How To Find Fulfilling Work

How To Find Fulfilling Work

 

The idea that work might be fulfilling, rather than just painfully necessary, is a fairly modern concept. These days we don’t just expect to obtain money through our jobs, we also expect to find meaning and satisfaction. This helps to explain why we often have career crises, often on a Sunday evening!

To help us on the quest for fulfilling work, here are six useful ideas, which are explained in more detail in the video below…

  1. Accept that being confused is perfectly normal. It is estimated that there are currently around half a million different trades to choose from. Having so many options can make us so anxious about making the wrong choice that we make no choice at all. Confusion is natural and fear is normal.
  2. Know yourself. It’s one of the oldest philosophical recommendations and it has particular relevance for careers. Most of us don’t have a calling or hear a God-like voice telling us which career path to take. That isn’t to say that we don’t have tastes or inclinations, we just don’t know them well enough. Write down everything you’ve ever enjoyed doing or making with no considerations for money, and you’ll start to get an idea of your ideal working future.
  3. Think a lot. It could take a year or more of sustained daily reflection to identify a career that fits. We tend to feel guilty about this, imagining we are being self-indulgent. Far from it! We should take as much time as we need to sort out one of the biggest conundrums of our lives. To make sure we don’t continue to spend the rest of our lives trapped in a job unwittingly chosen for us by our unknowing 16 year-old selves, we need to be generous with the amount of time we’ll need to think.
  4. Try something. It’s tempting to imagine we’ll be able to work out the shape of the workplace and our own characters simply through the process of reflection, but we need data. We can only understand ourselves and others by colliding with the real world, in the process getting to know both it and our own natures. We need to take small non-irrevocable steps to gather information, whether by shadowing or interning or volunteering.
  5. Reflect on what makes people unhappy. Every successful business is, at heart, an attempt to solve someone else’s problem. The bigger and more urgent the problem, the greater the opportunity. To flex your entrepreneurial muscles, consider and average day and everything in it that might make someone unhappy – from losing the house keys to finding their food a little greasy to arguing with their spouse. Each of these is a business opportunity waiting to be exploited. It’s a chance for us to serve, which is what work really is.
  6. Be confident. It can be tempting to dismiss this whole topic as nonsense, but in a peculiar and rather humbling way it really does seem as though the difference between success and failure is sometimes nothing more than the courage to give it a go. Many of the top positions simply belong to those who boldly ask for them.

If you want to know more about how to get more out of a career at iwantmycareer.com we offer coaching sessions to give you the boost you need to get the career you deserve. To find out more, visit our services page.

How Social Media Can Help You Get Ahead

Social Media

For many, it’s like this. The second you wake up you scroll through your Facebook feed. You update your Twitter and hashtag your boring journey to work, and then celebrate home time by uploading a photograph of your dinner on Instagram. Sounds familiar? This could be the make or break of your career progression so use your social media wisely.

According to recent statistics, 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. With new social media websites popping up all the time and such a high number of overall users, it is safe to say these digital platforms are here to stay.

Social media can take hours away from your day without you even realising, so why not turn this potential time waster into a valuable tool for getting ahead in your career and make yourself more employable?

Remember that social media can potentially destroy your career as quickly as it can build it, so always keep in mind that what you post in the public domain is for the entire world to see! I was recently attended an Executive HR Conference and one of the presenters asked the audience if they checked job applicant social profiles before the interview or job offer stage – over 75% of the audience raised their hands.

Brad Schepp, co-author of How To Find A Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, shared his tips for finding a job using social networking sites on Forbes.com

Here is what he suggests you do to utilise your social media platforms…

Create Relevant Profiles

Build compelling, professional profiles for yourself that include your job history, going back no more than 15 to 20 years. LinkedIn is an obvious place for such a profile, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, among others, are also sites where you can include this kind of information, Schepp says. These profiles should demonstrate not only what you’ve accomplished, but where your strengths are and what you can offer future employers.

Network

Connect with others in your industry. LinkedIn’s Groups are an excellent place to do this, Schepp says. Search the directory to find Groups in your industry, join those that appear especially active and vibrant, and then introduce yourself to the other members. Build your social capital by becoming known as a source for provocative content.

Be Engaged

Schepp recommends that you follow companies in your field on LinkedIn and Twitter so you’re automatically notified about new hires, product developments, and other news. “Like” companies you’re interested in and join the conversation about industry trends on Facebook. This is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and value to a potential employer, he says.

Be Known As A Resource

Help others by answering questions, making introductions, and linking to provocative content, Schepp says. It’s very apparent if you have a one-sided “what’s in it for me?” mentality. People know to expect that sort of thing from you but if you regularly answer questions on LinkedIn and provide links to great content on Facebook and Twitter, you are again building that social capital. As a guide, try to give four times for every time you take.

Don’t Ask For A Job

Keep your name in front of people in a position to help your career. And no, even though you’re hidden behind a screen, you still shouldn’t ask people outright for a job. Make connections with the right people and let them see you are an intelligent, qualified candidate by updating your statuses several times a week, providing content to the groups you join, and tweeting about that interesting article you just read, Schepp suggests.

Search For Jobs

Turn over those virtual rocks to find job postings, Schepp says. Most people know about sites like Simply Hired, CareerBuilder, Monster or Indeed. They provide access to millions of job postings and are used by a proportionate number of job seekers. Improve the odds in your favor by looking for jobs on company Twitter feeds, on their Facebook pages, and in LinkedIn Groups.

Make A Plan

It’s also important to have a game plan in mind when you set out to use these sites as part of a job search. In other words, plan on working on your profile one day, joining groups another, or following companies a third. The point is not to try and do too many disparate tasks all day, every day. You’ll waste too much time and not do anything as well as you could have if you were more organized and disciplined, Schepp says.

If you want to know more about how to get more out of a career at iwantmycareer.com we offer coaching sessions to give you the boost you need to get the career you deserve. To find out more, visit our services page.

How to Create a Compelling Personal Brand During your Job-Search

Whether you like it or not – everyone has a personal brand! From graduates to seasoned CEO’s, their brand tells the world who they are. Here’s what marketers say about branding: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Does this apply to your job search? It sure does!

So instead of burying your head in the sand, and pretending that you don’t need to pay attention to this article, take 5-minutes to review this practical article on how to use your personal brand to advance in your career and secure your next job.

Be Clear About Your Direction

In a job search, your brand is manifested in your LinkedIn profile, the recommendations friends and colleagues give you, and how you present yourself during interviews. Your CV and cover letters are also an opportunity to highlight your brand to the hiring manager who receives and reads them.

In order to maximise these channels, first we must be clear about how we express our brand. When we first start working with many of our clients, they describe themselves and their job search in generic and vague terms. “I’m a project manager” is a common expression used to describe someone seeking Project Management roles.

There’s only one problem: almost every Project Manager we know describes him – or herself the same way.

“I’m an IT Project Manager,” some would say. From a branding standpoint, that’s immensely unhelpful and vague. We don’t know what sort of projects or sectors this person works for. We don’t get much sense of a job seeker’s brand in these statements, because they’ve very generic or full of jargon.

The first step in honing your job-search branding message is to understand the sorts of jobs you’re pursuing. You can have more than one job-search target. Our Project Manager may be targeting software implementation as well as infrastructure upgrades. Be aware that having more than one job search target will cause a problem on your LinkedIn profile, which will limit you to just one branding message. You will also need to tailor your individual application to match the industry or sector you are targeting.

Once we have a sense of our job-search direction and any targets inside that direction, we can think about our job-search brand. It’s very hard to work on our personal brands until we know where we’d like our job searches to go!

Fine Tune Your Branding Message

When we decide, “I am going to focus on Job Search Direction A,” we gain a great deal of power from that decision. It’s much easier to define what make you a great candidate for that job search target. From my experience as a recruiter, I noticed that when applicants had a crystal clear job-search direction and brand they stood out confidently. His or her message is no longer “Just give me a job,” but rather “I’d love to talk with you about your [IT] issues, because I love to project manage solutions.”

Some great examples of a clear job search direction include:
“I’m looking for HR software implementation project roles in Europe”

“I’m looking for Marketing Internships within the manufacturing sector”

Now that you are clear on where you are heading its time to ask yourself: why are you the best person for the job?

Most of us have a shopping list of reasons why we might be the best person but how do you bottom line this so that you are able to sound unique? Do this by listing what you do better than anyone you know.

Don’t be modest. This first attempt is not necessarily going to be used on your CV or LinkedIn profile. This exercise is meant to help you get in touch with the elements and qualities that make you perfect for the jobs you’re pursuing.

Use human language and avoid corporate jargon such as “I have excellent teamwork skills..” A more authentic list of statements might include something like, “I motivate project members to outperform their targets”.

If you can, try to list as many as 10 statements on your list. Now it’s time to synthesise these to a statement you can use in your CV, LinkedIn profile and networking conversations. This statement will be vivid and describe why you do what you do so well.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you have decided that your ability to motivate superior performance amongst project team members is a huge advantage over other IT project managers. You really like to get under the skin of your team and understand what motivates them individually. You expect that not every project manager enjoys or is interested in doing this. And you know that this makes a huge difference in being able to deliver
projects on time and on budget.

Part of your job-search branding statement may be “I love to understand what motivates my team to excel in their performance.” Notice that you’re not praising yourself as you say that. You’re telling the reader (of your CV or LinkedIn profile) what you love to do. If you love to do something, are you likely to be good at it? Most would tend to agree.

An ideal statement should be no more than 1-2 sentences long. It should be easy to remember and memorable.

If this has caught your attention and you are ready to draft your personal brand statement, take a look at our April blog on “How to write punchy personal statements”. This article is much more detailed in helping you answer the questions that lead to a compelling personal brand statement.

If you enjoyed this article and felt inspired to draft your own, feel free to share on the comments below.

10 Creative Ways To Get Your Dream Job

Let me be clear. Creativity is not about being artistic, it’s about being inventive. If you can appropriately demonstrate relevant skills and motivation to a potential future employer in a creative way, then you are on track for getting your dream job.

If you video yourself singing the words to your cv in the shower to apply for a role at a solicitors firm then you have not mastered this skill. If you purchase ad space outside a media buying agency and use it to sell yourself to the directors, that’s more like it…

Here are some real examples we found that demonstrate employment seeking creativity.

1. Singapore-based student Chen Zhi Liang’s assignment set by his graphic design tutor was to create an infographic. Not only does it showcase important qualifications and skills, it’s also visually attractive without being overwhelming. Liang’s minimal approach is perfect for an overcrowded job market.

Chen Zhi Liang

2. Rob Jervi turned his cv into a box, and even learned how to make the chocolates inside as well (Oreo truffles, peanut butter cups, amaretto ganaches, etc). LFH called Jervis up an hour after receiving his chocolate-themed resume and offered him a paid internship, which led to a full time job.

Rob Jervis

3. This one is a bit risky, but it paid off because these two jobseekers knew their industry and audience. Andrew Grinter and Lee Spencer-Michaelse bought the personalised URLs of several creative directors of Australian advertising agencies. The duo then directed the directors to their URLs, where they had posted a ransom note, telling them to set up a meeting with them “or the site gets it”. Luckily it did the job and got them several interviews.

4. Lindsay Blackwell decided to try a creative approach in her application for social media director of the University of Michigan. She created a website with a video directed at Lisa Rudgers, the university’s vice president for global communications and strategic initiatives. As you might expect, it got her an interview.

Dear Lisa Rudgers

5. Slideshare allows users to share their presentations online and other users can comment and share. Ben Wong made a Slideshare presentation resume in hope of landing his dream job. The video has been viewed over 74,000 times!

6. Graeme Anthony uploaded his professional information to YouTube in the hope that it would attract interest from PR employers. Anthony’s interactive video application included a breakdown of his skills and timeline for potential employers. It showed his video-producing and editing knowledge as well as his ability to use online resources, and succeeded in landing him a job at Manc Frank.

7. Melissa wanted to showcase her sewing abilities to potential employers in the design industry, so decided to create this beautiful sewn cv during her final year at college. She wanted to represent her affection for sewing and including handmade elements in her design work for a more intimate feel. It was so successful that Melissa got the first job she applied for out of college and is now a product

designer at Etsy.

Melissa CV

8. French creative Victor Petit was struggling to get interviews for internships at communications agencies, so he decided to spice up his paper cv by including a QR code. One side of his application features a pretty standard cv design, but on the other side there is a close-up of Petit’s face, with a QR code over his mouth. Prospective employers scan the code, which then plays a YouTube video, featuring Petit’s mouth and transforming his paper application into a talking resumé.

9. We all Google ourselves regularly (and if you don’t you should). Alec Brownstein decided to take advantage of this by purchasing adverts to appear when specific people searched for creative directors’ names, or more importantly, when those directors Googled themselves. The ads led to Brownstein’s website with a message that simply read, “Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too.” Brownstein now works at Y&R New York, and the ads only cost him $6.

10. When Phil Dubost was seeking employment as a Web Product Manager, he decided to feature himself as the product on his “Amaz-ing Resume,” a website which is modelled after an Amazon product page. Dubost really brings his CV to

life with little quirks such as the message to “order soon” as there is “only 1 left in stock” and an original list price of $999,999 which is scratched out, leaving prospective employers to come up with their own offer. The Independent reported that Dubost had received at least 100 emails from potential employers.

Phil Dubost

Now it’s your turn! Share with us in the comments below your own creative approaches to job search or career climbing.

It’s important to make sure that your job application stands out. Here at iwantmycareer.com we

have our own CV Design service and we can even create an Infographic CV for you! Some of our coaching services help you with your CV and selling yourself, and there is even the option to sign up for a free starter plan. Visit iwantmycareer.com/services/ to find out more.

What Women Often Get Wrong In Salary Negotiations

Female Negotiation

Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

When it comes to salary negotiations, women get the worse end of the deal. Not only are women less comfortable negotiators, but their attempts to negotiate are viewed less positively than those of men. Therefore women face a number of challenges before they even begin!

 

One of the questions Linda Babcock asked people during a study for her book Women Don’t Ask is, “When you got your offer, did you attempt to negotiate?” She found that about 7% of women attempted to negotiate, while 57% of men did. Of those people who negotiated, they were able to increase their salary by over 7%.

So what do women get wrong?

Firstly, they don’t prepare for them or spend time evaluating how much they should be getting and why. They also have much lower expectations and therefore will accept less as a result. Women also tend

to worry that negotiating may damage relationships and personal reputation, so they prefer to steer clear of it altogether.

Women also often think that if they do a great job then they will be recognised and rewarded accordingly, whereas men tend to pursue their career ambitions more aggressively. This strategy often fails,
unless you have
a very observant manager, because as with many of the good things you do for people – they don’t notice until you stop doing it.

Interestingly, women outperform men
in representational negotiations – that is, negotiating for someone else. As a woman, it is unacceptable for me to be greedy on my own, but it’s completely acceptable for me to negotiate for someone else because that’s taking care of someone.

Female CEOs of moderate-size to large organizations often say they have no problem negotiating on behalf of their company, but asking the Board of Directors for a raise? That is just too hard.

It’s not always women getting it wrong

Unfortunately the cards are already stacked against women when it comes to salary. A recent study showed that when managers faced a scenario in which they would have to explain raises they were awarding to staff, they were likely to give men raises two-and-a-half times as large as the raises for female workers of equal skills and experience.

However, when the managers faced a scenario in which they would award the raises without explanation, they gave equal raises to the men and the women. The reasons for this are unclear, so we can only assume that the managers felt less comfortable celebrating the triumphs of women than men.

Don’t be disheartened though. The better women are at negotiating (and the more often we do it), the more we’ll start to break down the prejudices that lead managers to make it even harder for us.

How can women negotiate better?

Start by reframing the way you see negotiations and putting yourself first. If you were representing you in this scenario (which you are, by the way) what would you ask for/accept/reject?

Raise your expectations and decide to negotiate! You have the skill set, knowledge, and experience for the job and you deserve to receive a salary that reflects this. So don’t be “grateful” for any salary offered and be prepared to ask for your worth.

Make sure you know what you’re worth by doing research. Find similar job positions at companies near your location and research their salaries. According to statistics in Women Don’t Ask, women report salary expectations between 3 and 32 percent lower than those of men for the same jobs. So do your homework.

Negotiate like a woman, not a man. Unfortunately women who aggressively negotiate the same way men do are often perceived as she-devils. Women who negotiate in gentler, more reasoning and friendly manner have a better chance of being listened to and getting what they want. Maybe someday this won’t be the case, but until then it’s best to play the game…

Want to know more? Download our free eBook ‘A Step-by-Step Guide to Negotiate The Salary You Desire’ to find out what an employer’s attitude is to salary negotiations, the key principles to negotiation of salary, a step-by-step process you can follow to be fully prepared and get the result you want, and much more. Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month to get your copy.

What Salary Should You Be Getting?

Negotiation eBookWhen you are offered a job, it’s not always wise to accept the offer immediately. Salary negotiation is often neglected, feared and under-rated but think about it; right now the employer wants you but does not have you, which puts you in a privileged position. Now is the best time to try to negotiate a good salary and pay package.

Before you do anything else, you should determine what you are worth. It is in your best interests to do some research to benchmark what you could be earning.

Also, if you have been working for one employer for a number of years, your pay may be out of line with the going market rate. So check beforehand what someone of your experience could be making in other companies.

To establish a realistic salary range, you should do the following:

  • Read job advertisements – What kind of salary are other employers offering for a similar role?
  • Look at the whole package and not only the cash element. Calculate the benefits and bonus elements too. Medical insurance, use of a mobile phone or a car, gym membership, all of these could enhance your quality of life.
  • Talk to recruitment consultants and agencies that specialize in placing people with your skills and experience.
  • Look at salary surveys on recruitment websites.
  • Ask friends and colleagues in similar lines of work for their opinions.

However, be careful that you look at the right comparison groups when researching what you think you should be paid. Salary can also be influenced by supply and demand, location and company performance.

The greatest weapon in any negotiation is information, which enables you to justify the compensation, benefits, and perks you want. At the very least, you should be conversant with industry norms in any aspect of a job offer that you intend to negotiate, but the more you know about the company the better.

You’re more likely to get this sort of information from a former employee than from a current employee. It also doesn’t hurt to find out how long and hard the company has worked to find a candidate to fill the job. The more eager the company is to fill the job, the stronger your negotiating position.

When you have a good idea of what you should be paid, don’t forget to ‘expand the pie.’ It’s not just salary you need to take into account when negotiating a job offer – there’s also pension contribution, health insurance, company car, fuel allowance, bonuses, gym memberships, time off, hours, equipment and flexible working options to mention a few…

Want to know more? Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month for painless career development to bring your career to life.

What Is Your Salary Negotiation Style?

Negotiation FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image sourced from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many of us are underpaid simply because we don’t know how to handle the final stage of recruitment – salary negotiation. We want to try and help you with this, but first you need to know where you will probably go wrong when it comes to this last hurdle.

This short quiz we’ve adapted from Edinburgh Business School will allow you to identify whether you are a donkey, sheep, fox or owl. Write down your natural response to each question without skipping ahead to the answers.

The Questions

You subscribe to a service that your company pays for, which you rely on to do your job. However your boss threatens to stop the subscription to cut costs. Do you:

A. Offer to look at a cheaper package?

B. Warn your boss that essential business outcomes could be affected

without this subscription?

C. Suggest that you talk about why it has to be cut

D. Tell them “fine” but warn that you are paying a good rate, and may not get it back again if you want to re-subscribe later

You have been working on an important project with a colleague and the

deadline is fast approaching, but your colleague tells you that they are too busy to work on it with you anymore. Do you:

A. Suggest that you re-negotiate the amount of time your colleague puts into the project?

B. Ask your colleague what they’re working on and suggest that you could help each other?

C. Go above them and complain to senior management

D. Tell them that you are well aware of this ploy and that they won’t get away with it?

You are a package tour operator negotiating with a hotel chain on the terms for next season’s holiday bookings. The price they are asking per person per week in their hotels is $45 higher than your current offer. They offer to ‘split the difference’ 50–50. Do you:

A. Agree to their offer?

B. Say you can’t afford to split the difference?

C. Tell them it’s non-negotiable

D. Agree, if it is 75–25 in your favour?

You have been working only three weeks in a new job and had planned

to get married on Friday 18 August (which you did not disclose at the job interview). Your ‘intended’ spouse expects a proper honeymoon vacation of at least a week in Bermuda. It’s now 16 August and you ask your boss for leave for the wedding day and for the vacation. She is visibly not happy with your request and asks stiffly how long you were ‘thinking of being absent’. Do you reply:

A. The wedding day only?

B. This wouldn’t happen – I would have disclosed it

C. 3 days?

D. Two weeks?

Your Result

Mostly As: You are a sheep. You believe that whatever you get is acceptable and will probably be grateful for whatever salary you are offered. You don’t desire to (or even know how to) fight for your own interests and are therefore likely to be underpaid. It’s wise to value your relationship with your prospective employer but not above the outcome of a salary negotiation. Remember you have bills to pay! Consider asking for what you deserve and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Mostly Bs: You are an owl. Wise enough to spot the long term benefits of building a good relationship with your prospective employer whilst looking after your own interests, you are always aware and prepared for the opportunities and threats provided by a salary negotiation. Research is your middle name and you always enter salary negotiations armed with the information you will need to succeed. You have a healthy respect for prospective employers as well as yourself and you are fair, which earns you trust. Remain an owl and you will do well, just be careful not to stray into fox territory.

Mostly Cs: You are a donkey. This means you often can’t see what you could gain from negotiating your salary. Are you perhaps a little stubborn sometimes? You are likely to take an approximate wage on a job description as the final sum, and make a decision whether or not to apply based on that alone. Take more time to research industries, ask questions and consider what salary or non-cash elements you would settle for. Remember – salaries and benefits are usually negotiable.

Mostly Ds: You are a fox. Cunning and ruthless, you believe that you deserve whatever salary you demand and will probably take as much as you can get. You are likely to lose yourself in the excitement of the negotiation process instead of considering what an employer might stretch to and what you would actually accept. You are incredibly pragmatic and confident, but sometimes you only succeed because of quick-wittedness and over-promising. When this happens your success is often short-lived, so it would be wise to learn the value of building trust and mutual respect with your employer from the beginning by driving for a win-win negotiation outcome.

The Answers

You subscribe to a service that your company pays for, which you rely on to do your job. However your boss threatens to stop the subscription to cut costs. Do you:

A. Offer to look at a cheaper package?

Now that is an invitation, isn’t it? You should feel sheepish because you may well have been tricked into a panic price cut.

B. Warn your boss that essential business outcomes could be affected without this subscription?

Much better. Owls need information before they react to possible ploys. Comments like this are more appropriate and would encourage your boss to evaluate the situation against business goals.

C. Suggest that you talk about why it has to be cut

Sounds like a case of sour grapes, doesn’t it?

D. ‘Tell them “fine” but warn that you are paying a good rate, and may not get it back again if you want to re-subscribe later

A clever fox is trying to call their bluff! This is a dangerous tactic if your boss stops the subscription anyway, as you may never get it back.

You have been working on an important project with a colleague and the deadline is fast approaching, but your colleague tells you that they are too busy to work on it with you anymore. Do you:

A. Suggest that you re-negotiate the amount of time your colleague puts into the project?

Sheepishly hasty, even if you need to meet a deadline. You have let your colleague get away with it!

B. Ask your colleague what they’re working on and suggest that you could help each other?

Owls collect all the information available before they act or suggest solutions. By asking your colleague what they are working on, your are discovering whether or not they are telling the truth about being busy.

C. Go above them and complain to senior management

If you want to maintain a good relationship with your colleague, this is not the best way to solve the issue as it will make them feel undermined. Use this as a last resort.

D. Tell them that you are well aware of this ploy and that they won’t get away with it?

Very clever of you to spot their ploy to get out of working with you, but threatening them won’t help to resolve the issue.

You are a package tour operator negotiating with a hotel chain on the terms for next season’s holiday bookings. The price they are asking per person per week in their hotels is $45 higher than your current offer. They offer to ‘split the difference’ 50–50. Do you:

A. Agree to their offer?

Never. If you show negotiators that you practise ‘split the difference’ compromises they will give you bigger and bigger differences to split.

B. Say you can’t afford to split the difference?

By far the negotiator’s best owl-like move. Why should you split the difference, whether you can afford it or not? By making this offer they expose that their price is padded by at least $22.50 a person (and probably much more). Conceding to split the difference on $45 on 10 000 holiday weeks costs you about $225 000. Does this compromise look so equitable when grossed up?

C. Tell them it’s non-negotiable

Newsflash! You are currently in a negotiation – that’s what we’re doing here.

D. Agree, if it is 75–25 in your favour?

This is definitely better than agreeing to the offer and quite a reasonable offer for a fox. A possible move for an owl much later, after you have tested the padding.

You have been working only three weeks in a new job and had planned to get married on Friday 18 August (which you did not disclose at the job interview). Your ‘intended’ spouse expects a proper honeymoon vacation of at least a week in Bermuda. It’s now 16 August and you ask your boss for leave for the wedding day and for the vacation. She is visibly not happy with your request and asks stiffly how long you were ‘thinking of being absent’. Do you reply:

A. The wedding day only?

No. An abject surrender which you will spend the rest of your married life sheepishly trying to justify to your partner.

B. This wouldn’t happen – I would have disclosed it

An owl would never start a new job without previously giving details of any booked holiday, especially so close to the start date. You can be smug.

C. Three days?

That’s just weak.

D. Two weeks?

Good. Start

boldly and work down if you have to. Your boss will respect your courageous assertiveness eventually. A move for clever foxes.

Next week on the blog we will be diving into how to calculate your salary expectations. We’ll be sharing advice and guidance to get you feeling ready to answer that dreaded question about your salary expectations.

Want to know more? Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month for painless career development to bring your career to life.

The Secret To A Great Visual CV

Infographic Free Digital Photos

Image sourced from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Visual design is a great way to differentiate yourself from other job candidates and it helps you to communicate your personal brand. All of us (yes, even recruiters) respond to visual storytelling and images rarely fail to grab our attention.

Remember your cv is not just a formality, it’s an important marketing document designed to convince a recruiter to buy into you, give you an interview, and eventually offer you a job. Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you get yourself in the “yes” pile with clever design.

Put Yourself Into Your CV

A creative cv that communicates your values, personality and potential allows recruiters see who you are before they meet you. Inject it with your personality in a way that tells a story and makes your experience stand out. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t

an advertising creative or a graphic designer. A well designed cv can highlight strengths such as marketing and branding expertise, writing skills, your presentation savvy, and/or

your knowledge of social media trends.

Promote Key Points

Pull out the sections of your cv you want recruiters to notice, and make them stand out. For example, if you have a great career history you could consider using a timeline to show it off. If you have some good testimonials, promote them as quotes. Consider using a headline drawing attention to your USPs. If you have any achievements based on statistics, there is a lot you can do to highlight these with design.

Don’t Exceed Your Limits

If design is not one of your strengths, do not attempt to do it yourself. A badly designed cv will do more harm than one without any visual design at all! Get someone to do it for you, as it’s worth the investment. Take a look at our own cv design service.

Know Your Industry

Are you applying for marketing or advertising roles? If so, you can afford to go all out. Are you applying for a role in engineering or childcare? If so, you may wish to calm it down a bit. The trick is to know what

you’re up against – b e original for the industry you are applying in, but don’t overdo it. A caravan might seem impressive amongst tents, but insignificant amongst castles.

Keep Multiple Versions

It’s good practice to have multiple versions of your cv anyway, but particularly if you are using a visual cv. Always keep a traditional cv as a backup, particularly if you are applying for jobs online. There is no harm in sending both as recruiters will appreciate you trying to make their lives easier.

Share Share Share

Once you have a creative visual cv, send it to everyone you know. It will no doubt be a novelty to many of your contacts, and they may even pass it on if they are really impressed. Use it as a conversation starter with new contacts and give copies to your friends and family.

Want to know more? Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month for painless career development to bring your career to life.

5 Interview Types You Must Know as a Candidate

Congratulations! You have been invited for an interview. The next thing you need to do is make sure you know which type of interview you will be having and prepare appropriately. Here are some of the most common types of interview, what to expect and how to prepare…

Panel Interview FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image sourced from FreeDigitalphotos.net

1. Traditional Unstructured

A traditional unstructured is not planned or prearranged, allowing for questions to develop during the course of the interview. This is the best method for allowing the interviewer and candidate to build a rapport and get to know each other due to its parallels with a normal conversation, so the interviewer will get a more natural and realistic sense of who you are. However it is one of the most difficult to prepare for, for the same reason!

.To excel in a traditional unstructured interview, you need to be confident and know your stuff. The questions will probably be based on your application and you may be asked to elaborate or explain certain sections of your cv. Although this type of interview may seem more casual, you must still maintain a professional demeanor.

Be careful not to provide information you would not have communicated if the interview was more structured. Read our recent article on how to prepare for the most common predictable interview questions.

2. Panel

A panel interview is conducted by more than one interviewer. Sometimes all members of the panel will quiz you together, or they may take it in turns to take the lead or one person may ask all the questions. The purpose of a panel interview is to get a more rounded view of each candidate and reduce bias.

You will probably find a panel interview quite exhausting because you are responding to and trying to impress more than one person, so be prepared for this. Always make eye contact with the person who asks you a question, but ensure that every member of the panel gets your equal attention. It does not always follow that the person asking the questions is the decision maker.

3. Competency Based

Competency Based Interviews (also referred to as CBI or Behaviour Interviews) are often used by recruiters working for Fortune 500 Companies. As the name indicates, this interview practice is used to assess candidate competencies – technical or behavioural – and predict future behaviour in the job role.

We recommend using the STAR Technique in Competency Based Interviews, which stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. The trick is to include these fours aspects, one after the other into your answer when you describe a real situation from you past experience. In this way you will clearly communicate your level of competence to manage certain situations and your ability to produce results.

4. Video or Telephone

Video Interviews are commonly used to conduct interviews from a distance, and should be prepared for in the same way as a face to face interview. These are

becoming ever more popular, with automated interview services such as SONRU now available to recruiters. You should dress appropriately, make eye contact with the camera, check the monitor regularly to observe interviewer reactions, and remain professional if you experience delays or transmission interruptions.

Telephone Interviews are often used at the start of the interview process, to help the employer to decide who will be invited for a face to face meeting. They are particularly difficult simply because you aren’t able to pick up on or communicate facial expression or body language. However you can use this to your advantage, and have everything you need written up in front of you such as your cv, cue cards, prepared answers, etc. Obviously this only applies to telephone interviews and not video interviews!

5. Final Stage

If you are attending a Final Stage Interview, you can be fairly sure that you are top candidate for the job. However don’t assume that it’s in the bag. This will be the most gruelling and intense part of the process because the interviewer will be looking to eliminate any concerns they have about you. The interview will most likely be strategic and subjective, and you may be purposefully made to feel uncomfortable or pressured. This is normal, so keep calm and stick to your guns.

The best way to prepare for a final stage interview is to go over everything that has happened up to now. Predict what questions you will be asked and practice your answers. Where are the gaps in your knowledge or experience for this role? Be prepared to address these openly without being defensive about them. Why are you the best candidate for this position? Think about this honestly and remember to drive this message home. Finally, you will be expected to ask questions at this stage so make sure you have some prepared so that you aren’t caught off guard!

Want to know more? Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month for painless career development to bring your career to life.

How to give a STAR performance in a CB Interview

Star Free Digital Photos

Image sourced from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

First of all let me explain what CBI means, since this is an abbreviation used by recruiters: CBI stands for “Competency Based Interviews” (also known as Behaviour Interviews). This is an interviewing methodology often used by recruiters working for Fortune 500 Companies. As the name indicates, this interview practice is used to assess candidate competencies and predict future behaviour in the job role.

I am sure that you have great competencies, but do you know how to communicate them? And do you know how to convince your interviewer that you have the right mix of “know-how” required for the job? Actually, there is a very simple technique to help you prepare for CBI and increase your level of confidence when sitting in an interview.

This technique is called: S T A R

“Tell me about a time when you had to face a particular conflict in your job; what was it that you had to achieve, how did you handle the conflict and how did you resolve the issue?”

Have you ever experienced a similar interview question? This is exactly the type of question that a recruiter would use to assess your ability to handle possible conflicts into the new role and this is what we call a “CBI question”.

Let me explain you how the S T A R technique will help you to prepare for such type of questions.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result

The trick is to include these fours aspects, one after the other into your answer when you describe a real situation from you past experience. In this way you will clearly communicate your level of competence to manage certain situations and your ability to produce results.

Use the table below to guide you on how to use the STAR technique:

The STAR Technique

This is actually a very good technique to prepare for all type of interviews and can also be used to answer situational/hypothetical questions such as: “What would you do if…..” You will come across much more confident and convincing if you use the STAR model to describe a concrete example, rather than using a hypothetical situation.

Here are some quick tips to help you prepare:

  1. Identify 3 to 4 key competencies required for the role which you will find in the job description
  2. Think of a few examples from your experience when you used those competencies. Looking at the achievements listed on your CV should give you plenty of ideas. Take examples from different jobs. If you have limited professional experience, think of other areas where you developed competencies during your life (i.e. community work, family, etc).
  3. Write down two examples for each competence based on the S T A R model.

 

Let me give you an example:

The STAR Technique Example

I hope that you are now ready to give a STAR performance in your next interview!

Please don’t hesitate to leave your comments and/or questions below or to get in touch with us if you would like to be coached preparing for your future interviews.

Want to know more? Sign up to the pro plan at iwantmycareer.com for just $9.99 per month for painless career development to bring your career to life.
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