Work life

Tips For New Graduates To Land Their First Job

Getting that first job is a critical step into future careers, but all too often it can be a real catch 22: all jobs seem to require experience, yet you need to get a job to gain that experience. It can leave you feeling very frustrated and wondering what to do next.

If that sounds like you, don’t worry – with our expert tips you will be able to find and secure that all important first job in no time.

Finding a job opportunity

When you are relatively inexperienced in job searching it can be hard to even find opportunities that might be relevant. It can pay to be a bit creative here; there are jobs available, it’s just a case of finding them (or even making them appear). Here are some suggestions:

  • Job adverts are probably the most obvious options – there are many websites that advertise jobs (indeed.com, monster.co.uk, reed.com etc.). This is good in that it lets you see the types of jobs that are out there, but often the competition can be particularly high when jobs are advertised in this way. Not all organisations advertise their opportunities, so if there’s an opportunity you’re particularly interested in, make a list of employers in that area and check their websites directly.
  • Graduate schemes are eternally popular for fresh graduates, but they’re not for everyone. Not only are they really competitive, a lot of people may find that the nature of the work might not suit them, that said there are many jobs available and it’s always worth taking a look at sites like www.prospects.ac.uk.
  • Internships/work experience are great for getting a foot in the door of your career – particularly if you want to work in the creative industries. However, these are often unpaid which can leave you with a dilemma – if you can afford to work for free then this can really open doors for you. Some organisations do pay interns so it is worth looking around for these.
  • Directly approaching employers can be surprisingly successful. If you want to work in a particular field, then it can be worth sending your CV and a covering letter to a number of organisations in that area. You can improve your chances of success by making sure the letter is addressed to a particular person, and following up with a phone call.
  • Use your network. Don’t be shy to ask people to give you a job or even introduce you to potential employers. It can be useful to draw a network diagram highlighting all of the people you/family/close friends know who might be able to help you. LinkedIn is also good for this.

Acing an assessment

Once you’ve got an invitation to a selection event/interview you’re halfway there – next you need to secure the position. If you’ve never had a (successful) interview in the past you need to spend some time preparing. Here are some useful suggestions:

Research the company. Make sure you know all about the company and the job; you need to be able to talk intelligently about this. Take a look at the organisation’s website, do a google search, talk to people who already work there. Be prepared to answer questions like:

  • Why do you want this role?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Who do you see as our main competitors?

Package up your experience. You are going to need to talk about yourself and what you can bring to this role. If you haven’t had a job in the past then this can seem quite hard, but don’t worry, you will probably have plenty of relevant experiences to draw upon. The key here is to look for the specific competencies (or knowledge, skills and experience) the organisation is looking for; you’ll be able to find these in the job description or advert.

Let’s look at an example. Perhaps an organisation is looking for experience in ‘Planning and Organising’. Whilst you might not have experience of doing this in the workplace, you probably do have experience of doing this elsewhere. Maybe you had to complete a project or dissertation as part of your studies. How can you relate the things you did to achieve this to competency of ‘Planning and Organising’? Did you make a to do list? Add items to your calendar? Make a plan? These are all good indicators that you can do this so make sure you are really selling the experience you do have.

Practice, practice, practice. We get better at things when we practice and getting jobs is no exception. Get someone to do a mock interview with you so that you know what it feels like to be in that situation. Make sure they give you feedback so that you know how to improve the next time. Lots of careers services offer this for free, but if that isn’t available to you, ask friends or family. There are also organisations or individuals who offer mock interviews and you can find them on google.

Some jobs require you to complete psychometric tests of ability as well as an interview. These tests present you with a number of problems and ask you to solve them within a specified time period. They typically include Numerical, Verbal or Abstract Reasoning. These tests can be tricky and feel very different to things you might have done before, so sitting some practice papers and getting some advice about how to answer the questions is really important this guide is a good place to start.

Manage your impact. It is really important to make a good first impression in an interview, here are some ideas to help you do this:

  • Dress smartly and ensure you are well presented. Neat and tidy is what we’re aiming for here so keep hair styling and make up elegant, and wear clean, smart and ironed clothes. Polish your shoes.
  • Be polite and friendly. Make eye contact and smile. Shake the hand of the interviewer and look at them when you are talking.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the interview and have something light and healthy to eat before you go in, you need to make sure you have enough energy to perform well.

About the author:   Ed Mellett is an entrepreneur, careers professional and founder of practicereasoningtests.com. He is known for co-founding and launching the leading student and graduate careers website wikijob.co.uk. Now in its 11th year, wikijob attracts over 400,000 unique users per month and is a must-visit resource for students considering their careers post-university. Ed’s other interests include AI, neuroscience and psychology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Getting a Job during Divorce

The days of getting maintenance for life are over. High wealth spouses may get a large settlement, but it is rare to receive spousal support for decades. If you have been a stay-at-home parent – your solicitor may insist upon you finding a job during divorce proceedings for these reasons:

  • You have a source of income.
  • To get a sense of empowerment. One feels more in control of their life when being employed and not being financially dependent upon someone else. When both spouses are making some money (no matter how little) the balance of power shifts away from the sole earner. One does not appear desperate during divorce, even if earning much less than their former partner.
  • The new job’s salary can factor into the maintenance equation. In some countries the amount of income for both spouses is taken into consideration. Instead looking at a potential salary which can be unrealistic, what one is presently earning in the new job may be used when determining maintenance. For example, a nurse who worked with her husband in an office got a divorce and lost her job. Her solicitor mandated that she get another one immediately. She did, but in retail. She had not worked in a hospital in over two decades, yet her husband and his solicitor were trying to say her salary would be X amount if she got a job in the operating room. This was an unreasonable expectation, especially when other candidates would be more qualified for that position. Her solicitor said no, what she is currently earning would be the guide for the amount of spousal support. Had she not gotten that lower paying job quickly, she would have received less in support.

How do you go about getting a job in a hurry? Update your curriculum vitae (CV), getting professional help if needed. Check the classified sections to get an idea of what jobs are available and their requirements. The way many of us in the midst of divorce got jobs, was to ask businesses that we patronize if there was an opening.  Yes that takes guts, but I did this and worked five years at that company post-divorce. An acquaintance going broke paying legal fees, unloaded her wardrobe at a consignment shop. They gave her a job which she really enjoyed until she moved out of the city. A fellow with no experience in a restaurant got a job as a waiter, because the staff like his positive attitude as a customer. A woman in my parenting class got a receptionist job at her cat’s veterinarian clinic. She then used some of this money after divorce to train as a masseuse. Even if a business that knows you does not have any job availability, they may know someone that does.

Let your friends and family know that you have to get a job right away and ask if they have any leads. Go to an employment centre for assistance. There are some charities that help people find work. Ask other parents at your children’s school if they have any ideas. A few parents got part-time jobs at the schools, doing after school activities and other duties. The nice thing about this is that they see their children when they have shared care time with the other parent. Be creative, but not too picky. This is not something you have to do for the rest of your life.

Please read more  http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/go-back-to-work/

Starting a New Business Post-Divorce

Divorce brings changes into one’s life with the opportunity to embark on a new career path. You may decide to train for a different field which you are passionate about. Plenty of people have opened cafes, boutiques or became entrepreneurs. The trick is not to jump into starting a business without doing the groundwork first, no matter how exciting your idea is.

  • Do market research to see how feasible your idea is and to determine your target group of consumers. Some hire a professional to analyse the competition and if the product will fulfil a need. They will look at demographics and suggest a location if it is to have a physical place. Make sure you found a niche or are presenting something in a unique way, whether online or not. For example, if you dream of making cakes and the result of a market analysis shows there are already two shops selling them, do it differently. Perhaps produce luscious cupcakes and traditional European cookies in a coffee house setting for better sales.
  • Write a detailed business plan. This includes determining the cost of each unit, where it will be made and logistics, such as the shipping from a factory. Will you make a product yourself or hire staff? Think about web site design, start-up costs, how you plan to market it and cover all aspects of your business. Globally there are charities which help budding entrepreneurs write a business plan or mentor when getting started with a business. There are templates online to help one with this task. Banks will need to examine your business plan to decide whether to give a loan. Will you be selling online exclusively or is there a possibility of wanting a store?

Sort out your financial situation. Can you cover the start-up yourself or with loans from friends and family? Will you try to get funding such as with Go Fund Me or Crowdfunding?

  • Some charities make small loans when banks will not do so. You may want to keep you day job or at least go part time until some money starts trickling in. Talk to or hire an accountant. Start cutting your living expenses now.

There are special considerations when going into business with a friend. Sometimes a Type A and Type B may not get on well. In one case two teachers were going into business together and started designing teaching materials to be sold online. They had the business plan done and were being mentored by some retired professionals. However, the Type A demanded that the Type B keep a log of how many hours she worked and then insisted upon a bigger share than the 50/50 legally agreed upon split. She also mandated that her friend take some college courses on social media and so forth. It was a spectacular blow up that ended their business partnership. Make sure that you can work with someone and can calmly discuss issues that are bound to come up in your business.

Have a solicitor draw up a business contract when going into business with someone else. This will cover the eventuality that one wants to quit and how to have an exit plan. If one partner dies, how will the heirs get some compensation? It could be a nightmare if they try to step in and co-run your business.      Please read more   http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/going-into-business-after-divorce/