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  1. Every time I ask this question in class, I get one of these three responses – giggles, awkwardness or embarrassment.

    And the magical question is  "do you know your bra cup size?"

    The most shocking revelation I have made from all my ladies’ grooming workshops is this – more than 90% of the female participants do not know their bra cup size. What the ladies know is that they will walk into a bra store, lift both their arms, and let the sales person decide what bra cup they should be wearing.

    If you are like one of these ladies, stop.

    For an issue as intimate as this, you need to be on top of the situation.

    It will not come as a surprise if you do a self-check and realise the bra you are wearing now is either too loose (gapping) or too tight (spillage). 

    Interestingly, an industry study in 2011 reported that 85% of women are wearing the wrong size bras.

    OMG! 

    As an image consultant, I teach my female participants how to identify their bra cup size so they can make more informed decisions. After all, a good bra that fits comfortably will make your life more pleasant and do justice to your twin peaks. More importantly, it helps you project a better body posture.

    Come on, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Instead, it’s about empowerment so that you make your next trip to the lingerie section an enjoyable one. 

    In this blog, let me teach you how to determine your bra cup size in just 3 steps! For the record, all my female participants are naturally impressed when I share this 3-step bra cup size check in my workshops. 

    Before we begin, you will need a handy assistant called a measuring tape (this will cost you just 50 cents).

     

    Step #1: Measure The Circumference Of The Breasts

    In my workshops, I normally get female participants to partner up so that they can help each other identify the bra cup size.

    If you are doing this on your own at home, then do ensure you are standing upright when taking the measurement.

    Now, using the nipples as a guideline, place the measuring tape across the nipples and go one round from front to back. Note the circumference measurement. Let’s call this B1.

     

    Step #2: Measure The Circumference Below The Breast

    Now place the measuring tape below your breasts and measure the circumference.

    Note the measurement.

    Let’s call this B2.

     

    bra-cup-size-ladies-grooming-workshop-singapore 

    Step #3: Find Your Bra Cup Size

    All the ladies get this right when I ask them – “Which is bigger? B1 or B2?”

    Common logic will tell you B1 will always be bigger.

    Using a simple math subtraction, B1 minus B2, we will get the answer we want.

    And the answer will tell us which bra cup size you should be wearing.

    Assuming your B1 is 34 and the difference after subtracting B2 from B1 is 2.8 inches, then your bra cup size is ‘B’. And the right size you should be wearing is 34B. If you wear ‘A’, it is too tight. If you wear ‘C’, it is too loose.

    The cup size is measured in alphabets from A, B, C, D all the way to H and beyond. It refers to the size of the breasts in relation to the rib cage.

    The range of each cup size alphabet is about 1.5 inches. 

     

    And there you have it – in less than 2 minutes, you now know your bra cup size! No more half guessing, no more thinking this should fit; and most importantly, no more leaving it in the hands of the bra store assistant. 

    You go girls!

     

  2. Thousands of students graduate each year from the universities, polytechnics and secondary schools. 

    Pause and ask yourself this question – what is your X factor that makes you unique from the rest of the graduates? Are you just another certificate holder or do you have something interesting to share that the rest do not?

    To put it bluntly – the degree, diploma, ITE or secondary school certificate you have in your hands is just a piece of paper. And everyone else around you has the same piece of paper. 

    Ultimately, like it or not, it all boils down to personal branding.

    Are you starting to brand yourself?

    As social media becomes increasingly popular in recent years, I view this as the best time to ride the digital wave. 

    In short, you have to start branding yourself online. And the easiest and more effective tool is to create your own digital portfolio. 

    Some of you may ask why create a digital portfolio when you already have your resume?

    Yes, your resume is essential. However, there is a finite number of resumes you can send out either via email or snail mail.

    Conversely, if you have a digital portfolio, it can be viewed by anyone in any part of the world (as long as you give them your URL). This gives you a wider reach and exposes your brand to the global audience.

    Do not get me wrong. I’m not saying you should do away with the resume. Instead, the resume must stay. Instead, you supplement it with a digital portfolio as it enhances your personal brand.

    As millennials, we have to leverage on technology to make it work to our advantage.

    Here are 3 proven ways to enhance your digital portfolio after you have created one.

     

    Tip #1: Curate Your Story

    Just like how a museum curator is responsible for acquiring works of art, cataloguing them and displaying them in a manner that appeals to the public under a themed exhibition, you too must learn how to curate your digital portfolio.

    Always think – how do you want to present your story?

    Having unlimited space in a digital portfolio can be both a boon and bane. 

    If you curate your story well, your digital portfolio can be the perfect representation of the story you would like to present and it receives raving reviews. 

    If you don’t curate it well, then it will be the start of your worst nightmare. 

    Here’s how you should curate your digital portfolio.

    •   Make It Clean. Think lots of space in between each section and paragraph. This makes it easy on the eye to read.

    •   Separate The Different Parts. Use sections or dividers (consider using colours as well) to differentiate the different segments so your readers are clear about what you are presenting in each. 

    •   Use Different Modalities. Just having rows of endless text is going to bore everyone. Add different modalities such as photos, videos and slides. This not only helps break the monotony of the text but also helps spice up your digital portfolio.

    It’s all about offering your readers a wonderful ‘customer’ experience after having viewed your digital portfolio.

     

    Tip #2: Be Selective In Your Achievements

    Here’s an interesting discovery I’ve made from the numerous student interactions I have had over the years.

    Students can be divided into the two types – the first group will tell me they have too many achievements while the second group will tell me they have no achievements.

    Achievements can come in different forms. They can be your community involvement projects, internships, academic grades or sporting accolades. 

    Ok, let’s talk about the first group of students.

    Group Type 1: “I Have Too Many Achievements”

    If you have a laundry list of accomplishments, let me first congratulate you. This shows you have been very active which is a plus point. However, you do not have to list down all your achievements. 

    What you should do it to rank your achievements. Choose your strongest achievements and highlight them. Leave the smaller ones out. 

    Now let’s talk about the second group of students.

    Group Type 2: “I Have No Achievements”

    Do not say you have no achievements. This is impossible.

    Just choose the achievements that you really feel you are proud of. Remember, at the end of the day, what matters more are the skills and attributes you have gained from these experiences. Share those lessons you have gleaned from each episode.

    Highlight only your best.

     

    Tip #3: Update It Regularly

    First impressions matter.

    You don’t want to create a digital portfolio and just leave it. 

    A digital portfolio should be current and updated. It should highlight the recent milestones of your life journey.

    The last thing you want someone to do when reading your digital portfolio is to shake his head and say “why isn’t this updated?”

    Your digital portfolio should be representative of your personal brand. After all, no one knows what you have done or how great you are. You have to tell others about it. This is about branding. And it starts with you. And if you want to gain a quantum leap over the others, you know the digital portfolio is the tool you should use.

    digital-portfolio-personal-branding-workshop-singapore

  3. The mere thought of having to sit through a panel interview is enough to cause most to have sleepless nights or for some, to literally pee in their pants.

    Imagine having a team of interviewers seated opposite you while you are all alone. It’s as if they are staring at you mercilessly and doing their utmost best to nitpick all your flaws.

    The butterflies in your stomach? Check it now.

    The cold sweat breaking out or sweaty palms? Check it now too.

    :

    STOP.

     

    Tell yourself all this is common. It is perfectly normal.

    You are still alive. You are still breathing.

    So there must be a workable solution to resolve the supposed ‘threat’ of the panel interview.

    As a seasoned panel interviewer myself, I am happy to share what really works. And you are in luck as the 3 tips I’m going to share will help you score a successful panel interview.

     

    Tip #1: Give Eye Contact

    I’m often asked this question “who do you give eye contact to in a panel interview?”

    Well, you should first look at the interviewer who asked you the question. This is basic courtesy. Then as a mark of respect, you would look at the other panel members as you continue with your answer to the question posed. Just like how a windscreen wiper works, you slowly shift your eye gaze from left to right, or right to left; taking reference from the interviewer who asked you the question.

    Remember, your aim is to score maximum points from all the panel members and create the impression that everyone feels involved in the conversation.

     

    Tip #2: Think Positively

    The best kept secret is this – the panel interviewers, like you, do not enjoy being in the room. After all, having to conduct the panel interview would mean having to take precious time off from their busy work schedules. 

    And we all know in some organisations, companies or schools – the panel interview literally takes the whole day. I know this better than anyone else as I used to sit on the panel interviews for 3 consecutive years back then, having to finish the list of all candidates who turned up. The worst is after the interview, upon returning to office, and having to clear work emails, complete presentation slides and meet project deadlines.

    Once you start thinking positively, you will feel a huge stone lift itself from the shoulders. 

    Since both the panel interviewers and you are in the same room, why not make the best of this time (usually it’s 15 to 20 minutes per candidate) to create a meaningful connection? Start off by building rapport and then getting to know one another better.

    No one is here to judge you. Everyone’s here to get to know you and answer any doubts or queries you may have regarding the job offer or course of study you have applied to.

    Treat the panel members as your friends, albeit with a little more respect. 

    panel-interview-workshop-skills-singapore

     

    Tip #3: Smile

    Very often, we smile because we have noticed someone else’s presence. This is true. But to me, the smile does more than just that sole purpose. 

    The smile is also the best form of disguise.

    When you smile, you are taking both pressure and stress off yourself. 

    When you smile, you are relaxing your facial muscles and jaw.

    When you smile, you are allowing your shoulders to be less uptight.

    And when you smile, you are actually putting the panel interviewers at ease. 

    That’s why when you smile, you are doing more good than you actually know.

    Here’s a personal tip you can try – it worked for me as I actually got hired in my job interview. I reckon it will work for you too.

    While the smile is effective, laughter is more powerful. And you should work on this.

    If you can manage to get the entire panel members laughing, 99.9% you have won them over. That was what I did.

     

    Since you have made up your mind to attend the panel interview, then you should also do your best to ace it. As I have shared, it is not difficult to have a successful panel interview (as long as you master these 3 tips) and leave the room beaming knowing you have done well.

    All the best!

  4. If you are looking to boost your personal brand power, there is no better way than doing it online. 

    I hope you are just as excited as the audience from James Cook University (JCU) who came to learn more about how they could harness the power of their personal brand online in today’s personal branding workshop held on campus.

    Let me share 3 proven ways which I personally use and which have reaped handsome dividends for me through the years.

     

    Method #1: Give Away Your Best Content

    We are all experts in our chosen field – having honed our skills and expertise over the years, from our course of study in school to our accumulated work experience.

    Have you ever thought how you could package some of this content into easy-to-read, digestible bite-sized write-ups; and give them away for free?

    Are you crazy? You may ask.

    Well…

    I’ve been doing this for years. And very often, I give away some of my best content for free. I believe in giving as it is like paying it forward. Honestly, I do not know who reads my blog posts, but I know once a certain blog post is published, it will attract a healthy number of eyeballs. 

    If blogging is not what you are comfortable with, then try forums as they too are a good alternative to build your credibility.

    When you give away your best content, you are letting your voice be heard by the masses. More importantly, when you publish content online, you instantly become an authority in that field.

     

    Method #2: Be Active On Social Media

    There is no running away from social media. Social media is huge and it is here to stay. So it’s either you learn to embrace it and work it to your advantage, or continue to stay oblivious in your own little world.

    There are numerous social media platforms available. The question I’m normally asked is this – which one should I use?

    My answer: the one you are most comfortable with and gives you the greatest mileage. 

    It’s like applying for a credit card. You apply for the one you can associate intimately with and gives you the best perks in town (in terms of rewards or cash rebates or upfront benefits).

    It is pointless to open too many social media accounts (I know all of them are free!) and not have the time and energy to manage them.

    A classical case I always share is this – some people open a social media account because it’s trendy to do so. But they don’t even bother to add their profile picture. It’s still the default avatar or headless image. So what’s the point really? Do you think people will want to connect or network with an avatar or headless image?

    Opening social media accounts is easy. The tough part is maintaining them constantly. 

     

    Method #3: Have Your Own Website

    It’s becoming increasingly important to have your own web presence so that the Google search spiders can crawl, search and index you online. And the best way to create your online brand presence is through a website.

    Do not worry if you do not know HTML or JavaScript. There is no need to know any form of coding.

    You just need a plug-and-play content management system like Wordpress where almost everything is done for you. All you need to do it to follow a few simple steps (yes, the JCU audience were amazed by how simple it was to get their first website up and running). 

    Or try out other free web resources such as Google Sites (check out my digital portfolio https://sites.google.com/view/lionellim), Wix and Strikingly. 

    Biggest secret – I completed my Google Sites online portfolio in just 2 hours! And it looks as professional as all my other websites.

    The journey of creating a powerful personal brand online is an ongoing one. But the tangible results will always be something you will look back and relish for years to come =)

    personal-branding-workshop-jcu

  5. Let’s be honest about it – almost everyone hates having to go through the job interview. Why should one’s fate be placed solely in the hands of one or a few more senior people seated across the room?

    Unfair as it seems, there really is no escaping the much dreaded job interview. Unless you want to remain unemployed, it is inevitable that you learn how to increase your chances of landing that dream job.

    Often billed as the highlight of the entire hiring process, let’s make the interview work to your advantage. 

    In order to do that, I will first have to share with you the 3 most valued work skills every interview candidate should possess. I drew this important conclusion after having taught thousands of participants in my interview skills workshops over the years, ranging from graduating students, ORD personnel to PMETs.

     

    Work Skill #1: Communication

    It certainly isn’t surprising that communication ranks as the most valued work skill. 

    In today’s digital age, where everything is happening twice as fast and people are attempting to multi-task all the time, it is not uncommon for misunderstandings to arise constantly. 

    This is because many people have forgotten about the basics. And the most rudimentary of them all is that communication is the most important skill to possess.

    Regardless of the occasion, one needs to have good verbal and written communication. Whatever the medium is (i.e. face-to-face interaction, telephone conversation, text messaging or sending an email), if communication is lacking, the task cannot be completed according to the expectations.

    We need to communicate effectively so that we present our ideas, thoughts, proposals and concepts forward. 

    Similarly in an interview setting, if you cannot communicate effectively and bring across the message you want to convey, you have just jeopardized your own chances of being hired.

    These are the 3 types of candidates I will never hire.

    • The mumbling ones – This is not the time for you to swallow your words. Quick tip: Speak slowly and speak clearly.

    • The Singlish speaking ones – Much as I adore Singlish for all its quirkiness and colloquialisms that reminds me that this is home indeed, but this is not the right occasion to use it. Quick tip: Only Standard English will make the cut in a job interview and portray you as a polished and professional candidate.

    • The too impressive ones – There is no need to use big words just to impress the interviewers. If done too extreme, you may be viewed as a show-off. Quick tip: Speak simply. When you speak simply, everyone understands what you are saying. And you minimize any form of miscommunication.

     

    job-interview-skills-workshop-singapore

     

    Work Skill #2: Teamwork

    Coming in a close second is teamwork. 

    Remember, no man is an island. And the acronym TEAM means “together everyone achieves more”.

    As an employer myself, I value teamwork greatly. In fact, I value teamwork more than technical skills like computer skills, photography or graphic design. The reason is simple – you can learn technical skills. But you cannot learn teamwork. It’s either you have teamwork or you don’t. There are no two ways about it.

    If you have done the DISC personality profiling tool, you will know only certain groups of people should be put together in the same project so that progress is expedited. And too many similar characters in the same team will impede progress.

    I will never hire someone who is so full of himself and who has challenges working together with others in the same team. 

    In the interview, you can demonstrate the teamwork quality by sharing past experiences of how you have teamed with others (whether it is during your schooling days or past job) to complete a task at hand and the results you achieved.

     

    Work Skill #3: Leadership

    Rounding up the top three work skills is leadership.

    Leadership has been studied, scrutinized and immortalized over the years. Companies move from good to great largely because of a charismatic leadership. Take the case of Apple. Many thought Apple would crumble after the demise of Steve Jobs. Ironically, Apple has grown to become the most valuable company in the world with a market capitalization of over $750 billion under Jobs’ successor Tim Cook. 

    Leaders take initiative and step up in trying times. Knowing he had super big shoes to fill and expectations to live up to, Cook still did it. He did it his way.

    It is an open secret that in any organisation, senior management will always be on the lookout to groom potential staff for leadership positions.

    So if you were a sergeant or platoon commander back in your national service days; held an official position in your CCA (e.g. chairman, treasurer etc) or were a student councilor; it is time you highlight your achievements during the interview.

    The world is made up of human beings. Naturally, in order to climb the ladder of success in life, we have to depend on transferrable work skills.

    All the best in your job interview =)