Thursday, October 7, 2010

Got a question on career building or job hunting? Ask an Expert.

It occurs to us that Dr Donald Norman's "I prefer design by experts - by people who know what they are doing", is a pretty good metaphor for why Ask an Expert exists in this world. The reason why our editors back at have decided to include it in Career Advice's array of sections. We've got you confused? Read on to find out why... to learn our reason for stating this seemingly crazy idea on this blog like we're just commenting on the weather, like it can't cause amok from our followers, you guys.

And in case you're wondering, we haven't forgotten our promise for universality. It's stuck in our heads like post-it: don't worry, we don't forget. Why this expert advice discussion... again? Uhm, because we can't go away from it? This is a blog about career after all. Anyway, this isn't going to be like any of our past blabs about career success and reaching it. Not at all. Promise. It's safe to continue reading.

So why the cognitive design quote from a cognitive science guru? Is this a stunt so we can regain back your interests? We like stunts, but even we think that's going a bit too far. Much as we like to call ourselves 'scholars', we're not as well versed in science as much as we are in career yet, we admit to that fact. We know our flaws, of course. Thing is, despite its being scientific in origin, that expert definition by the great professor backs up the point of Ask an Expert's existence best -- having set the quote against our calendar of tasks many times, we've come to that conclusion one brainstorm session. See, it's the section.

It's not because of the design element in the thought train, but because of how the concept of 'expertise' has been defined by the professor -- experts excel on what they do and that's why we should trust them. It's that simple. In today's world of complications where everything seems to be undervalued, if not over-rated; the definition is a simple yet thought-provoking take on how we can go about norms without complicating things even more. Less is more, as another popular saying goes.

In career, it's almost inevitable to encounter mistakes. It's one risky part of life, but it's also a 'responsibility' we can't escape. We just have to be involved in it: Career is to social status just like the earth is to the solar system. But this is not to say that to lead a career on full gear is to subject oneself to torture. While career is all about hard work, it can be lead in balance, with equal amounts of social and business inputs working together.

You can lessen the risks by doing what's right. And how is that possible? By following what the experts think are right. Ask an Expert's goal is to showcase to you what the experts from the different realms of career think.

Job hunting in general, resume writing, job interview, and career building -- these are complicated concepts, if nothing else; they must be dealt with in all seriousness, needless to say. The fact that career tips can now be found everywhere makes the accomplishment of such tasks all the more frustrating for some people. Ask an Expert aims to be a rule book that career professionals and job hunters alike can consult whenever they find themselves confused on which and which not to follow.

Currently, the section has two experts on job hunting and four on career advancement. Have you checked? Anyway, since we're all about your convenience on this blog, here's a basic rundown of what you can learn over there. But of course, it still pays to visit for the full tips.

  • To network or not to network? Networking is tiring, we have to admit, but given its many benefits, experts think of it as a must-do for all job hunters and working professionals, of course. "Let others sell you.", David Perry, co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0 has that in his list of 'tactics'.
  • What are good questions to ask to interviewers? We've stated how helpful asking questions during your interviews can be to your job hunt on this blog many times. To be able to do this, research about the company and then use the information to construct your draft. But you have to remember one thing: be genuine. "Only ask questions you genuinely want to know the answer to.", Jonathan Kwan, Principal at Kwantum Leap has told us when we've interviewed him for the section.
  • Can keeping social media profiles affect one's career? It can. So be conscious every time you make updates, from your Facebook profile to your blog. Here's what Susannah Gardner, creative director of Hop Studios Internet Consultants has to say on the issue: "Don't make the mistake of thinking 'no one really reads this so it doesn't matter what I put up here'."
  • Staying productive regardless of age. Talent pool is essential to economic development. Older workers are encouraged to continue participating in making the economy better albeit in smaller ways. "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", Ong Teong Wan, Consulting Partner for Corporate Training at SIM and Honorary Advisor to STADA on Professional Development, has told us.
  • Frequent self checks and career advancement. According to Kenneth D. Foster, successful entrepreneur and business coach, "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." Self questioning is an effective way to find out and correct faults. Once in a while, look back to evaluate what you've done. Are they lined with your goals?
  • Advice for CEOs, managers and senior executives on working overseas. Because working away from home is never easy... This is the advice of Omar Khan, globally acknowledged leadership development innovator and success coach: "Be prepared for a different tempo of life, different intuitions on what is 'normal', the role of emotion and more." Singapore
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