Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Exercise in office

Ever felt sleepy at work and like you just can’t concentrate no matter how hard you try? Come on, admit it. It won’t be politically incorrect to say yes.

The fact of the matter is that, fat or slim, short or tall, black or white (or brown), long-haired or messy-haired, your brain cells need some good ‘ol fresh air.

Studies show that those who exercised daily were nearly 100% more alert and effective in their workplace. How’s that for good statistics!

So, if you’ve been wondering how to get that due appraisal to work in your favor, my advice to you would be to try at least a half hour of cardiac workouts a day! Not only will you feel different, your work will be so much more productive and those around you will notice the new you.

Truth be known, even a 15 minute workout in office, can give your heart a serious pump up, infuse your body with oxygen and freshen your brain cells. In some organisations, HR even put up a gym in the office so as to promote the exercise = productive work formula. It doesn’t have to be something that takes up tons of your busy schedule. Take the first 15 minutes of your lunch break to sneak in a quick workout, another 15 for a quick freshening up and a half hour for your food, or however it suits you best.

You can look on youtube.com for practical ideas for a sneaking in a quick workout in office. Here it is:

Before I sign out, I’d like to emphasize to you that you really don’t want to wait another day. If nothing else, shake the sheets full of dust on your treadmill at home, or hit the gym at your office for some ‘I-want-to-be-more-productive-at-work-time’ and see the change it’ll bring to your life.

Well, that’s all for now on that topic, I got some serious gymming to do!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Job hunt with little to no effort!

What would you do in the following situations?

You’ve to reach the 10th floor in an office tower. You can go by two ways:
a. Climb up the stairs
b. Use an elevator

You want to write a message to your friend. You can write in two ways:
a. Send a handwritten letter by post
b. Send an e-mail

You want to withdraw money. You can do so in two ways:
a. Visit a bank
b. Use an ATM

There is nothing tricky about these questions, and the answers are so obvious. Can you, however, see the not-so-obvious phenomenon underlying our everyday choices? We like to spend least possible effort to accomplish our objectives.

Our tendency to spend as little effort as possible is so strong that most of the technologies, products and services are aimed at helping us achieve just that: least effort! Behind the auto-redial function on phones, Internet banking and ready-made food stuff is our basic need to minimise the effort.

The hiring process is not immune to our nature to spend the least effort. The only catch is that when job seekers take the path of least effort, they invariably create a path of more effort for the employers and that doesn’t work. On the other hand, when job seekers consciously enable the employers to follow the path of least effort, they stand to gain. Here is how it works:

As a job seeker, the natural inclination is to prepare a resume as fast as possible and shoot it out to as many employers as possible. When you do that you create two problems:

First, a resume prepared in a hurry is likely to be long, complicated, unfocused, and may contain mistakes. Second, a generic resume fails to connect with the unique needs of different employers. When recruiters look at such resumes, they are unable to figure out candidates’ suitability as quickly and clearly as they would like to do. As a result, hurriedly prepared, generic resumes go to the rejection pile.

The smartness lies in spending more effort in preparing your resume so that employers spend least effort while dealing with it. Specifically, that means:

· tailoring your resume according to each employer’s unique needs

· keeping it short—2 pages or 3 pages (max.)

· ensuring it contains only the relevant information

· keeping it simple, credible and without any mistakes

Job seekers appear at interviews expecting employers to question them and assess their suitability. But when you follow this common approach, you demand more effort from employers. They have to first dig out all the relevant information from you, and then make an assessment whether you fit into their needs.

On the contrary, if you take the initiative during an interview to show your understanding of employer’s needs and then demonstrate how you can fulfil them, you take them along the path of least effort. And employers would prefer such candidates.

Job hunting
Typically, job seekers focus on job openings advertised in the newspapers or on the Internet. For employers, however, the route of advertising vacancies, then getting flooded with applications and interviewing scores of candidates is a route of “more effort.”

A quick way to find a job would be to get in touch with potential employers either through contacts or directly. That way, you’ll save them the extra effort. That’s the reason why many smart job seekers get jobs by networking or showing the guts to approach employers directly.

The bottom line: To enjoy success in the job market, consciously help potential employers to take the path of least effort. Invariably, this would mean making more effort on your side at every stage of the hiring process. But isn’t that extra effort worth it if it helps to shorten your job search?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Interview Success - the way Zagorski did it

In the April 2000 issue of the Reader’s Digest magazine, Nick Corcodilos, a famous headhunter, recounts how Zagorski, a professional seeking a new job, wowed an interviewer at a big corporation and got the job.

Zagorski went for an interview at AT&T. At the outset, even before Zagorski could settle in his seat, the interviewer told him that he had only 20 minutes to spare. Instead of feeling belittled or nervous, Zagorski got up and walked up to the marker board. He then started writing down the challenges faced by the company.

Fifteen minutes later, he wrote down his estimate of what he would add to the bottom line. When he paused to take a look at the interviewer, he found him completely dazed. The next thing he heard was interviewer telling him that there was no need for any further interview. The interviewer called in his team, introduced Zagorski to everybody and they began a working meeting, which lasted for two hours.

Most people go to interviews hoping to be questioned and assessed by an interviewer. They go anxious and worried, wondering whether they would get the job. People like Zagorski approach an interview with a completely different mind-set. They go well-prepared to demonstrate how they would fit into employer’s needs and bring value to their business. They go as a value provider, not as a job seeker.

Would you also like to impress your would be employer just like Zagorski? If yes, the next time when you get an interviewcall, don’t lose any time and get down to preparing a powerful presentation. Here is a road map:

1. Know the employer
Go to the company’s Web site and learn about its products and services. What initiatives this company is taking? Who are its competitors, and what challenges this company is facing? Read the “news” section to pick up the latest happenings there.

2. Review the job
Next, zero in on the job that you are pursuing. What are the employer’s expectations in terms of responsibilities, actions and goals? Also note the job requirements–qualifications, experience and skills–employer is expecting the right candidate to satisfy.

3. Review yourself
Look at your resume and review the assets you have: your experience, education, achievements, skills, knowledge and strengths.

4. Prepare a presentation
Having done the homework, now it’s time to prepare a short PowerPoint presentation. The presentation should essentially comprise the following parts:

Part 1: About yourself
Prepare a short introduction of yours in terms of education, experience and achievements.

Part 2: Employer’s business
This part is about showing your understanding of company’s business: products, services, markets, competition, etc.

Part 3: Employer’s needs
In this part, list all of employer’s expectations–responsibilities, actions and goals—you will be expected to meet. Also talk about the challenges you will be facing in the job.

Part 4: How would you deliver?
This is the heart of your presentation where you would demonstrate how you would tackle the challenges and go on not just to meet employer’s expectations, but exceed them. To make it credible, share actual examples from your past experience and use quantitative information.

On the whole, keep your presentation limited to 10 slides and 15 minutes long.

5. Practise: The last and final step is to practise delivering the presentation. More you practise, more relaxed, confident and convincing you will be during the interview.

Zagorski wouldn’t have been able to make that job-winning presentation if he had not done thorough preparation. Now, it’s your turn to follow his way and enjoy success at interview.

Atul Mathur is the author of three ebooks: 5 Quick Steps to a New Job, The Best Career Move: Know Yourself and The Secret of Finding the Right Career Direction.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Arti Sharma speaks to TimesJobs on new India Budget

Arti Sharma, Head HR, India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd.

Budget 2009 was not able to give much to salaried professionals. The increase of slab by Rs.10000/- will give little impact to few professionals.
- FBT abolition is good for corporates but required more clarity. Incase this will be passed on to employee on normal slab rate this will be a big hit for employees and that too at this time of recession, when no change or reduced salary .FBT abolition at employer end should not be passed to employees
as tax burden.
- There is one good step in last so many years that surcharge is removed for more then 10lacs salaried professional.
- Commodity rates are increasing, salaries in this tough market situation either no increase or cut , the budget was not able to give any relief.
- All salaried professionals were expecting increasing under Home loan exemption but no change made all unhappy.
- This is good step that Govt.is taking care of farmers and want to focus more on their development ,but Govt need to understand
that most of their tax collection is coming from salaried professionals.
There is nothing for salaried professional.
Overall the budget -2009 was not able to give any relief to salaried professionals ,and a big disappointment for all.

Article excerpt from TimesJobs blog.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to’s and benefits of Job Fairs in time of recession

Job Fairs are especially effective in today’s current global scenario because they provide a cost-effective, and very convenient way to contact many recruiters in a surprisingly short amount of time. Another benefit is that they are all under one roof. Job fairs can be extremely beneficial provided you know how to make them work to your advantage.

When choosing to attend a job fair, it’s very important that now – more than ever with the job crunch – that you make yourself stand out as a candidate. Researching on various companies that are attending will show your interest and ‘tell’ them that you are proactive and right for the job.

Begin with getting a list of attending companies from the job fair organizers. Then, just choose out the companies that you are personally interested in working for and get to work on researching them.

Once you have completed your list, make sure you take note of the smaller details as well. Write it down. A short pencil is better then a long memory!

After your lister is done, make sure that your resume is up to par. If you want your job fair experience to be productive now that the market crash is here, you need to ensure that not only your research but that your resume shows you can stand out of the average. If it doesn’t, get it fixed.

Companies will not even bother to read through lengthy, badly worded resumes in the short amount of time they have with hundreds of potential employees. Your time is short, make it count.