Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting a Career

Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting a Career

When you are selecting a career there’s a lot riding on your decision. You want to pick an occupation in which you can be successful for many years to come. While you can change careers, doing so can be effortful. It is easier if you don’t have to do it too often. That means you should pick something that is not only suitable for you, but also can support you financially far into the future. Increase your chances of making a good decision by avoiding these very common mistakes.

1. Listening to People Who Tell You That You Should, or Should Not, Do Something:

Many people think they should have a say in what career you choose—your parents, your friends, your significant other. They don’t. In most cases, your decision will have little impact on the other people in your life. You, however, will have to deal with your choice for years to come. Make sure the career you choose is something you want to spend your day doing.

2. Following in Someone Else’ s Footsteps:

You may be haunted by your parents’ expectations to go into the same occupation they are in. You may know it as the one that helped put food in your mouth, kept a roof over your head and even paid your way through school. As hard is it is to do, ignore the pressure you may feel to please your mom and dad. Remember, and if necessary, remind your parents, that they made their own choices and now it’s your turn. What was right for them may not be for you. In the long run, there’s a good chance they’d rather see you happy in a career of your own choosing than unhappy in one you picked to please them.

3. Not Doing Your Homework:

Don’t choose a career without taking the time to learn about it. In addition to a job description, you should make sure to gather information about typical job duties, educational requirements, earnings and job outlook.

4. Not Talking to Those in the Know:

Your homework isn’t complete if you skip talking to someone who currently works in the career field you are considering. Those who are engaged in an occupation can provide you with a truthful account of what it’s really like to work in it. If possible talk to a few people to avoid individual biases.

 5. Going for the Money, Honey:

Bringing home a paycheck is important, but the size of it isn’t actually a great predictor of job satisfaction. In other words, you can make six figures but if you hate what you’re doing you’ll find it hard to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Look for a balance between making enough money to support yourself and work that fulfills you.

6. Ignoring Who You Are:

Your personality type, interests, values and aptitudes make you better suited for some occupations than others. These traits are intrinsic, which means you can’t change them. If you don’t take them into account when selecting a career, there is an excellent chance you will wind up in an occupation that is unsuitable for you.

7. Not Considering Location, Location, Location:

Jobs in certain occupations are concentrated in specific cities—New York or Los Angeles for example—or in certain types of locations—such as cities versus rural areas. If you live somewhere that doesn’t offer many opportunities in your field and you aren’t willing to relocate, you will have trouble getting a job.

8. Not Looking Beyond a “Best Careers” List:

Lists that tell you what careers have the best opportunities of the year, decade or whatever, can be a helpful guide when it comes to selecting a career. However, making a decision based solely on one of those lists is a terrible idea. Even an occupation with a great outlook can be a bad fit, so you have to scratch below the surface to find out whether you and a career are a good match.

9. Ignoring the Future:

While you shouldn’t make your choice solely on an occupation’s appearance on a “best careers list,” to ignore employment outlook is careless. There’s a good chance you don’t have a crystal ball that can tell you with certainty whether an occupation will grow, or at least be stable, during the course of your career. However, you can do more than hope for the best. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics makes predictions about the outlook for most occupations. You should consider whether a career has a promising future before you begin to prepare for it.You can at least eliminate something if its future looks bleak.
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How to Make a Career Choice When You Are Undecided

How to Make a Career Choice When You Are Undecided

With thousands of options, how will you pick a career that’s right for you? If you don’t have any idea what you want to do, the task may seem insurmountable. Fortunately, it isn’t. Put enough thought into it, and you will increase your chances of making a good decision.

1.  Assess Yourself

Before you can choose the right career, you must learn about yourself. Your values, interests, soft skills, and aptitudes, in combination with your personality type, make some occupations a good fit for you and others completely inappropriate.

Use self-assessment tools, often called career tests, to gather information about your traits and, subsequently generate a list of occupations that are a good fit based on them. Some people choose to work with a career counselor or other career development professionals who can help them navigate this process.

2.  Make a List of Occupations to Explore

You probably have multiple lists of occupations in front of you at this point—one generated by each of the self-assessment tools you used. To keep yourself organized, you should combine them into one master list.

First, look for careers that appear on multiple lists and copy them onto a blank page. Title it “Occupations to Explore.” Your self-assessment ​indicated they are a good fit for you based on several of your traits, so definitely consider them.

Next, find any occupations on your lists that appeal to you. They may be careers you know a bit about and want to explore further. Also, include professions about which you don’t know much. You might learn something unexpected. Add those to your master list.

Now get some basic information about each of the occupations on your list. You will be thrilled you managed to narrow your list down to only 10 to 20 options!

Find job descriptions and educational, training and licensing requirements in published sources. Learn about advancement opportunities. Use government-produced labor market information to get data about earnings and job outlook.

4. Create a “Short List”

At this point, start to narrow down your list even more. Based on what you learned from your research so far, begin eliminating the careers you don’t want to pursue any further. You should end up with fewer than two to five occupations on your “short list.”

If your reasons for finding a career unacceptable are non-negotiable, cross it off your list. Remove everything with duties that don’t appeal to you. Eliminate careers that have weak job outlooks. Get rid of any occupation if you are unable to or unwilling to fulfill the educational or other requirements, or if you lack some of the soft skills necessary to succeed in it.

5. Conduct Informational Interviews

When you have only a few occupations left on your list, start doing more in-depth research. Arrange to meet with people who work in the occupations in which you are interested. They can provide firsthand knowledge about the careers on your short list. Access your network, including LinkedIn, to find people with whom to have these informational interviews.

6.  Make Your Career Choice

Finally, after doing all your research, you are probably ready to make your choice. Pick the occupation that you think will bring you the most satisfaction based on all the information you have gathered. Realize that you are allowed do-overs if you change your mind about your choice at any point in your life. Many people change their careers at least a few times.

7.  Identify Your Goals

Once you make a decision, identify your long- and short-term goals. Doing this will allow you to eventually work in your chosen field. Long-term goals typically take about three to five years to reach, while you can usually fulfill a short-term goal in six months to three years.

Let the research you did about required education and training be your guide. If you don’t have all the details, do some more research. Once you have all the information you need, set your goals. An example of a long-term goal would be completing your education and training. Short-term goals include applying to college, apprenticeships, or other training programs, and doing internships.

 8. Write a Career Action Plan

Put together a career action plana written document that lays out all the steps you will have to take to reach your goals. Think of it as a road map that will take you from point A to B, and then to C and D. Write down all your short- and long-term goals and the steps you will have to take to reach each one. Include any anticipated barriers that could get in the way of achieving your goals and the ways you can overcome them.



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13 Tips That Will Help You Succeed At A New Job

13 Tips That Will Help You Succeed At A New Job


Starting a new job can be stressful and exciting. You want to make sure you succeed at your new company, so you try to make a good impression by meeting your boss’ expectations. But even though you may try to learn the ropes, it can still take some time to get acclimated to your new job’s culture. And, in fact, usually the first three months in your new position are an extension of the interview process. It’s important to show up every day ready to prove what you have promised you would deliver.

While succeeding at your new job does depend on your performance, there are a lot of other ways to prove to your boss that you deserve this position that go beyond day-to-day tasks. Below are 13 ways to succeed at your new job.

1. Be Friendly

It’s easier to work with someone you like, right? Be the type of colleague you would like to work with by being friendly with your coworkers. Make a strong first impression on your colleagues by preparing informal, conversational questions that will help you connect with them on a personal level. By always turning the conversation back on them, you show interest in learning about them as a person, not just as a colleague.

2. Ask For An Initial Review

Ask for feedback once you have familiarized yourself with your role, around week three of employment. It is best to understand expectations and make the necessary changes before forming habits. Preparing questions for both your boss and team members can ensure beneficial feedback.Asking for a review after a month of being at your job will impress your boss. It will show him/her that you want to improve and become better in your role.

3. Be Ambitious, But Don’t Rock The Boat

While it’s important to be confident, you don’t want to step on someone’s toes. Contribute and make recommendations for improvement, but do so within reason. As a new hire, you may not have the context about why a policy or process was set in place. Asking questions first will help you understand and assess processes accordingly.

4. Sacrifice Time To Build Dependability

Your boss hired you because he/she thought that you would be a great addition to the team. Make sure you show your boss that you’re dedicated by staying off your phone and getting to the office early. Take some extra time to arrive early, stay a bit later, and take shorter lunch breaks during the first month. Showing dedication as much and often as possible will help you stand out and build dependability amongst the team. An often overlooked tip is that more face time with the boss the better.

5. Network To Understand Structure

While it’s important to know your immediate team, it’s vital to connect with other people who aren’t necessarily in your department. Meet new people to learn more about the company beyond your direct role and understand how teams collaborate. This will make you better equipped to contribute and thrive in the current culture. Trying to make one new connection a day at work helps build your network to understand where you fit in in the organization.

6. Work To Enhance Credibility

The first few months at your new job are important. You need to prove to yourself and your boss that you deserve to be there. As long as you’re passionate and you have a good work ethic, then you will mostly succeed. Go above and beyond when asked to complete specific tasks so people learn to rely on you for future projects. A company can train an employee to do a skill, but it can’t teach work ethic or passion. Finishing a project doesn’t mean hop on social media, but rather be proactive and find other ways to make yourself useful.

7. Find A Mentor

While this might be hard to do in the beginning, it’s always a good idea to find someone who you can go to when you need career advice. Strong leadership is the foundation for a good company. Finding the right mentor to inspire, motivate and provide strategic direction will lead you on the path to success.

8. Connect With Your Team

It’s rewarding to bounce creative ideas off of one another and come up with activations that demonstrate originality and innovation. Embrace the opportunity to connect with your team. It will stimulate professional growth. It’s easy to get inspired at work when you surround yourself with creative people. Introduce yourself to your teammates so they can feel comfortable enough to come to you when they want to collaborate. You’ll succeed at your new job if you know you can work well with your colleagues.

9. Communicate With Others

In the first few weeks of a new job, it’s important to understand how things are done. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s a great way to learn the ropes so you can become a better team player. The best way to acclimate yourself to your new job is to ask questions, express when you’re confused, and share your ideas.

10. Listen

Being successful at a new company doesn’t mean that you always have to bring new ideas to the table. It’s just as important to listen to your boss’s feedback so you can improve your performance. Proving yourself doesn’t have to be proactive. Listening is a great way to improve your work performance and minimize any misunderstandings.

11. Be Resourceful

While it’s normal to ask questions to figure how things work, your boss and colleagues will appreciate it if you try to figure things out for yourself. Doing this can show them that you’re resourceful. Don’t rely on your manager or co-workers to help with every task you’re given. Utilize your resources, whether it’s the Internet, office files, or company manual, to figure out how to get your job done. Seek guidance along the way if you want to ensure you’re on the right track.

12. Observe Your Surroundings

It’s important to get familiar with your surroundings at the office so you can become comfortable working there. You’ll most likely produce better work if you feel at home at your new job. While it’s important to focus on your work, it’s also critical to observe your colleagues and the office culture. At this point, you’ll be able to do this subjectively before you get wrapped up in your day-to-day responsibilities. This will help you easily adapt to the new environment.

13. Be Confident

One of the best ways to succeed at a new job is to believe in yourself. Build enough confidence so you can deal with negative feedback and explain your pitches to your boss without being shy about them. A strong handshake, eye contact and steady voice can go a long way. Don’t compare yourself to your colleagues. Instead, recognize your strengths and play up those attributes.

Remember one thing, your boss hired you for a reason. Don’t let your self-doubt prevent you from succeeding. All you need to do is be ambitious, form true connections, and show initiative.




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4 Tips for Restarting Your Career After a Long Break

4 Tips for Restarting Your Career After a Long Break

There is no doubt that coming back from a career break is a unique challenge, but with a positive approach and a finely tuned job search strategy, you should be able to pick your career up where you left off with relative ease.Here are some tips that will help you in restarting your career after a long break.


1. Start Networking to Access the Hidden Job Market

Sources suggest that as many as 80 percent of available jobs are never publicly advertised. These “secret” openings comprise the “hidden job market” – and the only way to tap into this market is by networking smartly.

Two to three months before you plan to return to work, start talking to friends, family members, former coworkers, and so on, about potential opportunities they may know of. Chances are that at least one of them will know about — and maybe even refer you to  an unadvertised job opening. If you can get into the running early  and with a glowing reference  then you greatly increase your chances of landing the job.

2. Get Plenty of Recommendations

Even if your network can’t help you find a position in the hidden job market, it can probably help you find the next best thing: an influential inside contact who can vouch for your character and skill.

Having an influential contact on your side is a great thing, as studies show that people who are referred are twice as likely to be called to interview and 40 percent more likely to be offered a job.

If you do find a strong contact at a company you’d like to work for, consider sending in a “speculative application,” using your reference boost your appeal and get on the employer’s radar.

However, you don’t want to just drop the reference’s name. Rather, you want to ensure that the reference is actually attesting to a particular skill or valuable business quality that you possess. If your reference is just a flashy name, your speculative application won’t garner any attention.

3. Emphasize Your Transferable Skills

Many employers (and job seekers) wrongly assume that long-term unemployment always leads to a loss of skills. The reality, however, is that a long break away from the workplace can actually boost your skills.

For example, a survey from CareerBuilder found that taking a career break to be a stay-at-home parent for a while helps people develop some highly valuable skills. More than 66 percent of hiring managers surveyed by CareerBuilder said that parenting skills can be very relevant to the corporate world.

Some examples of highly valued parenting skills include:

  1. Patience
  2. Ability to multitask
  3. Time management
  4. Conflict management
  5. Problem-solving
  6. Empathy
  7. Mentoring
  8. Negotiation
  9. Budgeting and finance management
  10. Project management

Despite the value of these parenting skills, just 8 percent of parents mention these skills in their applications, meaning many parents are missing a great opportunity to impress prospective employers.

So, if you are a parent returning to work after a long break, make sure to play up your highly valuable parenting skills during the application and interview processes.

4. Emphasize What You Have Learned

As mentioned above, a career break can be a great way to develop new skills. No matter what those skills are  or how you learned them  be sure to emphasize them in your resume.

For example, perhaps you did a little freelance work while you were away from your career, and this has helped you develop greater levels of business acumen. Or perhaps you used your free time to teach yourself a new language or some coding skills.

Whatever the case, you want to be positive and give employers the impression that your life away from the workforce has benefited you. Moreover, you want employers to know that you’ll be able to pass along these benefits to them  if they hire you.



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Tips To Rehearse For An Interview

Tips To Rehearse For An Interview


Rehearsing is one of the best ways to prepare for a job interview. A mock interview with a professional is one way to learn and practice interviewing skills. Another is to use an online interview preparation tool. Both of those are fee-based options, but you can still practice even if you can’t afford professional assistance.

1. Do-It-Yourself Interviewing Practice

There are a number of ways to prepare for an interview at home without the help of a professional career counselor or coach or a fee-based service.

You can practice interviews all by yourself or recruit friends and family to assist you.

2. Know the Interview Process.

 If you’re new to the workplace or haven’t interviewed in a while, know what will likely happen during the interview so you don’t get any surprises. Make sure you understand how a job interview works so you know what to expect.

3. Practice Answering Interview Questions.

The simplest way to prepare is to create a list of common interview questions and answer each question out loud. The more you practice, the more you will be prepared to respond during an actual job interview.

4. Use Flashcards.

Write the questions down on flashcards. By shuffling the flashcards, you will become comfortable answering questions in any order.

5. Record Yourself Practicing.

If you have a webcam, video camera or tape recorder, record your responses and play them back. Assess your body language (if you have a video camera) and your answers to the questions.

How are your posture and eye contact? Are you fidgeting? Are your answers too long-winded? Do you sound confident? If you do not have a video camera or tape recorder, practice in front of the mirror.

6. Recruit a Friend or Family Member.

You can also give a list of questions to a friend or family member and have them interview you.

Ask your practice interviewer for constructive feedback. Practicing with a friend or family member will provide you with a comfortable, safe environment for honing your interviewing skills and receiving feedback.

7. Dress the Part.

One way to make a do-it-yourself practice interview seem more like an actual job interview is to dress in interview attire. Not only will dressing the part makes you feel like you are heading to a real job interview, but it will also give you the opportunity to make sure that your interview clothes are in order and you’re ready to go.

8. Set Up an Interview Space.

It will also feel more like an actual interview if you set up an interview space. Even if it’s your kitchen table (cleared of clutter) with a chair on either side, one for you and one for the interviewer, it will set the scene for your practice interview to be more formal.

Practicing your interview skills will help reduce stress during your actual interview, and will allow you to focus on connecting with your interviewer rather than struggling to come up with answers. The more familiar you are with the types of interview questions you’ll be asked, the better prepared you will be to interview.

Taking some time to practice will boost your confidence and help you ace your job interviews.

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10 Reasons Why Qualified Candidates Don’t Get Hired For The Job

10 Reasons Why Qualified Candidates Don’t Get Hired For The Job

In an ideal world, the job would go to the most qualified candidate. However, there are many reasons why you might not get hired for a job – even if you have all of the skills and experience to successfully do the work. Sometimes an internal candidate has the edge, or another applicant has a friend on the hiring committee. Other times, candidates simply kill their own chances of getting hired.

Here are ten reasons other than your qualifications why employers won’t hire you.

1. You aren’t very savvy on social media

When you’re looking for a job, social media is more media than it is social. Remember that anything you publish has the potential to be broadcast to unforeseen audiences. Even if you have strict privacy settings, it is possible for someone inside your network to copy and share photos or posts.

Employers will Google you and look you up on social media sites. In a Workopolis survey from 2015, almost half  (48%) of companies said they have turned down candidates based on what they see on their social profiles. Here at Workopolis, we recently looked up a candidate whose Facebook profile picture revealed him wearing only a sock (Not on his foot). Your profile picture isn’t private. Choose it wisely.

A sales manager shared the story of a candidate with a brilliant resume who interviewed well, but who didn’t get the job because he was smoking or holding a bong in what seemed like every photo ever taken him.

2. You’ve got a bad attitude

We’ve all met candidates who come into an interview and start complaining about their former boss or coworkers, they grumble about their past work as if this will show why they’re motivated to make a change. It doesn’t show that at all. It just makes them look like complainers. Employers want to hire upbeat, positive team members.

And then there are the strange attitudes. The story of Franklin Worthington the Third, who referred to himself as such on his resume, and who spoke of himself in the third person. “When Franklin takes on a project, Franklin succeeds.” Franklin didn’t get the job. And given that there is so little chance of the employer mistaking you for your ancestors, you can leave “The Third” off your resume.

3. You don’t do any research

Not doing your research can cost you the job. Employers want to hire candidates who know about their industry and its challenges, and who have thought about ways that they can contributed to the company’s success. If your first question to the interviewer is, “So, what does this company do?” you won’t be getting the call. And hiring managers do get asked that very question.

4. You smell bad

Smokers often use a cigarette to calm their nerves. And job interviews can be nerve wracking. However, if you walk into the interview right after having that cigarette, the chances are that you are going to reek of smoke. That can be a turn off for many people.

The last thing you want to do in a job interview is give the employer a reason not to like you. The same goes for heavy cologne or perfume use. You never know who has allergies, sensitivities or simple distaste for the scent. Play it safe, go in clean and fresh.

5. You’re sloppy

Proofread your resume and cover letter. Misused words, spelling mistakes and typos all make it look like you can’t write properly, you don’t pay attention to detail, or you just don’t care that much. Any of those can keep you from being hired.

6. Your resume makes you seem like a weirdo or a pain

A Toronto recruiter is still puzzling over the man she didn’t hire who had an otherwise strong resume until he listed his interests as “a passion for guns and stuffed owls.” Keep all of the information on your resume relevant to the job you’re applying for. There’s no need to list hobbies or interests.

Another recruiter  received resume that stated in the objective statement: “Must be for a company that highly values diversity and sustainability.” It’s not that the employer didn’t value those things, it’s that by making it the opening line of the resume, the candidate made himself look like he’d be a pain in the butt to work with. You need to show an employer why they would want to hire you in the first place before you start making demands about their values.

Another candidate closed his resume with the line, “Given my obvious qualifications, if I am not selected for this position, I expect to be informed of why.” I imagine they’re still waiting for that phone call.

7. You’re desperate

While it’s good to be enthusiastic about the role, employers are turned off by candidates who seem simply desperate for a job. It’s a fine line: you have to play it cool, but not too cool. Display confidence without being cocky.

8. You have no references

If you can’t find people who will speak well of your work and professionalism, you’re in trouble. I’ve told the story before of the candidate who handed over a typed list of three references, and then she pointed to the first one and said, “But don’t call this one.” After a few seconds thought, she added of another, “Better not call this one either.”

One candidate gave a recruiter three reference letters. Because the font type and style of all three were very similar, the recruiter decided to call the recruiters to verify. It turns out that the letters were indeed fake. However the worst thing about the story is that all three people called said that until they heard of the bogus reference letters, they actually would have been happy to recommend the candidate.

Trust your references. Tell them about the job you’re applying for and ask if they would be willing to recommend you for it. If you can’t use your former boss, find someone else at the company that you worked with. (If there’s really no one out there who will speak well of your work, then references likely aren’t your biggest problem.)

9. You don’t look the part

A job interview isn’t a fashion show, and you don’t have to be a super model. For the most part it’s enough to look well groomed, professional and respectful. This means dressing up a little more than you normally would to show that you care and that you take the interview seriously.

10. You have unrealistic salary expectations

Of course you know how much money you’d like to earn – and what perks you’d like to have from your employer. But if your expectations are unrealistic, or you’re too demanding or inflexible, it will turn employers off. Do your research, find out the salary range that jobs like yours pay in your area, and be willing to negotiate for the best deal you can get.

Finding a job is hard, and the competition can be fierce. But if you keep getting turned down for jobs that you know you’re qualified for, maybe it’s time to make sure that you’re not inadvertently acting in one of the ways that repels most employers.

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8 Tips To Be A Successful Team Leader

8 Tips To Be A Successful Team Leader

You’re a team leader! Congratulations on your leadership role. But, what exactly does a team leader do? It’s not quite a manager role – most team leaders don’t have hire/fire power over their team members – but it’s not the same as being a regular individual contributor.

While every company and every department will vary, here are some of the things that all team leaders can do to make their teams and their leadership role a success.

1. Be Fair

As a team leader, you often get to assign tasks or even set the schedule. You may like some of your team members more than others, but that doesn’t mean you should show preferences.

If you’re having trouble with fairness – and team member complaints are one way to gauge your efforts – ask your manager to look over the task assignments or assign jobs without names or let a different person pick first each week.

2. Lead by Example

Team leaders generally do the work alongside their team members. If you’re gossiping or slacking off, your team will lose all respect for you. Instead, work hard. Set the example for what you expect from your teammates. Don’t talk about team members (or others) behind their backs.

When a team member comes to you with a complaint about a coworker, figure out if this is a problem or just whining. If it’s just whining, shut it down. If it’s a true problem, solve it.

But, don’t gossip about it. Either fix it or don’t talk about it.

3. Take on the Unpleasant Tasks

You may think that now that you’re the lead, you’re finally exempt from doing the tasks that you always hated. For instance, if you’re the team lead in a store, your team might be responsible for cleaning the customer restrooms.

4. Make the Tough Decisions.

While you generally don’t have hire/fire authority, you are responsible for making recommendations to those that do have this authority. This can mean that you are included in job interviews for prospective employees who will potentially join your team.

Sometimes this means that you have to recommend or enforce disciplinary action on a coworker whom you think of as a friend. Sometimes it means recommending a suspension or even a termination of a team member.

You may find disciplinary actions difficult, but they’re critical to your team’s success. You must handle the problems when they occur.

5. Follow the Law. 

If one of your team members has a baby and takes 12 weeks of FMLA approved leave when she returns, you may be tempted to give her the unpleasant tasks – after all, she’s been gone for three months. This is, however, against the law.

You can’t punish someone for taking legally approved leave – it’s called retaliation if you do and it’s growing as a reason for why employees sue employers – so it’s common. Treat her like she’s been there all along.

Likewise, if you have an employee with a disability, work with your manager and the Human Resources department and the employee to develop reasonable accommodations required by law.

Record all overtime. Don’t allow employees to work off the clock – never, ever ask a coworker to do it. Make sure that you follow all of the laws and ask your manager or HR if you have questions.

6. Follow Company Policy 

Sometimes you may want to grant an exception to a company policy, but don’t do so without approval from your boss. The reason for company policies may not be immediately clear to you, but it’s critical that you follow them in order to protect you and the company from accusations of illegal discrimination.

For instance, you may not think it’s a big deal to grant an exception to Jane, but not John, but if it’s not done for the proper reasons, John could claim discrimination.

7. Be Happy

This might seem silly and unnecessary, but your attitude sets the example for the entire group. If you’re positive and pleasant, it can make your whole team work harder – and better together.

8. Stand Up For Your Team Members

Never, ever, ever throw a team member under the bus. If you want to celebrate their successes, support them in their failures. Remember that mistakes happen and you should work to fix them, not simply blame people for them.

Leading a team marks a great step forward in your career. Make sure you approach leading the team the right way and you’ll find success.


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Top 10 Tips to Prepare For A Psychometric Test

Top 10 Tips to Prepare For A Psychometric Test



1. Find out what the employer is looking for in the right job applicant

When advertising and seeking to fill a position, all employers want the best person for the job by finding the right applicant. It’s about hiring the person who will best fit the job; from a skills, intelligence, personality and cultural perspective. Psychometric test results provide employers with a behavioral profile of you – your level of intelligence or aptitude (measured by aptitude tests), and your personality characteristics (measured by the personality test). The profile will indicate whether you can solve problems, are a team player or whether you prefer to work individually, and other relevant attributes.

So prior to taking the test, pick up the phone and call the recruiter for a chat to find out what attributes the right applicant has. Often you will also find clues in the position description or job advertisement.

2. Learn about psychometric testing techniques

Psychometric Tests are not like any other test you’ve ever taken. All too often job seekers assume that if they are good at math or can speed read in English or have just finished university, they will blitz the Psychometric Test. This is a wrong assumption. Psychometric Tests aim to measure your abstract, verbal and numerical reasoning skills. These Aptitude Tests are timed and designed in a very unique way. To master these tests you need to add a new set of test taking strategies to your tool box.

3. Get yourself in good physical and mental shape

You need to be at your best to produce good results in psychometric testing. Tiredness is likely to severely damage your scores in the Intelligence or Aptitude tests. Make sure you are well rested and try to take decent breaks in between aptitude tests to ensure you regain your energy.

4. Get to know the types of aptitude test questions 

Familiarizing yourself with the typical content and format of psychometric tests will give you a significant advantage. Verbal and numerical Aptitude Test questions are generally multiple choice questions which must be completed in a very short time. These questions can include topics like social sciences, physical or biological sciences, and business-related areas like marketing, economics, and human resource management. The Abstract Aptitude Test is a non-verbal test that uses shapes as test questions. Generally, no specific knowledge of these subject areas is required. Familiarity with the type of test questions will get you a competitive edge.

5. Practice the Psychometric Tests online

Prepare for and practice the Psychometric Tests just like you would for any exam or test. Practicing test questions and training your brain to identify frameworks for solving problems will significantly improve your results. The majority of Psychometric Tests are administered online, therefore it is important that you train or prepare for your Psychometric Test using the same medium as the real tests – online.

6. Find out the type of Psychometric Test questions you need to practice

Not all jobs get the same test questions. The level of difficulty and complexity of Psychometric Test questions changes based on the job you are applying for. A test for a management position is likely to have more difficult questions than that of an entry role. Ensure you are practicing the right type of test questions for your test.

7. Plan your time and set milestones

All Aptitude Tests in the Psychometric Test are timed. On the other hand they are also designed in a way that only 1 – 2% of people who take such a test can actually finish it. Here’s the good news, you don’t have to complete all the test questions to get a perfect score, and easy questions score the same as hard ones. The best strategy is to set milestones and if you don’t know the answer to a question, go on to complete others. If you have time left, you can revisit the harder questions.

8. Use any tools that are allowed

Most Numerical Aptitude Tests will allow the use of a calculator and will advise this upfront. If you haven’t used a calculator for a while, familiarize yourself with the different types of operations well ahead of the test. Brush up on reading tables and graphs as well.

9. Read and increase your English vocabulary

Start reading a broader section of the newspaper or any industry specific information regarding the job you are applying for to increase your vocabulary. It will help you to grasp Verbal Aptitude Test questions quicker, answer them faster and therefore improve your score.

10. Be sure not to trigger a lie or fake good scale in the Personality Test

Most Personality Tests are designed to indicate whether you were consistent in your answers and to what extent you tried to portray yourself in an overly positive manner. It’s fine to make yourself look good. We all do it when we want to get a job. However, ensure that you don’t overdo it as it will cause inconsistency in your answers. Just be yourself and know what set of your strengths you want to highlight.



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How does an employer decide who to hire ?

How does an employer decide who to hire ?

How does an employer decide who to hire ?
How does an employer decide who to hire ?

As a candidate, it can be very helpful to consider  how employers make hiring decisions as you plan your strategy. Employers will draw up a job description early in the process which will incorporate the required and preferred qualifications which they are seeking.

How Does an Employer Decide Which Applicant to Hire?

How does an employer decide who to hire? It starts with a question of  who would be a good candidate for the job? Typically a supervisor will work with an HR professional to make sure both departmental and organizational perspectives and requirements are represented in this document.

> Applicant Screening

In some cases, the hiring manager will arrange a screening committee to review applications, and interview and evaluate candidates.  The hiring manager will usually hold a meeting to review the ideal candidate profile and to charge the committee.

Each member of the screening committee will have their own preferences for qualifications and qualities of the candidate, given how they intersect with the position.  You should find out the composition of the committee, if possible, before your interview and try to anticipate their vested interest in the job.

> Evaluating Candidates

Once interviews are completed, most employers will seek input from all parties who have encountered candidates during the interview process.

Keep in mind that even seemingly lower level employees like administrative assistants who greeted you and set up your interview day may be asked for their impressions. Treat everyone respectfully and be your best professional self at all times, including informal lunches or dinners with prospective colleagues. Of course, it is hard to anticipate what each employer will be looking for as they make final decisions about candidates, but it is useful to consider some common factors.

Selection Criteria Used By Employers

Here are some criteria employers frequently use when they decide which candidate to hire:

Would the individual fit in with the colleagues in their department?

Does the finalist have an appealing personality? Would we enjoy working with her?

Does the candidate possess the skills necessary to excel in the job?

Does the individual have the appropriate depth and type of prior experience?

Does the candidate have the technical proficiency to get the job done?

Does the applicant possess the licenses and/or certificates required for the job?

Does the individual have the knowledge, expertise and information base to effectively carry out the job?

Does the finalist have the required academic background?

Does the candidate have a positive, “can do” attitude?

Does the applicant have a strong work ethic and a high energy level?

Does the candidate have the confidence and experience to be a leader?

Has the applicant proven that they have added value, made improvements and positively impacted the bottom line?

Would the individual be a good team player?

Can the finalist communicate clearly and effectively?

Is the candidate a good long term prospect to fill higher level jobs?

Is the applicant likely to stay in the position for a long enough period? Will she be happy in the role?  Is she overqualified?

Does the individual fit in with the corporate culture?

Can the candidate cope with the pressures and stress of the job?

How enthusiastic is the applicant about the job?

Can the finalist innovate, think outside the box, and creatively meet challenges?

Is the individual aware of their weaknesses, comfortable with constructive criticism and motivated to improve themselves?

How to Enhance Your Chances of Getting Selected

Even though some of the selection process is out of your control, other parts are not. You can use your resumes, cover letters and interviews to make the case as to why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Taking the time to match your qualifications to the job description will up your chances of success. You’ll be able to show why you’re a strong candidate, and make it easier for those who review your application materials and who meet with you to come to a positive decision on your application.

Keep it positive and promote yourself. Employers love upbeat and positive applicants, because they will bring that mindset to the job with them. Even if you are thinking negative thoughts about your past employers, keep them to yourself. Nobody wants to hear them. You don’t want to come across as overbearing or too arrogant, but do clearly promote your qualifications for the job. Share examples of how you succeeded at prior positions to help make the case as to why you’re the best applicant.

Write a thank you note after the interview, reiterating your qualifications for the position and adding anything you wish you had brought up during the interview. It’s one more way to pitch your candidacy for the job.


Before leaving don’t forget to check other useful blogs

Few Tips to manage your body language at interviews

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Benefits Of Doing An Internship

Benefits Of Doing An Internship

In today’s competitive job market, employers are looking for the best of the best. They want you to have a glowing resume, an array of extracurricular hobbies and, on top of that, previous professional experience. But where do you get experience if no one will hire you because they’re looking for someone with experience? The answer to this vicious circle: internships. By doing an  internship, you’ll get all of the personal and cultural perks while simultaneously reaping the professional benefits of doing an internship. Check out  top 8 reasons why an internship is hands down the best way to prepare for your career.

1. You Gain Valuable Industry Knowledge

Every career field operates in a different way and demands a separate set of skills and expertise. Gaining insider knowledge at a firm in your career field will help you realize how to properly prepare yourself for future interviews and for your career. Industry experience will also help you decide whether or not you are in the right field for you.

2. You Get Your Foot In The Door At A Company In Your Field

Spending a few months getting to know a company, the employees and the work expectations will put you in a good position if you ever want to start working for the same firm, or a similar one, in the future. If they liked you and your work, they’ll be more likely to hire you than someone that they haven’t worked with before.

3. You Can Develop Your Professional Skills

University learning can only take you so far. You really only start to sharpen and improve the professional skills related to your career field on the job. As an intern you gain practical and pragmatic experience and learn how to do your job well, rather than simply reading about the theory behind it.

4. You’ve Got Something To Show A Potential Employer Next Time You’re In An Interview

Though academic records and job experience as a university tutor will say a lot about your work ethic and capabilities, employers prefer to choose candidates that have some experience that is relevant to the position they are hiring for. An internship gives you the opportunity to take on tasks that will be expected from you at your future job as well, so at your interview you’ll be able to tell the hiring manager, “Yes – I can handle that. I did it at my internship.”

5. You May Be Recruited To Work Full-Time

An internship is the chance to prove yourself as a hard-working, intelligent and capable professional. If there is an entry-level position available, as an intern you are definitely in a competitive position to be considered for the spot. In fact, the firm will be more comfortable hiring someone who is familiar with how the company is run – like an intern.

6. You’ll Grow Your Network Of Professional Contacts

A major advantage of an internship is that you’re able to network and establish relationships with working professionals in your field. Fostering those professional connections can be useful for anything from career advice to a job recommendation. Moreover, developing a circle of friends within your career field can also end up being a good support group for when you’re feeling frustrated in your career.

7. Your Confidence In Professional Environments Will Improve

Learning office jargon, the art of small talk and the decorum an office environment demands takes time and exposure. Once you learn what’s expected from you in a professional setting, you’ll learn how to relax more at an office and focus more energy on excelling at the work itself.


8. It’s A Low-Commitment Way To Test Out A Job And Career Path

When you accept a position at a firm, you’re generally committing to at least a year working there. An internship, on the other hand, demands much less of a time commitment. That way, if you really don’t like the job, you only have to wait it out a few months – not twelve.



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