Steps to Career Development: Series 01 

In a period when businesses in most developed countries are experiencing mass resignation of their employees, one would wonder if the topic of career development is still relevant. Yes, it is.  People are constantly graduating from college and seeking a future. Young and older professionals are relentlessly exploring opportunities for career success.

It is important to note that the great resignation did not produce idle people around the world. Rather, the pandemic made people consider what really matters to them; leading to the mass resignation of employees who moved into some other things. According to IndiaExpress, 4.5 million workers in the US left their jobs in November 2021 as reported by the US Labour Department and an estimated total of 75.1 million people in the US quit their job in 2021.

My definition of great resignation is that people are moving in mass to find or do things they find meaningful given their post-pandemic reality or journey. 

So in this piece, whether you have moved to a new job, transitioned to a new career path, or moved to a new city or country to start your dream business, you will find this useful.

Professionalism is a key attribute to have in a business or a career. Certain work traits can make someone be branded as being professional or unprofessional.  Any of these labels can produce or destroy opportunities. Say, a business deal, career progression, opportunity for promotion, salary raise, or personal brand image.

Examples of good professional traits include – the quality of work; efficiency in the discharge of work or project; respect for time (an instance, time set for a meeting or a deliverable); respect for others – colleagues, co-workers, bosses, or clients; trustworthiness; being reliable and dependable. 

In some workplaces, professionalism is being properly dressed to suit the organisation’s dress code or simply being well-groomed in appearance. 

Your guess is good as mine. Opposite of these are unprofessional traits that people would find displeasing. It is not a good thing for a co-worker or a client to say that a person cannot be relied upon to deliver on their words or depended on to get things done. Someone can make a company lose a deal or customer through unprofessional behavior. 

Benefits of professionalism include:  improves the personal brand image, can make people speak up for you when it matters, could lead to job or business referrals or other opportunities for growth and success.

Summarily, professionalism is the sum total of who you are and what you do at work or in business. Its list is more than the few examples I have listed here.  So you seek career development – think of the many ways to exhibit professional behaviours. Professionalism is a trait too important not to have for a career or business.

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

My best wishes in your career journey.

Individual Development

Today I share a piece from one of the World’s Management legend – Peter F. Drucker  on ‘Individual Development’.

Most times and naturally so we strive to have a rank in an organisation.  And there are indeed organisations that give the rank without the responsibility or job enrichment required for growth on the job. An example, you get a supervisory role, but your superior either deliberately or inadvertently still directly supervises your own team on almost all issues.  Most times Managers make attempts to justify this, but it ought not to be where the right structure is in place and effort is made at its implementation.

There are also moments where people wrongly assume that their career growth is dependent on how challenging the organisation or business owners make their job.  They fail to bring in the required push, creativity or extra-mile needed to stand out on the job.  

Here’s Peter F. Drucker’s piece so apt and relevant for today’s organisation.

“Individual Development

The person with the most responsibility for an individual’s development is the person himself – not the boss.  The first priority for one’s own development is to strive for excellence.  Workmanship counts, not just because it makes such a difference in the quality of the job done, but because it makes such a difference in the person doing the job.  Expect the job to provide stimulus only if you work on your own self-renewal, only if you create the excitement, the challenge, the transformation that makes an old job enriching over and over again.  The more effective road to self-renewal is to look for the unexpected success and run with it.

The critical factor for success is accountability – holding yourself accountable.  Everything else flows from that.  The important thing is not that you have rank, but that you have responsibility.  To be accountable, you must take the job seriously enough to recognize:  I have got to grow up the job.  By focusing on accountability, people take a bigger view of themselves.  Strive for excellence.” 

The piece ended with ‘Strive for Excellence’. Yes, strive for excellence.   Remember social media life has not taken away the genuine and good old need organisations have to serve their customers, earn revenue, keep the business afloat, beat competition and deal with varied environmental and political challenges. Make your membership of that organisation truly count. When you strive for excellence in building an organisation, you build yourself and the greatest beneficially will be you.

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,

Recruitment Myths You Need To Know As You Search for Employment [Part 2]

In the first part of this article we looked at six (6) recruitment myths job seekers need to beware of in their search for employment. I understand the challenges job seekers face in trying to land that dream job and have shared this as part of my goal to make job search easier for people. In this edition, I discuss the concluding part of the article – six additional myths (Myths 8 – 12) below. So let’s go.

Myth 8: An Unsolicited Application Will Receive Attention:  

A single recruitment process consumes hours and can take several days or weeks.  As a result, attention and time is usually given to on-going recruitment and less if any to unsolicited job applications.  Some people do get lucky, but the chances are slim, especially with most organisations that have a policy against unsolicited applications. 

My suggestion, before you submit an unsolicited application, research to ensure that it is a position such an organisation advertises very often.   Example, an unsolicited job application to an organisation that frequently advertises for a software developer or a customer relationship officer has more chances than a position that is rarely advertised by such an organisation.  Trust me, I have erred in this severally as an applicant, and now we receive several unsolicited job applications for positions our clients are not seeking and we are unable to address every single one of them.

Myth 7: My Job Application Gets Noticed But Ignored:

Again from Myths 1 and 2 discussed in Part 1, we have seen how it is possible for job applications not to get noticed. Recruiters do not deliberately ignore applications. Remember organisations are run by humans and operate in environments, so things happen. When a candidate’s job application does not get noticed, it does not always mean that he/she is a bad fit, it was just not noticed and someone was chosen.  It is always best in such a circumstance, to move on fast to the next opportunity.

Myth 9: Applicant’s Work Experience and Qualifications Makes Him or Her Fit:

Candidates are usually surprised when they receive a rejection email, especially if they have performed well at an interview with a line-up of work experience and qualifications also going for them.  

Great work experience and qualifications are not the only ticket that gets us a job offer (also see Myth 12 below).  There are several factors that organisations consider in a recruitment decision.  This means that a candidate may rate high in some criteria, but miss out in some key ones and therefore will not be chosen.  Again, such a situation does not make such a person unsuitable for all jobs; he/she has just not been found suitable as presented by the organisation’s current need, situation or circumstance. 

Myth 10: Recruitment Decision is Taken Speedily:

Things happen for individuals and organisations.  For instance, an organisation may interview with a contract or expansion, then hit roadblock internally or externally. There are also instances where circumstances put organisations in a state of indecisions after they have identified suitable candidates.  

Such and many other factors can cause a lack of or delay in communication especially where intricate confidential matters are involved.  Say, a key person leaves an organisation, company goes bankrupt, company is in debt, office politics or bureaucracy, change in organisational direction, sudden awareness of limited budget or delay in a particular project execution, environmental issues causing change in business priority.  

Delicate matters such as any of these could delay recruitment decisions much longer than even an organisation or a recruiter anticipates. These are partly reasons why some candidates get called for employment six months after they have forgotten about such a job opening or never get called even after they have reached the final rigorous interview stage.

Myth 11: Recruiters Should Settle for Something:

I see some job applicants apply for jobs where they are indirect fits. People call this, trying luck.   Truth is that a recruiter will focus his/her limited hours on candidates that are potentially fits.   

My advice to avoid this trap is to properly read the job announcement and apply for jobs where you meet the criteria as near as possible and where your skills and potentials give you better chances.  There are organisations in need of your skills, find them.  

Myth 12: Any Interview That Does Not End with a Job Offer Means Failure:

I have seen CEOs make recruitment decisions on the basis of ‘connection’ with a candidate; or a candidate’s likely fit into an existing team or culture. None of these has anything to do with a candidate’s competency, but an organisation’s peculiar need and circumstance.  When this happens, such a candidate was just found unfit in line with an organisation’s core need or issues, but could be a great fit somewhere else.

As mentioned above, things happen for people and organisations that completely disrupt organisational plans and impact recruitment processes and decisions.  

It is important not to allow interview outcomes to define who you are or affect your self-esteem.  Learn from any mistake you may have identified and improve your skills for future opportunities.

Therefore, for every interview that does not end with an offer, find the job and organisation where you will be a fit. Your opportunity awaits you.

In Conclusion, you can manage your emotions and expectations better when you remember that there are lots of human factors, environmental, socio-economic, political, governmental and natural situations that go on in organisations;  that could impact how your job application is handled.  If one door did not open, simply knock the next, and keep knocking till a door is open for you.  

Here you have them, 12 Recruitment Myths You Need To Know as You Search for Employment. This list is definitely not exhaustive, but has covered some important points of note.  This post is not written in defense of recruiters, but to give a preview of issues around recruitment that will help persons seeking employment better manage their expectations and more importantly their emotional well-being.

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,

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.

Interview Takeout 001

Hello Friends,

Trust your day is turning out as planned.  Remember that hope is one of our precious gifts.  So please keep hope alive.

I am excited to post the first edition of my Interview Takeout. This will now be part of my monthly posts.  You are wondering, what is an ‘Interview Takeout’?  My view is that every experience and encounter in life, comes with a takeout or some take-outs: something we leave the conversation, interaction or meeting with – positive or negative.

So here, I will be sharing my takeout from my interactions with candidates’ at interviews, and express my opinions. These take-outs will provide useful insights that you can apply in your search for employment. Here to ….:

Interview Takeout 001:

Understanding the Job Role:

  • At a recent interview we conducted for a Client, we asked all the candidates if they read the job announcement; and got 99.9% ‘yes’.
  • Next, we requested each candidate to explain what the job is about. It was disappointing that nearly everyone could not give a convincing response. Only a handful got a few things with guess work and inference. 
  • If you do not understand what the job you are interviewing for is about, my view is that you are not likely to do a good work at selling yourself to the Recruiter; but rather, you will short-change yourself with the recruiter and leave your chances or opportunity in the hands of your competitors – the other candidates.
  • Takeout: Understand the job you are being interviewed for; the expected tasks or roles, other specifications such as skills or type of person the organisation is looking for. Rehearse the job announcement or job description as often as you can, before the interview. Not necessary to cram all the information, but to become familiar with the key requirements of the job.  See also my postHow to Handle Job Application Process in a Professional Way’ for more tips.

Has this takeout helped? Watch out for more. Remember to click the ‘follow button’, and help others – share this so we can reach and help more people in their career or job search journey.

Best Regards,

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