Melbourne YIPs EOY Function – What a Night!

Thank you to all who attended the YIPs Melbourne End of Year Function at CQ on 1st November... It was a fantastic launch into the festive season!

We would like to say special thanks to Tappanappa Event Design who made the function space look truly magical. Another thank you to our other event sponsors OAMPS, Reed Insurance, Moray & Agnew and Stirling  Andersen whose support made the event possible.

Check out the photos from the event here!

Look forward to seeing all of your faces at our next function! And remember.. if you have not yet registered for your free YIPs membership, do it now so you don't miss next time.

Brisbane YIPs Spring Collection – Ticket Update

Hey Everyone,

Whilst we appear to be the hottest ticket in town and our events are the place to be seen, we realise that sometimes (despite the best of intentions) you simply can't make it on the night.

So that your ticket doesn't go to waste, please cancel your tickets if you are unable to attend (so someone on the waitlist can - you'll make their day)

Thanks a bunch and we'll see you on the night!

YIPS Queensland

First ever YIPs paid event looking to be a sell out.

YIPs' first ever paid event to be held in Melbourne on 1 November has had an overwhelming response. With YIPs members entitled to a heavily discounted ticket of $35 for a 3 hour premium food and beverage package and a massive amount of business networking opportunities, it's not hard to see why.

Tickets numbers are limited and additional tickets are very unlikely to be released once the event sells out. Thanks to our loyal sponsors OAMPS, Reed, Stirling Andersen and Moray & Agnew Lawyers, YIPs are confident the value of this event will be hard to beat in November... or at all.

If Victorian YIPs have not yet done so, they should secure their tickets now and not leave it to the last minute. Go to the Upcoming Events page for registration details.

SOLD OUT: YIPs Sydney Spring Collection event on 4 October

Registrations for the Sydney Spring Collection event on Thursday 4 October 2012 are now full with more than half the available tickets snapped up with YIPs members during the YIPS members early-bird registration period.  As there is a wait list for tickets for the Sydney event, register now on the events' page in case of last minute cancellations from other attendees and also as a YIPS member so you can avoid missing out next time.

YIPs photos galore

Well, the pictures are in and what a good looking bunch you all are. YIPS  are pleased to announce that the photos from the recent interstate launch events are now up on our photo page. Re-live the events, check out what your mates got up to and get ready for more as Young Insurance professionals Australia & New Zealand roll out further networking events nationwide. Sign up as a YIPS member now if you haven't already.

Salary capped? How to have THAT conversation

Asking for a pay rise is always a contentious issue and not an easy subject to raise with your boss!

Just because you turn up on time every day and hold a 100% attendance record for the year doesn’t necessarily entitle you to a pay rise. However, if you believe you’ve gone beyond the call of duty for your role, or perhaps taken on some extra responsibilities without the financial recognition you deserve, you could be in a favourable position when pitching to the boss.

If you feel you don’t have rapport with your manager this can be an extremely awkward conversation to have and in some cases people ‘wimp’ out and resign before they raise the issue.

Hold your horses people……..before doing anything drastic the best way to approach it would be to arm yourself with some good evidence and reasons as to why you deserve a raise.

1.                   Research the market

You need to know the market rate for someone with your experience. You can research this in many ways by searching for your role on job boards, asking recruiters, online salary surveys even searching if your own company are recruiting for that role online or internally. Salary levels are largely dictated by market forces (notably the cost of replacing the employee).

2.                   Approach your HR team

If after researching the market you still feel you’re not being paid your worth, approach your HR team and raise the issue. They will more than likely handle it directly with your manager on your behalf.

3.                   If it’s still a No

There are usually very good reasons why this is not possible, it might be because of the economy, it might be because you’re at the top of the salary scale for your role. What you need to do is increase your worth; you can do this by agreeing to take on wider responsibilities and opportunities to contribute further.

Focus on developing your own value to the employer and the market-place, rather than simply trying to achieve higher reward for what you are already doing.


Brisbane FY13 event Friday 3 August – last minute tickets now available!

Although the much anticipated YIPS launch event in Brisbane sold out within days of tickets being release, a few people now can't make it to the event on Friday 3 August 2012 - they have done the right thing (big ups to those YIPS) and given us enough notice to release their tickets to those of you who may have missed out originally.  Go to the Events Page right now to secure yours or to bring a YIPS friend or client who now wants to come.

These few extra tickets won't last long...

YIPs’ FY13 launch in Brisbane on 3 August 2012 sells out

It's official - Brisbane's Welcome FY13 and branch launchon 3 August 2012 is a sell out of the best type but we are running a wait list too so you may still be able to get a ticket if people do the right thing and there are any last minute cancellations - sign up to the wait list on the Events page.

Sign up as a YIPS member right now so you don't miss out on the early bird tickets for our next Queensland event!

FY13 events in Sydney and Melbourne tipped to be massive

Interstate rivalry took on a new form this week as ticket registrations for YIPS' inaugural New South Wales event welcoming FY13, surpassed expectations and sold out in a mere four days. Tickets for the Victorian event scheduled for the same night are not too far behind and are expected to sell out imminently as well.

At the same time, YIPs membership registrations through this website cracked the 400 mark in the closing days of FY12 and we gained leading broker OAMPS as our latest national sponsor - joining our staunch founding sponsors Reed Insurance and Moray & Agnew.

So there's plenty to celebrate on 5 July in Melbourne and Sydney and thereafter in Perth and Brisbane. Encourage all the YIPs you know to sign up through the website so we can keep building the community and grow the organisation so as to bring even more value to you, our members.

Registrations open for Vic and NSW Welcome FY13 events on 5 July 2012

Welcome FY13 and YIPs interstate branchesAs a reward for surviving yet another June and to celebrate the fact that we have gone national, YIPS are having ourselves a party (actually, TWO parties in Sydney and Melbourne) and welcoming the new financial year, FY13 as well.

Registrations are now open for the Melbourne and Sydney events.  These events will sell out so get in early and get your tickets now.  We will hold events in Perth and Brisbane shortly so watch this space.

Sign up as a YIPs member on the website to get the first chances to register for this and future events - our last event was a sell out so get in early to make sure you don't miss out! Tickets available shortly via the Events pages, more details to follow...

The Counteroffer

So, You’ve been offered a fantastic new job that offers you everything, career development, better benefits and more money to boot. After much deliberation you decide to accept the offer.

You compose yourself and pluck up the courage to ask your boss for a ‘chat’ and tender your resignation. But it doesn’t go well, your boss is upset about losing their star performer that they’ve invested so heavily in and presents you with a counteroffer to stay.

Tempting? Absolutely!  You’ve been with the company for a while now, you’ve made a lot of new mates, you can recite your email password in your sleep, you support the same footy team as your boss……..everything is familiar to you.

But wait, Don’t let familiarity cloud your judgment. Ask yourself whether the new position is a positive step toward advancing your career. Will it be better for you than your current position? If the answer is yes, then proceed with pursuing the new job. Familiarity will follow!

Here’s why we shouldn’t accept counter offers:

1. Those who accept counter offers will generally leave
or be let go within 6-12 months.

2. You deserve better then working for a company
who only offers what you are worth at the threat of

3. Have you considered where this increase in salary
is coming from? The majority of businesses have strict
policies and guidelines on budgets. Increase in salary is
usually your next raise early.

4. Your employer is now aware that you are unhappy and
looking elsewhere. Your loyalty and commitment will now
be questioned.

5. Once co-workers hear of your position, you will lose
peer-group acceptance and your relationships will change.

6. The same circumstances that have prompted you to look
elsewhere, will almost ALWAYS repeat themselves within
6-12 months.

7. Accepting a counter offer is an insult to your intelligence,
and will diminish your personal pride knowing that you can
be bought at the last minute.

8. When promotion / salary raise time comes around, your
employer will consider your loyalty to the business.

9. Your company may start looking for your replacement

10. Consider why your issues have not been addressed
previously. The culture of the business and communication
channels is not going to change. launches in style

The photos from last week's launch party are now up on the site - check them out here.  The night was extremely well attended with 147 registered guests in the end.  A big thank you to those who couldn't make it who contacted us to cancel their tickets after the event sold out in the days leading up, so that more YIPs could attend.  Those extra tickets were snapped up and the venue filled to capacity... and then some.  We will run a wait-list for our future events.

Our new electronic ticketing system worked well once we figured out how the smartphone barcode scanners worked and there were a few new faces in the crowd which is always great to see.  The last stragglers moved on from LRP circa 1am in true insurance industry style, with our Geelong YIPs making the most of having a designated sober driver in their crew, to press on and check out a few other Melbourne late night spots.

While you are here, have a look around the rest of the site and now would be a good time to take a moment to become a YIPs member as well (membership is free - see the big orange button at the bottom of most pages). The site has been a marathon effort and labour of love on the part of the YIPs committee to get it up and running as we move towards our July interstate branch launch events - more information about those will be posted on the site shortly. launch is a sell out (of the best kind)

The launch event in Melbourne has now sold out! Please print and bring your tickets with you if you are attending, in order to get in - the venue has limited capacity.  If you missed getting a ticket on this occasion, please sign up as a YIPs member using the link at the bottom of this page to get in early for future events including our New Financial Year events on 5 and 6 July 2012, launching our interstate branches.

Creating a standout CV

Today’s job market is highly competitive.

What can you use to stand out from other job seekers?  Your CV!

Your CV is the most important document you can have; it is your sales tool charting your employment history, experience and qualifications and it is crucial you get it right.

Together with a good reference, it will help open doors for you and ideally win you the interview that will set you on the way to your dream job!

Creating an impression – Presentation

The look and feel of your CV is important. Keep it simple - go for plain white or cream A4 paper, that is good quality (100 gsm weight).

Choose a clear typeface and don’t be tempted to go for anything other than black ink.

Avoid spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, alterations or changes at all costs. Never cross out a mistake - always print out a clean copy.

The way you present your CV is a reflection of how you present yourself. Prospective employers will be put off by poor presentation and incorrect spellings and typos.

What makes a good CV?

Quite simply it is one that gets you an interview for the job you want. Your aim is to look like you can do the job.

You need to know what to put in it, what to leave out and how to highlight your skills, experience and education to the best advantage.

Imagine for a second you are an employer who has 150 CVs on your desk from which you have to choose just a handful for interview. What are you looking for? How do you decide? Can the employer see the key points at a glance or do they have to search for the relevant information? Is the document free of qualifying words such as fairly, usually and hopefully? Is it well presented, smart and professional looking?

As an applicant your CV should demonstrate:

  • The specific skills needed for the job
  • The right sort of experience
  • The right personal qualities
  • An understanding of the specific requirements of the job

But you must also keep it simple.  The CV should be:

  • short and concise - ideally no more than two pages of A4 paper
  • clear - typewritten and laid out with wide margins, section headings and information in logical order
  • relevant – address the employer’s main question: can you do the job?

Positive Characteristics

The following are examples of words that can be used to describe personal characteristics that are generally seen as positive and useful in the workplace:

Adaptable, Efficient, Motivated, Responsible, Trustworthy, Accurate, Confident, Decisive, hardworking, innovative.

You should choose these or similar adjectives that best describe your attributes.

Positive Words

Here are some examples of positive, active words that you can use to describe your responsibilities and achievements:

Achieved, Broadened, Demonstrated, Generated, Negotiated, Shaped, Planned, Managed and Represented.

Describing Strengths

Instead of saying “I am good at” when describing the strengths you could say ‘Skilled at’...or ‘Adept at’ or ‘with the ability’ to or ‘An expert in’...


Employers are looking for people who can:

  • Increase - profits, turnover, sales and efficiency
  • Decrease – sales turnover, risks, time taken, problems and waste
  • Improve – competitive advantage, appearance, information flow, performance

Gaps between jobs:

If the gaps include voluntary work, training or relevant experience – travel for example, put these down as part of your skills, qualification and experience

Lack of qualifications:

Concentrate on what you do have. Emphasize your practical skills and experience; these are often as valuable to an employer as theoretical experience.

I am overqualified for the job I want

Emphasize the relevant practical skills and experience that you have for the job. Focus your attention on the Key Skills Section and choose the skills that fit the job for which you are applying.

CV Checklist

Finally, when you have written your CV, check the following points:

  • Is the layout clear?
  • Do the relevant points stand out?
  • Is the language clear and understandable?
  • Dave's career tipsAre your skills and experience emphasized?

Branching out of your comfort zone

Don’t let your colleagues stop you networking!

It is amazing how many people let familiarity stop them from networking effectively. Familiarity? Yes! I’m surprised to see confident business people become nervous when meeting strangers at business and networking events. Often they ‘huddle’ with people they are familiar with. These groups provide security or confidence – but they won’t help you make new connections!

At a recent business breakfast I welcomed 3 lovely women as they arrived. They all worked for the same business. When I asked what had attracted them to attend the event they informed me it was to make business connections.  Therefore I suggested that they separate and sit at different tables to make new connections.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult but do it anyway!

After welcoming guests I took my seat to find I was seated at the same table as the 3 business women who worked together.

I bet they were sorry they had picked that particular table! Anyway, they continued to talk to each other and didn’t include any of the other table attendees in their conversation. No doubt they had a lovely time but they will have come away ‘empty handed’ from the event.

Networking is simple. However, it takes time, effort, commitment and often requires getting out of your comfort zone. Incidentally, it is helpful to remember that others may be out of their comfort zone too!

Return to Bev's networking articlesSo next time you network, step away from your colleagues and make the effort to circulate. You may be surprised who you meet!

Its all in the eyes…

Think that the way you look at people has no impact on your networking success? Think again. Body language plays a huge role in communication. Here, Bev talks the basics to help you make sure you are getting across to others effectively

Who you are speaks louder than what you say.

Communication is much more than the words you use.  Numerous studies have revealed that body language and voice tone is more important than what you say.

The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication are powerful tools that will help you connect with others, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations – and build better relationships.  The way you make people feel can override everything you are saying or doing.  That’s why it is important to endeavour to make people feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

If you smile make certain to involve your eyes!

We have all been in a situation where someone has said something yet their body language – head or arm position, poor eye contact and their voice tone – does not support the words they use. Relationships are built on trust so all aspects of our communication must support this.

I was demonstrating this at a workshop and I was standing with my arms crossed and my body angled away from the person who was speaking to me.  “What is wrong?” the person in the demonstration asked.  “Nothing is wrong”, I answered with a gruff voice, tapping my foot impatiently and flicking my head away from this person.  Obviously my body language was not supporting my comments.
Someone in the workshop audience laughed and called out “so you have also met my wife!”

Your actions will give signals and contribute to the perception others have about you.  So ensure your ‘silent’ or non-verbal language supports your verbal language.  This includes obvious things such as the way you stand, eye contact, nodding of the head and so on. It also includes the less obvious – personal space between you and the other person, your rate of breathing, the speed which you speak and pauses between words and sentences.

Look in the mirror and see yourself as others see you

You may wear the smartest business attire but if you shake a business colleagues hand poorly you will be judged accordingly.

Handshakes are a sign of trust and help build strong relationships.  As a business professional, it is important that you make a memorable positive impression when you are out networking.  Your handshake is just one of the ways you can build a positive first impression and enhance your communication.

The biggest barriers to open communication are fear of rejection, intimidation, confrontation, not being worthy or worse, being considered stupid.  Try to minimise your fears and work with reality so you can move toward better communication outcomes.  By feeling any of the above you may convey insecurity so stand tall and confident – even if you don’t feel like it.  Remember, many people feel uncomfortable talking to strangers so by focusing totally on the other person you will feel more relaxed and attentive. This will assist with open and trustworthy communication.

Here are a few tips to assist you to effectively communicate with others:

  • Accurately read other people, including the emotions they’re feeling and the unspoken messages they’re sending.
  • Create trust and transparency in relationships by sending nonverbal signals that match up with your words.
  • Respond with nonverbal cues that show others that you understand, notice, and care.

Return to Bev's networking articlesYour communication success will be determined by your approach and your attitude.  So think positive thoughts and this will be conveyed through your voice and your actions.

Here’s how to create great networking conversations…

Does a room full of people make you sweat? Need some help striking up a conversation? Read this article from Bev and get some great tips for overcoming that nervous feeling

Young Professionals – Here’s how to create great networking conversations…

So what do you answer when people say “and what you do?” For most of us we never think about it until it happens and then we mumble something, or give some great lengthy spiel that means absolutely nothing to the person to whom we are speaking. Your introduction should create conversation, not stop it!

Don’t be caught out again, prepare your introduction.

Now I hate the term ‘elevator pitch’ as you are not ‘pitching’ anything at anyone. You aim is to connect with the other person to create a conversation therefore your introduction should be short and catchy. Naturally, your introduction will change depending on your audience.

If you are connecting at an industry event, you can use business terminology and title as the person you are speaking to will have a greater understanding of what you do. However still keep if friendly as you still want to create conversation. This one is the easy one.

However, imagine you are at a business or social event with a wide range of people from various industries. Many may know little or nothing about your area of expertise, or have preconceived ideas about what you do. Several years ago there was an advertisement on television where a whole lot of people were socialising at a barbecue. Someone asked a man there what he did and he answered “I am a bank manager.” The whole social gathering suddenly went quiet and all the attention was turned on him. “Don’t worry” he said “I am with bank X”. Everyone smiled and the gathering continued in animated conversation.

Avoid using business jargon that may be misunderstood or not understood at all. A young insurance professional shared an experience she had when she had just started working. She was attending a social gathering with a few friends when one of her girlfriends asked her about her new job and what she did. The young insurance professional proudly explained her new role including the fact that she was an underwriter. Her young friend paused and asked seriously “How do you like working with all those dead bodies?”!!!

Keep it simple, light hearted and fun.

A financial planner I know introduces herself by saying “I make people money”. Naturally I would want to hear more. An accountant says “I help people sleep at night”. This always creates a laugh and listeners always want to hear more. “I keep people out of jail” says a criminal lawyer.

So what do you do? Do you help, save, create, teach, provide, serve, solve, assist, benefit, develop or train? Think of words that will be of benefit to others. By thinking of how you can assist others will help you create an interesting and relevant introduction.

The first part of your introduction should be short and catchy as suggested above. When the listener asks for more information then tell them a little more, but don’t share your life story. Again keep it short and to the point and then turn the focus to the person you are talking to by asking them questions about what they do, or if they have already introduced themselves ask questions to keep them engaged in further conversation.

Remember, the best networkers are the best listeners.

Therefore get the person you are talking to share more about themself and what is of interest to them. Networking is not selling. By turning the conversation to the other person and by asking strategic questions you learn about them and may also discover that they may be a potential lead or contact. It is no use talking about the importance of IT governance or political risk to find out you are speaking to the local plumber.

By asking questions you are able to find common ground or interests and it does not always have to be business related. At a workshop I was holding for senior business professionals I asked each attendee to share an interest outside of work. One man said he had a Harley-Davidson which he rode on the weekends. This created a great deal of interest from another bike enthusiast and they continued their conversation over coffee.

Your introduction is just that, an introduction, not a sales or business pitch.

Return to Bev's networking articlesKeep it short, simple (avoiding business jargon) to the point, and where possible, fun. Remember, the aim of your introduction is to create a connection which leads onto further conversation and, possibly, an opportunity to follow-up and reconnect at a later stage.