28 September 2008

Who? Me? A Failure?

This is real, be serious. In every task you are assigned, remember that people expect you to fail. You may not think that way, but it is true. Behind that sweet smile, behind that 'I can count on you' look, there is the 'you are a failure' thought.

Well, it is up to you to form your own self concept. You set your own ceilings.
When you think you are a failure, you will fail. No matter how much effort you have put in the task.

The task here is, can you readjust your self image again? You still many choices because life is about options. Being alive is an option. Expecting failure is another option. Since you can choose to fail, you can easily choose to succeed too.

When you have failed (because you have expected it, remember), do not go around and repeat this phrase "Who? Me? A Failure?"
Yes, you are because you wanted and begged for it.

Your self concept is low and you expect only failures.
Being humble is good. But, being too humble is a waste of your living effort!

So, recompose your self concept again..... No ceiling is too high but any ceiling can be too low!

21 September 2008


The secret of change is to benefit greatly from the focus we put on new opportunities.

The secret of change is not to rely on the comfort of a worn trail.

17 September 2008

Justify Why You Should Be Hired

Many years ago, applicants being called for interviews were ascertain of jobs. However, that is not so today. There are more candidates compared to job vacancies in any company. Some are fresh graduates; some are looking for better opportunities while others are unemployed and so on.

In today’s job market, you have to compete against so many candidates for a job. You may have to face the fact there may not be a chance to get the interview at all! So, you have to work hard to earn each and every job offer that comes your way. You may even have to convince that potential employer to create a new position just for you.

Yes, it is possible.

Every interviewer who interviews you must be convinced why you should be hired. They must know the benefits you will bring to the company. Every company hires for a business reason. Hiring managers want only people who can help to solve their problems as well as getting a large return on their investment.

Before you decide to write your cover letter or resume, try to predict the most important criteria to your potential employers. You can also use them in any job interview you attend. Some of the important questions arise at this point will be:

- How can I contribute to the department/section/company?

- How much training do I require before I can handle this position?

- What can I do to solve the business problem of this company?

- What kind of return can I provide to this company?

- Can I generate more than just the expected results?

- How can I gain trust from my co-workers?

- How much salary do I ask for the position?

- Do I have the personality to fit into the culture of the potential company?

- Am I really qualified for this job? (Check your education level and experiences)

And then, there is one secret you should know. Every interviewer wants to look good by hiring YOU! They have their own interest to look into first. Nobody wants to be blamed for hiring the wrong candidate and causes loss to the company.

Knowing these criteria helps you to position yourself. Never show your

desperation to get that job (even though you really are!). Instead, be confident and always convey an aura that there are other companies interested in you. When the hiring managers think other companies are courting you, they will act much quicker.

One of the ways to justify getting hired is to create your own business case. It does not have to be a complicated case. If you are a fresh graduate, this will demonstrate how you help to solve the business problem of the company. If you have a few years of experience, quantify the value of your experience. You can express how much return of investment the company will get by hiring you.

Show your potential companies :

· How you can solve their business problems or needs

· How you can make an immediate contribution to the company

· Why hiring you is the only option they have

· The kind of ROI (Return of (Investment) you can provide

· How you will make the hiring managers look good.

So, you are unable to quantify your contribution in monetary terms. That is all right. ROI is an intangible asset. Not everyone has the ability to do so. There are many other ways you can justify yourself. Focus on things like efficiency, organization, network, uptime, response times as well as morale.

Now, make that happen for yourself!

16 September 2008

What If I Failed?

Failure does not mean I am a failure;
It does mean I have not yet succeeded.

Failure does not mean I have accomplished nothing;
It does mean I have learned something.

Failure does not mean I have been a fool;
It does mean I have enough faith to experiment.

Failure does not mean I have been disgraced;
It does mean I dare to try.

Failure does not mean I don't have it in me;
It does mean I might have to do it differently.

Failure does not mean I am inferior;
It does mean I am not perfect.

Failure does not mean I have wasted my time;
It does mean I have an excuse to start again.

Failure does not mean I should give up;
It does mean I must try harder.

Failure does not mean I will never make it;
It does mean I need more patience.

08 September 2008

Be The Best

If you can't be a pine on top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley, but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill,
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.
If you can't be a bush, be a bit of grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can't be a muskie, then be a bass,
But be the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can't all be captains; we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do
And the task we must do is the near.
If you can't be a highway, then just be a trail,
If you can't be a sun, be a star,
It isn't by size that you win or fail.
Just be the best of whatever you are!

Douglas Malloch

06 September 2008

Are You Prepared For The Interview

You have read my previous articles on getting yourself prepared for any interview opportunity. So, what have you done so far?

There are a few steps you need to take to prepare yourself for the interview. Remember them always.

  • Research prospective companies and industries

You need to do the research because you need to win the opportunity!

- You can use the internet to do your research. These days most companies have their own websites with information of their businesses and industries. You can use the friendly search engines to help you.

- Your local library may also keep some annual reports or news about the companies you want.

- If it is a small local company, you can ask for information from your local network. The receptionist can also provide some useful information about the company.

- You can get a little information from the company advertisements. These advertisements provide the public valuable insight into the company products, services and culture.

- Newspapers and other publications like magazines can also help to provide some useful information.

Concentrate on useful information such as products/services, target markets, challenges, competitions, company financials and industry trends. Identify the strengths and weakness of the company too. You can ask questions about the company using the information you have gathered. This shows you have great interest of the company.

  • Answer the common job interviewing questions

In one of my earlier articles, I have listed some of the possible questions interviewers or hiring managers like to ask. The same questions will be listed here again. Brainstorm on all of them. Jot down the answers.

× Why are you interested in this position/job?

× What are your greatest strengths?

× What is your greatest weakness?

× Why do you think you are ideal for this position/job?

× Give us the highlights of your resume.

× Tell me more about yourself.

× What are your interests?

× What are your short and long term goals?

× What motivates you to succeed?

× Describe your ideal job.

× Describe traits you want in an ideal job and company.

× What qualities do you think are important to be successful in this job?

× What previous experience has helped you to develop the skills necessary for this job?

× Can you lead a team?

× Describe how you work in a team. (As a leader or team player)

× What was your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

× Is there any reason why we should we hire you over other candidates?

× What are your compensation expectations? (What is your expected salary?)

× Do you have questions about this position?

× Why are you leaving your current position?

× What is your definition of success?

× Can you explain why you choose to work as a _______?

× Are you willing to accept a lower salary?

× Have you ever held a leadership role?

× How did you motivate your team to succeed?

× How do you prioritize when you are given too many tasks to accomplish?

× Can you conform to company policies that you dislike?

× Do you set goals for yourself?

× How did you accomplish your goals?

× What is your goal for the next five years?

Well, to tell the truth, you need to be able to answer these questions without any hesitation. Of course, during the half an hour interview, hiring managers will not ask all the questions. However, you must be ready.

  • Have lots of interview practice. Rehearse and role play interviews with your friends and family members. Be serious. Do not crack jokes during the sessions. You can also practice in front of a full length mirror. With this you are able to work on your smile, posture, facial expression as well as appearance.
  • This is the checklist after you have done the things listed.

× Check again the name(s) of the interviewer(s). Do not get them mixed-up or wrong. Ask for the title of the interviewer(s) e.g. Ms, Mrs, Mr and so on.

× Get your direction to the company right too. You do not want to lose your way and end up being late for the interview. Time is precious, so is the opportunity.

× Plan your journey so that you can arrive early. You will not panic if you arrive earlier than the appointed time.

× Pick out your interview attire in advance so that you will not waste lots of precious time in matching colors.

× Your appearance puts a weight in the interview. Wear a suit of formal attire, but keep it simple. Popular business colors are black, dark blue, and grey. Make sure your shoes match your attire too!

Well, now is the time you get yourself ready. Be busy!

Living Without Risks

Don't look; you might see,

Don't listen; you might hear,

Don't think; you might learn,

Don't walk; you might stumble,

Don't run; you might fall,

Don't decide; you might be wrong,

Don't risk; you might fail,

Don't live; you might die.

03 September 2008

Searching For Your Ideal Job

Do not worry if you feel dissatisfy with your present job. There are many causes of job dissatisfaction. Many people accept jobs to earn the money, period. There are not many who will even try to align their personal interests, skills, passions as well as values with the jobs they have chosen. Are you one of them?

Have you taken some time to define the purpose of choosing the job you want? Ask yourself these questions:

- What is it that you are after in the job?

- Are you going to learn, contribute, or help others?

- Are you accepting the job for the money?

- How long do you plan to work for the company?

- What will your career path be?

- Is this job just a stepping stone to another ‘dream’ job?

Knowing the purposes of choosing a job helps you to derive joy from the job itself. A working life is dull and stressful. You will keep on looking for new jobs if you do not know your purpose of choosing the job. You need to feel proud of the job so that you will feel needed and important.

Reflect on your previous jobs and identify your likes and dislikes. Then list them accordingly. After this exercise, you will find that you are extremely focused on the new position you want. Sad to say, many people ended up in the same dead-end positions because of their unawareness.

Accepting a job which does not align with your life’s purposes can cause great discomfort and stress, not to mention dissatisfaction. It is essential to state your life’s purposes and believe them. You can choose to help others, raise a family, motivate others or own a business. Of course, you can have as many life’s purposes as you want.

Then, you need to know what your own values are. Do your values in anyway align with the job? If one of your values is to promote healthy living, but the job is to market cigarettes, you have to be honest whether to accept the job or not. Some of the common values people have are; family-oriented, honest, trustworthy, healthy living and so on.

List down your passions. You may like traveling, photography, entertaining and so on. This is an endless list. However, many of your passions are not job related. That is all right. They may not be job-related at this moment, but can be job-related later as you decide to get a new job.

Base on your life’s purposes, values and passions, you can now list all your possibilities. You can choose to be a doctor, teacher, lawyer, salesperson, motivator, and the list goes on. Of course, you have to be practical. You cannot be a doctor without going to med school and undergo all those special trainings. Nevertheless, you can still choose to be a ‘doctor’ specializing in other disciplines of science.

Surely you will be overjoyed to find that there are so many options out there. In spite of that, focus only on one or two that you really want to do for a living. You may have a few good choices; but, it is advisable to just concentrate on the ones that you really are interested.

Remember your competitors? They are competing with you all the way. They may be better than you and have already identified what they really want for their future. If you have many choices, you may lose the concentration and opportunity to get the best job for yourself.

Some elements which you really need to consider when defining your ideal job is

- What is the occupation?

- Which industry is it in?

- Which company has the vacancy? Does the company have a good social track record?

- What will your career path be? (Imagine where you will be in a few years’ time.)

- Does the job structure suit you? (Working in a team or independently, a team player or a team leader)

- What are the working hours? Will there be overtime?

- Does the job involve any traveling?

- What is the working environment like?

- Where is company located? Do you have to work in the city or in a branch company?

- What are the compensation and benefits offered by the company? (Other than the salary, are there anything else that benefit the employee?)

Now you can use the elements above to help you write a mission statement. This is just a one or two-liners of statement about the job you have in mind. It can be like this … “To work as a ….. in an organization that ……” Since you have listed your priorities in detail, you know what you want every time you read this statement. You will not go wrong because deep in your heart you have already defined your ideal job.

Go for it and good luck!