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Pursuit of Happiness

We always find happiness anywhere in the world. Psychologists also say that happy employees are more productive, more creative and less likely to leave. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to create a fun environment at your workplace. If you embody your ideal corporate culture and integrate joy and laughter into your daily routine, your employees will follow. If you are a business owner, it is therefore wise to do things to benefit your employees and make them happy. If you are an employee, find ways to make your stay in the company a happy one to ease the stress in your workplace.

As a company ourselves, Westhill Consulting and Employment also face the same challenge in maintaining happy people as there are so many personal and business reasons for them not to. Fortunately, we have some steps that we follow that respond to this issues.

For Employers

  1. Lead by Example

As we all know, employees look up to you. If you are too serious, your employees may hesitate to smile in front of you, let alone interact and laugh with you. They may feel the need to be serious all the time. Although being serious is also important, loose your collar a little for you to let happy vibes around you. Add a little self-depreciating humor when it is appropriate to help your employees view you as human and approachable. A little fraud smile will also do despite the pressure. Who knows, they may see your odd smile and lift their hearts to you a little.

  1. Embody Optimism

Staff meetings can quickly become monotonous. Use each meeting as an opportunity to encourage positive team dynamics. When we are conducting a meeting with our partners once in Jakarta, Indonesia, we were surprised when the manager presiding the meeting encouraged us all to play a charade first before starting the meeting. Those 15 minutes of laughter are enough to bring out positivity around us even when what we are discussing may be a little too critical.

  1. Celebrate

There is no harm if you reward yourself and your employees once in a while. Recognize and acknowledge your employees successes, no matter how small. Staff celebrations don’t need to be fancy, planned or expensive. Acknowledgement can be as simple as sharing one team member’s accomplishment during a staff meeting.

Employees:

  1. Give a happy “Hello” in the morning with a smile. Psychologists say it is contagious.
  2. Learn the Art of Small Talk. Review what you learn about your colleague and engage him in little talks or even if it’s a general statement like the weather or how nice her skirt is.
  3. Avoid gossip.
  4. Pretend your kids are watching when dealing with a hard colleague which you have misunderstanding with.
  5. Retail Emails and Calls Promptly. It is to show that these people who took time to email you are also important to you.

Working abroad: how to find jobs overseas

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment out of Australia has many more tips and warnings about working in Southeast Asia.

1. What are the benefits of working abroad?

There are so many its hard to only pick a few! If you study or specialize in a foreign language, an obvious benefit of working abroad is immersion into your target language. You’ll also be fully experiencing a new culture, which typically proves both challenging and rewarding. Professionally speaking, employers find candidates with extended experience abroad attractive, as it showcases an individual’s understanding of the global economy. Working in a multi-cultural office often means developing advanced intercultural and interpersonal skills. You could test out the experience of working abroad by taking a working holiday – see our article:В 10 Paycations: how to make money on holidayВ – but you’ll never know the benefits unless you take the leap of faith and try to work abroad – go for it!

 

2. What types of jobs are on offer for those looking to work overseas?

The most common job pursued abroad is teaching English. Those who speak English as a native language find that their skills and expertise are in high demand in a range of (often well paying) locations. These jobs are typically short-term (one year or less) and can be taken in both major cities and rural areas. Other popular options include business consultancy, food service, tourism companies and property. Many people choose to work for a company from their home country that allows for short term trips abroad to complete work.

 

3. Where is it easiest to find jobs abroad?

For an English-speaking native, without a doubt, the easiest job to find abroad is a teaching gig. If you travel to countries where your physical appearances stray from the ‘norm’ of the locals, you also may walk down the street and find yourself approached by multiple people offering you modelling jobs. These are quite easy to come by, especially if you do it once (the opportunities just keep on coming!).

 

4. Do you need any special qualifications to work overseas?

The biggest challenge that individuals face when finding work abroad is working for a company that will sponsor a proper work visa for their employment. Many companies try to sneak around this in order to avoid the high fees the government will tax for employing foreigners. They may ask you to use a third party agency to sponsor a visa or ask you to work on tourist/other type of visa. Some may tell you it is quite commonplace and normal to earn money without a working visa but it is also best practice to do it the proper (and legal) way!

5. How difficult is it to get visa/work permits?

This varies from country to country and unfortunately often depends on your nationality. Certain countries will have an easier time getting a specific type of visa to a country than others will. If you are considering moving overseas to work for a company, make sure they are legitimate – contact past employees or read reviews of others’ experiences working there if possible. The company should have no problem organizing the documents for you to apply for a proper work visa before you arrive.

 

6. I don’t know any foreign languages but would love to work in a non-English speaking country – what are my options?

Of course, learning a foreign language has its benefits, but you can get by without. As previously mentioned, teaching English to others (especially children) or relying on that pretty face of yours may get you some good gigs to enable you to sustain a life abroad. You could also work with tour operators and lead groups around the country – just make sure your company has hired a local who speaks both English and the native language! Many companies will find that their clients feel at ease when they are being lead by someone who speaks a familiar language. There are also many larger companies that operate in an English-speaking business environment. Typically, these companies are owned by expats themselves. Warning, watch out for scams. Check job boards and the like on popular classified websites in your home country to seek these types of opportunities. If you’re thinking of learning the local lingo, see our useful article:В 7 secrets of learning language fast.

 

7. How much money can I earn working overseas?

The amount of money you earn will really vary dependent on where you choose to live and your line of work. Speaking specifically to teaching English, east Asia is famous for offering high salaries and great benefit packages to teachers willing to commit to one- year posts. South America, conversely, operates on more of a ‘teachers-break-even’ payment scale. The Middle East also pays teachers an above-average wage. Your company may pay you in local currency or in the currency that it does business in (such as the British pound or USD). A perk of living in a less-developed country is that it often means your dollar can go a lot further. The lower cost of living coupled with your salary (even if it is not particularly fancy by the standards in your home country) mean for extra money in the bank! More established companies will offer a fancy salary package to current employees willing to relocate overseas. Be warned of getting too wrapped up in expat circles and not interacting regularly with the locals!

 

8. How long do I have to commit for?

You should commit to living and working abroad for at least a year, as that is the minimal amount of time to even just begin getting to know and understand a place. If you want to make the most of your experience and potential, consider sticking around as long as possible.

 

9. I’ve never been abroad – how will I cope with a different culture?

I won’t lie, it can be tough to adjust to a new way of living, especially when that experience is magnified by trying to function in a new culture. For newbies, consider living in a more internationalized and larger city in a foreign country – you’ll be surprised by how many familiar brands and establishments you’ll see popping up on the streets. Most larger cities have a great expat crowd you can fall back on should you feel particularly homesick. Most importantly, don’t give up and don’t rush the process. It should take you a few months to feel confident and comfortable in your new locale (and you’ll still have occasional moments of culture shock). Don’t feel discouraged. Having new friends will certainly ease the pain and help you grow more attached to a place. Be social and up for anything!

 

10. Where (and what jobs) are the most popular places for getting jobs overseas?

Expats looking for work in the IT, manufacturing, finance or international marketing fields will findВ ShanghaiВ appealing – as well as the nearby cities ofВ SingaporeВ andВ Hong KongВ (great first tastes of Asia as they are financial giants and largely do business in English). Those interested in engineering, aeronautics, automobiles etc will be most drawn to countries such as France, Germany, and England. The UAE and Guangzhou or Shenzhen, China are popular with expats interested in manufacturing and trade.В  Australia will forever remain an attractive destination for working abroad, from backpackers to expats alike. It offers just about anything to internationals! For teaching jobs, popular locations include Japan, South Korea, China, Argentina, Jakarta Indonesia and Peru!

7 Tips to Revamp Your Job Search for 2014

Experts foresee the job market being more competitive than ever in 2014. With 10.9 million Americans unemployed, it is important to take a fresh look at your job search strategy. Now is the perfect time to develop an effective plan for success.

How can you set yourself apart from the competition and position yourself for finding the best next step in your career?

 

Here are seven tips to help you refresh and refocus your job search in 2014:

 

  1. 1.В В В В  Don’t be a copycat candidate.В Job searches are a very personal experience and one-size-fits-all strategies will not help you stand out among the competition.В  Even though a certain interview tactic or style was successful for one candidateВ doesn’t mean it is the best strategy for you. Take into consideration your personal experiences, preferences and career goals and use them to position yourself as a unique candidate.

 

  1. 2.     Learn to look at job titles differently. Be open-minded about your preconceived notions of job titles. Roles in compliance, human resource, or administration, for example, are often perceived as being boring, career-limiting or otherwise undesirable. Such preconceptions, however, about the scope, strategic importance and long-term potential of these positions are not always true in today’s market. In many cases I’ve seen, these jobs offer exceptional opportunity for influential and attractive long-term careers.

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  1. 3.     First impressions are everywhere. With 92% of employers using social media in the hiring process, the content of your social profile forms an employer’s first impression before you even sit down with for an interview.

 

You should take special consideration to job-proof your social media profiles. For example, use a picture that represents you as a professional. Don’t rely on privacy settings to keep your personal information safe. Your best bet is to assume everything will be seen by a potential employer, so clean up your content and edit your pictures accordingly. Ask yourself the age old question, “What would my grandmother think of this?”

 

  1. 4.     Be prepared to land the job. Here’s one job seeker mistake that’s definitely worth kicking to the curb this year — the idea of an interview being just informational. You should go into every interview prepared to land the job, not just learn more about the organization. You only get one shot at your first interview, and this mistake will get you caught looking unprepared and unprofessional. Instead, always come ready for a formal interview; you will never regret being prepared.
  2. 5.     Be strategic with social media. Social media is a vast resource for job seekers. The amount of content and connections thrown at you every day can become overwhelming and a time-suck if you’re not careful.

 

Be strategic with how you use social media to seek out job opportunities. First, know where recruiters and hiring managers for your desired industry spend most of their time. For example, in you’re looking for a job in finance, LinkedIn might be a more valuable social media site to keep updated as opposed to, say, Twitter. If you are looking to land a job at a media company, on the other hand, Twitter is a great resource. Be sure to also connect with the profiles or pages of companies you want to work for to stay up to date on job openings and announcements.

 

  1. 6.     Network with your peers. You should aim to network with your peers, in addition to your more senior team members. Find ways to be the person that comes to mind when recruiters ask them who they’d recommend for the job. Your peers can also offer off-the-cuff, honest appraisals about your performance and work reputation when referring you for a job. These connections have the power either to open or close doors and your relationships with them will have a direct impact on which way the opportunity swings.

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  1. 7.В В В В  Be realistic.В Be honest about what you can realistically offer to a new employer. It’s tempting to apply for a more challenging and prestigious role, but make sure you have both the skills and the commitment to be successful. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes shooting for the stars really does pay off! However, this becomes a risky strategy when you promise more than you can reasonably deliver.

 

Take a candid look at your current lifestyle and think about how it would be impacted by the position you’re considering. Just because the perfect opportunity has come along doesn’t mean it is the perfect time to accept. Holding back from applying for this job right now will prevent you from burning bridges for a role that may be a better fit later in your career.

 

Looking for a job can often be challenging and frustrating. Taking into account these seven tips can best position you for success in a competitive job market. Good luck and here’s to a successful 2014!

Top 10 Job Search Tips

Is your job search off to a slow start or getting stuck? Here are some quick time-saving job search tips that will help your hunt for a new job go smoothly.

 

Be Prepared. Have a voice mail system in place and sign-up for a professional sounding email address. Consider getting a separate email accountВ to use for your job search, so you can stay organized. Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner. ThisВ job search toolkitВ will help you get everything you need set for your job search. Westhill Consulting & Employment Australia has some good tips for finding work in countries such as KL Malaysia, Jakarta Indonesia, Beijing China, Bangkok Thailand and many more.

 

Be More Than Prepared. Always have an up-to-dateresumeВ ready to send – even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, create a LinkedInВ and start making connections who can help you job search.

 

Don’t Wait. If you are laid-off, file forВ unemployment benefitsВ right away. You will most likely be able to file online or by phone. Waiting could delay your benefits check.

 

Get Help.В UtilizeВ free or inexpensive servicesВ that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as college career offices, state Department of Labor offices or your local public library. Many libraries provide workshops, programs, classes, computers and printers you can use, and other resources to help you with your job search. Here’s more on gettingВ job search help at the library.

 

Create Your Own Templates. Have copies of yourВ resumeВ andВ cover letterВ ready to edit. That way you can change the content to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs won’t need to be changed. Microsoft Word users can downloadВ free templatesВ for resumes, cover letters and email messages which can be personalized for your own correspondence.

 

Review Samples.В It’s always a good idea to look at sample letters and resumes to get ideas for your own job search materials. Take a look at our collection ofВ resume, cv, and letter samples.

 

Use Job Search Engines.В Search theВ job search engines. Use the job search engine sites to search the major job boards, company sites, associations, and other sites with job postings for you – fast. You will be able to search all the jobs posted online in one step.

 

Jobs by Email. Let the jobs come to you. UseВ job alertsВ to sign up and receive job listings by email. All the major job sites have search agents and some websites and apps specialize in sending announcements.

 

Time Savers.В Strapped for time? Consider getting professionalВ helpВ writing or editing your resume.

 

References Ready.В Have a list of three references including name, job title, company, phone number and email address ready to give to interviewers. Print a copy of your reference list and bring it with you to interviews. Here’s how to create aВ list of references.

 

Use Your Network.В Be cognizant of the fact that many, if not most, job openings aren’t advertised. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Ask if they can help.

 

Get Social.В Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting. Here’s how toВ get started with social networking.

 

This tip isn’t a time saver, but, it will broaden your online job search resources.

 

Don’t Stop.В Don’t limit your job searching to the top sites like Monster or CareerBuilder. Check the smaller niche sites that focus on a particularВ geographic locationВ orВ career fieldВ and you will find plenty of job listings. Networking works, too. Tap into yourВ network of contactsВ to see who might be able to help you with job leads or a referral.

Former Calif. Scandal City Manager Won’t Contest 69 Criminal Counts

According to allegation, Robert Rizzo, the former city administrator of Bell, Calif., could have been the king of swindling public sector employees not so long ago. В Today, Rizzo justВ pleaded no contest to 69 countsВ in his corruption trial, according to a Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office press release. В And he’s likely to get the “the longest prison term for public corruption” — the judge says 10 to 12 years — in the area since 2000.
Came in no more than a week before a jury was to be chosen, Rizzo’s plea was a surprise to everyone counting the DA.В  “An open plea”, this is what the DA’s office calls the move to the presiding judge and was not a negotiated settlement.

 

According to the DA’s statement Rizzo was part of an alleged corruption ring that reportedly included his one-time deputy and co-defendant, former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia. В On Monday, her trial is scheduled to start.В  Furthermore, five former Bell elected officials — including a mayor, vice-mayor, and three council members — wereВ already found guiltyВ in March.
The reports say the ring was as brazen as it was large. В The five ex-officialsВ paid themselves salaries topping off at $100,000В yearly in a city of 35,000 people, 25 percent of whom lived underneath the poverty line. В В An audit had found that the officials unlawfully raised local taxes and fees to fund their salaries.
They were pikers as compared to what allegedly went on somewhere else.В  According to the report, Rizzo’s paycheck reached a $1.5 million peakВ in a year when he had 107 vacation days and 36 sick days. В His salary before he resigned in July 2010 was just under what must have seemed in comparison a paltry $800,000, according to the DA’s office. В Putting it into context, that’s about twice what the President of the United States makes.
According to television station KTLA,В Rizzo was charged with a variety of schemesВ that cost the city millions of dollars, including writing his own employment contracts that never received City Council approval. В It seems that, Rizzo is claiming that Spaccia was the real mastermind at the back of the fraud.
Allegations of dubious practices don’t end here.  A former police chief of Bell Randy Adams was overthrown in 2010 amidst the larger pay scandal.  Aside from the benefits, he had been making $457,000 yearly. Compile them and the amount go up to total compensation of $770,046.  In the previous year he filed a case against the city for his separation pay, claiming that he was forced out and had never agreed to give up his severance.  Throughout the suit, he was drawing a $22,000 monthly pension.

 

How to Become Happy at Work

A meaningful career equals a meaningful life.В  Many people go to work every single day even if they do not like their jobs but they still go anyway.В  It strongly affects your entire life trough destructive feelings and as a consequence it can give a negative wall between family, friends and many of their other activities.В  There are many reasons why one is anxious of leaving his job maybe because he fears change or he is afraid of leaving the security of a paycheck although there are also hundreds of reasons why one could be dissatisfied but still staying for their current job.Life doesn’t end there, we always have a choice and we can choose a better way to live your life and a purposeful career.В  Add excitement in your life and this can give a meaning in your life that can be your driving force to strive harder.В  Live your dream, live your passion and learn to love your career. 

To be able to do this you must start by analyzing you self, reassess and prioritize.В  Know what matters to you, your likes and dislikes, what is exactly the matter with your current job that you dislike and how you will be able to fix it, know your passion, secret desires and lastly what is it that you want to achieve in life.

 

This is the start where you can find insights in life once you figure out what were stressed earlier.

 

Make use of your genius and talent.  We all have our natural talent and abilities, utilize them and go on your way to success.  True happiness and joy comes from within by combining your natural talents and interests, growing & excelling in them, and working in a field, job or industry, which you have a passionate interest in.  You are enjoying at the same time earning.  Nothing beats the feeling when you are working but it doesn’t feel like a job.

 

If others can do it so you can do it as well and even better.В  All will start at accepting that you can!В  Set your mind that you can do it and everything that you want will be achieved in no time.В  The secret is being and staying positive, think positive and everything else will follow smoothly.В  The feeling of being successful has to come first from your inner self, IN YOU!

Dos and Don’ts during Interview

DOS

  • Dress smartly, look bright and attentive, and speak clearly and confidently. Don’t forget that in the first few minutes only 7% of the interviewer’s opinion of you is formed by what you say – the rest is judged on how you look, act and sound
  • find out where the venue is beforehand, how to get there and how long it takes
  • get your outfit ready the night before
  • find out what kind of interview it will be so you can prepare
  • examine the person specification and your CV/application form, and think about what type of questions they will ask you
  • Prepare answers for the main questions – for example, why do you want the job, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are the main tasks in this job?
  • make about three or four points in each answer
  • quote real examples of when you’ve used certain skills – just saying you’ve got a skill isn’t enough
  • take your time when answering the questions: make sure you understand the question and take your time if you need to think
  • Sell yourself: no one else is going to! Be positive about yourself and your experiences
  • Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview – use it as an opportunity to find out more about the role and the company. (Don’t ask about money or perks just yet!)
  • when discussing salary, know your market worth and start by quoting a little higher than this
  • get feedback on your performance, whether you were successful or not
  • turn off your mobile phone: treat the interviewers with respect and give them your undivided attention
  • keep your answers focused on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you

 

DON’TS

 

  • don’t be late
  • don’t swear or use slang words
  • don’t slouch in your seat or do anything that makes you look uninterested
  • don’t smoke
  • Don’t lie: the interviewer may see through you. Even if you get the job, your employer can dismiss you if they find out that you have not been honest
  • Don’t let your nerves show too much; a few nerves are normal but extreme nerves will affect your performance. Use breathing techniques and try to remember that it’s not a life and death situation – there are plenty of jobs out there!
  • Don’t be arrogant and assume you’ve got the job. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is disrespectful and over-confident
  • don’t discuss controversial topics such as religion, politics and gender relations
  • don’t read from notes or your CV — you should be familiar enough with your own history to be able to talk about it unprompted
  • Don’t criticize former employers or colleagues. Interviewers may mark you down as a troublemaker and a gossip
  • Don’t argue with the interviewer, no matter what. Remember to keep things positive!

 

Source: National Career Service

Job Hunting Tips

Consider your network first; try asking relatives, friends, professors, classmates, co-workers at summer jobs, and others.В  Meet new people and take the opportunity of using the conversation to ask them and make them aware that you are in a job search.В  Learn about their jobs or their organizations, and to get the names of others who might be useful in your job search.Your resume is very important.В  Make you resume is easy to read and the most important details stand out.В  Be certain to distribute it to employers, yes apply for more than one industry, you like to work for.

Being prepared all the time can take you far, make sure to have a copy of your resume at all time but always be certain that your resume is always updated.В  You will never know if you will be called for a last minute interview.

Have a habit of updating your database daily.  Take note of all the employers you contact, the date you sent your résumé, any contact made, people you talk to, and notes about those contacts.  Take note of opportunities as soon as you hear them; better keep a notepad at all times.  Also a “to do” list can help so that you can organize your list of priorities and keep you focused on finding that perfect job.

A company always helps; a friend who is in a job search too can help you. В Arrange to speak weekly and report on accomplishments, best practices, and future plans.

Be updated to all there is about employers in your field, read trade journals or professional publications, and read the newspaper.В  It is very impressive during an interview if you know about the latest merger or coup in the industry.

Practice for each interview, practice makes perfect!В  Be prepared and you can nail it for sure!В  And do not ever miss an opportunity, as soon as you here about an opening go ahead and call at once.

Stay confident, this is very important, interviewer can sense if you are nervous and you lack confidence that could make you fail the interview.В  Job hunting could be very tiring and it sure to take your time and energy.В  Remain confident, but prepare yourself for challenges ahead and do not over do it.В  Don’t get disgruntled if you are still looking for a job and it seems like everyone you know has an offer.

Resume writing tips

There are hundreds of people that send out their resume every hour, so how can you make yours stand out from the manager’s pile?

Use the standard font, who would take a funny font seriously, or who would font that could hurt your eyes.   Fonts such as Times New Roman and Georgia are your best bets for making it readable, as well as a 10- to 12-point size.  Don’t try to impress them with overwhelming fonts, HR reps just wants a resume they can read and that captures the skill sets they are looking for.  Arial and Tahoma are also accepted.  Using other font can make your resume looking sloppy, disorganized, crowded and informal.  If applying as a creative position such a graphic design, your resume is expected to be creative.

Keep important points at the top, most hiring manager are scanning your resume quickly and may concentrate mainly on the top half.В  Emphasize your most significant skills and experience first and then work your way down to other relevant information. The following resume subheadings could be included: Contact Info, Summary of Core Qualifications, Relevant Work Experience, Relevant Volunteer and Other Experience, Education and Honors & Awards.

Remember that resume also speaks about your personality as well as it showcase your experience and skills so do not be stiff and show them what you got.В  Speak with confidence and ease when describing your accomplishments.В  A boring document is uninteresting, try to come across as friendly and open, professional but personable, and super-knowledgeable in your field to add depth.

Clean up your resume regularly, if you can make it a page, better.В В  Make sure that there are no grammatical and typo errors.В  A single error could make your resume sit in the trash.В  Review your resume regularly to make sure to make changes on the updates needed.В  Outdated resume can take away your chances of getting hired.В  Sending in a clean resume that gets straight to the point will be your best bet at landing the interview because like said earlier, they only scan a quick look and a clean resume is a big plus.