Stay Motivated in your Job Search!

Job Search Stress


Feeling like a failure can demotivate you when you need it the most. Try to stay positive throughout the process, because yes, even though it is tough and trust me I know exactly how it feels, a negative attitude will only unmotivated you and make you unsuccessful. Persistence is the only way you’re going to find something and that can only be done if you stay cheery.

As a recent graduate, I went through many phases throughout the process like feeling anxious and hopeless. The following actions is what I have discovered is the best way to overcome this:

Get out of the morning grump

The mornings are most important time to get cracked into the pursuit. The first half an hour of your day will shape the rest of it, so pulling your thoughts into a positive vibe then will help you feel more confident and focused for whole day. Do this by waking early as if heading out to work, listen to music, exercise or take a walk outside to get fresh air and clear away any negativity left over from the night before.

Be Realistic

Keep your job searches credible by applying for positions with salaries and experience most suitable for you and are convenient location wise. You must keep in mind that it is normal for it to take months of applications and job interviews before you find something. You mustn’t approach it negatively or beat yourself up over it.

Look in the right places

One of the biggest problems that you might be creating for yourself would be that you might not be conducting your searches efficiently. There are many differently kinds of platforms that you should look at without limiting your options such as online channels (i.e. job boards like, newspapers and social media. You can also go offline and speak to local recruitment agencies, which would make limiting down advertisements to those that are most relevant to you easier.

Be Flexible

As I have mentioned before, it can take months for you to find your ideal job. That is why in the mean time it would be beneficial for you to look into jobs that may not generally be what you want for the long term, just up until you can find the one you do. This would help keep you occupied and lift up your mood while helping out with your bills for the time being.

Take a Break

Give yourself some time away from the hunt between applications and do something you enjoy. After spending the whole morning and afternoon searching the web and sending of a couple of CV’s, reward yourself and give yourself a rest.

It is important to keep the balance between your enjoyment of life and the job search by making a schedule or ‘working times’. Treat your job search as a job itself. Do not stayed glued to your computer screen, as it will push you further into discouragement.

Practise Makes Perfect

Think of knockbacks as practise to learn from and improve upon for next time. This is especially true for interviews. If you get knocked back, it would be beneficial to ask the interviewer or to reply to rejection emails and enquire about what it was that they didn’t find to their satisfaction.

Find Support from others

Join or create a support network with other people who are also unemployed and searching for work. Not only will this help you with your emotional stability during the process but can also have advantages like getting advice and experiences, sharing strategies and finding more opportunities. This also applies for friends and family members. They may have come across a job listing that does not apply for them or have connections in your area and can refer you.

Above all you should remember that this is a time of transition for you and you can use it for self-development. You are about to enter a new point in your life and could maybe pick up new hobbies like a sport or instrument. It will help you to go over goals that you set out for yourself before and to find what you really do want to do.


Ceren Kardelen Sagir | Journalist








Monday Survival Pack

mondaySurvival Pack 


Monday Face Palm


Whether you work in an office, a shop, a garage, the market, if you love your job, hate your job or even if you are not employed and searching, Monday mornings are most definitely not the best part of the week.

There are certain things to remember to help you make the process from Sunday night to Monday morning less painful and more manageable.


Prepare yourself before hand: Do not have a lie in on the Sunday to keep your sleep cycle intact and make sure you get to sleep an hour or two earlier than you normally do. Lay out your outfit for the next day and pack your bag/briefcase. Create a list of things to do on Friday so you are not left clueless and benumbed when you get back. Don’t leave things from the week before like clutter on your desk.


Don’t fight your alarm clock: Get out of bed as soon as it sounds to avoid falling back into the comfort and warmth of your bed. The best way to do this is to place your alarm further away from where you sleep.


Take the first half slowly: This technique will help you recharge from the weekend. Slowly ease your mind into attentiveness by using the time to read emails, articles etc. and not to overload yourself.


Meetings: If you have any meetings for that day, make sure they are scheduled after lunch when you would be less cranky and more alert.


Dress to impress: Wearing clothing you feel comfortable and feel good about yourself in will make your mood much better. Also, a quick shower in the morning with a blast of cold water will wash away any glum feelings.


Feel good music: Listening to upbeat music on the radio or phone during your commute to the work place will raise your spirits higher and leave you cheerful and optimistic.


Don’t skip breakfast: When in a hurry to get to the workplace many people make the biggest mistake by doing this. Include a cup of coffee to your meal to boost both your body and mind. Caffeine will not only keep you alert but will also help improve your short-term memory.


Go out for lunch: Getting some air and having a little walk about can help you celebrate seeing off the morning, you survived half of the day! 

Inspiration: Surround yourself with things that motivate you and remind you of all the things to celebrate on payday. Put up photographs and holiday countdowns.


Ceren Kardelen Sagir | Journalist








How to find local jobs


Who said finding a job was easy? More often than not it’s a struggle to find a job that meets all your requirements – skills required match your expertise, the pay is good and it is located locally. Job location can be the killer. There are so many jobs out there that are perfect, until you realise it would take hours to travel from your house to the job and back every day. I hear friends and family complain that the best jobs are located miles away. So what exactly are we missing? Surely all the best jobs aren’t out of reach for everyone, we just need to know where to look for local jobs.

• Use job search engines to your advantage.

It is so easy to apply for hundreds of jobs with one click applications, but make sure you are really sifting through and getting rid of all the jobs that are irrelevant to you. Be really specific with your search. Use a job search engine, such as Strike-Jobs, type in a key word which directly relates to the job you are looking for, and where possible type in the name of your city or town or even your postcode with a limited radius. If you want to work locally then limit your search radius to just a few miles from your post code.

• Check the local and national newspapers for job postings.

The local newspaper would be the best to check if you live in a small town or village, and the nationals might be best if you live in a busy area or city central where big companies are based and will be advertising. A lot of local newspapers have daily or weekly job pages where local businesses advertise as it is fairly cheap to do so. Although a lot of job applications are done online, businesses still value printed advertisements and some even prefer it. Checking the local paper is a guaranteed way of finding jobs that are close to home.

• Research local companies and send out speculative CVs.

If you are looking for a receptionist job then why not send out CVs to all the local companies with a covering letter asking if they have any work available. Just think of how many offices and work places you pass every day and contact them. A lot of jobs are advertised internally, which means they aren’t advertised to new people, and sending a CV in randomly at the right time could mean you are put forward for an interview.

• Network.

Network with friends, family, ex-colleagues, friends of friends, your Aunties friends brothers step-mum; you never know who might be looking to employ you! Never underestimate the power of networking. Get your name known, tell everyone you know that you are looking for work locally and they can spread the word. Stay connected!

• Check local websites.

Local websites are a hub of information about your village, town or city, which includes tourist attractions, local knowledge and job postings too. Strike-Jobs has realised the potential of these local websites and has launched 53 ‘life in’ websites, for example Life in Belfast, Life in Glasgow and Life in London. The ‘life in’ websites have been created to provide candidates, job seekers and the general public with useful information in their neighbourhood along with local job opportunities. Each website is designed to provide local job opportunities to candidates and job seekers who are looking for new career opportunities within their area. With a rich wealth of knowledge, each of the local websites is the perfect platform for you to start searching for your new local job.

Find your local site below!
















































Words: Claire Coward | Journalist

Images: MaryEllen Fenton | Journalist







How to Ace your Interview: Common Questions and Answers

Interview Tips


As often as it is highlighted, preparation and confidence is the fundamental factor of a successful interview. Practising can help you feel more confident in your responses even if the whole process feels nerve racking.

The questions that a potential employer may ask you are to assess you and to find out more about you, your work experience and knowledge, why you want this job specifically, and your personality traits.


  1. Tell me about yourself

This is the most frequent opening question in an interview. Here, the employer wants to know more about you but it is important not to drone on about your personal history. It’s a way for you to express your story and make a connection between yourself and the position you are applying for. The interviewer already has your CV so there is no point in listing everything on there again, but make sure that your description matches. Remember to highlight positive attributes about yourself and not anything negative.


  1. Why do you want to work with us?

It is very important to radiate to the interviewer that you know about the company and have done research about them. Otherwise you can come across as disinterested and objective towards the position you are applying for. If you haven’t done any research your answers will be vague and you will sound uninformed.

Here you are trying to reassure them that you want to work for that company and you are genuinely interested in the opportunity.


  1. Why should you get this job/ what differs you from other applicants?

This is basically an offer for you to make a sales pitch. You need to station yourself as the best possible candidate for this position without sounding like you are trying to find flaws in others. Talk about applicable attributes and experiences you have that others may not be as successful in. It would also be beneficial if you research and are aware of any current events or news in relation to the company and branch of work you are applying for.


  1. Give an example of a time…

Questions such as these usually reflect on conflict resolution, techniques of persuasion, methods of helping people, or how big a risk taker you are. An interviewer may ask you about a hypothetical scenario instead for the same reasons. They are fundamentally looking to see how you would act in the work environment and you must not make up an example as you can get caught out if you have not prepared yourself well enough. Simply outline the situation you were in, what steps you took to resolve it and what the outcome was.

Interview Questions


5. What is the reason for leaving your last job?

Make sure that you do not criticise your previous employer when confronting this question and reflect on it positively, otherwise it may come across as if you could be a possible cause of concern in the work environment or that you are unprofessional. Here you should highlight that you have been an excellent performer in your previous role and that you are now looking for new opportunities.

           6. What are your weaknesses?

When answering this question it is safest to give small work related weaknesses and to demonstrate steps you have taken to improve these flaws. Classic answers are ones where there is a strength hidden inside them like ‘I push myself too hard’. Everyone has imperfections and to not acknowledge these will make you come across as arrogant or untruthful to the interviewer.

            7. Do you think your exam results are a fair reflection of your abilities?

If you are a recent graduate or are still in education this is a question that would most likely come up. Regardless of your results you can use this opportunity to reflect positively and to brag about your ability to manage and work under pressure. If you studied a course that involved essays and deadlines, you should express your methods of dealing with this and how you would apply it to the work environment.

           8. Who else have you applied to/ got interviews with?

This is a chance to imply that you are in demand by mentioning a few other companies but without losing the interviewer to the idea that you would be more interested in something else. You should put across that you want this job more as it is the best match for your interests and skills.


The final question the interviewer will most definitely be ‘do you have any questions of your own?’ and the answer must always be ‘yes.’ This is an opportunity for you to put across your interest in the position and implies that you are enthusiastic about jumping on board, without sounding overly eager.
Depending on the position you are applying for, some possible queries are:

  • How many people are on the team?
  • What would be my regular responsibilities?
  • How would you describe the ideal candidate?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?


Remember to leave the interview on a cheerful vibe and thank them for their time. It is also useful to enquire where you should direct any further questions you may have.

Ceren Kardelen Sagir | Strike-Jobs Journalist | 24.07.2014







Are The New Flexible Working Laws a Good or Bad Decision?


Going from today forward, any employee that has been working at their place of employment for 6 months or more will have the right extended to them for flexible working hours.  This includes part time hours, compressed hours, working from home or job sharing, which was previously only offered to carers, or those who had children.

It seems that the implementation of these new laws are drawing very diverse reactions. Many seem to believe that this will make workers happier, which will in turn boost productivity. “Modern businesses know that flexible working boosts productivity and staff morale, and helps them keep their top talent so that they can grow,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.  This extension will be of particular interest to new, young workers who want additional training as they work, to those older employees who are nearing retirement, or to those who also do volunteering.

It will also reduce the stress of travel during the rush hour times, and it may also has the potential to benefit businesses £55.8m, although this should be treated with the caution due to all economic projections.

However, as many positives as this change may bring, there is also worry of a projected backlash against it. Because more requests will come in, unfortunately, some requests will have to be denied – which could cause a negative atmosphere in the workplace. The new legislation states that all employees have the right to request flexible hours, not the right to have it, and requests will be looked at in a first come, first serve basis. The company has to give each request fair consideration and if the request cannot be granted, there are 8 specific reasons that the company will be allowed to give, including costs or inability to move staff around for coverage.

A new study, done by the law firm Squire Batton Boggs, surveyed over 100 companies in the UK and found that 84% of the employers thought that the changes would cause large resentment among their staff. Fraser Younson, an employment law specialist and partner at the law firm Squire Patton Boggs, said: ‘With everyone able to request flexible working, the number of grievances is only set to rise.’

It may also be a real struggle with smaller businesses, where it might cause an additional administrative burden if they don’t have the man power to help comply with requests, or the money. As a lot of companies already offer some time of flexible working to their staff, many don’t feel that this is a change in the right direction.

Neil Carberry, the CBI director for employment and skills, welcomed the new rules but also warned: ‘It’s important to remember that the work still needs to be done, so businesses will have to manage conflicting requests effectively and they retain the right to say no where the company just can’t make it work.’

What do you think? Will this help or hinder the relationships in the workplace?


MaryEllen Fenton | Journalist









Tips to Turn Your Internship into a Full Time Position


Internships are a beautiful thing – not only do they help you gain invaluable real-world experience, but they also help employers search through individuals for those hard-workers that could prove to be a good fit within their company.

Interning is a great way to be able to learn more about a specific field that you are interested in, and if it’s the right path for you! And in some instances, these internships can turn into a full-time position! Although not always a guarantee, we have some tips for you to make the best of your time there, and what you can do to help you let your employers know that you’d be the best candidate for their next job opening!

Treat the internship like a real job

Even though you might be doing it for school credit, or perhaps it is an unpaid internship, you must always treat it like it is your actual career, and put 110% into everything you do. Dress sharp, arrive on time, have a professional can-do attitude, take initiative and show the company that you are a serious, hard-working individual who is exceptional!

Ask questions

This tip might sound cliché by now in terms of job searching, but it can never be stressed enough! Learn all you can about the company and how it works while you are there. Don’t be afraid – it shows willingness to learn and that you have a genuine interest in the position! And don’t forget to ask for feedback, so you can understand where you are doing great and where you might need more work. This can help you set personal and professional goals for yourself!

Challenge yourself

Go beyond what’s asked of you – ask for additional tasks! Prove that you have impressive time management skills and not only have you done what they’ve asked (and done it well!) but that you are eager to gain more responsibility and learn from more challenging tasks. Note that the more difficult tasks do come with time, so in the beginning, make sure to greet the more tedious mundane responsibilities with great enthusiasm to show that you have an excellent attitude and patience.

Develop Your Skills – and keep track of them!

The whole reason of being in an internship is to learn all about the subject you are interested in, while gaining skills and bettering your existing ones, right? Exactly! Be sure to hone your current talents, and don’t hesitate to tackle jobs that are unfamiliar – they’ll help you develop new ones! Learn a new program you’re unfamiliar with, go ahead! It’s also important to keep track of all your accomplishments – all these skill sets are desirable and will impress hiring employers in the future!


Network, network, network. Attend professional meet-ups and maintain contacts with other people in the industry. Professional relationships are key – they help you learn of new opportunities and how to advance in your field. Make sure to really develop strong relationships with your supervisor and co-workers as well, so that they can strengthen your networking circle and can help you learn what it takes to be successful, and how to accomplish your goals. Keep yourself in the loop of important going-ons and news in your career field.

Express Your Appreciation

Whenever the internship is finished, don’t forget to thank them and let them know how grateful you are that you were able to work with them and gain so many skills. Be sure to let them know how much you really love the company as well, and most importantly, keep in touch. Just because they might not have a full-time position open for you now, does not mean that something will not open in the near future! Stay in contact with your supervisor and co-workers, and in turn they will remember your enthusiasm, and you will pop into their head first whenever they have a spot available!


MaryEllen Fenton | Journalist