Your first career: A turning point in life

You may dream of a career and strive hard to get into the same, but circumstances might change the situation and you end up in a career which is by chance and not by choice. This is the crucial point in your life and you cannot compromise with your career.

Having said that, your first career is always a turning point in your life and sets an example on which path you have to follow and plan the career growth accordingly. It becomes really difficult to change your career when you have already set your hands and expertise on that. However, one can always enhance their first career in order to make way to the coming opportunities and for your future.

  1. Enhance your skills: Even if you are working in a call centre, you can enhance your skills and try to move ahead in the same field. No job is good or bad, it’s the mindset and your interest towards it. Learn new skills which interests you simultaneously and try to get into the a different field in the same organization, this way there won’t be much hopping and you will stay for longer duration.
  2. Love your job: They say always love your job not your company, because you never know when your company will throw you out. SO getting too much connected with your company will not be helpful, in fact your job and your skills will make you stand away from the crowd. If you have a Resume full of skills you will never get a problem getting a job.
  3. Set a trend: Just because, you don’t like the job or the company, you can’t quit it, in fact try to survive in adverse conditions and stay in the company and the job you hate and make it fun and interesting and try to set a trend.
  4.   Grass is greener: Truly, we tend to get attracted to other people’s lifestyle and the job they do. And that in way forces us to change the career altogether and try different careers. SO one has to be satisfied with whatever they are doing and try to make it more interesting rather than trying to follow others. You know which skill you are good at and try to enhance it more and more and grow in the existing career.

 

SO, your first career always leaves an impact in your life as well as your job. The more interesting and fun you make your job, the more you will grow in the coming years. That is why they say, your first job is always a turning point, because, you are quite gullible when you join a company and any good or bad things affect you mentally as well as leaves an impact for a lifetime. SO try to keep good memories and learn lessons which will help you grow in your career and also take it forward in your coming years and careers.

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Advantages of joining a start-up company

Lot of people are apprehensive working with a start-up company, majorly because they do not hold any brand like other big MNC’s do. Working with renowned companies is always a dream of an individual, but when it comes to visibility, growth and other factors, one has to wait for decades to get noticed and appreciated in large organization irrespective of how well you perform.

However, for some the name of the company is trivial, what matters to them is growth and long term commitment with the organization and so they prefer start-up companies over big organizations. Working in a start-up company is a learning curve and people tend to become multi talented for reasons that they have limited resources and so they come in front and initiate some of the work which is not their forte.

Having said that, there are lot of advantages of working in a start-up:

  1. 1.      Growth: Before joining a company, the major factor which an individual looks upon is the Growth. Unlike large companies where one has to wait for decades before they get a promotion, small and start up companies has good growth exposure, for reason that being a small organization, the resources are less and so one might get promotions quite frequently.
  2. 2.      Visibility: Working in a closed environment with limited employee strength, there is more visibility as compared to large organizations. In large organizations, there is less or no visibility at all for reason that too many employees are there and you effort gets unnoticed because of that. In start up and small companies, your work is recognized and rewarded in a very short span of time, which might take ages in a large organization.
  3. 3.      Office culture and politics: When in large organizations, the culture is altogether different and office politics is quite prevalent. And one has to adjust to the culture in order to survive there. However, the culture in small organization is altogether different. Because of the limited strength of employees, the chance of politics or buttering and other tactics is quite lucid. So there is a huge difference when it comes to the work culture in a small and large organization.
  4. 4.      Leadership: It’s a huge responsibility for an individual working in a start up company for reasons that your performance directly affects the reputation of the company as well as the clients. And so a sense of ownership and leadership is imbibed in you as soon as you join a start up. Also, one gets a chance to lead a team at an early stage which gives them more scope to grow and prove their calibre, which is not possible in a large organization.
  5. 5.      Commitment: There is always a commitment issue when it comes to working in large organizations, may be because of the above reasons like growth, visibility, promotions and other factors which if goes against you, you don’t want to  stay in that company for long term. At the same time, in start ups, because your work is appreciated and visible, you would want to stay longer in such companies and watch them grow in leaps and bounds.
  6. 6.      Packages: Sometimes as compared to large organizations, the package offered in start up is more reasonable and acceptable. There is a cliché that in large organizations, they pay peanuts and make us work like slaves. However, in small organizations, the package also is as per market standards sometimes.

So, this is a debatable topic and one can’t come to a logical conclusion on which is better, but definitely there are some advantages as discussed above, which goes in favour of start up companies. Having said that, the large companies are also going that extra mile and taking steps for employee satisfaction which is a huge breakthrough for the reputation of the company, also for some people brand and name matters a lot and so they prefer large over small organization. In either case, there are some advantages and some disadvantages and as mentioned it is a debatable topic.

SO all in all, a start up is also not a bad choice and one can learn and grow a lot in these organizations.

How to write a cover letter

Your job application is in full swing and you have your resume ready, you are good to go for the interview, but you should get a call letter. Unless you have a cover letter, you won’t be considered these days. So, with every application, cover letter has become very important without which your application looks incomplete.

What is a cover letter? It is a brief introduction of you and it should be short and crisp yet compelling and appealing. Whether you are sending your resume through mail or Email, a cover letter attached shows how professional you are and that itself makes a first impression.

Having said that, don’t write a 2 page letter, because it says cover letter. It has to be a small paragraph or two and should be such that, the employer should be interested in reading.           A cover letter has to be sent for every position and it should not be the same. So this could be a tedious job, as for every job you apply for, you have to format a cover letter based on the position. But Guess that will make you a pro in writing a cover letter :). Let’s discuss some important points when writing a cover letter:

  1. Mail or Email: If you are mailing your resume, a plain white paper with a cover letter, neatly written and attached with the resume and sent to the employer. However, if you are applying via email, write the cover letter in the body of the mail along with your CV attached.
  2. Simple and short: Don’t write a whole story of your career, starting from your education to your current employer, it will take ages to complete writing for you and it will take seconds for the employer to reject it upfront. You career details have already been mentioned in your CV and they don’t want to read it again and again. A brief about, how you came to know about the opening, why you feel you deserve this job, your strengths and weaknesses are all that is required. However, the format is discussed below.
  3. Formatting: The basic format of a cover letter is this:
  • Salutation like “Dear (First Name of the hiring manager)
  • Body of the letter with first paragraph mentioning about the job you are applying for and where did you find the opening.
  • Second paragraph discussing about your qualifications which should be specific to the job requirement. You can also write a reason why you would like to apply with this company. But all these should be crisply written.
  • Then the last Paragraph should be the conclusion mentioning, you are positive with working this company and look forward to discussing your qualifications further. Don’t forget to mention your Email ID and phone number for them to contact you.
  • And Write Regards or Thank you with your name signed.
  1. Check the language and spelling: Before pressing the send button, check thoroughly the language you have used. Does it sound professional or it sounds too casual. Casual will give an impression of you being casual and not really interested in the job. SO write in a professional way, if required take the help of the experts. Also, do spells check of your cover letter several times and then send. A small typo is still acceptable sometimes, but if you’re whole cover letter has a spelling mistake that might go against you.

 

You can save this cover letter and can re- format it based on the application and postings you are applying for. So all in all, a proper and professional cover letter is indispensable to get your dream job and to crack the interview.

How to make your job fun

A job which is done with a disinterest and just for the sake of doing will always be boring and loathed by many. Just imagine you have just reached office and it’s not been an hour yet and you are wondering how you will pass the whole day. That feeling itself brings boredom in your work. On the contrary, if you love your job, you will wait to go to office and work sincerely. So basically there is no loving and hating your job, it is how to prepare yourself to deal with the job, you want to work like a machine and work monotonously or you want to enjoy what you do?  Well I would definitely choose the latter one.

Life teaches us to enjoy every moment, so why not apply the same rule to our jobs and try to enjoy every moment of our job and try to make it fun.

  1. Face the Challenges: Any job is boring and monotonous if you have the same thing to do. So try to face difficult challenges, ask for some difficult problems to your manager and try to solve it. When you face and deal with challenges you will grow stronger and you would want to do it again and again. Don’t vacillate when you have a big challenge in front of you, in fact accept it and face it.
  2. Area of interest: Everyone has a hobby or a passion towards something or for something. So identify your area of interest and try to fulfil your passion simultaneously. Believe me this is a great stress buster and it will boost you energy. For example, if you love Guitar, learn it after office hours and practice daily, it will help you get away from any office tensions or exhaustions. You love politics; you can discuss it with your colleagues. So whatever interests you, if you spend a little time on that, you can help make your job fun.
  3. Relax: You don’t always have to be on your toes. Try to relax sometime. Your nonchalant behaviours might cause a problem to your colleagues, but tell them clearly, you are not a machine. At the same time, don’t be too laid back. Plan your work in a way that you meet your deadlines at the same time you are relaxed.
  4. Extracurricular activities: Companies these days provide a recreation facility with different games to just refresh you. Different cultural programmes are conducted. So participate in those curricular activities which will help you get away from the stress.

 

Making your job fun is up to you. You can plan many activities, programs and outings to get yourself refreshed and have fun at the same time. Every organization is extra cautious these days on their employee satisfaction and only when you enjoy your work, you will be able to give your best to the organization. SO it is always a win-win situation. So try to make every day of your work enjoyable and fun. That is the secret for success.

A career growth plan for 2014

With the New Year round the corner, people have started making resolutions for the coming year. Every individual makes a resolution and try hard to meet them. But one of the major goals every year for an individual is career growth. They want to grow and grow in the coming years. But just promising to self and not meeting the requirements will never help you grow. Hard work is the cornerstone in a career growth.

Having said that, one has to have a proper plan as such to reckon to your career, and so a proper planning has to be done to boost your career and move ahead in life. Let’s list out some major objectives which will help us grow in the year 2014:

  1. Planning: This is required in every walk of life and when it comes to career you just can’t take risk and proper planning is indispensable. A career is not something which just gets clicked by fluke or by chance. You must have had a proper planning to reach to this level and so you have to continue doing so to grow further.
  2. Set a goal:  Setting a goal and focusing on meeting those goals is the key point in boosting your career. Don’t set goals which are impossible to meet. Be realistic and try to first set a minimum goal and only when you are able to set the expectation right, increase your goal. This helps you understand your calibre and set the goals accordingly.
  3. Self edification: Indentifying your flaws and trying to improve over the years will help you grow rapidly. Even a perfectionist feels he/she is not perfect and try to improve. In every stage of life, one has to learn new things, then why not in your career. SO learn new technologies and try to improve your skills and calibre. This will help a great deal in career growth.
  4. Self assessment: Assess yourself as to where you have reached over the years and where do you stand in future and try to analyse the situation and circumstance. You are your best critic when it comes to self assessment. You will know your strengths and weaknesses and that will help you improve and grow.
  5. Taking the feedback:  Only when you are open to feedbacks you will know your flaws and will try to improve it further. So learn to accept feedbacks. Even if it takes taking a feedback from your subordinates or employees under you. Don’t bring the superiority complex in you.
  6. Build the network: Building a network matters in every step of your career especially when you are planning for a career growth networks do help. SO keep increasing your networks, keep in touch with them, involve in discussion, initiate topics and discussion. This is the best way to increase your knowledge.

When you adhere to self made policies and goals, you will be able to look high and aim high. Start your career growth plan right from today and by the end of next year, I am sure you will come up with new plans and goals surpassing the present one.

How to create a CV that clicks

With so much competition around, it becomes difficult for an individual to get the job they deserve. Moreover, the recruiter gets the CV in plethora and they select the best of all. You must be thinking when all the CV is almost the same, how can one select the best?  Well that is the crux of recruitment. Every recruiter searches for the CV which they feel stands out of the crowd and which is worth considering.

For most of the people a CV is nothing but an epic of their whole career. But remember, not everyone has whole time in the world and they reject it upfront. SO a Proper CV plays a vital role in building your career and getting you the right job. Any CV that catches the eye of the recruiter gets the advantage of getting clicked.

Having said that, one has to follow some simple tips on how to create a CV that clicks:

  1. Crisp and clear: As already mentioned, you don’t have to write an epic of 5-6 pages. Create a CV which is crisp, clear, short and simple. Because the recruiter just views the CV at a glance and if they feel you CV are as accurate as could be, they would definitely view it and consider.
  2. No Embellishments: In order to make it look different, don’t try to decorate it with gaudy colors and different themes; it will look even more unprofessional and immature. May be the content in your CV is perfect, but when you decorate it, that itself will bring a bad impact. SO avoid embellishments of any sort and make it simple.
  3. Highlight your experiences: The only thing that matters in your CV is your experience level, roles and responsibilities and the companies you have worked with. You CV shouldn’t be like a long essay, where you don’t understand where the beginning is and where is the end. SO highlight your experiences. It becomes easy for the recruiter to gauge your calibre based on your experience.
  4. Update your contact details: Change in your number or email ID has to be updated in your CV so that the recruiters can contact you for a suitable job offer.
  5. Personalize: Instead of adding up more and more skills and experiences in one CV, you can personalize you CV according to the job you are applying for. Like if you are an HR and also a freelance writer. You can make a separate CV for HR related jobs and separate for freelance writer. The chances of you getting the exact match will be more. If you reckon all your skills in one, the recruiter might get confused whether you are an HR or a writer. So in order to ease your work as well as the recruiters work, personalize your CV.
  6. Key categories: your CV must contain some key categories like: Introduction, education qualification, experience, skills and expertise, Achievements, Work history, References. So every CV differs when it comes to categories. SO based on the job you are applying for or to make your CV stand out from the crowd try to categorize it, so that it will be easy for the recruiters to understand.
  7. Points and bullet points: When explaining about your roles and responsibilities in every company, try to use points or bullet points instead of a short paragraph, because it becomes easy for the other person to understand each and every role and then gauge the candidate based on the same.
  8.  Target companies: target your dream companies and try to upgrade and update you CV according to the requirement of that particular company. This will help you concentrate in one company at a time and will also help you get clicked. AT the same time, you may get offers from other companies which have the same requirement.

So the list is never ending. You get lot of tips on how to create a CV which will help you get the perfect job. SO follow these tips and stand away from the crowd.

How to crack it over the phone

Economical hiring is something which most of the companies are opting for these days. Spending a bomb on the hiring process is receding slowly. The major reason being recession hitting the market frequently, most of the companies want to hire the best of talent, but at a minimal cost. Having said that, not all telephone interviews go well and it becomes difficult to gauge the overall personality of the candidate over the phone, the body language, the confidence level and other factors. Moreover, the chances of the employer getting cheated are also there.

But, the first interview is mostly done over the phone and that itself helps gauge the candidate’s caliber. As a candidate, one has to be very smart and active, when giving an interview over the phone. Let’s point out some important points that can be considered when giving a telephonic interview:

  1. The background or environment: Ideally, a recruiter informs the candidate in advance about the technical interview from the client. So you have to make sure your background should be pin drop silent. Because every little sound can be heard when on call and it becomes difficult for the interviewer as well as the candidate to concentrate on the conversation.
  2. Prepare yourself: The major advantage of a telephonic interview is that you get a time to prepare yourself for the interview. SO brush up your theoretical knowledge because they would majorly ask you theoretical questions. You should not fumble or let the interviewer know that you are struggling to answer the question.
  3. Be honest: This is something which is very important in any interview, whether face to face or telephonic. If you don’t know the answer to a particular question, be honest and tell them straight that you don’t know, instead of beating around the bush. Interviewer always considers an honest candidate over a candidate who pretends they know everything and giving the wrong answer.
  4. Professionalism: Don’t talk to the client like you are talking to friends be professional and crisp in your usage of language and tone. This will make a great impression to the interviewer. Professionalism is something which is the crux of an interview. Munching or slurping while on call is a big NO.
  5. Confidence: When giving a telephonic interview, being nervous is mundane. But never show your nervousness on call. Drink a glass of water before the interview and be confident and smart while giving an interview. Apparently on a telephonic interview, the interviewers build an image of the candidate while talking. So if you fumble and stammer and show your nervousness, they will imagine you as a low on confidence candidate and will reject you upfront.
  6. Active and attentive: Never be too laid back when giving an interview, which can be quite prominent on the call. If you are too laid back and talk very casually, an interviewer can make out your interest and seriousness for the interview or job for that matter. SO always be active and attentive while on call. Don’t let the interviewer repeat the question too many times. That looks unprofessional and disquieting.
  7. Never interrupt: When the client is asking a question, never ever interrupt and try to jump into conclusion. Listen to the question first, take some time to think and then answer even if you know the answer. A hiatus in an interview can put the offer down for you.

Small things that have to be taken care of and you can definitely crack it over the phone.