Tag Archives: job market
I hope you’re optimized for another day of growth and learning at work. If you’re a job seeker, I hope you’re listening and responding to the job market.
As the Beatles said ‘the love you give is equal to the love you make’. Show your love for the job market by engaging with it fully.
Take the time to love your potential employers. Address your cover letters to people and not to ‘whom it may concern’. It concerns you to find out whom your application concerns.
I feel a bit flat so had to issue this emergency update to remind myself to keep wrestling if I want to get anywhere.
So where am I going? Hopefully to an imaginative office shared by enthusiastic co-workers who inspire and share the passion for the work.
I must admit, the journey is as much fun as the destination that I hope to find.
Yesterday, I went to offices in North Sydney, trying to find any employment opportunities for a process driven, creative marketer with a passion for all things digital.
I found some amazing sights, amazing people and had to stop and take photos. You can find a wrap-up of my job hunting in photos.
I also came across the following mission statement in one of the offices, EUREKA!
“I pledge allegiance to the Imagine Nation, and the values for which it stands: fun, creativity and the unexpected. From this time forward I will seek inspiration in all things, not just YouTube and last year’s award annuals. I pledge loyalty to ideas. I will find ways to make them stronger and defend them from the cynical. I will not settle for average, I will have fun in the face of deadlines, I will never be anonymous, and I will strive to be original in all the things I do, because I am proud to be a citizen of the Imagine Nation.”
It turns out there are others like me.
PS: As you might know, I’m an obsessive fan of the Wrestling Possums blog by Chris Savage. If you know Chris, or how I may get in touch with him, I’d be very appreciative if you could drop me a line. His words inspire me and it would be a fantastic opportunity to spend a day with him to understand the creative process. I know he’s insanely busy and wouldn’t mind if I had to wait a year.
May your day bring you everything you put into it and then some.
Have you ever thought about what the purpose of your resume is?
A resume is your most important and basic marketing tool as a job seeker.
Many people don’t take the time to review their resumes. They assume that if they’ve written all about their work experience and education that’s simply enough.
Some people who are more aware of the function of a resume, go as far as to list achievements.
However, some of these achievements can be so vague that you would think they were crediting themselves for simply managing to inhale and exhale to maintain the oxygen flow to their bloodstream.
The job market is competitive and no employer of recruiter has the time to go through resumes that list achievements that either have no value or relevance for a particular role.
Instead of shooting blanks, how about producing some bullet points that hit the mark?
The most important concept in marketing is to write for your target. Put yourself in your employer’s place. What do they want?
If you are going for an administrative role, then consider the impact of these two examples.
- Successfully maintained and updated the database of clients
- Managed a database effectively resulting in satisfaction and retention of one of our biggest clients, who invests $800,000 per year in our services
The first example seems blank in comparison to the second bullet point, doesn’t it?
It always helps to illustrate the significance of your role to the overall business.
When constructing your resume, have a think about all the times you saved the company money or managed large accounts effectively, or grew the business in some way.
Then tailor your statements to the needs of your employer and to the position description.
The position description is like a question so your resume must be a full and complete answer to the question so as to leave no additional questions in the mind of the employer.
Once you’re convincing on your resume that you can handle the job, that’s when you get the interview.
But, whatever you do, don’t shoot blanks. Make sure your bullet points are directed straight at the target.
As you may be searching for that perfect warm desk with your name on it and only getting the cold shoulder from the HR departments, it may seem tempting to sign up with some of the many recruitment agencies in whichever large city you happen to be living in.
I don’t know where you’re looking for a job, but ‘Sleepless in Sydney’ here had done a recruitment agency run during her first round of job searching and it yielded absolutely nothing with lasting impact.
Now, what you’re after might be a temporary engagement or some contract jobs, then I would say the recruiters are probably the best places to go.
However, if you’re looking for a dream job and don’t want to compromise on any of your ideals, heck, if you’re just downright unreasonable (like me), you may not get too much out of meeting with recruiters. In fact, the recruiters WILL waste your time.
In saying that, first timers, new grads, and others with no relevant work experience have benefited from registering with recruiters and tapping into their resources to get their first posting. I know many recent graduates who got their first jobs thanks to the connections of some well-connected and experienced recruiters.
I just found the recruiters a waste of time because I was a tad bit more experienced and advanced to buy into the fact that the English and Irish recruiters, who were just as new as me to Sydney, would be more in the loop than a socialite like myself.
After all, the only person who knows what’s right for me is me and as such, I will be resorting to guerilla tactics to get myself to a desk with the company of my dreams that will have me.
I’m an unusual job seeker in that I’m a romantic at heart. I fully believe in happy employments and wish to have one with Mr. Big, who may be out of my league.
I have an absolute love for digital media and writing. In fact, I’m trying to write myself into a role in digital media but finding it frustrating to find that Mr. Big may not be ready for me or perhaps I’m not ready to fill such big shoes.
I completed my 28 day recruitment challenge about a month ago and had speed-dated my way through many not-so eligible jobs that just did not sit right with me.
You can read up on my final thoughts on the 28 day recruitment challenge here:
On the 28th day of my challenge, I had a bad job interview. I also found out that unlike as in bad dates, you can’t make the other side pay for the bad interview experience and I tried!
Even with all this search for ‘the one’, this girl has taught herself to be self-reliant. I don’t need some job to validate me. I’ll stand on my own two feet while the perfect one comes along.
Here’s how I did it:
Still though, I don’t want to be all by myself any more. I’m a team player, really. I’m totally ready to commit to the right career in digital media marketing. So, if a matchmaker happens to call me to talk to me about an ‘opportunity’, I will keep an open mind.
After all, a call from a recruiter is better than no calls, which is all I’m getting these days.
Eray or exa, as he’s known in the online communities, is possibly the most intelligent person I know, with an intelligence level in the realm of ‘genius’. His understanding of computer systems is so advanced that he can ‘teach’ computers to think.
He is a doctoral candidate in computer science working on a next-generation artificial general intelligence system.
As someone with only user-level experience in computers and technology, I’d always been curious to find out where the technology would be heading.
There’s probably no one more qualified than Eray to give us a taste of where the future is headed. He is virtually creating our future, after all.
If you are curious to find out more about the implications of Eray’s work, please check out Eray’s AI blog.
How do you see Artificial Intelligence transforming the workplace? Which jobs will be created and which ones destroyed?
Every intellectual job can be eventually replaced by AI. First, the low rank intellectual jobs will be replaced. Already, they are trying to use narrow AI software like Watson to sift through legal files and medical records. So, assistant jobs like that might be the first to vanish. As well as things like real time translation, and other jobs that require fixed cognitive skills / knowledge which are not hard to duplicate with AI.
Obviously, robots are already replacing much manual labor, and that will continue at an accelerated pace. With the introduction of Artificial General Intelligence into the business environment, much more radical changes are to be expected, since such software is supposed to be able to attain the generality, flexibility and performance level of human intelligence.
If my system is successful, for instance, it will be possible to replace most science and engineering tasks with AI (by around 2030). This does not mean that scientists and engineers will remain jobless, though.
More likely, scientists and engineers will work at a much higher level using AI software as assistants. Therefore, a programmer or an engineer might be able to accomplish the work of 100 engineers using AI software, using AI to solve the sub-problems. I also anticipate that AI software can be very effective in replacing jobs that are considered cognitively intensive such as medical doctors, and lawyers. Though, again most likely, the practitioners of such jobs will use AI software to accelerate their work.
It may be argued that, still, AI would have difficulty replacing artists or politicians. It is of course doubtful how much of a genuine profession politics is, but you get the drift. Those jobs that seem to require real human experience may not be replaced by AI. However, even those jobs are not “safe” from AI intervention.
If computational neuroscientists achieve in making whole brain simulation work, then any human’s brain can be converted to AI, and then such AI software can do any job that humans usually do.
Smart phones have made it possible for everyone to have access to information, contribute content and organise riots, is this enabling democracy and how will this impact the phenomenon impact the future?
Smart phones by themselves are just another terminal to the Internet. What they provide in addition is mobility, which brings a lot of personal convenience to computing. Platforms like Android are very useful in that regard, as they will eventually provide a general purpose, open, mobile computing platform, since they are based on free software.
Platforms like Apples are highly restrictive, and suffer from this disease of trying to continually rip people off. Near future mobile computing platforms will offer much more enhanced Human-Computer Interaction technology, eventually speech, and 3D interfaces will be tightly integrated, and there may even be neural interfaces to interact with our mobile computing devices.
A big advantage of mobile computing will be the increased speed of interaction and communication with others, which does help in the way of democracy. Mobile computing technology was widely used during the ‘Occupy’ protests, for instance.
However, I think that Internet itself is a much more important enabler of democracy, as location transparency, and open access were among the early design requirements of the Internet, and it was done on purpose by very visionary thinkers at the time.
Ultimately, internet can help us completely replace the scam that is called representative democracy / bureaucracy by people assemblies and direct democracy / internet democracy / meritocracy, and possibly much more refined and open forms of governance.
The problem with today’s democratic systems, or so-called democracies, is that they do not scale up to millions of users. How many people does your representative represent, currently? If it’s too many, you can’t hold him accountable. Internet can fix this problem. Again, the ‘Occupy’ movement presented a great example of scaling to many users. The ‘Occupy’ movement been able to apply consensus voting to determine the participants’ demands.
Likewise, the people of Iceland have used internet voting to change their constitution. These are the shape of things to come. It is unavoidable. Only the countries who do not resist the change will be able to move forward socially, like Iceland.
While the rest of the world bailed out the bankers, essentially rewarding them for their selfish, and immoral exploitation of the financial system, the people of Iceland gave them the middle finger. People of the world need to follow the example of Iceland.
Globally, we need to wake up and decide to take the matters into our own hands. If we cannot achieve this, the internet is useless. However, if the institutions manage to change their minds and hearts, the Internet gives them countless possibilities for better policy making and punishing the wrongdoers.
For instance, the public court system would work great on the Internet. There would be no need to hide behind closed court walls. The people of the world could decide to judge the war criminals and their judgement would be above the judgement of every judge that can be bought and intimidated by the repressive regimes of the world (such as USA or Turkey).
We are witnessing the greatest cultural revolution in the world unveil before our eyes. Surely, the backward-minded people will try to stall the progress, but they cannot forever suppress the will of the people in an age of information.
No secret goes unknown too long nowadays; people hear, see, read, and think more. In many ways, the press is freer, because many people realized that the traditional press is biased and immoral, so people are turning to the more varied information on the Internet.
Although the oppressors are trying to fool the public by misinformation campaigns on the Internet (such as fossil fuel firms spreading false information that global warming is not due to fossil fuels), the Internet provides an open platform for discussion.
There is the possibility of open, honest debate, which has the potential to uncover the lies of those propagandists. That is why many nations are trying to restrict Internet access nowadays, but the genes of the Internet are resilient to that.
There are several hacker teams (hacker means gifted programmer!) and cypherpunks (people who use cryptology for freedom) who are building a more secure Internet that is resistant to censorship and control.
The oppressive governments will want to take Internet back to the stone age, but that will never happen. The technologists will never let that happen. Some people are even considering the internet to be a basic human right.
Internet is what the printing press was during the Renaissance. With the additional power of allowing everyone to be a publisher, not just the people who can afford expensive machines. The internet allows for much faster and freer transmission of information.
Today we are in another Renaissance, allowing the people to put their art, ideas, and work out there, for all to see. The people of the world will never accept losing all this ability. They will not accept losing the platform for open and free exchange of ideas.
As long as the Internet remains a massive Hyde Park for all who want to practice free speech, it will have political implications.
Do you find Google’s efforts to keep the internet free from pollution noble? Why or why not?
Google has lobbied for net neutrality and has generally given a good fight against spammers and internet polluters of the net of a million lies. Today we do not see much spam in the search results thanks to that.
That is to be commended, however, Google’s motivation is not entirely noble, or cannot be entirely noble, since like every company they are motivated by profits. In this case, mostly by advertisement profits, and advertisement is not the noblest profession in the world.
Eventually, services like Google must be replaced by free alternatives.
What are you working on right now and what future implications do you see it to have? I personally think that it’s a matter of time before traditional media companies either die out or migrate to the digital platform. Paper money will become a thing of the past and trees will be saved.
I’m working on a human-level artificial general intelligence (AGI) system. Unlike today’s narrow AI systems, AGI systems can theoretically solve any problem, not just a specific problem like narrow AI systems (say, face recognition).
My system is geared towards scientists and engineers. Think of it like a very smart kind of Mathematica for engineers that let them specify their problems, and then the system solves it for them, including non-trivial solution strategies, corner cases, and everything that a good engineer must take into consideration.
The basis of any AGI system is general purpose machine learning. The system is supposed to learn everything from scratch like a “baby machine”. I am planning to teach it scientific knowledge, instead of human knowledge (like literature).
These systems can then use the learnt knowledge to solve complex problems. So, this is like an artificial scientist that you can ask problems and then it solves them and presents the results. It can be a very useful tool.
I’m yet in the early stages of development, but I have obtained some fairly promising results. While I cannot give too many details, since this is ongoing research, I am known for a particular new memory design that I have contributed to AGI.
A “good” memory subsystem is a primary open problem in AGI. If my design proves effective for hard problems, then it will be a wonderful advancement, as it may be the key to constructing an extremely powerful AI system known as Alpha.
Among other things, Alpha is a universal problem solver. It can improve itself, and it can perform high-level cognitive strategies such as analysis and synthesis, and has the potential to transcend human intelligence. Initially, Alpha had seemed infeasible to me, but with a lot of very hard work, it might turn out to be feasible.
Though, as I have mentioned before, I cannot give a definite date right now, but I think that, by 2030, some version of it might be competent enough to label human-level AI.
Thank you for reading the first part of my interview with Eray. The discussion of where the AI technology will take us is on the second part of the interview.
‘I, the employer, take thee, employee, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, til retirement do us part.’
It seemed in the olden days, when people generally remained married (though sometimes faithlessly) they also loyally worked for companies until they could take their retirement pension and move to warmer states to live out their golden years.
The large companies offered security, dependability, and protection to the employees and in return the employees took pride for being a part of the company they were working for. The company was their team, their identity and their life’s goal.
The friends, community and the news all revolved around the working man’s axis of work. The employees genuinely liked being a part of those companies that were changing the world by dominating it at the same time. It was a great period of growth, optimism and renovation.
People had the security of working in large companies that promised to exist until the end of time. The employees sprung out of bed to an orange juice, coffee, toast and eggs breakfast prepared to perfection by the wife on a white cloth table with a vase of fresh flowers in the middle.
All of these niceties gave the working man a sense that he was the king of the world. His duty and life’s mission was to work and fulfil the responsibility of his job in the American way to perpetuate this optimism to the rest of the world until his day of retirement came.
The companies did not need any extensive employment agreements. They just gave their word to the employees because it was different times. The word of a man meant something. The economy seemed to grow forever and there were many new markets to explore and conquer. The employer-employee relationship was one of trust and mutual understanding that really didn’t need any further definition.
All of this seems rather ridiculous these days, doesn’t it? The employment contract nowadays comes with all sorts of terms and conditions to protect the employer should the employer – employee relationship break up at any point due to any number of factors. Never mind an employment contract, many employees are ‘casual’ and ‘temporary’. I may be old fashioned but all of this ‘casual’ and ‘temporary’ stuff just seems improper especially when good, loyal employees who want to be full-time have to settle for this sort of work.
The employment contract has no doubt modeled the prenuptial agreements that many couples feel they must prepare before preparing their vows these days. All I can say is that the lawyers are a clever breed of professionals who know how to exploit the growing distrust between people.
But bringing the argument back to the employee-employer relationship, it’s not rare to see employees remaining on the job market even if they are happily working in a company. It’s also not rare to see companies hiring people casually or on a contractor basis because they have no idea or projection of how long the position will remain viable.
The employers are not promising anything and in turn the employees are distracted and keeping their eyes open to cover themselves for when they have to be back on the job market again. It seems that both the employee and the employer sides don’t have too much confidence in themselves to resort to such temporary fixes.
I don’t doubt for a minute that the economy is tricky these days with a huge amount of risk as it’s hard to know where opportunities will be coming from and where business will be disappearing. However, I hold this truth to be inalienable: distrust and insecurity breeds risk and uncertainty. Risk can bring a great amount of win or loss and it is shaped by fear and greed.
Greed is for great winnings and fear is for great losses. If we let go of fear and greed on an individual basis and start acting with logic, each and every one of us, we can overcome the discrepancies in the world that gives birth to so much distrust, disloyalty and uncertainty.
So what am I saying? The inner world of each person, his greed, fear and other emotions that can take over uncontrollably, is both a result and a cause of the economic environment. Like Michael Jackson (RIP) said in a song: ‘if you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change’.
All of us are responsible for the world that we have today. If people are splitting up more often than coming together, if there are people who are not being given a chance to be heard, if there are people in the world who are still going hungry without shelter, clothes and access to basic healthcare, if there are wars and massacres, if there are unfair earnings because many of us can’t be bothered to scrutinise a system that works against our favour, then there’s much to be done.
If job places can’t offer a level of security and belonging to the employees, then they will end up suffering and instead of being profitable they will find themselves at a loss. The crazy race to grow without regard for sustainability will have to stop somewhere.
We just need to get back to the basics in the business world. It’s only common sense that the human need for security and a sense of belonging needs to be met in the workplace. When your workers are loyal and secure about their roles, this will increase performance and profits. People who are working happily with confidence is what’s needed for a real difference to get the economy back on track.
All heroes have to take time to recollect.
If you’ve ever played those conquest games such as Diablo, World of Warcraft, the Quest for Glory series, then you’re familiar with the healing, strength and other potions that restore the hero’s well-being and his spirit to allow him to fight greater adversaries and tackle greater challenges.
One of my friends, the author Laurence Toltz, has published a book that allows all of us every-day heroes to visit this magical place to help us get a new perspective and come back with greater focus than ever to keep fighting the good fight.
The method outlined in this book has given me a place to restore my spirit and I thank him for assisting me in the construction of my ‘peaceful place’. Details on ‘Your Peaceful Place’ as well as news on upcoming seminars are available on the Your Peaceful Place website.
I received the following letter from Laurence when I shared with him my efforts to help job seekers find the jobs they deserve through CV and cover letter writing workshops and seminars.
He’s been a major force of inspiration and encouragement and has given me the idea to share ‘Your Pleaceful Place’ to help others remain strong.
Thanks for your email and the best of luck with your blog and writing e-books.
Please consider how you can help people who are seeking jobs to handle multiple rejections including people being rude to them.
In these times possibly 100 people are applying for every job and applicants have to be chosen first to get the job. It is a very tough world as you know and how they present if they are chosen to be interviewed is critical.
Can you please drop me a short email listing how using the Peaceful Place system has helped you.
Is the world a perfect place? Of course not.
Is there lots of chaos and disorder in the world? Of course!
So with this being the state of our world, (yes, I agree the chaos is somewhat less in Sydney, but that’s not to say there aren’t homes, service, and offices that couldn’t be improved for better neighbourhoods, customer satisfaction and efficiency) how can anyone say there aren’t jobs?
There may be a disconnect between the job market and what actually needs to be done but this is something that can be fixed.
As for people being rude or rejecting anyone from entering any job, well this is just a matter of looking at things.
I will bet you anything that no one will treat you rudely if you approach them with politeness and respect.
As for rejection letters, I blog about them!
I’m SO grateful for receiving rejection letters because they give me material to comment on and every once in a while, one comes along that totally blows my mind and leaves me believing that there are HR departments with creativity and the human touch: http://needhelpwritenow.com/its-official-groupon-australia-has-a-portal-to-my-mind/
Everyone should be grateful for rejection letters because they are conversation starters.
No one is stopping anyone from picking up the phone to call to follow up with a rejection letter to find out how they can improve the outcome for future job applications.
This is a HUGE blessing. What could be better than getting free feedback? Nothing.
So with that, my thoughts on ‘Your Peaceful Place’:
‘Your Peaceful Place’ has given me a wonderful place that’s both inspiring and calming.
The oasis that I’ve reached through this amazing technique is one where I can soothe my thirst in the clear pool of water and rest in the cool shade of the date palms while looking at the deafening silence of the desert that lies beyond.
I enjoy watching the sands of the desert dancing in the wind to the sounds of a soothing hum every once in a while.
I feel myself among the whirling dervishes who have connected with the wisdom of the infinite intelligence and my focus becomes fixed.
Through visits to my peaceful place, I come back with ideas and ways to express myself better.
It seems there’s magic in the peaceful place that transfers worries and negative thoughts into plans of action for what I need to do next and how to accomplish it.
I would recommend it for everyone.
If you are already a positive and active person, it will help you focus better and if you’re stressed and worried, a visit to your peaceful place will be better for your mind and soul than any vacation.