How I Spent My New Year’s Eve

Isn’t it amazing that four days of the new year have already rolled by? The seconds, hours, or days do not wait. We have to move with time, do catch up, or get left behind. This is a good time (if you have not) to put a plan in place on how to manage each day or week, what you need to do, adjust or completely take out.  Some plans (written or unwritten) will help you track your progress at the end of each day, week, or month.  While setting big milestones like yearly plans is great, I am of the view that breaking such plans into daily or weekly plans helps one to stay focused, have a better chance at success and be able to assess efforts. Now to my New Year’s Eve.

Someone might read this heading and expect to read about how I spent the new year’s eve – maybe in a five-star hotel, a resort, by the beachside, or a personal retreat.   Yes, I had fun, however, it was not really about all those exotic moments, but be sure to read through the end, as I have a giveaway. 

I had a remarkable new year’s eve holding a volunteer career coaching session with a young and bright professional. Reading through her CV minutes before the scheduled session, gave me a glimpse of her career interest, prospects, and potentials. We got started and I asked:  Is your career goal after university graduation still the same or has it changed with the reality of the real world. She was frank and open in her response and throughout our conversation. I asked more questions, and shared my thoughts on some options she could consider – subject to her interest.  It ended with an assignment on things she needs to begin to do to actualize her career goal, and we agreed on the time for our next meeting.  

Career journey comes with twists and turns, and sometimes the environment can hit so hard (like the pandemic and the millions of job and business losses that came with it), that we lose sight of the best next step. However, with little help and support, the journey can be made easier and rewarding.  

It was a fulfilling and most exciting way for me to end the year doing what I love doing – being able to help someone towards achieving their goals.  Though an online session, I felt her happiness and the feeling of ‘oh I never thought about this’ from her end.  It ended with an encouraging ‘I look forward to our next session’ from her.  That hit it for me:  we have both enjoyed ourselves.

Each time I leave a session, such as this or go through a recruitment process, it reminds me of how many more people need help with career coaching, guide or counseling. We all do at different stages.  Therefore, in line with my interest to support professionals succeed in their career pursuit, I will be dedicating the first quarter of the year to offer free career coaching and counseling for at least 5 people each month.

If you or someone you know will be interested, click https://careersandpeople.com/contact to secure your date.  Once we reach the five free slots each month, others would be invoiced(:) Do not worry, we make it affordable.  Our success story is what encourages us to reach more people.  So sign-up now and waste no further time of the new year.

Want to share how you spent your new year’s eve.  Please do,  my community and I would like to read from you. Once again, I wish you the best of the new year.  Happy New Year everyone.

Best wishes in your career journey.

How Do I Fit?

Who does not love the comfort zone? It is the safest place, but sometimes could be detrimental. 

Ever wondered about how to fit into something new?  May be you are fresh out of school and just landed your first job; or an experienced professional and expert in your field, and just got that new opportunity you have prepared for to make a change and transform an organisation. May be you have just been moved into a new role or new department within your current organisation, or migrated to a new country with culture and way of living much different your home country. You find yourself in this unknown path, exciting and promising, but you are anxious about getting it right.

First be assured that it is human to have concerns about fitting into something new, so you are not alone. The good news is, it possible to achieve success, but it requires preparation and taking the right steps.

In this section, I will some useful strategies to help you overcome your concerns and navigate your new terrain. Majorly around workplace, but these strategies can be adapted for other life situations, such as new relationships, relocation to a new city or even migration.

Observe: 

In managing your excitement of the new, take time to study your new terrain.  For a new job in a new organisation for instance, observe the culture, the norms, the value, the people and organisational behavior. This enables you to know if you truly share the same value with the organisation and how to align your values, goals behavior to fit rather than to be a misfit.

Be Informed:

Make good use of the information that you rece during company onboarding training. Personally dig deep for information from company profile, website or any other information – old or new. These can provide you with history and the journey about the organisation so far.

Don’t Rush: Evaluate:

I know, you have a mandate and you are excited about the change you can bring to the entire system or organisation, but do not rush the implementation of your ideas.  Do much more than observation and carry out a system-wide (organisation, department or group) evaluation of the goings-on. It is not an opportunity for office gossip; but take time out to hold one on one meetings or sessions with team members, colleagues or associates to get their views about the organisation or department; including its needs, challenges and their recommendeation or solutions.

Be Careful with Importation: 

It can be tempting to want to import what works in your previous job or organisation into a new one.  But remember that each organisation differs because they are made up of different people, have different goals, objectives, challenges and at different developmental stages.  So while some ideas or approaches you have used in the past could work, be sure that you have done your homework well before importing something into the new organisation or business unit.

Align:

You have observed and evaluated your new space, to fit, it is important to make efforts as soon as possible to begin to align.  Align to the culture, vision, goals, norms.  In summary align to the ways of doing things in the organisation. For simple thing as dress code, social norms, resumption hours, remote working, corporate communication and more, make efforts to align.  The more efforts you make at aligning and the members observe your sincerity and efforts, the easier it becomes for you to fit.

Participate:

Participate in organisational events and social gathering. This enables you to meet and get to know people within the organisation and exposes you to the informal setting and some unwritten norms.

Contribute:

After you have gone through these steps above (not necessarily in the order they have been listed); it is time for you to contribute. 

Strive to make an impact, to justify your employment and prove your worth.  Strive to be relevant by contributing meaningfully with your quality of work, creativity, dedication, commitment, loyalty and great work ethics.

Remember that organisations are like humans with needs and that there is a need you have been employed to solve.  So be sure to contribute and make it worthwhile for those who took a bait to have you on board.  Add value.

Conclusion:

It possible to fit in a new setting or work environment. Let me also say that sometimes, your success in that new workplace could be determined by whether you are able to fit or not. To be able to fit, requires thoughtful approach and actions. Remember that this excercise is with human environment and could present challenges or obstacles along the way. Therefore, success may not happen over time. So give yourself time to learn and to adjust.

I hope this has been helpful. If you like what you have read, do visit the Resources –Careers’ section of my website http://www.afomauchendu.com for more job search and career guides. And remember to click the share button to share this with your network, like, comment or ask questions below. I will be glad to interact with you.My best wishes in your career journey.Kind Regards,

Career Hangout

Hello There!

I know how it can be, getting consumed in constant search for a better job, and sometimes ignore the important aspect of building a career.


So I am super excited to fill this gap with ‘Career Hangout‘ to help professionals address career issues, challenges and questions.
It is heartwarming to share that my first Career Hangout comes up on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. You will get to know how to gradually build a successful career; can share your career story or learn from the career journey of others; plus much more that has been packaged.


It will be a virtual event, so you can participate from any part of the world. Secure your space now, Click: http://afomauchendu.com/program-registration/ for registration and details.

Career Hangout will be interactive and will focus on Career Success, Challenges and Questions. This could be the opportunity you have been waiting for. So waste no further time, sign up now. And remember to click the share button to with friends and family.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Best Regards,

Interested in Online Jobs? Here Are Things To Do

Recently, I checked my website data analytics for my esteemed readers’ search interest, and discovered that quite a number of people are looking for online job opportunities.  So I thought to share a bit of these to help someone out there.

The high rate of interest in online jobs (also referred to as remote or work from home – WFB jobs) is understandable: technology has made it easy for people to seek for skills to support their businesses from any part of the world.  Secondly, the outcome of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic brought increased need for a remote work culture and high unemployment rate (with lots of businesses closed and on-site job opportunities limited). People with prior freelancing and remote work experience were quick to adapt and earn.  Findings show that a lot of remote working freelancers in some niches had their income doubled in 2020 while the world was at a standstill!

Online Job Options:

I will share some online job options I have found very useful and for some, I will include my referral link.

Appen Job Platform: Appen has been operating for about 20 years and accepts contributors from around the globe. So irrespective of your country, you can work and earn with Appen. Appen offers a variety of projects, from few minutes videos with a smartphone or computer webcam, to transcription, surveys or mystery shopping. There is always something to earn from in Appen. Click link here https://connect.appen.com/qrp/public/jobs?uref=b501dc5780934542d05af9fb50c7a1d0 to sign up and start earning with Appen.

Surveys: I have found answering online surveys quite useful.  Most surveys are regionalized (participants register by  country, and answer surveys for research focused majorly on their countries or for people that live in their countries or certain locations within their country.

However, some survey platforms do not accept international participants or panelists; it is majorly for people within a particular country or region.

To be successful in receiving surveys, it is important to ensure your profile is completed and up-to-date; survey responses are usually segmented within a particular demography, depending on the research subject.

Having tried quite a handful, I find these two survey platforms helpful as they accept more international audience (people from different countries); provides consistent surveys and pays promptly. If interested in earning through surveys, click my affiliate links  (for Mobrog and Ysense) below to get started.

Mobrog: https://www.mobrog.com/en/paid-online-surveys/sign-up-england.html?membership_promotion=0&i_invite=8289390-60046dc

Ysense: https://www.ysense.com/?rb=60286209

Caution: Survey platforms may not earn you a huge income, but it does bring in  bits and bits you can build on; and a few dollars that can come handy when you need it.

Remote/Online Job Platforms:

For US, Canada and European residents, you will find FlexJobs quite useful for online jobs; another useful platform is Remote.co . Remote.co has job openings for international audience and therefore helpful if you are outside the US, Canada or Europe. Both platforms share job vacancies (for several roles and and industries) from businesses in the countries and regions I mentioned above; and some of their top job advertisers are fortune 500 companies. As you know there are several online job platforms such as Upwork. But I have selected these two for the category of online jobs they cover which includes – full time, part-time and freelancing online jobs.

Another useful platform is ‘Make a Living Writing’ but this is for writers only. Anchored by the founder Carol Tice, Make a Living Writing helps freelance writers earn better through various training, advocacy and exposure. They also offer a membership only writing jobs for members.

Recommended Actions: 

If you are interested in online jobs, here are some tips:

  • Start your search within your region/country.
  • Explore feasible opportunities outside your country (where it is specified that the client or the company) is open to work with people from any part of the world.
  • Beware of scam sites – that lures job seekers with too good to be true earning options.
  • Have a good Resume as you would for a physical job.
  • Get your Resume ready before you begin your online application.
  • Be patient and do thorough research, including online reviews before you sign-up with any online job platform.
  • Apply for jobs where you have most skills and ensure that your resume is adapted to suit the jobs you apply.
  • Find the platform and job that works for your situation and circumstance.

Online jobs remain viable employment options. But to land them require lots of efforts, professionalism, time, patience and commitment as would the search for physical jobs.

I hope this has been helpful.  If you like what you have read, do visit the Resources –Careers’ section of my website http://www.afomauchendu.com for more job search and career guides. And remember to click the share button to share this with your network, like, comment or ask questions below. I will be glad to interact with you.

Interview Takeout 002

Interview Take-Out 002: Protect Your Brand

Hello Friends,

Let us look at the subject of integrity for this month’s interview takeout. My experience shows that as job seekers, we sometimes are uncertain about how much information we should share on our resume or during an interview process; what we should share or keep completely to ourselves. We want our best foot forward and do not want anything that will put us in a disadvantage.  There is a price for getting on the wrong side.   

 I see integrity as part of an individual’s character brand. It should be protected as much as we protect our fashion, clothing or general appearance.  

  • Sometime ago, during an interview, we had a candidate that mentioned a figure as his salary from his previous employment.
  • Yes, I know that there is a controversy regarding whether people should be asked about their remuneration.  I am of the opinion that a business owner or recruiter should know.  It does not necessarily mean that the individual would be boxed into his/her current or previous rate.  As you know in most cases, the employer either has a budget or a salary scale.  So information about a candidate’s salary provides both parties (recruiter and candidate) a basis for discussion. 
  • Back to my subject. In the course of our interaction, this candidate was inconsistent with the facts he presented regarding his previous job, that it became clear he had given untruthful information regarding his last pay. What do you think was our Client’s reaction? You guess.
  • Personally, I have had an experience where something I did not include in my CV (and had mistakenly taken out a qualifying clause) was taken as an integrity issue.  If you are a person of integrity, you really do not want to be in a situation where your integrity is questionable.  I felt bad with that experience, and thereafter, I found a way to craft and insert the information on my CV and relevant social media profile.

Takeout:

  • Your character brand is part of your personality and professional brand, protect it very well. You lose nothing by coming plain, simple and truthful. Some organisations would request references from a candidate’s previous employers, especially if the candidate is being considered for employment. It is important to present truthful facts about yourself and your employment history on your resume and during a recruitment process.   As a matter of policy, some CEOs or organisations would not touch or deal with persons that appear to lack integrity, because what that means is such a person cannot be trusted or his/her word cannot be relied upon. The result being that work will be affected if such a person is brought into the organisation.
  • It is also best to indicate that you would rather not disclose certain experience regarding a previous employment (rather than present untruthful fact). Recruiters will understand your preference for confidentiality.

Has this ‘takeout’ helped? Watch out for more.   If you like what you have read, do visit the Resources –Careers’ section of my website http://www.afomauchendu.com for more job search and career guides. And remember to click the share button to share this with your network, like, comment or ask questions below. I will be glad to interact with you.

Best wishes in your career journey.

Kind Regards.

Steps You Can Take To Manage Your Emotions During a Period of Unemployment


 

Job search is not an easy venture. It can be stressful, frustrating and lonely. The highly competitive job market, limited opportunities, national economic realities where a person plays are also contributing factors to the rate of unemployment.

I have been there. I know what it means to be searching for a job; and while you search, bills pile up and you need to take care of yourself, family or elderly parents.

Some people are lucky to live in countries where some provisions are made for the unemployed and the elderly. Some are not so lucky.  Whatever your situation is, the taste of unemployment is not good. In this write-up, I will share some steps you can take to help you as you search and wait.

Apply for Jobs Where You Have Better Chances for Interview: I made this my number one point; because in my recruiting experience over the years, I see a lot of jobseekers fall into this misstep.

Your work experience and/or educational background are part of what a Recruiter will look at to determine your suitability or potential for a particular position.

Therefore, when job hunting, focus on your areas of strength – where your work experience or educational background can boost your chances. Rather than, apply for all and any job that arrives at your feeds.  The later method gets your hope raised and dashed, when you do not get an interview invitation. Even within these two criteria, it is important to follow the job requirements in the advert, and limit your applications to majorly where you are more likely a good fit.  I used the word majorly, because sometimes, recruitment circumstances can cause a Recruiter to make an exception to the rule.

Inform Your Network: In this social media age when the norm is to burst social platforms with successes and achievements, some people are not comfortable about disclosing their life’s setbacks to their friends or network; justifiably, for fear of being looked-down upon; and no one wants to be the odd one out.  So people basically hide their pain. My view?  Forget all that. It is their time, your time will come.

So if you are unemployed or simply searching for opportunities, find a close circle within your network, including previous colleagues from past employment that you can inform about your job hunting or unemployment situation. This spreads your stream of information as they are likely to share job opportunities your way or refer you.

Engage in your Hobby: In a period of unemployment, rather than get glued to your device job searching all day, find something you enjoy doing, do it once or twice a week or more. This is not to say that you spend less time in your job search, you need to give it quality time daily.  But your hobby can also provide you some emotional soothing or offer you opportunity for creative thinking.  I particularly find myself thinking through ideas while I am running or taking a long walk. Find yours.

Manage Your Social Media Exposure: My word for this is ‘breeze in’ and ‘breeze out’ of social media platforms. Use social media on need-basis for information and job search. Do not get stuck on social media platforms reading everyone’s success. It will have an impact on your emotions if you are unemployed. I have practiced this and it helps me stay focused on my goals.

Volunteer: Find ways to volunteer for a cause. This enables you to contribute to something that positively impacts others; and can be emotionally rewarding and fulfilling. You can volunteer within your community or online. United Nations Volunteer (UNV) now provides opportunity for people to volunteer from any part of the globe.  Certain volunteer opportunities can actually help boost your skills and resume.  Caution, some volunteer opportunities such as UNV require you to submit an application, so be prepared.

Join A Community: The period of unemployment is not the time for total isolation. Find a community where you can learn and network.  A good community will be emotionally and professionally rewarding.

Concluding, let me add that your emotion is critical to maintaining confidence, self-esteem and being able to pitch or compete at interviews. It therefore requires every guard and protection you can offer. A period of unemployment is just a phase that will pass.  It is important that you use it wisely by properly managing your emotions during the season.

I hope this has been helpful.  If you like what you have read, visit the ‘Resources- Career’ section of my website http://www.afomauchendu.com for more job search and career guides. And remember to click the share button to share this with your network, like, comment or ask questions below.

Kind Regards.

How to Handle Job Application Process in a Professional Way

Many Job Applicants stay longer in their job search journey, not because they are unqualified or have no relevant skills for the jobs they apply, but most times, because of the way they handle their job application process. In this post I share some tips, you will find useful.

Avoid Typos:  Before you click the send button, proofread your CV, Cover Letter and Cover Email carefully to be sure there is no typing error.  Error-free document is a sign of having attention to details, an important skill for any job.

Communicate: Along with your CV, your application should contain a cover email. Do not send only your CV without a word on the body of your email.  It is not courteous and shows poor skills.

Cover All Sections: Your application should contain a subject, cover email, (a cover letter where requested), and your cover email should include a closing section and your name.   Do not just say, ‘please find attached’.

Example of Closing Section:

“I look forward to your consideration.

Kind Regards,

Clara Michael”

Be Vigilant: Check your inbox including your junk mail folder more frequently and respond to interview invitations promptly.

Do Not Ignore Interview Invitations. When you receive an invitation for an interview, it is important to respond, whether you want to accept, decline or reschedule the interview. This puts you in a good state for any future encounter with the Recruiter.  It is a small world!

Take Your Job Application as a Business: Apply for jobs that you are sure to see through. Do not apply for jobs for the sake of trying your luck, for the fun of it, or apply for tons of jobs you cannot track, and then ignore an invitation for an interview. 

Listen to the Audio, click here Online Interview Guides to Help Boost Your Performance  www.afomauchendu.com https://open.spotify.com/episode/4kt3bfubjUH3jLsaS2gx5P

Keep Track.  If you apply for so many jobs at a time, create a tracking system, write down all your job applications, such as the company or the recruiter, the positions and the dates you applied.  Check your list each time you get an invitation or search your ‘Sent Items’ folder. It is unprofessional to tell a Recruiter that you do remember applying for a job.

Commit to Interviews: If you accept an invitation to attend an interview, make efforts to attend.  If you need to cancel or reschedule, inform the Recruiter ahead.

Be Courteous: Remain courteous throughout the recruitment process, no matter how upset you may feel with the way a recruiter has handled your application. Stay respectful and courteous. Remember we are all humans and do err; more so, interpersonal skill is one of the sought after skills in labour market, so arm yourself with it during your application process. In a nutshell, stay professional in your approach and interaction.

If you have found this helpful, there are more tips on the Resources – Career section of my website, http://www.afomauchendu.com. Remember to help someone else – click the share button to share this; or comment, like or ask questions. You can also subscribe at http://www.afomauchendu.com so that each new post lands on your email box.

Best wishes in your career journey.

Kind Regards.

%d bloggers like this: