“Challenge Consulting have added considerable value to Energetics for our long term needs”

Matt Wilkin – Energetics
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For more information:
Stephen Crowe

Managing Director

Ph: 02 8042 8907

[email protected]

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Being in a digital era more often than not potential employers will browse your  online footprint before they lock you in for the first interview. Information is easily and instantly accessible, and the more information you update about yourself, the more easily it can be discovered.

So what does your online profile currently say about you?

• Have you looked up your name on Google lately?

• Is your LinkedIn profile updated?

• Are your online images showing you to be someone who is suited to the job and reliable?

• Are your Facebook posts and Tweets going to haunt you at a later stage?

I can honestly say at this point in my life I am happy with the way that I am presented through Social Media. For example:

LinkedIn – I have a professional photograph, a corporate summary and up-to date information on my past to current experience. I also have updated skills and recommendations, links and relevant information pertaining to what I do.

Facebook – On both a personal and professional basis I like to share articles, videos, images and inspirational quotes to both friends and clients/candidates that I feel are valuable.

Blogs – Challenge Consulting has also allowed me to provide topics on their company blog page where I feel like I can reach out and connect with individuals that may have experienced similar situations and learning curves. I get to represent a business brand that I know and trust so when I am updating news articles and sending out the company ENews I am happy to link my personal brand to my organisation and their values/structure.

Online Networking – By joining other corporate networking groups I have also expanded my online presence and this has also connected me to other like-minded individuals in my industry and the corporate industry. Depending on field you are in, you can do a Google Search for similar industry networking groups, follow influencing individuals that write articles and share blogs or interest groups in LinkedIn. And don’t be afraid to ask questions or start conversations once you have joined these networks as it is the whole reason behind networking groups, to engage.

Hobbies/Personal Interests – I also enjoy sporting and charity events in my personal time which can often include an online profile or blog site. This shows others what I am passionate about and what I enjoy doing in my spare time.

While there are many things you can do to boost your profile, I also want to make sure that you are aware of certain social media mistakes that could be doing more harm than good when it comes to your job search success. Careerealism.com has provided the following examples:

LinkedIn

• Appearing Desperate – when making connections on LinkedIn when you are a job seeker, try to avoid group emails and spamming other contacts when it comes to looking for work. It is important to work on building those relationships first before asking them for something.

• Having an incomplete profile – incomplete information will just make your profile difficult to understand and even worse, the employer or individual viewing your profile may think that you are disorganised or lazy when it comes to keeping your information up to date and well-presented.

• Having a split focus – When it comes to applying for roles, make sure your profile and summary are targeting the right areas of employment that you are wishing to seek otherwise the employer may question your interest or longevity in applying for a particular role.

Twitter

• Not contributing meaningful tweets – You can have many individuals that you follow but you will not engage responses if you are not sharing information of interest. Find articles to share or open up questions to engage responses.

• Not Retweeting – Job hunters should not merely tweet about what is of interest to them, but they should also help other Twitter users by retweeting information that would be useful to the rest of the Twitter community.

Facebook

• Posting Inappropriate Information – This tends to be the number one problem that people have when using this site. This could include photos, negative comments about people and/or companies, and inappropriate jokes. Many people still do not realise that the information that they post can be seen by potential employers. You should use the appropriate settings to ensure that employers can only view information about you that is appropriate for a professional setting.

What have you used that has boosted your online presence? Did you find it was effective? What have you learned through this experience?

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I cannot believe how quickly time has passed! When I think back to August when we initially met as a group to discuss taking on this 100km journey for charity I thought we would have plenty of time to prepare ourselves before the big day. Although we have been training extensively and we are stronger than ever, I guess the ‘reality’ of the event being just around the corner hasn’t hit us until now.

While training at the gym and partaking in long walks and camping adventures together (and also the Warrior Dash in February for a bit of fun as you can tell by this image) we have also had some amazing blessings come our way. Sponsorship is underway with some very generous donations so far, we confirmed a support crew when we thought we would have to complete the walk carrying our own supplies and our teammate Ryan La Motte also proposed this month and is now engaged!

We have been in mud, rain and overcast weather to intense humidity, so our shoes are definitely broken in! We’ve climbed through dry riverbeds, climbed up rock faces by rope and have seen some of the most beautiful sunsets and even storms over the horizon. Regardless of the locations we have travelled, seeking the next adventure, every experience has been different, challenging and beautiful in its own unique way.

Our team have learned some important lessons from our experiences together which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • When camping together on a remote island, NEVER ration bug spray  – you will regret it.
  • Most flies and insects that bite are attracted to the colour blue and will bite you twice as much.
  • Finding a coconut on a remote island will not always mean the milk inside is fresh
  • Do not dare fellow participants to partake in any activities that will have a damaging effect on your eyesight.
  • No matter how much you try to boil it, salt water will still taste like salt water and is no substitute for fresh.
  • Make sure to have a proper rain jacket and do not attempt to wear a poncho while climbing.
  • If you are extremely pale in complexion, like myself, you will get burnt on an overcast day… every time.
  • A tin of tuna can go a long way between five people for lunch.
  • Finding a toilet facility on your bushwalk does not always mean it will be a sanitary experience – always carry wet wipes.

Now we are contemplating any final packing requirements and will be departing on 30th March 2012 to New Zealand to Taupo where our journey begins.

So why are we doing this walk? For those of you that are not familiar with Oxfam, here is a little background information that you may find useful: Oxfam exists for a very simple reason – Because poverty and injustice are unacceptable. We believe everyone can play a part in creating a world free from poverty. Oxfam Trailwalker is your chance to make a difference.

Everyone has the right to the essentials of life – clean water, food, shelter, sanitation, healthcare, education and a livelihood to support themselves, their children and their community. Everyone also has the right to live free from violence. These are fundamental rights and we believe they can be achieved for us all.

Oxfam New Zealand works in Africa, Asia and the Pacific with poor communities and local organisations to help people address the root causes of poverty. But we recognise that to achieve lasting change we also need to challenge and change unjust policies and practices that reinforce poverty. That is why we work not only at the grassroots level but also with organisations, institutions and governments at the national and international level.

Oxfam’s belief in fundamental human rights underpins our work around the globe and our campaigning and advocacy work. We are fighting for a world where every person has:

  • The right to a sustainable livelihood
  • The right to basic services such as health, education and safe water
  • The right to life and security
  • The right to be heard
  • The right to an identity

To find out more about our team ‘The Bush Ramblers’ or to find our more about Oxfam’s click here for more details.

On behalf of our team we thank you for taking the time to read this blog and we appreciate the support of all of our sponsors so far. We will make sure to keep you posted on our upcoming results!

community

I broke my toe at a long-ago Christmas function. I would like to immediately emphasise (mainly because my boss will read this) that it was not whilst working here. The thing is, I don’t remember actually doing it, which made it all the more startling when I awoke the next day with a purple toe. 

The point is: had the company I was working for at the time spent less or even nothing on the Christmas party, and I had been required to pay for my own Christmas cheer, I may not have imbibed it with such abandon, hence no broken toe. 

However, because I am now a “responsible adult”, I do accept that it is my responsibility to curb my enthusiasm re free drinks and I am one of the 87% who responded with a YES to last week’s online poll question: “Should employers fund the company Christmas function.” 

Of course, this does mean that 13% thought they shouldn’t. Interesting. “Why?” I hear you asking in disbelief. 

Well, one response that I thought was perhaps fair enough was “a community-funded organisation should not spend community money on a Christmas party.” There are some things that are more important to spend money on than bad wine and silly hats. 

And the other respondents in this group basically all said that the cost should be shared between employers and employees. 

Hmmm … 

Overwhelmingly, though, the issue of the company paying for the Christmas party boiled down to one thing: staff morale

Again and again, respondents were adamant that the “return on investment” was something companies could not ignore:

– “Employers receive massive returns re staff morale for a relatively small outlay.”

– “This is a gift that doesn’t cost a company much, but is hugely valued by employees. More to the point, if it isn’t funded, the employer loses much more respect from staff than the little monetary saving achieved.”

– “The Christmas function is a way in which a Company thanks their staff, where titles are dropped and people are people. Staff members look forward to this event all year and as many companies do not give bonuses, a party is a way to reward hard work.”

– “It is an opportunity for the employer to show openly how much they value their employees. I don’t think any employer wants to be labelled a ‘scrooge’“.  

So, morale is the moral of the story. Employers take note! Can you afford not to lay on some cheese and bickies and a slab of beer for your cherished workers this Christmas?

Have you ever been offered a great job with a company which required staff to wear a really bad uniform? Did you still take the job? Tell us in our latest online poll and stay tuned for the results in next week’s ChallengeBlog post …

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