Men's Articles

Understanding Yourself


Be positive and confident. There is absolutely nothing you can do about the job market, the economy at large, the competition and so on, so, dont spend precious time and energy worrying over these. Focus on what is ahead, and move forward bravely.

Focus On The Following Main Areas

What Are My Key Areas Of Interests

General speaking, very few people start off their careers knowing exactly what they want to do? There will, predictably, be many sources of influence, your parents, friends, etc. Listen to their views, but come to a decision by yourself. It is perfectly alright to have a few interest areas, instead of just one.

Useful Skills, Knowledge And Experience

It is conceivable that you would have prior exposure to some work voluntary or paid. Find out what you have gained, in terms of skills and knowledge that could be usefully transferred to your first jobs. Use this information to market yourself better during interviews.

Values

These are of importance. Being able to be effective in ones job does not translate to being happy in a particular company. Ask yourself what is important to you e.g. if you value the use of creativity and initiative, you could end up being stifled and miserable if you work in an environment where these values are not encouraged.

Break Free Of Cliques

Office cliques can often lead to an unhealthy work atmosphere. Here is how you can help to create a clique-free culture. A cliques is defined as "a small group of people who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them". It excludes people, and there are never any benefits in excluding your fellow employees. If you are part of a clique, take a moment to consider the consequences this could have on your future career prospects.

Research by DBM, a human capital management firm, has consistently found networking to be the most effective career-transition strategy. People with good personal and professional networks in place find the, process of job hunting less daunting than those who do not have a solid contacts base. In today's workforce, where turnover is often high and people have as many as six to eight jobs in a lifetime, storming through your career creating enemies and generating hostility is not a wise thing to do.

Although you may believe you are forming strong relationships and creating future opportunities by being part of a clique, you should never confuse this with genuine networking. In a workplace with high staff turnover, a member of a clique can easily find himself in a lonely situation, once fellow clique members have moved on. Limiting your interaction in the workplace to a few select people at the expense of others can be extremely destructive to your professional image and have a career-limiting effect. Take a moment to consider the people you work with on a daily basis.

How many of them do you honestly believe would hire you if they were given the chance in the future? If your answer is only a small percentage, be honest with yourself when you look for the reasons why this is so. If it is only the people in your inner circle who would hire you, then you need to make some changes about the way you conduct yourself in the workplace. So how can you, as an employee, help to create an office culture that is free from cliques?

The Following 10 Practical Tips Can Help You Discourage Cliques In Your Office, No Matter Where You Are In The Pecking Order

  • Organise regular social events with your workmates and be sure to invite everyone in your team. Even a quick drink after work once in a while can make a difference.
  • When you go to lunch, ask the people around you if they would like to join you. Avoid the habit of taking lunch breaks with exactly the same set of people every day and leaving others behind.
  • Take the time to get to know some of your lesser-known colleagues a little better. Build respect for people as individuals and not because of the group to which they belong.
  • Be as inclusive of new employees as you can., Put yourself in their place and consider how daunting it would be to arrive in an environment that is dominated by an impenetrable clique of existing employees.
  • Avoid making private jokes in front of people who are not included in your fun and games. Showing people that they are being excluded is unfair and contributes to an unhappy office environment.
  • Avoid passing on office gossip. 'Gossip quickly spreads from speculation to misinformation and can be hurtful and destructive.
  • When seeking advice or assistance from others, do not just ask the colleagues whom you consider to be good friends. Requesting help and advice can be a great way of showing respect and appreciation towards your workmates.
  • Build your self-confidence so that you are less dependent on the opinions and validation of others. If you are friendly and positive, people will naturally gravitate towards you. Seek out mentoring or coaching services if this is an area you struggle with.
  • Do not be afraid to break away from a clique that you are part of, nor fear losing a perceived support network. Cliques can often be more about power and control than genuine friendship, and ultimately this is not the kind of support you° need in your career.
  • If you have a destructive clique in your workplace, consider approaching one of the people involved and letting them know how their behavior makes others feel.
  • Remember, what goes around comes around. So whether you are part of the "in" crowd or not, apply these tips to encourage a more cohesive team and sound working environment. When work is tough, it is often the team you work with that makes it more bearable.
 

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