Thursday, December 1, 2016

10 Signs You are Ready for a New Job

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares 10 signs you are ready for a career move...

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1. You don't want to go to work. Not only because your bed is just far too comfortable, but because you genuinely don't like being at work.

2. You're bored. Once upon a time, you were passionate about even the little things. Now the thought of sitting at your desk makes you want to take a nap. You crave a challenge, but not one in your current position.

3. Nothing excites you... even a raise. If you were given a $10,000 raise and still wouldn't be happy driving to work in the morning, it's time to move on.

4. You search the internet all the time. And it's not for work-related purposes.

5. You procrastinate. You were once the first in and the last out, that spark has faded and somehow you are now the last in and first out. You sit at your desk and avoid your work at all costs. If you run out of menial ways to avoid your to do list, you watch time tick on the clock.

6. You take advantage of every sick day available.

7. You don't like the people in your office. You don't have to celebrate every colleague's birthday with them, but life at the office is improved if you like and respect your team.

8. You are not performing to the best of your abilities. Move on.

9. You no longer take pride in your professional appearance. You don't feel the need to brush your hair and your clothes aren't ironed (you haven't taken them to the cleaner's in some time).

10. You are reading this blog.

It's time for a career change. It's time to meet with a recruiter.

Everything in life will seem a little brighter when you find a job that you are truly happy with. When you feel enabled to achieve your professional and personal goals, your life can only change for the better. 

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Make Networking a Way of Life

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares why networking should be a way of life...

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When was the last networking event you attended? Most people network on occasion and usually for a specific purpose. Those who excel at networking make it a part of their lifestyle. The idea is "give a little, get a little." 

Network IS:
A verb. Active, ongoing pursuit that requires commitment.
A process. Results take time and consistency.
A two-way street. The best networkers understand that it is a give-and-take relationship and often help people more than they are helped. What goes around, comes around.
An opportunity. The business contacts you make can change your career and can change your life.
An investment. It takes time and energy but the return on investment consists of much more than the fun you will have.

Network is NOT:
A noun. Yes, you will have a valuable database of contacts. What you DO with those contacts is what matters.
An occasional activity. It becomes truly effective when it is a part of your lifestyle.
Sales. Your goal is not to sell everyone you meet, but instead to build real relationships.

Rocket Science. It is not hard to do. Anyone at any stage in their profession can build strong relationships through networking. 

Take the time to build relationships, build a solid reputation, and help others to achieve success. Your return on investment will be much greater than you thought.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Stand Out of the Applicant Database

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares how to maximize your chances of getting the interview...

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Your resume has approximately 60 seconds to make an impact. Here's how to make yours stand apart from all the others: 

Optimize Your Resume

As in, Search Engine Optimize. Just the same as how a Google search uses Search Engine Optimization to give you the most relevant results, recruiters, and HR departments sometimes use electronic applicant tracking systems to sort through resumes and cover letters to provide them with the most relevant candidates in the applicant database.

Maximize your exposure by adding in relevant keywords used in the job description. Build these keywords into your work experience, education and qualifications sections. 

 Attention Grabbing Sections

Key honors/awards: List these under Education.

Key Skills: Use bullet points under Work Experience to convey your key skills that are most relevant to the position.

Frame Your Resume

Make your resume easy for the reader to speed read without missing pertinent information. Divide your resume into clearly headed sections: Education, Experience, and Activities. Don't get too fancy with the fonts, the basics are easiest to read. 

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

7 Things You Should NEVER Do in an Interview

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7. Don't be late. Keep Murphy's Law in mind, "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." Your car may break down or your alarm clock may be set for 6 pm instead of 6 am, derailing your scheduled day. Give yourself plenty of time to be in the vicinity early, stop for a coffee and review your notes, then head into the building about 15 minutes early.

6. Don't show up unprepared. Know about the firm you are meeting with. Research how long they've been in business, where their offices are, their mission statement, etc.

5. Don't ask about the salary, benefits or perks. The initial interview is not about what the firm can do for you, instead share what you can do for the firm. Ask about the job and what your responsibilities would be. Make them feel that you are the best fit for that job and share your previous successes relating to the expected responsibilities.

4. Don't focus on the future, focus on the job at hand. The initial interview is not the time to ask about advancement opportunities. Show your interest for the job you are there to interview for.

3. Don't turn the weakness question into a positive. At least, not in the usual way. For example, don't say you work too hard and care too much about what you do. Instead, be honest about a real weakness of yours but add a spin, "Math is not my strong suit, however knowing that, I take my time and always double check my work with numbers." This shows that you are honest, thorough and responsible.

2. Don't lie. If you get through the interview with exaggerated half-truths, your performance on the job will show that you are not equipped to handle the job you were hired to do. Save yourself the embarrassment.

1. Don't ask if there is any reason you shouldn't be hired. The misguided advice that some career experts provide can lead the interviewer to focus on what's wrong with you; that's not the lasting impression you want to leave them thinking about.    

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Friday, July 1, 2016

7 Words to NEVER Put on Your Resume

Legal Recruiters at Levitt & Associates, Inc. share 7 words to keep OFF of your resume...

The following words demonstrate a lack of effort, leadership and confidence:

1. "Hopefully"
Double check your resume, cover letter, and online presence to delete this word. You are a confident individual who uses language that projects confidence. 

2. "Professional"
Clearly, you conduct yourself in a "professional" manner, nearly everyone describes how they conduct themselves this way.  Demonstrate your creativity and imagination to find new ways to answer their question. 

3. "Implemented"
"Implemented" implies that you followed someone else's lead.  The only time this word is accepted is when it is preceded by "planned and...".

4. "Team Player"
Show that you are a team player without using the words "team player."  Get creative and provide information about how your team was successful or how you enjoy taking on a mentor position. 

5. "Attempted"
This is not the place to share what you wanted to do.  This is the place to share concrete information on what you did. 

6. "Assisted"
Leaders are desired.  The interviewer is more impressed to know that you were the one being assisted.  They want to know what you achieved, how you achieved it and the size of the team you led in the process. 

7. "Approximately"
If you don't know, its best to find out.  If you do know, this is where you display your confidence.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Improve Your Communication Skills

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares why listening better can help you to be more productive...

What is the difference between listening and hearing? It was once explained to one of our associates that during an exam, the room is quiet yet there are sounds everywhere. You can hear the sound of the fan spinning, you can hear the person next to you tapping their pencil, you can hear people outside talking as they walk by the room. Those things are only distracting when you listen to them; when you focus your attention on them.

We often listen for what we want to hear. It's human nature, we like to get what we want. Let's say you asked for some time off during the firm's busiest time. You're told that it just can't happen and that with the workload, people are already going in on weekends and there is only one week left before things really get crazy around the office. Somehow, what you heard was, "Go ahead and take your time off as long as it's in this next week before things really get busy at the office." Not exactly the interpretation your boss meant to leave you with. 

Sometimes, we listen for what we don't want to hear. Think back to a time when you were offered constructive criticism on your work, "Great job on the report, we love it and we're sending it to the client tomorrow. One thing I can mention is that the colors on the graphs should be the client's colors. It would add a little something extra." Somehow, through all the positive praise, all you hear is, "You're report wasn't good enough." What you interpreted was not at all what the feedback stating.

Take the time to listen and focus on what they are saying. Notice their facial expressions and body language. Pay attention to their voice inflection. Take note of their mood, timing, and agenda. 

Stop hearing and start listening. 

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Levitt & Associates: Featured Podcast

Alisa Levitt, Owner of Levitt & Associates, Inc., was recently featured on a podcast with "The Lawyer in Blue Jeans," Jeff Isaac.

To hear Alisa's full interview, tune it at 24 minutes (interview ends at 34:10). 

Direct link to featured podcast:

Link to Lawyer in Blue Jeans Show on AM760 KFMB:

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Your Excuses are Holding You Back

Levitt & Associates, Inc. brings attention to the quality of your excuses...

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"I'm just too busy right now..." 
"This is the way it has always been...."
"I wouldn't know where to start...."

We have all said something along those lines.

Consider though, that the quality of your excuses determines the quality of your life.

More often than not, at the core of our excuses and resistance to taking action is fear. This could be the fear of failing, fear of being rejected, or fear of not being good enough. No one wants to look foolish or mess up. Our fears stem from our natural instinct to protect ourselves from pain. 

To live a fulfilling life, risk is necessary - the risk of rejection, the risk of failure, the risk of pain.

We look for excuses to justify our inaction. That is, it's human instinct to go so far as to actively seek out evidence to support the validity of opinions and we avoid, ignore and discredit anything that might be contradicting. 

Don't let your fears and self doubts own you. "Don't give your excuses the power to stop you from doing whatever it takes to transform your life into one that inspires you." - Margie Warrell

Your life experiences are limited or optimized by your willingness to let go of your excuses, dream bigger and live boldly. 

How to overcome your excuses:

  • Set your goals. 
  • Write down the excuses you've made in the past and write what limitations those excuses have set on your life experiences so far. 
  • Seek evidence that challenges the validity of your excuses. 
  • Set measurable mini goals toward your big goal. 
  • Commit to your goals. 

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Managing Your New Legal Assistant

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares 3 keys to effective leadership...

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Congratulations, you accepted a position at a new firm! Now you have a new legal assistant. Each of you depends on one another to complete your tasks. 

Here are 3 effective communication strategies to help you develop a successful working relationship:

  1. The message within the message. Put yourself in their shoes - you (as an assistant) take the time to send a lengthy and detailed email and your boss replies with a simple, "Thanks." How would you feel? You might think they didn't take the time to read it. You may feel demoralized. You may have appreciated a more lengthy response.  
  2. Get to know your legal assistant. When you know your legal assistant on a more personal level, you can interpret what they mean to say based on intuition and cut back on guesswork. Making the effort to learn about them can only enhance your work experience.  
  3. Listen. This is often the most overlooked communication skill. You won't miss any important information if you pay close attention to what they're saying. Active listening takes practice. It's a challenge not to interrupt others and even more challenging to welcome differing perspectives. 

Levitt & Associates, Inc.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why You Should NOT Accept a Counteroffer

Levitt & Associates, Inc. shares why you should not take a counteroffer...

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It's tempting to use a new job offer as a bargaining chip to get your current firm to counter and offer you higher pay. 

Don't think about it. 

More often than not, this situation does not have a happy ending. If your goal is to get a raise, it's best to negotiate it prior to starting a job search. 

Consider these points:

  • You are now no longer a part of the inner circle. Instead, you are seen as the one who was looking to leave. 
  • If the firm needs to make cutbacks in the future, you may be at the top of the list.
  • Among recruiters, the rule of thumb is "70 to 80 percent of people who accept counteroffers either leave or are let go within a year."
  • Consider your happiness. Why did you start searching for a job to begin with? Remember the factors that drove you to look: personality fit, you don't care for your boss, you're bored with the work, you are not recognized for your efforts, insane deadlines, etc. Chances are the situation will still be the same going forward. 
  • Know the reality of the situation.  If you needed to have one foot out the door to receive the salary increase you wanted, what's going to happen in the future? 
  • Should you want to work for the other firm someday, they will remember that you went all the way through the hiring process only to accept a counteroffer and most likely not be interested.