Work Experience Guide For Fresh Graduates

Following the Twitter chat with Ajibose Gbolahan, HR Officer Mabco-Dee Investment Ltd, on the topic “Various vacant jobs require years of experience. What’s my fate as a fresh graduate?”, we have realized that although fresh graduates can apply for jobs requiring up to a year of experience, the companies are only willing to hire them if they have some professional skills and qualities. It is important to learn these in a professional work environment. There are various ways for this, from paid internships which not only help you build your skills and give you a stipend to work placements where you are assisted on important industry related work while studying. Here are a few ways students and fresh graduates could add up to their skills and experience. Read on…

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Paid Internship

Paid internships are a good way to build up your skills and professional knowledge in a particular field. This is not just counted as useful but the experience you gain during the internship can help you get a job that requires up to one year of experience. A paid internship helps you not only gain the professional understanding and work required of a particular profile, but also trains you to be a good time manager and gain confidence in your capabilities. An internship is completely different from a freelance or part time job. Paid internships can often help you impress the company and get permanent employment there.

Unpaid Internship

Unpaid internships are useful for those people who do not have any skills for the particular job, but are willing to gain professional knowledge of the profile. A lack of skills may not help you get paid internship, but an unpaid internship will certainly ensure that when you apply for a job, you have that professional knowledge and a little of the working expertise to help you land an employment with good salary later on. Unpaid internships should be kept up to four to six weeks only, as although it is giving you an opportunity to learn, you are entitled for a pay. In case, you find opportunities to learn and grow better at a company which is offering unpaid internship, and in case you decide to take it, make sure you give it 100 per cent and take 100 per cent from it as well.

Work Placement

A work placement is the work experience required by many universities in order to complete a course offered by them. This is a compulsory part of the degree, just as much as the examinations. In a work placement, you typically focus on learning study-related projects or supporting the work of the company you are working in. A work placement usually doesn’t end with an employment. The employer acts as a mentor and also offers reviews on the performance.

A lot of people also do volunteer work. However, volunteer work, besides being unpaid, is not counted as a work experience. Paid internships, unpaid internships, as well as work placements can help fresh graduates land a job with requirement of six months to one year of experience. Besides this, natural caliper, skills, and confidence play a key role.

3 Signs you’re in the wrong career

Every Sunday evening we hear our friends complaining about going to the same work routine the next day, every Monday we see our colleagues walking in with little enthusiasm to work, and the week continues till Friday when everyone seems to be happy, for obvious reasons. We may choose to continue our job every day thinking it is what it is, or even switch jobs in expectation of a better work environment, without even realizing that it’s a career change that may bring about a great change. Here are three signs that you are in the wrong career and need to look beyond your field of work.

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1: You lack passion for the work you do!

Motivation is extremely important if one needs to do a job happily. A lack of motivation suggests a lack of passion, and results in a lack of drive to complete tasks. This results in delays as you are unable to meet deadlines on time. It also leads to misinformation as you miss out on important details during meetings, leads to more mistakes on your part as you do your just to complete the tasks and get your salary to the bills.

Time and again, we emphasis that it is important to be happy at your workplace.  Happiness can only be promoted through involvement of the employees in the projects which they are working on, among st themselves, and with individual satisfaction of achievement. If one is not happy then it only directs to one reason, that the person doesn’t like the work. If you don’t like the work, no matter how many times you switch your job and join a new company, you’ll relentlessly find ways to dislike your office, with your subconscious mind giving you all kinds of excuses about the work culture, about the boss being too bossy, or about working hours not feasible. The truth is if one loves the work they do, these things hardly matter!

2: You are not improving at your job no matter how much you try!

So, you try to keep up with the work culture, you always behave sincerely towards your boss, you keep your mind attentive at meetings, and are still meeting mistakes? You try to be as efficiently productive as you can at every job, but still just can’t cut through the work pressure and the competition? The repetitive pattern of making the same mistakes and being able to work to your optimal best, even when you know you are proficient, is a sure sign of being in the wrong career!

3: You day dream about other things you would be rather doing!

You have plenty of work to do, many tasks are awaiting the deadlines, and you even have everything to complete those tasks. The only problem: your mind is wandering in all sorts of directions! If you are wondering about other things to do, then it may be time to think about changing your career as well.

We spend almost one third of our lives at office. Happiness at work is important to improve your overall lifestyle, and this can only be achieved if we are doing something which you actually like. When this happens colleagues become friends, work becomes passion, and life becomes productive.

6 Ways to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace

Everyone talks about gender equality at the workplace, but hardly anyone actually makes it happen! Here are some great ways to help you promote equal rights regardless of gender at your organization.

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  1. Acknowledge the difference and reward the uniqueness

Men and women work in different ways! Promoting gender equality does not mean taking a blind eye to their differences and expecting the same as we expect from men. Give women the freedom to perform in their own way and let them add their exceptional value to the company. It is important to let women feel that they don’t need to compete with men. This notion itself helps motivate women at workplace. It is also important to acknowledge and reward them for their unique leadership qualities and management skills.

  1. Analyze the present situation in your organization

It is important to identify the areas where you can promote gender equality at the workplace. To understand this you must have an idea of the male-female ratio at your organization. Identify the posts taken mostly by women, and those where women lack behind. This can help you encourage them to take a leap or apply for roles which they are most interested into. It is also necessary to note the difference in salaries of men and women at the same position, and identify if the difference is justified or not.

  1. Implement some basic strategies to reach female equality

Simple steps such as screening resumes on the basis of education, experience and skills can help you stay unbiased while selecting candidates for a particular job. Secondly, offering standard salaries, as equivalent to that of men in your organization, would help women rise higher, especially if they were being paid low at their previous organization. Rewarding outcomes instead of hours worked not only help women stay motivated and achieve appreciation for their work, but also help in the overall productivity of the employees.

  1. Encourage women to grab opportunities

Women often leave good opportunities thinking they are under-qualified. It is important to encourage them to go after what they want. One great way to do this is to encourage them to switch their profiles within the organization. This will ensure that they get the opportunity to broaden their horizons, learn new skills, and get excited about taking projects they love. Support from employers can help build their confidence.

  1. Set an unbiased criteria for promotions

Another area to pay attention to is to the criteria of promoting employees. It has been observed that women are usually neglected at the time of promotions, usually only because they are ‘women’ and supposedly lack leadership skills which men are naturally born with. It is important to know that this is not really true, and women around the world are leading men in big organizations as CEO’s, Leaders, Speakers, Advocates, and Managers.

  1. Commit to simple objectives that promote gender equality

One of the foremost things to consider is the ‘equal pay for equal work’ technique to encourage women to be productive and at the same time ensuring that they are treated with equality. Organizations must also consider childcare options and flexible timing for women, to ensure they feel satisfied and safe at the company. Another way to encourage safety and stop molestation at workplace is to encourage them to speak up against any irrational behavior.

Besides all this, if your women are lacking behind in skills, you can help them get trained through specific programme, which should available to by the organization itself. These few things would surely help achieve as well as promote gender equality at workplace.

 

 

9 Ways To Develop Flexibility And Adaptability

Any job can become your dream job if you are happy at the workplace. Happiness mainly depends on two factors- your flexibility and adaptability with work culture and colleagues. Here are few ways that can help you develop these skills, helping you achieve work deadlines better, improved rapport with your colleagues, and promote happiness at work.

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  1. Curiosity:

Being curious in our conscious mind creates an interest in our sub-conscious mind. Asking questions not only help you resolve queries but also promotes communication with the colleagues. It can also help you tackle something which you may see as a challenge.

  1. Spot opportunities to adjust:

Instead of thinking ‘why should I?’, developing an attitude of ‘why not’ will help you not only enhance your knowledge, work skills, management skills, and keep you open to challenges and new projects, but also make you your colleagues’ and bosses’ favourite!

  1. Patience is the key:

Office bullying is the most common phenomenon that creates negative culture. This can be turned around with a little humour in response, instead of feeling bad, changing your attitude, or feeling hurt. Just give yourself some space and think. Always remember, “If you can’t fight them, join them!”

  1. Listen and learn:

Seeking out different views and exploring ideas diverse from yours can help you open up your mind, understand other better, create more relevant and efficient strategies and act better in difficult situations. Volunteering and working abroad will expose you to great opportunities, too.

  1. Alter your routine:

Putting in something new to your daily schedule, a task, a hobby, a way to learn something, a new project, or anything that motivates you or creates the lacking enthusiasm in you, can help you look towards the day with zeal. It will also create more productivity in your work.

  1. Make your own deadlines:

Set yourself an early deadline. This will help you challenge yourself, meet the deadlines on time, drive you towards better time management, leave space for sudden changes, and help you test your flexibility and adaptability. Plus it leads to your boss being impressed!

  1. Go small with goals:

Instead of burdening yourself with a heavy task at once, break it down in small do-able tasks that are easily achievable. This can help you complete your tasks better; at the same time helping you adjust to and/or tackle any issue raised at any step of the project.

  1. Appreciate your efforts:

Sticking to your goals, monotonous routines, daily schedules and weekly deadlines, and continuously trying to keep yourself motivated, is something you really need appreciation for. Give yourself due credit for the work and do something out of the ordinary to create a sense of achievement.

  1. See the future:

Adapting to the company goals can not only help you get appreciation from your seniors and respect from juniors, but also create a positive impact on your professional life, helping you bag a promotion in your early years of career and even helping you recognize your own potential.

These nine tips are great for assisting you develop flexibility and adaptability in your daily routine, helping you grow both personally and professionally, and making it easier for you to create a better rapport with people in and out of your work culture.

What Are Management Skills and why are they important?

Good management skills can help one to position him/her for a successful career. Even if one is at entry level, or have stuck at the same executive position for years, these skills can help you advance professionally, by creating an impressive image at the office. Firstly, it is important to understand what management skills mean. They are essentially those skills that keep you above and apart from the crowd with certain qualities that demand respect as they enable you to manage work and others effectively. While some of these skills may relate particularly to your industry of work, here are some you can develop now:

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 Professionalism

Good managers adhere to a moral code that can set the right example for other employees. Here are some qualities that will prepare you in this area:

  • Offering professional customer service requires an exceptional attitude too, and developing one will set you apart from other executives.
  • Workplace issues sometimes require diplomatic solutions and your ability to identify these solutions can earn you extra points.
  • ‘Strong moral values’ is a quality that only highly professional people exhibit.
  • Initiatives are the key to success at any job, and the best way to get up the ladder.
  • Not everyone attends professional development classes and seminars. They can help you gain information and learn skills which others may not have.

 Problem Solving

Problem solving skills can help one to identify and overcome work problems, as well as help others see you as the intellectual one, thus adding up to your reputation, self-esteem, and professional life. Here are some qualities that will prepare you in this area:

  • In the face of a work problem, one needs to demonstrate resourcefulness.
  • Being able to anticipate potential issues before they arise.
  • Identify factors which contribute to particular problems. This will also help combat it in the future.
  • Troubleshoot quickly and efficiently to avoid further issues that can add up to the problem.

 Motivation

A person who can motivate others as well as keep himself/herself motivated in the face of a hectic schedule can reflect leadership. This can help getting that promotion! Here are some qualities that will prepare you in this area:

  • Take ownership of your projects.
  • Create an energetic workplace.
  • Show appreciation to juniors on their accomplishments.
  • Support coworkers and help them combat work-stress.

Communication

Communicating effectively is very important. One can showcase this quality at internal meetings as well as client meetings. Here are some qualities that will prepare you in this area:

  • Draft concise materials for training.
  • Maintain communication with the co-workers.
  • Negotiate successfully in order to resolve disputes.
  • Encourage open lines of communication among employees.
  • Lead meetings in a productive and timely manner.

Innovation

Innovating ideas can help you set yourself apart from all the other employees by showcasing your worth to the company in an effective and efficient manner. Here are some qualities that will prepare you in this area:

  • Develop innovative solutions to the needs of your company’s customers.
  • Identify key shortcomings and solutions in order to help boost production.
  • Construct research models that can help test new ideas.
  • Help generate fresh ideas for marketing campaigns.
  • Redesign roles and department structure to increase productivity.

 

Apart from these qualities, your will to move forward, your enthusiasm to do something extraordinary and your professional dressing sense will also play a role in getting the Manager position at your next promotion.

HOW TO USE YOUR WEEKEND TO ADVANCE YOUR CAREER

What do successful people do differently that help them get ahead of the crowd? This one question has led to massive research, surveys, and great debates. The truth has come to one point that all successful people use their time more efficiently. Now, it is a known fact that every one of us get the same 24 hours and 7 days of the week, whereas 5-6 days are spent at office, leaving us tired afterwards to engage in any professional or skill-enhancement related work.

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Weekend is the most important time of the week and can help you get ahead. Now, who would want to even think about working on the weekend, but considering that just a few hours can help you gain over other competitors will surely motivate you.

Here’s how you can use your weekend to advance your career…

 

Building your Personal Brand

It is important to have a clear image of where we stand professionally and what we represent. Weekend provides us an opportunity to enhance our personal brand through analysis of our strengths and weaknesses as well as areas of improvement. It gives us a chance to understand how to use and grow transferable skills which can help in energizing us and giving our portfolio its own identity in the professional world. This requires intensive planning and brainstorming which you usually don’t get time for in the week.

Advancing a Special Project

Everyone likes to be known for something amazing. Pay attention to your special project. Plan it, design it, and execute it o the weekend. Working insane hours in the same job can get monotonous but concentrating your energy on something exciting can break the monotony. A person could work for many years and still have no motivation, enthusiasm, or interest professionally, as office work leads to one working mechanically, but the mind can be triggered towards a new idea with a special project you may be willing to draw your attention to.

Learning New Things

Learning a new language, taking up a free online course, or learning a new skill can help your mind not only get diverted from the boring routine and offer you a productive weekend break, but also provide your brain new data to feed on and get going. Reading blog posts related to the profession you are in, engaging one in interactive talks with experts through twitter chats, and listening to podcast can help you gain momentum in your professional life as you impress your bosses in colleagues at the next meeting by referencing things from the outside world.

Getting Organized

Monday mornings are always a mess, mostly because we forget to get organized during the weekend. Once the week rolls in, it gets difficult to take out time for organizing our priorities. Result: daily tension and extra work every day. Weekend is not just a good time to get organized but also to plan, rethink, and prioritize your work, to give out the best output productivity wise. It also helps you remain stress free through-out the week, helping you be more creative, open to challenges, and excited.

So pull up yourself through the weekend and have a great week ahead!

Five Things To Know Before You Join The New Job

Joining a new office can be exciting, but taking the job without getting to know some of the important things can take a toll on that excitement. From agreeing to the work hours, negotiating salary, knowing what you are expected to work on, there are a number of things you must do before your new job starts to seem a place you are stuck at. You may have found the job that pays well, but if you’re thinking that nothing else matters, you are wrong. Let’s take a look at the most important things you must focus on before signing a contract with the company. Here we go…

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Job Responsibilities:

Your profile may be anything, but the type of work the company expects you to do may be different. If you’re thinking it can be that, the let us tell you that this happens more than you think, and become one of the main issues of a switch in jobs. It is better to understand the scope of work you can be asked to do, your daily duties, and the scope of load you may have to handle at office. A wider description of your work duties would help you understand that your role reflects your job description and the company is looking forward to impose responsibilities which you don’t want or cannot do. Also, it is important to know the job title you have been offered, if it’s an executive, senior, or managerial position, as promised on the vacancy ad or not.

Place of work:

Many companies require you to work in a wider geographical area. Many companies may schedule the interview at their back-end office, and not their main office, but would require you to work at the main office, which may be located farther then you would want. Second scenario can be that you are selected in one city, and you signed the agreement without paying attention to the clause that states that for work purposes you be expected to go, travel, or relocate to another place, thinking there’s hardly any chance of that! Remember the clause is there because it has a purpose there. It may cause a problem if you refuse to work at another location later on.

Hours of work:

Working hours are very important. As everyone’s stamina differs, it is important to take up a job that doesn’t leave you exhausted at the end of the month, making you realize that you are in the wrong job. An airhostess job may seem exciting, but it is not for someone who doesn’t have the stamina to work with flexible timings. It is not the matter of will. Even if you are willing to do whatever it takes, your body may not be your companion in this mission. Therefore, it is good to know both your strengths and weaknesses to opt for the best job and the working hours you are really able to work with. Also, check if you are expected to do overtime and the company pays for overtime or not. Besides that it is also important to know how many leaves and holidays the company offers. Besides that, you can check whether your company offers educational leave, adoption leave, and other benefits, according to your needs.

Salary, and Other Benefits:

Besides checking that your employment contract reflects the salary in the offer letter, it is also important to know what the salary structure is. This will help you understand what your in-hand salary is and how much is deducted. It is also good to know the allowances, perks and benefits such as provident fund, loan allowance, enhanced pension, private health cover, car or house, equity or share options, and commission payments, if any, are provide by the company. It is also important to understand if bonuses are guaranteed or based on your meeting the job targets.

Leaving the Job:

Check your notice period. Usually most employees are expected to give a 1-2 months’ notice before leaving the job, and the same goes for the company. There is also another thing which the employee should be aware of. Many companies prevent you from working for a competitor for a certain period of time. This may hinder your job prospects in the future. Also, there may also be a restriction on the clients introduced by you to your employer, and thus, they are covered under restrictive covenants once you leave the company.

Besides these important five things, you may want to consider many companies also discourage working part-time, freelancing, or enjoying a hobby that contradicts or can steal clients or ideas from the company, or spending your time in any other work apart from that of the company, even on holidays. So, read between the lines and don’t forget to negotiate well!