Category Archives: career counseling

Have You Found Your Career Passion?

People are passionate about different things in life. You may be a college student, a mid career changer or a jobseeker. No matter what you are, it is good to have found your career passion. When you are passionate about your career, it means you have found a career that perfectly matches your skills and interests. Being passionate about a career means the career motivates you to perform better and deliver better results. By discovering and rediscovering your career passion, you can turn your interests into a new fulfilling career.

To be able to find your career passion, you need to clarify your interests and answer a couple of important questions. While responding to the questions, you need to answer with complete honesty. Do not try to respond to all the questions in just one sitting. You can always take your time. But make sure your answers are accurate, honest and meant for the future.

Have a look at some of these important questions –

What do you love doing in your free time?
What skills come to you naturally or without effort?
What are your favorite classes and subjects?
What is dream job or dream career?
What activities energize you the most?
What have been your life-long interests?
What are the areas you are considered an expert in?
What values do you most cherish?
What type of books and magazines do you love reading?
What type of community services are you involved in?
What are your deeply rooted beliefs?
What things do you do to help people?
What are your goals in life?

Take each of these questions carefully and one by one. Do not make a hurried response. Think and contemplate. Respond to each of the above mentioned questions with honesty. On the basis of the results or the preliminary research, you need to find out the theme that runs common through all of these. Finally, you can prepare a list of potentials jobs and career paths to choose from.

Whether you are a college student, a fresh jobseeker or a career changer, it is everyone’s right to live a life of fulfillment. It is never too late to start a career which you are really passionate about. Your career passion does not only lead you to a fulfilling professional career, but it also brings happiness in your life. To be able to find your career passion, you need to take a look deep inside you. In this way, you can bring happiness both to your life and career.


Filed under career counseling, career planning, job search

What Do Career Aptitude Tests Measure?

Career aptitude tests are meant to measure your mental development and intellectual abilities. They make you aware of how well you can perform under a given situation. Today, you have multiple resources to analyze your aptitude. You can find a number of such career tests on the internet, both paid and free services. By taking these tests, candidates come to know about their capability to comprehend instructions and then apply their previously acquired skills and knowledge to make good inferences. These tests tell you how you will perform in your future.

Career Aptitude Tests vs Attainment Tests
The aptitude career test, as mentioned above, analyses your general capabilities for predicting your future performance. Though these tests are a part and parcel of all psychological assessments, they vary from one group of people to another. Aptitude tests differ for people belonging to different cultural groups.

On the other hand, an attainment test is different from an aptitude career tests. Attainment tests are meant to measure your academic achievements. They are used to predict your achievement in different subjects including social studies, science, mathematic etc. Attainment tests do not differ in terms of people belonging to different cultures.

Aptitude Tests vs IQ Tests
How do you know whether you are a genius, an average or an idiot? IQ tests are designed to test how you have developed mentally. Though aptitude tests also do the same thing, they measure your intelligence for predicting your future performance. In most of the cases, an aptitude test may be the same as an IQ test. Owing to court’s rulings, however, aptitude tests do not use the term IQ or do not interpret the IQ scores as the result of an aptitude test.

Your Encounter with an Aptitude Career Test
Before you start taking the aptitude test, you will be given a solved practice test paper. First of all, you need to understand the requirements of the test. After this introductory preparation, the tester will provide you with a long questionnaire, containing multiple choice questions. You will need to answer all the multiple choice questions within the provided time limit. Do not worry if you are given a maximum number of questions to answer. They are given to candidates to test their capability of handling stressful situations. Both your accuracy and speed are tested through the career aptitude test.

What Characteristics Do Aptitude Tests Analyze?
If you take an aptitude test, you will come know about your ability to perform your role in future. These tests analyze some of your most essential characteristics. These are as follows.

  • Logical Thinking and Analytical Skills
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Leadership Skills
  • Comprehension and Communication Skills
  • Capabilities you can work upon and improve
  • Your Hidden potentials that you can use to perform your role

Psychological testing companies have also developed job-specific career tests. Specialized career aptitude tests assist employers a lot in selecting the right candidates for specific job positions. For candidates, these tests have to play a crucial role in determining the right career path. Jobseekers, students and career changers need to take these aptitude tests seriously to become successful in their careers.


Filed under career counseling, career planning, career success, Uncategorized

Beginner’s Guide to Networking

Hardly do many people are aware that only less than 40% job positions are advertised. The majority of job positions are occupied through networking. What is even more interesting is the fact that almost all of us are involved in networking in our daily lives, in some way or the other. Whether it is a hairstylist, a cosmetologist or a restaurant owner, networking continues in our lives, regardless of our realizing it or not realizing it. So, what does networking actually means? Well, networking simply means passing on information. As you can see, we continue to network in our personal lives. In a similar manner, we can use networking as a wonderful tool for making contacts with professionals in an industry and enhance our chances of landing jobs.

Why Network?
Most of us believe that networking means ‘asking people for a job’. Not at all. Making contacts with professional people does not mean you have to go to people and ask them whether they can offer you a job. All that you need to do is make some honest efforts, spend some time with your contacts sincerely and the job information will travel to you on its own. All networking requires is that you should build credibility and people will be eager to provide you job information and recommend you job positions available.

Through successful networking, you can also learn a lot many things about a career of your interest. You can find out about a particular job and the responsibilities involved by contacting with people who are already into that job. You can discover the mantra behind people’s career success. All these things, knowledge and skills are certainly going to help you immensely in your job hunt.

Where Do I Begin?
As a beginner, you may be a little anxious about where and how to start networking, how to contact more and more professionals and expand your network. Given below are a few steps that you should follow. Have a look.

Prepare a list of all those professional people you know
Identify opportunities and network platforms
Make a plan of action
Know your role, stuff and networking guidelines
Customize your communication to the requirement
Get organized
And just be yourself!

Who Should I Contact?
Well, there are a number of sources that you can use to help you. You can network with professionals you know. You can contact human resource departments and gather job information and career advice. You can also have a chat with influential people and professionals on web forums. You can meet your contacts in person, telephone them or contact them on popular networking sites including LinkedIn, Facebook etc.

Tip: Have patience and make sincere efforts to establish your credibility among your contacts. It may take a while before you start getting results.

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Filed under career counseling, career planning, job hunting, job search

10 Interview Mistakes You Need to Avoid

The first impression is undoubtedly a lasting impression. You must have heard many a story about candidates who have an impressive resume, but they lack competency when it comes to making the most of an interview. Interview opportunities are fewer and fewer as the job markets gets more and more competitive. So, it is essential to polish your interviewing skills and avoid the mistakes that many of us may make during an interview. Listed below are 10 interview mistakes that we need to avoid and make the most of interviewing opportunities that come to us.

Mistake # 1: Poor or ineffective handshake
Mistake # 2: Talking too much
Mistake # 3: Talking negative about previous employers or managers
Mistake # 4: Showing up late or too early
Mistake # 5: Being rude to the receptionist
Mistake # 6: Asking about holidays, benefits and salary
Mistake # 7: Not preparing for the interview
Mistake # 8: Using verbal ticks (‘umm’, ‘you know’ etc.)
Mistake # 9: Too Much/ too less eye contact
Mistake # 10: Failure to match communication styles

So, you had a look at the 10 most embarrassing interview mistakes. Remember, just like a resume lands you interviews, good interviewing skills land you jobs. So, fine-tune your interviewing skills more and more. Practice these skills with one of your trusted friends or a close one. Keep in mind each of the 10 mistakes mentioned above. Handshakes are an important part of a job interview. Poor or ineffective handshakes can make your break your first impression to the interviewer.

Let no one talk about you as a candidate who ‘almost’ got the job. Prepare for interviews beforehand to make the most of the opportunity and win the consideration for the job. Nothing else, only practice will make you perfect.


Filed under career counseling, interviews, job search

How to Conduct Your Job Search and Stand Out from the Crowd

When a job position is advertised, thousands of job seekers apply for the post. So, how do you plan to stand out from the crowd? To beat out the competition, you need to take your job search as a marketing campaign. As a competitive jobseeker, you are required to locate job positions before they are actually advertised. Marketing your skills and yourself means you have to find out people who can offer you job opportunities.

If you really want to beat out the competition, you can not wait till the employer finds you. You have to reach out to them before they find you. For that to happen, you need to polish your job search skills and make use of variety of resources to help you in the job hunting process. Once you track down those who can hire you, the next important task is to tell them what you are capable of doing. You can then meet them in person, write to them or telephone them to tell what you can do and to market your talents and skills.

When company launches a new product or a new service, it employs a strategic marketing plan. And here you are the product and you have the job of marketing and selling yourself. That is why we say, take up the job search process as a marketing campaign and act accordingly. Develop a plan and put the plan into action. It takes a disciplined approach and strategic planning when it comes to finding a job.

While you conduct the job search, you should also be aware of the different approaches that you can take to make to marketing campaign successful.

Professional networking and referral building
Getting in touch with potential employers directly
Informational interviewing
Employing agencies and recruiters
Searching for specialized job listings
Using help-wanted classifieds

Of all the above listed approaches for job search, the professional networking and referral building approach happens to be the most effective one. It can result into getting you the maximum number of referrals, leads and contacts. Getting in touch with employers directly and using the cold calling method is more likely to result into landing a job.

When it comes to marketing yourself as a product, you should be ready with an action-plan. Developing a job search strategy also needs some research on your own. By devoting some time to this strategic planning and putting in some sincere effort, you can really enable yourself to have a competitive edge over other jobseekers.

So, are you ready to launch yourself?


Filed under career counseling, career planning, job search, jobs

Getting the Raise You Deserve

Everyone who is employed will need a pay raise sooner or later. Employees need to develop some strategies so that they can get the raise they deserve. For many people, talking to the boss and asking for a raise happens to be an anxiety creating event. But, when you follow the appropriate strategies, both short term and long term, it will shrink the anxiety and get you the raise that you deserve. So, be ready to prepare yourself for achieving your salary and pay raise goals.

Developing a plan
You can not just walk in and talk to your boss about a raise. First and foremost, develop a plan and schedule a meeting with the boss for talking about the salary raise. Develop a strategy and follow the steps to be successful in achieving your raise goals.

Knowing what you are worth
When you expecting a raise in salary, it is essential to know what you are worth. Not only inside the company, but you need to determine your value outside the company as well. A good idea would be to get in touch with the human resource department and know the pay scale of those who have a similar job like yours. You can also use a salary calculator to get the pay scale that you deserve in your geographic location.

Having realistic expectations
An employer would neither pay you a salary out of the range, nor would they give you a pay raise in one shot. It may be possible that you have great talent but are hired at a lower salary. In any case, the raise in salary is not going to happen all of a sudden. Maximum number of employers considers the raise by looking at the percentage increase. So, it is also necessary for those who are employed to have realistic expectations.

Tracking your achievements and accomplishments
Remember you are not going to demand a raise. You need to deserve it to get it. Have a worksheet ready with all your accomplishments and the contributions that you have made to the company. Oftentimes, even the boss is not well informed of what you have achieved and accomplished. Bring your achievements to the notice of both boss as well as the final decision maker.

Focusing on the future
Besides showing the company your achievements till date, you also need to inform the company how you are going to contribute to the company’s growth in the future. Show how you are going to contribute towards helping the boss, the department and the company.

Understanding the employer’s position
While you are expecting a pay raise, you also need to be well informed of the company’s rules and policies. It is important to understand your boss’ feelings about giving a raise. Try to know how your boss feels about your position and standing in the department or the organization.

Finding yourself a mentor in the senior management
It is a good idea to find yourself a mentor in the senior management of the organization. Finding a mentor holding a higher position in the company will bring a number of benefits, apart from helping you to get the raise you deserve. You can start building the relationship by asking for advice from the person.

The planning and strategy will depend on the situations that may vary from time to time. With proper planning on your part, you can really enable yourself to get a salary raise and get better success in your career.

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Filed under career counseling