What should I do with older experience on my resume? By Matthew Coppola


As your career progresses, you will most likely find that some of your experience is past ten years, and although it is valuable and vital to how you have developed as a professional, you may feel that it was quite a long time ago. You may feel you need to condense your resume, but if you take it out, then they may not consider you as someone who has extensive industry experience.

So what do you do?

An excellent option to deal with this situation is to summarise your experience in a table format. Include only a summary about your role, any key accomplishments (Maybe three or four) as well as the employer’s name, role title and duration.

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Would you like to have your resume professionally revamped to help apply for a new job?

Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions is an Australian based business that provides interview skills coaching, assists with CV/Resume writingaddressing key selection criteria and covering letters to help you with giving your best foot forward to an employer. Please feel free to visit their website: www.clientcentric.com.au

 

Perth Resume Writing Services


Don’t risk having your CV thrown into the rubbish bin because it failed to impress. We will write and design you a professionally written resume and cover letter that will make you stand out with an eye catching design and punchy content!

The work that we do in designing, structuring and re-writing for immediate impact will ensure the recruitment consultant and hiring manager continues to read more. The work that we do for you involves:

  • Proof-reading for grammar and punctuation checks.
  • Designing the resume to look professional and be highly presentable.
  • Writing a short, captivating summary that identifies you in your field and promotes you.
  • Writing the resume to market and sell you to the prosepctive employer.
  • Conducting research to find out what employers are currently looking for in your field and making sure the resume addresses their requirements and your experience is made relevant.
  • Creating a detailed  resume but not cluttering it – we make sure that everything is in structure.
  • We put headlines for better reading and to draw the employers attention.
  • We also use industry specific vocabulary and terms employers are using and appropriately include these in the resume and covering letter.

A covering letter is a very important aspect of the job application process and can be the difference between your resume being discarded and obtaining an interview. We make sure that the covering letter is in sync with your resume and allows you to make a small tailored adjustment to the company name/contact person and short summary stating why you want to work for that company specifically, and then the rest is all pre-populated, ready to go.

Our strategy is one of quality over quantity,  ensuring your covering letter has a high impact effect, just like the resume will. We take a great deal of time and effort in making sure our work is of a very high standard.

 All of our work is original and tailored to the client. We spend time and effort in ensuring that your resume really sells and markets you to any prospective employer.

Our contact with you will be primarily by phone and email as we work with clients all over Australia and some of our clients may already be working which makes it hard logistically to meet.

“”Hi Matt, just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help with my c.v and covering letter I got permenancy which means I never need to go through that horrible process ever again.. Big thanks.”

Hazel M, Teacher’s Aide

 “Awesome Matt! Great job! Thank you so so much 🙂 I really want this job so feeling a lot more confident- now you have done such an awesome job”

 Tania F, Senior Anaesthetic Technician

 Simple and easy process from consultation to delivery.

Initial consultation.

We make initial contact with you by phone/email for a brief discussion regarding the services you require and any specific requests. We also discuss your background and experience and what direction you would like your career to head.

Preparation.

We then ask if you can send us your existing resume and if any supporting documentation (ie. Employer testimonials, qualifications and grades, referees, etc) along with a couple links to jobs on Seek.com.au that you wish to apply for.

Contact.

Once we have all the information we need we can proceed, but if there is anytime else we need to know we will get in contact with you

Payment.

Full payment will need to be made upfront to confirm your booking.

Timeframe.

Depending on current workload, we usually ask for around 3 – 4 working days to have the final draft back you for your review.

Delivery.

We will send the documents to you ready for your review and to see if you would like any changes or additions made and we will make them accordingly.

Revision.

Once you have made your review of the new resume and covering letter, we then make those changes, send it back to you and commence working on the next service paid for (ie. Job application service or LinkedIn prof

Why we feel nervous on the first day of a new job, by Matthew Coppola


Article by Matthew Coppola, Client Centric 

Looking for a new job? Wanting to move on to a new role? Client Centric can help by professionally writing for you a new and tailored CV and cover letter designed to help market and promote you to prospective employers. They also provide interview coaching and assisting with addressing key selection criteria. Visit their website today: www.clientcentric.com.au

man wearing blue suit
First day on the job. Yeah, it’s nerve-racking!

Yesterday I started my first day on the job at a job find company in Victoria. Although it was only an internal transfer for the same position with the same company, I still felt nervous, timid and shy around my new fellow colleagues. I understand now just what its like for my job seekers when they start a new job. The emotions that they would be going through and how hard it can be to get back into the workforce especially if they have been out of work for quite some time. It is a big change and can be a stressful period in ones life.  Similar to the emotions involved in moving houses, changing jobs is just as stressful, if not worse. But why is it that we feel nervous on the first day on the job?

There are number of reasons why we feel nervous on the first day of our new job. Even today I had first hand experience with what it felt like to start working in a new office with new coworkers I have never met before until today. It was extremely nerve racking. I made the biggest mistake in the beginning. I accidentally arrived to work late and so I was stressed in the morning to begin with. I now see why it is extremely important to go visit the new workplace before a job start, say the day before, so then in the morning you wont be stressed and will know exactly how long it will take to get to work and where to park. But thankfully I soon forgot about being late after apologizing and explaining my reason why. I was also nervous because everyone knew eachother and they had built up this team culture and felt so comfortable around eachother. But I realized that they werent going to change to fit in with me. I had to change to fit in with them. I made sure that I introduced myself to everyone in the office and that I joined in with conversation and laughter the team were having. Because I made the effort to be part of their team culture, they made the effort to warmly welcome me.

people sitting around brown wooden table under white pendant lamp inside room
On the first day of a job, it helps to get involved.

Then by the end of the day it struck me! I finally realized why we always feel nervous when starting a new job. Its because it means change for us and moving away from what we are familiar with. In Psychology, we learn that the brain loves the familiar. When we move out of our comfort zone it can create a real shock to our brain. For instance, why is it that we always feel comfortable in our own bed then in someone else? And its for that very reason. So to really overcome the tensions and anxieties in starting a new job, we need to make an earnest effort to get to know our fellow colleagues and show interest in the workplace environment and culture.

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Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.

Why you need to be passionate about your job to succeed, by Matthew Coppola



I have been working for an employment services organisation for over 7 months now, and just recently I was offered an internal transfer to another office within the company over in Melbourne. But to ensure that my transition is as smooth as possible, in the last week working at my previous office in Perth, I had another employee who would be taking over my role to job shadow me. I thought this would be easy and I could teach someone the best of everything I knew, but how wrong was I.

The person job shadowing me had absolutely no interest what so ever in the job and the industry. It wasnt that they told me they werent interested, it was in their body language and the actions they made which made me come to the conclusion they werent interested in the job and hence would’nt perform once in the job.

Ill give you a bit of background about my job. I am an employment consultant for a Job Services Australia organisation. When a job seekers goes on welfare benefits, they are referred to a Job Services Australia organisation. My job is to reverse market job seekers based on their skills and experience, to suitable businesses, so then they can go off Centrelink benefits. Like most jobs, I have Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to meet. So you need to have self-discipline and personal drive so that you can place as many job seekers into employment and meet your KPI’s.

When I first started in this job, I was really passionate about placing people into employment. I also had the added pressure of meeting my KPI’s but I knew that placements would come after regular and quality reverse marketing. What has driven me to succeed is passion, dedication, self-discipline and just simply enjoying my job. Plus I want my career to stay in recruitment. But when I had this person job shadow me, she displayed none of those traits. Sure, she doesnt necessarily have to enjoy her job, but at least show some interest in the job.

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I am an experienced and qualified Employment Consultant. I provide assistance with tailored professional resumes, customised cover letters, key selection criteria responses and keyword optimised LinkedIn profiles.

All of my work is not only professionally written and edited but also has a unique design,  making sure that your job application will stand out from the rest. I work with clients all across Australia including Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide. Having a professionally written resume will ensure your CV stays ahead of the rest. Contact me today to find out how I can help you land your dream job.

Please feel free to email me at info@matthewcoppola.com or call me on 0415 559 233.

Why is everyone getting promoted except me by Matthew Coppola


Article by Matthew Coppola, Client Centric 

Looking for a new job? Wanting to move on to a new role? Client Centric can help by professionally writing for you a new and tailored CV and cover letter designed to help market and promote you to prospective employers. They also provide interview coaching and assist with addressing key selection criteria. Visit their website today: www.clientcentric.com.au

three woman talking near white wooden table inside room
It’s never too late to start making an impression at work.

It is only normal to want to see yourself progressing through an organisation. Understandably, then, you may feel somewhat discouraged or even left out if you have not been promoted – especially if many of your colleagues have moved forward in the company.

For some, being stuck in the same role can begin to seem like a thick wall, a barrier that divides them from job fulfilment and success. With each passing year, it may feel as if another lot of bricks are laid up on top of that wall. An employee can start to feel that they are no good or do not contribute anything to the organisation.

Do you find yourself thinking along similar lines?

Well let’s look at the popular belief that a promotion opens the door to greater happiness. It is true that a job promotion can and usually does contribute to greater success. However simply being in a higher position does not make one happy. With higher positions come greater responsibilities.

Even if you see the reasonableness of this point, you may still feel discouraged at times. But before you assume the worst, take a minute to ask yourself, “Am I ready for a promotion or higher position?” Be realistic about it. For example if you are a recent graduate or just started a job, the answer most likely will be no!

It is true that some new employees may be exceptionally good or have been in the same role for quite some time. But that does not necessarily mean they should be promoted. Have you honestly considered whether you are ready to take on greater responsibilities in the workplace?

A good self-examination may explain some realities. For example:

–         How mature and responsible are you?

–         Do you get along your with workmates or are you in constant conflict with them?

–         In ways do your peers who have been promoted compare to you? How can you learn from them?

–         Are you motivated to reach out for a promotion?

–         Have you expressed your thoughts on this matter with your supervisor?

Expressing your interests and thoughts about being promoted to your supervisor is the best way to find out if you are ready or not. Be sure to ask your employer how you can reach out for a promotion. This will not only show interest on your part, but keep you on the radar, so to speak, should any opportunities arise.

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Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specializing in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.

How do I listen to people better by Matthew Coppola


Today in all walks of life, there is an asymmetry of information between people.  This occurs when there are gaps of information between one another, that is, when some have more information than others. To elaborate, there are “generation gaps” between youthful and elderly people, between the jury and the accused, between employees and employers and between businesses and their customers.

Why does this asymmetry of information come about? The main reason is due to miscommunication. Both parties fail to communicate effectively to each other.  Most of the time, people think of other things while someone is talking to them, instead of actually concentrating their thinking on the conversation and what is being said to them. So even though people may hear what is being said, they didn’t actually listen.

Studies have shown that we spend 40% of our time actually listening when communicating with others. So not only do we talk more then we listen, but we also operate at a listening level of about 25% efficiency. For some people, especially older ones, the levels may be even lower. So building up your skill at effectively listening to your work colleagues, managers and customers is very important for not only daily life, but for your job too.

What does it mean to listen?

To listen means to be attentive to what our colleagues are saying to use by using both our mind and heart, with our ears and our understanding.

Either at work or in your personal life you may have come across people saying to you that you’re not paying attention to them. This comes from the expression “to pay attention” Paying attention essentially means that being attentive to someone will cost you something. This cost is not only your time, but also your self-interest, because you’re putting the interests of others above your own interests. So listening to your customers, colleagues and management requires you to be unselfish with regards to your time, show patience and also self-control because you holding back thoughts about anything else and concentrating your sole attention on the other person.

Is there anything wrong with being dishonest at work?


“Honesty is as rare as a man without self-pity” So wrote American Poet, Stephen Vincent Benet almost 100 years ago. You may agree that little improvement has been made since then in regards to the public’s respect for honesty and its value. Dishonesty is not only prevalent with the general public, but also in workplaces too.

To many employees, the belief is that honesty pays, but not enough. To survive in a tight job market, many feel that they need to lie or bend the truth to get anywhere in life. But is that the case? Does being deceitful, dishonest and untruthful at work really the answer to gaining success? In this article, we are not just referring to small amounts of dishonesty or bending the truth, we are talking about all types and degrees of dishonesty no matter how big or small they are.

There is no such thing as a white lie. A lie is a lie.

Any type of dishonesty is created by greed for some sort of dishonest gain. Greed leads to lying. But you may justify lying by reasoning to yourself that “it’s just work”. Many employees who lie to a customer or supervisor, end up placing the responsibility back on to them saying that it’s the customers end decision and “let the buyer beware” or that the boss doesn’t need to know the truth.

But, can a thief justify his robbery by saying “let the victims beware”? Of course not! Same with employment, if an employee is dishonest and gets ahead at work, they are just as bad as that thief. Both the thief and the worker have been dishonest.

The thief is dishonest by taking someone’s possessions without their permission and not asking them. The employee is dishonest because they held back information from the customer, knowing all too well that if they knew the truth, they would not have bought the product in the first place.

Unfortunately, many feel that being honest is a choice, and will choose to be honest or dishonest depending on what suits them at the time. Your co-workers may argue that they would not be successful in their job unless they were dishonest to some degree.  You may even be asked to lie to a customer to prevent them from being able to speak to a colleague or your boss. Some in the workplace who pursue dishonest activities will even seek to cover up their dishonesty and falsehood by lavishing everyone in the workplace with praise and gifts.

Short term benefits versus long term costs

Before you try and justify to yourself that you can be dishonest when it suits you, ask yourself the question: What is it that I want – a quick benefit or that which results in benefits that are lasting? The benefits you will get from being dishonest at work are likely to be short term. Take for example a builder who builds a house using cheap building materials and quotes a high price based on quality workmanship and materials. True, this builder may make an easy profit, but in the process he may lose a client and all their friends when the person finds out they were cheated. So really, the consequences of being dishonest at work will far outweigh the benefits it brings.

Respect and esteem in the workplace is not given but rather it is earned through honesty, hard work and dedication to the job. So if you build up a reputation for being honest and upfront in your work activities, you are likely to earn the trust and respect of your colleagues and supervisor. Take for example two car salesmen. If both were offering the same make of car and at the same price, but one salesman was known to be honest and the other known to be dishonest, who would you buy from? Well, you would be silly not to buy from the honest person.

You’ll also find that your colleagues will be more honest and upfront with you then they otherwise would. “To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.” So wrote William Shakespeare. People appreciate honesty because it is hard to find.

But what if you find out that an employer is doing things at work which are dishonest, what should you do? Really in that instance, it is up to you whether you decide to remain in the job or leave. But in reality, escaping from dishonesty in the workplace will prove futile. Dishonest acts at work will follow you wherever you go. If your employer does not require you to do dishonest things at work, then it would be in your interest to stay in your current job and prove to your employer the value of an honest worker.

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I am an experienced and qualified Employment Consultant. I provide assistance with tailored professional resumes, customised cover letters, key selection criteria responses and keyword optimised LinkedIn profiles.

All of my work is not only professionally written and edited but also has a unique design,  making sure that your job application will stand out from the rest. I work with clients all across Australia including Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide. Having a professionally written resume will ensure your CV stays ahead of the rest. Contact me today to find out how I can help you land your dream job.

Please feel free to email me at info@matthewcoppola.com or call me on 0415 559 233.

How do I keep a job by Matthew Coppola


Tough economic times and volatility in the jobs market over the years has prompted many to feel insecure about their job and keeping it. Added to that, it is even more difficult for youths and lower skilled individuals to get and keep a job they are happy with. There is a saying that goes”there is a job for everyone” but not necessarily the right job.

Toughening economic times mean higher unemployment, which inevitably affects everybody, from low skilled workers to high payed executives. This is economics at play and is out of your control. But job loss can be attributed to reasons other than declining economic activity which are in your control. They are firstly a bad attitude towards work and secondly less value to the employer. But these can be changed which is what we will look at now.

Have an enthusiastic attitude

Always remember that your employer during tough business times is going to keep the employees who are continually willing to work, show an enthusiastic attitude and attend to their employer’s reasonable requests and expectations. That is, the workers who are hard working and obedient to the employer will keep their job in the event that staff reduction is required.

If you also want to promote yourself as a hard worker, not only should you follow their instructions and requirements, but also try your hardest to do more than what you have been asked to do without having to be asked. For instance it would be wise for you to go into work half an hour early and leave half an hour late. Doing more than what is required of you at work shows enthusiasm and a willingness to do better, even if you’re not the smartest or fastest worker on site.

Take a moment now to reflect on your attitude at work. Your attitude is how you feel about your work, your boss and your colleagues. Your attitude is reflected by your actions and comments that you make at work. Having an attitude that reflects a positive and co-operative state of mind will boost your chances of keeping your job. But having a negative attitude will do the opposite. It will continually rot away your chances of keeping your job in the long run.

If you feel that your attitude towards work is negative, I would suggest you readjust your thinking or start looking for another job. If you find yourself going to work tired, try getting an early night’s rest or having a fresh breakfast that is healthy, like fruit and muesli.

“Attitudes are contagious” goes the saying, so remember people will imitate your behaviour upon first seeing you. So if you were to go into work with a sour attitude, your co-workers will imitate your behaviour and will likely respond back in that manner to you. But the same also goes when you first see a colleague at the start of work who has come to work with a miserable attitude. You’re likely to be influenced by their behaviour and even imitate them subconsciously. So you would do well to try and control your state of mind and associate more with your colleagues who have a positive and uplifting state of mind. This is especially true to new employees starting out. They can easily learn the bad habits of the other employees.

Be personable and approachable

Starting a new job is daunting for anybody. The first day on the job can be the biggest hurdle to overcome. Everybody knows each other and they discuss things that you have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. You may even start to ask yourself: ‘Will they get along with me? Am I capable of doing the job?’ These are examples of negative thinking and can almost become self-fulfilling. If you start feeling that way, quickly adjust your attitude and ponder over positive things, like the fact that you are capable of doing the job because you have the skills they need, and that they will like you because your friendly and approachable.

When you are being taught a computer program they use or you are job shadowing a colleague, avoid trying to make out that you know what you are learning, even if you do, and just listen. This will show humbleness on your part, and your colleagues and supervisors will even start to like you already. If you do however feel you don’t understand certain requirements of the job or would like to know how you are progressing since starting the job, find a suitable and convenient and approach your supervisor. Don’t be afraid of seeking constructive criticism, it will only help improve your performance at work but also show your employer that you are interested in doing well in your job.

Another good way to show your employer you are approachable is by listening intently to them without interruption and displaying an open body language. This shows that if they ever need to speak to you about an issue or problem with your work performance or anything, they can easily speak to you about it.

I would also recommend telling your employer and colleagues that you are under their wings and welcome any suggestions for improvement. This shows humility on your part and also makes your work colleagues feel less threatened from and more comfortable to work with you.

You can make an impression on your employer!

There are three ways you can make a good impression on your employer. They are by avoiding gossiping, being on time and being honest. We will now look at each.

 

Avoid gossiping

Gossip is private talk amongst co-workers about others in the workplace. What makes “gossip” different from any other discussion is that it usually is founded upon false information and rumours. Usually once people find out what others have been gossiping about them, it usually results in heartache and sadness, especially if the gossiping is cruel.

Gossip is like a grapevine. Rumours start to grow on the grapevine, with the truth being bent and twisted. When somebody hears a rumour, because it is full of so many lies it can be like a sour grape, which is not very pleasant to eat and worth throwing away. So if you find yourself in the middle of hearing rumours about a colleague, be quick to avoid accepting it as truth and throw it away from your mind like that sour grape!

But you might find yourself at work thinking about something which is really bothering you. Instead of televising it to everybody at work, go and talk about it with your senior. But make sure you have reason to complain about something, and that it isn’t your negative attitude that is the problem. But go about talking to your senior in the right manner. For instance, making an appointment when your senior is not busy would be good to do. This way it will be in the privacy of an office and away from other people to hear and have something to gossip about.

 

Be on time

Being late from work and missing too many days from work is the biggest indicator to employers that you are not 100% committed to your job. You may actually be really committed to your job, but if you get to work late too many times, your employer will have a different view.

Be honest

Employers highly value and appreciate honest employees. For example, some employers put more preference on a person who is honest than another person who has more skills in the job. Showing your employer that you are honest is simple. Tell the truth and don’t steal. If you make a mistake, own up to it as quickly as possible and do not hide information from the employer.

So remember, if you have a job, be appreciative. Work solidly to keep it!

How can I improve my self-esteem and confidence by Matthew Coppola


Being confident is about trusting yourself, and by trusting yourself means that you believe in yourself and your abilities. So if you’re saying to yourself “I’m not a confident person” I would like to know, are you confident about that? We all have confidence in us, but when it comes to speaking up at a meeting, asking the boss for a request, saying no and speaking up to a customer, and taking on a different job role, some may feel that they don’t have the confidence to do so. To build your confidence at work, you need to build your self-esteem.  But you may ask, how can I build up my already low self-esteem?

First thing you need to do is to take a good look at your assets and liabilities. You may feel that you have so many flaws or liabilities that in actual fact are small and petty. Your self-esteem will grow if you concentrate on making small improvements all the time to your more serious flaws, which may be laziness or a quick temper.

Unfortunately most of the time we are quick to forget about our valuable assets as a person and as an employee, for instance you might think that being compassionate and empathetic is not that important. But a customer who is upset about a faulty product and looking for some acknowledgment will admire you for having such attributes! You might actually find that your qualities and skills outweigh your flaws.

Let’s look at a few suggestions to help you improve your self-esteem.

Set SMART goals for yourself

Smart goals are those which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. Your goals should be specific ie. To increase performance by 10% over the next month, not to get better at my job. They should also be attainable and well within your reach. Solving customer issues immediately may not be attainable that easy, but asking more questions to find out how you can resolve customer issues is more in your reach. They should also be realistic and timed. You might not be able to accomplish all your goals in a couple of days, but you will be successful at attaining them over a few months.

Do your best work

If you don’t try hard at work, cut corners or deliberately work slow, you’re less likely to feel any better about yourself. If you put earnest effort at work and try your hardest, although not immediately, you will see the benefits of your hard work. You will then feel better about yourself, and your self-esteem will grow.

Do things for others

There may be instances at your workplace where you have the opportunity to do something good for one of your colleagues. It might be sharing some of their workload or helping them out with a work-related issue, whatever it is, you will get a lot more satisfaction by going out of your way to help others then being concerned about your own well being. You will even find that your colleagues will see that you are doing more for others and they are likely to start doing things for you in return.

Find a mentor

A mentor at your work is somebody who you feel close to on a professional level and that you can confide in. Usually after being in a job for a few months we naturally start building relationships with co-workers. Some colleagues may be closer to you than others. The good thing about a mentor is that they will understand exactly where you are coming if you are trying to sort out a work-related issue.

Avoid unrealistically comparing yourself with others!

A big reason why we can start to feel worthless about ourselves is because compare ourselves in an unrealistic manner to others. They may be a colleague who tends to excel in everything they do and always get praised for their high performance, without mentioning our name! But despite pressures to perform at work, should we really compare ourselves to others? The answer is no. Every one of us has different skills and abilities, attributes and traits, some better, some worse. But learning to accept failures and disappointment is part of life. Not all of us are going to be the best at everything.

Trying to compete with others at work will end up making us feel even more worthless and less confident. Instead by being cooperative, considerate, patient and peaceful makes us feel more better about ourselves rather being egotistical and trying to constantly compete with others and envying their performance and success.

But if we find ourselves really struggling to do well in a certain area, or have a genuine desire to perform better without the competitive motive, then would be a good time to seek help from a mentor as discussed earlier. Even approaching the individual who is performing well and telling them how you really want to improve in an area that you feel they are doing really well in. This shows humility on your part and will impress your colleague and make them feel better about themselves. They are more then to want to help you improve.

How do I deal with peer-pressure from co-workers by Matthew Coppola


Article by Matthew Coppola, Client Centric 

man wearing brown suit jacket
Peer pressure at work isn’t easy to deal with.

Peer pressure occurs when a peer group exerts influence to persuade an individual to change their attitudes, values, or behaviours so that they meet group norms. Unfortunately, peer-pressure doesn’t stop at school. It follows us into the workplace. It may be that a co-worker wants you to go out for drinks after work but you don’t really want to, it may be continuous junk mails circulating around the office that try and capture your attention or could be from a co-worker asking you to cover their shift for them. These are just a few examples of peer-pressure occurring in the workplace.

It is only natural to want to be popular and accepted by your peers at work. Influence from your peers should not be viewed necessarily a problem. Take the illustration of a butcher sharpening a knife. The butcher turns a blunt knife into a sharp knife ready to cut. If your work peers have mature, professional and respectful attitudes in the workplace, they can actually help sharpen your knowledge, skills and abilities in the workplace.

However not all workplaces offer positive and up building influences from work peers. Many of your colleagues in your working life, both blue collar and white collar, will lack in professionalism, honesty and respect. They may have views and opinions that are unreliable and even false. So if you do become under the control of your peers, whether it be to cover someone’s shift or gossip about another co-worker, it may be little more than the blind leading the blind. You would just be as much of a fool as they are.

Have you started forming a negative attitude toward a co-worker or management? Have you noticed any changes in your attitude, behaviour or actions at work in order to fit in? It is true to say that no one can make you do anything you don’t want to do, just like the saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Ultimately it is your decision.

You may think it’s easy to not be intimidated by what your colleagues will think of you, but when you are faced with peer pressure it’s another story. For example, what would you do in the following circumstances?

One of your co-workers asks for your opinion on another co-worker who keeps coming to work half-an-hour late. You know that they are gossiping and don’t know the full story, but they’re waiting to hear what you think.

You receive junk mail circulating around the office that has been forwarded by a colleague. Everybody else is replying to the email, and you feel obligated to make a comment.

They aren’t easy situations to deal with are they? Most of the time, peer pressure won’t be direct from your colleagues, but may actually be indirect like from the last example. You don’t have to reply to the email circulating around the office, but because everybody is doing it, you may feel obligated to do the same. So how can you build up the strength to stand up to peer pressure from your colleagues?

woman in black blouse sitting in front of silver laptop
Don’t give in to peer pressure.

Giving in to peer-pressure at work is the same as allowing others to do the thinking for you. The moment you step back to think about the actions that you’re going to make because of peer influences is the moment that you will have the courage to stand up to them. Using your own thinking ability and knowledge and not relying on your co-worker’s foolish reasoning’s is the best way to overcome what it is you are feeling pressured to do.

It doesn’t matter where you work, be it in an office or on the factory floor, you may be disliked or scorned at because you are using your thinking abilities. Remember, you are the one with the greatest strength than your co-workers who give in to their foolish passions. Take for example the co-workers who ridicule management and their decisions. Are they heading into a successful direction in their career? Of course not! Their attitude won’t just stop them from progressing in the business, but every other workplace they work at. So is that where you want your career to end up at? I doubt it.

Peer pressure will follow you everywhere, regardless of where you work. You can’t avoid this at work because you need to work alongside your colleagues to fulfil your job responsibilities. So what do you do? The first thing is you need to keep your cool. If a colleague or supervisor says anything to you that makes you feel pressured or anxious at work, you need to keep your cool and be upfront with them.

We will look at two scenarios – indirect and direct peer pressure. An example of direct pressure would be if you accidentally arrived 10 minutes late to a meeting and a co-worker says to you “just wake up did you?” this then makes you feel under pressure because you arrived late and you’re not meeting your job commitments. You should be upfront with anyone that puts pressure on you at work but in a mature and responsible manner. In this example, your reply should be “what are you trying to imply bob?” this will put the co-worker on the spot and have to justify why they are putting pressure on you.

Or in our previous example earlier, if a co-worker were to ask you to cover their shift, your first reply should be “No, I am not going to cover your shift” and if they ask you why you won’t, put them on the spot by replying “why should I have to cover your shift, am I not entitled to making my own decisions about what I do and don’t?” this then allows you to be assertive and let the other person know that you make decisions on your own, and not be guided by someone else.

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Author: Matthew Coppola, Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions

Careers Advisor, Employment Specialist & Resume Writing Expert.

With many years’ experience in Recruitment, Employment Services and Corporate Training, Matthew has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience in resume writing, interview skills, job searching strategies, selection criteria writing and career planning. 

His approach to resume writing is to actually sell the individual, shine a light on their best qualities and powerfully market them to prospective employers. 

Matthew holds a Graduate Certificate in Career Education and Development and a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics.

How do I get along with my colleagues better?


The following article is written by Matthew Coppola,  Australian Career Coach and Employment Consultant. If you are interested in inviting him to speak at any events/conferences, please feel free to contact us.

Do you sometimes feel that no matter how hard you try to be friends, you manage to turn off some of your co-workers? What then do you need to do to be able to get along with your colleagues better? The truth of the matter is, not everyone is going to like you. This is a sad reality of life that we must all accept. If you try too hard to have your colleagues like you, it may actually work the opposite, actually turning them off. Your colleagues will be able to sniff out the insecurity from you. So how do you then deal with this dilemma?

The answer is to treat your co-workers as you would treat yourself. Although you have your own flaws, recognize your own worth as an individual and how much you have to offer to your workplace. By valuing yourself better, it will enable you to be able to value your co-workers better. For instance this would help in dealing with the occasional co-worker who puts forward a cold shoulder whenever you try to be friends with them on a professional level. In saying that, steer away from automatically assuming that “the other person has the problem” it may be that your personality and approach in communicating to others needs refinement.

There are two ways that can help you in making a goal of getting along better with your colleagues. These are:

  1. Try and improve your conversation skills
  2. Show personal, yet professional interest in your colleagues

Improving your conversation skills

People like those who can converse well in meetings, networking functions, and amongst co-workers. Improving your conversation skills starts with having something worthwhile to say, that is, to think before you speak. It is good to be able to talk about a wide variety of subjects. For example, you might want to keep up to date with news and current affairs or innovations and changes in your industry. Reading industry focused magazines and newsletters are a good way of having something to talk about. Whatever you speak about, try and avoid three things – making your conversations more about yourself and not the other person, negative talk and gossiping about other staff members.

Another important skill is to be able to keep the conversation flowing. If a co-worker or manager asks you a question or says something to you in conversation, don’t kill the discussion with a yes or a no answer, instead reply in full. For example, if a colleague asks you how your weekend was, reply in saying how it was and what you did. This then opens the door for further discussion and allows the opportunity for you to ask your co-worker a similar question. Do you ever find that people bring up subjects that you are either not interested in or have little idea about it? Even so, the other person will think favourably upon you if you ask them questions and show interest in what they have to say.

Show personal, yet professional interest in your colleagues

Personal interest on a professional level, by definition, is about being attentive to the concerns and being curious about your fellow colleagues. You can show this through making yourself available to help and using encouraging words such as ‘you should be proud of yourself’ ‘That’s impressive’ or ‘Wish I was as good as you’ and so forth. If you make it a goal of genuinely expressing praise to your co-workers, you can expect them to do also to you.

The basic principle to making others like you is to tell them what they want to hear and Show them what they want to see.

You tell your colleagues what they want to hear by praising them and their work, saying things like “I wish I was as smart as you” and “You’re going to go far in this company” this is what they want to hear! They also want to see you praising them to the boss, making mistakes and asking them for help and not trying to seek attention from others in the office. They want to see genuineness, accountability and respect from you.

Make it also a goal of giving your time and energy to your fellow colleagues. This will impress them greatly. If you are working, and your colleague comes up to you and explains how they solved a work-related issue, sacrifice five minutes of your time to listen to what they say, by dropping everything you have in your hands and turn your body towards them. Of course, if you are really busy at work and cannot spare 5 minutes, explain to them that you are flat out but would be interested in hearing about it possibly over lunch or at another suitable time.

You can get along with your colleagues better!

Often times the reason why we have a hard getting along with certain people is simply because there is a clash of personalities. Generally, personality clashes centre around two colleagues with strong personalities. If you find yourself having a hard time getting along with someone at work that has a strong personality, remember that blaming the other person will only result in a vicious circle, with each individual not giving in. Best thing to do in that situation is to realise that it takes the stronger person to back down and show humility.

Clashes between individuals with strong personalities at work usually begin like a tiny leak on a submarine submerged underwater. Sooner or later the crack becomes bigger and bigger, finally bursting a hole in the vessel and flooding it. So likewise if you find yourself about to explode with angry words, it would be best for you to physically walk away. The potential for personality clashes to occur are always going to be there, so therefore it is your responsibility to avoid it all cost.

Every colleague is different, so it can be very challenging at times to build a relationship with them all. But trying your hardest to get along with all of your colleagues despite differing personalities, some more extreme than others, will make an impression on your colleagues and they will go out of their way to get along with you too. It just takes the bigger person. So it might as well be you!

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Established in 2010, Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions (formerly All Jobs Resume Writing Services Australia) has become one of the leading boutique Employment Services firm in Australia. We offer a range of specialist career management and resume writing services to satisfy our clients both at an individual and corporate level. Our writing services include resume and cover letter assistance, responding to key selection criteria, search word optimised LinkedIn Profiles for greater online presence and a job application service where we apply for jobs on your behalf. Our corporate program includes career management planning assistance such as writing key staff biographies for website and marketing presentations, outplacement and career transitioning services for retrenched staff and career counselling. Our team are highly skilled and knowledgeable in broad range of industries. We service clients all over Australia including Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra and Hobart. 

How do I deal with difficult people by Matthew Coppola


It doesn’t matter where you work they exist, people who are difficult to work with. This chapter has been written to be applicable to most situations at work when you are faced with difficult people. It may be people who are arrogant towards you, don’t listen to you because you are younger or hold a higher position, lazy workers and those who you find are always attacking you in a non-confrontational manner, either verbally with connotations or behind your back.

We call this office politics and it won’t go away. We all need to know how to deal with it.

We will now look at a number of suggestions you can use to deal with difficult people and difficult situations. These are:

  1. Be smart about your choice of words
  2. Show patience
  3. Keep an eye on your body language
  4. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself

 Be smart about your choice of words

Being smart about your choice of words involves using words that show respect, are commonly understood and evoke feeling. They also need to be grammatically correct. This will show respect for what you are trying to say and demonstrate that you have a positive attitude towards the person you are talking to. Your colleagues will then respond in the same manner, but this may take a while to happen.

Examples of words which are positive and up-building include:

–         Happy to speak with you

–         Nice work

–         Thank you John

–         Good morning/afternoon/night Leanne

–         Isn’t it a beautiful day today?

–         I was fascinated by the way you solved the problem

–         What an ingenious idea!

–         Now that’s original!

–         Could you please help me?

–         Ok wonderful, when do you start?

–         I love Friday!

–         Hello Mike

–         That’s fantastic

–         I’m so glad you’re here today!

–         Now that is impressive

Words are a powerful means of communicating to colleagues and must be used wisely. The saying ‘think before you speak’ says it all. The words you use in your conversations must be used in the right context with the right tonality, otherwise your message may be understood incorrectly and have the wrong effect then that intended.

It can be difficult to make the effort to use appropriate words, as some words can have two meanings if used in the wrong context. For example you might say “did you do the secretary?” referring to organising training for the company’s staff, but it can also have a double meaning with sexual connotations.

Using “I” or “my” too much in your conversation can cause co-workers to think that you always talk about yourself. Unless it permits, try and use “you” “us” more. Try and avoid talking about yourself unless they ask a question that permits you to do so. Also when starting a conversation with someone, always begin it by asking about them before you talk about yourself.

In the Australian workplace, it is respectful to use different expressions when you address others in higher positions such as a manager or supervisor. Of course everybody is different, and some people in higher positions may prefer to be spoken in a more relaxed manner, however the rule is to speak in an honourable and respectful manner to every employee in any position in the workplace.

Show patience

When confronted with a difficult co-worker, have you ever asked yourself “how many times should I have to forgive this person? Over ten times?” Sure, forgiving someone ten times may seem ridiculous, but what if you were that person being forgiven, wouldn’t you want to be forgiven more than ten times? Of course you would! So the same principle applies to putting up with the difficulties from a co-worker. It takes patience and endurance on your part.

Keep an eye on your body language

Body language is the non-verbal messages that we put across through our physical positioning and movements and accounts for 55% of total communication. There is positive and negative body language. Negative body language can show that we are not interested in speaking to someone. This includes crossed arms, body pointed away from someone while they are talking to you, and continually looking away while someone is talking to you. You need to make sure that your body language is correct and shows that you are interested in talking to a colleague and what they have to say.

Showing positive body language includes having your body pointed to the other person or mirroring their body language is a great way to establish rapport. So if your colleague is leaning against a table, imitate their body language by leaning up against the table too. Also maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to, and show that you are listening to them by nodding and looking at both their eyes and lips.

Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself

You could use a number of suggestions from this chapter in dealing with a difficult colleague, but sometimes you just need to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Think if you were them, how would you like to be treated? For example, let’s say you were jealous of another work colleague because they were better looking and drew more attention. Would you want them to acknowledge your attractiveness and include you when getting attention from co-workers? Of course you would. Doing so would make you feel better about yourself and have no need to be jealous.

But you might step back from this, and think “why should I have to go out of my way to make someone like me if they are the one who is being difficult to me?” Well you have just answered your question already. You should try and make amends with someone purely for the fact that they don’t like you. If you don’t and have a proud attitude, you’re going to go to work every day and have to put up with someone giving you a hard time. Sometimes you just need to be the stronger person.

How do I find a job by Matthew Coppola


A ‘job’ means different things to different people. For some, it can mean a hobby that pays an income, or something to keep them busy during the week. But for many, it’s what is needed to feed, clothe and house their family. Which means for many being out of work can cause financial hardship.

The Australian job market is like a rollercoaster, going up and down depending on the economic conditions of the time.

Unemployment is also more erratic and higher for young people under 25 with little experience or qualifications. Just ask anyone who has been through the 1990-91 recession, the dot com crash of 2001-02 or the financial crisis of 2007-10 and they’ll tell you that it isn’t easy getting a job during hard economic times, particularly if you have little skills or experience.

Being out of a job, particularly for a long time can become somewhat disheartening. You may have a family to care for financially, rent to pay or a mortgage to pay off. The longer you are unemployed the more you may start to feel less enthusiastic about applying for jobs. Luckily for us in Australia we have a relatively good social security system that looks after us financially in the event that we become short – long term unemployed.

Unemployment is not good for anyone – the government, businesses and society. It affects everybody. Higher unemployment means less taxation for the government and a bigger burden on the social security system. Businesses earn less revenue which result in smaller profits as they start to reduce their prices to attract customers. It also affects the individual as their self-esteem falls and society at large as families are affected.

So if you or someone else is unemployed, what are some wise choices to make? We will now look at a few suggestions to help you obtain a job and bring back your sense of self-worth.

Education and training is essential

Educational institutions are good training grounds to get you job ready. They teach you how to read, write, be self-disciplined and speak well. Every job requires good communication skills and you can learn this through schooling and training. Whether it be a taxi driver who needs to read a map and be able to listen for directions, a bricklayer to measure out the right amount of cement mixture or a salesman required to do computations, communication skills are vital.

In Australia depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for financial assistance if you choose to pursue further studies to improve your job prospects. Speak to your local job provider for more information.

Be determined. Don’t give up!

Being determined to find a job, by definition, means to devote all your strength and focused attention to finding a job.  While you are unemployed, your job should be to find a job. While you are looking for work, pretend that you start at 8:30am and finish at 4pm. Spend that time working on your resume, calling prospective employers and sending out your resume along with a customised covering letter for each job.

But don’t give up! If you use all your power, energy and strength to look for a job, you will be more successful finding a job in a tight job market and your efforts will pay off. We will now look at a number of ways you can exert your power and energy to look for a job.

Update your resume

Are you still using the same resume you had since finishing high school? If so, you need to revise your resume so that it accurately reflects your current job skills and experience.

Should you include every job experience you have in your resume? Well if you were applying for a job as a fireman, would it be wise to include experience as an office clerk? Of course not! Your resume should reflect the skills and experience you have that are important to the employer. Try and have a different resume for different jobs. For example you could have both a fireman resume and an office clerk resume.

Is your resume easy to read? Grammatically correct without any spelling mistakes? A resume that reads well and is grammatically correct shows professionalism, it also shows that you take pride in your resume.

Customise your covering letter

Each covering letter should be written from scratch in your own words unless you write up a standard format and personalise it for each job. If the employer sees that you’ve just copy and pasted your covering letter and shown no effort in trying to get the job, it won’t look good, and your chances of getting a job will diminish.

Cold-call prospective employers

Employers love job seekers who show enthusiasm. You can start cold calling prospective employers in two ways. One way is by making a list of jobs in an industry that you want to work in, and searching for available jobs via job search websites and the newspaper for that industry. Secondly, contact companies that involve the work you want to do and cold-call them. Remember, the majority of jobs are not advertised. Before you call, write a calling script first. This will prepare you. Use the following calling script as a template:

 Hi (use their name) my name is John,

WAIT FOR RESPONSE

The reason for my call is that I am currently looking for a job as a (type of work).

I thought I would call your business/company because I am particularly interested in the kind of work that you do.  

(use their name) I was wondering if you could help me?

WAIT FOR RESPONSE

 Use this template as a guide and alter it to suit what works for you. Try to sound confident on the phone and be positive about yourself. Before you make a cold-call, assume that the business would be interested in hiring you. Having a positive attitude will come across in your tonality and the way you speak. If you hesitate at all on the phone the employer may feel that you are unsure of yourself.

Why It Pays To Be Honest In Sales By Matthew Coppola


To many business people, the belief is that honesty pays, but not enough. To survive in the cut throat world of business and sales, many feel that they need to lie or bend the truth to get anywhere in business.But is that the case? Does being deceitful, dishonest and untruthful in sales and business really the answer to gaining success? In this article I am not just referring to small amounts of dishonesty or bending the truth, I am talking about all types and degrees of dishonesty no matter how big or small they are.There is no such thing as a white lie. A lie is a lie.
Any type of dishonesty is created by greed for dishonest gain. Greed leads many business owners and sales people to lie. But you may justify by reasoning that “its business” and “business is business”. Many sales people even put the responsibility back on to the customer, saying that its the customers end decision and “let the buyer beware”.

But, can a theif justify his robbery by saying “let the victims beware”? Of course not! Same with in sales. If a salesperson is dishonest and makes a sale, they are just as bad as that theif. Both the thief and the salesperson have been dishonest.

The theif is dishonest by taking someones possessions without their permission and not telling them. The salesperson is dishonest because they sold the customer a product and not told them the truth about the product. The salesperson sold the product knowing all too well that if the customer knew the truth, they would not have bought the product in the first place.

Yes, honesty in business and sales may require greater time and hard work, but the satisfaction and joy from honesty and truthfullness far outweigh that from dishonesty!

But is this view realistic? Can salespeople who need to meet weekly targets follow it? Well yes they can! To illustrate, lets use an example of an employment placement coach whose job it is to place all types of people into employment, even those who are not the most preferred people to employ.

When you are advocating a candidate for a job, you may find it pays to be honest and upfront with the employer in the beginning. If you hide the negative points about a job seeker and just focus on whats good about them, the employer will be trying to evaluate them and the reasons as to why they are unemployed.

Not only that, but if they actually get the job and their negative side is seen by the employer, it will not only affect the security of their employment but also affect the employers view of you and any other candidate you recommend to the employer in the future.

An Explanation Of Generation Y By Matthew Coppola


OMG. IM ROFLMAO ATM. BTW I G2G but ill BRB.If your not up with the lingo I just said Oh my goodness. Im Rollling over Laughing my ass off. I got to go but ill be right back. Today im going to be talking about the generation that talks like that.Known for their optimistic attitudes, aspirations for higher education, ability to work collaboratively, their open-mindedness, and drive, Generation Y are here. And they are making a statement.They are tech-savvy, travel-mad, self-absorbed, peer-pressured, celebrity-obsessed, Facebook-compulsive, iPod-wearing, brand-conscious 20-somethings who live with their parents and show no loyalty to their employer THEY’RE supposed to be hip, smart-talking, and sometimes seem to suffer from an overdose of self esteem. With a BlackBerry in one hand, half-caf latte in the other and an iPod-plugged earphones surgically attached to ears, they are ambitious, demanding and apparently born to rule. Right now!They are Generation Y and there are more than four and a half million of them in Australia.

You could also call them the internet generation, echo boomers, igeneration, the mypod generation or the millinials. They have become almost a household name!

The exact years are a subject of debate however I can provide some insight into the reason why Generation Y do what they do.

Now if another Generation provided this information it may be how they are viewed from the outside. Today I would like to give you some of the inside scoop for Gen Y.

So what makes them tick? How do we recruit them? More importantly, how do we retain them?

Firstly well look at what factors influence this generation, so we understand where they are coming from.

COMPARING GENERATIONS

Baby Boomers were influenced by the dawn of the TV, Rock and Roll, the Cold War, Vietnam War, the danger of nuclear war. Xers saw the Personal Computer, AIDS, single parent families, the growth in multiculturalism, and the downsizing of companies.

Gen Y have lived through the age of the internet, cable television, globalisation, September 11 and environmentalism

PEER PRESSURE

Unlike previous generations before them, peer pressure has become a major influence on Gen Y.
They wont listen to the media and are less likely to listen to their parents. But they will listen to their friends.

Unlike the pen-pal relationship that teens of the 1970s enjoyed, Gen Y no longer need to wait for letters in transit.

Gen Y are also communicating with one another using different communication mediums than previous generations. Instant messaging technologies and mobile phones have become very popular with Gen Y.

Online communication affords instant gratification for the users involved. Messages appear on the screen mere seconds after they are posted, allowing conversation-style communication between friends.

TECHNOLOGY

Ask any Gen Y What/who has a lot of influence on your thinking and behaviour? and most of them will likely say TV and movies.

Research shows that Aussie teenagers are now spending more time watching TV today then compared to four years ago, up from 2 hours 16 minutes per day to 2 hours and 20 minutes, a growth of 3.6%.

In addition to the growing Internet and video games use, they are now approaching 4 hours screen time per day.

Ease of access to a computer with internet connection and portable devices such as IPhones which can connect to the internet mean that Gen Y spend a great deal of time online and on social networking mediums such as facebook.

SOCIAL, ECONOMIC & POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Gen Y have also experienced different economic, social and political conditions than previous generations. Before the financial crisis occurred, most Aussie gen Ys had no idea what impact a recession has on society.
Which partly explains why most of Gen Y are still living at home.

Although they are the most materially endowed, and entertained generation of teenagers ever, they have been seriously affected by the economic climate.

Economic crises, including the dot-com bubble in 2000, and the United States housing bubble that resulted in the financial crisis have made paying any rent, hard for this generation riddled with high unemployment levels.

Theyve also seen the costs of their parents success in terms of broken marriages, absentee parenting, and an epidemic of stress related illnesses.

How To Create A Competitive Advantage: Learning From The Art Of Wine Making By Matthew Coppola


In a nutshell, a competitive advantage is gained by having what competitors dont have and doing what competitors dont do.A company can gain a competitive advantage by differentiating itself significantly to the extent that its products and/or services are a better offering in the customers product mindset than what the competition have to offer.Take for instance wine. Why does chardonnay produced from grapes grown in the Yarra Valley taste different from a chardonnay whose home is in Burgundy, France?

There are a number of ways a winemaker can change the taste of their wine. One way is by micro-oxygenating a red wine before bottling, which means introducing small amounts of oxygen which ages wine so that a young wine tastes like a mature one in 3 years instead of 10.

But the answer to the unique taste comes down to soil and climate.
With soil an expert winemaker will tell you that the best soils for growing grapes are the least fertile and rockiest soils.

Soils filled with gravel drain easily, dont hold water at the roots of the vine and so the grapes dont become filled with water, diluting flavours.
Like how different soils affect the taste of wine, in business strategy, a competitive advantage is gained by being different, unique and having resources and capabilities that cannot be easily copied to gain the same advantage.

By definition resources are the productive assets of the firm and capabilities are what the firm can do.

A good strategy will have the right resources and capabilities to be different.
For example to successfully play golf you need to know which golf putts are suitable for different scenarios

Same with business strategy.

Now resources are broken down into tangible, intangible and human resources.

Tangible resources can be easily identified, such as financial resources and physical assets.

Intangible resources are largely invisible, such as brand names, trademarks and intellectual property like patents and copyrights.

Human resources are the productive assets that employees offer such as their skills and built up company knowledge.

Once we have identified the organisations resources, we then ask two questions:

Firstly what opportunities are available to economise on their use?
It may be possible to use fewer resources to maintain the same level of business or use the same amount or resources to take on a greater level of business.

For example an accounting system designed to improve the control of cash and receivables will allow a business to operate with lower levels of cash and liquid financial resources.

A BA working on such an accounting system could then see how it relates to the organisations overall strategic plan and how with the new system it will be using less financial resources to support the activities of accounts receivable.

Secondly can we capitalise on the existing assets?

We might be able employ our existing resources better so that we get the most out of them.

A good example is an organisation promoting an employee to a higher position as the previous position may not allow the employee to reflect their true potential.

How To Make The Most Out Of Employing Generation Y By Matthew Coppola


KEY BENEFITS IN EMPLOYING GEN Y”They are tech-smart “” Being the first generation to have grown up with computers, Gen Y are early adopters of new technology.They are fast learners when it comes to new tech gadgets, and can even teach you how to use things like content management systems and social media.

“Inexpensive and cost-effective – Generation Y are less motivated by money than previous generations. work/life balance and flexibility is the most motivating factor for Gen Y, than monetary payment.

“Team players – Generation X have been termed “The Me Generation,” Generation Y are “The We Generation” for their strong belief in community and peer-to-peer relationships.

“High tolerance and acceptance of others – Gen Y have been labelled “The Trophy Generation” as they tend to have a mentality that everyone can do well and no one should be left out.

“Self-expressive “” Twitter, Myspace and Facebook have taught Gen Y to express themselves. In the workplace this means that employees are more open and have the ability to effectively brainstorm ideas and express their opinions in a uniformed manner.

“Aware of the difficulties in the job market for new graduates “” Their experience of recession both in 2000 and the recent financial crisis has made Gen Y more aware of competition in the job market. They are aware that there would be hundreds of applicants who would be more than happy to take their position, so if you employ a graduate, most likely if the job conditions are good, they”ll likely want to stay and will work harder to keep their job.

KEY TIPS FOR EMPLOYERS

“Think outside the box and take advantage of the diverse range of talent Gen Y have.

“Manage the individual not the group. Ask them how they are and how their job can work better for them and their life

“Provide a positive workplace culture that encourages creative behaviour and career development.

But make sure that your words meet your actions. If you promise career progression and do not deliver, they are less likely to believe you and stay very long.
“Give immediate feedback: consistently provide feedback and short performance-review cycles supported by coaching or mentoring

“Communicate by asking them questions in the interview process to find out what they are looking for out of the job

“Make sure Gen Y employees know what they are up for in the interview and how they can advance in the business

“Show how they are making a positive contribution to the overall operations of the business

“Get them involved in management meetings

“Allow them to be creative in their job

“Provide training and opportunities for continual development

“Offer opportunities to do work experience in a higher level role

“Set a mentor or coach for a Gen Y employee

“Allow them to apply what they are learning at TAFE/University relevant to the workplace

How To Help Others And Ourselves Accept Change In The Workplace By Matthew Coppola


Article by Matthew Coppola, Client Centric 

Looking for a new job? Wanting to move on to a new role? Client Centric can help by professionally writing for you a new and tailored CV and cover letter designed to help market and promote you to prospective employers. They also provide interview coaching and assist with addressing key selection criteria. Visit their website today: www.clientcentric.com.au

female engineer smiling in office
Change can be managed smoothly.

If we want to help ourselves and others manage change, what can we do?Empathy: The First Key to Successful ChangeA practical definition of empathy is, putting yourself in the shoes of the other person.

In managing change, the first key is to know to what extent the change will be resented or rejected, accepted or welcomed. If everyone is enthusiastic about it, it is probably wise to proceed immediately. But if it will be resented and resisted, it is probably wise to reconsider or go slowly.

In order to be accurate in analyzing the degree of resistance or acceptance, it is necessary to consider each person individually. The better a manager knows the individuals who will be affected by the change the more accurate will be his or her analysis of their reactions.

Participation: The Second Key to Successful Change

Empathy, the first key, requires a manager to determine feelings and reactions toward a change. The second key, participation, requires a manager to get involvement from those concerned with and affected by the change.

Participation is a very important factor in the successful management of change. It begins with a philosophy among all levels of management, beginning at the top. They must believe that participation can benefit both the organization and the employees.

It then requires implementation. In most cases a formal approach is best. This would include a specific program such as quality circles with its structure and training. In some cases an informal approach can be successful.

Communication: The Third Key to Successful Change

Communication, the third key, requires the manager to maintain continuous, complete, and clear communication with all persons affected by the change.

The following aspects of communication are frequently misunderstood or often ignored by managers.

Definition
Communication means to create understanding and not merely to send information. If people don’t understand, the manager has not communicated.

Who
The criteria for deciding to whom to communicate should include those who want to know as well as those who need to know.

When
Care should be taken regarding the timing of the communication. First of all, managers should be told before non managers and union officers get the information. Secondly, those who will be affected should be told as far in advance as practical.

How
Managers should give thought to the method of communicating before doing it. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of oral and written communication. When making a decision, it is also important to use empathy. In most cases, oral as well as written may be necessary to get understanding as well as to gain acceptance. In very few cases will written communication alone do the job.

————

Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.

Does money make us more happier?


An assumption in Economics is that consumers prefer more, and that one’s utility can be increased through the consumption of more goods and services. In other words, the more money we have as individuals, the more satisfied we are with our life. But does greater income and consumption really translate into greater happiness? Three main research studies are examined, with offer similiar yet different answers.

In one study, an ordinal scale for happiness was derived from answering the question: “taken all together, how would you say things are these days – would you say that you are very happy (score of 3), pretty happy (2), or not too happy (3)?” (Davis, Smith & Marsden, 2001) For 1994-1996, the mean happiness score was 1.92 for those in the lowest 10% of the income distribution, and 2.36 for those in the highest 10% income distribution. This study showed that there is a positive relationship between utility and income.

In the World Values Survey, cross-country comparisons were made to view this relationship on a global scale. In this case, income was measured by each 51 country’s per-capita gross national product (GNP) as measured in US Dollars. The question asked to all respondents: “all things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?” the scale was 1 representing most dissatisfied and 10 most satisfied (ICPSR 2000). Graphical analysis showed that countries with higher GNP per capita on average, experience higher satisfaction. However this satisfaction increases at a lower rate, reflecting diminishing utility as material well being increases (Davis, Smith & Marsden, 2001).

The researchers concluded that there are other factors which affect satisfaction levels, such as health, the political environment, freedom etc. For example individuals with high income levels, but poor health were less happy, then those with better health. Countries with high incomes, yet strict government control had less happier individuals then those countries with less control (People in North Korea can testify to this!) Although researchers still agree that greater happiness results from greater utility, on average that is.

However, Princeton University Researchers have found that the link between income and happiness is “greatly exaggerated and mostly an illusion” (Quinones 2006). Their new fndings build on efforts to develp alternative methods of gauging the well being of individuals and of society, as it became apparent that people surveyed in a new study about their own happiness were overstating the impact of income on their wellbeing.

Although income is a good measure of well being, its role is low and less important then first thought. People with greater incomes do not necessarily spend a greater amount of time doing enjoyable activities (Quinones 2006) In economics it is assumed that the rational consumer will increase their level of consumption for luxury goods and services, due to their higher level of disposable income and will be more satisfied. But in reality, higher income individuals are “barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience” and tend to be tenser.

New measures adopted are based on individuals ratings of their actual experiences, instead of a judgement of their lives as a whole. The Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) measures peoples quality of daily life. This creates an “enjoyment scale” by requiring people to record the previous days activities and describe their feelings about the experiences. The method has proved effective.

For example, when people were asked to describe their general happines and then asked how many dates they had in the past month, their answers showed little correlation. But when the order of the questions was the opposite for another group, the link between their love lives and general happiness became much greater. This is in line with the finding from the World Values Surveys.

So far three studies have been examined. The first study concluded that there is a positive relationship between income and happiness, the second looked at this relationship on a global scale, still indicating a positive relationship, but discovering the presence of diminishing utility with income, and concludes that there are other factors at play. The last study makes a revision of past research then it conducts its own study. The researchers concluded that this positive relationship has been very much exaggerated and criticize the integrity of past surveys. Whilst they acknowledge that there is a positive relationship, there are still many other factors at play and only to a small extent, is income positively related to happiness, thus agreeing with the other two studies.

How to effectively cold visit prospective employers by Matthew Coppola


Article by Matthew Coppola, Client Centric 

Looking for a new job? Wanting to move on to a new role? Client Centric can help by professionally writing for you a new and tailored CV and cover letter designed to help market and promote you to prospective employers. They also provide interview coaching and assist with addressing key selection criteria. Visit their website today: www.clientcentric.com.au

photo of man in blue suit jacket striped shirt and eyeglasses talking on the phone while sitting at a table with his laptop
Many people don’t like to cold call. But it’s not as hard as you think.

There are a number of steps to make in effectively cold visiting a prospective client.

1. Get into the right frame of mind

Never go out and sell a product/service to a business if you really are not feeling up to it. Business people can sense any disinterest, unenthusiasm or tiredness from you and they are likely to imitate you and be disinterested themeselves. So make sure before you go out, you clear your mind, have a cup of coffee, prepare your material, and go out. Make sure you are also comfortable too. If it is a cold day, wear warm clothes, if it is a hot day, then you would do well to well cooler clothes.

2. Prepare yourself

Make sure you have all the marketing material on you, and that you are ready for any objections that you may come up against. I would suggest writing up a document thats titled “Frequently asked questions” which you can hand to the client to remove any suspicions or misunderstandings they may have.

3. Briefly learn about the business you will be visiting before you go out.

Employers appreciate people who have a good knowledge about their company because this shows that theyve gone out of their way to understand the possible needs of the company and it shows enthusiasm.

4. Presentation is key

When you go to reception and ask for the manager or business owner and they ask what you are here for, mention that it is a business matter and you need to speak directly with the manager. I would suggest however that you call before hand to arrange an appointment, but sometimes that can be hard if you are trying to sell something, getting through the gatekeeper can be very difficult in many instances. One option is that you call the business before hand and say:

“Oh hi ________ my name is _________ from __________ and I cant find the business card of the manager/business owner anywhere, are you able to help me? I need to contact them”

When you go into the business I suggest not mentioning your last name and ask to see the manager in a direct and assertive manner.

So you have been successful in getting through the gate keeper and the manager walks out from his office. Use the following script template and change to suit yourself accordingly:

Hi _______ I’m Matthew from ________ I apologise for coming unannounced, but would you be interested in knowing how ____________________”

(This part is when you mention the possible value the business can epect to get, and if they are interested, then proceed with you sales pitch. If they arent, move on. There are plenty of people out there who would be interested)

“The reason why I came to your business is that I felt our product/service would be of interest to you because ________________”

(When you are mentioning why you feel it is of interest to them, mention how your product/service can save their company value and money, tailoring your sales pitch specifically to their business.

“What are your thoughts?”

(Now you have the chance to answer any questions/objections)

And that is pretty much it, if you have got to that stage, you can either sell your product then and there or leave information with them, grab their contact details and ask to follow up in a few days once they have reviewed your product/service.

www.clientcentric.com.au

How To Implement A Strategic Plan: Learning from the Game of Monopoly by Matthew Coppola


Implementing a well-thought out strategy can result in a desirable outcome.

Monopoly is a great example. Although it is a game of chance there are elements of strategy which contribute to a successful win.

Firstly forget about cheating in business. It doesn”t guarantee winning.
In Monopoly the player who steals money from his opponent or does not remind the other player that they are due rent if they forget, may experience a short term gain, but the long term result could be negative, such as a loss in credibility and trust, and with a short term gain mentality, there is no future focus, so the strategy will be misguided.

Secondly, ethical behaviour and a sense of fair play, is just as important in Monopoly as it is in business.

In game strategy we refer to the situation when a player makes a course of action over a series of games, as “repeated games”.

A firm that takes on unethical conduct to craft a quick killing might benefit in the short term, but will end up paying for it in the long term.

Take for instance organisations that outsource manufacturing to low cost countries.

Yes it will result in cost savings, but may affect reputation of product quality.
However, a business that maintains an open-handed refund and makes a practice of giving customers the benefit of the doubt, might not be as profitable in the short run as a more rigid policy, but is more likely to lead to repeat business, customer loyalty, and long-term gains.

Thirdly maintain a healthy cash position. In Monopoly having a nice wad of cash around helps protect you from times when you land on high rent spot or you want to buy property or build houses.

Same with strategic planning, opportunities arise in the strategic scope which may not have been accounted for when the plan was initially developed. Cash position is a good indicator also of the health of an organisation and their ability to repay short term debts.

Fourthly in Monopoly, by having your hand in different areas you can be guaranteed of income, for example not just having one side of the board but having parts all over. Same in business.

Business diversification is a strategy to increase the variety of services and products within an organization. Diversification can be a growth strategy, taking advantage of market opportunities, or it may be aimed at reducing risk by spreading interests over different areas.

It can be achieved through acquisition or through internal research and development, and it can involve managing two, a few, or many different areas of interest.

There are two types of diversification strategies:

One type is horizontal diversification, which involves expansion into a similar product area, for example, a domestic furniture manufacturer producing office furniture.

In Monopoly it means acquiring all properties under one colour.
Another is vertical diversification, in which a company moves into a different level of the supply chain, for example, a manufacturing company becoming a retailer.

Vertical diversification in Monopoly entails acquiring utilities and other non-residential spots.

So what are the motives for diversification?

They are growth, risk reduction, and profitability.

To become the top player in Monopoly you need to acquire as many properties as you can and increase your cash flow by buying houses and hotels.

Players can reduce risk of losing or succumbing to landing on a high rental spot by acquiring as many properties and utilities as they can. That way, nearing the end of the game once everyone have bought houses and hotels, if you do land on a property or utility and you own it, well you avoid rent.
Profitability is also a key motive for diversification. In Monopoly, some properties offer very little rent value, but other properties offer very high rental return. And having a constant cash flow from owning numerous properties helps keep you profitable.

However, a key advantage of a specialised company over one that is diversified across a number of vertically linked businesses is the specialised company”s ability to develop distinctive capabilities. In Monopoly, by concentrating on one or a couple of property blocks on one side of the board enables you to have enough money to build houses and hotels on those properties quicker and with less risk.

And lastly In Monopoly try and team up with players who have a nice wad of cash for needed protection.

A strategic alliance is a cooperative relationship between firms involving the sharing of resources in pursuit of common goals. Having a strategic alliance can help you win against the big boys with more money. Acquiring another company can be expensive, but alliances are more targeted and cheaper way of accessing other company”s capabilities.

So all these points just in a game”

Therefore for an organisation, the most important factor is not luck, but the ability to recognise opportunities when they appear and to have the clarity of direction and the flexibility necessary to exploit these opportunities.
Seeing the benefits of a well thought out strategy takes time and patience. You won”t see the fruitages of a strategy over night.

We can learn this lesson on patience in the game of chess.
Many opportunities will come up that may divert your strategy on a tangent, and as attractive it may be, it doesn”t hurt to be patient and do your research by considering all the known options available.

In business grabbing an attractive opportunity can result in “first mover advantage” however, by being flexible and open to possibilities can result in a more optimal outcome.

Understanding the Business Environment: Learning from the Game of Golf by Matthew Coppola


The surroundings of the business has a huge impact on the outcome of any strategy.

Now an organisation may operate in a…..positive environment.

But what if it is operating in a…..negative environment?

Well then it may have detrimental effects to the business.

An organisation would be a smart company if they took good note of their surroundings.

Take for example….professional golf.

Professional golfers are not only good at accurately taking a swing and controlling the speed and height of the ball, but they also take into account how the environment affects their game.

Pro golfers even look at the type of grass used on the golf course they are playing at.

For example, certain types of grass will affect the size of a scuff mark or divot and your ability to create one.

Divots are the amount of grass that shoots out after you hit the ball. It is very annoying to have to fix and also if your ball lands in someone else”s divot.

Some grasses, such as bent grass, have a thinner and more delicate blade structure than most other grasses while their root structures are also more vertical.

Together these traits mean that these grasses more easily produce divots.

On the other hand, the Bermuda and fescue grasses that can be seen on a large number of golf courses in Queensland make it tougher to produce divots. These grasses feature wider and tougher blades.

PEST Analysis (political, economic, social and technical) is a technique we use to analyse the business environment.

But it can be very time consuming to do, and you would be forever finding new factors which may have little or no affect on your organisation”s strategy.

So what we need to do is go back to the fundamentals:

In making a profit, the firm needs to create value for customers. This requires an understanding of the customers:
Who are they? What do they like? Why do they buy?

In creating value, the goods and services are acquired from suppliers. So an understanding of the suppliers is required:
Who do they also supply to? What do they supply? How can we develop a better relationship with them?

Next, your organisations ability to generate profit from value creating activities depends on the competition and how intense it is, this then relies on an understanding of your competition:

Who are they? What are they good at? What aren”t they good at? Who are their customers? Why are they in business?

So your organisations business environment is formed by its relationship with three sets of players in the game: Customers, suppliers, and competitors.
This is its industry environment.

So a key part in understanding the game being played is the ability to read your customers and know how to satisfy their needs depending on changes in the business environment.

Professional golfers for example, read the grass by taking into account the characteristics of the putting grass used. This understanding enables them to be able to determine the “influence” on their ball “” that is, what factors will impact the direction and distance they require from a stroke.

There are two factors which influence their ability to read the grass “” slope and grain

Most greens are designed with some slope so they can drain away water and any green may include a number of slopes to influence your putt.
Grain refers to the tendency of a species of grass to grow in a certain direction.

Because greenkeepers rotate mowing patterns, a uniform pattern of grain generally is not established.

Still, it”s valuable to understand the impact of grain.

Grain has a tendency to run in the direction of the natural form of the land – away from hills and toward places where creeks and ponds naturally occur.
Exposure to sunlight at only certain times is another factor. For example, Bermuda grass has a tendency to grow toward the sun.

A professional will know whether they are putting the ball against the grain or not, and will change their style to suit.

So the solution to the problem of environmental change is to understand your markets characteristics, that is, what are your customer”s underlying needs, rather than what are the specific products your customers need.

————

Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.

Key Marketing Tips by Matthew Coppola



1. Base all your images and information around your target market.

Your target market is the customer base which purchases your products. Take into account their age profile and income group. Older age groups have different preferences as opposed to younger age groups. Income is also a strong dependant on how important price and value will play in determining a successful sale or not.

2. Identify your competitor’s marketing activities

Improve where they fall short.  In engaging in marketing and advertising activities, too many businesses fail by copying their competitors in the hope of gaining a slice of the market share. Competition means choice and availability for customers. Show your customers that you can offer the same services and products of your competitors but better and offer more value. Where your competitors fall short, make it your greatest strength.

3. Engage in networking activities and generate contacts in the industry

It”s not what you know that gets things done, it’s who you know. Networking not only generates business friendships, but it also creates awareness of you and your business. Improve your body language and build rapport with other individuals in the industry. Find people in different industries and let them know what you do and why you are unique. Create awareness and build contacts in the process.

4. Re-design your brochures and other material you present to clients to be unique and attractive

It isn”t good to judge a book by its cover and the same is said for businesses. But unfortunately businesses are judged by their “outward appearance”. Your brochures, website, business cards and other material you use to present to clients should be outstanding in appearance and attractive.

5. Create a website and promote it through social networking sites and internet advertising

The internet is now a major preferred medium by businesses to search for service providers. By listing your organisation on blogs, social networking sites and through web advertising, you can create a strong awareness. Pictures are also great to illustrate what you do. The saying goes that a picture paints a thousand words.

6. Offer packages to suit high income and low income groups

Try and be all things to all businesses. If need be, roll out the red carpet and go the extra to show that you want their business and will work out a package that is both economical for you and provides great value for your prospective client. Sell the benefits of consuming your product, not just the product itself.

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I am an experienced and qualified Employment Consultant. I provide assistance with tailored professional resumes, customised cover letters, key selection criteria responses and keyword optimised LinkedIn profiles.

All of my work is not only professionally written and edited but also has a unique design,  making sure that your job application will stand out from the rest. I work with clients all across Australia including Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide. Having a professionally written resume will ensure your CV stays ahead of the rest. Contact me today to find out how I can help you land your dream job.

Please feel free to email me at info@matthewcoppola.com or call me on 0415 559 233.

Do’s and Dont’s of Email Etiquette by Matthew Coppola


1.What is the biggest mistake people make when sending business emails?

The biggest mistake would have to be sending emails with too many subjects.
If you are sending an email, make sure that it is on one subject alone, not many. Because when people receive emails with too many subjects, the email respondents end up forgetting to reply to most of the different matters.
So I suggest when sending emails, make sure they are on one subject, and if you have a number of matters that need dealt with, keep them as separate emails.

2.What is a common mistake people make without realising they are making a mistake?

Bad grammar
– forgetting to spell check is a common mistake people make that they don’t realize.
– When sending emails throughout the day, we may become busy and so will rush through an email, and sending it without double checking our grammar and punctuation.
– Make sure spell check is always turned on. However, spell check misses mistakes like this:
“I this due by Tuesday”
Spell check would say that is correct. When really it isn”t and should be:
“I need this due by Tuesday”

So it is always good to double check our emails before sending.
Ways you can quickly check for typo mistakes:
Read through the email but only concentrate on the words and their structure, not what the email is reading. This way you will be able to find mistakes easier without getting caught up in the email.

3.How should an email be properly constructed?

-Specific subject
Eg.
BAD: Next Tuesday”s appointment
GOOD: Appointment for Tuesday the 20th of August 2010 with John Smith
-Introduction
An email should start off with a good introduction which captures your readers attention and helps them to follow on through the email:
Eg.
Hello John,
Hope you had a good weekend OR
Thank you for your time today to discuss the matter with you.

-Body
This is the base of the email.
Key information for the reader is in this part of the email. Whatever you need to ask or say put it in here.

-Conclusion
Always end an email off in a positive note or to recap your email.
Eg. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information
Kind regards,
OR
I look forward to seeing you next week and discussing the proposition with you.
Kind regards,

4.How important is good email etiquette?

Very important.
A good email shows professionalism so sending a well written email will impress your client or customer.

5.What are the possible ramifications of bad email etiquette?

-Perception by the email respondent as unprofessionalism and lack of care in the way your conducting business
-The email respondent may disregard the email and forget about it
-The email may be passed on as junk mail if the subject line is too general or small.
-The use of emoticons and acronyms like BTW (by the way) are way too informal. Not everybody knows what they mean. Readers could even get the wrong impression of your email writing skills.

————

Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at www.clientcentric.com.au to find out more.

A Comparison and Contrasting of John Mill and Thomas Malthus on the long term dynamics of Capitalism by Matthew Coppola


Article by Matthew Coppola, Client Centric 

Looking for a new job? Wanting to move on to a new role? Client Centric can help by professionally writing for you a new and tailored CV and cover letter designed to help market and promote you to prospective employers. They also provide interview coaching and assisting with addressing key selection criteria. Visit their website today: www.clientcentric.com.au

bills capital cash cent
Dollars and cents.

The following article studies the opposing and unifying theories of two economists, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Robert Malthus, on the long term dynamics of capitalism, which entail aspects of growth, development and accumulation of a capitalist economy.

The key topics studied by Malthus and Mill include labour, consumption, population growth, agriculture and property rights. These will be discussed from both a theoretical and empirical perspective in the following article.

A major topic discussed by Mill and Malthus is on unproductive and productive labour in contributing to wealth creation in a capitalist economy. According to Malthus, a worker did not have to just produce wealth to be productive, but rather it is the value of what the worker produces that makes them productive. To Malthus, productive labour:
“should be susceptible to some sort of definitive valuation” [And] must add to the wealth of the country an amount at least equal to the value paid for such labour” (Malthus, 1836 p.46).

Thus according to Malthus, the worker is not productive unless the worker adds to society more than was paid their services, namely, labour.
In comparison to Malthus, the notion of value to the productive process was also adopted by Mill, as he saw value in objects produced by workers. Mill saw workers engaged in the manufacturing sector as being truly productive:
“We should regard all labour as productive which is employed in creating permanent utilities, whether embodied in human beings, or in any animate or inanimate objects”[And] labour expended in the acquisition of manufacturing skills, I class as productive” (Mill, 1886 v.1, p.61).

In reverence to human capital, Malthus also put forth the idea that one must produce an object to be productive:

“no small portion of it is employed in acquiring the skill necessary to the production and distribution of material objects, as in the case of most apprenticeships” (Malthus, 1836 p.37).

However unlike Malthus, Mill was ignorant of the idea that unproductive labour has a positive impact on economic growth in capitalist economies. Those individuals in society who are identified as unproductive labour include those who attend to activities in the private service, such as capitalists, landowners, government ministers, executives, musicians, teachers, priests and so on. It also includes those who perform activities in the home, such as menial servants and child rearing. According to Malthus, “unproductive” workers are valuable to the welfare and development of Society:
“that kind of labour which highly useful and important…may conduce indirectly to the production and security of material wealth” (Malthus, 1836 p.35).

Therefore, to Malthus, those who perform activities in the home, such as the upbringing of children and the maintenance of the home are valuable to society and have an indirect impact on production and development.
Having been a cleric from the Church of England, Malthus appreciated the value religious activities have to the development of society. For instance, the Catholic religion exemplify strong “pro-natalist ideologies” with teachings forbidding artificial forms of contraception and abortion. In particular, studies have shown that religious participation by youths has been linked to “a lower probability of substance abuse and juvenile delinquency [and] a lower incidence of depression among some groups” (Lehrer 2004, p.16).
However, Mill was sceptical of the impact religion has on the development of society. Mill is quoted for saying:

“It is…evident that the greater number of missionaries or clergymen a nation maintains, the less it has to expend on other things; while the more it expends judiciously in keeping agriculturalists and manufacturers at work, the more it will have for other purposes” (Mill, 1886 v.1, p.61).

To Mill, spending on the unproductive labour of clergymen will receive no return or benefit to society, whereas maintaining a class of agriculturalists and manufacturers will generate a higher return, which can be allocated to other productive activities, which will again generate a positive return to society.

In terms of the role of government in a capitalist economy, both scholars viewed government as being productive indirectly. In comparison to Malthus, Mill was a right wing economist and believed that the government has an important role to play in society:

“The labour of officers of government…is indispensable to the prosperity of industry, [and] must be classed as productive, even of material wealth, because without it, material wealth, in anything like its present abundance, could not exist. Such labour may be said to be productive indirectly” (Mill, 1886 v.1, p.61).

Thus both acknowledged that some form of Government was critical to the long term dynamics of capitalism. Without government, society would not have been able to generate such high material welfare and gain. Empirical evidence has indicated that non-military government capital is a significant input in the production function and has a high output elasticity of .39 (Karras & Evans 1994).

With respect to labour, both Mill and Malthus distinguished between productive and unproductive (U/P) consumption, including their effects on growth and development in capitalism. Mill made a distinction of productive and unproductive consumption to the labourer being:

“What they consume in keeping up or improving their health, strength, and capacities of work, or in rearing other productive labourers to succeed them, is productive consumption. But consumption on pleasures or luxuries, whether by the idle or by the industrious, since production is neither its object nor is in any way advanced by it, must be reckoned unproductive” (Mill 1848, book 1, chapter 3).

Mill saw unproductive consumption as having an undesirable influence to the wealth creation and growth of society, regarding U/P consumption as being undesirable and will only impoverish society:

“Whether they like it or not, the unproductive expenditure of individuals will pro tanto, tend to impoverish the community, and only their productive expenditure will enrich it” (Mill, 1886 Vol. 1, p.5).

Malthus on the other hand regarded U/P consumption as necessary to capitalism, particularly when productivity and innovation are at their utmost levels, which would ensure value and profit to expand:

“It would at once confound the effects even of production and consumption, as there is certainly no indirect cause of production so powerful as consumption” (Malthus 1836, p.45).

Another major topic studied by both economists was decreasing returns to agriculture and its effect on growth and development in a capitalist nation. This idea that agriculture would be subject to increasing returns, due to rising population unless supported by an increase in productivity, was adopted by Malthus.

Malthus contended that when the less fertile soil is used, the marginal product declines, while the rent increases due to inequality in the lands. Thus, the marginal expansion declines and output increases arithmetically, but at a diminishing rate. Therefore due to decreasing returns to agriculture, and population rising in a geometrical progression without any checks to it, society would not be able to survive in a population-food supply struggle.

In regards to population and food supply, Malthus said:
“The power of the population being…so much superior, the increase of the human species can only be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence by the constant operation of the strong law of necessity, acting as a check upon the greater power” (Malthus 1970, p.21).

This “subsistence” level is the minimum level to reach survival. Malthus” population dilemma posed a theoretical question on the checks to population and a practical question concerning solutions to the problem. There were positive and preventative checks. The positive checks to population growth included war, famine and pestilence. These tended to have an adverse impact. According to Malthus, the ultimate positive check to population is limited food supply. In Malthus” own words:

“It has been inferred, that and increase of population in any state, not cultivated to the utmost, will tend rather to augment than diminish the relative plenty of the whole society”a country cannot easily become too populous for agriculture; because agriculture has the signal property of producing food in proportion to the number of consumers” (Malthus 1809 Vol. 2 p. 275).

The preventative checks included moral restraint, contraception and abortion. These tended to have a positive impact on procreation. Mill also believed that contraception needed to be encouraged to keep a hold on population. However, Mill was against abortion or immorality, even having been jailed for distributing birth control pamphlets.

Malthus believed that the tendency to procreate would in fact rule over the cumulative effect of the checks to population growth. Therefore, unless the positive checks were greater than the preventative checks, the human population would thus be brought to a “subsistence level” or just to a means of survival.

In Scandinavia for example, poverty has been eliminated locally, and even death from infectious disease is rare. This would not have occurred without low birth rates that have characterized the region. Not only in Scandinavia, but in other regions, low birth rates and death rates, strong education, a stable population, control of infectious disease and elimination of poverty and war are linked together in a “mutually re-enforcing circle of cause and effect” (Avery 2005, p.25). By contrast in many third world cities, contaminated water, polluted air, high birth rates, increasing population, poverty and resurgence of infectious disease are linked in a “self perpetuating causal loop” (Avery 2005, 25) with the result being a vicious circle.

Malthus failed to look at other checks that may have forestalled his gloomy conclusion. He had failed to separate sex and procreation. In the second half of the 20th century and well into the 21st century, advances have been made in modern birth control. Couples can have less constraint in regards to sexual activities. Therefore these additional checks can reduce the disparity between multiplication of the species and growth of the food supply.
Mill also adopted Malthus” population principle, adding further that the population must:

“work harder, or eat less, or obtain their usual food by sacrificing a portion of their customary comforts” (Mill Vol 4, p.109).
Mill here was saying the reality is, if society wants to maintain their usual way of living or maintain their “customary comforts” they must sacrifice either their time, consumption of goods, or activities that they have become accustomed to.

Malthus, like other classical economists of his time, was a pessimist. He envisioned that the capitalist system in the long run would face “pressure of population…decreasing response to human effort to increase supply of food and basic materials, limits to technical progress, subsistence wages, and falling profits” (Zweig, 1979 p.511) believing that in the end, technological improvement would not be sufficient to counteract the law of diminishing returns and depletion of natural resources.

Mill however was less sceptical about the capitalist system coming to a means of subsistence. Despite the classical economists such as Malthus and Smith realising that the growth of wealth could not continue indefinitely, only John Stuart Mill believed that a collapse of the system could be avoided and a stationary state achieved.

Economist Adam Smith described the stationary state as a situation of zero growth, in which the stock of goods is always the same, that is the quantity consumed is equal to the quantity supplied in the same time period, and rewards to the factors of production are at a minimum. The idea that the capitalist system would come to an end at the stationary state was feared by many classical economists including Malthus and Smith

According to Mill, once the stationary state was reached:

“every increase in the demand for food, occasioned by increased population”unless there is a simultaneous improvement in production, diminish the share which on a fair division would fall to each individual” (Mill Vol 4, p.109).
Here Mill was saying that the demand for food must be balanced with supply. Mill described his ideal stationary state in book 4 of his Principles of Political Economy:
“The density of population necessary to enable mankind to obtain all advantages of co-operation and social intercourse has in all the most populous countries been attained. It is no good for a man to be kept perforce at all times in the presence of his species. A world from which solitude is extirpated is a very poor ideal . . . With every rood of land brought into cultivation . . . every hedgerow or superfluous tree rooted out, every flowery waste or dell ploughed up . . . there is no satisfaction in contemplating the world with nothing left to the spontaneous activity of nature. If the earth must lose that great portion of pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compels them to it.” (Mill, 1848, book 4, ch.6).

However to reach the stationary state required extensive social changes and reforms, which Malthus and the other classical economists did not realise. Mill is quoted as saying:

“improvement here must be understood in a wide sense, including not only new industrial inventions”but improvements in institutions, education, opinions, and human affairs generally” (Mill, 1886 Vol. 1, p.105).
Mill argued that we need to educate society about contraception; that we need social reform and change. He further added:

“It is scarcely necessary to remark that a stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement. . . Only thus can the conquests made from the powers of nature by the intellect and energy of scientific discoverers, become the property of the species and the means of improving and elevating the universal lot” (Mill, 1848, book 4, ch.6).
Assuming that the capitalist system keeps a restraint on population, Mill held a relatively optimistic view of the stationary state, in that it would be characterised by technical progress and past capital accumulation, which Mill extends into in his book, further saying:

“I am inclined to believe that the stationary state would be, on the whole, a very considerable improvement on our present condition. I know why it should be a matter of congratulation that persons who are already richer than any one needs to be, should have doubled their means of consuming things which give little or no pleasure except as representative of wealth”It is only in the backward countries of the world that increased wealth is still an important object: In most advanced countries, what is economically needed is a better distribution to relieve poverty, of which one indispensable means is a strict restraint on population” (Mill, 1848, book 4, ch.6).

In his autobiography, Mill admits that this will all require a transformation of society and a character change in all classes of the population (Zweig, 1979 p.519). For instance, Mill was a strong advocate of contraception and safe sex attitudes of society. The only way to change people”s attitudes according to Mill was social change.

An idea that many classical economists held was that supply creates its own demand, known as Say”s Law. Attributed to the French economist, Jean-Baptiste Say, this law states that a market-capitalist economy will tend towards full employment of resources if there are flexible prices, interest rates and wages. Thus, according to Say”s law, it is inherently impossible that there will be long term crises of a market capitalist system.

Malthus rejected the idea of supply creating its own demand, arguing that supply reduces profit:

“It is impossible that the increased quantity of commodities, obtained by the increased number of productive labourers, should find purchasers, without such a fall of price as would probably sink their value below that of the outlay, or, at least, so reduce profits as very greatly to diminish both the power and the will to save” (Malthus, 1836 p.315).

Mill, like most economists, attached great importance to the role of capital and capital accumulation. Mill argued that given Say”s law, increased levels of output and employment depend on the accumulation and investment of capital. The portion of investment in capital, that is, result of saving, is required to tide labour over a “discontinuous production period” (Ekelund & Hebert, 1990 p.170). This was known as the wages-fund doctrine:

“It is often forgotten that the people of a country are maintained and have their wants supplied, not by the produce of present labour, but of past. They consume what has been produced, not what is about to be produced. Now, of what has been produced, a part is only allocated to the support of productive labour; and there will not and cannot be more of that labour than the portion so allotted (which is the capital of the country) can feed, and provide with the materials and instruments of production” (Mill 1848, p. 64).

Stated simply, it was not a temporary state of affairs, but rather the unemployment of resources, was not considered probable because of Says Law (Ekelund and Hebert, 1990, p.170). Saving would automatically be turned into investment, another form of spending and a general glut would not occur. Thus the saving of those who do not consume all their income will be otherwise utilised by capitalists in purchasing factories, machines and the like to an expansion of value. Saving then becomes net investment:

S = In

So Mill agrees with Say”s Law, that what is saved will be invested. Mill only assumed a system whereby the supply curve was vertical, where we are always at full capacity.

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Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

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