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Contemplating Not Ruminating

Contemplating Not Ruminating – there’s a new post on my lifestyle blog, Your Happiness Factor, at this link.

Saturday Reflection – Contemplating Not Ruminating.

It talks about the difference between contemplating and ruminating and how ruminating is often a sign of stress.

Stress is a very common experience. Often, I work with clients who feel stressed. Learning how to bring themselves wholly into the present helps them a great deal. In this other post on Your Happiness Factor I explain what I teach them.

Feeling stressed? Learn to be present!

Coaching can help when you feel stressed. If you are thinking about coaching, I would love to talk to you. You can book a free discussion  here.

In the meantime I wish you a very happy weekend

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Advice to New Leaders

Advice to New Leaders

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

New leaders – leadership is about creating positive change in a group or organization to achieve some long-term objective. It involves having a vision, new leaderssetting goals and knowing how to move  the organization and its people towards them. The key skill for new leaders is learn how to best use your resources. And that includes  your people and using their talents to get you to where you need to be.

As new leaders, you need to be able to show why you should have the authority. Why should you be in that leadership role? To show that you need to understand the organization and the world in which it operates. That way you can win the confidence and trust of the people you will lead. As new leaders you need the best brief you can get. And then you need to ask questions that will show people you are really interested in them and what they are trying to do.

Create more leaders as you go

If you are leading a team, you will need to develop and motivate individuals and groups. It means helping people find meaning and purpose in what they are doing. That is so that they can see it as worthwhile. And as a leader, you have a responsibility to create more leaders throughout you organization. You can do this by setting a positive example.  New leaders succeed by allowing people to learn and develop on the job. And by encouraging them to be proactive. Let them know they really can influence the way the organization achieves success.

If you are the leader, you need to have resilience and be able to overcome obstacles that others would find daunting.  You need to know how to find new solutions and inspire others to do the same thing. Ensure people throughout the organization know that their ideas are welcomed and rewarded.  Help them to have confidence in you, when times are hard.

Be prepared to recognize and reward positive leadership wherever you find it throughout the organization.  Let some of your own power be passed on to those around you.  Just make sure they share your vision and that you have a way to know whether they are staying on the right track.  Accept, as well, that letting go of power means taking risks and being ready to step when things go wrong. That is part of leadership too. Support your emerging new leaders and what you will win is their loyalty. They in turn will support you.

Good luck with your in your new role and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Monday Quotes – Leadership

Monday Quotes – Leadership

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

  • “It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” Adlai leadershipE. Stevenson II
  • “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” Dolly Parton
  • “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men — the other 999 follow women.” Groucho Marx
  • “You have to be burning with “an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.” If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” Steve Jobs
  • “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” John C. Maxwell
  • “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.” Colin Powell
  • “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Competency Based Interviews 

Competency Based Interviews  

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Many job search and promotion interviews are now competency based. Competency based interviews provide the interviewer with a quick way to assess whether you have the knowledge, attitudes and skills to do a good job. And competency consists of these three elements;

  • Knowledge – how much you know about something,
  • Attitude – how you approach something
  •  Skills – how good you are at applying your knowledge

A competency based question will usually ask you to take something from your Competency Based Interviews  own experience. This could be, for example, how you managed a difficult situation or how you showed leadership. You will then need to explain how that demonstrated your competency. And the easiest way to do this is to use the STAR format.

Competency Based Interviews  – using the STAR format

The situation, task, action, result (STAR) format may be used by the interviewer to gather all the relevant information about a specific capability that the job requires. But you can use it yourself to help you answer questions.

  • Situation: The interviewer will ask you to describe a recent challenge or situation you encountered. You will need to explain the context; your role and what the work was about.
  • Task: The interviewer will want to know what you needed to do and what you wanted to achieve.  Sometimes you may be asked about a “Target” that you set yourself rather than a “Task.”  This will illustrate the strength of your motivation and, for example, your commitment to self development.
  • Action:  You will need to describe what you did, why and how? Were there alternative actions that you could have taken and why didn’t you choose them.  Set out the steps you took in logical order.
  • Results: What was the outcome? What did you achieve and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn and how have you used that learning since.

Be concise, crisp and clear

Make sure that your answers are concise, crisp and to the point. Be careful not to meander away from the main points. Make sure the interviewer understands the situation and the action you took clearly. Be sure you don’t blame anyone for the problem you faced.

Competency based interviews give you a good opportunity to demonstrate what you can offer to an employer. And they are something for which you can prepare. Read the job specification carefully and identify the competencies required. Then, find examples from your own experience and think them through using the STAR structure above.

Good luck with your interview and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed at interviews and job search.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search

Job Search – Do Your Email Address and Voicemail Message Help Your Job Search?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search – your email address and voice mail message are part of your personal brand. They send a message about you to potential employers. When you are applying to jobs you need to make sure that they say the right things.

You should have a professional looking email address and a voice mail message that sounds warm and friendly but also business like. Jokey email addresses, and those which look like they are meant for a family, are not going to work to your advantage. Exactly the same thing goes for your voice mail message . This is not the time for that celebrity voice, nor friendly family greetings or jokes. An employer will consider an unprofessional voicemail message means you are not professional in your approach.

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search – some guidelines

Voicemail message

  1. Before you record your message think about what you are going to say – it can be a good idea to write your message down
  2. Include your name in the message, mention you’re unavailable to answer the phone. Then ask them to leave their name, number and message, and say you will get back to them as soon as possible. (Do that, of course and quickly)
  3. Keep it simple. For example, “Hi, this is Simon Jones. I’m sorry I’m unable to take your call now, but please leave your name, number and message after the tone and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. Thank you.”
  4. Take time and trouble recording your message – find a quiet place with no background noise of any kind
  5. Speak clearly, and sound professional and polite when recording your greeting.
  6. If you want to be taken seriously avoid background noise including the sound of the family, joke messages and any kind of gimmick.

Email address

  1. Consider creating a new email address specifically for your job search. This will help to prioritize your job search emails.
  2. If possible, include your name in your email address, for example firstname.lastname@abc.com. That will make it much easier for a potential employer to find your emails in their inbox or folder.
  3. You could create an email address that corresponds to the work you do or your profession, for example simonjonesprojectmanager@abc.com if is appropriate.
  4. Make sure your email address is as simple, logical and easy to type as possible – long strings of numbers may well generate mistakes. That might mean you lose out on a precious job offer.

Email Address and Voicemail Message For Job Search – your email address and voicemail message are key to your personal brand in your job search. Keep them clear, simple and professional. Then they will increase, not decrease, the chances of you being contacted by an employer.

In job search, paying attention to these small details can greatly improve your prospects of being hired. You are the “brand” so ensure you keep looking and sounding professional. It is up to you to protect yourself. If you would like some more job interview tips or some extra help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Looking Professional – Not Your Holiday Photo Please

Looking Professional– Not Your Holiday Photo Please

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Looking professional – have a care with your profile picture. So, there I was sending out invitations to various contacts and I hit on one name I hadn’t seen Looking Professionalfor a while. It was a former colleague. I went to look at her profile to see what she’d been doing recently and, there it was, that same old photo.

Well, you might say, be fair Wendy. There is a certain very flattering photo of you that has been on one website for a very long time. Yes, that is true.  But that isn’t her problem. My old chum has chosen to put on her professional profile, a not very flattering photo taken on holiday. True,  she isn’t looking for work at present. And,  I suppose for her, social media is just a way of keeping in touch.. But what happens when things change?

Think about looking professional

She isn’t the only one, of course, who doesn’t think about looking professional.  I know others who have non-holiday and posed photos on their profile. But, still, they do not look at their best.  Some seem to have been taken with the giggles and others seem to think that looking professional equates to looking grim.

I’m not sure why they have not worked out that looking professional means looking like someone you would want to work with or do business with.

On top of that, remember, that these days potential employers may search social media for more information about you.  Those photos you are tagged in that were taken on the “stag” or “hen” do in Benidorm are not going to work to your advantage.

So,  why not carry out an internet search on your name and check that what comes up promotes your professional “brand”.  Anything that doesn’t  see if you can delete it, or at least, remove the tags!

And in future guard pictures of you that appear on-line quite carefully. You never know what potential employer may be watching. Don’t let your photo “mistakes” come back to haunt you.

In job search and career development you are the “brand” so ensure you keep looking professional. It is up to you to protect yourself. If you would like some more job interview tips or some extra help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Job Interview Tips

Job Interview Tips

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Job Interview Tips – are you ready for that interview? This interview checklist will take you step by step you through everything you need to do to be a success!

What are you going to wear?

Job Interview Checklist
Job Interview Tips – are you ready for that interview? This interview checklist will take you step by step you through everything you need to do to be a success!

The first impression you make on a potential employer can make a big difference. So you need to dress appropriately for a job interview. Check out what passes for appropriate business dress in the organization you wish to join. Ask around among your contacts. But note, a business suit is usually standard. Have your interview outfit ready to go. That means you can be ready for an interview at very short notice. If you are being interviewed online with a camera switched on, think about how you will look. And make sure the background is business like.  Check how you will look before you go online

Review your response to the advert and job description

Take the time to remind yourself how you meet the requirement. Then make sure you have your list of competencies available for the interview. Show exactly how you meet the skills, knowledge and qualities required. Emphasize those most important for success in the job. Be ready to describe successes you have had that make you the perfect match for the job. The closer your qualifications and experience match the job requirements, the better chance you’ll have of going forward.

Research the organization and those interviewing you

How much do you know about the organization itself? Before you go to the interview be sure you are well informed. Do an internet search and use LinkedIn.

Job Interview Tips – Use your contacts

Do you know anyone who is working at the organization or who has worked there recently? Knowing someone can make a big difference. They might be able to put in a good word for you. Plus your contacts can help you with inside information about the organization, its people and, possibly, the recruitment process itself.

Prepare for Interview Questions

Take time to think through questions you are likely to be asked. This will help you to organize your answers and it will help to reduce stress.  Ask a friend or family or family member to help you practice your answers. If they are prepared to give you a mock interview so much the better.

Prepare for a presentation

Check whether a presentation is required. Then find out as much as possible about the subject.  If they don’t suggest a topic,  concentrate on showing how you are fitted and how you would approach the job.  Prepare your materials well in advance if you can. Have spare copies. Have handouts ready and to a good quality.  Take enough for the panel and some spares.  Check out what technology and other material will be available for your use.  If using your own equipment, make sure it is working properly on the day. Don’t assume you can use your own without making inquiries first. Ask about plugs etc. Run through your presentation, preferably in front of a friend, beforehand.

Job Interview Tips – Have Clear Travel Directions and Allow Plenty of time

It’s important to know where you need to go for your job interview. You don’t want to be late, so start in good time. Use Google Maps to get directions if you’re not sure where you are going.  Check on parking and/or public transport so you arrive with time to spare.

Time to relax!

Check out your appearance when you arrive and then use a simple breathing technique to help you relax. Here is a link to one.

Go in there and wow them.  I wish you every success. If you would like some more job interview tips or some extra help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

How to get on with people at work

How to get on with people at work

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

How to get on with people at work
Few of us like everyone

How to get on with people at work –  getting on with people is important in all parts of your life. It is very important at work.

One the hardest lessons we have to learn in life, is that we will meet people who don’t like us. Sometimes this will be for reasons that we understand.  But sometimes, it won’t! And, of course, sometimes we may find ourselves not liking someone and it may be very hard to know why.

How we respond depends very much on the circumstances.

For example, imagine yourself sitting next to someone on a plane for a journey that lasts an hour. It make very little difference whether you like each other or not.  Very soon you will part, never to meet again. But, suppose the person you can’t get on with has a much more significant role in in your life. Suppose the person you are having difficulties with is your new boss, a colleague or an employee. Not knowing how to get on with people at work matters. It matters a lot! So what can you do about it?

How to get on with people at work

First, if you are dealing with your own feelings of dislike, try to work out why you feel like that.  What is it about this person that you find so difficult?  Take some time to think about the issue.  Is it how they look? Is it something they have said or done? Sometimes, we dislike those who remind us of people or experiences in our own past. Take time to reflect and then be completely honest with yourself. Honesty with yourself really matters here.

If you have a sense of mistrust, then try to work out why? Is there any evidence to support how you feel?

Be very honest about your own prejudices. If the way you feel is about their race, their age or their sexual persuasion or their disability, then you have some hard work to do. This problem is yours to resolve, not theirs, and you cannot ignore it!

When you have feelings of dislike, start to work on valuing the individual and the contribution they make. Think about the good things about them. There will be something if you look hard enough.

If the issue is to do with your bad memories, then don’t be afraid to seek the help of a coach or counsellor. If the real problem is your own prejudice then again seek out support from a trainer or coach. Be honest and brave enough to seek help. You will lead a much happier and more fulfilling life without that issue.

If someone dislikes you, then again, see if you can work out why. Try to put things right. How much impact they have on you depends on their role in your life.

When the problem is the boss

If the person is the boss, for example, a new boss; you may have to take your confidence in both hands and start a discussion. Be prepared to hear some criticism and respond positively to it.  Try to make sure the boss really does understand how you are contributing to the work. Then work hard to turn yourself into an asset – share you knowledge with your boss.

Above all, keep the lines of communication open.  Never fight with the boss!  Find the middle ground. At the end of the day, though, if you really can’t get on, consider a move. Fighting the boss is rarely successful and generally leads to misery.

How to get on with people at work – is the problem a colleague?

If the problem is with a colleague or an employee,again work hard to find out why you don’t get on. Talk to them and try to get to know them better. Then find the middle ground. Be scrupulously fair in your dealings with them. At the end of the day, have a professional approach and focus on the work. That way you should be able to find a way to work together even though you may not be best buddies.

How to get on with people at work – you don’t owe those you work with undying affection. Nor do they owe that to you.  But you do owe them a fair chance to do their work well and a fair hearing if they have a problem.  You should be able to expect the same in return.

If you need advice on a relationship at home or at work, then get in touch with me. I can help.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

What Kind Of Leader Are You? Well, let me ask you a question. If you had a choice, what kind of person would you want to follow? It is a good question to ask yourself if you are leader in any capacity. That means from leading a hobby group, a small work team or even a major corporation.

There are some obvious characteristics in our “good leader”, aren’t there? For example, we would all want a leader who acted with integrity. Integrity is the very bedrock of trust and we all hope that we can trust the person who is showing us the way ahead.  As for me, I want to follow someone I believe when they tell me it is safe to take a risk. I’m not going to walk across that rope bridge to a what you tell me is a bright future unless I believe that it really is strong enough to keep me out of the river. Sometimes of course you won’t know any more than I do – but you will certainly know how to find out as much as possible. And you’ll tell me clearly what the facts are and why I should take the risk anyway, if I should.

Of course, we want a leader who has a clear vision of where we are trying to go And their works can paint it so that we can see the destination too. We want someone who can paint the future in colours that lead us to have enough faith to step out with them. We need a message that gets us all turning in the same direction – marching along together. The vision needs to be bright enough to illuminate the way.

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Most of us would like to follow a leader who wasn’t working for their own ends but for ours. That is a servant leader who is prepared to act with compassion. John Maxwell put it this way: “Servant-leaders never pursue a mission at the expense of their people. Rather, servant-leaders earn the loyalty and best efforts of their people by serving the interests and investing in the development of those they lead. A servant-leader wants to see others succeed.”

Good leaders know that they’re only as good as the people who support them. They invest time and energy in ensuring the well-being and success of their team.

So, what kind of leader are you? Are you demonstrating integrity, vision and compassion? If not, what changes do you plan to make? You will need to change something won’t you? That is if you are serious about your career and expect others to follow you.

If you would like some help in developing your leadership skills please get in touch. Good leaders are modest enough to know that working with a coach really can make a difference.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

Personality Tests – Free Test 

Personality Tests – Free Test 

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Personality tests – a personality test is a questionnaire or other test designed to reveal aspects of your character or psychological makeup. They are used  by recruiters and by large organizations when making decisions about who to or to choose or promote. But you can use these kind of tests yourself. You can do this as part of your own career development. And it always helps to know what recruiters may find.

The first personality tests were developed in 1920s and used by the armed forces. Since these early efforts, a variety of tests have been developed. Most notable are the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the MMPI, and a number of tests based on the “Five Factor” Model of personality.

Today, personality tests have become a multi-million dollar industry and they can be used in a range of contexts. These can include individual and relationship counselling as well as career planning, and employee selection and development.

Below is a link to a free test is based on MBTI approach to personality. Upon completion of the questionnaire, you can find out your 4-letter type formula according to Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ theories.  As well as that, you will find an indication of the strengths of your preferences and the description of your personality type.

After that, if you put your 4 letter type into a search engine you should find lots of relevant information and resources on-line. For example, I am INFJ which suggests among other things an aptitude for writing and counselling/coaching apparently. 

Anyway try the test and if you would like to discuss your results please get in touch. Here is the link http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp  
If you need advice on a relationship at home or at work, then get in touch with me. I can help.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link