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Did you know that nearly 8 million people plan on changing jobs in 2016?

If you’re heading out into the job market this year, you’re not alone. Long gone are the days where you can submit a CV for a job and expect to be top of the interview pile based on that alone. With 80% of employers admitting to using Google as their first port of call when recruiting (according to Monster.com), it’s more important than ever to be a little self-obsessed.

GoogleThe first step? Google yourself. That’s right. Type your name into that little white search box and see what comes up… What does the World Wide Web have to say about you? What are those potential employers going to unearth?

What is Personal Branding?

What do you want to be known for? Are you an Excel Guru, an HR Superstar, an Expert Problem-Solver or a Creative Genius? Personal branding is the way in which you present yourself and your career – across all marketing channels.

Building Brand YOU.

Social Media: Do you have active profiles on the likes of LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram…? Social media is such a major part of our lives today that if you’re not online, you simply don’t exist to many employers.

LinkedIn leads the way in the recruitment industry, with 89% of recruiters reporting having hired someone through the site, so that’s a great place to start. Spend a little time building a professional, cohesive profile – no matter what industry you would like to work in, it’s the world’s largest professional networking site. You may then also want to build a presence on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, depending on the industry your work in. But remember to keep your social media profiles up to date! Being out of date or irrelevant won’t send great signals to any potential employer…

We always recommend keeping Facebook for friends and family only, so check your privacy settings and make sure it’s not open to all.

Networking: If social media isn’t your thing, then it’s more important than ever to have a presence at local networking events. Attending these is a great way to build a name for yourself and gain important contacts. But it’s a slow process. With free and instant career management tools such as LinkedIn, why wouldn’t you want to present your career brand online?

When networking, the next time someone asks: “What do you do?” don’t answer with your official job title. Be a little more creative – and imagine they asked, “How do you make a difference?” Katherine’s response is “helping people come to terms with major changes in their careers”.  Now that answer is far more interesting and says a lot more than “career coach.”

Brand YOU is without a doubt the most important brand in the world. In 2016, invest in yourself. Spend time evaluating and improving your personal branding, in order to compete with the 8 million jobseeking in 2016.

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Wake upDo you wake up every morning, excited to get to work that day? Inspired by what you learnt and achieved yesterday, intrigued by what you may find out today? Or do you get that sinking feeling when Sunday comes around – dreading returning to work?

Times are changing, and this New Year is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate your career path. Is it going in the direction you wish? Are you in a job that you truly love? As we leave the recession far behind us and enter 2016, it’s time for the job seekers, rather than the recruiters, to take control. The end of 2015 saw the highest number of job vacancies ever recorded (according to TradingEconomics.com), suggesting that now is the perfect time to be in the market for a new job!

In the past, we’ve been guilty of falling into jobs that suit our skills and intellects. A matter of mind over heart! However in recent years, we’ve seen a trend towards people looking for meaningful careers. We are beginning to let our hearts lead us, letting our passions inform our choices (hooray!). For many, this involves turning our talents into skills, rather than developing skills for the sake of a job. For example, if you love drawing and have a natural eye for it. How could that talent be transformed into a skill that you could use in the workplace? (Read more on Talents vs. Skills here). But is it really a case of “do what you love and the money will follow”?

For some, finding a job that’s meaningful may be a daunting prospect. How can you know what job you will love, day in, day out, before you’ve tried it? We have many years of experience helping our clients to pin point a career that would better suit them; from identifying the skills that they enjoy (and perhaps don’t enjoy!) using, to the atmospheres and situations in which they thrive and even down to the kind of people who are most likely inspire them. It’s what we do best!

Once you’ve identified these things, it’s a lot easier to identify a career that you are going to enjoy, and which will be meaningful to you. As Confucius famously said:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

And did you know, it’s been found that people who love their job are not only more fulfilled in life, but also more productive, more motivated, more ambitious and have better mental health?

What are you waiting for? Join us for our Career Change Workshop on 15th February and discover how you could find a job that you love…

Not available on the 15th February? Not a problem! Don’t miss out this opportunity to steer your life in a better direction. Get in touch with Katherine or Lindsey today to find out how they could help, by either calling 01223 633535 or emailing us today.

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Resilience shutterstock_300737174Welcome to the fifth in our series, highlighting the importance of having a Growth Mindset. Over the past few months, our #LeadingLights research project has allowed us to model plenty of aspirational people. And throughout, we have discovered that they all share a common characteristic: a growth mindset.

Could this be the secret to their leadership success? We certainly think so! In the final instalment, we discuss the value of learning to overcome stumbling blocks on the path to success…

Growth Attribute No.5.  Resilience

 Being resilient in the face of obstacles and setbacks is easier said than done, we know! Trust us, we have been there. You step out onto the road to success and bang, you come face to face with an obstacle. What happens next could mean the difference between success and failure. Do you find a way round, or do you take the easy road back to where you’ve come?

Those of us with a growth mindset would instantly choose the first option, while those with a fixed mindset would turn their backs, never knowing what might have lay in wait just past that obstacle!

“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” Napoleon Hill

One of the keys to being successful in life is resilience. We can’t always predict what life will throw at us, so we need to prepare to be surprised. Embrace challenges, and as #LeadingLight Doug Shaw recommends, “find a way to be as comfortable as you can with uncertainty”.

We’re not suggesting you leap off any cliffs, but in life it can pay off to take a few risks here and there. And why wait? “Patience is for losers” says serial entrepreneur and #LeadingLight Frances Preston.  Perhaps she’s right. We aren’t going to be here forever, we have to live for the moment and take advantage of every opportunity that arises. Don’t let anything hold you back or knock you down (at least for longer than 10 seconds unless you want to be thrown out of the ring!).

Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Otherwise everyone would be doing it!

 “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” Dr. Carol Dweck

And so we end our series exploring the attributes of a Growth Mindset. We hope we have opened your mind to a new and rewarding way of thinking that will help you to keep aiming for the stars!

Not sure whether you have a fixed or growth mindset? Book a one-to-one LAB profiling session with Katherine or Lindsey and we can help to determine and fine-tune your mindset. Either call 01223 633535 or email us today.

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Difficult Conversations? There must be a better wayWelcome to the fourth in our series, highlighting the importance of having a Growth Mindset. Over the past year, our #LeadingLights research project has allowed us to model plenty of aspirational people. And throughout, we have discovered that they all share a common characteristic: a growth mindset. Could this be the secret to their career success? We certainly think so!

We started by looking at the importance of learning from others, then focused on the importance of welcoming feedback in order to improve.  Most recently we wrote about the importance of self-belief and being proud your achievements! This time we look at why continuous improvement is actually one of your most valuable assets…

Growth Attribute No.4: Continuous improvement “Becoming is better then being”

If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that you are dealt a hand at birth, and that sticks with you throughout the game of life. But is that right? Absolutely not, says Dr. Carol Dweck. Her research found that those people with a growth mindset had a far greater potential to become successful, than those with a fixed mindset.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” Maya Angelou

The nature of a fixed mindset means those people avoid new challenges, and prefer to stick with what they know in order to avoid any embarrassing failure. On the other hand, those with the growth mindset embrace challenges, seeing them as an opportunity for continuous improvement. Dweck wrote: “When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In the [growth mindset] world  – the world of changing qualities – it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.”

As we’ve previously discussed, learning is an invaluable tool that can benefit your health and happiness, consequently having a positive effect on your career. No one is perfect! There are ways that we can all improve, so a crucial part of a growth mindset is being able to identify your own potential. Many of us have perceived fears or barriers which keep us in our comfort zone and prevent us from reaching our full potential.

People with a growth mindset like sports performance coach and #LeadingLight Nigel Hetherington is a great example of this.  He is passionate about “giving everything your best shot”. Give your all, and you will surely get what you deserve!

It’s a continuous improvement mindset which some of us may have, but of course for others it will need to be learned. By encouraging your team to not fear failure and believe in themselves, you will help to instill a growth mindset.  HR Director and #LeadingLight David Frost loves to inspire people to develop.  He expands people’s minds in unusual ways by getting them to work with a Horse Whisperer or an Opera singer!

Patricia Pearce MBE, another of our incredible #LeadingLights singlehandedly raised funds and arranged logistics annually to give children with a bad start in life a trip to Disney World.  Their self-confidence boosted and no longer the odd one out with a disability, some of these children have gone on to become Paralympians. No matter what your age, there is always more to learn, something new to accomplish, someone better to become.

Don’t miss the next in the series; send us an email and we’ll add you to our mailing list so we can give you a nudge when it’s ready

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals to achieve their career aspirations and proactively manage their careers.

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Welcome to the third in our series, highlighting the importance of having a Growth Mindset. Over the past year, our #LeadingLights research project has allowed us to model plenty of aspirational people. And throughout, we have discovered that they all share a common characteristic: a growth mindset. Could this be the secret to their leadership success? We certainly think so!

We started by looking at the importance of learning from others, and then focused on the importance of welcoming feedback in order to improve. This time we discover the importance of self-belief and having confidence in yourself…

Growth Attribute No.3: Self-belief – “I am somebody, regardless of success”

Dr Seuss The power of the mind is incredible. Believe you can, and you will! Stanford Professor Carol Dweck found just this when researching the growth mindset.

“Believing that your qualities are carved in stone — the fixed mindset — creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.” Dr. Carol Dweck

But who exactly are you proving yourself to? Why live with the sole purpose of showing others what you can do?

Be proud of yourself and your achievements. By embracing a growth mindset, Dweck recommends looking at the hand you’re dealt as a starting point, rather than the be all and end all. Strive for more, learn more, do more, be more. But never put yourself down. When something you are attempting doesn’t go to plan – is that failure? No! It’s an opportunity to learn.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison

Almost all of our #LeadingLights stressed the importance of believing in yourself and going with your gut. Why would anyone believe in you, if you can’t even believe in yourself? #LeadingLight Keren Limor-Waisberg who pioneered a web-based platform to help people discover, understand, and explore scientific texts has got where she is by being honest with herself and strongly recommends you “appreciate who you are”.

Up and coming artist and #leadinglight Charron Pugsley-Hill says “be genuine and authentic.” She has tremendous self-belief and doesn’t compromise her ethics.  This led to her turn down the opportunity to exhibit with Tracey Emmins and Banksie because it was connected to a political cause she didn’t believe in.

Self-belief means not pretending to be something you’re not.  Pretense only leads to inner conflict. Be proud of what you have achieved, and what you will go on to achieve. With a growth mindset, the possibilities are endless!

Don’t miss the next in the series; send us an email and we’ll add you to our mailing list so we can give you a nudge when it’s ready

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals to achieve their career aspirations and proactively manage their careers. 

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Change rutWelcome to the second in our series, highlighting the importance of having a Growth Mindset.

Over the past year, our #LeadingLights research project has allowed us to model plenty of aspirational people. And throughout, we have discovered that they all share a common characteristic: a growth mindset. Could this be the secret to their success? We certainly think so!

In the previous blog, we looked at the importance of learning from others, and the positive benefit that can have not only on your CV, but also your team spirit, confidence and even mental health. This time we discover how welcoming feedback and being open to challenge could benefit you and your career…

Growth Attribute No.2: Welcoming feedback

Let’s be honest, not many people like being criticised or told they could have done something differently, or indeed, better. However, people with a growth mindset look at this criticism in a different light – rebranding it as welcoming feedback.

Constructive criticism has been found to have hugely positive effects on development: leading to improved performance, a steeper learning curve and ultimately increased personal growth (according to Todd Smith). How often do you ask your colleagues and peers for their opinion on your work? By welcoming feedback in order to improve your work you will become better at what you do! Our #LeadingLight David Whitaker has first hand experience of this following an intensive week on a Relationship Management Program run by Homi Mulla (in India). One of the key lessons he learnt was how to give and take good critique (as opposed to criticism).  He feels he is now always  “prepared to react and respond to opportunities.”

When someone suggests a way you could improve, remember that every single person on this planet is an individual, and will therefore offer a new perspective and opinion. Theirs may not match yours, and you may not agree with their suggestions, however by being curious rather than closed may lead to valuable learning!

Think of feedback as a discussion, rather than a one-way street. As #LeadingLights David Crabb and Simon Chaplin suggested, believe in yourself and your opinions! But take nothing as fact. And consider that on some occasions, you may not be right! But there is nothing wrong with that. Just think you are growing rather than standing still …

Don’t miss the next in the series; send us an email and we’ll add you to our mailing list so we can give you a nudge when it’s ready.

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals to achieve their career aspirations and proactively manage their careers. 

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Growth mindsetWelcome to the first in our series, highlighting the importance of having a Growth Mindset. In the next few blogs, we’ll share with you how our #LeadingLights research project has allowed us to model plenty of aspirational people. Throughout the project we have discovered that they all share a common characteristic: a growth mindset. Could this be the secret to their success? We certainly think so!

Over the next few weeks, we will take a closer look at the growth attributes that these successful people boast, and discover how they could benefit you and your career…

Growth Attribute No.1: Learning from others

As #LeadingLight and entrepreneur Simon Chaplin rightly said, it’s all about collaboration: “never refer to your team as them – always us”. The difference between those with a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, is that people with a growth mindset are open to learning from others.

“Although bright people aren’t more likely to have growth mindsets, those with growth mindsets tend to become ‘brighter’ over time. Fortunately, we can change our mindset.” Dr. Carol Dweck

You may be highly skilled in one area, but let’s be honest, no ones perfect! Having the ability to look at others and identify the skills that they have that you could benefit from, is priceless. Modelling and learning from others allows you to expand your portfolio of skills. As Howard Gardner writes in his book Extraordinary Minds (1997): ‘exceptional individuals are especially talented at identifying their own strengths and weaknesses’.

What are your weaknesses, and who can you think of who you admire for having those skills? Not only will you end up with a new skill, but you’ll also be making yourself more valuable to your company or employer, as well as adding another tool to your belt!

In a team scenario, it’s important for all members to feel equal and valued. Peer mentoring encourages the barriers to be broken down, putting people on a level playing field.  At work is there a young intern who is amazing with technology? Why not do a skills swap? You could teach them something you know well, such as the art of presenting, and in return get 1-to-1 coaching to bring you up to speed with new technologies. Not only will this be empowering for the younger team member, it will also save money on unnecessary external training and resources. #LeadingLight Jo Cullen (Group Head of Information Systems for Bakkavor Group), stressed the importance of teamwork, pointing out that “nothing is achieved alone” and therefore it’s vital to “respect the team who will help you deliver your vision.”

There has been plenty of research into the benefits of learning recently. Many have found that lifelong learning has a positive effect on health and happiness – with the NHS even suggesting it can help to maintain and improve your mental health (read more here).

So what are you modelling and learn from others around you? Take your eyes off the screen and take a moment to think about friends, family and colleagues who inspire you like our #LeadingLights. It’s a two way street – by stepping into their shoes you learn from them and we are sure you have something to offer them in return.

Don’t miss the next in the series; send us an email and we’ll add you to our mailing list so we can give you a nudge when it’s ready…

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals to achieve their career aspirations and proactively manage their careers. 

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John ReedAre you counting down the days until retirement? Looking forward to a time when you no longer have that feeling of dread on a Sunday evening, and sheer relief when Friday finally comes round again?

As the age of retirement gets constantly pushed backwards, it’s time to reevaluate. Far too many of us are spending our days working to live, when we should actually be living to work!

Many people go on ‘working’ well into their later years. Why? Because they’ve found a career that doesn’t feel like ‘work’! As Confucius said:

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

One great example is Lindsey’s father in law. And here is a photo of him. Having been a Savile Row tailor to the rich and famous all his life, he refused to leave the buzzing cutting room until the grand old age of 85 – commuting into London every day on the tube!

Did you know that the average person spends around 90,000 hours working during their lifetime? It’s not surprising that people often speak about the difficulties of getting their work life balance just right – that’s far too long to spend doing something you don’t enjoy! But why should we have to separate the two?

Well, we shouldn’t! Intrigued? Join the Career Ambitions Club for FREE today to read on.

Or, join us at our Future Proofing Career workshop on Friday 6th November to discover what direction your career could take.

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against the stream - opposite concept - leader goldfish

…Or are there?

 against the stream - opposite concept - leader goldfishAs the economy has turned around, more and more jobs and fantastic career opportunities are flooding the market. For some, it’s a job seekers dream. But for many recruiters, there just seem to be too many fish in the job hunting sea. So how can you ensure that the right fish ends up in the right net?

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘skills-gap’ being thrown around. Recently, employers increasingly complain that they just can’t find qualified applicants who suit their recruitment needs. But with unemployment rates actually increasing in the first half of 2015 (according to statistics from Trading Economics), surely there is a candidate out there that could be the perfect match?

In the choppy ocean that is the job market, perhaps these perfect matches just aren’t having the opportunity to be made. After all, there’s no handy ‘PerfectCandidate.com’ app that partners you up with potential employers! We are a society that is so used to apps such as Match.com; where all you have to do is plug in your likes and dislikes and ping, you have a match! Are we getting lazy job hunting perhaps? Do we expect to find our dream job or candidate without any of the traditional hard work of job hunting? Unfortunately it’s often not that easy. And why should it be?!

Join the Career Ambitions Club FREE today to read the rest of this blog to discover how the tides are changing and ways of job hunting…

 

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Future proofing your career: The importance of diversifying in today’s economic climate

eggs in basketWhile it’s true that in general, the job market and economic climate is beginning to bounce back, for some industries that sadly isn’t the case. Take the farming industry, where around 50% of farmers are now finding other ways to turn their land into money as mechanisation and imports have driven down their potential profits (according to research by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs). Or the oil industry, which is currently experiencing a new downturn – with many people on ‘eight weeks notice’, at risk of losing their jobs or unable to find new work.

The truth is that as the economic landscape continues to shift and change, it’s becoming increasingly important to diversify. In the past, it’s been good enough to just master one skill, one profession, and do that one thing really well. But as Kristin Moses wrote, change is now the norm in business!

So how do you go about diversifying? Where on earth should you start?

It’s simple! Join our FREE Career Ambitions Club today to access the full article, and find out how to jump on board the diversification wave and ultimately, future proof your career… 

 

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