Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Avoid work faux pas. Follow these career tips from experts. Because everybody likes quotes.

We used yesterday's slot to give advice for fresh graduates -- the importance of skills training for their future job hunting pursuits. And because we're all about fairness when it comes to giving career tips on this blog, we're taking today to discuss issues that working professionals should take note to avoid problems. Looking for tips to improve your career? Today's for you.

One cannot just commit faux pas in resume writing or job interview. Career building is such a tricky activity that it carries with it more risks than you can imagine. With so many tips online, it's easy to mistake expert advice to "just opinions", which can be quite dangerous, needless to day. There's little room for mistake in building a career -- take note of these and be error-proof.

Working and blogging.
Do you have a personal blog? Yes, we're asking if you keep an online space just like this one. What do you put in there anyway? HR offices don't just use the internet to do background checks on applicants. The internet can be used to "spy" about you too, in cases such as you just had a fight with a member of an upper management or you got yourself to commit a company offense. Susannah Gardner, creative director of Hop Studios Internet Consultants, has shared with JobsDB.com Singapore some things you can do to keep yourself safe.


"...put a disclaimer on your blog somewhere that makes it clear that you are blogging as a private person, and that your opinions are not those of your employer."
Posting ethic
"...don't talk about your co-workers, and be sure that if you do talk about work you are aware of what you can and can't say or reveal about what you do or what your company does."
Play it safe
"...if you think your boss would be objective about it, why not run the idea of the blog past him or her, or even show your boss a few of your posts so that you know whether you're getting into a sensitive area or not?"
You can learn more from Susanah on Ask an Expert @ www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/EN/Resources/JobSeekerArticle/askexpert1.htm?ID=11.

Self questions for success.
There's room for sentimentality in career building, contrary to common notion. Sometimes, you have to reflect in order to find the solutions to your problems. This is what Kenneth D. Foster, successful entrepreneur and Business Coach, has shared with us when we've interviewed him for Ask an Expert. "We can use insightful self-questioning to help move us out of times of despair toward more clarity, and a recovery of our purpose and joy."

What are the right questions to ponder on? There are no right or wrong questions here. It depends on your situation, really. You lack goals? We suggest you ponder on what you really want to do in life. Just like that. Here are some more sample questions from Kenneth:

"If I’m not happy with the results I’m getting, what do I need to change?"
"What limitations do I believe about myself that I am now willing to discard?"
"What is the pay-off for moving toward a more optimistic outlook?"
Read more about Kenneth @ www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/EN/Resources/JobSeekerArticle/Ask%20An%20Expert?ID=247.

Staying productive regardless of age.
Effective aging is an idea that a lot of older professionals don't believe in. Ong Teong Wan, Consulting Partner for Corporate Training at SIM and Honorary Advisor to STADA on Professional Development aims to erase this mindset. "We can do less work instead of no work, balance it with relaxation, leisure pursuits, helping others in dire need of assistance or contribute to the community to make it better" is what he's said when we've interviewed him for Ask an Expert.

But of course, there's the question of “Who wants to employ you at this age?” Teong Wan has a great answer to this. "The internet provides limitless opportunities for creative alternative avenues of low risk work from home or in premises outside."

Read our complete interview with Teong Wan @ www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/EN/Resources/JobSeekerArticle/Ask%20An%20Expert?ID=274.

Contracting and progress.
Another favorite topic of ours, mainly because it gets people to share their views with us. Is contracting really a good career option? JobsDB.com Singapore believes that yes, contract jobs are worth taking a shot. Our reason has always been because such jobs are particularly useful in establishing credentials. We're happy because Niharika Chaturvedi, a Senior Consultant (IT Banking Contract division) at Robert Walters, has pointed this out too as a benefit of contracting when we've interviewed her for Career Advice. "You gain exposure to new technologies and projects across the industry in a much shorter time span", is what she's said. And she's pointed out more:

"...it helps to increase your cash-in-hand by clubbing in the bonus as a guaranteed income."
Open schedule
"...from a lifestyle perspective, it provides you with more freedom to plan longer holidays in-between contracts or to invest your time in trainings and courses to upgrade yourself and gain more skills."
Lower risk of job loss
"...here is a lower risk of losing your job since the cost of hiring a contractor is relatively lower in comparison with a permanent headcount and organisations are thus less likely to hire and fire."
You can read our complete interview with Niharika @ www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/EN/Resources/JobSeekerArticle/Career%20Guide?ID=414.

Motivation for students.
Don't blame us. We really can't help it. We have to allot a space for fresh grads here too.

Hearing inspirational stories from fellow students is good. Try talking to your seniors about career things and you'll see what we mean. JobsDB Campus, a one-stop space for fresh graduates and students on the net knows this. Have you read our Campus articles about Joanne, Yoriko, and Andrew already? We've featured them on this blog too, remember? If you're aiming to have a law career in the future, Yoriko's advice can be useful to you. If doctor jobs are what you're looking to apply to when you graduate, Andrew's the one to help you. But of course, their tips are applicable to other job industries as well.

Joanne Chua, final year student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, talks about student work experience
"...make full use of your liberty as a student to gain as much exposure by trying out different part-time jobs during the holidays!"
Yoriko Lim, law student at the University of Leeds in England talks about studying overseas
"...the best thing about studying overseas is being able to meet people from all walks of life. It is a point when people of all nationalities and backgrounds come together with a common motivation."
Andrew Green is a second year medical student at Duke-NUS. His advice also applies to other courses
"...be truthful to yourself and explore your motivation for studying medicine."

JobsDB.com Singapore
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JobsDB.com Singapore is committed to helping every job seeker land a good job. Currently looking for a job? Browse our jobs database and see if anything is of interest to you. It doesn't matter what industry you're in -- our jobs portal caters to every industry there is in Singapore, from Accounting Jobs and Banking Jobs in Singapore to IT Jobs and Singapore Hospitality Jobs. Let us lead your way to rewarding jobs in Singapore, jump start you career with us.

For career tips, we recommend Career Advice. From job hunting tips to career development guidelines, get advice from experts @ www.jobsdb.com.sg/SG/en/Resources/JobSeekerIndex.