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Juggle2When your primary job role changes to ‘Mum or Dad’, life back in the workplace; juggling work and children can seem daunting. For many new Mums and Dads, their newfound priorities and responsibilities can cause them to question whether going back to work is the right thing to do. From the emotional pull of leaving your new baby behind, to the mental and physical strain of learning to cope with little sleep and the psychological challenges of going back to work – it can easily all become a little too much.

Simple steps of waking up, getting dressed and going to work which once came so easily can quickly be forgotten when a baby arrives on the scene. The new routine is often a 24 hour one, with very little let up! Your new baby will be pulling you one way, while your career seems to be pulling you another. It really is like learning a new skill – juggling work and children. For some, fitting a regular job back in can seem impossible. But it’s not!

By evaluating the ways in which you, and the workplace, may have changed during your time away, you can preempt and overcome the majority of your worries. Remember, a happy Parent means a happy Baby!

Join our FREE Ambitions Club now for more help and advice on settling back into the workplace…

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Woman with a headache uid 1274522Stress. It’s a tiny six letter word that can make even the toughest of us squirm. In small doses, it can help us to perform well and to rise to the challenges that life and work throws at us. But in higher doses, it can be life threatening.

The Impact on your Health

The direct consequences that stress can have on your health are huge. Not only is it hugely emotionally draining, but stress and high levels of the hormone cortisol are also linked to the worsening of many physical health conditions – high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, asthma… the list goes on. 

Everyone has stressful times. However, most people would assume that this stress is usually experienced mostly at work, with home remaining a calm space to retreat to at the end of the day. However, for many, this is not the case! In a study published by the Journal of Science and Medicine, the majority of participants were found to be happier at work, than at home.

Gender Split?

Interestingly enough, the study found a significant gender split. While men said they were happier at home, women reported feeling happier whilst at work, because there they were only expected to perform one role and could tackle their workload task by task (Nannette Fondas, author of The Custom Fit Workplace). Juggling the roles of wife, mother and housekeeper was found to pile the pressure on – overwhelming people and leading to stress. The scary thing is that the stress hormone cortisol can actually be contagious, and therefore spread through a family like wildfire. So a stressed mum, means stressed children. And so the cycle continues.

With so many health hazards already out there, why add another to your family’s list? Join our *Free* Online Career Club to find out 5 simple steps for managing and overcoming stress, both inside and outside of work.

 

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Are you dreaming about starting a new career, but are scared that you don’t have the skills or experience to succeed?

Tool BoxWith so many people fighting for every job vacancy, it can be pretty daunting leaving a job and changing career path. Not only is the competition getting stiffer, but employers are increasingly wanting more for their money, so it’s crucial to be able to not only fulfill but exceed their expectations. Because if you don’t, then someone else probably will!

The first step is all about polishing your CV to make it really shine. Your CV is your first impression on a potential new employer, so it’s a crucial hurdle that needs to be leapt! Once it’s on the desk in front of them, you only have a few minutes to really get their attention, so you need to ensure that you are going to tick their boxes.

One of the biggest boxes to tick these days is transferable skills. These are what make a great member of staff into an invaluable one.

Transferable skills

These are the skills that everyone gains over time, and can be taken with you from job to job, whatever the industry! Many people think that when changing career they have nothing to offer from previous roles and experience. However, this isn’t true! Transferable skills are qualities such as good communication skills, quick decision making, being organized or working well in a team. Everyone has them!

So, what transferable skills do you have?

Join our *Free* Online Career Club now to identify your transferable skills and get your CV gleaming.

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“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t… you’re right.”Henry Ford.

Are you worried that you’ve been stuck on the same career step for too long? Are you being overlooked for promotions? Is it time to move on?

It is natural to feel increasingly frustrated if your career is slowly grinding to a standstill. This can sometimes lead to self-doubt. However it is important not to let this overcome you.

 

Our Four Steps to Career Success (available in-full for FREE in our Online Club) looks at the steps to take if you want to accelerate your career:

  1. Do What You Enjoy – Do you look forward to going to work? If not, the first thing to do is to ensure you’re on the right ladder. If you are de-motivated in your current industry, this may be the reason your career has stagnated. Reflect on what attracted you to your job/industry in the first place, or is it the right time for you to discover a different direction and do something else?
  2. Teamwork makes the dream work: There’s still a misconception amongst some professionals that to get to the top, they have to ruffle plenty of feathers on the way up. This is a wholly outdated concept.  Excellent management skills are increasingly important. If you’re heading to the top, working with your colleagues will help you get there faster.
  3. Master Yourself:  We’ve all experienced nightmare colleagues and bosses who are over-emotional and unpredictable in the working environment. Develop and establish an ultra-professional mind-set which ensures that your colleagues and staff know you are someone who can be relied upon.
  4. Have a clear plan in mind – Visualise where you want to be every day, and how you’re going to get there. It will help.

Want to know how you can achieve these four steps? Our four steps to success article explores this in more detail, offering you practical advice on how you can accelerate your career and continue climbing your career ladder.

The article is in the FREE section of our Career Ambitions Online Club

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals realise their dreams by finding the career that is most suited to them. Contact us via support@careerambitions.co.uk or 01223 633535 to see how we can help you.

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What would you give to find a job that you actually enjoyed? To work in a role where you felt challenged, valued and appreciated?

We’ve heard people say that ‘no-one enjoys going to work’ but we can without any doubt confirm that this isn’t true. Because we do! A large reason for this is that we get to work alongside talented professionals to find them a job – and a career – more suited to their skills, and seeing their confidence, motivation and, ultimately, their life improve as a result of this.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  Socrates.

If you’re unhappy in your job, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be this way.

But remember, it’s you who’s in control of your career. It’s down to you to do something about it to give yourself the career you deserve.

Managing Career Change

Changing career is never easy. It isn’t an exact science.  And it can be done. It is important to be open like a Parachute…it will work better that way! Being open minded means that you will be expanding your horizons.

Here are a few things to consider if you’re either contemplating or are in the early stages of changing your career:

  • Don’t try to change everything at once. If you hate your current job, it may feel like the best solution to jump out with both feet, but something this big does require a degree of planning, and a calm, considered mental state. Do the necessary research / training before making a clean break.
  • Seek help. Discuss things with others who have either previously switched career, or are in the process of doing so. Swap tips and encouragement; this support will really spur you on. Go to network events so that you meet new people and get a different perspective. Use professional career support to ensure that changing careers is what you really want and how to make that move.
  • Invest in yourself.  It’s remarkable how many people will make superficial purchases but won’t invest in the most important commodity of all – themselves. Think about courses, qualifications and professional coaching, which will provide more structure to the whole career change process.
  • Re-write your CV. CV’s are all different and a ‘good’ CV doesn’t necessarily follow the same format – here are some tips on what makes a CV great (not just good). Don’t be afraid to be creative on your CV; employers are starting to think differently and are increasingly interested in motivation and attitude. What’s interesting about you?
  • Keep going!  It can be challenging, however all the hard work, setbacks and stress will ultimately be worth it. This quote from Helen Keller is particularly apt:

“Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere, and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles — a delight in climbing rugged paths, which you would perhaps never know if you did not sometime slip backward — if the road was always smooth and pleasant.”

What Career Discovery

At Career Ambitions, we pride ourselves in working with you. We are not a recruitment agency or even a HR specialist. We simply work alongside YOU to enable you to find the career of your dreams.

Throughout your career change process, we will be with you every step of the way, to ensure that you find yourself a job and a career which you enjoy.

The first step of this process is an all-day What Career Discovery workshop on Monday 28 April that will provide you with the confidence, skills and, above all, the knowledge to set you on the way to the career of your dreams. You will be part of a small group of 6 people ensuring that you receive suitable tailored careers support.

The event forms the heartbeat of our wider What Career Programme, which also includes access to our Premium Career Ambitions Club, a one-hour post-workshop coaching session to help implement your career plan and extra optional exercises and resources to enable you to identify a variety of career ideas.

The event is taking place in Peterborough and represents a great investment for YOU and your career. Discounted early bird rates are available until 20 April, but places are extremely limited so book early to avoid disappointment!

To find out more information and book your place, visit the Event brite page or contact us via support@careeramabitions.co.uk or 01223 633535.

 

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Job hunting – and recruitment – has changed. Previously, you’d scour the jobs section of the local newspaper, circle the ones that appealed, post out a CV and compile a covering letter for each and keep your fingers crossed that you’d hear back in the coming weeks with positive news.

Now, you can effectively be looking for work 24 hours a day.

An active LinkedIn profile has been described as the ‘CV that never sleeps’. The social network for professionals has become the place to be for job-hunters, recruiters and those simply seeking career progression.

And its popularity is growing. Rapidly.

LinkedIn recently announced that it had now surpassed 15 million users in the UK, a major increase on the 10 million in 2012 and just 2 million in 2010. Worldwide, it now has over 277 million profiles.

“In the past, if I had a job and wanted to hire someone, I’d put an ad in the paper and hope someone might see it, and if they do see it that they might be the right person and that they would apply for it and they’d come in,” said Darain Faraz, communications manager at LinkedIn. “It was a fairly clunky old process. Now, candidates have got this prime piece of digital real estate to really present themselves in the best possible light. A LinkedIn profile is that CV that never sleeps.”

We agree that LinkedIn has simplified the recruitment process, both for candidates and recruiters. Our message to job seekers and young professionals is to forget the CV / Covering Letter approach that most people automatically think of when it comes to ‘job hunting’, or at least to forget it as a stand-alone practice. 

Over half of jobs today are secured by networking. So by simply blindly sending a CV you are drastically cutting down your job opportunities. LinkedIn gives you a chance to get ‘out there’ and networking with the decision-makers in your industry, apply for jobs and basically be active in their job hunt 24 hours a day, 7 day a week as the number of recruiters and organisations scouring profiles for candidates continues to grow.

The challenge now for the growing number of LinkedIn users now is to fully utilise the social network and maximise its benefits. The issue is that simply being on LinkedIn is not enough. How many of those 15 million+ UK users are actually utilising LinkedIn to the full? Are you?

We are amazed by the amount of people that have a near-empty profile and are then surprised that they’ve not had hordes of recruiters battering down their door.

And if you’re on LinkedIn, it’s important not to leave it there. Pad out your ‘CV’ as though it was being sent to an employer and look at the endless opportunities it offers. We urge our clients to think of their ‘online brand’ – consisting of social media profiles and all the digital opportunities such as blogging and personal websites on offer – and what it says about them. A healthy LinkedIn profile is very much at the forefront of this.

LinkedIn’s capabilities continue to grow and develop. If you are relatively new to LinkedIn, then you may like to learn the Dos and Don’ts about the world’s professional social network which is in the free area of our Career Ambitions Club.

Career Ambitions is hosting a LinkedIn and Career Networking Masterclass on Friday 28 March in Cambridge which will demonstrate effective ways of networking both online and offline. For more information, please visit the Eventbrite page.

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Light Switch CROPPED Mod 4 Medium

Recruitment has changed drastically in the past five years. For many organisations, a CV is no longer enough. Companies are taking out their own independent research before shortlisting candidates and the first place they look is online.

What information about you is readily available for all to see online?

What does it say about you?

And are you switching recruiters on or off?

 

Social media has altered the world of recruitment in a number of different ways:

Online Brand and Networking

About 60% of jobs are secured through networking. This remarkable statistic may be of particular surprise to the individuals and organisations that still rely on the traditional covering letter/CV.

Jerome Ternynck, CEO of SmartRecruiters, says that CV’s have now evolved into profiles. With a CV, there is no context built around it. Through the use of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles, hiring managers can get a sense of your social footprint to help provide a three dimensional view of potential candidates.

Do’s and Don’ts

Be careful what you post online.

If your Facebook account is full of photos of you’d rather your employer didn’t see and your Twitter profile contains posts critising your current boss  and place of employment, how likely are you to get to the top of the interview pile?

 ‘Applying’ for Jobs

Arguably the biggest change of all is that candidates no longer need to ‘actively’ express an interest in a job to be approached by a company or recruiter. This is particularly common on LinkedIn which offers a fantastic opportunity to all of its 200million+ global users to be approached by recruiters with worthwhile jobs that they may not have otherwise seen.

LinkedIn and Career Networking Masterclass

How would you like to unlock the full potential of your online career brand?  I’m sure you already know that LinkedIn and other social networking tools are only as good as the effort you spend on them. If you hardly ever sign-in and have a picture-less ‘profile’ that contains your name and current job title, don’t be surprised that you’re not seeing any action!

We are hosting a LinkedIn and Career Networking Masterclass in Cambridge on March 28 which will illustrate the changes in the way recruiters and employers are now approaching candidates and show how you can maximise your online profile so that you can be found rather than trawling job boards and knocking on recruiters’ doors.  We will also share effective techniques to concisely summarise your unique skills and personal brand when meeting people face to face.

It is a practical all-day event that will change the way you think about applying for jobs. For more information, click here.

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals realise their dreams by finding the career that is most suited to them. Contact us via support@careerambitions.co.uk or 01223 633535 to see how we can help you.

 

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It’s our firm belief that it’s better to be at the bottom of a (career) ladder you want to climb, rather than halfway up one you don’t.

So, are you on the right ladder?

After a horrible few years, the UK job market is finally starting to pick-up.  Disillusioned professionals up and down the country are seeing the dawn of a new year as an opportunity to re-evaluate and ask themselves whether now is the time to find the ladder they want to climb.

“The difference between a job and a career is the difference between forty and sixty hours a week.” Robert Frost.

What Career?

On a daily basis, we encounter highly skilled individuals whose confidence has been hit by being stuck in a job – and a career – ill-suited to their talents.

But it’s understandable that many are reluctant to actually take the plunge and leave a job that, although they may hate, pays the bills every month.

We previously detailed the five main obstacles to changing career; and steps in which you can take to overcome them. It’s never going to be risk free. It’s never going to be a guaranteed success. But, while we’ve seen so many unhappy employees, we’ve also subsequently seen so many of these same individuals who now look forward to going to work.  They have realised there is more to a career than financial factors and have found something that they enjoy and where their skills are best suited.

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

It’s not as far-fetched or ridiculous as you may think. It really can happen.!

Get Started!

Remember, it’s you who is in control of your career. If you dread going to work every day, it’s you who needs to make something happen so this isn’t always the case.

If you’re unhappy in your job, at a crossroads and don’t know what career to choose or are simply pondering your career options, our What Career? Workshop will provide a great starting point to giving you the training and self-belief needed to find yourself a career ladder you want to climb.

The workshop takes place on Monday 3 March and is an informal all-day session taking place in Warmington. You can find out more and buy tickets online here; discounted ‘early bird’ rates are on offer until 17 February so book early to avoid disappointment!

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals realise their dreams by finding the career that is most suited to them. Contact us via support@careerambitions.co.uk or 01223 633535 to see how we can help you.

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We read with interest a recent article on the HR Magazine which suggested that one in five people were looking for a new job going into the new year.

It stands to reason that, at a time of year where we reflect and make our new year’s resolutions, those individuals not totally happy in their jobs decide that this will be the year in which they find somewhere they actually want to work.

If you feel like your career has been stuck in a rut, a new year is the perfect time to regain your focus and take the necessary steps to get it back on track.

How to boost your career

One of the main things we stress to all of our clients is that it is you who is in control of your career. Therefore, if you weren’t happy with the direction your career was going in 2013, it’s up to you to ensure that 2014 isn’t more of the same.

Every circumstance and industry is different, but if you want to give yourself the career you deserve this year, try to:

  1. Think Positive! It’s a competitive market out there. Try not to be affected by any rejections. Particularly in interview situations, a positive attitude will really enhance your chances. Persevere. The right opportunity will come along.
  2. Brush up your skills: We invest in all-manner of purchases in our day-to-day lives, yet neglect the most important investment of all: Ourselves. Consider courses and opportunities that will help with your professional development this new year. Our career skills masterclass is one such event that will really give your career a real kick-start in 2014.
  3. Analyse: What went wrong in 2013? Go through your CV and reassess what you can edit or add. If you’ve had unsuccessful interviews, consider where you may have missed out and try to remedy this in 2014. If you’re unsure, don’t be shy about contacting the interviewer(s). The vast majority will happily give feedback to all interviewees.
  4. Get visible: Times have changed; 80% of today’s jobs are secured through networking. Keep tabs of suitable events in your area where you could meet key decision-makers and ensure that you have a fully up-to-date LinkedIn profile, which gives you the best possible chance of recruiters approaching you when a suitable position arises.

“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do” Henry Ford.

We all say that we want to move forward in our careers. We all hope that this will be the year in which we take huge strides forward.

But when was the last time you really invested in yourself and your career? Our first event of 2014 is taking place on Friday 24 January in Cambridge and will give attendees all the skills and confidence they need to ensure that this is the year in which their career takes off!

For more information and to book tickets online, click here.

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals realise their dreams by finding the career that is most suited to them. Contact us via support@careerambitions.co.uk or 01223 633535 to see how we can help you.

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Sometimes jobs just don’t work out. We often speak to people disillusioned with their new career. The reason for this is often mis-communication on the part of them and the employer; the recruitment process was badly managed, failing to properly establish exactly what they wanted from the selected candidate, while the person perhaps hadn’t asked the right questions of their employer.

As such the individual’s skills were misused or wasted as they were asked to perform tasks their skills weren’t suited nor motivated for.

Occasionally though, the job itself is as advertised, but it still doesn’t work out as the company and the individual are not a good fit.

I recently read a very interesting article by Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO at HubSpot, about the importance of thoroughly researching the culture of a company in order to find ourselves our ideal job.

The article drew the comparison with our personal relationships and questioned when we’re (rightly) so choosy about finding our ideal partner, why we weren’t so selective when it comes to finding our ideal workplace.

The Culture behind an organisation

It’s standard practice to research a company online and pre-prepare any of our own questions before a job interview.
But, if you’re looking to ‘settle down’ within an organisation, it’s important to look beyond the website and consider the culture behind the business and whether it suits your own ideologies and motivations.

Every company has a culture, whether intentional or not. Some are open and transparent; others are process and results focused.

No culture is right or wrong per se – but you have to decide what’s right or wrong for you.

Even in the largest organisations, the company’s culture is often a reflection of the people at the top. Think about Steve Jobs, who created a culture of innovation and creativity at Apple.

If you want to feel inspired, challenged, fulfilled, and happy with your work it’s worth researching the senior figures at the organisation where you might be working. Thanks to tools such as LinkedIn this has never been easier.

What do you think of them? Look at how many businesses they own, or have recently owned, or jobs they have had. Are they likely to stick with the organisation where you want to work for the long haul? If not, is it really the sort of business you want to commit your career to?

Remember that an interview should be a two-way selling process. First impressions count for a lot; if you’re not happy with the feel of the organisation at interview, consider whether it is somewhere that you’re likely to enjoy working.

And don’t be afraid to ask real questions; “What do you look for in your staff? What would be your immediate expectations of me?”

By undertaking all the research of the company – as well as the job itself – before deciding if it’s for you, you are at least giving yourself the best possible chance of avoiding looking for another job 3-6 months.

When it’s the place where you’ll spend the majority of your time, why would you not?

What if it changes?

Of course, just as we can fall in love with a company, it’s easy to fall out of love again! One or two changes in personnel, particularly in senior positions, can completely alter the dynamic of an organisation.

The message here is, if you are experiencing long-term issues in your job, then take charge of your career. No-one should work where they are unhappy.

Ensure that you are proactively managing your career, networking, seeking opportunities, gaining wider experience and / or training where possible.

Only you can help give you the career you deserve.

Our first event of the New Year is an all-day Career Skills Masterclass which offers an unprecedented level of support to attendees, enabling you to ensure that 2014 is the year in which their career truly takes off.

It takes place on Friday 24 January in Cambridge. Click here for more information and to book tickets online.

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals realise their dreams by finding the career that is most suited to them. Contact us via support@careerambitions.co.uk or 01223 633535 to see how we can help you.

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