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5 Steps to Help You Handle Criticism at Work

If you are like me and many others, you know how difficult it is to deal with criticism, whether in a private setting or in a larger group, for example at the workplace or an interview. Unfortunately, we often react negatively when it comes to both unjustified criticism as well as to constructive criticism that might be appropriate and might actually be helpful to us, make us aware of weaknesses or help us improve our skills. And yet it is difficult for us to deal with the emotions that any type of negative feedback can evoke. We feel uncomfortable, the heart begins to race and we automatically take a defensive position. Sometimes we may even get caught up and the criticism is translated as an attack that may lead to a counterattack on our part, instead of dealing with the criticism appropriately.


Is it possible to learn to accept tough criticism at work without taking it personally? We believe it’s a skill worth developing. Here are five healthy ways to deal with criticism at work or after an interview that will help take your career to the next level.


  1. Suppress Your First Reaction

It is best not to respond at the first sign of criticism. There is a scientific reason for that. Your brain may need a second to absorb and process the situation so that you can react to it accordingly. This first reaction that comes up is usually not always the best. Crossed arms, a dismissive expression, a snippy reply. You almost automatically go into a defensive stance. You should stop this first reaction and try to stay calm and  aware.


  1. Remember the Benefits of Criticism

By not responding negatively, you have signaled to your counterpart that you are open to criticism. You should spend the next few seconds consciously reminding yourself of the benefits of criticism. Good criticism is not simply thrown in your face. Constructive criticism helps you improve your skills and the quality of your work. Meaningful criticism will never make you feel like everything you’re doing is wrong. Criticism should always come across as a guidance that there is simply still room for improvement. It is also important that you separate the criticism from the person giving you feedback. It doesn’t have to come from your favorite colleague or mentor to be useful. 


  1. Listen Carefully to Understand

To avoid misunderstandings, listen carefully to understand exactly what the other person’s criticism is about. This includes giving him/her the opportunity to fully express their thoughts without interruptions. When the person is done, repeat what they told you and let them know that you want to be absolutely sure you understand what they said. Try to refrain from analyzing what you have heard or questioning it straight away. It is not only difficult to accept constructive criticism – it is also sometimes difficult to express it. The other person may not be able to find the right words or be nervous, so sometimes misunderstandings may happen. That is the reason why you should rather ask – instead of answering your counterpart by interpreting what they said.


  1. Say Thank You

This may be difficult for you, but you should definitely thank them for the feedback. A thank you does not automatically mean that you agree with their point of view, it shows respect for the person who took the time to give you feedback. When you say thank you, don’t overdo it: You don’t have to be overly apologetic when you thank them. Acknowledge their feedback and maintain a sincere attitude. This will ensure you show up with confidence even in a difficult situation. 


  1. See Criticism as Help

Remember that all constructive feedback (including negative feedback) is a sign of interest and a sign that people want to help you do better. It would be far worse for people to notice you doing bad work and not say a word. Now is the time to look into the feedback. Even if you don’t agree with every part of the feedback, don’t get caught up in the discussion. Acknowledge the parts that you can agree on and try to work on solutions. Ask for specific examples so that you can understand the other person’s point of view. It is always wise to also ask for suggestions and ideas in order to be able to approach the matter differently in the future.


Constructive criticism is a great way to identify and work on your own weaknesses. If you immediately take a defensive position, you may lose important feedback that could help you. 

The way we deal with negative feedback can either harm our career or accelerate it. Contact us and allow us to coach you through your next career step and offer you valuable feedback that will help you excel and stand out. 


Email: LynseyBrennan@esginc.com 


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How to Decode Company Culture During the Remote Interview Process?

When assessing whether or not a job is a good fit for you, there are a number of things you need to consider. You need a salary that matches your expectations, responsibilities that appeal to you, and a manager who you think you can work well with. But there is another important factor that carries a lot of weight: the corporate culture. The work environment has a major influence on the way you work and how satisfied you are in your new job. Understanding the corporate culture is important because you not only want to join a company in which you want to work, but also one in which you can thrive. Corporate culture is difficult to assess during the hiring process – and even more so when that hiring process takes place remotely.

What if all of your job interviews are video chats and you don’t meet anyone from the company in person or ever walk into the office? Is there a corporate culture at all if the employees don’t work side by side? Understanding corporate culture from a distance adds an additional layer of complexity to the hiring process. 

What should you look out for when assessing the company culture when you interview? Here are five tips to help you understand and evaluate the corporate culture before accepting a job offer – even if it’s unlikely that you will enter the office anytime soon.

  1. Visualize

You likely have a list of must-haves to look for in your next position. This includes not only the most important factors such as salary and social benefits, but also the values ​​that the company should prioritize and the cultural aspects that you agree with. This preparatory work is especially important if you are going through the application process remotely. 

Trying to understand every aspect of corporate culture through video chat and internet research alone may feel impossible. So if you focus on what is most important to you, you can check a few things off your list. Reduce your expectations to three non-negotiables. This allows you to focus on deciphering cultural clues related to your three most important values.

  1. Research

Once you know what specific cultural elements you want your new business to have, it’s time to do your research. A remote hiring process can leave you feeling disadvantaged, but it doesn’t have to be. You have numerous resources to understand the inner workings of the team and the atmosphere of a company. In addition, many of the research techniques you use during a “typical” hiring process are still applicable. 

You can browse online resources:

Website: Take a close look at the company’s website to understand how it describes its culture externally. 

Blog: The company may have posted relevant content that will allow you a behind-the-scenes look at the company.

Social media: Here you can assess the overall tone “the company” interacts with.

LinkedIn: Profiles on LinkedIn contain information from (former) employees who not only say a lot about their personal experiences, but also about the overarching cultural values ​​of the company.

Employee Reviews: Platforms on which previous, current, or potential employees post reviews can also highlight some elements of corporate culture. 

There is no shortage of resources to sift through. Make sure to take into account the non-negotiable items that you identified beforehand. You can even use keywords in your search to make this process even easier. Search a company’s reviews for keywords like “remote” or “values” to filter out the employee experience.

  1. Connect

Nobody has a better insight into the corporate culture than the employees who work or have worked there. When you get in touch with current and / or former team members, you get a look behind the scenes.

You can ask the person leading your hiring process if they can introduce you to some of the employees. They may be ready to answer a few questions about corporate culture for you. Not only does it show your interest in the company, but also that you are someone who takes initiative. If you’d rather not contact the hiring manager directly about this, you can use LinkedIn to search for current and former employees in the department you want to join. Network with these people and politely ask them if they would answer any questions you might have about the company.

  1. Ask

At the end of the interview, you should have the opportunity to ask questions. This is your chance to ask directly about the aspects that are most important to you. Don’t ask general questions like “tell me about your company culture”. For questions like this you will only be referred to some scripts and brochures. Instead, ask questions that give you a real feel for the environment and the people you may interact with on a regular basis. Return to the cultural qualities that you identified as important to you and address those specific traits. 

Remember, asking questions at the end of the interview isn’t just a chance for you to look good and demonstrate your commitment to the hiring process. It’s also a way to get valuable information that you need to make an informed decision about whether or not to work there.

  1. Observe

Ultimately, the hiring process should give you some insight into how the company treats not only its applicants, but its employees as well. How they approach the process can also be an indication of how they deal with all other matters.

Some things worth observing during the remote hiring process are:

Organization: When the hiring process is disorganized and full of misunderstandings and frustrations, work in the company can be the same. 

Communication: The interview process is also an opportunity to assess the company’s communication skills. What tools did you use? How did the communication with you come about? 

Work-life balance: Do you receive emails from a hiring manager in the middle of the night? Or at the weekend? This could be an indicator that their culture is not prioritizing downtime. Keep in mind, however, that one of the potential benefits of working remotely is control over your schedule, which means that employees may actually prefer to work at this time and appreciate that flexibility. 

Always keep in mind that the hiring process for a company is a direct reflection of their values ​​and approach to work. Understanding the company culture before actually working there is a challenge – especially if the hiring process or the job itself is remote. Because the company culture shapes so much of the employee experience – it is well worth the effort understanding it.

Are you still looking for a job? Here you can find our latest job opportunities.

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Consistency and Resilience – Key Factors For Career Success

In order to develop your full potential in the workplace, it takes consistent effort and often a good amount of resilience to get through the tough days or moments where things don’t go as anticipated. Being a successful employee requires more than just wanting to do our best. Sometimes difficult situations may come up and we need to dig deep and find ways to push though. In order to consistently show up as our best self, it may require looking at the big picture and having goals to focus on. 


Whether it’s a promotion, a raise, or the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, knowing the next step you want to take is important to become more consistent and resilient in the workplace. A good plan of action will help you have a successful career and focus on what truly matters. The following simple steps may not only help you to display consistency at work but may lead you to discover your full potential in the process. 


Know your strengths and weaknesses

It is important to identify areas that you can improve in the workplace. Knowing where your strengths lie and in which areas you need more time or support is important in order to become a more successful professional. Addressing your weaknesses one at a time can turn them into strengths. If you do the same with your strengths, you will be able to make better use of them in your career.


Organize your work

Becoming more organized and structuring your work flow are easy ways to reach your full potential and develop consistently good results in the workplace. Good organization will allow you to better prioritize your tasks, get more things done, and become more efficient. This will also allow you to respond better in situations where you receive unexpected assignments that have a deadline. Having structure and creating routines will make you more relaxed and happier at work.


Ask yourself “why” you are doing something

If you encounter challenging situations in the work environment it often helps if you just pause for five minutes and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. You have to be able to visualize the long-term goal behind it. In the best case scenario, the end result is motivating and encourages you to continue working more effectively and with a renewed spirit.


Educate yourself continuously

Continuous learning is an essential part of our daily life. When we find we lack inspiration at work, we usually decide to change companies or roles. Continuous learning enables you to develop yourself as a person and in your profession. Take training courses, attend online events or webinars, and socialize with industry experts to motivate yourself and get through challenging times at work. All of these efforts will help you learn more about your area of ​​expertise and develop your professional identity and confidence.


Believe in yourself

The most important thing is that you believe in yourself. Oftentimes, employees think they don’t deserve a promotion or that they’re not ready for more responsibility. Having confidence in yourself is half the battle. Believing that you are able to do more in your position will encourage you to actively seek opportunities, be more motivated, and feel in control of your life. It is also important to note that we should strive to surround ourselves with hardworking and positive people, if possible. As humans, we react to our environment. In some situations, unreliable employees can negatively influence you and affect your quality and consistency of work, as well as your outlook on your career and life in general.


If you’re looking for more ways to advance in your career, browse through our informative articles on our blog page. These can help you develop and grow professionally. If you are looking for a new professional challenge, send us your resume.


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How Recruiters Can Help With Your IT Job Search

Recruiters can simplify the job search in the IT industry, because the search for a new job can often be a complex matter for IT experts. When you’re looking for a new job it is not just about finding the right employer. It also entails tasks such as preparing your detailed application, many phone calls, interviews, and salary negotiations that need to be mastered.

Even after going through all of this, as an IT job seeker, you still cannot be sure that you know enough about the future company and the position you are aiming for to make it a successful and long-term satisfactory decision. The entire job search in IT can be much more efficient, targeted and effective if you work with a recruiter. Here are 5 reasons how recruiters can simplify the job search especially within the IT industry.

  1. Create better applications

Applicants usually go to great lengths to prepare suitable application documents. However, a good recruiter can be very helpful here because they often know the corporate culture and the people with whom the future employee will work – at least at management level.

Therefore, recruiters can constructively support the applicant in tailoring their application documents precisely to these parameters. This then can result in an application that does justice to the applicant and provides the company with exactly the information it needs to make an informed decision.

  1. Find the right position with a recruiter on your side

The IT industry is very specialized. A recruiter can often help in determining the growth opportunities within the company the applicant is looking to apply at. Recruiters usually have a wealth of information that goes beyond the details of a requirement because they worked with the companies and their hiring managers for many years and are very familiar with their environment and their needs. 

  1. Shorten the application process

The application process in the IT industry is sometimes complicated and requires many rounds of interviews, especially for managerial roles. The various steps in the application process can be much more coordinated and efficient by working with a recruiter. Recruiters have already pre-screened applicants and have a more detailed picture of the person. They can now pass this knowledge on to the companies and represent the applicant’s interests at the same time. 

The potential candidates therefore always benefit from the services of a recruiter, because of the relationship and trust between the recruiter and the company. Of course, the company will always want to get their own idea of what the applicant is like, nevertheless, it should be noted that those who have been selected and recommended by a recruiter will always find themselves much more supported during the hiring process.

  1. Negotiating optimal conditions

For IT experts, many factors play a role when it comes to committing to a job. The financial compensation is important, but sometimes not the decisive criterion. Important aspects are the work environment and interpersonal relationships, but also perspectives for further professional opportunities.

Applicants can confidently discuss salary issues with a recruiter without fear of putting themselves in a bad light because of excessive demands. The applicants can speak openly and immediately receive feedback from the recruiter as to whether certain ideas are unrealistic. A recruiter mediates between both sides by also taking into consideration how the overall market looks like for the specific role.  

  1. The job search can be more discreet with a recruiter on your side

When IT professionals are in the middle of an established career, the thought of looking for a new position with better opportunities is a little daunting at first. At all costs you want to avoid revealing your efforts so as not to endanger your current position.

In these types of situations, recruiters do a very good job working discreetly by being able to forward resumes to the company anonymously at the request of the applicant. In this way, the new employer learns everything important about a potential employee – except their identity. 


There are many more reasons why it can be very beneficial to work with a recruiter. It will save you valuable time during your job search, expose you to a much larger network than your own, and allow you to get access to a lot more job opportunities out there. Most importantly, it is always in the recruiters interest to see you land a great job.   

Are you looking for the right IT job? Visit our job search page for many current opportunities. With us you will find your dream employer! Contact us to get a personalized consultation by our experienced recruiters that offer valuable guidance for IT professionals no matter what stage in the job search they are.  


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Networking Like a Professional

Building and maintaining relationships in the professional world is no longer just a matter for the executive floor. Almost everyone benefits from their own industry community. How important is successful networking to you?

Networking can be a lot of fun and one of the easiest ways to find a new job or advance your career. With the following tips on networking, you can quickly raise your social capital in various professional situations, despite our current economic circumstances or social distancing scenarios. Use these strategies to maintain and expand your interaction map in order to network successfully:

✓ The basics:

Before you start reaching out to new people, evaluate carefully who is currently in your network. It’s not about collecting the most connections, it’s about productive relationships that can benefit your career. Making a list of the most valuable connections you already have that align with your current goals will help you to be efficient, organized and purposeful when building your network. Your objectives play an important role in the whole process because one of the most important parts of networking is identifying your intention and then deciding what strategy to employ.

✓ A Clear Networking Strategy:

The right contacts are strongly related to your networking goals. However, it can also make sense to network with like-minded people and people who think differently on a professional level. Make a conscious effort to network with different people outside of your “bubble”. The focus here is on the exchange based on professional experience, knowledge and further training as well as paying particular attention to employers and career opportunities. At the same time, role models in your specific career branch are extremely valuable, as you can learn a lot from them.

✓ Content Counts:

The search for common interests shouldn’t take too long, because you want to network with each other for professional reasons. But think carefully about the content that you actually want to offer to your connections. Focus on the positive. Nobody wants to hear a long sad breakup story. Instead, people feel the need to help and explore opportunities. So ask! Make it clear what you are looking for and actively ask about the company in which your friends and network contacts are working. Remember asking whenever appropriate, if there is anything you can do for them. Always remember: you too have valuable knowledge.

✓Added Value:

Try networking by finding out who the other person is and how you can help them in any way. It is well known that giving comes before taking. Many forget that. Use your expertise to help others. You could improve your relationships by sharing something you learned about a new technology or a piece of advice on using certain software. You could send them links to articles on topics that you think are relevant to the industry your connections are in. Share what you’ve learned as a thank you for your new connection and to keep in touch. Don’t hesitate to ask your friends for any open positions if you are actively looking for a job. Filing a position could possibly lead to a bonus for your friend and could become a win-win situation.

✓Work on your network before you need it:

The best time to start networking is before you need it. You do the right networking by skillfully introducing yourself, contributing content, adding value, and remaining authentic. You can do this at any point in your career. Professional networks have to grow and be maintained over time, so don’t expect a fruitful community from the get go. Be patient. Activate your network with commitment, determination, and consistency. This works best when you enjoy networking. Experience shows that your efforts will pay off sooner or later.

Building relationships with professionals is a skill and, like any new skill, you need to practice it over time. Be patient and let natural timing work to your advantage. Slow and careful is better than fast and random. Putting the effort into maintaining your network will give you many advantages in the interactive professional world: Successful networks are a treasure chest, filled with inspiration, ideas, and collaborations!

No matter what professional position you are in or whether you are currently looking for a job or not, we encourage you to connect with us. Take advantage of working with our knowledgeable recruiters and become part of their valuable network. Let’s connect.



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Boost Your Chances For a Job Offer at the End of the Year

Many applicants think that their job chances are very poor at the end of the year. Combined with the current unpredictability of the labor market and the resurging pandemic, the job search seems daunting and not very promising. Often applicants assume that hiring managers act according to the motto “everything is new in January” and therefore postpone their job search to January.


However, this attitude means that applicants have to assert themselves against a particularly high level of competition in January. Take advantage of the next few weeks and increase your chance of getting closer to your dream job. Get active now and read our encouraging arguments and practical tips on why this is the right time to focus on applying. 


Towards the end of the fourth quarter, some companies have not yet used up their annual budgets. That is why they often fill positions in the last few months of the year. In other cases, it is worthwhile applying because businesses are looking for support due to increased workload and projects that still need to be completed. Depending on the industry, the job chances of applicants in December can be quite good. Applicants should definitely stay tuned and keep an eye out for new job postings, especially for temporary employment. Some of the jobs might be temporary, but they are a perfect way to get started in a company. If you prove yourself, you will often be taken on after the project assignment has ended. 


A lot of  job offers are often not yet advertised. If you apply now, on your own initiative you actually have a good chance of getting your dream job. That is the case in particular for internal job openings, because companies often first look for suitable candidates from within their own ranks. Therefore, applicants with good contacts and the ability to network are more successful. It is difficult and time-consuming for companies to find the right employees. Therefore, they increasingly rely on recommendations and references. This applies to both internal and external candidates. Anyone who is aware of that and is actively growing their professional relationships, has a good chance of being placed as a potential candidate.


If you are discouraged in your job search, take stock of the year and set goals for the new year, so you have a clear direction of where you’d like to be in your next career step. Where do you want to be at the end of next year? How do you want to achieve these goals? Who can support you on this journey? Identify your ideal job situation and then define your strategy for how you will find the new job. If your plan is in place, bring your application documents up to date. This also includes your profiles on LinkedIn and other social media outlets. Many recruiters also check the social media profiles of interesting applicants. If the “overall picture” is correct, your job chances increase considerably. Connect virtually with a network that you can learn from and that may help you advance and get closer to your goal. Join groups and learn how you can sharpen your skills for the position you desire.


It is not in your control how many interviews you will score throughout the remainder of this year. So focus on what you can control and with a good strategy you will be able to start the new year perfectly prepared. You’ll have a clear lead over your competitors, but most importantly you will increase your motivation during an uncertain time. 


As an experienced provider of IT staffing, Engineering and consulting services, ESG Consulting can support you in your job search. Our expertise not only includes help in finding the right job, but also advice on all stages of the application process and beyond. Let’s connect and put together a plan.