Where’s your integrity?

Where’s your integrity?

Integrity. It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot, employers want it, employees need it and training companies talk it up, but no one ever actually discusses what it is. In short, integrity is being your word, doing the things that you said or implied that you would do. Whether that’s completing a huge project or helping a friend move house.

This is why it’s so important to organisations, big and small; they want to know that if they hire someone, the person is going to do exactly what they say they will.

Low or no integrity in the workplace can cause a number of issues, a drop in productivity, bad communication, a decline in team work, just to name a few. So, it’s often a good idea to re-assess the position you’re in to make sure you’re keeping your word.

The problem is that when we do the same thing every day we can lose sight of the overall bigger picture. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad employee or that your employer doesn’t like you, it’s just an opportunity to take a step back so you can gain perspective and adjust your own integrity.

Step One: Ask yourself “Who am I to my employer?”

Without taking your own personal opinions into account, put yourself in your employer’s shoes and try to understand what they expect from you. From small everyday tasks to large project outcomes, who does your employer expect you to be?

Step Two: Ask yourself “Who am I to my client?”

Using the same process, try to understand what your client expects of you. Is it a certain level of professionalism? A fast turn-around time? Or simply a sympathetic ear? Just as you expect certain things from a plumber, your clients expect certain things from you.

Step Three: Ask yourself “Who am I to myself in this role?”

This one is very important. Ignore any day to day issues that take control of your mind when you’re working and think about when you first started the job. What did you want to be, how did you want to be seen and what did you want to achieve? What standards have you set yourself? Are you making yourself proud?

Step Four: Are you meeting these expectations?

Look back on all of these things, are you meeting all these expectations? The expectations of your boss, your clients and yourself? If you are, high five! You’re nailing your work! If not, welcome to being a regular person. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about constant improvement and growing as a person. If you’re not meeting certain areas as best you’d like, then look at strategies to improve this and take action.

Being your word and building your integrity is one of the best ways to develop your career. Just taking time to assess where you are now and where you want to be can make all the difference.

5 Tips to Stay Focused on your Dreams

5 Tips to Stay Focused on your Dreams

We all dream. Images, ideas, emotions and sensations happen in our mind involuntarily, while we sleep. It’s also been suggested that dreams are a connection to our unconscious mind and that they manifest from our deepest desires and anxieties. Even though we can’t control our sleeping dreams, we can control the dreams and goals we have while we are awake – it’s staying focused on these dreams that is the tricky part.

We all start out with the best intentions, whether it be to lose weight, to save money, or to find that dream career, but sometimes we get a little lost along the way. Distractions, loss of motivation or even laziness can be possible causes as to why we never fulfill our dreams.

Goals and dreams drive us to be better people, they give our lives a meaning and purpose, when we finally realise our dreams and reach our goals we will feel fulfilled, complete and above all, HAPPY. But it takes time, commitment and an enduring passion for anyone to accomplish all of their dreams, and even then, that probably isn’t the end, most people need to have something to drive them so new goals arise so new achievements can be reached.

So, you have goals and dreams you want to work on, but don’t really know where to start!!! Great, well you have started already.

There are a few things you can do to stay focused on your dreams, here are 5 straightforward, but valuable steps that will help to get you started.

1. Plan

Write down your dream/goals in a journal, you need to be very specific about what it is that you want. It is hard to achieve your dream if you’re not really certain about what you want. Even if you’re not 100% sure about what you want the outcome to be, you can at least start down that path and along the way you will be able to narrow it down by trying things relating to your dream.

2. Visualize

Have a clear vision of what you want and where you see yourself. What does it feel like? Remember that feeling because that is what will be your driving force. You can also make a vision board if your goal is a thing or something you can see. This will serve as a reminder everyday of what you really want. If you can’t visualize yourself achieving the dream or goal, then there is a strong chance that you won’t.

3. Desire

You need to have a strong desire to fulfil your ambition. If it is not a strong, burning desire, then you probably don’t want it that much. If you are waking up every morning thinking about your goal, then you have the desire you need. It almost needs to be bordering on an obsession!

4. Set a time limit

You need to set a time frame for your goals. This will help you to stay on the right path and to motivate you when you are slacking off. The timeline could be in weeks, months or years, it all depends on what your goal is. Be realistic, you can’t set yourself a timeline of losing 10kg in 2 weeks, this is definitely not realistic, and all it will do is discourage you when you don’t reach your goal, you are more than likely going to give up if this happens.

5. Review your progress

If you are not progressing how you would like, you need to get some help. Use your network of friends, work colleagues and family to help you. Even if it’s just for support, it might just be the boost you need. Regularly checking your progress will stop your goals from fading away, also by letting people in on what you are trying to do, makes you much more accountable. There is always someone that knows someone, so you never know, just by seeking help from the right person could help expand your network and make your dreams and goals a reality.

By following these simple steps, you will set your focus well and truly on your dreams. Don’t forget to stay positive, even when it doesn’t quite go right, just stick to your plan and you will soon be back on track. Whatever you do, ‘DON’T GIVE UP’!! Everyone hits bumps along the way, they may even fall down, but by getting back up, brushing yourself off and continuing on your journey, you will be much stronger and more determined and remember; “All of your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney.

Half your Effort & Double your Outcomes with this PPS Prep

Half your Effort & Double your Outcomes with this PPS Prep

Post Placement Support (PPS) is the service provided to job seekers and employers in the 26 weeks of employment to maximise the chances of sustainable employment for the job seeker and employer satisfaction with their new employee.

PPS is a proven strategy for achieving sustainable placements, maximising outcome fees, and building performance ratings in the jobactive and Disability Employment Services environments. Post placement support can improve job seeker retention in employment when there is a planned approach to maintaining regular contact with both job seekers and employers. It enables early intervention if problems arise and encourages the building of quality relationships that increases opportunities for repeat business.

Discuss with your Job Seeker

PPS is something that needs to be discussed with every job seeker when they commence into your services. Discussing this early allows the job seeker to future pace themselves into employment and understand the support available to them.

Before speaking with the job seeker think of the benefits that they would appreciate. Every person is different in what they value so it’s best to do this every time you market to a new job seeker. Also, try to determine the best way to market this information to them. Would they like to hear it? Read it? See it?

Build Rapport

Having rapport with your job seekers is integral to sustainable employment outcomes. When you have rapport a job seeker is more likely to disclose information to you and notify you if they find their own employment.
Rapport is what connects one person to another and allows any form of relationship to develop. Rapport can be built through things like similar interests, values, beliefs, goals, even just through simple body language. If you can find just one thing that you can relate to a person about, the battle of getting to know them is half won.

Understand how others Communicate

Each person has their own way of giving and receiving information, through observation and good listening skills you can determine what these are. There are 4 types of communicators; kinaesthetic (touch & feel), auditory (listening), visual (seeing) and digital (factual). Based on the words your job seeker uses such as “I feel like I’m getting this”, “I hear what you’re saying”, “Do you see what I mean?”, “How many others has this worked for?” and looking at how they interact with the world around them, you can categorise and deliver your information in a much more digestible way.

Get consent

With the increasing number of job seekers finding their own employment, PPS can become a challenge if you are unable to gain consent to contact the employer. If you have built a strong rapport with your job seeker gaining consent will be a lot easier. It is also important to gain consent from the job seeker as to what you can disclose to the employer.

Assess the risks

It is important when meeting with the job seeker to discuss their new employment, that the risks of the placement are discussed and a plan to minimise the risks is put in place. Always assess each risk and create a strategy to mitigate that risk. For example their ability to access transportation could be risk that is mitigated by utilising the Employment Fund for the job seeker to get a taxi to their place of work in the early stages.

Make a contact plan

Everything runs smoother with a plan. Make sure you set up a process for how you think it best to contact both the job seeker and employer. Take into consideration the frequency of contact, method of contact, and if they will contact you or you will contact them. Always note down each contact point or attempted contact point. They will come in handy if you have multiple PPS contacts.

Getting Your Hands Dirty to Stay in the Game

Getting Your Hands Dirty to Stay in the Game

We’ve all been there, either as an employee, manager or business owner; where we think all our processes are perfect and our methods are unquestionable. I’m not saying this sense of satisfaction isn’t true, of course you should be proud of what you have achieved, however, it’s important not to lose focus and simply never re-assess.

What is there to lose by sitting back for a minute, taking a deep breath and looking at what is going on around you? You might be thinking “I don’t need to, business is great right now!” but this can lead to complacency and, if you’re not careful, your winning streak could quickly come to a halt. Your competitors are always looking for new ideas and new strategies on how to become number one, so to be competitive you must do the same!


Make time

As a manager it is quite easy to be “trapped” in the four walls of your office and you are not to blame for this. Time is an incredible resource and one that we wish we all had more of. However, isn’t it great to know that you have control over this, you are actually able to go into your calendar and block out a 2 hour time slot to get out of those 4 walls and see what is really happening on the front-line of your business. Blocking out these 2 hours might sound a little inconvenient, but isn’t impossible, especially if you consider what you might get in return. Getting your hands dirty to stay in the game will not only develop you as a person, it will establish you as a leader amongst your team. Your employees will have a great deal of respect for you if you are seen, heard and show appreciation for the work that is being performed, by being present.


Complacency is your enemy

I have personally experienced being “trapped in my four walls” and although my knowledge of policies and procedures were at a high level, how can I be positive that these were actually being carried out by the team I was working with? The figures and finances were looking steady from the back end, however the word “steady” does not sit well with me, as I knew that we had to always be one step ahead to be a leading business. By getting my hands dirty and working along side all staff, I had a true indication of what was really going on in the business – I had my finger on the pulse.


Taking the first step

I was a little nervous, to say the least, when I first adopted this strategy. was I actually going to have to perform tasks that I actually didn’t know how to do? However, was I going to get it right? I haven’t seen this button before, I wonder what it does? People will be looking at me and observing what I was doing – This was a perfect opportunity to step up and lead by example. I recall sitting on reception for 30 minutes, just to get a feel for how busy our administration team were and what our service delivery was like in the crucial stage of welcoming a customer. It was fantastic being able to speak with the customer face to face, taking phone calls and not only witnessing, but being a part of the multi-tasking that was required in this position. Not only was I seeing what was happening or what improvements were required, I was also gaining respect from the team as they witnessed me getting in touch with the clients and the staff as a team member, not as their manager. This was very important, removing the manager label and working as a team member. The minute you mention your title to clients you will be treated differently, I did not want this to happen – I would prefer the real experience of what was happening on the front-line of the business.



I am fortunate now where I am in a position where I can continue to get my hands dirty by visiting one of our programs or facilitating a corporate professional development day. When I am visiting a program, I try to arrive unannounced, not for the reason of surprise or micro management, rather to experience the “reality” of the present. To be truthful it actually helps develop me as a person and a leader by having the exposure and involvement in our programs. I know my place and know when to participate and when to sit back and enjoy the ride, that’s what makes it exciting for me. By being involved I am unconsciously aware of the environment I am in and always observing and thinking of ideas and strategies to improve. I will once again use the word “reality” as this is the most important aspect of getting your hands dirty. If you turn a blind eye or choose not to believe what is going on then you are doing more damage than you may realise.



We are living in a technological advanced world and everything is so quick these days. This means that the faster things move the quicker they change, hence we need to ensure we are aware of what is really happening around us and keeping our skills fresh and current. This also goes for those who are returning to work and haven’t used their skills for a while – be excited about the opportunity to learn. Things may not be the same as they were before but embrace it and recognise that this is a good thing.  Some of us might have qualifications from 10 or more years ago and the theory behind the learning is very relevant, however I believe the execution needs to be altered to complement our modern world. We need to place ourselves in our customers shoes to gain an understanding of how we are adding value and how we continue to deliver an excellent service. “Asking the question” or “having the conversation” is one of the best ways to gather intelligence. If you are aware of the expectations that are required then you can not only just meet them, you can devise strategies to exceed them.

By Matthew

Write a Job Winning Cover Letter

Write a Job Winning Cover Letter

First impressions; yes, we all have them. Even though we are told not to judge a book by it’s cover, we all do it to some degree anyway. A cover letter is your crucial first impression on a potential employer, so it needs to be fabulous. It needs to knock their socks off. It needs to get your foot in the door.

Most jobs nowadays, require a cover letter to accompany a resume. While the resume is a very significant tool in getting who you are across to potential employers, they can pretty much be stock standard as well; but a cover letter is your chance to tell a short story about yourself, to sell yourself in your own words, to get your resume read and to ultimately gain that interview.

Writing a cover letter doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Once you know what is expected, it’s actually quite easy. Just follow these tips below and get that interview.

  1.      Read the advertisement, then read it again

Mark any keywords that are in the ad that you can use in the cover letter and make sure you can back up your claims.

  1.      Don’t just copy your resume

This is your chance to show some personality and your interest in the job and company. Match the cover letter to the job role to which you are applying for. If you are applying for a few different jobs, write a new cover letter for each job. Your resume can stay the same, but you need to personalise each letter to whom it is intended for.

  1.      Keep it simple

Use simple language; write as if you are talking to the person face to face. You need to be comfortable with what you have written. Make your cover letter easy to read, for example; font size: 11 or 12 and font style: Calibri or Roman Times.

  1.      Make sure your layout is correct

There are hundreds of cover letter templates on the internet, these will show you how to layout your cover letter professionally if you are unsure.

  1.      Include all essential details

The details you need to include are:

  • Date,
  • Your name
  • Your contact details
  • The contact details of the recipient

and also remember to state the position to which you are applying, either as a heading or in your opening paragraph.

  1.      Don’t make it too long

One page is acceptable, about three paragraphs. Remember your cover letter won’t be the only letter they receive. Be confident, let them know why you are the best person for the job. Elaborate on your resume by giving more details about relevant experience you may have. If you have a lot of experience, put it down in years as opposed to specific dates.

  1.      Tell them what they want to hear

Don’t tell them why this job would be good for you and your career, tell them why you would be good for their company and what you can bring to the table. Remember, they’re looking at what you can do for them, not the other way around.

  1.      Highlight achievements

Towards the end of your letter, you can highlight any career achievements, as long as they are particularly relevant to the job to which you are applying.

  1.      Close your letter

Draw your letter to a close by being polite, saying thank you and showing interest in meeting for an interview.

  1.  Finally, check and double check your letter

Make sure there are no spelling mistakes, get someone else to proofread your letter. The last thing you want is to be disregarded because of a simple spelling mistake (it happens more often than you’d think).

Remember, you are not the only person wanting or needing this job. Your cover letter needs to stand out from the crowd while being professional at the same time. Be true to yourself when writing your letter, put some of your personality into it.

In the end you will never really know what type of person they are looking for to fill the position. Sometimes it’s not only about experience and qualifications; a person’s personality can get them a long way and a glimpse of this in your cover letter will hopefully secure you with an interview. Then you can really show them what you are made of.

by Kelly

The REAL way to unwind & chill!

The REAL way to unwind & chill!

“Have a glass of wine. It will relax you.”
“These may make you have weird dreams, but you’ll sleep.”
“You just need to get away and relax. Go on vacation!”

Three coping mechanisms, three different suggestions. But which one of these actually works when it comes to chilling out?
None of them. Temporarily, maybe. But reaching that utopia of complete chill, stress-free living doesn’t come in a bottle, isn’t topped with a cork or isn’t some place you can get to on a plane.

A true state of chill starts from within.

We know what you’re thinking, easier said than done, right? Well, bottled happiness costs money, and a plane ticket isn’t free; but getting to a place of total relaxation without leaving your seat is free and accessible by everyone. When you’re relaxed, you’re happier. And when you’re happier, you’re more productive, more loving and more understanding.

There is nothing to lose.

STEP 1: Quiet.

And by quiet, we don’t just mean be quiet, we mean get quiet. Get to a quiet place, quiet your mind and listen to the sound of nothing. If it helps, a white noise might help you get there – the sound of a fan, the dryer full of towels, waves – all of these are low-level sounds that can help you get to a state of quiet and a place of chill.

STEP 2: Focus. (with your eyes closed)

During troubling or stressful times it can feel all consuming. Thoughts may be racing through your head one hundred miles an hour, especially at night when the distractions of a busy day aren’t there. And although it’s hard, if you can just slow it all down so that you can think logically, you might be able to answer all of life’s questions with some quiet reflection.

Night time speed thinking is rarely resourceful and can blur your vision between perception and reality. Slow down those lightening thoughts and try to focus on one thing; even if that one thing is something so basic, like “just breathe.”

STEP 3: Put yourself first.

Mothers, fathers, managers and supervisors; all of these are titles of responsibility. You carry the load of other people by managing the team; if you fail your team fails, right? Wrong. With you as an ineffectual leader or caretaker, parts of your domain are sure to get neglected or fall apart if you are not in the right head space.

If the thought of 15 minutes of alone time puts you into a panic, then you are exactly the person who needs to take 15 minutes to get quiet. You deserve it, so make it a priority. Because by putting yourself first, you are actually putting your team first. They are who they are because of you, of what you represent and if you are showing up as being tired, irritable and irrational, they will soon follow your lead.

We’re all for a glass of wine, and modern medicine can sure have it’s advantages. But for true chill, there’s nothing quite like getting down to the source. And in this case, the source is you.