Five Useful Hacks for the Busybees

Are you the type of person who easily gets overwhelmed by the tasks that you need to tackle? Or do you always forget the things that you need to do so you end up not doing your top priority? Maybe you lost track of time and you have to hurry to get into your appointments so you feel less prepared. 

If your busy schedule is already driving you nuts, here are some tips for you, busy bees, to save you from insanity because of tight schedules and gigantic task.

Plan Ahead

Nothing beats good planning everytime you have so much things in your hand. Set a side a time to sit down and write down all the things that you need to do for the whole week. Determine how much time you need for each task and decide for the best day to do them. Start from your top priorities to things that can wait. The best thing to keep track of your task is jotting them down in a planner. You will be surprised that after you’ve written down your plans, they are less daunting to tackle anymore. 😊

Put together a capsule wardrobe

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Half of the time, the reason why we are late for an appointment is that we cannot decide what are we going to wear. And this is true when you are faced with a closetful of clothes. The best thing to do is put together a capsule wardrobe in one part of your closet. This is a collection of a no brainer, classic and versatile pieces of clothing and accessories that you can throw on when you are running late. 

Keep your things in strategic place

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Assign an area in your house or even your room to place the things that you almost always need to bring with you when you leave the house. This can be near your door or on your bedside table, wherever it is handy for you to grab and go if you are in a hurry. 

Invest in a bag organizer

Changing your bag when you are trying to keep up with your busy schedule may freak you out especially if you cannot find all the things that you need to bring with you. Buying a good size bag organizer that will fit most of your bags is definitely worth the investment. You can easily put everything you need to bring in all its compartments- wallets, keys, makeup kits and other essentials- and have your things easily transferred to another bag in no time if you need to change your purse.

Edit your makeup kit

Looking your best is one thing that you need to maintain even on a very hectic day. But lugging too much makeup can be so distracting as well. Keeping your makeup kit to a minimum is the best way to address your beauty needs without goig overboard. Use products that are multi-functional and can take your look from day to night so you can pare down the number of palettes and tubes in your kit. If you want to throw in some extras, you can keep a small stash in your office drawer or car compartment, just in case you need a little more. 😉

Learning a few tricks to lessen your prep time will definitely improve how you look into your busy schedules. Once you master these tricks, tackling your daily tasks will never be stressful again. 

How to avoid being trapped in a never ending meeting

Have you experienced being left in a middle of a maze and you cannot find your exit even if you’ve been searching for it for hours? Makes you want to cry, right? It is the same feeling that you can get every time you attend a meeting that seems to be a labyrinth of discussion. It is tiring, frustrating and seems to be wasting your precious time. So how can we avoid this? Here are some tips:

Have an agenda and stick to your topic

Meeting would be useless if you do not have a topic to discuss. In this case, planning your agenda or subject that you want to tackle during the meeting is important. However, planning alone would be useless if you will not stick to it during the meeting. Do not allow yourself or anyone else during the meeting to divert from the topic of the discussion to avoid long meetings. If someone raises an issue during the meeting that is not part of your agenda, take note of it in the minutes and inform the person that his concern will be discussed in another forum.

Make a topic outline to disseminate to attendees

 Create an outline for your agenda and determine how much time do you need to discuss each subject. It is ideal to breakdown your topic to not more than five subtopics to avoid clutterinv discussion. Send the outline to all participants so the can prepare ahead of time. 

Limit the number of attendees to key personnel only

When you meet to discuss something, it means that you need to decide on some concerns. So  make sure that you invite only those key personnel that can give decisions on issues that will be laid in the table. Limiting the number of participants to those that can decide is one way of ensuring that you can wrap up your meeting successfully.

Don’t forget the minutes

Taking notes on the discussion is essential so you have a documentation of what have been discussed and agreed to during the discussion. Take down all the essential points as well as the actions to be taken and the agreed timeline to resolve some issues. It is important to have these in your minutes so you can have something to refer to once you make follow ups. Make sure that you send it  out to all participants  immediately after the meeting.

 

 

 

Things Not to Say During Job Interviews

We all go through job hunting process at some point of our lives and we all know how difficult it is to secure a job this day.  But no matter how brilliant your scholastic record is or how skillful you are at your chosen field, your chance of getting hired depends on how you tackle the the interview questions that the recruiter may throw at you during the interview. 

Most of the job hunters are unconcious about some interview boo- boos that they are committing, thus killing their chances of getting the job.  Here are five interview mistakes that you need to avoid.

When asked why you are late you reply ” Traffic po kasi eh (traffic is horrible).”

First, it is a mortal sin to be late during job interviews as it leaves bad impression on your would be employer. But if you arrived late even if you did your best to be early, don’t simply say that you are late because traffic is horrible as it says more about your lack of planning skills. Tell the interviewer in your sincerest way how sorry you are for being late and mentioned a little how you prepared to come early but you were caught into horrible traffic. 

When asked about your accomplishments, you say ” I was an honor student/ recipient of xxx awards…”

It is right to be proud of your academic accomplishments since have worked hard for it. But just citing an award as your accomplishment won’t impress your interviewer. Instead, cite an example on what you did to get that particular award and how have you worked hard to overcome difficulties. This will give your interviewer a chance to see how well you deal with setbacks and hardships.

When ask why should we hire you, you say ” I want to gain experience.

Even if you are just an entry level employee, don’t simply tell your interviewer that you are applying for the job to gain experience. You don’t want your would- be employer to feel that you are just hoping to have a training ground to further your career. Instead, talk about how the job is aligned with your set skills and how can you contribute to the company’s growth. You may also mention how passionate you are about what the company does. Companies love to hear employees talk about sharing tje same ideals/ goals with the company and also keen to those that can contribute to their success.

When ask why did you left your previous job, you say “My boss/ the company is horrible”.

Whatever happened to you in your previous job, do not bad mouth a former employer as it tells more about your character than your previous boss. Saying bad things about your previous job signals that you are immature, unprofessional and potentially difficult to work with. 

When ask if you have any other questions, you say “No, I don’t have any questions”.

The interviewer does not expect you to know all about the company so they are anticipating questions to be thrown back at them during the interview process. Not asking even a single question at all during the interview, signals that you are not interested with the company at all. Thus, it is bettee to do your research about the company prior to interview and draft several questions that you may potentially ask your interviewer whenever he/she gives you a chance to do so. 

The next time you sit for a job interview, be mindful of how you answer the queries of your interviewer. As the saying goes, “everything you say may be used against you”. 

Resume No-no for Entry Level Applicants

You just got out of college and you are determined to start a career of your own. But although you almost sent all your resumes to companies with available job openings, you still did not get any call so you start to doubt yourself. Have you tried to look for the culprit yet? Your resume might be the problem, not you.

There are many resume writing mistakes that go unnoticed especially for entry-level applicants. These boo-boos are the reasons why your application does not pass through the initial screening process. If you are a newbie and is already in agony of not getting a call even for a single interview, maybe you should need to review your resume and try to spot these common mistakes so you can correct them.

Unprofessional-looking email address

Your “cutegirl008@xxxxx.com” email address is not so cute anymore as you try to break into the professional world. In this digital era, your email address is one of your main contact points from would be employers. Thus, you need to have a professional looking emaill address to start with. A good professional email address must contain your name. In this way, headhunters will easily recognize you as the same person whose sending the CV.Besides, having a “cute” email address signals that you are not mature enough to step into the corporate workforce. 
Your CV is more than one page

Unless you have worked while studying and have relevant work experience, your resume must not be more than one page. Many entry level applicants commit mistakes by putting irrelevant and unneccesary information in their resume hoping that these info will help them land a job. In reality, irrelevant data does not help you at all. So avoid putting your high school clubs, hobbies, activities, achievements or too much personal information so HR personnel will be able to concentrate on those details that will make you a good candidate for the job.
Posting a selfie photo

Many people are so obsessed at taking selfies and posting them in social media but do not risk your chance of landing a job by posting a selfie photo in your resume. Instead, get a professional looking photo in a photo studio to attach to your CV. You can always ask for a soft copy of your ID pictures so you can have it reprinted just in case you need more.

Typo errors

Mosr resumes end up in the waste basket because of too many typo errors. You must bear in mind that your CV Is your tool to market yourself. Whatever you put in your resume says something about you. A resume full of typo errors and misspellings sends signals to your recruiter that you are not responsible enough for the job. Proofread and edit your resume before sending it out. If you are not sure if it will pass the HR reviewer, ask someone to proofread it for you.  

If you found one or more of these mistakes with your current resume, better start re-writng it. 

Making the switch: What you need to do when you are switching careers

Ok, we get it. You are tired of your mundane routine and you feel that you are no longer growing your career after x number of years in the same office or industry. Although the thought of getting off the board and explore the other side of the fence is scary, you decided to go for it anyway. But are you ready for the big switch? 

If you still have qualms on making a career switch because you’ve been stuck in your comfort zone for too long, you might consider doing these things before starting job hunting:

Update your CV


By this time, you have a lot of work experience that could fill up pages of your resume so it is the right to make a resume upgrade. Be mindful though to tailor-make your CV to specific skill sets to the new industry or career path you are aiming at so you can have a concise, put together document to send out. And since you are doing the update on your CV file, you might as well update your professional social media platforms such as your LinkedIn. 

Update your technical skill set


Job market is the new jungle nowadays and competition is tough especially with so many young, emerging professionals coming to the workforce day by day. It is advisable then to up your career game by getting a skills upgrade specifically in the field of information technology. You can choose to enroll in short courses or ask young members of your family to teach you some basics on some sought after skills like coding.

Dress for your age


Always make a good impression by dressing appropriately when you apply for a job. You should know by now that specific industries requires specific dress code so be presentable when you go for interviews. 

Your extensive experience is your advantage


It is always intimidating to attend job interviews especially if you do not do it for a long time. But you always need to remember that you are no longer an entry-level applicant now and you can make those past job experience work to your advantage. If you are applying for the same position but in different industry, make your experience stand out. Chances are, most employers will prefer an experienced candidate who can contribute immediately to the company rather than the entry-level applicant that they still need to train.

Make your professional connection work


You’ve been exposed to many people throughout your career. Now is the time to put those professional network to your advantage. Schedule a consultation with your professional network. You can email them or invite them for a cup of coffee. Make them know that you are currently considering to shift career and ask them if they can give you a referral. Who knows, you could end up getting your new job from them.
 

So don’t be afraid of change. If you think that it will advance your career make the switch but always remember to do it right. 

Gimme! Gimme!: Ways on How to Negotiate for a Raise

Working hard to get a raise? Every employees wish to augment their wages every year but not all are given the chance to be offered a salary upgrade. Depending on your company policy and your contract, getting a raise varies from one company to another. Most common measures are high performance appraisal and tenure of office. Asking for a raise is one of the most awkward moments everyone has to go through in the workplace. That is why most employees shy away from attempting to do it and just wait for their companies to offer them a salary upgrade instead.

However, if you feel that you’ve given a stellar job performance and you think it is your time to get a raise but is afraid to ask, here are some tips on how you can negotiate for your salary upgrade.

Know your worth

Before you storm the office of your boss and demand for an increase, take time to do a self-assessment first. Did you perform well in the work place? Have you hit all your KPIs and targets? How much have you contributed to the company’s revenue? Answer these with all honesty and write it all down. Arm yourself with realistic figures so you will have something to bargain for during the negotiation.

Do your research

When you negotiate for a raise, it is better that you have a knowledge of how much your particular industry pays your job. As salary differs from different industries, you should be able to know how much is the salary range of employees in your industry. That way you will know if you are expecting too much or aiming too little.

Practice your negotiation talk

The reason why we feel awkward asking for a raise is that we are at lost on how are we going to talk about it with our boss. If you are not comfortable with this kind of discussion, might as well practice on how to deliver your piece. You can ask someone close to you (a friend or a family member) to help you practice how will you approach and how to say your piece.

Is it the right time?

So you are up and ready to discuss your salary upgrade with your boss but is it the right time? As I learned from experience, the key to a successful negotiation is knowing when to “drop the bomb”. If your company is experiencing financial issues or having a lot of stress coping with completion of projects, do not bring up talks regarding salary increase. Likewise, do not insist with the topic if your boss is mad or stressed out.

Listen with open ears and open mind

You finally get the chance to get your boss to the negotiation table and you have delivered your speech, now what? Don’t expect your boss to give you a positive yes even if you’ve loaded him with your accomplishments. If he gives you feedback, positive or negative, just listen. Be open to criticism. Remember that he spared you some time to listen to your piece, you should do the same for him.

Non-monetary upgrades

Salary upgrade is not always monetary. If you think that a monetary upgrade will be slim, negotiate for benefit adjustment instead such as a more flexible work schedule, a wider coverage of health benefits, additional leave and other company perks.

Be Professional

If at the end of the day, your request for a raise is turned down, be professional and let the management explain. They will have a good reason why they cannot accommodate your request just yet. Do not do sour graping. Accepting defeat graciously and professionally is one way of showing the bosses that you are mature enough to handle difficult situation. They will definitely note it on the next appraisal.

There is a saying that if at first you did not succeed, you can always try again. If your request is turned down, do not make it as an excuse to be lazy at work. Instead make it a motivation and work even harder to show your boss that despite the setback you are still willing to do your job.

Moving forward: How to quit your job gracefully

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One of the most difficult decisions that every career woman experience is quitting one’s job. It is not only a financial burden but also emotional burden considering the connections that you’ve made with the people in your company that are getting severed when you move out.

But no one expects you to be tied forever to your office chair and if it is inevitable for you to leave your current work for a greener pasteur, ensure that you say your goodbye politely. Here are ways on how you will leave a positive last impression before you bid adieu to your company.

Discuss your decision with your boss

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Before handing down your resignation letter, consider discussing your decision with your immediate supervisor. Ask for a meeting and discuss your reasons for leaving. Whatever your reasons, be honest. Let your boss understand your reason and if he attempts to negotiate with you to stay, listen to him as well. If you really made up your mind to go, say thank you and turned down his offer politely.

Formalize your exit

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Do not just go and leave the company without formally handing in your letter of resignation. In your letter, be brief, polite and concise. Thank the company for the opportunity of working with it no matter your reason of going.

Give ample time for transition

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When your company accepts your notice of resignation, give the management peace of mind by alloting ample time to transfer your workload to the one who will be replacing you. It is specifically stated in the Philippine Labor Code that any employee resigning from a company must have 30 days prior notice. This is to ensure that all your responsibilities are transferred smoothly. To facilitate smooth work transition, prepare a list of responsibilities, documents and things that you need to transfer and specify the person to whom you are going to handover just in case your replacement is not yet around.

Attend the exit interview

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Some employees pass up the exit interview and just choose to leave the company after the transition period. However, an exit interview is integral to the company’s human resource policy in order for them to facilitate improvements in the company’s workforce. Participate in the exit interview but do not use it to voice your grievances and rant about things tou do not like in the company. Instead, be neutral and professional and discuss only with HR on the things you think can still be improved in the company.

Work hard until your last day
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You started strong so aim to finish strong as well. Work hard until your last day in the office and finish as much task as you can do. During this time, ensure that you complete the work handover so you won’t be bothered by unfinished work once you already started in your new job.

In your last day in the office, say goodbye to your colleagues and let them know that you will always keep in touch. Who knows, one day you will work with them again.