Job Search Uncategorized

How to Improve Your Home Office for Remote Working or Job Hunting this Holiday Season?

Home office ideas

How to upgrade your home office and increase your productivity?

If you are struggling with motivation when job hunting or working from home this holiday season you are not the only one.

You might be fed up with the endless job search with no results or days filled with never ending Zoom calls.  It doesn’t help that the days are getting shorter and darker and you are stuck in a second lockdown on the top of everything else.

Start with these three steps to get you back on track.

Step 1- Inspiration will lead to motivation

Do you remember how it feels to be inspired, full of new ideas and ready to take on the world? To get back to that feeling read books, listen to podcasts or watch movies. Here are some of my favourite books for inspiration, motivation and job search guidance. Don’t over think things. When you can’t get yourself to focus on your job search,  reading about someone inspirational or watching a movie that inspires you could be a start.

Step 2- Organise your job search

Once you feel more inspired and motivated to start working on your job search get yourself organised. Here are some cool planners for every personality.

Get a Job Search Guide– When we are not motivated sometimes following a step by step guide can be all you need to help you get on track. Use the simple, inspirational and easy to follow Job Search Guide 2020.

Get a Career Coach– If you have no energy to follow a guide get a job coach or career coach. It is an investment but you will be forced to do the work. If you make a financial commitment to your career coach you are much more likely to show up.

Step 3 – Upgrade your working space

One of the easiest ways to get mental clarity when feeling demotivated doing your work or job search is to clean out your working space. Updating your remote office or working corner can be exactly what you need to get a fresh start. With Black Friday round the corner,  it is a perfect time to treat you or your loved one’s working space to a makeover.

Below are my absolute favourites that transformed my home office this year.  

If you want to get the best savings on any of the below items use ShopTagar to track your items and get the instant updates on any discounts.  

Get your favourite office item here

Pink Marble Apple AirPods
Pink Wireless Keyboard Mouse Combo
Marble MacBook Case
Award Wining Yo Yo Desk Bike
Touch Screen Pen for Apple/iPhone/iPad pro/Mini/Air/Android/Microsoft/Surface
Laptop Stand Holder
Adjustable White Office Chair
Adjustable Phone/ Tablet holder
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Ultra Thin Webcam Cover
Tower Extension Lead with Wireless Charger
Portable Conference Speaker with USB for Phones/ Laptops
1 Liter Water Bottle With Time Marker
Adjustable Standing Desk Converter
Soft House Slippers


What Books to Read if You get Fired?

What books to read if you get fired?

How to start again with a positive mindset after you get fired?

Whatever the reason,  when you lose your job unexpectedly you might find yourself in a tricky situation. Your finances, your daily routine and your confidence might suffer for a while but try to see the positive.

Don’t let one lost opportunity be the end of your journey. You might not always achieve what you want but remember,  when one door closes another one opens. So make sure you don’t give up. Dust yourself off and start again. Learn from what went wrong and keep going until you get where you want to be. This is a perfect time to make some life changes, retrain or even start a business- link here.

Take some time to process losing your job. You might find these tips helpful if you struggle to let go.

Use this time to make a plan for what you want to do next. To help you get inspired, motivated and guide you on your new journey, I have selected my favourite books to help you get started.

Some of these books helped me when I found myself without a job, others when I lacked inspiration to start again or when I needed a step by step guide on how to find a new job quickly.

Books to inspire you………

Books to inspire you….

She Means Business by Carrie Green

Make It Happen by Maria Hatzistefanis aka Mrs Rodial

Overnight Success Maria Hatzistefanis aka Mrs Rodial

Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffollo

Books to motivate you…….

Books to motivate you……

The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter Ph.D

5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Excuse me, Your Life is waiting by Lynn Grabhorn

Books to help you get a new job step by step………

Step by step guide to a new job……

The Job Search Checklist: Everything you need to know to get back to work after a layoff by Damian Birkel

Job Loss Problems and Job Hunt Solutions by Mia Wagner Harris

Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong by Jessica Bacal

Knock ‘Em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin Yate

Hope you find a book to help you recharge and inspire you to start again stronger with a new mindset and energy. Let me know which book was your favourite in the comments below.

For more job search tips please check my blog here.


How to Build, Format and Design your CV for FREE with CV Assistant?

CV Assistant will do all the work for you so you can relax

Free CV building secret for any job title

To start a job search you need a CV/ LinkedIn profile, but how do you get your CV noticed in this difficult job market without spending hours searching the internet and losing your mind?  I have few tips for you including a secret not many people know about- CV Assistant.


Create a master copy of your CV. This should include a skeleton of your main experience, skills and qualifications with dates and company names. Every time you are applying for a new job, amend the master copy, save it and use it to apply. Save the amended CV with the job title and the name of the company you are applying for. This will remind you what CV you used when you get an interview.

Although this might be a daunting task there is no way around it. If you want a job in this job market you either get a job coach to help you get through it or you do it yourself.

If you decide to do it yourself,  use these tips to help you get an interview whether you are a graduate applying for your first job or you find yourself on the job market after years in a stable job.


Whether you are being screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS) or a recruiter, to pass the screening, your CV has to include keywords matching the job description of the job you are applying for.  Make sure you read the job advert or a job description properly and save it for future reference or when you get an interview.

Focus on keywords describing job title, main duties, qualifications, key requirements and skills for the role. Try to match as many as possible without making them up.

Use the FREE version on Resume Worded website to find missing key words from your CV.

Sign up –>  Click on Targeted Resume –> Copy and paste the job description –> Download your CV–> You will see the relevancy score–> scroll down to see the missing keywords–> Copy and paste to your CV–>get a call for an interview.


Use the CV Template option in Word to refresh your CV style and format or use it to create your CV from scratch.

To find free templates in Word follow these steps: START –> WORD –>FILE –> MORE TEMPLATES–> Search CV/ Resume

You will get a selection of additional templates. Choose the one you like.


Now we are onto the good stuff. Use CV Assistant in Word to find skills and duties for the jobs you are applying for or are interested in.

The CV Assistant will not alter or rewrite your CV for you but make suggestions of the job duties, qualifications, skills, etc by searching LinkedIn profiles with the same job titles. It is a great way to update your current skill set or add duties to your CV you might have not thought of.

To start you will need Office 365 subscription and LinkedIn profile.

Open your CV or a blank Word document –> Click Review at the top of the page –> On the far right of the ribbon you will see CV Assistant (Powered by LinkedIn). It is next to Hide Ink and is normally the last icon on the right.

Click CV Assistant,  if this is your first time starting it click on Get started –> Add the role and industry (optional).

You will see a list of roles and job duties you can use to build your CV.

At the bottom of the CV Assistant you will find helpful articles and available vacancies for the job you have searched for.


To put everything together in the concise form use this simple but effective CV Guide. It includes what not to add to the CV in 2020.

And that’s it! You are ready to go.  CV Assistant will help you update your CV quickly and easily. You can find out different keywords whether you are doing research for your next job or changing your career.

For more tips and on how to find a job in the 2020 job market see here.


5 Things You Must Do to Succeed in Your Job Search in the Post Pandemic Job Market

5 Things you must do to succeed in your job search in 2020

Get ready for a successful job hunt with these simple but effective tips

The inevitable has happened. You have lost your job and it feels like you’re back at square one. Emotions are high, your confidence has hit rock bottom and your bank account is depressing to look at. You want things to go back to normal and you yearn for the security of a regular income. 

The logical step is to search for a new job but you’re struggling to get motivated. You turn on the news only to see another company has announced new staff redundancies. You’re wondering if there is any point in even trying to look for work when it seems there are no jobs out there.

Yes it is a difficult time for many industries and companies are letting people go at rapid speed and in high numbers but not all industries are affected. It is all about doing your research, keeping a positive mindset and being persistent with your job search every day. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can be back in a job if you use the right job search strategy.

To help make your job search easier, it helps to understand how the market has changed the last few months. Knowing what to expect or what to prepare for in your job search is key. Not only will this help keep your morale high but ultimately lead to that exciting new job offer. 

1. Get your CV up to date

You might think that you have great experience and your CV is really good. You got your old job quickly with that CV so why should you change anything? If you have not been on the job market in the last two years it is time to review your CV and upgrade it to 2020. A lot has changed when it comes to format, content and style of CVs so make sure you give your CV a makeover before starting your job search. Use my simple CV guide here or if you need more detail use this e-book.

2. Use the right keywords

Forget the times when you searched one job title and the jobs just came up in the search. You have to be creative with your job search these days. Try similar job titles or use Google to find out what other companies are calling your job title. You will be surprised how many names are out there for a Compliance Analyst for example. Use the right keywords in your CV and when searching. Find out more in my 6 practical job search tips blog to help you or here.

3. Utilise all available job search platforms

If you want to get the calls inviting you to interviews you need to widen your search and use as many job search platforms as possible. Devise a plan on how to organise your job search. Here are some ideas that should help you. Depending on the industry, different job search platforms will be more applicable. Do your research before you start. Don’t forget to utilise the right agencies. Some agencies might not have the work for you right now but it is worth getting on their radar.

4. Be ready for your interview

If you follow all the steps above, sooner or later the interviews will start coming. Make sure you deliver at this crucial stage. Knowing how to prepare for different types of interviews, what questions to ask and how to answer the questions you are asked is crucial. Read more about it here as well as in my e-book where I go into detail and give examples for different types and styles of interviews.

5. Make your offer count

It might be very exciting to get an offer but you need to get the right offer. Even though times are tough, taking a salary which is half of your previous pay is not going to solve your problems long term. Make sure you ask the right questions from the start- here are a few tips on how to handle offer negotiation to your advantage- e-book.

Next week we will discuss 5 things to expect in this job market you didn’t have to deal with before the pandemic. If you want to know more about job hunting in 2020 please read here.


What to do if the thought of going back to your day job after the lockdown makes you anxious?

Does going back to your day job after the lockdown scare you?

Has the lockdown opened your eyes and you have realised you are in the wrong career or a job?

Going back to your day job after months of working from home is suddenly making you feel uneasy. Whilst most of the world can’t wait to go back to the hustle and bustle of the working day, the thought of resuming your working life as it was before the lockdown is giving you anxiety. Whether it is caused by the exhausting commute, long hours in the office, running from meeting to meeting or the thought of your colleagues or boss, you know you are not happy. 

Working from home for months gave you time to reflect and slow down. Thoughts you pushed to the back of your head, because of your busy lifestyle became louder and clearer until you couldn’t ignore them. Now you know things have to change, but you don’t know how to go about it.

If this sounds familiar don’t worry, you are not the only one. Lots more people are realising that life doesn’t have to be a crazy roller-coaster all the time. When we slow down we start to acknowledge who and what is important in our lives and start resisting the life we don’t want any longer.

If your job is one of the things in your life that doesn’t make you happy you need to create a strategy to change it before it’s too late. You might be reluctant to make the change happen because your current job provides you with stability, helps pay your bills and perhaps gives you semblance of status should you work for a top company or have a job title that others might covert. Consequently you might feel guilty for hating your job when there are hundreds of unemployed people out there struggling to find one. You can always find reasons why you should stay in your current situation. You need to be brave and find reason why you should change it and get the fulfilment in your career you deserve.

Every year you make excuses, trying harder and harder to bury the voice in your head telling you to do what makes you happy.  You continue to feel scared and unhappy, the cycle continues and nothing changes.

What if this year was different? What if the lockdown and the pandemic made you act on the voice in your head and change your life. What if there is a life where you can have a job you love and the money you need?

If you are ready to take action and make a change, now is the time to start. The five steps below will help you find a more fulfilling job and a happier life.

1. Start with the small steps – write where you want to be this time next year and how you want your career/ job situation to look. Have a clear vision of what you don’t want and it will help lead you to what you DO want.

2.   Look at the options for setting up an online business- not knowing how to use technology, being too old/young or inexperienced are poor excuses when there is so much information out there. I recommend this video course, it is Free and it will guide you step by step through the process of setting up any online business. All you need is a few minutes of your commitment and no excuses. Click here to start.

3. Get a career coach- it is one of the best investments you can make. A career coach will make you accountable for your job search when struggling to focus. They will provide you with structure, guidance and motivation and be a valuable resource when things get tough. You can source the internet for free guidance and inspiration however the shire amount of information can soon become overwhelming causing you to revert to your old ways. Get in touch if you want to find out more here.

4. Get outside your comfort zone- the reason you have all the excuses and nothing has changed in years is your current situation is too comfortable. You have a stable income, things are good but you are still unhappy.  Get out there, get networking, join Facebook/ LinkedIn groups and communities. Help people with your knowledge and expertise. You will get your passion back and feel inspired and encouraged to carry on. Start by joining this amazing Little Meetup LinkedIn community here.

5.    Make a long term and short term plan for your next career/ job venture. Use your current job to support yourself in the short term but work on your long term career goals every day. Adding new connections e.g. LinkedIn, completing an online course or a coaching session can help facilitate your long term career goals . As long as you are moving towards your goal,  things will start changing for the better.  Just make sure you don’t stop. You deserve to be fulfilled in your life. You only get one life so keep that in mind when things get hard.

Thank you for reading this article. If you would like job search guidance and motivational content, please click here.


5 Simple tips for a successful job interview in 2020

5 Interview tips to help you get your dream job in 2020
5 Interview tips to help you get your dream job in 2020

Eliminate competition and get the job of your dreams with these interview tips

Great News! You’ve just received a call and have secured yourself an interview! The company loved your CV and are keen to speak with. You are exited but possibly apprehensive too. Now is the time to prepare for the interview and give yourself the best chance of success.

Here are my basic but very effective tips on how to get the job you want.

Prepare for every interview stage thoroughly.

Lots of people make a mistake thinking first stage interviews are just an informal chat about your background. In reality it is a full blown interview with competency questions and technical questions. Don’t take any chances. Even if the recruiter tells you this is an informal interview,  it still pays to be prepared. Find out about the company and who is interviewing  you. Make sure you know your CV inside out and be prepared to answer any competency or technical questions based on the job description.

The questions below get frequently asked at interview. Make sure you have answers ready. It will put you at ease and you can adjust them if they get asked in a slightly different way.

  • What is your understanding of the position you are applying for?
  • What interested you in the company and the position?
  • What transferable skills can you bring to this role?
  • Do you have any development areas if you get this role?
  • Can you give me a brief overview of your CV?

When researching the company use the Wikipedia to get an overview of the business and then use the company website to fill in the gaps.

Some company websites are very complex and not easy to navigate. Having a brief structure from Wikipedia can make your search much easier. Make sure you crosscheck the facts with the website, just in case Wikipedia is out of date.

Make sure it is your knowledge and experience that leaves the impression on the interviewers, not what you are wearing or how you present yourself.

Lots of people, especially the last few months are working from home and have adapted a more relaxed  dress code. If you are having a virtual interview remember to smarten up. I have details tips on how to handle a virtual interview here.

Make sure you ask questions at the end of the interview.

Lots of people think they have nothing to ask and it doesn’t give a good impression and shows a lack of interest on your part. If you really think about it, would you not want to know these questions?

How big is the team? What is the business strategy going forward? Why is this role open? What are the expectation for the role? How does the role fit into the overall structure of the company?

These questions and more will help you identify if this is the right role for you. Avoid asking about promotions, compensation and anything that might leave the interviewers question your motivations for the role. You can ask these questions your recruiter after the interview.

Thank you for reading my blog. Hope these 5 tips will help you get through your interview easily. If you would like to read more about job and career search tips in 2020 please see here.


Tips on getting back on the job market after losing a stable career

Starting again after losing a stable career

Are you back on the job market after a stable career and not sure where to start?

When you started your job years ago you committed to your company. You invested hours and hours of your time to do extra work because you cared for the company and valued your manager and team. You felt part of the company’s culture, you were loyal and committed and you did not get tempted by new job offers on the market. You gave what you could and in return you expected the company to invest in you and to look after you. Then times got hard, Covid 19 happened and the company you worked so hard for just let you go. No real explanation, no big pay out and not even a real thank you.

You might ask yourself; What now? You know you are a successful, educated expert in your job or industry. You used to run meetings, teams, projects and you were respected. You worked hard to get where you are in your career and gain respect from your peers and leaders. Now  you have to start again and you don’t want to! You keep thinking that you don’t deserve this. This is not fair. Why did it happen to me? You are angry and upset. How will you tell your friends and family? How will you pay your bills? How long will it take  to find a new job? Will you even find a new job?  Your brain is racing with all these questions  and all you want is for things to go back to normal but you know they won’t. Losing a job is a shock at the best of times but losing it right now is even harder. 

However maybe there’s a flip side. Maybe losing your job is exactly what you needed. I know it might sound strange but allow me to explain… 

When did you last have the opportunity to really sit down and review where you are in your job or career?  Stop with the self-pity and start looking for opportunities. You are not the only one in this situation but you are the only one who can decide how you are going to deal with it. 

Take time to review your life and career to date and once you are ready, decide which of the 3 categories apply to you. Then take the steps to get back on track with your career.

You loved your job and want to go back to the same/ similar role

  • Look at what roles are available in your industry but check different industries too
  • Make a list of companies you want to work for
  • Make a list of recruitment agencies specialising in the area of expertise you have and connect with them on LinkedIn
  • Search on Indeed what additional skills do these roles have you don’t mention on your CV and if you can do them add them
  • Search your chosen companies on LinkedIn and connect with them and their Talent/ HR representatives. Send them a message with your CV to consider you when they start hiring

You loved your job but lost your motivation, energy and passion for the job

You once used to like what you did for a living but you lost your interest in the job.  Maybe it was because you were in the same job for too long doing the same thing over and over without learning anything new and challenging yourself. You need a change.

  • Think of what was missing in your previous role, what would make it a great job again and what type of roles would provide that
  • Make a list of transferable skills you have and can use in a different role or industry
  • Look at consulting/advising positions in any areas of your expertise
  • Look into writing a guide or an e-book on the subject of your expertise
  • Research guest speaking opportunities or contribute to online forums in your industry through LinkedIn connections
  • Find things about the job to reignite your passion and follow them

You were in the completely wrong career and you kept pushing the little voice in your head away because the job paid you well

Finally you admitted it to yourself. You were unhappy in your job or career for years and the only thing that kept you there was the job security and the stable income. Now it is gone and you’ve had  time to think about it and you are ready to reinvent yourself.

  • Decide on what you want to do. If you are not sure, write a list of options, write or imagine how your day will look like, what skills will you be using, what type of people you will be surrounded by. Will you have a boss or will you be your own boss? Are you a leader, manager or an employee? Are you working remotely or are you required in the office when it becomes allowed?  What does your commute look like? What are your working hours?
  • Make a list of skills you have and the list of skills you need to do your new job and decide on the time frame and a cost. You might need to invest in yourself a little to make the change.
  • Write a plan of action you can follow every day to move closer to your ideal job. Learn from free online courses, watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, read blog posts.
  • If you are easily distracted or have a lack of motivation you need someone to make you accountable at least in the beginning. Get a coach or find someone close to you  who can support or help you. Listen to motivational material to keep your mind away from the doubts of doing the wrong thing when times get hard.
  • Look at online forums in your area of expertise and help people. It will keep your skills fresh and keep your confidence levels up until you make it and you never know, you might be helping your future clients.

Whatever your choice be patient and remember it’s you who will decide if this is a new opportunity or a disaster. 

Thank you for reading my blog. If you like to read more about job search click here

Job Search Uncategorized

2020 UK Job Market Job Hunt Strategy

How to change your job hunting strategy and what you can do as a candidate to stand out in the 2020 UK job market?

2020 UK Job Hunt Strategy

With the growth of technology the concept of the traditional career path has changed. Jobs which were once deemed as secure are now much less so. Job longevity, so sought after by employers is no longer feasible with the average job lasting between two and four years. Partly this is due to millennials and their reluctance to stay with one company indefinitely. Secondly there is no longer the stability in the job market previous generations were once used to.

Companies which would once invest in the development of their employees to retain their knowledge and expertise are now much less reluctant to do so. The changes in the economy and the volatile job market make it impossible for the a company to offer a stability in the role. Therefore the career is now in your hands only and not the hands of your company.

Companies have changed their focus to hiring skilled contractors who can solve problems they have without needing to invest in their career. You are not valuable to an employer if you don’t have the skillset they need anymore. If you find that you are not developing your skillset within your current job, now is the right time to assess your career strategy. You need to be prepared in case you find yourself on the job market. Invest in your training and education and update your skills, both soft and technical. If work doesn’t provide you with learning opportunities search online for free courses, use LinkedIn learning and do your research. Remember your career is in your own hands.

The job new market is becoming more and more project based. The focus is on the skill and not the job title anymore. It doesn’t matter what you did last 10 years but what skills you have to offer to the company now and in the future.  It is a market of uncertainty and you can view it in one of the two ways;  a risk to your career or an opportunity.

6 Tips to help you stand out and succeed in your job hunt strategy in the uncertain UK job market

6 Tips to help you stand out and succeed in your job hunt strategy in the uncertain UK job market
  1. Start with building your network and your connections to help you get your profile in front of the right people. Companies will most likely access their own networks and the networks of their employees via a referral system first. This is to attract new talent without paying any agency fees. Most companies will only advertise roles and go through agencies when they exhaust the referral route.
  2. Set up or review your LinkedIn profile and connect with people who can help you and recommend you if there are suitable opportunities available.  Follow groups and forums you are interested in or which can benefit your career and enhance your skills. Post articles and share posts to increase your online presence. Comment on interesting posts and offer your expertise where relevant. Position yourself as a brand or a business that can solve a need or a problem by giving free advice.
  3. Update your technical skills by doing courses and free learning but don’t forget your soft skills e.g. communication skills. Soft skills are in demand as much as the technical skills so invest in these too.
  4. Make sure your profile and experience are clear so the company knows what you have to offer. Make your CV and profile tailored to the role you are applying for. Highlight your niche or expertise by using the right keywords. Remember to show you are a specialist who can solve a company’s needs.
  5. Join the right recruitment or headhunting agencies. These people are experts, they will send your profile for the roles in their network but bear in mind they are there to serve the client. You as a candidate are secondary and they will only send your CV if you are a perfect match for the role the client is advertising. Again make sure you don’t send a generalist profile but focus on being the specialist in whatever you are doing.
  6. Don’t be afraid to take time to rethink your career, ask for help, find a mentor or a coach. Get some clarity on what is important to you in your job or career and start taking action towards it.

Thank you for reading this article. You might also like these articles.


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