Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christseuss

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Redundancy Diaries #6 Sign on the dotted line

This will be the final chapter of the Redundancy Diaries and, unlike the final Harry Potter movie, which end up being the final 2 movies from the franchise. I appreciate that as readers you will experience mixed feelings resulting from this news. The purely altruistic feeling of excitement for
me in finding gainful employment, and a totally selfish feeling of loss at the end of what has become a regular column of entertaining reading. Shame on you for being such an ego-centric view of life.

I was offered, and accepted a position today starting in the new year. All very exciting, I know. Being a true-blue Aussie I do not possess the ability to haggle so I dutifully accepted the salary package offered to me. I am sure the selfish readers, whom I have already identified, would say I am undervaluing my skills and experience. Well of course I am but who could afford to pay me what I know I am worth. If Westpac Chief Executive can receive a $9million bonus in a year where banks worldwide required government bail outs after creating one of the biggest stock market crashes in history and when Westpac raised interest rates almost double that of the Reserve Bank rate then what I am worth. This year I managed budgets effectively bringing projects in under budget, met all performance targets and increased the diversity of public information available about life threatening illnesses.

Oh, now I see why I was made redundant. Large companies with multi-million dollar budgets do not appreciate competence.

In that case my New Year’s resolution will to be more wasteful and deliver a lower standard of customer service. With that sort of work ethic I am sure to be promoted before the ink of the signatures on my contract is dry.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Redundancy Diaries #5 Stop it...ok just a little bit more

Jerry Seinfeld once equated job interviews with first dates, explaining that only with a job interview is there little chance you will end up naked at the end of it. He was right.

My face hurts from all of the false smiling, laughing at inane jokes (the interview panels told some too) Being politically correct ALL the time. Just having to sit up straight. It is hard to give a good impression all slouched over the arm of a chair with your feet tucked up under your backside. If they wanted that people would interview candidates in their lounge room. This could be a revealing interview.

In this weather when I am on the couch it is t-shirt and underwear. I would wear a tie, of course.

My suit has never had such a good workout and although I have a reasonable tie collection I have realised that I have a limited number of shirts that are suitable for wearing with a tie. Making a string of consecutive days of professional business attire quite the fashion dilemma. Only one thing for it, buy new shirts to add to my collection of 60+ shirts. It takes six weeks to complete the rotation of long sleeve shirts alone.

My favourite interview question so far has been, “If you were an animal what would you be and why?” I would love your responses to this question, either about yourself or your recommendations for how I should have responded to the question. Please leave a comment.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Redundancy Diaries #4 Talking up a storm

Given that I only own one suit I think I will wear that. I have no idea if it is really a day suit or dinner suit or business suit. Don’t know and frankly don’t care. It is grey, buttons up and looks formal with a tie.

I am not sure why I wear suit and tie to an interview as I have never worn one whilst working, well except when I was emceeing a Harmony Day event at which the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia was key note speaker and when one of my staff died. On reflection this was more of a funeral day than a workday.

Funerals and weddings are really the days for suits, and weddings can be a lot more casual open collar that sort of thing. Not as casual as at the race though. Nothing says class like a suit worn with a pair of Dunlop Volleys, nothing that is except a suit with thongs.

Looking forward to the interview questions, which always end up the same.
Q: Why did you apply for this job?

A: Ummm because you advertised it and are willing to pay me money to do it. Actually I did not even apply, my recruitment agent just emailed you my resume and this interview is the first I even knew that the position was available.

Q: What skills and experience do have suitable for this position?

A: Firstly thank you for reading my application that I worked on for hours to ensure all of my relevant skills and experience were fully described. I have brought a copy with me so why don’t I just read it to you. Turn the page when Tinkerbell rings her little bell.

Q: What are your weaknesses?

A: I am a hard worker, committed, and diligent sometimes I need to be told to slow down and have a break. (This was a guess what we want to hear question, right?)

Other guess-the-right-answer style questions include
How would you manage a staff member that is under performing?
Discuss how you work with teams and work independently?
How do you effectively manage your time with competing priorities?
Demonstrate how you pay attention to detales?

Q: When would you be available to start?

A: I can start appearing at the office on a daily basis in two weeks, I will start actually working approximately four weeks after that