>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.

>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


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

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Image 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.

>So now you know what it means for you – 10 strategies for coping with bad news

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York railway station and Royal York Hotel - Ap...
YORK RAILWAY STATION AND ROYAL YORK HOTEL

Some four and a half years ago, I was sitting in the Royal York Hotel at a team away day.  As I listened, I realised what the latest cost-reducing exercise was going to mean for me!  It meant the end of our working group and, for me, doing the kind of work that I loved, as a Civil Servant. 

We’d been talking about the change for months but this was the first time I really took it in! It took me a while to come to terms with my  feelings and to start looking forward!  

Losing a well-loved job can be like like losing someone close to you, for example, a well loved friend! Sadness is a very personal experience, unique to each of us. It can come in waves and your usual calm and balance can suddenly be overcome by emotion. This is disturbing, particularly if you are used to being very much in control of your emotions. 

If the same thing is happening to you, here are a few suggestions to help you ride out the storm! 
  1. Take time out. In many ways, experiencing loss can be similar to recovery from illness! Give yourself time to come to terms with the news.  
  2. Avoid making major decisions immediately. Loss can cloud your judgment and make it difficult to see beyond the immediate disappointment. Impulsive decisions can have far-reaching implications for you and those close to you. If you need to make an urgent decision, discuss it with someone you trust, such as a friend or financial advisor.
  3. Talk. Feelings like anger and disappointment can fester if held inside. They need to come out but in a safe environment. When friends and family offer to help, ask them just to listen.   If you think you need more support than friends and family can provide think about working with a coach or, if necessary, a professional counsellor. Both have been trained to listen!
  4. Honour the past.  That this is happening now, doesn’t devalue your working life so far!  Take time to think about your past successes and the respect in which you have been held. There is no disgrace in being made redundant – many of the most successful people have it in their career history!    It doesn’t make you better or worse as a person –  usually it just means you were unfortunate enough to be there at the time! 
  5. Take care of your physical health. Loss takes a physical, as well as an emotional, toll. Rest, exercise, and eat properly!  Keep yourself fit for what might be quite an adventure ahead! While you may not be motivated to exercise, taking a brief walk every day can lift your spirits and help you sleep at night.
  6. Avoid using chemicals to numb your feelings. A glass of wine can be good for the soul and help to settle jangled nerves, but overdoing it can bring a host of new problems. Attempting to numb your feelings about what has happened with alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications won’t help you prepare to make the most of what might be a very good opportunity ahead!  Usually, it will only prolong the pain. Eventually, one way or another, you must come to terms with what has happened. 
  7. Have fun. Sounds odd, doesn’t it?  But losing your job doesn’t mean you have to feel bad all the time!  In fact, it’s important to take a break from focusing on the change. Spend time with the family and have fun when you can, even if it’s just reading a good book or watching a movie!
  8. Reach out. In the beginning, you might not feel like mixing with other people at work. Soon, though, you’ll be ready to ease back into contact and start networking. Make a date with an old colleague to have lunch and make contact with others going through the same experience – you can support each other. Helping them, will help you to feel good about yourself again.
When I got over the shock of my sudden realisation, I went on to re-think my whole approach to work.  Things turned out well for me a
nd for many of my former colleagues.  I am sure they will for you too.

Here is some further reading

In terms of regaining you overall confidence – here is a website that can help; Recover Your Balance. Ann Lewis’s website supports you to recover emotionally so that loss of confidence is less likely to hamper you in deciding your best course ahead. You will also find her book very valuable  ‘Recover Your Balance: How To Bounce Back From Bad Times at Work’   

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@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439
You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftalking.com  


>Help for people leaving the Public Sector

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This blog has been established to provide advice and support for people thinking about leaving the UK Public Sector!

Following the 2010 Spending Review it was revealed that between them UK Government departments were expected to shed over 100,000 civil service posts as part of their efforts to reduce administration costs.
  
The Government’s cull of quangos, in which 192 public bodies are to be abolished and a further 112 will be merged, will also contribute to an overall headcount loss in the civil service
In addition vast numbers of posts are likely to be lost from the wider public sector – Local Authorities, the NHS etc
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Many public servants have already been invited to consider taking voluntary redundancy, and many more will be invited to do so as reorganisation plans begin to take shape. 
Compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out.
For many public servants this is a time to consider the future and the challenge it presents.
Four years ago I was facing the same challenge.
I left the Civil Service in May 2007 and despite the changing economic climate I have not had one moment of regret!  
Since then, as a coach, I have worked with a number of other people leaving public service.  This blog has been started to share the learning and to help you make the most the time ahead.
Posts will usually appear on Tuesday and Thursday.
The aim will be
  • to give you honest advice about the realities of life outside
  • to support you in making your plans 
  • to help you carry them through!
It will also be a place for you to express your views, if you wish, in the form of comments and to ask questions!






Wendy Mason 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@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439