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  1. Making your LinkedIn Profile Attractive to Employers

    February 10, 2015 by Jenna

    These days having a LinkedIn profile in the corporate world is almost a necessity. While Facebook and Twitter share your personal thoughts and opinions, LinkedIn will make you shine as a professional if you utilise it correctly.

    It’s an opportunity to share you’re employment history, qualifications/achievements. Effectively, it’s your digital resume. Your LinkedIn profile is available to a huge variety of employers. People are often head-hunted even when they aren’t looking for employment.

    However, if you are not using your profile to its potential, you could be missing out on opportunities without even realising it.
    An article by Emmanuel Banks posted on Lifehack shares simple steps to making your LinkedIn profile more attractive to employers:

    Treat It Like an Interview
    First impressions are quite important during an interview and so is your presentation. The same applies when formatting your online layout and choosing an appropriate profile picture.

    You want to create a positive and professional image so choose a profile picture that reflects you in a professional way. If it looks like you are on an all-night party bender, or modelling a bikini while on your latest holiday, you may be deterring employers straight away. This also applies to a poorly presented or poorly written ‘Summary’ or ‘Employment History’. If you are not taking the time to proofread or update your personal details, qualifications or skill, you could be automatically viewed as sloppy. If you are making LinkedIn connections with business professionals for the first time and they have potential to help you get your foot in the door, make sure you are advertising yourself to your best ability.

    Stay Connected
    The purpose of LinkedIn is to connect and network.

    Requesting a contact to connect allows you to provide a tailored introduction to the person and explain why you feel it is important to connect with them. You can then follow up with contacts on a to keep them up to date on your career. There are also groups for members within your industry where you can be kept up-to-date regarding networking events, news topics and discussions.

    It also shows your passion and genuine interest in the industry to keep connecting with others and participating in as many groups and interactions as you can. It maintains relationships with past and present contacts.

    Have Your Experience Vouched
    Your background and experience can appear even more attractive to an employer when they see that other professionals have verified your experience or expertise.

    Employers may be looking for a select set of skills for a potential role and it can prove advantageous when others verify your experience or even provide recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask past employers’ if they would mind verifying details or providing a recommendation.

    Keep Profile Up to Date
    It is time consuming for an employer to chase up information that isn’t included on your online profile. Important information can include; a good description of your current position, start and finish dates of your previous appointments, reference details or educational achievements.

    Even if you are not looking for a new role, it is important to keep your information up to date just in case you situation changes. This will also save you time if you do decide to look for work elsewhere in the future.

    What do you highlight on your LinkedIn profile that makes you stand out?

  2. Career Advice – Sharing of Wisdom from Great Influencers

    October 7, 2014 by Jenna

    When it comes to the future of our careers, a little advice can go a long way. We often turn to coaches, mentors and people we trust.

     So what can we learn from successful people that can apply to us? While doing research on the topic, I found an article on career advice from some of the world’s most successful people, and I would like to share this advice with you below:

    Opera Winfrey

    Media Mogul and TV show host

    “Three things”

    Three things that will carry you if you let them:

    1- Know who you are and what you want.

    2- You must find a way to serve. The service and the significance that you bring to your service is that which is lasting.

    3- Always do the right thing. Be excellent, people notice. Let excellence be your brand.

    Jeff Weiner

    CEO of LinkedIn

    “Three pieces”

    Three pieces of advice that changed his life:

    1- You can do anything you set your mind to (from his father). Decide what you want to do (balance for skill and passion) and then start working towards it.

    2- Everything that can be converted from atom to bit will be (from a book “Being Digital”). In other words, everything physical that can be made digital will be as technology advances.

    3- Do you want to push paper around or do you want to build products that change people’s lives? (from then COO of Yahoo, Dan Rosensweig). Focus your energy on things that will have an impact that correlates to your goals in life.

    Eric Schmidt

    Former Google CEO

    “Have a coach”

    Everybody needs a coach. Every famous athlete, every famous performer has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they are doing at them Give them perspective. The one thing that people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.”

    Richard Branson

    Entrepreneur and Founder of Virgin Group

    “Focus on the people”

    Focus on the people. Find the best people to run the company. Make sure they are properly incentivised, properly motivated, and give them freedom to go ahead and make good things.”

    Steve Jobs

    Entrepreneur & Founder of Apple

    “Don’t settle”

    In his Stanford commencement speech, Steve delivered one of the most inspiring speeches of our time. It’s a three part speech:

    Connect the dots: You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.

    Don’t settle: Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

    Death is the best motivator: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

    Now what advice would I offer to an earlier version of myself based on what I have learned to this point?

    “Adaptability is the key”

    You will never have an exact map with directions of how your future career will pan out. While it is important to set goals and targets, remember to expect the unexpected. Paths change, some choices may not work out as you may have wanted but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be open to new opportunities and go with the flow. You will be amazed at where life can take you if you are more open and flexible to changing circumstances.

    What career advice has been passed on to you that has led you to where you are today? What advice could you offer to someone else based on what you have learned?

  3. Enough is Enough! When it is time to move on

    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?

  4. Do you choose a career for love or money?

    February 5, 2013 by Jenna

    This is the question that everyone stumbles at one time or another in their career. Do you take the risks associated with following your dream or settle for the job that pays the bills?

    What we often forget is that this is generally not a dichotomy – although we often want to start a dream career now – often moving into a new career can take time to achieve. And most of the time we need to start from the bottom of a new career before moving our way up to what we consider our dream.

    In their blog post, when is it OK to settle for less than your dream job? Beacon Coaching & Consulting outline:

    The Pays-the-Bills Job. We all need to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, and many of us support families as well. This takes money, and unless you have an independent source of income, you may need to take a job that pays the bills but doesn’t satisfy your career yearnings. There is no shame in this — in fact, it is quite honourable. And it need not derail your dreams permanently. You may be able to pursue your passion outside of working hours as a volunteer (which may lead eventually to being able to earn a living at it). Even if you never earn a living doing what you love, staying engaged in your passion allows you to continue to grow and develop personally. Continuing to work toward your dream can also help you to keep the ups and downs of a humdrum job in perspective. What you do for a living need not define you; instead, choose to define yourself in terms of your passion. One famous example is Wallace Stevens, who had a day job in the insurance business and wrote some of the 20th century’s most beautiful, challenging, and influential poetry.

    The Stepping-Stone or Bridge Job. If you don’t yet have the skills, experience, or contacts to get your dream job, you may need to take one or more intermediate steps to get from here to there. The classic example of the stepping stone job is working your way up from the mailroom. In this scenario an inexperienced but ambitious youth takes an entry-level job in order to learn and grow and move up the ranks to his or her dream job. However, and increasingly common tactic is the bridge job: when someone who is established in a career wishes to change careers and may need to build a bridge from one industry to another or from one role to another, or both. If the career transition is a big leap, you may be better off making changes incrementally, thus building the resume and contacts you need to move into the new industry or new role. (For example, a corporate lawyer who wants to be a literary agent may take a transitional job working as in-house counsel at a publishing house.) In either case, whether you are starting out at entry level or transitioning later in your career, you may find yourself in a job that doesn’t thrill you in order to build the resume that will get you the job you really want. Focus on how to make the most of the job you have: learn everything you can, develop a strong resume, and actively build your network.  And keep your eyes on the prize — the job you really want.

    The other thing to remember is that the job market is constantly changing. You may invest time in developing the skills, knowledge and experience to move into a new career only to realise that there is a low hiring period or an increased competitive landscape in that dream career area.

    But that of course does not mean you need to give up on your dream. Each of us throughout our career needs to use flexibility and creativity. Because it is through these chance experiences that we learn about ourselves, what we hate, what we love, and makes that dream career move all the more exciting when you make it happen. Of course life is not always set out in stone. It has moments of complete chaos and also spontaneity. And by making new decisions we can often find possibilities that make us happy that may not have been possible if we didn’t take that path when we reached that fork in the road.

    So what’s the answer? Love or money? Well it all depends on you. But you do need to pay the bills, you may need to take longer to get to the dream, but don’t forget to have a little fun along the way. And if you make a decision to go with a job you later regret, it’s only temporary; we all have the chance to make a better, different choice for our next career move. What will yours be?

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