Dear Career Sensei – I’m I too Old to Switch Careers?

Dear Career Sensei,

A friend sent me your post on switching careers and while I found it insightful, I think that it is not practical in my case.

You see, I am 38yrs old with over 10 years experience as a bank teller. I feel very unfulfilled at my job as it is too monotonous and there aren’t many growth prospects (have you ever heard of a Chief Teller Officer?). I would really love a career in Public Relations because I always had a flair for public speaking, writing and I really enjoy engaging people in deep, meaningful conversations but I feel that my first degree in Computer Science and post-graduate diploma are unrelated to my dream career.

Even if I take your advice of educating myself by taking PR courses and certifications, by the time I’m done I would be at least 40. Would any firm hire a 40yr old greenhorn?

Yours truly,

Sick and Tired Bank Teller

Dear Sick and Tired,

I’ll just start by saying it’s never too late to start over. There are many cases of pensioners ventured and succeeded in new and different fields after retiring from their first careers. 
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Why You need an All-Star LinkedIn Profile

There are 350,000,000 professionals on LinkedIn which makes it the leading way in which professionals connect and network with one another. It is also the number one tool recruiters use in hiring candidates and has become such an integral part of the career eco-system that there are now career LinkedIn profile writers, professionals who for a fee will write and optimize your LinkedIn profile to ensure that it comes up in targeted search results.

Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn than users with incomplete profiles and it is not just enough to have a complete profile as LinkedIn profiles are ranked by their strength which ranges from beginner to intermediate,  then advanced, expert and all-star.
To get your profile to all-star status you need to do the following-

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Should you be Friends with Your Boss?

Boss – employee friendships can be complicated because of the power imbalance that comes with having one person supervise the other, but like every relationship, there will be good and not so good moments.

For you the subordinate, the perks of such friendship can be enormous as your boss may trust you with information that you would normally not be privy to, can pick you for high priority projects and assignments and may even speak in your favour to the people that matter in making or breaking your career within the company.  But it also has its downside which can include resentment from your co-workers, accusations of favoritism when you get rewarded with raises or promotions and having to constantly prove that your successes well deserved and earned as a result of your hard work and dedication.

Is developing a friendship with your boss a good idea? That depends on a number of factors such as;

Were you friends before you became the subordinate? It wouldn’t make any sense to cut off a friendship that was already established just because your professional positions have changed. However, you have to make a conscious effort to maintain a professional candor whenever you are on the job by giving your boss the respect he deserves.

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How to Ask your Boss for a Pay Raise

You have paid your dues, you’ve have put in the hours, you have crunched the numbers and you’ve made your company richer so its only natural that you are rewarded for your hard work by getting a raise. If only it were that simple! Asking for a raise like negotiating a salary can be tricky as people are generally uncomfortable with talking about money.

If you think you deserve a raise and want to take it up with your boss, here’s what you need to do to get the best outcome.

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Dear Career Sensei – Should I Snitch on the Boss?

Dear Career Sensei,
I was recently passed over for a promotion that my supervisor and I were so sure that I would get. My supervisor recommended me for the promotion but informed me that our director chopped my name off the list because she felt I wasn’t qualified just yet. It really frustrates me that the said director gets to make such important decisions on my growth within the company when she doesn’t work directly with me and is not privy to how committed I am to the job.
I am gutted because I’ve given my all to this job and even turned down another offer 3 months earlier because I was certain I was going to get this promotion Read more

It’s not too Late to Switch Careers

One of the biggest complaints I get from disgruntled employees is how much they are unsatisfied or hate their current jobs and how they would be happier and more productive in a different career. When I ask them why they haven’t made the switch, I’m met with several excuses the most common excuse being how difficult it would be to switch careers at their level as the years of experience they have gained in their current field limits them from being hired  because they lack the necessary skills to function in the career of their dreams and they are too experienced to be new hires. While this is indeed a genuine concern, it should not prevent you from making a change.

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It’s Okay to Call in Sick


I’m sure by now you have all seen the video clip of US Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton being assisted by secret service agents into her campaign vehicle after a fainting spell brought on by overheating. And even though she emerged a few hours later having rested and looking much better, her doctor had to release a statement that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia a few days earlier and that she would be taking a few days off the campaign trail to heal.

In an ideal situation you should call in sick whenever you do not feel well enough to function optimally at work, yet many people would rather come into work for fear that their job security may be undermined by missing work days due to ill health.

As much as we want to be healthy all the time, the human body was designed to break down when it comes in contact with foreign bodies (germs, bacteria, viruses etc) yet 60% of workers still show up to work when they have the flu. Many of them show up not because they are overly committed to the job but because their bosses or workplaces discourages them from taking sick time.
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Love in the Workplace

Full disclosure, I met my husband on the job. We started out as friends then progressed into a romantic relationship and today as they say the rest is history.

According to this survey, 4 out of 10 employees have dated someone at work and 3 in 10 workers who had office romance married their co-worker. Let’s face it, it would be weird if people didn’t date each other in the workplace. We spend more of our waking hours in close proximity with our colleagues and since we work together, we most likely share common interests and goals plus the office is a much more conducive environment for people to get to know each other on an intimate level unlike say a bar or at a party.
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Dear Career Sensei – Can I file a sexual harassment complaint?


A male colleague has been making unwarranted sexual advances towards me and it has started to cause me discomfort and affect my performance negatively.
He hasn’t come outright to say anything to me or even lay a finger on me but he’s fond of throwing sexual innuendos my way under the guise of paying me compliments or cracking vulgar ‘jokes’ whenever we are the only ones in the cubicle.
I want to report him to HR but I don’t have any concrete evidence as it is very subtle and he only does it whenever we are alone so its hard to make a case.


Your wise counsel would be very much appreciated.
Sad Lass

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5 Reasons You Weren’t Shortlisted for that Interview

As a career coach, I constantly come across unemployed and underemployed individuals who feel shortchanged by a rigged recruitment process that prevents them from landing their dream jobs.

While it might be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason you are not getting shortlisted for job interviews, here are five common reasons that may be preventing you from getting a callback:

1. You are still filling online job application forms
If you are still applying for jobs via this medium and expecting a callback, you are wasting your time. Stop it, it was designed to make you and a thousand other job seekers vying for the same position fail. I have never met anyone that got a job via filling an online job application but have met many who haven’t.

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