So, you’ve aced the job interview and the company has offered you the position. Great news! You’re obviously going to take it, yes? The temptation is to accept straight away but before you pop open the champagne, take a step back and assess the situation. Take at least a day or two to assess your options, especially if you are mulling over more than one offer or torn between staying in your current job and accepting a new position. It’s a hugely important decision and there are a number of factors to consider that will help you make an informed decision; 1. Salary Does the position represent a sizable salary increase on your last/current job? If you are evaluating multiple job offers, which one offers the best salary? 2. Benefits Maybe one job offers a higher salary but another provides better benefits. Perks such as good health and dental insurance packages may mean more to you than the actual base salary. 3. Opportunities for progression Some people place less value on monetary rewards in a job than having the chance to advance in the company. If this applies to you, you need to be sure a clear career path is in place before you accept an offer. Will you be given the opportunity to learn new skills and face new challenges? 4. Work/life balance How much emphasis do you place on having a work/life balance? Find out if the role involves working late and long hours. Are you prepared to work these hours? 5. Commute Will the job require travelling a large distance to and from work? If this is an issue, you need to weigh up whether or not the job is feasible. 6. Company culture An important element to consider is whether or not you buy into the company culture of potential new employers. Do you share their vision? Are their values in line with yours? If not, then maybe they’re not the right fit for you. 7. Stability of the company/industry Ensure that you know as much as possible about the company and the industry. Is it performing well? Is this an area that is growing? You do not want to accept a job offer only to find the company ceasing to exist two years down the line. When weighing up a single job offer, several offers, or trying to evaluate whether to stay in your current role or move to pastures new, drawing up a list can be of tremendous benefit. Compare the job offers by jotting down the pros and cons of each. This is a great way of helping you decide on the best course of action.
It is likely, that at some stage in your life you will be looking for a new job while still employed. Often this can be the best time to begin searching for a new job as you are under less pressure and more likely to wait and find a job that you really love. Although it can be difficult to juggle your current role and searching for a new position, in the long run it will be worth it if you find a great job. Below are some tips to make the job hunt as stress free as possible. Keep It Quiet While you may be friends with your work colleagues, it is best to keep quiet about your search, it will not sit well with your boss if he/she hears from someone else that you are looking for a new job. Colleagues knowing can leave you in an uncomfortable situation where your current employers may feel hurt or that you are being disloyal. It can be hard, but only share your job hunting news with people you completely trust. Update LinkedIn It is important to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, especially when you are looking for a job. You may want to tweak certain aspects of your profile to make it more appealing, go into detail about previous work experience and mention what you like working on. If you are connected with colleagues from your current role, you may not want to be openly advertise that you are looking for a new job, as again you do not want it getting back to your current boss. Use Your Time Wisely It may be inconvenient, but do not use work time to send out CVs or take calls from potential new employers. Try to schedule calls with these employers before or after work, or even on your lunch break, it can prevent any awkward situations or someone over hearing your conversation. Using a recruitment agency can be very beneficial, they can help find you a job you really want, without you having to do the searching. Schedule Interviews Conveniently Where you can, avoid scheduling interviews that interrupt your working day, there are only so many doctors/dentists appointments you can take before your employer will become suspicious. The most ideal situation in this case, is if you have annual leave to take. By taking a day or two off no one will question what you are doing and scheduling one or two interviews in a day can help make the most of the time off. If you cannot take holidays, try and schedule your interviews for the morning, lunch or evening time, as these times will be the least disruptive to your day. Be Aware of What You Wear If you work in an environment that calls for casual attire and you show up wearing a suit, it can be a giveaway that you are going to an interviews. Find somewhere to change between the interview and work, it will help any unwanted attention when you go back to the office. Finally, planning is the key to successful job hunting while still working, put time aside for searching for a job, but just not on your current employer’s time!
Personal branding is about understanding what makes you interesting, compelling and different and using that to communicate your unique value to an employer. With the advances of modern technology, there are a lot of ways to promote your personal brand on and offline. Online Build an online profile. It’s as simple as this, if you don’t show up on Google these days, you don’t exist. All the statistics show that clients, colleagues, hiring managers, executive recruiters, and employees are all using Google to learn about you. Building a professional online presence is crucial. It’s a great way to connect with, share ideas with and build rapport with important people and companies in your industry. Keep profiles up to date. LinkedIn and other social networking sites allow you to publish your bio, connect with other people in the system, be found by people who need to know you and enhance your online ID. You should have a profile on all relevant social networking sites, so recruiters will search you out. You need to be visible or you will miss out on lots of opportunities. Be active. It is not just an online profile that you set up once and occasionally update. You need to interact with others and get your name out there. Use social networks to position yourself as an expert in your field. On your own pages, like Twitter, LinkedIn and your blog, share relevant information that would be useful to people in your industry. Offline Offline, you’ll brand yourself in a more traditional sense, through tools like your CV and business cards. Tailor your CV. Your CV should support and emphasize the core of your brand (what makes you different). Remember to make sure your CV is consistent with your online profiles: dates, job titles and job descriptions should match up. In terms of visuals, keep a consistent look through your CV and business cards, too. Have a business card: Even if you’re currently unemployed, have business cards printed with your name, profession and contact information, including the URLs for your website and/or social media profiles. With business cards, whether you make a networking connection at a professional event or on the train you have your information neatly, professionally and instantly available.
Finding a job can sometimes be a job in itself. In a candidate-flooded market, how do you find the ‘in’ you need to land yourself an interview? Networking is one of the most underutilised and effective job seeking tools in a jobseekers’ arsenal as it can provide you with support, information and job leads. What Is Networking? Networking is the simple act of reaching out and having a conversation with someone professionally. It is nothing more than getting to know people and building a lasting relationship with them. It can be done at a corporate event, dinner or even when out socialising with friends – you can network wherever you go. A lot of roles are never advertised so networking therefore allows you to hear of these jobs. You are also more likely to be asked for an interview if you have established with the employer as companies like to hire people they know. If you are being recommended by a current high performing employee then the natural assumption is that you are of a similar nature and will ‘fit’ with the company. Networking does not necessarily have to be with someone new, it can be with someone you already have a relationship with. Existing relationships are in fact the best place to start. Make a List of People in Your Network Your network is a lot bigger than you think. It can include family, friends, acquaintances, neighbours and co-workers. Think about people your connections are connected to, maybe your sister’s husband’s brother is a manager in a large tech company or your football coach’s wife is in HR with a biopharma company. Now let these people know you are looking for a job and ask them would they recommend you to people they know who are connected to companies or industries of interest to you. Work Backwards from Job Advertisements For any role you’ve applied for, see if you know anyone that works in that company. LinkedIn is a great tool for such a task. See if any of your connections are connected to people within that company and ask if they can refer you. Even if they say no to this, they can provide you with insight into the company which can be invaluable if you do secure an interview. Meet New Connections Now that you’ve been introduced to these people, meet them. Remember, before walking up to this person, what the aim of the meeting is – securing a job recommendation. Do your research on them and their company. Have a CV imprinted into your memory so you can accurately summarise your skills and abilities but also do not forget that this person knows you personally so talk about normal things at the start – a friend you have in common, your local GAA team, some news about the area. Don’t Worry – Its Human Nature to Want To Help Others Jobseekers can be a bit doubtful about networking; it is only natural to be apprehensive reaching out to someone you wouldn’t usually speak to however this stumbling block is all in your imagination. Most people will gladly help you. Everyone has looked for a job at some point in their lives, they can relate to the situation you are in.
Consultants at Sigmar speak with many applicants that are eager to change direction and find that one job that gets them excited to get up in the morning. People no longer want any old job but a career – something new and exciting – their dream job. However to achieve this goal, the reality is that it might mean taking on a short term contract, less hours or a cut in pay. All of a sudden this dream comes at a price. Although there are negatives, there are also long term benefits to making this move during your career: Getting Out of a Rut Moving into a fresh environment or industry with new people and a different culture can be a fascinating experience. Making a change can be daunting at first but it can be the breath of fresh air that both you and your career need. Future Promotion Potential If you cannot see a medium to long term future at the moment pick a company where there is the opportunity to go further in your field. Make sure that the initial wage cut or less hours will pay off in the long term. Experience in a Large or Small Organisation If you’ve only worked for small or large organisations, the opportunity to join a different environment can be absolutely priceless. It is worth making short term sacrifices when you’ll be joining a larger environment where there are usually more internal recruitment activities or smaller environments that can provide invaluable business knowledge and the experience of being ‘a bigger fish in a smaller pond’. If you’ve been in the same industry for as long as you can remember a similar role within a new environment can diversify your CV and increase your employability. Improve Your CV The list of skills on your CV will benefit hugely from exposure to new procedures, structures, cultures, products and technologies. All of these new experiences will add to the quality of your CV, especially if you join a company that invests in upskilling their staff. Furthermore look at the team you could be joining and assess if you could learn from them. Will you be working with highly skilled people? If an opportunity comes up to work with the best this will only enhance the quality of what you do. Of course there are some moves that won’t make sense to follow but if something comes along that will give you the majority of the above benefits there is much more potential to improve your career prospects.
At this time of year it’s very common to be thinking of the New Year and the new you which can often mean a new job. A lot of recruiters are asking people in their network to use the festive period as a time to think about the direction their career is going in and what role they envisage for themselves in the New Year. Realistically there is no time like the present. Typically coming up to the New Year people begin to get complacent and believe that there is no point applying for jobs as everyone is in holiday mode and no one will look at their CV. In fact the opposite is true. While things can slow down as people go on annual leave etc. there are still new roles arriving every day and companies are looking for people to fill these roles in a timely manner. Update Your CV Look at your CV and make sure that your present position and responsibilities are all up-to-date. Examine some job specs of roles you would like and determine if all the right information is included in your CV to apply for these roles. Make sure to spell check and inspect for grammatical errors. Having your CV updated means you are free to enjoy the festivities with loved ones – after all who wants to be updating a CV when you can be eating a tin of roses or planning a New Year’s party. Meet Your Recruiter Over Christmas there is no better time to reach out to your recruiter. It’s a great opportunity to organise a meeting with them, get advice on the market and on the type of roles out there that may be best suited to your skill set. It will put you at the top of the list of people in your recruiters mind so when your ideal role comes in you will be the first to know and are already prepped and ready to go. By chatting to your recruiter or sending them your updated CV it is letting them know that you are open to discussing what is out there for you, it’s an opportunity to get some groundwork done for a process that can move quite quickly and exploring possibilities that you may not have known about. The other pro to meeting with your recruiter this side of the holidays is that you are getting ahead of all those who are waiting for the New Year before looking for a job. You can relax over Christmas knowing that you may already have a new job to start in the New Year and know that you are miles ahead of everyone else in the process. Thinking of Moving Home to Ireland It is also the perfect opportunity for those who are now in the process of coming home for Christmas from abroad to meet up with a recruiter and get things in motion to help you come home permanently. Moving back to Ireland can sometimes be a difficult, often times lengthy process in terms of arranging interviews or even giving notice. Meeting with a recruiter and even scheduling an interview or two when you are home can motivate you to continue your search to come home. So as a parting piece of advice from a recruiter who knows how things can dramatically change for job seekers over this festive period – take the time to put thought into what you want 2016 to be for you and, as your first step to realising that vision, reach out to your recruiter today. Sigmar are here to help. Wishing you all great changes in the coming festive season.
Some may be shocked, even appalled, that I could even put the words “Curse” and “Irish Mammy” in the same sentence. After all, who could be more precious than the devoted Irish Mammy we all know and love? From the Junior Cert to the dreaded final year college exams, they support you with the regimental lighting of the trusted candle and half drowning you in holy water before exams.Well, as an Engineering Recruitment Consultant I regularly deal with Irish Mammies calling me on behalf of their newly graduated sons and daughters. I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of times a distressed Irish mother has called to find out if her poor Joseph/Josephine would be suitable for a job she has seen advertised. Between the subjects they studied, to what she feels they enjoyed the most and would be fantastic at… I’ve heard it all. Now, while I acknowledge there is something undeniably “cute” about this, realistically speaking, this is not doing your newly graduated son or daughter any favours. Why? It screams:“I’ve mammied the little dote for far too long and this phone call is just another example.Lord bless us and save us he needs his rest now after his exams so I’ll call and do it for the poor pet instead!”Now, in all honesty mammies, while I think you are all fabulous, how am I expected to find your son/daughter a job when they don’t even want it themselves? You do realise that they will have to go for an interview, get the job and actually work every day, without you…yes? Passion and a naturally inquisitive nature are probably two of the most important qualities a new graduate can and should have. If a graduate does not possess these qualities yet, or at least show potential signs that they may acquire them in the very near future, then they are just not ready to enter the professional working environment. They will more than likely become unhappy in their job and feel like they were pushed into a position they didn’t want to be in, ultimately leading to poor performance. In summary: poor performance = poor impression = poor references.Nothing is ever going to be given to an employee without hard work and an ability to prove that they can handle responsibility. So why is it different when looking for a job? If your grown adult son or daughter cannot even take the responsibility of handling their own career, starting with a simple phone call which requires minimal effort, then they need to learn quickly that opportunities don’t come to you, you go to them.Today’s market is just far too competitive and there are far too many graduates out there who truly want and deserve a job. While someone may be good on paper, if they lack passion, motivation and essentially, that “get up and go factor” you inherently need to succeed in today’s competitive market, they will struggle to find a job. What needs to be remembered is that we Recruiters place the most emphasis on one solitary thing: our reputation. A graduate who is not bothered, lacks motivation, and dependent on someone else to find them a job, is not someone we are going to risk it for.Ann Landers, the famous advice columnist, once said“It is not what you do for your children, but what you teach them to dofor themselves that will make them successful human beings.”I believe there is a lot to be taken from that. I sincerely hope this blog reaches out to both Graduates and Parents, in my eyes, both as culpable as each other. One for not taking enough responsibility and the other for taking too much.To conclude, I understand it is a nerve-wrecking time after all the sacrifices you have made, money you have spent, teen tantrums you’ve had to put up with, and I fully appreciate that you only have the very best intentions. However, it’s up to them now. If they have got through four, maybe five years of college and have earned a Degree, you can be sure they found the motivation to study by themselves, submit reports to tight deadlines by themselves, and make sacrifices by themselves. Moral of the story – they are capable of looking for a job by themselves! Can you drop them off at the interview and collect them afterwards? Absolutely. Can you douse them in holy water when they’re not looking for an extra bit of good luck? Ara sure, go on! Should you run through some interview questions with them? I wholeheartedly encourage it. Can you iron their suit? Hmmm…I’m not convinced on this one but if you must. But, seriously Mammies, do not, and I repeat, DO NOT, pick up that phone! Their career, their call.
A recurring feature of recruiters’ conversations with middle office, investment banking and asset management candidates is a discussion about shift work. Candidates are increasingly being asked to work outside of the normal working hours of 9am-5pm. Low corporation tax rates and the quality of the labour market in Ireland have incentivised companies to establish service centres in Dublin but companies tend to retain the need and desire to service their clients during the waking hours that are most convenient for and useful to them. 2pm-10pm or 12pm-9pm shifts have thus been designed to cover the peak operating hours of the U.S. market. 10am-6.30pm covers the Asian markets. These hours present a natural challenge to those with small children, extracurricular commitments or those with a fear that these hours might critically impair the quality of their social life. Some shifts come with the caveat of being temporary but most are permanent as companies, especially those with newly created or expanding functions, attempt to structure the business around accepted teams. This is perhaps the crux of the matter in an Irish context, as candidates have grown accustomed to late shifts being only for a brief, designated period of time or on a rolling basis. The idea that one might be asked to work until 9pm for the foreseeable future could justifiably be daunting. Medical professionals and those in the emergency services are required to work ‘nights’ on a periodic basis; this is tolerated under the understanding that it is intermittent or that it’s a necessary characteristic of their job. Likewise, if a candidate is interested in working within asset management, with the range of products, activities and corporate clients it offers, it then seems logical they would accommodate a feature that is becoming more important to its operation. Shift work also comes with its perks Shift Allowances Working unsociable hours can bring financial perks like bonuses with them. This shift allowance ranges from 10-25% and as such companies make an effort to compensate candidates for working irregular hours. Lack of traffic on the commute Working distinct hours that only a small percentage of the population partake in means less of the daily stresses like traffic and queues making everything a lot more enjoyable. Less overtime Having a quiet working environment with less disruptions than daytime counterparts means getting the job done on time. This, in turn, leads to less need for overtime. Autonomy Working evening shifts sometime means working with less supervision giving people more independence to do their job the way that they choose to do it. This leads to more responsibility in a position and ownership of projects. Although this is not the case in all roles autonomy can be a perk for some. Flexibility at Home If workers have children at home shift work can eliminate the need for childcare expenses. Having free time during the day can also help when doing normal day to day things like banking and shopping.
You have reached a crossroads in your career, you are looking for a change, but you are unsure as to whether you should make your next move into a large or small organisation. Here are a few pros and cons, regardless of your area of expertise that may help you decide, depending on your mind-set and how you as an individual want to grow professionally. Large Multinationals Pros Well recognised brands are known worldwide and will add an impressive badge to your CV that will inevitably open other doors down the line. They provide strong career prospects and a definite career path. International opportunities to join other departments and most companies are keen to encourage their talent to work in other sites abroad. Firstly you can upskill and grow within that organisation, and secondly for those with the travel bug to “scratch that itch” without losing them from the organisation. Remuneration and benefits tend to be better within multinationals, because they have economies of scale and therefore deeper pockets. Cons As this is a huge machine everyone has to have a highly defined role for it all to work. Sometimes you can get pigeon holed into one area which in turn can, for some people, lead to boredom. The pace is fast, the quantities are high, but as you get better and faster in your role, you can feel like you are on an assembly line. High Volume X Specified Task = under challenged drone. It can sometimes feel like forever before something gets done. While policies, procedures, controls etc. have their place of importance within a large company, this can sometimes be their downfall. Red tape and sign offs can hugely delay processes, which in turn, can hugely frustrate employees, particularly those with high ambitions. You can often feel like you are just a number and not a valued employee who is making a genuine difference. Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Pros No two days are the same. As is the nature of the SMEs, you will work as part of a small team and this breed’s variety. It’s an “all hands on deck” environment where one minute you are signing off on the annual statutory accounts and the next you are recruiting for a part time receptionist. This, in turn, can lead to excellent experience that you would never get in a Multinational, granted, on a much smaller scale. Decisions can be made quickly. If you need something done or you have an idea to implement then a 2 minute conversation with the General Manager can make it happen. Politics plays a very small role within SMEs and sometimes it can be fly by the seat of your pants. You feel like you are making a difference and often feel more appreciated as you are a big cog in a small engine. Cons Career prospects are capped and you sometimes have to wait for someone to leave or retire in order to move up the ladder. Pockets are shallower within the SMEs and they always want to get the best bang for their buck, salaries and packages are no different – with them tending to be lower. Small businesses can rely heavily on 1 or 2 big customers or suppliers and so, if they lose a big customer, this can be devastating to a business which in turn leads to cuts which in turn adds more risk to your position within the company. There are many pros and cons to both the larger and smaller companies and this is just a flavour. Individuals have their own take depending on their own experiences and what makes them tick. In general, and there are many exceptions to this, if you are ambitious and money motivated then multinational companies are a strong option for you, but if you are more interested in making a difference, want to feel part of a company’s success and variety drives you, then SMEs are an excellent option. However, if you are starting off in your career with no experience of either, or if you are purely torn as to where to go, then why not try both, but remember, it is a lot easier to get into a small company from working in a large company than it is to get from a small company into a large one.