10 tips to put the right face forward in your job interviews

Businesspeople, or businesswoman and client handshakingTo help you make the right first impression, beauty expert Debbie Black (née Selikman) from beautyheaven.com.au shares her top tips and tricks to help you look cool, calm and capable in your next job interview.

As many people add a new job to their list of resolutions and the HR department returns to work with plans for the year ahead, February has become the best time for anyone looking for a new job. But while your CV might be up to date and you’ve connected with everyone and their assistant on LinkedIn, the way you present yourself in a job interview can say a lot about whether you’re the right person for the job.

1) Be proactive: if you’ve been meaning to dye your hair or if your eyebrows are looking a bit worse for wear, book yourself in for an appointment (or put aside some time at home) as soon as possible! If you know you’re going to be going to lots of job interviews, making the time for these things will help you feel more put together.

2) Less is always more: too much make-up can look unnatural and unflattering – especially during the daytime or if you have maturing skin. Stay away from a smoky eye (try curling your lashes and applying a lengthening mascara to accentuate your eyes instead), and keep your foundation application light as this will help you look more fresh-faced and youthful. Also take care to blend your foundation into your hairline and down your neck to make it look as natural as possible.

3) Opt for more subtle colours: different workplaces have different rules about what’s deemed appropriate in terms of make-up. If you usually like to sport a bright pop of colour in your make-up look, take it down a notch for your interview or until you know what’s deemed appropriate for that particular workplace.

4) Groom your nails: chipped polish and unkempt nails have the unfortunate effect of making you look untidy and disorganised – even if you’re anything but. If your manicure is looking a bit worse-for-wear either get it re-done, or – if you’re short on time – simply remove your polish completely, file your nails and leave them au naturale.

5) Keep it simple: freshly washed, neat hair is a must as, just like your nails, dirty or unruly hair can give the impression of laziness and disorganisation. When it comes to styling, keep it neat, simple and preferably away from your face so that it doesn’t distract you or your interviewer.

6) Choose a subtle scent: a strong, heady scent might be great for a night out, but it can quickly become too intense in a one-on-one interview situation. The aim is for a pleasant but not overpowering smell, so choose a light scent and spritz it sparingly, or alternatively just use a fragranced body cream.

7) Deo for your B.O.: there’s nothing worse than body odour, so if you’re prone to sweating when you get nervous be sure to apply a long-lasting clinical deodorant before your interview to keep any nervous sweats in check.

8) Plan ahead: lay out your outfit the night before, making sure it is clean, pressed and appropriate for the company you are interviewing with – consider the whole look, including your hair, nails, accessories and shoes, and remember it is better to be overdressed than underdressed!

9) Take a minute: set aside more time in the morning to make sure you’re happy with your hair and make-up and haven’t missed any crucial preparation before you leave the house. It’s easy to forget something when your mind is on more important matters, which could leave you feeling frazzled before your big meeting.

10) Bring a beauty bag: pack a bag of essentials the night before your interview. Include things like mints, bobby pins and concealer so you can freshen up before your interview.

Lastly, take a few deep breaths and try not to stress. A job interview is ultimately to find out whether you’re the right person for the job – but a killer mani can’t hurt right?

Beautyheaven.com.au is Australia’s number one social beauty network, featuring the very best mix of product reviews, news, tips and advice.

More Australian women are entering the dental profession

A young female dentist working in her office.While dentistry is traditionally a male dominated profession, the proportion of female dentists is on the rise, according to a report released this week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report by AIHW, Dental workforce 2012, looks at the characteristics of the Australian dental practitioner workforce in 2012. Overall, there were 19,462 dental practitioners registered in Australia in 2012 and about 6,811 or 37% of these are women.

A dental practitioner is a trained professional in dentistry, oral health therapy, dental hygiene, dental therapy or dental prosthetics.

While more women are entering the profession, the news isn’t all good because it is still men who are the profession’s top money earners. For example, dental prosthetists were much more likely to be men, with women making up just 15% of this workforce.

On average, dentists worked 37 hours per week in 2012, a slight drop from 2011. About 32% of dentists worked part time.

The majority of employed dentists worked in private practice (80% of clinicians and 77% of all dentists), as did most specialists (75%).

As expected, major cities had the highest supply of dentists in Australia at 64.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) dentists per 100,000 people, followed by Inner regional areas at 42.2 FTE dentists per 100,000 people. The lowest supply was in remote areas (21.5 FTE per 100,000 people).

Wanted: More Female Firefighters in NSW

FirefightersIf you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is launching its 2014 permanent firefighter recruitment drive on Thursday, 30th January. Currently only 4% of firefighters are female but FRNSW – one of the world’s largest career fire and rescue services – wants to change all that.

Senior Firefighter Tara Lal is the only female on her shift at Woollahra Fire Station. She’s been a firefighter for nearly nine years and is also a physiotherapist with her own mobile physiotherapy business because the nature of her shifts allows her to do both. Firefighter Lal says that it was an incredibly physical job and said she had to work hard to maintain her strength and fitness levels but she loves it! According to her, every day is an adventure.

Then there’s 24-year-old Firefighter Casey Burgess. She’s been a firefighter at Lidcombe Fire Station for a year and she’s just graduated as a teacher. Firefighter Bronnie Mackintosh has played college rugby in the United States and is now a rescue trainer for Fire & Rescue NSW.

Erin Pogmore, 31, is only five foot three inches tall and weighs just over 50kgs but she’s loving her job as a firefighter at Redfern Fire Station. Firefighter Pogmore has fought some of the fiercest blazes we’ve seen in this country over the past six months, including the Blue Mountains bushfires in October and the paper mill fire at Matraville that burnt for several days.

All these women are incredibly fit and healthy (they have to be to do the job) but it is the active nature of the job that attracted them to a career as a firefighter in the first place.

Commissioner Greg Mullins said he wanted the people of NSW to continue to be served by a
modern and dynamic firefighting workforce who reflected the diversity, culture and skills of
our society. FRNSW is .

“I want men and women from around the country, including indigenous communities and
people of all cultural backgrounds, as well as those with life experience who are looking for a
career change, to step forward and apply,” he said.

“Firefighting is one of the most important and rewarding careers you could have. Firefighters are respected community members; and being a firefighter provides you with the opportunity to make a real and ongoing difference to the lives of the people of NSW.”

Online applications will be open from 30 January until 13 February 2014.

In the lead up to the recruitment launch, there will be information sessions held across Sydney including two women’s information sessions on 20th and 29th January.

  • Monday, 20 January – Women’s information session (6pm-8pm, Wesley Conference Centre, Sydney)
  • Tuesday, 21 January – General information session (3-5pm, Parramatta Leagues Club)
  • Tuesday, 21 January – General information session (6-8pm, Parramatta Leagues Club)
  • Thursday, 23 January – Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders and community members of different cultural backgrounds information session (6-8pm,Rooty Hill RSL)
  • Wednesday, 29 January – Women’s information session (3-5pm, Cronulla Leagues Club)
  • Wednesday, 29 January – General information session (6-8pm, Cronulla Leagues Club)

Candidates will have to complete an online application and undergo a series of tests based on the capabilities and values of FRNSW.

For more information visit the website www.fire.nsw.gov.au

Beating the Back to Work Blues

back to workFor many the Christmas holidays came to an abrupt end on Monday morning when we had to reluctantly drag ourselves out of bed and back to work. It’s now Wednesday and if you’re anything like me, you’re still struggling with the ‘back to work blues’.

News.com.au called the first work day in January “the most depressing day of the year’. After such a welcome break in daily our routine, it’s understandable that many workers would be feeling sad, depressed or even a little agitated, when it all comes to an end.

But psychologist Amanda Johnston from Konekt, Australia’s largest private sector provider of organisational health solutions, says “you don’t need to return to work with a feeling of dread.”

“Generally these feelings are temporary, a period of adjustment while you reacquaint yourself with your day-to-day routine. And there are a number of things you can do to beat the post-holiday blues and ease back into work.”

Look After Yourself

Get a good night’s sleep and reset your body clock, as you’ll no doubt be getting out of bed earlier to get to work. (And remember, tired muscles are more prone to injury).

Plan some ‘me’ or ‘relaxation’ time. This helps to keep your mind and body ‘sane’. “The time and the way you do this may need to change when you return to work, but it is critical that you still make time for it,” says Amanda. “It also gives you something to look forward to each day, and this can assist you to get through some of the less pleasant aspects of life.”

Exercise. People are able to better cope with stress when their bodies are healthy. Incorporating periods of physical exercise into your routine will help to improve muscle control, make you feel happier, healthier and increase self-esteem.

Eat well. Try to improve your diet and avoid stimulants where possible. Excess caffeine or nicotine can make you feel anxious or on edge.

Drink plenty of water. Discs and joint capsules deflate when we are dehydrated.

Organise

Make an effort to have your first weeks back as organised as possible e.g. place reminders / appointment details in your calendar or diary for the first two to three weeks. “Whether it be lunches, travel to and from work, or even what you’re wearing for the day, effective time management regulates your tasks and reduces the uncertainty of not having enough time to complete the task required,” Amanda explains. “Plus it allows for ‘time off/relaxation’ periods.”

Plan something enjoyable. This could be a get-together with friends, a weekend away or even your next holiday. “It’s important to have pleasurable activities to look forward to,” Amanda says.

Take Regular Breaks

Move your body. Ensure you have regular breaks during the day; get up out of your chair to have a stretch or walk around to keep the blood circulating and mind alert.

“Micro-pause breaks and postural reversal (e.g. stretching to the opposite posture of what you have been doing) can help you stay fresher and more energised for longer,” says Konekt’s chief ergonomist, Mary Vetere.

Get outside. If you work indoors it can be a good idea to get outside in the sunshine. Perhaps take your lunch outdoors, go for a walk, or get a coffee (weather permitting of course!).

Communicate

Seek support from others. If you have any issues, don’t try to cope alone. “If you begin to feel stressed, discuss this with your immediate supervisor or manager to make sure they’re aware,” says Konekt psychologist Kit Underdown. “That way you can work together to develop strategies to manage any stressful situations as they may arise.”

“Recent research conducted by Konekt (the Konekt Market Report) shows that around 12 per cent of reported workplace-related injuries are psychological injuries, such as stress, anxiety, depression and adjustment disorder. So it’s important for employees and employers to have strategies in place to address these issues early.”

Ten ways to get a better life balance in 2014

image010Is this the year you’re going to lose that extra weight, get organised or bag the career of your dreams? Yes? Then you’re going to need to get savvy and take some time to plan how you’re going to make your dream a reality.

Serial entrepreneur, Jo Shanahan (pictured), owns three separate successful businesses with 15 staff (DVE Business Solutions, Animal Therapeutics Online and Warrington Park Equestrian Services), is married, competitively rides horses, travels interstate, and internationally, regularly and is continually juggling the demands of her busy life. However, with a background in engineering, processes and continuous improvement she is well equipped to find a solution to any problem, the biggest being how to make the most of her busy schedule.

“I prefer the term ‘life balance’, as I believe work is an integral part of life, and work-life balance suggests that it’s separate,” said Jo. “I’ve learnt to accept that the choices I have made will keep me busy. It is my responsibility to make those choices work and to make them fun. This is my life and these are my choices.

“I have also learnt how to be more effective when balancing these demands. Some simple things, like using Apps that help me keep track of my to do list, have really made a difference to my efficiency and ultimately my stress levels.”

Here, Jo shares her key tips on how to get more productive, more efficient and focused on your goals over the next 12 months to achieve that dream:

1. PLAN, plan, plan. Set your key priorities for the coming twelve months. Know what your values and goals are and prioritise work, friends, and family. Then, as you start finding it hard to decide between conflicting priorities, revisit your plan and make an informed decision based upon that.

2. ORGANISE your activities using to do lists. It will keep your thoughts in order, your actions focused and give you a sense of achievement as you cross them off. There are several Apps designed to help your day to day planning including To Do and Errands. The obligatory Outlook calendar is a powerful tool as well.

3. VISUALISE your day and what you want to achieve with your time each morning, while lying in bed. Try to take the emotion out of this process and imagine yourself in a helicopter looking down at your day.

4. REFLECT on your day in the evening. Think of at least three things, no matter how small, that went well in the day. And this is a good time to think about the things that you’re grateful for as well.

5. ALLOW yourself to do things for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. If you’re happy, you’re more effective, so it helps you in the long run.

6. INCORPORATE exercise into your routine. It is so important that your mind and body are healthy to enable you to squeeze everything in, so make sure to schedule in regular exercise when you’re planning your week.

7. LISTEN to your body and learn to work with it, not against it. If you’re an early riser, make the most of the time to do some quiet work or reflection before beginning your day. If you’re a night owl, let yourself stay up late, but make sure you’re still getting enough rest, even if it means starting your day an hour or two behind everyone else. If you feel yourself getting run down, make sure you sleep in a little longer.

8. OUTSOURCE what you can. If you need a cleaner, organise one. If you hate doing your tax each year, hire an accountant to manage your finances and take away that stress. People are best at what they enjoy, and you’re no exception.

9. KEEP somewhere as your haven, a sacred place, whether it is one particular room of the house or a holiday home, to escape the work stresses. Ensure you never take work with you to that space and you’ll find it much easier to ‘turn off’ there.

10. BREATHE, when you begin to feel overwhelmed, relax and remember it is your choice. Whatever it is you have chosen to do – work, raise a family, play sport, anything – you have chosen it and it is your responsibility to make it work and make it fun. It’s all about understanding that you have control of your life and your decisions. If ultimately you are continuing to struggle, it might be time to make a choice to get rid of a few things, which is your responsibility too.

How to Make Work Wear More Glamorous

In fashion terms, the office can be a restrictive environment, we all feel obligated to dress a certain way and to ensure we maintain a conservative appearance to represent our professional attitude within the workplace. A certain level of appropriateness is needed when dressing for the workplace such as no low cut tops, thigh skimming skirts and looks that wouldn’t be out of place in a nightclub.

Being in the office is no excuse however to neglect your appearance and you can still be a true fashionista whilst adhering to the company principles. From everything down to the perfect underwear from Burlesque Dolls to the classiest pencil dress, you can be the epitome of style whilst showcasing your professionalism.

Accessories

Photo: www.italianist.com

Photo: www.italianist.com

Belts, bracelets, scarves, etc. are the perfect finishing touches to an outfit and can transform a look from being dull and drab to stylish and complete. Subtlety is the key to the best office look, yet you can still embrace accessories to suit the style you are attempting to achieve. Skinny belts can perfectly accompany the receptionist look of a pencil dress whilst geek glasses can support the androgynous look of form fitting trousers and a crisp shirt.

Shoes

When it comes to deciding on shoes, practicality is essential. Long days in the office can be made more challenging if high, tight shoes are worn. No matter how pretty they may be, they need to be worn for the duration of the day. Platform heels, detailed ballet pumps, long boots and kitten heels are this seasons must haves and they are perfectly suited for work wear. Indulge in velvet and explore patent to add an edge to the shoe and your outfit.

Clothes

The items that are most resemble work wear often make transitions to high fashion and this supports the need to incorporate fashion into the working day whilst creating the ability to do so. Silk shirts, pencil skirts, tailored trousers and the LBD (little black dress) have made regular features on the catwalk throughout the 2013/2014 season and are ideal items to be worn in the office environment.

Make Up

Photo: iamnotasupermodel.com

Photo: iamnotasupermodel.com

Again, the idea of less is more comes into play. Make up needs to be subtle, elegant and minimal to ensure you maintain the ideal office look and not end up looking ready for a night out. Either go for a nude lip with a slick of eyeliner for the smoky eye effect or have a bold lip with a pink or deep coloured lipstick with a soft, nude eye. Going for the natural look will not only mean you are appropriate for the office, but you will look and feel different when you are away from work.

Underwear

Underwear is the secret treasure that we all love. It makes us feel sexy and stylish from the underneath of our outfits and although no one sees it (especially at the office) it is enough for us to know it is there to help us ooze confidence. Underwear can help outfits to look better and sit appropriately which ultimately improves the look. Stockings, suspenders, corsets can be well hidden underneath our clothes whilst creating a better look.

Respect Trumps Harmony: 4 Tools for Building Resilient Teams

Rachael Robertson Bio Photo 2013Rachael Robertson (pictured) led 18 strangers into the wilderness of Antarctica for an entire year through nine months of darkness, with no escape from the cold, howling winds or from each other. Today, Rachael shares some of the lessons she learned while leading a team in what is arguably the world’s harshest working environment.

Antarctica is the most remote workplace on the planet. The temperature hovers around minus 35 degrees, through months of darkness, constant blizzards, and no way in or out. But for all its differences the role of the leader is exactly the same as any workplace. The scrutiny is relentless and the challenges are the same – they are just magnified due to the intense nature of the environment.

As expedition leader to Antarctica’s Davis Station, with my head office colleagues available over a patchy email connection and a satellite-phone,
I had to turn a random group of complete strangers, with incredibly diverse backgrounds, into a highly productive and functioning team, because our lives depended on it. As the Station Leader I was it… there was no one else.

We worked where we lived; I was on duty 24 hours a day for a year so my behaviour and decisions were under constant scrutiny. To manage this intensity and to build an effective and resilient team I developed and relied on four key tools.

1) No Triangles – the practise of only having direct conversations built respect within my team and resulted in very high performance. We had a simple rule that went ‘I don’t speak to you about him, or you don’t speak to me about her.’ No Triangles, go direct to the source.

It’s a powerful tool that reduces conflict and clarifies accountability.
The practise of No Triangles also ensures that as the leader your time is spent dealing with issues that matter. Those have the most impact on the organisation, not handling personal disputes that simply burn energy.

It also shuts down “answer shopping”, people who keep asking the same question and go over people’s heads, or around people, until they get the answer they want.

2) Manage your Bacon Wars – A major dispute once threatened to shut down the station: Should the bacon be soft or crispy?

Every workplace has their Bacon Wars. They are seemingly small, irrelevant issues that grate on people but build up until they become distractions and affect productivity. It may be dirty coffee cups; people who are consistently late for meetings; people playing on phones while someone is presenting…they appear to be small offences but in reality they are usually a symptom of a deeper issue.

Leaders must identify and probe their Bacon Wars. Find out what’s underneath and resolve it.

For us, it turned out the Bacon War was a manifestation of something deep and important: respect between two teams.

3) Find a reason to celebrate – recognise milestones and important moments. If you don’t have one readily apparent then create one. Find a reason.

In Antarctica we celebrated big events but also the smaller successes such as a month without a power blackout, significant scientific data collection or uninterrupted internet access with a fully functioning server.

Usually it was just a notice on the whiteboard in the dining hall but it was important to find the time to stop and celebrate. Because these moments create momentum. They give a sense of progress, moving forward and getting closer to our outcomes.

During long projects, or even times when it’s business as usual, an inspiring leader will find a reason to stop and salute even small accomplishments. Whether it’s with an event, a reward or a simple thank you, the acknowledgement and recognition will reaffirm their purpose and demonstrate progress.

4) Check-in on people – as you receive reports and updates on projects take a moment to check-in on people and ask, “are you OK?” Not the project, not the tasks, but them – the person. People respond with commitment and loyalty when they know both they and their contribution is valued. To show people they are valued, check how they are travelling. Make it spontaneous and often. These moments will create momentum. As Maya Angelou put it so succinctly “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Written by Rachael Robertson, author of “Leading on the Edge” published by Wiley and available in bookstores across the country and through Rachael’s website www.rachaelrobertson.com.au. RRP $29.95.

Leading on the Edge - Cover HR

How Women Can Get Noticed at Work

successo professionaleRoma Gaster, Director of The Leadership Circle, discusses the many reasons why women still struggle to get noticed by senior management. Factors like unconscious bias, women not putting themselves forward, under-estimating their performance and also differences in the way men and women communicate, all contribute to why women get overlooked for promotion and pay rises.

The glass ceiling still exists in corporate Australia. We have been discussing it for decades, so what actions can we take to get more recognition, secure pay rises and climb the corporate ladder?

There are many reasons why women still struggle to get noticed by senior management. Factors like unconscious bias, women not putting themselves forward, underestimating their performance and also differences in the way men and women communicate all contribute to why women get overlooked for promotion and pay rises.

Most of these issues need to be addressed at an organisational level, but there are a number of strategies you can use to proactively get noticed and be recognised for your hard work.

Personal influence
Learning how to be more influential at work can help overcome the fallout from unconscious bias. Unconscious bias often affects how women are perceived at work, the value placed on their contributions and the influence they exert over others. However by becoming more influential on workplace outcomes and a having contribution that is valued, the effects of unconscious bias can be minimised.

Communication styles
Men and women communicate very differently which is often the reason why women feel ignored in meetings. There are tactics women can adopt to get more out of conversations with their males colleagues. These include talking less and being more direct in your communication, for instance, avoid talking in circles or telling stories to explain your point. Males are generally bottom-line orientated and will listen more actively if you get to the point quicker.

Don’t underestimate yourself
Research has shown women tend to rate themselves and their performance lower than men in self appraisals. A big part of getting that promotion is being able to ‘sell yourself’ and the value you bring to the organisation. Undertaking a review of your core competencies will give you a clear picture of your strengths and the unique qualities you bring to the business. The next step is learning how to use this information when negotiating for the next step in your career.

Keep your compassion in check
Women are generally more socially sensitive and empathetic than men. While this is generally the preferred leadership style with peers and subordinates, it can be detrimental to being perceived as an effective leader by senior male team members. It’s a push-pull situation many women find frustrating, balancing effectiveness without being seen as ‘soft’ by those above or ‘hard’ by those below. Finding a middle ground is often the best strategy.

Find a mentor
Having a mentor, particularly one from the senior ranks of your organisation, can help overcome the barriers you may face in getting ahead, like biases, past practices and stereotypes. A mentor can help you get connected to the people and information you need, help you get noticed by senior management as well as coach you so you can grow professionally.

About the Author
Roma Gaster is the Director of The Leadership Circle, a unique leadership assessment and development system which builds the competencies and capability of leaders through supporting them to evolve consciousness. 

The Leadership Circle provides certification programs, workshops, and support technologies, backed by research, that provide a pathway to evolved and effective leadership. With over 500 consultants in Asia Pacific and clients across all industries, The Leadership Circle is supporting leaders to meet the challenge of escalating complexity by raising awareness and through creative business leadership practises.

How to create a Technology Start-up

IMG_0728_ppFounder of Workible, a mobile and social recruitment platform for flexible workforce industries, Fiona Anson (pictured), writes about her journey into creating a technology start-up with her business partner Allison Baker.

The idea of Workible came from an idea that was sparked from many shared car rides to work with my business partner, Allison Baker. We were both having trouble finding flexible roles to fit in with our lifestyles and we agreed there needed to be a better way.

This is the niche Workible, a mobile and social recruitment app, occupies. It helps businesses find flexible employees fast, allowing them to find and connect with workers in real time, anywhere and on most smart devices.

It also caters to the 6.7 million flexible workers in Australia, supporting job seekers to build professional and dynamic profiles to show off their industry skills, experience, references and availability. It also allows them to join company-based, skill-based or industry-based shortlists.

Our journey getting Workible off the ground was like many others, a voyage into a space we knew very little about. But for an entrepreneur, taking the easy road is a foreign concept.

Some people may think starting up a business is a glamorous job, but when you start a business you put a lot on the line – time, energy and money. We have found learning new technologies and attracting investors to be the two biggest hurdles to overcome.

Jill of all trades
All business owners know having a great idea is never enough. We needed to be Jills of all trades – experts at sales, marketing and operations.

Along the way we’ve quickly learnt that to stay in the game we needed to build a huge understanding of where technology is now, how it works and where it’s headed in the future, for instance coding, wireframing, workflows, mobility, social platforms and viral marketing.

With everyone striving to be the next Facebook, you would think the startup space would be very competitive, but this community is incredibly connected and supportive. Entrepreneurs regularly share contacts and ideas to help each other move forward. There are a variety of weekly events for the tech startup community fuelled by free pizza and beer.

Startup entrepreneurs live and breathe their businesses, often giving up well-paying jobs to follow their dreams. Like us, businesses are typically set up by “bootstrapping” – funding their own technology builds and operational costs. However we quickly realised we would need to find investors.

Coffee and investors
Investors and investor groups, (i.e. Angels and VCs), are also a growing industry, supportive of the tech community and fuelled by the growing number of tech businesses who capitalise on a big dollar “exit” to a major player.

Investors come in all shapes and sizes and having gone through obtaining seed here in Australia, the best advice is to find investors that fit with both the requirements and skills sets, but also the values, of the business.

We found our first investors using the ‘100 cups of coffee’ method. This meant meeting after meeting with as many people as we could find that would listen to our 30-second story.

Our most recent investor I met at a small business networking event. He happened to be a friend of the host and we were mingling and he asked what I did. I gave him the 30-second story and within 10 minutes he told me he might be interested in investing!

What has worked for us is finding investors that understand the technology and the concept so it is not so much of a hard sell. We are not trying to educate them and sell our idea. But it is important to remember, once you have an investor or potential investor, include them in what’s happening with the business and to help them get an inside view into how you work through weekly updates and new client wins.

About Workible
Workible is a mobile and social recruitment platform for flexible workforce industries, catering to the 6.7 million flexible workers in Australia. Workible allows job seekers to list a profile and join talent and industry pools according to their skills and experience. Employers use Workible to tap into those pools of job seekers when they need to find staff fast. For more information visit www.workible.com.au.

About Fiona Anson
Fiona Anson is the co-founder and director of Workible, a new mobile and social recruitment app for the flexible workforce. Fiona is a serial entrepreneur having owned businesses for over 20 years. In additional to starting up several successful companies she has won the American Express Fastest Growing Business Award, Sydney Businesswoman of the Year and was a NSW Finalist for Telstra Businesswoman of the Year.  

How Rules for Professional Workplace Dress Codes Have Changed

If you are too young to remember those days long ago when men went to work wearing dark suits, fedoras, white shirts and ties, all you need to do is watch a few old movies from the 1930s all the way to about 1980. Whether spoken or not, people just knew that work attire meant men wore suits and ties and women wore modest, flattering, yet fashionable skirts or dresses.

For most women of the working world, very short skirts (like the mini skirts of the 1970s) weren’t acceptable as workplace attire. The Bob Dylan song “The Times They Are A’ Changin” didn’t specifically refer to workplace attire, but the statement pretty much sums up everything that has happened to change the way people feel about what is considered acceptable attire for workplace environments.

Relaxing Workplace Dress Codes

Human resource consulting expert Judah Kurtz of the BPI Group admits that dress codes are much more relaxed, and some of that may have happened during the dot-com age when casual Friday meant employees could wear jeans to work. Employers find themselves straddling a fine line between what they should permit (by allowing employees to wear comfortable clothing and express themselves through their clothing) and what is necessary for companies to keep up the professional image they want to convey to clients and customers.

Image by Maegan Tintari via Flickr

Image by Maegan Tintari via Flickr

What Employees Should Infer from Code Language

While many companies don’t have hard and fast rules about the dress code, most assume that employees are hip enough today to understand buzz words, or to figure out what is right for different circumstances they are likely to encounter on the job. For men, things may be more straight forward. When you have corporate meetings or lunch with clients, the khakis and button-down shirt you might wear if you’re just working in the office won’t cut it. The situation may not necessitate a formal suit and tie, but you’ll look very proper in a sports coat, slacks, shirt and tie.

For women, things get more complicated. Don’t ever assume that casual means you can wear jeans to the office every day. At the same time, don’t assume that you’ll be tied to solid-colored pants or skirts, and coordinating jackets. While those wardrobe staples are necessary and practical, you can still get creative by including some fun, cute and professional dresses and other seasonal fashions.

Image by Maegan Tintari via Flickr

Image by Maegan Tintari via Flickr

Modern work-appropriate dresses come in all styles and colors, so you can infuse your work wardrobe with some personality. Be mindful of acceptable dress length. It may be okay to wear super short mini skirts or dresses when you go clubbing with girlfriends, but on days when you’re meeting girlfriends after work, wear your business casual clothing to work, and change into your club attire just before you leave your workplace.

If you are trying to prove that you deserve a promotion, or want to become a big player in your company’s administration, understand what you wear to work will be every bit as important a consideration as your credentials on paper. Every employee is an ambassador and representative of the company they work for, and everything from long-term job security to raises and promotions hinges on your effectiveness in that capacity and how people outside the company perceive you — both professionally and personally.

Written by Abby Saunders. Abby is a marketing rep for several fashion designer upstarts. She loves tea and anything aqua.

Image by Shanghai Sky via Flickr

Image by Shanghai Sky via Flickr