Category Archives: job

Top tips on adjusting to your new job

Finally it has happened. The moment you were nervous about, the moment you even dreaded. You took the offer from the new company and are starting at your New Job !

The excitement, anticipation and naturally fears start to set in. What if’s, start to roll on like the fire work on the 4th of July.

Here are a few tips that I came across in my career which might make the transition more successful and palpable.

1- Prioritize !

You are expected to learn a lot of things from the culture to the actual tasks very quickly. That is a lot of information in a very short span of time.

The best way to deal with it is to prioritize the most important things first.

2- Find a Buddy.

While many organizations have a orientation or on boarding process where a buddy is allocated. Many still don’t have a formal process for this. Find someone ( preferably not your new manager 😉 ) who can give you a quick “to do”.

RULE: Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

3- Understand what is expected of you.

You cannot deliver – if you do not know what is expected of you.

Priority should be identify expectation and take up short term quickly deliverables first and make you mark !

4- Cut your losses !

If something is not working out, ditch it !

Of course I am not asking you to quit. Remember you are new, however if you think you have taken on more than you can handle – discuss with you boss and take on something more do able.

5- Get to know the new company ( Culture and coworkers)

You are at a new place – Accept it.

Acclimatize and adjust by understanding that things will be different here and so will the people.

6- Do not forget your former colleagues.

Remember they know you and at a time when motivation can be at a premium – they will come in handy to remind you of you strengths to give you the extra boost you need to succeed !

New Job

7- Rest

All work and no play – remember this?

You are in a higher stress zone than normal and you need your full strength. Rest and give yourself time a space to relax.

 

I hope I have been able to suggest some ways to make your transition more hospitable.

Best of luck and wishes for your new role !

Some top reasons WHY HR is often misunderstood

Some top reasons WHY HR is often misunderstood –Take 1 J
Readers, I absolutely don’t pretend to speak for every HR department worldwide, but the HR professionals that I know are committed to both their employees and their company. They avoid causing employees pain intentionally. Here are some top reasons why employees might perceive the situation differently. These are the reasons why I feel I have observed non-Human Resource professionals having a list of depressing and so to say “HR horror stories”.
·         The HR staff person is caught daily in a balancing act between the role of employee advocate and the role of company business partner and advocate. And, no, the employee doesn’t often see or understand that the HR person is playing two roles. They gauge the HR person by their affect on the employee’s need.
    • As an example, the employee wants HR to make an exception for him; the employee doesn’t realize that an exception for him begins to set a precedent for how the company must treat other employees – employees who may be less deserving of an exception.


·         All information about employees is confidential. Even when the HR staff person handles an issue, whether the issue involved disciplinary measures or just a conversation, the steps taken and the outcomes are confidential. An HR employee can tell the complaining employee that the issue was addressed. Because of employee confidentiality, they cannot reveal more. This can leave the complaining employee believing their issue was not addressed. (The outcome of a formal, written complaint, as in sexual harassment charges, is generally disclosed.)
Blame it all


·         HR staff members need documented evidence that a problem exists. Witnesses are helpful, too, as is more than one employee experiencing the same problem. It is difficult to take action based on one employee’s word, especially if the other party denies the problem.


·         What an employee may see as unreasonable behavior on the part of a manager or another employee, HR may find within acceptable bounds of organizational behavior and expectations. The employees may have a personality or work style conflict. The boss may supervise an independent employee more closely than desired. HR can talk with all parties, but often, no one is wrong.


·         When an employee doesn’t like her job or work goals or experiences a conflict with her supervisor’s management style, HR can’t always find the employee a new job. Additionally, because of the cost of employee on boarding and training, the organization is likely to have policies about how often an employee can change positions. Indeed, proving yourself in the current job is the fastest path to a coveted new job.


·         HR doesn’t know about the promises you say your manager made to you about a raise, a promotion, special time off, or a rewarding assignment, unless the promise was documented in your performance development plan. You are welcome to complain to HR if you have addressed the issue with your manager. But, the end story is likely your word against the manager’s word. Is it possible you misunderstood your manager? If not be wary about promises made – when he has demonstrated he doesn’t keep his promises. Work with HR on an internal transfer.


·         HR is not always in charge of making the decision. In fact, the decision you don’t like may have been made by their boss or the company president. Good, company-oriented HR people won’t blame other managers publicly for decisions with which they may disagree. And, they won’t bad-mouth the decisions of their boss or other company managers, so you may never know where the decision was made.
So, an unresponsive, unhelpful HR office that avoids helping employees with their problems is not always the case. (Though I know from my experience that such organizations do exist, let’s hope they are on the path to change- Inshallah). There are legitimate reasons why HR cannot fulfill every employee’s wishes.
If the HR staff listens, communicates actively, and informs the employee why a decision is made or an action not taken, employees are much less likely to write asking how to solve their HR horror stories.
This information may help our fellow HR professionals better address the “misunderstanding” by employees.

Interview “Do Not’s”

Here are a few don’ts to remember when in an interview or going to one:
DO NOT
Arrive Late
Allow enough time for any unforeseen circumstances
Make frequent use of active verbs, such as, achieved, set up, managed, responsible for, led
Be specific instead of appearing to be flaunting openly.
Use bullet points in conversation
Be descriptive and conversational while describing your achievements
Mumble or talk too fast or too softly
You must speak clearly!
Fidget and fiddle with items on the desk
Handle a pen of your own or yet better try to control your hand movement
Play with your hair and clothes
Wait until the interview is over to do that
Use slang words, make silly jokes, or chew gum
Instead try thinking “would I take someone like this serious?”
Lean on the interviewer’s desk or glance at your watch
It gives the impression that you are not serious
Hide any aspect of your previous record, overstate qualifications, brag, or become angry
This would be simply “wrong”. Never lie in an interview…it will come back to haunt you.
Mention any negative aspect of your current employer, classes, or university
It will reflect of you as a person
Show ignorance about the company
This means that you should have done research on the company before you go in to the interview and then allow your research to come through in conversation
Bring up the topic of salary.
It will be discussed when the time is right. Don’t worry it will come up if they are interested.
Come across as being passive or indifferent
Be positive and enthusiastic
Be overbearing, or conceited.
Be friendly and open, but do not flirt!
Answer questions with another question
That’s just rude.
Use negative body language, or convey inappropriate aspects of your character.
That’s like handing over a reason for the interviewer to reject you.
Appear half-asleep
go to bed early the night before the interview and sleep soundly knowing that you are fully prepared for the day ahead

Things never to say in a job interview

Off all the things one wishes they had not said in a job interview I would like to highlight the top five 🙂

So here are 5 of the biggest blunders…………..

1. “I hated my last boss.” It doesn’t matter how bad your last boss was — don’t cite it as a reason for leaving your job neither should you complain about your boss’s managerial skills. This kind of “trash” talking will make your potential new boss think your interpersonal skills are weak and you’re not a team player. Follow the advice your mom gave you: If you can’t say anything nice about someone, explain that your last role was not a good fit for you, or you are looking for new ways to grow.

2. “I don’t know anything about this company.” Do your research. Know something about the company you’re interviewing for, and be able to articulate how your skills will complement the business. If you’re a Web designer, for example, at the very least study the company’s Web site and explain what you like and what you would change, given the chance. A neutral example would be for instance reviewing the company’s website for the careers section or the Human Resource section. You can easily start an educated and informed discussion with the HR representative on how you feel the section could have been more informational or why you liked it etc.

3. “No questions, thanks.” When it’s your turn to ask questions about the company and the role, have something to talk about. If you don’t, it looks like your lack of inquisitiveness means you are not genuinely interested in a career, but just a paycheck. Did the interviewer already answer everything you wanted to know? At least rephrase something you already talked about in a new way.

4. “What sect do you belong to ?” Small talk can be great. You may use small talk to include something unrelated to the job directly but that shows competencies that are transferable to the job you are applying for thou. But know where the line is and don’t cross it — don’t ask or talk about stuff that’s inappropriately personal.

5. “And another thing…” Avoid rats and bitterness. It’s great to have strong opinions, but be careful that you don’t come across sounding like you are angry or so opinionated that you’ll be difficult to work with. No one wants to work with a serial complainer.


Wish you the best of luck for your interviews.

Living on a budget

We’ve all been there. That time of the month when you begin to realize that your bank statement is due, and you purposefully avoid bringing the mail in so that you don’t have to face up to how little is left in your account this month. I generally dread the daily sms that my bank sends me whenever my balance is below Rs.5000. Every day after my balance reaches Rs. 4999 and below at precisely 9:05am my cell phone buzzes to the balance sms. It keeps doing that until payday. The countdown to payday is crucial. Buying those six DVDs from fortress just seemed like such a good idea at the time! Why does everything have to cost so much nowadays? 

Well, we all like to buy stuff, there’s no denying that. But there are ways to get at least some of the things you want without using over and above your available resources each month. So formulating a spending plan doesn’t sound like your idea of fun – but don’t you want that feeling of freedom that comes with accurately estimating how much money you have to spend, by planning your purchases, and not being afraid of your finances?
A thrifty budget can help more than you think it’s going to hurt!

Okay, So Tell Me Again How This Isn’t Going To Hurt…

The notion of sitting down and planning all the things you can’t buy doesn’t sound like much fun, but by coming up with a thrifty budget and by allotting various allowances to each of the things you are likely to spend money on can truly help you to gain a sense of power over your finances. While an attitude of handing out money when you need to might seem a lot less painless than sticking to a spending plan, wouldn’t you love to be able to have some money to spend on the things you love without having to fear the arrival of mailman or the beep of the sms at the end of each month? With a little forward planning, you can achieve this.

So be brave and sit down with your checkbook. Look at how much money you spend each month on regular outgoings, like rent, groceries, Petrol / CNG, utilities and so on. Plan to set aside an allowance for each of these things, and put the money in a separate account if you have to, so that you can’t spend it. It might seem painful now to have to allocate so much money to these basic things, but ultimately you will save in bank charges, and you will feel so much better knowing where your money is going. Anticipating the cost of things is much more cost effective than allowing your finances go into the red.

The way to be thrifty is to plan it. And while it might not seem like fun initially, by sitting down and planning a budget, you are facing up to the money you spend, which makes it easier to see where you can make savings. And once you are in control of your finances, you will begin to see your savings add up. And pretty soon you will have some money to spend that won’t leave you deathly afraid to greet the mailman! J

 
I was speaking to friend on this topic and me mentioned that he started on a similar program. He started to keep a little black note book in his pocket and whenever he would make a payment, he would note the amount and the purpose. After a month he was surprised to note that the maximum amount was spent on unplanned snacks at work. He immediately stopped buying snacks at work. This contributed to a substantial saving. He then approached all higher figures in the black book in a similar manner and managed to budget the expenses and add substantial savings in a few months.
Good luck with your savings. I just started and need all the luck I can get J

How to say “good bye” in a job interview

In the line of work that I am in, one gets to interview numerous candidates for a variety of roles and positions. One thing I have noticed is that the candidates come rehearsed with answers for even the toughest job interview questions, but are rarely prepared on how to end the interview? 
While it’s true that first impressions are important, many people forget that last impressions tend to linger. Ending a job interview is nearly as important as starting one.
I was talking to a fellow HR Manager, belonging to a large technology firm. He agreed with me that one of the important things in an interview is how you end it.
He says, “Just as importantly is how you end the interview, so just shaking their hand and saying ‘I look forward to hearing from you’ is not really the best last impression you want to make.”
I read online that Human Resources expert Sarah Paul agrees that your attitude at the end of an interview can help or hurt your chances. She says, “Show confidence by giving a firm handshake and making strong eye contact.” 
Her other suggestions include:
Avoid looking needy – make the interviewer feel like you have other options on the table.
Asking if it would be appropriate for you to follow up in a week regarding the status of the recruitment also demonstrates assertiveness and shows you are not afraid to take control of your career.  

Even if you don’t think it went well, confidence goes a long way and is sometimes more important than how you answered that dreadful ‘give me an example of a weakness’ question.

You can also suggest that the interviewer please contact you should they have any further questions/clarifications. This shows you are collaborative and want them to have as much information about you as possible.  
If you think you did a terrible interview, don’t show it. Good interviewers can read body language.
Keep your head up, have a strong handshake and maintain eye contact.
Make sure you get a business card so you can email a thank you note. 
Marci Schnapp-Rafael, president of TeamQuest Systems Inc. also suggested the following actions to ensure you leave a positive lasting impression:
  • Leave behind examples of your work and positive evidence of what you have testified to during the interview
  • Stop talking and exit gracefully

She cautioned that sometimes job candidates unconsciously sabotage their job chances at the interview. Some of the actions she has seen include:
  • Leaving behind garbage like an empty Starbucks cup or water bottle. She adds, “Not that you should bring your own into the interview in the first place.”
  • Taking a call on your cell phone as you are walking out the door.
  • Continuing to talk or ask questions even after the interview has ended
  • Slamming the door, stomping feet or showing any signs of being emotionally upset.

The end of the interview is the final chance you have to make a good impression. 
Best of luck 🙂

Tit Bits

A couple were being interviewed on their Golden Wedding Anniversary. “In all that time – did you ever consider divorce?” they were asked. “Oh, no, not divorce,” one said. “Murder sometimes, but never divorce.”

It’s a safe bet you know all the advantages of your product or service. But it isn’t product advantages that close the deal – it’s customer satisfaction. Product advantages don’t mean a thing unless and until your prospects visualise what the products mean to them personally. The more you appreciate this fact, and the more firmly you keep it in mind, the more effective your sales presentation will become. Talking in terms of product advantages is like trying to sell a man a sports jacket without letting him try it on. He simply isn’t going to buy it until he puts it on and looks in a mirror. Then he can see what the jacket does for him and generate a real desire to own it.

Translating product advantages into customer satisfaction isn’t difficult. It’s merely a matter of customising your approach, of presenting your product or service in terms of the desires and satisfaction of this particular prospect. Yet it’s amazing how many salespeople are content to generalise. They talk endlessly about what a wonderful sports coat they offer, but neglect to have the prospect put it on.

The most important thing you can do to close any sale is to paint the prospect a vivid, realistic picture of future satisfaction – so vivid and appealing that he or she can’t wait to grab your pen and sign the order. That’s what selling is all about. People don’t buy product or services – they buy the expected satisfaction of using and owning them. Paint a picture of each prospect’s satisfaction at the start of your presentation and keep it up till the order is signed. Don’t talk in terms of product advantages, talk in terms of future satisfaction – until your prospect can see it, feel it, and taste it.

To believe with certainty, we must begin with doubting.

Ever come across an article about your product or a similar product in a trade journal or newspaper? Cut it out, have it laminated with plastic, and carry it with you to show to prospects or clients. If the article talks about the product in positive terms, it will help reinforce your sales presentations. If it points out negative aspects as well, use it to show how your product differs or how the product has been changed to eliminate those problem areas. If you want to include copies of the article with the literature you give to clients, write to the publisher and ask for reprints of the article. They’re often printed with the masthead of the publication across the top and make impressive pieces to leave behind.

Scientists estimate that the average person’s impression of the world is 87 percent visual. Hearing, taste, touch and smell make up the other 13 percent. What this means is that salespeople can’t afford to concentrate solely on the verbal aspects of their presentations. If they do, they won’t be making the most of their product or service.

It’s not the words alone, but the total picture you and your company present to a prospect that counts. This includes the attitudes, actions, and visual impressions made by everyone who contacts the prospect. Take the way you handle your product, for example. If you take worn, dusty samples out of an old battered sample case and dump them casually in front of prospect, what kind of impression are you making? Obviously the prospect won’t think much of your wares if you treat them with disrespect. On the other hand, if you treat your company’s products as if they had great value, you’re more likely to instil that feeling in the prospect.

Everything the prospects “see” has a tremendous effect on them, consciously or unconsciously. This includes your appearance, the quality of your presentation materials, your briefcase, the pen you give them to sign the order with, and the cleanliness of your car when you take them for a ride, the smile or the frown on your face. The top salespeople in every field take pride in their products, their company, and themselves. And they reflect this pride in everything they do, visually as well as verbally.

They also do everything they can to show prospects the benefits they can expect from using their products. The salespeople know that words are not enough. If you want your customers to think your products and services are valuable, you have to treat them that way, every chance you get. Don’t think people don’t notice these things. They do. And it will make a difference.

Most people don’t plan to fail – they fail to plan.

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.

A famous teacher once said that if he saw a pupil in despair over his work he always gave him a higher mark than he deserved. The following week the student always made a higher mark himself.

In a poem “Ode to Retirement” by Len Ingebrigtsen, is this line: “The reason I know my youth is spent? My get and go and got up and went.”

Franklin Roosevelt started his career as a lawyer in New York. One of the first cases he was retained to represent was a particularly difficult civil suit. The opposing lawyer, a notable orator, did well in his pleadings before the jury. However, he made one big mistake: he talked on for hours.

Roosevelt, noticing the inattention of the jury, decided his strategy. When his tun came to sum up his client’s side of the case, he merely said: “Gentlemen, you have heard the evidence. You have also listened to my distinguished colleague, a brilliant orator. If you believe him and disbelieve the evidence, you will have to decide in his favour. That’s all I have to say.”
Within five minutes the jury returned. It had ruled in favour of Roosevelt’s client.

Somebody asked the owner of a small country store why he didn’t advertise. “Oh, I tried it once,” he replied, “but people came from all over and bought nearly all the bloody stuff I had.”

A leading business authority makes an interesting distinction between those in an organisation who have power and those who have authority.

Power, he says, is something earned, a sharpening of abilities and talents within the individual, generally over a long period of time. Authority, on the other hand, is something which is conferred on an individual. It usually accompanies a certain job level or position and can be withdrawn at any time. Not so with power. It is something you “give” yourself by making the most of your talents and abilities. Only you, therefore, can deny it. Authority, concludes this expert, is always insecure unless it is based on a real and positive power, that is, on ability.

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers – Voltaire.

Predictive Modeling in HR

So, where did this come from?

My take on it is , that we do this all the time. We predict / forcast an outcome from past evidence. Simple.

I should be writing the for dummies books now 🙂

As HR professionals, as recruiters, that is what we do, without perhaps fully realizing it. Ever notice, that if a candidate from a particular university was recently fired for being unethical or simple not performing then the next candidate from the same university, prety much gets the boot. Its unfair, I may say. However, the recency effect too, but still. We do it becasue at the back of our mind, a logical model is developing, ringing a bell, telling us , alarming us that this candidate…or more so, this univeristy will because, it did in the past…

So guys, be very careful when evaluating people. GO deep..probe…you may very well loose a very promising new employee because of the wrong assumptions in the model that you create.

Adios.

No Jobs OR Not Looking to hire?

If you are a fresh graduate reading this…you are probably here because you are free, and looking / searching online for jobs or any keywords that have job or career in them.

I have news for you – there are jobs out there! Yes, really there are.

The only catch is that there are also thousands of other fresh graduates for the same limited jobs. And if that were not enough to complicate the odds against you, there is a high multitude of out of work , experienced candidates who are looking to find any job. And if you are a smart person, you should have guessed by now, why you are still unemployed.

Logic dictates that if I as an interviewer have 2 candidates, one with ZERO experience and another with 1 or 2 or more years of experience… It’s not hard to decide who I would hire.

That is the current job market in Pakistan in a nutshell.

Feel free to comment please.