Monthly Archives: June 2013

Life After Redundancy – 10 Top Tips to Minimise the Pain

Article by Belinda Fuller

The time following a redundancy can be tough, with all kinds of emotions stirred up including disappointment, anger, resentment, shame, anxiety, and uncertainty which can lead to reduced confidence. Despite this, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude while searching for your next job.

Here are our top 10 tips for minimising the pain:

  1. Accept the loss and move on. Acknowledging feelings of loss may help initially, however the sooner you let go, the better. Redundancies are business decisions, so accept that it is out of your control and try not to take it personally.
  2. Encourage positive thoughts. When faced with challenges, we can be prone to negativity. Accept this natural emotion, then try to encourage positivity by engaging in activities that help you think clearly and optimistically.
  3. Start talking to people. The sooner you start networking, the better. If you’re not on LinkedIn, now is a great time to create a profile. Invite colleagues to connect and let them know you are seeking new opportunities.
  4. Get your finances in order. Depending on your financial situation, you may need to seek financial advice or talk to your bank about loans. Do this quickly, so you have one less thing to worry about.
  5. Maintain a routine. Treat Monday to Friday like a working week. Dress like you are leaving the house and establish a schedule. Aim to complete some job search tasks every day – these might include networking with old colleagues, searching for jobs online, talking to recruitment agencies, polishing your resume or working on your interview skills.
  6. Think about your future. Ask yourself if you are in the right career. Is your market in good shape? Think about whether you could undertake study or work towards diversifying your skills.
  7. Seek professional help. Career Consultants provide independent advice and up-to-date information on current job markets. They can help with career transition by advising how to position yourself in the market, identify job opportunities and present yourself effectively to employers. They’ll also help boost confidence and ease some of the anxiety.
  8. Polish your Resume. Revamp your resume or enlist a professional to prepare a resume and cover letter for you. If you’re applying for government positions, you may need assistance preparing Selection Criteria. Having a professional document you feel proud to send out will also help boost your confidence.
  9. Start looking for a new job. As quickly as possible, think about what your perfect job looks like. Research job sites and the careers sections on individual company’s websites. Meet with recruitment companies, and talk to colleagues about who you could approach for assistance. Then start applying!
  10. Practice your interview skills. You could enlist a professional or simply think about the types of questions that may be asked in an interview situation. Devise your perfect answers, and practice responding so you feel more confident and prepared.

The period following a redundancy can be stressful, however it is important to look to the future. By all means, take some time out, but try to begin your job search quickly. This will allow you time to achieve the perfect role, rather than becoming desperate and needing to take the first thing that comes along.

If you are struggling following a redundancy, please see our career coaching services. If you are interested in getting assistance from a professional resume writer to prepare a winning cover letter and resume for your next job application, please see our Resume Writing Services. We also offer Outplacement Services to organisations looking to support their employees through redundancy.

Want to Change Careers? Here is a Step by Step Plan

Article by Belinda Fuller

While we know many people go through the process, it’s difficult to estimate how common changing careers is, or in fact, how many careers, on average we go through during our lifetime. A job for life is a thing of the past, however changing careers is still a daunting thought for many people. If you’re feeling like you need a change but you’re not sure where to start, follow this step by step plan to get you moving in the right direction.

  • STEP 1 – Why – think about why you want a career change – is it really your career you need to change or is it just your job that doesn’t satisfy you? Often people are good at what they do, but the company they work for is not a good fit. It’s important to understand where your issues lie before embarking on a full career change. If it’s the job you dislike, then perhaps a similar job in a different industry or environment would make you happier. If you dislike certain aspects of your job, there might be an opportunity to diversify and take on a role with slightly different responsibilities.
  • STEP 2 – What – once you have decided that you do want to change careers, you need to think about what direction you’d like to pursue. If you have no idea, you should think about what you enjoy doing as well as what you’re good at. List your current skills, and think about how you might be able to transfer those to a different area. Many people who come to us for career counselling don’t know what direction they want to head in. They want advice or confirmation that their interest in changing careers is valid and ideas on what direction to take. At this point, it’s important to involve other people – professionals, family, work colleagues you can trust – to help you clarify direction. You could also consider taking a career assessment to better understand your interests, values and personality and help you narrow down your choices.
  • STEP 3 – How – from the overview you’ve developed, look at how you can make a change. Research different careers and highlight areas that best suit you and your interests. There are several online resources that might help here. Once you’ve narrowed down your options again, look at job search sites like Seek and MyCareer and identify what experience, knowledge, skills and qualifications you need to succeed.
  • STEP 4 – When – start making a plan. You may have a lot to consider before deciding when to make your transition, including financial, family and study considerations. If you need to study, research providers and decide whether you can complete some study part-time while still working. Find out if there is an opportunity for volunteer work to help gain experience. Make a plan that will get you to where you need to be.

Changing careers can be a very rewarding experience, but will probably require strong commitment and activity from you. It may involve a lot of hard work – especially if you have to undertake additional training or study to achieve a required qualification. Take into consideration all the points mentioned above and start planning for a successful career change today.

If you would like assistance from a Career Coach with identifying areas for a career change, see our career counselling services. If you’re interested in discovering your personality type, see our Myers Briggs personality testing.

5 Things You MUST DO to Prepare for an Interview

Article by Belinda Fuller

So you are in job application mode – you’ve created the perfect Resume and Cover Letter and applied for several positions. What next? As part of your job search, you should be preparing yourself for the interview process. Preparation ensures you appear professional and polished to the recruiter, but it also builds your confidence and helps overcome any nerves you might be feeling.

Here’s 5 things to do to help increase your success rate:

1.  Prepare for a phone interview – this could happen at any time. Recruiters often make an initial call to screen candidates. Rather than feeling flustered and under pressure, be prepared. Keep a copy of your resume handy, together with a list of jobs you’ve applied for. Go one step further and keep a copy of specific job ads and/or position descriptions, highlighting areas you address well. In an initial phone interview, the recruiter may ask why you’re interested in the role and request you provide some detail about your background. Try to be relevant – hit on a couple of key points that highlight your suitability for this specific role.

2.  Appear organised and professional. For the physical interview, dress neatly and appropriate to the company. It’s a good idea to take a copy of your resume, the position description, a pen and note paper. Don’t be afraid to take notes and ask questions during the interview. Asking questions is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the role and the company, as well as providing a chance to highlight your interest in the role and stand out to the recruiter. By researching the company beforehand and preparing a list of relevant questions, you’ll appear professional, prepared and organised – all positives for a potential employer.

3.  Be punctual – plan to arrive 15-20 minutes early just in case you have any last minute problems. Research transport/parking prior to the day so you know how long it will take to get there! Punctuality says a lot about your general attitude and arriving a little early gives you the chance to calm your nerves and ensure you are not flustered and rushed when entering the interview.

4.  Get over your fear of talking about yourself – be prepared to answer questions about yourself. The interview is about you and your suitability for the role. Brainstorm strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments prior to the interview, and think about examples you can talk about that might demonstrate how you’ve handled different work situations.

5.  Research the company and role – take some time to look over the company’s website, social media pages, annual reports, newspaper articles, and anything else you can find. When asked what you know about the company – avoid a blank stare response! Get your hands on the position description and think about the types of questions that might be asked. Knowing a bit about the company and/or the role in advance will help you look proactive and well suited to the role.

Remember that the interview is an important part of the job application process. It is your chance to really stand out from other candidates and show why you’d be ideal for the role. In terms of the interview – a little preparation goes a long way.

If you are interested in getting assistance from an Interview Coach to help you prepare for your next interview, please see our Interview Coaching and Interview Training Services.