Career Blog

The 10 Types of People in Every Office/ Workplace

by champions 05/04/2017 0 comments

If you work in an office, you will obviously meet lots of different types of people during your day to day duties. Whether you work on a small team in a small office, or a team in a big office with other companies, there will always be 10 types of people which can be found in every single office.

Here they are – let us know which ones you’ve encountered:

1) The bathroom talker:

Going to the toilet is a natural thing, that everyone has to do – but it’s also your alone time.

When you go into the bathroom at work and see someone you know, do you talk to them? That’s weird to me. I’m not a bathroom talker.

You don’t want Geoff from Accounting to start a conversation about tax while you’re doing your business, do you?

Don’t try and talk to me through the bathroom door please. I know it’s related to work but I’m obviously in here hiding

2) The lunch stealer:

The night before work, you’ve taken time out of your evening to prepare yourself a packed lunch for the next day, and you put that salad in the fridge, get excited for lunchtime to come round, but then find it’s been nicked – and there’s only one culprit…

…the person who steals everything!

You know exactly who it is – it’s the person who also takes your tea bags and sauce without asking. You’re too polite to confront them about it, but once they steal your lunch, there’s no going back.

Some dirtbag at work stole my cookie out of my lunch and ate it so now I’m eating everyone else’s food as retribution until he steps forward

3) The smelly food eater:

On the opposite end of the lunch spectrum, you have the person who brings in food which is totally not suitable for public areas. Who eats fish or eggs so openly? Why do you bring smelly food into the office?

I hate when people bring they smelly food into the office. Eat that at home or in your car.

4) The ice cube:

Brrrr.

In every office, there is one person who, when it’s sunny, will be cold and, when it’s cold, will be really warm.

They’ll want the radiator on full blast during summer, and the window open during winter.

5) The desk drummer:

There are two types of office workers: those who love to listen to music as they get on with their to-do list, and those who cannot concentrate, AT ALL, when music is playing.

Within one section of these workers is a rare breed: the desk drummer.

They’ll say nothing all day, but they’ll make a lot of noise with their fingers.

I work with someone who sings and bangs his hands on the desk as if he’s drumming. HALP.

Yes, you’ve got your headphones in and we know you like that song, but you’re not in Metallica, so STOP TAPPING ON THE TABLE.

6) The human buzzword:

“Ping that over to me…”

Ping what? Your elastic band?

Business word of the day that I hate: “ping”. “Let me ping that over to you”. Are you on a sub? Are you going to send it via sonar?

“I want the MD to sign this off before close of play…”

Close of play? Which game are playing?

7) The chatterbox:

We all like a chat, especially on a Monday morning after a busy weekend, but Synthia, we don’t want to know what pedicure you got in Devon on your weekend break with your husband – we just want to finish this spreadsheet.

There is this girl at work right now that will not stop talking to me and she is an actual moron please send help

If you like to talk, understand when it’s suitable – i.e. lunchtime or before/after work. We’ll even take some conversation whilst by the coffee machine or the water cooler.

8) The organiser:

Do you have one person in your office who is always sending calendar invites or emailing for certain times or details?

I wish my bosses would stop sending me calendar invites for mandatory events so that I could stop getting in trouble for denying the invite.

If not, it’s you.

P.S. Everyone who works at Link Humans: this is me, I know. I’m guilty as charged!

9) The time freak:

Someone sets you a project and needs it done by Monday…but they follow up on Thursday.

WHY?

I know from experience that PR is a hard and frustrating job but how is it still common practice to call to follow up on an email

Let me get on with it and once it’s done, I’ll send it over.

There is no need to follow up on an email with another email one hour after you sent the original email.

10) Your companion:

In life, you need a buddy or a friend – someone who is going through the same as you.

My best friend at work is an old Indian man named Rueben. He gives me awkward high fives and I call him names like “Studdard” and “sandwich

You need someone who has Monday pains, and the Friday feeling, and makes it all better.

By Laurence Hebberd

Senior Account Manager at Link Humans, an employer branding agency.

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How to Make a Positive Change If You’re Unhappy at Work

by champions 20/02/2017 0 comments

The Monday blues are a common phenomenon. After a lovely weekend doing whatever takes your fancy, being back at your desk can bring you hurtling back to reality with a thud. That being said, usually, as the morning goes on (and after a strong cup of coffee), you’re soon back in the swing of things. But what about when the Monday Blues hang around all week and you generally feel unhappy at work?

Everyone has had ‘one of those days’; the boss is on a rampage, the phone won’t stop ringing, deadlines or targets are looming and you feel like early retirement in the Bahamas is the best idea you’ve ever had. Don’t worry, it’s only natural and bad days, sometimes bad weeks, are going to happen. However, some people can find themselves stuck in a rut and feeling unhappy at work day in, day out.

Being genuinely unhappy at work can have a knock-on effect on every aspect of your working life including your motivation, concentration and interaction with your colleagues. If things go wrong or a get a little stressful, they’re a lot harder to take on if you’re really not enjoying your work. Happiness at work is directly linked to success. so if you want to make it, you can’t do it without feeling positive. Your personal life and even your health can suffer, too, so it’s time to make a change!

The first thing you need to do before you can make any positive changes is to take the time to consider why you’re so unhappy at work. Here’s a list of some of the most common reasons people aren’t happy in their jobs:

Money, money, money

Even the least materialistic of people can feel unhappy at work when they’re on a low salary. If employees feel like they’re underpaid, it’s tempting to feel that all their hard work is unappreciated, meaning their motivation and positivity can disappear. Or if their home life is struggling due to an unjustifiably low salary, they’re bound to feel a little short changed.

The role

When recruiters look for new employees, they need to find the person that is right for the job. However, sometimes, job seekers can be lured in by benefits, salaries or companies that appeal to them, but the role might not be the right fit for who they are. Everyone’s skill set, personality and interests are different and these have a profound effect on the type of work that is suited to an individual. Being in the wrong line of work or industry can leave you feeling uninterested, unsatisfied and under-stimulated – meaning it’s very difficult to be happy.

Who you work with

The colleagues you share your workday with can have a massive impact on your happiness at work. If you don’t gel with your colleagues, if there are bullies in the ranks or if your work environment is too quiet/loud for your taste, you’re bound to feel a little isolated and fed up.

Feeling stuck

Do you feel like you’re running into a brick wall at work? If you’re working hard and seemingly getting nowhere, frustration will soon kick in. No one likes to feel stuck in a rut or like they’re just stagnating, if progression feels impossible despite your best efforts, how can you expect to be happy in your job?

Lack of stability

Does it feel like someone gets the sack every other week? Are there whispers around the water cooler that the company isn’t doing so well? Has the word ‘cutbacks’ started to creep into meetings? Do you feel that, for some unbeknown reason, your manager’s got it in for you? Whatever the reason, a feeling of insecurity in their job can leave anyone feeling anxious and uncomfortable at work.

So, ask yourself – why are you unhappy at work? Identifying the reason/s will help you figure out what to do next.

Are there things that you can change? For example, can you try a little harder with your colleagues? Could you try different ways of working? If not, the next thing to consider is what can your employer do for you? Have a chat with your Manager about what options you have to make things better – you never know, there could be a project or promotion going that you had no idea about. Or your Manager might be able to give you some areas to work on to help you get that pay rise.

However, in some cases, there is nothing that either you or your company can fix. In this instance, it may be time to start job hunting. A new start might be just what you need! Just try not to fall into the same situation again; consider roles, industries and companies that will be right for you. Even if it’s a complete career change, your future success and, more importantly, happiness, are in your hands!

No matter how stuck you feel, there’s always room for you to make that positive change – is now the time?

By 

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Should You Be Facebook Friends with Your Manager?

by champions 02/12/2016 0 comments

Have you ever logged into Facebook to find a shiny red notification that turns out to be a friend request from your boss? To accept, or not to accept: that is the question.

Thanks to social media, the line between our personal and professional lives is blurring; everyone’s feeling it and no one knows exactly where to draw the line. There’s no universal rulebook to follow and the answer certainly isn’t black and white; it will incite fear in some and total nonchalance in others. To help you decide what you should do, we asked a panel of 11 employment and career experts to weigh in with their opinions…

 Marian Bloodworth

“Using social media systems at work brings with it certain considerations. Communications with colleagues may well be easier but it is still important to ensure that they are appropriate in tone and content. Asking a direct report to be a friend on Facebook could place that employee in a difficult position, particularly if they wish to refuse, for example because they prefer to keep their private and work lives separate. It also blurs the professional lines between the manager and employee, and creates the risk that the manager may not be seen as capable of making impartial decisions regarding the employee, for example in relation to pay/bonus and promotion prospects.”

@emplawmarian is an Employment Partner at Kemp Little LLP

James Nathan

“This is a tricky question, but the answer really depends on you and what you put on Facebook. For most people who post normal stuff, family friends, holidays then there is no reason why you shouldn’t really. However, don’t forget that what you post is not only available for your ‘friends’ to see, but depending on their privacy settings, other people too. We can only control our own privacy settings. If you are in any doubt then the answer should be no.”

@JamesNathan is the Managing Director at The James Nathan Experience

Liz Sebag-Montefiore

“No, I think it’s safer to use Facebook for social networking, largely because you don’t have control of photos/comments that could be added – an inappropriate social media photo or post may have negative professional repercussions. Not to mention the fact that some have been ‘Facebook fired’ for posting things they should not. Studies show that workplace friendships have positive effects but use a little caution. LinkedIn the network to use for connecting with managers, suppliers, competitors and is the professional network. You need to be visible to others in the business community and this is an important part of your personal branding.”

@LizSM10Eighty is a career coach at 10Eighty

Alison Cardy

“Since you are already a savvy social media user who refrains from posting inappropriate content and thoughtfully considers what you do share, yes, it’s perfectly fine to be friends with managers online. You are being a responsible Facebook user already, aren’t you?”

@CardyCareers is a career coach and author of Career Grease: How to Get Unstuck and Pivot Your Career

Lysha Holmes

“I think Facebook has always been seen as the most personal of all social media; however, the invisible line which divides these barriers is ever changing and whereas 2 yrs ago I would have answered this as “no”, now, in 2016, I would answer, “if both parties want to!” I befriend many business acquaintances now on facebook as I think all social media channels offer different ways to communicate with people. Don’t want to be friends with your boss? Don’t accept the invite!”

@LyshaHolmes is the owner of Qui Recruitment Ltd

Jon Gregory

“Oh yes. Why pass up on a wonderful opportunity to endlessly show how great you really are? Let your wit, charm, personality, massive potential and utter devotion to duty shine through your every post and comment. Whether you’re a career-builder, or just need to strengthen your job security, building a closer relationship with the person holding the guillotine handle is the only right thing to do. If they’re daft enough to connect with you, that is.”

@LetsFireWalk (aka Jon) is a job hunt coach at Win-That-Job.com

Caroline Stokes

I like to believe we bring our entire selves to work, so if manager and direct report want to mutually connect via Facebook, then of course, do it. We’ve evolved a lot since the early days of Facebooking when the worst could be revealed about our social habits. If in doubt, don’t connect with your boss or employee. By way of sharing how to reject a Facebook request gracefully, an editor declined my FB connection a few months ago. Instead of my request being ignored, the editor emailed to explain he only uses FB for family and friends, not business friends. I respected his decision and I have a relationship with him on his business email and Twitter. You can do the same, if you want to keep employees or line management separate from your personal life.

@theforwardco is an executive headhunter & coach at FORWARD

 Aimee Bateman

“I think it’s a personal decision. You hear about the instances where it has worked, and others where it hasn’t. Currently, I am friends with my team on Facebook and it works for me. It depends on your emotional intelligence and ability to assess the situation. That, and having a shared understanding of trust – what stays personal and what remains in the business.”

@Aimee_Bateman is the CEO & founder of Careercake.com

Farhan Raja

“Don’t add your boss if you do the following on Facebook: you are quite outspoken, share strong political views, are politically incorrect, or if you post videos, memes or photos of yourself that you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see. If, on the other hand, you’re fairly inactive, posting a few holiday photos every now and then, usually write on peoples timelines to wish happy birthdays, wedding congrats and so on, then I don’t see any harm in adding your boss. Essentially, steer away from posting anything which could create a negative perception of you to your boss in general.”

@interviewology (aka Farhan) is the founder, career & communications coach at jobinterviewology.com

Rebecca Fraser

“There is always the need to keep your professional and personal lives separate. Unfortunately, with the introduction of online social networks these boundaries are becoming less clear. If you are considering adding your boss on Facebook, considering the limitations this may have to your sharing personal information, or how, if you did share this personal information it may impact your career. There are numerous court cases that demonstrate how blurred these lines are where people have lost their employment or been unable to claim against dismissal. What appears in social media can be deemed as open access to anyone, so for this reason, consider closely about whether or not adding your boss or manager on Facebook is the right decision.”

@RebeccaFraserCo is a career coach

John Feldmann

“It depends. If you enjoy a relaxed, casual work atmosphere and company culture AND you don’t have anything on your Facebook page that you would be afraid to share with your manager in person, then there shouldn’t be any problem befriending your manager or boss on social media. If either of these don’t apply, it’s probably best to keep your relationship strictly professional.”

By John Feldmann is writer, blogger and content developer for Insperity Recruiting Services

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12 Valuable Tips To Remember When Working with a Recruiter

by champions 25/07/2016 0 comments

Since many college students will be graduating in just a few months, many graduates are getting anxious about how to land a job before they leave college. As a college student, you’ve probably read advice on how to best write a resume in order to get results.  You’ve also read about the importance of targeting your resume and cover letter to best meet the employer’s qualifications.

As a college student you may have already applied for a number of jobs and/or internships and are feeling fairly confident when applying for positions online. After all, the process for each company or position is very similar and once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to apply.

On the other hand, you may be meeting with recruiters at your college or a career fairs you attend. Meeting with a recruiter is quite different than applying online for internships or jobs. If you take the time and plan ahead, this first encounter can move you through the process more quickly and land you a follow-up interview, either in person or over the phone.

This article focuses what recruiters look for when hiring for internships or jobs.

Important 12 tips to remember when working with a recruiter:

  1. When meeting a recruiter in person, your nonverbal communications are considered to account for 80% of an employer’s first impression. Be sure to offer a firm handshake, maintain direct eye contact, and smile as you introduce yourself to the recruiter.
  2. Recruiters will initially spend 8 seconds or less reviewing your resume. This is all the time you have to make a positive first impression. The things recruiters are most interested in are education, job titles, companies worked for, and start and end dates.
  3. Your cover letter may or may not provide additional information depending on if the employer reads it or not. I always recommend that a cover letter be sent as a compliment to a resume, knowing that there is a good possibility that the cover letter will never be read. Think of your cover letter as a way to compliment your resume and a chance to provide the employer with additional information about your interests and why you feel you are a good fit for the organization.
  4. One single error can immediately disqualify you as a potential job candidate; in addition, using an unprofessional name for your email could also put your resume immediately into the trash.
  5. A clear, professional resume that is put in logical order and is scannable can make a huge difference when employers are rating your resume.
  6. LinkedIn Profiles that are not professional can also hurt your chances of getting hired. Employers spend a good deal of time looking over an applicant’s LinkedIn Profile and if they don’t like what they see, your chances of getting hired may decline.
  7. Applying for jobs that you are not qualified for will quickly put you in the “no” pile or directly in the trash. Employers seek candidates that are qualified to do the job and also those they feel will be the best fit with the organization.
  8. Key words based on a specific position are key since ATS systems generally weed out applicants that are not qualified. These key words must be positioned where recruiters will easily find them on your resume or they may be overlooked along with your resume.
  9. Recruiters often look unfavorably upon new graduates since employers feel that they lack the knowledge and skills to succeed in the workplace. It’s your job to convince them that you have what it takes to successfully do the job.
  10. Even if your resume makes it through the initial screening process, you may then be expected to do a phone plus several face-to-face interviews as well.
  11. A resume is not enough in today’s job market. Be prepared for recruiters to check out your social media sites as well. Watch this video for tips on using social media to find an internship. Not only do employers seek qualified candidates, they also look for individuals that they feel will make a nice addition to their professional team. It might surprise you that what you divulge in your resume, cover letter, and/or interview might be the key to getting hired. Employers want to know that you will fit into the culture of the organization before they extend an actual job offer.
  12. Watch this video from About.com to Job Searching and remember to be yourself. It’s important to plan extensively prior to meeting with recruiters, but it’s also important to be yourself.  In addition to your knowledge and skills, recruiters are looking for people that will best fit in with their organization’s culture and one who will become an effective member of the team.

By Penny Loretto has more than 20 years of experience in human resources, career counseling, and internship advisement.

Experience

Penny is currently the Associate Director in the Career Services office at a small liberal arts college. Penny has her own career counseling practice, Career Choice, where she works with adults in career transition. Penny is available for career planning workshops including researching career options, job search strategies, and resume development. Penny is recognized as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (L.M.H.C.) with the state of New York, a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a Master Career Counselor (MCC), and a Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC). She is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the National Employment Counseling Association (NECA) and the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE).

Education

Penny has a B.S. in business, with a concentration in human resources management from Empire State College (SUNY) in Saratoga Springs, New York. She also earned a Master’s degree in education, with a concentration in counseling from The College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.

Penny Loretto

As a career transitioner myself, I enjoy assisting others in their career journeys. Career success depends on many factors and each experience brings us closer to where we ultimately want to be in our career. Each experience is part of our journey and helps to prepare us for our next role in life. I started out many years ago working in human resources and then stopped for a period of time to travel and raise my family. I held a variety of part-time jobs while my children were growing up and then returned to the workforce full-time. After more than ten years in human resources, I returned to college as a non-traditional student to do what I ultimately loved to do, counseling. I did an internship at a local counseling center for 6 months and the following year I completed an internship in career counseling at a four year liberal arts college where I was then offered the position of internship coordinator and later became the assistant director.

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Professionalism: 11 Tips That Will Help You Act Like a Professional

by champions 20/07/2016 0 comments

Professionalism is defined as an individual’s conduct at work. In spite of the word’s root, this quality is not restricted to those in occupations we describe as “professions,” typically those that require a high level of education and have high earnings.Cashiers, maintenance workers and waitresses can demonstrate a high level of this trait, just like doctors, lawyers orengineers can display a low level of it, and vice versa.

As with good health, the absence of professionalism is usually more obvious than its presence. Who will notice whether you have this quality or not? Your boss and customers and co-workers will, and it can affect your ability to keep your job and advance in your career. So what can you do to make sure to exhibit professionalism or, at least, not show a lack of it? Follow these dos and don’ts:

Make Being on Time a Priority

Showing up late for work or meetings gives the impression that you don’t care about your job so make sure you pay attention to the clock.

Don’t Be a Grump

Leave your bad mood at the door when you come to work. We all have days when we aren’t feeling our best. Remember not to take it out on your boss, your co-workers and especially your customers. If work is what’s causing you to be grumpy, it may be time to think about quitting your job. If that isn’t a good option for you, make the best of the situation until it is.

Dress Appropriately

Your workplace attire may or may not include wearing a suit and tie. Whether you have to dress up for work, or you can wear more casual clothes, your appearance should always be neat and clean. A wrinkled suit looks no better than a ripped pair of jeans. Wear the type of clothing your employer requires or that is the norm for your place of employment. Generally speaking, revealing or tight clothing is a no-no. You should save flip-flops, shorts and tank tops for the weekends.

Watch Your Mouth

Swearing, cursing or cussing—whatever you call it—has no place at work, particularly if those who you might offend are present. If you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother, refrain from saying it at work.

Offer To Help Your Colleagues

A true professional is willing to help his or her co-workers when they are overburdened. He or she isn’t afraid to share knowledge, opinions or simply an extra pair of hands. One person’s success reflects well on everyone in his or her workplace.

Don’t Gossip

While you may be tempted to tell your cubicle neighbors what you heard about Suzy or Sam down in accounting, gossiping makes you look like a middle school student. If you know something that you simply must share, tell someone who has nothing to do with your workplace, like your sister, brother or best friend.

Try to Stay Positive:

Negativity at work brings everyone down. Your boss certainly will not appreciate a drop in morale among his or her employees. Instead, if you think something can be improved, find a way to make that happen.

Don’t Hide From Your Mistakes

As hard as it may be to do, take ownership of your mistakes and do your best to correct them. Make sure you don’t make the same one twice. Never blame others, but set an example so that those who shared in the mistake can step forward and admit it.

Always Fight Fair

You will inevitably have disagreements with your co-workers or even your boss. You may think that something should be done one way while someone else will believe another way is better. Don’t let yourself get angry. No matter how upset you are or how strongly you think you are right, screaming isn’t allowed, nor is name calling or door slamming. And, it should go without saying that physical attacks should always be avoided, no matter what. Calmly explain your opinion and be ready to walk away if the other person can’t be swayed or if he or she begins to lose control.

Don’t Lie

Dishonesty never makes anyone look good, whether it’s lying on one’s resume or calling in sick. A true professional is always upfront. If you aren’t qualified for the job, either don’t apply for it or send in your application anyway and explain why you’d be perfect for the job in spite of that one skill or attribute you are lacking. As for lying about being sick, if you need a day off, take a personal or vacation day.

Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry

While confiding in a close friend at work is usually okay, sharing too much information with the entire office is not. Be judicious about whom you talk to, particularly when it comes to discussing problems you are having with your spouse or other family members. If you do decide to share personal information with your co-workers, make sure to do it away from where customers and clients can overhear you.

By Dawn Rosenberg McKay is a career planning professional with two decades of experience. She is the author of several books on this subject.

Experience

Dawn has been the Career Planning Guide on About.com since 1997. She ran a job and education information center at a large public library for over five years, working with clients who were going through career transitions, such as career change and job loss. Dawn also assisted new high school and college graduates during the transition from school to starting a career. She has led workshops on resume writing, job interviewing, networking and job searching on the Internet. Dawn is a member of the National Career Development Association (NCDA). She is also the author of The Everything Practice Interview Book and The Everything Get-a-Job Book, both published by Adams Media, as well as several civil service test preparation books that were published by Peterson’s and Pearson Education.

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What Does It Take to Be Successful Working From Home?

by champions 18/07/2016 0 comments

The benefits of working from home are appealing. The costs and time associated with commuting are eliminated. Dress code is no longer a factor. Scheduling flexibility may be increased, allowing for an improved work-life balance. Working at home is a helpful arrangement for parents with young children who have school schedules that don’t match office schedules. But a home-based work arrangement can also be difficult when the lines between work and home life get blurred.

Focus

  • Working from home requires focus and the ability to disregard domestic distractions. Laundry, television and yard work are not accessible to you at an office, so they should not occupy your attention during your work-at-home time. Do not answer a personal phone call if you are concerned with offending a caller with a short conversation. Designate for yourself work quotas to meet before you run errands or go grocery shopping. To enjoy the benefits of a work-life balance, you must be able to set aside enough of your time only for work.

Discipline

  • Discipline is a requirement of telecommuting. Sitting down at your computer is not working if you are sidetracked by checking your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Allow yourself some personal computer time, but choose a “shift start” time for when you transition from personal computer time to work.

Organization

  • Organizational skill helps to facilitate a successful work-at-home endeavor. You are in charge of stocking up on supplies and ensuring that you have the necessary tools and equipment to complete your work. You are also the person who schedules your own day, and differentiates between personal tasks and work duties.

Designated Work Space

  • A designated work space may be necessary, depending on the nature of your business. If you are a writer, office space is not required but can help minimize distractions and gives you a place to “go to work” so that you are able to focus. If your business involves a product that you create and sell, such as a craft, you need an area to organize and store your supplies and equipment, as well as space to work.

Problem Solving Ability

  • It takes independent problem-solving ability to successfully work from home. If your office equipment malfunctions, you are the one responsible for fixing it or replacing it, unlike staff in a corporate office who can call an IT department. If you encounter a road block or hurdle, it must be you who devises a solution, and not a coworker or boss.

Introverted Temperament

  • Having an introverted temperament makes working from home easier. If you are social and thrive on face-to-face interaction, it takes a proactive approach to fill this need. Schedule coffee breaks with strict time limits during which you go to a local coffee shop to pick up your brew, rather than making it alone at home.

Personal Boundaries

  • Creating boundaries with other household members is critical for work-at-home success. If your spouse wants to talk while you should be working then do so, but choose a “shift start” time at which point you wrap up the conversation and go to work. Explain that if you worked outside the house you would not be there to talk at all. If your children are old enough to play and self-direct without supervision, explain that you are “going to work” in your office. While you are still there if they have a problem with something, you are not free to engage in play or social chatter during your work hours. Explain that if you had a job where you went to an office building, they would not see you at all for most of the day.

By Nancy Lovering

Nancy is a writer, photographer and teaching assistant. She took novel writing at Langara..

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3 Tips To Make Your Cover Letter SHINE

by champions 12/07/2016 0 comments

A well written, compelling cover letter can show the hiring manager that they absolutely must invite you for an interview. In my recruitment job, I see a lot of cover letters on a daily basis. Sadly, many of them are bland and forgettable and often way too long.

Or if they stand out, it is for the wrong reasons – as you can see for yourself if you read the beginning of a cover letter I’ve recently received for an Office Admin role!

“So how’s your equal opportunities record doing? Slipping a bit? I can help you. With me, not only do you get a token female-with-a-disability, you get a token lesbian as well! (and I’m Scottish, does that count?) And that’s before I’ve even lifted a finger.”

Surely, it is better to attract the attention of employers by pointing out your achievements relevant to the position you’re applying for?

Your cover letter is your best chance to show to your prospective employer that you’ll perform really well in the job, that you’re likeable and will fit in well.

Here are my three top tips on how to make your cover letter shine:

Keep It Concise And To The Point

Trust me, it is very boring to read a long cover letter especially if you have many applications to review. Succinct and to the point is always better than a long essay.

Imagine you only had 15 seconds to tell the employer why they should hire you – what would you say? Then put THAT in your cover letter.

All you need to include is:

  • Why you are writing
  • Why you are qualified (highlighting specific accomplishments)
  • Thank you with a call to action

Customize Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter needs to show why you’re a suitable candidate for this role. Therefore, you need to read the job description very thoroughly to determine what they’re looking for and make it clear to the recruiter that you have the skills and experience they need.

If you don’t take the time to customize your letters, you might as well not bother sending them.

You need to make sure you connect your qualifications to the job requirements for your target job in your letter.

You might consider having a paragraph that begins with, “Here’s what, specifically, I can deliver in this role.” And then expand upon your strengths in a few of the priority requirements for that role – making sure you mention specific results you’ve achieved.

Make it as easy as possible for the potential employer to see that you are qualified for their job. You are much more likely to receive an invitation for an interview if you do the work for them.

Close Your Cover Letter With A Call To Action

Don’t close with something cliché like, “I hope to hear from you soon.”

Being assertive at the end of the letter can be beneficial. Consider something along the lines of:

“I believe I can be a valuable addition to your company, and I look forward to hearing from you”.

A lot of job seekers feel it is too much work to customize their resume and cover letter for each position to which they are applying. However, if you aren’t landing job interviews now, but you could start getting them by spending 20 minutes customizing your application, wouldn’t it be worth it?

If you are struggling to get interviews and need my help with tailoring your application and getting clarity on what your unique selling points are, just a single session can make all the difference.

By Margaret Buj is an interview coach who has been helping professionals get hired, promoted and paid more for over eight years. She is also a qualified Personal Performance & Corporate and Executive Coach and can help you with developing confidence and the attitude that will make it easier for you to get any job you want. Schedule a complimentary consultation with Margaret here.

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7 Things You MUST Do Immediately In A New Job

by champions 08/07/2016 0 comments

Starting in a new role is an incredibly exciting time. You smashed the interview, met the team and it’s now time to walk into the first day at your new office, under your brand new job title. You’re bound to feel nervous about what’s to come, but the important thing is walking in to the role with passion, confidence and excitement. To make the most of your first few months in a new role there are a few things you can do to push yourself further.

1) Create relationships

Work is work, and of course you’re going to have to fulfil whatever it is that’s on your job spec. But another important aspect that comes with work is how you interact and get on with the people you’re surrounded with everyday. In the first few months of a new job you should focus on creating relationships with those around you, and getting a feel for the company culture and how things work. Do people eat lunch together or is it more about desk lunches? Are official calendar meetings preferred to casual chats? These are just some of the little things you’ll discover in your first few months.

Make an effort with your coworkers – attend Friday night drinks, have a coffee and a chat – even just pausing and introducing yourself to others will have an impact.

2) Set clear goals

Before you begin in your new role, it’s important to set out your goals and targets for the future. Sit down with your manager or boss and discuss what they want from the role. If you’re in a sales position, consider specific quotas or targets you’re aiming for. If you’re not in a sales position, it’s a good idea to consider how you’ll measure success in the role.

3) Make your mark

An important thing you’re going to want to do in the first few months of a new role is to make your own mark. You should demonstrate a a remarkable work ethics form the get-go. You should approach new projects with the passion that got you the job in the first place. Work hard and leave complacency at the door – you’ll have more of an impact if you arrive at the office everyday, raring to go.

4) Find your direction

Getting a new job is a two way thing. Not only is it a great hire for the company – it’s also a great step in the right direction for your career. In the early months of your new role you should really step back and consider what you want to get from the job. Whether it’s experience in a certain part of the job or developing your skills in another area. Prioritise the role for you, whilst still completing all your tasks.

5) Locate a ‘silly question buddy’

Everyone gets a little nervous when they start a new job. It’s only natural. Something that can make the process a little easier is to locate your ‘silly question buddy’. Pretty self explanatory, but this is the colleague that you feel comfortable enough to ask all your stupid questions to. Some companies actually allocate ‘buddies’ with a buddy system, but if your new company doesn’t, then the best way to go about this is to locate the friendliest person in the office.

No question is ever silly – sometimes it just feels that way.

6) Realise that everyone’s been the ‘newbie’ before

If you’re nervous about meeting senior management or a notoriously unfriendly boss, it’s good to remember that absolutely EVERYONE has been the ‘newbie’ before. Whether it was 2 or 20 years ago – everyone knows exactly how you’re feeling. Remember this when you’re feeling unconfident and nervous – it’s only natural!

7) Rest & reflect

Starting a new job is tiring! You’re over loaded with new information constantly, so it’s important to take some time to chill out once the working day is done. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eat food full of vitamins and nutrients and drink enough water to keep you hydrated and fresh. Doing this will ensure that you’re performance in the office will be the best it can be!

What are you top tips for starting in a new role? Let us know in the comments below!

Ruby Lowe

Ruby is a Senior Account Executive at Link Humans in London.

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5 Tips To Make You Instantly More Employable

by champions 24/06/2016 0 comments

Whether you were fired, laid off, let go, or just quit your job, it’s important to find activities that will make you more employable when you’re out of work. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with qualified job candidates who aren’t desperate for a job.

Also, you’ll have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to addressing gaps on your resume. Your goal is to fill those gaps with productive activities that are relevant to your field.

So, when you’re unemployed, don’t waste valuable time just sitting around applying to jobs online. Instead, make yourself more employable by doing one of these resume boosters:

1. Upskilling.

Upskilling is one of the best ways to give your resume a boost. Think about skill sets that would give you an edge in your industry or target job. Then, determine how you can get those skill sets. Consider certificate programs, online courses, workshops, free webinars and video tutorials, or professional clubs. Even though you’re not currently working, you’re proactively finding ways to stay relevant in your industry. That fact alone can give you a huge leg up in your job search.

2. Temp Work.

Working with temp agencies (or staffing agencies) is a great in-between-jobs option for professionals. These agencies will match you with companies and place you in temporary jobs. This type of work can lead job seekers to some great opportunities because it allows them to get paid for their work (although minimal), network with different companies, figure out which companies could be a good fit, and potentially receive a full-time job at one of the companies.

3. Part-Time Work.

If you can find a part-time job that allows you to hone your current skill sets or build new ones, this is another great way to get a paycheck as well as fill those pesky resume gaps. Remember, while it would be ideal to find something in your industry, you don’t always have to do that. Think about what transferable skills you can gain from a part-time opportunity. How will the skills you use in this part-time job transfer to your target job?

4. Volunteering.

While it doesn’t pay, volunteering is a great way to keep yourself busy, sharpen your skill sets, and network with like-minded people. Find organizations in your area that relate to your field or interests and start making a difference in your community!

5. Blogging.

When blogging first came on the scene, people used it as a way to share their diaries, opinions, and useless knowledge with the world (no, I don’t need to know about how your date went last night). While some still use blogging as a tool to share their personal lives with the world, others use it more strategically – and you should, too! Think about your industry. What advice, insight, ideas, or issues can you write about? Writing about things that matter in your field can help you establish yourself as an expert in your industry. So, when recruiters Google you and they see that you’ve been actively writing about your industry, you’ll score brownie points because you’re taking steps to be a thought leader in your field. (And most employers dig thought leaders.)

So, instead of spending all of your time sitting on your couch simultaneously searching for jobs while watching reruns of “Friends,” find ways to stay active in your field while job searching. It can really pay off!

By Ariella Coombs

Ariella is the Content Manager for CAREEREALISM. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Follow her @AriellaCoombs or find her on Google+.

 

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4 Things To Consider Before Accepting A Job Offer

by champions 16/06/2016 0 comments

Congratulations – you did really well in the job interview! The reference checks were positive and now the company you are interviewing with has offered you an open position. Naturally, you want to accept it right away – but why be in such hurry? Take some time to read through the contract, evaluate it closely and discuss it with others who might give you some good advice. The last thing you want to happen is to take on the wrong job, as that would mean going through the whole job search cycle again when you decide you’re too unhappy to stay. So before you give the big ‘yes’ or ‘no’, consider these following things:

1. Your excitement

The company may not be the one that you have always wanted, but think about the reasons that make you excited to work there. If nothing immediately jumps out at you, then something is up, and you may not be ready to spend a huge part of your life with this employer. You want to feel enthralled at the idea of stepping into something fresh and new. If the excitement isn’t there and it all feels just a matter of process, maybe the job or the company itself is not right for you. However, you can always search for the missing excitement by meeting your future colleagues, finding a new place to live close by or committing to adding more value to the company by working there, and inviting the challenge. Entrepreneur Derek Sivers once aptly said, it’s either a Hell yeah! or no.

2. The company’s culture

Find out the culture in the office of your next employer first. You can learn from your experience during the interview process. You should have gotten a feel for the attitudes and values of the workplace by being there, and you can use this to decide whether you are going working there or not.  If that experience wasn’t sufficient, you can head over to company review sites such as Glassdoor to search for and retrieve reviews about the company. You are going to come across some good ones and some bad ones. Collectively they should give you a better idea of what the company is like in general, and what its current employees say about working there!

3. Your needs

Does the job offer provide for your needs? Always evaluate the contract’s options, from its compensation, bonuses, general benefits, health insurance, flex-time, allowance, travel reimbursement, the various form of leave entitlement, profit sharing and retirement support. If a job offer meets your predetermined bottom line, you could go ahead and accept it. However, make sure that the entire package is going to meet your demands. Remember the opportunity cost. If you are to take on this job, you won’t be able to take one another one for some time, so weigh it out meticulously. Will you be compensated correctly? It is worth proactively ask the hiring manager or HR about the full options available in the package. Sometimes it isn’t made clear, so you have to probe for details. It is important to discuss those matters before you accept the salary offer and sign the contract (and regret later).

4. The company’s promising future

Of course, you want to be proud of the company you are working for. Thus, ask and do some research about the company’s development plan. You have to be sure that their development path suits your career path. Also, figure out about the reason for people leaving the company as well as their turnover rate. A promising company will give you room to improve. It’s no wonder that having a clear path for your advancement is an important consideration to ponder over as well. Although you are not a fortune teller, you should understand the company’s direction and ensure it aligns with your goals. In addition, you would want to do some research on the industry as well. They could be the leading company in the floppy disk drive industry, but it isn’t going to end well seeing as the industry will die sooner or later.

By Adrian Tan

Adrian has over 11 years of professional recruitment experience. He co-founded 2 recruitment agencies and led one to win two HR Vendors of the Year award. A recipient of HR Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013, he ventured into career training and co-authored the career guide book ‘Everything You Wish To Ask a Headhunter‘.

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