Archives for category: job hunting

In December and January we often see recruitment advertisements with this heading as it

Bust of Julius Caesar from the British Museum

Bust of Julius Caesar from the British Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

seems to be considered a time of year when many people start to look for a new job.  Our own experience bears this out as we tend to have increased numbers of new candidates to work with in January but why is this?

The New Year is a time for thinking about new possibilities when we are attracted by the lure of something new.  Perhaps there is a link to making New Year resolutions as we tend to have time off with family and friends and think about setting resolutions or bettering ourselves in some way e.g. losing weight or giving up smoking.  It is thought that New Year resolutions were started by Julius Caesar as a way of honouring the Roman mythical god Janus whose two faces allowed him to look both into the past year and also forward to the New Year.

If, during this period of contemplation, you decide that you are dissatisfied with your current job perhaps the first step is to think about whether you can do anything to improve it – remember the grass is not always greener.  If you do decide to move on how big a change do you want to make?  How easy or difficult will that be?  How likely are you to succeed?  The diagram below demonstrates the different changes you could potentially make with Same Job, Same Industry being the simplest move and Different Job, Different Industry the most difficult.  Of course it’s up to you how big a change you feel you want to make but be realistic about how challenging a step it might be and think about whether there might be incremental steps that you need to take in order to reach your end goal.

Same Job

Different Industry

Similar Job

Different Industry

Different Job

Different Industry

Same Job

Similar Industry

Similar Job

Similar Industry

Different Job

Similar Industry

Same job

Same Industry

Similar Job

Same Industry

Different Job

Same Industry

If you do decide to take the leap do make sure that your CV is as good as it can be.  There is lots of help and advice out there including at www.macresourcing.com where there are also a large number of jobs which might just grab your interest!

 

 

 

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So you’ve applied for a job and been invited to attend an assessment centre – your first thought may be “great they liked my CV” and your second thought might very well be “oh no an assessment centre – scary!”  I must confess despite having being involved in designing and running assessment centres for years I would still feel exactly the same.  Regardless of whether you are a new graduate or someone who has been working for years I think this is a natural reaction.

So how should you prepare for an assessment centre in order to ensure you give your best performance? First consider the obvious things – travel arrangements, dress code, start time and make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before.  Then think about the tasks you are likely to be asked to complete and how you can prepare for each of these.  You can certainly practice ability tests online and you will more than likely have an interview during the day so prepare for this as you would for any other interview http://www.macresourcing.com/candidates/services/.  There are plenty of books on the subject as well as internet articles and there are even some companies out there who offer assessment centre practice or coaching but this can be quite an expensive option.

Bear in mind that the assessment centre will be designed around a set of competencies so you should try to think about examples from your past experience where you have been able to demonstrate that you hold these competencies.  These examples do not all have to come from the workplace sometimes personal examples can be just as effective.

I have encountered a small number of people who have decided to withdraw their application rather than attend an assessment centre and I think that’s a real shame.  Only by stepping out of our comfort zone occasionally can we really find out what we are capable of.  If an assessment centre is well designed and managed you should find that you are undertaking tasks which are challenging but not impossible and these should be delivered in an environment designed to get the best out of you.  You should also receive some feedback after the event which will be useful for you whatever the eventual outcome of the assessment centre.

Finally it is worth remembering that the assessment centre is a two-way process and it is an opportunity for you to learn more about the company, its people, culture and so on so think about the questions that you would like to ask the company.  After an assessment centre you will certainly be tired but if you get the preparation right you should have learned quite a lot about yourself and the company and you can feel satisfied that you rose to the challenge despite your initial fears.  Be yourself but be your best self!