Job Search

Why do you need a job coach or career coach in 2020?

Times are hard, the job market is in pieces, unemployment figures are high and the world is full of uncertainty. It is a strange time for most of us. If you are lucky to have kept your job then you at least you have money coming in and your day is filled with purpose. On the other hand you might have lost your income and are stuck in the never ending cycle of applying for jobs and not hearing back from the companies you applied too. You have tried everything you know but nothing is happening and no one is responding. And if they responding, all you are you are getting is rejections. You might want to think about implementing a plan B. Something you have not tried before – job/ career coaching.

Sometimes all you need is to change your mindset and add some structure to your current job search. You might want to consider buying a job search guide book to help you get started. They are inexpensive and you can use them to guide you the same as you would use a guide for anything else in your life. Having a step by step plan might be what you need to put you back on the right track when it comes to job hunting. Check out my blog post on some recommended books to start with.

For those that are looking for a new job, a change of career or are simply planning to grow in their current role, things might not be that straightforward. You might have tried everything from getting your CV written by a CV writing company to reading all the books and blogs under the sun but you’re still lost and not getting any results. This is where a career coach/job coach can help you.

They will work with you on an individual basis. They will help you understand what is stopping you from achieving what you want in your career or job search. They will help you change your mindset and guide you to the tools you need to rebuild your job search and become who you want to be in your career.

Career coaches cost money, some of them are very expensive but there are some reasonably priced ones so do your research.  You want to be sure that investing in one is something that would help you. Most of the coaches offer a free session so use it to get a feel for the coach, ask them questions about what you need help with and see if they resonate with you. It can be a difficult decision to invest in a coach if you have just lost your job and money is tight so look around for the best option.

I myself was at first a little sceptical, this was back in 2010 when I lost my job and my career was not going anywhere. I had no money saved and I knew I needed to find a job as soon as possible but I wanted to make sure I was choosing the right job and career. I qualified as a lawyer but reviewing contracts all day at my desk with little human interaction was not how I imagined my life would end up. The only time I perked up was when I had a client meeting. The career I chose was not easy to give up. I studied hard to get the grades, with English not being my first language it was even harder. It was not easy to get to the top law schools and to qualify and get a pupillage/ training contract. Not to forget it was very expensive but I did not enjoy it anymore. The money I was making was nowhere near to what I was promised to earn and the hours were very long. I was often coming home after midnight just to be in the office for 7am.  I did not see any point in spending years in this career and working my way up to the top but I was scared to make a move. I didn’t have any other experience, or idea what I wanted to do.

Then I lost my job due to cuts in financial services and this was an opportunity to start anew but I was scared. It was a difficult time and no one was hiring. I went down the traditional route of applying for the jobs I didn’t even want and it made me even more unhappy. I was stuck.  

My friend who worked in learning and development recommended a career coach. I didn’t know what these people did. How can someone who doesn’t know me help me decide on what I want to do and help me find the right job?  Especially if it costs money which I did not have But after a month went by and I was not getting anywhere I decided to do my research and book a free session with few career coaches in my area. I thought I had nothing to lose.

It was the best decision I have ever made. I spoke with two coaches and decided to go with the one I felt I had a better connection with. After the free session, I booked a fist paid session and after that a 1 month course. The career coach I worked with not only helped me to understand where I’m going wrong in looking for jobs but also the transferable skills I already have and can use in many different careers. I uncovered my strengths and what is important to me.  I learned how to network better, how to ustilise my current skill set to gain an advantage over the competition but most importantly I learned how to be more confident in interviews, client meetings and how to articulate my needs without getting emotional. It was the first time in a long time where I felt clear about where I was heading and what I wanted.

After some consideration I started to apply for roles outside of law and moved to HR. It was not an easy decision but it was the best decision I made. I love helping people to find jobs and help them understand what they want from their career. Many years and qualifications later I have decided to start career coaching myself. My job in HR and recruitment has become my passion. I feel the most satisfied when I am helping someone to find out what they really want to do, helping them get the promotion they deserve or changing careers like me. Nothing makes me feel better than helping people understand who they are meant to be.

If you are like I was years back and are not sure if this is for you, try the free session and find out for yourself. It might be the best decision you ever make.

Job Search

The best books to help you with your job search in 2020

Why do you need a book to help you find a job in 2020 you ask? Finding a job should be pretty straight forward after all. You create your CV and apply for jobs posted online, right?  Unfortunately there is so much more to it these days. With an increasing volume of applications due to rising unemployment and changes in technology, companies are using more sophisticated ways to conduct the candidate selection. The job search itself can be very challenging and finding the right role can be a lengthy and frustrating process.

If you want to succeed in finding a job in this market you have two choices. You can either keep applying and hoping for the best or you can invest a little in yourself and prepare for the job hunt.

To be successful in your job search you need to understand the current job market, how to stay resilient and where to look for jobs. You need to learn how to update your CV to stand out in the key word searches and when being reviewed by recruiters. When you get an interview you need to know how to best prepare for it to get the job.

Below are my favourite books to help you not only with your job search but also with your mindset. These books will  sharpen your skills, show you how and where to search and will keep you motivated and persistent when you hit a block in your job search.

Job Loss Problems and Job Hunt Solutions 2020

Is a short e-book I wrote to help you with the full recruitment process and how to navigate through it in 2020. You will learn how to deal with your mindset, set a job search plan,  master interview techniques all the way to offer negotiations tricks. It will help you understand the current job market and the best way to structure your CV. It’s a short modern guide with examples and templates to help you succeed in your job search.  It will help you look at your career and open your mind to different opportunities you might not have thought of.

The 2 hour Job Search: Using Technology to get the Right Job Faster by Steve Dalton

This book will give you a great insight into how to optimise the job search engines on LinkedIn, Google and other job search platforms. You will learn how much time you should spend on different tasks when searching for a job. You will also get an advice from behaviour experts to help you gain an advantage whilst searching for a job.

Ignite your LinkedIn Profile by Donald J Wittman

It’s a great book to start with when you are trying to nail the LinkedIn game. It will help you with optimising your LinkedIn profile and learn marketing strategies to help you getting noticed. It explains how to discover jobs in the hidden job market and create new opportunities. It is a great book to understand the power of your LinkedIn profile if you get it right.

If you need 1:1 help with your job search or struggling with your career check out my job search and career coaching sessions here.

For more information get in touch below.

Job Search

6 Practical Job Search Tips in 2020

There is a lot of information online about finding a job but when you are in the middle of the global pandemic you might have to change your tactics. Right now it is all about being persistent and staying motivated. The unemployment figures are getting higher and most industries have stopped recruiting for certain job functions or stopped recruiting completely. It is tough out there but you have to stay positive. Use the time you have wisely, be creative and do your search thoroughly.

Here are some Job Search Tips in 2020 that helped me so far;

Use multiple job search platforms

Fully focus on one platform each day. Do everything you can that day to utilise the platform of your choice before you move to the next one. If you feel you’ve exhausted all job search platforms you normally use, Google is a great source for finding more.

Lets say you start with LinkedIn. (if you don’t have a LinkedIn, set it up). Search for jobs and connect with individuals in your industry who might be able to help you or point you in the right direction. Networking can help you with your job search but also with your career. Once you make contact, message them and send them your CV, you never know who might need your skill set if you don’t put yourself out there. Follow forums and groups related to your job search. Connect with companies you are interested in.

You need to be resourceful and active on as many job search platforms as possible and let the recruiters find you. If you are using platforms such as Indeed, create an account and upload your CV,  but make sure you tailor your CV if needed. If you don’t know where to start use CV Library, Totaljobs, Jobsite, Monster, Guardianjobs, etc.

Don’t forget to apply directly to companies too. Some might use their websites to advertise the role before they post it on job search platforms or go to agencies.

Utilise Agencies

Find agencies specialising in the job market you are looking for and send them your CV. Contact recruiters directly and connect with them on LinkedIn. Send them your CV and a brief overview of what you are looking for, salary expectations and when you are free to start so they can consider you as soon as the right job comes in. Keep in touch with them regularly. If the right job for your skill set comes up you might be the first person they call because you are on the top of their mind.

Use the right Key Words

It is important for your CV to have the right key words so the right recruiters can find it. It is also important to learn how to search the right key words in the search engines when you are looking for jobs. Remember not every company uses the same job titles for the jobs they advertise.

Example: Personal Assistant can be called PA, EA (Executive Assistant) or Team Assistant. They might all be slightly different but if you read the job description you might find the company is looking for the PA skill set.  If you are not sure what key words to use, use Google to find the alternative names for your job title. The more options you try, the more surprised you will be as to how many more jobs you can apply for. Make sure you adjust your CV profile to reflect that you have the correct experience and skill set.

Consider different regions or even countries

The global pandemic made one thing easier in that we are all used to remote working and some companies e.g. Twitter has decided to carry on remote working even after the pandemic is over. This might be the case for other companies so do not restrict your job search to your own city. Look at different regions or even countries if you speak the same language. Ask if they would consider remote working. If you were able to perform the role remotely up till now, chances are that you might be able to carry on after the pandemic is over. 

Consider Contracting

It might be easier to get a short term contract rather than a permanent role in the current job market. The companies might find it easier to find the budget for contract roles as they don’t need to commit to a permanent head count. Even if you think taking a contract might mess up your CV, it is always worth considering. You will learn something new and you get paid. Remember you don’t need to put the role on your CV.

Think about transferable skills you can use

If you are having no luck with your job search,  or the industry you are applying for is particularly affected by the global pandemic, try to think outside the box. What skill set do you have that you could use in the short term to get by? You might think you don’t have any skills, trust me you do. Whatever it is you like doing or are good at try to utilise. If you are technically minded, look for online jobs you could do such as setting up websites, social media or video editing for example. If you have great grammar try proof reading. If you are a PA, look for virtual assistant jobs or offer your services on sites such as Fiverr. If you have expertise in finance or accounting,  look at the ways to help small business or individuals setting up their business.  Take a pen and paper find a quiet space and start thinking about your options.

However hard things are right now,  know that you are doing the best you can to find a job and that you are not the only one going through this. If you are losing motivation read 4 Tips to motivate you when searching for a job in 2020.

Job Search

4 Tips to motivate you when searching for a job in 2020

The unemployment figures are worse each day and even the advertised jobs seem to be there just for show because no one is responding. It feels as all applications are going to a black hole.  I am not sure about you but I am not feeling very motivated to search for a job right now. I wish I was one of the few lucky ones who managed to keep their jobs but I am not. I know how hard it is to keep going but if you are in the same position as me you know we have no other choice. We have to find a job.

 I have a few tips to help you stay motivated and not lose your mind in this situation.

Get up, get dressed, get showered and start your day

You have probably stayed up late watching Netflix or stared at the ceiling until early hours worrying and you are tired and demotivated. You might be wondering what’s the point of carrying on with your job search. You feel that nothing will change so you might as well stay in bed and ignore the world around you.

You are right, nothing will change if you don’t change your mindset. You need to start feeling optimistic about life and your job search. To be able to do that, you need to take action in the right direction however hard it is.

We have never been in this situation before. It is hard to tell how long will this uncertainty last but remember, it will not last forever. You just need to hang on there and do everything you can to get a job.  You will get one. Do you know why?  Because you have no other choice.

Get up early, shower, get dressed and you should feel instantly better. Go for a walk and listen to music which makes you feel happy,  listen to a podcast, make your favourite breakfast or a coffee.  Do anything that will motivate you and make you smile. Don’t look at the clock, but focus on trying to create a positive mindset before you open your laptop and start the job search.

Start the job search

Get creative with your job search and focus on a different platform through the day. Start with the easiest first. If Indeed is your prefer way of searching, start there. Apply for all suitable jobs you can find, search for companies you are interested in, create your profile and upload your CV.  It will make you feel as you are achieving something. Then move on to the next platform, lets say LinkedIn and carry on until you reach the most difficult part of your job search, such as lengthy application forms. By the time you get to them you should be fired up by the progress you have made and complete the forms with ease.

Think about other options

This could be the perfect time to start that new business you always wanted. Maybe like me you always wanted to start a blog, write a book, sell a product on Amazon or whatever you dreamed about but didn’t get to do. It does not mean that you have to spend hundreds of pounds. You will have to invest a little but this could be the break you needed. Do your research and look at your options. Check out how I started my blog.

Reward yourself

When the times are tough and we find it hard to stay motivated it is so important to have a little reward to keep us going. It could be something simple such as a nice glass of wine, an episode of your favourite Netflix show or a slice of a chocolate cake. I love having a nice pampering session at the end of the day or a glass of gin and tonic. It is a small pleasure but it is something I can look forward to when I’m stuck in the middle of a job search.

Job Search

5 Tips to help you deal with job loss

I have been there myself more times than I care to remember. Even with all my experience and knowledge of the recruitment industry, losing a job never got easier. However losing my job made me much more resilient to unexpected change and I learnt how to approach and manage job loss as indeed you will too.

Like most unpredictable things in life, losing your job suddenly can be frightening.  It does not help that we are navigating through a global pandemic right now too, dealing with uncertainty in every aspect of our lives.  As long as you can maintain your physical and mental strength, you CAN get through this.

If you want some help to nudge you in the right direction, you can get your step by step guide here- Job Loss Problems and Job Hunt Solutions 2020. I put lot of time and effort into creating this guide and  passionately believe it will help make things easier for you. I can’t wait for you read it and start your journey with me.

Treat your job loss as you would the loss of an important relationship in your life.

Give yourself time to acknowledge what has happened. You need to process the emotions associated with losing your job. Take time to mourn and come to terms with it and once you are ready, start preparing a plan to get a new job. You need a clear mind and to be fully focused in this difficult job market. Thinking about your old job will only hold you back. It’s time to let go of the past and look towards a brighter future.

 Prepare a plan

Now that your mind is clear and you’re ready to get back on the market it is time to make a plan. Think about whether you want to go back to the same type of job you had before or if it is time for a new beginning. Consider your current situation, financial situation and career situation before deciding if you need a long term plan, short term plan or both. You might need a short term plan to get you a job which will financially support. It might not be your dream job but it keeps the money rolling in while you consider other options. Alternatively you might need a long term plan in order to achieve what you actually want to do with your life e.g. build a new business or find a new career. Now is the time to do it!

Take Action

For anything to happen in life you need to take action. The same goes when searching for a new job.  Get your step by step guide here- Job Loss Problems and Job Hunt Solutions 2020. I put lot of time and effort into creating this guide to make things easier for you.

If you decide to go it alone, you need to decide what you want; a short term job, new career, your own business or going back to the same type of role you had before. Once you decide, you need to do some research and find the right connections to get your foot in the door. You need a good CV and LinkedIn profile and you need to be prepared for every type of interview to the best of your ability.

Stay Motivated

I know it is easier said than done. Applying for hundreds of jobs, filling out one long application after another with little or no results can be demotivating. I have been there myself. Staring at another rejection email or maybe not even hearing back from a recruiter after an interview is never fun but it is a reality you will have to deal with. That is why you need something to keep you going. Money is definitely a good motivator, especially if you are running out and have bills to pay. But you need something to get you through the tough days. You need to turn your focus to your long term plan and take steps toward building your dream life with your dream job. It will help to refocus you when you want to pack it all in.

Take care of your mind and body

These are stressful times even if you’re lucky enough to not be looking for a job. Staying indoors, not knowing when the global pandemic is going to end and how the world will look after is stressful enough as it is. Looking for a new job and worrying about your income is the last thing you need. To be able to cope with this pressure and stress, you need to stay healthy both mentally and physically.

It won’t help you if you burn yourself out and your body and mind can’t cope anymore. It just makes it that much harder to get back on your feet. Try to take small steps. What really helps me for example is a 30 min walk in the morning when the streets are quiet. It gives me an opportunity to collect my thoughts and listen to meditation music. I meal prep healthy food on Sunday so I don’t have to worry about what to eat. I drink at least two litres of water and have a treat on the weekend. It’s not a crazy lifestyle by any means but I feel good about myself and that what’s important. You too need to find a way to give your body and mind the tools to help get you through these difficult times.

Job Search

CV Make Over Tips 2020

There are so many CV templates out there for you to choose from and help make your CV look professional and modern. Canva has great free templates if you are on a budget.  Make sure you don’t get overwhelmed with all the choices and waste time on choosing the perfect template.  The important thing is that your CV is up to date, concise, perfectly formatted and has no spelling mistakes.  If in doubt always keep it simple.  

Recruiters see hundreds of CVs every day so make sure your CV stands out because of your skills,  not because it is pink with pretty pictures!

Focus on two things when updating or creating your CV; CV Content and CV Presentation.

Use the below checklist to help you.

CV Content:CV Presentation:
HeaderGrammar/ spelling
Personal profileFormatting
Technical skills/ core competencies (optional)Keep it concise
Profession experience and work historySave it as a PDF
Hobbies (optional) 
Reference (optional)     

Things NOT to include on your CV in 2020

  • CV title:  CV/Curriculum Vitae
  • Full home address: You can add a city or part of the postcode
  • A picture or a head shot: It is not common practice in the UK
  • Date of birth: Your age doesn’t affect your ability to do the job and it’s illegal for employers to ask about your age under the Equality Act 2010
  • Marital status: Your marital status and dependents, same as your age, don’t affect your ability to do your job. These details are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and it’s against the law for employers to ask about them, so don’t include them on your CV
Job Search

What is your current job status?

Let’s talk about where you are right now when it comes to your job. If you have not thought about it before, you’ve almost definitely done so since we went into lockdown. It’s likely you’ve considered the security of your job of course. Whether the company you work for can survive the current lockdown or maybe even thrive as some business are. You’ve no doubt considered the transition to working from home and how well that works for you and your current company. Maybe you have even started to look to a post lock down job world and you’re considering your career options.

Alternatively you might be furloughed, thankful for the extension of the furlough scheme but naturally worried if you will have a job once it ends.  Worse still, you’re one of the unlucky ones who having already lost their job, is desperately seeking any kind of employment so you can pay your bills and general day to day living costs.

Whatever your current situation, now is the time to acknowledge it, decide what you want to do and plan for it to happen.

Unemployed Happy

You have been let go but you were wise and indeed able to save up for just this situation. You can survive for at least a year and can use this time to take a break and figure out what you want to do with your life. Congratulations! Enjoy this opportunity to recharge your batteries while you decide your next move. You can join us again once your funds run out or you get bored!

Unemployed Unhappy

It hit you hard but you had a feeling it might be coming. You know you have bills, family to support and little savings to last. Your job whether you liked it or not was your only source of income. You are lost, worried and don’t know where to start. You want to give up and have no energy to start again and carry on. You need time out and a plan a for a fresh start.  You can find some great tips on this website or you can get my e-book for quick answers to help motivate and support you.

Furloughed Worrying

You feel like your wings might be clipped at any point and if so, worried you will not be able to fly again. Will you get your job back or will you be made redundant? You are grateful you still get paid but being in a state of limbo is worrying. You want to stay positive but it find it is getting harder. Should you start looking for a job or should you wait it out? If you wait, will there be any jobs left? Its much easier to prepare a plan when you have less financial worries. Why not use the opportunity furlough presents to get your CV ready and keep an eye out for any jobs that pique your interest.

Employed Happy

It’s great that you’re here but you’re almost definitely reading the wrong blog! You’ve won the job lottery with a job that you like, maybe even love. I am very happy for you and wish you continued success!

Employed Unhappy

You’re thankful you’re still getting paid but secretly thinking about how much you hate your job. Of course you’re not stupid enough to leave your job right now in the current environment. Yet lockdown has help crystallised your thoughts and you know you need to make a career changes as soon as possible. Maybe you want to start your own business and be your own boss. Perhaps you want to re-qualify and do something completely different. Whatever it is, now is the time dust off the old business plan and start working towards a life filled with joy, excitement and purpose.


6 Steps to a Successful Virtual Interview

Whether you are using Google Hangouts, Teams, Zoom or good old Skype, conducting your interview virtually might come with some issues even for those confident with technology.

Nothing will replace a face to face interview. It is more personable and enjoyable for both parties. It gives the company an opportunity to meet the candidate in person and it gives the candidate a chance to meet the team and see the offices.  During these difficult times, the world of recruitment has had to adapt. The virtual interview is a great example of this adaption as companies try to continue with business as usual.

There are other benefits to the virtual interview that can be convenient for both an employer and candidate. The candidate doesn’t need to take time off work for instance and can do the interview anywhere, providing it’s quiet and has a good internet connection. The business doesn’t have to wait long for a candidate’s availability and can complete the interview quicker too.

To avoid any hiccups, make sure you take into consideration the following steps so you can make your virtual interview a success and enhance your chances of getting the job.

Find a quiet place in your house where you can sit comfortably and focus. You need all your focus to be on the interview and not worrying about your pet or child distracting you. It might look cute but it won’t help you with your concentration

Give yourself plenty of time to set up/ charge your laptop and phone before the interview. Make sure the camera and the sound are working.

Try to get good lighting and adjust your camera angle in advance. You want to make sure your face and the top of your body are clearly visible. Make sure your background is appropriate so check what is behind you so there are no distractions for the interviewer. You want their focus to be solely on you and you want the interview to be as close to the real life interview experience as possible

If you have not used Zoom, Skype or Teams and are not confident if the link the recruiter sent you works, you can ask them to try it out with you prior to the interview. Nothing makes you panic more than trying to dial in and it the link is not working. It does happen sometimes so keep the recruiter’s details handy so you can quickly call, email or text them if there are any unforeseen issues

Dress appropriately at least on your top half. You might be working from home but interviewing in an old worn out shirt is not a good look

Keep a glass of water next to you at a safe distance so you don’t knock it over but can use if your throat gets dry or you need a second to compose your thoughts