How to be a Great Office Junior

When some people think of internships, apprenticeships or office junior roles they can often automatically associate them with tea making, filing and general dogsbody work around the office. This is not always the case. An office junior role can be the perfect stepping stone to a high flying career and for those straight out of school or college it is an ideal opportunity to gain experience within an office environment, learn basic skills and be paid for the privilege. OK, so the pay isn’t always great but the experience and potential opportunity for progression is priceless, especially when you consider that the vast majority of career fields have some sort of office back up, if not solely office based.

Being an office junior can be intimidating, especially if this is your first job role and your colleagues are all that bit older. Offices can be loud, bustling and sometimes stressful environments with a code of conduct of their very own. But making a good impression as an office junior can mean opening doors for the future so here are some tips to ensure you are the very best you can be in your new role as an office junior.

Ask questions…but not too many

On your first day you should be given a brief induction either by a manager or other senior member of staff. Use this opportunity to ask important questions about the company and its purpose/aims as well as details about your own job role. To be successful as an office junior you need to understand what the business is all about and how you will slot in. Don’t be afraid to ask – your first day may be daunting but it is the best time to find out this sort of basic information and will show your new employers that you are enthusiastic about their company. If you leave it a week or two then ask ‘so, what is it that we actually do here?’ you will look unprofessional and disinterested to your workmates. On the flip side, don’t overload on information on your first day. You will pick up a lot of information as you go and an influx of insignificant questions may irritate your colleagues.

Be aware of office etiquette

Like it or not there is a certain etiquette to working in an office but this isn’t as formal or frightening as it may first sound. It simply means behaving in a respectful, considerate and professional way that doesn’t upset or annoy any of your colleagues. This can range from things such as being well dressed, punctual and tidy to practicing general good manners and avoiding office gossip. When working within close proximity of others, it is generally considered bad etiquette to infringe on their senses – this means cluttering their vision with too many trinkets from home, offending their noses with strong smelling lunches/unwashed socks or being unnecessarily loud or offensive when speaking. You should also try to keep your desk tidy as an untidy workspace indicates a lack of respect and organization. Other people may also need to work from your desk so keep the cuddly toys to a minimum and take advantage of free corporate gifts (which are usually office accessories/stationery) in order to keep your workspace looking professional and well organized instead of an extension of your bedroom. As you go on you will also learn correct telephone and email etiquette but as a newbie it is wise to concentrate on office etiquette first.

Accept a ‘varied’ workload

By ‘varied’ we mean that from time to time you will have to accept some of the more menial and tiresome tasks in the office. Organizing that batch of filing or laminating brochures may seem dull but everyone has to start somewhere. If you complain too much then you may appear sulky, petulant and ungrateful for the opportunity so try and suck it up in the short term but do remember to….

Show initiative

Remember that you are here to learn. Sadly you may stumble across some colleagues who permanently seem to give you their most uninteresting work to carry out but you do need to feel as if you are progressing in your role and learning new things. If you feel that you are being taken advantage of then speak to a manager about it but don’t complain, just explain that you are interested in learning about some of the more intricate office practices. Ultimately you cannot expect to be given the same levels of responsibility as senior members of staff who have taken a long time to reach their positions and are certainly being paid a lot more than you. But if you are interested in learning about finances in the workplace, for example, then ask to spend a day shadowing someone in the accounts department. Not only will this give you an insight into an area of interest but it shows managers that you are able to show your initiative and speak up in order to progress.

Be friendly

Offices are very social environments and you will not be able to avoid interaction with your new workmates for long. On your first day it is easy to feel shy, intimidated and to try and hide away but the longer you keep this up for the harder it will eventually be to speak out. Instead say hi, introduce yourself and be polite and friendly. Even if you’re not interested in building life long friendships with these people, a sociable and relaxed vibe will enable you to feel more comfortable asking for help thus making your job much easier.

How Facebook Can Ruin Your Career

How Facebook Can Ruin Your Career

How Facebook Can Ruin Your Career?

Since its inception back in 2004, Facebook has quickly grown into one of the most popular and successful social media platforms around. According to statistics, currently there are over 13 million Facebook users in Malaysia, putting the country among the top 20 of most active Facebook users worldwide.

But be forewarned: excessive use and slips of words/photos may land you in trouble, jeopardize your career, or even ruin it. As Facebook popularity continues to rise, so will the extent of your life exposure. Privacy problems will begin to set in and even the Facebook founder’s sister, Randi Zuckerberg, is not spared of this issue.

Lack of safeguarding will expose you to all those things you are up to. The truth is, Facebook can have an adverse effect on your career in many ways.

The worst that could happen

Some three years ago, a British woman employee, who had apparently forgotten that the boss is on the friend’s list, wrote in her Facebook wall that “I hate my job” and that her boss is a “wanker”. Her boss immediately responded to her status update that ended with “don’t bother coming in tomorrow” and “I am serious.”

This is not the first, and certainly not the last case of a worker being fired from job because of what they have written in their Facebook account. A worker in Switzerland was met with the same fate after she was found active in her Facebook account while on a medical leave. To date, more than 20 cases where workers lost their job with Facebook as the instigator have been made public.

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Career Prospect in Sports Science

Career prospect in sports scienceCareer prospect in sports science explored

Sports science is indeed an interesting career discipline. The field generally involves scientific approaches and studies of improving sports performance, encompassing various subfields that include physiology, motor control, psychology, sports management, diets and nutrition, biomechanics and performance analysis/feedback. Behind that immense success of world-record sprinter Usain Bolt is a hugely competent sports science team that has been dedicating years of their work to bringing the athlete into world fame today.

For decades, sports science experts have been in great demand from teams and nations wishing to bring their sport into a different level. Many universities now offer higher education opportunities, such as degree in sports science in the wake of the growing demand. Careers and job opportunities for a sports science grad can be found abundant in various local, national and club sports teams, fitness centers, gymnasiums, universities and even sports retailers.

Along with the growth opportunities of the sports science career, you can also enjoy a peace of mind in connection to the monetary benefits the sports science jobs have to offer. With numerous job opportunities to choose from, you must go with the one offering long-term results. Following are the career prospects in sports science you can possibly look into.

1. Sports Therapist

The role of a sports therapist is to consult athletes and sportsmen in training for optimized output. Ideally, a sports therapist would have a combined expertise and knowledge in the sport they are taking charge of (e.g., football, tennis, athletics, etc.) as well as the physiology involved in the sport. Job scopes of a sports therapist may involve sports massage, electrotherapy (e.g., ultrasound), core stability training, muscle strengthening and so on.

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How to Become a Lawyer

How to become a lawyer

How to become a lawyer?

Many students aspire to study law and pursue careers in law for many reasons. While some students want to pursue a challenging and fulfilling careers in law, others want to effect change or help members of their respective communities. If you are thinking of pursuing a career in law, then you need to get acquainted with the expectations and requirements of law schools and state bar associations. In the section that follows, we shall look at fundamental things that may help you in your quest to become a lawyer.

Enrolment in a law school

Like most other demanding courses, a degree in law requires more consideration and preparation. The reason is that most law schools are highly selective of the students who enroll for their programs. Many law schools prefer applicants with high grades with good record in extra curricular activites. Critical thinking is also required as it forms the basis of creating and evaluating arguments surrounding an issue. So, if you are thinking of enrolling in a law school, you have to take these requirements seriously.

Studying and training as a lawyer

If you are interested in pursuing a career in law, then you need to be cognizant of the work habits and lifestyle of law students before you enroll in  law school. The rigorous study cycle may seem quite disenchanting, but it nurtures students to be meticulous and diligent as is required of attorneys and lawyers. As a student, you should have good research and documentation skills. In addition, you should know how to source information, organize your ideas, and present arguments in a persuasive manner. Students are required to read widely and assimilate the information quickly. Besides that you should be ready to study for long hours and undertake exhaustive reviews and analysis of cases.

Traits of good lawyers

Lawyers are expected to have a deep understanding of legal issues and to keep up to date with changing laws and legal systems. Most importantly, they must be able to advocate different interests some of which they may not personally agree with. Fundamentally, lawyers should have excellent verbal and written communication skills which are requisite for effective negotiation and persuasion. The demanding and exhaustive work requires diligence and commitment of the highest level.

Certification and licensing to practice law

For you to work as a lawyer, you must complete your law degree and pass the bar examination. A law degree qualifies you to work in private practice or with big law firms and corporations. Since law careers are highly competitive, a law degree alone does not guarantee you job. Good grades may build your portfolio, but it is personal initiative and dedication that makes you a good candidate to a prospective employer. To work as a lawyer, you must also possess good analytical and problem solving skills.

What kind of lawyer?

Law is a broad field which covers many areas that overlap. Lawyers work with different entities, from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, interest groups, and corporate firms. If you want to become a lawyer, you should decide whether you want to work in in civil criminal or in civil litigation. Civil law focuses on agreements such as contracts, leases, wills, and mortgages while criminal law focuses on individual crimes. There are also special areas of corporate and private practice for law graduates.

Attorneys and lawyers study agreements and situations to avoid litigations, not to engage in confrontations and lawsuits. Lawyers read, research, discuss and negotiate with clients and parties in a lawsuit.  If you pass the bar examinations and get sworn as an attorney, you can pursue any of the following specializations:

  • Trial lawyer
  • Corporate lawyer
  • Intellectual property lawyer
  • Property lawyer
  • Environmental lawyer
  • Patent lawyer
  • Government lawyer
  • Insurance lawyers

Besides the above areas of specialization, you can work as an international lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer, or even a probate lawyer.

How much is a lawyer’s salary?

All law graduates are required to do chambering, which is a form of law apprenticeship, before they can be qualified lawyers. In Malaysia, a chambering allowance of RM800-RM1200 is paid, while a qualified lawyer gets a salary between RM2500 and RM3500. The figure goes higher as the number of experience accumulates. A report by indicated that lawyers with between 5 and 9 years earn between RM4,500 and RM7,500 monthly. In the US market (experienced lawyers), statistics from Bureau of Labor shows that the annual median salary range for lawyers is between US$60,000 and US$137,000 ($5,000 and $11,000 monthly). A lawyer’s salary do vary depending on experience and employer.

Law partners tend to earn more than lawyers in private practice. Lawyers in big law firms earn six-figure yearly salaries, that include profit sharing. It is not unusual to find corporate lawyers earning half a million dollar or more per year. On the other hand, lawyers in smaller legal practice earn more modest incomes. Regardless of their experience and area of practice, lawyers make decent incomes that guarantees them comfortable lifestyles.

Career outlook for lawyers

The career outlook and employment for lawyers remains positive. Country laws continue to evolve and with it, the demand for litigation services will always be around. Government reports indicate employment is slowly shifting from individual practice to employment in large firms. However, competition still remains a challenge for new lawyers. So, if you want to go into private practice, then you should consider working in smaller cities where competition is relatively low.

Regardless of your motivation for pursuing a career in law, the fact remains that legal practice is both challenging and rewarding at the same time. High grades and demonstration of requisite skills is necessary for enrollment in a law school. Graduates with good academic records and requisite skills stand a good chance of securing the best job opportunities. To work as a successful lawyer, you must complete a law degree and pass the bar exam. Thereafter, you can choose to work in private practice or in a law partnership.