Category Archives: Recruitment


The One Problem With, ‘The Truth About Your Calling with Seth Godin & Marie Forleo’


Interview on Marie TV – “Marie Forleo talks to the legendary Seth Godin about handling failure in life, overcoming writer’s block, self-doubt and starting something that matters right here and now.”

If you need some inspiration for creating and living a life you want in 2017, this interview with Marie Forleo and Seth Godin should provide exactly what you need. While the messaging has a slant towards setting up your own venture, it is equally relevant to those who are employees, or maybe looking to set up a side business.

There is one major area I disagree with in the interview, where Seth talks about finding your passion and the dream job or business. He says that it does not exist. The fundamental problem here is that like so many, Seth Godin falls into the trap of getting fixated on a job title or business type, a label if you will. Rather than the person, their values and transferable skills. Our careers are fluid not fixed. We get too caught up on the labels of what we should be doing and what is a great job or career that makes sense or is socially acceptable. We forget that it is not about the label, it is about knowing who we are and what matters most to us. This I think is passion.

In the interview, Seth Godin cites people such as Steve Jobs and that if he was born in a different time in history the iPhone and iPod etc. would not have been created. Steve Jobs would not have had the label or job title he did.  He misses the point, for I believe that whatever period Steve Jobs was born in, he would no doubt still have been a visionary and an innovator – regardless of the widget he created. His skills, attributes and values would have fed into something else. Seth Godin continues to cite a few other famous people such as Vincent van Gogh, making the same points around labels. Again, I put forward the same argument. All the examples he references have a theme in that they are people who had a decent level of self-awareness and who would have made a wonderful contribution to the world, however it was packaged or labelled.

The message from the interview is to back yourself and that the best time to act and live the life you want is NOW. Which I 100% agree with. There are a wold of possibilities for us all.

For me, it all comes back to our level of self- awareness, combined with the confidence to act. The more we know about ourselves, our values and behaviours, our core skills and personal attributes, the more chance we have to channel these into a myriad of career paths that we will find rewarding – even be passionate about! Rather than looking for the one elusive dream job, we need to reflect on who we are, what we love doing and what the world needs!

Click to watch the video 



Authentic Interviewing – For Those Looking to Make Better Hiring Decisions

02J67494‘The Art of Interview’, is a great HBR Podcast with Cal Fussman writer and journalist for Esquire who has interviewed many high profiled people from politicians to global CEO’s and musicians such as Dr. Dre. In this insightful podcast, Cal offers some great strategies for building trust with those he interviews to enable him to really get the honest answers he is looking for.  He cites the example of Dr. Dre when you are looking to find out if people are truly passionate about what they do. Dr. Dre can work for 72 hours straight when he is passionate about a project he is working on.  We can leverage or adapt this in interviews to ask questions around “When were you last totally immersed in a project at work?”  Or, “When was the last time you pulled an all- nighter to get a project done at work?”

This is a great podcast for anyone who is looking to develop their interviewing skills in order to make better hiring decisions.  From the podcast I took away the need to have a more authentic interview style and less of a formulaic process. Perhaps we need to tone down some of the rigour and structure with interviews to create an environment where the interviewee “feels at home” enabling us to really get to know who they are and what drives and motivates them.  We need to listen deeply.   As we all know interviews are not very natural – from how they are staged to the standard questioning and the fact that interviews are by their nature an exclusionary process.  Very rarely do interviewees feel comfortable in an interview.

In a recent recruitment assignment I adopted a more ‘authentic interview’ style and it was such a richer and more successful process. I did not interview in an office like I normally do. Instead we had an informal meeting at a café.  I left the standard interview questions aside and spent the time building trust through sharing some of my career and life story with the interviewees. In turn I was able to build trust and learn more about each interviewee in this meeting than I probably would if I had worked with them for a few months. It resulted in a fantastic hire being made. Moving forward I am certainly going to continue to evolve my ‘authentic interviewing’ style as I know it works.

For anyone whose role includes interviewing I highly recommend listening to ‘The Art of Interview’

What are your thoughts and experiences with ‘authentic interviewing’?


5 Ways to Communicate More Effectively When Job Searching & Networking

02A16Y0YWhile technology is great and facilitates many amazing discussions, connections and content sharing, it also leaves many people lost when it comes to the basics of general communication. Perhaps it is because we live in an age where everything is so rapid and where we can communicate anonymously should we wish.  However, if you want to build and maintain a positive personal brand, be sure to stick to the basics – a polite introduction of your name and purpose of the communication when reaching out to others is imperative.

I cannot tell you how many people when applying for jobs leave a message on the voicemail without leaving a contact number, full name and putting some context around the call. This does not leave a professional impression and would not result in the application progressing to the next stage. The same applies if it was a networking reach out – it would not led to a meeting.

If you are preparing for a job search related ‘meeting’ of any description (be it face to face, email or over the phone) go through the following checklist before reaching out;

  1. Clarity around the purpose of the communication (your objectives & potentially theirs). Keep it concise. What are you looking to achieve from the meeting or reach out? Is it to speak with them to then potentially gain a meeting? Is it to gather specific information?
  2. Understand who the audience is and the best way to communicate with them (phone, email, twitter, face to face, text etc.)
  3. A clear timeframe for yourself and for the audience. if you want to meet, ideally looking to arrange a coffee within the next two weeks etc.
  4. Being clear about the outcome you are working towards (they don’t necessarily need to know this however you do – tying back to the purpose). Why are you reaching out – to ultimately secure a job with company x, to learn specific information about why? Etc.
  5. Leave a ‘calling card’ that is aligned with your personal brand. This includes contact information in addition to the impression you leave behind from any form of contact you have with others. What do you want this to be?

Whenever you apply for a job or conduct networking activities, please be sure to revisit these five steps. Remember to introduce yourself and consider your audience rather than just launching into what you want or need. While it all sounds simple and logical, in the haste and potential pressure attached with job seeking, we can sometimes lose sight of the obvious.

As they say “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. What do you want that lasting impression to be?

The 6 Classic Mistakes People Make When Negotiating Their Salary

Article by Jade Bate for the Australian Financial Review

Asking for a pay rise is such an uncomfortable experience that many employees avoid it altogether – and are the poorer for it. Kelly Magowan, author, career strategist and consultant for the students at the Melbourne Business School, tells The Australian Financial Review about six classic mistakes people make when seeking a fatter pay packet, and how to avoid them.


“Even if you’re a top performer, employers aren’t going to open up the conversation candidly to you and they certainly aren’t going to willingly give you more money,” says Magowan. This means it’s important to use your initiative if you think you’re due for a salary negotiation.

The ideal time to ask for salary negotiation is when you’re entering a new place of work. Magowan says “you can put everything you want into your negotiation up front. It’s important to cite everything you want in this initial contract, but try not make it too excessive and complicated because your employer won’t want to negotiate with you.”

If you’re already employed and think a pay rise is due, Magowan says it’s important to “be upfront when asking your boss for time to discuss your salary package”. The best way to enter into a discussion about pay with your boss is to contact them via e-mail or phone to ask for a time when they’re available to negotiate your salary face-to-face. Magowan recommends to “use direct and positive language” in asking for time to discuss. “Remember, bosses and HR want to avoid having this conversation just as much as you’re nervous about bringing it up”, she says.

To read the full article visit the AFR 


Salary Negotiation Coaching Service

If you are new to Salary Negotiation or find yourself in unfamiliar territory The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation will provide you with all the tools you need to get started. Visit Amazon to purchase The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation

Alternatively contact me to find out about my ‘Salary Negotiation Coaching Service’. 

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17 Career Management Tips for Women

03B68299While it seems managing our careers is just another thing we need to do in our already busy lives, the reality is, that like ourselves, our careers are hopefully always evolving and our salaries growing!

That said, it can be difficult to ensure we are focusing on the right areas for developing our expertise and our career growth.  Review the 17 areas below and take note of what you are doing that is aligned, and of the areas you need to create an action plan for improving over the next six months.

  1. PERFORM efficiently those job responsibilities which will help your boss the most.
  2. FIND OUT what your boss regards as good performance in your job role. It may differ from your current opinion.
  3. MASTER your position as quickly as possible and pass your knowledge onto another person. This will prevent lack of suitable successors stopping your next internal job move chances.
  4. LEARN to like yourself and value all the talents, attributes and experiences you bring. Put yourself into the spotlight so others can see, respect and take notice of you.
  5. STEP OUTSIDE the confines of your position description responsibilities; make sure your actions are regarded as constructive initiatives—not just attention seeking.
  6. DON’T accept a job move if the role involves a lot of responsibilities you don’t like. We all perform better when doing things we enjoy and using skills which we prefer to use.
  7. EXPAND opportunities for those in influential positions to learn more about you by achieving success in outside work activities such as in community service organisations and/or personal development studies.
  8. IDENTIFY a well-regarded person in a senior position where you work who could be a potential sponsor and who you could seek career advancement advice.
  9. SUGGEST thoroughly prepared recommendations—not criticisms—for problems within your employment environment.
  10. DEVELOP your skills at interpersonal relationships; accept the fact that ‘office politics’ exist; re-examine your personal values regularly so that when faced with ethical dilemmas at work you will know what to do without procrastination.
  11. RECOGNISE that ability alone will not advance your career—persistence, hard work, careful planning and being seen as personally ambitious, but an effective team worker, will.
  12. SMILE a lot. Others notice and favour people with happy but conscientious dispositions. The despondent people are often regarded as too risky to move to new positions.
  13. ENSURE you have a good variety of interests outside work to prevent stress of your efforts bringing you hard.
  14. PRACTISE self-nomination. Don’t wait to be offered new job roles. Let it be known the role/s you want and present your case for why you’re the best candidate.
  15. PLAN for more than one career path. Ensure you develop skills and knowledge for different directions for your career development and eligibility for them.
  16. CHANGE employers after you have done the research and looked at your options objectively.  Accept a new position factoring in everything from pay, to developing new knowledge, career repositioning, education and so on.
  17. NEGOTIATE your salary whenever opportunities arise such as performance review and salary review time. In the event your employer does not arrange these, be sure to schedule them directly once a year at a minimum.

Actions: Take note of which of the 17 steps you have chosen to work on developing. It is recommended that you don’t choose more than 4.

  • List which four have you chosen.
  • What help will you require and from who in order to accomplish these improvements?
  • Document a plan for implementing these changes over the next 6 months.

About the Author

Kelly Magowan is a certified Career Coach and has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space. Kelly has been working in the arena of Human Resource Management, Recruitment and Career and Executive Coaching for over 17 years. Initially focusing on commercial recruitment, and later moving into corporate Human Resources working with Ernst & Young and General Electric. Since 2012 Kelly has been working part time at Melbourne Business School as a Careers Consultant assisting the Senior Executive MBA students, MBA Students and Alumni in securing their next rewarding role and/or embarking on a new career. In addition she continues to successfully grow her own Careers Consultancy and speak on the topic of Salary Negotiation for Women.  In addition she is the author of ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’.

Status Anxiety & Its Impact on Our Careers

psychDo you suffer from status anxiety at work? Alain De Botton has done a terrific job in his book ‘Status Anxiety’  explaining how and why most of us are ‘consciously or unconsciously’ status orientated in life and work. As the excerpt below from his book clarifies so succinctly.

“This is a book about an almost universal anxiety that rarely gets mentioned directly: an anxiety about what others think of us; about whether we’re judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. This is a book about status anxiety. We care about our status for a simple reason: because most people tend to be nice to us according to the amount of status we have (it is no coincidence that the first question we tend to be asked by new acquaintances is ‘ What do you do?’).”

My interest is how status anxiety relates to our careers – our worklife in fact. I think it starts with our parents. They can have a huge influence over our careers and how we view career status. As adults we tend to hear our parents engaging in job title status related discussions with their friends about how well X,Y, and Z are doing in their careers. There is nothing worse than having to listen to your parents tell you how well your contemporaries are doing on the workfront and or their partners! Worse still when you are unemployed! Many parents seem to want to show how ‘successful’ their children are and having status orientated job titles and jobs seems to be an effective way of doing this. Unfortunately a great sounding job title does not equal job happiness – and when do you parents brag to others about your job happiness?

While job titles are not all bad, a negative aspect is that they are a label and labels can be misleading. They can also lead to segregation and all sorts of other negative associations. Job titles can be truly un-helpful in our careers as people may not look too much into the content of the job but rather be swayed by the job title. From resumes to job ads to workplaces – a great sounding job title seems to give you a lot more status and career progression. The content of the job seems to play second fiddle to the title!

While I don’t expect this to change anytime soon, I do believe there are a few ways to manage status when it comes to job seeking.

What is behind the job title?

It begins with looking beyond the job title when job seeking and looking at the content of the job ad and position description (if available). Don’t be fooled by a great sounding job title or put off by a lame one. Sometimes people don’t apply for their dream job because it has been mis-labelled and they think they are over or under qualified. I have seen this occur on a regular basis. If you are not sure, do as much due diligence as you can on and offline around the job. A good place to start is ONet if you are not sure about certain job types and titles.

Selling your achievements

When job seeking your job title can hold a lot of weight and in those instances when your job title does not reflect the core job and what you have achieved, it is important to include relevant achievements stories. While listing your responsibilities is good, achievement stories have a much greater impact on the reader. If you can flesh out your transferable skills that are aligned with the job you are targeting and demonstrate these in achievement stories it can help position you better.

Job titles

I certainly don’t advocate making up jobs you have done however if your employer has given you a completely obscure or irrelevant job title that is not relevant to what you do, then it is fair to change this to be more aligned with what the general market uses. An ill fitting job title means that recruiters may overlook your experience. So if for example your job title is Accountant and only a small part of what you do is the actual accounting work and the remainder is more operations and staff management, you may be better for example to have either, Operations Manager or a combined Accountant / Operations Management. You could even try to get your employer to change your job title if you have a good business case to do so.


Networking is important in the job search as a resume cannot do justice to your career to date and where you want it to go and why. This comes through best when you meet with people face to face and they can see your passion and listen first hand to your story. Putting yourself in networking situations that are relevant to what you are targeting on the job front is a must. It avoids the focus being so much on what your current job title is and enables you to talk about what you want to be doing in your next role and what you bring.


At different times throughout our careers, job titles can have both a positive and a negative impact. In those instances where your job title is not working for you (as highlighted above) there are a few things you can do to better position yourself and your career.

Please share your views on status anxiety and how it relates to our careers.


Insightful Interview Preparation Questions

Career_Vision_KMIt is always a challenge to know what questions to prepare for an interview. It can also seem that the questions asked by the interviewer have no logic or real purpose behind them – this is rarely the case.

I found an insightful post by Yscouts called ‘ 15 Outstanding Executive Interview Questions’. They are a pretty good selection of questions to start from as they give you an explanation as to why they are being asked and therefore what the interviewer is looking for you to respond with.

For example:

Teach me something I don’t already know.
A good friend of mine informed me of a brilliant question that is asked from the top heads at Google during the hiring process. The candidate is asked some iteration of, “teach me something I don’t already know.” The candidate then has to quickly think of something unique on the spot to teach that will effectively portray their intellect and personality.

What are your goals?
I find this question helps me understand what motivates a potential hire and sheds light as to whether she would be a good fit. I am a big believer in ‘fit’ and this question goes a long way. People draw motivation from different sources, and understanding that from the outset is very helpful in building a successful relationship.

If you are going through the interview process you may find these 15 interview preparation questions very valuable.

What are some of the better interview questions you have asked or been asked?

Post and pray: Common talent-sourcing mistakes

While many job-seekers can be accused of a pokies-style job search approach, as highlighted in my recent article ‘Why online job seeking is similar to playing the pokies’, companies are equally guilty of lacking robust strategies when it comes to hiring via online channels.

It may be sign of the times, in that technology has made us all rather lazy. Unfortunately, though, it is not serving job seekers or employers well.

Having worked in corporate human resources, recruitment agencies and having run a job site for many years, I have seen a lot of the behaviours that occur when it comes to sourcing talent.

More often than not, the hiring of staff is a reactive process, with little time or thought given to the planning and strategy stage of the process. This could be because it involves the tough stuff and takes time to discuss and formalise the real criteria around the talent the company is looking for. More often than not, those hiring miss these crucial steps, which results in a job ad being thrown up (via all sort of online channels).

To read about the most common mistakes made, visit Leading Company



Have you followed up on any interviews lately? Why keeping in touch is a good career management strategy

While job seeking has its ups and downs, there are certainly things you can be doing to build relationships, your networks and potentially your pipeline of job opportunities. Better still by doing these you stand out from the crowd.

It is unfortunate that there is not enough professionalism and general courtesy in the recruitment process by those doing the hiring. As job seekers, the lack of acknowledgement of applications is frustrating, as is the lack of communication following phone calls and interviews. In the instances where you never hear anything back, follow up once or twice however if there is no response then move on. It is their loss!

Just because some of those doing the hiring lack professionalism – you can rise above it.

After an interview, do follow up with a thank you email or letter?

Even if you receive the call to say that you were not successful with a particular role, be it with an agency or employer direct, thank them for their time and indicate that you would like to keep in touch about future opportunities. Particularly with an employer that you felt was the right organisational fit for you. It is worth mentioning this and that you would welcome the opportunity to be considered and contacted about upcoming jobs. Schedule to send an email or call every few months to check in with them.

Rather than doing what most job seekers do when unsuccessful (which is to throw away the business card of the hirer in disappointment) look at it as a potential longer term opportunity to build your pipeline of job opportunities.  

You just never know what is around the corner, and believe me – this small action can make a big difference.  

Are You In Recruitment? Don’t Miss The RHUB Conference

“The road ahead is littered with challenges for recruiters, find out what’s the right route to take at RHUB conference”

What challenges awaits the recruitment community in 2012? What strategies and recruitment models will work? What do HR professionals and employers want from talent solution suppliers? How will government policies affect recruitment? What new recruitment delivery trends are emerging? What must recruiters do to navigate the unknown road ahead? These and many other burning issues concerning recruiters will be addressed at the first Recruiters’ Hub (RHUB) Conference in Sydney on 21-22 March.

Over two days, twenty five speakers will address a wide range of recruitment issues that will have a profound bearing on how recruitment is performed in 2012.

Who should attend? RHUB is designed for agency recruiters, talent solution providers and vendors serving the HR sector. Day two sessions are relevant for everyone including corporate recruiters. Anyone involved in talent acquisition will benefit from two days of discussions and insights into the future of recruitment. Early bird price ends on 24 Feb, register now.