Have you been applying for jobs for what seems like a never-ending period of time and not getting any luck? Feeling fatigued from submitting countless applications that don’t seem to be progressing? You’re probably going through job-hunting fatigue. If you’re feeling like this, below are two simple questions you should ask yourself that might help re-energize you and steer your job hunting journey in a positive direction.
1. What is the problem? – Simple, right? Sure, the job market is narrow, so there are not enough opportunities, but also; could it be that you’re applying for jobs that don’t excite you? Is it because you’re not getting feedback from the applications you have submitted and are therefore starting to question your skills and abilities? Is it the process of constantly customizing your CV and application that is making you feel burned out? The sooner you can identify the root cause of the problem, the earlier you can find ways to solve it and hopefully strategize on the job hunting approach you’re using. For instance, have you consulted your friend who works in HR to find out if your CV is appealing to potential employers? Are you *actually* being intentional applying for these jobs or are you applying for every job you come across? Or, are you leaving application questions blank because you’re hoping the recruiter will overlook that? Being honest with ourselves about how we are approaching job hunting can help us reassess our habits and approaches and help turn things around.
2. Are your job hunting goals realistic? – What are the goals you have set for yourself, and are they realistic? It’s easy to say, “I plan on being employed in three months” but what are the surrounding factors that influence that goal becoming a reality. What is the job market in your industry like? What is the current socio-political climate? And what about the economy? Right now, for instance, we’re facing a global pandemic that has rendered many people unemployed and further narrowed down the job market, what then does this mean for the goals we set for ourselves when we’re job hunting? When you set goals that are unrealistic, you set yourself up for failure, which means, it’s easy to get fatigued early on and blame yourself for not getting a job when *you* want, instead of considering how external factors influence your job hunting process. This is why it’s important to conduct due diligence; understand the current state of your industry, the kind of opportunities being advertised and at what level, and also, exploring what learning opportunities are available so that you can upskill and increase your chances of being successful.
Find the above questions useful? What else did you discover was holding you back in job hunting before you finally succeeded at landing that job? Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can also reach out to us for your career transitioning queries and needs. Here are 6 ways you can manage burn out during a long job search. Follow us on LinkedIn for similar content & to see new job opportunities we hire for.
Ever gone through an entire selection process and made it to the reference check stage only to find out that you won’t be getting the offer letter? It can be quite heartbreaking, especially after you’ve put in a lot of effort and energy into the selection process trying to “sell” yourself. Ever then take time to reflect on whether you might have messed up in the last stages, AKA, the reference check stage? We highlight three mistakes you should avoid that may have cost you that offer letter.
1. Not informing your referee in advance – Simply, referees are meant to vouch for you. They are meant to provide your potential future employer with information about your past contributions, successes, and give an idea of whether or not you would be a good fit for the role you’re being assessed for. Failing to inform your referees early in advance that they will be approached by a certain organization about a role you applied for could lead to a bad reference check or even worse, no reference check at all. Unless you’re constantly in communication with your past supervisor(s), it’s possible that they may forget you, especially if you worked with them a long time ago or are relatively new in your career journey and were maybe one of the many interns they’ve managed over the years. Always make sure the referees you have provided are informed about your anticipated career moves and the roles you are applying for so they are prepared with relevant information for recruiters and hiring managers who may approach them.
2. Providing an irrelevant referee – Your parents/guardians, religious leader, your teacher from high school….you get where I’m going, are unfortunately not suited to be your professional referees, especially after a couple of years working. Sure, they may have nice things to say about who you are as a person, but your potential employer is looking to learn more about your skills, achievements, how you relate and collaborate with others in a work setting, etc. Unless otherwise asked, the best approach is to provide someone that you reported to directly because they have a good understanding of how you approach your work, how you receive and work on feedback, whether or not you’re a fast learner, etc.
3. Being dishonest – Here, being dishonest not only includes providing the wrong referee, such as, say, your friend, but also, colluding with said person to do the reference yourself! Where this is the case, it shows a lack of integrity on your part and calls to question how confident you are about your past experiences, contributions, and successes. Did you burn bridges? Were you not a good performer? Did you lie about your past achievements? These are some of the questions that come up when the hiring team discovers that the reference check is dishonest. It’s critical to always remember that your potential employer will be able to see the quality of work you produce and gauge it for themselves once you join the organization, therefore, providing references that are dishonest will most likely backfire because they may not match up to what you do once hired.
Our career journeys differ, based on multiple things; our upbringing backgrounds, access to resources and opportunities, who is in our network, our abilities, luck by design, etc. Many people are trying to figure out what career path best suits their needs, values, and interests, and along this never-ending self-discovery journey, there are a couple of traps to be avoided, lest one finds themselves in a situation where they dug themselves into a hole. We highlight three traps to avoid below.
1. Comparing yourself to others – Ever caught yourself comparing where you are in your career journey to someone else (seemingly more successful), consequently setting career goals that are influenced by this person? They seem to make more money so you set a goal for yourself that you want to make that amount in X period of time? We understand that it can be frustrating to feel like you’re giving it your all and yet, you don’t seem to be advancing in your career as much as the next person. However, it’s important to introspect on what your markers of success are. Is it just money? What about things like a good working environment? Effective communication? Good leadership that also displays empathy? Having ownership of your work and not micromanagement? These are critical elements that can not only make you enjoy what you do and thus motivate you to succeed but also feed into your overall wellbeing. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, ask yourself; what is making me feel like this? Are my needs being met? If not, what can I do to change this situation? And set goals that are aligned to what YOU value as success.
2. Believing there’s only one career path for you – Many people believe that there is only one career path for them and that they must therefore perfect their skills and be an expert in their field. And while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can prevent one from exploring their other interests and discovering new paths they can take on. What if you can be the jack of all trades? You’re allowed to excel in multiple things at the same time. Furthermore, with the world of work constantly changing; certain skills becoming redundant and new ones being needed, why would you want to stick to one thing? 🙂 Don’t get caught unprepared because you failed to explore other skills and interests. Our co-founder Martha wrote about how you can achieve career success by being the jack of all trades, read the article here.
3. Refusing to get out of your comfort zone – “Why would I want to switch careers? It’s such a long process and this is working for me right now”. Ever found yourself uttering these words or thinking this? You’ve considered transitioning into a different career but are afraid it’s going to be an arduous process that may not pay off? This is a valid fear to have, however, choosing not to do anything about your desires can have far more reaching consequences than taking the risk to do something about it. Making a career transition doesn’t have to be a one-man journey process, in fact, it’s one that requires you to seek out a support system, outside of that you’ve already established with your family and friends. It requires that you network outside of your current career field, that you potentially reach out to a career coach that will help you strategize on how to make this career transition, that you potentially offer to volunteer in another organization that’ll provide you with the skills you need to make a successful transition, etc. How will you get out of your comfort zone today and take a step towards achieving a fulfilling career?
Wondering if you’re stuck in a career rut? Here are 5 signs you might be. Looking to make a career transition? Reach out to us at email@example.com and join a community of like-minded happy career seekers!
What words come to mind when you think of an interview? Formal? Serious? Suit? What if we told you interviews can be fun? Yes, fun! Many people tend to think that being very formal in an interview and not showing their personality will be translated into how serious they take their work, and while this is true to a certain extent, it’s always important to keep in mind that many organizations are also assessing for culture fit, and therefore, showing your personality helps the hiring managers get a glimpse into how you may fit into the organization. Of course, this doesn’t mean you go overboard and perhaps overshare thus creating an awkward environment, but rather finding a balance between being professional and letting your personality shine. We tell you how with the following three tips.
1. Relax – We know and understand how nerve-wracking it can be to talk to a stranger and try to convince them why you deserve to get hired. (And you do!). And while interviewers also have the responsibility of creating a safe and calm environment for you to feel comfortable, it’s also important to learn how to relax. It’s easier to present your authentic self when you’re calm, otherwise, you risk misrepresenting yourself because you’re anxious and are trying to make an impression of what *you think* the interviewer wants to see or hear. Interviewers want to see the real you, believe that, so here are a few tips you can use to relax during the interview so you can be your true self!
2. Engage, engage, engage! – We have sometimes encountered candidates who are very very brief in their responses when we ask questions, or, just seem to have very low energy, and when asked if they have any questions, say they have none. Contrary to the belief that not asking questions means you fully understand the role and/or organization, to the interviewer, it shows a lack of interest, and possibly, curiosity. We highlighted three questions you can always ask after an interview in this blog. Additionally, don’t let the interviewer be the one doing most of the talking; they’re here to learn more about you – provide as much information as possible that showcases your skills, experience, achievements, and yes, your personality. The STAR methodology is a useful technique to help you answer questions thoughtfully and shows the interviewer that you’re committed to presenting your best self.
3. Avoid scripted like answers – The internet is full of articles with potential questions and answers to different roles that may be asked by an interviewer. These are meant to provide you with guidance, avoid memorizing them, and using them as your own responses. Remember that an interview is an opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates, therefore, your responses should be unique to your own experiences and successes. Interviewers will know if your responses are memorized. Prepare for the interview but let the conversation flow naturally, don’t cram your potential answers. This may even make you remember something you had not thought of before, as opposed to cramming and possibly blocking your brain from recalling other relevant examples during the interview.
What are some of the tips you have used to showcase your personality in an interview? Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can also reach out to us for all your career queries. Learn more about positioning yourself as a great candidate here.
Since 2003, millions and millions of people have joined Linkedin; for different reasons – to network, to find job opportunities, to find new talent (for recruiters and hiring managers), to build your personal brand, promote your services/products, etc. While many people have mastered how to effectively use the platform to advance their careers, we’ve come across many dormant LinkedIn profiles when scouring the platform to find desired profiles for the roles we hire for. Now, more than ever, virtual networking, as uncomfortable as it may feel, is a skill many of us will have to grow. Today, we explore 3 key ways you can up your game in how you use this vital platform to grow your career.
1. Finding job opportunities – Sure, job boards are great, LinkedIn however, provides more than one way of finding job opportunities. Apart from advertised positions on the platform, a job seeker may also connect to recruiters and hiring managers to enquire about new opportunities in organizations or in spaces they work in. With the rise of social recruiting through social media platforms and referrals, having existing relationships with recruiters and hiring managers can introduce you to opportunities you were not privy to. Of importance here, is to always make sure you have an updated LinkedIn profile that appeals to recruiters and hiring managers. In this blog post, we discussed some of the things recruiters look for on your LinkedIn profile.
2. Increasing your network – As mentioned, virtual networking has been on the rise as more and more social media platforms increase. LinkedIn is especially a crucial platform for those looking to connect with like-minded individuals in their field of work or potential clients for their products and services. It’s also a great place to initiate partnership requests in relation to your work or ask for assistance to learn about specific industries and professions. It’s not just enough to connect to people in your industry, if you’re looking to grow your network, then you have to engage with peers and thought leaders in your industry; comment on their posts, share relevant information, go a step further and invite some of them for coffee, or a phone chat to learn more from them. Check out this blog post, for tips you can use to create meaningful LinkedIn connections.
3. Create your brand – LinkedIn has been able to provide many people with opportunities to build their brands, therefore allowing them to curate an audience niche that relates to and/or engages with their products, services, or content. For instance; if you’re a Career Coach who specializes in helping people revamp their CVs, job hunting strategies, or navigate their career transition journeys, then you’re likely to have many job seekers and professionals looking to transition in your network. The information you share, the way you engage with your audience, who you interact with, etc, are all means of creating your personal brand on LinkedIn. This creates an avenue for the RIGHT people to reach out to you and for you to reach out to them for various opportunities or reasons that can lead to your professional/career growth. Here’s an article on how you can leverage LinkedIn to build your personal brand on LinkedIn.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, consider what information it’s sending out to your visitors. If you’re job hunting, would a Recruiter approach you? If you’re a thought leader in your industry, would people trust your thoughts and opinions based on the information you share? We wrote about 5 ways you may land your next job on LinkedIn here. Part of our Career Acceleration Program is helping professionals revamp their LinkedIn profiles, reach out to us today, and learn how you can be part of our growing community of meaningful and balanced career seekers. Email – email@example.com.