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  1. What are the next steps after gaining a promotion?

    April 28, 2015 by Jenna

    You have worked hard to get your promotion, now you have to set yourself up for success in your new role. Preparing to take on more responsibility will make the transition process run smoothly and will help set you up for future success.

    So what are the next steps after you receive the promotion? What can you do to keep yourself on track?

    1. Get clear expectations. The first thing you need to do is really understand your new role. What does the organisation expect of you? What does your manager expect of you? And what do you expect of yourself? Clarifying these expectations sets up a path to follow.

    2. Set your goals What do you want to accomplish and why? Set personal and career goals both short and long term so you can measure your progress on the path. Don’t be afraid to share your goals or vision with management and get their buy in as well,

    3. Talk to your boss. Get to know your manager and determine how you will work together. How and when will you communicate and what will help you succeed beyond the job description. These things are critically important to your mutual success.

    4. Focus on building relationships. You may have moved to a new department with new peers or report to and a new manager. The relationships with the people around you are part of that job! Invest time in building relationships with your new peers, people in other groups, your boss, your customers, and if you are a leader, your team. It makes your working environment more positive and productive if you have a level of rapport with your team.

    5. Learn what you need to learn. Remember you are new to this position so you cannot know it all on the first day! It is part of our development to learn new skills. Take notes, ask questions, request feedback to make sure you are heading on the path towards success. The earlier you set yourself up to understand the requirements and expectations of the role, the easier it will be to settle into the position and start delivering.

    6. Celebrate! Of course you deserve the time to celebrate your promotion and share the excitement with others. Take some time for yourself and those closest to you to celebrate your progress and accomplishments. Celebrating builds your confidence and awareness, and it sets you on the right path for even better performance.

    Sometimes we tend to rush from one project to the next without fully understanding what we have achieved. Every accomplishment is a stepping stone on the path towards your future. Show appreciation towards those who helped get you get to that next stage.

    If you have been through a promotion recently, what steps did you take to continue to perform at your best and show that you were the right one for the job?


  2. How To Ask For A Promotion

    April 9, 2013 by Jenna

    According to recent research, asking for a promotion ranks high on the list of one of life’s most anxiety-inducing activities. Do you think this is true?

    Most people agree that promotions are also one of the most vital things that you can do to move ahead in your career. But there is always that underlying question of when is the right time? Or even that subconscious fear of what if management says no?

    But with any increase in responsibility or salary, it is something that needs to be earned, not expected. Especially as a recent graduate stepping into the workforce, sometimes you have to start from the bottom and work your way up to get to that job of your dreams.

    For example, my cousin works for a law firm in the city and he puts his heart and soul into his work. When the opportunity arose for a chance to prove himself further within the company and be promoted to different section of the firm he didn’t hesitate. He came in to the office early, stayed back late, and pulled the extra yards needed. Needless to say I did not hear from him during the process as he had his priorities on showing management what he was capable of, but in the long run he got the promotion and we were able to celebrate together. He pushed through the challenges to win the goal. And he always takes on new challenges the same way.

    So you have put in the hard yards and worked above expectations, how do you go about asking for the promotion? Megan Alpern at Forbes outlines the following key tips:

    1. Do your homework – Assess what you have brought to the organisation so far and have it written down and prepared to present to management. Providing examples of how you have gone above and beyond can be very advantageous.

    2. Plan the Timing – As there is no perfect time to ask, however, a good time to ask may be when annual or semi-annual reviews take place. But also keep in mind the current economy within your team or department. Is your business struggling or thriving and is it a wise move to make the request now?

    3. Ask for the Meeting – Perhaps you are not near review time, you can request a meeting, but make sure to outline to management what you are hoping to discuss so that you do not catch them off guard.

    4. Know Your Numbers – It is best not to discuss numbers until you are technically offered the promotion, but make sure you are prepared to negotiate it if the conversation arises. And don’t sell yourself short!

    5. Follow-up – If you receive the promotion then you can go and celebrate, but if you don’t make sure you are not closing the conversation just yet. Assess what has been discussed and areas of improvement, and if conversations arise again in your department about a potential promotion later down the track, ask management if they would be willing to revisit the conversation again. They will appreciate your initiative!

    In the event of a less than favourable outcome, I am not saying that every request for a promotion will be accepted and there are a couple of other factors that you need to consider:

    • The answer may be no for now. Your current organisation or the economy may mean that you cannot be offered a promotion at this time. You may need to consider if you want to wait until things turn up or look for alternative employment. Alternatively, rather than stepping up could you take a sidewards step to take on new responsibilities or projects to develop the skills you may need in the long-term?

    • You don’t have the skills needed. Management may want you to pursue further training and development before considering you for this role. As we all need to continue to learn and grow, take this as a good opportunity to take on training as who knows where this could take you in the future.

    • Negative feedback – areas for improvement. Although this may be disheartening, keep in mind what feedback has been provided and start following the measures put in place to get past it. Then if the opportunity arises again, ask if you can revisit the topic of promotion.

    Have you been in the situation where you approached management for a promotion? If so, what steps did you take to do so and what was the feedback received?


  3. Now you have changed careers, what now?

    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?


  4. 6 biggest Facebook mistakes to avoid this Holiday Season

    December 10, 2012 by Jenna

    Facebook can be very addictive, I know as I love to post the latest photos and updates on my personal page, as well as keep our Challenge Consulting jobseekers informed of the latest job search tips on Challenge Consulting’s Facebook page.

    This time of year as the champagne flows and we all relax into the silly season, make sure your nude run down the beach isn’t tagged into internet history forever. We all know that future employers Google us when we apply for work. And if you didn’t know then you haven’t read our previous blog post: What has your Googleganger done lately?

    Now ask yourself: ‘How personal is my Facebook page? How many people can see my information and have access to my page?’  When you hit Google the screen will be populated with your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. What information is currently out there about you, and how would you view yourself if you were looking from a potential employer’s eyes?

    So what are the 6 biggest social media mistakes you should avoid this holiday season?

    1. Inappropriate Pictures – As per the example picture above, what may have been a funny memory at the time, this is the first thing that an employer will see when they look up your name, and wouldn’t you prefer to be remembered for the right reasons? At the end of the day, a party photo can do you more damage than good.

    2. Complaining About Your Current Job – We all have a tendency to vent on Facebook in our status updates. And we have all heard the stories of someone venting about their job on Facebook only to find out later that their boss was their “friend”. Firstly, why is your boss your “friend”? Secondly, how did you forget that your colleagues and bosses were on your friend list? Thirdly, don’t forget that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. If a future employer can see all of your complaining, do you think you are the positive, self-starter they are looking for?

    3. Statuses You Wouldn’t Want Your Boss to See – Similar to job complaints, swearing and inappropriate comments do not often paint the prettiest picture, as well as comments such as, ‘Getting drunk on a Tuesday’ or ‘Going to the beach!’ on a day that you called in sick. In fact it will probably get you out the door faster than getting you that promotion. Not only that, but if you share private information about your organisation on your Facebook page, you could be up for a legal battle as well, so be careful!

    4. Not Understanding Your Security Settings – A common mistake often made is not being aware of setting your security settings on Facebook to ‘Private’ or ‘Friends Only’ as opposed to ‘Pubic’ viewing. This often can be the case with photos and status updates. When was the last time that you checked your settings? What can take only a couple of minutes to update can save you plenty of headaches in the future.

    5. Losing By Association – What do your friends post on your timeline? What do they say about you? What images do they tag you in? Getting to know any individual for the first time, you want to know what they are like with their friends as they are the sources that know that person best. But sometimes those funny or embarrassing comments or images can create a bad reputation. Another thing I would like to mention would be looking into who is connected with you on Facebook. If they are a person that you met ten years ago at a friend’s party who hasn’t even spoken to you since adding you as a friend, then I would say they are not worth keeping on your friend list. People sometimes request a friendship so that they can view your personal information and images and it is important to consider who you really want to view your details and who you can afford to filter.

    6. Posting Conflicting Information To What Is On Your Resume – This is something that I have also covered previously in terms of lying in your resume to try and get ahead. This can be anything from previous roles, educational background, age and identity etc. Any lies that you tell will come back to haunt you eventually.

    So don’t let those latest Saturday night shenanigans stop you from landing that dream role tomorrow. Use some common sense, check your privacy settings, and ensure your online persona is consistent with your offline persona.

    Have you seen any Facebook mistakes either yourself or through the grapevines?


  5. How impressive is your elevator pitch?

    September 11, 2012 by Jenna

    What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition? And more importantly, how do you put your proposition forward to employers, colleagues and even clients?

    We have all had interviews where we have had to answer the question, ‘Tell me about yourself”, “Why should I hire you over the other candidates applying for this role?”, “What can you offer our organisation over everyone else?’ But how often do we tend to really reflect on the answer to these questions without it just being ‘rehearsed’?

    With human nature I tend to think that a lot of the time we focus on the negative aspects of what we do as a means of improvement for the future. And while it is a good thing to learn from our past mistakes, we also need to reflect on our achievements and strengths in order to grow and step up the ladder towards career success.

    Our “elevator pitch” should be a concise, compelling introduction that can be communicated in the amount of time it takes someone to ride the elevator.

    Not only will having a ‘perfect pitch’ be advantageous for potential employment or even a job promotion, but this will also save you on any awkward moments or situations where someone may start that conversation with, ‘What do you do for a living? What do you like to do in your spare time? What are your goals?’

    Laura Katen from the Daily Muse outlines eight very simple steps in how to nail your elevator speech:

    1. Start with a Blank Canvas – Take a blank piece of paper and number it from one to 10. Then, fill in the most important bits of information that you want to convey about yourself, your service or product, or your company.

    2. Red Pen It – Using a different color pen, edit what you’ve drafted with a critical eye. Eliminate any redundancies, unnecessary or unclear information, and broad business jargon.

    3. Pick a Card – Grab five index cards, and label them “Who I Am,” “What I Do,” “How I Do It,” “Why I Do It,” and “Who I Do It For.”

    4. Get in Order – Organise the cards in a logical order, making sure the most important information is first. Remember, you often only have a few seconds to communicate with someone. If you get cut off, what would you want her to walk away remembering?

    5. Add an Attention-Getter – Add an interesting fact or stat to use at the beginning of your speech. Your goal is to immediately engage someone so that he or she is intrigued and wants to learn more.

    6. Practice! – Recite your pitch to close someone who can be objective, and ask for constructive feedback (although we love our friends and families, sometimes they think we can do no wrong!).

    7. Record Your Pitch – Once you’ve gotten feedback and honed your pitch even further, record yourself saying it. Really listen to what you’re saying—make sure you’re not repeating words and that you’re sending the message you really want to convey.

    8. Ride the Elevator – The next time you ride an elevator (alone), practice your speech.

    Now by all means I am not saying next time you are in an elevator to immediately launch into conversation about yourself to a stranger and make it seem like you are bragging about your accomplishments. However, when the opportunity presents itself and the individual asks you an opening question, the tips above should help you deliver yourself in a more confident way.

    Don’t be afraid to outline your accomplishments and skills, because they define who we are today just as much as what mistakes and learning curves that you have taken in life. So be proud of what you have achieved!




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