Friday, April 24, 2009

More Tips for Reinvention and Rejuvenation

Continuing from the last blog, I would like to share a few more tips that have helped me reinvent myself..

4. Experiment much more...for goodness sake take risks..
So, you know that you want to change, but not sure what you want to change into. Well here is a secret - you don’t need to know. The only way to find out is to start taking risks and experimenting. Go shadow someone, volunteer your services, try new and different roles. Then start noticing what you’re drawn to. What you are drawn to is usually a good sign of the type of work you should be transitioning into.

5. Stay focused on the dream...dream are the wings of the mind
Everybody has a dream! A vision or grand plan is a good starting point. A tough job market is an opportunity to tap into that dream - reinvention is the vehicle to help you get there much quicker.

How can you use these 5 tips I have shared in YOUR reinvention process? Can you go ahead and do it now? Can you utilise your skills and find that ideal job.
Reinvention should be part and parcel of your growth and development. The recession and tough job market is merely an excuse to reinvent our careers and lives.

Go ahead! Start reinventing yourself today!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

5 Tips on Reinventing Your Career

Tough Job market? Time to look at options and strategies to reinvent yourself.

Here are 3 tips I have put into practise about reinventing your career during a tough market:
1. Stay informed...but pace yourself
Awareness of market trends is a very good thing. But, no need to surround yourself with bad news stories and gloomy economic forecasts. Find a niche, invest time and energy into the niche and prepare for that next job.
2. Stay focused on your strengths....and develop weaknesses..
Every organisation is rationalising, surviving and the smart ones are preparing for the upturn. They are looking inward to see what has made them successful in the past and how they can capitalise. So should you. Focus on reinventing yourself around your key strengths and unique talents and then offering them to organisations.

3. Focus on YOU
Yes, you read right - “YOU”
If you are chasing something which does not bring YOU happiness or which YOU have little enthusiasm for, then you have to reinvent and rediscover your strengths.
Focus on indentifying roles which involve activities which you enjoy. Jobs which will utilise your skills and strengths and which keeps you fulfilled and happy. After all it all about YOU.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Recession ...No, Reinvention

Wow! How the world has changed this past year. The old world of work and looking for work no longer exists and with it many of the career opportunities you were working towards may well have disappeared.
The promotion you were working towards may have gone. The performance bonus you have worked so hard for 11 months, may not materialise. The organisation you wanted to work for may no longer exist. The long-term exit plan you had in your mind may well seem unfeasible now.

I see tremendous opportunity ahead. Opportunity to upskill, redirect, refocus and reinvent yourself. Later this week I will share 5 tips about reinventing yourself and your career.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recession Interview Preparation

It is very easy to get absorbed in the daily dose of bad news and job loss announcements. If you place a high enough value on yourself and take the appropriate actions consistently, you’ll find work. Here are 2 tips:

Self Esteem
Place a high value on your skills and a strong belief that there are employers out there who will value your contribution.

Preparation and Action
Have you taken the time to prepare and practise. Have you prepared a professional resume? Do you know how to prepare for an interview? Are you prepared to go into an interview this afternoon. Do you know how to anticipate interview questions? Are you persistent in your approach and open minded at the same time. Are you open to new possibilities?

Monday, April 20, 2009

First Impressions DO Count!

First impressions DO count!
Your professional outlook and appearance definitely contributes towards the overall decison making process to hire you.

Even though the dress code in the work place have become much more informal, the job interview attire remains strictly professional. A pair of jeans and a shirt should only be dooned once you enter the workplace - not during the interview. Both men and women shoul wear business suits to any and every interview.

For women, the best choice of interview attire is a smart business suit in a conservative color such as navy blue or black. For women, if you are wearing a skirt, be sure to use good judgment as far as the length of the skirt is concerned. When in doubt as to the appropriateness of skirt length, think of knee-length as the ideal.

Other tips for women include making sure to tone down any makeup. If you are going to wear nail polish, a very light color or clear coat is the best option. If you choose to wear jewellery, make sure that the styles are conservative.

For men, a suit is still the required uniform. A conservative colour like navy blue or black is your best bet. Men too should choose to leave their jewellery at home, as the only thing you want to call attention to is your world of experience.

Careful grooming is something that both genders should pay careful attention to. Make sure that your hair is neat and professional looking. Long hair should be pulled back and out of your face. For men with facial hair, be sure that your beard or moustache is neat and trimmed.

A caution!– for men and women alike – go easy on the perfume or cologne. Though you certainly want to smell good for the interview, you don’t want to send an allergic interviewer running out in the midst of a sneezing fit.

In summary, be conservative, conform to "old school" rules and dress professionally.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Funny Interview Story

During an intense interview for a middle management position in a large corporate office, the candidates cell phone went off. Not totally unusual..perhaps he forgot to turn it off. But the ringtone was not usual.
The ringtone sounded like farm animals mooing, swearing and making really inappropriate comments about the corporate world. The ring tone gave me more insight into the candidate than anything his resume or comments did.

Suffice to say, he did not get the job....
Turn off your cellphone during an interview and never, ever put an inappropraite ringtone on your cellphone, especially something that mocks the hand that feeds you..

Job Interview Preparation..Are you Truly Ready?

You have researched your potential employer, answered the 200 sample questions and know exactly where the interview is taking place. Now what? Are you truly ready for the interview? Not yet! Here are a few more tips:
Appraise Yourself. Review your accomplishments by thinking of specific examples. Write them down and say them out loud. If you have babysat a total of 16 children aged six months to six years over the past four summers, say so. If you haven't missed a day of work (or school) in two years, say so. If you've catered seven banquets of up to 100 people, say so. If you won an award for the best safety record in your company, say so. These are noteworthy accomplishments; give yourself credit where credit is due.

Think Benefit. Job interviewers want to know how you can benefit their business. Period. Why isn't a list of job responsibilities good enough? Because:

It doesn't show proficiency or skill level.
It doesn't show initiative, creativity, or problem-solving ability.
It doesn't distinguish you from other workers doing the same job.
It doesn't show how an employer benefitted from having you as an employee.
If you were an employer, would you rather hire someone who says "I did month-end mailings." or someone who says "By computerizing our month-end mailings, I reduced an 8-hour job to 1 hour." Would you rather hire the applicant who says "I transported pallets to a sanitary landfill." or the applicant who says "They had always taken their pallets to the dump. I used the pallets to make compost bins, and sold them for $20 each."
Give employers enough good reasons to hire you, and they probably will.

Prepare Questions. Make a list of questions to ask the interviewer. Topics might include the company, the industry, products and services, work environment, job details, who you report to, when you'll be contacted, etc. Whichever questions aren't answered during the course of the interview can be asked at the end.

Contact Your References.
1. Tell them the date of your interview, the company's name, and the position you're applying for.
2. Make sure they have a copy of your resume. Remind them of your goals and why you would be a great candidate for this job.
3. Ask if they have any questions, and thank them for their help.

Plan Ahead. Don't be late for the interview. Ever! If you're not sure of the location, phone and ask for directions. The day before the interview, go to the location and note how long it takes to get there. Are there train crossings, detours, or road construction along the route? Don't worry if you take a wrong turn and get lost, or you end up at 450 Park Ave North instead of South: the interview is tomorrow, and you won't make the same mistake again.

If you're not doing all of these things in advance, you're not as prepared as you could be.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

3 Things Employers Want To Learn from You

Interviewing are stressful. All you know is that you are being evaluated. Interviewers aren't evaluating you on any one thing in particular. Interviewers are not evaluating you for any single skill, behaviour or competency. Employers use interviews to learn about you, with the end of answering the following three questions:

1. Are you able to do the job?
2. Are you willing to put in the effort to make the job a success?
3. Are you manageable?

Every aspect of the interview is geared toward answering one of these questions, with the thousand-dollar question being this: "Do you show promise as a potential employee?"

Studies have shown that the single greatest contributor to performance failure and job dissatisfaction has to do with a lack of fit with organizational culture. If you don't align well with the boss's core beliefs and values, it will be very difficult to develop an effective working relationship.

Enter every interview with these three questions in mind and you will find the process not as stressful.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Job Interview Follow Up Etiquette

There is usually more than one strong candidate after the interview process;and the candidates are usually neck and neck. Usually the candidate who follows up after the interview is the one that is selected.

Here are some subtle, yet effective, job interview follow-up techniques you can use to increase your chances of success.

* follow up and questions you might still have about the job

* remind the interviewer who you are

* address anything that didn't go so well in the interview