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Career AdviceCareer counselling, advice and guidance

Tiffany Wong

Tiffany Wong is Director of Walters People Division & HR at Robert Walters Hong Kong.

Keep after-work activities in check

My role used to be more a sitting-down type and I could focus on my work. But as I advance to a relatively senior level, I begin to be regularly called upon to attend external events as a representative of my company. At first, I was happy to do so as an occasional change of mode of work, but as time goes, I’m being asked to go to more and more functions and it is eating a considerable chunk of my spare time. I’m beginning to think that my company is taking advantage of me, but at the same time, I am admittedly building up a more extensive network. Should I just go along with it or is there a point that I should draw a line? ...

Is a long wait for an interview callback normal?

I am an accountant currently in between jobs and I have had a number of interviews recently. They have all gone well but I have yet to have any callbacks.I made queries to one company after a two-week wait and I was told they still hadn’t made a decision. Is this normal for the decision process to take so long? ...

Is joining up with a former colleague in a new company a risky move?

A former colleague of mine has got in touch with a job offer in his new company. He is someone I greatly respect and we worked very well together. He is now in a management role and has a strong say on who gets hired.The nature of the work is slightly different from what I currently do (I am a data researcher) though not something that would be too disorienting either.It all seems perfect but I have an uneasy feeling that I might be allowing my heart to rule my head. Is it a bad idea to rekindle a professional relationship like this or will it all go smoothly?   ...

Build your brand and get your name known

I am in a senior position at my firm and am happy with my company and career. However, I would like to go a bit further and build a personal brand. I’d like to be known as an expert in my field and improve my public profile. What advice do you give on trying to go about this? ...

Should I try to follow my old boss to his new job?

I work as an accountant for a large auditing firm. I have a very good relationship with my boss, for whom I have worked for five years, but he is about to leave the company. He has a past record of bringing trusted staff with him from previous jobs and I am quietly hoping he does the same in my case.I am wondering if I should wait for him to initiate contact or would it be alright for me to broach the subject myself? ...

Will taking a year out damage my career?

I work in accountancy and have been on the job constantly since graduating from college seven years ago. I am feeling a bit jaded at this point and I am considering taking a year out to work as a volunteer in the NGO sector. I have approached a number of organisations and all the proposals made to me entail working abroad. Financially, I can afford to step away from the job for a year. I am, however, concerned about how it might affect my career, particularly as I have yet to raise the matter with my employer. What advice would you give someone in my situation? ...

How can I top up my ‘chief’-less job title?

More and more people seem to be getting the word “chief” in their titles and although I used to be cynical towards the practice, the “upgrading” of some of my peers in the industry is making me feel left behind. I’m head of product and services at a fairly large software company and I know one or two people who do very similar jobs to what I do at other companies but with titles like “Chief Experience Officer”. I’m thinking that the more this happens, the less important and old-fashioned those without “chief” in their title will look to the job market. Am I being silly and if not, how do I start a conversation on a title upgrade? How can I back up my argument? ...

Could my request for an internal transfer backfire?

My company’s HR department sent an email out to all staff advertising several available internal opportunities. While I am fairly content in my current role (debt capital markets analyst), I am quite tempted by one of these jobs in another team (M&A) as I think it has more scope for growth. My worry is that if I apply, it will be interpreted as that I am not happy with my current role, or even that I might also be looking for outside opportunities – and I think my manager would be disappointed if he found out. Should I make the application or should I only do so if I really want to leave my current role? ...

How can I improve my interviewing skills as a manager?

I got promoted to my first management role four months ago, and in the last few weeks have started doing my first job interviews from the other side of the table. What I’ve been surprised to find is that I am almost as nervous in the role of interviewer as I am when I’m the interviewee! Even though I prepare by going through the interviewees’ CVs carefully and thinking up questions,  I still struggle to think of things to ask and am always worried about saying something silly and making the company (and me) look bad. What can I do to improve my interviewing skills and temperament?   ...

Know where to aim your unsolicited job application when applying for a job in Hong Kong

Do HR departments generally pay attention to unsolicited applications? Or should unsolicited emails target senior management–for example, the CEO of a company–for a greater impression and improved chances of success? Either way, are there any secrets to making an unsolicited application successful?  ...