Are you always out of balance?

We all know the mental & financial hardships students have to go through when they choose international studies. Being in a new environment away from their friends & families there are numerous challenges to be faced on a day-to-day basis.

Studies, assignments, exams, place to stay, food, clothes & laundry, travel, internet & phone are few of the things that require immediate attention along with an aspiration to get into a part-time job as soon as possible. Most of the students are seen juggling with the resources available to get the best out of their time & every penny spent.

I am glad to see many have taken these challenges heads-on and have won the game because of their determination, discipline, analytical approach and logical prioritization. They were quick to learn what is important to be successful in the foreign land, they understood why it is important and they prioritized their actions revolving this core. They were intelligent & disciplined enough to put things in order of importance & urgency while in pursuit of their goals.

Amongst many one of the important factors that they knew would hold the key to their success was their mobile phone. YES............their ‘Mobile Phone’


 And for those who are still struggling; it all starts from

Answering the phone

I have some suggestions for the strugglers

  • Any call that is not from your friend or from a saved number should be answered professionally Instead of a simple & sleeping ‘hello’, try to answer the call energetically with a smile on your face saying something like, ‘Hi, this is Raj. How may I help you?’
  • Pick up the name of the caller, place from where he or she is calling. Greet the caller addressing them by their first name. ‘I am doing good John, thank you, how are you doing today?’
There is a lot of information on the net that guides you on how to answer the phone but I have found students who struggle in NZ haven’t understood the importance of

  • Answering the phone in a quite place (I have myself spoken to students when they answered the phone in Kitchen, toilet and best ones are those who answer their phones in the bed because they want to sleep till 11.00AM) (Wake up guys!!!!! Most of the recruiters & employers start their day at 7.30AM here in NZ and they are least interested in knowing what you did last night)
  • Remember most of the time, it’s not your English accent that fails you, it’s the clarity of your speech
  • Wait for the speaker to finish their sentence. Don’t interrupt them.
  • Always sum up the conversation just to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Professional Voice Message

Can you imagine how a recruiter or an employer feels when they call you and the phone rings out with no facility to record the voice message. Contact your service provider and get this facility right now!!!!

Right now means RIGHT NOW!! Do it guys.

Voice message has to be professional and has to be in your voice. Come on guys this is not ‘Rocket Science’, here are some examples. Use them if you want.

  • Hello. You have reached the voice mail box of Raj. Unfortunately I cannot take your call right now, but I would like to return it as soon as I can. So please leave me your name, number & message after the beep. Thank you.
  • Hi, this is Raj. I am sorry I missed your call. Please leave me your name & number and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Cheers
Check your Voice Messages

  • I am not sure why do I need to explain you the importance of checking your voice messages but then guess what? Strugglers don’t check their voice messages and the only reason that I hear is ‘I am sorry, Raj. I don’t have enough balance.’
Call Back or Text Back

For some reason if you were not able to answer the phone; no worries!!

  • You should always call back or text back on the number where you received the call from. If the call was from an unknown number; don’t worry you already have your voice message recorded. Haven’t you?
  • Be smart!! Give a call back and ask for a land line number or send a text and ask for a land line number. Ask for skype ID or Yahoo chat. I am not asking you to call back from your mobile phone, I know it’s expensive!! But yes, there is no harm in finding a less expensive or free calling alternative.
  • Worst case scenario, if nothing works out. Call from your mobile phone. Yes, CALL BACK. (Again, the million dollar question is, do you have balance in your mobile phone?)
Same Number

  • I fail to understand, why you would change your mobile number 4 times in 12 months (this is a real case) and on top of it you don’t even have the courtesy to inform your contacts.
  • Most interesting scenario is when the number has changed but the CV is being thrown in the market with the old number (again a real case)
You should always have the balance

  • Four of you got together this weekend and drove to Tauranga!!! Nice trip… Aey?
  • Saturday night out was fun!!! Wasn’t it?
  • That’s a nice jacket you bought buddy!!! Looks awesome!
When asked, why didn’t you call the employer? The answer was, ‘You see Raj, I don’t have a land line and I am out of balance’

Few points that I want to bring home here

  • I am not against anyone who wants to enjoy their life
  • I am not trying to demean or demotivate anyone
  • I am not making fun of anyone
As your consultant my responsibility is to guide you, correct you and help you achieve your professional goals. You have to be disciplined and intelligent enough to prioritize what is important for you.  

My message to all you strugglers: Never run out of balance!!
Feel free to talk to me if you have any questions.

Raj Singh
Employment Consultant
iCareer Ltd Division of Cornell Institute of Business & Technology, Auckland


  1. Awesome Sir, Nice work to share your knowledge and experience with us.I hope you will continue to give a knowledge for How to prepare your self in foreign Land (especially for JOB interview)..Thanks a lot sir to share a Knowledge.


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