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Career

Via The Jakarta Post : How to utilize social media in your job search

With the huge role that social media plays in our personal lives, it’s no surprise that it also has a big influence on our professional lives. Employers are increasingly using social media channels to screen potential new employees. Whether you’re an avid user of social media or not, it’s likely to play a role in your job search.

Not only are companies using social media as a way to promote externally or to do background checks on potential employees but it is also an effective tool to manage staff internally and to drive retention. Platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are no longer simply places to post holiday photos and connect with old friends. They have become a way for people to present a carefully curated profile of a well-rounded professional.

Here are some tips on how to utilize social media to your benefit on your quest for a new role:

1. Never underestimate the power of a great social resume

More than a third (37 percent) of recruiters use social and professional media as their number one source for finding talent. Does yours show that you’re an expert in your field? Do you share regular, industry-related content? It’s not just about ensuring your job title and contact details are on all your social profiles – it’s about how you position yourself to others.

2. Consider LinkedIn as your new resume

Almost every recruiter on the planet (97 percent) uses LinkedIn to find potential recruits – what will they find on yours? As a minimum, you should keep your summary and experience sections updated, and your profile photo should be a professional looking headshot. Along with the profile, try to be active on LinkedIn. Like and share insightful, industry-related content and engage with others in your field with comments and join in on other discussions.

3. Be mindful on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Everyone loves to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as a way to interact with friends – but if you’re not careful with your privacy settings, anyone could be seeing what you post and your comments on other posts. And while your friends might love that photo of you partying in Las Vegas, it may not be as impressive to a potential employer.

Of course, you have a life outside of work, and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are among places to share your experiences. Just ensure your privacy settings keep your personal and professional lives separate. Facebook now allows users to create a following without having to add everyone as a friend and Instagram now has a close friends feature where your posts can be seen only by a selected circle or friends.

Focus on building a following based on useful content that portrays your value to potential employers.

4. Forget contact details and forget that job offer

No matter how impressive your social resume is, if hiring managers can’t find a way to contact you there will be no job offer. Include at least one way for people to contact you, even if it’s a separate email used only for professional purposes. Twenty-nine percent of job seekers have been contacted by recruiters via social media.

5. Start a blog to land a job

It’s great to share relevant articles across social media to impress recruiters and even better to post something you’ve written yourself to really show you know what you’re talking about. LinkedIn Pulse can be a great way to publish articles to your network and beyond. Publishing on LinkedIn can position you as a thought leader in your industry, if you don’t have time to maintain a separate blog.

6. Watch your spelling and grammar at all times

You already know that correct spelling and grammar is essential on your CV and cover letter, but it also matters on social media, particularly on LinkedIn. Before you hit publish on any public post, have one more look for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Sixty-six percent of recruiters will be turned off by poor spelling and grammar across your public social media profiles.

7. Consider new social platforms

Companies are starting to look at platforms other than the usual LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for talent, especially if your role requires quite a bit of creativity. Consider using other platforms such as Pinterest or YouTube to showcase your unique talents and interests in a way that doesn’t come across in a simple text CV.

8. Go social regardless of skill level

Powerful social resumes aren’t just for high-level managers. In fact, 87 percent of jobs recruited through social media are for non-management roles. Show your knowledge as an industry expert through what you post on social media.

Via The Balance : 5 Tips to Improve Your Career Development

You Owe Yourself a Career Development Action Plan

Career management isn’t just a nice-to-do, it’s a must do, if you expect to gain maximum success and happiness from the hours you invest in work. Face it, you are likely going to work 40 hours a week for your entire adult life. Why not make them the best 40 hours that you can create?

Career management in which you plan and work to obtain new skills, capabilities, and experiences, is the answer. Share your goals with your boss and you have created a partner who can help you broaden your experience.

You are chock full of talents and skills. Continuing their development will stretch your world and enable more of your unique contribution. This, in turn, will make your career success and progress a cornerstone in your fully-developed life. Does your world get any better than this? Not really.

Career Growth and Development Opportunities

When most employees think about their careers, they have not thought past their current job or the next promotion that they’d like to receive. They need to broaden their short-term thinking. As employees are promoted up the organization chart, fewer jobs become available, yet continuing to grow skills and experience should still be a priority for people obtaining value from and adding value to their career.

You can continue to experience career growth by taking the lead in investing in your career development and progress. Here are a few ways in which you can collaborate with your boss to manage your career.

  • Job shadow other employees in your company to learn about different jobs.
  • Explore lateral moves to broaden and deepen your experience.
  • Attend classes and training sessions to increase your knowledge.
  • Hold book clubs at work to develop knowledge, and share terminology, concepts, and team building with coworkers.
  • Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore.

5 Tips for Career Growth and Development

Here are additional thoughts about career management. Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Vice President and Managing Director of Apollo Research Institute and Visiting Scholar in Stanford University’s Media X program, recommends five additional career management strategies.

  1. Could your career development and management use help to gain momentum? People who are the most successful and satisfied in their careers have proactively determined what they want from work. Once they’ve decided on their goals, they make a plan to accomplish the goals.
  2. Developing a timeline with career goals and expected milestones is also an effective way to manage your career. Bringing your boss and his or her sponsorship and mentoring into the picture will ensure that you have an internal mentor who will help you manage your career.
  3. Some companies have formal programs to help employees develop their careers. In others, you will need to informally pursue your career development. Companies with programs generally focus energy on helping employees develop and follow a career path.
  4. The career path is discussed at several meetings bi-annually with the employee’s boss. The company doesn’t own the career path; the employee does. But, the company demonstrates its deep commitment to its employees by assisting where possible with resources of time and dollars.
  5. Career paths are recommended for the same reason that goals are recommended. They are the written plan that can help each employee take charge of what is most important to his or her fulfillment and success. Without a plan, you can feel rudderless and you have no benchmark against which you can measure your progress.

5 Tips for Strategic Career Management

Dr. Tracey Wilen, Vice President and Managing Director of Apollo Research Institute and Visiting Scholar in Stanford University’s Media X program, recommends these additional career management strategies.

“Succeeding in a demanding, changing workplace requires a strategic career management plan. Employers want to attract, hire and retain employees who provide the best value. So consider yourself a business with a product to sell, and create a strategy for marketing your workplace value.

“Data from the Apollo Research Institute on the future of education, work and careers suggest the following five career management strategies:

  1. “Proactively engage your manager in a discussion about your career goals, and collaborate to create a career development plan. The most significant opportunity to exert influence is to involve your manager in the career planning process.
  2. “Investigate short- and long-term skill requirements. If your goal is to become the Vice President of Human Resources, understand the education, skills, technology, and experience requirements, and develop interim career plans for achieving your long-term career goal.
  3. “To increase your knowledge of career options, request one-on-one informational meetings with colleagues and managers. The purpose of these brief meetings is to gather information to help you make educated career decisions. People are generally willing to share their success stories and advice.
  4. “Volunteer to complete challenging projects and assignments. One of the best ways to advance your career is to identify an organizational problem and propose a solution. By offering to implement the solution, you will not only increase your visibility as a problem-solver in the organization, but you might also expand your skills in the process.
  5. “Consult the Human Resources department to learn about career development and job opportunities such as tuition reimbursement for a college degree or certification, in-house technical or professional training courses and available job openings. Take advantage of available opportunities. Maintain your momentum and commit to continuous skill building and improvement. By planning your career strategy, you are increasing your chances of staying employable and achieving your long-term career goals.”

Each of us has a certain number of years to invest in working and making a living. Having a job is fine, but creating a career will maximize your opportunities for success. To have a successful career requires that you pursue career management strategies like these.

A successful career doesn’t happen unthinkingly. It needs planning, tending, and frequent review. Are you ready to pursue these career development strategies?

Via Forbes : 3 Steps To Develop Your Career Plan

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If you’re anything like the average working person, you can expect to change careers five to seven times in your life. That’s a lot of change… The best way to be prepared for it is to make a plan!

Having a career plan is vital to your career success. The most successful people, such as Tim Ferriss, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, all regularly come up with plans for their career success… And look where it’s gotten them!

Here are the three steps you can take right now to develop a career plan to catapult you to success.

1. Self-reflection.

It’s easy to neglect reflecting on your career when you’re so busy chugging along, but taking the time to think about your current situation and the path you want to be on is crucial to a productive career plan. Research even shows reflection is key to success, and it increases productivity and performance.

Besides reflecting on your career path, you should also reflect on yourself and your values, skills and passions. When you begin to understand yourself and what you want, you’ll be able to more easily create a plan that suits your goals and your lifestyle.

2. Goal setting.

Self-reflection will lead you to identifying what kind of career you want. Now it’s time to figure out how to get there. Setting goals is the key to a successful career plan. But what kind of goals should you create?

You probably already know about SMART goals. These are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timebound goals that all set you up for success in your goal setting and achievement. In fact, studies show SMART goals really do work. But in order to be successful, you need to write them down and share them with a friend or a coworker. Seventy-six percent of study participants who set SMART goals wrote them down and shared them with a friend achieved their goals. Sharing your goals creates a sense of accountability, and writing down your goals cements them in your long-term memory, so they’re always accessible and locked in to your subconscious.

3. Develop a plan.

So, you know yourself and what you want to do, and you have your goals set and written down. Now it’s time to really dig into developing a plan to get there. This is the point in your career planning where you should know your interests and skills, and start figuring out what you need to do to get where you want to go. Yes, it’s time to make career decisions.

Maybe you want to get some more experience before you put yourself on the job market, or maybe it just comes down to a choice between two different careers. Whatever your decision needs to be, this is the time to make it, so you can solidify your career plan and embark on your path. Here are some ways you can make those difficult decisions:

Make a pros and cons list.
Evaluate how each path aligns with your values.
Think about the future consequences of each path.

Where do you stand when it comes to your career? Are you ready to make a change, or start your journey, today? Whether you’re just beginning on your career journey, or you’re considering changing career paths or jobs, developing an effective career plan will help you get to where you need to go. Reflect, set goals and make your decision, and you’ll find yourself on the right path.

Via Trevor-Roberts : 5 benefits of career conversations for employees and organisations

Effective career development practices build healthy organisations (O’Donnell, 2007).

In recent years, research into career conversations has demonstrated the value of career development practices, generally, and the benefits of career conversations, specifically, to organisations and employees, especially when compared with annual performance reviews.

Despite the research, however, many organisations are underutilising career conversations and other career development programs and instead are placing the responsibility for career development firmly on the shoulders of employees.

Research by Kidd on career conversations found that only one third of managers committed to engaging in career development activities to benefit their employees. Additionally, although organisations generally expect their managers to support employee career development, only 5% of managers receive training to do so. These statistics represent a significant missed opportunity for organisations. Relatively simple career development activities, like coaching, providing employee feedback, and raising awareness about organisational needs and plans, can be incredibly effective in connecting employees’ development with the organisation’s goals, increasing engagement and facilitating discretionary effort.

Here are just some of the benefits of career conversations for your organisation and employees.

1. Increased awareness and alignment between employees & organisations

Career development aims to raise an employee’s knowledge and awareness of their own goals, strengths and values, and to identify how the employee can pursue activities with their current employer that are consistent with those goals, strengths and values. The exploration of issues relevant to career development such as promotions, secondments, project work, lateral moves, meaningful work, and work-life balance, allows employees to identify and explore the alignment between their goals and those of their organisation. In turn, this increases commitment, tenure and the pool of internal talent available to the organisation.

Career conversations also allow individuals to become more flexible and adaptable, as the constant setting and resetting of goals helps employees to cope with uncertainty in the workplace and, more broadly, within rapidly changing industries. This is an essential skill for employees in today’s workforce.

Ultimately, continued negotiation and renegotiation of individuals’ career goals facilitates the achievement of organisational goals and can be utilised to shape an organisation’s culture.

2. Development of professional skills & hi-po’s

Taking time to hold career conversations with talented employees allows managers to acknowledge their value to the organisation and helps to map out future career goals and objectives. (Butterfield, Lalande & Borgen, 2009).

Career development initiatives, such as career conversations, help high potential employees to identify and develop the skills that the business requires now and in the future. This is particularly useful for organisations that require highly skilled employees unique to a particular field.

According to Kidd (2004), career conversations result in employee career development goals that can be used to determine professional development activities required for both employee and organisational growth. In turn, professional development activities that have been identified through this process, are likely to be seen as more relevant by the employees and therefore are more likely to result in employee engagement in learning, transfer of learning to the workplace and the workforce capability the organisation is looking for.

Unfortunately, whilst many companies do offer opportunities for training, secondments and career development, it is often done in a sporadic and uncoordinated way that focuses on the skills and capabilities the organisation needs, rather than aligning individuals goals and motivation with the requirements of the organisation.

For an employee who is committed to a role for the long term, career conversations can assist them to understand how their job will change in line with the changing needs of the organisation, and to actively identify and develop skills in readiness for these changes. In this way, career conversations can be a powerful tool for building agile, adaptable and future-proof organisations.

Career conversations, for obvious reasons, also have the added benefit of improving the communication between managers and employees.

3. Improves attraction, retention & motivation

Practices that facilitate employee development have long been linked to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and turnover, and improvements in an employee’s general dedication to an organisation. In a global market where skilled workers are in short supply, these practices become even more important.

Career development programs in the workplace help companies attract and retain high performing employees. Research by Kidd (2004) suggests that individuals of varying ages, genders, and occupational levels reported that they looked for career coaching and development support, making this an attractive component of any employee value proposition or attraction strategy.

Similarly, Kidd’s study found that employees are more likely to remain with their current employer when offered the opportunity to develop. The degree to which employees received support to develop their careers, through activities such as career conversations, corresponded with their intention to remain with their current employer. Conversely, where career conversations were not happening with managers, employees were more likely to leave an organisation.

Career conversations improve retention by providing employees with an increased knowledge of jobs and career paths within the organisation. If employees can see a clear path for development within an orgainsation they are far more likely to remain with their employer.

4. Assists with growth, downsizing, redeployment and succession planning

In the context of the competitive, global and disruptive marketplace that businesses now operate within, leaders must be vigilant in continually developing the capacities of themselves and their employees to position the organisation to successfully grasp market opportunities (Butterfield, Lalande & Borgen, 2009).

This means that organisations need to foster a performance culture, with the right people and the right skills to effectively execute current and future business strategy. Career conversations help organisations to do this. By highlighting employee competencies, career conversations (and other career development initiatives) inform workforce planning initiatives, support businesses to hit growth targets and enable succession planning activities.

Similarly, when workforce composition or size needs to change in response to changing market conditions, organisations with mature career development practices will be better positioned to identify and redeploy employees with the required skill mix.

5. Increases employee performance

Overall, organisational performance has been positively linked with career development activities such as career conversations, because of their ability to increase employee motivation. Individuals benefit from the insights and learning gained through career conversations, leading to greater fulfillment and professional success into the future. Employees gain increased self-awareness and a realistic perspective of their skills and potential.

Several studies have found that an employee’s performance is positively influenced when their organisation provides relevant career opportunities. It seems obvious to say that from here, if each employee is assisted to reach their full potential, the organisation is more likely to reach its goals.

Summary

As you can see, career conversations are highly beneficial, adding great value to both individuals and organisations.

As organisations continue to compete for talent and customers in a global market, they have the choice to empower employees through the facilitation of career conversations and other career development activities, or to fall behind their competitors.

Via Occupational Safety : 11 ways to boost mental health in the workplace

The costs associated with mental health disabilities are higher than those of physical related disabilities. The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated to be $51 billion per year and that includes health care costs and lost productivity due to absenteeism and sick leave.

Research findings on the incidence and costs of physical and mental health-related disabilities highlight the importance of promoting mental health and well-being in the workplace. Failing to have a comprehensive mental health strategy in the workplace contributes to long-term disability, unemployment, family and financial strains.

Various strategies could be implemented to help prevent a leave of absence from mental health-related problems or reduce the length of disability:

  • Providing supportive reintegration into the work environment after a leave of absence.
  • Providing stress management programs
  • Aiming for work-life balance
  • Encouraging use of health care professionals when someone is experiencing psychological distress
  • Job security
  • Having roles and responsibilities well-defined
  • Having enough resources to cope with the demands of the job, particularly during times of economic difficulties when layoffs have resulted in more job demands and fewer resources
  • Opportunities for growth and development
  • Flexible work conditions whenever possible and appropriate
  • Being provided with regular and constructive feedback and recognized for good performance
  • Healthy and supportive relationships in the workplace.

No one is immune, including those highly engaged with their work. Being highly engaged with work could lead to higher work stress. Jobs requiring extra working hours such as working away from home or travelling on the job or variable hours such as being on call or working long hours are related to high work stress. Not perceiving control over work or work to personal life interference caused by changing working hours are among some of the reasons offered for high work stress.

Perceived risk of liability is also associated with higher work stress. Those who perceive the consequence of their actions on outcomes or those who view their work as career rather than a job are found to experience more work pressure and more work stress. Specifically, high work stress is mostly felt when we perceive our poor performance as having serious consequences on our co-workers, the environment and company profits.

Managers and professionals are not immune and also at increased risk of experiencing high stress. Research findings show that being in high positions and low job security, being assigned more responsibilities following the layoffs of those with higher occupational status during times of economic difficulties are more likely to enter interpersonal conflict and experiencing work to home interference. As well, high work stress is associated with reduced job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction needs to be part of promoting health in the workplace to ensure productivity and to lower absenteeism and turnover rates.

Ensuring the health of all employees and in particular those who are highly engaged in their work is of paramount importance for any organization. In general, employees who are highly engaged at work feel enthusiastic about their work, are fully involved in their work, are motivated and productive, and are less likely to quit their jobs. Thus, even those highly engaged with work could be at risk of losing their level of engagement when job satisfaction is lacking, job stress or job pressure is high, or there is work-life conflict among other factors. Ways of achieving an individualized plan for a healthy balance between work and our personal life needs to be the focus within each intervention.

As part of increasing employee engagement, we need to increase job resources to prevent burnout and to focus more on building a healthy work environment. When employees feel worthwhile and valued in the workplace and are recognized for their good performance, they are more engaged and more committed to their organization.

Work focused cognitive behavioural treatment helps to return to work faster. Common mental health problems in the workplace are depression and anxiety which are associated with decreased work performance and productivity, interpersonal conflicts, increased absenteeism and sick leave and disability.

Being away from work on sick leave often compounds the psychological distress due to reduced occupational functioning, reduced sense of self confidence and well-being, loss of daily routine and structure, reduced income leading to financial strains and at times more stress and conflict at home.

When people are unable to work, they often report the desire to return to work and regain their productivity and functioning. Thus, interventions that include a return to work component can be very beneficial to employees on sick leave and also for employers.

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychological treatment shown to be effective through scientific research for a wide range of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety disorders. CBT is skill-based such that it teaches various skills to better cope with the psychological symptoms, including cognitive restructuring, problem solving skills. anxiety management skills, communication and assertiveness skills and relaxation techniques. A return to work component can be integrated within CBT to help the individual successfully return to the workplace.

Developing an individualized comprehensive mental health strategy in the workplace is now a priority.

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