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November 23, 2020
CATEGORY: Career Development

Late bloomers refer to people who succeeded later in their lives. Usually, we attribute success to those who started early right after graduation. But studies, surveys and real-life examples showed that you can succeed even later in life. Whether you’re a college drop-out or a failure in your career, you can still bloom and enjoy the fruits of your rewards. Don’t give in to what others say and start being successful even in your middle or later age. Here we laid our tips. Is being a late bloomer a bad thing? There’s nothing wrong being a late bloomer as everyone has different life stages, path, strategies, education and opportunities.    What causes others to become late bloomers Lack of employment opportunities Career changes Economic hardship in childhood days Economic misfortunes Unpreparedness in choosing courses in college and university How to set yourself for success as a late bloomer. 1. Stop comparing  It’s easy to see other people’s lives and compare yourself to them. Once you open Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts, you’ll feel a feeling of guilt which may make you blame yourself or others. You also rob an opportunity to celebrate what you accomplished. You may feel jealousy when you’re around others who did amazing things. Comparing yourself to others is problematic because you’re pitting yourself against others and ignoring the fact that every human is unique. We have different upbringings, fortunes, environment, physical health, mental health and other variables in life that we may have no control over with. According to Melissa Ducan, a psychotherapist, “You can’t compare success as much as you can’t compare the suffering”. While comparing yourself to others is a negative thing (as all or most careers and life advice prove that), the feeling of being a complete jerk when you hear about it has its roots in our brain. Feeling a little jealousy doesn’t mean you’re a complete grunting monster - it’s just you’re a human. It means it’s a natural human emotion. According to LiveScience, comparing yourself to others is normal. The website article described the brain region called area 9 that is responsible for the “self-other emergence”. The said area covers the frontal lobe and plays a role in gauging or comparing a person’s performance against others. A study published in the Neuron journal on July 20, 2016 said people automatically compare their own experiences and performance with other persons. For more info, visit this detailed scientific article. How to stop comparing yourself to others Limit social media exposure - Whether you like it or not, it’s difficult to get out the cycle of comparison when you stumble upon others' photos. Be happy with your accomplishments - Surely, you have accomplishments whether they are small or not. 2. Be ready for your Plan B When you feel stuck in your current career or job and you want to quit in the future (next month or year), you should have a clear idea of plan B. Such plan B can be anything that will serve as your new direction or path towards your dream, goal, ideal job or career. You must have a clear understanding of the risks and investments that you may meet in undertaking the Plan B that may include: Taking a new college course  Switching to a new job Training for a new skill Opening a new business  Getting a new opportunity to immigrate into an affluent country 3. Acknowledge that you can use your transferable skills Even if you venture into a total career change such as from a graphic designer to a phlebotomist, you can still use skills and experiences you gained from your previous jobs. Transferable skills consist of soft and hard skills. Transferable soft skills Empathy Leadership Writing Oral communication Negotiation Listening  Transferrable hard skills Using Microsoft office suite - MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint Google docs 4. Study another course Get another degree or start another course. By enrolling in a university or college, you can get a fresh start and let you get an opportunity. If you have been underemployed for years, or a graduate of 2 years of college, getting another degree improves your chances of higher pay, promotion and upskilling. 3 ways of studying later in life Studying a short-term course (offline or online) Studying a new 4-year course or degree Studying a master or doctorate degree. 5. Get inspired by these people who found their successes later in life Ramil Comendador (Filipino Janitor turned lawyer) - Aged 35 at the time of news - May 5, 2017, that reported his success in the bar exam. Soichiro Honda (Japanese businessman and mechanic) - At age 88, he and his company made it to the hall of fame. Taikichiro Mori (Japanese real estate tycoon) - At age 55, he started as a real estate developer. Susan Boyle (British singer) - She made it to the show “British got talent” at age 47. Jessie Savilla (Filipino lawyer) - At age 60, he became a lawyer. Harry Bernstein (British-born American Writer) - At his age 96, he published his book - The Invisible: A Love Story That Broke Barriers.

November 19, 2020
CATEGORY: Career Hacks

Unemployment is a serious situation and must be addressed with empathy. Most unemployed people are in their situation not because they choose to laze around but because of bankruptcy, changes in the economy, and career changes. It’s admirable that you’re there for your friend, relative or someone else but there are things (negativity and sarcasm) that aren’t OK. You got a lot of free time This implies that your friend is just loitering around and not doing anything. What if he/she’s actively looking for a job, revising resume and attending interviews? Unemployment isn't one big holiday when you’re waiting for blessings. It can be boring and unsettling.    Just take any offer Advising your friend to take any job is not only insensitive but ignores his/her experience and skills background. Saying to your friend to not be selective in his/her search for a job and just take any role or salary offer means a complete lack of understanding of the person’s situation and the living wage standards. What if that offer is below the minimum wage or a peanut salary that’s inadequate to cover daily living expenses, will you take it?  Not all offers are equal even in the same position because it depends on the company size, position, geographical location and skills. This advice would only apply if you’re in an emergency such as when you’re in other countries looking for immediate jobs just to get a visa, avoid deportation or visa penalties and if the applicant has few qualifications.   You’re lucky, you aren’t dealing with stress in our work Stress depends on the type of work but it can be equally or more stressful if you’re worrying where to get money to pay water, electricity and rental bills. It’s more worrying in an unemployed situation because you have to deal with the unemployment social stigma such as being weak-willed and lazy.   Maybe you’re not doing well because it takes you so long to find a job Everyone experienced unique circumstances in job hunting. Different situations involve applying in different company types, facing job competition, coping with costs of job hunting, and using current skills. Saying such in a diatribe form can demean a person. The main reason that can prolong a job search is when a person deliberately prolongs job hunting because of laziness and unwillingness. Factors that prolong job hunting include the following:  – Supply and demand for the skills needed for the specific job – The geographical location of the company and the job seeker – Mismatched skills and experiences to the requirements of the position – Readiness - polished resume, company research, and grooming   My friend is in this situation and he/she did this … maybe you should try this While it can be a good advice, your friend’s situation is likely different from his/hers. Saying this to a friend may backfire as it may discourage your unemployed friend. Your more successful friend’s situation is different because of the location, educational level, skills set and network.   How long have you been job searching? This question may imply a sarcastic meaning depending on the context and situation. If your friend is new in the job search, this question needs a simple answer. But if it’s sarcastic then it can mean judging the person’s ability to find a job.   The Bottomline A situation that warrants blaming an unemployed person is if he or she doesn’t help themselves or willingly refuse to find a job despite having the capacity, resources and skill to find a job. Helping your unemployed friend or someone looking for a job needs lending a serious helping hand with a touch of empathy. Understand that unemployment is temporary and life is like a wheel. Sooner or later, it always comes around to where you started again (a quote by Stephen King).

November 16, 2020
CATEGORY: Career Development

Selecting a new career is akin to choosing a new role, a new life and habits. A career change is like the path for your new life. Your career choice will eventually shape your life direction. Often, you’ll ask these questions: What career or job should I pursue? What will be my next goal? What college course should I take? Reasons for changing careers To relocate To upskill You hit a ceiling (means there’s no room for improvement in your organisation which is beyond your control). A bad economy/pandemic/endemic hit your industry or field. You are underemployed for more than a year. You resigned. You’re bored. You need bigger income. You feel that you’re not challenged. A new career or job? Although the word “career” and “job” are used interchangeably, they are different. Here’s a comparison. Career A lifetime commitment. A lifetime of jobs that are related and unrelated. Job Specific work to earn money. Can be short-term or long-term.   Steps on how to choose a career 1. Find out your motivations Your motivations can be your inner calling or inner voice that tells you to do something. For example, you believe that you can do more to end the suffering of people from hunger and poverty. So you decided to join a relief organisation.  You can ask yourself with these questions: Do I need to change my career or I just need a new job? What are the reasons why you’re leaving your job? What is your ideal workplace and experience? What is your dream? What and where do I like to be after 2 or 5 years? List all the things you want out of your next career or job. Here is a list of situations you want to change vs your ideal situations. Situations you want to change My job calls for a rigid schedule. My job is located in a faraway place. My job is uninteresting and boring. My job is full of office politics. I can’t get a promotion in this job. Your ideal situations I want a job that has flexible hours. I want a job that is near my residence. I want a job that is exciting and balanced. I want a job that offers career advancement. Ask yourself with these questions What are the things you’re good at? What are the tasks that are easy for you but others struggle with? What is your ideal team? What is your ideal workplace? What is your ideal relationship with a manager or another superior? What do other people say that you’re good at something? Where is your ideal workplace? Home, office or both? Do you want to work in a field or office or both? What type of work do you find interesting? 2. List career and job possibilities for your job List all the possible opportunities for your next career and job. You could brainstorm specific jobs for each corresponding education or training background. Here you can differentiate what is a change in a career vs change in job. A change in career A call centre agent quits his/her job and enrolls in an engineering course. A change in job A call centre agent quits his/her job and applies in another call centre company for reasons such as higher salary, career opportunities, and change in residence. Career possibilities of a career change Train for a new high paying job Answer a personal calling Helps you get out of your comfort zone Find new opportunities if you’re stuck in your current situation or job that offers no further career growth Make your peace of mind Increase your network Learn new skills/more skills Enhance your skills Avoid long-term unemployment Avoid long-term underemployment Avoid jobs that are threatened by advances in technology. Survive in the face of massive unemployment caused by the pandemic (COVID-19) Questions to ask when listing possibilities What job do you find interesting? (a challenging, low-stress, fun, flexible, more career-growth) Do you want a career that involves helping others? What career or job that can match your lifestyle? 3. Research resources on a career change The internet is a vast resource of career advice and tips on changing careers. You can also research ebooks online. 4. Research the economic demand of the industry While you can choose any career regardless of its demand, thinking about the economic standing of a specific career or job can help you avoid the risk of being underemployed.  5. Future proof your career Some jobs (especially those menial and require low-level cognitive skills) are vulnerable to automation and information technology. Invest in a career that needs higher thinking skills that can’t be easily replaced by improvements in tech. The loss of some jobs due to tech will result in the creation of new roles.

November 13, 2020
CATEGORY: Career Hacks

Knowing the difference between essential and non-essential services can help you cope with the ongoing pandemic lockdown. Since the imposition of ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, some businesses closed while others remained open. Why do you need to know essential vs non-essential? Understand community quarantine rules. Find more flexible jobs. What are Essential and Non-essential products and services Essential or critical goods and services refer to the end-products and activities required or necessary for the minimum normal functioning of society that revolve around basic human needs such as shelter, water, communication, food and clothing. They also pertain to the secondary essential support that makes society function efficiently such as banking, and money transfer services. Non-essential refers to the secondary end-products and services that aren’t necessary for the minimum and normal functioning of society and basic human needs. Basic essential products and services Bakeries Canned sardines canneries Energy suppliers Fish market Granaries Homeless shelters Livestock farm Rice planters Vegetable market Water filtration Water suppliers Supportive essential product and services Ambulatory Banking Child care services Factories of personal protective equipment (Face mask, facial shield) Funeral services, cemeteries and crematoriums Government offices and services Hospitals Law enforcement (Police, Security and Military) Logistics Medical wholesale and distribution Mental health counselling Money remittances Petrol stations Pharmaceutical research and development (vaccine) Pharmacies Port services Sanitary products (alcohol, hydrogen peroxide) Security Telcos (Smartphone loaders and internet business) Transportation (delivery of basic goods) Trash collectors Warehouse facilities (storage of basic goods, pharmacies) Non-essential products and services Arts and craft business Beauty supply stores Car washing services Concert venues Dance schools Gyms, yoga, spin and barre facilities Movie theatres Personal appearance and grooming businesses (barbershop, tattoo shop, hair salons, eyelash salons, body piercing) Pool resorts Recreation facilities (parks, bowling alleys) Shopping malls Skating rink Sporting event venues Vaping supply stores   The domino effect of pandemic lockdown on jobs:  No jobs are completely immune to the economic impact of COVID-19 since every company or industry depends on one another. Likewise, the economy is like an ecosystem where input and output (manufacturing - production) revolve or cycle. But there are jobs, due to their flexible working arrangements, that can be performed at the comfort of your home. On the other hand, some occupations require physical presence such as bank security guard, restaurant cook, and warehouseman. An IT company can still deliver its services remotely as long as its team members can work at home and remotely send the deliverables at the required pace and efficiency. An IT company can only be affected or have its income affected by forced lockdown and social distancing if it depends on clients directly affected by the pandemic. If an IT company depends on clients operating restaurants, events, tourism and airlines (or in non-essential products and services), its revenue might probably be slashed by the loss of income of its clients. In other words, it’s a domino effect. IT company clients (low probability of being affected by Pandemic) Energy Healthcare Banking Ecommerce food and beverage Security  Water supply Transportation (transport of medicine, food, fuel) Communication Public security Law enforcement IT company clients (high probability of being affected by Pandemic) Airlines Tourism Restaurants  Event organising Cosmetology Shipping Entertainment Transportation Hotel Entertainment (Boxing, Basketball and other sports)   What is a skeletal workforce? Skeletal workforce refers to the minimum number of staff or employees needed for the minimum and normal functioning of a business. During the normal working hours (before the start of Pandemic), companies require a minimum of staff to mitigate situations such as employees who are on sick leave, vacation, medical check-up, suspension and resignation

November 03, 2020
CATEGORY: Interview

Experience and skills matter to the hiring personnel and your potential employer, but how well you perform on an interview sets your fate whether you’ll step inside the company or not. There are no hard and fast rules or formulas to make an interviewer say yes to your application since situations vary among the companies. Then there’s the mood of a person, the competition and the management. However, these tips can increase your chance of passing an interview.   Assemble and bring all the needed papers Image by Oli Lynch from Pixabay Collect the papers ahead of time to avoid last-minute scrambling. It’s likely you’ll forget a credential or paper by the time you just assemble everything on the day or hours before your interview. What if you left your diploma or took your cousin’s resume instead? Things you’ll need: 1 to 2 pages of a resume (5 copies) Diplomas  Transcript of records Water-proof envelope Identification cards Work portfolio Pen Thank you card Research the company Image by StockSnap from Pixabay Researching the company shows that you did your homework and you’re interested in their culture and the job. You’ll also save money and effort by knowing that the company is Ok for your expectations. It’s likely that HR personnel will ask you questions about the organisational background. So days before your showtime, spend some analysis on the company.  These are company details that might be asked during your interview. Your interviewer might not ask all of these but usually, asks one or two of these questions. Products and services - What they do. Mission - What are the reasons for their founding and their values. Trends - Things about a recent product, services and promotions. Company competitors - These are other companies with similar products and services. Unique selling position - What makes the company and its product or services different from others. Show confidence You might have anxiety but you still can strengthen your faith in yourself that you can pass an interview and get that contract. Confidence boils down on these three things: Correct body language Smart dress Preparedness (Time, Document, answers to questions) Arrive on time Photo by form PxHere Punctuality shows your enthusiasm and seriousness to the interviewer and the company. Employers have busy schedules and have other candidates next in line. To arrive on time, always set the time 30 minutes or 1 hour early. You may never know what lies ahead during your travel. Life is full of surprises and there could be traffic jams, last-minute changes, accidents and bad weather.    What if you’re late  If you’re late in a situation you can’t control (accidents and bad weather), you can mitigate such happenings. Call - Call ahead of time and let the hiring personnel know your Estimated Time of Arrival and you can’t make it on time and if it doesn’t work out, ask for a reschedule. Provide an acceptable reason - Lame excuses such as crazy traffic, a hangover from parties, and your cat scratching your door won’t cut it. Good reasons include such as family emergency, accidents and weather conditions. Regain your composure - Everyone makes a mistake. Show to the interviewer that you’re adaptable by asking for rescheduling that is both Ok for you and the employer.   Dress well Image by Piqsels and Licensed under Creative Commons Dressing well exudes preparedness and confidence. You don’t have to wear tuxedos or formal attire to show up. The dress code depends on the company industry. Dress type Description Industry Business casual Men: Long sleeve shirt, leather shoes and khaki pants Women: Work dress, collared shirt with pants; and pencil skirt Banks Law firms Financial firm Marketing Human resource BPO Some IT companies Business professional Men: Suits, suit jacket, blazer, tie, button-down shirt, formal shoes. Women: Suit jacket, black vest, black pants, formal black skirt or slacks, pantyhose, flats or low-heel shoes. Airline companie Car sales Hotel and resorts Law firms Insurance Banks Marketing  Human resource BPO Casual Men: Long-sleeved shirt, dress shirt, khaki pants and belt, dress shoes. Women: Collared shirt and pants, work dress and pencil skirt. Most IT companies BPO   Exude correct body language Image by Jonathan Alvarez from Pixabay Your body language refers to the non-verbal signals that can be interpreted depending on the country’s culture. Here are some of the postures you should avoid: Avoiding eye contact Crossing arms Doodling (writing random objects) Drumming your fingers on the table Excessive nodding Fidgeting a pen or any object Mismatching facial expression with feeling (expressing passion with a sad face) Not smiling Placing hands on the back Pointing to an interviewer Pursing lips Resting your chin on your arms or hands. Sitting in a cross-legged position Slumping in a seat Staring or ogling Too strong handshake Weak handshake Correct body language Sitting straight in a slight angle Shaking someone’s hand in a firm way Using hand gestures to express a point Maintaining eye contact - You can do this by not staring or ogling that can make the interviewer uncomfortable. Shift your gaze in an inverted triangle by changing from one point to another and stopping for each point for 10 seconds. This isn’t an absolute rule as you can also shift your gaze or eyes away into a side position to convey that you’re thinking Nodding to express understanding - Slightly nod in an upward direction and then coming back to a downward position. This is complemented with verbal words such as Ok, yes, and all right.   Prepare for Questions Photo by Amtec from Flickr and licensed under Creative Commons You can research interview questions and rehearse them when you do a mockup interview. Tell me about yourself Give your concise employment history and educational background and how it relates to your past and present role. Why should we hire you? Your answer lies on these three points: You can do the job, bring results and that you can fit within the culture and team. What are your strengths? Tell about your specific qualities and illustrate them with your life stories. What are your weaknesses? Tell honestly something that you’re struggling with and that you’re doing something to improve it. Why do you have an employment gap? You could reason that - - You took care of your aging parents and children. - You upskilled by studying online or enrolling in a physical school. - You run a business. - You took a freelance job. When you can start? This depends on your current situation. If you’re unemployed, then you can say as soon as possible. If you’re employed, then you can say that you need a month or a couple of weeks to finish your job in your current employer.   Ask for feedback Asking for feedback gives you an opportunity to know when the company will show results instead of waiting for nothing. Although it doesn’t always work, asking for the result can increase your chances of getting a job. HR personnel can be busy and may not attend to all resumes. So asking for feedback can help you stand out from the crowd. Depending on the job or the organisation, you might get feedback on the same day or in another week, a month and after a holiday. Not all employers use the same hiring process. Most interviewers will say when they will give feedback and how they will tell you (call, email or text). But if they didn’t give a hint of knowing the result, you can: Say thank you - Thank the hiring personnel and that you’re looking forward to hearing for feedback without a demanding tone.             “I really love to put my skills into good use and thank you for giving me an opportunity. May I ask when I’ll know the result? Identify the contact person - This is important as it saves you and the company some time. Ask the company about their method of contact and also, tell them about yours.   “Who should I stay in touch with?” Know when you can get in touch - If they missed the deadline, then you can always follow up unless the interviewer told after the interview that if you haven’t received a response, then your application is most likely rejected.     “If I don’t hear from you from [deadline], when is the best time to follow up?

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