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  1. What to expect in a performance review

    April 14, 2015 by Jenna

    Performance reviews can seem intimidating and can make you feel anxious, but at the end of the day they are important in helping us develop and improve our performance. Whether you have been in an organisation for a few months or a few years, the performance review is inevitable. With correct preparation though, they don’t have to be scary.

    1. Be Prepared

    There is no harm in asking your manager ahead of time what to expect from the upcoming review. You can also ask fellow colleagues who have been at the organisation longer what they have experienced. Make sure that you are recording your work progress and achievements so that you also have something to present to management during the review process.

    1. Be Honest

    This is an opportunity for you to share with your manager your honest thoughts and opinions on your current workload and working environment. This means acknowledging if you are struggling in some areas and working with management on ways to resolve or delegate certain tasks. This is also an opportunity to shine and really show your manager where you are excelling (as long as you can back it up with examples).

    1. You are Part of a Team

    Remember that your performance review should not be just an opportunity for your manager to point out all of your failures. You should both be discussing how you are performing as an individual and a team member for the overall success of the company. If you have ideas or feedback to put forward on possible improvements or incentives for the team, now would be the time to do so.

    1. Know Your Accomplishments

    Don’t sell yourself short. A manager may not always be present during the time of an accomplishment and may ask you what you have contributed to the company so far. Don’t let it fall under the radar, even get a colleague or witness to verify it if it was a team effort or if it helped another person significantly. If you are a facts and figures type of person, present it to management with the data necessary to support your review.

    1. Be Open to Constructive Criticism

    These periodic assessments are provided to everyone in your team to help you improve. It is important to not take constructive feedback as though it is a personal attack or react in a defensive manner. Take the time to listen carefully to the feedback your manager has provided, and once you know they have stated all of the details, take the time to ask any questions about anything you may be unsure about. You can also ask what steps you can start taking to improve this area of feedback.

    1. Give Feedback

    There should be a point in the review session where you’re asked if you want to give feedback on your colleagues, your boss, or the projects you’ve worked on. Be honest, but professional with your feedback, especially about co-workers or the way a certain project has been organised. Don’t leave anything out, but at the same time provide value by offering suggestions for improvement instead of just complaining.

    1. Ask Questions

    Show that you were attentive and have initiative by asking questions at the end of the review on the next steps and areas of improvement. Be open to answer any questions provided by the reviewer as well. It’s a lot better to reflect on questions while the conversation is still fresh and even take notes on responses to reflect upon afterwards.

    If you’re honest and assertive in your performance review and know what to expect, you’ll leave your review with more positive motivation than ever.


  2. How often are you changing jobs?

    January 29, 2013 by Jenna

    Since I work in the recruitment industry, I speak to people looking to make a job change daily. As the New Year commenced I saw an increase in the amount of enquiries from potential candidates looking to make a fresh start for 2013. So it made me wonder how often do people change jobs, organisations, careers AND why?

    According to the latest Australian Labour Mobility statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, less than half of the Australian working population have been in their job for 5 years or more. 56% of Australian workers have been in their job for less than 5 years and 20% have been in their current job for less than 12 months.

    More than half of these job changes happened based on the choice by the individual, with 60% of men and 66% of women who changed jobs in the last 12 months doing so voluntarily. Most people went into similar jobs, with only around 5% of Australian Managerial staff and 10% of Australian Labourer staff who changed jobs also moved into a new career area. So with my recent career change, that puts me in the minority!

    We of course all know that the number one reason people choose to change jobs is their immediate manager or work environment. But what are the other incentives people ask for when looking for a new job?

    • better pay or conditions
    • job security
    • closer to home
    • more (or less) responsibility at work
    • more (or less) flexibility at work
    • career advancement

    For me what was most important was an increased flexibility. I worked in a job with an around the clock roster, which meant I was working strange hours and weekends most weeks. For me flexibility meant working business hours Monday to Friday so I could have time to pursue my outside of work interests. So my definition of “flexibility” is quite different to what others would be looking for.

    For others, increased pay could be at the top of list of “must-have”. However, pay can only take you so far, because if you do not enjoy the job or the work environment how long will you stay content in the job before taking the next leap? And although a new job can help you with your career advancement, can too many new jobs in too short a time period make you look like your lacking commitment or unreliable to a future employer?

    There are many advantages and disadvantages for making a job change, including:

    Advantages

    • develop your skills within different organisations or industry sectors
    • take the next step within your career
    • an increase in salary, depending on the new role you apply for
    • develop a new network of contacts within your industry to build your profile in the career area or industry

    Disadvantages

    • if you are changing jobs too frequently, will employers question your commitment or capability?
    • having to start from scratch – will you be able to develop the skills as quickly as you hoped if you are starting from scratch in new organisations frequently?
    • you may make a jump too soon, and realise you made the job change for the wrong reasons rather than for you really need in your career.

    Whether a job change is a good or a bad thing for you career depends entirely on the individual and their career goals. Always think about where you want to go, what’s most important for you? And is it a job change that will allow you to realise this goal or looking for new opportunities within your current organisation? Because sometimes, as the song goes, it is better the devil you know.

    Have you ever made a job change you regretted? What did you learn from the experience? Or what about one that was perfect for you? What advice would you give to those contemplating a job or career change?


  3. Do We Often Define Success In A Dollar Figure?

    June 27, 2012 by Jenna

    ‘Show me the money!’ How can we forget this scene out of Jerry Maguire. This is something that my father always quotes to his employees in his financial franchise business. He also goes to point out, ‘Try to get credit at any bank if your company does not make a decent profit. All the big CEO’s are measured by the success of their companies’ bottom line. That’s the truth.’

    With big names like Donald Trump, Bill Gates and even Mark Zuckerberg – the Facebook giant, of course we are lead to believe by the media that the biggest success figures will have all of the power, authority and life’s luxuries as well.

    We also look at dollar figures as incentives, almost like a reward for hard work and effort that we put into our current roles, especially the longer we work within an organisation. Most employers I tend to find will be happy to reward an employee accordingly for their efforts, it is only when however, an employees expects more money for less – and that can have multiple definitions/reasons, but you know what I mean.

    Remember, all CEO’s or management within any organisation have worked their way up from lower level positions and have had to prove themselves, so the same applies for any employees within the industry as well. So more often or not, management will be able to empathise with you as an employee and understand your goals and needs if this is communicated effectively.

    Money also benefits those material possessions that we often crave – the house, the car, clothing, valuables and incentives such as travel and holidays. But then of course there is also financial security for those ongoing repayments such as a mortgage to pay off, educational expenses, child expenses and so forth.

    On another note, success and money can tie in with fame and recognition. Bruno Mars released a song, ‘I want to be a billionaire‘ making reference to meeting many of the world’s richest people, seeing his name in ‘shining lights’, and also making reference to providing opportunities and help to those who are less fortunate. And of course reality television, as we all love it, with shows such as Masterchef and The Voice, we love seeing the ‘average joe’ so to speak, work their way up to achieve their life long dream and also become a famous television celebrity.

    So why would this be any different in the corporate world? As 80% of our working week is in the office or travelling for work, of course we would try very hard to make a name for ourselves, and with more money it will often result in more responsibility.

    But is money the only thing that defines success?

    A website that I reviewed called www.mywaytosuccess.com outlined that money is only a part of what makes you successful, and listed some very valid points that I have summarised below:

    • Success should be determined by how you feel in your life – look at how you think your life is going overall – Are you happy?
    • Measure your success by the amount of goals that you wish to achieve throughout your life
    • Success can be measured by the quality of your friendships and how close you are with your family – do you have a good support system?
    • Do you look in the mirror at the end of the day knowing that you have done something good for someone else, treated someone with respect, or overall feel good about how your day has gone?
    • Is what you are doing on a daily basis making you feel good and do you feel good about whom you have become over the years?

    Overall, this website outlines that the decisions you are making in life should be for your best interest. Of course it is great not to have financial issues, but if this is all that you care about, unfortunately the result will be  that money may be the only thing that will keep you company.

    Now success can have different meanings to us all, but the point of my initial poll was to see whether or not you associated this with money or how much money you make. This was your vote:

    • Yes: 89%
    • No: 11%

    Now there is no right or wrong answer in terms of what you consider to be success, however what I am more trying to get you to think about is how important do you consider money in terms of your drive for success?

    While money will bring many incentives in our material world, if you are not happy with your job or you have sacrificed many of the important things in life for money/title, then maybe reconsider if this is personal success. If not, who or what are you doing this for?

    While we have time on this earth, wouldn’t you rather want to look back on your life satisfied instead of worrying about what you haven’t done or achieved?

    Haven’t had your say? I would love to hear your feedback below, or please check out my latest poll: Is Quarterlife Crisis a myth or reality for today’s generation? And again, thank you again for taking the time out to read our weekly articles.

     




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