Build your Self-Brand

The threat of lay-offs is making many think about ways and means to survive in their respective jobs and remain valuable. Experts suggest that by creating a unique identity through self-branding, an employee can stand out from the rest at the workplace and survive any potential threats.

  • Be a great team-mate and a supportive colleague.
  • Be passionate about your job and make others know that you are excellent in your particular task.
  • Finish the tasks assigned to you on time with exceptional quality.
  • Be proactive and discuss your views on improving things with your senior officials.
  • Bring in innovations into your project to make it more efficient.

Self-branding is no easy task. It comprises of identifying your best personality traits and displaying it, from time to time through enhanced performance and higher productivity. This will not only get you noticed but will also give you an edge over your colleagues.

How to refuse a job offer

Declining a job offer must be done with finesse. You should always, always project yourself as a gentleman and a person of culture when you decline a job offer. You should first of all compose a letter explaining why you feel that you need to decline the offer. In the letter you must emphasise your gratitude to the company for offering you the job in the first place, but alas due to other extenuating circumstances you find it extremely difficult to take up the job. Be courteous in your approach and show your honesty. Never burn bridges for you will never know when the same company in the future may offer you a much better position than what you were originally offered. You must be in “good books” with the company and let them know that you hold them in high esteem.

It is suggested that you call the person who first offered you the job over phone and later follow it by a letter. A letter (which is signed) is far better an option than letting them know by an email which hardly has a signature with ink and is impersonal. Before calling the person and declining the offer, it is suggested that you make notes as to why you cannot take up the job. The list you have in front will bolster your courage and you will not stammer or found wanting in expressing your thoughts clearly. Be honest and give reasonable explanations for your decline. It could be bad timing, a family-related matter, counter offer from your present employer, location concerns or simply the offered position does not align with your future career growth prospects. Be very careful about the last one as you should not make it look as if the company is at fault. Always keep your options open and have an “escape route” for the possibility of future appointment with the same company. Never antagonize the person or company which offered you the position in the first place as a result of your application. After all you approached them first. Remember you are a gentleman and a person of culture.

Preparing for a hostile interview

When you are called for an interview the first thing that goes in your mind is whether you will do well or whether you will flunk in the interview. Next you will wonder how the interview will go and whether the interviewer will be cold, abrasive or even downright hostile. No doubts about it. It is a very stressful scenario.

Very few interviews go along the lines we expect (hopefully) them to go. Some amount of browbeating should be expected. The interviewer will on purpose make you slip and confuse you. This is his method of finding out how you react to stress and confusion.

In order to counter a hostile interview you should be armed with your own ammunition. Mainly you should be supremely confident about yourself and your skills and achievements. No one can take this away from you. You need to be calm at all times. You must make efforts to project an excellent first impression which is half the battle won. Your body language should not betray your nervousness. The more nervous you are the more ammunition you will hand over to the interviewer. Enter the room with the fullest of confidence and with a smiling face. Always listen carefully whenever the panel of interviewers ask you questions and make sure you look directly into the eyes of the person who is questioning you. If you look down or look up or sideways you are inviting disaster. It betrays your lack of confidence. If at any time you find that you have been caught on the wrong foot, do apologize sincerely and move on. If you do not know the answer to a question just say so and ask what the answer would be. It shows your healthy interest in learning. Never say “No comments”. Never. Honesty is the best policy in this case too. If you know your subject and have done some solid research on the company where you are having this interview you will have the confidence to field any question and you will have the upper hand. Think of the interview as a table tennis match. You get the point?

Finally before leaving the interview room thank the panel in an effective way that will linger on far after you have left the room.

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