Jobseeker’s Diaries - A Happy Boss * Jobseekers' Diaries

Team17-11-2017 10:19 AM

My first job as a research assistant taught me many things, including that achieving quality time with the boss requires a lot of self-discipline. Self-discipline is a key aspect of effective management. In order to achieve it, I need to be clear about my boss’s priorities, have empathy for their challenges and, above all, know how to make myself easy to manage – this is where the self-discipline comes in.

If I want a happy boss, then I need a high level of self-awareness ¬– knowing my strengths and my potential blind spots. It is also helpful to be mindful of how the human brain works. Luckily, I am a bachelor student of psychology, so I know the main principle of neuroscience – we are primarily motivated by both the desire for safety and pleasure, and the avoidance of pain and loss of security. I may be more motivated by one or the other, and as long as I am consciously aware of which it is, I can adjust accordingly if I become blindly optimistic and complacent, or pessimistically skeptical and stressed. Armed with self-awareness and robust self-discipline, it is relatively simple to make my boss happy.

Yet, there is...
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Together Abroad21-09-2017 2:42 PM

Being a mind reader would certainly come in handy during a job interview and make the whole getting-a-job process a lot easier, right? It would take away all the pressure of saying the right thing and allow you to fix any verbal blunders. One can only wish...

Since I am not a mind reader and I doubt anyone is, I had to prepare for my first job interview. The job I wanted was in a famous Dutch research-training consultancy, so I made it my goal to predict the unpredictable and to be prepared in the best way possible. I started with a small research on the company’s background. I wrote down all key words and interesting facts I found about it, and I memorized it in the next couple of days. I also read about the job scope and the responsibilities I would have. I thought it would do no harm to learn those since they would come in handy when answering questions.

Then I moved on to reading articles about possible job interview questions and tips on how to handle the situation under pressure, or if something goes wrong. I found some of the questions particularly hard to answer,...
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Together Abroad24-08-2017 1:31 PM

First impressions are really important. When I started my first job, I was nervous because I felt that the first impression people would have of me may turn into long-term perceptions and opinions. I wanted them to have the ‘right’ impression.

My first task was to help in recruiting participants for a social research project. I learned how to organize my time in a fast and efficient way, so I could talk to as many people as possible within a short period of time. The experience made me more familiar and confident with learning new skills, being punctual and dressing appropriately according to the dress code. These early and basic skills have stuck with me into other jobs.

Another valuable aspect of a job is the people you communicate with, such as colleagues, superiors, or even the cleaning staff. Despite my best efforts, I caught myself judging others in one way or another. It might be over small things, for example, a co-worker who took too long of a lunch break. Or it might be over bigger issues, such as a colleague who behaves selfishly, or is rude and hurts the feelings of others at work. I once had to...
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Together Abroad01-08-2017 12:27 PM

The workplace culture sets the tone of the environment you will be working in, and it can be either easy or difficult. Coming from the UK, it was no surprise to discover the Dutch working culture functions on egalitarianism. However, in the Dutch workplace the communication style is rather informal. Whilst the job is to be taken seriously, it is the friendly atmosphere and the usually calm environment that enable high productivity. My manager’s enthusiasm was often so high that I became eager to match it. Her natural, friendly nature combined with strong leadership made her a great manager.

We thrived because of our teamwork, meeting the sales targets day in and day out. Most, if not all, of my previous jobs also had friendly work environments, which provide employees with an open space. There was freedom to express themselves, and kindness between colleagues that made it easier to get along and complete tasks. Yet none of those environments compare to my last experience. No matter how friendly, how fun or how dynamic the workplace was, there was always the issue of dealing with the boss. Many of the manager-employee relationships were lacking. It was always a ‘them’ and ‘us’...
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Together Abroad18-06-2017 4:02 PM

Jobseeker's Diary serie: Being Brave

Applying for jobs can be tiresome at times. But generally speaking, the hardest part is getting a response. Employers are often unable to respond to each and every application, assuming they have even read your application.

I had tried my luck at applying for a job at a local bar where I usually study. The environment was always lovely, as were the staff, and I could easily see myself working there. A couple of weeks had passed and I began to give up hope. Maybe it was not the job for me. Then a few days later, much to my surprise, I received an email inviting me for an interview. As great as this was, it came at the wrong time. I had just begun my exams and had no time for an interview. What made it worse was the fact that the interview was scheduled right in the middle of my exam. Of course I was not going to miss my exam to attend a job interview for a position I may or may not get.

Instead of passing up the opportunity, I requested a different date. The email stated to let them know...
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Myrto Koulama | Together Abroad08-06-2017 3:57 PM

Nowadays, the proper construction of the online professional persona is significantly crucial for job seekers, as most companies and recruiters use professional platforms, and especially LinkedIn, to find the best candidates. Thus, people who want to find a job online join LinkedIn, try to create effective online profiles, build a circle of business contacts, and market themselves.

If you fit this category, then let us see how to best present your online profile.

1. Picture, Headline and Summary

To begin with, a LinkedIn profile has a specific structure that resembles a traditional resume, starting with a single (formal) photograph of a user as an “eye-catcher”, that aims to promote your professional persona and to create an impression of being conscientious. In fact, a LinkedIn profile with a picture is viewed 14 times more. To that extent, it is advised to put a professional image, which also reflects your personality as much as a photo can do.

Next to the photo there is space for your name and working area or job title. In that section, it is suggested to put the right information to improve your chances of being found, by thinking about what key words people will use to...
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It has been a long journey since I arrived in The Netherlands, and I want to thank you for being available to receive me, believing in my profile and thank you for all your support, and I express my wish to keep our contact. I followed all your guidelines and recommendations, and I succeeded! Thank you for your best attention, let's keep in touch

Helder Costa

I would like to thank you for your great job to make my CV presentable and truly reflecting my knowledge and experience.
With your highly professional advices and support I felt more confident and eventually I got a job.

Tanya Pelser

Thank you to both yourself and Irina for a great workshop this morning, it was refreshing to hear some really basic ideas for the Dutch employment search which I'm sure will help start everyone off on a new career path! I will definitely be using the services of Together Abroad and one of my first actions is to revise my CV and submit this for a review.

James Stopford