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How to Show Culture Fit to a Potential Employer

by ceojem 13/08/2017 0 comments

Research shows that 43% of employers view culture fit as the most important factor when assessing a job candidate.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll find quite a bit of advice online which claims to reveal how you can show culture fit to a potential employer.

However, it seems to me that most of this advice steers you in the direction of being someone you’re not.

“Act this way”.

“Look this way.”

“Demonstrate the company’s values.”

“Don’t forget to speak the company’s language.”

This type of advice might help you get a foot in the door. it might even help you fit into a company’s culture. However, it’s also likely that you’ll be quite miserable once you’re at that company – because you’ll need to put on a mask for as long as you work there.

Let me suggest that there’s a better way. In this article I’ll show you how to:

  • find a company where you fit in with the company culture
  • demonstrate on your resume that you’re a good fit for that company’s culture
  • prepare for the culture fit interview

So, What Is ‘Culture Fit’?

In its simplest sense, it’s an alignment of your values with those of your employer.

For example, if the company believes in democracy and loose oversight, it would have a flat hierarchy, with no (or few) line managers; it would give you a lot of autonomy and expect you to be personally accountable for producing results.

A culture like this is a dream come true if you tend to be entrepreneurial in your approach to work.

However, if you’re used to rigidity, process, oversight and rules, you’d feel quite uneasy in this kind of culture.

Why Is Culture Fit Important?

Remember, culture fit is as important for you – the employee – as it is for an employer.

You could be the best engineer in the world, but if you believe that fossil fuels are evil, then you’d never be happy at BP, regardless of the position or salary.

In other words, your core values must align with the company you want to work for.

If they don’t, then no matter how much you want to work there, there’s a good chance you’ll never feel you fit into the company’s culture.

Showing Culture Fit In Your Job Application.

Now that you understand why you need to show culture fit to a potential employer, it’s time take a closer look at how to do it.

Below is a breakdown of 7 key strategies that will help you.

  1. Do Your Homework.

Step one is simply about developing a better understanding of the company you’re applying to.

Here are some ideas to guide you.

  • Company website: Pay special attention to the language used on the ‘about us’ and ‘our team’ pages. Is the tone friendly and relaxed? Corporate and smart?
  • Social Media: What is the tone on Twitter? What kind of articles can be found on Facebook?
  • LinkedIn profiles: Look at the LinkedIn profiles of existing employees. Do they mention the work they do at the organisation? If so, what is said about it?
  • Get experience as a customer: Try to get into the sales funnel if you can (e.g. newsletters, blog subscriptions, website membership) as you’ll get a good insight into how they treat potential customers.
  • Browse Company Reviews on Glassdoor: A kind of TripAdvisor for employers, this review site displays reviews from real staff on thousands of organisations. Don’t simply listen to opinions – pay close attention to what kinds of people leave which opinions.
  • Talk to employees: If you can, have a coffee with a current employee. Ask them what the management think is important. What are the core values and do they live by them?
  1. Be Sceptical About The Company’s Propaganda.

It’s time for a reality check. Be open to the idea that most of the information you’ve uncovered in the step above is false.

Company websites tend to be aspirational in nature. In other words, they tend to describe how the company wants to be seen, rather than what it is.

Social media activity is not necessarily a sign of a progressive culture.

Look between the lines – do you see signs of a robust, intelligent social media and content strategy? Or are you looking at results of a “tick-the-box” effort?

  1. Be Sceptical About People’s Opinions.

When you meet people from a company you’re interested in, make sure you meet more than one.

When you meet them, go deeper than polite chit-chat. Your aim is not to get a person’s opinion (those will vary); the real value is in figuring out what kind of people succeed at the company – and what kind of people fail.

Here are a few questions that will allow you to dig deeper:

“What’s your story? How did you end up at XYZ Company?”. This is a useful starting question which can provide you with some insight about the pathways that people take.

“What’s the recruitment process like?”. This can give you a heads-up about things you need to prepare / look out for.

“Why have you stayed there for this long?” – This question allows you to look deeper than “this company is good/bad” analysis. If someone works there because “the company is, like, so cool” and you want to work with people who challenge you intellectually, this could be a red flag.

“What is the company up to?”. If a company is not clear on its direction, then the employees won’t be. Do you want to work for a company which isn’t sure why it exists? Also, do the employees genuinely care about the company’s mission, or are just paying lip service to it?

“What is annoying/frustrating about XYZ?”. A sign of annoying/frustrating things is not a problem in itself (every company is imperfect). A sign of a culture of complaint is. With this question, you’re essentially inviting the person to complain. Watch their response closely. Do they gossip? Do they blame?

“What have you learned / how have you developed since starting at XYZ?”. This will give you insight into how the company develops its people.

“If you could rewind time, would you take the job at XYZ again?”. This can provide you with insight into the gap between the company’s promises and realities.

This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list. For more ideas, check out this excellent piece about testing for culture fit.

  1. Write Your Resume.

Once you have figured out what the company’s culture is, and you believe that you and the company are a good match, it’s time to fine-tune your resume.

Now, I highly recommend that you begin by having your resume written by a professional resume writer (make sure you read this guide to choosing the best resume writer), or you spend a considerable amount of time learning how to write a resume – and then follow the advice closely.

It means you’ll already have a solid resume which communicates your value to an employer. However, some tweaks may be necessary to ensure that your resume is perfectly tuned to each job you apply for.

For example:

  • In the ‘Professional Profile’ section of your resume, ensure that you emphasise the values that match the organisations and, if possible, how they tie in with your value proposition as a professional.
  • Make sure your ‘Key Skills’ section succinctly summarises those skills that demonstrate your fit within the culture. For example, are you an empowering leader, entrepreneurial or process-driven.
  • In your ‘Previous Employment’ section, make sure your positions are described using the same language as your potential new employer. Depending on the companies you’ve worked for previously you may need to shake off some of the corporate jargon or lose the creative ‘fluff’.
  • Seriously consider using a different resume for each position you apply for so you can truly align your values. We’re talking subtle variations – a full blown realignment would call into question your overall cultural fit.
  1. Prepare Your Cover Letter.

Your covering letter is another great place to emphasise how well you would fit into a corporate culture.

For example, you can use sentences like:

“The role of XXXX really caught my eye because [demonstration of a core value].”

Or if speculative:

“I am now looking for a role in an organisation that aligns with my [demonstration of a core value].”

Use the covering letter to reinforce why you’re a great fit.

  1. Ensure That Your LinkedIn Profile Echoes Who You Are.

Don’t forget about your LinkedIn profile! Ensure that it communicates that overarching narrative of who you are, what you do and how you do it.

My advice here is to think about you, rather than the organisation. For example:

  • What are your core values?
  • How do your skills and achievements align with those values?
  • What causes do you believe in and advocate for?
  • What characterises your leadership style?
  1. Prepare For The Job Interview.

So, you’ve bagged that interview! What now?

If you’ve done your homework, this should be the easy part.

Remember, your job is not to fit in with the company’s culture (that’s what we all tried to do in high school – how did that work out?) – it’s to find a company where you’re a cultural match.

Therefore, if you remember anything, remember this: avoid the temptation to pretend someone you’re not at all costs.

However, do spend some time reflecting on who you are, what you stand for, what you care about and what you oppose.

I personally find that going for a long walk in a park or along a beach is the most conducive way of doing this. Carry a notepad and take down insights as they come to you. (Ah, who are am I kidding – who carries a notepad these days? Just bring your phone).

Finally, prepare yourself for some interview trickery. You’ll find plenty of advice about this online, or hire an excellent interview coach.

Think about how you’d answer competency questions angled toward culture fit, e.g. “tell me about a time that your belief in [VALUE] was challenged” or “how would you react if your job role suddenly changed?”

Key Point To Remember.

Culture fit is as important for you as it is for them. In any interaction, you’re assessing your suitability just as much as they are.

There’s little point in getting your dream job if it turns out to be in an organisation that gives you nightmares.

By Margaret Buj

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Top 10 Skills That Will Get You A Job After You Graduate

by ceojem 10/07/2017 0 comments

There are key skills graduate employers look for in graduate candidates.  You need to give examples of these essential competencies in your job applications and during interviews to impress employers to get hired.

Most graduate employers put a lot of emphasis on finding candidates that have the right skills and competencies for their organisations depending on your career sector and profession. There could be very specific skills, knowledge and abilities required to do the job you are applying for. Here are the main employability skills that will make you effective at work and whatever job you do. These are also known as transferable skills because you develop them over time and take them with you as your career progresses.

 

Top ten skills that employers want

 Based on a number of surveys on the skills required for a job by graduates undertaken by Microsoft, Target Jobs, the BBC, Prospects, NACE and AGR and other organisations, here is our summary of the skills which were most often deemed important.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION 1 Able to express your ideas clearly and confidently in speech
TEAMWORK 2 Work confidently within a group
COMMERCIAL AWARENESS 3 Understand the commercial realities affecting the organisation.
ANALYSING & INVESTIGATING 4 Gather information systematically to establish facts & principles. Problem solving.
INITIATIVE/SELF MOTIVATION 5 Able to act on initiative, identify opportunities & proactive in putting forward ideas & solutions
DRIVE 6 Determination to get things done. Make things happen & constantly looking for better ways of doing things.
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION 7 Able to express yourself clearly in writing
PLANNING & ORGANISING 8 Able to plan activities & carry them through effectively
FLEXIBILITY 9 Adapt successfully to changing situations & environments
TIME MANAGEMENT 10 Manage time effectively, prioritising tasks and able to work to deadlines.

Other skills that were also seen as important

GLOBAL SKILLS Able to speak and understand other languages. Appreciation of other cultures. See
NEGOTIATING & PERSUADING Able to influence and convince others, to discuss and reach agreement.
LEADERSHIP
Able to motivate and direct others
NUMERACY Multiply & divide accurately, calculate percentages, use statistics & a calculator, interpret graphs & tables.
COMPUTING SKILLS Word-processing, using databases, spreadsheets, the Internet & email, designing web pages etc.
SELF AWARENESS Awareness of achievements, abilities, values & weaknesses & what you want out of life.
PERSONAL IMPACT/CONFIDENCE Presents a strong, professional, positive image to others which inspires confidence & commands respect.
LIFELONG LEARNING Continues to learn throughout life. Develops the competencies needed for current & future roles
STRESS TOLERANCE Maintains effective performance under pressure
INTEGRITY Adheres to standards & procedures, maintains confidentiality and questions inappropriate behaviour.
INDEPENDENCE Accepts responsibility for views & actions and able to work under their own direction & initiative.
DEVELOPING PROFESSIONALISM Pays care & attention to quality in all their work. Supports & empowers others.
ACTION PLANNING Able to decide what steps are needed to achieve particular goals and then implement these.
DECISION-MAKING Determines the best course of action. Evaluates options based on logic & fact & presents solutions
INTERPERSONAL SENSITIVITY Recognises & respects different perspectives. Open to the ideas & views of others
CREATIVITY Generates & applying new ideas & solutions

The most important skills to develop in employees to drive company growth over the next five years were (according to the Flux Report by Right Management):

  • Leadership skills 62%
  • Management skills 62%
  • Interpersonal skills 53%
  • Innovation and creativity 45%
  • Resilience 43%
  • Technical/specialist skills 40%
  • IT skills 40%
  • Sales/marketing skills 32%
  • Client management skills 24%
  • Other/none of the above 4%

Employer buzzwords and words of action

Here are certain words which are key to catching an employer’s interest. Use them in your CV and at interviews and see how impressed they are with your business-speak however, don’t go overboard or you’ll sound daft.

  • dynamic
  • team player
  • initiative
  • proactive
  • self-motivated

Also, you can talk in terms of actions that you achieve through your skills by using good, strong verbs in your applications and interviews:

  • managed
  • led
  • delivered
  • achieved
  • completed
  • coordinated
  • improved
  • reduced
  • delegated
  • negotiated
  • identified
  • planned
  • promoted
  • supported
  • trained
  • resolved
  • reported
  • organised
  • presented

 What recruiters want from graduate candidates

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why do you want to work here

How to Answer Why Do You Want to Work Here? Interview Question

by ceojem 05/06/2017 0 comments

Today’s post is your guide to answering yet another one of the most common (and most critical) job interview questions: Why do you want to work here?

Actually, we want to cover this question from two important angles.

  • Why are you interested in the company?
  • Why are you interested in the job?

You must be able to answer both of these questions to ace your interview.

Answering the Question — Why Do You Want to Work Here?

The interviewer is looking for similar things whether asking about company or position. The hiring manager wants to:

  • Learn about your career goals and how this position fits into your plan
  • Make sure that you are sincerely interested in the job and will be motivated to perform if hired
  • Find out what you know about the company, industry, position (and if you took the time to research)
  • Understand your priorities and preferences — which aspects of the company and/or job are appealing to you and why?

However, you must approach each part of the question differently.

I. What do you like about this company?

The hiring manager is looking for someone who will fit in at the company and enjoy working there.

A good answer will demonstrate a knowledge of the company and industry. That means you must do your homework so that you can identify specific reasons for wanting to work for the firm.

These reasons could include one or several of the following:

  • Company general reputation
  • Reputation of key leaders
  • Admiration of products/services
  • Admiration of other company initiatives (marketing campaign, community involvement, training programs)
  • Company awards
  • Company management philosophy
  • Company values
  • Company positioning in market
  • Company growth/success

You can probably think of other reasons that would also work. Please note: “It’s close to my house” is not a good reason.

Common Mistakes: What Do You Like About This Company?

  • A too-general answer that could apply to any company. Most of my interview coaching clients make this mistake. They say something like,“It’s a great company and I’d love to work there.” That’s nice, but it’s also not very memorable or believable.
  • An uninformed answer that shows you haven’t done any research. The worst thing you can do is demonstrate that you don’t even know what the company does — or that you only have a vague idea and expect the interviewer to fill you in.
  • An unenthusiastic answer that makes the interviewer wonder if you really want the job. You want to convince the interviewer that you are excited about the idea of working for his company. Avoid an answer like, “I heard there were some open positions, so here I am.”

Sample Answer 1: What Do You Like About This Company?

“Well, the JP Morgan reputation is certainly a factor. I would be proud to work for a company with such a long history of leadership in the industry.

Also, a good friend of the family has been working in corporate finance at JP Morgan for the last two years and he told me that the culture supports learning and development on the job – and really rewards hard work.”

Why We Like It: In this case, the candidate is interviewing for a very well-known firm. In a situation like this, the tendency for many candidates is to basically answer, “Well, it’s JP Morgan. Duh.” In today’s job market, that’s not going to be enough to set you apart from other candidates, even if your resume is stellar.

This sample answer addresses the company’s brand and history, but also demonstrates that the candidate took the time to do some additional research through his network (read on for some tips on how to research companies before you interview). The answer goes on to emphasize the candidate’s interest in working hard and developing on the job.

Sample Answer 2: What Do You Like About This Company?

“I saw an article in Business Week about your new CEO John Jacobs and the firm’s renewed focus on technology innovation.

I consider myself an innovator and I would love to work for an organization that’s leading the future of the industry.”

Why We Like It: It’s smart to seek out recent press on any company that interviews you. In this case, the candidate found an article about the firm’s new CEO and quoting it makes her sound smart, prepared, and interested.

She also singles out the bit from the article about innovation and articulates that this is a shared value. It doesn’t hurt that she compliments the firm as a leader in the industry. A little flattery can be effective — just be careful not to cross the line into pathetic kissing up.

II. Why are you interested in the job?

So you love the company and you can prove it. Think you’re all set? Not so fast. You must also be prepared to speak about the position. You must prove that you are the perfect fit for THIS JOB at THIS COMPANY.

So ask yourself: What is appealing about this job? Why did you respond to this job description?

You must be able to discuss what excites you about the work. After all, every manager wants to hire someone who will love the work required and be committed to doing a great job.

A great answer will also allow you to sneak in information about how good you are at the work required (after all, it’s much easier to love your work when you’re good at it). While the interviewer wants to know why you are attracted to the job, he’ll be even more interested in hearing about why your experience has prepared you to excel in the position.

Bottom line: Companies like to hire people who will be good at the job – and enjoy what they do. Clearly communicate both your interest and ability.

Common Mistakes: Why Are You Interested in This Job?

  • A too-general answer that could apply to any position. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re only interested in this job because it’s available. I often compare job interviewing to dating (hopefully, dating is at least a little bit more fun for you). No date wants to hear, “You were the only one who would go out with me.” It’s the same with job interviewing. You have to woo the company and talk about why the position was made for you.
  • An uninformed answer that shows you don’t understand the job. If you don’t comprehend every word on that job description, take some time to research.
  • An unenthusiastic answer that makes the interviewer wonder if you really want the job. If you can’t provide details about why you’re into the job, the interviewer will likely assume that you’re NOT.

Sample Answer: Why Are You Interested in This Job?

“I feel that my proven track record leading multi-functional teams makes me an excellent match for the job requirements. Also, the role excites me because I love the idea of helping to develop cutting-edge software products and I know I could start delivering results from Day 1.”

 Why We Like It: This answer manages to sell the candidate while addressing what she likes about the job. She leads with the fact that her experience makes her a great fit for the job requirements. She continues by stating that the role excites her. This is good. Don’t be coy about whether you want the job or not. Show some enthusiasm. And finally, our candidate wraps by promising that she can deliver results immediately.

Sample Answer: Putting It All Together — Company + Role

“Well, I have great respect for your company’s software products and I would welcome the opportunity to work with the best in the business.  At the same time, I have friends in the industry who have told me about your company’s respect for employees and how you create a great environment for rewarding innovation. I think my proactive style would fit in really well here — especially in this particular role.”

Why We Like It: This sample answer addresses both the organization and the role. He compliments the products, the employees, and the work environment (companies do love to say they are innovative, don’t they?). He then talks about how his style would fit in well. If this were my client, I would advise him to add one last line about WHY his style would benefit this role in particular.

How to Research the Company

Now you know the best practices for answering, “Why do you want to work here?” To apply them to your own next job interview, you’ll probably need to do a bit of research.

If you already know all about the company and why it’s a good match for you, you can skip this part and go practice your answer. For everyone else, here are some tips for researching any company.

The Company Web Site

Start with the company web site. This may seem like an obvious approach, but you have to take the time to actually do it.

A good company web site covers everything from firm history to mission statement to product lines to latest awards and accomplishments. Read all of the About Us stuff and spend some time in the Press Room, where you’ll usually find the latest press releases and media mentions.

Read the company blog if they have one. Next, sign up for any newsletter offered and check out the company’s social media presence (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.)

You’ll also want to spend some time in the site’s Careers section. Some firms provide extensive information about the hiring process on their sites  — including job profiles and sample interview questions in some cases.

Depending on the size of the company and whether it’s public or private, you may even be able to access financial statements, annual reports, and executive biographies.

Media Coverage

Although company web sites can tell you a lot, you can learn even more with a broader Google search.

Look for recent articles about the company in the mainstream press and industry publications. These articles can also provide useful information about the latest trends in the industry and how the company compares with competitors. If you are aware of an influential publication that covers the industry, go to the publication web site and conduct a search.

 

Your network may be your most valuable research source.  Reach out to trusted contacts in your network for information. A search on LinkedIn can quickly reveal who you know at the hiring company (or who you know that knows somebody). Look for those currently at the firm and those who worked there in the past.

An “inside contact” can provide priceless data and can even serve as an advocate (if you’re lucky and have been nurturing your relationships).

Don’t just rely on LinkedIn. You can also ask around to determine if any trusted contacts (former colleagues, professors, etc.) have a connection to the firm.

Just be careful about name-dropping in the interview if you don’t know your contact’s internal reputation.

Written by

Pamela Skillings

Pamela Skillings is co-founder of Big Interview. As an interview coach, she has helped her clients land dream jobs at companies including Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase. She also has more than 15 years of experience training and advising managers at organizations from American Express to the City of New York. She is an adjunct professor at New York University and an instructor at the American Management Association.

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the top & best questions to ask at the end of the job interview

The Top & Best Questions to Ask at the End of the Job Interview

by ceojem 31/05/2017 0 comments

An interview is a two-way street. Your potential employer is asking you questions to learn about you and your skills. In return, you need to prepare questions to ask your potential employer about the position, your boss, and the company in order to be sure that this is the right job for you.

In addition, if you don’t prepare smart questions, you run the risk of the interviewer assuming you aren’t interested or haven’t prepared.

Your opportunity to ask questions usually comes at the end of the interview. You must prepare at least two questions that demonstrate your interest in the position, your drive to excel in the role, and the fact that you’ve done some homework (researched company, industry, department).

So how do you come up with these smart questions that show you’re the perfect hire? As you conduct your pre-interview research, make note of topics that you’d like to ask about.

Keep in the mind that the best questions to ask are focused, open-ended question.

Avoid yes or no questions and avoid questions that are so broad that they are difficult to answer. You don’t want to stump the interviewer when you’re trying to make a good impression and develop rapport.

Still not sure what to ask? We have some proven examples of good questions to ask during a job interview:

1. Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
This is your chance to learn as much as possible about the role so you can decide whether this is a job you really want. By learning more about the day-to-day tasks, you will also gain more insight into what specific skills and strengths are needed and you can address any topics that haven’t already been covered.

2. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
This question can often lead to valuable information that’s not in the job description. It can help you learn about the company culture and expectations so you can show that you are a good fit.

3. What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days, year?
Find out what your employer’s expectations are for the person in this position.

4. Describe the culture of the company.
Are you a good fit for this particular organization? Make sure you are comfortable with the culture and the dynamic of the company.

5. Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?
If you plan to be in this role for several years, make sure the company is growing so you can grow with the company.

6. Who do you consider your top competitor, and why?
You should already have an idea of the company’s major competitors, but it can be useful to ask your interviewer for their thoughts. Naturally, they will be able to give you insight you can’t find anywhere else.

7. What are the biggest opportunities facing the company/department right now?
This question shows your drive to seize opportunity and may help you learn more about where the company will be focusing over the next several months.

8. What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now?
On the flip side, you may want to ask about challenges. This question can help you uncover trends and issues in the industry and perhaps identify areas where your skills could save the day.

9. What do you like best about working for this company?
Ask about your interviewer’s personal experience for additional insight into the company’s culture.

10. What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
This question can help you learn whether the company promotes from within, and how career advancement works within the organization. By asking the question, you show your interest in growing with the organization — just be careful not to phrase it in a way that sounds too self-serving (i.e. When can I expect a raise and a promotion?).

11. How do I compare with the other candidates you’ve interviewed for this role?
This is a slightly risky choice. You don’t want to put the interviewer in an awkward position. However, if things are going well and you’ve built a strong rapport, this question can help you see if there are any concerns or issues that you could address to show why you’re the best person for the job.

12. What are the next steps in the interview process?
This question shows that you are eager to move forward in the process. It will also help you gain important information about the timeline for hiring so that you can follow up appropriately.

Remember: Don’t ask about salary or benefits just yet. Wait until you are in the final steps of the interview process to negotiate with the hiring manager or an HR representative.

 

Written by

Pamela Skillings

Pamela Skillings is co-founder of Big Interview. As an interview coach, she has helped her clients land dream jobs at companies including Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase. She also has more than 15 years of experience training and advising managers at organizations from American Express to the City of New York. She is an adjunct professor at New York University and an instructor at the American Management Association.

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How To Answer: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? Interview Question

by ceojem 25/05/2017 0 comments

Where do you see yourself in five years? This interview question is not designed to test your psychic powers.

No interviewer expects candidates to be able to describe EXACTLY what they will be doing in 1,820 days. In fact, a truthful answer about what you HOPE to be doing can easily sabotage your odds of landing a job offer.

So why do interviewers insist on asking this question?

Why Interviewers Ask, “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

The interviewer wants to understand more about your career goals and how this position would fit into your grand plan. They care about your career goals because they want to hire someone who is motivated, proactive, and likely to stick around and work hard if hired.

If succeeding in this role is important to you as part of your long-term career strategy, you are much more likely to perform well.

You may also hear one of these similar/related questions that are not quite as cliched as the old “5 years” chestnut:

  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • What is your ideal job at this stage in your career?
  • What are you looking for?
  • How do you define success?
  • What’s most important to you in you career?

How to Answer The Question

In today’s competitive job market, interviewers are looking for any red flag to use as an excuse not to hire someone. So you could be unfairly eliminated from contention if you answer this question in a way that even hints this is not the one and only job of your dreams.

Understandably, an employer wants to hire someone who is truly excited about the job at hand, someone who sees it as a great career move and will work tirelessly to do a good job.

You may have already said that you’re interested in the job and why. But they are testing you further by asking, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

If your five-year goal is to become an investment banker, it’s going to be hard for them to believe that this position as an IT marketing manager is your dream job.

Hiring managers don’t generally enjoy recruiting, hiring, and training new people. It can be a time-consuming and difficult process. Your interviewer does not want to invest time and effort in someone who is already planning to leave for something better as soon as it comes along (whether that’s a job that’s a better fit, grad school, or your own business).

After all, if she hires you and you quit after a month or two, she’s going to look really bad to her bosses.

In reality, you are probably considering a few different potential career paths. It’s smart for you to keep your options open to a certain extent. However, you don’t have to advertise this fact in your job interviews.

Let’s be clear: You should never lie during a job interview. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to be 100% candid about all of the directions that you are investigating.

 

So what should you say?

1. Keep your answer fairly general, especially if you don’t know a lot about the typical career path at the company. For most interview questions, I recommend being SPECIFIC because general answers tend to be bland and easily forgettable. This is the exception. Make your answer truthful, but broad enough that it doesn’t raise doubts about whether you would be a good fit for this position at this organization.

2. Stress your interest in a long-term career at the company (especially if you have short job tenures on your resume). Your interviewer wants to know that you’re ready to settle in and grow with the firm. The truth is that anything can happen. The company could go out of business, they could lay you off, or you could be lured away for a better opportunity.

However, remember that the organization is going to be investing considerable time, energy, and money in hiring and training someone for this job. You must at least show an honest intention to stay long enough to be a good investment. If you have some “job hopping” on your resume, it’s particularly important to make the case that you’re now ready for a long-term role.

3. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job as an exciting next step for you. Most importantly, make it clear that you are motivated to take on this opportunity right now.

Example Answer to “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

The emphasis is on growing with the company (he’s a good long-term hire) and taking on new challenges (he’s goal-oriented, proactive), not on a specific title or job description (he’s flexible).

Example Responses

1. “My goal right now is to find a position at a company where I can grow and take on new challenges over time. Ultimately, I’d like to assume more management responsibilities and get involved in product strategy. But most importantly, I want to work for an organization where I can build a career.”

Why We Like It:
This answer offers some insight into the candidate’s goals and interests (becoming a manager, being involved in product strategy) so it’s not too generic. This response also strongly expresses a desire for a long-term career with the company.

2. “I am driven to be the best at what I do and I want to work somewhere where I’ll have opportunities to develop my skills, take on interesting projects, and work with people I can really learn from. Some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry work here and that’s a big reason why I would love to build a career here.”

Why We Like It:
With this answer, the candidate is emphasizing her focus on learning, performance, and achievement. She is also complimenting the company and its reputation for hiring quality people (including the interviewer, perhaps?). The reference to “building a career here” indicates an interest in sticking around and contributing.

Special Scenarios: Make Your Narrative Believable

In some situations, your answer to this question will be particularly important. If you’re making a career change or this position doesn’t seem like an obvious next step based on your resume, your interviewer may be suspicious about whether you REALLY are committed to this field or just need to make a few bucks until something better comes along.

Nobody wants to hire an applicant who is halfhearted about the job. It’s like dating someone who is using you for free dinners until someone she’s REALLY attracted to comes along.

Your response to “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is your opportunity to sell the interview on your commitment to the career path and the position.

For example, let’s say you were recently laid off after working in academia for five years and are now interviewing for a job in biotechnology management. To be seriously considered, you need to be able to describe why you are excited about making the switch and building a career in biotech. You don’t want to leave the impression that this would only be a temporary diversion until something opens up for you in your “real” field of interest.

This is also relevant for new grads. If your major and internships are in a totally different area, be prepared to talk convincingly about why you want to invest the next five years in this new field represented by the open position.

How Not to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

1. Don’t overthink it: “Well, that’s a very hard question. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 5 years….hmmmm….that’s tough.”

In my work with individual clients, I’ve seen this mistake a million times. It’s great that you take the question seriously, but you are not being evaluated based on accuracy of answer. Use your answer to reassure the interviewer that you’re invested in this career path.

2. Don’t be too specific: “I plan to be a VP at a major firm with at least 7 direct reports, a company car, and a salary of 150K (plus options of course).”

Ambition is good. Goals are good. However, if you are too specific, you run the risk of stating goals that are not realistically achievable in the job available. From the interviewer’s perspective, that means you’re not a good fit.

3. Don’t be flaky: “I’d love to be CEO in five years. Then again, I’d also love to be touring with my band if that takes off.”

You can come across as flaky if you seem to have a million different ideas about what you want to do — or if you have zero clear ideas about your future. In reality, many good candidates are exploring different options or are still trying to figure it out. However, a job interview is not a session with your career coach. You want to give the impression that you’re focused and have a plan (even if it’s not the only plan you’re considering).

4. Don’t raise red flags: “Well, I’m not sure. I’m thinking about law school or business school or clown college.”

Many job seekers have long-term visions of going back to school or starting their own business. These are admirable goals, but there’s no need to share them with your interviewer, especially if you’re still weighing your possibilities.

Of course, if you’ve already committed to full-time grad school or another path that will conflict with your ability to perform in the job, it’s only fair to be open about that.

Also, there are some career paths that require advanced degrees and/or other additional training. For example, many finance and management consulting career paths require an MBA. In these cases, it will be expected that your five-year plan will include more schooling.

One Last Word of Advice

Take the time to think about this question and prepare a response. Don’t memorize a script, but practice how you will describe your long-term career plans in a way that will be relevant to the interviewer and help you tell your story about why you’re the best person for the job.

Written by Pamela Skillings

Pamela Skillings is co-founder of Big Interview. As an interview coach, she has helped her clients land dream jobs at companies including Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase. She also has more than 15 years of experience training and advising managers at organizations from American Express to the City of New York. She is an adjunct professor at New York University and an instructor at the American Management Association.

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Questions to ask yourself before sending your cv out

The 9 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Sending Your CV

by ceojem 29/04/2017 0 comments

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so your CV should be flawless before you send it to any recruiters or employers. Sloppy mistakes and missing information could quite literally cost you the job. CV writing service StandOut CV have created this useful infographic showing 9 questions you should ask yourself before sending your CV out on the job market to ensure that it will have maximum appeal to your target audience.

CV template

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7 skills every project manager CV should include

The 7 Skills Every Project Manager CV Should Include

by ceojem 20/03/2017 0 comments

Writing your CV as a project manager can be a complex task. As somebody who balances so many tasks across multiple teams and locations, it can be a challenge to get all of your experience down into 2 sheets of A4. A good project manager’s CV should demonstrate the candidate’s ability to lead staff, mitigate risks and deliver the required results. Although every project managers CV will be unique, there are certain skills that every project manager needs to succeed and StandOut CV has provided them in this handy infographic.

1. Scheduling

Effective scheduling is crucial to the success of a project, so it’s important to include it in your CV.  Demonstrate your ability to plan and arrange activities to be completed in time with project expectations. Giving solid examples of scheduling project activities for yourself and surrounding teams will give employers confidence that you can deliver projects on time and within budget.

2. Cost control

In order for a project to be delivered within budget and keep sponsors happy, cost control is vital. When writing your CV ensure that you include the budgets you manage, optimal allocation of spending and cost effective vendor relationships. Also detail any methods or tools used to manage costs and be sure to highlight any big savings you have realised for employers.

3. Risk management

Every project faces risks that have the potential to derail it’s success. A strong project manager’s CV should give solid examples of controlling risk to show project sponsors that you are able limit their effects. The ability to spot potential risks before and deal with them before they become problematic is a highly valued attribute

4. Leadership

If you’re going to lead a project through to successful delivery, it stands to reason that you should possess sound leadership skills.  Use your CV to detail the teams you manage and how you drive them towards deliverables. Activities such as running team meetings, staff performance reviews and reward are good signals of strong leadership in project management.

5. Methodologies

Methodologies are rigorous systems of methods which are used to keep projects on track and drive them forward. Whether you utilise Prince2, Agile, Waterfall or any other methodology, employers need to know your experience, knowledge and qualifications in those areas. It’s also important to explain how you implement these methodologies into your projects as opposing to simply listing qualifications.

6. Business case writing

Justifying project initiation, spending and resource allocation often requires a strong and coherent business case. The ability to write or at lease contribute to a business case is therefore a valuable skill for your CV. In cases where you have been responsible for achieving project milestones or making improvements through effective business case presentation, you should make it clear in your CV.

7. Delivery

The ultimate measure of success for a project manager is the results they deliver. Clearly explain the benefits your projects have provided and use figures where possible to quantify your value. Whether you have transformed a finance system across multiple global locations or project manged a large office relocation, be sure to detail your results along with any significant achievements made on the project.

In addition to including the essential project management skills above, you should also make sure you include factors that are important to your own industry along with any tools you have experience in using, such as Microsoft Project. Keep the CV to around two pages in length and break up into easily digestible sections so that busy hiring managers can read through it quickly.

About the author: Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter and founder of StandOut CV.

Project manager CV writing

This post is written by a guest author.

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How To Be More Organized At Work With 5 Helpful Tips

by ceojem 10/03/2017 0 comments

Organization is a pain, but the simple truth of the matter is organized people get more done. Why? Generally speaking, they have better time management, live with less mess and get in less trouble. If you want to decrease the mistakes you make and stop getting in your own way the only real option is to become organized.

It’s easier said than done certainly, but if you follow a few simple steps you can earn a lasting result – provided you’re ready to commit long term!

Prioritize

Always keep your mind on what’s more important of any two choices. When presented with your options, be sure to pick the one that will benefit your goals in the long run. Don’t let yourself slip into things that appear in front of you and lose sight of what’s important; it can be tempting, particularly if we focus on the ‘right now’ instead of the future. Remember, goals and values will see you through to the end; don’t lose focus for two minutes of mild gratification. If you forsee yourself having trouble with managing your priorities out of the gate, try downloading an on-the-go app like Priority Matrix. It works, really!

Compartmentalize

Keep the different things in your life separated, whether it’s keeping your professional and personal lives separate, divergent groups of people around you or actual, physical possessions. This can be as esoteric as refusing to discuss certain things with people they don’t concern, or as direct as throwing some of your old possessions into a container system – anything from old furniture to old cars could be messing up your inner peace, introducing subconscious what if’s to your otherwise ordered world.

Sometimes, breaking down attachments will take all of the endurance you have; don’t wait, take all of your old office furniture, legal pads, University assignments (passed or failed) and seek a storage solution, located in one place to visit if you must. Ideally though, everything you no longer need will gather dust and be rarely thought of.

Deal With Things Right Away

Unless you have more important things to be doing (see the prioritize section), solve problems as soon as they crop up. The old staying would be a stitch in time saves nine and tacky though it may sound it’s entirely true. If your house needs cleaning, do it in little steps rather than all at once three months later. Need a job? Start looking right away. Need to confront someone? Do it now. The big problems arise when swear you’ll handle it tomorrow and never do.

Get Rid Of Chaotic Influences

At the end, organization has to be based within, but having chaos all around you isn’t any kind of help. If you take the time to get rid of the difficult crazy or otherwise chaotic influences in your life, be they a friend who’s always getting you into trouble or just a bad habit that’s causing you to trip over your own feet, then you have a much better chance to get what you want if there’s nothing in your way.

Remind Yourself Why

Motivation is a large part of gaining a result. If you know why you’re getting organized, have a goal or a dream that you’re organizing yourself for then it’ll be a lot easier to handle. Whenever things get hard, remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. It helps.

Getting organized is a quick route to results, get the jobs done as quickly as possible and know what you’re doing while it’s happening. Get rid of the things holding you back and build up on the things pushing yourself forward. An organized mind gets what it wants.

BY TRACEY HEERS 

Tracey Heers is an experienced freelance writer; an intrepid traveller and social commentator. When she’s not travelling the world and sharing her words, observations and pieces of practical wisdom, you can catch her working with Destiny Rescue.

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Interview: The 5 Things Every Employer Wants To Hear

by ceojem 09/03/2017 0 comments

Ever wonder what a potential boss wants to hear in an interview? What exactly can you say that will increase your chances of receiving a job offer? I recently heard some great advice that lined up with my previous experience as a human resources manager, and so I thought I would share this great advice with you!

Here are five things to communicate during an interview that will convince the employer you’re a great hire.

1. You Will Never Have To Tell Me What To Do Twice

Every employer wants to know they can give you instructions once—and you’ll get the job done. I guarantee you that no employer wants to micromanage or ask an employee more than once to do something—no matter what it is.

2. I Will Complete The Job/Assignment You Give Me With Excellence

The employer wants to hear that, no matter what, you are going to make it happen—that you’re going to get the job done and do it to the best of your ability.

3. I Am An Agreeable Person

The employer wants to know that no matter what situation you are put in, you’re going to be a team player—and that you’re not going to create confusion, conflict, problems, or challenge their authority.

4. I Am Easy To Correct And Instruct—I Am Teachable

If there is something that’s not getting done, or if you’re not doing it correctly, the employer wants to know that they can approach you to discuss the situation and that you’re not going to fly off the handle or think you’re superior.

5. I Am A Loyal Employee

I will not talk poorly about you. I will do everything I can to promote you and help promote this business. While I am working for you I will always be the best employee—whether for 1 year or 10 years. And should I leave, I will be rehireable, and I will leave in an amicable and responsible manner.

Prospective employers nowadays understand that asking employees to make a commitment to stay for 10—or even 25 years—just isn’t realistic. Loyalty isn’t about longevity. It’s about being a committed and responsible employee while you’re with that company.

These five points are essentially what every employer wants to hear from a potential employee. Of course, this isn’t an end-all, be-all of an interview, but if you can communicate these very important points to a prospective employer during an interview, it will help the interviewer to feel at ease, sense that you are a great employee, and believe that you would be an asset to the organization.

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. Want to work with the best resume writer? If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rates—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at GreatResumesFast.com or contact us for more information if you have any questions.

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What is Probing Interview Questions? [Examples]

by ceojem 08/03/2017 0 comments

We often want or need more information than we get when we ask a question during an interview. Probing is asking follow-up questions when we do not fully understand a response, when answers are vague or ambiguous or when we want to obtain more specific or in-depth information.

Active listening techniques

Question probes often take time to work and the best thing is to lend a sympathetic ear and exercise patience. You therefore need to make liberal use of active listening probes such as silence, good eye contact, plenty of head nods, use of statements such as “OK I see…” and lots of “Mmm-hmms.”

Examples of probing questions for interviews

Probes cannot be easily planned in advance. It is impossible to know what issue the person might raise and how you might need to probe to learn more. However, it is helpful to be familiar with probing and some general ways to probe. You can therefore specifically use the following questions to follow-up on the prepared behavioral questions.

  • “Tell me more about that.”
  • “What led you to . . . “
  • “What eventually happened?”
  • “Looking back, what would you do differently now, if anything?”
  • “Compare this to what others have done.”
  • “What did your supervisor say / do?”
  • “What was the outcome?”
  • “What was the situation?”
  • “Why did you do that?”
  • “How did others see it?”
  • “What kind of feedback did you get?”
  • “Is this typical for you?”
  • “Can you think of another example of this?”
  • “What did you learn?”
  • “What did everyone else do?”
  • “What else can you remember about that situation?”
  • “Give me more detail about what you did, please.”
  • “What exactly did you say?”
  • “I’d like to hear more.”
  • “How did that make you feel?”
  • “What was the financial impact?”

In broad terms, probing questions often begin with “What” or “How” because they invite more detail. Questions that begin with “Do you…” or “Are you…” invite personal reflection. “Why” questions can be problematic. They may put the respondent on the defensive or result in little useful information and require additional probing.

About Anne Sandberg

With a degree in Experimental Psychology and a masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Anne Sandberg has 25+ years of experience in the human resources, training and management consulting arenas. Anne is President of ReadyToManage, Inc. and can be contacted at Anne.Sandberg@ReadyToManage.com

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Top 8 Tips To Get A Promotion At Work

by ceojem 20/02/2017 0 comments

Getting a promotion at work isn’t easy. You have to earn it, but contrary to popular belief it isn’t all about working hard.

Follow our 8 tips and see if that promotion comes your way.

1. Build strong relationships

If you’re looking to take that next step up, building strong relationships and connections at work is crucial. Do you have a good working relationship with your Manager? Do your colleagues respect and enjoy working with you? Are you well-known around the office? Do you have valuable industry connections? Sometimes it’s less about what you know, but who you know that counts.

2. Know your goals and make sure your boss knows them too

Setting yourself goals and deadlines for when you want to achieve them is key to succeeding in both your professional and personal lives. If you know what you want and when you want it, you can create a clear action plan to make it happen.

If a promotion at work is one of your goals, part of your action plan should be making sure your boss knows about it. Have an honest discussion with them about your career and where you see it going. If they know what you want, they can help you make the right steps to get there.

3. Go the extra mile

A promotion at work is unlikely to be handed to you on a plate, you have to earn it! The most successful professionals don’t just do what they’re told, they use their initiative, go the extra mile and really make things happen. What more can you do? Take on that extra responsibility, offer advice and help to your colleagues and fully utilise the skills you have at work.

4. Get feedback

Do you think you’ve deserved a promotion for a while now? Sometimes you need to be more proactive and being direct with your boss and asking “What do I need to do to get a promotion?” might just be your best option. Are there skills you need to develop or specific areas you can improve on? Getting feedback from your manager will enable you to work on the aspects that they are looking for.

5. Develop your knowledge and skills

How can you add value to the business? What skills are the most crucial in your industry? Are you keeping up to date with industry trends and events (even outside of your speciality)?

It goes without saying that expanding your knowledge and skill set is only going to make you more successful in your career. In fact, many experts state that those employees who really keep up with what’s happening in their industry are much more likely to get ahead.

6. Ask for more responsibility

Asking for more responsibility shows that you are ready to step up. It also shows that you’re interested and enthusiastic about helping your department and company succeed. If you’re successful in your tasks, you are proving your value to the organisation and putting a spotlight on your potential.

7. Be professional

It’s important to maintain your professionalism at all stages of your career, but even more so when you’re looking for a promotion at work. Do you act and look the part? Can your team depend on you? Do you have a positive attitude? The answer to all of these questions should be YES!

8. Consider all of the factors at play

Sometimes, achieving a promotion at work isn’t just about proving your worth and having the right skills, there may be numerous other factors at play. Analysing your corporate culture will help you establish what other areas you need to work on. Maybe your current company isn’t able to match your ambitions and you need to look elsewhere to make the next step on your career ladder.

By 

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What Food Should You Eat Before Your Job Interview?

by ceojem 16/02/2017 0 comments

Eating is important for anyone – especially to get you through a day.

However, proper nutrition is essential when preparing for a crucial time in life – such as a meeting or interview. A poor diet can make you tired or sloppy, whereas a healthy diet will make you more focused, more aware and help to get rid of those interview nerves. In this infographic by StandOut CV, you’ll find foods you should eat, and steer clear of.

The foods you should try to intake when getting ready are:

  • Fatty acids (Omega 3): These build brain cell membranes and promote new brain cell formulation – so they’ll make you smarter! It will also make you great for answering questions, which is extremely necessary in an interview. You can find fatty acids in salmon, eggs and kale (amongst other places).
  • B vitamins: These vitamins will not only prevent insomnia, anxiety and low self-esteem, they’ll also increase energy and motivation levels. Make sure to eat peas, broccoli, spinach or meat.
  • Whole grains: These slowly release glucose into the bloodstream, and can increase your mental alertness, concentration and focus. If you have brown cereals, brown pasta or granary bread for your lunch, you’ll have lots of them!
  • Coffee: …but only in moderation! It’s obviously a stimulant that will make you less tired, and more alert, but don’t drink too much, or you may crash or become twitchy.

During the day, when you’re preparing for the interview, there are a few foods to avoid including (alongside too much coffee):

  • Carbohydrates: Eating too many carbs, like potatoes, bread and pasta can reduce alertness and may even make you fall asleep – which you don’t want in an interview!
  • Smelly foods: Garlic and onions should be banned from your diet for 24 hours before any interview or meeting – they’ll cause bad breath and can be excreted from sweat glands too.
  • Water: Of course, you need to stay hydrated, but don’t be drinking too much water before an interview – you’ll be running to the toilet every 5 minutes! However, do ask for a glass of water to keep your mouth hydrated during the time you’re talking.

Do you have any tips for meals or food to eat before an interview? Leave them in the comments below!

What-To-Eat-Before-Interview infographic

 

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5 UK Industries with Serious Skills Shortages

by ceojem 08/02/2017 0 comments

From the sheer number of reports and statistics being published about the current lack of opportunities in the UK job market, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the outlook was bleak for anyone wanting to embark on a new career.

With UCAS figures showing a record number of students being accepted at universities and the highest ever number of graduates achieving first-class honours, according to the Higher Education and Statistics Agency, competition is understandably fierce in many popular sectors.

However, if you are looking to pursue a career in an area that will allow you a bit more freedom and a very competitive salary, there are a few oft-overlooked industries that are crying out for fresh new talent. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our five picks for you to consider.

1. Accounting

Accounting is a diverse industry, with plenty of opportunities to work independently, as part of a firm, or within a particular sector. Furthermore, it’s also an industry where there is a big demand for candidates with the right training and skillset, demonstrated in the 10.2% year-on-year rise in advertised vacancies between the months of March and June 2016, as reported by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies.

Additionally, there are plenty of routes into a career as an accountant, such as taking a related degree or embarking on professional trading with a recognised body like the ACCA or ICAEW. These bodies generally offer the most flexible training options, with courses and distance learning available for anyone looking to start their journey as a qualified accountant.

2. Construction

When the UK experienced its recent recession, many projects in the construction industry were cancelled or put on hold, slowing progress. This caused many people to leave the business to look for employment elsewhere — many of whom have not returned as the sector has mounted a recovery. Construction is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a career where you can work with both your head and your hands, and it also gives you the opportunity to take part in projects where you can stand back and admire your achievement.

From architecture and surveying to bricklaying and plumbing, there is something within the sector to suit everyone, as well as excellent salary prospects and a chance to develop a skillset that can take you across the world in your career. Depending on what role you intend to pursue, there are many different training options to explore, including degrees, diplomas, and apprenticeships.

3. IT

While construction is a sector in recovery, IT has never slowed in its growth. You just need to look at the £1.57 billion, reported by London & Partners, that was invested in new tech start-ups in 2015 alone to see that the industry is in rude health. In our ever more tech-orientated world, the need for IT professionals who specialise in making sure that everything runs according to plan has never been higher.

IT is an area to get involved in if you are looking for a career at the cutting edge. Also, because almost every company needs to adapt or embrace technology to thrive, the opportunities to find a role are almost limitless. As there is demand from so many directions for expertise in IT, employability and job flexibility prospects are very good, as are the salaries on offer for people with the right skills.

4. Logistics and material handling

The logistics and material handling sector is one that can commonly be overlooked, usually thanks to its role behind the scenes of some of the world’s biggest companies. It is an essential support industry for many others, such as e-commerce and manufacturing, and without it they would grind to a halt. Materials handling and logistics isn’t an ultra-glamorous career, however, there’s virtually no marketplace that doesn’t rely on material handlers to move their items at some point down the line. Because of this, it’s an indispensable industry, one that can provide a career for life.

Thanks to the widespread reliance on logistics and material handling, it is a solid industry with excellent employability prospects. The best way to start a career in the sector is through an apprenticeship, where you can earn as you learn, gaining hands-on experience in the warehouse or depot environment. You can use the government’s apprenticeship search tool to find one near you.

5. Engineering

Engineering has a lot of branches, from mechanical and manufacturing to chemical and electrical. It also plays a key role in the day-to-day operation of many essential industries. What’s more, is the fact that it is another area of employment that is in need of people with the right skills and training to secure a bright future for the UK.

The Royal Academy of Engineers calculated that the country needs 75,000 new engineers every year until 2020 to meet the industry’s targets, but it also revealed that the yearly count stands at 22,000 — not even a third of the number. Because of this, pursuing a career in this sector can give you a lot of choice over where you work and what your role will be — not to mention the healthy salary prospects and future employability benefits you will enjoy.

You can pursue a path as an engineer by undertaking a dedicated degree in engineering, or by studying a related maths or science subject and specialising later. You can also find higher apprenticeship opportunities that can lead to a professional qualification, as well as a wage and on-the-job experience throughout your training period.

Some of these industries listed in this article may never have crossed your mind as somewhere you see yourself working. But, believe me, each are worthy of your consideration, and you might just benefit from the fact that they are all actively looking for eager new trainees.

About the author: Elaine Smith is HR Manager at Impact Handling, a forklift truck engineer and driver trainer who specialise in the development of apprentice and trainees for the material handling industry.

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Work: How to Love Your Job

by ceojem 23/01/2017 0 comments

Find a job you love and never work a day in your life! But is this easier said than done?

If you’re one of the lucky people who loves what they do and are actually pretty good at it too, then you’ve got a good thing going there. Unfortunately not everyone finds themselves in a job that they enjoy, however, and this can creates problems with engagement and productivity at work. Enjoying your job, not only drives you to achieve your best, but it also improves your happiness in general, so it’s in both yours and your employers best interest for you to be happy at work.

Adecco have taken a look at some of the benefits of a happy workforce and why it’s important that your staff enjoy their jobs.

Why is it important for employees to enjoy their job?

  • Happier workers are 12% more productive than those who don’t enjoy their job. Unhappy workers are 10% less productive than others.
  • Being happy at work can make you more sociable, less lethargic, more generous and healthier.
  • The happiest workers are in Canada, with 64% claiming to love their job. The least happy workers are in Germany, with only 34% claiming to enjoy their job.

How to be more productive:

  • Know your body clock – Tackle the harder tasks when your energy levels are at their peak and leave the more routine tasks for when you’re on a slump.
  • Prioritise tasks –  Complete tasks in order of importance and the amount of time it will take.
  • Take a break – Sometimes you need to give yourself a break in order to get back in the zone. Take some time for a tea break or a short walk to allow yourself to recharge.

How to get along better with your co-workers:

  • Find some common ground – If you find yourself clashing with a co-worker try to talk it through with them and find some common ground. Listen to what they have to say and try to find a solution. It’s better out in the open.
  • Don’t fear conflict – If something’s bothering you, assert yourself. There is no need to be afraid of standing your ground if you approach it in a reasonable and mature manner.
  • Learn from others – Observe how others deal with co-workers and your boss to learn how you can better handle situations.

How to manager your time better:

  •  Stop procrastinating – Pin-point what your main distractions are and find a solution to stop wasting time.
  • Don’t multi-task – Often multitasking and shifting between jobs can actually delay you from getting tasks done. Try to focus on one at a time to get things done more efficiently.
  • Log off of social media – On average workers spend 1 hour and 14 minutes on social media  and 5 hours browsing non-work related websites. Log off, to focus your time on work tasks.

How to get a promotion:

  • 21% of workers earning under $50,000 say that they dislike their job, whereas 63% of those earning over $50,000 say that they love their job.
  • In order to get a promotion, ask what is expected of you and then work towards achieving those targets, skills, etc.
  • You should also work on acquiring as much information as possible about the company, to demonstrate that you operate like a senior employee, rather than junior.

Find out more below!

how-to-love-your-job-infographic

 

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7 Ways to Be Happier at Work

by ceojem 16/01/2017 0 comments

Being at work can take up a huge amount of your life (think around 92,120 hours over a lifetime!), so it’s important to be happy while you’re there. Cultivating an environment that makes you cheerful and positive can dramatically increase your your motivation and productivity.

Here are 7 daily ‘happy habits’ to try for yourself:

1) Start the day right

There’s nothing worse than waking up late, rushing to get ready and leaving the house in a fluster. That’s why setting your alarm a little earlier than usual and setting aside some time for yourself can make the world of difference. Put together a nice breakfast, brew a perfect cup of coffee and treat yourself to some ‘me’ time. Feeling relaxed in the mornings can set the tone for the rest of the day, so concentrate on creating your perfect morning!

2) Celebrate the small victories

Each day at work is filled with mini victories that are often overlooked. If you’ve finished a project you’re proud of, no matter how big or small, allow yourself to celebrate the achievement. Each day you’re making a difference in some way or another; bear this in mind when your mood starts to slump.

3) Surround yourself with positivity

If you surround yourself with positive and uplifting people, it’s almost guaranteed that their high spirits will rub off on you. While you can’t always completely avoid the people who bring you down, try to minimise the time you spend with them where you can. Misery loves misery – don’t let them drag you down with them!

“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” – Karl Marx

5) Eat well and exercise

A simple but effective trick that can help you feel better from the inside out. Try to introduce more exercise into your daily life – it’s not only great for your health but also releases endorphins – the chemical in the brain which makes you feel happy! Eating well can also boost your mood, energy and motivation.

6) Don’t whinge and whine

Every office has its token whiner – make sure it’s not you! It not only effects your own mindset but it can irritate other people and manifest negativity around you. If something is bothering you, try your best to change whatever it may be, or speak to someone who can help – don’t just whinge about it, it’s bad for your health!

7) End the day well

Set aside some time at the end of every day to sit back and reflect. Make sure you turn off any social media/screens/distractions at least an hour before you go to sleep. This will not only help you sleep better, but will also give you time to do something more beneficial, such as read a book or catch up with housemates or a family member.

By  Ruby Lowe

Senior Account Executive at Link Humans, an employer branding agency.

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