Sunday 29 December 2013

The Career Resolution That You Need For 2014

The New Year is coming up so soon! It is amazing how fast time flies. At this time of year, isn't it normal to look back at what you have been through the past year, and, of course, to try to think of some 'resolutions' that you so deeply intend to follow through the upcoming year.

Don't have a resolution yet?
If you really want to take charge of your career this year, stop delegating it to others. It is easy to start 'depending' on companies, institutions and clients that pay our bills. In this sense, we feel obliged to them and in a way, we feel as if we cannot really look elsewhere given that they are only source of income.

In today's fast-changing economy, diversification is key. Try to set aside one or two hours a week and start looking at new ways in which you can expand your income. You can also attend some conferences, seminars, or networking events in an area that interests you. Catch up with old colleagues and even, look at companies or other jobs that you can pursue in case your job doesn't work out, for one reason or another.

Do you run your own business?
Many of these activities will help you too. You might wish to spend some time to think about expanding your work, either by opening a new branch locally or perhaps, even moving to other countries. The point is to make ongoing efforts to expand and develop your business and, in essence, yourself. 

What you really should do as a resolution for the New Year is: save money! (I really need to start doing this!). Spending less will give you freedom - to be able to reject toxic work environments, bad clients and projects you would rather not take on. Meanwhile, it will enable you to accept projects that  may require a lot of your time and it will make it possible for you to back off from work a little and work on this project. 

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Saturday 28 December 2013

The Gratitude Level Quiz

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Grateful people are often known to be happier people. Gratitude is all about showing appreciation to the people around you, things that you have and the many blessings that we don't take note of every day. Being gratitude at work is truly the best attitude to have if we are striving for a successful professional and personal life, and if we are aiming to make the lives of all the staff, be it the employers or the employees, more fulfilling and fulfilled.
Take this quiz to find our the level of gratitude present (or not!) at your organisation.

 What is your Gratitude Level? Take this quiz to find out!

The quiz below measures the level of gratitude in an organisation. So, think of an organisation to which you belong, and keep that organisation in mind as you answer the questions.

  1. My organisation always takes time to thank the staff during meetings.
  2. always

  3. The people who are successful in my organisation are those who only think about themselves.
  4. always

  5. I feel appreciated at work.
  6. always

  7. How often do peers in your organisation thank you for your work?
  8. often

  9. How often do you express thanks or gratitude to others in your organisation?
  10. never

  11. People in my organisation only thank each other when someone does something extraordinary.
  12. always

  13. In my organisation, everybody works on individual rather than team basis.
  14. always

  15. The leaders in my organisation encourage me to think about how others have helped me in my work.
  16. always

  17. I truly appreciate and take time to thank anyone who helps me at work with one thing or another.
  18. always

  19. How would you rate the stress level within your organisation?
  20. very high
Test your Gratitude Level!

The higher the score, the more grateful you and or your organisation seem to be!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Friday 20 December 2013

Is Attention the Secret to Emotional Intelligence?

Are you trying to read this article - but you are constantly checking your emails, speaking to someone (especially if you are in an office), or trying - but really trying - to FOCUS on this article?

It is something that has happened to many of us: we eagerly try to direct our attention at one thing, but then end up doing something or perhaps some things that are completely different from what we had had in mind.

Companies are looking for people who are qualified and those who make a direct connection between their skills and what the employer wants. It is still difficult (although not impossible) to transition to a new field. It is all about demonstrating that you can solve the employer’s problems and that you can 'fit' into the company’s culture.

To be successful in a job hunt, you will not only need to demonstrate an association between what the employer wants and your skills and accomplishments are, you will need to be able to tell your story in a way that makes it obvious you have the emotional intelligence/emotional quotient (EI/EQ – or soft skills) to get the job done.

With all of this research on emotional intelligence, it is time for job seekers to start paying attention. Your job search materials must competently tell your story and illustrate that you not only have the capacity to get the job done (that is, you have the specific skills, training and accomplishments), but that you have the ability to fit in and to bring that talent to the next — emotional — level.

BE the person who is willing to go the extra mile. Show, do not tell. Maybe that means you hold the door for somebody behind you on the way to the interview. Or you give a kind smile to someone cleaning the floors or simply sitting down at the reception. You may never know who these people are, and whether they might be good allies for you. 

Obviously, there’s much more to this than simply being courteous – emotional intelligence is complicated and difficult to pin down, but one aspect is being aware of other peoples’ needs. Look at your network. Do you have one? Are you a connector? Do you try to put people in touch with each other, just for the sake of doing it? If so, you are SHOWING that you care about people – that you are a team player.

What would your boss or colleagues say about you? Do they think only about your competence, or will they comment on your great attitude, how you lead by example and show everyone the same respect? Are you the one who pitches in and stays until the end, or are you running out to handle personal matters? Everything adds up, and how you behave will shape how people see you.

Courtesy of Greater Good

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Monday 16 December 2013

Be Careful of these 3 Freelance Job Posts Scams

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Freelance work is great. You have the liberty to work from your own home, or wherever is most comfortable for you, set your own rates, choose the work that interests you the most (to some extent), while it conveniently helps you to fine-tune your professional skills. You will quickly discover, however, that many job listings seem either too good to be true, or, not true a lot. Chances are, that they are scam. The following are three popular job posts scams that you should be aware of:

1. 'Native English-speaking article writers: excellent quality articles required'

Translation: We pay $0.50 per 500 words. We’re aware that in countries where native English-speakers actually live, $0.50 will not cover the cost of the electricity required to write those 500 words.

For this reason, we’re looking to hire a financially secure trust-fund baby who has an insatiable desire to write keyword-rich articles about the new iPhone. Or possibly someone who has moved to Mali. And has no desire to afford to a plane flight back. Ever.

2. 'Very easy data-entry job'

Translation: You know captchas? Those annoying, messed-up letters that prevent our bots from creating Hotmail accounts? Yeah? Well, we need some cheap, real human eyes to transcribe those for us. Then we can get back to creating mass email accounts to send our important “news bulletins” about Viagra. Kthxbai.

3. 'Great opportunity for planning/urban design professionals'

Translation: We’re a large company that bid way too low on a massive project (like, ah, the Urban Design Proposal for Kabul, Afghanistan*). Surprise, surprise, we won the job since they couldn’t resist our rock-bottom price. Now we’re trying to outsource it to reduce our losses. This is the perfect project for anyone who is desperate and/or doesn’t know any better.

*This was an actual project. I didn’t just invent it for the sake of drama. Unfortunately, the job was deleted before I had a chance to snatch it up.

How you can earn money on sites like!

Now that you know which jobs to avoid, use these tips to win bids on the real jobs so you can earn more money:

Market your talents confidently

If you feel you're good at what you do, say so. In fact, say that you're EXCELLENT at what you do. Of course, make sure that you can live up to the brand by which you're marketing yourself. However, don't be shy to show your employer that you know and, in essence, are proud of, what you do.

Infuse personality to stand out

Show some personality, people! Sure, it’s important to act professionally, but have a bit of fun with it. Show your potential employers why you’re funnier, more charming and more reliable (and more human) than the guy whose computer responds for him.

It is good to be professional and to show that you mean business. However, it would be even greater to add some fun along the way, which makes you a more charming person in the eyes of your employer. In turn, you will likely become more reliable (and more human) than the guy whose computer responds for him.

Adapted from BrazenLife

Sunday 8 December 2013

Create the Success You Really Deserve...

Know your worth!

Have you ever went in for an interview, all enthusiastic, with a winning, beaming smile, standing up as straight as can be...only to realise (perhaps subconsciously) that your enthusiasm is superficial, your smile is not genuine, and in reality, you do not want this position at all.

Admittedly, it is something that has happened to,well, a large number of us. Applying for a high-earned position, one that can pave forward our career path (or at least that's what we hope)...going in for the interview, getting accepted...and perhaps ending up taking the position, in fear that there is nothing better for us or perhaps no more opportunities down the line.

Although it would be most wise to think about refusing an offer, learn how to say 'no'. But there’s good argument for turning down a new job: the role doesn’t meet your internal value, either in title, responsibility or compensation. Learn how to value yourself — and how to sell that value to hiring managers — and you’ll be able to leave the false enthusiasm, and frustrating positions, behind. 

Your value shouldn’t be defined by the buyer of your services; instead, it should be validated by the buyer. Your goal should be to present yourself as an undervalued asset that will flourish upon taking the next step. it smart!

Does this mean that you should never accept a position that’s a lower level or pay grade than what you think you deserve?

Absolutely not. The way you present yourself to the job market is through the narratives you can tell about who you are and what you have accomplished.

If you’re moving from a well-paid job with a good title to a lower-paid job with more responsibilities, the stories you’ll be able to tell about your impact will be greater.

If the role offers a larger opportunity for growth, your perceived setback may only be temporary.

Though many accepted lower pay, over two years, many former mid-level managers changed their LinkedIn profiles to include titles such as Director and VP.

As these companies grow, the role my former colleagues play in that growth is substantial and tangible. When they look for their next job, they have great stories to tell about their impact and abilities.

The value of anything is what the market is willing to pay. As the seller of your services, you owe it to yourself to find the right buyer who will meet you at your estimated worth.

We all know someone who left one company for another only to receive a substantial promotion in the process. But rather than see that move as the result of luck, we should consider how the individual presented herself as qualified for the newfound responsibilities.

Determining your own value can be hard, and there’s great opportunity to sabotage yourself through over- or under-confidence.

Article adapted from Brazen Life

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 1 December 2013

And so it Goes: Criticism is Inevitable

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Criticism is unavoidable. We can either take it gracefully, or we might make the one who gave us his criticism (constructively or not), wish he had never done so. Before we start accepting or dashing back our criticisms, we should first distinguish between the different types of criticism that we might be getting.

So, what type of criticism?
Sometimes criticism is narrow and specific. At often times, however, it is vague, general, and has multiple things mixed up in it (for instance, some statements are accurate but others are exaggerated, including the tone, content, rationale, values). 
Once you understand the criticism in its parts and aspects, make your own unilateral decision about it.

A fair amount of the criticism that comes your way is flat-out mistaken.

Think of the many scientific theories that were initially scorned but have proven correct over time.
Knowing that you can handle criticism in these ways, let yourself be more open to it. Don’t intimidate others who have a criticism for you; then it just festers or bursts out in other ways.
Mostly, just recognize that criticism in its various forms and flavors (and smells) is a fact of life. So be it. Our lives and this world have bigger problems, and much bigger opportunities. Time to live more bravely and freely. It is essential to welcome criticisms from your mentors, colleagues and perhaps, clients or people you come in contact with. However, make sure that you filter all forms of criticism and identifying the person.

This article was first published by Greater Good

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Monday 25 November 2013

8 Common Body Language Mistakes to Avoid During the Interview

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From eye contact to posture to the way you fix your hair, avoid these 8 physical slip-ups in your next job interview.

Muovo would like to share with you the following article, first published by Forbes, outlining the eight most common body language mistakes that you should avoid during the interview.

1) Bad Posture

Leaning back is lazy or arrogant, leaning forward is aggressive and slouching is just lazy. Instead, experts say to aim for a neutral position, sitting tall as if a string were connecting your head to the ceiling.

2) Breaking Eye Contact

"Hold eye contact one extra eyelash", says charisma coach Cynthia Burnham. She says we tend to feel uncomfortable holding eye contact once a personal connection has been created. Don't stare, but try to hold your interviewers gaze for one extra second before breaking away. "Do this especially when shaking hands", she says.

3) Crossed Arms

"Arms crossed over your chest signal defensiveness and resistance", says Karen Friedman, communications expert. "When they're open at your sides you appear more approachable".

4) Excessive Nodding

"Sometimes we undermine how powerful or in focus we are by nodding like a bobble-head doll", says Burnham, a habit that's particularly common in women. "Nod once or twice with a smile of agreement. But find your still centre and stay there".

5) Fidgeting

Fidgeting may emit a sign of anxiety. This nervous energy is likely to distract the interviewer. So keep him or her focused on you and what you have to say, rather than the coins in your pockets!

6) Mismatched Expressions

"If your tone isn't matching your facial expression you could find yourself in hot water," says communications coach MAtt Eventoff. "If someone asks what you're most passionate about and your face is in deadpan while you answer, it's not going to translate well".

7) Shifty Eyes

Friedman says distracted or upward eye movements can suggest someone is lying or not sure of themselves. "It's important to look someone directly int he eye to convey confidence and certainty".

8) Staring

"It's important to be confident and look the interviewer in the eye", says Amanda Augustine, job search expert at TheLadders. "But then break away. Locking eyes with someone for an extended period of time can be interpreted as aggressive, not to mention creepy".
Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday 19 November 2013

When would be the best time to send your emails?

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As a job seeker you would be, of course, contacting your potential recruiters, namely through sending emails to your recruiters. The following are 6 top reasons listed by Career Hub:
  1. To ask for a job interview
  2. To ask for an informational interview
  3. To ask for a meeting
  4. To send a thank-you email after an interview
  5. To inquire about the status of an application
  6. To follow up on a letter they mailed
In each case, you would want your email to be opened (right?!)

There is a high chance that it will. However, an appealing subject line will definitely make a difference. On top of this, the day of the week and the time of day are also bound to affect your recruiter's response.

Interestingly, marketers are usually highly attentive to statistics regarding the openings of emails and clicks through rates at different times of the week.

Carrer Hub mentions which has reviewed a number of studies on open and click through rates for email marketing. Here are some of Hubspot's findings Buffer reports on:

10 p.m. - 6 a.m.: Known as the dead zone, as hardly any email get opened.
6 a.m. - 10 a.m.: Consumer-based marketing emails are best sent early in the morning.
10 a.m. - Noon: Most people are working, and probably will not have time to open your email.
Noon - 2 p.m.: News and magazine updates are popular during lunch breaks.
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.: After lunch lots of people buckle down and ignore their inbox.
3 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Property and financial-related offers are best sent in the early afternoon.
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.: Holiday promotions & B2B promotions get opened mostly in the early evening.
Depositphotos_4440372_xs-300x290.jpg (300×290)7 p.m. - 10 p.m.: Consumer promotions are popular again after dinner. Picking which of these match most closely the type of email you might be sending would suggest that:

To sum up:
10 p.m. -, 
10 a.m. - noon,        
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.,

3 p.m. - 5 p.m., 
and 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. are the times to AVOID.  

6 a.m. - 10 a.m., 
Noon - 2 p.m., 
and 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. would be BETTER times to send your email.

Other studies suggest that Thursday is the best day and early Monday morning is also a good time.

So start planning when to send your emails now! This applies not just for marketing, but to other areas, including when to send emails to your recruiters or current employers.

Good luck!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Saturday 16 November 2013

Boost your job prospects with a good reference letter!

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 "You will find it a very good practice always to verify your references, sir!"                                                                                               (Martin Joseph Routh)

At some point in the job application process, a potential employer is likely to ask you to provide some references. You might be asked to bring these references for the interview, or at times, submitting them with your application, or even after the interview, where a job offer may be conditional on the references.

Potential employers will expect you to give the name of your current or previous employer and at least one other person, who could be a 'personal' referee. A personal referee may be either a friend, colleague, family member or someone with whom you have worked and had close, professional associations.

Choose your referees wisely.

The following are three questions that you should keep in mind when choosing your referees.
  • Are they willing to write the letter?
    Not everyone enjoys this task, and some do consider it as most arduous. Make sure you ask your referee politely whether he or she is willing to be your referee first.

  • Are they reachable?
    Some people are just impossible to track down. They are either too busy, have too many mobile phones, or are just simply the type not to answer the phone after the first 100 rings. As your referee, you really want someone who is easily contactable as a delay on their part might ruin a potential job offer for you.

  • Can they give you a full picture of your personality and work?
    Make sure you choose someone who can give a clear view of you as an individual, and of your performance at work. 
You can include the names and contact details of your referees on your CV or cover this item with something like, 'details of references upon request'. It is also essential to indicate on your application whether these referees can be contacted prior the interview. (You may not want your current employer to know that you are looking for another job, for example...!).

The standard layout for giving a reference is:

          Mr James Borg  (current employer)
          Director of Studies
          ABC School
          56, Tower Road 
          Mob.: 77556688
          Email:  [email protected]

Many employers would like to talk personally to your referees, so providing a mobile number and/or an email is useful.

Make sure that all the details provided - thereby the address, mobile number, email and any other information is correct and updated. Remember, the company might have moved their premises to another town or possibly changed the name of their company, or even closed down, the telephone number of the referee and email address could also have changed over time. 

If you have any questions, send us an email on [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Friday 8 November 2013

3 Tips To Make Your Work More Fulfilling

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Muovo would like to share with you the following article, first published by Greater Good Blog.

1. Accept Confusion.
If you're feeling confused about your next career move, the good news is: you're not alone. If you take a quick look at career websites, you will find well over 12,000 different jobs. Confusion, it seems, is natural. Accept it. Confront it. And, eventually, build your way up to overcome it.

2. Don't Pigeonhole Yourself. 
Many people are enticed by personality tests, which claim to be able to assess your character then point you towards a job that is just right for you.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the world’s most popular psychometric test, which places you in one of sixteen personality types is argued as an unreliable source of test. Try retaking the test after five weeks. You will be amazed to find that there is around a 50 percent chance that you will be placed into a different personality category.

Don't let anyone tell you what you can and can’t be on the basis of a personality pigeonhole they want to put you in.

Watch this interesting talk by Roman Krznaric on how to find fulfilling work. (Filmed at the TSOL LIVE tour in May 2012.)

3. Look at work as a life-long experiment.
Changing career is a frightening prospect. But ultimately, there is no avoiding the fact that it is a risk.

Ask successful career changers how to overcome the fear and most say the same thing: in the end you have to stop thinking and just do it. That may be why nearly all cultures have recognised that to live a meaningful and vibrant existence, we need to take some chances—or else we might end up looking back on our lives with regret.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Yes, Facebook Could Help You Find a Job!

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Have you ever considered Facebook as a job board?
Probably not!
Facebook is highly unlikely to be considered as a career resource. Few users, especially from the younger generations, add a job title next to their Facebook profile. This can be, perhaps, to a variety of reasons. 
One of them may be that, at a younger age, users may not have a permanent job, and therefore do not feel the need to include a temporary position as part of their online status.
Others may disregard Facebook as a professional space and unfortunately, they tend to separate their 'social' selves from their professional life.
  • Facebook can be an online resume: First, add your current and past job titles. If you have recently changed your job, make sure that you update your profile.
Then check out Facebook’s recent design changes, which make your work history even more important. The redesigned profile is more than a new look; it presents a timeline of each user’s life, with past events ordered chronologically and easily accessible.
Remember that Facebook is not just a place for you to offer information. You can also gather precious details about possible employers and co-workers, which can be helpful during a job search.
In the end, using Facebook to your advantage in the workplace should fit well with the entrepreneurial spirit of GenY. Among those who did list a job title, the fifth most popular entry is 'owner'.
Courtesy of Brazen Life
Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 3 November 2013

Present Yourself to Your Best Advantage

Presentation is key. Remember that interviewers are looking for someone that would be an asset to their company. Just as you would not want to buy a really expensive item without putting much thought into it, a company is unlikely going to pay a fair amount of its income without considering all the aspects of the person that are employing.

Take note of the following:

a) Body Language!
Sit up straight, smile, be alert and attentive to the people interviewing you. You will create a much better impression that you would if you just slouch onto your seat, squeezing your hands and looking at the floor. Be aware of your BODY LANGUAGE.

b) Ask Questions
Interviewers want to see that you have done your homework. This often comes through the amount and type of questions that interviewees will ask at the end of the interview.

c) State your Interest
It is good to state, at some point, how much the job really interests you. A lot of people go for interviews half-heartedly, not really knowing whether they want the job or not. An appropriate time to say this would be when you are asked if  you have any questions.

d) Be Different
It is, like always, good and vital for your success to stand out from the crowd. Try to find something different or funny say that will mark you out from other candidates.

If your interview was arranged by a recruitment agency, don't forget to phone them up and let them know how it went. Also fill them in of anything that surprised you, such as a large interview panel or any tests that you had to take as port of the interviewing process. Agencies do the best they can, but are at times not told what the interview will contain.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday 31 October 2013

10 Job Search Mistakes That You Are Probably Making

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You have heard of many mistakes that have been witnessed by hiring managers! Don't turn up late for the interview, don't send the same resume letter and CV to 100 companies, send a thank-you note or email to follow up after the interview...and so on. Yet, hundreds of job seekers still carry on making the same common job search mistakes.

Here are yet another 10 common job search mistakes to avoid - some of which may actually disturb you!

1. Your thank-you note is not up to standard
Send a four to eight-sentence thank you note to show your interviewer that you have taken the interview, and thus your potential future job, seriously.

2. You don't check your references
Make sure that your references are previous employers with whom you have had a good relationship, or ended your employment on good terms. An occasional colleague is fine, but friends and family members (unless they were your employer), don't really carry much weight in helping you land a position.

3. Your business acumen is poor
Sometimes managers take their interviewees on a lunch interview. They want to see the 'real' you, so make sure you're on your best behaviour.

4. Your briefcase is like an erupted volcano
As is expected, an organised briefcase refers to someone who is organised, diligent and hardworking. Similarly, a messy briefcase gives off the impression that the person is not really serious about his or her job.

5. You think temporary positions will only waste your time
If it's a temporary position, it does not mean that you cannot gain good experience, or end up by landing yourself a permanent position, possibly with the same company. Employers who see that interviewees are not much excited upon the prospect of taking up a temporary position might also think that these candidates are not really dedicated to working hard, and getting the job.

6. You have, in general, a bad attitude
Be careful on how you answer the phone and reply to emails. Every little thing counts. Really.

7. You include too much work history
If you had a good long working history, it would be better - and wise - of you to refrain from listing all the jobs, temporary or permanent, that you had. Instead list those jobs that are directly related to the job that you are applying of.

8. You use your work email address on your résumé
Do not use your previous employers' email address on your application. This might send a negative message to potential employers that the job seekers will not hesitate to use their equipment for personal use.

9. No, 'No' is not the final answer!
If you have been rejected for a job, it doesn't mean that you should lose all hope from ever getting a job at that company. You might be considered for other posts, or you might be on the waiting list for future vacancies of the job you originally replied for. Send a thank-you note to your interviewer and be optimistic for any future possibilities.

10. It's not really about you
It might hurt, but it's true. Remember that the job interview is not just about you. Your prospective employer is evaluating you as a possible candidate, and hence you have to meet their need to run a successful business and generate more profits.

This article is courtesy of Career Builder

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 27 October 2013

Common Errors When Writing an Application Form

Application forms are deceptive: they can, at first glance, look easy to complete and therefore encourage you to be careless. However, keep the following points in mind and avoid the most common errors:
  • failing to complete the form completely: easily done if you complete half the form and then put it aside for a while. Read the form through again before sealing it in the envelope. Make sure you answers all the questions properly.

  • not checking the spelling: spelling mistakes - especially very simple ones - occur more frequently if you write black and white in block capitals. Again, take the time to check and re-edit your work. It would be a good idea to print the application form, check it for any spelling and other mechanical errors, before sending it off.

  • do not use texting language: your writing should be formal. Avoid contractions (don't, can't) and abbreviations like LOL, GR8, and so on.

  • putting the wrong company name or job title in: this can happen if you word process answers and stick them on to your application form. Avoid this error by CHECKING your work well.

  • being too literal or too honest in your replies: Look at the following selection of answers:
        • Last employer: Julie, the floor manager
        • Reason for leaving: I was dismissed
        • Reason for leaving: Caught my hand in the toaster
        • Reason for applying: My lecturer gave me the form
Summary of main points:
1. Remember the two key rules: read the question, answer the question.

2. Read the whole form before you start filling it in. Draft your answers first and take some time to check what you have written.

3. Be guided by the space allocated to each question. This should give you a rough idea of the type of answer you are expected to give. Do not be afraid to go beyond that space.

4. Spend time thinking and answering the question: Why do you want the job? Think about how your skills, experience and personal interests matches the role you are applying for.

5. Concentrate on the work aspects of the role not the higher salary, better increments or perks.

6. If your reasons for wanting the job flow onto an additional sheet, always put your name and the post for which you are applying at the top of the sheet.

7. Check. Check. And Check again your spelling!

8. Check that you have completed the whole form.

9. Give your application form to a friend or family member and ask them what they think about it.

10. Keep a copy of the application form for referral in case you are selected for an interview, or to save as a copy for future reference if you responded well to one (or more) of the questions.

       Adapted from How to Write a CV, Judith Leigh (2013)
Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Tuesday 22 October 2013

How to Avoid Burnout—or a Breakdown

A friend of mine once said: 'I wish I could have an accident, a car crash...nothing really serious. Just to spend some days in hospital, away from everything'. At first, I laughed it off but soon realised that this thought did, at times and perhaps not to my great delight, pass my mind from time to time.
The following are some tips that we should follow if are to avoid, and overcome, this social breakdown:
1. Get enough rest. Ok...we know that you don’t have time to sleep. Or you think you are the exception to the rule—you don’t need the seven-to-nine hours of sleep that doctors and experts prescribe. Maybe you wish you could get more sleep, but you just can’t find a way to put sleep above your other priorities.
Ask yourself: What are your other priorities? Your health? Your happiness? Productivity and success at work? Raising happy and healthy children? Here’s the truth: You will not fulfill your potential in any of these realms unless you get the sleep your body, brain, and spirit needs.
But that’s not all: We also need to rest during the day . We are not computers, able to run continuously. This means that we need to rest between periods of productivity. After about 90 to 120 minutes of high output, we need a period of recovery—or stress and exhaustion start to build, and productivity starts to decline. Rest periods do not have to be long (10-15 minutes will do) if you truly take a break: Go for a walk outside, read an article that really interests you (but is not on your task list), chat with a co-worker or neighbour, eat your lunch outside or near a sunny window. 
2. Do only one thing at a time. Multi-tasking talent is nothing to brag about. If we just focused on one task at a time, we’d actually be more productive in the long run, and we'd be less exhausted at the end of the day. This is because multi-tasking exhausts more energy and time than single-tasking does. Take it from productivity experts Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy:
Distractions are costly: A temporary shift in attention from one task to another—stopping to answer an email or take a phone call, for instance—increased the amount of time necessary to finish the primary task by as much as 25 percent, a phenomenon known as “switching time.”

3. Reduce the amount of 'junk stimulus' that you need to deal with.
 We are bombarded, day and night, with loads of, pardon my language, CRAP. TV ads (or even news!) we aren't interested in that we watch anyway, making us anxious. A mailbox full of advertising and other 'dead tree marketing'. Emails upon emails, mingling with Facebook posts and Tweets and texts. 
Left unchecked, all this junk stimulus will bleed us dry. It is exhausting even as it is sometimes entertaining. This week, take notice of all the clutter in your life.
Muovo has shared with you this article courtesy of Greater Good.
Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 20 October 2013

Why Do You Want the Job?

'Why do you want the job?' is a question that is most likely to crop up on an application form.

Be careful though! It may be given under other descriptions, such as the following:
  • Reasons for this Application
  • Supporting Statement
  • Suitability for this Position
This is the key question on any application form and one that you should really spend some time to evaluate and think through. 

1) Always take the time to write a proper response to this question: never just write, 'I've read the job description and I have all the skills'. 

2) Remember that this question is often used by employers to assess not only how your experience and hard work skills make you suitable for the post, but also your ability to think through and write a clear answer. 

Therefore, this question is also demonstrating your competences in problem solving and written English. 

3) Read how the question is phrased to give you an overall idea of  how you should go about your answer. Some questions for instance will be amplified by saying, 'Give reasons for your suitability for this  position, drawing on your experience and skills'. 

Imagine that Jake is applying for the post of call centre superivsor. First, he would need to examine the job description which came with the application form and spot the matches with his own career.

Job description
Jake’s matches
Fully understand the product policy for which cover is provided by the team

knowledge of products: 'this company was a direct competitor to the company I used to work at'
 supervise team of 4 call centre operatives

 supervised team of 6 in my last job
 monitor performance of operatives
 did this in the last post

 complete daily reports to management team
'this was done electronically in my last post, but did give verbal  monthly report'
 (from Judith Leigh's, How to Write: Successful CVs and Job Applications, Oxfrod: Oxford UP, 2013)

Jake could now write in his supporting statement:
Having read the job description, I consider I have the right skills for this post as I have sound experience of similar products to those sold by the company. As you can see from my career history, my last post was with Macromaster, which provided customer care for this range of fridges. 
I am used to supervising a small team, including their motivation, monitoring and providing necessary training. Macromaster had an electronic reporting system which I checked on a daily basis and discussed monthly with the Sales Management team. 

Quick Tip!
You should never include wanting a better salary as a justifiable reason for leaving your current job. If you're considering of leaving your job in want of other benefits, the only one that is acceptable would be that of flexitime or moving to part-time work if your personal circumstances require a change in your work patter.

If you need help or more information, send us an email on [email protected]

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday 17 October 2013

Feel Fulfilled at Work

A lot of people go to work from day to day feeling weary, dreading to wake up in the morning. Don't be one of them!

Muovo has found the article below of great interest, first published by Brazen Life.

1. Finding your flow
To truly find your flow at work you need to understand the key characteristics to what is meant by 'flow':

  (a) You need to have a clear objective.
  (b) You’re properly motivated; the task is within your capabilities, yet not too simple.
  (c) You’re completely focused and engaged.
  (d) You have a direct influence on the outcome.
  (e) You find the task rewarding or completing the task is a reward in and of itself.

How does flow impact your career?
We generally associate office life with pitchers of coffee and people who type too loudly — not a mind-melting state of euphoria. But if flow manifests itself in your workplace, you’re more likely to develop your skills, improve at your job and find fulfillment in what you do.

Compare your work responsibilities to the activities that truly engage you. Ideally, your everyday tasks — writing, programming, managing projects, serving food to customers — put you in flow. At the very least, your job should involve your best skills, like problem-solving or decision-making.

If your workday and flow are at odds, it may be time to search the job boards. We tend to judge career satisfaction based on money and stress levels instead of how our work simply makes us feel. A boring job can leave you feeling empty, unfulfilled and unsure of your career path. Meanwhile, a challenging job that gets you thinking and moving about, can seem stressful at first, and therefore, not very ideal, but in the long run it can provide benefits or open up new pathways that could direct us towards the career that is most suitable for us.

But you will be eager to punch into work if your job inspires you. In fact, you won’t even look at your schedule in terms of “punching in”; your work and life will blend together, and your job will become an extension of you rather than an eight-hour chore.

After all, the world’s most successful people are great at their jobs not because they’re forced to work, but because they love what they do.

This is not to say that if you do manage to find your 'flow' at work, you will not have any stress in your life, but it does make a great deal of difference.

There’s no guarantee that finding your flow state will lead to complete clarity and a high-paying job. It might not correlate to any job whatsoever. But being in tune with your flow will help you become more confident, competent and productive — both in the workplace and outside of it.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Saturday 12 October 2013

Be Positive About Your Job Prospects!

Career confidence has definitely increased. But, if you're still not very sure about the future of your career, boost up your professional life with the following tips.

1. Be flexible and adaptable.
Organisations are always growing and evolving. This means that you would need to take up new skills and probably assume tasks and roles that you would have never considered of doing before. If you have never gave any of these roles or tasks a go, and therefore you don't really know whether you'd be able to do it effectively or no, give it a go. Who knows? You could find a totally new strength that you were completely unaware of. If, however, if did try doing this task and you feel that it didn't work out, or that you're not confident to do it again, then feel free to discuss this with your boss. But make sure that you show that you're willing to take on new challenges.

2. Stay updated with new qualifications and training.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a famous keyword today, which recognizes the need for workers to stay in touch with the world outside, in relation to their field or areas of specialization. If you feel that you would like to move into a new area, then you would highly benefit from getting some form of professional training in the new area that you would like to start working in.

3. Be positive. And proactive. 
Positiveness is good not only to your success, but to building a good environment and positive relations with your colleagues and employers. Search for new opportunities and you might find something that you really love and are good at. If you never try, you would never know!

4. Build your strengths.
Everybody has his or her own set of strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses and don't be afraid to admit them out loud. While you shouldn't ignore your weaknesses, but seek to work on them and change them for the better, try to work harder on your strengths. Look at your everyday tasks and ask yourself: Why am I good at my job? Why do people trust me? How can I manage to handle all my tasks effectively?

5. Challenge yourself.
Someone who is truly happy at work is not afraid to go that extra length and take on a project or task that seems to be out of his or her 'comfort zone'. By keeping yourself constantly on your toes, you would feel a sense of pride and achievement on seeing yourself transforming into a better, more professional, highly skilful and confident worker.

Start working on yourself now. Make a commitment to change. And keep it.

Adapted from The Guardian

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Thursday 10 October 2013

Get the Most Out of Your Performance Appraisal

Many professionals feel that performance reviews are boring, and perhaps, rather unhelpful. However, they can really help you to reflect upon both your past and your future career. Read the 5 tips below to ensure that your appraisals are top-notch!

1. Acknowledge that it's necessary
If you want to know whether you're improving or not, you need to get some feedback. Don't lose confidence however if you feel that you're 'stuck' with a past negative feedback - acknowledge that you might have changed your behaviour and hence now require a positive form of appraisal.

2. Context is key!
For starters, you should really think about how good your boss is at this type of process. How are performance appraisals conducted in your organisation? Is it a dull, routine activity that people shy away from or is it more vibrant? Even though the organisation may say that performance appraisals are important, how seriously does it really take them?

They are an opportunity for you to explore where you want to go, alongside understanding what the options may be. Gather evidence about your past performance and think about what you want in the future.

3. Assess your attitude towards your job
Don't go through your appraisal just for the sake of it. Consider what the value of the process is to you. Is it something that you look forward to or is it the complete opposite? An appraisal gives you many opportunities to plan what you want to do next in your work, so grasp those opportunities with both hands. If you're serious about this job, you need to go for it. If not, then it's a good time to consider whether the role is right for you.

4. Consider your future
After your appraisal, set out a plan and get it signed off by your boss. Map out your future at the organisation – even if your manager isn't actively involved in this.

Keep your manager in the loop, though. For example, you could tell your boss that following discussions in your appraisal, you plan on doing certain aspects of your work differently, or taking on new responsibilities, and will report back with the results.

5. Be persistent
If your boss doesn't stick to promises made during the appraisal, you may well need to follow up with them again. Your manager is busy and you are but one of many going through this process so you need to take responsibility and make sure you get what you need. If you are worried that your boss is not giving you any support or is treating you unfairly, raise the issue again and let them know that you will go and speak to HR. Managers are often busy, but good managers always find time for their people and for their career development.

Courtesy of Guardian Careers

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Sunday 6 October 2013

How to Ruin a Potentially Successful Interview

Mistake No. 1. I couldn't describe myself.
Although we are fully aware that this is one of the most basic interview questions, and that 99% of the time, it is likely to come up, you still hear  people saying that they 'froze' or just babbled away some futile comments about their personal live...not leaving the interviewees very impressed.

Try to write something before you go for your interview about your professional curriculum, your hobbies and something about you as a human being. Take a look at the examples below:

"For the past 15 years, I was a supervisor at ABC Manufacturing. You might wonder why I want to move into sales at this stage in my career, but much of my time has been spent negotiating with vendors and meeting with CEOs. Although the industries might be different, the skills are the same."

"I just received my B.A. in marketing with a 3.9 GPA. My courses in account management give me a strong foundation to begin my career with XYZ company, and I'm excited to learn from the industry leaders here." (Examples from CNN.)

Don't talk about your current job or your husband. Instead, tell a clear, compelling story that highlights significant experiences in your life that led you to the moment when you're sitting in front of the interviewer answering this question. If you can creatively incorporate some personal history and humor, all the better.

Mistake No. 2: I did the hard prep, but not the easy prep
When it comes to interview preparation, start small and build up. Play around on the company website. Test out their products (if applicable) and talk about the pros and cons of the company with a close friend. Prepare a small summary about what the company does and who their primary market is-and then get some experience with that primary market by role-playing as a customer.

Mistake No. 3: I wasn't a smooth player
Hopefully you've gotten beyond feeling super-nervous midway through the interview. But even if you are comfortable, there's still an ultimate interviewee level known as the 'smooth player'.

You don't have to bring baked goods to the interview (and no, you shouldn't, really). Smooth players are confident and put-together interview candidates who ask game-changing questions like, 'If you were forced to say yes or no to hiring me right now, what would be your biggest hesitation in offering me this position?' and 'Can you offer me a tour of the office?'

Smooth players do not awkwardly shake hands and thank the interviewer for their time.

When the end of the interview approaches, assess how you think you did. If you feel strongly that you're still the prime candidate, ask any one of the following analytical questions (or more, if appropriate) to be seen as a slick character:
  • 'May I have a tour of the office?'
  • 'If you were forced to say yes or no to hiring me right now, what would be your biggest hesitation in offering me this position?'
  • 'May I ask why you are interested in me for this position?'
  • 'What are the most important characteristics you are looking for in the person you plan to hire for this position?'

And if you need more ideas about questions to ask, don't forget the basics like 'What would a typical work day look like for someone in this position?'

This article is courtesy of Aol Jobs.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo

Wednesday 2 October 2013

3 Smart Ways To Be Truly Successful At Your New Job

You finally got that job you've been dreaming about for years. Congratulations!

Now that the celebrations are over, with the excitement and the feelings of accomplishment having subsided - perhaps replaced by that trickle of panic or accelerated heart beat - it's  time to roll your sleeves up and show your employer and new colleagues what you're worth of!

The following are 10 things that you should follow to make sure you're doing things right...given that you want to excel:

1. Behave as if you’re still being interviewed.
Having passed through that tedious recruiting process...for which you have been successful (Well done again)...keep in mind that the race has not finished yet. Having been selected means that your employers have seen your potential  or your great ability and (are hoping) that would be able to carry out your job effectively.

This does not mean however, that you can take the back seat and relax. You still need to prove to your employer that you really were and are the best candidate for this job. So act as if this is an extended interview. Dress and act smartly and in a professional demeanor, work harder...and don't take anything for granted. In no time, you'll prove your belonging.

2. See your manager as a person you help, not a person who tells you what to do.
Although your manager is the person who will be giving you the work, and assigning tasks on a daily basis - a lot of employers appreciate having part of the workload off their shoulders if they see an employer like you taking the initiative from time to time. See your job as helping rather than to get the job done. The more you help your company achieve their goals, the more valuable your presence becomes.

3. Build relationships based on performance, not conversation.
Great companies with great culture welcome employees to their field. Other employees will get out of their way to meet and get to know you, even to help you out where needed.

This is great, but do keep in mind that relationships need to be based on respect and trust, which are in turn based on performance and action - not just words.

Prove yourself. Pitch in and help out. Follow through your plans. Meet every commitment. Earn the respect of your colleagues and you will build truly great professional relationships...and possibly friendships too.

This article was adapted from LinkedIn

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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