Job vs. Career: Life-long Adventure after Graduation 

Congratulations on your graduation! So you have finished college, earned a degree, and now it is time to practice what you have learnt at school in the world of working. Whether you are dabbling with ideas or searching furiously for that first big gig, there are small steps you can take to ensure your first job works in lock-step with your long-term career goals.

What is a job and what is a career? 

A job and a career are usually used in the same context but serve different functions. Both are focused on how an individual earns money, but there are some differences you might never realise. 

See also: How to Answer Behavioural Questions

A job – is short-term oriented and tends to focus on earning money. 

Jobs have a small impact on future resumes because they aren’t typically related to what an individual career is or will be. Jobs also offer less networking opportunities because coworkers often won’t be continuing on the same field in the future career. In addition, most jobs consist of hourly wages, are more short-term, and focus on getting a task done. 

A career – is a series of related employment in one field that provides experience for your future and helps you earn better paychecks and living status. 

Career is all about building up skills through various employment opportunities, strengthening ability to move on to higher paying or more prestigious jobs. Careers provide a foundation of experiences that help fuel professional life for many years. In addition, careers are more long-term focused on learning, gaining experiences, building connections, and putting yourself in the right position for promotions and raises.

Creating professional life with purpose 

As a graduate, you might now look for an opportunity that can both help you earn money and earn dignity through skill advancement. If this is exactly what you are pursuing, ensuring that your job and career goals are aligned is important. Here are three tricks you can use. 

  • Overcome pressure – At times, you might feel immense pressure. It is natural, but don’t let it stop you. Work hard, learn and develop a lasting relationship and soon enough the pressure will pass. 
  • Be proactive - Employees, especially millennials, often get bored easily but do nothing about it. If you are among these people, make sure to turn your boredom into opportunity by getting proactive. Get creative and seek solutions. Young professionals who solve problems move up faster. 
  • Set simple goals – Workplace can be wonderful, yet confusing at the same time due to tight deadlines, ungrateful bosses, etc. Shadow talented co-workers. Gain control by getting simple goals. Make a list of skills you want to learn and get senior professionals around you to weigh in. Keep a checklist and hold yourself accountable. 

Read also: What to Do When You Hear Nothing from a Job Application? 

What to Do When You Hear Nothing from a Job Application? 

Have you ever sent resumes to some companies but none call you back? Or, did you hear radio silence after an interview? If yes, you are not alone. CareerBuilder survey found that a staggering 75 percent of job seekers said they did not hear back from a position they have applied for. The reasons for not getting a follow-up generally comes from employers or recruiters themselves and not the job seekers. Some of the reasons are as follows: 

  • Employer has lost job seeker’s job application
  • Human resources policy that does not allow company employees to respond to any inquiries from interview candidates. 
  • Lack of consideration to not notifying candidates, except for those employer’s interested most. 
  • Change in hiring plans, such as teams getting cut.

See also: Dos & Don’ts when Asking Questions to Recruiter

Hearing bad news is a bummer but not getting a response at all, especially from an industry you expected, is worse. The good news is that there is something you can do about it: be proactive. All it takes to get the ball rolling again is a little push in the right direction. Here are some of the ways you should try: 

  • If possible, contact the recruiter or hiring managers and ask if they can give you a quick update regarding your application status. It will remind them that it has been a while since they’ve worked on their hiring responsibilities. 
  • If you apply through an applicant tracking system, check the system to see if your status has changed, for example from ‘submitted’ to ‘under review’. If it hasn’t changed, the problem lies in your resume, thus it is better to rewrite the resume and apply again when appropriate. 
  • If you have a contact inside the company, ask them to track down the hiring manager. See if they can get a status update for you. 
  • If the job was posted online, check the web site if the job is still listed. If it is not, the job opening might have been closed or they have already filled the position with somebody else. At this point, you should move on and start anew. 

Read also: 3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

Being a suitable job candidate for a specific position in a company requires more than a well-written CV. While having confidence could be one of the biggest advantages to being a candidate of choice, it might not be enough to secure a job offer. Job seekers must go beyond just well-written resumes by showcasing their personality.

See also: 4 Tips to Find a Job that Fits and Suits You

According to Heckman et al., personality has been a scientifically-proven predictor of job performance and assessing a candidate’s behavioural tendencies in a work environment. This allows recruiters to determine whether a candidate will be a top performer and if he/she will fit the culture of the company. Recruiter Experts cited there are three more advantages for job seekers when showcasing their personality during an interview: 

1- Your personality is a success indicator 

Personality is the driving force behind how one thinks, feels, acts, adapts and works. The stories you share in a job interview regarding past experiences can be an indicator of how you will deal with adversity and opportunity. Potential employers want a glimpse into your future successes and failures. Often, the simplest indicator is your personality. 

2- Skills can be taught, personality cannot 

More and more companies are realising that skills and knowledge can be gained on the job. However, personality is hardwired. If you come to the table with a personality that matches with a company’s culture, other technical skills can be learned over time. 

3- Culture is king 

Your personality can indicate that you will build good culture in a company which will create a healthy place to work, not only for yourself but also for others. 

Using insights from personality assessments and your past experiences to really understand what an ideal environment looks like will lead you to the right career path. Remember, it needs to be a fit on both sides. There is no use in denying your personality. 

Read also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators

5 Types of People to Include in Your LIFE Circle

Networking has always been the top ingredient of success. In many cases, having a network will help in your job search, expand your knowledge, and improve your expertise. Yet, networking is not all about growing your list of contacts. You cannot just pick random individuals, ask their email or phone number and add them to your contact list, then contact them when you need help. More than that, networking is all about knowing someone at a deeper level that could help improve yourself as an individual.

With that in mind, it is essential to be selective when making new connections. Why? Because getting in a wrong networking circle could hamper your life. Meanwhile, getting yourself surrounded by the right individuals can give you a boost as you will get advice and feedback from a hand-picked group of strategic advisors who truly tip the scales in your favour. 

See also: 4 Tips to Find a Job that Fits and Suits You

So, who should be in your circle? Here are five types of people to include. 

The advocate 

The advocate individuals know you on a personal level, acts as a trusted sounding board, and likely a close friend or family member. When you ask a question such as “how can my first few jobs line up with my personal values?” to your advocate circle, they can help you by giving true answers because they know your ins and outs. 

The strategic “In” 

The strategic “In” is more like a connection of the outside. They are well-connected individuals, demonstrate a willingness to make connections on your behalf, and likely alumni, past internship advisors, or your professors. When you ask your strategic “In” circle about a new job in X company, they will happily connect you with the current employees of C-suites. 

The subject matter expert 

As the name suggests, subject matter expert networks are those who can offer you superior insight on a specific industry, give you an unbiased opinion, likely an alumni contact, professors, or family members. This circle can widen your skills and knowledge about the outside worlds, especially the professional ones. In addition, they can give you advice on how to develop yourself and always push you to grow. Usually, these people are those who will make you uncomfortable in your comfort zone. 

The financial guru 

We know that money is one of the most powerful weapons in today’s industry and being financially illiterate can usher you to more difficulties, such as debt, loan, credit, etc. That is one of the reasons why many employees demand financial programs within their organisations. In this case, you should find one network who can be a financial guru. This network is usually those who live to observe stocks and might work around numbers daily. They can be anyone, like your family member, advocates, friends, or project buddy. 

The social butterfly 

Last but not least, the social butterfly individual is someone who can encourage you to connect with others. They are very person-centred and love being the centre of attention. Having one or two social butterflies around will help you get out of your comfort zone and can teach you how to network better. This is especially good for a very introverted or shy individual. 

Read also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators 

Pros and Cons of Working in the Journalism Industry 

Every profession has its own pros and cons, including those working in the journalism industry. As one of the oldest professions in the world, journalism has changed monumentally owing to a staggering growth of technology. This means that the skeletal structure of this career remains the same, yet the responsibility and the view might differ. Compelling storytelling and fact-based are still its strongest pillar, however.

See also: Job Search Tips in Time of Crisis 

So, if you are interested in joining this industry, you better aid yourself with this information of working as a journalist. 

Pros of being a journalist 

  • In journalism, you are working with ever-changing expectations. For example, you can work in a very confidential matter but the next day, you might be asked to cover funny nerve-wracking news. 
  • You will always have a new challenge and demand, thus this job is great for you who can work under pressure. 
  • You get to meet and talk to a variety of people from all walks of life. You might also have a chance to cover and interview highly influential people like a minister. 
  • Your name will be published in print and on websites. This is a great way for you who seek professional identity. 
  • Lastly, you have a better chance to be invited to cover various events, such as theatre performance or restaurant meal reviews for FREE. 

Cons of being a journalist 

  • Whilst the job is challenging, this role is among the lowest salary rate. Unless you reach the highest and most popular level of a journalist, do not expect a fat paycheck. Reported by payscale, an average annual salary of a journalist is $40,839 with an hourly rate of $14.81. However, if you have editing skills, you can expect a slightly higher salary. Yet, even with years of experience (5-9 years) in journalism, the average annual salary is $44,384. 
  • Being a journalist is also a long and often unsociable journey which might demand you to work on weekends and public holidays. 
  • As a journalist, you have a greater risk of death or injury for covering a riot, war zone or other violent disturbance. 
  • Lastly, the peril of being a journalist is you might be blamed for bad news or being seen as the enemy by members of the public when covering sensitive news or events.

Read also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators

Why & Some Tips for Volunteering Abroad

Research found that volunteering can extend people’s lives because humans are hard-wired for the social connections they make when volunteering. Eye contact and smile during a volunteer job releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps handle stress better. Being a volunteer,  we can rediscover the joy of work while bringing out the positive energy within. 

Doing volunteer work right after graduation and/or during your job search can differentiate you from the large pool of candidates. Angela Copeland, the founder and head marketing at Copeland Marketing Services, said that volunteer experience can be beneficial in your resume or cover letter. They could play as additional information about your personal interest outside of work and allow potential employers to get a better sense of who you are as a person. 

Copeland advised that if you are in the early stage of your career, you can list leadership experience or other experiences that help you reach professionalism. Thus, it is always a good idea to join that volunteer program while you are still in university, after graduation, or during your job search. 

See also: Who Should be Your Professional Reference? 

Why volunteering abroad?

While there are so many volunteering opportunities around you, joining one abroad will give a huge plus to you, both personally and professionally. Not only can you connect with more diverse individuals, volunteering abroad can also broaden your view about the world.  

Volunteering abroad can also help you gain interesting experiences you could tell to a recruiter or the world. You can also become a big part of a community that actually helps better individuals’ life, make real differences, go see the world and gain new perspectives that might change your life. 

How to start? 

If you are ready to share your passion to the world by helping those in need, here are ways to start. 

  • Make sure you choose a volunteer abroad program of your interest 

There are a lot of volunteer programs, from environmental to human-focused programs. Make sure you involve yourself in the program that meets your passion and interest. By choosing the volunteer program you are passionate about, you are more likely to improve yourself personally and professionally. 

  • Register to volunteer abroad program 

Across the internet, there are many opportunities for individuals to volunteer abroad. Make sure you pick trustable organisations to help you access and gain visas for your arrival. You should also conduct research on the organisation or charity you are planning to join. Here are three trustable volunteer organisations you can try: UN Volunteer program, Volunteer World program, and UNICEF volunteer program

  • Familiarise yourself with the destination country 

Next step is to equip yourself with the needs and requirements to enter the destination country for a volunteer program you registered. Make sure to gain this information: entry requirements, local laws, and customs. Foreign Travel Advice can help you with the information you need. You can also connect with local people of your destination country and/or consult with the volunteer organisation you registered. 

Last but not least, go get the experience and have fun!

Read also: 3 Valuable Things TO DO When You are Unemployed That Can Make Your Life Better

Why and How to Make Industry Transition? 

Ameera loves reading and feels fortunate to have a job that actually engaged her interest. She works as a librarian in her town’s public library. She is passionate about doing her job as it allows her to do what she loves while contributing to the community by sharing and teaching people who visit the library.

However, over the last few years, the funding to the library has decreased, leading to its inability to afford new reading materials for readers. Ameera finds the job no longer makes her feel content because everything changes since the funding was cut. Then, she starts wondering if there is an opportunity to do similar works somewhere else, where resources are not so constrained. After thinking it over, Ameera decides to make an industry transition. 

What is and why industry transition? 

Industry transition, or industry switch, refers to going from your current industry to a new one. Industry transition is different from a career change that often requires you to gain new skills and adapt to a completely new environment. When you do an industry change, you will gain new skillsets and experience working in a new environment. 

Oftentimes, individuals will make industry transition to look for a new challenge that still requires their current skillset. Industry change can also be a perfect step to grow professionally as you are able to strengthen your current skills so you can hone your expertise. Industry change is also good to help keep your job satisfaction. 

See also: 10+ List of Jobs for Graduates with English Degree 

So are you interested in doing industry transition? If yes, you should know that the road to the transition is not easy. Albeit it is less dramatic than a career change, you still need a lot of to-dos. Here are NTUC tricks to help you achieve a successful industry transition. 

Trick 1 – Know your why(s) 

Look within yourself why you need to make an industry switch. Is it because your department has declined? Is it because you want to gain more experience by collaborating with a new team? Is it because your target industry has better career prospects? When you understand your why(s), you can better identify which industry is the best for you to grow professionally, and whether you really need the switch or not. Your reasons will also help you stay motivated throughout the change. 

Trick 2 – Research the target industry 

After that, learn about the industry you want to transition into. Does the industry have what you need and want? Does the industry suit your work style? Does the industry align with your long-term career goals? 

You can go to the industry website and search for skill framework. Or, you might ask the industry’s head to provide you with the framework. The skill framework can give you information on sectors, employment landscape, workforce profiles, career pathways, wage trends, desired skillset, and a list of training programmes. 

Trick 3 – Expand your network 

A transition is never easy, especially if this is your first industry transition. Thus, it is best for you to get a person who can guide you and know the in and out of an industry transition. Attending network events could help you meet industry insiders. When you have successfully built a relationship with the target industry insiders, it will be easier for you to find out what kind of projects they are working on, skills needed for the job, current challenges that are being faced in the industry, the lingo they use, and even hidden job opportunities. All of these can ensure your success when you decide to change between your current industry to another. 

Trick 4 – Maximise courses and support programmes available online or from current employer 

Generally, industry change will require you to gain up-to-date skills that align with the target industry. Thus, keep improving, upskilling, and attending classes or courses to gain your credibility. If possible, seek an opportunity which gives certification as it can play as a crucial proof for recruiters or hiring managers when you make the transition. 

Read also: 6 High Paying Jobs that Allow You to Work from Home

question to ask yourself

Nearly every recruiter (99.4 percent) will be recruiting on campus, according to Nace survey. From the job outlook, recruiters are open to hiring graduates or experienced employees. They also focus on hiring both full-time and intern. 

Are you ready for the workforce, then? 

Well, no one feels 100 percent ready for what’s coming next, especially when it is something new. After years of studying in college, it is time for you to put your knowledge into practice and step into the working world either becoming a full-time, intern or self-employed worker. The problem is, facing a new environment with endless possibilities can make the job search unnerving, maybe even overwhelming. 

When such feeling happens, you should keep one thing in perspective in order to follow the light: know thyself. In search of jobs, you must understand what you truly desire so you don’t have to deal with a job you actually hate. Just like an old saying, “Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”

In preparing yourself to commence a career journey, ask these vital questions to yourself first. Think about the answers sincerely and most importantly, follow your gut feelings. 

Quest #1  Do you have a plan? 

Be it weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly planning, do you have it? If no, make one now. The plan is your first leap to a successful career and life as having a plan helps lead you to something that you hope for a.k.a your goals. For example, if you expect to land a job in the same year of graduation, then you need to include resume crafting as well as skill development in your plan. If your goal is to be fit all day, your plan can include a healthy diet and exercise. Whatever it is, planning is a good way to help you focus and stay out of procrastination. 

Yet, don’t rely on those plans too much. Life always offers a fun way of teaching us a lesson, therefore, be flexible with your plan. 

Quest #2  Where do you want to work? 

This could be included in your plan but more specific. When applying for your first job, there is a lot of things you should consider. For example, do you prefer to work with actual coworkers or alone in your comfort? Do you want a traditional work hour or manage your own schedule? In terms of office environment, do you want to work in an open office or a cubicle setting? 

All the considerations can determine how you want to live your life as when you are working, most of your time will be spent there. Picture your ideal workplace or employer. When you are done, write down the things that are most important to help you bring the job search into focus. 

Quest #3  How is your online presence? 

Undeniably, technology has helped a recruiter to be more cautious about the candidates they choose. Today, nearly every recruiter (60 percent) won’t only look at your physical resume, but also your online presence such as in social media. That said, your social media can determine whether you will be accepted in the company you wish to work for or not. 

So, is your social media clean from negative posts? How about your comments and shared media? You can start fixing your social media feeds from today, search for the work culture of your dream employers and start posting something that aligns with their work culture. This will likely boost the chance of getting a job offer. 

Quest #4  Does your targeted employer match with your personal values? 

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organisation. Core values dictate behaviour and can help an individual understand the difference between right and wrong. In an organisation, core values help companies determine if they are on the right path and achieving their goals by creating an unwavering guide. Core values also determine how companies do what they do to achieve success. 

When your core values and your targeted company’s core values align, harmony can easily be created. When harmony exists, engagement and productivity tend to rise. On the contrary, when core values clash, you will be an unhappy and disgruntled employee. Needless to say, you might not be the prospective candidate that the recruiter looks for. 

Hopefully, those questions guide you to get the right and a perfect job you always dream of. Good luck!

Read also: 3 Valuable Things TO DO When You are Unemployed That Can Make Your Life Better

If You Like Travelling, These Jobs ARE For You

Being able to travel and working abroad sounds to be an exciting idea for most fresh grads. Not only you can meet new faces and gain international exposure, but you can also earn a better salary. Not to mention, being an expat will give you a career break from the monotony of working life that you need. It gives you a wider viewpoint which will help you feel more inspired rather than sitting behind the cubicle office.

See also: How to Tell: Are You in the Wrong Career, or Just Lazy?

So, do you love to travel the world while earning money to make ends meet? Read on…

1. Au Pair

If you love children, being an au pair could be a good choice. Au pair takes care of young children as line-in support during a unique cultural experience. Usually, you will be provided with free housing and living costs. You will be part of the family you serve and receive a monetary allowance for personal use.

Before doing this job, you should first have an aim to where you want to stay, in which country and what kind of family you want to offer your service for. After that, you can join or register yourself to Au Pair program online such as aupair.com or interexchange.org.

2. Flight attendant

If you love being on the sky and want to do it freely, then you can apply to become a flight attendant. Not only will you be paid nice, but you can also travel on stunning aircraft to different countries depends on your flight. Requirements to be a flight attendant varies among different airlines. So, if you really want to pursue this career, keep updated with the airlines’ job vacancies in your area.

3. Backpacker

Backpacker refers to individuals who travel with little/limited budget. But you can do alternative travel jobs. The type of work might not require a computer or a college degree. It only needs a more hands-on approach, let’s say – you need to be a talkative and social person. The jobs include musicians, artists, manual labour, street vendor, farm work, etc. These jobs, however, won’t give much wage, but why not?

4. Travel blogging

Think like an entrepreneur and start your own blog. While this seems simple, building a stable blog might take a few years to start earning from your blog. If you are serious with this option, you can start now. Build a free blog, gain visitors, and then purchase the blog. Your income will come from ad words, affiliate marketing, selling products, influencer project, etc. The result of your blogging can be a life saving for you.

5. Teaching abroad

One of the most common ways to travel is to teach language abroad. Generally, a traveller will offer English as it is the most common business and worldwide spoken language. If you are interested, you can register yourself to CIEE teaching programs worldwide. Their program includes every nation so you can choose the one you like. Alternatively, you can search on Google teaching programs which aims at one country such as China, Japan, France, and more.

6. Yacht crew

Do you love the sea and sailing with a private yacht? You can apply as stewardess or job of deckhand for entry-level positions that pay really well. It is a fun job offer to see some exotic locations. Your food and accommodation are covered too, which is great for saving money. Don’t know where to look for a job, you can start here and here.

7. Remote Jobs 

Many companies understand that their candidates demand a good and flexible work-life balance so they offer remote jobs option. Polish your resume and apply to one of these jobs. Remote job is a great offer to generate better income while working from the area of your choice.

Read also: A Beginner’s Guide to Investing for College Students

All You Need to Know About Curriculum Vitae: The History

Occasionally known as a resume, a curriculum vitae is a document that summarises job seekers’ job history, academic qualifications, as well as personal skills. This piece of paper is so important for a job seeker to find a job and get hired. But why is CV so important?

A brief history of CV

Back in 1482, Leonardo Da Vinci had completed a written document outlining his skills to be sent to Duke of Milan. He wrote everything, including his experience of sculpturing, and building a bridge and cannon then he sent it to a prospective employer. 

After that, in the 1500s, the writing practice was adopted by travelling workers who wanted to introduce themselves to a local guildsman or lord for a job. That time, CVs were no more than informal handwritten scribbling made at interviews or meetings.

Then, in the 20th century, people began to include more information such as religion, marital status, and weight to their CVs to boost the chance of getting hired. In this century also, technology and information played a crucial role in modernising the CVs. 

And then, between the years of 1990 to 2010, the internet and technology played their role in advancing resumes. Technology companies at that time began to produce the first word processors that brought greater consistency to CV content. The commercial World Wide Web formed resources and directories for employers and employees to connect. And in 2013, LinkedIn launches a new web tool for job networking, thus popularising the trend of uploading online CVs. 

CV update

Resumes evolve from time-to-time, not only about the look but also the content. Before there were AI and advanced technology like today, resume would be simpler to create. But now, there are two rules for job seekers if they want to get shortlisted. Besides a creative and interesting display, the content of your CV such as experience or education must be more personal and be able to be read by both man and machine.

1. More personal CV

Hays CEO, Alistair Cox said that the nature of work is changing so should the nature of the CV. A well-written and well-structured CV can open doors for anyone who always thought would remain firmly closed. It can start conversations with people you never thought you’d ever be able to get airtime with. Importantly, a CV should remain a key tool in helping you land an interview for the job of your dreams. Thus, you should not be afraid to create a more personal CV than just a mere description of your experience. A CV should be your opportunity to communicate what you are passionate about and what drives you in your career.

2. Readable CV for human and machine

The second thing to remember is that technology is driving a lot of change in workplaces, including selection process of potential candidates. CVs are increasingly assessed not only by humans but machines too. Hence, you should be sure that your CV does include all the relevant keywords with job position you applied. Simple tips for you: 1) keep the format simple, 2) use correct keywords, and 3) avoid spelling mistakes. (Read here for more information to get your CV shortlisted by machine)

Read also: 5 Reliable & FREE Platforms to Craft Professional-Looking Resumes