Millennial’s in the Workplace


Millennial’s in the Workplace

As the population of millennial’s have entered the workforce, many industries are noting a change in the aspirations of their younger employees. It seems that younger people are moving from job to job more often than their older counterparts. However, they still have solid and evolving career goals. Their goals and lifestyles may be different, but, all the same, millennial’s need to think about their goals and aspirations for each position they apply for.  These are some things to note, that potential employers might ask you about when applying for a job.

1. What are your short-term career goals?

When a recruiter asks “What are your short-term career goals?” they are really trying to ascertain whether you are going to leave as soon as you get a better offer, says Amy Adler, a career coach and the founder of Five Strengths.

Kim Ann Curtin, executive coach and the author of Transforming Wall Street, agrees that priority number-one for most interviewers is to get a sense of the likelihood that you’ll stick around.

“The biggest fear employers have with millennial’s right now is that they won’t stay and have a tendency to leave after a year or two,” Curtin said.

2. What are your long-term career goals?

This question is aimed at figuring out whether you are realistic about the career path in this industry, your intentions for the future and the reason you’re interested in the job, Curtin says.

“Headhunters are looking for what millennial’s say that indicates how likely they are to stick around,” she said. “That’s at the heart of what headhunters are asking millennial’s about.”

Sometimes the question is rephrased as “What do you see as your next step after this job?”, but it’s basically trying to find out the same thing.

“Do they want to be out in a year, or promoted within a year?” said Alyssa Gelbard, the founder and president of Resume Strategists. “Baby Boomers don’t have that expectation of ‘I gotta be in, then I gotta get out and move on to the next thing.’”

This is the classic “where do you see yourself in five years?” The company wants to know if you will be a committed employee, willing to invest yourself into your career – with them.

3. How do you handle feedback?

A common way of wording this question is “What kind of feedback do you want to receive and how often?”

Questions related to handling feedback or constructive criticism are geared toward evaluating how well you respond to being given direction and redirection, Adler said.

“There’s a big difference between the way feedback is delivered in school and on the job,” said Gelbard. “Millennial’s should talk about times when they’ve had to handle something difficult, dealing with a client in person or over the phone, not just via text or email.”

This can also be a tangential way of gauging how sensitive you are and how you respond when things don’t go your way. Talk about a time when you were passed over for a promotion or an award that you felt you deserved and how you handled that disappointing situation. Be diplomatic.

“They should demonstrate that they’re OK dealing with failure, lack of success,” Gelbard said. “Working at a bank or hedge fund in the financial sector, not everyone gets a trophy, so hiring managers want to know, ‘How did you handle a time when you weren’t successful?’ – they value resiliency.”

4. What’s your ideal workday schedule?

Adler suggested hiring managers ask this one to make sure you are going to show up on time and work the proper number of hours within the firm’s standard work day.

It’s important to be in tune to how your job responsibilities can bleed into your life outside the office.

“Millennial’s in the industry should keep in mind that the person you’re interviewing with has probably gotten accustomed to the fact that you’re always on, seven days a week,” Curtin said. “Even after working long hours in the office, now everyone’s on their phone checking work emails 24/7.”

Talk about a project, assignment, presentation or deal that ran longer than expected or another example of how you faced unexpected challenges, Gelbard said.

5. How do you define “rewarding” work?

This one can be translated as: “What do you need to feel appreciated?” Adler said. Candidates considering a career in financial services should go in with eyes wide open that their job is all about the money.

“Millennial’s should realize that they are likely speaking to an organization that is not quite as evolved as they will eventually become,” Curtin said. “Millennial’s coming from a place of wanting to make a positive contribution and work a job that has value in the world need to dial it down”.

“That doesn’t mean you don’t want to be authentic, but maybe it’s not as important a conversation to have with [hiring managers] on Wall Street as it would be with those at more future-focused, younger companies,” she said.

Hiring managers are looking for an alignment of what the millennial candidate thinks the job requires and the actual responsibilities that the role entails, Gelbard said.

“Interviewers want to know what they’re expecting to do – ‘What do you think this job requires?’” she said. “Candidates may have a great work ethic and skills, but if they have no clue what they’d be expected to do if they were hired, that could be a problem.

6. What is your ideal work environment or company culture?

During any interview, the interviewer takes a look at the candidate’s lifestyle, searching for indicators of a cultural fit, or lack thereof.

“Do some work around talking to people who are already in the organization,” Curtin said. “This is about getting you in the door, who you are, your authenticity, ultimately you need that person interviewing you to feel that you’re one of them and you understand how their firm works, be informed about the culture, speak in ways that communicates that you’re comfortable with that culture and it’ll be a fit.

7. What are some of your hobbies?

While not every interview will ask this one, those who do are really trying to figure out whether or not they’d like to work with you on a daily basis. Is this person fun?

“If you’re in someone’s office, look for something that you have in common and you can get them to talk about that’s not work-related – human interaction between you can only help,” Curtin said. “You don’t just want to be locked into formal interview mode – you want to form a personal connection. It helps to build rapport for future conversations/interviews.

“They’re a human being, so say something that makes them feel like you see them that way,” she said. “‘You like the Yankees? I love the Yankees!’”

 

Millennial’s have their own benefits to offer older companies too. New ideas, a younger outlook, something to help to company grow into the future and evolve. They are adaptable and creative.

Older counterparts have had time to build their career and gain experience. Millennial’s are looking for companies to invest in them, in the same way that they are looking to invest in their career.

 

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Management Skills, What Are They?


Management skills:

First of all, let’s review what we mean by management skills. These are skills are universal, and apply not just to physical and mental management, but also to managing yourself as an individual. Number one on this list is communication; being clear and concise with those around you and your workmates is a premier skill. Let’s make a list to show the skills them clearly.

Communication

  • Clear, concise – both written and spoken forms
  • Using the right language with customers, being encouraging, being time efficient with meetings, negotiation, and keeping the lines of communication open between employees are just some of the ways where communication is really important. Sometimes it takes practice, but being conscious and observing others can help you pick up those small tips and tricks to nail communication.

Technical skills

  • Know the company, know the job, know the product. This may also include IT skills, social media, reports and presentations, data security, etc. These really are individualised to the position at hand. Mental investment in the company pays off if you’re looking for a higher-level job.

Motivation

  • In terms of your motivation in addition to the motivation of employees. You can do this through providing appreciation, incentives for performance, supporting workmates who are under stress, and empowering employees to be proud of their work.
  • Motivation makes the environment not only more positive, but also more energetic, and productive.

Problem solving

  • Problem solving skills are useful in every situation, we all have to identify and work through issues. Working this problem back to its origins and understanding the cause helps you to see and predict future problems too.
  • This would also include planning as a form of problem prevention

Innovation

  • Innovation is shown through solutions to customer needs, creative marketing campaigns, redesigning or altering processes to create a more productive, functional, and smooth flow.

Professionalism

  • This is what makes you stand out as a leader. Diplomacy, strong moral values, initiative, as well as curating an excellent customer service attitude shows your employees the standard to strive for.

Other skills that are super important to demonstrate as a manager of anything (these are combinations of/ or subcategories that needed special mention):

  • Planning – effective, anticipatory, and course of actions plans
  • Organising – hand-in-hand with planning, organising is fairly essential in managing yourself, projects, and teams.
  • Directing – similar to communication, directing is more about being able to distribute tasks in an effective way to streamline projects.

So now you know the skills, how do you work on improving yours? Honestly, you need to be conscious and observe others. That’s the simplest way to see how it’s done; then you can start implementing version of what you see (so long as it’s appropriate). You may do this through practicing communication with friends and family, showing innovation and problem solving with your daily tasks or assignments, and, motivating yourself and those around you. This way you can see what works and what doesn’t, and when you show these skills in the workplace you will demonstrate your potential as a manager.

Check out our BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management if you feel like you want to upgrade your management skills.

Choosing the Right Career


Exciting

Wouldn’t it be great to be in a career that you love, doing exciting things and feeling like you made the right choice every day? It can be stressful to make that decision, or even start thinking about it. Most young school leavers feel pushed to make a choice so early, and feel they will be trapped in what they choose forever. But that is not the case, most people change careers two or three times in their lifetime. So making a change when you’ve realised you don’t like a career, or like something else better, doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Purposeful

For many millennials, the predominant factor is finding work that is purposeful. You know, that thing that makes you get up in the morning, the passion for accomplishment. There are a few steps you can take to narrow down the surprising amount of choice in front of you.

  1. Find what you’re passionate about? What do you find yourself thinking about or doing in your spare time? Maybe you actually really like maths class, or you enjoy writing songs or poems.
  2. What are you actually good at? Be realistic about it, but also realise that most things get better with practice. Keep at it!
  3. Do one of those career quizzes, it could tell you something you don’t know; such as this: http://joboutlook.gov.au/CareerQuiz.aspx
  4. Try an internship or ask for advice from someone in the field. Internships can be excellent ways of finding out the reality of the job and if you do really enjoy it.
  5. If all else fails, take some time to figure it out. Taking a gap year and working a temporary retail position can give you the time to see what you are passionate and interested in. Maybe you’ll even enjoy the retail work and aim for a managerial job?

Career

If you find an interest in a not-so-mainstream career path, make sure to plan how to get there. Being an artist or musician or poet (stereotypical alternative pathways) can still work out better for you than a corporate/retail position. You may even make it into a business.

If you want to start a career but aren’t ready for university, we offer short courses in business, accounting and management.

For those of you who want to be leaders; are good at maths; or want to make their passion into a business.

Here’s our course catalogue: https://lindencollege.edu.au/faculty-schools/course-catalogue/

Starting your own accounting firm?


We’ve got some important steps for you to keep in mind, and facts that we hope can help you too!

Current state of the accounting industry

Before you begin starting an accounting firm – or rather, any type of venture – it is important to do your research and understand the industry that you’re aiming to get into and the factors that impact it.

According to Bankwest’s Industry Review report on the accounting sector, more than 133,000 Australians are employed in accounting services. Between 2014 and 2015, the accounting services sector was responsible for generating $17 billion in revenue. These numbers reflect just how significant the accounting services plays in the professional services industry.

Many accounting businesses are located in major Australian cities. Bankwest has found the majority of these businesses to be based in New South Wales. While it’s easy to imagine that the majority of the firms in the accounting industry are large, smaller firms are the dominant. The ‘Big Four’ of the accounting industry only account for roughly 30% of the available market share (AFP Business Brokers). The profession can be separated into the ‘Big Four’, 2nd tier, mid-tier, medium sized and small accounting firms. There are many different markets that these firms cater to – meaning that there is plenty space in the market for the smaller firms to enter and compete in (AFP Business Brokers).

The important questions

Before you start an accounting company, ask yourself:

  • Do I have enough experience to help the needs of other businesses and individuals?
  • Do I have one year’s worth of capital to begin and operate for one year?
  • How will I differentiate what my accounting company has to offer from others in the market?

 Entering the market

Develop your Business Plan

Like every business venture, your accounting firm will need a business plan. Your business plan should cover the following areas:

  • Your goals for the business
  • Target market research
  • What services you offer
  • Your chosen business structure
  • Breakdown of costs and capital requirements
  • Marketing your business
  • Pricing strategy
  • Office location and requirements
  • Projected costs to start up, budget and revenue model
  • Insurance

Try it out part-time

If you’re still feeling some hesitancy before taking the plunge to break out on your own, consider picking up some clients part-time and see whether you enjoy working on a full-time basis and starting out on your own.

How about it, partner?

Two heads can be better than one. By finding the right partner or joining the right franchise, you can potentially have more service offerings, share costs and may appeal to a larger customer base.

Old issues, fresh start

One of the perks about starting out is that you aren’t beholden to any business legacy issues that may push down profits such as an old fee structure, old equipment and software or client service issues from the past. Make sure that you can market your services and price yourself accordingly. Brush up on the management of your marketing, pricing, selling and practice!

Know your software

Familiarise yourself with online accounting and bookkeeping software that is often used for small businesses, such as MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks. Cloud computing now offers accounting firms Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, allowing firms to be able to use flexible and extensive software applications that operate with strong data security at fixed rates.

Join industry and professional groups

If you are a member of any industry or professional groups, utilise them for information and support! If you aren’t a member of any of these groups, then sign up. Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and CPA Australia are two of the world’s largest accounting bodies with a global membership and offers many core services to its members including education, training, technical support and advocacy.

Know the guidelines and legalities

Starting your business can be stressful but it can be even more stressful when you don’t know the guidelines and legalities around your business operations. There are many resources out there for new businesses to understand the requirements of practicing in Australia. CPA Australia has compiled a list of resources and information for public practices, including links to resources and support that the Australian Government offers as well.

Check out our Certificate IV of Accounting.

Cyber-security Webinar #5


We’re attending the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science cyber-security training webinar today. This is webinar 5 of a 5 part series.

All businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Being responsive and active cyber security plan is essential for business success.

Linden College recommends that all staff and students take part in these free webinars. We have signed up to watch the first one today!

Webinar 5: Cyber security in the cloud and outsourcing

The final webinar in this series focuses on cyber security in cloud and when to outsource your cyber security processes. This webinar will highlight the importance of discussing cyber security with your cloud provider, security considerations for engaging with the cloud, and risk management when working with a third party service provider.

Key objectives for this webinar:

  • to demonstrate the role, advantages and disadvantages of the cloud and potential risks that may arise
  • highlight the security considerations that may need to be taken into account when working with the Cloud.

Cyber-security Webinar #4


We’re attending the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science cyber-security training webinar today. This is webinar 4 of a 5 part series.

All businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Being responsive and active cyber security plan is essential for business success.

Linden College recommends that all staff and students take part in these free webinars. We have signed up to watch the first one today!

Webinar 4: Developing an effective incident response capability

Cyber security involves minimising and stopping attacks but also developing a plan for handling cyber security incidents. Webinar 4 discusses the process for developing an incident response strategy, practical ways that a strategy can be implemented and when to notify your customers, clients or regulators of a security incident.

Key objectives for this webinar:

  • to provide guidance in developing an incident response strategy
  • demonstrate the ways that your staff can actively implement strategies
  • to highlight when to notify your customers of a breach and your legislative obligations

 

Unknown Famous Accountants


Unknown Famous Accountants

Accounting first began in Ancient Mesopotamia. Then accountants worked for temples, tracking taxes paid on sheep and agricultural produce. They used cuniform, a writing practice, to keep receipts. But, there have been many developments and accomplishments since then. Let’s take a look at some notable accountants that changed the game.

1. Mary Addison Hamilton

An Australian feminist, she was underestimated by her peers and surpassed expectations by received the highest mark on her exams and becoming the first female Chartered Public Accountant. She was offered a permanent position in the public sector, which is especially significant because in that time, women were not usually offered jobs in government. She worked as a clerk in the public service, using her skills to train new accountants and assist a number of charitable and not-for-profit organisations.

2. Josiah Wedgwood

If you recognise the name, that’s because he is in fact the founder of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons – the famous Wedgwood china. He created the first reliable system in the 1700’s to track bottom-line costs and profits, and tested it on his own company during economic downturn. His system proved so successful, it even brought to light an embezzlement scam run by his head clerk. Obviously good accounting is undeniably beneficial. Wedgwood is still around today, more successful than ever.

3. John Pierpont Morgan

He was an American financier and banker in the late 1800’s. He dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation, directing the banking coalition that stopped the panic of 1907 and aiding the banking industry through the 1890’s. John’s global market leading financial services firm still carry’s his name, so successful, that is annually donates $200 million to non-profit organisations. His impact was so significant, that upon his death, the NY Stock Exchange stopped trading until midday.

4. Frank Mason Robinson

Frank started a business with associates called the Pemberton Chemical Company. They were playing with a medicinal formula using coca leaves and kola nuts… do you see where I’m going? Frank eventually coined the name Coca Cola, and even designed the logo written in Spencerian (the Accountants script of the time). So successful was their marketing that they were able to keep the same price of 5c from 1886 to 1959, which was approximately worth $1.20 including inflation.

5. William Welch Deloitte

Deloitte, also a founder of one of the Big 4 accounting firms, was an accountant from London. He began his own business sorting out bankruptcy at a young age. He also became the first independent auditor ever appointed at the Great Western Railway, and invented a system for railway accounts to protect investors from mismanagement of funds. In his time, he was also president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He retired a year before his death, as the oldest practicing accountant at the time.

Clearly, accountants have a lot to offer the world, including Bubble Gum (look up Walter Diemer) and Phil Knight – the co-founder of Nike. You never know where an accounting career will lead. Linden offers a Certificate IV in Accounting (FNS40615)… just saying.

Accountants Technology Showcase Australia 2017


This is THE INDEPENDENT TECHNOLOGY EVENT FOR ACCOUNTANTS & BOOKKEEPERS IN PRACTICE.

ATSA is a great event for understanding what current accounting technology is available and how it can be used in the accounting or bookkeeping practice for the benefit of clients. ATSA say that technology is the great enabler – enabling new efficiencies, new service opportunities, new ways to engage with your clients.

Your Key to Understanding Successful Study


Successful Study

There are three essential steps to developing good skills:

  1. Self-awareness – insight into yourself (and other’s opinions about your abilities can impact your capacity to achieve them)
  2. Strategy – developing good habits and applying the best approach
  3. Personalised approach: adapt your strategies to suit your strengths, interests and circumstances

Take some time to think about and reflect on these, maybe write down some points to remember about how you study effectively.

Intelligence

Have confidence in your own intelligence. Without this confidence, you will doubt yourself and that’s not productive for study. What does intelligence mean to you? What is intelligence? Here are some examples of common thoughts about intelligence:

  • Intelligence is an underlying, general cleverness which is fixed by genetics;
  • Intelligence has many kinds (linguistic, musical, kinaesthetic, logical, etc.);
  • Intelligence can be developed;
  • Intelligence depends on your life opportunities;
  • Intelligence may be interpreted differently in different people;
  • Intelligence if about applying what you know easily to new contexts;
  • Intelligence is a question of how much you know;
  • Intelligence is easy to measure;
  • Intelligence is about applying effective strategies that can be learnt; and
  • Intelligence is a question of habit and practice.

Do you feel a truth in one or more of these responses? Now you are more self-aware about your predispositions about intelligence, that’s step 1. We can move on to learning.

Successful Learning

Successful learning is a process. It can be unconscious or conscious, use varying senses, different levels of attention, be fast or slow. Conditions for successful learning include: new experiences, foundations, rehearsal/practice, processing new information and understanding on a new level.

Optimal learning happens in many different environments and conditions, including: working out which time, place, space, or routine works for you is really beneficial. A place that you learn best might be a classroom with bright lights and others, or at home where it’s quiet and you can focus. Knowing your optimal learning conditions allows you to replicate the conditions in different places. If you truly enjoy what you are learning, the environment might not even matter. Build your habit and routine of learning; keeping notes and due dates organised is a general help to most students.

There are many different ways to describe the different learning styles. Knowing your learning style may help you understand your optimal learning conditions. If you have a visual or kinetic learning style, you may need to adapt the way you receive the knowledge.

Personalisation

Personalising your learning by combining all of the above will improve your self-awareness of your learning process or style. Personalising your learning environment and conditions will take some experimenting. If you prefer to study with a group, you will need to set up or find a study buddy or group. If you are an auditory learner and lectures and recordings really work for you, you will need to plan your learning and revision around these. Keep in mind not to narrow the range of conditions too much. You may want to try and use various skills to learn.

Happy studying!

Inspiration taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell, 4th Edition.

Cyber-security Webinar #3


We’re attending the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science cyber-security training webinar today. This is webinar 3 of a 5 part series.

All businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Being responsive and active cyber security plan is essential for business success.

Linden College recommends that all staff and students take part in these free webinars. We have signed up to watch the first one today!

Webinar 3: Cyber security operational basics

This webinar covers some of the practical ways that a SME can improve its cyber security. This includes highlighting the need for cyber security to involve good processes, knowledgeable and responsive staff, and sound technology controls. It will also recommend easy to implement processes that a business can implement today.

Key objectives for this webinar:

  • to demonstrate the need for business-wide cyber security knowledge
  • to outline easy and practical ways that a business can address cyber security immediately.