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21 Oct 09 Overcoming The Fear Of Writing Rejection

Overcoming the fear is essential to any writer.  You just can’t work hard and be successful if you have the fear, because nothing you do will measure up to your anxieties.  OF course the fear I’m referring to is how your work will be received.  Many people are afraid to have other people read their writing because they can’t face rejection.  But if you choose to be a writer, that is an anxiety that you really can’t afford to have.  Otherwise you’d have a hard time making a living out of writing projects created only for yourself.

You have to realize that in most cases the fear, or anxiety that you feel could just be a fear of the unknown.  You haven’t put yourself out there and been rejected, so you don’t know how it feels.  Having that unknown component can make rejection seem worse than it actually becomes.

Try to combat this by writing within your strengths at first.  You’ll be more likely to produce content that you actually like by writing on subjects you know about first hand, or are in general very knowledgeable about.  Plus you’ll be able to write more effectively concerning information you’re already comfortable with.  Don’t push yourself outside your comfort zone in the beginning.

Get all the creative criticism that you can find, and take all of it into account.  This is a good step to help you really put yourself out there.  Try starting small, with friends or family.  Or even if that seems to embarrassing at first, try a writer’s website, where you can retain your anonymity, but still receive feedback.  This way nobody knows the writing is yours, or even who you are, and you can get the feedback you need to take into account, to grow as a writer.

From there, when you feel you’ve fine tuned enough, it’s time to take a deep breath and submit that first piece.  Whether it’s a story, or an article, etc.  The only way that you can get past your fear, is to jump headfirst into submitting your content.  Remember that you’re going to get rejected, it’s a fact.  Even the greats have gotten a huge portion of their work rejected in the past.  You’ll be no different.  Rejection is a huge part of the job, just learn to deal with being rejected, and move on.

Most importantly, don’t let rejection stop you.  Being a successful writer is more about how you deal with rejection than anything else.  So don’t let your fear stop you, because it’s hard to become a writer if you never put your ideas out there.

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16 Sep 09 Writing Your Personal Performance Review

Writing a personal performance review is a difficult thing to do at times.  Whether you’ve been with the same company for years, or this is your first review at your new job.  Both have their own pitfalls.  For the veteran you don’t want to sound as though you just don’t have much to offer anymore.  For the newbie, it’s hard to find that comfortable middle ground of fluffing yourself up, without making your review seem phony.  Writing a personal review can leave you feeling some anxiety, but just keep calm and remember these tips:

-Try keeping a list of achievements as you accomplish them, as that always comes in handy later.  This way you have detailed evidence for why you’ve been a good employee this term.  Having the facts to back up your claims is always a very important thing to have on your side.

-With that great list of achievements you’ve been keeping, now you can make use of it in the actual writing of your review.  On almost any personal review you’ll notice many categories seem very redundant, almost as if they’re asking for the same information multiple times.  Take that list of achievements and decide which fits into each category the best.  Have a copy of your job description on hand so that you can better distribute them into the right categories.

-Try to find a comfortable middle ground when you rate your actual performance level.  You don’t want to show that you feel you’re a perfect employee.  Otherwise your boss will feel you believe you’ve hit your peak.  In which case if your boss doesn’t agree, you almost make yourself expendable by looking like an employee that’s given all they have to offer.  Don’t mark yourself too high or too low.  This way if you’re one of the top employees you show that you feel you have room for growth, so that you can become even better.

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31 Aug 09 Never Pad Your Resume

When writing your resume, it’s fairly normal to feel disappointed with the way that your work history, or academic accomplishments appear.  No matter how many of either you  have to add, the anxiety of searching for a new job can make you feel as though your resume just doesn’t measure up.  So many people choose to ‘pad’ their resumes, to make a more respectable document, more likely to garner the attention of potential employers.  But more often than not, that’s a very bad idea.

In case you didn’t know the term, padding your resume refers to adding accolades that aren’t true about yourself.  Whether it be false work history items, or false educational accomplishments, or even dishonest community contributions.  All are considered padding, and are wrong in the sense that you are being dishonest to companies that you are trying to attract.  Nothing really sets you on the wrong foot with a new company more than them discovering you lied in order to get the job.

Which is why if you are unhappy about how something appears on your resume, you should take advantage of explaining yourself in your cover letter.  If you don’t like a particular gap in your employment history, you have ample opportunity to put a positive spin on things through your cover letter.  The same with anything else you feel uncomfortable about, whether it be education, etc.

But mainly, padding is bad because it sets a bad precedent for your new job.  Even if you get the job, you’re not presenting yourself correctly.  That puts you and your company in an awkward position, as tasks you don’t have the skill to accomplish may be expected of you, and your new company is getting an employee that doesn’t have the skill set expected of them.  If it’s found out you lied on your resume, most places won’t hesitate to terminate you immediately, so that little bit of padding can really come back to bite you.

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