We have all heard those words, usually spoken by a hugely energetic (manic?) infomercial presenter. And almost all of us immediately realise what those words are- advertising jargon. They are specifically designed to evoke an emotional response and make you believe that THIS product, and only THIS product, can solve your problem.
That’s the purpose of adverts – to attract your attention and compel you to take action. Let’s say you purchased this product. It’s just about a certainty that it’s not going to live up to the hype generated by the TV spot. In fact, it’s probably going to disappoint. But the advert still did its job – it got you to buy.
My point is that what you see on an advert and what the reality is are often very different. The same is true for Job Postings or adverts for available positions that you see online.
I’m not in any way saying that job postings are as bad as infomercials, but you have to take them with a pinch of salt. Here’s an example: If you are a newly minted graduate, and looking for your first real job- you will almost certainly look online first. On page one, you see this:
“Junior Debt Controller – R 220 000 Negotiable”
You read the job and they are willing to look at grads! Your eyes promptly jump out of your head and turn into “$” signs. R 220 000 is more money than you could have imagined as a student!
This is where you’re in for a disappointment. The likelihood that you, as an entry-level candidate with very little (if any) experience is going to get the maximum advertised salary is at best, a long shot.
Here’s how the process works.
A company or recruitment consultancy finds out about a position. They are given a minimum and maximum salary band, and the minimum and ideal requirements for the job. From this, they are required to write an advert that will call potential candidates to action. Most adverts are placed at the upper ranges of the salary band.
Companies, when making offers, always take into account what you are currently earning. The package calculated will be an increment of your current salary. They also base their offers on the value they feel a candidate will bring to a position.
It is very seldom that someone will get an increase from R 200 000 to R 400 000 just because that is the level the position was advertised at.
The lesson here is that you should not place all your emphasis on the salary when looking for a job, and that the advertised salaries are merely a guideline, not a guarantee.
At the end of the day, you want a job that brings you not only a pay check, but also fulfilment. When you find a job that gives you this fulfilment, your performance will skyrocket- and your increases and bonuses will follow.
You still have a life, use it! As long as you are breathing you can make a difference. Kindness is the only investment that never fails. And wherever there is a human being, there’s an opportunity for kindness. Learn to give, even if it’s just a smile; never underestimate the power of giving.
Something my friend said stuck with me and I want to share it with you.
She said, “There has to be more to life than waking up every morning and dragging myself to the office to a job I loathe more than I love to then drag myself home in traffic to cook or because I’m so tired to cook, to then spend my hard earned money on eating out. And then I wake up the next day and do it all over again and again.”
She said, “Why do I do it? There has to be more to life than this.”
Is this how you feel?
Do you fall into the group of people who think it is ok to hate your job? That it’s normal! And that the amount of people who like their jobs are few and far between. And of course there is more to life, but that you need to stop seeing your jobs as the be all and end all, but rather as only being a means to an end – that work should only be a means to fund what you do when you are not there.
Is this how you feel?
Or do you fall into the group of people who actually quite enjoy their jobs? Maybe you like the people, the company, the values, the stimulation, the challenges it provides, or maybe your job makes you feel like you have a purpose. And yes you have bad days when you wish you were on a beach drinking cocktails or in Italy eating fresh pasta or at home in bed, but for the most part you enjoy what you do.
Which group do you fall into? Once you have thought about it then ask yourself which group you want to be in?
I am and hope to always be someone who really enjoys my job, who wakes up every morning with a love for what I do and a sense of purpose. DAV gives me this. You can have this too. You just need to find it.
I feel this way because the DAV team is inspired by making a real difference to the lives of our candidates and by growing our clients’ competitive advantage. We see our future as one of on going contribution to South Africa’s growth, success and well-being. This is what keeps me motivated.
I chose DAV. They helped me find this job and I have been here ever since, 4 years and loving it.
This can be you too if you want it. If you want to love your job and enjoy waking up in the morning – make it happen.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Nope you are not caught in the middle of a battlefield. This is the sound of your heart beating frantically. Then all of a sudden you feel the heat creeping up, it starts at the base of your neck and makes its way up your face, like some meandering Tsunami wave of redness. Nope you are not having an allergic reaction either. Your hands become clammy and wham, just like that you are seeing your promising career flash before your eyes! Yip, you have made a mistake and not just any mistake but a mistake at work. This may lead to a number of reactions, from playing the blame game to hiding it and hoping and praying that nobody finds out.
In essence, we are part of the human race, the specie that invented mistakes (and not taking accountability for it) and to “err is human” but let’s be honest, it is one thing making a mistake in your personal life where you can simply make good with that person but making that mistake at work means that there is a lot more at stake, we can land up jeopardising our professional reputation and if you live in Cape Town where everyone knows everyone, this is not a good thing. So what do you do if you mess up big-time at work? Here are some golden tips for bouncing back quickly:
Step Back and Breathe:
Take a moment to start thinking like a normal person again. This is essential. It can be real easy to get worked up over the mistake and make it worse that it actually is. The main thing to remember is that it does nobody any good to start internalising the self-hate when we make mistakes. We need to keep in mind that we are human and it is how we handle it that is going to distinguish us from those that don’t handle the situation quite as well. Now, all together now – breathe!! Before taking action, assess the situation and take a moment to clear your head. Even if the problem is big, being overly stressed or anxious impedes your ability to think clearly and bounce back quickly.
Own Up to It:
Don’t be an Ostrich! Why an ostrich you ask? Well an ostrich likes to hide his head in the sand and by pretending that the mistake didn’t happen is just going to aggravate the situation – and the person who has discovered your mistake. Hiding your mistake will only lead to more problems, ones that might not be as forgivable as the original mistake.
If you have messed up at work, address the situation immediately. Don’t mask it or sugar-coat it, either. Let your boss, manager, or co-worker know what has happened as soon as possible to work on a solution ultimately minimising any damage that you mistake might have caused.
Avoid Misplaced Blame:
I believe that blame is the route of all evil. In my mind, there is nothing more spineless than trying to place the blame on someone else or something else. I think it says much more about one’s character when you have the guts to say – “It was me”. Often it is the strength of character that might be the factor that “saves” your from further ridicule.
Put aside any urges to place the blame on others where it isn’t due. Once again this will only worsen the situation, and can lead to not only your boss feeling frustrated but you will also have a less than happy co-worker who will never trust you again. This really doesn’t make for a comfortable scenario at work. Think very carefully about blaming others as no good can ever transpire
There is no time like the present can not be truer in this scenario. Like a pressure cooker pot (I don’t know if you remember these, but my mom had one of these and they were quite freaky as a kid) you would simmer your food in this pot for a couple of hours, allowing pressure to gradually build up and if that pressure doesn’t eventually get released your stew will no longer be in the pot but all over the roof because it will explode! KABOOM!!! It is the same thing with a mistake that is slowly brewing. Own up to your mistakes sooner than later if you want continued trust from your higher-ups and fellow employees.
As Elton John so rightly put it – “sorry is one of the hardest words” but once you have worked up the courage to use this word it can really change the outcome of any scenario. When making a mistake, it will make sense to approach it with similar words to this – “I’m sorry this happened. I completely accept responsibility for it, but I may need some help to come to a solution. Can we perhaps talk about this over a meeting?” As much as an apology does make things better, it isn’t necessary to over apologise as the word then looses its meaning and its effectiveness.
Offer a Solution:
Coming up with a solution means being proactive. I remember in Standard 9 (Grade 11 for the younger ones) I was part of the Matric Farewell Committee and the teacher heading up this Committee was a teacher who demanded respect – if you catch my drift. However, she had a famous line when we ran into problems setting up the Matric Dance – “I don’t want to hear problems, I want solutions” – apt advice which I still adhere to. The same goes for this situation. You need to offer a few solutions to your boss, manager or co-worker but at the same time you need to be open to their feedback too! If you’ve gotten yourself into the mess, you need to help get yourself out of the mess.
Remember, work mistakes are not the end of the world but it does require your input to help rectify the mistake.
Making mistakes is part of the learning process so don’t always fear the worst. Nobody is perfect but with the right guidance and support you will definitely try to prevent that mistake from re-occurring and at the same time by taking ownership of your mistake not only serves as a testimony to your character but also will gain the respect of those around you.
Now how many stories do you know about recruiters? I’m sure there’s contrasts in facts vs. here say. I’m sure most of you know a story somewhere along the lines of, they didn’t do anything for me, they’re only interested in their commission…heartless people by the sounds of things. In truth recruiters are also human beings, trying to do their best at their chosen trade as any other individuals, and just like the general population, there are some that are really good at what they do, and some that aren’t as good, but try.
Recruiting is a highly involved people orientated business, as with any relationship orientated service, a difference will be experienced (or perceived) in quality of service, professionalism and courtesy (more…)
As a professional, if you haven’t heard of LinkedIn – which rock have you been living under? LinkedIn is the ‘Facebook for professionals’ – a social network connecting businesspeople in similar industries and positions, as well as candidates and potential employers.
LinkedIn, like all technology, can be a superb tool for employers and candidates alike – but only if you know how to make it work for you. As a recruiter (or potential employer) – a completed and classy LinkedIn profile is as valuable, if not more, than a cv. We can easily see your career progression, highlights, recommendations and it gives us a snapshot into your career. So its rather important to make sure your profile ‘sells’ you effectively. (more…)
In today’s electronic working world, you probably get overwhelmed when trying to keep your inbox under control. This communication tool was supposed to make our lives simpler but research shows that today, it can waste up to 3 hours a day!
If your email inbox is out of control, you might want to rethink your methods for organising your email and emptying your inbox. Clearing out your clutter can help you gain more control, improve your response time, and keep up with critical actions and due dates.
Being in recruitment, I receive hundreds of emails a day, literally, today I opened up my inbox to 340 unread emails. Most of your day can fall into responding to incoming messages, being reactive as opposed to proactive work. Sometimes you may miss important emails. (more…)
If you are well qualified, have great experience in your specific industry, a targeted CV and you’re interviewing for jobs, but always coming up second best, it’s possible that you are bumping up against the elusive category: likability.
Liability – also known in the industry as “cultural fit,” is one of the major reasons candidates don’t make the final cut – the client either doesn’t like them or doesn’t believe they would mesh well with current employees or team structure.
If you go on job interviews and never receive specific feedback as to why you have been unsuccessful, again it’s possible that you are bumping up against that elusive category: likability.
One of the reasons that most clients don’t provide specific feedback to a second-place candidate is because it’s difficult to explain why someone doesn’t fit in. An employer can find themselves in legal hot water for explaining that someone didn’t get hired because the team just didn’t like the candidate and couldn’t imagine spending a lot of time together. (more…)
I am one of those control freaks that like to know exactly where I stand with my day whether it is from a personal perspective (this was taken to the extreme when planning my wedding) or in the working context and that is why I like drawing up lists, not just any list but the dreaded To-Do List! Now, I know that most of us do this and I also know that this to-do list could give Rapunzel a run for her money as it grows longer and longer and longer by the second eventually resulting in you having a panic attack at the very thought of getting round to crushing the list.
At the same time, there are some that might feel that the growing to-do list isn’t too worrying but in fact there are three main reasons why you should be focusing on killing that to-do list.
1. Looking backward doesn’t move you forward
To-do lists are mostly made up of unfinished work from yesterday and that does nothing but deaden your exciting, radical, fun thinking about tomorrow. When you get home at night, you are already unconsciously stressing about all the work still outstanding from that day let alone what might land up on your desk the following day. This keeps you anchored in the past. There is no opportunity to give a sigh of relief and say wow; tomorrow is going to be great because my desk is clear.
2. Your mind doesn’t stop thinking
I alluded to this in the previous one where you just don’t stop thinking about the work you still have to complete. This constant thinking can only lead to unproductiveness and ultimately tire you out.
3. Not doing equals failure
So you haven’t completed the to-do list again, immediately you feel like you have failed yourself. I know personally when I haven’t done all I set out to do that day, I really begin to think that I am not living up to expectations
So how do we get past this, and kill the to-do list. Below are a couple great tips that will help you plan a more productive day and allow you to reign in those annoying to-do lists:
To-do lists are ultimately what gives one a sense of control in a world full of chaos. When you put a solid line through something you have completed, there is that small surge of accomplishment that propels you forward to the next task. So feel free to put together those to-do lists but remember to manage them correctly and don’t give them the opportunity to take on a life of their own.
Now, I have written my blog – tick! One thing off the list, time to move on to the next…