Tag Archives: job

You can’t poke, tweet or email a handshake

Never a truer adage when looking for a job not what but who you know.  Your network is key to a successful job search strategy.   Growing your network has never been easier.   Social media has taken care of that.

No matter how extensive your virtual network, no matter how advanced and extensive your use of technology, nothing beats good old-fashioned face time.  Pressing the flesh, shaking hands, eyeballing, getting up close and personal, this is how and when things happen.

Whilst building your network online is certainly of value, building your network in the good old-fashioned way is still the best way to real results.

You can’t email a handshake.  It will cost you, time, shoe leather, cups of coffee, a round of sandwiches, dinner, a glass or two, some good questions, lots of listening and conversing, following up, staying in touch, but make the investment.  Get out from behind the desk, get away from the screen and get in the room.  It might just change your life.

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Filed under Careers, Social Media

No regrets

What is failure?  Among the dictionary definitions can be found the following ;

“non – performance of something due, required or expected”.

If you want to make a change, if you need to make a change, consider this.  The failure is in not acting, in not making the change, in not following through.  You follow through and things don’t quite work out as you would have wished, try again.

The failure is in not taking the leap, not the leap itself or the repercussions.  If you try something and it doesn’t work out as you wished, learn from the experience and try again.  At least you tried.  That should make you proud.

Consider this from Napoleon Hill

“All achievements, all riches earned, have their beginning in an idea.”

If you have an idea that’s really eating you up, act on it.  See it through.

Need to change your career?  Act on it.  Have an idea for a business?  Act on it.  What’s the worse thing that can happen?  That you wake up one day and think “if only”.  No regrets.  Make the change.

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Filed under Careers, Opportunity

You are who you are, not what you do.

You weren’t born a Teacher, Accountant, Engineer, Nurse, Doctor, Banker.  You became one.  If you don’t like what you do, change it.  Easier to say than to do, but it can be done.  It is not impossible.  The only thing that is holding you back is you.

In the same way you trained, learned to become a Surveyor, you can train in entirely the same way to do something else.  Sure you might need some help, but if you really must change then you can.

If you are happy, fulfilled, motivated, engaged then there is no need.  If you are none of those things, if you are simply turning up, going through the motions, you are going to get found it.  Life is too short.

What you are is not who you are.  For sure our job shapes us, influences us, has a big part to play in how we lead our lives, but it is not who you are, it is what you do.  If you need to do something different, you can.  You just have to start.  The first step is the hardest.  If you need to, you owe it to yourself to take it.  You won’t look back.

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Never knowingly underdressed

A couple of articles over the weekend focused on the decline of the business suit.  One such article on the BBC website highlighted a recent poll of 2,000 British workers by online bank First Direct that “found that only one in 10 employees wears a suit every day, more than a third of staff opt for jeans and only 18% regularly wear a tie”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12418046

This got me to thinking as to the impact of the ever-changing face of workplace attire on the interview process.  Knowing your audience is crucial to interview success.  Doing your homework as to the culture, the people, the environment in to which you are heading is a crucial part of your interview preparation.  So, what to wear?

A simple rule of thumb applies.  You are unlikely to be criticised, to lose out on a job opportunity, for being overdressed.  You are however very likely to be ruled out for being under – dressed ( in every sense of the phrase ).  So don’t hedge your bets.  Once your through the door you have earned the right to sit alongside your colleagues in board shorts and flip-flops if that’s de rigueur.  Until that happens, step up, smarten up, sharpen up.

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Filed under Interviews

Work / Life Balance; Fact or Fiction

So just what is this thing we call work life balance?  Does it even exist?  Is it something that deep down we all know that we should aspire to, or even better should actually achieve?  Are we scared to try?

In this last couple of years its gotten harder for sure.  The work place has gotten tougher, business has gotten tougher, just hanging in there has gotten tougher.  Technology has advanced to such an extent that the line between work and home has gotten ever more blurred.  Will we ever find the answer?

There is no such thing as perfect work life balance.  Don’t let anyone ever tell there is.  This is not something that can be answered in a text book.  Do your best to do what works for you.  Do your best to do that which leaves you fulfilled.

Regular Readers now my views on TED talks.  Simply awesome.  Here Nigel Marsh, Author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” gives his take on the ongoing battle for work / life balance.  Give this a look, it leaves you asking some challenging questions as to just how you spend your time and why.

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Filed under Corporate Governance

Who really gets the top jobs?

Last night in the UK the BBC aired a Programme entitled “Who gets the Best Jobs”.  The pre – programme hype focused on the view that the plum jobs were the sole domain of a privileged few, dependent on who you parents are, where you went to school, who you know.  Nonsense.

Throughout History there have always been those born in to privilege.  I am not suggesting that is right or wrong, it just is.  Throughout history there are countless examples of those that have made ruin of just about every silver spooned opportunity that was handed to them on a silver platter.  Throughout history, there are countless examples of those who have risen from a life of abject misery to achieve great things.  The premise of this program was a nonsense, a non – story.  The only news for me was evidence that the politics of envy are alive and kicking.

I am not suggesting for one minute that who you know and importantly who knows you does not greatly enhance your chances.  If you get a great start in life, sure you are ahead of many of your peers.  However, where you want to school, who your parents are, is no barrier to opportunity, unless you believe it is.

Sure peer group is an important influence.  Sure access to opportunity is a challenge.  But you are not excluded, unless you believe you should be.

Intellect, drive, motivation, ambition, is not dictated by your surname or your ancestry.  It may well be dictated by your circumstances, your drive may stem from events that you have had to deal with.

We are not all born the same.  Some of us are more academic, some of us more practical, we are all unique, we all have different talents, circumstances, different paths, different challenges.  What matters is how you deal with them and what you do with them, how you choose to apply yourself, how you choose to live your life.

If you believe that because of your background and upbringing that opportunity in your life is restricted, then you can bet it will be.  Opportunity in life is not dictated by your postcode, we all have choices.  Your path in life is dictated by what you do with those choices.

Don’t adopt the victim mentality this program perpetrated.  Regardless of your circumstances, your life is what you make it.  Some may have to go through more, have more challenges to face, may have a longer ladder to climb to reach the top.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t get there.  We do not all start from the same place, but we all have the opportunity to get to the same place, if only we apply ourselves in the right way.

Life is what you make it.  What is a “top job” anyway?  A great job is one that leaves you fulfilled, growing, happy.  We all have that opportunity.  In the end only you can make that happen.

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Filed under Careers, Opportunity

How to ace a job interview

Everyone is looking for that nugget of gold, that stellar piece of information that can fundamentally transform your interview technique to become an absolute sure-fire interview winner. I am sorry, there aren’t any, no startling revelations, no lightning bolts.

Like all good things, success at interview is about keeping it simple. Pay attention to the basics, the little things, the details. And repeat. Over and over again, until you are set in to a routine that you know works for you, that gives you confidence, makes you comfortable.

So what are those basics?

I came across this excellent resource, www.howdini.com the site that encourages you to “get yourself a guru”. So what’s there take on the job interview? See for yourself.

Let me know what you think, as always I would love to hear your comments.

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