Monday, 27 April 2015

Starting your Career in mid-20s

Once you graduate college, you are expected to find a job as soon as possible. Competition during this time is very fierce. Westhill Consulting and Employment has encountered so many eager new graduates who always ask for advice on how to make it through a very challenging real world. We have gathered a lot of responses from different twenty-ish individuals in Singapore, Ghana, Africa, Jakarta, Indonesia, Tokyo, Japan and Illinois, USA to know how they have faced the challenge in their own culture and values. The following are general guidelines that can help anybody in their work adventure.

·         Always show gratitude.  If someone has done you a good turn, take a moment to express genuine gratitude by mail, email, text, or a few words and smile. It’s a gracious way to live. As old-fashioned as it seems, mailing a hand-written card to a potential employer or dinner party host leaves a lasting impression.

·         Remember this, too, shall pass. Never be early to burst out your complaints. Whether you’re riding high on good fortune or you’re wallowing in the dumps of tough times, things move on and so will you. Be grateful when things are good. And be grateful for the things that are good when other things are crumbling around you.

·         ever expect someone else to advocate for your best interest or to navigate major life decisions. While there are people who will want to help you, you know yourself and what you need best. Take whatever time you need to review, to research, to learn and to create your best options. From great options, make good decisions.

·         Maintain your professional reputation. Avoid burning bridges with those you’ve worked with. If anything, invest a little time to continue cultivating your past relationships with colleagues. You never know when you might cross paths again in business.

·         Exude confidence. You only have one body. So be comfortable in it. Confidence in yourself will spur confidence others will have in you. Don’t have the confidence? “Fake it ‘til you make it,” as they say.

·         Understand that job interviews are a two-way street. View them as career interviews. The company is as much of a candidate for you as you are for them. After all, if you’re going to be spending 40+ hours per week somewhere, it’s important to be fully informed about how much they will enable your career growth. I always ask job candidates if they have any questions for me. What you ask is sometimes as important as what you’re answering.

·         Mistakes can be gifts. Whether a learning experience, a happy accident, or a humbling experience, mistakes can serve us well. Don’t be afraid to make them. Just try not to make the same one twice.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Get Ahead

Who would not want a promotion among us? I am sure than anyone of us would want to get ahead of others in a healthy competition. Westhill Consulting and Employment, an Australian based employment consulting company recognizes these needs.

Workers seeking to get ahead in their careers need to rely less on their talent and their experience and more on personal brand and relationship with their boss, especially in cities of developed and developing countries like America, Jakarta, Indonesia, Tokyo, Japan and Singapore which focus on their employees for economic development.

1.    Diligence
-                   If you want to get ahead, you need to take on projects outside of your job description. If you see a new opportunity that your company could take advantage of, or you see something that can be improved, come up with a solution. Review, do research, develop a presentation outlining the opportunity, and present it to your management. Before you engage in any entrepreneurial initiatives, of course, you have to master your current role and prove yourself — because no one will invest in you unless they trust you first.

2.          Engage in activities outside of the office.
-                   Extra outside projects and roles and learning opportunities can enhance their reputation at work. You can join professional organizations and social groups to expand both your network and knowledge of your industry and profession.

3.          Think twice before you friend your manager on Facebook.
-                   Most managers don’t want to add their employees as contacts because they want to separate their personal and professional lives. Before you decide to friend them, think about the type of relationship you have with them and ask them what their comfort level is. You might have a lot of complaints filed at you when you cross the line. If you tend to share personal matters with your manager at the office, they would probably be more inclined to have the same relationship on Facebook.

4.          Develop your soft skills.
-                   We found that managers, and even recruiters, value soft skills over hard skills: The most important soft skills for employees who want to get promoted are the ability to prioritize work, communicate effectively, and work well in a team. If you want to develop these skills, you need to actively pursue situations where you can both interact with other people and get feedback so you can improve.

5.          Become a subject matter expert.
-                   If you want to stand out at work and gain visibility and recognition, you need to be an expert on a particular topic. Don’t be a fraud as you know many things but focus on a specific matter and master it. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Stand Out, Never Stand Down

Equally as important as learning how to get a job is learning how to keep one. Working is much like dating: Keep the relationship exciting or your employer might get a wandering eye for greener pastures. You need to stay at the top of your game to prove to your employer that she was right to pick you in the first place. You can stand out at work by being a stand-up person. Be honest, act with integrity and treat everyone with kindness and respect. Westhill Consulting and Employment in Jakarta has recognized the need of many employees to stand out among colleagues. You cannot expect any development when you continue to stand down to others.

1.       Make a habit of introducing yourself. Whenever you walk into a meeting, go up to someone you don’t know and introduce yourself. People with the confidence to do this stand out. Work out a few questions to ask to get to know people, and you’ll quickly boost your visibility. More people you know more chances of being popular.

2.       Sit next to new people. As an extension of tip one, if there’s an opportunity to sit next to new people at a meeting, a talk, at lunch, on a training course – you should take it. Whether they may be from different nations like Jakarta, Indonesia, Ghana, Africa or Tokyo, Japan, treat them with respect. Often the shared experience creates an opportunity to build a relationship. Not only does this again demonstrate your confidence, but it’s also a great way to show senior managers you take an interest in other people and have the skills to develop a widespread network. If you can show that, it will be noted.

3.       Be first to act. If you’ve heard someone ask for a volunteer, or open the floor for questions after a presentation, you’ve likely experienced the awkward silence that follows. But by being the person to stand up and volunteer to be the one at the flipchart or taking the action points, or by having a question ready to start the ball rolling, you show you’re willing to get into action when the structured part of the meeting stops – something senior managers equate with leadership ability and the ability to make a career leap successfully.

4.       Smile.Even when it's the last thing you feel like doing, still smile -- and others will smile with you. Instead of having complaints with the system or any negativity in your workplace, smile and treat them with optimism.

5.       Seek opportunities to learn new skills and maintain old ones. Don't make the mistake of becoming a dinosaur; keep yourself marketable by remaining current in your profession. Review what you need to improve on and learn where you need to excel more.