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.

 

Five Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

interview coaching

You found what seemed to be the perfect job. It was at the company you have dreamed of working for, a title that you were sure you were meant to hold, and offering a benefits package you were totally coveting. Everything this job was about, was what you have been looking for since the start of your career. So it really sucked to find out someone else got the gig. Look, rejection is brutal, no matter what form it comes in. But when you are literally sitting back and watching someone else sail away on your dream job, it hurts that much more. Which is exactly why it helps to figure out why you didn’t get the job this time – so that you can at least start making changes today that will hopefully give you a leg up the next time a perfect opportunity arises.

They Promoted From Within

More and more companies are starting to recognize the benefits of promoting from within, which is great if you already work for the company you see yourself still being at in 20 years. But if you are hoping to make a change, it can be a little harder to find your “in”. The good news is that if you were bypassed for an internal promotion, that isn’t really about you. There wasn’t much you could have done to change their minds – they likely had their candidate selected before ever posting the job. But the bad news is, if your sights really are set on this specific company – you may have to consider starting a few rungs down the ladder, getting your foot in the door and working your way up.

You Weren’t the Right Fit

Just because a job is your “dream job”, doesn’t mean you are the “dream candidate”. Companies tend to have very specific hiring criteria, and they make those criteria readily available to candidates. If you don’t possess the combination of experience and education they are looking for, you probably won’t get the job. Consider using that list as a starting point for improving upon your resume, though. Just because you weren’t the right fit this time, doesn’t mean you can’t position yourself to be next time.

The Background Check Hurt You

Is your Facebook page set to public, with pictures of you drinking, complaining about your job, and making less than PC remarks readily available for all to see? Did you lie on your resume about your education or work history? Do you have a long list of criminal infractions that are easy enough for anyone to find on the states criminal database? Sometimes, the background check really can hurt you. So lock your social media settings down, be cognizant of what you post, tell the truth on your resume and – address information up front that a recruiter is likely to find with a basic check.

You Blew Your Interview

Most people know when they screw up an interview, but if you’re the oblivious type – brushing up on your interview skills might be worth committing some time to. In general, you should always be researching the company and role before showing up for an interview. Arrive on time, don’t bash your previous job or boss and respond to questions in a confident and professional manner.

Another Candidate Had More to Offer You can’t win them all, and sometimes – there is just another candidate who has more to offer than you do. You may have had all the experience and education they were looking for, but someone else had more. Instead of taking that as a reason to pout and mourn the loss of your dream job, use it as motivation to continue improving upon what you have to offer. You may not have been the top candidate this time, but other opportunities will come around, and you want to be ready when they do!

Changing Jobs, Is It Right For Your Career?

changing careersEvery career needs stability, whether you are in a CEO role or simply your first graduate position. However, there will be times throughout your career when a job change is needed, possibly because your current role is not fulfilling your requirements or because you are simply striving for more.

But how do you know if jumping ship and changing jobs is the right move for your carer overall?

Career Goals

Your career goals will be instrumental in shaping your career and helping you decide what type of experience you need to achieve your objectives. Your present position must offer you something that progresses your journey, whether it is the chance to develop a specific skill set, more experience, further education or the possibility of promotion or growth. If your everyday role is no longer contributing to your greater career goal, changing jobs may be more beneficial than staying where you are.

Your Skills and Strengths Are Under Utilised

Using your strengths and skills in your day-to-day job is essential for job satisfaction. It is also crucial for your productivity and career progression, since your strengths will be key in forwarding your success. If you find that your strengths or skills aren’t being utilised in your current role, you could consider taking on new responsibilities that allow you to use these skills. However, if there isn’t any room for your skills to develop or be utilised regularly, it could be a sign that you’re in the wrong role altogether.

No Room to Grow

Some businesses are often limited in what they can offer employees; they can only grant so much career development (at least in the foreseeable future) before a maximum level is reached. This can particularly apply to employees in smaller businesses or even large, corporate companies where progression is not likely. If you find yourself in an organisation where there is limited space for growth, promotion or development, a job change is likely needed if you want to take that next career step.

Your Needs Have Changed

External factors can also influence your decision about whether or not to change jobs. You might want find yourself in a situation where more money is needed (e.g. if you buy a house or have children) or you may have developed new career aspirations that now need implementing. Whatever changes are affecting your life, you’ll need to consider whether your current job is fulfilling your needs and if a job change has the potential to meet your new requirements.

You Hate Going To Work

Enjoyment in any job role can be like a rollercoaster; it has its ups and downs. But being unhappy or unfulfilled on a daily is a clear sign that your job is not giving you any satisfaction. This can breed stress, anxiety and unhappiness and it also means that you are holding your career back from making any real progress. The best solution here, if you can’t find any areas of satisfaction in your role, may be to change jobs. You could choose to simply move roles within the same company or find a new employer altogether.

You Are Constantly Frustrated

Frustration can be a common aspect of any job, but having ambitious plans and ideas that you don’t have the tools, resources or support to effectively implement can create much on-the-job frustration. Other frustration-fuelling issues include being under-appreciated, working with difficult colleagues or feeling mismatched in terms of culture or values. While these may not be enough to warrant a job change, you’ll need to weigh up whether finding new employment may be better and more rewarding for your career.

Resumes Australia is a leading career coaching and consulting and executive resume writing agency based in Sydney. If you need help managing your career, simply Contact Us or visit our website for more information.

Regards,
kylie hammond

Promoting Yourself at Career Expos

ExpoWhether you are starting out in your career, wanting to change industries or simply looking for ways to climb up that corporate ladder, career expos offer many opportunities. Attending a career expo is one of the most valued ways to find new employment, meet new executives and get in touch with potential employers.

Achieving success at these events is all about selling yourself, networking with the right people and setting the groundwork for future relationships.

Be Resume Ready

Your resume is one of the most important tools that will help you secure new employment. It is a good idea to bring several copies of your resume with you to any career expo – and make sure that you have too many, rather than too few.

You should also ensure that your resume is professional, expertly written and targeted to the kind of position/s you are looking for. It may even benefit you to have a few different versions of your resume to hand to different employers. If resume writing is not your strength, you should consider obtaining the services of an experienced resume writer.

Bringing along your portfolio or any other marketing materials you have can also help you stand out from the competition.

Know Your Targets

Career expos tend to showcase a multitude of organisations and businesses, all of which are looking to exhibit their worth and attract potential employees. As a job seeker, you will achieve much more success if you find out in advance which companies will be attending the expo and then create a shortlist of the companies you wish to target/visit.

The more you know about each of these businesses, the more you will be able to tailor your approach and master any conversations you have with company representatives. If you are currently looking for work, finding out about any specific vacancies that each company has can also be beneficial, but be wary of being too pushy about these.

Dress the Part

First impressions always make a significant difference when it comes to meeting employers, so if you are heading to a career event, make sure you dress appropriately. This is particularly important if you plan to target high-end corporate companies. Even if you don’t dress in full business attire, a smart-casual outfit will help present you professionally to potential employers.

Value Proposition

Industry events and career expos are often extremely busy places, meaning you may only have a minute or two to make a strong impression. Part of this process is making sure that you know exactly what to say to representatives and employers. Highlight your strengths, skills or talents and make sure they are relevant to the organisation. Rehearsing your value proposition beforehand can be extremely beneficial, as can formal interview coaching.

Know Your Goals

Finally, make sure that you understand what you want to get out of the career expo and what you want to achieve on a long term basis in your career. It’s fine to attend knowing that you want a job, but have you thought about what kind of job, what kind of organisation and what kind of people you want to work with?

Knowing both your long term and short term goals will allow you to devise a successful strategy for connecting with the right people and employers at the event, and if you factor your goals into your approaches and discussions, you will also create the impression that you are a forward-thinking candidate.

Need an outstanding resume? The expert resume writing team at Resumes Australia can produce specialist resumes for career events, expos or job applications, whether you are a graduate or a senior at the CEO level.

Regards,

kylie hammond

Job Searching Tips for 2013

Job searchingHappy New Year! As 2013 commences, it is no secret that the Australian job market continues to be extremely competitive, regardless of whether you are a CEO or a university graduate.

If you are job searching in 2013, here’s my best advice for getting ahead of your competitors, and increasing your opportunities:

 

Get Social

There’s no avoiding professional and social media when it comes to job searching. Professional and social media and networking are changing the way both employers and recruiters search for suitable candidates and this “trend” will continue well into 2013.

Even if you apply for jobs elsewhere, more and more recruiters and employers are using professional platforms like LinkedIn to learn more about you and your experience. Ensure that you utilise your networks, and make connections to increase your prospective job opportunities. At the very least, make sure that you are an active LinkedIn member.

Invest In Your Professional Resume

Your professional resume is one of the most crucial documents to advance your career, and will ultimately determine whether you are suitable for an employer’s position. Your resume should be expertly written and customised for a particular role and its requirements. If you’re unsure how to make your resume engaging and relevant for your next application, a professional resume writer can help. Remember, you only have one chance to make a strong, first impression on the employer – don’t waste it by having a poor resume!

Invest In Your Online Profiles

Like your resume, your online profiles – whether on LinkedIn, Twitter or elsewhere – need to create a powerful impression whenever they are viewed. Proactively driving your potential employment success means investing time and/or money into your online profiles to ensure that they accurately and convincingly portray your skills and experience.

Know Your Keywords

When you search for positions online, you use keywords. Your keywords will usually include your job title. However, expanding your keyword list when job searching also means that you can maximise your searches to find additional opportunities.

If you are only using one word to conduct your searches (e.g. project manager), consider what other job titles or keywords could bring up more advertisements in your job results.

Spend Time Searching (and Researching)

As you may already know, job searching is not a quick and easy task. It requires serious dedication, so make an effort to set aside the appropriate amount of time to conduct job searches and/or research roles and employers. If you are short on time, consider working with a recruitment agency or headhunter, or signing up for relevant job emails, which can all help in maximising your time.

Be Patient & Confident

Finding that perfect position isn’t easy, and it can take time to find and secure your ideal role. Remaining patient and confident in your job hunt will ensure that you maintain a fresh and positive outlook in all your applications. If you feel that you are continually missing out on opportunities or struggling to succeed in interviews, you may want to seek help from a professional to analyse exactly what areas need improvement.

Do you need help with your job hunt? Resumes Australia is a complete resume writing and career coaching service available to all professionals throughout Australia and abroad. Let us help you turn your job searching around!

Best wishes,
kylie hammond

Questions to Ask Before a Career Change

career coachingChanging careers can be an exhilarating experience – it means steering your career in a new direction, seeking new challenges in your desired industry and focusing on success!

But it’s also a time of significant upheaval, not only in your career, but in your life.

If you are keen to embark on a new career, here are 5 essential questions to ask yourself prior to making any changes.

1. Am I Ready?

You should never change careers without being thoroughly prepared or without conducting some serious research. What do you really know about your potentially new career and industry? What skills and qualifications are required? You should also ask yourself if now is the ideal time for you to be changing careers. Is it financially feasible or will it put you in strife? Do you have the time and energy to focus on a new career right now? Assess your life situation and only change careers at a time that will be optimal for you.

2. Why Do I Want to Change?

It’s important to ask yourself this question to ensure that you are changing careers for the right reason. Is your new career something that you’ve always wanted to do or is it a recently discovered interest? Or perhaps it’s only in retaliation to a job that you don’t like? You should also ask yourself what you dislike about your current career – is it really the career that you’re unhappy with, or just your present job and company? If so, a job change might be all that you need.

4. What are the Pros and Cons of Changing Careers?

While you might be excited and energised about changing careers, you will need to analyse the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of changing your career at this current time and think about what each means for you. A pro might be ‘better use of your skills,’ for instance, but a con may be a ‘much lower salary.’ Make a list of your pros and cons and consider if they outweigh each other.

3. Do I Know What Steps to Take?

Have you also researched and detailed what steps you will need to take to change careers? For example, you may require formal training or education before you can start your new career or you may need a whole new skill set. Have you also thought about rewriting your resume or preparing for industry-specific interview questions? Write a practical ‘career change’ plan to ensure that you’ve covered all the steps necessary. Even quitting your current job will be an important action and may involve some consequences.

5. Does My New Career Align With My Life Goals and Values?

You should never change careers without evaluating your life goals and values. A lack of connection between your everyday job and your overall values can result in an unfulfilled career – and a career change that you may regret. If you’re unsure, consider looking into career coaching services, which can help you identify your core values and shape your career decisions around what you want the most.

Resumes Australia can assist you with both career coaching and career management. Just get in touch with one of our job experts today!

Good luck with your career change,
kylie hammond

Overcoming Job Interview Anxiety

job-interview-coaching

Sweaty hands? Pounding heart? Shaky voice? Job interview anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it happens to all of us at some point in our ‘interviewing’ lives, particularly if we’re going for a job that we really want.

Although it possibly doesn’t completely ruin your chances of success, anxiety can give employers the impression that you can’t cope with pressure.

However, overcoming job interview anxiety is possible and it means that you can enter into an interview calmly and confidently – and achieve success.

If you do suffer from butterflies in your stomach, excessive sweating or trembling hands, here are some things that may help relieve your anxiety and stress:

Do Your Research

Being prepared for any interview is crucial, but it can also help reduce your anxiety. The more knowledge you have about the potential employer and the position, the more reassured you’ll feel. So, thoroughly research the employer before your interview – find out what sort of company they are, exactly what they do, what their attitude is towards the industry and so on. Getting a ‘feel’ for the company means you can approach them more confidently.

Practice & Rehearse

If you find anxiety and nervousness hits you right before the interview, practicing or rehearsing your answers beforehand can help. You may want to do this at home in front of the mirror or you may want to look into interview coaching. An interview coach can not only help you stand out from other candidates, but they can train you on how to approach interview questions, how to prepare your answers, and how to remain calm and confident in the interview. It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with common interview questions, which will help you feel more prepared and less like you’re being put on the spot during the interview. Effective interview coaching will take you through these questions, too.

Two-Way Street

To ease some of your anxiety, you should also bear in mind that an interview is a two-way street – the employer is interviewing you, but you’re also interviewing them to see if the job on offer aligns with what you want. If you undergo interview training or coaching, you’ll learn how to ask questions in an interview, as well as how to answer them. Having this background can help to alter your focus and reduce your stress. Remember, you have some control in the interview, too!

Take Control

There are certain elements that you can take control of when it comes to your job interview. Being in control can mean feeling less stressed and less nervous about what’s coming. You can also take control by simply getting a good night’s sleep the night before, researching the location, showing up early to prevent any last minute flusters, choosing comfortable clothing and practicing some slow breathing techniques.

If you are looking for ways to refine your interview skills and alleviate interview anxiety and pressure, Resumes Australia can assist you through effective and successful interview coaching. We can also help with your resume, too. Just contact us!
Good luck,
kylie hammond

5 Career Changing Mistakes

career coachingThere are times in our lives when we come to cross-roads in our careers. We may be bored or unhappy, or simply in need of a change. This is normal, particularly if you’ve been in the same job for a long time, without many challenges.

But jumping headfirst into a new career without any preparation can be a huge mistake. You could find yourself in a worse position than you are now.

If you are planning to change careers, effective career coaching can help. But in the meantime, take a look at these five, common career changing mistakes and how you can avoid them.

1. Lack of Research & Planning

If you’re thinking of diving into a new career that you know nothing about, think again. A new venture may seem exciting – and at first glance, it might seem like a great career to get into. But you will need to think carefully about how much you really know about your proposed new career. Without a strategic plan, you could fail at the first step or land yourself in an unhealthy situation.

Instead, conduct thorough research and formulate a plan before you take any action and quit your current job. Career coaching can be useful, particularly when considering changing careers and can help you explore the positives and negatives of your decision, both in the short term and the long term.

2. No Introspection

Leaping into a new career without considering what’s driving your decision is like flying a plane blindfolded. While fleeting ideas in your head can often get you excited and motivated, you should think carefully about whether your new career choice really suits you. Some aspects of it might be very appealing, but what about the negative or mundane parts of the job? It’s important to consider every element of your potential new career and assess whether you’re really equipped for the role.

3. Wanting a Quick Fix

Starting a new career simply because you hate your job or you need a “quick fix” is never a smart thing to do. It might feel like a good move, but you may find yourself encountering challenges that you haven’t anticipated. Instead, take time to reflect on what you want, and why you want to change. The answer could simply be to stay on your current career path, but seek a new role.

4. Lack of Help

Your career is such a huge part of your life, and changing it without any help can be a big mistake. Instead, seek help from people that can really aid you in reaching your goal. Talk to other people in the same careers, question those already in the industry, find a mentor or hunt out a good career coaching consultant before you make any rash decisions.

5. Being Motivated by Money

One of the worst things you can do is change your career based on money. Money can be motivating, but it’s not what should drive our passions or our true goals. If you’ve seen a friend, colleague or even a stranger succeed in another career or ‘make it rich,’ it’s not an indication that you should jump ship and join them.

A good way of working around this problem would be to ask yourself, “if I could be paid for doing anything, what would it be?”

If you are thinking of changing careers, consult a career coach or mentor as soon as possible. Our career coaching service at Resumes Australia, for instance, helps many people shape their careers and transform their futures.

Regards,

kylie hammond

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