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Unexpectedly useful things to do in an interview

Unexpectedly useful things to do in an interview

You can find interview tips all over the internet (including on Hermitopia!), but here are the hidden tips that will get you noticed and remembered. Wear the company colours This tip is great for any organisation that takes pride in appearance and brand visibility. Think 

Have you checked on your introverts lately?

Have you checked on your introverts lately?

Everyone is finding lockdowns to be strange experiences. Introverts, on the whole, have handled it better than extroverts because we have a lower social threshold – we feel satisfied with only a small amount of socialisation. While illness and loss has been all around us, 

3 times when it’s helpful to use a recruiter

3 times when it’s helpful to use a recruiter

You know where to find jobs and how to apply for them, why would you want to use a recruiter? Here are the top 3 situations when a recruiter can make a big difference to your job hunt!

1. You undersell yourself

If you aren’t getting interviews for jobs you know you can do, you are probably underselling yourself. Employers don’t always want someone who can already do the job with their eyes closed; they get concerns that someone with too much experience will get bored and move on within an year. A recruiter can help identify your strengths and match that to a role that you can do well enough to hit the ground running, but with enough scope to grow.

2. You’re looking for a career change

It can be ver difficult to convince an employer to take you on when you don’t have direct experience in their field. A recruiter can talk with you about what skills you have and why you want to move and can sell your strengths directly to the employer with the correct terminology for the field.

3. You work in a specialist field

If your area of work is narrow, the jobs may not always make it to the public job boards. Using a recruiter will be the fastest way to find out about these vacancies. Plus, they will appreciate your niche skills and know who to contact to find you the perfect fit!

Recruiters sometime get a poor reputation for not calling back, or offering roles that aren’t what you, as a candidate, are looking for. Don’t give up! Contact a few recruiters until you find someone that clicks with you. Your dream job could be in their inbox right now, ready for you!

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

These may contain affiliate links which help me run my website (privacy). I only advertise products/services I genuinely recommend.

CV Summary Statement: why have it and what to put in it

CV Summary Statement: why have it and what to put in it

If you’ve read any articles about summary statements, you might think that they are of value only if you are using a recruiter but this is NOT TRUE! While they are helpful in that context, they are also great for direct applications, too. Your statement 

Hit your target with the STAR response

Hit your target with the STAR response

Chances are that you have heard of the STAR response. Once you get the hang of it, job interviews become a piece of cake!

Is imposter syndrome stopping you from enjoying your success?

Is imposter syndrome stopping you from enjoying your success?

I have a friend who is highly successful in his field. He doesn’t seem aware that he has done well for himself. High grades through school, scholarships, placements, and he’s now in a very prestigious job. None of it seems to matter to him. It’s not that he doesn’t value what he has, it just that he still doesn’t think it’s as much of an achievement that everyone else thinks it is.  I suddenly realised why this could be: none of his achievements are his own. 

Have you ever found yourself in that situation? You’re being told you’re good at your work, but you’re not sure? Perhaps you wonder if you really belong there.

Imposter syndrome

It’s common for successful people to feel as though they don’t deserve to be where they are. Part of it comes from a competitive environment, but it also comes from the feeling of control. Sometimes we feel as though we aren’t in control of our our lives and it’s a negative feeling about negative situations. The car broke down, your colleague got the day off you both asked for, the dog puked on your bed. You have no control and it’s all just rotten. But it is possible to have the same uncomfortable feeling when things are going well, such as promotions, networking opportunities or free gifts. It not the actual outcome that’s making you feel uncomfortable. It’s the obligation that you never asked for. It’s still a feeling of not being in control. 

In the case of my friend, he was naturally good at schoolwork. All his school-related decisions were made by his teachers. When school was finishing he didn’t choose something he was passionate about. He let the course choose him by offering a scholarship. His excellent grades got him a good job placement, which lead to good jobs but these jobs were orchestrated by his network and colleagues rather than by himself. By 30 years old he managed to get to the top of his field without the feeling personally achieving anything. He was missing the sense of accomplishment.

Resetting your confidence

You can fix this feeling without giving up everything you’ve earned (even if you don’t feel as though you’ve earned it). All you need to do is change one thing. It could be your job, if you want. But it could also be a change of hobby, a new routine or even a new wardrobe. Find one simple thing that is your decision and own it. It will build your confidence and calm your nerves to know that there is at least one thing in your life that is entirely your own doing. 

My friend took the “new job” option. Same industry, different role. It includes travel. Everything will be new and he’s experiencing a new feeling – control of one’s own destiny. 

It’s never too late to experience something new. Is something stopping you from taking a chance and making a change?

Photo by Christopher Rusev on Unsplash

Want to learn more about yourself and others?

My husband and I did an online MBTI test and have been fescinated by personality types ever since. We both found this podcast enlightening about ourselves, our friends, and our colleagues.

Yes, I know, this book is on a lot of my pages. But read the part about the person who would BuJo after a date – they learned about both themselves and their dates!

Speaking of the MBTI test, 16 Personalities is the one that got us hooked! It uses slightly different terms (e.g. I’m an INFJ, which is called “Advocate” here, but is called “Counsellor” or “Idealist” in other sources. The test takes about 10-15 minutes, and the results might just freak you out!

These may contain affiliate links which help me run my website (privacy). I only advertise products/services I genuinely recommend.

Do you have all four legs on your mental health table?

Do you have all four legs on your mental health table?

Recently, I’ve been binge-listening to a podcast called “Economic Update”. Sounds like a real snore-fast, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s soothing, gripping and depressing all at one. In an episode from a few months ago a regular guest, Dr Fraad, was talking about what support 

The Basics of Transferrable Skills

The Basics of Transferrable Skills

On the hunt for job hunting advice (am I going in circles?), you will find the phrase transferrable skills. Do you know what they are, and do you have any? Well done if you do. But even then, do you know how to sell those 

What a career coach does (and doesn’t) do

What a career coach does (and doesn’t) do

I recently met with a career coach. Even though I had met her before, I was nervous. I was coming to the end of a contract and I’m not sure where to go next. Is it time for a pre mid-life career change? Should I look for a cushy job that will give me a good work-life balance? What do I really want? It was time to meet my career coach!

What does a career coach do?

Meeting with a good coach is truly inspirational. You might come out of a meeting with a coach feeling pumped and confident. Or you might come out a bit confused, wondering if you got what you wanted. But as you think more about it you will realised that your coach (if they are a good one) has planted some fresh ideas in your mind. You just need to decide what to do with them.

A coach won’t give a lot of straight answers

 At first you might feel concerned that your questions weren’t answered, but you quickly realised that the only unanswered questions were ones that had no answer. A career coach can’t tell you what job will make you happy. But a good one will help you work out what you enjoy about certain roles and give you guidance on how to keep moving in that direction.

A coach will ask more questions than they will answer

When meeting with a coach you should have a few questions prepared, but be ready for a lot of questions back! The purpose of a coach is to help you make your own decisions in a sensibly considered and logical way.  You might say that you want more responsibility but you don’t want to be a manager. A coach might ask why do you want more responsibility? What type of responsibility? Why not managerial responsibility? Would you only consider additional responsibilities in your current work area? And only for a pay rise? Would you consider getting the experience of additional responsibility outside of your organisation? What about in a voluntary capacity?  Get ready for a grilling: coaches are very good at making you realised just how much you HAVEN’T thought of!

A coach will challenge your assumptions

You will plan for this meeting. You will have some questions to ask and you will have an idea of what you want from the meeting and where you think your career is (or should be) heading. Don’t grasp to tightly to those ideas. A coach will question you, pose alternatives and soon you will wonder if your thinking has been off-track. Don’t worry. Any thought that you put into your career is not wasted. A coach will help you identify where your thinking gets stuck and help you widen your perspectives as well as your career options. 

If you’ve met a good coach before you would know all this already! Have you met with a career coach before? How did they help you? How would you prepare next time?

Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

Boost or blip? Job offers that could haunt you

Boost or blip? Job offers that could haunt you

During a routine LinkedIn profile review, Sheldon Cooper came to mind: “I need answers. I need to determine where, in this swamp of unbalanced formulas, squatteth the toad of truth.” The Toad of Truth was that this was not a routine review. This client had