Weathering the Storm

stepping stones






The last 10 years have seen a lot of changes within the job market. 2008 marked an economic downturn that found far too many people without jobs, or afraid to leave jobs they hated for fear of being unable to find a new position.

While the economy has bounced back, there are still some industries, companies and geographical locations that are struggling, or that will in the years to come. Layoffs, pay freezes, and restructuring are far from being things of the past, and it is always possible you could be facing tough times in your current job.

Nobody wants to find themselves unemployed or awash amidst a terrible job situation. But how do you weather the storm and make it through those career struggles relatively unscathed?


Boost Morale

When a company is struggling, everyone working there feels the pain. Fears of being laid off can poison a work environment, making it difficult for everyone to perform at their best; which is, of course, especially unfortunate when a company clearly needs their employees working at 100 percent to get back to a successful place.

Employees who are able to push past that fear, and encourage others to do the same, can quickly become irreplaceable. You can be the company MVP by finding ways to boost morale around the office. Even just maintaining a positive attitude and being pleasant to be around during times of strife can make a difference. But if you are able to keep spirits high, especially when there are plenty of reasons for morale to be low, the difference you make won’t go unnoticed.


Be a Team Player

If you are hoping to avoid the next round of layoffs, one of the best things you can do is make yourself invaluable. Beat your deadlines, pay attention to detail, focus on producing quality work, and… be the team player your company needs you to be right now.

When companies are struggling, they tend to reduce down to a skeleton crew. Which means that some jobs aren’t getting done, and others are being done only superficially. It is during these times, especially, that you don’t want to be caught playing solitaire at your desk. Instead, capitalize upon any free time you may have by offering to help your co-workers and taking on extra tasks that need to be done. Genuine team players tend to hold on to their jobs longer when those layoffs come around, and their hard work and dedication is remembered when things start looking up and promotions become available again.


Hedge Your Bets

Yes, you want to remain loyal to your company and do what you can to help them stay afloat. But sometimes, you also have to be willing to recognize the writing on the wall. If things seem to be heading south, now is the time to brush up your resume and start reaching out to your networking connections.

It doesn’t mean you have to jump ship right away, but putting feelers out and remaining open to what else might be available could mean the difference between transitioning smoothly into a new role, and being left out in the cold. So don’t be afraid to keep an eye out for openings elsewhere, or to submit an application when something else worthwhile comes along. Just remember to be discreet about it when you do.

It is almost always easier to find a new job when you are currently employed – so don’t wait until you find that pink slip on your desk to start looking for new opportunities.


Becoming a First Time Leader

ExecutivecoachingTransitioning into a leadership or senior management position can be a rewarding move that entails many positive steps forward for your career.

While a higher level of responsibility will generally characterise your new role, there are some important points to keep in mind that can help you master your new leadership challenges.

Take Time to Settle In

Most new leadership roles will expect you to hit the ground running. Even if this is the case, it can be beneficial to give yourself time to settle in and orient yourself within the role. It will take time to develop your leadership expertise and style and it is important that you don’t rush into the role and compromise any actions or decisions in this early stage. To keep yourself grounded, develop a plan that allows you to cover all your bases in getting to know the business and set the foundations for successful achievements in future.

Set Boundaries

As a new leader, you may also need to set new boundaries. While relationship building and even making friends can be valuable, it is vital that you focus on making professional connections, rather than personal or social ones. This ensures your professional respect, authority and value is maintained. It’s more important to be a great leader than to be everyone’s best pal. This doesn’t mean that you still can’t be friendly, approachable and supportive of your staff, but keeping your relationships professional is critical in sustaining your influence and keeping your team dynamic healthy.

Communicate Your Vision

Any leader will tell you that having a vision is significant, but vision is nothing unless it is communicated effectively to the people around you. Take the time to educate others on what you want to achieve as a leader and how you see the business (or department) progressing in the short-term and long-term. Your vision should be coherent, comprehensive and it should motivate others to jump on board.

Manage Your Team

When the pressure’s on, it’s easy to become caught up with your new accountabilities. You may find yourself stuck in your office, constantly in meetings or out of the office visiting clients or suppliers. However, this is a crucial time for you as a manager and it is important to remember to make time for your staff or team.

Set aside a good chunk of time each week to dedicate to employee management. You might use this time to conduct project meetings, communicate goals, delegate tasks, set expectations, listen to concerns or discuss team issues.

Find Solutions

As a leader, your managers and employees will respect and admire you much more if you’re a solution-focused leader, rather than a “problem dweller.”

For every issue or challenge that you encounter, make sure that immediately begin looking for a solution. This is not about ‘quick fixing’ but about thinking one step ahead and putting out fires before they escalate. No matter what the difficulty, each solution you devise needs to be carefully discussed, planned, risk-assessed and executed.

Praise Good Work, Defend Mistakes

A great leader is someone who stands by his or her employees at all times. Hard work and successes should be praised and commendation should be given where it is due – never simply take the credit for your team’s hard work.

If errors are made, deal with the issue privately or accept responsibility and take the heat if your team members happen to come under fire. This will create a strong and durable sense of respect and loyalty in your employees and the more they respect you, the more they’ll be willing to work harder and contribute to your own leadership success.

Are you looking for a new leadership or management role? Chat with Resumes Australia today about our career management and resume writing solutions.


kylie hammond

5 Myths About Search Consultants You Should Know

Search consultantSearch consultants and executive recruiters can be invaluable people to connect with over the course of your career.

They can deliver key opportunities to your door, provide advice on the industry in general and offer you precious insights when meeting with particular organisations and employers.
Yet there are many common myths surrounding Search Consultants and their roles within the recruitment industry.

What are these myths and how can you navigate around them to strengthen and solidify your Search Consultant relationships?

Myth #1: Search Consultants Work For Me

Many job seekers enter into a search consultant relationship under the assumption that they are the only person the search consultant is trying to find work for and that they deserve special attention or regular phone calls.

On the contrary, search consultants will often have many executives they are working with and are usually so busy networking with employers and leaders that they don’t have time to act like your personal assistant. Once you’ve met them, be patient with your search consultant; it can take time to develop opportunities and find the right role in the marketplace that is best suited to you.

Myth #2: Search Consultants Only Care About Their Clients

This is a common myth surrounding search consultants, since a consultant essentially works to fill an organisation’s vacancies. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that a search consultant’s interests are only one-sided.

Building strong relationships with both client companies and quality job seekers is the key to a search consultant’s success and matching the right executive with the right company is something they take very seriously. As a job seeker, they will be concerned about whether the role available is right for you and will want you, as well as the client, to gain much from the placement, both now and in future.

Myth #3: Search Consultants Read Every Resume

Many executives think that because Search Consultants work at such a top level, they pour their efforts into reading every resume that lands on their desk. This is not true.

Like any other agent in the recruitment and HR industries, Search Consultants are extremely busy people and they often don’t have time for hours of desk work; instead, they will simply scan and screen resumes quickly. For this reason, your executive resume must grab their attention quickly and it must highlight the talents, skills and experience you have to offer. Failing to do this will result in your resume being passed over.

If you are not confident about our resume, seek assistance from a qualified resume writer who has experience writing for senior level positions.

Myth #4: Search Consultants Don’t Check Resume Details

If you think a search consultant simply acts as a middle man and flicks your resume over to the employer once they’ve read it, think again.

Search consultants will conduct thorough research into a candidate’s background, scrutinising their skills, salary and other qualifications before recommending them for a position. When they send your application through to an employer, it is also their reputation, as well as yours, that is on the line.

For this reason, being honest on your resume is essential, no matter who you are applying for a job with. Exaggerating your experience, skills or salary is not a smart move and it’s likely a search consultant will uncover your lies or embellishments quickly.

Myth #5: Search Consultants Are Lazy

This couldn’t be further from the truth. However, I have had some candidates approach me with the impression that Search Consultants are lazy or self-serving simply because they don’t return phone calls or respond to emails.

What executives need to keep in mind is that search consultants are extremely busy, with a multitude of meetings, interviews and networking to be conducted each day, plenty of which also takes place out of usual business hours. Search Consultants are also never simply recruiting for only one role or working with only one employer. Instead, they are often juggling a huge volume of clients, positions and executive candidates.

They key to working with Search Consultants is to be patient – they will get in touch with you, particularly if they are making progress with your application. In the meantime, consider expanding your opportunities elsewhere or doing some networking of your own.

Resumes Australia is a leading Australian organisation specialising in job seeking, career management and executive resume writing. For expert career assistance, Contact Us or visit

Kind Regards,

kylie hammond

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