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Our career development blog gives you insights and tips that will help you find that right job!

4 Things to Let Go as Job Hunting Migrants.

I recently published an article How to Get your First Job in Australia. This article was for migrants looking for that all important first job.  There was a great response for this article.  While as a writer I was overjoyed to get such a response, I was also conscious that this topic can be quite painful for many migrants.  I am writing this article to give you some further pointers to approach job hunting with a positive and resilient mindset. While helping a number of migrants on this rocky road, I have observed some things that could be approached with a different mindset.  As each individual is different, pick the suggestions that most resonate with you. Let go of the frustration that you have to prove yourself again You may have been a high performer in your home country.  You may have an outstanding academic record.  Others may have looked up to you as a leader or mentor.  You may have gone through a vigorous selection criteria to come to this country. You arrive here and find that the hard won respect you had previously is now history.  You need to sell yourself to get that first opportunity.  This can be very frustrating.  If you let this frustration creep into how you interact with recruitment agents or hiring managers,they will not take kindly to it.  You will lose the opportunity to connect with them and win them over. I know this can be hard.  Concentrate on those examples of your excellent work to showcase the value you can bring.  Nothing like powerful examples to bring out positivity, energy and... read more
How To Get Your First Job In Australia

How To Get Your First Job In Australia

  “When I arrived in Australia, I thought it would be easy to get a job.” “People tell me not to include a career objective on my resume because employers will never consider me for a decent job.” “I know I will have to take an entry level position because getting a job in my field is impossible.” “This ‘local experience’ requirement is killer. How am I supposed to gain experience if no one will give me a job?” “I will have to go back home if nothing works out. It’s a disaster because I have nothing to go back to.” These statements resonate with most of us, 1st generation immigrants. Over the years the “local experience” hurdle has been an issue for most immigrants. My personal career experience was based mostly on trial and error until I finally hit the jackpot. The rest, they say, is history. I hope that you will find this article useful as you strive to find your first job in Australia. The decision to immigrate is a brave decision. Now, to adapt and settle here, you’ll need to be resourceful, persistent and resilient. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways you can do that. How do you overcome the “local experience” hurdle? Learn to communicate like a local The first step in overcoming this hurdle is convincing your future employer that you will fit right into the organisation. Most employers would like to see their new employees coming up to speed fast and adding value to the company. Start by trying to talk like a local. You obviously cannot pick up... read more
4 Things To Help You Collaborate Better At Work

4 Things To Help You Collaborate Better At Work

  In today’s connected world, collaboration is fundamental to career success. No single individual can deliver a service or a product by themselves. It is always a combined effort, a team effort. Over the past years, I’ve gained a lot of experience from collaborating with many individuals, and I would like to share with you some of the insight. You need a certain mindset in order to become a good collaborator. How often have heard or said this about a person? “He/She is not a team player”. What are some of the characteristics of an antagonist? They find teamwork time consuming and distracting, They are a perfectionist and cannot trust others to do a good job, They always think they know best, They don’t like to share praise with other people, Underlying personal issues. Whatever their motivation, such people can drain your energy. What can be done? You can’t avoid these people, as they are part of many organizations out there. What you can do is find better ways to collaborate with them. Developing a collaborative mindset will offer you a lot of resources to deal with antagonistic people. How do you collaborate better? Look at the big picture Spend some time figuring out how your job fits and adds value to your organisation. Understand what is best for the organisation as a whole. Then, you can use this information as a foundation for your decision-making. When others understand your decision-making process, therefore, your actions, they will be more likely to be cooperative. You must be prepared to make sacrifices, because sometimes you may have to give up what... read more
7 Things To Watch Out For In Your Job

7 Things To Watch Out For In Your Job

When you are in a job it is hard to step back and evaluate how you are going. Managing priorities such as work load, new requirements, issues and office politics will consume most of your time. You don’t want to find yourself falling behind in your career, becoming irrelevant or burnt out. It is good to step back once in awhile to assess how you are doing at your job. While most of us have rough patches in our jobs, there are some warning signs that you have to watch out for. If these signs are persistent, it would be a good time to reconsider your career options. What are some of the things to watch out for?   Taking on two jobs for more than a month “I love my job and the way my boss and I work together. When my boss was struggling to fill a vacancy I put my hand up to do both jobs. It’s now been three months and I am exhausted with working such long hours.” While it is great that this company brings out such loyalty from its employees, accepting to take over the role of two employees at once for more than a month is not sustainable. Competent leaders do not burn their staff out. They assess the situation and recommend alternative options to alleviate the situation. If you are unfortunate to have an incompetent manager, it will be your responsibility to propose alternative solutions. Prevent yourself from making your manager’s issue your issue. Spending most of your time doing routine tasks “I am good at complicated reconciliations. Now my... read more
4 Things To Make Your Internal Promotion A Success

4 Things To Make Your Internal Promotion A Success

Congratulations! You’ve made it to that dream job as a leader. For some, you may now be in a different department to where you were previously. For others, you may now be the boss of your peers. How you handle yourself in the days and months following your promotion is critical. It can either mean success or failure in your new job. Needless to say, your former peers will be your loudest critics. The best way to be a successful leader is by winning the respect of ex-peers. How do you win respect? Be Visible As the new boss on the block you will need to be very visible to your team. Walking the floors is a great way to get up close and personal with your team. Make it a point to say “Hello!” and chat to everyone when you arrive in the morning. Back this up later in the afternoon with a quick round to see how the team is going with their work. Ask intelligent questions, listen to understand and contain your preconceived ideas and views. It is a fresh start, to grasp many things such as: What are the critical activities that add value What works and what doesn’t What motivates individual members Who is doing the work and who is not Who gets on with whom and who doesn’t get on with their colleagues What brings out the best and worst in individuals Armed with this knowledge you can make a difference as to how the team operates. You will need to facilitate solutions to issues and be quick to make decisions . The... read more
How To Promote Internally (And Why)

How To Promote Internally (And Why)

“I didn’t see that job advertised. Seems like the boss’s pet got the job.” “I wish someone told me why I didn’t get that job in the supply chain department. I thought the interview went very well. They just dropped me an email to say I was unsuccessful even though I work in the same building with them. Why can’t someone talk to me?” These are some of the comments that you would have heard around your workplace. If you are a manager, you would not like to hear these comments or have disgruntled employees. This article is written as a guide to help make internal promotion more transparent and fair. There are a number of great reasons to promote internally The promoted employees are able to pick up their new responsibilities faster as they are familiar with how things get done in the organisation. They will have a proven track record of cultural fit. It helps in development and retention of talent. It adds to the reputation for the organisation as a great employer. How do you make an internal promotion transparent and fair? Always advertise the position internally Advertise the position publicly and allow enough time for people to apply for the job. If you make it a token box ticking exercise, employees will know that straight up. Advertise with the right intention and be open minded about the potential candidates. Invite all candidates for an interview Make sure all candidates have a fair and equal opportunity to put their case forward. That means you will need to conduct similarly structured interviews and interact with candidates equally.... read more
5 Things To Build A Successful Career

5 Things To Build A Successful Career

Everyone aspires to a successful career. Success, they say, comes when opportunity meets preparation. The level of success achieved by individuals depends on the preparation they put in and the opportunities that they create. In another post is the outline of how you could seek out promotional opportunities. In today’s article… let’s focus on preparation. What are the areas that you need to focus your preparation on? 1. Setting Goals Setting yourself relevant, clear, achievable goals is essential. To do this well you will need to self-reflect. Knowing yourself well, identifying your skills, strengths, values and passions is the foundation for setting meaningful goals. You will need to be creative and challenge yourself to come up with goals that motivate you and that are achievable. Tip: Validate your goals with your mentor or a trusted friend/partner. It is always good to get another person’s perspective on what you set out to achieve. You will need to constantly work on these goals, as growth is an ongoing process. As you gain experience and insight, it is best to change or adapt your goals to your new situation. For example: You may need to get hands-on experience with the latest data mining tool. The topics discussed below will feed into the goals that you set for yourself. Use the principles discussed in this section to set relevant smart goals for these topics. 2. Adopting new trends The environment is constantly changing and new trends will emerge in your field. You will need to be up to date with these trends and stay relevant to add value. There is a school of... read more
4 Ways To Get A Promotion

4 Ways To Get A Promotion

Promotion is a much coveted prize that most of us aspire to in our careers. Like most things in life, you have to pursue promotion relentlessly to achieve it. The four ways suggested here may seem a bit old fashioned but is a tried and tested strategy with sustained success over the long term. How do you get promoted? 1. Get ahead by adding value First and foremost is to do your job well. Ensure that all your stakeholders are delighted with your service and output. Once you have mastered your job, look at ways to do it more efficiently. Be creative and resourceful in finding ways to do this. Make sure your stakeholders are comfortable with the changes you make. This is particularly important if it affects how they work. Demonstrating a growth mindset will also win you brownie points. A growth mindset will help you embrace change that occurs in the environment and make you relevant at all times so that you employer will also see as valuable. Not many jobs are on an island by itself. You will need to work with others to achieve results for your organisation. A good collaborator will be noticed by others and will have a sound reputation. Good collaborative skills are essential when leading teams. Prioritising the things that will add the most value to the organisation is another factor that will get you noticed by your leaders. Everyone has a “to do” list. Learning early to identify what is important and keeping other stakeholders informed while you prioritise these important issues is critical. This way you will keep your... read more
8 Types Of “Bad Bosses” And How You Can Handle Them

8 Types Of “Bad Bosses” And How You Can Handle Them

It is not often we get to select who we work for. The closest you get to pick your boss is when you interview for a new job. In many cases you may not feel you have the luxury of turning down a job opportunity because of the future boss. Even when you have the ideal boss it is no guarantee that they will be around for long. Things can change quite fast in an organisation and bosses come and go. There are times everyone has to cope with a “bad boss” Knowing strategies to handle such bosses will help you cope with the situation. What are the types of “Bad Bosses” and how do you handle them? 1. Moody Boss Some bosses have mood swings. These can range from a slight change in demeanour to severe grumpiness. If you have such a boss it is good to observe patterns when they get moody. This should alert you to when you need to be careful when interacting with them. It is best to avoid them when they are in such a mood. In the event you have to interact with them at this time stay calm and don’t react to their mood. Respond with facts in a measured fashion. If you have been working with them for a while you may get to know what causes these mood swings. Try not to press these buttons when you interact with them. E.g. they cannot stand any inaccuracies in calculations. Make sure you check and double check your work before you submit it to them. Finally make sure that the cause... read more
7 Things To Help You Figure Out If Your Boss Is A Leader

7 Things To Help You Figure Out If Your Boss Is A Leader

Working for the right boss will inspire you to do your best at work. However, finding that great boss is not easy. Very rarely do you get the opportunity to pick out your new boss. In most cases, bosses move along and others take their place. It is best to figure out early what type of boss you have: are they leaders or just… bossing around? Knowing this will help you engage better with them and help you set realistic expectations towards your work together. Be careful: it is best to keep this assessment to yourself. Nothing good comes out of talking negatively of your boss. How do you know if you work for a leader? 1.You feel that your opinions are taken into account Leaders listen to what you say and encourage your input. They make you feel comfortable and safe to put your ideas forward. On the other side, whenever your suggestions are turned down, a leader will give you sound reasons for doing it. 2. You feel safe when you make a mistake If they are a leader, your boss will not negatively criticise you if you make a mistake. You can always have an open discussion with your boss about the lessons you have learnt as a result of making a mistake. Best of all, a leader will praise your work when they see you don’t repeat the same mistake the second time around. 3. You feel that you are constantly learning A leader sets you goals and projects that help you to grow professionally. You will always receive continuous feedback on your progress when... read more