Next move up | Header Guest

Blog

Need Some Motivation For Your Job Search? Take Your Pick…
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 23rd November 2016


Every day doing the same mundane stuff without being paid for the effort makes you wonder why you even bother. Job searching can be fun - for a couple of months. Past the six months’ mark and it’s going to take its toll.

If you’re not there yet, it’s coming. If you’re there now, below you’ll find a few tips to boost your motivation during the tough times of the job search and actually put some meaning back into your life.

Revitalise Your Energy and Stave off Desperation Job Hunting with these Strategic motivation tips

1: Treat as your temp job

Because that’s what you’re ultimately doing, temping for yourself, for your best interests. Forget about the long lies and the naysayers who say you have it easy not having to get up for work. You have to get up to find work. Early bird… worm…. You get the drift.

Get out of bed in the a.m. go through your morning routine, get some breakfast down your neck, take a walk to get the oxygen levels up, preparing you for the day ahead.

2: List your ideals and fall backs

If you’re getting radio silence, there’s a problem. Likely blanket bombing resumes to recruiters who aren’t interested and the cover letters aren’t targeted. Solely out of desperation to get a job. Any job!

A successful job hunt starts with you being clear on what you want. Beyond that though, you shouldn’t neglect what you don’t want either.

Set your bar for acceptable job offers, as in your lowest. If the time comes when your bank account is in dire straits, the cupboards nearly bare and you’re struggling to keep the lights on, what’s the worst position you can see yourself working in?

  • Sales rep or valet technician?
  • Cleaning job or try your hand as an Avon rep?

(Use your imagination to describe what you’d do for a job if needs must)

Have a list of what your ideal job(s) would be. The one’s you’d take in a heartbeat. List the job title, duties, salary, hours of work, shift patterns etc. Do that for the two lists.

What you’ll find is that your fall-back list is going to motivate you every time you look at it to focus on your ideal job list. That’s one way to keep laser focused. Provided you don’t cheat and put an ideal job in your fall-back list - then you’d miss the point and the motivational benefits. 

3: Take time for self-reflection

This is the best time you have to take stock of where you’re at and the crossroads you’ve reached. At the forks in the road, which turn do you take? Stay on your chosen career path, or jump ship and try something new?

You’ll be looking at jobs everyday so there’s going to be some unusual titles that grab your curiosity, making you wonder what like the job would be. How strong is that urge? If you’re tempted to navigate away from your chosen career, it might be that it’s the change you need.

Give it some thought and don’t rule out using your transferable skills to help you career hop into a different line of work.

4: Don’t take rejection personally

Rejection sucks. Nobody likes it because all we’re all really after is acceptance. Attending interviews and hearing nothing back is depressing. Or worse, is when you get constructive feedback and take it personally. Why did they think that of me?

It happens to the best. People say no. It’s a word and it doesn’t mean you can’t have what you want, just not this time. Or maybe the next time but eventually a yes will come. It’s a numbers game and nothing personal. When you begin to take rejection personally, you won’t be able to focus on the positives, because you’ll be trapped focused on the imperfections that are being brought to the forefront of your mind with the feedback you’re getting.

The best thing to do with negativity is to write it down in an improvement journal. With that information tucked away, you can work your way through a personal development journey to improve your weaknesses, but never lose sight of your strengths. When that happens, the blues set in.

5: Diet and exercise keep your mind sharp

 

Very important for the mind and body and it is pretty much self-preservation for fighting off depression, a well-known side-effect of job hunting in desperation mode.

Eat healthy foods, and get a decent amount of exercise. When you’re feeling down, it’s difficult but the more stressed you get with a job hunt, the less energy you have. What’s more is that when you eat healthy and exercise, you’ll sleep better too, less tossing and turning at night with worry. You’ll feel more in control and that’s because you’ll be taking care of your emotional health.



5 Preparation Tips For A Disaster-Free And Successful Interview
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 16th November 2016


When you find out that you’ve been selected for interview, it’s time to get your thinking cap on and prepare for the busy day that lies ahead.

The average time for an interview is forty-minutes but allow yourself much more time than that because that’s only speaking time with your interviewer. It doesn’t take into account the many other things that will crop up.

5 Things that’ll Make Your Interview Day (and Experience) Sweet

1: Never skip on breakfast

When it comes to being interviewed, you need your brain to be at its sharpest. You’ll no doubt have heard the saying of ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’.

It’s true and that’s because it boosts your concentration power and according to researchers, will prevent attention deficit – something you can’t have creep up during an interview.

Make sure you’re at your sharpest by getting up early enough to eat a bowl of cereal. It’s not difficult to avoid being bit by the hunger bug and left feeling tremendously uncomfortable during an interview. It’ll be awkward enough by circumstances outside of your control. Nourishment is in your control. Don’t neglect it.

2: Be realistic with practice commutes

If you’re at all serious about presenting as your best on the day of interview, one of your first plans will be to set a time to do a practice run. This shouldn’t be done at just any old time. If you’re traveling to an interview at 1pm, you’re likely to hit lunchtime traffic. If it’s closer to 4pm or 5pm you’ll likely hit heavy traffic and that will delay you on the day.

You’ll find a practice run at 11pm has a drastically different commute time than the one you do at 8:30 am, therefore do your practice run at the time you’re expecting to be traveling. As an extra precaution, check the local authorities’ social media pages and their website for any potential traffic problems such as road closures, and diversions. On the morning of your travel, do a final check using www.bbc.co.uk/travel as a precautionary measure for travel disruption.

Running late will have you feeling flustered, stressed and looking very unimpressive. Avoid it with a sensible practice commute.

3: Do your homework on dress codes

Just because you’re interviewing for a position that doesn’t require a suit, doesn’t mean that you should turn up for interview in jeans and a sweater.

There’s smart, smart-casual, and just plain dumb when it comes to interview dress codes.

  • Shorts and vests fall into the dumb category.
  • Three-piece suits fall into the smart category
  • A pair of dark denim jeans, dress top and a blazer or plain cardigan would fall into the smart-casual category.

Dress appropriately for the type of job you’re applying for. It’ll make a huge difference to how you feel on the day of your interview. If you feel over dressed for the occasion, you’ll go on the defence, making your body-language really uncomfortable for the person interviewing you.

4: Never engage in negativity

When you’re in new territory, you can’t be negative. You just don’t know who you’re speaking to. For that reason, negativity must be a no-go. You could be speaking to another manager, a silent partner in the business, or worse, a boss’s spouse or relative.

Company cultures tend to be close-knit. For that reason, don’t say anything to anyone that could be considered derogatory.

5: Be Engaged

Being engaged is awesome! The more you engage with your interviewer, the easier the interview goes. This applies to everyone you meet so even if you decide to jump in for a coffee during lunch hour at the nearest coffee store to try and suss out some of the people who work where you’re going to be interviewed, listen actively to the people you converse with.

Ask them questions, take the initiative and drive the conversation.

“Fail to plan, plan to fail”

~ Benjamin Franklin

 



5 Alarming Behaviours During Interviews That You’d Do Well To Avoid
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 10th November 2016


Are you landing interviews but lacking results? Maybe it’s time to take a long hard look at how you’re coming across at your first time meets.

The way you dress, act and walk has the largest impact on anyone you meet with for the first time. What you wear will have an impact on whether you get a job offer or not. Nothing flamboyant is the way to go. Employers aren’t looking for a fashionista nor do they need to know that you keep up with the latest trends.

It is one thing to reach the interview stage, but it’s quite the other to survive the average forty minutes that a standard job interview will take. That is plenty of time for you to make a lasting impression, a positive one, and be able to seal the deal.

The only way you’ll do that is by avoiding the behaviours and actions that recruiters tend to hate.

5 Abysmal Behaviours That Send Hiring Managers Scurrying

1: Misaligned Body Language

Whatever your mouth says, your body needs to agree. That doesn’t always happen. Asides from being a tell for when a person is lying through their teeth, there’s other factors you need to keep in mind to maintain good body language.

Smiling is customary. It’s rude to not smile when you greet someone, so even if you’re super anxious, take your mind to a little quiet place, calm your nerves and make sure your introduction doesn’t include…

2: A lily-livered hand shake

When you meet your interviewer, greet them with a firm handshake. It’s the trait of a leader and that’s what employers are looking for - someone who isn’t afraid to meet someone new, reach out with an extended hand and grab an opportunity.

Show your leadership skills right off the bat with a good firm handshake. You’ll be taken seriously and not as someone feeling dominated by the pressure of the interview.

3: Fidgeting: It’s why the atmosphere feels awkward

Fidgeting is a huge turn off for employers. If you know you’re guilty of it, you’ll need to try and do something about it. If it helps you to sit through forty minutes of sheer torturous interview questions coming at your quick fire, strap an elastic band to your wrist and discreetly tug on it because next up in the annoying category is….

4: Far too much hand gesturing

Words are meant to spoken. Hand gestures emphasise what you’re saying, or they can tell your interviewer that you’re totally making it up as you go.

It stands out as you will be overly suggestive with your hands. Letting them wave around here, there and everywhere gives the impression to bosses that you’re winging it. And guess what? They don’t like that!

Nor do they tolerate…

5: Lacking a basic grasp of what the business does and needs you to do for them

 

There’s nothing going to infuriate a hiring manager more than a candidate with great potential turning up dumb.

Dumb happens when you don’t do your homework.

Somewhere on your CV is an education section. When you went to school, teachers would have taught you how to research. Use those research skills to find out everything you can about the company you’re interviewing with, so that you come across as being keen for the opportunity.

While you’ve been waiting patiently for the interview day to come around, the management have been taking the time to research you.

Pay them the same respect by researching them.

At the very least, know the exact position you’re applying for, and remember the job title that was advertised. Otherwise, you could find yourself being low-balled into a lower salary, higher responsibilities, and working overtime that you won’t even get paid for.

A likeability factor with management will help you get treated respectfully during negotiations, which you’d be wise to do before you seal the deal with a signature on the dotted line. You won’t be able to negotiate effectively if you don’t have the respect of those hiring you.

That’s what can happen when you don’t do the research and find out exactly what you’ll be expected to do because when the table turns and you’re asked if you have any questions, it’s your turn to become the interviewer.

Have your questions ready.

When that time comes and you are asked if you have any questions, make sure it’s not something you could easily find out from a Google search. Make your questions sensible and suggestive to the fact that you have done your homework.

Once you’ve had your questions answered, there is one closing question that you’d be off your rocker to forget and that’s to ask for the job. If you’re uncomfortable with being so direct, at least ask when they’d expect you to start.

Your ideal answer would be “when can you start?”

All of this can happen from a carefully thought-through forty-minute conversation.



5 Savvy Tips For Millennial Job Seekers To Seek Out Work Opportunities
Author: Andrew Seward
Date: 4th November 2016


Ah, job hunting like a guerrilla. Sounds fun! Wait, what? Have you heard of guerrilla marketing? In a nutshell, it’s an unconventional and low cost advertising method. You can apply the same guerrilla style to your job search by doing a bit to stand out, but not so much that you’ll be branded a lunatic and quite possibly, unemployable. That’s not the intended outcome, nor is it likely to be when you get savvy with whatever you use to connect to the virtual world.

5 Creative Ways to Get Noticed by Hiring Managers

… Because let’s face it, if you can get their attention before they know they need you, you’ll have eliminated the competition.

Go get ‘em with these guerrilla job hunting adventures…

1: Someone else’s bad news is your good news

Whoever you interact with, stay tuned for keywords like fired, hired, retired, or anything that gives you the slightest hint that a potential employer could have an opening.

If someone’s having a rant about being let go, find out if the company really did downsize, or if that person messed up big time and got sacked. If the firm downsized, there’s no job openings. If the person messed up, then his / her position might just be about to be advertised on the job market. Call the company and inquire.

2: Take your networking to the next level with information interviews

That word networking is overrated. What’s often neglected when the broad spectrum of networking is done is the personal interaction. Go to events, seminars, and follow up after. When the gig’s up, don’t go until you’ve spoken to at least a few people, especially the speakers at the events because those are the ones with the connections. Besides, they expect people to talk to them. Most appreciate it too.

If you’ve yet to conduct an information interview, you’ll find it like Marmite. Either you’ll love it or absolutely detest it. It’s a casual conversation with someone in your industry, so you do need to make the contact first. That’s what your networking is for. To seek people out who could help you and then you take that further by moving it to a more personal connection with a one-on-one interview. The difference being, you’re the interviewer. Not the interviewee.

You ask the questions, find out more about your industry, and basically talk shop. In the process, you get a glimpse into the company the person you’re speaking with works at. They clue you up on the company culture, any targets that’s expected, maybe even salary expectations, the working conditions, holidays and the inside scoop on the higher ups within the company. The people you need to impress for a job. They’ll tell you what they’re like and give you the advice you need to impress them. Provided they like you that is.

The purpose of the information interview is for you to interview insiders and get the low down. But, don’t neglect the power of the contact. It’s a new friend and professional contact you’ll be speaking with. When you get to that stage, never walk away without asking if they know of anyone they think you should be speaking to. It’s far more powerful to introduce yourself as a referral of someone they know, rather than a direct approach.

The best part of that approach is you’re going to grow your personal network of professional contacts pretty fast.

3: Scout the companies you’d like to work for

If you really want to work for a particular firm and can’t get your foot in the front door, find another way. That other way is through their associates. A little digging around the firms’ online profiles, and the contacts of those who work there, you’ll likely find there’s a few connected companies, most likely suppliers or contractors.

If you can get your foot in the door with a trusted business of the company you’d like to be hired by, that’s going to stand out on your resume when you re-submit it at a later date.

As selfish as it sounds, it might just pay off to use connected businesses and settle for less for a bit, just to get yourself noticed because the pawn (company you use to get noticed) will know someone and likely be able to put in a good word for you. Not as a supervisor or up-line, but as a friend of a friend sort of thing. 

4: Get busy

You’ll have heard the saying that it’s easier to get work when you’re in work. Sorry, but that part is true so you may as well deal with it if you’re out of work.

There’s no point moseying around in sorrow if your job hunts drying up. Instead, take off. Go backpacking somewhere. Give yourself an excuse for the gap in your resume. The longer you’re out of work, the harder it’ll become to get back into the game.

Go into self-discovery mode and take an adventure. It’s one way to protect your CV from going stale, and it’ll give you plenty of tales to talk about in the future.

If you’re not the adventurous type, there’s plenty of charities would gladly give you something to do – for a cause and not for pay. Experience counts. It doesn’t really matter where you get that experience.

5: Brush up on your REAL social skills

What are not meant by that are social media skills. You’ll have plenty of that, but you may be lacking in the real social skills department. Like getting out and talking to real people without a screen between you both.

Those who have grew up with technology all around them, all or some of their lives (often referred to as Generation X, Y or Z) have become so accustomed to conversing online, that they haven’t a clue about observing body language and subtle hints of sarcasm. It makes conversations awkward.

If there’s one thing Millennials lack when speaking with people from another generation, it’s the social interaction skills. Informal chats are near impossible due to nerves. It is one thing to converse over email and instant chat online, but it’s a different ball game when you’re face-to-face. That’s where to get experience that matters. Holding genuine conversations with anyone and everyone you can. Brush up on your real social skills - don’t do everything in a virtual world.

Bonus tip: Emails

Despite what you may have heard, email is still very much alive in the business world. In fact, many in HR would rather have CVs they can read on a computer rather than the paper version. After all, they do scour CV databases anyway. Naturally though, send both, but when you’re approaching potential employers or introducing yourself to someone you feel could help your job search, there’s nothing wrong with opening the conversation with a courteous email. Just be sure that you use business prose and don’t use non-existent words, like “Howdy m8”.

Always keep your conversations professional and sign off with your full name – no nicknames.