Unemlpoyed? Ever thought about volunteering to help people?

Continuous learning makes you an expert and experience gained through helping others can help you learn even more. If you face continuous job rejections, you might like to start helping others to improve your future employment chances and to boost your CV. Options for volunteering are pretty much endless ; you can teach languages, for example, offering online English tuition; you can travel further from home to help people affected by a flood or earthquake. You can join a community project or use your skills to teach someone to read a newspaper etc.

Volunteering is a very popular way to help others and learn new skills. Fresh graduates seeking experience aligned wither their educational qualifications can start out in this way before moving on to paid work when the opportunity arises. You may not be paid for voluntary work, but it will boost your CV and your reputation for contributing to the wider world in a positive, selfless way.

Start your hunt for voluntary work by making a list of organisations within close proximity to your current location. You will probably find several not-for-profit, religious, emergencies, environmental and other organisations. Decide what you are most interested in and what services you can provide. It’s not always the case that your skills will match a current vacancy, but there is no harm in getting in touch to let an organisation know that you are keen to help. There may be an opportunity in the future for volunteering, or even an internship.

One of the other benefits of doing volunteer work is that you will meet some interesting people along the way. This is an excellent way of building connections who could potentially help you find paid work later on. You will work with experienced managers who can advise you and put in a good reference for you.

There are even more chances for you to get hired by the organisation company for whom you will be working, if a paid vacancy arises.

There is a great need for literacy-volunteer these days. Tutors who can help people understand a different language are in great demand,since so many people from around the world are moving to English-speaking countries. Even people who can speak English well may need help with reading, writing and spelling so thatb they too can improve their employment prospects and social life.

Voluntary tutors should be enthusiastic and knowledgeable. If you want to be a tutor, you must be readily available to help your students and happy to treat individuals with respect, recognise their talents and values and create a comfortable learning environment for them. A good tutor is also well-organised, with a positive approach towards life and the ability to explain things . He or she encourages students to ask questions without fear of ridicule and always show interest in students’ progress.

If you cna do all this and are happy to volunteer in this way, you will achieve satisfaction in your role and a wealth of valuable experience . You will also be able to search for paid work with much more confidence and, hopefully, success, next time round.

How to keep your spirits high when you feel ignored at work

Feeling ignored at work

During your care-free college years, it can be hard to understand how tough it is to be the best employee in an organisation. In the workplace, you have to not only work hard, but also know how to get along well with your peers, so that they become your support in difficult times. It’s not always easy to form good working relationships with your peers, and it can require a great deal of time and effort.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get your voice heard above those of your team mates. Even if you are working hard towards accomplishing the desired goals, you can feel sidelined and unappreciated at times. You start to wonder what makes people so disrespectful, so that they never hear or notice what you say or ask them to do.

Before you confront your colleagues, however, step back and take a deep breath. Think about what might be affecting the rest of your team. People may have heard what you want them to do, but have not quite mastered the art of doing it yet. People who are already are struggling to do their job, or take control of their time may well be less inclined to pay you the right amount of attention when you try to make conversation or ask for their help.

Here are five steps to help you develop resilience and patience while working with others.

Recognise and Validate Your Feelings

Before you get into the workplace, take time to understand how you feel and what is going inside yourself. People take control of their emotional states in different ways. Some disconnect with their physical location and go deep inside themselves to examine their mental state. Others use physical; exercise to sort out their thoughts. Many discover what is going in their minds by writing their feelings down on a piece of paper.

Whatever method you choose, use it to figure out the answers to the following important questions:

– Is my interpretation of the situation correct, is the other person unable to help me, or has he simply forgotten what I asked him to do?

– What is my emotional response to the situation? For instance, is it guilt, resignation or anger? Is it justified?

– Whom should I blame? Should I blame myself for not communicating things perfectly? Or should I blame the other person for not following what I asked?

– What is the wisest step to take next? For example, should I set up a one-to-one meeting, or sort it out through a wider group involvement?

Avoid Judgment

We can feel anything we like but we do not always have the right to judge. Judgment is often a terrible move to make, especially when you do not understand the total picture. So address your emotions carefully without denying them, otherwise they will accumulate and prevent you from finding possible solutions. A good idea to help you avoid judging a person or situation too impulsively is to disengage yourself from your emotions as much as you can and handle the situation from a distance.

Start by assuming that there was a good reason for the colleague/team member not to undertake the task or listen to you properly. Then focus on discovering the best ways to find out what those reasons are, and how you can help put things right.

Ask Questions

Before you start complaining about your colleague or suggesting solutions, speak to the person and allow him time to explain. Your opening question could be, ‘’I have noticed that you have not replied to my emails. Can you please explain what is happening?’’

The answer might surprise you. For example, long hours might have kept the employee so busy that he had to work until 10pm. Your 5pm reminder email was therefore no longer visible to him. Or it might have moved into his spam folder and been overlooked.

Now explain your side and say how the error made you feel, for example, “Since you did not reply to my emails, I thought you did not respect what I said. Now let’s look at the solutions together.’’

Work Together on a Solution

Brainstorming is a good idea to find out the solutions. For example:

Manager: “It seems that you sometimes forget to check your e-mail at the end of the day. Then you don’t see the relevant reminders, is that correct?”

Ask the person how they might be reminded to check next time. They might suggest updating an email calendar or having a pad of post-it notes on their desk. If the team member then suggests having the reminder on his phone, then this should be a reasonable solution for both of you.

Define a Follow-Up

Once the solution has been decided, define in writing how you will follow up on it and what consequences there will be if the plan does not work.

By working together on communication problems like these, you can keep everyone’s spirits high and stay calm. Listen to each other to find the solutions. You cannot control what people do, but you can certainly control your own emotional response.

Five tips for graduating arts students

Art students face stiff competition when it comes to showcasing their talent after graduating from higher education. As soon as art students finish their degree, if not before, they should be thinking about how they are going to secure gainful employment.

Students of the arts have normally spent hours learning, creating and performing, so should have plenty of ideas to help them produce top quality songs, monologues, scripts or artwork.

Here are five essential tips to follow on graduating from your arts institution.

Find a non-performing hobby

When you get into working life, you will immerse yourself in your art. You will meet plenty of other people with similar interests, working in the same industry. So it’s important to have a break and do something really different during your time off, to achieve a perfect balance in your life. So consider taking up other performance arts, or get active by pumping weights at the gym or joining a sports team. You could even take up knitting…

Find out who YOU are

During your studies, you might have been typecast as a villain or romantic lead, or expected to paint or draw in a certain style. But now you are starting work, you no longer need to limit yourself to such roles. There is more in all of us than we think there is. So explore who you really are and find out what you can really do. By challenging yourself, you may bring more to the table and win things that you never thought possible..

Create a great support network

Never take the support of those who love you for granted. Always value your network of friends and family and show your appreciation to them. Share your ideas, successes and defeats with them and ask for their honest suggestions for what you have to do next to progress further in life.

Introduce positive thoughts, every day

If you face lots of rejections, try not to lose hope, but  think positive instead. Have a positive mindset and remember that things are seldom as bad as they seem. Positivity does not eliminate negative things happening, but it does give a stronger mindset to help you deal with them. It gives a purpose in life and the hope that the best is yet to come. So tell yourself daily that you are awesome, and you will eventually get the things in life which are right for you.

Everyone is different, so stop comparing yourself

Everyone has a different journey in life. You might fall in the same artistic category, but at the end of the day you are an individual. So do not compare yourself with others. Some people get employed straight away while others take longer to find what suits them. It’s easy to dwell on rejections and say, ‘’Why me?’’ but you must realise that you are not alone. So be patient and trust yourself. If things are not happening for you, then make them happen by reading inspiring books, writing show/ scripts/ cabarets and getting your name out there by any means possible.

The Importance of a Strong Social Media Presence

Social media has changed the dynamics of the business world and is a great tool to help graduates interact with employers directly. In the HR and recruitment sector, social media is an attractive opportunity to capitalise on. Not only do graduates enjoy interacting with friends and colleagues online, but they also benefit from job referrals, leads, employer recommendations and professional networks.

However, there is a criticism prevailing that social media may not always be the right way to hire. So what is the actual recruitment value in this day and age? Graduates must learn to use social media effectively and know how to be truly authentic online to enhance their reputation and display their talents and skills in the right way. It is also important for them to start the conversation because simply being present on social media is not enough; one must make a pro-active effort to get noticed.

Market Changing

At a global level, more and more businesses are now following a social recruiting model. The biggest challenge for business is to deliver at the right time and not take too long about it. Therefore, what matters the most online is what is getting audience to click, right here and right now. Knowing this helps employers achieve their recruitment objectives, because they do not need to spend time searching for their targeted audience, they can go straight to them.

So it is not just about posting jobs, but engaging with candidate on the right platforms and knowing where and how those candidates are interacting with the internet.

Innovative

One organisation, HCL, recently conducted recruitment interviews on their social media platforms. This is a great innovation exercise that got rid of much of the arduous and lengthy process of hiring and also empowered their brand online. To reach potential candidates, they tweeted with the hashtag #coolestinterviewer. They shortlisted five different categories of knowledge to get to their chosen candidates. This was a real innovation in recruitment – trying to fill a vacancy in just 140 characters.

Effective

Social media recruitment works best  when the businesses follow a strategy. The same goes for graduates who are looking for jobs. It’s not about just applying for a job that has been posted on your Facebook timeline or Twitter. Employers should follow three ‘’Rs’’ when they engage in social media recruiting: relevance, repetition and reach. Graduates must also understand the mechanism behind this. Be relevant with the job description and details, have repetition in your job search by tracking jobs and following your favorite organisations and make sure you reach the right audiences via the right social media platform.

Important Tips for New Graduates

If you have recently graduated from university, then you must be thinking about starting your working life. Entering the workplace is a totally different experience from being in a university.

Here are some important tips for you to remember:

Remember what you have learnt

Your university studies give you a foundation for success. So do not treat your degree as the end result of your education, use it as important tool to help you move on to the next stage of your future and career.

Bo someone that your colleagues will love to help

Be optimistic and have a positive attitude. Love yourself and try to help people around you. Helping each other is the best way that people can survive in difficult situations in life. If you help others, they will help you to succeed.

Don’t assume you’re the smartest person in town

Being down to earth is a great way to make strong relationships in the workplace. Arrogance is definitely not the way to go. Even if you are (always) right, you should remember that you need to keep people on your side. Never forget that teamwork is admired and followed in every organisation.

Make a good first impression

Work on the impression you want to create when you start out in the workplace. It’s difficult to change people opinions once they are formed.

Give your best when you are given a menial task

Do your best when you are given a menial task and keep a smile on your face. This will earn you the respect of your managers and colleagues. So initially, pay your dues; use your energy and dedication to gain greater achievements later on.

Work hard to enjoy success

Stay focussed and productive. Develop a habit of working regularly, efficiently and in a good humour. Good work habits like these are more admirable than simply having a talent in a certain area. So develop yourself along these lines.

Learn to listen, listen to learn.

It’s extremely important to listen to people and concentrate on what they are saying. This is the best way to learn. So use this powerful technique to become a great learner.

Work on your weaknesses and accept them

We all have weaknesses, so learn to compensate for them. There will be moments in your working life when you will be asked to do things which do not play to your strengths, so the best way to handle such a situation is to evaluate yourself and learn as much as you can from other people along the way.