Self-management skills key to securing that job

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Getting your rage on at work might be okay for a mixed martial arts fighter, but not so for the rest of us who need to learn how to keep our emotions steady at work.

Keeping calm under pressure is a vital self-management skill that employers respect. Others include turning up to work on time, looking after your health and producing quality work.

How do you show employers you are in control so you can get or keep that job?

Show you’re in control with your CV and interview

To get that great job, here are five ways to make your self-management skills shine out from your CV.

  1. Make sure your CV is complete and well laid-out with correct spelling so it looks like you managed your time well to do it.
  2. Get your CV and cover letter in well before the job application closing date.
  3. Include activities where you’ve had to turn up on time, keep calm and be responsible, such as playing in a sports team, fundraising or babysitting.
  4. Include referees who can talk about your self-management strengths.
  5. Check that your personal statement, objectives and cover letter show well thought-out career goals that relate to the job.

At your interview, make sure you’re on time, well groomed and dressed neatly. This shows that you have your life sorted out.

Interviews can be emotional experiences – try some mindfulness techniques to control your stress, take pauses before you answer questions and don’t react angrily to questions you don’t like.

Show that you can manage your life and have goals with a good answer to the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?”

Keep in control and keep your job

Once you have that job, your self-management skills are going to be called into action. Employers may ask you to agree to a 90-day work trial, and afterwards they will assess your work habits and decide whether or not to keep you on.

It’s important you survive a work trial by consistently being on time, meeting deadlines and presenting yourself well.

New jobs can be stressful.  Take steps to manage your stress and deal with people calmly when something makes you angry.

Top 10 tips for staying in control during work experience and your first job

Here’s what employers tell us are the top 10 ways to manage yourself well at work and secure career opportunities.

  1. Stay off the drugs. Employers say they are less likely to hire young workers because they keep failing drug tests.
  2. Turn up to work on time every day, dressed neatly and appropriately for the job.
  3. Look after your health. Eat well, get enough sleep and take all your breaks at work.
  4. Follow health and safety guidelines and don’t take stupid risks.
  5. Budget your money. Make sure you have enough money to get to work and for lunch.
  6. Keep a lid on your frustration. Learn how to keep calm when you feel angry.
  7. Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or have a problem.
  8. Know your career goals and make plans to achieve them.
  9. Learn how to plan your work so you meet timeline targets.
  10. Own up to mistakes or issues, and try to resolve them on your own.

Check yourself before you let yourself down

Not managing yourself at work can mean you lose your job. If you’re young and starting out, losing more than a couple of jobs due to your behaviour can mean you’re in danger of being unemployed for years.

Make sure when you’re at work or work experience you check with your employer to see how you’re doing, and get advice on improving your self-management skills. Employers don’t expect you to be perfect in your first job, but they do want to see you trying to improve.

You can also get advice on improving your self-management skills from family, friends, your former course provider or agencies such as Work and Income.

Get help

It’s OK to ask for help if you have trouble staying calm or controlling your emotions, or if you can’t stop using drugs.  

Watch this space as we bring you more articles on the skills employers need you to have, so you can win at job seeking.

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