Why you need to flirt with new jobs
Job loyalty is important. But it’s also important to see what else is out there.
Sure, familiarity and comfort are great—but what if your perfect dream job was just around the corner? Wouldn’t you like to keep an eye out... just in case?
After all, flirting is not the same as “betraying” your current employer. You’re just getting friendly with new possibilities, and there’s no harm in that!
Not convinced? Here are some more reasons why job flirting is good for your career.
New ideas fire up new relationships. Staying in touch with what’s happening in the job market can give you a fresh perspective on your work situation and role.
Like a mysterious stranger, an attractive job advert can prompt new ideas or lead you on a different path. Nothing may come of the meeting. You may never see the ad again. But you can return to your current job with new demands and opinions. Maybe you ask your boss for training in SEO? Or suggest a salary increase?
You can use job flirting to think about what you really want from your career, and to get ideas on how this could be achieved with your current employer.
You don’t want to miss the one. Some job ideas, like some romances, will only last the season. Then there are those that linger, that make your heart race; that make you think “yep, this is the one!”
But in order to find this dream job you need to be looking. Maybe not every day. Maybe not even every week. The idea is simply to stay connected in case that Mr or Mrs Right appears.
After all, how can you be sure you’re in the right job, if you don’t know what else is on offer?
By job flirting, you can think about your dream job and paint a much clearer picture of what it is you want. When that magic job does come along, you’ll know at once it’s meant to be!
Opportunity comes to those who flirt. Career opportunities come by putting yourself out there - or at least halfway out there. Job flirting is this happy medium.
And given how quickly industries are changing, it’s only smart to be a little flirtatious.
Job flirting helps you to pick up on career trends and better prepare yourself for any major shifts. You might notice there is a growing demand for digital strategists for instance, or perhaps you’ll stumble across an interesting and relevant job title you’ve never heard of?
Staying connected gives you an advantage over your peers and means you’ll be ready to jump when a better offer comes your way.
So, what’s the best way to job flirt?
Mpower lets you flirt with new possibilities without harming your current work situation.
You create a profile, list your experience and let potential employers contact you about possible career opportunities. It’s up to you whether you respond.
6 expert tips for being an effective communicator
Want to be ahead at any game – from interviewing to prospering in your current job role? Polish your communication skills and reap the rewards.
If you’ve ever observed the folk that do well at work, can work a party and leave with a stack of new friends, or perhaps get top shelf service wherever they go, you’ll notice many have one thing in common – expert communication skills.
Effective communication is about two things, imparting your message in a way that gets you what you want and listening in a way that you truly ‘hear’ what the other person is saying, explains executive coach Shane Warren.
Effective communication is about two things, imparting your message in a way that gets you what you want and listening in a way that you truly ‘hear’ what the other person is saying, explains executive coach Shane Warren.
Here’s his top six tips to help sharpen your communication skills.
1. Be succinct
Whether you’re communicating in person or over email, keep your request or message simple and to the point. Avoid information not relevant to the discussion that can confuse the person listening, or bore them to the point they lose concentration and stop hearing you.
It’s important to not mistake being succinct for being blunt or abrupt, while your communication should be concise but it should also always be friendly. A great way to pressure test whether you’re being succinct is to ask yourself if what you are about to say is useful to the conversation at hand.
2. Be specific
While waffle stands in the way of making your point, do ensure you put across all the information a person needs. If, for example, you have a deadline in mind, state it. If you have ideas you’d like to see in the final product, don’t assume the other person will guess. Always articulate all of the relevant information if you want to ensure that your message is clear and correctly heard.
3. Be pleasant and approachable
Take care to maintain eye contact, a relaxed body and a smile – and ensure your tone conveys approachability (if you’re not sure, practice with friends, or note how people you consider conversational wizards sound). These things not only make the person you are talking to more likely to want to help you, it also makes them more likely to ask questions if they need to clarify any part of your request – so you’ll get their best work first up!
4. Listen actively
Effective communicators know conversation is a two-way street. Active listening means giving the person you are talking to your undivided attention. It also means giving cues you are paying attention, such as nodding as they make a point. When you have heard what they are saying, you can clarify and consolidate what they are saying by paraphrasing back to them, or asking questions to clarify anything you may not understand.
5. Observe others who are good at communication - then copy them
Feel like you’re on the back foot when it comes to effective communication? Warren recommends watching TED Talks – their speakers are highly skilled at engaging an audience on any topic. “While watching, ask yourself ‘what do I like about the way they are speaking or presenting?’ Then start to include such strategies in how you speak,” he says. In contrast, if you find yourself conversing with someone who is not particularly engaging, observe what doesn’t work – nothing shows you just how ineffective mumbling, looking around the room, repeating yourself or sharing too much irrelevant information is quite like experiencing it yourself!
6. Always enter a conversation with two things clear in your mind
Before you even open your mouth, or put finger to keyboard, ensure you know what it is you wish to say; and secondly, that you’re expressing it in an appropriate manner. This means using words, tones, and asking questions that will not rattle you and will not make the other person feel awkward.
Effective communication skills are often the difference between hovering on the ground floor and stepping your career up to a leadership level. Use every conversation as an opportunity to sharpen your skills – and try these out one at a time if you’re nervous about changing your style.
Recruiters reveal: Top 5 in demand skills and why
As the workforce continues to evolve, employers are placing a premium on people with skills that will help secure their success in the future. But, what exactly are they looking for?
We spoke to some of Australia’s leading recruiters to reveal the five skills in high demand and how you can show that you have exactly what employers are looking for.
In a fast-changing work environment, no one can afford to stand still. Technology is evolving, industries are shifting, and new market trends require a quick response. Employers value candidates who can demonstrate an ability to adapt to these changes.
“Employers want their people to be able to pivot to a new role or area of responsibility as things change and to upskill to remain on top of new trends relevant to their job function or industry,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.
How to show your adaptability
Deligiannis says the best way to demonstrate your adaptability is by citing examples from previous roles. This may include recent courses you have undertaken to broaden your skill set, or instances when you have adapted to new technology or new client expectations. “Using examples allows you to prove your skills while clearly demonstrating to the interviewer how you could add value to their team or department,” says Deligiannis.
2. Analytical thinking
Data is widely regarded as the ‘new gold’ due to the wealth of insights it can reveal. It is helping to drive business decisions across almost every industry, and while technology can crunch the numbers, it takes humans to analyse it and extracts its value.
“Analytical thinking has become a highly sought-after skill,” says Mike Dickson, Director NSW at Six Degrees Executive. “As every function seeks to operate more efficiently and to drive return on investment, the ability to analyse enables informed decision making.”
How to demonstrate analytical thinking
Dickson says potential employers expect evidence of your analytical skills. “Bring it to life with real examples that show the impact you have made with these skills,” he says.
Dickson suggest structuring your examples by using the ‘STAR’ story framework, which stands for Situation (to set the context for your story), Task (what was required of you), Activity (what you actually did) and Result (what was achieved).
“Too often, candidates want to talk about the result, which is meaningless without the situation or the actions they undertook,” says Dickson.
3. A proactive approach
In an era of automation, inherently ‘human’ skills are in hot demand. While robots need to be programmed, humans can take their own initiative, and proactivity is now a highly sought-after skill.
Qamran Somjee, Practice Leader of Digital, Projects & Technology, Davidson Technology, says a proactive approach is required as more organisations become more ‘agile’- able to move quickly and easily.
“In order to be agile, companies need less leader-led employees and are looking for staff who are proactive enough to contribute ideas and resilient enough to accept the team’s feedback, even when it is negative.,” he explains.
How to demonstrate a proactive approach
To demonstrate this skill, Somjee suggests creating a narrative in your resume that explains how goals have been achieved. “During an interview, I also advise people to answer questions by first describing the environment they have come from, succinctly describing challenges and letting the interviewer understand how they strived to achieve their goals.”
Thanks to digital technologies, consumers of today are empowered by unprecedented access to information and are seeking swift, seamless, personalised service. As a result, more organisations are adopting a human-centred design methodology to ensure the customer is at the centre of business processes, products and services.
How to demonstrate empathy
Natalie Firth, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Think Talent, says employers are seeking candidates who are empathetic to customer needs. “Empathy is becoming more valued in the workplace. Candidates should stress that they always consider the customer’s perspective. They should also list ‘empathy’ as a skill in their resume and explain how it has helped them in their career.”
The pace of workplace change can present challenges and employers value candidates who demonstrate resilience.
“The requirements of today’s workplace are more intense than ever before,” says Andrea McDonald, Director of u&u Recruitment Partners. “Due to the rise in technology, employees are rarely ‘off’, so the ability to manage that pressure and work effectively is essential.”
McDonald adds that with rapid change comes the need to experiment with new directions. “In an environment where you’re constantly experimenting, you have to be comfortable with failure and able to get back up again. This is why resilience is so important.”
How to demonstrate resilience
To highlight your resilience, McDonald suggests describing how you have effectively managed significant change in the workplace – what was the outcome and how was it achieved? “If it is suitable, bold key words in your examples so that they really stand out,” she says.
While the workplace of tomorrow will look very different to that of today, if you can demonstrate that you have these five sought-after skills, your future looks bright.
10 steps to changing your career goals
Each year many of us attempt to take on new personal challenges such as improving our health or kicking a bad habit, but have you thought about setting new career goals? After all, we spend most of our lives making a living, so shouldn’t our work be one of the most fulfilling things we do?
There are constant changes unfolding in our work environments and personal lives, so it’s important to reassess our goals and set new ones with measured outcomes. Here’s our 10-step guide to realising those career goals.
Step 1. Self-reflect
Setting any kind of goal starts with self-reflection, so take some time to think about the past year and what you’ve achieved. Career coach Kerina Alter says that self-reflection can also be done through conversation with someone you respect or a qualified career coach.
Step 2. Know your values
To set lasting career goals, you need to know what’s important to you in life. When you align your goals with your values, you’ll be more likely to achieve them because of the enjoyment and meaning attached to them.
Step 3. Dream big
You won’t be able to achieve great things if you don’t have the vision to launch from. Alter advises, “Dream big without evaluating or talking yourself out of it. It's ok to be ambitious. Imagine what you can achieve!”
Step 4. Understand the purpose
The chances that you’ll commit to your goal in the long-term are more likely if you can understand the meaning and purpose for setting the goal in the first place. Identify your motivation by asking yourself, “why is it important to achieve this goal?” and “why now?”
Step 5. Break it down
So it doesn’t become overwhelming, Alter says, “Have a big picture, but more importantly, have a small picture.” Break the goal down into bite-sized portions to nut out what is actually required for each part. Prioritise what might be done first for best results, and continue from there.
Step 6. Express it
The more you talk about your goals or intended actions, the more “real” they’ll become, and the more committed you’ll feel towards them. Write them down, tell people about your plans, and set yourself regular calendar reminders to keep you inspired and on track.
Step 7. Define your actions
Now it’s time to consider what steps you’ll take to start the process. Writing out a plan or to-do list will spur you even closer to achieving your goals. Some examples include enquiring about a course online or reviewing where you can save money so you can buy new software.
Step 8. Create a risk plan
Think about any obstacles that can get in the way of you achieving your goals, and how you can best set yourself up for success. “You may have to be flexible and change tracks as your circumstances change, but that’s not a reason to give up or label the whole exercise as a failure,” says Alter.
Step 9. Set a time frame
Make your action plan even more tangible by setting a timeframe. Most people work productively when they’re striving towards a deadline, so consider how long each action will take to achieve and set a date next to them.
Step 10. Assess and reward
When you’ve fulfilled an action or goal, reward yourself – it’ll act as a motivator. “Some goals or actions will be harder to achieve than others, so change the reward accordingly,” says Alter. “Rewards must occur as soon as possible after achieving a goal.”
Like with most things in life, preparation is key to achieving your career goals. With the right considerations, research and planning, there’s every reason your big dreams can become your reality.
4 conversations good leaders have with their teams regularly
In the modern workplace, there is no shortage of communication lines between a leader and their team. Whether it’s via email, phone, instant messaging or passing conversations, for most, the contact is constant. But how often are you actually sitting down to have a proper conversation?
Those in leadership positions should be meeting with your staff individually on a regular basis. This helps to ensure that there are open lines of communication around morale, performance and where support is needed.
Here are four questions good leaders ask to kick off important conversations with their team members
Are you being challenged, recognized and trained enough?
It’s crucial for leaders to check in regularly with their staff, this helps to ensure that conversations with their boss aren’t viewed as things that only occur when something is wrong. Career coach Nicole Grainger-Marsh explains, “If you have high-performers who feel bored, unchallenged and undervalued, it won’t be long until they’re looking for greener pastures. For this reason, it’s essential to be having these kinds of conversations with your staff on a regular basis.”
Don’t just make meetings about task reviews. “Make sure that you schedule one-to-ones with your team members, and that this time is used not only for the review of tasks and activities, but to openly discuss how they are feeling about their workload, their aspirations, development areas and so on. And of course, it’s about providing constructive feedback and recognition so that they’re clear on what they’re doing well (and should be doing more of), and where they need to be looking at development.”
What are your strengths, and are you utilizing them?
If you’re not already aware of your staff members’ strengths, it’s important to learn about them, so that you can ensure they’re being utilised. That way they’ll remain challenged and engaged with their work.
“Again, these sorts of conversations should be had regularly, not just at performance review time,” Grainger-Marsh says. “A great way to support your staff in recognising strengths is to use a technique called ‘feed forward’. When discussing progress on their work, ask them to tell you what is working well and what they think they have done well. Then have a coaching conversation to enable them to identify how they can apply these strengths in new situations.”
What do you need in order to grow?
You can’t expect your staff members to give the job their all if they don’t feel like there is any possibility for career development. But if your staff are able to grow in their job and work towards their goals they will be much more likely to give it their all. That’s why you should find out how they would like their role to evolve, and how you could assist with this.
“When defining performance goals and KPIs for your staff, it’s important that you also work together to define development and career goals,” Grainger-Marsh says. “Spend some time defining what they want to achieve in their career over the next 12 and 24 months. Establish a clear goal and agree to the development areas that they need to focus on to achieve the goal. Beyond this, consider how you and the business could support this, whether it’s through job shadowing, on-the-job training, taking on new projects or external training courses.”
Are there any issues that need addressing?
Whether they’re related to work, processes, colleagues, or the individual themselves, any issues should be addressed early at regular check-in meetings. This way you can help stop small problems from becoming bigger ones.
“As a leader, you are certainly busy, but you can’t afford not to take the time to do this, Grainger-Marsh explains. “These meetings, even if only once a month, need to have an agenda that includes not only a task review, but time to discuss and openly address any issues. If staff feel this time is carved out for them, it often prevents frustrations building and difficulties arising.”
Be direct: ask your staff what they need from you. “Making sure that you are clear on your staff’s needs, as their leader, will mean that you will be able to better motivate, inspire and lead your team to success.”
Having clear lines of communication that are open to your staff via regular meetings ensures that everyone is on the same page, and your workplace will be healthier and happier as a result.
Tips for getting your foot in the door
Applying for advertised positions is an effective means of snagging your ideal job – but it isn’t the only way to get your foot in the door.
Sometimes giving a prospective employer a taste of your talents can be all you need to bypass the standard application process and fast track your dream career.
Intern and work experience
Work experience can be particularly useful for graduates and those looking to make a career transition into
So What Is It That Differentiates Some Candidates From Others When Final Shortlists Are So Competitive? The Answer To Some Extent Lies In The Interview Stage. Here Are Some Key Findings Why Some Candidates With Impeccable Credentials Can Still Fail To Impress At The Employer Interview:-
Based On Recent Research, The Average Tenure Of A Middle Eastern Professional At A Job Is5.2 Years, And You Should Know That Signing A Job Offer Letter Without Scrutinizing Each And Every Detail Entailed Is Not A Wise Move. A Few Pointers From The Career Experts On How To Evaluate Your Job Offer:
“What Is Your Salary Expectation?”
Although A Great Opportunity And Valuable Experience Is What A True Professional Looks For, A Fair Compensation Is A Must. In Answering A Question About Your Salary Expectation, Don’t Make An Irreversible Mistake By Quoting A Number Without Knowing What The Interviewer Has In Mind. Try To Give A Diplomatic Answer And Throw The Ball Back Into The Interviewer’s Court By Saying That You Would Like To Know More About The Job Responsibilities And The Type Of Benefits That The Company Usually Offers To A Person With The Same Career And Educational Profile As Yours.
If The Interviewer Is Still Persistent On Extracting A Salary Range From You Then Answer In The Form Of A Salary Range Based On What You Were Previously Earning, What People In That Job Position Generally Receive. You Can Find This Information Going Through Salary Portals In Knowing What Your Education And Experience Is Worth.
“What Was Your Salary In Your Previous Job?
Try Not To Give A Quick Answer On This One. Try To Argue That It Is Not Fair To Make A Comparison Of What You Were Previously Making To What Your Expectation Is Because The Salary Structure In Your Former Company Was Very Different And The Position That You Have Applied For Entails Job Functions That You Did Not Handle In Your Previous Job Role. Try To Make The Interviewer Drop Hints About The Package They Are Offering.
“How Would You Feel About Settling For A Lower Pay Than What You Were Getting In Your Last Job?
Don’t Get Uneasy As Soon As You Hear The Words “Less Pay”, Talk About How Salary Isn’t The Only Aspect Of A Job That Attracts You And That You Are Open To Options But It Depends On What Those Other Factors Are That Make The Job So Appealing That You Will Be Ready To Forgo The Salary. If The Job Is Less Stressful, Offers More Flexibility And Higher Career Development And Growth Then It Is Probably Worth A Thought. However, In Answering The Question Do Establish Your Minimum Range And Then Ask Them For More Details About The Job And The Compensation Package.