Career, influences, options,applications, interviews, contract – so much to think about so early in life!

Some people get a sense of what they want to do quite early in life, others often actually never find out.

Sometimes parents and others through all good intentions, guide towards outcomes they feel are appropriate.

Industries are changing, the world economy and socialisation are changing and so what may have been appropriate entering into senior school, may now be less so.

The good news is that more so today than ever before, it is OK to change a career destination through out life – that can be in thinking about it as a 15 year old, at the end of 1st year university, five years into a position – when and as ‘you’ find out more about yourself, have the influence of a partner perhaps,children perhaps, success and other options open up – continual learning is the key, openness to opportunity and a fervent desire not to submit to mediocrity through staying in a ‘job’ that you now know is not right for you! Plan,own, build your life.

Choosing:- You can of courselisten to your ‘influences’, you can check out advertising relevant topositions (papers and electronic) you can put yourself into situations whereyou meet people, you can just take an interest in life and be aware. Ananalysis is useful in getting closer to identifying where you want to be, aSWOT analysis about yourself first helps, then match that to a SWOT on aposition or industry or employer. This type of thinking helps to move away fromthe emotional or habitual, it helps you to be objective.

People fromall over the place will want to give you input – remain respectful, give thanks, don’t be to quick to accept or judge, the ‘paradigm effect’ often blinds us to opportunities outside of our accepted thinking.

Applications:- Apply for less jobs ratherthan more is the first hint. The role of the application is to obtain aninterview. You need to put yourself into the shoes of the organisation you are addressing, into the shoes of the interviewer – how closely do you fit what is being asked. What is in it for them is the next thing, rather than how can they help by employing you! So researching the organisation, talking to people,making sure you get the job and person descriptions and then finding ways tomake transparent anything in your experience and skill set that matches.

Look also to see where you are not offering some of the things wanted and translate how you compensate.

As a school leaver it could be seem that you do not have a lot of experience but when you think it through, look at all the activities and experiences you have already had, there are actually loads of transference you can make.

By making a personal statement first, upfront in the resume (avoid the covering letter, it is just one more thing to be opened and the risk is that if you haven’t made the connection there, the resume will not even be opened).

A photo on the front of the resume helps to make a connection, if you have worked with icon brands as part of work experience etc, logo’s can help to bridge the connection. Setting out the resume differently to every other resume can help –be seen as someone out of the pack, someone with something different to offer.

It can help to divide the page into two, information on one side,transference on the other – "I have done this’ – ‘That means this to thisposition’.

Make sure youaddress the application to a person if possible, deliver by hand if possible, askto speak with the person before you develop your application and again when youdeliver it –
the purpose of the application it to get an interview!

Feel free to make contact with Rex if you have any questions

Do give references:- – start talking topeople now, ask for testimonials from people you have worked for, coaches fromthe team you played with etc

Give the name,and the context – how you know them, what that means in association with the particular job you are applying to. Give a mobile phone contact so the person can easily be reached (always gain the approval of the referee first)

The interview:- Make sure you arrive before time – check out the address, look to see what could hold you up, don’t be late, be early!

As part of the research in deciding to apply to an organisation you will have certain material, web site, Australian Stock Exchange etc, this will have helped you in developing your application, now it will help you develop some questions to ask at the interview. Understand that the interviewer need not necessarily beexperienced or even competent in that task, they may well have other things ontheir mind and all matter of other blockages. You need to be able to act naturallyin what can be a nerve wracking environment – something new to you, wanting toimpress, being asked all sorts of questions, if you are not careful, you becomea submissive responder! The interviewer must be able to recognise through yourbehaviours that you have confidence, have initiative, able to show respect –all those values everyone wants. This comes through your questions. It’s OK to ask someone to repeat a question, to gain clarification.

Your subconscious hears what you say (and what you think) and so on the way to the interview, it is likely that you may be less confident, self doubting,generally uncertain – having questions gives you something positive to think about and helps you walk in ‘tall’ and impressive’. Shoes cleaned, shirt tuckedin, probably a tie.

 Always take a copy of your information so you can refer to it if necessary – find out if the interview is to be with one person or a panel, see if you can find out who these people will be. Check put social media and see if you can discover anything useful to the purpose of them identifying with you.

Assertivenessis useful, bragging and overstatement not. Arrange you information so that the interviewer can draw their own conclusions – this is about this transference of your skills and experience into what you believe they need in the position you are applying for. Think about what you want them to think and then deliver your written information so that becomes the outcome.

Role playing can help to work through some fundamentals as part of your preparation, it can help you hear what you say and how you respond.

The governmentsays something like 60% of all positions are not advertised and so keep you earopen for opportunities, talk directly to people that you would like to workfor, don’t wait for the advertisement. Access your friends, your family, their friends to find out about different positions, ask for their mentoring, listen carefully and be respectful – open, non defensive.

Using this as a starter, now lets have some questions that you have – make some notes as you reread this, give yourself the best chance!

 Feel free to make contact with Rex if you have any questions

Deciding what type of job to consider is difficult - one way of breaking through the pre-set paradigms of yourself and your influencers is to read the local paper employment advertisements and make a list of job tiles that appeal to you (the job or the employer might not), employers who appeal to you, industries that appeal to you. From this then check out the yellow pages under appropriate headings to remind you of the employers who do that kind of work. From this you should be able to get a list of potential employers.

Don't forget, at least half of the jobs available are not advertised and so it may be better to make direct contact with those companies you like - do the research first, prepare your resume then make contact. 

This is definitely not the time to 'mass email', to try and 'shotgun' a response. This is the time to tailor your applications specifically to jobs and employers you want to work with.