Tag Archive: university


So You’ve Graduated

graduate3After attending college/university you expect to land the perfect job or have an internship at a top company using all the skills and the knowledge you have learnt. As graduates we expect the economy to provide constant jobs and the business environment to be healthy for the creation of new businesses. Are our expectations too much? In today’s economy, it is not advantageous for graduates as fewer jobs are left vacant and the vacancies created are as a result of layoffs from companies both huge and small. University/College graduates should therefore prepare themselves for a period of unemployment. How can we all prepare our minds and psyche for the stressing times ahead? This blog will seek to provide tips for recent graduates who are in the market looking for a job.

Be Patient

After leaving school the job market will be very competitive. All the students from all the universities across the world are graduating students who have studied the same area you did. You cannot ignore all the applicants who will be entering the same market from high school and other areas. You must be patient as companies review hundreds of applications and resumes all in a bid to say you are the best candidate. In this time I will advise any applicant to remain calm. Never blame yourself for not finding a job fast enough; you did your part by getting that solid education. That’s a start!

Keep Searching

We all have our favourite companies and dream jobs stuck in the back of our minds. In this economy and with a world wide melt down of countries, there is no way you can limit yourself as to the places you apply. This is the time to expand your scope and apply to various places.

For example, you have graduated with a Marketing Degree. You cannot expect only to work in Marketing Departments and Advertising Agencies. You would have to apply for jobs in Customer Service, Teaching, Management Roles, Sales and Banking etc.

It is critical that as soon as you graduate or even before graduation it is advised that graduates apply for a host of job opportunities. You cannot go wrong in applying as you may never know the company may be looking for you, a candidate in Sales & Marketing but you studied a Finance elective. Never as a graduate limit yourself, this is a huge mistake that people make. Research employment websites, company websites, newspapers, and classifieds for any job posting and never forget to apply.

Be Optimistic

Life goes on; bills are to be paid, your activities etc. Life will become stressful as the months roll on and the need for a job becomes your ultimate goal. It is critical that at this time you remain calm. There is nothing you can do (unless you will be starting a company) about your job prospects once you have applied. At this moment potential employees must remain positive, thinking that better will come in due time. Moments will however arise where you are at your end where job searches are concerned. It is advisable that you remain optimistic and never stress; this may have you developing health complications which you may never want to have.

Network

It is so important that as graduates look for jobs that they rely on the present network they have. This is crucial because the contacts you have within your circle may prove to be beneficial. It will be in your advantage to email or hand copies of your resume (multiple copies) to those in your network. This is good as your friends in the companies will hand deliver your resumes to the Human Resource Department or to hiring Managers. These people are your hands and feet to the managers directly. Ensure that they say a word on your behalf ‘Carol is hardworking and great with the databases’ etc.

But what if you do not have a network? It is advised that you ask around your family and friends and investigate who they know and who they can connect you with in companies. If you are at a disadvantage in having a good network then walking in to companies may be your next move.

Family/Resource Team

It is important that in this time of looking a job in a jobless market that you have a team around you that will keep you positive and one that won’t blame you for not having a job. Starting with family and real friends, rely on them for emotional and financial support and always let them know how important they are while you are in this predicament.

Today, being unemployed is never easy. Being unemployed and actively looking a job is even worse. I hope these tips that were explored will give you insight and assurance that as you look for job, it may be hard but remember there is a rainbow after the storm.

2Land that Job. Yeah!!

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Leadership

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter F. Drucker

leadership-risesmart

Universities and work places are trail blazers in regards to team work. Many companies have teamwork as a pillar of success in their organizational structure. One cannot leave undergraduate school or any school at all these days without taking part in teamwork activities. I have been on many teams in and since leaving university. Working with others can be a hard deal for some people. This happens because a team member may want to complete all the tasks and not share the duties to accomplish the goal. Teams can be misguided and can lose focus on the end result. That’s where leaders come in. They take charge and lead the team in delegating roles and duties and ensure that deadlines are met. If budgets are involved, a leader is critical to ensure that funds are allocated to specific areas and that spending isn’t out of hand.

The absence a real leader can be felt by those who know the purpose of one. When a leader is not on a project the team members are left to their own discretions. This can be fatal to the success of a project. There is a fundamental gap that a leader fills. When a leader is present, his/her presence is felt and if the leader is effective, the project will be successful. But not all leaders are effective. This drives the discussion whether a leader is born or made. I cannot decide because leaders are born with characteristics that makes them great leaders while proper leadership skills can be taught. Education plays a critical role and education changes attitude and people’s lives.

In the life of any project, there is a period known as ‘crunch time.’ Crunch time is that period where all the different aspects should now be coming together to make one, to achieve that one objective. At this point, no mistakes can be made. If mistakes are made and are hard to be corrected then it puts the purpose, the project in limbo, great jeopardy. Projects sometimes face this critical moment and having a leader is important. That one person who can remain calm when the storm is at its peak, that level headed individual who can call the shots and ensure team members remain focused on the gaol. It isn’t easy as a leader because at this moment you can lose it and become angry at team members who are slack and are not pulling their weight. There is a thin line to tread because leaders should know how to communicate to team members so that team morale isn’t lost and the synergy remains at its highest point.

The attitude a leader shows to the success of the project speaks volume. Team members want to know that the same passion they have for the success of the project the leader has that or even more. There is a popular phrase that says, attitude determines your altitude. That is relevant for a team because the attitude, that drive, the positive energies shown towards the project by the leader and some team members will inspire those who haven’t got the idea that hey I should be working hard to make this a success. Within the attitude of team members there is an important variable called personality.

Each team member is different and must be treated differently. Team members all show different qualities; some are shy, introverts, extroverts, creative etc. A leader should be able to create that balance that will allow the group to feel like one team. The leader’s role is very crucial as the team member who is shy should be able to express him/herself so that the team can benefit. Who knows? That shy individual could have a creative mind that will make the concept amazing. The leader cannot isolate persons because of his/her attitude. That may turn people away or restrain them from playing a positive role. Conflict resolution is an aspect of teamwork that is a pain. Members of the group should not always have conflicts but apparently if conflicts don’t arise there is no group. Traditionally, we have come to expect that at certain moments team members will be upset with each other. Leaders should never have to comment on every conflict that arises but those that will develop into bigger issues must be tackled from the start and resolved.

Using the best talents on a project can be an equation for failure. But leaders should be able to use these resources at their advantage to create a wonderful outcome. If the project is to perform, produce a presentation etc the final output must be flawless. Group work is designed to get the best out of more. Majority of persons will admit working in a group is certainly better than working on your own. However, a group can be a disaster. Groups must believe that achieving perfection is important.

Leadership isn’t for anyone. It takes a great deal of work to be good at it. Your communications ability, organizational skills, leadership, analytical skills are all tested to produce a product that all can be proud of. The best leaders for sure are those that are able to take directions. If your attitude is always against those in charge, leadership may not be for you. If your attitude is to see things run in order, achieve perfection you may want to improve on your skills to make outputs greater.

This article was inspired based on prior experience working with people on various projects. It is not easy and can be very difficult. Team members all have a role to play in a project. But one cannot isolate the effectiveness or the relevance of having an effective leader.

The Work Environment

Fantasy:

Closeup portrait of happy business group

I want to work in an organization where everyone is one big happy family.

Is that too much to ask for?

Many people will end up working in organizations all functioning in different roles to improve the company’s bottom line – profit or to achieve an objective. Having employee synergy in businesses and teams are critical to the success of the business and the team. But what happens when a team member’s focus is clearly not on the final result, what do you do?

Students

Students

University students will tell many experiences where they had team members who did not participate on projects. Most times committed team members are burdened with the task of doubling up on duties to ensure the job is completed. It is horrible to think that these same individuals will be joining huge organizations. Only if management knew the background of the persons they were hiring. It is important to note that these are the same individuals who have all the links and networks to land them good jobs after graduation.

Most times in school I do not know how but I ended up being the project leader on many projects. I am not a confrontational person, so it is interesting to note that a person like this would lead groups with these issues. There is something very critical in team leadership and that is communication. How you say things out loud, your non-verbal actions are critical in communication. Communicating to delinquent team members that their participation on team projects are critical can be traumatic but doing so must be done carefully to ensure that the team member although being reprimanded still feels important and apart of the team.

Present Project

SuperStock_1487R-54847I happen to be working on a project with a team and it has shown me that communicating can be the biggest challenge for most people. When team members make disparaging comments on the workplace and you know they are making references to you, do you comment automatically?  I wouldn’t and I will tell you why. I do not believe in damaging the work environment. Responding to an employee’s insensitive and stupid comment will only lower you to their standard. I would advise to walk the high road and just ignore and avoid having any confrontation with employees/team members whose aim is bent on making other team members upset. It is a pity they live a sad life and I would not advise anyone to respond to employees who exert behaviours like this. Live your life happy and I’m sure they will fade away when they become obsolete.

Each employee/team member has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the workplace environment is healthy and productive. Anytime the work environment is degraded and becomes unhealthy and unproductive then more conflicts will arise. Management primarily must ensure that employees who are set in their ways to disrupt the work environment must be managed and supervised to ensure that unnecessary attention are not focused on these culprits.