A few years ago people talked of career paths as if it was possible to join an organisation or a profession and progress upwards quickly or slowly through a number of jobs or grades.
Things have now changed – and will never be the same again! In fact, you are likely to have several jobs throughout your career.
Now people also talk about “finding your way through the career maze” and about “career development”.
Today, planning your career is much more like planning a journey with several stopping off points or “destinations” along the way. You need to decide on your destination (what career you want to move into), what to pack in your suitcase (skills, qualifications etc you will need) and what route would suit you best (means of getting there).
Your career route is unlikely to be a straight line between where you are now and where you want to be at some point in the future. You may hit dead ends, some routes will be quicker than others and unexpected things do happen (road works!) which will result in your plans having to change before reaching your job destination. There is also the possibility that, if you have not done enough initial planning, when you reach your job destination, it may not be what you expected it to be.
One extremely valuable input in devising a systematic plan, is to visit a career guidance specialist. With today’s modern technology, there are a variety of computerised assessments available to aid you in choosing a suitable career.
The next important step is to adopt a structured process to assist you in implementing good decisions and choices. The RACPAC methodology was developed by AQR Ltd in the UK, and it is offered through Assessments Online, a South African based career guidance company.
RACPAC stands for: Research, Analysis, Choose, Plan, Action, Change. With the aid of colour imported workbook, the RACPAC methodology is easily applied through a series of exercises and questionnaires. Fun and vibrant, the workbook also focuses on the importance of determining one’s employability profile – vitally important to establish before choosing a career.
Prevue for Careers, a comprehensive career guidance assessment, is also offered. The assessment measures one’s ability, personality and interests, and then matches students to a database of international and local careers.
Students are then also provided with access to a resource web-site detailing job descriptions, tertiary institutions, courses and bursaries available. For further information, contact us today!
EMPLOYERS: ARE YOUR INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES GOOD ENOUGH?
Saturday, 05 July 2014 17:53
Written by Assessments Online
Applying for a job is very similar to applying for a role in a play. Candidates present the perfect picture – the image you want to see. The perfect business suite, the firm hand-shake and sparkling smile! Within the first 2 minutes of meeting them, you have summed up whether or not they resonate with you and your decision is based predominantly on your own very subjective opinion. Unfortunately, this opinion is based purely on your own criteria and is based on no scientific evidence what so ever.
Fundamentally, areas need to be probed which an interview will not establish. Can this candidate do the job – what is there overall mental ability like? Can they calculate figures quickly in their head without the use of a calculator? How well can they put together a business letter? Do they have strategic planning ability and able to problem solve? These are questions you most certainly can ask in an interview (or take a reference check from a previous employer) however, will you know for certain if what you are hearing is in fact the truth? The next important aspect that needs to be considered is whether this individual fits your company culture. Will they fit in with their colleagues and the manager they report to? They may be perfect for the job but, in time, resign due to a personality clash or an inability to fit into your company’s overall culture. This too is impossible to probe fully in an interview. And lastly, how will you know for certain whether this candidate is in fact suited to the job he has applied for? He will for certain tell you that he is, but realistically, is he really in the right career to begin with? Once again, another impossible area to probe in an interview.
Please don’t get me wrong, the interview is an essential part of your recruitment process however, it needs to be conducted in conjunction with a more scientific approach i.e. The results from a psychometric assessment which for certain, will evaluate all of the above in one simple test.
The cost of employing the wrong person is staggering in yet it still surprises me how more often than not, HR practitioners will still recruit based on their own subjective opinion. The cost to evaluate an individual is extremely affordable and results can be generated prior to your final interview being scheduled.
The Prevue assessment is a quick, inexpensive assessment which will evaluate all those “hidden” areas in one short assessment. We are so convinced that the results will change your opinion for good regarding the use of psychometric assessments, we are going to offer you a complimentary one should you wish to put it to the test. To find out more, contact Laura at Assessments Online today!
ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT CAREER?
Saturday, 05 July 2014 17:52
Written by Assessments Online
Can you imagine waking up on a Monday morning and looking forward to going to work? This need not be a dream should you be fortunate to have chosen the right career.
The main reasons why people consider leaving their job are a lack of job security or a sense of limited growth potential. The real reason however may be simple – you’re in the wrong career. There is absolutely no reason why you should be miserable in a company that offers no job satisfaction however, you need to ascertain before considering a change whether or not the job or the company is the result of the job dissatisfaction.
Too often, a change of employer results in further job dissatisfaction, as the underlying reason is more often than not, not the employer, but the job itself. Should this be the case, consulting a career guidance and assessment specialist is the answer. I always ask my clients two questions before starting the assessment process – firstly, you’re be entering a new industry with little or no work experience to offer – would you be able to take a drop in salary? Secondly, would you be willing to study towards your new career? If the answer to both questions is “yes”, the process can begin.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WHEN COMPLETING A PSYCHOMETRIC ASSESSMENT
Saturday, 05 July 2014 17:50
Written by Assessments Online
I am often asked what a psychometric assessment comprises of and how one can prepare for it. Often candidates are advised that they will be assessed as part of a company’s final interviewing process, which can cause a great deal of anxiety and stress when not knowing what to expect.
My advice to anyone preparing to complete an assessment of this nature is quite simple – a psychometric assessment is not a test but an evaluation of one’s ability, personality and interest so therefore, you cannot prepare for it. The assessment is aimed to evoke a certain amount of pressure, therefore the ability sections are mostly timed. The idea is to complete as many questions as you can and not get stuck on one, wasting valuable time. Generally, the ability section will measure the speed and accuracy in your ability to work with words, numbers and shapes (spatial reasoning). Don’t get flustered if you don’t complete these sections – the assessment is not designed for you to get to the end, but rather measures the number of correct responses. Of course, the more you get right, the better your score.
As far as the personality and interest sections go, these are generally not timed and will provide you with questions relating to your overall interests and how you react to certain situations.
Psychometric assessments vary in length – the Prevue and Prevue for Careers assessments, distributed by Assessments Online are both 1 hour in length and are administered either online or using a paper and pencil method. The insight gained by being assessed will be both beneficial for the individual as well as the company as an objective recruitment decision can be made based on: can the person do the job at hand; will they fit the company culture; and will they get along with the manager but equally in importance, the assessment will provide valuable information regarding training needs analysis and succession planning for the future.
CLIMBING THE CORPORATE LADDER
Saturday, 05 July 2014 17:49
Written by Assessments Online
How secure do you feel in your job? With the looming economy and unemployment levels peaking, do you sometimes feel a little anxious about how secure you are in your current position? With this in mind, do you think that leaving your career in the hands of destiny alone, is such a good idea? You need to be vigilant and make a concerted effort to keep growing and moving up the ranks…
Several decades back, employees were rather content to stay with the same company for the span of their entire career. I for one have a relative who started out as a type-writer mechanic and by the time he left the same company 40 years later, retired as a director.
Today however, things have changed and research shows that some employees are willing to leave their job for a pay raise of 20% or less. When I started my career in the recruitment field some 20 odd years back, majority of people stayed within a company for at least 2 years, now, the norm seems to be job-hopping to chase that bigger salary cheque! Having said that though, the higher up the ranks one goes, the less important that salary cheque becomes. Other factors start taking precedent like career aspirations, promotional potential, fringe benefits, work overload and the ability to maximize your overall learning curve and ultimately growth within your field of expertise.
MAKE AN EFFORT
It’s important that you be seen as an asset within your organization, someone who provides a positive input and who would be missed if you left. Now, no-one is indispensable but, you get my point here. The job market is a competitive environment and everyone is looking out for number one, so do your very best to shine! Put in the necessary over-time to ensure that the job you have been given, is done to the very best of your ability. Offer to take on extra tasks and volunteer your time to take on a new challenge. Don’t shirk your responsibility by taking extra long lunch breaks/coffee breaks and smoke breaks – be seen to be diligent and responsible and before long, this will be noticed and you will be seen to be the most proficient person around, speeding up your chances of being promoted. One thing you need to remember – you and your employer have very different agenda’s! Yours is to ultimately GET as much as you can from your company and your employer is trying to optimize your performance to GET as much as they can from you! When the two merge, that’s where success happens!
Networking is key to get yourself known and be known. When a new position becomes available, your name needs to come to mind as the top person for the job. Develop your networking skills and hone them to a fine art. Strategically associate yourself with individuals in high positions in order to further your career. Attend those corporate functions (even if you don’t want to) in order to get yourself known in the industry.
THE NEXT STEP
The next step here is to identify where you want to be – focus on your goals and put together a proper career path as to how you plan on achieving them. I have a vision board which is placed in my office. It reflects exactly what my goals are for the coming year and I am reminded of them every time I enter my office. (it is strategically placed so it’s hard to miss!) The key here is to take authority, or rather, act as though you could be the next boss. I am a great believer in positive re-enforcement. What you believe, will manifest in your life – whether it be positive or negative. Don’t put limits on what you can achieve – you really are the master of your own destiny so, take command of your life and start moving in the right direction.
Although I’m not one to punt competition amongst colleagues, the reality is, we do live in a very competitive world where no-one will step aside to help you get that well deserved promotion, especially when they too have been planning to get that very same promotion as you! So, take advantage of opportunities and act quick! Nothing will be handed to you – you will need to put in the effort and persevere to get what you strive for.
ACT, DON’T PROCRASTINATE
Take the initiative and impress! When given a task to do, do it! Don’t waste time procrastinating. In this country, our service levels are atrocious to say the least. We have become a nation who accepts poor, incompetent service as our benchmark is set so low. Why should we accept this – take the initiative and do your job properly the first time round. Just because everyone else puts in a minimal effort, doesn’t mean you have to follow the norm. Stand out from the crowd and make a difference!
And, remember, “WE ARE A RESULT OF WHAT WE THOUGHT!” So, be sure to think big and don’t set limits on what you can achieve!