Mapping Out Your Dream Job

Do you have a dream job? If so, do you have clear professional goals to reach your dream job? Before you decide your dream job, better map it out first!

In order to move forward, you need to identify your professional goals. It allows you to plan for the types of work experiences you’ll need to get the dream job. Also, it gives you an objective to work towards mapping out your dream job, now! Here are several ways to create a blueprint for your dream job:

1. Turn your head to the future, not the past

Everyone had a past, which was either bright or dark. Well, nobody should be living their past anymore. Don’t let your past determine your future.

Now, map your future that you want to achieve. Those are your work, accomplishments, financial goals, personal relationships and more. This map can be updated whenever you feel it needs to be renewed.

Yes, nothing lasts forever. If you feel that you lost interest in your current position, you can always look to other areas. Moving from one company to another is also possible.

Write down your career goals, such as a new skill or a promotion. Stick to it! Work towards it one by one.

2. Be perspective

Sometimes, a bad day can easily changed your mind about the future. “Maybe, I’m not supposed to work here!” kind of thing. Before that happen, make a list of the things you love about your current position. Just focus on the good things before you make a decision that you would regret in the future.

If you want to stay, you need to raise the bar. Discuss with your boss and colleagues to try something new. Mentor a younger co-worker or take an assignment that you never done before. Basically, you need to integrate with the company. That way, you can be inspired and energised during your work days.

3. Explore new ways to accelerate your career

Mostly, career is not a climbing ladder anymore. This is not a bad thing, because you are able to find a few creative ways to get your dream job instantly. Just know yourself and your strengths, always leverage your network, and keep developing the skills you need. Learn from a capable mentor and hear his/her advice. You can also change your dream job based on current situation and your mentor’s advice.

How to Answer These 4 Most Common Interview Questions

For people who have been through plenty of job interviews, we realise that common interview questions do exist. Let’s take a look at these most common interview questions and how to answer them.

1. Why do you want to fill this position?

People at the company you’re applying for would love to hear about what makes you want to apply for that position. Of course, they expect to hear an exceptional answer from you. In order to do that, you need to identify a few key factors that make the role a great fit for you.

Sometimes, the answer might not be enough, because it’s all about you. Honestly, this question also forces you to share the reason on why you love the company. Your admiration to the company could be the reason you’re considered as a stand-out candidate.

2. Can you tell me about yourself?

You’ve heard this question all the time, but there’s a chance you still fail to answer it at its best. The hiring managers don’t want to hear it all, like your personal history. You need to make it concise when you’re answering this question.

Just choose 2-3 relevant experiences that might interest the interviewer to know about. Make sure you can convince them that those accomplishments are the right capital for the position you’re applying for.

3. What is your expected salary?

There’s no exact way on how to answer this question. The right answer depends on your education, skills, and experience. If you’re clueless, then do some research on what you should be paid. Apart from that, be a flexible candidate. Tell the interviewer that you respect your skills, but you are still willing to negotiate. It shows that you really want the job.

4. Any questions for me?

Do you often say “no” for this question? If yes, you’re throwing a chance on becoming a noticeable candidate. Be curious enough about the company and its culture. That way, the interview can draw a conclusion that you’re one passionate candidate.

Ask the interviewer about how much they love working at the company, or the company’s future plan. They will be happy that you care about them.

 

Those are the most common interview questions with tips on how to answer them. Let’s land the job on your next interview!

What to Do After Networking Can't Help You Land a Job

Everyone knows that networking is crucial when you are searching for a new job. However, you might be a bit unlucky on networking. Say, your circles can’t really help you to get your dream job. Or, you are simply not that good at networking.

Unfortunately, you need to land a job as soon as possible. Yet, branching out to new people takes a lot of time. The only thing you can do is leverage the people you already know. Here are a few things to do:

  1. Give some help

Yes, you’re the one who needs help. But let’s be honest, nobody will ever help you if you never did a favour before. Most people will ignore your demanding email, and left you feel that they are not being helpful. However, it’s normal for them not to help you, because you always there when you need something.

Be the person who is always open to help anyone. People will remember you little help, and most likely help you back in the future.

If you urgently need their help, you can at least not to be too straightforward. Ask them about something before you ask for their favour. Remember, offer to help them after they did a favour. A “thank you” is just not enough.

  1. Explore social media

In this digital era, you don’t have to be that clueless anymore. You can easily know if your friends and acquaintances knew someone important. LinkedIn pops on your mind when we’re talking about networking. The site is probably still the best online resource for job search and professional networking, but don’t forget the others.

Facebook can be supremely helpful too. Go search for people at the company you’re applying to, and you might find their mutual friend is your friend. This friend could link you with your future colleagues. Or, if it sounds too stalk-ish, you can just shoot a status update to tell your Facebook friends that you are looking for a contact at a company of interest.

  1. Drop a networking email

People can’t simply read your mind, or your status update (if they are too busy at work). Drop him/her an email is the easiest way. Tell them that you are actively searching for a job with your skills, experiences, and expertise. If you have clear position and company, it will be better for them. They can tell you right away if they can help you or not.

job search

Are you unemployed for the past few months? Or are you unhappy with your current position and (secretly) looking for a new job? If your answer is “Yes” to either one, it’s time to kickstart your job search! It will be even more crucial for fresh graduates.

Don’t think job search as too easy. You have to be ready, since you have unlimited competitors. Here are several tips to kickstart your job search:

1. Networking all over again

 

Yes, you are part of the industry already. You knew some important people who you can contact anytime. You might want to find an appropriate way to connect with them to get back on track of employment. However, keep meeting someone new and make friends. Don’t only go to the same conferences and places. Think outside the box. Try any social opportunities like volunteering and parties.

Remember, a good recommendation from people is the best bet for getting a job. Let people in your network know your ability and your dream job, then ask them for leads. Seriously, you need someone who tells your next employer on why you are perfect for the job. Otherwise, it will be much harder to get a job.

2. Create job search plan

Not only business, job search also requires a plan. You have so many things to do. Ranging from making the magnificent resume, arrange for references, to review your online presence and reputation. Make a timeline of priorities to get those tasks done.

Also, you need a lot of time to research the companies you are about to apply for. You are the one who first decide whether the company will be a good fit for you. If you like the company so much, then you should craft the best resume and cover letter for them. Plus, looking for someone who can give you a recommendation to land a position there.

3. Stay optimist

Even though you are on the hard times on your life, make sure to take care of yourself (mentally, physically, and emotionally). Do some positive routines that you always want to do, such as workout, eating healthily, and spending more time with family and friends.

The good habits will keep you more balanced. At the end of the day, you will stay optimist to get the perfect position on your dream company.

 

Good luck on your job search! When is the next job interview will be held?

Tips for disagreeing with your boss

Some say it’s foolish to disagree with your boss. It is no wonder that many agree to that as they fear that their jobs would be at stake.

 

We all don’t like others to disagree with us. However, I believe that most bosses and managers welcome different perspectives and ideas. They do not want a bunch of yes-men working for them but encourage their staff to voice out their opinions and concerns.

 

Disagreements may bring about better solutions and ideas. However, there is a need to disagree positively and respectfully. That would save your career from being damaged.

 

Clear understanding

 

Have a clear understanding on the issue that you disagree with. Do not speak to your boss about it until you can put it into words.

 

Right place, right time

 

You won’t want to cause your boss to lose face by disagreeing with him in front of everyone. You will surely be ‘remembered’ for a really long time……

Speak to your boss privately where there are no interruptions.

Also, don’t go to him when you see him looking frustrated or just before he goes for a major meeting.

 

Keep emotions out of the equation

 

Learn to control your emotions when there is something that you violently object to, even if your boss is a tough nut to crack. Keep in mind that you are addressing the issue and not your boss.

 

Provide solutions

 

Disagree, if you must. But you have got to provide alternative solutions. If you have nothing better to offer, you have to go along with what you have now.

 

Don’t be discouraged when your ideas are not accepted. At the end of the day, it’s your boss that makes the decision.

Appreciating Your Colleagues

Appreciate, as defined by dictionary.com, is to be grateful or thankful for; to value or regard highly. Have you ever appreciated your colleagues? If you have never done so, this is specially for you!

 

At home, we have our family members. At work, our colleagues play a vital role. We do not wish to work in an office with a bunch of cold hearted and hostile colleagues who show no appreciation to their fellow colleagues at all.

 

As I was pondering over how to show my appreciation to my fellow colleagues, I came across a book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. (Not trying to promote the book here) It talks about 5 practical ways that we can show our appreciation to our fellow colleagues.

 

It also points out that different people having different ways of expressing and receiving appreciation. We have to express our appreciation in a language that they receive, so that it is meaningful to them.

 

Let me share with you so that you too can express your appreciation to your fellow colleagues.

 

Words

Simply thanking your colleague or writing a note is a very personal way of expressing your appreciation.

 

Gift

A gift need not always be something expensive. It’s the thought that counts. By getting your colleague a gift based on his/her likings or preferences, it shows how much you value him or her as a colleague. For some, gifts may not matter to them. Then, you could consider…..

 

Time

They just wish for someone to spend time with them or to lend them a listening ear. If so, give them of your time to show your appreciation.

 

Acts

As a way of expressing your appreciation, you could assist your colleague in a project or work together with him/her to complete a task.

 

Touch

You’ve got to be careful with this. While some may abuse it, we want to do so appropriately. A pat on the back after a work well-done is a way to appreciate your colleague through touch.

 

 

Our colleagues are the ones around us at work every day. We do not want to take them for granted. Show your appreciation through these practical ways!

 

how to reduce stress at work

Having a certain level of stress at work can be good to motivate you to perform better and improve your productivity. However, excessive stress can do just the opposite. Having to meet multiple deadlines, heavy workload and the fear of being laid off are common causes of stress.

Are you feeling stressed at work? Good news! You are not alone (Maybe not that good after all). The colleague sitting beside you right now may be feeling the same way too.

Thankfully, there’s just the perfect remedy for you. Here is a list of 7 practical ways that you can use to reduce stress at work.

 

Number one: Relax….. Take a deep breath…..

There is nothing simpler than this. When the amount of work is overwhelming, relax and take a deep breath. It’s that simple.

 

Number two: Get your priorities straight

Complete tasks according to their relative importance, with those of high priority at the top of the list.

 

 

Number three: Learn to say ‘no’

Consider the tasks that you have at hand before taking on more tasks. It is alright to decline taking on more tasks when you already have a lot on your plate.

 

Number four: Laugh it off

Haven’t you heard ‘Laughter is the best medicine’? Laughter can help reduce stress. But of course, don’t burst into laughter at your desk suddenly. Share a joke with your colleague and get a good laugh together!

 

Number five: It’s perfectly fine to be imperfect

When you strive to attain perfection, you place unnecessary stress on yourself. Set realistic goals for yourself and do your best in every project.

 

Number six: Have a healthy diet

When feeling stressed, many turn to snacks and coffee. However, avoid junk food or any unhealthy snacks. Instead, have healthier alternatives like almonds or fruits and reduce your intake of caffeine.

 

 

Number seven: Take a break, have a rest

Take short breaks. 5 to 10 minutes would be good. Do something apart from work and get away from your desk. A short walk can help reduce stress and increase your productivity.

 

High levels of stress can have undesirable effects. Being able to handle it well is very important.

What to do at career fairs copy

Many career fairs are organised in Singapore each year. Job seekers all flock to these fairs but many are at a lost as to what to do at career fairs. These are great opportunities that you should make full use of. Here are tips that you can use to make the most out of career fairs.

 

  • Dress well. As always, first impressions count. Dress professionally like how you would when you go for an interview. 

 

  • Preparation is vital. Prepare copies of your resume. Ensure that your resume is in the proper format. Participating employers are shown on the websites of the career fairs. Use this to find out information on those companies before attending the career fair.

 

  • Speak to as many people as you can. Do not just aim for the big companies, but speak to even those companies whose name you have never heard of.

 

  • ‘Promote’ yourself. Prepare a pitch that summarizes the information that you have provided on your resume. It should not take longer than a minute.

 

  • Ask good questions. It is always good to ask relevant questions to show your interest in the job and the company.

 

Examples of good questions to ask

–          What are the types of training programs offered by the company?

–          What opportunities are offered for advancement?

–          What skills do you look for in candidates?

 

 

  • Leave with each recruiter something. No, not your unwanted sweet wrappers. Leave behind with each recruiter your resume and a lasting impression.

 

  • Manners matter. Of course being polite while speaking to the recruiters at the career fair is important. Take a step further by sending a thank you note or email to the people you have spoken to at the fair. This leaves them with a lasting impression.

 

Use this as a checklist to ensure that you make full use of the next career fair that you attend!

Being the New Employee

Welcome on board! The journey of a new job has just begun. It would be another replay (for some) of the whole process of meeting new people, adapting to a new environment, handling new tasks and pleasing your new boss. Be it your first job or tenth job, you would want to start it right.

Here are seven tips to getting through your ‘honeymoon’ period at your new job.

Dress appropriately.

You don’t want to be seen as dressing too casually or formally. Even if you see others dressing casually to work, you shouldn’t do so, at least, in the first half a year after you started on this job.

 

Be friendly.

Smile. This is a simple way to be friendly to your new colleagues and superiors. A friendly disposition would make others more willing to help you.

 

Listen more.

Although we always hear that it is better to give than to receive, it is better to receive (listen) than to give (talk) as a new employee. It is so important to listen to understand more on the company. Have an open mind; do not insist your way.

 

Ask.

Being a new kid on the block, it is only normal to be unfamiliar with the company’s operations, culture and processes. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your colleagues.

 

Don’t talk about your previous jobs.

No one really bothers what you have done in your previous jobs. If they do, they would ask you. Don’t make comparisons with your previous companies or talk about how things were done there.

 

Don’t ‘socialise’ too much.

Yes. Don’t go around introducing yourself to everyone working in the same building. You are hired and paid to work, not to socialise. Avoid using Facebook or talk on the phone with your five-year-old while working; your boss isn’t going to like it!

 

Do your best……and more!

Work as if you are being watched all the time. Don’t be seen ‘eating snakes’; you are expected to have a good lunch break! Do beyond what is expected to get into your boss’ good books. Rest assured that your hard work would pay off one day.

Start well and you will have a positive work experience.

How to negotiate for a pay rise copy

Who would not want a pay rise? Everyone wants an increase in their pay, but no one dares to ask for it. We dare not do so as we fear being seen as money-grubbers. So, how do we go about approaching our bosses to request for a pay rise? Let’s do it the SMART way!

 

Specific and realistic

Be specific. Know the amount of increase that you wish to see. With that in mind, be realistic. Don’t ask for more than what the company is able to pay you.

 

Make sure to ask at the right time

Right timing is key. Asking for a pay rise when your company is struggling to stay afloat or laying workers off will only result in failure. Rather, ask at a time when the company is doing well.

 

Ask yourself ‘Why do I deserve a pay rise?’

Your boss won’t accede to your request just like that. You have to be ready to list out the reasons why you deserve an increase in pay.

Think about the contributions that you have made to the company, your accomplishments and the increased responsibilities you have taken on that you can present to your boss.

 

Rejection is possible

There is a possibility of getting the answer ‘No!’. Stay positive even if you are rejected. Ask what is needed to be done to qualify for a pay rise the next time.

 

Threats aren’t going to work

When your request is rejected, don’t threaten to quit. That would be unprofessional. Also, do not use another job to hold your boss hostage. Your boss isn’t going to like it and that would most likely make things worse.

 

As you can see, it does take some form of ‘skill’ to ask for a pay rise. You can’t just walk up to your boss and tell him that you want a pay rise. Preparation is needed. And of course, confidence and politeness cannot be left out.