Dealing with Job Consultants in UK (Part 1)

Part 1: Here
Part 2: Here
Part 3: Here

Looking for a job in the UK? Then read on!

If you are really lucky you will never have to come in contact with job consultants, instead you will get to interact with company HR (which is a whole different ball game).

To make things clearer let me clarify what the difference is between a job consultant and company HR. Job consultant is usually the ‘middleman’ between you and the prospective employer. They get a percentage of the salary that they place you at (if you get the job), this is called ‘placement fees’.

Therefore a consultant needs to maximise the salary you get placed at, while ensuring you get the job. It is a tough job, to manage the expectations of both the job seeker and the employer. This means your average consultant needs to be smart, aggressive and pushy. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on which side of the gun you are facing. For proper opportunities you need someone aggressive fighting for you with the company.

A company HR person works for the company. Their loyalties are usually not divided. They usually come in during the beginning and end of the interview process.

Your interaction with the consultant is likely to be divided into the following phases:

1) The Initial Call

2) Pre-interview Phase

3) Post-interview Phase

4) Finalization Phase

5) Bye-bye!

Out of the above five phases the first (The Initial Call) and the third (Post-interview) are most important. These determine (to a great extent) which side of the gun you face.

More on these in Part 2!

Choices Within Choices

Life is full of choices.

I believe all our actions have a choice behind them.

There is nothing called circumstances. We can choose to be a slave to circumstance or not.

All choices have consequences.

All choices have choices within them.

An example:

You are at work, it is a 9-5 job and you have to stay in the office till 5pm. But you don’t feel like working and want to leave early. Most people would say that it is because of circumstances that you cannot leave the job early. If you did you could loose your job.

In my view that is a choice we  make. We choose to hold on to the job and obey the 9-5 rule. The choice is ours. The consequence of this choice is that we get stability in life.

There is a choice within this choice as well.

Holding on to the job could mean just holding on to it or it could mean doing it well. Choosing to leave early is a choice. We could choose to remain at work and do something (like write a blog!).

So remember… never curse your luck or your circumstances.

It is all down to the choices you make!

SQL Server Express 2008: Timeout and Pre-login Errors

If you are getting Timeout or Pre-login Errors when trying to access MS SQL Server Express 2008 from a Windows Vista based client then read on!

Some of the reasons behind these errors (and the solutions) are given here:

If the above does NOT resolve the error (as in my case) then before you start cursing Microsoft try this:

Go to the Network and Internet –> Network Connections

Right click on the connection being used (WiFi or LAN or any other).

I found IPv6 and and Link-Layer Topology protocols enabled which I disabled.

This partially resolved the issues. Database access was quite stable and I was able to do some of the work. But still things were not 100% normal. I was loosing the wireless connection and it was showing me connected to an ‘unidentified network’. Even the internet stopped working if the computer went into standby.

This it seems is a very common problem and more info can be found on the Microsoft site.

This problem results from

A) Issues with DHCP implementation difference between Vista and XP.

Read for solution:

B) Issues with power management profiles and WiFi networks

Read for solution:

The Importance of Experience…

We all want our lives to be smooth and happy. No one really wants anything bad happening in their lives. We do various things to keep bad days away. We pray to God, we try and eat right, we read self-help books and do various other things to keep life in the green.
Perhaps the most important thing we can do to keep life in the green is to enjoy both bad and good experiences.

It is difficult to enjoy bad experiences I know that. But at the same time it is not impossible. What we must remember is that, just like day follows night, good times will be followed by bad and just as night follows day, bad times will be followed by good.

Often the good will come with the bad (as bad comes with good).

Life will never be perfect (or it won’t stay that way for long!).

I think it is up to experience to teach us to enjoy both the good and the bad times. To seek postivity even in bad things.

It is similar to when we hear a piece of music again and again it becomes embedded in our mind. We are able to pick that piece of music up even against background noise. We have trained our braint of identify that piece of music.
The same can be done with positivity. Pick any situation in your life and examine it in detail to seek what all positives there are in it. Keep doing this with new situations that come up and one day you would have trained your brain to pick the positives out of the background noise of life!