Career Growth Archives - WUZZUF Blog

Egyptian money

Working just for money will ruin your career, science says

By | Career Advice, Explore Career Path, Featured, Find Your Passion, Grow, Money & Negotiations

To a hall of eager young college students at the University of Glasgow, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook gave one piece of solid advice: “Don’t work for money, it will wear out fast, or you’ll never make enough and you will never be happy, one or the other.”

Money is a desirable asset, and many times, we get lured to a job opportunity only because it has a big paycheck. But when it comes to being happy, science – in this case, motivation psychology– can tell us another story.

Our brains are not wired to work just for money

Maslow's Pyramid: Hierarchy of NeedsAbraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory states that we are motivated to meet a series of needs to be fulfilled. He listed them in the following order: Physiological (air, water, and food), safety (personal and financial security), social belonging (supportive relationships), esteem (respect and recognition), and self-actualization (realizing your full potential).

When our basic (notice how I highlighted the word “basic”) financial needs are met at our jobs but our higher ones are not fulfilled, we can start to feel unhappy and demotivated.

So if you’re paid very well at a job that doesn’t include supportive relationships, recognition, and the freedom to reach your full potential, you’re probably not going to be very fulfilled.

So if you’re paid very well at a job that doesn’t include supportive relationships, recognition, and the freedom to reach your full potential, you’re probably not going to be very fulfilled.Click To Tweet

Also the famous Frederick Herzberg’s Two-factor theory about motivation; which explains what motivates employees to perform better and what causes them to perform worse.

Herzberg mapped out two different sets of factors:

  • Motivators: Factors that motivate us at work and determine our job satisfaction, such as recognition, responsibility, opportunity to do something meaningful, involvement in decision making, and sense of importance to an organization. They are the factors that usually tend to the needs in the higher levels of Maslow’s pyramid.
  • Hygiene factors: Factors that may not contribute directly to our satisfaction, but if absent, causes high dissatisfaction. Such as job security, salary, and benefits. They are the factors that tend to the lower levels of Maslow’s pyramid.

That’s why the theory refutes the flawed notion that money alone will make us want to do our jobs. And suggests that it’s merely a factor.

So what can you do to stay motivated?

This is perfectly summed up in Dan Pink’s bestselling book Drive, which explains the science behind what motivates us at work. Pink’s three essential motivators at work are:

  • Autonomy: The desire to direct our own lives.
  • Mastery: The urge to get better and better at something that matters.
  • Purpose: The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

Take more ownership of your work

Learn how to own your work: Lead your projects and tasks and effectively handle their responsibility so you can fulfill the desire to direct your own life. Moreover, if you’re not too involved in the decision-making process at work, don’t be scared to ask for more freedom and responsibility.

Make sure your career choices don’t disregard what you actually care about. This includes both the work you enjoy doing and the causes and values that matter to you.Click To Tweet

Hunt more opportunities to learn

Choose a certain skill or area you want to improve, and start crafting a plan to manage your learning curve. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-relevant goals) and work on achieving them. This way, you can consistently get better at something that matters to you and eventually master it.

Don’t ignore your passion

Finally, make sure your career choices don’t disregard what you actually care about. This includes both the work you enjoy doing and the causes and values that matter to you. Make a list of them and start tracking how you can pick the paths that lead you to them.

If you’re sure you want to be a software developer and you’re currently an architect, don’t shut off the door to becoming one. If you care about making an impact on your society, don’t exclude the option of working for an organization that helps children’s education or the option of starting your own.

Have you been struggling with money vs. passion? Let us know about your thoughts in the comments below.

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Why you should work: at a startup in Egypt

By | Career Advice, Career Path, Explore Career Path, Featured, Grow

You’ve probably had the thought cross your mind once or twice, only to be refuted by some doubts. Leave a comfy salary and exquisite corporate benefits to work at a startup? Scary, but not as crazy as it might seem.

The truth is startups aren’t the unstable, career-shedding gambles they might seem to be; they could give you the opportunity to be free from corporate pain, and they might even take your career to the next level.

Living in one of the most promising entrepreneurial hubs in the world only adds to that value. This is why you should work at a startup in Egypt.

Be a part of Egypt’s booming startup scene

Instabug employee at Riseup Summit

Instabug at RiseUp Summit 2018. Source: RiseUp Summit on Facebook

In the past few years, Egypt has become one of the fastest-growing startup economies in the world. With help from a young, tech-savvy population, a rapidly growing internet penetration rate, and a flourishing internet economy, Egyptian startups have been thriving. This climate is supported by massive foreign investors like 500 Startups and local accelerators like Flat6Labs and Cairo Angels.

Not only does this offer you the opportunity to utilize your potential in an environment that supports innovation and change, but it also allows you to become a part of what could be the future backbone of the Egyptian economy.

Instabug, WUZZUF, Vezeeta, Eventtus, Edfa3ly, and El Menus all started small and are now on Forbes’s list of the top 100 startups in the Middle East.

Put on multiple hats to learn and grow more

At a startup, you’re expected to play a variety of different roles, which allows you to continually learn new and exciting things and significantly expand your skill set. From hiring and budgeting to strategizing and branding, you gain valuable business experience you can stack up on your CV.

Besides, opportunities for career advancement could be much more abundant at a startup. At a startup, there’s more room for growth, it’s certainly not guaranteed, but it is more likely to have that space.

From hiring and budgeting to strategizing and branding, you gain valuable business experience you can stack up on your CV.Click To Tweet

Have space to create and innovate

Notebook and pencilWhen you work at a startup, wild ideas are not always discouraged, they could even be rewarded. This gives you the chance to generate new ideas that are taken seriously by innovative individuals who strive to break the mold of stagnating ideas.

Your creativity could have a lasting impact on the future of a growing business, so why waste it where it’s not appreciated?

However, the downside of the extra creative space in startups is that often times it takes a long time to establish a well-defined process and efficient workflow. But that could allow you to take part in defining the process.

Own your work and take the credit for it

Top Egyptian startups in Forbes Middle East

Teams from Egypt’s 20 most promising startups. Source: Forbes Middle East

Startups allow you to be an influential member of a small team and own your work. This means you have more work to do and an important opinion in the decision-making process. It also means your work gets recognized a lot more simply because only one person is doing your job!

Also, everything you do in a startup could play a part in the success or failure of the company. If your product succeeds you get a big part of the credit and if it fails you get a big part of the blame.

This responsibility makes you accountable for all the ups and all the downs, which helps you learn invaluable risk assessment and crisis management skills. It also enables you to understand the value of personal ownership.

Enjoy a flexible work life

Laptop on deskWorking at a startup could mean enjoying the benefits of flexible company policy and reasonable rules and regulations. Startups have a new, different, and less bureaucratic way of doing things.

At a startup, you don’t have to stick to an annoying dress code, get approval from 10 different people to take a vacation, or wait 8 years to get promoted. Merit often rules in entrepreneurial environments: If you’re best at what you do, you get ahead.

Sometimes, however, this flexibility comes at a cost. Startups often have a hard time keeping things organized when it comes to workflow and project management.

Despite the confinement that often comes with strict company policies, it’s good to know your head from your feet. That clarity is something you could be giving up if you choose to work at a startup.

Have fun at work

Startups usually have more flexible work environments; this could potentially support stronger workplace relationships and promote work-life balance.

If you work at a startup, your team is most likely the group of friends you hang out with after work. Moreover, many startups are big on flexible work hours and attendance.

everything you do in a startup could play a part in the success or failure of the company. If your product succeeds you get a big part of the credit and if it fails you get a big part of the blame.Click To Tweet

Pick the right career path and get there faster

Choosing the right career path is a challenging endeavor. It takes patience, hard work, and sheer persistence. Working at a startup can significantly help you figure out which one is right for you because it allows you to explore multiple areas and handle many different responsibilities.

This gives you the opportunity to dabble in different interests until you find which one you want to stick with. Working at a startup also provides you with the skills and work experience you need to accelerate your career at a much faster rate than a corporate job would allow.

Make a difference in people’s lives

WUZZUF Zone at Egypt Career Summit 2018The WUZZUF Zone at Egypt Career Summit 2018. Source: WUZZUF on Facebook.

Arguably the best advantage of working at a startup is the fact that the work you do there actually matters. At a startup, your ideas, opinions, and decisions contribute to building a company from the ground up. You help set the rules and shape the culture and philosophy of the business.

In addition, you could get the chance to make a difference in your society. Entrepreneurs in Egypt strive to come up with innovative solutions to tackle societal problems and issues. Startups could give you the opportunity to be part of a company that’s helping in making a real difference in people’s lives.

For example, WUZZUF helps solve the employment problems in Egypt by empowering professionals to make smart career choices that help them build and grow the careers that are right for them.

And Vezeeta helps solve the endless dilemma of looking for a good doctor where you live by helping digitally connect doctors and patients in a fast, easy, and hassle-free way.

The startup economy in Egypt is full of potential waiting to be tapped into. It’s breeding an essential cultural and social movement that offers a door of new unexplored opportunities. A startup could be your ticket to the career you want.

It might not be the safest bet in the world, but it is a choice that could help you find the opportunity to learn multiple skills, gain more knowledge, and handle more responsibility that might help you develop both professionally and personally and do work that matters to you.

Have you tried working at a startup? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

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Two people talking at work - career coaching

Struggling to pick a career path? Try career coaching

By | Career Path, Expert Advice, Explore Career Path, Featured

Whether you just graduated from university or looking for a career shift, deciding on the right career path for you can often be challenging, that’s where career coaching comes in.

With so many options ahead of you, yet minimal experience in your targeted industry or field of interest, it’s so common that many people seek support in these stages of their career journey. Advice is usually needed to form a complete picture of what could be the right career path for you.

Seek advice from the experts

When looking for help during the first steps in your career, it’s always easy to take the first opinion that comes your way -after all, the matter is highly time-sensitive, and you are pressured to make a decision and start your career journey. Friends and family members will always be very welcoming to give you their opinion and share their personal experiences.

The right career for you is a crucial matter, and it’s preferred to seek a second opinion whenever you feel overwhelmed.Click To Tweet

However, the right career for you is a crucial matter, and it’s preferred to seek a second opinion whenever you feel overwhelmed. Seek advice from subject matter experts and professionals in the field you wish to join.

Or ask us! check WUZZUF career coaching services now and get a second opinion from an expert.

Job search strategy and tools

Man writing on paper - career coaching

The process of seeking support in your career journey can start at a very early stage in your life. If you already chose a career goal that you wish to pursue and have a target role, field or industry then you have to get yourself ready with the right tools that would help you in achieving your goals.

Career support with all its forms aims at providing you with a directive approach while building your tools for acquiring any job. For example, if you wish to join a specific field in the job market, you probably need an assessment to the current employment landscape, to make a correct decision, you will require information such as industry trends, employment statistics, and salary expectations.

Another popular form of career support is refining resumes or cover letters. These are crucial tools to seek any position; you might need an expert’s opinion about resume do’s and don’ts. You need to have an idea of how companies view your resume when you apply for any job.

Your resume is the first basis on which a company decides whether or not to contact you for an interview. It’s not only about the templates, but it’s the content and how you present yourself and your skills.

Other forms of career support are related to how to act and how to leave a memorable first impression in any job interview. All these questions and more are common among job seekers especially those seeking entry-level jobs right after graduation. Getting the right answers will get you ready with the tools needed for acquiring any position and therefore support for your primary career goal.

What’s the right job for you?

Another deeper level of career support is career coaching. While it is similar to career advising in concept, it focuses more on your skills, strengths, and work values. It helps you build your ideal career path based on these fundamental elements.

A career coach’s focus is on your future career goals; they aim at working with you to find the ideal job that matches your personality traits, talents and work values.

They use a variety of tools and exercises to help you identify your career goals and take actions towards achieving them. Career coaching works better with experienced individuals; the activities coaches use when you’re setting your goals require some experience with the nature of work environments in general.

Is career coaching for everyone?

In career coaching, everything is tailored to your needs and aspirations. A successful coaching session will increase your awareness of what is blocking your way to your goals. With the support of your career coach, you get to establish realistic action plans and take charge of your career with the focus on transforming it into what you always wanted.

Career coaching is known to be an exciting journey for those who feel lost and unsatisfied with their current positions in general or career paths in specific. If you’re asking yourself “how did I get here?” when thinking about your career, it may be time to talk to a coach, says Cheryl Hunter of The Hunter Group.  The self-discovery will result in increasing your self-awareness regarding your strengths and how to utilize them to choose the right career path.

After some sessions (maximum four or five), you will build your customized plan that will keep you on track to accomplish what you set yourself out to do. WUZZUF offers career coaching services with highly capable certified coaches who will help you get the expert advice that you need.

To make sure you get the full benefit from career coaching, you have to be willing to be coached. You have to be aware that the journey requires excellent commitment from your side. You should be open to new ideas, making changes and willing and ready to take actions. In the end, seeing the results will make the time, effort and money worth it!

Don’t end up at a job you hate

Woman standing in front of subway - career coaching

In our current job market, all fields are highly competitive, and not all graduates usually have the luxury of choosing the jobs they land after graduation. As a career coach, I have met hundreds of professionals who have ended up in positions only because “that was their only option back then.”

Moreover, not all universities now provide proper preparation to the job market, and students graduate to a variety of fields and job roles without knowing which best suit their talents or personalities.

Many people end up stuck at a job they hate and want to leave without any clue how to change it or what change they should seek; don't be one of them.Click To Tweet

As a result, many people end up stuck at a job they hate and want to leave without any clue how to change it or what change they should seek; don’t be one of them. Career coaching offers a structured process of building a career path and finding the job that you would best excel at, to allow you to move forward and make progress with your professional career aspirations.

Have you ever tried a form of career support? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

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Man with laptop.

Tough Call: Should you leave your job or try to make it work?

By | Career Path, Explore Career Path, Featured, Work-Life Balance

It can be stressful to think about leaving a job and starting over somewhere new. However, ignoring the red signs is not an option.

There are many reasons to leave a job. If your job is stressing you out, you should consider them well before deciding to move on. These are the most significant signs of trouble you need to look out for.

You can’t grow or advance anymore

If you can see that your skills are not being utilized anymore, then something’s not right. If that’s the case, you’re probably no longer learning anything new because you’re not getting the chance to work on challenging tasks or lead new projects to enhance your existing skill set.

What you can resolve: This doesn’t have to be the end of the rope if you haven’t spoken up about it yet. Talk to your manager about wanting to get more responsibility and more opportunities to own new and interesting projects so you can learn new things. If they don’t respond, talk to their manager. Communicate your frustration clearly up the corporate ladder before making any rash decisions.

You’re underpaid

If you’re struggling to save money or notice that you immediately have to spend every pound you earn, you’re underpaid. If your whole salary is going in the direction of your basic living expenses or to cover your commute to work, then you need to reconsider your current job. In addition, your salary would cover your basic needs, but it still doesn’t compensate you for the amount and/or quality of your work. If that happens, it’s a problem.

What you can resolve: You do have the right to talk to your manager about getting a salary boost, especially if you know the work you’re doing is worth more than the money you’re getting. So consider negotiating for a better salary if you see that you’re not being compensated fairly.

You’re physically and mentally drained

If you know for sure that your workload or toxic work environment is taking its toll on your physical and/or mental health, it’s time to raise the red flag.

If you’re being severely overworked to the point that it’s making you sick, leave. No job is worth your wellbeing. Click To Tweet

If you’re being severely overworked to the point that it’s making you sick, leave. No job is worth your wellbeing.

What you can resolve: If your issue is strictly one of a heavy workload and not enough days off, talk to your manager about task distribution and communicate clearly that you’re overwhelmed and need time off. Then, make sure you maintain a healthy work-life balance moving forward.

You think your company is going nowhere

If you can see that your company has major problems that senior management refuses to deal with, leave before the water comes closing in on you. You don’t have to be aboard the ship when it drowns. Moreover, maybe you just no longer believe in the company’s values anymore. If that’s a case, look for a place you do believe in.

What you can resolve: Do your part and let them know we have a serious problem on our hands, and when you do so make sure you bring suggested solutions to the table, not just complaints. They could be responsive and cooperative and you could end up working together to resolve the company’s issues. And if things work out, you could get a lot of credit for your part.

You can’t stand the people you work with

Workplace relationships are critical, however, underestimated. When we don’t like the people we work with or continuously clash with them, work environments become stressful.  It’s really hard to put out quality work when you hate your boss.

What you can resolve: If you have serious issues with your boss, team members or other people in your office, make sure you make an effort to confront them and air out all of your problems before deciding to just leave. Broken relationships can be mended if you give them the chance.

Your potential is being wasted

If you no longer love what you do, and you feel like you want to try something else or that your true calling lies elsewhere, it’s time to think about leaving.

Maybe your manager won’t give you the freedom to fulfill your potential or maybe this is just not the right career path for you.Click To Tweet

Maybe your manager won’t give you the freedom to fulfill your potential or maybe this is just not the right career path for you. Which one is it? It’s an important question to answer.

What you can resolve: If you feel like you have the right job but just aren’t getting the opportunities to shine, tell your manager. Tell them you want to own more projects and have more freedom to execute your vision. They could help you explore new opportunities.

You’re a victim of some form of workplace abuse

If you’re experiencing harassment, discrimination of any kind, bullying, or any abuse at work, that your employer didn’t take any actions against, you should leave your current job. This doesn’t mean you should leave without taking corrective measures, make sure to do that but also make sure you’re looking at other opportunities at the same time.

What you can resolve: All forms of workplace abuse are illegal. So you don’t have to feel helpless, you can reach out to the HR and legal departments in your company to find out what measures you need to take to make things right.

Your career goals are stagnating at your job

If where you are now doesn’t fall into your career pathway, you may need to rethink of a way to change that. Maybe you have outgrown your position, there is no room for growth, or you have used all your opportunities; this might be the point where you have to take a step towards your goals.

What you can resolve: You can talk to your boss about what your career goals are so they can have the big picture and help you work towards those goals. Perhaps you can ask to be assigned to new projects or even work in a different department if that’s what will help you grow in the direction you want.

You’re procrastinating all the time

If you feel like you can no longer muster the energy to perform your tasks and just keep pushing them to no avail, this is a clear sign that something’s wrong. Either you’re not interested in the work you’re doing because you are not working on the projects you like, or you’re seriously burnt out and need some vacation time.

What you can resolve: If you need time off from work, ask for it. And if you want to work on different projects or tasks, or even work in an entirely different team in your company, you can certainly ask for that too.

You’re not being heard or appreciated

Having a well-heard voice at work is very important. If you keep trying to speak up at work to voice your opinions but you can never win an argument, then something isn’t right. Moreover, if you feel like your excellent performance isn’t recognized and your efforts and results aren’t appreciated, you should consider finding a place that will appreciate them.

What you can resolve: If you’re not getting the recognition you deserve, say that. Don’t be scared to speak up about not getting verbal recognition. It’s your right, just as much as financial recognition.

Finally, one of the biggest signs that indicate it’s time to leave is if you’re simply not happy with your job anymore. If you dread going to work, are always miserable at work, and you just can’t seem to enjoy any of it anymore, it’s time to move on.

Many workplace issues that cause us stress can surely be fixed. However, if most of the reasons listed here apply to your current situation despite your trials to make things better, and you definitely know that you’re just not happy anymore, pack your stuff and leave.

How to take ownership of your work the right way

By | Featured, Internship, Kick-start

“Take ownership of your work.” You’ve probably heard this a thousand times before. Perhaps it was kindly said in a meeting or thrown around in a screaming match at the office. Either way, you might not have been told exactly how to do it.

To take ownership of your work is to step up to the plate, take control of the task at hand, and take full responsibility for the triumphs and failures. It allows you to lead your projects, fully learn from your mistakes, and manage your own career growth.

It’s the difference between having to do a task and wanting to do a task. So how should you do that?

If you don’t lead a team, this is how to empower yourself

Foster your passion

If you want to take ownership of your work, don’t do work you don’t care about. Being passionate about the work you’re doing is one big step towards owning it. It’s not always easy and it’s something we all struggle with.

But you can start fostering the growth of that passion by picking the projects and tasks you truly enjoy doing or are interested in exploring and asking to work on them. Let your manager know that you need to work on the projects you genuinely care about.

Be accountable

Screenshot from Zahran's More than a Job videoA big part of taking ownership of your work is owning the responsibility of your work. You have to be accountable for your actions and everything else that happens in your project. If things go badly, it’s on you. And if things go splendidly, you get the credit!

Speak up and be a part of the conversation

Make sure to voice your opinion in the workplace, especially when it comes to your own work. If you own the project, stand up for your decisions and defend your viewpoints. Communicate the right information to the right stakeholders and engage with them, but remember that you have the final say. You own the project, you make the decisions.

Moreover, talk to your manager about your vision for each project, as well as your career goals, so they can be well aware of what you need to achieve and align your work with it.

Define your own success

What is success, for you? It’s a very important question to answer. To truly own your career development, you need to understand what success means to you so you can work on instilling those values in your projects.

Pick up a pen and paper and map out your career goals. From there, you’ll start to get a clearer picture of what you want your success to look like. Define it, document it, and then implement it.

If you do lead a team, this is how to empower them

Invite criticism

Good managers invite feedback, positive and negative. Great managers take it in consideration and learn from individuals in their team. It’s a great way to let your team know that their opinions matter and that they have a say in the work they do.

This is how KarmSolar’s founder and CEO Ahmed Zahran manages his team.

So make sure you let them communicate their input when it comes to anything that impacts their work. Embrace it. Even automate it; look for a tool or method for everyone to leave their ideas and feedback. It will allow them to be comfortable with the role of the decision-maker and it will encourage them to make bolder statements and step up to claim more responsibility.

Motivate and inspire

Make sure you communicate clearly what you expect of each of your team members, delegate important projects and tasks to them based on their passions and skills, and then motivate them to do their absolute best.

Inspire them to work on their weaknesses and magnify their strengths, and push them towards achieving their career goals. In addition, make sure you always recognize and appreciate the work that they do. When they succeed, recognize that, and tell them to keep up the good work.

Let them be themselves

Make sure you encourage your team to be themselves at work; that’s when their best work comes out. Build a relationship based on openness and mutual trust and respect. Give them the space to talk about what they want to work on and how they feel about the work that they do.

When they feel like they can be their authentic selves in the office, they’ll be much more inclined to own their work and do their best.Click To Tweet

Encourage individuality in your team. When they feel like they can be their authentic selves in the office, they’ll be much more inclined to own their work and do their best.

Lead the way but don’t take over

Identify what skills and practices your team members need to improve and show them how. This doesn’t mean you do their work for them; it means you teach them and then let them be. Here, it’s important to understand the difference between leadership and micromanagement.

Leaders show the path, micromanagers walk the path.Click To Tweet

Leaders show the path, micromanagers walk the path. Micromanagement kills ownership; it doesn’t allow individual members to feel like they’re capable of performing the task on their own. Give them the help and guidance they need but don’t be scared to let them fail. Let them sink, and then swim.

Taking ownership of your work is a big part of growing your career and shaping the work life you want, the way you want it. So start owning it.

Have you had a hard time convincing your manager to let you own your work? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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