Weight Loss Journey .. The First Month

Kia Ora Whanau!

Welcome to my second post about my weight loss. For more on my history you can visit my previous post “Weight Loss Journey … The History

First off before I being I want to say a huge thank you for not only taking the time to read about my journey but also the out flowing support I have received from everyone either on my Instagram posts or my personal Facebook, and also in general life from the support of my family and friends. For those that know me it has been a long journey to even start this, and then to do it publicly is even more daunting.

OK so straight up, this is gonna be a loooong post so I hope you will stick with me.

There are photos at the bottom of this blog and I explain these a bit more so if you don’t want to read the post first before you get the saucy half-naked yeti photo, feel free to come back to this!

So my first month, I’m gonna break this down week by week and I will try to discuss all aspects of it.

Week One

Well lets just start this with the first day, I started following a meal plan that my girlfriend created for me, as I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t actually realize that what I was doing was a personalized version of a Keto diet.
As you can see from my photos below, I wasn’t exactly super focused on my health (specifically photo three).

The meal plan was a one pager that included, food I can eat at breakfast, lunch and dinner and all food I can’t go near.

Now I am not a big vegetables guy – It’s like I always thought of the word as a bad swear word, and the ones I did eat were mostly heavily carb/ sugar focused, potatoes, corn, carrots and berries, apples banana’s. … seeing I couldn’t have these made me a little weary. I automatically felt like I would be failing within two to three days, let alone trying to turn this into my new lifestyle!

But I persevered! I was doing it for the right reasons, I was gonna be healthy and change my life … Cue my eventual Hypo(glycemic) attack within 12 hours of starting the diet and having to have my girlfriend buy me fruit at the farmers market (where we had gone to go buy all the veges I could now eat) just to bring my blood sugar up.
Now I admit I f%&ked up in this instance. I left for a big walk after taking my 120 units of insulin, my diabetic pills without any breakfast and very little to eat the night before.
I also didn’t take my Jelly Beans (Shout-out to my diabetic’s reading this, you know how much those little sugary beans can pick you up!).
As you can imagine I had not made the best impression that this was gonna go well.

But the main thing is I recovered and decided I better have some jelly beans with me all the time. The meals were tasty and nice. If you go to my Instagram you can see every meal I have made or had since starting this journey.

Now before I started this Keto diet/ lifestyle I had started increasing my walking – trying to go for 10 thousand steps a day, this has since increased to 12 thousand and hopefully climbing as time goes on.

During this time, like literally just before, my change in lifestyle (I’m gonna try not to call it a diet from now on, because lets face it most times I try to diet, I Die @ doing it!). I discovered Sweat Coin. Now this isn’t a plug or anything like that, but basically Sweat Coin is a crypto-currency app that you earn by walking … seems to good to be true right? well it is actually true.
You can join my Sweat Coin and I get $5 sweat coins if you use my code. I will do a Sweat Coin post in the future if people are interested.

Because of the app, I actually enjoyed walking and seeing my coin’s increase, gives me an incentive to keep with the walking and the new lifestyle!

Day three … another Hypo, this time I was at work. The mistake I made this time, I had been monitoring my blood sugars but the one thing I hadn’t done … I never changed my insulin. Naturally with the low sugar I was eating, my natural blood sugar would be reducing … A fact I saw while doing my blood sugar readings.
This time I called my friend who worked in the diabetic field. What did she say to me? “Get your ass to the Dr’s!”
Note: I really want you to go back and read that line like in Arnie’s voice from Total Recall, not because of the person who told me but I figure it will make you laugh every time you think about it.

I took my friend’s advice and then luckily on day five I saw the my diabetic nurse. He was not happy with me, not because of the changing lifestyle, or the walking. What he wasn’t happy with??
The fact that I had not had a blood sugar HbH1C test (this measures your blood sugars over the last three months), in about 18 months… yeah not proud of that.

My diabetic nurse went through the meal plan and issued me with a new diabetic machine (my old one was over 10 years old), now I am a big tech geek so when my friend who I phoned said there are now meters that connect via Bluetooth I thought “I don’t have to write in a book anymore, sweet sign me up!” if you are diabetic, talk to your Dr about getting one because these things are awesome!

A condition of my new machine … I had to come in every week to talk to the diabetic nurse. When I discuss week two a bit more I’ll expand more on why that was a great idea.

So I manage to get through the first week with a few minor hiccups but overall it seemed like I could get used to this, sausage and eggs for breakfast (with a lot of veges thrown in), steak, chicken, or fish for lunch (insert previous comment about copious amounts of veges) and repeat for dinner.

Now over the first week my mind did actually wonder .. can I actually do this for a sustained time? I mean wont I get sick of the same meals all the time. Well one month on and I can say I still enjoy the meals and even trying to create new ones as well. so that’s a yes … so far, lets see how next month happens!

Week Two

So I am getting in to the pattern of cooking my food and actually quite enjoying it, but there is one thing that’s bothering me.

Bread.

Yup that’s what I said, Bread, god did I miss bread! It is one of those essentials that I didn’t even think of missing that much. The funny thing, it wasn’t even actually for the bread itself.
OK stick with me but, it was what I could put on the bread, Peanut Butter, Marmite (for those from overseas, if you haven’t tried marmite on bread and butter it’s … an experience, Kiwi’s love it, everyone else … not so much!).
The point is, I couldn’t see myself putting peanut butter on a cracker (cause carbs) or marmite on a slice of cucumber … no thanks!

I expressed this frustration to …. well anyone that would ask me “how it’s going?” The cravings for those carbs did hit me pretty hard but I pushed through the struggle … and munched on more bell peppers and cucumbers.

The big “D“, Diabetes that is, Week two and seeing my diabetic nurse was a little bit better as I didn’t see the same person, but what I did get is the result of my blood glucose. I was 97 … If this was a class room that would be a pass right??? not in the world of diabetes.
To give you some clarification a “healthy” person’s blood glucose should be around 40 to 60 (or when your testing your blood between 4 to 6).
I was sitting at over double that.
But the diabetic nurse looked over the food I had been eating (I have been tracking everything through My Fitness Pal), and also my new blood sugar measurements … because now its all on my phone so I can easily watch my progress.

The diabetic nurse tapped me on the head and wished me well until next week, when my original diabetic nurse came back to see my progress.

So it’s been two weeks and you would think I wouldn’t see any change right?, well you would be wrong!

OK so I’m not gonna make out like I had lost heaps and look like a Greek Adonis of a man, my heritage suggests I should look like. I am however defiantly noticing my increased mobility, the tightness in my breath disappearing and the need for being sore for lifting my fat ass every time I need to move. So I’m calling it a win at this stage.

Week Three

Now this was a big week for me for my fitness. Last week I did something which surprised me, I walked from my work to home, a distance of about 7 Kilometers across some hilly terrain. It took me three hours.

This week, not only did I do this walk in two and a half hours, I also went for a massive walk to the Red Rocks Reserve. This reserve houses some pretty cheeky Seals and is somewhere I have always wanted to go to… I have lived in Wellington all my life .. of 37 years, Way to see the world right??

The food was going well, but that craving of bread was still there and this week it was like a cheesy horror film tagline, “It was back for vengeance!” or “Don’t go into the bakery!”

Now this would be all good, if it wasn’t for the fact that I live with three qualified bakers, one of whom, specializes in amazing cakes and slices. Temptation is real people and her name is Carb City!

My girlfriend knew I had a problem with this, and how much it was getting to me. She made me a deal. Before I started my Keto journey I used to frequent Dominoes, and as such I had a free pizza voucher from them.
I texted my girlfriend one night and fessed up that I still has this and (if I’m gonna be completely honest, I almost slipped and spent twenty minutes trying to convince myself not to use the voucher. I had even logged in to the app and ordered my pizza before pressing the complete order button), she was proud of me for not going through with it. I asked if she wanted the pizza . . . Hoping we could share it (this would be the ultimate cheat meal!), she saw through my plan and told me I can swap the voucher for a present.

I didn’t want to, but I thought “ok, I don’t actually need the pizza”

She surprised me with the best gift ever … Bread!!!, specifically Keto bread that she had learnt to make and advised she would make me every week. My love tank bubbled over, something so simple like a loaf of bread made me dam well near cried my keto tears of joy.

Week there was hard but everything is getting easier, I am cooking more and feeling so much better.

Let me put this in perspective for you, Prior to my new lifestyle, I was having a sick day almost every week. Not something I am proud about either. When its’ once in a blue moon it’s ok, but every week for like four to five months … there’s something wrong buddy!

I seemed to have a cold that would never go away, I was constantly popping throat pills to clear my airways. I was not well.

Three weeks of eating mostly veges and no carbs and internally I feel like a new man.

Diabetic appointment number three. I no longer feel bad or horrible, I’m starting to be more aware of what I should be doing and when I should be taking my readings. Everything is coming up Alex!

This week I also have to visit the Hospital for a previous referral about my eyes. A lot of people don’t realize that diabetes can also make you go blind, yes not the original thing that your parents said you would go blind for, but sugar!

The good news is, apart from looking like Mr Sparkle because of the eye drops, it appears that finally my eyes are finally getting better since the change.

Also this week I had my first cheat meal (notice I said meal and not day). As it was Valentines Day, my girlfriend and I went to a restaurant and I had ribs, not a lot but just enough. It was a welcome change … it wasn’t pizza or pasta but it was delicious! The main thing is I didn’t feel like I now need a cheat meal every week.

Week Four

So this is the week I am in now, I know it’s early so I cant talk about my diabetic appointment, but I can already tell from my reduction of insulin and my readings that I have already knocked off around 40 from my score from 97. I have been promised that in April I can go for another blood test so that will be a huge indication of what has changed.

I no longer feel shame walking around, and the confidence that everyone has given me from their support and love had made me feel like I am doing the right thing and also inspired me to keep going.

Now I am an Amazon affiliate and if you click the link I mention here you will be taken to Amazon and if you buy something (anything) I do get a slight commission, that said one of my friends referred me to listen to an audio book from Tony Robbins called Unshakable. This book, while mostly is about talking about how to invest in index funds and the diversifying of your portfolios, it also talks about changing your mindset and effectively trying to make your mind Unshakable. I’m not gonna lie, it actually helped me quite a bit during week two and three when I felt I was gonna fall off the wagon and go have that slice of non-keto bread, or go buy that chocolate. The point I want to make is that it’s not just the health stuff I am eating or moving it’s also about changing my feelings, my emotions and also my mindset. It’s worth a listen or read if you have a chance. I hope to cover my mindset change in a future blog.

Once again thanks so much for reading all the way to the end, feel free to like, comment, subscribe and all that good stuff. I try to respond to everyone. I want to build this into a community as well as a network and in order to do that I need you.

OK so you made it all the way to the end of the first month! Here is your reward, some old photos and some new ones:

  1. Me at the Wellington Rugby Sevens as The Fat Chippendale (Kids don’t search this, ask your mum what this is!)
  2. Me as Psy from Gangnam Style at one of the 12 Pubs of Christmas pub crawls
  3. Me on my 30th birthday. I drank all 30 shots in less than 7 minutes … something drunk Alex used to be very proud of … I would do this about 4 years in a row
  4. Fast Forward to NOW! This is an example of the food I have been eating to change my diet, Chicken Drumsticks baked in spices with veges
  5. A Egg omlette with sausage, bell peppers and cheese
  6. Me today (18 February 2020) I am down to 124.40 Kgs (274.25 Lbs) – down 5 KG’s roughly from start this journey

Weight Loss Journey … What Is SweatCoin???

Kia Ora Whanau

Welcome to the another weight loss post! Alex from Costas Enterprises here, and this post is going to cover SweatCoin, what it is, some tips and also shameless promotion of my using this as another motivator to lose weight!

Disclaimer: I am not paid by SweatCoin, nor do I gain anything from this post. This is my personal review of an App I heard about and started using. You will see me mention my code later and if you want to support me with SweatCoins if you click the link, download and install the App I will be given $5 in SweatCoins (not real money). I am an Amazon Affiliate and on this blog I wont be adding any links to Amazon, I ask instead that if you want to support me you instead use my SweatCoin referral link below:

sweatco.in/hi/thekiwidon

You can also listen to this blog via my podcast episode here.

So lets get started with the big question shall we…

What Is SweatCoin?

So if you search SweatCoin you will see a lot of things like reviews and also the phrase “It Pays To Walk”. That is because SweatCoin is an app for Android and iPhone that helps you create SweatCoins.

But what does all that mean???

SweatCoin is an attempt to make a Crypto-Currency like Bit Coin but rather than sticking 15 iPhone’s together to generate One bitcoin every 15 minutes, you can earn SweatCoins by Walking.

Yes you read right I typed walking.

Does it cost?/ Is this a Scam??

The next question people ask is one of the above. So let me get this out there right now.

No! It does not cost you any real money. There is some cost involved but this is linked to the SweatCoin themselves. We will cover this a little bit later when we talk about plans.

No! This is not a Scam! Real people use this app everyday, and honestly if I was offering it as a scam my integrity would be brought into question not only for this job but also my current employer within Information Technology.

Yeah but are you sure???

Trust me, as someone who is very skeptical of scams and even of things like this I have done some research for you. I have not only looked thought he web and you-tube videos, I have spoken with others that have been using the app for three to four years and have claimed rewards.

Now I have to admit in my skeptical nature going through the login process made me think that it could be a bit of a scam, but I did some more research and I then realized I was being super paranoid, yet I have so many apps that I share everything with and this was only asking for one thing – Geo Location.

If your skeptical like me you may want to look at their site yourself, you can do this here.

So if it doesn’t cost or it isn’t a scam … why haven’t I heard about it?

I have to admit I literally stumbled across this randomly through searching you-tube for looking at earning passive income. It was here that I heard about SweatCoin and the promise of up to $1000!!!

As I said, it sounds to good to be true right? Walk and get $1000 … well it’s not super simple. They don’t/ can’t give away $1000 just to anyone.

So what’s the catch?/ Where do they get the money from?/ What do I have to give up?

OK so lets tackle this in three parts.

The Catch – For the $1000, this is a one time reward. Once you claim it, it’s gone. This is paid into your PayPal account and is in your local currency. Now this part is important.
They won’t ever ask for a bank account or credit card for any payments. They also will not receive any payments from you using normal money.

Where do they get the money from? – So in the Market Place (refer to screen-shot further down) you will see offers from advertisers. Yep that’s the catch, you will get adverts in your App, but don’t stop reading yet, the adverts are not pushed to you. This means you wont see an advert everytime to walk or open the app. You only see these adverts when you personally want to see them. You can use any earned SweatCoins to purchase anything from the Market Place or use a daily advert to earn more SweatCoins.

The Marathon items you see cost a lot of SweatCoins … I’m not going to lie, these can take two to three years to earn. Some offers however are as little as 10 Sweat Coins which can easily be earned in a day.

What do I have to give up? – So this will be a sore issues for some people and will be a reason people will probably switch off. You give up some Geo-Location/ Privacy issues. Now if you stick with me I can now explain that as for the Geo-Locations – You can choose to not have any data sent via the App (apart from the mandatory once a day so it can analyze and sync your step count).

Wait … did you say step count? like a pedometer? Well kind of. You see the app will track the steps you take based on Google locations. It does not currently work with FitBit, or Any other smart watch but apparently they are trying to source this.

The important thing to remember here is that your step count will be different from your fit-bit/ smart-watch etc…

So wait … does it use a lot of Data? or Battery?

Data – No, it will only use data once a day if you leave it so it can analyze your steps, however if your like me you sometimes want to see the conversion so you can manually transfer your steps in to Sweat Coins. Also if you go to the Market place you will be using data. This feature is not turned on. Data is always on by default and you have to turn this off through the app (or just turn your mobile data off).

Battery – Yes, I have to admit my battery does go down a bit faster these days but not so much that I never have enough. While it’s not as big of a power-drain as Pokemon Go, or other Geo-location apps, if you have it open all the time you will notice this. This is where things got interesting, you see it will run in the background so the drain on power is not half as bad as you actually think.

What does it look like?

So if your still reading by now you are hopefully a little intrigued so lets have a quick look shall we?

Home Screen – After the login process this is the main screen you will see. You will notice that you have your Total Steps at the bottom and then above that are your SweatCoins earned for that time/ day.

Home Screen Tips

  1. The info button on the right is where you can manually convert your steps in to SweatCoins
  2. The +S button in the bottom right corner is where you can Refer a Friend or watch your Daily Bonus adverts – I will cover these a bit more in depth a little later
  3. The bottom bar is like your navigation bar. The first button is your Market place, The second is your wallet, The third is the home screen, The fourth is your leader board (where you can compete against people around you or friends) and finally The fifth button is your profile. You can see who follows you, who you follow and also change the plan your on (more on that a little later).
This is the Home Screen for SweatCoin (Android)

Market place – The below screenshot shows you the Marathon offers you can claim. As you can see the $1000 will cost you 20 Thousand SweatCoins…. that’s a lot of walking.

In the Market place you can also access your Daily Rewards by scrolling down.

In addition to using the market place for yourself you can also Donate to great causes.

Yes that’s right, your SweatCoins can be donated to causes that will be paid in real money by the company on your behalf.

This is the Market Place. You have Marathon and Normal offers from advertisers.

Rewards Pages

So there are two basic rewards/ referrals that can help you earn more SweatCoins.

  1. Daily Bonus – This is three 30 second adverts to watch. Disclaimer: These are the only adverts you will be forced to watch once you click their button. All are about 30 seconds. These rewards can range from 0.50sc to 25.00sc. I’ll be honest this screenshot below is the first and only time I have received 25sc (which was 03/03/2020). Most times I get 0.50sc or 1/2sc. It also has to be noted that you only unlock the three videos until SweatCoin registers 2000 steps. The minimum for daily reward can be 1.5sc and the maximum is 75sc per day… if your really lucky!
  2. Refer-A-Friend – So every friend that you refer and they sign-up earns you 5sc per person. As you can see there is a referral code as well as other sharing mechanics to allow you to send your code. (Shameless plug, try my code and help me gain 5sc!!

Referral Code: sweatco.in/hi/thekiwidon

OK so what are these plans you keep going on about?

There are four plans. Mover (no cost), Shaker (4.75 sc p/month), Quaker (20 sc p/month) and Breaker (30 sc p/month)

Each plan has a different cost and maximum SweatCoin you can earn per month. You can keep it free by sticking to Mover. I am personally on Breaker.

Plan Tip! As an introduction to SweatCoin you get offered your first month free on any of the other “paid” plans. I signed up for the Breaker plan and it took me 3 days to earn 30sc … meaning my first month basically paid for itself. I suggest if your going to actually try this, then do think about going to one of the plans and get that free bonus. You will then be charged every month (on the anniversary of the date you joined).

So why does it motivate you?

I’ll be honest, I started this just before I started my weight loss journey … like literally one week before. What kept me going, I can earn money if I walk.

If I’m going to walk anyway I might as well earn something while I walk right???

The fact that I can simply have this app running in the background and that my SweatCoin balance just keeps going up.

To date (As of 05 March 2020) and after only doing this for around six weeks my wallet size is currently 444.54 sc.

To be the honest the added bonus of helping me lose weight is just another advantage of using the app.

Conclusion

OK so as you can tell I actually like SweatCoin. There are other app like this out there but I really like the User Interface (UI) and also I love the fact that it dosen’t actually cost me real money to use the app, or I’m not bombarded with notifications or adverts every time I open it.

The thought of walking my way to money is also pretty cool.

Cons: Lets the get the bad stuff out of the way, the Geo-Location/ Privacy issues are a slight concern, however given the other apps on my phone which ask for a million other things like contacts then the one request for Geo-Location isnt so bad.

The battery issue is a concern as it does drain a bit, however I am the kind of person who changes a battery as soon as it falls below 80%.

Pros: I think most of this article shows my positive side towards this app but lets make it clear:

  • I like the fact it gets me moving – aka more motivation,
  • I like the UI and feel like it’s easy to use,
  • I also like that I am not bored of the idea,
  • I like money … yeah I’m honest right.

In short, and this is my opinion, I really like the idea of the app and if you need some motivation to go for that longer walk, this does help .. well it did for me.

If you want to support me in this journey then please click the link and join up!

Referral Code: sweatco.in/hi/thekiwidon

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this post.

Please like, comment and subscribe!

Prep For That Interview, What Do I Need To Do?

Kia Ora Whanau!

Alex from Costas Enterprises here, and today we are going to cover some of the basic things you should do before you go to the interview. These tips wont get you the job, but they may help you feel more confident.

Review your STARL examples and try to anticipate what you may be questioned on.

OK shameless blog posts plug here, but if you haven’t already, you may want to check out my previous STAR examples post. We have also already discussed about identifying these in another blog post (Before you apply for a job). These can be identified by looking in to the job description and identifying what skills the employer is looking for. Sometimes the employer will come out and say exactly the skills they want but other times you will need to read the language of what they are wanting to find.

Practice the delivery of your STARL examples.

You can do this by holding a mock interview with a family member or your friend. The important thing to know when going into an interview is that when you are being asked a question by one of the interviewers, the one question asked is actually two to three questions in one. For example they might ask something similar to:

“This question is about teamwork. Tell me/us a time when you were part of a good team, what was the defining factor about this team and how did you resolve any conflicts within that team?

When you are asked a question like this you may need to change your STARL example to fit this question, you need to think how you break down the question.

In this example we are told the skill is Teamwork, but is this the only skill they want you to identify? They ask to tell them a time you were part of a good team (Question 1 – This is you giving them an example), What was the defining factor about this team (Question 2 – What made this team great (this should be within the example itself)) and finally they ask how did you resolve any conflicts within the team (Question 3 – This is not only asking about teamwork but also how you resolve conflict or deal with irate team members – And before you ask, the answer “we never have any complaints or conflicts” is not going to be helpful at all so think carefully). Also in this example you may want to instead mention a time from your personal life if you can’t think of a work example.

Practice the delivery of your answer.

You need to practice taking your time to think about the answer you will give to their question, you need to make sure that you can interpret one of your STARL answers into the question they have asked. This may also mean slightly adapting your answer.

One thing you will learn is that while you’re STARL answers will be great when you explain the Situation Task Action Result and what you Learnt, if you can’t adapt these within the interview to answer the question being asked, you might as well not even try to remember them.

This only comes with practice! The more practice and experience you have with these style of interview questions, the easier it will be to adapt and respond.

The key point here is listening to the question being asked. By taking time you think about your answer before responding straight away, you will be more comfortable and confident in your response.

Remember: You want to make this interview more like a conversation, this way the employer will feel comfortable around you … this is a good thing!

Dress to impress

OK so I know I don’t really need to say this, but I’m going to cover it off anyway.

When you are going for an interview you are giving a visual representation of yourself to the employer. What does this mean? … You don’t have to be dressed as if you’re going on a first date/ wedding or a school ball but at the very least dress professionally.

Think about it simply, if you were on the opposite side of the table and someone came to you wearing a T-Shirt and Shorts, with a dirty full beard or messy hair, applying for an office role … would you hire that person?

You want to make a good first impression as it might be the last one you have to ever give.

So get a shirt/ blouse, some nice pants/ dress, get a hair-cut (or comb/ brush your hair) and if your a man, shave/ style your facial hair and finally go get kill that interview!

Believe in yourself and visualise your own success.

Ok, Ok I know it sounds a bit airy-fairy but hear me out.

Before you go into the interview, once your looking and feeling So Fresh and So Clean (Clean) you need to believe that you can give that amazing interview.

Put simply BE CONFIDENT!!

You are going in this interview to show that you will be an asset to their team/ organization because you have every skill needed to go. So go in there and not only show that you can do the job required but exceed it (you did apply for the job because your thought you were qualified right?, now is the time to act that way).

Do some research and prepare to ask a question.

So I know we have covered this already in a previous Questions blog post but this is actually really important, As mentioned in the blog post, this is not a standard “What does the job pay?” type question.

Instead it should be more of a reflection of what the job is, for example if you are applying for a Business Analyst type role within security, ask them something that is in line with what they are looking for.
“What security measures do you currently use and how do you intend to develop these to the changing technological markets?”.
By asking a question to do with the job, you are showing an interest in the role and while it might not get you the job, it will at least show them you are seriously interested and could lead to another job interview or a junior position within the same organization.

So we come to the part of the blog where I offer links to Amazon products and advise that I am an Amazon Affiliate and if you click the link and buy anything from Amazon I will get a small commission. This is a way of helping keep these blogs going so I appreciate anyone that helps me do this! These two books are only examples of what you can wear when going not only for an interview but also once you get that job. Again this wont guarantee you get the job, but it might make your interviewer favor you more if you have closed shoes as opposed to jandals/ flip-flops.

  1. Chic Simple Dress Smart Men: Wardrobes That Win in the New Workplace
  2. Chic Simple Dress Smart Women: Wardrobes That Win in the New Workplace

Thanks again for taking the time to read this post and I value all of my readers/ followers and commentators. So come and join the Whanau and subscribe so your always in the know!

Until next time, have a great day Whanau!

What should be in your CV?

Kia Ora Whanau

Alex here from Costas Enterprises and today I want to start to get into the nitty-gritty of applying for a job.

Your CV! Yep, that’s right it’s time to look at what should be in your CV.

Note: This is just a generic guide to creating/ editing a CV.
As I have previously mentioned in my other post “Before You Apply For A Job” you should be creating a “Master CV” and then editing this, along with your Cover Letter for every job your applying for.

I am not guaranteeing that you will get every single job you apply for following these rules, but this guide might help you get to an interview at the least. I will try break down each section and suggest things like formatting, and guidance of what to cover.

Before We Begin: You do not need a pre-made CV as this guide can help you make one from scratch. If you do want some personal help, you can contact me through my email doncostas@gmail.com. I do create CV’s and Cover Letters for a price that is significantly cheaper than recruitment providers.

The Big Debate

Ok let’s air this out, there has always been a big debate with CV’s … how long should it be?

In my personal opinion your CV should be no longer than three pages. If you can fit a CV in to two pages it is ideal, but don’t feel like you have to cut everything to fit two pages.
This is your time to show your future employer your representative.
That is what your CV and Cover Letter is made to do.
If you cant do it in three pages because your super qualified, look at cutting some of it down.

Introduction

This section of your CV is where you announce/ introduce who you are, provide your email, address and phone.

If you are sending your CV electronically, you do not need to say Curriculum Vitae or CV in this intro section. You should instead be correctly saving your file as “Your Name – Curriculum Vitae”.
The employer will open this and see it is your CV.
If you are sending via “snail mail” then at the very top you will place your name (center-aligned) and underneath this place “Curriculum Vitae”.

Basic formatting of the Intro section

As I mentioned above you should be placing your name in the center of the intro section. Bold and colour your name. You don’t have to add a colour if you don’t want, my only suggestion is don’t make it too bright. Instead go with a darker colour like a green, maroon, dark purple, dark blue for example.
Your name should also be the largest font on your CV (but not stupidly large, use your judgement).

All other items in your intro should be Right-Aligned.

You should also provide bold titles of what is being provided, Home Phone, Mobile, Work Email etc …

If you are sending electronically – hyperlink your emails.

Formatting Sections Of Your CV

So what do I mean here? well . . . you want your CV to stand out right? So a way of doing this – without making your CV look too bland is create each heading, make it Bold, Center aligned and if possible try to use a line/ colour or a border section just to clearly break this up from one section to another.

For Example:

Personal Profile

My opinion on a personal profile is quite simply that I prefer not to use them. Now hear me out before you start screaming in the comments that I’m a mad-man. My reason for this is because your Cover Letter, which is the first thing an employer usually reads, is your Personal Profile.

The only time you should use a Personal Profile is if you are starting the workforce and you don’t have much of an employment history. For example you have just left school/ college and have never worked in any organisation.

In these instances, and hopefully only in these instances, you should be providing a Personal Profile.

If you do need/ want to add this, then make your personal profile no more than one paragraph.

You can highlight your goals about what you want to do for the employer, what’s great about you and why you deserve to be working for them … kind of what you should already be saying in your Cover Letter.

Key Skills/ Skills/ Qualities/ Capabilities

This section is really important. If you go back to my “Before you apply for a job” post (you can find it above) you will notice that I discuss identifying your skills. In this Master CV, your going to list all of these skills here.

Some employers like to see a bulleted list, others would prefer an explanation of the skill.

I suggest combining these a little. Instead of the bulleted list, Bold the title of each of your skills. Next, provide a one to two sentence example of this skill.

Remember that the skills you mention here can be interchanged with each new CV you create and send out. You can also develop some of these skills into your STAR examples (check out “What are S.T.A.R examples and how do I create one?”).

An example of potential skills are:

Excellent Communication SkillsOrganisational SkillsTime Management Skills
FlexibilityAdaptabilityAle to work within a team environment or independently
Judgement/ Decision MakingProblem SolvingNetwork and/or Relationship Management skills
Example of Skills to be included in a CV

So how do I expand on these?

You might say something like:
Working independently or in a group – In all of my roles there has been some aspect of both working independently or as part of a team and I have no issue working in either environment.

So how many skills should I put in each CV?

Ok for your Master CV – list all of these!

For each CV you send out, you should have already identified what are the main skills the employer is actually looking for. Simply copy and paste these in to your “Job-Specific” CV.

Work Experience/ Employment History/ Employment Summary

This part of the CV is where people get a bit confused.

You see we were all taught at school that in your CV, after your skills/ personal profile, your supposed to place your Education … Yeah … lets squash that now.
Employers for the most part don’t really want to see your education first, unless your being hired by a school/ tertiary provider. Even then they would want to see what experience you have first!

Your work experience should, in the first instance, be chronological listed especially if your have had no breaks in your work history. This means that your last/ current job should be the first job your future employer should see.

But what if I don’t have any work experience or I have been “taking an extended break”?
Look, life gets in the way and if you have had a Eric Forman year(s) off, or your fresh into the workforce you may instead consider to focus more on the skills and any potential work experience you may have and can show.

Now let me be quite clear, just because you may not have worked does not mean that you do not have work experience. You can have other experience and this section can be also used for any part-time/ volunteer work/ temp work.

If you have no work experience, it’s always OK to be upfront about this. You can shine in other aspects of your CV and Cover Letter.

So what should this section have?

Your Work Experience section should be set out like this:

Name of employer Date worked for employer (Be as specific or vague as possible)
Team you worked for
Position you held

Brief Description of the role. No more than two to three sentences.

Duties Include:

  • List all of the duties you completed,
  • While working on this role,
  • Specifically mention any of the skills you used, as requested by the job you are applying for.

——————————————————————————————————————-

So for example Clark Kent’s Work Experience might look like:

Daily Planet 1938 – Current
Reporter

As a reporter for The Daily Planet, I have created and published high quality articles to be distributed by Metropolis’s leading media outlet. I have specific knowledge and experience interviewing Superman and used my excellent written communication skills and time management skills to deliver my articles, on time and in a medium that can be understood and interpreted by all.

Duties include but not limited to:

  • Providing team mentoring to all other staff members
  • Using initiative to find a story and follow up before any competitors get a scoop
  • Provide excellent network relationships between Superman and myself as a representative to The Daily Planet
  • Provide Health and Safety advice as the Chief Health & Safety Officer and Fire Warden for the bullpen
  • Provide proof reading for fellow reporters.

——————————————————————————————————————

The last thing I want to mention here about work experience is, if you have moved around a lot due to working in different places, you don’t have to list out all of the duties for every single job like above. Just focus on any jobs that are going to be relevant to the job you are applying for now.

This is the same as if you have stayed with the same employer for years but have done many different roles. List the employer and your time as that role individually under the over-arching employer time. If you worked for McDonald’s for twenty years, but only spent 2 years as the CEO and director of the franchise, You might say McDonald’s and the total time worked and then filter down the next line with CEO 2018 – 2020 as per the format above.

For all other jobs which may not be relevant for the job you are currently applying for and/or times when you may not have been working you can simply copy the first two lines of the Clark Kent example. The name of the job, time worked and the job you had. For those of you that have had those breaks, this can be a simple one line explanation of what you were doing and a time frame.

Honesty with your future employer is the best way to sell yourself. Your CV should make you feel proud not make you feel shamed. Your new employer will appreciate you saying that you spent a year travelling as opposed to seeing a unexplained gap in your CV.

Education

If your fresh out of study then this will probably be your biggest section.

What belongs in this section?

Your education … but how much do you need to include?

If your fresh out of study and/or haven’t been in the workforce for a while then it’s good to list all of your education from your highest and last obtained qualification first and then list every other qualification you have gained.

Now if you have been in the workforce for a while, you should update this section with any other relevant qualifications you may have gained .. Like Clarke Kent gaining the Health and Safety certificate which allows him to be the Chief H&S officer for The Daily Planet.

Your education will look similar to the work experience but wont be that large. The main thing is make it relevant. If you have spent the last 7 years at University studying Law, you don’t have to include your national certificate in cooking you gained when you were fifteen.

For Example, Peter Parker’s education may look like:

Empire State University 2016 – 2019
PhD in Bio-Medical Radiation science
Thesis: “The cause and effect of radiation cross blending between arachnid and human physiology.”

Also don’t feel like you actually have to put your education history in your CV. I personally never gained high qualifications, but I have worked for the last 17 years and the skills I have gained can be detailed without needing to add my previous education so I simply don’t have an Education section.

Interests/ Hobbies/ Extra Curricular Activities

Some people think that they have to add this section into their CV to make them seem more approachable/ fun/ fill out their CV/ pick whatever excuse you want… but it is not always necessary.

If you feel strongly that you need to show your are humorous, like taking long walks on the beach, eating … share with the employer your social media account. Your CV is a representative of what you will be like at work.

If your hobbies are part of the reason you are applying for the job, then by all means include this, but also mention it in your Cover Letter. You will be sure to grab the attention of the employer both ways.

If you CV is getting long .. like over three pages long then this is the first section I suggest to remove.

Achievements

We all like to show what a great job we are doing right? Achievements is a place you can do this.

I only suggest that if you list any achievements, make them relevant in the correct sections of your CV.

What do I mean by this?, if you achieved top of your class at Rydell High, then this should go under Education. If you helped your employer close that one in a million deal, then put this under the employer for Work Experience.

Your Achievements section, if you decide to have one, should be reserved for extra-curricular activities, specifically if this activity is part of the reason you are applying for this job.

So say you work in a call centre, but your really proud of becoming an official Amazon Affiliate that generates passive income through social media… This is not really an achievement you would list. Unless you’re applying for a job where social media marketing is required, and you want to show you can add insight and skills within this role.

Referees/ References

To provide, or not to provide.
That is the question!

Whether tis nobler to … ok you get the picture.

There is a lot of dived thought around this.

My personal suggestion. Provide the phrase “References to be provided upon request” – or something similar of that nature.

The reasoning for this is because you are asking to be contacted, you will know a few things:

  1. That you have made it to the third and final stage of the recruitment as referees are usually only contacted after a successful interview, and;
  2. You can provide relevant references .

What do you mean “relevant references”?

Ok follow me down the rabbit hole on this one, If you provide your referees at the start, and you have not personally called them to warn that they may be recieving a call they may not give you a good reference.

This is not because they want to throw shade at you, more that you don’t get a chance to let them know what type of job you are applying for and the potential skills the employer may ask about.

Summary

Ok so lets make this clear these are the headings you should be looking at if creating a new CV:

  • Introduction – Name Address …
  • Personal Profile – (optional) – I advise not to add this unless new to workforce
  • Skills – In your master CV list all skills, In Job application CV – three to four skills max
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Hobbies/ Interest/ Achievements (Optional) – Again I would suggest not adding these in the first instance unless they are relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Referees/ References

That about does it for this post and thanks for sticking to the end!

As mentioned above I am an Amazon Affiliate and if you click the links below and buy anything, then I can get a commision from this. This would greatly help me grow this business. This time I wanted to make it a bit more fun as sometimes we need that little chuckle. So without further ado ..

Until next time, have a awesome day, and thanks for all your support.

Feel free to comment, like, subscribe or all three!!!

Weight Loss Journey … Ready, Mind-set, Go!

Kia Ora Whanau

Alex here from Costas Enterprises and today I’m going to talk about mind-set (and I apologies in advance as it’s a long one).
I am going to continue to post my updates but I also want to focus on what I notice and do. I will also keep my monthly posts going as well where I cover off everything.

Mind-set

I want to continue to be honest with all of you. My mind-set needed to change before I even considered losing weight … or even wanted to.

Also a little disclaimer before we go down this rabbit hole.
This post is going to be a little hard for me to write as its going to mean I have to face some serious truths about the way I was and address them in public. It will also be quite long, but I hope you will stick with me!

The way I was

Ok so in-case you haven’t you yet, you may want to read my previous post about my history.

I have spent years deluding myself. I lied to myself about how I was.
You see, I lied to myself and everyone when they asked if I was OK.

I was not ok.

For those that know me I have had an interesting history. Things have happened in my life that have made me both grow up fast and at the same time also revert into a child-like state.

I hope I can get into a place where I can share more about that in the future and I truly believe raising this issue of mind-set will start me on the right path.

I was lying to myself and telling myself that the way I am is not only OK but, also started to believe it. When people tried to help me, I would almost resent them, thinking “they didn’t know”, because they hadn’t seen all of what I had been through.

A huge reason for this was me not actually telling anyone what was really going on.

Sure some of my friends knew most of what was going on in the background but no-one knew everything. I am usually a pretty open book … or at least that is what I portrayed myself as.

I want to take this opportunity to say sorry to my friends and despite me not opening up, the fact that they were there for me regardless of how I was feeling at the time, and that they accepted me means the world to me.
You are all whanau to me.

I did start to get a bit of depression, but mostly I had no motivation, no drive.
I wasn’t happy with who I was but, I was also too lazy to want to change, and I mean real change.

You see I have previously mentioned my invincible mentality. I thought I would never get sick, never have health problems.
After a while, you start getting more and more “wake up” health calls and when you don’t take notice of these “wake up” calls you start to not feel so invincible.

Don’t get me wrong, I had moments of strength in will-power, but in reality I was struck by my personal kryptonite. Stubbornness.

God was I stubborn. I remember eating massive portions or drinking copious amounts of alcohol just due to my stubbornness. I felt like I had to prove I could be the invincible fat person. Just to prove everyone that thought I had weight issues that I was right and they were wrong.

Alex's Invincible Mentality

If I had changed my stubbornness in my teens or early 20s and used it for good then maybe you wouldn’t be reading this now.

But as it happens, I didn’t change, so … yay??

So what was your mind-set saying that made you not want to change?, I hear you ask.

Well I have had differing shifts in mind-set during the last 32 years of Fat Life.
This part of the post is being brought to you by my mock rap name Fatty Thins –
“It’s all good baby, baby,
It was full fat cream,
I used to eat it on everything
Cream and sugar were my favorite things”

… OK so I’ll never replace the original Notorious BIG but one thing I did try to do was dismiss any and all guilt of what I was putting into my mouth. There were no guilty pleasures, there was only pleasures and boy did I want all of them!

Something else I did was start to push away people that tried to help. This is one of my biggest regrets. I had a lot of people that cared about me and tried to help me, but because of the way I was I chose to push them further and further away because I didn’t like that they didn’t like me for who I was … despite me not seeing until much later on in life that they actually loved me and only wanted the best for me.

Then the worst thing started to happen.

I started to give up. I had resigned myself to an early death most likely by heart attack. My farther passed away after his 11th heart attack. Once I had given up, I didn’t really mingle with anybody, unless it was drinking or eating. I had also thought there is no way I am ever going to find a girlfriend, all the girls I knew never saw me as a potential partner, only ever as the best friend.

I tell you right now, hearing the “You’re a great guy, but let’s be friends” is one of the hardest things to hear.

So what changed?

I started to get help. About three years ago one of my friends had a serious talk with me and helped me realise that I need more than weight help, I needed mental help.

I started seeing a psycho-therapist.

Now this was a big deal for me, you see I grew up in a very old fashioned family. Put simply my family was big on the “We keep our secrets in the family.” The thought of even going and seeing a psycho-therapist was huge. But I am so glad I did.

Let me tell you right now, if you ever feel like you need help, please go and seek it! As a man I know there is this perception that we all have to be blokes and not to talk to anyone.
I am saying this right now. That is a stupid way to think. We all need help and if you every need help go and seek it.

With the psycho-therapist’s help I started to develop mindfulness and also started to do some more research on changing my mind-set.

I won’t lie, it has not been easy. It has taken me three years to start to seriously change my life and my mind-set. I have failed, the difference now is I have started to learn from my mistakes and start to begin again… this time more intelligently.

I have also started to read/ listen to more podcasts/ audio books and also learn more.

The more research I do the more I find those secret pathways that I was stopping myself from seeing.

Some of the mind-set’s I have heard have not come from simple mindfulness, some have come from financial thinking.

Some people are aware of some of the books I will recommend but a lot of them mention something similar to the Be Do Have mentality. My friend actually told me first about it and gave me the below diagram.

If you aren’t aware the basics of Be Do Have is effectively:

  • Be – Pick someone you want to be like, research them and try to Be them, copy their mentality, actions, skills
  • Do – Follow their actions, if you know what you want, plan how to get there and Do the steps you need to do this
  • Have – By Being the person you want to emulate and Doing the actions to be that person you will Have what you want or desire.
Be Do Have Mindset

So what tips can you give me?

Honestly, not that much, I can only tell you what has worked for me.

  1. Put some time in to researching yourself
  2. Practice mindfulness (check the links below for some resources)
  3. Don’t give up, it will get better. It may not feel like it but if you’re at the bottom you’re bound to go up at some point
  4. Believe in what you’re doing. Anything you’re doing!
  5. If you need it, get help.
  6. Don’t let your mind beat you. So many times I’ve felt beaten down by my own thoughts – take a break and think of something else. Try to focus on what you want to become.
  7. BE. DO. HAVE. – Go research this, it could help start you off on the right track
  8. Know that what you are going through is going to take time. This is a journey. Don’t expect change overnight, this is a marathon not a sprint.
  9. If you have negative thoughts, expect negative behaviours.
  10. Start to Love yourself and in time change will naturally happen.

Resources/ Amazon Affiliate Links

Ok so if you have read my other posts you know that I am an Amazon Affiliate which means if you click the links below and buy anything from Amazon I will get a slight commission. Any support is appreciated.

I am going to list some books that I found helpful in changing my mind-set. Some of these are financial books but they also help you further train your mind.

Well you finally made it to the end!

A huge thank you for all the continuing support and I hope this post helped. Here is a photo of my mind-set today!

Alex Mind-Set today ... Happy!

Feel free to like, comment or subscribe for more content on its way!

What To Ask At The End Of Your Interview?

Kia Ora Whanau

Alex from Costas Enterprises here, and I am here to help you get the job you want.

I’m going to tell you a little secret … the question at the end of an interview is actually really important.

Stick with me here, the reason why it is important is because, if you haven’t swayed the employer yet, this is your last chance to do so.

OK I don’t want this to come of too over-dramatic, but in a way it’s true. You could have done all the prep work, but absolutely bombed the interview. Nerves are a very real problem and I plan to cover this in a future post.

However, even if you bombed the interview, if you ask a really compelling and an interested question(s), then you give off the impression that you are interested in the role and the work the organization is doing.

Remember that your “interview” should be more like a conversation. This will give the employer more of an idea of how you will work with the team.

Believe or not but your question could be the reason you get the job, or get a call back for a future job. Now I know you don’t want to think about call-backs, you want a job now!
Don’t be so quick to dismiss that call back, if the job or the company is someone you really want to work for then it might be worth the wait.

So what type of question am I talking about?, well before we ask a question there are some rules you might want to follow:

  1. Do you research on the employer, by this I mean, what is the job you are applying for? What field is it in? What do you want to know specifically about the role etc…
  2. Ask a question you want answered – Think about the job you would be doing or what will be expected of you as an employee or something regarding the field you intend to work in.
  3. Don’t ask about what the job pays, or when you will hear or how many applicant have applied etc. while they can provide this information, you don’t want to come across as only in it for the money.
  4. Show an interest in the job and also what they respond. That is the goal with your questions, to get them talking
  5. Thank them for answering your questions.

So now I’m going to give you an example of the kind of questions you could ask.

Say you are applying for a job where the employer works with bio-metric data collection. . . and you have no experience in anything to do with bio-metrics.

Do you research!!

A simple google search under bio-metric data collection and on the employer will give you a vast result of answers. For example the company may deal specifically in data collection of bio-metric passports.

Your question could be something like:

“Given that your company collects bio-metric data from passports, how does the software determine and translate this data into information we can view?”

Or something like:

“Has your company ever found any concerns regarding the security and/or privacy from customers using bio-metric sensors? How did you resolve these issues?”

What you are trying to achieve with these questions is the following:

  • Showing your genuine interest for the organization
  • Getting the employer to talk about what they are passionate about (especially if being interviewed by the CEO/ Owner Operator of the business)
  • Creating a dialogue between you and your future employer.

Be prepared for a potential follow-up question. If the employer replies with a one word answer, try another open-ended question (this is when you ask a question where the employer can answer more than yes or no).

As an Amazon Affiliate I will get a potential commission if you click the following link and buy anything from Amazon.com. I am going to recommend a book on Open Ended questions. This book helped me develop interviewing skills. the book is called Talk to me: How to ask better questions, Get better answers, and Interview anyone like a pro.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and feel free to like, comment and subscribe.

Is Your Social Media Stopping You From Getting The Job You Deserve?

Kia Ora Whanau!

Alex from Costas Enterprises here, and this post is going to cover off social media.

You may not be aware but social media has changed the way we can apply for jobs.

No, I’m not just talking about LinkedIn and those sorts of platforms, I also want to cover off platforms like your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even Tiktok (for all those budding dancer’s out there).

While most of you know about LinkedIn and the way this is used to show your professionalism when applying for a job, you should also be aware that some employers can also look at other accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or Tiktok among others.

Now this post might seem a bit “negative” but what I do want to stress is simply, be mindful of what it is that you are posting and what your privacy level is set at for the things you post.

For example, if you have a well-planned out LinkedIn profile that shows your capabilities and can help you show your connections and projects you have worked on, on paper you are represented as a professional with a can-do attitude who gets the job done …
The flip side is your future employer can also do a simple search on Facebook/ Instagram and discover that you live that party lifestyle, out drinking on a weeknight, posting how much you hate your boss or your hankering for munchies after 4:20 pm.

Your going to be sending out two separate messages, one saying your all business, the other . . . not so much.

But why is this important?, Can’t I just live my life??

Look this is not a blog to say never post anything, instead I’m saying, be mindful of what you post and the perception you might be creating.

Try this for an example, look through your social media accounts and judge it as if your were hiring a version of yourself. I know you will probably be a bit biased, but try to think like and employer. Are you as a person seen as someone that is going to represent their company in a positive light?

I have mentioned previously that I have worked for the New Zealand government, well we have a saying “Don’t do anything that’s going to end up on the front page of the Dom Post” and what this means is, any decision you make or represent is reflective of your employer. The last thing you want is to create a image of yourself that would “harm” your employer.

For Example: If you were working for an employer like Coca-Cola, you wouldn’t go on television saying Pepsi is better because, despite being wrong, your representing Coca-Cola as your employer is being brought into a bad view.

You have to think this way about yourself and what your social media is saying about you as a future employee.

Now, the employer shouldn’t use your social media perception as a reason to deny you from applying for a job (and officially, they can’t), however the problem is the perception of “This person might not be at work because they go out on weeknights” has already been created and that is a hard thing to shake.

So what do I do? I still want to share my experiences with my friends, I love my lifestyle!

I strongly suggest you still post whatever you like but make your account private and only view-able by friends (or friends of friends).

If you do want your account to be searched by everyone just be mindful of what you want to portray to your future employer before you even sit down for the interview.

This concludes a pretty short blog but hopefully it was a little bit more helpful. Thanks again for reading and hope it brings you some value. As I have mentioned in most of my blogs, I am an Amazon Affiliate and if you click and buy something (anything) from the link, I do get a slight commission. What I am going to recommend is a helpful book for building your Linkedin profile. The book is called How to write a KILLER LinkedIn profile … and 18 mistakes to avoid I found this book to be reasonably short but cant helpful for those starting out.

Please feel free to like, share, subscribe and also comment. i love to hear from all of you and want to know that what I’m posting is helping you.

Have a great day whanau!

What To Expect In A Panel Interview

A big part of interviewing these days are panel interviews. This is a style of interview where you are being asked questions by a panel of two to four interviewers.

One of the things that is different, is the dynamic of the actual interview. Panel interviews are meant to be slightly intimidating.

The reason for this is to see if, while under the pressure of an interview, you are able to show the employer that you can answer their behavioural questions (answering these with your S.T.A.R Examples) around the skills that they are looking for in a successful applicant (hopefully you!).

Remember you can check out where I talked about S.T.A.R examples and how you can create one in a previous post titled What are S.T.A.R Examples and how do I create one?

What to expect

When you get in the room you will placed on the opposite side of the interviewers and will notice each person will have their own set of papers (around seven to eight pages) with questions.
Don’t stress about this, each person has the exact same questions and each interviewer will take turns asking one of those questions.

Before the interview actually starts you will be told by the head interviewer (Chair) what kind of interview is taking place and there will usually be introductions of the other two interviewers.

Each page will have one question being asked, but this will be a long question and is likely to be two to three questions all rolled into one.

An example of one of these questions may be:
“This question is in relation to Customer Service. Can you tell us about a time you gave excellent customer service, what did you do? how did you go above and beyond for the customer and what was the result of this service?”

Be prepared to have a question thrown out at you from any of the interviewer’s. You will notice that one person may be asking the question, one person will be writing and the third person will most likely be writing and/or observing your body language.

Wait .. my body language?? What do you mean??

Ok so it might sound a little intimidating but trust me it sounds worse than it actually is. What the “Observer” will be looking at will be to see how nervous or “shaken” you may be. They may also be watching you to see if your able to keep eye contact with everyone in the room.

You may find that you get asked additional question(s) in regards to your answer, this may be the employer’s way of clarifying what you have said and/or the employer’s way of showing an interest in your answer and as such wanting to hear more.

You will be asked around six to seven (long) questions in total and then at the end of the interview you will be given an opportunity to ask questions yourself. This last question is really important. I will create another blog post in the future around this subject.

Once the interview is over you will then leave and the employers will then deliberate about your answers.

That about does it for this post, if you want to know more keep tuned in! Hit that subscribe button and also feel free to comment or a like.

Cover Letter Template

Kia Ora Whanau

This blog post is going to be pretty short, but it will benefit you greatly.

I am going to give you something that will give you an edge when applying for a job. . . for free! I usually charge around $50 NZD for this, other companies will charge you $200 NZD for the same type of Cover Letter.

Don’t have time to read?? You can listen to a copy of this post from my podcast the “Get a job and get healthy with Costas Enterprises” podcast on Spotify right here.

But why give it away for free?? because ultimately I want you to get the job you want! I used to work for a New Zealand’s Benefit system (Work and Income or WINZ) and I was also previously a client for two years of my life. I wished someone would have taught me how to write a good CV or Cover Letter back then.

So what I am going to do is copy and paste a simple cover letter template you can use. Where you see the [ ] symbols you fill in the details.

Now this is just a template, feel free to make it yours, it is your Cover Letter after all.

You may be thinking, “I don’t need a cover letter they aren’t that important” That is where you would be wrong! In this day and age, your cover letter could be the one thing that gets you to the interview!

Let that sink in, your cover letter can sometimes get you the interview without the employer even reading your CV yet.

Think of your Cover Letter similar to the “Personal Statement” section of a person’s CV, it is there to introduce you, the CV is gonna back up what you say in your cover letter.

When you come to the section regarding the skills, go back and read my post Before you apply for a job post to understand what skills to identify. Keep this to three to four skills and each one should be about a sentence, no more than two sentences at max per skill.

If you can try to keep your cover letter to one page.

Before you go feel free to show me support by commenting or giving me a like or a follow. I really appreciate any feedback!

Also I am now an Amazon affiliate, if you click the link below and buy anything from Amazon.com I will get a slight commision, as such I try to offer products that interest me, or are something I have read and find beneficial or something I have used. The product I am going to refer now did actually help me create a part of this template so feel free to read the “Knock Em Dead Cover Letters” .

I will also upload a .pdf version of this cover letter template for you download.

COVER LETTER EXAMPLE

[You’re Name]

Address: [This may not need to be added and is completely up to you]

Mobile:

Email:

[Date]

[Name of Recruiter if known/ otherwise, To the Manager]

[Name of Team if know/ Department]

[Address if known, only use this if you are adding your own address]

RE: [Name] expression of interest and application for job opportunity [add job opportunity number/ title of job]

To: The Recruiting Employer [If name is known change to this as Mr/ Mrs and last name]

My name is [First Name] and I wish to show my expression of interest for the above position within your organisation as I believe I have the skills needed to successfully fill this position.

I believe I would be an excellent asset to your organisation due to my ability to [add skills regarding to what they are looking for in the job description, something along the lines of “use problem solving skills to find solutions to that will break down barriers within your organisation. An example of this was when I …”].

[Each paragraph should cover off the skills listed in the job description with a brief (one to two sentences) explanation of how you achieved this skill].

Based on the examples and skills listed above I fell I would be an excellent asset to your team.

Thank you for taking the time to consider me for this amazing opportunity and I look forward to discussing this with you further.

Kind Regards/ Yours Faithfully,

[Full Name]

Weight Loss Journey… The History

Kia Ora Whanau
Alex here from Costas Enterprises and this blog I’m going to tell you about my personal journey through weight loss.
NOTE: I am right at the start of my journey and part of the reason I am doing this blog and posting on Instagram is to make myself accountable. I do not have any secret to losing weight but I want to share what has been working and helping me.

Don’t have time to read?? You can listen to a copy of this post from my podcast the “Get a job and get healthy with Costas Enterprises” podcast on Spotify right here.

HISTORY

Ok before we get into to all of this I better tell you a little history of the way I was.

At my heaviest I was 149 Kg (328.45 lb’s) back in 2005. I have always been fat/ heavy/ obese/ big boned, whatever you want to call it, and I distinctly remember only starting to be fat from being five years old and without making excuses I come from a Greek family that likes to eat. I am now (as of today’s date 15 February 2020) 37 and a half years old.

I used to live the “invincible” lifestyle, what I mean is I used to eat whatever I wanted (fried chicken, pizza, chocolate, lots of bread) and I used to drink … a lot… I was never an alcoholic, although I did see someone about my drinking because I did start to get worried … well I wasn’t so much worried about my drinking but my doctor’s were given I could easily drink a whole 40 ounce (1.25 litres) of bourbon or 12 beers a night every weekend for ten years.

I have had some success in losing and keeping weight off in the past (well I dropped from 149 KG to 120 kg (264.55 lb’s) and then went back up to 130 kg’s (286.60 lb’s) which is where I was when I started this journey).

Now in the past I had tried a few diets and Yo-Yo’d more than Puff Daddy/ Sean Combs/ P-Diddy changes his name. Shoutout to the D to the A to the D-D-Y
But what I am trying to get across is that I tried a lot, but failed a lot more.

I considered and was registered for Bariatric Gastric Sleeve surgery, twice! Very quickly for those that don’t know, Gastric Sleeve surgery involves removing about 75% of your stomach, the advantage is you not only lose weight (and pretty fast), you also can also lose any diabetes effectively overnight. But it is not easy, you are effectively reduced to eating small and only certain foods for the rest of your life… a big change for someone and as always there is a risk of not actually making it through the operation. It has had a lot of success but also instances where it hasn’t been so lucky. However one of my friends, Tamara, has recently been going through this and documenting it on her Instagram and is part of my inspiration to document my journey.

The “D” word … Diabetes, I have type 2 (the one you can get because … well you think you’re invincible and eat sugar almost every day for like 20 years, well at least I did and that’s how I got it lol). I have had this for about 15 years now, I previously … like up till about 4 weeks ago didn’t control it very well. I did the bear minimum of taking my pills and the occasional insulin that I needed to have.

Part of the reason why I am taking this journey so seriously is because I started noticing how bad my control was getting.

So why are you taking this journey??? Ok I’ll be honest, 99.9999% is because I didn’t want to lose the one thing in my life that makes me happy .. no not food … although that used to be the 99.9999%.
It’s because of my partner, she saw how bad I was, we have been together for over a year and she saw (and helped me) change all other aspects of my life (I’ll delve into that I’m sure on other blogs), but the one part of my life I didn’t really try to change was my health (notice I said health and not weight … that’s the important part here).

You see something bad in yourself when you see the person you love crying because they ask you to change, you don’t and they give you the world, and all they ask is you look after yourself. Trust me this isn’t easy for me to write. I am a proud person by nature and to even admit that I was this way is hard, but if these last two paragraphs make you aware that your in this situation because your loved one shows you that they care for you and ask you to change whatever your doing that is hurting them and you do nothing .. Wake The F&*k Up and change!

NOTE: I am going to mention a book now and the link goes to Amazon.com of which I am an affiliate so id you buy something I do get a commision, but trust me if you are in the above situation you and your partner need to read The Five Love Languages and it will help you learn how to fill your partner’s “Love Tank”.

Ok that’s enough of the history, but there is more and I will expand on it a lot more in the future.

So what are you doing now? What’s Different?

So as I mentioned, My partner told me how I can fuel her Love Tank, by trying to get healthier. She made me a meal plan. I said I will follow it.

The meal plan is customized to me … because I am such a fussy eater, I don’t eat a lot of vegetables, and some of the ones I do eat are pure carbs.

If you follow weight loss and diets your will already have jumped to the conclusion of what my partner was getting me into (You were quicker than me if you guessed KETO).

For those that don’t know there are heaps of KETO recipes and diets out there and variations but the one thing I was most worried about was … what if I get a hypo(glycmic) attack??? if you or someone you know has diabetes you would understand why I worried. For those that don’t know, a KETO diet is effectively No Carbs, No/ very little sugar intake.

Now to give you an idea of why I was so worried. A normal, healthy person’s blood sugar reading should be between 4 – 6. My usual was around 23 – 24 … as you can imagine I was very worried!

I will write another blog post shortly concerning the start of my journey.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope you continue to follow my journey.

Hit that subscribe button and feel free to leave me any comments and/or feedback about what you want to hear about.

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