Choosing Carefully Between Job Offers

image 3

You were looking for a job since long now. Sometimes, you thought the interview went well but sadly, you didn’t receive any call. Other times, you gave the interview but politely turned the offer down because it didn’t match your expectations.

It was a frustrating process but finally, your hard-work paid off, and you have got a job offer!

But wait, there’s another too.

You can’t help but wonder at the irony of life when at one moment you were not sure if you would find what you are looking and now you have two offers. Both are the kind of offers you were looking for, and now you are spoilt for choice.

How to make an informed decision, now that you have multiple job offers?

 

Getting the Facts Right:                   

First things first, make sure you get all the information about the offers: factual and perceptual. The salary, benefits, the company and work culture, the values the company has, the reputation, the hours you need to devote, the number of leaves you are entitled to, who the manager will be, the kind of co-workers you will have, among other things.

Take all of this into consideration and compare. The general impression you got also counts. You might want to recall how you got along with the prospective manager/boss, co-workers, if you’ve had the chance. You could also try to recall how you felt when you walked into the office.

 

Relevance:

You made a list of the salary, perks, hours, commuting time, personal days, etc. But how much of this is going to be relevant to your life?

How much relevance an aspect has changes according to the individual.  For example, some places provide lunch. Someone who lives far away and has to spend a lot of time commuting would find this a very convenient and important arrangement. Some people pay more attention to the salary, while some want a shorter commute irrespective of how much they get paid, while some people want a place which has a crèche for children.

Think about your priorities, compare and then make the decision.

 

Long-term or Short-term?:

Which one of the offers has a scope for a long-term tenure? How would it contribute to your growth, personal satisfaction and in what ways?

What are you looking for? Do you want a job for the time-being, or do you want a job where you can possibly stay on for years with regular progress?

Think about what you exactly want, compare where the offers fit, and then make a decision. Just like the relevance of the benefits and perks differs from person to person, so does this aspect.

Here, matters concerning the family, immediate and possible life situations, etc, factor in as well.

 

Gut Feeling:

A very important thing to pay attention to.

This is something which just doesn’t work that rationally. A job may have all the perks you have dreamed about, the perfect salary, a company culture you were looking for, and still not feel right.

When you don’t feel right, perhaps it is time to dig a little deeper. Did the interviewer say something which was a red-flag to you? Did you perceive any hostility (not necessarily towards you) in the atmosphere?

When everything in an offer is perfect, and you still find yourself looking at the positives of the ‘lesser’ offer, it is time to be true to yourself, and try to get a deeper understanding of  what exactly are you looking for.

Gut feelings often work up when it’s time to make the call accepting the offer. If you feel any bit of hesitation, it is time to rethink and reconsider. Sometimes, the instinct picks up cues which you haven’t.

Moreover, the gut feeling often acts as a deciding factor when the offers themselves are great and more or less similar.

 

Paying attention to the factual, perceptual, sensory information you have gathered could help you make a truly informed decision when you have a choice to make. While you will happily accept the offer you feel and think is right for you, it is also necessary to decline the other offer politely, without burning bridges.

Lives of Happy Candidates: Mr. Gopal Singh Bisht

Success story_Gopal Bisht

The meaning of “success” is somewhat elusive. It means differently to different people.

For some, it is all about fame and fortune. For others, it includes finding enough time to follow one’s passion, and sometimes, exclusively just that. In yet another sense, success means achieving a certain peace of mind. A common perception of the term has to do with achieving a perfect work-life balance.

Generally health, wealth and an increased learning are safe indicators of “success.”

Many believe in letting success do the talking.

We believe in our successful candidates do the talking!

Settling, being comfortable in a new place is no mean feat. Mr. Gopal Singh Bisht, who works at Parco Group of Industries in Nigeria has some happy words to say.

” I am grateful to you for connecting me with Parco Group. I am well-settled here and doing well. ”

Mr. Gopal Singh Bisht
Mr. Gopal Singh Bisht

 

He continues, “So far I am enjoying my work with African Foundaries Limited. I have also gained more experience, which I am sure would help me in my career in near future.”

He also tells us how he finds time to have fun.

“Apart from working, there is time for pleasure here as well. We go to different parts of the country for refreshment: shopping, to the beach, etc.”

Times at the beach
Times at the beach

 

As one can see, Nigeria has a lot more to offer than the negative stereotypes we come across through hearsay and exaggerations.

Learning, and becoming a better professional requires adapting to the new place. We give kudos to Mr. Bisht for actively doing so. But more importantly, any new endeavor should not only be conducive to professional success but also to general well-being and health. And our happy candidate proves this with his testimonial.

“Working in this company, I have learned to accommodate according to the rules laid down by the management. I must confess this is the best company I have worked with. The environment is conducive. The offices are good. The place has affected my health in a positive manner.”

Good health, professional growth, work-life balance, hope for the future, gratitude are some great indicators of success and Mr. Bisht has articulated that.

Degrees Of Knowledge

 

That is the question.
That is the question.

 

There was a time when a degree was the most important thing in the world. The image was common: a newly graduated student, dressed up in freshly-ironed formals, sitting in a line of similar-looking youngsters outside the cabin of the boss, as the receptionist called them out, telling them it was their turn for the interview. Hundreds of Hindi movies must have these kind of scenes.

However, voices in the present environment point to something else. Increasingly, the narrative that is most widely heard is that a degree is not important anymore. Your skills matter. Your knowledge matters. Your experience matters.

One website goes on to take a look at the mindsets of people in India, and how much importance they give to a degree. Accordingly, in the 1980s, “Bachelor’s degree felt like a God-like paper.” Cue the interview scenes mentioned in the opening of this article. Then came the 90s, and apparently, “the Bachelor’s degree lost its charm and you needed a Master’s degree to be recognised.” The 2000s saw the importance of degree sharing its space with “experience and pay-scale.” 2016 onwards, in the current scenario, “college degrees are barely considered when it comes to job and career opportunities.”

This is true in a way. All of us have heard about famous people who dropped out of prestigious institutions, and went on to become extremely successful. In fact, these people and their lives are often used as testimonials to the narrative: you don’t need a degree to be successful.
Forget about these famous examples, many of us know people, within our close circles who have made their lives well, and they don’t happen to possess a degree.

There is another scenario that is getting increasingly common: people who do jobs which are completely different from the subject they hold their degrees in. Engineers becoming film-makers, businessmen and -women, writers is not a shocking story. Or perhaps not pursuing a Master’s in the subject you did your Bachelor’s in is no big deal. So many people around us have done it.

All this leads us to a question which might actually be called a FAQ- a frequently asked question- is a degree important now?
And the answer, contrary to the popular narrative is not a simple YES or NO. In fact, the dreaded two words could be considered an answer: it depends.

Let us think about it.
Why are we starting to believe there will always be a disconnection between one’s degree and one’s skills and knowledge?
Can a person who has a Commerce degree suddenly get a job as an Architect?
Even if the person has a deep interest in the subject, and has studied a lot about Architecture in his free time, would he be able to match the level of an A-grade student of Architecture who has put in time and efforts in the degree? Many colleges and universities have made internships mandatory or at least they are encouraged so that one doesn’t fall behind in the experience aspect.

A person with a BSc in Microbiology might be very well-read and interested in Theoretical Physics. But does that mean she can simply become a Professor of Theoretical Physics based just on her interest as opposed to a person who possesses multiple degrees on the subject?

A graduate in English might be able to teach basic level Computers in primary schools. Should he teach at a college level, is the question.

The debate about the importance of a degree should not be reduced to simplistic answers.

Some ‘shifts’ or choices of professions are relatively easy. This might come across as a little unfair but it is something to think about. Avenues of writing, marketing, the fine arts, entrepreneurship require innate skills, or at the very least some sort of training. But you could train for them on your own. There are online and offline courses offered, books available. And you just need a portfolio in some cases to prove that you are indeed good at it, even though you might not hold an official degree in the subject.
Sometimes, the candidates are provided training by the company they will be working at.

There are countless scenarios in accordance to the profession one decides to go for.

One thing clear from all of this is that you need skills and education. Degree or no degree is a complex issue. Famous college dropouts like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, the late Steve Jobs did have a very deep understanding of what they excelled at. They were “educated” in a way a degree could not do it. How many of us have that vision and courage? More importantly, how many of us have that drive and self-motivation or the resources to be educated, with or without the pressure of a degree?

It is important to have a plan if you do decide to not go for a degree-based education. Skills and knowledge are important. The question is in what way the degree or the absence of it would or would not contribute.

Lives Of Happy Candidates: Mr. Nagaraja K R

A good environment is a prerequisite to personal and professional growth. Be it the workplace, the city/town one lives in, or the kind of work one does, it is necessary that they all contribute to the well-being and success of the individual. We make sure that our candidates get such an experience that helps them look beyond the preconceived prejudices and biases about places and people.

 

We, at United HR Solutions make sure that our candidates get the best opportunities possible, which help them realise their potentials, and which help them strike a perfect balance of personal and professional life. Success, after all, should be wholesome.

 

Unfortunately, Africa as a continent has a very peculiar image in the minds of many. The things mentioned above like well-being, safety, growth are not the things generally associated with the place because of half-baked information one might have come across, hearsay, reliance on limited sources or simply because of an unwillingness to look beyond certain stereotypes. Success on a corporate level is an even more unthinkable possibility for many.

We have a different story to tell.

Our successful and happy candidate, Mr. Nagaraja  K R has a different story to tell (and  show).

He tells us about his experience in Tanga, a port-city in Tanzania where he works at Neelkanth Lime Ltd. :

“Under guidance of our Managing Director, All department HOD with all teams we are able to contribute for business success and bringing investor’s vision into final business results successfully. There is 100% focus on KRA, feasibility, cost benefits, optimum resource utility, converting time to money, trying to bring positive results every day, reduce wastages, converting unutilized resource to money. The management is very supportive, and their drive for result-oriented activities, culture and values  has helped in achievement of KRA/KPI/goals. Here I got more duties & responsibility, new assignments, challenging tasks, more business insights,all of which has helped me to grow from all professional angles. This working environment helps individual capability improvement & gives opportunity to bring skillset into real time practice. ”

As can be seen, the roles and responsibilities offered in Africa as a continent in general are far less rigid, and provide an opportunity for a truly professionally wholesome development. Mr. Nagaraja  started as an Executive Assistant with the company. He is now a General Manager.

 

He further tells us about the place:

“Tanga is good place to work. Small town, peaceful. People are good in general, the city is clean. Security is good. Irrespective of time you can go outside. There is a good theatre here and all new Hindi films release along with their Indian releases. Some good hotels are available here. Indian food is also available here,be it North Indian or South Indian.

“Fruits like Cassava, Mangoes, Pineapple, Ramphal and are very cheap. Cost of living is less compared to other towns in Africa / Tanzanian city. Weather is good most of the year, and pollution is very less. The vegetation is good. There is connectivity to Dar es Salam via roadway, airway and seaway. The traffic is minimal and it takes maximum 30 minutes to commute anywhere in Tanga. ”

 

He shared these wonderful photographs of the place.

 

800px-Tanga_Airport

The  quaint  Tanga  airport. Look  at  the  clear  blue  sky!

 

800px-Tanga,_Tanzania,_town_centre

Tanga  roundabout.

 

 

Ship_in_the_Tanga_Bay

The  picturesque  Tanga Bay [Bandari Port]

 

P.S : We thank Mr. Nagaraja K R for sharing his experiences with us. We also thank the city of Tanga for welcoming him with open arms.

 

 

 

 

Do You Need A Resume Or A CV?

pexels-photo-938965

 

You are done with your education, and you now feel ready to take on the  world of work.

Or you are just planning to get back to working after that much needed  sabbatical.

Your little one now goes to school and you finally feel you have enough time to rejoin the office after years.

BUT… there’s always a BUT, isn’t it?

The companies ask for a CV. You see the menacingly familiar word ‘resume’ all over the place. You have no idea how to go about creating it. You vaguely remember learning to create something like that in school, but that was years ago! Feeling overwhelmed to some extent is natural but that  shouldn’t drag you down, right? Especially right at the supposedly first step.

 

Preparing a resume and/or a CV (yes, the two are a bit different: we will get  to it soon) could be a daunting task for many. After all, to a great extent  “it  gives you away.”

So, here is a little guide as to what all you should look out for and what all you could include while making a CV.

 

First things first, let us get our concepts clear! Earlier there used to be a huge difference between a CV and a resume. But now the only difference is essentially of the length. Both include a summary of your work experience and education; only, the resume is ideally supposed to be just a page long. A  CV, short for  ‘curriculum vitae’  could be a little more detailed, with two or  three pages.

 

‘Resumes’ are used in the United States, Canada and Australia. CVs are  used everywhere in the world including the UK, New Zealand, Asia and the  European Union.

If this is a bit too complicated to understand, the good news is that the two terms are used in an interchangeable manner in India, New Zealand and South Africa.  You could now just focus on creating a CV and tweak it according to the country where you have applied.  (Source)

Now, let us get to creating one!

You need to list down your skills, that is, your key expertise. These are what the recruiters would screen through.

Your work experience needs to be added. You begin with the latest, then the one before, then the one before (you get the drill, right?) and right up  to your first job.

 

You also include your work tenure. You have to be particular here:include not just the duration but the years of joining and quitting. Make sure to include the location. Basically, where on Earth have you been when you were at this job?

Also, if you have had a particularly short stint at a role or you have had to change jobs too frequently, include your reasons. You don’t want to come  off as a job hopper to the recruiters! Make sure to convey your reliability  this way so that there is no fear that you would suddenly quit or stop  showing up at work.

 

You have to include your job responsibility. What all you handle at your  current job/ what did you handle at your previous job. Make sure to write  only your responsibilities and not blindly copy-paste the ones you might  come across from sampled CVs.

Essentially, you subtly sell and market yourself. It is a job “market” after  all.

 

You continue the self selling and the marketing and list down your educational qualifications. You write down your degree, the institution where you did  your degree from, the year you finished your degree.

 

You include your contact details: your name, very very obviously, but it’s always a good idea to check such a seemingly basic thing. Your E-Mail I.D, contact number, address, Skype I.D  have to be there.

Your age, and date of birth are important because certain jobs do have age limits.

 

The subtle self-marketing continues as you list down the languages you know.

 

You tell your prospective employers what a well-rounded personality you have as you list down your other skills, and your interest areas.

It is important that you are honest. Do not copy and paste. Imagine if everyone copied and pasted a few samples. Every other CV would end up looking the same. We certainly don’t want that, do we? A personalised CV is a lot more attractive.

 

Check, double check, triple check your spellings, punctuation and grammar. You may or may not be applying for the job of a proof-reader but you must use that skill for scanning though your own CV. Ask your trusted friends and family to go over the document. An external observer could spot mistakes you might have overlooked.

Check the layout. Make sure it looks professional and tidy. Imagine your reaction if you were the employer and a CV such as yours came to you.

The format should be that of Word and PDF. Provide the necessary links and URLs.

 

Draft and re-draft your CV if needed.

 

Once you have got a hang of it, and if you want to notch it up a bit, you could check out the concept of video-resumes. They directly showcase your communication skills, personality and your overall presentation. Although you must make sure that they are accepted where you are planning to apply.

Video or no video, using a neat photograph of yours accompanying your CV  is a good idea.

 

Lastly, what not to do: if you don’t have some essential job requirements, you shouldn’t apply. You could be under-qualified or over-qualified for the role. Besides this fact, in case some of your experience matched very well to the job role, then you may apply stating this fact , and highlighting it. Here, you do the self marketing and selling a little loudly and clearly.

Do not list completely unrelated skills. The skills you talk about on your CV should always be relevant to the role you are applying for. This is where tailoring comes in. For every role you should ensure you are highlighting the skills it requires and remove any completely irrelevant skills or experience.

 

It is always a good idea to research online as you go on creating your CV. Make sure you create something original. Use the samples just as samples.

Again, try to use your imagination and see if you would be pleased as an employer/recruiter if you received a CV such as yours.

 

Good luck!