Breaking The Myth….How Long Do You Need to Stay in a Job

After almost 13 years with Oracle, this was my last week with the company. I gave notice to my boss just before Christmas and I have been helping hand things over as best I could over the past few weeks. I posted a thank you to everyone I have had the pleasure of working with over the years here: LinkedIn Goodbye Message the other day.

 

The thought in my head this morning was how my own actions have made me think about ’the experts’ who claim how long you should stay in a job for or are quick to tell everyone how companies view your tenure (whether it is too long or too short or something else) when you are looking for a job. You will see some articles saying you must stay in a job 2 years, or don’t stay longer than 7 years in a role, etc…..

 

Image result for how long to stay in a jobThe working world is a much different place to what it was 10, 20 or 50 years ago. My dad worked for one company and retired with that same company. Me, I am still in single digits in terms of the number of companies I have worked for but I may well end up in double digits before my working career wraps up and my kids – I am not even sure what the world will look like for them, they may not even have or want to have full time roles.

There are so many articles out there with these self perceived corporate guidelines of how long to stay in a job so you are not viewed as a ‘job hopper’ or as ‘part of the furniture’. I understand the thinking of these articles but I also feel that you do not need to apply some unwritten corporate guideline to your life. The best answer I would put out there on how long to stay in a job is to follow your gut feeling. You as an individual tend to know when it is time to leave a company/role and your gut instinct is more often than not correct.

 

If you end up in 5 roles in 5 years that is ok, if you are with one company for 10 or 20 years that’s ok as well. Different jobs/companies serve us differently at different times in our lives. The old school mentality of job tenure is shifting rapidly in today’s workforce.

 

This post below from Inpower Coaching and subsequent photo I think is really well written and is a very level headed approach to the question, how long to stay in a job.
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The point that I would note is to not make rushed, emotional decisions about your role/job/company. In my experience I have seen people (from graduates to executive level) change jobs based on rushed, emotional decisions rather than working out what it is they want to do, taking the time to evaluate their current situation and then making a level headed decision on their career weighing up all the information they have.

 

This is where if you change companies 5 times in 5 years and you are doing the same role each time – maybe it is not the companies that you have worked for that is a problem, but maybe in this example you have not sat down and worked out what it is you are looking for and then searched for that type of role. You may be taking on roles that you may know deep down you may not want to do (I hope that makes sense).

 

I am not the only person finishing work with their company this week, I am fortunate as I could not have finished on better terms with my boss. I have seen a number of similar posts as mine from people finishing up from all kinds of companies giving thanks to everyone.

 

People resign from companies every day and the world keeps on turning, if you find you are asking yourself how long should I stay in this job, make sure to take a level headed and logical approach to the question. A calm and measured approach will keep you from making any rash decisions. The answer is individual to you, it should be as long the role you are in works for you, not because of what others may or may not think of how that looks on your resume.

Good Writing is Not About Hits or Clicks it is Sincere and Meaningful

Last night I read the following Blog Post from Dan Nuroo. Dan has always written interesting posts. Most of his writing has been in and around the Recruitment Industry and it was really good to see him writing online again.

As I was out for my morning run my mind started to wander and I got to thinking how much I enjoy reading sincere and meaningful posts such as the one I read last night. I also ended up thinking about how long it has been since I have written. At one stage I was writing about topics in the recruitment space on a regular basis. There have been a few posts over the past couple of years here and there but not with the same level of activity that I had previously written and I started to think why.

One of the things I love about Social Media is that you get to share your thoughts and views with readers around the world. The more we share the more we all learn and grow and all the positive effects that go with it. There are some people who advise that if you are going to blog or share content that you must post every day or every second day to keep your visibility up and your ranking high on various sites. I struggle with this thought of having to post every day or every second day. The reason I write and post online is two fold, on one hand it probably is therapeutic for me to get this information down on paper but I also like to think I am providing something that may help a company or person in their recruiting or job search efforts.

With regards to how often you should post, I don’t think there needs to a rule of thumb. If you are writing with good intentions and trying to make a positive experience for whoever reads your post then do it when it works for you. For me, I think don’t post something just to post something, post content when your writing is honest and sincere and not just about hits, clicks or views. Ok, I feel that this post is now starting to tread into rambling territory now.

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Will I write more in the new year, I hope so, I think I will as even putting this together feels good for me. So why have I stopped writing for the past number of years, here are few thoughts that bounced around my head this morning.

  1. In years prior I had written a lot of content on Recruitment and Candidate interviewing, I think I felt I had exhausted many of the topics I wanted to talk about and didn’t want to just add content online for the sake of it.
  2. My role has changed a lot over the past 3 or so years. I have been focussed on internal systems/processes and growing and developing our internal teams. My mindset has been on helping our teams and people internally succeed. While this has been very satisfying it has likely refocussed some of my creative outlets to those folks rather than this site.
  3. Life – I know we prioritise the things that are important to us, but juggling work, family and everything in between kept me busy. Over the past 3 years there have been births, deaths and everything in between that has taken my focus and attention.
  4. Work – the past number of years have been busy, I have viewed spreadsheet after spreadsheet and report after report. I have had to focus my attention and energy on corporate stuff and my writing has been impacted as a result of this.

It can be easy to fall into a level of complacency when it comes to writing. If like me you have written in the past but maybe not so much lately that is ok just remember the things that brought you to writing (and Dan if you are reading this hopefully you will have more content in the new year as well 🙂 )

 

 

In Recruitment It Is More Often Than Not Mind Over Matter

I used to run and I used to run often. Back about 5,6,7 yrs ago I was running three to four times a week and really enjoyed my running. Sometime between that period of time and today in 2018 I crossed over into the 40+ age bracket and as my running distances and time increased I also injured myself (repeatedly).

Looking back I now know that the reason I was injuring myself was because I was overtraining, running too far and too fast for what my body could handle and I was not doing enough stretches or exercises to support longer distances.

At the time though, in my head I did not see these logical reasons for why I was getting running injuries. In my head the narrative was much different – the conclusion that was coming up in my head was that these injuries must be age based as running can put a lot of wear and tear on knees and legs. I came to the conclusion that as I continued to age there would be no way I can continue running without causing further injuries which led me to the conclusion that I should start bike riding instead as that has less impact even though I prefer running to biking.pexels-photo-421160.jpeg

The good news is that I have started running again this year and I am enjoying it as well. It took me a little while but I was thinking wait a second, you see 80 yr old people running all the time, with all the injuries and ailments and other reasons that make running hard they still do it. So if that is case, what’s my excuse!

How does this all relate to Recruitment? I have worked with a lot of Recruiters around the world over the past 18 or so years and I really believe the narrative in your head is the reality you produce. As a Recruiter if you tell yourself that there are no ‘good candidates’, or the market is tough or that nobody will be interested in the role you have to fill….if you tell yourself these things this is likely the outcome you will produce.

On the other side of that coin – if you tell yourself the next call you make will be the perfect candidate, or the next search will produce the person you are looking for – that drive and focus will help push you to the outcome you are looking for.

Recruitment is hard, I am not saying that just by thinking good thoughts you will make easy placements but negative thoughts will certainly not help you. Every problem has a solution, sometimes as Recruiters you just need to dig deep to find that candidate, make that placement or solve a problem. It is kind of cliche but it is true hard work pays off, the more calls you make the more interviews you have, the more interviews means the more placements.

I am sure in your industry that the equivalent of that 80 yr old runner with a hip replacement is out there making cold calls to candidates and making placements. Sometimes half the battle is having the right mind set. Once you have that locked in there really is no difficulty you can’t face.

 

 

Interviewing: Motivation and Reason are Key Elements to Success

A colleague of mine recently asked me a few questions about my thoughts on interviewing and some ‘tips’ that may help candidates in their job search. There were four questions that were asked of me and I thought I would share the four statements I had about interviewing in today’s world. The information below I think really is just scratching the surface on interviewing and job searching but here is what I said back to my colleague.

I think before any candidate gets excited about an interview they really should work out what it is they are looking for in their next role. If you don’t have an end goal in mind and go where the wind takes you how will you know when you have found the right role/company for you?

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Every candidate is unique. Candidates may share similar experiences or work histories but often having the right work ethic and motivation is one of the common traits that I tend to look for in every candidate. A candidate who is not afraid to work hard and wants to do the work will often be more successful than a person who has all the required skills but has a sense of entitlement or does not have the motivation to embrace the role. I would look for someone who is energized and excited about an opportunity as I think that enthusiasm will help drive someone to succeed in their role.

Information is available with a bit of research: There are numerous companies in the world of all shapes, sizes and forms. As a Recruiter I am more interested in what research a person does about the role they are being considered for more so than their knowledge of a certain company that anyone can get in the news. In today’s day and age I would expect that the person would have at least researched the Recruiter they are talking to and also should have researched the Interviewer they are going to meet. Candidates really should look at sites like Glassdoor to get employee reviews and information on what the work culture at an organization may be like. This opens up the opportunity to ask some great questions during the interview to validate what you independently researched about the company and individual you are interviewing with.

Perception and expectations can be different: I think candidates and Recruiters can sometimes go into an interview with different perceptions of what the other person is looking for more so as opposed to what they think is or is not important. Recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking for people to join their company that can add value to a role and help them achieve great results. There are still a lot of stereotypes about interviewing that exist that are being broken down. The best interviews tend to be the ones where the interview is more of a discussion than a question/answer type of situation. Candidates may over emphasize developing a good rapport with their interviewer. While this is important a candidate cannot sacrifice other important elements of an interview such as being professional or being able to clearly communicate your successes and results in a clear, crisp manner. There is a balance between developing a good relationship with the interviewer and showing your A game when it comes to business capability.

Two candidates but only one job, who gets the role: Two candidates can have similar work experience but have very different motivations for considering a new opportunity. A person who has the right work ethic and motivation to do a role I think really sets them up to succeed. Candidates look for new opportunities for a variety of reasons. Some people want more money, want to climb the corporate ladder, want to relocate, want more responsibility, etc…. the list is long. A good Recruiter knows how to qualify what it is a candidate is looking for in their next opportunity and see how that fits into the role they are being hired for. We can always teach people about technical or business skills, the candidates that embrace the opportunity are the ones who I think will grab the role and run with it.

The Changing Workforce: A Bright Light For Future Generations?

One of the things that really intrigues me and I love to hear other people’s thoughts and opinion about is ‘The Changing Workforce’. We all know that the demographics of the workforce are changing. A large number of Baby Boomers are retiring in the next few years and there is just not as many of us Gen X’ers around to take on those roles left open. The size of the Gen Y and Millenials population will soon see them being the largest percentage of the workforce in x number of years.

Besides the changing demographics of the workforce, there are also a number of other factors at play. The shift to a services economy combined with technological advancements is seeing traditional work barriers such as location and hours of operation crumble. Now it is possible to perform your role in any location where you have a strong enough wifi signal. The days of having to commute into the city to be in the office at 9 and leave at 5 are remnants of a different view of the of employer/employee relationship.

Another change which I see happening on both the employer and employee side is the change in the views of work. We have seen union membership consistently decline as the work changes, but on a broader scale both companies and employees no longer want to be held to the constraints of an outdated workforce. It used to be that a person would work 20 years with one company or even spend their career with one company, this was common place and the goal of many people 1-2 generations ago – Find a company to work at, get a steady pay check and rinse and repeat. In today’s workforce, skilled employees are looking to associate themselves with roles and companies that help them achieve their own goals that are often not just monetary. For example some people want to continue to develop their skills and capabilities and may last 2-3 years at a company before moving on. Some people may be drawn to others who share the same workplace values as them. There no longer is one clear cut way to develop your career and this is accepted now, it is no longer seen as detrimental to move every 3 years as it once was as long as you make an impact in your role. Now more than ever employees are taking the opportunity to move their careers in a variety of directions. Employees will stay at a company when it aligns with their goals and needs, when that alignment disappears we see movement in the workforce.

The casualisation of the workforce creates more opportunities for those who seek those opportunities. The false sense of security that a ‘job for life’ once gave no longer prevails. I think this is a good thing. Staying fresh, staying challenged and continuing to grow (either skill based growth or your own personal growth) is a good thing. I think we will see many more people working for themselves in the future and see far more work assignments being project based assignments as opposed to on-going roles.

I look at my kids and wonder what their work world will look like in 10-20 years. I am actually quite excited at the prospects and opportunities I think they will have. The workforce will continue to change at a fast pace and I think that those who embrace change will be able to adapt and grow while those who try to deny any change is happening or do not accept change will struggle in the new work economy.

Managing My Work Life Balance And Being In a Very Cool Team

 

I have been with my current company (Oracle) for almost 10 years. In the Recruitment World this is an eternity – How many Recruiter Profiles do you see on LinkedIn where someone moves every 12-18 months, it is too common. Recruitment is an industry known for high attrition. I was thinking about this the other day and was wondering why then I am still here after 10 years, and it is not just me. If you look, many of our Recruiters here stay and those that leave often want to come back.

I can’t speak for anyone else but for me I have been given the opportunity here to work with great people. The sky is the limit for me in terms of work, if I want to try a new initiative or run a side project I always have the support of my management team. This doesn’t always mean I get the green light but I do get the support from them to make things happen. There is a long list of reasons why I am here after 10 years that would make this blog post very long but I wanted to focus on one of the reasons that is always a buzzword in corporate speak and that is ‘managing work/life balance’.

In my roles here I have had responsibility for regional recruitment across the Asia Pacific region. I am based in Australia and as a result my days are often anything but the typical 9-5 format. During a work day I can be on calls or video conferences anywhere between 6:00 am to 10:00 pm local time for me. I work from a home office. For those of you who still think working from home means I work from the couch or the kitchen table, this old stereotype could not be any further from reality. I have a dedicated office space that is physically separated from my house and it works very well. With all the expectations and commitments to work, I love being able manage my time for both work and my family. I love being able to wake up at 6:00 am go into the office for an hour check my emails, get my day organised and then go into the house and get the kids ready for school.

I feel very lucky to have the ability to walk them to school in the morning. As we all know many parents need to leave early to beat the commute to get into the office. There is a trade off here it is not all roses and sunshine. I work longer than I need to as work is always readily available and I don’t switch off when I leave my home office.

With the rapidly changing demographics of city life. I think the theory that many organisations follow that people work better together when they are in the same physical space has many flaws to it. I do understand many of the points but for me I would much rather work virtually with someone via video/phone/technology who is creative and innovative than have to go into an office and work with someone who is just going through the motions. I have worked with people in India, Europe, Latin America, etc…. where we have brainstormed and come up with great ideas as a group for the betterment of the work we do. Work does not have to be defined by our physical location. With the ever evolving suite of tools and technology we have access to the world is a much smaller place than it ever was.

Work/Life Balance, this is something I love. I love having the ability to give my time to my family and equally to my work over the course of 18 hours not just between set times between 9-5 that were created in a previous working day and age.

 

Recruiters Need to Keep Dreaming Big

Over the past number of years I have interviewed numerous Recruiters for a variety of positions. I have had the chance to talk to some very interesting Recruiters with a great outlook on life and recruitment and also a lot Recruiters who are just going through the motions. If you are a Hiring Manager which Recruiter would you prefer to work with – the one that is always looking for new ways to improve and source candidates or the person who sticks to what has worked in the past whether that is a Job Posting or sending 1000’s of LinkedIn messages to anyone with a keyword in their profile.

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Recruitment is an ever evolving activity I think Recruiters need to keep evolving and changing (and you can’t change just for the sake of it you need to want to) while also holding onto what works. Some of the best recruitment work practices that I have I developed happened before Google searches were available and resumes were still faxed to customers. I think a good Recruiter is a person who is always pushing themselves to not only know their market but also be involved in their space of hiring. As Recruiters we can provide a very valuable service but to do it correctly we need to be able to understand and really know our candidates. We also need to be able to effectively communicate what these candidates are looking for with our Hiring Managers. Poor communication can often be the cog in the machine that turns a hiring process from a positive experience to a not so positive one.

As a Recruiter are you always trying to learn? Before you say yes – think about all the things that Recruiters do. Have you improved your business level engagement with your Hiring Managers. Do you spend time with them to really understand their business plans and pain points or do you take a ‘job spec’ in 15 minutes without managing expectations from each other. Do you spend time talking to your candidates, finding out why people are interested in opportunities and really digging through the white noise to make sure the gems are identified. Do you figure out ways to create a great candidate experience, whether someone gets the job or not? Do you always try new ways to source, I don’t mean LinkedIn, FB or Twitter – these are not competitive advantages when everyone else uses them. What new sourcing technique have you brought to the table to your Hiring Manager to try.

It is not easy, there is a lot of work involved in a Recruiter’s day and it is tempting to take the easy approach that has been tried and tested (think Naukri in India, 51Jobs in China, etc….). I am at fault the same way that many of us are, I have ups and downs in terms of my activity and crazy ideas do not pop up out of the air every day but the best Recruiters I have met are always self driven to develop and grow their capabilities and service offerings. Keep an open mind, don’t be quick to say ‘that won’t work for me’, and try to take an honest self view of your work – is there any areas you can improve, if so think about ways to keep getting better, faster and stronger!

I think what I am trying to say is keep dreaming big and don’t worry about those who say you can’t do something, leave the haters behind and keep dreaming big. Recruitment is not a static activity, keep growing, dreaming and evolving – it will keep you ahead of your competition.