Job Seekers

1

I feel like I need more than just a traditional resume or cover letter in order to stand out to the tech companies I want to work for. What else can I do to separate myself from the competition that’s applying to these innovative companies?

Dear Desperate to Stand Out,

You really hit the nail on the head. Competition’s tough across the board and tech is leading the way.

Your first step to getting noticed is to get in the right mindset. What does that mean? Don’t think like a recruiter, but more like a marketer. Your product is your experience. Here’s how a marketer would sell it.

1. Focus on Presentation
Maybe you’re not a graphic designer, but that shouldn’t be stand in the way of creating an eye-catching resume. There are plenty of tools that make design easy for everyone—many even offer templates designed by experts.

And don’t just stop there. Think of all the other points of contact a recruiter could have with you—including your LinkedIn profile, other social media handles, a blog, an online portfolio, and so on. Make sure they are all polished and contribute to a cohesive personal brand.

2. Spread the Word
A solid resume or cover letter doesn’t accomplish anything if the right people don’t see it. One surefire way to stand out is to proactively put it in front of the right people and to make it easy for them to notice it.

For example, there’s a story of a candidate who used Snapchat geo filters to advertise his portfolio in front of creative directors at the agencies he wanted to work for. You may not want to go that far, but that core idea has some merit. Think of how you can make yourself discoverable.

Don’t be intimidated. This can be something as straightforward as finding an acquaintance who works at the company and asking for a referral, or even dropping a friendly note to the hiring manager on Twitter or LinkedIn.

3. Make it Personal
Anything that starts with the dreaded, “To Whom it May Concern” will find it’s way to the trash can in a hurry. But, it’s hard to ignore a message when it’s highly targeted and personalized.

Start by showing that you took the time to get to know both the hiring manager and the company. Stand out from the competition by finding unique themes, attributes, projects, values, or needs you have in common and then incorporating those into your application materials.

Proving that you’ve done your homework on the role and the company empowers you to present yourself as a seamless fit, while also demonstrating your high level of interest in that opportunity.

Getting the job you want with the company you want to work for can be challenging. But, the right mindset and approach will help you reach your goals faster.

This article is part of our Ask an Expert series—a column dedicated to helping you tackle your biggest career concerns.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/stand-out-against-tough-job-search-competition

1

Let’s be clear: It’s innovate or die out there.

Ideas are the currency that buys you a starring role in today’s workplace. But too many people prioritize ownership over adoption, and watch their ideas waste away as a result. Truth is, you’ll be more effective if you work collaboratively with a team to turn ideas into action.

Here’s why you should ditch the old ideation silo and give your best thoughts to the group.

Team Buy-In Makes Things Happen
Ideas are often the prelude to change, and change generally rubs people the wrong way. So, how to get around the very human—but avoidable—friction that comes from shaking things up? Go out of your way to gain your team’s buy-in on the things that may affect them.

Especially if you’re a manager, inclusive decision-making may not only get you a better outcome by melding more minds during the ideation and decision-making processes, it ensures that the team understands the motives and considerations behind new ways of working. Ultimately that means less pushback, a deeper awareness about what led to decisions in the first place, and a more evenly distributed stake in the outcome.

Whether or not you’re a manager, this is a good way to conquer any resistance to change.

Tap Into a More Diverse Range of Opinions
A team brainstorm may be no better than a private one if everyone in the group thinks the same way. You need to mix it up.

Study after study has shown that diverse groups—gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, age, etc.—produce better ideas and make better decisions. Cloverpop, a company that tracks companies’ decisions to help them manage the decision-making process, found in a two-year study that gender-mixed teams comprising a wide range of ages and geographic representations made better decisions than homogeneous teams 87 percent of the time.

Makes sense. People with different backgrounds have different outlooks, motivations and experiences that shape their contributions at work. Hearing their voices and ideas produces a more well-rounded exchange of thoughts vetted by a wider variety of perspectives.

You may have to do some work to get a good mix of people in the room, but it’s worth it. While you’re at it, don’t discount less obvious diversity factors, like years of experience and time at your company.

See How Ideas Hold Up Against Messy Human Stuff
We’re all human, and regardless of race or gender or any of the other factors above, we’re simply wired differently.

For example, think about Myers-Briggs psychological types. People have different ways of perceiving and interpreting information, different thought patterns and emotional reflexes. The idealists on your team will have different ideas than the cynics. The process-oriented people will see things differently from the gut-driven types.

Working through ideas with a mix of personalities will help you find middle ground and flesh out a plan of action that works for everyone.

Test Your Assumptions
Idea sharing can be a valuable vetting exercise if everyone’s encouraged to speak candidly. Ask people to poke holes in your logic, to prove why your proposal won’t work, and to name every single thing that could possibly go wrong. The harder to tear down, the better the idea. Use the feedback to reformulate your idea until you’ve patched the flaws.

If you’re a team lead, this is even more critical. Sometimes you have to design new ways of working but you’re not the best person to do so because you’re not the closest to the facts on the ground—the people who work for you are. They can probably see the peril that lurks in a new idea right off the bat, and they’ll respect you more for recognizing that and hearing what they have to say.

Turn Ideas Into Action
In some ways, the idea is the easy part. The real challenge is executing.

If you think of ideas not as inventions that come out of thin air but as innovative solutions to complex problems, you and your team will have a better foundation for brainstorming.

And in the end, you’ll have a much easier time activating ideas if they’re vetted by a diverse group willing to provide constructive criticism, even if it means swallowing some pride and surrendering credit for the outcome.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-your-next-big-idea-should-come-from-a-team?ref=recently-published-2

bad habits
  • Nobody’s perfect – most of us have picked up a bad habit or two at some point.
  • Most of the time, a bad habit won’t wreck your whole life.
  • Still, it’s probably best to avoid these success-sabotaging tendencies.

Bad habits may not seem like a big deal on their own, but sometimes they can seriously drag you down in your life and career.

Of course, no one is perfect. In most cases, bad habits only result in relatively minor problems. So if you recognise one of these compulsions as your own, you probably have nothing to worry about.

However, in more extreme cases, certain tendencies can actually thwart you dreams of success.

Here are the top nine habits of unsuccessful people:

1. You’re always tardy

Sure, things happen, but consistent tardiness is typically unacceptable in a professional setting. Showing up late makes you look careless and unreliable.

As Laura Schocker wrote for the Huffington Post, one San Francisco State University study linked ” chronic lateness and certain personality characteristics, including anxiety, low self-control and a tendency toward thrill-seeking.”

2. You hold grudges

You don’t need to walk around singing kumbaya. It’s fine and normal to dislike and distrust certain people in your life.

But holding intense grudges is just a waste of your valuable time and energy. In an article for Web MD, Mike Fillon cited one Hope College study that found that holding a grudge can even have negative health effects.

So learn to let things go.

3. You conform

Conforming was a survival tactic in middle school, but you’re an adult with a career now. Stop caring intently about what others think and falling in line just for the sake of getting along. Do what works for you.

If you devote all your time to blending in, you’ll never stand out.

4. You overspend

If money’s always burning a hole in your pocket, you’re setting yourself up for longterm financial woes. Saving money is crucial for your financial future.

Beat this habit by learning to identify psychological triggers for overspending.

5. You procrastinate

I’ll tell you all about the downsides of procrastination later.

Just kidding. Seriously, though, indecisiveness could lose you time, money, and even the respect of those around you.

6. You lie

This one’s pretty simple. Be honest. It’s easy to fall into the trap of weaving small untruths that stretch into bigger and bigger lies. Break that habit.

Yeah, there are horror stories about cheats and liars who schemed their way to the top. But that doesn’t mean you should develop a dishonest streak yourself.

7. You burn bridges

Listen, in life and your career, it’s necessary to burn some bridges, if the person on the other side is toxic. However, those cases should be the exception, not the rule. As you move through different phases of your career, don’t alienate the people you come into contact with.

That could seriously come back to bite you if you cross paths with them later on.

8. You don’t take care of yourself

You could have all the success in the world, but it won’t mean much for long if you don’t maintain your health. Don’t allow stress to drive you to neglect exercise, eat poorly, and neglect yourself. Sooner or later, those choices will catch up to you and might just derail your life.

9. You have bad body language

Body language makes a big difference in how people perceive us – it’s often more important than what you verbally say.

That’s why bad body language habits – like poor eye contact and slumping posture – are so damaging. You could be sabotaging your opportunities before you even open your mouth.


Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/habits-of-unsuccessful-people-2018-1#ymbcO3ZCmgfXQsYY.99

1

Being stuck in a rut sucks. If there’s one thing I could wish for you, it’s that you never have to deal with a situation that holds you back from being happy, successful, or fulfilled.

That, unfortunately, is an unrealistic wish (even more unrealistic than wishing I could turn everything I touch into chocolate). Because like failure, ruts are inevitable. And the good news about that not-so-fun fact is that they ultimately help make us stronger, smarter, and more successful individuals.

Just look at a few people in your life who you admire—how many of them went through a struggle that forced them to reevaluate their goals or path?

Since I’m someone who doesn’t love surprises (except the birthday kind), I’m going to tell you right now exactly which ruts you’ll find yourself in throughout your career.

1. Being Bored
No matter how much you love your job, how many hours you work, or how large the pile of to-dos is on your desk, there will come a time when you will find yourself suddenly underwhelmed, unmotivated, or unstimulated at your job for days on end.

It could be for a number of reasons. Maybe your boss has stopped challenging you. Or, maybe you’re making the mistake of not seeking out challenges, or looking for exciting projects. Or, maybe you’ve found yourself in a new role that isn’t as exciting as you thought it would be.

Whatever the reason, boredom is usually pretty fixable. You can ask your boss for better projects, or see if you can chip in on what other teams are working on, or find ways to keep learning, like taking online classes or attending conferences related to your industry. If that still leaves you no better than you were before, it may be time to move on and find a role that’s more engaging.

2. Feeling Unhappy
Unhappiness is a more serious sign to keep an eye on.

Why is it so much more common than we realize? Because for one, we’re fickle beings—we’re always changing our minds and shifting our priorities. Which means the things we want in our careers now may change one, two, five years from now. That’s OK!

The other reason is because sometimes we’re really bad at recognizing when we’re miserable. We’ll place the blame on other things (woke up on the wrong side of the bed, had a bad commute, a crazy boss) rather than accept that something bigger is affecting us.Figure out what is making you unhappy and use that information to decide what your next steps will be.

Maybe it means transferring roles internally, changing companies, or switching industries entirely. Or maybe it’s even more simple than that. Maybe it’s talking to your boss about an overwhelming workload. Or asking your co-worker to stop talking to you when you’re working at your desk.

Whatever the cause, take the time to identify it and start making moves to solve it.

3. Doubting Your Career Path
Unless you’re very lucky, you won’t find yourself satisfied in the same role in the same industry throughout your entire career.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re unsure about what you want to do next—even if you’ve spent 10 years in your role and are now doubting everything. The good news is that it’s never too late to make a change, whatever that means for you. The even better news is that you don’t have to have it all figured out when you’re 30, 40, 50.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” Don’t be finished.

4. Feeling Like Nothing’s Going Right
Ever have those months when nothing’s going right? You keep messing up basic tasks, your manager keeps sending your work back with heavy revisions, your co-workers keep shutting down your ideas?

It could be your fault—if you’re job searching, for example, and getting nowhere, it might be worth reconsidering you’re approach.

But it could also be due to external forces, like a company restructuring or a bad boss. If so, it’s worth figuring out whether these can be fixed, and if not, what steps you can take to better set yourself up for success.

5. Having to Deal With a (Big) Change
Your company just went through a huge merger, half your department got laid off, you got laid off, they brought in a new boss, or oyou’ve moved to an entirely new city for a job.

One day, something major will happen that will shake up how you do things and think about your career. While it’s practically impossible to prepare for something like this, remember that it’s common. And, that it’s salvageable. And, that the feelings of loss and doubt and frustration and sadness won’t last forever. And, that you’ll come out stronger and more equipped to handle anything that comes your way. If you don’t believe me, read this.

The last thing I want to emphasize is that it’s easy to feel alone when you’re in these ruts, or that no one understands what you’re going through. But I can confidently tell you that everyone experiences these. Why else would I write this article?

So, don’t be afraid to admit when you’re in one—if you don’t, you’ll regret not making a change sooner. And if you still feel like the only one, chat with people just like you (and get some reassuring advice) on our Stuck in a Rut discussions platform.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/career-ruts-everyone-will-get-into-some-point?ref=recently-published-1

1

Worried what your boss thinks of you—if they like you, trust you, and think your contributions match up to their expectations?

If so, you’re not alone. Considering you’ll end up spending 10 years of your life at work, getting along with your boss is not only critical to succeeding in your career, but matters for your overall happiness and engagement at the office.

With that in mind, here are three easy ways to develop an effective, productive, and mutually rewarding relationship with your manager (even if they’re a tough cookie to crack):

1. Stop Using Email to Have Important Conversations
Is email your go-to forum for everything? In certain cases, it could be hurting your relationship. Even if it’s your manager’s favorite medium, it’s time to break the pattern of always relying on this.

Opt for in-person meetings if the conversation’s beyond a task or agenda-setting item—for example, if you’re asking for something or apologizing for a mistake. Not only is it just polite, it’ll most likely lead to a more productive discussion and help ensure you and your boss are truly on the same page.

“All of us are the worst possible version of ourselves in digital media,” adds Celeste Headlee, journalist and author of We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter. “We might think we are persuasive in email, but scientifically, we are so much more persuasive in person.”

2. See Your Relationship With Your Boss as a Two-Way Street
Too often, we see ourselves as the executors and our managers as the creators of work, forgetting that our manager is also responsible for their own assignments.

So, if you want to immediately improve your relationship, ask them this simple question: “What can I do for you?” By opening up this conversation, you open the door for them to delegate projects they may not have otherwise considered. And, taking on stretch assignments can improve your visibility and lead to career advancement.

3. Be a Good Recipient of Feedback (and Ask Pointed Questions)
Get in the mindset that you want actual, honest feedback—and be physically ready for it.
Even if the feedback seems insensitive, kindly explain how the approach hurt your feelings, but then ask questions to get at the root of the problem, making it clear you really do want to improve. If you’re a good feedback recipient, your boss will be more likely to share valuable advice with you, which will ultimately help you grow.

And, if you’re finding that you only getting positive feedback, ask your manager to be more specific, or try mentioning something you wish you’d handled differently.

“If you open a dialogue with self-reflection, you give your boss—who might be uncomfortable giving you criticism—the opportunity to go on the learning journey with you,” advises Denise Cox, VP of Technical Services at Cisco Systems.

Finally, don’t wait for periodic reviews to get constructive feedback. If you can, ask your manager to schedule time to meet one-on-one weekly or monthly.

Research by Gallup shows that 50% of employees leave their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career,” which means building the right kind of relationship with your boss can make a real difference to your job satisfaction and career progression. Plus, it’ll make your friends and family find you much more enjoyable to be around outside of work.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/tips-creating-productive-relationship-boss?ref=recently-published-0

1

Client engagement and call centre staff will be the two main groups of ATO employees to occupy the new Gosford waterfront tax office, according to Deputy Commissioner, Ms Sue Sinclair.

Ms Sinclair was in town for the Hello Gosford event.

“Basically it is called Hello Gosford, and we have run similar ones to these around various Australian states, and they have proved very popular,” she said.
“We invite the community, including tax agents, businesses and individuals to give them information about the taxation office, our services and an idea of how we can help them.
“It includes information for new small businesses, we offer a lot of support on digital services that we can showcase to make their lives easier,” she said.
Ms Sinclair said it was 2014 when the Federal Government announced it would build a new federal office in Gosford, with the ATO as lead agency.
She said the site was chosen due to proximity of transport and the opportunity to forge strong connections with the University of Newcastle.
“It fits the bill for us,” Ms Sinclair said of the new location.

She said 80 employees would be working out of the office before Christmas.
“In January, there will be a surge of people joining us,” she said of the New Year intake of 260 employees.
Another 115 will be due to start in May, after which another 150 jobs will be advertised.
“The majority of the people who started with us are actually the experienced people from the ATO, many of whom live locally, but some have been drawn from Parramatta and other localities in Sydney,” she said.

The ATO’s Gosford workforce would be a mixture of full time, part time, casual and non-ongoing employees.
“Even though next year we will be getting up to 600 people, there will be a continual churn, and opportunities for the local community with casual and part-time positions coming up all the time.
“It is a very modern office and we have a big reliance on being very well connected with technology.
“We’ve got a very sophisticated tele-presence site which enables us to do direct communication with all of our offices nationally via tele presence.
“We also have flexible working arrangements, so the office is geared up to enable different styles of work.
“We have areas suitable for working on projects, areas for collaboration and then some more traditional spaces.
“We will have a call centre operating here in Gosford.”

Ms Sinclair said she did not know the exact number of operators but they would be one of the biggest groups of employees based in Gosford, followed by the client engagement group.

Those two categories of employee would account for 45 per cent of the overall ATO workforce based in Gosford.
The ATO is sharing the building with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Group.

“We are taking the whole space except for the NDIS Group, which has a lower part of the building and a separate entrance to us,” Ms Sinclair said.
“We are negotiating with another state agency, but I am not sure where that will land.”
She said the intake of new employees to the building was being staggered because they were mostly brand new employees who needed induction and training.
Ms Sinclair said she was unable to state exactly what percentage of employees would be local, but said they would definitely be the majority.

“The sort of work they are doing is customer service, dispute resolution, so we have a presence of legal teams, advice work and corporate advice, basically a replica of a traditional ATO office.
“Call centre and client engagement are the group that look after engagement with clients from an advice and help and assist point of view, and they are a big part of our organisation.
“They look after things like superannuation, small business and individuals.”

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2017/12/call-centre-staff-will-be-the-largest-group-of-ato-employees/

1

The prospect of returning to work after years away from my career was daunting. I faced a host of challenges: a lack of recent and relevant experience, outdated corporate skills, and uncertainty about my Baby Boomer place in a Millennial-focused world.

I still thought, however, based upon my early career success and an advanced degree in my field, that I’d get a great offer in no time. It didn’t happen. My strategy—jumping into a role that was the wrong fit (and later leaving), followed by picking up consulting gigs here and there and then trying to explain it all in a resume with gaps and changes—was failing. I needed a strategic shift.

So I changed everything, from how I was approaching the job search process to my end goal. As a result, I applied for and landed a returnship, with Goldman Sachs. (If you’ve never heard of it, a returnship is an internship for people returning to the workforce.) It enabled me to add current and substantive experience to my resume, and reset my career path so I could once again move forward.

Here are the six most important lessons I learned in my quest to get back on track.

1. Update Your Online Presence
Being a somewhat tech-savvy boomer, I had a LinkedIn profile.

But too many people have ones that are lackluster or outdated. If that’s you, place this at the top of your to-do list. Both recruiters and hiring managers use the site to find and screen candidates.

I left off dates for my degrees to minimize age bias, and truncated my experience to the past 10 to 15 years (I recommend you do the same!).

2. Network—Always
You may think that networking is just for young professionals who need to meet new people. That’s simply not true. It’s beneficial regardless of your age.

For example, I had a friend put in a good word for me, and I know that helped me to be considered for the role at Goldman.

Here are four things you should start doing (if you’re not already):

Periodically touch base with professional contacts. Be memorable by sending a personal note and an interesting article once a month.
Let the other person know that you respect their time by being specific when you have an “ask.” Say (or write): “I’d really appreciate your perspective—can we speak/meet for 15 minutes?” And then stick with that time commitment.
Extend your network. Ask your contacts to connect you with their contacts.
Follow-up with a thank you note, every time. Take it to the next level by offering to be of help if they ever need your perspective or expertise.

3. Make it Easy for People to Help You
If you’re asking someone to refer you, give them everything they need, so they can simply send along your details.

So, if you’re applying to a role at their company, this includes the job name, job number, your resume, and bullets outlining what skills and experience you’d bring that match the requirements for the role.

People are busy, and so if you give them a complete email they can simply forward, it’s a lot more likely it’ll get passed on.

4. Refine Your Elevator Pitch
When you’ve had a lot of experience, it’s important (though often hard) to be clear about your objectives.

What are your areas of expertise?

What type of role are you looking for?

It’ll be tempting to rattle off everything you’ve done in the past, or say, “I can really do anything.” But a long speech can be overwhelming for listeners—and can make you look overqualified—and unfocused. So, cut it down and zero in on one thing you want the other person to come away with. My rule of thumb is that it should be no longer than 30 seconds.

5. Practice Self-Care
Unreturned emails, closed doors, and rejection all sting. But, it happens to pretty much everyone, especially when you’re outside the “sweet spot” of hiring prospects.

There’ll be surprises for better and worse: People that you’d have bet would be right there to help aren’t; and people you barely knew will do all they can.

So, it’s all the more important to be kind to yourself: go the gym, meet friends, and see a movie! That stuff may seem frivolous when you’re job searching, but it’ll help you feel happier—and keep you from letting your identity be wrapped up in your professional life.

6. Pay it Forward
Once you’ve landed in your new role, do what you can to help a colleague or friend of a friend. It could be at work, like offering to mentor junior employees.

Or, it could be that someone contacts you seeking your advice. Remember how you felt when you were job searching and do your best to find the time!

And of course, when you’re hiring in the future, give those who’ve had winding career paths a second look.

After my 10-week returnship program ended, I was asked to stay on for another year—and I did, happily. When my role recently came to an end, leaving Goldman Sachs was bittersweet.

But one thing that made me feel better is that I knew I was ready to find my next, more permanent position. On this search, I have not only a solid and recent accomplishment to leverage, but all of the lessons I’ve learned the last time around, as well as some new and treasured Millennial friends.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-6-best-job-search-lessons-i-learned-after-10-years-away-best-of?ref=the-muse-editors-picks-1

1

Lasercraft Australia is celebrating 30 years of operating a manufacturing business in West Gosford that employs disabled workers.

Lasercraft makes and sells corporate recognition awards, plaques and business gifts to major companies and government departments.
It also makes survey pegs for construction firms and surveyors.
It is a not-for-profit company and registered as a charity.
Revenue from its sales goes toward employment of supported workers with disabilities.

It currently employs 23 supported workers and provides training and workplace skills.
General Manager, Mr Peter Britton, said: “I love working with the supported workers.
“It is a delight to see them flower by gaining skills, having a normal work routine, increased socialisation and feeling accepted.

“Our aim is to create more places for supported workers, but this is only possible if we increase sales revenue.”
The supported workers are paid wages, and all have NDIS plans.

 

Source: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2017/12/30-years-of-operating-a-manufacturing-business-that-employs-disabled-workers/

1

Whether you consider this fact disheartening or motivating, you can’t deny its truth: You probably spend more time with your co-workers than you do with anyone else.

When you’re in the office at least 40 hours per week, the people you work with become a big part of your life. So it pays to have solid relationships with them.

Not only does that give you a strategic advantage in the workplace (hey, it never hurts to be well-liked!), it also makes work that much more enjoyable.

If you don’t consider yourself particularly close with your colleagues, don’t worry—cultivating a more caring and supportive atmosphere at work doesn’t need to be a complicated undertaking.

Here are four super simple things you can do to show your co-workers that you care and, as a result, make your office a place that you look forward to spending time in.

1. Offer Help

Think of the last time you were struggling at work. Maybe you were swamped and overwhelmed, or perhaps you were stuck on a challenging project.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had stopped by your desk and provided some advice? Or even offered to take something off your plate? Wouldn’t that alone have made you feel so much more valued and supported?

Absolutely. So, why not do that same thing for a colleague? When you see someone who’s stressed or confused, just ask: Is there anything I can do to help?

Even if your co-worker doesn’t actually take you up on your offer, just the fact that you recognized the challenge and wanted to do something about it goes a long way in fostering a more empathetic culture.

2. Get Personal

No, you don’t need to get too personal—after all, you’re still in the office.

But, even though you’re in a work setting, aim to forge a relationship with the whole person—not just a job title.

This means that the more you can get to know about your colleagues’ interests and passions outside the office, the easier it will be to connect with them on a more human level.

Whether it’s asking about his marathon training or admiring her desktop background featuring a photo from her recent vacation, don’t neglect to strike up the occasional small talk. Doing so will demonstrate your investment in them, while also giving you common ground that you can use to connect even further.

3. Provide Recognition

Everybody loves to get a pat on the back for a job well done—that’s universal. But gratitude and adequate recognition can easily fall by the wayside when we’re wrapped up in the chaos of our everyday lives.

Step up and be that colleague who always applauds the hard work of your team members. Maybe that involves sending a quick Slack message to let her know how much you enjoyed her presentation. Or, perhaps it means highlighting your co-worker’s contributions when your boss commends you for your own hard work on a recent project.

These sorts of comments might seem small, but they can make a huge impact when it comes to helping others in your office feel valued.

4. Do Something Nice

Little acts of kindness won’t go unnoticed—particularly in the office. So, when’s the last time you did something nice just because you felt like it?

Go ahead and pick up some bagels on your way into work one morning (when in doubt, free food is always effective). When you’re heading out for lunch, ask that colleague who looks insanely busy if you can get anything for him.

Your co-workers are sure to appreciate those little niceties and treats that you sneak in every now and then. Plus, as an added bonus, doing these sorts of things makes you feel good too!

These four strategies are great for showing your co-workers that you actually care about them. And they’re incredibly simple and take almost zero effort on your part.

So, if you’re eager to forge better, more supportive relationships with your colleagues (and if you aren’t, you definitely should be!), put these four tips to work. You’re sure to become one of the most-liked people in your office—while simultaneously cultivating a more positive atmosphere for your entire team.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-easy-things-you-can-do-to-show-your-coworkers-you-care?ref=recently-published-1

interview1

Job interviews can be damn intimidating. You spend ages psyching yourself up to even apply for the thing and then you get the call offering you an interview, go you!

Full disclosure; the first time I had a job interview (it was for a Brumby’s bakery you guys) was also the first time I discovered my body is capable of producing sweat from many new places, including, (but not limited to); the front of my shins and tops of my hands. I get how much of a challenge this can be.

However, the thing that got me through that interview, and all the ones since, was prep.

Even if you haven’t prepped for the questions you actually get asked, you’ll still have visualised yourself answering something and had a go at getting your words out straight… which is a massive win!

So here are some questions you might be asked, and how you might want to go about tackling them.

Q: Tell us about your strengths and weaknesses?

Do: BE HONEST. I mean, as honest as is appropriate for a professional setting. Spend some time prior to the interview reflecting on what you might bring to the job and what your personal challenges might be.

If you’re having some trouble maybe ask a friend or family member to tell you what they think your strengths and challenges might be. Remember to try and keep it relevant to the job.

For example, if it’s a customer service type job talk about how you love people and are friendly and social. If it’s a tech or digital job, talk about how you’re passionate about problem solving and detail. It is likely that if you’re drawn to a job it suits your strengths in some way so bring them to the surface.

Don’t: Pretend you don’t have any weaknesses. It actually demonstrates that you have average self awareness more than anything. If you’re struggling to come up with weaknesses that aren’t super private maybe try and think of a strength and flip it.

For example, if your strength is that you’re great at coming up with big ideas, the flip side might be that sometimes you aren’t as task or detail focused. You can talk about this with self awareness and also talk about your own strategies for managing it  like ‘I sometimes struggle with details  so I have gotten into the habit of keeping really good to do lists and reviewing them before I begin my tasks each day’. Smoooooth.

Q: Tell us about how you work in a team?

Do: Think of a time you’ve worked in a team and use it as an example.

For example, ‘Last year when I was helping to organise our school art show I found that I played xxxx role for the group’.

Don’t: Give a wishy washy answer like ‘yeah, good’.

Think about the different roles you’ve played in groups throughout your life, even friend and family groups. Some roles might be; the clown, the leader, the peacekeeper, the logistics guru, the problem solver, the cheer squad. Have a think about what fits for you and come up with an example to illustrate it. It’ll be great!

Q: Tell us about a time you’ve overcome a challenge?

Do: Prep an example for this one, it is great if it’s one that highlights your strengths.

For example: ‘When I was working on a group assignment we found that everyone was getting confused with emails going back and forth and people were starting to get frustrated. So I asked the group if they would be willing to use a google doc or facebook group to get organised and everyone was on board. I set it up and left an initial post offering how we might want to use it and it worked really well’.

The above example highlights someone who is organised, perceptive and a leader, all good things.

Don’t: Say nothing. It might be tough to think of a challenge on the spot so don’t let it catch you off guard and make sure you prep for this question.

You can use whatever example you think will work, what you’re really trying to show the interviewer is that you can reflect and adapt when you need to.

 

Source: https://www.fya.org.au/2015/10/27/how-to-nail-the-job-interview/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAsK7RBRDzARIsAM2pTZ-eCQgzbYPi-pW5FrA9ndUZxUFFBPZcAG7ga7NYxBwHy4R_a3hPap0aAuRJEALw_wcB

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Construction has begun on the site of the new Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospital

Delegates from hospital operator Healthe Care Australia joined local MPs and business leaders yesterday to turn the first sod on the $23 million project.

The new hospital, located on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Craigie Avenue in Kanwal, directly opposite Wyong Public Hospital, will create up to 50 jobs and include 3 operating theatres, 14 recovery bays, 6 recovery chairs, 20 inpatient overnight beds and consulting spaces.

The first stage of the project will see up to 60 construction workers on-site each day.

Once completed, the facility will cater for Day Surgery and short stay patients for multiple specialties including orthopaedics, gastroenterology, ENT, plastics, urology, general surgery, and vascular among others.

The hospital will be supported with shared services from Gosford Private Hospital, as well as specialist consulting suites on its ground floor.

Matt Kelly, Central Coast Healthe Care Regional Manager Matt Kelly said he was excited the project was underway.

“It’s an extremely positive development for the region, and along with the many new developments at both Gosford Private and Brisbane Waters Private recently, will help to increase our capacity and the range of services we can offer right here on the Central Coast,” he said

The Hunter and Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel unanimously approved the hospital back in September.

Source: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/tuggerah-lakes-private-hospital-construction-work-starts/news-story/a87834a1ac77860a2a3e2180675830cf

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Meetings are expensive. Not because you’re charging people to attend (obviously), but because they use people’s time; time that could be spent doing lots of other revenue-generating things. In fact, one study found that a recurring meeting of mid-level managers was costing one company $15 million a year!).

$15 million a year!

Not to mention, you also need to take into account the prep time as well as the context-switching time. Professor Gloria Mark at University of California, Irvine found that it takes an average of 25 minutes for a worker to return to their original task after an interruption.

Knowing these stats means that when I’m debating whether I need to call a meeting, I ask myself what it’s worth (literally). Is this the best use of everyone’s time, mine included? And not so infrequently, the answer is “nope.”

So, what to do then? Easy! Send a simple but critical email to keep everyone informed and on track.

What to Include

There are three key things you need to cover:

Logistics: why the meeting was cancelled and, if it’s a recurring meeting, what to expect for next time
Action: any critical action items completed or pending
Information: any updates or general FYIs for the group

Note: Don’t fall into the trap of putting the action items and logistics last. Having the most critical information higher up ensures that it’s seen when your colleagues skim their email. Oh, and a bonus tip for you: Put people’s names in bold if they need to do anything to make triple sure they notice.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/turn-meeting-into-an-email-template

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A company that started life in a Central Coast garage is on the brink of a major global expansion after signing an agreement to supply alpaca quilts to Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com.

Central Coast family-owned Bambi Enterprises manufactures a range of luxury natural fibre quilts at it’s West Gosford factory and is a leading supplier of bedding to major Australian retailers including Harvey Norman, Snooze and 40 Winks.

Last week Bambi hosted a delegation from JD.com at its factory — another step in the relationship with the Fortune Global 500 listed internet retailer which is expected to buy at least $1.5 million worth of locally made quilts annually.

Bambi Managing Director and founder Peter Witney said supplying a retailer like JD.com heralded a major expansion for Bambi including a bigger factory, more employees and possibly 24-hour operation.

Mr Witney said the first order of 1500 quilts had already been filled and the company was now looking at future expansion into Asia.

“We’re very excited about it and hopefully this will just be the start,” Mr Witney said.

Bambi Enterprises was founded by Mr Witney and his wife Jan 35 years ago and started off making wool baby-seat covers in their garage at Tascott.

Their product range expanded over the years and a factory was eventually built in Dell Road at West Gosford. The factory has already doubled in size and is set to expand again.

Bambi uses a range of natural materials in it’s quilts including wool, alpaca, Tencel (plant fibre), and Ingeo (corn fibre).

It’s a true family affair with son Greg as General Manager, daughter Emma handling customer relations, and another son Tim previously involved in sales.

There are 30 people currently employed by the company.

JD.com is a Chinese online retailer based in Beijing. It is one of the two largest such companies in China and as of September 2017, it had 258.3 million monthly active users.

JD.com is also a leader in high tech and artificial intelligence delivery systems using drones, autonomous vehicles and robots. It has recently started testing robotic delivery services and building drone delivery airports, and has unveiled its first autonomous delivery truck.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/bambi-enterprises-signs-agreement-to-supply-alpaca-quilts-to-jdcom/news-story/fd6bc256d7f35de4bb496c01edffc472

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In the market for a new job? You’ve probably been urged to “pursue your passions,” “leverage your network,” “tailor and tidy up your resume,” “do your homework,” and “dress for success”—among other things.

“These are foundational aspects to job seeking that are timeless,” says Teri Hockett, the chief executive of What’s For Work?, a career site for women.

David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach and author, agrees: “Much of this has been around long enough to become conventional for a reason: it works,” he says. “If you take a closer look, things like networking, research, and applying to multiple employers are fundamental ‘block and tackle’ types of activities that apply to 80% of the bell curve. They hinge upon casting a broad net; they leverage the law of averages; they adhere to the fundamentals of psychology. It’s no wonder they still work.”

But some of it “does get old and overused, because job seeking is as unique and creative as an individual,” says Isa Adney, author of Community College Success and the blog FirstJobOutofCollege.com. “When you ask any professional who has achieved some level of greatness how he or she got there, the journey is always unique, always varied, and rarely cookie-cutter. Most have, in some capacity, followed their passion, used their network, and had a good resume–but those things are usually part of a much bigger picture, and an unpredictable winding path. Instead of always following the exact by-the-book job seeking formulas, most were simply open to possibilities and got really good at whatever it is they were doing.”

We’re not saying you should discount or disregard traditional job seeking advice altogether. But it can’t hurt to mix it up and try less conventional approaches until you achieve your goals, Hockett says.

“Times are always changing and while it’s always good to follow the basic advice, we also have to get rolling with the times,” says Amanda Abella, a career coach, writer, speaker, and founder of the Gen Y lifestyle blog Grad Meets World. “For instance, group interviews are making a comeback, we’ve got Skype interviews now, or you may interview in front of a panel. All this stuff didn’t happen as often before–so while the same basic stuff applies, we have to take into account all the new dynamics.”

Hockett agrees and says if you are going to try some unconventional job seeking methods, you should “always be grounded with solid research and a clear direction of your intentions; then you will be ready for any opportunity to make a connection resulting in a positive impact on a hiring manager.”

Parnell says generally speaking, unconventional methods should be used sparingly, judiciously and only when necessary. “And when you do decide to use them, factor comprehensively by recognizing things like industry standards, personalities involved, and the general ilk of the position’s responsibilities, before strategizing.”

Here are 10 unconventional (but very effective) tips for job seekers:
1. Be vulnerable. It’s okay to ask people for advice! “Too often we think we have to sell ourselves as this know-it-all hot-shot to get a job, but I have found the best way to build relationships with people whom you’d like to work with (or for) is to start by being vulnerable, sharing your admiration for their work, and asking for advice,” Adney says. “I recommend doing this with professionals at companies you’d love to work for, long before they have a job opening you apply for.”

2. Don’t always follow your passion. “Follow your passion” is one of the most common pieces of career wisdom, says Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love. “It’s also wrong.” If you study people who end up loving their work, most of them did not follow a pre-existing passion, he says. “Instead, their passion for the work developed over time as they got better at what they did and took more control over their career.”

Adney agrees to some extent. She doesn’t think job seekers should completely disregard their passions–but does believe that “challenging this conventional wisdom is vital, especially since studies still show most Americans are unhappy in their jobs.”

3. Create your position. Don’t just sit around waiting for your “dream job” to open. Study the industry or field that you’re looking to move into, and determine a company or two that you’d like to work for, Hockett says. “Then figure out their challenges through relationships or public information. With this, you can craft a solution for them that you can share directly or publically through a blog, for instance. The concept here is to get noticed through offering a solution to help them with no expectation of anything in return.”

4. Learn how to listen. Job seekers are so caught up in conveying a certain message and image to the employer that they often fail to listen.

“Powerful listening is a coaching tool, as well as an amazing skill to have in your life,” Abella says. “The art of conversation lies in knowing how to listen– and the same applies to job interviews. Know when to talk, when to stop talking, and when to ask questions.”

When you practicing for interviews, don’t just rehearse your answers to questions like, “can you tell me about yourself?” “why do you want this job?” and “what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” Practice listening carefully and closely without interrupting.

5. Start at the top and move down. We learned from Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) in The Pursuit of Happyness (the biographical film based on Gardner’s life) that you need to start from the top and move down. “Why approach human resources in hopes that your resume makes it to the hiring authority?” Parnell says. “Just get it there yourself. Be careful to use tact, respect and clarity during the process, but nevertheless, go straight to the decision maker.”
6. Build a relationship with the administrative assistant. While you want to start at the top (see No. 5), you’ll eventually want to build strategic relationships with personnel at all levels.

“A terribly underutilized resource is an employer’s administrative assistant,” Parnell says. “As the manager’s trusted counterpart, there is often only a slight social barrier between the two. They know the manager’s schedule, interests, responsibilities and preferences. Making friends or even engaging in some quasi-bartering relationship with them can make all the difference in the world.”

7. Don’t apply for a job as soon as you find it. The worst part about job hunting is the dreaded scrolling of an online job board, applying for job after job, and never hearing back, Adney says. “When you find a job online that you’re really interested in, applying is the last thing you should do. Instead, research that company and the professionals who work there, and reach out to someone at the company before you apply for the job, letting them know you admire what they do and would love their advice.” Then, ask questions via e-mail or phone about what they like and find challenging at their job, and ask if they have any tips for you. “Most likely they will personally tell you about the job opening (you should not mention it) and then you can ask them about getting your application and resume into the right hands,” she says. “It is a great way to keep your applications from getting lost in the black hole of the Internet.”

8. Focus on body language. You’ve probably heard this before—but job candidates don’t take it seriously enough. “Body language is incredibly important in job interviews,” Abella says. “Watching yours (posture, your hands, whether or not you’re relaxed, confidence) will help you exude confidence,” she explains. “Meanwhile paying attention to the interviewer’s body language can let you gauge whether or not you’re on the right track.”

9. Don’t focus on finding a job you love now. Don’t obsess about how much you’ll enjoy a particular job on day one, Newport says. Most entry-level positions are not glamorous. “The right question to ask when assessing an opportunity is what the job would look like in five years, assuming that you spent those years focusing like a laser on developing valuable skills. That’s the job you’re interviewing for.”

Adney agrees. “When choosing a job early in your career or early in a career change, focus less on how much you would love doing the functions of the job and focus more on where you will have the greatest opportunity to add value to the company, network with top people in your industry, and have the ability to get your foot in the door of a company that mostly hires internally.”

10. Become their greatest fan. Once you find a company you’d love to work for, become their biggest fan. “Becoming a brand loyalist may lead to becoming an employee,” Hockett says. “But of course, you have to establish or participate in a forum where you’re constantly communicating that message; one they will see.” Organizations ideally want employees to love their company and be enthusiastic about their job. Loyal fans are passionate as consumers, and often make great employees because of this, she concludes.

Source: forbes.com

quotes

A little inspiration and motivation can go a long way in the daunting job search process.

“It would be great if we all had a career coach or mentor who could follow us around every step of the way when we look for a job,” says Andy Teach, author of From Graduation to Corporation, and host of the YouTube channel FromGradToCorp. “They could motivate us and keep our spirits up when we get rejected for a job; and congratulate us when we snag that interview or, even better, land that dream job. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen so we all need to look for motivation from other sources. There are many great quotes from several famous and not-so-famous people that can inspire us to be the best that we can be in whatever we do. These quotes can certainly pertain to us as we search for a job. It’s best to pick a select few, write them down, and keep them close to you so that you have a constant reminder of what you need to do.”

Here are 30 motivational quotes for job seekers:

  1. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” –Japanese proverb
  2. “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” –Thomas Jefferson
  3. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” –George Santayana
  4. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
  5. “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” –Andrew Carnegie
  6. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” –Benjamin Franklin
  7. “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” –Katherine Whitehorn
  8. “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe
  9. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill
  10. “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale
  11. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky
  12. “Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  13. “Do one thing every day that scares you.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
  14. “I’m playing; I’m here. I’m going to fight until they tell me they don’t want me anymore.” –Steve Nash
  15. “Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” –H. Stanley Judd
  16. “Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” –Author Unknown
  17. “Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.” –Audrey Hepburn
  18. “Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.” –Brian Tracy
  19. “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” –Alexander Graham Bell
  20. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –Confucius
  21. “Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.” –Marva Collins
  22. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” –Robert F. Kennedy
  23. “Never tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” –Author Unknown
  24. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –George Eliot
  25. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney DIS -0.15%
  26. “Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.” –Brian Tracy
  27. “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” –Thomas Jefferson
  28. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.” –Calvin Coolidge
  29. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” –Maya Angelou
  30. “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” –Theodore Roosevelt

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/01/30/30-motivational-quotes-for-job-seekers/#779c0b101e7f

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Fact: Working with other people is hard. Even when you like them.

And over the years, I’ve tried different strategies to improve relationships (or, at the very least, prevent myself from freaking out in people’s faces).

But then, last year, I started going to therapy to deal with a situation outside the office. And I was surprised to realise that a lot of the advice I was getting could be applied to the workplace, too.

In fact, by using these therapist-approved strategies, I’m able to deal with difficult work situations much better now. So, before you let co-workers drive you up another wall, here are three new things to try.

1. Validate the Person’s Feelings Before You Do Anything Else

You know that passive aggressive co-worker who drives you nuts? Dealing with their behaviour can be super annoying!

Now, most of us don’t need therapy to recognise that we don’t have any control over others’ moods or behavior. But, instead of getting irritated about it, my therapist taught me a trick that makes that reality way easier to accept. All I have to do is imagine why someone might be acting the way they are, identify how I would feel if I were in their position, and then validate that feeling.

For example, if a client asks me to turn a project in sooner than we’d initially agreed and then gets annoyed when I say no, I’ll first try to identify why they might be making this request. Maybe their boss is putting pressure on them. If that were me, I’d be feeling really stressed out. And, I’d be disappointed if my request for an accelerated deadline were turned down. So, I’ll tell my client, “I imagine that this is probably disappointing for you.”

I know it sounds a little hokey, but this works wonders. By trying to empathise (even if I think the person’s wrong) and then validating what they’re feeling, I’m able to shift my attitude from frustration to empathy.

And, the client feels heard, too. Nine times out of 10, they’ll calmly reply, “Yes, I do feel disappointed.” It’s like identifying the feeling takes the hot air out of the situation. I’m then able to reiterate that I can’t accommodate an earlier deadline without things escalating.
2. Say What You’re Actually Thinking—and Say it Clearly

When I used to find myself in an awkward situation, I’d usually scramble to make things less awkward as quickly as possible. This usually meant bending over backward to make the other person happy, with no regard for my needs or feelings.

Now, I use a simple formula that I learned in therapy to clearly and concisely make my point:

the change I’d like + why the current option isn’t working + why my preference is better

For example, I had a client who said she hated my proposal. I’m perfectly fine with constructive feedback, but telling me you hate something doesn’t help me at all. So I said, “I’d like us to communicate with each other more respectfully because telling me you hate something doesn’t feel constructive. I’d prefer if you provided me with specific feedback about what isn’t working for you because that’ll help me to to deliver the work product you’re looking for.”

She immediately apologised and we were able to get on the same page from there.

As I’ve become more comfortable telling people what does or doesn’t work for me, being more assertive has gotten less scary. Even better, it’s made my working relationships stronger and more honest.
3. Set Boundaries

I’m a recovering people pleaser with a serious compulsion to say “No problem!” without even thinking. This usually leads to me feeling stressed and resentful, which isn’t good for me (or fair to my co-workers).

Getting comfortable with setting boundaries has made a huge difference. When a client asks me to sit in on a last-minute meeting or my boss wants me to work late, I now pause and consider whether or not it’s something I am willing and able to take on. If it’s not, I simply say, “I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me.” If it makes, sense, I’ll offer up a reason or an alternative solution. But sometimes, no just means no.

I’ve learned that setting boundaries can also be a proactive exercise. I’ll often tell new clients up front that I don’t check emails over the weekend or that I need a full 24 hours to respond to new requests. Managing expectations and setting boundaries from the start helps me to avoid annoying or uncomfortable situations in the future.

In no way am I suggesting that you should start saying no to every request from your boss, or setting ridiculous boundaries with your co-workers. These relationships are two-way streets, and you’ll sometimes need to bend to accommodate others.

I also understand that not everyone can turn down their manager when she asks them to work late or to avoid email all weekend—everyone’s boundaries will be different. But, learning about these strategies has made it way easier for me to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations, so I’m pretty sure that they’ll work for you, too.
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-strategies-thatll-make-working-with-people-easier-because-its-hard?ref=carousel-slide-2

Hospitality staff are in high demand on the Central Coast right now.  Jobs On The Coast has vacancies advertised from employers looking to connect with hospitality professionals just like you!

Click here to see current vacancies.

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FOR the first time, the Central Coast will be marketed to the world as a complete region.

From Wyee to Woy Woy and beyond, the Coast will not be picked apart into places­ of interest and major attractions. It will be recognised and marketed as a whole with plenty to offer local, interstate, national and international visitors.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian­ visited the region last week and said she was taken aback when briefed on the number of international visitors the Central Coast attracted.

“In the last year, the Central Coast managed to host 900,000 international visitors,” she said at the Central Coast Chamber of Commerce’s economic breakfast.

“That represents a 50 per cent increase in the last three years alone.”

This comes as Central Coast Council’s tourism, marketing and industry services agency AFFINITY briefed 100 Coast tourist operators­ on its findings from an industry survey and provided a marketing update.

The Sydney advertising firm was awarded a $1.6 million contract in July to market­ the Central Coast to the world.

At the briefing, AFFINITY’s chief executive officer Luke Brown detailed a current Facebook campaign, which included 21 local businesses, designed to promote­ the Coast and test the Sydney market to find the most appealing branding messages.

The company is testing “brand positioning territories”, including “Adventure, Nature, Escape and Discover”.

“Adventure” will look at the Coast’s active pursuits, such as Glenworth Valley and the Australian Reptile Park, while “Nature” will highlight the stunning landscape.

“Escape” encourages people to pursue a relaxed, slower pace of life, and “Discover” delves into new and enriching experiences.

AFFINITY conducted an industry survey and gathered data from 500 local businesses in the dining/entertainment, activity, retail­, accommodation, government and transport sectors. It showed 48 per cent of the industry associated the Coast with the beach, while 26 per cent were unsure as to what made the Coast unique.

The largest barrier for visitation was the Coast’s facilities at 49 per cent. The survey revealed the need for new and different marketing, in particular digital marketing of the Coast.

Crowne Plaza Terrigal sales and marketing director Emma Perham attended the briefing and said she was really happy the council was making tourism a priority.

“We are really excited and very supportive of the direction Central Coast Council is looking to take tourism and the focus being placed on it,” she said.

Tourism on the Central Coast employs over 12,500 people and generates over $900 million a year for the regional economy.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/tourism-agency-affinity-to-market-central-coast-as-a-complete-region/news-story/b03c6319010ac81c0da1be5de6932e07

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You’ve likely heard the advice to add numbers to your resume bullets. It helps recruiters really picture the impact you’ve made in your position, and it frankly just sounds more impressive.

See for yourself: Which person would you hire?

Person 1: Duties included taking field measurements and maintaining records, setting up and tracking project using Microsoft Project, and developing computerized material take-off sheets.

Person 2: Initiated and managed tracking systems used for the Green District water decontamination project, saving $125,000 on the overall project through a 30% decrease of staff allocation time.

Exactly.

Of course, I know what you might be thinking: Sounds great, but what if I just don’t really work with hard numbers? Maybe you’re in a role that requires softer skills, or maybe you don’t have hard data or sales reports to pull from.

That’s OK! Truthfully, no matter what you do, you can add some numbers and data to your resume to give it that extra touch.

Here are three ways to quantify your experience without being in an inherently quant-y field:

1. Range

Not knowing the exact figure for things is often a big deterrent for using numbers in resumes. But one way to overcome this is to use a range.

It’s perfectly fine to not know exactly how many clients you see a month or how many calls you take a week, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still quantify it.

Give it your best estimate, and the range will show that there is a bit of leeway. And, of course, focus on your impact.

2. Frequency

Now that you know it’s fine to use a range, one of the easiest ways to add some numbers is to include how frequently you do a particular task (after all, that’s a number that applies to pretty much everyone).

This is particularly helpful in illustrating your work in high-volume situations—a hiring manager will be able to see just how much you can handle.

3. Scale

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: Employers across the board care about money—and saving it. Including the frequency of your actions give a great sense of scale, but an even more eye-catching way to do this is to talk about the bottom line.

Think about all the things you do that ultimately save your company money, whether it’s streamlining a procedure, saving time, or negotiating discounts with vendors. Multiply those actions by how frequently you do them, and pop them into your resume bullets (remembering, again, that rough numbers are OK).

Numbers make such a huge difference in resumes—no matter what your work involves.

So, the next time you’re polishing your resume, try adding a few numbers to quantify your work and see how they really drive home the impact you’re capable of making.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-quantify-your-resume-bullets-when-you-dont-work-with-numbers?ref=carousel-slide-1

1

Can you get me a job at your company, please?

Do you know the CEO—and can I talk to her?

Want to see my resume? It’s awesome, I swear.

These are the things we’d like to say to people when we’re networking, but for obvious reasons can’t.

So, the question always becomes, what can we ask?

I recently read Molly Beck’s book Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence. And in it, she breaks down the art of networking into bite-sized steps—one of which talks about good versus bad favours.

The concept is simple: Some things you choose to ask your network are better than others. And this means the difference between someone wanting to help you out and someone wanting nothing to do with your request.

If you read the quotes above and cringed at the thought of saying them to someone you knew, you already know what a bad favour is.

So, what makes a good favour?

“The key to a great favour is to ask a particular, definable question whose answer cannot be found on Google and can be answered easily in a paragraph or so via email,” says Beck in the book.

Let’s break that down a bit more:

 

It Should Be Specific

Your ask should be tailored to the person and not super open-ended. Beck gives the example “Can I pick your brain?” as both being way too vague and asking too much of someone (and for free, mind you). You’re better off saying something like, “What advice do you have for someone who wants to break into finance like yourself?”

 

It Should Be Non-Googleable

Don’t ask someone a question that you can look up yourself. Beck uses “What open jobs does your company have?” as an example that you could easily search on your own time.

 

It Should Be Short

Many of your requests will be sent over email to someone who’s already pretty busy, Beck points out, so they should be able to answer it without spending hours crafting a response.

 

Now of course, if the person seems excited to chat with you, you can ask to meet in person. But, Beck suggests, “If and when people say yes, keep in mind that you are working around their schedule, not yours, and you should be traveling to go to a place that’s easy for them to get to. Additionally, when you do meet for coffee or even a meal, you should be paying for them.”

Finally, the author says, every favour should come with a gift. Because this person is going out of their way for you, you should do the same—meaning you should include at least two beneficial things in your initial reach-out. Now, before you worry that you have to send a fruit basket and a bottle of wine every time you ask someone to grab coffee, don’t. It can be as simple as a compliment, a book recommendation, or an introduction to someone you think they would benefit from knowing.

(But if they end up helping you out in a big way, you might want to send them one of these thank you items.)

One of the most memorable favours I’ve ever gotten asked was when a reader of my blog emailed me to say that her friend was a big fan of my writing, and would I consider doing a birthday shout-out on the blog to her? It made my day that she and her friend thought so highly of my blog, and it was such a cool way to make someone feel special on their birthday. Of course I said yes. That super-unique favour opened up a great line of communication between all three of us.

Your request may be simpler (or, even more complicated) than this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth asking. If you follow the guidelines above, you’ll make it that much easier for someone to say yes—and be excited about it, too.
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/a-networking-expert-on-how-to-ask-people-for-career-favors-and-get-a-yes?ref=carousel-slide-3

2

Let’s be real for a second. These days, many of us live in a world of excess, where more is definitely better. We heap our plates full with seconds when we’re already full, overstuff a drawer with t-shirts we’ll never wear again, and ensure that we own at least 20 mugs. (I know, I know—each of those mugs serves a very specific purpose.)

Often, we apply this “more is more” principle to our professional lives, too. Clocking in at the crack of dawn and logging off only when our eyelids can’t stay open anymore are often heralded as hallmarks of star employees.

But, I have news for you: This type of lifestyle is not necessary for success, growth, or job satisfaction. In fact, I’d argue that it can actually hurt you (but that’s a story for a different day).

The main message here is: You can be the apple of your manager’s eye even if you don’t make working overtime a habit. Provided of course that when you’re in the office, you’re kicking ass, completing everything assigned, and turning it on time.

Ready to start leaving before dinner time? I recommend making these three things habits:

1. Stay Engaged

I used to bring my laptop to every single meeting. And, without a doubt, I’d spend the entire time answering emails, surfing random sites, and chatting with friends.

Now that I work in an office where this isn’t the norm, I realize just how annoying it is. A surefire way to signal that you don’t care about your job or your teammates (even if that isn’t necessarily true), is to spend your time with them with your eyes glued to a screen.

Instead, be present in meetings and all other conversations you have. Ask questions, provide helpful feedback and context, and flex those active listening muscles.

And yes, this applies to remote workers, too. Working off site doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to communication. If anything, you’ll probably need to make a bit more of an effort, but it’s worth it if it means you’re staying in the loop and others are, too.

2. Know When to Say “Yes” and When to Say “No”

Lending a colleague a hand or volunteering to take the lead on a new project are invaluable characteristics, and there’s an added bonus if you can anticipate needs and offer your services before someone needs to ask.

It’ll show that you’re a go-getter, a team player, and someone who wants to learn and grow. It’s a big plus for a supervisor if his staff isn’t constantly muttering, “That’s not my job.”

But—but—this doesn’t, in any way, mean you should be a “yes person.” It’s also crucial to know when and how to turn down requests for help, new assignments, and so forth. Putting too much on your plate is a recipe for becoming severely overwhelmed.

You may start producing shoddy work or missing deadlines completely, and, well, neither of those are invaluable characteristics. The key is knowing not just how much you can fit on your plate, but how much you can execute at a high-quality rate.

So if you’re at the point in which you can feel yourself starting to slip, say no.

3. Check in With Your Boss Regularly

In each position I’ve had, my manager and I met regularly. And, I admit—these times weren’t always helpful. Sometimes, it was because my supervisor always canceled them (thanks). But other times it was because I just wanted it to be over as quickly as possible, so I didn’t say much.

That was a mistake. This one-on-one time is so important. It’s your time to update her on your progress, ask for help, discuss career goals, and get to know each other a little bit better.

Taking these meetings seriously will reassure your boss that you are, in fact, doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and it’ll also signal that you care. And caring is a big part of being a good employee.

And hey—If you don’t have regular time like this on your calendar, I highly recommend requesting it.

Yes—there will be occasions in which you need to put in a little extra time. But that doesn’t have to be an ongoing theme in your life. I’m here to tell you that you can be a rock star employee and live a life outside of work.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-be-a-hardworking-employee-without-sacrificing-your-personal-life?ref=carousel-slide-1

2

Central Coast Council’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Rob Noble, officially stepped out of the position on Wednesday, September 20, handing over the reins to new CEO, Mr Brian Bell.
Mr Noble is leaving after two years as CEO at Wyong Shire Council and Central Coast Council, to return to his business and home in Queensland.
“I stayed longer than I originally intended, as I wanted to lead the new Central Coast Council through the amalgamation process, and support Administrator, Ian Reynolds, and our staff, in creating a vibrant and sustainable Central Coast,” Mr Noble said.“I am taking with me a lot of fond memories of the Central Coast.
“I have worked with some fabulous people and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work here,” he added.
Mr Bell has extensive experience in Local Government, spanning 50 years, including 12 years as General Manager of Lake Macquarie Council.
“Rob is leaving some very big shoes to fill,” Mr Bell said.
“He has led the transformation of two organisations into one Central Coast Council, and has created a solid foundation for the newly elected Council to build on,” Mr Bell said.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of continuing to lead the organisation through this transition period to the elected Council, while continuing on the excellent course Rob has set for us.”
Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, echoed these sentiments.
“Rob has done an amazing job, and it is due to his hard work and leadership, that this Council has achieved as much as it has,” Mr Reynolds said.
“He is a transformational, charismatic leader and has left a great legacy, and will be greatly missed by staff.
“He is without doubt one of the best CEOs I have encountered in all my years in government, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him.
“Brian Bell is well equipped to continue and build on Rob’s work.
“He lives here on the Coast and has led an award-winning Council, Lake Macquarie Council, for a number of years.
“He has the runs on the board and the commitment to continue to make Central Coast Council the very best it can be,” Mr Reynolds said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald MLC, also thanked Mr Noble for his leadership of Council.
“Mr Noble’s stewardship of the amalgamated Council has placed the region in great stead for the future,” Mr MacDonald said.
With the funding provided by the NSW Government, the new Central Coast Council has been able to implement the following major Wyong region projects: Disability Matters – Improved accessibility to natural spaces across the Coast, $800,000; Community Facilities – Access and inclusion upgrades to community facilities across the Coast, $580,000; and, San Remo BMX facility – New amenities, $640,000.
“The Council is now in a strong financial position to serve its community,” Mr MacDonald said.

Source: http://coastcommunitynews.com.au/2017/09/new-council-ceo-takes-control/

interview q

“Do you have any questions for us?”

You’ll be asked it in almost any interview. And while you may be tempted to sit back and relax during this portion—while the recruiter’s put in the hot seat—that’s not actually in your best interest.

Why? Because this is your final chance to make an awesome impression.

My team and I interview around 100,000 people a year so, as you can imagine, we always take notice when someone asks a question besides “What’s a typical day like?” or “When will I hear back from you?”

In fact, you shouldn’t be afraid to grill hiring managers during this portion of the conversation. Chances are, they’re hoping you will.

To help get you started, here are some of the super-smart questions I’ve been asked during actual interviews by real-life candidates–and the reasons they got my attention.

1. “Who Does the Wireframing for Your Site?”

OK, that’s clearly specific to a certain role. But I’m using this one as an example of a question you can ask that places you in the role you’ve applied for.

This question came from a prospective designer. We got talking about a new internal website we were developing and he asked, “Who does the wireframing for your website, the design team or a specific UX team?”

We ended up having a great discussion about our processes and how he could contribute to the development of the project. I remember thinking it was like we were already working together. And, from his perspective, he got a great insight into the way we work across teams and who has responsibility for what.

2. “Why Does This Role Matter to the Growth of the Company?”

Talk about putting the ball back in my court! This question showed me the candidate was interested in more than just what I thought of him then and there, in the interview. She wanted to make an impact beyond her own role or team and get a feel for how she’d fit into the future plans of the business.

And, from a candidate perspective, it’s a great way to help you see whether the role you’ve applied for will be a high or low-profile position. It also gives you an indication of what’s expected of the person who fills that role.

3. “Could I Meet Some of the People I’d Be Working With?”

I’ve been asked this a few times—especially more recently—and it’s a great question. (And one that we always try to accommodate.) It shows me the candidate understands the importance of cultural fit and team dynamics and that it matters to them. This is clearly not a person who wants to come to work, sit down at their desk every day, and work in a solitary bubble with their headphones on.

Plus, if you want to get a sense of whether you’ll enjoy being around the people you could be working with every day, this is the question you should ask.

4. “Why Has the Person in This Role Decided to Leave?” / “Who Had This Role Before?”

This can be a very revealing question! Why is the position you’ve applied for available? Is it because the previous person has been promoted or moved to a different team? Both of which would suggest that this job would set you up for progression.

Or, did the person leave to join another company? Or because they didn’t meet expectations? If the recruiter hesitates or becomes evasive, that could tell you everything you need to know! Equally, stay alert and if you sense it’s time to move the conversation on, gently change the subject to something else or ask a new question that’s easier to answer.

5. “What Do You Like Most About Working Here?”

I’ve only been asked this once, believe it or not. It was by a candidate who’d just finished giving a very competent response to the question, “Why do you want to work here?”

I loved the way she tossed this question right back at me. And, although it took me a few seconds to think how to respond, we ended up having a great conversation about how rewarding a career at J&J can be, both personally and professionally.

As a candidate, it’s the perfect question to catch the recruiter a little off-guard and get an honest answer. Regardless of what they say, you can probably gauge how they truly feel about their company, which gives you another indication of whether it’s the right fit for you.

6. “Do You Have Any Reservations About Me or My Qualifications?”

A seriously gutsy question! So gutsy that I was impressed by the confidence of the candidate who asked it. You might think you’re setting your self-esteem up for a knocking. But it’s actually very smart.

A question like this gives you the chance to address any concerns the recruiter may have about your fit for the role head-on, in person. In the instance I’m thinking of, the candidate was actually able to mitigate the concerns I had about a large, unexplained gap on his resume. It transpired he’d taken an unpaid sabbatical to care for his infant daughter while his wife went back to college.

Sure, it takes some gumption to ask. But why allow a potentially unfounded reservation turn into a reason to give someone else the job ahead of you?

7. “How Do You Deal With Professional Disagreements Within the Team? Can You Give Me an Example?”

Another question that shows a recruiter that they’re talking to a candidate who cares about team dynamics and understands that how a team works together can make or break the success of its projects.

For you as a candidate, it’s an incredibly useful way to find out whether you’ll be joining a team of ‘yes-men’ or whether respectful (emphasis on respectful!) disagreements are encouraged to ensure all avenues are explored and that company goals are put ahead of egos. Providing the interviewer answers honestly, it also gives you an indication of inter-team dynamics.
As a recruiter, I’ve heard a lot of awesome questions (such as these)—and some I bet the candidate regretted instantly! But, with a little preparation, there’s no need to feel anxious about this part of an interview.

The hiring manager knows you want to figure out if the role is right for you so they’ll be expecting questions. And by taking a couple of the examples above and modifying them to fit your own situation, I can almost guarantee you’re going to instigate some really valuable discussions that help you (both!) to make the right decision about the role.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/out-of-100000-interviews-these-7-candidate-questions-stood-out

1

Your first few weeks at a new job can be exhilarating. It’s often fast-paced and full of brand new things that can reignite a spark that you lost. After all, that might’ve been your reason for looking for this new gig in the first place.

But, it can also be overwhelming. And when you look at all the meetings on your calendar, you might think that your goal is to survive it. You can always go back and re-learn anything you missed this week, right?

And in a lot of ways, that’s true. Nobody expects you to master everything you learn during your first month, especially when it comes to understanding the finer details about your company. But there is an important question you should ask in every meeting you have (when it makes sense, of course):

How can my work make your life easier?

You might be thinking, “I barely know where the coffee machine is! How can I think about helping anyone else right now?” And that’s totally fair. But on my first day at my current job, my boss suggested that I set up meetings with everyone on my team and ask each of them this question. It was terrifying, and if I’m being honest, I really didn’t want to do it. But I didn’t want to disappoint my new boss more, so I got over my fear and piped up.

And when I did, I was pleasantly surprised by how it went.

Some people had really strong opinions. Others told me that they hadn’t even thought about it, but appreciated that I opened the conversation with that question. But what I ultimately learned was that your intro meetings don’t have to be a one-way street.

As much as you have to learn, it’s important to remember that you were hired to bring something different to the table—and you can do that as early as your first week on the job.

Again, I’m not going to pretend that this won’t be uncomfortable. I also understand that in some meetings, this will be seen as completely out-of-context. But when the opportunity presents itself and it feels like the next natural thing to say—challenge yourself to say it.

And then, before you worry you’re putting too much on your plate, know that you can respond with, “That’s really interesting to hear, once I’m completely onboarded, I’d love to find more time to discuss how can I start making this happen.”

I know. Asking this question might not make your first month any easier, but it’ll make the exact right impression on your new team. Not to mention, it’ll set you up to prioritize your tasks correctly. So take a deep breath and do it!

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-best-question-to-ask-when-youre-new-at-work?ref=carousel-slide-3

1

A panel will meet at the Erina Centre on Thursday afternoon, to consider whether Gosford should receive another 219 apartments plus parking.

The Hunter Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel convenes at 4pm, with the $83 million development top of the agenda.

If approved, two more buildings of 24 and 4 storeys will eventually shoot up in Gosford CBD, at 300 Mann Street.

The panel will also review a proposal to rehabilitate area on Wiseman’s Ferry road at Somersby.

While in seven days the Panel will return to the Coast, meeting at Wyong’s Council Chambers to consider two more proposals.

Plans for a $23 million Private Hospital in Kanwal, announced back in July, will be reviewed, as will a $37 million proposal to build 111 units, 7 businesses and parking at Beach Parade, Canton Beach (bottom).

Source: https://www.triplem.com.au/news/central-coast/big-developments-to-be-considered?station=brisbane

1

You know those days when you leave work feeling amazing, pumped that you were highly productive? On the flipside, I’m sure you have days that are just the opposite. Ones that leave you feeling frustrated, wondering whether you got anything done. What if there was a way to end every day knowing that it was successful?

Unfortunately, there’s no bulletproof formula to guarantee this, but there are certain practices you can follow that’ll help.

Here are five habits that, if practiced daily, can boost your success at work:

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journals have grown wildly popular and I can understand why. Earlier this year, I started a journal and committed to writing down one thing I’m grateful for every day. At 159 days in, I’m still going strong. I found that expressing gratitude every morning before work gets me in the right mindset and helps me prepare for the day’s challenges.

But don’t take my word for it. A study by UCLA found that people who regularly wrote down what they were grateful for were more optimistic and cheerful than those who didn’t. Interestingly, they also had fewer doctor visits and fewer work absences. Expressing gratitude daily is a simple, quick practice that has a massive impact, and there’s even an app for it in case you’re not a fan of physical journaling like I am.

2. Reduce Context Switching

Context switching is when you jump between various, unrelated tasks. You’re heads down on a project but get interrupted by an urgent message. A few minutes later, a conversation between co-workers distracts you, and, after you finally refocus, you remember an email you should have responded to earlier in the day. Does this sound like your day?

While rapid context switching may seem like the norm of the modern worker, Jessica Harris from Trello explains how it comes at a high cost:

We spend an average of just one minute and 15 seconds on a task before being interrupted.

It takes an average of 25 minutes to resume a task after being interrupted.

Heavily multitasking can temporarily lower your IQ by up to 15 points.

You probably can’t eliminate context switching altogether, but being mindful of the productivity damage it causes will allow you to create rules to avoid distraction (more on that in a second).

3. Create “If/When-Then” Plans

I learned about this habit from Robert Cialdini’s book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. Here’s how it works. You pick a cue, then pick a desirable action that you can link to that cue. Here are a few “if/when-then” rules I follow:

If/when I need to work without interruption, then I leave my desk and find a drop-by room.
If/when it’s time to eat lunch, then I order a salad. Boring, I know.
If/when I get a calendar invite for Thursday (when my company has a no-meeting policy), then I move the meeting to a different day.
Research suggests that people who use “if/when-then” planning are between two and three times more likely to achieve their goals. This type of planning is effective because you’re proactively creating automatic responses. When situations arise that might prevent you from reaching your long-term goals, you’ve already decided how you’ll act.

4. Exercise—Even if Only for a Few Minutes

You know you should exercise—the benefits are significant. But knowing isn’t the tough part—it’s finding time in your busy schedule to make it happen.

Running, cycling, or going to the gym may be ideal, but all you really need is a few minutes. One option is the 7-Minute Workout. It’s an intense workout you can do almost anywhere and is proven to deliver results.

Taking a short break to go on a walk is a great way to reduce stress. A few years back I committed to going on one walk in the middle of the workday.

These quick strolls elevated my heart rate, for just a few minutes, and it enabled me to go back to my work with renewed focus. So, even if you don’t have time to hit the gym, exercising for only a few minutes each day is still worth it.

5. Have a Shutdown Ritual

Eric Barker, a best-selling author who wrote an entire book on success, teaches the importance of having a “shutdown ritual” in which you take the time to close out the day’s business and prepare for tomorrow. His research found that the simple act of writing down the things you need to take care of the next day can settle your brain and help you relax.

My shutdown ritual includes making a concise list (no more than three) of the most important things I need to do the next day. Since committing to this practice I’ve found that I think less about work when I’m out of the office. My ritual also includes cleaning my desk and shutting down my laptop, practices signaling that my work day has come to an end.

It turns out that implementing this has been found to relieve anxiety and help you enjoy your evening.

One final thought. While each of these five habits is intended to help you be more successful, it’s important to also pause and take a moment to define what success means to you.

These are guidelines, and, ultimately, you’ve got to create your own standard of excellence and measure progress accordingly. Because real, lasting success comes by aligning your actions with what’s most important to you.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-habits-thatll-ensure-youll-end-every-day-feeling-successful?ref=carousel-slide-0

1

Acclimating to a new company can be both exhilarating and daunting. You want to jump into the role with enthusiasm, come across as a fast learner, and prove that hiring you was 110% worth it.

I know: I returned to work after 10 years away and put a lot of pressure on myself to adjust as quickly as possible. While my re-entry was through a fairly unique 10-week returnship program (a.k.a., an internship program for mid-career professionals who’ve taken a break), I was subject to the same uncertainty anyone would feel upon going back to the workforce after time away.

Fortunately, in addition to my background in front-line business roles, I’d had experience in leadership and professional development, so I realized that assessing the landscape and “fitting in” would be critical to my success.

With that in mind, here are my four best tips for adjusting:

1. Pay Attention to Company Culture

The role of culture can’t be overstated: Cultural norms can span the range of high-level company values to very specific action steps. They usually come in the form of unwritten rules.

For example:

Are senior leaders approachable, or is there a more formal channel that you need to be aware of?
Do colleagues eat lunch at their desks, or use that time to meet and network?
Do people leave at a reasonable hour or is facetime important?
Are they “always on” (through emails and logging in), even when they’re out of the office?
Culture’s the outcome of encouraged and accepted behaviors. And sometimes, there are aspects of culture that aren’t discovered until you make a mistake. For example, early on in a new role, I mentioned “business development” when referencing a topic. The senior leader in the room stopped the meeting to inform me that our firm never engages in selling, therefore the proper term was “client development.”

It didn’t count against me: Mistakes happen! But one way I was able to fit in and move beyond my faux pas was to make a note of it and use the preferred terminology moving forward.

2. Be Open to New Experiences

Regardless of your most recent role, changing companies means you’re entering a new situation. And this new group will inevitably do things differently.

Rather than fight to do things the way you’re used to, embrace the opportunity to adopt new approaches. For example, if your new team seems more focused on output than on strategy and analysis, learn more about the associated business impact before trying to change direction.

Or, if your boss is heavily focused on a thorough analysis of ROI before moving forward with a new program, make your best attempt to understand the drivers of that need.

Try it the new way at least once. That way you’ll give yourself a chance to determine which battles are worth fighting (and which aren’t).

3. Take the Time to Build Your Network

Your co-workers will be key to your success at your new company. Achieving results will require knowing whom to reach out to—at every level.

Figure out who has the insights, time, or interest to help you and introduce yourself. You’ll find that most people are happy to share their expertise if you ask. And take the time to see if you have skills, insights or contacts that would be of help to your new colleagues. It never hurts to build good will. The stronger your internal network, the easier time you’ll have when you need help.

Bonus: You can also build your overall network, by updating your online profile with your new role. It’s a natural reason for people to reach out and reconnect, which is always worthwhile.

4. Learn All You Can

The benefits of exposing yourself to multiple perspectives and new experiences are vast. If you remain open-minded and park your ego at the door, you’re bound to benefit from an amazing amount of learning.

Seriously, by just carrying around a notebook your first few days, jotting down questions, and seeking out answers, you’ll pick up so much more knowledge than you had before. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re supposed to know this—the fact is that you don’t and the more quickly you learn, the more at ease you’ll feel.

Above all, it’s important to remember that you’re entering a group of established professionals and they’ll respect you for taking the time to understand how everything works.

While you may feel an urge to share your past (and possibly lofty) experiences with your new team to establish yourself, resist the temptation to brag. Rather, use time with your colleagues to understand what they do and what they see as priorities. There will be plenty of time to add your perspective once you’ve gotten a more complete picture and have the data you need.

Before long, you’ll stop feeling like “the new person” and start feeling like someone who’s been there forever—in the best way possible.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-tips-thatll-make-easing-back-into-office-life-a-little-easier?ref=carousel-slide-1

1

Your paycheck just got a bit heftier, and you’re thinking about finally biting the bullet and buying yourself that new computer, or taking your significant other out to a super nice restaurant, or splurging on a massage more than once a year. Or, maybe you’re trying to be more fiscally responsible, so you’ve decided to throw all that extra money into a savings account that you’ll one day use for something important.

Turns out, neither of these options is guaranteed to make you as happy in the long term as a third option—buying yourself time.

A recent study cited in The Washington Post found that some of the happiest people are those who invest their hard-earned money into outsourcing chores they dislike to do, such as cleaning or grocery shopping.

And, these findings doesn’t discriminate based on household income, marital status, or number of children—meaning no matter who you are and how much you make, this applies to you, too (even if you’d argue having the latest cool products is all the happiness you need).

So, why do so many of us lean toward buying nice things the second our bank accounts grow? Says the article’s author Jenna Gallegos, “…we’re hesitant to trade money, which is concrete and measurable, for time, which is much more uncertain,” while we know exactly what we’re getting our money for when we buy goods.

And yet, time is so valuable in our lives and careers. It means the difference between leaving work early or staying late, getting all our tasks done or only getting halfway through our to-do list, checking our email on vacation or having the luxury to truly unplug. So, if we could afford to get back an extra hour in the morning, or free up our evenings or weekends to work on things that actually matter to us, wouldn’t we be willing to pay for it?

Consider it the next time you get a raise or bonus—maybe you trade an expensive smartwatch for a laundry service that delivers (because sorting whites and colors every Sunday morning drives you crazy).

Of course I’m not saying that you can’t treat yourself to something you’ve worked hard for, but having clean clothes magically appear when you need them and an entire Sunday to yourself sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-best-way-to-spend-your-raise-if-you-want-to-be-happier?ref=carousel-slide-1

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If you want to be more productive in your life, you’ll have to change some of your current habits.

Self-awareness is key, so you first need to be aware of the things you do (or don’t do), the toxic impact that they may be having on your life, and where they could be holding you back from accomplishing your goals.

These four habits can absolutely damage productivity, but there’s a clear path on how to break all of them.

1. Texting Every Five Minutes

On average, we spend over four hours a day on our phones, which includes 85 texts that we send (for adults under 45).

Pretty crazy, right?

The reality is, every time you reply, you’re resetting your focus and hindering optimal productivity.

How to Break It

The first step to help text less is to turn off notifications to keep you from being distracted when new ones come in.

If you’re too tempted, commit for a specific duration of time (for example, one hour) to not look at your phone—you’ll get used to this over time.

2. Saying “Yes”

Saying “yes” certainly has its benefits, especially when presented with an opportunity that’ll show the depth of your capabilities. But this can be an unbelievably slippery slope.

Once you become stretched too thin, you’ll no longer be able to deliver quality work across various projects, and they’ll all begin to suffer. On top of that, while your intentions may have been in the right place, it may prevent future opportunities from coming across your plate.

How to Break It

When presented with a new project, stop and think for a minute before saying “yes.” Consider the short- to long-term impact, and start getting comfortable with saying “no.”

Trust me, your boss will appreciate the fact that you’re being honest, especially if various projects could be negatively impacted.

3. Getting By With Being Disorganized

Personally, this has been the bane of my professional existence. Sure, a messy workspace could mean you’re a genius, but if you’re organizationally struggling, it can be damaging to your productivity where you’ll be left playing a perpetual game of “catch up.”

How to Break It

First, you should declutter, physically and digitally. If you’re willing to part with the messy desk, it’ll be a cathartic exercise to actually have a fresh space to work at.

Next, think about how you’re prioritizing and what tools you’re using to monitor all the tasks you have. Over the years, I’ve become intimately familiar with the likes of project management tools like Basecamp, Trello, and Asana, but have also upgraded my notes and to-do lists with the likes of Evernote, Todoist, and Dropbox Paper.

Regardless of what you use, do some “grooming” and prioritize by those tasks with the highest weight.

4. Living Without a Schedule

It’s 9 AM Monday morning, and you’re digging yourself out of the abyss that is your email inbox.

But five minutes later, you get pulled into an urgent meeting that ends up lasting two hours while there was a time-sensitive email that you missed.

Ever happen?

Where there are definitely intangibles that you can’t get away from, taking an extra step to control what you can with a schedule you create will pay long-term dividends (especially for your sanity, too).

How to Break It

Spend 30 minutes on a work night (or Sunday) to plan out your day. Check your email, plan your to-do list, and know exactly where you’re going to allocate your time. Block out 30- to 60-minute time slots on your own calendar to ensure you stay on-schedule and on-task.

With the additional visibility, you can plan ahead fewer surprises, and if something unplanned does happen, you’ll know exactly where you need to pick things back up.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-habits-you-need-to-ditch-if-you-plan-on-being-productive-today?ref=carousel-slide-1

buses

A DOOR to station on-demand shuttle service will be trialled at sites across Sydney and the Central Coast as the NSW government attempts to tackle traffic and parking problems around commuter hubs and encourage more people on to public transport.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance will today announce the trial of minibus services at the Northern Beaches, Sutherland Shire, Manly and Eastern Suburbs, Wetherill Park and Greystanes, the Central Coast and Edmondson Park, near Glenfield.

A separate 18-hour-a-day hospital to transport hub service will be trialled at Bankstown but the remainder will be from people’s doorsteps to public transport, with patrons able to order the minibus service via a smartphone app, online or phone call from October, with prices ranging from $2.60-$5. “We have on demand movies, on demand food, and finally — NSW will have on demand transport,” Mr Constance said.

“This trial is just the start of our transport future in NSW. Imagine not having to check a timetable because you know your service will be there when and where you need it.”

He said the trial sites had been selected based on demand, and regional locations were being considered for a second pilot, while another service would begin in early 2018 to take commuters living within 15km of the Macquarie Park employment precinct to work.

NSW Finance Minister and Ryde MP Victor Dominello said that the service would boost capacity for people living in the region ahead of the start of Sydney Metro Northwest train line in 2019.

In Edmondson Park, a service will pick customers up from home and drop them at the train station for $3.10 from early next year.

On the Northern Beaches, a service to begin late this year will connect customers from Palm Beach to North Narrabeen to bus stops on the Northern Beaches B-Line at a cost of $3.10. In the ­Sutherland Shire, a service starting in November to pick customers up from home or a nearby location in Jannali West, Sylvania, Caringbah and Gymea will go to transport hubs and local shops at a cost of $2.60, while in the eastern suburbs, a bus service will pick customers up at home and take them to Edgecliff and Bondi Junction stations or ferry wharves at Double Bay and Rose Bay for $3.10. And at Wetherill Park and Greystanes, a service will connect employment precincts to T-way interchanges for $3.10, and on the Central Coast, a service to take customers to Woy Woy station from locations along the Woy Woy peninsula will start in early 2018.

The services will be provided by private sector contractors with some offered during the morning and evening peaks, and others available continually from 6am to 10pm. Existing bus services will not be affected.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/door-to-station-shuttle-service-across-sydney-to-central-coast/news-story/98406dc8975ba8670b1e545b3f3c0964