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The voting for this poll has ended on: 31 Oct 2011

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Gradvantage is committed to bringing you articles, views and opinions that matter to you, whether you are a graduate, intern or student.

Browse our articles as a guide to workplace etiquette and behaviour. From what your body language says about you, to making the most of your first day on the job, we’ve got it covered…
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What’s your legacy?

It’s quite challenging to inspire people around you. I’ve worked with a number of people who I believe command great respect from those they work with, but to go from respect to inspiration requires a certain type of person. Whilst one’s personal ambition is important, I think the notion of legacy talks to actually contributing back to those around you and perhaps the broader community.

I believe on the humanitarian level that many companies give employees this unreasonable belief that they’re contributing in a more meaningful way than their usual work. For example, many large companies allow employees one day off a year to go and work for a charity. Whilst this allows many people to “tick a box” a get a “warm and fuzzy” feeling, I would ask whether this work really makes a difference in the medium to longer term? I would suspect not. A real lasting difference, and creating something which is a real legacy, would require a significant amount of time and effort and it’s not something you can do overnight.

December 21, 2011 17 Comments
 
 

Sorry

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead” was a quote reported to come from the famous writer Mark Twain.

The skill, which many people struggle with, is having in-depth knowledge of a concept, Excel document, a prospectus or whatever else it may be and being able to simply articulate the benefit of same.

December 21, 2011 12 Comments
 
 

The Art of the Sale (and just quietly you’re a salesperson)

Sales can be disguised in many different ways. Some brief examples:

  • You’re getting to an interview – you sold HR that you’re worthy of an interview
  • The interview – you’re pitching whether you’re the goods at a particular firm
  • A potential employer – pitching that their business is better than any other for you (if they think you’re quality – some firms admittedly require next to no pitch such as McKinsey but this calibre is rare)
  • Any promotion – a sell that indicates that you’re “worthy” of being put up
  • Every day at your job – a sale to your peers and “superiors” that you have the ability to work with them on particular jobs / clients and the like
  • Going to a bar if you’re looking to pick up – a sale that you’re more “worthy” than others around you
  • This blog – trying to sell you some new ideas and a slightly different way of thinking

The list could go on

December 21, 2011 16 Comments
 
 

Seriously?

There appears to be a movement at the moment in regards to picking up an easy qualification. The number of correspondence advertisements appears to have exploded of recent months, with claims that through studying by distance that you can be “closer to who you want to be”.

Seriously?

December 21, 2011 31 Comments
 
 

Preparation is king

Admittedly some people are “naturals” and are able to pick up things much quicker than others although most of us typically require >10,000 hours in order to become an expert in something, according to Malcolm Gladwell, which isn’t a walk in the park. Therefore, the crew at CareerMaven strongly believes that the more time you can spend preparing and in different interview circumstances the much better placed you will be to tackle the multitude of varied situations that these can bring.

Preparation can come in many different forms and ultimately should differ according to the individual. Remember though, that according to the notion of positive psychology you needn’t necessarily solely focus on your interview weaknesses. Sometimes it may be more beneficial to actually focus on what you excel at and although it is important to be aware of your limitations and deficiencies this doesn’t mean you need to focus on these extensively throughout he interview. It would be more beneficial to play to your strengths.

December 21, 2011 17 Comments
 
 

A brave new world!!

Ok so many people would say that a resume is a resume is a resume. But think again based on the following Mashable link which shows how beauty can be worked into a resume in a hearbeat - http://mashable.com/2011/06/16/creative-resume-designs/#view_as_one_page-gallery_box1343

Let me take 1 step back. I was recently talking with a designer friend of mine who was mentioning that he wished he could turn his portfolio of work into something more “corporate” as he thought his online portfolio of his work may not cut it given more corporate type jobs typically prefer a resume which is slightly more vanilla in flavour. He sought to stand out from the crowd as numerous designers present their work and image in an online portfolio type way. This got me thinking:

December 21, 2011 3780 Comments
 
 

Talking to Steve Jobs?

How many interviews have you been to where you’ve bombed out because you didn’t get the basics right? For example, you’re phone going off during an interview is a sure fire way to get embarrassed, awkwardly have to apologise for and somehow have to give the impression that your efforts have been entirely focussed on the interviewer from the moment you first started the interview. In summary, your credibility can go out of the window very quickly.

I see a lot of Gen Y’ers these days focused more on their mobile than on the people in front of them. Perhaps I’m old school but for me as soon as I see someone more preoccupied with their text than on our discussion I’m very much inclined to reciprocate this lack of interest and sincerity and I suspect recruiters may also be the same.

December 21, 2011 13 Comments
 
 

Business Card Basics

When I think of business cards, I am often reminded of the cultural learning curve that occurs in the film Japanese Story (2003). A bewildered Japanese businessman, played by Gotaro Tsunashima, and a hardy, outback geologist (Toni Collette) struggle to understand one another and overcome their cultural differences in a stark contrast between strict Japanese business norms and the largely laidback working culture of inland Australia. Although it typifies the deliberate conflict of values explored in culture clash movies, it begs the question – just how important are practices and norms like the exchange of business cards, to the way we do business in different countries?

 

April 11, 2011 14 Comments
 
 

Renting Versus Home Ownership

The great Australian dream is to own your own home. It is so well entrenched in our society and culture that it is even considered a major milestone of success. However, the financial landscape has changed drastically within the last decade and we should be asking ourselves whether it is still appropriate to perpetuate and continue to epitomise an idea that our forefathers themselves believed in so heavily.

We have all no doubt heard of the increasing (and seemingly exponential-esque) growth in the Australian housing sector. The level of growth from an external perspective seems uncanny. As if the housing bubble pops only to drop by 5% and increase the proceeding year by 10%.

March 29, 2011 15 Comments
 
 

Know the Risks of an Office Relationship

Know the risks of an office relationship

With Valentine’s Day approaching tomorrow, some of you may be thinking about love and relationships. We all know you can find love in the strangest of places, but sometimes it can be in the most obvious place of all, staring at you in the face everyday. But can a relationship work when you see the person at work? Can love really last in the office?

March 29, 2011 19 Comments
 
 

Social Media at Work - A Social Problem

When I wake up, when I get home, and before I go to sleep, the first thing I do is check Facebook. I scan the page for that red light, signifying a notification, or the most affirming of all, a friend request! Sad? Yes. But almost everyone I know has a Facebook account, and most of them check it regularly, often multiple times in a day. This can seem fine when you’re living the student lifestyle, but in a workplace, living on Facebook just won’t cut it.

Working in an office where you’re sitting in front of a computer all day puts young corporates in a tempting position to check social media, but this can have dire effects on productivity. Last year Umpf PR was commissioned by My Job Group, the UK’s largest network of regional job boards, to survey how social media affects the workplace. The findings showed that one in every six web page viewed is a Facebook page, with users spending over 700 billion minutes on Facebook each month. The survey also found that 55% of workers are accessing sites like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace while at work, with one third of those spending over 30 minutes on social media. Most alarmingly, it found that around 2 million UK workers are spending over an hour on social networking sites each day whilst at work.

March 28, 2011 322 Comments
 
 

Playing the Social Networking Game

All too often we hear the stories of one’s online social networking life costing them their reputation, a friend or two, or even a job. People are defamed on blogs, broken up with through a status update or lose their job because of a careless tweet. Research has shown that many employers use social networking sites to check out potential employees, and certainly pictures from a night out or a drunken tweet aren’t your best application materials. However, despite all the risks, social networking can be used to your professional advantage.

In fact, some companies such as PR and advertising agencies thrive on social networking sites. Traditional media channels don’t cut it anymore; online is where all the growth is. The thing about social networking is that it brings together like-minded individuals with similar interests and goals, and more importantly, it allows you to present yourself in exactly the way you want to be seen.

For the job seeker, this can be used as an advantage. If your résumé boasts extensive involvement in charity work, back this up by joining the pages of the charities you’re involved in; if you like travel, upload photos of yourself abroad; if you’re an avid blogger, make sure there are easily available links to your blog. Your online profile is the just the place for you to prove how suitable you are for the job.

March 28, 2011 21 Comments
 
 

Impressing Your Future Employer

Here’s your friendly neighbourhood guide to the tricky life as an online socialite. I’d be willing to bet quite a lot that you use at least one of the following sites; Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. Just as I’m sure some of you, shameful as it may be to admit it, even used MySpace (gasp!) once upon a time.

But, how do these sites relate to business? What good will they do, and what are the dangers involved in using them?

March 28, 2011 38 Comments
 
 

Avoiding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

 

My good friend (let’s call her kate for this article) graduated from her business degree last year and has recently begun a new job in her chosen field. This is all very exciting for her, as she takes the first steps of her career. Of course she has some hesitations, leaving the ease of student life, and wondering if she can hack it. But there is one issue she never imagined she had to consider: an overly zealous boss. Her middle-aged, male boss is very flirtatious, and on many occasions has touched her unnecessarily and inappropriately while talking to her. This is usually a simple touch of the stomach, but such actions can make people feel especially uncomfortable in the workplace.

March 28, 2011 20 Comments
 
 

The Name Game


On the first day of work, we are faced with many dilemmas. What should I wear? Where will I eat lunch? (What if I bring my own lunch but everyone else goes out for lunch? What if I don’t bring my own lunch but everyone stays in for lunch? If I eat alone will they think I’m a loner? If I eat with them what will we talk about?) And as a young and new member of staff, I find myself wondering especially – how will I address everyone?

Some people are easy – I can address other junior staff by first name, and those who introduce themselves only by first name, well, I don’t really have a choice. But what happens when it comes to those higher in the pecking order, like the manager or the CEO? Everyone knows their full name anyway, and they might not even have the time to personally introduce themselves. All is fine when they stay in their office or with clients and hardly cast an eye towards you, but what happens when you walk past them in the hallway, or are sent to their office with a message, or worst of all – get stuck in the elevator with them?


March 28, 2011 16 Comments
 
 

Moving Out of Home

Moving out of home is considered one of the biggest steps in life and a milestone for achieving independence/adult hood. Though for many it is a highly stressful situation in which both parent and child fear. Understandably of course, it is the first time the offspring would be permanently leaving the nest after being in the same house together for a solid 20+ years.

Regardless of the preceding situations, every single one of you will be in the exact same boat and asking the exact same questions. It is a big world and for many it will be the first time they are required to actively look after themselves in all aspects of life.

March 28, 2011 13 Comments
 
 

Introduction to Womens' Corporate Summer Fashion

In the boiling heat of summer stuffy corporate attire might seem stifling and oppressive. This isn’t reason to throw out style and common sense. No matter the temperature one needs to look professional and project an image which will be acceptable in the culture of the corporate environment. Let your image be a reflection of your skills and personality, demonstrating that you are highly proficient at your role.

 

March 28, 2011 12 Comments
 
 

Mentoring Programs Help Young Women Break Through the Glass Ceiling

 

As we entered 2011, some people may have thought that society has come a long way from the past, that we have overturned the inequality and ignorance of our past beliefs and actions. Unfortunately, there is still much imbalance in society today, and in particular in the workplace. Women are one such group that still face inequality and imbalance in their professional life. Despite being 50% of the population (or 51% according to statistics), women are still viewed as a minority in many corporate jobs. While Australia elected a female Prime Minister last August, that same month the gender pay gap stood at 34.8%. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency released the findings, which showed that the wage gap has actually been widening since 2009. The same findings showed that the wage gap for the average starting salaries for bachelor degree graduates was $3000. Female law graduates face a bigger gap at $3,500 while architecture graduates faced a gigantic $6,800 pay gap. The glass ceiling is still a very real, very prominent issue for female professionals, and while some companies are trying to reverse the problem, there is still a long way to go.

March 28, 2011 14 Comments
 
 

Investing; an Introduction to a Wild Jungle

Investment, its that word that is used by all those finance gurus and important business people. It is a term used so sparingly one could assume it was a vital component of life. Unfortunately, due to the jungle like nature of the investment world it scares off lots of potential wallets and ill-informed people. However, today I will show you that this convoluted jungle is not so hard to transverse and in the process can put some extra dollars in your piggy bank.

First and foremost, an investment is anything that yields a future profit. However, for most people who don't work in the catacombs of Macquarie Bank crunching numbers all day and night; an investment also represents a way to secure funds - a place to dump all those excess funds of money as opposed to keeping it stashed under the bed.

March 28, 2011 18 Comments
 
 

A Tutorial in Budgeting

Many people assume the ability to budget is an intuitive skill. However, only a small glimpse at household debt numbers and decreases in the affordability index gives evidence to the contrary. Subsequently, it would appear that many individuals in society have not be taught the basics of the budget; and to the recent university graduate this is one of the most important life skills one should learn.

Budgets are key to managing ones finances and are the vital ingredient in being able to satisfy your wants in life without over-sacrificing other pleasures or necessities. One of the most important things to understand before we begin is that budgets are not hard. In fact they are incredibly easy and with these 4 simple steps any person should be able to assume control of their finances:

March 28, 2011 11 Comments
 
 

Learning is a Lifelong Experience


I completed a post-graduate degree last year, alongside a number of mature age students. Some of these people wanted a career change in their later years, but most were simply in it to learn. One lady I spoke to expressed that she had no desire to work in the field of journalism, but found learning about it to be very interesting. This is a fascinating thought. Who said higher learning should cease after university? As people we are constantly evolving (or would like to be) and the same should go for our brains. There is no shortage of courses, seminars, and workshops out there to help workers expand their skill set, at a range of prices for every knowledge seeker out there.




March 28, 2011 16 Comments
 
 

Staying Healthy in the Workplace

It’s hard to keep a healthy and fit lifestyle at the best of times, but when you’re sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, it become even harder. With the ease of 21st century food and technology, the temptation to resort to fast foods and a lazy lifestyle can be difficult to resist, particularly when your work life leaves little time for anything else. But for those who spend most of the day’s hours in an office, there are many things you can do to keep healthy.

It can be difficult to fit in breakfast when you’re rushing off to work in the mornings, but specialists all agree that eating breakfast in the morning will keep you healthier and at a smaller weight. Similarly, you should set aside time in the morning or the night before to make your own lunch. This will not only save you around $50-70 per week, but is a much healthier option.

March 28, 2011 18 Comments
 
 

Volunteering Will Make a Difference to You, and Others

Volunteering will make a difference to you, and others



March 28, 2011 14 Comments
 
 

Working Out Your Social Netiquette

Avoiding The Perils Of Online Networking: How To Use The Internet To Your Advantage

Your online presence is a virtual representation of your professional worthiness as a potential employee. Before you get out there and start mingling in the real world, it is a good idea to freshen up your Internet image, because just like your physical appearance on the interview day or at a networking event, it says a great deal about your attitudes and commitment as a potential employee. Today’s recruiters often screen every single applicant’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to eliminate any inappropriate candidates before the interview stage has even begun. It is no urban myth that recruiters pay close attention to your online presence!

March 21, 2011 18 Comments
 
 

Evaluating the Interview

How well did you really go?



March 21, 2011 10 Comments
 
 

Will the Real Feminist Please Stand Up

 

God, I hate it when women take advantage of their sexuality in the workplace. The new girl wore a figure-hugging dress today. How are the rest of us supposed to be taken seriously if there are women like her who refuse to wear suits?”

November 30, 1999 181 Comments
 
 

How to Conduct an Inter Office Romance in Secret

 

So, most interoffice romances are generally frowned upon but if David Letterman had romances with almost ten female staff members why cant you? The secret is to not get caught.



November 30, 1999 20 Comments
 
 

Five Ways to Keep Your Job

 

Five Ways to Keep Your Job

November 30, 1999 12 Comments
 
 

Stress at Work

 

Stress at Work

Everyone is stressed at work, right? You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you think you might be getting fired and your colleague saw an email which they weren’t meant to and now they’re giving you the silent treatment.

November 30, 1999 14 Comments
 
 

Nothing Tort-ious About Court Observation

 

Sitting in a courtroom for four hours a week, week after week, may not be everyone’s idea of a fun time. Not to mention that you are not getting paid for it. But engaging in volunteer work through a community legal centre is just one of the ways you can find out whether a career in law really suits you and while you’re at it, add something worthwhile to your CV. The verdict? It may not have the high-flying corporate chic of Boston Legal or Law & Order, but the Waverly Domestic Violence service has its own fair share of weekly dramas.

November 30, 1999 18 Comments
 
 

Guarding your Reputation While you Sleep

 

We are now painfully aware that employers will Google us. 63% of US companies will screen you on social networking sites before your interview. It used to be your prerogative to control what the search results unearthed. Now you can entrust teams of professionals to protect and enhance your online presence.

November 30, 1999 12 Comments
 
 

Interview Body Language

For battles at night, use more torches and drums. For battles in the day, use more banners and flags. These different means of communication can be designed to influence the judgment of the enemy.

(Chapter Seven, Sun Tzu Art of War)

November 30, 1999 582 Comments
 
 

How to Survive First Day Work Jitters

 

Creating a killer resume was a breeze. Acing the job interview - a walk in the park. Now it’s time to impress on your first day of work...and the hard reality hits.

 

November 30, 1999 66 Comments
 
 

Perfecting Your Pitch

You’re in an elevator. Standing next to the general manager of the company you’ve been dying to work for. What would you say?



November 30, 1999 16 Comments
 
 

Postgraduate Study - The Options?

The very mention of post-graduate study is often enough to have students and working professionals alike recoil in fear. Whether it be the prospect of adding long, extra years onto what you thought would be your stint at university, or the fear of returning to a pitiful scholarly lifestyle after having thought you had escaped it, the idea of study beyond an initial degree can so often seem a burden not worth considering. However in the real working world post-graduate study and qualification can often play an instrumental role in determining graduate and business outcomes. Here I will look to outline some of the reasons for why one may choose to partake in a course of post-graduate study, the study options available and some of the outcomes having that extra qualification can have for you.

The nature of post-graduate qualification has always been an exclusive one. By gaining a qualification beyond that of an undergraduate degree you are automatically distinguished from about 97% of the workforce who will never go on to receive a qualification as high. This holds a number of advantages for a member of the work force. Postgraduate study can: upgrade skills, help towards refining your area of specialization, progress your career towards promotion and set you apart from other candidates vying for employment positions.

November 30, 1999 19 Comments
 
 

Social Networking 101

The age-old adage “business and pleasure don’t mix” finds its true meaning when social networking and graduate recruitment are involved.



November 30, 1999 12 Comments
 
 

Networking for Success

Surviving the Social Minefield: How to Navigate a Networking Event

November 30, 1999 21 Comments
 
 

Frame of Mind Before an Interview

 

Morpheus: “I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.”

(The Matrix, 1999)

November 30, 1999 9 Comments
 
 

Staying in Touch

How to maintain your growing network base and ensure that you’re keeping in touch…

 

There’s no point doing all the hard work meeting people and forging connections, only to forget someone’s name or some important advice you’ve received. There are a number of strategies you employ to make sure that your networking efforts pay off and continue to thrive and evolve.

November 30, 1999 23 Comments
 
 

A Day in the Life of a Procrastinator

 

It’s hard working or studying from home and chances are that at some point in your life, you are going to have to do it. Whether you have to take work home with you to finish, or you need to study for some accreditations, it’s not easy to get work done when you can go to 'work' in your pyjamas and without brushing your teeth. Working from home has two major demons, distractions and distractions evil brother, procrastination.



November 30, 1999 16 Comments
 
 

The Behavioural Interview

Recruiters are becoming more and more sophisticated. With psychometric and behavioural interview styles becoming increasingly popular, how will you fare?

 

November 30, 1999 16 Comments
 
 

The Office, According to 'The Office'


Moving Up

November 30, 1999 22 Comments
 
 

Finding a Job

 

So you have finished uni and its time to take the next step in your career and further your learning by finding a job. It seems like finding a job shouldn’t be too hard since you have gone too university, but that is not always the case. There are lots of tips on finding a job but what about some tips to help you if you can’t?

November 30, 1999 18 Comments
 
 

2011 A Graduate's Odyssey

 

From wonder to disillusionment … and finding the middle ground in time for The Interview By Danielle Fernando

November 30, 1999 20 Comments
 
 

Volunteering in Nepal

As I sat at my kitchen table staring into space, toying with an idea to travel to Nepal and work as a volunteer, I tried to imagine what it would be like, but couldn’t. That’s the thing with travelling to a place you have never been before, it’s so different from the place you are coming from. You can’t imagine how different it could be, or how similar it could be. If you do imagine its differences, you imagine them in all the wrong ways. It’s not just your surroundings that you expect to change either. Experiencing new lands and new cultures has the ability to change a person from within, and it is this change that I have found most travellers to have in common.



November 30, 1999 19 Comments
 
 

Don't Forget the Hidden Cash


The time is upon you to leave behind the old jobs that helped pay your way through Uni. No longer will you be required to flip another burger, answer another infomercial call or wear a sandwich board on a busy street. You my friend are now a graduate, and an intelligent one at that.

November 30, 1999 18 Comments
 
 

What Not to Wear


A problem many face when entering the workforce as a graduate is what to wear to the office. After years of wearing that comfy senior jersey every winter, the thought of beginning an entire new wardrobe can be confronting. Here are a few what-not-to-dos to make the transition from the Guild Bar to the water cooler a little easier:

November 30, 1999 406 Comments
 
 

Elevator Music


In a world where the office tower has become our workplace of choice, as its auspicious mass transit system the elevator creates a location of unavoidable interaction. During peak hour congestion this claustrophobic box is overflowing with co-workers and strangers. On some occasions the journey is peaceful and absent minded, while other times you are presented with one of three personalities or difficulties…The Boaster, The Womaniser or The Douche.

November 30, 1999 13 Comments
 
 

Musical Office Chairs


Many offices across the world have a radio present. This little device can overcome the monotonous sound of typing or the nullifying stupor of silent work environments. The choice of what to listen to, which station or even more importantly which CD, needs to be reached with consensus in mind. Teamwork, collaboration, interpersonal relationship building…they all form part of our working lives and are no less evident than in this vital choice.

November 30, 1999 17 Comments
 
 

The Qualification of Volunteering


Today’s employers seek out multi skilled graduates who possess an ability to work in diverse and challenging environments. It’s a competitive job market out there and having an edge on your rivals can be nothing but beneficial. You want to present yourself as both highly competent and highly adaptable. This is why volunteering locally and internationally has increased in recent years as job seekers demonstrate their commitment to helping others in addition to their academic qualifications. But before jumping on the bandwagon it is important to consider a few important things that may assist you during the recruitment process. The reasons you are volunteering and the particular placement you choose will not only affect the community but can also ensure your resume shines.

November 30, 1999 304 Comments