Stress Management Online Training

Date: September 30th, 2020 from 11-13h
Location: Zoom online

Different life circumstances and unexpected events can lead to stress, and potentially health problems and daily functioning. Most of us are taught to fight stress and use different strategies to reduce stress, but what if we’ve been taught wrong? What if we’re not supposed to fight stress, just to better understand it? What if the stress itself was never a problem, but our attitude towards it?

What will you learn?

• How do Harvard researchers look at stress and what do the latest studies in this field tell us?
• What is the paradox of stress?
• Can we change our physiology with the help of proper mindset and how is it related to stress?
• How the development of WhatsApp, Instagram and the electron microscope is linked to stress?

We hope that with this training you will:

• Understand stress better and learn to accept it, not run away from it
• Use stress to your advantage
• Learn to stress better 😊

Who is this training for?

Everyone! To those of you who are currently stressed, those of you who were stressed until yesterday, but want to learn how not to be tomorrow, as well as those of you who are waiting for an important project in December that you are already stressed out about! 😊

Facilitator

Iva Miljić, Learning and Development Consultant

Free registration, number of participants limited

Call and find out more details +381 69 27 47 848

You can send your application to info@jakalounge.com

Can we be a bit dissatisfied and very satisfied with our job at the same time?

Frederick Irving Herzberg was an American psychologist who became famous with his clarification and invention of the term “job enrichment” in 1968. This is one of the first attempts to design employees’ job in a way to include interesting and challenging tasks whose performance should lead to improving employees’ skills, and consequentially to the increase of their status and/or salary level.

Although the controversy about this and similar topics could have been heard earlier, it seems that it took half a century for all professionals to start actively thinking about utilizing this idea. Psychologists, HR managers, couches, managers, and leaders, all now speak about the critically low engagement of employees. According to Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace” report, 85% of employees on the global level are not engaged in their workplace. That is why there have been some new ways created to make the workplace fun and relaxed in the hope that employees will motivate themselves to be more dedicated to their work and the company. So today, no modern company will allow itself to miss table football, a room for rest and games, fresh fruit on a daily level, free coffee, even free lunch at places, massages during workdays, paid fitness and sports programs, organization of team buildings and various events where employees’ family members are invited. Of course, before that, it is necessary to offer private health and life insurance to the whole family, provide education and development budgets, and ideally allow for an opportunity for occasional work from home. When you think of a company that offers all of this, it is really a good question how in such an environment some employees can come reluctant to work, forcing themselves to endure one more day before the weekend and vacation. At first glance, it seems that anyone who passes the selection in a company that is earning enough to provide all of these benefits to all of their employees must have an incredible capacity, ambition and motivation to achieve business results coming to work fresh and motivated.

Herzberg ‘s two-factor theory, from which the term “job enrichment” was created, says it is possible to be unmotivated even in environments that provide maximum benefits! You are probably wondering how it is possible. Herzberg says that there are:

  • Factors that affect the mitigation of dissatisfaction, the so-called hygiene factors, such as job safety, salary, timely annual vacations, and all that we have specified in the preceding paragraph.

and

  • Factors affecting the increase of satisfaction, the so-called Motivators –challenging work, recognition and rewards for employees’ efforts and performance, responsibility for their job, an opportunity to do something important in the workplace, make a decision and feel like we are contributing to something important.

According to Herzberg, if there is no fulfilment of hygiene factors, employees will be definitely dissatisfied. Still, if they are fulfilled, it is not necessary that employees will become satisfied with their work. To become satisfied, it is necessary that, in addition to the existence of hygiene factors, there are motivators in the workplace – all those opportunities to feel that we are worthy, that we are valued, appreciated, that our contribution really has some weight and meaning.

Without it, we can bathe in the swimming pool every day, have massage, parties, meet-ups (in pre-pandemic times), and still not be satisfied with the work because our boss is a micromanager not giving us the freedom to offer an idea, create something; we do not see the meaning of repetitive work that seems completely aimless; we have to comply with bureaucratic and meaningless papers just to meet procedures which were set 10 years ago; our boss is a bully presenting our results as their credit while never having a word of praise for us.

Therefore, high-performing companies direct their focus to the real welfare of their employees, not only concerning physical and technical benefits but indeed in terms of creating a productive working environment based on employees’ personal talents where everyone can contribute according to their unique set of individual strengths and in their own specific way.

For organizations seeking to improve employees’ engagement and consequently their performance, strengths-based development is a proven solution. To boost their business, leaders need to start developing people based on what is right for them. Yes, we are talking about taping into unique individual talents that we all have, and the first step is to understand ours.

We, at Jaka Lounge, truly believe that when people use their personal strengths, they achieve the best results, and we created a special program based on the Gallup’s Strength Based Development.

Lunch or Coffee Interview – A Quick Guide

Congratulations! Being invited to lunch means that you have reached the finals of the selection process. If a potential employer decided to invite you to lunch, it means that you have made an excellent impression so far and that they are seriously considering offering you a position within the team.

This is not an uncommon thing that employers decide to invite finalists to a more informal meeting – over a coffee or meal, especially when their team is small, or the position is high. A less formal and strict meeting is good for both sides as it allows them to discuss topics they probably would not discuss during a standard interview, and thus be able to get to know each other better on a personal level and to evaluate if their cooperation would be beneficial. Interests and hobbies are often topics of this kind of interview, and it makes it is easier to create a more accurate picture of the person sitting across the table based on their attitudes and non-verbal communication.

Since valuable opportunities like informal meeting before establishing the cooperation rarely occur in one’s career, it is normal for you to have jitters. As anxiety can contribute to things going the wrong way during such meetings, here are some tips to help you:

Preparation

As for any other kind of job interview – good preparation is half the success. That is why it is imperative to set aside enough time before this meeting to get informed and make this step in selection process easier for yourself – for many this kind of meeting can be much more stressful than a regular office meeting, as it represents stepping outside the comfort zone.

Study the job ad and remember the key points regarding your responsibilities as well as your qualifications so that you could mention that in the conversation and draw attention to yourself as a good choice.

Be up to date with innovations from your profession, read daily news so that you can start a conversation and avoid awkward silence. However, remember that you are in a business meeting, and some topics such as religion or politics are not appropriate.

You can find a good conversation topic on your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile, so if you are notified in advance of the person that will join you, visit their profile and find common interests.

Make sure you are informed of the meeting location so you could plan your departure time and avoid being late. Also, if you have an opportunity, flip through the menu in advance so you can order quickly and thoughtfully.

Choosing Food and Drink

As the primary goal of this meeting is to get to know the other party more closely, and enjoying the food and drink comes sideways, do not drag out too much when ordering. Be careful, because if it takes you too long to make an order, you can give an impression of a slow decision-maker, so it is a good idea to think ahead.

Do not go to a meeting too hungry, as an empty stomach can make you feel even more nervous, but do not go to the meeting completely satiated so that you be respectful to the invitee.

‘Play safe’ – order foods that you can easily eat (spaghetti with red sauce and similar dishes can be a bit tricky), and for drinks, it is only appropriate to order a non-alcoholic refreshment, while you should politely refuse alcohol even if the other party offers you.

Etiquette

Do not forget your manners. Be kind to the staff, take care of your eating habits and make sure that you stay neat. If you arrive early, check with the other party if they have booked a table where you could settle, otherwise wait outside the entrance until the other party arrives. Although the atmosphere is more relaxed during a meal or drink, keep an eye out – too casual clothes and heavy makeup can have a negative effect on the overall impression you give. Of course, at the end of the interview, be sure to thank the other party for their time and meal/drink.

Check, please!

It is kind of you to offer to pay the bill, and this can certainly help to reinforce a positive opinion of you. However, be assured that in most situations your prospective employer will have this cost in mind in advance since they have invited you.

Talk about the things you are passionate about, show a genuine desire for the position and the company and listen well to your interviewer. Take the opportunity to evaluate whether you would like to work together and enjoy the meeting, as this is most likely the last step after which you may receive the offer you have longed for.

Practical tips for a scheduled job interview

After receiving an invitation for a job interview, it is essential to prepare yourself for that and think in advance about different little things that can colour the whole interview experience. An interview itself can cause anxiety, nervousness, so make an effort to ease yourself and prevent anxiety about things that you can influence. Pay attention to details like this, especially if you are a beginner for whom these are the first steps in a professional career.

Coming to an interview

Information about the location and timing of an interview will generally be obtained during the first telephone call. Although most recruiters send the address with the correct information immediately after the call, if not, write down the address and number so that you do not get into the situation of not knowing where you need to appear. Make sure you remember the name of a person you are talking to so that you can give the person who welcomes you accurate information about it, as well as the position you applied for.

If you are unfamiliar with this part of the city, be sure to take a few minutes to investigate where the correct street is and the number on the map. Google maps is a very useful service that can help you find the correct addresses.

Make sure you get there 10 to 15 minutes earlier to get more relaxed and mentally prepared for the conversation that will follow. Also, this extra time can be beneficial in situations where you fail to find a location for the first time and then you will be very grateful to yourself for starting early. Be sure to consider both traffic and the fact that there may be traffic jam in the city if it is raining or if there are road works diverting traffic to the surrounding streets.

How to dress?

It is recommended that you come for an interview properly dressed, so-called “Business casual” dress code unless the situation and company require otherwise. Avoid over-the-top and loose things like sweatshirts and hoodies, and also, big neckline, shorts, short skirts/dresses, are not recommended. Sneakers and slippers or open-toed sandals are shoes that should be avoided when dressing for a job interview. The list of things that you should avoid that day includes striking jewelry and heavy perfumes.

Fighting the stage fright

Insomnia before an interview or stage fright and nervousness are often an integral part of a job interview, especially if you are a beginner to whom this is one of the first interviews. Therefore, it is important to prepare yourself and do mental preparation. If you generally have anxiety about important events, visualizing a positive outcome can be of great help to you in such situations. Try to think in detail about the whole interview situation, the questions the interviewer will ask you, as well as your answers. Focus on a positive outcome and give each question a detailed answer that best describes you as a person as well as your experience. There are a couple of other psychological techniques that can help you combat anxiety, and you can read more about them here.

Although the competition for the job is often high, thorough preparation for an interview can save you unnecessary annoyance and increase your chances of getting a job. Searching for a job is a job in itself, and it can sometimes be very exhausting, arduous and difficult, but it is very important that you persist in the search and be motivated because in the end there might be a job that you dreamed of when you first opened a page with job ads.

8 pieces of advice for finding your first job

Graduating from school represents the end of a fairly careless period for many people, and the process of finding a job or an internship can be very stressful. To make this process a bit easier, we provide tips that might be helpful when you are looking for job ads which you would like to apply for:

1. First, there are job portals where companies advertise vacant positions. Let us name some of them:

Globally:

Locally:

Searching by keywords, you can easily list positions that may be interesting to you but be sure to include synonyms and alternatively names of the positions you are interested in as well.

2. Another essential step is researching the market and making lists of companies that may be appealing to when it comes to gaining knowledge and building a career. For this step, you can visit a company’s LinkedIn page, where you can learn about their business, and through articles and posts, you can learn more about the company’s values and employees’ achievements. Also, this social network provides the option to search employees – so use this option to find out if you may already know someone how works at that company and who can share their experience first-hand. On each company profile on LinkedIn, on the left side of the page under the tab Jobs, you can look at all published job ads and apply in case you find some of them interesting.

3. In order to learn even more about the company you are interested in, visit their website. Most companies have a career page on their website – it is a section where vacant positions are published. In case there are no positions that you would be interested in applying, you can usually find an online form through which you can proactively send your CV.

4. If there is no option to submit your CV or in case no one from the HR reaches out to you, even to thank you for your interest, you can send your CV directly to a recruiter or someone from the HR department, via email which is published on their website. On LinkedIn, you can send an invitation for connection to someone from the HR team, and then send them a personalized message where you will mention your genuine interest for the company as this will increase your chances of success.

5. Connect with experts from the field and companies you are interested in through LinkedIn. LinkedIn also offers an option to share your CV publicly, and you can even invite your connections through a post to help you find a job.

6. Visiting a company in person seems a bit old-fashioned, but because it is unexpected nowadays, it can have a remarkable effect. If you are lucky enough, someone from the HR department will have a minute to meet you and talk to you about your goals. Making direct and personal contact will increase the chances of your CV not being lost and be invited for an interview if you make a positive first impression – remember, being proactive is always a plus!

7. Personal acquaintance and recommendation in many cases are very useful channels for finding a job, so do not forget to ask around – friends, relatives and colleagues. By talking to them, you can find out about companies that might be interesting to you, and even about positions that are not publicly advertised or might be planned.

8. Student organizations often offer internships for students or graduates, so inform yourself about all active organizations at your faculty or college and the programs they offer.

Job hunting process sometimes can be time-consuming and painstaking work, so besides these tips for job search for which we hope that will be useful for you and that will make this process easier for you, you can also find guidelines for writing a good CV, cover letter, and for different situations on the job interview on our blog.

If you would like to learn more about open positions with our clients or become part of our database, visit our Open positions page.

Fingers crossed!

Tests used during the selection process

Tests used during the selection process often create a mystification and are often part of a process that candidates fear and whose purpose they do not understand best. In order to clarify the concerns, we have listed in the following lines some of the tests most commonly used during the selection process:

Aptitude and knowledge tests

These types of tests are used when it is important for a particular position that you possess some specific abilities (numerical, verbal, special) or knowledge (Excel test) and are most often of the elimination type.

It is important to know that you cannot prepare for aptitude tests because they show your ability to do something, and do not bother to spend hours and hours solving different, often irrelevant, online tests. At some point, they can help you prepare for what you can expect in the test itself but do not consider them too important.

You can prepare for the knowledge tests if you know exactly which knowledge will be tested (which is usually the case). Most often, it is the knowledge that you have acquired during college or your previous work experience (economics, English, mathematics, programming, networks, etc.).

Personality tests

Nowadays, the market is flooded with a wide variety of personality tests, and it often happens that many of them are not relevant at all, however, in this article we will not go into detail about the types of personality tests. What is essential to know is that you cannot prepare for these tests because they evaluate you as a person and therefore, there are no right or wrong answers you can give in the test. Also, be honest on the test and strive to provide answers that really match you as a person in order to make the results relevant. The idea behind these tests is for psychologists in HR sector to assess whether you are the right candidate for a particular job and whether as a person you would fit well into your existing team, work environment, etc.

Apart from the tests above, there are many other specific ones that can be used during the selection process (e.g. driving test). What is important to note is that all these tests are confidential, meaning that only the person reviewing the test (HR or a hiring manager) will have access to your results and will not share them with anyone else.

Also, make sure you come rested to the test, concentrated, and prepared to spend some time in the room solving certain tasks. Do not think too much about whether you have done the task well and how much someone will like it. Do your best, and we are crossing our fingers for you to find the right job that will suit you and motivate you to move forward and develop yourself! 😊

Have you thought about a change in your career path?

Nowadays, it is quite common for people to make a complete change in a career direction and make a shift to a new occupation. The speed under which so many new job roles are opened and the availability of jobs on a remote basis globally have inspired people for a change. Usually, this happens in situations where we encounter difficulties in finding a new position in our area, or we feel that our job is repetitive or without challenges. In these situations, people look for solutions that sometimes involve complete retraining. Whether you decided to change your career direction entirely, or you wish to gain additional skills and knowledge to get a better job, it is good to keep in mind that during the selection process for a new position you will often be asked to explain your decision and explain why you chose to make such a step.

Changing your career path can be a confusing decision for the person interviewing you if you choose not to explain your reasons for doing so. If the interviewer is looking at your CV where you have been in a particular field for five years and then progressed and later decided to completely refocus to another area, a very logical question to ask is: What are the reasons for a career change?

Do your best to be honest and open and give reasons for making this decision. Some of the most common reasons are greater interest in a new field, financial stability, greater opportunities for promotion, easier opportunity to find a job, etc. Any reason can be relevant and good if you explain it well.

During the selection process, you can probably expect to be asked for more detailed information about your current (old) job. Also, they could ask you to talk in more detail about the reasons why you decided to change your career path. Do not be surprised about it and do not think an interviewer is judging whether your reasons are good enough. His role is to understand them, not to condemn you.

The best way to increase your chances for getting a new job in a new area is to gain some practical experience in the field which you can get through projects conducted on your own or for someone pro bono. Make sure to mention these experiences in your CV so your proactivity and motivation for a new job could be seen.

A decision to make a change in the career direction is never easy. However, do not let this discourage you and prevent you from fulfilling your wishes. Good preparation and persistence are often enough to drive the change you want to make. 😊

If you need support during the career change process, take a look at our service Career Transition.

How to present yourself on your first job interview

In whatever stage of your career, a job interview is the most common event that causes jitters and requires preparation. However, it is rare when this event is as stressful as when it comes to an interview for our first job. Graduates or students in search of jobs other than the standard “How will I introduce myself?” and “What is he going to ask me?” have specific concerns – “What will I talk about when I have no previous work experience?”.

One of the frequent delusions of people just coming to the labour market is that they are implicitly expected to already have work experience. However, there is a large number of entry-level positions that do not require previous working experience. Besides, relevant experience does not necessarily have to be work itself.

We will present different activities that may be significant, and that any recruiter will want to know more about if you apply for the first job.

INTERNSHIPS

Most graduates intuitively know that an internship activity is closest to work experience. However, they often do not present their internship experience in the most appropriate way. If you have performed your internship in a company that is a recognizable name on the market, it may be a plus for your interview. However, what is more important than that is how thoroughly you describe the knowledge that you have gained. It is advisable to present the duties you have performed in detail on the job interview, as well as your learning process. Be free to explain the challenges you encountered, but also how you overcame them. Describe your relationship with the mentor and team members in practice and how you used the feedback that you got. It is crucial whether you have acquired knowledge relevant to the job you apply for. Therefore, before an interview, consider what activities on internship are most similar to those which would be waiting for you at a potential future job.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Most faculties provide a possibility of inclusion in organizations that bring students to a specific area. In addition to these, there are organizations that encourage cooperation of students of different faculties for international exchange, better interconnection between faculties, or finding adequate student practices. On arrival for the first job interview, it is often a belief that the activity and position in these organizations cannot be relevant to the labour market. If we look more carefully at the structure of a typical student organization, it can be observed that most of them have sectors similar to those which can be found in companies. For example, experience in the marketing sector of your student organization can often be great preparation for positions in that area. Therefore, describe your duties in student organizations at the first interview in detail. The challenges you have encountered, the sectors you have communicated with and the projects you have been involved in – all of this can be interesting information to a recruiter. Furthermore, independence and proactivity, which are frequent escorts of engagement in student organizations, may leave a good impression about you as a future professional.

VOLUNTEERING

Behind almost every major event that is organized from sports competitions to film festivals, a large number of volunteer students stand. These activities can be an excellent opportunity for the acquisition of organizational and communication skills. Also, many students choose to be active in the NGO sector to advocate for specific social goals. Such engagements can be interesting for companies since most of them choose certain social goals that they support.

STUDENT PROJECTS

Apart from the standard exam checks, today’s studies include pre-exam obligations in the form of drafting different presentations and projects which can later be a part of your CV. They provide insight into the analytical skills and topics that interest you. Therefore, do not be surprised if a recruiter wishes to discuss the engagement on student projects in more detail.

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES

Another possibility available to today’s students is to have part of your studies abroad. Also, a large number of students decide to work abroad during summer and programs such as Work & Travel. Although these programs do not have to have direct links to the job that you apply, international experience and active use of foreign languages can be your advantage, especially if you apply for a position in a company that operates on a global level.

Before your first job interview, go through your activities during your studies. Apart from these, all experiences that have helped you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the work that interests you will be relevant. Good luck!

Tricky Questions at Job Interviews

During an interview, we as recruiters generally do not ask tricky questions, although candidates often seem to think the opposite. That is precisely why we would like to clarify what an intention lays behind certain questions that candidates are most often hesitant about how to answer and ask if there is an accurate answer.

What are your salary expectations for this position? There are no accurate and inaccurate answers to this question, but it is asked with an intention to determine whether candidate’s expectations and employer’s budgets fit. This is often important to determine at the very beginning of the process because if an employer does not have a budget high enough to meet the candidate’s expectations, there will be no joint co-operation in the end. In such a case, we spent both employer’s and candidate’s time, discontent occurs on both sides, and maybe that time could have been better invested in some other position that better coincides with wishes and capabilities of both sides.

Being an HR agency, we are often obliged not to communicate exact amounts of salaries to candidates, and in order to come to successful placement of a candidate, we strive to determine expectations of each candidate. We can comment on whether an expectation fits into or exceeds the budget for position so that a candidate is about to gain an overview of the situation. If expectations are too high for an employer’s budget, it is important for us to determine whether a candidate is flexible and if there is a space for negotiations to ultimately employ a candidate on mutual satisfaction.

An amount that you specify as an expected salary will sometimes not be the same as an amount that was eventually offered to you. The height of wages can be fixed and the same for all employees in this position, so your expectations do not really affect the final offer, but there may be a salary range for certain positions, and the exact offer is created according to an individual: given the knowledge, experience, and skills in every concrete case.

Before an interview, be sure to get informed about the approximate salary of people in similar positions and consider the salary that you would really be satisfied with in the future. It is always good to come prepared with predetermined and realistic expectations so as not to have an unpleasant surprise during an interview.

 Are you actively looking for a job and are you already involved in other selections processes? This question is also not a tricky one, but a technical one set to determine the selection process itself. A recruiter will consider this information of great importance so that they can adjust the speed of the selection process. Namely, if at the moment of an interview you already have a business offer from another company, it would not be fair to you, or to other employer, to wait for feedback for a longer period. Therefore, we strive to finish this process as quickly as possible, and of course, with the intention of being the first to give you a job offer. It is also important that we know what jobs you apply to, in order to get a picture of your wishes for the future and your career plans.

What is your biggest flaw? This question can be asked in several different ways, in terms of what you do not like about yourself or where you see the space for personal progress. We all have highs and lows, and it is important that before the job interviews, you think about your advantages, but also your weak sides, and to reflect about what traits are really needed for a particular position. Before the interview, read and analyse the job description, identify the skills necessary to perform the specified duties. Turn your flaw into your own asset and show a desire for progress through the idea of how to improve in this field. This question is certainly not set to eliminate you, but rather to give you an opportunity to present yourself in the right light, and show that you are realistic and conscious of yourself, so that it would be good to avoid cliché answers such as “I am a perfectionist, I am too devoted to work” or “I do not have any flaws,” because they sound untruthful and inconclusive. Be honest when you talk about your flaws, because that is something which will be sensed from a recruiter’s side.

Recruiters have a task to find the best person for a specific position. If they misestimate your ability and motivation for a job, there is a possibility that you can get a job that you will not be satisfied with and you will have a desire to change it very quickly. Although a candidate’s motive to be chosen for the position they applied for is always very strong, the best situation for all involved parties (candidates, recruiters, and employers) is that behind our motivation for a job is a good analysis of ourselves and the job that we are applying for. Therefore, prepare yourself for an interview as well as you can and present yourself honestly in the best possible way.

Millennials, a new challenge for HR

In one of his speeches, organizational consultant Simon Sinek points out that the generation of millennials is characterized by a need to “making an impact”. In a few years, members of this generation, composed of people born between 1980 and 1995, will make 50% of the global workforce and it is important to consider how characteristics of the millennials affect their professional habits.

The great desire of this generation to significantly contribute to the companies where they work can be a great advantage for employers. For several decades, one of the main challenges of HR professionals is how to motivate employees. The influx of young, ambitious and educated professionals at first glance seems like an ideal solution. Still, Simon Sinek points to the other side of the coin. The millennials, although ambitious, can hardly be described as patient. If the experience of “making an impact” is missing shortly after the arrival in the new company, it can often be followed by the decline of motivation and frustration with professional stagnation. In extreme cases, the consequence of the lack of impact can be a transfer to another company. In this way, paradoxically, highly motivated workers become a challenge for the HR sector.

On the one hand, HR experts are trying to cope with this problem through a design of continuous education and advancement programs. This is how you try to focus and seize the potential of that motivated generation. Still, it seems that these efforts seem not to have given much effect so far. A 2018 Deloitte survey shows that even 48% of the millennials do not plan to work for the current employer within two years, while 28% of them plan not to stay longer than 5 years. Apart from the opportunity to advance, one of the main reasons why millennials move to other companies is a better balance of private and business life and greater flexibility.

It seems that, for now, millennials accept a career path that implies frequent changes. Some estimates suggest that if the trend continues, the average millennial will change up to 20 positions for the rest of their career. Still, as Simon Sinek himself says, making impact is a process. The actual contribution of the company does not come with the position, it is built through long-term advocacy. It seems that if the impact of the influence remains the ultimate goal, the changes will have to be also made by millennials, not just companies.