Choices!! Choices!! Choices!! – Multiple Job Offers – 7 Steps

It’s a great time to be a candidate in the job market. Employers are crying out for good people, agents are busily fulfilling client’s requirements and candidates are often facing the prospect of a choice of two or more job offers.

So the BIG question: ‘How do I decide which offer to accept?’

Crossroad in lavender meadow

Crossroad in lavender meadow and with tree alone

When helping to guide people through the potential minefield of career change, we advise that they give consideration to the following 7 factors:

  1. Which opportunity provides the best career development? – Long Term. Often, what looks like a great career opportunity is actually leading you down a ‘dead end’ with minimal career and personal development opportunities. It is always best to conduct your research on how other people within the team or organisation have progressed during their tenure at the company.
  2. The environment and the people. What is the workspace like? Is there any concerns about your potential reporting line or potential colleagues? Did you get an opportunity to meet some of the team and discuss their career path? Trivial things today can become major issues tomorrow. You need to be honest with yourself and demonstrate a level of self awareness to know what is important to you to be content in your workspace (seat, coffee, food opportunities…..etc)
  3. The package (not just the salary). What are the other elements to the rewards package? Are there share options? Holiday? Health insurance? How does the benefits package compare to your current employer or other opportunities? What benefits have you grown accustomed to, but perhaps take for granted? Is there flexibility in the offer?
  4. Create a balance card or score sheet. Be honest about the pros and cons of each opportunity and see which one scores the highest. Then balance these scores against what is important you.
  5. How stable are the organisations? What is their trading history and financial situation? Are the VC backed or independent? What are the reported future plans for the regional business (if they are global). Check their stock performance over the last 12 months. Look for news stories (pros and cons). Investigate previous and current employees via social media and observe how long employees stay with the company.
  6. Which job feeds your passion? Happiness at work is so important and should never be overlooked. Do the following exercise quickly and honestly. Answer immediately without deliberation; If money was no object; which opportunity would you choose? The answer usually comes from your sub conscious (“your gut”).
  7. Money – which opportunity offers you the better chance to achieve other things in your life through being financially better off?

Depending on where you are in your career cycle, the prospect of choosing between multiple job offers may seem a way off, but it is always best to be prepared. Should you find yourself in the situation of choice and you are unsure about what to do, call us for free advice and guidance.

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5 minutes a day – conscious breathing!

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Anger drains your battery life!!

What frustrates or irritates you?

What really really gets ‘under your skin”?

When was the last time you were ANGRY?

You may or not be aware that anger depletes your energy, cognitive ability and natural resources for coping, amongst other things. Not to mention being incredibly destructive to your ability to form and maintain meaningful relationships with others.

In a lot of cases, the easiest self control option is to ask yourself a set of simple question:

What situation am I facing?

What elements are within my control? What can I change?

Set about making the changes that are within your control and let go of the things that are outside of your control, as this is a fruitless waste of valuable energy.

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Anger is a normal and healthy emotion, but can be very destructive if it is combined with a lack of self awareness. This results in anger “out of control”. This kind of anger affects your physical health, mental health, career, team sports and your relationships.

Paying attention to the signals that you are getting angry and being able to re-direct that energy will make a huge difference to your life, but it’s starts with a desire to change.

If possible, identify the routes of your anger and deal with it at an appropriate time. Some of these could be:

  • trying to live up to the expectations of others
  • a belief that people are judging you
  • taking on too much (seen my paper on finding the skills and ability flow zone)
  • misunderstood communication
  • ….there are many many more

Some tips for when you recognise the signs of anger within yourself:

  • Focus on the physical feelings (tight stomach..etc), being aware can often result in a change of mindset
  • Take some deep breaths – slow
  • Walk away from the situation for a few moments
  • Count back from ten
  • Ask yourself – what is the ‘true’ route cause of my anger (be honest)
  • Ask yourself – how important, in the grand scheme of things, is this moment? Can I compromise?
  • Ask yourself – is this really worth ruining my day?
  • Be willing to forgive others
  • let go!!!!

Please remember that, like all emotions, there is an element of choice that is being deployed.

Poor choices can often result on poor outcomes.

Change your perspective – change your choice.

..until next time…. Have fun and dance like nobody is watching!!!

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Beware!! Comparing can damage your career

My passion is studying human behaviour and my specialty is helping people achieve happiness at work, either through change, re-framing or re-focus.

One of the key lessons that I have learned and observed over the years of helping people in their careers is that comparing yourself to others is dangerous and potential destructive.

comparing-yourself-with-others “Comparison is the death of joy” – Mark Twain

In our ‘digital life’ it’s hard to avoid opportunities to engage in some form of comparison and it can take work to train yourself to recognise when you are in comparing mode. From my research, the two most common forms of comparison in the work place are:

(A) We observe others and wish we were more like them (do what they are doing / doing as well as them / look like them / have confidence like them / enjoy success like them / have their seemingly easier path ….etc

(B) We observe others and judge them. We scoff at their lack of ability, we sneer at their peculiar habits, we judge their appearance, we make pre-conceived judgments about them and their capability…etc

From my studies: (A) is almost guaranteed to make you feel bad about yourself and (B) is usually a conscious or unconscious attempt of making you feel superior. It’s my perception that neither will make you happy.

My advice is follow three strategies to help yourself avoid the comparison trap:

  1. Start to recognise when you are in comparison mode – check your behaviour, your language and your thoughts.
  2. Appreciate your own life status and set your own goals. Rather than running a comparative analysis on others, focus on what you want to achieve and aim all your energy and attention on hitting your goals.
  3. Choose to understand, rather than judge. When you notice that you are getting angry or frustrated with other people’s behaviour; seek to question and understand. This will reduce your stress levels and improve your ability to assist and help others.

Please remember, if you measure your personal worth by comparing, you will always lose as you are making judgments based on your perception and emotional state and without all of the necessary information.

Create your own ‘Comparison Police’ and help others to stop comparing. This will have a massive impact on your place of work and improve your team’s performance.

Best of luck!

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Mind Control v Mind Wandering

In my recent studies with University of California Berkeley, I have spent a lot of time on the area of ‘Mindfulness’.

I am aware that in some mainstream business environments, the very subject of ‘Mindfulness’ is considered to be the reserve of people wearing yashmaks and sat on a grassy verge thinking (as one well known CEO put it) “deep thoughts about being unemployed”. However, I would like to introduce some of the more scientific reasoning and benefits that may surprise you.

“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises by paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally”

– John Kabat-Zin

Some amazing recent research work by Matt Killingsworth and Dan Gilbert at Harvard involved an iPhone app and well over 250,000 data sets on a variety of subjects. This research provides strong evidence to suggest that we are not attentive to the present moment, but in a state of ‘Mind Wandering’ 47% of the time. This includes all activities in our life (work, leisure, social, intimate..etc).

You might be tempted to suggest that Mind Wandering is a healthy and creative activity… the evidence suggests otherwise.

Unlike other animals, humans spend a lot of time thinking about events other than what is happening in the present moment. Spending time, energy and emotions considering, contemplating, worrying, stressing about events that happened in the past or events that may happen in the future …or events that might not happen at all. This is potentially not a recipe for happiness.

Creating a focused mind, takes time, practice and most of all a willingness to change. However, some of the potential benefits are;
1. Better health profile
2. Reduced exposure to self induced stress
3. Better performance / productivity
4. Increased happiness
mindfulness_poster_UK
To help you, consider the following when you are about to start your day or commence a task (project, meeting, sport…etc):
(a) What is my Intention? (Objective, Goal)

(b) How much attention can I devote to my intention (N.B. honesty is required here!)

(c) What attitude am I going to choose during my devoted attention?

Please understand that I am not advocating a world wide ban on mind wandering. However, I am suggesting that if you choose to start recognising when you are being ‘Present’ versus when you are wandering the majestic plains of your grey matter – you will enjoy more productivity, better results and ultimately increased happiness.

Have fun!!

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Life v Mobile/Inbox Virtual life

Get your Agenda back
Do you know this scenario: You get in to the office, get in front of your computer, navigate to your email inbox or open your mobile inbox and get sucked into the endless stream of other people’s agendas? You lose hours upon hours doing things that weren’t urgent nor were they helping you move your business forward.
How does your productivity look like these days? Are you letting people step all over your agenda or are you the driving force behind everything that is happening in your life?

I think it’s safe to say that most of us let many distractions keep us from being the productive bees we have the ability to be. Whether it’s the twitter stream showing up on top of your screen, whether it’s your constant need to check your emails or the lack of physical boundaries, there are certain habits that are toxic for our agendas.
However, if you want to achieve great things in life, it’s important to get behind the driver’s seat and put on the engine of your productive vehicle again. Here are a few tips on how to work without constant distractions.
mobile addiction

Know your bigger projects
One of the most important things when planning your day or week is to think of the bigger projects you have going on right now. You cannot plan anything if you’re floating around with vague ideas of what you are trying to achieve in this phase of your life.
Are you delivering a service? Are you building a business? Are you in sales? Are you creating a product?
What are the three to five steps you have to take in order to make your project a reality? If you’re building a business; you need a strategy, find new clients, continually build relationships.
Those are your pillars and that’s what you should be working on right now.

Set Priorities
You should have a list of actions oriented by your projects for every single day of the work week.
Write down five to ten tasks you need to do today, no matter what happens.
Be realistic and don’t put too many items in your schedule. Being overwhelmed won’t help the process.

Reduce your time online
Even if you work in the social media realm, you don’t have to constantly be online, tweeting, Facebook updating or whatever form of social interaction you prefer these days.
Bundle the time you spend on the reactive things (Inbox, Linkedin, Twitter, Google…etc) and make those hours count. Stay focused on the messages you want to convey. Use apps like buffer or tweet old posts to help you spread your content even if you’re not online.
You’ll see how much faster you can work once you focus on only one thing.

Emails
Don’t look at your email inbox more than twice a morning. Set times and establish a routine.
When you plan your day, think of the people you have to connect with on this given day. Maybe you have a list of sales prospects that you need to make contact with, maybe you’re waiting for a business partner to get back to you. Write down the names.
Then go to your inbox, but only to look if those people have delivered their work or whatever else it is you’re waiting for. Then write the emails to the people you need to contact and that’s it.
Disconnect and don’t go back to the inbox until you’ve done all the other work you have laid out for the day.
It’s amazing how these little changes can up your productivity immensely.

Relationships
Relationships are fostered faster, better and long lasting when started over the phone or face to face. Be brave, use your phone for it’s original purpose….. to speak to another person.

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Career Management is NOT just of job seekers!

In the last 6 months I have run a number of onsite workshops for executives and CxOs of various businesses who are experiencing high change. The common theme has been to motivate and assist people who are under ‘consultation’ or ‘in danger’ – aka potentially or definitely going to lose their job.

The workshop covers all aspects of preparation or ‘match fitness’ to get back into the job market including; mentality, responsibility and actions, through to personal branding.

I invite you to consider a topic that never fails to create a lively conversation: “Your career management plan does NOT stop when you are employed!”

career plan

A large number of the people I help have failed to keep themselves and their career ‘managed’. They have simply focused on the day to day tasks of executing the work. My advice is ALWAYS be planning ahead.

Question: do you keep a success diary? (Step 9 on the career plan)

If the answer is ‘Yes’, then brilliant!! make sure you keep it up to date.
If the answer is ‘No’, then I urge you to consider the benefits

A success diary provides the building blocks to your ‘Live’ CV/Resume
A success diary is a ‘tool box’ for interviews, meetings, presentations..etc

A success diary is simply a matter of making a note of all projects delivered, all of your contributions to your organisation. Paying particular attention to my 4 P’s (People, Performance, Process, Profits). Keep this diary up to date and where possible gain testimonials or references from the stakeholders when the work has been completed or delivered successfully. People have relatively short memories and it can be more difficult to gain testimonials and references later on.

Whether you are a CxO or another type of contributor, you can make an impact every day. Make a record of your efforts and successes.

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