Position Ignition Tips to Finding Courage For Your Career Change

By Nisa Chitakasem, Co-founder Career Change Specialist Position Ignition Ltd

Creating an ending and making a shift isn’t always easy. Why? We’re used to the routine we have and the way things are. Change is scary, it’s unknown, it’s different and we have no guarantees of success. We can remain in one place due to fear of change. It requires us to take a leap of faith before we can reach a different destination and way of being. A career change is significant but it can also be life changing in a great way. Here are some key tips on overcoming your fear:

1. Acknowledgement

The first thing to do is to acknowledge your inner fear instead of ignoring it. This is the first step to dealing with it. There’s no shame in admitting that we’re scared, however old and ‘battle-worn’ we are.

2. Gain Clarity

We know that the next step is about being clear and that you’ve decided to end your old life. You need to be totally clear about what you want to do next. Otherwise the leap feels like a very huge one. It’s a leap of faith and a jump into the darkness if you aren’t clear about where you are going. However, when you have that clarity you will have reached the point at which the courage to take the leap doesn’t seem like a big step at all.  It becomes a more obvious step. Something you want to do. Something you have to do. For many, it is when and how people recognise they’re in the wrong place in their life and in their work.

3. Understand that Mistakes are Normal

Even if you make mistakes, or don’t do something in the job application process that you should have, it’s not the end of the world. Learn from mistakes and remember that you’re still evolving as a human, never mind as a job seeker, whatever your age. If you’re frightened of moving forward, you’ll never move forward!

4. Forget about Other People

Perhaps you’re scared of what others will think of you if you change careers ‘at your age’. Do what’s right for you instead of being put off by what you imagine people’s opinions to be. It’s unlikely that anyone will think a mid-life career change is strange, given the increasing fluidity of today’s labour market.

We know such a small minority of people who are clear about what they want to do early in their life. For those of us in the majority, it’s hard work to get to that point. Some people never get there. Funnily enough, when you do get clear, courage doesn’t come into it because you feel energised and your intention is so clear, it doesn’t feel courageous at all. It’s natural and it’s the right thing to do. Explore, experiment, get clear and then when you are ready take that jump and make that shift into new ground – the right new ground for you.

Author: Nisa Chitakasem is the co-founder of career consulting firm www.positionignition.com. He specialises in supporting individuals through key career transitions including making a career change, finding a fulfilling role and shaping personal life and career plans.

Time for an Interview?

Interview Secrets Exposed

Interview Questions Interview Samples Interview Tips and Advice


How do we know what questions are going to be asked in the job interview?

Have you ever sat in a job interview and been sweating uncontrollably as you stumble through the interview questions? Have you found yourself shaking hands with the hiring manager on the way out of the job interview and thinking to yourself how you just completely messed up the entire interview? Of course you have. Who hasn’t!

Why does this happen? Do you remember back in school or university before an exam you would study hard to make sure you were well prepared and ready to answer any question that could come your way. When you buy an expensive item such as a car or house you don’t just wake up one day and go to the dealership and purchase a car. You do your research. You study and become knowledgeable on the subject. Only once you have done your research and preparation do you get ready to make your purchase.

The same is true for your job interview. How many times have you walked into a job interview having done 5-10 minutes of preparation? Let me guess you scrolled through the company’s website and re-read the job description a couple of times.

Finding your dream job is no game. We spend on average 40 hours a week in the office. Over the course of a single year that is 2080 hours per year. (Minus vacation, holiday time and few more “personal days”) When an opportunity arises to seek new employment and you are invited to the job interview you have one opportunity to shine and stand out above the other job competitors who are all vying for that one vacant position. You need to ensure that you are 100% prepared for the interview and have answers ready for every question that may come your way. To quote William Wallace in Braveheart – you have “just one chance”

So how do we know what questions are going to be asked in the interview?

The answer is we don’t. There are thousands of different interview questions that may be asked. However, by planning for the interview we can be in a situation where we already have our answers ready for any type of question that a hiring manger may ask.

Here is my tip: The key to interviewing success is simply preparing a mental outline to follow when responding to each question. When you are sitting at home preparing for the interview, write a list of achievements, stories and examples that illustrate how you solved a particular problem or how you performed in an outstanding way. That way rather than going to the interview and thinking of your answers on the spot you will already have your mental list of answers ready to go.

Here is a very basic example to prove my point.

“In my previous job I was promoted to manager after 6 months because of my hard work and dedication on a particular project ….”

With this example in mind I am ready to answer any interview question that is related to my success and I have a story to emphasise my point.

Every person brings unique characteristics and value added skills to a job and as the interviewee; you need to be ready to demonstrate all the great qualities and achievements in order to succeed in your job interview.

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

Check out Interview Secrets Exposed

Interview Questions Interview Samples Interview Tips and Advice


Standing out in your Job Interview

Interview Secrets Exposed

A true story…

A candidate was applying for a job at one of the large investment banks.

Out of 150 candidates the hiring manager had selected the top 10 best resumes to perform first round interviews. Every interview was 15-20 minutes long. The final question the hiring manager asked to each of the candidates was

“Tell me something about the company.”

Nine out of ten of the candidates rattled off information they had read from the company’s “about us page”, but one candidate stood out. After reading about the company’s strategic purchase of a new acquisition, the candidate was able to impress the hiring manager with his (somewhat different) knowledge.

The hiring manager later offered this candidate the role not because he was the smartest candidate, but because he showed his dedication by going the extra step in his interview preparation.


Check out Interview Secrets Exposed

Interview Questions Interview Samples Interview Tips and Advice


Job Interview Questions

Imagine going to your interview today and starting your new job tomorrow …. You Can

The Brand new Ebook from RedStarResume Interview Secrets Exposed” is an insiders guide on everything you need to know in order to nail your job interview.

Follow our steps and make sure that you are well prepared to answer every possible interview question when the opportunity presents itself. This E-book is a compilation of many months of research and discussions with hiring managers and career experts in recruitment, career counselling and interviews.

The purchase of this E-book is your first step in ensuring that you get the job! Interviewing is all about research, confidence and creating a good rapport. The hiring manager needs to know that you are capable of performing the tasks of the job and also that you will be a good addition to the team. The interview is your time to shine. Don’t be intimidated because you don’t think you have all the skills that are wanted in the job specification. Most businesses will teach you as you go, so lacking a certain skill will not mean you can’t get the job. If you do lack certain skills or experience, you need to work twice as hard in your interview to portray what you do have that you can bring this job. It is a myth to think that the most skilled person will get the job. When it comes to hiring the right person, it is about the overall package – skills, personality, confidence and also the passion you show in your interview.

Did you Know – In less than 30 minutes you can have all the answers you need to quicklu and easily prepare yourself for your next important job interview. Rather than going into the interview feeling nervous and unprepared, you can stand out from the competition and force the hiring manager to take notice. This simple, powerful formula guarantees you will be prepared for any question that comes your way.


Check out Interview Secrets Exposed

Interview Questions Interview Samples Interview Tips and Advice


Job Interview Killers

When it comes to your job interview, you want to leave it with nothing but positive energy. You want to leave the interviewer thinking that you will most certainly be a positive addition to his or her company. The last thing you want to do is to kill your chances with a simple mistake or two. While there are a number of ways to prepare for a successful interview, there are also a number of ways to quickly end your chances of getting hired. Below are some simple things to avoid during an interview:

Showing up late: This is not only rude, but it also reflects poorly on your work ethic. Do you routinely show up late? Are you someone who can’t be counted on? Don’t disqualify yourself before even meeting the interviewer.

Forgetting to turn your cell phone off (or keeping it on silent): Having a cell phone ring during an interview is not only disruptive – it’s also disrespectful. While it may not be an automatic interview-killer, it certainly won’t improve your chances.

Chewing gum: This looks/sounds unprofessional and tacky. No employer appreciates someone talking to them with a mouthful of gum. It’s even worse if you’re someone who chews loudly without even realizing.

Using “I don’t know” as a response to questions: The purpose of an interview is to provide the interviewer with more information about you. The more you give them, the better.

Using slang or profanity: This is never a positive in the workplace. Speak professionally.

Bringing up personal problems: An interview is about the job in question and about your specific qualifications, not about your personal life. While you will almost always be asked to talk a little bit about yourself, try to keep the personal talk to a minimum. Certainly don’t bring up any “issues” that will raise red flags.

These “killers” may seem a little obvious, but they happen all the time. Avoid these mistakes and you’re already ahead of a large part of the competition.

Good Luck!

Laura is the Marketing Coordinator for RedStarResume.

The Job search market can be a tricky place to navigate. Whether you are just starting out, moving up the ladder or changing your current situation, RedStarResume have all the resources to help improve your chances of success. http://www.bestresponseresume.com/

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10 Tips to staying positive while looking for a job

Don’t let the media and the news put you down. No matter how bad they say it is companies are always looking to hire the best available staff. If you have the right skills and passion, there will be a job waiting for right around the corner. You just need to remain upbeat and positive. Below is a list of things you need to do in order to help you through the job search process…

Keep a routine: Don’t get into the bad habits of waking up late, sleeping in the afternoons or procrastinating around the house. Get up at your normal time, eat properly and get some exercise (walking is free)!

Volunteering at a church, hospital, homeless shelter or non-profit organization will open your eyes to people who are less off than you and give you a sense of contribution. There is no greater reward than helping people who are less fortunate than us.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in your industry: Don’t let yourself fall behind just because you’re not working. The best approach is to learn more about your particular industry. This way you will be ahead of your competition when it comes time to interview.

Explore potential new careers: It’s never too late to try to learn a foreign language or a new piece of computer software. I remember working with a senior archaeologist of 10 years experience who came to me wanting a change in his life direction. After 6 months of learning Spanish and then travelling through Spain for another 6 months, the senior archaeologist is now a junior English/Spanish translator!

Positive Thinking: Do not focus on the negatives – you need to be able to bounce back. Concentrate on the skills and knowledge you have. Sitting around saying “what if” all the time is only going to further depress you.

Support Group: You may feel as though you’re the only person in your situation without a job, but guess what – you’re not. Reach out to people for support. There are many groups that provide excellent assistance in the areas of resume writing, interviewing, and job hunting. Aside from the secular groups, there are also many faith groups ready to offer you a supporting hand. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. Let people help you change your life.

Avoid negative people! Negative thinking is of no value to you. You need to be around positive people and people who can have a positive impact on your life.

Network: maintain contacts and stay in touch with people. Make sure you network with positive people!! Again, avoid negativity. Negative thinking does nothing to help your situation.

Last but not least – manage your expectations. Not every job you apply for will be a success. Don’t be put off by this. Instead, concentrate on the positives and look at what you achieve each day. For example, you could have applied to 3 great jobs, connected with 2 people who are great resources or maybe you found a course or book that will help to improve your skills.

Don’t give up! Jobs don’t find you, you find them!

© RedStarResume Publications

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To view all “Tips from the Pros” Check out our website www.redstarresume.com


Work History – Don’t Trivialize Your Past Experiences!

After writing numerous resumes for students and recent graduates, I found that the vast majority of them tend to omit part-time or temporary jobs from their resumes. A lot of students have experience working in either the retail or hospitality sector, and because these jobs are not “real jobs” or full-time positions, a lot of students do not feel the need to include them. “Why would I write that I worked there on my resume?” a student recently asked me, referring to a retail store.

The answer is – a lot of part-time and temporary jobs that students tend to hold actually provide valuable skills and experience that employers are looking for on resumes. Employers are aware that you probably have little to no work experience, so any experience is usually viewed as a positive.

The important thing is to demonstrate this in an effective way on your resume. Don’t just write “folded clothes” or “processed transactions” when referring to a retail position. Instead, include that you built and maintained relationships with customers or that you regularly met or exceeded your sales targets. There are tons of other skills you could have acquired, but it all depends on the way you present yourself. Sell yourself and make your position stand out amongst similar positions from other candidates.

Just remember – don’t trivialize your work experience. There are skills to be learned from every job, and it’s important to show on your resume that you’ve acquired skills that are relevant to jobs you’re applying for, especially when you have little to no work experience.

Laura is the Marketing Coordinator for RedStarResume, a business that provides resume and cover letter writing services for students, graduates and young professionals.

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com


Employer Interview Questions

Employer Interview Questions

With the current economic climate and changing job market, employers have now started to alter the types of questions they ask in interviews. With hundreds of Internet pages dedicated to types of interview questions and all listing the same “general” type questions (what are your strengths, where do you see yourself in 10 years, etc.), employers are now steering away from these types of questions and introducing a new set of questions that test your creativity and flair. Below is a list of questions which you may not have thought about previously. Think about how you would answer these questions if faced with one of these in an interview:

  • If you had the option, would you change your college career?
  • How do you go about deciding what to do first when given a project?
  • What are the most important rewards you expect in your business career?
  • Provide an example of how you are a risk taker.
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
  • Why do you want to work for us and not for our competitor?
  • What did you think of your previous manager/supervisor?
  • What did you do in your last job to increase value?
  • What are some of the things that bother you?
  • Tell me about the last time you felt anger on the job.
  • Do you need other people around to stimulate you or are you self-motivated?
  • What management style gets the best results out of you?
  • How can our company offer you what your previous company could not offer?
  • How long do you think it would take before you were making a significant contribution to our business?
  • How ambitious are you? Would you compete for my job?
  • What do you like and dislike about the job we are discussing?
  • Why did you choose a career in…?
  • What do you think is the most important dilemma facing our business today?
  • How much does your last job resemble the one you are applying for? What are the differences?
  • Why did you decide to join your previous company? Did the job live up to your expectations? Why are you leaving now?
  • Explain the organisational structure and hierarchy in your last company and how you fitted into it. Did this suit you?
  • Do you prefer to work in a small, medium or large company?
  • What interests you about our company, product or service?
  • You have not done this sort of job before. How will you cope/succeed?
  • Do you consider yourself successful in your career to date?
  • What was your greatest success in your professional career? How did you achieve it?
  • What has been your biggest failure in your professional career?
  • Did you feel you advanced and progressed in your last job?
  • How do you handle criticism?
  • What would you like to avoid in your next job?
  • How did you get on with your previous manager, supervisor, co-workers and subordinates?
  • What will your referees say about you?
  • Fantasy questions – What would you do if you won the Lottery? Would you come to work tomorrow?

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com


Top 10 Job Interview Blunders

Top 10 Interview Blunders

What should you NOT do in an interview? A poll into interview blunders found that when hiring managers were asked to name the most common and damaging interview mistakes a candidate can make, 51% listed dressing inappropriately.  49% percent cited badmouthing a former boss as the worst offense, while 48% said appearing disinterested.  Arrogance (44%), insufficient answers (30%) and not asking good questions (29%) were also top answers.

Below is a top 10 selection of mistakes to avoid. A big part of a successful interview is avoiding simple mistakes. Mistakes are deadly to the job seeker and easy to avoid if you are prepared:

  • Arriving Late

Get directions from the interviewer – or look up the location on a man. Wear a watch, and leave home early. In the extreme case that you cannot avoid being late, call the interviewer and arrange to reschedule.

  • Lack of  Preparation

Not being prepared is just about the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to job interviews. You need to prepare for an interview in the same way you would prepare for an exam.  When you are offered an interview, make sure you ask what form the interview is going to take so you can prepare. E.g. is it going to be a one on one interview? Will it be a group interview? Who will be attending the interview, and what are their positions? Not being able to answer basic interview questions such as “What do you know about this company?” creates the impression that you don’t care, and it can end your chances immediately.

  • Dressing Inappropriately

You make your greatest impact on the interviewer in the first 10 seconds, and you want that first impression to be strongly positive. Dress for the occasion. You will certainly need to wear a suit if you are interviewing for professional position. When interviewing for another type of job, such as a casual summer job as a lifeguard or waitress, for example, dress accordingly in neat and casual attire.

  • Badmouthing

This includes badmouthing your current or former employers, employees or even the competition. Nobody likes a complainer and it portrays a negative image of your personality. In the world we live in, you never know who your interviewer might be friends with or who the company’s clients are. You don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company in the future.

  • Poor body language
  • Mumbling
  • Using constant slang
  • Crossing your arms
  • Rigid
  • Slouching
  • Nervous gestures e.g. playing with your hair
  • Using your hands too much when talking


  • Don’t be rude or abusive

You would expect this to be obvious, however an interviewer will want to test your patience and see how you react to their questions. Losing your temper, becoming defensive, and acting abusive are the best ways to not get hired. No matter how calm or apologetic you are, the damage has already been done.

  • Poor Communication Skills

This includes answering questions with “yes” or “no” answers. You need to display confidence. Engage the person you are speaking with, and let the interviewer know that you are an excellent candidate for this position.

  • Talking Too Much

The interviewer wants to know why you are the best person for the job. They do not need to hear your entire life story. There are few things worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on.  Keep your answers concise, to-the-point, and focused. Don’t ramble, and don’t lie or make up stories. The best advice is to be honest and simply answer the questions. 

  • Not answering the question

Nothing is more frustrating for an interviewer than to ask a simple question and not get an answer. Straight away it sets off alarm bells in the interviewer’s head that the person is either unprepared or not listening. Make sure you listen to the question and take a moment to gather your thoughts before you respond.

  • Forgetting to Follow Up

No matter how well you think the interview went, always follow up. If you have not heard from the interviewer within a few days, don’t be afraid to call and follow up and reiterate your interest in the position. A follow up thank you email or phone call can sometimes go a long way to securing you the job. It also leaves a good impression

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

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