Today, we are not going to tell you anything about interviews, meetings, recruitment, or anything about the world of work.
Today, we are just urging you to make full use of your right and GO VOTE!
You have a pile of tasks waiting to be handled.
Your to-do list has extended to pages.
The list of things to be accomplished feels endless. And you don’t know where to begin.
Above everything, it feels daunting!
In such situations, the Pareto Principle can help one out.
First Things First, What is the Pareto Principle?
An Italian economist and philosopher named Vilfredo Federic Damaso Pareto came up with the concept back in 1895. Nature has a way of giving humans ideas.
An apple led to a major scientific breakthrough for Sir Isaac Newton. Similarly, observing growth patterns of pea-plants led to a sociological, economical breakthrough for Mr. Pareto.
He noticed that only 20% of the pea plants in his garden accounted to 80% of the healthy pea pods produced.
He undertook some research and found out that only 20% of the population of Italy owned 80% of the entire land of the country.
He looked up industrial trends back then and found out around 80% of production came from only about 20% of industries. The Pareto Principle thus was born:
80% of the results will come from only about 20% of action.
Are the Numbers confusing?
Let us take some more modern examples, without the numbers.
Most of the times (80%) we dine in at the same set of favourite restaurants (20%) from all the options available. And most of the times we order more or less the same set of delicacies from the vast menu.
Most of the times, we wear only few sets of clothes from all the outfits we own.
Most of the times, we spend time at only the same few corners of house, no matter how big the place is.
Some of us have installed a lot of apps on our phones, but we generally use only the select ones.
There are a lot of options available. But we make a choice. We prioritize.
How does this apply to time management and to-do lists and projects/assignments , you ask.
Just as there is a selection and prioritizing of the above mentioned simple day-to-day aspects of life, we can use that strategy in managing our tasks too.
And let us be honest, it is not always about favourites. We choose the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the apps we use according to the context and what the situation demands.
20% of your activities will amount to 80% of your results. 20% of your clients/customers will amount to 80% of your successes.
20% of what you do will add value to 80% of what you do.
One very important point to be noted comes up here:
You only need to devote 20% of your time and action to get done with 80% of your work. You actually don’t need to work day and night to get things done.
What can you do about your working habits while keeping the Pareto Principle in mind? How do you pinpoint that golden 20%?
The Importance Rating:
Don’t make a to-do list randomly. Prioritise the tasks in it.
The key does not lie in over-working to the point of exhaustion. It actually lies in working smart. It involves choosing what is the most important thing that should be finished first. And then the second, third, fourth and so on.
The Individual Consideration:
As you prioritize and select tasks also consider the following:
It involves making a choice about which tasks you and only you should finish, and which tasks should be delegated or which tasks should involve a team.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed by a pile of work to be done, take a pause and think about the Pareto Principle. What is that 20% of the task that needs to be done first, so that it finishes 80% of the work? It is true hard work never killed anyone but it is smart work that gave people a much needed work-life balance!
Life is unpredictable. We never know when we may have to deal with leaving our jobs. Being newly unemployed gives many people a feeling of being in a limbo.
Whether you have been laid off, let go or just quit for your own personal reason, the sudden removal of structure and routine can be tough to deal with.
We bring you some tips which can be used as starting points to deal with the situation:
Yes! This sounds counter-productive but taking a couple of days off from thinking about “what next” is a good idea. It will help you introspect, bring your emotions under control and rejuvenate to begin your search later.
Getting on with a good habit that relaxes you during the break can work wonders on your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Some examples include:
And the best thing about a good habit is that you can continue it well beyond the break without feeling guilty about it.
But make sure it is actually a good habit: watching TV for hours at end, or binge-watching some series are not part of the list. It is okay to indulge in it once in a while but don’t make it a habit. You should get a feeling of accomplishment through it, not a feeling that dips your spirits.
The purpose of the break is not only to rejuvenate you but also to make you realise your job is not the only thing that defines you.
Side note: It is also a good idea and time to contemplate (not dwell) on some decisions: do you think now is the opportunity to start that venture you had thought of? Is now the time to get back to a side activity and make it your main one? Is a change impending? Make a decision, either to stick to your current profile or taking a leap of faith, or the in-between and plan accordingly.
After taking the required days off, get back to “work”, meaning, get to finding a new job. Update and post your resumes on various portals. Update your LinkedIn and Facebook.
Get in touch with people and let them know you are looking. The people could be former colleagues, college and school mates, friends, family, friendly neighbours etc,.
It is important to not lose a sense of structure from your routine.
Make sure: Even if you are at your house, dress well, and allocate a couple of hours to working on getting on with the job search just as you would do if this were a regular job.
Allocation of time is important. Working on the job search all day, in other words, being obsessed with it all day can drive you crazy.
Speaking of obsession and allocation, it is also important to apply wisely.
Apply only to places where minimum two or three of the requirements match your profile.
While it can be tempting to apply to all places where there’s a vacancy, we don’t want to land up in a situation where we need to quit the job shortly and begin this cycle all over again!
Getting in touch with a recruiter often helps in such situations.
We live in a competitive world. Depending on your profession, you may or may not face a lot of competition. It may not always be the case that your first interview will land you a job. You have to be prepared to face rejection at any point.
Being psychologically prepared to face multiple interviews is a good idea.
In such situations, it is important to keep in mind that any hindrance, rejection, has nothing to do with who you are and your qualities.
It could be that yours is not the profile they are looking for as of now. Comparison is truly the thief of joy here. Continue to believe in yourself.
While the search is on, and you wait for the happy news, it is important to live your life in other ways.
Meeting people is a good idea. Not only is it a good opportunity to network but also to socialise and get a sense of perspective. Catch up with old friends, visit the dear family members you haven’t seen in a while, volunteer for a good cause.
You can also use this time to learn a new skill, or brush up on an old skill. Maybe join a club. This will help you to meet new people, and perhaps even help you uncover new opportunities.
Do not forget to exchange emails/visiting cards with the ones you feel will help you find what you are looking for.
But more importantly, continuing to be social whenever you can and finding a purpose outside your professional life will help you remain patient and calm, keeping the self-esteem high.
Being unemployed, answering questions from friends, family and colleagues can be tough. It can be difficult to have patience while you search for new opportunities. A strong inner-life that finds purpose in more than one aspect of living is necessary. How you respond to situation is in your hands, and how you choose to see a situation depends on your perspective.
Hiring someone is a process. One of the first things an employer does and should do is to chart out a job description. It helps the candidates know what the company is looking for. It helps the recruiters know what they are to look for.
What is a Job Description?
Briefly put, a job description lists out the main duties and responsibilities expected from a potential applicant.
Not so Simple and Static:
Writing a job description is not as simple as it sounds. And it is not to be taken for granted. Recruiters often face problems while creating a shortlist because of a lack of specificity in job descriptions. Sometimes, there is an absence of a job description altogether.
And by no means it is a fixed document which can be used again and again. It could be that the employee who previously occupied the position worked very efficiently. As a result, a new set of skills, capabilities may get added in. The job description which was there when this employee had applied will undergo a change.
On the other extreme, if the employee who previously occupied the position didn’t do the job too well, the job description to be brought out for that position may undergo a change. The employers would want to specify or perhaps reword certain competencies so that the same set of problems isn’t faced again.
Thus, a job description, even of an older position is not static.
On the other hand, there can be an instance where a new position has been created recently.
It could be due to numerous reasons: technological innovation, change in the scope of the company, moderation in the mission and culture, etc. In such a situation, a job description from the scratch has to be created.
Whatever be the context, a job description is an important document that needs to have a certain specificity.
What are some Benefits of a Job Description?
The obvious benefits:
There are a few other not so obvious benefits of a job description:
Moreover, it tells a lot about the company/firm, and how seriously are they taking the hiring process.
What to Include in a Job description?
What are the key points one should include in a job description?
The job title: It should include the name of position, the rank if any.
The purpose: In a clear language, the job description should summarise the purpose and objectives of the position.
The desired professional experience and the desired educational qualifications. It should also include, obviously, the core skills needed. The necessary certificates, licenses and registrations (if any). One might also specify the physical requirements if the job demands.
Reporting: This will include who the applicant will be reporting to, and who all are to report to them.
The location, the schedule and the work environment and condition.
So, the structure of a job description would generally include:
A job description is thus in fact a sign to the applicant that the company/firm is serious about hiring, and knows what it wants from potential employees.
You were looking for a job since some time now, and finally, you have found a position to apply for. You have perfected your resume. What you need now is a cover-letter.
Is it a task you have been dreading? Worry not, we are here with some tips on creating a good cover letter!
First things first, what is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a document that is typically sent along with your resume. To say it very basically, the cover letter gives additional information about your skills and experience.
Does it Matter These Days?
Some people might think in the tech-driven world where LinkedIn is available, there is no need for a cover letter.
It is actually pretty important.
A cover letter is probably the first written interaction you have with a potential employer. Resume gives information. A cover letter speaks. It is a document which will help you stand out: CVs can look similar since people can have similar qualifications.
So, there comes the cover letter! Employers and hiring managers may often screen cover letters to shortlist candidates out of a pool of applicants.
Some job postings will actually mention that they want a cover letter.
Even if it has not been said, sending in a cover letter anyway is still a good idea.
Cover letters, along with a resume, provide your first impression.
What to Include:
Before you begin constructing a cover letter:
Now, the structure! Dividing the following in two to three paragraphs is ideal. Keep it concise yet with a personal touch.
The cover letter should address the appropriate person, and the appropriate company. Make sure you get the names right!
It is a good idea to begin a cover letter by mentioning the specific post/job you are applying for.
Talk about your skills and experience. Here your attention to the job description and the advertisement will come to aid. You will find certain “keywords”. Include those which they have asked for, but you don’t need to stick to just those, but they have to be there.
One needs a hook now.
Since this is not a resume that we are constructing, you also have to talk about how you have applied those skills before. Talk about instances which show why your experience is relevant to the position.
Make sure to keep this personable, brief (no excessive storytelling!) and with substance. There should be no fluff or generic statements.
To sidle past fluff and generic statements, it is important to make sure the company feels like the letter has been addressed to them and isn’t a document that has been photocopied and sent in bulk.
Knowing the company’s mission and vision comes to aid here. You can talk how you can fit into the culture, and how you can contribute to the company with your skills and experience. Again, remember, substance is what we want. A well-researched cover letter will be appreciated.
The conclusion has to be you asking them to contact you for the interview. Convey them you are ready for the next step! Don’t forget to thank them too.
Word of Caution:
Remember, the structure and content differs according to the industry. Make sure you adhere to any formatting specifications in case the employers have asked for.