May 20, 2013 by Jenna
I remember when the global financial crisis happened in 2009, I was working as an Administrator for a national events company. Our General Manager from Brisbane came into the office one day while a couple of my colleagues were overseas working on a conference in Hong Kong. As the General Manager would visit periodically for business I didn’t think anything unusual of the situation and then she told me she wanted to have a private chat later that afternoon.
That was when the bomb hit. My role was no longer going to continue within the company and I was being let go. Right at that moment. Now. ‘You will need to pack up your things and leave immediately. Do you have family or anyone that you can see at this time?’ I remember her saying. I was single and my parents lived about an hour and a half away so my cab fare home was covered by the company which was nice. But was I shocked? Yes. Did I have to explain to my parents and others that I had been let go? Yes. Did I feel devastated? Yes.
I couldn’t help but ask if it was my performance or anything that I had done that led to the final decision. I was relieved to find out that they were more than satisfied with the hard work and effort that I had put into the role but due to cost cutting they could no longer afford to have my role continue. IT had logged me off of my computer and I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to all of the colleagues that I had worked with for those two years. Regardless of being told it wasn’t my performance that affected the decision, I still couldn’t help but feel miserable, I went home and I cried.
After wallowing in self-pity it finally occurred to me that as this was a national company, all of the women in the other state offices that shared my role were going to be made redundant as well. It made me realise how hard it must be to be the manager and having to look at each staff member in the face and deliver this bad news. But with any role in leadership you need to make the decisions for good of your company and your staff.
Keeping that in mind I made an executive decision. I asked if I could come in the next day and finalise a handover of all of the events that I was working on so that none of my team members were left out of the loop when they returned from their conference. I could have naturally turned my back on the company and had a bitter attitude towards them and the situation but who really benefits from that in the end?
The next stages I went through were feelings of anxiety over no longer having financial security and not only that, but how was I going to find a new role during the GFC?
We all react differently to stress and shock, for me what I think helped:
• Talk to friends/family and people you know – It doesn’t have to be a secret, remember it is not your fault that you are in this position and there is no point in isolating yourself when you have people around you that care about you and can offer support. Not only that but they may have heard about potential new job opportunities or have contacts that you can get in touch with to help get you back on track. It is amazing what word of mouth can do!
• Take advantage of outplacement services – if your company offers you an outplacement service, take advantage of this option to have a professional assist you with your job search skills, resume review, interview skills and career planning. They can also be a sounding board if your job search stalls.
• Keep yourself on track and keep setting a routine – Keep normal sleep patterns, you don’t want to sleep through the day because you are lacking motivation or self-confidence. Eat healthy, exercise, keep yourself at your best so that when new opportunities present themselves you will be your best. Like the famous saying ‘you are what you eat’, if you are sluggish, tired and not looking after yourself, people will notice and it will affect your performance/outcome.
• Set daily goals, tasks, things that you want to achieve – Whether it is personal goals or writing down how many jobs you would like to apply for in a day, it is important to have something that drives you. When you are lacking motivation it can be easy to distract yourself or procrastinate from more productive tasks – e.g. watching television, going on Facebook all the time, napping, etc. Take the opportunity to realise that you have all of this free time to do things that you may not have had the chance to do before. Time is often limited so take this gift of free time and make the most of it!
• Educate yourself – Research more on how you can advance your skills, read more news items and publications to learn more about your industry and the world economy. Seek career guidance and mentors that can help lead you on track with your career. You are never too old or young to keep learning something new. And who knows where that knowledge could take you?
• Be patient – You may not get a call back from the first new role you apply for. Keep going, keep your options open, and follow up.
It took me at least a month of applying for jobs before I found that next role for me. That didn’t mean I wasn’t nervous and anxious after not hearing back after applications and interviews but I still had to have faith in something better to come along, and confidence in myself that I would get the next role that suited me.
Did I fear that this type of situation could potentially happen to me again? Yes, but I wasn’t going to let that fear of rejection hold me back from a new opportunity. Why? Because we all have to face risks whether it’s in our personal or professional life. They will knock us back, hurt us, make us feel defeated. But it is a chance to get back up and start fresh, learn from past mistakes, and move on.
If this has just happened to you and you are still feeling negative and bitter about the whole experience, it’s understandable, but talk to someone and work through the issues so that you can become ready to face what is to come.
In the words of Ghandi: “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour. Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
Category: Career Choice, Selection
Tags: attitude, Behaviour, boss, candidate, career, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, culture, employees, employer, experience, feedback, goals, guidance, impression, information, leadership, management, opportunity, organisation, outplacement, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, Recruitment, reputation, Research, routine, security, skills, success, Team, temporary, Training, workplace
May 14, 2013 by Jenna
Money makes the world go round. But of course we don’t want to come across as money being the only source that drives us. So how do we go about discussing salary when interviewing for our next role?
The truth is that, for most of us, we go to work to get paid. So is it unrealistic to have an expectation of what salary we want? Of course not. The more important question to answer is: is the figure unrealistic for the job that you are going for? For example, if you are starting in a graduate role are you asking for a salary level that would be more realistic for a Manager? In which case, you will be greatly disappointed with the outcome!
So there are two questions you need to be clear on: 1. What is the salary you need to live the lifestyle you want to live? 2. What is realistic for the position you are applying for? Ideally – the two correlate, otherwise you may need to change your lifestyle, or the job that you are applying for.
Once you are clear on your own finances, you now need to research the salary levels for the jobs you are applying for. Review salary survey information, salary information listed on online job boards, or salary data collected from professional associations. You cannot expect to get a salary increase from your current job, just because you want it, you need to back-up your salary request through evidence. Once you are clear on the salary levels appropriate to your position. You are now ready to negotiate.
There are many different thoughts as to when it is appropriate to bring up the salary question.
Sometimes, early is best.
For example, I remember applying for a job once (before finding this great role within Challenge!) that offered some very exciting opportunities and I applied straight away. I was successful in getting to interview. However, it was only when I asked about salary was it confirmed that the salary level offered would be at that level for at least a minimum of two years, with no additional commission or benefits, and that level was at least $10k less than what I was currently earning. Ouch! While I would have liked to have considered the role, the pay decrease would have been a considerable personal sacrifice and I made the decision to say no and move on.
But when is there room to negotiate? And if you have at least an idea of range on offer, what then? Penelope Trunk provides 4 Tips to Salary Negotiation that I have summarised below:
1. Don’t disclose your pay requirements during the interview process. If you provide a number first during the interview process, the interviewer will most likely tell you if you are in the same ball park or if you are too high. There is also the other case that if you ask for a figure that is lower than the employer expected you will most likely get the job without ever knowing that you could have earned more. Try asking the interviewer what he/she would pay someone for this role. If it seems lower than expected, see if there is an opportunity for increase at a later time.
2. Do not negotiate until you have an offer in writing. Get the full offer in writing so you know what you have to work with during your bargaining. You may never know about the bonus, extra commission, or salary package details, and like the finer details of any contract, you cannot work on a counter offer unless you know all of the details of what you will receive. Not only this but negotiation will require confrontation and taking action in order to receive results, and you will never know what the outcome is unless you ask.
3. Do your research and plan your attack. In order to know what to ask for in negotiations, you must first know the pay range for your position. And make sure that what you have researched is less than ten years ago so that it is relevant and recent. You can discuss this with friends or contacts in the same industry and with access to so many different types of industry news and articles it is amazing what you can find! But remember if you are requesting the top range salary, you will need to work hard to show management why you deserve that rate.
4. Know what you need. Does the company provide you with other benefits other than monetary value? Make sure your priorities do not cause you to sacrifice something you love to do for something you could care less about that has a higher pay rate. No salary report will tell you what you need in your life to be happy but you need to be honest with yourself. With that said, don’t give up on being paid more because you hate negotiating.
When do you bring the salary question up? Ever been in this situation before where you had to use your negotiation skills? What was the outcome?
Category: Career Choice, Selection
Tags: appropriate, Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, candidate, career, commission, communication, company, confrontation, culture, employees, employer, evidence, expectation, experience, feedback, goals, guidance, impression, information, job, manager, negotiate, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, Recruitment, Research, skills, staff, success, Team, workplace
May 6, 2013 by Jenna
Job searching is hard. We have all been in that situation where there is seemingly nothing to apply for. And when you do find a job to apply for, you are often competing with many other people with only one job to fill.
It can be an isolating and discouraging experience. Especially when you are told “you were not successful to the next round” or you don’t hear from the recruiter at all. Sometimes you can get so frustrated and tired of rejection that you just want to give up. Or worse – with your motivation waning you start chucking resumes or put less effort into the application process – often hurting your chances for landing that job even more.
Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
- Joshua J Marine
At a breakfast event I attended last week Michelle Bridges, best known as a Personal Trainer on The Biggest Loser, shared the story of how she found her inner brand. She was talking about starting her own business, but I think the same lessons apply to job searching. She posed these questions to the audience:
• What do I stand for?
• How do I want to be known?
• What is my unique message?
• Who am I trying to talk to?
Her last point was headlined ‘A Voice’, knowing that you have one and making yourself heard. This can often be easier said than done but it does take persistence. When we look at celebrities like Michelle Bridges we often think, ‘easy for you to say’ or we can often assume that they have the perfect life. But do you think she didn’t get to where she was today without being pushed back or rejected?
Michelle grew up with the mentality that she could be anything that she wanted to be, and she didn’t walk away the moment she was rejected, especially when it came to something she was passionate about. She would go back again and again if necessary. And when it came to set-backs, she posed the following questions:
• What part of me am I not backing?
• Who can I call, email today? Further to that, are you following up after the initial point of contact has been made?
• Who is holding you back?
• Cut the saboteurs – Eliminate those factors that put you down or that aren’t helping you go forward. This can also include people in your life that are putting you down more than encouraging you.
• New medium, different approach, fresh – Are you finding that your current job search work isn’t working? Have you tried a new approach, asked for advice or tried to look at your approach through a fresh set of eyes?
Once you have reflected on what is most important to you and looked at what is holding you back, now is the time to just do it. Action breeds more action, and helps you to keep motivated. Here are some ways you can start making things happen in your job search:
• List your positives. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, including skills, personality traits, accomplishments, and successes. Write down projects you’re proud of, situations where you excelled, and things you’re good at. Revisit this list often to remind yourself of your strengths. This will also be very helpful for when you are in that job interview and they ask what your strengths are?
• Keep a regular daily routine. When you no longer have a job you can easily lose motivation. Treat your job search like a job, with a daily “start” and “end” time. Following a set schedule will help you be more efficient and productive. And even more importantly, just like at work, give yourself break times. Schedule coffee catch-ups with friends, go for walks, or schedule time to do things that you really enjoy. You will be much more productive in your job search when you schedule breaks and give yourself a daily routine.
• Create a job search plan. Instead of trying to do everything at once, set priorities or specific actions for your day. If you’re not having luck in your job search, take some time to rethink your actions. Does your resume need to be re-developed? Who in your network knows people that could help you? How many job applications have you followed up?
• Volunteer. Unemployment can wear on your self-esteem and make you feel useless. Volunteering helps you maintain a sense of value and purpose. And helping others is an instantaneous mood booster. Volunteering can also provide career experience, social support, and networking opportunities. Could you help at your local school, not-for-profit or church?
• Focus on the things you can control. You can’t control how quickly a potential employer calls you back or whether or not they decide to hire you. Rather than wasting your precious energy on things that are out of your hands, turn your attention to things you can control, such as writing a great cover letter and resume tailored to the company you want to work for and setting up meetings with your networking contacts or calling to follow up a job application.
So take action and start making changes if you are not seeing results, you will end up thanking yourself for it. And as Michelle Bridges finished off, ‘Be brave, be courageous, be inspired – today!’
Any advice that you have for jobseekers out there? Or if you are one, have you been to our Job Search page of our website?
Category: Career Choice
Tags: attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, career, communication, employees, employer, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, information, medium, networking, opportunity, organisation, passionate, people, performance, persistence, Personality, productivity, Professional, Recruitment, reputation, Research, skills, success, Team, Training, workplace
April 30, 2013 by Jenna
In order to be effective team members, or to become effective team leaders, supervisors or managers, we first need the direction of a great leader.
‘Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.’ —Peter Drucker
Have you had a great manager that stands out in your mind? How did they help you develop your career? Or perhaps you are currently a manager? Do you know what your team members need?
Melissa Raffoni submitted a blog in the Harvard Business Review on Eight Things Your Employees Want From You (as the manager):
1. Tell me my role, tell me what to do, and give me the rules. Micromanaging? No, it’s called clear direction. Give them parameters so they can work within broad outlines.
2. Discipline my co-worker who is out of line. Time and time again, I hear, “I wish my boss would tell Nancy that this is just unacceptable.” Hold people accountable in a way that is fair but makes everyone cognizant of what is and isn’t acceptable.
3. Get me excited. About the company, about the product, about the job, about a project. Just get them excited.
4. Don’t forget to praise me. Motivate employees by leveraging their strengths, not harping on their weaknesses.
5. Don’t scare me. They really don’t need to know about everything that worries you. They respect that you trust them, but you are the boss. And don’t lose your temper at meetings because they didn’t meet your expectations. It’s often not productive. Fairness and consistency are important mainstays.
6. Impress me. Strong leaders impress their staff in a variety of ways. Yes, some are great examples of management, but others are bold and courageous, and still others are creative and smart. Strong leaders bring strength to an organisation by providing a characteristic that others don’t have and the company sorely needs.
7. Give me some autonomy. Give them something interesting to work on. Trust them with opportunity.
8. Set me up to win. Nobody wants to fail. Indecisive leaders who keep people in the wrong roles, set unrealistic goals, keep unproductive team members, or change direction unfairly just frustrate everybody and make people feel defeated.
Does your manager know what you need to be successful?
It is up to each of us to make our expectations and needs clear to our manager. While it may be an easier option to blame the boss when things go wrong, remember that management is also dealing with many other tasks on a broader scale and they too are human and make mistakes. And even while they may appear to be busy, it is important for you to approach them and provide feedback when needed. Taking accountability and showing initiative by taking action is part of the way we grow, both personally and professionally.
Managers are not expected to be mind-readers however, when it comes to employee goals and expectations. In order for effective progress to be made, communication needs to be established between both parties to achieve company goals, personal goals and when processes/procedures need to finalised by (setting deadlines, follow up meetings etc.).
Companies across Australia are about to be busy with Performance Appraisal Meetings – what feedback will give to your manager? What do you need to be most effective in your work?
I personally need a manager that I can approach to ask questions or report issues to. Who can make the time to sit with me to discuss upcoming tasks. Not only that, but someone who can allow me to get the job done and make decisions on my own and I can report to back to if I have any questions/issues.
If you set out your needs and management sets out their needs, it is then the process of collectively working together to achieve those goals and move forward. In order to work collectively however, you will need to consider the following:
• Not all goals/strategies may be agreed upon when meetings take place. Certain goals may be put on hold to be re-evaluated at a later stage. However, take the opportunity to ask management to review this again if you are truly passionate about it and believe it will benefit the overall business.
• Try to understand from a bigger picture where your goals tie in with the company goals. This will help you to understand management’s perspective and will help further build your bond between one another instead of creating a barrier.
• You need to be adaptable and flexible with the feedback we are provided with. This needs to be taken into consideration from the manager and employee perspective, as you will both have the opportunity to share your opinions. Don’t take constructive feedback too personally. As one of my articles in this week’s news outlines, use feedback to your advantage.
I have been in situations in the past where management has offered me the opportunity for advancement for hard work and effort, and I have also been advised on times where I needed to step up my game and it does leave you in a situation of vulnerability as negative feedback can feel like a personal attack. The shields go up and you may end up spending a long period of time reflecting on the negative instead of looking for positive solutions.
Listening to management’s feedback and then offering feedback to work together towards a solution is the best way that I have found dealing with feedback and also getting my own needs met within any organisation. It could even be something like ‘further training’ required in a particular field or area of your job and you should never be afraid to ask, especially if it offers advancement within the company.
Have you compiled a list of items that you would like to discuss with your manager? It’s never too late to do so. Take the time to assess the most important items or ones that require more immediate action. Also make sure to review what goals will overall benefit your career and the organisation as a whole.
Are you prepared to take action and approach management about your needs/goals? You don’t need to wait until the performance review, and you can even arrange a meeting if you would like to discuss items in more detail. In order for changes to take place, someone needs to be the initiator, so why not take the stand and be the one to enforce it. You will feel better knowing that you took the steps to voice you needs rather then spending your days wondering ‘what if’?
As a manager, what feedback have you received from your team? How did you handle this feedback and what did you provide to your staff in return?
Category: Our Team
Tags: accountability, advancement, attitude, Behaviour, boss, candidate, career, communication, company, culture, employees, employer, expectations, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, information, initiative, leaders, managers, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, reputation, Research, skills, success, Team, Training, workplace
April 15, 2013 by Jenna
Do you ever find that the common reason behind many cancellations and postponed meetings is because people are too busy? In today’s world it is hard to find anyone who doesn’t have work commitments, family commitments, social commitments, bills to pay, side projects to run etc.
Why is it when we all have the same hours in a day that only some of us are finding the balance that we need and others barely have the time to get anything done?
Is it psychological? Is it poor time management skills?
And what sacrifices are you making when you are too busy?
We are all different when it comes to dealing with busy or stressful situations. Some of us thrive on the adrenalin rush of a short deadline and others require more preparation and may crumble under pressure.
Know your limits
There is also some of us, like myself, who have difficulty switching off and like to take on multiple projects at once, whether at work or in your personal time. But the best advice that I can give to this crowd is know your limits, because at the end of the day, if you are overworked and too busy, no one will be impressed by the amount of projects that you have on if you are unable to accomplish them because you have over-committed!
Not sure what category you lie in? Well here are some common symptoms of those that are overworked and stressed:
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgment
- Seeing only the negative
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
- Irritability or short temper
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sense of loneliness and isolation
- Nausea, dizziness
- Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
- Frequent colds
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Isolating yourself from others
- Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
- Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
As individuals we need to be driven, we need goals and projects and challenges to keep us going. But we shouldn’t need to put ourselves in situations where we have ‘too much’ on our plates. And if it is too much, we need to say so. Admitting early on that you are not able to complete a task does not make you a failure, it allows you time to let management know what you are doing and it allows them to effectively delegate tasks amongst members of your team. Or you can even ask a team member to help, because working together as a team is important for development.
Now I’m not saying that if you cut down on your workload that you won’t ever experience stress or feel overworked at some stage of your career. But if this is a daily habit then you have to consider the facts that it’s unhealthy for your physical being and your personal life.
And if you keep using the line ‘I’m too busy’ as an excuse, it tends to fall in the same category as ‘my dog ate my homework’ when you were at school. Everyone is in the same boat and we are trying to make the time to see you, and they will only fall for that excuse so many times.
Set a plan of attack
A work routine can be like a fitness routine – We follow strong for the first few months then we can start to either lose motivation or we start to lose track of our initial goals. But at the same time a routine is so vital in order to achieve results! Especially when we are balancing multiple tasks, if we don’t set out the important/urgent tasks at the beginning of our day we will most likely get distracted and end up unprepared, disorganised and incomplete. In fact, we probably save ourselves more time setting out a plan for the day rather than entering our day worrying about everything we have to do and not having any sense of direction.
Not only that but how can we expect to move up the corporate ladder or be trusted to manage tasks if we are unable to manage ourselves?
So what goals have you set so far that you might have strayed away from this year? Do you think it may be time to re-evaluate these goals to find more of a work-life balance?
Tags: attitude, Behaviour, boss, career, committments, communication, company, concentrate, development, employees, evaluate, experience, flexibility, goals, guidance, management, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, pressure, productivity, Professional, projects, reputation, routine, skills, success, symptoms, Team, Training, work
March 26, 2013 by Jenna
Earlier this year I covered an article on Getting Outside Of Your Comfort Zone Is Often How We Grow which I think applies to the theme for this month on change. I also covered an article last year on What are your transferable skills and how can you sell them? Which I think is important especially if you are thinking of changing careers. But what happens after the change takes place? What are the next steps once you have made that career change?
Sometimes we get caught in the trap of believing once we have changed jobs, taken a promotion, or been given greater responsibility or a pay rise that suddenly it will all be “happily ever after”. Fortunately, or unfortunately, life does indeed go on.
I made the decision to change careers, which was definitely the right choice for me. But what do I miss?
- Being a very fast-paced industry I always enjoyed knowing what was going on and the multiple social and networking events that resulted from that.
- Checking out the latest and greatest of great venues for food, wine and events.
- That feeling of knowing that you helped an individual or organisation bring their event into fruition and the guests have had a memorable experience.
Often after a career or job change we start to look at the “old” job through rose-coloured glasses. Especially if it is taking longer to achieve the success that you ached for and imagined you would achieve in this new job. However, those glasses are not so rose-coloured yet, that I don’t forget the cons:
- The events industry was something that I lived and breathed, and I still struggle with adapting to having ‘down time’ as I am always keeping in a busy state of project and activity.
- I also struggled with balancing a personal life and relationships which I am now thankful to have.
- Hours were often long and demanding, and you did need to make yourself available on weekends if need be.
I can now say that I have more balance in my life to be able to do more of what I want to do. I will always enjoy planning but I have utilised my past experience on events for friends and on travel/adventure opportunities instead. I am also very privileged to have a manager and organisation that support my external goals and interests and openly allow me the flexibility to balance both.
Even a year into the new role I am learning new things. I am still developing my blogging skills, researching new ideas in the social media world in terms of branding and networking with clients and candidates. I still have a lot to learn about recruitment and what trends are important to our industry. But I didn’t apply for this role because I knew it all.
Isn’t it that sense of mystery and unpredictability that often drives us to want to pursue something?
I think we go through periods of wanting something so badly that we often get ahead of ourselves and try to predict the outcome (whether it’s good or bad) of where we will end up without letting the process happen naturally. We tend to want everything to be perfect immediately. However, life is unpredictable and doesn’t always go according to plan.
So how far are you prepared to go to make the change?
Do keep in mind that with success sometimes comes failure as well. We will make mistakes and we will stumble. But this does not mean that we ultimately fail at life. Even the greatest of inventors and theorists and scientists all had to fail and take a step back before achieving greatness. It is all the process of learning to grow, and we NEVER stop learning.
For example you may have started a new role or new career and it feels like you have to start from the bottom again and work your way up. You may be unfamiliar with new tasks and may have to keep asking your manager or trainer the same questions again and again to get it right. Your manager may even throw you in the deep end to test you on what skills you have learned and you may not achieve the outcome in your first attempt.
So what do you do? You get up and try again. Maybe not the same way you have tried before, and you may need help along the way but you will get there. Sometimes it can feel like a stretch for your patience and willpower, but persistence is the key. Wouldn’t it be boring if everything in life didn’t involve us doing anything at all?
What is your story about change? How did you achieve your success story?
Category: Career Choice, Workplace Matters
Tags: adapting, Behaviour, boss, business, candidate, career, communication, culture, employees, employer, experience, flexibility, goals, guidance, information, job, management, manager, networking, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, promotion, reputation, Research, skills, staff, success, Team, temporary, Training, workplace
March 4, 2013 by Jenna
As a Temp turned Recruitment Consultant, I have certainly been exposed to both sides of the temping story. I have seen how temping can benefit both the company and the individual. The future is set to bring an increase in temporary, part-time and flexible working arrangements which means more opportunities for candidates interested in short-term work and looking for a change. Temping certainly isn’t for everybody but for some it offers fantastic opportunities to sample industries which you may never have set foot into before. If you are looking for a new start, want experience within different types of companies, and a chance to build your network – then temping may be perfect for you.
1. A new start. In my recent experience as a Recruitment Consultant I have met numerous candidates whose positions have recently been made redundant for various reasons. Some of those people have been with the same company, in the same role for several years. Inevitably, getting back into the job market is daunting and temping often eases you through that process and gives you a taste of what it is like to work in a different company, with different people and sometimes in a completely different role.
2. Experience with different types of companies. Temping can offer you the opportunity to experience the multitude of cultures that different companies have to offer from super corporate and competitive to laid back and casual. It can allow you to see what is out there and what options you have.
3. A chance to build your network. The companies you temp for all employ different people and you have that opportunity to work closely with these people for a period of time. Meeting new people means building your network and who knows what these connections may bring for you in the future: job referrals; career opportunities or even just a new friend. You could receive training on a new software programs and be exposed to different operating procedures and even if your temp assignment doesn’t go long term, you can take these ideas to your next opportunity.
Temping offers these great opportunities to experience new areas but don’t rest on your laurels, it’s not always easy to stroll into a temp role. The temp market is a competitive place; there are hundreds of quality candidates out there all competing for that one lucrative temp position. So my top tips to impress at interview and land that temp job? Practice your interview questions, know your resume, know your strengths, present yourself immaculately and be reliable. Treat the temp job like any other permanent job, take it seriously and who knows where it could take you!
Did you know that Challenge Consulting can seek the temporary staff member that you need? Click here for more information.
Category: Career Choice
Tags: assignment, business, candidate, career, company, connections, culture, employees, employer, experience, flexibility, goals, guidance, job, network, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Recruitment, reputation, Research, skills, staff, success, Team, temporary, Training, work, workplace
February 26, 2013 by Jenna
To follow on with a blog that I wrote earlier this month on ‘choosing between making money and following the career that you love’, have you reached that point of career where you are debating whether to leave your job?
It is first important to consider the reasons why you would want to move jobs and assess if this is enough reason to take the plunge and hand in your resignation. Common factors could be, but are not limited to the following:
- You aren’t performing to the best of your ability – sometimes lack of motivation or challenges within the role can cause you to take a less attentive approach to your daily tasks.
- You can’t picture your future with your current employer
- The cons of the job outweigh the pros
- Your skills are lagging and your position offers no opportunities to update them – this can apply to individuals who have been in the same role for many years without the prospect of progression
- Your company or work situation has changed radically since you were hired
- Your salary isn’t enough
- You want to live somewhere else
- Difficulty connecting with management or members of your team
Are all of these ringing true for you? Well you are not alone. As individuals we crave knowledge and challenges as part of career growth. Even as a manager you have to face many different challenges and changes the more the industry or economy changes around you. So naturally if you are feeling like you are stuck in the same routine role with no recognition or chance for progression, will you still continue to be performing at your best? Or will your eyes glaze over and you find your passion for the role begins to diminish more and more?
The next thing to consider is what opportunities are available for you in the current employment market. According to Greg Savage, blogger for The Savage Truth, this is what he had to say about the current employment market in Sydney:
The Australian economy is in much worse shape than the politicians would have us believe, relying so heavily as it does on the resources sector (which clouds recession in other sectors) and facing the very real impact of the carbon tax. Hiring was subdued throughout 2011 and indeed, the latest surveys of hiring intent show sentiment to be at its lowest point since 2008. However it is also true that some companies are hiring specific skills sets. Indeed, we see many employers laying people off, while hiring at the same time, as they re-calibrate their skills balance sheet.
Even so, we describe the Sydney market as cautiously optimistic, and we are seeing more orders, albeit in very niche areas such as PR Account Managers with health care experience, UX designers and Social Media Community Managers.
While there may be a high level of competition out there at the moment for positions, I think it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of your current situation and ask yourself, does this make me happy? Does this job just get me through the day or do I go home feeling pleased with my accomplishments? Am I learning new things? Does it give me the balance I need on a day-to-day basis?
No one should compromise happiness for a job, nor should they let any aspect of their current role prevent them from performing at their best.
In order to make this change happen the decision has to be yours. And if you want to move on or are seeking something badly enough, then you will do your planning and preparations and work hard for it. Even in your current role, if you are finding lack of inspiration, have you stepped up to management and asked them for more responsibility? It’s always important to look at all avenues, and remember attitude can affect the outcomes of situations as well, so try to take every step and situation as optimistically as you can.
But often we see this as either or situation, but at any point in your career, you have up to 10 options – not just 2.
1) Remain in Current Role – No content change
Recognition that your current role provides you with your desired level of challenge and development at the moment.
2) Enrichment – Develop current job
Considering what job tasks you wish to do more of and negotiating with others to take over those which no longer motivate you.
3) Vertical – Seek promotion
Considering what would be the real gain for you in seeking increased responsibilities.
4) Exploration – Test out options
Seeking project work, or deputising in another job function to test out how you like it.
5) Lateral – Sideways move
Moving to a similar level of job task difficulty but with different job content.
6) Realignment – Moving down
Downshifting to less responsibility for a short- or long-term period.
7) Relocation – Change business unit
Deciding that work of a different nature from your current business unit is more appropriate for your career future.
Redirection – Change career field
Changing the career stream or field of work with your current employer.
9) Proposal – Create new job
Submitting a proposal for creating a new job which would meet the needs of your employer and you.
10) External – Change employer
Deciding that work of a nature different from your current employer is more appropriate for your needs and career future. (Source: Paul Stevens, Worklife).
Which choice are you going to make with your career?
Category: Career Choice
Tags: appropriate, attitude, Behaviour, candidate, career, challenges, communication, company, competition, compromise, culture, economy, employees, employer, experience, goals, inspiration, opportunity, optimistic, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, progression, recognition, reputation, skills, success, Training
December 18, 2012 by Jenna
Well another year has flown by and already it is the festive season once again. And as we move closer to the countdown to bring in another year, we can’t help but reflect on the past year and look forward to what is to come in the future.
My year has been one of many changes, both professionally and personally.
I started a career in a new industry, and I have since grown to become so fondly attached to the great group of colleagues in our office. I have learned a lot in this role and about the industry, not to mention the trends of social media. Our team has really evolved over that period of time and I am excited to see how our company will grow and progress in the future.
I have personally achieved a number of physical goals this year. I traveled to New Zealand and completed a 100km walk for charity in just under 28 hours. And tomorrow I am heading off to take on a new walking challenge in Nepal. What seemed like a pipe dream only a year ago, the reality is now here, and with months of training, hiring gear and learning as much as I can about the destination, it is now time to take on the next challenge that will lead into an exhilarating start to 2013.
So what has stood out for you this year?
Did you achieve all that you had wanted to accomplish? Did you set realistic goals for the year?
Well for those of you that didn’t get close enough to achieving your goals this year, the good news is a new year is fast approaching, so why not make the most of it!
This month, we asked what you want most from 2013 and this is what you said:
- 50% are looking for career advancement within your organisation
- 30% are looking for a more successful work / life balance
- 20% are looking for career advancement with another organisation
So how are you going to make your goals a reality in 2013?
For me, it is most important to set the goal and then work out the steps I need to reach that goal. But more importantly I needed to choose the right attitude to keep motivated. ‘Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.’
If I did not choose to take the steps to follow a new career path, I would most likely be in the same place today as I was last year, without the knowledge and experience I have gained. Sometimes getting outside of that comfort zone is the best way to test how courageous and determined you really are.
I can’t say I can look back on some of the challenges that I have conquered with any regrets. Can you? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Category: Career Choice
Tags: achieve, attitude, Behaviour, career, Challenge, communication, company, courageous, employees, employer, experience, goals, guidance, information, knowledge, office, opportunity, people, performance, productivity, Professional, reputation, skills, success, Training, workplace
July 2, 2012 by Jenna
It appears that our crisis of identity is moving from midlife to quarter-life. Last week we asked your thoughts on this quarter-life crisis – myth or reality?
Some of you said yes, it is a reality – there is increased pressure to achieve it all by 30 – but it is up to you what you make of it. Reality - -
- Career, travel and relationship goals all compete for time and attention in a world where we are told that we can have it all and do it all. Females have added pressure – reach those career goals before you choose to have a family. Quarter-life crisis, been there, done that. But I think I came through it with a better outlook and knowing a bit more about what is important to me – and that makes me a better employee (and person too).
- It really depends on the person and what they want in life. Right now I have finished my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, secured a full time job, have been working hard for the last year to launch a new business and brand, and to top it off build a duplex on the land that I purchased two years ago! All for the glory of having it all by 30. With so much opportunity and things to have and do, I guess it is up to you to make the best of it!
Whilst others felt that it is self-imposed myth, and in fact we don’t need to have it all by 30. Myth -
- A myth because today’s generation are constantly changing jobs more often than previous generations, so any uncertainty in the form of a life crisis shouldn’t really affect someone’s career path.
- Advertisers have discovered the one’s self-image becomes stagnant at 30. So when a 50 year old looks in the mirror, they see themselves as they were 20 years ago. To exploit this, marketers cast actors in their late 20′s for their advertising. This helps perpetuate the myth that turning 30 is a death sentence.
According to my age bracket, I am due to soon hit this quarter-life crisis.
But do we really need to achieve it all before 30?And does putting a cut-off on these goals really make your dreams simpler to achieve or simply add more pressure?
I have set many goals in my life. The first of which was establishing a career and a name for myself the moment I left high school. I dreamed of working in Events and during my further education, I worked in various temporary and voluntary roles before securing the permanent role I had “planned” to be in – working in an exciting, action-packed role in Events. Little did I know that only a few years later I would change my career path, become a home owner, and now rather than encouraged to continue to achieve career success, am being constantly reminded to take advantage of the spare time I have before I “settle down” and my priorities/responsibilities in life change.
According to a recent article in Guardian, I am probably somewhere around Phase 2 to Phase 3 in the typical “quarter-life crisis”:
Phase 1 – defined by feeling “locked in” to a job or relationship, or both. “It’s an illusory sense of being trapped,” said Robinson. “You can leave but you feel you can’t.”
Phase 2 – is typified by a growing sense that change is possible. “This mental and physical separation from previous commitments leads to all sorts of emotional upheavals. It allows exploration of new possibilities with a closer link to interests, preferences and sense of self.
Phase 3 – is a period of rebuilding a new life.
Phase 4 – is the cementing of fresh commitments that reflect the young person’s new interests, aspirations and values.
But is this process of review new or even unique to quarter-life?
Perhaps this process of review is reality but the importance of an arbitrary deadline is the myth. This may mean setting aside what society expects, and instead achieving goals in a time frame that is realistic for you.
From my perspective, we get too caught in a constant cycle of information overload and seemingly endless opportunities at our grasp. We appear to be getting caught in a cycle that we must pursue it all at once instead of focusing on one thing at a time. The downfall with putting unrealistic deadlines or by adding pressure on achieving everything by 30 is that I am creating stress in a time that everyone keeps telling me I should be treasuring!
And in the end, life doesn’t really end at 30, does it? Perhaps rather than being the end, the best things in life start at thirty because you learn from life’s earlier choices and you become wiser in your decisions about what is to come.
I am looking forward to the adventure!
Haven’t had your say? We would love to hear your feedback below. Or you can take part in our recent poll: Did you choose your career or was it by luck/chance? Remember, if you fill out the poll you increase your chances to win a Hoyts Cinema Double Pass!
Category: Career Choice
Tags: anxieties, attitude, Behaviour, career, culture, deadlines, dreams, employees, employer, generation, identity, opportunity, participants, people, relationship, Research, success, values, workplace