You have identified a career opportunity you would like to pursue, presented your resume written by a cv writer and have received an invitation to attend an interview.
Presentations during interview processes are really a platform for you to sell yourself. Although you may be given a topic, YOU are in control of the content. So you can make it as slick and as professional as the situation will allow. There is always room for improvement, no matter how good or bad you are.
During some interview process you will be required to deliver presentations.
There are five different types. Each one will require different methods of preparation, but again time is your enemy and you need to be armed with a plan to counter each different type :
You will need to uncover what personnel and line managers are looking for,
By knowing this you can structure your presentation to include the criteria to ensure your success.
Learn which types of presentations you will have to give. Each one is different and the expectations of the panel are different for each type. By knowing which types to expect you can practice for these, you will be armed with a structural format for each type.
Once you know what body language to use and what content to include, you will be able to demonstrate the clarity of your thought process and demonstrate the strengths of your communication skills. In most jobs, communication skills are at the top of the criteria list!!
Be a Master of the Job Interview
How many people do you think, actually think about the job interview that they are applying for?
The answer is virtually everyone at least 95%. How many people actually think about how they are going to get through the interview process ?
Less than 5%. You can become one of those in the 5% category when you use my information.
Just some of the secrets you need to learn are:
The image that you need to portray when you walk into an interview. Have you really any idea what you are being assessed against ?
Is it just the job description or is it more than that?
What are the types of questions to expect and have you example answers that will help you to formulate answers yourself for your own interview.
During some interview process you will be required to deliver Presentations, discover the different tools you can use to deliver your presentation. Most employers these days will screen candidates using aptitude / selection tests when recruiting people. These tests are the most objective way of screening you, there is no subjectivity involved at all, either your answers are right or they are wrong , Discover how you can plan your tactics when sitting these tests.
If you’re like me, the first thing you do when going online is to load all your favorite websites, checking for any updates or changes. I call this the Internet Morning Routine (IMR). A nice dinner with Sasha over made it clear why it can hinder productivity.
I’ve configured my browser to load my email and blogs with one click. I begin every morning by spending an hour at most dealing with unanswered emails and comments. Getting those relatively minor items out of the way sounds like a good idea, right?
Then I recognized why IMR can be unproductive. By the time you’re done, your head is full of thoughts, since you’ve dealt with so many things. Instead of starting with a fresh mind, emptied by last night’s sleep, the little gray cells are packed with ideas. And this may make concentrating on the first task you have scheduled after the IMR a little hard, especially for a poor multi–tasker like me.
Of course, I’m not saying the only time to check your websites should be at the end of the day. That’s an easy way to build–up your backlog and stay out of the loop. My point is, before anything else, try to get at least one task done, then take a break to check things out. In short, it’s better to hit the ground running, rather than begin the day mired in minor details.
The Jack of All Trades – and Master of None.
I discovered the hard way why you should focus your efforts and not spread yourself, even if you know how to do a lot of things.
Now I’m not saying I can do anything, but thanks to my course in college, I learned how to use programs like Photoshop, Flash, and Maya. After graduation I also rediscovered my passion for writing. So initially I was involved in writing, graphic design, and computer modeling.
Then, about two months later, I realized maintaining such a diverse skill set was limiting my improvement. We all know that practice makes perfect, and by doing three different things, I simply wasn’t giving the time nor focus each skill needed to grow. To use an example, 12 hours devoted to one proficiency becomes 4 hours for three. The job still gets done, but the lack of general focus hampers the learning process.
So as a freelancer, I decided to stop making computer models. It wasn’t a hard choice. Creating 3D representations of complex objects can be time-consuming, and I honestly found it frustrating, spending the whole day just to see if my idea would work. And even though I spent four years learning it, I was actually least passionate about computer animation.
Remaining a writer and graphic designer came naturally. These two skills are actually complementary. I’m sometimes asked to write the copy for advertisements, aside from designing them. And since I write daily for three blogs, I’m sure that my writing “muscle” gets exercised. Even if I still have to divide my time between two skills, I’m in a situation where both of them enjoy the time and focus vital for improvement.
By scheduling time to read up on new things, you increase your knowledge and help your ability grow.
Rich Kid, Smart Kid, for all the controversy it generates, at least gives a sensible illustration of IQ: intelligence relative to age. In other words, the more intelligent someone is, compared to the average intelligence of his age, the higher his IQ.
This also means to maintain your IQ, learning new things as you age is necessary. Someone who grows older, yet still knows the same things, is technically decreasing his IQ.
How does this apply to freelancers? The discipline and commitment EQ brings are crucial, but without a good IQ to complement it, a contract worker will have a harder time. You use IQ to come up with ideas, and EQ to execute them. Try to put aside some time everyday to learn new things, so that you’ll maintain—or even increase—your IQ as you pursue your freelance career.
What Contract Worker Considers “Freelancing”
This blog is about freelancing. We already know where the word came from, but there are differing opinions of what it means. Strictly speaking, a freelancer’s involvement with a company is only for one specific job. Neither full- nor part-time. But, for the purposes of this blog, even part-time commitments fall under the scope of freelancing. In fact, I’ve decided to consider freelancing in its most general sense. Which is basically not being tied down to a single job. In fact, many of the most lucrative freelancing opportunities don’t end on the “first date.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean spreading yourself too thin (the jack of all trades is the master of none). It’s still possible to work for different clients/employers, but practice only one craft. In fact, if done properly, constantly practicing a skills means you’re concentrating on it. Practice always makes perfect, and within the limits of human stamina and physical possibility, working too much was never bad.
That is the beauty of Contract Work: not limiting yourself to a single obligation comes with lots of advantages. Like building a network of contacts, since you get to interact with different kinds of people. Or Enjoying more opportunities to hone your abilities. And, of course, the chance to earn more money within the same amount of time. There is of course the danger of not giving each project the attention it deserves, but a person who has mastered the fine art of time management will have no problem.
Admittedly, I’m still a long way from that. But only my sleep suffers because of my inexperience, which is something I think I can sacrifice from time to time.
Search for this post’s title on Google, and you’ll see that what I once heard from a mentor is true: It takes 21 days to build or break a habit.
We’re almost done with our self-imposed holiday. But even before we all get back to work on January 2, I plan to start keeping a resolution tonight: for new year, I resolve to stop smoking. We all know the health risks associated with lighting up (surgeon generals and governments all over the world have made sure of that), but I plan to quit tobacco because I’m also affected as a freelancer:
Cigarette Breaks Break Your Flow. When I feel the urge to smoke, I rush through the task I’m currently doing before taking a break. So that I can claim to myself that I’ve finished something before leaving the desk. But recently I realized that my dependency has created a need to interrupt my work. In other words, if I didn’t feel like smoking so often, I’d stay put and get more work done.
Working While Smoking Also Breaks Your Flow. When I’m “fortunate” enough to be able to smoke while working, taking my hand away from my keyboard to take a puff represents another interruption. Without having to “make the most” of a cigarette, I’ll be able to concentrate better on what I’m doing.
Again, Back to the Health Risks. My family has a history of cancer. While I’m young (I just turned 25), I want to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of my body. As I smoke, I’m raising my blood pressure and increasing my risk of cancer, two diseases that are robbing me of my youth.
So, wish me luck this new year, and pray that I break the habit. Hopefully, when I get back to you on January 21, I’ll be as smoke-free as a drenched fire. Happy New Year to you all!
The Long Term Prospects of Freelancing
We freelancers enjoy a more flexible schedule (at least those who make a living exclusively through freelancing), and the opportunity to earn more within the same amount of time. But like corporate workers, it’s easy for us to fall into the rat race, where making money depends solely on our efforts. In other words, if we’re not careful, we’ll forever be working for money. What happens when we’re too old to work, or when our ideas are no longer on the money?
As we make a living through contract work, we should strive to reach a point where our hard-earned money works for us. One way to do this is to create money-generating assets along the way, so that when the time comes to retire, we’ll be certain of our financial future.
That’s not to say that freelancing is a dead-end career path. In fact, I believe freelancing provides greater opportunities to attain true wealth because being control of your own schedule makes it easy to pursue lucrative, asset-building opportunities.
Jun de Leon is currently the most sought after photographer here in the Philippines. He’s the favorite of local celebrities, and getting photographed by him is a status symbol of sorts.
Using the money he made as a freelancer, Mr. de Leon founded Wings Photography Inc. This company employs other photographers and artists, and is able to rent an office in a high-end commercial district, because of the income it generates—not solely from the efforts of Jun.
Wings Inc. represents an asset. Even if Jun decides to stop accepting freelancing projects, the company will continue earning money for him. The rest of us don’t have to start with such a big-scale operation, especially when we don’t have that much capital to work with (yet). Some small ventures, like vending machines, could prove a lucrative way to invest your money.
This account of a “full–time freelancer” is depressing. After spending 11 years working for a company, reporting everyday, working without overtime and benefits, she was suddenly “let go.” The company got a free ride, availing of her services when they were needed (she worked in the office remember). While she was taken advantage of: 11 years of hard work with limited options (staying tied to a single employer).
The sad tale reminds me of the importance of making sure everything’s clear before at the start. And by clear I mean on paper. Admittedly, I learned this the hard way. Review the agreement between you and your client thoroughly. Feel free to ask questions or for adjustments. The point is to make sure that you’re not committing to something you’re unable/willing to give, or as in the example, getting peanuts for your precious time and skills.
Don’t settle for verbal agreements or handshakes. I still believe that men keep their word. But it’s human to be forgetful. What may seem agreed upon one day may seem ludicrous the next.
The unfortunate victim in the example probably failed to review the “mutual agreement” between her and the company. Or even worse, didn’t fully understand the ramifications of what she was agreeing to. Do you completely understand the terms used in an agreement? If a client hits you with a legalese–laden document, paying for a lawyer’s interpretation is well worth the money. Making sure you know exactly what you get into may save you from a lot grief in the long run.
Does Your Eagerness make You Vulnerable.
On a forum, a freelancer relates getting left out of the cold. Despite not being paid a single cent, he submitted many design drafts for a project, making changes as his client demanded. One day the project was called off, and the clients virtually vanished. So the victimized freelancer had nothing to show for his hard work.
I completely understand why the apparently young man jumped at the “opportunity.” His was probably aching to start using the skills he’s really passionate about, driven by youthful eagerness. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize he was being used until it was too late. It’s a textbook example of a guileless soul being taken advantage of.
Stories like this make me remember the phrase “half now, half later.” Not to mention the importance of being earnest about your agreements. Before starting a project, both parties’ expectations of each other must be clear. What are you and your client expected to deliver? Get that in writing or on record. And it’s reasonable to ask for some money down.
If a potential client balks at giving some money before seeing anything done, show that it’s in his best interest. His deposit compels the contract worker to start working on the project, lest he have to return deposit. Or worse, gain a reputation as someone who can’t meet his commitments despite getting paid.
It is possible to start working for clients immediately, based on verbal or “virtual” contract. But for their own sake, freelancers should only consider this when working with long-time or trusted clients. Because in the real world, it literally pays to make sure all your efforts will ultimately be worth it.
Aside from illustrating that they can meet a project’s requirements, a freelancer should also show a client what’s in it for them.
There are many factors a client takes into consideration when selecting a freelancer for a job. Chief among them is the answer to the question, will the freelancer help me accomplish my objectives? So convincing clients that you’re right for a project requires that you prove your proficiency at achieving said objectives.
Ironically however, taking a direct approach to this—simply telling the client that you can do the job—is less than ideal. Invariably, freelancers who attempt to prove their prowess end up leaving the impression that they’re in it for themselves. The eagerness to display proficiency may leave the prospective client with a sour taste, convinced that you are more interested in how the project will benefit you.
Freelancers shouldn’t just supply the credentials (such as references and of course, the portfolio) that prove capability. They should also make it clear how their work not only fulfills the requirements, but how it benefits the client as well.
In other words, proving your capability to meet the standards set by the client should be followed by a detailed rundown of how your work will help the client. Here’s where being concrete helps. Consider this: “I will get your message across” and “I will get your message across, making your website stand out among the millions out there”. Which one seems more appealing to clients?
Planning For the Worst
In a few hours, it’s forecast that a destructive “super-typhoon” will pass by where I live. Fellow local bloggers and freelancers who make their living online now rush to finish their commitments early, before power and connectivity give out.
And as a freelancer that should be the first step when preparing for calamity. Finish as much work as you can, so that nothing will be on your mind as you deal with the disaster. But only do this after you’ve wrapped up even more crucial preparations, such as bracing your house against strong winds. Don’t forget to warn clients you’ll be out of touch for a while!
Next, charge everything that has a battery. Flashlights, electric lamps, smartphones and PDAs, laptops, etc. Think of it as filling up your car before a long trip; you won’t be able to get more fuel (i.e., power) for a while. You never know if you’ll need these electronics in a pinch.
Lastly, while candles and matches are vital, buy a kerosene lamp if you don’t have one (look in wet markets, or make one yourself). It provides enough light (unlike candles) for reading and writing, two things you can do while waiting for 190 kph winds to stop battering your closed windows. Of course, don’t forget to also buy some oil, and never leave the lamp on while you sleep! Consider a safe bottle lamp for peace of mind.
The point is to take all the steps needed to make waiting out the storm as bearable as possible. The last thing on your mind should be unfinished work (”oh no, when will power come back; that presentation’s due tomorrow!”), and you should have enough electrical and biological power for your gadgets and yourself. The lamp will also allow you to write, preventing boredom or allowing work to be done.