Providing Queensland’s first direct international data and telecommunications connection to global markets is another step closer with the completion of the cable landing station at Maroochydore.
The cable landing station will house the connection point for the international submarine cable with landside communication networks and is a vital piece of infrastructure in a project that will deliver much needed diversity for Australia’s international communication needs as well significant economic benefits for the Sunshine Coast and Queensland.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson was joined by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick today (26 September 2019) to mark the completion of this $7.2 million facility.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the completion of the cable landing station marked another milestone in the delivery of the Sunshine Coast international broadband network.
“Unlike traditional cable landing stations that are normally non-descript buildings out of view from the general public, our landing station is designed to reflect Council’s design vision for the Maroochydore city centre,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our Sunshine Coast will offer the fastest data and telecommunications transmission from the eastern seaboard of Australia to Asia once the submarine cable comes ashore and is in service next year.
“It will help to position our region to become Australia’s first Digital Trade Hub – taking a region-wide approach to data and digital connectivity which will benefit a wide cross section of businesses and industries.
“Projects such as the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network enable our region, its economy and our community to be well-positioned to respond to the rapidly evolving demands of the 21st century.
“When completed, this network will provide direct international data and telecommunications from the Sunshine Coast – the only location in Australia outside of Sydney and Perth to provide this direct international connectivity.
“This will afford a significant step-change to the Sunshine Coast’s attractiveness as an investment location.
“As the first local government in Australia to secure an investment in an international submarine cable, our council is yet again at the forefront of thinking outside the square, securing new revenue sources and pursuing opportunities to generate economic and employment growth as a major dividend for our residents, thus ensuring we continue to be Australia’s healthy, smart, creative region.”
The landing station is part of the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Cable Network being delivered thanks to $15 million from the Queensland Government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund and $20 million from Sunshine Coast Council.
Almost 865 jobs are a step closer as the landing-station for the $35 million Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network is completed.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the project is facilitating the direct landing of a new undersea internet data cable at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast and will generate almost $1 billion for the state economy.
“This $7.2 million cable landing station is the gateway to better internet connectivity for Queensland businesses,” the Premier said.
“Better connectivity means faster processing times for bigger data and more jobs.
“The cable will be able to provide Australia’s fastest data and telecommunications transmission speeds to Asia and the second fastest to the USA.
“It pitches Queensland firms to the forefront of the digital economy and will be a major drawcard for businesses and investment.
“We announced $15 million in funding to support this project in 2017 and we are now seeing the benefits.
“This is an investment that plans for the future and opens the opportunity for the jobs of the future here on the Sunshine Coast.”
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the Palaszczuk Government was pleased to partner with Sunshine Coast Council to deliver this transformative project for the region and the state.
“Our data needs will only increase as we continue to attract new investment to Queensland and further diversify our economy,” Mr Dick said.
“Landing this international broadband cable directly on the shores of the Sunshine Coast will ensure we’re able to maximise every opportunity the digital era presents for our state.”
Robert Linsdell, Managing Director of Vertiv (Australia and New Zealand) said through the development of the cable landing station, Sunshine Coast Council is taking a huge step towards future-proofing the region’s digital future.
“The importance of investing in the right internet infrastructure cannot be overstated, particularly as we enter a new era of IoT and smart cities, where reliable connectivity will be paramount to all aspects of our daily lives,” Mr Linsdell said.
The international broadband network is exactly the kind of infrastructure needed to continue that growth, enable increased connectivity and enhance the Sunshine Coast’s and Queensland’s position as a leading technology and business hub.
“Having a vision for these new technologies is one thing, but council is going further by making this important investment and bringing its vision to reality.”
The Sunshine Coast is renowned for its innovative region-making projects including:
• The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm – which has enabled the Sunshine Coast Council to become the first government in mainland Australia to offset 100% of its electricity usage through renewable energy
• The Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project – which includes delivery of a new longer, wider runway which will enable direct access to new markets in Asia, the Pacific and other locations in Australia when the runway is completed and in service in 2020
• Maroochydore City Centre – Australia’s only greenfield CBD and the nation’s truly smart city with technology and digital infrastructure solutions built in from the ground up
• The Automated Waste Collection System at the Maroochydore City Centre – Australia’s first CBD-wide underground automated waste collection system
• Establishing Australia’s first tripartite blue carbon initiative which will provide new opportunities and a sustainable future to our Blue Heart – over 5000 hectares of largely agricultural land in the Maroochy River Catchment.
Long gone are the days where you’d stay in one job for life: it’s now the norm to jump between jobs and even careers every few years.
LinkedIn research shows 70 per cent of Australians would consider a career change, while two in five Aussies have worked in two different industries over the last five years.
And if you’re looking for that job change, a clean, up-to-date LinkedIn profile could be the difference between being shortlisted or being overlooked entirely.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance, LinkedIn Australia’s career expert Shiva Kumar revealed the top tips to take your profile to the next level and make the most of the professional networking website.
“First and foremost, you have to get the basics right,” he said. Make sure your profile has these two non-negotiable must-haves ticked:
A professional photo of yourself; and
Your current job title and industry.
“These are all simple but important aspects that help to tell a compelling story about who you are as a potential job candidate.”
And before you even begin your hunt, ensure that the ‘Open to opportunity’ setting of your LinkedIn profile is switched on to ensure recruiters get the message you’re open to opportunities, Kumar advised.
LinkedIn Australia career expert’s top tips for a killer profile
1. Say where you’re based
“Recruiters rely on location information to find candidates,” Kumar said. “You’ll stand out by as much as 23 times more if you include the city you’re based in in your profile.
“Often times recruiters will use advanced search based on location, so the more details you have the more likely you will be found and connected to your next opportunity.”
2. Have your elevator pitch ready
If you’re wanting to attract and capture the attention of recruiters or potential bosses, say a few words about yourself and what you do to make yourself memorable.
“Adding a summary of 40 words or more, makes your profile more likely to turn up in a future employer’s search,” Kumar said.
“A good tip is to ensure your summary includes keywords featured in desirable job descriptions for your field.”
3. Let your skills do the talking
Job titles will vary from organisation to organisation, so it’s a little tough to know what to search for when you’re job hunting.
“By listing all of your skills on your profile you are more likely to attract recruiters and show up in the right talent searches,” said Kumar.
4. Avoid buzzwords such as ‘motivated’
How much have you stumbled across the profile of someone who claimed to be an “influencer” or an “entrepreneur” or “enthusiastic” or a “team player”?
Avoid overused yet less valued words like the plague if they’re not actually adding anything to your profile – recruiters see the same descriptors in every profile day in day out.
“What they really want is to understand your capability for a certain role,” said Kumar.
“Let your experience do the talking; show who you are, don’t tell. Add visual examples of the work that you did.”
5. Showcase your interests
An active LinkedIn profile can speak volumes for you: share content that you enjoy like an interesting video or a thoughtful news story, or even a particularly impressive presentation through regular updates, said Kumar.
“With as little as a sentence, updates help get you noticed, and they are a great way to interact with and engage your professional network in conversations.”
Tick all these boxes – and don’t forget to set up job alerts – and you’ll be in good stead to catch the recruiter’s attention, Kumar said.
Excitement is building ahead of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s annual Outstanding Alumni of the Year Awards on Thursday 24 October.
USC Alumni Relations Manager Anita Edmonds said all USC graduates, staff, benefactors and supporters were welcome to attend this free, social and inspiring event at USC’s Innovation Centre Auditorium.
Ms Edmonds said many high-quality nominations were received this year from employers, parents, friends and colleagues of graduates who are making significant impacts in fields ranging from community work to business and scientific research.
This year’s 15 nominees are listed at www.usc.edu.au/outstanding-alumni-nominees.
They are vying for three awards: the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year; Regional Achievement (graduates making an impact in the broader Sunshine Coast region or another regional community); and Rising Star (graduates aged 35 years or younger).
The awards event will be held from 5.30-7.30pm with refreshments and a presentation by USC Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Joanne Scott about the University’s recent developments. For more details or to register to attend, go to www.usc.edu.au/alumniawards.
Last year’s award winners were clothing retailer Mango’s country director Sean Hurley (Business 2005); STEPS Charity Manager Angela Harris (EMBA 2018, Business (International Business) 2013); and The Circular Experiment founder Ashleigh Morris (Environmental Health Science 2015).
We’re all looking for ways to improve ourselves—at least that’s what the thriving $10 billion self-help industry seems to imply.
But as popular and alluring as the principles of personal development may be, many of us still have only a fuzzy understanding of it. Even fuzzier: How to turn personal growth into professional gains.
At the same time, there’s an undeniable overlap between the two—after all, our personal strengths and weaknesses affect us at work, too. And there are ways in which growing personally and working on ourselves can make us more effective at work.
If that still feels a little murky, we get it. Read on to learn exactly what personal growth is and get concrete ways to leverage it in your career.
What Is Personal Growth Anyway?
Personal growth or development is difficult to define, in part because it’s, well, personal. Broadly speaking, personal development is an effort to improve yourself, the outcomes in your life, or how you experience life, explains Sumayya Essack, a career-change coach and founder and owner of Curate the Future.
“Personal growth is the process of growing stronger, more confident, and more effective as a person and an agent of change for your own life,” says Kathy Caprino, a career and personal growth coach. More specifically, it relates to “how you see and perceive yourself, interact with others, engage with the world, and envision your future and your possibilities.”
It affects you in both concrete and more abstract ways, including emotional regulation, communication abilities, well-defined boundaries, decision-making, and personal satisfaction and positivity.
Where Personal and Professional Development Meet
At first glance, personal growth can seem a little vague compared to professional development goals. “Career growth tends to focus on tangible performance-related goals, such as raises [and] promotions,” Essack explains. It may also emphasize hard skills, which depending on your field could include things like data analysis or proficiency in a certain language or type of software.
However, if you think of personal and professional growth as two circles of a Venn diagram, there’s a healthy overlap between them. “Your career success and enjoyment of your career aren’t just the result of domain-related skills and knowledge. It’s also a result of what you bring to the table as a person,” Essack says.
Things we think of as soft skills—such as communication style, self-motivation, and how you relate to other people—fall into the area of overlap. And these skills greatly impact our ability to get things done at work. Developing them can help you become more effective in your career, and maybe even nab a promotion.
4 Personal Development Goals That Can Help You Get Ahead at Work
Even if you’re sold on the benefits of personal growth for your career—where do you start? In large part, it’s up to you.
“At the root of all personal development is becoming aware of what’s happening in your own mind and becoming aware of how the thoughts you’re thinking affect your emotions, behaviors, and results,” Essack says. If you can identify a result you’re unhappy with or, conversely, one you want to achieve, you can work backwards from there to determine the underlying thoughts, emotions, and behaviors you should address to make the change you desire.
For example, are you constantly struggling to get tasks done? Maybe you need to work on focusing better on the task at hand in order to become more efficient. Eager for a promotion? Perhaps you need to build better relationships to get there. Whatever area you choose, work on it in small doses.
While there are many ways you might implement personal growth into your career development, here are four examples of areas to improve, as well as advice for tackling them:
1. Build Emotional Intelligence
Solid emotional intelligence can help you forge strong working relationships with colleagues and clients, which in turn promote productivity and strengthen your professional reputation.
The ability to deal with people and conflict is important in most any job, but perhaps especially so when you take on a management or leadership role. “Emotional intelligence means being able to understand where someone else is coming from,” Essack says. “People want to work for someone who understands them.”
How to tackle it: Focus on becoming a better active listener, which helps others feel heard and understood. “We get caught up in saying what we want to say, but communicating effectively is also about being a great listener,” Essack says.
First, show the speaker that you’re paying attention. “Put away your devices, make eye contact, and fully concentrate on them rather than mentally preparing what you will say next,” Essack says. “Then, show that you’re listening with verbal cues such as ‘uh huh’ and body language, such as nodding, smiling, and leaning forward.” Finally, ask clarifying questions or reflect back with paraphrasing. Try starting with: “So what you’re saying is…,” or “What do you mean by…?”
2. Feel Confident in Your Talents
Building confidence is a common goal of personal development, and one that has a clear line to career gains. Developing your confidence can help you land a better job, negotiate for a raise or promotion, earn credit for your contributions, and be seen as a leader, Caprino says. But confidence isn’t something that’s easy to just switch on.
Instead, look for a path to confidence by working on recognizing your talents. If you don’t fully grasp what you’re amazing at and aren’t able to speak confidently about these talents, you won’t be able to fully leverage your unique abilities, Caprino adds.
How to tackle it: Many people struggle to look inward to discover where they shine—especially if they grew up hearing that they shouldn’t brag. So instead, look outward to colleagues and mentors for help identifying your unique talents. Ask them to name any contributions that have stood out to them as well as elements of your approach to work they consider particularly effective.
3. Grow Your Motivation
Wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle up motivation and consume it like we do our morning coffee? Imagine the benefits! At work, being more motivated can of course make you more productive, but it can also help you be seen as more driven and ambitious.
How to tackle it: Until motivation is sold by the bottle, you can work on building it little by little, Essack says. Think of motivation not as a mindset or mood that randomly descends on you outside of your control, but as a behavior. We tend to assume that when we’re motivated, we’ll take action—but the reverse can be true. “First you do the behavior and have a mini success, and that’s what makes you feel motivated again. Success builds on itself,” Essack explains.
For example, if you’re intimidated by holding performance conversations with employees, you might be tempted to avoid them until the last minute. But when you successfully commit to a small action, such as holding shorter, less formal performance check-ins, you may find more motivation to improve your skills and take on longer talks.
So instead of waiting for motivation to strike, try structuring your big goals into small achievable tasks to build momentum. This way you’ll help yourself experience each one you complete as an invigorating success and feel motivated to take the next step toward where you want to be.
4. Become More Mindful
Mindfulness is a term that’s thrown around a lot today, and its meaning can be as blurry as the concept of personal growth as a whole. Essentially, mindfulness is the act of training your brain to focus on the present moment, rather than racing ahead to the future, or drifting to the past.
Research has linked mindfulness to reduced stress, improved focus, and better working memory. At work it could help you zero in on the task at hand and filter out some of the surrounding noise, allowing you to become more efficient.
Mindfulness has emotional benefits too. Mindfulness can help you respond more thoughtfully to someone instead of having a knee-jerk reaction or snapping, Essack says. “You become more aware of what’s happening in the moment, so you choose a conscious response.” Building this skill can help keep you from burning bridges with clients or colleagues when tension rises or tempers flare.
Let’s say you receive some criticism that you don’t agree with or that injures your ego. “The tendency is often to react automatically because we feel defensive, but when we cultivate mindfulness, we’re able to take a step back in the moment and respond intentionally,” Essack explains. In this instance, a more mindful approach could help to de-escalate conflict and make feedback discussions more productive.
How to tackle it: Develop a daily mindfulness meditation practice, which over time, can help you become more mindful throughout the day. Set aside five or 10 minutes a day to do a guided meditation, with help from an app like Calm or Headspace that will talk you through the process.
As difficult as personal development may be to define, investing in it can help lay the groundwork for professional success. As Caprino says, “If we don’t do the work to strengthen ourselves as people first, our careers will be a dismal disappointment.”
So you just landed a leadership role at a new company. Congratulations! Going in, you know there’ll be a learning curve when it comes to handling your new responsibilities. But there’s also the people factor to consider.
Being the boss of a completely new team also means influencing a group of employees you don’t know very well to work together (and with you) toward a common goal. Nerve-racking, yes. But not impossible!
Even seasoned leaders make mistakes when managing a new team. Here are four common ones to avoid if you want to make your transition as smooth as possible for both you and your direct reports.
Mistake #1: Acting Before Understanding
If you think the first thing you need to do when joining a new team is to start making changes—slow down. Yes, part of your role is to help things run better, and you were most likely hired to bring in some new perspectives and fix some outdated or dysfunctional strategies. But ignoring input from experienced team members—particularly those who have been at the company for a while—won’t win you any fans.
Instead, you’ll signal to your team that you’re only interested in running a one-person show. And it will leave you vulnerable to making bad decisions that could’ve been avoided had you gotten some context.
This isn’t to say that you need to form a whole committee to make decisions on every little thing. You’re the boss, after all, and sometimes it’s your duty to make the final call. But strive to implement changes (especially big ones) in baby steps and over time. Be receptive to (and ask for!) feedback from your team before moving forward, and communicate your intentions clearly and proactively when you do.
Mistake #2: Constantly Talking About the “Old Job”
Do you find yourself saying all too frequently, “At my old job, we…”? Maybe you’re trying to prove yourself by bringing up your old wins. Or you may just feel comfortable referring back to a time when everything didn’t feel so foreign. (Being the new kid on the block isn’t easy.)
Here’s the thing: Your current team will quickly tune you out if you’re constantly talking about how things were done at your previous company. They want to see that you’re able (and willing!) to adapt to a new environment, and that you can competently lead and work with their unique skill sets.
Yes, you achieved great things in your last role. But don’t get caught living in the past—it’s time to focus on creating new wins with what your new team has to offer.
Mistake #3: Hiding in Your Office
Closing your office door or hiding behind your monitor can give off the appearance that you’re not interested in being there for your employees.
You may think, “I’ve told my team they can come to me any time with questions.” But as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and it can be intimidating for employees to knock on a new boss’ door. There’ll be times when you’ll need (or want) to close the door, and that’s OK—but make sure this doesn’t create a barrier between you and your team.
Make a conscious effort to show your employees that they’re welcome to come seek guidance or share concerns. Literally keeping your door open helps, so does providing “office hours” or popping your head out every few hours or so to see how everyone’s doing.
If you work in an open office, try to avoid wearing headphones all day, and when you can, sit near your team. You can also schedule weekly touch-base meetings with your direct reports so you have dedicated face time with them on a regular basis—and so that they know they will always have the opportunity to discuss something with you.
Mistake #4: Believing You Don’t Need to Know the Details of Your Employees’ Work
Some people think that the role of a leader is to just tell others what to do and set expectations. But there’s more to it than that. You can’t hold employees, especially new direct reports, accountable if you don’t fully grasp what their roles entail and how they approach their work.
While you don’t need to know all of the nitty gritty details of their responsibilities, you want to do more than just care that tasks are getting done. Understanding the “how” of operations and the “whys” behind how your employees tackle them will make both you and your team function better. You’ll be able to better manage them knowing their strengths, weaknesses, and preferred forms of communication, and they’ll feel more comfortable around you and motivated to do great work with the knowledge that you’re invested in their success.
Take the time when you’re just starting out to talk to each employee individually to learn about what they do, what their current challenges are, and how their tasks fit into team or company goals. You can even ask the following questions in your next one-on-one:
What challenges are you facing that are making you less productive?
What’s missing from the team that will help make everyone’s life easier?
How do you like to receive constructive feedback?
What are you hoping to learn from me that will support you in your role?
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
Or you can have them fill out this user manual so you have all the information you need about their working style.
Mistakes are going to happen when you’re starting a new job, whether you’re a manager or not, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get things “right” the first time. Even just reading this article means you care deeply about being a good boss to your new team—and that’s a great place to be in!
Most importantly, make sure you enjoy this new beginning—because it’s one more phase in your career that will help you grow and become the kind of leader you want to be.
The Palaszczuk Government’s successful $365 million Building our Region’s (BoR) program has entered its next phase, with details of the $70 million Round 5 revealed.
Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Cameron Dick said regional Queensland councils will have until Friday 30 August to submit expressions of interest for shovel-ready projects.
“Regional infrastructure development means more Queensland jobs, and more jobs means a stronger Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“That’s why our government committed another $70 million towards BoR in the 2019-20 state budget, because we want to create more employment opportunities for Queenslanders in our rural and remote towns.
“Through BoR, the Palaszczuk Government has invested $295 million towards 223 infrastructure projects across regional Queensland.
“This has supported more than 2400 jobs, while attracting additional investment of $487 million from councils and other organisations.
“Building our Regions demonstrates our commitment to working in partnership with regional councils, to deliver the vital infrastructure these communities need to grow and thrive.”
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the beginning of BoR Round 5.
“The LGAQ has seen firsthand the economic injection and jobs for regions this program provides,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“By working with councils to identify projects that will deliver local growth, support local businesses and create more liveable communities, the Palaszczuk Government is supporting investment and opportunities across Queensland’s regions, which is welcomed by councils.”
Councils have four weeks, from Monday 5 August, to submit their expressions of interest via the Building our Regions portal.
The new BoR guidelines are now available, and representatives from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning will soon begin conducting information sessions around the state.
Projects shortlisted to progress to the business case stage under Round 5 are expected to be announced in late September 2019.
Councils with shortlisted projects will then be invited to prepare and submit a business case with detailed supporting information for each project.
Peregian Beach Community Association Inc (PBCAI) has supported Council’s aim of restoring a genuinely local surf club in Peregian Beach, but says a transparent and effective process cannot begin without the release of the Surf Life Saving Sunshine Coast Branch (SLSSC) submission to reactivate the top floor.
Noosa Councillors on Monday, in the General Committee, decided to provide a new Trustee Permit to SLSSC for the Peregian Beach Surf Club building. This will enable SLSSC to enact a new strategic plan to establish a new local surf club entity.
“This new local surf club entity is the outcome we and Council has been seeking for a number of years,” Barry Cotterell, President of PBCAI said today.
The recommended Trustee Permit also seeks to facilitate other community groups’ use of the upper level, where it does not compromise surf life saving activities.
“PBCAI welcomes SLSSC being required to provide reporting of key performance indicators and progress toward establishment of a new Peregian Beach Surf Club entity and to facilitate community access and use of the Level 1 building space”, Barry Cotterell said.
“However, for the Peregian Beach community to fully understand the Council decision and what SLSSC proposes to deliver, it is necessary for Council to release the strategic plan document, Peregian Beach SLSC – A Pathway to the Future of Local Lifesaving, which “articulates a roadmap to establish a new local surf club entity”, Mr Cotterell said.
“The SLSSC strategic plan and its goals, milestones and key performance indicators not only need to be incorporated as conditions of the Permit but also made public for the sake of transparency”, Mr Cotterell said.
“To enable Council to achieve its objectives it will depend on the Conditions of the Permit and these will need to allow it to regularly monitor the progress of the implementation of these objectives” Mr Cotterell said.
“SLSSC could immediately show its good faith by requiring the Noosa Club to stop using the ground floor training rooms for the storage of non-lifesaving purposes. The building should be efficiently used and not be used as a storage facility”, Mr Cotterell said.
“The community use by the Ocean Life Saving Association (OLSA) of the top floor should not be restricted by the use of the ground floor for non-lifesaving purposes especially where those uses are not related to the Peregian Beach community” he said.
“PBCAI congratulates Council on explicitly prohibiting the installation and operation of gambling machines or gambling facility in this Permit and any future long-term Trustee Lease” Mr Cotterell said.
When you’re starting a job search, your goal is to make your credentials strong enough to get you selected for a job interview. Once you get to a job interview, you can sell yourself to the interviewer by confidently making the case that you’re an exceptional candidate. Before that though, what’s on your resume and cover letter is going to be the pitch that gets you picked for an interview.
One of the best ways to achieve that goal is to brand (or rebrand) yourself if necessary, so you’re a close match for the jobs you’re targeting. What does this mean? And how do you do it?
What’s in a Brand?
Branding (if you haven’t worked on creating a brand yet) or rebranding (if you’re considering a job or career shift), means deciding what professional path you’re on and tailoring your credentials, expertise, and what’s visible to network connections and prospective employees, to match that brand.
How to Get Started
The first step in creating or reinventing your brand is to determine what you want that brand to represent. What type of job would you love to have? Would you like a new job in a similar role or the same job in a different industry? If so, that’s a relatively easy brand update. If you’re looking for a career change, you’ll need to invest more time and energy into rebranding yourself.
Check yourself out. Google yourself and check the results before you start making any changes. You will want to see how the current information available about you reflects your professional persona, and ensure that it clearly reflects where you are in your career and where you want to go next. Look at it from the viewpoint of a hiring manager to see what narrative you are sharing about your achievements and aspirations.
Make a plan. It’s important to figure out how you’re going to get to where you want to be. Does your career need a makeover? Do you need new skills or certifications? Or can you tweak your brand and update it so it’s a fit for where you want to go next? Make a list of what you need to do before you get started. There are things you can do at your current job to position yourself for success in the next one. If your career needs a major overhaul, it will require more planning and a bigger investment of time.
Upgrade your credentials. Are you short on the skills you need to make a successful brand switch? If you can carve out some time, it can be easy to gain the skills you need to bolster your qualifications. There are many free and low-cost classes you can take to get the career skills you need. Once you’ve upgraded your skill set, take on some freelance projects to create a portfolio of skills related to your rebranding objective. You can add those skills to your resume and LinkedIn, and refer to them in your cover letters.
Be careful. As with a job search when you’re currently employed, be careful about the changes you make that are visible to your current employer. For example, if you’re working in sales, you don’t want your Twitter feed to be all about product development. Gradually mix in the new topics if you’re using social media for business purposes. Make sure “Share with network” is turned off while you’re updating your LinkedIn profile if you’re connected to current colleagues. If you make changes slowly and carefully, it’s easier to stay under the radar.
Create a Branding Statement
A branding statement is a short and catchy statement that encompasses what makes you a strong candidate for a job. Writing a branding statement can help you to capture the essence of what you want to accomplish in the next phase of your career. Taking time to write your own statement will help you to focus on what you want to accomplish with your branding or rebranding.
Add a Branding Statement to Your Resume
Adding a branding statement to your resume is a way to show employers how you can add value to the organization if you were to be hired. Don’t use the same branding statement every time you use your resume to apply for a job. If your branding statement isn’t a perfect match for the job, take the time to tweak it so it reflects the attributes the employer is seeking. As with all job search materials, it’s important to show the employer how you’re among the best-qualified candidates for the job.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Also, update your LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t have to match your resume exactly, but it should be close enough to pass scrutiny because employers will check it. Take time to write a summary that’s informative, reflects your career interests, and will grab hiring managers’ attention.
Check Your Other Social Accounts Too
Is the message you’re sending to recruiters and networking connections consistent? When they look at each of your various public social media accounts will they get the same impression? Consistency is important when you’re using social media for career development. Using the same professional photo across platforms will help to build your brand.
Rebrand Yourself (Carefully)
When you’re thinking about a major job shift or a career change, rebranding might be in order. Rebranding is something you should do slowly and carefully if you’re currently employed. You don’t want to advertise to your current manager, other employees of the company, or clients that you’re rebranding your credentials and seeking new opportunities. That way you won’t jeopardize the job you have, and you can move on when you’re ready.
GRADUALLY CHANGE YOUR LINKEDIN PAGE
Making small changes over time will be less noticeable. For example, you could gradually change your LinkedIn profile by reworking some of your job descriptions to fit better the brand you’re aiming for. They should still reflect what you did at each job, but the focus can shift.
UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN HEADLINE
The headline section of LinkedIn is designed for short, descriptive text. Use that to highlight the skills you have that match your goals. Again, don’t get too far off-base from your current role if you’re employed. If you’re not currently working, you’ve got some more flexibility in how you write your headline.
REWORK YOUR RESUME
Another option is to keep your LinkedIn job descriptions brief and vague. Instead of changing LinkedIn, you can tweak your resume to match better with each position you’re applying for. There won’t be a noticeable difference to current or prospective employers. There are small and simple, but very powerful changes that you can make that can have a big positive impact.
Use Your Cover Letter to Explain
What’s in your cover letter is between you and the hiring manager reading it. Employ your cover letter to tell the story of your career pivot. Write a targeted cover letter that highlights your strongest accomplishments and assets that qualify you for the job, helping to convince the hiring manager that you’re well worth interviewing.
Start All Over Again
Rebranding your career isn’t a one-time deal. Technology changes, the economy goes up – or down, in-demand skills change over time, and most people’s career aspirations change along the way. The average person changes jobs 10 -15 times over their career. Your career will most likely shift over time too.
As you gain additional work experience, take a course, or otherwise learn new skills, add them to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Tweak your job descriptions as you move forward so they reflect where you are going, as well as where you’ve been.
By making some slow and steady changes your rebranding will be a work in progress, and you’ll be able to use your brand successfully to boost your career.
Air New Zealand’s direct seasonal service between Sunshine Coast and Auckland commences today, opening-up fresh opportunities for local residents and tourism businesses.
The direct service runs from today 5 July to 27 October, operating Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Auckland at 9.15am and arriving at Sunshine Coast Airport at 11.10am. The return flight departs Sunshine Coast Airport at 12.40pm, arriving in Auckland at 5.40pm.*
Seasonal international services from Auckland began in 2012 with 5,734 passengers for the season and has grown to 19,078 passengers in 2018.
Instead of traveling to Brisbane, Sunshine Coast residents will able to fly out of their local airport to Auckland Airport and then connect with cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Shanghai and – in New Zealand, Queenstown and Dunedin.
For local tourism operators, the new direct service enables equally seamless travel to Sunshine Coast Airport from major markets including USA, Canada, China and New Zealand.
Sunshine Coast Airport with its partners Visit Sunshine Coast and Tourism Noosa have been promoting the new service through a comprehensive ‘Sunshine by Lunchtime’ marketing campaign highlighting that Kiwis can depart Auckland in the morning and be dipping their toes in the famed Sunshine Coast waters by lunchtime.
The promotion showcases the diverse range of activities available on the Sunshine Coast, including festivals and events such as The Curated Plate food festival in August, Queensland Garden Expo, Noosa Alive, Gympie Muster, Caloundra Music Festival, the Horizon Arts Festival and the Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival.
Sunshine Coast Airport Acting Chief Executive Officer Frank Mondello, said that direct flights from Auckland had been a great success for the Sunshine Coast over the past six years, with capacity levels only constrained by the existing runway.
“Flights have been operating at close to 80% capacity in recent years, and that’s about the maximum we can achieve because the existing runway restricts the passenger and freight loads the aircraft can carry,” said Mr Mondello.
“We are looking forward to increasing capacity following the launch of the new runway in 2020 because undoubtedly there is strong demand for the Sunshine Coast from across the Tasman. The latest International Visitor Survey showed growth of 5.9% from New Zealand travelers and with our enviable climate, our natural and adventure attractions, and extensive range of festivals, we are confident of building the inbound market strongly in years to come.
“For local residents the new service will not only open up easy connections to prime destinations in New Zealand such as Queenstown, it enables them to book seamless on-travel to cities in the Americas without the inconvenience and cost of having to brave the Bruce Highway to Brisbane.”
There’s a whole lot of talking about yourself that goes on in an interview. One of the most stressful parts might be when a recruiter or prospective boss asks you to tell them about your strengths and weaknesses.
You’re bound to hear, “What would you say is one of your weaknesses?” or “What’s your greatest strength?” or both in virtually every hiring process you’ll ever go through. While that might be frustrating—really, every time?!—it also means that you can anticipate the questions and craft thoughtful answers that will impress the interviewer.
In other words, with just a little bit of preparation, you can master the art of selling your strengths without sounding conceited and talking about your weaknesses without undermining your candidacy.
Why Do Interviewers Ask These Questions?
Before you get started planning your responses, it’s helpful to understand why interviewers are asking these questions in the first place and what they hope to get out of them.
“All interviews are about getting to know somebody,” says Muse career coach Angela Smith, founder of Loft Consulting. “I know some people feel like the interview is trying to trip them up or put them in an awkward position, but at the end of the day it’s really about getting to know the person so that you can make the best decision that you can,” she adds. “When I ask those questions, that’s where I’m coming from.”
In this case, the actual strengths and weaknesses you bring up probably matter less than how you talk about them. “I’ve done a ton of interviews over the years and when pressed for it, I can’t really remember the answers,” Smith says. That doesn’t mean the questions aren’t important at all, it’s just that what an interviewer is evaluating likely goes deeper than which specific strength or weakness you cite. They’re trying to understand what kind of employee you’d be and how you’d carry yourself in the role.
“For me it’s: Are they honest? Do they have self-awareness? Can they own their stuff in a professional and mature way? Is this someone that we can have growth and development conversations with? Are they going to hit a wall [when] it comes to giving them feedback?” Smith says. “How they answer that question really tells me the answer to all of those other things—and those are the things that matter.”
5 Tips for Talking About Strengths and Weaknesses in an Interview
Okay, that’s all great in theory, but what do you actually need to do to discuss your strengths and weaknesses successfully?
1. Be Honest
One of the most important things to get right when talking about your strengths and weaknesses in an interview setting is honesty. It might sound trite, but it’s also true. An answer that sounds genuine and authentic will impress, while one that sounds generic, calculated, exaggerated, or humblebraggy will do the opposite.
A boss doesn’t want to hire someone who can’t recognize and own what they bring to the table as well as what they need to work on. You’ll be a better employee if you can understand and leverage your strengths and acknowledge and learn from your weaknesses. So you want to show in the interview that you’re capable of that kind of self-reflection.
2. Tell a Story
Here’s another cliche you shouldn’t discount: “Show, don’t tell.” Anyone who’s ever taken a writing class—whether in seventh grade or graduate school—has heard it. You should keep it in mind when answering just about any interview question, and it’s certainly helpful here.
“Anytime you can have a real-life example or a concrete example, it’s a good idea. It just helps to contextualize the response a little bit,” Smith says. “We just understand concepts and situations better with a story. So if you can tell a story that supports your thesis, then it’s always helpful.”
Talk about a time your strength helped you achieve something in a professional setting or when your weakness impeded you. For example, if you’re talking about how you’re calm under pressure in a fast-paced environment, you might tell the interviewer about that time you delivered a revamped client proposal after a last-minute change of plans. If you’re admitting that your weakness is presenting in front of high-level executives, you might start by briefly describing the time you got so nervous presenting your plan for a new marketing strategy that you weren’t able to effectively convey your (thorough and pretty brilliant) approach and your boss had to step in and help get the plan approved.
Not only will sharing a real example make your answer stand out, but it’ll also make it sound thoughtful and honest and highlight all those other characteristics interviewers are actually looking for.
3. Remember to Get to the Insight
An answer that’s genuine and includes an illustrative anecdote is a great start, but it’s not complete until you add some insight. This goes for both strengths and weaknesses but looks a little different in each case.
When you’re talking about a strength, the last beat of your answer should tie whatever skill or trait you’ve been discussing to the role and company you’re applying for. Tell the interviewer how that strength would be useful in this particular position at this particular company.
So going back to the revamped client proposal example, you might add, “Since things move quickly at [Company], this would allow me to come in and earn a new team’s confidence and foster a trusting team culture while also ensuring we’re all hitting our goals and delivering high-quality work.”
In the case of a weakness, “tell me how they’ve grown from it or what they’ve done to accommodate that or what they’ve learned from it,” Smith says. “Really showcase your growth trajectory, your learning curve, what you’ve done as a result of the awareness of that weakness,” she adds. “It gives you an idea like if I hire this person and they’re here, this is the kind of problem solving or growth that I can expect to see from them.”
So if you were the candidate with the presentation snafu, you might talk about how you sat down with your boss to make a plan to improve your public speaking skills, and how the next time you had to present to the execs you knocked it out of the park.
4. Keep It Short
You don’t have to devote half the interview to these answers. You can keep your response relatively brief and focused on one or two strengths or weaknesses, depending on how the question was phrased. To add to our list of overused-but-handy phrases: Think quality, not quantity. Don’t dive in and rattle off a litany of things you think you’re good or bad at without explaining anything. Instead, narrow it down and go into detail.
5. Don’t Sweat It So Much
While you definitely want to prepare and do your best to nail your answers, try not to stress too much. “Don’t panic,” Smith says. “I have never known an employment decision to come down to how someone answers those questions,” she adds. “It’s just one data point connected with a whole bunch of other ones. So don’t give it too much weight.”
How to Answer “What Are Your Strengths?” in an Interview
The key to talking about your strengths in an interview is to use the opportunity to demonstrate that you’re the best fit for the role, the team, and the company.
Smith recommends reading carefully through the job description and learning as much as you can about what the company is up to and what the culture is like. Read various pages on the organization’s website, take a look at its social media accounts, and catch up on some recent announcements and news coverage if applicable. Use what you’ve learned to identify which of your strengths is most relevant and how it will allow you to contribute. Then make the connection inescapable. “Every answer should position you to help them see how you can solve a problem” and help the company achieve its goals, Smith says.
At the same time, you don’t want to go overboard. “It’s such a fine line. I always tell people not to worry about bragging, but you also don’t want to come across as cocky or too full of yourself,” Smith says. Give a confident and honest assessment that does your skills justice, but don’t let yourself veer into hyperbole.
What It Might Sound Like
If you’re applying for an operations role at a startup, you might say:
“I’d say one of my greatest strengths is bringing organization to hectic environments and implementing processes to make everyone’s lives easier. In my current role as an executive assistant to a CEO, I created new processes for pretty much everything, from scheduling meetings to planning monthly all hands agendas to selecting and preparing for event appearances. Everyone in the company knew how things worked and how long they would take, and the structures helped alleviate stress and set expectations on all sides. I’d be excited to bring that same approach to an operations manager role at a startup, where everything is new and constantly growing and could use just the right amount of structure to keep things running smoothly.”
How to Answer “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?” in an Interview
While you’ll definitely want to tie your strengths to the role and company you’re applying for, you should avoid that approach when talking about your weaknesses. “You don’t necessarily want them associating a weakness with their company or with what they’re looking for,” Smith says. For example, if the job description for a sales role lists excellent verbal communication skills, you shouldn’t say one of your weaknesses is thinking on your feet during phone calls, even if you’ve worked hard to improve and feel more than competent now.
It’s the same advice she’d give someone writing a cover letter when applying for a job for which they have most, but not all, of the qualifications. Focus on the requirements you do bring to the table, not on the ones you don’t.
Instead, prepare a couple of standard options to choose from and in each interview, talk about a weakness that doesn’t obviously impair your ability to perform the core functions of the role. Make sure you admit the weakness, pivot to the insight, and end on a strong note. “If someone can be honest and have the self-awareness to answer that question, I think that says a lot about their emotional intelligence and their professional maturity,” Smith says.
Her last piece of advice? Don’t pick a “weakness” like “I’m such a hard worker” or “I’m too much of a perfectionist.” Going down that route will backfire, because it comes off as disingenuous, oblivious, or immature—and none of those are qualities that’ll get you the job.
What It Might Sound Like
If you’re applying for an engineering job, you might say:
“My greatest weakness would probably be waiting too long to ask questions to clarify the goals of a project and to make sure I’m on the right path. I noticed in one of my first coding jobs out of college that I would get an assignment and, because I assumed I should be able to work independently, I’d waste time going down a particular road that didn’t 100% align with the ultimate goal and then would have to spend additional time making changes. After it happened once or twice, I started asking my manager more questions about why we were adding a particular feature, who it was intended for, what about the previous functionality had made for a poor experience, etc. And especially for bigger projects, I would reach out when I needed a gut check to ask follow-up questions as well as to share the work I’d done so far and what I was planning to do next. In the long run, it meant I could finish projects faster and do better work.”