job search challanges
Job Search Challenges Career Planning" >

Job Search Challenges Career Planning

Career Planning: Job Search Challenges

Market conditions keep fluctuating from being depressed to boom and keep throwing new job search challenges. But, job seekers need to keep a positive outlook and intensify their search in both good and bad times. Yes, during depressed market times it does become difficult, but one has to survive the bad period to fight another day.

HR professionals explain that the man-power structure in companies is like a pyramid, with fresh graduates at the bottom and experienced people forming the rest of the pyramid. With time, people from lower levels start moving upwards and some people leave the company as well, leaving a vacuum at the bottom layer. To sustain future operations, companies have to hire new people no matter what is the market scenario.

So, even in the tough times, fresh hiring will not stop altogether. New opportunities will continue to be created, even though the pressure to perform at higher levels will increase. Fresh graduates just need to cast their net wider and look for companies that are doing fresh hiring. One cannot rely on the campus placement only; one has to look for companies beyond those visiting the campus.

This, however, calls for a big change in attitude. During the boom period, fresh graduates are lapped up by companies at phenomenal salaries, and youngsters happily. switch jobs. Campus placements in many colleges get over in a few days. However, when gloom sets in, students and colleges have to wake up to the new reality—they need to work for getting offers, as also scale down their expectations and be ready to accept lower paying jobs to tide over the crisis.

Remaining unemployed for too long, waiting for the dream job to come your way is not advised. To survive, a graduate must take up any job in order to acquire skills that college degrees do not provide. The period should be taken as a good learning experience. Slowly, as things begin to improve, one can look for a better opportunity or get promoted in the job in hand.

The changing job market constantly demands new survival kit, both for freshers who are looking for their first job, and for those who are already in jobs and need to make sure they do not lose their job before getting a new one.

Acquire Marketable Skills

Many students tend to think that getting a degree is enough to get a job. This is not correct, because a degree does not guarantee the skills required to do a particular job. Our education system, even in technical and professional institutes, does not make the students fully employable-ready. A degree is good only to get you an interview call; beyond that it is your ability that will get you selected.

Students, thus, need to build a set of skills beyond what is offered by educational institutes. These skills consist of confidence, communication, technical skills and problem-solving techniques. Many institutes do not go beyond completing the syllabus and conducting examinations, so students often turn up for jobs lacking even the basic etiquette. Companies report that though they get many applications for a job, very few of the candidates are even considered, and fewer are selected. Knowledge and ability are both important to be marketable.

Several surveys have shown that apart from academic knowledge, students must have the following skills to improve their employ-ability:

  1. Communications Skills: The skill mentioned most often by employers is the ability to listen, write and speak effectively. Increasingly, candidates are required to write essays or summaries when they go for interviews. Spend some time to improve these skills before you start applying’ for jobs.
  2. Computer literacy: All jobs now require a basic understanding of computer hardware and software. Word processing, spread-sheets and presentations are essential.
  3. Analytical/Research Skills: These skills assess your ability to assess situations, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information if necessary, and identify key issues. Your research skills can be seen through your project reports that were part of your course.
  4. Flexibility/Interpersonal Abilities: Apart from your degree what else have you done? Have you managed multiple assignments and tasks and widened your horizons?
  5. Multicultural Sensitivity: Do you have knowledge about global practices? Job-seekers must demonstrate a sensitivity and awareness to other people and cultures.
  6. Leadership or Management Skills: Freshers might find it difficult to exhibit these skills, but if you have taken part in extra-curricular activities, there could be an activity in which these skills were exhibited.
  7. Personal Values: Values such as honesty, morality, adaptability, dedication, and a positive attitude are sought by employers. If you have lied about some detail on your bio-data, it will be taken seriously. Also, make sure that your ex-employers or teachers speak well of you if they are asked for a reference. Increasing your employability skills is of utmost importance. The good news is that these skills and personal values can be learnt and developed over a period of time. Remember to document them and use them in your bio-data or your covering letter.

Know Yourself

Before you start searching for a job, spend some time in discovering yourself. Most students have not done this exercise when they turn up for interviews. Many candidates simply expect a job on basis of their degree. The attitude is: “I am a graduate so you owe me a job.” This approach has long ceased to work in the job markets. Employers increasingly have stopped hiring just on the basis of the label.

There are several tests available to discover your personality and inner motivations. The Myers-Brigg Personality Test or the Motivational Appraisal or Personal Potential tests are useful in this context. Through them, a person is able to list down his/her personality type and also discover what kind of job is suited. So, when an interviewer asks what the candidate can do, the answer has to be more specific than simply saying, “I want to make a lot of money.”

Before you venture out, consider what kind of job you want to do and what will make you happy. Think of your short-term goals, as well as where you want to reach in 10 or 15 years. If you think you are creative, search for jobs that will give you freedom. Think beyond money. We do accept that young people are looking for money, but that should be a secondary objective? The first objective in any person’s life should be to achieve something, and surely money will follow.

Another step in knowing your-self is to list down all your characteristics. If someone has given you a compliment, list it down. If you have won prizes or awards, list them down too. Even if you have not won any prizes, make an inventory of all your qualities. Make it a point to document them as far as possible. Once you are clear in your mind about yourself, you can convince the interviewer that you are the person most suited for the job.

Knowing yourself will also help you avoid the common pitfalls that fresh graduates can easily fall into:

  1. Being casual: A candidate who has not profiled himself and answers in general terms shows that he is casual:
    —I want to earn a lot of money.
    —I can do any job that you assign to me.
    —My cousin is an engineer and he got a good job, so I should also get one. Instead of the above, if one says that he can do something well and help the company in some way, that candidate will certainly be valued more.
  1. Undermining oneself: Many students put themselves down: They compare themselves to others, or make mental notes about qualities they think they do not have. Some of the common complaints we hear are:
    —I am not good in English
    —I did not get the opportunities that others have got
    —People from another college/city are smarter
    Avoid these common pitfalls. If you think you are not good in something, make efforts to overcome your problems. Seek the help of teachers or join coaching classes. But do not go out with a baggage that makes you feel inadequate.
    Surprisingly, many of the short-comings that people think they have are just imaginary. Too many people don’t give themselves due credit for the skills they have. They keep comparing themselves to people who are better than them, and have a tunnel vision about themselves and focus only on what they have done in the past or their mistakes/failures. After analyzing yourself, you will discover that you really do have skills that are valuable to the marketplace.
  1. Packaging: If you are buying a product, chances are that you will choose one that has a recommendation from your friend, or testimonials, studies or surveys. People usually pick products from a shelf that help them feel nice in some way. This gives us an insight as to what HR managers are looking for. Your chances of standing out among other people will improve if you too gather some testimonials, references and praise for what you have done during your college years. If you have done some projects, collect a letter from your supervisor saying that you did a commendable job. This helps in better packaging yourself. Highlight your accomplishments and remember that your resume is your label. You need to separate yourself from other candidates by ways that your label stands out. Think of yourself as a valuable product in the market, a product that can help the company in some way.
  1. Widen your net: Do not rely on one source only for employment opportunities. Your first source for finding a good job is the campus placement programme. Use it well. Your second source is people whom you know. Many companies circulate a vacancy internally before going out for recruitment. So, if your friend can recommend your name, your chances of getting an interview will increase.
  1. Avoid websites/advertisements that offer lucrative jobs: You will get many interview calls and offers in your mailbox that offer good jobs easily. Many candidates have found that these are nothing but fraud mails. If you get such offers, make it a point to visit the named company and meet the HR manager yourself instead of responding to mails. Advertisements are also unreliable ways of finding jobs. The Internet might seem a lucrative way to find jobs, but remember that the path of least resistance leads to the place of least results. The time spent in meeting people and finding about projects that they might have, is likely to yield better results.
career planning tips on sales hunters
Traits of Successful Sales Hunters and Account Executives By Sanjay Gupta" >

Traits of Successful Sales Hunters and Account Executives By Sanjay Gupta

Career Planning Tips

Looking for a career in business development? Here are career planning tips to become successful sales hunters.

Business development roles follow two paths i.e. winning new business or managing and growing existing streams of business.

Hunters focus on bringing in net new business. Client executives (or miners), on the other hand sustain and grow existing streams of business and clients.

Success in the two roles requires different skills. Let’s highlight some of the key attributes which make individuals successful in these roles.

There is a myth that successful hunters are fast talking salespeople who are good at wining and dining clients and somehow in that processes finding a way to win deals.  While the ability to engage with prospective clients is essential, the research into client needs and crafting a proposition which entices them to buy is the key to successful hunting.

Traits of successful hunters

Hunting is the pursuit of new business. In young firms which are still building a client base, the focus is on acquiring new clients. Companies which already have a rich base of clients tend to direct their hunters for business expansion selling new services / products into their existing base of customers.

In both cases the hunters are selling new business and creating new relationships – and need to demonstrate success within a short span of time (typically a financial year).

Success factors

The key skills for a hunter are the ability to identify new business opportunities, engage with strangers,  and find common ground which can be developed into a deal.

To be successful, hunters need to:

  • Understand the needs/requirements of prospective clients; craft a clear proposition on what to sell to them, and how their prospective client will benefit from purchasing it.
  • Identify the “right” stakeholders who will be key in the decision cycle
  • Reach out proactively and connect with them.
  • Move a promising dialog forward towards a sale.
  • Be willing to take “no” for an answer and move on to look for alternate opportunities.

To read complete feature visit: www.valencoinc.com/blog

career success tips

Career Planning – Three Big Secrets of Success

Career Planning

The three big secrets of success are your mental attitude, concentration and job satisfaction. Combined into a unifying force, they act as magic-wands. The three attributes stem from your own thinking. They are the seeds of thought.

James Allen say in “As a Man Thinketh”, “a man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. As the plant springs from the seed, so every act of man springs from the hidden seeds of thought.”

What you make of your life and career depends mostly on your mental attitude and not so much on aptitude or readiness to learn or natural ability. Attitude is a collection of opinions hardened into a studied position. It is more important than aptitude in the matter of career advancement.

You can regard the routine study and effort as boring round of familiar, uninspiring chore. It is easy to brush  it away as unnecessary framework for achievement. In the same way, you can take either a positive or negative attitude to your success and failure.

You can dismiss success as fluke, unlikely to happen again. Or you may regard it as an opportunity for future and further achievement. It is your attitude that matters.

You can allow failures and setbacks to brake your progress, looking them as proof that you cannot succeed. You may even invent an alibi that you aimed too high.

Alternatively, you may take the positive line of learning. Obviously, the right attitude is the positive one. This attitude leads to achievement.

Yes, you can acquire this attitude. All you need to do is to break the hold of the negative. You cannot cultivate the positive attitude if your mind is dominated by the negative thoughts. you cannot achieve anything if you do not have the courage to try. Replace the negative with positive.

Assess your abilities. Know your strong as well as weak points. Strengthen your plus points. Fill in the deficiencies. List the qualities that in your own estimation make you a unique person. This will help to make you feel more positive about yourself.

Watch your words. Use bright, optimistic expressions about your own self; steer clear of discouraging and disparaging. Draw attention to the positive. Turn your back on back-biting. When a person is being painted black, do not join the chorus. Rather, try to put in a good word.

Keep distance from chronic nags. They always speak destructively. Do not discuss with them your future programmes and plans.

Positive mental attitude also means refusing to cave-in when things go wrong. There is nothing bad in failing. Rather, give yourself a chance after gaining from the experience of failure.

The right attitude turns even the worst of negative, crippling failure to a positive, thrilling success.

Even a blazing sun cannot burn a hole in a tissue-paper unless its rays are focussed and concentrated on the spot. The fact is that you have the spark that can ignite success. You also have the mental ability to take you to new heights. All that is required is a positive attitude to help you focus and concentrate your energies and brain-power.

It is the incomplete or badly done jobs that let you down. Discipline your mind to help ward off distraction and concentrate on the job in hand. Harness imagination and visualize to realize. Direct your wayward mind into the pre-determined stream, shut out the irrelevant and see yourself finishing successfully.

Lack of concentration means failure to hit the bull’s eye, which leads to waste of energy, time and effort. It also leads to shattering of the self-confidence.

Now, lets talk about job satisfaction. A satisfied worker has always been found to be more productive. The sense of accomplishment, doing well on the job and enjoying every bit of it makes one feel competent and contended.

Salary, of course, is the primary incentive for doing a job. But, other factors also have an important role to play. Meeting challenges and being productive and creative leads to inner wellness. A job that you enjoy builds a sense of competence and self-esteem. Many people also cite the companionship of co-workers as a reason to work.

Which factors are most important depend on a individual, his or her background, expectations and goals.

How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time Book Review

Sometime around the end of the 20th century, busyness became not just a way of life, but a badge of honour for many, especially in the western world. In fact, the busier you are, the faster you work, the more you can multitask – the better. That is how our society now measures competence and success. If you’re busy, you’re important.

Yet, leadership experts Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram would argue we’re measuring the wrong thing. It’s not about how busy you are, but rather feeling present and productive in every aspect of your life.

In their new book, 5 GEARS: HOW TO BE PRESENT AND PRODUCTIVE WHEN THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME, they present a revolutionary method to not only grow your relational intelligence, but increase your daily impact as well.

Relational intelligence is a social skill, but it focuses specifically on learning and understanding how we engage in our relationships. And according to the authors, the key to doing it well is being able to shift into the right gear or mindset at the right time. The 5 Gears metaphor is based on a manual stick-shift transmission, with each gear correlating to a corresponding behaviour that people shift into at certain times and with certain people. Each gear has a purpose, and if you apply this driving analogy to the way you “drive” your life – aligning the right gear with the right speed and situation – it will allow for a smooth journey.

The 5 Gears are:

  • 5th: You are fully focused and in the zone, working without interruption. This gear is personal; it’s where we shift when we need to work on our own, think strategically, or be singularly productive with one task.
  • 4th: This is the work gear. You are checking off your to-do list and often multitasking. Most people spend their work day in this gear.
  • 3rd: Time to socialize. This is the gear for being present in social spaces with a variety of different people. This can often be related to work, such as a networking event.
  • 2nd: Take time to connect with family and friends without an agenda or pressure to work/be productive.
  • 1st: This is your time to fully rest and recharge. Crashing doesn’t count and recharging does not happen the same way for everyone.

Your gear order is strategically important to your life. You need to understand the tendencies of where you spend your time or in what gears you tend to get stuck in as well as those that are harder for you to experience. “By understanding how the five gears work,” write Kubicek and Cockram, “You can improve your ability to connect with the world around you. All too often people go through life without truly knowing how to connect, and as a result, miss out on experiences and relationships.”

5 GEARS is the definitive primer on boosting your emotional intelligence, and readers will come away speaking a new language. The authors take a complex issue and make it simple for anyone to understand and implement. You’re not too busy to make a change – it’s time to be intentional about the way you live and work in the world.


5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time
by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram.
Publisher: Wiley

Order your copy from Amazon

career planning tips

Career Planning: Skills You Need at Work

Here are some tips on effective career planning:

Time Management: Planned or unplanned activity makes a difference in your career management and any other work or activity that you do. Carrying out an activity by fits and starts, spasmodic and desultory dabbling never produces the same result as work carried on with a definite purpose and clear-cut lines. Thus, time management is an essential skill at work.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Most jobs require problem solving at one time or another. Train your mind to think critically and develop powers of observation. Learn the six thinking hats technique to make critical decisions. You will become a more valuable employee by demonstrating your powers of critical and creative thinking.

Writing skills: A huge majority of people feel that writing ability is needed only by those who are in the job of writing—like those connected with journalism, public relations or book writing. Well, they are wrong. Writing skills are core to office communication. You cannot hope get ahead in work if you fail to communicate clearly or express yourself in the right way. Today, emails and text-based messages are primary form of inter- and intra-office communication. Using slang or misspelled words or wrong grammar will always be major hurdles in your career growth chart.

Verbal Communication Skills: Verbal communication compliments writing skills and is as important requirement that every employer sees in you before hiring you. Whether it is related to giving a presentation or simply chatting in free time with office staff and your bosses, a good verbal communication skill is always a plus. Besides, learn to talk to the point and give crisp arguments when required. Loose talk is a strict no.

Ability to Work Well in a Team: A proper cohesion between team members is important for success, be in any team sport or your office space. Hiring managers give a lot of importance to your ability to work well on a team, whether it’s for entry-level jobs or in higher positions. If you have the ability to effectively collaborating with others, build trust with others, and handle criticism well, you’re the best person for any job.

Being Assertive and Confident: Learn to be self-confident. Yes, you can actually practice and develop self-confidence. However, you also need to learn to differentiate between self-confidence and arrogance. Being aware of self and having confidence in one-self is a key ingredient of successful people. It is also important that you learn to confront when the situation demands. Being non-confrontational can hold you back in life.

Basic Technology Skills: Many people, who do not need to work directly with technology, shy away from learning about the professional office setting and basic skills and knowledge. Knowing how to navigate your company’s website, how to use the company’s communication tools and just the basics of how computers work is useful when you need troubleshooting help. Of course, the more technical skills you add, the more you expand what you can do at work and improve your job prospects.

Networking Skills: Throw away your shyness in the nearest dustbin when you are attending a conference or even a party. Networking is an important skill that pays in the long run in charting out a successful career graph. Networking not only helps you to get a better job but also helps you in work. It can help you land new clients, recruit new talent, and expand your professional circles.

Negotiation Skills: Negotiation is an art that comes naturally to some but the majority of us need to learn the technique. Yes, you can learn the art of negotiation. These skills come in handy not only during salary negotiations, but also while resolving conflicts, finding win-win solutions for your team, and while dealing with clients and co-workers

Empathy: Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. It is, in fact, your most important skill, at work and at home. You can improve your empathy by learning to really listen and practicing trying to see things from others’ point of view.

importance of planing

Importance of Planning in Career Management


A man who does not think and plan ahead will find trouble at his door.

—Confucius


Planned or unplanned activity makes a difference in your career management and any other work or activity  that you do. Carrying out an activity by fits and starts, spasmodic and desultory dabbling never produces the same result as work carried on with a definite purpose and clear-cut lines.

If G.B. Shaw had not made it a strict rule to do first things first, he would probably have failed as a writer and might have remained a bank cashier all his life. His plan called for writing five pages each day. That plan and his dogged determination to carry it through saved him. That plan inspired him to go right on writing five pages a day for nine heart-breaking years, even though he made a total of only … about a penny a day.

Shaw snapped his fingers at circumstances and said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

No magician ever pulled a rabbit out of a hat without carefully putting one there in the first place. No man can hope to arrive if he does not know where he is going. He will be like a ship without a rudder, adrift at the mercy of wind and tide or of circumstances.

The difference between planned activity and unplanned activity is brought out crisply by Victor Hugo: “He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the busiest life. The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of light which darts itself through all his occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, all things lie huddled together in one chaos, which admits of neither distribution nor review.”

The secret of success in any field of endeavour, including study, lies in six magic words: PLAN YOUR WORK; WORK YOUR PLAN

How to plan your study-work?

In coping with any course of study make yourself (1) a long-term plan embracing the total time you have at your disposal; and (2) short-term plans, monthly, fortnightly, or weekly as may be convenient.

For making the long-term plan find out all about the syllabuses you have to cover, the text books and other material you must read and learn, the practical work you have to cover and other requirements which you have to satisfy. This long-term plan may have to be revised from time to time, but you should have an over-all picture of your study-work and the time-range of your plan.

The long-term plan may be split up into periodical short-term plans in which you can set yourself targets for important pieces of work.

Keep a record of the progress of your plans-in-action.

How to work your plans?

Your plans will work only if you work them. Give top priority to their implementation. Put your whole heart into them. Strive with both your body and mind towards hitting your targets.

Give each stage in your plans your undivided attention. Don’t look farther than each stage, thereby following the example of the mountaineer who cuts steps in the ice, refusing to look up at the heights or down into the depths because the sight of either would terrify him.

A French sage remarks pertinently, “The fool thinks everything is easy and comes in for many rude awakenings; the sluggard believes that all is impossible, and undertakes nothing; the good workman knows that great things are possible, and prudently, little by little, he accomplishes them.”

The homely saying “Little by little and bit by bit” teaches patience and perseverance. Don’t be discouraged by the size of the task you have to do. Stick to it and you will achieve success. The well-known fable of the hare and the tortoise teaches us that slow but sure, wins the race. The race was won by the slow tortoise, which plodded steadily on while the hare, over-confident of victory, took things too easily.

To persist you need the ability to turn a deaf ear to the remarks of other people. Some will tell you that you cannot succeed because you lack brains, brawn, skill, time and so on. Others will tempt you to leave work for more pleasurable occupations. Do what you have planned inspite of discouragement and temptations of others. Then the day will come quickly when you will have the satisfaction of reaching your goals and free time for pleasure while others are still dabbling, wobbling and struggling.

You never hear of quitters. They never attain success or happiness. They go through life leaving a trail of unfinished jobs—what can they possibly lead to but frustration and failure? A winner never quits; a quitter never wins.

Study-Tips: Importance of Rest Study Tips

Study Tips to help you prepare for exams better

Rest means abstinence of exertion or activity. There are optimum periods of work and rest for every task and for every individual. “The art of resting”, says Andre Maurois, “is a part of the art of working.”

An individual who is tired and greatly in need of rest cannot do any good work. The human organism cannot survive without alternating work and rest. Work produces fatigue; rest or recreation removes fatigue. Goethe said, “Repose is work’s greatest achievement.”

In the course of study, rest periods or breaks are essential and invaluable. Boredom, distractibility, and dissatisfaction with work tend to set in after about two hours without a break.

The following guidelines on rest periods given by an eminent psychologist are commended:

  • During a session of continuous work on the same task, rest periods should be short in relation to the work period—of the order of 5 minutes or so. If longer breaks are taken momentum will be lost and considerable effort needed before you become warmed up to the task again. A rest should be taken whenever you feel that you are slowing down and making errors.
  • A change in activity or posture during the rest are desirable, such as walking around the room, stretching your arms, etc.
  • Rest intervals between different tasks may well be longer—about 10 or 15 minutes. Then a short, brisk walk outside or some light refreshment, often serves to restore energies to their former level.
  • In general, it is sensible to take 15-minute breaks between tasks and smaller breaks in the course of a task.