Archives for August 2017 | Collins McNicholas

My exciting new job has let me down, so how do I make it challenging and fulfilling?

My exciting new job has let me down, so how do I make it challenging and fulfilling?Question: I left my job with a software company six months ago to take on a more senior role with another firm. The job spec was promising and after the interview it seemed like a company I would have been excited to join. The salary is reasonably high and I don’t have to commute as far. However, I hardly have any work to do. The team I manage is bright, hard-working and keen to take on more challenges. I’ve suggested projects to my employer and he has turned them down. How can I push to find more work and do what they hired me to do? Answer: Feeling underappreciated and under-utilised in your role can be very difficult and frustrating, particularly having moved from what appears to have been a fulfilling role. While it seems that you have isolated boredom and lack of challenge as the key issues here, you must delve a little deeper to consider all aspects of the role and organisation. If your role was to change, would the culture of the organisation still be an issue? If you were given a higher volume of work, would the reporting structure and your level of autonomy be an issue? A career coach can help you think through your situation. Alternatively, take time out alone with a notepad and create a “pros and cons” list. This may help you to appreciate the aspects of the role, organisation and team you enjoy but also isolate the areas that are more difficult or mundane. Request a conversation with your manager to discuss your expectations of the role and organisation from interview and job spec stage and your manager’s expectations of you. Your impression of their requirements may have been biased by your previous role, the reputation of the organisation or by the desire to progress your career. Equally, the hiring manager may have over-promised or over-sold the role. It is important to consider the gaps here and how these may be overcome. People management appears to be a large element of your new role. While your team is strong and, according to your summary above, requires little assistance, perhaps you need to shift your focus away from being constantly busy with projects and tasks to become more engaged in coaching and developing your team. Ongoing interactions, support and feedback have been proven to be more effective than an annual performance conversation. Building a successful and fulfilled team may be a priority. Is this something that you would find engaging? Regarding the projects you have suggested, request feedback as to why they are not being progressed. If there are budget restraints, perhaps you need to focus your attention on cost-saving initiatives or projects that require people resources rather than funding. If the projects suggested are too complex or perceived as unworkable, perhaps there are aspects that are achievable in the shorter term or a staggered approach. Senior management may have access to bigger picture or longer-term plans that are contrary to the approach you are taking in your idea generation. Aligning your thinking more closely with the real company vision will help you generate ideas that are achievable and beneficial. It is possible that, having explored all of the above, you feel it’s not working out. While you don’t want your CV to show a series of quick job changes, other than contract roles, your job satisfaction and overall wellbeing is paramount. In evaluating your next career move, be mindful of your experience here. Develop a vision of your ideal role and organisation with the help of a career coach if necessary. Read the job spec thoroughly, visit the company website, request a site tour if appropriate. Create a list of questions that will help you evaluate the job offer and organisation beyond the job spec or the “sell” at interview. Conduct informal research by reaching out to family, friends or former colleagues who have had previous experience with the company. Do not speak negatively about your previous employer at interview. This will likely be perceived as disrespectful. If possible, avoid leaving your role until you have secured your next opportunity. Once you have secured a new role, be careful not to rush to judgement or let a past negative experience colour your impression of your new role.           Caroline Ward HR Services Manager Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group This article first appeared in the business section of The Sunday Independent, on 27th August 2017, and the original article can be found...

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It feels like the time to spread my wings, but should I heed fears about the role on offer?

Question: I am a senior manager in the medtech industry and, after 20 years with my current company, I feel it is time to seek new challenges. I’ve been for several interviews and I’ve been offered the perfect role with another firm. But I am concerned, as I heard the last person in the role damaged staff morale and several team members left as a result. Should I accept the position despite this? How can I go into this new role and invoke a positive working environment for everyone? Answer: Making a change in your work life is a difficult and brave decision to take at any point in your career development. You should balance both your feelings for your current role, as well as the potential development beyond. While you might have heard rumours about your potential new role and the state of morale, there are other things that you need to consider before you even tackle that issue. Be sure about the move for your own reasons first and then you can look forward to how you might address any internal issues. Here are a few things you should consider before deciding if this is the role for you. 1 The organisation Have you looked at the overall structure and culture of the company? The organisation’s position and reputation in the market should be taken into consideration. How does this match with your expectations for your career? Are their ethics, the product or service they provide as well as their ideology in keeping with your outlook? 2. Role content How would you prefer to spend your time...

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Jobseekers Guide – Managing Your Job Campaign

Jobseekers Guide – Managing Your Job Campaign What is a job search campaign? A job search campaign is a structured and consistently employed plan to promote a positive self image and enhance your career opportunities. Key Steps in a Job Search Campaign: • Apply yourself fully to your job search campaign; your job now is to get a new job • Research the market, evaluate possible options and opportunities. • Generate a list of companies to target in your region and research how to target these companies. • Set daily, weekly and monthly targets. • Organise your job search and establish an efficient record keeping system. Succeeding in Today’s Job Market Over half of vacancies are filled without being advertised, this is what is known as the Hidden Job Market. There are many different routes to market, both advertised and hidden: Routes to market 1. Recruitment Agencies Select agencies that best suit your needs. It is important to build a relationship with the recruiter. The onus lies with you to keep in contact with the agency and to follow up regularly. Try and arrange a meeting with the agency and treat it as an interview. Continue to review websites for suitable positions, and if you locate a position that is of interest to you discuss this role with your recruiter and seek their advice. 2. Start Networking Networking events include; Open Coffee Mornings, Chamber of Commerce Meetings, College Seminars, public networking events at local sports / communities / parishes, etc. It is vital to use these opportunities and to be proactive while attending. Attending networking events gives you the opportunity to...

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Will passing up a promotion when my children were younger ruin my chances this time?

Question: I am trying to move up in my career but am worried past decisions may come back to haunt me. Five years ago, when my two children were quite young, I passed up a promotion as it would have meant working longer hours. The same position has opened up again recently and I now feel ready to take on this role. I am worried that because I refused in the past, I will be passed up by my employer this time. How do I approach going for this promotion? Answer: Try not to worry as it is unlikely your previous refusal of the role will impact your career path at this stage. There is no doubt that your choice to prioritise your home life in the past should not be held against you in this process. Under the Employment Equality Acts, your organisation must not discriminate against you on the grounds of family status. This means that, all things being equal between your application and that of another candidate, legally your organisation cannot choose another candidate above you on the basis that you have a family. However, be careful not to let your concern impact your application negatively as this will result in you approaching the process in a more negative light. It can often happen that more experienced candidates are so concerned with a potential difficulty – such as the possibility of being discriminated against because of their age – that they fail to communicate their competency for, and their genuine interest in, the role to the best of their ability. Focus instead on preparing your application...

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Jobseekers Guide – Interview Tips

Introduction “You only get one chance to make a first impression” First impressions do count, and research has shown that the average person can make up their minds about somebody within the first 30 seconds! A job interview is no different. Preparation, presentation and attitude are the key ingredients to be successful. What to Expect? From the employer’s perspective, the purpose of the interview is to evaluate you and your capabilities, to assess your ability to contribute to the organisation and to see how well you might fit into the organisation. The Stages of an Interview There are 4 stages in a typical job interview: • Breaking the ice – introductions and ‘chitchat’ designed to help you relax and feel comfortable. • Exchanging information – questions that focus on the organisation, the job and your interest in both. • Expanding the focus – specific questions about you and how well you will be able to do the job. • Wrapping up – time for clarifying, asking questions and final comments. Interview Preparation Preparing yourself properly for an interview will help you relax and give you the confidence to answer tough questions. Thorough preparation will dramatically improve your chances of getting the job. Research the Company & the Role Firstly make sure you read through the job description carefully. If you are dealing with a recruitment consultant they should also be able to tell you about the company you are going to see, and about the person who is interviewing you. You should also conduct your own background research on the firm and the individuals you are meeting. You will...

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