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Are you satisfied?

18 October 2013

Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction can be a difficult to ascertain. Some days you’re on and some you’re off. (In the US it’s been reported that 80 per cent of employees are unhappy at work.)

Ruby has learnt through its Westpac Women of Influence Report that professional women are experiencing the value career influencers, whether role models, mentors or sponsors, have upon their professional lives. Nearly three in five (60%) have confirmed they have at least one of these and more than half (58%) have stated that person has a strong impact on their career.

According to Larke Riemer, Westpac’s Director of Women’s Markets: “The value role models, mentors and sponsors bring to a professional woman’s life can make the difference between a good career and a great career. Women are great at building relationships in their professional, community and personal lives, as they interact both personally and professionally through communication. It’s therefore not a huge surprise they want to interact with others to bounce ideas off, share perspectives and seek ongoing advice and leadership.”

Of the remaining career-focused women who don’t have a role model, mentor or sponsor (40%), nearly two thirds wish they did (61%). Furthermore, 94% of these women are likely to experience challenges at work, compared with 87% of those with mentors who face less challenges.

In a straw poll of Ruby members about how people have chosen their careers, many stated it was because they’d seen friends working in a particular industry having a great time. PR and journalism, for example, inspired some, because: “It seemed to be all about going out to lunch and drinks.”

Whatever the catalyst, if you want to enjoy the time you spend at work - think through what engages you, what you’re passionate about, and work out how that can form part or all of your position. Most importantly, find yourself a mentor, sponsor to talk your career over with. It’s not surprising that speaking with someone who has ‘been-there, done-that’ can help you steer clear of common mistakes and that must increase satisfaction.

And then there’s the rise of the curly interview question. A few people noted they’d heard the practice of asking ‘out-of-the-box’ questions was becoming more popular. Gone are the days of ‘why do you want to work for us’ or ‘what have you done that qualifies you for this position’?

What you could expect to be asked now is ‘why manhole covers are round’ or ‘how are you going to lose me money’?

Most interview questions are designed to suss out one of three things:

can you do the job;

why you want the job;

are you an organisational fit.

It’s not difficult to see why the answers to interview questions are important to a prospective employer. As the interviewee, the questions and answers you field or decide to ask the interviewer will help you understand whether the place and/or the role is right for you. It’s why having some of your own questions ready can help make sense of the job, the people, the culture and your fit within all that.

An American survey ranked the top 25 companies for toughest interview process and found consulting firms, such as Mckinsey and Boston Consulting, led the pack. Others included Shell Oil, Google, Facebook, Amazon.

Getting ready for the interview means getting dressed - and that can introduce all sorts of anxieties into the mix. Here’s a tip from an image consultant around preparing for an interview that stands out: “If you feel most authentic and confident wearing a beaded blouse and a fringed jacket and old jeans with holes in the knees, you may put that on for a few minutes, look in the mirror – and then change into something more professional for the job interview. Being authentic is important, but so is the understanding that your social image may differ from your professional presence.”

Have you ever experienced a fashion interview faux pas? 

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