.

However, making a formal skills improvement plan (since we are all about strategy and curing job seeker helplessness here) will benefit you throughout your career and life. 

There are many programs out there to get this done but I think one of the easiest and most direct programs I have seen is by Margeret Meloni.

This link will take you to the place that you can purchase and download her audio program. Just like many other self-help programs this is really easy to use.

You can play the audio file...
  ...on your way to and from work,
  ...on errands in the car,
  ...or even as you're getting ready for the day.

You will learn...
... the four elements of emotional intelligence,
... how to assess your own emotional intelligence, 
...and learn the tools you need to grow your emotional intelligence.

Make the effort to start improving your team leadership skills by 
increasing your emotional intelligence 
today !

Share and Be Inspired to Be More!

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July 4, 2014

Want Good Leadership Skills? Start with Improving Your Communication Skills

 If you feel your ability to speak and engage others, actively listen, and write with clarity and conciseness could use some improvement  getting started with this transferable skill is a great beginning.

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

Powerful communication abilities are essential to success in many facets of life. Many occupations need people skills. Individuals with great communication abilities generally experience better interpersonal relationships with family, friends and co-workers.

Effective communication is
key to good leadership skills which have many advantages for our work and private lives. If you’re wondering if your communication skills are effective, take this short quiz by MindTools and find out your communication style.

Good Leadership Skills Call For People Skills & Active Listening

Listen Actively
Use the techniques of reflection and clarification to support what the other people have said to prevent any confusion. Do your best not to think of what to say while listening to them; rather clear your head and concentrate on the message they’re conveying to you. Other acquaintances, family co-workers and your friends will recognize and appreciate your active listening abilities.

Be Aware of Others' Emotions
To do this you should know about what's happening in other people's lives. Contemplate the psychological effect of what you're saying and convey within the standards of behaviour appropriate for the circumstance.

Empathy is attempting to see things from another’s' point of view. When communicating with others, attempt not to be biased by preconceived ideas or notions or judgmental - results and instead see the situation from the other persons viewpoint.
If appropriate, offer your individual point of view clearly and candidly to prevent confusion. Remember that some issues might be overly stressful for others or taboo to discuss.

Make others feel welcome, needed, appreciated and valued in your communications. Offer words and activities to others, along with praise, of support.
Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

From time-to-time, we are all guilty of listening, but not enough or efficiently enough to really hear (and completely understand) the message.

Make the commitment now to become a better listener and thus be a better leader with great communication skills & body language that will certainly expresse the message you would like to share.

Visit us here to find out more on acquiring powerful body language, good leadership skills and effective communication skills.

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