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Goals first: foresight planning for your career development

Goals first: foresight planning for your career development

Goals first: foresight planning for your career development 

Let’s agree to disagree: Learn how to properly complain to your boss

by Talentese Team 24/04/2018

Career development requires short and long-term goals planning. After the preparation, you must be able to chart an actionable plan to achieve these goals or milestones. These methods can help you in multiple ways. Career plans and paths can help you decide which field you should work in, what classes you can opt for, which extracurricular activities and hobbies you should invest time and attention to, and how you should conduct your research. For fresh graduates, having career strategies defined early in life will also help in increasing focus towards set internships, externships, and jobs.

Foresight planning towards a career path also helps in building employee branding and sets you on the right track of the most promising careers for the future. Many people, fresh graduates and experienced, take active participation in career quizzes to keep themselves abreast of the changes in the economy and job market.

Planning involves clear outlines or milestones that are identifiable, quantifiable, and achievable in the short and long term career development. Let us look at some way in which you can define your career path through adequate foresight planning.

Annually revise your plans:

Almost all of us have thought about where we want to reach within a set number of years. This is usually part of the goal-setting process that each person does at the start or end of the year. We all want to be seen working for the most awarded organizations and have the most promising careers for the future. Since you probably schedule annual visits to the doctor, get a dental checkup, and make New Year resolutions, you should also revise your career goals and plans annually as well. Schedule some time for yourself and focus on your career path. Reviewing the career path every year helps keep constant touch with your milestones and can also help you stay motivated throughout the year.

Scheduling an annual revision of your career plan will also ensure that you can plan for any uncertainties, distractions, pitfalls, and difficulties that you might face in the coming year. Knowing these issues will help in preparing for them in advance and enable you to take appropriate steps. You will also be able to steer your career towards the way you envision it and also work on your employee branding.

Be aware of your needs and wants:

Change is the only constant in life. Just like people and circumstances, our needs and wants are also subject to change. The same is the case with our individual and family likes and dislikes. This could also pertain to your job. After being in the same position for a few years, there is a chance that you might start feeling inadequate or bored. This is a signal for change. You might not have calculated this move early on, but would have to now. Attend a career quiz and speak with a guidance counselor if you require assistance.

The best way to tackle this is to make columns of your wants and needs and your likes and dislikes. Once you are ready with the figures, statistics, and changes you might want to see, you should compare your columns with your current career. If your job and your career path still compare favourably with the likes and wants columns, then you should stay on your current track. However, is this is not the case, and you find similarities with the dislikes column, you should start searching for newer opportunities and jobs.

Put your career path on paper:

Most people only think of their career path and presume they will be able to recall it at a later date. With so much stress, so many distractions, and constant inflow of information, remembering every small detail of the career path can be next to impossible. Chart your career development and career strategies on paper and store this information for later use. You can also make spreadsheets on your computer for easier access to your career path and plan.

Making milestone markers that are viewable will help you achieve them faster. You could also set quarterly reminders for the same. If you would like to share your career plan, you could set an appointment with a career guidance counselor or the Human Resources Manager of your company. They would be able to help and guide you through any changes that you might need to achieve your personal career goals.

Decide the final goal in your career development:

Usually, this decision is a long-term goal that requires almost 20 to 30 years of hard work and perseverance. While counselors and mentors might help you with multiple options to your goals, you must be firm about where you would like to reach. Speak to friends, family, spouses, partners, and take their insight on your skills sets, strengths and weaknesses, and make a career plan for improvements you need to make. Start adding information and knowledge to your current learning so that you can achieve your end goal. Milestone career markers should help you focus and concentrate on your goals. Always have quantifiable purposes so that it becomes easier to identify and determine which way you would like your career path to go. Invest in additional educational courses and certificates to increase your knowledge base. Always be on the lookout for avenues that can improve your career development opportunities. Staying satisfied and motivated at work will help you achieve your career goals in lesser time with foresight planning.


by Talentese Team 24/04/2018

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Let’s agree to disagree: Learn how to properly complain to your boss

Let’s agree to disagree: Learn how to properly complain to your boss

Let’s agree to disagree: Learn how to properly complain to your boss

Let’s agree to disagree: Learn how to properly complain to your boss

by Talentese Team 16/04/2018

Being heard in office is a very important thing. Being heard when you’re complaining about something is even more important. There is a thin line between complaining properly and not. Sometimes it might come across as extremely negative or be whining. Whenever you are tempted to complain about something to your boss always keep in mind that it should be fruitful to the company you work in. complaining without that goal or aim is just whining about personal conditions that do not affect the company in the long term. Many times services of a career consulting company may help in structuring your concerns and making them sound more company-friendly. Having said this, it is desirable at times to complain or provide feedback about professional concerns with your boss in order to improve your productivity and efficiency at work. If you do it properly while using the correct words, your complaint might not have a negative impact and might actually be a positive one. This will also help with your personal employee branding in the long term. If you approach your boss or manager in the correct manner with a professional reason, he or she will listen to your concerns carefully and assist or help you in dealing with them in the right manner. If you require other resources, that do not involve your immediate boss, you should let him or her know, and approach the right department or persons. Let us look at how to complain properly to your boss about something. Determine your issue: Start with identifying the problem or issue that you wish to complain about. Ensure that your issue is not a minor one that you can resolve or work around without any interference from your boss. If this is unavoidable, only then will the issue be deemed as really important. Once you determine the issue and the degree to which you are inconvenienced, speak to a few trusted colleagues. If they are able to resolve it amicably and to your satisfaction, then you do not need to approach your boss about it. If you are unsure of how to approach the issue or problem you are facing you should set an appointment with a career guidance counselor from a career consulting company. This will ensure that you are well prepared for your issue and have determined the gravity of the concern before you approach your immediate supervisor or boss about it. Keep a few solutions ready: Many times, your immediate boss will ask you for the solution to the issue or problem you bring up. If it is a system, process, or protocol related issue, you could try to come up with a few solutions that you think might be helpful. If you are unsure and there is only one solution to the issue, then voice that out with minimal emption entering your expressions or your voice. You need to be able to ask for what you would like without undermining the earlier process or person you are complaining about. Explain in brief about what the concern is, why it has arisen, and how you wish to change it. If you are unsure about how to do this, you should speak to a career guidance counselor to assist you. Approaching your boss without a few solutions is like asking for a solution that will be dissatisfactory to you. If you just ask for it, you might be able to get it without having to approach your boss about it again. This will not only improve your communication skills but will also reflect positively on your personal employee branding. Focus on facts: Many people lose focus on the facts and get highly emotional while speaking to their boss about a problem or an issue that is disturbing them. unless it is not a personal issue that is affecting your professional life, keep your emotions aside and only focus on the bare facts in front of you. If you need to find additional ways to get information, you can seek career counseling for experienced professionals and get a cost versus benefits assessment done in order to get your facts right. Ensure that you do not complain about personality traits of your colleagues, their mannerisms, how they dress, eat, and speak. This will reflect poorly on your strength of character and end up harming your employee branding instead of enhancing it. Do not make any assumptions without backing it up with facts or blame your colleagues for work poorly done if it does not affect your work as well. Ensure that you keep the entire issue very professional and ethical at all times. Keep it management-friendly: Before you take any complaint or issue to your manager, you must consider how it will affect the company. Keep your complaint in the form of a feedback and portray it in a positive manner. Do not expect miracles from your boss immediately. Do not also expect that they will take your side. Most managers will look at it from a managerial point of view and then take a decision looking at company culture, policy, and bottom lines. Always ensure that your complaint will assist the management and then frame it to your advantage.  

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11 things that will make recruiters reject your application immediately

11 things that will make recruiters reject your application immediately

11 things that will make recruiters reject your application immediately

11 things that will make recruiters reject your application immediately

by Karin Singh 09/04/2018

I have seen lots of CVs in the past: CV templates on the internet, CV samples in career books and real CVs from international jobseekers who approached me for getting a makeover. The most recent CV which I got my hands on had a length of 5 pages(!). The surprising thing about that CV was the fact that it came from a student!

Yes, a Vietnamese medical student who was applying for a summer internship position at a forward-thinking medical institution in the USA. I must say, I was impressed of what this candidate had to offer. It was clear – right from the beginning – that he was fully aware of the importance of employee branding.

Every career guidance counselor would tell you to limit your CV to 2 pages, right? Well, in his case (by the way, his name was Minh) I told him that his five pages would be fine since his CV included a list of research papers that got published in well-known magazines, and lots of volunteering and internship jobs which were important to back up his skills. After all, all his documentation was crucial to stand out and to land that highly sought-after internship job, which was offered to him shortly afterwards!

But let’s look at those factors that would usually tempt a recruiter to put your CV on the pile of non-selected candidates. What are really the big No-No’s?

· Submitting a handwritten CV (don’t laugh, I’ve seen also those!)

· Not presenting your CV with a clear structure and chronology (missing headlines, subheadings, relevant details, presenting different ways of employment dates, etc.)

· Missing relevant contact details (if you don’t mention your phone number or email address how is a recruiter supposed to get in touch with you?)

· Coffee stains on your sheets of paper (if you submit it online you don’t have to worry about that at least!)

· Irrelevant details throughout your CV

· Not having customized your CV to the company and the specific job position. Believe me, a recruiter or career guidance counsellor can tell the difference and that’s one of the biggest mistakes that jobseekers make!

· A too general profile description/career summary at the beginning. This part is crucial because if the recruiter loses already his interest at the beginning, it is unlikely that he will reach the end of the second page of your CV. Be articulate and focus on the relevant things that promote you as a suitable candidate.

· Having listed all your job duties, but no mention about your career achievements so far. What do you think sounds better on your CV and would really catch a recruiter’s eye?

Option 1:
“I planned events”
Option 2:
“I raised € 60,000 by selling out concert tickets to a 260-people charity event”


If you believe in the power of employee branding, then there is no doubt that option 2 would be the more impressive and more memorable way to highlight your job responsibilities. Why? Because it doesn’t just describe what you did in the past, but also what you achieved in all your jobs by mentioning quantifiable results.

Always remember a job duty just tells a recruiter what you did, but it’s the achievement that tells a Hiring Manager how WELL you carried out your job duties. Learn the difference! It might not always be easy to turn your job duties into achievements, but try to make an effort to express in more detail the contribution you made to a company. That’s what will catch the reader’s attention. Believe me, it’s worthwhile and can make all the difference. Need any help? If you go for some career counselling for experienced professionals, you will get some useful advice on how you can revamp your CV to increase your chances to land the job.

· Listing personal interests that are not related to the job at all (some candidates try to use their hobbies to fill the two pages on their CV, don’t make the same mistake!).

· Grammar or spelling mistakes (always important, but particularly for those jobs where immaculate writing is expected!). It sounds obvious, but approaching someone else to have an additional look at your CV, might help you to spot mistakes that you might have overlooked.

· Poorly worded content. Another CV that I came across some time ago was written in poor English and made my job even more difficult because there where parts which made very little sense. Remember, if the language you are applying in, is not your native language, it’s even more important to go for some career counselling for experienced professionals to make sure your CV doesn’t land in the pile of rejected applicants.

If you want to take your employee branding serious, make sure your CV offers the following:
no mistakes, a clear structure, is customised to company and job position, includes past career achievements, offers relevant information, is neatly presented and ideally doesn’t exceed the 2 pages (but it depends on the job position).

If you need any help in writing your CV from scratch, or if you need to re-write it or give it a total makeover, get in touch with one of Talentese’s career guidance counselors. Take advantage of their expertise and let them help you to impress your next employer. Always bear in mind, the more information you provide, the better outcome you can expect. Good luck!

Karin Schroeck-Singh’s passion lies in creating, translating and promoting content of high-quality in multiple languages (English, German, Italian). She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and is the author of several ebooks. She gained more that 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Helping businesses to optimise their online presence is her priority, no client or project is too big or too small for her.

Stop worrying. Start outsourcing!

Karin Schroeck-Singh

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How to find a job in Germany: 20 tips for a successful video interview

How to find a job in Germany: 20 tips for a successful video interview

How to find a job in Germany: 20 tips for a successful video interview 

How to find a job in Germany: 20 tips for a successful video interview 

by Karin Singh 02/04/2018

Imagine … a Hiring Manager from a well-known company has invited you to a Skype interview for next week. How to find a job in Germany as a foreigner was always a struggle for you. But now you have this feeling, that landing an English speaking job in that country is possible.

How would you feel: confident or poorly prepared? You might have already experienced once – or even multiple times – how it is to answer typical interview questions and answers in a face- to-face job interview. But what about attending a virtual job interview via Skype?

If you are wondering why companies are choosing this type of interview, it’s simple: it saves them time and money, involves less admin work, gives them also an idea on how you cope with IT tools and allows them to interview (and visually see) people from across the world no matter where they reside.


The question now is: How can YOU get prepared for the Skype interview in an effective way? Here my tips (some of them can also be found in my eBook “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview).


# 1 – Don’t think that an interview via Skype is the same as going for a face-to-face interview. You still need to act in a professional way – at all times – and need to make some additional technical adjustments.

# 2 – Do your research and try to find out as much as possible about the interview procedure (how long it will last, who is going to be involved, etc.) But not just that. Do your research also on the following: the company, the interview partner(s), the job position and the company’s competitors. The more knowledgeable you are, the more confident you will feel and act.

# 3 – Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right location. If the interview is held from your home, choose a quiet room, that is safe, well-lit and has a good reception. Avoid cafés since they can be very noisy and distracting. Your car might also not be the best place to consider for this situation. Show that you take this job seriously, and leave a positive, professional impression by choosing the right location!

# 4 – Make sure your technical equipment is working and test it before using it (your computer/mobile phone/tablet, your webcam and microphone). Since Skype is working with all major operating systems, and also has a webcam test feature, it will enable you to be seen and heard. Please note: Should the Hiring Manager choose another platform (instead of Skype) make sure you have downloaded and tested the respective software.

# 5 – Unsure about what background would be best? I would suggest you keep it blank. Seeing a mess, does not leave a great impression and showing your library, your trophies, your TV, your wardrobe, paintings etc. might look nice, but can also be distracting. So, make sure that the interviewer is fully focused on YOU and nothing else.

# 6 – Lighting makes a difference. Depending on the time of the interview, ensure that you have sufficient light. Indirect light in front of your face (which does not come from behind you) would be best. Choosing the wrong light might make you look older or might not show your face properly due to the shadow on your face.

# 7 – Frame yourself properly so that your entire head and shoulders are visible. Check the angle in advance so that later you don’t have to think about it. Your camera lens should be clean and free of any smudges. It can be very distractive to the other person.

# 8 – Invest in an external camera and microphone, if you really want to leave a highly professional impression and take your job search to the next level. Unfortunately, built-in microphones and cameras are not always of high quality on several devices. (Should you consider creating videos or podcasts at a later stage, these additional tools can surely be beneficial).

# 9 – Check your internet connection’s speed and during the interview remember to close all applications which might consume unnecessary bandwidth. By the way, how would you feel if suddenly the connection is lost, because the battery has not been sufficiently charged? Take care of that too!

# 10 – Prepare some smart questions, because that shows your motivation, commitment and genuine interest in the job and company. Write them down so that you have them easily at hand. Still wondering how to find a job in Germany as a foreigner and successfully conducting a Skype interview? Keep reading.

# 11 – Rehearse your interview with a friend via screen. That will make you feel more at ease and generally more confident throughout the process.

# 12 – Wear professional business attire and be groomed as you would be in a face-to-face interview. (For ladies only: don’t overdo it with your make-up). You might want to avoid the colour white. For two reasons: If you are Caucasian you might look pale, and it would conflict with your background too, if that is also white.

# 13 – Keep all your career-related documents and your calendar handy. If you need some information or need to schedule a follow-up interview, you can easily do it.

# 14 – Keep a glass of water (no alcohol!) nearby so that your mouth is not getting too dry in case the interview turns out to be lengthy.

# 15 – This is very important! You should keep eye contact by looking straight into the camera (it’s like looking in the recruiter’s eyes!) and NOT watching yourself on the monitor (which will look as if you want to avoid eye-contact!). By the way, you can stick some key points on the wall behind your camera (like a little cheat sheet), that might help you to answer questions that you might find tricky. If you do it smartly, nobody will notice.

# 16 – Pay attention to your body language and your smiles (don’t be too serious, but also not smile or laugh too much).

# 17 – Keep your mobile phone switched off.

# 18 – Be punctual and start the interview on time.

# 19 – Let everyone around you know, that you do NOT want to be disturbed during your interview.

# 20 – Be fully focused on the interview, don’t google typical interview questions and answers during the conversation and disregard incoming live notifications from your friends. Show that when it comes to getting an English speaking job, you are a candidate who is professional and takes their career seriously. 


If you want to find out more tips on how to conduct a successful video interview, you can check out my eBook here.


Karin Schroeck-Singh’s passion lies in creating, translating and promoting content of high-quality in multiple languages (English, German, Italian). She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and is the author of several ebooks. She gained more that 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Helping businesses to optimise their online presence is her priority, no client or project is too big or too small for her.

Stop worrying. Start outsourcing!

Karin Schroeck-Singh

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