Human beings are meant to grow. Not only physically, but mentally as well. Just like your body needs food to grow, your brain needs new knowledge to develop as well. To support personal growth, each person should realise the importance of lifelong learning.

Are you a fresh graduate struggling to find a job but have not managed to land one? Or, are you a veteran employee stuck in a dead-end position? Whatever be the case, it is time to start embracing learning once again. However, going to school is only among the various options where you can learn new skills and abilities.

Lifelong learning is not limited to formal education. You do not have to go back to school and invest more money to learn new things. If your employer cannot provide funds for personal learning and skills development, you can always log into the Internet and find thousands of online and offline courses to keep improving your qualities.

While some of them cost you zero bucks such as Coursera and EdX, you can invest some money to obtain verified certificates at the end of the training programs. If you need to be convinced before starting off your journey of lifelong learning, here are five advantages:

Improves Self-Confidence

Whether you are a fresh grad or a veteran employee, self-confidence is a must-have valuable quality that every employer desires to find in their next potential hire. The problem however is, self-confidence is not something that can be obtained easily. You cannot be confident unless you trust your own capabilities first.

In order to be successful in getting a particular job done on time, you should believe in your competence. This sense of self-belief will only come to you, when you have sufficient experience, knowledge, and skills for the job.

When you pursue lifelong learning, you are focused for growth through continuous upgradation of your knowledge and skills. Thus, attending weekend batches or signing up for an online course will eventually boost your self-confidence.

Keep Current and Up to Date

Lifelong learning encourages you to keep thinking and provides new information. If you have graduated a long time ago, you might be surprised with the latest developments, advancements in technology that  has changed the world of work. In order to stay abreast of these new developments, and make informed decisions for a growing career – continuous learning holds the key.

Committed to lifelong learning will help reduce the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as learning will keep the brain cells active, increase vitality and promote new cell development as well.

Fight boredom

Being stagnated at the same position in your career brings monotony to growth. Don’t let your soul stuck into dull routines. Refresh your mind and challenge yourself by learning something new. It does not have to be something related to your current job. Instead, you can learn anything that draws your interest, as long as it is positive and meaningful.

Learn practical skills

Formal education helps you to join the workforce and get started. However, besides theoretical knowledge acquired at school, you need to also improve upon your practical skills. While you might have good grade and GPA in academics, but today employers value soft-skills as much as hard-skills needed for the job.

Identify your weaknesses and, quantify on your strengths. For example, if you think you are not digitally literate, you can join a computer class to develop the digital skills. There are also countless websites available online that offer free courses with flexible time arrangements to suit your busy life schedules.

Achieve self-fulfillment

Define yourself with something other than your job. Lifelong learning will enable you to achieve self-fulfillment. Whether it is photography, hand-lettering, or cooking, bring your hobbies to a different level. Not only will this expand your viewpoints, but you can also perhaps to seek a new career from it.

It is never too old to learn. Lifelong learning will help you stay competitive in the job market. So don’t be afraid of starting from the scratch and learning new things. Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Next read: Why and How to Stay Up-to-Date with the Job Market?

Initially, when you join the company, you were feeling excited and raring to go. You get along well with everyone in the office and obstacles coming your way are challenges that inspire you. After months or even years within the company, you might be facing tight deadlines, insensitive co-workers or perfectionist supervisors among many things that continuously test our patience.

Next, you find yourself waking up in the morning, mourning for the fact that you have to go to work and the complaints towards your job increases. Also, if you can’t even recall when was the last you felt the exuberant feeling you had like before, it might be time for you to consider moving on from this company.

All of us know that bad days are common as we all face stressful times at work, so how do we tell if we should move or stay on? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  1.      You feel bored and monotonous.

A job role can get boring and monotonous. For example, at times when you are given a lot of tasks, and you are not feeling the ‘challenge.’ When that happens, your productivity could significantly decrease as procrastination sets in. Learning opportunities and future career growth come together with the projects we are tasked with, so if you aren’t feeling it, then perhaps, you may want to consider looking for a new job.

  1.      You feel underappreciated.

Underappreciation by employers can discourage employees from a further progression of performance. Thus, completing a project with expectations met or even hitting above average, recognition usually comes next. But if your employer does not show any form of proper appreciation towards the efforts you put in, then perhaps it is time to look for a new environment where employees are more valued by the employers.

  1.      You feel the lack of passion.

Not all jobs will turn out as you had expected them to be initially. The lack of passion for a job comes when you aren’t enjoying what you are handling or when you have more to offer, but the job doesn’t give the window of opportunities to perform or when the learning growth has become stagnant. Rather than staying there, perhaps it is time to discover your true desire. Don’t let yourself be stucked.

  1.      You feel not supported.

When you have the potential to offer more to the company and yet, there are no advancement opportunities or career growth. Even after speaking to your supervisor doesn’t seem to make any improvements to your career life. It might not be only them blocking the path, as it could also be due to the role you are in, does not have the capacity to let you shine or offer you more areas to tap your capabilities.

Also, when there is no support from your supervisors or team members, your expectations of the job could not be fulfilled, the feeling of dissatisfaction and no sense of belonging could eventually increase with time.

  1.      You feel stressful & tired all the time.

When you are always racing against the clock and staying later and later in office to complete your tasks or meeting approaching deadlines, exhaustion can happen. At the same time, you realise that the time spent at work is way more than the time you spend with yourself, friends or family. That’s when you start to feel weary and unmotivated. These could eventually decrease your performance at work which further leads on to the inability to progress further in your career.

  1.      You feel unhappy at work.

Keeping our mental and emotional being healthy is important. If you are happy with what you are doing and satisfied with your current role, naturally you will be encouraged to pursue further. But, if you are feeling unhappy whenever you think about work, dreading to go to the office, and especially if you are experiencing verbal abuse or bullying, it is time to look for a new role in a healthier work environment.

  1.      You feel unfitted with the company culture.

When you do not share the same visions, values and goals as the company, you should not even accept the job offer in the first place! But what if you are aligned with the employers initially and along the road, changes happen, and you find that you no longer share the same ideas anymore? It is a sign for you to start looking for a new job then!

 

If you are experiencing signs like the above, it is time to reconsider your career and look for opportunities that suits you better. Visit http://jobiness.com/sg/jobs!

Next read: The Effects Job Dissatisfaction Does To Your Health

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A bad manager can potentially make the life of employees miserable at work, bringing about work dissatisfaction and also threaten their career advancement opportunities. But the troubling part is, managers possess some degree of authority, thus, complaining about their behaviours might be risky, and that could eventually result in losing your job.

Some employees when encountering such bad managers, they opt to be passive about the bad management. They avoid confrontations as they do not want to disrupt the relationship and further threaten their jobs or reputation in the company. However, there are also employees who are courageous enough to be ‘heroes’ by speaking up and pointing out the bad management issues they are facing which leads to their inability to excel. Also, at the same time, for the rest of their peers’ overall effectiveness at work.

If you belong to the ‘heroes’ group, be cautious and well-prepared! An effective, professional complaint should be well methodised to drive the upper management for their response and necessary actions, also to heal the working harmony amongst the team, even to take needful steps in future when promoting or hiring the right suited person for managerial positions.

1) Identifying the Cause

When you want to make a complaint about your manager, it must be for appropriate causes and not for personal reasons (e.g. a personal dislike, giving you tasks you hate) or for petty reasons, you can come across as being unreasonable. Therefore, ensure you are making a complaint regarding valid issues.

Valid issues that can justify your complaint ranges from workplace bullying, discriminatory behaviour, breaking violations, instructing you to perform illegal or unethical activities. If you are unsure if the issue you would like to raise is valid or not, it is best to seek a second opinion.

2) Collecting Evidence

Once you have a valid complaint to make. The next step would be to collect concrete evidence to back your complaint. It is important to document the bad behaviours. Be as detailed as you can and with the evidence, it will be justifiable to the upper management where they can take necessary actions.

3) Go to the HR Department First

HR persons play a part in ensuring an efficient workplace, including mediating conflict occurrences amongst the employees. Thus, the complaint should be brought forth to them first for their further investigation on the matter. Commonly, the HR persons will contemplate on the best possible solution to the problem. Once they come to a conclusion, the matter will be reported to the upper management with proposed solution. Be it termination for bad cases or a mediation meeting to be held in minor cases.

4) Threatening Doesn’t Solve Anything

Some employees might get too emotional and scurry to deliver the complaints while threatening legal actions or hinting they will quit should they not produce a satisfied outcome.

Keep in mind that; Your job role can always be there, but you are not indispensable. No matter how much achievements you gain or a very talented employee, nobody is indispensable. Moreover, to rush the management to deliver an outcome, the investigation will not be conducted carefully and objectively.

It is right so that every employee can speak up and help the company to purge toxic people in the workplace but it is crucial that the methods delivering such complaints are done professionally and appropriately. What’s your take on this? Share them with me!

Next read: The Effects Job Dissatisfaction Does to Your Health

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Gotten laid off recently? Whatever the reasons -corporate reorganisation, restructuring, economic budget constraints- layoffs mostly bring misery and sorrow to employees.

Some of you might be in a panic and scurry to look for possible job opportunities (well, you have to survive and pay all the bills!). However, finding similar jobs with benefits and attractive salary package is not that easy! Today’s workforce are pretty competitive and could hinder you in getting your dream job.

If you haven’t got any opportunities right now, it could be you, yourself causing it. Scroll down and see if the following describes the current you.

  1. Being Negative

It is impossible to change the situation, but keep in mind that it is still POSSIBLE to seek other career opportunities, even the BETTER ones! Don’t let your emotions creep out when doing an interview with your future employers and avoid disfiguring your previous bosses/company.

Instead, focus on your strengths, experiences and capabilities. Be confident so that you are able to convince your future employers your outstanding deliverables if they are to offer you the job.

  1. Blaming Yourself

Blaming yourself is not going to improve the crisis you are facing. It is wise to do a self-reflection of what you have done (mistakes and errors) in the previous company, but don’t chide yourself too badly! Rather, be more focus on your future advancement and improvement. Instead of wallowing in regrets of what you could have done to previous situations, focus on the future that awaits you!

  1. Not Knowing What You Want

Before applying for a job, it is better for you to do a self-assessment about what are the job roles you are really interested in, what roles you are capable at and weaknesses that you want to improve. This assessment will help you to pinpoint jobs that suits you totally.

If you are dissatisfied and unhappy with your previous job, it’s time for you to be selectively in your options of job roles you should be in.

  1. Being Distant

Never keep to yourself or wallow in depression due to the layoff. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest are great sources of networking you can use to gain much information about job opportunities that matches your skill sets and interests. You can also connect with former colleagues and alumnus pals to get some references about companies currently looking for talents to hire (in your area of capabilities, of course!)

  1. Sending Resumes Blindly

One positive thing you can gain from being laid off is that you have the opportunity to sit down and reflect. Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur and start something on your own? Startups are growing rapidly nowadays, especially if you are passionate enough to make it work, with the right expertises and adequate capital, it could jolly well happen!

Or have you ever thought of a career change or want to do something drastically different from what you have always been doing?

Therefore, just because you lost your job and feeling panic-stricken doesn’t mean you should be throwing your resumes blindly. Sit down and reflect.

Being upset and disappointed is common, as the layoff could be something you had never expected before. However, layoffs can be the turning point for you to build a future you have never imagined before!  

Do not waste time on your emotional response. Rise and continue your life with much courage and optimism!

Next read: How to Avoid Looking Like a Job Hopper on Your Resume

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A workplace with appropriate salary, inspiring leaders & colleagues and clear progression opportunities is a thought that most graduates would envision.  However, the reality may not resonate with what you have envisioned depending on your expectations. In the current highly competitive business landscape, finding the perfect job seems like a distant goal particularly for fresh graduates.

Job dissatisfaction arises when your expectations differ greatly from the ‘real’ world environment that you are employed in. Harsh as it may be but it is as common as it can be for most fresh graduates thus igniting the spark of job dissatisfaction. If not kept in check, job dissatisfaction may embed negative mindsets that will impede our professional & character development on the long haul.

So how do we manage job dissatisfaction and overcome it? Before we move to discuss this in-depth, refresh the following quote by Richelle Mead.

‘For every bad thing in life, there are more good things to tip the balance’.

#1 Understanding your discontent

More often than not, we succumb to our discontent when our workplace doesn’t ‘agree’ with us. That extra workload, that overtime, your superior whom you deem unqualified to lead, that colleague whom habitually hands-over her work to you to complete as part of your learning & training journey, that promised job exposure which did not materialise and most commonly the salary that may not justify putting up with all the above. Added together, seems like a job you can better do without with.

Before we come to a verdict, take a step back and read the quote in your mind again.

#2 Making the best out of what you got

If it isn’t perfect, it may still be good. Take a step back. Rationalise your discontent. There may be underlying factors that may have brought about your predicament.

-    Are my problems solvable

-    Who can solve my problems

-    Can all of my problems be solved

-    If not all, can I adapt

In all employment, there are always learning opportunities such as technical skills, processes, soft skills, people management skills etc. For every difficult situation you have dealt with and moved on facing the next, you have subconsciously proved that you are competent to solve or handle the problem you were presented with. If handled well, these valuable situations have placed you in a better stead to handle bigger and more critical situations as you progress to take on leadership roles in your future employment.

Adaptability is also key to managing your discontent. Learn to adapt to your work environment, your superiors, your co-workers etc. Our ability to adapt enables us to achieve a wider spectrum of perspective on the circumstances that we are facing thus allowing us to review our problems or issues. And sometimes, our issues & problems may not seem as severe that brought about dissatisfaction.

#3 Moving on

Do not harp and dwell on your dissatisfaction. Move on with your newly acquired experience, apply that experience as you encounter new challenges and make your job better and hopefully more fulfilling.

There will come a time where the next move comes calling for the betterment of your career. Consider your options & circumstances. A change of job should never be a rash decision. Never take it for granted that the perfect job will be made. It is up to us to carve out that perfect job and never be satisfied, for we all deserve better.

Next read: The Effects of Job Dissatisfaction to Your Health

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Are you really happy and satisfied with your job right now? With the new technological advances and innovations, the job market is highly competitive now. Thus, landing a dream job is not an easy task.

Think about the higher living standards and perhaps needs to maintain individual lifestyles or commitments, these causes most people to work in jobs that are able to sustain their needs and wants. Even so, a percentage of these people are just working in a job not even related to their qualifications (due to the challenging job market).

If you are dragging yourself to work every day, you are possibly facing job dissatisfaction. There are quite a number of reasons for such behaviour; it could be a lack of passion for the job you are currently in or unideal workplace environment (over-demanding superiors, irrational workload or the inability to mix well with your peers.) When such cases happen, some might resign while there are others who will stay just simply because of financial reasons.

An important message this article wants to get across is, ‘For a person to function their daily tasks well, a healthy state of mind should be present’.

Let’s take a look at how job dissatisfaction can gradually affect your overall well-being.

  1. Additional Stress

When you are feeling unhappy with the job you are in, it is likely that no matter the tasks you are given to do, you will feel stressed or a lack of interest. When that happens, procrastination usually takes place. No employers will tolerate such procrastination and lack of productivity.

That will result in you rushing tasks under stressful conditions and delivering subpar work to your superiors. As such, your self-esteem will decrease due to the inability to meet expectations and perhaps, even the high possibility of ruining your career.

That could lead to burnout.

  1. Insomnia

When you are stressed out, you might not be able to sleep at night with those excessive worrying and unhappiness. So, insomnia occurs, and you are not able to get the sufficient needs to allow your body to recover.

When you are not able to let your body rest and recover, your immune system will gradually weaken, and you will be more prone to catching diseases.

  1. Depression

Lastly, when you allow the issues to continue wearing you down, it can unfold into a depression state where you are no longer able to face the day-to-day positively but bury yourself in pessimism.

Depression changes the body’s system and drives brain messengers to function abnormally.

If you are experiencing the above few symptoms, it is vital you get help immediately, with professionals or family members for their support. Then, re-evaluate yourself and set your goals, realistically. Life challenges are there to push you to greater heights, not pull you down to the river bottom.

Next read: Being an Overconfident Person at Work

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At a certain point in everyone’s career, there could be times when they felt stuck. Especially when they have been working for years in the same company, holding the same job title and perhaps even, very or no pay increment. As your job experiences increase, there must be a desire to advance your career. That is, you are looking for a promotion.

When you want a promotion, you would need to justify on why you should have a promotion. Thus, put some strategies in place for your justification during your appraisal period. Of course, these plans would require a period to show results!

Here are some that you can adopt:

Willingness in Taking On More Tasks

Accomplishing your primary duties is what you are expected to do, but if you can expand your duties when the opportunities arise, take it. Though, you need to understand your capabilities and also to manage your time effectively.

Simply by accepting more challenges, you are showing employers you are maximising your capabilities and pro-activeness. This is how your boss or superior will take notice of you.

Be Confident and Optimistic

Not everyone is lucky to work in a positive and helpful workplace where everyone gets along and an understanding boss. If you happen to work in a negative working environment, where people are often burnout and also with a demanding boss, you need to train yourself to be optimistic and confident regardless of the situation you might be facing. Be a great neutralizer and at the same time, encourage people around you to maintain a positive energy.

Dress for success

If you usually don’t care about how you dress up and represent yourself, you should change that. Also, when you dress up for work, it naturally makes you more confident.

The difference between a ironed shirt and a shirt that is wrinkled. Do you get it? It gives a different impression to others. While you are trying to earn that promotion, you need to look the part too!

Working Overtime

Doing overtime is not always a bad idea. Not saying that you need to do it everyday but always make sure you get your tasks done and there is no backlogs waiting for you or allow procrastination to happen.

If you need, then stay on to complete your tasks. If you do manage your time well and has been able to finish your work on the dot, take 1 or 2 days a week and spend time in the office to broaden your knowledge or explore other sites for inspirations in regards to your work and for the company.

In time to come, employers will take notice of the efforts that an employee puts in. One crucial thing to remember is that you have to be yourself and not faking a front. The above tips if not for trying to get a promotion, it is self-improvement too. One can never stop learning and achieving greater heights. Enhance your capabilities so as to give your best to the company.

Next read: Think Twice: Are You Ready to be a Remote Worker?

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Have you been working for years in more than one company? If yes, you might be a well-experienced job seeker every company is dreaming of! When you are looking for a new job, you will be inputting those terrific track records on your resume.

However, some companies might think conversely; are you a chronic job hopper?

It is vital to re-evaluate your resume in the presentation of your job history. With a tactical description, employers will not see you as a job hopper maniac. Instead, they will consider you as a highly capable talent who seek for a great company to continue to grow with.

Here are some points you need to revise on your resume:

Give a brief note next to the date of employment about why you left your previous employment. Causes that are beyond your control are commonly understood, and this will also stop them from assuming that you are job hopping.

Focus on contributions and accomplishments. Another way to throw away the job-hopping impression is by listing your contributions and accomplishments during your working tenures. The strategy can divert the employers’ focus not merely to criticise the amounts of companies you have been working for. Instead, they will highlight the outstanding performance and achievement you have done in your previous job positions.

Temporary assignments. Today’s talents’ needs are high, but some companies might hire them for temporary assignments. When you were hired previously for temporary or contract positions, be sure to explain it in your resume. Also, lead the focus on contributions, accomplishments and experiences gained from the short tenures that contributed to your capabilities.

Continue the great resume with an outstanding interview performance. Having a great resume with impressive job history is nothing without an excellent interview performance. Instead, be active in delivering your arguments on your job changing behaviour! The lack of opportunity in career development, unfit job position and a passion to explore more suitable career options are some reasonable arguments that deny the job-hopping stamp.

Whatever your reasons for quitting the jobs, keep in mind to never badmouth or undervalue your previous employers. Such negative attitude will lead to a bad impression and this is certainly tarnishing for your career chances in the future.

Next read: Negotiating Your Salary the Wrong Ways

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Are you one of career fair lovers? Whoever you are (a fresh graduate, an employee looking to change your career) you must know that it’s not easy to gain an interview as soon during career fairs as there is so much competition!

The crowded, carnival-type career fair is, indeed, appealing! There are a lot of job openings waiting for the right candidate to fill them, and a wider chance to get the job that you want is right in front of your eyes.

However, many job seekers return with no job opportunities offered. Before you are trapped as one of them, avoid these 5 key flaws at a job fair.

Lack of research

Many job seekers, including you, might be too confident in attending a job fair. You still need to do ample research days before the event starts.

List what companies in the fair that interest you and visit each of the company’s websites to understand their vision, missions, and job positions required.

With adequate research, you will be more prepared only to focus on companies that fit your skill sets. Clarity will save more time, and your performance can be significantly enhanced as you will be more confident at the interview!

Lack of professionalism attitude

Some of you tend to attend career fairs with your friends and like grabbing all the free stuff. Instead of having a job offer, you go home with bags of free items and stacks of brochures.

Keep in mind that the companies are looking for a professional candidate to join their team. Show your dedication and professionalism to the hiring teams.

Failure to ‘stand out’

It is not enough to be smart and well-prepared. You must be different, ‘stand out’ from the crowd. Hundreds of people dressed similarly during such events and if you can’t be an impressive talent that companies will remember, you will just be the quickly forgotten ones where your job opportunities will be lowered.

State some inspirational speech to promote yourself and be different. Adequate practices at home will significantly help!

Not following up with emails or calls

Don’t always expect the company to follow-up with you after the fair is over. Instead, be proactive! Ask for name cards and send them emails or messages to inquire for further information and potential opportunities.

Limiting yourself

For example, if you have just graduated from an accounting degree, you might only focus on financial and banking companies to apply. However, keep in mind that every employer needs accounting staff. Therefore, be thorough in finding your ideal job and sieve out invisible opportunities in the career fair while you mingle with the companies.

A career fair is not the only chance to find your ideal job. However, it is a great occasion to save your time and effort in hunting your ideal job. Avoid the flaws above and be a success in your next career fair!

Next read: 15 Minutes Before Interview: Absolutely Important For Job Seekers!

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When you hear ‘remote working’, what comes to mind? Flexibility, increased work happiness level, a work-life balance and your favorite haunts to work at are things that might interest most people to be remote workers, including you.

Many companies are now more open to telecommuting work, and people are more keen to work right from their homes (you’re not alone!).

The idea gives more benefits for both parties. Companies can hire talents across the globe and these talents can do professional work without dampening the joy of having a work-life balance.

However, before applying for a position that gives you the flexibility of remote working, consider these questions first:

Does working from home ‘alone’ make you happy?

One issue about remote working is that, most of the time, you are alone. You can still chat with your team through messaging platforms or Skype but replies might not be immediate, especially when you are running against time, this could be a problem for you.

Thus, be ready to accept the ‘loneliness’ else it will be difficult for you to work remotely.

Where is the best location for remote working?

If you enjoy comfortable silence, library and your private bedroom can be great options. Conversely, if you enjoy working where the city buzz is, then the city’s parks and cafes might be more preferable.

Be sure that your working location is both affordable and easy to access, as you will spend most of your time there. Observe and experiment will be the ways, as you look for the ideal workplace.

Have you prepared adequate tools to support your job?

As a remote worker, you will need tools to support your job such as a laptop and reliable internet connection.Take inventory of the equipment needed so that you can work at your best.

How can you manage your time?

Good time management is a key factor that drives your success at work, regardless where you work. Remote working frees you up from any strict supervisory and managerial watch. Therefore, you have to best manage your time to accomplish your daily tasks, even setting strict deadlines to keep your work process running smoothly.

Do a daily reflection of your routine and make changes where necessary to better manage.

Better preparation leads to better results. With adequate preparations and tactics, you will be more ready to take on remote working.

Next read: Negotiating Your Salary The Wrong Ways