Redfire Consulting Blog

1
Aug

Crap Job, Great Boss or is it the case of Great Job, Crap Boss?

Scenario 1: So…. you’re stuck in a crappy routine job of 9 to 5 with little to zero prospect of any light at the end of the tunnel.  You’ve given it a couple extra years of chances to get better but soon you’ll run out of compensated air. Yet you find yourself making excuses for not looking for opportunities elsewhere.  It is all the fault of your more than fabulous boss!

Scenario 2: So…. you’re stuck with an aggressive and micro-managing so-and-so for a boss with little to zero prospect of him/her retiring anytime soon.  You’ve given him/her couple extra years to work on himself/herself (and half a smile) but you know there is no hope in hell any positive change will happen.  It is all the fault of your more than awesome job!

Granted, healthy working relationship with your immediate superior is so important and we all know that a fabulous boss can be a rare gem.  Also granted, doing what you love is so essential and one that you’re pumped about every single day, yes, well that is a big deal.

If you find yourself trapped in either of the situation, remember you can choose to change your situation. Nothing is permanent unless you do nothing about it. 

The top news is that you are NOT stuck with only the 2 options of either “crap job, great boss” or “crap boss, great job”.  There are plenty of opportunities out there with “great jobs, great bosses”.  Hurrah!!

Are you’re preoccupied with how you’re not going to qualify for a better job with better pay elsewhere since you’ve not acquired news skills the last 7 years? Why not instead, train yourself to think and act proactively? Sign up for that 2-month Advanced Excel course so you can qualify to apply for those types of jobs.

Have a chat with your great boss and as he can vouch for you, he/she may be happy to point you in the right direction and introduce you to others within his/her network who could be useful to connect with.

The “nightmare” boss is a trickier situation though. You’re might feel afraid of having a one-on-one chat with your boss or you may have tried that route but got nowhere.  

To be fair, “nightmare bosses” are human too and they have their fair share of concerns and insecurities.  Try and find ways to “humanise” him/her in your own mind. This might give you the courage to suggest grabbing coffee or lunch together.  When you do get there, don’t let work be all you talk about. Share a little about yourself or learn if she loves dogs as much as you do, for example. Show there is more to you than just being his/her subordinate.  Given time if you continue with the informal get-togethers, even the hardest of bosses will prove to be less so. 

Regardless of which scenario you’re “trapped” in, speak with a career counsellor or a recruitment consultant to gain a clear picture of your options.  At the same time, develop your career mission statement highlighting your career goals and the steps you need to take to achieve those goals.  And if you can spare the time, join a professional networking group.

Your mental well-being is just as important, if not more. So live your life outside of work as meaningful and as personally satisfying as you wish.

“Life waits for no man (or woman)” so take that first step towards happier working days. What have you got to lose, except maybe a crap job or a crap boss!

Should you feel having a chat with a career/recruting consultant may help, do drop us a line and book in for a confidential conversation. At Red Fire Consulting, we offer free personalised profiling and career consulting to help you understand yourself better and get you where you want to be.

8
May

Didn’t Get the Job?

Sometimes the reason why you didn’t get a job could simply be that you lacked the key qualifications or “must-haves” the position requires.  It could be a personality clash between you and the executive in-charge or that you simply botched the interview. It is not always that clear cut, or personal, and often there are unapparent factors at play that could influence a job status.

Unapproved Budget

Hiring managers would sometimes take it upon themselves and request directly to HR to identify the right person for additional member(s) for the department. Often times in these instances, HR would confidently assume that the budget will be approved, and on time, for the hire.  HR would go ahead and advertise the vacancy and commence the recruitment process.  It is not uncommon for one reason or another where internal forces could affect the business direction resulting in the requisition to be cancelled.

Company Restructuring

Sometimes HR or a recruitment team would be informed that an open position has suddenly been put on hold or cancelled without any real understanding behind the reason why.  Top management do not necessary share openly with its HR/recruitment team on a change in business strategy or any major internal upheaval which may delay or cancel hiring needs.

The Problem with Internal Politics

A senior executive could be in a position to exert his/her influence over the decision to hire. The senior executive could also strongly “suggest” the hiring manager to interview a different shortlist of candidates (this could be a personal friend/contact or within his/her network whom could give him/her leverage). Neither fair nor cool but it does happen.

Are You A Red Flag?

Before submitting your resume to any company, it would be best to check that there’s no falsehood about you on online. You could google your name to see if there is any negative gossip. If you do find something, correct it immediately. Go through your social media postings and remove any unpleasant photos which might be taken in a less than positive view. Hearsay is a common issue and a most random comment or public photo could break your job offer. Should a hiring manager be made aware of a negative gossip, even if it’s baseless, they might choose to pass up on your application.

You’re the First Candidate They Interviewed

Recruitment process commonly comprises of 3 interview phases.  Should you be among the first few in the first round of many initial interviews, chances are you may not be remembered as well as those attending interviews towards the end. This could affect your odds of being shortlisted to the next phase.  It would be a good idea to call and check with the hiring manager or an HR staff for interview date options and try to see if you can be slotted into a later date.

Internally Filled Position

The least cool reason is a position you applied for which never actually existed in the first place! Yup! All along the company had already intended to give the job to an existing employee and was simply going through the motions.

Do not be so hard on yourself if you weren’t selected after an interview which you felt had gone really well. There is no real opportunity lost, for every interview is a journey towards a more confident you. So best to have an attitude of, “Next!”

Like the idea of getting guidance on updating your resume or brushing up on your interview skills? Get in touch with one of our consultants for a free and helpful session.

2
Apr

All Set for a Video Interview?

Many people find the idea of a video interview intimidating and feel quite uncomfortable and unprepared.  Increasing number of company HR use video interviews as part of the screening process. There is really not much option for you, as candidates, but to learn to adapt to this method of interviewing.

Making the right first impression on a video interview is as important as in a face-to-face meeting.  Below are some key points you can take note of in preparing for your video interview.

Dress Smartly – You would need to look presentable with reasonable grooming and business casual dress, like you would be to a personal meeting.  After all, the interviewer can still see you!

Be in the Right Environment – Make sure that you take your video interview in a well-lit space. Dim lighting or overly bright lighting could alter your skin, changing the colour to a greenish or pale white colour.  Noise is also a factor – best in a quiet room, with little to no background noise.

Ensure You Have the Right Software – It is best to avoid a panicky scenario so make sure that you have the software downloaded, sign up if prompted and test the software. Your interview will be more relaxed and far less stressful if you know how to manage the platform you’ll be using.

Once you eliminate technological stresses, you can better focus on the content of the conversation, rather than apologising profusely to the interviewer every time your computer plays up.

Be Prepared for Glitches – There can be occasions where if things could go wrong, they would! Technology crashes and glitches can happen at the worst possible times. Do not panic and just wait for the Internet to catch up with the video and move on with the questions. If you miss something the interviewer said because of a glitch or lag time, politely ask if they could repeat themselves.

So, keep your eyes on the camera, have your smile on and be yourself as much as you can.  It is just an interview — like any other.

At Red Fire Consulting, we would be happy to provide you with guidance and practice for your upcoming telephone, personal and video interviews at zero cost. So get in touch with us and ace that interview!

2
Mar

Mind the Gap

Gaps on your resume?

You may have a gap on your resume for a variety of reasons.  Was it to fulfil your traveling dreams, a sabbatical MBA year or for family reasons? Was it unfortunately due to poor health or perhaps you were made redundant?

Candidates who have noticeable periods of time without work tend to get overlooked by employers. However, if you find yourself in front of an interview panel, it is important that you answer to questions on any gaps in your resume confidently and in as positive a light as possible.  Sincerity is highly recommended from the onset.  Bluffing your way through is not recommended as most good hiring managers can see straight through this.

So, how would you explain the gap on your resume?

First of all, do your homework.  Demonstrate that you are very much still in touch with what is happening in the market place relevant to your niche sector and also the company you’re hoping to land a job with.

New approach – think outside of the box.  This is especially useful if you are struggling to get through to the interview stage because of the gaps on your resume. Mention your short stint of voluntary work or short courses you’ve recently taken up.  This will not only give you something recent to put on your resume but it also shows that you are pro-active and ambitious.

Make your new skills count.  Talk about your recently acquired skills whilst you were out of the corporate world.  Did you have a career switch or move into a different sector? If so, share what you’ve learnt there and how those skills are transferrable in the new role you are applying for.

These days, as candidates, you do need to work quite a bit harder to stand out and be noticed. Having gaps in your resume may seem like a hindrance to some but if you keep positive, pro-active and sincere, there is every reason you’ll succeed in landing your ideal job.

Should you require assistance with preparing your resume due gaps in your career or guidance on interviewing skills, feel free to get in touch for your one-on-one support.

16
Feb

Thank you but I’m moving on….

You feel it is the right time to leave your job. You don’t want to burn any bridges and your network is of value to you. Plus, it is preferable to have options when it comes to good references for your new position.  How do you go about doing that?

It is important that the moment you decide to leave your current job, that you do so in a professional manner. Here are some tips for leaving your current job on a positive note:

Give More than Sufficient Notice

One month’s notice is standard practice, but depending on the nature of your role, consider giving even more notice.  If you are one of these highly specialised employees, you can make your exit easier on your employer by giving them more time to find and train your replacement.

Be Graceful

You don’t need to say much more than that you are leaving. Talk about how the company has benefited you and emphasise on the positives.  There really isn’t any point in venting, criticising, undermining and being overall negative.

Train Your Successor

Support the success of the new incumbent and offer your help during the transition period. In doing so, you could end up being a valuable network connection down the road.

Finish Unfinished Tasks

Ideally, leave with your head held high.  Complete and close as many of your active orders and projects as you can.

You never know where life may take you, and your reputation is a most valuable asset. It helps to preserve good relationships because for all you know, one of them may be the key to your success.