Maintaining your mental wellbeing when working from home

Maintaining your mental wellbeing when working from home

Posted March 16, 2023

Increased flexibility and freedom as well as avoiding that pesky morning commute are just a few of the perks that come with the territory of working from home. But what about the flip side? From missing out on the office banter to work seeping in to your personal time, your mental wellbeing can take a real hit. So how can you maintain your mental health when working out of office? Here are our tips:

1. Stay connected

Our digitally-driven world means that you can step in to your office without even stepping out the front door. While these technological advances have allowed us to connect from anywhere in the world, it is also the very thing that has made us feel more disconnected than ever. While working from home gives you more autonomy in your schedule and facilitates some of your deepest work, one of its largest pitfalls is the social isolation that can come from working alone. There’s no water cooler to mill around with your colleagues. It’s just you and your Sodastream. It’s really not the same.

To tackle these feelings of isolation, hop on a FaceTime call with your team or schedule regular Zoom meetings. Yes, you can email back and forth, but seeing your team members’ faces and hearing their voices can help to replicate that true office environment, even if only for an hour or so. Use this time, not only to discuss work-related tasks, but to also catch-up and connect. Social interaction is great for your wellbeing. Not only does it have the benefits of lowering stress and boosting your morale, it can also help you to perform your best work. So make sure to pencil this time in.

2. Get your heart rate up 

Exercise can work wonders in improving your mental wellbeing. Not only does it reduce stress and anxiety, but it also gears you to be more productive and efficient. There are only wins here. Take 30 minutes, either during your lunch break or at the start or end of your working day to squeeze a work-out in. If you don’t have enough time for a full cardio sesh, it’s a great idea to take a walk around the block, if only to get some fresh air. Sometimes this is all you need to gear yourself towards your best performance.

3. Take a break

When working from home, you can typically complete deep, undisrupted work. If you’re a WFH master, then you can appreciate the lack of distractions your home office affords. After a while though, you may start to miss the hustle and bustle that comes with the territory of the workplace. You also may not realise, but those distractions can provide you with the opportunity to take micro-breaks. Taking the time to recharge can actually allow you to tackle your most pressing tasks with true laser focus.

A great idea is to treat your day as though you were in the office. Take a lunch break as normal and step away from the keyboard. Get outside and take a walk or head to your local cafe to grab a bite to eat for a change of scenery. Getting out of that physical work environment means you can shift to a more relaxed mindset. No one can work for hours on end without a break. You’re not a robot. Take mini breaks throughout your day to reset. Your mind will thank you.

4. Tackle feelings of guilt 

When working from home, you may battle with feelings of guilt for not physically being present in the office. You may overcompensate by making yourself more available than your in-office counterparts, driving you to feel that you should be constantly accessible, sometimes beyond working hours. With the continued advancement of technology, modern workers are always within reach, be it through their phone, email or other online platforms. This makes it an almost impossible task to disconnect. This is why you should…

5. Develop a schedule 

As the adage goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So developing a plan is key. Determine your working hours and stick to them. A great idea is to work the hours you would typically work in the office. A 9-5 work day can help you maintain a sense of normalcy and will allow you to stick to a routine. It also means you won’t be falling in to the trap of ‘just answering a few emails’ at 5pm, which soon rolls in to 6pm and the next thing you know, it’s 8 and you’re still at your desk. Without a physical team around you, it can be easy to lose track of time. You don’t want your work to start bleeding in to your personal time, that is why it’s important to…

6. Maintain a separate work and personal space

It’s important not to blur the lines of work and personal life when working from home. Set up a work space and ensure it is a distinct area from the rest of your house. If you need help with this, read our article on how to set up your work from home station. If you lack this division, then it goes from simply leaving a few work papers in the kitchen, to work quickly infiltrating every aspect of your life. You can’t transform your entire living space into your office. You need a place to disconnect and escape. That is why the cardinal rule is to never complete work from your bed. Your personal living areas should stay that way – personal. If you start to blur these lines, then you will never truly be able to disconnect.

While working from home is great due to the flexibility it provides, it is still important to take steps to maintain your mental wellbeing. If you are looking for an IT role with flexible working arrangements, make sure to check out our job search.

To read more,  check out our tips and tricks for virtual onboarding and our working through COVID-19 guide.

The benefits of working with national sales recruiters

The benefits of working with national sales recruiters


Looking for top sales candidates is no easy task. As the face of your company, you want to make sure the salespeople you recruit are at the top of their game. That’s where recruiters come in. Sales recruiters with a national presence provide a multitude of benefits. From enhancing your pick of candidates to gaining an insight into regional markets, there are plenty of benefits to reap.


1. A look into the market

A national sales recruiter will provide you with in-depth insights into the local market that you are looking to recruit in. According to Talent’s Sales and Business Development Recruitment Specialist, Thomas Mackenzie, “Things like average salaries, average tenure, and realistic commission structures based on market conditions should only be one phone call away.” If you are not based in a particular city but are seeking talent from that local pool, then a national recruiter will be on call to help with any question you may have. They will know the local market well, possess strong knowledge of the candidates within, and be well versed in the different salary trends and skillsets prevalent.


2. Connections, connections, connections

National sales recruiters are especially helpful when struggling to find candidates within your immediate area. With a presence in multiple locations around the country, they have the relationships and people power to dedicate towards finding the strongest candidates for the roles you’re seeking to fill. If you can’t find that stellar salesperson in Perth, it may just be that your perfect sales candidate is waiting to be found in Melbourne instead. Mackenzie explains “national sales recruiters are in the market every day and have connections in different cities who can help you locate the exact talent you’re after. And now that we’ve experienced working remotely, why be constrained by borders?”. A national sales recruiter can break down these barriers for you, opening the way to a brand-new talent pool.


3. Time is money

Using a national sales recruitment agency will shorten the time to hire, meaning you can fill your vacancies with star salespeople in no time. With access to a pool of pre-screened candidates, your sales recruiter can present you with a carefully selected group of talent to consider. So, save yourself the countless hours of scanning through hundreds upon hundreds of applications and leave it to the professionals. They can connect you with the very best candidates for your needs.


4. Face-to-face contact 

Salespeople are the face of your organisation, so you will want to know that whoever you hire for the role is a fit culturally and truly represents your company’s values. According to Mackenzie “if your sales team spends considerable time in the field, it is even more important that your recruiters are meeting these candidates prior to submission.” National recruitment agencies with multiple office locations are best equipped to satisfy this requirement so you can rest easy knowing your candidates have been met prior to their submission.


5. Hire the best person for the job, not the best candidate who has applied

Utilising a sales specialist means that you won’t just hire the best person who has applied to the advert you have placed on LinkedIn or Seek. You will instead find the top salesperson in the market who suits your business needs. According to Talent’s Sales and Business Development Recruitment Specialist, Jenna Daly, “A sales specialist won’t just place an advert and secure the best applicant from this. They will proactively use their own network, speaking to existing candidates and clients they know to gain referrals, as well as proactively contacting and headhunting passive candidates that fit the brief”. The best sales professionals are usually passive, so hiring a specialist is the best way to ensure every candidate approach is covered.


At Talent, we’re experts in sales, tech and digital recruitment. With an international presence in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA, and the UK, we have a strong understanding of these national markets and have the skills, knowledge and expertise to help you find the right people for your needs, wherever you may be located. Get in touch today.

What’s culture got to do with it?

What’s culture got to do with it?


Purpose, values and why they’re important

Okay, picture this. You’re in the office and you walk over to someone in your payroll team and ask them what your company vision, mission, and values are. Can they tell you? Doesn’t matter if they’re one of your first employees and have seen you through from the start-up phase, or they only started last week, every person in your business should resonate with your vision, mission, and values. According to Forbes, good company culture can increase revenue by more than four times.

How do you make this happen? Have a look at your vision, is it the light on the hill that we’re all working towards? Take your mission, is that what you do every day? Not just you, everyone that sits around you, works remotely, the candidate interviewing in the next room. Your values; are they the things to live by every time you open your laptop or walk into a meeting?

If you hesitated when answering any of those questions, you may need to press pause and reassess. This is a huge deciding factor as a scale-up. People want to work for scale-ups because they want to be on the journey, and it’s often one of your biggest cards when competing against the big banks, multinationals, and companies with a lot more cash to splash.

This should resonate through everything that you do, not just the day-to-day dealing with each other and your customers. Have you got your Corporate Social Responsibility sorted? Put together some tangible things that your company can have a positive impact on. A great place to start is committing to a strong ESG strategy. This also connects your people and potential candidates to a bigger purpose and can be a big draw card when competing for top talent, but most importantly just being a better company.

So in short, nailing your purpose, values, vision and mission will set you up on the path to successful company culture.

“ More than ever candidates are focused on finding a company that offers them a meaningful mission, interesting problems to solve, and a chance to work on challenging, impactful projects.”  Kiri Evans, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, Immutable, on site via Talent

What’s your reputation like?

First things first, let’s just clear something up – Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and Employer Brand are not the same thing. Employer Brand often amplifies what your EVP is to your target audience but there’s a lot of things at play.

Your EVP should be a true reflection of what your team is getting out of their day-to-day, not something that your senior leadership team has thrown together over a few glasses of wine. What attracts people to your company can be a big variety of things, from culture, to work environment, career and development, pay and more, and how you deliver on the commitments that you made will be a strong indicator of how healthy your turnover stats are.

In its simplest form, Employer Brand is your company’s reputation as a good place to work. Think of this like lifecycle marketing. It doesn’t just happen around adoption (or hire), it’s a large funnel that starts with awareness and consideration. Your consumer brand can have a really positive (or in some cases negative) impact on your employer brand, if you’re doing really cool stuff as a consumer brand, likelihood is that people are going to want to get on board with that. However, this is definitely not enough. A couple of bad experiences and a change in consumer brand and you could be up the creek without a paddle.

Scale-ups have a buzz of their own, lean into that. Create a community around your brand and ensure that your EVP resonates with your people, and that you’re walking the talk. From there make sure your candidate journey and employee life cycle are second to none.

Interested in looking into this a little more? Get in touch. 

Pay it forward

Rewards do not have to be costly, or involve additional payments and bonuses. They can be as simple as feedback loops and open communication about a job well done. Employers should ensure that any rewards provided to colleagues are appropriate to the individual. Not all employees exercise at the gym or are interested in a long lunch with the champagne flowing, therefore discounted gym memberships or extended lunches or dinners might not be a one size fits all. It all comes down to being inclusive.

Not sure where to start? We’re going to sound like a broken record here but talk to your people. There are many different personas that make up a team, and there are lots of different tools that you can use to identify these differences to find out how best to reward. At Talent, we use a little something called the PI index, and we’ve found that it helps identify personal traits, thus building stronger, more sympathetic teams. Just like rewards, everyone communicates differently and being attuned to these different styles can help you in the long run.

According to the Harvard Business Review, 82% of people surveyed feel like their supervisors don’t recognise them and an additional 40% added that they would do more work if they were recognised more often. In a scale-up where people are wearing a lot of hats just to make things happen, this can have a big impact.

Moral of the story: A well-deserved pat on the back can go a long way. And it’s so easy to do without breaking the bank!

Different strokes for different folks

Open and honest communication from the top down can help to foster a positive culture within the business, where your people are kept informed of strategies, directions, outcomes, and significant changes. It’s a bit of a no-brainer that businesses that involve their teams in business planning and decision making are more likely to have an engaged workforce and retain valued employees. Your team will also feel a sense of recognition if their views are taken into account and they feel heard.  Check out our podcast on Internal Comms with Christie O’Toole from Salesforce – ​It’s the Vibe Podcast if you want to delve into this in a bit more detail.

Let’s get into it. How are you talking to your people; is the leadership team known for keeping secrets or are you an open book? Don’t get us wrong, there’s pros and cons with all types of communication, but the more open and honest the better off you’ll be in the long run. We all know the feeling of being out of the loop – it’s not fun!

Different people like different communication levels, styles, mediums, pretty much any variable you can think of applies here. Having a single source of truth is incredibly important. Your people need to know where to go for important updates. Please don’t make this another email chain, this is 2022.

There are a huge range of different communication channels that you can use, even company social media channels can be one. Our recruiters live on LinkedIn, so it’s no surprise that it’s often the first place they learn new information. There are about 1,000 internal comms channel providers, we work with Blink and Slack a lot if you need somewhere to start.

In the scale-up world, it’s safe to say that most of us are pretty tech savvy. Scaling a company around one persona never did inclusivity any favours. Have a think about how your communication style is received by different people across the business, and if you feel you aren’t cutting through, you may need to rethink how you deliver your message.

Some people aren’t a fan of the social media style communication system, and that’s okay too. Make sure that your managers are across what’s going on so that everyone feels included, regardless of how they get their news. All hands meetings are a great way around this, and helps reinforce a sense of community within your scale-up.

“The fastest way to get customers to love your brand is to get employees to love their jobs”– Tiffany Bova, Global Growth and Innovation Salesforce and award-winning author of Growth IQ.

If you want to dig into more insights, check out our 2022 More Than Money Salary Guide for market trends, regional insights, salaries, and more!

How to manage outcomes, not hours

How to manage outcomes, not hours


From the very first moment someone accessed their work emails outside of the office (most likely on a Blackberry), the need for human beings to be sitting at their desks in order to perform their roles began to diminish.

In our increasingly mobile and cloud-connected world, the hours we spend in the office are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Computers in our pockets have more fire power than the computers we had at our desks in the 1990’s, and we now have the ability to work from any location at any time. The entire world of work has evolved, so the way we manage must also change.

What still really matters are outcomes and results. We all seem to be fairly capable of managing people to outcomes when everything is going well. Freedom and flexibility are a breeze when your team is kicking goals. But what happens if someone is not meeting their KPI’s?

1. Ditch the old-school thinking

When our teams don’t deliver, we usually let our old fashioned thoughts on management prevail. We move to managing via time at work because it’s easy to resort to making judgements about what we can physically see our team doing. Did they arrive in the office 15 minutes late? Did they take an extra 20 minutes on their lunch break? We start to judge by what we can see, but is this really the right way to go about things?

Oftentimes, because of technology and flexible work policies, we can’t physically see the work our teams are doing. That is where trust comes in. We need to demonstrate to our teams that we trust them to deliver on their goals, and we need to give them the opportunity to work in their own way.  Provide them with this flexibility and put the onus on them to make it work. If they have clear goals and a sense of direction, they will deliver.

This isn’t always an easy thing to do though. When frustrated, it’s easy to give in to old-fashioned thoughts. You might feel as though it’s unfair, “I worked for 20 years before being able to negotiate Fridays working from home” and “I was never allowed to be late when I was the junior”. This may be well and true, but times are changing. While you may not have had the opportunity to work from home in your early days, you may instead have had the luxury of a clearer distinction between your personal life and work life. Speaking of which…

2. Be aware of blurred lines

While the ability to work remotely is all well and good, the barriers that define “work” and “home” are being increasingly blurred. The juggling of commitments by parents who work from home, in many cases means that they are available 24/7 – well, except perhaps for those hellish two hours between 5 and 7pm when they need to get dinner, bath and bed sorted in military precision.

We may not physically see the hours our teams put in to their work, but that does not mean that they are not plugging away to deliver quality results. Employers expect team members to take calls from clients outside hours, and sacrifice personal time to have a meeting with the UK team at 10pm, but are not so happy when they arrive at the office 15 minutes late. We can’t forget that flexibility works both ways. It can’t always be give and no take.

3. Presenteeism vs productivity

It’s also important to consider that the most physically present team members might not necessarily be the most productive. “Presenteeism” is defined as “the practice of being present at one’s place of work for more hours than is required, especially as a manifestation of insecurity about one’s job.” Woody Allen once said that 80% of success in life can be attributed to simply showing up, but growing research shows that’s not the case. It is of no value to your company to have a full office, but a team of unproductive people. Sure, they’re ticking the box of being present, and maybe they are going beyond that and staying back late at the office, but are they actually delivering? Again, it is easy to manage on what you can see, but are these employees actually performing, or just putting on a show? If you choose to manage on presence, this is something you need to consider.

4. It’s on us, not them

The relationship between manager and employee is a two-way street. Managing on hours is actually really lazy. It’s easy. What’s a bit more time consuming, but far more rewarding, is spending more time up front having clear and regular conversations with your team members about their goals.

Before you begin to question them on their punctuality, take a moment to consider your own actions. Have you been clear about what you are expecting and the objectives you want your team members to meet? Have you had a somewhat difficult conversation with them about what you really need them to be achieving? An employee with very clearly defined KPIs, objectives and goals should be trusted to manage their time however they need to.

With that being said, if your company prides itself on the values of connection and collaboration, it is not unreasonable for you to place the expectation on your team members to make an appearance in the office often. A culture of connection can’t be achieved if there are never any people around. It is also a great idea to be using digital engagement channels to foster collaboration during the times your team is not physically present. This way you can maintain the culture your company is known for, without compromising the flexibility policies you have in place.

The world of work is evolving, your management style needs to as well. Remember, it’s not about measuring hours, but about managing outcomes. You can’t always see what your team is doing, but you need to trust in them to deliver. This isn’t something reserved for the workplace of the future, it is something that needs to be happening now.

With return to office mandates rising high, get in touch with us today to find out how you can balance office culture with employee well-being to retain and attract top talent.

Advice for start-up founders

Advice for start-up founders


Vision, Values, Belief – getting the fundamentals right!

Start-up founders and entrepreneurs are often portrayed as enjoying lavish and excessive lifestyles and recent fallen angels are testament to this.

However, as someone who has started a company from nothing I can tell you that you need to keep your head down. It will take extreme hard work, plenty of self-belief and the backing of genuine supporters. Apply all of this in the right amounts and the rewards could be beyond your wildest dreams. And I’m not talking about financial rewards but the pride in seeing something that you started and invested your time, heart and soul into grow and develop into something that is making a real difference.

So if you are thinking of launching your own venture, or you have already taken that leap, I have some advice that might help you on your journey.

Clarify your vision

You have to have a clear vision and purpose to be successful in business otherwise you will risk falling by the wayside in the early stages. You also need a strong sense of conviction or people won’t join you on your journey, including both employees and customers. Belief in yourself and your venture is vital and it’s apparent to others when you walk into a room and begin talking.

When I started Talent our funding was limited but we had belief and purpose. It has always been a focus for me in terms of mapping out our journey whether short term or long term. Talent’s first logo was a spinning globe with an orbit track coming out of Australia. Even back then – from a home office in Perth, whilst survival was the key, we also knew where we wanted to go. But it’s more than that, vision is about finding and understanding, as Simon Sinek says, your ‘why’ and then building everything around it. Your purpose, your values and your vision should be clearly defined and something you keep front of mind every day.

Failure is part of success

No business has ever existed that got everything right. You will have failures and that’s a not a bad thing as long you take lessons away with you. How will you learn if you haven’t fallen and figured out what you did wrong so that you can fix it? Treat each failure as a way to learn and get better and don’t let it get to you – keep getting up and keep going. However it is important to know when to reassess your model and change focus.

Persistence is a great trait but make sure it doesn’t become mindless. For us at Talent this may have been reflected in our Asian excursions. We kept throwing funds into our expansion into places like Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong where there was never likely to be a great return for the nature of our business. As an Australian company it seemed to be the thing to do and we subscribed to the hype. Wrong! Those funds were always going to be better invested in innovation or places like the US and Germany where the potential returns for us are enormous. This is exactly what we have done.

Grow at the right speed but prepare for more

Businesses are not created overnight. Things will sometimes take longer than you expect, whether that’s finding the right team, building a strong customer base, raising funds, or making a profit. A lot of start-ups these days are focused on short-term quick growth, unrealistic valuations or immediate exits. If you are starting a business, my advice would be to spend time and resources getting your foundations right. Those who have patience, strong foundations and resilience are more likely to find success.

When we expanded to Sydney from Perth we made a decision to move HQ there and set up a back-office infrastructure that could handle a contracting business 20 times larger than we had at the time. It seemed a little crazy but I wanted to make sure we could handle the growth I was confident we would achieve. Sure enough, it happened and for many years we added 50 contractors a month which we absorbed without missing a beat. Many of that infrastructure team are still with us today.

Build a great team

The key to building a successful business is finding great people. This is everything! No one can do it alone and being able to build a strong team with the right dynamics, diversity and synergies is perhaps the greatest ability a leader can have. From my observations, many entrepreneurs and start-up founders focus too much on hiring people who are and similar to them in their thinking or will do what they’re told. You must be challenged whether you like it or not! There is often too much focus on breakneck growth, valuations and endless pivoting and not enough on building a true and lasting culture based on trust, respect, and long term value systems. Look at the person and personality first, and specific work skills second. Then hire people who will complement the existing team and yourself. Find complementary people who work well together. Make sure that the team feels ownership and is involved in the hiring process so there is buy-in. Also if you have a geographically dispersed business bring your people together regularly and get them on the same page. This was a challenge at Talent but also something we invested plenty of time and energy into. It’s been well worth it!

Take advice but be selective

Tune in and get connected to the business community that’s relevant to you. There are a lot of people who have done it before and can give you great advice. But at the same time be selective about who you ask advice of and who you listen to. Too much of the wrong advice and ideas can choke your creativity and your beliefs. Feedback and advice are important when you are starting up or in the early stages of your business, but you need to be able to put the feedback in context. If you can identify a good mentor then do so. Remember advice can come from the unlikeliest of sources – even from within your business and often from young or junior staff. It is very tempting to gravitate to highly successful wealthy people in business or your field, but they can sometimes be disappointing and prone to dine out on their own stories rather than listening to yours. Your customers can also be a great source of advice – never be shy about asking them how you can do a better job

And finally don’t forget friends, family and loved ones. They know you better than anyone and are likely to have the best handle on your emotional capacity – a vital component for a successful entrepreneur.

Be brave and good luck!

How to smash a video interview

How to smash a video interview


So, you’ve just been told your next job interview will be done via video. But don’t panic! Yes, remote interviews can present some challenges, but they also have many benefits – for example, you won’t need to travel to the company’s offices, or take any time off from your current role.

With the right amount of preparation, you should feel just as confident doing a video interview as you would in a “normal” one. So read on for our top tips on acing your video interview!

1. Be prepared

This is true of both in-person and video interviews: preparation is key. Look into the company (using websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor) and the person/people you’ll be speaking to, and spend some time reading through the job description and matching it to your CV to see which of your skills and past successes best match the role. Finally, make sure you prepare answers to some of the most common questions interviewers regularly ask.

2. Think of your tech

With video interviews, the main issues you might have to deal with will be technical. So before you’re due to start, make sure to do a tech test: do you have a stable internet connection? Are your microphone and camera working? We normally advise to use a laptop or desktop computer; however, if your phone has the capacity to handle a long video chat, you may be okay to use it.

3. No distractions, please

Now that your tech is good to go, it’s time to think about your environment. Avoid doing video interviews at coffee shops, libraries and other public places, where you’ll be bombarded with distracting noises and movement – instead, stay at home and choose a quiet, well-lit room with enough space to set up your equipment. If you live with family or friends, make sure they know your interview is taking place so they can remember to be quiet.

4. First impressions matter

While you may not be meeting the interviewer in person, your appearance and the way you present yourself will still be taken into consideration. So when you’re setting up and getting ready, try to imagine you’re doing a face-to-face interview and pick your clothes accordingly. You should also pay attention to your background, and try to keep it as mess-free as possible – a white or light-coloured wall will be best.

Talent’s tips in brief:

  • Prepare just as you would for a face-to-face interview.
  • Find a silent, well-lit place, free from distractions.
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection.
  • Check that your microphone is working.
  • Test your camera.
  • Dress professionally and choose a suitable background.
  • Nod, smile, and speak clearly.
  • Finally – be confident!

If you think you’re ready to put your video interview skills to the test, check out what jobs we have available.

Are you ready for a career change?

Are you ready for a career change?


It’s Sunday night, and that familiar thud hits you in your stomach, tomorrow is Monday. Dread washes over you with the very thought of dragging yourself to work and going through the motions all over again. You’re bored and unmotivated or perhaps you just feel like you’re ready for the next big challenge.

You know deep down in your gut that something has to change, you’re just not sure what.
If you’ve got as much passion for your current occupation as you do for taking out the bins every Wednesday night, it might be time to change careers.

But how do you know if it’s time to take the leap into doing something completely different, rather than just repositioning in your current industry? Here’s how to start thinking strategically about whether making a career change is the right decision for you, right now.

1) Take a long hard look at yourself

Did you do it? You look great! Have you done something with your hair? Ok, now look a little deeper. If you’re feeling really frustrated, you might have the urge to make a drastic change and quit in a spectacular fashion. But before you go full Jerry Maguire, you need to do a self-evaluation. You might be thinking, “Stare into the abyss, not for me thanks!” but taking the time to understand yourself will allow you to make future decisions with clarity.

There are some great career self-assessment tools online, like this one from the Australian government, but you can start with questions like this.

Who inspires you? What drives you? Ask yourself, if I didn’t have to work for money, what would motivate me to turn up at the office every day? What are your hobbies and why do you love doing them? Do you want to incorporate them into your next career, or would you prefer to leave them for the weekends? Think about the last time you mentally gave yourself a high five, and write down those activities you do at work or in your own time that leave you with that strong feeling of satisfaction and a job well done, so you can seek them out in your next role.

2) Evaluate your current workplace

Now you have a good idea about your priorities and motivations, write down what you like about your current job, and the parts you’d rather leave behind. Remember, there might be personal skills that you enjoy flexing, even if you don’t necessarily enjoy the task. Think about how those skills could be transferrable to another field.
It’s also important to be specific about the stuff you don’t like so much. Is it a problem that’s specific your workplace’s culture or do you suspect it is industry wide? It’s also handy to do this to make sure that you don’t switch careers only to find you’re stuck doing all the things that annoyed you in the first place.  For instance, you might not want to start your own business if you really dislike admin and book-keeping. If there’s nothing that could change at your current job to make you happy, start looking further afield.

3) Advancement in your career

Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best job of them all? Do you look at anyone in your company or field where you think “That’s what I want to be doing in five years!” Would you want to do your boss’s job, or their boss’s job? If so, it’s time to make a plan about how you’re going to get there. But if there’s no position that you aspire to, and there’s nothing that excites you about a future in this field, it’s time to make a change.

4) Take your daydreams seriously

No, not those daydreams where you imagine dunking your boss in a vat of slime, the ones where you look out the window and wistfully imagine a better life. If your happy place is anywhere but here, and you spend your days browsing job ads and thinking about the skills you’d be learning if you only had the time, start listening to what your daydreams are trying to tell you.  If you dream about spending more time with your family, your dreams may be telling you to seek a job that allows you to have a flexible work schedule. If you have a behind the scenes job and you daydream about how cool it would be if you could speak  directly to the client, you may start looking for a more people-oriented career. Maybe you dream about being a famous rapper. Whatever it is, you owe it to yourself to spend some time thinking about how you could make it a reality (rapper school?), and soon you’ll turn your daydreams into clear goals.

5) Do your research

Once you’ve got a list of potential career options, start interrogating each one. Play good cop/bad cop and get real about their pros and cons, whether you’re up for the extra training you’d have to do, and if there are good opportunities for growth. Get really nerdy about it and learn as much as you can in your own time. “ You need to keep up to speed with what’s happening,” says Anthony Whyte, Talent South Australia General Manager. “After all, there’s no use saying you want to do something if there are no jobs out there. So know where there are jobs and future careers and let that guide you.”

Seek out people who are doing what you’d like to do, then take them out for coffee and pick their brains. You’d be amazed at how secretly chuffed most people are to be asked for advice. If your dream career is in tech, you can talk to one of our experts here.

So ask yourself the right questions, do the work, be prepared to take on the ups and downs of a career shift and you’ll find yourself on a Sunday night, eagerly awaiting the working week ahead.

As Steve Jobs said: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

How to work collaboratively from home

How to work collaboratively from home


When working from home, it’s not as simple as tapping your co-worker on the shoulder to ask a question. You are instead often kilometres away from each other, linked only by your Wi-Fi router. So what does this mean for your ability to collaborate? Does it ultimately crumble? Not at all! Here are our suggestions on how you can continue to smash out your team goals, even when you’re not physically in the office:

1. Leverage collaboration tools

There are a multitude of collaboration tools out there that you can use to stay connected with your team. From Zoom for conference calls, to Microsoft Teams and Google Drive for collaborative work, there are plenty of platforms enabling you to work together. Programs such as Trello and Monday, are also great, as they simplify the project management process, allowing you to delegate responsibility to team members and set deadlines. They are great tools for establishing accountability amongst your team, ensuring everyone is across what they should be working on. Clarity is what you want.

2. Establish clear expectations

As a manager, you should be setting clear expectations for your team when it comes to remote work. Outline what you would like them to achieve for the day, week, month and check in with them regularly to see if you can offer any support as well as to see that they are on-track. You also want to ensure that everyone has a distinct role and is clear of this. There is nothing worse than having two people unknowingly working on the same task – talk about wasted time and effort!

Read our article on how to manage a remote team if you are looking for more tips on effectively communicating with your team.

3. Use video calling tools

Never underestimate the power a video call or even a regular call can have in achieving your best collaborative work. Sometimes you actually need to speak to someone to sort through issues rather than continue a 20-message-long email thread. This is a much more efficient way to clear up any confusion and to resolve any concerns about pressing tasks. It also adds a human element to the remote work sphere, which can boost morale amongst your team.

4. Check in

Regular communication is key. Check in with your team often, whether it’s a quick 5 minute call each morning to see what they are currently working on, or a group conference call where everyone has a chance to discuss their work in progress. Providing opportunities like these, remind your team that it is a group effort and that everyone is in it together. They are not working in isolation, but are working in collaboration towards a common goal. Sometimes, just hearing the progress that everyone else has made allows them to feel as though they are part of a bigger purpose and their efforts are contributing to achieving something worthwhile. This can be all the motivation needed to perform their best work.

5. Be responsive

When working remotely, you can’t just go over to someone’s desk to ask them a question. So, what happens when you need an answer to your problem right away? How do you manage this? As a leader, when working from home, it is important that you are still reachable by your team and are fairly responsive with your communication. You need to be present to provide guidance when necessary. This isn’t to say that all responsibility for communication should fall on you though. You should have the same expectation of your team, that they be responsive when working out of office. Remember, this only applies during business hours – you should never be available 24/7. Digital communication replaces verbal communication in the WFH landscape, so you, as well as your team, need to be prepared to be active across a number of channels, especially email, if you are to effectively collaborate.

6. Culture is key

You should live and breathe your company’s values. Although your team is working remotely, you still want to maintain the culture you are known for. This comes down to your people. Prioritising team bonding is key during this time. It’s a great idea to spend a few minutes catching up before starting formalities on a conference call, as well as using communication tools such as WhatsApp or Blink to stay in contact with your team on a social level. Your culture is built on your people. If you have a culture built on positive team relationships and collaboration, then taking this to the virtual sphere will be no problem!

If you are looking for new digitially skilled candidates to join your team, get in contact with us at Talent today.

To read more,  check out our tips and tricks for virtual onboarding and our working through COVID-19 guide.

How to build your personal brand

How to build your personal brand


It’s a noisy world out there, and these days, it’s not enough to just let your work speak for itself.

Building your personal brand is about telling people who you are, and demonstrating how you could be of value to them. In the simplest terms your personal brand is your reputation, which follows you around whether you like it or not. So you may as well take control of it and leverage it to make connections, grow your business, and land your dream job.

1. Figure out what you’re all about

You may have many jobs over your lifetime, but your personal brand is something you’ll take with you over the course of your career so it’s worth investing time and energy into it. Before you can sell yourself to the world, you need to know who you are, what you want to be known for, and where you want to go. What are your values and interests? What motivates you? What’s the most exciting part of your job and what are the changes you want to make happen in your industry? Take stock of your set of skills and talents and experiences that are unique to you. If you were competing for a spot in the rocket ship leaving Earth to start a new civilisation, what would you write on your application form?

Then start thinking about where you want to be a year from now. How about in 5, 10 years, and beyond? Once you’ve established your short and long term goals, you’ll have a better idea of the kind of people you’d like to start noticing you, they’re your target audience.

Answers to all of these questions will help you formulate a one-line vision statement for your personal brand that really feels authentic to you, not just something you think you’re meant to say.

“My number one tip is to always be honest and true to who you are,” says Rosie Willson, our CRM
Consultant. “Pretending to be someone or something you aren’t will only end in tears.”

2. Build your brand

In the good old days, if someone wanted to stalk you they’d need several fake moustaches, a big pair of binoculars and a leafy bush to hide behind, but today all it takes is a simple Google search. In most cases, they’ll start with your LinkedIn profile, and this is your first chance to impress.

Your online presence is an extension of yourself, so inject a bit of your personality in there. For Rosie, “Personal qualities I look for in a candidate include their humour, an inquisitive nature and their motivations to grow and develop in a role.”
In the one-line bio, don’t just write “Developer at Boring Company”, use a full sentence to show the world that you love what you do, and that you’re damn good at it. Need some inspo? Check out the bios of LinkedIn’s Top Ten Voices In Tech.

People looking at your profile don’t just want to read your resume, they want to get a sense of who you are as a person to see if you’re a good cultural fit for their company. “The more you tell me about yourself, the more you stand out and will spring to mind when new roles come up,” says Scarlett Cooke, Senior Candidate Manager. Your work history shouldn’t read like a resume. People are naturally drawn to narratives, so tell a compelling personal story that includes your interests, motivations, key milestones in your career and your outlook for the future. In addition, she advises your photo should be professional and your ‘experience’ section should be up to date and aligned to your CV.

Of course, as much as recruiters want to get the full picture of you as a professional, there is such a thing as TMI – too much information. “I would also strongly recommend keeping your personal social media on the highest privacy settings possible!” Scarlett adds.

After all, a prospective employer could really do without the mental image of you dressed as Sexy Shrek from that Halloween party in 2008.

3. Create content

You can use the words “motivated” and “passionate” all you like, but the best way to prove that you’re the real deal is simple: Show us what you can do. You’ve identified your area of specialisation, so you can start by sharing articles related to that topic and commenting on posts with your insights. You’ve told us all about your skillset, so build a beautiful website for yourself that showcases those strengths. But please, make sure it works.

Blog about industry topics that combine your experience, interests and expertise. Don’t be afraid to get niche, as you can position yourself as a thought leader in that particular space. You could write articles on platforms like Medium and also consider sending out a regular email newsletter that people can sign up to. You don’t have to restrict yourself to blog posts, think about other media too. Consider articles, white papers, speeches, video series, podcasts, animated infographics, flash games, the choices are endless!

4. Connect with others

If you’re an introvert, “networking” might be a phrase that makes you feel like throwing up a little bit in your mouth, but at the end of the day, it’s just about making genuine connections and getting to know the people in your community. You might not always love talking about yourself, but that’s just a part of what personal branding is about. Instead seek out the people whose work you admire, and tell them how much you appreciate their work. Share articles that others have written, and soon others will do the same for you.

If you’re a developer, another tip is to frequently add to GitHub, Stack Overflow, or if you’re a Salesforce developer, continue to earn badges on Trailhead. It proves that you care about what you do and gives you a chance to show off your ability and interact with your peers.

Being social is also about going out and doing stuff in real life. Yep, people still do that, shocking isn’t it? If you live in a city, there are events, training sessions, expos and conferences happening pretty much every day of the week, so you’ve got no excuse.

“I would recommend signing up for Meetup as this is a great way to connect with the tech community and stay up to date with new trends,” says Scarlett. Or just Google tech events + your city and see what turns up. As well as proving that you’re constantly learning and adding to your knowledge, attending an event is bound to give you an idea for something to write about on your blog. Bonus!

5. Living your brand

Building your personal brand is about discovering and then showcasing the best version of yourself. It’s not just about self-promotion, it’s about conducting yourself in a way that other people are compelled to be your cheerleaders. Going above and beyond in your work and helping out colleagues means you’ll be more likely to get LinkedIn recommendations and prove that you are as good as you say.

Employers do look for volunteer work or community involvement, as well as extra-curricular activities around social responsibility. You really can’t fake this stuff, so if you’re not doing it already get out there and use your skills and privilege to make the world a better place.

Finally, this process might have helped you identify some of your personal shortfalls and flaws, so use this opportunity to work on yourself. Become the kind of person that you’d want on your team, and you’ll be much happier for it.

If you think your personal brand has what it takes to stand out from the rest, browse the opportunites we have available and get applying!

How to tackle job hunting anxiety

How to tackle job hunting anxiety


Job hunting is stressful as it is. Compound that with trying to find a job in the midst of a pandemic, and your anxiety is likely to sky-rocket. But, there are things you can do to nip this anxiety in the bud and minimise your stress. Here are our top tips:

1. Establish goals

It’s a great idea to establish goals for yourself. Set out what you want to achieve, and break these tasks down into bite-sized chunks. For example, your goal for day one may be to refresh your resume and update it with your latest accomplishments, skills and experience. Day two may be dedicated to updating your LinkedIn profile. Day three, you may begin to scan job boards or reach out to a recruiter. Setting up these goals for yourself and ticking them off as you go, will help you to feel a sense of accomplishment and give you the motivation you need to keep persevering.

2. Create a structure

Establish a structure to your job hunting process. You may want to dedicate a certain number of hours each day or week to this. Go in to the process with a plan and stick to it, as it will help you to settle in to a routine. Routines create certainty and you are likely battling with strong feelings of uncertainty at the moment. A structured approach will help you to feel a sense of control, and will give you the strength needed to tackle the job search process head on. Also, the more consistent you are with your job seeking efforts, the larger the pay-off will be. Consistency is key.

3. Stay positive

It can be easy to feel disheartened if you have been rejected. Yes, everyone says to not take it to heart, but that’s much easier said than done. The best thing you can do in the face of rejection is remind yourself that although you didn’t land this one role, there is another company out there looking for your exact skills and experience. There’s also no harm in asking for feedback on your job application. You can receive invaluable advice which will help you immensely going forward, giving you the confidence you need to ace your next application. If you’re looking for tips on how to do this, read our article on how to ask for job application feedback. Stay positive and keep going. You will find that role!

4. Take it easy

Remember to take the job search one day at a time. Don’t dwell on your past rejections. Focus on the present and keep moving forward. Feelings of unworthiness serve no purpose. However, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by it all, don’t be afraid to take a breather. Maybe give the job searching a rest for a few days, and ease back into it with a clearer head and more positive mindset. And don’t forget to…

5. Be proud of yourself

Think back to all your previous achievements and how far you’ve come. Be proud of the journey you’ve made to get to this point and focus on these positive feelings. Mentally remind yourself of some of your key accomplishments or successful projects you have worked on. You were essential to making those happen, so remind yourself of your worth. You have a lot to be proud of.

6. Brush up on your skills

Confidence is essential during this time. Help yourself feel even more confident in what you bring to the table by brushing up on your skills. In this current climate, most job interviews will be completed remotely, so you may want to improve your interview skills. You should read our article on how to smash a video interview, for tips on how to conduct yourself during these remote sessions. It’s also a great idea to dedicate some time to upskilling. There are many online courses you can take which will open the door to even more job opportunities, meaning your chances of scoring are role are even greater.

7. Arm yourself with knowledge

Knowledge is power, so arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can. Whether this means learning what to include on your resume; the best questions to ask your interviewer; or how to make a good first impression with an employer, the more you know and the more prepared you are, the better. You will be able to rest easy knowing that you have done all in your power in order to put your best foot forward and be the best candidate you can be.

8. Reach out to your network

Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your connections during this time and to ask for help. They can be a great source of support. They can also help you get a foot in the door by providing you with referrals and recommendations, bringing you one step closer to your dream role. If you need help with your online networking efforts, check out our virtual networking guide.

9. Employ the services of a recruiter

A recruiter can take a lot of the stress of job searching off your shoulders. Get in contact with a recruiter specialised in your field, as they can help you land a role must suited to your skills and experience. At Talent, we specialise in digital and tech recruitment. If you are looking for a role in these sectors, check out our Job Search.