>The Hidden Job Market

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Today we have the second of a series of three guest posts from Ian Machan of Prepare4private Limited – “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs”.  As I explained before, Ian has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. I hope you enjoyed his last post on Transferable Skills .  His third post should be here next week.


We at Prepare4Private have received some warming news.  A victim of the cuts in the NHS is looking for a new job. He is searching the Job sites, looking in the papers, as you would also expect. However he is also attacking the Hidden Job market with success.


The Hidden job markets is the catch all phrase for those jobs that never get advertised. I’ve seen estimates that from 30% to 80% of all jobs never get seen. My experience is that 80% is too high, but that still suggests a sizeable number are out there.

So how is our NHS friend getting on? Well he is approaching firms that he thinks have jobs needing his type of background and experience. He is approaching them by letter, even though he knows they aren’t advertising. The result? He is getting more interviews than through the “visible” market. He’s amazed but I, and now you, know he shouldn’t be.

So, look around your area, or where you want to work, make a list of the companies that are based there and write to them with a CV. Oh, one last thing. He also says he gets more success writing to the Line managers, rather than the HR group.

Autocratic Leadership – Leadership Styles

Autocratic Leadership – Leadership Styles!

Leadership Styles – is there a time and place for the Commander?

Casualty (series 4)

When I was a young nurse, autocratic leadership was still common.

It was the very early seventies. In those days, in Nursing, you learned to take orders and, as you gained experience and position, you learned to give them.

No, you didn’t shout like a drill sergeant!

You learned to use a certain tone in the voice that didn’t invite questions or equivocation!  All who joined the organisation and expected to thrive learned to comply – they gave their consent.  Some left pretty quickly!

Even then, times were beginning to change and by the time I left nursing, there were very few real autocrats still around.

Today, it is hard for me to remember what it was like to be part of such an organisation.

But there were occasions when an autocratic approach and the ability to command were invaluable; for example in a real medical emergency.

We were well trained and in most  emergencies everyone knew what was expected of them and slotted into their place.  The leader gave the orders and, in those circumstances, we obeyed. I saw several lives saved as a result of our ability to act as one body and give our consent to be led without question.

But it put a huge responsibility on the leader!

Leadership is awe-inspiring

When I found myself leading the team, I found it awe inspiring to have someone’s life in my hands.

I had authority, but I had responsibility as well and I was accountable for the decisions I made.

I was grateful for my training and I was very grateful for my team and the relationships we had built up outside of the emergency situation.

Yes I am sure there is still a place on some occasions for the Commander and an authoritative style of leadership!  But without the consent of a good team built on participation and engagement, with real relationships and care for each member, I’m sure no one achieves great things.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

>Transferable Skills

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Today we have the first of a series of three guest posts from Ian Machan of Prepare4private Limited – “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs”. Ian has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. He is a Mechanical Engineer who has worked for blue chip organisations across a range of sectors including Heinz and 3M. For the last 12 years Ian has offered consultancy services to a wide range of organisations.

When you look to move to the Private Sector you may find it hard to find a direct equivalent to the job you are leaving.  Job adverts may leave you feeling despondent, but don’t worry. 
What you have to do is consider in particular your transferable skills. These will be the skills that you have acquired over the years of your employment, and outside of employment that are relevant to a new employer. Sit down with a cup of coffee and you CV, and go through the document jotting down the skills that you used in each position, e.g.:
  • Leading a team of people
  • Setting up and delivering a project
  • Negotiating change
  • Setting up a new spreadsheet to analyse an area. 
Now also think about your hobbies, sports, or even how you run your house. I remember talking to someone who was working in fairly basic job, but who chaired the local cricket club. He was responsible for a project to demolish and re-build the clubhouse. He was controlling the contractors, managing the money etc.
This is no time to hide your capabilities, so summarise your skills, and make sure they come through on your CV.
Now go and look at those job adverts, or job descriptions through the lens of your skills, not the shades of your old jobs.

Ian Machan “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs: www.Prepare4Private.co.uk

>Networking Your Way to a Good Future – Part 2 – A Pilot List for Reluctant Networkers

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et ve de gust un cafè? 



As I mentioned in Part 1, when you start networking, you will find that most people are generous with both their time and their advice.  If they trust you, they will be prepared to introduce you to others who can help and to give you good advice.

But starting to network can be daunting. So we are going to make a pilot list of people who are both useful and approachable. These will be people you can practice on!

You should have a long list of contacts if you followed the suggestions in Part 1.  Now is the time to go through it and score your candidates out five for
  1.  Accessibility – you can contact them easily and they are located within meeting distance
  2. What they might be able to do for you! I’m afraid you will have to be a bit ruthless here – remember your future is at stake
  3. Their “user friendliness” – how approachable they are.

The scores on the doors

Now you can rank them. 

Put those with a score of  2 or less in categories 1 and 2 above to one side in pile D – these are put on hold for now!

Of those who remain, put those with a score of 2 or less in category 3 in pile C.  However useful they are, it will help to build up some confidence before you approach them.  Unless of course you are an Ace Networker who loves a challenge!

Now add up the scores of those you have left and rank them.  

Within your top ten, do you have five who score 5 in category 3?.  If so put them in pile A.  

If you can’t find five contacts who score 5 then add in the top scorers who scored four in category 3.  

You are looking for five useful people who are also friendly to start your networking activity – Pile A – Your Pilot List.  

The rest go into Pile B.

Make sure you have names, email addresses and telephone numbers for Pile A and Pile B.

I hope the ranking made sense – if not get in touch and I’ll give further guidance.

The message
Now before you make your first phone call or send your first email you n

eed to decide what to say.


People just love being asked for advice. Personally I believe this is best done face to face over coffee, lunch or a drink rather than on the phone.  

So I would start with an email or a phone call to ask for a little of their time.

When you have asked how they are, and reminded them if necessary about how you met, you need an explanation for your call or email! It is a good idea to keep things fairly brief and positive as you can at this stage!  

You can mention being caught up in the cuts if it is appropriate but emphasise that you are focussing on the future rather than the past.  You are seeking their advice and perhaps to find out more about their sector or their organisation and the possibilities. 

You could ask if it is OK to send your CV before the meeting saying that you would welcome thier comments upon it.

When you meet, emphasize your flexibility and openness to opportunity

The project

Use your card index or Microsoft Outlook Contacts to keep a record of your success – who you have rung and what happened.  

You can use the category markers and follow up flags in Microsoft Outlook Contacts to keep track.  

Treat this like a project with a beginning middle and end.

Work through your pilot list.  Keep a record of their comments and remember to send a note of thanks after your meeting.  

Say that you would like to keep in touch and ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of anything interesting.

When you have worked your way through your A List, you should be ready to start on List B.

The next post will deal with networking events and “cold calling” people you do not know. 

But in the mean time I would love to hear how you get on.  And of course please get in touch if you have questions.




Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net or ring ++44(0)7867681439


Outdoor Training – Learning from the wild!

Outdoor Training – Learning from the wild!

Summertime in the Innoko Wilderness, Alaska, USA.
SUMMERTIME IN THE INNOKO WILDERNESS, ALASKA, USA.

“As part of outdoor training programs, students are asked to step back and create functional teams that work across traditional departmental lines and outside of a strict hierarchical structure. Setting goals, making a plan, managing resources (food, fuel, etc.), working as a team, and remaining flexible are crucial to a successful backcountry expedition and the expedition of life. The model focuses on collaborative teamwork to achieve goals. Risk management becomes intuitive given the inherent risks and hazards of remote and wild areas.

Outdoor training “was a life changing time for me,” said Nantucket Nectars and Plum TV founder, Tom Scott. “The stakes are very real. The chain is as strong as its weakest link. The goal is to arrive at the next place as one. All links intact. I came back a different person.”

Even if a team-wide outdoor training isn’t in the cards for your group, getting away from the boardroom and into a more natural setting will allow your team to step out of the standard office roles.”

“Connecting with the wild outdoors in an intense way fosters the kind of self-reliance, judgment, respect, and sense of responsibility that can help leaders thrive in today’s shifting organizational landscape.”

Extracts from

Expedition Leadership in the Wild   by John N. Gans, Havard Business Review 19th April 2011

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

>Networking Your Way to a Good Future – Part 1 the Mighty List

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Making Friends - Marketing CartoonImage by HubSpot via Flickr

Many experts believe that many, if not the majority, of jobs don’t get advertised.  

This is certainly true for the private sector, less so in the public sector.  But the likelihood of a job not being advertised seems to increase with the level of the job. 

So the more people who know you, or at least know of you, the more likely you are to be offered a role. 

There is a very good reason to develop and make the most of your contact network.

But unfortunately networking doesn’t always get a good press.  It continues to be associated with selling of the cruder kind.  This is a pity!

Networking can be useful and very enjoyable for all concerned!

If you go into it with an honest approach, determined to offer something of value (you are prepared to develop the relationship and provide help when you can) it is certainly not exploitation.

You will be surprised how willing and pleased people will be to help.

For networking to work well you need to develop a broad list of contacts.  This can include people you’ve met in your private and social as well as your work life.

Don’t forget people you’ve met through social networks over the internet but I’ll deal separately with social  networking in another post. 

Unless you want to invest in specialist software, the easiest way to start your list is with a pen and a large sheet of paper.  Then think in terms of a series of circles; the inner circle being your closest friends and family.  You can draw this if it helps.  Or you could develop a spider diagram, if that appeals to you more.  You then segment each circle (branch) into slices for family, work, hobbies and social life.

Work from inside out – who do you know and who might they know?

Think about people you know now and people you used to know.

You can edit out in the second step – the first step is get as many people down on paper as possible.


In the next step we are going to think about how you are going to use the list. We are going to work out a plan and for that you are going to need a card file or a simple computer data base. I use Microsoft Outlook Contacts.

When you start networking, you will find that might most people are generous with both their time and their advice.  If they trust you, they will be prepared to introduce you to others who can help!
In the mean time if you have any questions please get in touch.  If you have some good tips on how to make the most of your network please share them here.

Falling at the first jump; the real value of a change management process.

Heading for home - barrel racer - Parada del S...

There is much to be said for being a flexible organisation willing to embrace change.

Enthusiasm is infectious!

Once you get a taste for change, galloping off to follow a new vision can be very exciting!

But there are risks attached, as the IT industry has learned at some cost!

A basic requirement for formal projects of all kinds is to have a change management process. Built into the arrangements will be a procedure for determining what will be gained but also what will be lost, delayed or made more costly as a result.

This process will require the person proposing the change to identify real benefits and real costs. What is going to be gained but also what is involved in delivering the change.  This procedure will also make quite clear at the start who is to sign off the change, who should be consulted and how the decision should be recorded.

It’s a little bit of governance that the IT industry in particular learned the hard way not to avoid. Without some kind of control over change, IT projects can all too easily spiral out of control. They can become undeliverable or too costly and everyone ends up disappointed.

It is no different really to getting someone in to refit your kitchen and deciding half way through that you’ve decided to change your microwave for a range cooker. Oh, and by the way, you are thinking you might knock down a wall and go open plan!

Sadly some organisations decide to make changes to their structure along the lines of our chums with the kitchen

Someone suggests a change that fires the board or the boss with enthusiasm and off they canter towards the far horizon. Half way there the enthusiasm dies as they realise the real costs and just how difficult it is going to be!

It would be much better to take the time out at the beginning to think things through and take some advice.

It won’t be as enjoyable as just galloping off into the sunset but it will mean there is much more chance of getting somewhere, or at least knowing whether “somewhere” is a place you want to visit!

Have you been part of an organisation that just cantered off?  What was it like for you?  Have you been an IT supplier who struggled to get a client to go through a proper change management process? What happened?

>6 Networking Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

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High Speed Business Networking Event (Paris, 2...Image via Wikipedia

I am going to be writing quite a lot about networking next week.  But in the mean time just to warm you up, here is an article  from the Harvard Business Review website. It is by Gill Corkindale who is a London Based Execuitve Coach. The link at the bottom will take you to the rest of the article. Incidentally, there is also a useful link in the first paragraph too!
“If you’ve been laid off in recent months, you’re in excellent company. Plenty of qualified and experienced managers are now having to develop strategies to find their next job.

But where to start? If you were my coaching client, I would simply say: network, network, network.

And yet among my clients, networking is often an underdeveloped skill. Take Jerry, a 40-year-old business development manager in a financial services firm. His role is to build the business in Europe, so he has to make industry contacts, speak at conferences and look for new client relationships. He is now at a point in his career where he has to build internal networks, but instead of recognising that he is already a master networker, the very mention of the word makes him shudder. Why? Because in his mind, networking is associated with self-promotion, politics and inappropriate favours.
In truth, networking is a critical skill for managers and leaders: your network supports and sustains you in the good times, but is the key to your survival in the bad times.
And yet networking is difficult, even daunting, for managers who have no problem simply chatting to people. It doesn’t need to be so stressful. Here are some common mistakes people make when networking — and how to avoid them:……”.
More at this link

Serendipity! A Morning with Wikipedia Finding the Energy for Leadership

Serendipity! A Morning with Wikipedia Finding the Energy for Leadership

Lightning over the outskirts of Oradea, Romani...
Pure Energy!

” The world belongs to the energetic.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I think about leadership the word that always comes first to my mind is energy!

I suspect we are all now deeply suspicious of charismatic leadership!  But I still believe that people who exude energy are much more likely to be followed than those who don’t.

So, I looked up the word energy in Wikipedia and this what I got;

In physics, energy (Ancient Greek: ἐνέργεια energeia “activity, operation”is a quantity that is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems.

Well, yes of course!  That is interesting but it isn’t exactly what I had in mind!

It is definitely worth knowing though.

In my context could we read doing “work on other physical systems” to mean influencing other people?  Good if we can, because I certainly expect my leaders to be able to do work on/influence others!

But it still didn’t capture what I was hoping for.

So I looked up “vitality” and there was nothing at all about that in Wikipedia!

Instead it referred me to the Wiktionary!  Up to that point I didn’t even know the “Wiktionary” existed.

So now as result of following up energetic leadership,  I have made a completely new discovery!  I have access to a new resource!

Not bad what energetic leadership has brought us so far is it?  We have ability to do work on others, the power of discovery and the joy of finding a new resource.

So I’m happy!

If my leader can really influence me and others, he/she is blessed with serendipity (Wikipedia – the property of making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated) and knows how to bring on board new resources successfully,  he/she is off to a flying start!

The definition of vitality was by the way,

“The capacity to live and develop”

Oh Yes!

Wendy Smith is a career, life and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can book a discussion with Wendy about your coaching needs and your personal development at this link

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

>Working with a coach

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Magic wand






First of all I have to declare an interest because I work as a business coach! 

Having said, that the reason for writing this is because I believe working with a coach brings real benefits when you are

  •          Deciding to move on from your usual working life. 
  •          Looking for work
  •     Thinking of starting your own business


What is coaching
Coaching is about supporting you through the process of achieving a specific personal or professional result! It is helping to identify the skills and capabilities that are within you and enabling you to use them to the best of your ability.

Coaching is not

  •          Mentoring – where you would work with someone who has walked the path before you
  •          Counselling –  a therapeutic relationship,  
  •          Consultancyoffering external solutions and often prescriptive advice
  •      A Magic Wand – you still have to do the work!
      
In a coaching relationship, your coach works with you to:

  •          Get clear about what you want to accomplish
  •          Solve problems and eliminate obstacles
  •          Set specific goals and make effective action plans
  •          Learn new skills and techniques
  •          Gain perspective, get feedback, and discover new ideas
  •          Stay true to your vision, focused on your goals, and on track with your plans 

Coaching is great if you want to do a career stock take before planning for the future or are facing an enforced personal change like redundancy.  A coach will provide guidance, expertise, recommendations, and skill-building techniques for finding your own answers.  A coach will supply you with ideas, resources, models, and systems that are proven to work in determining what path to follow!  They will not tell you what that path should be. 

Before you start to work with a coach, consider your goals 
Think about what you’d like to accomplish before interviewing prospective coaches. Be open to these goals evolving as you move further into the process.



Finding a coach
Coaches you have used If you have used a coach before successfully then you should certainly consider using them again. You will probably be able to make progress more quickly with a coach you already know and who knows you!
Coaches you know  or know ofBecause there are so many coaches of differing quality out there, the personal recommendation of someone you know is worth a lot.
The internetThere are many coaching organisations and individuals represented on the web. In most cases you can glean very little about the quality of a coach from their website but you should look for accreditation with a professional body at the very least (see below) and you can look for references.
Professional bodies – You should expect the coach you to choose to work with to belong to an appropriate professional organisation. There are a number. I list the four with the highest profile in the UK below – you could approach them for information about coaches who live locally.


The Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision, APECS

The European Mentoring and Coaching Council(EMCC)

Personal Chemistry
To make progress in a coaching assignment, a strong and trusting relationship is necessary.  The right ‘chemistry’ between coach and client is key to effective coaching.  If coaching is to be successful, it is vital that you speak to the coach before agreeing to work with them.  Reputable coaches will expect this to happen and will not expect you to pay for the conversation. 

Before you commit
Before committing, you will want to know the coach’s approach to the following.
  •   How you will set up your coaching plan together
  •  How the outcomes will be defined
  • The overall timeline
  •  How progress against the outcomes will be assessed
  • Structure, venue, and frequency of meetings
  • Fees, payments, and rescheduling policies


Now you are ready to make your choice and get started. 
If you have any questions please get in touch.  I would love to hear from you and to know how it turns out for you!



Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net or ring ++44(0)7867681439
You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftalking.com