March 4, 2014 by Jenna
Whether you are a new graduate, preparing for a career change or on a working holiday visa, temporary work will not only help you get by with living expenses, it can help pave the way for future roles.
When I had finished my Diploma in Event Management at TAFE, I was also taking on many paid and unpaid positions for different companies. My logic behind doing this was that I knew the events industry was very competitive and in high demand by candidates. I also knew that regardless of my Diploma I lacked practical experience in the field; however, being passionate about it I wanted to do what it takes to land the role that I was looking for. This is what I gained from temping and contract roles:
• It’s all about who you know – I researched organisations, I followed industry news on upcoming events, and I contacted Event Managers directly to offer my assistance in any way that I could to find out more about the industry and what is involved in organising events. I built a network of contacts and recommendations to help further my progression. It was also a chance to also prove that I was willing to work hard and learn new skills. Relationships you develop with industry contacts can also lead you to a more permanent role in the future.
• Working with different companies helps you to become more adaptable to different environments – The events industry is quite broad so I took advantage of it by working in offices directing calls and reception duties, processing payments and donations for not-for-profit events and data entry for client registrations. I even worked onsite on a customer service level at exhibitions, provided fine dining service for gala dinners and assisting with labour set up for conferences. This was a real eye opener, but it also allowed me the opportunity to ask questions and document my experiences. I think it’s a great opportunity to experience different work experience so that you can better establish was works and what doesn’t work for you.
• You can develop practical and transferrable skills – I found that by assisting in a corporate office environment to practical hands on experience I am still able to use these skills in the field of recruitment today. It is also important to remember that even the simplest of roles – such as putting labels on swipe cards or attaching name badges to lanyards are important ways for you to understand the processes involved before moving your way up in the industry of your choice. Don’t ever consider tasks in a temp position to be a waste of time and therefore not apply yourself 100% to your tasks. Companies are testing you at all times, and if you cannot complete the simplest of tasks then how are you expecting to move up into roles of further responsibility?
• It gives you a routine and purpose – There is nothing worse than being bored or losing your daily routine when you are in between jobs or currently looking for work. Temping can help maintain a good working routine, even if it is short term. Having a level of responsibility is important too because it gives you a sense of purpose. When you are bored or not connecting on a daily basis you can develop a more laid back routine and you can start developing a less enthusiastic approach to job searching and work in general. Even if the temp role may not be in the exact direction you are hoping to move towards, just remember that each experience is a stepping stone, and you never know what opportunities can open up as a result.
For those of you that are considering the path of temporary work, just remember to give each role and experience the best you have to offer. Have a positive attitude towards your assigned tasks and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I will always be thankful for where temporary and contract roles have lead me, the people I have met and worked with and the knowledge that I have gained.
Have you worked as a temp staff member before or are currently working as a temp staff member? Where has it lead you on your career path?
Category: Career Choice, Performance, Selection
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, candidate, career, communication, company, competative, confidence, culture, employees, employer, experience, flexibility, goals, impression, job, management, office, opportunity, organisation, passionate, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, progression, recommendations, routine, skills, success, Team, temporary, Training, work, workplace
February 25, 2014 by Jenna
I covered a blog topic a few weeks ago on the pursuit of happiness at work and ways to keep a positive attitude during the daily grind.
But there are also situations where your current role leaves you feeling empty. You may be experiencing the following:
You are lacking passion – You wake up each morning without the sense of excitement or enthusiasm to go to work the way you used to feel. Each day you are like a robot filling time rather than delivering your true potential.
You are consistently stressed, negative and/or unhappy at work – If you get anxious or unhappy even thinking about work, this may be a sign to move on.
Your work related stress is affecting your physical health – We all get stressed from time to time, but if stress is consuming you to the point where you are losing sleep, becoming ill and are unable to perform tasks the way you normally would, then it is time to address it.
Your skills are not being tapped – You may feel like you are not being utilised to your true potential, even if you may have made it clear that you are looking for more responsibilities. You may also feel like you have been excluded from certain activities or meetings or from the team in general.
Regardless of your situation, the worst thing you can do is be passive and hope that things will go away.
If you have exercised all options with your current role and still feel like it is time to go, take a look at some of the following steps by Alison Doyle from her article, What To Do When You Hate Your Job:
Keep Your “I Hate My Job” Thoughts to Yourself
This can actually sabotage your current role and potential opportunities if you are spreading the word in public about how much you are unhappy at work. And under no circumstances should you complain about your job or discuss about how much you don’t enjoy your job on social media streams! Once it is in writing it is out there. Take the time to plan a strategic exit from the current company rather than leaving on bad terms.
Get ready and begin the Job Search
Make sure you don’t quit on the spot and prepare yourself properly before taking those next steps.
Update your resume, your LinkedIn profile and social networks and make sure that information being shared is relevant to what you are looking for. Have the time to create that wow factor before submitting resumes. Also take the time to research companies, recruitment agencies and so forth before submitting resumes. You can also seek career guidance programs to help steer you in the right direction of where you may want to go.
When you are actively submitting resumes or CV’s, do so quietly and discreetly. Do not be corresponding about upcoming roles on your company’s email account or actively be searching on SEEK when you are supposed to be doing your day job.
But most importantly, keep performing to a high standard in your day to day working routine. Looking for a new potential role does not excuse to put in half the effort. Remember, having a job is a privilege and should not be taken lightly.
Moving on and leaving on good terms
If your decision is to resign, do it gracefully, and offer the full notice period in your employment agreement to allow for any handovers, re-advertising of your position etc. There is no need to shout from the rooftops that you are leaving.
If you have a good relationship with your boss or colleagues try and keep it that way, don’t let your only potential reference be your enemy!
Have you ever had an experience like this where you needed to move on in your career? Where did it take you?
Category: Career Choice
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, career, communication, company, confidence, culture, employees, employer, enthusiasm, experience, goals, impression, information, job, management, office, opportunity, organisation, passion, people, performance, Personality, potential, productivity, Professional, Recruitment, reputation, Research, sabotage, success, Team, Training, workplace
February 14, 2014 by Jenna
Coming out of one of the busiest Januaries I have experienced in the recruitment industry, I feel compelled to share some of my findings on the early part of 2014. As a dedicated Finance & Credit Recruitment Consultant; my findings will be biased towards this sector.
I was one of those lucky people to work straight through the Christmas period so I rode out the quiet days and clung on during the January surge. Whether it be a trend in just my own clients or a reflection of the market as a whole, there has been a definite increase in demand for experienced Analysts, Collectors, Business Development Managers, Credit Controllers and Support Staff across the Finance industry. I believe this trend is linked to the ‘non-bank’ smaller lenders making an aggressive push to take market share in lending; particularly on home loans. Borrowers who may have been disenchanted with ‘non-bank’ lenders since the GFC have increased their confidence and in some cases have turned away from banks due to their higher interest rates and increased lending criteria. This has meant a requirement for more staff for these businesses and an increase in jobs. This demand has subsequently been reflected by an increase in quality candidates looking to snap up the best jobs out there this side of Christmas (up 8% on January 2013). This is great for employers, however; more opportunity means more choice and competition for candidates.
The choice that strong candidates have in this market has created the ability for them to demand more money; and trust me they are! Depending on your budget requirements and flexibility you may or may not be able to meet these demands but I have certainly witnessed my clients in this market becoming more generous in their salary provisions so it is certainly something to consider if you wish to compete strongly for the best talent.
I have also noticed a certain ferocity in the competition for these strong candidates in credit and finance this year. A great candidate is always interviewing for several positions at once and they have varying levels of honesty in describing yours as their ‘Number One Priority.’ This creates an obligation on the employer to differentiate themselves from their competitors on what matters most to a superior performer; the benefits. Now this varies from person to person, salary is of course the most obvious point of differentiation but I have also witnessed an increasing emphasis on finding ‘The Right Role;’ this comes down to something less tangible; Culture.
The culture of an organisation comes down to a few fundamental points: management, team involvement, rewards, recognition and performance monitoring. While it is easy to stick an extra few Ks onto the salary, these cultural points are less easy to address (at least in the short term).
The length and smoothness of the recruitment process is also an initial indication to the candidate of the culture of the business. If the process is long and arduous and the hiring manager is taking 2 months to make a decision, this reflects poorly on the company and its brand; it is not a good look. And in this market where superior performers are available for no longer than 72 hours, I highly recommend moving quickly.
I am more than familiar with the hoops that candidates have to jump through to get their foot in the door with financial institutions and alike: multiple interviews, psychometric tests, skills tests, background checks, yet another interview and I certainly understand the value of each and every step. The onus is therefore on the hiring manager to move the candidates quickly through each stage and for the recruiter (i.e. yours truly) to keep the candidate motivated and excited about the opportunity throughout the whole process. This is where specialist recruiters can really complement internal teams and make your life a whole lot easier throughout the selection process.
If you need help harnessing and managing star candidates for your organisation, call Lauren Eardley our Specialist Finance Recruiter on 02 9221 6422.
Tags: Assessment, attitude, brand, business, candidate, career, communication, company, culture, employees, employer, experience, feedback, finance, guidance, impression, industry, information, management, market, money, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Professional, recognition, Recruitment, reputation, skills, success, talent, Team, Training, workplace
February 4, 2014 by Jenna
“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work” ― Thomas A. Edison
Almost every job you will ever come across throughout your life, you will experience challenges or stressful situations. No job is perfect. But sometimes we let that stress or fear of the unknown prevent us from enjoying our current role or taking the leap into a new job opportunity. Of course, if you want to change careers or take a step up, you will often need to make personal sacrifices. But this fear shouldn’t drive your behaviour. Instead we need to consider, regardless of stage we are at in our career, how can we be happiest at work?
Susan M. Heathfield listed Top 10 Ways To Be Happy At Work, and the key points for me were these 5 areas to take control of work and to make the most out of your day to day routine:
1. Choose to be happy at work
Happiness is a state of mind. Your job may not be perfect, it may not have turned out the way you had imagined it to when you went down this path, but there will always be aspects of your job that you don’t enjoy. But if you only focus on what you don’t enjoy, it is highly likely you are not giving yourself the chance to be happiest at work. When you are only focusing on the negative – it is likely to affect your performance too. You start avoiding tasks, you sleep in, run late, and overall you’re not committing 100%. The consequences of that could hurt the future of your career. It is your choice to be happy or unhappy at work. What would you rather be?
2. Do Something You Love
Take a look at yourself, your skills and interests, and find something that you can enjoy. There must be something in your role that you enjoy, otherwise what are you doing there? Assess your current situation and if you find that you are truly unhappy, then a career change or searching for a new job may be in order. You could even seek a Career Guidance Program or seek advice from a mentor.
3. Take Charge of Your Own Professional Development
I think a lot of the time we get confused and think that someone else is in charge of managing our professional development so we wait to be advised as opposed to taking action. We can of course seek guidance, direction and support from managers and mentors, but we need to be the one that is directing. So if you are not happy with the way you are developing professionally, do something about it. Have you approached your manager to discuss this? Have you voiced your concerns or helped find a solution? Have you worked out what steps need to be taken to lead to progression?
4. Ask for Feedback
If you feel like you are in a situation where you have not received feedback in a while regarding how you are progressing in your role and on tasks, then approach your manager. Set regular monthly follow up meetings if need be, but also keep in mind that feedback may also involve constructive feedback on areas of improvement. Feedback is required to help us grow, not to seek praise, so be prepared to accept what is provided and assess steps to improve certain behaviours to create better outcomes.
5. Avoid Negativity
‘Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.’- Oprah Winfrey
It’s often true, if you surround yourself with people who are always down and disappointed in life, eventually your mindset will swing that way. Negativity is contagious and it often only takes one person to start the trend.
I always found that I would perform at my absolute best when I had other people around me that shared similar passions and pushed themselves for results. Because that too would push me to be better and perform better. People that could provide me with honest advice out of compassion and not jealousy or bitterness.
Each of us has responsibility for our happiness at work. If something is not working, then change it. If it is out of your control, perhaps it is time to consider a new job, company or career. But if it is in your control, and you can improve it, why not give it a try – how do you increase your happiness at work?
Category: Career Choice, Performance
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, career, challenges, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, constructive, culture, development, employees, employer, experience, feedback, goals, guidance, improvement, information, job, management, manager, office, opportunity, organisation, outcomes, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, progression, reputation, Research, skills, success, Team, temporary, Training, workplace
January 13, 2014 by Jenna
“A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.” —Collins and Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
Many of us have heard of a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) when it comes to business, but how often are you setting a BHAG in your personal life?
While working together to achieve a BHAG for an organisation is very important, you also need to make sure that you are setting personal goals that keep driving you – something that you will remain passionate about throughout the year. Not only will it help you build the confidence and enhance your ability to take on daily tasks but when you achieve your personal goals it will teach you more about yourself – your limits, what you are capable of, and where your goals can lead you in your future.
You may have set goals before, and this blog may be triggering a ‘been there, done that’ response, but perhaps you need to set something bigger, more challenging, and even something more worthwhile to pursue this year. After all:
‘Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.’ - Martin Luther King, Jr.
A BHAG can be different for everyone. For 2013, I learned that I was able to achieve some pretty big goals, allowing myself up to a year in advance to train and prepare, and I overcame some incredible obstacles along the way. For me it was Everest Base Camp (Nepal) and the Kokoda Trail (Papua New Guinea), and I made it back in one piece to tell the tale.
You also need to understand that the bigger the goal, the more mixed responses you will receive from others, especially from those that have yet to step outside of their own comfort zone. For many people in my life, those types of adventures were not often considered a ‘holiday experience’ and I was often told, ‘you’re crazy’ or asked, ‘why out of all places would you go there?’ Frankly I can’t blame them, because not everyone shares the same point of view.
Realisation 1: I knew that I was not achieving these goals to please everyone or show them that I could do it. These were my dreams, my challenges and my goals to achieve. At the end of the day, I knew that those closest to me and those who knew that I was passionate about achieving my goals would be there for me regardless of how unfathomable the idea may have seemed. You will come across ‘naysayers’ and difficult people at certain stages in your life, but do not hold grudges against them and instead use them as a stepping stone to help you achieve success.
Realisation 2: To achieve the goal it often has to be mind over matter. I could have the plans laid out in front of me, the best resources available, and the door of opportunity open waiting for me to walk through, but I had to make that conscious decision to step forward and keep pushing myself mentally to get there. As Sir Edmund Hillary once said, ‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.’
The temptation to sleep in, eat unhealthy food or make up excuses to miss training did not work in my benefit. This applies in any circumstance but the moment you realise you have done so, take the necessary measures to get back on track again and learn from your mistakes. If a similar situation arises again you can then find ways to avoid the temptation and grow stronger.
Maybe you are already a high achiever at work and for you a BHAG for this year may be to make more time to do the little things in your life that make you happy. It can be hard to make time, but will you be a more balanced and fulfilled person as a result? I think you will be quite surprised once you start making the steps to get there!
I found an article recently on Inc.com that outlined ‘What is distinctive about BHAG-driven leaders’:
The true BHAG-orientated leader is less interested in success. You’re more interested in the sheer exhilarating pain of the journey. You’re not going to have that immediate gratification of accomplishment. You are going to be immersed in it and working and suffering toward it for a long time–the way artists suffer. You have to enjoy that sense of extended discomfort. It’s the quest, it’s the training, it’s the growth, it’s pushing yourself. You really get off on that. If you think standing at the top of the cliff is where the joy is, you don’t understand it. The real joy is in all the pain and growth and suffering and creativity required long before you get to the summit.
Now a BHAG goal does not necessarily mean you need to physically climb a mountain, but there are things in our lives that appear so gigantic that they may as well be the in the same ball park. And it may even be so big that it will take you past 2014 to achieve it. But what is holding you back from starting now?
Realisation 3: It is okay to ask for help when it comes to achieving your BHAG. I have moments where I get so driven to achieve the goal that when a helping hand is offered I quickly dismiss it at the idea that ‘I must do everything on my own’. We can only juggle so much, and when I would get set back due to ‘overload’ or ‘fatigue’ it was only my pride that was bruised in the end. So what did I do to overcome this?
- I sought out a trainer/mentor – Someone I could seek advice from and also someone that could check in on my progress so I could be held accountable. We can push ourselves, but sometimes it is great to be pushed by external forces as well. Not to mention having someone to encourage you and motivate you gives you a great amount of positive energy!
- Taking breaks to catch up with a friend/colleague – Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the task that we don’t let our mind rest! Do something fun with someone close to you, even if it is a ten minute coffee catch up. Release, have a conversation, laugh and relax.
Even if it seems very out of focus now, write down your BHAG and let your goals mould and form into something. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your goal, no matter how crazy it may seem! Do your research, take the necessary steps to plan and prepare as well as reach inside yourself to find out what you are capable of.
Have you achieved a Big Hairy Audacious Goal before? If so, what did you have to do to achieve it? Where did it take you?
Tags: accomplishment, attitude, Behaviour, career, colleagues, communication, confidence, discomfort, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, information, management, opportunity, passionate, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, progress, reputation, skills, success, Team, Training, visionary, workplace
December 17, 2013 by Jenna
I have always had trouble with face-to-face confrontation. And I personally don’t believe anyone actually enjoys confrontation, especially if it is between a fellow colleague. But I also know first-hand of what avoiding it can do to you.
In earlier years of my career, in more junior roles I made the assumption that since my role was less authoritative within the company that being a ‘yes’ man made me appear more cooperative and supportive in the workplace. In reality it created the following:
1. I didn’t present the opportunity to have a voice – I was unable to share new and creative ideas that could potentially boost more business because I just did what I was told.
2. I was passive - If I potentially saw flaws in a process or procedure, I would not speak up about it to avoid issues that may have otherwise saved the business time and money.
3. I felt dominated by fellow colleagues – By not being able to speak or stand- up for myself in situations I was often dominated by other colleagues and in turn was unable to shine to my fullest potential.
4. I bottled up emotions – Bottling up emotions can often make you a ticking time bomb, which often resulted in me breaking down at the oddest of times because I had been letting something build and hadn’t dealt with it properly.
Does any of this sound familiar to you when conflict presents itself?
At this time of year, when deadlines need to be finalised and the pressure is high it is important to keep your cool. Understand that you are not always going to see eye-to-eye with everyone, we are all individuals, but ignoring that person or hoping a conflict will go away may not always be an effective method either. And it could result in you overreacting because you have bottled up your emotions for so long, as per point 4 above.
So how can you take control of difficult scenarios before they get out of hand? Confront them head-on, and remember:
1. Be respectful of differences and listen carefully: It is important to understand that there are different perspectives on situations and that people can get offended by situations or behaviour differently to you. You never know, you may have initially created the tension without even realising it! It is not always the matter of I’m right and you’re wrong so take care and give respect to that person when they are telling their side of the story and try not to cut them off or interrupt them constantly during the confrontation. You would like to be treated with respect so make sure you are showing a level of professionalism towards your colleague, not matter what.
2. Always take action and communicate directly when conflict occurs: The later a conflict is addressed, the more embellished it can become in one’s mind and it can end up being blown out of proportion. The same applies to office gossip or discussing the issue or frustration with other co-workers and not the direct source. Hearing about someone else in the office being mad at you by a third party can’t help but cause personal offence and can create unneeded tension and bitter feelings.
3. Be mindful of your tone/language – If you approach the conversation ‘hot headed’ most likely chances are the level of tone in the conversation will increase and could create a screaming match! So try and keep the level of conversation even and calm as well as professional when describing a situation or how you feel.
4. Ask for help – In some circumstances if a conflict is still occurring you may need a third party individual to sit in on the discussion to provide an unbiased opinion/outcome. This could be your manager, a human resources professional, or a manager from a different department.
5. Make sure the conflict is resolved – Did you shake hands at the end of your meeting? Is there anything in writing (perhaps email etc.) that confirms the outcome of this conflict and steps to follow to prevent this from happening again? Are you leaving your door open so that in the event that similar feelings/circumstances arise again that you can keep the communication open?
The more that I have learned to be able to confront issues as they arise and have open communication between others, the more grateful I have been. I have also learned a lot about myself, how to treat others within the workplace and personally, which has saved everyone a whole lot of frustration, angst and provided a much happier workplace for us all.
Have you ever had a conflict with a co-worker? What steps did you take to address the issue? And what was the outcome?
Category: Workplace Matters
Tags: attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, career, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, confrontation, cooperative, culture, dominated, emotions, employees, employer, experience, feedback, guidance, impression, information, management, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, perspectives, pressure, productivity, Professional, reputation, staff, success, supportive, Team, temporary, work, workplace
December 10, 2013 by Jenna
It is getting into the silly season and many of us can’t wait to let loose and have a holiday! But while the anticipation is high and the excitement builds, it is important to keep a level head at all times, especially at work. You don’t want a silly mistake at the end-of-year Christmas Party to take away all of the hard work you have put in throughout the year, do you?
We have all been there, it has been a stressful day and you can’t wait to ‘kick of your heels’ and have a drink. But remember, as management is providing you this privilege to say thank you for all of your hard work this year, the last thing you want to do is throw that down the drain!
So while conducting research on this topic I found an article from Susan Adams in Forbes called How Not To Behave At the Office Party and it outlined some of the common mistakes that can be made:
Don’t Arrive Late – The early stage of a party offers a great chance to chat with senior executives in a relaxed atmosphere before it all gets too hectic.
Don’t Be a Wallflower – Don’t sit in the corner and chat with the people you work with every single day. Branch out and introduce yourself to people in other departments. You never know who could help you move up the ladder.
Don’t Lose Control – If alcohol is served, enjoy a drink or two, not 12. Getting drunk at a company-sponsored event may not get you fired, but it will make you the butt of jokes and could have a lasting negative effect.
Don’t Show Up the Boss – If he’s carrying on about something you know more about, keep it to yourself.
Don’t Tell Racy Jokes – No matter how much the atmosphere loosens up as the evening proceeds, there will still be people who can be offended–and who will remember it the next day.
Don’t Flirt – The office party is a no-flirting zone. Even if you think you’re just relaxing and being playful with an attractive colleague, your behaviour risks being construed as sexual harassment.
Don’t Speechify About How You’d Run the Company – It’s been a frustrating year, and you think you could do a better job than the boss. Keep that to yourself.
Don’t Vent – You can assume your colleagues have had as tough a year as you have, and that everyone might enjoy a good gripe session. Don’t hold it at the office party. This is a professional occasion, so keep your game face on.
So remember to make the most of your Christmas party by enjoying the atmosphere, connect with fellow colleagues and management, reflect on the year that has passed and make a toast to the upcoming year ahead.
Ever had that experience where someone has gone a little overboard at the office Christmas party? If so, how was the situation rectified?
Category: Performance, Workplace Matters
Tags: anticipation, Assessment, atmosphere, attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, career, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, culture, employees, employer, experience, feedback, guidance, impression, management, negative, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, privilege, Professional, reputation, success, Team, temporary, workplace
December 2, 2013 by Jenna
I think one of the biggest mistakes we make is that once we start feeling the level of stress build in our daily lives, for various reasons, we tend to push the feelings aside believing that it will either ‘blow over’ or that it will sort itself out. But the problem is, if we don’t take actions to start managing our stress levels it creates in the longer term reduced morale and health problems and overall decreased productivity.
Sometimes the idea of tackling your stress head on can seem like a much larger task than what it actually is. We are never going to live a life that is stress-free, but here are some tips below that you can start applying slowly and steadily to start getting your work/life balance back on track:
1. One thing at a time.
There can be many things piling up at once that seem overwhelming and create a lot of anxiety. But the fact of the matter is you need to pick one at a time in order to truly manage the task effectively. Of course you will be expected to be a multi-tasker, but prioritise your tasks in terms of timeframe and urgency, clear away anything that could be a potential distraction or obstacle, and tackle the task now! Even if it is something you don’t enjoy doing as much, you may as well get it out of the way, otherwise it can put more pressure on you by saving items to the last minute, especially when you know you have other pending tasks awaiting.
2. Simplify your schedule.
The more items you have back-to-back the more increased your stress levels will be. I too struggle with saying no but sometimes you need to focus on your priorities and if you have appointments space them out so that you are not rushing from one meeting to the next! This will allow you to be covered in the event of delays or meetings running over time. And for those not so urgent priorities, most people are flexible if you re-schedule to a more suitable time where you can perform at your best and be in the right head space.
3. Get moving.
Do something each day to be active — walk, hike, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga. And it can be for any timeframe that suits you and doesn’t have to be extremely difficult. But being healthy sometimes means stepping away from your desk and computer to let your mind relax and keep your body fit and healthy. I live by this, the healthier you are the more productive you will be, not to mention refreshed.
4. Develop one healthy habit this month.
This ties in with number 3, as stress tends to keep us at our desks we either limit our food intake or help ourselves to unhealthy, easily accessible snacks such as chocolate, soft drink etc. If you only get one day of the week to shop why not pre-buy nuts, fruit and vegetables, protein bars etc. This week one of the girls in our office introduced Kale Chips to share with one another as a healthy alternative. Keep your insides clean and you will feel less sluggish.
5. Do something calming.
What do you enjoy that calms you down? For those that may be less inclined to step out and try kite surfing like I did last weekend, finding a relaxation method like reading a book, painting, taking a nap, gardening, etc. it is important to find a bit of ‘me’ time to shut out distractions and do something that makes you feel good! Why not even try something new and creative that you haven’t tried before?
6. Simplify your finances.
Finances always tend to be a contributor to stress, whether it’s bills to pay, living expenses and transport costs, unexpected repayments etc. But do you currently set yourself a budget or a payment plan?
For example, I get paid once a month so I set out ahead of time what my total cost of bill repayments will be for the following month. I also include gifts or personal purchases that I may know of ahead of time or events that I need to pay for. Then I allocate myself a set amount to spend per week to spend on food, transport etc., while allowing myself to save some additional money on the side for any unexpected payments so that I am not left unprepared. That may sound like a lot of work but if you set this up as a routine, you will find this to be quite manageable and a great way to reduce financial stress.
Many of my colleagues will agree that a good ‘spring clean’ or even a 10-20 minute tidy of your desk and surrounds not only makes you feel better but it also allows you to manage your paperwork and tasks when you have enough room and you can see the tasks clearly laid out in front of you! It can be a very easy habit to be a hoarder or get side-tracked but getting organised with little tasks like this will help you tackle the larger tasks. Keep a routine so that you are doing this regularly.
8. Be early.
How many times do you tend to stress out because you are running late for your next appointment or meeting? Too many. When you are late you are filled with anxiety, regret and often you are unfocused and it can make you unprepared and not appear at your best. Similar to what I have covered in my previous blog about interview preparation, allowing yourself that extra time to get to a location will leave you more alert, refreshed and at ease.
My parents for example are great creatures of habit. They get up every morning at 6.00am to have time to walk the dogs, have breakfast and watch the morning news, water their garden and head to work. They have been doing that for years and have never looked back and again they have set this routine for themselves so that they can better manage their time and prepare themselves for the day ahead.
Do you have any handy tips that you follow daily to help cope with stress? What has worked for you previously and what hasn’t?
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, candidate, career, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, distractions, employees, employer, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, impression, information, job, morale, office, opportunity, organisation, people, perform, performance, Personality, prioritise, productivity, Professional, reputation, routine, skills, success, Team, Training, workplace
November 26, 2013 by Jenna
Completing the interview for that job you really want can leave you with a buzz of achievement. Naturally you can’t wait to hear a response, get the ‘ball rolling’ and find out what’s next? Waiting for a response can be a challenge of your patience, but it is critical at this stage that you show the best impression and through your follow-up to further demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
At the interview:
1. The first step in effective follow-up after the interview is to be clear on the interview process. When is the employer looking to fill the position by? For some positions filling the role is critical for others the employer will take the time needed to find the best candidate for the role. When would your prospective employer want to fill the position by? If you are to be considered, what would the next step be? Are there any other stages of the selection process – i.e. psychometric testing, further interviews, reference checks etc.?
2. When you would be expecting to hear back from the interviewer? An interviewer will generally advise when they are looking to get back to candidates, if they don’t it is important to ask this question so that you don’t jump the gun to call back. There is a fine line between genuine enthusiasm and desperation – and by knowing the interviewers timeframes you will know when it is time to show your genuine enthusiasm for the next stage.
At the end of the Interview
Remember that out of the many applications that the employer has reviewed they chose you to come in and meet with them, so always make sure to thank them for considering you and for providing their time at the end of the interview. It’s not only common courtesy but it also allows you to build a sense of rapport with that person. This is also the perfect time to leave them with no doubt that you are genuinely interested in this role and why.
Within 24 hours after the interview
If you want to add a nice touch after the interview, why not send a thank you email?
Keep it succinct and to the point and professionally outline in a couple of sentences your thanks and genuine interest in being considered for the role. You don’t want to write too much or you will lose the engagement of the interviewer. You can also take the opportunity in that email to attach any further documentation that you think may be relevant for the employer to review for your application – i.e. reference checks or academic transcripts etc. And for those that still enjoy writing letters the old fashioned way, why not?
Now for the waiting game, when is it appropriate to follow up?
If the specified date has passed that the interviewer advised that they would call, then by all means touch base and see if there has been any progress. There are certain factors that may be causing delays, but at least you can know for peace of mind and also be aware of the new timeframe to receive feedback.
Should you continue to apply for roles in the event that you are waiting back to hear if you are proceeding with the next stage of the interview?
In today’s competitive job market I would say yes. It is important to keep your options open, especially in the event of temporary work so that if you are unsuccessful for the next round you can assess your options for what to do next. It is important to keep an open, optimistic mind in the job market; otherwise putting the pressure on one interview can be devastating if you do not proceed further.
What has worked with you in terms of following up after an interview or providing a thank you follow up? Even as an interviewer, what have candidates done previously to make themselves memorable after you have interviewed them?
Tags: achievement, Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, candidate, career, communication, company, confidence, enthusiasm, experience, feedback, genuine, goals, impression, information, job, management, memorable, opportunity, optimistic, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, prospective, rapport, Recruitment, reputation, Research, skills, success, workplace
November 19, 2013 by Jenna
You got that interview, congratulations! Now the most important step of the interview process begins, your preparation.
1. Know your resume
Your resume is what got you the first call. Don’t forget to take a hard copy of your resume along to the interview. A fresh hard copy is always nice to hand over to the potential employer and also if you are filling out any additional paperwork for an organisation you have an accurate record of your employment in hand.
And most importantly know your resume in detail. Take the time to read through your responsibilities and key achievements listed - nothing is more embarrassing than the interviewer asking you a question about your resume and you can’t remember what they are referring to!
2. Dress to impress
Not all of us will work in roles that require us to wear a suit and tie daily, but making a good first impression is critical. Rule of thumb is always to dress above the level of the role that you are going for. Sloppy, unprofessional presentation will reflect poorly on your preparation and commitment for the interview.
Professional presentation is not just about what you wear, but also your readiness for the interview performance. So remember:
• Get a good night sleep – one can often get nervous about an interview but allow your body time to rest so that you are more alert and able to answer questions with a clear head. You don’t want to appear like you are lacking interest or look like a zombie.
• Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready for the interview – if that means getting up earlier than usual then it will make a difference. Usually if you are rushing, your appearance will often reflect this rush
• Eat something before the interview – Again this will keep you more alert and active during the interview process and will usually reflect a more positive mood
3. Know where you are going – Another important factor that will save you rushing at the last minute or even being late for the interview is finding out the company location. Look up the company address online and then look into the nearest parking areas and local public transport options. This will not only save you rushing at the last minute but if you leave early enough it can help you in the event of unexpected traffic or transport delays.
4. Who is interviewing you?
Make sure you know the name and position of who your interview or interviewers. In your preparation take some time to understand who they are, their experience, and where they sit within the organisation you are interviewing for. Also take the time to research and understand the details of the company – what does their website say? Have they been featured in the news or social media? What attracts you to work and grow within this organisation?
5. What do you need to know?
Especially if this is your dream job you don’t want to walk out of the interview realising that you had forgotten to ask a question or take up the interviewer’s time by doing the ‘umm’s’ and ‘ah’s’ trying to recall what questions you were wanting to ask.
Make sure that your questions are tailored to the organisation that you are applying for, the position requirements and even if there are any opportunities within the future for this role.
As a previous candidate and also working for a recruitment consultancy I can now say that I have witnessed both the excellent and awful in interview preparation. And I can say with confidence that if you want to win that next great job, then preparation is key so that you are ready to perform at your best!
What do you think is most important in preparation?
Category: Career Choice
Tags: appearance, Assessment, Behaviour, candidate, career, commitment, communication, company, confidence, culture, employees, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, impression, information, job, management, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, preparation, productivity, Professional, Recruitment, reputation, requirements, Research, skills, success, temporary, Training, workplace