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Archive for the category “Human Resources”

I QUIT! – 5 Reasons to Quit Your Job

Yaya aiki!

Just the other day, my friend (and a very good friend for sure) told me about his woes at work. You know the story: “…supervisor has undisclosed issues with everything I do…doesn’t even reciprocate daily/usual courtesies … Yeah, Sochi, it’s that bad!”. The story is familiar to many of us and to stretch the list of workplace woes, we have: changing corporate culture, threats or signs of bankruptcy, irreconcilable differences with co-workers and lack of substantial work benefits. I could go on and on but, by now, you should have caught my drift. These are signboards that point to the Exit, that it’s time to pull out that resignation letter template in your drawer (we all have one)

Here are a few good reasons to move to greener pasture or start looking for one, in any case:

1.

In the words of Harvey MacKay, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Besides the ambrosia of an early morning coffee (caffeinated for me), the only other thing we love to wake up to is a job that makes us feel alive. Whatever our religious affiliations, the core of our existence is the pursuit of Purpose and our careers are supposed to be a clue to it. This is why nothing kills our morale more than a job that “takes” and never “gives.” When you find yourself dragging your feet to the office, it’s time for a change.

2.

If you feel that your job role is not commensurate to your skill, it is a sure to quit. You find yourself scratching the surface of your true potential and skills. Your job involves filing documents and filling memo templates when your core competence is designing models and managing projects – you should make this known to your employer or supervisor so that more responsibilities may be assigned to you. However, if this doesn’t change, you should look out for better opportunities out there.

3.

A change in an organization’s corporate culture can be discomfiting if you are not used to it or find it incompatible to what you are used to. Such changes that make your work environment stiff to your creativity and work flow can be daunting. If you were used to talking freely as to be on a first-name basis, it could be a big deal to now switch to a “Sir” or “Ma” relationship as dictated by a culture change. Another change that you need to consider is that which goes against your ethics. If you don’t believe in the manner that business is run, if integrity is being compromised, don’t wait to think about it, put in your paper.

4.

Study has shown that we spend an average of 15-20% of our life in the workplace and maybe even more if we do more than 60 hours per week. It only goes without saying that we spend a substantial part of our lives with our co-workers and supervisors. This makes it imminent that we have a cordial working relationship with them. If your work environment is icy and stiff, it tells on our ability to bring out our best, hence, our productive comes to a steady decline. Same applies to your relationship with your supervisor. If you are constantly being micro-managed, it shows a lack of trust and this, in turn, bears on your morale. You don’t have to wait till your self-esteem is rolled into a ball and tossed in the trash. Take the walk!

5.

No matter where you work, or even hope to work, it is important to look out for career advancement possibilities. If your present workplace is giving you false hope for promotions or rewards, the smart thing to do is to look for somewhere else to employ your talent and skill. Redundancy is the thief of time, same as procrastination.

You can help add to this list.

Lafia! (Well Wishes!)

“Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Harvey MacKay

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Aiki! at TARUWA001

Yaya aiki,  friends. We’ve been away, busy, of course believe me. Our post here is a slight distraction from work – to keep you from wondering what your Aiki!blogger does when he’s not working.

A while back, I was invited to perform at a gathering for poets and artists. I’ve decided to share the poem I recited. OK, feel free to laugh AT me or WITH me. Enjoy…

A BEGINNER’S LIVE GUIDE BAD ARSE SLAM 

Dear reader, further to our previous chapter

We shall now proceed to our subject matter;

Though not guaranteed to make your rhymes smarter

It will break your fall if you should shudder, stutter and falter

Don’t chew, don’t sag – God, please don’t sag

Unless your poetry can afford you a Bentley or a Jag

Pick up modest verbs where your painted tears once fell

And please use adjectives that your mother can actually spell

As thumb rule, dear reader, KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON

Audience, as their sanity, are in habit of going off with your button

So while good if you, like IKECHUKWU, have a six-pack that can stun

God help us, if it’s a one-pack that smacks of bad porn

A black shirt, has been the best bet yet

Anything you say afterwards is politically correct

But PINK – oh no! is as weak as you can get

It says, “I’m too sissy for my shirt”

Having said this, disabuse the psyche

That you are only a rockstar if you lick the mic

Or jump into the crowd or ride a power bike

The truth is the audience will not catch even a poet they like

And when you walk up to that mic, go in hard

Say, “ME BAD! ME THE BADDEST DUB YOU EVER HAD!”

So, in case you mess up real bad, we like to add

Your audience, hopefully, won’t remember you like a bad TV ad.

10 Top Reasons You Need a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

Yaya Aiki!

Been a while, yeah, I know. It’s also been quite an experience blogging on Aiki! Meeting professionals passionate about what they do and inspiring others in turn. Muchos passienda.

Our guest blogger is Gayle Howard. Multi-award winning resume writer and published author, Gayle Howard, is founder of the Top Margin Career Marketing Group. For 21 years, Gayle has been transforming the careers of thousands, setting resume writing trends that have influenced employer decision-making. The first professional in Australia to achieve the Certified Professional Resume Writer credential, Gayle set the pace for her peers, cementing her level of proficiency to become Australia’s first Master Resume Writer, Certified Expert Resume Writer, Master Career Director, Credentialed Career Manager, Career Web Portfolio Practitioner, and Certified Job Loss Recovery Coach. Phew!… And this is just an abridged version of her resume.

I didn’t even know there was such a job profile as Resume Writer (feel free to share in my awe). So to get to our post…Take it away, Gayle.

10 Top Reasons You Need a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

1. Certified Professional Resume Writers see the big picture. They are the objective third party when dealing with information with which the jobseeker has an emotional tie. Most people are too close to their own subject matter and can’t make the right choices about what information to keep in the resume, or take out.
 
2. Certified Professional Resume Writers possess current knowledge of employment trends. A job seeker is only likely to update one resume every few years. A professional resume writer will have composed 5-10 resumes this week.

3. Certified Professional Resume Writers apply well-considered strategies to document creation. Resumes written by certified professionals are meticulously crafted to align with the person’s targeted role through the careful composition and placement of narrative success stories, skills and experience. Most jobseekers are unaware that strategic and targeted writing is even an option.
 
4. Certified Professional Resume Writers demonstrate superior knowledge of the English language, grammar and punctuation and possess the talent to write concisely and powerfully. “Fluffy” wording, clichés and run-on sentences so common in most do-it-yourself resumes, have no place in a certified professional’s writing repertoire.
 
5. Certified Professional Resume Writers use strong and powerful words and phrases when communicating jobseekers’ achievements. Most people list duties, failing to understand that it is not what they do everyday, but how they stamp their mark on a company that helps them stand out in a sea of equally qualified candidates.

6. Certified Professional Resume Writers know how to question people to extract the right information so that individual success stories can be crafted. Most jobseekers don’t know the right questions to ask themselves.

7. Certified Professional Resume Writers are highly competent in the use of word processing software. Consequently documents will look, as well as sound, superior to their do-it-yourself counterparts. Professional Resume Writers never resort to standard word processing templates, but instead, personally tailor an eye-catching format designed to showcase the jobseeker’s talents and value proposition.

8. Certified Professional Resume Writers tell you the truth. Recruiters will not tell a jobseeker of resume mistakes, friends will be unable to advise the folly of applying for unsuitable roles. A professional resume writer is a caring, knowledgeable professional without a personal agenda, unconstrained by the rules of hiring, and one who has the most up-to-date knowledge of the employment market…. all at your disposal.
 
9. Certified Professional Resume Writers possess a wealth of knowledge about the careers sector including recruiter preferences, successful job search strategies, and social media and networking plans. Professionals have access to the full gamut of careers professionals including interview coaches.

10. Certified Professional Resume Writers place a mirror to the face of the jobseeker and in doing so, provide an unfettered view of his or her worth in the marketplace. The mirror that shows such a value proposition provides an undeniable boost to confidence and self esteem.

The following major resume writing associations provide certifications for professional resume writers worldwide.

Career Directors International
http://www.careerdirectors.com.

Writing Certification: Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW),

Certified Expert Resume Writer (CERW)

Master Resume Writer Lifetime Achievement Award (MRWLAA)

Career Management Alliance
http://www.careermanagementalliance.com

Writing Certification: Master Resume Writer (MRW)

Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches
Writing Certification: Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

National Resume Writer’s Association 
http://www.thenrwa.com – Writing Certification: Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)

Thanks, Gayle.

Learn more about Gayle on http://www.gaylehoward.com

I hope that this leads some of us to heightened curiosity about and research into recruitment and career trends.

Lafia! (Well wishes!)

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Office Romance: A Val’s Guide to a Focused Career

Yaya Aiki!

From 12 midnight, Cupid will be on duty and – heck! – might be putting in overtime still after 12 midnight this 14th of February. It’s Valentine and Love is in the air. Speaking of which … it seems to be a salient subject in the workplace. Nothing sizzles more than romantic frictions in the workshop. Or even news of it. What to do with Workplace Romance.

It is not our view that office romance is outright detrimental to workplace efficiency/effectiveness. On the contrary, we recognize that in some setups, office romance can encourage efficiency.

Our advice goes thus:

If you are presently dating a co-worker (almost tempted to type “if you must date a co-worker” – but we’ll get to that later), you must bear in mind that a harassment suit could easily materialize over your head if the relationship goes awry. Just saying.

Secondly, do not give your other co-workers the impression that your decision or judgements in the office is clouded by sentiments either where discipline or reward is meted or required. Let your relationship encircle a code of fairness in all things official. If you can’t bear to punish your sweetheart, then perhaps you should either resign or call off the date.

Thirdly, if you are dating a subordinate in your report line, it is deemed to be inappropriate. Many company CEOs and chairmen have lost their jobs or hauled into a waterloo of scandal because of an “inappropriate relationship with a subordinate co-worker.”

If you are contemplating a relationship with the hot new exec, we suggest you set up a date with someone outside your office setting first. You want to be sure that convenience isn’t nudging you into an office romance that screams CAREER SUICIDE. If you still feel the same way about the co-worker, well…we pray Cupid’s arrow gets you in the heart and not the head.

Lafia! (We wish you well!)

We pray Cupid’s arrow gets you in the heart and not the head.

My Cubicle – James Blunt Parody

Yaya aiki?!

I decided we need a break and what better way than a lunch-break laugh. I stumbled on this funny video and … well, here it is, for your lunch break amusement. This version has the lyrics on screen so you can sing along.

DISCLAIMER: This video is not a reflection of my attitude at work. In fact, I love my job. LOL. Like I needed to say that, you would say.

I welcome links to more funny work-related videos.

Discussion: For How Much Would You Resign From Your Present Job?

Okay, here is the question – and I really hope I get your honest opinion:

How much can I offer you to leave the job you are doing right now

I’ll be checking in on comments made here, from time to time. So…let’s have fun.

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” – Margaret Young

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My Zen Workplace: Effective and Efficient Workplace Organization.

Yaya Aiki!

I think workplace organization is a rather salient issue in corporate culture management but even more so in our daily lives at the office. Creating and maintaining a workplace that promotes effective and efficient process flow. How many times have you felt flustered by the clutter on your desk or how the invisibility of naira-versus-dollar file aids the impossibility of filing the naira-versus-dollar document? Shoot! That sounds like that one week, last month, at the office. I’m a big fan of Eastern management practices and it seemed the right resort for inspiration on how to effectively organize my workspace. In this article, I’d like to share a few tips.

The 5S is the basis of the Toyota Production System. It is coined from the Japanese words that begin with S – Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set), Seisho (shine), Seiketsu (Standardisation), Shitsuke (Sustain). It was aimed at leaning their manufacturing processes to eliminate wastage (especially of time which is a key measure of effectiveness and efficiency).

S#1. SORT Go through your drawer and the trays of paper-pile on your desk to sort the garbage from documents/material that you consider still valuable. While keeping the items you might be unsure of closer to you, move the less useful or meaningful materials or garbage to an area you will now reserve for “Garbage Area”. Without mincing words, we are throwing them away. Don’t hug garbage.

S#2. SET The second of the 5S tool is also known as “Set in Order” where you basically arrange your items in designated areas that will make things easier to find. This makes for efficiency because now you don’t have to waste time looking for where to find items. “Once there is a place for everything, everything should be in its place.”

S#3. SHINE Clean your workspace. Keep it tidy daily and always. Philosophically, a tidy environment clears the head and allows for inhibited workflow.

S#4. STANDARDISATION Ensure this order is maintained daily. Make it a rule to be followed by anyone working in this area. Don’t allow a clutter to spill into the next day.

S#5. SUSTAIN Over a period of time, try to look over the area and see if it is still keeps to your rules. This is about the hardest “S” as it entails commitment. It is a continuous process and there is always room for improvement so feel free to be innovative, time to time. If things get chaotic, it can be expected. What is more important is that you review your progress and repeat the 5S process all over again. I’ve found that it helps to reward yourself when you go through with this process.

The 5S tool has been helpful to me at my workplace and I truly hope this message reaches the heart of your work life too.

“A place for everything, everything in its place. “ – Benjamin Franklin

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

5 Career Lessons from the Movie “Inception”

Yaya Aiki, peeps!

You must be thinking, Sochi, what were you thinking when you thought up this topic? OK. First off, I must confess, I am a film buff. Secondly, you know how we riot in our heart of heart to reconcile our occupations with our pre-occupations – well, here is my dilemma: How to validate my love for great movie stories and my passion to render valid professional advice.

Ergo, 5 Career Lessons from the Movie “Inception.”

1)            Cobb: Never recreate places from your memory. Always imagine new places!

Break from the monotony. Bring a fresh breath of innovation and imagination to how you perform your tasks. Your employer cum supervisor appreciates what innovation or initiative you can bring to your job. Think, “How can I do this faster and reduce turnaround time?” A thought like this may not get you to Hollywood but it will take you to “new places” in your work life.

2)            Eames: [with Arthur in a gunfight] You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

While thinking of new qualifications to beef your resume with, there is a risk attached to thinking vertically than thinking horizontally. This is where you make career choices that don’t necessarily prove you are looking for challenge or equipped for it either. Strive to widen your skill set instead of changing the combination of skills you use on a job. Dream bigger, darling – pull out that grenade launcher from your pocket!

3)            Cobb: [From Trailer] The seed that we planted in this man’s mind may change everything.

Good thinking, Good product – we were a little younger when we heard this nugget of Japanese management thinking but it only took a few years of proven achievement before the Western Corporate world was a-flush with Japanese management theories. You have to give it that, Good thinking is infectious. Give time to think. It takes practice. Commit at least 10 – 20 minutes to thinking about new ideas. Over time, you see how it changes your world view and your perception of issues.

4)            Eames: If we are gonna perform Inception then we need imagination.

In all your pursuits, strive for originality. Whether it be an interview or a sales pitch, don’t settle for stereotype. Be original in your style. To be original doesn’t come with your DNA, it’s something you figure out as you go, practice new ways to express a point or answer a usual question. Find your own way of dealing with issues without losing your dignity or professionalism. Rehearse in front of your mirror every morning, listen more, speak less, try to see things from other peoples’ perspective. This makes for a more proactive and productive interaction. Sorry, Inception.

5)            Saito: Don’t you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone!

If I might say myself, this piece is rather timely. As we make plans, resolve and hope for a productive and fulfilling New Year, we need to face our fears, embrace them and finally, let them go. Changing jobs, considering asking for extra responsibility, starting up a business – whatever critical choice might be, don’t be afraid – take that leap of faith. Let me sound a caveat here: When you take that leap of faith, you don’t always land from zero to hero. Life is a journey. What counts is that you start. Refuse to be crippled by your fear (now here’s an idea for a Nightmare on Elm’s Street sequel).

6)            Arthur: Quick, give me a kiss! [She kisses him and then looks around]

Ariadne: they’re still looking at us.

Arthur: Yeah, it’s worth a shot.

OK, yeah, I said I had five lessons from the movie, How come about a sixth? you may wonder. As the hopeless romantic that I am, I just love mushy lines and couldn’t stop myself from throwing these in. Enjoy.

Now that this labour of love is done, I now consider the price of my Inception movie ticket validated.

“There are some movies that I would like to forget, for the rest of my life. But even those movies teach me things.” Anthonio Banderas

New Year Resolutions and a Career Plan to Boot!

A career plan is an action plan that clarifies what your interests and talents/strengths are, what new skills you might need to get ahead in your present, new or prospective job. By this definition, a career plan can have either of two-pronged focus – Career Advancement and Career Change.

The Career Plan for a Career Advancement is not much different from that for a Career Change except for the direction of movement. Career Advancement involves a vertical movement in your career while a Career Change involves a horizontal movement from one career to another. Whichever direction you chose to make in your career plan, there are certain steps that must be considered to avoid a collision course – Titanic-scale. Here are a few tips to help you as you write your career plan:

  1. Write your Life Goals: What are your goals? What do you expect from your work life? Try to be realistic and precise. Nothing too lofty – try simple words and expressions to convey where you would like to be within the next one year (short term goals) and longer that, maybe five years (long term goals).
  2. Evaluate your skills: A SWOT analysis works perfectly here. Take a sheet of paper and write down your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This is important for your to have a clear picture of what chances you have of fitting into your “dream” job. The idea of using a SWOT analysis is not to give you 10 reasons why you shouldn’t attempt applying for the job but to give you 10 keys to going beyond the first call to interview.  With knowledge of the skills you have (Strengths) and the skills you need (Weaknesses) you know what skills you require to learn. To understand the Opportunities and Threats involved in your career choice, you must research the industry you are moving into.
  3. Naturally, the next to do when you have realised the skills you need for the job is to get them. You can acquire skills by shadowing (this involves assisting someone already doing what you would like to do, in order to learn from them), volunteer jobs, trainings and perhaps going back to school. When you want to apply for a job, you want to stand out from the crowd and the only way to do this is to pitch yourself as the solution to their problem. You can only do this if you are armed with the requisite skills.
  4. As it so happens with plans, sometimes you need to look at alternatives when your expectations don’t match reality.
  5. Prepare your resume and get it out there. Network from within your contact circle, people you know. Start looking from within – sometimes, you need to start from where you are. Your organization could have a position you would be suited for, apply for it. Be famous for your competence on the job and it becomes easier to trust you with more responsibilities.

Be prepared to market yourself on the Internet even. You have to follow up with action.

It is the way to get yourself out there.  Facebook, twitter, and job boards are daily becoming thriving scout fields for recruiters, so update your resume and upload them.

Career planning shouldn’t necessarily be a once-a-year exercise. Circumstances change and plans are better off changing with them – or at least reviewed as they happen.

“If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.” – Brian Tracy

Welcome to AIKI!

"Yaya Aiki" is a genial greeting which means in Hausa, "How is work?"

Welcome to our very own Human Resources and Personal Development blog. A build up from witty but impactful tweets and BBM broadcasts over time.

It offers quotes, articles and tips on HR trends and practices and tips on self development.  All these are delivered in a simple-to-follow language without the condescending use of HR jargons. Articles here have a focus on the Employer and employees across industries in developed and developing economies.

The self-development articles are written to bring business and organizational tips to readers in a lingo that clasps round the brain on first impact. It is an irrefutable statistic that we spend more than a third of our lives working, so our mission “To inspire an attitude and life style of effectiveness and efficiency outside the cubicle. ~

“Yaya Aiki” is a genial greeting which means in Hausa, “How is work?”

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