Category Archives: Interview Tips, Discussions & Career Advice

4 Tips to be Happy in your Job

We often come across people complaining about their job and the people around them. In every case the solution lies within. These are some simple tips that you could follow to be a better person. Remember Stephen Covey, you always begin inside out.

  • Stop Blaming – And Start Practicing Positivity

People can help themselves be happier in their work by avoiding the two biggest job mistakes:

(1) Blaming others or the situation for personal unhappiness

(2) Emphasizing the negative.

If you are in either of these no-win situations, you must first take responsibility for your own happiness on the job. Start looking for areas you need to work on, to generate greater personal happiness. You will probably be surprised to find that there are lots more things you can do about something than you realized. Second, you need to start emphasizing the positive without denying the negative. Never fall a prey to self-pity.

  • Expand your knowledge. Look for ways to expand your skills and knowledge.

Take all available training programmes. Read and listen to tapes. Then, be willing to take risks by volunteering within the organisation for leadership roles. Be seen as a leader by volunteering to work on teams and committees. This will give you visibility outside of your own working area and throw light on your abilities.

  • Manage Your Boss

Keep your boss informed, especially when things go wrong. Quit thinking that he or she should know your job better than you do. Remember that if communication breaks down, you are at least 50 percent at fault. Take 100 percent responsibility for a good relationship and you are likely to have one.

  • Strengthen Your People Skills

Treat people well – especially your enemies. Remember the rule you learned at your mother’s knee: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Avoid harmful gossip, backstabbing and double-dealing. If you get transferred to a different department or leave a job, never burn your bridges by telling your colleagues and superiors what you really think of them. It’s a very small world; you never know who will turn up at your new job. And what goes around invariably comes around.

Salary Negotiation!

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources person asked a young engineer fresh out of MIT,
“And what starting salary were you looking for?”The Engineer said, “In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.”

The interviewer said, “Well, what would you say to a package of five-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50 percent of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?”

The Engineer sat up straight and said, “Wow! Are you kidding?”

And the interviewer replied, “Yeah, but you started it.”

;-)

 

Laid Off?

Laid off?

In times of global turmoil, your seemingly steady company could turn into a ‘Lehman’ overnight. Here’s how to get equipped…

Arun Nayar (name changed) never saw it coming. A divisional head of Lehman Brothers – ranked numero Uno in “Most Admired Securities Firm” by Fortune just last year, was shocked to know about his company filing for bankruptcy last week.

His fate, like that of the company’s 2,500-odd employees in India, hung in balance then and he did not doing anything but panic, receive calls, track developments and panic all the more.

When you have no idea that you fall under the ‘vulnerable’ category, news like these can hit you hard, especially if you’re the major breadwinner of your family. (Also, if your parents have put you up in the shaadi market, the social repercussions can be damaging!)

Given the current volatility and the Lehman debacle, here are ways to equip yourself to see another day even as your company goes to the streets.

Organise yourself

Apart from printing and taking home personal data from your workstation, it is essential for you to locate copies of your performance appraisals and other records obtained from the HR guys. Give another look to your status reports and files of your projects.

These would help you update your resume so as to reflect all your recent accomplishments and skills. While organising yourself, always foresee where you’re heading next and what all would help you reach there.

Take what’s yours

Go through your employment papers and see if you can make the most of any perks and benefits to which you are entitled. If you’re insured by the company, schedule your checkups and cater your dental or medical issues.

If you’ve been given a flexible spending account, turn in all outstanding claims to avoid forfeiting any balances. Also, you must calculate exactly how much casual and sick leaves you’ve used and how many are left unused.

Though most desi private limited companies are known to dishonor unused holidays, some of them pay you for any remaining vacation. If you bring that to their notice that is.

Get Connected

After you’re hit with the deadly news of a sell-off or a major re-structuring of your company, spend more time networking than answering curious callers. Call that trusted career mentor of yours, and don’t forget to call former co-workers and clients. This is also a good time to help others who may save your ship from sinking in the future.

Sometimes, pure gyaan also helps. It won’t harm to visit the websites of relevant trade and professional associations as well as companies where you’d like to work.  Keep on the vigil for job fairs, skill workshops and the like.

Make an exit strategy

Your HR folks will already begin working on a script when the company is in the bad phase. If no information about your fate has been communicated, you need to hunt down the company policy manual to find out what is the standard practice.

Beware, do not agree to sign anything in the first few days of turmoil, always buy time to review the proposals with your advisors.

Our employees have more bargaining power than they realise. It can pay to thoroughly assess your situation, so that you can negotiate aspects of the termination that will have the most value for you.

For example, if the layoff occurs just before a bonus was due or before an anniversary that would increase your pay, prepare a case that you should be entitled to receive that payment or additional vesting.

WHAT MATTERS

YOUR STANDING

Layoffs can create many uncertainties, but only you can assuage them by determining whether you’re likely to make the next smart move or sink with the ship. If your talent, skills, value and relationships in this company were all credible, be confident of fishing out another employer in no time. Or rather, the other way round.

YOUR BOSS

If your company’s otherwise okay and is just downsizing thanks to a new policy, your boss might be your saviour. Take the time to have regular chats with your boss about projects you’re working on. Face-to-face conversations make a difference in building relationships, HR gurus say. Occasional lunches or quick talks over chai can also go a long way!

YOUR NETWORK

Don’t wait until you lose your naukri to start nurturing business relations. Get to know others in your field and join professional associations. Don’t just build a collection of business cards – the real key is their usability. Closely knowing five big shots in your field is way better than casually knowing bosses all over the industry.

Ref: Mumbai Mirror – September 22nd, 2008

Simple Test- Are you smart enough

Think you are smart and intelligent…

Try answering this one…


Question 1: You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it’s raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
An old friend who once saved your life.
The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing very well that there could only be one passenger in your car?

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.

* You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first;
* or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to ! pay him back.
* However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.

Out of 200 applicants one man had no trouble coming up with his answer. Guess what was his answer?

He simply answered:

“I would give the car keys to my Old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.”

Rejection Letter Response Template

The next time you get a rejection letter from a hoped-for employer or publisher, just send them the following:

Dear [name of the person who signed the rejection letter],

Thank you for your letter of [date of the rejection letter]. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me [employment with your firm/a contract to publish my book].

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals. Despite [name of the organisation or agency that sent you the letter]’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting [applicants/manuscripts], I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time.

Therefore, I will initiate [employment/publishing] with your firm immediately following [graduation/job change, etc. – get creative here]. I look forward to working with you.

Best of luck in rejecting in the future [candidates/manuscripts].

Sincerely,
[your name]

That’s it!


That’s it!

The top signs to know when to quit. Just in case you haven’t learnt anything from the fate of the seniors of our cricket team

Do you like what you do but just don’t like ‘where’ you work? Well, it’s a familiar problem. From co-workers who annoy the hell out of you to depressing work environments, there are things that can make even the best job a nightmare.

So, just like you cross-check on whether to take up an alternative job offer, can have indications on whether to take up an offer or not, please also develop the gray cells to spot signs of when it’s time to call it quits to your present one.

Your colleagues have become increasingly annoying
Let’s face it, there are obnoxious co-workers in every office. But you need to have some sort of harmonious relationship with your fellows to get the job done. When they all seem to be on a mission to see your back, it shows in their body language.

Most offices have a Ms Gossiper, that one person who has the masala all the time and is not afraid to share it. Mr Miserable souls too love company, and find it often in the Ms Eternal Whiner, who complains 24×7. Not to mention the loud music levels and petty fights over cubicle space.

You’re out of the loop
Forget the unofficial grapevine; when you’re no longer intimated of company news or reports, it is certainly time to quit. When your boss conveniently ‘forgets’ asking you to be there during an ideation meeting, you know you shall soon lose your voice in organisational matters. And if, in your out-of-office-life, you are not sent texts of parties and gatherings, you’re out of the loop of colleagues too.

You reach home mentally exhausted
Stress causes low morale, decreases productivity and creates apathy towards work. Also, it can spill into your personal life and even have a negative effect on your health. Today, there are fewer people who are taking on more and more work, everywhere.

Yes, we all have to pick up some slack and “take one for the team” from time to time. But if there’s no end in sight, do yourself a favour and start sending resumes.

Your boss is turning into a nightmare
Lousy bosses make even the best job in the world a living hell. Your relationship with your supervisor plays a big role in your overall professional happiness and success. Fighting to have your boss removed or waiting for your boss to change or get fired are rarely successful tactics. If you are working for someone who is always absent, unavailable, self-absorbed or untrustworthy, it’s time to look for a better supervisor and a better opportunity.

You watch the clock… every 10 minutes
There is a limit to watching videos on YouTube or Facebooking. If you aren’t feeling challenged on the job, it’s a sign that you need additional responsibilities. Be warned, if you don’t have any responsibility or find yourself with nothing to do, management might be trying to phase you out and you might be in danger of losing your job.

Your ideas are losing value
Sounds familiar? Your ideas no longer get the kind of respect they used to. What’s worse, there are no opportunities for advancement; the boss ignores you; co-workers alienate you; you’re discouraged from improving skills with a course or seminar; you’re passed over for a promotion again; or you’re excluded from key projects and strategising sessions. Why are you still giving this organisation your time, energy and great ideas?

New blood has taken over
Like the Dhonis and Gautam Gambhirs of the cricket team have phased out the Dravids and Gangulys, your company too may have a similar scene. If your leader suddenly disappears and new hires may become the wave of the future. If they are given the directive to “shake things up”, you’re in for trouble.

You feel stifled
What kind of quality of life do you have? Is your 40-hour week turning into a 24×7 grilled sandwich? While your salary may seem like the end all and be all, your quality of life determines your overall success. How much time you spend on the job, working conditions, supervisors and subordinates can positively and negatively impact your job outlook. If you dread the time you spent at work, it should be a clear indicator that it’s time to break free. A job shouldn’t stifle you creatively, mentally or physically.

Bottom line: Considering what you don’t like about your current situation should give you important insight into what you are seeking in your future endeavors. If you know what your priorities and preferences are and actively seek them, work can be an enjoyable experience.

Ref : Mumbai Mirror, 8th Sep 08

Eighteen “Do Nots” For Your Next Job Interview

By Robert Crane

In Robert Crane’s career he has had plenty of job interviews, probably fifty. And he admitted that he got-an-offer percentage maybe 95%; not bad. On the flip side, he has also interviewed over a hundred candidates, hiring a number of good people with few exceptions and only one a probable serial killer (he apparently knew the eighteen ‘Do Nots’).

He has asked it all, heard it all, answered it all, and seen it all. It is from this wealth of experience that he has culled eighteen must ‘Do Nots’ to share with you. You can thank him later. Here they are:

1. Do not be late.

2. Do not put your feet on the desk.

3. Do not eat garlic 24 hours prior.

4. Do not have a flapping dried nostril booger or a long protruding nose hair.

5. Do not have a stringer of spittle in the corner of your mouth.

6. Do not shake hands if your palm is cold, clammy and limp.

7. Do not wear sneakers unless they are brand new.

8. Do not wear a lapel pin of any sort unless it is the American or Mexican flag.

9. Do not ask about hours, salary, vacation, pensions, insurance or anything else that might be considered … well … not job related.

10. Do not say “bottom line” or “at the end of the day” less than five times every five minutes.

11. Do not quote Scripture or Seinfeld.

12. Do not forget to “push back” at least once on some safe topic (e.g., interviewer: “Tell me about your last job.” Interviewee response: “I need to push back. You seem stupider than tar!”).

13. Do not use words like “mammy”, “pappy”, “gedder done” or “irregardless” unless it’s for a job at the Monster Truck rally.

14. Do not reach for your pocket flask unless you are willing to share it with the interviewer (which I highly encourage you do to break the ice).

15. Do not divulge what sex positions you like unless explicitly asked.

16. (Related to rule 15) Do not use the “C” word under any circumstances, ever! “F”, “B” and “S” words are okay but only if encouraged by the interviewer.

17. Do not fall asleep.

18. Do not forget to leave when it’s over.

There you have it. Most of it common sense. But you’d be surprised just how many people forget. If you master these rules and don’t forget to weasel word at every opportunity, you too should find success at your next job interview.

Happy job hunting.

🙂 Regards,

Vrushali

9 Smart tips for SUCCESS in your JobHunting

9 Tips For Success

A must read for all… Came across this article and could not stop sharing

1. Never Stop Learning
Life-long learning is your keyword.The world is constantly changing, and everybody is looking for new ways of doing business.If you have decided that your current skills are good enough, you have also decided that your current job is good enough. But if you want a career in the future, you should add regular updates to your skills and knowledge.

2. Ask, Listen And Learn
A good listener can learn a lot. Listen to your co-workers, your boss, and your superiors. You can learn a lot from their experience. Ask about issues that interest you, and listen to what they say. Let them tell you about how things work, and what you could have done better.Most people will love to be your free tutor.

3. Fulfill Your Current Job
Your current job might be best place to start your career.It is often very little that separates successful people from the average. But nothing comes free.If you do your job well and fulfill your responsibilities, this is often the best way to start a new career.Talk to your supervisor about things you can do. Suggest improvements. Offer your help when help is needed. In return ask for help to build a better career. It is often possible – right inside your own organization – especially if you have proved to be a valued employee.

4. Build Your Network
Your next career step might arise from your contact network.Did you know that more than 50% of all jobs are obtained from contact networks?If you have a good contact network, it is also a good place to discover future careers, to explore new trends, and to learn about new opportunities.Spend some time building new contacts, and don’t forget to maintain the ones you already have.One of the best ways to get serious information from your network is to regularly ask your contacts how they are, what they do, and what is new about their careers.

5. Identify Your Current Job
Your current job should be identified, not assumed. Make sure you don’t work with tasks you assume are important. This is waste of time and talent. When you start in a new job, talk to your superior about your priorities. If you’re not sure about what is most important, then ask him. And ask him again. Often you will be surprised about the differences between what you assume, and what is really important.

6. Identify Your Next Job
Your dream job must be identified.Before you start planning your future career, be sure you have identified your dream job.In your dream job, you will be doing all the things you enjoy, and none of the things you don’t enjoy. What kind of job would that be?Do you like or dislike having responsibility for other employees. Do you like to work with technology or with people? Do you want to run your own business? Do you want to be an artist, a designer or a skilled engineer? A manager?Before building your future career your goal must be identified.

7. Prepare Yourself
Your dream might show up tomorrow. Be prepared.Don’t wait a second. Update your CV now, and continue to update it regularly.Tomorrow your dream job may show up right before your nose. Prepare for it with a professional CV and be ready to describe yourself as a valuable object to anyone that will try to recruit you.If you don’t know how to write a CV, or how to describe yourself, start learning it now.

8. Pick The Right Tools
Pick the tools you can handle . You can build your future career using a lot of different tools. Studying at W3Schools is easy. Taking a full master degree is more complicated. You can add a lot to your career by studying books and tutorials (like the one you find at W3Schools). Doing short time courses with certification tests might add valuable weight to your CV. And don’t forget: Your current job is often the most valuable source of building new skills.
Don’t pick a tool that is too heavy for you to handle!

9. Realize Your Dreams
Put your dreams into action.Don’t let a busy job kill your dreams. If you have higher goals, put them into action now. If you have plans about taking more education, getting a better job, starting your own company or something else, you should not use your daily job as a “waiting station”. Your daily job will get more and more busy, you will be caught up in the rat race, and you will burn up your energy. If you have this energy, you should use it now, to realize your dreams.

Regards,

Vrushali

Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes

Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes

1. Resume lacks focus

2. Resume is duties-driven instead of accomplishments-driven.

3. Resume items are listed in an order that doesn’t consider the reader’s interest.

4. Resume exposes the job-seeker to age discrimination by going too far back into the job-seeker’s job history.

5. Resume buries important skills, especially computer skills, at the bottom.

6. Resume is not bulleted.

7. Resume uses a cookie-cutter design based on an overused resume template.

8. Resume lacks keywords

9. References are listed directly on your resume.

10. Resume’s appearance becomes skewed when sent as an e-mail attachment and/or resume is not available in other electronic formats.

regards,

Preeti.

How To Recruit The Right Person For The Job?

Put about 100 bricks in some particular order in a closed toom
with an open window.

Then send 2 or 3 candidates in side the room and close the door.
Leave them alone and come back. After 6 hours and then analyze
the situation.

* If they are counting the bricks, put them in the Accounts department.

* If they are recounting them., put them in Auding.

* If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them in
Planning.

* If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in operations.

* If they are sleeping, put them in Security.

* If they have broken the bricks into pieces, put them in Information
Technology.

* If they are sitting idle, put them in Human Resources.

* If they say they have tried different combinations, yet not a brick has
been moved, put them in Sales.

* If they have already left for the day, put them in Marketing.

* If they are staring out of the window, put them on Strategic Planning.

* And then at last but not least, if they are taking to each other and
not a single brick has been moved, Congratulate them and put them in
Top Management.

Regards,

Preeti.

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