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. 

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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.

The To-Do List of Intership

Undecided what to do this summer? Why not try to apply for internship instead and make your summer experience different and productive. Nowadays, many companies here and abroad are offering internships to qualified college students and recent graduates as part of their human resource platform. It opens an avenue for qualified young individuals to experience the professional world, albeit not as full-time entry level employees. But before you jump into the internship bandwagon, you need to understand that there is not much financial remuneration in this kind of employment program. Most internship are not paid since the goal here is to provide you with the much needed experience that you can put in your resume and prepare you for the real job market. However, there are some that offer allowance as a compensation or if you are lucky, there are some that offer a minimum wage. Also, like any other job, internship slots are limited so if you are one of the lucky picks, you should maximize the value of the experience.

Not sure what to do during your internship? Here are some tips to have a rewarding internship experience:

Be like a sponge

like a sponge
Internship is about learning so take advantage of this privilege. Employees tend to be more sympathetic with interns as they know that you are there to learn. So ask relevant questions on the tasks that they assigned to you. Take down notes as much as possible so you won’t forget important details. During the course of your internship, be like a sponge and absorb everything that you need to know.

Be enthusiastic

be enthusiastic

During your intership, expect that you will be assigned menial, unglamorous jobs in the workplace like filing paperworks, fetching coffee, photocopying and answering phone calls which are most likely nowhere nearly relevant to your college course. However, this is part of the learning process and you should accept and do your job with enthusiasm. Doing your best in small tasks signals that you are a responsible individual and that you can be entrusted with bigger one in the future.

Be visible

volunteer

The most common internship mistake is that interns usually choose to shy away from the rest of the workforce until the end of their internship. Remember, aside from the experience, you also need a refenrence person to vouch your character to put in your resume. So don’t just sit in one corner and keep to yourself. Meet people around the workplace and make sure that they know your name especially your immediate supervisor. Be courteous to others and be the intern that they can rely on. In this way, you increase your chance of getting good recommendation in the future.

Be self- motivated and volunteer

visible

Doing well in your assigned tasks is good. But if you think you can do more other than the job assigned to you, be a self-starter and volunteer to run errands for your colleagues. People in the workplace will surely appreciate some help. Just make sure that you get clear instructions on the task and you do the job right to avoid setbacks. When people see that you can be entrusted with other jobs, they will begin to assign more interesting jobs for you other than the menial ones.

Say thank you

say thank u

At the end of your internship let the people you work with know that you appreciate your stay in the company and thank them. Send them thank you notes and tell them how much you have learned from the experience and that you are lookinh forward to be working with them in the future. If you are eyeing a spot in the company, sending thank you note signifies that you are open for possible employment with them. Remember that people always remember those that send a word of gratitude.

Your intership experience, whether it is a good or a bad one, is valuable in shaping your job market perspective. If you had a fun and worthy internship then you are a lucky one. But if your experience is not that good, be thankful and at least take the lesson it shared.

The Huawei Experience

I  joined Huawei here in the Philippines two years ago and I have considered it then as the best personal decision I made career-wise. Considered as one of the leading industry movers and innovators not only in the country, but also the whole world, the company is being picked by many of the industry professionals who wants to have lasting career growth. Thus, it really thrilled me to be part of their roll and to work for the biggest project that they have acquired here in the country.

Being new to a multi-cultural environment, there are a lot of adjustments to be made. Language and cultural differences most likely posed as a challenge. Our bosses are results-oriented and they expect the same from the team. Just like any other industry, the expectation is high with regards to your KPI delivery and most of the time this drives us Pinoys half crazy. Over time, I have learned to deal with all the pressures by developing creative ways  to deliver the project. Luckily, I have found my mentors who have helped me hone the needed skills to step up and be able to live up with the expectation.

Huawei is known for its highly competitive work arena and those who knew it would tell you that it is not always sunny in the work place. In fact, it is almost always to be an active battlefield, so to speak. But due to this nature, there are lots of learnings that an employee can acquire during their tenure in the company. I have yet to share three of them:

1. Not all problems can be solved by the conventional ways. There are most likely ten solutions inside the box to resolve a problem and 1,000 more ways outside that box. Do not give up when you cannot resolve the issue when all known solutions have failed. There are other workarounds that one can do, you just need to find it out.

2. Work is a never ending process. Your achievement today will be a history tomorrow so you need to be consistent in what you do. If you strive hard to consistently deliver your KPI, you minimize the chance of failure.

3. Target is target. This puts emphasis on the need to have focus on what you do. By knowing what you need to deliver, you steer yourself to work in achieving what is expected of you.

At the end of the day, the company also invests on its manpower enhancement; to develop the employees’ skills and be able to produce leaders not just followers. And this, I think, is one of the reasons why the company thrives in the global market. I am continuously enjoying my journey with Huawei despite all the hardships, sacrifices, stress and pressures that has become part of my daily routine. Needless to say, there are different things to look forward to every day.

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